Posts Tagged ‘(CBE)’

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

August 4th, 2018 Comments off


After years of arguably failed polite talk, perhaps more direct and blunt words are needed.


The logic of research economists Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti is that improper land use policies are costing the nation some $2 trillion dollars a year.


See the Daily Business News report on that topic, at this link here. It includes a download of their research.

The reasoning of National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun is that only more and faster new construction will fix the housing affordability issue.


Collage by MHProNews.

It is this Daily Business News on MHProNews writer’s understanding, Dr. Yun prompted Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE) to research manufactured homes. Among her 30 pages of reports, charts, and data include the following.



See more of her research, at this link here.


The logic of Trulia’s research, summarized by the data in the graphic below, supports that of the research economists above. Affordable housing has negligible impact on all other housing nearby. Both forms of housing are growing in value, side by side.


The Trulia research reinforces what HUD’s PD&R on manufactured homes (MH) found, that MH appreciated side by side with conventional housing.

But what if that affordable housing are manufactured homes? Do manufactured homes harm property values for neighboring conventional housing?

The university level research that HUD commissioned in their PD&R report preceded the Trulia study. It looked at manufactured homes as infill in cities, right next door to conventional site built, single family homes.

The results?

Housing values of both conventional homes and the manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side.


The research from multiple cities documented that manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side with conventional housing. The findings are similar to what Trulia’s study learned.

The summary of the logic of the third-party researched facts are overwhelming when laid out side-by-side like this.

But the irony is that Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies researcher Eric Belsky came to the conclusion over 16 years ago that manufactured homes where likely to surpass conventional housing in production. No doubt for the kind of reasons Cororaton more recently cited.


At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, MH won’t reach 40 percent of that total. What happened?


Richard Genz did research prior to the statement by Harvard’s Belsky, making the case for manufactured home quality and durability in a study for the Fannie Mae Foundation.


“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

So what happened?  Why were Genz and Belsky – the obvious logic of their clear view that manufactured homes deserved support and were bound to grow – why were their visions not realized?

How is it possible than when manufactured homes (MH) – by law – must perform dynamically the same as conventional housing in safety, durability and energy savings – and when MH costs less, why aren’t more HUD Code homes being sold?



Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data


The simple answer is that a variety of seemingly unrelated forces have been at play.

Those forces included, but where not necessarily limited to:

–   ignorance,

–   prejudice,

–   greed,

–   political and regulatory pressures, fostered by the above,

–   and perhaps a failure to put all these facts back-to-back, to see reality vs. outdated perceptions. Fear and falsehoods were allowed to drive too many people’s thinking.

President Gerald Ford said prior to the HUD Code that the “mobile home” industry would always be necessary. It was market-based affordable homes, that routinely required no taxpayer subsidizes.

U.S. President Praised “The Mobile Home Industry,” Manufactured Homes are “Here to Stay”

Failure to heed that observation caused city after city on “both coasts” and the interior of the U.S. to lose decades of opportunities for more housing affordability.

The upshot?

Growing homelessness, including vehicular homelessness.

“Vehicular Homelessness” Rising, Land Use, and Manufactured Housing Policies


The answer being sought by many among the politically connected is to build more subsidized housing. In fact, for over 50 years, those housing programs have proven to be unable to keep up with the ever rising demand. The Heritage Foundation estimated that those social programs – which included subsidized housing – cost the nation some $22 trillion dollars in 5 decades.

That’s virtually the same amount as the national debt.

Isn’t it lunacy to continue doing more of the same self-evident failures? Why not turn to the proven solution?  Why not use free market driven investments by entrepreneurs vs. tax dollars?



What’s Missing in the Data? Real Harm to Real People

We as a society can’t change what’s happened. But we can learn from it. Perhaps the data needs to be humanized?  Do we need poster children to show what’s happened, and how that’s harmed Americans?

Almost every retailer who has sold a manufactured home direct to the public for at least a year has encountered the following scenario. Often numerous times.

A single, couple or family/household owns or wants to buy a manufactured home for a piece of property. But a local official stops that placement. Isn’t that using the force of law to rob people of the opportunity to own an affordable home?

The non-profit Equal Justice thinks so, and successfully sued a town on that issue. They are now suing another city.

Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

What does that process of denying Americans affordable housing actually cost such persons or families?

More personal wealth.  Keep in mind that HUD Secretary Carson spent some time in 2017 telling people that home owners had an average net worth of some $200,000, while the average renting household only has $5000 net worth.

The logic of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Professor Kenneth Johnson’s research indicates that manufactured home ownership may yield the most wealth for a household. The lower the cost of the housing, for a disciplined saver/investor, the greater the potential for other investments, thus increasing personal wealth.


FAU’s Ken Johnson made an eye opening point that applies to manufactured homes in terms of the ability for manufactured homes to help build more personal wealth

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Cororaton’s research both demonstrated that manufactured homes are the lowest cost form of permanent housing. Less than rent, and even when higher rates and shorter loan terms, manufactured homes dramatically lower price yields the lowest monthly payments.


But we can put a face, a family, to this snapshot.

The Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. said that their affordable pre-HUD Code factory-built home made it possible for he and his wife to do things for their family they could not have done any other way.  Tye told MHProNews that planners are missing out on the many social and economic benefits that affordable home ownership provides.


He also addressed the lost tax benefits, as well as the prejudice against manufactured homes, and the misuse of terminology like this.


Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Mark Weiss, JD, weighed in on that same point, saying the the use of the t-word is offensive to millions.


A poet who sold her conventional housing to buy a manufactured home was shocked at the prejudice generated by others.

Taking on the Trash Talk! Are People Defined by their Housing Choice? Video, Photos

There are letters-after-letters, stories-after-stories that have a similar refrain.  Here’s a pair of others.

“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Trade Publisher, Experts call for Respect, Understanding for Manufactured Housing, Manufactured Home Owners

Part of what should have been learned in recent decades is that there is a huge cost to taking opportunities from others. That arguably becomes a form of theft.  Thus the commandment that most faiths believe to be true – “thou shall not steal” – reasonably applies.

It includes mobile and manufactured home community owners who in various jurisdictions are increasingly being told that they can’t replace an older home with a new one. What?

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

A state supreme court ruling in one case was described by an attorney as an “unconstitutional taking.” That community owner won. But how much time and effort did it cost that community owner to be allowed to use their own land as a place where affordable home ownership can occur for families?  Those legal costs have to be passed onto others, those who live in those affordable manufactured homes.

Time and again – however well intended the local policies may be – the net result is that it is costing millions opportunities for more affordable home ownership.


The High Cost of Ignorance and Prejudice

This writer told a group of business professionals last year in Deadwood that manufactured homes were the civil rights issue of our times. That message was applauded by those who know first-hand how difficult it can be to sell a manufactured home, and get it safely installed on an appropriate permanent site and foundation.



Tony Kovach doing a presentation in a packed room of industry professionals.  The essence of the talk was the importance of educating people locally about the truths regarding modern manufactured homes.

The logic of these facts is this.

$2 trillion dollars a year is lost in GDP – that’s the cost of ignorance and prejudice against manufactured homes in America.  Take 326 million Americans, divide it into $2 trillion dollars lost annually, and that’s like $6,134.97 per man, woman and child.

For a family of four, that’s $24,539.88 in lost U.S. GDP.

It’s an avoidable loss, and can be fixed by a proper understanding coupled with the application of existing laws, as you will see below.


Terminology Matters

People wrongly believe the terminology for factory built homes is optional. It’s not. The correct terminology is a matter of law – the code which a home was built to meet.


After more than fifty years of short-sighted and prejudiced thinking, it’s decades past the time that modern manufactured homes be seen for what they are.  It’s time to stop cherry-picking exceptional tales, and to look at the broad facts.


To see the report on tornadoes and manufactured homes, click here.


Manufactured homes are the solution for the affordable housing crisis that’s hiding in plain sight. It must be noted that modular and other forms of factory home building can all perform a vital part of the solution to America’s costly affordable housing crisis.

But because of the genius of the HUD Code, setting national standards with regional requirements, much of the harm caused by local regulators is avoided with manufactured homes.


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


Solutions? Parallel Path One

The former chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage, said the following.

People cited in this column today might later say something different, perhaps because they may (errantly) believe that money tempts them to do so.  Some back off due to other pressures.

But they can’t unring the bell on what they’ve already said.

A consistent theme of MHProNews and MHLivingNews for years has been the need to honestly and sustainably grow the industry. We have never advocated, for example, for the kind of poor lending practices that led to the post-1998 nosedive of manufactured home sales.

Education – sound information are a key step.  21st’s Williams was right, and so was Frank Rolfe, who said that the media must be engaged with the truth when errant information crops up.



Solution – Parallel Path 2 – The Logic of Sound, Sustainable Lending

Lenders are protected when home values are protected.

Home values are protected and enhanced by demand and sound lending.

Sound and profitable lending is good for business, good for people, and good for the economy.

Good information – vs. prejudice or short-sighted thinking for whatever motivations – is how bigoted influences are pushed out.  This is how information and sound lending, parallel paths, can support each other, as a train running on a track is supported by parallel rails.


Manufactured Housing Appreciation?

The Urban Institute, and the National Association of Realtors ® have both reported what MHProNews and MHLivingNews has said for years. Manufactured homes can and do appreciate. But why are there times that they don’t rise in value?

First, all housing rises and falls in value for much the same reasons.

I’m not speaking for ‘Gay’ Cororaton when I share my take on a conversation this writer and she had a few weeks ago. I asked her about the economic logic of the following

Home appreciation is fueled by the following factors.

  • Location,
  • Condition of the home (maintenance, appearance),
  • Demand for housing,
  • Local economic factors (wages, employment opportunities, etc.), and
  • the availability of reasonable lending. Other points could be mentioned too, but those are key ones.

So, if any of those factors are reduced or eliminated, then the value would be lessened. Think about conventional housing post 2008, lending dried up, housing dropped in value.

My understanding was that she agreed with those principles.  My hunch is most objective thinkers and economists would too.

That being so, consider this.

Because manufactured homes have had lending options artificially reduced due to the absence of robust support from the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then to some degree, that will influence resale values. Again, my understanding was that she agreed with that premise.

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

In our comments letter to HUD, we stressed that since the GSEs were arguably not doing their job, that FHA could step up to the plate, as should VA and USDA (Rural Housing) loans.

Now, let’s rephrase that to make the following point.

For decades, the GSEs have resisted lending on manufactured homes. Fannie Mae’s highly touted MH Advantage is arguably another artful dodge, as it forces manufactured home builders to meet additional criteria beyond what the HUD Code mandates.


“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

Who worked with Fannie Mae on that MH Advantage program? Our sources say, past and current members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Why would MHI argue for a so-called “new class” of manufactured homes – where there is no data or track record – when there is decades of data and track record that proves the value of millions of units of HUD Code manufactured homes?


Collage by MHProNews.

That was the logic of Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Rephrased, who benefits, and who is harmed by this questionable ploy between MHI and the GSEs?

Hold that thought for latter.

Because the bottom line is this. Manufactured homes have proven their value. Their value would logically be enhanced, given a proper understanding of their safety, quality and durability.


Two Types of HUD Code Manufactured Homes?

This writer has told people for years that there are broadly speaking, entry level manufactured homes, and residential style manufactured homes.  Both styles must meet the safety, energy and construction standards set forth by federal law under HUD and the DOE.

When you go shopping for a vehicle, there’s a wide array of sizes and styles to select from.  There are entry level cars, mid-range, and luxury ones too. That can be said about cell phones vs. smart phones, RVs, laptops, or most any product one cares to consider.

So, with manufactured homes, it is similar. If all you’ve seen are entry level manufactured homes, then you need to see a residential style one.


One must stress that any and all manufactured homes must all meet HUD’s safety, energy, and durability standards. From the least costly, all manufactured homes (MH) get consumer protection not found in conventional housing that costs many times the price. It was the MH industry that fought for that legislation – MHARR MHI, and states like Texas too – as part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.


Credits are as shown, collage by

But another key part of the MHIA of 2000 was enhanced preemption. That enhanced preemption is the key to unlocking $2 Trillion dollars a year in increased GDP for the U.S. This needs 5 stars next to this point.

Put differently, there is no need to wait for local jurisdictions across the land to get a backbone, or learn the truth the obliterates their ignorance, prejudices, sweetheart deals to favored developers, etc.

All that’s needed is for HUD to enforce existing law.  Enhanced preemption for manufactured homes is already the law of the land.

Let’s say that again for emphasis. All that’s needed is for HUD to enforce existing law.  Because the MHIA of 2000 preemption protects the rights of everyday Americans to buy and safely install a manufactured home on any buildable property.

We don’t need decades of battles, or more studies. The logic and the realities have been hiding in plain sight for years.


The Urban Institute’s Vital 2018 Question

Urban Institute researchers in a January 2018 report came to some similar points about manufactured homes, appreciation, and related. They asked a key question. Why aren’t more manufactured homes being sold, when they are a proven part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis?  Here’s how they phrased it, in the caption above “We Follow the Money.”


What they didn’t say was as important as what they did say.

One researcher was Edward Golding, who used to work for HUD. That wasn’t disclosed in their report. Golding had Pam Danner, JD, periodically report to him. Danner was the Administrator for what the Washington Post called the “once obscure” Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).

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

Which begs this question. Why didn’t Golding and others at the Urban Institute mention enhanced preemption in their reporting on manufactured homes?

After all, zoning, economic prejudice, and enhanced preemption all intersect.

When manufactured home businesses and state association executives from coast to coast say that zoning/land use/placement are key issues, how could Golding or the Urban Institute fail to mention enhanced preemption?

Hold that thought. Because another undisclosed fact was the connection of Warren Buffett as a lifetime trustee for the Urban Institute. It’s mentioned on the big Urban Institute site, if you got hunting for it. But there was no disclosure on the article that Golding and his fellow researchers published on the topic.


Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

Nor did the Urban Institute mention that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) helped forge their paper. A source at the Urban Institute told us that “anonymity” was promised to MHI and Clayton, for their role in crafting their report.


Since when do non-profits and university level style researchers not state their sources? Since when are possible conflicts-of-interests not disclosed by nonprofits or researchers in publishing their findings?


Smoking Guns…?

Eric Belsky made another statement about housing that very much applies to the question the Urban Institute asked.


It’s a statement that most every manufactured home retail or community professional who experienced the slide from 1998 to 2008 know all too well. For more on Belksy, and MH, click here.


Let’s go back to what Belsky and Genz said over 15 years ago. Belsky expected manufactured homes to advance, so did Genz.

Why didn’t they?

Short answer, lending was choked off. Absent enough lending to supports home sales, there will be fewer manufactured homes sold. Duh, right?


Kenny Lipschutz, Home First Certified Communities.

Absent a level playing field on lending or resales, manufactured homes are placed at a disadvantage in resale values.

Another issue is appraisals. Thousands of appraisers misunderstand manufactured homes. But that too is and educational issue, noted here as a placeholder.

So, we see the need for factual, evidenced and reason-based thinking about manufactured homes. Among the best-informed investors is arguably Warren Buffett. He reads and reads, per his own statements, and that of others who know him.

So why did Belsky miss his projection about manufactured housing achieving dominance in production over conventional builders by 2010? Arguably, the short answer is that Belsky did not count on Warren Buffett entering the industry in 2003. Belsky didn’t count on what Berkshire Hathaway did, as they began to deploy the Buffett strategic “Moat.”


Who speaks of “the moat?” Warren Buffett explains his principles of “the Moat” in a video on the page linked below. So does Kevin Clayton, in a separate video also found below.  Clayton says in his own words in that video that “Warren” stresses widening “the Moat” against competitors on a routine basis.


Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection


The Truth is Not Political

We believe that truth is apolitical, but political officials may use – misuse, ignore, or abuse – the truth.

A closer look at the problem of why there is not more manufactured housing being sold can be summed up by the notion of the impact of failure to educate, and monopolistic practices. Who says?

GuruFocus and the Seattle Times.


Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat.


Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

And the evidence that manufactured housing’s ascendancy was derailed by forces within the industry is found in part with documents and quotes from Berkshire owned 21st Mortgage, Warren Buffett’s own words, and Berkshire dominated MHI’s own chart.

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Thousands lost their businesses, and millions arguably lost the opportunities to benefit from manufactured home ownership. It’s cost taxpayers a fortune, that can be measured in the trillions of dollars in losses to the GDP, and avoidable costs to federal taxpayers.

How Many MH Independents, Retailers Have Been Lost Recently? “They Think They Own Us”


The Problem of the One Percent

We won’t hype the issue of the 1 percent, nor understate it.

What this will propose that may be unique is a free enterprise solution to the problem of the one percent. It’s this. De facto monopolistic forces are at work in manufactured housing, and in other parts of the economy, such as the tech giants.  Apply the logic of the NY Stern professor to manufactured housing, and it is just as apt as it is when applied to the world of the tech giants.

We’ll let Professor Scott Galloway make his case in tech.


“Winners and Losers,” L2 Founder, Prof Scott Galloway on Monopolies

But for those who believe that monopolistic forces harm Americans, we can point to voices as politically separated as Senator Ted Cruz and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

If we start listening to the factual points – vs. the opinions or spin – of what others are saying, those facts can lead someone to the root issues.  Facts are what is.  Opinions and interpretations are a dime a dozen.

The opportunity to use evidence, facts, and objective reasoning to discover the underlying causes – and thus the cures – of the affordable housing crisis is possible.  Keep in mind, that sooner or later, monopolies arguably harm workers and consumers.


Does Monopoly Power Impact Workers’ Stagnant Wages? MH Industry Impact$


The irony may be this. Aren’t even monopolists harmed by what they create?  Think about that $2 trillion a year in lost GDP.

Regardless, society as a whole is harmed, and that is why anti-trust laws exist.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You


The Fix is Applying Existing Laws

There is no need for years of delays in hearings or more studies.

Antitrust laws debatably need to be applied to Berkshire Hathaway, and to all others in business who’ve become invasive, as Galloway said.

The Smoking Gun 3 documents, facts and related quotes from officials who are part of Berkshire speak for themselves.  It would be difficult for them to unsay, what they’ve already said that arguably proves they are monopolistic.

MHI and Berkshire Hathaway has been given repeated opportunities to respond to any of these concerns.  Rather than respond, instead of debating the merits or misses in this reading of the facts, they’ve tried a variety of other tactics.  But if they could easily disprove this, why haven’t they?  Those from Berkshire brands who once praised us, now sit in silence as we publish reports like this one. Why?


Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams to MHProNews. MHI’s president praised us for some years to, as this mirthful short demonstrates. 

MHI should be scrutinized for fostering the conditions that allowed manufactured housing to be derailed from what Belsky thought was a bright future. Some who see the problems outlined herein hold out hope that MHI can be redeemed. This writer – based upon sources, evidence and past history – believes that people can change, but that said, the evidence is that MHI’s leadership isn’t changing.  Thus, they need to be exposed, and supplanted with something entirely new.

MHARR does its job, but an MHI award winner says that MHI works only for the “the big boys.”


MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?


I’ve said for years that pretty pictures alone are not enough to convince people of the truth about manufactured homes, and what it can do to transform for the better millions of lives.


Education is the answer. Refuting false claims must be part of that educational process.  People aer entitled to their opinions, but not to their own facts.

Understanding the issues are can help avoidable for others the tragedies caused by ignorance, greed and the evidenced based factors alleged herein. Millions of Americans have been robbed of what they could have had, instead of subsidized housing, or a life of rental, give people the information and opportunity to increase their personal wealth through affordable home ownership.

There are numerous voices that have blasted MHI’s hypocrisy. The one above is just one of many.

It’s time for the disinfectant of sunlight to cure what decades of ignorance, private agendas, monopolistic forces, and prejudice has caused.

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

It’s time for the truth that’s been hiding in plain sight.

The reward is $2 trillion dollars in enhanced GDP annually, just by applying existing law.

The reward is that affordable home ownership could would do for millions of all colors and creeds.

Let’s stop robbing people of the possibility of a brighter future.  That theft has debatably occurred by misusing government and economic power.

Rather, lets allow existing laws to go to work, so that Americans select the home of their dreams, wherever they have a buildable home-site. More can be learned from the links from this article, but that’s enough said for today. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

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Related References:

Movie Mogul Rupert Wyatt and Screenwriter Erica Beeney’s Magnificent Manufactured Home

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

Realtor University, Journal for the Center of Real Estate Studies, Makes Corrections– “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” by Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE

July 25th, 2018 Comments off


RealtorUnivMakesCorrectionsJournalREStudiesTheMarketForManufacturedHomesScholasticaGayGororatonCBEDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryProNewsIt took under one week from the day since Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and MHProNews/MHLivingNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach reached out to a National Association of Realtors researcher for corrections to be made in their seminal report on manufactured homes.


The Daily Business News on MHProNews hereby acknowledges and thanks Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE) for making the corrections.ScholasticaGayCororatonCBENARRevisionsRealtorUniversityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews598x493


Corrected map and data about distribution of manufactured and mobile homes by state.

Not only where the errors corrected, but Cororaton went the extra mile by thanking Weiss and Kovach for their outreach and input in making those correction.  The corrected NAR report is linked here, and the thirty pages of facts and figures starts on page 48.


Millions of people are looking on manufactured home sites every year.  Yet only about 108,000 (+/-) new manufactured homes are expected to be sold in 2018.  Why so historically low?  

Why it Matters?

Several reasons, but let’s look at just 3 for today.

1) As MHProNews previously noted, facts matter to those researching, pondering policy positions, or considering investing in the manufactured home industry.

As one of several ‘wheat and chaff’ observations previously cited, Frank Rolfe is among the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members who has said that solid data and information are desired by lenders and investors.  When some errors are found, other facts may be questioned.  It is professional and honorable to get the facts accurately reported.


2) By contrast, MHI has stubbornly refused to correct factual errors that have been brought to their attention.  One of several examples is linked below. Why won’t they stand up for accurate information?

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

If Rolfe’s point makes sense – and numerous industry professionals see the common-sense wisdom of accurate information – then why doesn’t MHI?  What makes the Arlington, VA based trade group so unwilling to admit errors, when their own prior Chairman publicly admitted that they’ve made errors in the past, and should strive to avoid them in the future?


Is it because – as Richard “Dick” Jennison himself said, that MHI wants to see the industry grow slowly?  Who does that benefit?


3) The NAR Correction Case Points to the Path for Better Understanding, Based Upon Sustainable Education Based Solutions

What manufactured housing has arguably needed for years to achieve new highs is to make the case based upon evidence and factual information, that third parties could verify.

Facts combined with real interviews with experts and home owners pave the path for more sales.

Snippet from Affordable Housing Focus Group Video


This isn’t theory, it’s a known by-product of making a rational case for manufactured homes.


The Manufactured Home (MH) Industry has waited for years for MHI to live up to its claimed status of representing all aspects of factory-built housing.  For whatever reasons one cares to suggest, its difficult to deny that they’ve demonstrably failed at that, as the Washington Post report, or the failure for MHI to engage researchers and third-party media in correcting errors proves time and again.

New manufactured home sales are sliding in some states. How is that tolerable during an affordable housing crisis?

MHVillage Confirms Data, and Michigan Operational Slide Revealed


The Next Step?

A successful independent – one who has not publicly made such an offer previously, and one who is not a member of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – recently emailed the following to MHProNews about the need for a new, post-production national MH association.

I support it and I would support consolidating efforts with MHARR. If retailers would bow up and tell the MHI manufacturers they want dues paid to a new association rather than MHI there will be change. I do believe the majors have weaponized regulation that further entrench their companies or widens and deepens their moat. Keep my name off it please but I’ll support the efforts if their is enough backbone out there,” quoting the message verbatim.

MHARR made it clear last year that they are open to more producers – factory-builder members – and support a new post-production association. But they also said they believe that it is in the industry’s interests to have a separate post-production association.

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

MHARR’s reported success in dealing with the Pam Danner issue, as the Washington Post made clear, demonstrates what can happen by direct engagement with the more pro-business Trump Administration.

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

MHProNews editorially supports such a move, and invites interest from those who would “bow up” to what Marty Lavin called “the big boys” who have bent MHI to serving their interests, rather than those of the industry at large.

A new post-production association could make it a point to routinely contact media and researchers each and every time a false report is published or produced.  That in time could be more effective than spending tens of millions on marketing.

The Protecting, Education, and Promoting (PEP) the truth about manufactured homes – and leveling the regulatory and placement playing field – are what a new trade body should be laser focused on.

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“When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.” – Ken Blanchard, and Manufactured Housing

July 21st, 2018 Comments off



When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.”
– Ken Blanchard, PhD, The One Minute Manager.


The year was 1985 when The One Minute Manager was first published. It was a year or so after that date when this writer picked up that book, and began to apply some of the principles to manufactured housing (MH) retail sales, and related MH industry training.


Part of a cover of Automated Builder magazine. Along with so many others that covered factory built housing, this one eventually went largely defunct.

By 1989, my MH retail center was in the top 1/2 of 1 percent of all the manufactured home retailers in America, per what became known as Automated Builder magazine.

The insights from the One Minute Manager were among the reasons for that success. But in fairness, so was Zig Ziglar, Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, Donald Trump’s classic, The Art of the Deal, and a bevy of lesser known writers and audio tapes (Yes, Millennials, before streaming, downloads, and CDs, there were audio cassettes or eight tracks!).  Let’s not forge to mention the Good Book. 

But the first point is a personal confessionNot of success, but of my misunderstanding of what Ken Blanchard and his medical co-author, Spencer Johnson (MD) had said.

Back then, I wanted to teach people in a literal minute. Everything for me – then and now – had a sense of urgency.  

Clearly, the teaching with my team back then worked to a significant degree. Proof? Because we could recruit people with little or no sales background, and little or no background in manufactured housing. With our simple process, they could sell their first home in their first week on the job.  

Then, a motivated newbie to MHVille could go on to rapidly outselling seasoned MH sales veterans in a matter of days-to-weeks. It was the blend of wisdom learned from Blanchard and others, plus the lessons from one’s own experiences. One of my better pupils sold – wrote up, got approved, and ultimately delivered – 7 homes from one day’s work.

It was then, and is today, about ongoing education. We required our people to read and grow. Guess what? They enjoyed it.  Those who learn more, earn more, and they also feel good about themselves.


But to the younger me, frankly, none of that was fast enough.

What Blanchard’s book said – “When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.” – has only slowly been more completely understandable.   

When one slows down in trying to get another to understand – whatever, but in this case, manufactured homes – then you or I can go faster in that educational effort. 

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. 

Don’t try and force people – as I all-too-often have mistakenly done – to try to learn at a pace that they can’t grasp the desired point or lesson.

Education is at the heart of what manufactured housing needs, period. The rest are details and commentary. But those details and commentary, they very much matter.  


You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. How can we expect others to do, what we won’t do?  Form a habit of using the correct terminology.

Slow down enough to get the details.  Because when you and your team does “get it,” then you too will grow faster. 

By the way, and not to brag, that success that Blanchard’s book and others helped inspire was during a very down time in the late 1980’s post-oil bust, Oklahoma. At a time when 80 percent of the retailers in OK vanished in about a four year time frame, during the last 3 of those 4 years, that sales center of mine in Purcell, OK was growing like a western wildfire. It was one of several such experiences over the years in MH, RVs, consulting, and trade show marketing. So it wasn’t during good times, that growth came, it was during bad times.  How?  Why?

LegacyManufacturedHousing-LiquidationEvent-imageIt comes from understanding that ours is an industry that, properly understood, can grow in virtually any economic condition. ***** Put 5 stars next to that point, please.  We enter every MH marketing or sales project with confidence, knowing that success is achievable with the right resources, attitudes and people.  Why? Because our manufactured or modular home product is always in need – affordable, quality homes. 

Educational, attraction marketing, plus honest soft selling are among the keys. 

People sometimes think they get it only from reading alone, and don’t get me wrong, reading is useful.  But candidly, while reading helps, most don’t get it from reading alone. My goal is to change that – first by reading, then by live education, later via more videos – so that the manufactured and modular home industry can serve millions more, better than ever. Education done correctly is profitable, creates sustainable sales with happy home owners, and can yield tens of billions annually in more MH sales. 

Happy team, happy customers.  Its just smart.


Learn more about the above, linked here.

The correct education on manufactured homes would improve the lives of millions, reducing tax burdens, and doing what 50 years of failed Washington, D.C. housing policies have never, and can never, achieve.

There are proven, ethical formulas for success, discovered by much brighter people – like Ken Blanchard, et al – than msyelf. So the inspirational note is, if someone like me can do it, you can do it too. Perhaps you can do so, better and faster…IF…you slow down, grasp the details, so that you can go faster.


The Affordable Housing Crisis, Manufactured Homes, & Knowledge is Potential Power

Oversimplified, there are two common refrains found in America today about manufactured homes.   

1)    Manufactured homes are most commonly misunderstood and disrespected. Derogatory terms like “trailer house,” or “trailer park” are offensive because of their link to the term “trailer trash.” Less offensive is mobile home, but there too, as a rule, it is entirely mistaken to call a manufactured home a mobile home, or vice versa. The reasons can be summed up by Steve Duke, JD, further below.

2)    Manufactured homes are gaining more respect and acceptance, including from academics, advocates, and the mainstream media. This is a heartening trend. We can’t claim credit for it. But we can legitimately say that we are part of that trend, because – in conjunction with others – we’ve invested the time to educate. The proof is in the variations of an increasingly read mantra, “manufactured homes are a solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight.” We amplified that, and it’s being picked up. 

These 2 above are competing trends.



The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,”  Steve Duke, JD, LMHA.


Which of the two competing trends will prevail? A simple check of Google news quickly reflects they there are more negative reports about MH than positive ones. That’s the candid challenge that must be overcome.

Is it worth the effort?  As they say in Wisconsin, “You betcha.” 

We’ve learned that this can be changed at the local market level.  All sales are local, so all marketing must be local too.

The magic formula is education that’s not too dull. That was true in the 1980s, and it is still so accurate today. Put me in a room full of most people, and watch them light up – from education done right.  It’s frankly because most industry professionals ae hungry to learn more!



Tony Kovach doing a presentation in a packed room of industry professionals.  See how some are taking notes, while others listen carefully? 

That education must be on two tracks.

   Track one is within the MH industry, via information/education engagement internally, plus

   track two is with those outside of the MH industry. 

Those are parallel paths.  Those two must take place simultaneously.



With That Backdrop, a Look at this Week’s Headline News 

This week, and it’s true of so many other weeks, the Daily Business News covers and examines events. We do fact checks, reviews, and analyze reports.  That’s partly for engagement with our regular readers, but also with new ones and researchers who are discovering MHProNews or MHLivingNews

We don’t mind admitting our own missteps, and encourage others to be willing to do the same. Because life is all about learning from missteps or success, and then doing more doing.

Learn, earn, and return.

With that backdrop, we will next rapidly examine 6 items from this past week, and they involved half a dozen trade groups, plus attorneys and communications professionals, mostly in factory-built housing.

1)    The National Association of Realtors published an interesting report on manufactured homes last May. They did a post about in in June. We waited to see who did what with it. Sometimes, it pays to wait.

“Market for Manufactured Homes,” Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, for Realtor University, Analysis and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)


To his credit, George Allen was the first that we could find in MHVille that gave NAR’s “The Market for Manufactured Homes” a plug, albeit with a tag for not saying enough about land-lease. Understandable. That’s a point worthy of discussion, another time.

But where was MHI on that same NAR report, after it was published?  To their credit, they were in on the front end.  But, a google search and a review of MHI’s research page shows no clue that MHI did anything serious with this important research, after it was published.  

Why not?


Composite information from LinkedIn.

A few hours by email and phone with NAR’s Scholastica “Gay” D. Cororaton, CBE, and she was happy to do revisions of some errors in her research.  She wanted to be accurate, good for her. Gay sent me this new graphic – see before and after, below – two days after our 90 minute phone call. 

Gay sent a professional, and warm message with it.  We’ll see what the NAR’s next steps will be. But my hunch is that the initial outcomes already suggest it was worth the time we mutually invested.  Here was the problematic NAR graphic:



Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, CBE, and this writer discussed the errors shown and others. She agreed that they were errors, and Gay did what a professional does. She fixed them. Good for her! Thank you, ma’am.

The revised NAR graphic is shown below, provided by Gay just 2 days after the above was brought to her attention.  All’s well that ends well! 



So why is it that sometimes weeks or months after MHI has been notified of errors in their research, that they haven’t or won’t make corrections?  Why don’t they care as much as NAR did about accuracy?


2) Very different is the next story from this week.  It was a horribly flawed article from a popular website about modular, manufactured and “mobile homes” by Global Banking and Finance. MHProNews reached out to Tom Hardiman at the Modular Home Builder’s Association (MHBA). Tom gave a prompt reply, just as Gay at NAR had. 

MHBA’s Hardiman Rips “Global Banking & Finance” Article Entitled, “Why Does Your Bank Not Finance Modular Homes?”

Here, the goal had to be different. Why? Because the original article is hopelessly flawed. That is linked above. You can see that Tom’s comment made the rest of the job so much easier.


3) Discrimination against manufactured homes in McBee, SC. Mark Dillard at the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina (MHISC) rapidly responded, once he cleared a meeting. It’s part of a serious issue in that state, one that is also national in scope. It’s linked below.

Town’s Stance Against “Mobile Homes” Caused Division, Uncertainty – MH Association Reacts, Video, Report


4) Windstorms and housing. The tornadoes in central Iowa provided the latest example of why examining News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing © matters. We touched base with Joe Kelly in Iowa, he rapidly responded. That topic, is linked below.

Dozens of Tornadoes Rip Iowa, Storm Damages Buildings, Houses, Videos with Manufactured Housing Analysis


5) What about getting good news? The link below is a look at one of the most successful operations in our industry as measured by years of authentic positive mainstream media coverage. Not a media release or advertorial, real news that’s fruitful. Don’t miss it, and as with the others, slow down, get the insights, so that you can grasp the takeaways, and potentially grow faster.

CityLabs Spotlights ROC USA’s Bright Communities Brand, Lessons for Manufactured Home Professionals, Investors

Note they too promptly replied to our inquiries this week.


6) What could be among the biggest events for MHVille that’s just over-the-horizon is the one linked below.

Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

 MHProNews has had numerous contacts with that operation this week, and periodically for months. More on them another time, but don’t miss the report.



Everyone of the above are issues that matter to manufactured or modular housing pros, and our nation.

Every one of those topics is a different facet of how manufactured homes and factory-crafted homes can be an ever more important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis.

In the above linked reports:

   The giant National Association of Realtors responded quickly and professionally addressed the issues raised.

   Tom Hardiman, with the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA), gave a prompt and precisely useful response.

   Joe Kelly, with the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association replied within say 30 minutes with what was needed.

   Mark Dillard, at MHISC likewise provided a quick, professional response.

   Mark Weiss, JD, at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) who has not yet been named in the above, has responded to our outreaches promptly for years.  This week was no different.

   The attorneys and communications professionals at Equal Justice Under Law have made contact and follow ups timely and easy.


A competitor in trade publishing emailed this week to say, “I truthfully much like your new format.  It makes it easier to find articles pertinent to one’s interests.”

When I reach out to most corporate or other business professionals, the responses are routinely swift.  Besides responding to our questions, some take the time to say nice things off the record. Here’s an example.

Someone once said, “the answer to every question in the world is just two words long – “It depends.” I’d be happy to comment, depending on the question, context, etc

I respect what you do for the industry, and would like to contribute if I can.” 

But one said it on-the-record this week, this way.  


Casey Mack.

I have witnessed Soheyla and Tony’s hard work and dedication over the years with great admiration. Their website portal has become a staple of my morning read with amazing interactive charts & graphics, breadth & clarity in their articles, and passion which no one can match in our industry.  Thanks MHProNews! You rock!” – Casey Mack, Legacy Housing.

By the way, their event promotion is reportedly off to a fine start.

The takeaways are many. We will note only 2.

1)    No single person can solve the industry’s image and education challenges.  It requires many working together to make good things, on often vexing issues, happen. But doing the heavy lifting is and would be good for existing and future home owners, and good for long-term, ethical professional players.

2)    What the above also reveals is that MHI has opted to isolate themselves from the goal-and-solution oriented work of this pro-industry platform. Why?  For years, like the others, they used to give prompt responses. In roughly the last 16 months, that abruptly changed.  Why? Note by comparison this fact. A prominent person at MHARR and MHProNews butted heads a few years ago. But after often heated exchanges, we both came out better after the fact. Today, we get along just fine.

The same could occur at MHI, but they aren’t even trying. It is debatably up to them to modify their problematic behaviors, isn’t it? Isn’t it up to them to get the facts right, and not spin their so-called “news” to their own members?  Are they part of the problem, or part of the solution?

MHI was discovered to be actively (this is all “allegedly”) undermining what we at MHProNews did as a dues-paying member to advance and promote the industry.  Why? For some time, it was frankly mystifying.

It candidly made no sense to me.  It took time to unpack what was actually going on there.

Marty Lavin, JD, as he is won’t to do, summed it up in a sentence. So the association [MHI] is not there for the “industry,” unless the interests of the Big Boys join the industry’s.”  See the below for more details.

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

Here’s the tragedy. MHI and their “Powers that Be” are harming themselves, harming their members business interests, and are debatably harming tens of millions of Americans who need what our industry offers. They have to be motivated to get it right. That’s tragic. 

When outside researchers, media, attorneys, investors, or whomever are asking us, ‘how is it possible that manufactured housing – as impressive as it is – should be selling so few units a year?’ The answer is, that’s both simple and complicated.

It comes down to understanding reality. To embracing the need for education and engagement. And to see where the real road blocks are. People that know us both, know that George Allen and I see some things quite differently. But the following new quote from him is spot on, as he described what is going wrong in manufactured housing..

Perennial corporate consolidation and power plays among far too few elite producers of HUD-Code manufactured homes, along with far too few purveyors of chattel capital…” – George Allen.

And when we slow down, and do whatever is right and prudent, we can sustainably and honorably grow faster. 


Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.

Understanding requires reality checks on items inside and outside of the manufactured housing industry.

There’s no better, or faster way to make progress than to understand and embrace reality, followed by the needed next steps. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) Related Reports, are linked below…


To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.


Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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“F-Bombs” Fly – Cursing Manufactured Housing and Tornadoes – Engaging Public, Experts, Officials, and Media

“Market for Manufactured Homes,” Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, for Realtor University, Analysis and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

July 18th, 2018 Comments off

Collage above is from Realtor University ®, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) logo, and designed by MHProNews, with images shown under fair use guidelines.

Compared with the unregulated mobile/trailer homes of the past, the manufactured homes built after 1976 have a higher level of safety, durability, and quality, and the small fraction of homes damaged during hurricanes attests to their safety and durability. New design features and multi-section homes are increasingly giving them the look of traditional site-built homes. These safety standards and improved features should lead to the increasing acceptance of manufactured homes as a safe, durable, and affordable type of housing.”

–   Scholastica D. Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE), National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).


Scholastica “Gay” D. Cororaton, CBE, took a statistical dive into the manufactured housing industry in a report published in the National Association of Realtors ® (NAR) related Realtor University ® Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies publication for May 2018.


Composite information from LinkedIn.

Manufactured housing is an affordable housing option, especially among lower income groups. Households who obtain chattel financing for mobile/manufactured homes and who rent the land will tend to spend less on housing expenses (mortgage, interest, mortgage insurance, taxes, land rent) compared to households who obtain mortgage financing for the mobile/manufactured home and the land, even if chattel financing (interest) costs are higher (because the loan value is higher in the latter). However, if the house-hold already owns the land, then mortgage financing for the manufactured home only is less costly than obtaining chattel financing. However, taking account of both the appreciation in the value of the land and the cost savings, households who lease the land will likely accumulate less wealth compared with households who own the land.”

As the above pull-quotes reflect, The Market for Manufactured Homes,” is a arguably a good reflection on Cororaton, the NAR and in many respects for manufactured housing too.

She told the Daily Business News on MHProNews yesterday that this was her first serious foray into the world of manufactured housing.

Most of her nomenclature was well done, which sadly can’t be routinely said about much of the mainstream media, or other researchers.  Overall, she produced a largely positive, useful document.

That said, there are some errors, which we will explore.


The Review Plan

First in reviewing NAR’s “The Market for Manufactured Homes,“ this analysis notes the largely-solid information from Cororaton’s research.  There are potentially some areas that one might discuss the why, behind the what, which will be addressed briefly further below.  But in fairness to Cororaton, that could be viewed by NAR as going beyond a strictly data-driven report.

That said, this review will spend significant digital ink looking at a few data and graphical points that were errant, and how that came to be.



From Scholastica D. Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE), research for National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).  Solid, useful data is shown above.

The purpose for correcting-the-record is to support the accuracy about the bulk of her data for manufactured housing, pure and simple. It is not to undermine her largely valuable work.

Accuracy matters, a point which Cororaton gracefully agreed to by email and telephone yesterday.


The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers on affordable, quality, manufactured homes. 

As prominent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member Frank Rolfe told MHProNews last year, the manufactured home (MH) industry is in serious need of accurate information.

Lenders, investors, and reporters are all looking for accurate information, said Rolfe (note: that same point is true for affordable housing advocates, public officials, and obviously home seekers). Rolfe’s comments were part of a conversation separate but related conversation to the report featuring him and others connected with MHI, found at this link here.


The NAR research could have benefited from some visuals of modern manufactured homes. That said, the thrust of the research is useful.  The above is provided by MHProNews, and wasn’t part of the NAR research. 




Accuracy, Accountability and The MHI Connection

Before taking a brief look at the important NAR research on manufactured housing, some background is useful.

Two Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff members, plus an MHI paid consultant, were identified by NAR’s Cororaton report as having provided her data, as well as for reviewing early drafts of the information Realtor University ® published.

“…Jenny Hodge, Vice President Research & Market Analysis, Kara Beigay, Senior Director of Government Affairs, and Marc Lifset, Consultant, of the Manufactured Housing Institute for their invaluable comments on the earlier draft and industry insights,” said Cororaton‘s acknowledgment footnote.

All three MHI team members were electronically contacted by MHProNews to check to see if they had noticed any factual errors. MHI’s current and prior chairman were also CC’d.


The previously responsive MHI – which for years gave timely replies to MHProNews – did not respond to our inquiries on this issue.

By contrast, NAR’s Cororaton was prompt in her reply, and open to an immediate discussion of any concerns about factual errors.

What’s fascinating is that as of this date and time, this largely useful report is entirely absent from a Google search result for “The Market for Manufactured Homes,“ and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  Nor is it apparently on the MHI research page of their website.

Why not?


Further, why has there been no effort by MHI to promote a largely useful third party NAR report?

That absence, and the NAR reported absence of any follow up by MHI to have the glitches corrected, are both revealing.  They beg questions like these:

–   Did MHI review the work they participated in, once it was published by Realtor University®?

–   Since MHI staff and their consultant reportedly reviewed the draft, was there no one among them who found these errors?

–   If MHI reviewed and found the errors noted, why did they not contact Cororaton, and ask her to effect corrections?

–   Since the bulk of Cororaton‘s NAR research is useful, why hasn’t MHI put out press releases, or other media outreaches, to promote this information? Especially since it could arguably win over converts to manufactured housing? See the dearth of references from Google on this topic, in the screen capture, above.

–   Perhaps as important, why hasn’t MHI done a similar level of scholarly research, or commission truly useful third-party research?

For an association – MHI – that claims to represent ‘all aspects of factory-built housing,’ how is it that they routinely fail to properly protect and promote the industry?


The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers.

After some years of internal and external pressure on MHI, in fairness, they have produced a few articles, controversial advertorials, and arguably meh videos.  But these have gone largely unused, seem to be ineffective – based upon shipment data – and often contradict known facts – or even other MHI ‘data,’ as MHProNews has previously documented.

That debatable point brings serious minds back to the point Rolfe raised.  Namely, that the HUD Code manufactured home industry needs dependable information.


The bulk of Rscholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers.


Cororaton and the NAR Research

The impression from the NAR economist was that she understood the concerns MHProNews raised, and that they would be addressed.

Rephrased, Cororaton was professional, and appeared to be sincerely interested in better understanding the reality of manufactured housing (MH).  She said she wants to get the facts about the MH industry’s stated accurately.

The impression from Cororaton was that no one from MHI had contacted her with any factual concerns.

As noted, her report clearly says she valued the 3 MHI team member’s input, and she holds only herself responsible for any factual errors. Classy, and that’s the mature, educated, and professional posture.

  • That said, why doesn’t MHI have a similar attitude about accountability and accuracy? 
  • Why have they for some two years, failed to take ownership of demonstrable failures and fact errors, and make their own corrections? 
  • Why have they failed to engage with this pro-industry trade media?

It’s the failures of MHI, which reportedly led 2 state associations to leave their membership, and more recently, to start their own national association.



The Specific Concerns

The first error in the NAR report is relatively minor, which Cororaton quickly acknowledged.

The date that the manufactured housing industry’s standards went into effect is June 15, 1976. Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) confirmed that date for the NAR economist, and cited relevant part of the law.

Quoting Weiss’ message to Cororaton:


Regarding the below, thank you for your interest in manufactured housing, although I must concur with trade publisher Tony Kovach’s initial point.  Specifically, per 24 CFR 3282.1(a), the effective date of the federal (HUD) manufactured housing standards was June 15, 1976, not June 16, as stated in your article…”

Cororaton was but a day off on the start-date for manufactured housing. Not a huge issue, but facts are facts.  Accuracy on details arguably undergirds the rest of a document’s research. She was matter of fact, concurred, and thankful for the correction.

Another issue in her report – and a more serious one – was the graphic and related data below.


It is the first map in the NAR report, and thus, significant in that it can set the tone for the accuracy of the rest of her research. The first clue was Hawaii, which caused a deeper look at the rest of their data.

The Realtor University ® data indicated that several states have a larger percentage of manufactured homes than they actually do.


That stands in contrast to the CFPB’s white paper, which is a document that was a resource for the NAR report. MHI’s consultant, Marc Lifeset, certainly is familiar with that CFPB white paper, because he’s previously told MHProNews as much.  No doubt others at MHI know the CFPB white paper too.

This percentage of homes error by state error is a more serious oversight, as public officials and others from or familiar with those states are likely to notice those factual glitches.

Why didn’t MHI notice these apparent factual errors?


Vital – 5 out of 5 Stars in Importance – Related Discussion for Manufactured Housing

Among the most important items discussed with Cororaton during a 90 minute call was the following. It relates to the discussion of the factors that cause appreciation and depreciation of any housing, including manufactured homes.

This NAR economist and this writer walked through what are the factors that cause appreciation and depreciation in all housing, including conventional homes or manufactured homes. We agreed upon the following (not in a specific order of improtance):

–   Location,

–   Condition of the home,

–   Local economy (jobs, opportunities),

–   Supply and Demand, and

–   Availability of financing.

Because financing is an ongoing issue for manufactured housing, the support for resale values – especially for resales in land-lease – are not as robust as they are for homes on privately owned land.

Cororaton agreed that the contraction of financing options caused conventional housing values to crash in the 2008-2009 mortgage/housing crisis. As lending began to return, conventional housing resale values rose.

When that same principle is applied to manufactured housing, one of the key reasons why manufactured homes don’t always appreciate the same as conventional housing comes into greater focus.

Conventional housing can be purchased and financed long term far more readily than manufactured homes. That’s true, even for conventional housing on a land-lease, in states like Maryland, Hawaii, and in parts of the Chicago metro, among others. Long-term mortgage financing has been done on land-lease too, for manufactured homes.  But its not something that MHI has actively pursued for years, per several sources.  Why?

In practice, it’s been well over a decades since an MHI task force dove into mortgages on land-lease.  The tests, per sources, were successful.  So why was there no robust follow up?

It is an advantage for manufactured housing to have both chattel (home only, personal property) lending options, and to also have mortgage options that operate at parity with conventional housing.

This is a crucial topic to home buyers and sellers, yet it goes largely unmentioned in MHVille trade media, save here on MHProNews.  It’s the kind of topic that a truly growth-oriented, post-production association should be promoting.

So why isn’t MHI pursuing it?

Could it be because MHI’s top two lenders – 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) – are both Berkshire Hathaway owned?  And wouldn‘t more real estate type financing potentially impact a profit-center that Warren Buffett has often bragged about in his annual letter to shareholders, and touted elsewhere too?  See related linked reports, at the end of this post for more details.


The discussion of appreciation and related with manufactured homes must be seen through the prism of more access to FHA, VA, USDA (Rural Housing), GSE and other lending. See discussion, above.  An important takeaway is that manufactured homes can and do appreciate, as other research has also demonstrated.


Part One – the Bottom Lines

Gay Cororaton did an overall fine, professional report that was data focused.  She explained that the point discussed above about financing access and resale values was not part of the scope of her initial data-based report. That’s understandable.

Cororaton indicated that she would see what could be done to correct the fact errors, and that she plans to revisit manufactured housing in her blog posts.

The National Association or Realtors ® (NAR) dwarfs MHI, and the entire manufactured housing industry in size and scope. That said, there is much that the MH Industry could learn from NAR.

As thousands of daily, long-time, detail-oriented industry readers of MHProNews know, this publication routinely cites NAR for their valuable research.

We specifically cite Dr. Lawrence Yun, PhD, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President. He’s arguably an accuracy and analysis rock star.


Collage by MHProNews.

The hope should be that NAR’s and Cororaton’s anticipated revised work on manufactured housing provide fuel for more evidence-based interest, investments, and embracing of the manufactured housing solution to the affordable housing crisis. Manufactured homes are a solution that’s been hiding in plain sight, a mantra started on MHLivingNews, and since picked up by others in and out of the MH industry.

Further, perhaps the NAR research will inspire in Arlington, VA a desire for greater accuracy, accountability, and willingness to correct errors.

As almost every industry veteran can confirm, when someone ‘stumbles upon’ the truth of manufactured housing – vs. the myths and misconceptions – professionals and the home buying public alike are impressed with the value found in modern HUD Code manufactured homes.

The path to growing the industry to a potential of some 500,000 to 1,000,000 (+/-) or more new HUD Code manufactured homes a year must include fact-reason-and-evidence based education.

MHI, and all others, are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. On that point, Rolfe is right. Accurate facts, defense, and proper engagement of the industry with the mainstream media and researchers very much matters.

Cororaton’s full report by NAR is found linked here, beginning on page 48 to page 78.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images are and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related References:

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?


Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

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

Updated, added related resource:

John Wake, FSBOs, Forbes, Real Estate Decoded, Mobile Homes or Manufactured Housing Resales


Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

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