The Manufactured Housing Institute, formerly the Mobile Home Manufacturers Association, has named Walter L. Benning, former governmental representative for International Telephone and Telegraph, to replace John M. Martin, as president of the trade group.

Martin, who had headed MHI since 1968 and had 16 years with the mobile home trade organization, set up the MHI, headquarters in Chantilly in 1969. He will remain in a consulting capacity for a time and he also plans to set up his own consulting firm. Martin lives in Clifton, Va.

Benning, who had been with ITT for 13 years, had recently been director of Washington operations. He has engineering, manufacturing and management experience.

MHI chairman L. C. Merta, who announced the change in top association leadership said that a re-organization of the trade group will be presented in detail for approval of the general membership at the annual meeting to be held here beginning March 21. He said MHI's relationship with the federal government will likely be emphasized in the reorganization.

Also announced was the resignation of Larry C. Davenport, who had been senior vice president of MHI.

Merta added that he expects the manufactured housing industry, which constructs fully finished and equipped homes in one or more sections, to play an increasing role in providing more low-cost housing for the nation.