Posts Tagged ‘and’

Rise and Fall – NAHB March Housing Report

April 20th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: NAHB.

New data in from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) shows that homebuilding in the U.S. fell in the month of March, recording its biggest decline in three years.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, housing starts declined 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units. February housing starts were revised up, to a 1.30 million-unit pace. Starts were previously reported at a 1.29 million-rate.

Single-family homebuilding dropped 6.2 percent to 821,000 units, with starts in the Midwest seeing their biggest drop (25 percent) since January 2014.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast groundbreaking activity falling to a 1.25 million-unit pace last month. Homebuilding was up 9.2 percent compared to March 2016.

The report cites that unseasonably warm temperatures boosted construction in February, and a drop in temperatures, along with storms in the Northeast and Midwest, could have contributed to the drop in March homebuilding numbers.


Credit: Men of Value.

Overall, single family home starts in the Northeast remained unchanged while they rose 3.2 percent in the South, but fell 5.5 percent in the West. Starts for multi-family housing dropped 7.9 percent to a 394,000 unit-pace.

As the Daily Business News has reported prior, the traditional housing sector remains constrained by a dearth of properties available for sale.

Builders have cited a range of problems including shortages of labor and land as well as rising material prices. A recent survey showed that homebuilder confidence slipped in April from a near 12-year high in March.

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 myths, and the facts surrounding manufactured housing abound. To learn more, including why manufactured housing is the solution hiding in plain sight for many to achieve the American Dream, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHARR on HUD, DOE, Chattel and Powergrabs – Exclusive Report and Analysis

April 19th, 2017 Comments off

Collage credit, MHProNews.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has released its April 2017 Washington Update, an exclusive report and analysis that addresses key issues with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Covered in this MHARR report:


  • HUD Defines President Trump’s Regulatory Reforms
  • MHARR Highlights Urgent Need for Securitized Chattel
  • DOE Manufactured Housing Energy Rule Takes Another Hit

In a re-play of its well-documented institutional resistance to the full and proper implementation of the program reforms mandated by Congress in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, mounting evidence indicates that the HUD manufactured housing program, with its management team of Obama Administration holdovers, is openly defying the regulatory reform agenda of the new Trump Administration,” MHARR says in the report.

The report also provides insight on HUD program funding.

With the HUD program continuing to seek ever-higher funding levels from Congress in order to fund an unnecessary expansion of in-plant regulation via contractor make-work activity, MHARR is urging Congress to continue exercising strict oversight of the HUD program budget, in order to curb needless and costly contractor-driven paperwork and red tape.”

The full MHARR report and analysis is available for Daily Business News readers here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

An Interesting Gaggle – Animals and Manufactured Home Communities

April 11th, 2017 Comments off

The community Lake. Credit: Chino Champion.

While manufactured home communities offer a number of things, including a practical, cost efficient and quality way to realize the American Dream, occasionally strange things happen.

In this case, the problem is a gaggle… of geese.

Per the Chino Champion, it appears that Canadian Geese that refuse to migrate are causing issues at the Lake Los Serranos Mobile Home Park in Chino, California.

The geese carry salmonella and diseases that can be dangerous to people with compromised immune systems. Some are laying eggs on rooftops with the potential for lice and mites entering the homes,” said community owner Jack Greening.

They’re very aggressive especially at this time of year when they’re getting ready to lay eggs.”

Greening says that that aggressiveness includes not moving for cars, attacking residents and leaving some rather slippery waste behind.

The goose issue began about eight years ago, when a community resident released his pet geese into the community’s lake. Then, the population exploded.

To work on solving the problem, Greening says that he’s following the advice of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) by coating the eggs with vegetable oil.


Credit: Chino Champion.

While this would normally be the end of a story, this one has an interesting twist.

A rumor began on social media that Greening, using this method, was “maliciously killing Canadian Geese and destroying their eggs” in the community.

People with ignorance are making these statements,” said Greening.

They assume the worst and have no idea what is going on.”

It is legal for landowners and local governments to destroy the nests and eggs of resident Canada geese when necessary to resolve or prevent injury to people, property, crops, or other interests, as explained in a fact sheet,” said Pam Bierce, spokesperson for the USFWS.

The eggs of migratory bird species other than resident Canada geese may not be destroyed. Landowners must register on the USFWS website between Jan. 1 and June 30 of the year in which the nests and eggs will be destroyed. Instructions are provided on how to conduct nest visits and how to report the number of eggs destroyed.” ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Green Building Materials Front and Center in Construction

April 8th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Environmental Leader.

In a new report from Allied Market Research, the firm shows significant market growth for green building materials over the next five years.

According to the Environmental Leader, the “Green Building Materials Market Report” forecasts that the global market is expected to grow from $171,475 million in 2015 to $377,029 million by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 11.9 percent from 2016 to 2022.

The report also shows that the emission reduction potential of green building materials, higher asset value of green buildings, growth in public awareness regarding green materials, and increase in client and market demand are the major factors that will drive market growth.

With reduced operating costs and a better indoor working environment, the report states that those factors will add to market demand for green building materials.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, the manufactured and modular housing industries have long shown the significant upside of factory built housing, including lower costs, a more consistent product and strict federal standards.

Factory-built homes are becoming more popular in the housing industry as builders face a shortage of construction workers. Among the upscale modular homes covered, includes the work done by Revolution PreCrafted Homes, where Eric Trump sits on the board of directors. In a survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reported that on average, single-family homebuilders use 10.2 different green products or practices, and 22 percent always or almost always have their homes certified to a green standard.

For more on the green building movement, including Karen Adams, President and CEO of Green Dwellings in Palm Beach, Florida aiming to be the Tesla of modular green homes, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Flight and Fight: MHC Residents Making Choices

April 4th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Calgary Sun.

In Calgary, Alberta, Canada, residents at the now city- owned Midfield Mobile Home Park are heading towards the end of a three year journey – that concludes with the community closing down.

It’s very depressing. I don’t want to see it,” said resident Cindy MacDonald, who also shared that she can hear demolition crews tearing down her neighbors’ homes.

According to the Calgary Sun, six months before the community is scheduled to be shuttered, it now looks like a ghost town, as residents are moving out.

Nearly half of the trailer [sic] pads in the 183-pad park [sic] are today vacant,” said Doug Cassidy, director of real estate and development services for the city.

We continue to work with residents to facilitate where we can. Many of the residents have worked independently, in terms of either moving their units or making plans to move otherwise.

While Cassidy is confident all 183 spots in the community will be empty by the end of September, some longtime residents have said they have no plans to move from the community, which is central to key services.

There are people that are going to fight to the bitter end,” said MacDonald.


Midfield, identified by red marker. Credit: Google.

Beginning in May 2014, residents of the Midfield community received letters stating that the community would close on September 30, 2017, because aging water and sewer pipes were unsalvageable.

They were told by the Calgary City Council that they would be relocated to the soon-to-be-built East Hills Estates on the outskirts of the city.

Then, the council told them that wasn’t going to happen.

With few options, as many communities are full, many community residents who opted to move their homes versus demolishing them, have decided to relocate their homes outside of city limits.

The city of Calgary offered eligible residents tenants a lump-sum payment of $10,000 to leave and a maximum of $10,000 toward the costs incurred to move their factory-built home, as well as counseling services.


Credit: Midfield Park.

All residents that have moved have received money, in accordance with the Midfield Closure Program,” said Cassidy.

The remaining residents continue to receive assistance from the city in finding a new place to live, and a housing fair is scheduled for June.

Cassidy shared that after the community closes, the city will start working to remove underground utilities and prepare the land for grading work.

The future plans for the land, which is located in a highly desirable inner-city area, have not been revealed.

Similar cases continue to play out not only in Canada and in the U.S., but also in Australia, where residents of the Wantirna Caravan Park must move as a property firm plans to build high rise towers. That story is linked here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

DTS Manufactured Home Lending – Views to FHFA NAFCU, an Innovative MH Community Operator, and MHARR

March 24th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Scott Lewis, Creative Commons.

Back in January, The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a request for input (RFI) on its duty to serve (DTS) underserved markets ‘pilot program’ to finance manufactured homes, with a deadline of March 21st.

According to commentary from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), the request was an adjunct to its December 29, 2016 final rule implementing the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), seeking public input on considerations that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should include in their determinations of whether to include manufactured home chattel loan pilot programs in their Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans.  And if so, how such pilots could be designed, taking into account policy, safety, and soundness considerations.


Text and image credit,

As the deadline arrived, there was no shortage of commentary and feedback from the industry and interested parties.

I am writing to you in regard to the Request for Input on Chattel Financing of Manufactured Homes. Overall, NAFCU supports the steps the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has taken to increase the liquidity of the mortgage market and improve the distribution of investment capital available to very low-, low-, and moderate-income families,” said Ann Kossachev Regulatory Affairs Counsel for the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU).


Ann Kossachev. Credit: LinkedIn.

Nonetheless, NAFCU’s members have expressed concerns regarding the entrance of Fannie and Freddie into the chattel loan market given the history of manufactured housing loans in the secondary market.

Kossachev continued with a cautious tone to the FHFA.

Therefore, NAFCU requests that the FHFA diligently evaluate the chattel loans market prior to requiring the GSEs to decide whether they should pursue a pilot program, thereby extending the time allotted for the GSEs to make such a decision,” sais Kossachev.

NAFCU also requests that the FHFA continue to be transparent in the implementation of the chattel loans pilot program through regular updates and opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback so the industry may closely follow the progression of the program.

Kossachev also shared that there is, potentially, very serious danger in moving forward too quickly, and that more time was the key to permit GSEs to evaluate the chattel loans marker.

There is serious trepidation among NAFCU’s member credit unions that the implementation of the FHFA’s chattel loans pilot program will cause a negative disruption in the mortgage market. Namely, credit unions are worried that lenders will increasingly enter the chattel loan market because of the associated higher interest rates, ignoring the fact that there is typically a higher rate of delinquency for manufactured housing loans,” said Kossachev.

Delinquencies in the chattel loan market often occur later in the life of the loan, such that the manufactured home is worth much less than the outstanding unpaid loan balance. This type of circumstance creates a risky environment susceptible to a crash.

The full response from the NAFCU is linked here.

It should be noted that NAFCU references the same documents that MHProNews published earlier this month in a feature story on DTS, linked here.


A Response From an Innovative Community Operator

Brian Gallagher, COO, CPA, JD, MBA, of Santefort Real Estate Group in Westmont, Illinois, and owner/operator of 11 manufactured home communities located in Illinois and Indiana, comprising 3,000 home sites, also provided commentary to the FHFA.


Brian Gallagher. Credit: LinkedIn.

We are very confident that the Enterprise’s support of a secondary market for manufactured home community (MHC) chattel loans would be a win-win-win,” said Gallagher.

Secondary Market Investors (SMI) would receive higher yield investments with mitigated risk characteristics. Consumers would have access to more lending sources which, among other key benefits, would lower borrowing costs and unlock the equity value in their manufactured homes. MHC chattel home loan originators would have a source of funds to replenish their lending pools, leading to greater activity, jobs, and more Quality Affordable Housing for a presently unsubsidized and underserved consumer market.

Gallagher continues, stating that he sees a particular, innovative, method leading to success.

The Enterprises could bring this about through leading the development of ‘template transactions’ – standardized documents, PMI, and ‘Park Agreements’, pursuant to which the MHC’s in which the loan collateral is located agree to cooperate with originators and SMI to mitigate the risk of loss arising from borrower default. In sum, the Enterprises’ promotion of a chattel loan secondary market would satisfy their ‘Duty to Serve’ the lower economic classes which are disproportionately dependent upon manufactured home community living for their quality affordable housing needs.

The full response from Gallagher is linked here.



To see the related news story linked above, please click the graphic.

For a deeper dive into understanding GSEs, Duty to Serve, and manufactured home lending, including Eagle One Financials Titus Dare and his “4S’” of good lending, click here. ##

(Editor’s Note: a special review of MHI’s comments is planned after the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

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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

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.


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.


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. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Belgian Prefab: Quick, Fast and Self-Sustaining

March 10th, 2017 Comments off

A SkilPod prefab home. Credit: Inhabitat.

Prefab housing appears to be getting even faster.

Skilpod, a Belgian construction company, has created the #150 Skilpod solar-powered model, a prefabricated home that can generate all its own energy and be set up in as little as half a day.

According to Inhabitat, the model was by UAU Collectiv, and is a zero-energy home constructed from cross-laminated timber.

It takes about 20 days in total to build in the factory.

The model is one of Skilpod’s largest single-unit models, with the smallest being about 30 square meters (98 feet). The homes are designed as social housing or group living projects targeted at single parent families, retirees, or first-time renters or buyers.

As with other prefab modulars, the units can be stacked to create larger homes, or apartment blocks.

Coming in at 280-square-meters (918 feet), the most recent #150 model home completed at the Skilpod factory was transported in three pieces to its final site for assembly.

The home is designed for solar optimization, including utilizing a special type of glass with a solar filter. The rooftop solar panels provide all of the electricity needed to power the home.


Prefab in progress at SkilPod Factory. Credit: Inhabitat.

Skilpod says that the home’s high insulation values and airtight design means that only a one-kilowatt electric heater would be needed to heat the home, which also includes a heat recovery system and an air-to-water electrical heat pump.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, unique prefab homes continue their evolution around the world, including the case of the “styrofoam dome” prefab home in Japan.

The Japan Dome House Co., Ltd has come up with the design, which delivers a certain level of chic, and takes up less space than conventional home. There are already over 400 of the homes in the resort village in Kyushu, and Katsuyuki Kitagawa, owner of the Japanese firm  believes he can do more.


Katsuyuki Kitagawa. Credit: The Japan Times.

I’d like to change the way of farming,” said Kitagawa, citing that he believes all of the advantages over conventional homes are ideal.

I thought I’d be happy if I could scoop out the bean paste from a manju dumpling and live there.

The full story is linked here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Manufactured Housing and Workforce Housing, Practical Partners

March 10th, 2017 Comments off

A manufactured home in Steamboat Springs. Credit: Realtor.

Even with over 300 households currently in manufactured home communities in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the tried and true solution to the challenge of affordable workforce housing does not appear to be a priority.

According to Steamboat Today, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, with city and county support, owns the Fish Creek Mobile Home Park that has 68 units. Even so, manufactured housing has not won much attention in community discussions around solving a growing supply and demand problem in the city, or Routt County.

Yet, opportunity exists to acquire homes at reasonable prices.

Pete Stimmel, owner of four manufactured homes, and the land beneath them in nearby Hayden, is looking to sell and asking $215,000.

I bought it 15 years ago as a business investment, where it generates income (about $27,000 annually) through rentals,said Stimmel.

The homes are part of the old Rainbow Mobile Home Park, which is no longer intact.

Stimmel says the property has been home to permanent residents and also to construction workers spending a season on projects like upgrades to the Hayden Station power plant. The homes are close to convenience stores and transit, and are served by municipal water and sewer services.

A new owner could raise the monthly rents by as much as $100 and still be under the market. Or, a purchaser could almost live in one of the homes for free after collecting rent,” said Stimmel.


Steamboat Springs (red marker). Credit: Google.

Christian Talli, a local realtor, has a similar scenario.

He has what he considers to be a rare manufactured home listing on the market in the Hilltop Homes neighborhood that also includes ownership of the lot. The cost? $275,000.


A home in the Hilltop Homes community. Credit: Steamboat Today.

Hilltop Homes is a neighborhood where many residents have taken the option to replace original mobile homes with stick-built or modular homes on the lots that were re-platted after the neighborhood was able to purchase the land from the mobile home park [sic],said Talli, who formerly lived in the neighborhood.

When you drive through Hilltop you see a wide variety of small footprint homes, from custom timber-frame homes to modest manufactured homes.

While the home on the lot needs work, Talli says that the situation offers buyers the opportunity to lock up a lot close to schools while they save money toward a future permanent home on the site.

And a local bank is willing to lend on the purchase,” said Talli.


A Practical Solution


Credit: MHLivingNews.

As scenarios like the one in Steamboat Springs continue to play out throughout the country, 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.

Giants and independents alike are actually “doubling down” on the manufactured housing industry, with ELS Chairman Sam Zell being quoted as 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.

MHARR: President Trump’s Actions Offer Major Opportunity for MH Industry and Consumers

February 28th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: MHARR, Wikipedia.

Washington, D.C., February 28, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that Executive Orders issued by President Trump within the past thirty days provide an unprecedented opportunity for the federally-regulated manufactured housing industry and American consumers who rely upon manufactured homes.

The orders, says MHARR, fulfill the campaign promises by the President to significantly curtail the “regulatory state,” provide a solid basis for the industry and consumers to seek the elimination or modification of needless, job-killing federal regulations that unnecessarily increase the cost of the nation’s most affordable homes.

President Trump’s actions also provide a foundation for fundamental reforms to the manufactured housing program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to bring the program into full compliance with the landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

MHARR says that executive orders issued on January 30th and February 24th require virtually all federal agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed for each new regulation added to the agency. Further, the agencies must designate a “Regulatory Reform Officer” and appoint a “Regulatory Reform Task Force” to identify regulations that eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation that are outdated, unnecessary or ineffective.

In combination with the government-wide regulatory freeze order implemented January 20th, and the pending confirmation of Dr. Ben Carson, as HUD Secretary, MHARR says that these mandates offer potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the industry and consumers to put a severely out-of-touch and out-of-control federal manufactured housing program back on-track.


M. Mark Weiss. Official Photo.

The stance of the Trump Administration on the needless regulatory burdens confronting America’s small businesses is a godsend for the manufactured housing industry and the mostly lower and moderate-income Americans who rely on its homes for affordable, non-subsidized housing,” said MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss.

With these new policies, the industry and consumers have an unprecedented opportunity to achieve and cement in place the major program reforms mandated by Congress in the 2000 reform law. While MHARR intends to aggressively pursue this opportunity, it cannot be the only industry organization seeking fundamental change to put the federal program back on track.

The go-along-to-get-along segment of the industry, accordingly, has a crucial decision to make – to either embrace fundamental change, or continue protecting an unacceptable and indefensible status quo.

The full release from MHARR is linked here.

For MHARR’s comments on the State Administrative Agencies (SAA) funding rule, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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