Bill to Improve Access to Manufactured Housing Introduced in Congress

A bill has been introduced to the U.S. Senate that would help to improve access to financing for manufactured homes. The bill, named the “Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Bill of 2015,” was introduced by senators Joe Donnelly, Pat Toomey, Joe Manchin, and Tom Cotton.

If passed, the “Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Bill of 2015” would amend the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and Consumer Protection Act of 2013.” The problem with this act is that it failed to recognize some things that were unique to the manufactured housing industry which, in turn, ended up making things more difficult for people looking to purchase a manufactured home. When the guidelines of this act went into effect in the beginning of 2014, it caused many small-balance loans that would be used to purchase manufactured homes to be classified as high-cost loans, making it more difficult for people looking to buy a manufactured home to obtain a loan. “The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Bill” would change the thresholds for small-balance loans so that fewer people trying to get a loan to buy a manufactured home would have their loan requests classified as high-cost. All of the other consumer protections offered by the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act” would remain unchanged.

Senator Toomey, who represents the state of Pennsylvania, said of the bill, “The manufactured housing industry is an important source of jobs and affordable homes for thousands of Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, financing for the product has been jeopardized by one-size-fits-all regulations that fail to recognize the unique nature of manufactured housing loans. By easing these ill-conceived rules, our bipartisan legislation will protect those jobs and ensure that Pennsylvanians will be able to purchase an affordable home.”

Nathan Smith, chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute, is a big supporter of the bill and has said, “Working families across the country, particularly in rural areas, depend on access to financing for affordable manufactured homes. Manufactured homes are the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the nation. We thank Senators Donnelly, Toomey, Manchin, and Cotton for working to correct the federal regulations that are reducing the availability of credit for the purchase of manufactured homes. I applaud them for coming together to protect consumers’ ability to access homeownership through this quality affordable homeownership option.”

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