A Productive 2019 Session at the Statehouse

2019 Statehouse Recap A Productive 2019 Session at the Statehouse

The Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina is an active player at the Statehouse.

 The association works for legislation to benefit member companies, our customers, and the cause of affordable housing in our state.

Among the highlights of the legislative session which ended in May was legislation and regulations to:

Encourage and made it possible for families to buy a highly-efficient Energy Star home.

Create a new section of the modular building code so tiny houses can qualify as permanent residences.

 Retail state control of installation of manufactured homes.   A federal agency, HUD, had wanted homes to be installed to one-size-fits-all national standards. The system approved this  year allows for home installers to take into account soil and temperature variation in setting up a home.

 Legislation giving manufactured home community owners more authority to maintain no-pets policies.   Such policies can increase the enjoyment of the community by residents.

 

Legislature Extends Energy Star Sales Tax Incentive

The SC General Assembly voted to extend sales and income tax incentives for South Carolinians who buy efficient Energy Star Homes.

The incentive was originally passed in 2009 with a ten-year expiration date, meaning it would have expired in July.

Legislation filed on behalf of MHISC would have extended the incentives for an additional five years. With the help of Rep. Alan Clemmons of Myrtle Beach, the bill passed both houses but the clock ran out on the 2019 legislative session while the bill was on the Senate calendar awaiting final passage.

Fortunately, bill sponsor Senator Ronnie Cromer of Newberry requested and received a one-year extension with the help of Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman, both industry supporters. Another supporter, Representative Gary Simrill, helped assure this measure was included in the final budget.

When the legislature returns in January, completing passage of the five-year extension bill will be a top priority of MHISC.

Modular: Final Version of New Building Code

Manufacturers will have a comfortable seven months to adapt to new specs

 The construction code governing every aspect of how modular and site-built homes are built in South Carolina has finalized and will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

The new edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) will include changes SCMHI / MHISC worked diligently to include. The South Carolina Modular Housing Institute is the modular division of MHISC.

Among the changes supported by the industry is a new section making it more cost-effective to build tiny homes to the modular code.  As a modular, the home can be placed as a  residence; many counties will not approve a park model built to the RV code as a permanent residence.

South Carolina’s version of the 2018 International Residential Code for modular homes is the same as the original IRC issued nationally last year, except for a series of amendments to the code.  Click  here and scroll to page 120 to see the  SC amendments to the IRC

State Control of  Manufactured Home Installation

An additional victory for the industry was approval of a regulation preserving state control of set-up standards for manufactured homes when no manual is available. The SC Manufactured Housing Board issued an updated version of its installation regulations and it is now in effect.

The final version is found in the  May, 2019 State Register, a collection of new state regulations. Click here and scroll down to page 161.

Service Animals

The legislature also passed R64, a bill supported by the association making it illegal to misrepresent a pet as a “service animal” for the purposes of circumventing a no-pets policy. Copy of the new law.