March 2021 Government Affairs Report
CMHC Rapid Housing Initiative
CMHC informed us they received over 500 eligible applications totaling $4.2 billion for this initiative. 100% of the $1 billion allocated has been approved, however, since they are in a new budget year they are asking the Canadian government to consider allocating more funds to this program to fund all the eligible applications.
We expect the 12 month window for completion will be extended as they are delaying the release of funds until they know if more funding will be approved.
Craig Mitchell presented to the Standing Committee on Structural Design on 3/14 and it was approved. We have now presented to the Executive Committee and five standing committees, all with favorable outcomes. Craig presents to the Standing Committee on Use ad Egress at the end of the March. We will then have Housing and Small Buildings, and Energy Efficiency left to do. Everything is moving along as well as can be expected given that COVID set back the normal code cycle many months.
Other Items in the Works
Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation
MBI continues to push for the adoption of the Modular Financing Toolkit, originally produced in cooperation with Fannie Mae.
We're working with our lobbying team and Congressmen on the House Financial Services Committee that oversee FEMA and HUD to introduce legislation that would adopt a pilot program for FEMA to utilize modular structures for disaster relief housing that can be converted to permanent housing after the disaster.
This legislation, which could force more union labor and/or prevailing wage hurdles, has passed the US House, but is not expected to pass the US Senate, as long as the filibuster remains in place.
Working with State Assembly member and our California lobbying team to introduce a bill that would provide exclusive funding using Low Income Housing Tax Credits for “innovative” building.
Similar to law passed in Virginia which includes key elements to promote modular:
(g) “Innovative development concept” means the project uses innovative construction methods or materials, unique or innovative tenant services, unique or innovative tenant selection criteria, and unique or innovative eviction policies. Innovative development concepts shall include the following:
(1) Innovative construction methods which reduce construction time.
(2) Innovative construction methods which reduce construction cost.
(3) Funding structures that allow for an expedited closing and start of construction.
Also partnering with housing coalition partners to support several other bills related to affordable housing at the state level in California.
MBI is working with Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter and leadership from the city of Chicago Department of Housing and Department of Buildings to support SB1839, which would create an equal environment for modular construction with site-built construction, removing current hurdles that could occur at the state, city or local levels. We have provided a Memorandum of Support and continue to work with our connections to have the bill passed. It is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Hunter is the Chair.
S3798: MBI is working with our lobbyist and coalition partners and bill sponsor to support this bill that focuses on substantial housing initiatives:
S2766: Prevailing wage bill that we are working with our lobbyist to defeat.
S4738/A2039: Companion bills that would require use of New York City labor for modular projects; we are working with our lobbyist to defeat both bills in the Assembly, as we did last year.
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are now accepted and included in Virginia codes.
MBI's executive director Tom Hardiman is currently serving on the CSA Modular Construction Oversight Committee that meets again in April. CSA is very interested in developing resources for the industry and wants to partner with MBI.
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Updates from Washington DC, New York, Michigan, California, & more.