MANUFACTURED HOUSING ASSOCIATION OF MAINE
RECAP OF 2014 ANNUAL MEETING AT HILTON GARDEN INN, FREEPORT, MAINE.
MHAM's 2014 Annual Meeting was held Thursday, October 30 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport. At the Business portion of the meeting, the following people were elected to three year terms on the MHAM Board of Directors:
- Jon Bourque of Northeast Housing Services, LLC - Lender/Insurer Position (Mark Turner of Maine Source will move to a Retailer Position).
- Dana Keene of Hyland Estates - Park Operator Position
- John Richard of Friendly Village of Gorham - At-Large Position
- Tom Drew of Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. - At-Large Position
John Gallagher, Executive Director of MaineHousing spoke on the Pre-1976Manufactured Home Replacement Program. The funding for this initiative is now nearly exhausted, but not before approximately 63 new manufactured homes had been purchased through it. Mr. Gallagher also spoke on other programs MaineHousing has to offer that may be of use to MHAM members.
A Lender's Roundtable discussion was held with participants Tom Drew of Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.; Craig Reynolds of MaineHousing; Sean Rogers of Sterling Associates; Jon Bourque of Northeast Housing Services, LLC; Bill Onorato of Norway Savings Bank; and Ryan Poulin of New Dimensions Federal Credit Union. Each panel member gave a brief outline of what his company has to offer and they took a number of questions from the audience. One common theme that is apparent for all lenders is that compliance with complex lending rules and regulations continues to pose a challenge.
Robert Leclair, Executive Director of the State of Maine Manufactured Housing Board introduced his staff: Senior Inspector Ryan Chandler, Inspector Jessica Parlin, and Office Specialist Heather Greenleaf.
They briefly reviewed the purpose of the MHB and reported on their Pre-Occupancy HUD Inspections, which has proven to be a great success. Other items included compliance in installing additions to manufactured homes per HUD regulations, the need for timely renewals of Community licenses, the upcoming changes in the MHB's process in requiring water testing and reporting for communities over which it has jurisdiction, Maine's Modular Energy Standards, and the welcome news that most licensing fees have been decreased due to the surplus of funds in the MHB's coffers.
Bob Capenos, Assistant Vice President of Haylor, Freyer & Coon gave a presentation on reducing risk exposure for MHAM members. Points of emphasis included having the proper contractual documentations with sub-contractors, and also the need for Employment Practice Liability. Industry businesses should not only have proper coverage but also work to make sure their policies and practices are in place and followed. All of this is necessary to reduce exposure to claims, to protect employees' well-being, and prevent financial losses.
Representatives from Redlon & Johnson, a wholesaler of plumbing, heating and air conditioning products gave a presentation on new technologies available to us - primarily heat pumps, which have been used for years in warmer parts of the country. Advances in design have now made them more feasible for use in cold climate regions such as ours in Maine. Attendees were urged to consider these new products when deciding what to provide Maine home buyers.
Other items were mentioned briefly at the end of the meeting. It has been reported that in some states OSHA is starting to pay closer attention to our industry, especially in the areas of fall protection and the use of minors at home construction work sites. Also, Pine Tree Legal has been awarded the sum of $325,000 to combat housing discrimination in Maine, so there may be people visiting our businesses who are posing as potential buyers or renters when in actuality they are attempting to gauge compliance with housing non-discrimination laws.
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