Legislative Update: House Financial Services Committee passes H.R. 1699

Black Hawk Estates Fair Housing
Black Hawk Estates

Legislation Aims to Preserve Access to Manufactured Housing

The House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 1699, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, by a bipartisan vote of 42 to 18. H.R. 1699 addresses federal regulations implementing the Dodd-Frank Act that fail to recognize the unique nature of the manufactured home financing and sales process.  This legislation ensures manufactured housing financing remains available and affordable, without eroding important federal consumer protections established by the Dodd-Frank Act.

H.R. 1699, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, is bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Terri Sewell (D-AL), David Kustoff (R-TN), and Kathleen Rice (D-NY). Companion legislation S. 1751 was introduced in the U.S. Senate Aug. 3, 2017 by Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Gary Peters (D-MI).

During the Committee’s consideration of the legislation, Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), H.R. 1699 sponsor Representative Andy Barr (R-KY), and original cosponsors Representatives David Kustoff (R-TN) and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), delivered strong remarks about the federal regulations that have impeded consumers – particularly those living in rural areas – from obtaining financing for manufactured homes and urged their colleagues to support this important bill.

Testimony on Access to Manufactured Housing

Rep. Barr emphasized the importance of manufactured housing as an affordable housing option.

“If this legislation was to pass, we will no longer face a situation where the federal government is protecting people right out of their home. Instead, more Americans will have access to affordable manufactured housing again. And, I believe greater access to affordable housing should and can earn the support of both Democrats and Republicans. Affordable housing in rural America is not a Democrat or Republican issue – that is an issue of the American Dream.”

Of the 60 members on the Committee, only two members spoke out against the bill.

Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), whose districts include 1.7% and .5% of manufactured homes respectively, expressed concerns that the bill will remove consumer protections.

Additional champions of H.R. 1699 speaking in support of the bill rebutted these concerns: Representatives Keith Rothfus (R-PA), Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), French Hill (R-AR), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Robert Pittenger (R-NC), and Steve Stivers (R-OH). H.R. 1699 currently has 58 bipartisan cosponsors.

MHI’s Role in providing Access

H.R. 1699, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, seeks to modify the definition of “high-cost” loans so that manufactured home loans are not unfairly swept under this designation simply due to their small size. It 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.

The Manufactured Housing Institute’s efforts to aid in passing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act are multi-pronged.

MHI seeks opportunities to move the legislation through the regular legislative process and also to attach the language to other legislative vehicles. MHI has succeeded in having the House of Representatives vote in favor of this language numerous times with bipartisan support.

The number of successful votes in Congress on this provision, and the inclusion of similar language in the House Financial Services Committee Chairman’s Dodd-Frank reform package (H.R. 10) and the Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations package, are the result of MHI’s persistent efforts.

Please contact MHI’s Government Affairs Department or MHIgov(at)mfghome.org with any questions or concerns.