TO:HUD CODE INDUSTRY MANUFACTURERS, RETAILERS,
COMMUNITIES, STATE ASSOCIATIONS AND PRESS
RE:HUD PUBLISHES FINAL REVISED RV EXEMPTION RULE
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published a final rule in the November 16, 2018 Federal Register (copy attached) amending the exemption of certain recreational vehicles (RV) from regulation under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (as amended) and related HUD standards and enforcement regulations set forth at 24 C.F.R. Part 3280 and Part 3282.
The publication of this final rule, based largely on an amended regulation recommended by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), concludes a process which began on October 1, 2014, when the former HUD manufactured housing program administrator issued a unilateral memorandum allegedly “clarifying” existing HUD regulations and related statutory provisions regarding the applicability of HUD manufactured housing regulatory criteria to various types of recreational vehicles.
MHARR, as it has with respect to numerousother unilateral HUD regulatory actions under the former program administrator, strongly objected to such off-the-cuff regulation by memorandum (a practice subsequently renounced by the Department of Justice), and called, among other things, for proper MHCC consideration of – and recommendations pertaining to – this matter. In particular, MHARR, as it has consistently, called for a regulatory (as opposed to statutory) resolution of issues relating to the evolution of RVs and the applicability or non-applicability of HUD manufactured home standards and regulations to various classes of RVs,
With substantial MHARR input, the MHCC, in December 2014, developed a proposed RV exemption, which was published – with certain relatively minor revisions – as a proposed rule by HUD on February 9, 2016. In written comments supporting that proposed regulatory amendment, MHARR stated: “MHARR believes that the HUD proposed rule takes the appropriate approach to this matter: (1) by resolving potential uncertainty regarding the scope and parameters of the RV exemption on a regulatory – rather than statutory – basis; (2) by maintaining the “designed use” conceptual basis of the MHCC consensus recommendation; and (3) by maintaining the primary operational language of the MHCC consensus recommendations….”
And, while the final rule makes certain further modifications to the February 9, 2016 proposed rule based on comments received during the rulemaking process, a preliminary review of the final rule indicates that it maintains the fundamental intent and structure of the rule as initially proposed, and, more importantly, functions to harmonize the regulations with their authorizing statute.
The final rule, as indicated by the Federal Register announcement – together with its requirements relating to a manufacturer’s notice for units claimed to be exempt pursuant to the final rule – will become effective on January 15, 2019. In the meantime MHARR, as always, will continue to review, analyze and evaluate all relevant aspects of this matter, and will further inform the industry as warranted.