Lawmaker Applauds Manufactured Housing Efforts, Pushes for Reform
Congressman Trey Hollingsworth, who represents Indiana’s 9th District in Washington, gave an impassioned address Monday morning to manufactured housing professionals at the 28th Networking Roundtable in Indianapolis.
“This truly is a crisis across the country,” Hollingsworth said of the lack of affordable housing. “People talk about housing prices on the coast, but it’s everywhere. It’s right here in our cities and towns across the state of Indiana.”
Hollingsworth points to the steady decline in volume of first-time homebuyers, which has an adverse impact on the overall economy. In addition, existing homeowners often are unable to move to hot job markets because of the high cost of housing.
“You can’t sell an $80,000 home and move across a county or state line and buy a home in a market where you have to spend more than $200,000,” he said. “You should be able to go where you want to go, holding on to that portion of the American Dream.”
“You all have a solution that few others do. You are and can be a real resource for affordable home buyers.”
Housing Reform in Washington, D.C.
The Congressman noted that jobless claims are at historic lows, which has he and his colleagues focusing on workforce development. Businesses cannot maintain a period of expansion if the labor market dries up.
“No matter where I go the number one, and by far the biggest concern is the lack of qualified workers,” Hollingsworth said. He said the U.S. has impeded workforce growth through the over-emphasis on young people attending college rather than a balanced approached that provides trade school certifications.
Hollingsworth said another area of focus that will help with housing availability is lowering the regulatory costs associated with home transactions.
The average cost of regulatory mandates for a home purchase has more than doubled in the last decade to more than $7,000 of the home price.
When a stack of papers with small print arrives at closing, he said, the homebuyer learns nothing more about the purchase.
“They say ‘I don’t want to read this,’ and they sign,” Hollingsworth said.
Added regulatory cost within a home loan means lenders need to write bigger loans to make the same money, which adds to the affordability crisis.
“This is what’s really holding back our development,” he said.
Dodd-Frank and other regulatory reform have created valuable consumer protections. However, some regulatory language has been detrimental while other language adds cost but no value.
“It’s been 10 years and we need to go back in and determine what we did right, what we did wrong and what we added in that made no difference,” Hollingworth said.
Rep. Hollingsworth Commends Manufactured Housing Professionals
In the end, the Congressman lauded manufactured housing professionals for getting a lot of the heavy lifting out of the way.
“You all have a solution that few others do,” he told the audience of more than 200 in Indianapolis. “You are and can be a real resource for affordable home buyers.”