MHI Week In Review — August 19, 2011

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MHI Efforts on Dodd-Frank Remain Steady

With bi-partisan support for MHI’s efforts on Dodd-Frank, the process has been moved into the bill drafting phase with Congressional legislative counsel. Congress is now in August recess and MHI expects to have language finalized in legislative format with our supporters shortly after they return in September. MHI will keep all members apprised of new developments as they happen.

Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) Subcommittee on Regulatory Enforcement Meets

The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) Subcommittee on Regulatory Enforcement met this week via teleconference. The subcommittee reviewed four regulatory proposals previously considered by the MHCC and pending at HUD and to give new committee members the opportunity to ask questions. There are no proposed changes to the HUD procedural and enforcement regulations before the MHCC at this time.

The items covered were proposed rules on Subpart I and On-Site Completion of Construction, a proposed rule to change the regulations under Part 3282 regarding primary inspection agencies (PIAs), and a proposal to amend the definition of Recreational Vehicle {24 CFR 3282.8(g)}. Following are brief points on each:

Subpart I Rule

A final rule on changes to Subpart I of 24 CFR Part 3282 is undergoing internal review within the Office of Manufactured Housing.

On-Site Completion Rule

A final rule has been written, and is under review. The rule addresses HUD-Code construction methods for homes that require completion on-site.

Primary Inspection Agencies (PIA’s)

A proposed rule changing the HUD monitoring requirements for PIA’s is in the process of being finalized before being submitted for internal review within the Office of Manufactured Housing. It was noted that, despite numerous meetings and conference calls, a consensus recommendation for changes to the current regulations was never reached by the MHCC.

Recreational Vehicle/Park Trailers

The subcommittee reviewed a 2010 MHCC vote on a HUD proposal advocated by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, which would eliminate the maximum size requirement for RV’s and clarify the differences between RV’s and Park Trailers. While the MHCC voted to clarify differences between RV’s and Park Trailers, it voted to retain the 400 square foot limit for RV’s.

HUD announced that it will bring another proposal before the MHCC in October. This is a result of a Congressional inquiry regarding concerns that the current definition is limiting the ability of the RV industry to meet market demands for larger RV’s.

The next meeting of the full MHCC and its subcommittees will be held in Alexandria, Virginia, October 11-13, 2011.

MHI Remains Focused on Stimulus and Debt Reduction Plan

This week President Obama announced plans to release a plan calling for a new round of stimulus spending and tax cuts.

The plan may contain tax cuts for companies that hire new workers, new spending for transportation infrastructure and other measures designed to combat long-term joblessness.

Coupled with the stimulus measures, the initiative is expected to contain deficit reduction provisions in excess of the $1.5 trillion in cuts the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is tasked with indentifying by November 23.

The three Senate Democratic members of the joint deficit reduction panel, including co-chair Patty Murray (D-WA), have gone on record that the committee needs to make job creation a priority.

While none on the panel have called for cuts beyond $1.5 trillion over ten years, there is considerable disagreement between Republican and Democratic members over the inclusion of revenue raisers/new taxes.

Some of the tax provisions that have been identified as potential targets of the “super committee” include the new Energy Star tax credit (I.R.C. 45L) which MHI is working to preserve.

MHI Members Host Members of Congress Back Home

During the Congressional August recess, Representatives Ken Calvert (R-44th-CA) and Devin Nunes (R-21st-CA) will tour Champion and Fleetwood manufacturing facilities in California. Tours of building facilities, land-lease communities or any business illustrate first-hand the important impact our industry and its employees have in providing housing opportunities for millions of Americans and are an excellent tool for grassroots advocacy. It’s important to raise the visibility of our industry, and one of the best ways to do so is to host a tour with your elected official.

MHI Member Hosts Senator Dean Heller of Nevada

On Monday, August 15th, Leo Poggione, President of Craftsman Homes hosted a fundraising reception in honor of Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). Governor Brian Sandoval appointed Representative Heller to fill the vacancy of retiring Senator John Ensign who resigned in May. Senator Heller is a key Member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a friend of the industry. This highly successful fundraiser raised $12,000 for the Senator’s campaign committee.

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