Department of Energy's Final Rule
conflicts with administration's plan to ease housing costs
The Department of Energy (DOE) released on May 18 its final rule for manufactured housing energy efficiency standards, the details of which MHI continues to review. The final rule is still not cost-effective and will hurt the affordability of today’s manufactured homes. Because it does not take into consideration current manufactured home construction methods and transportation requirements, as well as potential testing and compliance costs, the final rule continues to underestimate price increases and annual mortgage cost increases, as well as the number of potential manufactured homebuyers who will no longer qualify for a mortgage. MHI CEO Lesli Gooch issued the following statement in response to the rule:
“The final manufactured housing energy rule that DOE released on Wednesday undermines the Administration’s Plan announced on Monday to ‘Ease the Burden of Housing Costs.’ Manufactured housing is by far THE most affordable homeownership option in America – and the industry is currently building quality affordable homes that are already energy efficient and resilient. Instead, the significant cost increases to actual manufactured homebuyers far exceed the speculative energy savings the rule claims will take place.
Under the 2000 Manufactured Housing Act, these standards should not become effective until approved by HUD and incorporated into the HUD Code. MHI’s top priority now is to persuade HUD to instead adopt MHI’s more balanced proposal, which improves energy efficiency without causing great harm to manufactured housing affordability. This approach would better support the Administration’s goal of “closing the housing supply gap in five years.”
MHI has been extensively engaging with the White House, the Department of Energy, HUD, and Congress about the DOE rules, and MHI submitted a detailed proposal that achieves the statutory objectives of EISA of properly balancing energy efficiency and homeownership affordability.
To date, almost 500 industry professionals have called on their House Representatives to cosponsor, H.R. 7651, “The Manufactured Housing Affordability and Energy Efficiency Act” introduced by Representatives David Kustoff (R-TN) and John Bucshon (R-IN), which ensures the Department of Energy’s (DOE) final rule on new manufactured housing energy efficiency standards does not harm manufactured homeownership affordability.
This legislation requires that before any new DOE energy standards can become effective or be enforced: (1) DOE must fully consult with HUD, (2) DOE must document that the rule is cost-effective based on the impact of homebuyer price and cost increases, (3) the standards must fully take into consideration manufactured housing construction methods and transportation requirements, and (4) the standards must be adopted by HUD as part of the HUD Code.
It is critical that your Representatives hear from all sectors of the manufactured housing industry about cosponsoring this bill. To participate in the Call for Action, click here and follow the simple steps on MHI's website. The letter to your Representative has already been composed – all you have to do is insert your home address and click submit.