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MHI Responds to Unexpected Testimony at Congressional Hearing

MHProNews.com has received a memorandum from Joe Stegmayer, Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), regarding testimony at last week’s House Financial Services Committee hearing on HUD’s implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. Noting the difficulty in gaining the attention of Congress, Stegmayer emphasizes the extended effort expended by MHI staff and members to obtain this hearing, and the opportunity to introduce bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3849) aimed at the unintended consequences of the SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank that negatively impact MH. Several members of Congress did remark on the importance of manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing. MHI had been asked to recommend a witness who could attest to HUD’s implementation of the MH Improvement Act of 2000. Manuel Santana, Director of Engineering for Cavco and a member of HUD’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) was chosen for this role. His testimony included HUD’s slow response to changes in the industry, and ineffectiveness in implementing regulatory directives contained in the Improvement Act. Another witness chosen by congressional staffers to testify was Ishbel Dickens, Executive Director, Manufactured Homeowners Association of America (MHOAA), also a member of MHCC. Ms. Dickens opted to use her testimony to lash out at MHC owners instead of the task outlined by the committee. In response, MHI/NCC (National Communities Council) will compose a letter to the House committee documenting positive attributes of community living while responding to the issues raised by Ms. Dickens. In addition, MHI/NCC will seek an opportunity for NCC to have a discussion with House committee members, and for an NCC representative to testify before the House Financial Services Committee.

(Graphic credit: U.S. House of Representatives)

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