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Housing Policy, and Pragmatism – Bridging the Gap – Conservatives AND Liberals, or Conservatives VS. Liberals?

March 1st, 2019 Comments off
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Still of “TR” from video, below. Truly inspirational, and insightful, on numerous levels.

MHLivingNews recently featured a report where Democrats and Republicans came together in a bipartisan way to support manufactured homes as an important part of the solution the affordable housing crisis in their state.  That report is linked here and below.

 

 

Those lawmakers looked at facts, figures, and the reality of manufactured homes – not party labels, or outdated notions.  That’s how they overcame their party differences.  They were pragmatic.

 

Democrats, Republicans Agree – “Manufactured Homes Can Play a Vital Role in Easing” the Affordable Housing Shortage

 

Stating the obvious can bring clarity to an issue. Words have meanings. What follows is a practical matter to affordable housing advocates in general, including manufactured home professionals, as the example just noted exemplifies.

Words and their meaning can either divide or unite. Finding not some nebulous ‘compromise,’ but rather the truth that can be acted upon is how understanding facts can span the gaps that need to be bridged.

Affordable housing is a problem.  Properly understood, manufactured homes are an important part of the solution.

 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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

 

Repetition vs. Reality and the Truth

Some things are believed simply because – right or wrong – they are often repeated.

Often repeating a falsehood or a half-truth is proven to be an effective tool for spreading propaganda.  That’s why critical thinking is necessary.

With respect to manufactured homes, the thought provoking factoids posted helps cut through noise that may cause some to say, ‘Eureka! I get it!’  The infographic below is from data collected in 2018.

 

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Conservatives AND Liberals, Not Conservatives VS. Liberals

The word ‘conservative’ comes from the root word, ‘to conserve.’ That means, don’t waste, protect the environment, hold fast to good principles, etc.  Think about it. Aren’t those qualities that most could agree upon?

The meaning of ‘classical liberalism’ is a close cousin to conservative. The classical liberal wants maximum freedom. Conservatives want freedom too.  The video below explains classical liberalism. Most if asked after watching this video would likely say, that they are a classical liberal. Once someone understands what a conservative is, many more would say they are conservatives than now do.

 

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This is not from the video above, but provides a useful reference for journalists and thinkers.

 

Properly understood, the word ‘progress’ is not a dirty word either.

 

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Progress for workers and business – in much of the 1900s was seen by many as dependent on breaking up monopoly power. After about 3 decades of less antitrust action, there is a new interest among Democrats, by President Trump, and some in the GOP of this issue. Wheat and Chaff.

 

An early American progressive” was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. President Teddy Roosevelt (TR) changed over the years, but at a key point in his life, he fostered what became the national park system. TR was also a “trust buster,” who worked to break up monopolies – known in those days a ‘trusts’ – so that small businesses and workers alike would benefit.  Teddy would have been very comfortable with the Open Markets philosophy during that phase of his career.

 

POTUS TR used the phrase “Square Deal” to capture the notion that everyone should get an equal or fair opportunity. This first video from Free School, published on May 14, 2015.

 

 

The History of Theodore [Teddy] Roosevelt – A Short Story – video below.  Some similar points to the above, but also some unique points between the two.

 

 

 

 

Just as Republican Abraham Lincoln was the president who thankfully freed the slaves, it was more from the GOP than Democrats passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 

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History, once looked at closely with an open mind, can be full of surprises.  The above and below are here so that those who want to divide people based upon racial or other claimed issues are corrected, based upon the facts.

This is mentioned for several reasons. Each major party – and the minor parties – have people who wanted progress. Each has those who want to conserve. It is too much to say that the various views of parties agree on all things. That noted, there can be far more agreement if pragmatic approaches that look at facts, and don’t demonize the other, are used.

So, while it is true that some individuals who harbor ill intent must be ‘defeated’ – somewhat like a criminal must be arrested – the flaws of the few should not be imposed on the many who on the surface may appear to be from a seemingly similar group.

Simplified, facts and reality matter.  If more people stick with facts and strive to draw conclusions based upon facts and evidence, not only would our industry advance, but so too would our country.

There is no affordable housing solution more proven than manufactured homes.  The infographic below is from data collected in 2018.

 

 

Don’t Lump Everyone In, Allow for Areas of Agreement, Wheat and Chaff

There are those who question why we press upon certain issues, people, or groups.  First, let’s note that MHProNews has routinely made nuanced distinctions.  While we do question and hold to account – for example – the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for years of apparent failure to perform in a measurable way.  But that doesn’t mean we are condemning all MHI staff or members. We never have, nor would we lump everyone into one bucket in that fashion.

We may disagree with a company’s business practices, but that doesn’t mean that we condemn those working for that firm.  Wheat and chaff, on all things.  Even a problematic company or person, may have some worthwhile quality or principle.

There are policy points that editorially we’ve disagreed with Democrats on, but the same is true for some GOP policy positions.  That’s why we are political independents.

Just as businesses must turn a profit and professionals in business must perform to reasonable standards in a hopefully honorable way, that same measuring gauge ought to be held up for politicians, associations and their staff.

 

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Design by MHProNews.

 

Summary and Takeaways

There are some who are so in it only for themselves, or their masters, that they choose not to reason.  Those types may need to be ‘defeated’ in discussion or debate, so that their behavior is discredited.

But perhaps the majority of professionals – given the opportunity to work based upon facts, not opinions – can often find ways to work together in an effective way.  Employers don’t ask for a party membership card, or who the employee voted for in the last election.  People are expected to work together regardless of some protected class or belief they may hold.

MHProNews stresses facts, routinely cites sources, uses evidence, and common sense (i.e.: logic, reason).  Our once many times greater industry in scope ought to be soaring, not snoring. There are a variety of steps that ought to be considered to make the industry’s untapped potential to turn millions of renters into owners.  There are many ways that manufactured housing could be considered – based upon proven experience – as a viable option without resorting to the problematic and untested ‘new class of home’ scheme.

That’s this afternoon’s “Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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

 

 

Related Reports:

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Explosive! MSU’s Mark Skidmore on Flawed Tornadoes and “Mobile Homes” Study, Exclusive

June 10th, 2017 Comments off

MarkSkidmoreMSUEconomicsProfessorMobileManufacturedHomeFLawedTornadoStudyManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThere are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

– Mark Twain

How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

– Abraham Lincoln

 

We don’t plan to respond any further…Our analysis captures the average effect of mobile home living on tornado related fatalities…it does not distinguish between types or nature of mobile homes such age, improper installation of additions, proper tie downs, etc.”

– Mark Skidmore, Michigan State University (MSU)

In an explosive set of admissions that were not part of their original, and widely-published by other media study of tornadoes, deaths and ‘mobile homes,’ MSU’s Mark Skidmore admitted in an on-the-record email exchange with MHProNews that several factors were ignored in their research.

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L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

Those factors,” says L. A. “Tony” Kovach, “completely change the import of their findings. When they admit that they didn’t consider the age of the homes, improper installations, proper tie downs and other factors, that’s like admitting that some of the key facts in the cause of death by tornado are being ignored.”

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Mark Weiss. Credit: MHARR.

It’s unfortunate and telling that the authors, when confronted with the facts regarding today’s manufactured homes were unwilling to further engage and address those facts,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Weiss was a party to the exclusive exchange from the outset.

I am happy to talk with you or correspond with further if that is helpful,” said Skidmore just last week.

That willingness to was before he had to look, and look again, at facts that they now admit to not considering.

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These photos above are both from the same storm in Moore, OK. The houses on the left were conventional houses. They are rubble, leveled. The manufactured home on the right was rolled over, but someone could survive in that home. What’s not visible is that the manufactured home on the right may not have had proper tie downs. Industry professionals routinely recommend that, and in many places now, is required by law.

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Mark Skidmore, MSU.

Skidmore said, “…Again, I think the benefits of manufactured homes are great…I see them as filling an important niche in the housing market (as highlighted in the book chapter I forwarded).  Still, is it possible we could do better?  A high proportion of tornado fatalities are connected to mobile home living, and it isn’t just our research.  Does it make sense to look at this more carefully and see if we can do better?  Maybe it’s just the older mobile homes.  Or maybe its improper tie downs.  Or maybe is the improper additions you highlighted.  Certainly there is variability in quality of manufactured housing…I’d be quite happy to live in some but others are shoddy.  Perhaps additional analysis could help zero in on what is happening??”

He added, “Manufactured housing has come a long way while at the same time maintaining affordability…but isn’t there room for further improvement?”

Kovach did not disagree with the MSU findings, rather, he pointed out that the findings failed to dig into issues that impacted the topic of fatalities, which was sensationalized in the media and their publicity of the research.

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Kovach also noted that conflating the terms ‘mobile homes’ and ‘manufactured homes’ creates potential confusion for those residents who are living in manufactured homes.  HUD Code manufactured home owners and residents could be made to think that they had the same risk factor that mobile home residents do.  That’s not a given, as Skidmore was happy to admit.

I did not mean to conflate…I think the statement indicates that they are different…I just don’t have data to test for differences and I asked you if you have such data,” Skidmore replied.

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach addressing industry professionals at an educational session.

Mark,
I hear you sir, and I get that point.  But the research is being pushed out by Forbes and others with conflated terminology.

Your problem noted is correct, the Census Bureau doesn’t break it down. But I’m not sure you see that this doesn’t excuse the other issues?

So that still leaves our other questions unanswered.  Kindly do so, point for point.  Just reply below to each question, for clarity.  It’s necessary for the record to be clear to all involved.

Again, thank you,” replied Kovach for MHProNews.

The photo above is a still from an IBHS wind study test. The conventional house on the left loses its roof, and ends up collapsing, see the video below. The manufactured home on the right, with a properly attached cover on one side, has only minor damage under hurricane force winds. Who says? IBHS Chief Engineer Tim Reinhold, and the video footage below. Seeing is believing.

After a few days elapsed without a reply from MSU, Kovach and Weiss followed up.

Hi Tony, We don’t plan to respond any further.  However, please let me know if you are aware of any additional data on the nature of mobile homes by county over the last 40  years; we are interested in doing additional statistical analysis to learn more about what it is that makes some types of mobile homes more vulnerable to high wind events such as tornados.  Our analysis captures the average effect of mobile home living on tornado related fatalities…it does not distinguish between types or nature of mobile homes such age, improper installation of additions, proper tie downs, etc. Best regards, Mark,” said Skidmore.

ManufacturedHomeHurricaneTornadoWindstormVideoManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The year that 4 hurricanes hit Florida, there was an estimated $50 billion in property damage. Older mobile homes were destroyed, but manufactured homes right next door survived. Some 1600 properly installed manufactured homes were hit by those storms that year. Not one was blown off its foundation. Not one of those newer manufactured homes was destroyed. While hurricanes and tornadoes aren’t identical, the still above dramatizes the point that mobile and manufactured homes aren’t the same in durability.  Still from the video on this page.

Kovach pressed for additional responses to substantive questions.  Those are planned as part of yet another critical revelation coming on yet the apparent flaw in such research.

When Kovach’s follow up drew no response, MHARR’s Mark Weiss jumped in.

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Mark Weiss, MHARR. Photo credit, MHProNews.

Mark, you stated last week that you would be happy to engage in such a discussion.  Having set this episode in motion with hyperbolic language and some dubious assertions, I would ask that you please do respond to the questions posed by Tony Kovach, thank you,” wrote Weiss for MHARR.

Silence — from Skidmore, his research colleague, and the communications department at MSU followed.

JoplinMOManufacturedHomesOKSiteBuiltHousingIsWhatGodCrushedManufacturedHomeLivingNEwsAn issue ignored by most researchers is this, that as tragic as the loss of a life in a storm is, the odds are 1.8 million to one in the most recent year that someone living in a mobile home or a manufactured home would not die in a tornado related incident.

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L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

In 2016, NOAA Reported 12 deaths in what it calls “mobile homes.” That’s a 0.00000055% chance of dying in a tornado for the year. To rephrase, the odds were 1,833,333 to 1 in your favor that you wouldn’t die in a mobile or manufactured home in 2016,” said Kovach.

Imagine if you could go to Las Vegas and get 1.833 million to one odds in your favor.  Vegas would go broke in a day.  That’s one of the safest bets imaginable,” he says.

Should there be tornado safety promotion?  Yes, but that should not be limited to mobile or manufactured homes.  Are there safeguards that professionals and consumers should promote and practice?  Yes.  But as things stand at this very moment, you’re at greater risk of dying in your bathtub by a factor of 70 than you are in dying in a mobile or manufactured home. Tens of millions are under the false impression that manufactured homes are death traps.  That’s simply not the case, nor is it true of older mobile homes.”

No one is suggesting doing away with or avoiding using bathtubs due to accidental deaths that take place in them.

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Key Facts Skidmore’s Statements Spotlight.

MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews will do a follow up in the near term, but in the interim, the revelations above undermine the MSU study – and all others like it – for the following reasons.

1)    Mobile homes and manufactured homes are not the same thing.

2)    When Skidmore admits that they are different, yet the terminology is conflated – it’s akin to calling a bag phone from the 1980s a smart phone today. The smart phone evolved from the bag phone, but they are quite different in capabilities.

3)    None of the publicized material by MSU made it into the admissions that Skidmore did in the on-the-record Q&A with Kovach and Weiss. For example, quotes from Skidmore:

  • I think the benefits of manufactured homes are great.
  • I see them as filling an important niche in the housing market.
  • Maybe it’s just the older mobile homes.”
  • Or maybe its improper tie downs.”
  • Or maybe is the improper additions you highlighted.”
  • Certainly there is variability in quality of manufactured housing…I’d be quite happy to live in some but others are shoddy.”
  • Perhaps additional analysis could help zero in on what is happening?? “

It is precisely that “additional analysis” that the Q&A with MSU, MHARR and MHProNews was aimed at accomplishing.

Will other media, once they discover these admission, begin to dig deeper?

We will continue to follow this topic,” Kovach said, “and we encourage industry professionals to share these facts with their residents.  Improper add-ons and proper tie downs are two of the keys, per the research by IBHS Chief Engineer Tim Reinhold.”

Kovach did want to publicly thank Skidmore and Weiss for taking part in the frank and respectful exchange.  Kovach noted that Skidmore may have been under instructions from MSU not to go further in the dialogue. As other third party research has shown, universities often receive grants that can influence their research, and the outcomes of that research.

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To see the full text of Skidmore’s originally published article, along with the his full study, plus the early parts of the email exchange – including comments from other manufactured home industry professionals – in those details,  click here.

For additional resources relating to the climate portion of the issue MSU raised, see this linked page.  The information linked from this report and the insights above  are already useful in countering the false impressions similar research produces.  “This is important for professionals, the public, public officials, policy wonks, the media, and open-minded researchers,” Tony Kovach said. ##

(Editor’s note: A veteran reporter told MHProNews that a good story – or a good study – ought to be “bullet proof.” No flaws should exist in the narrative, argument or findings. The quotes at the top of this article aren’t meant to imply that Skidmore or his colleagues at MSU have deliberately deceived using statistics or by mixing nomenclature.  But they raise the point that even if the MSU statistics are precise, they fail to address the issues noted above. That flaw makes their research almost irrelevant in terms of its value.  Further, by conflating terminology, it creates risks that would not otherwise exist, which will be part of our follow up report. Watch for it.)

(Image credits are as shown, and when by third parties, are proided under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News, on MHProNews.com.

Markets Closed for Memorial Day

May 29th, 2017 Comments off

Arlington Nation Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Credit: Wikipedia.

The U.S. Stock Markets are closed today, in deference to the Memorial Day holiday. Normally known in the U.S. as the “gateway to summer,” Memorial Day is a significant homage to those who have made sacrifices.

Per Wikipedia, Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.

The holiday is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its unofficial end.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day recalls the men and women who died while serving our country, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

Following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, commemorations were ubiquitous. The sheer number of soldiers of both sides who died in the Civil War (more than 600,000) meant that burial and memorialization took on new cultural significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had taken shape.

In 1865, the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for the Union war dead.

For a look at Friday’s Market Report, click here.

The management and team of MHProNews would like to extend our deepest thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and freedom. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

 

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Stock Markets Closed Today

February 20th, 2017 Comments off

Photo credit: Wikipedia-New York Stock Exchange

All U. S. stock markets are closed today in observance of President’s Day, which is celebrated the third Monday of February each year, paying tribute to our first president, George Washington. Abraham Lincoln was born in February, and thus the holiday honors him as well.

Among the top ten quotes of our nation’s presidents, President Ronald Reagan said: “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

For MHProNews‘ most recent stock report, posted Friday, Feb. 17, click here.

(Image credit is as shown above.)

Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News for MHProNews.