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Resilience Pays Off, a Win for MH Owners

March 8th, 2017 Comments off
ResiliencePaysOffaWinforMHOwnerscreditWyomingPublicMedia2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Jason Halvorsen in front of his home. Credit: Wyoming Public Media.

Wheatland, Wyoming resident and manufactured home owner Jason Halvorsen had a busy Thursday last week.

He made the drive from his home to the Wyoming State Legislature in Cheyenne, with good reason. He wanted to be present when Governor Matt Mead signed a piece of legislation that he sparked, and that would change his life.

 

This is the end. The nervousness was 9 months ago when I got told no at the bank,” said Halvorsen.

The piece of legislation that was signed was Bill 56, which fixes an oversight in how manufactured homes are titled. Wyoming does not currently extend the same rights to manufactured home owners as it does for site built homeowners.

And, without an accurate title, Halvorsen could not get a loan or mortgage on his property, which started the process. Frustrated, he reached out to his representative, Tyler Lindholm.

BillCouldImproveEconomicMobilityforMHOwnerscreditWikipedia-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Rep. Tyler Lindholm. Credit: Wikipedia.

This causes a headache for financial institutions, and ultimately limits the economic mobility of mobile [sic] homeowners,” said Lindholm.

It affects a huge amount of people who have gone through this problem over the years, and it closes this loop hole in our law where people will actually be able to get loans on their property if they so choose.

According to Wyoming Public Media, when Lindholm presented the bill to the governor, he said it was by far the hardest piece of legislation he had ever worked on.

Title law is tough as it turns out. And I’m really really glad we’re closing up this hole for individuals like Jason.

Governor Mead thanked both men for their work on the issue, and then signed the bill into law. For Halvorsen, it was a relief. After getting a job offer, he needed to find a home, and his manufactured home was the only one that would work.

I made seven trips down here in two weeks to find homes. I looked at homes. Looked at homes. Looked at homes,” said Halvorsen.

This was the only one that would remotely fit what I needed. I knew it wasn’t perfect but the price was ok. And I could make it work.

ResiliencePaysOffaWinforMHOwnerscreditWyomingPublicMedia-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Wyoming Public Media.

After making a number of upgrades to the home, he wanted to refinance.

And then the issues began.

After going to see a banker, Halvorsen was told that they couldn’t help him, because he didn’t have the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin for his manufactured home.

The Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin is kind of like a flimsy piece of paper. So people don’t realize it’s important and that it needs to be taken down to the courthouse,” said banker Georgann Martinez.

The former owner of Halvorsen’s house never did, and when he reached out to the man, he got word that he had passed away.

He went to the County Clerk to get a duplicate, and the clerk told him it was not possible.

After that, Halvorsen went to a co-worker who he thought might be able to help. Turns out that co-worker was Tyler Lindholm.

He brought me this situation one time during lunch break and said hey this is happening. Can we fix this? And that started all this,” said Lindholm.

And the rest is history.

The Daily Business News originally covered the story of Lindholm’s progress with Bill 56 in a story linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Ohio Manufactured Homes Association Calls for Help

March 7th, 2017 Comments off
OhioManufacturedHomesAssociationCallsforHelpcreditOMHA-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: OMHA.

The Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) tells MHProNews that the Ohio General Assembly House of Representatives Finance Committee is currently reviewing proposed language in House Bill 49.

The bill proposes to abolish the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission, delivering a potentially devastating setback to the industry in the state.

If the Commission is abolished, the Ohio Department of Commerce would regulate the industry in the state, resulting in bureaucratic delays, according to the OMHA .

The organization is asking for help from those in the state of Ohio, by calling and emailing state representatives and urging them to contact members of the House Finance Committee.

OMHA has set up links for ease of use in making contact and spreading the word.

You can have an email letter sent on your behalf here, or you can go here and enter your zip code to get contact information for representatives in your area to call.

A script that can be utilized is linked here.

As Daily Business News readers already know, the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) is a not for profit organization whose strategic vision strives to make manufactured housing a standard way of life in Ohio.

For additional commentary from OMHA Executive Director Tim Williams, including his take on actions by President Donald Trump that affect the manufactured housing industry, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews

“Texas Park Girl” Set for Trial

March 7th, 2017 Comments off
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JoLeigh Ares walks into court. Credit: KRGV TV.

In a case that the Daily Business News has followed since 2013, JoLeigh Ares, former beauty queen and one time manufactured home dealer and owner of Park Girl Sales in the Rio Grand Valley of Texas, is headed for trial for multiple cases of consumer fraud.

The trial that was supposed to begin today has been moved to June 19th in Brownsville.

Ares received a total of 228 complaints, according to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ Manufactured Housing Division (MHD).

Ten of these were referred to the state attorney general’s office as potential deceptive trade practice issues, and 75 were dismissed because evidence was insufficient or the MHD did not have jurisdiction.

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid then filed a lawsuit on behalf of over 40 consumers who did not receive their manufactured home, did not receive title to the home or received a home that carried past debt. Claims against Ares at one time totaled nearly $3 million.

According to KRGV TV, Ares was formally charged with theft of property and securing the execution of documents by deceit.

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Credit: KRGV TV.

The criminal indictment stated at least six victims had their money taken away when they attempted to purchase mobile homes from her business in 2011.

Court documents also showed she allegedly stole between $100,000 and $200,000.

The Daily Business News will continue to monitor this story closely and provide updates as they become available.

More coverage on the case is linked here, and here.

For more on “bad actors” across the country, including cases in Florida and West Virginia, click here, and here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews

A Call for Changes at FEMA

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off
WhileHundredsRemainDisplacedSolutionsSitIdlecreditYahoo-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

New model FEMA units in Louisiana. Credit: Yahoo.

Testimony by former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate this week to the House Homeland Security Committee’s Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee, included some very stern words about the current state of the organization. That included the call for experienced leadership.

FEMA is not the place for on-the-job-training,” said Fugate.

A new administrator should understand that FEMA’s response to disasters and crisis situations isn’t about putting FEMA in charge. Rather, it’s about the agency stepping up to help local, state and tribal governments, as well as other federal agencies in those situations,” said Fugate.

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Craig Fugate. Credit: FCW.

According to FCW, Fugate had been the FEMA administrator since 2009, but quietly stepped down in January as the Trump administration took office.

While at FEMA, Fugate worked on multiple fronts to speed and improve the agency’s response capabilities, including better harnessing digital media, including smart phone apps that let citizens report problems using photos and GPS coordinates for trouble spots in disaster areas.

The position remains officially vacant, with Robert Fenton Jr., the agency’s administrator for Region IX, in place as acting administrator.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, Fenton was asked by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HOGR) chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) for answers after discovering a slew of problems with FEMA’s use of post-disaster temporary housing in Louisiana, including the death of 84-year-old Baton Rouge resident Everett Wilson in his temporary FEMA home on October 25th from overheating.

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A family looks at the remains of their home after the Louisiana floods. Credit: NOLA.

House lawmakers were in agreement with Fugate, noting that the agency needs a seasoned emergency responder to fill the leadership position and to continue its forward momentum.

We need an experienced manger to lead FEMA,” said subcommittee Chairman Dan Donovan (R- NY).

Ranking member Donald Payne (D-NJ) also commented.

The new administration must be engaged with FEMA as threats grow and evolve,” said Payne.

FEMA’s development and work has become increasingly effective post-Hurricane Katrina,” he said. “A pause in naming a new administrator could slow that momentum.

Fugate also said that the next FEMA leader has to be a person of action, not one that waits for information to trickle in during a crisis.

FEMA can’t be an organization that can’t take risks,said Fugate.

Action is a strength that sometimes produces mistakes.”

For more on FEMA, including in-depth coverage of the agency’s response to the Louisiana floods, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Habits to Make or Break for a Cleaner, Healthier Home

March 2nd, 2017 Comments off
HabitstoMakeorBreakforaCleanerHealthierHomecreditMHLivingNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: MHLivingNews.

It never fails. No matter how much you clean, it always seems that something comes up, spills, or gets dirt on it.

Why? Over the course of time, things happen. But, there are some things that you can do – or stop doing – to keep your home cleaner.

According to Houzz, there are a few common habits that you break to keep your home a cleaner, and healthier place to be.

HabitstoMakeorBreakforaCleanerHealthierHomecreditMHLivingNews2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: MHLivingNews.

If you’re walking around with your shoes on in the house, let your pets on the furniture, toss your clothes over the back of a chair or hoard stuff, this is for you.

The full article, available on MHLivingNews, is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHARR: President Trump’s Actions Offer Major Opportunity for MH Industry and Consumers

February 28th, 2017 Comments off
MHARRPresidentTrumpsActionsOfferMajorOpportunityforMHIndustryandConsumerscreditWikipediaMHARR-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: MHARR, Wikipedia.

Washington, D.C., February 28, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that Executive Orders issued by President Trump within the past thirty days provide an unprecedented opportunity for the federally-regulated manufactured housing industry and American consumers who rely upon manufactured homes.

The orders, says MHARR, fulfill the campaign promises by the President to significantly curtail the “regulatory state,” provide a solid basis for the industry and consumers to seek the elimination or modification of needless, job-killing federal regulations that unnecessarily increase the cost of the nation’s most affordable homes.

President Trump’s actions also provide a foundation for fundamental reforms to the manufactured housing program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to bring the program into full compliance with the landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

MHARR says that executive orders issued on January 30th and February 24th require virtually all federal agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed for each new regulation added to the agency. Further, the agencies must designate a “Regulatory Reform Officer” and appoint a “Regulatory Reform Task Force” to identify regulations that eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation that are outdated, unnecessary or ineffective.

In combination with the government-wide regulatory freeze order implemented January 20th, and the pending confirmation of Dr. Ben Carson, as HUD Secretary, MHARR says that these mandates offer potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the industry and consumers to put a severely out-of-touch and out-of-control federal manufactured housing program back on-track.

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M. Mark Weiss. Official Photo.

The stance of the Trump Administration on the needless regulatory burdens confronting America’s small businesses is a godsend for the manufactured housing industry and the mostly lower and moderate-income Americans who rely on its homes for affordable, non-subsidized housing,” said MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss.

With these new policies, the industry and consumers have an unprecedented opportunity to achieve and cement in place the major program reforms mandated by Congress in the 2000 reform law. While MHARR intends to aggressively pursue this opportunity, it cannot be the only industry organization seeking fundamental change to put the federal program back on track.

The go-along-to-get-along segment of the industry, accordingly, has a crucial decision to make – to either embrace fundamental change, or continue protecting an unacceptable and indefensible status quo.

The full release from MHARR is linked here.

For MHARR’s comments on the State Administrative Agencies (SAA) funding rule, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MH Presented as Solution for Affordable Housing

February 24th, 2017 Comments off
MHPresentedasSolutionforAffordableHousingcreditKRISTV-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: KRIS TV.

In Corpus Christi, Texas, Andy Taubman has once again presented manufactured housing as an affordable solution to an ongoing challenge for the city.

Taubman, former chairman of the Streets Committee, believes that using manufactured homes as infill is viable, and has proposed the solution to the city council on two separate occasions in the past. He has also been willing to place two manufactured homes at his cost on property he owns as a demonstration.

According to the Caller-Times, Taubman’s proposal last year drew criticism from former council members, in part because of questions about how long the homes would last.

When Taubman presented to the council this week, he said once again that he would self-fund two demonstration projects on lots he already owns, and the design of the homes would have a similar look to traditional pier-and-beam constructed homes.

The council responded with strong support for Taubman’s proposal.

MHPresentedasSolutionforAffordableHousingcreditThePaperTrail-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Andy Taubman. Credit: The Paper Trail.

It’s the right path to resolve an issue we’ve had for a long time,” said City Councilwoman Paulette Guajardo.

The council made a motion directing city staff to work with Taubman to evaluate manufactured housing as a possibility to help address affordable housing options.

A follow-up presentation from Taubman is planned for March 21.

The city is interested in affordable housing but so far it’s all been talk,” said City Councilman Joe McComb.

So this may move it down the football field a little bit.

McComb also said he was looking forward to seeing the demonstration projects, noting that Taubman believes enough in the model to put his own money into it.

In addition to Taubman’s proposal, city leaders have several options under consideration, some of which are seeking the council’s support to secure government grant money to build.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, MHProNews and MHLivingNews continue to cover the challenges as well as the numerous advantages that the manufactured housing industry provides in the U.S., making affordable, quality housing easily available to most of the population.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach provides deep insight into this opportunity in Obstacles and Opportunities in Affordable Housing – October 2016, and the understanding that the solution to affordable housing is hiding in plain sight.

For more on Taubman’s prior efforts in Corpus Christi, click here, and here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Bill Could Improve Economic Mobility for MH Owners

February 22nd, 2017 Comments off
BillCouldImproveEconomicMobilityforMHOwnerscreditIsemanHomes-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A manufactured home in Wyoming. Credit: Use Man Homes.

Wyoming, a state with one of the highest populations of people residing in manufactured homes, is working on leveling the playing field for owners.

According to Wyoming Public Media, the state does not currently extend the same rights to manufactured home owners as it does for site built homeowners, but House Bill 56, which is now before the Senate, would fix an oversight in how manufactured homes are titled.

Representative Tyler Lindholm (R-Sundance) sponsored the bill, after hearing from a constituent who was struggling to get a title because he needed one that assessed his manufactured home and his land as one piece of property.

BillCouldImproveEconomicMobilityforMHOwnerscreditWikipedia-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Rep. Tyler Lindholm. Credit: Wikipedia.

Without an accurate title, the constituent could not get a loan or mortgage on his property.

This causes a headache for financial institutions, and ultimately limits the economic mobility of mobile [sic] homeowners,” said Lindholm.

It affects a huge amount of people who have gone through this problem over the years, and it closes this loop hole in our law where people will actually be able to get loans on their property if they so choose.

The bill clarifies the transfer of titles for manufactured homes from one owner to another, and takes into account that the home might also be moving from one piece of land to another.

With the high number of state residents who live in manufactured homes, Lindholm believes this can help many residents who are currently stuck in limbo.

Banks won’t deal with them, and title companies are scrambling to get them a title but they can’t because of this little tiny hole in Wyoming law, said Lindholm.

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Mountain View Estates, Laramie, Wyoming. Credit: Shannon Broderick.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, the state of Wyoming has been working on various ordinances for manufactured housing and RV’s over the last year, in addition to House Bill 56. For more on the MH and RV ordinances, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Op-Ed Takes City to Task, Advocates for MH as Solution

February 22nd, 2017 Comments off
OpEdTakesCitytoTaskAdvocatesforMHasSolutioncreditCrownVilla-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home in the Crown Villa community in Bend, Oregon. Credit: Crown Villa.

Former Bend, Oregon mayor and property firm president Allan Bruckner, recently penned an op-ed in The Bulletin, which makes the case for manufactured housing as a solution to the city’s affordable housing crisis.

One of the obvious and most talked about problems in Bend is our need for affordable housing. Yet so far there has been no effective approach to solving this need. There has been some success for apartments, which require a subsidy to the developer, but very little progress for single-family dwellings,” wrote Bruckner.

Why not consider a subdivision based on factory-built housing (previously called mobile homes [sic]) that doesn’t require a subsidy. Economical factory housing is advertised for around $50 per square foot, whereas low-cost, site-built housing in Bend costs around $100 per square foot for a 900- to 1,200-square-foot house. (Costs for land, water, sewer and road are additional.)

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Allan Bruckner. Credit: Source Weekly.

Bruckner continued, speaking very strongly about the negative perceptions of manufactured housing, and how it needs to change.

While they have a historic negative image as creating slum like conditions, or depreciating like junk, that need not be the case,” wrote Bruckner.

For example, consider the successful local examples such as the Romaine Village subdivision or the Crown Villa mobile home park. Each has provided safe, code-compliant, low-cost housing for over 40 years! Each remains very attractive after these 40 years. Why not develop such a project today? And such a project could address a large number of housing units, not like a few ‘ADUs’ (accessory dwelling units) here and there.”

Bruckner went on to discuss the Juniper Ridge industrial park, and its failure over the last 10 years, as an option for the city to redesignate in parts for extensive affordable housing.

He also called for specific restrictions to make sure that it happens.

Of course, just rezoning land for housing will not guarantee its use for low-cost housing, so specific restrictions are necessary,” wrote Bruckner.

To make this truly low-cost housing, the city should make the land available free. At an average price of $100,000 per lot in Bend, combined with factory-built housing at about half the price of site-built houses, this would be a huge savings. With perhaps 10 units per acre, and developing 20 or 30 acres, this approach would have a major impact on availability of affordable housing.

OpEdTakesCitytoTaskAdvocatesforMHasSolutioncreditBendBulletin-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The Juniper Ridge Industrial Park. Credit: Bend Bulletin.

In closing, Bruckner pointed to the need for the housing, and for action.

The need is obviously great. If we really want to provide affordable housing, why not free land? After all, the city got the land for $1 from the county, which got it free from Bureau of Land Management. Understandably, there would have to be controls so the resident gets the benefit of free land, and doesn’t get a windfall upon resale, but those are solvable legal issues. (Perhaps the city places a lien on the property, maybe releasable gradually over time),” wrote Bruckner.

It could provide a huge increase in affordable housing with limited out-of-pocket costs to taxpayers. If this problem is to be addressed, it is time for bold action.” ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Nation Looks to Shipping Containers for Migrant Housing

February 15th, 2017 Comments off
NationLookstoShippingContainersforMigrantHousingcreditFOXNews1-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A makeshift migrant camp near the Serbian border. Credit: FOX News.

The nation of Hungary is looking to container housing to solve a growing problem at border camps, as migrants wait for their asylum requests to be settled.

According to FOX News, human rights advocates have noted that Hungary was already holding large numbers of asylum-seekers in closed camps and that the massive, indiscriminate detention of all asylum-seekers “has not been seen in decades in democratic Europe.”

Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, has been outspoken on the issue of immigration, echoing a sentiment similar to that of President Donald Trump.

NationLookstoShippingContainersforMigrantHousingcreditDeutscheWelle-ViktorOrban-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Prime Minster Viktor Orban. Credit: Deutsche Welle.

Once new rules are in place, any migrants detained anywhere in Hungary without documents allowing them to be in the country will be returned across the border,” said Janos Lazar, Orban’s chief of staff.

The strong words from the Orban Administration have also drawn criticism.

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Janos Lanzar. Credit: Morning Ag Clips.

The government would do better instead to improve the quality of the open reception centers and spend this money on the integration of people who have found asylum in Hungary,” said the Hungarian Helsinki Committee in a statement.

The committee has also vowed to sue Hungary at the European Court of Justice in every case where asylum-seekers are illegally kept in custody, which would likely force the country to make compensation payments.

Currently, asylum seekers with claims that are under appeal are housed in mostly open camps, and some leave for other destinations in Western Europe before their appeals are decided.

Any migrants detained within five miles of the border are routinely sent back across the fences Hungary has built on its southern borders with Serbia and Croatia.

Lazar says that the measures have to be enacted in instances like this, when Hungary has declared a state of emergency due to mass migration.

It is clear that the security situation in Europe has deteriorated, not improved,” said Lazar.

Turkey is presently defending the borders of Europe. We would like to strengthen the Hungarian border.

Lazar also said that the country was ready to build a second, stronger fence if needed, on its southern borders, in addition to building several small bases along the fence for the thousands of border police.

Hungary granted asylum or some form of protection to 425 people in 2016. It received 29,432 applications.

FacedWithHousingShortageNationTurnstoUnusedContainerscreditSputnikNews2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A Svenska Containerhus. For the full article on containers being used for housing in Sweden, click below or on the photo.  Credit: Twitter, Sputniknews.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, other nations have also turned to shipping containers as a potential solution to their housing crises due to an influx of immigrants.

Sweden has looked to Peter Eriksson, CEO of Svenska Containerhus to repurpose surplus shipping containers, and in Canada, the city of Vancouver is turning containers into single suites to battle their housing crisis.

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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