Buying a new home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. It’s important for you to know that your new home will only function properly if it is installed correctly on a properly prepared site. The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has established the Housing Standards Division to make sure homes are installed properly, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has designated them as the State Administrative Agency (SAA).
Let me translate that into English for you. If a home is built to the HUD code and carries a certification label, it is exempt from local building codes for any item in the HUD code. The HUD code also requires that any home sold must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The DCED is the agency that makes sure that dealers and installers are “doing it right”.
Here are a few things that the Housing Standards Division is responsible for:
- Handling all consumer complaints and providing home manufacturers with information related to the performance of manufactured homes they produce.
- Monitoring manufacturers for compliance with all applicable regulations.
- Monitoring retailers/dealers for homes that are transit damaged, label tampering and general retailer performance.
- Monitoring on-site completion of new homes to ensure the methods used are consistent with the overseeing manufacturer’s designs for conformance to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.
- Monitoring the Primary Inspection Agencies’ Responsibilities that operate on behalf of HUD and the SAA in manufacturing facilities located throughout Pennsylvania.
- Certification of installers for all new manufactured homes completed in the Commonwealth.
- The Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Improvement Act, Act 158.
You can find more information here.
To make sure things are done properly, Pennsylvania requires that all new HUD-code homes be installed by a certified installer. A certified Installer is an individual trained by the state’s housing standard division to correctly install manufactured homes. We have certified installers on staff. Additionally, many townships will not issue you an occupancy permit to move into your home unless the installation is certified. We will be back with a later blog post to detail some of the specific items you should be aware of.
The main point you should take away is this: This is not just government busy work or an attempt to get you to spend more money. If your home is not installed properly, it will not work the way it is supposed to, and it will have a shortened life-span. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We have the know-how to make the process go smoothly!