MHI Week In Review — March 30, 2012

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Support Growing for Manufactured Housing Access Legislation

As of March 30th, 22 Representatives agreed to cosponsor legislation (H.R. 3849), which is endorsed by MHI, to make targeted revisions to the Dodd-Frank and SAFE Acts (see co-sponsor list below).

MHI is grateful for the assistance from member companies, state associations, and other industry stakeholders in contacting U.S. Representatives and urging them to co-sponsor this legislation. However, additional assistance is needed in garnering support for the bill.

Those throughout the manufactured housing industry are urged to contact their Representatives and ask they co-sponsor H.R. 3849. Click here for talking points, a sample letter, MHI’s action alert, and additional information.

Co-sponsors—HR 3849

Blackburn, Marsha [R-TN]

Boren, Dan [R-OK]

Boswell, Leonard L. [D-IA]

Calvert, Ken [R-CA]

Chandler, Ben [D-KY]

Cole, Tom [R-OK]

Dold, Robert J. [R-IL]

Donnelly, Joe [D-IN]

Duncan, John J., Jr. [R-TN]

Fincher, Stephen [R-TN] Bill Sponsor

Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [R-PA]

Harper, Gregg [R-MS]

Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC]

Lankford, James [R-OK]

Manzullo, Donald A. [R-IL]

Miller, Gary G. [R-CA]

Nunnelee, Alan [R-MS]

Palazzo, Steven M. [R-MS]

Rahall, Nick J., II [D-WV]

Renacci, James B. [R-OH]

Schweikert, David [R-AZ]

Sullivan, John [R-OK]

Thompson, Bennie G. [D-MS]

Menendez Legislation (S. 2204) to Extend the ENERGY STAR Tax Credit for Manufactured and Modular Homes Defeated in the Senate

What promised to be a high-profile clash over legislation to eliminate billions of dollars in tax breaks for the largest oil companies ended with a vote in the Senate. Last night the legislation, authored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), to eliminate $24 billion in tax deductions for the largest integrated oil companies and extend several green-energy and energy-efficiency tax incentives including the New Energy Efficient Home Tax Credit (I.R.C. 45L) was defeated in the Senate. Lawmakers voted 51-47 to block Sen. Robert Menendez’s bill. Sixty votes were needed to advance the measure.

Specifically, the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act (S. 2204) offered by Senator Robert Menendez (NJ-D) would have extended the new energy efficient homes tax credit, the efficient existing homes tax credit, the efficient appliances tax credit, the renewable energy production tax credit, and the offshore wind investment tax credit. The New Energy Efficient Home Credit (I.R.C. 45L) for manufacturers who build energy efficient homes expired on December 31, 2011. Manufacturers who build ENERGY STAR homes were eligible to receive a $1,000 tax credit while modular home builders were eligible to receive a $2,000 tax credit by exceeding the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by 50 percent.

Republicans strongly oppose the legislation alleging that the bill would burden the oil industry and potentially raise gas prices. Democrats argued that oil companies don’t need the tax breaks at a time when they’re making massive profits.

Proponents of the energy efficient tax incentives now have to regroup and decide upon another legislative approach to extend the tax credits beyond 2011. MHI is committed to working with lawmakers, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Finance Chairman Max Baucus of Montana, and Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, to find a path forward to extend the New Energy Efficient Home Tax Credit for manufactured and modular homes.

With the two-week congressional recess officially under way, MHI is urging members to continue to lobby their Representatives to act to extend the New Energy Efficiency Home Tax Credit beyond 2011.

Contact information for congressional offices is available at the following links:

Bipartisan Willingness to Tweak Dodd-Frank Act Growing

Earlier this week, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) indicated his willingness to move “technical” fixes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, but warned that the prospect of moving seemingly non-controversial measures could be difficult if they become vehicles for partisan policies.

The comments were made in connection to bipartisan legislation currently moving through both the House and Senate making technical corrections to provisions in the law impacting the over-the-counter derivatives market.

As deadlines for full regulatory implementation loom closer for many Dodd-Frank provisions, bipartisan willingness to make limited changes and revisions to the law appear to be growing. The caveat that changes being considered must have broad bipartisan support without undermining the intent of the law.

Such movement is welcome news to many industries, including the manufactured housing industry, which is hoping to minimize some of the law’s unintended consequences.

HUD Seeks Comments from Industry on Research Needs for Factory Built Housing

HUD‘s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) is requesting ideas and comments regarding construction, design, and technology needed to help meet the nation’s housing needs.

HUD wants to hear from a wide range of industry professionals in order to develop a research plan for the next five to 10 years. According to Elizabeth Cocke, Director of HUD PD&R’s Affordable Housing Research and Technology Division, factory construction is a top priority. In an invitation earlier this week to MHI, Ms. Cocke encouraged MHI, our members, state associations and other industry professionals to submit comments. Click here to submit comments.

This is an opportunity to bring national attention to industry needs for data and information that would help advance the growth of factory built housing. The deadline for submitting comments is May 5, 2012. MHI will submit comments and would like member’s ideas, suggestions, or comments.

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