For the second time in two months, on May 26, 2011, MHARR officials (the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Immediate Past Chairman) and staff held meetings in Congress (see below), followed by a meeting with Acting HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing – Federal Housing Commissioner Bob Ryan and career officials of the HUD manufactured housing program. The meeting with Commissioner Ryan continues MHARR’s policy of engagement with senior-level HUD officials responsible for the manufactured housing program, while simultaneously pursuing full and proper implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 and the restoration and expansion of both public and private consumer financing in Congress.
During the meeting with Commissioner Ryan, which lasted more than an hour, the group addressed a wide range of issues covering both the federal manufactured housing program and consumer financing. The group, however, focused most particularly on specific reform provisions of the 2000 law that the Department has not fully and properly implemented, which have prevented a change in the direction of the program from its pre-2000 law “trailer” orientation to the post-2000 law “housing” orientation that law was designed to bring about. To highlight these points and address, in a brief format, some of the complex issues that affect these matters, the group provided the Commissioner with several one-page papers specifically addressing the appointment of a non-career program administrator and the role, authority and independence of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). The length of this meeting, the Commissioner’s clearly intense interest in these critical issues that have been lingering for years, his dialogue and full exchange of views with the group, and commitment to manufactured housing as a key affordable housing resource, were a welcome change.
MHARR will continue a productive working relationship with the Commissioner in order to address these matters. At the same time, MHARR will continue its aggressive agenda in Congress to pursue much-needed and long-overdue review and intervention relating to existing manufactured housing laws.