MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.
We begin with these stories:
ESTIMATES SAY there are some two million manufactured homes in the United States built before June 1976. The homes are both inefficient, and in some cases unsafe. Replacing them is the aim of legislation in both the House and Senate. The Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Act (S. 1320) would provide rebates of $7,500 for the purchasers of Energy Star-qualified manufactured homes, and allow home owners to receive grants of up to $2,500 to cover the additional cost of removing and recycling the old home. The Manufactured Housing Institute concludes that given the current partisan political climate, Republican support of the measure is all the more critical. Without bi-partisan support, passage of the bill is unlikely. MHI, MHMSM.com and others are currently urging readers and members to contact their Senators urging support for the Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Act (S. 1320). Those in states represented by Republican Senators are particularly encouraged to respond. Look for more information and a related story Monday at MHMSM.com.
REPRESENTATIVES FROM the Manufactured Housing Institute attended the “Conference on the Future of Housing Finance” sponsored by the Departments of the Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington this week. This high level meeting was structured to engage public and private sector housing stakeholders and receive input on the future of the housing finance industry. Participants included senior level executives from top mortgage lenders, investors, academics and public officials. Congressional policy makers and leading housing association executives were also among the roughly 70 or so invitees participating in this highly anticipated event, including the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).
Following opening remarks by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, panelists talked about the government’s role in providing stability and financial support to housing finance. Among the topics addressed were what should change and what should be preserved in the current system. Manufactured housing was mentioned during the panel discussions as being an important part of GSEs “duty to serve” the public’s access to affordable housing.
PRESIDENT OBAMA Thursday urged the Senate to pass a small business lending bill after new data showed U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week. “The jobs bill that is stalled in Congress would completely eliminate taxes on key investments in small businesses,” the President said. “It would allow small business owners to write off more expenses. And it would make it easier for community banks to do more lending to small businesses, while allowing small firms to take out larger SBA loans with fewer fees, which countless entrepreneurs have told me would make a big difference in their companies. I’d also like to point out this legislation is fully paid for and will not add one single dime to our deficit.”
Manufactured Housing in the News…
THE SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT reports that a plan by the owner of a Santa Rosa mobile home community to stop renting spaces and start selling them was rejected by the city’s planning commission. Strong opposition by mostly low-income residents and the apparent motive of the owner to sidestep rent control were given as reasons for rejecting the plan. A 2007 city ordinance aimed at protecting residents of the city’s 14 manufactured home communities from conversions was repealed after the courts shot down a similar county law.
FROM GEORGIA, the Citizen reports the Senoia [Sen-OY-uh] City Council Monday night heard the first reading of an ordinance addressing the regulation of pre-owned manufactured homes. City attorney Drew Whalen said the ordinance was needed so that the city could be in compliance with recent changes in state law that says a city cannot impose health or safety standards or conditions based on the age of a manufactured home. The ordinance states that the city will inspect the home and issue a certificate of occupancy and that the home must conform to zoning and land use regulations.
THE IOWA CITY PRESS CITIZEN reports that officials are working to secure money for a new levee along the west bank of the Iowa River, in part to protect a manufactured home community from flooding. The Iowa City Council on Tuesday night set aside $1.9 million in disaster recovery funds for the nearly $4 million project. Jim Hammes, owner of Thatcher Mobile Home Park, told the paper the levee would shield his community’s 60 homes and 200 residents, as well as the 130 homes at Baculis Mobile Home Park, and allow him to go ahead with $1 million in expansion plans that would add sites for 45 to 50 additional manufactured homes.
MONKS ARE GOING MODULAR in Big Sur, California. A new home for monks of New Camaldoli Hermitage is a thoughtfully designed, eco-friendly monastery overlooking the Pacific Ocean, according to the Mother Earth Network. Seclusion is no reason to disdain style. The 1,737-square-foot residential health care building started out as a Michelle Kaufmann project; it was completed by Studio 101 Designs after mkDesigns was shuttered in the floundering economy last year. The facility is composed of four prefab modules that were factory-built in Oregon and shipped to Big Sur.
“Up next, MARKET NEWS…”
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In Market News…
FREDDIE MAC says U.S. mortgage rates fell in the past week to the latest in a series of record lows. Interest rates on U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the most widely-used loan, averaged 4.42 percent for the week ended August 19, down from the previous week’s 4.44 percent and its year-ago level of 5.12 percent.
THOSE READY TO HEED THE ADVICE of Warren Buffet who said, “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful” could have found more than the usual amount of fear on Wall Street today. Stocks closed down 144 to 10,271 as claims for jobless benefits rose to the highest level since November, and Philadelphia-area manufacturing shrank for the first time in a year. Most manufactured housing related stocks were down with the market, but several – including Palm Harbor Homes and All American Group – managed to eke out gains. The manufactured housing composite value was down more than five percent.
Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, closed down $2,041, or 1.72 percent, to $116,414 a share.
“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 MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. G’day!”