The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) held its State Administrative Agency and Primary Inspection Agency Western and Midwestern Regional Meeting on June 19-20, 2018 in St. Louis. MHI was represented by Dr. Lesli Gooch, MHI’s Executive Vice President for Government Affairs and Chief Lobbyist, and Devin Leary-Hanebrink, MHI’s Vice-President and Regulatory Counsel.
The tone of the meeting was significantly more collaborative and less adversarial than prior meetings. While MHI believes HUD’s policies continue to intrude into state functions, reinterpret long-standing and accepted building requirements to the detriment of manufacturers, and implement unnecessary guidance that increases costs and limits consumer choice, it is clear that HUD is in the process of reforming these regulations.
This year’s meeting focused on areas where State Administrative Agencies (SAA) and Primary Inspection Agencies (PIA) can improve state-level supervisory oversight. Topics included installation best practices and state inspection programs; plant inspections, audits and emerging risks; how to develop a comprehensive quality assurance program; and customer complaint management. A portion of the meeting also focused on supervisory oversight of emerging alternatives, such as tiny homes, shipping container dwellings and solar panel installations.
Over the two-day period, attendees had the opportunity to listen to numerous presentations, including multiple concurrent sessions. Full sessions included “Bringing Homes Back into Compliance” (presented by Justin Smith, Missouri SAA, and Henry Greene, California SAA); “What is a HUD Home? Tiny Homes and Shipping Containers, and How They’re Being Addressed” (presented by Randy Vogt, Minnesota SAA); and “Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) Panels & Solar Panels on a Market Ready House” (presented by Henry Greene, California SAA). Concurrent sessions included “A Day in the Life of an SAA” (presented by multiple SAA representatives), which covered customer complaints and state dispute resolution programs, installation and state inspection programs, and retailer training and state licensing, and “A Day in the Life of a PIA” (presented by multiple IPIA/DAPIA-approved speakers), which focused on factory audits, recent findings and trends, and how to develop a comprehensive quality assurance manual. The meeting concluded with a group photo and closing remarks by Justin Smith, representing the Missouri Public Service Commission, and Teresa Payne, Acting Administrator, HUD OMHP.
As the premier trade association representing the manufactured housing industry, MHI will continue to support a more cooperative relationship between the industry and HUD. MHI’s Government Affairs Team and its grassroots network has helped ensure senior Administration officials and Congress support changes to HUD regulations that inhibit innovation and unnecessarily increase costs and limit consumer amenities.