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Federal Bill that MHI, Prosperity Now, NAMHCO Tout – MHARR Opposes, Why?

June 26th, 2019 Comments off

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Last week, the Daily Business News on MHProNews published a multiple perspective report on a bill that NAMHCO, MHI, and Prosperity Now have all come out in support of, which can be accessed via the text/image box below.

 

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

 

Against that backdrop, earlier this week, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform provided MHProNews their analysis on this measure. It follows below.

MHARRlogoMHARRNewsHeaderMHProNews

 

JUNE 24, 2019

 

 

TO:                 MHARR MANUFACTURERS

                       MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

                       MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

 

FROM:           MHARR

 

RE:                 UNNECCESSARY/DAMAGING BILLS INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS

 

MHARR, based on numerous inquiries from industry members, has conducted a study and investigation of parallel bills introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives, entitled the “HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019.”  The Senate version of the bill – S. 1804 – was filed on June 13, 2019. The House version – H.R. 926 – was filed in the current Congress on January 30, 2019, but was previously introduced by the same sponsor, Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA), in 2017 and has been closely monitored by MHARR since that time.

In MHARR’s opinion, while seemingly innocuous on their face and apparently well-intended by their respective congressional sponsors, these bills — being pressed behind-the-scenes by narrow special interests, both within and outside of the industry – are not only unnecessary, but could have profoundly damaging unintended consequences for both the mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing industry and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on those mainstream manufactured homes as the nation’s premier source of affordable, non-subsidized homeownership.  Indeed, if enacted into law (in either the House or Senate form), these bills could ultimately undermine and destroy all of the gains, advancements, recognition and acceptance that the industry (and consumers) have achieved under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 and the reforms within that law designed to transition manufactured homes from the “trailers” of yesteryear to modern, legitimate “housing” for all purposes.

And, in fact, it is because of the reforms mandated by the 2000 law, that recognition and acceptance of manufactured homes and the manufactured housing industry has become the norm among decision-makers in the nation’s capital, as demonstrated particularly (but not exclusively) by HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s accolades for manufactured housing as a major part of the solution to the nation’s affordable housing crisis. As explained below, however, these bills, if enacted, would: (1) undermine the progress that mainstream, affordable, HUD Code manufactured homes have made in Washington, D.C.; (2) would split the industry into a class of “high-end” homes and ade facto “second class” of mainstream, affordable homes that would once again be re-relegated to “trailer” status; and (3) effectively exclude such mainstream, affordable, HUD Code manufactured homes from any consideration for, or participation in, housing programs sponsored by the federal government – all for the benefit of a handful of corporate conglomerates.

Specifically, these bills — in light of recent developments concerning the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) and the apparent effort by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, promoted by some in the industry, to divert DTS support to a supposed “new class” of pseudo-manufactured homes while providing no support whatsoever to existing, mainstream manufactured homes financed through personal property loans — appears to be tailored not only to legitimize the so-called “new class” of pseudo-manufactured home, but also to mandate government support for the utilization of that new class of home. The legislation, consequently, if enacted, would legally validate the discriminatory DTS policies adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the establishment of two separate “classes” of “residential manufactured homes” — the new class of high-cost, site-built-like hybrid homes favored and prioritized for securitization and secondary market support by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the one hand, and a “second class” comprised of existing, affordable, mainstream HUD Code manufactured homes on the other, with continued and worsening discrimination against the “second-class” of mainstream manufactured homes. 

The legislation, if enacted, would thus sanitize and institutionalize the diversion of DTS support from mainstream manufactured housing to this so-called “new class” of home.  It would also simultaneously pave the way for local jurisdictions to utilize this “new class” of home – while in many, if not most cases, continuing to exclude and discriminate against mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing — in order to access HUD grants and other funding. The bills do this through a two-step process of effectively expanding the definition of “manufactured home” currently contained in federal law and then requiring the inclusion of homes meeting this expanded definition in the “Consolidated Plans” that jurisdictions must submit to HUD in order to receive federal funding under multiple HUD programs.

In relevant part, the bills direct HUD to “issue guidelines for jurisdictions relating to the appropriate inclusion of residential manufactured homes in a Consolidated Plan of the jurisdiction.” (Emphasis added). The term “Consolidated Plans,” as noted above, refers to “comprehensive housing affordability strategy and community development plans” required by HUD regulations for communities seeking federal funds under HUD’s formula grant programs, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) among many others. The definition of “residential manufactured home” contained in the bills, in turn, while referring to the definition of “manufactured home” contained in the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, would nevertheless expand that definition by using the term “residential,” which is not contained or included in the existing federal law definition. The Senate bill, in addition refers to homes ‘used as a dwelling,” which differs from existing law which defines “manufactured homes” as being “designed to be used as a dwelling.” The bills, accordingly, would create a discrepancy between the existing definition of “manufactured home” and what does – or does not – constitute a “residential manufactured home,” potentially without any type of vetting, analysis or due consideration, that would elevate the so-called “new class” of home for use in every jurisdiction receiving HUD grants and other funding, while reducing mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes, once again, to second-class “trailer” status contrary to the 2000 reform law.

The bills, accordingly, pose a significant threat to existing, affordable, mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income families that rely upon those homes.  At a minimum, with their expanded definition of “residential manufactured home,” which is materially different from the definition already contained in federal manufactured housing law, the two bills, if enacted, would create immediate market confusion – particularly for existing HUD Code manufactured homes, homeowners, and purchasers that could further suppress the mainstream, affordable HUD Code market — and could lead to liability and litigation over just what does or does not constitute a “manufactured home” for purposes of federal regulation and a multitude of other issues. Consequently, MHARR does not and cannot support these bills and has already begun efforts in Congress (and at HUD) to expose the significant problems inherent in these bills and the major harm that they could – and likely would — cause for both consumers of mainstream, affordable  manufactured housing and the industry as a whole, but especially its smaller businesses.

 

            Again, and in summary, these bills are unnecessary and potentially harmful, in that they:

 

  • Would perpetuate a negative connotation and image of existing, mainstream, HUD Code manufactured housing through their identical titles, which imply that manufactured homes are in need of “modernization” notwithstanding the sweeping institutional reforms of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  In addition, these titles are misleading and inaccurate, in that the HUD program and the legal treatment of manufactured housing itself were already “modernized” by the 2000 reform law, after input from all stakeholders and the National Commission on Manufactured Housing;

 

  • Would, by changing the definition of what constitutes a “manufactured home,” create a substantial risk that the so-called “new class” of manufactured homes could lead to the establishment of a new baseline for all federal manufactured home standards, which would destroy the fundamental affordability of manufactured homes;

 

  • Would — even if it does not lead to more expansive and costly federal standards, as above — re-relegate existing, mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes to second-class “trailer” status;

 

  • Would undermine gains and advances made through and as a result of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to elevate the status of mainstream, affordable manufactured homes to that of legitimate “housing” for all purposes (including federal and federally-sponsored housing programs);

 

  • Would legitimize and institutionalize continuing discrimination against mainstream, HUD Code manufactured home personal property loans under DTS;

 

  • Would legitimize and reinforce the discriminatory exclusion of mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes in jurisdictions seeking HUD grants and other related funding by effectively directing those jurisdictions instead to higher-cost, “new class,” hybrid-type homes;

 

  • Would direct HUD funding and grants to jurisdictions that continue to discriminate against and exclude mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes and manufactured housing residents;

 

  • Would create immediate market confusion, would further suppress the existing HUD Code manufactured housing market and depreciate the re-sale value of such mainstream, affordable manufactured homes;

 

  • Would benefit just a handful of industry conglomerates at the expense of smaller, independent industry businesses and the lower and moderate-income American homebuyers who rely on the affordability of mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing.

Consequently, rather than these bills, with their inconsistent language and potentially devastating consequences for mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing, MHARR will instead seek to advance language that could be included in any moving bill involving HUD or housing finance that would ensure equal, non-discriminatory treatment for all HUD Code manufactured housing in both HUD housing and community grant programs, and housing finance programs under the jurisdiction of HUD (i.e., the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae) and/or the Federal Housing Finance Agency (i.e., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).  It is worth noting that under the 2000 reform law, manufactured housing producers have – and have always – been capable of building homes with additional upgrades and features.  Thus, the MHARR-suggested language below.

That language, which MHARR has already started to provide to Congress, states:

 

  • “The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide for the inclusion of manufactured homes in all housing, federal housing assistance and community development programs and activities, including community development grants, administered by the Department, and shall ensure that any jurisdiction participating in any such program or applying to participate in any such program does not exclude or unreasonably restrict the placement of manufactured homes as defined by and regulated pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 5401, et seq.) within that jurisdiction.”

 

  • “The Federal Housing Finance Agency shall ensure that the Government Sponsored Enterprises provide securitization and secondary market support for loans to purchase manufactured homes regulated pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 5401, et seq.), including loans secured by manufactured homes titled as real estate and manufactured homes titled as personal property, on an equal basis with all other types of single-family homes.”

 

Such language, attached to any moving bill in Congress, would propel parity and equality between existing, mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing and all other types of housing, while simultaneously prohibiting discrimination against HUD Code housing (and manufactured homeowners) in vital areas.  By contrast, when the innocuous veneer of the pending bills is stripped away, it becomes apparent that they would do serious harm to existing, mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on the non-subsidized affordability of those homes.  Indeed, a thorough analysis, based on accurate and factual information, shows that congressional (and Administration – i.e., HUD) goodwill toward the industry is being diverted instead toward the benefit of extremely narrow special interests.  As a result, these bills should be unacceptable to the industry at large.  MHARR, for its part, will continue to disseminate accurate and factual information to educate and inform Congress, the Administration and other decision-makers of the potentially serious market disruptions that could result from such legislation, and how the positive and constructive intent of Congress toward mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing can best be advanced through the above language.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional information regarding this matter.  We will continue to keep you apprised as new developments unfold. 

cc: Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members  

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 512

Washington D.C. 20004

Phone: 202/783-4087

Fax: 202/783-4075

 ###

 

MHProNews has contacted legislators on both sides of the political aisle about this piece of legislation. There were polite, professional assurances made that our concerns would be reviewed and addressed. Stay tuned.

It should also be noted that MHProNews and our parent company has provided input and content from sources that we may agree, disagree, or have a nuanced ‘wheat and chaff’ interest in. We have sources that we may or may not agree with, but if their perspective is of importance to the industry’s professionals, we routinely opt to share it.

We have at times held positions that are different than that of a sponsor or client. No two people or organizations hold the same vantagepoint on every issue.  Nor should it be expected.  It would be contrary to human nature and experiences. We don’t expect a sponsor to agree with everything we say or do, and the same is true in reverse.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of that is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and 21st Mortgage Corporation.  Each of them were sponsors.  We took periodic positions that were different than theirs.  Then MHI Chairman Tim Williams praised our objectivity, which he said made our support – when they had it – all the more valuable.

That was arguably the right stuff thinking.

Manufactured housing is in an 8-month slide.  Some sources with MHI tell us that we should expect an uptick that reveres that trend.  We will soon see.

What is certain is that MHI, Clayton, and the ‘powers that be’ in the industry, plus their surrogates, act as if all is well. Unless the goal is to throttle the industry and consolidate it at a discount, who can say all is well with a straight face? See the report below.

 

 

That’s today’s first chapter of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

1) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

 

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Affordable Housing Crisis, Ray of Light for Manufactured Housing? Plus, Manufactured Home Stock Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

June 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

NAMHCOlogoMonopolisticManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHARRlogoGeorgeFAllenPawnNAMHCOMHIMHARRWeighInOnControversialBillGeorgeAllenPawnGambitMHProNews

Stung by recent critiques and fact checks of MHI [Manufactured Housing Institute] before, during, and after the recent Innovative Housing Showcase – for which they have no good response – MHI had to try to change the narrative.”

 

A source with long, ongoing ties to MHI said the above in response to MHProNews inquiries about the Arlington, VA based trade group’s release to MHI members and followers that is published herein further below.

You only have to look at the timing of the MHI statement and look at George’s [Allen] follow up to his readers to know that Dick [Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, MHI President and CEO] coordinated with his compensated pawn. From the perspective of MHI and the [MHI] Executive Committee, Allen is seen as a useful surrogate – a tool that they think they can’t lose with.”

Why? How so?

Allen, per, that source, helps MHI continue to continue their manufactured home industry consolidation campaign with Allen’s help as a masking cover. Allen can be sacrificed like a pawn at any time. But unlike an actual game of chess, MHI can replace Allen any time they want to, once his usefulness to them is done. “The perfect example of that is Suzanne Felber,” of whom that source said that MHI “…tried to use [her as a surrogate in attacks] against MHProNews, but it proved ineffective, so they simply moved on to others like Allen.”

It should be noted that Felber, who is also “compensated,” is still used by MHI for minor event-related tasks.

MHI’s Executive Committee, senior leadership, and outside law firm hired to deal with MHProNews were contacted in response to questions about their statement on 6.13.1.2019 to MHI’s members and followers. Cincinnati based Graydon, MHI’s outside law firm that has an office in MHI board member Nathan Smith’s home town of Fort Mitchell, KY, confirmed receipt of the inquiries.

But they have not yet made any formal response.

No official response was made by MHI.

Here is the MHI statement to their readers, which was described by one source as “their latest head-fake,” for purpotedly factual reasons that will be noted afterward. MHI’s statement – with all of their legal threats and warnings not to share this with publicly – follows below. Let’s note that MHProNews does not at this time support this bill as it stands. Nor should publishing this be construed in any way as an endorsement of MHI, for reasons long-time readers understand. As a stating the obvious disclaimer to longtime readers, MHI and their ‘big boy backers’ used to be a sponsor of this site, until questions from this pro-growth trade media apparently became to difficult for them to respond to. Our track record reflects that banner ads or sponsorship doesn’t change our editorial stance, which perhaps explains why we are the most read trade media in the industry by far.

 

— start of MHI release —

HOUSING ALERT

June 13, 2019

MHI Protects Industry and Manufactured Housing Land-Lease Communities from Attack

MHI was able to successfully combat efforts to have anti-industry language included in a bill that would require the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue guidelines for localities to consider manufactured housing in their use of federal funds. Nestled within a broader proposal to gain support of localities for manufactured housing, the original language would have actually sought to establish congressional intent that certain manufactured homes and land-lease communities are harmful for consumers.

The original version included language that disparaged the energy efficiency of HUD Code manufactured homes and also criticized all manufactured housing land-lease communities that are not resident-owned. Thanks to MHI’s efforts, the bill that was ultimately introduced on Wednesday, S. 1804, did not include any of the negative language. Instead, the language supports the inclusion of manufactured housing in jurisdictions across America.

MHI was the only association representing the industry to identify the threat and fight for removal of the language prior to Senate introduction. Other associations that claim to represent the industry actually supported the provisions that disparaged manufactured housing. In contrast, MHI worked to have that language removed so that the bill only promotes the industry’s goal of having localities support more manufactured housing in their jurisdictions.

This anti-industry attack was timed during last week’s MHI Homes on the Hill Legislative Fly-In, when policymakers were seeing first-hand the quality and beauty of manufactured housing. MHI appreciates our champions in Congress who worked with us to remove the negative language and ensure the final legislation that was introduced on Wednesday genuinely helps promote manufactured housing. The bill now makes the following positive points about manufactured housing:

(1) Manufactured housing is a significant source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the United States.

(2) Nearly 22,000,000 people in the United States live in manufactured housing, which opens the door to homeownership for families who, in many housing markets, cannot afford to buy a site-built home.

(3) Manufactured housing is the only form of housing regulated by a Federal building code, which includes standards for health, safety, energy efficiency, and durability, and is found on land owned by the homeowner and land leased by the homeowner in communities owned and operated by private entities, nonprofit organizations, or resident owned communities.

(4) Manufactured homes can open the door to homeownership for millions of families; they can appreciate in value and be an effective long-term affordable housing solution for some families and communities across the United States.

If passed, HUD will issue guidelines to states and localities relating to the appropriate inclusion of residential manufactured homes in their comprehensive housing affordability strategies and community development plans, called the Consolidated Plans. HUD requires these Consolidated Plans, which are designed to help states and local jurisdictions assess their affordable housing and community development needs and market conditions, as a part of applications for funding under any of the Community Planning and Development formula grant programs, including the Community Development Block Grant Program, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and Housing Trust Fund.

S. 1804 was sponsored by Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV) and cosponsored by Senators Scott (R-SC), Smith (D-MN), Young (R-IN) and Cramer (R-ND).

MHI will continue our consistent and constructive presence on Capitol Hill and cultivation of strong bipartisan relationships to ensure that manufactured housing is a part of federal efforts to address the nation’s affordable housing challenges.

 

— End of the body of MHI’s release —

 

 

MHI’s Factual Misses

It should be noted that MHI, for all of their posturing above, did not mentioned that the House and Senate versions of the bill are not identical. Thus, their own claim of fixing the language of the bill is not accurate.

The House version has one or more factual errors, which also arguably undercuts MHI’s posturing, above. For proof, see both versions of the bill, linked below.

Questions were sent to the “MHI compensated surrogate, George Allen,” who has not formally denied nor confirmed that he is “rewarded” – per sources that claim knowledge – for being MHI’s “pawnand “attack dog.”

One source noted with humor the prior reference on MHProNews of Allen as the roaring, but cowardly lion – which helped suggest the featured image at top, with Allen’s head on the pawn.

But more than one Allen follower copied in messages had things to say to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

For example, the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) provided a detailed on-the-record statements last night to MHProNews, which will follow below.

That source said they understood why MHProNews did articles that included mentions and or does fact-checks of Allen, but the new trade group official saw no value in commenting on “George” at all.

Another source with NAMHCO previously said that Allen’s usefulness to them was mainly for recruiting new members into their association who distrust MHI.  There is apparent ongoing communications.

Another source reminded MHProNews of NAMHCO’s prior statement about MHI [shown below], and said that Allen’s missives and flip-flops were too “self-contradictory” for him to have “any credibility.” Further, the public scandals and purported controversies attached to Allen are known by too many to give him use behind his own die hard followers. Ouch.

 

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What Haney’s statement reflects are the apparent track record of a lack of credibility and effectiveness of MHI in their claims. 

 

The NAMHCO source who spoke to MHProNews yesterday likewise saw no value in commenting about MHI or their motivations.

That said, it was noteworthy, per that caller, that HUD officials took a “narrow view” of “enhanced preemption” even though the evidence provided by MHARR reflected a much broader power. That source said that MHARR was correct in pressing the matter. Rephrased, at least one party at NAMHCO sees enhanced preemption as MHARR and MHProNews do. For those readers not yet aware of that issue, see the related report, linked from the text-image box below.

 

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

 

Here is the formal NAMHCO statement to MHProNews.

We are pleased with the introduction of S.1804, the “HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019.”  Beyond the findings sections, this bill actually does something quite important.  It requires HUD to issues guidelines to include manufactured housing to states and localities as they develop their comprehensive plans to address affordable housing.  This means, manufactured housing could be considered in state and local grant applications for Community Planning and Development grants, HOME investment grants, and the Housing Trust Fund.   This bill puts manufactured home communities at the table at both the federal and the state and local level, and presents and opportunity for state and local agencies to support and strengthen the affordable homeownership that communities provide.”

Additionally, I also attached the House version of the Bill, H.R. 926 introduced by Norma Torres, which NAMHCO did not endorse.”

The post-production, manufactured home community focused trade group also provided the text of the NAMHCO release on the issue, which is found linked here as a download.

 

 

The View from MHARR

MHARR had no formal comments about the matter.  But a source with the Washington, D.C. based trade group noted that Allen was misguiding his readers because they collect no dues from post-production companies.

Indeed, that fits with their routine statement that MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

It was purported and ongoing failures of MHI to address financing, placement, and zoning issues – among others – that has motivated MHARR and their members – who produce HUD Code manufactured homes – to go beyond their core mission.  In that respect, the trade group is arguably doing more than those who are paid by the post-production sector.

A MHARR source also observed that MHI’s statement – cited above – was not accurate, as they spoke in person with more than one party in Congress connected with the pending bill.

To that point, the questions put to MHI and their outside law firm – which were sent by MHProNews prior to hearing from a contact with MHARR – are worth noting.

 

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

No doubt you’ve also seen the email from your purported surrogate, George F. Allen that followed this email from MHI.

MHProNews would like to see:

1) the original language of the bill,

2) evidence that others in the industry failed to address the matter.

3) the revised language.

4) all communications relative to this bill.

Perhaps more to the point, instead of this legislation, how do you explain MHI’s failure promote enhanced preemption?  What evidence can you provide that you’ve asked HUD to fully enforce enhanced preemption?

We are on deadline.  While you are welcome to respond now, or later, we’d prefer your on-the-record reply via email asap, so it can be included in our planned report.

Thank you.

Tony

LATonyKovachMHProNews2019-06-14_0741

 

 

 

 

What Third Party Legislation Monitoring GovTrack Says

GovTrack, pointing to Skopos Labs research, is giving the MHI supported bill a 3 percent chance of becoming law.

 

HR926GovTrackSkoposLabsHUDManufacturedHousingModernizationAct2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That was similar to the odds GovTrack gave for the MHI backed Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act at various times.

Preserving Access never passed. To learn more about that, see the deeper dive, linked below.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

Given low odds of passage, this new controversial MHI supported bill – whatever its merits may or may not be – appears to be a moot point.

But that doesn’t mean that the language of the bill in its current – MHI supported – form is without risks. The controversy exists precisely because the bill, per sources, has several possible land-mines. Even without passage, the bill may cause harm to the industry.

 

 

Starting with the Title, Reasons Why MHProNews Says Bill is Flawed As Is

First, it should be realized that the Senate version of this bill is supported by Prosperity Now and MHI.  Put differently, that means that Buffett’s fingerprints are on it from two sources. That’s the first red flag, IMHO,” said publisher, consultant, and multiple award-winning L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Next, whoever the geniuses at Prosperity Now and/or MHI were that gave this bill its name, that too is arguably flawed. Think about the title: “HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019’’. For those who will never read beyond the title, that implies that manufactured homes need to be ‘modernized.’ It’s poor marketing, and factually inaccurate,” said industry expert Kovach.

How is it that MHI keeps taking positions that undermine the industry’s image? Or why do they back steps that seem to derail or reroute access to more capital, financing, and placement of the industry?” Kovach asked. “Why doesn’t MHI just back a full throated use of Enhanced Preemption? Or the GSE’s Duty to Serve all new HUD Code manufactured home sales, not only those new class of homes that Clayton Homes and MHI wants to sell?”

Beyond the fact that MHI is using this as a purported dodge over their recent misses, he pointed in that last comment to the problematic use of a phrase that is looked at in more depth, below.

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

 

Problematic New Class of Homes Angle?

What NAMHCO and Allen have apparently missed is a problem with MHI’s language – quoted above, and recapped below – that could be a reference to the Clayton Homes/MHI backed ‘new class of homes.’ New readers are reminded that MHProNews often takes a direct quote and makes the text bold and brown so it ‘pops,’ but otherwise leaves the quoted statement unaltered.

Quoting from MHI’s email: “If passed, HUD will issue guidelines to states and localities relating to the appropriate inclusion of residential manufactured homes in their comprehensive housing affordability strategies and community development plans,” with the underscoring editorially added.

Sources tell MHProNews that “residential manufactured homes” is not language used in federal legislation already in effect on HUD Code manufactured housing. It may be a possible end-around way of promoting ONLY the Clayton/MHI backed ‘new class’ of homes, or one more ‘Trojan Horse.’

As MHI themselves admit, “If” the bill is passed, which is low odds, per GovTrack. Which brings industry professionals and advocates back to the issue of the lack of consistent enforcement of “enhanced preemption,” which MHI seems unwilling to support, per prior reporting that MHI has not challenged.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

Thus, posturing by MHI and their surrogate Allen on this issue yesterday, and repeated red-herring style head-fakes by both ought to be seen for what it is.

Meanwhile the industry:

  • is now into 8 consecutive months of year-over-year declines in new home shipments during an affordable housing crisis.
  • MHI continues to put up fig leaf videos and statements, which get very little visibility beyond industry members, which are their apparent target audience. How does that help increase industry shipments?  Isn’t it the public that needs persuasion?
  • Despite MHI saying they invite questions – “If you have any questions, please contact MHI’s Government Affairs Department” – they continue to exercise their Fifth Amendment protected right to remain silent when asked by MHProNews, even though they routinely replied promptly until questions by MHProNews apparently became to difficult for them to navigate.  That fits the pattern of Rick Robinson, SVP and General Counsel, and MHI’s Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, ducking questions in public for 2 years when asked by MHProNews. 

 

Downturn Harming Independents, Would-Be Consumers 

Independent manufactured home industry members have been telling MHProNews that they are personally impacted by the downturn in new HUD Code manufactured home sales, which only makes sense based upon the statistics.

Meanwhile, MHI, while claiming “clout,” uses that for photo opportunities – or even nice videos – but demonstrably continues to miss at what matters most to businesses, investors, and professionals.  Namely, the bottom line of more sales.

One of the most insightful phrases this year in describing MHI is theIllusion of Motion,” said Kovach. “Their controversial bill is arguably an example of how MHI is running around the block to do what full implementation of Enhanced Preemption and better lending demanded by DTS would achieve.  If they had clout, what this bill claims to do could be done by administrative fiat. It’s almost pointless.”

If they really care about growth instead of consolidation, MHI, NAMHCO, and others should join MHARR and MHProNews in calling for full enforcement of the industry’s good, existing lawsWe consistently pushed for enforcing existing laws before, while we were MHI members, and since. Everything else is a dodge, distraction, and delay that is costing our industry billions of dollars collectively every year.”

He added, “Its a disgrace that MHI and Allen aren’t robustly promoting enhanced preemption and the good news that Secretary Ben Carson has made available, instead of this latest head fakeThey are arguably deceptive cowards, unwilling to face in public and debate the issues that are costing this industry billions, and are leaving millions who could benefit from manufactured homes with a false perception — shame on their disgraceful behavior.”

See the related reports, below the byline and notices for more.

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The quote above is about a year old, and is standing the test of time. 

 

That’s today’s second installment of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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