August 7, 2020
Messages from THA
THA is located in Wilson County, which is currently under a face mask mandate until COVID-19 positivity rates are down to 5% for a seven-day period. Currently, the county's positivity rate is greater than 10%
In Memory ... Joe Clayton
Our state and our industry suffered a great loss this week. We will be forever indebted to Joe Clayton, for his shared vision, his dedication, his friendship and his kindness.

Joe and brother Jim, launched an auto dealership in 1956, followed by a manufactured home company, in 1966. The business split in 1981, with Jim taking the Clayton Homes business and Joe focusing on Clayton Volvo and other Southeast dealerships. 

Joe was loved dearly by family, friends and employees, so this week has been especially hard.

Pictured: Joe (left) and Jim (right) Clayton. Photo courtesy of Clayton Homes.
“If we look around we can learn... and if we learn enough, then we can make things happen.” ~ Joe Clayton (2012)
Initial Licensing/Certification Retailer/Installer Exam
is now available online for Tennessee !
Initial Licensing/Certification

Morris & McDaniel, Inc., the testing agent which contracts through the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance to oversee/proctor new license or certification examinations, has completed the necessary online security protocols to provide the state licensing/certification exam for manufactured housing.

THA has transferred testing fees, along with a list of qualified applicants which have completed the 15 Hour Initial Licensing/ Certification online instructional program. Morris & McDaniel will contact each candidate directly, to schedule an online state exam.

(Only those candidates which have successfully completed the entire curriculum will be notified of available testing appointments.)

Please see the following important message.
Prior to taking your initial licensing/certification exam, YOU MUST prepare your location for testing. Follow the below link for more information. As well, ensure you have your class material readily available, and review prior to taking the exam!
05 Hour Continuing Education for License/Certification Renewal
Several current license holders and certified employees have not completed their annual required education for license renewal. Many have expiration dates which are rapidly approaching. Ensure you keep your working credentials in order! Business is brisk right now, and we can't afford to lose anyone from the work list, when class can be completed at anytime, on any day!!
Governor Lee signed a proclamation on Monday, which calls for legislators to return to Nashville for a special session to convene at 4 p.m. on August 10, 2020. The proclamation indicates the 111th General Assembly will take up 4 pieces of legislation including: 

  1. A bill aimed at providing COVID-related liability protection for persons and entities.
  2. A bill relating to Tennessean's access to tele-medicine.
  3. A bill to protect the right of all Tennesseans to peaceful demonstrations, by ensuring the adequate protection of law enforcement, first responders, state employees and contractors, public officials, members of the public, and public and private property, or use thereof.
  4. An appropriations bill to ensure one year of funding to any legislation that is passed during the special session.

Please find a copy of the proclamation below, as well as access to the official press release.
FinCEN Issues FAQs Regarding Customer Due Diligence Requirements
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), in consultation with the federal functional regulators, today issued responses to three frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding customer due diligence (CDD) requirements for covered financial institutions. The FAQs clarify the regulatory requirements related to obtaining customer information, establishing a customer risk profile, and performing ongoing monitoring of the customer relationship.
Read the FAQs here.
Today’s FAQs are in addition to those that FinCEN issued in July 2016 and April 2018. For additional information regarding customer due diligence requirements, please see FinCEN’s CDD webpage.
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a request for information to seek public input on how best to identify opportunities to prevent credit discrimination, encourage responsible innovation, promote fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit, address potential regulatory uncertainty, and develop viable solutions to regulatory compliance challenges under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B. 

The information provided will help the Bureau continue to explore ways to address regulatory compliance challenges while fulfilling the Bureau's core mission to prevent unlawful discrimination and foster innovation. 

Comments on the request for information are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Commissioner Hodgen Mainda Joins Tennessee Serves Initiative
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Hodgen Mainda has joined Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee to provide donated food and sanitation items to the state's volunteer firefighters. 

Lee and Mainda visited Cheatham and Perry Counties on Monday to deliver the donations. This effort is part of the First Lady’s monthlong focus on serving essential workers through her Tennessee Serves initiative.

"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve Tennessee’s volunteer firefighters alongside the First Lady and show the Tennessee fire service they have the unwavering support of the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office,” said Mainda, who also serves as the state’s Fire Marshal. “Whether firefighters are volunteer or career, I am in awe of their willingness to sacrifice for their communities every day. It is an honor to help serve them.”

The majority of Tennessee’s firefighters are volunteers. The 22,065 total firefighters recorded by the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office consist of more than 14,218 (64%) volunteer and 7,847 (35.6%) career firefighters.

If you have a volunteer fire department in your area, you can donate time or vital items to help maintain safety and awareness in your community. 
Fire Prevention Messages for August

Fire Safety for Older Adults
Learn how to teach fire safety to older adults Here.

For more information on hoarding fire safety refer to NFPA's Hoarding Tip Sheet.

COVID-19 Safety for College Students
Use these CDC guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses.

Fire Safety for People with Disabilities
Access NFPA's fire safety resources for people with disabilities Here.
Workplace Fire Safety
Each year in the U.S. there are 17,000 office and store fires that cause over $800 million in direct property damage.

Share the fire safety tips on USFA’s new workplace fire safety outreach page to help keep businesses and offices in your community safe.
TN Surveillance Data - COVID-19
The TN State of Emergency, related to the ongoing pandemic, extended to August 29, 2020.
The TN COVID-19 Public Information # is 877/857-2945 or 833/556-2476.
Open 10:00 am - 8:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday.
Tennessee Governor Lee
Statewide Press Conference

Online live and prerecorded viewing may be accessed HERE.

Stay tuned to your local stations for weekly scheduled dates and times.
During Governor Lee's press conference on Tuesday (8/4/20), the following updates were provided:

  • Over $100 million has been distributed to Tennessee businesses who were negatively affected by mandatory state order closures. However, many eligible businesses have yet to receive their check, and Governor Lee encouraged them to visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue website to update their information.
  • Pfizer has granted $250,000 to Tennessee school districts for the purchase of touch-less thermometers.
  • The Governor announced plans to unveil funding for agriculture relief, housing relief, and diverse enterprise programming in the coming weeks.
  • The Department of Labor Commissioner, Jeff McCord, announced that $4 billion has been distributed to unemployed Tennesseans since March 15th. He also assured eligible and certified claimants who submitted claims on or before July 25, are eligible to receive the additional federal unemployment compensation, for those claims.
  • The Governor and Department of Health reported encouraging information around the spread of COVID-19 in Tennessee, by stating the state's number of new cases are beginning to slow again.

During Governor Lee's press conference on Thursday (8/6/20), the following educational updates were provided:

  • The Tennessee Department of Education announced the launching of a new online academic tool for families and educators, called "Best for All Central." The site aims to provide additional school leader and educator professional development, an education standard navigator to aid in accessibility of Tennessee's educational standards, a series of instructional videos with companion lessons, and a host of other resources for families, educators, and students to utilize to supplement distance learning. The official press release for the announcement can be found here.
  • Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Education announced an additional $15 million of grant funding to school districts to purchase WiFi/MiFi devices for students. The grant will provide internet access to approximately 100,000 households. 
  • The official press release, from the Governor's office, around additional resources being provided to assist schools in their reopening efforts can be found here.
  • The Department of Health reported encouraging information around lab throughput improvement and reductions in new COVID-19 cases being reported.
Review of Executive Order 55
  • Extends validation of expiring Commercial Driver's Licenses;
  • Provides the Department of Health and Division of TennCare the necessary authority and discretion to select, designate, and reimburse certain nursing facilities, or units within certain nursing facilities, as "COVID-19 Skilled Nursing Facilities/Units";
  • Permits the Division of TennCare to implement additional acuity-based payments for Medicaid members in nursing facilities designated as "COVID-19 Skilled Nursing Facilities/Units";
  • Permits licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselors to practice telemedicine;
  • Grants authority to local education and schools to permit the resumption of athletic practices and games or competition;
  • Waives the application fee required for restaurants to expand the boundary of their premises under such license to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption in response to COVID-19;
  • Extends Executive Order 54, regarding local government authority concerning face coverings to 11:59 p.m. on August 29, 2020;
  • Amends Executive Order 54 to permit and encourage local education agencies, schools, and institutions of higher education to implement a policy requiring the use of face coverings by students and staff.

Executive Order 55 remains effective until 11:59 p.m. on August 30, 2020.
TN Stimulus Fund Dashboard
Tennessee's Financial Stimulus Accountability Group has launched an interactive dashboard which allows Tennesseans to explore county-specific information for federal COVID-19 emergency stimulus and relief funding.

A message from First Lady Maria Lee
This month, #TennesseeServes is focused on helping students and teachers go back to school.
Ways to serve:
  1. Show teachers appreciation
  2. Serve as a mentor or tutor
  3. Donate supplies

Together, we can ensure they have the support they need.

By Member request, THA will continue to maintain a resource section on our Website, for an extended period of time.
Dr. Lesli Gooch
Chief Executive Officer, MHI
Mark Bowersox
President, MHI
House Passes Bill to Fund HUD Programs in 2021

On July 31, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, on a 217 to 197 vote, a $1.3 trillion package of Fiscal Year 2021 spending bills. The package consists of six bills to fund federal departments, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.

The bill appropriates up to $13 million for HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs to carry out supervisory actions, including conducting inspections, developing standards, and making payments to states for their oversight activities. The bill also directs HUD to finalize the rulemaking it started in 2016 entitled “Manufactured Housing Program: Minimum Payments to the States.” This rulemaking would revise the payments to states approved as SAAs in order to provide for a more equitable guarantee of minimum funding from HUD’s appropriation for the program and to avoid the differing per unit payments to the states that have occurred under the present rule. MHI has advocated for HUD to finalize this rule.

The House’s spending package would have to be reconciled with the Senate’s spending bills to become law. Congress has until October 1 to finish this process and send these annual appropriations bills to the President for signature. The most likely scenario is that Congress will instead pass a stopgap measure to continue to fund the government at FY 2020 levels until after the November election.
Trump Administration Repeals Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced last week that it is repealing the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule calling it “complicated, costly, and ineffective.” In its place, HUD has unveiled a new rule called “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice,” which it says defines fair housing broadly to mean housing that, among other attributes, “is affordable, safe, decent, free of unlawful discrimination, and accessible under civil rights laws.” Now, a grantee’s certification that it has affirmatively furthered fair housing would be deemed sufficient if it proposes to take any action above what is required by statute related to promoting any of the attributes of fair housing. The final rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

In March, MHI, along with several state associations, submitted comments to HUD about amending the Department’s AFFH regulations. MHI provided two recommendations about how the AFFH regulations can be further strengthened to address local land use planning policies that exclude or inhibit manufactured housing.

First, MHI argued the proposed rule should be modified to add factors or questions into the certification process that address land use planning and other actions that restrict manufactured homes.

Second, MHI strongly argued that HUD must implement and enforce its enhanced preemption authority as mandated by law. Specifically, MHI called on HUD to revise and update its 1997 Statement of Policy titled “State and Local Zoning Determinations Involving HUD Code” regarding the Department’s position concerning preemption and state and local zoning, planning, or development restrictions that either severely limit or outright prohibit manufactured housing.

MHI will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to help alleviate state and local impediments to the placement of manufactured housing.
FHFA Announces Adjustments to the Duty to Serve Program for 2020 and 2021

In response to the market disruption and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has made temporary adjustments to the Duty to Serve (DTS) program for 2020 and 2021. FHFA has instructed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) to structure their proposed DTS activities and objectives for 2021 as a one-year extension of their 2018-2020 Plans, rather than as the first year in a new three-year Plan. 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to submit their 2021 proposed activities, and any proposed modifications to their 2020 objectives, to FHFA by September 15, 2020. There will be a 30-day period for the public to comment on their proposals. In addition, FHFA is planning a series of virtual listening sessions from October 14 to 16, to allow for stakeholder input about these submissions. One of the daily sessions will be dedicated to manufactured housing.

MHI plans to actively engage in this process to ensure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stay on track with their ongoing development of a strong secondary market for manufactured home loans.  
Upcoming MHI Webinars

August 18, 2020
Not Your Grandmother’s Manufactured Home
and Why it Shouldn’t Be!

The webinar cost is $25 per person.

Sponsored by:
Hunt Real Estate Capital
Skyline Champion
August 27, 2020
Service and Emotional Support Animals:
The ADA vs. The Fair Housing Act
Sponsored by Sun Communities

September 10, 2020
Developing Land-Lease MH Communities
for the Future
Sponsored by Hunt Real Estate Capital and Skyline Champion

September 22, 2020
Education Makes a Good
Community Manager Great
Sponsored by Credit Human
COVID-19 Recovery
Leveraging Innovation
Free Webinar

Powered/Sponsored by:
As a nation and an industry, we are currently facing tough economic hardships.

When the recovery comes -- and it will come --
will you and your business be ready to emerge and thrive?
Upcoming Scheduled Topic

  • Thursday, August 13, 2020, 2 PM ET - Leveraging Innovation - Paul Barretto
The THA Annual Member's Meeting & 65th Anniversary Celebration has been postponed until June 27 - 29, 2021.
Your THA Board of Directors has voted to err on the side of caution and safety, for all involved in this very special gathering.

On July 24th, THA staff held discussions with our event service providers, venue, speakers and entertainment artist. All parties mutually agreed, with the continued uncertainties and confusion caused by various state-wide COVID-19 mitigation orders, along with the continued rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, we could not successfully bring together our large group for a fall event.

If you have already made room reservations with the hotel, you will need to call them directly to cancel your October reservation, @ 800 DOLLYWOOD.  

Rhonda has already contacted our sponsors and early paid attendee registrants, and THA has started the refund process and/or the rolling of funds to the 2021 event.

Please review the below linked announcement, relative to annual elections of THA leadership.
The THA 2020 Political Action Committee (PAC) Campaign is in full swing!
We have received $22,265 towards our $35,000 Goal. 63.6%!
The THA-PAC is accepting contributions!

Thank you for your consideration!
  • As the campaign season for November elections is in full swing here in Tennessee, your political contribution of funds is critical to our industry's state success. 

  • Access to our legislative members is key, as was just proven by THAs successful passing of much needed changes to our transportation law.

  • Please support the THA-PAC, to allow THA's continuance of educating key lawmakers on the importance of our industry, while also providing general counsel in ways of promoting manufactured homes as a viable option for addressing the affordable housing crisis.
Tennessee accepts corporate, personal and LLC contributions. Your contribution is critical! 
For 2020 only, the Tennessee General Assembly has approved two separate sales tax holiday weekends. During these weekends, certain goods may be purchased tax free. 
The second and last tax-free holiday weekend focuses on restaurant sales.

It begins at 12:01 a.m. on August 7 and ends Sunday, August 9 at 11:59 p.m.

During this time, the retail sale of food and drink (by restaurants and limited service restaurants), as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-4-102, is exempt from sales tax.
January 20 - 22, 2021
For more information, contact Show Coordinator Dennis J. Hill at (770) 587-3350