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Industry Updates2020-03-18T14:03:05-05:00

Topics & Insight That Affect Our Members

1202, 2020

Important Notices from HUD, Part 1 of 2

By Mark Conte of Manufactured Housing Compliance Services 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 [...]

1102, 2020

Updates to the HUD Code

MHI joined HUD Secretary Ben Carson as he announced updates to the HUD Code and released the final rule on formaldehyde emissions for manufactured homes. The announcements were made following his tour of Clayton’s Southern Homes manufactured home facility in Russellville, Alabama with state Governor Kay Ivey. MHI has been calling for these important updates and the announcement demonstrates that MHI’s advocacy efforts are resulting in impactful and tangible [...]

3101, 2020

HUD’s Assistance Animal Guidance Memo Fails to Provide Much Clarity

HUD Issues It's Guidance Memo Regarding How to Evaluate a Tenant/Applicant's Request for an Assistance Animal But Fails to Provide Much Clarity By Tristan R. Pettit On January 28, 2020 HUD published its Memorandum/Notice on how best to assess a tenant/applicant’s request to keep an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. You can find the entire memorandum here. HUD had been promising for months [...]

1401, 2020

2019 Rent Certificate Form

Tax time is fast upon us! The Wisconsin Department of Revenue just released a fillable version of the 2019 Rent Certificate, which you can find here: https://www.revenue.wi.gov/TaxForms2017through2019/2019-RentCertificatef.pdf If you have any questions regarding this or other tax forms, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Featured Events

1401, 2020

Manufactured and Modular Housing in WI Has Annual Economic Impact of More Than $2.65B

Manufactured and modular home manufacturing, retail and servicers, and park residents support 26,063 jobs in Wisconsin [Madison, WI] – [January 14, 2020] – A new report issued by the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) demonstrates the vast economic impact of manufactured and modular housing in Wisconsin. According to the report, three sectors of the manufactured and modular housing industry: manufacturing, retail and servicers and park residents, generate more than $2.65 [...]

201, 2020

3 Digital Tools to Help You Sell Homes in 2020

By David Finney of Bild Media A Great Website - Did you know that 75% of consumers say that they will judge a business’s credibility based solely off of its website? What does your website say about your business? Does it say that your business is modern, efficient, and offers a great product? Or does it say "Turn up the Backstreet Boys and let's do the Macarena!" As people [...]

201, 2020

Cleaning Up to Clean Up: Increasing Revenue with Great Resident Relations

By Joanne Stevens of NAI Iowa Realty Commercial and Green Lake MHP Eleanor sat down after making a presentation for adding fifty additional mobile home sites to the Whispering Maples Mobile Home Community she managed.  Several people in the city council chambers stood up and applauded.  As Eleanor waited for the roll call vote of the city council members, she thought back to all the city staff, county board [...]

312, 2019

MHI Announces New CEO and President

The Manufactured Housing Institute announced that its Board has chosen Dr. Lesli Gooch as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer and Mark Bowersox as its President. Lesli and Mark, who currently serve as Executive Vice Presidents at MHI, will succeed current President and CEO Richard Jennison upon his retirement at the end of the year. “During their time at MHI, Lesli and Mark have been highly effective for our [...]

312, 2019

Sec. Carson Asks the FTC to Investigate Websites Selling Asst. Animal Documentation

Recently, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson wrote to Chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Joseph J. Simons and Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection Andrew Smith requesting that the FTC investigate certain websites that may be selling assistance animal documentation. “These certificates are not an acceptable substitute for authentic documentation provided by medical professionals when appropriate,” said Secretary Carson. “These websites that [...]

212, 2019

Wisconsin Act 38 Passed Into Law

On Thursday, November 21, Governor Evers signed Assembly Bill 117 into law, effectively making it 2019 Wisconsin Act 38. In 2015, Act 211 was implemented with the goal of improving the building permit process; however, many municipalities across the state began requiring home builders and contractors to submit a building permit both electronically and on paper. The purpose of Wisconsin Act 38 is to clarify the duplication that had [...]

411, 2019

Brian Montgomery Nominated as HUD Deputy Secretary

President Trump nominated Brian Montgomery to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the number two position at HUD behind Secretary Carson. Montgomery currently serves as HUD's Assistant Secretary for Housing and the Federal Housing Commissioner. He has served as Acting Deputy Secretary since January. He has been instrumental in elevating the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs' profile within the Department, creating a regulatory [...]

411, 2019

New Paper Calls MHCs a Supply-Side Solution to the Housing Crisis

UMH Properties, Inc. has released a new paper about the promise of manufactured housing communities. Entitled, “Manufactured Housing Communities Provide a Supply-Side Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis,” by Aaron Potter, MBA, Assistant to the President, the paper outlines  major issues facing housing markets across the country and how manufactured home communities can help millions of families own homes that are affordable and of the highest quality. Very low-, low-, [...]

110, 2019

Study Finds Severe Workforce Housing Shortage Across Wisconsin

By The Wisconsin Realtors Association The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA) released a groundbreaking new study, “Falling Behind,” that shows a severe workforce housing shortage and highlights the need for bold bipartisan action now to address this growing concern. From a high of more than 30,000 single-family home permits authorized in 2004 to fewer than 12,500 permits authorized in 2017, Wisconsin is on the cusp of not being able to [...]

3009, 2019

Oct. 14 Packers Tickets Auction to Benefit THF

Packers fans!  A member has graciously donated two premier club seats (face value of $738) to the Monday, October 14th Packers game against the Detroit Lions….with auction proceeds benefiting Tomorrow’s Home Foundation!  If you would like to make a bid on the tickets, please send it to laurie@housingalliance.us. (Or call us at 608-255-3131 or fax to 608-255-5595).  The highest bid by noon on Monday, October 7th will win the [...]

3009, 2019

Think Twice Before Using CCAP

By Kramer, Elkins & Watt   In Wisconsin, over the last decade or so, ‘CCAPing’ (pronounced ‘see-capping’) has become a verb.  It’s how many of us check someone out, whether it be a friend, that creepy neighbor, our boyfriend’s wacky ex-girlfriend, a potential suitor, or a potential employee.  Stop right there.  Did you say, potential employee?  If you have ever CCAPed a potential employee or thought about it, the warning in [...]

1109, 2019

Expanding Manufactured Home Financing

If you have not heard yet, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have developed loan programs specifically for manufactured homes. This a first step to providing more financing opportunities for manufactured homes. These programs were created to help reach an underserved population and offer more opportunities for Americans to become homeowners. Both programs are for homes on private land and each has requirements. A summary of each program is below. [...]

1109, 2019

NJ Ends Manufactured Housing Program & Why This Should Concern You!

By Mark Conte of Conte Manufactured Housing Compliance ServicesIn case you haven’t heard, as of today (August 5, 2019), the state of New Jersey is ending its partnership with HUD as a “State Administrative Agency” or SAA. One of the results of this action, NJ code officials no longer have authority to issue permits and perform inspections of manufactured housing installations. A summary of the new rule states that [...]

2908, 2019

Nominations Needed For Elmer Frey Award

Elmer Frey was an industry icon that left his legacy as a leader and innovator in the factory-built housing industry. If you know of anyone currently in the industry that fits this description, nominate them for the prestigious Elmer Frey Award. The award will be given out on November 6th at the Annual Conference Dinner. To submit a nomination, please send a letter by email to Julie@housingalliance.us; or fax to 608-255-5595; [...]

2908, 2019

DSPS Title Search Update

Good News! The Department of Safety & Professional Services home titling system now shows the home’s age, size, manufacturer, and home lien information. You will need to click on the individual title record to see all of this information. The eLSA system Public Lookup is where you can find professional license information, as well.  Please note that DSPS will no longer inform license holders by mail when a license [...]

2607, 2019

Fannie Mae’s New MH Website & Video

Fannie Mae has a great new website touting the next generation of manufactured homes.  It gives a nice overview of the  building process, details mortgages for manufactured homes and gives information on MH Advantage homes and mortgages. There’s also a great 30 second video you can find in the upper right-hand     corner of their website at http://www.fanniemae.com/todaysmh/. Featured Events [...]

1707, 2019

Buyer Beware: Buying a Manufactured or Modular Home Online

By Laurie Mercurio, WHA Communications Director Did you think we’d ever get to a point where consumers could purchase a home online?!  Or that some consumers are choosing to purchase a home online site unseen?  No surprise, then, that we’re hearing more and more stories about the issues and downfalls of ordering homes online. An Alliance member retailer encountered a prospective buyer who changed her mind on the home [...]

907, 2019

MHI Members on Capitol Hill Talk Manufactured Housing

MHI members from across the nation descended on our Nation’s Capitol in early June to meet with their Senators and Representatives to discuss important issues facing the manufactured housing industry. MHI’s members, from more than 20 states and representing companies that conduct business throughout the country, met with more than 100 congressional offices to talk about the need to update the HUD Code and Federal Housing Administration programs, and [...]

907, 2019

Extension of Energy Tax Credit Passes House Ways and Means Committee

On June 20, 2019, the House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation that would provide a retroactive renewal and extension of many expired—but significant—housing tax provisions, including the Energy-Efficient New Home Tax Credit (45L tax credit). MHI has been a consistent voice on Capitol Hill advocating strongly for the extension of the 45L tax credit. Most recently, the 45L tax credit was a key talking point during MHI’s Legislative Fly-In [...]

907, 2019

How Long Should A Landlord Save a Tenant’s Lease and Other Rental Documents?

By Attorney Tristan Pettit A while ago I wrote a post in which I recommended that landlords retain a denied rental applicant's application and related paperwork for at least 2 years from the date of denial.  This post will focus on the situation where the landlord has accepted the applicant, the applicant was your tenant, and now their tenancy has ended for whatever reason.  Under this scenario, how long should [...]

306, 2019

Keep Young Workers Safe This Summer

By EMC Insurance For many businesses, hiring young workers is an important way to maximize productivity during the summer months. Without the extra help from teens and young adults, jobs like mowing, painting, maintenance and miscellaneous tasks might not be achievable. Younger workers are often energetic and excited to tackle new tasks, but did you know they’re also more likely to get injured on the job? Based on studies of [...]

105, 2019

Spotlight on a WHA Member Benefit

Since 1983, the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (and its predecessor associations) have endorsed an insurance program underwritten by EMC Insurance Companies as a benefit available to Community and Retail division members.  The menu of policies and coverages in the program are designed to address property and liability insurance needs of these member entities.  The program is exclusively marketed and serviced by agents of The Horton Group. In March, the Wisconsin [...]

105, 2019

Prairie Lakes Estates – Lessons Learned 2 Years After Devastating Tornado

”It took my Mom 17 years to build up the park, and suddenly, we lost it all.” May 16th is the two-year anniversary of the devastating tornado that tore through Prairie Lake Estates in Chetek, Wisconsin.  The tornado had a path length of 83 miles, making it one of the longest track tornadoes ever to have occurred in Wisconsin (since records began in 1950). The tornado was upgraded to [...]

204, 2019

2018 MHI Consumer Research Unveiled

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) recently commissioned an in-depth consumer research project about the demographics, perceptions, and  preferences of manufactured homeowners and residents. MHI worked with Trifecta Research for the study, and the findings provide exciting insights into a variety of topics and market trends, including the characteristics and satisfaction of individuals who live in manufactured homes across the country. This extensive independent research study of manufactured housing residents [...]

204, 2019

ACM® Training Now Available Online

The Accredited Community Managers (ACM®) program is a comprehensive study of manufactured home community management topics.  A broad range of topics are covered during the training, including management and resident policies, community maintenance, leasing and sales techniques, marketing, taxes, insurance, financial management, business planning, physical asset management, federal laws and fair housing law. The Manufactured Housing Educational Institute (MHEI) is proud to now offer Course 1 of the Accredited [...]

2802, 2019

DATCP Top 10 Consumer Complaints for 2018

Telemarketing complaints are on the rise (4,860 complaints) and continue to top the annual list of consumer complaints collected by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).  More than two out of every five complaints received by the agency in 2018 were in regard to calls from unknown numbers, unwanted sales calls or scam calls.  This represents a 17% increase in telemarketing complaints over 2017. “Consumers [...]

2802, 2019

Employee Files Questions & Answers by Attorney Jessica M. Kramer

If you have employees, you may have heard that you should keep  employee files, also called personnel files.  You may know that there is a state law requiring employers to allow employees to view their own files.  But, what exactly should you keep in them?  What should you do with the files?  What other responsibilities do you have with respect to these files?  These 12 questions and answers provide [...]

502, 2019

Snow Day: Do I Pay My Employees?

By Attorney Jessica M. Kramer It happens every year in Wisconsin.  A snow storm is brewing (or seemingly shows up out of nowhere), and you have a decision to make: Do I close the office?  The industry you are in, the customers or clients you serve, your company’s size, and your location likely dictate that decision.  Whether to close up for the day due to inclement weather (or for [...]

1501, 2019

What Will the New Year Bring for Factory Built Housing? By Executive Director, Amy Bliss

With every new year comes predictions of what the year will bring.  It is always uncertain, but fun to attempt and then go back to see how you did.  Before we look forward, it is good to look back. In 2018, there were all good economic indicators for the manufactured and modular housing industry. · HUD Code home shipments rose dramatically over 2017.  The numbers for November and December are [...]

1501, 2019

Freddie Mac Offers Flexible Financing & Innovative Features with CHOICEHome

Wouldn’t it be great to utilize more of Freddie Mac’s credit and collateral flexibilities with manufactured home borrowers? With Freddie Mac’s CHOICEHome℠ pilot program, they’re paving the way to do just that. What’s Freddie Mac CHOICEHome?  Freddie Mac CHOICEHome is a new type of manufactured home defined by higher pitch roof lines; permanent foundations; dry wall throughout; energy-efficient features; and site-built components, such as a garage or carport.  During [...]

1501, 2019

Financing of Existing Manufactured Homes is Available

Wisconsin Rural Development has joined the Manufactured Housing Pilot! Existing manufactured homes must meet the following conditions to be eligible for financing: · The home must have been constructed on or after 1/1/2006 in conformance with Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (FMHCSS) · The home must not have had any alterations or modifications since construction in the factory except for porches, decks or other structures · Unit inspection is required [...]

1012, 2018

Renewed Interest in Financing Manufactured and Modular Homes

For over a decade, most government entities would not even consider lending on manufactured homes and appraisal requirements made it a little difficult for modular homes.  Based on recent outreach to Wisconsin Housing Alliance, it feels like the tide is turning.  WHA staff is cautiously optimistic that more home financing is on the horizon. Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) WHEDA has joined as a member of Wisconsin Housing [...]

511, 2018

MHI Calls on HUD to Eliminate Discriminatory Zoning

HUD is taking a second look at the regulation known as “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (“AFFH”). This prompted MHI to call on HUD to eliminate discriminatory zoning that would restrict or eliminate manufactured housing from a community’s stock of affordable housing by revising a directive it issued back in 1997. In its letter, MHI says it “… strongly encourages HUD to broadly exercise its existing power, especially when land use [...]

511, 2018

WI Manufacturers & Commerce to Offer Association Health Plan for Groups

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) has partnered with UnitedHealth Care (UHC) and will be launching EmployerPulse, an Association Health Plan effective January 1, 2019. Under a new Association Health Plan (AHP) rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, small businesses can enjoy the flexibility that large businesses have under the Affordable Care Act by pooling together. It will be available for businesses of all industries with 2 – 50 employees in [...]

410, 2018

Evidence Shows MH Appreciate as Well as Site-Built Homes

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the conservator that oversees the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recently published its extensive quarterly report on US house prices and included data on manufactured housing for the first time. The FHFA’s new MH index, still in the experimental stage, indicates that the prices of the manufactured homes purchased by the GSEs perform similarly to those of site-built properties. Although there [...]

410, 2018

Making the Case for New Manufactured Homes

By Mike Callaghan, Managing Partner Four Leaf Properties (708) 781-1031 If our industry wants to lose the “trailer park” moniker, here’s an idea - get rid of the trailers! Despite an unprecedented run in occupancy gains and MH property values, our industry is still struggling with legacy perception issues.  Despite all of the recent successes, the landscape is still dotted with rusted metal boxes that taint and discount the value [...]

609, 2018

If You Can’t Understand a Deed Restriction, It’s Probably Not Enforceable By Donald J. Murn

Recently, a Supreme Court of Wisconsin case came down regarding deed restrictions in a subdivision. The case is Forshee v. Neuschwander and reminds developers and lot buyers to be particular in the way they draft and interpret deed restrictions. The facts of the case are not particularly unique. The Neuschwanders purchased a property and developed it as a single family home. They then rented it out through Vacation Rental By [...]

609, 2018

HUD Files Fair Housing Complaint Against Facebook

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has filed a complaint against Facebook claiming it has allowed “landlords and home sellers to use its advertising platform to engage in housing discrimination.” According to HUD’s press release, “Facebook enables advertisers to control which users receive housing-related ads based upon the recipient's race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and/or zip code. Facebook then invites advertisers to express unlawful [...]

208, 2018

Chattel Loans vs. Mortgage Loans

While most manufactured housing customers obtain a chattel loan—a personal property loan—there are  significant potential cost savings for them in the mortgage loan market, according to a report from the Urban Institute.  In fact, in the report, the researchers at Urban Institute suggested costly chattel loans could be   partially responsible for the decline in this affordable housing sector in recent years. Addressing the high cost of financing for this affordable [...]

208, 2018

New WHA Board Member

Congrats to Michael Seitz of Asset Development on becoming a member of the Wisconsin Housing of Alliance Board of Directors! Michael graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1988, and has been practicing real estate law for more than 30 years, primarily as Assistant Vice President and Counsel for Bank Mutual.  He joined Asset Development Group in 2014 as Vice President and General Counsel. Michael is married and resides in [...]

208, 2018

New Address at DSPS

The Department of Safety & Professional Services (DSPS) has a new address!  As of July 16, 2018, their new office is located at 4822 Madison Yards Way, Madison, WI 53705. Also note that the direct phone number to the Manufactured Housing unit is (608) 266-2112. Featured Events

507, 2018

MHI’s Legislative Fly-In Yields Results

MHI members from across the nation descended upon Capitol Hill the week of June 25th for MHI’s 2018 Summer Legislative Fly-In. MHI members representing 19 states conducted almost 100 meetings with congressional offices in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The fly-in yielded immediate results, with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (formerly CFPB) Acting Director, Mick Mulvaney (seen above) telling attendees he will help ensure [...]

507, 2018

A New Tone from HUD at its Regional SAA and PIA Meeting in St. Louis

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 [...]

507, 2018

Home Delivery Prices on the Rise

Many of you buying new manufactured homes these days are noticing not only higher construction prices, but also rising transportation prices. Rates for delivery of multi-section homes are worse as they require two separate trucks and sometimes additional escort vehicles. Retailers are reporting freight charges have doubled in some cases in the last two years. Multiple factors are combining to increase delivery prices. These include: ¨ New Department of Transportation regulations [...]

606, 2018

President Trump Signs Legislation Giving MH Retailers Relief from Dodd-Frank

On May 24th, calling it a great day for America, American workers, and small businesses, President Trump signed into law S. 2155, the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act." 31.2155 includes a provision clarifying that a manufactured housing retailer or seller is not inappropriately considered a mortgage “loan originator” simply because they provide a customer with some assistance in the mortgage loan process. S. 2155 passed the House [...]

405, 2018

New Landlord-Tenant Law, Act 317

On Monday, April 16th, Governor Walker signed into law some great landlord tenant regulation supported by the   Wisconsin Housing Alliance, Wisconsin Realtors Association and various apartment associations.  This bill has been working through the process for several months and we are proud to announce that we crossed the finish line.  Below is Attorney Tristan Pettit’s summary of Act 317 which went into effect on April 18, 2018: It is a [...]

1704, 2018

Support the WI Housing Alliance PAC!

The following have generously donated to the Wisconsin Housing Alliance Political Action Fund (PAC) in the last year. To learn more about the WHA PAC click here.  If you would like to donate, a donation form can be found here. Mark Thiede Kay Styza Paige Dreier Venita & Bob Matheus Jim Reitzner Matt Shechtman John Parrish Mark & Laura Luebke Bart Huntington Featured [...]

304, 2018

Members Receive $230,000 from EMC

The Wisconsin Housing Alliance is pleased to announce that the property and casualty insurance program we endorse, EMC Insurance Companies, which is marketed by The Horton Group, has declared a Safety Group dividend for 2018...nearly $230,000! The Safety Group dividend is calculated using a formula that tracks a rolling 3 years of eligible premium and losses of participating WHA members.  Each year, the new premium and loss information are added [...]

304, 2018

Severe Weather Safety For Manufactured Home Residents

May and June are the most active months for severe weather in Wisconsin.  As a result of the EF-3 tornado that devastated Prairie Lake Estates in Chetek, WI on May 16, 2017, the Alliance put together a severe weather brochure that community owners and managers can distribute to their residents. The brochure educates manufactured home owners and renters on how they can prepare before severe weather strikes and what they [...]

203, 2018

ENERGY STAR Tax Credit Extended Through 2017

The federal budget recently passed by Congress and signed by the President included a $1000 per home tax credit for manufacturers that build ENERGY STAR homes; it was extended retroactively through 2017. Once again, if you had faith that the tax credit would be extended, you were rewarded.  It’s a familiar story that keeps repeating itself: Congress waits until the end of the year to extend the tax credit retroactively, [...]

602, 2018

Skyline and Champion Home Builders to Merge

Skyline Corporation and Champion Enterprises Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Champion Home Builders Inc., reached a definitive agreement on January 5th for the two companies to combine their operations. As per the terms of the agreement, Champion will contribute 100% of the shares of its operating subsidiaries, Champion Home Builders, Inc. and CHB International B.V., to Skyline.  In exchange, Skyline is currently expected to issue about 47.8 million shares [...]

201, 2018

New DSPS Online Building Permit Application Requirements

2015 Wisconsin Act 211 will go into effect on January 2, 2018, which requires municipalities to provide building permit data electronically to the Department of Safety and Professional Services.  Act 211 does not mandate that municipalities require contractors to use an online permit system to receive a building permit, but some  municipalities may choose to move to an online system to apply for a building permit if they are not [...]

1312, 2017

MH Retailers and Sellers Relief from the Dodd-Frank Act

On December 5, the Senate Banking Committee passed legislation to clarify that a manufactured housing retailer or seller is not considered a "loan originator" simply because they provide a customer with some assistance in the mortgage loan process.  This is a key tenet of S. 1751, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which excludes manufactured housing retailers and sellers from the definition of a loan originator so long as [...]

1312, 2017

Governor Signs Act 109 Into Law

Wisconsin Act 109 was signed into law by Governor Walker on November 30th.  Alliance members, Eric Flood (of Flood Homes) and Jim Reitzner and Michael Seitz (of Asset Development Group) attended the signing. This bill will make it clear in the law that building code violations are given to the manufactured homeowner and NOT the owner of the community: "This bill provides that if a requirement of the one-family and [...]

1011, 2017

2017 Annual Report

The Alliance has published its 2017 Annual Report, which includes the status of the industry and membership, an update on government affairs, finances and Tomorrow's Home Foundation, and shipment numbers. To access the report, click here. Featured Events

1110, 2017

Legislative Wins for the Industry

Personal property tax for businesses has been abolished in all states surrounding the state of Wisconsin.  In Wisconsin, there are many industries that are exempt from paying personal   property taxes.  Two notable industries that have exemptions are manufacturing and agriculture.  This tax is extremely unfair to small businesses like manufactured home dealers and community owners.  For example, dealers pay this tax on their tools; however, the same tool in a [...]

610, 2017

Seeking Elmer Fry Nominations

Elmer Frey was an industry icon that left his legacy as a leader and innovator in the factory-built housing industry.  If you know of anyone currently in the industry that fits this description, honor them with a nomination for the prestigious Elmer Frey Award. The award will be given out at the Annual Conference dinner on November 14th.  To submit a nomination, please send an email to julie@housingalliance.us or fax [...]

610, 2017

New Process to Find Lien Holder on DSPS Website

If you use the Department of Safety and Professional Service’s Manufactured Home Records Search to verify whether there’s a lien holder on a home, be aware that the process has changed.  Previously, you could search by the owner’s last name, however, due to privacy concerns, the lien holder’s name and address is no longer listed by this simple search.  But you can still find it. Search by the owner’s last [...]

308, 2017

Home Installers in WI Get an A+

Due to the increasing scrutiny of HUD in states such as Michigan and Illinois, Wisconsin Housing Alliance Executive Director, Amy Bliss, did an open records request asking the Wisconsin Department of Safety and    Professional Services (DSPS) if there had been any installation related complaints to DSPS regarding manufactured home installation. The answer came back just as predicted.  The number of complaints related to home installation was ZERO!  A nice low [...]

308, 2017

Fair Housing is More than Just a Federal Law

The Fair Housing Act has been on the books for decades, prohibiting all forms of housing discrimination based upon a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and/or disability.  The list of so-called “protected classes” in the federal law is relatively short and easy to remember.  However, the federal law is not the only housing non-discrimination law impacting manufactured housing communities and retail sales centers. Shortly after the [...]

308, 2017

When Bedbugs Become a Problem

We’ve all heard the stories of bedbug outbreaks at hotels, but what do you do when they become a problem in your community?  This article will help you answer that question with tips on identification, signs of infestation and treatments. Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans.  Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed.  After feeding, however, [...]

1007, 2017

HUD Inspections Find Common Installation Problems in Other States

In HUD’s June newsletter, some common home installation problems were reported in states such as Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska.  HUD is randomly monitoring installations in HUD program states and also in states that have their own installation programs.  Those problems included: Improper grading around the home Improper cap blocks Tie downs that exceed 60 degrees Lack of approved alternative foundation designs (foundation plans not found in the manufacturer’s [...]

1007, 2017

4 Things Professional Burglars Don’t Want You to Know

Pass These Tips on to Residents and Home Buyers Even though a burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the U.S., you can still protect yourself with simple, common-sense steps. 1. Nighttime Burglaries Aren't the Best Time.  Burglars like to break in to homes during daytime hours - between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. - because there's a high chance people will be away at work or school.  The last thing [...]

905, 2017

New Guidance in Pulling Building Permits

Below is guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) regarding what credentials are required to pull building permits. “Q: What credentials are required for a Manufactured Home Installer to be issued a building permit for the installation of a manufactured home? A: In order for a Manufactured Home Installer to obtain a building permit on  behalf of the home owner, the Manufactured Home Installer must have [...]

404, 2017

Group Insurance Members Share in $186,000

The Wisconsin Housing Alliance is pleased to announce that the property and casualty insurance program we endorse, EMC Insurance Companies, which is marketed by The Horton Group, has declared a Safety Group dividend for 2016….$186,254! The Safety Group dividend is calculated using a formula that tracks a rolling 3 years of eligible premium and losses of participating WHA members. Each year, the new premium and loss information are added in [...]

404, 2017

Joint Finance Committee Hears State Agencies Budget Requests

Late March is a busy time at the State Capitol.  The Joint Finance Committee heard testimony from State Agencies on March 28th and 29th.  The Governor’s budget includes the elimination of many Boards and Councils which were housed under the Department of Safety and Professional Services, which includes the elimination of the Manufactured Housing Council.  The Wisconsin Housing Alliance Board determined that the industry will not lobby to keep the council [...]

404, 2017

Ask Your Representative to Co-Sponsor The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act

The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act has been reintroduced in the 115th Congress by a bipartisan group of Representatives. The bill, now numbered H.R. 1699, was introduced by Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Terri Sewell (D-AL), David Kustoff (R-TN) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY) to address federal regulations implementing the Dodd-Frank Act that do not reflect the unique nature of the manufactured home financing and [...]

203, 2017

New Secretary of DSPS and Dept. of Financial Institutions

Governor Walker recently appointed new secretaries to the Department of Safety and Professional Services and to the Department of Financial Institutions.  Laura Gutierrez was appointed in February as the Secretary of DSPS.  She grew up in Milwaukee and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Carroll College and a Master of Arts in Leadership and Policy from Marquette University.  She also completed the District Administrator Licensure Program at Cardinal [...]

302, 2017

DOT Audit Shows Change is Needed

The manufactured and modular housing industry depends on good roads to transport homes throughout the  Midwest.  Unfortunately for Wisconsin, the roads are deteriorating rapidly.  Wisconsin Housing Alliance, along with many other industries, is always an advocate for a solution to the lack of transportation funding. The Legislative Audit Bureau has completed the audit of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.  Their findings concluded that change is needed. Here is what the audit [...]

302, 2017

Optimism at the Louisville Home Show

Optimism abounded at the Louisville Home Show in late January.  Wisconsin Housing Alliance retail and manufacturing members all seemed to be projecting positive thoughts.  Retailers and park owners were buying and manufacturers were selling.  All of that bodes well for the industry in 2017. The homes themselves were sporting some fantastic kitchens, new colors (lots of gray tones) and a great deal of end/entry front porches that really add to [...]

102, 2017

Industry Testifies Regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve MH

On January 25th in Chicago, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) which oversees the activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac listened to several industry representatives regarding the entities Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing.  In particular, Amy Bliss, Executive Director for Wisconsin Housing Alliance, testified that chattel lending in manufactured home communities must be a key component in their pilot project to serve the industry.  In addition to their duty [...]

1001, 2017

West Partners Acquires Asset Development Group

West Partners, a San Diego area investment firm, has acquired a majority interest in Asset Development Group (“ADG”) and its affiliated businesses.  Asset Development Group, which includes the consumer facing company Home Source One, is a vertically integrated manufactured housing and services platform that currently owns and operates 53 communities with more than 5,400 sites in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan. In addition to property management, ADG provides insurance brokerage [...]

401, 2017

GSEs Will Receive Duty to Serve Credit for MH Chattel Loans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has finalized its Duty to Serve (DTS) rule, which would provide DTS credit to   Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the purchase of chattel manufactured housing loans.  The GSEs have not purchased chattel loans for almost a decade. Tim Williams, Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute and President of 21st Mortgage Corporation, said that MHI is optimistic but there is much more to be [...]

3012, 2016

Wisconsin Welcomes Newest Resident-Owned Community

About 115 residents in a La Crosse manufactured housing community became the newest resident-owned community in Wisconsin.  Pammel Creek Estates, Inc., a Wisconsin nonprofit organization, organized by and for residents of a property once known as Pleasant Valley Estates, purchased the 59-unit manufactured housing community.  Organized as a nonprofit, the organization will be governed by cooperative principles: one-member, one-vote, operation at cost, for the mutual benefit of the low- and [...]

2911, 2016

New Overtime Rule on Hold

A Federal Judge in Texas issued a national temporary injunction on implementation of the Obama Administration's new overtime rule, previously set to go into effect on December 1, 2016.  The Department of Labor had issued a new rule that would have doubled (to $47,476) the salary threshold for the so-called "white collar" exemption to overtime pay.  The rule would also have indexed future increases in the threshold to the Consumer [...]

109, 2016

Golf Outing a Success!

We had a beautiful day at Hawk’s View Golf Course in Lake Geneva for the joint Wisconsin Housing and Recreational Vehicle Dealers Alliances golf outing.  94 golfers registered for the event, and we had more sponsors this year than ever before!! Cole Huntington, who was the youngest player this year, won the “Closest to the Pin” hole.  JP Pulvermacher had the longest ladies drive, (in the fairway) and Lon Kocsis [...]

1808, 2016

Pets, Service and Comfort Animals—They’re Different Under the Americans with Disability Act and Fair Housing Amendment Act?

As Printed In THE JOURNAL By Robert Williamson “Pets” are not service or comfort animals under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA).  Community residents or prospective residents claiming a disability and desiring to keep a certain “pet” in contravention of a community’s “no pet” or “pet restrictive” policy or rules will generally assert, however, that under either or both ADA or FHAA, the [...]

908, 2016

Seeking Elmer Frey Nominations

Elmer Frey was an industry icon that left his legacy as a leader and innovator in the factory-built housing   industry.  If you know of anyone currently in the industry that also fits this description, you can honor them with a nomination for the prestigious Elmer Frey Award.  The award will be given out on November 9th.  To submit a nomination, please send a letter or email to the Alliance office (258 [...]

308, 2016

Coalition Created to Repeal Wisconsin’s Personal Property Tax

A strong and diverse group of 31 trade and business associations have joined forces with the common goal of repealing Wisconsin’s personal property tax.  The “Coalition to Repeal Wisconsin’s Personal Property Tax” consists of organizations representing more than 400,000 Wisconsin businesses employing more than a million employees, as well as thousands of individual taxpayers across the state.“ Collectively, coalition members represent nearly every personal property taxpayer in Wisconsin.” said Michelle [...]

308, 2016

Kinzler Inducted to MH/RV Hall of Fame

Ross Kinzler, Former Director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance, was honored for his contribution to the manufactured housing industry.  On August 1st, 2016, Kinzler, along with nine other individuals, was inducted into the MH/RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana. During his more than 25-year tenure, Kinzler doubled the association’s membership, created a team approach to member services and managed association resources by cutting expenses, yet maintaining services in a [...]

1006, 2016

Deck Code Commentary

We have been asking DSPS for relief from some of the Deck Code and they have released a 93-page commentary.  The entire code commentary is linked here.  However, section 321.40 specifically pertains to manufactured housing: Manufactured Home Foundation Requirements Featured Events

2605, 2016

Three Upcoming Code Changes to the UDC

Three new code changes affecting the Uniform Dwelling Code will go into effect June 1, 2016.  The Department of Safety and Professional Services would like to inform stakeholders of three administrative rule changes affecting the Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC).  The Uniform Dwelling Code Council heard from stakeholders on three topics: Crawl Space Ventilation Wisconsin Legislature: CR 15-090 Rule Text Natural Light in Rooms over Garages Wisconsin Legislature: CR 15-089 Hearing [...]

2605, 2016

To Retailers: DSPS Website Now Includes REScheck Information

Important news on the use of REScheck for determining thermal envelope compliance and minimum furnace and boiler capacity are now posted on the state’s One and Two Family (UDC) website. Effective January 1, 2016, the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) updated its  energy conservation code to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.  As before, compliance with the UDC can be shown by use of the federal REScheck program.  However, the newest [...]

2605, 2016

Final Rule Issued on Overtime

On May 18, 2016, President Obama and Secretary Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor’s final rule updating the overtime regulations, which will automatically extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation.  This long-awaited update will result in a meaningful boost to many workers’ wallets, and will go a long way toward realizing President Obama’s commitment to ensuring every worker is [...]

2605, 2016

Wetland Confirmation Service

This service consists of a written statement, based upon an on-site inspection, of whether the DNR agrees with the wetland boundaries delineated by a consultant.  A fee of $300 per 20 acres of land reviewed is associated with this service, and requesters will receive a response in 60 days or less. The goal of this service is to provide landowners and developers certainty that a project’s delineated wetland boundaries are [...]

2804, 2016

A Must-Read for Community Owners and Managers

Tristan’s Landlord-Tenant Law Blog – HUD Issues New Guidelines on the Use of Criminal Records in the Rental Screening Process. On April 4, 2016 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) dropped a bombshell on owners and managers of residential rental properties in the U.S.  HUD's Office of General Counsel published a 10 page guide entitled "Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of [...]

2504, 2016

RV Dealers Alliance

The Wisconsin Housing Alliance Board of Directors has agreed to manage the newly formed Wisconsin Recreational Vehicle Dealers Alliance.  This is the trade association for RV Dealers in Wisconsin.  They have never had a formal association and contacted Amy Bliss to see if this was a possibility.  Several other state manufactured and modular housing associations also represent recreational vehicle dealers. After several months of discussion and research, it was decided [...]

2204, 2016

Do You Want to Win $10,000?!

Tomorrow's Home Foundation is holding a raffle to raise money for their critical home repair program.  Tickets are $100 each, with only 250 available. The grand prize is $10,000, with 12 other prizes up for grabs. (Including a $1000 and $500 cash prize, two Packers suite tickets, an iPad, a $450 Heidel House Resort & Spa Gift Certificate, a KitchenAid mixer, a Fitbit, a GoPro Camera and various gift cards.) [...]

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