U.S. House of Representatives Passes Amendment to Support Purchase of Manufactured Homes

This just in from the Manufactured Housing Institute:

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) to increase the flexibility for low income families to use a Section 8 voucher to purchase a manufactured home.  The amendment was approved by voice vote.  MHI commends Congressman Welch for his leadership in passing this important policy through the U.S. House of Representatives.   

MHI had played a major role in first getting an identical provision passed nine years ago in the 2007 Section 8 reform bill (H.R. 1851) and in Section 8 reform bills in subsequent Congresses.  Most recently, last October MHI submitted this policy recommendation to the House Financial Services Committee in response to the Chairman's request for "Ideas on Poverty and Housing Affordability." MHI asked for Congress to allow Section 8 voucher recipients to choose manufactured housing.
Under current law, a Section 8 voucher can be used to pay for some of the costs of living in a manufactured home in a community - such as lot rent, tenant paid utilities, and management charges. But since the law does not allow the housing voucher to be used to pay the actual financing costs of owning the home itself, this authority is seldom used.  
This amendment, which was supported by Financial Services Committee Chairman Hensarling (R-TX) and Ranking Member Waters (D-CA), allows vouchers to be used not just for the cost of leasing the land (which is currently permitted) but also for other monthly costs of purchasing a manufactured home loan, including mortgage payments, property tax, and insurance. The change would allow families that receive a tenant-based Section 8 voucher to help pay for an alternative to renting an apartment - allowing them to actually purchase a home.  The amendment does not provide any direct funds or require anyone to use a voucher to live in a manufactured home. However, with this change the approximately 2.1 million Section 8 voucher holders in America will now have the option to use their Section 8 voucher to buy a manufactured home.  
The broader bill that now includes this provision, H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 472-0. It will now be sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
If you have any questions, please contact MHI's Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. at (703) 558-0660 or lgooch@mfghome.org.

Suzanne FelberComment