Washington, 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.