Washington, D.C., April 7, 2011 — According to official statistics complied on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), manufactured housing production has continued to significantly decline in 2011. In January 2011, 2,796 HUD Code homes were produced, down from 3,210 homes in January 2010, representing a year-over-year decline of 12.89%. This trend continued in February 2011 with 2,892 HUD Code homes produced, down from 3,463 homes in February 2010, representing a year-over-year decline of 16.5%. To date, therefore, 2011 production has declined by an average of 15%. This follows on the heels of record low annual production of 49,275 homes in 2010, a decline of .8% below the previous record low of 49,683 units in 2009. This represents a drop of almost 90% since 1998, when nearly 374,000 manufactured homes were produced, and the 13th consecutive year of production declines for the only segment of the housing industry that is comprehensively regulated by the federal government.
As the statistics show, this decline began long before the decline of the broader housing market and has continued unabated — and even worsened — despite signs of overall economic recovery. The decline of the industry, then, is not a direct result of either the 2008 mortgage crisis or the condition of the broader economy. Instead, it is a reflection of ongoing and worsening discrimination against manufactured housing as a result of the failure of federal regulators to fully and properly implement beneficial laws that Congress has enacted over the past decade, and the failure of the industry establishment in Washington, D.C. to stop federal regulatory policies that fuel such discrimination.
Continuing production declines in 2011 thus validate last year’s decision by the Board of Directors of Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), based on the message of the electorate in the November 2010 election — for policies that promote job growth (and particularly the type of manufacturing jobs that the industry provides), reduce the type of job-killing regulation that has decimated the industry’s small businesses, resulting in plant closings and job losses, and less government spending — to take the failure of federal regulators to fully and properly implement these laws back to Congress for intervention, oversight and accountability. The membership of the Association once again reaffirmed this approach — which focuses on the full and proper implementation of relevant laws, appropriations related to such laws, the devastating effect of all this on the industry’s small businesses, and government oversight of the way that regulators are evading the requirements of these laws — at its March 2011 Annual Meeting.
These specific themes, accordingly, were stressed in a series of productive meetings, during the week of April 4, 2011, between members of MHARR’s Executive Committee and the Chairpersons and Ranking Members of the relevant committees and subcommittees in both houses of Congress.
The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.