Manufactured Housing in the News 100924 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

THE SMALL BUSINESS JOBS ACT that passed the Senate a week ago has now been passed by the House and heads to the Oval Office for the President’s signature. Among other provisions, the bill contains modifications and an extension to the Small Business Administration’s floor plan financing program. The provision is similar to one originally introduced by Congressman Joe Donnelly. The provision extends the program created in July 2009 to provide loan guarantees through SBA lenders for titleable assets including manufactured housing as well as autos, RVs, boats, and trailers through the SBA’s 7(a) loan program. “I’m pleased that soon, some of the changes the RV, auto, and marine industries and lenders have identified as necessary to increase participation in the program will become law,” Donnelly said. Previous to this legislation, the DFP Pilot Program was set to expire on September 30, 2010. The Small Business Jobs Act renews the DFP program for another 3 years and increases the loan limits to $5 million. The act also authorizes the creation of a $30 billion fund run by the Treasury Department that would deliver ultra-cheap capital to banks with less than $10 billion in assets with the idea that infusing capital into small banks will make its way onto Main Street.

THE REPUBLICANS issued a Pledge to America on Thursday and within it, a promise to end government control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The move is part of the agenda laid out by the party before voters to create jobs, cut taxes and shrink government.

NEW FROM FANNIE MAE includes the announcement of a seller assistance incentive on Fannie Mae-owned properties listed on the company’s REO website,, and expansion of the initiative to offer an incentive to real estate agents and brokers. The site includes manufactured housing, which can be viewed by clicking on Advance Search and then checking Manufactured Housing. Qualified homebuyers who will be owner-occupants can receive up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price that can be used toward closing cost assistance, including a home warranty if desired and available. In addition, Fannie Mae says selling-agents representing owner-occupants will receive a $1,500 bonus. Eligible offers must be submitted on or after September 23, 2010, and must close by December 31, 2010.

CNN RAN A STORY this week about how tax credits can help small businesses afford health insurance for their workers. The article, Tax credit bonanza for small businesses, says health care premiums for small businesses typically run 18 percent higher for small businesses than for larger companies. The recent health care law called for the expansion of state-run exchanges aimed at helping small businesses find affordable coverage, but not until 2014. To bridge the gap, the law also established a slew of significant tax credits to small firms starting this year. The Internal Revenue Service has sent out millions of post cards to business owners and tax professionals alerting them to the tax credit. To get the credit, a business must have fewer than 25 full-time workers or the equivalent, pay an average annual wage of less than $50,000 and cover at least half the cost of health insurance premiums for their workers. For 2010 through 2013, the tax credit covers up to 35 percent of the money a qualifying business spends on its health insurance premiums and increases to 50 percent in 2014.

“More News continues…

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: Tap into Excellence, your ONE-STOP Resource for the Manufactured Housing Industry, the Leader in Land Lease Communities information!

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Now, back to our stories.

MHARR sent out a report Thursday about the recent testimony of Federal Housing Administration Commissioner David Stevens at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee regarding “Implementation of Higher FHA Loan Fees and Pending Legislative Proposals to Strengthen the FHA MMIF Fund and Improve Lender Oversight.” MHARR says this concerns the key issue – the availability of public and private consumer financing – that has been at the root of the industry’s difficulties since its decline began in 1998. Commissioner Stevens was the only witness at this latest hearing and mainly addressed steps that FHA has already taken and is still considering in order to ensure the future stability and solvency of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF) that backs-up most FHA-insured loans. As previously reported by MHARR, FHA, in a final rule published in the Federal Register on September 3, 2010, raised the eligibility criteria for most FHA-insured mortgages, including some insured through the FHA Title II manufactured housing program. FHA sources have confirmed to MHARR that only Title II mortgages insured under the MMIF will be affected by this rule. Title II manufactured housing loans that are insured through funds other than the MMIF will not be subject to these new requirements. Similarly, the Title I manufactured housing chattel program, by contrast, according to FHA, is exempt from these changes and is not affected. The full report is available at

Manufactured Housing in the News

FROM RHODE ISLAND, the South County Independent reports two communities for adults 55 and older are celebrating milestone anniversaries this fall. In addition to an apartment complex, the article highlights The Village at Worden’s Pond, a senior residential community of manufactured homes for those 55 or older, with a small percentage younger than 55. Manager Lisa Fiore told the paper at times there has been a waiting list for homes and at the moment, 10 homes are available. The homes, she points out, “are not trailers, are not mobile homes. They are manufactured modular homes.” Some have full basements. Others are on a slab, and each yard is individually landscaped.

“It’s safe, it’s affordable,” Fiore said. “We’ve become an asset to the town.” The original development of roads and houses began in 1985 with 56 homes. Subsequent phases over the years have added 174 homes.

RV BUSINESS, the Grapevine Courier and the Fort Worth Star Telegram all recently reported on new manufactured cabins coming to a campground at Lake Grapevine, Texas. As reported in RV Business, in a continuing trend by the campground industry to add park model accommodations to campgrounds, the city council there decided earlier in September that seven new park model cabins and a camp store are among $500,000 in improvements at the Vineyards Campground at Lake Grapevine in Grapevine, Texas. Grapevine Council members voted to spend $267,524 of a $500,000 bond for the seven manufactured cabins for the 52-acre, city-owned camping area. Doug Evans, director at the Grapevine Parks Department told that Athens Park Homes in Athens, Texas will be providing the cabins. The city had received two bids, the other from Cavco Industries. The first cabin is expected to arrive next week.

In Market News…

THE MANUFACTURED HOUSING COMPOSITE VALUE lost one and three quarter percent on Thursday while the Dow closed down 77 points, or less than one percent. Most manufactured housing-related stocks slid with the market. Palm Harbor Homes closed down nearly six percent and Deer Valley was down more than four percent. Contrarians for the day included All American Group, up five and a half percent and Drew Industries, up one and a half percent.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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