In June 2019, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson was involved in several video interviews that spanned the left-right media spectrum. He did local news, HUD videos, as well as interviews with those who would spotlight his concerns, analysis, and proposed solutions for the affordable housing crisis.
Among those interviews was the one below with Stuart Varney with right-of-center Fox Business. He did that video while standing inside a HUD Code manufactured home. The photo above includes part of a screen capture from the video below.
While Dr. Carson strikes several notes, the following themes from this specific video must be noted.
· Discussed in this video interview how housing affordability is a crisis.
· That manufactured homes and other emerging technologies could save significant sums over conventional home building and are therefore part of the solution to the crisis.
· That manufactured homes ‘bolted’ – as Dr. Carson put it – to its foundation were as or more resilient in windstorms as conventional homes.
· His desire to see local officials take a fresh look at manufactured homes, so that they would not discriminate against them, thus opening housing affordability options to more Americans.
That insightful interview is posted below.
“We’re having a significant problem in our country right now with affordable housing and also with resiliency,” Carson told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney from the Innovative Housing Showcase in Washington, D.C., in June 2019.
The five-day event was co-hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and HUD. It featured new building technologies and updated solutions for housing, that Secretary Carson said he believed can remove some of the “many zoning barriers based on outdated thinking.”
“That’s one of the reasons that we’re having this display, so not only that people can see this and disabuse them of the notions that manufactured housing are trailers and trailer parks and seeing what actually can happen here,” said Carson.
“I’m standing inside of a manufactured home right now — it’s a beautiful place,” said Carson. “[It] has a living room area, three bedrooms, kitchen, couple of bathrooms. And yet you know the cost of this is 30 to 40 percent less than a site-built home.”
Why This Look Back Today?
First, it must be stressed that Secretary Carson is continuing to raise the issue of manufactured housing, now weeks after the event. See a video in the July 23, 2019 report below where he personally raised the value of using manufactured homes anew.
His persistence is something that the industry has longed for from HUD for years. But it also begs a serious question for manufactured housing industry professionals, public officials, the millions of those who already live in a manufactured home, plus the tens of millions more that are renting whose lives could dramatically improve if they became manufactured home owners.
Has Secretary Carson been fully and properly briefed on the “enhanced preemption” aspect of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000?
- If he is knowledgeable about enhanced preemption – and was at the time of this video above or others like it – then why hasn’t he mentioned that part of HUD’s authority to federally preempt local zoning and regulatory barriers?
- If he hasn’t been briefed on the topic, why not?
Each possibility raises problematic concerns. See a new, deep dive report on that, linked below.
That report above is timely, given MHI’s recent ‘pivot’ on raising the issue of enhanced preemption. For example, sources say that Lesli Gooch – MHI EVP, chief lobbyist, and rumored by some to be possibly be MHI’s next president – raised the issue of the importance of enhanced preemption in yesterday’s conference call. See related reports, below the byline and notices.
Dr. Carson has said that he plans to step down at the end of President Trump’s first term in office. He will be in Baltimore, MD today to do a press conference, per sources, that will be related to the controversies swirling around the tweet storm about Congressman Elijah Cummings, the troubling conditions in that city, and how it has been spotlighted repeatedly by President Donald J. Trump, who says that his statements have no racist overtones to them.
Stay tuned for that drama.
That’s today’s initial installment of manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.
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