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Manufactured Housing’s Top 10, March 2019

March 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

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Exploring the following top ten should be a periodic habit for every professional.  It should be part of every business review from firms small- to-large in manufactured housing.

 

These top ten items should be discussed internally, until a new habit is formed by those in management, as well as by those who own, advocate for, and/or invest in manufactured housing,  The top ten should also be a priority for those who aspire to leadership.  How else can one grow without really grasping the following top ten challenges, and following the logical next steps they imply?

In no particular order of importance, here are the bullets of the top ten items of concern in manufactured housing.

 

  • Zoning, placement and local restrictions.  To see examples of how this already has been overcome in specific cases, and thus can be – overcome in others, see two of the reports, linked further below.

 

  • Financing – wholesale and retail.

 

  • Capital, beyond the financing above, access to capital is necessary for business growth.

 

 

  • Recruiting of needed talent, be it trade-work, office, sales, management, production, service, installers, transporters, etc.

 

  • Training, Education, and Motivation.  If a location(s) and/or the industry is/are underperforming, part of that must be due to Human Resources type needs. Thousands of manufactured home industry owners and employees alike are thirsting for good information and motivation. Education is a routine attraction for professionals to attend industry events. Education/information, reality checks like this article, and motivation are top attractions to MHProNews, which leads the industry by a country mile in trade media, because the thirst for knowledge that can pave the way to more sales is so great.

 

  • Attracting more and better qualified customers who are considering other types of housing, and successfully engaging with them. Millions rent who could be buying a manufactured home. Millions more are downsizing or upsizing housing every year too. Furthermore, when over 5.6 million housing units were sold in 2018, almost all for sums well above the costs of our industry, during an affordable housing crisis, why were less than 97,000 new HUD Code manufactured homes sold in 2018?

 

  • Breaking out of ruts and problematic patterns of behavior. Asking honest questions. Seeking objective answers.  Many in the industry either accept the status quo, or don’t stop and think about how much better business could be. That means that many don’t consider what is needed to achieve more profitable growth. Think management by objective (MBO), change management, inspirational dissatisfaction, and more.

 

  • Customer satisfaction and referrals. Customer satisfaction doesn’t depend on a perfect product. Rather it depends upon a marketing and sales process that prepares a customer for reality, helps them to appreciate that reality, and then makes them happy with reality. With some 8.8 million mobile and manufactured homes in America, if only one out of ten of those helped sell another new manufactured home every year, then the industry would be selling 880,000 new manufactured home shipments a year, not under 100,000 new homes shipped that actually occurred in 2018.  Keep in mind, that the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR) chief economist, Lawrence Yun, PhD. said in 2018 that the nation needs some 8.3 million more housing units.  To do that, said Yun, builders have to get really busy.  Only factory builders can hope to achieve the needed growth, is what Jeff Bezos’ Amazon’s Alexa Fund decided last year when they invested millions into a prefab housing startup.

 

  • Everything else.

 

Both for publishing and for business development services, the parent company of MHLivingNews and MHProNews – dba’s of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – have a primary focus of dealing with evidence, facts, and realty. Using demonstrated methods with the proper insights and resources yield better and more profitable outcomes.

When it comes to items like those above, for example, education, consider what others have said.  The first person to speak on this video is someone who heard a talk that was motivating to them, even years later.  The entire video is laced with what others have said about our pro-growth work.  You will see people you know. None were compensated in any way, in fact, many paid us and thanked us for helping improve their operation. If you’ve seen these 2 videos before, look at them again through new eyes, and with the top ten items above in mind.

 

 

Savvy pros know that wishful thinking can’t be relied upon.  Pragmatic, proven methods can be trusted.  Lessons learned can be applied to achieve more profitable growth.

As an educational plug, see the video below to discover how even a modest-sized family operation could grow rapidly and profitably, by learning and applying the right principles.  They were already successful, but became more successful after working with MHProNews’ L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach on a consulting, training, and marketing project.

The company in the video made an investment in their own business, and it paid for itself through more profits. In this example below, the firm had over 400 percent growth, for an already successful company. Other examples exist from other sectors of the industry.  Would you like to learn more about that? Check out the video.

 

 

Then ask yourself, would you like to have similar growth too?  If so, click here or call L. A. “Tony” Kovach’s office at 863-213-4090. Our methods are proprietary, and our clients commit to keeping them proprietary. That said, you can get a very good sense of what takes place from the unscripted interview video, above.  Note there was no payment or other consideration made for Fath doing this video, he says why he did the endorsement near the end of the discussion.

The true story of Rollohome should not be overlooked or forgotten. They went from a start up to 60,000 new homes sold in 2 years.  Manufactured housing is just scratching the surface of its potential today.

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

 

If Rollohome could do it, why not many others today?

Readers like you and from firms of all sizes have made us the runaway number one – #1 – trade media in our industry’s history.  Thank you. We are also the most praised and endorsed industry trade media ever, with third-party citations from NAR, CFPB, an item read into the Congressional Record, plus periodically named by others in the mainstream news media, and more.

 

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The words of the late Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

 

Please see the Friday evening report below for just how “read hotMHProNews is. Our thanks to readers, supporters and sponsors for making that possible and true.

Notice to Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members. Some have asked why MHI news isn’t often published here?  Fair question.

For those who don’t know, or need a reminder, keep in mind that it was MHI who asked some years ago not to have all of their reports published here, as was previously done. MHProNews published all MHI reports for years, we were also paid, until they said, please stop doing so going forward. Note, that they also stopped giving  the Journal of Manufactured and Modular Housing a monthly article before they asked MHProNews to stop, and yet Jim Visser at the Journal rarely editorialized.

So, for whatever reasons, we at MHProNews were not alone. It was all MHI’s idea, it’s documented, and it was not our notion.  By contrast, MHARR continues to sponsor MHProNews. Interesting factoids, aren’t they?

 

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One more note, our editorial stances are our own.  Sponsors may or may not agree with our editorial topics or perspectives.  That freedom gives us the ability to cover a breadth of topics no one else in the industry even comes close to matching.

 

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There are many reports, news, and commentaries this past week that delve on these issues.

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

There are clearly issues to be navigated.  We believe in pragmatic reality,  not mere rah-rah. That’s what the Top Ten should tell you. But above and below you will see reasons why some are exceeding expectations. The industry is just scratching the surface, which means that tremendous growth is possible for those willing to work smarter than others.

 

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With no further adieu, please check out the “read hot” reports week that was from 2.25.2019 to 3.3.2019.  Keep in mind we don’t turn each hot-linked headline into one of those hot-linked text image boxes.  Each news item, report, post, and analysis are there to live out the mantra for our tag line, Manufactured Housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use © as we explore “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” ©.

 

What’s New from MHARR

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What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

 

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Saturday 3.2.2019


Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

 

Friday 3.1.2019

 

  In Manufactured Home Marketing, Size and Results Matter!

In Manufactured Home Marketing, Size and Results Matter!

  WH Economic Advisers Chair Kevin Hasset on U.S. Economy, 2018 totals, 2019 Forecast, plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

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

 

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

  New Inductees Into State’s Manufactured Housing Industry Hall of Fame Announced

New Inductees Into State’s Manufactured Housing Industry Hall of Fame Announced

 

Thursday, 2.28.2019

 

  “Whose Got a Problem?” Coach Lou Holtz Wisdom = “If Enough People Care”

“Whose Got a Problem?” Coach Lou Holtz Wisdom = “If Enough People Care”

  Millennials Driving Home Ownership Rates Back Up, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

Millennials Driving Home Ownership Rates Back Up, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

  “Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

 

“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

  Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

 

Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

 

Wednesday 2.27.2019

 

  Trillion Dollar Housing Plan, American Action Forum (AAF) Research on Green New Deal, Costs Graphic, Video

Trillion Dollar Housing Plan, American Action Forum (AAF) Research on Green New Deal, Costs Graphic, Video

  Sparks Fly! Rep Jim Jordan’s Broadside of Convicted Perjurer, Michael Cohen, Plus MH Market Updates

Sparks Fly! Rep Jim Jordan’s Broadside of Convicted Perjurer, Michael Cohen, Plus MH Market Updates

  Manufactured Home Industry Professionals Feedback, Manufactured Housing Institute and Zoning Related Issues – Part 1

Manufactured Home Industry Professionals Feedback, Manufactured Housing Institute and Zoning Related Issues – Part 1

  Housing Economists Projections from NAHB, CoreLogic, Nationwide, and MHVille

Housing Economists Projections from NAHB, CoreLogic, Nationwide, and MHVille

 

Tuesday 2.26.2019

 

  Fed Chair Powell Challenges Theory Behind Sanders, AOC, Progressive Green New Deal Plans, plus MH Market Updates

Fed Chair Powell Challenges Theory Behind Sanders, AOC, Progressive Green New Deal Plans, plus MH Market Updates

  Dramatic Reversal, City Passes Urgency Ordinance Effectively Banning Manufactured Homes, Front & Back Stories

Dramatic Reversal, City Passes Urgency Ordinance Effectively Banning Manufactured Homes, Front & Back Stories

  Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett Announces Support for 2020 Hopeful, Behind the Curtain

Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett Announces Support for 2020 Hopeful, Behind the Curtain

  Top Global Brands – Animated Infographic from 2000 to 2018 – Most Companies are American, Plus Berkshire Hathaway Ties

 

 

Monday 2.25.2019

 

  Lina Khan, AntiTrust Legal Queen, Set to Join Democratic Staff, FAANG & BM, Beware – Plus MH Market Updates

Lina Khan, AntiTrust Legal Queen, Set to Join Democratic Staff, FAANG & BM, Beware – Plus MH Market Updates

  2018 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, Clayton Homes, Shaw Data Revealed, Facts Others Lack

2018 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, Clayton Homes, Shaw Data Revealed, Facts Others Lack

  Top Independent Manufactured Home Retailer Outsells Clayton Homes, Doesn’t Sell CMH Products, Per Mainstream News

Top Independent Manufactured Home Retailer Outsells Clayton Homes, Doesn’t Sell CMH Products, Per Mainstream News

  12 Reasons to Oppose a New Manufactured Home Post Production Association

12 Reasons to Oppose a New Manufactured Home Post Production Association

 

Sunday 2.24.2019

 

  6 Things Missing From Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter

12 Reasons to Oppose a New Manufactured Home Post Production Association

 

There are reasons why manufactured housing is selling less than in years gone by.  Legacy Housing, along with others, believe there is room for serious growth.  Their graphic below is a reminder of what once was, because it should be a measuring rod for what could be again.  Or more.

 

ManufacturedHousingVsTotalCompletedHomesLegacyHousingS1FilingIPODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Legacy clearly believes in the future of the business, because they are raising capital to expand their retail base.

 

So under-performance is opportunity in disguise.  

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Some Have Tried to Copy, But Have Missed the Mark

We’re not knocking any competitor or other firm when we say – as but one example – that story telling videos are largely done the wrong way in manufactured housing. The proof is in the bottom line results.  Clayton, for example, spends millions on marketing.  Clayton sponsored Duck Dynasty, which for a time was the hottest show on TV.  why didn’t they sell 500,000 homes a year, instead of less than 50,000?

By contrast, we’ve taken specific locations, and by doing a combination of items like those discussed in the Tom Fath interview above, have had compelling videos that are authentic interviews. A native American and his wife are in the video below.  They were paid nothing, yet gave an insightful story that is persuasive because it is an interview that was unscripted and authentic.

 

 

Or we’ve done interviews with professionals, that can be good for the public (B2C) or useful with professionals (B2B).  An example is below.

 

 

Serious growth is never an accident. Understanding the top ten, and learning proven ways to turn problems into profits is something every growth focused professional should want for their operation. That’s this Sunday morning installment of the week in review for manufactured housing professional focused “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

Radically Aspirational, Black History, Affordable Housing, Social Justice, and Manufactured Homes

Grasping True Value of the Green New Deal for America, Affordable Housing Professionals and Advocates

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

Manufactured Housing Institute’s Three Stooges? SECO ‘Leaders’ George F. Allen, Spencer Roane, Tom Lackey and ‘Rent to Own’ Scams?

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are Manufactured Home Communities Good or Bad?

May 15th, 2017 Comments off
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A home in the Wellington community. Credit: Citizen Times.

The answer to that question throughout Western North Carolina comes down to something simple: it depends on whom you ask.

Manufactured housing in the region, on average, accounts for between 15 and 30 percent of overall housing.

According to the Citizen Times, opponents of manufactured housing in the area say “you get what you pay for,” and although manufactured homes are cheap up front, their values and materials degrade over time.

Advocates disagree, saying they are an affordable path to homeownership.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, we continue to cover the challenges as well as the numerous advantages that the manufactured housing industry provides in the U.S., making affordable, quality housing easily available to most of the population.

As the region works to address its affordable housing crisis, manufactured home community owners are pushing for growth, and officials are left with the decision of whether more permissive zoning is the answer.

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Credit: Google.

For longtime Asheville businessman and Wellington Estates community owner, George Morosani, it’s a no brainer.

Describing himself as an advocate for manufactured homes, he’s one of the people driving the push for more permissive zoning.

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George Morosani. Credit: Morosani.

It’s just good old working class people that need a place to live,” said Morosani.What’s most important is at the end of ten years they own the home, and they can have it payment-free for the next 20 or 25 years.”

While manufactured homes are banned in Ashville, Wellington Estates, due to its age, is grandfathered in.

Morosani says that he buys homes and resells them, and buyers put ten percent down and pay off the balance through private financing with Wellington Estates within ten years.

I’ve always found if someone owns something, they’re apt to take better care of it than if you’re renting,” said Morosani.

And that appears to carry over to Wellington West, which is right across the street and also owned by Morosani.

Some residents there are accusing Morosani of forcing them out, telling them that they need to upgrade their homes and pay the Wellington Estates pad rent, or leave.

I feel frustrated because I don’t know where to go,” said Wellington West resident Carina Hernandez.

He said that businesses are businesses, and that’s why we’re taking these out and putting new ones in.”

For Morosani, he says that he has no tolerance for situations like Wellington West.

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A home in Wellington West. Credit: Citizen Times.

This is what the public thinks a trailer park [sic] is,” said Morosani, pointing to a part of the community.

This is trailer trash [sic].”

I want to prove a trailer park [sic] doesn’t have to look scruff. The clean up is part of my strategy to persuade city leaders to open up zoning for mobile homes,” said Morosani.

The difference between trailer trash [sic] in a trailer park [sic] and a manufactured home community is tremendously different. It is not an eyesore. It just takes maintenance. It takes care.”

MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach provides deep insight into the opportunity for manufactured housing in Obstacles and Opportunities in Affordable Housing – October 2016, and the understanding that the solution to affordable housing is hiding in plain sight. ##

(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.

(Copyright Notice: This and all content on MHProNews and MHLivingNews always have been and are Copyrighted, © 2017 by MHProNews.com a dba of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – All Rights Reserved. No duplication is permitted without specific written permission. Headlines with link-backs are of course ok. A short-quoted clip, with proper attribution and link back to the specific article are also ok – but you must send a notice to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com of the exact page you’ve placed/posted such a use, once posted.)

MHC Rezoned, Affordable Housing Affected

May 2nd, 2017 Comments off
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The community in question, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Credit: NWA Online.

In Fayetteville, Arkansas, a manufactured home community is scheduled to see its sunset – and community officials say that it’s a disturbing trend that’s affecting affordable housing across the nation.

According to NWA Online, the City Council approved a rezoning proposal from Dallas based real estate investors and developers Tait Coates and Tommy Kilbride, that will allow re-development of the nine acres.

 

The Niblock family, owners of the land since the late 70’s, said it’s time.

The property has passed its life expectancy,” said George Niblock Jr.

Residents own their homes and pay about $250 per month to rent their lot, but several owe back rent.”

Niblock said that he also understands that the development will displace residents, but he and the new landowners will be working to make the transition as smooth as possible.

For a few of them, it’s going to be painful. There’s no perfect answer for it,” said Niblock.

We’re going to work with them directly,” said Coates. “We will keep an open dialogue with all of the tenants.”

City planning staff sees the area as ripe for development, in part because of its vicinity to the University of Arkansas, and a mix of commercial and residential development is in line with the city’s infill goals.

 

Challenges, Authority, Stigma

With redevelopment, comes the challenge of a loss of affordable housing, which is a major goal of the city’s 2030 plan.

Prior to approval for the rezoning, the Fayetteville Planning Commission asked council members to address the issue of gentrification in some way.

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Credit: Google.

City Attorney Kit Williams told the council that the city has limited authority and a landowner can utilize their property as they see fit, as long as they follow the zoning rules and lease agreements with residents.

I don’t know how we could do that [deal with the issue of gentrification] without taking away some of the property interest rights of the landlord and probably having to pay him for it,” said Williams.

There’s not anything I’m aware of, especially no ordinances we might have that would do anything that would be able to slow down what the landlord might be wanting to do.”

Williams also says that he’s seen the trend of communities disappearing over the years.

Trailer parks [sic] have disappeared throughout town with no proposals to replace them. I think this is due to rising property value within the city limits and the deteriorating nature of a manufactured home’s value,” said Williams.

City planning director Andrew Garner sees the issue as well.

I can’t recall in a dozen years with the city a single instance of a developer wanting to build a trailer park [sic],” said Garner.

A resident could place a mobile home [sic] on his property if it’s zoned as a Residential Agricultural district, but a trailer park [sic] requires a multi-family zoning, and even then it would only be allowed as a conditional use.”

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A video still from an unrelated Fayetteville City Council meeting. Credit: The Advocate.

A part of that challenge is in the stereotypes that persist.

Credit: MHI.

The trend in Fayetteville mimics what’s been happening nationally,” said MHI spokeswoman Patti Boerger.

The country hasn’t seen many new manufactured home communities developed in the past couple decades, but landowners with several acres sometimes place mobile homes on their properties. Manufactured and mobile homes today run the gamut of floor plans and typically are made with the same materials as on-site homes, all at far lower a cost.”

Boerger shared that tiny homes have also become more popular, but Kevin Hawks, owner of Hawks Homes, sees them as a fad.

They attract attention, but usually once customers do the math they figure they can get a better value with a single-wide trailer [sic],” said Hawks.

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A Hawks Home model. Credit: Hawks Homes.

You can drive through anywhere in east Arkansas and you can still see the old metal siding and metal roofs with tires on top to keep the roof from rumbling — what I call a trailer house [sic]. That is not what we build. I don’t even build metal-siding, metal-roof houses anymore. But, a lot of people have that stigma.”

For some members of the Fayetteville City Council, manufactured housing represents the solution to affordable housing.

It does offer home ownership to individuals who otherwise may not be able to afford it,” said Alderman Mark Kinion.

As long as it meets codes and standards and as long as it is compatible.”

For more on the myths and facts surrounding manufactured housing, and the opportunity for millions to achieve the American Dream of home ownership, click here. ##

(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.

Affordable Housing – In the Eye of the Beholder?

April 10th, 2017 Comments off
AffordableHousingIntheEyeoftheBeholdercreditNoozHawk-postedtothedailybusinessnewmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Noozhawk.

Throughout most parts of California, almost everything is expensive.

That includes housing. But, in Santa Barbara, one developer believes that he’s solved the city’s housing shortage.

According to NoozHawk, project architect Jan Hochhauser and developer Ed Clark purchased the property, a former manufactured home community, out of bankruptcy.

 

The plan? To turn it into 40 new tiny home rental units to tackle the city’s affordable housing crisis.

Affordable” in this instance, is in the eye of the beholder.

It’s a market-rate rental project, but is affordable by design,” said Clark. “The two bedroom units will be rented out at $1,500 to $1,800 a month. The rental market is there.”

About a dozen of the tiny homes have already been put into place, and come in at 550 square feet. Once delivered, they install on top of a permanent slab that sits 3-to-4-feet above the ground. The entire property sits on a flood plain and is near a creek.

Clark says that due to California state guidelines, manufactured home communities are under the purview of the Housing and Urban Development Department. With state guidelines less stringent than city ones, the project has been able to move quickly.

We expect to be done by December and begin renting units in January,” said Hochhauser.

Each home will also have a small, one vehicle driveway and communal areas for events. And, while each unit has a full kitchen and washer and dryer, they are specially sized for the homes.

 

Why Not Manufactured Homes vs. Tiny Houses?

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MHLivingNews has covered the “tiny home” movement extensively, including the potential for big legal trouble for owners and a detailed side-by-side comparison with manufactured homes, highlighting function and value versus fashion.

And, several manufactured housing professionals who 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 more on the growth of tiny homes, including nearby San Luis Obispo’s effort to use them for their own housing crunch, 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.

Affordable Home Inventory Crisis – Manufactured Housing Center Stage?

April 7th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: NAHB.

New information from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), shows that an elevation in home values, triggered by tight inventory conditions across all housing categories is contributing to growth in high priced home sales.

While this category grows, a more ominous sign is on the horizon.

According to Construction Dive, student debt, slow wage growth and high rents are making it difficult for younger buyers, who typically purchase lower-priced homes, to save enough for a down payment.

Additionally, information from Trulia shows that entry level housing inventory continues to contract, with supplies falling 8.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017, while the median list prices for homes as up 8.3 percent.

With existing homeowners appearing to be slower to move up to a larger home, and in turn opening up their smaller properties for first time homebuyers, some larger site built home companies are working to fill the inventory gap. Meritage, D.R. Horton and Toll Brothers have all announced entry-level home plans with smaller footprints and fewer amenities to help reduce the cost of building at such a low price-point.

According to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, homebuilders remain optimistic for continued demand for single-family home construction, which has been trending up since the beginning of 2015.

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The new Champion plant in Benton, KY. Credit: Woodworking Network.

 

Does Manufactured Housing Take Center Stage?

The Daily Business NewsMHProNews and MHLivingNews have covered the case for manufactured housing as a viable solution to hope for the American Dream of home ownership at a reasonable price extensively, including Bloomberg making a statement to the same effect.

The ability to significantly cut down on production time, provide a high quality product to federal standards, all at a lower price point serves as the ideal solution to inventory and housing challenges. The titans of business recognize the opportunity as well, as giants and independents alike are actually “doubling down” on the industry.

Sam Zell. Credit: WSJ.

ELS Chairman Sam Zell has been famously quoted as correcting misconceptions about the industry, saying during this interview, “Everyone calls them trailer parks. Pencil head, it’s not a trailer park.

For more on manufactured housing being the solution that’s hiding in plain sight, see MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach’s insight into the opportunity linked here. ##

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

City Makes Moves to Preserve Affordable Housing

April 6th, 2017 Comments off
CityMakesMovestoPreserveAffordableHousingcreditDailyCamera-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Daily Camera.

In Colorado, city officials in Louisville are working to solve a growing affordable housing crisis.

According to the Daily Camera, the focus is on the sole manufactured home community in the city, the 94-unit Parco Dello Zingaro Mobile Home Park, which has served as a cost effective alternative for a number of decades.

The city is weighing city-funded incentives – tax breaks, loans or grants to promote maintenance of the community.

Affordable housing is certainly something that is critical,” said Councilman Chris Leh.

It’s something that everyone recognizes as increasingly difficult in Louisville, and it’s not going to get any easier.”

Also on the table is the potential for a resident-owned community, similar to nearby Boulder’s Mapleton Mobile Home Park. In this scenario, residents would purchase the community and form a co-op.

Community owners in the area and beyond face intense pressure to sell or redevelop their properties as the community around them grows and land values increase. The Daily Business News recently covered a similar scenario in Calgary, Canada, in a story linked here.

In the area over the last three years, the number of single-family homes for sale under $250,000 has dropped 72 percent, and the number of attached dwellings for less than $150,000 has declined by 87 percent.

And in these desperate times, city officials are looking to manufactured housing as a practical solution.

Generally we can say that in addition to the work we do all over Boulder County, the Boulder County Housing Authority is supportive of efforts that can help preserve existing affordable housing where and when possible,” said Jim Williams, a spokesman for Boulder County Housing and Human Services.

These are complicated issues,” said Councilman Jeff Lipton.

There’s lots of balances that need to be weighed. If there was a way to kind of have those interests come together and the area be designated somehow as an area where we want affordable housing, it could be better for us.”

CityMakesMovestoPreserveAffordableHousingcreditGoogle-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Louisville, shaded in red. Credit: Google.

In an affordability study done by Amy Aschenbrenner, CEO of the Longmont Association of Realtors, and Kyle Snyder, of Land Title Guarantee Company, the average single-family home price in Louisville last year was $627,938.

There are no entry level housing options left in Boulder County,” said Snyder.

And, as the dream of homeownership moves further out of reach, housing authority officials have shifted to preserving manufactured housing communities like Parco Dello Zingaro.

City officials recognizing a lack of affordable housing often leads to a chill on development,” said Parco Dello Zingaro owner Keith Cowan.

After dealing with several cities, there are times something is said about lack of affordable housing and the very first thing (the city says) is that you can’t build anymore.

Cowan says that there are fears of him opting to raze the community in favor of more costly townhomes. But as a proponent of affordable housing, he’s actually looking to double down.

My plans are exactly the opposite of redeveloping the park [sic],” said Cowan.

I want to build more, but council and city zoning will not allow that to happen. If you want to restrict it and not allow it to expand, then don’t stand and say we need more affordable housing.”

For more on similar situations, including a case in Melbourne, Australia, click here. ##

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Modular Housing Serves as Affordable Housing Solution

March 29th, 2017 Comments off
credit24Housing-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: 24 Housing.

The trend of municipalities turning to manufactured and modular homes as a solution to housing shortages continues to grow.

In the U.K., recently completed modular housing developments have been slated to serve first time homebuyers and workers in South London.

According to 24 Housing, Vision Modular Systems, in partnership with construction firm Donban Contracting, has completed two finished blocks of modular housing, and turned them over to Pocket Living, an affordable housing provider that only sells to first-time buyers.

Partnering with Pocket Living on multiple projects has allowed us to deliver vital new housing for first-time buyers and key workers who underpin the very fabric of our cities,said Kieran White, managing director at Vision Modular Systems.

Built using 162 modules, the homes were constructed inside a factory in Bedford using production-line techniques, which, as Daily Business News readers are already aware, allows for better quality control, faster delivery, reduction of waste and contributes to  higher levels of energy efficiency.

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A prefab home in progress on site. Credit: Reuters.

All of the buildings that Pocket Living operates are community focused, with shared spaces, including roof terraces. Tim Western, a director at U.K. property giant JLL, who believes modular is the way forward, has proposed a similar plan.

Off-site construction in the UK is growing 25 percent per year. This technique results in a 30 percent reduction in build time, a 75 percent reduction in workforce and 40 percent less vehicle movements, meaning that modular housing is likely to drive a huge change in how homes get built over the next five years, said Western.

Homes manufactured like cars, in other words off-site in a factory, with the opportunity to pick and choose what goes into a basic structure, will bring ‘car quality’ to the market.

Traditional site built developments of this scale in the U.K. can take up to two years to complete, putting additional pressure on housing inventory. Modular provides a practical solution to the problem.

Getting high-quality homes built quickly is key to solving the housing crisis. Modular techniques will play an increasingly important role in meeting this challenge and, through our partnership with Donban and Vision Modular, over a quarter of Pocket’s future pipeline will be built through modular construction,” said Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket Living.

For modular to really take off as a viable construction method, the government and lenders should look at making it easier for SMEs to access the working capital needed to take advantage of its benefits.

For more on modular housing in the U.K., including major builders making moves into the modular space, click here. ##

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

City Invests in Manufactured Homes for Affordable Housing

March 27th, 2017 Comments off
CityInvestsinManufacturedHomesforAffordable HousingcreditSonomaWest-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Sonoma West.

In Northern California, the city of Sebastopol is investing $258,000 into a project that establishes affordable housing for low-income residents at the city’s eastern gateway.

A partial solution for that affordable housing? Manufactured homes.

According to Sonoma West, at a city council meeting last week, officials decided to create a mix of affordable manufactured homes and apartments for residents at the Village Mobile Home Park.

Nine acres of the property is designed for the newly created Tomodachi Park and the rest will become a mix of the manufactured homes and apartments.

The $258,000 expenditure includes about $155,000 in construction and renovation work that the city will put out to bid and a $95,000 grant to the West County Community Services (WCCS) agency to manage the housing units and provide services to “precariously housed Sebastopol-area families.

65 people currently reside in the 18 home community, and an agreement with a nearby Guerneville-based nonprofit agency calls for it to provide eight more manufactured homes for new tenants.

City officials stressed that WCCS will not be operating a homeless services center at the location, but will provide support services to residents such as access to medical and substance abuse services.

The agency provides similar services at Sebastopol’s “limited income units” at three other communities in the area.

A major concern for officials is what happens when the nearby Laguna de Santa Rosa River rises and inundates a large area of the property where manufactured homes are located.

The agency will have to develop an emergency evacuation plan that will likely involve hauling threatened mobile home [sic] units to higher ground in event of flooding,” said Tim Miller, WCCS executive director.

Funding for the project is coming from a source called “inclusionary housing fees,” which developers pay in lieu of providing affordable housing units in their buildings.

The city has collected about $360,000 in such fees, but that amount is too small for the city to undertake affordable housing construction on its own,” said Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass. ##

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Nation Seeks Affordable Housing Solutions, Looks to Modular

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off
NationSeeksAffordableHousingSolutionsLookstoModularcreditBorneoToday-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The delegation from Borneo. Credit: Borneo Today.

In its search for affordable housing solutions, representatives from the island of Borneo, which includes the nations of Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia, arrived in China this week to discuss potential options.

According to Borneo Today, a delegation from the Ministry of Housing and Urbanization, and Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (SHEDA) has been tasked with searching for housing solutions, and their trip will include visits to several housing-related government bodies in China, as well as factories and production sites of several companies specializing in affordable housing solutions.

China has done a lot for their public housing sector and I hope we can adopt some of their knowledge from this trip. That is the purpose of this trip and I hope we can work together with them and learn from their experience,” said Urbanization Assistant Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip.

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Borneo (red marker). Credit: Google.

For the representatives from SHEDA, they have a particular interest in what can be done with factory-built homes.

We hope to learn from China the cost saving process and see the production of prefabricated modular building system in their factories. We hope to source for alternative affordable housing solutions that may enhance the variety of housing in Sarawak,” said SHEDA Kuching chairman Dr Christopher Ngui.

This study visit may provide us with the opportunity to do so and if we can successfully incorporate the technology into our housing developments, there is little doubt in my mind that the affordable housing situation in Sarawak will improve on the whole.

The delegation is scheduled to visit the Hong Kong Urban Renewal Authority (URA) to learn more about how the government agency has managed to revive dilapidated urban areas.

It also plans a visit to the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA), which operates citizen home ownership and private sector participation programs.

While in Mainland China, the delegation is scheduled to visit several factories and sites of prominent prefabricated housing system manufacturers, as well as a briefing on housing and city planning by the Qingdao Municipal Government.

The group also expects to sign a number of agreements with manufacturers during the visit.

For more on nations around the world exploring modular housing, including British insurance giant Legal & General making moves building and lending, click here. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MH Presented as Solution for Affordable Housing

February 24th, 2017 Comments off
MHPresentedasSolutionforAffordableHousingcreditKRISTV-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: KRIS TV.

In Corpus Christi, Texas, Andy Taubman has once again presented manufactured housing as an affordable solution to an ongoing challenge for the city.

Taubman, former chairman of the Streets Committee, believes that using manufactured homes as infill is viable, and has proposed the solution to the city council on two separate occasions in the past. He has also been willing to place two manufactured homes at his cost on property he owns as a demonstration.

According to the Caller-Times, Taubman’s proposal last year drew criticism from former council members, in part because of questions about how long the homes would last.

When Taubman presented to the council this week, he said once again that he would self-fund two demonstration projects on lots he already owns, and the design of the homes would have a similar look to traditional pier-and-beam constructed homes.

The council responded with strong support for Taubman’s proposal.

MHPresentedasSolutionforAffordableHousingcreditThePaperTrail-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Andy Taubman. Credit: The Paper Trail.

It’s the right path to resolve an issue we’ve had for a long time,” said City Councilwoman Paulette Guajardo.

The council made a motion directing city staff to work with Taubman to evaluate manufactured housing as a possibility to help address affordable housing options.

A follow-up presentation from Taubman is planned for March 21.

The city is interested in affordable housing but so far it’s all been talk,” said City Councilman Joe McComb.

So this may move it down the football field a little bit.

McComb also said he was looking forward to seeing the demonstration projects, noting that Taubman believes enough in the model to put his own money into it.

In addition to Taubman’s proposal, city leaders have several options under consideration, some of which are seeking the council’s support to secure government grant money to build.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, MHProNews and MHLivingNews continue to cover the challenges as well as the numerous advantages that the manufactured housing industry provides in the U.S., making affordable, quality housing easily available to most of the population.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach provides deep insight into this opportunity in Obstacles and Opportunities in Affordable Housing – October 2016, and the understanding that the solution to affordable housing is hiding in plain sight.

For more on Taubman’s prior efforts in Corpus Christi, click here, and here. ##

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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