DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
[12 PA. CODE CH. 143]
[36 Pa.B. 559]
The Department of Community and Economic Development (Department), under the authority of section 6 of the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Authorization Act (35 P. S. § 1656.6), proposes to amend Chapter 143 (relating to manufactured housing). The purpose of this proposed rulemaking is to establish fees charged to manufacturers and retailers to cover the costs of extraordinary/follow-up monitoring and inspections incurred by the Department beyond those covered by fees authorized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and to update the existing regulations with the term ''housing standards division.''
Under the act, HUD funds the Department with a monitoring inspection fee in an amount authorized by HUD under the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 5401--5424). When the Department is required to perform additional monitoring because the manufacturer or retailer fails to take appropriate corrective measures, the funds received from HUD are insufficient to cover the costs of the same. Under section 6 of the act, the proposed rulemaking establishes fees to cover the costs of extraordinary/follow-up monitoring beyond that which is presently funded.
Sections 143.4, 143.12 and 143.13 (relating to responsibility of the Department; consumer complaints; and investigations) are amended to delete the term ''division of manufactured housing'' and replace it with the updated term ''housing standards division.''
Section 143.14 (relating to hearings) is amended to delete the word ''held.''
Section 143.15 (relating to fees) is added to allow the Department to charge manufacturers or retailers fees to cover the costs of extraordinary/follow-up monitoring and inspection incurred by the Department beyond those covered by fees authorized by HUD.
The additional fees allowed under this proposed rulemaking will enable the Department to recover the costs associated with extraordinary/follow-up monitoring when it is determined that either a manufactured home manufacturer or retailer fails to remediate failures to comply with applicable standards or regulations.
There will be no fiscal impact on political subdivisions.
Manufacturers and retailers of manufactured homes that fail to take corrective steps after being informed of failures to comply with applicable standards or regulations will incur the additional fees allowed under this proposed rulemaking.
The proposed rulemaking will not change existing paperwork requirements.
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on January 23, 2006, the Department submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking and a copy of a Regulatory Analysis Form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the House Commerce Committee and the Senate Community and Economic Development Committee. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.
Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC may convey any comments, recommendations or objections to the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The comments, recommendations or objections must specify the regulatory review criteria which have not been met. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the rulemaking, by the Department, the General Assembly and the Governor of comments, recommendations or objections raised.
Effective Date/Sunset Date
(a) The regulations will become effective 60 days after final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(b) The regulations will be monitored on an annual basis and updated as needed.
Interested persons are invited to submit in writing comments, suggestions or objections regarding the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of publication of this proposed rulemaking to Lisa Maiorana, Assistant Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel, Department of Community and Economic Development, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 4th Floor, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 720-7330; or Mark Conte, Chief, Housing Standards Division, Office of Community Development, Department of Community and Economic Development, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 4th Floor, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 720-7416.
Fiscal Note: 4-84. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
Currently the Department is using Federal reimbursements to cover the cost of monitoring manufactured housing; however these reimbursements do not cover all of the costs associated with this function. The addition of this fee will allow the Department to recover all costs associated with these responsibilities.
TITLE 12. COMMERCE, TRADE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
PART V. COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Subpart C. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING
CHAPTER 143. MANUFACTURED HOUSING
§ 143.4. Responsibility of the Department.
The [Division of Manufactured Housing] Housing Standards Division of the Department is responsible for enforcing the manufactured home standards of the Federal act, and may join with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other States or public or private agencies for these purposes.
§ 143.12. Consumer complaints.
Individuals alleging wrongful acts by persons involved in the manufacture or sale of manufactured homes within this Commonwealth shall contact the Department of Community and Economic Development, [Division of Manufactured Housing, at Commonwealth Keystone Building] Housing Standards Division, 400 North Street, 4th Floor, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120. An investigation will be conducted by the Division upon the receipt of a written and signed complaint. Complaints [shall] must contain the writer's name and address, and contain sufficient detail to enable the Division to fully understand the nature and extent of the complaint. Copies of all documents shall be appended to the complaint.
§ 143.13. Investigations.
The Department, through the [Division of Manufactured Housing] Housing Standards Division, after investigation on its own initiative or upon the receipt of a verified complaint under § 143.12 (relating to consumer complaints) has the power, after notice and hearing, to order the payment of civil penalties not to exceed $1,000 per violation for violations of this chapter, the act, the Federal act or regulations promulgated under the Federal act. The maximum civil penalty that may be imposed will not exceed $1 million for any related series of violations occurring within 1 year from the date of the first violation.
§ 143.14. Hearings.
Hearings [held] under this chapter will be conducted in accordance with 1 Pa. Code Part II (relating to [general rules of administrative practice and procedure] General Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure).
§ 143.15. Fees.
To offset the costs of follow-up monitoring or inspections incurred by the Department beyond those provided for in the monitoring inspection fees authorized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department may charge the manufacturer or retailer the following fees:
Follow-up inspection or monitoring services--$400 per day or $60 per hour.
Administrative services associated with follow-up inspection or monitoring services--$175 per day or $25 per hour.
Travel and per diem expenses--Current Commonwealth travel and per diem expenses.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-180. Filed for public inspection February 3, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]
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