Princeton University is one of the leading educational systems in the country. The school's reputation reflects the highest levels of academic excellence, prestige, accuracy, and leadership. Articles written by Princeton educated authors are viewed as the ultimate authority on a variety of topics. In light of the level of confidence placed in Princeton affiliated publications, there is a growing concern in the manufactured housing industry on the Wordnet definition of “manufactured home.”
According to the Google search engine result that cites wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn as the defining source, a manufactured home is “mobile home: a large house trailer that can be connected to utilities and can be parked in one place and used as permanent housing..
Obvious problems exist with this very outdated definition.
It may seem like a cultural vernacular that impacts a small percentage of the population. However, approximately 23 million Americans live in manufactured housing (Wilson, 2012). According to the 2007 American Housing Survey, approximately 8.7 million (6.8%) of the 128 million housing units were manufactured homes (Zhou, 2009). The 2011 American Housing Survey reflects the increase to approximately 9.05 million manufactured housing units.
Comprising the second largest percentage of all housing units in the United States (McCarty, 2010), manufactured housing has been a vital source of affordable housing (Wilson, 2012) and are typical of rural areas (Aman & Yarnal, 2010; Tighe, 2013). Housing experts recognize manufactured housing as the predominant source of unsubsidized, affordable housing for rural homeowners and tenants (Tighe, 2013). Not only does the misnomer influence inaccurate perceptions of the product, it can contribute to the marginalization of a significant population.
There are many peer reviewed works that include definitions available that could be used in place of Wordnet’s outdated version. Following are some examples that you may find useful:
Manufactured home: Housing structures produced in factories, then transported to site, and installed on designated lands (Zhou, 2009). Manufactured homes must be constructed to the standards of a uniform nationwide building code known as the HUD code (Dawkins & Koebel, 2010).
Mobile home: Slang word for manufactured home. Derived from the original classification of mobile homes as vehicles requiring registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles (Kusenbach, 2009). Prevailing term changed to “manufactured home” in 1981 (Wilson, 2012)
Manufactured homes construction occurs in a factory setting, transported to a dealership in another location to be sold, and eventually placed on site at a third location (Dawkins & Koebel, 2010). The manufactured housing construction process uses similar techniques, materials, and equipment as traditional site homebuilding (Nahmens & Ikuma, 2009). The main differences in the construction processes are location of construction and resources used. Manufactured housing construction takes place on an assembly line in a controlled environment (Nahmens & Ikuma, 2009) while exposure to natural elements determines site built home construction processes. Industrialized construction uses construction crews dedicated to specific processes on the assembly line (Nahmens & Ikuma, 2009), whereas independent contractors complete site built home construction processes at different times.
I hope that enough peer reviewed information has been provided to justify changing Wordnet’s definition of manufactured home. Princeton University and its affiliates greatly influence consumer perceptions of products. The recent economic crisis has resulted in housing changes for many Americans. The need for high quality and affordable housing is a pressing issue that must be resolved. The term “trailer house” was replaced with “mobile home” in the 1950’s (Burkhart, 2010; Wilson, 2012). The 1981 HUD code revision included the adoption of “manufactured home” as the prevailing term (Wilson, 2012). Thirty two years later, Wordnet is still referring to the product using terms such as “trailer house” and “mobile home.”
I respectfully request that the definition be updated to reflect the government and industry recognized term that properly represents the product. In the event that you need further proof to justify requested changes, I have provided a reference list of peer reviewed sources used in this letter.
Lisa Tyler, DBA (ABD), MBA
Aman, D., & Yarnal, B. (2010). Home sweet mobile home? Benefits and challenges of mobile home ownership in rural Pennsylvania.Applied Geography, 30(1), 84–95. doi:10.10.1016/j.apgeog.2009.09.001
Burkhart, A. (2010, February 5). Bringing manufactured housing into the real estate finance system. Pepperdine Law Review, Forthcoming; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-06. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=1548441
Dawkins, C., & Koebel, C. (2010). Overcoming barriers to placing manufactured housing in metropolitan communities. Journal of the American Planning Association, 76(1), 73–89. doi:10.1080/01944360903401052
Kusenbach, M. (2009). Salvaging decency: Mobile home residents’ strategies of managing the stigma of “trailer” living. Qualitative Sociology, 32(4), 399–428. doi:10.1007/s11133-009-9139-z
Nahmens, I., & Ikuma, L. (2009). An empirical examination of the relationship between lean construction and safety in the industrialized housing industry. Lean Construction Journal, 1–12. Retrieved from www.leanconstructionjournal.org
Tighe, J. R. (2013). Responding to the foreclosure crisis in Appalachia: A policy review and survey of housing counselors. Housing Policy Debate, 23(1), 111–143. doi:10.1080/10511482.2012.751931
Wilson, B. (2012). An examination of electricity consumption patterns in manufactured housing units. Housing Policy Debate, 22(3), 175–199. doi:10.1080/10511482.2011.648204
I have always appreciated the consistency and accuracy of www.wordnet.com but recently I read an industry article concerning your definition of Manufactured Housing. A recent industry article informed me that your definition of "Manufactured Home" is as follows: "Mobile home: a large house trailer that can be connected to utilities and can be parked in one place and used as permanent housing."
I would certainly like to think someone with the IQ, life experiences, and test scores required to be accepted as a student at Princeton or to gain employment on the prestigious Princeton Faculty could certainly come up with a more comprehensive term for Factory Built Housing or Manufactured Housing. As a matter of fact, I am 100% convinced people of your intelligence can certainly challenge themselves to a higher level of vocabulary development than what you have demonstrated thus far. People like me that have committed their entire adult lives to the success of this industry would be so appreciative.
I will leave you with a few facts. In Georgia where I am located 43% of our residents live in Manufactured Housing. All of our homes are built to the Federal HUD Code, the International Building Code (IBC) or the International Residential Code (IRC). The latter two codes are accepted worldwide. Over 70% of our homes are installed on a permanent foundation and never moved again for the life of the homes. The National Home Builders Association recognizes that our housing has recently been rated by an independent engineering and architectural firm as having an average lifespan of 53 years. That we build homes on a daily basis that exceed 2500 square feet.
Thank you for your consideration,
C. Jay Hamilton
Georgia Manufactured Housing Association
199 East Main Street
Forsyth, Georgia 31029
Phone 478-994-0006 Cell 478 394 5114
(Editor's Note: The email address for the WordNet team is: email@example.com – please take a few moments and email them, asking them to update their definition of manufactured housing. You can use the example above, the one by Retailer Jody Anderson or by Community Manager James Cook, all of which bring a flavor and punch not found in the original sent by Tony Kovach linked here. Whatever you do, email firstname.lastname@example.org you like, to encourage they update their outdated and flawed “definition.“)
The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) held its first and only meeting of 2012 on October 22nd – 25th to consider a number of recommendations for changes to the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Program. HUD intended to have two meetings in 2012 but problems with the approval of a new contract for the Administering Organization, the National Fire Protection Association, resulted in a hastily arranged fall meeting in Arlington, VA. All but three of the 21 members were in attendance. Representatives from HUD included the Deputy Administrator of the HUD Manufactured Housing Program, the HUD engineering staff, and a representative from HUD’s office of General Council.
MHI was surprised and disappointed that higher ranking officials who oversee the program from the Department’s Office of Regulatory Affairs were not in attendance at any time during the meeting.
The Committee worked over two days to conclude work on all outstanding items before the Committee and to consider several new issues. This is despite the frustration voiced by MHCC members and MHI over HUD’s failure to implement dozens of recommendations of the MHCC over the last four years or more.
Highlights of the Committee Recommendations
Southern Yellow Pine Design Standards – By a 15-2 vote, the MHCC recommended that HUD delay implementation of the National Design Specification (NDS) for Wood for 2×2 and 2×4 southern pine lumber, effective January 1, 2013, until such time that it presents the MHCC with a proposal for changes to the existing standards as required by law, or until such time that HUD issues an emergency rule under Section 604(b)(5) of the Manufactured Housing Improvements Act of 2000. This is consistent with MHI’s petition to HUD earlier this year, and with MHI’s testimony before the committee.
Hinged Roof Assemblies – The MHCC voted 15-2 to recommend that HUD withdraw requirements for Alternative Construction Letters for certain types of hinged roofs designed for Wind Zone I until HUD clarifies current regulations regarding the on-site installation of hinged roof assemblies known as “double hinged” and “ridge box or peak cap” assemblies. The industry argued that such hinged roof assemblies do not need AC letters because they are constructed in the factory and are part of the “close–up” requirements under the installation standards, 3285,801(f). Members argued that methods for completing the installation of such homes are much less complicated than many multi-section home “close-ups.” These types of assemblies are common practice in the industry, and installers are trained and certified to complete these types of installations.
Wind Design Standards – The MHCC voted 17-0 to recommend that the reference standards of the American Society of Engineers (ASCE 7) wind design standards be updated to the 2005 version from the 1995 version, and the existing wind speed design requirements in the HUD Code be adjusted accordingly. However, the committee did not recommend any code changes regarding design requirements for wind pressure. It voted to maintain the current three wind zones as opposed to four. The new wind safety recommendations are the result of many hours of work by an industry led task force that included HUD and members of the ASCE-7 committee, who concluded that any new requirements beyond what the MHCC recommended would not be cost beneficial.
Indoor Air Quality – The MHCC concluded action on pending recommendations debated over the last four years, to improve ventilation and indoor quality in manufactured homes. In a unanimous vote, the MHCC recommended that the HUD Code provide for the voluntary use of ASHRAE 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. In a change supported by MHI, the Committee voted to amend existing regulations to provide more flexibility in the types and size of ventilation systems that may be utilized to ensure adequate ventilation. (In a related issue, see information below on the GAO report).
Other MHCC Actions
In other actions, the Committee added new testing and certification requirements for certain types of vinyl siding; provided a new reference standard for Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF); updated and clarified language regarding construction methods; tabled a proposal regarding alternative foundation designs; rejected a site drainage proposal; rejected updated testing and certification requirements for windows and sliding doors; and referred new issues to MHCC subcommittees regarding water heaters.
Highlights of HUD (Designated Federal Officer) Report and Comments to MHCC
Status of MHCC recommendations pending at HUD
• Final Rules for the proposed 2nd set of updates to the standards, changes to roof truss testing, and changes to 3282, Subpart I, are in Departmental Clearance.
• A final rule for On-Site Completion of Construction is still being developed by HUD staff.
• HUD is still working to develop a proposed rule on a proposal developed by MHI regarding ground anchor testing. HUD is also working on changes to the regulations regarding Primary Inspection Agencies.
MHCC recommendations need a cost benefit analysis
HUD's Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Henry Czauski, reported that the MHCC/DFO must present to the committee its recommendations with an economic cost/benefit analysis. The recommendations must be in a format consistent with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) regarding proposed rules and should include a preamble.
Manufacturers need to adhere to regulations regarding Alternative Construction
During discussion of hinged roof designs and Alternative Construction (AC) letters Mr. Czauski noted that there have been numerous instances where manufacturers are not following the regulations under 3282.14 regarding Alternative Construction. If the industry members demand a timely response it is imperative that complete information is provided and regulations regarding inspections, labeling and reporting be followed.
DOE has not communicated on energy efficiency proposals
In response to a question by a committee member, HUD reported that it has had no recent conversations with the Department of Energy regarding energy efficiency standards, although the law requires it, and a recent Congressional directive, sought by MHI, directs DOE to also consult with the MHCC.
Highlights of MHI’s Public Remarks to MHCC
MHI staff provided the following public testimony during each of the three public comment periods:
• Recommended that the MHCC consider HUD’s inappropriate action regarding enforcement of the new design standards for southern pine lumber.
• Urged the committee to review and comment, if necessary, on the recent and pending changes to the NDS standard for southern pine lumber.
• Recommended that the MHCC review HUD’s guidelines for quality assurance under the procedural and enforcement regulations and codify the guidelines.
• Expressed concern about lack of transparency and timely action by HUD and the MHCC on MHCC recommendations.
• Thanked HUD for recent actions regarding preemption and the City of Richland, Mississippi.
• Announced that MHI is working on an industry-based energy efficiency standard and hopes to bring it before the MHCC early in 2013.
GAO Report Published on Indoor Air Quality to Coincide with MHCC Meeting
Coincidently, related to MHCC’s recommendation on indoor air quality, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report entitled “Manufactured Housing Standards – Testing and Performance Evaluation Could Better Ensure Safe Indoor Air Quality” (available at www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-52.) The report was requested by several members of Congress last year to examine indoor air quality standards for manufactured housing.
The report's key findings conclude that some provisions of the HUD Code provide a lower margin of safety against a carbon monoxide exposure incident than those for site-built homes. The report concluded that the primary reason for the differences in ventilation standards for manufactured homes and site-built homes is that the HUD Code has not been updated and has not kept pace with standards tied to ventilation and air quality for site-built homes. This is despite recommendations by the MHCC in 2009 and 2010 to update various ventilation standards and carbon monoxide requirements. The GAO report is consistent with MHI’s position that the HUD Code, to remain viable, must be updated.
Lois Starkey, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)
The Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) was very encouraged when HUD sent the City of Richland a letter regarding their requirement to home owners to update their manufactured homes to the current HUD code standard. MMHA had requested such letter in April of 2012 and received a response in August of 2012. Below is a summary of the case.
Mrs. Goode owns a 1984 HUD Code certified manufactured home located in the city of Richland, MS. In late September of 2010, she contacted the city to have her water turned off because she would not be staying at her home for some time due to family and work related issues, and did not want to risk her water pipes rupturing due to freezing weather while she was gone.
While Goode was gone, her utilities remained connected and she continued to receive mail to her home. She would periodically check on her home since all of her belongs were still located in her home.
In March of 2011, Mrs. Goode contacted the City to have her water reconnected, but the City informed her that her water would not be reconnected because the City claimed that the property had been abandoned for over 90 days in violation of the City Ordinance 2007-1 and had not been maintained according to the standards set forth in this Ordinance. She tried several attempts in vain to explain her situation to the City. The new Ordinance required that the home had to be updated to current HUD standards. On August 17, 2011, the Richland Municipal Court found Mrs. Goode guilty of violating City Ordinance 2007-1. Her attorney, Robin Hood, contacted MMHA for assistance.
The MMHA Board decided to have our attorney assist with this case. Mrs. Goode then asked MMHA to assist her in appealing her case to Rankin County Court.
The appeal was heard in County Court on April 9, 2012. During the trial it became apparent that the City was attempting to use City Ordinance 2007-1 to require Goode to maintain her 1984 manufactured home according to the most current version of the HUD Code. We were able to get Mrs. Goode’s case dismissed because of the evidence that the city attempted to use to show that Goode’s home had not been maintained in accordance with the current HUD Code was not obtained by the City until after the June 6, 2011 issuance to the citation summons charging Goode with violating the ordinance 2007-1.
The court entered an order dismissing the City’s case against Goode on May 2, 2012. On April 17, 2012 we petitioned HUD to write a letter to the City regarding their ordinance requiring homeowners that their manufactured homes had to be updated to the current HUD standard. After the trail, we learned that the City had adopted yet another manufactured housing ordinance which requires an inspection of a long list of items for manufactured homes to be located or relocated within the city.
When we received the copy of HUD’s letter to the City of Richland, we met with their attorneys to discuss the matter further. We reviewed the inspection list and discussed which items on the list applied to Mrs. Goode’s case. The City of Richland replied back to HUD that they would comply with HUD’s letter.
After months of going through this legal maze, on October 4, 2012, MMHA assisted Mrs. Goode in obtaining the appropriate permits to begin the process of getting her home prepared for her to move back into. MMHA will be present when the city inspector inspects Mrs. Goode’s home to make sure only the items pertaining to Mrs. Goode are inspected. Hopefully the next report will be that Mrs. Goode is living “happily ever after” in her manufactured home. ##
You don't have to be Jewish to feel deep concern about what took place at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Responding to political pressure to put the word "God" back in their platform as well as to once again name Jerusalem as Israel's national capital, DNC delegates where asked to pass the motion by a 2/3 vote. The video I've asked to be posted below tells the tale. For those who question the commitment by Democrats to fair elections, please watch this CSPAN video and share it with others.
Once you've watched this objectively, everything else is spin and commentary.
Among the emails that come into me are from a White House 'group.' Some months back, there was an outreach by that White House group to the business community. The president, it was said, wants to help ease burdensome regulations, to make it easier on small businesses.
How can we take such an election year outreach to small businesses seriously, by those who executed Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare?
Talk to an independent manufactured home builder. Ask them, with consumer complaints at new lows, why is HUD pushing more and more 'voluntary' – and other – regulations? Why don't we have the Duty to Serve implemented by the GSEs/FHFA?
The energy sector creates demand for factory-built housing, in places such as North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states. The current administration's policies, up until election year, were favoring gas prices of $8 to $9 a gallon for gas, as this video clip of testimony by Energy Secretary Steven Chu demonstrates.
While this next video clip has been pieced together, it reflects in President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's own words, a path designed to foil coal fired energy production in the United States.
Without belaboring the point, some believe that anti-domestic energy policies such as these were a path to promote green energy by making conventional domestic energy sources harder to come by. Such policies directly harm domestic energy firms. But they indirectly harm our industry, which often provides housing for those workers, especially when they are in areas with high demand for housing.
We scarcely hear about enhanced pre-emption for HUD Code Homes these days. Why not? Wasn't it part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000?
Community operators created some 10 billion worth of paper to finance manufactured homes in their land lease locations. This was a free enterprise solution designed to fill the gaps created when lenders who vaporized – such as Conseco – went good-bye. But SAFE, Dodd-Frank and a plethora of other laws and regulations have so squeezed this 'captive finance' free enterprise solution in MHCs, that now community owner/operators are turning to rental homes in their properties instead.
Rentals in once all owner occupied communities?! The entire business model of community operators is being changed by the Regulators and their political allies who passed and fund those regulations. Shame on us if we let the party of Regulation be rewarded.
I'm appalled that some still want to believe in "hope and change," when we are heading "forward" towards a new fiscal cliff and a new recession in 2013. Some commentators already believe we are already back in recession.
How could we move "forward" by following the advice of those who gladly took Fannie and Freddie's PAC money? Politicians such as Congressman Barney Frank and then Senator Barack Obama? ACORN, community organizer Barack Obama and the Clinton Administration worked together to force lenders to issue loans to those who were not credit qualified. No doubt there were Republicans who colluded. Shame on all involved.
But it is gutless by Republicans to let the Democrats dish it out and not respond to such fables, blaming Bush II for the mortgage/housing meltdown when Democrats had a firm hand in the cookie jar that caused that whole fiasco.
They should call it the mortgage/financial services industry's version of Russian roulette.
When government interferes so massively in the free market, of course there will be unintended consequences.
But to falsely blame supply side economics for the mortgage/housing collapse is a creative lie or brutal ignorance. Neither the option of lie or ignorance are worthy of credence or support.
We don't hear much in Manufactured housing circles about how the run-up to the mortgage meltdown harmed our Industry. But it did! Easy qualifying, liar loans and the like created a false opportunity for hundreds of thousands of conventional housing buyers. A percentage of those buyers were or normally would have been manufactured home owners. As some manufactured home lenders about those owners who walked away from their HUD Code homes to get conventional houses during the run up to the mortgage/housing bust.
That put pressure on MH lenders and the MH market in general. As MHs where being left behind, of course values dropped, just as they have more recently in conventional housing neighborhoods plagued by foreclosures.
So federal policy harmed our industry in the early 00s, as thousands of our home owners left what become over-leveraged HUDs for what turned out to be over-leveraged conventional houses.
You can thank those politicians who made that happen to us then and more recently.
But let's not thank them by rewarding them with our support or our votes. That is like rewarding the thief by putting him in charge of law enforcement.
When politicians plunder the public treasury to fund with borrowed and tax payer money programs contrary to the Constitution and the public interest, it is time to end such madness.
Research I've seen indicates that some 44-47% of voters will vote for President Obama no matter what he says or does. That means the rest of us who are capable of a critical analysis and independent thought better show up at the polls and cast ballots wisely.
While applauding columns like the one on Voter Fraud, I was frankly disappointed when MHProNews published an interview with Congressman Joe Donnelly. Donnelly may be a co-sponsor of HR 3849, but he also voted for HERA 2008, which gave us the SAFE Act. Donnelly voted for Dodd-Frank. So while I understand the desire for 'balance,' I question the timing or "political correctness" of publishing the Donnelly interview during campaign season.
What we need when the industry is already in the lifeboats and are looking at possible new waves looming on the horizon is enhanced clarity, not confusion.
When even Time Magazine, Newsweek and the New York Times Magazine are publishing stories and OpEds that call into question or openly attack the Obama Presidency, MH trade publications need to be coming out loud, clear and strongly in favor of less government, lower taxes/regulations, a sane pro-domestic energy program and more free enterprise leadership.
The first pair of drafts of this article I was asked to edit and tone down. So this is the toned down version. I was also told that the editor would add a disclaimer and an invitation for responses. So be it.
Back to the top. Sham votes matter. They speak volumes.
Election year political posturing, via asking independent business owners and executives how to reduce the burdens or regulations matters too. It is the age old trick of seduction at work. We are being divided and conquered.
We are watching borrowed money and our tax dollars being turned against us to destroy the greatest economic system and the most free society in world history.
9/11 and U.S. Embassies ablaze reminds us why Jerusalem and God matters to America, and why that Democratic sham of a platform vote matters.
Manufactured housing matters too. President Obama stood in Elkhart, IN – an area where so many manufactured housing plants and suppliers are – talking jobs. Are there connections between all that is being covered in this column? Yes. They are just different corners of the same bolt of American political cloth.
If we sweep the current left wing crop of Democrats and RINO Republicans aside in favor of more free market oriented leaders, manufactured housing can blossom and grow again. All we need is a level playing field.
Some speculate that Ben Bernanke may have decided on QE3 – de facto printing money – to boost stock prices short term to help Team Obama win re-election. Whatever his motivation, the credit down grade cited below reminds us that the Bernanke/FED/QE3 policy is misguided. It will harm the middle class and seniors. Economic history reminds us that you earn, not print, your way to success.
“Ratings firm Egan-Jones cut its credit rating on the U.S. government to "AA-"
from "AA," citing its opinion that quantitative easing from the
Federal Reserve would hurt the
U.S. economy and the country's credit quality.” – CNBC
If we have supply-side Republicans in charge of the House and Senate, but fail to sweep out Architect Obama – the leader of our changed and hopeless society – we have not done enough.
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States
For anyone who votes to re-elect the man who wants to move us 'forward' off the looming fiscal cliff, such a person could qualify as unpatriotic by Roosevelt's definition.
Don't let that happen. Half measures won't be enough. ##
(Editor's Note: All Industry Voices and other opinion columns, including the Masthead blog, et al, represent the views of those who write them. They do not necessarily represent the views of MHProNews.com or our sponsors. It has been our long standing policy to invite guest columns from people with opposing perspectives. You can send your own letter to the editor or OpEd column on a subject connected to factory built housing to the email address linked here, with Industry Voices in the subject line. Thank you.)
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010. The Act implements financial reform sponsored by the Democratically controlled 111th United States Congress and the Obama administration. Passed as a response to the late-2000s recession, the Act is bringing the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the reform that followed the Great Depression. The biggest threat to the manufactured housing industry and the Texas Manufactured Housing Association is the impact the new more stringent regulations might have on loans under $50,000.
I did some research using sales data available on the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Manufactured Housing Division (TDHCA MH) web site and the Statistical Surveys data my company subscribes to and it confirmed my concerns. According to TDHCA MH data, single section homes comprised 60% of new home retail sales for the five months ending May 31, 2012.
When I ran a retail selling price analysis in Statistical Surveys for the three months ending March 31, 2012, the most recent period available, I found that 92% of all single sections sold at retail had a selling price of $55,000 or less and 7% of multi-sections fell into that bracket. There were 1097 new home single section sales with lender liens titled as personal property (chattel loans) during the first five months of 2012.
Assuming 93% fall below a $55,000 sales price which with a 10% down payment would mean a loan balance of $50,000 or less, 1020 single section homes and 71 multi-section homes would be affected by the new regulations. That is 27% of all new HUD Code sales and 52% of all personal property financed sales.
I don’t need to tell you how that could affect our industry.
Just the manufacturer dues revenue which accounts for approximately 75% of TMHA revenue would decline by 27%. There are sixteen active HUD Code plants in Texas and if you assume a workforce of 150 at each of these plants a reduction in production could result in 648 Texans losing their jobs and that doesn’t even take into consideration the 55 active licensed out of state plants.
Texas currently has 747 active Retailer license holders and 1002 active licensed Retail Sales license holders. Based on a 27% reduction in sales due to the impact of the new regulation, we could see a reduction by 202 retail outlets and 271 retail sales licensees respectively. In total not even counting lenders, contractors, suppliers and so forth we might face a loss of 1120 jobs in our core member group.
The other impact which is difficult to measure is the new regulations could add significant barriers to affordable home ownership with no alternative housing options. There could be a an annual reduction in new HUD Code manufactured housing sales in Texas of 2650 units based on the current run rate if loans of $50,000 and less are highly regulated. Current manufactured home owners wishing to sell their home will find it very difficult to get financing for their buyers under the new regulations.
If you want to learn more about this and a broad range of other industry topics you should consider attending the Annual Convention of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association in Houston August 20th and 21st. You can learn more about all the business building and informational seminars linked at this site. It’s easy to register online at TexasMHA.com or call the TMHA office at 512-459-1221. All are welcome. ##
Ronnie Richards is the Chairman of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association and Vice President of Marketing for American Homestar Corporation headquartered in League City, Texas.
I read Tony Kovach's recent Masthead blog post with some fascination. Because the upcoming elections are on my mind too. Many of us feel that we are watching something slip away. Many of us want to make sure that we continue what was started in 2010, when the House or Representatives was retaken by 'tea party conservatives'.
I did a post on LinkedIn recently, asking questions about the impact of the Nanny State on manufactured housing professionals. Here are a pair of the statements, quoted below verbatim, with the initials of the person who made the comment:
“The industry is, I agree, significantly over-regulated. Often intentionally, exemplified with the number and types of superfluous disclosures to prospective residents our legislature seeks to add, and also as the unintended consequence of legislation targeting others (SAFE Act as to sale of park owned homes, Red Flags, Safeguard Rules, Patriot Act, etc.)” TD
“The problem is that sometimes we get what we "wish for" – the HUD Code. Many manufacturers in the industry wanted HUD regulation to avoid regulation by each state. Tony is correct – the largest shipment year was 1974 – the year before the HUD Code, but, there were other factors at work as well.KR
Here are some quotes from historic leaders and masters on this subject of Liberty.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Ben Franklin
“If we are together nothing is impossible, if we are divided all Will Fail.” Winston Churchill
“The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” Thomas Jefferson
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person by person.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” George Washington
“Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.” John F. Kennedy
“To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela
“The history of freedom is never really written by chance but by choice.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
We have so many things that can inspire us Americans. One of the countless examples is Abraham Lincoln, who suffered defeat after defeat in his personal career, only to keep coming back through dogged persistence to accomplish his goal.
Lincoln is famous for three reasons one his election in 1860, two his struggle to hold the Union together in the Civil War. But Lincoln is also famous that his life was riddled with failure and he overcame it time and time again. Here is just a small sampling of his failures;
1831 Failed in business
1832 Lost his job
1836 Had a nervous breakdown in bed for 6 months
1843 – Ran for Congress and lost
1848 Ran for re-election to Congress and lost
1858 Ran for US Senate and lost
1860 Ran for President and won.
The question – how many failures can you endure and carry on? The answer that Abraham Lincoln gave with us with his life example is to keep on keeping on until you accomplish that worthwhile goal.
Great things can be accomplished by team work. Pulling together can happen professionally as well as politically. That is why associations and parties exist. One thing is certain, "United, we Stand. Divided, we fall."
There is no need for perfect unity, nor is it possible. America became free of England not because everyone stood together! They became free because enough stood together to make it happen. Some say that perhaps 1/3 of the people were engaged in the effort and supported independence.
So don't think that just because there is opposition that we are thus 'doomed to fail.' YOU be a part of the solution. Gather others of like mind. Share the truth well, and some will accept it. That is how you get 'enough.'
The same can be true for us now as it was for the American Rebels at the time of the Revolution, as we work to reverse a long string of legal and regulatory setbacks to our liberties. We can do it. We are Americans. Amer-I-CAN.
The economic times give manufactured housing professionals an in unprecedented opportunity. Lower incomes means more people than ever before are looking for affordable quality homes in America. But we won't accomplish it unless we get some regulatory and legal hurdles out of the way.
This is the election that we had better work hard to win. If you haven't already seen and shared this political cartoon linked here, please check it out and send it to your mailing list.
… about the USFA's (United States Fire Administration) "fact sheet" about "manufactured housing."
Stuff like this makes my blood boil and I had to respond thusly, please see below.
I will let you know if they respond to me.
Ken Haynes, Jr.
(Editor's note: Ken was very kind to share this with our readers. This is a copy of the information he sent to the USFA. Frankly, we need more actions like this by industry pros from coast to coast. If every time a government agency, private firm or media misstated facts about manufactured or modular homes, an Industry pro would speak out, we would over time have fewer such errors and over time we would sell more homes too. Let us hereby thank Ken and encourage you and others to do the same.)
Thank you for submitting the following to USFA.
I just read your flyer titled, "Live Safely in Your Manufactured Home, A Fact sheet on Manufactured Home Safety."
You should be ashamed of yourselves publishing such drivel without explaining the differences between "mobile homes" constructed prior to the implementation of the Federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act (HUD Code) developed and enforced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and "manufactured homes" constructed to the specifications of the HUD Code.
The information you have provided in the publication is inaccurate, misleading and slanderous. You have lumped together two completely different types of affordable housing. To make an analogy that you might understand, comparing it to the automotive industry, you are saying that the safety of a Ford Model A is in the same category as a 2011 Ford Fusion because they are both motor vehicles with four tires and a steering wheel.
The truth is that fire frequency and death rates of manufactured homes built to the HUD Code is comparable and even less than site built homes, yet your publication makes absolutely no reference to this fact.
You obviously have no idea of what you are talking about, grouping all factory built housing in the same category.
Are you purposely trying to kill the manufactured housing business with false claims put forth in publications such as this? It seems to me that you are.
In my opinion, this is just another effort to foster the notion that manufactured homes should be forced to have fire sprinklers, but that site built homes should not be forced to have fire sprinklers, thus promoting an unfair and costly expense to manufactured housing, diminishing their popularity and giving an unfair advantage to site-built home builders.
This form should be withdrawn and corrected immediately, a retraction issued, and an apology issued to the manufactured housing industry.
We’ve been closely following your email discussion regarding the regulation of outside steps, including, particularly, the issue of federal versus state/local authority, questions concerning federal preemption and the possibility of approaching the MHCC with a proposal.
Unfortunately, this problem goes back to an issue raised by MHARR, some 8 years ago, when the federal installation standards (24 C.F.R. 3285) were first proposed by HUD and debated by the MHCC. HUD has taken the position, based on an indefensible “interpretation” of the 2000 law, that installation is not part of “construction” and that only the Part 3280 construction and safety standards are preemptive – meaning that the Part 3285 installation standards are not preemptive. MHARR (without help from others in the industry), vigorously opposed – and continues to oppose — this “re-codification” of installation, as is more fully explained in Fact Sheet No. 8 of the MHARR Fact Sheets regarding HUD’s failure to implement key 2000 law reforms that we sent to you on September 14, 2011.
The bottom line, for now, is that the Part 3285 installation standards, as construed by HUD, remain non-preemptive. So, even if steps were part of the 3285 installation standards, or were made part of the installation standards, the federal step standard would still not be preemptive of state and/or local requirements. Worse yet, because the MHCC only has statutory authority over “construction and safety” standards, HUD’s codification of the installation standards outside of the Part 3280 construction and safety standards, at a minimum, makes it doubtful whether the MHCC could even consider a proposal to amend the Part 3285 installation standards to include steps (and would create an endlessly muddled legal no-man’s land, if it did).
MHARR has been warning, ever since the installation standards were re-codified outside of Part 3280, that HUD’s baseless distinction between installation and construction would come back to haunt the industry and consumers in the form of inconsistent and needlessly costly state and local requirements. And what you’re seeing here is likely just the tip of the iceberg, as we also noted that the full impact of all this would not begin to be felt until the federal installation program was fully implemented. Unfortunately, this is just one simple illustration from among the ten key reforms of the 2000 law (see your MHARR Fact Sheet packet), designed to complete the transformation of manufactured homes from the trailers of yesteryear to the modern legitimate housing of today, that HUD has refused to fully and properly implement – reforms that were designed to help the industry and its consumers that have been languishing at HUD for over ten years because of a lack of pressure from the entire industry.
Senior Vice President
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)