New Updates to the HUD Code
Several updates to cover in this post. First, we will start with some good news from HUD that they have published new revisions and critical updates to the HUD Code. There is a summary table starting on page 5 of the proposed changes. These proposed changes are the second update to the HUD Code in under three years, again demonstrating that our federal construction code is an updated and on par with other residential construction codes.
As pointed out by MHI the, “[h]ighlighted changes include standards allowing for higher moisture content of treated lumber in exterior additions, moisture barriers, tankless water heaters, steeper roof pitch designs, accessible shower compartments, revised exterior door requirements to facilitate open floor plans, and multi-unit dwellings, to name just a few. The new proposed standards will also eliminate 63 of the 73 active Alternative Construction (AC) letters.”
Annual Western Housing Summit
Last week TMHA was proud to host the Western Housing Summit. The annual gathering of state executives and various industry leaders of western states is always an informative and helpful exchange of ideas, policy, and strategy. Many of the western states are on the front lines of policy debates and legislation that adversely impact the manufactured housing community industry. For us, this can be an eye-opening “crystal ball” of policy that starts west and can migrate east, and south. Since TMHA hosted this year, our Chairman Karl Radde attended the event for the first time. Below are his thoughts on the event.
Greetings from your chairman! I had the privilege of attending the Western Housing Summit with DJ this past week. It was a little funny to think of Texas being the host in Idaho at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, but I can tell you the weather was great, high of 84, and the scenery was beautiful! The other execs and board members from the various states enjoyed a dinner lake tour and good networking. After that, I can say that we here as members of TMHA and being in the great state of Texas need to commend DJ, Rob, staff and our excellent lobby team of keeping the West Coast Crazy out of Texas. I thought my fight with the City of Bryan was bad, but as much as we need to continue to work on Zoning at a state and federal level, we need to keep vigilant on things like rent control, negating income source from being a criteria for leasing, endless notifications to even attempt evictions, and just a general plethora of crazy laws in those areas. Washington State, while beautiful, is truly bizarre in their legislation in hearing things like police force down 50%, bills to ban natural gas, mandatory electric cars by 2030, not to mention those who want to eliminate the dams to allow the salmon to swim freely. Texas may seem hotter than Hades right now, but the Devil is at work in politics out west!
And a final big “thank you!” to Caitlin for putting on an amazing event. Attendees commented that they liked everything from the location to the events and food. So much so there was a chorus that they may very well end up back there again next year, with the hope that Caitlin runs the show again. Now she is back at it working on our Annual Convention coming in September. Registration for our premier annual event is now open, so sign up and come join us for a terrific event in September.
TX Urban Affairs Committee Meets on Workforce Housing
Texas House Urban Affairs Committee recently held a hearing on affordable and workforce housing. This is in conjunction with the following interim charge, “Evaluate the availability of workforce housing to support the dynamic economic growth of the state. Study the use of public-private partnerships and other tools to incentivize the development of housing that meets Texas’ expanding workforce demands. Develop and include measures to ensure accountability and transparency associated with these tools.”
Interim charges are policy areas the committee works on between now and the start of the 2023 Texas Legislative Session. The bulk of the testimony focused on subsidy programs administered by TDHCA of both state and federal dollars towards housing. Several who testified also mentioned lessening regulatory barriers as impediments to building more workforce housing.
TMHA counties to be engaged on this issue as we also look to the 2023 session on how state policy can create more opportunities for our homes.
TX Modular Home Code Council Moving Towards 2021 IECC
TDLR’s Industrialized Housing and Building Code Council met virtually on July 14. The meeting can be viewed on TDLR’s YouTube channel. The significant take away from the meeting was that the Code Council unanimously approved moving forward with the administrative process to begin to update the IHB code for industrialized housing (“modular homes”) to the 2021 IECC energy code.