Bipartisan bill would give Americans better access to manufactured homes

A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that would protect the ability of manufactured home customers to buy, sell, and refinance homes.

The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – sponsored by U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Gary Peters (D-MI) – seeks to address guidelines issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in January 2014 to expand the range of loan products considered high-cost mortgages under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA).

The impact of the rule is that small-balance loans used for the purchase of affordable manufactured housing could be classified as high-cost, which results in increased lender liabilities that often lead to a loss of credit availability for those seeking to purchase manufactured housing, the bill’s sponsors said.

“For many Americans, manufactured homes are the most affordable form of housing available. This bill would help prevent federal regulations from getting in the way of financing for families that need it. I am grateful a bipartisan group of colleagues joined me in introducing legislation to keep manufactured housing obtainable for working class families,” Donnelly said.

Toomey said the manufactured housing industry is an important source of affordable homes, and jobs, that shouldn’t be jeopardized.

“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 fixing these ill-conceived rules, our bipartisan legislation will protect jobs and ensure that Pennsylvanians can obtain financing to purchase an affordable home,” Toomey said.

Cotton said over-zealous regulations by the CFPB made it harder for lenders to offer mortgages for manufactured housing.

“We’re reintroducing this bill so it’s as easy as possible for families in rural areas, like my home state, to find the home they need,” Cotton said.

Peters added that this bill is an important step to promote home ownership and improve access to quality, affordable housing.