“Regulatory Review of Manufactured Housing Rules”
On January 25, 2018, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a “top-to-bottom” review of its manufactured housing rules to address actions that are ineffective, overly burdensome, or excessively costly. According to its press release, “HUD is accepting public comments to identify existing or planned manufactured housing regulatory actions to assess their actual and potential compliance costs and whether those costs are justified against the backdrop of the nation’s shortage of affordable housing.”
The public comment period will end on February 26, 2018. PMHA, along with our national association and other state associations, submitted a detailed comment letter regarding regulations and enforcement issues that should be corrected.
We are asking you to join in on our effort and weigh in with HUD about regulatory rules and actions that should be changed because they are negatively impacting your ability to meet the housing needs of your customers. It is important that HUD receive numerous comments from the manufactured housing industry during this public comment period.
There are two ways you can participate.
- Utilize MHI’s advocacy page to submit your comments to HUD. Click here and follow the simple steps on MHI’s website. The letter to HUD has already been composed – all you have to do is insert your home address and click submit.
- Take the time to write your own submission letter and submit directly to the https://www.regulations.gov/ website on Company letterhead, click here to download PMHA’s sample letter in a Word document which you are free to use as guidance for your own letter. Highlighted in red in the sample letter are suggestions for where you can personalize it by including information on your individual company and your market region. Be sure to include Docket Number FR-6075-N-01 “Regulatory Review of Manufactured Housing Rules” in the Subject Line of your electronic submission.
The primary focus in PMHA’s letter parallels MHI’s focus and argues that HUD’s actions have come at the expense of fostering innovation and supporting affordable housing for consumers. The main points are: HUD has intruded into state functions, reinterpreted regulations to the detriment of long-standing and accepted building practices, and implemented regulations and guidelines that unnecessarily limit consumer choice and increase costs. You can focus on these points as well, but add your own experiences for examples.
MHI’s Fair Housing Newsletter
Here is the most current edition of MHI’s Fair Housing Newsletter for your review.
February 9, 2018
MHI Wins Extension of Energy Tax Credit
This morning, Congress passed and the President signed into law an extension of the Energy-Efficient New Home Tax Credit (45L credit) as a part of the two-year budget agreement and stopgap spending bill. The bill also included an extension of the federal flood insurance program, the deductibility of mortgage insurance premiums, and the tax credit for residential energy improvements (for things like high-efficiency water heaters, air conditioning units, and furnaces). The 45L credit expired in December 2016, but today’s action makes the credit retroactive for 2017.
Extension of the Energy-Efficient New Home Tax Credit fulfills one of MHI’s top legislative priorities for 2017. MHI has been a consistent voice on Capitol Hill advocating strongly for the extension of this tax credit, which was established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. MHI has worked with House and Senate tax committees to advocate for the annual extension of this tax credit. In July 2017, MHI submitted a letter to the Senate Finance Committee as a part of its public call for proposals to improve the tax system and provide relief to middle class individuals and families. In its letter, MHI argued that the 45L credit is an important, market-driven incentive that has promoted and improved energy efficiency for manufactured homes and provided significant monthly energy savings for millions of Americans residing in them.
Under the 45L credit, manufactured homes qualify for a $2,000 credit if they conform to Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (FMHCSS) and meet the energy savings requirements of site-built homes. In lieu of the above, manufactured homes can qualify for a $1,000 credit if they conform to FMHCSS and reduce energy consumption by 30 percent relative to International Energy Conservation Code 2006. Alternatively, manufactured homes can also qualify for a $1,000 credit if they meet ENERGY STAR Labeled Home requirements.
In December 2015, MHI secured a retroactive extension of the credit, which previously expired in December 2014. Since these tax credits are extended annually, MHI will continue to advocate before the tax committees in Congress to ensure the credit is continued for 2018 and beyond, arguing that the 45L credit provides a crucial investment in energy-efficient manufactured housing and substantially eases the financial burden of energy costs on hard working American families.
If you have any questions, please contact MHI’s Government Affairs Department at 703-229-6208 or MHIgov@mfghome.org.
© 2018 the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Arlington, Virginia. All rights reserved. The content and works provided herein are protected under US copyright law and, where indicated, US trademark law. Without the prior written consent of MHI (which may be withheld in MHI’s sole discretion), reproduction, distribution, transmission, caching or other commercialization of MHI copyrighted or trademarked material is strictly prohibited.
Governor Wolf to Modernize Outdated Overtime Rules to Strengthen the Middle Class and Provide Fairness for Workers
January 17, 2018
Philadelphia, PA – Today, as part of his “Jobs That Pay” initiative, Governor Tom Wolf announced a proposal to strengthen the middle class by modernizing Pennsylvania’s outdated overtime rules to increase the pay of nearly half-a-million people to ensure they are compensated fairly for their hard work.
“Pennsylvania’s overtime rules haven’t changed in more than 40 years and workers are paying the price,” said Governor Wolf. “I am taking this action to ensure hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who work more than 40 hours a week for the same job receive the overtime pay they have earned.
“It’s simple, if you work overtime, then you should get paid fairly for it. This important step will put more money into the pockets of hardworking people and will help expand the middle class in Pennsylvania.”
Governor Wolf made the announcement at The Fresh Grocer of Grays Ferry in Philadelphia, where he was joined by legislators, local elected officials, store management, staff, and local workers, who were quick to praise the governor’s announcement.
“What the governor is proposing is common sense,” said Denise Kennedy, an Upper Darby resident and secretary at Garrettford Elementary School. “Paying workers fairly on the lower end of the pay scale will put more money in our pockets so we can spend it at local businesses. All I can say is, what can I do to help get this done?”
The middle class is built on the idea of hard work and fair pay, but workers in Pennsylvania have not received a minimum wage increase in nearly a decade and overtime rules established in 1977 have not kept up with inflation.
Many hardworking Pennsylvanians are not getting the overtime pay they deserve. Because the overtime rules have not been updated, employees are covered by an exemption to overtime that was intended for high-wage, white-collar employees more than 40 years ago. As a result, a salaried worker earning up to $24,000 a year, which is below the poverty line for a family of four, can work more than 40, 50, 60 or more hours a week and is not guaranteed overtime at time-and-a-half.
“Four decades is far too long for Pennsylvania’s overtime regulations to remain stagnant,” said Acting Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Updating the overtime rules to keep pace with our 21st century economy is the right thing to do for the hardworking men and women of the commonwealth. It will also generate competitive salaries and reduce turnover, helping to create and keep ‘Jobs that Pay’ here in Pennsylvania.”
At the direction of Governor Wolf, the Department of Labor & Industry is finalizing a plan to modernize rules and clarify requirements. The new rules will phase in over four years to increase the salary threshold that requires employers to pay overtime to most salaried workers.
The first step will raise the salary level to determine overtime eligibility for most workers from the federal minimum of $455 per week, $23,660 annually, to $610 per week, $31,720 annually, on Jan. 1, 2020. The threshold will increase to $39,832 on Jan. 1, 2021, followed by $47,892 in 2022, extending overtime eligibility to 370,000 workers and up to 460,000 in four years.
Starting in 2022, the salary threshold will update automatically every three years so workers are not left behind. Additionally, the duties for executive, administration and professional workers will be clarified to make it easier for employers to know if a worker qualifies for overtime.
“This long overdue moment for thousands of struggling, hard-working employees in the 8th senatorial district and across Pennsylvania is saying this really is a happy new year,” Sen. Anthony Williams said.
When fully implemented, modernizing overtime rules will increase the wages of an estimated 460,000 workers in Pennsylvania. That will lead to a stronger middle class. When workers earn more, they spend it in their local communities, which helps grow the economy throughout the state.
“The Governor’s proposal will give many working families in PA an increase in their income and will make sure they are paid for the hard work they are doing,” Rep. Jordan Harris said. “That additional revenue will help pay utility bills, buy groceries, take vacations, and just make life a little easier.”
The Department of Labor & Industry anticipates releasing the proposed to update the regulations for public comments in March.