Posts Tagged ‘NFPA’

“Insulting” – Local News Report on “Mobile Home” Fire Underscores Why Terminology Matters

August 7th, 2018 Comments off



A local news story of a “mobile home fire” on I-20 underscores why the terminology issue matters.


Before diving into the local media report to see the lessons learned, let’s examine part of a detailed statement from a multi-decade manufactured home professional.


Because it very much relates to this issue.

It was an off-the-record remark, and the key part reads exactly as follows, with only the brackets added for clarity:

You [MHProNews/MHLivingNews] have to give us – and the rest of the owners out there – a break on the “terminology”. I agree that we should try to elevate the industry, but you know as well as I do that you cannot reach anyone with the name “manufactured home community” as nobody Google searches for that term. It’s marketing suicide. It’s like pretending that the average American wears a tuxedo to dinner just because we want them to. Until some other term becomes the standard for our product line, there’s no way we can use any term that is not the #1 on searches. We did not create this fact, decades of time and millions of Americans did…I think any term but “home” is frankly insulting.”

There is no doubt that the search term “mobile home” scores far better on Google than “manufactured home.” Take a look for the proof.



Then compare the search term for “trailer house” to “manufactured home,” shown below. Sadly, its not ideal either, but per Google it is improving.  But do those trend lines from Google make that message writer correct?  Let’s look deeper before we answer that question, because common sense and doing what’s right may surprise you.



MHLivingNews reported on the trend in the rise of the use of the term “mobile home” and “trailer house” in a research study by Foremost, found at this linked report below.

Foremost Report: Manufactured Home Customer Survey and Market Facts

Does that mean that we as industry professionals should abandon the effort?

The chart below reveals that a steady efforts in recent years by forward thinkers and doers in the industry are starting to pay off.

The use of the term “manufactured home” was trending down for several years, as you can see below.  But in the last few years, the use of the term manufactured home is finally trending up.  The second side-by-side trend line above reveals the term manufactured home is starting to surpass the term “trailer house.”

Those facts from Google suggest that more efforts are needed.  But the steady efforts of those who use the correct terminology already are demonstrably working.  The opposite of trying to correct the problems would be to abandon the effort, as some mistakenly believe should occur.  You’ll see why reason, facts, and emotions are all reasons why this effort ought to be accelerated, not quit.



MHProNews is a data, common sense, and an evidence-based trade publisher. This graphic proves that the existing efforts are bearing fruit. The principle of prove one applies. Thus, more effort is needed. BTW, do you notice that this improvement is occurring during the time after MHProNews, and MHLivingNews began to push on the terminology issue?  Clearly others do too.  This is a job everyone can do their part to repair. 

A look at a quoted reply from the publisher of MHProNews and MHLivingNews to that industry professional provides the relevant response.

RE: “Terminology.  This is not a killer between us, but I respectfully disagree.  You said it yourself.  The ideal is home, but the practical is manufactured home.  All you have to do is what Realtor did in their [white] paper.  You say, people call it ‘trailer house, mobile homes, and trailer parks.’ [Indeed] Some of them [the homes being described] ARE trailers and mobile homes.  But since June 15, 1976, its manufactured homes.  No mobile homes since that date.”

We do that [in marketing work for others and for our own platforms], “Realtor does that, and you can get the marketing/SEO mileage that way too.”

With all due respect to our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach could have clarified a few points.

How so?

Obviously, the best of all possible worlds is to have each of those terms found on your website.


  • if someone is searching for “mobile home,” make it easy for them to find you.
  • If someone is searching for “manufactured home,” you certainly want them to find you.
  • If someone is searching for trailer house,” make it possible for them to find you.
  • But that should debatably be done as Realtor, MHProNews and MHLivingNews do it, educationally explaining the terminology while using it.

One would think that Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) and others that use terms like “Village,” “Estates,” “Community” recognize that home owners don’t want to have the terminology of “trailer” attached to them.


Photo of Sam Zell, credit, MHProNews. ELS Logo, photos are provided under fair use guidelines.

MHProNews reported it, but we didn’t make it up.  Third-party research suggests that one of the ‘turn offs’ for millennials to manufactured homes is precisely the terminology “trailer.”

Millennials don’t like it.

Why turn-off the largest home buying demographic group by saying mobile home or trailer house?

So why would you or anyone use that term, other than to explain that it doesn’t apply to a manufactured home?  And that the cut off date when manufactured homes were born occurred on June 15, 1976.


You could fit the square footage of some of those old trailer houses into the living area of a modern manufactured home.

But here is a brilliant and succinct use of terminology that the NFPA – the National Fire Prevention Association – used.


This is not a perfect definition, but it is clarifying. There have been no mobile homes built in the U.S since June 15, 1976, which is the date that the HUD Code for manufactured homes went into effect. Learn more, click here.

And that is just how simple it can be for anyone who wants to maximize both education and SEO.  Quote the NFPA, and reference it to MHLivingNews.

That one-two punch gives your comments two sources of third-party credibility.  We’ve done this, coached this, and know that when done properly, it works.

And guess what?  That’s what people frankly want anyway.  In the U.S., or Canada, people don’t like the term trailer house. They don’t like it in Australia either. There are very few manufactured homes in Hawaii, which could be a perfect place to prove what the future of manufactured housing could be.  But the term ‘trailer house’ dogs those on the islands who want to bring HUD Code homes there.

Mobile home is not an accurate term either, as Steve Duke explained succinctly in the quote cited below why the nomenclature matters, which he gave on-the-record to MHLivingNews.


The terminology matters because the terminology determines the construction standards a home was built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.


Why Terminology Matters, Local Media Report

Traffic was blocked on Interstate 20 Westbound near Ruston [LA] due to a mobile home fire,” said KNOE.

According to the Ruston Fire Department, a mobile home being moved caught fire while on Interstate 20. The fire department was able to contain the fire,” said the report. The visual evidence suggests that this was in fact a mobile home, and not a manufactured home.


Mobile home fires are in the news on a routine basis. It is one of several reasons why the industry MUST teach the public the difference in terminology, because it makes prospective home buyers feel safer when they buy a manufactured home, vs. a pre-HUD Code mobile home.

The reason why terminology can matter is what occurred in the battle waged in Ohio.

Recall that their Governor John Kasich weighed in on an effort against the industry and their home owner associations, claiming mobile homes were less safe in a fire.  What the governor was being deceptive or ignorant on is that the pre-HUD Code mobile home safety issue had been remedied by the national manufactured home construction and safety standards.  That fix took place 4 decades before the issues in Ohio came to a head.

That powerful fact is one of numerous reasons why the precise terminology matters.

In this specific KNOE report, local media got it right, because the fire fighters called the charred unit by its actual proper name.

With all due respect to Stacey Epperson, who has previously said that “a home is a home” and there should be no other terminology, like “mobile home,” “trailer house” or “manufactured home” used. That’s nice, but arguably unrealistic. A home that is born in a factory on a chassis – and that running gear is often used just once or twice – and then is rarely if ever moved again. Was that home born before of after June 15, 1976? Did it exit the production center with or without a red HUD Label, which is makes it earn the title of a manufactured home?  Those details matter.  The standards the home was built to matter to that homeowner, the neighbors, to the industry, and a nation seeking an affordable housing solution.


Stacey Epperson, credit, Next Step.

Education is an answer that could bring tens of billions of dollars annually in more retail sales to the industry.  That education can and should be done locally, regionally or nationally. See the related reports, linked further below.

Mobile homes are more fire prone, while a manufactured home is as safe as a conventional site built house statistically. That’s a reality that requires names, facts, and definitions.  That reality is the one that caused the NFPA to do their study, referenced above.


Here is another reason why definitions and proper terminology matters.

Easy doesn’t pay well,” says Sunshine Homes President John Bostick.  It may be hard work – at first – to change habits of how we call things. But changing terminology was accomplished during the civil rights movement.  It was the right thing to do.  It needs to be done to advance the manufactured home movement, because that’s the right thing to do too.


Reviewing Another Reason Terminology Matters

Here’s another reason why it matters.  This local media report, whether they knew it or not, got it right. That house that burned wasn’t a manufactured home.  It wasn’t a trailer house.  It was a pre-HUD Code mobile home, as an expert can tell by looking at the photo from the local media, shown above.


To see the Ultimate Manufactured Housing Infographic, click here.

The public and millions of manufactured home owners don’t want to be known as trailer trash.  The industry can and must lead on this issue.  It is as simple as it is laid out herein.

If the

  • Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) wanted to fix this issue,
  • or if Berkshire Hathaway wanted to fix this issue, arguably either or both could make big strides in short order. Berkshire owns numerous newspapers. Berkshire could alternate the use of their various platforms to educate others in media, and the public at large.

So why don’t they?

But if the whole world did it wrong, is that a reason for you or your colleagues to do it wrong?

“What’s wrong is that we don’t ask what’s right.” – G.K. Chesterton. The tuxedo argument of that message writer is cute, clever, but it isn’t logical.  We don’t call a black man the n-word, as the Rev. Donald Tye Jr explained. Nor should we call a manufactured home a trailer house or a mobile home.


Two wrongs never have, and never will, make something right.  Experience shows that qualified people who are home shopping would rather buy a manufactured home, as opposed to a mobile home or a trailer houses.  The letters to the editor that pop up over the years often say the same thing.

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues


The Bottom Line?

We as MH Industry business owners, investors or professionals need to elevate the discussion, not add to the confusion. Check out the linked related reports, below and above, to see more practical reasons why the terminology matters.

But that email from an industry professional was arguably correct in this sense.  A misuse of terminology is “frankly insulting” to millions of home owners, and thousands of industry professionals. 

Who agrees with that last point?  Mark Weiss, President and CEO of MHARR.


When did he say that?  At the same time others did in response to the outrage expressed in MHVille when an anti-Trumper used the term “trailer park trash” to describe three people who visited the White House.


See the full, original story, by clicking the image above.

When Frank Rolfe was still speaking publicly against MHI and their failure to engage with the media, he said this about Olbermann’s tweet.


See the entire article and other industry reactions, at this link here.

That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) See Related Reports, linked further below.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Related Reports:


“Fixing Our Industry’s Terrible” Public Relations, a Proven Strategy

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

“Trailers for Sale or Rent,” “Pencil Head, Its Not a Trailer Park,” Manufactured Home Rental Reality Checks

City Adopts Manufactured Housing Ordinance, Terminology Matters

April 10th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Wisconsin Department of Safety Professional Services.

In Groesbeck, Texas the city council passed an ordinance that makes a distinction between manufactured and mobile homes.

According to the Groesbeck Journal, the passing of the ordinance reflects the members’ consensus from a workshop on the subject that they held in early March.

As informed veteran manufactured housing professionals and enthusiasts know, HUD Code manufactured homes that are properly installed and maintained have a similar life expectancy as conventional housing. Any housing that is not, for whatever reason, properly maintained tends to fall into disrepair and can deteriorate more rapidly, and thus, shorten its useful life expectancy.


Credit: Best Places to Live.

By contrast, pre-HUD Code mobile homes were not routinely built to those same standards. Even so, millions of mobile homes have gone years beyond their projected useful life expectancy.

The council said that the distinction between the two are important, because the term “mobile home” is often used in common parlance to refer to manufactured homes built before and after the defining 1976 date.

The city’s ongoing efforts to regulate manufactured housing have caused some people to believe the city is prohibiting all manufactured housing, regardless of age.


Terminology Matters 

In a recent story from the Daily Business News about mobile and manufactured home myths and facts, we shined a bright light on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, and why terminology matters.


Chief Mark Keller. Official Photo.

This fire involved a true mobile home and was not a manufactured home. I do not have the age of the mobile home available right now,” Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller told MHProNews.

Mobile homes are inherently bad with fire conditions. They’re not really designed to withhold any kind of fire.”

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said Andrea Reichman, Assistant Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA).


Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As noted by the local Fire Chief Mark Keller, the home involved was a ‘mobile home,’ which indicates the home was built prior to the 1976 HUD Code Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Reichman said.

Often times such incidents are reported inaccurately, and facilitate the image that manufactured homes are not safe when nothing could be further from the truth.  Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. The 1986 national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes,” said Reichman.

The issue in Ohio points to a larger trend that’s happening nationally, and one industry organization cites frustration with “sloppy journalism.”


M. Mark Weiss. Credit: MHProNews.

While any harm to people or property is regrettable, there is no excuse for sloppy journalism that can harm the industry and consumers. The fact is that today’s federally regulated manufactured homes are as safe or safer than other types of homes when it comes to fire, as shown by research done by the National Fire Protection Association on multiple fire safety metrics,” said M. Mark Weiss, JD, President CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

It is therefore misleading and a disservice to readers to fail to distinguish between pre-1976 ‘mobile homes,’ said Weiss“and today’s manufactured homes. This is why MHARR successfully demanded several years ago that the U.S. Fire Administration remove similarly misleading language from it’s website. 

The industry and consumers need to insist on an accurate media portrayal of today’s high-quality manufactured homes,” said Weiss.


Credit: MHLivingNews.

For more on from the NFPA report on fire safety of modern manufactured home compared to conventional housing and mobile homes, click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHCC set to Meet May 25, 2016 via Teleconference

April 19th, 2016 Comments off

HUD logoMHProNews has learned from amazonaws the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) will sponsor a teleconference meeting on Wed., May 25, 2016 from 1 PM to 4 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

A public meeting, citizens wanting to comment are encouraged to register in advance, and the MHCC will strive to include citizen comments within the time constraints of the meeting agenda.

In addition to approving the minutes from the Jan. 19, 2016 meeting, Technical Systems Subcommittee, NFPA 70-2014, the agenda will focus on consideration of replacing Subpart I

of 24 CFR 3280 with incorporation by reference of applicable provisions of NFPA 70,

National Electrical Code-2014. MHCC will also review submitted proposed amendments to NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.

The MHCC is an advisory committee, and can only make recommendations to HUD. ##

(Image credit: Department of Housing and Urban Development)

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

Death of Child in Factory Built House Fire Inspires Increased Education on Fire Safety

January 5th, 2015 Comments off

mobile-home-fire-no-smoke-detector-hud-code-manufactured-homes-safer-credit=victoriaadvocate-posted-daily-business-news-mhmsm-com-Manufactured homes, those factory built homes constructed after June 15, 1976, according to HUD Code construction and safety standards, have proven to be safer from fire than stick and brick houses or pre-HUD Code mobile homes.  Still, safety precautions need to be taken. This includes have working fire alarms positioned in various parts of the home.

The death of six-year-old David Macias in a Victoria, Texas, fire on Sunday, December 28, occurred when no fire alarms sounded. His brother Gabriel Macias, 7, suffered smoke inhalation and burns to 40 percent of his body and is recovering at Shriner’s Hospitals for Children in Galveston, Texas.

This tragedy has prompted the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross to begin a major campaign to make sure every home in the Crossroads area has working smoke alarms. Fire safety advocates are promoting the free smoke alarm program in an effort to reduce the number of home fire fatalities and injuries.

The Victoria Advocate tells MHProNews that officials think a space heater was the cause of the early Sunday morning fire, and the preliminary investigation suggests that paper material ignited near the heater in the room the two boys shared.

Two other siblings slept in the room next door. The stepfather to three of the children happened to wake up and see the smoke, but when he opened the door to the boys’ room, it was too late – the fire had been burning for awhile. The room was filled with carbon monoxide, causing damage to the boys’ lungs.

The manufactured home had smoke detectors, but they weren’t working,” Ron Pray, Victoria County fire marshal, explained. “If the smoke detectors had been working, the boys would have awakened.”

This fire came just a few weeks after five children died in another manufactured home fire in the neighboring town of Edna. Pray explained that “It is as important as ever to get the word out about testing smoke alarms monthly.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a fire in half. Victoria (City) Fire Marshal Tom Legler said that “Smoke alarms give everybody a fighting chance.” He suggested making a reminder on calendars and smartphones for a specific day each month to check whether the alarm works. He also said that residents could simply use a broomstick to test the alarm if it’s too high on the wall or ceiling.

In addition, he said that the Victoria fire marshal staff and firefighters can provide additional help and can change alarm batteries on request. “If invited, they will go to the home to check whether the detector is adequate and conduct a fire safety survey,” Legler said. In addition, he said that the city offers free smoke alarms and installation for those who need financial assistance.

Victoria County Fire Marshal Pray said he supports this campaign, especially for “those out in the county who might not realize they face additional safety concerns.” One thing that can lead to fires, he said, is that rural homes are not inspected or subject to regulations like the ones in the city. He’s been to manufactured homes with five or six room additions on which the homeowners did their own electrical work.

He cautions homeowners not to overload electrical outlets, be careful not to leave hot appliances unattended and to follow directions on operating space heaters. “This is especially dangerous in older manufactured homes,” he said. “They tend to burn very quickly because of the materials they are made of.”

No clear information was available about the factory built home that burned, revealing if it was constructed before or after the HUD Code regulations went into effect on June 15, 1976. Manufactured homes built according to HUD specifications are far more fire resistant and perform better at preventing losses than conventional construction (see NFPA report referenced below). However, if people make additions and do their own electrical wiring – or fail to keep working smoke detectors – those action present additional hazards not caused by the manufactured home or its design. ##


See related article:

(Photo Credit: Victoria, Texas, Advocate)

sandra-lane-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-75x75-Article submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News – MHProNews

Manufactured Homes – Safer in Fires than “Sticks and Bricks” Houses

January 1st, 2015 Comments off

burning-housecredit=christian-randolph-kalamazoo-gazette-manufactured-housing-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Two so-called ‘mobile home’ fires that hit local news illustrate the fact that modern manufactured homes (MH) offer better protection by design. Modern MH is safer against fires than traditionally constructed housing. MH is safer than pre-HUD Code mobile homes too. Who says? The NFPA – the National Fire Protection Association.

While there are legitimate fires in modern manufactured homes, some of those fires are actually acts of arson. Both of the stories that follow, according to the respective sources, are alleged or potential acts of arson.

On December 17, 2014 a “suspicious” fire occurred in a manufactured home community near Kalamazoo, Michigan. MLiveNews  reports that the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety received a report of smoke coming from a home, and upon arrival, found that a fire had been set underneath the home.

“When we arrived on the scene we were told that no one was inside the trailer,” Lt. Jeff VanderWiere said, using the T word not about an towable RV, when in this case, he should have said “manufactured home” (MH). “We did a search of the trailer regardless, but found that no one inside the residence.”

VanderWiere added,At this time we’re going to deem (the fire) suspicious until we get an actual determination of what caused it.” The fireman suggested that any utilities that might be running underneath the MH could be a possible cause, which would need to be investigaged.

On the other side of the U.S. near San Diego, a manufactured home fire occurred on December 26, in Campo, California. Authorities said it appeared that the resident intentionally set the fire while still inside. Fortunately, the fire was put out before damaging other homes. It did, however, damage to that residence.

As reported by ABC Channel 10 News,Fire crews said by the time they got there, the woman was out of the house.” In addition, Captian Freddy Arambula with Cal Fire said, “At the time when we found out about the occupant, the sheriff let us know that they had her in custody.”

Deputies reportedly said the woman was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation.

An industry veteran told MHProNews  off the record that some such fires are a case of “the spontaneous combustion that occurs when there is friction between the mortgage or financing papers and the desire of the manufactured home resident to move quickly.”

Despite such unfortunate events, experience and testing by NFPA and others have proven that manufactured homes generally provide more protection against fire than conventional homes.

The NFPA report also shows that pre-HUD Code MH – which truly should be called ‘mobile homes’ – were also much more fire prone than today’s manufactured housing.

Manufactured home sellers can be proud of the industry’s homes, which are safer by design than the mobile homes of yesteryear, or the typical site-built homes of today.

When more MH business owners, managers, association leaders plus rank and file MH professionals learn and share the facts about our homes well, that we will be a big step towards getting the respect – and added business – that modern Manufactured Housing deserves.

America needs more affordable housing, and we have the solution millions and public officials want. ##

See related report, which includes the NFPA study on MH and fire as a free download with graphics:

(Photo Credits: Christian Randolph, Kalamazoo Gazette)



Article submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News – MHProNews. 

Fires, Mobile and Manufactured Housing in the News

October 24th, 2014 Comments off

sumterville fla mobile home fie--dailycommercial com  creditOne of the more common local stories that news feeds bring MHProNews  are those related to “mobile home” fires. Some are tragic, others arson or human error. Many of these are obviously pre-HUD Code “mobile homes,” not manufactured homes.  The home that burned in Sumter County, Florida falls into a gray area of not being able to tell from the photo or details if the home was pre-code or not..

What is clear from the story is that a kitchen fire – perhaps human error – was the cause.

Fire-fighters responding to a call found a “mobile home” engulfed in flames which they were quickly able to extinguish, but the resident suffered minor burns and exposure to smoke, although he refused treatment. Fire chief Leland Greek tells MHProNews  the fire appears to be cooking related, but is still under investigation.   The resident threw water on the fire in an attempt to put it out. A dog died in the fire, and the home was ruled a total loss because of the extensive damage, according to dailycommercial.

With so many newcomers in manufactured housing (MH), it’s prudent to remind all that modern MH are as-or-more safe against fires as conventional construction.

To underscore that point, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reported thatRecent fire data analysis prepared by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicated that HUD standard units have a similar fire safety record to that of one- and two-family dwelling units.”  Their full report is found at this link.  ##

(Photo credit: dailycommercial/Sumter County fire & EMS)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com(Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews)

HUD MH Head Announces new AO for the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee

June 19th, 2014 Comments off

Pamela Danner, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing, released a letter announcing Home Innovation Research Labs, Inc. as the new Administrating Organization (AO) for the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). According to the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), the new AO is the research and laboratory affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a trade group representing the site-built housing industry. MHProNews understands the previous AO was the National Fire Protection Association, which expressed an interest in installing smoke detectors in manufactured homes. ##

(Image credit:

Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee Seeking Members

January 31st, 2014 Comments off

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) has posted a notice soliciting applications for potential members in all categories as MHProNews has learned. The very extensive website published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) covers the activities of the MHCC going back to revisions in the text dealing with the word ‘defect’ in April , 2003. For the website, please click here.

(Image credit: U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

HUD Suspends MHCC Activities

May 17th, 2012 Comments off

Following HUD’s suspension of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) Administering Organization (AO) services by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) because of HUD’s failure to pay the NFPA, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) sent a letter to Carol Galante, HUD Assistant Secretary-Federal Housing Commissioner. In reminding Ms. Galante of their meeting last fall in which the importance of the MHCC as part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 was stressed for proper operation of the MH program, MHARR President Danny Ghorbani reiterates HUD’s disregarding the role of the MHCC as intended by Congress. He says, “…the indefinite suspension of all MHCC activities threatens to return the program to the type of closed door, unaccountable and non-transparent regulatory practices that Congress sought to end through the reforms of the 2000 law.”

(Image credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Sparks fly on NFPA Report on Fires and Manufactured Homes: We provide, You decide

October 27th, 2011 Comments off We Provide You Decide2MHProNews has received press releases and statements/reports from and about the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) on the topic of fire safety in HUD Code manufactured housing. The differing press releases from MHI and MHARR are closely tied with the subject of fire sprinklers, preemption and the very nature of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). The NFPA has issued a correction on their report from last summer, including a statement that their report concludes that the rate of fire injury and the incidents of fires for manufactured home occupants is lower than for occupants of other single family homes.

“This report concludes what the industry and our customers have known all along.  Manufactured homes are built with consumer safety considerations first and foremost, and manufactured homes are built to high quality, stringent standards to keep customers safe,” said Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Thayer Long.  MHI’s position also stated, “MHCC members also heard from industry representatives, including a third party inspection agency and several state regulators, that the current fire safety standards for manufactured homes are more stringent than for site built homes constructed to the International Residential Code (IRC). Flame spread, egress, and smoke detector requirements are three examples.” Click here to read  the entire MHI press release.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) resent a previous release, that took the NFPA to task for misstating the facts in their summer reports, and essentially called upon the NFPA to correct the errors in their report, which the the NFPA has now addressed.

MHI’s statement began with this sentence, “Last week, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) testified before a federal advisory committee that occupants of manufactured homes are no more likely to die from a fire in their home than occupants of other single family homes. ” This phrasing “federal advisory committee” (emphasis added in the above) has caused concerns in the past, as some MHCC members read the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA of 2000) not to have created a typical “federal advisory committee” at all. An informed source stated, “The 2000 law does say that the MHCC is an “advisory committee,” but then goes on to provide specific powers, authority and procedures for the MHCC that go far beyond those of run-of-the-mill federal advisory committees; powers that are extraordinary. HUD has sought to downgrade and ignore the unique role and powers of the MHCC by claiming that the MHCC is a run-of-the-mill advisory committee and by trying to shoehorn it into strict compliance with the Federal Advisory Committees Act, which generally governs the existence and procedures of federal advisory committees, but states that its provisions are super-ceded by more specific federal law – in this case the specific authority of the MHCC under the 2000 law.  So, what we don’t want to conceded (is) that the MHCC is a typical or run-of- the-mill federal advisory committee. It is an advisory committee with a unique role and extensive, specific authority delegated directly by Congress.”  Those powers are designed to make the MHCC a check on HUD’s regulatory authority, to keep the agency from imposing unrealistic, unduly burdensome or overly costly regulations on HUD Code manufactured home builders.

Downloads from the various parties are available at the links below. An Industry Voices Guest Blog post by long time MHCC member Doug Gorman on a related topic can be found at this link.

Manufactured Home Fires
MHARR letter to NFPA on its firestudy 8-3-2011
National Fire Protection Association July 2011


(Graphic credit: MHProNews)