Some homeowners struggled to pay PACE improvement loans. The coronavirus made it harder

It wasn’t until the work was done that Marcelino and Josefina Rodriguez said they learned the truth.

They had been signed up for a roughly $45,000 PACE home improvement loan at nearly 10% interest — even though they said a woman working with the contractor told them their new roof and water heater would be free through a government program.

The Rodriguezes contacted the authorities, but the nearly $4,500 annual bill came due anyway — a financial hit for the household of four who scraped by on less than $30,000 each year as garment workers paid by the piece.

If they didn’t pay, Marcelino, 67, and Josefina, 64, could lose the Pacoima home they’ve owned since 2001, one that provided them and their sons stability after years of bouncing from rental to rental. So to get by, they started selling food and one of their sons said he exhausted his

Read More

Mixed Outlook for Retail Building Products Amid Coronavirus

Lynne M. Centeno

The Building Products – Retail industry comprises U.S. home improvement retailers, manufactures of industrial and construction materials and distributors of wallboard and ceilings systems. Some of the industry participants also offer products and services for home decoration, repair and remodeling, and in-home delivery and installation services.

The industry players provide a wide array of products, ranging from cement or concrete foundation materials to roofing boards and shingles. The companies also sell lumber, insulation materials, drywall, plumbing fixtures, hard-surface flooring, lawn and garden, and decor products. Some players also deal in threaded fastener products, and manufactured and natural stone tiles. The industry players cater to professional homebuilders, sub-contractors, remodelers and consumers.

Let’s take a look at the industry’s three major themes:

  • The industry’s prospects remain closely tied to U.S. housing market conditions, and repair and remodeling (R&R) activity. The bleak near-term prospects of the housing market amid coronavirus-induced high unemployment and
Read More

Raw Color designs Elbow Sock for coronavirus sneezing

Lynne M. Centeno

Dutch design studio Raw Color has suggested using odd socks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The advice from medical experts is to use your elbow rather than your hands when coughing or sneezing, to prevent spreading Covid-19 germs onto surfaces.

Elbow Sock for coronavirus by Raw Colour

Elbow Sock offers a way of keeping your clothes clean while following this practice, and encouraging others to do the same.

Raw Color‘s design is actually a DIY hack, rather than a product concept. The Eindhoven-based studio suggests you simply take a pair of scissors to any sock.

Elbow Sock for coronavirus by Raw Colour

“In this period, we wanted to simulate the DIY mentality, to think about something that everybody can do, with an object everybody owns, without machinery,” explained studio co-founder Christoph Brach.

“While brainstorming, we found out that the sock has the perfect shape, with its heel, to fit onto an elbow,” he told Dezeen. “And we all have orphan socks

Read More

Vivviene Westwood and Christopher Kane create coronavirus posters

Lynne M. Centeno

Artists and designers including Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Kane and Wolfgang Tillmans have created protest-style posters about coronavirus for Dazed Media.

As part of its #AloneTogether campaign, Dazed Media asked creatives to design posters that respond to the changes brought about by the pandemic and call for a better future. Graffiti artist 3D, fashion designer Katharine Hamnett and director Margot Bowman have also contributed poster designs.

Dazed Media coronavirus poster campaign
Photographer and director Jonas Lindstroem’s poster puts dreams on a front page

“Part warning, hope and inspiration, these posters are beacons for future action and connection,” said Dazed Media co-founder Jefferson Hack.

“There is a long history of political protest and creative resistance being expressed through poster design, illustration and graphic art,” he added.

“Whether they are posters intended for the street or for the screen this inspiring collection gives voice to artists’ social, political and personal reflections.”

Dazed Media coronavirus poster campaign
Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood calls for less
Read More