Natalie Jones fears she will never own her home and is stuck on the rental wheel.day, November 28, 2018 (AAP/Image Steve Pohlner)ARE you financially fit? A new survey has seen homeowners and renters go to head-to-head to test their ‘financial consciousness’.The Financial Consciousness Index (FCI), which was commissioned by comparethemarket.com.au and developed by Deloitte Access Economics, tested 3000 individuals’ belief in their ability to influence their financial outcomes, as well as their willingness to make a change to improve their financial wellbeing. Whether some owned their own home was a major contributing factor affecting a respondents score, as was their age, income, gender, location, and education. As a result, Aussie homeowners came out on top, scoring 56 out of 100 compared to renters, who scored 44 in the financial test. Natalie Jones, 34, can’t imagine ever owning her own home. She works full-time as an administrator in manufacturing services, but says saving for a deposit seems impossible.“Over a quarter of my wage goes to paying rent for a studio apartment (in Auchenflower),” she said. “My savings are dwindling, wage growth is barely CPI, job security is a concern.“I have had to cut right back on lots of things, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to make ends meet.” Many Aussies are clueless about the cash rate Thinkstock.Alarmingly, the survey found that many Aussies were “lost’ when it comes to the cash rate, while over two thirds of homeowners (68 per cent) had never or don’t know if they have stress tested their loan. One in 10 respondents (11 per cent) admit they would have to draw down on their mortgage or take out a loan if they were suddenly unemployed.Mr Attrill said 54 per cent of respondents very rarely or never monitor cash rates, and a further quarter (24 per cent) had never heard of the RBA cash rate announcement. “This dearth in financial literacy and a general lack of engagement with other key financial indicators is concerning given its potential for broader economic implications to the nation’s financial health,” he said.Further, the survey revealed that 27 per cent of respondents were not convinced they were getting the best deal on their home loan, but many admitted to not shopping around. Mr Attrill likened it to “decision paralysis”, saying many respondents feared making the wrong decision. Natalie Jones fears she will never own her home and is stuck on the rental wheel (AAP/Image Steve Pohlner)More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoOther survey findings included that 73 per cent of homeowners believed their property would either hold or increase in value next year, and 70 per cent believed their home had either held or increased its value compared to last year.Comparethemarket.com.au general manager of banking Rod Attrill said homeowners should not presume their property would always rise in value.“Like all investments, the property market demonstrates a cyclic pattern with stagnation following a period of growth,” he said. “Although the cash rate still remains unchanged, there are obvious signs that the market is turning and we’re seeing out-of-cycle rate increases by major and non-major banks alike. “Interest rises should be a reminder for consumers to compare home loans to see if they can get a better deal.”
Even after extending its application deadline, the Viterbi Student Council’s Executive Board received only one application, causing the council to become inactive for this school year.The VSC is an umbrella organization that coordinates monthly meetings between the presidents and board members of various Viterbi organizations and the Viterbi administration.Paul Ledesma, associate director of undergraduate admissions for Viterbi and last year’s VSC faculty adviser, said he was not sure why there was so little interest in the VSC Executive Board this year.It is the responsibility of the outgoing Executive Board to organize and publicize elections, Ledesma said.“It’s possible that it wasn’t advertised adequately by last year’s leadership, but it’s also possible that students who may have run for the position found it more important to hold leadership positions within their specific engineering student organizations,” Ledesma wrote in an email.William Wu, last year’s VSC vice chair, said the organization had slowly moved away from its original role as a resource for students.“I think [VSC] is becoming obsolete because [organizations] were just going to it for money instead of using it as a resource and building a relationship with the administration,” Wu said. “It could have a big impact and could really make engineering present at USC. Right now, I don’t think there’s a need for it. Maybe there’s not a want for it.”Internal issues might also have played a role in this year’s suspension of the Executive Board, according to Wu.“The Board had its own separate communication issues to deal with [and] VSC also had to learn how to adapt to the regulations set by the administration, which previous Board members thought was always challenging,” Wu said.Wu noted that he doesn’t think an overarching committee is necessary.Traditionally, the VSC treasurer oversees the VSC Funding Board, which is responsible for allocating funds to various Viterbi clubs. This year, the Funding Board will continue to function as a separate entity despite the lack of a VSC Executive Board.“The Funding Board is operating as it always did,” Ledesma wrote. “With the exception of a few procedural changes and an updated, streamlined application, there are no changes to the Funding Board’s operation.”In fact, some club presidents feel that a separate funding board is more efficient than the funding board that was part of VSC in previous years.“The only change that has been made is pretty positive. They streamlined the [funding application] procedure,” said Lynn Ho, president of the Society of Women Engineers. “There’s only one form to actually get the money. Before, you would apply and it was harder.”The new funding board is also functioning well without a VSC Executive Board, according to those involved.“I’m kind of the person who is communicating between the [administration] and the student organizations right now, since there’s no VSC,” said Ken Diedrich, director of the Funding Board.Ledesma said the transition to a separate funding board has been a smooth one.“Ken made sure to inform student organization leadership of the change and reassure them the funding sources would remain unchanged at our first event of the year,” Ledesma wrote.After speaking with the leaders of various Viterbi organizations, Ledesma said he believes these groups will be unaffected by the lack of a VSC Executive Board.It has yet to be determined whether or not VSC will be active next year, but it will largely be based on student interest, Ledesma added.He wrote, “If students want to get VSC back up and running, I look forward to working with them,” he wrote.
“We have mapped out the time frame with the Hart district and have identified that overall time frame to take approximately 9-12 months to complete all necessary improvements to not impede the high school being open in 2010,” Walline said. But county officials said delays in issuing construction permits are common and have delayed similar projects for months. The NorthLake project was originally approved by the county in 1992, but several plan changes made by SunCal required the county to start the review process over again. “It is difficult to predict an outcome,” said Paul Novak, an aide to Supervisor Michael Antonovich, whose district includes Santa Clarita. Novak said Antonovich has suggested the district again consider other locations, including the Castaic-Mesa site, owned by Lennar, which the supervisor recommended to the district in February. “Everyone wants a high school in Castaic … The challenge is you can’t separate the high school project from the SunCal project because the two are so inextricably linked,” Novak said. email@example.com (661) 257-5254 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CASTAIC – The $175 million Castaic High School, scheduled to open in 2010, could be stalled for several months because of delays in a related residential development, officials said Tuesday. Hart High School District officials, who met Monday with Los Angeles County planners, said it was unlikely the site would be ready by next March, when groundbreaking was tentatively scheduled. The high school site was donated to the district by SunCal – which is building the 3,700-home NorthLake project – in lieu of developer fees. However, the district must wait for SunCal to get all of its permits approved before school construction can proceed. “The district is not dragging its feet. We are ready to go. But at this point, we do not have the control,” Hart district spokeswoman Pat Willett said. The announcement is a blow to residents of Castaic, who have long demanded a neighborhood high school for their children. In fact, local residents had been preparing for today’s meeting of the county Planning Commission, which had been scheduled to consider the SunCal plan. The Hart district is considering three other sites as alternatives, but officials said changing the location now would delay the school’s construction by at least a year and would cost taxpayers some $2 million. “We are really relying on SunCal at this point,” Willett said. Mike Walline, division president for SunCal, said the company still hopes to get the high school opened on schedule.