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Squamish Over Vancouver? BC Tiny House Controversy, Leadership, MH Parallels

June 12th, 2017 Comments off

TinyHouseTravailsAnastasiaKoutalianosBCTinyHouseCollectiveCTVNewVancouverManufacturedModularPrefabTinyHouseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThey are described by Vancouver’s CTV News as small, affordable and illegal.

Their advocates don’t claim that they are the entire solution to Vancouver’s growing affordable housing crisis, but they think they are part of the solution, if they’re given acceptance.

And meanwhile, Cory Grandfield says that their home – custom made and perfect for them, is being forced by the city to move.

North of the border, just as has occurred in many U.S. jurisdictions, tiny houses face a fight.  But what makes this story one that tiny – and manufactured home advocates – ought to follow closely, is that supporters of tiny houses have organized to fight city hall, wherever in British Columbia that they meet resistance.

Anastasia Koutalianos, the co-founder of the BC Tiny House Collective, is advocating for Grandfield and for others in Vancouver with tiny houses, but is not finding the welcome mat out for them.

I think it’s really about having a conversation with the city planners and council and really showcasing there’s a demand for this housing stock,” she told CTV News.

But until that happens, Grandfield thinks he’ll park his tiny home in Squamish.

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Tiny Trendy Among Several Manufactured Home Producers

While some are being built to the ANSI or HUD Codes, there are tiny houses being built by HUD Code builders to no code at all, which have been displayed at events such as the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. What’s certain is that those who are producing them see the potential for added sales in a market perceived to have more positive media than manufactured housing does.

But the legal challenges for true, unregulated, tiny houses remains.

MHLivingNews and the Daily Business News have chronicled many of the tiny house challenges.  But what the tiny house enthusiasts are doing, is that a model for more successful engagement by manufactured home residents?  Given that a strict reading of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) supports enhanced preemption of manufactured homes, should they be more accepted in towns and cities?

Stan Dye has said, yes, they think that’s what should happen.

Other retailers –  like Gary Adamek from the Houston, TX market area – have told MHProNews that zoning is a bigger issue by far than Dodd-Frank ever was.

Several state association executive directors aren’t happy about the lack of back-up for preemption of the industry’s homes coming from the HUD Code manufactured home program’s current director, Pam Danner.

Not speaking directly to Danner’s controversial command over the program, J.D. Harper focuses his comments on local officials.

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JD Harper, Executive Director, AMHA, credit, LinkedIn.

I’ve told many city officials that I don’t believe that manufactured homes belong on every lot in every zone in every town – but I DO believe there are MANY lots in MANY towns which restrict manufactured homes where a factory-built residence would provide access to decent, affordable housing for working Arkansans — without having an adverse impact on surrounding property values or the quality of life in that neighborhood,” J.D. Harper said to MHProNews.  His full commentary is linked here.

 

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director,  (GMHA).

Jay Hamilton, the executive director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, said: “The one issue that will prohibit affordable housing in the future — not only manufactured homes, but site-built — is local zoning and covenants.”

As noted, Adamek is among those professionals who believes that zoning for manufactured housing is bigger and more harmful than

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Gary Adamek, Fayette Country Homes, TX.

the challenges caused by the Dodd-Frank Act. Describing battles with cities and towns in his state, “…some will simply pass ordinances that flatly prohibit manufactured homes,” says Adamek. “They don’t even have to get fancy about it.” 

MarkWeissMHARRPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR has long sought the enforcement of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, as a way of unchaining the industry and creating hundreds of thousands of additional opportunities for sales every year.  They include a call for comments on changing HUD’s regulations, per a door opened by the Trump Administration which has already proven a willingness to scale back on business and job killing regulations.  Those deadlines for comments are June 14, at 11:50 PM.  MHARR’s message on the issue is linked here.

These are among the reasons that MHProNews publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach in his comments to HUD has asked for replacing Pam Danner in her leadership over the program, and has called for the full implementation of the MHIA 2000. Kovach believes that wishing and hoping aren’t a strategy– it will require thoughtful and routine engagement to effect the changes needed.

He also points to the huge potential growth the industry could enjoy, if the MHIA 2000 were being fully enforced, a call that MHARR has been making for several years too.

Comments to HUD can still be made, please see the article – with four easy steps to comment – linked here.

Back in BC…

The BC Tiny House movement has organized about 1000 people to fight for their cause. Can manufactured homes – with millions of owners, and thousands of more businesses, manage some day to do the same? ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shown under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

 

Manufactured Housing Industry Speaks Out Against Tax Levy

January 16th, 2017 Comments off
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Arkansas State Capital. Credit: About.

Things are heating up in Arkansas between the manufactured housing industry and Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office.

According to KATV, the issue stems from a proposal that is designed to stop military retirement benefit pay from being taxed.

Proponents of the proposal say that it would bring more military to live and work in the state, but would cost the state $13 million dollars initially.

The challenge for the MH industry is in how that cost would be made up.

The state proposes to offset that cost with a repeal of some tax exemptions, including the one on manufactured homes, which are currently taxed at 62 percent of the purchase price.

Currently the average cost of a manufactured home is $65,000 dollars. Right now the tax on a home that price would be $2,419, but with the full tax it would be $4,225,” said J.D. Harper, executive director of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA).

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JD Harper, Executive Director, AMHA, credit, LinkedIn.

We’re not talking about a couple of nickels on a can of coke or something. We’re talking about real serious money and it’s a situation where it could keep people from being able to qualify to buy a home to begin with.

It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt the average customer in Arkansas,” said Kevin Hawks of Hawks Homes in Saline County.

The Governor’s office says that while they can understand the concern, it’s important to look at the whole picture.

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Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. Credit: Governing Magazine.

The governor is proposing a low income tax cut, which if paired with 2015’s middle income tax cut would reduce taxes for 90 percent of Arkansans,” said spokesman J.R. Davis.

Attracting military to Arkansas to live and work would also boost the economy. After looking at areas to offset ending the tax on military retirement pay, this option was the best we could find.

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J.R. Davis. Official Photo.

Davis also shared that the Governor is open to alternatives and suggestions, but has not received any proposals.

You certainly understand those arguments but until we’re are presented with other alternatives, this is the best approach and the most balanced approach for Arkansas,” Davis said.

Harper provided clarity for the record that AMHA is not opposing the proposal to stop taxing military retirement benefits, just the proposed method to accomplish it.

 

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Credit: MHLivingNews.

The AMHA recently completed a series of short videos to address questions about manufactured homes.

Our organization has been working on a series of short videos to address common myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that many potential homebuyers have about the quality, value and safety of manufactured homes,” said Harper.

I’m proud to announce…after months of work by our Public Relations committee – the videos have been finalized,” Harper said.

You can see those videos and read the full story at MHLivingNews, linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Arkansas MHA Names Industry Achievement Recipients

October 15th, 2015 Comments off

arkansas mfg housing assocThe Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA), at its 44th Annual Meeting and Convention held in Little Rock, presented Industry Achievement Awards to association members for their contributions to the manufactured home industry.

AMHA Executive Director J. D. Harper tells MHProNews Country Comfort Homes of Hot Springs, AR was named 2015 Sales Center of the Year for their outstanding customer service. Country Comfort is the state’s largest-volume seller of custom factory-built homes by Deer Valley Home Builders of Guin, Alabama and Scot-Bilt Homes of Waycross, Georgia.

Lexington Homes, Inc. of Lexington, Mississippi received the Manufacturer of the Year Award for the consistency of their production of HUD Code homes shipped into the state.

The 2015 Factory Sales Representative of the Year honor goes to Ed Spaeth of Lexington Homes. He began his career in the MH industry in 1982, selling homes for Spirit Homes in Conway, AR until it closed in 2002. He remained with Spirit’s parent organization, Cavalier Homes, until 2011, and has been with Lexington Homes the last three years.

The 2015 Supplier of the Year award goes to A&R Mobile Home Supply of Cabot, AR. Founded in 1987 by Russell McGough, A&R is still a family-owned business supplying a wide range of service and supplies to the factory-built home business. ##

(Image credit: Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to DailyBusiness News-MHProNews.

State Manufactured Housing Association Reveals Honors Bestowed

October 27th, 2014 Comments off

arkansas mfg housing assocThe Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) recognized leaders in the industry at its 43rd Annual Convention in Little Rock recently, MHProNews  learned from AMHA Executive Director,  J. D. Harper.

Kevin Hawks of Hawks Enterprises was inducted into AMHA’s Hall of Fame, which is the highest honor bestowed upon any individual for a lifetime of achievement. A ten year board member of the AMHA, he was recently re-appointed as an industry representative by Gov. Mike Beebee to the state agency that regulates the factory-built housing industry. Hawks Enterprises has received the “Retailer of the Year” award three times.

Other honors akevin_hwaks__hawks_sales_ar_hall_of_fame_oct_2014warded:

Putnam Homes of Fort Smith named 2014 “Sales Center of the Year.”

Lexington Homes, Inc. named “Manufacturer of the Year.”

Ben Hooker of Southern Estates named “Factory Sales Representative of the Year.”

A&R Mobile Home Supply and Service of Cabot named “Supplier of the Year.”

Members Recognized for Long-Time Membership of Arkansas MHA:

> Skyline Homes for 40 years
> Franklin Homes for 30 years
> Capital Buyers for 20 years. ##

(Image credit, top: AMHA

Photo credit: AMHA–Kevin Hawks)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com(Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews)