Hunter Douglas raises $200K for Philippines
Pearl River, N.Y.-based Hunter Douglas, manufacturer and marketer of custom window fashions, announced that it has donated a total of $200,000 to the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian organization, to help all those in need following Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the central Philippines last month.
Hunter Douglas made an initial donation to the IRC of $50,000 and subsequently matched all additional donations received from its employees. In less than three weeks, the company received $70,000 in employee contributions to its Hunter Douglas Philippines Relief Fund and then added an additional $80,000 for a total of $200,000.
Marv Hopkins, Hunter Douglas president and CEO, presented the donation at the company’s Pearl River headquarters to John Keys, senior VP programs for the IRC.
“On behalf of all Hunter Douglas employees in the U.S. and Canada, I am pleased to present this gift to the IRC as they aid in the long-term recovery of the Philippine people from one of the most powerful storms in recorded history,” said Hopkins.
In the Philippines, led by a team of veteran first responders, the IRC is focusing on sanitation, health, shelter, livelihood regeneration and the protection of the most vulnerable, including women, girls, children and the elderly. Its sanitation teams have distributed water containers and hygiene kits to help prevent the spread of disease.
At Trex, a mold settlement hits end of the road
Winchester, Va.-based Trex Co. announced that on Dec. 16, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval of a settlement that resolves a nationwide class action lawsuit alleging misrepresentations and defects in Trex’s first-generation composite products relating to mold growth and color issues.
The cost to Trex under the settlement is capped at $8.25 million, plus $1.475 million in attorneys’ fees.
“We are pleased to have a final resolution of this matter, with terms we feel are fair to both Trex and our consumers,” said Ronald W. Kaplan, chairman, president and CEO of Trex. “This settlement allows Trex to focus its attention on delivering our next generation of award-winning, high-performance outdoor living products.”
Under the terms of the settlement, Trex will provide a one-time cash payment or a rebate certificate on its newer-generation shelled products — Trex Transcend and Trex Enhance. The relief applies to consumers who bought Trex products between Aug. 1, 2004, and Aug. 27, 2013, and who experienced mold or color fading.
Housing starts cross the million mark
After a seemingly never-ending delay, the U.S. Census Bureau has at long last released housing starts data for the months of September, October and November; the results are way above previous estimates and mark a nearly six-year high for the metric.
Privately owned November housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million, or 22.7% above the revised October estimate of 889,000 and 29.6% above year-ago figures of 842,000.
Single-family November starts came in at 727,000, which is 20.8% above October’s revised figure of 602,000.
September 2013’s housing starts came in a bit lower at 873,000, or 580,000 for single-family units.
November’s high-water mark is the highest housing starts have been since February 2008, which is also the last time they hit above the million mark.
Additionally, the department hasn’t seen the likes of the 22.7% month-over-month increase since 1990.
Total building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.007 million, which is 3.1% below the revised October estimate of 1.039 million but 7.9% higher than November 2012. Single-family permits came in at 634,000, above the revised October figure of 621,000.
Housing starts releases for September and October were both initially pushed back as a result of the 16-day partial government shutdown in October.