In unprecedented move, Canadian pension funds unite to call for greater ESG standards

In an unprecedented move, some of Canada’s largest institutional investors have banded together to ask companies for more rigorous disclosures of environmental, social and governance factors, an effort they say is meant to promote more sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

A group of eight pension funds, which together manage a total of about $1.6 trillion in assets, called on corporations in a joint statement Wednesday to standardize their disclosures of so-called ESG factors to help them in their investment decision-making and better assess and manage their risks.

“How companies identify and address issues such as diversity and inclusion, human capital, board effectiveness and climate change can significantly contribute to value creation or erosion,” the funds wrote.

The group of eight funds includes global investment heavyweights such as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and the Caisse de Dépot et Placement du Québec.

Richard Leblanc, a

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HUD urges localities to prevent evictions by using grant funds


Fri, Sep 11th 2020 11:00 am

Rental assistance to prevent evictions is an allowable use of $7 billion in HUD CARES Act funds

Consistent with President Donald Trump’s executive order “Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners,” the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has reiterated the Trump administration’s commitment to minimize displacement and evictions resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic national emergency. HUD is reminding all grantees – states, cities, communities and nonprofits – who received Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) or Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that they may use these funds to provide rental assistance or other aid to individuals experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic and are at risk of being evicted, consistent with applicable laws, regulations and guidance.

“From day one of this pandemic, the administration has done everything in our power to ensure that the American

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HUD funds relocation assistance for local Housing and Development Authorities

RICHMOND – Low-income residents in Hopewell and Petersburg are set to benefit from a $1.6 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

logo: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $1.6 million to agencies in Petersburg and Hopewell.

© Contributed
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $1.6 million to agencies in Petersburg and Hopewell.

Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Petersburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority have been awarded these funds to help households with relocation or replacement housing when their public housing units become slated for a HUD-approved plan for demolition, disposition or mandatory conversion.


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“Virginian’s are facing a great deal of uncertainty during this unprecedented time and should not have added concern if they are displaced due to the need for construction on their home,” said Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator for HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “These funds will bring peace of mind to individuals in impacted housing units and allow them to focus on things that

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Spokane Housing Authority sells its portfolio of homes to raise funds for affordable housing

There’s a four-bedroom, two-bath home in the Minnehaha neighborhood for sale at a price – $215,000 – that’s hard to find in Spokane’s increasingly tight housing market.

The sale is already pending, but about 45 similar houses in a similar price range should be coming on the market soon and about 25 have already sold, all from the same unlikely seller: the Spokane Housing Authority.

While it may seem counterintuitive, Brian Jennings, housing development director for the Authority, says the agency’s decision to sell its supply of houses in the middle of a housing crunch make perfect sense.

For one thing, the 58 homes and eight duplexes the agency owned before the sales started are spread out all over Spokane County and are “incredibly expensive to operate and maintain.”

For another, Jennings figures the housing authority can raise $12 to $13 million by selling them off.

And that money can

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Ex-Mummers Parade director charged with embezzling Parks & Rec funds

Two former Philadelphia officials, and one former employee of a city contractor, have been charged with fraud and embezzlement after joint investigations by the city’s Office of the Inspector General and the FBI.

Leo Dignam, 61, of Philadelphia, who once served as director of the Mummers Parade and as assistant city managing director, is accused of wire fraud and embezzling from a program that received federal funds.

His brother, Paul Dignam, 58, also of Philadelphia, is facing charges of mail fraud and similar embezzlement charges.

Barbara Conway, 61, of Drexel Hill, has been charged with alleged theft of funds from a federally funded program.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which is prosecuting the cases, announced the charges in a statement Thursday.

“Anyone who misdirects funds away from our local community and into their own pockets will be held accountable to the fullest extent,” Philadelphia Inspector

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Were These Hedge Funds Wrong About Piling Into Invitation Homes Inc. (INVH)?

While the market driven by short-term sentiment influenced by the accomodative interest rate environment in the US, virus news and stimulus talks, many smart money investors are starting to get cautious towards the current bull run since March and hedging or reducing many of their long positions. Some fund managers are betting on Dow hitting 30,000 to generate strong returns. However, as we know, big investors usually buy stocks with strong fundamentals that can deliver gains both in bull and bear markets, which is why we believe we can profit from imitating them. In this article, we are going to take a look at the smart money sentiment surrounding Invitation Homes Inc. (NYSE:INVH).

Is Invitation Homes Inc. (NYSE:INVH) going to take off soon? Money managers were turning bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund bets advanced by 6 in recent months. Invitation Homes Inc. (NYSE:INVH) was in 33 hedge funds’

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Pope shakes up running of Vatican funds after London property scandal

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has stripped the Vatican’s Secretariat of State of control over its own funds, moving them to the supervision of its economic offices in an attempt to contain the fallout of a scandal over a luxury London property deal.

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience in Aula Paolo VI at the Vatican, October 28, 2020. Vatican Media/?Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

The Secretariat of State is the most important department in the Vatican administration, overseeing the Holy See’s diplomacy and general affairs inside the Vatican and has historically controlled its own funds, investments and real estate holdings.

An investigation into the London deal, which involved several middlemen, led to the suspension last year of five Vatican employees, the resignation of its police chief and the exit of the former director of its Financial Information Authority.

In a letter released by the Vatican press

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Real Estate Slump Forcing Big Funds to Delay Investor Redemption Requests

Some of the most conservative real-estate funds are suffering from falling property values, putting their fund managers in a tough spot as investors look to cash out.

These real-estate investment vehicles are known as “core” funds because they buy higher quality properties and limit their debt. The biggest core funds have raised billions of dollars from pensions and other institutional investors that seek steady, lower-risk returns.

Now that the pandemic has caused values of hotels, retail properties and even many office buildings to tumble, investors are lining up to cash out of these funds. That has put fund managers in a bind: They either have to sell property into a stormy market to raise that cash, or tell investors they can’t get some or all of the money they want back.

The San Diego Employees Retirement System tried to redeem about $85 million from the $9.5 billion AEW Core Property

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RPT-Japan property funds feel pinch as Tokyo population drops amid pandemic

(Repeats a story published on Japan holiday without any changes)

* People moving to suburb for bigger space, to avoid crowd

* Japan REIT index hit 5-month low last week

* Residential REIT reports fall in occupancy

* Office markets could come under pressure longer-term

TOKYO, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Signs that people are moving away from Tokyo, as telecommuting becomes the norm for many business amid the COVID-19 pandemic, have put property investors on edge and pushed Japan’s real estate investment trust (REIT) index to five-month lows.

Although Japan’s total population has been dropping since 2009, capital Tokyo has defied the trend, attracting young workers from all over the country.

But data from the Tokyo metropolitan government shows the city’s population dropped by around 10,700 in October to 13.971 million, its fourth decline in five months.

“We have expected Tokyo’s daytime population to shrink over time but we did

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3 Real Estate Funds You Must Grab for Handsome Returns

Investing in the real estate sector adds stability to one’s portfolio, mainly because volatility in property prices is far less than what is experienced by stocks. So, investors willing to hold long-term positions would do well to consider real estate mutual funds as these add stability and bring steady returns. This category of funds also offers superior protection against inflation and is a solid investment choice.

Below we share with you three top-rated real estate mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

Cohen & Steers Real Estate Securities Fund, Inc. Class A CSEIX invests the majority of its assets in common stocks and other equity securities issued by real estate companies. The non-diversified fund aims for total return. CSEIX has

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