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Home > Affordable Housing, Association, Manufactured Home Communities, Manufactured Housing Industry, media bias, media ignorance, News, research, Trends > “Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

February 28th, 2019

 

BillionDollarEmpireFromMobileHomesWashingtonPostPeterWhoriskeyDidntSayMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

According to Realtor Magazine,While a 3 to 5 percent annual increase is standard, you may want to adjust this to fit your situation and the local rental market,” said a publishing arm of the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR), in February, 2016.

 

In a January, 2019 report, RentCafé reported “Strong demand for rental units in 2018 has fueled price growth nationally with the average rent in the U.S. clocking in at $1,419 at the end of 2018, 3.1% more expensive than the previous year.”

But when the Washington Post reported that Yes! Communities was raising their site fees (a.k.a. ‘lot rent’) by 4 percent a year over the past 6 years, it was framed in an evocative way.  The report – by using selective quotes from residents – made it sound as if the rental hikes were horrifying. Yet, based upon the spot checks reflected above, the increases seem to be roughly in line with mainstream rental housing trends in recent years.

Note too that even conventional housing owners may experience increases in property tax, HOA fees, insurance, and the like.

The Washington Post (WaPo) article keeps getting republished by various mainstream media outlets. As of this date, the Google search below reflects over 7,000 sites have picked this story up.

Here are some pull quotes from the WaPo article:

  • Okay — it’s a trailer park, not a fancy gated community,” said Jessica Boudreaux, 33, who lives there with her two daughters. “If people could, they’d live somewhere else.” (MHProNews will comment on that point, and others, further below. Note the terminology error, see further below for correct nomenclature).
  • They prey on people who can’t afford land, people who can’t move,” said David Barrett, 62, an excavation equipment operator who lives in Florence Commons.
  • It’s [Florence Commons manufactured home community] really gone downhill,” said Kris Wilkin, 47, a state corrections officer who bought a 2003 double wide in Florence Commons seven years ago.

 

  • For practical reasons, they can’t move. The dwellings are called “mobile,” but they are costly to transport and sometimes owners are contractually forbidden to move them. (Actually, on a national basis, perhaps one out of five are ‘mobile homes,’ four out of five are HUD Code manufactured homes, so the author is mistaken in his terminology.)
  • Vanessa Jasinski, vice president of marketing for Yes Communities…said…that in the past five years, 46 home renters at Florence Commons have purchased homes in the community.
  • Florence Commons, along with more than 200 other mobile home parks across the U.S., has produced hefty returns for Stockbridge Capital, a $13 billion private-equity firm, and its major investors.

 

  • [Per Stockbridge]…“senior management team [at Yes! Communities] has a demonstrated track record of increasing home rental rates.”
  • It has received $1.3 billion in financing through government-sponsored lender Fannie Mae, which says mobile homes are inherently affordable.” The money helped them buy existing mobile-home parks.
  • Over the past three years, some of the biggest private-equity firms — Carlyle Group, Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital — have taken stakes in mobile home parks, according to a forthcoming report by the nonprofit groups Private Equity Stakeholder Project, MHAction and Americans for Financial Reform. The mobile home parks owned by private-equity firms have more than 100,000 home sites, according to the report.

 

The WaPo Report is Largely the MHAction Report…

One might ask, why is MHAction so adept at getting their narrative out to the mainstream media, while the Manufactured Housing Institute – which says it represents “all segments of factory-built housing” – so often fails to rebut or get its own counter-narrative out?

MHAction has published a new ‘white paper’ style document that addresses this same topic. That new document from MHAction, is linked here as a download. As with other MHAction narratives, while it is mildly pro-manufactured home living, it is apparently – even blatantly – anti-businesses that operate in manufactured housing.  While big businesses are often named, the ‘end game’ for MHAction is arguably to turn privately owned communities into all Resident Owned Communities (ROCs).

Yet, when MHAction was asked to weigh in on the vexingly apparent misbehavior purportedly taking place at Bradenton Tropical Palms, a ROC in Florida, that non-profit and others have remained silent. To learn more about that scenario – which has been one of the top reported news stories in manufactured housing for about 10 months, see the linked text-image box below.

 

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

 

Peter Whoriskey, with the Washington Post, was contacted for some additional insight on his use of the MHAction white paper for this report, but did not return the message as of the time this report is being written.  MHAction was likewise contacted about some fact-errors in their white paper, they declined comment.

It should be noted that since Manufactured Home Living News published the report linked below, MHAction has been mute. This report, and others similar to it, identifies the money trail from Warren Buffett – Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway – has funding to nonprofits, which in turn funded MHAction and other anti-manufactured housing reporting.  Even another resident group’s leader has publicly blasted MHAction, for taking credit for activities that they had little or nothing to do with.

 

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

MHAction has protested Blackstone, RV Horizons, Mobile Home University, Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), HUD Secretary Ben Carson, among others. Oddly, while they protested those organizations and events, they stayed mute on the ‘education’ provided to SECO members by George F (F?) Allen supported Spencer Roane and his protegee, Tom Lackey, who made the news in a bad way for promoting and/or selling homes ‘contract for title’ or ‘lease-purchase option.’  For more on that, see the report on the MHI part-time surrogate Allen and company, linked here.

Rephrased, MHAction has not lifted a finger in some egregious cases that involve manufactured home community residents. Instead, they target specific community operators. By extension, many readers of reports like WaPo’s by will take away Whoriskey will be left with the impression that all community living is like what they are reporting.

 

 

Where is the Balance in Whoriskey’s Story?

The MHAction white paper includes some flawed data, and some spin.  For example, they say there are 18 million living in mobile or manufactured homes, when the more commonly cited estimated figure is 22 million.

PrivateEquityGiantsConverageOnManufacturedHomesPeterWhoriskeyWashingtonPostDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Click here to see the complete, but arguably agenda-driven, MHAction and their colleagues ‘white paper.’

 

Ironically, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) just announced that they have a report that they showed some attendees at their Winter fundraiser (err, ‘winter meeting’).  Per MHI in an email to their members on 2.27.2019.

  • “MHI commissioned Trifecta Research for the study and the findings provide exciting insights into a variety of topics and market trends, including the characteristics and satisfaction of individuals who live in manufactured homes across the country.

 

  • This extensive independent research study of manufactured housing residents reveals positive signs for future growth. For example, a notable finding from the research is the level of satisfaction that individuals feel regarding their decision to live in a manufactured home. Two-thirds of owners were either “extremely” or “very satisfied” with their manufactured homes, and at least “very likely” to recommend manufactured housing to others. For those living in land-lease communities, 62% were either “extremely” or “very satisfied.” Satisfaction soared to 76% for respondents living in a 55+ community, indicating they were either “extremely” or “very satisfied.”

 

  • MHI has a strategic plan to utilize this research to bolster advocacy efforts, public relations outreach, and more. We want you to utilize these exciting findings as well.’

 

After saying that they want these findings to be used, they then contradict themselves by placing it behind a member-only login. Where is their logic?  MHAction – to promote their errant ends – is prompting their white paper, which can be download from their website.  By contrast, MHI ‘hides’ its good news about manufactured home living?

GoogleSearchBillionDollarWaPoManufacturedHousingInstiituteYesCommunitiesFrankRolfeMHActionEmpireDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The National Association of Realtors, Bloomberg, and over a dozen organizations and reports last year were pro-manufactured housing.  Yet, MHI has neglected to archive and publicize those findings to the world?

Is it inept?  Lazy?  Trying to foster contraction of the industry by allowing mostly bad news to have more play?  How does one explain years of such behavior by MHI?

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”The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

MHProNews curates quotes and applies them in cases where they fit or apply.

 

See the report linked below to see how stunning this pattern of behavior is by MHI.

 

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

MHI’s response?  Mostly silence, but an arguably illicit threat by MHI to sue MHProNews for citing what they’ve said.

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

 

Can you spell, ‘over the target’ reaction?

 

 

The Bottom Lines?

Billion-dollar empire made from mobile homes, by WaPo’s Peter Whoriskey is a arguably a slanted hit piece.  MHI hasn’t bothered to refute it.  MHAction, which crafted the white paper that apparently sparked the Whoriskey’s column, gets funding from the same source that MHI does, Warren Buffett and/or Berkshire Hathaway brands or supported nonprofits and foundations.

It’s all out in the open to the extent that someone can follow the money, follow the facts, and connect the same dots that MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews has done.  But the bulk of manufactured housing trade media are either all-in for MHI, or at least silent about their problematic behaviors, and that of their purported Omaha-Knoxville masters.

Buffett had a stake in the Washington Post years ago. Mainstream media reporters – who may not have the same agenda that the WaPo does – have communicated with MHProNews about various issues reported here and on/or MHLivingNews.  The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has already been cited in a favorable way – by WaPo – for having intervened with HUD for having Pam Danner, JD, removed for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

Danner, per reports, is no longer with HUD.

The bottom line is yet another example of how MHI inexplicably fails to do what good post-production trade groups are supposed to do.  Protect, Educate, and Promote or P.E.P.

UnzipLookingForUsUnlockedMindHowCanWeHelpThemSeeManufacturedHOusingINdustryDailyBsuinessNewsMHproHNEws

P.E.P.ProtectEducatePromoteMHProNews

How long will retailers, lenders, suppliers, and others tolerate the multi-year pattern of behavior that has left 5 of the top 10 manufactured housing shipment states sliding in new home shipments during an affordable housing crisis?

 

ManufacturedHousingShipments2018vs2017Top10StatesManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusienssNewsMHProNEw

 

To learn more, see the linked related reports, above and below.  MHProNews invites those voices in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to refute, confirm, or clarify their pattern of behavior either in writing, or live at the Tunica Show with an audience of manufactured home professionals. That’s fair, if they are able to explain their behavior, let them do so.  If not, let their small to mid-sized members beware.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

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