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Public Statements

Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I am a strong supporter of the good work that is represented in H.R. 3700, and I congratulate Chairman Luetkemeyer and Ranking Member Cleaver for their hard work on this, as well as Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Member Waters.

This bill is a really solid, bipartisan improvement over the status quo. This amendment would extend some of the benefits of H.R. 3700 to folks who live in mobile homes, and that happens to be an awful lot of Vermonters who are working real hard trying to make ends meet. The idea of a bricks and sticks house is a dream for them, but they love the mobile home they have, and they have economic challenges in that home. I think that is true not just in Vermont but really across rural America.

What this amendment would allow is for the Section 8 housing vouchers to be used for some of the obvious expenses that are associated with owning a mobile home, Mr. Chairman. Right now, only the land rent is what can be included in the voucher. But in addition to that, obviously, you have got the true cost of the mobile home that the owner pays for the housing. In addition to the land rent underneath the home, mobile homeowners often pay a number of other costs, including utilities, insurance, and financing for their mobile homes.

People renting apartments where it is not a mobile home, all of those are factored into the rent. So what this amendment would do is allow those costs to be included in the calculation for Section 8 that in our view put an unnecessary and unfair limitation on what can be considered. Compare that to the housing cost vouchers that individuals in rental units get. All of those are included in the rent.

So this amendment would address that issue by allowing the property taxes on a mobile home, as well as insurance, utilities, and financing, to be included as components of the housing costs eligible for a voucher.

It would make a huge difference in affordability for Vermonters and for Americans across this country who are working hard every day and whose option for safe shelter is a mobile home.

Mr. Chairman, I urge that my colleagues support this amendment. I thank my colleagues for the bipartisan, solid work they have done on this bill.

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Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chairman, I just want to thank the gentleman from Texas for his gracious remarks. He spent a fair amount of time in the Green Mountain State, so he knows about these mobile homes. I am going to go back and tell folks that you are still the good guy you were when you were spending more time in the Green Mountain State.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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