Sinema Champions Legislation to Protect Affordable Housing Options for Arizonans
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Sinema Champions Legislation to Protect Affordable Housing Options for Arizonans

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Washington, D.C. – April 16, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The House of Representatives today passed bipartisan legislation, cosponsored by Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, to preserve access to manufactured housing and ensure Arizonans have an affordable path to homeownership.

“Arizonans work hard every day to build futures for their families, and government’s misguided regulations shouldn’t stand in the way of the American Dream,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “More than 300,000 Arizonans choose manufactured housing for its affordability and value, but current regulations make the manufactured home-buying process daunting and discouraging. This bill makes commonsense adjustments to provide Arizonans with more options, better advice, and increased confidence when buying a new home.”

H.R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act of 2015, amends the definition of a high cost mortgage and corresponding thresholds to ensure consumers of small-balance mortgage loans have the opportunity to access mortgage credit.

Congresswoman Sinema spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives today in support of the legislation.

Manufactured housing is a key form of affordable housing in my state, particularly in rural and underserved communities. More than 300,000 families in Arizona live in manufactured homes. Manufactured homes provide an affordable housing choice for many low- and moderate- income families.

Existing manufactured homeowners and potential buyers are negatively impacted by current regulations. These rules inadvertently curtail consumers’ ability to access manufactured home loans or receive effective assistance in the manufactured home-buying process.

These regulations unintentionally create situations where borrowers are not allowed to be matched with lenders who can help them in a timely and efficient manner.

For example, if a realtor in Arizona works with a veteran who wants to use his or her VA eligibility to purchase a home, the realtor connects the veteran with a number of lenders who offer VA home loans.

Due to the current restrictions placed on retail salespeople, the process is different if a veteran shops for a manufactured home.

Manufactured home sales centers have a “Marketing Table” where lenders place marketing and lending materials.

Manufactured homes salespeople cannot assist the veteran in finding a lender. Instead, when the veteran enters the home center she is instructed to go to the table and sift through the countless brochures and loan programs by herself to decide which lender is best. There may be a dozen different lender’s information displayed on this table.

As you can imagine this is a very daunting and discouraging process for most borrowers, especially for first time homebuyers.

Had the salesperson simply been able to point the veteran in the direction of a lender that offers VA loans, the veteran would have been taken care of immediately, and been able to make an informed and confident decision.

H.R. 650 will remedy the unintended consequences of current regulations providing potential home buyers with more options, better advice, and more confidence when buying a new home.

The bill also amends the definition of a high cost mortgage and corresponding thresholds to ensure that consumers of small-balance mortgage loans will have the opportunity to access mortgage credit. I hope you will join me in supporting this important legislation.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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