Sen. Craig Estes Supports Changes in Manufactured Housing Legislation
AUSTIN -- State Senator Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, is supporting legislation to ease a crisis created in the manufactured housing industry across Texas.
He has signed on as co-author of Senate Bill 521 by Senator Todd Staples, R-Palestine, while supporting its companion, House Bill 1009 by Representative Rick Hardcastle, R-Vernon.
"Steps must be taken during the 78th Legislative Session to correct the crisis created by House Bill 1869 enacted by the Legislature two years ago," Estes said. "The effects of House Bill 1869 have been swift, significant and negative."
Manufactured housing plants across Texas began closing last summer including three in Estes' district at Wichita Falls, Graham and Breckenridge. Others have closed at Athens, Burleson, Hillsboro, Killeen and Navasota.
"At least 2,000 jobs have been lost through the closings of these eight manufacturing plants, and hundreds more were put out of work through the loss of more than 150 retail locations and numerous support facilities," Estes said.
The primary objection to House Bill 1869 from last session is that it severely limits the use of personal property loans, also known as chattel loans, for consumers purchasing manufactured housing. This loan process that has been used in Texas for about 50 years and is available in all other states across the nation.
"The elimination of this funding has caused a crisis in the industry," Estes said. "Personal property loans provide a finance option for many families who fall between government subsidies and the ability to qualify for a conventional real estate loan."
Last session's legislation was designed to streamline the Manufactured Housing Standards Act, including bringing full disclosure to consumers regarding purchase and associated costs and helping local taxing authorities to collect taxes.
"However, unintended consequences of this legislation were created not only for the families looking to buy a manufactured home, but also for the manufacturers and the dealerships, their employees and their communities," Estes said.
Senate Bill 521 and House Bill 1009 seek to correct the unintended consequences of last session's legislation and further strengthen and Manufactured Housing Standards Act with these provisions:
- Restore the consumer's right to chose their preferred method of financing when purchasing a manufactured home.
- Eliminate the "legalese" in disclosure documents, thereby keeping the language simple and easy to read and understand.
- Require escrowing of taxes in both personal property and convention mortgage loans for manufactured housing.
- Require meaningful licensing training for all sales personnel and develop a state-approved continuing education program.
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