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Posts Tagged ‘citizens’

The 2020 Census, Supreme Court, Manufactured Housing, and You

February 19th, 2019 Comments off

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There are potential issues that ought to have been raised in the 2020 Census that experts have told the Daily Business News on MHProNews should have been included.  That will be a topic of a planned upcoming report.

 

But today’s U.S. Census topic impacts every affordable housing or manufactured home professional.  Indeed, it influences every U.S. citizen.

Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that will decide whether 2020 Census can ask people if they’re a U.S. citizen.  Why does it matter?

That decision that will impact allocating House seats, Electoral College votes, and billion of federal dollars, says the Daily Mail.  Factually, that’s correct.

Per the Daily Mail:

  • The U.S. Census, conducted every 10 years, hasn’t asked a citizenship question since 1950.
  • Trump Administration wants to include it again, claiming the Justice Department wants the data in order to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.
  • A federal judge said no in January, but now the Supreme Court says it will take the case on an expedited basis so the Census can proceed on time.

 

 

Why it Matters?

  • Non-citizens included in the Census distort the legal count of Americans who are supposed to determine the relative population of the 50 states.
  • Those ratios determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives and Electoral College votes in presidential contests. Rephrased, even if someone in the U.S. who isn’t a citizen isn’t voting illegally, counting them distorts data that – for example – makes California the state with the most congressional districts.
  • The Census data also informs spending equations used to distribute federal tax dollars to the states for everything from education to road repairs. That is hundreds of billions of dollars that could be shifted, depending on how the Supreme Court rules. The case is expected to be heard in April.

Rephrased, do you want your vote and citizenship status to be enhanced or diluted?  The count of non-citizens matters.  If the Supremes rule correctly, by Constitutional intent standards, this should be a no-brainer. For Census purposes, non-citizens should be counted as exactly that, non-citizens.

 

 

Wonder why ongoing illegal immigration matters? Why is this topic not heard more in the U.S. media?  Why is it British media that is reporting on this topic, that ought to be a lead story on thousands of mainstream media sites in the U.S.?

Writing as someone who came to the U.S. legally, illegal immigration matters.  That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) Provides Safety, Business, and Citizens Recovery Tips, Resources

September 14th, 2017 Comments off
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Senator Marco Rubio, official photo. Graphic below, courtesy Senator Rubio’s office.

There has been bipartisan support for the pre- and post-Irma recovery efforts in Florida.

As was previously reported on the Daily Business News, Senator Bill Nelson has repeatedly praised state and federal efforts, see this link here.

But preparations and early recovery efforts doesn’t mean that all is well in the Sunshine State, as thousands of manufactured home residents and millions in conventional housing know.

Senator Rubio’s office provided the following safety and recovery tips to MHProNews. It is worth noting, for those considering the MHI annual event, that the very first tip from Senator Rubio is to stay off the roads.  Sources tell MHProNews that ‘several’ state association executives have cancelled their attendance, which begins on Sunday.

To learn more about that, see this link here.

Senator Rubio’s complete  Safety, Business, and Citizens Recovery Tips, Resources to MHProNews is found below.

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Staying Safe: Recovering from Hurricane Irma

Tips for keeping you and your family safe:

· Stay off the roads. Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.

· If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles.

· Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions. 

· Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.

· If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.

· Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home’s electrical system – they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.

· Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.

· Once you and your family and friends are safe, Floridians who have sustained property damage from severe storms and flooding are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at disasterassistance.gov

FEMA:

· People should register with DisasterAssistance.gov for information, support, services, and to apply for disaster assistance.

· Transitional Sheltering Assistance: FEMA may provide Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) to eligible disaster survivors who are unable to return to their homes for an extended period and need shelter. TSA provides short-term lodging for eligible disaster survivors whose residence is uninhabitable or inaccessible. To be eligible for TSA, individuals and households must:

·         

·        Register with FEMA for assistance.

·        Pass identity and citizenship verification.

·        Have a pre-disaster primary residence located in a geographic area that is designated for TSA.

·        Be displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence as a result of the disaster.

·        Be unable to obtain lodging through another source.

·        For those eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund TSA through direct payments to participating hotels/motels. The list of approved hotels is available at DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline (800) 621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: (800) 462-7585).

· The Red Cross ( http://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter can help you find aid and shelters.  Local organizations will establish shelters and provide vouchers for meals, clothing and a limited amount of personal goods.

Flood Insurance:

· National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders may contact their insurance agent directly to find out if they are eligible for reimbursement for actions taken to protect their property. To file a flood insurance claim under the NFIP, contact your insurance agent immediately. You can also call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) – select option 2 – to learn more about your policy, and be directed to the appropriate claims resource. 

Protecting you and your family from scams:

As people begin to recover and repair homes, be vigilant against those who wish to scam victims of this storm.  

· ALWAYS contact your insurance company before you hire a contractor . If the storm damaged your home, car, or property and you have insurance, you can start the claims process by calling your insurance company. If you plan to claim damages related to flooding or storm damage, you should verify that you have the right kind of coverage. If you don’t have a copy of your insurance policy, you can ask for one. Ask for an electronic copy of your policy—receiving physical mail may be difficult following the flood. That will help you verify your coverage. If possible, take photos and videos of your damaged property. Documenting damage will help you with your insurance claim.  

Watch out for:

· People who want you to pay up-front fees to help you claim services, benefits, or get loans.

· Contractors  selling repairs door-to-door, especially when they ask to receive payment up front or offer deep discounts.

· Con artists posing as government employees, insurance adjusters, law enforcement officials, or bank employees. It is easy to fake credibility and uniforms, so do not give out personal information to people you don’t know.

· Government employees never charge to help you get a benefit or service and will never ask for payment or financial information.

· Fake charities. Normally, legitimate organizations do not have similar names to government agencies or other charities; so if they do, it may be a scam. Never give out donations over the phone.

· Limited time offers. Anyone who offers you something and tells you that it is for a very limited time may be trying to pressure you into something that you could later regret. You should never be pressured to make a decision on the spot or to sign anything without having enough time to review it. Take your time, read and understand anything presented to you, and ask a trusted friend, relative, or attorney before acting.   

Don’t forget to:

· Contact your mortgage servicer. Talk to your mortgage lender right away and tell them about your situation. Damage to your home does not eliminate your responsibility to pay your mortgage, however your lender may be willing to work with you given the circumstances. If you don’t have your lender’s contact information, your monthly mortgage statement, or coupon book with you, you can search the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) or call toll-free at (888) 679-6377 to find the company that services your mortgage.

· Contact your credit card companies and other lenders. If your income is interrupted or your expenses go up, and you don’t think you will be able to pay your credit cards or other loans, be sure to contact your lenders as soon as possible. Ask your creditor to work with you. Explain your situation and when you think you might be able to resume normal payments. It is important to make those calls  before your next payments are due

· Contact your utility companies. If your home is damaged to the point you can’t live in it, ask the utility companies to suspend your service. This could help free up money in your budget for other expenses.

· After contacting the companies related to your most urgent financial needs, take a look at your bills and set priorities—including your mortgage, rent, and insurance payments. Given the countless people experiencing distress from the flooding, contacting your creditors may be difficult. Be persistent and make every effort to reach them. 

For veterans:

· If a veteran is displaced, and has lost their medication and no longer has a written prescription or bottle, they can contact the Health Resources Center Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571 to speak with a representative. Get updates on the VA’s website.

If you need assistance, please contact my office at (202) 224-3041. ## (News, safety, recovery tips.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Citizens Paring Down Policies of Manufactured Home Owners

August 12th, 2015 Comments off

hurricane protection panels  fotosearch stock hotoUpdating a story MHProNews last posted April 26, 2013 regarding Florida’s state-run insurer of manufactured homes, Citizens Property Insurance Co., and its reduction of coverage on MH, orlandosentinel reports seven private insurers have been approved to pick up half of Citizens’ remaining policies, amounting to 280,857 policies, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).

The number of policies that will ultimately leave Citizens will be substantially lower than the number of policies OIR has approved for takeout, Citizen spokesman Michael Peltier noted in an email Wednesday.That has always been the case but has become more noticeable over the past few takeouts.

In 2012 Gov. Rick Scott wanted to shrink the 1.5 million Citizens policies and put more homeowners under private insurers. The goal was to reduce risk for policyholders across the state who were paying added assessments whenever a major hurricane came through.

Created as the insurer of last resort, President and CEO Barry Gilway projects that the reduction will eventually leave Citizens with about 450,000 of the least-insurable policies. To date, 128,133 policies have been removed through the take-out process this year from a total of 713,336 available. The low turnover is due to private insurers choosing the least-risky policies.

In October, 279,357 personal-residential policies and 1,500 commercial-residential policies will be offered to the seven insurers.

On Aug. 25 Citizens Board of Governors will propose a plan to state regulators for an average 3.2 percent increase for next year. Manufactured home owners who live inland will receive a better rate. ##

(Photo credit: fotosearch–hurricane protection panels)

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Restrictive Zoning of Manufactured Homes may be Lifted

September 26th, 2013 Comments off

Current zoning laws in Midland, Texas prevent updated manufactured housing (MH) from replacing dilapidated factory-built homes because the zoning has been changed since the homes were sited. 1F3 zoning in certain areas only allows for stick-built homes in certain areas. As cbs7kosa.com tells MHProNews, the city says up to 28 homes have been placed outside of zoning compliance. “There really is a sense of harshness that traps citizens, who can’t afford to build a stick home but want to upgrade,” said City Council Member John Love. The city is now contemplating changing the zoning to a Planned District Housing Development which would allow modular homes up to ten years old to be sited.

(Image credit: bingimages)

Manufactured Housing in Florida is Losing Insurance Coverage

April 26th, 2013 Comments off

As it looks for ways to drop its risk, marconews reports Citizens Property Insurance Co., the state-run insurer that covers 130,000 factory-built homes in Florida, most of which are over 20 years old, is depreciating older homes, offering cash value in case of a loss instead of replacement cost. In one instance, a couple did have coverage of $64,000 on their 1988 manufactured home purchased for $67,500 in 1998. That coverage, which cost $1,362 a year in 2012, has been reduced to $18,000, now costing $1,129 per year. If they did suffer a loss they could not buy much for $18k. Likewise, if they tried to sell their home, no one would likely buy it because it could not be fully covered. The change in coverage applies to manufactured homes built before 1994, which accounts for roughly 75 percent of all MH statewide. Jim Ayotte, executive director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA) says if the situation does not change, retirees may go elsewhere. As MHProNews has learned, he added if homes are destroyed, it will leave holes in communities. Legislation to counter Citizens’ cash-value policy has not made it through the legislative process. ##

(Photo credit: MHVillage–Lake Village MHC, Nokomis, Fla.)

Legislation would Demand Insurer Offers Full Coverage

February 5th, 2013 Comments off

Following a story we last published May 8, 2012 in which state-run Citizens Property Insurance in Florida stated it would no longer insure carports and porches, legislation has been filed in both chambers that would require them to do just that. In a bill backed by the Federation of Manufactured Home Owners of Florida as well as by James Ayotte, executive director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA), Senate Bill 378 and House Bill 573 would require Citizens to offer adequate coverage on manufactured homes and their related structures, attached and otherwise. The company had wanted to drop 45 percent of its policyholders and raise rates on the others, saying a major hurricane could wipe out its $6 billion surplus. As sunshinestatenews tells MHProNews, the goal of the legislation is to make sure MH owners are covered for the full value of their homes.

(Photo credit: Sunny Oaks Community)

MHC Behind on Utility Fees and Taxes

August 20th, 2012 Comments off

mlive tells MHProNews the Swartz Creek Meadows MHC in Lennon, Michigan has until Aug. 31 before the Clayton Township Board of Trustees initiates legal action for unpaid water, sewage, and property taxes totaling $167,697.73. Swartz Creek owner MHPI Inc., does not deny it owed the township, but a misunderstanding at a meeting in October, 2012 led MHPI to believe part of the money in arrears had been forgiven when in fact it was not. Clayton Township Treasurer Clayton Gehringer says the township has the right to cut water and sewer service to the community, but that presents a moral dilemma because the MHC residents have likely paid their bill to MHPI, but that money has not been passed on to the township. In addition, the township government is required to collect these monies by law and on behalf of other citizens who do pay.

(Photo credit: Ron MacArthur/Cape-Gazette)

Residents Want to Repeal Ordinance

August 2nd, 2012 Comments off

KTBS reports from Jefferson, Texas in the northeast corner of the state across the line from Shreveport, Louisiana an ordinance banning manufactured housing from the historic area of the city is being opposed by some residents. MHProNews has learned over 300 Jefferson citizens have signed a petition to present to the city council for repeal of the ordinance, saying they understand the importance of the historic area but the need for affordable housing outweighs history. Debra Jordan, who helped gather the signatures, says, “We are a rural area, we’re not a major city and we see no problem with bringing in manufactured housing in designated areas such as this.”

(Photo credit: MHProNews)

USDA Offering Refinancing to Homeowners

June 12th, 2012 Comments off

ModularHomeCoach reports the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has instituted a program through its Rural Development Housing division to lower interest rates and monthly payments for thousands of borrowers who have loans made or backed by the USDA. The pilot program, designed to improve the housing market, is being tested in 19 states stretching from Rhode Island to California to the Midwest and on to Georgia and North Carolina. Tammye Trevino, USDA administrator says, “USDA will work with industry stakeholders, citizens and other federal officials to build upon the administration’s goals to help responsible homeowners refinance loans stay in their homes and shore up the nation’s housing market.” MHProNews.com notes the article expresses hope the program is not just another government drain that takes money away from new home construction.

(Photo credit: ModularHomeCoach/USDA Administrator Tammye Trevino)

Town Meeting Votes in Rent Control

June 7th, 2012 Comments off

SouthCoastToday reports from Acushnet, Massachusetts the town meeting voted 43-33 to institute a three person rent control board for the local MHCs in the community. Proponents say rents have increased much more quickly than in the past, making it tough for seniors on fixed incomes. One MHC owner, saying he just spent $500,000 for a sewer upgrade, says the increased cost of living means it’s more expensive to provide necessary services for the communities. Denis Tetrault of Bay State Mobile Home Park, calling it “a pretty inexpensive way to live,” states a rent control board can “…start telling a small business what they can make and what they can’t make. It’s not fair to the business.” MHProNews.com reported yesterday on a ballot initiative at the other end of the nation, in Oceanside, CA where citizens voted to retain rent control.