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Fearful Residents Ask, “Are There Murderers Living Here?”

June 21st, 2017 Comments off

OakLawnMobileHomeArsonMurderPoliceArrestGerardoAlonsoCrimeReportsDataResearchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Chicago Tribune reported earlier this month on a suspicious fire in an Oak Lawn manufactured home community. Two deaths were reported.

When law enforcement ruled the matter an alleged case of arson, it made the deaths apparent murders.

Are there murderers here?” – resident Mary Grochola said, per the Tribune, “A lot of people have children, and they’re scared.”

Cook County’s medical examiner’s office ruled the deaths of the mobile home occupants as homicides caused by a gruesome combination of thermal injuries from an incendiary fire, plus sharp-force injuries.

While local media played the incident up, couldn’t this sort of mayhem happen almost anywhere?

Management was contacted and asked to comment for this story, but has not responded as of publication time. The community projects itself as a quiet, family owned property, “where residents stay and second generations return.”

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Deadly Tragedy was in a True Mobile Home, not a Manufactured Home

Given the hoopla taking place in Ohio over pre-and-post code homes and fires, MHProNews decided to dig into details of this case. The visual evidence suggests that the blaze was in a true pre-code, mobile home.  Regular MHLivingNews and Daily Business News readers know that pre-code mobile homes have a much higher incidence of fire than conventional housing or manufactured homes.

FireArsonAccelerantsInterFireGasOrOtherFuelsUsedINArsonpostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsBut given that the fire was apparently arson, it could have been a multi-million dollar house with fire suppression equipment in Chicagoland’s highest price neighborhood, since“accelerants were apparently put to their destructive – and in this case, deadly – use.

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Other photos from the community in question.

Murderous Motives?

They weren’t fighting or nothing. They were just sitting up there having a nice time,” Grochola said.

She said the community’s residents were tight knit and often left their doors unlocked, which suggested that the property had little normal reported crime.  “Everybody takes their keys and locks up (now).” she said.

They were good guys. Good neighbors,” said Brian Kasper, another community resident. “They didn’t bother” anyone.

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Other photos from the community in question.

Management Reportedly Cautioned Residents

Reports indicate that management cautioned residents to be on the lookout for a man. Police later arrested Gerardo Alonso, 30.  Alonso was taken into custody on Saturday, and was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, per an Oak Lawn Police Department statement Sunday.

Oak Lawn police did not provide more details regarding how Alonso is alleged to have killed the men or any motive for doing so.

After High Profile Tragedies, Industry Pros Cautioned

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Tim Williams, OMHA.

While the initial part of the case has been apparently wrapped up quickly, industry professionals should take note of the lessons being learned from Tim Williams and the Ohio Manufactured Home Association’s (OMHA) rapid and robust response to the push back in their state that came as a result of tragedies there.

It is also worth noting that a study by William McCarty, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Justice – linked as part of another report, here – indicates that manufactured home communities are no more crime prone than other neighborhoods.

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/avoidable-tragedies-mobile-home-fires-vs-manufactured-home-and-conventional-housing/

Click image to learn more.

As calm slowly returns to Oak Lawn residents, another community operator in the area told MHProNews, “Regrettably, this happens in every neighborhood, regardless of economic structure.  I seem to recall a double homicide in Beverly Hills, circa 1994,” an apparent reference to the case of the murder of O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife and her male companion in a luxurious neighborhood. ## (News, Analysis.)

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

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Matthew Silver.

Submitted by Matthew Silver to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com

Tornadoes, Severe Weather Ravage South, Misconceptions Abound

January 23rd, 2017 Comments off
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Conventional housing destroyed on the left, reported ‘mobile home’ on the right. Credit: FOX News.

The southern U.S. was severely affected this weekend, as tornadoes and storms destroyed homes, injured dozens and killed 16.

According to the Chicago Tribune, a tornado blew through a manufactured home community in rural Cook County in southern Georgia causing damage and killing seven people.

The tornado leveled the park [sic] before dawn Sunday,” said Coroner Tim Purvis.

Emergency responders searched for survivors for hours after the twister struck.”

Purvis also said the community had about 40 manufactured homes, and roughly half were destroyed.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, officials, news agencies and the general public continue to specifically point out manufactured homes and communities – often identified incorrectly as “mobile homes” and “mobile home parks” – vs. site-built homes in damage reports.

On average, about 1 in 5 structures identified as “mobile homes” by the media are in fact pre-HUD code mobile homes.  They are routinely the ones that suffer the most damage, because HUD Code manufactured homes are more durable by design.

Where a storm strikes determines if more site-built housing is destroyed than factory-built homes.  See the related report, linked here. For example, in Joplin, MO, the deaths reported in 2011 were in conventional housing.

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Damage to a site-built home in Cook County, Georgia. Credit: Chicago Tribune.

As the video below shows, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters do not discriminate between site built homes, manufactured homes, apartments or any other structure. It should also be noted that properly installed manufactured homes that are built to HUD code are designed to withstand the same elements as site-built homes.  For an interview related on that topic with a former federal official, please click here.

Proof of Parity

Not far from the manufactured home community, Jenny Bullard, injured and wearing a sling on her arm, combed through the rubble of her family’s site built brick house.

All that remained standing Sunday afternoon was the master bedroom and parts of the kitchen.

It’s a horrible tragedy,” said Bullard.

But all this stuff can be replaced. We can’t replace each other. We’re extremely lucky.”

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Jenny Bullard picks up the pieces in her family’s damaged home. Credit: Chicago Tribune.

Per the Tribune, Bullard said she awoke before dawn Sunday to the sound of hail pounding the roof. When she went outside her bedroom door, a collapsing wall in the hallway knocked her down.

She managed to get up and found her father calling for her, trapped under a pile of debris.

She pulled him free, and they found her mother in the master bedroom. They escaped by climbing over piles of furniture and debris where the wall to their home office once stood. Their home was one of many.

A number of homes appeared to be destroyed along a road within about two miles of the manufactured home community, with cinderblocks scattered on the ground, and pine trees uprooted and snapped in half.

President Donald Trump said that he spoke with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Sunday and expressed his condolences along with his commitment to help.

Tornadoes were vicious and powerful and strong, and they suffered greatly,” said Trump. “So we’ll be helping out the state of Georgia.

An in-depth report that corrects the record on tornadoes, hurricanes, conventional housing and manufactured housing is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Think Loan Steering is no big deal? Wells Fargo Settles $175 Million case

December 2nd, 2014 Comments off

wells-fargo-photo-bloomberg-minorities-steered-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Wells Fargo will pay $175 million in compensation to more than 30,000 minority borrowers who allegedly were steered into riskier, more expensive loans during the housing boom.

US News  tells MHProNews  that the Deparment of Justice (DOJ) alleged the nation’s biggest residential home lender charged African-Americans and Latino borrowers higher rates and fees for home loans.

Bloomberg  said that occured even when the borrowers qualified for better rates and terms.

While Wells Fargo does manufactured home ‘land-home’ loans, this case focused on conventional housing.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the the federal government is proving time and again that they are willing and able to go after big lenders. Insiders say it sends a message to smaller lenders that they don’t have a chance.  When it comes to steering, wise sellers and lenders just say no.

Cook County Illinois accused the WFC of predatory lending and they are seeking $300 million. The County claimed: “The bank’s tactics start at home-loan origination and continue through refinancing and foreclosure, the country said, a process its lawyers summarized in the complaint as “equity stripping.” The process may have involved as many as 26,000 loans.”  Other cities and states have pursued WFC too.

Kathleen Day, spokeswoman for the Center for Responsible Lending says, “The people who lost their homes because they got bad loans, it will take them generations to recover.”

The other side of the coin is covered in a related story, linked below.  U.S. Bank Chief Executive Richard Davis says they’ll stand pat on current underwriting, because the risk of fines – like those just taken by Wells Fargo – is far too great.

Said David  “Unless we are convinced that the rules are going to be permanent and there is not going to be a look back or a reach back in future times…we are simply going to stay on the sidelines in the concerns of both compliance risks and other uncertainties.” – See more about who will and won’t use relaxed lending standards and why at this link. ##

(Photo credit: Bloomberg)

joseine-josie-thompson-writer-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com50x50-Article submitted by Josie Thompson to – Daily Business News – MHProNews

Sun Rises Once Again on Sunset Village

July 15th, 2013 Comments off

Updating a story MHProNews last published May 27, 2013 regarding the plagued Sunset Village manufactured housing community in Glenview, Ill., new owners have purchased the property out of a three-year foreclosure. Former owner Richard Klarchek was sued by Cook County and the state for failing to adequately address water quality and other maintenance problems, dropping the community into foreclosure. He then filed personal bankruptcy, which further complicated Sunset’s fate. Occupancy fell from around 300 homes to 150, according to chicagotribune. David Worth, principal of Ravinia Communities LLC (formerly October Investment Properties), is one of the new owners along with JDI Realty LLC and The Wolcott Group LLC. Ravinia owns about 2,500 manufactured home sites in seven states, including Illinois, California, Florida and Michigan, Worth said. “We’re coming into this with eyes wide open,” Worth said. “Our sole focus is improving the community and bringing it back to what it was a few years ago, when it was probably the most affordable option on the North Shore.”

(Photo credit: glvenviewpatch–Sunset Village)

Sunset Village on Track to Flourish Again

May 27th, 2013 Comments off

Following a story we first published March 21, 2011 concerning the possible closing of Sunset Village MHC in Glenview, Ill. by Capital First Realty, and its subsequent placing in the hands of a court-appointed receiver as we reported July 2, 2011, it has now emerged from federal bankruptcy, according to journal-topics. October Investment Properties LLC of Northbrook, Ill. purchased the note on the property last month and says it will repair the well water system and operate the community in a responsible manner. Former owner Richard Klarchek was sued in court by Cook County and also by the state attorney-general over the water issue, but both of those actions were forestalled by the bankruptcy petition. As we reported Sept. 5, 2012, residents were attempting to purchase the community as a co-op.  MHProNews learned during the foreclosure process occupancy dropped to around 150 homes, less than half of the community’s capacity .

(Photo credit: Tom Robb/journal-topics–Sunset Village)