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REGULATORY ALERTS

2009 International Building Codes reviews

RBD staff has completed their review of the IBC through chapter 10 and has presented their proposed changes at the August 4th RBD Building Committee for review. Please review and comment on these changes before August 25th so all concerns can be considered before a final code is decided on.
View IBC changes

2009 International Code Series Adoption

On July 21st members of the RBD Board of Review will receive a recommendation from the Building Committee to move forward with the adoption of the 2009 International Codes to be implemented on January 1st 2011. All proposed amendments including the most recently discussed, Fire Separation Distance section are available at www.pprbd.org. Over the last several months a number of HBA members have reviewed the proposed changes and collaborate with RBD staff to settle on a practical code series that the building industry can use for the next several years.
RBD will bring the final draft of the proposed changes to each of the seven jurisdictions including El Paso County for approval before the implementation date which is planned for January 1st 2011. Look for “Lunch and Learns” in the near future covering the significant changes in each of the 2009 International Code books including local amendments.

Home buyers get tax credit extension

Congress has given some home buyers an extra three months to close escrow and qualify for the federal tax credit.
To get the credit, buyers must have entered into a binding contract no later than April 30 and close by Sept. 30. The previous closing deadline was June 30, but some buyers, especially those involved in short sales, complained that they didn't have enough time to get all parties on board and sign the papers within that time frame.
Congress had tried to extend the deadline by putting the measure into a big bill that would have extended expiring tax provisions and unemployment benefits, but that bill kept failing test votes in the Senate.
At the 11th hour, Congress put the measure into a separate bill, the Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act, HR5623. The House passed the bill Tuesday and the Senate approved it late Wednesday. President Obama is expected to sign it.
The extension only applies to people who had ratified contracts in place as of April 30 that have not yet closed. It does not create a new tax credit.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/07/01/BU3A1E84IU.DTL#ixzz0sXYbDgU4

CODE CHANGES YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AND PREPARE FOR!

The Board of Review has approved the implementation of the three delayed provisions below to take place in May of 2010
1. Expansion of the AFCI requirements into other areas of a dwelling unit in addition to the bedrooms.
2. The removal of the GFCI exceptions that allow for non-GFCI protected outlets for dedicated appliances in garages and unfinished basements.
3. The installation of tamper resistant receptacles in dwelling units.
These three provisions will become part of the implementation of the 2009 International codes in May, 2011. This comes in the shadow of HB10-1225 passing which gives the DORA State Electrical Board the power to stop RBD from issuing permits or performing inspections if the RBD has not adopted the minimum standards required within 12months after the DORA Board has adopted HB10-1225.

JANUARY 1st, 2011 – Proposed adoption of the 2009 International Code Series
RBD will bring the final draft of the proposed changes to each of the seven jurisdictions including El Paso County for approval before the implementation date which is planned for January 1st 2011. Look for “Lunch and Learns” in the near future covering the significant changes in each of the 2009 International Code books including local amendments.

HUD decision affects multifamily mortgage insurance

A recent HUD decision could help some multifamily builders obtain FHA multifamily mortgage insurance for their projects. HUD's newly issued Mortgagee Letter 2009-26 grants temporary authority to provide FHA multifamily mortgage insurance under the Sections 221, 221(d)3 and (d)4 and Section 231 programs to projects that have been unable to complete construction due to a loss of funding. The parameters of the authority are fairly narrow in that only non-HUD-insured new construction apartment projects that have started or completed site improvements and building foundation work are eligible. Also, all construction work must have stopped before an application for FHA insurance is submitted, and construction cannot commence until the project receives initial endorsement. Davis-Bacon wage rates will apply to all construction work going forward, but will not be applied retroactively to the construction in place. Submission of a new (not updated) appraisal and market study also is required. The temporary authority is effective for the next six months, at which point HUD will evaluate the effectiveness of the waiver and may elect to extend the program if warranted.

NAHB recently participated in a conference call with HUD to discuss criteria for granting regulatory waivers to their condo policy outlined in Mortgagee Letters 09-46A&B (attached). HUD expects to receive hundreds of waiver requests and intends to streamline the process by developing a process and criteria for reviewing and approving or denying waiver requests in the following four areas:
1. FHA concentration limit of 50% (30% after Dec. 31, 2010).
2. No more than 10% of the units may be owned by one investor.
3. No more than 15% of the total units can be in arrears (more than 30 days past due) on their condominium association fee payments.
4. Special rules for properties consisting of two-to-four units (HUD has already drafted guidance for this area).

During the call, HUD outlined the current application process for receiving a regulatory waiver. First, the project sponsor must submit an exception request to their jurisdictional homeownership center (HOC) for evaluation. If the HOC approves the waiver, it is sent to HUD headquarters for review by HUD’s attorneys to determine if the waiver can be granted. If yes, the waiver request is then sent to the FHA Commissioner for approval.
NAHB has collected suggestions on criteria that FHA should consider when granting exceptions to their condo policies and sent them to HUD for consideration on 3/12/10.

HUD’s plan is to issue a Mortgagee Letter that sets forth the new process and criteria for obtaining exceptions to the FHA condo rules. The Mortgagee Letter will also contain further clarifications to the condo rules. While the Mortgagee Letter goes through the clearance process, HUD intends to provide information on the new process for granting waivers and the rule clarifications through revisions to their Condo Frequently Asked Questions http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/groups/lenders.

Below is a summary NAHB prepared of the FHA condo policy changes HUD is making. Please refer to the linked Mortgagee Letters for more details.
Updated FHA link here
Here are links to two Mortgagee Letters that have been posted on HUD’s web site:
HUD Mortgagee Letter 2009-46B.pdf
HUD Mortgagee Letter 2009-46A.pdf
Mortgagee Letter 2009-46A provides temporary guidance for FHA’s condo policy while Mortgagee Letter 2009-46B replaces Mortgagee Letter 2009-19.

HUD plans to have several conference calls in the near future to help answer questions. If you have any questions or would like more information contact marla@cshba.com.

DO YOU HAVE A FINANCING HORROR STORY?

If you are a builder, remodeler or developer and have been unable to get financing or the requirements and terms of your current outstanding loans have changed then NAHB wants to hear from you. NAHB is asking members to provide case stories that can be used in our industry’s lobbying efforts. There is a quick online template that you can fill out at www.nahb.org/adccasestudy . Your local HBA would also like to hear from you on this issue. Contact John at HBA with ideas and comments for ways we can work with local lenders and to find out how you can help send the message to the legislators and regulators that our industry needs their help in thawing these markets and we need help NOW.

USE TAX AUDITS 

The County has again begun performing audits to check for use tax payment compliance. Please contact John Kisiel at HBA if your firm is selected for an audit. Please indicate which payment method you selected or if you indicated through the affidavit that you would be paying sales tax on the materials used in the project. HBA is especially interested in hearing from those who have either selected the affidavit method or the actual method and are contacted for an audit.

EROSION CONTROL ISSUES ALERT

The State of Colorado, Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), is focusing extra attention on Colorado Springs. CDPHE plans to perform additional oversight and review of the City of Colorado Springs’ Municipal Stormwater Discharge Permit (MSDP) – focusing on the Construction Sites Program (i.e. Grading and Erosion Control Plan Review and Inspections). CDPHE has issued its finding and the City is currently evaluating these and will be deciding if it will be sending a letter in response. CDPHE will be evaluating further whether fines or other sanctions will be imposed on the City. 

THE CITY CONTINUES TO STEP UP ENFORCEMENT AND IS PUTTING SEVERAL CHANGES IN PLACE RELATED TO THE CDPHE REVIEW. PLEASE CONTACT JOHN AT HBA IF YOU ARE SEEING INCREASED REVIEW OR CHANGES TO THE WAY THE CITY REVIEWS THE EROSION CONTROL ELEMENTS AT YOUR SITE.

CDPHE Checklist for Stormwater Management Plans

There is a strong likelihood that you will be seeing increased enforcement activity by the City and CDPHE in the coming weeks since CDPHE will be back in Colorado Springs as a follow-up to the negative report it sent to the City.

Please let me know if you have any questions. VIEW CDPHE CHECKLIST

There is also a very informative newsletter that gives some excellent insights into what CDPHE looks for when it does its audits and reviews of local programs including how they look at construction sites. VIEW MS-4 DOCUMENT

To view all updated committee reports click here


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