MFH News and Views: Clayton Turns 60, HUD Helps Out, New Hampshire Residents Go from ‘Renters’ to ‘Owners’

One of Berkshire Hathaway’s recent purchases, Clayton (homes), celebrates six decades of housing hard-working Americans, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a.k.a. HUD rolls out a new dispute resolution tool to help facilitate disagreements between manufacturers, retailers, and buyers … and manufactured homeowners living in a mobile home park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire recently acquired the land they’ve been calling home for the past 60 years.

Those are just a few of the more interesting manufactured housing headlines in the news of recent – now let’s inspect the foundation of those stories.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 6.42.07 AMBerkshire Hathaway Throws 60th Birthday Bash for Clayton – Stimulating the economy while helping returning vets, Clayton celebrated its 60th anniversary on April 30th at Berkshire Hathaway’s 2016 annual of shareholders meeting. Helping Hope for Warriors, Clayton utilized their 60th anniversary to publicize the very noble fact that $100 of every ‘Patriot’ home sold will be donated to this worthy nonprofit. With over 1000 Patriot homes already sold, Clayton has already raised and donated over $100,000 for our returning veterans. Also noteworthy, the Clayton home-building group announced they’ve recently purchased Goodall Homes, which currently serves the five-county area of middle Tennessee.

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HUD Offers Dispute Resolution Tools – In an attempt to help the manufactured home buying masses, HUD has just rolled out a new tech-savvy tool to assist online consumers resolve disputes with the manufactured housing industry; including all purchases, and installations of manufactured homes nationwide. According to online reports, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) has just unveiled their newest tool to aid today’s homeowners, manufacturers, retailers and installers navigate the dispute resolution process.

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It’s A Trend: New Hampshire Residents Purchase Mobile Home Park – Over the past 30 years approximately 119 mobile-home parks in The Granite State have made a similar transformation, throwing off the yoke of rent and becoming resident-owned communities. With 5 more communities currently in varying stages of a similar transition, approximately 25% of the state’s 450 parks have been purchased by the community’s residents.

MFH notes: This New Hampshire story underscores some critical issues the manufactured housing Industry has been attempting to address for an extended period of time, albeit with limited success. The availability of financing near equal with site built homes would help many hardworking families to realize the uniquely American dream of affordable homeownership. It would also represent an important step towards addressing the nation’s affordable housing crisis.

Legislation passed several years ago to strengthen consumer protection, inadvertently included financial restrictions and controls that have devastated manufactured home financing. All parties agree that these controls and regulations were not intended for manufactured homes. The industry is still waiting for those corrections.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has the Congressional authority to take the steps necessary to improve access to mortgage credit for manufactured housing customers, yet have inexplicably refused to take the definitive action to do so.

“The lack of money is the root of all evil.” ~ Mark Twain

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