Mark Brunner at the Manufactured and Modular Housing Association of Minnesota (MMHAMN) tells MHProNews that the All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC) is lobbying Congress to oppose The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 1779).
Brunner says APAC has sent out the following call-to-action statement to their members.
“House members are about to take their August Recess and start campaign season, and one of their last orders of business may be a vote on the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (H.R. 1779). This bill would undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new regulations for manufactured home financing in order to allow chattel lenders to burden manufactured home buyers with excessively high closing costs and interest rates. A vote on the House floor is a critical moment–and could happen as soon as Monday. We need your help to make sure the House does not pass this harmful bill and send it to the Senate.”
APAC describes itself these terms;
“All Parks Alliance for Change is the statewide organization for Minnesota’s 180,000 manufactured home park residents. APAC provides a vehicle for manufactured home owners to express their needs and concerns in their parks and in the larger community. Through education, grassroots organizing and leadership development, APAC works with residents to improve the quality of life in park neighborhoods, protect the rights of park residents, advance public policy change that supports safe, affordable, and stable park communities, and preserve this vital source of affordable housing.”
As informed manufactured housing (MH) professionals know, millions of owners of mobile and manufactured homes have been de facto cut off from financing by the so-called unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB’s regulations. Many MH lenders are no longer making loans on homes where the loan balance is under $20,000, because the costs to originate and service low-balance loans under the CFPB’s current regulations makes them unprofitable. As an Industry in Focus Report detailed, the issue isn’t heartless predator lending, as APAC or others akin to them allege, the culprit is simple math.
A recent GAO report demonstrated that even with a higher interest rate on a personal property (chattel) loan, manufactured homes are the most affordable kind of permanent housing. This supports the findings of an earlier study by FannieMae, shown in the graphic above.
Some also overlook the fact that such interest is often tax deductible, so the higher cost can be mitigated when that option is available for a MH home buyer.
APAC and NMHOA
APAC links itself to National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA), lead by Ishbel Dickens, who has publicly called Manufactured Home Community owners “the enemy.”
However, the real enemy seems to be either ignorance of the facts or a deliberately polarizing approach taken by such groups. That arguably harms the very MH owners APAC or NMHOA claim to represent. In fact, the membership numbers of such groups are usually only a tiny fraction of the total in any given community.
Dodd-Frank and CFPB regulations haven’t just harmed MH lenders, businesses and the customers they serve, but has forced numerous community banks out of business because of the high cost of the regulatory burdens being imposed. HR 1779 is a common sense fix for the MH related issues.
Brunner and the MMHAMN have joined with MHI asking industry professionals to contact members of Congress via their new immediate contact “Engage” system. Brunner urged, “Because we are now facing a numbers game with APAC trying to overwhelm Congressional Offices with misinformation about H.R. 1779, please encourage all of your employees, spouses and voting-age family members, along with business partners/vendors to do the same by forwarding them this Call To Action.”
(Photo credit: APAC. Chart source: FannieMae.)