Congressional leaders will vote on legislation to help stimulate the economy and increase energy efficiency. MHI strongly supports the amendment offered by Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana on Energy Efficient Manufactured Homes which was attached to H.R. 5019, the Home STAR Energy Retrofit Act of 2010. The Home STAR legislation will be going to House Rules most likely Wednesday (May 5th) and then to the House floor on Thursday (May 6th) for a vote.
This legislation would create a targeted grant program to help replace Pre-1976 mobile homes in the nation with new, decent and affordable manufactured housing that will save energy and money, build asset-wealth for low-income households, create jobs in the struggling manufactured housing industry, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation would offer $7500 rebates which may be provided to facilitate the purchase of a new Energy Star qualified home. To cover the additional cost of removing and recycling the old home an additional grant of up to $2,500 to be provided upon proof of decommissioning. An amendment will also be offered by Congresswoman Pingree of Maine to include modular homes within the rebate program.
Replacing these units will stimulate widespread economic growth in terms of new jobs and community economic development as dilapidated structures are replaced with attractive, energy efficient new homes that free up dollars once spent on high energy bills. We have estimated that each new manufactured home adds more than one new U.S. job in home manufacturing and related construction and services. One of the advantages of factory construction is the relatively short time in which demand turns into production. Qualifying households participating in the program will save an average of $1,800 per year in energy costs, savings that could be better applied to offsetting the new home monthly mortgage costs and therefore building equity.
Nationwide, more than 2 million families live in mobile homes built prior to 1976, when federal standards for manufactured housing construction quality and safety went into effect and long before energy efficiency standards were established. Replacement (and decommissioning the old unit) is the only viable option. A modest federal program that can leverage additional local resources would provide a solution for many more families near or below the poverty line who are trapped in a cycle of very high energy bills with no means to make efficiency upgrades in their own homes.
Call to Action
To make the maximum impact we can on Capitol Hill as an industry, we need your grassroots help. MHI members are encouraged to call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or go to http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/index.html to contact their Representative to urge them to support the amendment offered by Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana on Energy Efficient Manufactured Homes which was attached to H.R. 5019, the Home STAR Energy Retrofit Act of 2010. If you have any questions, please contact Rae Ann Bevington at 703-558-0675 or RBevington@mfghome.org.
Thanks in advance for your help!