Strong Bipartisan Support Buoys ‘Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act’
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1699, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, to remove regulatory burdens that have impeded financing for manufactured homes.
The bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 256 to 163.
It was supported by 27 Democrats, more than a 20 percent increase from the House vote on H.R. 650 in 2015.
H.R. 1699 is bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Terri Sewell (D-AL), David Kustoff (R-TN), and Kathleen Rice (D-NY).
With 65 bipartisan co-sponsors from across the country, the bill addresses federal regulations that have jeopardized access to manufactured housing financing and disrupted the market. As a result, home values for existing owners have eroded. The legislation ensures that manufactured housing financing is available for consumers of manufactured homes.
MHI lobbies for H.R. 1699
The Manufactured Housing Institute’s government affairs team worked on Capitol Hill with House leadership, H.R. 1699 co-sponsors and champions of manufactured housing to help secure passage of the legislation.
The grassroots outreach from MHI members and state executive directors – totaling moreH.R. 1699 than 2,200 calls/emails – was instrumental in helping Representatives understand the importance of the bill.
In addition, 35 companies sent a letter of support for the legislation, refuting claims by those speaking in opposition that the bill would only benefit one company. It is important to note that none of the members speaking against the bill had more than 1 percent of manufactured housing in their districts.
During the U.S. House of Representatives debate of the legislation, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), H.R. 1699 sponsor Representative Andy Barr (R-KY), and original cosponsors Representatives Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) and David Kustoff (R-TN), delivered strong remarks about the federal regulations that have impeded consumers from obtaining financing for manufactured homes and urged their colleagues to support this important bill.
“Under the CFPB’s regulations, many small-balance manufactured home loans are now being considered ‘high-cost.’ This means many people – particularly those with lower and moderate incomes who want to buy a manufactured home – are not able to buy that home. Their access to credit is being unfairly restricted through no fault of their own,”Hensarling said.
From The Floor on H.R. 1699
In his remarks, Representative Barr said, “Homeownership for many is part of the American Dream, but over-broad burdensome regulations arising out of the Dodd-Frank Act are limiting the ability of Americans to realize that dream. As members of Congress we have an obligation to protect the American people from regulations that harm their ability to purchase affordable homes for themselves and their families. We need to end government policies that are issued under the guise of consumer protection, when those policies actually are protecting Americans right out of homeownership.”
H.R. 1699H.R. 1699, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, modifies the definition of “high-cost” loans so that manufactured home loans are kept from being unfairly swept under this designation simply due to their small size. It also excludes manufactured housing retailers and sellers from the definition of a loan originator so long as they are only receiving compensation for the sale of the home and not engaged in financing the loan.
MHI’s efforts to pass the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act are multi-pronged. In addition to passage of the standalone legislation (H.R. 1699), MHI successfully included similar language in the House Financial Services Committee’s financial reform package (H.R. 10) and the House Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations package.
Senate Action on ‘Preserving Access’
In the U.S. Senate, companion legislation, S. 1751, was introduced by Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Gary Peters (D-MI). Using a similar strategy as in the House, MHI is working to move the legislation through the regular legislative process and also seeks opportunities to attach the language to other legislative vehicles that are moving. A key tenet of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – language clarifying that a manufactured housing retailer or seller is not considered a “loan originator” simply because they provide a customer with some assistance in the mortgage loan process – was included in the Senate Banking Committee’s financial reform package (S. 2155), which will be considered in Committee next week.
This content provided through a partnership between MHI and MHVillage.
Patrick Revere is a content marketing specialist for MHVillage and editor for its blogs MHInsider for professionals and MHVillager for consumers. His background is in print news, language and communication.