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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Housing and Urban Development’

HUD Updates: Safety Precautions or Regulatory Overreach?

September 9th, 2017 Comments off

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is preparing to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would make updates to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, according to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS).

They state that the proposed rules have been adopted at the recommendation of the HUD Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). This is in addition to another proposed rule that is currently under review, which will have a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published sometime in September.

According to the reginfo.gov website, the proposed rule is based on the third set of MHCC recommendations to update and improve various aspects of the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards,” according to OHS.

It would add new standards that would establish requirements for carbon monoxide detection, stairways, fire safety considerations for attached garages, and for draftstops when there is a usable space above and below the concealed space of a floor/ceiling assembly, and it also would establish requirements for venting systems to ensure that proper separation is maintained between the air intake and exhaust systems.”

MHARR responds

In a press release, linked here, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) pointed out that even though these proposed rules may be “based on the third set of recommendations” by MHCC, those recommendations were subjected to editorial revisions” by HUD.

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Featured image credit, Brady Homes.

MHARR also reminded industry members that in the past, those revisions have been used by HUD to significantly modify the MHCC recommendations.

MHARR has spoken out on more than one occasion about excessive regulations being created by HUD, including the recent issues regarding federal preemption on a number of issues including fire sprinklers, and a proposed Frost-Free Interpretive Bulletin.

MHARR will continue to carefully monitor the rulemaking process for this new round of manufactured housing standards to ensure that the program does not engage in its customary manipulations in violation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000,” per MHARR. ## (News.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

Lois Starkey, Pam Danner, Manufactured Housing Institute, Fire Sprinklers, MHARR Reacts

September 6th, 2017 Comments off
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Lois Starkey, left, Richard A Dick Jennison, center, HUD’s Pam Danner, right. Fire sprinkler image credit is as shown, collage credit, MHProNews.com.

Sources in the Washington, D.C. metro area tell MHProNews that one of former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Vice President Lois Starkey’s “pet interests” related to fire sprinklers and their use in manufactured homes.

As the Daily Business News previously reported, Starkey left MHI with no official announcement.

Just a few weeks the head of the manufactured housing program at HUD, Pam Danner, JD, announced that Starkey was joining Danner’s team.

Since her arrival at HUD, the subject of fire sprinklers in manufactured homes has suddenly heated up. Coincidence?

Industry Concerns

Manufactured Home Community (MHC) operators, retailers, and producers are among those who have long opposed the use of such sprinklers in HUD Code homes.  They cite the fact that manufactured homes are already safer than conventional housing, as this linked report and fire safety study detailed.  They also note that sprinklers can be added as an option, instead of forced upon consumers who may not want them.

Communities and retailers point out that due to the added costs, the National Association of Home Builder research documented could “price out” potentially hundreds of thousands of home buyers.

Community operators and retailers also note that sprinklers aren’t practical in many locations nationally. There may not be enough water pressure for sprinklers to do their job properly. In other words, they could be a waste of money.

MHARR Reacts

MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNewsThe Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has informed MHProNews in a release about a related issue on federal preemption, fire sprinklers and HUD regulated manufactured housing.

A letter from MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss to the Director of Maryland Codes Administration, Norman Wang, expressed their view of that state’s lack of understanding for federal preemption under the “Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.”

Wang claims that MHIA of 2000 “does not preclude a local government from setting its requirement of fire sprinkler[s] in manufactured homes.”

But the communique from MHARR pointed out that the federal HUD Code is not meant to be looked at as “minimum standards.”

Regulatory overreach issues like these are not often contested by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). What MHARR and other industry professionals say could be avoided because of federal preemption, is in fact being tacitly if not actively allowed by HUD, they say.

That’s an issue that JD Harper and the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association have addressed, and which several other state association executives reportedly share too.

LoisStarkeyFormerlyVPManufacturedHousingInstituteRichardADickJennisonPresidentCEOMHIDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryReportsResearchDataMHProNews

See the report by clicking the image above.

The current management analyst for HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing, and prior Vice President (VP) of Regulatory Affairs for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has reportedly pushed for this sprinkler requirement in the past.  That may also explain in part why HUD felt comfortable neglecting to protect federal preemption on this issue.

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Featured image credit, Brady Homes.

HUD is pushing for various new regulations. MHARR and others say oversteps the agency’s mandate, as well as the new policies of the Trump Administration.


For more from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform and their complete release and letter cited above on the issue of fire sprinklers, click here. ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson’s Critics, and Response

September 4th, 2017 Comments off
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HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Fox News “Special Report.” Featured image credit, Fox News, YouTube.

Not everyone at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) believes that Secretary Ben Carson deserves his place as head of the sprawling agency.

This has been apparent even before Carson was confirmed as HUD’s new secretary, as reported by the Daily Business News back in January.

People feel disrespected,” one HUD employ told NYMag. “They see Carson and think, I’ve been in housing policy for 20 or 30 years, and if I walked away, I would never expect to get hired as a nurse.”

NYMag recently posted an article titled “Is Anybody Home at HUD?”

The article is one of several that criticizes Carson’s leadership skills, and ability to effectively run HUD.

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Image credit, Wikipedia.

By the time I left, almost 90 percent of our budget was to help people stay in their homes,” Shaun Donovan told NYMag.

So when you have a 15 percent cut to that budget, by definition you’re going to be throwing people out of their homes,” Donovan said. “You’re literally taking vouchers away from families, you’re literally shutting down public housing, because it can’t be maintained anymore.”

Among those critics are some within the manufactured housing industry who think that Dr. Carson doesn’t yet get it about the tremendous needs, quality and opportunities that HUD regulated manufactured homes offer.  A few mentioned to the Daily Business News the clear video statement by his predecessor, shown below.


The Other Side of HUD’s Coin, Carson Responds

The retired, famous neurosurgeon was calm and seemingly unfazed by the critics. When asked last Wednesday during an interview for Fox News’Special Report,” Secretary Carson focused on plans not spitballs. He spoke about his hopes for the future of the agency, which industry professionals know also regulates federally preemptive HUD Code manufactured housing.

With respect to the charge that HUD under him would be kicking people out of housing, Carson replied, “Let me just say first of all, our conviction is no eviction.

Carson said, “We will use whatever money we have in an extraordinarily efficient way.”  That would be in keeping with the Trump administration agenda, which noted recently that the federal workforce is down by some 11,000 people. That federal staff reduction was achieved mostly through attrition, already saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

A lot of it [i.e.: criticism] is politically motivated. Be that as it may, we have a deep bench [at HUD], a lot of people who are willing to step up to the plate and to help to fashion things and keep things moving in a positive direction,” Carson said. “Do recognize with some of the reorganization that we’ve done already, we’ve realized some tremendous savings.”

When asked what his vision for the agency was going forward, Carson answered by saying “It’s a bureaucracy, and I’m not a big fan of bureaucracy.”

He went on to say that, “Bureaucrats are people who think their rules are more important than the goals.”

Carson said he hopes to “recreate the way communities are done. … They need to be nurturing places. They need to be places that will help children to be able to maximize their potential. And not have a goal of just staying where their mother or grandmother was.”  Those sentiments are similar to those shared by manufactured housing advocate, Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.

Carson also pointed out that the federal budgets are not yet final.

Once they are finalized, HUD will use whatever money is given to them as efficiently as possible.

This is a concept that is foreign to a lot of people in Washington, the whole concept of efficiency and saving,” he said.

Though some may believe, like the HUD employees quoted in the NYMag article, that Dr. Carson is not qualified to manage the agency, he is optimistic that things can be turned around for the better.

I would say that you should ring the doorbell before you conclude that nobody’s at home. I don’t think they did a very good job at journalistic investigation there,” Carson said.

MHI and MHARR on Carson

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) were among the many industry professionals who have cheered Carson as the new head of HUD, there are also whispered concerns.

One was the omission during his interview on “Special Reportto even mention manufactured housing during the discussion of post-Harvey recovery.

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Vice President Mike Pence. Image credit, Wikipedia.

By contrast, as the Daily Business News reported, Vice President Mike Pence mentioned manufactured homes more than once in interviews, when asked about post-Harvey recovery. See that recent report, linked here.

Was that failure to mention manufactured homes an oversight by Secretary Carson?  Or a subtle signal of something else? ## (News, analysis.)

(Note: NYMag cites a 15 percent cut in funding to HUD, while Fox News cites 13 percent in the “Special Report.”)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

 

New Home Sales Drops Sharply, Why? Video

August 26th, 2017 Comments off
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Image credits, MHProNews/Pixabay.

New home sales took a steep 9.4 percent drop in the month of July.  This occurred after a stronger start to 2017 for the first six months.

The figures are per the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announcement Wednesday.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), there were only 571,000 units sold in July. That’s the lowest number since December 2016, and the biggest drop since August 2016, per CBNC.

The sudden drop was a surprise to economists who expected a 0.3 percent gain.

Volatility

New home sales are volatile on a month-to-month basis.  On single and multi-family housing, the numbers are determined through building permits. Year-over-year, new home sales for July were down by 8.9 percent.

The Daily Business News reported last month that housing starts were up in the month of June.  That trend obviously did not continue into July, as both permits and housing starts declined along with new home sales.

The median cost of a new home in July was $313,700, and the average selling price was even higher at $371,200. That price dramatically limits the  potential buyers for a new home.

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Ian Sheperdson. Credit, Wikipedia.

This looks bad, but note that sales over the previous three months were revised up by a total of 46K,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macro, said Wednesday, per UPI. “Prices are rising too, but the data are so volatile that it’s hard to be sure what the underlying trend rate of increase is at any given point.”

Regardless of the trend, conventional housing at these prices are out of reach for low and median wage workers.

The housing market is being hampered by a shortage of properties, which is driving up home prices. The new housing market has not capitalized on the acute shortage because of supply constraints facing builders, including labor, land and finance,” per CNBC.

The Daily Business News has also previously reported that a lack of new home building is one of the biggest contributing factors in the current supply and demand gap.

However, the high cost of building is making it harder to build affordable housing.

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Featured image credits, MHProNews/Pixabay.

According to UPI, the national inventory increased 1.5 percent to 276,000 units in July, the highest recorded since 2009. Yet new home sales still dropped by almost 10 percent with that increased inventory.


As Credit Human’s veteran Barry Noffsinger said in a recent video, the woes of these broader housing market are an open invitation for manufactured housing professionals.

Perhaps when more professionals put Noffsinger’s tips to work, the nation can rise on the global stage in home ownership, where it currently lags behind dozens of other nations.  See that report, linked here. ## (News, Analysis)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews

Federal HUD Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint Case Update 

August 22nd, 2017 Comments off
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Scales, gavel, law image credit, WikiCommons.

According to a report to MHProNews by the Minnesota Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just finished an investigation that set out to determine whether or not community residents were denied the first right of refusal to buy the now-closed, Lowry Grove.

Under Minnesota law, homeowners in a manufactured housing community automatically get the first right of refusal if the community owner wants to sell the property.

That law provides a path for the community to stay together as a cooperative.  In the case of a possible redevelopment, it may mean the difference between keeping your manufactured home, or being forced to move homes to a new location…

…if that alternative locale is available.

The Daily Business News has previously reported on the impact the closure had on residents.

Credits are as shown, to see the latest story on the Lowry Grove saga, click the image above. Note: the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their National Communities Council were contacted for comments, and provided none.

Here’s the ruling, per MMHA.

Regarding its dismissal of the disparate impact claim, HUD stated;

To establish a prima facie case of discrimination in violation of Sections 804(a) and 804(b) of the Act based on disparate impact, the following elements must be met:

  1. The policy or practice in question negatively affects a particular protected class to a much greater extent than it affects others; and
  2. The disparity is actually caused by the policy or practice in question.

The first element has not been met because Complainants have not identified a facially neutral, generally applicable policy or practice; rather, they have identified a single act or decision of Respondent Lowry Grove to sell the Park to Respondent Village. Secondly, most of the residents of the Park are non-Hispanic and presumably, low income, thus, in all likelihood, the decision does not have a greater impact on Hispanic residents.

The second element is also not met because there is no policy or practice identified by Complainants. Rather, there is a single occurrence of the sale of the Park.

  1. CONCLUSION

For the reasons set forth above, there is no reasonable cause to believe that the Act was violated, as alleged. This Determination only addresses the violations of the Act alleged in the complaint and does not address any potential violations of any other provision of law. A determination is limited to the facts developed in a specific investigation and is not a determination of compliance with all requirements of the Act.”

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Collage of MMHA images, provided under fair use guidelines.

Interestingly, the investigation closed about the same time as some sort of additional relocation compensation for residents was agreed on by the city and the developer.

If you would like to read the full report from the Minnesota Manufactured Housing Association, click here.

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Offical photo, Keith Ellison, (D-MN). TExt and collage credit, MHProNews.

To see a recent and related article on Rep. Keith Ellison’s proposal for avoiding community closures, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

MHARR, MHI Statements on HUD’s Frost Free IB Rule

August 18th, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, MHARR, MHProNews.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is calling for the withdrawal of a proposed “Interpretive Bulletin” (IB) regarding “frost free” manufactured home foundations.

The IB violates multiple provisions of the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974. It also violates HUD’s own regulations and regulatory reform policies of President Trump, the MHARR said.

The HUD proposed ‘frost-free’ IB, at best, is a purported solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist,” Mark Weiss, MHARR President and CEO, stated in a press release to MHProNews.

“At worst, it represents indefensible regulatory overkill that will needlessly harm Americans and American small businesses, while it simultaneously seeks to illegitimately divest the role and authority of state governments with respect to the installation of manufactured homes.” Weiss said.

In either case, it should be resoundingly rejected by the Trump Administration and Secretary Carson.” Weiss stated.

MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNewsMHARR pointed to the American Action Forum (AAF) report finding “that federal rulemaking and the imposition of new federal regulatory burdens on American businesses and consumers has fallen to record-low levels during the first six months of the administration of President Donald J. Trump.

MHARR

As regular Daily Business News readers know, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association. They represent the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

While they do not claim to be an umbrella organization, they have in recent years become more involved in finance, community and retail related issues, because – as they put it – of the failure of the industry’s “post-production” sector to properly address such matters.

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Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

On the surface, MHARR and MHI’s position (click here) on this issue look similar. But unlike Lesli Gooch, Senior VP at MHI, Weiss goes to the heart of the matter. Without changing HUD program director Pam Danner, Weiss says, no changes will take place in the manufactured home program. See a prior report, with Gooch’s comments and Weiss’ sparks flying, linked here.

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Image credits, MHProNews/Pixabay.

Sources tell MHProNews that MHI has communicated to some state executives that the door is closed on the removal of Danner topic.

Not so for MHARR.

Weiss’ statement said, “the HUD manufactured housing program, under its current Administrator, continues to churn out reams of new unnecessary and unnecessarily-costly de facto regulatory mandates, including its proposed “frost-free” IB, designated “I-1-17.”

As MHARR’s comments demonstrate, the proposed IB is not, in fact, an “interpretation” of HUD’s existing standards at all, but rather, a disingenuous manipulation of the IB process to substantively alter the existing regulations – and impose costly new requirements on consumers and thousands of smaller industry businesses.

The MHARR goes on to point out that there is “no evidence whatsoever of systemic problems with “frost-free” manufactured housing foundations designed for – and used – in “freezing climates” under the existing HUD installation standards for homes.

Instead, they suggest that “the proposed IB is part of a broader pattern of action by the current administrator – an Obama Administration holdover parachuted into the HUD program nearly four years ago — which has substantially intensified the scope, extent, compliance burdens and costs of needless federal regulation on consumers and the industry, to the ultimate benefit of program contractors and industry competitors.”

Based on these violations of applicable law, HUD regulations and Trump Administration policy, MHARR’s comments call on HUD to withdraw the proposed IB.”

The entire MHARR release is linked here.  The MHARR comments letter on the frost free IB proposal, is linked here. ## (News, anlysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Makes a “Worst Case” Renter? What’s Happening in Washington to Address Their Needs?

August 16th, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, HUD.

The nation lacks enough affordable housing for hard-working families,” said Granger MacDonald, chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

As was previously reported at this link here, “Worst Case Housing Needs 2017 Report to Congress” was recently released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  It further confirms that affordable housing is increasingly out of reach for millions of renters in the United States.

The report found that 8.3 million households are now considered “worst case” renters.

HUD defines “worst case” renters as those who:

  • are very-low income, anyone making less than half of their areas median income;
  • with little or no rental assistance or subsidies;
  • who are either paying more than half their income on rent; and/or
  • are living in substandard housing.
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Illustration of problematic housing provided by MHProNews.com.

The places in the U.S. with the highest number of “worst case” renters are:

  • New York metropolitan area (815,000 renters)
  • Los Angeles metropolitan area (567,000 renters)
  • Chicago metropolitan area (242,000 renters)
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Worst Case Housing Needs growth chart. Credit, Washington Post.

The new report from HUD showing that more than 8.3 million very-low-income households spend more than half their income on rent or live in substandard housing is a painful reminder of the acute affordable housing crisis confronting our nation,” said MacDonald.

While the information in the HUD report is gathered from 2015 American Housing Survey data, it falls right in line with other recent reports on the increasing cost of rental housing.

The Daily Business News recently reported that increased rental rates are pricing people out of their homes.

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Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

Two years ago, our nation was still feeling the aftershocks of our housing recession with rents growing faster than many families’ incomes,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.  “After years of trying to keep up with rising rents, it’s time we take a more holistic look at how government at every level, working with the private market and others, can ease the pressure being felt by too many un-assisted renters.  Today’s affordable rental housing crisis requires that we take a more business-like approach on how the public sector can reduce the regulatory barriers so the private markets can produce more housing for more families.”

At 8.3 million very-low income households this is the second-highest number of “worst case” renters ever recorded by HUD. This issue spans across all demographics and regions, affecting individuals and families across the U.S.

Solutions are Plentiful, but the Obvious is Overlooked

With the affordable housing crisis only getting worse as time goes on a solution needs to be found.

There are a number of things the report suggests could be contributing to the increase in “worst case” renters including,

  • Increased competition for a shrinking supply of affordable housing,
  • The increasing number of people in need of rental assistance,
  • The availability of assistance on a federal level,
  • And increased rents and decreased homeownership.

Some observers believe that Congress, the Trump Administration, and HUD are all taking different approaches to the question of how best to provide worst case renters with relief, and possibly a better road to affordable homeownership.

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Overlooking the obvious. Credits are as shown, collage by MHProNews.com.

According to RIS Media, HUD says the Trump Administration is “seeking to stimulate the production and preservation of affordable housing…by pursuing housing finance reform [to] unwind the federal government’s role in the private mortgage market and ease the stress on rental markets.”

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Overlooking the obvious. Credits are as shown, collage by MHProNews.com.

A previous Daily Business News article featured a Fox News interview with HUD Secretary Ben Carson in regards to HUDs hopes to increase affordable housing opportunities.

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Another recent article takes a look at the back-and-forth between Congress and the Federal Housing Finance Agency on when new credit score policies should be put in place for prospective homebuyers.

Other efforts by Congress include the “Affordable Housing Credit Improvements Act of 2017”, which the National Association of Home Builders has urged them to pass.

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From the Government Accountability Office’s report on manufactured housing. Click the graphic above to download.

According to Mortgage News Daily the American Housing Credit Improvements Act would, “amend the Internal Revenue Code, renaming the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit as the “the affordable housing credit” and increasing state allocations for the credit and the cost-of-living adjustments.  It also revises the average income test for tenant eligibility requirements, and other requirements such as income eligibility for rural projects, increased tenant income, student occupancy rules, and tenant voucher payments that are considered rent.” 

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Granger MacDonald, chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Credit, Builder Magazine.

The bill also would also seek to make more affordable housing available through the following concessions to builders, developers, and property owners:

  • Establishes a 4% minimum credit rate for certain projects,
  • Permits relocation costs to be counted as rehabilitation expenditures,
  • Repeals the qualified census tract population cap,
  • Requires housing credit agencies to make certain determinations regarding community revitalization plans,
  • Prohibits local approval and contribution requirements,
  • Increases the credit for certain projects designated to serve extremely low-income households and for certain bond-financed projects designated by state agencies,
  • Increases the population cap for difficult development areas, and
  • Eliminates the basis reduction for affordable housing properties that are allowed the credit and receive certain energy-related tax credits and deductions.

The bill also “modifies requirements regarding the reconstruction or replacement period after a casualty loss, rights related to building purchases, the prohibition on claiming acquisition credits for properties placed in service in the previous 10 years, foreclosures, and projects that assist Native Americans.”

In support of the bill, NHAB’s MacDonald testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee earlier this month.

Fees, regulatory compliance, modern building and energy codes, building materials, land and labor costs determine whether a project is financial viable,” said MacDonald. “If we want to provide affordable rental housing for lower-income households, we cannot do so without a subsidy.”

Why Are so Few in D.C. Talking About the Manufactured Housing Solution?

There is a relative lack of discussion in Washington, D.C. about manufactured housing as a solution to the affordable housing crisis.  Yes, there is MHI’s Preserving Access, and Duty To Serve (DTS), or a steady stream of comments from MHARR.

But what about the voices beyond our industry, or in addition to those who are getting PAC dollars to lobby for a bill?

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Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. Tye and his family have extensive experience with factory built homes, and they are pro-manufactured homes and the opportunities they provide to people from all backgrounds and income levels.

As we think about housing in today’s world, the most important aspect should start with affordability. When home ownership is affordable, it has ancillary benefits,” said actively retired businessman, minister, and MH advocate Donald Tye, Jr.

It’s a fact that manufactured and even modular housing can both be built at a fraction of the cost of conventionally built housing – for both single-family and multi-family residences.

The issues that MacDonald suggested cannot be overcome without a subsidy, including…

  • Building materials
  • Labor costs
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Modern building and energy codes

…can all be accomplished more affordably through manufactured housing.

While improving circumstances for renters is important, creating a more realistic path to homeownership – which has been harmed since the implementation of Dodd-Frank – will, say industry voices, be more beneficial in the long run.

As Tye said, homeownership has ancillary benefits – but only when it’s affordable.

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Many desire to move from renting to owning, but often struggle to find that a real possibility in the current site-built market. The manufactured housing industry can offer a solution to that problem,” said millennial Lindsey Bostick, to our sister publication MHLivingNews.

Manufactured housing is more affordable, more reliable, and quicker to build. Similarly, modular housing presents the opportunity to create rental apartments at a much lower cost compared to building a new conventional building.

Today’s manufactured homes can look and live like a conventional, site-built house, and can be half the price of new construction. Additionally, many manufactured homes are Energy Star rated, so they are more efficient than older, existing homes,” the university-graduated Bostick said.

Cities like

are turning to manufactured and modular housing as a more affordable alternative.

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They all realized that the best way to combat the affordable housing crisis is to build more affordable housing, rather than searching for subsidies and other changes that after decades of ever more costly efforts have proved elusive.


Will Congress, the Trump Administration or HUD come together in favor of the solution that is sitting in front of them, waiting to be utilized? ##  (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

Additional HUD Position Confirmed

August 14th, 2017 Comments off

AnnaMariaFariasHUDAstSectFairHousingCreditSanAntonioExpressNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has filled one more of their vacant positions this week, per HousingWire.

On August 10, 2017 HUD announced that Anna Maria Farías had been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

She was sworn in by HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, as the Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

We’re thrilled to welcome Anna Maria back home to HUD,” said Secretary Carson.  “As she has in the past, Anna Maria will provide steady leadership and will advance HUD’s mission as a manifestation of our nation’s fair housing and civil rights laws.”

This isn’t the first time that Farías has had a leadership role within HUD.

Under the Busch Administration, she held roles as both Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs in the Office of Community Planning and Development, and Director of HUDs Center of Faith-based Community Initiatives, per The M Report.

In 2005 Farías also managed over $16 billion in grants for disaster recovery in the Gulf Coast regions affected by hurricanes.

As she had in the past, Anna Maria will provide steady leadership and will advance HUD’s mission as a manifestation of our nation’s fair housing and civil rights laws,” Carson said in the news release.

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HUD logo.

Farías is a Texas native.  She has also served on the Board of Regents at Texas Women’s University as both Board Chair and Presiding Officer.

Farías said she is happy to be returning to HUD, and is looking forward to her new role within the agency.

It is a singular honor to be asked by the President and the Secretary to return to an agency I love,” said Farías.  “I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting down to work on behalf of the American people.”

The mission of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is to eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity and achieve diverse, inclusive communities by leading the nation in the enforcement, administration, development and public understanding of federal fair housing policies and laws,” per Housing Wire.

Three Top HUD Vacancies Still Left

With Farías now taking on the role of Assistant Secretary of the Office for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, there are only three vacant positions left at HUD, said HousingWire.

According to the HUD website those positions include:

  • Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public and Indian Housing,
  • Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research (PD&R),
  • and Inspector Genera, Office of Inspector general.

Secretary Ben Carson has already said that he is pro-manufactured housing.

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The industry is seeking additional insights on top issues, such as his willingness to replace Pam Danner as the head of the manufactured housing program. ## (News.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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

July 26th, 2017 Comments off
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Was it something else that sent Starkey to HUD, other than the reported “friction?” See the report by clicking the image above.

In a release just minutes ago, the Daily Business News has been told by Pamela Beck Danner, JD, Administrator, Office of Manufactured Housing Programs the following.

Dear Manufactured Housing Partners and Stakeholders,

I am pleased to announce that Lois Starkey has joined the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs on Monday, July 24th as a Management Analyst.  Lois comes to HUD with 30 years of experience with the manufactured housing industry.  She was most recently Vice President Regulatory Affairs at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Prior to her work with MHI, she was a Legislative and Policy Associate for the National Council of State Housing Agencies. We are looking forward to utilizing Lois’ experience and expertise to improve the Federal Manufactured Housing Program and enhance working relationships with our state and inspection agency partners, manufactured housing consensus committee members, industry stakeholders, serving our 20 million manufactured housing homeowners nationwide.  Ms. Starkey is also no stranger to HUD since her job experience includes working in HUD’s Office of Congressional Relations.”

 Welcome back to HUD, Lois!”

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Pam Danner, JD, HUD Code Manufactured Housing Program Administrator, credit, MHProNews.

 MHProNews was the first that broke the news to the industry that Starkey had left MHI, in a semi-secretive fashion. To see that story, click the link here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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Photo by Mark Simon, of L. A. “Tony’ Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY. Kovach has a proven history of being for respect for residents, and pro-Industry. He is the publisher of the industry’s two largest and most popular trade media, MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

“Multiple Fatal Defects,” Association Calls HUD Secretary Carson to Enforce Trump’s Executive Order, re: HUD IB

July 5th, 2017 Comments off

AssociationWarnsHUDIBLetterStopDailyBusinessNewsReportsDataResortsMHProNewsThe Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manufactured housing program administrator, Pamela Beck Danner, JD, or another person there authorized the issue of an Interpretive Bulletin (IB) concerning “frost-free” and frost-protected manufactured housing foundations in freezing climates.

The HUD IB was issued on June 23, 2017, states the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).   That bulletin, MHARR tells MHProNews, has “multiple fatal defects.”

MHARR asked for manufactured home industry “Manufacturers, Retailers, And Communities” to be alerted to the impacts, and costs associated with the latest HUD IB.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) position on this IB is not clear to the Daily Business News at this time.  MHProNews has asked MHI for a comment, which has not yet been received as of the time of this report’s publication.

Citing the regulatory “freeze” order issued by the Trump Administration on January 20, 2017,” MHARR sent Dr. Carson a communication to Secretary Carson (copy attached), asking HUD:

(1) to state whether the proposed IB was reviewed and approved by an agency head or designee appointed by President Trump after Noon on January 20, 2017, as required by the “freeze” order;

(2) to identify any such official(s) or designee(s) who reviewed and approved the proposed IB; and

(3) to state whether that official was aware of the multiple fatal defects in the proposed IB that are detailed by MHARR in its communication.

The MHARR’s full release to MHProNews is linked here.

The copy of the letter sent to HUD Secretary, Dr. Carson is linked here. ##

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Note 1: Dr. Carson has been the subject of several recent reports and videos of interest to industry readers; one is linked here, and here.

Note 2: Pam Danner’s belated effort to ‘promote’ manufactured housing is linked here.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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