Washington, D.C., April 24, 2023 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in comments filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on April 19, 2023 (see, copy attached), has called for the full inclusion of federally-regulated manufactured housing in the revised and updated proposed rule to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) published by HUD in the Federal Register on February 9, 2023.
Under the new AFFH regulations proposed by HUD, all participants in HUD housing programs (primarily state and local governments and agencies) would be required to complete an “Equity Plan” to affirmatively further the availability of affordable housing and homeownership for broadly-defined “underserved communities” and “protected classes” under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and related federal legal authorities. Among other things, those Equity Plans would be required by the proposed AFFH rule, to promote the availability of “affordable housing opportunities” through a variety of measures.
In preparing and submitting such mandatory Equity Plans to HUD for review, program participants would be required to provide “an analysis of barriers to affordable housing,” including “policies and practices, such as land use and zoning ordinances that impede the development and maintenance of affordable housing commensurate with need.” (Emphasis added).
Based on these purposes and directives, MHARR’s comments call on HUD to specifically include HUD Code manufactured homes within the categories of affordable housing that must be available within all communities to ensure a broad range of affordable housing choices for Americans. They also call on HUD to use both AFFH and the enhanced federal preemption of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to override and invalidate zoning mandates and processes that discriminatorily exclude or restrict the placement and utilization of HUD Code manufactured homes.
These steps are essential to ensuring the equitable availability of affordable manufactured housing, as MHARR’s July 2022 White Paper, “The Exploitation of Federal Housing Finance and Mortgage Funding Assistance Programs and Potential Solutions” shows that discriminatory and exclusionary local zoning ordinances targeting manufactured housing and manufactured housing consumers, is one of two main factors (the other being the unavailability of fully-competitive consumer financing for manufactured home purchases) blocking the industry from achieving its full potential as a leading national source of affordable housing and homeownership. Ironically, Congress has provided the industry and consumers with two powerful remedial laws to overcome these roadblocks, but neither have been implemented to their full, legitimate and intended extent.
In Washington, D.C., MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, stated: “As the nation’s premier source of inherently affordable housing and homeownership that, by federal law, must be available and accessible to all Americans, it is crucial that HUD-regulated manufactured housing be specifically recognized and included as a key affordable housing resource in HUD’s new AFFH regulation, and that HUD Code manufactured housing and new manufactured housing communities not be excluded from any jurisdiction or area. While MHARR commends HUD for acting to enhance the availability of affordable housing and housing equity, that effort must include the affordable housing that is regulated by HUD itself – HUD Code manufactured housing. MHARR’s suggested modifications to the AFFH proposed rule, combined with HUD enforcement of the enhanced federal preemption of the 2000 Reform Law, would be important steps to promote that result.”
The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.- based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)
1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 512
Washington D.C. 20004