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Thorns and Roses In Manufactured Home Community Controversy

February 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Affordable housing is in crisis in much of America. Manufactured homes are the most proven solution that has been hiding in plain sight for decades.

 

 

As a recent report reminded readers, there were numerous third-party organizations and media reports in 2018 alone that to various degrees made the case for manufactured homes.

A focus group video of manufactured home owners, plus numerous real – vs. staged – interviews over the years demonstrate that the owners of pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-HUD Code manufactured homes routinely love their homes. 

Tiny houses get tons of media love. So do RVs. But manufactured homes are less costly per square foot than either of those two options. Conventional housing isn’t perfect either, as mainstream media reports reflect.

 

Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

 

So, given each of those realites, how does one explain why manufactured homes are not more widely embraced?

As the Daily Business News on MHProNews reader ponders that question, mindful that research studies prove those points, turn to the next item.

Manufactured home communities (MHCs) are a useful part of that affordable housing solution.

MHCs have been increasingly in demand among investors for a decade or so. With few new MHCs coming on-line in recent years, and with thousands that have closed for various reasons, given the law of supply and demand, the property values on remaining MHCs have been steadily rising.

That in turn means rising site fees in MHCs, which has often sparked a hue and cry among resident-activists. 

The combination of factors has prompted a steady growth in the movement for residents owned communities or ROCs. 

While support for ROCs can span the left-right divide, it is fair to say that anecdotally, more support tends to come from those who self-identify with the political left.  

There are numerous currents and eddies that influences public perceptions about manufactured homes and communities. Despite the rollout of this or that previous effort by MHI, Clayton Homes, or others, the following reality is clear.

Manufactured homes are not connecting with the broad swatches of the public. That’s indisputably proven by the low total new home production numbers. It’s a post-production Issue.

Now, what to do about reality?

 

#NobleNotMobile? 

In a stated desire to boost public perceptions, ROC USA launched the #NobleNotMobile effort. The jury is still out, but so far, there’s not a lot of visible traction. That said, the notion is, well, a noble one. It is certainly better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

There are a number of resident groups in the U.S. ROCs are a standard staple in their narratives. 

Then, there are manufactured home post-production associations that have a stake in the image of the industry.

Given the collective poor performance in new home sales of any number of states, or the low national production totals of HUD Code manufactured homes, one might think that MHI, Clayton, et al, would awaken to the notion that public perceptions matter.

Indeed, their leaders have said that they do.

For those realists who grasp that public perception is an issue, consider the publicly posted comments that follow. 

 PublicCommentsMillieFranicsControversyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 VirginMaryOurLadyofGuadalupeMilleFrancisBradentonTropicalPalmsDalyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Those are a sampling of what has been posted on articles about the Millie Francis religious art controversy.

When Francis was asked by MHProNews if she thought this would be an issue if the painting where a menorah, a Star of David, a painting of Buddha or the prophet Mohamed, she replied “Absolutely not.” She is convinced that an element of this issue is what is painted. Given the examples of angels or other religious art in the same community, one might wonder.

Industry feedback has been mixed.

But consider this comment from the community sector, “Tony, Brian Gallagher is right in saying that we in the community business have residents with religious or secular art visible outdoors year round. The additional details from that [mainstream news] story [Tony] posted [on LinkedIn] makes it clear to me just how wrong the Bradenton Tropical Palms seem to be.”

Others may say that they care, but they also say that for this or that reason, they don’t want to get involved in this specific controversy.

Why not? Is it because religion is involved? Doesn’t that topic resonate with potentially millions of Americans our industry may want to attract?  Or would we rather turn that – and other target audiences off – by allowing this Bradenton Tropical Palms/ROC issue to fester?

Meanwhile, the Millie Francis saga rolls on. There is every reason to expect more mainstream news stories, like the one below, or perhaps more reports that have less balance that could make the matter worse. Take five, click the image or link, and read it.

 

Thorns and Roses in MHVille

Various species of natural roses have thorns. With one in 3 new manufactured homes, per MHI, going into land lease communities and with large numbers of vacant sites still awaiting residents, one might think that MHI or their NCC would have acted to nip-in-the-bud stories like this one about Francis. 

No one is saying that MHI, ROCs, resident groups – or anyone other than the Bradenton Tropical Palms, Vanguard Management or the Knox and Levine law firm – have caused the current state of affairs for Millie Francis, based upon the currently known information. 

But just as one may stop to help an injured stranger, isn’t there wisdom in trying to sort out how this matter might be brought to a positive end that could turn negatives into a positive?

At Valentines, some clip the thorns off roses before they are given to a loved one. Why hasn’t one or more of the industry’s leaders stood up to the plate, and turned a problem into an opportunity?

 

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MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

 

Publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s commentary on this topic is linked above. More details are found linked below the byline, offers, and notices.   manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “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.

 

Related Reports:

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

Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?

 

State-Level Data Provided for Total Manufactured Home Shipments in 5 Key States for 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amid Protests, Controversy – How Healthy is ObamaCare in Your State? New Federal Data Released

July 13th, 2017 Comments off

ObamaCareProtestsCreditHotAirPostedDailyBusinesNewsResearchDataReportsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsTune in the evening news and one of the routine stories on your favorite channel featured protesters like those in the featured image shown. Some claim they or a loved one will die without ObamaCare being preserved.

Others say that the misnamed “Affordable Care Act” program itself is dying of its own weight.

The Daily Business News recently featured a report on Warren Buffett’s stance – complete with a video – on ObamaCare, linked here. On the other side are federal data that was released this week, shown below.

Per data this week from CMS.gov – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) – demonstrated that the number of insurers are dropping in many markets, and overall nationally.

DroppingObamaCareInsurers2016-2017-2018CMS-gov-DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNewsThis is further proof that the Affordable Care Act is failing,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. SeemaVermaCMSgov-DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNewsInsurers continue to flee the Exchanges, causing Americans to lose their choice for health insurance or lose their coverage all together. These numbers are clear: the status quo is not working. The American people deserve healthcare choices and access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage.”

Left-tilting media outlet Bloomberg produced a series of charts that visually map what is happening in your state, and the other 49 too.

Insurers continue to flee the Exchanges, causing Americans to lose their choice for health insurance or lose their coverage all together,” Verma said. “These numbers are clear: the status quo is not working. The American people deserve healthcare choices and access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage.”

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As MHProNews reported recently, deep-blue California backed away from tilting even further left in healthcare, when they cancelled their desire to turn to so-called single-payer healthcare, a.k.a., fully socialized medicine. Their reason?  A $400 billion a year price-tag annually…for that one state.

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ICYMI – that report, with videos and more, is linked here. Will these newly minted federal facts help Republicans in the Senate focus on fixing what they promised for years they would do if they came to power?

BLoombergStateObamaCareMapDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNews1Reviewing the data, HotAir mused this week, “That’s just some food for thought for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Right now you’re on track to do nothing, but to borrow an old line from NASA, failure truly isn’t an option anymore.” ##

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Manufactured Home at Center of Controversy

September 11th, 2013 Comments off

Despite an ordinance banning manufactured homes older than eight years from being sited in Buffalo, Texas, a 1996 model was granted permission to be placed within the city limits, creating a thorny situation. Neighbors want the house removed because it was illegally sited, and others have been denied the opportunity to place their older manufactured homes in the city due to the same ordinance. Seven months later, the home remains, according to leoncountytoday.com, unoccupied, and without water and electricity hookups. MHProNews has learned Buffalo Mayor Royce Dawkins says he is on the verge of resolving the issue.

(Photo credit: ‘van’go/leoncountytoday.com)

Foreclosures have Risen in Early 2013

March 28th, 2013 Comments off

MHProNews has learned from HousingWire housing analyst firm RealtyTrac reports foreclosure activity rose to 1.5 million in the first quarter of 2013, nine percent more than the same period in 2012, but considerably less than the peak 2.2 million in December 2010. Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, says, “Delinquent loans that fell into a deep sleep after the robo-signing controversy in late 2010 are gradually coming out of hibernation following the finalization of the national mortgage settlement in April 2012.” The settlement says Bloomquist has encouraged lenders to push more delinquent loans into the foreclosure process, especially in states where slow court procedures has resulted in a larger backlog.

(Photo credit: Michael Williamson/Washington Post–Barbara Zucker takes prospective home buyers on bus tour of Las Vegas foreclosures.)

New York City to Sell MOD

March 4th, 2013 Comments off

The dailyfreeman informs MHProNews that a modular home on the verge of being sold to a low-income family in Kingston, NY is the center of some controversy, due to the former mayor’s connection to the company that originally sold the home to the city and Ulster YouthBuild in 2011. The buyers have an approved mortgage to purchase the home for $135,000, and are required to remain in the home five years. The Common Council’s Community Development Committee (which voted in favor of the sale) Chairman Matthew Dunn says, “I support residents, including low income residents, owning homes in Kingston. Home ownership is a way to strengthen and stabilize neighborhoods. This sale means a property is on the tax rolls and that a family is committed to our community. Hopefully this home will provide them with the housing and security that they need to be successful in the future.” After former Mayor James Sottile left office, he began working for a developer who arranged the sale of the modular home to Kingston and the YouthBuild project. Purchased for $62,775, Sottile says the developer sold it at cost and therefore did not benefit. The Common Council will vote on the sale at their Tue. March 5 meeting.

(Image credit: MapQuest)

Galante finally Approved to Lead FHA

January 2nd, 2013 Comments off

NationalMortgageNews reports over a year after the Senate Banking Committee voted to send Carol Galante’s confirmation to the full Senate as Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Senate voted 69-24 to confirm her appointment Sunday during a special session dealing with the fiscal cliff controversy. As MHProNews reported Dec. 14, 2011, Sen. Jim Demint, (R-SC), leveling charges at Ms. Galante of being short-sighted at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on her nomination, said, “We need people with a sense of urgency (italics added) about the need to turn things around and reduce our debt and avoid future bailouts.” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), noting more needs to be done to repair FHA’s financially challenged single-family program, says as the confirmed commissioner Galante can now assemble her own staff and take more aggressive steps. The acting head of FHA since July 2011, she will also serve as a HUD assistant secretary.

(Photo credit: HUD GOV–Carol Galante)

MHC Residents Like Their ‘Accident Potential Zone 2’

March 14th, 2012 Comments off

StarsandStripes tells MHProNews.comas the Department of Defense prepares to select an air base as the home of a new generation of refeuling air tankers built by Boeing in Everett, Washington, local officials across the state at Airway Heights, right next to Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane would like to offer Fairchild as an option. Standing in the way is a manufactured housing community of nearly 300 homes, and the residents are not interested in leaving. The homes are close enough to the base that the Air Force calls it “accident potential zone 2”, meaning the concentration of people is higher than the USAF would like for safety reasons. Civilian encroachment may be a factor as well in the future if the government starts closing bases. Airway Heights’ population has increased since 1990 from 1,200 people to 7,500 today; Mayor Patrick Rushing says, “We are the city of the base.” Col. Paul Guemmer, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander, says, “The Air Force defines encroachment as ‘any human activities or decisions that impair or may potentially impair the current or future operational capability of an installation complex.’” Past attempts to move the MH owners by citing them for zoning violations have stirred controversy. MHC resident Sharon Patton finds the noise and risk comforting, and enjoys her patch of lawn. Airway Heights officials hope to have the matter resolved this spring when the Air Force begins considering bases for the new breed of aircraft.

(Photo credit: USAF KC 15 Stratotanker at Fairchild)

Foreclosures Coming out of the Woodwork

December 23rd, 2011 Comments off

HousingWire reports the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) says while mortgage delinquencies stabilized in the third quarter, foreclosures climbed 21.1 percent from the last quarter as mortgage servicers rolled back the reprieve imposed in late 2010, following disclosure of the robo-signing controversy. New foreclosures fell 11.8 percent from Q3 2010, but previously filed foreclosures accounted for 4.1 percent of the mortgage portfolio, up 7.65 percent from the same quarter last year, and an increase of .05 percent over the previous quarter. The OCC report says mortgage modifications fell 8.5 percent from Q2 to 138,000, including a 23 percent loss through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Monthly interest and principal for third quarter mods fell by 24.4 percent, equaling $382. HAMP modifications cut payments by 35.1 percent, or $567. The report covers 62 percent of all first-lien mortgages in the nation, 32.4 million, with an outstanding balance of $5.6 trillion.

(Photo credit: HousingWire)