Twenty-one members of the U.S. House of Representatives have added their names as a cosponsor of H.R. 1699, “The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.” MHI thanks everyone who has requested their member of Congress add their name as a cosponsor of the legislation – nearly 1,000 industry professionals representing 42 states have made the request so far. H.R. 1699 has been cosponsored by four Representatives from Alabama, three from both Mississippi and West Virginia, two each from Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas, and one each from Arizona, Maine, New York, South Carolina, and Tennessee. MHI urges those who have not yet done so to immediately contact their Representative and ask that they add their name as a cosponsor of H.R. 1699.
Ensuring a strong number of cosponsors of the bill will help our champions make the case with congressional leaders that this bill needs to be moved through the legislative process as soon as possible. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), author of the legislation, said this about the importance of increasing the number of cosponsors: “We are working hard to add cosponsors to the bill because it will show that we have broad bipartisan support for this legislation,” said Rep. Barr. “That will give us momentum as we work to move the bill through the Committee and to pass it in the House of Representatives.”
H.R. 1699 addresses federal regulations implementing the Dodd-Frank Act that do not reflect the unique nature of the manufactured home financing and sales process. Consumers have been shut out of the market for quality, affordable housing because these regulations have caused financing to be less available for manufactured homes. The recently released 2014 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data (HMDA) offers statistical evidence of the need to change the regulations to better reflect manufactured housing finance. Manufactured home loan volume for loans under $75,000 decreased in 2014 even though the housing market as a whole improved.
The bill modifies the definition of “high-cost” loans so that manufactured home loans are not unfairly swept under this designation simply due to their small size. The legislation also amends the SAFE Act and the Truth in Lending Act to exclude 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 loans.
MHI remains vigilant in identifying legislative vehicles, including appropriations and stand-alone bills, to carry the legislation through Congress as soon as possible. On May 4, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, which included the legislative language of H.R. 1699 as a part of a comprehensive effort to address the negative impacts of the Dodd-Frank Act. H.R. 10 is expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives in June. MHI is also working with the Senate Banking Committee to ensure the Senate also includes the provisions within their regulatory reform legislation.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP INCREASE COSPONSORSHIP OF H.R. 1699
Send an Email to your Representative. With MHI’s advocacy page, emailing your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 1699 is easy. Simply click here and follow the steps on MHI’s website. The email to your Representative has already been composed – all you have do is insert your home address and click submit.
Call your Representative’s Office. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be directed to your Representative. If you are not sure who represents you in Congress, tell the operator the zip code where you live and they will connect you to the right office. Ask that your Representative cosponsor H.R. 1699. Explain that this legislation is needed to improve access to financing for manufactured homes.
Visit the Congressional Office. An office visit is, by far, the most effective way to communicate about how important the legislation is to the Representatives’ home towns. Members are in a “district work period” through June 5. This means that there will be no votes in the House of Representatives this week and the Members will be working from their district offices. Stop by the district office and meet with your Representative or their staff. Tell them that manufactured housing is a critical resource for affordable housing in their district. Ask that your Representative cosponsor H.R. 1699. Explain that this legislation is needed to improve access to financing for manufactured homes. After the meeting, be sure to follow up to renew your cosponsorship request. On June 27, you have the chance to speak directly with your Representatives and their policy staff based in Washington, DC by participating in MHI’s fly-in.