August 14, 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%
Today, Governor Lee and the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group announced plans to expand the Small Business Financial Relief Program to include additional small businesses, agribusinesses, displaced workers, and the tourism industry through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. The expansion includes over $83.5 million, in addition to the initial $200 million commitment of the program. Additional details regarding the program's expansion can be located in the official press release from the Office of the Governor, which can be found here.
Fall 2020 Guidance and Standards Review of Guidance Updates 

FEMA maintains guidelines and standards to support the Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) program. These specifically define how to apply the statutory and regulatory requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These standards also outline how to use Flood Risk Projects, how to process Letters of Map Change (LOMCs), and related Risk MAP activities. More information is available on

FEMA has a maintenance plan to keep these guidelines and standards updated. This summary relates to the update that FEMA will release in November 2020. For the 2020 annual cycle, a public review of the standards was held in July. FEMA is now initiating a review of all guidance, technical references and other resources.

The primary focus of the Second Extraordinary Session of the 111th General Assembly was the COVID-19 liability protection legislation. 

The Tennessee COVID-19 Recovery Act provides immunity for businesses, schools, healthcare workers, and other entities from COVID-19 related lawsuits unless gross negligence or willful misconduct is demonstrated.
  • This piece of legislation raises the standard for bringing COVID-19 related lawsuits to the court system.
  • The bill outlines that for a claim to move forward, the claimant must file a verified complaint with specific facts that the alleged injury, or illness occurred as a result of contact with the entity.
  • The claimant must also obtain certified proof of their injury, damage, or death from a licensed physician.
  • The bill is retroactive to the date Governor Lee announced the Extraordinary Session, which is August 3, 2020.
  • The legislation also has an explicit severability provision which clarifies that if any provision of the legislation is ever ruled unconstitutional, the remainder will continue to be in effect.
  • The bill does not apply to claims under Tennessee’s Worker’s Compensation law.

The next piece of legislation passed during the Extraordinary Session was a bill regarding the expansion of telemedicine reimbursement.
  • Due to the success of telemedicine facilitation in Tennessee, the legislature passed a bill to require insurance companies to cover telemedicine visits as if they were in-person medical visits.
  • The bill provides a definition for telemedicine.
  • The legislation includes all medical providers and visits, including addiction and crisis management professionals, that facilitate medical treatment.

The final major piece of legislation was a bill intended to further safeguard the right of citizens to peacefully demonstrate.
  • The bill increases penalties for intentionally assaulting first responders.
  • Expands the definition of damages.
  • Prevents obstructing emergency responders.
  • Increases the penalties for camping on state property, graffiti, and willingly participating in a riot.
In addition to passing all three administration bills, the General Assembly passed legislation stating that a governmental entity may be liable for any damages or injuries incurred if they intentionally prohibit law enforcement or fire and rescue services from accessing a “specifically bounded” area during a public demonstration. 

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 (8/11/20), the following updates were provided:

  • The Tennessee Department of Education announced the launching of a new online academic assessment tool for educators, schools, and districts, called "Schoolnet." The platform will serve as an optional resource for students to be evaluated on their educational progress. A link to the official press release of the new platform can be found here.
  • The CDC provided a grant to the Tennessee Department of Education that will provide funding for 8 additional staff members dedicated to supporting child well-being checks to ensure students are being provided the appropriate nutrition and care.
  • Commissioner Barnes, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services, provided an update that 450,000 students have been approved for Pandemic EBT, which is over half of the state's students. The application for families to apply for P-EBT closes on Friday, August 14 at 4:30 p.m.
  • Additionally, Commissioner Barnes announced partnerships with various entities, including United Way and Second Harvest Food Bank, to identify and distribute funds, from the $150 million nonprofit grant, to nonprofit organizations. The grant amounts range from $25,000 to $2,000,000, and the applications remain open until noon on August 15th. 
  • Commissioner McCord, Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, provided an update that his department is currently consulting with the U.S. Department of Labor to seek guidance on the latest Executive Order by President Trump regarding unemployment benefits. Commissioner McCord announced that his department expects guidance around those funds later this week.

During Governor Lee's press conference on Thursday (8/13/20), the following updates were provided:

  • Governor Lee announced plans to extend the business relief program. Details around the expanded program will be released today (Friday).
  • The Tennessee Higher Education Commission announced over 30,000 COVID-19 test kits have been delivered to higher education institutions across the state. 
  • Governor Lee signed an Executive Order which provides additional payment for state employees who are National Guard members and called to active military duty. Under the order, they are entitled to special leave from state employment, and it also ensures Tennessee guardsmen and women do not face unfair financial burden. 
  • Commissioner Lisa Piercey, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, provided an update that Tennessee continues to experience a stabilization, or decline, in new positive COVID-19 cases. 
  • Additionally, Commissioner Piercey provided an update regarding lab turnaround time, which has decreased to 2 and a half days. 
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.


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
President Trump Signs Executive Order Providing Assistance for
Homeowners and Renters Impacted by COVID-19

After negotiations between the Administration and Congress stalled, last Saturday President Trump signed an Executive order and three Presidential memorandums aimed at providing further relief to American families and businesses financially impacted by COVID-19.

The “Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners” directs the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to take action “to promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure resulting from financial hardships caused by COVID-19.” Per the Order, that action can include targeted Federal assistance for public housing authorities, affordable housing owners, landlords, and federal grant recipients to minimize evictions and foreclosures. The Order directs Treasury to work with HUD to identify Federal funds to provide temporary assistance for renters and homeowners.

MHI is working with a coalition of leading national housing industry associations to ensure residents and landlords are supported as they deal with economic hardships posed by the protracted pandemic. MHI is arguing the best way to protect the housing of those residents who have been impacted by COVID-19 is through robust financial assistance such as an emergency rental assistance program or other programs designed to keep residents from ever missing rental payments. Arguing that extending unemployment insurance and stimulus payments, along with a targeted rental assistance program, are needed to keep residents who have a COVID-related hardship in their homes, more than 500 members participated in MHI’s Call to Action urging President Trump and Congress to oppose extending the eviction moratorium and instead implement a rental assistance program.

The three executive actions taken by the President also aim to promote financial stability for those who need it most, including directives that:
  • Provides $400 per week in Federal unemployment assistance. This benefit would be paid in addition to unemployment benefits provided by the state. The action is an extension of the recently expired benefits provided in the CARES Act, which provided $600 per week in Federal unemployment benefits.
  • Provides student aid relief by deferring student loan payments through December 31, 2020 and forgiving their interest.
  • Institutes a payroll tax deferral for those earning $100,000 or less on any wages paid September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

These actions by President Trump acknowledge both MHI’s and the coalition’s advocacy efforts, including a full-page ad in Politico newspaper and other outlets regularly visited by policymakers and staff, by including assistance for landlords as an action HUD can take to help residents stay in their homes.

FHFA Requires Property Owners to Inform Residents of Eviction Suspension, Resident Protections

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced it will now require multifamily property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement to inform residents in writing during the active period of forbearance and repayment.

According to a press release, property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 can enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement. As a condition of the forbearance, property owners must agree not to evict residents solely for the nonpayment of rent. They will also be required to notify residents of FHFA’s previously announced resident protections, including:
  • Flexible repayment arrangements.
  • Waiving late fees or penalties for non-payment of rent.
  • Providing a 30-day notice to vacate.

As of June 30, 2020, 2.4 percent of the loans in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s multifamily mortgage portfolio were in forbearance. Based on unpaid principal balance, 1.2 percent of Fannie Mae’s multifamily guaranty book was in forbearance over the same time period, most of which were related to COVID-19. Seniors Housing loans, which currently make up around five percent of the company’s multifamily guaranty book, comprised nearly half of the total multifamily unpaid principal balance of loans in forbearance.

Right now, Congress is crafting the next phase of the COVID-19 relief package, which will likely include further funding for unemployment insurance, additional stimulus checks and other relief. As a part of this package, many are calling on policymakers to include an extension of the federal eviction moratorium that recently expired. A protracted eviction moratorium is not a sustainable, long-term solution for American families facing financial hardship and is ruinous to the rental housing market. 

MHI will continue to work with the Administration and Federal agencies to ensure our industries need and priorities are reflected in new COVID-19 relief legislation.
FinCEN Issues FAQs on Customer Due Diligence Requirements

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding customer due diligence (CDD) requirements for financial institutions. While the CDD requirements currently apply only to financial institutions, there is an effort underway to shift some of these reporting obligations to small businesses. The House of Representatives passed such a provision as a rider to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as a result of advocacy by the banks. Read more about FinCEN’s publication of the FAQs.
AFFH Repeal Goes into Effect Beginning September 8, 2020

President Trump has repealed the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule and replaced it with new rulemaking that reduces the reporting requirements for local communities receiving federal funds. The new “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice” rule will be effective beginning September 8, 2020. Read more about the changes. 

MHI Requests Changes to FHA Underwriting of Borrower Student Loan Debt Calculation

MHI has joined a coalition of housing industry leaders urging HUD to change the FHA’s policies for evaluating student loan debt when determining ability to repay in the application process. Read more about MHI’s fight to ensure creditworthy borrowers are not turned away due to inaccurate credit reporting. 
Upcoming MHI Webinars

August 19, 2020; 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EST
Not Your Grandmother’s Manufactured Home
and Why it Shouldn’t Be!

Presented by: David Franzoni, Family Homes 

Hear from David Franzoni of Family Homes as he discusses how building and marketing manufactured homes as strictly “affordable alternatives” is not the only game in town. More consumers today want state of the art, high-end quality, accompanied with a great experience. From start to finish he will show you how. No matter what segment of the industry you are a part of knowing what consumers want, knowing how it’s done, and knowing what can be done can only broaden your understanding of today’s market.

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
Upcoming Free Webinar
Thursday, August 27, 2020, 2:00 PM EST
Navigating an FHA Construction Loan
with Brett Pierce
Free Webinars
Powered/Sponsored by:
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.

(Only those candidates which have successfully completed the entire curriculum will be notified of available testing appointments.)
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!!
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! 
January 20 - 22, 2021
For more information, contact Show Coordinator Dennis J. Hill at (770) 587-3350