“Brian Darrell Montgomery (born August 2, 1956) is the current Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing [HUD], also known as the commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration [FHA]. He also served as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development during the administration of George W. Bush. He was confirmed to the position in February 2005 and resigned in July 2009. President Donald Trump nominated him to return to his former position as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing, and he was confirmed by the Senate in May 2018, says Wikipedia.
As 2018 has drawn to a close, several pending matters place HUD’s FHA Commissioner Montgomery in the decision-making mix in 2019 with respect to issues that matter to manufactured housing independents, investors, and affordable housing advocates.
Manufactured home owners and buyers could be impacted too by what Montgomery does on the items below.
The following is a partial list of the items that place Montgomery on the proverbial ‘hot seat.’ What will Montgomery do about the following pending issues:
- The currently pro-Berkshire Hathaway policy on the so-called “10/10 rule” established on FHA Title I loans? In 2010, at about the same time-frame as Tim Williams, former Manufactured Housing Institute Chairman and President of 21st Mortgage, issued a notorious letter cutting off lending to numerous manufactured home retail independents, Ginnie Mae, the FHA-related Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), adopted a 10-10 rule. Initially, it was only the Berkshire Hathaway companies of Vanderbilt and 21st Mortgage that qualified. Later, as Prosperity Now described it in 2015, the “…10-10 rule requiring net worth of $10 million and a 10% loan loss-reserve for lenders who would participate in the Title I program. This effectively restricts Title I participation to two lenders: Vanderbilt Mortgage and Countryplace Mortgage.” 21st participated for a time, but later stopped issuing FHA Title I loans.
- Rephrased, a former Clayton division president – Joe Stegmayer, still MHI Chairman – and prior Cavco Industries president has a lending subsidiary. Countryplace Mortgage – and they plus the Berkshire Hathaway lenders have been the prime FHA Title I lenders in that part of home-only lending. Is that a coincidence? After the promises made by HUD Secretary Ben Carson to the industry in 2018, and given the troubling status of Duty to Serve (DTS) with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on chattel lending – almost non-existent – is that status quo on the 10/10 rule a problem that Commissioner Montgomery can opt to ignore?
- Selection to replace Pam Danner, JD, as the next administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP). It was HUD Secretary Ben Carson who told the U.S. Senate that last spring that the regulations coming out of OMHP were “ridiculous.” Victor DeRose was the consensus candidate agreed to by MHI and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) to fill the spot that Danner eventually obtained. At that time, Senator Joe Donnelley (IN-D) was enlisted to write a letter in support of DeRose for the HUD OMHP administrator’s role. But Danner, per sources, was “slipped in” with the aid of an MHI insider. “Knoxville” instructed Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison to “stand down” in complaining that MHI had thereby broken their agreement with MHARR. That breech by MHI with MHARR put an understandable frost on relations between the two national trade bodies.
- Will Montgomery support or oppose another heavy-regulation puppet for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis? Recall that MHI has been touting to their members in emails how chummy they are with Montgomery.
- Recall too the HUD issued a clarification on the frost free foundation rule. Here’s how the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform put it, in the report accessed via the linked text/image box below.
HUD “Clarification” on Frost-Free IB Offers More Questions and Confusion Than Answers | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
TO: MHARR MANUFACTURERS MHARR STATE AFFILIATES MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG) FROM: MHARR RE: HUD “Clarification” on Frost-Free IB Offers More Questions And Confusion Than Answers As a follow-up to the MHARR memorandum sent earlier today regarding finalization of the proposed “frost-free” Interpretive Bulletin (IB), it now appears that the
- Enhanced preemption. Given the affordable housing crisis, when will HUD begin to enforce that law, established by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000? If Montgomery won’t work to support an existing law, why not?
- If Montgomery fails to push for the full implementation of the MHIA, including enhanced preemption, doesn’t that just benefit operations like Arlington insiders such as Clayton, which are also increasingly into site built housing?
- Beside the apparent conflict of interest between MHI-dominated Clayton and most industry members on issues like enhanced preemption, doesn’t failure to enforce the MHIA mandated preemption just cost HUD, federal, state, and local governments more money over time? Doesn’t failure to enforce enhanced preemption hurt minorities and lower incomes of all classes disproportionately?
- There is also the ongoing saga of the monitoring contract. For more on that, see the report linked below.
MHARR Communication with HUD Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery Regarding Program Monitoring Contract | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
October 26, 2018 VIA FEDERAL EXPRESS Hon. Brian Montgomery Assistant Secretary U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Suite 9100 451 7 thStreet, S.W. Washington, D.C.
Sources tell MHProNews that Montgomery is a “play it safe” – meaning, status quo – type of personality. Be it intentional or not, that could play into the hands of Clayton Homes and MHI. Indeed, as noted above, MHI has claimed or implied more than once that they have influence with/over Montgomery.
Being evenly obliquely tied to – or perceived to be connected to Berkshire and Clayton – could prove problematic for Montgomery.
So far, Montgomery has done no interviews with the industry’s most-read trade media – MHProNews – and neither has HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., despite requests from MHProNews for such candid discussions, on- or off-camera. MHProNews will ask anew for interviews with both Carson and Montgomery in 2019, to get a better sense from official sources about the background noise coming from HUD. Frankly, many of the present sounds coming from HUD are less than encouraging. In 2019, watch for the call for more accountability and transparency. See the Don’t Tease Report, linked further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)
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