Secretary Carson Cuts Red Tape for Manufactured Housing
Russellville, Alabama – This week Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Ben Carson embarked on a national bus tour focused on regulatory barriers to affordable housing called the Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour. During a stop at a Clayton manufacturing plant in Russellville, Alabama, Carson made two major announcements relative to manufactured housing – a proposed rule making changes to the HUD Code and a final rule on formaldehyde emissions.
“Since the very beginning of my time as Secretary,” Secretary Carson said, “I have been a believer in the potential of manufactured housing to create communities and change lives.”
In announcing the proposed rule to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, Carson noted it will be the first major changes to the HUD Code in over a decade. “These changes will reduce regulatory burdens for manufacturers while maintaining high levels of quality and safety for consumers.”
Secretary Carson highlighted four key improvements to the HUD Code. First, he said it will eliminate the need for “Alternate Construction” letters for certain modern design features not addressed in the original language. Carson said this is a change that will “accommodate design and construction flexibility.”
Secondly, the proposed changes will require manufacturers to install carbon monoxide detectors in homes.
Thirdly, the rule would allow for use of manufactured homes in urban areas, including Opportunity Zones.
Finally, several of the reference standards in the HUD Code will be updated to align them with industry practices and increase design flexibility.
In response to a question I posed following his speech regarding local regulatory barriers, Secretary Carson said HUD will incentivize cities and counties to utilize manufactured homes as a part of their community’s affordable housing stock.
The final rule on formaldehyde emissions eliminates the overlap of federal regulations on wood products. Carson stated, “It also eliminates the regulatory burden of manufacturers providing a formaldehyde notice, creating a more level playing field with stick-built housing.”
To read HUD’s press release on these two rules and the Russellville stop on Carson’s bus tour, click here.
We had a chance to film Secretary Carson’s speech; take a look below.