August 21, 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.
High Lumber Prices
Impact Housing Production

The lumber supply shortage has led to a nationwide upsurge in lumber prices. The Random Lengths Framing Composite Price topped $600 per 1,000 board feet at the end of July — marking the first time that prices have topped the $600 level. Framing lumber prices have soared roughly 80 percent since mid-April, while the price of oriented strand board is up well over 100 percent from a year ago.
A combination of factors has led to increased volatility lumber prices, including lumber mills operating at a diminished capacity, if at all, in the Spring. This was partly a result of stay-at-home and social distancing measures enacted by state and local governments. In addition, many mills projected that housing would be adversely affected by the pandemic, so they anticipated a large drop in demand and substantially decreased production accordingly. Despite their projections, housing demand has remained steady across the country and there was also an unexpected surge in demand from do-it-yourselfers (DIY) and big box retailers during the pandemic. In addition to these supply pressures on lumber prices, tariffs on lumber imports from Canada continue to average more than 20 percent.

MHI is closely assessing the situation to identify federal actions that could help restore stability to lumber prices.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the 'Ability to Re-pay/Qualified Mortgage (ATR/QM) Rule.

The NPRM would create a new category of qualified mortgages for first-lien, fixed-rate covered transactions that have met certain performance requirements over a 36-month seasoning period, are held in portfolio until the end of the seasoning period, comply with general restrictions on product features and points and fees, and meet certain underwriting requirements.

The NPRM is available here.

The Bureau has provided a summary of the proposed changes. The summary is available here.
“Fire Aware” Campaign
Assists Parents, Educators and Students Heading Back To School
Campaign Focuses on Fire Safety in Nontraditional Classroom Settings
With the recent start of the new school semester, nontraditional “learning pods” such as local businesses, houses of worship, homes or other structures may be used as classroom space, in order to improve social distancing and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus across Tennessee. In most cases, these nontraditional settings are not subject to traditional school or childcare building safety requirements.

To aid parents, caregivers and others who may be utilizing nontraditional learning spaces, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office are launching the “Fire Aware” consumer safety campaign to focus on reducing the risk of fire while learning in a nontraditional classroom space.

“The key to fire prevention is awareness, education and taking proactive steps today in order to prevent a fire from occurring tomorrow,” said TDCI Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Hodgen Mainda. “The Fire Aware campaign is an important resource for Tennesseans who might be using a home, business or other space as a classroom during this unprecedented time. I urge Tennesseans to be fire aware while practicing social distancing and wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

“For nearly 70 years, the work of fire inspectors, school officials and educators have ensured no fire fatality has occurred in a Tennessee school,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Gary Farley. “The State Fire Marshal’s Office wants to reduce fire risk for Tennessee students who may be attending class in their school, remotely at home or in a learning pod at a nontraditional learning site this school year. The Fire Aware campaign empowers everyone to focus on fire safety in order to help protect Tennessee’s future.”

As part of the Fire Aware program, parents, educators and others should familiarize themselves with helpful fire safety tips.
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 (8/18/20), the following updates were provided:

  • Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner, Lisa Piercey, provided an encouraging update that Tennessee has officially moved from the "red zone" to the "yellow zone" by the White House. 
  • Additional encouraging information from the The Department of Health included: the reduction of lab turnaround time to 2.2 days, an average positive case rate of 8.6% over the past 7 days, and a daily average positive case rate of 5.32%, on Tuesday.
  • Commissioner Piercey announced the Department of Health plans to make 2 new data sets available to the public, on their website. One new data set consists of cases in school-aged children, and it will be broken down by county. The other new data set consists of cases in all children 18 years old or younger. Both of these data sets can be found here.
  • Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner, Jeff McCord, provided an update that the Department plans to submit an application for the Lost Wages Assistance Grant, as early as Wednesday. The official press release from the Department of Labor & Workforce Development can be found here.
During Governor Lee's press conference on Thursday (8/20/20), the following updates were provided:

  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Commissioner, David Rausch, provided an alarming update they have received 450 tips related to cyber crime this year, emphasizing that many were linked to adolescents. Due to this substantial increase, the Department of Education announced a partnership with the TBI to increase cyber security for Tennessee schools, students, and faculty. The Department of Education committed to providing additional details within the next couple of weeks.
  • In conjunction with the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group, Governor Lee announced an additional $61 million commitment to broadband expansion across Tennessee. This commitment will be funded by funds through the CARES Act. Governor Lee stated additional details around the broadband expansion will be released within the coming months.
  • Additionally, Governor Lee expressed his concern in the low number of businesses seeking relief grants from the Tennessee Department of Revenue. The program was expanded with an additional $83.5 million, last Friday. Additional details around the expansion are provided in the press release from the Office of the Governor, which can be found here.
  • Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner, Penny Schwinn, provided an update on school re-openings, as 90% of schools in Tennessee have now reopened. Of the 90% of schools reopened, 88% of them are utilizing a hybrid model. Additionally, Commissioner Schwinn emphasized the importance of early childhood literacy, while reminding parents and educators of the phonics-based, Tennessee Foundational Skills Curriculum Supplement, resource located on the Department's website. 
  • Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner, Lisa Piercey, provided an update that positive COVID-19 cases in every Tennessee county have peaked, or they are beginning to decline. Additionally, she reported overall hospitalizations continue to decrease across the state.
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
Tell Congress New Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Refinance Fee is Bad for Homeowners

MHI needs you to ACT NOW and join other industry members in letting Congress know that imposing an adverse market refinancing fee on homeowners is the wrong approach, as the economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with the concurrence of FHFA, will be adding a 50-basis points adverse market fee on mortgage refinance loans they purchase on or after September 1, 2020. 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.

What We Are Asking
As the nation continues to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we are asking Congress to contact FHFA Director Mark Calabria and the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and urge them to immediately withdraw this misguided directive which will do more harm than good for homeowners.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MHI has fought to ensure Federal relief and policy support the long-term growth and success of the American economy. 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—the average consumer will be paying $1,400 more than they otherwise would have paid. Even worse, the September 1, 2020 effective date means thousands of borrowers who did not lock in their interest rates could face unanticipated cost increases just days from closing. 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 in Action
MHI is working with Congress and 19 financial services and housing industry organizations strongly calling on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to rescind this action. As part of this advocacy, MHI and the coalition issued a joint statement opposing this policy.
MHI 2020 Annual Meeting Goes Virtual

MHI's Annual Business Meeting, which had been scheduled for October 4 - 6, 2020, at the Grand Hyatt Denver, will now be held entirely online. MHI will hold the Annual Membership Meeting; the Board of Directors will meet; and each MHI Council and Division will meet in an expanded schedule that will now run from October 5-8. Registration details, sponsorship opportunities and a full schedule to be announced soon!
Congress Tells HUD to Update FHA Programs to Support Manufactured Housing

Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee sent a letter to HUD Secretary Carson calling for immediate updates to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Title I and Title II programs in order to better support the financing of manufactured homes.  The Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee’s Housing Subcommittee, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), the Ranking Member of the Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, spearheaded the letter to Secretary Carson. Twenty-three members of the Committee, which has jurisdiction and oversight over HUD, signed the letter. In addition to MHI’s direct advocacy, state associations weighed in with Republican members of the Committee to secure signatures on the letter. Reflecting MHI’s concerns about the years-long delay in updating the FHA financing programs for manufactured housing, the letter urges HUD to immediately implement changes that were outlined in its Housing Finance Reform Plan. The letter points out that these updates are especially important given the heightened reliance on FHA financing due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tennessee would like to thank Committee Members Representative David Kustoff (TN District 8) and Representative John Rose (TN District 6), for supporting the industry in this way.
MHI Continues to Fight New Reporting Requirements for Small Businesses

As the Senate and House of Representatives begin conference discussions on the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), MHI is working with a coalition of small business groups urging Congress to exclude a provision from the House bill that shifts Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) reporting responsibilities from banks to small businesses. Read more about our efforts to ensure the House provision is excluded from the final legislation that is sent to the President for signature. 
Upcoming MHI Webinars

August 27, 2020
Service and Emotional Support Animals:
The ADA vs. The Fair Housing Act

Presented by: David Eastman, Lutz, Bobo & Telfair P.A.; 
Matthew Paletz, Paletz Law; and John Pentecost, Hart King 

The webinar cost is $25 per person.

Sponsored by:
Sun Communities
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
2020 Webinar Series: Embracing Change
Upcoming Free Webinar
Thursday, August 27, 2020, 2:00 PM EST
Navigating an FHA Construction Loan
with Brett Pierce
  • Thursday, September 10, 2020, 2 PM ET - Measurement Matters: Making Data Driven Decisions - Jenny Hodge

  • 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:
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.
If you STILL have room reservations with the hotel for the October 2020 postponed event, you will need to call the Resort directly to cancel your reservation, @ 800 DOLLYWOOD.  

THA has completed issuance of all refund requests, for early sponsors and registrants.

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 $23,897 towards our $35,000 Goal. 68.3%!
The THA-PAC is accepting contributions!

Thank you for your consideration!
Tennessee accepts corporate, personal and LLC contributions. Your contribution is critical! 
  • 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.
For more information, contact Show Coordinator Dennis J. Hill at (770) 587-3350
January 20 - 22, 2021