The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) issued a new press release yesterday. This is a topic that is often misunderstood or completely overlooked by too many in our profession. The MHARR release will be followed by additional information, MHProNews analysis and commentary.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: MHARR
TWENTY-YEAR MHARR EFFORT TO INCREASE
STATE FUNDING TAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
Washington, D.C., January 12, 2021 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), in comments filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (see, copy attached) on January 11, 2021, has called on the HUD Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) to significantly increase funding for State Administrative Agencies (SAAs) that partner with HUD in carrying out various functions authorized by the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. An increase in HUD program payments to state partners, and a corresponding reduction in HUD payments to – and dependence upon – private contractors, has been a longstanding MHARR goal and was the basis for MHARR’s insistence on language in the 2000 reform law designed to both support state participation and state funding, and simultaneously restrict functions that could be delegated to revenue-driven contractors.
MHARR’s comments, which respond to a long-overdue Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) issued by HUD on November 12, 2020, emphasize the fundamental importance of the federal-state partnership underlying the federal manufactured housing program (one of the most important elements of the 1974 Act), and the urgent need to properly fund that partnership as illustrated by the recent withdrawal of certain key states – either from the program entirely, or from specific program functions. MHARR’s comments thus seek not only to strengthen existing state participation, but also to encourage new SAAs to be established and to enter the program.
As MHARR stresses, enhanced state funding – and a corresponding reduction in unnecessarily-bloated funding for program contractors – is absolutely necessary insofar as state SAAs are responsible for consumer protection with respect to an ever-growing number of manufactured homes produced since the inception of federal regulation in 1976, while contractors today are responsible for monitoring a much smaller number of current-production homes. Indeed, while state SAA funding has declined by more than 45% since 2005, program contractor funding has increased by more than 167% over the same period, even though only 94,615 homes were produced in 2019, as compared with 146,881 in 2005.
Given the fact that SAAs, as state agencies, have constituencies and a degree of legitimacy that contractors do not have, and were specifically intended by Congress to be part of the regulatory structure of the federal manufactured housing program, SAA participation – and corresponding funding equity – should be an overriding priority for HUD and for OMHP. Accordingly, MHARR’s comments call on HUD to maintain the minimum SAA funding levels required by the 2000 reform law and to further increase SAA funding over and above that statutory floor, to include payments for the performance of specific program functions based on accurate state-by-state information and calculations.
While this proceeding is finally addressing a long-delayed and long-overdue priority, MHARR will continue to press, as it has for the past twenty years, for the full implementation of the 2000 reform law’s provisions regarding proper SAA funding and corresponding limitations on and reductions of contractor activities and funding.
The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.
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The attachment is linked here as a download.
Additional Information, MHProNews Analysis and Commentary.
“Indeed, while state SAA funding has declined by more than 45% since 2005, program contractor funding has increased by more than 167% over the same period, even though only 94,615 homes were produced in 2019, as compared with 146,881 in 2005.” Quoted from Mark Weiss, J.D., led MHARR, above.
There are perhaps MHARR critics that might say something to the effect that there is a trade group that has been working on an issue for 20 years, why haven’t they accomplished more? That’s a fair question. Here is the troubling answer from MHProNews. For most of those 20 years, the argument can be made that Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) clearly failed to do what they should have been to work with MHARR to get the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 fully and properly implemented. After all, it is MHI that is the post-production and umbrella association. MHARR has the badge of honor of fighting not only regulatory overreach, but the arguably corrupt MHI.
That argument by MHProNews stands unchallenged by MHI, by their inside or outside attorneys.
That same argument has been issued as a challenge for Clayton Homes. Perhaps more importantly, that argument has been offered for response to Berkshire Hathaway board members, including now-former board member Bill Gates, and also to Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett.
All have declined to challenge or debate the evidence that the has been published in reports and analysis like those linked above and below.
As was previously noted, MHProNews has been provided with a third-party prepared legal draft of an antitrust argument against Clayton Homes, and others associated with them. Once the final and edited copy is presented, we plan a report. That might be in February, time will tell. But it raises arguments both similar to those that we have made, but also raise other legal concerns. Among the concerns raised are RICO. See the linked articles to ponder the evidence.
Back to MHI and MHARR.
The passing of Bruce Savage sparked the following find. Note that this video is about a decade ago. It is about a topic that occurred after Berkshire began acquiring pieces of manufactured housing. No disrespect to the late Savage because he was a mere employee. But what the below reflects once again is how little MHI has actually accomplished in the years since Warren Buffett and Kevin Clayton teamed up.
The points? There are several possible bullets and takeaways but let us stress these.
- Buffett’s Berkshire pivoted into investing billions in Apple, as MHProNews previously reported.
- Apple is one of the brands to Rep. Devin Nunes (CA-R) alleges colluded in an brazen attempt to de-platform Parler – a free speech Twitter rival. Would Apple’s Tim Cook have done that without Warren Buffett’s ok?
- The Parler assault is not only a free speech issue, but also a sobering business lesson. What the powers that be make clear is that billionaires, big businesses, and political power is becoming glaring obvious. If Nunes is right It can be used to crush any small business.
Buckle up. It is about to get rough. As in historically rough.
Organizations like MHARR – that have been true blue to independents in our profession for decades – merit robust support and praise.
For four years, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) purportedly deployed posturing, head-fakes, and foot-dragging methods to keep manufactured housing underperforming. That benefited the consolidators. Kudos to MHARR, shame on MHI – right?!?
You can’t make this stuff up. During an affordable housing crisis,
MHI ‘led’ manufactured housing is shrinking. Is it any wonder
that they won’t publicly debate their performance with this writer?
That was relatively coy. But what the brazen Parler move does is reveal that if we do not hang together, we will all hang separately.
See the linked related reports to learn more. The lessons of history should not be ignored.
Failure to push back intelligently with information, legal and more methods – regrettably-will historically only encourage more of this same type of over-the-top authoritarian behavior. The lessons of history should not be ignored.
Despair or frustration are not solutions. Information, understanding and repair of the Republic, plus prayer are the ‘weapons’ that can prevail.
That’s a wrap on this installment of the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
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