INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES - MARCH, 2014
SHIPMENTS: For the year 2013, the final shipment figures are in. Nationally, the total HUD Code homes shipped was 60,210, split just about equally between single and multi-section homes. This represents an increase of approximately 9.1% over the figures for 2012. This also represents about 9% of all new single family homes constructed in the U.S. The upward trend appears to be continuing in 2014, as the January figures were up 3.8% over those for January of 2013. For Maine, there were 338 HUD Code homes sold in 2013, and there were also 321 modular homes sold in that same time period. The Manufactured Housing Board updates these figures on a quarterly basis, so periodic reports will be forthcoming.
WASHINGTON DC: The Department of Housing and Urban Development has appointed a new Administrator for the HUD Manufactured Housing Program. Her name is Pamela Beck Danner, JD, and she previously worked for HUD in the Manufactured Home Program. Most of our industry people involved in what goes on in our nation's Capital regard this as a good choice since the new Administrator is already familiar with our product and how the program works, so she will require less time in getting her acquainted with the industry and will allow more time for our representatives to advocate for our positions. There are some who wish that the appointment was for a "non-career" person, as the law technically requires rather than someone whose career has revolved around Washington DC. Even those people, however, believe that they can develop a good working relationship with Ms. Danner, so all in all this appears to be good for the manufactured housing industry.
MHAM is currently advocating for S. 1828, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, with our Senators. This legislation would help eliminate some of the impediments to financing for manufactured homes that were brought about by recent federal laws and regulations enacted in light of the mortgage meltdown. Essentially, the Act would remove many manufactured housing loans from the "High Cost" category and would also clarify that in most cases, manufactured housing salespersons would not be classified as mortgage originators. If S. 1828 were to be passed and signed into law, the hope is that more financing will be available for our product. Anyone wishing to learn more about this is urged to contact Dick Bradstreet at email@example.com.
AUGUSTA: On March 16, the Governor signed into law L.D. 1691, An Act to Stop Unlicensed Loan Transactions. The law was originally intended to curb abuse of so called "Payday" loans, but the way it was originally written may have jeopardized our ability to offer even a limited amount of owner financed loans to home buyers. With the help of Will Lund of Maine's Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, we were able to get an amendment that changed some of the Bill's language which protected our ability to offer these loans.
One proposal that we may need to keep an eye on is L.D. 1833, An Act to Improve Compensation for Injured Workers Whose Employers Have Wrongfully Not Secured Workers' Compensation Insurance. The bill was proposed by the Workers' Compensation Board, and among other things it would clarify that a general contractor would be liable for a situation where an employee is injured while working for an uninsured subcontractor. The contractor would be responsible for workers' compensation benefits as if it were the direct employer of the injured worker. This is just an advisory that all MHAM members who act as contractors make sure they have the proper documentation of insurance coverage from any subcontractors they may employ.
If you have any noteworthy industry news you would wish to share with our membership, please contact Dick Bradstreet at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call him at 207-680-MHAM.
The Manufactured Housing Association of Maine (MHAM) is a non-profit trade and professional association whose member companies build, sell, site, and finance manufactured and modular housing and develop and operate manufactured housing communities and developments.
Established in 1986, the Manufactured Housing Association of Maine is dedicated to the protection and promotion of the state's manufactured home industry through legislative representation, continuing industry education, public relations and communications efforts.