March 20, 2018
On The Home Front
HOUSING
ALERT
HUD Secretary Carson Reaffirms His Commitment to Manufactured Housing
At Hearing Before Congress
Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson discussed the importance of manufactured housing at a hearing on Capitol Hill regarding the Department’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget.
 
Appearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD), Secretary Carson testified that manufactured housing is an important source of affordable housing for millions of Americans and that HUD’s approach to the regulation of manufactured housing should change. “As the agency that implements the Federal laws governing the quality, safety, and affordability of manufactured housing, HUD has a key role to play here,” he said. Secretary Carson went on to discuss the Department’s current regulatory review of all manufactured housing rules, which he said is being done with “an aim toward reducing undue burdens on production.”
 
In response to a question from Representative David Valadao (R-CA) about the lack of housing in rural America, Secretary Carson argued that manufactured housing has not been utilized to its fullest potential in rural areas. Secretary Carson explained that “the reason it hasn’t expanded to the degree it can is because of that dense regulatory forest that people have to go through in order to [build] it.”
 
During an exchange with Representative David Young (R-IA), Secretary Carson stated, “One of the biggest things we can do for rural housing is eliminate the huge regulatory burdens we have on manufactured housing. I think this is an area that has been underutilized and will provide tremendous advantage for us in the future.”
 
These comments by Secretary Carson are a result of MHI’s aggressive and ongoing outreach with the White House, HUD, and Congress to address the negative impact that HUD policies and regulations are having on manufactured housing. A top priority of MHI has been creating a more cooperative regulatory environment at HUD for manufactured housing. 
 
As a result of MHI’s efforts, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 T-HUD appropriations bill to stop HUD’s expansion of the regulation of manufactured housing with respect to the regulation of garages and carports; frost free foundation requirements; and on-site completion of construction requirements. Shortly after the vote, Representative Barr (R-KY), who authored the amendment, asked Secretary Carson during a congressional hearing to undertake a comprehensive review of “all these regulations impacting manufactured housing and direct his team to utilize this information so any new regulations do not have unintended cost consequences.” The Secretary agreed that such a review was necessary, which resulted in his public announcement earlier this year that there would be a top to bottom review of HUD’s manufactured housing regulations. Appearing before Congress again today, Secretary Carson reiterated his commitment to ensuring HUD regulations and policies for manufactured housing do not unnecessarily burden the production or affordability of this important form of housing.
 
MHI has presented Secretary Carson and his senior leadership with a series of recommendations to improve the regulatory climate for manufactured housing at HUD, including during face-to-face meetings and through detailed letters enumerating ways that HUD has overstepped its authority in rules, directives, interpretations, actions and policies governing the design, construction and installation of manufactured homes. In addition, MHI has facilitated a grassroots advocacy effort so members of Congress and HUD officials could hear from voices in communities across the country about the negative impact of HUD actions on manufactured housing.
 
MHI appreciates all the Representatives and Senators who continue to raise the importance of HUD changing its regulation of manufactured housing with Secretary Carson during congressional hearings and in private meetings. MHI will continue to work with Congress and the Administration’s key housing leaders until a more cooperative regulatory environment is achieved so that regulatory initiatives do not increase costs or limit consumer choice for manufactured housing. 
 
On April 25, 2018, Secretary Carson will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 MHI National Congress and Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing in Las Vegas. To register for this event, click here .
 
If y ou have any questions, please contact MHI's Government Affairs Department at (703) 229-6208 or MHIgov@mfghome.org .
 
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