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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 Comments off

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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.)

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“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

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City Council Approves Controversial Manufactured Housing Ordinance

December 14th, 2016 Comments off
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Linton city council. Official photo.

The Linton, Indiana City Council voted on December 12th to move forward with a manufacturing housing ordinance, which will require all future manufactured homes to be in a manufactured home community.

The controversial motion passed with a 3-2 vote, with council members Tony Richards and Linda Bedwell casting dissenting votes.

According to the GC Daily World, the conversation began in June when Mayor John Wilkes said the city needed to take action in creating an enforceable manufactured home ordinance in order to ensure the homes are properly hooked into the sanitation system and electricity. The mayor said there had been several complaints about manufactured homes in the city.

Since the discussion began, a number of versions of a proposed ordinance were presented, but were not successful.

proposedcouncilordinancesparkspropertyrightsdiscriminationdiscussioncreditofficialphoto-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Mayor John Wilkes. Official Photo.

In November, as the Daily Business News covered here, Wilkes made the proposal to require all manufactured homes brought into the city to be placed in a manufactured home community. The proposal was passed after Mayor Wilkes broke the council’s 2-2 tie.

The formal ordinance was brought before the council on December 12th for adoption.

By requiring the manufactured homes to be placed in manufactured home communities, the community owner will be required to follow state mandates for sanitation and water supply.

The provisions set forth in the ordinance also extend to Amish cabins or “tiny houses.

According to the mayor, current manufactured homes are grandfathered in, but Councilwoman Linda Bedwell asked for clarification on the grandfather clause, including the fact if fire or certain types of disaster destroy a manufactured home, it could allow for the manufactured home to be replaced or rebuilt.

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Linton, Indiana. Credit: Google.

Mayor Wilkes opened the floor to public discussion before the vote was taken.

Jerry May, a local landlord, raised a few questions, including a possible violation of Senate Bill 6593.

The bill states, in part, “No city, town, code city or county may enact any statute or ordinance that directly or indirectly has the effect of discriminating against consumer choice in the placement or use of a home that does not apply equally to all homes.

Additionally, the bill also notes entities can require a manufactured house to be set on a permanent foundation, be up to state energy code and meeting other requirements for designated manufactured homes.

If I purchased a piece of property and built a pole barn to live in, would that be allowed?” asked another attendee.

City attorney John Rowe said the potential concerns could be litigated if needed.

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Too many cities and towns have an outdated view of manufactured homes, or are being pushed by residents who don’t understand the modern MH reality into taking actions like those noted in this town in IN. Until more of the public understands what inspector Becki Jackson does about modern manufactured homes, the incidents of such cases will continue. To see the Becki Jackson video and interview, click here or above.

A Strong Response

The Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) became aware of this issue in late November based on local media reports,” said IMHA President Ron Breymier.

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Photo credit: The Legis Group

IMHA sent a letter to Mayor Wilkes and members of the Linton City Council advising them that their proposed ordinance would not be permissible under Indiana law.

Breymier shared Indiana Code IC 16-41-27-32 (b) which states the following:

A governmental body other than the state department of health may not regulate mobile homes or manufactured homes regarding habitability or minimum housing conditions unless the regulation is applicable in the same manner to other forms of residential housing in the jurisdiction.

Rather than an outright ban on the future placement of manufactured homes in Linton, which would be counter to Indiana law,” said Breymier, “IMHA recommended the city enforce the existing state law and make certain any additional manufactured homes seeking placement in Linton meet the same regulations that apply to other forms of residential housing.

Obviously, Mayor Wilkes and the Linton City Council chose ignore that advice and adopted the new ordinance. IMHA will discuss the matter with its board of directors and determine if there is anything further we can do to address this situation.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) cases recently, including one in Hutchinson, Kansas here.

It should also be noted that a close reading of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 provides for enhanced preemption, which ought to limit such local zoning efforts.

MHARR and state associations are often raising this issue, with one example in a case 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.

Court Puts Overtime Rule on Hold

November 30th, 2016 Comments off
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Credit: Fox6Now.

U.S. District Court East Texas Judge Amos Mazzant blocked a new rule last week that would have made millions of American workers eligible for overtime pay, and that will be seen as relief for potentially thousands of manufactured and modular housing connected companies, and other businesses too.

A preliminary injunction preserves the status quo while the court determines the department’s authority to make the final rule as well as the final rule’s validity,” said Mazzant.

The ruling grants a preliminary injunction, pushing back an effective date of December 1st for the rule, while Judge Mazzant reviews the challenge to the requirement.

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Judge Amos Mazzant. Credit: Wikipedia.

Twenty-one states challenged the overtime expansion rule that would double the threshold at which executive, administrative and professional employees are exempt from overtime to $47,476 from $23,660.

According to USA Today, the states argue that Congress never intended to set any salary threshold for the exemptions or to allow the threshold to be raised every three years, as the Labor Department’s rule specifies.

This is a victory for small business owners and should give them some breathing room until the case can be properly adjudicated,” said Juanita Duggan, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. The federation is challenging the requirement in a separate action.

Credit: IMHA-RVIC.

Credit: IMHA-RVIC.

The Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) were among the associations that alerted the industry of the action back in May, saying, in part, “This is a reminder that all employers will have to comply with the changes made to the overtime regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act by December 1st, 2016.

A variety of trade groups, including manufactured housing, was part of the suit that brought about this court ruling.

Unfortunately, for the time being, workers will continue to work longer hours for less pay thanks to this obstructionist litigation,” Christine Owens, head of the National Employment Law Project, which is a worker advocacy group.

Department of Labor officials and worker advocacy groups said the rule would help ensure managers and administrative employees are fairly paid for the extra hours they log and narrow a growing divide between wealthy and low- to middle income households. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

 

Iowa MHA Leading Seminars on Community Regulations

June 7th, 2016 Comments off

Iowa-StateSeal wikipediaJoe Kelly of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) tells MHProNews the free seminars for community managers/owners regarding the array of laws and regulations affecting communities has drawn over 100 members in three different cities.

Open to members and non-members alike, the next gathering will be Wed. June 15, 2016 at the Monarch Restaurant of the Royal Amsterdam Hotel in Pella, Iowa. This meeting will be hosted by Carol Oliver, IMHA sec./treas, and former IMHA president, Bill Peters, and is scheduled for 9 AM to noon, followed by a free buffet lunch. ##

(Image credit: wikipedia)

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

 

 

Repurposing of MH Community will be a Positive for Residents

June 4th, 2016 Comments off

Iowa__iowa_city_forest_city_mobile_home_court__andy_davis_iowa_city_presscitizenJoe Kelly of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) tells MHProNews that IMHA members Eddie and Cheri Cole, owners of Forest View Mobile Home Court, are involved in a development project that will benefit their residents.

A multimillion dollar project proposed for Iowa City, Iowa on the current site of the Forest View Mobile Home Court calls for three hotels, several office buildings and about a dozen condo and apartment buildings, according to preliminary plans. The enterprise may take five to seven years to fully construct, says Justin Doyle, a partner in developer Blackbird Investments and North Dubuque LLC, which is a partnership for the development, as MHProNews has learned from presscitizen in Iowa City.

The residents of Forest View manufactured home community (MHC) would be relocated 200 feet south to hills that sit above the flood plain, said Eddie Cole, who is also president of North Dubuque. “Tenants have been the priority from the beginning. They’ll have bigger lots, and it’s going to be a nice development when it’s all finished. We’ll have new streets and new sewer and water lines, which will all be permanent,” Eddie Cole said. “It’s taken 20 years to find partners for a project here, and we’re really blessed that we found them.” Cole added the residents’ homes will be moved for them.

For the past several years Interim City Manager Geoff Fruin said the city has been in discussions with the Coles about redevelopment. Echoing Eddie Cole, Fruin said We made it clear that the relocation issue needed to be addressed up-front and that they needed to have a solid plan that the community could support.” ##

(Photo credit: Iowa City Press Citizen/Andy Davis–current site of Forest View)

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

Iowa Manufactured Housing Association helps Guide Legislation

May 30th, 2016 Comments off

Iowa House of Reps HR chamber capitol wikipediaJoe Kelly of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) tells MHProNews that one of the last bills of the session that Gov. Terry Branstad signed, HF 2459, which makes last minute adjustments to state government funding, included revised language to prevent cities from filing liens against manufactured home communities where residents have their own meters and do not pay their water bills and other utilities.

On three occasions over the last 18 years IMHA has revised language to protect manufactured home community owners from the unpaid bills of residents.

In addition, IMHA worked with the ACLU Iowa, and the Iowa Coalition against Domestic Violence (ICADV) on HF 493 to prevent local jurisdictions from using 911 emergency calls as the basis for determining if a property is a nuisance property. ##

(Photo credit: wikipedia-Iowa House of Representatives chamber)

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

Victory for Manufactured Housing in Illinois

April 28th, 2015 Comments off

illinois_manufactured_housing_associationRick Robinson of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) informs MHProNews that Executive director Frank Bowman, of the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), and his staff drafted SB 1702, convincing the IL Secretary of State’s office that manufactured homes (MH) and park models, while they are vehicles, are non-motorized vehicles. This overturned a 70 year-old generic dealer licensing rule.

In addition, included in 1702, the MH model of selling homes from inside a land lease community obviated rules that pertain to a street dealer, and thereby will result in a reduction of dealer licensing fees for community-based dealers for years to come. The measure passed the Senate April 23, 2015, and with no opposition is expected to pass the House and be signed into law by the governor to take effect July 2015.

IMHA also was able to have a bill introduced (HB2627) dealing with “interest caps” that were set by the state and that were well below “the rebuttable presumption caps” established nationally. It passed the House April 23 and is expected to meet minimal opposition in the Senate and also be signed into law.

This means doing business in Illinois will be less difficult. The other result, in Frank Bowman’s own words: “IMHA has gone from being virtually unknown in the Illinois Legislature three years ago to being well known and well respected. Now, when legislators are considering introducing legislation that affects manufactured housing, IMHA gets called by Leadership before any serious movement takes place.” ##

(Image credit: Illinois Manufactured Housing Association)

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

Tax Credit Extended for Energy Star rated Manufactured Homes

December 29th, 2014 Comments off

energystar-certified-manufactured-homes-image-credit-heritage-home-center-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-The Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) tells MHProNews that tax credits for ENERGY STAR ® rated Manufactured Homes has been extended through 2014. A few days ago, President Obama signed into law the Tax Increase Prevention Action, a.k.a. “Extender Bill,” retroactively extending the $1,000 per home tax credit for producers of ENERGY STAR ® manufactured homes.

The credit is available for homes certified through the end of 2014. To qualify, the home’s ENERGY STAR ® checklist must be completed and dated before January 1, 2015.

IMHA also advises that there are some important manufactured home program changes on the horizon.

First, the ENERGY STAR requirements adopted in 2005 will remain unchanged for 2015. This means that the process and requirements will remain the same for next year, despite the fact that ENERGY STAR requirements for site and modular builders have become more stringent over the past few years.”

IMHA states that ENERGY STAR for manufactured homes will almost certainly change in 2016, in step with the anticipated changes in the industry energy standards soon to be announced by the Department of Energy.

In addition, there are other incentives available in various states for ENERGY STAR manufactured homes.

The Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA) is operating rebate programs for homes in Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and West Virginia. Generally, the rebate goes to the plant and ranges between $1,200 and $1,300.

There is also some debate within the industry on who should get the credit.  Should it go directly to consumers, or should it go the producting plant?  MHProNews  will monitor developments on the Energy Star program as they occur.  ##

(Graphic Credit: Heritage Home Center) 

sandra-lane-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-75x75-Article submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News – MHProNews. 

Robert “Bob” Wolf passes, R.I.P.

August 25th, 2014 Comments off

wolfbobobit-perss-citizen-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-256x342Joe Kelly at the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association and the Press-Citizen tell MHProNews about the death of longtime Iowa City resident, Robert H. “Bob” Wolf, at 75. Wolf died Monday, August 18, 2014 at the Mercy Hospice.

The son of Herman and Ilene Wolf, Robert H. Wolf was born September 24, 1938 in Iowa City. Bob graduated from Iowa City High School and served in the Army National Guard. He met and later wed Erma Yerington on July 14, 1963 in Iowa City.

Since 1963 Bob owned and operated Wolf Construction Company. Bob and Erma developed and operated Modern Manor and Lake Ridge, also in Iowa City. He is survived by his wife, son Jeff Wolf (Iowa City) and daughter Brandy Egli, in Austin Texas.

Joe Kelly states he was a longtime member and former IMHA board member. MHProNews staff express their condolences to all those touched by this loss; may Bob Wolf rest in peace. ##

Passages: Jack Tuff

June 27th, 2014 Comments off

A major player in the manufactured housing industry in Elkhart County, Indiana since 1964 passed away June 25. Jack Tuff, founder of Tops Mobile Home Centers and several manufactured housing communities, and an early supporter of what became the RV/MH Hall of Fame, began his MH career in Fort Knox, Kentucky while stationed in the Army in the late 1950s. Al Hesselbart, historian at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, says, “Jack was a giant in the manufactured housing industry in Elkhart County and was one of two or three people who were personally responsible for the city of Elkhart donating land and funds for the first Hall of Fame on Benham Avenue,” according to elkharttruth.com. Jerry Pickrell, who was active in the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), says Tuff used his own money to help sustain the Hall of Fame in the early ’90s. MHProNews extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Jack Tuff. ##

(Photo credit: elkharttruth.com–Jack Tuff)