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MH to the Rescue in Rural Housing Shortage

March 6th, 2017 Comments off
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A home in transit. Credit: CBC

In the first people’s community of Fort Chipewyan in Northern Alberta, Canada, the manufactured housing cavalry is coming to the rescue to solve a housing shortage.

According to the CBC, sixteen manufactured homes are on their way to the community, to tackle a chronic overcrowding challenge that has families living with other relatives.

The first six homes will be delivered via the community’s winter road in March, and the remaining 10 will be delivered by barge in the spring,” said Ed Shirran, an acting director with the Wood Buffalo Housing Development Corporation.

The corporation already owns two single-family homes and a 12-unit seniors facility in Fort Chipewyan.

The homes being delivered were originally used to house people displaced by the 2011 Slave Lake fire. In September of last year, the province announced it would send 65 manufactured homes to Fort McMurray to help house people who lost their homes during the May wildfire.

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Credit: CBC.

The wildfire destroyed over 2,400 homes and buildings. The Daily Business News provided extensive coverage of the fires, which is linked here.

The homes, designated as rentals, were priced between $2,500 to $2,650 each, and were positioned as such, due to an anticipated high demand for three- and four-bedroom rental accommodations in Fort McMurray after the wildfire.

The program was eventually shelved because of a lack of need, and two residents who lost their homes during the wildfire said that those homes were overpriced and they were better off finding market rentals anyway.

 

A Voice From the Community 

Mikisew Cree First Nation Chief Steve Courtoreille welcomes the homes to the Fort Chipewyan community, and says that they are a long time coming. Courtoreille said that he has called on the Wood Buffalo Housing Development Corporation and the province to address the lack of housing in the community in the past.

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Mikisew Cree First Nation Chief Steve Courtoreille. Credit: CBC.

It took the fire for them to hear our voices,” said Courtoreille.

I hope the housing corporation doesn’t make the same mistake as in Fort McMurray, charging high rents for the homes. If they try to do that here, it’s going to sit empty,” said Courtoreille.

Don’t overcharge.

Shirran says that the Wood Buffalo Housing Development Corporation still does not know how much it will cost to rent the homes, because it is still working out the details with the province. But Shirran is certain about one thing.

The prices will be below market rates,said Shirran. ##

 

(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

MH Dealer Bill Passes House – What Does it Mean?

March 2nd, 2017 Comments off
MHDealerBillPassesHouseWhatDoesitMeancreditShutterstock-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The Indiana State Capitol building. Credit: Shutterstock.

In the great state of Indiana, a bill recently passed in the state house regarding manufactured housing dealerships that has a rather interesting twist.

House Bill 1119 was passed 94-0, and it places Manufactured Housing Dealers back into Indiana law.

According to the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), State Representatives Doug Miller (R-Elkhart) and Wes Culver (R-Goshen) co-authored the bill that moves dealers from their “voluntary status” to one that is recognized in Indiana statute under the Indiana Secretary of State Dealer Services Division.

Previously, manufactured home dealers were considered in statute, when the dealer services division was under the control of Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

When the division was moved to the Secretary of State, dealers still existed but dealer licenses were only voluntary.

The IMHA says that the bill became necessary because the industry has drastically changed the way that it sells homes, and manufacturers are now requiring those who sell their homes to be licensed dealers.

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Credit: Manufactured Homes Directory.

In the past, manufactured homes were sold by dealerships with large inventories like an auto dealer, but now the vast majority of homes are sold in communities rather than from a dealer lot.

MHProNews has observed that nationally, the majority of manufactured homes are still sold by retailers, although the percentage going into communities has been rising for several years, often as rental units for larger MHC portfolio owners.

But in Indiana, the number of independent retailers plummeted after the 2008 crisis. For more insight, we reached out to IMHA Executive Director Ronald L. Breymier.

This legislation will only apply to Indiana, and yes, Indiana has very few traditional MH retailers left. The majority of MHs sold in Indiana are sold through manufactured housing communities,” said Breymier.

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Photo credit: TheLegisGroup.com

As mentioned in the article, this changed sales environment requires state administrative adjustment to reflect the physical location of the ‘dealership’ selling from communities.

Those few that still operate as traditional dealers will still be operating in that fashion, but there will likely be different rules and regulations and requirements adopted to distinguish ‘in community sales centers’ from traditional MH dealerships. This is an initiative pushed and supported by our association.

Due to the evolution in business practice, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson began working with the IMHA to prepare a rule that would reflect changes of this type.

The challenge that prompted the bill, however, was when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told the Secretary of State that dealers must be in statute before they can approve the rule. Therefore, IMHA had HB 1119 introduced to rectify the situation.

With the recent vote, the bill now moves on to the Senate Committee on Commerce for a hearing on March 9th.

Once the bill is approved, the Secretary of State will pursue administrative rule changes to modify the business requirements for manufactured homes sold by dealers located in manufactured housing communities. ##

 

(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 Factories May Get New Life

March 1st, 2017 2 comments
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An unrelated “tiny home.” Credit: Youtube.

In Carbon Hill, Alabama this week, the City Council heard about a possible plan from developers to use a couple of old manufactured home plant facilities to make small-sized homes, aka “tiny houses.

Charles Phillips, his son, Charles T. Phillips, and Jim Clark spoke to the council about their plans.

According to the Daily Mountain Eagle, Mayor Mark Chambers indicated the developers have not asked for financial help from the council for the business, which could employ as many as 500 over a 10-year period.

Really, all they would need from the city council would be approval to sell them the permit to build the homes,said Chambers. “They just need approval of a business license or whatever.

In addition to providing jobs, Charles Phillips shared additional details on the vision for the homes.

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Charles Phillips at the council meeting. Credit: Daily Mountain Eagle.

What we’re proposing is to build little tiny houses. It is not a mobile home [sic]. It is an actual house that will be built. We have foundation specs that they will be set and an anchored to,” said Phillips.

So it is not a mobile home [sic]. It is not a Jim Walters home. It is a prefinished tiny home for low-income people, disabled people and people who want to rent them out to people.

Phillips also noted that city officials reviewed rough drawings of the plans during the meeting, but that blueprints are not ready yet.

Basically, we are looking at getting the Dover building, or possibly the Arrow building, and employ to start with maybe 120 people by the end of the year,” said Phillips.

That would create a lot of jobs in the Carbon Hill area. We’re looking at all the labor and people from Carbon Hill to help income in Carbon Hill.

The trio of developers looked at several other cities, including Jasper, Oakman and Townley Parrish.

They feel Carbon Hill is the answer.

Here is really where we want to do the business at,” said Phillips.

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A map of the area. Credit: Google.

While they are actively developing plans, the developers approached the council now to see where they can go at this point.

I would like, once this is up and running, would like to have at least 500 people working. It is like Mr. Phillips said, everybody going to Jasper,” said Clark.

All of the outlining communities are being left out.

City officials said the 500 figure could also depend on various factors, including how many local residents will work and how many will want to commute to the plant.

The developers are officially calling the homes “efficient living houses,” with the smallest homes, designed for the homeless and the veterans, measuring 16×12, while larger units will measure 394 square feet.

For more on the “tiny house” movement, including a proposal to utilize the homes as an affordable housing solution in Chilmark, Massachusetts, 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.

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.

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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.

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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. ##

 

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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.

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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.

MHARR to FHFA: Duty to Serve Requires Material and Expedited Support for MH Chattel Loans

February 10th, 2017 Comments off
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Credits: Embassy Suites, MHProNews, Wikipedia.

Washington, D.C., February 9, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that, at a Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) “listening session” in Washington, D.C. on February 8, 2017, President and CEO Mark Weiss reiterated and underscored previous remarks by MHARR representatives.

Weiss asserted that the Agency’s December 29, 2016 “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) rule and related “Evaluation Guidance” for DTS implementation plans do not and cannot comply with the essential legislative mandate of DTS and are, therefore, unacceptable.

MHARR says that the meeting opened with an appearance by FHFA Director Melvin Watt, who thanked DTS stakeholders for their participation and information provided regarding specific aspects of DTS’ implementation.

Watt also announced that the February 17, 2017 deadline for written responses to a detailed Request for Information (RFI) published by FHFA specifically concerning manufactured housing chattel loans, would be extended until March 21, 2017, which appeared to be a response to President Donald Trump’s regulatory “freeze” order, enacted on January 20, 2017.

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Credit: Scott Lewis, Creative Commons.

During the meeting, MHARR detailed the specific legal and policy bases for its position that any DTS implementation, in order to comply with the express directive of Congress as set forth in the Housing and economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), must provide for a program of material and expedited Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) securitization and secondary market support for manufactured housing chattel loans, which comprise 80% or more of the entire manufactured housing market.

DTS was not an invitation for the GSEs to maintain the status quo for years or decades more,” said Weiss.

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M. Mark Weiss. Credit: MHProNews.

DTS does not stand for ‘Duty to Study.’

Weiss also commented on Director Watt’s actions.

As indicated by Director Watt’s action to extend the comment deadline for FHFA’s pending RFI, the January 20, 2017 regulatory ‘freeze’ order put in place by President Trump, by its express terms, also applies to the DTS final rule and subsequent Evaluation Guidance” said Weiss.

FHFA should use the additional time provided by this order to correct its approach to DTS and, with the additional information and input that it has received from stakeholders, revise both the final rule and its Evaluation Guidance to provide for an expedited path to material, mandatory GSE securitization and secondary market support for manufactured housing chattel loans.”

The full MHARR statement is available for Daily Business News readers here.

The full presentation from Weiss to the listening session 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 Regulatory Orders to Directly Impact MH

February 3rd, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: MHARR, Wikipedia.

Washington, D.C., – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that regulatory orders issued by the new Administration of President Donald J. Trump should have a direct impact on manufactured homes regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but face defiance, particularly at HUD, from entrenched regulators and revenue-driven contractors.

Soon after the November 8, 2016 national election, MHARR became the first and only national manufactured housing industry organization to publicly call for the deferral of any action on three pending regulations affecting manufactured housing. The regulations were based on a November 15, 2016 memorandum sent by the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives to all Executive Branch federal agencies, warning any agency against finalizing pending rules or regulations in the [Obama] Administration’s last days.”

MHARR called on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to defer action on a HUD “Interpretive Bulletin” (IB) regarding manufactured home foundations and DOE manufactured housing energy standards that would needlessly and discriminatorily exclude millions from the manufactured housing market. It also included any final FHFA “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) implementation rule that did not include the full securitization and secondary market support of manufactured housing personal property chattel loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

While the DOE has taken no further action on its manufactured housing energy rule, both the FHFA and HUD have taken defiant positions against a regulatory moratorium on these manufactured housing issues.

The Trump Administration put a regulatory freeze on all federal regulations on January 20th. 

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For “A Cup of Coffee With…” MHARR president and CEO M. Mark Weiss, click here or on the photo. Credit: MHProNews.

The Trump Administration has made it absolutely clear that one of its key priorities will be to reduce baseless regulatory burdens on American businesses that needlessly increase the cost of American products and undermine job creation,” said MHARR President and CEO M. Mark Weiss.

This new perspective offers the industry and consumers the long-overdue opportunity that they have needed to demand new leadership at HUD, in full compliance with the 2000 reform law, and complete consumer financing parity at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Hopefully all segments of the industry will recognize this and join forces to pursue this sorely-needed relief.

The full MHARR statement is available for Daily Business News readers here. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

NIMBY Rears its Head on Proposed MH Community

January 27th, 2017 Comments off
NIMBYRearsitsHeadAgainonProposedMHCommunitycreditCityofWildwoodRESCOL2-postedtothedaiybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

City of Wildwood offices. Credit: City of Wildwood, RESCOL2.

In Sumter County, Florida, the County Commission approved rezoning 26 acres in rural Wildwood to allow development of a 110-unit subdivision with manufactured homes or townhouses.

And some of the residents were not pleased.

According to Villages News, in an attempted case of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard), a survey of nearby residents found them split on whether the rezoning should be granted. Seven said they had no objection, while five objected.

I am not in favor of a mobile home park [sic] being placed on this property,” said Genevieve Edwards.

A mobile home park [sic] or multiple mobile homes [sic] would lower their property values,” said residents Edna and Edward Adams.

The property was rezoned to rural residential from agricultural, and is located on west side of the city, which is bordered by The Villages, the largest retirement community in the U.S.

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Credit: Google.

Although the property is adjacent to a parcel with commercial zoning, most of the surrounding land is agricultural.

The city of Wildwood is also well known for its April 2015 rebuff of The Villages petition to expand into the city with 785 new homes. Wildwood leaders rejected the expansion efforts citing concerns of the city losing its identity and becoming overwhelmed by The Villages.

It would be a disservice to our residents and business partners,” Wildwood officials said at the time.

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Nimby comic credit as shown, used here under fair use guidelines.

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MHProNews Sponsor, for more information, click the banner above.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, we have covered a number of cases of NIMBY recently, including the case in Aiken, South Carolina where residents were very blunt with their feelings.

The reason residents wanted to rezone the area is to keep mobile home parks [sic] out,” said Aiken County Planning Director Stephen Strohminger.

Residents in the area had reached out to former County Councilwoman LaWana McKenzie and District 3’s new representative Councilman Danny Feagin, concerned with the possibility of a large, manufactured home park [sic]. They wanted some protection.” ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.