I’ve been meaning to take a moment for a couple of weeks now, to send you this message. I apologize for mixing subjects, but – in the end – I believe you’ll find that all these topics relate to one another.
1) Thank you for your direct question to HUD’s Pam Danner about the City of Kilgore’s plans to further limit the placement of manufactured homes in that city. I’ve repeatedly questioned why HUD and the administrator’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs hasn’t acknowledged that preemption was significantly enhanced by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA of 2000).
2) Several of Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.’s comments which you published brought back memories of an MHI Land Use Conference held in Chicago in the late 90’s. I remember a speaker at that event – a middle-aged black gentleman, who was (I believe) a member of the Illinois General Assembly. He coined a term for the discrimination by local governments against many forms of affordable housing, particularly manufactured home placements.
That speaker called it “economic racism.”
I’ve thought about the power in that statement many times since that meeting, knowing that he had lived-through the Civil Rights movement.
I’ve spent countless evenings in municipal buildings made of cinder-blocks with bad fluorescent lighting. I’d attend meetings, ‘waging a seemingly-endless war on ignorance’ about our affordable homes (and the people who live in our product) with local decision-makers over the past quarter-century.
So, I appreciate and agree with Rev. Tye’s powerful comments.
3) In conclusion, I believe many in our society view manufactured housing as some sort of ‘housing of last resort’ for:
- poor people,
- illegal immigrants,
- divorcees on public assistance and
- other undesirable elements of the population.
It’s a stereotype/stigma perpetuated by the media which creates and/or re-enforces barriers to the acceptance, and highest use, of manufactured homes as an affordable housing resource.
I remember a small-town mayor telling me – ‘off the record’ of course – his perspective on inclusionary zoning in his city: “It ain’t the houses, son… It’s the people that live in them.” ## (Publisher’s note: see the graphic, and link below on Rev. Donald Tye Jr.)
Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA)
1123 South University – Suite #720
Little Rock, AR 72204