A Message From THA
Pending Tennessee State Approval
15 Hour Online Class for Initial Licensing ...
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in-person educational classes offered by the Association had to be cancelled. The Association quickly developed a modified online 5 Hour Continuing Education Class to meet the license renewal needs of several hundred industry affiliates in Tennessee. The class is working well, and many of you have completed your license renewal requirements. Thank you! (For those who have not accessed the continuing education online version, m ore information may be found further below .)

To continue with additional offerings and to meet the state’s continued mandates for social distancing and limited gatherings, THA has spent the last three weeks developing a series of educational online videos (13) and content review exams (11), for the State of Tennessee's required 15 Hour initial licensing class for manufactured housing retailer and installer candidates. More information may be found further below.

There is no need to call the Association at this time, all currently registered licensing candidates will be notified, once state approval to proceed has been received.
Commerce & Insurance has announced a change to the statewide territory map for manufactured housing inspectors. This new inspector reference will take affect, beginning May 26, 2020. Click the map for a downloadable copy!
Remembering Tommy Colley

Manufactured Housing industry legend and former Assistant Administrator of the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission, Tommy Colley, passed away last Thursday. He was 58.

Tommy’s experience and passion for manufactured housing made him one of our industry’s greatest leaders and ambassadors. We are saddened by the news of his passing, but overwhelmed with gratitude for having known him during his nearly 45 years of dedicated service to our industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends. He will be greatly missed.
Stay Informed with
FEMA's Rumor Control Page

As FEMA takes a leading role in the Corona Virus Disease (COVID 2019) response, be sure to visit:  FEMA Rumor Control Page  for the latest news to keep you informed.

In addition to information on FEMA.gov there are other resources available on  Ready.gov related to staying safe and healthy.
DisasterAssistance.gov is the official website devoted to helping disaster survivors.
It’s a portal to help survivors locate more than 70 forms of assistance across 17 federal agencies via the internet using their desktop computer, tablet or mobile device.

Using pre-screening technology, DisasterAssistance.gov offers an anonymous questionnaire that generates a personalized list of assistance a survivor can apply for, based on the answers. The site also provides other disaster-related information and resources to help before, during and after a disaster.

on June 22, 2020

On April 21, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published in the Federal Register, the final “Navigable Waters Protection Rule”, which is the Administration’s new definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The final rule will be effective on June 22, 2020.
The Navigable Waters Protection Rule ends decades of uncertainty over where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. The agencies have streamlined the definition so that it includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters, provides clear exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated, and defines terms in the regulatory text that have never been defined before. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule regulates these waters and the core tributary systems that provide perennial or intermittent flow into them. This final rule also details what waters are not subject to federal control, including features that only contain water in direct response to rainfall; groundwater; many ditches, including most farm and roadside ditches; prior converted cropland; farm and stock watering ponds; and waste treatment systems.
MHI has consistently expressed concern that the 2015 WOTUS definition was so expansive that it created significant uncertainty for landowners and developers about whether waters (such as ponds and ditches) on their property required them to go through the federal permitting process under the Clean Water Act (CWA). MHI submitted comments about the Administration’s proposed definition arguing the revised definition would help provide property owners with a clearer understanding of legal requirements and federal authority in connection with the management of land and water resources. MHI commented in its letter that the 2015 WOTUS rule has negatively impacted economic development and property rights in communities across the country by expanding federal jurisdiction and authority over additional bodies of water not previously subject to CWA requirements.
MHI commends the Administration for developing a definition that provides a clear and predictable approach to the regulation of federally protected waters and will monitor implementation of the rule.

TN Daily Press Conferences
Friday (04/30/2020) Press Conference - Governor Lee outlined the following updates:
  • Today, the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives released guidance for faith communities on gathering together in houses of worship. The state has recommended, and continues to recommend, that houses of worship not meet in-person during this time. The guidance was released today to allow the planning process to begin. 'Guidance for Gathering Together in Places of Worship'
  • The Unified Command Group announced that a COVID-19 testing initiative will begin next week for all Tennessee Department of Correction staff and the inmates in their care. The official press release from the Office of the Governor can be found here
  • The Tennessee Department of Health will offer 16 drive-through events across the state this weekend to make COVID-19 testing available to Tennesseans who are concerned about their health or the health of their family members. To review those locations and operational times, please CLICK HERE.

Thursday (04/30/2020) Press Conference - Governor Lee outlined the following updates:
  • Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Economic Recovery Group released guidance for close contact businesses in 89 counties who will be allowed to reopen for business on Wednesday, May 6. Six counties including Davidson, Shelby, Madison, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan Counties will “create individual plans in consultation with their locally-run health departments.”
  • Click for a copy of the guidance.... know what to expect, when you visit close contact businesses.

  • Governor Bill Lee joined President Donald Trump at the White House for the daily briefing. The briefing was held to reveal steps the administration is taking to protect older Americans. Governor Lee provided brief comments about Tennessee’s commitment to test all residents and staff in long-term care facilities across the state.  

Wednesday (04/29/2020) Press Conference - Governor Lee outlined the following updates:
  • Over the next few weeks, the Unified Command Group is embarking on widespread testing of long-term care facilities in Tennessee, to help the facilities identify positive patients and staff even more quickly. There are 700 long-term care facilities in the state with 70,000 citizens living in them. The state is partnering with NHC to test all residents and staff in each of the 38 NHC facilities. They will also work closely with other facilities providing all necessary supplies for testing, including staff, if requested.
  • The Unified Command Group is also working on efforts to make testing more widely available, especially in minority communities. More information about these efforts will be provided in the coming days.
  • Close contact services like salons and barbershops will be opening on May 6, in 89 of the 95 Tennessee counties. Guidance will be provided to these businesses by the end of the week. They will be asked to take the TN Pledge.

Tuesday (04/28/2020) Press Conference - Governor Lee outlined the following updates:
  • The Economic Recovery Group released guidance for gyms and exercise facilities on how to reopen safely. Gyms will be allowed to reopen in 89 of the state’s 95 counties beginning on Friday, May 1. The counties excluded are those with locally-run health departments: Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan. The official press release from the Office of the Governor, as well as the full guidance can be found here.
  • Governor Lee gave an update on the stimulus money that Tennessee is receiving from the federal government.
  • The funding the state is receiving can be divided into two categories: the CARES Act funding, and funding which increases the federal share of existing state programs. Both sources of funding must be used on new spending this year. The state will be working to structure it’s spending of the funds to prevent the creation of new obligations to the state, which the budget cannot afford in the years to come.
  • The U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services has provided the state with additional information on the CARES Act funding that goes directly to healthcare providers. Included in the latest information was confirmation that a portion of these funds will be utilized to address the cost of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured. Healthcare workers treating the uninsured will file claims with the federal government and be reimbursed for treatment provided on or after Feb 4.
  • Governor Lee plans to ensure taxpayer dollars are used wisely. This crisis has placed new demands on state and local governments. State prisons, schools, and other public agencies will all have to adapt to a way of doing business that incorporates new safety guidelines. That incorporation will come at a significant cost. We can reduce the strain on state and local budgets by using federal funds to provide for these adaptations. This will allow Tennessee to remain fiscally stable in the years to come.
  • The state also remains committed to utilizing the $30 million in state funding though the Division of TennCare, to supplement federal dollars.

  • This afternoon, Governor Lee also signed Executive Order 30, which provides new guidance upon the upcoming expiration of the state’s Safer at Home order.

Monday (04/27/2020) Press Conference - Governor Lee outlined the following updates:
  • This week’s call with the White House was centered on the expansion of aggressive testing across the country. Aggressive testing is key to Tennessee’s reopening strategy. Over the weekend, the state continued the effort to expand testing, with over 7,000 tests conducted at the pop up test sites across the state.
  • Beginning May 1st, appropriate elective medical procedures will be permitted to resume. This will allow Tennesseans to schedule routine services such as quality of life procedures, as well as procedures suck as routine screenings and joint replacements. Hospital leaders have been meeting with Governor Lee and the Unified Command Group for weeks, focused initially on surge planning, and more recently on a cautious plan for returning to performing elective procedures. The result of those meetings is the development of guidelines for a responsible restart of elective care.
  • The timing and approach for restarting elective procedures will be decided at the community level, in accordance with the guidelines. Hospitals will be cleared to begin implementing their plans after attesting that they have completed the prerequisite steps, and will continue to comply with the guidelines as they engage in elective procedures. Data submission and analysis will continue as operations scale up with vigilant monitoring of disease trends and resource utilization.
  • The state is also making plans regarding antibody testing as the technology continues to emerge. This week, the state will be sending alerts to all clinical providers which will give technical details about the limitations of testing, and will provide guidance on when and how to use it. The state will also be rolling out a plan to test 10,000 healthcare workers in the state’s public teaching hospitals. 

TN Executive Orders and News Briefings

Here is a link to TN Governor Lee’s web page for our state specific Executive Orders, relating to COVID-19.

conducted by Governor Lee.

HERE is a link to view the TN Department of Health's
statistical pandemic data/reporting.
Resources For Businesses Amid COVID-19
Here are other available resources to keep you up-to-date on the state’s pandemic response and the various state directives to individuals and businesses:

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19
  • CDC offers guidance based on what is currently known about COVID-19. This guidance is updated frequently and may help prevent workplace exposures in non-healthcare settings. This guidance also provides planning considerations for community spread of COVID-19. Additional information can be found here.
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so. Available for download here.
Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants and Food Pick-up/Delivery
How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings
  • CDC offers guidance on how to wear cloth face coverings, including how to create a homemade covering. For more, click here.
List of Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19
Guidance on Vulnerable Populations
  • CDC offers guidance for vulnerable populations who need to take extra precaution. For more, click here.
Virtual Home Tours: Tips for Manufactured Home Retailers
With the impact of COVID-19 limiting the availability of services around the country, many businesses are looking at new ways to interact and connect with their customers.
For manufactured home retailers, that means utilizing modern technology to offer prospective home buyers virtual tours. A virtual home tour allows customers the opportunity to walk through their dream home from the comfort—and safety—of their current residence. This is especially important right now, but it is also essential to the long-term success of the industry in the digital age.
“Virtual tours are important now more than ever. They have been very important for many years,” said Kentucky Dream Homes, LLC CEO Dustin Ewing and THA Board of Director, Retail Division . “They drive a lot of traffic to your website, and they get customers excited about our homes. You just get a lot more engagement from a virtual tour than you do pictures and a floor plan. We have so many more tools today that help us sell our homes even before the customer comes on to the model home center. We should be using all the tools that are available if we are truly dedicated to growing our business.”
Dustin and his team have utilized virtual home tours to connect home buyers with manufactured homes for years, but the current challenges presented by the COVID-19 have highlighted just how effective virtual tours can be. 
“As soon as we put out new virtual tour content on our website, we start getting customers calling in excited. That really gets them in the mood to want to come buy a home,” he said. “When the virus hit, traffic slowed at our model home centers, but our website traffic has tripled, and we are selling homes in a whole new way now. There is no doubt that virtual tours have been a big part of that success.”
Leveraging modern technology like Matterport, video chat and team productivity software (like Microsoft Teams and similar platforms), retail locations can stay connected with their teams and connect customers with the right home—and there’s no better time than now to get started! Even if you don’t have access to more advanced technology, like Matterport, you can easily get started with your smart phone, according to Dustin.
“The more virtual tours you do the more you will learn, and you will just keep getting better and better,” he said. “They don’t cost anything for you to do, because you can just shoot one with your smart phone. That is how we started out. When we got better, we bought some better equipment, but you really don’t need that. If you are not doing virtual tours you are losing business, there is no doubt in my mind.”
Secretary Carson Reiterates HUD’s Commitment to Addressing
State and Local Regulatory Barriers to Manufactured Housing
During a call with housing stakeholders last week with Vice President Mike Pence and Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Brian Montgomery, HUD Secretary Ben Carson reaffirmed HUD’s commitment to addressing state and local barriers to the siting of manufactured housing. The purpose of the call was to discuss the Administration’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 emergency and outline policies taken by HUD to support American households. During the question and answer period, MHI thanked Secretary Carson for HUD’s work to ensure that the production of manufactured housing continues throughout the crisis.

In his remarks, Secretary Carson said manufactured housing is making a “big difference” in addressing the affordable housing shortage in the country, which he assured call participants remains a “huge” priority for HUD. Secretary Carson encouraged the industry to “continue to be innovative,” and said that HUD will continue “working with state and local authorities to remove regulatory barriers that keep us from using those innovative solutions.”

Secretary Carson said he hopes to see an increase in the number of families choosing manufactured homes, given the great value they provide at an attainable price point. The Secretary concluded his remarks about manufactured housing by telling MHI, “You keep making the good stuff and we’ll be in good shape.”
OMHP Issues Industry-Wide AC Letter for Windows
Through discussions with members, MHI was made aware of supply chain challenges as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, such as a lack of window availability, which had the potential to impact home production. Due to MHI’s strong relationship with the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP), OMHP  issued  an industry-wide AC letter for windows. This industry-wide AC letter, the first ever issued by HUD, provides manufacturers with the needed flexibility to continue production of affordable housing, by sourcing windows that meet or exceed the Federal Standards from other suppliers. This letter does not require individual manufacturers to request approval... saving time and minimizing costs that would otherwise be incurred with a typical AC letter.
MHI Calls on Congress for More Rental Assistance and Financial Mitigation Measures for Community Owners and Operators
As Congress continues to discuss stimulus packages in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, MHI continues to call for further Congressional action related to the financial viability and stability of the rental housing industry and its residents. MHI continues to work as a part of a coalition of national housing industry trade groups to advocate for rental assistance and financial mitigation measures for property managers—including manufactured home community owners. Specifically, the coalition is  asking Congress  to tie eviction moratorium protections to those renters impacted by COVID-19, create an emergency rental assistance program for those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, establish a Federal Reserve credit facility for mortgage servicers, and ensure multifamily businesses have access to government support programs.
THA's Annual Meeting and 65th
Anniversary Celebration - Postponed
The THA Board of Directors announced earlier this week, the June 7 - 9, 2020 event will be postponed until October 18 - 20, 2020. For more information and future participation deadline dates, please visit the Annual Meeting Page , via the THA Website.
As a note, if you had already made hotel reservations with Dollywood's DreamMore Resort & Spa in Pigeon Forge, for the June event, please call them and move your dates to the October time frame! (800) 365-5996.
We are excited to get this re-scheduled!
continued from headline....
How would an online class for
Initial Licensing work?...
First, Pending State approval , candidates should understand the developed online training will only be Phase I of the required State statutory requirements to pursue a Tennessee manufactured housing license, with the State’s mandated written test to be considered as Phase II.

Second, if approved, THA will first notify registered and paid candidates of already cancelled in-person classes, so there is no need to call the Association. Nothing can move forward, until State approval is received.

You should know, THA has already submitted to the Department of Commerce & Insurance for review and approval, all training modules/videos, content review exams (to ensure education viewing compliance), and training resources (to include links for downloading power point presentations, agency supplied information, educational workbook, and a federal and state law compilation book which includes laws, rules/regulations and the ANSI A225.1 [adopted document for the installation of used homes]).

See more about the Phases of training, below.

To complete Phase I of this educational online program ( if approved ), candidates would utilize provided links to access a series of educational resources, videos and content examinations. These modules/videos and exams meet the educational statutory requirements required by Tennessee, in order to pursue a license in manufactured housing retail sales or home installations. 

Candidates must complete each module of the training, in order, and must complete each module exam, scoring 70% or better. As candidates complete a module and take the respective exam, the Association will be automatically notified, via a candidates online module exam score. Once a candidate has satisfactorily completed all sections/exams, a certificate of education will be e-mailed to the candidate. Candidates must retain the educational certificate, as proof of completing the required statutory education.

Additional information on this entire process is contained within the online training modules, and the provided resources.
Phase II of education will require passing a state issued exam, given by Morris & McDaniel, Inc. The Association will notify candidates who have completed their education, when the State resumes in-person testing, or provides additional guidance on remote testing, through Morris & McDaniel, Inc. 

Exam fees are included in the pre-payment amount of this class, so candidates will not pay a separate testing fee. Should a candidate fail the state issued exam, an additional $125 will be charged by the testing company, to re-administer the exam. 

The testing company will only administer exams to individuals who have been verified as satisfactorily registering, pre-paying and passing all module exams.

As a note:  If candidates do not have easy access to a printer and needs a copy of resources before beginning the online study, an educational package will be shipped to the requesting candidate.

05 Hour Continuing Education Offered Online - For A Limited Time ONLY
To meet the continuing education requirements of our licensed industry members and affiliates, THA has developed a modified online continuing education class for manufactured home retailers and installers, for the 2020 renewal of licensing or certification. 
Please note, this online training access will only be offered for a limited time.  Once federal and state travel restrictions have been lifted and approval for gatherings has been waived, the State of Tennessee will resume the requirement for ‘in-person’ class attendance. Take this opportunity now, to complete your 2020 education online! .... If you have NOT already registered for a 2020 Class CLICK HERE for a registration form and instructions.

Remember Our Tornado Victims...
We are Still Recovering!
NOTE: Some of the MH industry's financial partners have approved the use of this 'gifted' money as down payment assistance. Please check with your financial representative to see if these funds will qualify for that use. If not, the funds may be directed toward other sales contract items relative to the home replacement. Funds will be available at closing.  
THA Retailers...
The Tennessee Manufactured Housing Foundation ( The Industry's Helping Hand ) is offering $500 in assistance to any of your purchasing customers who were affected by the March 3rd Tornado Disaster.
If your customer owned (or was financing) a manufactured home and the home was their primary residence for at least one year, please take a moment to review the minimum requirements, to see if your customer qualifies for this gifted assistance. (This applies to purchasing customers who must replace their damaged or destroyed manufactured home.)
Restrictions do apply , so please download the linked one-page document below, to see how you can offer this assistance to your customer.
The Foundation has set aside $20,000. Once the funds have been depleted, no additional assistance will be processed under this offering, unless additional monetary donations are received by TMHF for this effort.
The Tennessee Housing Association (THA) currently remains open during this COVID-19 pandemic, as we work to serve our members.
Construction (all housing) and related services are considered "Essential Services".
However, we strongly request you refrain from visiting our offices at this time. If you need assistance, please call 615/256-4733 or e-mail Rhonda at Office@tnmha.org .