FHFA Rule, LA Flood Victims Wait, Ohio Says Yes to American Flag…
As the FHFA finalizes a rule that would require Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to endorse chattel loans for manufactured homes, FEMA claims Louisiana’s long-suffering flood victims will be housed by January 31, 2017. Meanwhile, in the great state of Ohio, the state passed a law permitting residents in manufactured housing communities to fly their American flag proudly.
It’s Monday, December 19, 2016, and those are some of your manufactured housing headlines from last week. Let’s exercise a little due diligence and drill down on these stories.
FHFA Finalizes Rule –
Creating a Loan Pilot Program Would Help Very Low, Low-and-Moderate Income Families Become Manufactured Homeowners.
As recently surmised here at MFH, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) finalized last week a rule that will create a “duty to serve” for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs). Forcing the federal agencies to help low-and-moderate-income consumers, including encouraging a secondary market for manufactured housing loans, as confirmed by National Mortgage News.
The “duty to serve” rule mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, under which Congress charged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with creating a secondary market for underserved areas, includes financing options for manufactured housing and is aimed at helping families with low and moderate income.
The final rule keeps a pilot program the manufactured housing industry has championed since passage of the HERA Act of 2008. The program gives credit to the government-sponsored enterprises for supporting so-called chattel loans, which are manufactured homes titled as real property, as opposed to manufactured homes classified as personal property.
While the rule listed specific activities that the GSEs may consider, it does not mandate particular moves. However, according to a statement from the FHFA Director, it would appear that manufactured housing will be at the forefront of the pilot program.
“We look forward to working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help meet the critical needs for very low, low-and-moderate-income American families around the country in the manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural housing markets,” said FHFA Director Mel Watt.
The FHFA plans to host “public listening sessions” to obtain input on the GSE’s Underserved Markets Plans. The first session is scheduled for January 25 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Louisiana Flood Victims –
FEMA Claims Flood Victims To Be Housed By 1/31/17, Critics Aren’t Satisfied.
FEMA’s recent response to the needs of Louisiana flood victims has been under scrutiny because of the slow pace in getting those victims into the mobile home units utilized for temporary housing, as well as the lack of control and concern with the cost of those units.
Here at MFH we recently covered reports by The ADVOCATE that FEMA is spending an average between $129,000 and $179,000 for manufactured housing units and installation that have a going market rate of $35,000 to $45,000 each. Both the timeliness of victim response and the waste and mismanagement of taxpayer funds are drawing criticism from officials and victim advocates.
To date, there remain 2,500 families displaced by the August flood and deemed eligible for a temporary housing unit who are still waiting for one. FEMA provided updates about their response to the devastating South Louisiana floods in a media conference call on Wednesday, responding to recent criticisms that their efforts have been wasteful and slow.
Every flood victim who is waiting on a mobile home will be in their new housing by January 31, FEMA officials said. Chuck Maskell, a FEMA federal coordinating officer, said that over the past month an average of 30 home units have become ready for occupancy every day.
To house everyone on the waiting list by the end of January, FEMA would need closer to 55 mobile homes readied daily. FEMA officials say people are being regularly removed from the list. But some local critics have said if people are falling off the list because their existing homes have finished being repaired, it means that the federal agency took too long to respond.
Livingston Parish Emergency Director Mark Harrell called FEMA’s home program a total failure. “My issue is with their incompetence, short and sweet,” said Harrell about the federal agency. “We should be through with this. We are four months into this and I know people who are still living in their cars.”
Shifting to the recent presidential election, U.S. Rep.Garret Graves of Louisiana said his problems with the FEMA disaster response and recovery are not a partisan issue. But he also said he has much reason to believe there will be new and better opportunities for governmental efficiencies under President-elect Donald Trump.
Graves said he had spoken to both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence about the need for additional flood dollars and changes to the process to hasten the timeline.
Ohio State Flag Ruling –
State Of Ohio Passes Law Permitting Residents of Manufactured Housing Communities to Display The American Flag!
As strange as it may sound there are manufactured home communities in Ohio (and probably elsewhere) where community park operators actually have a provision in their rental agreement barring the display of the American Flag. In Ohio, that is changing, according to Cleveland.com
Ohio lawmakers recent passage of House Bill 18 wasn’t met with much fanfare; however, local leaders and manufactured home park resident homeowners in Olmsted Township, Ohio are expressing gratitude.
HB18 prohibits manufactured home park operators and landlords from including a provision in a rental agreement banning the display of the United States flag, the Ohio flag, the POW/MIA flag or service flags approved by the United States Secretary of Defense. It also precludes neighborhood associations and condominium associations from doing the same.
Olmsted Township Trustee Tiffany Fischbach said she doesn’t recall any issues regarding the display of flags in the community which has more than 1,000 manufactured homes.
“I was actually surprised that people living in manufactured home parks were restricted from displaying a flag,” Fischbach said, “Our residents, especially in Columbia Park, are very patriotic.”
“Great bill, we in Columbia Park are very fortunate to be able to display our American and military flags,” Columbia Homeowners/Tenant Association President Frank Pojman said. “ We have many veterans in our 55+ community and always encourage the display of our colors.” “This will make sure that all quarter million manufactured homeowners in 1600 Ohio parks will be able to do the same.”
Ohio Senate Majority leader Tom Patton said HB18 reiterates the fact that individuals living in a manufactured home are homeowners.
“Within Olmsted Township, many of my constituents were concerned with their inability to display a flag due to manufactured home park restrictions,” Patton said. “HB18 eliminates these concerns, and does allow for the citizens of Olmsted Township to express themselves through the display of a flag.”