August 28, 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.
TECH UPDATE: Redesigned FEMA.gov Launches
DisasterAssistance.gov is one of FEMA’s three websites along with FEMA.gov and Ready.gov.

Over the past two years FEMA’s main website has been visited over 80 million times, making it one of FEMA’s most important communication tools. 

FEMA has officially launched a fully redesigned FEMA.gov that is easy to navigate, focused on the user and accessible by all.

The redesign was an opportunity to start fresh.  They’ve upgraded their systems and fully implemented the U.S. Web Design System for greater accessibility and mobile-friendly user experiences.  Thousands of pages were rewritten in plain language and the information was reorganized to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for.

The new site features a more direct link to DisasterAssistance.gov, which provides additional information about disasters, and the assistance that is available to survivors from FEMA and its partners.

Check out the redesigned FEMA.gov today.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATES DROP IN THREE-QUARTERS OF TENNESSEE'S 95 COUNTIES DURING JULY
Unemployed Tennesseans can find free job search assistance and career development opportunities at any of the more than 80 American Job Centers across the state. You can find the center nearest to you through this interactive map. Online, more than 200,000 active job listings are currently available on the state’s workforce development website.
THA Member, UMH Properties, Rings NYSE Opening Bell
to Commemorate Groundbreaking MHC Loan
From left: UMH Properties Vice President Daniel Landy; UMH Properties Director of Investor Relations Nelli Madden; UMH Properties CFAO and Treasurer Anna T. Chew; UMH Properties President and CEO Samuel A. Landy.

Pictured remotely: Wells Fargo Multi-Family Capital Managing Director Nick Bertino; Wells Fargo Managing Director Anthony Petosa; and Fannie Mae CAO Jeff Hayward. 
UMH Properties President and CEO Sam Landy rang the New York Stock Exchange’s opening bell Tuesday morning to celebrate a new Fannie Mae loan product for manufactured housing communities. Representatives from UMH Properties, Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae participated in the ceremony alongside Landy in commemoration of the first-of-its-kind loan.
 
The loan, which was arranged by Wells Fargo, facilitates UMH’s acquisition of communities with vacancies that might normally create problems for underwriting community loans. This new loan’s flexibility will allow UMH Properties to upgrade communities and offer more options for residents. The agreement allows for a mix of UMH-owned rental units and land leases for residents who site their own homes. This more flexible loan allows UMH Properties to make acquisitions, reduce vacancies and maintain a mix of land lease sites and home rentals tailored to local market conditions.

"Our recent credit facility with Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo underscores our collective effort in providing quality affordable housing through manufactured home communities," said Landy. "We are honored to commemorate this commitment with Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo Bank by ringing the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange.”
 
Fannie Mae has a statutory “Duty to Serve” manufactured housing, including a specific responsibility to develop innovative loan products. The combination of a low interest rate and flexibility under this new Fannie Mae loan is a critical innovation that will allow UMH Properties to offer manufactured home units at affordable rents and finance new home purchases for buyers in their communities. MHI has been consistently and actively engaged with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs), and will be participating in upcoming virtual listening sessions, to continue to ensure the GSEs meet their statutory requirement to support manufactured housing.
 
UMH Properties is a public equity real estate investment trust founded in 1968 that owns and operates a portfolio of around 23,200 homesites in 123 manufactured home communities nationwide. UMH has received a number of honors from MHI, including Retail Sales Center of the Year Award, 2019 Interior Design Award and 2018 Operator of the Year Award. Last year, for the fourth consecutive time, UMH received MHI’s Land-Lease Community of the Year Award. These awards recognize UMH Properties' long-term commitment to innovation and advancement of the manufactured housing industry, and dedication to providing quality, affordable housing. 

What if you couldn't see color?
Tennessee Viewfinders for the Colorblind | TN Vacation
Governor Lee tweeted the following statement:

"As we safely welcome travelers to TN this fall, we realize that not everyone can fully experience the beauty of our outdoor landscapes. @TNVacation is trying to change that by installing viewfinders which alleviate colorblindness at locations across TN."

You can find TN's existing viewfinders using an interactive map by going HERE!
WATCH HOW THE VIEWERS HELPED PEOPLE SEE FALL COLORS FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.
TENNESSEE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (TOSHA)
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for daily construction work, and PPE for COVID-19, can be two completely separate discussions.
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION PPE
EMPLOYER
Personal Protective Equipment for the Construction Industry

Employer:
Last Line of Defense
EMPLOYEE
Personal Protective Equipment for the Construction Industry:
Your Responsibilities

TOSHA explains how EMPLOYEES can wear and maintain gloves, mask, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) properly.
COVID-19 PPE

What does TOSHA expect an employer to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Tennessee OSHA improves occupational safety and health through enforcement of the general industry, construction and agricultural occupational safety and health standards in workplaces.
The TN State of Emergency, related to the ongoing pandemic currently extends to
August 29, 2020.
Gov. Lee Announces $61 Million in Emergency Broadband Grants
Friday, August 21, 2020 | 12:23pm

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group announced $61 million will be awarded in Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund grants to improve access to broadband internet across the state. The grants are funded through the State’s Coronavirus Relief Fund allotment from the federal government and distributed through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only further elevated the importance of access to reliable, affordable broadband internet to facilitate telemedicine, distance learning, and telecommuting,” said Gov. Lee. “I thank the members of our Financial Stimulus Accountability Group and the Department of Economic and Community Development for their work in distributing these funds to shovel-ready projects that will directly benefit Tennesseans.”

“The emergence of COVID-19 greatly accelerated the need for widespread access to broadband. As all of us adjust to the new normal of social distance, technology becomes even more critical to study, work and socialize,” said Lt. Gov. Randy McNally. “These dollars will allow for implementation of greatly needed projects crucial to bringing us together virtually as we strive to stay apart physically.”

“This $61 million investment in additional broadband grants, in conjunction with the $60 million the General Assembly has already appropriated, will continue to increase access to high speed internet services across Tennessee. Our families, schools, businesses, and health care communities will benefit from this enhanced broadband infrastructure,” said House Speaker Cameron Sexton. “I appreciate Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally, our Accountability Group members and the General Assembly for their ongoing efforts to help strengthen Tennessee’s infrastructure; we will continue working together to identify and create solutions that address both our immediate and our emerging, long-term needs.”

ECD received 84 applications for $89.1 million in funding. Following review and a public comment period, 62 projects representing $61.1 million will be funded. The remaining $28 million in projects were denied due to a number of factors including project feasibility, applicant experience, and public comments received from existing broadband providers. Unfunded applicants will be invited to submit an application for the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant Program, funded at $15 million this year, where applicants are given significantly more time to complete project builds.  

Pursuant to federal guidelines, these projects are limited to those that would enhance access to individuals and families affected during the COVID-19 pandemic by the lack of broadband access in their area. Eligible entities included those authorized to provide broadband services in Tennessee, and eligible areas were limited to those unserved or underserved locations lacking all equipment necessary to provide a broadband connection capable of supporting telemedicine, distance learning, and telecommuting.
Tennessee Governor Lee
Statewide Press Conference


Stay tuned to your local stations for weekly scheduled dates and times.
Online live and prerecorded viewing may be accessed HERE.
During Governor Lee's press conference on Tuesday (8/25/20), the following updates were provided:

  • Tennessee Department of Tourism Development Commissioner, Mark Ezell, provided a tourism update. Despite Tennessee outpacing the national average in all metrics of tourism in 2019, the Department of Tourism Development is bracing for a 35% to 40% decline in Tennessee's travel industry this year. The Economic Impact Press Release from the Department of Tourism Development can be found here.
  • Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner, Jeff McCord, provided an update that Tennessee's application to enroll in FEMA's Lost Wages Assistance program was accepted over this past weekend. Tennessee's grant is estimated to be worth approximately $236 million. The press release from the Department of Labor & Workforce Development can be found here.
  • Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner, Brad Turner, provided an update about his department's work during the pandemic. Highlights of their work included: PPE distribution to provider agencies, weekly testing of staff and service receivers in state intermediate care facilities, enabling telemedicine for Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) recipients, and increasing technology access and support to individuals seeking to live on their own.
  • Commissioner Penny Schwinn, of the Department of Education, provided an update on various efforts they are making amidst the pandemic, including:
  • Plans to launch a working group by early September to evaluate school district needs beyond cyber security, which the department continues to work with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on.
  • A wide-ranging video library has been developed for Career & Technical Education (CTE) students to allow them to continue to receive education in their respective areas.
  • $8 million in grants has been made available, specifically, to help children with disabilities and their educators.
  • Over 200 videos continue to be uploaded weekly to the supplemental dashboard, Best For All Central.
Resource from the Tennessee Department of Education
Interested in the Best for All Central Hub but don't know where to start? The hub features user guides to help you get started.
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.

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.
The THA 2020 Political Action Committee (PAC) Campaign is in full swing!

We have received $24,047 towards our $35,000 Goal. 68.7%!
  
  • 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.
The THA-PAC is accepting contributions!

Thank you for your consideration!
Tennessee accepts corporate, personal and LLC contributions. Your contribution is critical! 
MANUFACTURED HOUSING INSTITUTE (MHI)
Dr. Lesli Gooch
Chief Executive Officer, MHI
Mark Bowersox
President, MHI
FHFA Orders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Delay Implementation of Refinance Fee Which Would Harm Homeowners

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to delay implementation of an adverse market refinance fee to December 1, 2020. The fee was originally scheduled to take effect September 1, but the Administration, Congress, and MHI, as part of a coalition of national housing industry associations, strongly argued that imposing this refinance fee on homeowners was the wrong approach as the economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19

MHI, along with almost 100 members and eight state associations, contacted Members of Congress telling them that imposing an adverse market refinancing fee does not help homeowners. Members argued this action will have a negative economic impact on homeowners who are already experiencing a difficult time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeking to improve their personal finances by taking advantage of low mortgage rates to refinance their loan. As a result of these efforts by MHI, our membership and the coalition, more than 40 Representatives and eight Senators sent letters urging FHFA Director Mark Calabria to tell Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that an adverse market fee is bad for homeowners. Additionally, numerous Members of Congress issued statements expressing serious concerns with this action.

In its announcement today, FHFA also stated it would exempt refinance loans with loan balances below $125,000, nearly half of which are comprised of lower income borrowers at or below 80% of area median income. Affordable refinance products, Home Ready and Home Possible, are also exempt.

This action by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to charge a 0.5% fee on refinance mortgages they purchase will raise the cost of financing on families during a time when access to quality, affordable housing is critical. Further, this directive is contradictory to the Administration’s recent executive actions urging federal agencies to take all measures within their authorities to support struggling homeowners during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Administration has publicly criticized this action. MHI will continue working to ensure Federal relief and policy support the long-term growth and success of the American economy.

Upcoming MHI Webinars

September 10, 2020
Developing Land-Lease MH Communities for the Future


The webinar cost is $25 per person.

Sponsored by:
Hunt Real Estate Capital and Skyline Champion
SAVE THE DATE

September 22, 2020
Education Makes a Good
Community Manager Great
Sponsored by Credit Human
2020 Webinar Series: Embracing Change
Upcoming Free Webinar
Thursday, September 10, 2020, 2 PM ET
Measurement Matters: Making Data Driven Decisions
with Jenny Hodge
SAVE THE DATE
  • Thursday, September 24, 2020, 2 PM ET - Live from KMHI in Louisville

  • Thursday, October 8, 2020, 2 PM ET - Chris Nicely - Next Step

  • Thursday, November 5, 2020, 2 PM ET - Growing Your Business - Boom! The Next 10 Years - Ken Corbin

  • Thursday, November 19, 2020, 2 PM ET - The State of Emotional Assistance Alligators and Other Changes to Assistance Animal Rules - Matt Paletz

  • Thursday, December 3, 2020, 2 PM ET - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

  • Thursday, December 17, 2020, 2 PM ET - Development - Lenny Kopowski
Free Webinars
Powered/Sponsored by: ManufacturedHomes.com
Initial Licensing/Certification Retailer/Installer Education
available online for Tennessee !
Initial Licensing/Certification
05 Hour Continuing Education
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!!
The THA Annual Member's Meeting & 65th Anniversary Celebration has been postponed until June 27 - 29, 2021.
January 20 - 22, 2021
For more information, contact Show Coordinator Dennis J. Hill at (770) 587-3350.