Washington, DC – March 18, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Keeping manufactured housing affordable by reducing the constraints on lending and instituting a responsible regulatory environment took center stage as over 90 MHI members flocked to Capitol Hill for the annual MHI Legislative Conference.
“The message to Congress is simple,” says Thayer Long of MHI. “For the past two decades manufactured housing has accounted for over 20 percent of all new single family homes, serving almost 20 million Americans. Without access to credit, and by increasing housing costs, millions of low- to moderate income families will be unable to purchase a new home or sell their existing home. Their voice must be heard.”
The MHI Legislative Conference resulted in approximately100 meetings with Members of Congress and staff, increasing the number of visits by 20 percent from last year. MHI members who were unable to attend participated by calling or sending letters to the Capitol Hill offices of their representatives and senators to deliver the same message, or by setting up meetings next week back home when Congress will be in recess.
MHI members lobbied on several key issues facing the industry including Dodd-Frank financial reform, restoring the oversight of energy standards for manufactured housing back to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and maintaining the “45L” pro-business tax credit for manufacturers who build Energy Star homes.
Attendees of the Legislative Conference also heard from an impressive list of keynote speakers including Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), a subcommittee Chair of the House Financial Services Committee; and Congressman Randy Neugebauer, (R-TX) also a subcommittee Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Bob Ryan, the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) spoke on behalf of the Administration and the plans in place for reforming the housing finance system, and Tom Quaadman, of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, spoke on the impact of financial regulation on the US economy. Elizabeth Cocke, for the HUD Office of Manufactured Housing, engaged in an open discussion at the Manufacturers Forum.
The day prior to the Legislative Conference attendees joined their colleagues and fellow members in MHI business meetings, to discuss and debate MHI and industry policy issues.
The MHI Board of Directors reaffirmed the organization’s policy adopted in 2009 on fire sprinklers. MHI and its members oppose mandatory fire sprinklers in all single family homes, but in the event a sprinkler requirement is adopted at the state or local level, MHI will pursue a “where required” preemptive standard for manufactured homes.
MHI is the preeminent national trade association for the manufactured and modular housing industries, representing all segments of the industry before Congress and the Federal government. From its Washington, D.C. area headquarters, MHI actively works to promote fair laws and regulation for all MHI members and the industry. For more information on MHI, visit www.manufacturedhousing.org.