MHI members from across the nation descended on our Nation’s Capitol in early June to meet with their Senators and Representatives to discuss important issues facing the manufactured housing industry. MHI’s members, from more than 20 states and representing companies that conduct business throughout the country, met with more than 100 congressional offices to talk about the need to update the HUD Code and Federal Housing Administration programs, and to renew the ENERGY STAR program.
Executive Director, Amy Bliss and Board Member, Rick Rand spent the day talking with several legislators and their staff. They visited Rep. Sensenbrenner, Rep. Glenn Grothmann, Rep. Sean Duffy, Rep. Bryan Stiel, Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Tammy Baldwin.
In additional to those visits, they watched Representative Sean Duffy talk about the importance of manufactured housing where he specifically mentioned the innovation and affordability of today’s modern manufactured homes.
Click here to see MHI’s Fly-In participants discussing their Congressional meetings and the importance of participating in this event.
Deputy Secretary Montgomery told the group that he recognized how important it is for HUD to get through the nearly decade-long backlog of updates to the HUD Code. “It is one of the Department’s top priorities to process the backlog of updates to the Construction and Safety Standards that have been completed by our Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee.” The Deputy Secretary also discussed FHA’s work to update the FHA Title I program for manufactured homes, including a review of credit policies, appraiser guidelines, and an adjustment of the loan limits. In discussing these changes, he said, “To advance many of our efforts, I am grateful for the many insights MHI has provided to HUD in the form of its available reports, educational materials, and constructive dialogue.”
Following his prepared remarks, the Deputy Secretary participated in a discussion with MHI’s Chairman Joe Stegmayer, which included dialogue about improving the process to update the HUD Code going forward and how HUD can help to overcome local regulatory and land use barriers to manufactured housing. Deputy Secretary Montgomery spoke about manufactured housing land-lease communities during his address to MHI members, saying, “Beyond the matter of price, there are flexible ownership models, such as land-lease manufactured home communities, that have the potential to combine affordability with a sense of neighborhood and lifestyle.”
Attendees heard from Jim Gray, Manager of the Duty to Serve Program at the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Mr. Gray discussed Fannie Mae’s & Freddie Mac’s progress in serving manufactured housing as a part of their DTS plans, and he thanked MHI and its members for well-informed, engaged, and constructive dialogue as the plans are implemented. Following prepared remarks, Barry Noffsinger from Credit Human, who serves on the Board of Governors for MHI’s Financial Services Division, engaged in a discussion with Mr. Gray about efforts underway for manufactured homes titled as real property and progress on the chattel pilot programs. MHI members had more than 100 meetings with congressional offices, where they focused on expedited revisions to the HUD Code, FHA Program updates, and extension of the Energy-Efficient New Home Tax Credit.
A key component of MHI’s Homes on the Hill Legislative Fly-In was HUD’s Innovative Housing Showcase where policymakers and the general public were able to see first-hand what modern manufactured homes look like. With three manufactured homes provided by MHI members lined up on the National Mall for five consecutive days in front of Capitol Hill, Administration officials, Member of Congress, and other policymakers from across the federal agencies experienced the impressive craftsmanship of today’s manufactured homes. Officials and staffers marveled at the interior and exterior features and quality of the houses and—most of all—the incredibly attainable price point. Seeing truly is believing.
During the Innovative Housing Showcase, HUD Secretary Ben Carson touted the advantages of manufactured homes and the need to provide Americans with housing solutions at a more attainable price point. He also extolled the resilience of manufactured homes saying, “On a recent visit to Alabama, I was shown a site that was demolished by massive tornadoes—and the only homes in the area that successfully weathered the storm were manufactured houses.” While touring the manufactured homes on display, Secretary Carson said he hoped Congress would notice the homes lining both sides of the National Mall, in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, and work with him to update policies and regulations that make it tough for many to afford their piece of the American dream.
Click here to watch Secretary Carson touring the homes and hear more of his remarks.