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New HUD Videos of Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase 2019, Surprising Manufactured Housing Institute Reveals

June 20th, 2019 Comments off
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Still from third HUD video, posted below. Factory-built homes are visible in these videos. 

The inaugural Innovative Housing Showcase” (IHS2019) says the HUD YouTube page, “featured new building technologies and housing solutions that are making homeownership more affordable for American families and homes more resilient during natural disasters. The Showcase includes panel discussions, on-stage interviews, and demonstrations with exhibitors, lawmakers, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the housing industry.

 

 

HUD has posted these two videos, shown above and below.

 

 

This third video by HUD is their ‘wrap up’ video, and features a narrative by Secretary Ben Carson.

 

 

So, HUD continues to promote the importance and meaning of the Innovative Housing Showcase.

 

InnovativeHousingShowcaseTinyHouseExpedition6.20.2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A tiny house video was posted only 4 days ago, but the total views on this over half-hour length video dwarfs all of the MHI videos combined. Can’t MHI promote their own videos better than tiny house promoters?

What about others?

TinyHousesCribsWithCarsonBenCarsonInnovativeHousingShowcase2019-06-20_1909DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is the Cribs with Carson video that MHProNews posted earlier this month.

 

It is interesting to note that the Manufactured Housing Institute has not made it easy to find their own vides from their own website.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteHomesonHillInnovativeHousingshowCasePage2019-06-20_1609DailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

In fact, on this date, we found no way to access MHI’s YouTube videos from MHI’s own website. 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonSearchMHIWebsiteManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoWebsite2019-06-20_1606DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Why not?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteHomesonHillInnovativeHousingShowcase2019-06-20_1913

Secretary Ben Carson’s address to MHI in New Orleans is also still missing today.

 

 

These raise concerns reported at the link above. MHI backers, what say you?  How do you explain these obvious oversights?  Especially during a downturn?

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

That’s this almost-midnight installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted 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.

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Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

“Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

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

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/

 

 

Secretary Carson Letter Lights Fuse for Explosive Change, Obliquely Addresses Manufactured Housing Action Concerns

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

 

SecCarsonLetterLightsFuseExplosiveChazngeObliquelyAddressesManufacturedHousingActionConcernsMHProNews

 

Last year at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) in conjunction with other left-leaning groups, protested Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson’s address to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) at their annual “Congress and Expo” fundraising and networking event.

 

At that time, MHAction issued a press release, photos, and video footage of their efforts to disrupt the talk by Secretary Carson.  The picture above is one of those items, and it’s use or quoting MHAction herein are not to be construed as an endorsement of their views or tactics.

Ben Carson insulted and dismissed us while telling the corporate investors in attendance that they should keep profiting off the housing crisis. Ben Carson’s job is to help solve the housing crisis for people, not profiteers. We came to Las Vegas today to remind Secretary Carson to do his job,” said Patricia Norberg, a manufactured homeowner from Delaware and a grassroots leader with MHAction. “Corporate and private equity investors associated with MHI say ‘jump’ and Carson says ‘how high?’ We’ve had enough.”

MHAction said that low-income senior Jeliner Jordan asked Carson, “If you increase rents and cut the HUD budget, where will I live?” Carson responded by saying “This is a perfect example of what happens when the swamp gets ahold of people.”

 

DarkMoneyBasicsWikipediaOpenSecretsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

What perhaps was missing from a clear understanding of the above drama was the fact brought forth by twin reports on Manufactured Home Living News, the first of which documented that MHAction has had dark money funding from Warren Buffett through the NoVo Foundation and the Tides nonprofit.

 

 

The second and more recent report then applied that insight learned to the MHAction supported and inspired video by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.”   In an apparent head-fake to many resident groups and industry professionals alike, MHAction – in concert with others – published a white paper that was cited by Oliver in his report.

 

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time. To see the John Oliver errantly named “Mobile Homes” video and related fact-check, click here.

 

That MHAction co-branded white paper in turn was publicized by the Washington Post, others in media, and finally Oliver’s video.   But when one grasps how dark money operates in such matters, and steps back to look with that in mind, it is Buffett money that arguably helped fund an attack on a number of significant MHI members, including his own Clayton Homes and related lenders.

The rationale for Buffett doing so, in brief, is that like taxes or regulations, bigger companies can handle negative media better than smaller firms can.  Negative news for he and his allies is less harmful than it is for independents.  That in turn allows larger firms to gobble up smaller ones at reduced prices.  Here’s how retailer Alan Amy summed it up.

 

 

A View from NMHOA… 

TimSheahanPresidentPhotoNationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssoclogoNMHOAlogoMHProNews

Separate the “wheat and chaff,” with all people, organizations, and ideas. One must separate the useful from what is not.

As a letter from the prior National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) president Tim Sheahan quoted below in part reflects, when manufactured home communities were being developed, site fess or ‘lot rents’ were being held in check. Here is how he put it while he was still president of NMHOA, in his comments letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) last year.

In 1970, my city of San Marcos had a population of less than 4,000 and was part of the dramatic manufactured housing community development boom of the 1970s, adding over 3,000 pads among 18 manufactured home communities, which led to more than a doubling of the population by the mid 1970s.” wrote Sheahan.

Like many areas of CA, manufactured home purchasers in San Marcos were lured away from metropolitan areas by the promise of a quiet semi-rural retirement lifestyle with low lot rents and nice amenities, which often included clubhouses/community centers, swimming pools and spas, saunas, shuffleboard courts, pool tables and card rooms, community kitchens; and, in some cases, tennis courts, golf courses and fishing ponds. Downsizing to a MH also enabled them to enhance their financial nest eggs for the retirement years. Initially, stiff competition among various developers during the only time a true “free market” situation existed in these communities commonly led to very reasonable starting rents,” stated Sheahan.  That last sentence is a telling and arguably correct point with the law of supply and demand in mind.

He then said, “As the communities filled with “im-mobile” homes, free market forces such as competition were lost and lot rents for captive homeowners skyrocketed in many areas of California.” That point is largely correct, but it fails to note that it was the lack of new community development that de facto eliminated the option for someone to leave a community where they felt like they were being mistreated in favor of a newer one.”

 

Real World Lessons Learned

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertIn the Oklahoma City and Houston, Texas metro areas, I personally witnessed periods in manufactured housing history where land-lease community owners that were developing new sites, offered to move residents from other area communities in to their property at the property owners’ cost,” said publisher and industry consultant L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Rephrased, as long as there are reasonable alternatives to residents, then the temptation to ‘jack up’ site fees of ‘trapped’ residents is significantly reduced or even eliminated.

Imagine if apartment complexes were no longer being built in the U.S. What would happen? In a free market, as population grows and demand rises, rents would too.  The steady construction of new apartment buildings helps keep existing apartment owners from going too high on rental rates,” explained Kovach.

So, NMHOA’s Tim Sheahan isn’t wrong about the early history, but the solution now isn’t rent control, which Paul Bradley of ROC USA has himself said isn’t an answer,” Kovach said. “Rather, a longer-term solution is to provide more options for community residents, so that the temptation to do what certain MHI member companies have been accused of in recent years is eliminated.”

 

With that Backdrop, The Fuse for Meaningful Solutions is Lit with New Letter

At their annual meeting at the 2019 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) voted to undertake a new initiative to address zoning and placement issues that in their view is not being successfully addressed by the MHI. That perspective is held by others in MHVille too, including a number of MHI members.  At the recent Bryan, TX effective ‘ban’ voted by their city council of even new manufactured housing in various cases, MHI – per MHI members in attendance – did not even send a staffer to protest the ban.

Although MHARR is an independent production association, which compared to MHI claims to be both a producers and post-production association, they’ve taken another step into post-production territory, with their recent vote.

As careful and regular MHProNews readers know, MHARR recently asked HUD to initiate a study of the problems related to placement and zoning issues, tied into the legal concept of enhanced preemption.

In a light-the-fuse letter obtained by MHProNews to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the next step in that process is being taken.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss said to Secretary Carson and several key Washington, D.C. figures as follows, under the subject: Discriminatory and Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes.

One of the principal challenges faced by the manufactured housing industry and particularly its smaller businesses in providing inherently affordable, non-subsidized housing and homeownership for lower and moderate-income Americans, is the discriminatory exclusion of HUD Code manufactured housing from large areas of the United States under the guise of local zoning regulation.”

Such exclusionary and, in fact, discriminatory zoning mandates, affect not only single-home manufactured housing placements, but also the development and/or expansion of manufactured housing communities which provide much-needed land-lease (i.e., rental) space for manufactured homes.”

Weiss’ letter than reminds Secretary Carson that he himself made a similar point last year.

In a 2018 speech to the Policy Advisory Board of the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, you specifically identified and recognized the harmful impact of exclusionary zoning on the availability of affordable housing and homeownership for all Americans, stating that HUD would act “to identify and incentivize the tearing-down of local regulations that serve as impediments to the developing [of] affordable housing stock. Out-of-date building codes, time consuming approval processes, restrictive or exclusionary zoning ordinances, unnecessary fees or taxes, and excessive land development standards can all contribute to higher housing costs and production delays.” (Emphasis added).”

Weiss followed that up by agreeing in this highly specific fashion, “…indeed, in the case of HUD-regulated manufactured housing, the law provides HUD with powerful tools and authority to override local zoning actions that discriminatorily exclude or severely limit the placement and utilization of HUD Code homes. Specifically, in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, Congress gave HUD the express authority to federally preempt state and local “requirements” of any kind that impair “federal superintendence of the manufactured housing industry” and the accomplishment of the Act’s congressionally-mandated federal purposes, including “facilitat[ing] the availability of affordable manufactured homes.” Indeed, in a November 13, 2003 letter to then-HUD Secretary Mel Martinez (copy attached), key congressional proponents of the 2000 reform law stated that enhancements to the scope of federal preemption set forth in that law “have given HUD the legal authority to preempt local requirements or restrictions which discriminate against the siting of manufactured homes (compared to other single family housing) simply because they are HUD-code homes.”

Rephrased, Weiss stressed the merits of using “Enhanced Preemption” – a point that MHARR, MHLivingNews, and MHProNews have stressed for years as an existing legal remedy to prompt local zoning “NIMBYites” to relent under federal supremacy.

While there are examples of HUD flexing its supremacy since the 2000 law, those cases are scant.  One such letter from HUD to a local jurisdiction is linked here.

Thus, Weiss pressed on by saying, “Despite this enhanced preemption authority, however, HUD has failed to take action to stop the baseless – and expanding – exclusion of safe, decent and affordable HUD-regulated manufactured homes from numerous jurisdictions around the United States.”

“…MHARR met with officials of HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) on April 4, 2019 and requested that HUD, as a first step, utilize its resources to research, study and analyze such discriminatory and exclusionary zoning and its local and national impact(s) on the availability of affordable housing and homeownership in light of relevant national housing policies. Such research and analysis could then serve as a roadmap for further HUD action going forward.  Accordingly, we ask that you authorize and advance such a study within the Department,” wrote Weiss.

MHARR’s CEO added, “Quite simply, in order for manufactured housing to reach its full potential as an inherently affordable, non-subsidized housing resource for millions of lower and moderate-income Americans, it cannot, should not, and must not be unfairly and illegitimately excluded from significant areas of the country. In order to stop and reverse this phenomenon, leadership from HUD and by you, personally, as HUD Secretary, is essential and, indeed, indispensable.”

Among those cc’d were:

Hon. Mike Crapo
Hon. Maxine Waters
Hon. Mick Mulvaney

The letter and attachment are linked here.

As important as that letter is in tipping a domino toward more action, were the attachments.  One was a powerful letter dated in 2003, signed by Maxine Waters and others in Congress calling on HUD then to exercise their rights under “enhanced preemption” given to HUD by Congress under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA).

That letter from congress is a legally significant document, because it reflected in that time-frame the legislative intent that Congress had.

All of this begs an important question.  Why hasn’t MHI done this years ago?

It is MHI that claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing,” while MHARR has historically stated plainly that they represent the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

While there are several ways that HUD can respond, there is now a formal series of steps being taken by MHARR to prompt action.  Given that the Trump Administration has said that they are in the “enforce the law” and “promise keeping” business, it will be interesting to see how Secretary Carson and senior HUD leadership responds to these efforts. To learn more, see the link below, “Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way.”

 

A New Paradigm Ahead?

Consider the opening quotes from MHAction, NMHOA, and Secretary Carson at the top. Then ponder how independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes, and residents of manufactured homes, could both begin pushing for implementation of existing federal law.  The common opponent, it would seem, are the big corporate interests that MHAction claims to rail against, but is in fact supported by.  But that point doesn’t seem to be a logical hinderance for the good that could flow to existing residents, independent businesses, new investors, and new housing seekers. MHARR’s effort is timely, and in hindsight, it can be seen as a significant one.

Time will tell, but the stage is being set.  The proverbial fuse has been lit…

That’s this morning’s edition 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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Bryan Manufactured Homes Ban Passed, But Petition Count, Other Legal Moves May Stop Texas City

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUD Charges Facebook with Housing Discrimination, Official Word From D.C., Secretary Carson

March 28th, 2019 Comments off

HUDCharesFacebookHOusingDIscriminationOfficialWordDCSecretaryCarson

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has made headlines by charging Facebook with housing discrimination.

Here is a video interview that touches on that topic and another.

 

 

Then there is the official statement from HUD, which follows.

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD Charges Facebook With Housing Discrimination Over Targeted Advertising Practices

Charge Claims Facebook’s Advertising Platform Violates Fair Housing Act

______________________________ 

BACKGROUND: Today, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced that HUD is charging Facebook, the nation’s second largest advertiser, for violating the Fair Housing Act by encouraging, enabling, and causing housing discrimination through the company’s advertising platform. Clickhere to read the Charge.

THE CHARGE: Today’s Charge is a result of HUD’s investigation of a Secretary-initiated complaint filed on August 13, 2018alleging that Facebook unlawfully discriminates against its users by restricting housing-related ads based upon their race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex and disability.

  • Facebook continues to use protected characteristics to decide which users see housing-related ads.
  • Facebook also continues to exclude users who share protected characteristics from seeing housing-related ads.
  • For years, Facebook has offered housing-related advertisers discriminatory options that they could use to exclude users from seeing ads based on their protected class and has not appropriately addressed the harm caused.  Further, Facebook continues to operate an ad delivery system that excludes users of protected class groups from seeing housing-related ads.

 

IN ADDITION: HUD charges that Facebook enabled advertisers to exclude people based on neighborhood by drawing a red line around those neighborhoods on a map and also gave advertisers the option of showing ads only to men or only to women.

DATA MINING & ADVERTISER OFFERINGS: Facebook collects data about user behavior on and off its platforms and offered advertisers numerous options for excluding users based on their protected class.

  • This data includes which pages a user visits, which apps a user downloads, where a user goes during the day, and the purchases a user makes on and offline.
  • Facebook uses this data to group and classify users by their demographics, interests and behaviors.
  • Facebook also uses this data to decide which users it predicts are most likely to be respond to an ad, and then determines which users will see which ads based on those predictions.
  • Facebook offered advertisers numerous options for excluding users based on their protected class.
  • Facebook offered the options to exclude users because, for example, they are parents, are from certain countries, are not Christian, or are interested in accessibility, Hispanic culture, or other interests closely linked to protected characteristics.
  • The Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) does not shield Facebook from liability for these violations.
    • The CDA immunizes website operators against liability arising from content created by third parties.
    • Facebook offers advertisers discriminatory options that induce them to make discriminatory choices, and these options are made possible because of the extensive data about user characteristics that Facebook collects.
    • Also, Facebook alone decides which users will actually see which ads, regardless of what (if any) targeting choices an advertiser makes.

 

WHAT COMES NEXT: HUD’s Charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the Charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he may award damages for harm caused by the discrimination.  The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines to vindicate the public interest.  If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages.

# # #

 

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

 

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HUD Secretary Carson “HUDdle Conference” Draws Manufactured Housing Issues Engagement

HUD Secretary Carson “HUDdle Conference” Draws Manufactured Housing Issues Engagement

March 21st, 2019 Comments off

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonHUDdleCOnferenceDrawsManufacturedHousingIssuesEngagementDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Daily Business News on MHProNews learned that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., kicked off their latest ‘HUDle’ meeting at their Washington, D.C. office building.

 

In a statement to MHProNews, here is what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said today.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Department of Housing and Urban Development, on March 20, 2019, held the latest in a series of “HUDdle” conferences with invited HUD-program stakeholders.  The conferences, which are an initiative of — and hosted by — HUD Secretary Ben Carson, focus on emerging issues at the Department, including, but not limited to, aspects of its ongoing regulatory reform process,” MHARR said.

Among the manufactured home industry professionals present was Mark Weiss, JD.  Weiss is the president and CEO of MHARR.

MHARR’s president emphasized the urgent need for HUD to address and resolve two key issues that continue to suppress the availability of inherently affordable manufactured housing for millions of American consumers, and the economic growth of the industry,” per their statement, which added, “Those two issues are, first, discriminatory zoning laws that exclude or severely restrict the placement of manufactured homes in large areas of the country.  The second is the critical need for reform at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (under the “Duty to Serve” and beyond), to substantially increase the availability of manufactured home consumer financing (and especially personal property or ‘chattel’ financing) to market-significant levels.”

 

MHARR stated that they will be following-up soon with relevant HUD officials to further pursue these key policy objectives.

 

The issues come in the wake of fact-checks and related exposes by MHProNews, which included specific examples of the post-production Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) was routinely failing to address specific cases spot-checked by MHProNews. Here accessible via the linked text-image box is but one example. Others follow below the byline, disclaimers, and notices.

 

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

 

Placement and financing are post-production, not production related issue, so they fall into MHI’s self-proclaimed bucket of representing “all segments of factory-built housing.”  Topics like this and others will be among the issues addressed at the rapidly approaching “Fix the MH Industry Trick$” meeting a week from today Thursday afternoon at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

That’s this afternoon’s manufactured housing industry “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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As Affordable Housing Crisis Rages, New HUD Code Manufactured Housing Shipments Fall, Some States Drop 35-40 Percent

Cha-Ching! Manufactured Housing Made Simple in 2019

 

Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

 

Smile! You’re on Candid Camera! Security, Casino Hotels, and Fix the MH Trick$ Tunica Event

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

Dramatic Reversal, City Passes Urgency Ordinance Effectively Banning Manufactured Homes, Front & Back Stories

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

MHARR Calls on HUD To Remove Zoning, Placement and Consumer Financing Barriers to Manufactured Homes

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUD, Urban Institute Webcast on Housing Vouchers Thursday Sept 20th – Manufactured Housing Opportunities?

September 19th, 2018 Comments off

 HUDlogoUrbanInstituteLogoWebcastHousingVouchersThursdaySept20thManufacturedHousingOpportunitiesDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNews

On July 29, 2016, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016, (H.R. 3700) was signed into law,” with Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) reminds readers. “This gives the more than 2 million families that have a HUD Section 8 voucher the added flexibility of using the voucher to pay for the full annual cost of purchasing a manufactured home.”

 

It’s a move that many supported, inside and outside of the manufactured housing industry.  But so far, there’s been little appreciable change that can be specifically pin-pointed to this new law, as the HUD Code manufactured housing shipment chart below reflects.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

There are plenty of opportunities in manufactured housing, one of them being this HUD Voucher program, at least on paper. But as the shipment diagram above reflects, since the program was passed, there is no appreciable change that can be pin-pointed to this program. It remains to be seen if the Thursday webcast will address this issue, which if properly implemented in a fair and balanced fashion, could be good for HUD, consumers, and the manufactured home industry.

The law also makes it possible to use housing vouchers for site fees in manufactured home land lease communities. See a document from HUD on that topic, linked here as a download.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., and the Urban Institute did research aimed to increase the impact of those housing vouchers.  A webcast will be held tomorrow, see the details per the HUD news release to MHProNews.

After the release HUD release below will be some closing points, and related report links.

 

HUDGovPressNewsMediaDailyBusinessNewsMHPronEws

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

2:00 – 4:00 P.M. EDT

 

HUD AND URBAN INSTITUTE TO PRESENT STUDY ON LANDLORD ACCEPTANCE OF HOUSING VOUCHERS

Secretary Carson launches major landlord outreach campaign

At 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 20th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Urban Institute will present the findings of a new study examining landlord treatment of renters participating in the nation’s largest housing subsidy program, the Housing Choice Voucher Program. HUD’s Pilot Study of Landlord Acceptance in the Housing Choice Voucher Program examines landlord acceptance of housing vouchers in five cities:  Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Fort Worth; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, DC.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently formed a Department-wide Landlord Task Force and is launching a nationwide outreach campaign to hear directly from landlords and property managers.  Scheduled listening forums are intended to reveal how HUD might make the voucher program more accessible and acceptable, specifically in higher opportunity neighborhoods where landlord participation is lowest.  Read more.

This presentation will be offered via webcast at https://www.hud.gov/webcasts/schedule

 

WHO:            Members of HUD’s Department-wide Landlord Task Force

                        Urban Institute research team

 

WHAT:          Landlord acceptance of housing voucher holders

 

WHEN:          Thursday, September 20, 2018

                        2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT

 

HOW:             Watch HUD’s webcast at https://www.hud.gov/webcasts/schedule

###

WHASection8VouchersCanNowBeusedOnManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews readers are reminded that the Urban Institute (UI) has ties to Warren Buffett, and Berkshire Hathaway.

 

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)’s SVP Lesli Gooch recently referred to Brian Montgomery as “their” candidate. These may or may not be relevant for the webcast tomorrow and what follows.  But those related reports are linked further below.

 

MHProNews plans to monitor this program, to see if it is tilted toward what former MHI award winner Marty Lavin has called “the big boys” that often seem to get special treatment at MHI.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

 

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

MHI SVP Lesli Gooch & MHARR CEO Mark Weiss Bookend New, Prior HUD Controversies

 

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

 

Reinventing HUD’s role in Quality Affordable Housing, Reducing Poverty and Dependency

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

Secretary Carson Led HUD Brings Housing Discrimination Charges

August 17th, 2018 Comments off


SecretaryBenCarsonFairHousingDiscriminationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In a release from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, HUD is signaling once again that they take violations of Fair Housing laws seriously.

 

In this respect, like prior administrations, the statement ends with points of contact for those who think they’ve been discriminated against too.

Community Sued for Violation of Fair Housing Act

Manufactured home communities have at times been caught up in such charges.

VA MH Community Charged with Violating the Fair Housing Law

But certainly, retailers could potentially trip a trigger-wire too.

Note that several other releases like this come out of HUD on a regular basis, so this should not be construed as a once in a blue moon occurrence.

Their release, is as shown below.

HUD No. 18-080

HUDNewsHousingUrbanDevelopmentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

HUD CHARGES MINNESOTA REAL-ESTATE AGENT AND HOMEOWNERS WITH DISCRIMINATION FOR REFUSING TO RENT TO A FAMILY DUE TO THEIR RACE, NATIONAL ORIGIN AND MINOR CHILDREN

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has charged the owners of a house in Beltrami County, Minnesota, and their real-estate agent, with discrimination for refusing to rent the house to a family because of race, national origin and their minor children.  Read the charge.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing because of the applicants’ race, national origin and familial status (the presence of children under 18).

“Denying housing to a family because of their race and national origin and because they have children not only robs them of a place to call home, it violates this nation’s housing laws,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s action reaffirms HUD’s commitment to taking action to protect the right of families to obtain the housing of their choice, free from discrimination.”

“Housing discrimination because of familial status, race, or national origin has long been prohibited in this country,” said Paul Compton, HUD’s General Counsel. “HUD will continue to vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act to advocate for families with children, and other protected classes, who are treated unjustly in violation of the law.”

HUD’s charge alleges that the owners refused to rent a 7,000 square foot, six-bedroom, house to a family of four adults and seven children because of their race (Native American) and national origin (Hispanic), and because the family has minor children.  The charge further alleges that the owner and real-estate agent discouraged the family from renting the home by offering them less favorable rental terms, including increasing the rent by $1,000.  After being denied the home, the family had to split up and live in separate residences.

HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party elects for the case to be heard in federal court.  If the administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he may award damages to the family for their losses as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties in order to vindicate the public interest.

April 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. In commemoration, HUD, local communities, housing advocates, and fair housing organizations across the country have coordinated a variety of activities to enhance awareness of fair housing rights, highlight HUD’s fair housing enforcement efforts, and end housing discrimination in the nation. For a list of planned activities, log onto www.hud.gov/fairhousingis50.

Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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HUD Publishes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing Rule

August 13th, 2018 Comments off

HUDBuildingAFFHAffirmativeFurtheringFairHousingRuleDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, was put into effect in 2015, during the tenure of former President Obama.

 

The rule required jurisdictions that received Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding to assess fair housing.

AFFH aimed to identify solutions to discriminatory barriers in housing markets. The Daily Business News on MHProNews reported over a year and a half ago a proposal aimed at what opponents of AFFH called “massive overreach” by HUD.

How Ben Carson Could End Public Housing at HUD

With that background, the following HUD News release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews will be placed in context. The move seems to be in keeping with the Trump Administration executive orders. Notice that HUD is calling for public input on this proposed rulemaking. 

 

HUDGovPressNewsMediaDailyBusinessNewsMHPronEws

HUD SEEKS TO STREAMLINE AND ENHANCE

‘AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING’ RULE

Notice solicits public’s comments on ways to improve fair housing choice

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today published a notice inviting public comment on amendments to its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations.  HUD’s goal in pursuing new rulemaking is to offer more helpful guidance to states and local communities to effectively promote fair housing choice through the use of their federal funds.  Read HUD’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

As HUD begins the process of amending the existing AFFH regulations, it is soliciting public comment on changes that will: (1) minimize regulatory burden while more effectively aiding program participants to meet their statutory obligations, (2) create a process focused primarily on accomplishing positive results, rather than on analysis, (3) provide for greater local control and innovation, (4) seek to encourage actions that increase housing choice, including through greater housing supply, and (5) more efficiently utilize HUD resources. 

“HUD believes very deeply in the purposes of the Fair Housing Act and that states, local governments, and public housing authorities further fair housing choice,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.  “HUD’s 2015 rule often dictated unworkable requirements and actually impeded the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing.”

“It’s ironic that the current AFFH rule, which was designed to expand affordable housing choices, is actually suffocating investment in some of our most distressed neighborhoods that need our investment the most,” Carson continued. “We do not have to abandon communities in need. Instead we believe we can craft a new, fairer rule that creates choices for quality housing across all communities.”

“Today we begin the formal process of examining how we can get this regulation right by first listening and learning from those who must put these rules to work and live with its impact,” Carson concluded.

 

Background

On July 16, 2015, HUD published its AFFH final rule.  The stated purpose of that regulation was to provide HUD program participants with a revised planning approach to assist them in meeting their legal obligation to affirmatively further fair housing.  Since then, HUD found that in contrast to its stated goals, the AFFH rule proved ineffective, highly prescriptive, and effectively discouraged the production of affordable housing. 

Last January, HUD suspended the obligation of local governments to file plans under the regulation and, in May, withdrew a computer assessment tool required to be used by local governments in preparing those plans.  HUD found that rather than assisting local governments in formulating acceptable fair housing assessments, the ‘Local Government Assessment Tool’ was confusing, difficult to use, contained errors, and frequently produced unacceptable assessments, and otherwise required an unsustainable level of technical assistance.  HUD continues to review comments submitted in response to the withdrawal of the Local Government Assessment Tool.  The Department will consider those comments during its consideration of potential changes to the AFFH regulations. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Secretary Carson, HUD Commemorates 50 Years Of The Fair Housing Act, Fair Housing Month

 

Housing, Jobs, Poverty, Opportunity – Kerner Commission Remix, HUD and Manufactured Homes

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

May 12th, 2018 Comments off

GreenStylishManufacturedHomesHiddenFactsInWashingtonPostManufacturedHousingNarrativeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Whatever one thinks about their political leanings, the Washington Post is one of the most important and influential news publications in America.

 

They decided to publish an article recently about the HUD Code manufactured housing program.

More specifically, the Washington Post (WaPo or WP) wrote about the inner workings of HUD under the Trump Administration, with Secretary Ben Carson at the helm.

The WP’s award-winning Juliet Eilperin wrote about the quality of today’s manufactured homes, specifically citing Secretary Carson’s quote about how “amazing” they are.

Eilperin’s article also talked about both national manufactured housing associations.

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

MHI, MHARR, and MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.

As long-time Daily Business News readers know, there are two national associations that work in manufactured housing. There is the larger of the two, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. That’s right across the river from Washington, D.C.

Then there’s the Washington-based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Decades before, the Washington Post published another article about the association known today as MHARR. That article focused on MHARR’s fight with HUD for a removable chassis for manufactured homes. We will return to that removable chassis point later.

It isn’t at all odd that there are more than one national association for manufactured housing.

In conventional housing, there are:

  • The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a “producers” association.
  • There is the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a “Post-production” trade group focused upon the resale of existing homes.
  • There is the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and they focus more on financing of new construction, the resale of existing homes, and the refinancing of homes.

The list of housing associations goes on to multiple-family housing, remodeling, and more.

So, if anything, manufactured housing presently has fewer associations than conventional housing does.

That helps explain one reason why, perhaps, that a HUD official told MHProNews that they don’t expect the manufactured housing industry to speak with one voice.’ Unity doesn’t exist in housing.  Nor is there full unity in the automotive trade association world either, where dealers and producers have separate associations.

Those separate trade bodies often sit down, or via conference calls, communicate and work with each other to resolve issues and differences on legislative or other matters.

So manufactured housing isn’t unique, and Eilperin’s Washington Post article helped highlight that important detail.

So-called unity in manufactured housing is not to be expected any more than in other professions.

 

More Hidden-in-Plain-Sight WaPo Insights

But there is more to her Washington Post article, for those who read it carefully and objectively.

In America today, it’s become commonplace to understand that media has an agenda.

What the 45th president calls “fake news,” is at times agenda driven, weaponized reporting. There are partisans on both sides of the left-right divide that sharpen their articles to reflect their perspectives. It’s more out-in-the-open today, and thanks to research like award-winning Sharyl Attkinsson’s, we now have a chart – the one below – to reference that helps readers understand the left-right bias of a given major news source.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/no-fire-just-smoke-and-democratic-clinton-supporter-says-enough/ 

 

From the far left – The Nation – to the right – Breitbart – there are voices in media that have focused on the problematic issue of monopolistic dominance of certain sectors of the American economy.

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

In manufactured housing, The Atlantic, The Nation, the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Fox News are among those mainstream media outlets that have focused reports on various aspects of manufactured housing.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

Let’s note that while agendas exist, affordable housing isn’t a partisan political issue.

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

That’s what former MHARR president, Danny Ghorbani has said, that the manufactured housing industry can work successfully with both sides of the political aisle.  He’s right, and that’s been the industry’s history for decades.

The contrast between MHARR and MHI is an interesting and notable one.  And Eilperin’s WaPo narrative helped highlight it.

MHI has a political action committee, or PAC. MHARR does not.

MHI says they represent ‘all aspects of factory-built housing,’ meaning production and post-production, including lending, suppliers, etc.  It also means MHI represents manufactured homes, and modular too.

MHARR, by contrast, clearly states they represent only the interests of the independent producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

That said, MHARR has an interest in seeing independent retailers, builder/developers and communities thrive.  After all, that’s their client base.

MHI has several times MHARR’s annual budget, and far more staff.

Yet the Washington Post report on the controversy at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) made clear that it was MHARR that succeeded at having Pam Danner removed from her role as administrator over the HUD Code manufactured home program.

Juliet Eilperin’s Washington Post HUD Manufactured Home Program News Confirms Manufactured Housing Institute Position and Report

Meanwhile, it was MHI that contributed to or influenced having Lois Starkey removed from her roll at HUD.

Why?

And why were the documents related to MHI’s effort to remove Starkey – note that those memos were dated months before the Washington Post story – why did take their attorney so long to complain to HUD after Starkey left MHI?

MHProNews published the fact that Starkey was at HUD, and MHI knew it before from other sources at HUD too.  So, why did MHI delay their protest of Starkey joining HUD?

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

Eilperin’s Washington Post report is a rich, revealing narrative. For example, it reflects an anti-Trump Administration stance. Eilperin says that the Trump Administration is trying to take control of all aspects of the federal government, even this previously obscure office manufactured housing office buried deeply away at HUD.

News flash. Every president tries to take control over the federal government. It’s part of the job description for the chief executive of the United States of America.

But Eilperin raises an important point: with an affordable housing crisis raging in America, why has manufactured housing been tucked away in obscurity for so long at HUD?

Lesli_M_Gooch__MHI_senior_vice_president_forgovernment_affairs

Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

What MHI EVP Lesli Gooch admits to doing, is surprising too.

Per Gooch to WaPo, MHI wanted to see HUD restructure the manufactured housing program office within the broader arrangement at HUD. Hmmm…okay, duly noted.

But what Pam Danner did was a clear federal overreach of her office’s power, from the perspective of hundreds of manufactured housing operations across the country. Why wasn’t MHI’s response to Danner’s overreach to try – as did MHARR – to have Danner removed?

Note that even though MHI and state associations – which are arguably dominated by MHI, as MHProNews has previously reported – also had members that wanted Danner’s removal.

So why didn’t MHI listen to their own grass roots?

Thus, MHARR is made to be – from an industry reading of the WaPo narrative – an association hero.

MHI’s own EVP frankly stated they were doing something different than seeking Danner’s removal. In fact, the action taken by MHI’s attorney toward Starkey was surprising. MHI’s outside counsel literally said in part that MHI considers HUD to be MHI’s client.

HUD a client of MHI?

Surprising, but it is there in black and white. Was that ‘client’ reference a boiler-plate-letter oversight that was sent by MHI’s outside counsel to HUD uncorrected? Or does MHI literally believe HUD is MHI’s client??  Isn’t either an embarrassment?

Go to the WaPo article – linked here – and see the downloadable related documents Eilperin obtained for yourself.

The WaPo narrative is rich in such details and insights. Eilperin did the industry numerous favors in how her article is framed, which is seemingly meant as a hit at Secretary Carson, and the Trump Administration.  But a careful reading of her narrative with insights like those noted herein reveals instead that Team Trump are reforming years of prior HUD Code program regulatory overreach that Dr. Carson called “ridiculous.”

Our sources tell us that the new status quo at the HUD manufactured housing program office is expected to continue under the temporary leadership of Teresa Payne.  Payne led the program once before, as long-time MHProNews readers with a keen mind recall.

The Daily Business News is also told to expect a slow-dance on the Brian Montgomery appointment by the Senate. Until that time, Dana Wade is ably serving Secretary Carson in a key spot, and seems to be doing so in a manner that keeps both trade groups – for now – officially pleased.

 

Another Bottom Line?

The WaPo narrative reveals many more details. Each of them confirms numerous, prior MHProNews reports and commentaries.  It’s an opportunity, as a reader prodded us, to say “I told you so” about MHI being the de facto road-block to not having Danner removed even sooner.  See Transparency, among many other reports that were confirmed by WaPo, linked below for later in-depth reading.

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Another thought provoking point for this weekend is this. MHI allowed HUD to overreach, without asking for Pam Danner’s removal. Why?

Who, besides big businesses, benefit when all sizes of businesses are being oppressed?

MHProNews has taken pains for years to lay out the cases that point to the fact that heavy regulation harms smaller businesses more than bigger ones.

NAMCostForComplianceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In banking, community banks suffered under Dodd-Frank, even though community banks arguably had far less impact on the financial meltdown that gave rise to the birth of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB in the first place.  Even giant U.S. Bank closed its manufactured housing program, not because it wasn’t profitable.  Rather, U.S. Bank pulled the plug due to regulatory risks and not enough volume to make up for those risks.  For later in-depth reading, click the below.

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

  • MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNews

    Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

    Mark Weiss, JD, at MHARR is portrayed by WaPo’s journalist as working to relieve the burdens imposed by Danner at HUD.

  • MHI is shown as allowing those burdens to stand.
  • Read that in the context of Smoking Gun 3 under related reports at the end, and you may never see manufactured housing industry politics the same ever again.

 

What About that Removal Chassis?

As to a removable chassis?

If manufactured housing were allowed by HUD to have removable chassis, as MHARR decades ago tried to accomplish, manufactured homes – with a chassis removed – would be:

NewDurhamEstatesSouthManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Credit, MHLivingNews.com. Photos from New Durham Estates south. These homes are ground set. But if a chassis was removed, then a home would be closer to the ground by about eight, ten or twelve inches, and would be more like those shown in this photo.

  • lower to the ground once installed.
  • They would look even more like a conventional house, once installed.
  • It would cost less to put a foundation enclosure around a manufactured home without a chassis that it normally does with one now.
  • Sans the chassis, it would remove the impression of the home being mobile, when most manufactuerd homes aren’t moved once installed.
  • It would be greener to recycle the chassis.
  • It might even save money.

MHARR fought for that removable chassis, decades ago.  Isn’t all of that stylish, green, and visionary? ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

 

PamelaBeckDannerJDAdministratorManufacturedHousingProgramHUD-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Pamela Beck Danner, JD, credit, HUD.

1)   Post-Script: Our sources at and connected to HUD tell us that the Eilperin’s report was prompted by a desire of “allies” of Pam Danner to undermine Dr. Carson and his team’s leadership as Secretary at HUD.

2)   The WaPo report is written in a way that makes Danner’s work as administrator look consumer focused, but what’s missing is the fact that service-related issues with HUD Code manufactured homes are so few, that out of the roughly 92,900 homes built last year, only a few dozen nationally went to dispute resolution. There is no similar dispute resolution program for site-built housing to settle consumer concerns.  So those service issues highlighted in Eilperin’s narrative are a rarity, a point her narrative didn’t cover.  That’s not a tag on her work, no one story can cover every detail.

3)   There are HUD connected sources that tell MHProNews that WaPo’s article signals an upcoming  battle for HUD Code homes, at the state installation level.

4)   There are industry voices that say that the time to prepare for that installation – a post-production battle – is now.  Discussions about enhanced preemption are, per reports, being carefully reviewed at HUD.  There are concerned sources in MHVille that say the need for an effective post-production association has never been greater.

5)   The WaPo narrative makes it clear that MHI isn’t that effective at stopping HUD’s over-regulation. In the association national realm, it was MHARR’s handiwork – not MHI’s – that proved effective for retailers, communities, and for the consumers they serve.  Of course, MHProNews covered it all in a “follow the evidence, follow the facts, follow the money” way that no other industry media even attempted to do.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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Related Reports:

It’s been hailed as the most important report on this topic to date…

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Washington Post “Once obscure office at HUD [Manufactured Housing] is the subject of unusually intense lobbying effort”

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“Sexual Predators” Beware! MH Community Owners! Retailers Warning – New Federal Sexual Harassment Initiative

April 13th, 2018 Comments off

SexualPredatorsBewareMHCommunityOwnersRetailersWarningNewFedSexualHarrassmentLionLittleGirlDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Behind every good intention can be unintentional consequences. Behind every real problem, abuses of the system can occur.

 

What some might consider to be an innocent flirt, what if an applicant or resident might view it as sexual harassment?

Thus everyone should be aware of a new initiative between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which could bring a world of hurt to Manufactured Home Community (MHC) owners, or perhaps even to manufactured home retailers too.

Obviously, there are genuine cases of sexual harassment – or other violations of the Fair Housing Act – which merit the kind of response that the federal government has just announced.

 

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD and DOJ Announce National Program 

In a release to the Daily Business News, HUD and the DOJ have announced nationwide plans to combat sexual harassment.

Dr_Ben_Carson__wikipedia

Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

All discrimination stains the very fabric of our nation, but HUD is especially focused on protecting the right of everyone to feel safe and secure in their homes, free from unwanted sexual harassment,” said HUD  Secretary Ben Carson. “No person should have to tolerate unwanted sexual advances in order to keep a roof over his or her head. Part of our mission at HUD is to provide safe housing and we will remain diligent in this mission to protect those we serve. I look forward to working with Attorney General Sessions and the Department of Justice as part of this task force to bring an end to this type of discrimination.”

AttorneyGeneralJeffSessionsDepartmentOfJusticeOfficialPhotoWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, photo credit, Wikipedia.

Sexual harassment in housing is illegal, immoral, and unacceptable,” said Attorney General Sessions.

It is all too common today, as too many landlords, managers, and their employees attempt to prey on vulnerable women. We will not hesitate to pursue these predators and enforce the law. In October, I ordered a new initiative to bring more of these cases, and we have already won relief for 15 victims. Today we announce three new steps to make the initiative more effective and to win more cases. I want to thank the dedicated and committed professionals in our Civil Rights Division and our partners in the Department of Housing and Urban Development for their hard work in this effort. We will continue to aggressively pursue harassers, because everyone has a right to be safe in their home, Sessions stated.

A pilot program was already launched in various places in the U.S.

White it’s announced focus is rental property, retailers or others who engage the home seeking public should realize that this initiative could become part of this effort too.

Per HUD’s release to MHProNews,In October 2017, the Justice Department announced an initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing and launched pilot programs in D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. The initiative sought to increase the Department’s efforts to protect women from harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, security guards, and other employees and representatives of rental property owners.”

During these pilots, “the Department developed and tested ways to better connect both with victims of sexual harassment in housing and with those organizations that victims may turn to first for help – including law enforcement, legal services providers, public housing authorities, sexual assault services providers, and shelters.  The Department also tested certain aspects of the initiative in other jurisdictions, including New Jersey, the Central District of California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Michigan.”

Two examples of fair housing cases involving manufactured housing in recent years are posted below.

 

VA MH Community Charged with Violating the Fair Housing Law

 

More Complaints Followed HUD, DOJ Pilot Campaign

These pilots created an “upswing” in legal complai9nts.

The two pilot programs generated an upswing in harassment reporting to the Department from both D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. In D.C., the Department generated six leads since the October 2017 launch. In Virginia, the Department generated three leads. While the Justice Department recognizes that leads and investigations do not always lead to enforcement actions, the pilot program’s results—when extrapolated across all the U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country—could lead to hundreds of new reports of sexual harassment in housing across the country.”

Because of what they called “promising results,” the  HUD is rolling out three major components to the initiative. Per their statement, the following.

First, the new HUD-DOJ Task Force to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing will drive a shared strategy between the Department and HUD for combatting sexual harassment in housing across the country. It will focus on five key areas: continued data sharing and analysis, joint development of training, evaluation of public housing complaint mechanisms, coordination of public outreach and press strategy, and review of federal policies.

Second, the outreach toolkit is designed to leverage the HUD and Justice Department’s nationwide network of U.S. Attorney’s Offices. The toolkit provides templates, guidance, and checklists based on pilot program feedback. It ultimately will amplify available enforcement resources and help victims of sexual harassment connect with the Department.

Third, the public awareness campaign has three major components: a partnership package with relevant stakeholders, launch of a social media campaign, and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) run by the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. The campaign is specifically designed to raise awareness, and make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment.”

Federal HUD Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint Case Update 

 

Owners and Professionals, Knowledge and Fairness Are Power

Nadeen-Green-For-Rent-Media-Solutions-

Nadeen Green, JD.

MHProNews published years of articles by an attorney who specialized in the field, “The Fair Housing Lady,” Nadeen Green, J.D.

Neither MHProNews – nor writers for this publication – are your attorney.  Nor are we giving legal advice per se, but rather are providing awareness of the issues and related news.

That said, common sense says that honesty and an understanding of both legitimate risks and possible abuses of the system should all be on the minds of professionals and owners.

As several past reports in the Daily Business News have noted, manufactured home communities have periodically been caught up in Fair Housing cases. The examples linked above are just 2 of many.

Anyone selling to, or dealing directly with the public in housing ought to be aware of the law, and apply the rules of decency and good sense.

That could start as simply as following the words of Jesus of Nazareth, “Do unto others as you would have others do to you.”  (Mt 7:12, Luke 6:31).  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson’s Critics, and Response

September 4th, 2017 Comments off
CarsonFoxSpecialReportCreditFoxNewsYouTubeDailyBusinessNews

HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Fox News “Special Report.” Featured image credit, Fox News, YouTube.

Not everyone at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) believes that Secretary Ben Carson deserves his place as head of the sprawling agency.

This has been apparent even before Carson was confirmed as HUD’s new secretary, as reported by the Daily Business News back in January.

People feel disrespected,” one HUD employ told NYMag. “They see Carson and think, I’ve been in housing policy for 20 or 30 years, and if I walked away, I would never expect to get hired as a nurse.”

NYMag recently posted an article titled “Is Anybody Home at HUD?”

The article is one of several that criticizes Carson’s leadership skills, and ability to effectively run HUD.

ShaunDonavanCreditWikipediaDailyBusinessNews

Image credit, Wikipedia.

By the time I left, almost 90 percent of our budget was to help people stay in their homes,” Shaun Donovan told NYMag.

So when you have a 15 percent cut to that budget, by definition you’re going to be throwing people out of their homes,” Donovan said. “You’re literally taking vouchers away from families, you’re literally shutting down public housing, because it can’t be maintained anymore.”

Among those critics are some within the manufactured housing industry who think that Dr. Carson doesn’t yet get it about the tremendous needs, quality and opportunities that HUD regulated manufactured homes offer.  A few mentioned to the Daily Business News the clear video statement by his predecessor, shown below.


The Other Side of HUD’s Coin, Carson Responds

The retired, famous neurosurgeon was calm and seemingly unfazed by the critics. When asked last Wednesday during an interview for Fox News’Special Report,” Secretary Carson focused on plans not spitballs. He spoke about his hopes for the future of the agency, which industry professionals know also regulates federally preemptive HUD Code manufactured housing.

With respect to the charge that HUD under him would be kicking people out of housing, Carson replied, “Let me just say first of all, our conviction is no eviction.

Carson said, “We will use whatever money we have in an extraordinarily efficient way.”  That would be in keeping with the Trump administration agenda, which noted recently that the federal workforce is down by some 11,000 people. That federal staff reduction was achieved mostly through attrition, already saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

A lot of it [i.e.: criticism] is politically motivated. Be that as it may, we have a deep bench [at HUD], a lot of people who are willing to step up to the plate and to help to fashion things and keep things moving in a positive direction,” Carson said. “Do recognize with some of the reorganization that we’ve done already, we’ve realized some tremendous savings.”

When asked what his vision for the agency was going forward, Carson answered by saying “It’s a bureaucracy, and I’m not a big fan of bureaucracy.”

He went on to say that, “Bureaucrats are people who think their rules are more important than the goals.”

Carson said he hopes to “recreate the way communities are done. … They need to be nurturing places. They need to be places that will help children to be able to maximize their potential. And not have a goal of just staying where their mother or grandmother was.”  Those sentiments are similar to those shared by manufactured housing advocate, Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.

Carson also pointed out that the federal budgets are not yet final.

Once they are finalized, HUD will use whatever money is given to them as efficiently as possible.

This is a concept that is foreign to a lot of people in Washington, the whole concept of efficiency and saving,” he said.

Though some may believe, like the HUD employees quoted in the NYMag article, that Dr. Carson is not qualified to manage the agency, he is optimistic that things can be turned around for the better.

I would say that you should ring the doorbell before you conclude that nobody’s at home. I don’t think they did a very good job at journalistic investigation there,” Carson said.

MHI and MHARR on Carson

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) were among the many industry professionals who have cheered Carson as the new head of HUD, there are also whispered concerns.

One was the omission during his interview on “Special Reportto even mention manufactured housing during the discussion of post-Harvey recovery.

VPMikePenceCreditWikipediaDailyBusinessNews

Vice President Mike Pence. Image credit, Wikipedia.

By contrast, as the Daily Business News reported, Vice President Mike Pence mentioned manufactured homes more than once in interviews, when asked about post-Harvey recovery. See that recent report, linked here.

Was that failure to mention manufactured homes an oversight by Secretary Carson?  Or a subtle signal of something else? ## (News, analysis.)

(Note: NYMag cites a 15 percent cut in funding to HUD, while Fox News cites 13 percent in the “Special Report.”)

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