MFH News: Trump Takes On Dodd/Frank, Colorado Addresses Affordable Housing, Catalina Wants Manufactured Homes and more…

While Trump begins to unravel the overly burdensome Dodd/Frank regulation, one Colorado lawmaker works to protect mobile home parks in the Centennial State. Meanwhile, out in the West, residents of Santa Catalina island need a new supply of clean water and manufactured housing, as the Chino Valley Town Council provides a sweetheart deal for Clayton Homes.

It’s Monday, February 6, 2017, and those are manufactured housing headlines from the past week. Sit back, relax, and lets drill down on some facts.

Breaking News: Trump Begins Rollback of Dodd-Frank Regulations –

President Trump on Friday launched a broad effort to ease regulations on Wall Street, setting what is likely to be a protracted battle over how to unwind rules put into place after the last financial crisis. In an executive order, Trump ordered a review of the laws that govern the U.S. financial system in an opening bid to upend 2010’s financial overhaul law passed during the Obama administration, known as Dodd-Frank. A cornerstone of Dodd-Frank was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which took oversight of credit cards, mortgages and a host of other financial products and services on a regular basis. The CFPB Director Richard Cordray was given singularly absolute authority to interpret and enforce the thousands of rules and regulation of the Dodd/Frank legislation. I isncluded in that legislation were controls on the financing and sales of manufactured housing. The inclusion of manufactured housing was unintended and confirmed by co-author of Dodd-Frank, former representative Barney Frank (D-Mass). Director Cordray has had the full authority to correct the error but has continually stonewalled attempts by the manufactured housing industry and members of the U.S. Congress to make those corrections. The unintended consequences of the legislation have devastated the affordable home ownership dreams of millions of hardworking middle-income American citizens. Trump has the authority to dismiss Cordray and replace him with a board of directors to administer the agency. It is expected that there will be protracted court battles before Cordray is finally terminated.  Trump has instructed the treasury secretary to report back in 120 days on what rules promote or inhibit the administration’s policies. To make more significant changes, Trump will need the cooperation of Congress. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tx), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, is preparing to unveil legislation that would revise Dodd/Frank. This executive order marks “the beginning of the end of the Dodd-Frank mistake,” Hensarling said.

Colorado Legislation Would Protect Mobile Home Parks in the Centennial State –

Home affordability has become one of the top social issues across the nation. Communities are struggling with ways to encourage new construction of housing, but those efforts have been mostly disappointing as the cost of construction, escalating land costs, zoning restrictions, high impact fees, regulations, and environmental protection enforcements have spiralled, making typical site construction too expensive to qualify as affordable housing for the average American family wage earner. Many communities, large and small, are concerned with maintaining their existing affordable housing mix, namely mobile home parks, “the quintessential definition of affordable housing.” That concern is illustrated by a Colorado report by the Summit Daily Online that typifies what is ongoing in primarily urban areas across the country.Mobile home parks can be integral components of a community’s housing mix, but they also carry an element of instability: Residents own their homes they live in, but not the monthly-rented land underneath. That means that if the owner of the park decides to sell — as has increasingly been the case is some parts of Colorado — residents are forced to either pay tens of thousands of dollars to move their homes or abandon them, sometimes after years of interest payments. And as parks continue to be sold off for redevelopment, fewer and fewer spaces are left. Abandonment is usually the only alternative as there been relatively few new manufactured home/mobile parks developed since the 1980’s, in the entire country. “The housing squeeze is so intense. People have been looking at parks all over the metro area and they have two-year waiting lists or the rent is $900.00. Which goes on top of people’s mortgage payments,” said Andrea Chiriboga-Flor, a housing organizer for advocacy group 9 to 5 Colorado. She had been helping residents of a Denver mobile home park organize for better services when the property owner sold the land to make way for a development, leaving residents in the lurch. That trend has led Democrat State Senator John Kefalas, whose district includes Fort Collins, to along with House Rep. Joann Ginal introduce a bill that would use tax incentives to encourage owners to sell to homeowners associations, housing authorities or other non-profits that would preserve them. The state of Colorado is to be commended for tackling this issue, albeit a little late forthcoming. We have reported here at MFH over the last few years that several states and municipalities have had programs in place that have resulted in many park residents becoming mobile home park owners. Most recently New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, and California.

 Santa Catalina Island Wants Water and Manufactured Homes –

“Twenty-six miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is a-waiting there for me. Santa Catalina the island of romance, romance” …  Recording by The Four Preps (1958) Santa Catalina Island is located off the coast of Southern California and lies within Los Angeles County. Its total population in the 2010 census was 4,096 people, 90 percent of whom live in the island’s only incorporated city, Avalon. The second center of population is the unincorporated village of Two Harbors at the island’s isthmus. Tourism is the primary industry in Santa Catalina with most of the land (88%) is owned by a private trust that has established the Catalina Island Conservancy. Not unlike the rest of the U.S., Santa Catalina has an affordable housing crisis, that many living and working on Santa Catalina Island believed could be solved by importing manufactured homes. An informal online survey by the Islander found many residents concerned about housing, water, and land use. Avalon city officials have expressed concerns about water, housing, and infrastructure. The survey asked one question, What are the challenges and opportunities facing Avalon in the New Year?  The survey was taken in late December and early January, before the recent start of rainy weather. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that affordable housing, particularly manufactured homes, was the biggest need, with water availability and land use as the next two concerns. (The water concern probably is no longer an issue following the torrential rains that have deluged Southern California in recent days). The perspective: According to Angel Campbell, Ruby Danielle, and Mary Schickling, it all came down to one word: “Housing.” According to Kelly Callaghan-Skoff , the issue was “housing! Affordability….Space.” According to “Only on Catalina” columnist Chuck Liddell, the issues were “water, housing and appropriate use of available land.” According to Scott Nelson, a former Avalon City Council member advocated bringing manufactured homes to the island. He said, “Manufactured homes are designed to last 30 to 40 years.” Editors Note: Manufactured homes to Santa Catalina Island is possible and a reality according to a retired manufactured home industry veteran and consultant to  In the early 1980’s his Orange County dealership sold, shipped (by barge) and installed two double section homes for the University of Southern California (U.S.C.) to house personnel at the university’s Oceanographic school on Catalina Island. At last check, those homes were still on site and occupied near Avalon.

 Chino Valley, Arizona  Lowers Tax Rate For Clayton Homes –

 Updating a report filed here at MFH on October 31st, 2016 where we featured a story about a request by Dave Rowe, manager of the Clayton Homes dealership in Chino Valley, Arizona for the Chino Valley Town Council to lower city sales taxes specifically for the Clayton Homes manufactured home business. He indicated to the Town Council that Clayton Homes’ sister stores in nearby Mesa and Glendale (all three owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway) had hindered his sales because those stores were located in towns with a lower city sales tax rate. (Note: Chino Valley has a higher rate than those other cities because Chino Valley has no property tax revenues or impact fees). Rowe said at the October work session, “We’re not bringing this up, using this as a threatening tactic, but my corporation is sitting there going ‘our Glendale and our Mesa locations are selling into Chino Valley and surrounding areas, then why do we need a location there?” We, (MFH), conjectured at the time that if Chino Valley granted a 2% tax reduction “carve out” for a singular business, that would be a “slippery slope” for other business relations in the city. The Town Council advised they would have a decision on the request at the next meeting in December. Fast forward to December 2016: The Chino Valley Town Council in a December 13th meeting voted to reduce the sales tax for Clayton Homes by 2% (the amount requested was 1% to 2%), which will reduce the city’s revenues by about $55,000 based upon Clayton Homes sales production from previous years. Jack Miller was the only council member to vote against the tax reduction for Clayton Homes. “I got more calls on this than I did for the pot farms.” said Miller. “And that’s no exaggeration, by no means.” Miller wanted someone to convince him that one business in Chino Valley deserved a lower tax rate than what everybody else pays. “Basically, what I’m looking for is justification for lowering their taxes,” Miller said. If it’s good for the manufacturer of mobile homes, then it’s good for the grain sales, or the lumber sales, or gun sales, or the grocery sales. A Lot of people are saying if Clayton gets it, then they want it, and my fear is we are opening up a can of worms.” Miller said he would be more interested in the tax change across the board rather than for just one business. Council members Duffy and Turner both said the town’s finances were not in a position that the town could consider that.

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