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Home > Analysis and Commentary, Association, Energy Saving, Legal, Manufactured Housing Industry, Non-Profit > Court Ruling on Sierra Club vs Rick Perry DOE on Manufactured Home Energy Regulations, Constitutional Law Professor, MHARR Weigh In

Court Ruling on Sierra Club vs Rick Perry DOE on Manufactured Home Energy Regulations, Constitutional Law Professor, MHARR Weigh In

March 14th, 2019



The potential impact of tougher energy standards on manufactured housing pricing, and therefor prospective buyers, could be $6,000 per unit or more.  The repayment time frame, per third parties, could take more than a decade. The average American moves about once every 7 years.


The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) – not the HUD Code industry’s first line of promotion or defense – produced a priced-out study that reveals that hundreds of thousands of potential buyers will no longer qualify for the homes based upon a $1000 price increase.  This increase could be 6 to 10 times as high, and manufactured housing is still operating at historically low levels.

So, it could take longer to recoup the cost than the typical American would live in a new manufactured home built to the standards that the Sierra Club and others want to promote.

These are among the reasons why manufactured housing industry pros should be keenly interested in this issue.

With that tee-up, the Constitutional Law Professor blog and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) have both weighed in on a court ruling yesterday on the Sierra Club’s lawsuit against Secretary Rick Perry and the Department of Energy (DOE) regarding manufactured housing regulations.

The Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has not yet weighed in on the topic.  It will be recalled that MHI for some time promoted new standards, until pressure from MHARR, Georgetown University and the Small Business Administration – besides MHProNews – finally caused MHI to flip flop.

The MHI switcheroo was attempted via their amen-corner, Orwellian memory hole method, so industry independents should watch this with caution. MHARR and MHProNews didn’t bite on the MHI purported attempt to change history, as one of those prior MHProNews reports is linked below.



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Steven D. Schwinn, John Marshall Law School on the Constitutional Law Professor blog said that “The ruling means that Sierra Club’s case can go forward. And given the court’s conclusions, and the law, it seems likely that Sierra Club will win. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll see regs any time soon.” That is true, but it doesn’t mean that a new bullet doesn’t have to be dodged.


Here’s what MHARR told their members today.



MARCH 14, 2019




                        MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

                        MHARR STATE AFFILIATES






In a development that was not unexpected, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has denied a motion by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club, seeking to compel DOE to issue manufactured housing energy standards under section 413 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA).

In its Motion to Dismiss, DOE maintained that Sierra Club lacked either organizational or associational standing to sue on behalf of members who allegedly have been “injured” as a result of delays in the establishment of DOE energy conservation standards for manufactured homes. The court’s denial of that Motion – under legal standards that tend to favor plaintiffs seeking to sue – is not a ruling on the substantive merits of the case, but rather, simply means that the case can go forward with Sierra Club acting as a representative for its members.

MHARR will carefully monitor this litigation as it progresses, insofar as the DOE “negotiated rulemaking” process, which led to both DOE’s now withdrawn 2016 proposed rule and, more importantly, currently pending proposals published by DOE in a 2018 Notice of Data Availability (NODA), was inherently and fundamentally tainted and illegitimate, as MHARR has extensively detailed in comments filed with DOE. As a result, that “negotiated rulemaking” process does not provide a valid, lawful or permissible basis for any rulemaking, and DOE, as MHARR has consistently maintained, must go back to the drawing board and initiate a new, legitimate and untainted rulemaking process to address any such manufactured housing standards.

This entire subject will be addressed in greater detail at MHARR’s upcoming Board of Directors meeting.


cc:  Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members


The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.


The full court ruling is found at this link here as a download.  See the related reports, further below the byline, offers, and notices for more on this issue.


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