Member Benefits

 Member Benefits

As a trade association, OMHA represents the interests of manufacturers, retailers, community owners and service providers to the manufactured housing industry in Ohio. As a member of OMHA, you will enjoy the many benefits detailed below:

  • In conjunction with our professional lobbyist, we “speak” before the legislature and with key legislators to promote your interests
  • In the past, our nationally recognized Consumer Relations Program (CRP) has worked with our members in resolving consumer/retailer/manufacturer disputes — saving hundreds of dollars annually in legal, administrative and related fees. OMHA has established a law that the new Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission with the majority of seats assigned to industry members (6 of the 9 members by law must be appointed from a list submitted by OMHA) will determine the implementation of the new consumer dispute program for new home warranties as well as new and used home installations
  • The ability to attend timely classes, seminars and conferences on educational, legal, legislative and regulatory issues at discounted member rates
  • Access to legal counsel that specializes in manufactured and modular home laws
  • OMHA’s Modular Committee is working hard to address and identify issues of concern to the modular industry. Currently, issues of concern include plan review times, modular homes sales tax application and defining the Ohio market though statistics
  • Full-time staff responds to your inquiries
  • Regional chapters (if active) so that you have the ability to network with fellow industry members in your immediate geographic area
  • The opportunity to attend the OMHA Annual Golf Outing
  • Active participation in affiliated national, state and regional organizations
  • Programs and information to assist you in community education and public relations efforts
  • Access to and complimentary listing on the OMHA web site
  • A clearinghouse of information on rules, regulations, laws and helpful data
  • Access – one of the industry’s most respected newsletters (published Bi-monthly).
  • Periodic news bulletins to quickly inform you about changes in laws and regulations that impact your business
  • Attractive membership plaque
  • Internet access through the OMHA “members only” section of the web site
  • Public relations campaign including targeted grassroots programs and a consumer related web site from which consumers can request a packet of information concerning manufactured homes
  • Discounted membership services through partnerships with CareWorksComp (Formerly Frank Gates) group rating program for BWC Workers’ Compensation (see our -Accountability Letter), TransUnion (online background screening, consumer credit reports, etc.), ForeFront (website services), Speedway Fuel Discount Program, and N.A.D.A.

Ohio Manufactured Homes Association Report Card to Members

Highlights of Recent Industry Actions

Ohio MH Commission
Senate Bill 102, the historic legislation creating an Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission was signed into law in May of 2004. OMHA introduced this legislation in response to the federally mandated Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

S.B. 102 is designed to meet the federal law mandate to implement a state operated installation program through a newly formed Manufactured Homes Commission with the majority of seats assigned to industry members. The commission is composed of nine members.Six of these members by law must be appointed from a list submitted by OMHA. The Manufactured Homes Commission is charged with adopting statewide standards governing (1) the installation of manufactured homes, (2) the inspection of manufactured homes installation, (3) the design, construction and inspection of manufactured homes foundations and base support systems, and (4) the licensing, testing, training and education requirements of manufactured homes installers. In addition, all consumer disputes for new home warranties as well as new and used home installations will be administered by the Commission with full and final enforcement authority.

The legislation took effect August 8, 2004. The Commission has established its operations, adopted administrative rules and established training, licensing, inspection and customer complaint programs. The Commission recently began inspections which specifically ensure compliance with the installation standards. Inspections of all new and used home installations began July 1, 2007. OMHA has taken great strides to keep OMHA members informed about the new rules and regulations through meetings, memos and the OMHA website.

Household Sewage Treatment Systems

OMHA has fought burdensome household sewage treatment rules for five years.  Two years ago OMHA banded together with Ohio Homebuilders, Ohio Realtors, HSTS Manufacturers, the Ohio Township Association and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce to form a coalition to fight the impending rule changes.  OMHA was the public face on this issue before the Ohio General Assembly and testified during countless legislative hearings on behalf of the coalition.  Due to the coalition’s efforts, the Ohio Department of Health’s new household sewage rules which became effective January 1, 2007 were rescinded.  The recently passed state budget rescinds the costly household sewage rules until July 1, 2009.  Additionally, this new law creates a task force to propose new legislation for household sewage system regulations to be sent to the governor and the Ohio General Assembly by December 31, 2008.  OMHA has one seat on the 25 person task force.

In the interim, the Ohio Department of Health will have authority to allow local health departments to adopt regulations (more or less stringent) for the separation distances from a water table and soil absorption requirements based on the local water table and soils.  Unfortunately, the Ohio Department of Health advised Ohio’s more than 120 local Health Departments to basically ignore the legislature’s intent in rescinding the sewage rules.  ODH advised locals to adopt the just rescinded rules on an interim basis until new legislation was created.  Consequently, at OMHA’s urging, 5 state legislators involved with the new law rescinding the rules sent a letter to all local health departments reminding them of legislative intent.  Some 41 counties had already either adopted the rescinded rules for local use after July 1st or were in the process of doing so.  As a result, the coalition is funding an effort to influence those 41 counties to reverse their rules if adopted already and to stop the process if not yet adopted.  OMHA is making every effort to fight these challenges and stop the rules from paralyzing our industry by having a detrimental impact on your customers from an economic standpoint.

 

Rent Control
One need look no further to understand the value of an association then to look to legislation recently introduced by State Representative Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) to enact rent control among other items of serious concern. Specifically, the Foley legislation would do the following:

1)      Create a mechanism to allow residents the right of first refusal to purchase their park or community when it becomes available for sale.

2)      Cap rent increases on seniors older than 55 to no greater than the Midwest CPI, unless the community owner can show some exigent reason such as unanticipated repair costs to justify a higher rent increase.

3)      Allow real property taxes only to be collected on the value of the manufactured home for a resident. (In some circumstances, value is being calculated on both the value of the home as well as the value of items such as sheds, driveways, landscaping etc., which the resident does not own).

4)      Clarify and provide for relocation expenses where a community or park is bought with the intention to shut it down.

5)      Give the Dept. of Health greater enforcement authority over health code violations.

6)      Clarify duties around the payment of utilities, especially water and sewer.

7)      Give home owners facing eviction for non-payment of lot rent the right to forestall eviction if they can make all back payments prior to their eviction hearing, and prohibit park operators from evicting home owners without cause.

In a detailed letter OMHA Executive Vice President Tim Williams wrote to Representative Foley clearly stating OMHA’s concerns.  Williams also wrote all 99 House of Representative members in an effort to discourage co-sponsorship and initial support of this dangerous legislation.  OMHA’s legal and lobbying team under Tim Williams’ direction have been dispatched to stop this bill in its tracks.  The defeat of this legislation is OMHA’s highest legislative priority.

H.B. 56 – Abandoned Homes Bill
The Ohio General Assembly recently passed OMHA’s House Bill 56, legislation that improves procedures for the original House Bill 520 that the General Assembly passed in 2002.  H.B. 520 was comprehensive legislation amending Ohio’s forcible entry and detainer statutes to create new procedures for the removal of abandoned manufactured homes from manufactured home communities.  The implementation of the abandoned homes procedures eventually revealed some practical suggestions and solutions for resolving unforeseen issues that arose after the procedures began to be utilized.  H.B. 56 incorporates the suggestions made by members and includes the new drug offender’s language that gives community owners the same rights and protections as apartment owners and landlords to evict tenants who engage in illegal drug activities on the leased premises.

Zoning and Tax Parity
Senate Bill 142, our comprehensive bill designed to reduce zoning and taxation discrimination for manufactured homes is now law in Ohio.  Manufactured homes can be sited in any locale zoned single family residential as long as all uniformly applied zoning requirements are met.  OMHA spearheaded the passage of legislation, which also lowered property and sales taxes for new manufactured homeowners up to 40% and gave many existing MH homeowners the option to lower their property taxes. Used homes sales taxes were eliminated and newly sited used homes also realize property tax savings up to 40%.

Cross County Titling
OMHA was involved in passage of legislation (S.B. 59) to permit electronic and same county titling for manufactured and mobile homes.

Communities Restrictions Eased
OMHA’s H.B. 672 is now law.  H.B. 672 includes language that will allow community owners to permit retailers to display and sell homes in manufactured home communities in order to increase occupancy and upgrade communities.  This legislation also will completely forgive liens on homes a community owner, retailer, or lender may repossess or purchase, while limiting the actual payment of back tax liability to only 5 years.

Court Orders for Repossessions Defeated
OMHA, in cooperation with the Ohio Attorney General, played a key role in obtaining a stay in federal court which prevented the requirement of court orders for repossession titles, thus saving retailers and community owners significant legal costs.

Escort Requirement Eased
Escort transportation requirements on bi-directional highways have also been eased and thousands of dollars have been saved working with ODOT to re-route home shipments around construction barriers.

Legal Services
OMHA provides legal services with two attorneys that specialize in manufactured and modular home law.  Their services are available to all members by telephone or email.

Image Advertising
OMHA implemented a $1 million campaign in recent years, designed to promote the manufactured homes’ lifestyle.  Thousands of consumers have responded to the Welcome Home Ohio web site (www.WelcomeHomeOhio.com) and advertising.  New consumer materials promoting manufactured homes are now available to aid members in advertising and sales.  Each member is encouraged to order these free of cost as a member benefit.

Education & Training
OMHA continues to aggressively implement a membership education curriculum designed to advance the skills and knowledge of industry participants in such areas as legal education, community management, sales training, and home installations to name a few.  Nearly 800 industry members have enrolled in our classes in the last several years.  Recently, OMHA joined forces with Ohio EPA to provide training for MH community owners on various compliance issues in order to avoid costly fines and delays.

Membership Benefits
OMHA has increased the size of our membership in recent years. New membership benefits include tenant-screening reports, workers’ compensation premiums, fleet gas purchasing programs and the annual golf outing.

Community Rules
On the regulatory front, OMHA was able to win important victories in eliminating mandatory sidewalk requirements in communities, increased spacing for homes, protecting communities from onerous water utility regulations, preventing rent control, limiting plan submission fees and costly household sewage rules, and the list goes on.

Contracts
Legislation passed significantly reducing the liability of retailers and community owners for contract errors or overcharges covered by the Retail Installment Sales Act.

Local Zoning
OMHA has initiated legal action to significantly reduce zoning barriers in localities throughout the state. Often these localities have adopted OMHA’s model zoning ordinances.

Modular Program
OMHA’s modular housing advocacy program has forged a strong working relationship with the Ohio Board of Building Standards’ Industrialized Units Division.  Plan review times have diminished significantly as a result of OMHA’s direct efforts and plans are now being submitted on-line.  OMHA has also worked diligently with the Industrialized Unit officials to modify monthly shipping reports in an effort to collect more complete statistics and accurately define the Ohio modular market.  Manufacturers are now required to submit monthly shipping reports on-line as well.  In addition, OMHA has continued to clarify modular sales tax concerns and developed subcontractor agreements for members to use to clearly identify the construction contractor in a relationship.

 

Miscellaneous
Provision of model leases, evictions, contracts, satellite rules, community rules, occupancy standards, and over 55 guidelines for MH communities.

Passage of Manufactured Home Broker Law for sale of used homes.

Annual Conference programming specifically geared toward communities, retailers, and lenders, etc., such as community upgrades, rules, rent software, family business issues, financing, customer service and sales training, etc.

Defeat of increased paperwork legislation for MH communities regarding tenant record keeping.

Blocking of more onerous legislation on farmland preservation.

Successfully intervened to scale back EPA effort to test sub-metered water systems in MH communities.

Prevented legislation to charge $200 fee to inspect plumbing for manufactured homes in MH communities.

OMHA successfully exempted the industry from a new law that would have imposed serious financial fees on MH retailers to fund a fraudulent title recovery fund.

Our Political Action Committee has raised a record amount of money to enhance our industry’s voice before government.

OMHA’s profile in state political circles is well regarded and access to leaders of both political parties is common place well beyond the industry’s economic impact in Ohio.

OMHA, along with local members, has activated or reactivated seven chapters in order to provide local programming for our members.

OMHA has developed and aggressively implemented a Strategic Plan by realignment of the entire organizational structure in line with that Strategic Vision.  The Strategic Plan has been one of the primary reasons for the Association’s focus and success in the last 10 years and was updated in 2004.