I am deeply encouraged that less than 24 hours into President Trump’s term, he has frozen new, potentially burdensome regulations.
The immediate impact assists working people and those on fixed incomes – as well as others of low and moderate income – to realize the dream of affordable manufactured homeownership and cannot be overstated.
Onerous regulations were in the process of adoption by the previous administration that would have added thousands of dollars to the cost of manufactured homes, thus pricing tens of thousands of Americans from realizing the dream of homeownership.
Those regulations range from excessive energy mandates, to overkill foundation rules, as well as needless additional regulation of home construction.
Image credit, MHProNews. The headline and image are provided by the editor.
Manufactured homes are the ONLY form of housing where each home is rigorously inspected and approved by government in the design, construction, and home placement process.
The strong existing consumer protections will continue without the regulatory over kill which would have stifled expanded homeownership and cost thousands of construction jobs. ##
National Public Radio (NPR) did a two-part report released this week on manufactured home communities, part one of their controversial story – “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” – including initial manufactured home industry related responses, are linked here.
Tim Williams, OMHA.
Against that backdrop, the following questions were addressed to Tim Williams, Executive Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) by MHProNews, to get Williams’ reaction to the issues raised by NPR. Williams’ replies are in brown, following each question.
Q – How many manufactured home communities are there in Ohio?
Q – NPR reported 20 communities in Ohio with drinking water problems. Isn’t that less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all communities in the state?
Ohio EPA indicated 6 system failures in MHCs over 4 years, according to information shared with us in 2015 by Ohio EPA staff. That’s 3/10ths of one percent.
Interestingly, Ohio EPA was the subject of numerous negative news stories in 2016 when it was forced to fire two of its employees for failure to properly monitor lead contamination in the water supply of Sebring, Ohio…a community of 4,300 people. Where was NPR’s coverage of that catastrophe?
The real story is the Ohio EPA’s failure to properly monitor water quality test results from their own certified water operators in the highly-publicized Sebring, Ohio debacle – where they failed to perform their job monitoring monthly water quality test results from their own certified water operators.
OMHA has repeatedly testified before the Ohio Legislature regarding the Ohio EPA lapses and proposed legislative and regulatory overreach.
OMHA has indicated in public testimony our commitment to water quality in manufactured home communities (MHCs) and our strong support in bringing in to compliance those rare instances of water supply compromise.
Q – In your experience, do most community operators ignore health and safety concerns, or do they try to provide a clean, healthy environment for their residents?
MHC water quality operators are certified by Ohio EPA and conduct water quality test results monthly, which they report to Ohio EPA. The MHC operators immediately correct any quality issues even before Ohio EPA needs to intervene.
Ohio has the most stringent home installation program in the nation with 3 inspections and 100% inspection of all home installations. Ohio new manufactured home sales have tripled in six years. Obviously, Ohio citizens find manufactured home living not only affordable, but of high quality and satisfaction.
Ohio has extensive training, legal support and a record of integrity in assisting OMHA member MHCs in complying with all government rules and regulations.
Q – Because news media in general has a reputation for looking for trouble or the sensational rather than the good, do you think that NPR has pained a balanced view of manufactured home community living? Do you think most community operators are heartless, or do you see them in a different light than NPR has portrayed in this story?
The NPR article creates a false narrative of uncaring manufactured home community (MHC) operators.
NPR should be held accountable for balanced news reporting, where the truth of manufactured home living is accurately portrayed.
NPR didn’t even bother to contact the only industry trade association – OMHA – to obtain more than one side to their reference regarding the Ohio EPA director’s comments.
NPR seems to subtly imply in their anecdotal profile of a few residents in Idaho that the millions of Americans who choose the option of manufactured home living are somehow subjected to inferior conditions. I find that discriminatory, elitist view offensive to our lower and moderate income MH residents and totally unrepresentative of the MH living experience.
As Americans have become increasingly aware, the bias of many news media organizations, like NPR, that promote false social narratives – such as victimhood and identity politics. Rather than accurately report the facts that don’t fit their liberal agendas, [that part of the media] is increasingly out of touch with the pulse of America. ##
(Editor’s Note 1: The video above reflects thousands of examples of public water systems problems, such as the one Williams’ response above raised. “An invisible infrastructure problem was illuminated by the Flint water crisis: 5,300 U.S. water systems violate lead rules; this affects roughly 18 million Americans,” Dave Packman Show.
Editor’s Notes 2: The headline, graphics, video, and introduction are provided by MHProNews.com. The story Williams has responded to – along with other related information – are linked here. Williams’ responded to MHProNews’ inquiry with the above details in about an hour from the time we contacted him. By contrast, NPR has also been contacted for comment – and 20 hours after they acknowledged their receipt of our first questions – NPR has failed to provide any further details to address industry concerns about the slanted nature of their first report. MHProNews will provide further follow-up on this controversial issue as it develops. To check out a prior interview, A Breakfast with…Tim Williams, click here.).
Ohio Congressman Steve Stivers (co-sponsor HR 650) and John Ryan, (Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown) spent nearly two hours at Haydens Heights MH Community in Dublin, Ohio (UMH Properties, Inc.). The tour was arranged and led by Sam Landy, CEO of UMH Properties, Inc. Joining Sam was Tim Williams, Executive Director, Ohio Manufactured Homes Association, UMH’s Ohio team led by Bob Vanschuyver and Angela Smith, Jim Gallagher of Skyline Homes as well as others from UMH.
Sam led a tour of two homes in the community along with a discussion about the challenges of financing customers as a result of unintended restrictions from the Dodd/Frank Act. Sam emphasized the current barriers to allowing MH sales people to discuss financing with potential customers. Of equal importance, the group provided detailed information to Congressman Stivers and Mr. Ryan involving the MH lifestyle, homeownership and/or rental costs as well as demographics of the MH homeowners. Tim Williams provided an Ohio perspective discussing among other items, the strong consumer installation program in Ohio and the Ohio market place in general.
Left to right, John P. Carney, Kristi McGovern, Angela Smith, John Ryan, Elmer Thomas, Joe Gilligan, Samuel A. Landy, Robert Van Schuyver, Tim Williams, Brett Taft
Williams said, “Sam and the UMH team have been a tremendous asset in Ohio for our industry image. The UMH example of professionalism and their significant investment of purchasing and upgrading 29 communities in Ohio in recent years has been a hallmark of excellence we are able to showcase in our state. I believe the two hour meeting/tour was of genuine and sincere interest to Congressman Stivers and John Ryan (Senator Brown). Both leaders also indicated any potential to move HR 650/S 682, would likely be as an amendment to larger legislation. ”
When you get a key piece of federal legislation sponsored in the U.S. Sentate, how does that happen? We asked Tim Williams to answer that question, and here is what he told us in his own words.
“First and foremost Nathan Smith is the game changer (with the credibility and relationship) who advocated and led the industry effort with the assistance of MHI. Nathan, myself, Tim Williams of 21st and MHI’s Jason Boehlert as well as several other MHI key finance members initially met with Senator Brown in January regarding the industry’s concerns with Dodd/Frank. Nathan did a great job debriefing the Senator and his staff on the issue and encouraging legislative consideration. It was clear Senator Brown had a good understanding and sincere interest in the issue and our industry even before the meeting started.
I was able to discuss Ohio’s strong MH Commission’s role in consumer protection under the industry led independent Ohio MH Commission (6 of 9 commissioners must be appointed per a list nominated by OMHA per Ohio law). Senator Brown was very interested in the industry, our consumer and their protections under the Ohio Commission including the fact that 100% of all homes are inspected during three critical phases of the installation process in Ohio. He asked many questions regarding Ohio law, demographics and industry businesses as well as the jobs aspect of our economic impact in Ohio and nationally. He was clearly engaged with us on the issue.
Tim Williams of 21st was able to succinctly condense a rather complicated issue in to an understandable dynamic all could grasp and wrap our heads around. Tim’s ability to take the issue down to its basic components was very helpful in demonstrating the practical challenges facing the ability to finance Ohioans in to affordable manufactured home ownership. I am very appreciative of Tim and 21st Mortgage's leadership on the Dood/Frank concerns and believe his impact on the legislative aspect of all of this is probably underestimated but nonetheless critical to our success.
I personally appreciate the effort Senator Brown demonstrated in understanding our industry and concerns as well as to brief us on the legislative dynamics of the issue. I encourage all industry members to thank Senator Brown and express support to his office in any appropriate manner. He stood up for our consumers and industry on a challenging issue regardless of the pressures he faces in an election year.
Please see the message below from the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation regarding the status of the Louisville Show. We encourage all IMHA members to support this event.
As a part of the manufactured housing industry, you know how tough business conditions have been for the last several years. These same business conditions have taken a toll on the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, reducing the number of show homes in 2009 and forcing its cancellation in 2010. As caretakers of this industry event, we’re doing everything possible to make sure it happens successfully in 2011 but we need your support to renew this tradition.
Maybe you’re a manufacturer who can take one home to the show. Maybe you’re already taking two homes but can take one more. Maybe you’re a supplier who has not yet committed to the show. Please call Dennis Hill at 770-587-3350 and make that commitment today! Maybe you’re a retailer or community owner who can call your manufacturers and tell them you hope to see their products at the show. Let your suppliers know you’ll be in Louisville in January. Maybe you can even make arrangements to purchase one of the show homes.
We’ve cut expenses by eliminating set management fees and reimbursements to the Midwest Federation members and have revamped the advertising campaign. With 7 manufacturers, 20 floors and 45 booths already committed we’re just 6 floors away from being able to finalize our contracts to make the 2011 show a reality.
We are quickly running out of time to get these final commitments. Everyone has a part in making this event happen, and with the support of the industry it will happen. Please do your part to support the Louisville show and plan on being there in January.