Posts Tagged ‘bob crawford’

Giving Thanks for Manufactured Housing Independents, Applauding “MHIdea!”

November 22nd, 2018 Comments off



Disclosure.  This “MHIdea” is not about MHProNews, and predates topics and positions we’ve published in the last few years. So this Daily Business News report is just that – an article that quotes from a manufactured home industry trade group that industry legend Dick Moore conceived, and was advanced with the work of the President of Dick Moore Housing, Bob Crawford.




The purpose for the trade “alliance” Moore and Crawford inspired was to represent manufactured home retail independents.  It was articulated in several quotes we’ve pulled from their MHIdea website. The logo at the featured image at the top of this article, and that home shown, are from their website, but the headline is ours.

FYI – they don’t even know that this article is being written.

With that introduction, let’s begin with the following quote. As we often do, the bold and brown is added to directly quoted text, which was originally in black, save for the blue and red they used in MHIdea.

— from MHIdea website, with our commentary —

“IF we keep doing what we’ve been doing,

  We will keep getting what we got!”

Or this quote: 

We must come together as an industry fighting for its very existence,

and we must do so very soon, or we may not be able to

change our current direction and momentum.” 

And consider this quote:

MHIdea was initially conceived as a trade organization for independent retail dealers.  Multi-billion dollar manufactured housing corporations have definite advantages not available to many independent manufacturers and retailers, and MHIdea was seen as, and remains to be, an excellent opportunity for these independents to enjoy some of those benefits

However, the developments of the recent months have shown the desperate need of an industry voice that can bring our united message to the consumer and to our legislating agenciesMHIdea can provide the conduit for that message.

Many of the issues we face today arose from the world of shadows that has been the recent inner-workings of HUD.  A strong, national Alliance such as MHIdea could shine the light of truth onto the inequitable dealings of HUD and provide the check and balance so sorely missing in the DC arena.” 

Was the Dick Moore and Bob Crawford inspired MHIdea ahead of its time?

Before diving deeper, let’s post a video interview of Dick Moore, below. It reveals his significant success, and fascinating historic insights.



With that better understanding of Moore as a backdrop, backdrop, consider the following quote from their dated site.

MHIdea has a multi-pronged plan of action:


Investigate HUD’s policies and actions of HUD personnel

for Legal Compliance and the legal options available

to us if non-compliance is found;


Defend the position of the independent street retail

sales center owner, before Congress and local govt’s;


Educate the consumer about the benefits of modern-day MH living;


Advocate the interests of Alliance members & the MH Industry.


A coordinated plan of action for our industry

is critically important to our future.

Then there is this quote:

The manufactured housing industry faces many challenges in the coming years.  But with great challenges come great opportunities, and MHIDEA is here to help independent dealers across American enjoy them more!

This quote is humble, but wise.

Whether the voice is MHIdea or some other is immaterial.

The need for such a voice is undeniable!



“IF we keep doing what we’ve been doing,

          We will keep getting what we got!”


There may be a fact glitch here and there on the MHIdea website. But the thrust of the thought process appears sound. For example. 

“…The challenge concerning retail financing is further aggravated by HUD and other agencies working against the best interests of both the consumer base which could benefit from our product and industry members themselves, from the manufacturers and parts suppliers to the retail sales personnel.  The lack of help coming from Washington, DC is glaring, with HUD boldly operating in violation of its federal mandate…” i.e: the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.   ICYMI, or want a refresher later, the next link is from MHProNews, and not from MHIdea

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

Before returning to items from MHIdea, it must be noted that recent data reflects that about 1/3 of manufactured homes are going into land-lease communities. The other 2/3 are predominantly being sold by retailers, although FEMA orders and some going to developers are a periodic part of the mix.  Rephrased, retailers are still the bulk of new HUD code manufactured home sales.

Vertically integrated companies, such as Clayton Homes, and to a lesser extent, Skyline-Champion and Cavco Industries, are among those who sell to independents, but also have their own retail operations.

Other semi-vertical integrated firms exist, for example, Legacy Housing,  or American HomeStar. Legacy sells to independents and communities, but also has its own retail centers.

That said, let’s return to content from MHIdea, because this next quote speaks volumes.

“…One body has become overloaded with members representing factions of our industry that are financiallybetter poised to weather the regulatory storms on the horizon, almost to the point of a technical monopoly.  MHI [i.e.: Manufactured Housing Institute] has no real incentive and apparently not much interest to work hard for the small independent retailer sales centers.  Some of their recent efforts appear to be motivated by industry members’ frustration at their previous inactions.”  That wasn’t written by MHProNews, or Marty Lavin, or Frank Rolfe.  That’s the view from a pair who have a retail operation, and only recently sold their communities, which accounted for over 25,000 mobile and manufactured homes sold over the years. 

Put differently, Dick Moore’s and Bob Crawford’s perspective is not to be taken lightly. 

Their commentary continues: “Our other representative group, MHARR, is Danny Ghorbani.   His writings have been steadfastly on the side of the retailers, but too often he has been the lone voice in the wilderness...”

When an observation has merit, it is often timeless. Note that this was done circa 2009/2010.


 With the above graphic and shipment levels in mind, let’s cite another quote from MHIdea:

The dismal report of total shipments in 2009, the continued lack of substantive progress from the recent MHI meeting, the continued depressed condition of the economy and its effect on our customer base all weigh heavily on the future of our business.   Our needs have NOT been adequately represented before Congress or the various federal regulatory agencies we are forced to deal with; our product has NOT been successfully marketed to our customer base in a time when our product is ideally suited to provide a much-needed commodity; our industry has NOT had a voice to speak with an unbiased voice for the benefit of ALL.  

MHIdea can provide that voice.  MHIdea personnel will be autonomous from any manufacturer or retailer associate.  We will speak for the benefit of the Alliance, with no favoritism to any one.  We will speak nationally through the Internet, video and other media productions.  We can provide a unique marketing logo supported with national advertising and PR efforts, to help our local retailer associate member’s improve their market recognition.”

MHProNews did provide at that time some coverage for their effortBut in candor, we didn’t see then all that we do now.

MHIdea had a solid concept. It could have used some refinement. It needed to have what we said yesterday about the #NobleNotMobile concept.  Namely, it will have to be given ongoing, sustained support and commitment.

#NobleNotMobile, New Contest and Video Program Launched, Exclusive Details

Over two years ago, Bob Crawford, speaking off the cuff at Tunica, once more addressed the industry’s needs. He mentioned the MHIdea in the video posted below the photo.  If you listen to what Frank Rolfe and Bob Crawford had to say, and none of this was rehearsed or planned, its amazingly insightful – even today.


Several community owners have come to a similar conclusion that Dick Moore and Bob Crawford did, over 8 years ago. One might question this or that, but isn’t the concept worth highlighting?  One more time, let’s quote from their now dated website, but that they correctly kept online.


IF we keep doing what we’ve been doing,

           We will keep getting what we got”


Today, let’s give thanks for all of the independents in the manufactured home industry. In the days ahead, we can reflect beyond thanks towards positive action. We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Giving Thanks for Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, Classic “Mobile Home Parks” and Manufactured Home Communities


Legacy Housing IPO, Lending Tree, & New HUD Ruling Updates


#NobleNotMobile, New Contest and Video Program Launched, Exclusive Details

What’s the Truth About Thanksgiving in MHVille?



New High Mortgage Rates, Latest Core-Logic Housing Price Data

June 27th, 2018 Comments off


The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index moved up 6.6 percent from a year earlier.  Housing price increases in Seattle, Las Vegas and San Francisco were at a double digit clip, the organization said in a release to the Daily Business News.


U.S. home prices rose in April from a year earlier, lifted by bidding wars in many cities where would-be buyers fought over a sparse supply of homes.

In April, Seattle led the way with a 13.1% year-over-year price increase, followed by Las Vegas with a 12.7% increase and San Francisco with a 10.9% increase. Nine of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending April 2018 versus the year ending March 2018,” the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller release stated.


Prices rose even as home sales fell and mortgage rates climbed,” noted Newsmax.

Mortgage rates reached a seven-year high in late May of 4.77 percent, before declining this month. As of last week, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.57 percent, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, it was 3.9 percent.


The economy is growing and the unemployment rate is at an 18-year low, which typically would point to stronger home sales,” noted Newsmax.


Analysis by S&P…

Home prices continued their climb with the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index up 6.4% in the past 12 months,” says David M. Blitzer Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Cities west of the Rocky Mountains continue to lead price increases with Seattle, Las Vegas and San Francisco ranking 1-2-3 based on price movements in the trailing 12 months. The favorable economy and moderate mortgage rates both support recent gains in housing. One factor pushing prices up is the continued low supply of homes for sale. The months-supply is currently 4.3 months, up from levels below 4 months earlier in the year, but still low.”

Americans are increasingly turning to newly-built homes,” per Newsmax, “where sales jumped 6.7 percent in May. But higher prices and fewer existing homes to choose from are cutting many Americans out of the housing market.”


Manufactured Housing Signficance?

Many of these conditions – such as interest rising rates – are historically those that would lead to an increase in manufactured home sales.


Facts are facts. They are neutral measures of reality. Once facts and their causes are understood, then the opportunities can be tapped. What the above means is that the typical retailer could potentially be selling 10x (+/-) more homes. a typical market

Nevertheless, manufactured home production and sales are still at historically low levels.


What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.

In a release to MHProNews, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) attributed some of the woes for the still-low sales level to a lack of effective post-production national industry leadership.

MHARR hailed the start of a new communities focused post-production association.

New Manufactured Home Industry National Association Related Statements

The independent producers association based in Washington, D.C. nevertheless urged that the rest of the industry’s post-production companies should work to organize their own association.  That’s a call that award-winning Bob Crawford, president of Dick Moore Housing and others in the retail side of the HUD Code home industry support.

The new MH Communities association, and the call for a new retail post-production association follows comments by MHI award winner, Marty Lavin, who said that the Arlington, VA based trade group only works for the interests of the “big boys.”

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

Lavin added that MHI is useful for smaller firms only to the extend that a small firm’s need happens to mirror that of a larger company.  For more details, see the related reports, linked above and below. (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Developers Face Disruptive, Troubling Trend

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room



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MHVillage Confirms Data, and Michigan Operational Slide Revealed

June 22nd, 2018 Comments off


In a message forwarded to the Daily Business News, MHVillage (MHV) confirmed troubling data that has been presented in person to dozens of gathered industry professionals.

DarrenKroloweskiMHVillageCoPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronewsThe factoids were shared by MHVillage’s Co-President, Darren Krolewski, using a positive-spin narrative.

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, MHVillage Inc. is the nation’s premier online marketplace for buying and selling manufactured homes with more than 25 million unique visitors annually. Last year, more than 80,000 homes were sold on MHVillage with a combined transaction value exceeding $3 billion,” said their promotion of a George Allen event.

Accepting their data claims at face value, the numbers on the surface appear impressive, which is their obvious intent.  They’re claiming they are the “premier marketplace.”

But when the MHVillage data is viewed more closely, what they reveal ought to be troubling to marketers and sellers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

The ratio of sales of homes on their site is a tiny fraction of a single percent.

Specifically, using MHV published 2017 data,

  • it is only about 1/3 of 1 percent of all visitors to their site ends up buying a manufactured home, so,
  • the average sales price of the home listed and sold there would be $37,500.
  • Considering the U.S. Census Bureau said that the average sales price of a new manufactured home was $72,900 in Dec 2017,
  • meaning the average HUD Code manufactured housing unit sold there would be 51.44% – roughly half the value – of the average new manufactured home shipped in December 2017.



More Woes? Michigan Data Reveals Shipment Slide

According to the April 2018 shipment data supplied by a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) source, Michigan – one of the top 10 states per Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) data – is sliding.


Several questions about the decline and related were posed to the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association’s executive director, over the course of a few days.  Neither Bill Shaefer, nor the association, opted to answer.

What’s going on?  It’s part of a previously reported trend, which can be read in the linked article below after this column is finished.

While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

Krolewski is on record sharing this view, “I think one of the challenges we have as an industry is that there is not enough positive news about manufactured housing to counter the negative.


It’s a reality check, not a slam to do the math. If MHV is the industry’s “premier marketplace,” then the industry’s image woes are center stage, and Krolewski’s own statement explains why.


Bob Crawford, left, Frank Rolfe, right. Still credit, Inside MH video, by

For years, we have wondered WHY there was so little pro-industry advocacy from MHI to government movements, proposals, rules, etc. that were [often] not in the best interest of this industry,” said Bob Crawford, president of historic Dick Moore Housing, a BBB A+ rated firm.

On the MHU blog, Frank Rolfe has said, MHI – the industry lobby group…what’s with the concept of silence is golden? Negative articles on the industry are met with “no comment”. Positive news opportunities are met with “no comment”. 
I’ve never seen anything like it
.” 1

Krolewski has said at one point that the industry would be getting support from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on image building and messaging.  In fact, MHI has an active social media campaign, and reportedly one or two public relations people on staff, and has contracted others at times too.

That being so, where are their measurable results?


MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe industry is slowly crawling back from the bottom hit in 2009/2010. Aren’t new manufactured home sales the final metric that matters?  Isn’t that how the National Association of Home Builders ™ (NAHB), or the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR) are measuring results?  Don’t sellers see want to know how many housing starts, and how many actual conventional housing unit sales?

We always hear about the tornadoes, flooding, fires, residents getting evicted from their homes so a shopping center can be built, unreasonable rent increases, how manufactured homes depreciate in value, etc,” Krolewski has said. “I think it’s less about the industry not responding appropriately, than it is us constantly having to play defense when we do.”

And all of this from the publisher of the MHInsider?

Rolfe has said, “…it’s my belief that the only way to elevate the public opinion of our industry is to explain to people (who are often full of negative stereotypes from such movies as 8-Mile and television shows like COPS and Trailer Park Boys) the truth about our product and business model.”


Kurt Kelley. Credit: MHProNews.

Kurt Kelley, JD – a colleague of Rolfe’s in the MHR project – pointed out that: “My Dad used to tell me, ‘Perception is the reality of others. So you better make sure you are perceived accurately and positively.’ If you let others define you, you’re stuck with their definition of you.”

Historically,” Kelley said, “the MH industry has been defined by the lowest common denominator, and not by the great value offered by our homes or the excellent living choice MHC’s offer across the country. A recent poll showed that 85% of all Republicans and 60% of all Democrats didn’t trust the media. You can fight back successfully.”

Editorially, we note that Kelly’s point is precisely what MHLivingNews and MHProNews has done, fight back with facts.

So why did MHI, while this operation was still their member, undermine and allegedly attempt to derail our pro-growth industry efforts?  One of hundreds of examples can be found at the link below.


Readers can circle back and check out the article below, which points to facts useful for the manufactured home industry.

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist,” the late, great Zig Ziglar said.

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism,” said the inspirational minister, author, and speaker, the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, according to BrainyQuotes.

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things,” said Winston Churchill, per the New Statesman.


Critiques, fact checks, aren’t personal. Rather, they are a professional necessity.

Frank Rolfe, Marty Lavin, Bob Crawford, L. A. “Tony” Kovach and others are among those that have recognized that the industry’s post-production sector – specifically Arlington, VA based MHI – has failed to deliver on image building.

The result?  Historically low sales levels, which have contributed to industry consolidations.


What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.

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

Having identified the problems, the next step must be to move toward solutions.

The communities sector, after breaking last year with MHI, is launching their own post-production national association.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

What about those in retail, installation, lending, suppliers, and services, etc.? To learn more, see the related articles, linked below. ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Footnote: 1) Typo in the original.  In fairness to Rolfe, in England, quotes are placed as he used it, inside the punctuation mark.

Related Reports:

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room


George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions


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Bloomberg, Rising “Mobile Home” Prices, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

November 24th, 2017 Comments off

MobileHomesAreSoExpensiveNowHurricanVictimsCantAffordThemBloombergBusinessWeekPhotoHeadlineDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsA story on Bloomberg, a left-of-center business publication, recently drew a number of emailed tips and comments to the Daily Business News, as a heads up for possible coverage.

Such emailed tips from readers are welcomed.  They often lead to one or more articles/fact checks about a given issue that impacts manufactured housing (MH) being reported.

More to the point, this kind of reader tips often lead to a look at how fairly, or not, the mainstream media is covering the MH Industry.  Of course, readers tips also lead to other, unique stories too.

The Bloomberg article falls into a mixed bag category, of problematic, incorrect, and accurate but misleading statements.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

This from a media outlet that just last year spotlighted manufactured homes as part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.

The REAL Truth, vs. Fake News, About Modern Manufactured Homes


About Bloomberg’s Report…“Where is MHI on this?” 

As one industry reader asked, “Where is MHI in responding to this?” which came with the link below, and the question to the Daily Business News.

Good question. Doesn’t the fact that the question was posed to MHProNews instead of to MHI directly speak volumes in and of itself?


Debunking and clarifying these points ought to be fairly easy. So, why didn’t Clayton or MHI engage on this issue?

Darren Krolewski told MHProNews earlier this year that he was looking forward to MHI becoming more engaged on such problematic media coverage.

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

But with nearly a year that has since gone by, where’s that promised MHI response to this and so many hundreds of other problematic news items?

MHI’s Alternative Approach…

Forget what people say, watch what people do is the bottom-line tip offered by MHI award winner, Marty Lavin.


Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.

Instead of responding to, fact-checking and thus debunking errant news coverage, MHI has focused on co-sponsoring videos that only mention four MHI members.

MHI has been critiqued by industry members about their advertorials too.

Manufactured Housing Latest Shipment Data, Trends, Compared to Conventional Housing Growth

Meanwhile, 18 states are flat, growing modestly or in decline on their new manufactured housing shipments.  As MHProNews has uniquely spotlighted, if manufactured homes going into land-lease communities as rental units are adjusted for, news HUD Code homes being built for sale are roughly the same – per MHI’s own data – as when the industry hit bottom in 2009.

While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

With such issues dogging the industry, the MH Industry’s self-anointed national umbrella, post-production association – MHI – has allegedly postured image building, but in fact has focused on issues that benefit only a few hand-picked insiders.

  • Clayton,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance,
  • 21st Mortgage Corp,
  • MHVillage, and
  • Suzanne Felber’s operation,

are among those favored specifically on MHI’s website – often, as some other members have noted privately – to the disadvantaged of some or most other dues paying MHI members.


MHI is currently spotlighting 5 operations, which in some ways is arguably a disadvantage to other MHI members.

What’s the Difference? Advertising vs. Educating



By allowing the industry to suffer, some industry observers say that MHI is tilting the playing field toward larger operations, to the disadvantage of smaller ones. Sam Zell, and MHI’s Jenny Hodge, made observations that when followed to their logical conclusion, lead thinkers to the conclusion that MHI is fostering an uneven playing field.

Department of Justice, Anti-Trust, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

Monopolistic Practices, Anyone? 

Frank Rolfe and Marty Lavin have pointed to the need to address such issues as the problematic Bloomberg report linked above, as have others inside or out of the association.

Marty Lavin Lashes the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Latest Initiative

That Bloomberg report noted above was spotlighted by the wildly popular Drudge Report.  Which means it will doubtlessly enhance an impression that manufactured homes aren’t affordable, when they are obviously far more affordable than other forms of housing are.

Surprised by the Truth, While Shopping for a New Home

MHARR has dug deeper on several issues that impact retailers and communities, even though it isn’t the focus for that independent producers’ association.

MHARR has also at times joined MHLivingNews and MHProNews in responding to media and researcher-related issues.  By contrast, MHI – which was invited to engage – declined to do so.

Before MHI Dues are Renewed…

For about 2 years, MHProNews has increasingly spotlighted problematic areas of MHI’s policies for actual actions.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released


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Bob Crawford commented to MHProNews that the industry needs a new, post-production association, saying:The need for this type of organization was called for in 2009! The benefits could be SO GOOD for the industry, especially the independents and smaller retail stores who are running tight budgets!

Bloomberg’s report is high-profile, but it is just a symptom of the problem.

When will MHI, which has the budget for it, begin to address each and every one of the negative news stories that are published every week about the industry?

Before dues are renewed to MHI, that’s a question that hundreds of independent companies need to carefully consider.  This could be an ideal time to forge a new post-production industry association. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  ## (News, tips, and commentary.)

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Texas, Florida Hurricanes Slam September Hiring, First Jobs Drop in Years

October 6th, 2017 Comments off

StormCloudsSeptemberJobsReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsCooltText576The U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit Texas, Florida and other Southeastern states. It was the first decline in nearly seven years,” reports AP, the Washington Times, and others.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent from 4.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday, the lowest level since February 2001,” AP said.

Manufactured housing industry lenders have told MHProNews that the hurricanes are adding wrinkles to their collections processes, as those impacted by storms are struggling to regain their footing.

Sellers, as has been previously reported, are feeling a very different set of impacts as FEMA and longer wait times are adding to independent retailers stress.

BobCrawfordDickMooreHousingPresidentFacebookIndustryVoicesManufacturedModularHousingProNewsFEMACommandeerManufacturedHousingProductionCentersMany of us can remember Katrina and tracking down houses that were abandoned at a truck stop or on the side of the highway, en route because the driver could make so much more money pulling for FEMA “right now,” said Bob Crawford, the award winning president of historic Dick Moore Housing.

There is legitimate reason for concern,” Crawford told MHProNews. “If they [FEMA] commandeer a large portion of production/plants, all of us independents are going to feel that hit and, depending on your suppliers, that could be a BIG hit.”

Other retailers have said similarly, as was previously reported at this link here.

We can see why FEMA buys direct from manufacturers to expedite new homes to those [storm victims] who lost their homes,” Rodriguez said. He is “Absolutely” sympathetic to the needs of those tens of thousands of hurricane victims.

However,” the Tejas Homes leader asked, “who is looking out for the long-term viability of the [independent] retailer organizations?”

Public officials across the political divide are responding as they can, pointing operations to resources for home owners and businesses that may help.  See a recent report, linked here.


More Impact from FEMA to Come?

Ross Kinzler told MHProNews that he expects other kinds of impact ahead on manufactured housing independents — producers, and retailers.

Kinzler – the actively retired Wisconsin Housing Alliance’s (WHA) prior executive – said, “…HUD code labels should not used for FEMA,” a point he’s made for several years.  The harm it produces to the industry, “has played out time and again.”

Watch as the Harvey units flood back into the retail market in 24 to 36 months, depressing new home shipments,” Kinzler predicts.

If the past is any experience, the industry could go from feast to famine rapidly, if the proper steps aren’t taken.

You can’t sell in bulk to FEMA…AND sell full price units later without taking a hit,” Kinzler said.


Ross Kinzler, retired Executive Director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance. Credits, MHProNews.

Back to the Jobs Report…

Looking past the hurricanes’ impact, the job market and economy generally look healthy,” the Washington Times said. “Some economists expect job growth to rebound in the coming months as businesses in the area reopen and construction companies ramp up repair and renovation work.”

That statement dovetails with a Daily Business News report on expectations of manufacturers.

One manufacturing trade group predicted this September slam on jobs, but said that the longer term outlook for the 4th quarter in the U.S. was brighter.  See that report, linked here.

But short term, there will be pain, experts say.

Roughly 1.5 million people were unable to work last month because of the weather, the government said, the most in 20 years,” per the U.S. Labor Department and the Washington Times.


These facts underscore why Juanita Duggan, president of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), has stressed the urgency of tax reform, to boost the economy and spark the economic growth that might lift the U.S. economy past debt and other looming economic challenges. ## (News, analysis.)

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USA Snapshot, the Need for Affordable Housing, by the Numbers

July 3rd, 2017 Comments off

SearchForAffordableHomesManufacturedHomeIndustryStatsDataResearchReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWith 1 out of 9 Americans moving every year in search of housing, that represents well over ten million potential opportunities for housing professionals annually.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that in 2016, there were 324,118,787 Americans.  With 2.64 people per household, that yields some 122,772,267.

So, when one out of nine move every year, that means there were 13,641,363 theoretical opportunities for a manufactured home professional to serve some person, couple or household.

While they may not all qualify, as credit scores and incomes are rising again, millions could.

With the Census reporting Median Gross Rent, 2011-2015 at $928 and there was 1.2 million building permits in 2016, how is it possible than manufactured housing – in the affordable housing crisis era – only produced some 81,100 new manufactured home units that same year?


Image credits, OMHA, provided under fair use guidelines.

Frank Rolfe noted earlier this year that “Probably the greatest enemy to the growth of the… industry into a mainstream form of real estate investment is … our industry itself.”


In a new, in depth report that includes key facts provided by MLO Bob Crawford of award winning, A+ BBB rated Dick Moore Housing reveals how flawed and contradictory messaging ‘by the industry’ from a specific source could be contributing to the problem.


Bob Crawford, left, Frank Rolfe, right. Still credit, Inside MH video, by

That report, which is packed with facts and figures useful to attracting and selling prospective manufactured home buyers, Correcting the Record on Housing Affordability, linked here.  ## (News, with Report Announcement.)

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

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Is this MH Community Owner, Plus Thousands of Others, Unwittingly Waiving Rights Under Federal Law?

June 21st, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnerWilliamKellyGenevaALManufacturedHousingImprovementAct2000LocalTownOrdinanceIllegalDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAlabama’s Geneva City Council approved a new “mobile home” [sic] ordinance this month, removing an ‘age limit’ for manufactured homes allowed in their city.

Previously, the town barred manufactured homes more than 12 years old from being placed.

WTVY Channel 4 reports that now the city’s building inspector will determine if a “mobile home [sic] meets quality standards.”

The community owner, William Kelly, said he is in favor of the new regulations.


For media that want to learn how to get the terminology about mobile homes, manufactured homes and trailer houses correct, as per their code of standards, please click here or on the image above.

But Kelly may not be fully informed about manufactured housing’s enhanced preemption under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000).

What a DC Attorney and MH Industry Veteran Says

MarkWeissMHARRPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsA locality, obviously, cannot maintain its own “quality” standards for manufactured homes subject to federal regulation, as that field is occupied and preempted by federal authority,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Nor would a local inspector – absent anything else – have independent authority to determine compliance with federal “quality” standards, or any local “quality” standards that would/should be preempted by federal authority,” said Weiss.

One of the homes shown in the video could be a pre-HUD Code mobile home, based upon limited visual evidence.  But any home built since June 15, 1976 would be covered by federal law, to learn more, click here.

Another problem with this local report, as informed professionals know,  is their mixing of terminology.

An older manufactured home that may need repairs or updates doesn’t become a ‘trailer house.’

Manufactured housing is a legal definition, not one subject to taste or prejudice. To learn about the proper use of terminology, and why journalistic standards are being missed in such stories, see the report linked below.


Bob Crawford, Frank Rolfe in panel discussion on industry issues, both took aim at what they see as MHI’s misses and failures. Credit, Inside MH Road Show, MHProNews.

The Need for National Independent Retailers and Communities Association

Incidents such as this one are all too common, as state association executives have often reported to MHProNews. MHI rarely gets involved in such matters.

The solution?  Community owner Frank Rolfe told the Daily Business News that in the billboard industry, their association aggressively “went after” any jurisdiction that attempted to restrict their members.  Rolfe has expressed his disappointment with MHI for not doing the same.

Bob Crawford, president of award-winning Dick Moore Housing, has said that this is why the “post-production side” (meaning, retailers, communities, installers, etc.) of the manufactured home industry needs its own national representation.

MHARR historically – and still currently – represents the interests of HUD Code manufactured home producers.  But they voted at their Tunica Show meeting to explore the concept of broadening their membership base, to allow them to represent independent retailers, communities and the post-production side of the industry.

Given that federal law supports preemption of local entities, per Weiss’ statement and the views of others in the industry, the legal foundation exists to do what Rolfe and others think could dramatically change the legal landscape for the industry. ## (News, Analysis.)

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HUD’s Belated, Blustering “Promotion” of Manufactured Homes

June 17th, 2017 Comments off

Teresa Payne, left, Ishbel Dickens, center, Pam Danner, right.

As I have informed you all on various occasions, it is also my goal to improve internal HUD recognition and understanding of the Federal manufactured housing program,” said Pamela Beck Danner, JD.

Danner, is the career administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP), a department “buried” at HUD – per a source connected to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – in HUD’s risk management program.

That pretty much sums up how HUD sees manufactured housing,” says that source.

Danner’s statement, in the OMHP’s ManuFACTured Housing newsletter, continued, “As a major step in meeting this goal, on Tuesday, August 30th [2016], I was given the opportunity to brief Secretary Castro on the importance of manufactured housing in providing affordable, quality, durable and safe homes nationwide and the role of the Federal manufactured housing program in accomplishing this mission.”


To see the issue with the ‘digital ads,’ click the logo above for the newsletter download. Image credit, HUD, provided under fair use guidelines.

Wow,” said the MHI source, tongue in check, “over two years into her job, and a meeting with HUD Secretary Castro to brief him on manufactured housing was described as a “major step.” Seriously?”

While at least that source with MHI is willing, off the record, to share comments that provide some wit that points to the want of actual accomplishments by HUD toward advancing what the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) requires, the Arlington, VA based association itself has touted the latest “accomplishment” – shown below – at HUD by Danner.

The pro-HUD, MHI release to state associations, per a source to MHProNews, read as follows:



Do they? MHI’s logo and promotional item above are shown under fair use guidelines, for illustrative purposes. Note, the above was not next to the release shown.  

In an effort to raise awareness within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of how the manufactured housing industry impacts homeownership and employment nationwide, the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs recently began broadcasting digital ads internally throughout HUD’s Headquarters in Washington D.C. and to field offices across the country through the Department’s intranet web pages.

The ads highlighted specific facts about the importance of the industry, including: the number of jobs and economic impact created by the construction, sale and installation of manufactured homes; the importance of manufactured homes as housing stock in rural communities; and the unique nature of factory-built homes as affordable, nonsubsidized housing for working families.”

That pro-HUD message by MHI stands in stark contrast to what the association asked industry members to state in their comments on Executive Order 13777. MHI’s comments letter and analysis is linked here.

In the EO 13777 MHI comments letter. they take a ‘tough talking’ stand against HUD’s regulatory overreaches. Yet, in the promotional piece above, sent to state association executives, MHI encouraged the pro-HUD message above to be shared with industry members.

What’s up with that?” asked MHProNews from an association leader?

Hell if I know,” that state association source leader said. That source stated they went ahead and sent that pro-HUD promo out, but had no idea of the rationale behind the alleged MHI request.

One of 3 HUD digital ads, found in the newsletter, download linked above. Impressive? And one source with MHI tells us that the job number contradicts MHI’s figure of one home = one job. Which is accurate?

Industry Professionals React

Industry professionals advised MHProNews of the MHI message above, and some expressed concerns on the record.


Second HUD Digital Ad, which the industry is being told is communicated via HUD’s intranet to their D.C. and field offices.

Have you heard that HUD has begun emailing its employees about the benefits of our homes?  JUST A COUPLE OF DECADES BEHIND THE TIME, THAT’S ALL!” (caps in the original), said Bob Crawford, president of award-winning retailer Dick Moore Housing.


Bob Crawford (left), and Frank Rolfe, in panel discussion on industry issues. Both took aim at what they see as MHI’s misses and failures. Credit, Inside MH Road Show, MHProNews.


Third HUD “digital ad.”

Crawford has expressed his concerns before, calling for a new post-production association.

His most recent comment continued on that theme, “Had we a robust post-production representative entity (that aggressively represented the ENTIRE industry) ten-to-fifteen years ago, it’s easy to imagine the positive attention our industry could have enjoyed (and benefited from)!

Crawford rhetorically asked, “Do you think this sudden change is a result of the president’s exec order 13777 asking for comments on ways to improve the HUD Code program?  You think they are getting their ears burnt!?!?  If so, it’s about time!”

Crawford agreed to share these thoughts, on the record, which drew to a close with this, “Again, if we had had some type of ‘heat’ applied to the HUD seats 10 years ago, I would opine that we would not be in the situation of affordable housing shortages and a decreasing independent retailer distribution network that we face today!




The Word from Washington, D.C.

MarkWeissMHARRPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIt’s truly amazing that 17 years after the passage of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, the HUD program is just now getting around to complying with one of its elements (at least rhetorically),” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

The problem, though, is that such posturing, without resolving the core program deficiencies that are harming consumers and the industry, will accomplish little or nothing,” Weiss said.

He added, “What is needed, is a major shake-up of the HUD program, including the replacement of its “old guard” bureaucrats, the re-assignment and replacement of its administrator, and the introduction of fresh blood and new ideas to change the course, trajectory and dynamics of the program to one that truly advances and facilitates the availability and utilization of affordable manufactured housing, as the law requires.”

TitusDareTomFathDougGormanQuestioningMHI-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHI award winner, Doug Gorman, has sided with MHARR’s position with regards to Danner, see Gorman’s comments, linked here.

Which Posture is MHI’s Actual Position?

If HUD’s Danner is now feeling the “heat” – using Crawford’s word – and thus is beginning to advise within their vast bureaucracy, to implement a promise she made some 3 years ago, early on in her tenure at HUD, what would happen if she were to retain her position through the influence of MHI?

What has MHI asked for of HUD Secretary Carson’s staff in their reported closed-door meeting?


MHI, MHARR, MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.


Pamela Beck Danner, JD, credit, HUD.

Sources among state association executives tell MHProNews that there are pro-Danner voices in MHEC, not just MHI.

But other sources have said that the MHI policy makes no sense. “It’s like there’s a split personality with respect to HUD and Danner at MHI,” one source stated.

Because the power structure of state associations and MHI often have similarities, even when a state executive disagrees with a policy, that doesn’t mean they are free to act on their viewpoint.

As a larger MHI/NCC member community operator told MHProNews in a phone call on Friday, it’s typical for associations to respond more to their larger members than to their smaller ones.

That reality led another award-winning community operator some weeks ago to tell MHProNews that MHI’s largest members have “figured out how to get the smaller members to pay for what they want done.”

That included, per another source, that MHI’s public relations person is allegedly doing work for certain member companies, apparently at MHI’s – meaning their broad membership’s – expense.


MHI, NCC logos and Jenny Hodge’s original photo, credits are MHI/NCC, and are shown here under fair use guidelines. Collage credits, To see that report, click the image above or here.

They can’t have it both ways,” said a non-MHI member that does business with several MHI companies. “They either support what Danner and HUD are doing, or they don’t. The fact that when you look closely, they are sending mixed messages, strongly suggests they are misleading smaller members. After all, it’s obvious that the largest members know exactly what is going on, and why.”


While the comments period for the Trump Administration Executive Order #13777 as it applies to HUD is now closed, the statements of MHI, MHARR, and some industry members – including this writer – are posted on the Daily Business News story, linked here.  They reflect the disparity between what MHI is saying in their pro-HUD message above, to what they wanted industry members to say in their executive order.

A member-company middle-manager shown the two sets of information coming from MHI about HUD reacted by asking, “Can’t MHI’s PR people keep their own messages consistent?”

“What’s Needed”

As MHARR’s Weiss said, “What is needed, is a major shake-up of the HUD program, including the replacement of its “old guard” bureaucrats, the re-assignment and replacement of its administrator, and the introduction of fresh blood…”

Weiss has taken a strong stand in calling for the full implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000), which he says could return new home industry shipments into the hundreds of thousands of homes a year.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, Analysis.)

(Publisher’s note: MHI is routinely asked to comment and react to these stories, and they are met with no-comment.  As Managing Member of MHProNews and MHLivingNews, L. A. “Tony” Kovach has invited Dick Jennison and/or Lesli Gooch to debate via video – so the industry can see who stands where and why – MHI’s effectiveness and how they’ve approached advocacy. They’ve yet to accept. Why are they ducking these troubling topics?)

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

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Financial Choice Act, with MHI Bill, Heading to Floor Vote, Outlook, Analysis

June 8th, 2017 Comments off

JebHensarlingGOPFinancialServicesTheHillDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Financial Choice Act, what some are calling version 2.0, passed out of the House Financial Services Committee in May on a partisan line vote, 34-26.

Financial Choice is back in the news, as the full House takes up the measure.

A Google search on Financial Choice Act 2017 brings up tens of millions of results.  Depending on the media outlet you pick, the news or editorializing paints the bill to be either grand, or a horror, for businesses and consumers.

Partisan Politics, 2017

The Hill reports Maxine Waters, ranking Democrat from CA saying, “The ‘Wrong Choice’ Act is a vehicle for Donald Trump’s agenda to get rid of financial regulation and help out Wall Street. It’s a deeply misguided measure that would bring harm to consumers, investors and our whole economy. The bill is rotten to the core.

By contrast, House Speaker Paul Ryan, (R-WI) said at a press conference Wednesday, “This legislation comes to the rescue of Main Street America.”  Ryan called the bill “the crown jewel” of the GOP deregulatory agenda. “The Financial CHOICE Act makes it possible for small businesses across this country to stop struggling and to start hiring.”

MHI’s Attached Bill to Financial Choice

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) celebrated several weeks ago that their Preserving Access bill was attached to the act, and thus passage of the act would mean passing their bill.


Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

MHI’s Lesli Gooch’s May 4 email to members said in part, “MHI’s efforts to pass the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act are multi-pronged. The association is seeking opportunities to move the legislation through the regular legislative process and is also seeking opportunities to attach the language to other legislative vehicles that are moving. MHI’s goal is to ensure the needed changes contained in the bill to make financing available for manufactured housing are passed into law as soon as possible. Inclusion of the language in the Financial CHOICE Act is a critical milestone, and an example of MHI’s comprehensive strategy.”

What’s missing from their self-proclaimed “compressive strategy,” as regular Daily Business News readers know was the opportunity to sign onto the PHH vs. CFPB case with an amicus brief.  When MHProNews specifically raised the strategy for an amicus brief with MHI, how could that option have been overlooked?

The “10,000 grassroots contacts” MHI’s Gooch crows about, where is that heading?

The Preserving Access bill (version 4.0 – 2017’s version is dubbed HR 1699), is sponsored by Garland ‘Andy’ Barr, Republican from Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district.  Barr has spoken as a true believer in manufactured homes, and one of his speeches in favor of manufactured homes is covered in a video and article, linked here.


Gooch notes in the message to MHI members that: “Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, is bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Barr (R-KY), Sinema (D-AZ), Poliquin (R-ME), Sewell (D-AL), Kustoff (R-TN), and Rice (D-NY). The companion bill for the Senate is expected to be introduced soon.”

What is it that their allegedly weaponized messages to members fails to mention, again?

Uh, Oh…

The challenge with the Financial Choice Act – even from the perspective of supporters – remains the same as was previously reported on the Daily Business News about Preserving Access.  The odds of passage of the HR 1699 bill, per GovTrack is 1%, which today cites Skopos Labs as their source for their estimate.


What about the Financial Choice Act’s odds of passage?

GovTrack reports those odds are better, but are still a weak 14% chance of being enacted, again per Skopos Labs.


So while the Financial Choice Act is expected to pass in the House, what are the odds in the Senate?

MHIGotCloutWheresTheBeefMHProNewsThe Collingswood Group, what sources tell us is a DC think tank and lobbying shop, state they expect the Financial Choice Act – and thus MHI’s rider attached to it – to pass the House.  But the bad news is that Collingswood likewise expects the bill to die in the Senate too, just as GovTrack reports.

Will MHI alert their dozens of industry members, getting ready to fly into Washington, DC to hear about all that MHI is doing on this front, about those facts?  Or will they instead send out a “Housing Alert,” once the bill passes the House – touting that “success” as they’ve done previously?

Do MHI members deserve the truth, the whole truth, or are they guilty of what they accused Ohio Governor John Kasich of, telling only half truths, or worse?  Do the principles MHI applied to the governor, apply to themselves?

By-Bye Baby…

While MHI has made their primary focus the passage of Preserving Access,  the $15 million dollars spent over the past 5 years – not counting PAC dollars – certainly went to places like salaries (of which Jennison, Gooch and her predecessor have made about $2.5 million in compensation over the past 5 years, per data MHI filed via form 990).


Lance Inderman, credit, MHProNews.

Industry success and veteran, Lance Inderman, prior chairman of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA), told MHProNews that:

It’s my personal opinion that we have incrementally given up every bit of financial freedom we had. Dodd Frank was a big increment, along with ObamaCare. I’m of the opinion that giving up key parts of the reform to get a “win” for posterity makes no sense.”

Inderman elaborated by saying, “We need to keep educating the populace and Congress on the facts that we [in manufactured housing] compete on a different price point, and therefore a different finance scale with their multi million dollar ocean front homes, paid for by their donors.”

Bob Crawford, multiple award winning retailer of historic Dick Moore Housing, told MHProNews that, state associations “do a great job.” But Crawford told MHProNews that he gives MHI at best “a 5 out of 10“ in their effectiveness.

As one source with deep ties to MHI told MHProNews,MHI is acting like a secret society, with only the inner circle fully informed, and most other members trusting them, following in good faith, or unable to effectively protest or even question leadership.”

Award winning industry veteran, L.A . “Tony Kovach asks, “Why does MHI’s tight band at the top allegedly want only their side of the story told to the industry? Why have they threatened MHProNews with legal action for providing documents given to us – in many cases, by their members – or for reporting to the industry on issues such as DTS, Preserving Access, pending DOE energy standards, and others?”

A link to a comparison between MHI and MHARR their self-stated mission and budgets, per their 990s, is found here.

A link to an analysis of Richard “Dick” Jennison and Lesli Gooch’s compensation, is found here.


Marty Lavin, JD.

As dozens of MHI members prepare to fly into Washington, D.C. to listen to lectures by MHI staff on all they are doing, consider the words of MHI award winner, Marty Lavin.

Lavin has often said, “follow the money,” and “pay more attention to what people do” …and accomplish… “than to what people say.” ##

Related topics:


Judgment Day for CFPB

Source – Manufactured Housing Institute Violated Law, Conflict of Interest?

Faked, Weaponized News Harms Manufactured Housing Homeowners, Professionals?

Richard Jennison, Lesli Gooch, Worth Millions to MHI Industry

Hot New, Different, Regulatory Topic that MHI is Missing a Key Point On (HUD, Pam Danner), linked here.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when they are the property of third parties, are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Frank Rolfe, Bob Crawford Video Comments on Current and New MH Association

June 13th, 2016 Comments off

Bob_Crawford_and_Frank_RolfeIn a video presentation, Frank Rolfe, a partner with Dave Reynolds in Mobile Home University, RV Horizons and MHP Funds, says he can call his congressional representative in Missouri and find out the chances of legislation passing that could positively affect the manufactured home industry, like altering Dodd-Frank.

Since it is often a one or two percent chance, Rolfe says Congress is like a business, and unless it is a hot-button issue, it is not likely to be changed, as MHProNews understands. He says everybody in the (MH) industry knows that Dodd-Frank is screwed up. If the party in the White House changes, there is a chance that many regulations will be repealed and perhaps that will include changes to Dodd-Frank. Other than that, based on feedback from his congressman, he has rather lost hope for a change.

Bob Crawford, the right hand man for industry legend Dick Moore, said Dodd-Frank was an overreaction on the part of the government, and while he does not envision Dodd-Frank being eliminated totally, he echoes Rolfe’s view that a change in the White House and the retention of incumbents could lead to some changes to the Act.

He says it will take a grass-roots effort for everyone to put pressure on their Representatives and Senators to make the needed changes because it is not in the interest of anyone in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to change.

Crawford says there has long been discussion about a post production national organization that represents retailers and community owners that could bring focus to this issue with representatives in Washington. He says the state associations do a good job looking out for their constituency, but they have to be nice to their representatives in trying to get rulings that benefit the industry and their particular issues.

Crawford envisions the new association as being more able to try and convince lawmakers of the need for change. “It is something that is sorely needed by this industry, and I would line up behind the first person who would take on this position,” he says.

Frank Rolfe says since the housing bubble in 2008 and the ensuing Dodd-Frank/CFPB debacle, he anticipates state associations will be more active in taking on community owner issues.

For the full interview, click here. ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews-Bob Crawford, left, and Frank Rolfe)

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