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Manufactured Housing News

MHARRBy Mark Weiss

APRIL 2017

 In the natural world, the telltale scent of decay inevitably attracts predators and opportunists.  Apparently, it is no different with the decay of the HUD manufactured housing program over the past decade, and particularly over the past three years. With the program in a steep decline under its present Administrator, talk has once again emerged about “sunsetting” the program at HUD, along with its federally preemptive building code, “removing this expenditure from the federal budget,” and effectively returning the regulation of manufactured housing to the control of states and/or localities, as is the case with other types of housing. 

Such talk, historically, has had sources and proponents both inside and outside of the industry. For the erstwhile “insiders,” this talk is – and remains – more a reflection of misunderstanding, lack of understanding, or lack of knowledge of a complex federal program and complex federal regulatory system, rather than a well thought-out, credible argument for change.  Instead of taking-up the heavy lift of the round-the-clock vigilance required to press the federal program and its leadership to do the things required by law, and particularly the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of  2000 – which can only be done at the federal level (see below) -- the “insiders” would rather take the easy way out, and simply end the federal program, without examining the full consequences of doing so, to both the industry and consumers of affordable housing. Instead – in a further reflection of their fundamental misunderstanding – they offer inaccurate irrelevancies, such as the claim that eliminating the federal program would somehow “remove” program “expenditure[s] from the federal budget,” thereby “freeing-up dollars and other resources, to concentrate on subsidized housing” and other “housing programs.” The fact, however, is that eliminating the federal manufactured housing program would have a miniscule – if any – impact on the $40 billion HUD budget proposed for Fiscal Year 2018, as the program is – and has been, other than during a very short period when tax dollars were needed to start-up the installation and dispute resolution programs required by the 2000 reform law – self-funded via the certification label fee paid by manufacturers.

Among the “outsiders” which have sought the elimination of the federal program, are numerous groups and interests that – unlike the industry “insiders” – understand the federal program and the federal law upon which it is based all too well.  Those industry adversaries, including housing industry competitors, code groups, some states and localities, and would-be “service” providers under a regime of state and local regulation (including current HUD contractors), among others, have always opposed federal regulation of manufactured housing and have sought to destroy it based on their own narrow self-interests.  In particular, housing market competitors have a sharp understanding of all the actual – and potential – benefits that do and could accrue to the HUD Code industry as a result of federal regulation and particularly the full and proper implementation of the 2000 reform law. Those competitors could only wish to have a regulatory law like the 2000 Act.  To the extent that they cannot, though, they have consistently sought to undermine and destroy the federal program and subject manufactured housing to the same myriad of state and local regulation that, on average, represents nearly 25% of the cost of a new site-built home – adding regulatory compliance costs of nearly $85,000 to each such new home – according to a 2016 National Association of Home Builders study.   

No doubt, such industry competitors and adversaries would like nothing better than for the HUD Code industry to shoot itself in the foot by signing-up, voluntarily, for a shift to such debilitating regulation at the state and local level that would thoroughly undermine the competitive advantage that the industry and its consumers enjoy under current federal law.  But why would the industry ever do that?  If the HUD program is not living-up to its responsibilities and potential under the 2000 reform law, take the opportunities and prospects offered by the new regulatory policies of the Trump Administration and put the program back on track – with proper leadership – (see, the March 2017 inaugural edition of MHARR – Issues and Perspectives) but do not jettison the program for a “grass is greener” vision with absolutely no basis in fact.

Instead of groundless claims by the “ditch the federal program crowd” (one of whom is currently promoting a soon-to-be “explanation” in the pages of HUD’s periodic newsletter – little more than a propaganda organ financed by manufacturer label fees for self-promotion of the program and its regulators), let’s look at the facts, starting with a fundamental proposition. Manufactured housing, being inherently interstate in character – i.e., assembled in one place and regularly transported across state lines for delivery and installation -- is a textbook example of the type of interstate industry that can only be effectively and reasonably regulated on the federal level (in partnership with the states).  And Congress, from the time that it first legislated the comprehensive federal regulation of the industry via the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, through today, has understood that uniform, performance-based federal standards, uniform federally-based enforcement and federal preemption are the bedrock cornerstones of the inherent affordability of manufactured housing and – if properly implemented – will continue to assure its affordability and its place as the nation’s most affordable type of non-subsidized housing and home ownership.

Reverting manufactured housing to regulation at the state and/or local level would subject manufactured homes to a dizzying array of varying standards and interpretations that alone would be toxic to the affordability that defines the market position of manufactured housing. The destructive market impact of such a change is illustrated by the historic production statistics for modular homes, versus HUD Code homes.  While manufactured housing production suffered a significant contraction in the mid-2000s – from which it is now recovering – production of modular homes (also factory-built housing) has never come close to HUD Code levels. Add to that the prejudice against manufactured homes and manufactured homeowners that remains pervasive in many communities around the nation – as reflected by the treatment of the elements of the industry that local and state officials can and do control already – (as well as the lack of proper and available consumer financing on par with other types of housing) and it becomes evident that such a change would be disastrous for the industry and the millions of Americans who rely on its affordable, non-subsidized homes.  Conversely, if such a reversion to state and/or local regulation were to occur, the resulting product, subject to a cost-hiking myriad of differing and potentially conflicting standards, would not be the affordable, non-subsidized manufactured homes that today are the nation’s most affordable housing.

Indeed, all one needs to know about what would happen to manufactured housing, its affordability and its consumers under a regime of state and locally-based regulation, is there to be seen now, in plain sight. Look at how local governments deal with manufactured home communities and the placement of manufactured homes generally.  How many welcome HUD Code homes as attractive, affordable housing, versus how many reject the very notion of accepting manufactured homes and manufactured housing residents into their neighborhoods, towns, or counties?  How many times does the industry need to read about new manufactured housing communities being rejected, or the expansion of an existing manufactured housing community being rejected by local officials? Or the placement of even a single manufactured home being rejected? 

Nor is such discrimination, in truth, based on the quality of today’s manufactured homes, which is outstanding by every objective measure, or the standards to which they are built.  It is based, rather, on outdated prejudices and perceptions – which become evident through a careful reading of media reports -- and flat-out bias against lower-cost housing and the lower and moderate-income Americans who reside in such homes. In too many places, officials want no part of lower-cost, affordable housing.  

As a result, does anyone seriously doubt that such officials, given even greater power over the acceptance or rejection of manufactured housing, would do anything but abuse that power to place even greater roadblocks in the way of manufactured homes entering their jurisdictions? Put differently, does anyone seriously think that the same officials would use their clout, influence and votes in state legislatures and on state boards to ensure building codes, standards and enforcement mechanisms that would preserve the affordability and availability of manufactured homes built-in and shipped from out of state (competing with local builders of other types of homes), or that they would use that power to impose a myriad of costly mandates and restrictions on manufactured homes, based on biases that are vividly demonstrated every day?

The answer to each of these questions is obvious.  A reversion to state and/or local regulation for manufactured housing would be ruinous for the industry and consumers, sacrificing affordability while empowering the industry’s adversaries and detractors to inflict even more harm than they do now.  

So what is the answer?  The answer, quite simply, is to make the federal program follow the law and implement the 2000 reform law according to its terms and full purposes.  And that begins with “draining the swamp” as President Trump has put it, at the HUD program, without pulling the plug on the program altogether.  In practical terms, this means re-assigning the current career program administrator – who was parachuted into the program in 2014, ahead of other possible candidates from within and outside the program – and under whose watch the program has sharply deteriorated and suffered as was addressed in detail in the March 2017 edition of MHARR – Issues and Perspectives. It also means elevating the program within HUD, in accordance with the 2000 reform law, and enacting the regulatory reform agenda of the Trump Administration in order to unleash the industry’s full economic and market potential, and enable it to produce and provide the hundreds-of-thousands of affordable non-subsidized homes that American families want and need today.

In short, the industry as a whole must protect the federal program, aggressively advance the full and proper implementation of the 2000 reform law and stop following – in some quarters – the failed approach of go-along-to-get-along, which in the Trump Era of administrative/regulatory deconstruction, is beginning to look and sound more like support for the unacceptable program status quo, which only benefits “the few” within the industry, at the cost of “the many.”

Mark Weiss

MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

“MHARR-Issues and Perspectives” is available for re-publication in full (i.e., without alteration or substantive modification) without further permission and with proper attribution to MHARR. 

MHARRMarch 21, 2017

Dear Sir or Madam:

The following comments are submitted on behalf of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing producers of manufactured housing regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 5401, et seq.).  MHARR’s members are primarily smaller and medium-sized independent producers of manufactured housing located throughout the United States.

In January 2017, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as an adjunct to its December 29, 2016 final rule implementing the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), issued a Request for Input (RFI) seeking “public input on considerations that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) should include in their determinations of whether to include manufactured home chattel loan pilot [programs] in their Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans, and if so, how such pilots could be designed, taking into account policy and safety and soundness considerations.” The RFI contains five areas of inquiry and related questions. In connection therewith, the RFI provides: “Interested parties may address any or all of the following subjects and questions, in addition to raising and addressing other issues related to the Enterprises pursuing a chattel loans pilot.”       

For its response to the RFI, MHARR attaches and hereby incorporates by reference herein: (1) the statement of its President and CEO, Mark Weiss, as offered and presented to FHFA at its February 8, 2017 DTS/FHFA “listening session” in Washington, D.C. (attached); (2) its written DTS statement as offered and presented at the January 25, 2017 DTS/FHFA “listening session” in Chicago, Illinois (attached); and (3) its March 15, 2016 written comments on the December 18, 2015 FHFA-proposed DTS implementation rule (previously filed in the DTS rulemaking docket).

In relevant part, MHARR, in these documents, rejects the concept of a limited, discretionary manufactured home chattel “pilot program” or “programs” as authorized by the December 29, 2016 FHFA final rule. Instead, as is further addressed, detailed and explained therein, MHARR seeks “a revised and reformed DTS implementation rule [that would] specifically authorize and mandate a series of Enterprise-securitized chattel loans in volume, staggered over multi-year periods, so that they can be analyzed and evaluated every three years for any adjustment as warranted for the next series. Given the high demand by very low, low and moderate-income consumers for such Enterprise-securitized loans -- and the estimated 250,000 empty spaces in existing manufactured home communities – this type of program would not only meet the full DTS obligations of the Enterprises, but would make affordable homeownership immediately available to millions of Americans.”

MHARR otherwise restates and reaffirms the comments set forth in the above-referenced and incorporated documents.

Sincerely,
Mark Weiss
President and CEO

cc: Manufactured Housing Industry Post-Production Members (without attachments)

[1] See, RFI at p. 2.

[1] Id. at p. 4.

                                     By Mark Weiss
MHARR
MARCH 2017

“Time for REAL Change at HUD … and Beyond”

Welcome to the inaugural issue of “MHARR -- Issues and Perspectives.” This will be the first in a new series of periodic articles addressing issues of concern to the manufactured housing industry and the American consumers who rely on affordable manufactured homes. For those accustomed to reading the “MHARR Viewpoint” column formerly published on a monthly basis in The Journal of Manufactured Housing, these articles will be familiar and will use a similar – although not identical -- format.  Unconstrained by limitations related to third-party publication, these articles will offer both analysis and opinion regarding the often-complex issues facing the industry, its members and manufactured housing consumers in Washington, D.C.  MHARR plans to publish these articles from time-to-time, providing them to the individuals, organizations, congressional members and staff, and government agencies on its extensive electronic distribution list.  It will also make them available, on a non-exclusive basis, for re-publication in industry (and other) trade publications, reports, journals and newsletters.

That said, with a new Administration having now taken office in the nation’s capital, committed, as one of its core principles, to the “deconstruction of the administrative [i.e., regulatory] state,” the single most important national issue facing manufactured housing, as a federally-regulated industry, is the reform, reconstruction and reorganization of the federal manufactured housing program at HUD to fully implement – and fully comply with – the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  It is the failure to implement the fundamental reforms of this law, which lies at the root of the most significant roadblocks facing the industry and manufactured housing consumers today.  Put differently, while some might wish to paper it over, deny it, or offer distractions, the key reality affecting the manufactured housing industry in early 2017, is that there is a HUD aspect to every major national-level roadblock that it – and its consumers -- confront. And if that is ever going to change, the HUD manufactured housing program must change, beginning -- but not ending -- with a change in leadership at the top of the program.

What are the “roadblocks?” The most serious include: (1) needless, costly and destructive over-regulation of manufactured housing by HUD (and other agencies); (2) continuing discrimination in securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home consumer loans (i.e., implementation of the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” – DTS) and chattel loans in particular; and (3) discriminatory land use laws that exclude or severely restrict the placement of HUD Code manufactured homes in large swaths the country. 

In spite of these major roadblocks, manufactured housing has mounted a steady – yet gradual -- economic recovery since hitting record-low production levels in 2009.  This is a tribute to the industry’s homes and its people, who persevere in the face of obstacles and prejudices that are either flat-out wrong, or were outdated long ago.  But a slow recovery is not enough.  With the ever-growing need for affordable housing and homeownership across the United States, and with the advantages that manufactured housing offers at an inherently affordable price, the industry should rightfully be producing hundreds-of-thousands of homes each year.   

So how does responsibility for these “roadblocks” and their extremely damaging consequences land at the door of the HUD program?  Simple. The landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 imposes broad responsibilities on the HUD program, but the program, with its present leadership, entrenched contractors and equally entrenched regulators -- all laboring under a rigid, biased and thoroughly outdated perspective of the industry, its people and its homebuyers -- has utterly failed to live-up to that statutory mission.

Under the 2000 reform law, HUD’s mission is not merely to regulate manufactured housing.  Its responsibilities go much further.  The law, for example, directs HUD to: (1) provide “funding for a non-career [program] administrator;” (2) “ensure that the public interest in … affordable manufactured housing is duly considered in all determinations relating to the federal standards and their enforcement;” (3) “facilitate the availability of affordable manufactured homes;” (4) “facilitate[e] the acceptance of … manufactured housing within HUD;” and (5) “broadly and liberally” construe federal preemption.” There is plenty more in the 2000 reform law, but these directives are sufficient to make the point.

Congress knew that it was asking HUD, in the 2000 reform law, to be more than a regulator for manufactured housing.  It knew that manufactured housing, despite its quality and affordability, continues to face discrimination – both within and outside government. That is one of the reasons it directed the appointment of a non-career administrator for the program – knowing that in order for manufactured housing to play its full and rightful role within the broader housing market, it would need a powerful, assertive and accountable political appointee to elevate the status of the program at HUD, sweep away the bias that holds back both the industry and its consumers, and hold the line against entrenched regulators and entrenched, revenue-driven contractors.

Instead of the fundamental reform, though, that Congress sought to impose on program regulators (which the program, during the entire legislative process, sought to defeat or undermine), the basic structure and orientation of the HUD program has remained the same – with a career administrator, entrenched, revenue-driven contractors wielding the power of judge, jury and executioner, and entrenched regulators – with a severely outdated perspective of both manufactured housing and the federal program -- committed to ever more intrusive, intensive and costly regulation.  Indeed, if anything, the program over the past three years, has sharply deteriorated, totally disregarding its broader mission under the 2000 law, while ratcheting-up regulation and the virtually unchecked and illegitimate power of its contractors, including, now, not just the 40-year, de facto sole-source program “monitoring” contractor, but its installation contractor as well. 

 The program, under the current career Administrator, therefore: (1) is completely absent from HUD’s latest five-year strategic plan; (2) has significantly intensified regulation and regulatory compliance costs, despite hard data showing that today’s manufactured homes offer an unprecedented level of quality for consumers; (3) has allowed revenue-driven contractors to turn good ideas emerging from the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) – like a streamlined “on-site construction” system -- into a paperwork boondoggle that is driving producers to avoid covered site-work altogether, or deliver site-completed homes as modulars in order to avoid the HUD quagmire; (4) is allowing its installation contractor to effectively take-over the federal installation program; (5) is seeking to assume de facto control over installation standards and programs in states with approved state law installation programs; (6) has increased the certification label fee paid by manufacturers by 156%; (7) has blocked collective industry representatives, with hard-earned institutional knowledge, memory and expertise, from serving on then MHCC as voting members; and (8) shortly after the label fee increase, sought to short-shrift State Administrative Agencies (SAAs), threatening the viability of the federal-state partnership underlying the entire program, until MHARR intervened.  And that is just within HUD itself. 

Broaden out the focus a bit more, and the failure of the program and its leadership becomes even more evident.  Take energy regulation. What has HUD done to stop the U.S. Department of Energy, in a fundamentally-tainted rulemaking process, from singling-out manufactured homes and manufactured homebuyers for crushing energy standards (strongly opposed by MHARR) that will far exceed standards imposed on million-dollar site-built homes and devastate the HUD Code market – in a still pending rulemaking?  In a word, nothing.

Take the availability of consumer financing for manufactured homebuyers.  Manufactured housing activity under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Title I program has fallen to insignificant levels due to the Government National Mortgage Association’s (GNMA) unduly restrictive 10-10 rule.  Both FHA and GNMA are HUD agencies.  What has HUD done to change the devastating status quo?  Nothing. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) has issued a final “Duty to Serve” (DTS) implementation rule – strenuously opposed by MHARR -- that fails to impose any mandatory “duty” regarding manufactured home consumer financing on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at all, other than a duty that they explain why they are doing nothing to better serve HUD Code consumers. The response from HUD in two open rulemakings?  Zero, while manufactured home owners – at least the ones not excluded from homeownership altogether due to the resulting higher-than-necessary interest rates – are needlessly forced into higher-rate loans in a less-than-fully-competitive financing market.

How about land use and placement?  Towns and communities discriminate against HUD Code homes, HUD Code communities and HUD Code consumers around the nation every day, often excluding manufactured homes altogether, or concentrating them into lower-income pseudo-“ghettos.”  HUD, under the 2000 law, could preempt those measures.  It has also claimed authority, under its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, to override local zoning ordinances that discriminate against affordable housing.  Indeed, it recently forced a Pennsylvania community into a consent agreement reversing a zoning enactment against an affordable housing development under that same regulation. But what has the HUD program done to prevent the wholesale exclusion of HUD Code homes that it fully and comprehensively regulates? Again, nothing.

All of this hurts consumers and the industry’s small businesses the most. Larger industry businesses, shielded by multi-billion-dollar corporate mega-empires, either do not care, or quietly applaud the disproportionate damage inflicted on smaller competitors while awaiting opportunities to corner an even larger share of the market. Warren Buffet himself alluded to this in his latest “Shareholder Letter” to Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. stockholders: “Some years the gains in underlying earning power we achieve will be minor; very occasionally the cash register will ring loud. *** Every decade or so, dark clouds will fill the economic skies, and they will briefly rain gold.  When downpours of that sort occur, it’s imperative that we rush outdoors carrying washtubs, not teaspoons.” (Emphasis added).

Needlessly harsh, discriminatory and unnecessarily costly regulation only helps seed the clouds that produce the kind of “downpours” Buffet refers to. President Trump knows this.  He knows that over-regulation strangles the smaller businesses that are the engines of higher employment and greater economic growth. That is why he has pledged to reduce or eliminate unnecessary, job-killing federal regulation, and has already issued Executive Orders designed to begin the process of achieving that goal.

Such policies are tailor-made for the manufactured housing industry to fundamentally reform the HUD manufactured housing program and put it on a path to fully comply with all aspects of the 2000 reform law.  Another opportunity like this may never present itself again, and the manufactured housing industry – being subject to comprehensive federal regulation -- should be at the head of the queue to take full advantage of these policies rather than debating whether to get in the line at all, as some in the industry continue to contemplate.

That is why MHARR recently issued a list of policy priorities approved by the Association’s Board of Directors at its post-election, November 2016 meeting.  Those priorities make 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.  While other segments of the industry have not given any public indication of a change in course, direction or approach based on this new reality, MHARR has already started to take action based on these fundamental objectives:

  • 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;
  • 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 embrace and properly implement that law and any and all regulatory policies and orders put in place by President Trump;
  • 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 artificially loaded into 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;
  • 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 of 1996 to reject any such rule if or when finalized; and
  • 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.

Obviously, this list is not exhaustive, as there are numerous other issues – particularly impacting the industry’s post-production sector – such as discriminatory zoning and placement restrictions, federal preemption and non-discriminatory consumer financing beyond the “duty to serve” – which also must be addressed. 

But now is no time for more go-along-to-get-along.  Now is the time, as President Trump said in his speech before Congress, to think boldly and act boldly – to demand new leadership at the HUD program in full accordance with the law, to seek new blood and fresh perspectives within the program and among its personnel, and to flush out the entrenched contractors and entrenched interests that use the federal program – and abuse its stakeholders – to feather their own nests.

MHARR will act.  Will others?  Time will tell.

                           Mark Weiss


MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

 “MHARR-Issues and Perspectives” is available for re-publication in full (i.e., without alteration or substantive modification) without further permission and with proper attribution to MHARR.

MHARRWashington, D.C., March 13, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has formally called upon the newly-confirmed Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Gov. Rick Perry, to withdraw, in toto, the proposed manufactured housing “energy” rule published by DOE in the Federal Register on June 17, 2016.

In a March 10, 2017 communication to the Secretary (copy attached), MHARR states that the proposed rule, “rooted in ‘climate change’ activism and advanced by ‘energy’ special interests through an illegitimate and scandal-plagued regulatory process, threatens to needlessly destroy [the] affordability [of manufactured homes] and simultaneously exclude millions of consumers from the manufactured housing market – and from home-ownership altogether.”

The proposed rule, which could increase the retail cost of an average multi-section manufactured home by $6,000.00 – and ultimately more, because regulatory compliance, testing and enforcement-related costs were never considered by DOE in developing the rule – would not result in energy cost savings for manufactured homebuyers and, according to comments filed in the DOE rulemaking by the independent George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center (copy attached), could actually result in net energy life-cycle operating cost increases that would “affect a large market share of manufactured homes.”

MHARR, unlike some industry organizations, has been a fierce and consistent opponent of both the proposed DOE rule and the fundamentally-tainted administrative process that led to its adoption. Thus, in a November 2016 post-election communication to DOE, MHARR called for the Department to cease and desist from any further activity on the proposed manufactured housing rule pursuant to Congress’ November 15, 2016 warning to all federal agencies against “finalizing [any] pending rules or regulations in the [Obama] Administration’s last days.”  Subsequently, in a January 6, 2017 communication to the chairmen of the relevant committees in both houses, MHARR urged Congress to review and reject the pending DOE rule and/or any final manufactured housing rule, if, in fact any is ultimately published, under the Congressional Review Act of 1996.

Strong action by the DOE Secretary, though, to withdraw the egregious proposed rule, would avoid the need for congressional intervention.

In Washington, D.C., MHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss stated, “The DOE manufactured housing ‘energy’ rule is a textbook example of a destructive, big government ‘solution’ in search of a problem.  Manufactured homes, comprehensively regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, already have median energy operating costs that are less than, or comparable to, other types of housing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  To single out manufactured homes and their mostly lower and moderate-income buyers for what amounts to a huge, regressive tax that would devastate both them and the industry in order to satisfy special interests, is incomprehensible, indefensible and precisely the type of baseless, damaging federal regulation that President Trump has vowed to eliminate. This horrendous proposal, developed through an equally horrendous and illegitimate process, needs to go.”

MHARRPERRYDOELETTER

MHARR DOE PERRY NEWS RELEASE

MHARRWashington, D.C., January 30, 2017 – At a Duty to Serve (DTS) “listening session” conducted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in Chicago, Illinois on January 25, 2017, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) advised FHFA officials and representatives of the FHFA-regulated Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), that the December 29, 2016 FHFA final DTS rule – which does not mandate manufactured housing chattel loan securitization and secondary market support by the GSEs – is unacceptable as currently constituted.  MHARR, in both verbal comments and a detailed written statement distributed at the meeting (see, copy attached) stressed that any DTS rule which fails to provide meaningful and timely securitization and secondary market support for chattel loans – which comprise upwards of 80% of the manufactured housing consumer finance market, according to U.S. Census Bureau data – cannot conceivably satisfy the mandate imposed by Congress via the DTS provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).

While the FHFA final rule and related “evaluation guidance” proposal issued on January 13, 2017, have been lauded by some as bringing consumers and the industry ‘closer” to the realization of a manufactured housing chattel loan securitization and secondary market support program that would end decades of discrimination against the largest segment of the manufactured housing finance market – a segment that has grown by 25% just since 2007 -- the reality is that the final rule contains no affirmative requirement for GSE support of manufactured home chattel loans and no meaningful penalty or sanction for their continuing failure to serve that part (or any other part) of the manufactured housing finance market. The final rule and evaluation guidance, rather, would require only that the GSEs “consider” such support – a formulation that, particularly given the GSEs history, would allow them to either bypass and reject such support or engage in endless and ultimately meaningless research and “outreach,” with nothing more than a perfunctory “explanation.”

The FHFA final rule and evaluation guidance, therefore, instead of establishing a “duty” for the GSEs corresponding with the affirmative and mandatory “duty” established by Congress through the statutory DTS directive, instead creates a laundry list of essentially optional activities that the GSEs can either choose to pursue or totally ignore (other than providing a superficial “explanation”).  And the GSEs have left little doubt that they haveno interest in providing any such support. Freddie Mac, in comments filed in response to both FHFA’s 2010 and 2015 proposed DTS implementation rules, opposed any support for manufactured housing chattel loans. Fannie Mae similarly opposed chattel support in its 2010 DTS comments and, according to media reports published after the Chicago meeting, has stated that it has “no plans to do a pilot program with [manufactured home] chattel loans at this time.”

The FHFA rule, moreover, as confirmed at the meeting, would leave in place major FHFA regulatory hurdles – including, most particularly, its rule requiring approval of “new products” – that could prevent or significantly delay any actual GSE support activity for manufactured housing chattel loans, even if the Enterprises ever did decide to offer support for such loans on any basis.

The rule, then, as emphasized by former MHARR Chairman Edward J. Hussey and former MHARR President and current Senior Advisor Danny D. Ghorbani at the meeting (MHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss will speak at a February 8, 2017 FHFA forum in Washington, D.C.) does not andcannot satisfy the “duty” to serve as prescribed by Congress.

The rule would thus continue to exclude the vast majority of potential manufactured housing purchasers from the market – and from the American Dream of homeownership altogether, as manufactured housing is the nation’s most affordable form of non-subsidized housing -- because they cannot afford to pay higher-cost manufactured home chattel loan interest rates that are needlessly inflated by the discriminatory lack of GSE securitization and secondary-market support for such loans and by the lack of full and robust free-market competition, which is artificially suppressed by those same policies.  At the same time, consumers who can qualify for such loans, are needlessly herded into higher-cost loans offered by the handful of lenders that dominate a market distorted by such official discrimination.

Having already wasted nearly a decade since the enactment of DTS, FHFA would now – at a minimum – waste years more on study and research that could have been underway already if FHFA and the GSEs were serious about DTS, while consumers could be forced to wait decades more for a remedy to an already decades-long failure to serve them.  To correct this, MHARR, in its position paper and verbally at the meeting, proposed a workable GSE chattel loan program that would simultaneously allow for the near-term support of a substantial and market-significant number of manufactured home chattel loans, while providing for ongoing evaluation of the performance of such loans and any needed adjustments on a rolling and continual basis. Absent such a significant near-term chattel program, however, MHARR made it clear that it would take this matter back to Congress for an appropriate remedy.

In Washington, D.C., former MHARR President Danny Ghorbani, stated that the GSEs, “despite forty-years of on-again, off-again flirtation with the industry and its consumers, are socially active and engaged, but fiscally removed and divorced from each." The GSEs, he stated, “talk the right talk and go through the right motions, attending and sponsoring industry events and even hiring industry members as consultants to advise them, but have never formulated and implemented a positive and workable program to securitize the chattel loans that would allow low, lower and moderate-income consumers to become homeowners ... an underserved market that Congress decreed nine years ago, the GSEs must now serve."

MHARR DTS MEETING NEWS RELEASE 

MHARR DTS STATEMENT 

MHARRWashington, D.C., March 2, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that by a vote of 58-41, the United States Senate, on March 2, 2017, confirmed Dr. Ben Carson’s nomination to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Dr. Carson’s approval by the full Senate became a foregone conclusion after his nomination was endorsed by a bi-partisan majority of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in a vote on January 24, 2017.

Dr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate, has promised to conduct an objective, ground-up assessment of the effectiveness of HUD programs upon his arrival at the Department, in order to both promote efficiency and achieve better results for the millions of Americans in need of safe, decent and affordable housing.  In connection with this activity, Dr. Carson has indicated that one of his first initiatives as Secretary will be a nationwide “listening tour” regarding the operation of those programs and the housing needs of Americans.

Of particular importance for the HUD Code manufactured housing industry, as the nation’s private-sector affordable housing solution, Dr. Carson, at his January 12, 2017 confirmation hearing  – as reported by MHARR at the time -- emphasized the importance of private sector involvement and public-private initiatives to more effectively meet HUD’s mission and serve the affordable housing needs of lower and moderate-income Americans. Equally important for the HUD Code manufactured housing industry – and particularly its smaller businesses that have suffered for nearly a decade under an ever-expanding regime of unnecessary and unnecessarily costly regulation – will be a commitment by the new Secretary to fully and properly implement all remaining reform elements of the landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, as well as President Trump’s signature policy of eliminating unnecessary, job-killing federal regulation.  MHARR has been – and will continue – to pursue such a change in policy at HUD and in the leadership of the HUD program to ensure that those policy changes are, in fact, carried out.

In Washington, D.C., MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, stated: “MHARR congratulates Dr. Carson on his Senate confirmation to be the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and looks forward to working with him to advance the role, the utilization and the affordability of manufactured housing – which must be federally-regulated because of its fundamentally interstate character -- across the entire range of HUD housing and housing finance programs, and beyond.” 

Weiss continued, “Under Dr. Carson’s leadership and in accordance with the mandate of the 2000 reform law, the status and role of the HUD manufactured housing program should be elevated within HUD, while the participation of manufactured housing within all HUD programs, on the same terms and same basis as other types of housing, is ensured.  At the same time, Dr. Carson should take immediate steps to reform the federal program, to eliminate entrenched revenue-driven contractors that promote unnecessary and unnecessarily costly regulation, and to put in place the appointed, non-career administrator directed by Congress as a “responsibility” of the Secretary, in the 2000 reform law.

MHARRWashington, D.C., March 2, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that by a vote of 58-41, the United States Senate, on March 2, 2017, confirmed Dr. Ben Carson’s nomination to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Dr. Carson’s approval by the full Senate became a foregone conclusion after his nomination was endorsed by a bi-partisan majority of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in a vote on January 24, 2017.

Dr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate, has promised to conduct an objective, ground-up assessment of the effectiveness of HUD programs upon his arrival at the Department, in order to both promote efficiency and achieve better results for the millions of Americans in need of safe, decent and affordable housing.  In connection with this activity, Dr. Carson has indicated that one of his first initiatives as Secretary will be a nationwide “listening tour” regarding the operation of those programs and the housing needs of Americans.

Of particular importance for the HUD Code manufactured housing industry, as the nation’s private-sector affordable housing solution, Dr. Carson, at his January 12, 2017 confirmation hearing  – as reported by MHARR at the time -- emphasized the importance of private sector involvement and public-private initiatives to more effectively meet HUD’s mission and serve the affordable housing needs of lower and moderate-income Americans. Equally important for the HUD Code manufactured housing industry – and particularly its smaller businesses that have suffered for nearly a decade under an ever-expanding regime of unnecessary and unnecessarily costly regulation – will be a commitment by the new Secretary to fully and properly implement all remaining reform elements of the landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, as well as President Trump’s signature policy of eliminating unnecessary, job-killing federal regulation.  MHARR has been – and will continue – to pursue such a change in policy at HUD and in the leadership of the HUD program to ensure that those policy changes are, in fact, carried out.

In Washington, D.C., MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, stated: “MHARR congratulates Dr. Carson on his Senate confirmation to be the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and looks forward to working with him to advance the role, the utilization and the affordability of manufactured housing – which must be federally-regulated because of its fundamentally interstate character -- across the entire range of HUD housing and housing finance programs, and beyond.” 

Weiss continued, “Under Dr. Carson’s leadership and in accordance with the mandate of the 2000 reform law, the status and role of the HUD manufactured housing program should be elevated within HUD, while the participation of manufactured housing within all HUD programs, on the same terms and same basis as other types of housing, is ensured.  At the same time, Dr. Carson should take immediate steps to reform the federal program, to eliminate entrenched revenue-driven contractors that promote unnecessary and unnecessarily costly regulation, and to put in place the appointed, non-career administrator directed by Congress as a “responsibility” of the Secretary, in the 2000 reform law.

MHARRWashington, D.C., February 21, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has filed written comments (see, copy attached) on a December 16, 2016 rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to modify minimum payments provided to State Administrative Agencies (SAA) within the HUD manufactured housing program.

As an integral part of the unique federal-state partnership established by the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 -- as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 -- SAAs are the first line of protection for consumers residing in manufactured homes subject to federal standards established by HUD.  This includes not only new and recently-installed homes, but also existing homes constructed under federal standards dating back to 1976.  SAAs are thus responsible for an ever-growing number of homes in each SAA state.

Unfortunately, in recent years, however, SAAs (operating under an outdated 15-year-old funding rule) have been starved for funding by the HUD program, while budgeted payments to revenue-driven program contractors – paid, among other things, to seek out and pursue complaints at a time when consumer complaint levels are minimal -- have ballooned, despite significantly reduced production levels of new homes over the same period.

This fundamental distortion of the federal program – in direct conflict with the federal-state partnership mandated by Congress and the letter of the 2000 law – would have been made far worse by a modification to the SAA payment rule proffered by the current career Administrator of the HUD program in July 2015, which would have severely reduced funding for many of the 37 SAAs, and led a significant number to consider exiting the HUD program. Fortunately, though, following strenuous objections by MHARR and various states, the Administrator was forced to reverse course. HUD, thereupon, developed an alternative funding proposal, consistent with the 2000 law, which was approved by the statutory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) in 2016 and is now incorporated within the December 16, 2016 proposed rule.

As indicated by its written comments, MHARR now supports this alternative proposed rule, and has urged its adoption as a final regulation.

That said, the initial abortive attempt by the program Administrator to cut SAA funding levels, contrary to the law, and the ensuing delay in addressing this long over-due funding adjustment and payment increase for most states, are just the latest examples of a mismanaged program that, among other things, abuses fee revenues paid by regulated manufacturers. At a time when those manufacturers are producing their best homes ever – as demonstrated by minimal dispute resolution program referrals -- the program continues to lavish funding on entrenched contractors for make-work activity that needlessly increases home prices while providing few or no benefits for consumers.  MHARR, therefore – and particularly with a new Administration in office that has pledged to roll-back wasteful, unnecessary and destructive regulation – has begun to evaluate and advance tighter controls on such expenditures, including, but not limited to, possible cutbacks in funds appropriated for the program.    

MHARR SAA FUNDING RULE COMMENTS NEWS RELEASE.PDF

MHARRWashington, D.C., February 6, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production increased substantially again during December 2016. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 6,995 homes in December 2016, a 23.6% increase over the 5,657 HUD Code homes produced during December 2015. Cumulative industry production for 2016 thus totals 81,136 homes, a 15% increase over the 70,544 HUD Code homes produced during 2015.  For context, cumulative annual industry production figures since 2008 are as follows:

  • 2008 – 81,457 homes
  • 2009 – 49,683 homes
  • 2010 – 50,056 homes
  • 2011 – 51,618 homes
  • 2012 – 54,881 homes
  • 2013 – 60,228 homes
  • 2014 – 64,334 homes
  • 2015 – 70,544 homes
  • 2016 – 81,136 homes

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through December 2016  -- with cumulative, monthly, current year (2016) and prior year (2015) shipments per category as indicated -- are:

       State           Cumulative      Current Month (Dec. 2016)            2016                       2015

 1.  Texas            66,692 homes                      872                        12,747                    13,592

 2.  Louisiana      26,838 homes                 1,900                           7,769                      4,485 

 3.  Florida          20,858 homes                     428                          5,453                      4,954

 4.  Alabama       14,665 homes                     253                          3,612                      2,822

 5.  N.C               14,575 homes                    273                           3,333                      2,977

 6.  Mississippi   13,500 homes                      239                           3,183                      2,581

 7.  California     12,973 homes                      216                          3,120                      2,956

 8.  Kentucky      12,420 homes                     175                          2,692                      2,384

 9.  Michigan      11,605 homes                     358                           3,866                      2,845

10. Tennessee     10,385 homes                    141                           2,282                      2,114

The latest information for December 2016 results in no changes to the cumulative top ten list.

While continued growth in manufactured housing production levels since 2010 is encouraging, given the high and growing demand in the United States for affordable housing and home ownership – and given the unprecedented quality and amenities offered by today’s manufactured homes at a price-point that cannot be matched by any other type of housing – annual production levels should rightly be in the hundreds-of-thousands of homes.  The industry and its consumers, however, continue to suffer from baseless discrimination and equally baseless, costly and competition-smothering regulatory mandates imposed by government agencies.  With the Trump Administration committed to a policy of reducing and/or eliminating needless, job-killing federal regulation, the industry must seek a top-to-bottom reform of the HUD manufactured housing program, to free it from the outdated biases and prejudices of entrenched career regulators and contractors that continue to restrain industry growth, while demanding full and expedited support for manufactured home chattel lending by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).  

MHARR FEBRUARY 2017(DECEMBER 2016)PRODUCTION NEWS RELEASE.PDF

MHARRWashington, D.C., January 31, 2017 – Regulatory orders issued by the new Administration of President Donald J. Trump should have a direct impact on manufactured homes regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and manufactured housing consumers according to the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), but face blatant defiance – particularly at HUD – from entrenched regulators and revenue-driven contractors.

Soon after the November 8, 2016 national election, MHARR became the first and only national manufactured housing industry organization to publicly call for the deferral of any action on three pending regulations affecting manufactured housing based on a November 15, 2016 memorandum sent by the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives to all Executive Branch federal agencies, warning any agency against “finalizing pending rules or regulations in the [Obama] Administration’s last days.”

In separate November 18, 2016 communications sent to HUD, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), MHARR called on those agencies to defer action on: (1) a HUD “Interpretive Bulletin” (IB) regarding manufactured home foundations that would needlessly increase home costs and simultaneously result in a federal takeover of installation regulation in all 50 states in violation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000; (2) DOE manufactured housing “energy” standards that would needlessly and discriminatorily exclude millions from the manufactured housing market and the American Dream of home ownership with cost increases of $6,000.00 per home, or more, even though manufactured home energy costs are already lower-than or comparable to those for site-constructed homes; (3) and any final FHFA “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) implementation rule that did not include the full securitization and secondary market support of manufactured housing personal property (chattel) loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

While DOE has taken no further action on its manufactured housing energy rule, both FHFA and HUD have taken – and continue to take – defiant positions against a regulatory moratorium on these manufactured housing issues, with no discernible public pushback from manufactured housing industry representatives other than MHARR, even though the Trump Administration, immediately upon taking office, reinforced and expanded the congressional warning letter with a mandatoryJanuary 20, 2017 regulatory freeze on all federal regulations.

The HUD manufactured housing program, with a career administrator who has allowed the program’s 40-year de factosole-source contractor to become the program’s de facto regulator – needlessly expanding and intensifying regulation in order to maintain and increase its revenues despite major production declines – has offered the absurd excuse that the foundation IB has not yet been “finalized,” even though the Administration’s mandatory freeze order specifically states that it applies to “any guidance document” or “interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue.”

As a result, any further action to implement any such IB – at this time – is clearly barred by the presidential order. Yet much of the industry – again with the exception of MHARR -- has failed to take any action to demand that HUD refrain from further activity on this matter until HUD Secretary-Designate Dr. Ben Carson has arrived at HUD and has had an opportunity to review the operation of the manufactured housing program, the urgent need for an appointed non-career program administrator in full accordance with the 2000 reform law, and the specific negative effects of this alleged “interpretation.”

Similarly, any action to implement the December 29, 2016 FHFA final DTS rule – that includes only the most marginal, non-mandatory, potential participation for manufactured home chattel loans (with manufactured home chattel lending having been consistently opposed by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), is also clearly subject to the January 20, 2017 regulatory freeze order, which  mandates a 60-day moratorium on “regulations that have been published in the [Federal Register] but have not taken effect.” (Emphasis added).  Insofar as the final DTS rule, on its face, states that “the final rule is effective January 30, 2017,” the rule, per se, had not yet “taken effect” as of the date of the regulatory freeze memorandum and is, therefore, subject to at least a 60-day postponement. While FHFA stated at its January 25, 2017 DTS “listening session” that it is “studying” this issue, there is, quite simply, nothing to “study.”

Thus, while the new Administration has provided the industry and consumers significant new tools to demand an end to baseless, discriminatory and extremely damaging regulation and restrictions on its consumer financing, the broader industry has thus far failed to demand accountability for these regulators and contractors, and an end to the long-standing discrimination and outdated, indefensible bias that underlies virtually all actions of each such agency with respect to manufactured housing and its consumers, mostly lower and moderate-income Americans.

In Washington, D.C., MHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss stated: “The Trump Administration has made it absolutely clear that one of its key priorities will be to reduce baseless regulatory burdens on American businesses that needlessly increase the cost of American products and undermine job creation. This new perspective offers the industry and consumers the long-overdue opportunity that they have needed to demand new leadership at HUD – in full compliance with the 2000 reform law – and complete consumer financing parity at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Hopefully all segments of the industry will recognize this and join forces to pursue this sorely-needed relief.”

President Trump’s Regulatory Orders To Directly Impact Manufactured Housing pdf

MHARRWashington, D.C., January 30, 2017 – At a Duty to Serve (DTS) “listening session” conducted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in Chicago, Illinois on January 25, 2017, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) advised FHFA officials and representatives of the FHFA-regulated Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), that the December 29, 2016 FHFA final DTS rule – which does not mandate manufactured housing chattel loan securitization and secondary market support by the GSEs – is unacceptable as currently constituted.  MHARR, in both verbal comments and a detailed written statement distributed at the meeting (see, copy attached) stressed that any DTS rule which fails to provide meaningful and timely securitization and secondary market support for chattel loans – which comprise upwards of 80% of the manufactured housing consumer finance market, according to U.S. Census Bureau data – cannot conceivably satisfy the mandate imposed by Congress via the DTS provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).

While the FHFA final rule and related “evaluation guidance” proposal issued on January 13, 2017, have been lauded by some as bringing consumers and the industry ‘closer” to the realization of a manufactured housing chattel loan securitization and secondary market support program that would end decades of discrimination against the largest segment of the manufactured housing finance market – a segment that has grown by 25% just since 2007 -- the reality is that the final rule contains no affirmative requirement for GSE support of manufactured home chattel loans and no meaningful penalty or sanction for their continuing failure to serve that part (or any other part) of the manufactured housing finance market. The final rule and evaluation guidance, rather, would require only that the GSEs “consider” such support – a formulation that, particularly given the GSEs history, would allow them to either bypass and reject such support or engage in endless and ultimately meaningless research and “outreach,” with nothing more than a perfunctory “explanation.”

The FHFA final rule and evaluation guidance, therefore, instead of establishing a “duty” for the GSEs corresponding with the affirmative and mandatory “duty” established by Congress through the statutory DTS directive, instead creates a laundry list of essentially optional activities that the GSEs can either choose to pursue or totally ignore (other than providing a superficial “explanation”).  And the GSEs have left little doubt that they have no interest in providing any such support. Freddie Mac, in comments filed in response to both FHFA’s 2010 and 2015 proposed DTS implementation rules, opposed any support for manufactured housing chattel loans. Fannie Mae similarly opposed chattel support in its 2010 DTS comments and, according to media reports published after the Chicago meeting, has stated that it has “no plans to do a pilot program with [manufactured home] chattel loans at this time.”

The FHFA rule, moreover, as confirmed at the meeting, would leave in place major FHFA regulatory hurdles – including, most particularly, its rule requiring approval of “new products” – that could prevent or significantly delay any actual GSE support activity for manufactured housing chattel loans, even if the Enterprises ever did decide to offer support for such loans on any basis.

The rule, then, as emphasized by former MHARR Chairman Edward J. Hussey and former MHARR President and current Senior Advisor Danny D. Ghorbani at the meeting (MHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss will speak at a February 8, 2017 FHFA forum in Washington, D.C.) does not and cannot satisfy the “duty” to serve as prescribed by Congress.

The rule would thus continue to exclude the vast majority of potential manufactured housing purchasers from the market – and from the American Dream of homeownership altogether, as manufactured housing is the nation’s most affordable form of non-subsidized housing -- because they cannot afford to pay higher-cost manufactured home chattel loan interest rates that are needlessly inflated by the discriminatory lack of GSE securitization and secondary-market support for such loans and by the lack of full and robust free-market competition, which is artificially suppressed by those same policies.  At the same time, consumers who can qualify for such loans, are needlessly herded into higher-cost loans offered by the handful of lenders that dominate a market distorted by such official discrimination.

Having already wasted nearly a decade since the enactment of DTS, FHFA would now – at a minimum – waste years more on study and research that could have been underway already if FHFA and the GSEs were serious about DTS, while consumers could be forced to wait decades more for a remedy to an already decades-long failure to serve them.  To correct this, MHARR, in its position paper and verbally at the meeting, proposed a workable GSE chattel loan program that would simultaneously allow for the near-term support of a substantial and market-significant number of manufactured home chattel loans, while providing for ongoing evaluation of the performance of such loans and any needed adjustments on a rolling and continual basis. Absent such a significant near-term chattel program, however, MHARR made it clear that it would take this matter back to Congress for an appropriate remedy.

In Washington, D.C., former MHARR President Danny Ghorbani, stated that the GSEs, “despite forty-years of on-again, off-again flirtation with the industry and its consumers, are socially active and engaged, but fiscally removed and divorced from each." The GSEs, he stated, “talk the right talk and go through the right motions, attending and sponsoring industry events and even hiring industry members as consultants to advise them, but have never formulated and implemented a positive and workable program to securitize the chattel loans that would allow low, lower and moderate-income consumers to become homeowners ... an underserved market that Congress decreed nine years ago, the GSEs must now serve."

MHARR DTS MEETING NEWS RELEASE.pdf

MHARR DTS STATEMENT.pdf

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Service Animals, Fair Housing, and You

by Nadeen Green, JD For those of us who teach and write about fair housing, we have come to learn that the topic of service animals is the one... NSP_READMORE

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Richard Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute, Worth Millions to MH Indu…

Richard Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute, Worth Millions to MH Industry? Facts from MHI Report

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach The Manufactured Housing Institute, and its president and CEO, Richard A. Jennison, are required as a tax-exempt organization to keep and file certain records.  One... NSP_READMORE

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

New NAR Report Points To Manufactured Housing Opportunities

New NAR Report Points To Manufactured Housing Opportunities

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach “When the National Association of Realtors chief economist says there are more buyers than existing homes available on the market, that should be a... NSP_READMORE

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Closed | 33 Sites | Woodmont Trailer Park | Farmington Hills, Michigan

Closed | 33 Sites | Woodmont Trailer Park | Farmington Hills, Michigan

by Christopher Nortley Woodmont Trailer Park - Farmington Hills, MI NSP_READMORE

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Triad Financial Services Introduces Superior Choice Credit Union to Manufac…

Triad Financial Services Introduces Superior Choice Credit Union to Manufactured Housing Industry, Video

by Soheyla Kovach Every year for many years now, Darrell Boyd, Senior Vice President from Jacksonville, Florida based Triad Financial Services brings banks, credit unions, investors and other financial services professionals... NSP_READMORE

FINANCING

Industry Lender Announces Name Change

Industry Lender Announces Name Change

After much consideration the San Antonio Federal Credit Union (SACU)/CU Factory Built Lending (CUFBL)/Mountainside Financial is excited to announce that we are changing our name to Credit Human... NSP_READMORE

FINANCING

Industry Feedback About the Manufactured Housing Institute, Image, Industry…

Industry Feedback About the Manufactured Housing Institute, Image, Industry Hassles, and Advancement

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach A very thoughtful message from a widely-known industry leader is quoted below. NSP_READMORE

FINANCING

SECURITY MORTGAGE GROUP Income Property Specialists

SECURITY MORTGAGE GROUP Income Property Specialists

byPierce Redmond ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Security Mortgage Group, a national award-winning MH Community lending broker, is pleased to have provided $30,000,000 in financing for several manufactured home communities nationwide... NSP_READMORE

FINANCING

Modular Tapped to Help City With Housing Needs

Modular Tapped to Help City With Housing Needs

by RC Williams In Belgrade, Montana, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has looked to modular housing as a solution to what the organization calls “immense affordable housing needs.” NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

The Evolution of 3D Printed Homes?

The Evolution of 3D Printed Homes?

by RC Williams When it comes to 3D printed homes, companies around the world have been working to perfect the ideal system, including Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda, which printed a two-story... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Skyline Corporation Makes Executive Announcement

Skyline Corporation Makes Executive Announcement

by RC Williams Skyline Corp. (NYSE: SKY) tells MHProNews that Jeff Newport has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Lost Modular Jobs Set to Return?

Lost Modular Jobs Set to Return?

by RC Williams Once known for its booming modular and manufactured home industry, Oxford, Maine has been dubbed the “Manufactured Housing Capital of New England.” NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Scam Alert! Professionals Warned

Scam Alert! Professionals Warned

by Soheyla Kovach Fox News and most mainstream media sources are urging caution to professionals and others answering cell phones and landlines from incoming calls from an “unknown caller” or... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Habits to Make or Break for a Cleaner, Healthier Home

Habits to Make or Break for a Cleaner, Healthier Home

by RC Williams It never fails. No matter how much you clean, it always seems that something comes up, spills, or gets dirt on it. NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Manufactured Home Plants May Become Tiny House Production Centers

Manufactured Home Plants May Become Tiny House Production Centers

by RC Williams In Carbon Hill, Alabama this week, the City Council heard about a possible plan from developers to use a couple of old manufactured home plant facilities... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Pending Home Sales Numbers Released

Pending Home Sales Numbers Released

by RC Williams The report is in from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Zoning Changes Could Affect Manufactured Housing

Zoning Changes Could Affect Manufactured Housing

by RC Williams The Washington County, Maryland Board of Commissioners is holding a public hearing today regarding several proposed changes to the county’s zoning ordinance, including ones that affect... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

MHARR: President Trump’s Actions Offer Major Opportunity for MH Industry an…

MHARR: President Trump’s Actions Offer Major Opportunity for MH Industry and Consumers

by RC Williams Washington, D.C., February 28, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that Executive Orders issued by President Trump within the past thirty days... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

2017 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Looms, Final Brochure, Schedule Provi…

2017 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Looms, Final Brochure, Schedule Provided

The Largest Manufactured Housing Show in the United States The Tunica Show has more homes than any other industry event! In 2016 The Tunica Show registered retailers, builder/developers, community owners/operators,... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Business Building Tunica Show Educational Seminars

Business Building Tunica Show Educational Seminars

by Dennis Hill On Tuesday, March 28th,  at the Resorts Hotel – 2nd Floor, Magnolia Room, you can discover this year’s business building educational seminars.  Here is the lineup and... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Executive Summary – 400 Words – Manufactured Housing Industry Obstacles and…

Executive Summary – 400 Words – Manufactured Housing Industry Obstacles and Billions in Opportunities

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach It could be boiled down to the 3-letter acronym at the end. Let’s first take a 400 word walk through the top obstacles and... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Lancing the MH Industry’s Boil

Lancing the MH Industry’s Boil

by Soheyla Kovach Let’s use the analogy of a pimple, cyst, or boil.  NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Increases, January Report

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Increases, January Report

by RC Williams Washington, D.C., March 6, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that, according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of... NSP_READMORE

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

SWOT Analysis – Marketing, Sales & Management Tool for Manufactured Housing…

SWOT Analysis – Marketing, Sales & Management Tool for Manufactured Housing Success

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach To truly understand a location, business or organization - and its potential - a SWOT analysis is useful management tool. NSP_READMORE

MANAGEMENT

The Uncertainties of Life

The Uncertainties of Life

by Tim Connor, CSP Many people today struggle with the need to know what will happen tomorrow, next week or even this year. Some have the need to try... NSP_READMORE

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Which Life Season are You in?

Which Life Season are You in?

by Tim Connor For the past 200 plus years we have experienced an economic downturn and uncertainty every 8-15 years. I am not a pessimist.  I am a realist.  NSP_READMORE

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Upcoming Events

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Sizzling Sunshine Homes! @ Tunica Show …

 Sizzling Sunshine Homes! @ Tunica Show = Exclusive “Total Package” for More Sales for Retailers, Communities, and Builder/Developers

Business is BOOMING at Sunshine Homes!  Retailers, communities, and builder/developers are watching homes sell fast and at good margins.  Let’s review some of the reasons. As important as great homes are, what we do to support our independent retailers and communities that compliments those sizzling model homes in your inventory can mean the difference between okay sales, and homes that turn several times a year. First, if you’re ready to attract more customers that pay cash or has good credit, look no further than Sunshine Homes.  Our Energy Star ™ rated homes are residential designs that impress and sell previous owners of conventional homes.  You can have floorplans ordered either as a HUD Code manufactured home, or as a state coded modular home. Award-winning Stan Dye of Star Homes says that 99% of...

the MHMSM Team 24 Mar 2017 Corporate Press Releases

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Manufactured Home Community Loans – Secu…

Manufactured Home Community Loans – Security Mortgage Group

Click the above to learn more about programs that are tailored to your specific needs. ##

the MHMSM Team 21 Mar 2017 Corporate Press Releases

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MHARR Appeals to HUD Secretary - Dr. Ben…

MHARR Appeals to HUD Secretary - Dr. Ben Carson - Allow Private Sector to Boost Homeownership, Save Taxpayers, by Enforcing Federal Law

“We’re going to be in the promise keeping business.” - Vice-President Mike Pence.  “We're going to enforce the law of this country.” – Then VP candidate, Gov. Mike Pence.  “We're going to enforce the law…” – President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.  “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities. We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.” – Then President-elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump.  “I look forward to listening to the concerns of the American people in order...

the MHMSM Team 21 Mar 2017 Corporate Press Releases

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Tawas River MH/RV Park | 165 Sites MH/RV…

Tawas River MH/RV Park | 165 Sites MH/RV | Tawas City, Michigan

Property Overview MHRE is pleased to present Tawas River MH/RV Park located in Tawas City, Michigan. The community consists of 100 RV sites, 2 single family homes, and 65 mobile home sites, of which there are 8 park owned homes. With direct access to Tawas River and Tawas Bay, the park offers many amenities for guests to enjoy the riverfront. Fishing and boat launching are available right at the park. Since 2010, the park has undergone improvements that includes road repaving and sewer and electrical infrastructure. Tawas River MH/RV Park typically enjoys high seasonal occupancy, and several RV sites are occupied by seasonal tenants who keep their RVs at the park year-round. Currently, the mobile home sites are at an 80% occupancy and the annual RV sites are at a 56% occupancy. Investment...

the MHMSM Team 21 Mar 2017 Corporate Press Releases

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2017 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Lo…

2017 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Looms, Final Brochure, Schedule Provided

The Largest Manufactured Housing Show in the United States The Tunica Show has more homes than any other industry event! In 2016 The Tunica Show registered retailers, builder/developers, community owners/operators, and installers from all over the region. The show drew 1,932 attendees this past year, from an expansive region which stretched from Illinois all the way to East Texas. The number of attendees actually exceeded our expectations and even surpassed last year's attendance numbers. This is a significant coup for the Tunica Show, because it means new business relationships abound! This year, 70 new model homes are expected to be featured at the show. These models will offer a firsthand look at the latest technology, conveniences, efficiency, and stateof-the-art design modifications that have been developed during the past year. The don't-miss showcase of homes...

the MHMSM Team 05 Mar 2017 Corporate Press Releases

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RV/MH Hall of Fame Sets Dates and Agenda…

RV/MH Hall of Fame Sets Dates and Agenda for the 2017 Induction Dinner

ELKHART, Ind. -- The RV/MH Hall of Fame's Annual Induction Dinner honoring the Class of 2017 will be held on August 7, 2017, at the Hall of Fame's Northern Indiana Event Center in Elkhart, Indiana, according to Darryl Searer, president, RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall). Searer said, "Our 2017 Induction Dinner celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar cocktail party, followed by the dinner and induction ceremonies at 6:30 p.m . I hope a record number of friends and colleagues of the inductees and industry members will join us in honoring these outstanding industry pioneers who have had a major impact on our professions and lives." Those being inducted in the Class of 2017 include:  RV Inductees Edwin BaierEvergreen RV SupplyWalter BennettThor IndustriesDavid GorinDavid Gorin Associates LLCWoody PaylorWoody's RV WorldMartin SheaMadison RV Supercenter, Inc. MH Inductees Dennis BeadleVictorian HomesChristine LindseyUMH...

the MHMSM Team 03 Mar 2017 Corporate Press Releases

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