In this Monday, July 3, 2017 photo, boarded-up windows are seen during renovations at the New Jersey Statehouse, in Trenton, N.J. A bipartisan group of federal and state lawmakers say Republican Gov. Chris Christie improperly cut out the public from weighing in on a four-year, $300 million renovation of New Jersey's deteriorating statehouse and instead pursued a "rigged" process that new documents show included seeking out Wall Street financing four months before the project was authorized.
Lawmakers and the Abe administration are mulling a plan that would offer tax breaks to incentivize the renovation of aging houses, Jiji Press learned Sunday. The government and the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition believe the improvements will boost the quality of older houses and strengthen the housing market at a time when the number of unoccupied homes is growing, sources said. The ruling party's tax panels are expected to work out details so that they can include the breaks in their tax system reform packages for fiscal 2017, slated to be finalized on Dec. 8, the sources said. The government currently offers income and fixed-asset tax breaks for those who carry out renovations to make their houses more earthquake resistant and energy efficient. The government and the ruling camp are considering offering bigger tax breaks to those who carry out improvements so that their houses meet requirements for certification as high quality homes that will remain structurally sound.
The BBC is delving further into virtual reality with a property show in which homeowners explore 360-degree renderings of their new-look abodes before they renovate them, Deadline reports. In the BBC Two show, Watch This Space, couples strap on VR headsets and see designs from two architects, who have crafted virtual renderings of the remodeled homes. The couples will select a design, then get to work on making their dream home a reality. Production on Watch This Space is underway. The new show marks another step forward in the BBC's embrace of VR.