Designation Of “Essential” Industry Activity

Designation Of “Essential” Industry Activity

ManufacturedHousingDesignationRetailersProductionAsEssentialIndustryActivityManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogoMHARRlogo
Federal COVID-19 Response -- Manufactured Housing

Re:  Federal COVID-19 Response — Manufactured Housing

Dear Secretary Carson and Director Krebs:

I am writing as a follow-up to my attached letter of March 24, 2020 to Secretary Carson on behalf of the manufacturer-members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and the thousands of small businesses which constitute the traditional core of the HUD-regulated manufactured housing industry, regarding the federal government’s response to the current COVID-19 emergency.

In my March 24, 2020 communication, we asked, among other things, that federal authorities “take all steps necessary and proper to … ensure that the production, sale, transportation and installation of federally-regulated manufactured homes are treated as ‘essential’ economic activity for all purposes at all levels of government.” (Emphasis added). We made this request based on several state “stay-at-home” (and similar) orders that could potentially have been construed as omitting aspects of the HUD Code manufactured housing industry from their designation of exempt “essential” activity.

We were very appreciative, therefore, when the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in its updated COVID-19 Advisory Memorandum, dated March 28, 2020, included a specific reference to “workers performing housing construction related activities to ensure additional units can be made available to combat the nation’s existing housing supply shortage” as being part of the nation’s essential workforce.

While we construe this language – and believe that it was fully intended by CISA – to include both the production and sale of HUD Code manufactured homes to American consumers (as well as other necessary related functions, including the transportation and installation of HUD-regulated manufactured homes), the language of some state stay-at-home orders could, unfortunately, be interpreted as not including manufactured housing retail establishments within their definition of “essential” economic or infrastructure activity. Within the unique context of the manufactured housing industry, however, where independent retailers are an indispensable component of the chain of distribution between producers and consumers, it is essential both for American consumers of affordable housing and all other sectors of the HUD Code industry, that local-level manufactured housing retailers be permitted to remain open and fully-operational.

We therefore ask that CISA and HUD take all further necessary steps to clarify that this is, in fact, the case, and that manufactured housing industry retailers (as well as all other components of the manufactured housing industry’s supply and distribution channels) are “essential” activities and part of the nation’s “essential” workforce.

We appreciate your consideration of this request and, as noted in my earlier letter, stand ready to assist, in any way that we can, in addressing and resolving the current health emergency.

Sincerely, Mark Weiss

cc:  Hon. Mike Pence

Federal COVID-19 Response -- Manufactured Housing

Re:  Federal COVID-19 Response — Manufactured Housing

Dear Secretary Carson and Director Krebs:

I am writing as a follow-up to my attached letter of March 24, 2020 to Secretary Carson on behalf of the manufacturer-members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and the thousands of small businesses which constitute the traditional core of the HUD-regulated manufactured housing industry, regarding the federal government’s response to the current COVID-19 emergency.

In my March 24, 2020 communication, we asked, among other things, that federal authorities “take all steps necessary and proper to … ensure that the production, sale, transportation and installation of federally-regulated manufactured homes are treated as ‘essential’ economic activity for all purposes at all levels of government.” (Emphasis added). We made this request based on several state “stay-at-home” (and similar) orders that could potentially have been construed as omitting aspects of the HUD Code manufactured housing industry from their designation of exempt “essential” activity.

We were very appreciative, therefore, when the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in its updated COVID-19 Advisory Memorandum, dated March 28, 2020, included a specific reference to “workers performing housing construction related activities to ensure additional units can be made available to combat the nation’s existing housing supply shortage” as being part of the nation’s essential workforce.

While we construe this language – and believe that it was fully intended by CISA – to include both the production and sale of HUD Code manufactured homes to American consumers (as well as other necessary related functions, including the transportation and installation of HUD-regulated manufactured homes), the language of some state stay-at-home orders could, unfortunately, be interpreted as not including manufactured housing retail establishments within their definition of “essential” economic or infrastructure activity. Within the unique context of the manufactured housing industry, however, where independent retailers are an indispensable component of the chain of distribution between producers and consumers, it is essential both for American consumers of affordable housing and all other sectors of the HUD Code industry, that local-level manufactured housing retailers be permitted to remain open and fully-operational.

We therefore ask that CISA and HUD take all further necessary steps to clarify that this is, in fact, the case, and that manufactured housing industry retailers (as well as all other components of the manufactured housing industry’s supply and distribution channels) are “essential” activities and part of the nation’s “essential” workforce.

We appreciate your consideration of this request and, as noted in my earlier letter, stand ready to assist, in any way that we can, in addressing and resolving the current health emergency.

Sincerely, Mark Weiss

cc:  Hon. Mike Pence

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