As freezing temperatures continue on in the Midwest and Northeast, keeping people inside, I doubt if there is a single person in the United States who doesn’t know someone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant, or knows someone who knows someone. I went to the bank yesterday but the branch was closed due to staffing absences! While we deal with this variant and wait for the next one, Michigan’s Victoria D. passed along, “The CDC says it’s not omicron unless it comes from the Omicronne Region of France. Otherwise it’s just sparkling COVID.” Staff shortages and winter storms have grounded flights just as airlines ramped up schedules. And in an overlap between housing policy and disasters, do you think building affordable housing, when the Federal Government demands it, is easy? It isn’t. Even replacing houses that were lost in dozens of disasters is an uphill battle. For example, only a handful of the 980 home owners who lost their homes in the CZU fire near Santa Cruz a few years ago have given permits to rebuild. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here . This week’s is sponsored by SimpleNexus , an nCino company and homeownership platform that unites the people, systems, and stages of the mortgage process into one seamless, end-to-end solution that spans engagement, origination, closing and business intelligence.) Coast to coast disaster news It’s terrible to have lost your home, or had it suffer extensive damage, due to a flood, fire, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. Here is FEMA’s Disaster Information Page which sets off Agency, investor, and lender policies and procedures. Fannie, Freddie, and HUD have disaster relief policies.