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HUD Secretary Ben Carson Praises Manufactured Housing, and the Manufactured Home Industry’s Importance to Solve Affordable Housing Crisis

April 26th, 2018 No comments

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The “U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson reaffirmed his commitment to reforming the Department’s manufactured housing program,” said the IMHA in a statement to the Daily Business News.

 

Secretary Carson stated the importance of manufactured housing as a source for addressing the nation’s affordable housing crisis and that HUD’s approach to the regulation of manufactured housing should change,” the Indiana state association said.

According to the economists, we are experiencing the biggest jump in housing prices in four years – prices are rising while the supply of housing is getting smaller. It’s basic supply and demand,” said Secretary Carson, M.D.  “That’s why everyone in this audience and the manufactured housing industry is so important – and that’s why I am here today.  You are a big part of the solution to providing unsubsidized, quality, affordable housing.”

The comments echoed what he said recently to a Senate oversight hearing in the video, posted below.

Secretary Carson said, “HUD is now positioned to usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination with your industry.  Make no mistake, we understand how you are vital to our economy and to our agency’s goal of making safe, quality, desirable and affordable homes for millions of hard working Americans.”

 

Secretary Carson recognized the work the industry is doing to make homes more affordable, while creating good jobs.

Secretary Carson noted that the Trump Administration appreciates all the efforts underway in the industry, specifically citing the use of a number of American suppliers and products when constructing manufactured homes.

Unlike his predecessor, Secretary Julian Castro who appeared at an MHI event via video, Dr. Carson made a personal appearance at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) annual meeting in Las Vegas. The Trump Administration has been widely seen as more business and regulatory friendly than prior ones. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Exclusives from HUD, and Attendees about Secretary Carson’s comments at MHI will be part of an upcoming report. Sign up for our emailed news updates for that notice, and to stay up with all of the industry’s most popular, best and most independent fact-based converge.

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Emerging Trends, Opportunities, Reflected in Interview with America’s First Black Billionaire, Robert Johnson

April 16th, 2018 No comments
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Credit, CNBC.

Industries, companies and professionals ignore or overlook emerging trends to their own peril.

 

Significant trends are emerging in the black community, that bear close attention, as a recent interview with America’s first black billionaire, Robert Johnson indicates.

 

Background

Nationally, under 9 percent of manufactured home residents are blacks or African Americans, per the research done by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for their 2014 white paper on manufactured housing.

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In places like the Chicago metro, there are some land lease communities that have sizable black populations.  In various parts of the country, the black population presents a well-established customer base for manufactured housing sales.

But more is possible, and needed.

As HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., noted last year, home ownership is statistically one of the keys to wealth building. Carson said that the typical renter has a net worth of about $5000, while the typical home owners net worth is about $200,000.

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In that observation, Carson echoes research produced by CFED (rebranded as Prosperity Now), or commentary by manufactured home advocate, the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.

The ideal outcome for the vast majority of Americans is to see more home ownership, and a decreasing need for subsidized housing.

In that regard, reams of research reflects the fact that manufactured housing is the all-star solution for largely unsubsidized homes that are affordable to the vast majority of the population. This is true in part because of its superior affordability – and as Carson noted – the surprising quality of modern manufactured homes.  See the related reports for more insights, linked at the end of this article.

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Tye explained that in his experience, subsidized public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction and other problems. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Home sales – conventional and manufactured – often track with employment data. As employment rises, and incomes grow, so too does housing sales.

 

Johnson’s Interview in that Context

In that context, the comments of BET founder Robert Johnson’s interview with CNBC are noteworthy for social, economic, political and opportunities to increase home ownership to a population that lags behind other racial groups.

RobertLJohnsonBETFounderRLJCompaniesFounderWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEwsPut differently, the improvements in black employment and earnings, combined with relatively low levels of home ownership are strong potential target markets for manufactured housing companies.

Some of the bullets by CNBC in the video interview with Johnson include:

  • The growing U.S. economy and improving business environment bringing black workers back into the labor force, BET founder Robert Johnson told CNBC.
  • When you look at that, you have to say something is going right,” Johnson says.

 

Highlights from Johnson’s Video Interview

In January, the Labor Department reported the unemployment rate among black workers was at its lowest since at least the early 1970s, when the government began tracking the data.  The unemployment rate for African Americans was unchanged in March at 6.9 percent.

When you look at that [January report], you have to say something is going right,” said Johnson, whom CNBC describes as a Democrat and founder BET and chairman of The RLJ Companies.

You have to take encouragement from what’s happening in the labor force and the job market,” Johnson said “When you look at African-American unemployment, … you’ve never had African-American unemployment this low and the spread between African-Americans and whites narrowing.”

Johnson said that means the jobs market is “soliciting employees who have been out of the labor force, some of it based on discrimination, some of it based on changes in education, access and technology changes.”

Johnson noted several positive initiatives undertaken by the Trump Administration. “I believe if you take into account the Trump tax cut, you take into account the drop in unemployment, … and you take into account that interest rates are fairly stable,” he said.

I believe the economy is on a strong growth path,” Johnson added. He said he didn’t think economic growth would hit 5 percent, which his friend and long-time CNBC contributor, Larry Kudlow, says could happen.  Kudlow recently joined the Oval Office’s economic advisory team.

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Working with POTUS Trump?

Johnson spoke about a job offer he received from Trump during the transition. He said he didn’t take the unnamed position because he didn’t want a government role, not because of any disagreement with the president or his policies.

No matter what the president would do,” Democrats and other political opponents would slam the president, Johnson said. He spoke about concerns over the “deep state.” But he stressed that “Something is going right,” for blacks and the nation as a whole.

 

Rhetoric and Charlottesville

Johnson told the president-elect during the transition, “Do not say, ‘what do you have to lose.’” Rather, he encouraged the president to talk about what they have to gain from a Trump Administration.

Those gains are now being felt.

Johnson said he’s met with the president since the transition. He spoke about his “access” to Steve Mnuchin, the Labor Department, and GOP leaders like Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).  Johnson said he’s working on issues related to “leakage” in “small dollar 401K accounts,” which if changed, would help blacks and others.

He also spoke about serving black banks, among numerous other issues raised.

 

Pressed by CNBC panelists on Charlottesville, the president’s rhetoric, and Donald Trump’s alleged racial bias from some quarters, Johnson said, “I don’t think he’s racist.”

 

RLJ Companies Insights

From third party sources, and from a listing on their website, the influence that Johnson has in the black community is apparent.  A few pull quotes from their website:

  • Johnson was named by USA Today as one of “The 25 Most Influential Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years.”
  • In 2014, three of Johnson’s holding companies were featured on the Black Enterprise 100s list: RML Automotive, LLC ranked 1st in a category of 60 in the auto dealership rankings; RLJ Equity Partners, LLC and RLJ Credit Management, LLC ranked 12th and 14th respectively on the private equity firms list.
  • Currently, Mr. Johnson serves on the following boards: RLJ Lodging Trust; RLJ Entertainment, Inc.; KB Home; Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; Retirement Clearinghouse; Elevate Credit, Inc.; The Business Council; and Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Johnson holds a Master’s degree in international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies from the University of Illinois.

 

The Bottom Lines?

Johnson is a highly educated, successful, and a very well-connected professional.  He clearly sees value to the Trump agenda for African Americans, but also for the nation at large.

As Johnson noted, the facts about rising employment, opportunities, and income for blacks are all good signs.

He’s met with the president on a number of occasions.  Johnson seems to believe that the president isn’t the racist that some of his opponents would have people believe. He clearly stated that the agenda is a good one for blacks and for the country.

Black Americans lag behind other ethnic groups in housing ownership.  The comments by Johnso – combined with insights from HUD Secretary Carson about the amazing” quality found in today’s manufactured homes – all point to potential opportunities for more industry professionals to better serve the needs of the black community.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Senator Thom Tillis Discuss Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes, Video

Carson noted several times last year that home ownership is important for wealth building, a point that manufactured home advocate the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. has also stressed. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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VP Mike Pence, Industry Voices Sound Off on Manufactured Housing Relief for Harvey Victims

August 31st, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, CNN.

The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery-housing missions that the nation has ever seen,” Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said during a news conference Monday. “It’s a long process. Housing is going to be very frustrating in Texas. We have to set the expectations.”

Since last Friday the Daily Business News has been tracking Hurricane Harvey, the devastation left in its wake, and what it could mean for manufactured housing.

What was originally estimated to be just under $40 billion in damages has quickly turned into $100 billion or more, per Newsmax.

The Daily Business News has also reported that FEMA is already gearing up for what Long estimates could be years trying to rectify housing needs in Texas.

Once you start to wrap up the life safety mission and you’re moving citizens who may be trapped or isolated, you’re trying to get them to a shelter, you’re trying to minimize the time that they spend in that shelter,” said Long.

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Brock Long, Administrator of FEMA. Image credit, Congressional Fire Services Institute.

As the search and rescue phase begins to draw to a close, thousands of households are thinking in terms of long-term shelters. FEMA’s goal is to support Texas – and now Louisiana – to get storm victims out of shelters and into some form of semi-permanent or permanent housing near their communities and jobs, as much as possible.

Housing is going to be very frustrating in Texas,” Long said. “And we have to set the expectations. But we already have disaster housing assessment teams on site. We’re already working very proactively with the state.”

Those who have no financial means to obtain new housing will have access to disaster assistance, which will find them accommodations at motels or apartments.

So far, more than 22,000 have begun the application process for emergency disaster assistance, per USA Today.

The goal of this is, if we can’t put you back in your home because it’s destroyed or because the floodwaters are there and are going to be there a while, we want to get you out of the long-term sheltering,” Long said.

FEMA’s Manufactured Homes Will Be an Option for Thousands Displaced by the Storm

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Vice President Mike Pence. Image credit, Wikipedia.

Thousands of manufactured homes are pre-positioned to respond,” said Vice President Mike Pence to Sean Hannity on his radio show.

FEMA says that this time, manufactured homes are being used as a last resort accommodation, when there are no longer hotels or apartments available for housing.

The last resort is to bring in manufactured homes and travel trailers,” Long said.

But that is a long process,” he added. “We don’t start dragging in manufactured homes and travel trailers right off the bat. They’re not going to be on your property tomorrow by any means.”

While Long said that they will bring in manufactured housing, but will also use travel trailers, at least one industry professional is questioning the accuracy of that statement.

Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) says he thinks that inaccurate.

Well, they’re lumping manufactured housing in with RVs, which is wrong factually and also not FEMA policy as I understand it.  That policy is to use federally regulated HUD Code housing and not RVs,” Weiss told MHProNews.

In his interview with Hannity, Vice President Pence added that manufactured homes would be available sooner “thanks to president Trump signing a disaster declaration before the storm even hit.”

Pence used the correct terminology each time he spoke about the issue of manufactured homes.  A HUD Code producer in Indiana, where Pence was governor, told MHProNews that the vice-president he was “well informed” on the issues, including the use of proper nomenclature.

Another source concurred.

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Credits, IMHA, MHProNews.com.

Vice President Pence is well versed in manufactured housing,”  Ronald L. Breymier, Executive Director, Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) told MHProNews.He is originally from Columbus, Indiana and even before he was elected Governor he was familiar with our industry due to a friendship with one IMHA-RVIC’s board members (now deceased) who owned manufactured housing communities. As Governor he was sensitive to and responsive to Indiana’s manufactured housing industry.”

Logistics

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Weiss told MHProNewsthat saying that MH are the last resort may reflect the practical logistical reality of getting manufactured homes into the disaster zone in significant numbers, right away.”

Texas MHA Will Help Provide Housing

FEMA is not the only ones who will be working to provide housing for the Texans who lost their homes in this devastating natural disaster.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, numerous private and corporate groups, and the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) are all among also doing what they can to help residents get back into homes as soon as possible.

TMHA has pledged to help in both the immediate future and long term rebuilding efforts to come.  We are organizing within our membership ranks to prepare in the event our industry, in particular, came play a role in the recovery efforts,” the association told MHProNews in a release.

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Texas Manufactured Housing Association. Image credit, TMHA.

TMHA has asked retailers and communities to take stock of their inventories should they be asked about help housing those who were displaced. They said they have not been asked yet, but have been in the past.

Gus Rodriguez of Tejas Homes, near Conroe, TX was among the retailers that told MHProNews that they were gearing up to assist flood victims looking for housing.  The retailer indicated that they closed during the heaviest parts of the storm, but were re-opening and ready to go with a good level of inventory.

 

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FEMA manufactured homes that were used in Minnesota after flooding. Image credit, FEMA.

President Trump Thanks Everyone for Working Together

Earlier this week, the White House Press Room told MHProNews that, Today, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will travel to Corpus Christi, Texas, where they will receive a briefing on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with local leadership and relief organizations. In the afternoon, the President and the First Lady will tour the Emergency Operations Center in Austin, Texas.”

During the storm briefing, Trump commended everyone in his cabinet for working so hard and so well together to provide Texans with everything they need to get through this terrible time. The full video of the briefing is below.

Louisiana and the LMHA

At this point our thoughts remain with those in Texas that are experiencing what we here in Louisiana felt 12 years ago. We remain ready to assist in any way we can,”  said Leonard Kopowski with the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association to MHProNews.

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Leonard Kopowski. Credit: MHLivingNews.

 

As far as Louisiana, early reports show nearly 2,000 houses affected and 5,000 residents displaced.  The LMHA will stands ready to serve those seeking new homes for their families,” Kopowski said.

Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana,” the National Weather Service said in an advisory this morning. “Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses, as well as other drainage areas and low-lying spots.” ## (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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparing Luxury Real Estate with Modern Manufactured Homes, Opportunitie$ Knock

August 28th, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credits CNBC, Mobile Corral, MHProNews.

With housing costs on the rise – especially for renters – the idea of owning a conventional house seems unrealistic for millions.

While some people spend millions to live in a mansion, others throw that kind of money around on small vacation homes – including manufactured homes – in prime real estate locations.

The range of costs is a wide one. For example, per CNBC, a $2 million-dollar house can range from 3,000 – 15,000 square feet, depending on the market, property size, and amenities like in-ground pools, elevators, electric car outlets, and more.

They may also come with features that many would love and have, such as:

  • hardwood floors,
  • granite countertops,
  • higher-end appliances,
  • and built with energy efficiency in mind.

If you wanted a brand-new home, the average cost in 2014 was about $289,000.

In just the last few years that has increased significantly. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the current average selling price of a brand new single-family home in the U.S. so far in 2017 is $406,400.

That’s over $100,000 more than it was only 3 years ago.  That amount would buy the typical multi-sectional manufactured home.

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A manufactured home with luxury items like granite counter tops and hardwood floors. Image credit, TRU Factory Direct.

Promoting Modern Manufactured Housing as an Affordable Alternative

What is often missing from reports like CNBC’s is what’s obvious to industry professionals.  What if there was a way to get all the amenities of a more expensive home – granite counter tops, hardwood floors, and an energy-efficient home – for less than a third of the cost of the average new home in America?

As Daily Business News readers and manufactured housing industry professionals already know, that’s entirely possible through HUD Code manufactured homes.

The average sales price of a single sectional manufactured home as of Dec. 2016, according to the Census Bureau, was $49,900.”

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$2 million site-built home. Credit, CBNC.

For the same price tag as those extravagant $2 million houses someone could have purchased 30-40 single-section manufactured homes at the price cited above from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Similarly, compared to the average price of a single-family home, you could buy 8 single-section manufactured homes, or about 5 multi-section manufactured homes.  These facts are among the reasons that professionals like Credit Human’s Barry Noffsinger has been promoting the manufactured home industry outreach to the conventional residential home buyer.


Tragedies like the storm and waters of Harvey will bring out several thousands buyers.  But what Noffsinger and other industry professionals promote is making manufactured housing a mainstream option.

As HUD Secretary Ben Carson has said in an interview with Fox News, home ownership is essential to success.

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Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

It [homeownership] is the primary mechanism where by families accumulate wealth,” Carson said.

Carson has also said that the average of net-worth of families who own their homes is $200,000. In comparison, the average net-worth of those who rent is only $5,000.

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John Bostick, president, Sunshine Homes, Red Bay, AL.

We rival site building and a fraction of the cost,” said John Bostick, President of Sunshine Homes. “With the affordable housing crisis, the timing couldn’t be better for the nation to discover what factory built homes truly are today.”

 

So why aren’t more people buying manufactured homes if they are so affordable?

As industry veterans know, a lot of it has to do with the stigma surrounding factory built housing.

That is perpetuated by problematic media coverage and the continued use of the wrong terminology.

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Featured image credits, Ozy Media, MHProNews.

When people – including, sadly, a sizable number of industry professionals – call a manufactured home a ‘mobile home,’ they are de-valuing the appeal of a home through their words.

A recent Daily Business News article covers all the proper terminology within the factory-built housing industry. From manufactured to modular, prefab to 3D printing, container housing and tiny homes. Click here or on the image above to read the article.

Mobile homes haven’t been in production in over 40 years now – and its been even longer since ‘trailer homes’ were built.

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Since June 15th, 1976 all manufactured homes have been subject to HUD Code regulations that ensure they are safe and strong. In many cases they out perform traditional ‘stick-built’ homes in cases of severe weather.

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“A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet,” wrote William Shakespeare. But calling a manufactured home, a ‘trailer’ or other inaccurate terms has adverse consequences for home owners and the industry. Collage credit, MHProNews.

Here in America, by embracing the law as provided under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000), we could be providing the homes that realtors need to meet the demand for housing under $200,000.” Sunshine’s president said their rapid rise in sales is proof that the market is responding to the residential style manufactured home product.

If more people knew the way, the standards and the quality of manufactured homes, a lot more people would buy,” said Karen McKibben, manufactured home owner from Paris, Tennessee. ## (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.

 

Homeownership Rates in U.S. Compared to Top 50, MHI’s Idea Revisted

August 25th, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, Chicago Tribune, MHProNews.

Homeownership is a way for people to generate stability and wealth and not just go to work every day,” said Deborah Moore, neighborhood planning director for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.

In addition, homeownership can “change the trajectory of neighborhoods,” she added.

Homeownership is a dream that for many Americans seems far off.

The growing lack of affordable housing options across the country is manifest in a host of reports and in a variety of data.

Rents are higher than ever.  That makes it harder for minimum – and low-wage workers – to be able to afford their current housing costs, let alone save for a home.

In the United States, the homeownership rate as of the second quarter of 2017 was 63.7 percent, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

FREDHomeownershipRatefortheUSCreditUSBureauofCensusFREDSTLouisFed

Image credit, US Census Bureau, FRED St. Louis Fed.

But how does the United States stack up against the rest of the world?

According to Wikipedia, which takes twenty-one different sources into account, the United States ranks 41st highest percentage of homeowners in the world, with 65.4 percent.

The country with the highest homeownership rate is Romania, with 96.4 percent of citizens owning their home.

Coming in just under Romania is Singapore at 90.8 percent, Slovakia at 90.3 percent, and Cuba at 90 percent.

The U.S. is nearly neck-and-neck with the United Kingdom, where 63.5 percent are homeowners. (Editor’s Note: see the footnotes below, after the ## on Julia’s article.)

Rev. Tye on the Obvious Solution

Homeownership benefits more than just the homeowners, says manufactured housing advocate, Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.  People who own their home are more likely to maintain it, which keeps neighborhood’s more appealing, and adds to the tax base.

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Tye told MHProNews that, “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.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has stated that the average net-worth of a homeowner in the U.S. is $200,000, while the net-worth of a renter is on average $5,000.

Ownership builds character, competence and integrity,” Tye said in soft yet potent tones.

One of the reasons that the U.S. ranks so low on homeownership compared to some of the countries on the Wikipedia list is because of the lack of affordable homes on the market.

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Harper’s Op-Ed on a related issue can be found at this link here, or by clicking the image above.

Since the so-called Great Recession of 2008, it has been more difficult to qualify for a home loan.  Conventional housing prices  continue to rise well above wages ability to sustain a mortgage on the average house.

Insufficient numbers of new homes being built are among the biggest contributing factors per a recent study, as the Daily Business News previously reported.

Manufactured housing presents a clearly viable solution, through cost-effective building that offers high-qualify homes for a fraction of the cost.

JD Harper told MHProNews last December that “most cities [in Arkansas] view factory-built structures through the same prism as billboards, cell towers and sexually-oriented businesses… something to be avoided if at all possible, but restricted and heavily regulated if allowed at all.”

However because of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitudes described above, along with outdated information perpetuated by the media, many people don’t consider it an option at all.

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If manufactured housing was better understood millions more could afford to become homeowners, and the number of homeowners in the U.S. could far exceed the current 63.4 percent. ## (News, Analysis, Fisking – below.)

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Editor’s Note: The spark for this article was our request to Julia Granowicz to do some research on MHI’s most recent Did You Know? feature.  What her research turned up was the latest example of flawed data, and unattributed information.  Please see the below.

 

 

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Original photo credit, Pixabay, text and collage credit, MHProNews.com.

Please see the statistics MHI showed, in the screen shot from their most recent email, below.  Then, compare it to the actual list shown on Wikipedia, which is shown further below.

Does it look to you like the very first country MHI showed is wrong?  Plus MHI failed to give proper credit to the source?  Then, MHI slapped their own copyright notice on someone else’s data?

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

MHIManufacturedHousingInstittueDidYouKnowPercentageHousingUStoTop50CountriesWorldPostedMHProNews

You are entitled to your own opinions. but your are not entitled to your own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Monaghan.

Top50CountriesinWorldHomeOwnershipRatesWikipediaPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1878

(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 Carson Speaks Out about Charlottesville, Racism, and ‘Taking the High Road’

August 23rd, 2017 Comments off
HUDCarsonCharlottesvilleRacismHighRoadCreditAOLMHProNews

Featured image credit, AOL, MHProNews.

Amidst the chaos and tragedy of the Charlottesville protests, it was revealed that the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson’s home in Virginia had recently been vandalized with anti-Trump rhetoric, per the Washington Examiner.

In a Facebook post, Secretary Carson shared two different personal stories of dealing with racism and extremists in his own neighborhoods.

Regarding all of the racial and political strife emanating from the events in Charlottesville last weekend, let me relate a story,” Carson wrote.

Several years ago we bought a farm in rural Maryland. One of the neighbors immediately put up a Confederate flag. A friend of ours who is an African-American three-star general was coming to visit and immediately turned around concluding that he was in the wrong place. Interestingly, all the other neighbors immediately put up American flags shaming the other neighbor who took down the Confederate flag.”

The second story was where Carson shared the details of his home being vandalized with hateful, anti-Trump comments.

More recently our home in Virginia along with that of a neighbor was vandalized by people who also wrote hateful rhetoric about President Trump,” he continued. “We were out of town, but other kind, embarrassed neighbors cleaned up most of the mess before we returned.”

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The Carson’s home in Virginia, which was vandalized and covered in anti-Trump rhetoric. Credit, Trulia.

In both instances, less than kind behavior was met by people taking the high road,” Carson stated.

By the way, that neighbor who put up the Confederate flag subsequently became friendly. That is the likely outcome if we just learn to be neighborly and to get to know each other,” the HUD Secretary concluded.

While the media debates over whether or not President Trump’s statements regarding the Charlottesville incident were racist – due to the president “blaming both sides,” as seen in the video below – Carson is looking at it from a different perspective.

Rather than fighting violence with violence, as some viewed the case of Charlottesville, Carson suggests that there is a third option not being considered.  “Taking the high road.”

As Carson said of the confederate flag incident – they were able to become friendly with their neighbor eventually – and that was a result of taking a nonviolent approach to fighting racism.

There are radical terrorists in the world who want to destroy us and are coming dangerously close to acquiring the means to accomplish their goals,” Carson wrote Saturday.

We must present a strong and united front in the future. If America is going to survive, we must not yield to the forces of evil. Remember what our money says: ‘In God We Trust.’ Let’s act accordingly.”

It’s worth noting that Secretary Carson, along with Alveda King, niece of civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., appeared with President Trump at last night’s rally in Phoenix.


## (News.)

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

August 16th, 2017 Comments off
WorstCaseHousingNeeds2017ReportCoverCreditsHUDDailyBusinessNews

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.)

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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.)

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