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“Ignorance” at Work, Proposed Code Change Would Impact Thousands

April 23rd, 2018 Comments off

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There is “ignorance” – or prejudice – arguably at work in the Texas city moving to limit manufactured homes in their jurisdiction.  By their own estimates, thousands will be impacted.

 

The City of Kilgore, Texas Planning and Zoning Board approved changes “unanimously recommended,” per the Longview News Journal.

Manufactured housing lots are scattered throughout the Kilgore City Limits – there’s space for, potentially, more than 7,000 mobile homes [sic],” said the Kilgore News Herald, adding, “A proposed change to the city’s codes would limit such structures (mobile or manufactured) to designated areas moving forward.

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Recommended changes won’t necessarily affect residents of existing manufactured homes, city leaders said. Existing homes also can be replaced one time, but only if the home is the same size or larger than the existing residence and is no older than 5 years old,” according to Jimmy Daniell Isaac for the Longview News Journal.

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Collage by MHProNews, uses original Kilgore proposal text.

What’s there is there and you can replace it,” once, Kilgore Planning & Zoning Director Carol Windham said, per the Kilgore News Herald. “We’re not going to take that away.” If approved, ‘Single Family Manufactured Housing’ will be eliminated outside specific spots: “We’re not allowing any more unless you put it in a licensed mobile home park. That’s pretty much the gist of it.”

But the Longview report suggests the quote above from Kilgore’s paper isn’t quite accurate.  If a home is lost in a fire, for example, and must be replaced with one that’s 5 years old or newer, that may cause some property owners to de facto have their rights limited or taken, depending upon their economic circumstances.

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This is what all of the surrounding communities have done,” commissioner Terry Thrower said in Isaac’s report. “City Council members will consider final approval of the ordinance changes in May, City Planner Carol Windham said. If approved, it would end nearly a year of subcommittee and workshop discussions about regulating manufactured housing in Kilgore.”

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This particular listing has two homes, plus a garage and out buildings, for about the same price as the median conventional house. The main home is a manufactured home, the photos did not show the second home, but it too is likely a HUD Code manufactured home. Two homes, plus an acreage, for the price of one.

 

Costly NIMBY At Work?

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L. A. “Tony’ Kovach., publisher, MHProNews.com MHLivingNews.com

In a posted comment on both news sites, “It seems like some civic leaders in Kilgore are not aware of the “Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.” That federal law gives “enhanced preemption” to federally regulated manufactured housing,” wrote L. A. “Tony” Kovach, publisher of MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

At the very time that millions across the nation – including in Texas – are struggling with housing that costs too much, why in the world would Kilgore make it more difficult to buy the most affordable kind of permeant housing available?” – Kovach rhetorically asked.

The likely answer is ignorance, which means, lack of knowledge,” Kovach said, “University level studies demonstrate that manufactured homes properly installed appreciate side by side with conventional housing. A study done by Chang Tai Hsieh of the University of Chicago, and Encirco Moretti said that cutting off affordable housing cost the American economy some $2 trillion dollars annually.”

Just because other locales have done something, doesn’t mean that Kilgore should follow suit. More study is warranted, because violating federal law and costing your economy makes no sense,” Kovach’s remarks concluded.

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

In a report entitled “Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing,” Texas retailer Gary Adamek, Fayette Country Homes said that zoning related issues were more harmful to the industry than Dodd-Frank ever was.

JD Harper of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) referred to similar placement and zoning issues in his state as “economic racism,” and praised the Rev. Donald Tye Jr. call for HUD to step up and enforce enhanced preemption.

 

At the very time that HUD Secretary Ben Carson has called modern manufactured homes “amazing,” and the Trump Administration is striving to create more economic opportunities for Americans, why would Kilgore – or any other town – choke off economic options, by limiting affordable housing?

 

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http://www.mhpronews.com/industry-news/mharr-news/time-to-enforce-the-law-on-federal-preemption

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has sounded of for years on the need to enforce enhanced preemption, the most recent example is in the report linked above. This is one of several issues that based upon trends and if left unchecked, will continue to limit manufactured housing’s growth potential.  It would harm the nation, because it will negatively impact those seeking affordable, quality homes, argues Kovach and others. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)  (Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Report:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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Town Takes Up Manufactured Home Ordinance

May 8th, 2017 Comments off
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A manufactured home in Kilgore, Texas. Credit: Realtor.

In Kilgore, Texas, an ordinance that has stopped the inclusion of new manufactured homes outside of specific communities is now under scrutiny.

According to the Longview News-Journal, the ordinance was front and center for officials during a council workshop last week.

In 2008, the city council approved an ordinance that restricted new manufactured homes from being placed outside of select communities. But according to City Manager Josh Selleck, manufactured homes have been allowed outside such communities during the past nine years anyway.

Unfortunately, we’re bound by state law to enforce our code as written,” said Selleck.

And city staff no longer will allow exceptions to the code.”

Selleck suggested that the council hold a joint meeting with the planning and zoning commissions to discuss clearing up zoning ordinance issues. A date for that meeting was not set.

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Credit: Google.

Aside from mobile home parks [sic] that are licensed with the city, there are at least three other locations that appear to be mobile home parks [sic] but aren’t licensed,” said Selleck.

The question is whether they can expand or replace, and that’s part of what I think what we’re going to have to go through is how are they able to replace a mobile home [sic] if one burns, and what are the rules for the permit process.”

Based on discussions at the workshop, Selleck believes that the City Council could be in a position to formally pass any proposed changes as early as their June 27th meeting.

 

A Trend?

The case in Kilgore potentially provides hope for manufactured housing, and could signal a stop to a recent trend of limiting manufactured homes to select communities.

In December, the Linton, Indiana City Council voted to move forward with a manufacturing housing ordinance, which will require all future manufactured homes to be in a manufactured home community. The Daily Business News covered this in a story, linked here.

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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. When 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.

The controversial motion passed with a 3-2 vote.

Shortly after, Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) President Ron Breymier responded.

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Photo credit: TheLegisGroup.com

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 to 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, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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