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HUD Lashed for Alleged Manufactured Housing Contract Miscues, Brian Montgomery, White House Notified of National Association Concerns

April 4th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Perhaps one of the more misunderstood issues that’s marched on for years in the manufactured housing industry is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) federal monitoring contract.

 

What makes it more important than most industry pros, housing advocates, or investors realize?

HUD doesn’t directly monitor manufactured housing production compliance themselves.  They do that via a contracted third-party.  That third-party has reportedly been Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) for over 4 decades.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) exclusively told MHProNews in response to a follow up question from us today about their statement below that “The structure of the [HUD Monitoring] contract itself involves pseudo-regulatory functions and incentives for finding fault with manufacturers in particular, that should not exist given the limited definition of the monitoring function adopted by Congress in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.”

With that pertinent backdrop, the notice provided today by MHARR to the Daily Business News on MHProNews of their communique to HUD’s Acting Deputy Secretary Brian Montgomery takes on a clarity that should make industry professionals sit up and take notice on several levels.

Among the questions this should raise?  Is MHI taking a similar stance?  If not, why not?

These costs are ultimately born by consumers.  How aware are resident or other consumer groups of the implications of this issue?

It should go without saying that manufactured home producers have every incentive to make sure that their homes comply and are as occupancy-ready as possible.  The least expensive place to correct an issue is while a home is still in a factory.

Thus, every HUD Code manufactured home plant has its own internal inspectors, besides the routine inspections conducted by HUD’s third-party monitoring contractor.

Here below is the entire letter from MHARR to the HUD’s Brian Montgomery, who previously served at HUD during the Bush Administration.

 

MHARRNEWSheaderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

April 1, 2019

 

 

VIA FEDERAL EXPRESS

 

Hon. Brian Montgomery

Acting Deputy Secretary

Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

451 Seventh Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20410

 

 

Re:  HUD Manufactured Housing Monitoring Contract Solicitations

 

 

Dear Secretary Montgomery:

 

As you know, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has been a constant and vociferous proponent of full and fair competition for the federal manufactured housing program monitoring contract as specifically mandated by Congress in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, and as provided generally by federal law. Strict compliance with the open competition requirements of federal law – as we have stressed repeatedly — is particularly essential in the case of the manufactured housing monitoring contract, given the de facto regulatory power of the monitoring contractor and the fact that the incumbent contractor, the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS), has held that contract continuously since the inception of the federal manufactured housing program, more than 40-years ago.

 

When we met with you late in 2018 and when we met several weeks ago with HUD’s Acting Chief Procurement Officer, Mr. Jimmy Scott, we stressed that among the essential elements needed to ensure full and fair competition for the monitoring contract – which has been absent from past solicitations – is a reasonable bid response timeframe, given both the complexity of the responsibilities inherent in the production and design monitoring contracts, and the very fact that no party, other than the incumbent contractor, has ever performed the monitoring function. Indeed, we clearly stated that a needlessly short and truncated bid response timeframe, in-and-of-itself, constitutes a baseless and unwarranted bidding advantage for the incumbent, which can, has, and will discourage other potential bidders and thus undermine the full and fair competition mandated by law.

 

Consequently, we were appalled and disappointed to see that the monitoring contract solicitations published by HUD on March 25 (production surveillance) and March 29, 2019 (design approval) each carry a bid response date of April 24, 2019, now less than three weeks away.  Such a short response period for these contracts – particularly in light of the substantial costs of bid preparation for a non-incumbent offeror – will again discourage or even prevent full and fair competition as required by law and prevent the program from receiving the benefit of fresh ideas and new thinking that would accompany a new contractor after 40-plus years of stasis.

 

Based on all of this, MHARR asks that you exercise your authority to require an extension of the bid response dates for both monitoring contract solicitations for at least an additional thirty days beyond the currently-posted response date of April 24, 2019, in order to allow non-incumbent bidders a reasonable opportunity to prepare and submit responsive bids.

 

We thank you in advance for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mark Weiss

President and CEO

 

 

cc:  Hon. Mick Mulvaney (OMB)

Mr. Jimmy Scott (HUD)

HUD Code Industry Manufacturers, Communities and Retailers

 

###

 

That’s this evening’s report on manufactured home industry “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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HUD’s FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery on 2019 Manufactured Housing Hot Seat

January 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

HUDsFHACommissionerBrianMontgomeryManufacturedHousingHotSeatMHProNews

Brian Darrell Montgomery (born August 2, 1956) is the current Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing [HUD], also known as the commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration [FHA]. He also served as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development during the administration of George W. Bush. He was confirmed to the position in February 2005 and resigned in July 2009. President Donald Trump nominated him to return to his former position as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing, [3]and he was confirmed by the Senate in May 2018, says Wikipedia.

 

As 2018 has drawn to a close, several pending matters place HUD’s FHA Commissioner Montgomery in the decision-making mix in 2019 with respect to issues that matter to manufactured housing independents, investors, and affordable housing advocates.

Manufactured home owners and buyers could be impacted too by what Montgomery does on the items below.

RichardDickJennisonMHIPresidentPhotoBrianMontgomeryEnhancedPreemptionFHATitleChattelLoans1010RuleTimWilliamsDontLearnFromHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In 2019, expect more Serious Reports and Analysis, but mixed in with occasion irreverent fun. It’s all to communicate – reality checks. Professionals and investors can look for the BS elsewhere. Come here to MHProNews for straight talk.  We won’t insult your intelligence.

 

The following is a partial list of the items that place Montgomery on the proverbial ‘hot seat.’ What will Montgomery do about the following pending issues:

  • The currently pro-Berkshire Hathaway policy on the so-called “10/10 rule” established on FHA Title I loans? In 2010, at about the same time-frame as Tim Williams, former Manufactured Housing Institute Chairman and President of 21st Mortgage, issued a notorious letter cutting off lending to numerous manufactured home retail independents, Ginnie Mae, the FHA-related Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), adopted a 10-10 rule. Initially, it was only the Berkshire Hathaway companies of Vanderbilt and 21st Mortgage that qualified.  Later, as Prosperity Now described it in 2015, the “…10-10 rule requiring net worth of $10 million and a 10% loan loss-reserve for lenders who would participate in the Title I program. This effectively restricts Title I participation to two lenders: Vanderbilt Mortgage and Countryplace Mortgage.” 21st participated for a time, but later stopped issuing FHA Title I loans.

CountryPlaceMortgageFHATitle1DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • Rephrased, a former Clayton division president – Joe Stegmayer, still MHI Chairman – and prior Cavco Industries president has a lending subsidiary.  Countryplace Mortgage – and they plus the Berkshire Hathaway lenders have been the prime FHA Title I lenders in that part of home-only lending. Is that a coincidence? After the promises made by HUD Secretary Ben Carson to the industry in 2018, and given the troubling status of Duty to Serve (DTS) with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on chattel lending – almost non-existent – is that status quo on the 10/10 rule a problem that Commissioner Montgomery can opt to ignore?

 

  • Selection to replace Pam Danner, JD, as the next administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP). It was HUD Secretary Ben Carson who told the U.S. Senate that last spring that the regulations coming out of OMHP were “ridiculous.” Victor DeRose was the consensus candidate agreed to by MHI and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) to fill the spot that Danner eventually obtained. At that time, Senator Joe Donnelley (IN-D) was enlisted to write a letter in support of DeRose for the HUD OMHP administrator’s role.  But Danner, per sources, was “slipped in” with the aid of an MHI insider.  “Knoxville” instructed Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison to “stand down” in complaining that MHI had thereby broken their agreement with MHARR.  That breech by MHI with MHARR put an understandable frost on relations between the two national trade bodies.
  • Will Montgomery support or oppose another heavy-regulation puppet for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis?  Recall that MHI has been touting to their members in emails how chummy they are with Montgomery.

MHIHousingAlertDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • Recall too the HUD issued a clarification on the frost free foundation rule.  Here’s how the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform put it, in the report accessed via the linked text/image box below.

HUD “Clarification” on Frost-Free IB Offers More Questions and Confusion Than Answers

  • Enhanced preemption. Given the affordable housing crisis, when will HUD begin to enforce that law, established by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000? If Montgomery won’t work to support an existing law, why not?

 

  • If Montgomery fails to push for the full implementation of the MHIA, including enhanced preemption, doesn’t that just benefit operations like Arlington insiders such as Clayton, which are also increasingly into site built housing?

 

  • Beside the apparent conflict of interest between MHI-dominated Clayton and most industry members on issues like enhanced preemption, doesn’t failure to enforce the MHIA mandated preemption just cost HUD, federal, state, and local governments more money over time? Doesn’t failure to enforce enhanced preemption hurt minorities and lower incomes of all classes disproportionately?
  • There is also the ongoing saga of the monitoring contract.  For more on that, see the report linked below.

MHARR Communication with HUD Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery Regarding Program Monitoring Contract

 

Sources tell MHProNews that Montgomery is a “play it safe” – meaning, status quo – type of personality. Be it intentional or not, that could play into the hands of Clayton Homes and MHI.  Indeed, as noted above, MHI has claimed or implied more than once that they have influence with/over Montgomery.

JoeStegmayerCavcoCVCOMIChairBrianMontgomeryHUDFHASameLandyUMHPresidentDailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

 

Being evenly obliquely tied to – or perceived to be connected to Berkshire and Clayton – could prove problematic for Montgomery.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogo21stMortgageCorpLogoRichardDickJennisonBrianMontgomeryHUDTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpPriorMHIChairMHProNews

 

So far, Montgomery has done no interviews with the industry’s most-read trade media – MHProNews – and neither has HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., despite requests from MHProNews for such candid discussions, on- or off-camera.  MHProNews will ask anew for interviews with both Carson and Montgomery in 2019, to get a better sense from official sources about the background noise coming from HUD.   Frankly, many of the present sounds coming from HUD are less than encouraging.  In 2019, watch for the call for more accountability and transparency.  See the Don’t Tease Report, linked further below.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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MHI SVP Lesli Gooch & MHARR CEO Mark Weiss Bookend New, Prior HUD Controversies

August 28th, 2018 Comments off
LesliGoochMHIMarkWeissMHARRSecBenCarsonHUDBrianMontgomeryFHACommisionerPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Left to right, Lesli Gooch, Ph.D., SVP at MHI; Mark Weiss, JD, CEO MHARR, Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., HUD; Brian Montgomery, Assistant Secretary for Housing and FHA Commissioner at HUD. 

HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, as the saying goes, “gets it.” – wrote Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in a new Issues and Perspectives.

  

First, and most fundamentally, he understands – and has very plainly stated — that to successfully address and ultimately solve the nation’s affordable housing crisis, which has some 21 million American families spending more than one-third of their household income on housing expenses and 11 million of those spending more than half of their income on housing, it is “vitally important … to develop more affordable housing.” – declared Weiss, as part of a periodic release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Beyond that,” said Weiss, “he [Carson] understands (unlike some of his predecessors at HUD) that “the first and most important source” of that much-needed affordable housing, “will always be private enterprise, whether operating independently, or in cooperation with HUD [or] other government initiatives.” 

And, perhaps most significant of all, he appears to understand what must be done – at HUD – to spur the growth and availability of affordable housing and home ownership from within the private sector and, more specifically, from within the manufactured housing industry that HUD not only comprehensively regulates through its Title VI manufactured housing program, but is also authorized to help finance through programs administered by its Federal Housing Administration (FHA).”

That statement by Weiss is a reminder to Daily Business News readers that a former U.S. president specifically promoted the use of FHA lending to sell more “mobile homes,” as that president put it, and for similar reasons.

Help Others “Get It” – Loans on “Mobile Homes” Promoted by Another U.S. President

So if Secretary Carson and HUD’s returning Brian Montgomery mutually address problems – like the GNMA 10/10 rule on FHA Title I (personal property) loans, or other reforms needed for FHA Title II lending – they’ll be following in that prior president’s pattern of financing support for the manufactured home (MH) industry. 

The question, though,” said Weiss “is whether the industry’s post-production sector (i.e., retailers, communities, developers, finance companies, and insurers, among others) “gets it,” and will act to create the type of independent collective representation that will be needed to seize these unparalleled policy opportunities.” 

In a speech earlier this year to the Policy Advisory Board of the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, and in a follow-up HUD publication entitled “Regulatory Barriers and Affordable Housing,” Secretary Carson clearly pinpointed the keys to unleashing the enormous potential of the manufactured housing industry to help expand homeownership and fulfill HUD’s essential mission of “ensur[ing] safe, affordable housing for [all] Americans.” – said MHARR’s CEO.

First, Secretary Carson observed that the availability of affordable housing for Americans cannot be achieved “by hindering those who are most responsible for creating it.” He thus emphasized the importance of the current – and ongoing — regulatory review of the HUD manufactured housing program being conducted under Trump Administration Executive Orders 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) and 13777 (“Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”).”- said Weiss.

MHARR, for its part, has strongly supported and encouraged this long-overdue review of HUD regulations and other pseudo-regulatory actions taken in violation of applicable law, and has submitted extensive comments detailing various aspects of the HUD manufactured home regulatory structure that must be changed, not only to achieve the regulatory reform agenda of President Trump, but also to achieve the overriding objective of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 – i.e., “to facilitate the availability of affordable manufactured homes and to increase homeownership for all Americans.” – said Weiss.  It’s a reference that evokes a reminder that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)  Senior Vice President (SVP) Lesli Gooch, Ph.D., admitted to the Washington Post that MHI did not attempt to influence HUD regarding Pam Danner’s overreaches at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).  That goes to the heart of what an association is supposed to do, and what Gooch admits MHI deliberately chose not to do.  ICYMI, see that prior fumbled opportunity by MHI in the report linked below.

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Significantly, though – and as important as that regulatory review and reform process is – Secretary Carson did not stop there,” said Weiss.  

Read the rest on the MHARR website, here or at the link below.

“Another Missed Post-Production Opportunity?”

 

 MHI’s Lesli Gooch Claim Launches New Controversy…

MHARR has not yet spoken publicly about the following new controversy, declining comments about the written claim made below by MHI SVP Lesli Gooch.

It should be noted that the Daily Business News on MHProNews asked several HUD officials about the same comment by Lesli Gooch.

HUD has also avoided commenting on Gooch’s bold claim. 

Here’s what Gooch said as part of a longer chest-thumping statement, which she wrote in MHInsider.  Gooch called Brian Montgomery “MHI’s Candidate” for the HUD role of Federal Housing Commissioner, and the big man behind Secretary Carson.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoGotCloutManufacturedHousingInstituteSVPLesliGoochPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

From a column written by Lesli Gooch for MHI in MHInsider™.

What precisely does Gooch’s claim imply?

Isn’t she boldly hinting at MHI’s “Got Clout?” campaign claim? And if so, how will that “clout” be used by MHI?

Will Gooch and MHI be part of the problem of past HUD overreaches, or of FHA Title I lending curtailment?  Keep in mind that Tim Williams – prior MHI Chairman and still CEO of  21st Mortgage – curtailed FHA Title I lending to the independents of the industry. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance kept making FHA loans to Clayton retailers, even after 21st suspended their use of FHA Title I loan program.

That in turn is evocative of how 21st previously curtailed lending to manufactured housing independents.  That  resulted in the failure and consolidations of numerous independents. ICYMI, that prior report can be accessed via the link below.

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Will that claimed “MHI Clout” being asserted by Gooch with Brian Montgomery be used to continue to foster an environment that further consolidates the independents of the industry? 

How aware are officials at HUD of the history of the causes of the MH industry’s consolidation? 

As a reminder, Berkshire Hathaway brands and MHI have routinely ducked or declined discussion, debate, and comment that explains the contradictions noted in statements made by Warren Buffett quoted in Smoking Gun 3, claims by 21st’s Tim Williams, and those that relate from the Kevin Clayton video, posted in that report. 

None of the parties involved in this new controversy over Gooch’s claim directly answers those or other possible questions. 

That said, MHARR’s CEO finished his commentary this way. “As MHARR has emphasized before, conducting meetings, conferences, seminars and other similar gabfests will not change government policies in Washington, D.C. – especially ones that have been in place for years or even decades (like the under-utilization of federal preemption authority to clear away discriminatory exclusion enactments).  What is needed is strong, focused, aggressive, collective and most-importantly, independent advocacy on behalf of the thousands of smaller businesses that constitute the core of the industry’s post-production sector, whose interests today are, more often than not, sacrificed to the industry’s largest corporate conglomerates.

The opportunity for real change and for real growth in both the near and long-term, clearly exists.  The question is whether that opportunity will be seized and maximized where it counts the most.”   

Again, the full MHARR commentary is found at the related reports linked, above or here. See other related reports, further below.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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Focus on More Financing, HUD Program Reforms, Aimed at Increasing Manufactured Homes Sales, Meeting with Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery

July 27th, 2018 Comments off

BrianMontgomeryHUDAstSecretaryFederalHousingCommissionerFinanceRegulatoryMHARRMeetingManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Daily Business News has been advised of a meeting at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which took place on July 25, 2018.

 

The focus of that high-level meeting’s discussion?

It could be summarized with the following bullets. To:

obtain more personal property financing options for HUD Code manufactured homes,

simplify the often complex regulations and on-site inspections, in compliance with the law,

full enforcement of existing laws, notably in regards to the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA),

reinvigorate the state-federal partnership in the HUD Code program, via adequate funding,

insure that the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) fully represents industry interests, and is operated according to the law,

the status of the regulatory reform comments review mandated by President Trump’s executive orders,

address concerns over “40 years of de facto sole-source monitoring procurements,” per MHARR’s statement,

and to discuss who would replace Pam Danner as the administrator of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

 

The meeting was held between

HUD Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery,

Teresa Payne, who is the acting interim head of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs,

and senior leadership for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Specifically, “MHARR Chairman, James Shea, Jr., MHARR Immediate-Past Chairman, John Bostick, MHARR President Mark Weiss and MHARR Senior Advisor, Danny D. Ghorbani…”

In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, MHARR provided the following meeting memo, which will be published verbatim, further below.

A few points worth emphasizing, via the following pull quotes from the MHARR report.

“…the MHARR delegation focused on harm to consumers and the industry resulting from unjustified, unwarranted, and/or misdirected HUD regulations (or pseudo-regulations),”

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

Call 202-783-4087, email mharrdg@aol.com or click the above to learn more.

The MHARR delegation also addressed the decline – under the former federal program administrator — in the federal-state partnership that lies at the core of the HUD program and its proper operation.”

“…the MHARR delegation encouraged Commissioner Montgomery, as Federal Housing Commissioner, to explore the re-vitalization and expansion of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program which, after being a significant source of consumer financing for HUD Code homes in the past, has declined drastically, to minimal activity levels in recent years.”

“…MHARR noted that the “10-10” net worth and reserve rule implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae) for FHA Title I financial institutions has severely and unjustifiably limited lender participation in the Title I program to just two approved lenders, both of which are finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerate.”

The later, of course, was a reference to Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes and their subsidiaries, 21st Mortgage Corp., and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Specifically, MHARR pressed for reforms of FHA Title I – chattel, or personal property, “home only” loans – due to the lack of implementation by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) under their Duty to Serve mandate.

Such a revitalization and expansion in FHA Title I support for manufactured home financing is particularly crucial in light of the minimal and long-delayed “implementation” of the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their federal regulator, FHFA, and their failure to establish – any time soon – market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, which comprise upwards of 80% of all manufactured home consumer loans.”

The entire MHARR release to MHProNews is below. It will be followed by references to several other related reports that flesh-out related details of importance to:

manufactured home industry professionals,

affordable housing advocates,

investors,

public officials,

and others.

JULY 26, 2018

 

TO: MHARR MANUFACTURERS

MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

FROM: MARK WEISS

RE: MHARR MEETING WITH HUD ASSISTANT SECRETARY BRIAN MONTGOMERY_____________________________________________

A delegation of MHARR officials, including MHARR Chairman, James Shea, Jr., MHARR Immediate-Past Chairman, John Bostick, MHARR President Mark Weiss and MHARR Senior Advisor, Danny D. Ghorbani, met on July 25, 2018 with HUD Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery, the highest-ranking political appointee with direct oversight of the HUD manufactured housing program, to address issues concerning the both the program and the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Title I manufactured housing loan insurance program. Scheduled shortly after Commissioner Montgomery was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the meeting represents a continuation of MHARR’s direct interaction with Trump Administration officials at HUD and others agencies concerning both the federal manufactured housing program and federal financing support for affordable manufactured homes, including meetings with HUD Secretary Ben Carson and HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Dana Wade, and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director Melvin Watt, among others.

The main purpose of the meeting with Commissioner Montgomery who, while holding the same position in the Administration of President George W. Bush, was instrumental in establishing the statutory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) and securing major achievements in the implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, was to address key aspects of the ongoing manufactured housing program review and reform process initiated by President Trump and Secretary Carson, with a view toward putting the federal program back on track, in full compliance with all elements of the 2000 reform law.

Consequently, among other topics, the meeting addressed: (1) the status of the appointed manufactured housing program administrator mandated by the 2000 reform law; (2) the status of the pending “top-to-bottom” manufactured housing program regulatory review pursuant to Trump Administration Executive Orders (EOs) 13771 and 13777; (3) the status of the program monitoring contract, which is slated to expire in August 2018, the urgent need for a fully-competitive contracting process after more than 40 years of de facto sole-source monitoring procurements, and the selection of a new program “monitoring” contractor; (4) the necessity of retaining state participation in the HUD program and proper funding for State Administrative Agencies (SAAs); and (5) the restoration of collective industry representation on the MHCC. In addition, the MHARR delegation urged Commissioner Montgomery to consider reforms at the Federal Housing Administration and the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), to expand the utilization of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program and the availability of insured manufactured home chattel loans under that program, particularly in light of the highly-restricted implementation of the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” with respect to manufactured home chattel loans by FHFA and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In particular, the MHARR delegation focused on harm to consumers and the industry resulting from unjustified, unwarranted, and/or misdirected HUD regulations (or pseudo-regulations), citing, as an example, HUD’s excessively costly and needlessly burdensome 2016 “on-site” construction rule, which, rather than reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of on-site work and related approvals, has instead led to a decline in on-site completions and features requiring on-site completion, which has unnecessarily harmed the HUD Code market and unnecessarily denied consumers various on-site features that they seek in HUD Code homes. The MHARR delegation thus urged Assistant Secretary Montgomery to continue with – and aggressively implement and advance – the EO 13771/13777 regulatory reform process within the federal program that was initially spearheaded by Deputy Assistant Secretary Wade. And, in fact, it appears from responses at the meeting, that aspects of the Department’s regulatory reform process will be presented to – and considered by – the MHCC at a meeting currently expected to be held (but not yet formally announced in the Federal Register) on September 11-13, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The MHARR delegation also addressed the decline – under the former federal program administrator — in the federal-state partnership that lies at the core of the HUD program and its proper operation. Noting that state SAAs and state Primary Inspection Agencies (PIAs) had been tasked with numerous additional functions by HUD under its change to the “focus” of program inspections and monitoring, from the detection of specific standards violations to a new alleged emphasis on “quality control” and, worst of all, new unwarranted and baseless demands on long-standing and fully-compliant state installation programs – all without any corresponding rulemaking or regulatory process – MHARR pointed out that to date, there has been no corresponding increase in the compensation of such state agencies, leading some to either withdraw from the program or consider withdrawing. This, in turn, increases the power and influence of the entrenched monitoring contractor (and program installation contractor) – which assumes those expanded regulatory roles in “default” states, without the accountability, responsibility and responsiveness of the former state government entities. Meanwhile, a proposal to increase state SAA funding, recommended by the MHCC and published for notice and comment in 2016, needlessly remains in limbo, some two years after-the-fact. The MHARR delegation, accordingly, urged Commissioner Montgomery to address this matter as a priority issue for the program.

In addition, the MHARR delegation encouraged Commissioner Montgomery, as Federal Housing Commissioner, to explore the re-vitalization and expansion of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program which, after being a significant source of consumer financing for HUD Code homes in the past, has declined drastically, to minimal activity levels in recent years. Such a revitalization and expansion in FHA Title I support for manufactured home financing is particularly crucial in light of the minimal and long-delayed “implementation” of the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their federal regulator, FHFA, and their failure to establish – any time soon – market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, which comprise upwards of 80% of all manufactured home consumer loans.

In particular, MHARR noted that the “10-10” net worth and reserve rule implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae) for FHA Title I financial institutions has severely and unjustifiably limited lender participation in the Title I program to just two approved lenders, both of which are finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerate. As a result, for far too many Americans, the inherently affordable home ownership offered by today’s manufactured homes, is simply not available – contrary to HUD and FHA’s fundamental mission — due to the lack of available, accessible, competitive financing. Consequently, as MHARR stressed, in addition to the reform of its regulatory activities, HUD should also re-examine and reform its financing-related programs for manufactured housing.

MHARR, as it has since the inauguration of President Trump – in all forms of direct and formal interaction with relevant officials — will continue to press the case for HUD Code manufactured housing, for increased governmental support for manufactured home consumer financing, in full accordance with all applicable laws, and for fundamental regulatory reform within the federal manufactured housing program in full compliance with the 2000 reform law, including proper program leadership in the person of an administrator appointed in accordance with the 2000 reform law.

cc: Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members

 

About MHARR

MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

May 12th, 2018 Comments off

GreenStylishManufacturedHomesHiddenFactsInWashingtonPostManufacturedHousingNarrativeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Whatever one thinks about their political leanings, the Washington Post is one of the most important and influential news publications in America.

 

They decided to publish an article recently about the HUD Code manufactured housing program.

More specifically, the Washington Post (WaPo or WP) wrote about the inner workings of HUD under the Trump Administration, with Secretary Ben Carson at the helm.

The WP’s award-winning Juliet Eilperin wrote about the quality of today’s manufactured homes, specifically citing Secretary Carson’s quote about how “amazing” they are.

Eilperin’s article also talked about both national manufactured housing associations.

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

MHI, MHARR, and MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.

As long-time Daily Business News readers know, there are two national associations that work in manufactured housing. There is the larger of the two, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. That’s right across the river from Washington, D.C.

Then there’s the Washington-based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Decades before, the Washington Post published another article about the association known today as MHARR. That article focused on MHARR’s fight with HUD for a removable chassis for manufactured homes. We will return to that removable chassis point later.

It isn’t at all odd that there are more than one national association for manufactured housing.

In conventional housing, there are:

  • The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a “producers” association.
  • There is the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a “Post-production” trade group focused upon the resale of existing homes.
  • There is the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and they focus more on financing of new construction, the resale of existing homes, and the refinancing of homes.

The list of housing associations goes on to multiple-family housing, remodeling, and more.

So, if anything, manufactured housing presently has fewer associations than conventional housing does.

That helps explain one reason why, perhaps, that a HUD official told MHProNews that they don’t expect the manufactured housing industry to speak with one voice.’ Unity doesn’t exist in housing.  Nor is there full unity in the automotive trade association world either, where dealers and producers have separate associations.

Those separate trade bodies often sit down, or via conference calls, communicate and work with each other to resolve issues and differences on legislative or other matters.

So manufactured housing isn’t unique, and Eilperin’s Washington Post article helped highlight that important detail.

So-called unity in manufactured housing is not to be expected any more than in other professions.

 

More Hidden-in-Plain-Sight WaPo Insights

But there is more to her Washington Post article, for those who read it carefully and objectively.

In America today, it’s become commonplace to understand that media has an agenda.

What the 45th president calls “fake news,” is at times agenda driven, weaponized reporting. There are partisans on both sides of the left-right divide that sharpen their articles to reflect their perspectives. It’s more out-in-the-open today, and thanks to research like award-winning Sharyl Attkinsson’s, we now have a chart – the one below – to reference that helps readers understand the left-right bias of a given major news source.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/no-fire-just-smoke-and-democratic-clinton-supporter-says-enough/ 

 

From the far left – The Nation – to the right – Breitbart – there are voices in media that have focused on the problematic issue of monopolistic dominance of certain sectors of the American economy.

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

In manufactured housing, The Atlantic, The Nation, the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Fox News are among those mainstream media outlets that have focused reports on various aspects of manufactured housing.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

Let’s note that while agendas exist, affordable housing isn’t a partisan political issue.

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

That’s what former MHARR president, Danny Ghorbani has said, that the manufactured housing industry can work successfully with both sides of the political aisle.  He’s right, and that’s been the industry’s history for decades.

The contrast between MHARR and MHI is an interesting and notable one.  And Eilperin’s WaPo narrative helped highlight it.

MHI has a political action committee, or PAC. MHARR does not.

MHI says they represent ‘all aspects of factory-built housing,’ meaning production and post-production, including lending, suppliers, etc.  It also means MHI represents manufactured homes, and modular too.

MHARR, by contrast, clearly states they represent only the interests of the independent producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

That said, MHARR has an interest in seeing independent retailers, builder/developers and communities thrive.  After all, that’s their client base.

MHI has several times MHARR’s annual budget, and far more staff.

Yet the Washington Post report on the controversy at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) made clear that it was MHARR that succeeded at having Pam Danner removed from her role as administrator over the HUD Code manufactured home program.

Juliet Eilperin’s Washington Post HUD Manufactured Home Program News Confirms Manufactured Housing Institute Position and Report

Meanwhile, it was MHI that contributed to or influenced having Lois Starkey removed from her roll at HUD.

Why?

And why were the documents related to MHI’s effort to remove Starkey – note that those memos were dated months before the Washington Post story – why did take their attorney so long to complain to HUD after Starkey left MHI?

MHProNews published the fact that Starkey was at HUD, and MHI knew it before from other sources at HUD too.  So, why did MHI delay their protest of Starkey joining HUD?

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

Eilperin’s Washington Post report is a rich, revealing narrative. For example, it reflects an anti-Trump Administration stance. Eilperin says that the Trump Administration is trying to take control of all aspects of the federal government, even this previously obscure office manufactured housing office buried deeply away at HUD.

News flash. Every president tries to take control over the federal government. It’s part of the job description for the chief executive of the United States of America.

But Eilperin raises an important point: with an affordable housing crisis raging in America, why has manufactured housing been tucked away in obscurity for so long at HUD?

Lesli_M_Gooch__MHI_senior_vice_president_forgovernment_affairs

Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

What MHI EVP Lesli Gooch admits to doing, is surprising too.

Per Gooch to WaPo, MHI wanted to see HUD restructure the manufactured housing program office within the broader arrangement at HUD. Hmmm…okay, duly noted.

But what Pam Danner did was a clear federal overreach of her office’s power, from the perspective of hundreds of manufactured housing operations across the country. Why wasn’t MHI’s response to Danner’s overreach to try – as did MHARR – to have Danner removed?

Note that even though MHI and state associations – which are arguably dominated by MHI, as MHProNews has previously reported – also had members that wanted Danner’s removal.

So why didn’t MHI listen to their own grass roots?

Thus, MHARR is made to be – from an industry reading of the WaPo narrative – an association hero.

MHI’s own EVP frankly stated they were doing something different than seeking Danner’s removal. In fact, the action taken by MHI’s attorney toward Starkey was surprising. MHI’s outside counsel literally said in part that MHI considers HUD to be MHI’s client.

HUD a client of MHI?

Surprising, but it is there in black and white. Was that ‘client’ reference a boiler-plate-letter oversight that was sent by MHI’s outside counsel to HUD uncorrected? Or does MHI literally believe HUD is MHI’s client??  Isn’t either an embarrassment?

Go to the WaPo article – linked here – and see the downloadable related documents Eilperin obtained for yourself.

The WaPo narrative is rich in such details and insights. Eilperin did the industry numerous favors in how her article is framed, which is seemingly meant as a hit at Secretary Carson, and the Trump Administration.  But a careful reading of her narrative with insights like those noted herein reveals instead that Team Trump are reforming years of prior HUD Code program regulatory overreach that Dr. Carson called “ridiculous.”

Our sources tell us that the new status quo at the HUD manufactured housing program office is expected to continue under the temporary leadership of Teresa Payne.  Payne led the program once before, as long-time MHProNews readers with a keen mind recall.

The Daily Business News is also told to expect a slow-dance on the Brian Montgomery appointment by the Senate. Until that time, Dana Wade is ably serving Secretary Carson in a key spot, and seems to be doing so in a manner that keeps both trade groups – for now – officially pleased.

 

Another Bottom Line?

The WaPo narrative reveals many more details. Each of them confirms numerous, prior MHProNews reports and commentaries.  It’s an opportunity, as a reader prodded us, to say “I told you so” about MHI being the de facto road-block to not having Danner removed even sooner.  See Transparency, among many other reports that were confirmed by WaPo, linked below for later in-depth reading.

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Another thought provoking point for this weekend is this. MHI allowed HUD to overreach, without asking for Pam Danner’s removal. Why?

Who, besides big businesses, benefit when all sizes of businesses are being oppressed?

MHProNews has taken pains for years to lay out the cases that point to the fact that heavy regulation harms smaller businesses more than bigger ones.

NAMCostForComplianceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In banking, community banks suffered under Dodd-Frank, even though community banks arguably had far less impact on the financial meltdown that gave rise to the birth of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB in the first place.  Even giant U.S. Bank closed its manufactured housing program, not because it wasn’t profitable.  Rather, U.S. Bank pulled the plug due to regulatory risks and not enough volume to make up for those risks.  For later in-depth reading, click the below.

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

  • MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNews

    Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

    Mark Weiss, JD, at MHARR is portrayed by WaPo’s journalist as working to relieve the burdens imposed by Danner at HUD.

  • MHI is shown as allowing those burdens to stand.
  • Read that in the context of Smoking Gun 3 under related reports at the end, and you may never see manufactured housing industry politics the same ever again.

 

What About that Removal Chassis?

As to a removable chassis?

If manufactured housing were allowed by HUD to have removable chassis, as MHARR decades ago tried to accomplish, manufactured homes – with a chassis removed – would be:

NewDurhamEstatesSouthManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Credit, MHLivingNews.com. Photos from New Durham Estates south. These homes are ground set. But if a chassis was removed, then a home would be closer to the ground by about eight, ten or twelve inches, and would be more like those shown in this photo.

  • lower to the ground once installed.
  • They would look even more like a conventional house, once installed.
  • It would cost less to put a foundation enclosure around a manufactured home without a chassis that it normally does with one now.
  • Sans the chassis, it would remove the impression of the home being mobile, when most manufactuerd homes aren’t moved once installed.
  • It would be greener to recycle the chassis.
  • It might even save money.

MHARR fought for that removable chassis, decades ago.  Isn’t all of that stylish, green, and visionary? ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

 

PamelaBeckDannerJDAdministratorManufacturedHousingProgramHUD-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Pamela Beck Danner, JD, credit, HUD.

1)   Post-Script: Our sources at and connected to HUD tell us that the Eilperin’s report was prompted by a desire of “allies” of Pam Danner to undermine Dr. Carson and his team’s leadership as Secretary at HUD.

2)   The WaPo report is written in a way that makes Danner’s work as administrator look consumer focused, but what’s missing is the fact that service-related issues with HUD Code manufactured homes are so few, that out of the roughly 92,900 homes built last year, only a few dozen nationally went to dispute resolution. There is no similar dispute resolution program for site-built housing to settle consumer concerns.  So those service issues highlighted in Eilperin’s narrative are a rarity, a point her narrative didn’t cover.  That’s not a tag on her work, no one story can cover every detail.

3)   There are HUD connected sources that tell MHProNews that WaPo’s article signals an upcoming  battle for HUD Code homes, at the state installation level.

4)   There are industry voices that say that the time to prepare for that installation – a post-production battle – is now.  Discussions about enhanced preemption are, per reports, being carefully reviewed at HUD.  There are concerned sources in MHVille that say the need for an effective post-production association has never been greater.

5)   The WaPo narrative makes it clear that MHI isn’t that effective at stopping HUD’s over-regulation. In the association national realm, it was MHARR’s handiwork – not MHI’s – that proved effective for retailers, communities, and for the consumers they serve.  Of course, MHProNews covered it all in a “follow the evidence, follow the facts, follow the money” way that no other industry media even attempted to do.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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Related Reports:

It’s been hailed as the most important report on this topic to date…

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Washington Post “Once obscure office at HUD [Manufactured Housing] is the subject of unusually intense lobbying effort”

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Donald Trump Nominates Ben Carson as Housing Secretary, MH Views & Videos

December 6th, 2016 Comments off
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Ben Carson prepares to endorse Donald Trump. Credit: ZeroHedge.

President-elect Donald J. Trump announced his plans to nominate famed neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” said President-elect Trump.

We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up. 

I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need,” said Carson. “We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.

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Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Pinterest. Durden is a pen-name used on Zero Hedge.

ZeroHedge notes that statements in politics are not always to be taken at face value, as Armstrong Williams, Carson’s campaign manager and a close friend, told The Hill last month that Carson was not interested in serving as Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency,” Williams said at the time.

Dr. Carson rapidly modified Williams’ statement.

Manufactured Housing Industry Opinions Abound

With the rumors that began last week, and the announcement on Monday, comments to MHProNews from around the country from manufactured housing professionals began to come in.

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Titus Dare. Credit: MHProNews. For Dare’s popular view on the DTS and the GSEs, click here.

Very poor choice! There are numerous qualified people who can do great things for affordable housing,” said Titus Dare, EVP – Development & Construction at Eagle One Financial.  Dare’s full commentary, is linked here.

MH Industry production and association veteran, Jay Hamilton, took a more nuanced stance.

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Associatoin (GMHA).

Dr. Ben Carson grew up in Public Housing,” said Hamilton. “He spent many years working as a Neurological Surgeon in an Urban Hospital Environment. So he witnessed the effect of substandard housing on health. But even still, a number may see this as an illogical choice. I fully expected Dr. Carson to be named Surgeon General or Health & Human Services Secretary.” Hamilton’s full comments on Carson for HUD Secretary are linked here.
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Kurt Kelley. Credit: MHProNews. Kelley’s widely-read view on the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, are linked here.

Kurt Kelley, JD, President of Mobile Insurance had a different take.

That’s great news.  I have some ‘Carson for President’ bumper stickers. Dr. Ben Carson is a true American success story,” said Kelley.

From the poor Detroit neighborhood he was raised in, “he became the best brain surgeon in the country and one of America’s most admired men,” says Kelley. “Dr. Carson knows what it’s like to be the little guy.  He’s exactly what D.C. needs.”  Kelly’s complete comments can be found, linked here.

Sprawling HUD’s Spotty Record and…Experience?

Those who have opposed the Trump pick of Carson to lead HUD routinely point to the important role that HUD plays in providing billions in housing support for the poor.  Their argument runs, surely someone with a strong housing or government sector background is needed for this role, right?

While the standard definition of “experience” has value, it isn’t the sole vantage point that the public uses. Years of frustration and feelings of being marginalized by the established order led Americans to call for change, electing in Donald Trump a candidate who has never held public office.

Or as manufactured housing industry legend and RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Clayton put it, “my thinking is increasingly optimistic and tends to align with those Republican leaders who are creatively saving-face while migrating back to the fold – and to President-elect Donald the Disruptor.”

During the campaign – and more recently in the first few weeks since he won the election – the president-elect has shown that practical, real world experience can often “Trump” traditional political skill.

Advocates, Policy Wonks and Commentators Views Vary Widely

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Barb Sard. Credit: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

As Dr. Carson prepares to defend before the U.S. Senate his plans for the role of HUD Secretary, supporters note that:

  • living in the inner city,
  • striving for success, and
  • committing to abundance not just for himself, but for everyone else

are skills that those who are underprivileged or living in the inner city desperately need. Also needed is an expansion of affordable housing opportunities.

On the other hand, Barbara Sard, a former official at the housing department during President Obama’s first term, told the New York Times that a 2015 op-ed Carson wrote for the Washington Times in response to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule shows his lack of experience.

He doesn’t seem to understand that extending access to opportunity includes improving conditions in racially concentrated neighborhoods,” said Sard, who now serves as vice president for housing policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

HomeownershipRateQ2-2016postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Home ownership has hit its lowest rate in decades.

In a television interview with FOX News, Dr. Carson provided his view.

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President-elect Donald Trump, left. Dr. Ben Carson, center. Henry Cisneros, (D) right served in the Clinton years as HUD Secretary, and gave a thumbs up for Carson. To see that article and video, click here. Image credit, Fox Business.

We cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities,” said Carson. “We have to get beyond the promises and start really doing something. The amount of corruption and graft and things, shell games that are played — we need to get rid of all that stuff.

Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, agreed with Sard regarding Carson’s experience.

With many qualified Republicans to choose from with deep knowledge of, and commitment to, affordable housing solutions for the poorest families, and with the housing crisis reaching new heights across the country, Dr. Carson’s nomination to serve as HUD Secretary is surprising and concerning.

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Brian Montgomery. Credit: Wikipedia.

Brian Montgomery, HUD assistant secretary under George W. Bush, said that direct experience isn’t necessarily an indicator of success or failure.

Out of the last five or six HUD secretaries, you could really only point to two of them who had direct housing experience,” said Montgomery.

The loyalty issue is what’s very key here. He’ll be able to elevate the issue in the fact that he’s a household name and has been in the public domain for years.

MH Association Viewpoints

For many in the Manufactured Housing industry, the nomination of Dr. Carson represents a light at the end of the tunnel.

I congratulate Dr. Ben Carson upon the announcement that President-Elect Trump will nominate Carson as the Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” said Richard Jennison, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

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Richard Jennison. Credit: MHI.

MHI appreciates President-Elect Trump’s recognition that it will take a strong leader with national prominence to change the direction of our national housing policy and break down the barriers that have hindered the availability and affordability of housing across the country,” said Jennison.  

Jennison – compared to his D.C. metro counterpart – is still a relative newcomer to the MH scene, and who’s experience is limited to the important role of association work.

“We look forward to working with Dr. Carson,” Jennison’s media release stated yesterday, “and his team to ensure he recognizes that a robust manufactured housing market is critical to increasing the availability of affordable housing, which is in short supply in many parts of the country. During this critical time for our nation’s housing markets, manufactured housing provides a reliable, and affordable supply of homes that meet a variety of housing and lifestyle needs.

sterlingestatessateliteviewmhpronewsmhlivingnews-posteddailybusinessnews-mhpronews

While manufactured housing is often thought of as ‘rural,’ the sprawling 800 home site manufactured home land-lease community of Sterling Estates – in metro Chicago – is an example of how manufactured homes are found in cities too. The only place that modern manufactured homes could not be easily used in a city environment is in the most dense high-rise parts of a city. Because of their affordability, manufactured housing is an important part of the discussion for the future of HUD. Photo credits, MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com.

Prior to the official announcement of Carson’s appointment yesterday, M. Mark Weiss, JD, president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) provided the Daily Business News his take in our feature “Is Ben Carson the Right Choice for HUD Secretary? Depends On Who You Ask.”

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MHARR president and CEO M. Mark Weiss, JD. Credit: MHProNews.

Days before the MHI statement, the president of MHARR stepped out front on the topic and said, “Although the final status of his nomination is still not confirmed at this time, we would welcome Dr. Ben Carson as HUD Secretary.”

A new focus based on de-emphasizing taxpayer-funded public housing and “big government” subsidized housing programs, combined with other essential changes at HUD,” said Weiss, “would benefit the HUD Code industry in its role as the leading non-subsidized private-sector solution to the nation’s affordable housing crisis.

The Independent MH View from the Masthead

MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach provided his take in a recent Masthead post on the matter.

If experts got HUD into its current mess, perhaps a pro-free market, clear-thinker like Carson could assemble the team that could correct it,said Kovach in that post, saying he sees the positive potential todrain the Swamp of HUD” as a result of the Carson appointment.

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is one of the most widely recognized independent experts on manufactured housing today.

Bulldozing vacant houses in Carson’s native Detroit has become a symbol of how good intentions – but bad public policy by so-called experts – has harmed America,” Kovach said.

“During the Obama years, their answer has been to double-down on more government intervention – example Dodd-Frank – in matters that their party’s policies helped screw up.  That isn’t to absolve Republicans of responsibilities, but it’s historic fact that Dodd-Frank and the 1990s era Clinton housing programs were Democratic plans.

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HUD MH program administrator, Pam Danner.

Kovach also shared that while Pam Danner, JD – the current director of the manufactured housing (MH) program – has her supporters among MH professionals, the Masthead reported that in the wake of Kovach’s post linked above, a number of MH pros have indicated that progress at HUD on manufactured housing issues must begin by replacing her.

When you look at who is opposing Dr. Carson,” said Kovach, “you have to be that much more motivated to see him be the pick for the top spot at HUD.

The Daily Business News will continue to keep an eye on the confirmation process of Dr. Carson, and his future decisions. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the manufactured, modular and prefabricated housing industry’s Daily Business News for MHProNews.