AUSTIN, TX – December 31, 2007 – Looking to slash bureaucratic red tape, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ (TDHCA) Manufactured Housing division has implemented new rules that will speed up repairs and new home placement for Texans whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Rita.
New Texas manufactured housing laws that take effect January 1, 2008, will expedite aid for damaged manufactured homes whose owners are currently unable to present ownership records needed to receive federal and state assistance. The new laws, a result of legislation (House Bill 1460) passed during the 80th Legislative Session, provide an opportunity for owners to offer an affidavit describing the chain of possession as proof of ownership in lieu of missing titles. The laws are particularly important to the recovery efforts being conducted by the TDHCA as it works with the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, Southeast Texas Council of Governments, and Houston-Galveston Area Council to help homeowners recover from damages.
“A large number of the homes affected by Hurricane Rita are manufactured homes,” noted Michael Gerber, TDHCA Executive Director. “Efforts to prove ownership of some of the manufactured homes we’re trying to repair or replace has been daunting as many owners have inherited their homes without proper title transfers. This law will ease the requirements for proving ownership and thereby may help us expedite our service to those in need.”
The TDHCA’s Manufactured Housing Division is giving title processing priority status to disaster recovery applications. The effort will expedite the transition of manufactured home owners out of unsafe or unhealthy conditions into more habitable homes.
“We’re doing all we can to help Texans whose manufactured homes were impacted by the hurricane,” said Joe Garcia, Interim Executive Director of the TDHCA’s Manufactured Housing Division. “Our entire division is dedicated to serving manufactured home owners, particularly during this most important time when so many have been living in structures compromised by mold and other problems, and the only thing hindering assistance is proof of ownership.”
About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is Texas’ lead agency responsible for affordable housing, community services, energy assistance, and colonia housing programs. The Department annually administers more than $400 million through for-profit, non-profit, and local government partnerships to deliver local housing and community-based opportunities and assistance to Texans in need.
About the TDHCA’s Manufactured Housing Division
The TDHCA’s Manufactured Housing Division licenses and regulates those who manufacture, sell, broker, and install manufactured homes. Since 1976, manufactured homes have been built to the rigorous requirements of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) code. Because of its regulatory nature, the TDHCA’s Manufactured Housing Division has its own board and executive director.