Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

“Market for Manufactured Homes,” Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, for Realtor University, Analysis and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

July 18th, 2018 No comments

Collage above is from Realtor University ®, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) logo, and designed by MHProNews, with images shown under fair use guidelines.

Compared with the unregulated mobile/trailer homes of the past, the manufactured homes built after 1976 have a higher level of safety, durability, and quality, and the small fraction of homes damaged during hurricanes attests to their safety and durability. New design features and multi-section homes are increasingly giving them the look of traditional site-built homes. These safety standards and improved features should lead to the increasing acceptance of manufactured homes as a safe, durable, and affordable type of housing.”

–   Scholastica D. Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE), National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).


Scholastica “Gay” D. Cororaton, CBE, took a statistical dive into the manufactured housing industry in report published in the National Association of Realtors’ ® (NAR) Realtor University ® Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies publication for May 2018.


Composite information from LinkedIn.

Manufactured housing is an affordable housing option, especially among lower income groups. Households who obtain chattel financing for mobile/manufactured homes and who rent the land will tend to spend less on housing expenses (mortgage, interest, mortgage insurance, taxes, land rent) compared to households who obtain mortgage financing for the mobile/manufactured home and the land, even if chattel financing (interest) costs are higher (because the loan value is higher in the latter). However, if the house-hold already owns the land, then mortgage financing for the manufactured home only is less costly than obtaining chattel financing. However, taking account of both the appreciation in the value of the land and the cost savings, households who lease the land will likely accumulate less wealth compared with households who own the land.”

As the above pull-quotes reflect, The Market for Manufactured Homes,” is a arguably a good reflection on Cororaton, the NAR and in many respects for manufactured housing too.

She told the Daily Business News on MHProNews yesterday that this was her first serious foray into the world of manufactured housing.

Most of her nomenclature was well done, which sadly can’t be routinely said about much of the mainstream media, or other researchers.  Overall, she produced a largely positive, useful document.

That said, there are some errors, which we will explore.



The Review Plan

First in reviewing NAR’s “The Market for Manufactured Homes,“ this analysis notes the largely-solid information from Cororaton’s research.  There are some potentially some areas that one might discuss the why, behind the what, which will be addressed briefly below.  But that could be viewed by NAR as going beyond a strictly data-driven report.

That said, this review will spend significant digital ink looking at a few data and graphical points that were errant, and how that came to be.



From Scholastica D. Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE), research for National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).  Solid, useful data is shown above.

The purpose for correcting-the-record is to support the accuracy about the bulk of her data for manufactured housing, pure and simple. It is not to undermine her largely valuable work.

Accuracy matters, a point which Cororaton gracefully agreed to by telephone yesterday.


The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers on affordable, quality, manufactured homes. 

As prominent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member Frank Rolfe told MHProNews last year, the manufactured home (MH) industry is in serious need of accurate information.

Lenders, investors, and reporters are all looking for accurate information, said Rolfe (the same is true for affordable housing advocates, public officials, and obviously home seekers). Rolfe’s comments were part of a conversation separate but related to the linked, report featuring him and others connected with MHI, found at this link here.


The NAR research could have benefited from some visuals of modern manufactured homes. That said, the thrust of the research is useful.  The above is provided by MHProNews, and wasn’t part of the NAR research. 




Accuracy, Accountability and The MHI Connection

Before taking a brief look at the important NAR research, some background is useful.

Two Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff members, plus an MHI consultant, were identified by NAR’s Cororaton report as having provided her data, as well as for reviewing early drafts of the information Realtor University ® published.

“…Jenny Hodge, Vice President Research & Market Analysis, Kara Beigay, Senior Director of Government Affairs, and Marc Lifset, Consultant, of the Manufactured Housing Institute for their invaluable comments on the earlier draft and industry insights,” said Cororaton‘s acknowledgment footnote.

All three MHI team members were electronically contacted by MHProNews to check to see if they had noticed any factual errors. MHI’s current and prior chairman were also CC’d.


The previously responsive MHI – which for years gave timely replies to MHProNews – did not respond to our inquiries.

By contrast, NAR’s Cororaton was prompt in her reply, and open to an immediate discussion of any concerns or factual errors.

What’s fascinating is that as of this date and time, this largely useful report is entirely absent from a Google search result for “The Market for Manufactured Homes,“ and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  Nor is it apparently on the MHI research page of their website.

Why not?


Further, why has there been no effort by MHI to promote a largely useful third party NAR report?

That absence, and the NAR reported absence of any follow up by MHI to have the glitches corrected, are both revealing.  They beg questions like these:

–   Did MHI review the work they participated in, once it was published by Realtor University®?

–   Since MHI staff and their consultant reportedly reviewed the draft, was there no one among them who found these errors?

–   If MHI reviewed and found the errors noted, why did they not contact Cororaton, and ask her to effect corrections?

–   Since the bulk of Cororaton‘s NAR research is useful, why hasn’t MHI put out press releases, or other media outreaches, to promote this information? Especially since it could arguably win over converts to manufactured housing? See the dearth of references from Google on this topic, in the screen capture, above.

–   Perhaps as important, why hasn’t MHI done a similar level of scholarly research, or commission truly useful third-party research?

For an association – MHI – that claims to represent all aspects of factory-built housing, how is it that they routinely fail to properly protect and promote the industry?


The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers.

After some years of internal and external pressure on MHI, in fairness, they have produced a few articles, controversial advertorials, and videos.  But these have gone largely unused, seem to be ineffective – based upon shipment data – and often contradict known facts, or even each other, as MHProNews has previously documented.

That debatable point brings serious minds back to the point Rolfe raised.  Namely, that the HUD Code manufactured home industry needs dependable information.


The bulk of Rscholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers.


Cororaton and the NAR Research

The impression from the NAR economist was that she understood the concerns MHProNews raised, and that they would be addressed.

Rephrased, Cororaton was professional, and appeared to be sincerely interested in better understanding the reality of manufactured housing (MH).  She said she wants to get the facts about the MH industry’s stated accurately.

The impression from Cororaton was that no one from MHI had contacted her with any factual concerns.

As noted, her report clearly says she valued the 3 MHI team member’s input, and she holds only herself responsible for any factual errors. Classy, and that’s the mature, educated, and professional posture.

  • That said, why doesn’t MHI have a similar attitude about accountability and accuracy? 
  • Why have they for some two years, failed to take ownership of demonstrable failures and fact errors, and make their own corrections? 
  • Why have they failed to engage with this pro-industry trade media?

It’s the failures of MHI, which reported led 2 state associations to leave their membership, and more recently, to start their own national association.



The Specific Concerns

The first error is relatively minor, which Cororaton quickly acknowledged.

The date that the manufactured housing industry’s standards went into effect is June 15, 1976. Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) confirmed that date for the NAR economist, and cited relevant part of the law.

Quoting Weiss’ message to Cororaton:


Regarding the below, thank you for your interest in manufactured housing, although I must concur with trade publisher Tony Kovach’s initial point.  Specifically, per 24 CFR 3282.1(a), the effective date of the federal (HUD) manufactured housing standards was June 15, 1976, not June 16, as stated in your article…”

Cororaton was but a day off on the start-date for manufactured housing. Not a huge issue, but facts are facts.  Accuracy on details arguably undergirds the rest of a document’s research. She was matter of fact, concurred, and thankful for the correction.

Another issue in her report – and more serious – was the graphic and related data below.


It is the first map in the NAR report, and thus, significant in that it can set the tone for the accuracy of the rest of her research.

The Realtor University ® data indicated that several states have a larger percentage of manufactured homes than they actually do.


That stands in contrast to the CFPB’s white paper, which is a document that was a resource for the NAR report. Marc Lifeset certainly is familiar with that CFPB white paper, because he’s previously told MHProNews as much.  No doubt others at MHI know the CFPB white paper too.

This error is a more serious oversight, as public officials and others from or familiar with those states are likely to notice those factual glitches.

Why didn’t MHI notice these apparent factual errors?


Vital – 5 out of 5 Stars in Importance – Related Discussion for Manufactured Housing

Among the most important items discussed with Cororaton during a 90 minute call was the following. It relates to the discussion of the factors that cause appreciation and depreciation of any housing, including manufactured homes.

This writer and the NAR economist walked through what are the factors that cause appreciation and depreciation in housing, including conventional homes or manufactured homes. We agreed upon the following (not in a specific order of improtance):

–   Location,

–   Condition of the home,

–   Local economy (jobs, opportunities),

–   Supply and Demand, and

–   Availability of financing.

Because financing is an ongoing issue for manufactured housing, the support for resale values – especially for resales in land-lease – are not as robust as they are for homes on privately owned land.

Cororaton agreed that the contraction of financing options caused conventional housing values to crash in the 2008-2009 mortgage/housing crisis. As lending began to return, conventional housing resale values rose.

When that same principle is applied to manufactured housing, one of the key reasons why manufactured homes don’t always appreciate the same as conventional housing comes into greater focus.

Conventional housing can be purchased and financed long term far more readily. That’s true, even for conventional housing on a land-lease, in states like Maryland, Hawaii, and in parts of the Chicago metro, among others. Long term mortgage financing has been done on land-lease too, for manufactured homes.  But its not something that MHI has actively pursued, per several sources.  Why?

In practice, it’s been well over a decades since an MHI task force dove into mortgages on land-lease.  The tests, per sources, were successful.  So why was there no robust follow up?

It is an advantage for manufactured housing to have both chattel (home only, personal property) lending options, and to also have mortgage options that operate at parity with conventional housing.

This is a crucial topic to home buyers and sellers, yet it goes largely unmentioned in MHVille trade media, save here on MHProNews.  It’s the kind of topic that a truly growth oriented, post-production association should be promoting.

So why isn’t MHI pursuing it?

Could it be because MHI’s top two lenders, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) are both Berkshire Hathaway owned?  And wouldn‘t more real estate type financing potentially impact a profit center that Warren Buffett has often bragged about in his annual letter to shareholders, and elsewhere too?  See related linked reports, at the end of this post for more details.


The discussion of appreciation and related with manufactured homes must be seen through the prism of more access to FHA, VA, USDA (Rural Housing), GSE and other lending. See discussion, above.  An important takeaway is that manufactured homes can and do appreciate, as other research has also demonstrated.


Part One – the Bottom Lines

Gay Cororaton did an overall fine, professional report that was data focused.  She explained that the point discussed above about financing access was not part of the scope of her initial data-based report.

Cororaton indicated that she would see what could be done to correct the fact errors, and that she plans to revisit manufactured housing in her blog posts.

The National Association or Realtors ® (NAR) dwarfs MHI, and the entire manufactured housing indsutry in size and scope. That said, there is much that the industry could learn from NAR.

As thousands of daily, long-time, detail-oriented industry readers of MHProNews know, this publication routinely cites NAR for their valuable research.

We specifically cite Dr. Lawrence Yun, PhD, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President. He’s arguably an accuracy and analysis rock star.


Collage by MHProNews.

The hope should be that NAR’s and Cororaton’s anticipated revised work on manufactured housing provide fuel for more evidence-based interest, investments, and embracing of the manufactured housing solution to the affordable housing crisis. This is a solution that’s been hiding in plain sight, a mantra started on MHLivingNews, and since picked up by others in and out of the industry.

Further, perhaps the NAR research will inspire in Arlington, VA a desire for greater accuracy, accountability, and willingness to correct errors.

As almost every industry veteran can confirm, when someone ‘stumbles upon’ the truth of manufactured housing – vs. the myths and misconceptions – professionals and the home buying public alike are impressed with the value.

The path to growing the industry to a potential of some 500,000 to 1,000,000 (+/-) or more new HUD Code manufactured homes a year must include fact-reason-and-evidence based education.

MHI, and all others, are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. On that point, Rolfe is right. Accurate facts, defense, and proper engagement of the industry with the mainstream media and researchers very much matters. Cororaton’s report by NAR is found linked here, beginning on page 48 to page 78.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images are and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related References:

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?


Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

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Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

July 18th, 2018 No comments

Collage, illustration design by MHProNews.

NEWARK, ARKANSAS – on Tuesday, 7.17.2018, Equal Justice Under Law – a national civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. – filed a federal civil rights complaint against the City of Newark for blocking and banishing residents simply because they do not own an expensive home.


In 2015, the Newark City Council [AR] passed an Exclusion Ordinance forbidding any mobile home worth less than $25,000 (single-wide1) or $35,000 (double-wide1) from existing within the city limits,” Equal Justice told the Daily Business News on MHProNews in a statement. “Failure to do so is punishable with fines up to $500 a day.”

Newark’s poverty exclusion scheme heightens a serious problem across the state of Arkansas: a lack of access to affordable housing,” stated Chrysse Haynes Director of Communications & Development for Equal Justice Under Law.  “For every 100 working family households living on extremely low income, the state has only 50 affordable homes available. Many Newark and nearby residents, including our plaintiffs, are personally affected by this – who either cannot find affordable housing or who are prevented from offering it.”

Among those affected are Veneda and Robert Marshall a retired married couple.

In order to supplement their social security income, they purchase used manufactured homes, which they fix up and rent out throughout Newark, AR.

With a vacant lot available on Thomas Creek Drive, the couple decided to place a multi-sectional manufactured home there.  But they were prevented from doing so because it did not appraise at $35,000. Yet, dozens of interested responses came to the Marshall’s from an online rental listing.

The Marshall’s stated that they are committed to providing affordable and safe housing to local residents. None of their four properties have ever been cited for a health or safety violation.


This is an important legal action for manufactured home (MH) owners, affordable housing advocates, public officials, and MH industry professionals to consider. Photo supplied by Equal Justice, text graphic added by MHProNews.

Equal Justice believes the city’s arbitrary ordinance is preventing a retired couple on a limited income to utilize the property and resources they have available to them, while further exacerbating the need for affordable housing citywide.


Provided under fair use guidelines.

Executive Director of Equal Justice Under Law Phil Telfeyan says, “a society and the basic principles of fairness embodied in our Constitution.”

Equal Justice Under Law seeks a declaration from the federal court that the Exclusion Ordinance unconstitutionally discriminates and penalizes individuals based off their wealth status, and seeks an injunction prohibiting the City from banishing residents simply because they are poor, and want to live in an affordable, safe, manufactured home.


Key Manufactured Home Industry Takeaway

While Equal Justice is suing on behalf of citizens who want to own an inexpensive manufactured home, this suit and a prior one that was already successful are arguably legal actions that benefit manufactured home sellers too.

The MH Industry and our industry’s millions of home owners owes a note of thanks to the Equal Justice non-profit. See related reports for more details. Editorially, MHProNews applauds such efforts.


About Equal Justice Under Law

Equal Justice Under Law offers pro bono assistance to those most in need, giving voice to the silenced and disenfranchised. Our work focuses on a range of criminal and social justice issues. Since our founding in 2014, we have filed 31 lawsuits in 12 states and Washington, DC to end wealth-based discrimination and create a justice system that is truly equal,” the nonprofit told MHProNews. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Footnote 1) The terminological error is in the original statement, the preferred terminology for a manufactured home, which is what these described homes are, would be single-section and multi-sectional.  Equal Justice will be advised of that, for more details on proper terminology and its significance, see the article linked here.

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

“Mobile Home Ban” Suit Win, “Equal Justice Under Law,” Manufactured Home Owners, Buyers, Industry

McCrory Lawsuit – “Significant Victory Against Zoning Discrimination” – Manufactured Homes

What local officials may or may not realize, is that there is more than a legal cost to their town for such discrimination. There is an economic and development cost too. The report below reflects an academic view that it can costs even modest sized cities millions, and the nation trillions a year, because of discriminatory land use that harms affordable housing such as manufactured homes. Read the report and downloads from the article below for more details.

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact


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Opportunities for Savvy MHProNews – Replacement or Repair Programs for Mobile Homes or Older Manufactured Homes

July 17th, 2018 No comments



In states and local jurisdictions from coast to coast, various private or public agencies offer programs that provide grants, low cost loans, or other assistance in obtaining repairs or even replacements for aging mobile home or older manufactured housing units.


These types of programs routinely have income and other qualifications.  They are routinely a recognition that manufactured homes are an important resource in affordable housing efforts.  It’s interesting to note that several of these programs use the correct industry terminology, that sadly eludes many in the mainstream media. 

An example of such a program is found below, which was brought to the attention of the Daily Business News on MHProNews via a media release.


Check with your local agencies to see what types of homes qualify for these programs.

Before diving into the details of that specific program and release, savvy professionals who retail homes and want to sell more new homes should ask certain questions.

·        What program(s) are available in my market(s)?

·        What are the qualifications for that program(s)?

·        How can a retailer – or manufactured home community – best position itself to sell a home to those who qualify?


Click to learn more about this upcoming wholesale event.

With an estimated 2 million plus pre-HUD Code mobile homes, plus some of the mid-to-late 1970s manufactured homes, the potential market is not insignificant. A little time invested in research could yield a steady stream of additional new home business for those who learn the process. 

Keep in mind that some state associations can be a resource in this, others for various reasons may not be.  So be prepared to use Bing, Yahoo, and Google searches to find what’s available in your market(s). Let’s note that there are differences between the search results of those three major search engines, so if one doesn’t reveal the information you seek, use another. 

Often, state housing associations will have a resource list as well. 

The following is an example of one such program.  “Easy doesn’t pay well,” says Sunshine Homes President John Bostick.  This won’t fall in your lap, but once you learn how to navigate the hoops, it can be a benefit to those who get the home, and clearly a new profit center to those who are willing to navigate those opportunities.



We are now accepting applications for manufactured home replacement assistance! 

The manufactured home replacement program assists low income, rural Oneida County residents in securing new manufactured homes.  

Assistance will be issued as a grant and will cover the cost of the manufactured home replacement, and the installation of a foundation system. THIS PROGRAM IS 100% GRANT FUNDED! GET A NEW HOME AT NO COST! 


This is one of numerous programs operated by private, public or joint funding.

Program eligibility requirements include:

       Must own the land and the existing manufactured home (no liens, mortgages or loans)

       Must meet the definition of low income, and provide documentation verifying income is below 80% of the area median income

       The property must meet the definition of substandard

       Property taxes, insurances and electric bills must be current

       Applicants must occupy the manufactured home as a primary residence

       Must demonstrate proof of ownership for both the manufactured home unit and the property on which it is situated.

       Program participants will be required to complete a Financial Education workshop offered by HOC.

For a complete list of eligibility requirements, or for more information, please contact the HomeOwnershipCenter at (315)724-4197, or visit Completed applications are accepted and reviewed on a first come, first served basis. You may submit your application via email to, fax to 315.724.1415 or direct mail to 1611 Genesee St. Utica, NY 13501. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.) 

(Third party images, content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:


An Industry with a Heart – The Tomorrow’s Home Foundation

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

Friday the 13th, Mobile Homes, Fires, Tornado Magnets and the 2020 U.S. Census

NPR-Tornado Hits Mobile Home, Fact Check-Why Terminology Matters to Manufactured Housing Industry, Home Owners, Weather, News Pros


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City Fighting to KEEP Dozens of Manufactured Home Communities

July 13th, 2018 No comments



We’re thrilled that it passed this first hurdle,” said Cameron Herrington to the Portland Tribune.  Herrington is the “anti-displacement coordinator for Living Cully,” which is described as a coalition of nonprofits campaigning to create the new protections for residents.


In 2016, the Portland Housing Bureau worked with a few nonprofits to buy Oak Leaf Mobile Home Park in Cully to prevent it from being sold to a developer. Despite that small victory for affordable housing advocates, the number of mobile home parks in the city has shrunk from 62 to 56 in the past two years, according to PSC’s website,” said Oregon Live.

The Portland City Council will now consider a proposal to create a “new manufactured home park zone for about 56 of the city’s mobile and manufactured home” communities.  The goal is to keep communities from being sold by their owners for redevelopment “for other, more lucrative uses and allow more stability for some 3,000 families,” said the Portland Tribune.The new zone was endorsed Tuesday by the Planning and Sustainability Commission in a 7-2 vote, sending the idea to the City Council for final vetting and approval.”


Portland OR is mulling legislation that’s cleared its first hurdle. If passed, it would make it more difficult for exisitng manufactured home communities to be sold for redevelopment.

So even as some cities and towns in the U.S. are fighting to close MH Communities, others are seeking ways to preserve them as a smart option for affordable housing.

Those manufactured home communities “provide some of the most affordable housing in Portland,” said Herrington, per OL.Certainly, the most affordable private market housing in the city.”

The battle for preservation vs. allowing property owners to sell as the law allows played out in the comments posted by readers.

Laura Hallett, the on-site manager at Arbor Park – who explained that she does not speak on behalf of the community’s owners, worries that when owners need higher profits, they will raise rents, making it a high-end property, said Oregon Live.

But that isn’t the message that the owners of the community are promoting with their YouTube video.



The video candidly admits to a significant rise in site fees after the new owners took over, but also stresses the improvements that have improved living conditions, and made it a far nicer place to live.

MHCs and Rent Control – Cure or Cause for Affordable Housing Crisis?

The dynamics of community ownership in areas where prices are rising are complex.  Many of the solutions that local jurisdictions seek – like rent control – actually makes the problem of sustaining affordable housing worse.

Rent Control in Manufactured Home Communities Inhibits New Development

What is certain is that addressing land-use, resident tenure, and property owners rights is an ongoing battle that routinely arises in various parts of the U.S. So the plan in Portland will have forces on both sides, for and against, lining up for the next round of the struggle.  For more details, see linked stories. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images, content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

Hundreds of New Manufactured Home Communities Opened, But How Many Have Closed? Industry Research Result$


“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

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Friday the 13th, Mobile Homes, Fires, Tornado Magnets and the 2020 U.S. Census

July 13th, 2018 No comments

What if the HUD Code or ANSI labels are missing? Or what if it is a pre-HUD Code mobile home? How will the media report this? 

It’s what award-winning manufactured home industry professional Marty Lavin, speaking tongue in cheek, called the industry’s “other image campaign.”


It’s what Darren Krolewski, now Co-President of MHVillage, said is part of the ongoing wave of bad news in mainstream media about “mobile homes” that seems to outweigh the good news about manufactured housing.

Among the most common mainstream news items related to factory-built homes in America are stories about mobile homes that catch fire.

Some mainstream news items are stories about arson. Others are kitchen fires, or the cause of the blaze may have been a careless smoker. But whatever the cause, because of the nomenclature issue with mainstream media, the false impression is left that manufactured homes are more susceptible to fire than conventional housing.

Another common local news topic, especially after the start of the tornado and hurricane seasons, are windstorms and “mobile homes.”

Because of the internet, every local story is carried globally. That means that people throughout the U.S. that are researching or shopping for a home, get the false impression that caused Ohio’s Governor John Kasich to mistakenly target manufactured housing for fire hazards.

While the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA), and their state’s resident group lost that battle, the OMHA’s routine push-back may have been a factor in rising new manufactured home shipments there, when two other states in their region are seeing declining new manufactured home shipments.

Alabama and Florida are among the state associations that have pushed-back on the problematic narrative of “mobile homes,” manufactured homes, and windstorms.


How many know that manufactured homes are as safe as a conventional house? It’s older mobile homes that routinely create problematic news. Which is why both data collection and nomenclature are key issues to advance manufactured housing education, which will boost sales naturally, Fixing the Census on this issue can help. 


The Common Denominators, Root Issues?

What are the common denominators in these vexing mainstream news stories?

Two factors, one is nomenclature/accurate data. That challenge should be tackled at both the local market – the state level, and nationally – as our recent Daily Business News article spotlighted at the link below. As with any linked article, that can be read later for greater depth of understanding and more related facts.

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues


But the other is an issue of data collection. That’s where the U.S. Census Bureau comes in.

The Census Bureau provides often useful data for manufactured housing, because it reveals the substantial price savings over conventional construction.

But the flip side of the Census Bureau is what storm researchers have told MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

The Census Bureau’s database needs to collect accurate counts of how many manufactured home are in use, as well as how many pre-HUD Code mobile homes are in use.

NPR-Tornado Hits Mobile Home, Fact Check-Why Terminology Matters to Manufactured Housing Industry, Home Owners, Weather, News Pros

Doing that, say storm researchers, would aid them in their impact models, which currently – and unfairly – lump pre-HUD Code mobile homes in with post June, 15, 1976 built HUD Code manufactured homes.

Letters to congressional representatives, U.S. Senators and other public officials asking for this bureaucratic change is long overdue, and a necessary common-sense step that would arguably save taxpayer dollars over time.  Why?  Because more manufactured home sales would arguably reduce the numbers of subsidized housing units needed.

Having the Census Bureau make a change in their data collection is an example of an issue that is ideally handled by state or national post-production associations. So those who are members of such groups should be asking them to engage in this.

It is a fact that more mobile homes burn more than manufactured homes.  More pre-HUD Code mobile homes blow away than manufactured homes. The success of the quality and safety of the HUD Code is undermined by poor data, and poor nomenclature.

Keeping the Home Fires from Burning: Fire Safety and the Modern Manufactured Home

The solution is good information and media engagement.

That requires pro-active efforts now to make this part of the rapidly-approaching 2020 Census. It is an opportunity for associations to do what Nathan Smith said is necessary, namely, to be pro-active.

On this Friday the 13th, its an apt time to change decades of often avoidable misfortune into potentially millions of more new manufactured home sales, all by taking common sense steps now. Each manufactured home professional, advocate, and investor is either part of the solution, or part of the problem. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)


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Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues



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Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

July 11th, 2018 No comments



What other industry that has existed for over 40 years, and still struggles with the proper terminology about its product?


Have you ever heard of anyone use the term crank phone with a land-line,’ when describing a modern smart phone?

Or who calls a modern E-Class Mercedes by the name, ‘Model T?’


Those are a little like what the manufactured housing industry has allowed to happen for far too many decades, when the industry accepts terms like ‘mobile home,’ or worse, ‘trailer house in a trailer park’ when it comes to manufactured homes and the industry’s land-lease communities.


What other major industry has this kind of terminology problem?

Earlier today, a simple Google search revealed the “definition”  shown above.  This has issue has ripple effects for home owners, those considering a manufactured home, and all others too.


“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Examples of what educated Americans who own a manufactured home, including an assistant mayor, have had to say about this subject are linked above and below.

Taking on the Trash Talk! Are People Defined by their Housing Choice? Video, Photos

If you think it doesn’t matter, then you haven’t talked to, or read enough, articles and interviews with manufactured home (MH) owners.  For years, a common refrain has  been that manufactured home owners don’t want to have their home called a “trailer,” or have their community called a “trailer park,” because it makes them feel like “trailer trash.” So why – 42 years after the HUD Code created manufactured housing – does this nomenclature problem persist?


Make a habit of using the correct terminology.


The above arn’t a perfect set of definitions, but it is clarifying. It is a matter of law, not opinion, what is or is not a manufactured home. Ditto the example below, from the National Fire Protection Association.


Again, not perfect, but clarifying.


“Economic Racism”

The publishers of MHProNews – almost alone in the MH industry, in conjunction with our sister-site, MHLivingNews and a few industry voices – has periodically tackled this topic for years, as the linked articles reflect.


Isn’t what Donald Tye Jr said part of the antidote to the t-word issue?

The last Foremost survey indicates that the use of the term “trailer” and “mobile home” are on the rise, so those of you that follow the news are not imagining that the proper terms – manufactured home, or manufactured housing – aren’t growing.

We’ve asked industry voices to sound off on this issue from time to time.  Some examples of what industry pros have said, past and present, are found below.




While Frank Rolfe has admitted on stage to contradicting himself on this issue, even he knows that the terminology matters, but he is correct that this is association work that should be done.

Because the video below makes that point, though we’d argue that the shrewd move long-term view is to routinely use the correct terminology.



The Media has Responsibility, but So Does the Industry’s Members

We’ve brought the topic periodically to the attention of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for years, as have others.

We’ve also asked several mainstream publishers and news outlets if MHI has followed up with them, questioning their improper use of terminology, data, or other issues.

Thus far, not a single publication or news source has answered that affirmatively.  Rephrasing, MHI routinely fails to address the terminology issue. It fits the hit that Frank Rolfe laid on them for not defending the industry, and its image.

Keep in mind, MHI are the ones for the multi-million dollar budget for this task.  It was part of what MHI’s ‘leadership’ said would occur before they brought on board their first – and now, reportedly second – public relations professional.


So, we asked Mark Weiss at MHARR, his thoughts on this topic of terminology.  He said the following, which is followed by what U.S. Legal says about the issue, and what some select quotes from the Code of Ethics from the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ).

The definition of “manufactured home” in our federal law, as well as all of the other statutorily-defined terms, is extremely important to the industry and consumers as well.  That term or “manufactured housing” distinguishes federally-regulated manufactured homes, which are subject to uniform, binding, preemptive federal construction and safety standards,” said Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

He said, “A manufactured home is the only federally regulated construction standard, which makes them unique from other types of structures that are either not federally-regulated, or not regulated at all, or are not designed or intended for use as a “dwelling.”

The use of any other term, by either uninformed or deliberately maligning media, academics, industry critics, or others, is not only inaccurate, but a disservice to the public,” per Weiss. “The deliberate misuse of terminology can also be offensive to the millions who proudly own a manufactured home, or the tens of thousands who work in our industry.”

Insofar as production is regulated at the federal level, under a law that specifically uses and defines the term “manufactured housing,” this is more often a post-production issue that needs to be addressed and fought by those who deal directly with the public,” said Weiss to MHProNews. “At that post-product level, it is vital to make sure that today’s manufactured homes are not confused with other types of structures that offer lower-quality, lower levels of safety, or are otherwise misrepresented to the public and/or government entities.”




What does U.S. Legal Say?

Here below is an extended quote from U.S. Legal about the legal definition of manufactured homes.

Manufactured Home Law and Legal Definition

The Manufactured Housing program is a national program established to protect the health and safety of the owners of manufactured (mobile) homes. Under the program HUD issues, monitors, and enforces federal manufactured home construction and safety standards. HUD’s authority is granted under The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5401 et seq.; 24 CFR Part 3280 and Part 3282.

A manufactured home is defined by the regulations of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as housing that is essentially ready for occupancy upon leaving the factory and being transported to a building site. Other factory build homes, that require a significant amount of construction on site before they are ready for occupancy do not fall under the HUD definition. The following is a portion of a federal statute defining manufactured homes:

“Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width or forty body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is three hundred twenty or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein; except that such term shall include any structure which meets all the requirements of this paragraph except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the Secretary and complies with the standards established under this chapter

All of these quotes and sources should convince any journalist that this isn’t an optional matter.


Society of Professional Journalism, Code of Ethics: Select Quotes:

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair,” said the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ). “Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:

There’s more, but those above serve to prove the point for serious writers, journalists, producers, and editors.

Accuracy matters. Rarely can one point to as common a misuse of terminology occurs.



MHI arguably ought to be pushed, shamed and/or otherwise prompted into doing what it’s leaders promised with regards to engaging the media on each and every problematic story.

Isn’t this terminology and media engagement issues yet another example of the alleged failures by MHI to serve the industry’s obvious needs?  Shouldn’t the array of industry voices,  including several of their past or current own members, as well as those outside of their membership, be considered and cause MHI to act to pro-actively address this problem?

While other issues, like regulations, zoning, financing and the like matter, few others could be as useful as getting the mainstream media and third-party researchers to simply use the correct terminology, and accurate information.

It should be part of the mantra of every good post-production entity. Doing so would in time rally manufactured homeowners.  Accurate information and nomenclature could accomplish more over time do than a multi-million dollar campaign could accomplish.

But the media’s and academia’s role in giving the proper respect to manufactured home owners is important.



Some of the reasons to respects, and support, manufactured home owners and the industry are outlined in the article linked above.  That linked article above is useful, because it is on a mainstream media site. You can share that and with those who just ‘don’t get it’ about manufactured housing.

Nothing is changed until it is challenged. Knowledge is power, but more so, whenever it is properly shared. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

July 5th, 2018 No comments


There are those who slam manufactured housing as being less expensive due to inferior quality. But a “Harvard study refutes that, labeling as “exaggerated” the “concerns about the difference between manufactured homes…and [homes] built to applicable local building codes” (Vermeer and Louie 1995, section IV, 2). The study found that code standards have little to do with manufactured housing’s price advantage.”


So wrote Richard Genz in a 22 page research report on manufactured homes for a foundation for a Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE).

The document also stated that:

Housing advocates might find it surprising to walk through a couple of new homes at a dealer’s lot, keeping the monthly payment in mind and mentally comparing the local rental stock available for the same price. Interiors have good light. Insulation standards are solid. Floor plans have come a long way from the time when residents said that living in a mobile home was like living in a hallway.”

RichardGenzManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsWhy take a flashback look now at the 2001 report by Richard Genz for Housing & Community Insight?

Because the report was done for the Fannie Mae Foundation.

It cited sources such as Harvard, Foremost Insurance – plus other third-party, often peer-reviewed – researchers.

While some of the data points have shifted since Genz penned them, it has generally been improvements in the manufactured home product quality, as the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 standards have fully kicked in since Genz published his insightful work.

It’s equally valid to review this now, given the arguable short-shrift Fannie Mae has been giving to the legally mandated Duty to Serve (DTS) implementation. Compare what Genz said then, vs. what Sarah Edelman recently wrote. That linked report below, which includes Edelman’s article for Fannie Mae, can be read later for greater depth of understanding.

“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

Further, because the HUD Code and new home standards keep improving, what was true when Genz said it back then, is arguably as or more accurate now.


That said, the analysis that follows notes that while Genz often praised manufactured homes, he did not turn a blind eye to problems then existing in the industry. That too will be reviewed herein, because manufactured housing cleaned up key issues that Genz identified.

So, while the total numbers of residents and manufactured homes has grown since his report, and pricing has obviously changed, the percentage of savings remains the same. Then and now, the United States Census Bureau has noted consistently similar levels of statistical savings for decades.


Graphic, data, per Sun Communities (SUI).

Thus for a variety of reasons, Genz’s 22 page document merit the careful consideration of the manufactured home industry’s:

  • professionals,
  • advocates,
  • public policy pros,
  • politicos,
  • and investors careful consideration.

Graphic, data, per publicly-traded Sun Communities (SUI).  Note that Sun’s rental rates may be higher than some others in the industry..

With that introduction, the Daily Business News will review and analyze key highlights of what Genz unearthed.

It’s a potentially multiple billions of dollars worth of housing insights. Thus it’s a potentially rewarding, and highly insightful, reading experience.  As you read this analysis of Genz, keep the points previously shared in the report below in mind, which can be read or reviewed later for related insights.

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact


Stigma and Manufactured Homes

Genz goes after the stigma attached to manufactured homes and their owners early, and often.

Here’s an example.

There is a palpable stigma attached to manufactured homes, dating back to when workers towing trailers moved from city to city, chasing jobs and crowding into muddy, unsanitary trailer parks… However, these serious shortcomings [in public policies, perceptions] are not inherent in the factory-built home itself. Rather, they are the product of laws, policy choices, and business practices that are selling millions of people short.”

Genz notes that while values weren’t the same, he explains that it was because of reasons not connected with the homes themselves.

That’s arguably a valid point then, and now.

The Fannie Mae Foundation researcher also noted that the net worth of manufactured home owners was dramatically higher – even then – than the $5,000 renting households average worth now have, per data cited repeatedly by HUD Secretary Ben Carson last year.

Median net worth is $59,000 for owners of manufactured homes, compared with $102,000 for all homeowners.”

Rephrasing that as a takeaway.  Those who own a manufactured home enjoy a significant improvement in their collective standard of living.  That’s a point that advocates like ROC USA, Prosperity Now (formerly known as CFED), or this trade publisher have often made.

Genz notes another point that MHLivingNews and MHProNews has hammered home repeatedly. It’s this.

One of the industry’s strong points is its appeal to distinctly different market segments. Owners tend to be either very young or elderly (Vermeer and Louie 1995). Although most buyers have low incomes, one segment of the market is quite well off: About 10 percent of manufactured home residents report a net worth of more than $250,000, and another 19 percent are worth more than $100,000 (Foremost Insurance Group 1999).”

Genz added to that point above, “Many of the owners with high net worth live in well- planned subdivision-style communities with recreation centers, pools, and even golf courses. These high-end communities demonstrate the potential of factory-built homes, but also represent a continuing shift away from the industry’s original focus on serving the affordable housing market.”


tristar-estates-bourbonnais-il-CreditMHC-MD-com, posted

Arial photo credit, TriStar Estate, credit Note that all of the illustrations shown were provided by MHProNews, not the original document written by Genz.

Stated differently, he makes sure that his readers know that manufactured homes are not just housing for the poor, or those who have no other options.

It’s a key factoid that some in the industry’s association world need to take notice of, and perhaps now will begin to do so?

Despite wide-spread perceptions of low quality and short life, Consumer Reports says that “manufactured housing can last as long as site-built housing,” (“Manufactured Housing ” 1998, 30).”

Readers should keep in mind that the improvements mandated by the industry-sought Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA). So whatever concerns were noted then about installation have since been dealt with.

Industry professionals, policy wonks, officials, and advocates should note that it was the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) that led-the-charge for the MHIA 2000. They did so by aligning the Texas Manufactured Housing Association’s leadership, and then finally found a change in leadership at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) they could work with. That permitted the three to then advance the MHIA through Congress, per our sources.

That segue noted, the review of Genz’s fertile work continues.

Fresh, new, private living space; easy shopping and financing; adequate quality; and homeownership now add up to a powerful appeal, and with a little reflection, it becomes easier to see why manufactured homes have been chosen by an average of 29 percent of new home buyers every year since 1980 (Manufactured Housing Institute 2001).”


For newcomers to this website, or otherwise not familiar with modern manufactured homes, you can learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

That was debatably the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) that was, prior to the power being exercised over the Arlington, VA based trade group by Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes in 2003. Their related lenders were acquired too, as were several other industry connected suppliers and other firms since.

Instead of MHI’s allegedly weaponized ‘research’ and maneuvers to promote a controversial, “new class of homes,” and the like – why hasn’t MHI provided encouragement for more such independent study as Genz did?

Or why does MHI fail to publicly mine such useful research today?

Those questions noted, continuing with the Genz’s analysis, there are far more gems to discover.  They are potentially as useful now as then.


Not Enough Advocacy, Said Genz


Richard Genz.

Some consumer advocacy is taking place, but not much in view of the scale of the manufactured housing sector. Government, nonprofit, and philanthropic involvement is strikingly less than in the world of “real homes.”

When one ponders the foot-dragging by the GSEs, apparently brooked by the FHFA, this quote is also noteworthy: “…a majority of buyers have held the same job for 5 to 10 years, a Freddie Mac economist notes that “except for lower incomes, the profile of manufactured home buyers seeking financing does not appear to differ greatly from site-built loan borrowers” (Bradley 1997, 4).

Note that in a systematic fashion, Genz cited his third-party, often peer-reviewed sources. Again, as the Daily Business News analysis above noted, much of what has changed since 2001 have been equally well documented improvements.

So the case made by Genz is still useful.  It is also historic.

Genz provides an independent yardstick to see what the industry’s ‘leaders’ have or have not done.


Identifying Valid Concerns

For those who never knew or witnessed sellers loading up customers with years of insurance or credit life, etc. the next quote will be a dose of reality.

For those pros who will recall, it’s a blast-from-the-past that explains some of the stiff losses by the subprime lenders of that era. “[manufactured housing] retailers can and frequently do earn commissions, rebates, or other payments on loan originations, credit life insurance, property insurance, and other services arranged for at the time the loan is closed” (HUD and NAHB 2000, 41).”

That was then, not now. Thus the report by Genz isn’t all glowing, as he takes on some industry practices in lending, some that apparently had a level of MHI support.

Rephrased, this researcher for Fannie didn’t mind questioning MHI.

By contrast today, Fannie and MHI seem to be “playing footsie,” according to several sources in MHI.

Among the examples that have been cited by those sources, MHARR and others, is that Fannie is now a MHI member. Furthermore, Fannie and MHI have reportedly held closed door meetings, without producing for the public those meeting minutes.

What’s there to hide?

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”


GSE Commitment Canceled?

As recently as last week, Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business at Fannie Mae and others there respectfully declined to provide minutes or any explanation of such meetings with MHI, in inquiries by this publication to the federally regulated mortgage giant.

Note that a communications team member committed to MHProNews that Edelman would answer several questions on-the-record.

Those promised replies to several specific inquiries were later delayed. Finally, the same communications team member at Fannie said they were not going to answer the questions asked.

Why not?

So much for transparency at Fannie today?

It is also worth mentioning for later review that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling has told MHProNews via a statement that he has serious concerns about lobbying by the GSE.  If so, that’s important because it would be in contravention to federal law while they are in receivership under FHFA. That related report can be reviewed later, and is linked below.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy


How Many Pre-HUD Code Mobile Homes?

Back to the research by Genz, he stated then that nearly 3 million pre-HUD Code mobile homes were still in service.

According to Gentz, “As many as 3 million homes in the nation’s current manufactured housing inventory were built be- fore the implementation of the HUD building code in 1976, when some homes had a useful life as short as 10 years (Meeks 1995; Vermeer and Louie 1995). Many of these were built in the boom years of 1968 through 1973, when 2.7 million new homes were sold.”


Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

Once more an aside is warranted. Because the data that Genz cited demonstrates that the Rollohome experience was not a one-off.

What occurred during the Rollohome era in terms of the rapid ramp up and production of more factory built housing pre-HUD Code could arguably be done today too.

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

Investors, public officials, advocates, and industry pros? Are you seeing how enormous the manufactured housing industry’s potential is? This is a theme that MHProNews and MHARR have said for years can be accomplished, because it has in fact already been previously proven to be doable.

Given the correct support, the 8.3 million housing unit shortages cited by Lawrence Yun at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) could rapidly be corrected. But if HUD Code producers don’t step up to the plate more seriously, other prefab builders cited at the end of this report have already said that they will.

Potentially tens to hundreds of billions of dollars in business annually is up for grabs.

Once more, it is almost inescapable how these facts point to what award-winning independent retailer Alan Amy said. Manufactured Housing could be the future, which is why he and others have said that the billionaires are gobbling up the industry’s assets.

Ouch, and another Ouch, but then…

Regarding gains or losses in value, “…Consumers Union reports that two-thirds of units depreciate. However, the converse is that one-third of manufactured homes have held their value or appreciated (“Manufactured Housing” 1998). Several other studies establish the simple fact that some manufactured homes increase in value, and some decline.

But Genz uses logic akin to what MHProNews has utilized, noting that “Research is needed to sort out the factors that cause values to go up or down. With better information, policies and practices that build wealth for owners of manufactured homes can be designed.

In fact, Genz has outlined several of the causes of a loss in value. He also suggested some of the keys to supporting value, like no more credit life or others previously noted.

Thus, the initial groundwork for more appreciation – which even the problematic Urban Institute report noted by the Daily Business News said is already underway – is now largely in place.

Rephrased, there are no valid reasons for the GSEs to slow-walk implementation of robust yet sustainable chattel and other manufactured home lending. There is no need for yet another apparent dodge, this time in the form of a MHI’s questionable “new class of homes.”

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

So in retrospect, what Genz laid out was this.


Marty Lavin, JD.

When insurance is loaded up on a contract at the time of sale, or prices may vary 5k-10k per identical homes in the same market, the natural outcome is those homes ‘lost’ value. That’s similar to concerns that MHI award winner Marty Lavin raised for years.

But it must also be noted that Lavin said in a video interview with MHProNews that the industry cleaned up that act.

So once more, the rationale for slow-walking the potentially robust GSE entry into manufactured housing is missing.

Quite the opposite exists. Genz gave a veritable road map of why and how manufactured housing lending could and should be done successfully in ways that are as sustainable, as Titus Dare exclusively encouraged in statements to MHProNews.

So those abuses Genz reported then were wrenched from the chattel lending system by the lenders who remained in the market during the post-Conseco/GreenTree meltdown.

Rephrased, as Lavin noted, the remaining marketplace lenders corrected the issues.

Said Genz, “The accurate answer to the question “Can manufactured homes appreciate?” seems to be “It depends.” Like the value of any home, the value of a manufactured home over time is contingent on many factors. Unfortunately, the perception that depreciation is somehow inherent in manufactured homes is widespread. It is at the root of disinterest about them among development bankers, advocates, planners, and nonprofit developers. These professionals are rightly concerned that housing should be a foundation for building wealth, but if advocates simply write off the preference of so many home buyers for lower-cost manufactured units, we passively contribute to a problem we should be helping to solve. Available data suggest that depreciation is not a mystery. It can be understood and, in many cases, reversed.”

What Genz did was argue that the industry could reverse much of its image and fortunes.

Make some common sense changes, and much could be done.

More than 8 out of 10 manufactured homes placed in 1998 were titled as personal property, or chattel (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1998).” That number is similar today.

Genz buys into the argument made by those who want to reclassify manufactured homes, forcing all to be real estate loans. That’s a non-starter for most lenders in the industry. It is an example of how the “wheat and chaff” approach must be used with any person, or any organization.

That said, he next makes another point similar to what Marty Lavin has made.

Discriminatory treatment of manufactured home residents flows from the unexamined matrix of law, finance, taxation, land use regulation, and custom within which manufactured housing exists.”

Lavin put it more bluntly, by calling the HUD Code “a discrimination code.”

But discrimination – past or present – could be a motivation in urging industry pros to act for change in the future.

That said, what exists today are policies that can include “…many tax systems automatically depreciate manufactured homes like vehicles, regardless of their actual market value. This practice worsens the budget drain.”

Genz demonstrates how a simple change of mind can yield positive change.

Recognizing the real character of manufactured housing contributes to the asset base of an entire community. For example, the tax assessor of Henderson County, NC, decided to begin taking manufactured homes seriously in the early 1990s. Once values were established, the assessor determined that the use of depreciation schedules had systematically undervalued this stock of residential property. The result was a $53 million increase in the tax rolls over two years,” Genz said.

Then he stated a point routinely made by MHLivingNews and MHProNews. How education by that North Carolina county and discipline in the proper use of terminology could yield positive changes measurable in dollars and cents.

They [local officials] repeatedly had to explain to concerned taxpayers that a “trailer” is something you haul around behind a vehicle and that their increased valuation was based on the actual market value of a home that happened to have been built in a factory.”

Today, there are numerous studies that demonstrate that manufactured homes can and do appreciate for the same reasons as conventional housing. But the way to accomplish that isn’t by creating a problematic, unnecessary, and controversial “new class of homes” promoted by MHI.

Rather, an important part of the industry’s potential progress is achieved by education of consumers on existing homes.



That education comes in part by speaking with those who know on camera.

Education also can obviously be accomplished in part by engaging the mainstream media.

Retiring MHI Ann Parman previously praised MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach for promoting that plan. But as numerous industry members – like Frank Rolfe, who previously blasted MHI for not properly engaging the media – know, MHI has allowed most slurs, miscues, and errors that slight manufactured housing to go unaddressed.

Rephrased, the facts and legitimate third-party research needed to successfully promote the manufactured home industry are available.

While the Arlington, VA based trade group has done problematic advertorials – which have at times cited ‘facts’ that other MHI ‘data’ contradicts – has posted a few lightly viewed items to YouTube, or social media, there’s been no discernible, systematic and robust effort by them to defend and/or promote the industry as needed.

MHI member MHVillage’s own data proves just how ineffective the efforts to date are.


Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews. 

So it is little wonder that a pair of state associations broke away from MHI, and have announced they are forming a new post-production association.

Rephrased, there is a growing body of evidence and numbers of industry voices that in various ways have alleged that MHI is debatably blowing it for the small to mid-sized operations that make numbers of that trade group’s members.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

As attorney Lavin succinctly put it in the report linked above, the big boys work for the interests of the rest of the industry only to the extent that it benefits the big boys.


Genz Makes the Case Concerned Industry Voices Have Advocated

Said the Fannie Mae Foundation’s researcher Genz. “Low- and moderate-income people should not be left to learn about asset-building and the meaning of homeownership from their tax assessor. The protests from mobile home dwellers confirm what our housing system has inculcated in them: that their housing is a depreciating asset, like a vehicle. How many buyers of conventional homes would trade a lower annual property tax bill for depreciating home value?

As a Deer Valley Homes sales manager James McGee, and their current president, Chet Murphree said, “It’s all about education.” as they and others praised the work done here and on MHProNews to educate.

Meanwhile, sources and evidence suggest that MHI, their surrogates and masters, have arguably sought to stymie the education necessary for the industry’s robust growth.


Warren Buffet has arguably given the correct answer. He likes a bargain.

Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

By choking off other sources of lending, and limiting the capital flow into the industry, Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has gobbled up large chunks of the industry.


MHI’s President Richard “Dick” Jennison, and others there or working for Berkshire Hathaway units have declined or ducked public discussion and debate on such vexing questions.


Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.

Isn’t that a kind of tacit admission that these published concerns are valid?

When The Daily Business News has given repeated opportunities for MHI or Berkshire brands to respond publicly, why have they instead remained silent?


This document was provided as a news tip to MHProNews. To see the related video with Kevin Clayton, click to read and view – Smoking Gun 3

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$


Genz’s Finale “Conclusion”

Clearing up misperceptions about manufactured housing and addressing the problems of buyers, owners, and renters should be the first priority for advocates. On a separate front, it should be possible to incorporate the cost advantages of manufactured homes into nonprofit housing developments (Wallis 1991). If stereotypes can be overcome, the nonprofit development community could eventually help reinvent manufactured homes as quality, wealth-building, affordable housing.

The report said that author “Richard Genz is Principal of Housing & Community Insight and a Project Manager with ICF Consulting, Inc.”

Genz’s report was written for the Fannie Mae Foundation.  The entire document is available as a download, linked here.

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On the Eve of Independence Day, from July 4, 1776 to Today

July 3rd, 2018 Comments off


MHProNews celebrates success, but won’t shy away from valid concerns.


The industry has for year been caught up in the ebb and flow of local, state, and federal politics.


We don’t mind poking a little fun at ourselves too…

No one in MHVille is covering political or economic issues impacting manufactured homes more than MHProNews.


The Daily Business News has been – and continues to be – focused on the causes of manufactured housing underperforming during America’s affordable housing crisis.


The industry’s leading trade media focuses on incidents, events, controversies, realities, and solutions.

QuesyRiderPOTUSTrumpRamierezCartoonManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe industry’s first and best Daily Business News takes an independent look at the issues, news, controversies, and challenges that few if any others in MHVille are willing to tackle publicly.


This is one of several topics that could drive voter turnout on both sides of the left-right political divide.

That said, there’s also a periodic need for a lighter side.


Frankly, sometimes humor is a great way to make certain points.


We are evidence and reason based, and these cartoons spark thinking.


Safe travels for all our readers who are or will be traveling.


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Related Reports:

Politically Incorrect Cartoon Commentaries, Lighter Side of Making America and Manufactured Housing Great Again



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Follow the Money – 100s of Immigration Protests, MoveOn, George Soros, The Border, Mexico’s AMLO, and Manufactured Housing

July 2nd, 2018 Comments off

The signs the protesters are carrying speak volumes, and ought to be troubling to professionals, investors and all other thinkers too.

The economy is moving again. Hundreds of billions in capital have already poured back into the U.S. during the first quarter of 2018. But it could all be turned upside down, depending on the outcomes of the 2018 midterms. And big, “dark money” is backing efforts that led to hundreds of weekend protests that could stymie the economic recovery, and upend the progress being made for manufactured housing and investors.


The political left, centrists, and the supporters of President Donald J. Trump are making the border and immigration key issues in the approaching 2018 midterms.

Manufactured housing industry professionals know that illegal immigrants are among those who buy HUD Code manufactured homes, or even pre-HUDCode mobile homes.  

Some companies have set up special lending for those who are undocumented.

Several manufactured home producers found out the hard way that illegal immigrants are subject to arrest and deportation. MHProNews reported exclusively on a wave of ICE raids last year that impacted mostly independent producers of manufactured housing.

So immigration is a vexing, controversy-ridden hot-button issue for the industry and the nation.  

But with some of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. since federal record-keeping, recent polling indicates that the popularity of President Trump, and his economic plan are winning over Hispanics, blacks, women, and more independents. 

The coalition that former President Barack Obama and other Democrats before him organized, is being eroded. The normal playbook that progressive leaning politicos use against conservatives and the GOP in general has not worked as well against Donald Trump as it has against several others before him.


Democrats and their Supporters Are Concerned 

Chuck Todd from left-of-center NBC, whose coverage is largely anti-Trump per third party sources, said on Sunday that the president is winning. But that doesn’t mean that the left is giving up. 

Those large rallies that reportedly drew hundreds of thousands nationally didn’t spontaneously organize themselves. That many people requires planning, and money.  

Who’s behind it? 

The Daily Business News will hereby pull back the veil, so that professionals and investors can see who are the groups behind the weekend protests curtain. Their own statements will tell an important tale.



Weekend Anti-Trump Immigration Rallies  

The main rally was held in Washington, D.C., but 628 sister rallies were planned for locations in all 50 states. 

“(The) family separation crisis is not over. We have a situation where the Trump administration seems to be aiming to detain families,” said Karthik Ganapathy, a spokesman, said per USA Today.

That took place even though on June 20, President Trump signed an executive order designed to stop family separations, which were a policy used to varying degrees by Presidents Bush and Obama too.

Beyond the president’s executive order, on June 26, a federal judge in California ordered immigration authorities on the border to reunite families within 30 days. So why did the rallies occur, when the predicated reason for it the are already being addressed? 


What is MoveOn, and Where Did Their Money Come From?

Whether it’s supporting a candidate, passing legislation, or changing our culture, MoveOn members are committed to an inclusive and progressive future.” So says the MoveOn website.  

Our rapid-response organizing and campaigning, communications interventions, digital innovation, rigorous data science and testing, and culture of grassroots participation have repeatedly combined to produce real-world impact, changing outcomes and making our country better,” according to MoveOn’s about us page. 

In their short history section, MoveOn boldly states, “Since the 2016 election, we have formed a pillar of the Resistance to Trump.”

MoveOn came out big, endorsing Barack Obama before Super Tuesday in an unprecedented primary endorsement member vote,” stated MoveOn’s highlights page as of this morning.

MoveOn is strategic, and think big from the left.

In 2006, they touted their “unprecedented” mobilization efforts. “MoveOn member volunteers made 7 million phone calls, organized 7,500 house parties, and launched 6,000 in-district events.”

MoveOn led a multi-prong effort to brand the GOP as beholden to corporate special interests,” their website brags. What is interesting about that is the fact that third-party research indicates that more big corporations and big foundations are Democratic or progressive in their political and social orientation.

A list of the anti-Trump rally supporting groups involved is the weekend rallies is attached to this report, based on the organizers’ own website, and is found at this link here.  Many are reminders of a progressive organization’s “who’s who.”  

In 2016, “MoveOn Political Action is in the midst of running an unprecedented campaign to draft Senator Elizabeth Warren into the presidential race.” Warren, is the left-wing firebrand that President Trump has dubbed “Pocahontas,” for her disputed claim for having Native American ancestry.

Warren was one of the driving forces behind Dodd-Frank, which former President Barack Obama championed.

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett supported POTUS Obama’s and candidate Secretary Hillary Clinton’s position on Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The linked reports can be read later for greater insight. 

But interestingly, Warren has also come out against some of Warren Buffett’s positions, as MHProNews previously reported at this link here. Buffett supported Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2016.









Follow the Money

MoveOn was started in 1998, says FactCheck, as a defense of President Bill Clinton, who faced impeachment. Censure President Clinton and Move On to Pressing Issues Facing the Nation.”  

FactCheck is supported by the “Annenberg Public Policy Center,” and other sources.  

A major funder of MoveOn is billionaire George Soros, said FactCheck.

According to FactCheck, “Initial donors [to MoveOn] included billionaire George Soros, a major donor to liberal causes, who spent millions in 2004 trying unsuccessfully to defeat President Bush.” 

Soros has been slammed by the Hungarian government’s Prime Minister Viktor Mihály Orbán.  

Soros is a Hungarian by birth, and has supported open border policies in Europe as well as the United States. “Most recently, Soros has supported a liberal immigration policy in Europe as a response to the refugee crisis,” said the Atlantic in December of 2017. 

MoveOn’sPolitical leanings: Democratic/Liberal,” stated FactCheck.

Last year, CNN reported that Soros gave a stunning $18 billion dollars to fund organizations and causes he supports.

Per CNN, “…George Soros has moved $18 billion to his foundation — the majority of his estimated $24.6 billion fortune.”


Sunday’s Mexican Elections… 

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrado, is known by the acronym, AMLO. López has tried and failed twice before to capture México’s presidency, noted the Times of Israel.

Mexican presidential candidate and Bernie Sanders doppelganger Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) declared mass immigration to the United States a “human right@realDonaldTrump to be prescient yet again in assessing the illegal immigration issue,” said Thread Reader, just days before the 2018 election yesterday of AMLO as México’s next president. That source claims Soros and his Open Society have been among those backing AMLO.  

AMLO promised Mexicans to end corruption in their country, and double the Mexican minimum wage.

The Trump Administration is currently in the process of seeking to revamp the NAFTA trade agreement. The U.S. reportedly had a $71.1 billion in 2017, per the United States Trade Representative (

So with the election of AMLO, Mexico is apparently about to embrace policies that have tuned once more prosperous Venezuela into in a socialist basket-case economy in roughly a decade. Will the U.S. see even more border crossings in the days ahead, if the Mexican economy falters?

A 2009 Gallup poll found that 165 million globally would like to move to the United States. Those kinds of numbers would totally destabilize the U.S. and our economy.


While the humanitarian concerns are often rooted in a sincere desire to help those afflicted. But illegal immigration leads to human trafficking, rapes, avoidable deaths, and drugs smuggling into the U.S. the FAIR – the Federation for Immigration Reform, in data also cited by Wikipedia, said in Sept 2017 that “FAIR estimates the economic impact of illegal immigrants to be over $115 billion annually.” 

The president, whose own wife – First Lady Melania Trump – is an immigrant, has said repeatedly that he is for legal immigration, but is opposed to all of the woes caused by illegal immigration. MS13 and angel parents – those who have lost children to crimes committed by illegal immigrants – are frequently by the Trump Administration as reasons for his proposed $25 billion dollar border wall.


Stage Managing News to Manipulate?

Protests are routinely followed by local, regional, or national news. So when hundreds of thousands turn out, and paint the Trump Administration as evil anti-immigrant racists, it’s clearly an effort to mobilize voters, and to tug at emotional heart-strings. 

But is it working?

On June 22, UPI reported that More than half of American voters say parents are to blame when child migrants are separated from families illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a Rasmussen…”

Fundraising on the left and the right are pointing to the immigration issue. While anything can happen between now and the midterms, this is the front-and-center issue in the past few weeks.

Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”  

Lincoln, America’s 16th President, also said that America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – according to BrainyQuotes. 

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t Benedict Arnold’s at work in America. Some of those who undermine America may have been immigrants to the U.S., and can we offer  the example of billionaire MoveOn backer George Soros? “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

That’s News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing.” ©

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“I Hate Politics!” – Bedminster Watch, and Manufactured Housing Shipments

June 30th, 2018 Comments off


I hate politics,” say millions, including some industry professionals. “I hate history,” say others, who simply don’t get it. That’s music to the ears of savvy politicians, and even some businesses and investors, who know that historic insights and political influence can be worth millions to billions annually. 


That “I hate politics and history” also begs for a response, because those who loathe those two topics could legitimately benefit, given the proper understanding. 

Why do politics or history matter to manufactured housing professionals? 

For the thousands who logon daily to read MHProNews, they instinctively know that local, state or federal policies – which involves politics – are a key to unlocking hundreds of thousands of more new manufactured home sales annually.

The evidence from linked reports at the end of this column suggests that’s not hyperbole.


Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email –>

Taking the “wheat and chaff” approach to everyone, every organization or every topic is how one can learn and benefit from even controversial people or organizations.

The Daily Business News will succinctly make the point about history and politics with two controversial figures who are widely known in America and in the manufactured housing industry.  

The first is Warren Buffett. One wheat takeaway is the fact that Buffett says he spends 5 to 6 hours a day reading. Much of his reading relates to business history and politics, as that may relate to his business interests.  Buffett’s reading for understanding is what he says gives him a great advantage, one that CNBC noted that almost anyone could do too.

Be you a Donald Trump fan or not, the controversial president is likewise correct when he said that it ‘pays to know everything you can about the issues that impact your business.’  Again, that’s politics and history too. 

Two highly successful men, two distinctly different styles and politics, and both embrace political and historically significant issuesThat’s wheat. 

Be it:





   property rights,


   or a range of political or judicial issues,

politics and who sits on the bench are important topics that every prudent manufactured housing industry pro should want to know about.  

Politics and the law impacts your business daily.

Failures to engage on those issues only guarantees more of the same. For America and our industry to progress, thoughtful understanding is required.


Importance of Clear-Eyed Understanding

Often, only the history of an issue can unlock the underlying understanding necessary to advance on something critical for profitable progress. 

Once clarity exists on hot topics involving politics or history, then those insights can be more effectively and efficiently dealt with. As the best-selling  7 Habits of Highly Successful People author Stephen Covey said, one must seek first to understand, then to be understood.


All 7 habits are pillars for success, but today’s spotlight for this post is habit #5.

Once there is an underlying understanding, then that ought to be shared as needed with one’s circle of influence.

Even if clarity on an issue doesn’t yet exist, asking others you know about that topic can prove useful. That can be as easy as sending a link about an article via a message, and asking for feedback from your peers on the political, legal, or historical topic. See what they say or think. Then, whatever they say, for even further understanding, ask, help me to better understand, why do you think or say that?’


The Investment of Time

There may be a small percentage of individuals who can only spare 30 minutes in daily reading about their industry here on MHProNews. But if each post or article is carefully examined, tens of thousands could be learning more, to earn more. Each subject published is curated with the industry professional, advocates, or investor in mind.  

There are no throw away topics on, nor on Our view or understanding may evolve on an issue, but that’s also a reason why history matters. Thinkers ask, ‘why was there an evolution on that issue?’

Seeking understanding is a key that all motivated and great performers in any profession seek.


A Competitor Said  

A few weeks ago, a competitor messaged to say that while ‘onlyMHProNews is covering certain hot-button or controversial manufactured home industry issues, he said that a thousand pros are discussing those same topics.

It was a backhand compliment, as he admits he won’t touch the same issues raised on the Daily Business News or elsewhere on the industry’s largest and most popular trade media site.

But what that competitor may not realize is that it’s more than “a 1,000,” it’s thousands daily. For an industry of the modest size of manufactured housing, it’s an achievement.  But the purpose here is to support the growth of the industry, so that tens of thousands more are proudly serving well in this crucial profession.

The reason so many industry pros read here is we curate meaty, useful topics for industry professionals to chew on. Want muscle?  Get some intellectual protein here. 

Part of the proof comes from professionals who may agree or disagree on an issue, but they come daily to MHProNews either way. An industry attorney, not the one that will be quoted below, called recently to say that he realized after reading several articles on the same subject, that our motivation was sincere.  

That’s a long way to set the table for what we’re dubbing, Bedford Watch.”  But we teed it up a step-at-a-time, because we seek to engage ever more deeply with you, our readers, in a meaningful way. The goal, once more, is to fuel industry growth.  The industry’s success is our mutual victory, as the 7 Habits calls “think win-win.”


Bedford Watch

The President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump will reportedly be meeting at his Bedford, NJ property meeting with some of his short list for potential nominees for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

There are informed sources that tell the Daily Business News why they think that nominating the “right” justice could be a sea change. 

Other sources thing that one or more manufactured housing related issues will be heard by the Supreme Court in the next few years. The article linked below can be read later, for greater understanding.

Life, Liberty, Property – Supreme Court – and Manufactured Housing

Consider what Kurt Kelley, a long-time periodic contributor to MHProNews, and well-known industry attorney from Texas, had to say about the importance of the replacement of retiring Justice Anthony “Tony” Kennedy.


Kurt Kelley. Credit: MHProNews.

Predictability in law is the key to a prosperous Republic.  Laws must be interpreted based on the language in them first and foremost. Only, when the language is unclear, should a judge seek evidence on related legislative discourse and legislative intent at the time the law was passed to help interpret it.  Otherwise, law risks becoming whatever a particular Judge or powerful person/group wants it to be,” Kelley said. 

This was the consistent judicial philosophy of former Justice Antonin Scalia, and often adopted by Justice Kennedy,” Kelley noted. Note the attorney’s nuance on Kennedy?


Seeking Justices who interpret the laws based on their personal conclusion of what culture wants or what one Legislator said about a law, or what the law means in another country, results in the creation of different law created by the Judicial Branch, the branch of government neither elected by nor accountable to the people.” 

Kelly shared a recent example of a hot-button topic.  

Supreme Court “Justice Sotomayor’s recent dissenting opinion regarding the “President Trump Travel Ban” is an example of the danger of violating Scalia’s decision formula.  She [Sotomayor] based her emotional opinion on what she viewed as President Trump’s intent as evidenced by select things President Trump said while campaigning, versus what the law specifically said in plain English.  Justice Sotomayor concluded the law was a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.  However, the “Trump Travel Ban” neither states this nor is it applied in such fashion by Border Control.”

It’s a well reasoned statement intended for our publication’s audience, from a thoughtful and successful manufactured housing industry professional.  You can see the unedited comments from Kelly at the link below.

The Importance for Businesses and Investors in Manufactured Housing for Selecting the Next Supreme Court Justice

It’s an example of fine wheat that any industry pro can embrace.  


It’s a valuable principle that can be applied to anybody, or any group.

And it deals with politics and history, the latter of which is what every legal case must study.  Sometimes, by increasing one’s understanding, and embracing what one thought they hated – like politics and history – a surprising and beneficial outcome can result. 

MHProNews will continue to bring Daily Business News readers curated, thought-provoking comments, columns, and commentary that prudent professionals can benefit from. The goal remains sustainable, ethical industry growth. So stay tuned, and you can sign up for the industry’s most popular emailed headline news at the link below. That’s “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © ##   ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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