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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

FHA Manufactured Houseing Loan Modernization Act of 2006

August 6, 2009
Floor Statement
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA]: I rise in support certainly of the FHA Manufactured Housing Loan Modernization Act of 2006. I would like to thank Mr. Tiberi, the sponsor of this bill, for his hard work and cooperation with the members of the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, of which I am ranking member.

The bill is further evidence of the high level of cooperation on housing-related issues within the Committee on Financial Services. The committee marked up this bill that will amend title I of the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program by encouraging more private sector participation in the title I program, increasing the availability of title I loans for manufactured housing and improving access to the secondary mortgage market.

After the devastating events of last year in the gulf region, manufactured housing took on a new importance. Manufactured housing filled a major void in the supply of housing in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. FEMA has made trailers available in the gulf region, and they still represent the only housing choice for many families who lost their homes.

Manufactured homes continue to serve the housing needs of Americans, as many in the gulf region would attest. However, since the early 1990s, the number of title I personal property loans for manufactured homes dropped from 30,000 to 2,000, primarily because of inefficiencies in the program.

This bill will make a number of improvements to the program: Number one, it removes the 10 percent cap limiting FHA's ability to insure manufactured housing; number two, it insures loans on a case-by-case basis; number three, it increases loan limits; number four, it provides for risk-based premiums; and, number five, it strengthens loan underwriting requirements.

The reforms in this bill will improve FHA manufactured housing programs. The modernization of the program is absolutely essential to its continued existence. As such, I am not only going to ask my colleagues to support this legislation, but I would implore the Members of Congress to look at manufactured housing as alternatives to high-priced housing in some of their own areas where people cannot afford housing, particularly low-income people who cannot afford the housing on the market as we know it.