Washington, D.C., September 7, 2016 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), manufactured housing industry production fell during July 2016. Just-released statistics indicate that after nearly 3 1/2 years of monthly (year-over-year) production increases, HUD Code manufacturers produced 5,335 homes in July 2016, a 12.3% decline from the 6,085 HUD Code homes produced during July 2015. Cumulative industry production for 2016 now totals 45,204 homes, a 14.7% increase over the 39,404 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2015.
A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through July 2016 — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2016) and prior year (2015) shipments per category as indicated – are:
With this latest information, Alabama has edged ahead of North Carolina, into 4th-place on the cumulative list of the top-ten shipment states.
While it is unclear whether declining production during July 2016 represents an aberration or potential trend, it clearly reflects the unique and ongoing vulnerability of an underperforming HUD Code manufactured housing sector to excessive federal regulation of production and discriminatory policies affecting consumers after HUD Code homes leave the factory — both of which continue to suppress the availability and use of manufactured housing. With HUD Code manufacturers building their best homes ever and with consumer need and demand for affordable housing at unprecedented levels, HUD Code production — as MHARR and other industry observers have continued to express — should be on its way to hundreds of thousands of homes annually. As MHARR has stressed, however, a toxic mixture of costly and unnecessary federal production regulation (such as new HUD on-site construction mandates) and discrimination in areas such as financing, placement and “zoning,” have combined to keep millions of potential new homebuyers out of the manufactured housing market. And matters, no doubt, will only get worse if the industry and consumers fail to block the U.S. Department of Energy from imposing harsh new “energy” standards on HUD Code homes that will far exceed anything required even for million-dollar site-built homes in most of the country.
If such major hurdles to industry growth and recovery are to be overcome, it will take strong action by the industry and consumers to confront and resolve these ongoing issues at all levels.