Posts Tagged ‘partisan support’

MHARR’s HUD/MHI Missive: on the record, “No Comment,” but off the record…

February 1st, 2014 Comments off

broadside-darius-danny-ghorbani-president-mharr-salvo-on-hud-logo-manufactured-housing-association-for-regulatory-reform-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-.jpMHARR’s president “broadsided” HUD – as well as MHI – on Thursday, January 29th with an emailed release. The timing seemed odd, observers told MHProNews, as this took place in the immediate aftermath of an extraordinary semiannual oversight hearing on Capitol Hill. Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s Financial Services Committee had members from both parties peppering Richard Cordray with questions on the handling of manufactured housing regulations by the CFPB.

MHProNews outreaches to MHARR and MHI officials alike drew no reply (MHARR’s DC office) and no comment (MHI’s office).  But off the record statements have come in from a variety of sources, including those close to both of the manufactured housing industry’s national associations, state association leaders and other professionals in the industry.

One neutral source said off the record, “I agree with each of Danny’s comments about HUD.  I disagree about lack of progress or losing ground.”

A source close to MHI said, we …”have much bigger battles to fight than engaging in a war of words with someone who hasn’t accomplished anything for our industry since the passage of (the) Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000,” a reference to Danny Ghorbani, President at MHARR.

One MHARR source told us they agreed with every aspect of the MHARR release.

However, while some echoed that, other members in the MHARR camp are split on the release’s attack on MHI, and some related strategic and tactical issues. Some see the Darius “Danny” Ghorbani led group as acting properly, while others see MHARR’s president as being dead right on issues, but wrong on engagement methods with MHI, and often tactically mistaken in dealing with regulators.

Or as one MHARR member said when asked about the division in their ranks on tactics, timing and wording, “obviously, we are a varied group at MHARR.”

A veteran of DC and industry issues told MHProNews, “…note the wide-spread, bi-partisan support for the industry at the (Financial Services Committee) hearing. And, more importantly…such a broad and loud outcry (at the recent Financial Services Hearing with CFPB’s ) doesn’t happen organically, but as the result of a strategic (and) successful lobbying effort on behalf of…” state associations and MHI.

Indeed, in a video MHProNews plans to feature in the near term, 10 members of the committee raise concerns with Cordray, including the ranking Democrat, Maxine Waters (D-CA). Others included, Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Bill Clay (D-MO), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Greg Meeks (D-NY), Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Terri Sewell (D-AL).

“What is certain is that manufactured housing has not had this level of momentum on Capitol Hill in at least 6 years, if not longer.” another source told us.  “MHI and the aligned states (associations) have done a lot of good work, in a tough political environment.  Anyone who knows politics and lobbying knows that it takes time to get things done, especially when you don’t have tons of money to throw at lobbying. Danny’s (Ghorbani) disappointed that MHARR working with MHI for a year has not shown huge results? Excuse me? What can he point to of substance that he achieved in the last few years? Things are tough in DC! Danny’s timing looks short sighted, or worse, in the light of the facts and history.”

Will the MHARR release slow momentum in DC or on the Hill? “Unlikely.” said one when asked. “The states and MHI have some real traction at this point. Danny’s broadside won’t harm MHI, the states, perhaps not anyone but Danny himself. Some will be glad he did it, because they share Danny’s frustrations with HUD.  But is this the way to get real change done? There is a real difference of opinion within the ranks of MHARR, (whose members) often agree with Danny on policy and goals, but not always agree on his style or timing.”

MHProNews will monitor the topic, as sources aligned with MHARR tell us that a concerted ‘tag team’ effort to use the MHARR release will be made by a handful of disgruntled MHI members in the days ahead.

The full MHARR release – which sparked the comments above – is linked here. ##

(Editor’s Note: Remember, “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  Opinions on this topic or others of industry interest are welcomed and encouraged.)

(Image Danny Ghorbani smiles at the broadside by the USS Missouri at HUD’s logo. Image Credits: Wikicommons, HUD logo and MHProNews)

Amendment to High Cost Lending Provision has Bi-partisan Support

April 27th, 2013 Comments off

According to what the americanbanker tells MHProNews from Washington, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is attempting to amend a provision that will adjust the thresholds of high-cost loans under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act for manufactured home loans, while maintaining consumer protections. Under the current provision scheduled to go into effect Jan. 2014, many small balance loans used to buy manufactured homes would be classified as predatory and high-cost because they are short term and carry a high interest rate. In introducing HR 1779, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), and Gary Miller (R-Calif.) also want to exclude some sellers of manufactured homes from being classified as a loan originator unless they are paid by a lender, loan originator or mortgage banker. In addition, the loans cannot be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, leading most lenders to avoid MH loans. In the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) newsletter, Nathan Smith, Chairman of MHI, says, “Low-income families across the country, particularly in rural areas, depend on access to financing for affordable manufactured homes. Not only are manufactured homes the largest form of unsubsidized affordable housing in the nation, but the manufactured housing industry is also a job creator and an important economic driver in many communities. We thank Representatives Fincher, Thompson and Miller for fighting to protect manufactured homeowners and our industry.” The Senate will see a similar bill introduced soon.

Manufactured Housing Industry Execs Meeting over ByLaws Controversy; Legislative Agenda Advances

March 20th, 2013 Comments off

manufactured-housing-institute-gavel-bylaws-issue-posted-manufactured-housing-pronews-The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is in the process of updating their bylaws, which was last done circa 2007, and led to controversy over proposed changes. The issue revolves in part around state association executives who seek to have a strong voice in MHI’s legislative and other agendas. MHI CEO Dick Jennison was contacted about the topic for comment. Jennison’s reply was: “…it would be inappropriate for me at this stage to officially comment while the bylaws changes are “pending” before the MHI Board for its consideration.”

It should be noted that bylaws are a matter of any association’s governance, and as such, are normally discussed and decided by board members, which makes Jennison’s response to our inquiry understandable.

State association executives were also contacted for comment, a number of whom shared thoughts about the topic off the record and copies of list-serve emails were provided to us about the controversy. From the state perspective, a number of executive directors feel their states deserve a strong voice at MHI, as their work is often critical in grass roots efforts. While some state associations threatened a possible walk out, a source close to the issues tells us that posture was walked back the next day. It should be noted that some execs clearly took a pro-MHI stand on the bylaws topic.

Reportedly a pair of non-state association parties have attempted to stir up the bylaws issue for some weeks.

An informed source close to MHI and the associations in question tells MHProNews that the offending language change in the bylaws was offered to be struck shortly after the issue arose in late February, in an effort to settle the issue between MHI and the state executives. With “bruises” evident in the respective camps, a private meeting was scheduled to take place at the upcoming Tunica Manufactured Housing Show to bring the various parties together for a resolution.

As one informed source stated, with similar comments from others to MHProNews, “I hope this gets resolved soon, as we certainly have bigger issues facing our industry than the MHI bylaws.”

The good news amidst this bylaws controversy is that it seems that progress is still being made in lining up bi-paritsan support for MHI’s federal legislative agenda. Our sources tell us that the plan is to file bills with bi-partisan support in both the House and the Senate at the same time, which is expected to take place “soon,” likely in the second quarter of 2013. That progress suggests that the parties nationally and locally are still working together in a professional manner. ##

(Graphic Credit: WikiCommons and MHI Logo)


Making Manufactured Housing SAFE from Dodd-Frank

May 1st, 2012 Comments off

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) lobbying dollars credit: OpenSecrets-posted on MHProNews.comPerhaps 20,000 to 30,000 jobs and the home values of some 4 million pre-HUD Code mobile and post-HUD Code manufactured homes hangs in the balance of the passage of HR 3849. Can it get done? Experts tell MHProNews that it will require a strong grass roots effort by industry professionals to make it happen. The chart below is one reason why. Lobbying dollars from manufactured housing pales in comparison to other housing related groups. According to OpenSecrets, $66,477,304 was spent on real estate lobbying in 2011. The National Association of Realtors alone spent $22,355,463 in 2011. But 100% sign-on to HR 3849 by all the House members in MS and OK – congressmen representing both parties – proves it can be done. One source told MHProNews that there are three reasons MS got all their congressman on board “Jen Hall, Jen Hall and Jen Hall,” meaning Jennifer Hall and the Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association’s efforts. Doug Gorman explains how it was done in OK in an exclusive Industry Voices guest column. Tony Kovach said, “Use the information at this link to HR 3849 to get your congressman on board. Then contact your manufactured home owning residents and customers with this link and have them contact their congressman too. Call and email, get others to do the same. If we want to fix Dodd-Frank and SAFE so we can sell more homes and protect manufactured home owners values, just do it.

(Graphic credit: OpenSecrets)

Congressional Support Growing for HR 3849

April 21st, 2012 Comments off

Noting a story we posted April 10, 2012, outlining the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), fresh from its annual National Congress and Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing in Las Vegas, announces in it’s newsletter the bi-partisan support it has gained for the legislation (HR 3849). Introduced by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), nearly 30 members of Congress have agreed to co-sponsor the measure, has learned, and more are expected to sign on in the coming weeks.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia–U.S. Capitol floor)


Boehlert Addresses MHI’s Winter Legislative Session

February 28th, 2012 Comments off

Jason Boehlert, vice president of government relations for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), shown here explaining the landscape of legislative affairs inside the Washington, D.C. beltway at the MHI legislative session government affairs briefing Feb. 25. His presentation included pending legislation that would provide regulatory relief for the manufactured housing industry. The House has bi-partisan support for the legislation but it needs sponsors in the Senate. MHI is urging members and industry stakeholders to contact their congressional representatives to support H.R.3849 that addresses two issues that affect consumers ability to obtain financing for MH: Reducing the threshold by which small balance manufactured home personal property loans are considered High-Cost Mortgage Loans under provisions within Dodd-Frank; and two, clarifying that those selling manufactured homes—who are not fundamentally engaged in the business of originating mortgage loans—are not to be defined as mortgage originators under the SAFE Act.

(Photo credit:

MHI’s Jason Boehlert at Louisville

January 15th, 2012 Comments off

At the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, Jason Boehlert, Vice President of Government Affairs for MHI, responding to a question from about the possibility of altering the provisions of Dodd-Frank that negatively impact the MH industry, said, “Where a lot of these measures fail in reforming Dodd-Frank is when they are too broad, they don’t have bi-partisan support. Luckily for us, we have one of the namesakes (Rep. Barney Frank) willing to work with us on this issue. As long as we keep our asks targeted, I think we have a decent shot.” MHProNews: “Even with all the bi-partisan conflict in Washington these days?” Boehlert: “I think on the margins there are opportunities on a targeted basis.” MHProNews: “Since Barney Frank is not seeking another term, do you think he will step up a little farther then he has in support of changes?” Boehlert: “His position has been the same whether he’s running or not. He has always been pretty consistent in support of the (MH) industry. The only industry he has been willing to work with is ours. He has not gone out in the forefront of anyone else. There are not a lot of Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee for whom manufactured housing is an interest or concern, and that number is dwindling. Republicans are willing to do almost anything about Dodd- Frank, they tend to be more pro-industry, and more likely to be from rural areas. Democrats on that committee are more from urbanized areas where there is no manufactured housing presence. To them, affordable housing is rental housing, Section 8.”

(Graphic credit: Louisville Manufactured Housing Show)