The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has updated its essential workforce guidance to specify that manufactured housing professionals involved in the sale, transfer and installation of manufactured homes are considered essential workers. While these professionals were already included within CISA’s guidance, the agency updated its language to provide additional clarity for the industry. The CISA guidance has been utilized by states and localities to designate essential workforces during stay-at-home orders, although no jurisdiction is required to adopt the federal list. CISA has provided regular updates to the guidance throughout the national emergency to ensure clarity.

Even before state and local governments began issuing stay-at-home orders across the country, MHI was in communications with the White House, DHS, Congress, and a coalition of real estate and construction associations to ensure housing construction operations and property management were considered “essential.” MHI also provided resources and in some cases advocacy support for state association partners to ensure their respective governors included manufactured housing construction and operations as a part of the state’s essential workforce list, regardless of whether CISA’s guidance was utilized. MHI congratulates all state Executive Directors who secured such language in your respective state’s order.

MHI secured the essential designation within CISA’s first update to its essential workforce list, which happened on March 28. From that time forward, any state that cited the CISA list in its stay-at-home order included manufactured housing operations, including leasing, property management, housing construction related activities such as sales, and suppliers and contractors as essential workers.  To date, MHI has not been made aware of any instance where a state or locality that is operating under the CISA guidance has curtailed manufactured housing operations. The problems we have been asked about have occurred in those states or localities that either did not adopt CISA’s guidance or went beyond the guidance to impose stricter requirements.

MHI has been in constant contact with CISA and DHA throughout this crisis, including participating in biweekly calls to ensure the interests of the manufactured housing industry are addressed through the COVID-19 emergency and as the economy begins to reopen. MHI’s chart of states that have designated residential home construction as “essential” is on the COVID-19 landing page. MHI’s policy team will keep it updated as stay-at-home orders are lifted and as the economy begins to reopen.