Modular housing in the news 100910 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

ABOUT HALF OF AMERICANS who claimed the tax credit on their 2009 tax returns will have to return the money. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 created a new First-time Homebuyer Credit equal to 10 percent of the purchase price of a first-time homebuyer’s home, limited to a maximum amount of $7,500, which initially served as an interest-free loan to be repaid over 15 years. Subsequent laws expanded the credit and eliminated the repayment requirement, except in those instances in which the home is sold or is no longer the taxpayer’s primary residence within 36 months. TIGTA’s study found that an estimated 73,119 (4.1 percent) of the approximately 1.77 million individuals receiving the Credit had incorrect purchase dates recorded at the IRS. Of those, 59,802 had purchased their homes in 2009, but the IRS incorrectly recorded the purchases as 2008 or the years were not recorded. These taxpayers could incorrectly receive notices requiring repayment, TIGTA found. The report also found that $10.1 million in Homebuyer Credits were claimed by 1,326 taxpayers who were identified as deceased by the Social Security Administration. The IRS did not allow 528 of those individuals to receive over $4 million they claimed for the Credit. The inspector general also reported that 1,326 single people listed as dead by the Social Security Administration claimed more than $10 million in credits.

MORTGAGE RATES are off their historic lows. Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan was 4.35 percent, up from 4.32 percent the week before, only the second rise in 12 weeks. Last week’s was the lowest number since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications to refinance home loans fell 3.1 percent last week, reducing overall loan applications by 1.5 percent.

FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, Fleetwood Enterprises lives on through a donation by its founder John Crean. A ten-million-dollar donation from the Crean Foundation of Newport Beach to Chapman University’s school of health and life sciences was announced Wednesday. The money will help in the ground-up construction of a building to house the Crean School of Health and Life Sciences, along with two other schools within the Schmid College of Science. John Crean died in 2007.

Manufactured Housing in the News…

MANY STATES AND MUNICIPALITIES are currently faced with sprinkler mandates for newly-constructed, single-family housing, including manufactured housing. The International Residential Code (IRC), including the fire sprinkler requirement, has been adopted by California, Pennsylvania, Maryland and South Carolina, with many other states and local jurisdictions planning to consider this requirement when they update their codes. While some say federal preemption should keep fire sprinkler systems from being mandated in manufactured housing, interpretations by HUD conclude federal preemption does not cover fire sprinklers. Meanwhile several of the states where the IRC has been adopted have received a perhaps temporary reprieve from the sprinkler requirement. Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association Executive Vice President Mary Gaiski explains that in her state only the basements of manufactured homes set on foundations will be required to have sprinkler systems. Find the full INdustry In Focus report now at MHMSM.COM. [Bob: short link please]

“More Manufactured Housing in the News…”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

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Now, back to our stories.

ANOTHER COUNCIL CANDIDATE in Johnsonville, South Carolina has weighed in on an effort by that city to restrict the placement of manufactured houses. David Eaddy told the Weekly Observer, “some people cannot afford big, nice homes, so they elect to go to mobile homes or manufactured housing.” He favors public meetings and discussions before rezoning to exclude the homes.  Look for an upcoming report at MHMSM.COM on federal preemption by the HUD code and how it might impact situations like this one.

THE ATHENS BANNER-HERALD reports that county commissioners there have removed age restrictions on manufactured homes brought into the county. A new Georgia state law bans restrictions on moving manufactured homes into a county based on the structure’s age.

THE DAILY COMET in LaFourche Parish, Louisiana reports zoning laws in the city of Thibodaux [TIH-bih-dough] are outdated. A study commissioned by the city council also referred to the laws as vague, confusing, arbitrary and in need of a comprehensive update. The study says confusion exists over the differences among modular, mobile and manufactured homes. The report says city officials have temporarily banned modular homes in areas zoned R-3, but may not be any more clear than the zoning laws. Errol Price, Thibodaux’s building inspector, told the paper his office refuses permits for all homes delivered on wheels in R-3 districts. But unlike mobile and manufactured homes, modular homes do not have permanent wheel chassis. Look for an upcoming article at MHMSM.COM that will clarify the differences of these and other manufactured housing terms.

Modular housing in the news…

BOSTON-BASED CUSTOM HOME BUILDER Sterling Homes Development Corporation has launched a new web site that features a section explaining the benefits of modular homes. Russell Busa, president of Sterling Homes, explains there are many misconceptions in the marketplace about modular construction and that today’s modular homes can be built in virtually any design, are energy efficient, and often go up in a fraction of the time of a traditional stick-built home. The site is online at

In Market News…

STOCKS CLOSED UP with the Dow moving 28 points higher on Thursday. The manufactured housing composite value closed three percent higher, but plenty of related stocks were in the red. Deer Valley closed down nine percent and Palm Harbor closed lower by almost six percent. Cavco, however, was more than three percent higher by the market close and Skyline was higher by more than six percent.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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