A Message From THA
#TennesseeServes - Saturday, May 16th
Celebrate #TennesseeServes by joining the first annual Tennessee's Day of Service on May 16.

The idea is simple – find a need in your community and help however you can.

For ways to serve in your community, visit http://bit.ly/3fQOSBO .
Economic Recovery Group to Lift Capacity Restrictions on Restaurants and Retail, Allow for Large Attractions to Open
Friday, May 15, 2020 |  02:30 pm
As Tennessee continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the state’s Economic Recovery Group announced today it will lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail to instead focus on social distancing best practices effective May 22 and issue guidelines to facilitate the safe reopening of larger, non-contact attractions on or after May 22 . New  Tennessee Pledge  guidelines will be released early next week. Six counties – Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan – may continue to follow individual, county-specific reopening plans created in consultation with State and local health departments.

“Tennesseans have worked incredibly hard to do their part and help slow the spread of COVID-19 so that our state can begin to reopen. Thanks to their continued efforts, we’re able to allow restaurants and retail businesses to operate at greater capacity and large attractions to open in a safe and thoughtful way,” said Governor Bill Lee. “Our state continues to see downward trends in case growth and meets the White House criteria for a phased reopening. This progress has been hard-won, and we can build upon it by reopening while also maintaining common-sense safety measures like mask-wearing and good hygiene. By taking the Tennessee Pledge, our businesses can reopen in a way that protects the health of their customers and employees, and protects the livelihoods of hard-working Tennesseans.”

The new Large Attractions guidance applies to those businesses that can effectively practice social distancing with strong measures to protect both employees and customers, including racetracks, amusement parks, waterparks, theaters and dinner theaters, auditoriums, large museums and more. Restrictions on social gatherings of more than 10 people remain in place for the time being. Updates to Restaurant Guidance will include a lift on capacity restrictions, allowing for increased service as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to, including 6 feet between tables. 

The updated guidelines come as Tennessee continues to meet the White House state gating criteria for phased reopening. The gating criteria include:

Symptoms
  •  Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period; AND
  •  Downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic (CLI) cases reported within a 14-day period
Cases
  • Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period; OR
  • Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests)
Hospitals
  • Treat all patients without crisis care; AND 
  • Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing

Hospital capacity remains sufficient to meet the needs of patients, while the state continues to meet the goal of testing 2 percent of the population per month.

The Economic Recovery Group (ERG), composed of 30 leaders from the public and private sector, is crafting guidance to assist businesses in a safe reopening. The industry representatives participating in the ERG collectively represent over 140,000 Tennessee businesses that employ over 2.5M Tennesseans.
FEMA Private Sector Advisory #02
Issued for Bradley and Hamilton Counties
Issued Thursday (05/14/20)
  • Tennessee homeowners and renters in Bradley and Hamilton Counties, Tennessee who had uninsured losses from the April 12-13 tornadoes and storms may be eligible for federal disaster assistance from FEMA. Click on the adjacent button to view FEMA Private Sector Advisory #02 which contains updated recovery information to help homeowners, renters, members, students, faculty, businesses, employees, and customers who were affected by the storms that occurred in these in two TN counties.

  • We encourage you to please share, reproduce, or distribute this recovery information by any means available to you – email, website, Facebook, Twitter, or any other avenues. We appreciate your partnership to increase awareness of recovery options for Bradley and Hamilton Counties, TN homeowners, renters and businesses affected by this disaster. 


CFPB Logo
HUD, FHFA, CFPB Launch Joint Website for Housing Assistance Amid COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have launched a joint website aimed at consolidating information and resources for federal assistance into one location for home owners and renters. 

According to a joint release , the website was built to consolidate FHFA, CFPB, HUD and other assistance and resources created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to help Americans weather the financial impact of COVID-19. The website includes guidance on mortgage assistance , renter protections , fraud detection and prevention tips and more resources. It also includes FHFA’s new tools for renters looking to see if their property is financed through the Government Sponsored Enterprises and eligible for eviction protection.
RETAIL SALES
COVID-19 Recovery
How to Emerge & Thrive
Free Webinar Series
6 Easy Ways To Boost Sales in 2020

Powered/Sponsored by: ManufacturedHomes.com
As a nation and an industry, we are currently facing tough economic hardships.
When the recovery comes -- and it will come --
will you and your business be ready to emerge and thrive?

REMINDER: TN Supreme Court
Suspension of In-Person Court Proceedings
and Other Deadlines
Still in Effect - Through May 31, 2020.

Several questions continue to circle around evictions and foreclosures , during the many issued "State of Emergency" orders, relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a reminder, below is the specific section from the Tennessee Supreme Court order on this subject. If you would like to review the entire order, click here .

9) Given the increasing economic issues caused by this pandemic, no judge, clerk, or other court official shall take any action to effectuate an eviction, ejectment, or other displacement from a residence during the effective dates of this order based upon the failure to make a rent, loan, or other similar payment absent extraordinary circumstances as determined by a judge in a court of competent jurisdiction. Nothing in this order affects the obligations, terms, or conditions for payment under existing contracts. Judges also are encouraged to work with court clerks and local law enforcement to develop policies severely limiting or eliminating any new garnishments during this time. 
Brian Montgomery Confirmed as HUD’s Deputy Secretary 
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Brian Montgomery as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), by a vote of 61-32. President Trump nominated Montgomery (in October 2019), to serve as Deputy Secretary, the number two position at HUD behind Secretary Carson.

During Montgomery’s two tours at HUD, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to solving our nation’s housing supply challenges through solutions that support innovative housing methods — including manufactured housing.

A longtime industry supporter of manufactured housing, Montgomery has spoken at numerous industry events, including MHI's 2019 Annual Fly-In and the Homes on the Hill event, where he spoke to attendees about the importance of HUD processing the nearly decade-long backlog of updates to the HUD Code. Montgomery stated, “It is one of the Department’s top priorities to process the backlog of updates to the Construction and Safety Standards which have been completed by our Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee.” Montgomery also discussed FHA’s work to update the FHA Title I program for manufactured homes, including a review of credit policies, appraiser guidelines, and an adjustment of the loan limits.

U.S. Senate Banking Committee Advances Dana Wade’s Nomination for FHA Commissioner 

The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs has advanced Dana Wade's nomination for Assistant Secretary for Housing and Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Wade held this title in an interim capacity at HUD from July 2017 to June 2018, before leaving to serve as Program Associate Director for General Government at the Office of Management and Budget, where she oversaw HUD’s budget, among other duties.
 
During her time at HUD, Wade has been responsible for carrying out the Department’s mission of providing affordable housing opportunities and she has taken a leading role in the agency’s responsibilities regarding manufactured housing. MHI worked closely with Wade as she led HUD’s reorganization of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs and its comprehensive review of manufactured housing regulations. Before joining the Trump Administration, Wade served as the Deputy Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs under Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), a strong and vocal ally of manufactured housing.
MHI Joins Coalition of Housing Leaders
Challenging IRS Guidance on PPP

MHI, along with a coalition of business organizations, sent a letter to Congress challenging guidance by the Internal Revenue Service on deductible expenses covered by funds from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The IRS guidance, which was released last week, states that tax deductible expenses covered by PPP loan funds will not be eligible for deduction. In the letter, the coalition argues that this guidance does not conform with Congress’ intent in passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which established the PPP. Several members of Congress have publicly affirmed that the IRS guidance conflicts with the intent of the bill.

Eliminating those deductions per the guidance could substantially increase the tax liability of PPP loan recipients. For C-Corporations, it means an increase in the net after tax liability of PPP loan forgiveness by as much as 21 percent. For pass-through businesses, such as S Corporations, the marginal increase could be as high as 37 percent. Once state income taxes are included, the impact could be even greater.  
MHI Continues Advocacy for Rental Assistance Funding
in Next COVID-19 Relief Package
MHI, along with a group of housing industry leaders and consumer advocates, sent a letter to Congress calling for rental assistance to be included in the next federal stimulus package.

The letter asks that rental assistance funding be disbursed through proven housing programs with the capacity to adapt and adjust to the nature and volume of funding. Utilizing existing programs will help ensure that the funding will reach landlords. Other considerations requested include:

  • Ensuring that funds be applied to all types of rental housing, including in urban, rural and tribal areas; and
  • Requiring the use of funds to cover future rent payments and unpaid arrearages.
  • Due to MHI’s efforts with the coalition, the letter calls for funds to be applied to utility payments and unforeseen operating costs resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Importantly, the letter presents Congress with a viable path forward that is supported by both industry and consumer advocates.

MHI is closely monitoring the various rental assistance bills that are being proposed in Congress. For example, the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Ranking Democrat of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are throwing their support behind legislation originally proposed by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) titled the “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act” (H.R. 6314). This legislation would authorize $100 billion under HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grants program for more grants to states, local governments, and nonprofit organizations to provide expanded housing support to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. MHI has not supported the proposed massive expansion of this particular program out of concern that this small program would be overwhelmed. Given that the mission of current grant recipients is to assist the homeless population, it is unlikely they will be able to quickly pivot to allocating funds for the 10 million renter households in need of support. MHI is working with its housing industry partners to ensure any rental assistance funding passed by Congress will reach intended recipients and is advocating for distribution to happen through other federal programs that are much better suited to keeping renters in their homes. 
IF YOU SEE A FAMILY IN NEED....
The State of Tennessee is aware that children and families across the state may need additional support during this challenging time. The Department of Children's Services (DCS) staff have put together a guide to link families to important state-wide and community resources and programs.
Please pass this information along....

 TN Daily Press Conferences
Weekly Review

Executive Orders 36 and 37 were issued on Tuesday!


Tuesday (05/12/2020) Press Conference - Governor Lee outlined the following updates:
  • The expansion of vulnerable population testing, to include those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group held their second meeting. They are planning to set aside federal funding from the CARES Act to back fill revenue losses and keep the unemployment insurance fund above $1 billion.
  • The Tennessee National Guard announced plans to set up 5 to 14 mobile testing locations in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. There will be 6 to 8 National Guardsman staffed at each location. These locations will also house assistance efforts from DHS.
  • Department of Health Commissioner, Dr. Piercey, reiterated the primary focus for May will be to target vulnerable populations for testing.


To read periodic state COVID-19 Bulletins, CLICK HERE .

GENTLE REMINDERS!
FEMA Private Sector Advisory #01
Issued for Bradley and Hamilton Counties
  • Tennessee homeowners and renters in Bradley and Hamilton Counties, Tennessee who had uninsured losses from the April 12-13 tornadoes and storms may be eligible for federal disaster assistance from FEMA.

  • Attached is FEMA Private Sector Advisory #01, which contains updated recovery information to help homeowners, renters, members, students, faculty, businesses, employees, and customers who were affected by the storms that occurred in these in two TN counties.
Click the corresponding links for 2020 FEMA event declarations/resources in Tennessee.
Tennessee 2020-04-23 20:00 Major Disaster Declaration

Tennessee 2020-04-01 20:00 Major Disaster Declaration

Tennessee 2020-03-12 20:00 Emergency Declaration

Tennessee 2020-03-04 19:00 Major Disaster Declaration
STAY WEATHER ALERT - BE PREPARED - Click on the icons!
State of Tennessee Approval Received
15 Hour Online Class for Initial Licensing
Is Now Available...
In cooperation with the Department of Commerce & Insurance, THA has developed a series of educational online videos (13) and content review exams (11), for the State of Tennessee's required 15 Hour initial licensing educational class for manufactured housing retailer and installer candidates.

Candidates should understand the developed online training will only be Phase I of the required State statutory requirements needed to pursue a Tennessee manufactured housing license; with the State’s mandated written test to be considered as Phase II.

To understand how this initial licensing educational process works, please read the below information.

To complete Phase I of this educational online program, candidates will 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 need 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! .... CLICK HERE for a registration form.

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!
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!
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.
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
STATE OF TENNESSEE RESOURCES TO KEEP YOU UP-TO-DATE ON THE
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.
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.
The offices of the Association will be closed on Monday, May 25th, in observance of Memorial Day.


Memorial Day  (previously but now seldom called Decoration  Day ) is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering, honoring, and mourning the military personnel that have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

We remember and we say thank you.....
THA OFFICES
 
The Tennessee Housing Association (THA) 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