The Daily Business News on MHProNews has provided more coverage on the issue of Bryan, TX than any known trade media serving manufactured housing. As reports linked further below indicate, we’ve exclusively obtained and published locale letters to city officials, almost all of which opposed the ban that the majority of city leaders backed, contrary to the wishes of hundreds of the residents who live in the impacted zone.
There is nothing quite like the view of those on the ground. With that in mind, on May 7th, the Eagle in Bryan, TX ran the following letter to the editor, submitted by Dan Kiniry. It is shared below under fair use guidelines.
Bryan zoning change has been a travesty by government
The attempt to rid Bryan of the MU1 Zoning has been a travesty.
At the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, a large crowd showed up. Speakers from the crowd all were opposed to the zoning change, but after threatening to cancel the meeting if we misbehaved, calling us misinformed, and telling us that poor people just simply should buy more expensive homes instead of trailers. The P&Z Commission unanimously recommended the change.
At the city council meeting, a crowd came, mostly against the change, but most of councilmen still voted for the change, but there were two votes against. We again were told, fact-free, that the media was misleading us — although KBTX reported that the mobile or manufactured homes would be grandfathered in, and The Eagle reported that owners could replace them once. Some councilmen claimed that eliminating this more affordable housing would help end generational poverty — ignoring the many residents who described manufactured homes as all they can afford.
Residents of MU1 are well-informed, and we didn’t lie to them. A small minority of powerful wealthier people eliminating a form of affordable housing and raising the cost of living in poorer neighborhoods is hateful.
Mayor, P&Z Commission, councilmen: Humble yourselves and repent.
That’s one of several hundred who protested, signed petitions, and otherwise resisted the City of Bryan’s efforts to have this ordinance change shoved down their throat.
Perhaps the key issue here is that this arguably violates federal law. The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) claims all sorts of clout.
They share photos with federal officials, including HUD Secretary Ben Carson, HUD’s Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery, and Acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney. So what have they done to get the Trump Administration to enforce the law?
Beyond the residents harmed, several MHI member companies are impacted by this move, as well as independents. One of those MHI member retailers told MHProNews that they’d sold some 60 homes into that zone in recent years. That’s real economic harm and spread that out over other retailers and the significance grows. Consider the harm if this trend continues to spread, and one of the causes for the current 7-month downturn in new manufactured home shipments becomes more clear.
MHProNews has asked MHI staff and their elected leaders for their comments on why they have reportedly not intervened in this high-profile case? Crickets. Silence.
Words are cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Watch for updates on this issue. See the related reports, further below.
Your link to industry praise for our coverage, is found here.
For the examples of our kudos linked above…plus well over 1,000 positive, public comments, we say – “Thank You for your vote of confidence.”
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
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WTAW, Bryan’s website, and locals on the ground tell the Daily Business News on MHProNews that ” The Bryan city council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to eliminate future manufactured home placement on individual lots. Joining Greg Owens, who made the motion, and Buppy Simank, who seconded the motion, were Reuben Marin, Brent Hairston, and Andrew Nelson.
MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Washington, D.C., April 30, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in an April 24, 2019 communication to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, Ben Carson (copy attached), has called on the Department to federally preempt local zoning ordinances which discriminatorily exclude manufactured homes regulated by HUD pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 and the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.
The last decade-plus has not been especially kind to the manufactured housing industry and consumers of affordable housing. The 21 stCentury began with a great deal of promise for the industry and consumers alike.