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Posts Tagged ‘CA’

FEMA Opens Its First Manufactured Home Community In Disaster Response

April 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

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The state’s most destructive wildfire broke out just before dawn Nov. 8, burning nearly 14,000 homes in the communities of Paradise, Magalia and Concow, and killing 85 people,” said KQED News. The blaze’s destruction worsened an already difficult housing crisis in and around the nearby city of Chico: Butte County had some 2,000 homeless, NPR reported, and many survivors were left scrambling for housing, with some crashing in Chico and others staying in tents or RVs on their scorched properties.”

 

FEMA said Thursday it’s preparing to open the first of four of what KQED misnamed “mobile home parks” devoted to Camp Fire survivors in the next few weeks.  The agency plans for around 700 FEMA manufactured housing units (MHU) eventually.

FEMA stated last week that nearly 1,000 people need temporary housing in RVs and manufactured homes.

 

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The first FEMA MHU community, Rosewood Estates in Oroville, CA the units has 40 homes with one-, two- and three-bedroom units.  They are furnished, but aren’t fancy.  Those assigned to the units can live there for up to 18 months.

Building the sites for manufactured homes involved several state and local agencies.  That meant permissions, inspections, and permits, said FEMA spokesman Michael Peacock.  Peacock was responding to criticism about how long it has taken the agency to bring in temporary housing for fire survivors.

We are working as fast as we possibly can to provide shelter to those survivors,” he said.  In fairness to FEMA, if local hassles slowed them down, that needs to be considered, doesn’t it?

FEMA offers various types of housing aid, like RV trailers and rental assistance. Currently, FEMA is providing more than 7,400 people impacted by the Camp Fire with rental aid and offering temporary housing to some 260 families, according to the agency’s data.

The PBS/NPR affiliate said that At this rate, it may take as long to get the FEMA trailer parks up and running as the year and a half time frame the agency says people will be temporarily housed.”  Ouch for all of the obvious reasons.

 

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You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

 

That’s this morning’s edition of manufactured home Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Leaving Paradise, “Hell on Earth” – FEMA and Christmas, New Year Responses to Grim Camp Fire

Aptly Named, “Journey’s End,” Manufactured Home Community Tragedies, Wildfires, Video

 

HUD Announces Relief from California Wildfires, MH Owners Can Qualify

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Officials Investigate “Mobile Home Evictions,” CBS News Video, Manufactured Housing Report, Analysis

January 24th, 2019 Comments off

GovernmentOfficialsInvestigateMobileHomeEvictionsCBSNewsVideoManufacturedHousingReportAnalysisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

I hope the city of San Jose will opt to protect vulnerable mobilehome park residents from preemptive evictions and not submit to the devious and greedy manipulations of the park owner. I live in San Juan Capistrano and our strong supportive city council opted to protect their MH residents (on a different issue, but relating to abuses of MH residents by Park owners). SJC City Council is a strong example of doing what is right to protect their residents and to preserve affordable housing,” said Carol Brinkman.

 

The city of San Jose is closely monitoring mobile home evictions after complaints came from residents saying they are getting pushed out for minor infractions,” said KPIX 5 out of San Jose, California.

Last summer, Karen Carpenter reportedly received an eviction notice from the Winchester Ranch manufactured home community (MHC) where she has lived for six years. The reasons cited by management?

Minor clutter, some old paint cans and some weeds,” Carpenter said.

 

Carpenter told the CBS News affiliate that she was ill last summer and didn’t get outside to work during her first “seven day notice.” But she pointed out in the video report to KPIX 5 where those items were, in her back yard, masked from the street.

I just can’t believe that I’m going to be possibly evicted over some weeds and old paint cans,” said Carpenter.

The community manager’s did not comment for the CBS affiliate’s mainstream media (MSM) report. But it was noted that Winchester Ranch is in the process of redeveloping into a large apartment complex, which will have “nearly 700 units.”

To Carpenter, her eviction notice for a relatively minor infraction is not a coincidence.

They are going to be developing the park, and the first phase is right where I am sitting. That’s my only guess as to why they are singling me out,” she said.

Carpenter hired an attorney and is fighting eviction.  The issue is getting attention at San Jose City Hall. In December 2018, the Housing Commission reportedly wrote a memo to the mayor Sam Liccardo and City Council, warning of possible preemptive evictions for minor infractions at mobile home parks in San Jose.

The memo stated there could be attempts to avoid provisions of the city’s MHC conversion ordinance, “which guarantees mobile home residents extra time, monetary compensation and other benefits if a park converts to another use,” said KPIX 5.

Carpenter doesn’t have a mobile home, based upon the visual evidence, it is a manufactured home.  But doesn’t episodes like this feed into negative stereotypes that are arguably harming residents and most industry professionals alike, not just in San Jose, but nationally?

The city’s investigation memo noted that the land San Jose manufactured home communities are built on have “become so valuable that it creates an incentive for park owners to convert the property into other more profitable uses.”  This is among the reasons that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has argued for a robust application of existing laws, such as enhanced preemption made law under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

It is also why MHARR – an independent producers association – has encouraged the creation of new post-production associations, so that new structures can advocate for what the Manufactured Housing Institute and their allies apparently won’t.

 

City Officials Vows to Monitor, Investigate

We are going to monitor any housing issue that is brought to our attention,” said Rachel VanderVeen, Deputy Director of the San Jose Housing Department. Housing officials say they don’t have any active cases of abuse of the mobile home conversion ordinance at this time.

Manufactured home industry professionals should understand that just as associations and industry firms may share cross talk, so too do public officials. So an event in San Jose should not be considered as an isolated concern.

Meanwhile, Carpenter will have her day in court. “If I lose, I will have to move out within 5 days,” said Carpenter.  The CBS affiliate closed their report by saying, “She doesn’t have firm plans on where to go if that happens and she is afraid of becoming homeless.”  Is that the image of insecurity that will draw potentially millions of prospects to manufactured home communities and retail ceners?

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This episode may not represent the majority of the industry’s independent or corporate owners.  But just as the Millie Francis – Our Lady of Guadalupe art controversy is rocking ROCs, and communities – so too will this story and others like it have ripple effects that will impact not only those who spark the report, but also those who happen to share the same profession.  That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ## © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Jury Awards Millions to Residents in Suit Against Controversial Community Operator

November 26th, 2018 Comments off

 

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AP and numerous local media announced last week that residents in a manufactured home community in California won a multi-million-dollar judgment from a jury.

 

A jury has awarded more than $5.5 million to 31 residents of a Southern California mobile home park[sic] rife with problems including sinkholes, sewage backups and rats,” said AP and KUSI.

Lead attorney against the Kort & Scott owned property “…Brian Kabateck says the residents, many elderly, lived in squalor at the property that was once a trash dump for the city of Long Beach,” per AP.

 

KortScottFriendlyVillageFloodedDrivewayManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The local media news video below was posted prior to the settlement, but tees up some of the background and issues involved in what many in that area view as a scandal.

 

 

The property went into bankruptcy, prior to the judgement, per the Long Beach Post.

 

 

The people who bought this in 2014 knew what they were buying. They paid $23.5 million and they saw this as their personal ATM machine and they didnt 1 want to do any repairs, they didn’t want to do any fixes,” attorney for the community’s residents, Brian Kabateck said, per KABC.

The defense attorney for the property owners told prospective jurors that it was known that the development was built on a landfill, explaining that residents were given disclosures about that point.

That apparently didn’t sway jurors.

After being sued for neglect and other causes of action, “owner of North Long Beach mobile home park [sic] files for bankruptcy,” according to the Long Beach Post.

The owners of Friendly Village Mobile Home Park1, who have been sued by tenants over their alleged neglect of the North Long Beach park, filed for bankruptcy” in October, court records show.

A Beverly Hills attorney representing Friendly Village in the bankruptcy proceeding, Howard I. Camhi, did not comment to the Long Beach Post at the time, nor did Phil Woog, the Costa Mesa attorney defending Friendly Village in the civil lawsuit.

Industry veteran Marty Lavin, JD, has previously opined in several commentaries that community operators bear responsibility for business practices that instigate resident, legal, and regulatory furor.  Resident groups, such as MHPHOA and GSMOL, are among those that routinely beat-the-drums about Kort and Scott, which arguably causes issues for other community owners that don’t engage in similarly controversial practices.

Last year MHProNews noted that local media failed to present another Kort and Scott community’s perspective, but in this Long Beach case, it seems that the California firm declined the opportunity.

 

Public Official, ABC News, Manufactured Home Community Owner Clash Over Resident Concerns

 

By contrast, MHProNews reported last week on an uproar in another state, where that manufactured home community operator promptly replied to our request for comments. That community owner robustly addressed concerns by local media and that town’s officials.  That prior, unrelated report, is linked further below, and a follow up to it is planned in the near term.

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Footnote 1: typo and terminology errors are in the original media reports.

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Kort & Scott Financial Group (FSFG) Faces Reports of Senior Wrath

Public Official, ABC News, Manufactured Home Community Owner Clash Over Resident Concerns

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

Ford and Toyota Teach Manufactured Housing Professionals and Investors

 

 

 

$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes

September 28th, 2018 Comments off

 

$330BillionMarketJeffBezosAmazonAlexaFunDivesDeperintoPreFabHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We love working with companies that make a world positive impact on everyday lives, said Andrew Beebe, managing director of Obvious Ventures, as part of a statement to MHProNews. “Plant Prefab is focused on dramatically improving efficiencies and environmental responsibility in the $330 billion market for new homes in the US. With increased costs, labor shortages, reduced affordability, and the enormous impact housing has on carbon emissions, there are few challenges more important than creating more accessible, healthy housing,”

 

PlantPrefabLogoKitchenAlexaAmazonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo

 

Those are all points that the Daily Business News on MHProNews has raised for investors and industry pros to consider for several years.  We noted that last year, Amazon began marketing for third-parties homes, including container housing that sells for under $40,000 a unit.

Amazon has also been selling via their site pre-cut kit homes, a concept similar to what Sears and Roebuck used to offer a century or more ago.

SearsCatalogHomesPreCutKitHomesWikipeidaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSearsFullertonKitHomesPinterestDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Now, through Amazon’s Alexa Fund, they’re taking the next step.

An array of media have given them considerable free ink, virtually all of it positive.

Plant Prefab, a Rialto, Calif., based factory-builder, tells MHProNews that they’ve raised $6.7 million “Plant Prefab’s Series A funding included Obvious Ventures and the Amazon Alexa Fund.”

PlantPrefabLogoExteriorAlexaAmazonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo

The new funding will go toward investments in “new senior hires, building the marketing and sales team, and developing Plant Prefab’s patented Plant Building System,” said Globewire to MHProNews.

PlantPrefabAlexaAmazonDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Voice has emerged as a delightful technology in the home, and there are now more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 3,500 different brands,” said Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund. “Plant Prefab is a leader in home design and an emerging, innovative player in home manufacturing. We’re thrilled to support them as they make sustainable, connected homes more accessible to customers and developers.”

Alexa Fund added as new investor, marking Amazon’s first known direct investment in a home prefabrication/construction company.

In 2016, the Plant Prefab was spun out of LivingHomes, “a design and development company that’s designed and built dozens of award-winning prefabricated homes, including the nation’s first LEED Platinum home.”

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Click here or the above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

According to a statement by Plant Prefab Founder and CEO Steve Glenn, “In the housing-crunched major cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, along with areas like Silicon Valley, it takes too much time to build a home from groundbreaking to occupancy, and labor shortages, construction delays and increased construction costs are exacerbating this trend even further — and making homes increasingly less affordable.”

That’s a theme thousands of factory-built housing industry pros know all too well.  Note that Glenn takes direct aim at manufactured housing, mis-characterizing HUD Code homes as “Most existing prefabrication companies in the US focus on standard, low quality, non-sustainable mobile and modular homes — for suburban communities.”

Glenn then juxtaposes what they do with manufactured and modular builders by saying, “Plant Prefab is unique in that we’re focused on custom, high quality, very sustainable homes and we have a special facility and a patented building system optimized for this. We build based on client’s architects or clients can select from a growing number of homes we offer from world-class architects, all of which can be customized for specific lots and client needs. By building in an all-weather facility with lower cost and staff labor, we offer clients a more reliable, time and cost-effective alternative to local, urban general contractors.”

Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales

Rephrased, they sound more like they are targeting more of a U.S. based, Soft Bank backed Katerra, or international player, Revolution Precrafted homes.

Factory-Crafted Home Living, Reimagined – “The Art Park” vs. MHCs – Interview with Robbie Antonio, Founder of Unicorn Revolution Precrafted Homes

Plant Prefab operates out of a 62,000 square foot facility in Rialto, California.  They point to recent projects they’ve done where they “installed 26 units in California and Utah as well as a multifamily project in Berkeley.”

Keep in mind, that a few million bucks from Bezos could quickly lead to far more from the world’s richest man. Architecture says that the Alexa Fund can provide up “to $100 million in venture capital funding.” But as the world richest man, that too is far from Bezos’ limit.

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Independent and even larger corporate manufactured housing professionals, outside of the Berkshire Hathaway family of brands, arguably have to realize that Amazon, Google, Facebook, and other giants could quickly become a major player in factory built homes, including modular or manufactured homes.

With Buffett, Bezos and JP Morgan-Chase’s Jaime Dimon teaming up to carve out a bite from healthcare, what’s to keep some array of multibillion-dollar conglomerates from crowding out factory-builders through their money and political influence?

Thus MHProNews’ advocacy for antitrust action, and a new post-production association.  That later is similar to a call from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which has made a similar call.  See the related reports, linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

MH Community Redevelopment Done Right? “Mission Trailer Park” Transformed into Modern Factory Built Homes

April 3rd, 2018 Comments off

MHCommunityRedevelopmentDoneRightMissionTrailerParkTransformedintoMondernFactoryBuiltHomes

For years, Mission Trailer Park provided an affordable place to live in a city with high housing costs, but it deteriorated over time and residents faced problems such as occasional sewage backups and an old, shoddy laundry room,” said the Tribune News.

 

John Belsher with The Obispo Company helped former residents relocate to other housing. A longtime resident, in the community, Craig Steffens, told The Tribune in 2015, how pleased he was with how the situation was handled.

I’ll give Belsher this — he did a pretty good job of relocating everyone,” Steffens said about the process at the time. “He managed to get the homeowners of the park relocated to units that were two to three times bigger than they had before.”

And (with) the renters he went way above and beyond because you only have to give them a 30-day notice, but he gave them all kinds of assistance with moving and security deposits.”

DowntownTerraceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The old units were replaced with modern, prefabricated housing like the ones shown in the featured image at the top.

We’ve had to store the manufactured units off site and then we install them using a crane,” Belsher said. “We can install four of them in about two days.”

ThreeBedroomUnitDowntownTerraceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Instead of the black eye to the industry that often results from redevelopment, the reports in the Tribune suggests that Belsher’s approach made for a relatively smooth transition for those involved.

The redeveloped property is called Downtown Terrace, and touts the following bulleted features:

·         With a walking score of 97, Downtown Terrace is a walker’s paradise!
·         All units are equipped with their own combination washer/dryer unit.
·         Close proximity to public transportation.
·         Brand new prefab construction.
·         All units are outfitted with heat and AC – a rarity in San Luis Obispo.
·         Steps away from Thursday night Farmers Market.
·         Close to local hiking trails and parks.
·         The homes embrace a modern aesthetic with designer selected finishes.
·         Walk to work or a night out on the town!
·         Enjoy a community living atmosphere.
·         15 minutes from local beaches.

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Reaching for the Sky, Multiple Level HUD Code Manufactured Homes

February 21st, 2018 Comments off

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Near Houston, in a residential style neighborhood off Atascocita Road in Humble, TX is Classic Pine Estates.  It was a seen as a hot property when it was developed.

Among its bragging points?

A full two-story HUD Code manufactured home, reportedly built by Fleetwood Homes, circa 2002.  According to Zillow, it is 3 beds2 baths, 2,112 sq ft and worth about $149,236.

TwoStoryHUDCodeManufacturedHomeClassicPineEstatesGrandPrixDrDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The home can be seen from the Google street view, and also from the Google Maps 3D view, off Grand Prix Drive, less than a city block off Atascocita Road, near the entrance to Classic Pine Estates.  While arguably not as stylish as the homes at the in Newport Beach or near Cincinnati as shown, it was an example of what could be done with HUD Code manufactured housing.  Note that the distortions in the photo below are from the Google street view imaging process, those windows would be level.

3110GrandPrixDrHumbleTXGooglestreetViewDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Note that the distortions in the photo below are from the Google street view imaging process, those windows would be level.

That two story home was reported installed on it’s foundation system near the height of the boom, when about 250,000 manufactured homes were being produced a year, compared to less than 93,000 installed in 2017.  At the peak, over 372,000 new HUD Code homes were being built.

It’s a reminder of the days when manufactured homes were literally reaching for the sky.

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A finished upper level was accessed from the living room stairs in the Cape Code style home, located in Sunset Village, north of Chicago, IL. Photo spread at this link.

The featured photo at the top of this post is from CityScapes At The Mills of Carthage, near Cincinnati, Ohio. It was featured in MHLivingNews at the link below.

CityScapes at the Mills of Carthage; Boston and other cities, are you Listening?

The article was written in response to an editorial a few years ago in the Boston Globe, that called for manufactured and modular homes to be allowed into the city of Boston.

That Boston Globe editorial began as follows, “THE TERM “manufactured housing” tends to invoke a 65-by-12-foot mobile home plopped down in a trailer park. But the industry has evolved to the point that many housing units assembled in factories are indistinguishable in looks and quality from homes built on site.”

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In Newport Beach, California you can see multiple level homes that the developer used, which fetch over $300,000 – a bargain. The Daily Business News featured that property previously, in comparing it to the most popular house on Realtor  for 2017.

Most Popular Home of Year Goes To…Shotgun like ‘Single Sectional’ – Think “Lido” Manufactured Home

MHLivingNews did a video interview with a resident of a multiple story manufactured home that is set on a foundation in the golf-course style neighborhood, in the article linked below.

The Greens of Vista – HomeOwner Interview – Manufactured Home Living

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High Rise Multiple Story “Racks” of Manufactured Homes

But decades before any of those projects are the design concepts envisioned using single-sectionals built on rack-type structures.  The vision was to maneuvered units with a crane, as one does with modular sections.  The concept was seen as a way of creating several stories of single level homes that could literally be made like a high-rise apartment, only at a lower price.

As HUD considers what reforms to make to the manufactured housing program, one-point ought to be stressed to regulators.  With a performance-based code, the sky is the limit.

Neither the industry’s professionals,

  • nor regulators,
  • nor investors
  • or others researching the modern HUD Code manufactured housing industry ought to think of the industry as limited. One of the points that MHProNews would editorially agree with the recent, controversial Urban Institute studies is this.

 

 

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The industry could rapidly be ramped up.

HUD Comment Letter – FR-6075-N-01 Regulatory Review of Manufactured Housing Rules

With hundreds of billions of dollars in capital being freed up domestically, or that is returning to America, the sky is the limit for visionaries with a long term view of the industry. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Most Popular Home of Year Goes To…Shotgun like ‘Single Sectional’ – Think “Lido” Manufactured Home

December 22nd, 2017 Comments off

NestedTourShotgunVictorianLikeSingleSectionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAre millions of housing-hunters still asleep at the switch?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) ® in a release to MHProNews drew attention to their hyper-busy website’s most popular house of the year.

Was it a multi-million dollar mansion?

A coastal mansion?

A mountaintop chalet?

As the headline, suggested, it was a ‘shotgun’ style home.

And as manufactured home industry pros must be thinking by now, it looks like a two level Victorian style single sectional. For those who’ve studied the Lido Peninsula, you already know that there have been two level manufactured home single sectionals produced.

The Manufactured Home Lesson from Lido?

LidoPeninsulaManufacturedHome2bed2bath475000DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

NAR’s Claudine Zap said, that 624 S 7th St, Waco, TX was their top viewed house in 2017.

Price: $950,000

The median price per square foot of home in Waco hovers below $100,” says Zap, “but this place is asking for a whopping $905 per square foot.”

While San Francisco Bay Area and Manhattan home shoppers may be accustomed to paying nearly $1,000 per square foot, we’re talking about Waco here. No disrespect, but the Gaines-based premium on this place seems way too steep a mountain for a buyer to climb,” NAR’s writer said.

Zap also said the home comes fully furnished.  At the price listed, duh, of course?  

LidoPeninsulaManufacturedHome2bed2bath475kDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Think again about the lessons from Lido…

Don’t misunderstand the point.  Which is this.


If the Lido project can sell manufactured homes at prices well above that of conventional housing prices, why aren’t more manufactured home pros selling more residential style manufactured homes, which are well UNDER the price of conventional housing?

What Should This Tell Manufactured Housing Pros for 2018 Inventory, Sales and Marketing Plans?

When you consider this home, it is a good reason to consider again the point Barry Noffsinger made in the video seminar linked below.  The pond where the most fish are, would be the more upscale part of the manufactured home business.

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$

MHPros?  Are you thinking that for 2018, you should stocking, promoting, and selling more residential style manufactured homes?

The NAR stats don’t lie. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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Notice 1: Looking for our emailed MH Industry headline news updates? Click here to sign up in 5 seconds. You’ll see in the first issue or two why big, medium and ‘mom-and-pop’ professionals are reading them by the thousands, typically delivered twice weekly.

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Manufactured Home Community Shut Down, Residents Barred from Homes, by Government Officials

November 8th, 2017 Comments off

CondemendUnsafeEntryJourneyEndMobileHomeParkAsbestosConcernsAllegedEPACheckingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsA manufactured home community industry source recently told MHProNews that, “California does not believe in property rights, plain and simple.”

In Santa Rosa, the “Journey’s End Mobile Home Park will remain closed at least until Wednesday pending laboratory test results of materials found last week in the fire-ravaged community that may contain asbestos, officials said Sunday at a community meeting,” per the local Press Democrat.

The Daily Business News has previously reported on the devastation that took place there, during the recent wildfires that ravaged that part of the Golden State.

That original story, is linked here, and one of the videos from that first Daily Business News report, is below.

The park [sic], located on Mendocino Avenue just north of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, was shut down by city officials Friday morning following consultations with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials who are leading a countywide cleanup of household hazardous waste in the wake of fires that destroyed more than 5,000 Sonoma County homes.”

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Materials that may contain asbestos were found by EPA crews at 25 sites in Journey’s End, said Tom Dunkelman an on-scene coordinator for the federal agency, told a crowd of about 200 people at the Steele Lane Community Center, according to the Press Democrat report.

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The residents were not all as convinced.

A Bunch of BS, Says Resident

Louise Smith, an octogenarian who said she is park’s longest-tenured resident at 37 years, said she’s unsure if she wants to return but wasn’t impressed with the asbestos issue,” per the Press Democrat, adding, I think it’s a bunch of bull— if you ask me,” she stated to them after the meeting.

There is also some speculation that this may be used as a reason to keep the community closed, and potentially redevelop it, per local sources.

MHProNews will continue to track this story, given the numerous nuances that could impact that state and others in the industry. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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Barron’s – Will Freestone Capital Become Next Public Manufactured Home Community Operator?

July 25th, 2017 Comments off

FreestoneCapitalManagementBarronsManufactruiedHomeIndustryCommunitiesParksDailyBusinessNewssMHProNewsFreestone Capital Management, an investing firm based in Seattle, WA, has spent the last decade working their way into becoming one of the larger owners of manufactured home communities in the United States.

Now they are setting their sights on becoming even bigger.  And perhaps, going public.

It all started just after the 2008-09 financial crisis, when Freestone’s founder Gary Furukawa purchased three manufactured home communities.

After operating them for a few years the value of his investment was clear.

The case study by Freestone Capital Management found that benefits of owning manufactured home communities include the increasing demand for low-income housing, and relatively low capital expense, among other factors.

Per their website, Freestone is known for diversified endowment-type portfolios – and they work with both wealth management and investing management for their 950 clients.

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Manufactured Home Land-Lease Community is shown for illustration purposes only. Graphic credits, Financial Services Perspective, Bradley.

Investing in the manufactured home community sector on behalf of those clients made sense to them – and they’re preparing to continue to reap the benefits of this growing and much-needed industry.

According to Barrons, the firm has already invested $300 million in manufactured housing – specifically in communities that have around a 70 percent occupancy.

Right now, the report says that those investments are generating about a 7 percent yield.  But as occupancy grows – their obvious goal – the return on those investments should rise even more over time.

Our business case is to take [occupancy] to 95%, so the yield goes up a lot,” says Erik Morgan, senior advisor of the firm. “And we’re large enough to maybe take that private investment and make it public.”

ErikMorganSeniorPartnerInvestmentManagementFreeStoneCapitalDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeLandLeaseCommunityResearchReportsMHProNewsWhile many investors are looking to move into the digital age, focusing their investments into stocks like Amazon and Microsoft, Freestone is looking into a more long-term venture that they expect to see yielding them and their investors big returns in the future.

Our focus is typically on trying to find great businesses trading at attractive prices and owning those businesses for a long time,” Morgan says.

Morgan, who was named Barron’s Best Advisor in Washington, started off his career investing in those same sorts of stocks like Amazon – which ended up being a good investment in the long-haul – but he decided that wasn’t the direction in which he wanted to see his career go.

These days, working with Gary Furukawa and 29 other investors at Freestone, Morgan says they are looking to invest in cheap stocks, rather than the hot stocks that pose a higher risk to them and their clients.

Amazon remains a strong long-term opportunity, especially given the signals from their recent bid for acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

But Morgan believes that more traditional investments, like real estate – specifically the manufactured home community sector – are and should be their current focus.

GaryFurukawaSeniorPartnerFreestoneCapitalManagementDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeCommunityInvestorsResearchReportsDataMHProNews

With $300 million already invested in manufactured home land-lease communities, Gary Furukawa, Erik Morgan, and their 29 associates believe they are in the right market.

Affordable housing is something that will always be in demand. Manufactured homes appeal to more than just low-income workers, as even millionaires and celebrities own manufactured homes.

It’s clear they’re confident in their investment in manufactured home communities – and why wouldn’t they be? # # (News, analysis.)

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Kort & Scott Financial Group (FSFG) Faces Reports of Senior Wrath

July 11th, 2017 Comments off

KortScottFinancialGroupDiableEstatesAntiochManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyuBusinessNewsMHProNewsAbout three years ago, Sam Zell quipped in Chicago to hundreds of manufactured home community professionals that at Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) they discovered they had a partner without an investment they didn’t count on.

The government.

The owners of Diablo Estates have likewise learned from experience that organized residents can run to city hall, garner media attention, and often get their way.

A mobile home park [sic] designed for seniors isn’t well-suited to young families, argues Vivian Espinoza, 74,” says the East Bay Times (EBT).

The EBT – which understands that dramatic headlines are what draws clicks and readers, reports that “Seniors fear Antioch mobile home park [sic] will accept all ages.” Fear?

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“SIC “defined, credits are as shown. Given how often terminology is mangled, MHProNews will strive to clearly show when the errors are those of the speaker or third party. by the use of [sic] in the copy.

You’ve got children running around — there’s no place for them to play,” Espinoza reportedly said, per EBT.  She pointed out the community doesn’t have a playground.  “And there’s more vandalism. Teenagers get bored and they vandalize.”

Ironically,” said a community professional that had pointed the developing story out to MHProNews, “that’s the kinds of comments a NIMBYite who wants to stop a manufactured home community development or expansion might make.”

The protests look to be organized by the MHPHOA.

MHPHOAVistaDiabloManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage from the MHPHOA website,, shown under fair use guidelines.

From their website, “MHPHOA PLEDGE: The MHPHOA is a grass roots movement who are passionately dedicated to the preservation and protection of mobile home owner’s rights in Kort & Scott Financial Group (KSFG) dba Sierra Corporate Management (SCM) mobile home parks in the State of California.”

One local industry professional, speaking of the record, rhetorically asked “While many seniors certainly may prefer a 55 + community, do community owners with millions invested no longer have rights too?”

About KSFG

Based in Southern California, Kort & Scott Financial Group, LLC. is an owner and operator” of manufactured home communities, says their acquisition website. “Since 1989, the company has acquired over 9,500” sites, says the firm’s website.

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Collage from the KSFG website, shown under fair use guidelines.

California’s Codes and Standards says there are some 5,239 manufactured home communities licensed to operate in that state.

Several dozen are in KSFG’s portfolio.

Because it appears that the vast majority of Vista Diablo Mobile Estates’ residents are seniors,” said the EBT report, “council members responded to their impassioned pleas by unanimously agreeing to consider adopting an urgency ordinance at their July 11 meeting.”

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Credit, Google Maps.

The ordinance, if approved, would establish an immediate moratorium on any changes to the mobile home park’s residency requirements while city officials study the matter further and come up with a permanent set of rules,” concluded the local media report.

Not one word of the EBT report indicated any input or outreach to the property owners. Nor was there any attempt to represent their postion, beyond citing the following: “Although federal housing law prohibits discrimination on a wide variety of fronts, an amendment in the 1980s allowed landlords and developers to restrict housing to seniors as long as that demographic comprised at least 80 percent of the complex’s units.”

The Daily Business News plans to reach out, track and report back on this and similar developments. ## (News, Analysis.)

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