BY Mark Weiss
The White House, in its Fiscal Year 2020 proposed federal budget, unveiled March 11, 2019, has requested an annual appropriation of $12 million for the federal manufactured housing program, an amount that is identical to the President’s 2019 budget request for the program, but $1 million more than the program received on an annualized basis under Congress’ 2019 Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government.
While MHARR has made it clear to both Congress and HUD in prior written testimony that it does not object to additional program funding (from available label fee receipts) for the purpose of increasing payments to the states for the operational expenses of State Administrative Agencies (SAAs) under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, it has made it equally clear that it strongly objects to any increase in funding for the program “monitoring” contract, given the narrow definition of the monitoring function enacted by Congress as part of the 2000 reform law, and lower levels of manufactured home production over the past decade. Indeed, payments to the program monitoring contractor should be substantially reduced. Toward this end – and also in order to press for full and fair competition for the next HUD monitoring contract – MHARR has recently engaged directly with senior-level HUD officials, and will continue to seek a reasonable, competitive and cost-effective monitoring contract and monitoring process.
MHARR, going forward, will closely monitor the proposed HUD budget as the 2020 appropriations process unfolds in the House and Senate, and will take appropriate steps to address the proper allocation and use of HUD label fee proceeds by the program, in order to ensure that the program fully complies with the regulatory reform policies of President Trump.
We shall keep you apprised of any and all new developments on this matter.