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Manufactured Home Community Residents Receive Helping Hand

April 17th, 2017 Comments off
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A home in the Golden Wheel community. Credit: Redfin.

In California, the recent floods have wreaked havoc throughout the state, causing issues for businesses and homeowners alike.

Manufactured home communities throughout the state were affected as well.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, residents of the Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park were hit hard. Resident Lam Tran, a part-time teacher who is caring for her disabled husband, was in a particularly bad spot and wasn’t sure how she was going to get their home fixed, as muddy flood waters ruined the stairs and the front yard.

It was so scary,” said Tran. “I just worried. I was worried for the flood, and the worry didn’t go away.”

Other residents had similar stories, and were not sure what was next.

Until last week.

Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park was among the first communities to benefit from charitable efforts of the Silicon Valley chapter of Rebuilding Together and Bank of America, designed to help the poorest city residents who were flooded out with the costly repair work needed to restore their homes.

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Flood damage in the community. Credit: Santa Cruz Sentinel.

We’re helping people who don’t have the ability to do the work themselves, or can’t afford to pay someone to do it for them,” said Beverley Jackson of Rebuilding Together.

We’ve got 40 homes lined up in this park [sic] that we’re going to fix. Mobile homes [sic] are the last affordable housing there is in Silicon Valley.”

Thirty-nine buildings throughout the city of San Jose remain so damaged from floods, that they were unfit for habitation. That number is down from more than 1,300 in February.

Property owners have to take certain actions like have a damage survey done, and the city is here to help get the property moved out of yellow-tag status,” said San Jose spokeswoman Cheryl Wessling.

But we need the property owners to work with us.”

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A resident wades through flood waters. Credit: Pinterest.

Jackson says that those receiving help from her organization are all low-income homeowners who didn’t have flood insurance.

Golden Wheel community manager Erin McGuire says that about 150 of the 221 units in the community suffered some sort of damage.

A lot of people were able to just let it dry out underneath, many people did what repairs they needed themselves,” said McGuire.

But some were pretty bad.”

In an interesting twist, Wessling says that many owners of flood-damaged property do not live in the area, and have not responded to attempts to contact them.

Surprising, given the Silicon Valley real estate market.

You would think they would want them anything but sitting vacant in disrepair,” said Wessling.

For more on the California floods, and their impact on manufactured home communities in the state, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

A Fully Furnished Manufactured Home in Three Days?

March 24th, 2017 Comments off
AFullyFurnishedManufacturedHomeinThreeDayscreditGoErie1-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: GoErie.

On Monday, a 1400 square-foot manufactured home arrived in two pieces at Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The occasion? The annual Erie Home & Garden Expo. But the real story is how quickly that manufactured home got put together.

With about three days of hard work, the home is ready for visitation as the centerpiece attraction for the event.

According to GoErie, Hawk Manufactured Homes, of Youngsville, is showcasing the 1,387-square-foot home, which is priced at $88,900. The home’s 27-foot-by-52-foot floor plan features three bedrooms, two full baths, a kitchen, dining nook, utility room and many other amenities.

Manufactured homes are popular with young couples just starting out and with retirees who are looking to downsize,” said Hawk Manufactured Homes Manager Shawn Finefrock.

The Expo is expected to draw between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors, featuring more than 160 exhibitors.

With the showcase home, there’s a story behind the story… starting with when it arrived.

It just barely squeaked past the doors inside here,” said Mark Concilla, of Erie Promotions & Expos.

Watching them pull the two pieces together is quite an art because they have a lot of very sophisticated trucks and they can kind of shift it together.

After the house was put together, crews got to work on the inside handling drywall, and installation of carpeting and flooring. Exterior work included installation of siding and roof shingles, ramps, steps and landscaping.

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The completed home. Credit: GoErie.

On Thursday morning, a truck containing all of the home’s furniture, art, lamps, window treatments and accessories arrived at the Convention Center. That’s when interior designer Randall Farabaugh, of Arthur F. Schultz Co., got busy.

A six-person crew had the home furnished in about four hours.

The theme is rustic lodge,” said Farabaugh. “We have a lot of dark browns and leathers and animal heads. It’s just a very rustic look. We love doing this project. The majority of the people who walk through that door say, ‘I could live here.’ We get that all the time. We want it to look like you can actually move in. We don’t want it to look unfinished, we want it to feel like somebody actually lives here.

 

If You’re Planning to Attend

The Erie Home & Garden Expo takes place at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier, through Sunday, and hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $7 for adults. Children under 10 are free.

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Factory Build Smart Homes – With a Twist?

March 21st, 2017 Comments off
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A KEF development site in India. Credit: KEF Holdings.

In Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), a technology company claims to be in the process of doing something that’s being called “revolutionary.

According to the Khaleej Times, Technology Company KEF Holdings expects to make their debut in the UAE in under a year, with a 40,000 square metres (131,000 square feet), fully automated, integrated offsite manufacturing facility, which would be the first of its kind in the world, using robots to manufacture prefab buildings.

When Tesla came into the industry as a disruptive innovator with its robotics manufacturing process, I began to study their process and adapted many of these into our offsite manufacturing and pre-fab facilities,” said Faizal Kottikollon, founder and chairman, KEF Holdings, also an ardent fan of the world renowned inventor Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla Motors.

Kottikollon believes that robotics will revolutionize offsite building manufacturing as it has other industries. The company expects to roll out the Middle East’s first batch of factory-manufactured homes from its plant beginning in 2018.

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The Tesla plant in Fremont, CA. Credit: Motor Trend.

Prefab homes are a relatively new concept in the Middle East, even though in both Europe and Scandinavia, the technology is common, with Sweden saying that up to 90 percent of new home construction is prefab in nature.

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Faizal Kottikollon. Credit: KEF Holdings.

Kottikollon, along with other middle east housing experts, say that the reason for the slow adoption is that homebuyers in the region would not accept the perceived inferior quality, materials, and technologies associated with field construction.

Our factory in the UAE will be the first fully automated integrated offsite manufacturing facility in the world, moving the conventional construction and delivery model into a more efficient and controlled factory environment with all pre-testing and commissioning taking place before the modules are moved to the site,” said Kottikollon.

Being built at an investment of Dh360 million ($98 million USD), the KEF “Infra Dubai home-production plant” will feature state of the art robotics and auto guided vehicles for product transfer systems, and will have the capacity to fully fabricate eight villas and townhouses each day.

I strongly believe that as we stand at the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, this type of automation and robotics-driven approach to construction will soon become the norm. This approach reduces the utilization of manpower and materials, while additionally cutting down on the margin of error through automation,” said Kottikollon.

The forward-looking policies in the UAE also mean that the scope for developing industrial-scale manufacturing of buildings is set to grow, and grow phenomenally.

 

Are Emerging Building Technologies Poised to Supplant Manufactured Housing?

AreEmergingTechnologiesPoisedtoSupplantManufacturedHousingcreditEcoCor-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

An EcoCor home. Credit: EcoCor.

As the Daily Business News recently covered, companies and projects like the one from RPA/Ecocor present a “looking glass” moment for the manufactured housing industry, as new technologies could possibly result in more competition.

While this particular system isn’t one that competes in price with manufactured housing today, there are others we are tracking that in just a few years could prove to be a direct challenger.

Consultant and trade publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach has periodically warned the industry about the possible threats that are a direct result of low-volume sales.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has also spoken to the opportunity that exists for the manufactured housing industry, saying in part “the MH industry must take advantage of the Trump administration’s opportunities to attain the goal of producing hundreds of thousands of HUD code homes annually.”  More from MHARR, at this link here.

You can find more on the topic of items that Titus Dare, SVP of Eagle One Financial, notes are barriers for doing more manufactured home business at this link here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Residents Face Challenges

March 17th, 2017 Comments off
BetweenaRockandaHardPlaceResidentsFaceChallengescredit-Rentals-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

An unrelated manufactured home in Weimar, Texas. Credit: Rentals.

In Weimar, Texas, a situation at a city council meeting this week spurred a bittersweet commentary regarding low income, manufactured home community residents, and the struggles that city officials often have in trying to solve related challenges.

This past Thursday Weimar council had a real challenge on their hands. There was a mobile home park [sic] in town that wasn’t zoned as a mobile home park [sic],” wrote Colorado County Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes in an editorial.

Changing the zoning designation meant several families would have to upgrade their substandard housing with repairs or replacement. Not changing the designation would mean that they’d have to go. It was an oversight that’s been going on for decades. And the families held their breath as they awaited council’s decision.

Stokes then took note of how the council was trying to work through the situation.

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Publisher Credit: Michelle Banse Stokes LinkedIn.

The mayor called several times for someone to speak, but the families, little ones in tow, simply sat in silence,” wrote Stokes.

Council members discussed the problem for over an hour, seeking advice from the city attorney and code enforcement officer. It was easy to see that they didn’t take their jobs lightly.

Weimar officials, and our mayor in particular, have been making a visible effort to clean up our little town. Old homes are being torn down and replaced with new brick ones, citizens with debris in their yards are being cited and loose animals are being impounded. And I think everyone would have to admit, these are good things for our town.

As the council members worked to come up with a viable solution, Stokes noted her feelings about the battle between better quality housing, while realizing the potential of pushing those less fortunate out in order to make that housing a reality.

No one wants to see children living in poverty, but it exists all around us. Cleaning up this mobile home park [sic] will make it look better from the outside and it may raise the standard of living there, but it may also push out the people that live there now,” wrote Stokes.

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Weimar, identified by red marker. Credit: Google.

One council member suggested during the meeting that they could just get new homes, as it would be cheaper than repairing the ones they had. Let’s get real … if these people could afford a better home, don’t you think they would already have it?

In the end, as the council rendered their decision, Stokes had mixed feelings.

My fear is that these families will be forced to the outskirts of town by the new ordinance and it’s requirements. And that is why I was glad I wasn’t in council’s shoes Thursday when they declared the property a mobile home park [sic],” wrote Stokes.

All and all, I agree with their decision. There really wasn’t anything else they could do. I can only hope that they will make good on their word to work with the property owner and residents by providing adequate time to get the homes where they need to be.

For more on the challenges that manufactured home communities face, and the hope provided by organizations such as St. Vincent De Paul in Oregon, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

A New Housing Insurance Market?

March 16th, 2017 Comments off
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An unrelated “tiny home.” Credit: Youtube.

Although it’s still considered a small share of the market, the growing buzz around so-called “tiny homes,” has opened up a new market for insurance.

According to Insurance Journal, while enthusiasm does run high, so do the challenges and realities that the tiny home industry, and owners, face: building codes, zoning ordinances, community norms and, insurance issues.

Some of the biggest issues involve building codes that have yet to be standardized and a variety of city and municipality zoning and ordinance regulations on where tiny homeowners can place their dwelling legally,” said Mike Schmidt, business development director for the Tiny Home Industry Association and CEO of Ensemble Ventures, a Colorado Springs business development firm.

As state and local governments struggle with, and have their own rules on, exactly how to classify tiny homes, there continues to be confusion over definitions between RVIA standards (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) versus International Residential Codes (IRC), which lends to potential challenges around how to insure them.

There’s been some crossover between the two and how you apply insurance to this market is very interesting,” said Schmidt.

There are different types of tiny houses — how they are sited and built, how they are placed, whether they are on a trailer; a lot of things that are evolving and developing.

Additionally, zoning codes and regulations that classify tiny homes as RV’s create an additional set of problems surrounding permanent residency.

HUD basically mandates and specifies that you can’t live in an RV more than 30 days at a time in a fixed location which has really hampered the (tiny home) industry significantly,” said Schmidt.

We’ve spent a lot of time looking at single family homes building, and development lags in the country. There’s a serious need for affordable housing and tiny houses may have a role to play if we can get some of the conflicting zoning and ordinances cleaned up.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, even though tiny homes may look more affordable on the surface, manufactured housing provides a significantly better value per square foot.

 

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Credit: CJOB.

It appears that changes could be on the horizon, given a recent addendum to the IRC.

The addendum provides architects, designers, builders, community developers and zoning officials a means of recognizing tiny houses as an official form of permissible dwelling,” said Thom Stanton of the Housing Development Institute.

The Insurance Industry

With code and zoning issues, the insurance industry has been slow to move. But one agent has decided to dive in and work to corner the market after meeting one of the earliest adopters of tiny homes.

I met Dee Williams and she talked about the frustration of not being able to find insurance,” said Darrell Grenz, owner of the Darrell Grenz Insurance Agency in Portland, Oregon.

I started going to some of her workshops to learn about the tiny home industry and then one of my clients built a tiny home.

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A park model home by Skyline Homes. Park models are being used by some to target the ‘tiny house’ movement. These homes – depending on their size and configuration – may be built to the ANSI or HUD Code.

Then, Grenz was hooked.

It was almost like destiny. My office, located in North Portland, has become a hotbed for the tiny home movement,said Grenz.

But, Grenz ran into challenges as he started calling his carrier reps, as many said no to taking the risk. He finally got a big break, which involved Lloyd’s of London building a program to insure tiny homes.

Even with that success, there’s still concern about agents not having a full understanding of the market.

The problem is that most insurance agents do not understand the differences on all these things (in tiny homes) and the tiny home movement, if it’s really a movement,said Martin Burlingame, CEO of Colorado Springs-based Commercial Insurance Group.

It’s a disaster for insurance because you have agents doing all kinds of crazy things.

The biggest problem when it comes to insurance is whether the tiny home is a permanent residence or a rental property. Many tiny home enthusiasts have taken to the Airbnb-style home venture.

Even though Burlingame says that the market isn’t growing as fast as many would like, he sees the potential.

How the industry evolves over the next few years will be interesting to watch. The evolution reminds him of another emerging market and product evolution: the legal marijuana industry,” said Burlingame.

Why Not Manufactured Homes vs. Tiny Houses?

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Several manufactured housing professionals believe that those fascinated with tiny houses ought to be thinking manufactured homes instead.

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Brian Cira, photo credit, MHProNews.

Anybody with a brain in their head would look at a manufactured home,” Brian Cira, president, Fairmont Homes, Nappanee, IN said.

We do it much more efficiently, much more smartly. We’ve been doing this for decades. … We could build these [tiny houses] all day long.

For a detailed comparison of tiny houses and manufactured homes, see the article, linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

A 3D Home in Record Time? What the Future Holds

March 16th, 2017 Comments off
A3DHomeinRecordTimecreditMetro-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The Apis For home. Credit: Metro.

The innovations in 3D printed homes continue at a break-neck pace. Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda, which printed a two-story villa that can reportedly withstand a magnitude eight earthquake, and PassivDom, a Ukrainian startup, has now come up with a stand-alone, energy-efficient 3D printed house, ideal for off-the-grid living.

And now, a San Francisco, California-based Apis Cor claims to have taken the process to a whole new level.

According to the Daily Mail, they unveiled a 400-square-foot house in a town outside of Moscow, Russia that was constructed using a mobile 3D printer.

In just 24 hours.

The Apis Cor technology printed walls, partitions, and other items, and appears to be the first company to develop a portable 3D printer able to print whole buildings entirely on location.

Construction took place in December 2016, and the company reports the materials used should last at least 175 years.

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The home in progress. Credit: Daily Mail.

This project was selected specifically, as one of the main purposes of this construction is to demonstrate the flexibility of equipment and diversity of available forms,the company said in a statement.

A distinctive feature of the printer is its design, which is reminiscent of the tower crane, allowing the printer to execute the printing process of constructing the building both inside and outside.

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The crane in action. Credit: Daily Mail.

Apis Cor says that this was the first time in the Russian construction that a house was printed as a whole, rather than assembled from pre-printed panels.

Impacts this Technology has upon the Manufactured Housing Industry?  

The company says that the cost for the model described above is $10,134. However,  buildings can be printed in various shapes and at a larger size, with the only restrictions on designs being the laws of physics.

When one of several mainstream news articles, reporting on that 10k figure, were shared with industry professionals with production connections, one source told MHProNews that “It could be a game changer and has the potential to eliminate thousands of manufactured housing factory jobs…. but that would be way down the road.”

The ramifications were shocking enough, that the source would only speak off the record.

There is a big ‘however,’ here.

Before investors, developers and others go bailing on manufactured housing, and stocks take a dump, there are likely several caveats to this report by Futurism and from others in the mainstream media that need to be properly understood,” said industry consultant and publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

We contacted the 3D producer directly, and they have yet to answer numerous questions that relate to interior finishes, what building codes this may or may not meet, total cost with all finish work, etc.  Because some in the mainstream media may not get it about all that goes into the total costs of a home, details like:

  • cabinetry,
  • flooring,
  • tape and texture,
  • electrical,
  • windows,
  • doors,
  • plumbing, etc.

they can easily be wowed by a claim – that when scrutized – doesn’t quite hold up. Think Jim Walters housing – shell homes sold at a lower price, but with signficant finish costs.”

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Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Another example of a story that drew media hype – but was missing key details – was a report out of Europe covered for the Daily Business News by Joe Dyton.

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Original photo credit, Inhabitat and provided under fair use guidelines. Text credit, MHProNews.

Click the image above for facts the original story in the mainstream media missed.  “These are examples of why the industry needs an independent trade media, one that does some digging,” Kovach said.

MHI was contacted about the topic above – and the broader issue of potentially disruptive technologies negatively impacting manufactured housing – and they had no comment.

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Is MHI unprepared for issues that could disrupt the industry? Are they properly prepared to engage the mainstream media on topics that could at first blush seem to be harmful to manufactured housing interests? What lessons does the recent – and largely negative – NPR reporting hold for the industry at large, and what does it say about MHI’s engagement strategies? To learn more about such media and related questions – and what Frank Rolfe and other industry professionals have to say about them – click here.  MHARR has taken the position that the industry has a historic opportunity and can sell hundreds of thousands of homes a year, but must capitalize rapidly on opportunities that the Trump administration has made possible – to learn more about MHARR’s views, click here.  Pam Danner at HUD…is she one of those MH Industry roadblocks? For MHI award-winner Doug Gorman’s view on the Danner/HUD issue, click here. 

Possible Disruptions Are No Joke…

An association veteran told MHProNews that failing to adapt could result over time in manufactured housing’s associations becoming “the associations of mobile home remodelers.” It was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying – there would be widespread industry business failures, and that only remodeling work would be left – if the correct steps aren’t taken by members of the industry.

We are several years into our industry’s recovery. That’s good news.  But 3D, prefab, containers and tiny houses are all reminders that

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

manufactured housing producers and others can’t rest on their laurels,” Kovach said. “Manufactured housing is an amazing option, that’s highly sustainable, so long as we grow more rapidly towards our potential.  There is a high cost – and risk – to low volume sales, which is why we’ve repeatedly said that aiming for hundreds of thousands of new home sales a year in a sustainable way is a must.”

“Some companies are taking steps to grow in a responsible way.  That’s good news. But absent such growth,” Kovach cautions, “our source is sadly but likely correct – in the next 5 to 10 years perhaps, technologies are emerging that could disrupt the manufactured housing industry.  Communities, production, lending, retailing – it could all change unless more of the industry’s members and leaders take the proper steps, now.”

The Daily Business News has covered the rise of 3D printed homes extensively, including other Chinese, Russian and Dutch 3D home projects, and asking the tough question: “Is America losing the 3D Technology race in housing?

In several off-the-record comments by professionals with community, production, association, retailing and other industry interests, say that the industry needs to pay attention.

For more on 3D printed homes, including the story of The BigDelta, the world’s largest 3D printer and its year-long mission to print a mud house, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

ObamaCare Snarl, Can Trump Work Magic? Possible Back-to-the-Future Medical Solution

March 15th, 2017 Comments off
IntheObamacareSnarlTrumpWorksHisMagicAPossibleSolutioncreditLibertyJuice-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Liberty Juice.

As one of the consummate dealmakers in American history, President Donald Trump is working to pull out all the stops to get a “repeal and replace” solution for ObamaCare done.

With the plan recently put forward by House leadership, led by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), many are saying that it is likely dead on arrival when it comes to a vote in the Senate.  It faces hurdles in the House too.

While some might be frayed at the thought of a battle such as this, President Trump has gone on the offensive, and turned on the charm.

Beginning with a call to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who joined forces with the conservative House Freedom Caucus last month to deliver their own version of an ObamaCare replacement, President Trump got to work.

IntheObamacareSnarlTrumpWorksHisMagicAPossibleSolutioncreditBloomberg-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Senator Rand Paul. Credit: Bloomberg.

I think we’re wooing each other,” said Paul. “The president sounded open to my ideas.

While his predecessor was more reserved and reclusive in dealing with lawmakers, President Trump has drawn compliments from many corners.

Trump was talking about how we all got to work together, said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who was part of a group that met with the President recently.

He even said at one point, ‘Maybe we should meet once a week. Maybe we should meet every four days!’”

According to Bloomberg, even a former Republican presidential competitor and critic sees that there’s a desire to make progress.

IntheObamacareSnarlTrumpWorksHisMagicAPossibleSolutioncredit10News-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Paul Ryan walks though his plan to replace Obamacare. Credit: 10 News.

He’s in a deal-making mode,” said previous GOP rival, Senator Lindsey Graham.

He’s conservative but he’s not ideological. Most of these deals around here fall apart because of ideological objections. There’s actually a chance for President Trump to do things you could never get another Republican to do.

A Combination Solution for Healthcare?

 

In the video above, Dr. Josh Umbehr of Atlas MD, discusses a potential “best option” for ObamaCare repeal and replacment in terms of controlling costs and providing cost-effective services.  Umbehr’s co-op model that has already been proven in their clinic, and many others who are doing something similar.

For additional insight on this plan and how it would work in combination with the proposed health plan from the Freedom Caucus, MHProNews reached out to a respected MD about the concept.

IntheObamacareSnarlTrumpWorksHisMagicAPossibleSolutioncreditHealthgrades-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Dr. David Murdock. Credit: Healthgrades, where patients rated him 5 out of 5 stars.

I’ve always liked this type of practice. It doesn’t include hospital care or specialty care, but that could be covered by the catastrophic insurance with a large deductible,” Dr. David Murdock, a cardiologist from Wausau, WI, said to MHProNews when asked about this practice. “If I was a primary doctor, I would push this for my patients.”

Murdock explained that this proven medical care system was a case of back-to-the-future.

That’s actually a return to the way medical care was done in the years before Medicare and widespread insurance,” Murdock said. “It’s not new, it’s a return to how it worked well in the past.

You can see the built in mechanism to contain cost,” said Murdock.

For more on Obamacare and its impact on the manufactured housing industry, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Resilience Pays Off, a Win for MH Owners

March 8th, 2017 Comments off
ResiliencePaysOffaWinforMHOwnerscreditWyomingPublicMedia2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Jason Halvorsen in front of his home. Credit: Wyoming Public Media.

Wheatland, Wyoming resident and manufactured home owner Jason Halvorsen had a busy Thursday last week.

He made the drive from his home to the Wyoming State Legislature in Cheyenne, with good reason. He wanted to be present when Governor Matt Mead signed a piece of legislation that he sparked, and that would change his life.

 

This is the end. The nervousness was 9 months ago when I got told no at the bank,” said Halvorsen.

The piece of legislation that was signed was Bill 56, which fixes an oversight in how manufactured homes are titled. Wyoming does not currently extend the same rights to manufactured home owners as it does for site built homeowners.

And, without an accurate title, Halvorsen could not get a loan or mortgage on his property, which started the process. Frustrated, he reached out to his representative, Tyler Lindholm.

BillCouldImproveEconomicMobilityforMHOwnerscreditWikipedia-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Rep. Tyler Lindholm. Credit: Wikipedia.

This causes a headache for financial institutions, and ultimately limits the economic mobility of mobile [sic] homeowners,” said Lindholm.

It affects a huge amount of people who have gone through this problem over the years, and it closes this loop hole in our law where people will actually be able to get loans on their property if they so choose.

According to Wyoming Public Media, when Lindholm presented the bill to the governor, he said it was by far the hardest piece of legislation he had ever worked on.

Title law is tough as it turns out. And I’m really really glad we’re closing up this hole for individuals like Jason.

Governor Mead thanked both men for their work on the issue, and then signed the bill into law. For Halvorsen, it was a relief. After getting a job offer, he needed to find a home, and his manufactured home was the only one that would work.

I made seven trips down here in two weeks to find homes. I looked at homes. Looked at homes. Looked at homes,” said Halvorsen.

This was the only one that would remotely fit what I needed. I knew it wasn’t perfect but the price was ok. And I could make it work.

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Credit: Wyoming Public Media.

After making a number of upgrades to the home, he wanted to refinance.

And then the issues began.

After going to see a banker, Halvorsen was told that they couldn’t help him, because he didn’t have the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin for his manufactured home.

The Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin is kind of like a flimsy piece of paper. So people don’t realize it’s important and that it needs to be taken down to the courthouse,” said banker Georgann Martinez.

The former owner of Halvorsen’s house never did, and when he reached out to the man, he got word that he had passed away.

He went to the County Clerk to get a duplicate, and the clerk told him it was not possible.

After that, Halvorsen went to a co-worker who he thought might be able to help. Turns out that co-worker was Tyler Lindholm.

He brought me this situation one time during lunch break and said hey this is happening. Can we fix this? And that started all this,” said Lindholm.

And the rest is history.

The Daily Business News originally covered the story of Lindholm’s progress with Bill 56 in a story linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

The Ultimate Bad Actor? A Smell Test

March 7th, 2017 1 comment
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The storage container that houses the sewage tank. Credit: News 4.

The majority of manufactured home community owners strive to run clean, safe communities and adhere to all of the rules.

Occasionally, a bad actor shows up. In this case though, the bad actor stinks.

Literally.

Glen Highfield, owner of the Crystal Peak Mobile Home Park in Verdi, Nevada is under investigation for dumping raw sewage into a ditch that led to the nearby Truckee River.

According to News 4, a resident of the community caught the activity on video in February, which involved a hose dumping what he suspected was sewage into a drainage ditch.

Fresh water that smells like (expletive),” said the resident, while recording the activity.

The resident then proceeded to follow a hose which was dumping the substance into a stream to its source, a giant metal shipping container.

Show you right where it connects to which is this septic tank, he’s polluting the water,” said the resident.

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Verdi, Nevada in red. Credit: Google.

A complaint and cease and desist order has been issued to Highfield, from the Bureau of Water Pollution Control with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. In it, the state says that Highfield installed an illegal, above ground tank to hold sewage from most of the 38 homes in the community.

Investigators found that the area was saturated, meaning that sewage was pumped into the tank, which was not meant to hold fluids.

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Joe Maez. Credit: LinkedIn.

Whenever you’re dealing with raw sewage, you’re always dealing with a human health issue, so you’re dealing with concerns with public health exposure to public pathogens and bacteria,” said Joe Maez, Bureau of Water Pollution Control Engineer.

Other residents of Crystal Peak say that Highfield dumped sewage on a regular basis, but Highfield, via phone, said that the dumping has only happened once.

According to the state, they can’t be sure that’s the case.

While the video only shows the one alleged violation, the state is uncertain of how much sewage was actually disposed of, and for how long.

That unknown has neighbors who are located downstream very concerned.

Kind of disappointing. It’s really gross that somebody would do that out here,” said Dirk Maxwell.

Maez says that the bureau has ordered Highfield to stop pumping sewage into the ground, dismantle the storage tank and clean up the ground.

We’re working with the mobile home park manager to make sure the area is basically cordoned off from public access. We’re disinfecting the spill site with in this case lime to kill all the pathogens,” said Maez.

Highfield faces stiff fines if he does not rectify the situation, and come up with a plan to disconnect the tank. If he doesn’t do so by March 17th, he faces a $25,000 per day fine. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

RC Williams for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

 

 

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews

 

 

 

 

A Call for Changes at FEMA

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off
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New model FEMA units in Louisiana. Credit: Yahoo.

Testimony by former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate this week to the House Homeland Security Committee’s Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee, included some very stern words about the current state of the organization. That included the call for experienced leadership.

FEMA is not the place for on-the-job-training,” said Fugate.

A new administrator should understand that FEMA’s response to disasters and crisis situations isn’t about putting FEMA in charge. Rather, it’s about the agency stepping up to help local, state and tribal governments, as well as other federal agencies in those situations,” said Fugate.

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Craig Fugate. Credit: FCW.

According to FCW, Fugate had been the FEMA administrator since 2009, but quietly stepped down in January as the Trump administration took office.

While at FEMA, Fugate worked on multiple fronts to speed and improve the agency’s response capabilities, including better harnessing digital media, including smart phone apps that let citizens report problems using photos and GPS coordinates for trouble spots in disaster areas.

The position remains officially vacant, with Robert Fenton Jr., the agency’s administrator for Region IX, in place as acting administrator.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, Fenton was asked by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HOGR) chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) for answers after discovering a slew of problems with FEMA’s use of post-disaster temporary housing in Louisiana, including the death of 84-year-old Baton Rouge resident Everett Wilson in his temporary FEMA home on October 25th from overheating.

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A family looks at the remains of their home after the Louisiana floods. Credit: NOLA.

House lawmakers were in agreement with Fugate, noting that the agency needs a seasoned emergency responder to fill the leadership position and to continue its forward momentum.

We need an experienced manger to lead FEMA,” said subcommittee Chairman Dan Donovan (R- NY).

Ranking member Donald Payne (D-NJ) also commented.

The new administration must be engaged with FEMA as threats grow and evolve,” said Payne.

FEMA’s development and work has become increasingly effective post-Hurricane Katrina,” he said. “A pause in naming a new administrator could slow that momentum.

Fugate also said that the next FEMA leader has to be a person of action, not one that waits for information to trickle in during a crisis.

FEMA can’t be an organization that can’t take risks,said Fugate.

Action is a strength that sometimes produces mistakes.”

For more on FEMA, including in-depth coverage of the agency’s response to the Louisiana floods, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.