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Indiana Senators Work to Ease RV Financing

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July 21, 2014 by   Leave a Comment

Joe Donnelly

Joe Donnelly

Indiana’s two senators have asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to bring “much-needed clarity” to the organization’s “ambiguous definition” of the RV exemption in federal manufactured housing standards.

On July 16, Indiana Sens. Dan Coats (R) and Joe Donnelly (D) sent a letter to HUD outlining their stance. Mark Bowersox, executive director for the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Industry Council (IMHA-RVIC), received the correspondence which was published in the organization’s newsletter (click here to view).

The definition’s ambiguity is leading some lenders to “financing the purchase of RVs as housing, which subjects these loans to inappropriate mortgage requirements,” the senators stated in their letter. RVs should be financed as vehicles or personal property.

HUD already exempts RVs from its manufactured housing construction standards and regulations. But recent innovations such as slideouts and the growing popularity of park models have “blurred the lines between RVs and manufactured housing under HUD’s current definition,” they stated.

“In order to address this concern, we recently succeeded in including report language to a Senate appropriations bill that would encourage HUD to update the definition of manufactured housing to more accurately draw a distinction between recreation vehicles and manufactured housing,” the letter states, while also urging HUD to conduct the definition update in an “open, transparent and inclusive” process.

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is working in conjunction with the legislators to seek resolution on the issue.

Matt Wald, RVIA executive director for park models RVs, said a previous attempt to work directly with HUD ultimately proved unsuccessful, so he’s hopeful going through legislative channels will bring about better results.

“(HUD officials) said then that while they were sympathetic to the issue, they really didn’t think there was a problem with understanding the definition,” Wald said. “RVIA countered that ‘you get it because you’re Washington bureaucrats who spend all day long looking at rules and regulations, but we talk with local bankers and local zoning officials every single day who are as confused as heck.’”

Wald complimented the efforts of Coats and Donnelly, as well as Republican Reps. Jackie Walorski and Marlin Stutzman, in “championing and advocating for the issue.”

Bowersox echoed Wald’s thanks to the legislators for their help, saying “both Sen. Coats and Sen. Donnelly have worked hard since their elections to understand and support the RV industry and I appreciate their willingness to take on this complex issue.”

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