Looking for Affordable Housing in Broward County?

New homeowners with Habitat for Humanity of Broward share their stories and how the affordable housing program changed their lives for the better.

The demand for affordable housing is at an all-time high in South Florida with Broward’s median sale price of a single-family home now $500,000 but most local workers are not able to afford these hefty price tags.

If you live in Broward County and traditional mortgage loans seems far fetched, there might be a viable option that’s just right for you. Homeownership doesn’t have to be out of reach.

Habitat for Humanity of Broward offers a “hand up” not a “hand out” to families who are unable to qualify for conventional home financing but are willing to work hard to improve their family’s lives and achieve the economic empowerment of homeownership by offering working families a way to earn an affordable mortgage kept to 30 percent of household income through the sweat equity they invest.

Open enrollment for the pre-application process is now in full swing until Thursday, March 31, for single family affordable homes at “A Rick Case Habitat Community” and Habitat’s Collier City Revitalization in Pompano Beach, Florida. These communities offer new energy efficient two-story or one floor houses which are minutes away from beautiful beaches, schools, churches, a lively art and cultural scene, and great recreational and shopping amenity.

The application process has four steps that includes a pre-qualification questionnaire, orientation, financial analysis review and face-to-face interview. Successful applicants can expect to move into a home within 12 to 18 months.        

Qualifications include but are not limited to the following:

• Must be a first-time homebuyer.

• Must be a U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident.

• Must be a current Broward County resident or working in Broward (for a year or more).

• Must demonstrate a need for affordable housing.

• Must be able to afford a zero-percent mortgage and make a $2,000 down-payment.

Interested families can visit https://www.habitatbroward.org/2020-pre-qualification-questionnaire/ to start the pre-application process.

How To Spot Sad Story Scams On Social Media

Time and time again we see sad stories that go viral at record speed especially after social media influencers and celebrities share these posts. Many times it helps to bring awareness to significant issues but now unscrupulous vultures are using this opportunity to prey on honest, kindhearted people. We see all these posts circulating that tugs on your empathetic heartstrings and makes you forget all reasoning. Especially during this pandemic, we know a lot more people are having a hard time and need a lending hand. On the other hand, you have these entitled thieves taking advantage of the situation. We know a lot of people are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to online “help me” scams. You’ve seen the cries for help and the Go Fund Me pages set up to “assist” alleged victims or charities. Do not take everything you see on social media at face value and donate money to these so-called causes. Do a little background check and research legitimate sources.

Have you been social media sad story scammed?

Some of these posts may be real but scams come in many shapes and forms. For example, the situation may have occurred but someone else is trying to profit off the stories of real people struggling. On the other hand, people that reached out for help may have already been compensated enough but because they see the willingness of others to give they will continue to take advantage of your kindness.

Here are a few tips to spot scams:

  • Check to see how long the post has been circulating
  • Find out who is the source
  • In the case of a missing person or someone seriously injured google the case and see if any credible news sources have featured the story
  • If a person is claiming to be abducted or held against their will chances are they won’t have access to a phone or even be able to post on social media. Even if they did they would use a phone to call the police for help or a loved one, not share with strangers on social media.
  • If someone is asking for an unreasonable amount of assistance, that the general public shouldn’t be consulting on, check to see if they have already exhausted all other options from professionals or simply recommend that they do so.
  • Try to get the other side of the story or another account, more than likely someone else has something to say about the validity of the story.
  • Look for signs to see if someone is just seeking clout (attention) to boost their social media following or to raise money for an unrelated hidden motive.

Now that you have these tips, think carefully before you believe, share, or donate to a cause. It is also important to note if these posts involve others then sharing these scams can affect a person, place, and/or business negatively if you spread these unconfirmed stories. We are in the age of “cancel culture” so if we are not careful innocent parties may be harmed in the process.

Wage Rage

Unemployment has been on the rise since March at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic and it has exposed a factor of employment that many do not want to face. What might that be? Minimum wage and unemployment benefits are inadequate to say the least.

Local and federal governments along with employers have been complaining about the increased unemployment benefits and the impact it has made on the workforce since the pandemic caused many businesses to temporarily or permanently lay off workers. The fact is unemployment benefits are not the real problem, it is actually the factor of how much people are being paid.

Who would want to to work for hours to get small change they know will not be able to cover their bills (basic needs) when they know they need more and can get more? That is why so many people will not go back to work because unemployment may cover more of their basic needs. Let’s not forget, the unemployment benefits arent significant enough to the point where they will be ‘balling’, living lavish or above their means. These are people that have been living paycheck to paycheck with overdue bills and mounting debt.

The basic fact that minimum wage is not a living wage in today’s society raises a red flag.

A living wage is defined as the minimum income needed for food, shelter and other basic needs. Currently the living wage in the United States is $16.07 per hour. However, in most states the minimum wage falls way below that margin. In states such as Florida where the minimum wage is as low as $8.46 per hour and even worse in Alabama at $7.25 per hour many people do not make enough to cover their basic needs.

Essential workers such as Certified Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aids average a pay of $10 per hour which is not suffice for the care they provide.

Even more, our beloved bartenders minimum wage, minus tips, is a measly $2.23 in Delaware and $5.54 in Florida. Do you really believe someone can support a household or family on these wages?

The math is simple and the solution is clear, if you do not want to pay more in unemployment and want people to go back to work, the minimum wage must be raised to the rate of a living wage.

The CW Renews 10 Shows, Including ‘Riverdale,’ ‘Arrow,’ ‘The Flash’ and More

It’s going to be Super all 2019 through 2020 on the CW network.
You can rest assured, all your favorite superhero shows will be returning for another season announced Thursday by Mark Pedowitz, President of The CW, at the Television Critics Association press tour. Superheros such as Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl will be returning for consecutive seasons.

According to ET News the entire crop of DC superhero shows, led by Arrow (season eight), as well as The Flash (season six), Supergirl (season five), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (season five) and Black Lightning (season three), will all return for new runs. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as next year’s annual DC crossover event was teased in December.

Charmed and Legacies will each return for sophomore seasons, while Riverdale will be back for its fourth season and Dynasty for its third run. Meanwhile, Supernatural — The CW’s longest-running show — will be back for its 15th season. It is unclear whether this will be its final season.

“This season, we expanded our primetime schedule to six nights with the addition of Sunday — which has been an unqualified success for the network, our affiliates and our advertisers. In addition to growing our schedule across the week, we also continue to add more year-round programming. The early renewal of these signature CW series gives us a head start on laying out the 2019-2020 season, and this is just the beginning,” Pedowitz said in a statement. “These shows provide a strong foundation for our multiplatform programming strategy, and we look forward to building on this with even more returning and new shows as we approach the May upfront.”

Read the full story here

Kids Fly Free Travel Deal!

If you have kids and are planning a family trip, this deal is for you. A little-known airline dropped a new deal on Monday stating that they are now offering “Kids Fly Free” in addition to its already low prices.

“Flying Frontier makes it easy to get great travel deals for your family, and we’re making it even easier for your flock to fly by letting Kids Fly Free. FREE. And we aren’t just talking about the small-enough-to-sit-on-your-lap kids. We’re including the tall-enough-to-ride-the-big-rides kids, the mom-I’m-not-a-baby-anymore kids, or the oh-my-gosh-they’re-almost-driving kids.” stated in Frontiers’ Kids Fly Free Campaign.

Of course, there is fine print and I’m spilling the beans. You’re in luck if your child or children are younger than 14 years old, but here’s the catch one child fly free per adult fare and you must join Frontier’s “Discount Den” member fare club. Don’t be discouraged, when you do the math the membership fees work out to less than an average round trip ticket so It’s totally worth the $59.99 yearly membership fee.

In addition, check to make sure this deal applies to the dates you are planning to travel. More than likely you will be flying during the week because this offer is tailored to specific days that does not seem to include weekends. So, kudos to you if this deal applies to your lifestyle!

Book that flight and packs those backs because kids we are going on an adventure!

Trump announces deal to reopen federal government through Feb. 15

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said a deal had been reached on legislation that would reopen the U.S. government through Feb. 15.

“I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said at the White House.

Trump said in the meantime a bipartisan committee of lawmakers would meet to discuss the nation’s border security needs.

The government closure was in its 35th day on Friday and was threatening the economy as hundreds of thousands of federal workers missed a second paycheck on Friday.

For more information click here

1 employee escaped Florida bank massacre

Some good news, according to the Sebring Sheriff’s office a fifth bank employee escaped a massacre that killed five women at a SunTrust branch in Florida, running out a back door when the gunfire began, according to a sheriff’s office.

The employee was in in a back break room when the attack began in the Sebring bank, Highlands County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Dressel said Friday.

“Upon hearing the shots, the employee ran out a back door and contacted law enforcement,” Dressel told The Associated Press. No additional information about the employee was released.

For the complete story in case you haven’t seen the headlines click here

‘Black Friday’ Sale at Habitat Broward ReStore

Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s ReStore is holding a weeklong “Black Friday” sale which will feature 25 percent off on all merchandise. The sale is on now through November 23 at Habitat Broward ReStore 505 West Broward Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312.

Habitat Broward ReStore is a nonprofit, discount, retail outlet that sells reusable and surplus building materials gently used furniture, appliances and more to the public at a fraction of their original price to support Habitat’s mission to build homes, communities, and hope for low-income families in need of affordable housing.

For more information about Habitat Broward Restore visit: https://www.habitatbroward.org/restore/


Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood To Be The First Restaurant To Open In Expanded Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Complex

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.Nov. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Hard Rock International today announced that it will relocate Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood, currently inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, to the new restaurant and retail area of the property’s expanded Hollywood complex. The cafe and adjacent casino expansion are set to open on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, and will be the first finished area to open as part of the $1.5 billion revamp of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.  The cafe will be a model for the brand’s redesign and modern kitchen offerings.

“Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood has served guests from all around the world for more than 14 years,” said Stephen K. Judge, President of Cafe Operations for Hard Rock International. “The soon to be opened cafe will showcase the modern progression of our restaurants and the future of the Hard Rock Cafe brand. This location is of great significance to Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which is why we are so excited to share our brand’s new design style first with our Hollywood guests.”

“Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood is leading the way for our incredible growth at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood complex,” said Auggie Cipollini, President of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. “The cafe will be the first restaurant to open as part of the expansion project and will be joined by the first finished portion of the new casino complex.”

Easy access to the new Cafe and expanded casino will be adjacent to the existing Player’s Club location and food court in the northeast corner of the existing casino.  The new cafe will occupy 10,000-square-feet and seat more than 250 guests. The restaurant will feature an open kitchen concept with cutting-edge equipment, including a new 7-foot artisanal brick pizza oven and a meat grind room, where Hard Rock Cafe’s new steak burgers will be made fresh daily throughout the day. True to Hard Rock’s signature blend of music, entertainment and iconic merchandise, the newly-relocated cafe will include a triangular-shaped island bar and central stage within view of all dining tables. The cafe will also include a new Rock Shop design.

Additionally, Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood will feature pieces of memorabilia from a broad range of artists tailored to the musical tastes of guests of all ages. Current icons such as John Legend, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Maroon 5 and The Black Keys will be on display, alongside classic artists including Elton John, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Prince and more.

The cafe relocation will complement the expansion of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, which will open in fall 2019. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Floridaand is a world-renowned entertainment, gaming and hospitality destination.

For additional information on the Hard Rock Cafe brand, please visit www.hardrock.com.

Hard Rock International
With venues in 74 countries, including 183 cafes, 27 hotels and 12 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise and Hard Rock Live performance venues. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including LondonNew YorkSan FranciscoSydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Atlantic CityBaliCancunDaytona Beach, Ibiza, OrlandoShenzhen and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include, MaldivesManilaMalagaGeorgetownFortalezaRosario and Chengdu. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include BerlinBudapest, Desaru Coast, DublinLondonLos CabosMadridMaldivesNew York City, Ottawa, SacramentoDalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is the flagship casino resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  It is a world-renowned entertainment, gaming and hospitality destination that features a AAA Four Diamond-rated luxury hotel; expansive gaming offerings including first-in-class slots, high-stakes table games and South Florida’s premier poker room; spa and fitness center; award-winning dining and nightlife; and the popular Hard Rock Event Center which hosts A-list entertainers, comedy and sporting events. A $1.5 billion expansion slated to open in fall 2019 will bring 638 luxury guestrooms to a first-ever, iconic, guitar-shaped hotel and 168 upscale guest accommodations in an adjacent hotel tower overlooking a lush, “Bora Bora” style, private cabana environment; a 41,000 square-foot Rock Spa®; a 13.5 acre recreational water-focused experience for sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, sailing and paddle boarding; 30 distinctive  restaurants, bars and lounges; an expanded gaming floor featuring 3,000 slots, 193 table games and a 46-table poker room; 120,000 square feet of premier meeting and convention space; and 21,000 square feet of new retail space.  The highly anticipated 6,500 seat Hard Rock Live theater-style concert venue will feature headline performances and live broadcast capabilities.  The resort is located on 87 acres of the Hollywood Seminole Reservation along State Road 7, (U.S. Highway 441). The resort is 10 minutes from Fort Lauderdale/HollywoodInternational Airport and 30 minutes from downtown Miami and Miami International Airport. For more information, visit us online at www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com, call 800-937-0010 or follow us: Facebook: SeminoleHardRockHollywood, Twitter: @HardRockHolly, Instagram: @HardRockHolly

Gillum concedes to DeSantis in racially charged Florida campaign that followed Trump’s playbook

Midterms 2018

It’s was surely a close call but in the end Democrat Andrew Gillum has conceded the hotly contested race for governor in Florida to Republican Ron DeSantis.

In a close race that mirrored the Senate contest between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, DeSantis built up a razor-thin lead of just under 1 percent of more than 8 million votes cast.

To read more click here