Important Notices from HUD-Part 2 of 2

In the previous post we looked at the final rule issued by HUD regarding the Formaldehyde/Health Notice requirements. Now we need to look at the second notice from HUD that lays out several proposed rule changes to the manufactured housing program.

After you review these proposed rules, please take a few moments and share your thoughts with HUD while there is still time to make changes. HUD will accept your comments on these proposed rules until March 31, 2020.

You can read the proposed rule for yourself HERE and see how you can submit your comments. I am listing below only the proposed rule changes that I believe will impact installers and retailers. I have added my thoughts in [brackets] below each proposal.

3280.2, 3280.802, 3282.7 & 3285.5           HUD is adding the following definition of an “attached accessory building or structure” to the construction standards, regulations and the model installation standards.

“Attached accessory building or structure means any awning, cabana, deck, ramada, storage cabinet, carport, fence, windbreak, garage or porch for which the attachment of such is designed by the home manufacturer to be structurally supported by the basic manufactured home.”

[While I support the concept, I don’t like the attempt to list every type of attached building or structure. Differences in terminology can led to arguments, disagreements and lead to loop holes that undermine the intent of the rule. For example, stairways and landings are not included in the list. I think it is preferable to simply state that an attached accessory building or structure is anything that is attached to the manufactured home and utilizes the manufactured home for support. I will object to this proposal as written.]

3280.5          The home manufacturer would be required to add a statement on the data plate if the home is (or is not) designed for accessory structure attachment.

[While I like the concept, there is no requirement for the manufacturer to state on the data plate what type of attachment may be added. Again, it opens the door for varied interpretation. I will object to this proposal as written.]

3280.114        This proposed rule establishes requirements for stairs, landings, handrails, guards, etc. for stairways both inside the home and I assume on the exterior of the home.

The reason I assume on the exterior is at 3280.114 (d) and (e), there are requirements that specifically address exterior porches and exterior stairway lights.

[Since these requirements are more stringent than the requirements of some states (Pennsylvania for example), I think these requirements will cause confusion. I would suggest that the rule be changed to only address stairways inside the home and let the state govern exterior and basement stairs. I will object to this proposal as written.]

3280.211          HUD is finally proposing that carbon monoxide alarms be provided in homes that are equipped with fuel burning appliances or for a home that was designed for an attached garage.

[I fully support this proposal.]

3280.212 & 213 and 3282.14       Manufactured homes designed by the manufacturer to accept the attachment of a site constructed garage or carport will no longer require the HUD issued letter of “Alternative Construction”. Also, the manufacturer will be required to provide designs for the attachment of these structures in the installation instructions.

[I fully support this proposal.]

3280.609(c)(1)(iii)            This section requires that installers extend the water heater temperature/pressure relief valve discharge piping to the exterior (not under) the manufactured home.

[This proposed requirement is concerning as super-heated water being discharged outside of the skirting of the home could pose a risk to people or pets in the vicinity of the pipe termination. This is another example of additional burdens being placed on manufactured home installers without being included in the rule making process. I will object to this proposal as written.]

3280.612              With this proposal, HUD is looking to lower the pressure required to perform the water supply piping pressure test from 100 psi to 80 psi (± 5psi). Since this requirement is referenced in the Installation Standards, this would also change the requirement for installers.

[While I support this change, I am concerned that the manufacturers installation instructions will be slow to reflect this change.]

 

Again, this is my unofficial take on the proposed changes to the program. I encourage you to look them over, formulate your own opinions and comment to HUD while there is still time to make an impact.

UPDATED-Important Notices from HUD, Part 1 of 2

Note: I have received clarification from HUD on the change to the Retailer and Distributor Responsibilites as a result of this new rule. See the highlighted text below.

 

The US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) published two notices in the January 31, 2020 Federal Register. This post will provide a brief overview of one of these two notices; the final rule announcing changes to the Formaldehyde/Health Notice requirement.

While the final rule has several elements, I think there are two big takeaways for manufactured home installers and retailers:

  1. The data plate inside the home will start including a note that the manufactured home is compliant with the Title VI, Toxic Substances Control Act. Retailers should start receiving and retaining a copy of this revised data plate (or some other document that indicates compliance) for a minimum of 3 years! See 3282.257 below!
  2. Section 3280.309 of the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards is being removed. This section required the home manufacturer to provide a notice on display in the kitchen which informed potential customers that the building materials inside of the home may irritate certain people. You may know this notice informally as the “Formaldehyde Notice”.

    This notice will not be required in new manufactured homes entering production on or after March 2, 2020.

These code changes will take effect in manufactured homes entering the first stage of production on March 2, 2020.

It is important to understand that you should not remove the notice in homes you currently have in stock or on display. This final rule is not retroactive for home produced prior to the effective date.

As always, you should review the actual rule yourself as I am only providing my unofficial take on what I have read. To access the Federal Register publication Click Here! 

Also, HUD has added a subsection to the Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations under Retailer and Distributors Responsibilites. Read it here for yourself:

TSCA Title VI requirements.

Retailers and distributors must maintain bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents that include a written statement from the supplier that the component or finished goods are TSCA Title VI compliant for a minimum of 3 years from the date of import, purchase, or shipment, consistent with 40 CFR 770.30(c) and 770.40.

 

UPDATE: I have reached out to HUD for clarification on this and here is their response:

“Through these regulations, HUD is supporting EPA’s pre-existing requirements, not creating new requirements.   As you may be aware, EPA’s definition of a “finished good” under TSCA Title VI does not exclude manufactured homes the way it excludes site-built housing (ref 44 CFR 770.3).   So, in regards to the requirement for retailers to retain records promulgated at 24 CFR §3282.257; as a retailer of a “finished good,” manufactured home retailers are required to maintain a record that the finished goods they are selling, comply with TSCA Title VI.  This is the same requirement EPA had previously codified at 44 CFR 770.30 and 44 CFR 770.40.    So for finished goods the retailer sells, they need to have records that each product (or home in our case) are TSCA VI compliant and can be a copy of the Data Plate or some other document that indicates compliance.” (emphasis added).

Retailers will need to receive documentation from the manufacturer, such as a copy of the data plate or other document to indicate the home complies with the with the Toxic Substances Control Act. This document should then be retained for a minimum of 3 years.

 

HUD also published a group of proposed code changes in a separate notice. I will do my best to provide a summary on this in a few days under part 2 of this post.