MHI Week In Review — February 1, 2013

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Washington Leaders to Participate in MHI Legislative Conference and Winter Meeting

Several important political and Washington personalities will be participating as speakers during the upcoming MHI Legislative Conference and Winter Meeting which will be held February 24th through the 26th at the Sheraton Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

On Monday morning, MHI members will hear from Byron York, Chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner. York began this post in early 2009 following his work as White House correspondent for National Reviewmagazine and a columnist for The Hill. He is also a syndicated columnist. Also on Monday morning, Frank Nothaft, Chief economist and vice president at Freddie Mac will address MHI members. Nothaft is responsible for forecasts, research and analysis of the macroeconomy, housing and mortgage markets. Nothaft is also involved in affordable lending analysis and policy issues affecting the housing finance industry. A widely quoted expert on housing and economic issues, Nothaft makes frequent appearances in both local and national media outlets.

At lunch on Monday, c (R-CA) has been invited to speak. He is the Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, which oversees the United States’ banks, stock exchanges, real estate market and insurance industry. Miller is also a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees the nation’s highways, railroads, airports and water infrastructure. In addition, he is the chairman of the Building A Better America Caucus, a congressional organization promoting quality growth.

After lunch, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) will begin the afternoon general session. Senator Donnelly was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 and was reelected twice, representing Indiana’s Second Congressional District for three terms. In 2012, Donnelly was elected to the U.S. Senate to represent the State of Indiana.

Later in the afternoon an “Overview and Analysis of the Political Climate Surrounding Housing Finance: An Elected Officials Perspective” panel discussion will be held. The panel will be moderated by Dwight Fettig from Porterfield, Lowenthal & Fettig and invited panelists are:

• The Honorable Robert Ehrlich (confirmed), 60th Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007. Prior to serving as governor, Ehrlich represented Maryland’s 2nd Congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

• The Honorable Paul Kanjorski (invited), former U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional district, who served from 1985 until 2011.

• The Honorable Earl Pomeroy (invited), U.S. Representative for North Dakota’s At-large Congressional district from 1993 to 2011.

FEMA Announces Industry Day for the Manufactured Housing Industry

On January 23rd FEMA announced an Industry Day for Manufactured Housing to be held February 19th in Washington, D.C., from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Click here to view the announcement. FEMA is inviting members of the manufactured housing industry to participate in a roundtable discussion regarding potential future requirements for temporary housing units with a focus on design concepts for such units.

FEMA also issued an invitation for industry representatives to participate in an afternoon session on February 19th to discuss potential future requirements for the installation, maintenance, and deactivation of temporary housing units as well as site selection, design, and construction of group sites. Click hereto view the invitation.

Click here for information about FEMA industry day.

MHI’s Disaster Housing and Recovery Task Force plans to participate in both of FEMA’s sessions. Comments and questions from MHI members are encouraged.

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Recovery Relief Enacted into Law

On January 28th, the Senate passed its version of a $50.5 billion Fiscal Year 2013 Supplemental Appropriations bill, providing immediate and long-term relief in response to Superstorm Sandy, which impacted over a half million people, in over seven states in the northeast. The bill includes $17 billion in immediate relief for Hurricane Sandy survivors, and $33.5 billion for short – and long-term assistance for Hurricane Sandy and other Presidentially declared disasters in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The new law (P.L. 113-2) appropriates the following amounts likely to impact housing:

• $11.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund for the provision of disaster relief to individuals, including the provision of temporary housing;

• $3 million to FEMA’s Science and Technology Directorate for research and development for disaster mitigation;

• $15 billion for a Federal Community Development Block Grant for long-term housing and economic recovery for Hurricane Sandy and other major disasters in 2011, 2012 and 2013; and

• $520 million for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans.

In addition to providing direct appropriations for disaster recovery, the new law amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to create alternatives for disaster relief in order to reduce costs, expedite assistance, and provide incentives for states and localities to undertake timely and cost-effective projects. Of particular interest to the manufactured housing industry are provisions to:

• authorize FEMA to enter into lease agreements with owners of multifamily rental property located in disaster areas, to house disaster survivors, and to make repairs or improvements as may be necessary to ensure safe and adequate temporary housing;

• expedite debris removal; and

• allow states to draw down a portion of their hazard mitigation funds to leverage mitigation opportunities earlier in the reconstruction process.

Success in Louisville

Just one week ago today, the 2013 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show came to a successful close with record attendance reported.

The Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation’s efforts are to be commended for drawing over 1300 attendees to the show. With almost 40 homes on display, and sold-out exhibit space, attendees described the mood as “upbeat and enthusiastic.” This show drew participants from as far as California and South Dakota as well as from throughout the Midwest states.

MHI President & CEO Dick Jennison addressed industry participants with the observation that “while the regulatory environment remains challenging, the industry is moving forward as evidenced by the volume of attendees and floor traffic.” The show included a series of educational seminars that addressed such timely topics as financing for home buyers, collaborative marketing techniques and working with manufacturers.

“It was a terrific opportunity to meet and network with both existing and prospective new members,” noted MHI Vice President Ann Parman. In addition to the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation’s five state executives of KY, OH, IN, IL and MI, fellow MHI state executive members Ross Kinzler of WI and Marla Jackson of TN were also at the show. “It’s important to not only understand the dynamics of the state or regional issues but also to increase our visibility,” added NCC Vice President Jenny Hodge.

MHI also participated in the pre-show seminar “Introduction to Manufactured Housing Opportunities” which highlighted the quality, value and investment potential to individuals not previously involved with manufactured housing. With presentations ranging from the investment similarities with multi-family real estate to case studies of working with manufactured housing, one participant said, “It was very well done and I learned a lot.” This unique seminar presented an opportunity for the industry to provide information and facts to a new audience.

The success of the show is a positive beginning for the year. Between the high traffic at the booth as well as participation in the seminars, MHI’s participation demonstrates its commitment to its members. From manufacturers displaying homes to community owners, retailers, lenders and suppliers, every division of MHI was represented at the show. “It is gratifying to see so many of our members playing such a prominent role in moving the industry forward,” commented Jennison.

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