January 08, 2021
Messages from THA
"The day you complete any project is only the beginning of a lifetime of opportunity to serve your customer." - Glen W. Canter (1948)
A TN State of Emergency related to the ongoing pandemic, currently extends to
12:59 P.M., February 27, 2021. (Executive Order 73)
The 112th Tennessee General Assembly Will Convene On January 12, 2021. 
Tennessee Legislators meet every year, typically between the months of January through April/May. THA receives weekly updates which often directly affect the Manufactured Housing Industry, and we make those updates available to our members, as needed.

VISIT:

On December 29th, Governor Bill Lee called for the General Assembly to convene for a special legislative session on January 19th, 2021, just one week after the 112th General Assembly is expected to gavel into session. 

The scope of the special session will focus exclusively on five (5) education related issues:
  • Learning Loss; Funding; Accountability; Literacy, and Teacher Pay.

Additional information about the special session can be found in the press release from the Office of the Governor here.

HUD SECRETARY NOMINEE: Representative Marcia Fudge
As reported nationally, President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Representative Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Representative Fudge has served in the House since 2008. Prior to being elected to Congress, she was mayor of Warrensville Heights, a suburb of Cleveland.

HUD focuses on federal policy surrounding housing, and will likely play a key role following the coronavirus pandemic, where many across the country are struggling to pay for their rent or mortgages.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ISSUES NEW RULE ON
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
(Article submitted/published by Rick Robinson.)
The Department of Labor has issued a new rule on how to determine if someone is an independent contractor rather than an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new rule will take effect in May 2021.

“This rule brings long-needed clarity for American workers and employers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “Sharpening the test to determine who is an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act makes it easier to identify employees covered by the Act, while recognizing and respecting the entrepreneurial spirit of workers who choose to pursue the freedom associated with being an independent contractor”.

According to the January 6, 2021 Press Release, The Final Rule includes the following clarifications:
  • Reaffirms an “economic reality” test to determine whether an individual is in business for him or herself (independent contractor) or is economically dependent on a potential employer for work (FLSA employee). 
  • Identifies and explains two “core factors” that are most probative to the question of whether a worker is economically dependent on someone else’s business or is in business for him or herself:
  • The nature and degree of control over the work.
  • The worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment.
  • Identifies three other factors that may serve as additional guideposts in the analysis, particularly when the two core factors do not point to the same classification. The factors are:
  • The amount of skill required for the work.
  • The degree of permanence of the working relationship between the worker and the potential employer.
  • Whether the work is part of an integrated unit of production.
  • The actual practice of the worker and the potential employer is more relevant than what may be contractually or theoretically possible.
  • Provides six fact-specific examples applying the factors.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register today, January 7, 2021.
EEOC REVISES COVID EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE
(Article submitted/published by Rick Robinson.)
Early on in the COVID crisis, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“ EEOC ”) issued a guidance for employers regarding the impact of the pandemic on workforce-related topics.

In mid-December, 2020, the EEOC updated that guidance covering several laws that might be implicated when an employee contracts COVID. The guidance is wide-ranging and answers questions on issues ranging from confidentiality of medical information to furloughs — and pretty much everything in between.
2021 Duty to Serve Plans for
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Published
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has published the 2021 Underserved Markets Plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) under the Duty to Serve program. The Plans became effective January 1, 2021. These GSEs have a statutory 'Duty to Serve' manufactured housing.


2021 THA Manufactured Housing
Educational Classes
Now Open For 2021 Registration

Initial Licensing & Continuing Education


To continue meeting the federal and state mandates for social distancing and limited gatherings relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, all ‘in-person’ educational classes remain cancelled for an undetermined time.  

Once federal and state travel restrictions have been lifted and approval for close-quarter gatherings have been waived, the State of Tennessee will resume the requirement for ‘in-person’ class attendance, if health and safety can be maintained for all
(First announced Wednesday, January 6, 2021.)
Moving Trends in 2020 Heavily Influenced by COVID-19
[NEWS PROVIDED BY United Van Lines - Jan 04, 2021, 08:00 ET]

Each year, United Van Lines surveys its customers on how its trucks and vans are used for relocation. In 2020, trends regarding Americans on the move mirrored recent years with a clear uptick in relocation from city life associated with COVID-19.

The company’s 44th Annual National Migration Study reveals in 2020, Americans continued to move westbound and southbound, and toward rural areas and more open spaces.

Top 10 States Experiencing Highest Rate of Move-in During 2020
  1. Idaho
  2. South Carolina
  3. Oregon
  4. South Dakota
  5. Arizona
  6. North Carolina
  7. Tennessee
  8. Alabama
  9. Florida
  10. Arkansas

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today, it has updated the SMS Website with the December 18, 2020 results. 

Complete SMS results are available to enforcement users and motor carriers that are logged into the SMS Website.
RV/MH Hall of Fame Announces
Class of 2021 Inductees 
The RV/MH Hall of Fame has issued a press release announcing its Class of 2021 inductees.

The list is comprised of 10 individuals, including five manufactured housing professionals whose careers will have a lasting impact on the industry:

  • Charles Lott, Fleetwood Homes;
  • Alan Spencer, Dakotaland Homes;
  • Ken Anderson, MH Industry of Arizona;
  • Debra Pizer, Zeman Properties; and
  • Keith Casenhiser, Bessire & Casenhiser.

We congratulate the Manufactured Housing Class of 2021 on this well-deserved honor!
#WINTER SAFETY
HEATING IS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF HOME FIRES. 
  • Plug space heaters directly in to wall outlets.

  • Never use an extension cord or power strip.

  • Maintain a 3-foot safety zone around heaters.
Visit the TN Department of Health and Tennessee's Unified Command Group website for continued statewide COVID-19 data.
The THA 2021
Political Action Committee (PAC) Campaign


We raised $29,147, in 2020! Our Members Rock!


In 2021, please support the THA-PAC, to assist 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! 
MANUFACTURED HOUSING INSTITUTE (MHI)
MHI In Action
MHI Submits Comments to MHCC about ANPR
for Minimum Payment to the States

The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) is scheduled to meet today, to discuss the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on minimum payments to the states. In advance of this meeting, MHI registered to address the MHCC and submitted comments about the ANPR which can be viewed here. In its comments, MHI recommended the MHCC take the following into account:

  • Reductions in minimum payments to individual states should be avoided.
  • HUD should study the likelihood of individual states ending their participation as SAAs and adjust funding, accordingly, perhaps even increasing support. The results of the study, including data relied upon, should be made publicly available.
  • HUD should monitor the impact of funding changes and make appropriate adjustments to avoid states terminating their role as an SAA and to incentivize more states to participate.
  • HUD should use funds in the substantial Manufactured Housing Trust Fund account surplus to facilitate the availability of manufactured housing across the country and avoid reductions to individual states.

Formal comments to HUD about the ANPR are due on Monday, January 11, 2021, and MHI will be submitting more detailed recommendations. 

MHI and its Housing Coalition Partners Provide Recommendations to Treasury
for Allocation of Rental Assistance Funds

MHI and its coalition of national housing industry partners are working with the Treasury Department, including current officials and members of Biden’s transition team, to ensure the $25 billion in rental assistance funding in the COVID bill is used effectively. The program is intended to help families and individuals pay their rent and utility bills, while also helping rental property owners of all sizes continue to cover their costs, including the costs necessary to ensure residents’ health and safety.
 
MHI is urging Treasury to allocate the funding as quickly as possible and to provide a framework for implementation that will maximize states’ and localities’ ability to get the much-needed assistance into the hands of the eligible recipients. As part of this outreach, the coalition has made five recommendations to Treasury to assist with the implementation process.
MHI Calls on HUD to Expand the Use of Housing Vouchers
for Manufactured Housing 

MHI has submitted comments to HUD regarding the use of Section 8 housing vouchers to enable low-income families and individuals to become homeowners in manufactured housing communities. While this authority was passed as a part of broader Section 8 reform legislation in 2016, its impact has not been realized because local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) have not made it an available option.

According to the statute, which passed as a result of MHI’s advocacy, a Section 8 housing voucher is permitted to be used to cover the full cost of mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and HUD-approved utility allowances on tenant-paid utilities, and the rent for the land, including owner maintenance charges. Before this change, a Section 8 voucher could only be used for the cost of renting a space in a land-lease community or for renting a manufactured home.
 
MHI’s letter calls on HUD to include in its final rule a requirement that PHAs upon a bona fide request from any party in the local community, make available this expanded use option and to eliminate the Housing Assistance Payment contract with the landowner on which the manufactured home is sited. 

In addition to MHI’s letter, MHI was also successful in having the requests made by a coalition of national associations representing for-profit and non-profit owners, developers, managers, lenders and housing agencies.
MHI Tells CSBS to Consider Manufactured Housing in Proposed Regulatory Prudential Standards for Non-Bank Mortgage Servicers

In response to the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ (CSBS) proposed prudential regulatory standards for non-bank mortgage servicers for adoption by individual states, MHI submitted comments stressing the importance of minimizing unnecessary compliance burdens, in order to avoid the need to pass along unnecessary mortgage loan cost increases to borrowers. MHI cautioned the CSBS that since most purchasers of manufactured homes have modest incomes, regulations that result in cost increases, even small ones, will price consumers out of homeownership. MHI called on CSBS to consider impacts on consumers of manufactured housing, as the proposed standards for non-bank mortgage servicers are finalized. 
2021 Webinar Series: Shoot for the Moon
Free Webinars
Powered/Sponsored by: ManufacturedHomes.com and
LearnMH.com
Upcoming Free Webinar
Overcoming Challenges for Unprecendented Opportunities
Thursday, January 14, 2021, 2 PM ET
Thursday, January 14, 2021, 2 PM ET
Jim Ayotte, Florida MH Association,
Joan Brown, Northwest Housing Association, Tawny Peyton, Rocky Mountain Home Association

JANUARY SHOW - CANCELLED
THA Board of Directors - Zoom Call
February 11, 2021; 10:00 AM CST

MARCH SHOW - CANCELLED
Available Daily
THA Licensing Education - Online Access

Initial Licensing - Jan thru Nov
Continuing Education - Jan thru Early Dec
MH Regulatory Resources
(Key Links)
MAKE A FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN!
ALWAYS BE PREPARED!