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Home > Affordable Housing, Analysis and Commentary, Association, Communities > MH State Association Issues Midterms Report – Rent Control Alert – Reveals Troubling Trend

MH State Association Issues Midterms Report – Rent Control Alert – Reveals Troubling Trend

November 16th, 2018



Before diving into this report, in fairness, several state manufactured housing association reports have been sent to the Daily Business News on MHProNews for possible fact-checks and analysis.


That’s said to be clear that selecting this one from the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) should not be misconstrued as ‘picking’ on them, or as just praising them, because their post-midterm report arguably merits some of both.



Prior to sharing two segments of the IMHA’s latest November email to their members, let’s briefly outline what’s good, and what’s missing.

We won’t call it what’s missing ‘bad,’ rather, we’ll say that important points were missed, overlooked – or perhaps squelched – for reasons arguably noted in “How Gold Rules.”  That’s why we won’t say it’s ‘bad,’ but rather, missed, for whatever reason.


What’s Wise and Good by IMHA

IMHA is wise to spotlight the issue of rent control.

As one of the “bluer” states in the nation, as their own report suggests, the challenge of rent control is a problem for not only manufactured home communities (MHCs).  MHCs are a big part of that association.  But rent control – and that mode of thinking – also arguably impacts retailers, developers, producers and others.


Actions Speak Louder, But Words Followed by Deeds Matter to MHVille Owners, Professionals and Investors – Plus Sunday Morning Weekly Recap 9.16 to 9.23.2018


So, play attention to the points that IMHA raised about rent control. A pair of prior MHProNews report debunking rent control are linked above and below.


Enemies of Manufactured Homes, Communities; Rent Control, MHAction, George Soros, Ignorance, & Entropy


What IMHA Missed

Again, let’s stress for those who may not be familiar with “How Gold Rules” that the misses may or may not be caused by pressure on IMHA from “big boys” at the national level.  A number of our state association sources said that influence and pressure on them by forces that dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) can’t be over-stated.

So as not to nit-pick, we’ll focus on 3 items that are not obviously stated in the IMHA report to their members.

Not necessarily in any order of importance, they are failure to mention:

  • MHAction and similar groups
  • Enhanced Preemption as a possible boon that addresses some of their concerns, and
  • The Buffett/Soros & MHAction Connection

Let’s note for those who skim – please don’t skim, you’ll miss key points – that mentioning MHAction absolutely should not be construed as an endorsement.


Prosperity Now, Protests, Indivisible Project, Warren Buffett, George Soros, POTUS Donald Trump, MHAction and Manufactured Housing – Following the Money


Quite the opposite, as MHProNews and MHLivingNews have periodically spotlighted concerns about that operation for about the last two years.


MHAction makes it clear that they support far left politics, and are de facto anti-free enterprise. Independent MH businesses, beware. 


There’s an important article below that focuses on “two great laws” that are already on the books. While MHI occasionally pays lip service to it, our research has revealed that they only bring it up on occasion with local jurisdictions.


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


As an upcoming report will reflect, MHAction has specifically targeted several well-known manufactured home community operations.  While they may be ‘big enough’ to ‘take it,’ the negative media it creates arguable harms many if not all manufactured home community operations in the markets they are in.

So while MHI took sharp aim at the new national community association, MHProNews provided the analysis linked below that reveals the Arlington based operation’s purported hypocrisy.


Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement


With that tee up, we’ll turn to the IMHA’s own copy, showing unedited from the sections shown of their latest email.



Mid-Term Election Results

The State of Illinois just got a whole lot bluer and our job of protecting your business interests just got harder.

Now, more than ever, you need IMHA and IMHA needs you!

There are plenty of new faces in the Illinois General Assembly, probably in your local areas, too. Every one of us needs to reach out to these decision makers and impress upon them the quality and value our factory built products and land lease communities provide for the citizens they represent.

Special Congratulations to Heather Mumma, President of B&B Homes LLC and IMHA Board Member who will now also serve on the Effingham County Board!




Why Rent Control?

Housing affordability is a nationwide problem, it’s not limited only to Illinois. Housing policy is complex and rent control is the last thing that should be implemented as housing policy.

At the heart of the affordability issue is the dramatic decline in overall production of housing during the last decade. When the economy shattered in 2008, housing production fell drastically. Adding immensely to the housing affordability problem are the many local jurisdictions who have successfully developed big-box retail centers and commercial office parks with thousands of new jobs, and no provisions for housing any of the workers at the varying wage levels needed to fill those jobs.

Factory built housing is uniquely positioned to help alleviate demand for new homes, however some cities discriminate against this affordable alternative and flatly prohibit factory built housing as an option within their jurisdictions.


Who wants rent control, and why?

Rent control is an easy fix. Think your rent is too high? OK, let’s just pass a law capping it. Problem solved, right? Of course not, but it sure sounded good ahead of the election.

A State Senate Special Committee on Housing Affordability and Rent Control has been holding hearings regarding a bill that would impose a statewide rent control program in Illinois. The Chair of the Special Committee and chief sponsor of Senate Bill 3512, Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) provided for a very fair hearing process allowing all viewpoints to be heard.

Renters receiving disability, social security or other entitlement payments explained their situation as struggling tenants that pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent, and see rent control as a solution to their situation.

As of this writing six (6) Regional Rent Control Boards are being proposed which would set a “Rent Stabilization Rate” for every county and city in the Board’s region. Landlords could not increase rents above the “Stabilization Rate” (which would be tied to a Consumer benchmark like the Consumer Price Index) without approval of the Board.

Of concern is how an all-volunteer board, that might meet 4 times a year, could hear all the varied requests for rent adjustments that would be required. Also how would CPI take into account varied tax increases (local, state or federal), insurance and other fixed operating cost increases (varied by operator, property or company), and even local inspection fees which might be imposed or individual utility provider cost increases.


What Will Work?

IMHA has been represented at all the special committee hearings, has provided both written and oral testimony and has offered the following examples of policy solutions that the next state legislative session can attempt to address, before it gets caught up in ill-formed attacks on the working class and opening the door to rent control.

  1. Housing component law: Address the varied ways cities don’t zone for enough housing, don’t zone for multifamily housing or land lease communities and only allow low density residential on large lots.
  2. Encourage housing development in existing commercial areas:In cities with low housing production and availability, push to allow residential development on large and underutilized commercial/big box/strip mall sites, especially in transit-served areas.
  3. Require housing for future commercial expansion:Many cities prefer and zone primarily for commercial office and retail with little or no thought towards housing. The state legislature could require a jobs/housing analysis for all master plan development, say over 5 acres in size, identifying the estimated job creation by wage level, and mandating that appropriate housing for the new worker households be provided as part of the development plan.
  4. Remove barriers to housing approval: Address cities that effectively block all housing development or reduce density through the approvals process. Develop a way to identify the problem and sort out good from bad policy, and then challenge those cities to correct the problem.
  5. Affordable housing zoning: Affordable housing faces particular barriers from approval processes and zoning in many jurisdictions. For the creation of affordable housing to take place, zoning densities may need to be relaxed and approvals streamlined.
  6. Remove barriers to workforce housing: Many cities deny approval for affordable workforce housing, or allow development only on the most difficult and undesirable sites. Consider linking state disbursements of infrastructure money, whether for transportation or parks, to approvals and funding for affordable housing alternatives in those already well-resourced jurisdictions.


Rent control battle will persist in 2019

We remain hopeful that this legislation will not be considered before the end of session but we fully anticipate that this type of feel-good legislation will be reintroduced when the new General Assembly convenes in January.

We expect to be facing a tough fight on rent control in the Spring of 2019. But we have a strong position, the facts are with us, and legislators are beginning to listen to us.

With your help, involvement, together with the advocacy resources at our disposal, commonsense will prevail on this issue!



MH State associations, take note.  Just as we periodically spotlight MHI’s emails and federal comments, etc. for analysis and fact-checks, we naturally can spotlight other associations too.

As some of our state association level contacts – and their members – know, it arguably an important way to remind readers that MHI is influencing, for good and/or ill, state association efforts.

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