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Posts Tagged ‘call to action’

MHGrassroots: A Call to Action

June 17th, 2014 No comments

As I sit comfortably in a 737 at 30000 feet coming back from a thought provoking meeting at the MHI Expo in Las Vegas I don't have to go in great detail on how the world has changed since 2001.

From how we fly, how we communicate, and even how we conduct business, it has all changed in ways none of us truly imagined then.

Every day I read more about how a government I have grown up loving, is making changes that contradict the core beliefs and attributes it was built upon. With that said, let's look at a few issues that have faced, primarily as it relates to the manufactured home market in the past 15 years.

In Texas we were asleep at the wheel in 2001 when House Bill 1869 took effect. I was but one of the many independent dealers who were wondering how this could have happened. I even looked Gov. Rick Perry in the eye and told him point blank that this bill would cost Texans jobs and would reduce home order sales, which in turn would force the closing of several fine manufacturing plants.

Unfortunately I and those around me were right. Even though the TMHA through a lot of hard work was able to have this poor piece of legislature repealed in 2003, the damage was already done.

I won't go into the specifics of the law itself, but I will say it was a killer from day one. If you have any questions about it, just Google it. I have heard the experts’ state that 85% of the independents who were in the market at that time were wiped out by this law and the recession that hit us in 2008. And guess what. Those folks are gone, probably never to return again.

So let's take a look at where the train came off the tracks.

We were too late to stop one train simply because we weren’t aware it was heading for the station.

If we want to be successful in the legislative arena we have to stop the bills before they get that close to the tracks. We, the industry as a whole, must be vigilant in being aware of any laws, in every city, county, state and federal arena that could negatively impact not only us, but the people around us.

This means we have to know, and have a relationship with, the people in charge. Governor Perry signed that bill even after I told him the truth. Why? Simple, he didn't know me from Adam. No relationship equals no traction. We have to build those relationships in order for our voices to not only be heard but to be accredited.

How was it fixed? A grassroots effort. From the ground up. TMHA called upon every member….who in turn called on every state senator and state representative to repeal a bad piece of legislation. And it worked! Why? Because the industry stood up as a whole, and worked together for the common good of all. I call this a victory for the good guys.

Let's look at another victory.

Last year I received a phone call from a landlord who was my ‘competitor’ in Plainview, Texas. I use that word competitor only because we are after the same pool of customers. I call him a friend.

Basically this city was in the process of creating a city ordinance which would require an inspection on every rental inside the city once it was vacated by a tenant. Never mind the fact that this would be in direct contradiction to the HUD code on a manufactured home. Every house, apartment, and mobile home would have to be brought back to current code if this law passed.

This would mean thousands of dollars spent to update every unit.

One unintended consequence of this law would have forced the citizens to pay rent in excess of three times the current rate.

Another would have riddled the city with homes to be demolished due to the repair cost being more then the value of the home.

Yet another would have been a mass exodus of good paying tenants to the surrounding communities which didn't have this law.

So how did we stop this calamity before it was passed like Texas House Bill 1869?

We showed up in droves. There was standing room only at every hearing. Meetings with every city official we could get and we killed it before it could even be heard by city council. How? It took one phone call from each of us who took the time to make that call. And another victory ensued.

So what does all this mean to you, the reader?

It's time. It is time to make a difference and make a call of your own.

I know you are busy, but don't blow this one off.

Dodd Frank and the SAFE Act are not going away. So what are you going to do? I am calling not only those of us in the industry, but all of us.

The government doesn't need us, but this country does. We are this country's answer to affordable housing. But if the people can't get financing for that home what good are we to them?

If you don't know who to call that's ok. Call your state association. If you are not a member, sign up. If you are a member, get active. Make a difference. You can. ##

shawn-fuller-d-r-housing-new-deal-texas-industry-voices-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com-75x75-Shawn Fuller
D & R Housing, LLC.
New Deal, TX 79350

Action Needed: Contact Senators and Request they Support S. 1320

August 3rd, 2010 No comments

On Thursday, August 5, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will mark up a number of energy bills. Included in the mark up is the Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Act (S. 1320) sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). Assistance is needed from MHI members to ensure the committee favorably reports the measure.

ACTION NEEDED:

MHI members with Senators serving on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee are urged to personally contact their offices and ask them to vote in favor of S. 1320. A list of the Energy Committee members is below. In addition, Senators should be urged to contact both Democratic and Republican Senate leaders to request the Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Act be included as part of any energy legislation or job creation measure the chamber may be developing. Contact Rae Ann Bevington at 703-558-0675 or RBevington@mfghome.org for additional information.

BACKGROUND:

In March 2009, Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN) introduced the Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Act (H.R. 1749). Companion legislation (S. 1320) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) on June 22, 2009.

On May 6, 2010, the House of Representatives adopted a broad-scale home energy retrofit bill (Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010; HR 5019), which includes amended provisions from the Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Act. The legislation was referred to the Energy & Natural Resources Committee for consideration.

Both bills authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) to make grants to states to provide owners of manufactured homes constructed prior to 1976 with a one-time only rebate of up to $7,500 to use towards the purchase of a new Energy Star qualified manufactured home. To cover the additional cost of removing and recycling the old home an additional grant of up to $2,500 to be provided upon proof of decommissioning. To be eligible, home owners could not have a total household income in excess of 200 percent of an area’s poverty level. The legislation permits replacement of substandard mobile homes with ENERGY STAR homes as an eligible use of up to $6,500 of the American Recovery and Renewal Act Weatherization Assistance Program funds. Current law forbids weatherization funds from being used for replacement.

KEY TALKING POINTS:

Members of Congress are asked to endorse the Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Act (H.R. 1749 & S. 1320) for the following reasons:

  • The program would provide resources for low-income homeowners to purchase new energy efficient homes and help dispose of outdated homes and improve living standards for potentially millions of families
  • Households participating in the program could save an average of $1,800 per year in energy costs, which could be used to help offset monthly home expenses and help build equity in a home
  • Each new manufactured home constructed creates more than one new American job; the measure could potentially create more than 51,000 high-quality U.S jobs over the next three years and generate more than $8 billion in construction related spending
  • The improved efficiency of an Energy Star home would reduce household carbon emissions by nine tons per household per year and a total reduction of 1.4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year

COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES

Democrats

Chairman Jeff Bingaman (NM) (202) 224-5521

Byron L. Dorgan (ND) (202) 224-2551

Ron Wyden (OR) (202) 224-5244

Tim Johnson (SD) (202) 224-5842

Mary L. Landrieu (LA) (202) 224-5824

Maria Cantwell (WA) (202) 224-3441

Robert Menendez (NJ) (202) 224-4744

Blanche Lincoln (AR) (202) 224-4843

Bernard Sanders (I) (VT) (202) 224-5141

Evan Bayh (IN) (202) 224-5623

Debbie Stabenow (MI) (202) 224-4822

Mark Udall (CO) (202) 224-5941

Jeanne Shaheen (NH) (202) 224-2841

Republicans

Lisa Murkowski (AK) (202) 224-6665

Richard Burr (NC) (202) 224-3154

John Barrasso (WY) (202) 224-6441

Sam Brownback (KS) (202) 224-6521

James E. Risch (ID) (202) 224-2752

John McCain (AZ) (202) 224-2235

Robert Bennett (UT) (202) 224-5444

Jim Bunning (KY) (202) 224-4343

Jeff Sessions (AL) (202) 224-4124

Bob Corker (TN) (202) 224-3344