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Government Affairs

February 13, 2008

Many mobile home parks in California are managed under rent control. Now, a new voter referendum may mark the beginning of the end for those laws in the Golden State.

Proposition 98 would "prohibit rent control and other similar measures." The proposition will be voted on June 3, 2008.

February 5, 2008

Today is Super Tuesday. The primaries today will allocate, at least for first ballots, the loyalty of many of the delegates for the upcoming Presidential nominating conventions. If the candidates were listening to residents and their advocates, what would we say?

Manufactured housing residents share a lot in common. They are systematically underserved by scores of institutions -- the financial markets, local zoning, and even in some cases by consumer protections.They represent about one in six households in North Carolina and about one in twelve nationwide. It is a huge voting bloc, if it was ever organized.

What issues would such a group seek? Keep in mind, I am talking about an agenda distinct from the manufacturers.  That's an important set of concerns, too, but it is different.  Oh, and it can be found here.

Going back to the resident agenda, it is not a simple question. For one, its unlikely that the group would unite under a common political party. Economically, many mobile home park residents would fall in moderate income groups. Others, particularly retirees, might have less income but higher than average levels of wealth. The Hispanic bias in the group might tilt them to Blue, but the rural and military demographics favors a shift to the Red.Regardless of the party, the notion of what their agenda would like remains. In the spirit of such a

February 4, 2008

A week ago, I wrote about the likely policy change at Freddie Mac that could increase borrowing costs for purchasers of manufactured housing.

Freddie Mac explains in their November 15th, 2007 Single Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin that delivery fees will change for mortgages secured by manufactured housing beginning on March 1, 2008. Freddie Mac buys manufactured housing mortgages with "real property" designation.

The "real property" designation is a huge distinction. In most states, that means that the

February 1, 2008

A few days ago I wrote about how Freddie Mac plans to make policy changes that should effectively serve to raise the cost of borrowing for many manufactured housing customers. To the extent that this will hinder growth in manufactured housing, it is a bad story. Nonetheless, there is also some good policy news for the manufactured housing industry coming out of Washington.

That good news would be the FHA Manufactured Housing Loan Modernization Act (HR 2139). This bill, which has passed the House, would potentially increase loan limits on Title I loans from $48,600 to $69,678. In subsequent years, the limits would increase

August 22, 2007

OK, this next entry is a bit dry, and its also a little bit late.  Still, I think its significant news whenever changes in federal programs give nonprofits more flexibility to work with manufactured housing.

That is exactly what will happen now that a final rule has been issued with

August 17, 2007

Lost in the shuffle of legislators packing their bags to go home was any big announcement of a HUGE victory for rural communities.

Senate Bill 1492/ House 1233, "The Solid Waste Management Act of 2007" was ratified and presented to Governor Mike Easley on August 3rd.  The bill focused

August 15, 2007

A 16 photo multimedia presentation by the Associated Press conveys a lot about the developing confrontation in Thermal, California between Harvey Duro and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The BIA wants to close down Duro's large land-lease mobile

August 14, 2007

The construction of a new bridge threatens to wipe out several mobile home parks in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation plans to connect

August 13, 2007

Harvey Duro, owner of a park that houses 4,000 farmworkers in Thermal, California, has decided to respond publicly to efforts to close his park. The park is known as Duroville.

August 1, 2007

“When you are faced with a hundred senior citizens who might go homeless next year, you act quickly to find solutions,” says King County (Seattle, WA) Councilmember Reagan Dunn. 

Dunn and fellow Councilmember Larry Phillips  introduced a motion for the County to identify alternatives to stop the closure of mobile home parks in the area.  The need for action derives from the parks' ability to provide a source of affordable housing that cannot otherwise be duplicated for the same cost. 

They are acting in response to the impending closure of Wonderland Estates on the