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Posts Tagged ‘Pam Danner’

Now You Will Hear — the Rest of the Story

November 21st, 2017 No comments

JamesJimRAyotteCAEExecDirectorFloridaManufacturedHousingAssociationLogoIndustryVoicesBlogManufacturedHomeIndustryProfessionalNewsMHProNewsI have been a vocal critic of HUD’s Alternative Construction (AC) approval for carport-ready homes.  I don’t believe an AC approval for homes built with a host beam is warranted or that the AC approval process is the proper regulatory procedure.

I communicated my concerns to Pamela Danner, Administrator of the federal manufactured housing program in a face-to-face meeting.  I pointed out that there is no basis for requiring AC approval for homes designed carport-ready because HUD’s own Hurricane assessment data showed that no post-1994 constructed homes experienced more than exterior finish damage.  HUD’s assessment was consistent with the findings of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV) after four 2004 hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne) and Hurricane Wilma in 2005.  The DMV evaluated 52,233 mobile and manufactured homes and concluded no post-1994 homes experienced significant damage.

I also discussed the negative economic impact that HUD’s new policy would have on the manufactured housing industry.  In Florida, carports are a big deal.  Most land-lease communities require carports and an estimated 4,500 new carports will be installed this year. The cost of HUD’s new carport inspection requirement will be significant – in excess of $2 million a year in Florida alone, not counting the additional costs that will be incurred by home producers for obtaining design approval and conducting pre-onsite inspections. This cost will be borne by the homeowner who is installing the carport and those home owners will receive little or no benefit.

While I was disappointed that the hurricane assessment data that I presented to Ms. Danner did not result in the withdrawal of the AC approval requirement for carport-ready homes, the story doesn’t end there.

Florida is different than most states in that carports are regulated by the Florida Building Commission.  A building permit is required to install a carport and 100 percent of carports are inspected by a local building inspector to ensure that they comply with the Florida Building Code.  After not being able to convince HUD to rescind its carport AC approval requirement, I raised the possibility of combining the HUD on-site inspection requirement with the local building permit process to achieve a more efficient and cost effective process for satisfying  HUD’s requirements.  Pamela Danner was receptive to exploring this option and she proactively reached out to the Florida SAA and the Florida Building Commission for additional information.  Over the past few months I have been working with HUD, the Florida SAA, and Florida building officials to address some technical and logistical concerns.  Progress is being made.

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This graphic highlighting a quote by Jim Ayotte was created by MHProNews, and was not part of Ayotte’s submission. As an FYI, in journalism, spotlighting a quotation, and headlines, are often done by the editor or publisher.

While the solution I am working on is not the one I wanted, I learned a long time ago that regulators have broad discretionary authority to impose certain regulatory requirements. As an association executive, my job is to assess the situation and seek the best possible outcome based on the facts as I know them.  Eliminating duplicative onsite inspections for carports will save Florida manufactured home buyers over $2 million a year in unnecessary regulatory costs.   This will make manufactured housing more affordable and that cost savings may be the difference between purchasing a new manufactured home or not.

While I disagree with HUD’s policy on carport-ready home designs, I will continue to collaborate with Ms. Danner and HUD to achieve the best results for our members and the industry at large.

So, in the infamous words of Paul Harvey, “And now you know — the rest of the story.” ##

(Editor’s Notes: while not stated in Ayotte’s request to publish this op-ed, industry readers may note that this column pertains to an issue raised by another award-winning state association executive, Andy Gallagher.  Gallagher recently pointed to the research that Jim Ayotte did about HUD and items related to this column by FMHA’s executive.  More on how Gallagher is related to this issue raised by Ayotte, are linked here and here. For an exclusive on the Trump Administration’s reported plan for HUD’s Pam Danner, click here. The headline was requested by Ayotte, and the graphic above that highlights a quote, was created by MHProNews. We Provide, You Decide.”©)

JamesJimRAyotteCAEExecDirectorFloridaManufacturedHousingAssociationLogoIndustryVoicesBlogManufacturedHomeIndustryProfessionalNewsMHProNewsJames R. Ayotte, CAE
Executive Director
Florida Manufactured Housing Association
1284 Timberlane Road
Tallahassee, FL  32312

Award-Winning MHI Retailer Regarding HUD Objectives, Pam Danner, Needed Changes

March 8th, 2017 No comments

I can’t improve on what Mark Weiss [MHARR President and CEO] has indicated below:

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Graphic above and the headline were provided by MHProNews, as is customary in publishing. The words in [brackets] were added for clarity, and the text submitted for publication is by the author, Doug Gorman. 

“While MHARR does not claim to speak for the entire industry, we have made it clear that after years of abuse by federal regulators acting contrary to the law and empowering entrenched revenue-driven contractors to target the industry, the new era of regulatory deconstruction being ushered-in by the Trump Administration offers a profound opportunity that must not be missed or squandered.  And while other segments of the industry – following their recent meeting – have not given any public indication of a change in course, direction or approach based on this new reality, MHARR has been on top of this critical matter since the November election, and has already put in place fundamental priorities and policies that I am happy to share with you and the rest of the industry as shown below:

  1. Elevate and include manufactured housing in all HUD (and other federal) housing and housing finance programs on the same terms as other types of housing;
  1. Immediately re-assign the current career HUD manufactured housing program administrator and appoint an appropriately-qualified non-career administrator in accordance with the 2000 reform law who would fully and properly implement that law and any and all regulatory policies and orders put in place by President Trump;
  1. Immediately prepare and issue a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for the HUD program monitoring contract which would provide for, encourage, and ensure full and fair competition for that position, eliminate all “make-work” programs and functions contained in the current contract consistent with Trump Administration regulatory policies and orders, and terminate the existing monitoring contract upon the identification and selection of a new contractor;
  1. Seek the immediate withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposed manufactured housing energy rule pursuant to executive action by either the incoming DOE Secretary, the President, or other appropriate authority and, if necessary, seek a congressional resolution pursuant to the Congressional Review Act to reject any such rule if or when finalized; and
  1. Demand and ensure securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans in a significant and timely manner by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so that consumers are not needlessly either excluded from the housing market or unnecessarily forced into higher-cost loans within a less-than-fully-competitive consumer financing market.” ##

Addendum on 1:40 PM 3.10.2017, by Doug Gorman:

I would clarify that Mark Weiss’s language re Pam Danner was that she be reassigned. The original structure of the 21 member Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee  (MHCC) was to have a nonvoting 22nd member. That position was to be a non-career political appointee who would change most likely with each administration. That was the position that Bill Matchneer filled originally as a political appointee reporting to Gary Cunningham at one point. When Gary Cunningham left HUD Bill was promoted to Gary’s career position and the non-career position has never been filled since. Mark’s point was that HUD should structure the manufactured housing program as intended by the 2000 statute. ###

DougGormanHomeMartTulsaOKCreditManufacturedHousingIndustryVoicesCommentaryMHProNews125x125Industry Voices post submitted by Doug Gorman, Home-Mart, Tulsa, OK.  Other guest comments on this or other topics of general industry interest are encouraged and welcome.

 

 

 

(Editor’s Note 1:  Doug Gorman has won several MHI awards as a retailer, and was volunteered hundreds of hours on national issues, served on the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), etc. Gorman is one of a few individuals who was asked by MHProNews for his thoughts on the needs to replace Pam Danner at HUD, and what MHI’s position on this issue ought to be.  The above was sent by Gorman in response to that inquiry, and was sent for publication.

Editor’s Note 2: There are several Industry Voices posts pending publication, we hope to get caught up in the next week or so.  Please continue to send your thoughts and comments – on or off the record – and be clear what is and is not for attributed publication.  Thank you for your patience.)