State Administrative Agency
The State Administrative Agency (SAA) is required to submit monthly reports to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The reports must contain consumer complaint handling activities under 24 CFR 3282, Subpart L, which include:
- Description of all formal or informal Presentation of Views
- Description of all oversight activities
In 1974, Congress passed the first federal law to establish a national program of construction standards for manufactured homes, then termed mobilehomes. The federal law charged HUD with the responsibility to adopt national preemptive procedural regulations and construction standards applying to manufacturers, dealers, and state and private enforcement agencies. HUD completed its work and adopted their procedural and enforcement regulations and construction standards on June 15, 1976. On and after June 15, 1976, all manufactured homes as defined in the law were required to be manufactured in compliance with the new HUD standards regardless of any preexisting state or local code.
The SAA is a program function of the Manufactured Housing (MH) Program that administers the Department's delegated authority under The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 United States Code 5401, et seq., and 24 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 3280 and 3282. In addition, when 24 CFR 3280 or 3282 are in need of clarification, HUD issues Interpretive Bulletins or B-Letter to clarify the requirements.
The MH Program performs: 1) SAA Complaints pursuant to CFR Section 3282.401 et seq., 2) SAA Audits pursuant to CFR Section 3282.451, and 3) SAA Reports to HUD pursuant to CFR Section 3282.302. A summary follows:
- SAA Complaints: An SAA complaint develops from conditions which fail to conform to the Federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards, 24 CFR 3282 Subpart I, or those which may be deemed an imminent safety hazard. Conditions which fail to conform may be observed and reported to the manufacturer from any source. The SAA monitors the manufacturer's complaint procedures, refers complaints from consumers to manufacturers in California, and may assist consumers in complaints of defects in construction.
- SAA Field Audits: SAA field audits of manufactured home manufacturers monitors their ability to provide effective complaint handling procedures in accordance with Subpart I guidelines. Monitoring the manufacturer’s records at the facility is one of the most effective methods of evaluation of the manufacturer’s compliance with Subpart I. The audit monitors the manufacturer's responsibilities under federal law relating to defects in construction introduced during the manufacturing process.
There are two critical responsibilities delegated to HCD's Manufactured Housing Program and implemented through a California State Plan:
- Oversee the manufacturer's compliance with the requirements of Subpart I
- Take administrative action, which includes legal action, if the manufacturer chooses not to comply with the requirements of Subpart I
These actions are accomplished by utilizing the SAA Audit process. The HUD Reports keep HUD abreast of these activities. Below are some particular points of those responsibilities:
- The SAA submits a State Plan in compliance with Section 3282.302. Upon HUD State Plan approval, the SAA proceeds to administer their recognized responsibilities.
- The SAA develops a manufacturers’ audit plan. This plan will contain statewide manufacturers as audit subjects. The Plan will seek out potential problem manufacturers and chronic Subpart I violations. Where and when possible, dealer lots will also be subject to audits for investigation of transportation damage, alterations, and label tampering.
- The SAA develops an SAA Complaint Procedure. This Procedure will be responsive to all calls, written or oral, that claim an existing violation of Subpart I provisions.
- The SAA develops an Enforcement Procedure to judiciously make preliminary determinations, hearing/presentation of views, and final determinations.
There are four critical responsibilities:
- Investigate all complaints
- Determine their responsibilities in each complaint in a timely manner
- Perform corrective action
- Maintain documents and records of how a determination was made, who made it, and the basis of the determination of their responsibilities to provide or not to provide remedial action
- Investigate any information that may indicate the existence of a problem in a manufactured home as a result of the design or manufacturing process.
- Make a determination whether the manufacturer is responsible for providing notification and/or correction regarding the information.
- Investigate and determine the number of manufactured homes that might be affected by this information within 20 days.
- If determination is that notification is necessary, prepare a plan of notification to submit to the SAA for approval within 20 days.
- If determination is that notification and correction is necessary, prepare a plan of notification and correction to submit to SAA for approval within 20 days.
- Submit plan to HUD if affected manufactured homes were manufactured in more than one state.
Timing and Options for Corrective Action:
- Respond to a preliminary determination within 15 days if manufacturer concurs and intends to initiate plan for remedial action.
- Respond to a preliminary determination within 15 days if manufacturer disagrees and requests a formal and informal presentation of views.
- Time limits are 15 days for non-compliance, defect, or serious defect; and five (5) days for imminent safety hazard.
- May propose an offer of settlement to the SAA issuing a preliminary determination at any time prior to a final determination.
- May appeal a final determination by an SAA of non-compliance or defect to HUD.
- May correct the problem without preparing a plan if only one manufactured home is involved; however, this must be completed within 20 days of determination, and the correction must be certified by the manufacturer that the repair was made to satisfy the standards in effect at the time the home was manufactured.
- May apply for a waiver of formal notification requirements. All affected homes must be corrected in this case.
- May act prior to receiving approval of plan but shall get an agreement of either an involved SAA or HUD that their proposed action is adequate.
- Correct at own expense any serious defect or imminent safety hazard related to error in design, construction, or component of manufactured home.
- Reimburse a manufactured home owner that has previously corrected an item that manufacturer is required to correct.
- Completely fulfill the requirements of the approved plan, waiver, or final determination order within stipulated time limits.
- May apply to SAA for extension of time limits if manufacturer can show good cause.
- Keep records of all remedial actions, including certification that repairs were made, and certifications from owners that they are rejecting repairs and that they are aware of risks.
- Report on completion of all remedial actions to the SAA within 30 days after deadline for completion.
- Replace manufactured home within 60 days when required by HUD if the serious defect cannot be repaired or there is an imminent safety hazard.
- Correct any failures to conform and imminent safety hazards in manufactured homes in possession of the dealer. This does not include items resulting solely from transit damage occurring after home leaves control of manufacturer.
- May issue required parts and reimburse dealer to make correction to home in the dealer's possession.