Coronavirus relief funds for nursing homes dry up, raising fears for elderly, vulnerable

As drafts of a renewed coronavirus relief package continue to be debated in and around the White House, the many millions left languishing in nursing homes and elderly care facilities – along with their loved ones forced to communicate with them from afar – are urging swift action.

According to the American Health Care Association (AHA), almost all the initial $175 billion U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funds from the CARES Act – which was signed into law by President Trump in late March – has been spent, and yet coronavirus – officially termed COVID-19 – cases in at least 22 states continues to ascend, ahead of the already daunting cold and flu season.

“HHS has announced distribution plans for 80 percent of the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund created by the CARES Act. Health care providers, including nursing homes, will need additional resources to continue its

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Renters, landlords need legislative eviction relief

With time running out for financially struggling renters, it appears Gov. Charlie Baker wants the state Legislature to step up and decide those individuals’ fate.

Baker signed a moratorium in April blocking most evictions and foreclosures for several months, aiming to avoid housing disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He later extended its expiration to Oct. 17, which he could do again in 90-day increments. The ban doesn’t cover rents due before that April directive.

Baker hasn’t made any public pronouncement concerning the expiration of the moratorium.

Three landlords previously tried suing the state, alleging the ban breaches the Constitution’s contracts clause and prevents them from exercising free speech, petitioning the judiciary and acquiring compensation for unlawful land taking. While their suit failed, even the judge who upheld the ban apparently questioned how long this arrangement can continue.

“I think this affirms the principle that we as legislators are protecting the

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Saudi Tax Relief Unleashed for Home Buyers to Keep Boom Rolling

(Bloomberg) —

Saudi Arabia added new incentives to keep its mortgage boom going by scrapping a 15% value-added tax on property sales and offering other relief for home buyers amid a push by the Arab world’s largest economy to expand residential ownership.

Property transactions will instead be subject to a new 5% real estate sales tax, according to state-run news agency SPA. The government will also shoulder the cost of taxes for first-time home buyers of properties worth up to 1 million riyals ($267,000), according to a royal order published on Friday.

The threshold for the tax exemption was increased from 850,000 riyals previously for citizens buying their first homes.



chart, bar chart: Mortgage Boost


© Bloomberg
Mortgage Boost

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage market has emerged as a bright spot at a time the economy is reeling from the global pandemic and lower oil prices, with citizen unemployment hitting its highest level on record in the

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Defining ‘Contractor’ Status Would Provide Some Relief for Workers

A new rule proposed by the Department of Labor could bring partial relief to businesses struggling to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout. It could also help millions of workers who are straining to maintain their livelihoods or attempting to find new ones.

For the first time in more than 80 years since the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a new proposed rule seeks to provide clarity on the definition of an “independent contractor” for general industry.

>>> What’s the best way for America to reopen and return to business? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, assembled America’s top thinkers to figure that out. So far, it has made more than 260 recommendations. Learn more here.

This is important because it can be difficult for businesses to differentiate between employers and contractors, and extremely costly if they make the wrong

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