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Posts Tagged ‘Federal Register’

Retailers, Communities, Producers Warned – Another HUD Power Grab

June 27th, 2017 Comments off

In what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) says is a violation of the Trump Administration’s Executive Orders issued January 20, 2017 to ease regulations, the HUD MH program published an interpretive bulletin (IB) in the Federal Register that will alter the standards for MH foundations in “freezing climates.”

Having first emerged in April, 2016, MHARR states this is another example of an “out of control… program Administrator who appears to be pursuing an individual agenda particularly targeting smaller industry businesses.” MHARR says not only does it fly in the face of recommendations of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), it will also unnecessarily increase the cost of manufactured homes to smaller producers as well as to lower income prospective consumers. MHARR adds it will continue to benefit revenue-driven HUD program contractors.

HUD Ignores Regulatory Freeze

(Mark Weiss, CEO MHARR, Credit: MHProNews)

Terming it another HUD power grab, MHARR says the IB violates the regulatory “freeze” order which directs all Federal regulatory heads to refrain from sending regulations to the Federal Register “until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President after noon on January 20, 2017 reviews and approves the regulation.”

MHARR says the bulletin was issued under the name of General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Genger Charles, an Obama holdover, and not an agency head. Additionally, the IB defies the Trump Administration Executive Order that requires a governmental agency to repeal two existing regulations for each new one it imposes, something HUD has clearly not done.

MHARR urges all program stakeholders to contact their congressional representatives and HUD officials to withdraw the IB. Comments on the proposal are due on or before August 21, 2017.

To down load the pdf click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Dr. Carson Calls for Comments on HUD, MHARR Reacts

May 16th, 2017 Comments off
HUDRequestsCommentsonExistingRegulationscreditsMHProNewsCNSNewsCNBCHalseyNewsNetwork-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credits: MHProNews, CNS News, CNBC, Halsey News Network.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) posted a notice in the U.S. Federal Register yesterday, inviting comments related to identifying existing HUD regulations that may be “outdated, ineffective, or excessively burdensome.”

The directive, issued directly by HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, is in accordance with Executive Orders (EO) 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”, and Executive Order 13777 “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” put forth by President Donald Trump in January and February respectively.

The notice is somewhat unusual in that it was issued directly by HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson (and not a lower-ranking Department official),” MHARR President & CEO Mark Weiss told MHProNews.

The notice states that HUD is in the process of establishing the agency Regulatory Reform Task Force required by EO 13777, and is seeking input from affected stakeholders in order to identify regulations that:

(1) Eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;

(2) Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;

(3) Impose costs that exceed benefits;

(4) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies; or

(5) Rely, in whole or in part, on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility.

m_mark_weiss_mharr_pesident__mhpronews__credit

Mark Weiss. Credit: MHProNews.

Weiss says that, as MHARR stated immediately after EO 13777 was issued, the President’s regulatory reform initiatives “offer, potentially, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the industry and consumers to put a severely out-of-touch and out-of-control federal program back on track.”

For those in the industry who still downplay the possibility of regulatory reform at HUD and continue to believe that the intolerable status quo within the manufactured housing program is somehow good enough – or inevitable — this follow-through on the President’s regulatory initiatives by the HUD Secretary should be a call to action to move quickly and decisively for serious changes to the HUD program,” said Weiss, who continued, “to bring it into full compliance with the 2000 reform law and to conform the program to the reality of the manufactured housing industry today where outstanding homes, outstanding quality and outstanding value have resulted in unprecedented customer satisfaction and minimal levels of consumer complaints.”

The deadline for comments is June 14, 2017. Weiss says that MHARR plans to submit comments aggressively targeting these regulatory abuses, and urges others within the industry to do the same.

The full notice from the Federal Register is linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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Resources for HUD Code Manufactured Homes Onsight Completion Rule, effective Sept 7, 2016

September 6th, 2016 Comments off

HUDManufacturedHousingConsensusCommitteeMHCC-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsOne of the areas that witnessed broad manufactured housing industry consensus was the opposition to the HUD onsite completion rule, which goes into effect Sept 7, 2016.

Manufactured homes that include the following features, says MHI, are among those which will be impacted by the new and costly rule.

  • A fireplace hearth that cannot be completed in the factory because it spans the mating line of a multi-section manufactured home.
  • Exterior French doors that cannot be completed in the factory due to potential damage during home shipment.
  • Roof dormers, including windows in dormers, which cannot be completed in the factory due to shipment height limitation.
  • Hinged roofs and eaves not considered to be installation. Homes with hinged roofs and eaves that are considered installation and not subject to the rule are homes located in Wind Zone I in which the roof pitch of the hinged roof is less than 7:12.
  • Siding not considered close-up, such as stone, brick, stucco, or other materials that cannot be installed at the factory due to transportation challenges.

For previous commentary on this topic, seen through the lens of the Pam Danner appointment to head the HUD Code manufactured housing program, please click here.

Resources:

NTA’s White Paper on the final rule is linked here as a download.

MHI’s statement, download linked here.

Some of MHARR’s prior commentary, linked here.

HUD’s FAQs, are linked here.

HUD’s Newsletter with some of their related commentary, is linked here.

The final rule as published in the Federal Register, is linked here. ##

(Image credit, HUD’s ManuFACTured Housing Newsletter.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Daily Business News, MHProNews

MHI and MHARR Respond Differently to DOE’s Proposed Energy Standards

June 20th, 2016 Comments off

dept_of_energy__u_s__their_creditIn response to the Department of Energy’s proposed rules on energy standards for manufactured housing in the Federal Register, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) says it worked closely with the DOE to try and avoid excessive costs to consumers that will outweigh benefits.

The DOE based their recommendations on the Manufactured Housing Working Group:

The MH Working Group’s recommendations were based on the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the impact of the IECC on the purchase price of manufactured housing, total lifecycle construction and operating costs, factory design and construction techniques unique to manufactured housing, and the current construction and safety standards set forth by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

MHI further says that these regulatory efforts should be in keeping with HUD’s role as the prime regulator of manufactured housing, and “to ensure that these regulations are consistent with the HUD Code. MHI plans to submit written comments during the written comment period. The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) will also be evaluating the impact of the rule on MH.

Meanwhile, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) says the proposed rule will add thousands to the cost of MH, depriving many in the moderate to lower-income housing market away of potential homeownership, as well as harming smaller players in the MH industry.

The rule began in 2011 with a selective leak of the proposed rule to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the industry’s largest trade organization, and others of interest, until the Office of Management and Budget demanded they re-start the rulemaking process.

The fresh start became an alleged collusion between MHI, the Department of Energy and other special interests to ram a proposed rule through an obscure committee while the DOE “awarded multiple lucrative contracts to MHI-connected ‘research’ entities to, among other, things, tout DOE manufactured housing energy regulation and break-down industry opposition to any ultimate DOE rule.”

MHARR says the DOE then provided a copy of the proposed rule in advance of the official publication date to MHI in an attempt to possibly soften opposition to the rule.

MHARR says the rule offers a solution to a non-existent problem: According to the U. S. Census Bureau, manufactured homes are already energy efficient, comparable, and sometimes lower in energy use, than site built homes.

According to DOE Manufactured Housing Working Group data, the rule would add an average of at least $2,226 to the price of a single-section MH, while adding $3,109 retail to the price of a multi-section home.

MHARR says, however, the cost will likely be closer to $4,000 for a single-section and $6,000 for a multi-section MH, although these do not include testing, enforcement or any compliance costs, and basically amount to a regressive tax that hurts those at the lower end of the economic spectrum, the very demographic affordable, manufactured homes are designed to help.

The DOE would basically impose energy measures on manufactured homes that are already available as options homebuyers can choose from, or not, measures that are not even mandated for million dollar site-built homes in most states.

MHARR says in addition to consumers, the greatest negative jolt will be on smaller HUD Code businesses who do not have the cushion to absorb the up front impact of the proposal.

MHARR says: “Thus, the industry’s largest corporate conglomerates – and their national representative MHI – have not only ‘gone along’ with DOE, but appear to have worked publicly and behind the scenes to advance government action that will disproportionately harm smaller competitors. This, together with a level of industry domination that either does – or will — exceed half the national manufactured housing market, raises antitrust questions that should and will be explored further.”

The DOE did not offer to allow the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) the opportunity to consider the proposed rule or the ramifications of its cost.

MHARR has subsequently filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests because of the closed door collaboration of MHI, Dow and other parties; and seeks documents that show DOE payments to MHI-connected entities and individuals.

MHARR will submit comments to the DOE before Aug. 16, when discussion is closed; and if there are not substantive changes to the rule, MHARR says it may seek legal action.

For the DOE proposal in the Federal Register, please click here. For the link to MHARR’s full statement to MHProNews, please click here. The full download of the NAHB’s priced out study – which reflects the numbers of prospective home buyers lost per each $1000 in price increase – is found in the article linked here##

(Image credit: U. S. Department of Energy)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

CFPB Corrects Typo in the TILA-RESPA Rule

February 10th, 2016 Comments off

consumer_financial_protection_bureausteve rhode slas get oug of debt org__kicks_aThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, or TRID, that went into effect in Oct. has a slight typographical error in the supplementary information, as housingwire tells MHProNews.

The section in question deals with the application of tolerances to property insurance premiums and taxes, homeowner’s association dues, and condo and co-op fees.

The original CFPB addendum, p. 79829 of Volume 78 of the Federal Register reads “property insurance premiums, property taxes, homeowner’s association dues, condominium fees, and cooperative fees” are “subject to tolerances,” while the preceding sentence says the opposite: “Property insurance premiums are included in the category of settlement charges not subject to a tolerance, whether or not the insurance provider is a lender affiliate.” Not subject to a tolerance is the correct information.

Moreover, a similar correction has been made to another section on p. 79829. It is being revised from “are subject to tolerances whether or not they are placed into an escrow, impound, reserve, or similar account” to read “are not subject to tolerances whether or not they are placed into an escrow, impound, reserve, or similar account.

The changes take effect when they are published in the Federal Register Wed., Feb. 10. ##

(Image credit: Steve Rhodes/getoutofdebt.org)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

The Federal Register publishes rules for Power cords, airplanes, credit unions and manufactured housing

November 5th, 2014 Comments off

federal-register-daily-journal-of-federal-government-logo-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-The Hill tells MHProNews that the Tuesday November 4th edition of the Federal Register contains “new rules for computer power cords, airplanes flying in icy conditions, mobile home construction standards, and credit unions.”

The Federal Register’s document is styled: Billing Code 4210-67, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, [Docket No. FR- 5803-N-01], Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, Request for Recommended Changes, and is linked here.

Quoting The Hill:

Mobile homes: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is considering more changes to the construction standards for mobile homes.

HUD is inviting the public to propose changes to the agency’s manufactured home construction and safety standards by Dec. 31, 2014. The agency says it is looking to improve the quality, durability, safety and affordability of mobile homes.

This is the latest of several recent changes to federal regulations for mobile homes.”

Since The Hill is widely read at U.S. Capitol, it would be helpful if they realized that there have been no “mobile homes” built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976.

Comments from industry or the public on the proposals can be made via the information found on the download, linked above. ##

(Image credit: Federal Register Logo)

CFPB Plans Regulations of Auto Lenders, Leasing Contracts too

October 9th, 2014 Comments off

credit=automotive-news-mazda-dealer-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-In a move that should be monitored by Manufactured Housing (MH) Industry professionals; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that could go into effect before the end of 2014, Jim Henry at Automotive News (AN) tells MHProNews.

The cost of compliance obviously is going to be a big issue,” Ballard Spahr law firm attorney John Culhane Jr. said. In September, the CFPB proposed a rule that would regulate nonbanks originating 10,000 or more auto loans and leases a year.

The proposed regulation would include automakers’ captive finance arms and independent lenders, Henry reports.

Mission Creep?

The larger-participants rule could be used to give the CFPB authority to act on cases of alleged “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices…”

MH industry sources speculate this move by the CFPB could lead to outreach efforts between auto lenders, MH Industry finance firms, associations and others seeking to collaborate for regulatory relief. ##

(Image Credit: Automotive News)

CFPB related article:

http://www.MHProNews.com/home/industry-news/industry-in-focus/8460-cfpb-report-alleges-manufactured-housing-lending-is-expensive-sparks-controversial-comments-from-cfed-mhi-and-other-mh-industry-professionals

 

HUD Raising Label Fee for Manufactured Housing to $100

May 12th, 2014 Comments off

MHProNews.com has been informed by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) that the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed to increase the label fee from $39 to $100 to help defray the program costs due to a reduction in production since the fee was last raised in 2002. Congressional appropriations have been needed to cover the shortage. HUD says the increase will go into effect by the end of the year, and has offered a 30-day comment period instead of the usual 60-day period. The notice was published in the Federal Register May 2. Comments are due by June 2. ##

(Image credit: Department of Housing and Urban Development)

HUD Issues Ground Anchor Proposal for Manufactured Homes

July 29th, 2013 Comments off

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published a proposed ground anchor testing and installation rule for manufactured housing in the July 26, 2013 edition of the Federal Register. The proposal would adopt recommendations made by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee to determine ground anchor performance. Since there is no national test method for rating ground assemblies in different soil classifications, the proposal would establish a uniform test method to be used by all states. As MHProNews has learned, comments from interested parties are due by Sept. 24, 2013. For the Federal Register text, please click here.

(Image credit: Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Formaldehyde Emissions Standards Proposed

June 11th, 2013 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) informs MHProNews the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued two proposed rules regarding formaldehyde emissions from specific composite wood products, some of which are used in the production of  manufactured housing. The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of July 2010 directed the EPA to establish federal formaldehyde standards for hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fibreboard as well as methods of enforcing the rules. The standards are the same as those already adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Enforcement of the new federal standards at the component supplier level would begin one year following publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

(Photo credit: Fotosearch–pressed particleboard)