Insights On Leadership And Neighborhoods From Executive Director Of Providence Revolving Fund

In its fourth decade, the Providence Revolving Fund (PRF) preserves the architectural heritage of one of the nation’s oldest cities through lending, real estate development, advocacy and technical assistance. In preservation parlance, a revolving fund is a program or, in PRF’s case, an entity which works a pool of capital in a visible way to save endangered properties and strengthen neighborhoods—with monies returning to the fund to be used for similar reinvestment. The nonprofit’s potency is substantial for Providence neighborhoods, having made 470 loans to moderate- and lower-income families; purchased and developed 63 buildings; facilitated $33 million in financing and leveraged an additional $250 million.

Restoration work in progress assisted by the Providence Revolving Fund.COURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Now a new era dawns for the Providence Revolving Fund, with the hiring of Carrie Zaslow as executive director. The community development professional has a wealth of experience in capital management for housing affordability and revitalization of commercial corridors. She also served as vice chair and chair of the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission.

Restored and assisted by the Providence Revolving FundCOURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Tom Pfister: Some people view challenges with neighborhoods as insurmountable. Others are on the fence. What would you say to persons who are unsure about whether to volunteer for or work at organizations that focus on supporting the delicate balances of healthy, inclusive, livable neighborhoods?

Carrie Zaslow: I have a fundamental belief that everyone should be able to live in neighborhoods that are safe, that have performing schools, that have recreation and fresh food available, where residents can thrive, and that honors the history and culture of the neighborhood. With that belief, there needs to be a balance on a policy level that will prevent displacement of current residents even if the neighborhood becomes attractive to others. With that said, I would tell people that community development is hard work, often decades in the making, but it is also immensely satisfying—especially when you speak with the neighborhood residents, and you meet the family that finally has an apartment up to code, lead safe and at a rent they can afford, and they can finally take a deep breath.

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Pfister: What are the most common misconceptions about affordable housing?

Executive Director Carrie Zaslow of the Providence Revolving FundPHOTO BY IAN TRAVIS BARNARD / COURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Zaslow: The biggest misconceptions about affordable housing are that it’s housing for people with no jobs and no income, that it will decrease the value of homes nearby and be a burden to the community. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Over 51% of Rhode Island renters are cost-burdenedby housing costs—they are paying more than 30% of their income on housing. A teacher or emergency medical technician supporting a family can longer afford to buy a market-rate house anywhere in Rhode Island. The Providence Revolving Fund has made a priority of both creating and supporting affordable housing that protects Rhode Island’s historic housing stock, and creating affordable housing that is visually beautiful. Today’s affordable housing is well designed, energy efficient and healthy. Families living in healthy and stable conditions are able to increase their family wealth and see their children perform better in school.

Pfister: What lesson have you learned about genuine leadership that guides you?

Zaslow: It’s important to take calculated risks. To understand that true innovation means accepting the possibility of failing. That you can’t let missteps define you—you learn from them and move on. To be a great leader, you are able to extend this mindset to your entire team, so as to create an atmosphere that promotes creativity and innovation.

Pfister: When you worked in other capacities within Providence neighborhoods and organizations, what did you admire from afar, so to speak, about the Providence Revolving Fund?

Zaslow: I always saw the Providence Revolving Fund as a strong organization with a talented staff. I knew founding Executive Director Clark Schoettle and Associate Director Kim Smith, and I admired their work and commitment. The organization is unique as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that works with both homeowner-borrowers and real estate developers in the area of historic preservation, and then as a developer itself of affordable housing in historic districts. What stood out for me about PRF was its shared belief in the power of the culture of a neighborhood and the importance of preserving it.

Pfister: Here at the starting line of your tenure as executive director, what is the highest priority facing the Providence Revolving Fund?

Zaslow: Our highest priority is equipping ourselves to meet the evolving needs of Providence neighborhoods and that means growth. The Providence Revolving Fund is one of only four CDFIs working in Rhode Island, and the only one working on historic preservation. Demand for the work we do is high and we will be developing new ways to meet that need.

For more than 25 years, I’ve served as a practitioner in real estate: e.g., I’ve directed a revolving fund for historic properties; raised and underwrote capital for resident-led development in underserved neighborhoods.

[“Source-forbes”]

CAT examination 2018: IIMs announce registration dates, full schedule and venues

A file photo of CAT aspirants waiting outside an examination centre in Navi Mumbai. Photo: Mint

A file photo of CAT aspirants waiting outside an examination centre in Navi Mumbai. Photo: Mint

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on Saturday announced the schedule, dates and venues where the Common Admission Test 2018 (CAT 2018) for entry into India’s top business management schools will be held. CAT is not only the entrance examination for all IIMs for their MBA programs but is also accepted for admission into several other top B-schools in India. The 2018 CAT examination will be held across 147 cities on November 25. This year IIM, Calcutta, is coordinating the exam.

Here is all you need to know about CAT Examination 2018:

1. CAT 2018 will be conducted on 25 November in two sessions. CAT examination centres will be spread all over the country in 147 cities.

2. Registration for CAT 2018 will be open from 8 August to 19 September. CAT application form can be filled in online mode only and the examination is also conducted online.

3. CAT candidates will be given the option to select 4 test cities in the order of preference. Cities and centres will be assigned to the candidates only after the last date for CAT 2018 registration and hence candidates need not rush to block slots and cities in the initial days of registration.

4. IIMs will try their best to assign candidates to their first preferred city. In case it is not possible, they will be assigned a city following their given order of preference. In the rare case that a candidate is not allotted any of the preferred cities, he/she will be allotted an alternate city. However, candidates will not be able to select which of the two sessions they want to appear at because it will be assigned randomly.

5. Candidates must pay the registration fee through online payment modes only, which will include credit cards, debit cards and net banking.

6. After submission of the CAT application form, candidates will be permitted to download their examination admit card from 24th October onwards, till the date of test.

7. The duration of the test will be 180 minutes. There will be three sections. The first one will be on verbal ability and reading comprehension. Second section is on data interpretation and logical reasoning while the third section is on quantitative ability.

8. Candidates will be allotted exactly 60 minutes for answering questions in each section and they will not be allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. Some questions in each section may not be of multiple-choice type. Instead, direct answers will have to be typed on the screen. The tutorials will clearly explain this. Also, IIMs will allow use of basic on-screen calculator for computation during the CAT examination.

9. Tutorial to understand the format of the CAT exam will be available on the CAT website from 17 October. Candidates are advised to work on the tutorials available on the CAT website well in advance.

10. The CAT website contains a section on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that addresses some of the commonly asked queries regarding CAT 2018. Candidates may also contact the CAT helpdesk at 1800-2663-549 or [email protected] CAT results are likely to be out only in January.

[“Source-livemint”]

Mint Money tells you when it makes sense to take an education loan, how it can benefit you and how much it can cost

Keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead can benefit you. Photo: Alamy

Keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead can benefit you. Photo: Alamy

Any big-ticket spending requires you to either have the required funds in place or a financing option. When dealing with long-term financial goals, such as higher education of children, you have the advantage of planning much in advance. Here’s how you can go about the planning.

Start early

A lot of parents have an inclination to send their children abroad for higher education, at least at the post-graduate level, said Suresh Sadagopan, a certified financial planner and founder of Ladder 7 Financial Advisories. “In that case, the planning needs to start really early. They would need a horizon of at least 10-15 years. When we talk of international education at post-graduate level today, most likely it is not going to happen below ₹40 lakh,” he said.

Click here for enlarge

How do you work towards saving that amount? Prakash Praharaj, founder, Max Secure Financial Planners, said that the future cost of a particular course needs to be calculated taking into account at least 10% annual inflation. “Then calculate the current assets and investments accumulated for these goals. Then the remaining gap for the aimed amount is to be filled through monthly SIPs over the years,” he said.

Starting an SIP of ₹5,000-7,000 in an equity fund for 15 years and increasing it by 10-20% each year could help. However, Sadagopan said, given the fact that there are so many ongoing expenses these days, including other loans, it becomes difficult for parents to put aside a huge amount for the child’s post-graduation alone.

Consider taking loan

Even if you have been working on creating a higher education corpus, you need to consider taking an education loan. At present, the total expenses for higher education abroad could be in the range of ₹1 crore per child, Sadagopan said.

“A realistic thing that parents need to realise is that the child’s higher education is not their only goal. Retirement is also an important goal and they need to be aware of the fact that you can get a loan for all other requirements but not for retirement,” he said.

Own funds versus loan

But if someone has already accumulated the required amount, why should another repayment burden be taken on? The answer lies in two things, Praharaj said. “A cost benefit analysis suggests that taking an education loan and keeping the accumulated amount invested works in your favour. Moreover, it also helps in developing a sense of responsibility in the student. The realisation that a repayment has to be done by them keeps them focussed,” he said.

The math of keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead suggests that taking a loan results in significant benefits. For instance, if ₹1 crore is kept invested and an education loan for the same amount is taken, at the end of nine years, including the repayment holiday on the education loan, the net benefit could be around ₹87 lakh (see graph).

This includes the tax saved on repayment of loan. Borrowers of education loans can claim deduction on the interest paid, though not on the principal amount. Also, unlike in home loans, there is no limit to the amount that can be claimed as deduction.

Sadagopan said it is better that the parents keep the money with themselves and let the child take the loan. “In future if the child is struggling to find a job and pay back, you can step in to help at that point,” he said.

[“Source-livemint”]

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Sale Today on Flipkart and Mi.com, Both Variants Up for Grabs

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Sale Today on Flipkart and Mi.com, Both Variants Up for Grabs

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Redmi Note 5 Pro price in India starts at Rs. 14,999
  • It comes in 4GB RAM and 6GB RAM variants
  • The smartphone will be available via Flipkart and Mi.com

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro will go on sale in India today at flash sales scheduled for 12pm IST. The popular Redmi Note 5 Pro smartphone comes in two variants, 4GB RAM AND 6GB RAM, and both will be available for purchase in the flash sale today. As before, fans can head to Flipkart and Mi.com to get a chance to buy the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The Xiaomi smartphone competes with the likes of Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 and Realme 1 in the Indian market.

ALSO SEEXiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Review

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro price in India, specifications

The Redmi Note 5 Pro price in India is Rs. 16,999 for the 6GB RAM variant, and Rs. 14,999 for the 4GB RAM option.

 

As for the specifications, the dual-SIM Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro runs MIUI 9-based on Android Nougat. The handset also has the identical 5.99-inch full-HD (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, 450-nit brightness, 83 percent NTSC colour gamut, and 2.5D curved glass. It is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 636 SoC, coupled with Adreno 509 GPU and has a rear-facing fingerprint sensor.

In terms of optics, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro has a dual rear camera setup, with a 12-megapixel primary sensor sporting an aperture of f/2.2 and a 1.25-micron pixel size, while the 5-megapixel secondary sensor has a f/2.0 aperture and 1.12-micron pixel size. There is also an LED flash on the back. On the front, the smartphone has a 20-megapixel Sony IMX376 sensor that is accompanied by an LED selfie-light module.

There is 64GB of onboard storage that is expandable via microSD card in a hybrid dual-SIM configuration. Further, the handset has 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Micro-USB. It packs a 4000mAh battery and weighs 181 grams.

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Redmi Note 5 Pro

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Rs.15,910
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  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Blue, 64GB, 4GB RAM)
    Rs.15,910
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM)
    Rs.15,996
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    Rs.15,999
  • Refurbished – Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (64GB, 4GB RAM)
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    Rs.12,999

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]