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MHARR has taken a further step in its effort to slow and reverse intensifying pressure by HUD and its monitoring and inspection agents for manufacturers -- under the guise of "voluntary" cooperation -- to adopt costly changes to their in-plant production oversight procedures that are not required by existing HUD regulations. The focus of this MHARR activity, as you are aware, is on ensuring that, unless and until there is proper rulemaking, any such changes are initiated -- if at all -- on a truly voluntary basis by individual manufacturers and not by regulatory authorities. This is because any "request" by regulators within a comprehensive regulatory system for "voluntary" action above and beyond existing regulations, without a specific document that has gone through the rigors of rulemaking, is accurately perceived as pressure and coercion by the regulated party.

As reported earlier, MHARR, on October 26, 2009, filed a wide-ranging Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with HUD seeking the disclosure of an array of documents relating to the genesis of this coercion. Among other things, the filing asks for materials dating back to 2008 showing the substance of closed-door meetings on this subject involving HUD regulators, the program monitoring contractor and third-party Primary Inspection Agencies (PIAs). It also seeks any and all documents used at -- or resulting from those meetings -- as well as materials showing the identity and role of specific participants.

MHARR broadened and expanded this effort on December 1, 2009, with a letter to HUD's new General Counsel (copy attached)asking for a review of this activity and a halt to such regulatory pressure. Please be sure to review this letter carefully, and feel free to share it with your company's technical, regulatory and legal executives.

MHARR's position, as set forth in that letter, is that manufacturers (given all the information currently available) cannot be compelled to implement production oversight changes that are not required by current regulations or standards. Furthermore, any changes that have not been subjected to the rigors of the rulemaking process required by the 2000 reform law should not be forced on manufacturers through regulatory pressure and coercion. While any manufacturer with an interest in making changes to its production oversight practices on a truly voluntary basis, can make appropriate arrangements with HUD regulators and its third-party PIA to do so, any such initiative should come from the individual manufacturer, not as a result of pressure or threats -- real or implied -- from regulators.

Another concern that HUD Code manufacturers should be aware of, is that -- as MHARR has learned -- the industry's other Washington, D.C.-based association (representing the industry's larger producers) has effectively accepted this de facto regulation, under the guise of "voluntary" cooperation, and has been meeting and negotiating with HUD regulators and the program monitoring contractor over its content. These negotiations are apparently designed to "improve" this "process," even though the process itself is fundamentally flawed, as is explained above and in greater detail in the attached letter to HUD's General Counsel. Years of experience with the HUD program have demonstrated, however, that "go-along-to-get-along" negotiations on important matters such as this, only encourages more of the same from regulators while, at the same time, it discourages them from complying with the procedural safeguards that are designed to officially protect regulated parties, such as those contained in the 2000 reform law. In fact, this sort of back-door negotiation on regulatory matters was one of the reasons that led Congress, in the 2000 reform law, to bring regulatory procedures into the open through the transparent MHCC consensus process. And, as the industry is aware, the MHCC has not given its consensus support to HUD's proposed expansion of the existing enforcement regulations.

MHARR will continue with its efforts to bring this HUD activity into the open and to ensure that there is proper rulemaking on any such changes -- if, in fact, they are needed and justified at a time when industry production is below 50,000 homes annually. We will keep you apprised as new developments unfold.


Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform
1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 508
Washington, D.C. 20004
Phone: 202/783-4087
Fax: 202/783-4075
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Daily Business News Briefs

Ratner-Skanska Dispute Eating at the Big Apple

Ratner-Skanska Dispute Eating at the Big Apple

Updating a story MHProNews last posted Sept. 5, 2014 about the dispute between Ratner and Skanska in New York City that has brought to halt the construction of the largest modular tower in the world, concern is growing that if the project fails, financing for future modular projects may be in jeopardy. Forest City Ratner’s […]...

19 Sep 2014

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Defensive Building Materials used for Modular Homes

Defensive Building Materials used for Modular Homes

MHProNews has learned that John Paul Builders of Brick Township, New Jersey, is building five modular homes in New York and New Jersey using Eco Building Products’ treated wood product that is protected from mold/mycotoxins, fire, water, fungus, rot and wood-ingesting insects. Calling them “defensive building materials, ECO says its Red S...

19 Sep 2014

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Four MH Industry Members Honored at MHI Annual Meeting

Four MH Industry Members Honored at MHI Annual Meeting

Four members of the manufactured housing industry were honored at the recent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) annual meeting Sept. 14-16 for their outstanding contributions to the industry. Dick Ernst, president of Financial Marketing Associates, received the MHI Chairman’s Award from MHI Chairman Nathan Smith. A longtime member of the...

19 Sep 2014

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William Matchneer leaves CFPB for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

William Matchneer leaves CFPB for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

William Matchneer, formerly senior counsel with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) division of research, markets and regulations, has joined the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in their litigation and compliance practice group. In addition to serving as team lead for implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act at the CFPB,...

18 Sep 2014

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Promise Zones Set to Expand to other Struggling Communities

Promise Zones Set to Expand to other Struggling Communities

The next round of the Obama Administration’s Promise Zone applications will be discussed Friday, Sept. 19 at 11 AM eastern time by U. S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Rep. Gary...

18 Sep 2014

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Drew Advances Modestly; Dow and S&P reach new Historical Highs

Drew Advances Modestly; Dow and S&P reach new Historical Highs

The U. S. is reveling in one of the most lucrative stock market runs in it history, but the recipients of this largesse are primarily white, college-educated individuals who are already well off, leading to discussions of income inequality, especially by those who did not gain. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a […]...

18 Sep 2014

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August Housing Starts Decline 14.4 Percent

August Housing Starts Decline 14.4 Percent

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau inform MHProNews housing starts fell in all four regions of the country in August by 14.4 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 956,000 units. Multifamily production led the downward trend, falling 31.7 percent, while single-family dropped 2.4...

18 Sep 2014

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Scottish Modular Homes use Sheep Wool for Insulation

Scottish Modular Homes use Sheep Wool for Insulation

Scottish company ECHO makes modular pods of local lumber under one hundred square feet each that can be stitched together to make the home any size desired, according to fastcoexist.com. Insulated with sheep wool, the homes are built on stilts to allow placement in any terrain. Says founder Sam Booth, “You just add blocks until […]...

18 Sep 2014

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Mortgage Rate Increase highest in Ten Months

Mortgage Rate Increase highest in Ten Months

In the largest increase since November of 2013, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose 14 basis points from one week ago to 4.19 percent, although it peaked on Sunday at 4.30 percent and then fell, according to worldpropertychannel.com. Erin Lantz of Zillow says the rates hit a five-month high last week in anticipation of the […]...

18 Sep 2014

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Ruth Lake Lodge honored as Modular Building Institute Building of the Month

Ruth Lake Lodge honored as Modular Building Institute Building of the Month

The Modular Building Institute (MBI) has chosen the Ruth Lake Lodge north of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada as its Building of the Month for Sept. 2014, according to realestaterama.com. Providing housing for employees of the Athabasca Oil Sands industries and visitors to the area, the complex has over 600 rooms comprised of 235 modules […]...

18 Sep 2014

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Sun Communities to Sell Six Million Shares to Fund Acquisition

Sun Communities to Sell Six Million Shares to Fund Acquisition

In a filing with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated July 30, 2014, Sun Communities, Inc. (SUI) is selling six million shares to help fund its acquisition of 59 manufactured home communities from Green Courte Partners LLC for $1.32 billion. The first phase of 34 communities is expected to close by Oct. […]...

17 Sep 2014

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Featured Articles and Reports - September 2014 Vol. 5 No. 12

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UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

by L.A. "Tony" Kovach Years before Palm Harbor Homes went into bankruptcy and eventually ended up with Cavco Industries, Palm Harbor ran TV ads showing beautiful, “residential style” manufactured homes. Read more

MARKETING

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

by Nadeen Green, JD Many if not most manufactured housing folks truly make the effort to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act and are well aware of the need to... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

by C. William Dahlin, JD  As reported by major media outlets, a 6.0 earthquake hit Northern California  in late August on a Sunday. Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Pool and Spa Safety

Pool and Spa Safety

by Kathleen Bianculli While the end of summer is drawing near and pools in some areas will be closed for the season, in many areas of the country the pool never... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Do…

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Don'ts

by Nadeen Green, JD While a rose may smell sweet no matter what it may be called, names are in fact labels. Using the wrong label when you market your senior... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step P…

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step Program!

by Jerry Bretton In our previous report on SUN, we mentioned that Mountainside Financial has been making loans on manufactured and mobile homes for 14 years. Read more

FINANCING

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

by Ron D'Ambra Let's start by saying that, from a business perspective, MORE government involvement is not always viewed as a good thing. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

by Sam Landy Dear Friends, UMH Properties and Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (MNR) sponsor The Open Space Pace at Freehold Raceway September 20, 2014. The event begins with a 10:00 am parade of... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.) Sheila S. Dey, JDExecutive DirectorWestern Manufactured Housing Communities Association Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

by Dennis Hill We could name more than 5 reasons why manufacturers and exhibiting companies as well 5 reasons why attendees from the ranks of retailers, communities, builder developers, installers and... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories …

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

by L. A. “Tony' Kovach We will demonstrate that the cost of not selling more homes is always high.  Capital is tied up in your inventory, location, general overhead, personnel, marketing,... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Lead, manage or get out of the way

Lead, manage or get out of the way

by Tim Connor, CSP The world is changing at the speed of light. Everything is being touched by this accelerated pace of change. No person, entity, industry, profession, and no part... Read more

MANAGEMENT

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words = Enhanced Manufacture…

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words =  Enhanced Manufactured Housing  Professional Success Infographic

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach We'll share an infographic that explains in 4 easy steps how any MH Industry professional can learn more to earn more. Here is the infographic... Read more

MANAGEMENT

ZigOn Qualities of Success

ZigOn Qualities of Success

by Zig Ziglar Dr. William "Bill" Ross was truly one of a kind and was known for his sense of humor and his zest for life. He had exuberance for... Read more

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

by Tim Connor, CSP There are four significant areas when it comes to consistent high sales performance. They are: Self-image and self-esteem. Read more

SALES

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MHLIVINGNEWS.COM FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK

Classifieds

Press Releases

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is filling up fast and early!

Attendees, mark your calanders now, pre-registration will open on October 1, 2014. Exhibitors, Reserve your space now.  See download linked here.

the MHMSM Team 02 Sep 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Cl…

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Class of 2014 into RV/MH Hall of Fame

(Back row l-r) Thomas "Tom" L. Kern, Style Crest Enterprises; Ed Evans, EPM; Gary McDaniel, YES! Communities ; Richard "Dick" King, King Insurance (second row row l-r) Barry Cole, Manufactured Housing Insurance Services; Bob Livingston, Good Sam; John D Roba, Roba and Associates (front row l-r) Mrs. James F Shields. accepting on behalf of her husband,James F Shields (deceased), Pan Pacific RV Centers; Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices and Peter B Orthwein, Thor Industries. ELKHART, Ind., August 5. 2014 -- The Class of 2014 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) last night in Elkhart, Indiana, in a gala ceremony before a record breaking crowd of more than 440 family members, friends, and colleagues from across the country. The Class of 2014 includes: Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices;...

the MHMSM Team 05 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Ne…

Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Newport Pacific – Successfully Gaining Acceptance for Super Energy Saving, Green Manufactured Homes

Learn more at the article linked here, or by calling Steve Lefler, Vice President of Modular Lifestyles, Inc., a division of Newport Pacific Family of Companies at Ph. (888) 437-4587. Email steve@modularlifestyles.com. Steve is a Dual DRE and HCD Salesperson. Advanced Green Building Professional. CEC Solar Wind Retailer/Installer. http://www.modularlifestyles.com ##

the MHMSM Team 01 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire America…

Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire American Land Lease Manufactured Housing Portfolio from Green Courte Partners for $1.32 Billion

Increases Sun Communities' portfolio to 245 communities totaling nearly 90,000 sites in 29 states with a combined enterprise value of approximately $5.1 billion Southfield, MI, July 30, 2014 - Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI) (the "Company") today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio (the "ALL portfolio") from Green Courte Partners, LLC ("GCP") sponsored funds. The ALL portfolio consists of 59 manufactured home communities, including those acquired from American Land Lease, Inc. by GCP in 2009. The communities comprise over 19,000 sites in eleven states, including nearly 11,000 sites located in Florida. Over 14,000 sites, or 73%, of the ALL portfolio are age-restricted.  In connection with this transaction, the Company will assume GCP's right to acquire an additional manufactured home community pursuant to a binding purchase...

the MHMSM Team 31 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Fra…

Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Frank compliant non-MLO, MLO SUN Manufactured/Mobile Home Direct Loans and Refinancing

Using online articles, banner ads and video, Mountainside Financial is announcing the launch of the evolution of their direct lending platform promotion. As a division of San Antonio Credit Union (SACU), Mountainside has a unique 14 year history of making direct to consumer loans on manufactured and mobile homes. Direct loans are often done in "partnership" with brokers, communities, Realtors ®, other housing professionals and manufactured home retailers who refer consumers to them. Anthony Ducharme, Direct Channel Manager for Mountainside, explained how they created their new SUN System with Manufactured Home Professionals in mind who needed a compliant process to navigate SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank regulations enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "If you've been originating your own loans, talk to us. If you want to have a legally complaint...

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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