I heard from a few folks that attended the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) meeting held last week in Washington, DC. Since they shared their observations with me, I thought it would provide you with a short summary of the meeting.
Let’s start with what did NOT happen:
HUD did not introduce a new Administrator to oversee the program. As you may recall, the previous administrator and one other high-level manager were removed in December, 2017 (see my post from December 27, 2017 on this topic). But no replacements were announced.
HUD did not include any installers in the discussions. I had hoped that HUD would have invited an installer or two to attend the meeting to try and keep things balanced. But once again, installers were not represented.
Local Code Officials were not invited. I hoped that HUD would invite a few local code officials to participate in this meeting. However, none were invited.
Ok…so let’s talk about what DID occur at this meeting:
The MHCC talked about the HUD Interpretive Bulletin on frost free foundations. Basically, the MHCC wants HUD to withdraw their earlier issued bulletin and allow the states and local governments to have final say in how to protect the manufactured home foundation from frost heave. I personally believe that protecting a foundation from frost heave should be a local or state issue. However, HUD should provide some guidance to help local code enforcers have a better understanding of manufactured home foundations.
The MHCC talked a lot about carports, porches, garages, patio covers and the like. It seems that the discussions suggested that the installer or retailer will need to get much more involved in the design of these after-market structures and as a result, take on additional responsibility. The MHCC wants to add information to the data plate about this. It appears to some folks that this approach is just kicking the can down the road….to the installers and retailers.
The MHCC talked about installation inspectors getting involved in On-Site Completion (SC) inspections. Too bad there were no installation inspectors at the meeting.
They also talked about things like removal of the steel chassis, multi-family manufactured homes and the energy standard (which hasn’t been updated since 1994). But, not much promise of changes anytime soon.
Looking on the bright side, this was the first face to face meeting of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee in a long time (October 2016). So, I guess it is good they met.
Maybe the next time, they will invite some installers!
If any of you attended this meeting and/or would like to add your comments, feel free!