Washington, D.C., January 8, 2019 – The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO), a new, independent association representing a key manufactured housing industry post-production constituency, has announced a major step in its initial organization and the start of national-level advocacy activities to better and more effectively represent the post-production sector in Washington, D.C. Accordingly, essential activity to begin addressing and correcting a major gap in the manufactured housing industry’s national-level representation in Washington, D.C. is starting to gain important momentum.
After announcing its formation as an independent organization in late-2018 — including as members (among others), state manufactured housing associations which had previously withdrawn from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) — NAMHCO, issued a News Release just before the start of 2019, stating that it has now retained the services of a lobbying consultant in Washington, D.C. to act on its behalf at the national level, where multiple issues continue to vex the manufactured housing industry’s post-production sector with significantly negative consequences for the entire industry and American consumers of affordable housing. Indeed, the industry – the nation’s premiere source of non-subsidized affordable housing — after a nine-year rebound from historically-low production levels reached in 2009, has just suffered its third consecutive month of flat-line or negative growth – at a time when production levels, due to an unusually strong national economy, shouldbe booming.
In large measure, the industry — since 2000 — has seen its growth unnecessarily thwarted, undermined and impeded by a combination of factors primarily affecting its post-production sector. With manufacturers producing their best, highest quality homes ever, and with production-related regulatory issues at the federal level reduced to some degree in recent years by the highly-focused efforts of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in conjunction with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, it is in the post-production arena – and most particularly the failure to effectively address and remedy major issues affecting zoning, placement and especially consumer financing for HUD Code manufactured home purchasers – where the most significant constraints have been imposed on the industry and its ability to serve the millions of mostly lower and moderate-income American families that want and need affordable, non-subsidized homeownership, and rely on manufactured housing to fill that need.
While HUD Code manufacturers and other smaller and mid-sized industry businesses have — and have had for nearly thirty-five years – independent, aggressive, national-level representation in Washington, D.C. through MHARR, that type of independent representation has been almost entirely absent for the post-production sector and most importantly, its thousands of smaller, independent businesses, since the National Manufactured Housing Federation disappeared as an independent entity and was subsumed into MHI decades ago. And, indeed, the formation of NAMHCO is consistent with the call for an independent, national-level, post-production manufactured housing association set forth in a study, presented to and approved by MHARR’s Board of Directors in 2017. Furthermore, this new entity will create opportunities – and a venue – for other state associations that have been seeking better and more effective representation of their post-production members in Washington, D.C., particularly with respect to the key issues of zoning, placement and consumer financing.
As was anticipated by MHARR’s study, the establishment of this new association could – and hopefully will – help to encourage and create potential areas of policy cooperation and synergy between MHARR and NAMHCO with benefits for the entire industry (and particularly its smaller, independent businesses) as well as consumers. MHARR has already communicated with the leadership of NAMHCO regarding matters of mutual interest, and will continue to follow-up as appropriate in the near future.
The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.