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Flood Zones: It's a Matter of Elevation

RealtyTrac analyst Octavio Nuiry comments that on March 21, more than 5 million flood insurance policyholders cheered when President Barack Obama signed into law the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, delaying increases in federal flood insurance premiums for four years imposed by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Here's an elevation tool to suss out how high or low the land lies.

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'Patent Trolls' Eyed by Senate, Backed by NAHB

Per a National Association of Home Builders press statement, "The NAHB is calling on the Senate to advance the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720), legislation that would significantly improve the U.S. patent process and stop patent abuse. Small business owners in home building and scores of other industries across the nation are increasingly being attacked by patent trolls who are indiscriminately issuing threatening letters to companies alleging patent infringement."

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Would Tax Policy Change Get More Two-Earner Families to Work?

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray introduced legislation that would establish a deduction for two-earner families and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless individuals. The bill follows the secondary earner deduction outlined in a Hamilton Project paper by Brookings Institution fellows Melissa Kearney and Lesley Turner.

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GSE Overhaul Would Get Rid of Some 'Policy Uncertainty'

Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek's Cheyenne Hopkins and Clea Benson report that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would continue to all of their profits to the Treasury for the next five years under bipartisan Senate legislation designed to wind down the U.S.-owned mortgage financiers and overhaul the government's role in the housing market.

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