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About the 41st Anniversary of the Start of Manufactured Housing

June 15th, 2017 No comments

MMarkWeissCEO-MHARR-ManufacturedHousingAssociationforRegulatoryReform-posted-IndustryVoices-MHProNewsThe establishment of the HUD Code was — and is — an important milestone for both the industry and consumers.  The industry itself sought out federal regulation under a preemptive, performance-based, uniform code of federal standards that balances the key factors of safety and cost, along with uniform enforcement within a federal-state partnership.

This type of federal regulation — so long as it is reasonable — allows the industry to pass-along the efficiencies of factory-construction to home buyers, in the form of unparalleled affordability and quality.

By every objective measure available, today’s manufactured homes have achieved the level of quality, durability, and safety that Congress envisioned when it passed the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.

Now, it is time for HUD to take real measures to support and expand the availability and acceptance of those HUD Code homes as Congress directed in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  To do that, however, will require a major shake-up of the HUD program by the Trump Administration.

Mark Weiss
President & CEO
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)
1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Suite 512
Washington, D.C. 20004
Phone: 202/783-4087
Fax: 202/783-4075
Email: MHARRDG@AOL.COM

Kudos for Ron D’Ambra’s thoughtful article on the HUD Code and Manufactured Housing Affordability

September 5th, 2014 No comments

As a former manager of the HUD Manufactured Housing Program, I was gratified to read Ron D'Ambra’s recent piece titled “Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?”   While there are always some costs associated with any form of government regulation, Ron clearly appreciates the long term benefits that HUD has brought to an industry that was previously known for building low quality firetraps. 

Though a small clan within the industry reflexively condemns just about everything HUD has done over the years, I’d recommend Ron’s review of HUD’s history and various functions to anyone who wants to understand the enormous strides in quality and safety the industry has made since HUD first set up its program shop back in 1976.

Rather than repeat Ron’s points, let me add one of my own.

When the Act was passed in 1974, its title referred to the products as “Mobile Homes” and the language of the Act often referred to the products as “vehicles”. It has always seemed to me that Congress was thinking of the industry’s products as more like automobiles than houses for regulatory purposes.Thus the “Notification and correction of defects by manufacturer” requirements in 42 U.S.C. 5414 which are implemented in Subpart I of HUD’s regulations.

Compliance with these requirements represents most of the real HUD compliance burden, which requires remedies much like automobile recalls for the life of the home.

Given that the quality and safety of manufactured homes now equals or exceeds that of site built homes in most respects, perhaps the time has come to ask Congress to reconsider replacing the current requirements of 42 U.S.C. 5414 with some sort of warranty.For all I know, this idea has already been discussed, but I left HUD in 2010 and may have missed it.

Anyway, on behalf of the hundreds of people who have staffed the HUD program, served as HUD IPIAs and DAPIAs, as HUD contractors and Consensus Committee Members, thanks very much Ron for your thoughtful piece.##

bill-matchneer-formerly-with-hud-and-cfpb-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews-com-aBill Matchneer, JD, recently retired from 23 years of federal government service. Most recently he supervised the Dodd-Frank appraisal rules at CFPB, but is better known to our readers for his ten years as manager of the manufactured housing construction and safety standards program at HUD. Bill can be reached at (703) 973-4366 and at bill.matchneer@comcast.net

(Editor's Notes: A recent interview with Bill Matchneer is found linked here.

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