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Urgency Grows, Another City Prepares Ban on Manufactured Homes

March 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

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The report of yet another American city considering a ban on new manufactured housing is the most recent warning-flag for an issue that has been growing for several years in states across the country.

 

 

City of Bryan, TX, District Two Councilman Prentiss Madison, told KBTX that he is getting calls and messages from people on both sides of the issue, meaning for and against the ban.

I’m hearing from both sides of the issue,” said Madison.

If the proposed ordinance passes,” says KBTX,manufactured homes would not be allowed on vacant lots going forward. Those already living in a manufactured home would be grandfathered into the ordinance.”

Bryan has roughly 3,500 manufactured homes. A little more than half are in manufactured home communities, per local media. The rest are in mixed-use neighborhoods of conventional housing and manufactured homes, such as the Kemp Carver and Castle Heights neighborhoods.

This is about the community of Bryan,” said councilman Madison, per the local report linked here. “What do the citizens and the community wants to look like going forward?”

Or is this possibly about big money interests that want to eliminate competition under the guise of something else?  But set that question aside for later.

If Madison’s comment sounds negative to those with sensitive manufactured home industry ears, it did as well to Karl Radde. Radde is with Southern Comfort Homes, and he attended a Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting a few weeks earlier with D.J. Pendleton in Bryan, along with that state association’s executive director, per the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) website.

Radde has served in leadership roles for both the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) retailer council, and is also as a well liked prior chairman of the TMHA.

Radde’s pitch was based upon reason and compromise, per the TMHA and other informed sources.

As you guessed, that argument apparently fell on deaf ears as I was politely thanked for my comments,” said Radde.

While Radde made an intelligent argument, he and Pendleton – per TMHA’s report and other sources – failed to make an argument based upon the enhanced preemption clause of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA). Radde and other sources in and beyond Texas have provided additional insights to MHProNews, and as of the time that those comments were provided, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had not weighed in. That too is a vexing pattern that’s becoming better known, as the report linked here reflects.

Castle Heights neighborhood association President Rafael Pena, who was previously on city council, says manufactured homes are necessary.

It’s a price point issue. Not everybody can afford a stick-built home,” said Pena. “I think we would love to be in a stick-built home, but a lot of times a lot of people don’t have enough money, they don’t earn enough at their jobs.

 


Kemp Carver’s neighborhood association president, Ray Arrington, was cited by local media saying that it’s an ordinance his neighbors should consider.

When we want curbs and gutters and improvements in our neighborhood, we have to look at what our tax base is,” said Arrington. “They are paying less taxes, so that calls for less services.”

It’s what J.D. Harper in neighboring  Arkansas once referred to as economic racism.

 

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Prior and arguable applicable statements by the Rev Donald Tye, Jr.

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Cases like the one noted often have hidden special interests operating in the background.  They may be using an ordinance or other bill to help eliminate manufactured housing as a form of competition to their interests. That may include those who would rather build housing projects instead of seeing manufactured homes. Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Bryan Proposal Purportedly Violates Federal Law, Plus Harms Local Economy

The case is a mirror of prior incidents in Indiana and California. In those other instances, they too had civic forces with motivations to limit or ban manufactured homes. But both municipalities rapidly revered themselves after city officials were contacted by MHProNews, which looped in two pro-industry non-profits, and provided legal references for each city’s leaders and attorneys to chew on. See the related reports, further below the byline and notices for details.

Radde provided MHProNews with more extensive comments, which will be reviewed at a future point, likely after this issue is resolved, as they are revealing and insightful.

Radde also wanted MHProNews to clarify a point, “while I have zero issues with Clayton Homes, the only new Clayton product my company has sold was a couple of Tru homes a few years back.  While we are about 65% preowned homes, our new line is primarily Fleetwood.  We have also recently added the Jessup line of homes.”

That requested comment from Radde brings up the Clayton question. Where are they in this troubling scenario? After all, Texas is the number one state in the nation for manufactured home sales, production, and shipments.  Where is Clayton’s defense of the industry and reputation?  Why aren’t they standing up for groups that Pena and Radde represents?

 

 

What if This Trend of Banning Manufactured Homes Continues Unabated?

Several factual as well as legal arguments can be made in such cases, but for whatever reasons, in spot checks by MHProNews, the MHIA and enhanced preemption are repeatedly not being presented to local officials. Why not?

Furthermore, where is the claimed clout that MHI is supposed to have? Don’t they proudly proclaim on their website that they represent all segments of factory-built housing? Why aren’t they sticking up for the rights of citizen’s like Pena? Or independents like Radde?

This case is the latest #NettlesomeThings issue of #Nimby vs. #Yimby.   In order to address growing threats like these, and others, the manufactured housing industry’s members are encouraged to attend an afternoon aimed at identify causes, outlining proposed proven cures, and then laying out action steps to create growth from challenges that will others only limit affordable manufactured home sales in the future.

 

Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

 

See the related report, above, and others below for more details.

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MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending the charge on preemption or ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation was an MHI member, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth allowed more consolidation by big boy companies and at a cheaper price? 

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That’s this morning’s troubling but true “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © See the related reports for more details. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Official wants Mandated Amenities for MH Communities

October 14th, 2016 Comments off
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Cactus Rose MH Park. Credit: KUT.

Communities in and around Austin, TX have been a hotbed for discussions about affordablity and manufactured housing over the last few months.

According to KUT, Austin City Council member Pio Renteria recently visited some of his constituents at a manufactured home community and was shocked by what he saw.

When I went down there I said, ‘my goodness, there’s no rec centers,‘” Renteria told KUT. “There’s nothing there for the kids. They’re just running around, and when I inquired with one of my policy aides, she said, ‘yeah the laundry room is the recreational center.’

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Pio Renteria. Credit: Austin City Council.

Renteria has penned an ordinance that would require all new mobile home developments to include a playground and at least one other recreational space. The proposed ordinance would also require space for a community garden in both new and existing communities.

There’s huge mobile home parks now being built all along the Eastern Crescent, on the border of the city,” he said.This is a little urgent now because there are so many in the pipeline.

A View from the Manufactured Home Industry

D.J. Pendleton, Executive Director of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) provided his thoughts on Renteria’s proposed ordinance in his commentary on the MHProNews Industry Voices Blog.

This just seems like yet another city overreach with an idea that has not yet been thoroughly thought out as to its practical impact,” said Pendleton.

And it is once again, the singling out of manufactured home communities compared to other housing options.”

As the Daily Business News and MHLivingNews have covered here and here, misconceptions about manufactured housing have led to NIMBY-ism (Not-In-My-Back-Yard.)

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Notice there is no proposal to mandate vegetable gardens in multi-family housing, or even in other single-family neighborhoods in Austin,” said Pendleton.

Pendleton also shared that he’s all for community owners investing in upgrades and tenant amenities to improve their communities as they see fit. Improving and upkeep takes financial resources, which are inevitably passed on to the residents. While that’s the case, items that Renteria proposes confuse him.

I’m confused by the Council Member Renteria’s quote of,There’s huge mobile home parks now being built all along the Eastern Crescent, on the border of the city.’ ‘This is a little urgent now because there are so many in the pipeline.’” 

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One of Robert’s Resorts communities in TX.

Pendleton continued by saying, “I know Scott Roberts got a rezoning approval for the construction of a new community, but the quote gives the implication there are tons of parks under development.  I’d of course love it if that were actually the case, but other than Robert’s Resorts, I’m not aware of any.

In fact, the city just turned down a request to allow for a new community to be developed after neighbors showed up to oppose it.

Pendleton also calls the lack of logistical details in the ordinance into question.

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Video and this still from Roberts Resorts are from an exclusive interview, A Cup of Coffee with Scott Roberts of Roberts Resorts, with more photos and videos – linked here.

The vote on this proposal was delayed.

Daily Business News will continue to monitor this story.  Pendleton’s commentary and more related information are found, linked here.##

(Image credits as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Texas City would Restrict Manufactured Housing to under 20 Years

April 18th, 2016 Comments off

manufactured_home__george_west_texas__kristv.com__crditFollowing a story MHProNews last posted July 22, 2015 regarding the Huntsville (TX) City Council attempt to prohibit manufactured homes (MH) inside the city, the council will consider two ordinances relating to manufactured homes at their meeting Tue., April 19, 2016, according to itemonline.

Previously, when the city council was going to ban new MH, Texas Manufactured Housing Association Executive Director D. J. Pendleton documented to the council that 843 MH had been sold to people with Huntsville addresses from 2011 to 2014, causing them to back off.

The new ordinance would prevent any MH older than 20 years from siting in the city, including in MHCs, although existing homes would be grandfathered in. However, if the owner upgrades, the replacement home cannot be more than 20 years old, and it must have outdoor storage.

Additionally, the ordinance requires that manufactured home communities (MHCs) conform to the same standards as any subdivision, and mandates that new standards be developed for MH home sites.

Under a proposed ordinance to the development code, recreational vehicles (RVs) could no longer be used as permanent residences within the city limits, although existing RVs so used would be grandfathered in.

As for existing MH under the new ordinance, they would all need to be skirted regardless of age. MHCs must have: a buffer zone around the community; paved impervious road surfaces to allow for emergency vehicles; screening around any dumpster area; and improve the utility infrastructure for safety reasons.

The Tue. meeting will also be the first reading of the proposed ordinances as well as a public hearing. No action will be taken unless a motion is made to waive the first reading rule and be approved by a majority vote. ##

(Photo credit: kristv.com–manufactured home, George West, Texas)

Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Texas City Reverses Decision, Votes to Allow Manufactured Housing

July 22nd, 2015 Comments off

mh_transportation___rileystransport_creditFollowing up on a post MHProNews wrote July 13, 2015, regarding the Huntsville, Texas, City Council’s vote to prohibit the new siting of manufactured homes within the city limits, D. J. Pendleton, Executive Director of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA), informs MHProNews the city council reversed its decision. The first reading produced a 5-2 vote in favor of prohibition, but a law does not take effect until the second reading.

D. J. and his staff determined 843 manufactured homes were sold to customers with Huntsville addresses from 2011 to 2014. Additionally, data revealed nearly two-thirds of Huntsville residents are renters, and of these, 61.8 percent spend over 35 percent of their income on housing, clearly denoting a need for affordable housing in the city.

He says Gary Adamek of Reliable Homes and Les Stone with Clayton Homes plus local citizenry testified to the need of MH at the council meeting last night (July 21), which “serves as an example to all those in our industry about the power of local political engagement.” In the words of one-time Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, Thomas Phillip “Tip” O’Neill, “All politics is local.##

(Photo credit: Riley Transport)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.