ANN ARBOR, MI — Ann Arbor officials are looking for community feedback on potential affordable housing developments on four city-owned sites.

Working with consultant SmithGroup, the city has launched a community engagement website and online survey to seek input on potential projects at 121 E. Catherine St., 353 S. Main St., 309 S. Ashley St. and 721 N. Main St.

Take the survey.

121 E. Catherine St.

The 121 E. Catherine St. site in downtown Ann Arbor.City of Ann Arbor and SmithGroup

The 121 E. Catherine site is a 49-space parking lot in downtown’s Kerrytown district at the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Catherine Street. The site is zoned D2, which allows a building height of six stories.

The city’s Housing Commission is considering a 100% affordable housing development, though there also is potential for a partnership with a developer to have a mix of market-rate and affordable units.

Building options for the site range from four to six stories tall, with anywhere from 57 to 93 affordable housing units.

No onsite parking is required, but it may be important to the neighborhood, the survey states, estimating a three-story underground public parking deck on the site could cost $8 million, financed by the city.

Here are three development options:

121 E. Catherine St.

Option 1 for an affordable housing development at 121 E. Catherine St.City of Ann Arbor and SmithGroup

121 E. Catherine St.

Option 1 details for 121 E. Catherine St.City of Ann Arbor and SmithGroup

121 E. Catherine St.

Option 2 for an affordable housing development at 121 E. Catherine St. City of Ann Arbor and SmithGroup

121 E. Catherine St.

Option 2 details for 121 E. Catherine St.City of Ann Arbor and SmithGroup

121 E. Catherine St.

Option 3 for an affordable housing development at 121 E. Catherine St.City of Ann Arbor and SmithGroup

121 E. Catherine St.

Option 3 details for 121 E. Catherine St.City of Ann

NEW YORK, Oct 6 (Reuters)Foreign exchange markets are growing less fearful about the outcome of next month’s U.S. presidential election, judging by the fall in longer-dated implied volatility on options, the main measure of how much risk is perceived.

Currency options investors are increasingly betting that Democratic challenger Joe Biden will conclusively defeat President Donald Trump, given his lead in prediction markets and national polls.

This can be seen in the fall of some prices for implied volatility, which measures how much the options market believes spot exchange rates will move over a given period and is distinct from actual or realized volatility.

Biden opened his widest lead in a month in the U.S. presidential race after Trump’s positive coronavirus test as a majority of Americans believed he could have avoided infection if he had taken the virus more seriously, the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

Options are widely used to hedge against expected moves ahead of a major event. “Vol” is a key input in the price of an option and can vary for an instrument depending on supply and demand for options and time to maturity. The higher the volatility, the greater the uncertainty over a given term.

Options strategists pointed to flatter implied volatility curves for most currency pairs and said longer-dated volatility, three months and onwards, traded lower than the shorter-dated vols.

This suggested that investors are expecting less chaos and a calmer market weeks after the Nov. 3 election. The three-month volatility extends until December and any view or expectation of turmoil will be reflected in the options pricing for this period.

“The market is assuming that there is a higher probability of a Biden presidency and that there won’t be as much uncertainty after the election as the market was previously thinking,”

By Saikat Chatterjee and Elizabeth Howcroft

LONDON (Reuters) – Currency traders are seeing increased demand for derivatives that enable holders to position for a stronger pound, as improved chances of a Brexit trade deal start to push the risk of negative interest rates off the table.

Sterling is 4% off 2020 highs of $1.35 hit last month when Britain appeared set to exit European Union trading arrangements with no alternatives in place, a catastrophe that could force the Bank of England to cut rates below 0%.

But recent positive news around Brexit talks have flipped markets into bullish mode, lifting sterling back toward $1.30.

“A month ago I would’ve said (UK Prime Minister) Boris Johnson has offended the Europeans to a point where they don’t want to negotiate with him,” said Mark Holman, CEO at TwentyFour Asset Management, adding that talks seemed to be getting “warmer and warmer”.

Goldman Sachs is advising clients to buy sterling, predicting a trade deal by November.

But many prefer to position via options — derivatives which allow holders to buy or sell at a pre-agreed price within a stipulated time period.

Last week for the first time in two months, “call” volumes for sterling surpassed “puts”, implying greater demand for options conferring the right to buy, rather than sell the pound, data from the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) show.

Morgan Stanley’s proprietary tracker also showed clients bought more pound calls versus the dollar and euro last week.

Another gauge, risk reversals, which measure the ratio of pound calls over puts, showed that a month ago investors were the most bearish on sterling in six months, at 2.3. This has since halved.

(Graphic: Risk reversals

And implied sterling volatility — an option market measure of expected price swings — has slipped off

A new health insurer in southeast Minnesota plus expansion by returning carriers in many southern and western counties means more options for people buying coverage on the state’s MNsure exchange.

MNsure announced Friday that 80 counties next year will have three or more health insurance companies selling through the exchange, compared to just 31 counties this year. Open enrollment for 2021 health plans begins Nov. 1.

The number of carriers selling coverage across the Twin Cities and counties in northeast Minnesota is mostly holding steady, according to a Star Tribune review of materials from the state Commerce Department. Across the southern and western parts of the state, the number of insurers selling individual coverage is growing from two carriers to three or even four insurers, in some places.

The number of insurers competing can provide an important check on premium costs. In its announcement Friday, Commerce said individuals who buy their own health insurance policies through MNsure will see rate increases that average between 1% and 4% next year.

The premium increases are relatively modest compared with the long-term trend with rising health care costs, which generally rise faster than inflation. The new rates also the latest sign of stability, Commerce says, for consumers who buy health plans through MNsure and suffered through premium spikes several years ago.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


Twitter: @chrissnowbeck

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