On January 25, 2018, following aggressive advocacy by MHI, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a “top-to-bottom” review of its manufactured housing rules to address actions that are ineffective, overly burdensome, or excessively costly. According to its press release, “HUD is accepting public comments to identify existing or planned manufactured housing regulatory actions to assess their actual and potential compliance costs and whether those costs are justified against the backdrop of the nation’s shortage of affordable housing.”
The public comment period will end on February 26, 2018. MHI will be submitting a detailed comment letter regarding regulations and enforcement issues that should be corrected.
We need you to join MHI’s effort and weigh in with HUD about regulatory rules and actions that should be changed because they are negatively impacting your ability to meet the housing needs of your customers. It is important that HUD receive numerous comments from the manufactured housing industry during this public comment period. In this housing alert, we have provided you with two ways to respond to HUD.
First, you can utilize MHI’s advocacy page to submit your comments to HUD. Click here
and follow the simple steps on MHI’s website. The letter to HUD has already been composed – all you have to do is insert your home address and click submit.
Second, if you would like to expand and personalize the submission letter even further and submit directly to the https://www.regulations.gov/
website on your Association/Company letterhead, click here
to download the sample letter in a Word document. Highlighted in red in the sample letter are suggestions for where you can personalize it. Be sure to include Docket Number FR-6075-N-01 “Regulatory Review of Manufactured Housing Rules” in the Subject Line of your electronic submission.
The sample letter that MHI has prepared for you argues that HUD’s actions have come at the expense of fostering innovation and supporting affordable housing for consumers. HUD has intruded into state functions, reinterpreted regulations to the detriment of long-standing and accepted building practices, and implemented regulations and guidelines that unnecessarily limit consumer choice and increase costs. MHI’s submission will include additional details, but the sample letter provides overarching priorities for the industry to focus their comments.
The sample letter includes examples of HUD regulations that are raising costs for consumers and reducing their options in buying manufactured homes, including:
- On-Site Completion of Construction Requirements: HUD’s extensive new requirements for home features that are completed after a manufactured home is delivered on-site has resulted in popular consumer amenities no longer being offered by some manufacturers.
- Foundation Requirements in Freezing Areas: Without clear evidence that installation systems are failing, HUD is limiting the ability of states to administer their own installation programs. HUD’s intrusion into a system that is working with a one-size-fits-all approach is unnecessary, burdensome and is clearly beyond its authorities in the HUD Code.
- Excessive Alternative Construction (“AC”) Requirements: HUD’s effort to oversee the on-site installation of add-ons (such as carports) to homes that comply with HUD standards when they leave the factory is in direct conflict with statute. In addition, the requirement for several items to require “AC” letters due to HUD’s failure to update the HUD Code stifles innovation and limits consumer choice.
- Failure to Enforce Preemption: While HUD has made some attempt to intervene where local jurisdictions have sought to legislate construction and safety standards that are not identical to the HUD standards, or which exclude HUD-compliant manufactured homes on that basis, HUD has been lax in this area. The law gives HUD jurisdictional authority to oppose local regulatory schemes that conflict with the federal building code. HUD should exercise that authority.
- HUD Code Updates & Enforcement: To allow manufacturers to utilize new technologies and materials in manufactured homes, the law provides a process for establishing, revising, enforcing and updating the HUD Code. Unfortunately, HUD has not finalized dozens of recommendations by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). Instead of keeping the building code current, HUD has engaged in demands for increased/enhanced inspections and attempted to try “recertifications” of factories, with no significant data of failures or quality issues to support the need for these punitive measures. This has resulted in increased costs, slowed the production line, and limited innovation. Implementing MHCC recommendations should be HUD’s top priority.
We hope you will join us in this important effort to ensure HUD reforms its regulation of manufactured housing so that more people can become homeowners through quality manufactured housing.
If you have any questions, please contact MHI’s Government Affairs Department at MHIgov@mfghome.org