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HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” on Carport-Ready Manufactured Homes, Other Changes Ahead?

May 21st, 2019 Comments off

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In a news release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said the following.

 

MAY 21, 2019

 

 

TO:                 MHARR MANUFACTURERS
                        MHARR STATE AFFILIATES
                        MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

 FROM: MHARR

RE:                  HUD RESCINDS 2017 “GUIDANCE” ON CARPORT-READY HOMES

In one of its first substantive regulatory reform actions under Trump Administration Executive Orders (EO) 13771 and 13777, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on May 20, 2019 (see, copy attached), that it is rescinding sub-regulatory “guidance” issued in 2017, requiring Alternate Construction (AC) approval for “carport-ready” manufactured homes.

MHARR first raised the issue of HUD’s unilateral designation of certain manufactured home features as “add-ons” pursuant to 24 C.F.R. 3282.7(b) – and thus requiring AC approval – in 2014 meetings and communications with former HUD program administrator, Pamela Danner.  The Association continued to press the issue of de facto rulemaking via sub-regulatory “guidance” memoranda (i.e., agency dictates issued without notice and comment rulemaking proceedings or Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee review as required by federal law) – concerning this and numerous other matters, in its EO 13771/13777 comments to HUD filed on June 7, 2017, further EO 13771/13777 comments submitted to HUD on February 20, 2018, and in an April 25, 2018 communication to Acting HUD General Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dana Wade.

HUD’s action in this matter is specifically based on recommendations of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), approved at its September 2018 in-person meeting.  As reported by MHARR at the time, “the Committee voted to recommend the withdrawal of HUD Field Guidance memoranda requiring Alternate Construction (AC) approval for carports, by effectively classifying carport-ready designs as involving an ‘add-on.’ The Committee also adopted a resolution supporting amendments to various sections of the Procedural and Enforcement Regulations to permit specific ‘add-on’ structures, including garages. Again, each of these changes have been specifically addressed and advocated by MHARR in both written comments and direct interactions with HUD officials.”

Consistent with these MHCC recommendations – and, again, as noted by HUD in its May 20, 2019 Notice – a separate June 12, 2014 HUD memorandum concerning “attached garages” is not being formally rescinded pursuant to this Notice, but will, apparently, be addressed by forthcoming proposed-amended regulations.  Nevertheless, MHARR continues to maintain and assert in direct meetings with HUD officials and related communications that all such sub-regulatory “guidance” memoranda are unenforceable and must be withdrawn.

Moreover – and in addition to the foregoing – the fact that it has taken more than two years for the HUD program, under its current leadership, to implement the very first substantive regulatory reform action since the Trump Administration took office, underscores a growing concern among manufactured housing program stakeholders, as first reported by MHARR following the recent April 30 – May 2, 2019 MHCC meeting, that some within the HUD program may be “slow-walking” long-overdue regulatory and program reforms in order to “wait-out” the current Administration and the tenure of Secretary Carson, who, according to media reports, may be leaving HUD at the conclusion of the President’s current term.

Regardless, MHARR will continue to aggressively pursue this matter with HUD, Congress and other appropriate authorities.

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The release included an attachment from HUD Office of Manufactured Housing Program (OMHP) acting administrator, Teresa B. Payne.  That official HUD letter is linked here.

MHProNews notes that this follows in the wake of the recent address by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who pledged to continue to work with the manufactured housing industry in practical ways to make more affordable housing available.

 

 

The full text of Carson’s speech is linked above, along with related videos and more.

 

Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery Removal of Obsolete and Superseded Guidance Documents Letter

Note too this recent MHARR effort, linked above.  In the wake of that, came this decision. Clearly, there advocacy is having some impact, it is more than just photo ops.

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

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“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court Ruling for HUD on Amending Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Opens Door for More HomeSites for Manufactured Housing

August 23rd, 2018 Comments off

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During this affordable housing crisis, there are several arguments to be made for a broader use of manufactured housing.  But discriminatory local zoning is often a barrier.

 

A new ruling is being embraced by HUD and others as a welcome development that could lead to more manufactured home placements.

On Tuesday, HUD tells the Daily Business News that, “In the wake of a federal court decision upholding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s approach to rulemaking, HUD Secretary Ben Carson today announced that HUD intends to move forward in amending its 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations.”

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Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

Addressing HUD employees, Secretary Ben Carson said, “I am tremendously gratified that the Court agreed with HUD on all its legal arguments. My approach to regulations is that they should work in practice and not just in theory.  Fairness is baked into our DNA.  Whether it’s making sure our regulations work in the real world, or challenging discrimination where we find it, HUD stands for fairness.”

HUD is asking for comments on rulemaking that will follow this court ruling.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said, “This is potentially an important rulemaking for HUD Code manufactured housing, as Secretary Carson has indicated that he wants to use an amended AFFH framework to combat exclusionary local zoning rules that keep affordable housing — including federally-regulated manufactured homes — out of many communities. We address this in the upcoming September 2018 issue of MHARR — Issues and Perspectives, and will take further specific actions to advance this issue.”

The full text of the HUD statement about the ruling and related to MHProNews, including the link to the request for comments to rulemaking is found below.

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FOLLOWING COURT RULING, HUD MOVING FORWARD ON AMENDING AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING REGULATIONS

WASHINGTON – In the wake of a federal court decision upholding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s approach to rulemaking, HUD Secretary Ben Carson today announced that HUD intends to move forward in amending its 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations. 

Last week, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, dismissed a lawsuit against HUD related to the Department’s decision to suspend the use of a computer tool to be used by local governments in meeting their fair housing obligations to ‘affirmatively further fair housing.’  Rather than helping local governments, this tool proved confusing, difficult to use, and frequently produced unacceptable results.  Read the Court’s ruling. 

In a message to HUD employees, Secretary Carson said, “I am tremendously gratified that the Court agreed with HUD on all its legal arguments. My approach to regulations is that they should work in practice and not just in theory.  Fairness is baked into our DNA.  Whether it’s making sure our regulations work in the real world, or challenging discrimination where we find it, HUD stands for fairness.” 

On August 13, 2018,  HUD published a notice inviting the public’s comment on amendments to the Department’s AFFH regulations. HUD’s goal in pursuing new rulemaking is to offer more helpful guidance to states and local communities to effectively promote fair housing choice through the use of their federal funds.

Specifically, HUD is seeking public comment on changes that will: (1) minimize regulatory burden while more effectively aiding program participants to meet their statutory obligations, (2) create a process focused primarily on accomplishing positive results, rather than on analysis, (3) provide for greater local control and innovation, (4) seek to encourage actions that increase housing choice, including through greater housing supply, and (5) more efficiently utilize HUD resources. 

In addition, HUD plans a number of informal listening forums across the country to hear directly from interested stakeholders, including civil rights advocates, public housing authorities and state and local planners.  Read HUD’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and provide comment.

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

 

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