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Will Costs Rise $6,000 per Home? DOE Energy Rule on Manufactured Housing Revived, MHARR Rattles Legal Saber

June 12th, 2018 Comments off

WillCostsRise$6000PerHomeDamagingDOEEnergyRuleRevivedMHARRrattlesLegalSaberManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

The revival of a previously “inactive” energy rule for manufactured homes by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) may trigger legal action by MHARR on behalf of smaller HUD Code industry businesses,” said MHARR in a release do the Daily Business News.

 

As MHARR reported on December 18, 2017, the baseless, contrived and excessively-costly DOE-proposed manufactured housing “energy” rule, developed as part of an illegitimate, so-called “negotiated rulemaking” process — urged by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and “energy” special interests, as shown by documents released by DOE to MHARR under the Freedom of Information Act — was designated an “inactive” rule by DOE in the Fall 2017 Federal Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda (SRA),” the Washington, D.C. based association’s statement said to the industry’s trade publication of record, MHProNews.

That proposed rule, however, possibly in response to pending litigation filed by the Sierra Club in December 2017 to force DOE to adopt a final manufactured housing rule, has now re-appeared in the Spring 2018 SRA, with a notation indicating that a “supplemental” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is being targeted for publication by DOE by August 2018. (See copy attached),” MHARR said.

The reason the rule is important is because some analysis of the arguably flawed proposal reveal that a multi-sectional could spike $6,000 each.  As long-time Daily Business News readers recall, the National Association for Home Builders has calculated that for every $1,000 in price increase, some 200,000 potential buyers will be “priced out” of the market for that higher-priced home.  Rephrased, some 1.2 million customers using the NAHB “priced out” model would be knocked out, and some advantage over conventional housing could be lost in the process.

Here’s how MHARR put it. 

While there is no information available at present as to what the “supplemental” NPRM will propose — or may change from the initial NPRM published by the Obama Administration in June 2016 — MHARR (unlike MHI, which voted in favor of the proposed rule as part of the illegitimate “negotiated” rulemaking process) has consistently and strongly opposed this proposed rule, which would needlessly explode the purchase price of manufactured housing (by $6,000.00, or more, for a double-section home) and effectively force hundreds-of-thousands of potential lower and moderate-income HUD Code purchasers out of the manufactured housing market, based on research conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).” 

Moreover, even for consumers who are able to remain in the HUD Code market, the contrived DOE “cost-benefit” assessment for the 2016 proposed rule, purportedly showing “benefits” for such remaining consumers, has been completely decimated by subsequent actions of the Trump Administration, which: (1) disavowed and repealed the Obama Administration’s invalid “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC) construct, which was used by DOE to inflate the alleged benefits of the 2016 proposed rule; and (2) withdrew the United States from the “Paris Climate Accord,” which formed part of the policy basis for the DOE proposed rule,” reasoned MHARR.

As MHProNews has previously reported, MHI pushed for this rule, and only later reversed course, under pressure from reports by MHARR, the SBA, George Washington University, and this publication.  The linked article below can be read for additional context and details.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

 

What’s Next from MHARR?

Here’s an extended quote from the balance of the MHARR release, which will be follow by our 3 point summary/analysis.

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Consequently, unless the forthcoming “supplemental” NPRM substantially modifies and/or withdraws objectionable, unnecessary, and unnecessarily-costly elements of the initial DOE proposed rule, MHARR may have no alternative but to consider legal action to enjoin the enforcement of any resulting “final” rule. Prior to any such court action, however, MHARR (and the industry) will have a further opportunity to comment and take other administrative action, as warranted, with respect to the “supplemental” energy NPRM. 

MHARR, accordingly, will continue to monitor this matter very closely and will take further and additional steps as it deems appropriate.

In other matters reflected in the Spring 2018 SRA, HUD announced three regulatory actions affecting manufactured housing. 

First, HUD has withdrawn – effective April 4, 2018 – a pending “Third Set” of amended HUD Code standards, including recommended standards concerning “carbon monoxide detection, stairways, fire safety considerations for attached garages and duplexes.”  Presumably, this action was undertaken pursuant to HUD’s current “top-to-bottom” review of all existing and pending standards, and will be subject to further consideration and action as determined by that review. 

Meanwhile, HUD has reactivated – on a long-term basis — two other manufactured housing rulemaking proceedings that had previously been suspended under the Trump Administration’s January 2017 regulatory freeze order. These are: (1) an “interim final rule” to amend HUD’s formaldehyde emissions standards based on the new formaldehyde standards adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and (2) a final rule on amendments to the HUD Code’s regulatory exemption for recreational vehicles.

Both of these actions are slated for action by April 2019 and will be addressed further by MHARR on an administrative basis as warranted.   

MHARR will continue to keep you updated on all of these matters as further developments unfold,” said their release.

Once more at the heart of this issue is that consumers, per some analysis,

  • won’t be able to recoup their investment during the normal 7 year time frame that a home buyer lives in a home they purchase.
  • Also, manufactured housing professionals will see thousands of potential home buyers not be able to qualify, about 1.2 million, per the NAHB priced out model.
  • SBA, and George Washington University both agreed with MHARR’s analysis, while MHI pushed this rule for some time, prior to relenting.
  • What the Trump Administration will ultimately do will be worth watching, as some believe that this may be tied to a lawsuit from an environmental group.

The Arlington, VA based MHI position on this development will be interesting to watch, given their prior flip-flops.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © That’s MH “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.”  © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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Related Reports:

NAHB Report – High Cost of Regulations Impact Housing – and Manufactured Housing

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Increasing Awareness of what the SBA Offers Small Business, Administrator Linda Mahon, SBA Ignite Tour

August 18th, 2017 Comments off
LindaMcMahonAdministratorofSBACreditBusinessJournalsDailyBusinessNews

Linda McMahon, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Credit, The Business Journals.

The former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Linda McMahon, has been named a member of the Trump Administration’s Cabinet, heading the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Small Business Administration is a government run agency that provides support to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the form of loans, counseling, other assistance, and resources.

The SBA Ignite Tour is one of the latest efforts by McMahon and the SBA to understand the needs and wants of small business owners across America.

The SBA Ignite Tour is a listening tour where Administrator McMahon will travel to the 68 SBA district offices and meet with local small business owners to hear their experiences and concerns,” the White House told MHProNews in a press release.

Another goal of SBA Igite is to help bring awareness about other services offered by the agency outside of loans.

 

McMahon hopes to increase awareness through a marketing plan that will better reflect today’s entrepreneurs. These plans are expected to be announced during Small Business Week in April 2018.

Administrator McMahon is focused on creating an efficient and effective SBA that is responsive to the needs of today’s busy entrepreneurs,” per the White House press release to MHProNews.

McMahon is working to improve the SBA in other ways as well, including improved services with an expanded online experience through HUBZone and Lender Match.

HUBZone online now offers a map which helps small businesses in urban and rural areas determine if they are eligible to participate in the HUBZone program. Lender match is exactly what it sounds like, a tool that provides referrals for small businesses looking for funding opportunities.

 

SBACreditPRNewswireDailyBusinessNews

U.S. Small Business Administration. Credit, PR Newswire.

The Trump Administration’s Recent Efforts will Benefit Small Businesses

In the most recent MH Market Update from Daily Business News, the White House told MHProNews that Executive Orders signed by President Trump will speed up permitting processes for highways and other infrastructure. In the video found in the article the president explains that this will lead to millions of new jobs.

Millions of new jobs will continue to boost the economy, which will in turn benefit small business owners all over the U.S.  As jobs and incomes rise, more homes are purchased. So these plans should benefit the manufactured housing industry sector too.

NFIB Reports Optimism in Small Business Owners, Reflected by Increased New Businesses

Since the election last November, optimism among small business owners was steadily increasing.

There has been a small drop in small business confidence recently, as the Daily Business News recently reported.  This is most likely because Congress has not yet passed legislation on any key issues that the National Federation of Small Businesses (NFIB) has advocated for, such as repealing and replacing ObamaCare, and tax reform.

VPMikePenceNFIBPresidentJunaittaDugganSmallBusinessConfidence

The increased optimism among small business owners and entrepreneurs has led to an increase in small businesses. In fact, the Daily Business News recently reported that for the first time in years there are more businesses opening than their are ones closing.

90PercentBusinessesAreSmallBusinessesCreditGoogleDailyBusinessNews

Google search results showing 90% of U.S. businesses are small businesses. Credit, Google. To read the full report and find out why most small businesses fail, click here.

That article took a look at the main reason’s that small businesses fail – and the SBA is working to provide the resources needed for more small businesses to succeed.

My goal is to spread the word about the agency and all the support it gives to the engines of our economy — small businesses,” McMahon told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s one of the best-kept secrets for their success. That’s why I’m doing this SBA Ignite Tour to spread the word and spark the knowledge.” ## (News)

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

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

Small Business Optimism Index: January Results

February 17th, 2017 Comments off
SmallBusinessOptimismIndexJanuaryResultscreditOprah-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Oprah.

Almost one month into the Donald Trump administration, things continue to look up.

According to the National Federal of Independent Business (NFIB) survey, small business confidence, which saw the largest month-over-month increase in the survey’s history in December, has now reached its highest point in more than a decade.

 

 

The stunning climb in optimism after the election was significantly improved in

JuanitaDugganPresidentCEONational_FederationIndependentBusiness(NFIB)postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

Juanita Duggan. Credit, NFIB.

December and confirmed in January,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.

Small business owners like what they see so far from Washington.

The Index reached 105.9 in January, an increase of 0.1 points, the highest point since December 2004.

The continued surge in optimism is a welcome sign that economic growth is coming,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.

The very positive expectations that we see in our data have already begun translating into hiring and spending in the small business sector.

SmallBusinessOptimismIndexJanuaryResultscreditNFIB1-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: NFIB.

The NFIB survey is a monthly snapshot of small businesses in the U.S., which account for most private-sector jobs and about half of the country’s economic output. Economists look to the report for a read on domestic demand and to extrapolate hiring and wage trends in the broader economy.

SmallBusinessOptimismIndexJanuaryResultscreditNFIB2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: NFIB.

The January jobs report surprised pundits and disappointed critics, coming in strong and well ahead of ‘consensus,” said Dunkelberg.

NFIB survey results anticipated the strong showing as their optimism gets translated into hiring action. Gains in expected sales require more workers to produce output and handle sales. The increase in labor force participation was a welcome sign, suggesting that labor markets are not as tight as the unemployment rate indicates which went up, and that, as opportunities materialize and compensation rises, more workers will re-enter the labor force.

The report from the NFIB is based on a survey of 1,874 small business owners. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small companies represent 99 percent of all U.S. Employers.

We’ve had very low growth for years, mainly because small businesses have been tied down by regulations, taxes, and spiraling health insurance costs,” said Duggan.

Now they can see relief on the horizon, and they are much more optimistic about the future.

For more on last month’s NFIB survey and commentary from the manufactured housing industry, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

SBA, George Washington University, Blast Proposed DOE Energy Rule for Manufactured Housing

September 26th, 2016 Comments off
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Logos and photo are the respective property of each organization as shown, and are used here under Fair Use Guidelines.

It does not appear that DOE grasps the unique challenges that small manufacturers encounter.”

— U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy

A controversial proposal by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for manufactured housing has drawn support as well as growing opposition.

An arm of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and a policy analyst at George Washington University have weighed in on the DOE proposal. Both organizations are expressing concerns that mirror and amplify those advanced by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

The Digital Journal is one of several hundred news and special interest sites that have carried word of how proposed energy efficiency standards could harm manufactured housing producers, businesses and consumers.

Reasoned Opposition Grows

Written comments to the DOE by both the SBA and George Washington University’s regulatory research program echo the vigorous objections of MHARR, which has led the opposition to the proposed rule.

experts-oppose-doe-energy-rule-for-manufactured-homes-digitaljournal-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnews-mhpronews

Image credits, Digital Journal.

Comments filed on August 16th from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy note the DOE proposal does not comply with federal requirements than an agency quantify or describe the economic impact that its proposed regulation might have on small businesses.”

A separate public comment letter submitted the same day from Sofie E. Miller, a senior policy analyst at George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center, note that the DOE’s calculations overestimate the benefits of its proposed rule in several key respects.

Miller particularly notes the adverse impact on prospective low-income purchasers.

“…mandatory, across-the-board increases in efficiency will price many low-income consumers
out of the market for manufactured homes entirely.”

— The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center

As MHProNews has previously reported, MHARR has been highly critical of the proposal.

Highlighting serious – and in MHARR’s view, “fatal” defects in the rule and the rulemaking process – which the Washington-based association says has been troubled by leaks, discrepancies and a lack of transparency.

The MH industry organization has called the DOE’s cost-benefit analysis a sham,” they say is driven by special interests.

mharr logo

MHARR logo, used here under Fair Use guidelines.

The George Washington University (GWU) analysis, stated the Digital Journal, “citing MHARR materials published in the industry trade journal, MHProNews – echoes serious concerns over anti-competitive effects resulting from the DOE proposal.

Executive Order, Third Party Research

MHARR says that of particular interest is an Executive Order issued by the President on April 15, 2016, in which the Center calls on DOE to pay particular attention to the prospective effects of its proposed rule on competition within the MH market.” 

According to recommendations from the GWU Center, “The DOE should commit to retrospectively reviewing its standard to ensure there is no conflict or overlap with existing HUD regulations and to evaluate the rule’s effects on competition within the MH market and the availability of affordable housing.”

In its comments, the SBA’s Office of Advocacy also focused on the proposal’s adverse impacts on competition, noting that the rule would have significantly disproportionate economic impacts on small manufactured home manufacturers if finalized.”

The comments called on DOE to adopt a regulatory alternative to the proposed standard that will minimize the economic impact to small manufacturers.”

MHARR commended these highly respected, independent organizations for filing comments on the proposed MH energy rule.

The cost-benefit analysis for the rule is skewed to the point of being arbitrary at best and deceitful at worst.”

— Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

There are rumors that the Daily Business News is aware of that suggest that if the DOE continues on its proposed course of action without correction, “other legal measures” may be taken beyond written and verbal protest.

For the complete MHARR briefing on this issue, including the reports cited above, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC WIlliams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHARR gets Third Party backup on Controversial, Proposed DOE Rule for Manufactured Homes

September 14th, 2016 Comments off
doe-sbaregulatoryresearchcenter-mharr-mhpronews-mhenergyrulecontroversyspreads-dailybusinessnewsmanufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

Each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines, collage and text graphic, by MHProNews.

Written comments submitted by two highly-respected independent organizations regarding the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed manufactured housing “energy” rule — specifically citing the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) — echo and confirm the vigorous objections to that proposed rule set out by the Association in its own comprehensive August 8, 2016 written comments,” MHARR said in a press release to MHProNews.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) – stated in a document found as a download from the full release, linked here – that the DOE rule does “not comply” with the requirements of the federal Regulatory Fairness Act.

Further, the SBA stated that the DOE proposed rule “would have significantly disproportionate economic impacts on small manufactured home manufacturers if finalized” leading, among other things, to adverse impacts on competition within the industry...”

The Regulatory Studies Center also made a statement on this issue.

Citing MHARR materials published in the industry trade journal, MHProNews – echoes serious concerns over anti-competitive effects resulting from the DOE proposed rule,” reads the MHARR release.

For the full MHARR release and related information, please click here.

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To see the original report, click here or above – fo Image credits, click to the original story.

Note that MHProNews has taken its own, independent objections to the proposed rule, in an analysis reported by mainstream media sites, and as originally found on the link here or by clicking on the graphic above. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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

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

FEMA Grants California Control over Distribution of Emergency Manufactured Homes

August 10th, 2016 Comments off

Calif._Erskine_Fire_rubble_usatoday_credit postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsUpdating a story MHProNews last posted Aug. 1, 2016 regarding the use of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) manufactured homes for people whose homes were destroyed in the Erskine Fire in California, the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pursue a county-state partnership for recovery from the disaster.

An important portion of the partnership involves the 71 manufactured homes FEMA had stored near Sacramento in anticipation of floods that may occur after the wildfires that periodically ravage the state, according to bakersfieldnow.

The MHUs (manufactured housing units) had previously been scheduled to be returned eastward, but the partnership with the state resulted in Cal OIS (California Office of Information Security) requesting FEMA to designate the homes as “surplus,” which allows the state to hold the MH and distribute the units as needed.

Kern County Fire Department Chief Brian Marshall said, “This is an exciting project that will help our residents in the Kern River Valley that were devastated by the Erskine Fire get back to some sort of normalcy,” Marshall said. “Even though the Erskine Fire was out within two weeks, the long-term recovery is going to be years.”

Since the county did not get a federal declaration of disaster, which would have allowed the use of the FEMA housing units, the state contacted FEMA directly and asked that the homes be declared surplus, which allows the partnership to use them as needed. The plan to distribute the MHUs is currently in process.

Other resources include free debris removal and low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA), in addition to a number of nonprofits and volunteer groups assisting in the rebuild of the Kern River Valley. ##

(Photo credit: usatoday–rubble from the Erskine Fire in California)

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

FEMA adds to Expense Ticket in Valley Fire Loss

October 14th, 2015 Comments off

Calif_fires_9_2015__kgo_tv_creditA story MHProNews last published Oct. 8, 2015 details the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief efforts for victims of the Butte and Valley fires in northern California. At that time they had disbursed over $4.5 million, and now that number has jumped to $7.49 million, according to record-bee, and that includes 95% of the registrations documenting loss.

2,268 Lake County residents had registered as of Oct. 13 for grant-based funds provided by FEMA, which will help with repair or replacement of homes, including temporary housing and personal needs. FEMA is determining how many manufactured homes will be brought in as part of the relief effort. “There’s no official word on how many, but that is part of the recovery tool box and something we’re looking at doing,” said Steven Solomon, FEMA External Affairs Specialist.

FEMA moved quickly to complete the 2,310 inspections, and is now networking with community and faith-based groups to consider long-term solutions. The agency is also scoping out sites for the MH.

Additionally the SBA (Small Business Administration) announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations, providing they are deemed a critical need in times of a disaster. The loans can be up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also make loans that could prevent a future disaster from occurring. ##

(Photo credit: kgo-tv–Valley Fire destruction in California)

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

Colorado MH Owners Float with FEMA Funds, while MHC Owners Sink

September 11th, 2014 Comments off

APTOPIX Colorado FloodingFollowing a story MHProNews posted Sept. 16, 2013 regarding the disastrous flooding in Colorado, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says it distributed $61,634,523 to uninsured homeowners hit by the flooding and rain, including $31,900 each to nearly all the residents of two manufactured home communities (MHCs) along the South Platte River in Evans. According to kdvrFOX31.com, while residents abandoned their ruined homes, Keith Cowen, who owns the 153-homesite Eastwood Village MHC, received nothing because FEMA said, “It’s not your personal residence so therefore we cannot pay you for your business.” He says he may lose $500k in unpaid rents, mortgages on manufactured homes he owned as well as clean-up and demolition costs. Evans Community Development Director Sheryl Trent says the city is trying to find relief dollars for Mr. Cowen and several other MHC landlords because by law they are required to clean up damaged property, but lack funding. FEMA suggested the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a better source for businesses to obtain financial aid. ##

(Photo credit: John Wark/Associated Press–road washed out by South Platte river near Greeley, Colo.)

British PreFabs Get MakeOver after 60+ years

November 20th, 2013 Comments off

british-prefabs-get-makeover-credit-morpethhearald-uk-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-60 years after ‘Airey-type’ homes were built using prefabricated concrete panels, these homes are getting a desirable make-over. The 1950s era construction were only expected to last a decade. Win Dolan, 62, lives today in a home with her husband Derek on Hebron Avenue. Dolan says she’s live here all her life. “This is the only home I’ve ever known. We used to have a coal fire as we never had radiators when I was young, so you had to decide when you were going to run upstairs to bed at night because it was so cold.” An investment program worth about £400,000 from Isos Housing in concert with Green Deal, provider Cosyseal and specialist contractors Sykes carried out External Wall Insulation (EWI) upgrades on the 48 prefab homes. ##

(Photo credit: Morpeth Hearald)

Tribal Nation Makes Loans on HUD Code and Mod

May 16th, 2013 Comments off

PRWeb informs MHProNews that through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Oklahoma City’s Bank2 is partnering with First Interstate Bank of Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota to provide affordable housing loans to Native Americans. Offering competitive interest rates and a low down payment, Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program offers financing for our native populations to purchase, refinance, rehab, or build a home. Bank2 is wholly owned by the Chickasaw Nation and makes loans on manufactured and modular homes, using their flexibility to meet housing challenges, as well as offering other innovative financial products to customers on and off tribal trust lands. They also offer a range of government-backed commercial through the SBA and the USDA.

(Photo credit: trulia)