The Chairmen of the House Financial Services Committee and the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a thorough examination of certain key aspects of the HUD manufactured housing program. With the introductory-level November 29, 2011 field hearing on “The State of Manufactured Housing” now concluded, this step sets the stage for the full-scale, Washington, D.C. congressional oversight hearing regarding HUD’s failure to implement key reforms of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 that MHARR has been seeking.
In their joint letter to the Comptroller General (copy attached), the two chairmen call on GAO to investigate and examine specific program issues that MHARR has stressed in its intensive engagement with Congress during 2011, including, “how HUD has implemented the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 and what effect that Act has had on the overall state of the manufactured housing industry,” the “specific authority of the [Manufactured Housing] Consensus Committee in advising HUD” and whether label fees collected by the program are being “used in accordance with the 2000 Act.”
With an investigation now pending, MHARR will work to ensure that GAO is provided with relevant and necessary information concerningall of the key reforms of the 2000 law that HUD has failed to fully and properly implement, and the wide-ranging negative impacts on the industry and consumers — including matters as diverse as regulation of the industry, post-production issues involving financing, placement, zoning and others — that have directly resulted from this failure.
As MHARR has reported previously, however, interests either allied with or sympathetic toward industry regulators are still working to halt, diminish or misdirect this process and avoid the type of detailed, comprehensive oversight hearing on the implementation of the 2000 law that would hold regulators accountable and seek the answers necessary to bring about a badly needed change in direction to halt and reverse the industry’s decline.
Nevertheless, MHARR will continue to press for this complete and thorough GAO examination of the program followed by sharply-focused congressional oversight, while it expands and builds upon its previous efforts and accomplishments in Congress for appropriate oversight of the program budget, the allocation of program funds, the impact of the program’s implementation failures on the industry’s small businesses, and other matters.
MHARR will continue to keep you updated on these matters as new developments unfold.
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform
1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 508
Washington, D.C. 20004