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GSE Asked: Will Manufactured Housing Overtake Conventional Homebuilding?

May 26th, 2018 No comments

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HISTORICALLY PLAGUED BY THE image of a tin box on wheels, manufactured housing finally is winning some of the mainstream acceptability that this housing segment has long sought. Today, manufactured housing—also mistakenly known as mobile homes, a colloquial but technically inaccurate name sometimes used to describe the housing product broader homeowning audience.”

–        Donald S. Bradley,

senior economist in Freddie Mac’s housing economics department.

 

It was a dramatically different time, and to be blunt, short term thinking back then in manufactured housing doubtlessly cost the industry tens of billions annually in new factory-built home sales.

The year was 1998, and the bust from the easy-credit go-go days of liar loans and questionable documentation was getting ready to bust. So, the researchers of that era did not yet know what we know today.

ManufacturedHousingIndustry1997FutureManufacturedHOusingHarvardUniversityJointCenterHousingStudies1997The chart below that reflects the nose dive in shipments from 1998 to 2009 are the only reminder that prudent, honest, long-term strategists need to realize that credit must be sustainable, or that promising future can vaporize like rainwater in the desert once the clouds pass.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

That said, the praise from third-party researchers then was plentiful. And Fannie Mae seriously asked the following question in a research document:

Will Manufactured Housing Become Housing of First Choice?

Before you think that the report and headline were a one-off, recall that Eric Belsky made the statements in the graphic shown below. He did so a few years later, knowing about the repossessions, foreclosures and the constricting of lending that were occurring by that time.

–        Harvard,

–        a GSE,

–        the Ford Foundation,

–        and others were seeing the future of American Housing as coming out of a HUD Code manufactured home factory.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

The Urban Institute, a HUD PD&R, and other reports reflect that manufactured homes (MH) can appreciate side-by-side with conventional housing. The law of supply and demand applies to MH and conventional housing too. When the GSEs, FHA, VA, USDA, and others realize that fixing appraisals through education, and leveling the playing field in lending will boost the value of the majority of manufactured homes, that in turn will fuel the financing for the millions of new manufactured homes needed in America today.

The proverbial table could be set for that type of future again, where manufactured and factory-built housing might be poised to overtake convention building, because the demand for housing is so great.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

And the gap between what site builders can do and what is needed is so wide that among the tech giants are those who believe that only factory building will accomplish the closing of the gap.

This article will only reference briefly as related reports at the end what the Urban Institute failed to note in an otherwise largely useful report that published on manufactured housing in January 2018.

But some of the takeaways found in these reports from the late 90s and early 2000s are still valid today. and ought to be required reading for industry professionals, investors, public officials, policy and housing advocates.  The research we need today is research that’s already been done, time and again.

The excuses – pardon the bluntness – that the GSEs give today find their answer in some of their own research documents from the past, along side that of other third parties that praise the manufactured housing industry’s product.

What about today?

In fact, a recent report by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) makes it clear the quality of manufactured housing is – as HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, “Amazing!” is proven by federal data that proves that only a tiny fraction of a single percent of the homes produced ever go to dispute resolution.  Keep in mind that the feds under Pam Danner’s watch at HUD started essentially advertising for complaints, because there were so few of them.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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

The extended quotes that follow are from a Ford Foundation report.  The entire document will be linked as a download at the end.

The opening quotes above are from a Freddie Mac report, which will also be linked at the end as a download.

The closing thought for this is simple.  For at least 2 decades, the manufactured housing industry has allowed itself to be defined by others.  The industry has built a fine product for decades. The foundation for having the industry defining itself has been set.

The industry has the laws that it needs, now what is needed is to see those laws be fully enforced.

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

Back then, or more recently, there are media and researchers who discover that the solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

It is up to the individual businesses, or through a collective effort, to redefine in the public mind the myths vs. the realities. Please don’t take this as hubris, but we helped set the foundation for getting to the heart of what bothers consumers, media, researchers, and others when we launched – thanks to the support of others – MHLivingNews.com.

Surprised by the Truth, While Shopping for a New Home

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When conventional housing starts dwarf manufactured housing, the industry must scratch its head, and candidly ask why? When existing home resales can’t – per the NAR’s Lawrence Yun – ever close the needs gap, manufactured housing pros and investors with guts and vision must step up and say, “We can do this.”

What is self-evident from the new home shipment levels is that the industry’s ‘leadership’ failed terribly at protecting, educating and promoting the true value of our product.

IfPrettyPicturesVideosAloneWereEnoughMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews1

We must educate ourselves, and then we must educate others. James McGee and Chet Murphree said it, ‘its all about education.’ more about the above, linked here. John Bostick said it, “Easy doesn’t pay well.”  But with discipline and grit, the difficult becomes easy, and that proven system pays very well.

  • Evidenced-based education must be first to each other as professionals.
  • Then, education must then go out to our home owners and the rest of the general public.
  • We must not fear the truth.  Our product doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be a prudent option.  Site built housing is demonstrably not perfect, ours doesn’t have to be either.
  • There has to be some bold and courageous enough to stand up in their own respective field and do what a group of communities are doing, forge a new association that will address the needs that decades of history reveal hasn’t been solved by current leadership.

The proof of our quality and the reality of what holds us back are what MHProNews and MHLivingNews, with the support of others, has been documenting for years.  Those focus group videos are evidence of what happy manufactured home owners look like.

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

The solution for the affordable housing crisis has been hiding in plain sight.

Since we’ve said those words, others in media have picked it up, time and again.  That too is part of the proof of what is needed. Honest engagement with the media, researchers, advocates, home-shoppers, and public officials.

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

These reports from third parties from the glory days not so long past point the way foreword, for those willing to make common sense changes that bring new, more profitable and sustainable results.

TheFirstStepInSolvingAProblemIsToRecognizethatItDoesExistZigZiglarDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

That said, let’s dive into the powerful opening to the Ford Foundation, in the extended quotes below.

ManufacturedHousingCommunityAssetBuildingStrategyFordFoundationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

ABSTRACT OF FINDINGS

“An increasing share of lower-income families, the same population targeted by community-development organizations, are opting to live in housing that was built off-site in a factory to meet the performance standards of the national HUD manufactured-housing code. However, most community-development practitioners are just beginning to come to terms with the implications of manufactured housing for their work.

ManufacturingTransportReportToFordFoundationManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThis paper explores advantages and disadvantages of manufactured housing for those entities whose mission is community development and asset building. Several challenges are presented for practitioners: First, working to educate consumers while also creating financing processes that ensure manufacturedhome buyers obtain credit on the best terms for which they can qualify. Second, using the increased scrutiny under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to advocate for states to enforce more rigorous installation standards and increased accountability. Third, working to overcome land-use controls which prevent manufactured homes from being placed in communities in need of affordable housing, as well as areas with more potential for appreciation. Fourth, working with designers and planners to develop innovative designs and housing developments, while maintaining manufactured housing’s affordability advantages. Finally, equal effort must be devoted to address the difficult conditions of many lower-income people—owners and renters alike—living in older, and often deteriorating, mobile homes. While a few of these families and individuals could be relocated to new and better quality homes with the help of subsidies, resource limitations suggest the need to create cost-effective methods to eliminate health and safety problems by upgrading or rehabilitating this extremely affordable element of the nation’s housing inventory.

As a companion to this paper, an exhaustive literature review has been compiled.

INTRODUCTION

There are over eight million manufactured, HUDcode homes in the United States today, representing two-thirds of affordable units added to the stock in recent years and a growing portion of all new housing. In fact, buyers of manufactured homes contributed to a substantial share of the growth in low-income home ownership evidenced in the 1990s. These statistics send a message to all who seek to promote home ownership for low-income families, as well as promote safe, affordable housing opportunities in disenfranchised communities. An increasing share of the people whom community-development organizations serve are opting to live in housing that was built offsite in a factory to meet the performance standards of the national HUD manufactured-housing code. Many community-development practitioners are just beginning to come to terms with the implications of this for their work.

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This report and the “Developing Community Assets with Manufactured Housing: Barriers and Opportunities” symposium held in Atlanta in February 2002 by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation are part of an effort to better understand the implications and opportunities of manufactured housing for the community-development field. The goal of this project is to increase education and awareness about manufactured housing among practitioners. Similar to other markets, community-based organizations have the potential to help ensure that consumers make informed choices regarding manufactured housing, and to use programmatic and policy tools to make a positive impact on communities.

To supplement the quantitative findings of research conducted by staff of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, anecdotal information was collected from the national NeighborWorks® network of nonprofit community-development organizations, and model program profiles were developed to provide a more complete picture of the opportunities and challenges of manufactured housing. In addition, focus groups with community-development practitioners, lenders, manufactured-housing retailers, homebuyer-education specialists and actual clients and consumers were convened to assess perceptions, knowledge and experience with manufactured housing. Guiding this research were questions related to the community-development field, namely, what—if anything—should community-development entities be doing about manufactured housing? How can this field begin to discern what improvements in public policy are needed and what programs might be successful?

This report provides a unique overview of manufactured housing, including a thorough analysis of historic trends, household demographics and the characteristics of manufactured stock, as well case studies that highlight innovative programs and developments. As a companion to this report, an exhaustive review of existing literature has also been summarized (beginning on page 49).

  1. MANUFACTURED HOUSING CONTINUES TO EVOLVE

What is Manufactured Housing?

Manufactured housing began as an offshoot of the recreational-vehicle industry in the 1930s, providing shelter for households with mobile lifestyles as well as temporary housing needs. Following World War II, housing shortages induced many households to turn to mobile homes for permanent shelter. Recognizing an opportunity, during the 1950s the industry began designing and constructing units intended to be permanent shelters. This development engendered some quality improvements, but industrywide standards remained uneven.

Within a few decades, concerns over the quality, durability, health and safety of manufactured homes led to federal action. In 1974 Congress passed the Federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act, which led to the creation of a national manufactured-housing code (the “HUD code”). Unlike site-built homes, modular housing and other types of factory-produced homes, which are built to a variety of state and local building codes, HUD-code manufactured homes are built to a single, national quality and safety standard. This standard is generally based on the performance of the design and materials, rather than prescribing a specific material type or dimension must be used. Therefore, HUD-code units may use engineered lumber or alternative materials not commonly permitted under local building codes.

Homes built to the HUD code are still built on a permanent chassis like mobile homes built prior to 1976, but HUD-code units are of a higher quality, safer, and more durable than earlier models. Importantly, the HUD code pre-empts state and local building regulations, allowing manufacturers to use standardized building materials and components and avoiding the delays associated with local building inspection procedures.

Because of these streamlined codes, reduced delays and other efficiencies, one of manufactured housing’s most distinctive features is its affordability. These cost advantages do not stem from inherently inferior quality standards in the HUD code as compared to site-built homes. Detailed studies by the University of Michigan and others suggest that quality differences of the local site-built codes compared to the HUD code is minimal (Warner and Johnson 1993, Gordon and Rose 1998). In fact, manufactured housing’s affordability stems largely from cost savings from production processes.

Five factors primarily drive these efficiencies:

  1. economies of scale in high-volume materials purchase,
  2. ability to better coordinate production using assembly-line techniques,
  3. a controlled environment devoid of weather or other delays,
  4. standardized design and materials, and
  5. reduced costs (primarily time) of securing approval from local code officials.

Overall these advantages can generate significant cost savings, as indicated by a recent HUD study showing that building a 2,000-square-foot manufactured unit costs just 61 percent as much as a comparable sitebuilt home (HUD 1998)…”

— end of extended quotes —

UnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouvePlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Freddie Mac Report on Manufactured Housing Poised to Overtake Conventional Housing, download linked here.

Report to the Ford Foundation, download linked here.

DontGetCookedInASquatZigZiglarManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryDont-LetOthersSelfLimitYouByActionInactionThinkingMHPro

Let’s not let self-limiting thinking rob us, and the nation, of what could be a much brighter, richer future for all. The report linked below demonstrates how our industry could help grow the economy by some two trillion dollars annually.

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

Make no mistake.  The headline question is why Warren Buffett and other billionaires and multi-billion dollar operations are in this industry.

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Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

HUD’s New Man, Officials Statements, with Insider Info Beyond the Media Releases

May 24th, 2018 No comments

HUDsNewManBrianMontgomeryManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

HUD has a new man in a significant role at HUD. We will get into the various “official” statements about Brian Montgomery. But we begin with a backgrounder.

 

Mr. Montgomery has a track record, and the question industry professionals must answer is simple. Will he operate as he did during his time in the Bush era and first few months of the Obama Administration? Or will he operate more akin to what the Trump Administration standards are?

Those are multi-billion-dollars-a-year questions for the independent businesses in manufactured housing.  It is also potentially a multiple-trillion-dollar economic growth opportunity for the Trump Administration, if Mr. Montgomery does his job properly.

BrianMontgomeryHUDManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessnewsMHproNews

The answer to those questions will determine who will replace Pam Danner in her former role as administrator over the HUD Code Manufactured Housing Program.

The answer to those questions will determine if HUD finally implements a robust use of FHA lending, removing the problematic Title 1 “10-10” rule.

The answer to those questions would lead to sound cost-benefit analysis of all regulations, contracts and procedures.

And of course the all-important enhanced preemption that could unlock billions for the industry, and an estimated $2 trillion dollars in U.S. economic growth potential.

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

 

Insider Info, Setting the Table

A federal official told MHProNews that it is useful to understand the true nature of how the federal government has operated for decades.

Think of Washington like a huge till that lobbyists, businesses, and organizations seek to ‘legally’ take money — all at taxpayer expense.

D.C. operates like a cash register that once unlocked, can yield significant-to-huge payoffs to those who gain access.

BrianMontgomeryCashRegisterManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

That’s why lobbying exists.

That said, when MHI is championing someone –

– is that person supported by MHI one to watch more closely? Or is MHI supporting someone to curry favor with Montgomery, because he is the president’s pick, and a foregone conclusion?

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has remained silent on this matter. Perhaps they are taking a wait and see position on Montgomery?

Keep in mind that MHI’s most prominent puppet-masters are the Berkshire Hathaway owned brands. Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett made it no secret about the fact that he strongly opposed the Donald J. Trump candidacy, while publicly supporting Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Based upon her own pledges, Ms. Clinton would not have supported measures such as S 2155.

We can editorially agree with Buffett and his vice-chairman, Charlie Munger on a few key points. Reading – not skimming – is necessary to understanding. The lessons of history are not to be overlooked. One must deeply ponder not just words, but deeds.

Ironically, the Buffett-Munger view on reading deeply is similar to a Donald Trump maxim. The 45th president believes that it pays to know as much as you can about something that impacts your business.

After a decade of failed Arlington ‘leadership,’ the industry can’t afford to leave this issue to chance.

  • If Montgomery operates in a Trumpian fashion of no-unnecessary regulations, and
  • if he will boost the industry’s access to credit independent of Berkshire Hathaway brands, terrific.
  • But if not, then it is crucial that his actions be monitored.  In that scenario, Secretary Carson, and the White House will need to be alerted.
  • Pam Danner found implicit, de facto support from MHI team members, per our sources inside and outside of MHI. Danner got that support from MHI team members before she took the role.

MHI’s prior statements on Montgomery are found as a download, linked here.  Always be mindful of the above as you read this or any other MHI statement.  Keep in mind the Marty Lavin maxims: pay more attention to what people do than what they say, and follow the money.

Be mindful to that forwarding or posting correct information is useful to others. By contrast, anyone can forward an email or post a link about an undigested narrative. A proper analysis requires a range of insights and inputs, one that separates the wheat from the chaff.

Stating the obvious, the Washington, D.C. swamp is complex. Montgomery’s appointment could work out fine, or it could be problematic. Time will tell.

But the good news is that President Trump has shown his willingness and ability to pivot on an appointment that is not working out for his agenda to grow business, jobs, and raise the standard of living for millions of Americans of all backgrounds.

Dr_Ben_Carson__wikipedia

Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

Secretary Carson has called the regulations under Danner’s term over the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) “ridiculous.”  If Secretary Carson and the Trump administration work closely with Montgomery so that the president’s agenda is carried out, then this could be a positive.  Again, time alone will tell.

Unlocking the full power of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act, especially enhanced preemption, could create millions of new affordable homeowners while reducing federal housing subsidies over time.  So, the Montgomery appointment must be carefully monitored.

 

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

Clues to watch? 

If Montgomery removes the onerous “Ten-Ten” rule over FHA Title 1 chattel lending, that would be a good sign that he is not under the undue influence of Berkshire Hathaway brands.

Another will be who Montgomery and Secretary Carson appoint to fill the Danner vacancy.

If Montgomery – who will be more hands-on over the manufactured housing program and FHA loans than Secretary Carson – “enforces the law” and promotes businesses and jobs, per the Trump Administration mantra, then this will be an appointment to be celebrated. But that must be based upon deeds, not promises. We don’t need another four years of the debatably disastrous Pam Danner style era.

With that backdrop, what follows below is the formal release from HUD to the Daily Business News.

 

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

SENATE CONFIRMS BRIAN MONTGOMERY TO LEAD FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION

WASHINGTON – By a vote of 74-23, the U.S. Senate today confirmed President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of Brian D. Montgomery to serve as Assistant Secretary of Housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Montgomery’s confirmation marks his second term as Assistant Secretary for Housing and FHA Commissioner at HUD.  He previously held the job under President George W. Bush, staying on for six months after President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Brian brings a wealth of housing knowledge and experience to HUD having held this position in two previous administrations, and we are excited to welcome him back to the Agency,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.  “FHA’s work is critical to HUD’s mission of advancing sustainable homeownership opportunities and quality affordable housing for all Americans.  Brian understands this better than anyone and will be ready on day one to address the challenges of today’s housing market.”

I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve with Secretary Carson and the team at HUD to further equal access to affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities and seek solutions to restore vitality to the housing market,” Montgomery said.

In addition to previously serving in the position, Montgomery has also held several other top positions throughout the government and housing industry, including Co-founder and Partner at the Collingwood Group, Deputy Assistant to the President from 2001 to 2003 including service as Secretary to the Cabinet from 2003 to 2005, and Board Member on the Federal Housing Finance Board, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 Oversight Board, and NeighborWorks America Board.

Montgomery was nominated by President Trump on September 12, 2017. Today’s full Senate vote comes six months after the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee approved Montgomery’s nomination. The full text of his congressional testimony can be found here[1] ###

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Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

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Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

HUD and Census Bureau Report, New Housing Sales, April 2018

May 24th, 2018 No comments

HUDCensusBureauReportsApril2018ResidentialHousingManufacturedHomeDailyBUisnessNewsMHproNews

WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential sales statistics for April 2018,” said the joint release to the Daily Business News.  

 

New Home Sales 

Sales of new single-family [conventional] houses in April 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 662,000. This is 1.5 percent (±11.8 percent)* below the revised March rate of 672,000 but is 11.6 percent (±23.7 percent)* above the April 2017 estimate of 593,000,” per their statement.

 NewResidentialHomeSalesApril2018HDCensusBureauManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Sales Price

The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2018 was $312,400. The average sales price was $407,300.  The trend lines are as shown. 

Those prices included the land.

 TrendLinesNewResidentialHomeSalesApril2018HDCensusBureauManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

For Sale Inventory and Months’ Supply

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 300,000. This represents a supply of 5.4 months at the current sales rate,” the two federal agencies said.

 

CurrentManufacturedHousingSalesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

For whatever reasons, the residential housing sales data is not paired by the two agencies with manufactured housing data. The charts above are being provided by MHProNews for ease of reference by industry professionals.

The monthly housing report is distinct from the manufactured housing shipments data. 

2017AverageSalesPricesNewManufacturedHomesByRegionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipments, Housing Production – March 2018 Data

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S. 2155 “House Passes Most Significant Pro-Growth Financial Regulatory Reform in Generation”

May 22nd, 2018 No comments

S2155PassedHousepassesFinancialServicesManufacturedHousihngIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Today, the House of Representatives voted 258-159 to pass the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which represents the most significant pro-growth financial regulatory reform package since the passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley nearly a generation ago,” said the House Financial Services Committee Chairman in a statement to MHProNews.

Jeb_Hensarling wikipedia

Jeb Hensarling, House Financial Services Committee Chairman. credit, Wikipedia.

For far too long, far too many people in our country have struggled to make ends meet. They’ve struggled to buy a car; they’ve struggled to buy a home; they’ve struggled for their version of the American Dream. Why is this happening? Because Main Street banks and credit unions that Americans depend on have been stifled by the weight, load, volume, complexity and cost of heavy Washington bureaucratic red tape which has prevented them from serving their communities. But today, that changes,” said Chairman Hensarling.

Although we didn’t have a formal conference with the Senate, I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to build on the progress we achieved here today with an additional package of bipartisan pro-growth capital formation provisions that the House and Senate will vote on soon,” concluded Hensarling.

Approximately half of the bill – including ¾ of the regulatory relief provisions and nearly 90% of the capital formation provisions – originated in the House of Representatives,” said the Financial Services Committee release to the Daily Business News.

“Gramm-Leach-Bliley co-author Senator Phil Gramm said, “The oppressive regulatory burden of the Obama-era forced community financial institutions to spend capital on compliance officers instead of loan officers and the economy suffered. Thanks in large part to Chairman Jeb Hensarling, that is about to change. The passage of S.2155 represents the most significant pro-growth financial legislation since the Congress adopted the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999.  The bill is a major step toward allowing the banking system to serve the needs of American business and American families instead of the political designs of the government.  If the Senate will now adopt the additional regulatory relief provisions that the House has adopted overwhelmingly, Congress will have taken a vital step toward bringing back the 3% growth rate that, prior to the Obama era, had been part of America’s birthright.”

Text from a number of House-originated provisions is included in S. 2155:

  • H.R. 2226, the “Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act,” sponsored by Representative Andy Barr (R-KY).
  • H.R. 2255, the “Housing Opportunities Made Easier (HOME) Act,” sponsored by Representative David Trott (R-MI).
  • H.R. 2954, the “Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act,” sponsored by Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN).
  • H.R. 389, the “Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act,” sponsored by Representative Ed Royce (R-CA).
  • H.R. 2948, the “S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act,” sponsored by Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH).
  • H.R. 1699, the “Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Andy Barr (R-KY).
  • H.R. 3971, the “Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
  • H.R. 2403, the “Keeping Capital for Local Underserved Communities Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI).
  • H.R. 3093, the “Investor Clarity and Bank Parity Act,” sponsored by Representative Michael Capuano (D-MA).
  • H.R. 4725, the “Community Bank Reporting Relief Act,” sponsored by Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL).
  • H.R. 1426, the “Federal Savings Association Charter Flexibility Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Keith Rothfus (R-PA).
  • H.R. 4771, the “Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act of 2018,” sponsored by Representative Mia Love (R-UT).
  • H.R. 5076, the “Small Bank Exam Cycle Improvement Act of 2018,” sponsored by Representative Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
  • H.R. 1457, the “MOBILE Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO).
  • H.R. 2148, the “Clarifying Commercial Real Estate Loans Act,” sponsored by Representative Robert Pittenger (R-NC).
  • H.R. 2683, the “Protecting Veterans Credit Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative John Delaney (D-MD).
  • H.R. 3758, the “Senior Safe Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
  • H.R. 4258, the “Family Self Sufficiency Act,” sponsored by Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI).
  • H.R. 898, the “Credit Score Competition Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Ed Royce (R-CA).
  • H.R. 2121, the “Pension, Endowment, and Mutual Fund Access to Banking Act,” sponsored by Representative Keith Rothfus (R-PA).
  • H.R. 1624, the “Municipal Finance Support Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Luke Messer (R-IN).
  • H.R. 4546, the “National Securities Exchange Regulatory Parity Act,” sponsored by Representative Ed Royce (R-CA).
  • H.R. 1312, the “Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement Act,” sponsored by Representative Bruce Poliquin (R-ME).
  • H.R. 1219, the “Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC).
  • H.R. 1257, the “Securities and Exchange Commission Overpayment Credit Act,” sponsored by Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY).
  • H.R. 1366, the “U.S. Territories Investor Protection Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).
  • H.R. 1343, the “Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL).
  • H.R. 2864, the “Improving Access to Capital Act,” sponsored by Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
  • H.R. 4279, the “Expanding Investment Opportunities Act,” sponsored by Representative Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN).
  • H.R. 3221, the “Securing Access to Affordable Mortgages Act,” sponsored by Representative David Kustoff (R-TN).
  • H.R. 4790, the “Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act,” sponsored by Representative French Hill (R-AR).
  • H.R. 4028, the “PROTECT Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC).
  • H.R. 385, a bill to amend the Expedited Funds Availability Act to clarify the application of that Act to American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands, sponsored by Representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS).

S2155ManufacturedHousingEconomicGrowthRegulatoryReliefConsumerProtectionActBackStoryMastheadMHProNews-575x284 (1)

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“Political Necrophilia,” Tragedy in SloMo, Southern Economic Political Lessons for Looming U.S. Midterms

May 17th, 2018 No comments

VenezuelaPoliticalNecrophiliaSocialismTragedySoutherEconomicPoliticalLessonsLoomingUSMidterms

“...Trade Minister Moises Naim said the pages of history books are filled with people hanging on to dead ideas. Naim, who created a highly critical TV miniseries about Chavez that was banned in Venezuela, calls it “political necrophilia,” per Yahoo News in their latest in a periodic series of reports on the socialist meltdown in that once thriving South American land.

 

Venezuelans are doing a good job collapsing their own oil economy,” said Blood Profits author Vanessa Neumann, who spoke with Fox Business on Trump administration plans to impose new sanctions on individual Venezuelans.

Neumann explained that while specific people are being sanctioned, the U.S. government is taking pains not to do something that doesn’t make that nation’s self-implosion worse.  The Trump Administration doesn’t want to “own” what is taking place there.

 

 

The truth is that the [socialist] revolution is a nightmare,” carpenter Luis Sosa, 36, said per Yahoo.  Sosa is in a noisy backstreet workshop, refurbishing the wood of a sofa with bright pink spray paint. “In clean elections, the government would lose.”

 

VenezuleaTodosEsPosibleJuntosAPYahooDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Part of the essence of propaganda is to keep repeating a lie, over and over again. But sometimes, over time, the true nature of the lie becomes evident.

The YouTube page for the BBC video below said, “They are just some of the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who have fled their country amid hunger as hyperinflation has created a humanitarian crisis on both sides of the border,” said the BBC’s Katy Watson.  Watson spoke with some of those fleeting that desperate nation in the under 2 minute video that follows.

 

Why This Matters to MHVille

It is not just housing that is in crisis in an oil-rich, but economically and politically starved nation.

Almost everything is in meltdown.

For those who believe that socialism creates a utopia with saints, note that “Blood Profits author Neumann said that corruption and crime are rampant there.

Why does this matter to manufactured housing professionals and investors, living safely in the U.S.A.?

First, it is a humanitarian tragedy in our own hemisphere.  It has and will impact the U.S. in various ways.

Next, as more Millennials and other Americans embrace the theoretical notion of socialism, there is a living, breathing – or dying? – example of the reality of socialism revealed in these video glimpses into the horror there.  Millions are or have eaten their pets, vermin, or are scraping for food amidst the uncollected trash.

Third, when you see in an upcoming MHProNews special report what a leftist group active in MHVille is pushing for, remember the reality of Venezuela. Recall that they were relatively prosperous before socialists came to power.

Fourth, with the U.S. midterms only a handful of months away, discern if candidates you’re considering – are they among the open or closet socialists here?

If so, do you want to vote into power those who promise what no socialist in history has ever delivered?  Recall what MHI award-winner Marty Lavin had to say in “Not Enough Hunger.”

Not Enough Hunger

As we pray for the people of Venezuela, pray for an awakening among those here in the U.S. and around the world who want a falsely promised socialist paradise. As Trade Minister Moises Naim said, it is debatably an economic and “Political Necrophilia.”

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Related Reports:

Hold Your Wallet, More Democrats Openly Embrace Socialism, Plus MH Market Updates

“Death by Government,” Fascism, Communism, Socialism, ‘Big Brother,’ per Williams, Rummel and Owens

Troubling New Study Reveals a Millennial Trend, Business, Economic, Political Impact 

Trump Administration and the Manufactured Housing Industry

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Ben Shapiro Nails It on Taxes, Regulations, and Affordable Housing – Under 2 Minute Video Must View for MH Industry Pros

May 16th, 2018 No comments

BenShapiroTaxesRegulationsAffordazbleHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Ben Shapiro is a renowned conservative political pundit, syndicated columnist, lawyer, and NYT bestselling author. He is Editor-in-Chief of news and opinion site The Daily Wire and host of the popular video podcast, The Ben Shapiro Show,” says his YouTube page.

 

Fox News has called Shapiro “a leading millennial conservative.”

In the under-two minute video clip below, Shapiro joined Fox & Friends to discuss the new “head tax” in Seattle.  In it, he rapidly lays out the case that should have affordable housing advocates – including manufactured home professionals – on the edge of their seats, with note pad in hand.

Shapiro says that high demand, and over-regulations on developing are part of what’s fueling soaring housing costs.

A profile video on the fast-talking attorney is below.  Shapiro’s approximately 100 million page views a month Daily Wire is roughly 30 times more than what Webalizer says industry-leading MHProNews traffic is. He clearly must have something to say that people want to read and hear.

While the evidence-and-logic focused attorney doesn’t mention any specific kind of housing in the first video, common-sense suggests that the modern manufactured homes that HUD Secretary Ben Carson called “amazing” in recent Senate testimony are an important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis.  You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to realize that almost everything we use comes from a production center.

The logic of factory-based home building is proven, and necessary.

Affordable housing is a non-partisan issue, as Danny Ghorbani – an engineer and the retired founding president of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – has often said.

With this more business-friendly regulatory environment under the Trump Administration, the time is now to promote a better understanding of the factors that fuel economic growth.

Lower taxes, less and more common-sense regulations, are spurring the economy.

The Treasury took in a record amount of taxes last month, even though there’s been a big tax cut.  The formula that the Daily Business News has noted worked for Democratic President John F. Kennedy and Republican President Ronald Reagan, is also working for pragmatic President Donald J. Trump.

If the industry can cut through the D.C. noise, and get HUD and FHFA to enforce existing laws, the result will be a revival of manufactured housing (see related reports, below).  Thus private enterprise – in the form of routinely unsubsidized manufactured homes, as Secretary Carson said – can be an important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis.

On a closing note regarding Shapiro.

BenShapiroJDDailyWireWikipediaManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Note that “progressive” (read, Democratic) Jeff Bezos led Amazon, and equally progressive led Starbucks are among those hollering the loudest about the new Seattle head-tax.  Doesn’t Amazon’s threat to not build there make the point that higher taxes harm an economy?

Issues of taxation and regulation, as MHProNews has said for years, can be summed up like this.  The power to tax or regulate is the power to destroy. Manufactured home industry professionals, investors and advocates need to see the reality of that logic.  It is up to professionals to point to events both past and present that prove that to be so. We must personally take those proven principles, and make that case with your circle of influence, in the marketplace, and at the ballot box. ## (News, profile, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

Seattle’s Assault on Amazon, Bigger Businesses Passes Affordable Housing Tax, Plus MH Market Updates

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21% of Americans have no Retirement Savings, and Manufactured Housing

May 15th, 2018 No comments

21PercentAmericansNoRetirementSavingsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

The historic claim-to-fame for millions of Americans with respect to manufactured homes was that they were a great way to start out home ownership for singles and younger families.  The other large group of manufactured home owners traditionally has been those approaching retirement, or who are already retired.

 

A recent report by Fox Business spotlighted a Northwestern Mutual study that stated:

  • Americans feel underprepared for retirement, according to their new data.
  • Northwestern Mutual found one in five Americans (21%) have no retirement savings at all.
  • Nearly two thirds of people with a savings account or plan are certain their money will run out sooner than they hope, “which would leave them, aside from Social Security, penniless.”
  • According to baby boomers polled, one in three have $25,000 or less in their retirement saving accounts. So, as a result, many consider extending their retirement date.
  • The financial services provider predicts 38% of Americans will retire at age 70 or older, compared with 33% at the more traditional range of 65 to 69.

Continuing to work later in life should be a personal choice not a mandatory requirement for survival,” Rebekah Barsch, vice president of planning at Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement, adding that proactive financial planning can be the difference between “a desired and a default retirement lifestyle.”

This dovetails with our recent post by small business author and talk show professional, Tom Egelhoff.  He said that a dozen years ago, they decided to sell their conventional home, and move into a manufactured home in a land-lease community.

Talk Radio “Open for Business Host” Tom Egelhoff Sounds Off On “MOBILE HOMES” as “AFFORDABLE HOUSING ANSWER”

Award winning retailer Stan Dye said that about half of their customers are over 50, and have previously owned a site-built home.

A Foremost Insurance survey of some 10,000 manufactured home owners stated that 41 percent of those manufactured home owners were over 50.

Foremost Report: Manufactured Home Customer Survey and Market Facts

 

AARP and Manufactured Housing

As we double check data for a report, a now-dated 2007 study by American Association of Retired Pesons (AARP) claimed that “Approximately 3.3 million (48 percent) of manufactured homes occupied as a primary residence were owned or rented by a person age 50 or older. Around 44 percent of manufactured homeowners age 50 and older reside in a manufactured home park.”

AARP’s 2017-2018 policy report, with respect to manufactured housing, said in part:

Housing affordability — “manufactured housing plays a critical role in serving the housing needs of older Americans. Without this option, many would find it difficult to afford housing. Sixty percent of people age 50 and over living in manufactured homes have low incomes, although they typically receive no direct housing subsidy.”

So far, so good.

But then come a series of AARP caveats.

Among those voiced by the giant association are concerns over utilities, maintenance, and updates to the standards called upon by the 2000 reforms, but which they say have not yet been implemented.

There are several technical points the AARP’s policy statement could use some updates on.  With some 38 million members, there is a huge market with those well organized advocates.

Then, there is this extended quote from AARP.

Issues facing owners of manufactured housing units — “owners of manufactured housing face several issues that do not affect conventional housing. Manufactured housing unit owners often do not own the underlying land and may therefore have to move when the land is sold or changes uses. Residents sometimes fear retaliation from community owners for attempting to form resident associations in states that have minimal protections for unit owners, as doing so can include eviction. Community or land owners have other leverage over unit owners. They can deny a potential buyer the right to keep a home in its location. This lack of protection limits unit owners in their ability to exercise control over their homes.”

Place yourself in the mind of an AARP member reading that statement.  Wouldn’t it slow down – or perhaps even halt your interest – in owning a manufactured home?

It is these types of underlying issues – ones that the vast majority of busy, front-line manufactured housing professionals – may not realize are out there, much less stop and consider.

In working on our consulting side with retailers and communities who sell homes, careful follow up calls to those prospects who visited a sales center, but didn’t buy, often reveal these kinds of concerns that kept someone from buying.

The tragedy for all concerned is that each of these concerns the AARP or others have voiced have real-world replies and resolutions for home seekers.

When the industry’s members, owners and executives are asking themselves why the industry is at a relatively low ebb, cautionary admonitions from AARP and others must be kept in mind.

The solution?

A proper engagement with AARP and others who post such notices to members.  That engagement could come from a post-production association or advocacy group, that represent retailers and communities that have specific standards which address the AARP’s various points.

It could go a long way to resolving these and other concerns. The result?  Potentially millions of more Americans who would give manufactured homes a good look, and that would result in more manufactured home sales.  ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

 

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Home Group Commissions YouGov Study, Most Don’t Understand Modular Homes

May 10th, 2018 Comments off

HomeGroupYouGovMostDontUnderstandModularHomesManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Home Group, one of the UK’s largest providers of homes for sale and affordable rent, has reported that 52% of individuals would be unlikely to live in a modular home, yet almost 90% failed to identify a modern modular product,” the operation said in a statement in their news blog.

The British company uses the King’s – err, now the Queen’s – English, so some of the spelling is a bit different there than on this side of the Atlantic.

Almost 90% of respondents failed to recognise that this home, by ilke Homes, was modular. Yet over 70% identified shipping container homes as modular homes.”

The research, carried out on behalf of Home Group by YouGov, found that more than half of those surveyed would not choose modular, and 41% believe that modular homes are less durable than conventionally built homes,” Home Group’s statement said.

As if to make their point about most don’t understand the product, another U.K. based publication showed a photo of a single section American HUD Code manufactured home, instead of a British modular home, as in the photo at the top of this post.  The errant Showhouse photo, reporting on this exact same YouGove survey, is below.

ShowcaseManufactueredModularHousingImageHUDWikidpeidaManufacturedHousingDailyBuisnessNewsMHproNews

The YouGov research found that, “using a selection of images from which respondents could identify modular homes, many identified the two container home images as modular (75% and 78% respectively), whereas only 11% identified today’s product as a modular home.”

Brian Ham, executive director of development, for the Home Group said, “If we are to respond to the ongoing housing crisis we need to find new and innovative ways of tackling the issue, and modular homes, as well as wider modern methods of construction, including volumetric products, will allow us to deliver homes more efficiently.”

The YouGov survey was based upon a sampling of over 2000 adults in England, using images online.

Councillor Malcolm Brain, a Cabinet Member for Housing, Gateshead Council said: “We welcome this project to build around 40 new homes, many of which are being built using modern methods of construction, for affordable rent in Gateshead – especially at a time when affordable housing is a big issue.  Modular housing has huge potential to speed up the delivery of new homes and we look forward to showcasing the best designs here in Gateshead.”

Per their website, Home Group describes itself this way. “We are a social enterprise and a charity with a turnover of over £350m and one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and integrated housing, health and social care.”

What would a similar survey of adults reveal about the public’s understanding of HUD Code manufactured homes, or modular homes reveal?

It should be noted that British media has reported on American manufactured homes numerous times, and often in less than a glowing light.  That may explain in part why Brits don’t recognize a modular home. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Coldwater, Tall Grass, P&Z Battles, Manufactured Home Community Plan OK’d – Manufactured Housing and the Don Westphal Back Story

May 10th, 2018 Comments off

ColdwaterTallGrassP&ZBattlesManufacturedHomeCommunityPlanOKdManufacturedHousingDonWestphalBackstoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Coldwater Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the City Council approve rezoning 20.6 acres from the township R-3 to the city’s AA — Agriculture Residential – for a 102 lot manufactured home subdivision,” said the Daily Reporter.

Leading the charge was Don Westphal.

DonWestphalHeadDailyReporterFarrelRoehTallGrassManufacturedHomeCommunityColdwaterMIDailyBusinessNwesMHProNewsThe petitioners from Farrell-Roeh of Littleton, Colorado want to rezone the land from Coldwater Township R-3 Medium Density Residential Zoning to City of Coldwater Double-A One Family Agricultural Residential Zoning,” said WTVBAM.

Planner Dean Walrack said this was the only match between land zoning categories that the township had zoned and put on its master plan for the manufacture[d] homes,” wrote Don Reid for the Daily Reporter.

This planning and zoning skirmish was done, but it was just one of many for Westphal.

I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape architecture from Michigan State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Illinois,” Westphal told MHProNews.

DonWestphalDailyReporterFarrelRoehTallGrassManufacturedHomeCommunityColdwaterMIDailyBusinessNwesMHProNews

I was accepted into Graduate School late in the spring of 1963 and was unable to find suitable married housing. We purchased a 36X8′ Brentwood mobile home in Muskegon Michigan, welded a hitch on a farm semi and towed it to the Glover Street Trailer Park in Urbana, Illinois. Our little home was perfect for students, but the 17 site trailer park was less than ideal. Rent then was $25.00 per month, and we ended up not having to pay the site fee, in exchange for keeping the washer and dryer in the laundry building clean and placing the mail in each mail slot daily,” Westphal said.

The well-known and award-winning Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member explained how he got into the industry.

While doing some research for a term paper on mobile homes, I found references to the Mobile Homes Manufacturers Association in Chicago and paid them a visit. I met Dick Beitler and Herb Behrend there and was hired as one of two consultants to their Land Development Division which was offering site planning services to developers as a way to improve the design of mobile home parks,” Westphal said.

The industry was trying to improve its image way back in the 60’s. I ended up writing my master’s thesis on Manufactured Housing and as they say, “the rest is history.” I continued as a consultant to MHMA designing communities for several years and taught sessions on planning at several MHMA Site Development Seminars in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Interestingly, Danny Ghorbani joined the staff at MHMA a year or two after I started consulting with MHMA,” Westphal stated to MHProNews. 

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

Ghorbani is an engineer by training, who worked for the precursor to what today is called the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

The award-winning Ghorbani later left MHI, and working with independent producers, founded the association that is known today as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

He retired a few years ago, but is still an advisor to MHARR.  Ghorbani himself was involved in community planning.

 

TallGrassColdwaterMISatViewManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Google street and satellite views can become dated, as is the case above. But this reflects how Tall Grass had vacancies before, which have since been occupied by new manufactured homes being brought into the land-lease community. Per the reports, most of those have been for rental housing purposes. The view above tells part of the tale that local media mentioned.

It’s all part of the backstory to the Tall Grass expansion approval, in Coldwater, MI.

 

Coldwater’s Tall Grass – Step Back, Regroup

A previous proposal to develop 9.6 acres was rejected by the planning commission at which point the developers increased the size to move forward. Donald C. Westphal, a partner and designer who lives in a similar development at Grass Lake, said the units “look like regular housing,” wrote Reid.

There are no single wide units but all will be at least 1,568 square foot homes and can be built with two car garages,” said Reid. “There are no basements but “are built solid, modern designs,” per his report in the local paper.

 

 

He [Westphal] explained the homes would be owned by purchasers and placed on leased lots which are a minimum 5,000 square feet. Larry Nelson, from Farrell- Roeh company of Colorado, said as a husband and wife team, they purchased the Tall Grass park for $2.852 million in May 2014 from bankruptcy court. They spent or will spend, by the end of the year, another $480,000 in upgrades and improvements,” per the Daily Reporter.

TallGrassColdwaterMIManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Michigan is one of the states where manufactured housing has been heating up in recent years. It is known for a number of more residential style land-lease communities, such as Tall Grass.

The Colorado-based company has 11 similar properties, many in the Midwest, with the Reid adding, “The developers bought two parcels totaling 20.6 acres for $203,324 and will invest another $2.3 million to develop the 102 lots.”

But as hundreds of industry professionals who’ve sat in such meetings know, there is routinely push-back from locals.

This Coldwater case was no exception.

 

MHC Rentals

Melvetta Swick told the commission she was upset because “riff raff” from Tall Grass had thrown trash from around dumpsters, which she claimed ended up in her yard. In response, Nelson promised to increase the size of the dumpsters and monitor that concern. He explained there is a strict policy of who can buy; monitored by a committee as well as background checks completed.

Nelson also said that even when homes are rented, “renters are qualified.”

When Farrell-Roeh took over Tall Grass there were only 177 occupied lots.  The satellite view reflects vacancies.  That occupancy increased to 226, in a year or 95 percent of physical capacity. He explained that the company has averaged 6.4 evictions for the last three years.

As MHProNews has previously reported, many firms are buying new manufactured homes for rental purposes. Farrell-Roeh has done so too at Tall Grass, reportedly purchasing 94 new manufactured homes.  Those are provided on a two year lease.

Counting the homes, there has been a total investment since Farrell-Roeh’s purchase of $6.8 million.

Westphal stated that for security reasons, there will be only one entrance to the entire development. The community will have planted screening from Garfield.

The site plan was approved, subject to the City Council approval of rezoning and adoption of certain local standards, including storm water retention requirements.

A previous proposal to develop 9.6 acres was rejected by the planning commission at which point the developers increased the size to move forward. Westphal, a partner and designer who lives in a similar development at Grass Lake, said the units “look like regular housing,” according to Reid.

There are no single wide units but all will be at least 1,568 square foot homes and can be built with two car garages. There are no basements but “are built solid, modern designs.”

 

More from the Don…

Westphal told MHProNews in an interview linked here that, “For years I have said that the Manufactured Housing Industry has succeeded in spite of itself. Fragmentation of the industry segments has resulted in a serious lack of consumer confidence. Many in the industry have neglected the needs of our customers who could ultimately be our best salespersons. Too many of us blame government or our regulators for the sorry state of the industry. I believe that if the industry spent more of its resources in conveying the value of our product to the public and taking care of our customers, we would have a base of support that would help us to overcome the regulatory and finance issues we face today. Think about it, potentially 20,000,000 sales people for our products and way of life.”

As the quotes above indicate, Westphal is well acquainted with planning and zoning, design and more.

Attractive Garage Additions for Manufactured Homes – Do It Right

There is plenty to unpack from each of these P&Z – planning and zoning – stories from across the country.  But a common thread is that there is resistance, at least initially, that must be overcome.

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

There is also a reason to wonder why, if the homes planned for this project look residential, then what is the purpose behind MHI’s so-called “new class of homes” that they’ve been promoting for about 2 years?

Another point this case makes is that rentals are a big part of what’s driving occupancy in dozens and dozens of manufactured home communities nationally. What that implies is that there are more rentals than homes being sold at retail being shipped into properties.

Each of these are warning signs for forward thinkers, but they are also opportunities in disguise.

Until the root or foundational issues are addressed, the problem of NIMBY can be expected to continue.  Westphal’s comments, linked above on what’s necessary to advance the industry, suggest parallel issues to consider.  “We Provide, You Decide.”  ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform Demands Clarification on “New Class” of HUD Code Manufactured Home

 

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Manufactured Home Nonprofit Affordable Housing Initiative Brings Joy, But Hits Wall

May 8th, 2018 Comments off

MelissaLugoLowCostHighQualityManufacturedHousingLoHUDCortlandNYManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMelissa Lugo thought owning a home “was just not feasible, being a single mom with two kids,” says the Cortland, NY LoHud. She’s a 34 year old New York City school teacher, and grew up in this town north of the Big Apple.

 

In 2017, she applied for every home on Westchester County, NY’s affordable housing website, in an effort to make that dream her own. After 51 weeks of documents, calls, and meetings, she closed on her new manufactured home on April 17, 2018.

Having our own space means everything to us. It’s about establishing ourselves,” said Lugo, about their new three-bedroom, two-bath home.  Lugo, and her children — 11-year-old Mat and 10-year-old Mia — said, “Everyone has an individual space, and everyone feels at home.”

She paid $249,000 for the house, which is reportedly some 35 percent less than Zillow’s area median home value, of $381,124. The non-profit Community Housing Innovations (CHI) made the purchase possible.

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andreaHaughtonCommunityHousingInnovationsIncCHICortlandWestchesterNYDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAccording to their website, “Founded in 1991, CHI serves Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, and Orange counties located in New York. According to Director of Homeownership Andrea Haughton, a nonprofit like this is necessary due to the rising cost of homes, the lack of available housing, and the increase in homeless working families.”

We provide quality and affordable housing to all,” Haughton says, and “a personalized service for any individual who is seeking housing from a homeless individual to a first-time homebuyer.

Unfortunately, Lugo is one of only two beneficiaries of the plan: mounting challenges, including finding suitable parcels and zoning restrictions, caused the nonprofit to discontinue the nascent effort,” writes Akiko Matsuda for LoHud.

Glowing Praise for Modern Manufactured Homes

AlecAlexanderHRobertsExecutiveDiectorCHICommunityHousingInnovationsWestchesterNYDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAlec Roberts, executive director of the nonprofit, said manufactured homes, which are built in a factory and shipped to a site versus being stick built on site, can help with the exorbitant cost of developing affordable housing for working-class families in Westchester,” wrote Matsuda.

To build affordable rental apartments, for example.

Roberts said that it would cost more than $400,000 per each apartment unit in his area.  Of that, $250,000 includes federal, state and local taxpayer subsidies, he said. Besides the costs, it isn’t easy finding a home site for apartments, due to environmental, zoning, and NIMBY related forces that oppose apartments.

Manufactured homes are “the last remaining low cost, high quality housing in the nation,” said Roberts, adding he felt neighbors might be less resistant to manufactured homes because they are “more in keeping with the neighborhood.”

As MHLivingNews has reported, HUD contracted university researchers determined that properly installed manufactured homes appreciate side by side with conventional housing. Installations today must meet state and/or federal default standards.

Lugo’s ranch-style home, which was the first to be completed under the manufactured-home initiative, blends in the residential neighborhood in northern Cortlandt,” per LoHud.

The state’s provided $400,000 in funds for 10 $40,000 down payments.  But only two deals will be completed, because of difficulties in getting more lots to build upon. Real estate agents, and every nearby towns were contacted. “We asked every town … but there was no interest. Nobody actually reached out to us,” Roberts said. I want to praise Cortlandt because we got at least two from them.”

I’ll be honest. I’m disappointed,” Roberts said. “I’m very proud of having done it, but I’m disappointed because this could’ve been a great model for preserving the American suburban dream, which is a house with a yard at less cost than a high-rise one-bedroom apartment.”

The story is thus a bittersweet lesson in the affordable housing war, as the manufactured housing solution has found more allies, but not enough support with home sites that could make the American dream a reality for 8 more families.  Roberts will ask the state to allow the remaining $320,000 in grants to be used for assisting the purchase of conventional housing. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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