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Ohio Manufactured Homes Association and the Association of Manufactured Home Residents of Ohio Fight to Keep the State of Ohio Manufactured Home Commission

Manufactured Housing Trade Groups Say Kasich Administration proposal will compromise homeowner safety while increasing costs

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OHIO STATEHOUSE -- Recently introduced legislative language in the State of Ohio Budget Bill (HB 49) would abolish the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission (MH Commission).  The Ohio Department of Commerce would assume regulation and break up and bury the program in various layers of bureaucracy at a significantly higher cost. 

/EIN News/ -- Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) Executive Director Tim Williams has testified extensively before three different House of Representatives Finance Committees. MH Commission members Ron Younkin of Greenlawn Homes and Evan Atkinson of Clayton Homes have also testified along with Frank Pojman, President of the Association of Manufactured Home Residents of Ohio (AMHRO) and Jim Demetrus also of AMHRO and the former resident appointee to the MH Commission.  Rick Robinson of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in Washington, D.C. testified regarding the National Fire Protection Association’s 2013 study citing the superior fire safety record of today’s manufactured homes.

In recent years the Ohio General Assembly consolidated all regulation of installation, dispute resolution, dealer licensing, and manufactured home park regulation under the MH Commission, creating a one stop shop. The Ohio Commission is a stand-alone agency with no layers of bureaucracy.

Six of the nine members of the Commission are appointed by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives (3) and the Ohio Senate President (3) representing various industry segments. The Governor appoints the remaining three seats on the Commission. However, the Governor has failed to appoint a manufactured home resident for two years and for the better part of five years he has left the health sanitarian seat empty. Both appointments are required by law. This has denied manufactured home residents and health officials a voice in regulatory issues, which is vital to the MH Commission’s work.

However, the best endorsement of the MH Commission’s superior commitment to the safety and affordability of manufactured home residents was from the resident’s association (AMHRO) President Frank Pojman in his written testimony before two House of Representatives Committees.  Mr. Pojman stated: “AMHRO’s view has not wavered in its support of the MH Commission. I urge any of your Committee to review the agendas and minutes of the MH Commission meetings, to see the all-important issues that are discussed, for the benefits and safety of manufactured homeowners.  When you look at all nine members, who make up the Commission, you’ll see the most important segments of our industry, putting manufactured housing ideas and plans together, that will always make it better at ground level and above.“

Williams said, “The Swamp has risen up against our residents and industry. OMHA and AMHRO have united on behalf of our residents and businesses to oppose the Ohio Department of Commerce’s extravagant request for spending authority of 30% more to conduct the same program. Incredibly, the Department of Commerce not only wants more money but would drastically reduce the Commissions 100% inspection of all new and used home installations, thus jeopardizing the safety of our homeowners and residents.”

The OMHA, AMHRO and MHI feel that Department of Commerce officials have hidden behind unsubstantiated written statements attacking the Commission, residents and the industry while refusing to answer questions on the record.  This is a classic case of government bureaucracy abusing their position of public trust to mislead the public in order to expand bureaucratic control at the expense of affordable homeownership for 900,000 Ohioans living in manufactured homes.

Instrumental to the industry and residents’ efforts to preserve the Ohio MH Commission has been outreach to legislators.  Hundreds of contacts have already been made to Ohio legislators.  Williams said, “Our industry and residents have banded together for the common cause of protecting the safety of manufactured homes in Ohio by retaining the Ohio MH Commission.” 

MEDIA CONTACT: 
Ohio Manufactured Homes Association
Phone: (614) 799-2340
Fax: 614-799-0616
twilliams@omha-usa.org

Distribution channels: Building & Construction Industry