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Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

June 5th, 2018 Comments off

FannieMaeIntroducingMHAdvantageManufacturedHomeLoanEvolvingWithIndustry

In a letter to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform presidents, Jonathan Lawless, Vice President of Fannie Mae advised the two national trade associations of their news “MH Advantage” program for manufactured homes.

 

The opening from the letter from Lawless to the two national trade association CEOs opens as is shown below.

LawlessOpeningtoRichardJennisonMHIMarkWeissPresidentManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews550x505

Click here or below for the entire Fannie Mae letter to MHI and MHARR.

Rephrasing, manufactured homes that don’t fit the program won’t get financing.

The entire letter from Lawless, which was obtained by the Daily Business News, is linked above as a download.

Fannie Mae, as attentive MHProNews readers may recall, has drawn fire for being a member of MHI.

The GSEs have also been called out by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling for lobbying, a charge the federally regulated home finance giant denies.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

A letter published by MHARR leaned into Lawless and Fannie Mae, saying the plan is not acceptable.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews“…the MH Advantage Initiative, both in its underlying concept and premise, is in fundamental conflict with the DTS mandate – and suffers from other fatal defects – which render it wholly unacceptable to MHARR.”

MHARR’s president – an attorney and multi-decade industry veteran – began to carve up the Lawless letter as follows.

In relevant part, your June 4, 2018 letter states: “MH Advantage homes [will] have design features – developed after consultation with a range of manufacturers – more often associated with site-built homes.” (Emphasis added). The purpose of DTS, however, is not to change the fundamental character of HUD-regulated manufactured housing to be more like site-built homes, or to funnel DTS-based financing to higher-cost homes that are not in the mainstream of affordable HUD Code manufactured housing production,” wrote Weiss.

The DTS mandate, rather, as MHARR has noted on multiple occasions, was enacted by Congress as:

(1)  a congressional finding that Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) have not — and still do not — properly serve the manufactured housing market and manufactured housing consumers, despite existing Charter obligations to support homeownership opportunities for very low, low and moderate-income Americans, as well as  

      (2) a remedy for that specific failure.”

Weiss said that the failure of the predecessor to this program, MH Select, completely missed the mark, saying: “As the abject failure of the earlier Fannie Mae “MH Select” program,” saying that no loans had been made under the prior program.  Weiss said, MH Select, “…resulting, according to available information, in exactly zero loans…”

Indeed, the fact that it has taken ten years to get even this far, after decades of failing to serve the manufactured housing market (as determined by Congress), shows that Fannie Mae has no real intent to comply with DTS as established and designed by Congress.”  HERA 2008 is the legislation that established the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing, and after a 10 years, and it is only now that a chattel lending program is being rolled out.

Instead, prejudice, discrimination and outright bias against those prospective homebuyers – who the GSEs were formed to serve and DTS was specifically enacted to serve and benefit – has been the hallmark of Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) policy for decades, leading to the DTS mandate in the first place,” said Weiss.

“…As such, this program does not constitute a legitimate implementation of DTS as much as a diversion, “bait and switch,” and illegitimate end-run around the consumers and policies that DTS was enacted in order to advance,” the Washington, D.C. based MHARR president said.

This circumvention of the purposes and objectives of DTS, moreover, does not even begin to address other significant competition-based concerns regarding the specifics of the MH Advantage Initiative, including compliance criteria that were developed behind closed doors, in closed proceedings accessible only to select participants (as determined by Fannie Mae); and — according to information available to MHARR, onerous energy requirements that have been advanced by the largest industry manufacturers from both a marketing and regulatory perspective, and specifically favor those manufacturers,” Weiss stated, adding, “Nor does any of this even begin to address the possible intersection between the MH Advantage Initiative and a secretive “new class” of manufactured homes being advanced by the same large manufacturers – and their trade organization, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – which supposedly was “well received by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Perhaps to Weiss point, the Fannie Mae website features two photos with their public announcement of the program, both from the company that MHI’s chairman represents.

The “MH Advantage” Initiative, therefore, is less about implementing DTS for its intended beneficiaries than avoiding the type of market-significant securitization and secondary market support for mainstream, affordable manufactured housing that DTS was designed and intended to produce.  As such, it violates DTS and is wholly unacceptable to MHARR.”

 

The View of the Finance Fray from MHProNews…

The Daily Business News warned the industry months ago that the so-called “new class of homes” being promoted by MHI was potentially the latest “trojan horse” from MHI. The articles linked below can be read later, and are provided as a reference and for more details.  But

 

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

 

The Fannie Mae letter should heighten that concern, as those retailers, communities, and producers that don’t participate in a plan tailored to the “big boys” at MHI.

 

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

 

As MHProNews has warned, there are potentially monopolistic implications from these actions.

 

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

Several pending reports related to this topic are on the horizon.  But the bottom line for now is that this move by Fannie Mae may signal yet another attempted end-around by larger MHI member companies aimed at smaller independent ones — and it may be happening with one or both GSEs assistance.

MHProNews has reached out to Fannie and MHI for comment. While there are many possibilities, based upon years of prior disappointments on DTS, this does not look promising. Time will tell, more to come. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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$

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

 

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

June 1st, 2018 Comments off

RollohomeMarshfiledWINewsHeraldManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews549x313

Rollohome was started by Elmer Frey in his family barn as a one-time trailer sale. Soon he and his brothers Roland, Harold and Norman and his brother-in-law John Bertschie, began large scale operations in the sale and production of mobile homes. By 1950, Rollohome, was the city’s fastest growing business and within two years had sold more than 60,000 units,” according to Vintage Views in the Marshfield, WI News Herald.

 

Many industry veterans still think about Elmer Frey, and what their team accomplished in such a short period of time.

The relevance today?  If building and selling 60,000 homes could be achieved in 1950, why can’t that be done with manufactured homes in 2018 and beyond?

The Freys pushed the lengths to over 40 feet and several state laws pertaining to trailer length and width were changed. They also donated one trailer to the State Historical Society as a traveling museum,” per the News Herald.

Marshfield originally sported three mobile home manufacturing plants: Rollohome, Marshfield Homes, and Wisconsin Homes. Wisconsin Homes was a spin-off of Rollohome and was directly controlled by those in control of Rollohome. Wisconsin Homes and Marshfield Homes both had rail spurs and received rail service. Marshfield Homes,” according to wld-nmra.com.

RolloHomeMarshfiledWINewsHeraldManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

This production center produced 60,000 homes in two years, per the Marshfield News Herald.

85'flatcarsSooLineRailroadMobileHomesShippedbyRailManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The original plant was located between East Ives and East Upham streets to the north and south and between North Central and North Peach avenues to the east and west. Today this area is occupied by the Marshfield Mall, Central City Credit Union, McDonald’s and the Comfort Inn,” said Vintage Views.

ElmerFryMarshfiledWIRVMHHallofFameElkhartINMobileModularManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It hasn’t been so long ago that John Wick addressed the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA), raising his concerns for the future of the industry.

John Wick of Wick Building Systems was sold a controlling interest and increased production and added manufactured homes. The names Marshfield Homes, Artcraft Homes and Rollohome all were part of the company at times,” the News Herald report concluded.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Once more, the purpose of these MHProNews Flashback reports is precisely to inspire the industry’s professionals, including the younger ones who otherwise have little-to-no connection to these past glory days for the industry.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

The periodic MHProNews flashback series is more than mere nostalgia.

What was accomplished 68 years ago, can absolutely be accomplished today.  We have more tech, more capital, arguably more of everything. So all it requires is the vision, commitment, “time, talent, and treasure” needed to make the possible reality.

MHLivingNewsImprovedLivingForLessMHProNewsMHMarketingSalesManagement

Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals © is how the U.S.’ 8.3 million unit shortages of affordable housing could be addressed by manufactured home professionals, and investors, starting today.  ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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Related Reports:

High-Rise Manufactured Home Stackable Towers, Compete with Modular/PreFabs, Density at Lower Cost

HUD’s Operation Breakthrough, Promoting Factory, Industrialized Building – Mobile Home Era to Modern Manufactured Homes.

GSE Asked: Will Manufactured Housing Overtake Conventional Homebuilding?

Understanding the Modern Realities of MHVille – Winners, Losers, Profits, and Loss

Robotics, 3D Printed Housing, Imminent Challengers for Manufactured Homes, Modular Housing – 3D Build Systems CEO Don Musilli

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Google, Tech, Manufactured Housing, and Political Power

June 1st, 2018 Comments off

GoogleScreenShotsSearchEngineManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

A few hours ago, if you googled “California Republicans,” the search engine would produce an information box listing “Nazism” as the party’s primary belief system,” per QZ.

 

As California gears up for its primary, many of the state’s Republicans are fuming over how Google described their party in its search results. Those searching for “California Republicans” or “California Republican Party” would have found a result that listed “Nazism” as one of the party’s ideologies along with “Conservatism,” “Market liberalism,” “Fiscal conservatism” and “Green conservatism.” Vice News spotted the listing and Google removed the label following a query from the publication,” per Engadget, a tech and electronics site.

EngadgetGoogleDefineCAGOPNaziManufacturedHOusingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

As pragmatic political independents, given the power of search, editorially we find this troubling.

Google displays these boxes, called “knowledge panels,” for certain kinds of searches. Google “Goebbels,” for example, and up pop essential factoids about the Nazi propagandist, like when he was born and how tall he was,” QZ, or Quartz Media stated.

GoogleCAGOPNaziQuartzMediaManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The QZ news site added, “Since Vice revealed the listing earlier today, the “ideology” field is no longer shown at all for the California Republicans. At time of writing, the field was still there for California Democrats.”

What’s QZ? “Quartz is a news website owned by Atlantic Media. It launched in 2012…. Quartz is a free digital news publication with no paywalls or registration,” said Wikipedia.

 

Why it Matters

The story is troubling on a variety of levels.

Google “define Manufactured Home,” and here’s what Google displayed this morning as the result.

ManufacturedHomeDefineGoogleManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It was years ago that MHProNews brought similar issues to the attention of the industry, and to MHI. We periodically publish reminders, which is part of the function of trade media. But where is the post-production trade association leadership in correcting this issue? MHI reportedly has two media/PR people, what are they doing? MHI has one or two staff attorneys, plus outside counsel. When will they properly define our industry?

 

It should be noted, that this has been the result from Google for years. Is it any wonder that so many in academia, media, public officials, policy advocates, and the general public gets manufactured housing wrong?

 

Takeaways

First, this underscores the power to influence in the hands of the so-called tech giants. In a society that has come to believe that every google search brings them dependable information, that turns out not to be true.

Second, it reveals the potential value of non-mainstream media. It wasn’t ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, Fox or any other big news media outlet that picked this story up. It was Vice, with QZ and others coming up later.

Third, it reminds readers why the Daily Business News periodically spotlights concerns about the power of big tech, or monopolies in general. It is what NY Stern Professor Scott Galloway has called the Big 4 tech giants – and why he, as a pro-tech guy, has said that the Big 4 must be broken up. Not regulated, broken up under anti-trust laws. Senator Ted Cruz on the right, and a number of voices on the political left, have raised similar concerns over monopolistic power, especially in big tech.  But also with manufactured housing too.

NY Stern University’s Scott Galloway on Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Capitol Hill Hearings

Fourth, as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) keeps adding staff, it raises the question, what are they doing to protect the industry’s interests of being properly defined? While this trade media and consulting operation was still an MHI member, such issues were raised with by MHProNews directly to the top MHI brass. We’ve published the evidence and concerns about improper definitions numerous times. What’s happened in Arlington? Clearly, there’s been no good result.

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices-768x339

Not everything that happens in, or to, manufactured housing is MHI fault.

But a good trade organization stands up, and makes its best case to all comers. Who said? Among others – Frank Rolfe, a prominent MHI/NCC member, who until he was “talked to” – per reports from a Berkshire Hathaway team member, and others – Rolfe would periodically critiqued MHI and their actions. Bravo for him, back then. What about now?

Finally, it is a reminder that trade media and alternative media exists for very specific reasons. This site is number one “by a country mile” among industry pros, not because MHI made it so.

But arguably, it has been thanks to the support of the few.  This site has grown and dominated trade news, in spite of MHI’s alleged efforts to sideline, silence. or kill off this alternative voice.  We’ve been the number one for most of the time of our 9+ years of publishing existence.  Our traffic is a pragmatic vote by thousands of pros and investors – like yourself – who today will use their browsers, and hand-held devices to see what’s up.

As an organizational executive reader said, “…if MHProNews is writing about it, I want to know about it.”

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Breakup “Massive Power” of Giants, “Subvert Our Democratic Process” Says Senator Cruz, & MH CEO’s Call for “Fully Competitive Housing Access”

Understanding the Modern Realities of MHVille – Winners, Losers, Profits, and Loss

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Manufactured Home Community Owner Alert, Rent Control, MHAction Plans Organized Action in Several States

May 31st, 2018 Comments off

ManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnerAlertRentControlMHActionOrganizedActionSeveralStatesDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNEws

Rent control fights are heating up in California and Illinois, and manufactured homeowners are continuing to organize for better treatment from corporate landlords,” the leftist-activist group, MHAction stated in a release to the Daily Business News.

Nationwide, MHAction is joining a coalition of affordable housing advocates calling for Congress to fully fund HUD and reject proposed rent increases for recipients of section 8 funds. Now, more than ever, as corporate real estate investors move into ownership of manufactured home communities, apartment buildings, and single family homes, we need a strong, fully funded HUD to advocate for our communities,” per their statement.

On May 15th, manufactured homeowners in Illinois, from Urbana and Beecher, joined tenant activists with the Lift the Ban Coalition for a lobby day in Springfield to call for the repeal of the Illinois state law that prevents rent control. Many other homeowners from across the state who were unable to travel to Springfield participated by writing letters and making phone calls to their state Senators. We’ll be holding a conference call next week, Wednesday June 6th, to update everyone on the status of SB 3512 and talk about how we can build momentum for rent control this summer,” per MHAction.

Regular, long-time Daily Business News readers recall that MHProNews has been warning industry investors and professionals about the actions of this group for some years. A recent report, is linked below.  So, thoughtful readers should not construe reports about them, as an endorsement of their efforts or thinking.

Behind So-Called “MH Resident Activists,” MHAction’s Kevin Borden, Anti- HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Industry Protests

In California manufactured homeowners are continuing to work in coalition with affordable housing advocates statewide to fight for expanded rent control and real solutions to the affordable housing crisis. We’ll be holding a conference call on Thursday, June 14th to discuss how manufactured homeowners can help pass the Affordable Housing Act in November, and use the increased focus on housing issues to build momentum for community fights,” per their release, which is peppered with sign ups, that have not been included in this column.

In Maryland and New York, communities owned by Sunrise Capital Investors are continuing to fight back against drastic rent increases they received last January,” they stated in their call-to-arms for fellow activists.

If you have updates on your local work you’d like us to share,” said MHAction, “or would like support from other manufactured homeowners, send us an email,” they requested.

The group creates stories, shares photos, graphics, and videos designed to attracts more activists.  They have apparent ties to Black Lives Matter, the now-dissolved ACORN group, and other left-wing activist organizations.

As has been previously noted, their core thinking is heavily laced with socialistic and other flawed economic concepts.

MHProNews will continue to monitor the group for industry professionals and investors, and plans to report about their problematic activities periodically. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Frank Rolfe, MHU/RV Horizons Protest by MHAction; Nathan Smith/SSK/MHI Flashbacks?

Washington Post – Protests of HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Institute, by MHAction, New York Communities for Change, CarsonWatch – An Inside Look

“Death by Government,” Fascism, Communism, Socialism, ‘Big Brother,’ per Williams, Rummel and Owens

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Robotics, 3D Printed Housing, Imminent Challengers for Manufactured Homes, Modular Housing – 3D Build Systems CEO Don Musilli

May 29th, 2018 Comments off

CEODonMusilli3DBuildSystemsRobotics3DPrintedHousingImminentChallengersManufacturedHomesModularHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A revolutionary idea in home building is taking place insouthwest Florida, per Sun Coast News. and other regional media.

 

Once the foundation is poured the robot will print that structure in 18 to 24 hours,” said CEO Don Musilli, to ABC 7.

Instead of a year to build a house conventionally, Musilli and 3D Build Systems COO Deborah Hegedus believe they can cut the total build time down to a single month.

All the technology we’re working with is all bottom up. This is not technology that your grandfather used, or your father used,” Musilli told Sun Coast.

The 2 videos on this Daily Business News report bring out some similar, distinctive, and complementary facts.

3D Build Systems says they can build housing from 700 to about 2000 square feet in size.

This is similar, but on a larger scale, to the 3D printing that MHProNews previously reported is being deployed by an Austin, TX 3D builder.

 

3D Printed Home in Austin, TX Aims to Revolutionize Affordable Housing

What is often missing from reports on emerging technologies in construction are accurate estimates of pricing. Sun Coast reported an estimated price of $150,000. But what does that include? The article, and others, were silent on that point.

So MHProNews reached out to Musilli. In a series of emails, here’s what he said.

We are developing 3 typical home designs with pricing that will be put on our website within the next 20 to 30 days,” Musilli told the Daily Business News via email.

As his message suggested, there is no firm price now, but it should be noted that such pricing is often missing from others doing 3D housing printing.  To his credit, Musilli, is the first to directly address such specific questions.

We have been developing these prices and want to be fairly sure that what we present is accurate. For approximation we believe we can complete one of our homes in 1200 to 1400 sq. ft. range for around $150K,” per Musilli message.

That reply was to the MHProNews’ querry requesting a turn key, move-in ready price.

Again, we will have more data shortly,” he said.

 

Comparisons to Conventional Housing

In the Sarasota market, starter, new conventional housing ranges from $100.50 – $149.22 per square foot, according to Home Builders Pro Matcher.

So, doing the math provided by Musilli, a 1,300 square foot home for $150,000 turn-key would be $115.39 per square foot.

If they hit that target figure, that would make these 3D printed houses very competitive to mainstream site-built housing.  That said, in some ways, it could be superior, if the homes are indeed able to handle 220 mile-per-hour winds, and an 8.0 rated earthquake.

It would be surprising if they could do a turn-key finish of their models in 30 days, but even if it was completed in 60 days, it would be far faster than conventional housing.

That could be a tough competitor, perhaps even a body-blow to modular builders, if the pricing holds and as 3D housing catches on.

It could also put a pinch on some higher end HUD Code manufactured home builders too.  Manufactured housing would still be significantly less in price.

But as robotics ramps up, don’t be surprised if the pricing drops.  Note too that the new tax law, per sources, could spur robotics sales. See the infographic below.

NearFutureAutomatedProductionIncreasingDramaticallyRobotsCheaperVCapitalistDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The Wrap

The bottom line is that this is a big threat to site builders, but it is also a looming challenge to higher cost factory builders.

Nevertheless, the Google search below is accurate, then the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been mute on this topic.

3DPrintedHousingManufacturedHousingInstituteIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

By contrast, the Modular Building Institute (MBI) has, per the search shown, has to some degree addressed this issue.

ModularBuildingInstituteMBI3DPrintedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews has been tracking and reporting on the emerging 3D printed housing tech for several years.

MHProNewsMHLivingNews3DPrintedHomeHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The bottom line is that industry professionals should be mindful of these developments, and should develop responses to the challenge.

The alternative of inaction from could be problematic for hundreds of business in MHVille in a fairly short period of time. ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

(Third party images, and cites are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Emerging Building, Construction Technologies Poised to Disrupt Housing, Developing, and More

Survey Top 2017 PreFab, Modular, Tiny and 3D Printed Housing News Stories

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Skyline Corp, Champion Home Builder M&A Updates, Stockholder Insights

May 25th, 2018 Comments off

SkylineCorpLogoSKYChampionHomebuildersLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Skyline Corporation and Champion Enterprises Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Champion Home Builders, Inc., previously announced merger/acquisition (M&A) is set to close within the next two weeks, according to sources familiar with the matter.

 

Recent press releases have not announced a set date, but they have pointed to a closing expected before the end of the first half of 2018.

SkylineCorpStrengthKnowledgeTrustSnapshotlogoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingINdustryMHProNews

Skyline (SKY) shares have soared since the announcement, as the graphic below reflects.

SkylineCorpBloombergStocksDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The one year stock performance tells a tale, note the line for the day the M&A deal was announced.

A stockholder told the Daily Business News that their firm expects the stock to rise even higher once the M&A is complete.

That source in an emailed message – quoting verbatim – said:

“- first broker picked up coverage on the stock today-price target 37$

– Your going to see a lot more activity next week after the deal closes. I bet 3-4 banks pick up coverage on the stock. 

-These guys + CVCO have wind at their back – housing inv is tight, prices moving up on site built, no major capacity coming on

While there are some new production centers – including one for Champion – being established, as MHProNews has previously reported, the points made by a verified stockholder are interesting ones.

In a release last week, the Daily Business News was advised, “Skyline Announces Intent To List On The New York Stock Exchange…” and, another release stated that the stock will declare a special dividend in a matter of days.

As a disclosure, MHProNews takes nor holds a position on any industry stock. Champion is one of those companies that have been making the move to “go vertical” in recent years.  They did so in the 1990s as well.

Stay tuned for the anticipated announcement, which per sources could be completed on or before the middle of June, 2018.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

That M&A would give the new Skyline/Champion the number 2 position in the industry, ahead of Cavco, but still dwarfed by Clayton Homes.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It continues the trend of consolidation within manufactured housing, which concerned members say that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) may be fostering, a claim that MHI has neither affirmed nor denied. However, in a practice similar to other trade associations, MHI issues an antitrust warning in their meetings.  ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Fed Programs “ACCESS TO CAPITAL” for Small Businesses, including Manufactured Housing

May 23rd, 2018 Comments off

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created to help independent business level the playing field in their access to capital markets.

 

While a relatively small number of businesses tend to dominate various sectors of the manufactured housing industry, the vast majority of operations in retail, communities, production, installations, service, and transportation are small businesses.

Nationally, congressional data provided to the Daily Business News says: Small businesses continue to face significant hurdles when it comes to accessing capital. With large companies frequently raising capital through debt and equity markets, small businesses regularly finance their ventures with commercial bank borrowing.  However, despite improving economic conditions in recent years, levels of bank lending to small businesses remain stationary.  With the approximately 29 million small businesses in the nation accounting for two out of every three new private sector jobs, the inability to access capital is preventing the engines of the economy from expanding. Communities across the country rely heavily on the products, services, and jobs created by main street businesses.  Capital is critical to growing jobs, communities, and the economy.”

With capital options limited, small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs are turning toward the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) to finance their dreams,” the House Small Business Committee tells the Daily Business News.The SBA offers a number of financing programs designed to offer creditworthy businesses the ability to obtain capital.”

 

 

Among the information that the House Small Business Committee shared about SBA lending programs, are the following.

 

7(a) Loan Program

SBA’s flagship program is the 7(a) Loan Program, which provides creditworthy small firms that cannot obtain credit elsewhere the opportunity to access capital from private lenders.  SBA does not offer direct lending to small businesses; rather, SBA guarantees the repayment of loans issued by lenders for general business purposes.

 

CDC/504 Loan Program

SBA’s second largest loan program is the CDC/504 Loan Program, which provides long-term and fixed-rate financing provided by a combination of private and government guarantee support to assist with the acquisition of major fixed assets, such as real estate or machinery or equipment purchases that expand or update small businesses.  To be eligible for the loan program, the project must meet a job creation or job retention requirement or meet specific community development or public policy goals.

 

Microloan Program

To bridge the gap for small dollar borrowers, the SBA offers the Microloan Program, which works with nonprofit lending intermediaries to make small dollar loans of $50,000 or less.

 

Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program

To increase the amount of private equity flowing to small businesses, the SBA offers the SBIC program, where private equity capital is utilized to invest in small businesses.

So, in addition to the reforms pending the signature of President Trump on the now passed Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act” (S. 2155), there are other options that industry professionals who may have trouble accessing through normal banking channels could consider tapping.  The SBA is one of those options. ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Shifting Momentum, Demographics, Women, the 2018 Midterms, and Manufactured Housing

May 23rd, 2018 Comments off

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If one takes candidates at their word – which is never a given once they are elected  – it must be noted that candidates Secretary Hillary Clinton, and businessman, builder and media maven Donald J Trump each made a range of stated policy positions.

 

Last night, the House passed S. 2155, see that report linked below. The bill gives manufactured housing professionals some benefits and relief from Dodd-Frank.  It fulfills part of the 45th presidents pledge to undo what he said was the economic damage wrought by the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime.

 

That bill which has now been passed by the House and Senate would not have been signed had Ms. Clinton been the president, per her own statements.

By contrast, there is every expectation that President Donald J. Trump will sign the measure that provides relief for the industry on the MLO rule and other fronts.

Also last night, President Trump, addressed the conservative, pro-life women’s group gala, the Susan B. Anthony List. He was welcomed like a rock star.

The video posted will reflect several things that industry leaders, investors, and strategists should consider. Note that the female population is slightly larger than that of men. Note to the charts that will follow.

First, the president is repeating a theme, that the group also spotlighted – “promises made, and promises kept.”

Next, the pro-life group is pledging a serious voter mobilization effort for the fall.

Note that the NRA – the National Rifle Association – has made a similar pledge to the president for supporting candidates that he and his party will back. The president and Vice President Mike Pence are signaling that they will be very active on the campaign trail in much of the rest of 2018.

Reuters’ latest generic ballot has now tipped the midterm race slightly ahead for GOP candidates over Democratic ones. It is a tidal shift from the end of last year.

According to Vote Run Lead, exit polls reported that 53 percent of voters in the 2012 election were women.

In every presidential election year from 1980 – 2008 women have outnumbered men in voting Democratic and the same is true for men outnumbering women voting Republican,” says Wikipedia.

The U.S. Census Bureau tells the Daily Business News that, “Voting rates have also historically varied according to age, with older Americans generally voting at higher rates than younger Americans (Figure 4). In 2016, this was once again the case, as citizens 65 years and older reported higher turnout (70.9 percent) than 45- to 64-year-olds (66.6 percent), 30- to 44-year-olds (58.7 percent) and 18- to 29-year-olds (46.1 percent). However, in 2016, young voters ages 18 to 29 were the only age group to report increased turnout compared to 2012, with a reported turnout increase of 1.1 percent. All older age groups either reported small yet statistically significant turnout decreases (45- to 64-year-olds and those age 65 and older) or turnout rates not statistically different from 2012 (30- to 44-year-olds).”

VotingByAgeCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There is every indication that the president’s popularity is rising among blacks, Hispanics, and women. He already had a strong lock on Evangelicals, and white men.

MHProNews cited the New York Times polling, our own yard sign straw poll of a Florida manufactured home community, and a straw poll of industry professionals at an MHI event as part of our pre-election projections in 2016 that Mr. Trump would do well among manufactured housing residents and professionals.

ChangeInVotingPatternsAgeRaceCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It was part of our MHProNews broader analysis. These were among the reasons for our projecting that he could pull off an upset on election night.

There is no other known group or media in manufactured housing that made similar projections. We editorially supported the Trump candidacy, as being better for business, workers, investors, and our industry.

12ReasonsEducatedIranianAmericanWomanSupportsDonaldTrumpPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews954x846

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family and MHProNews supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business, and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative and pro-Trump websites.

 

Washington Insider Info

While MHProNews doesn’t claim much advantage over anyone else that is willing to dig for data and insights.  We have not yet personally met the president, but we do get several daily media and other briefs from the White House.

There are good reasons to believe that baring the unexpected, the GOP under President Trump’s leadership could pull off yet another surprise in the upcoming midterms.

The president himself is predicting it.

When you listen to the enthusiasm of this crowd from last night, does it remind you of the rallies from his campaign? No ‘entertainment’ was needed.

The theme is “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” It’s a powerful message for a campaign.

Step-by-step, President Donald J. Trump has undone in less than 18 months, much of the 8 year legacy of President Barack Hussein Obama. The Heritage Foundation claims over 60 percent of his agenda is already accomplished.  While that statistic might be debatable, what is certain is that his steady and relentless pace is getting voters to respond.  

Look for our Daily Business News latest U.S. economic report, and how that will play into the manufactured housing industry’s calculations. That surprising snapshot will be published later this morning.  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Michigan Rising Shipments, Home to Nine of Top 50 Largest Manufactured Home Community Owner-Operators

May 15th, 2018 Comments off

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The manufactured housing industry is poised to have one of its best years in recent history. Michigan is responsible for a significant percentage of that, according to the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association, (MMHA).

 

Michigan has always been a big proponent of manufactured homes, the communities and the people who reside in them, so it really isn’t unexpected that Michigan is home to many of the largest manufactured home community owners and operators,” said Bill Sheffer, executive director of MMHA.

According to the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) National Communities Council, nine of the top 50 largest manufactured home community owners and operators in the United States are based in Michigan.

Those larger Michigan-based community operators are responsible for 213,244 of the 693,000 national manufactured home sites; nearly 31 percent of all manufactured home sites in the county that are held by the NCC’s top 50.

There are an estimated 45,000 land-lease communities in the U.S.

As data compiled by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform reveals, Michigan is in the top 10 states in the U.S. in total shipments.

 

MMHA members on the list include:

  • Sun Communities: of Southfield, which manages nearly 83,300 home sites across the country;
  • RHP Properties of Farmington Hills, with just over 60,000 reported home sites;
  • Lautrec, Ltd., Farmington Hills;
  • Meritus Communities, Bloomfield Hills;
  • M. Shapiro Real Estate Group, Farmington Hills
  • HomeFirst Certified Communities, Birmingham.
  • Nodel Parks, Southfield;
  • Riverstone Communities, Birmingham and
  • Choice Properties, Troy.

The MMHA community as a whole should be extremely proud of this,” said Kim Scott, Director – Operations (Manufactured Housing Division), M. Shapiro Real Estate Group. “Everyone on that list, as well as everyone involved in MMHA, worked together through the leaner years to do what was best for the communities, their owner/operators and their residents. Being recognized for our successes is a testimony to all those efforts over the years.”

About MMHA

The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) is one of Michigan’s oldest trade associations, founded in 1941. MMHA is a nonprofit association representing the manufactured and modular home industry in Michigan. MMHA works to improve the image of manufactured and modular housing by educating consumers, media and government about the quality, affordability, design and beauty of the homes.  ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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“Audit the Algorithm!” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and Google Monopoly – Manufactured Housing Marketers Notice

May 14th, 2018 Comments off

AuditTheAlgorithymMarkZuckerbergGoogleMonopolyPowerManufacturedHousingMarketNotice

Americans respond to print media, signage and off-line marketing methods, as attentive manufactured housing industry professionals know.

 

That noted, the research says that most home shoppers at some point are shopping online.

According to research by Google and the National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of housing shoppers are doing at least some of that shopping online.

Rephrased, that means that manufactured housing professionals are beholding, and to a real extent, are at the mercy of what Google and Facebook’s algorithms dictate.

What that means is that the search-tech giants have a huge influence over manufactured homes, or other housing searches.  That same point – the influence of Google and Facebook – can be made about their influence over the news millions consume.

That concentration of monopolistic economic power has caused concerns among the mainstream media, politicos and others.

 

A Striking Admission by Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg

There are times that admissions are made by powerful people that deserve to be etched into the memories of manufactured housing industry professionals.

MarkZuckerbergCreditEntreprenuerDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is already a force in manufactured housing marketing.  Before the recent concerns, he was widely rumored to be a Democratic contender for president. What’s certain is that he and other tech giants can influence who the next president or other elected officials are.. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that Silicon Valley is an “extremely left-leaning place,” per the Washington Times.

That four-word candid admission by Zuckerberg speaks volumes.

It isn’t just billionaire Zuckerberg who leans left, is what he is admitting. High profile Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Berkshire Hathaway leaders all do too.  Why? And why does it matter?

NewsCorp, the parent to Fox News, is calling for an outside audit of the algorithms the tech giants are using, per the Deadline, because of the enormous power they have over the marketplace.

 

To illustrate the power NewsCorp and others are fretting about, Drudge recently reported that:

  • Google is the number one website online,
  • Facebook is number two,
  • and Google parent Alphabet owned YouTube is now number three.

Everything else online pales in comparison.

That monopolistic power in search means Alphabet-Google-YouTube and Facebook influences news consumption.

It also means that ad revenue is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the tech giants, not local or even national media.

Warren Buffett has admitted that newspapers as we know them are dying, and he owns a number of media outlets. “It’s difficult to see how the print product survives over time,” Buffett has said.

 

Left and Right, the Anti-Monopolistic Fight?

If the Democratic Party really is the people’s party, why have so many Democrats kissed up to billionaires for so long? It’s an issue for progressives among Democrats, question that Elizabeth Warren and others have wrestled with.  Taking on the giant monopolies is part of the “Better Deal” the Democrats rolled several months ago.

Elizabeth Warren is among those calling for a breakup of monopolistic power.  By doing so, some argue, it will boost the economy, fuel more businesses, create more jobs, and thus make wages go higher too.

As MHProNews has reported, there are voices ranging from the far left to the far right calling to control or break up the monopolies.  Right leaning Breitbart, was joined by left leaning Fortune recently, with the following concern.

The mere size, power, and mostly unregulated conduct of the digital monopolies—Facebook, Alphabet [parent to Google and YouTube], Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — as well as the unprecedented scale and speed with which personal data is collected and turned into predictive algorithms, creates an omniscient, opaque machinery that threatens to erode the very foundation of American democracy,” wrote Moran Cerf, Sandra Matz, and Guy Rolnik. 

 

Winner Take All?

The digital economy has turned into a winner-takes-all arena, with a small number of companies controlling large parts of the market. The resulting lack of competition can potentially hinder innovation and entrepreneurial growth and exacerbate inequalities in labor markets. Companies like Amazon, for example, can strong-arm taxation systems and recruit our best and brightest talent to work on tasks that are crucial to its business,” said the trio of writers for Fortune.

News flash, to industry professionals.  If it is “winner take all,” that means that the vast majority of businesses will become the losers.

Specifically, they can employ anti-trust rules aggressively to break existing digital monopolies (i.e. break down Google into smaller corporations that are not allowed to share user data or resources)… Prior government interventions, such as the successful anti-trust regulation of Bell Labswhich resulted in the growth of Silicon Valley—could serve as role models,” per Fortune.

In fact, standing up to digital monopolies is in corporations’ best self-interest…If Alphabet decided to enter the real estate brokerage market tomorrow, the sheer amount of data it holds on individuals from all over the world would make it a leading competitor overnight,” said Fortune.

The article added, “While many of the digital monopolies have started out under the ethos of audacious social missions—such as “connect the world” (Facebook) and “organize the world’s information” (Google)—their current practices make their missions sound more like “exploit human vulnerabilities” or “claim the maximum amount of user attention.”

NewsCorp says audit and regulate them.

But others are saying there is a need to break up these giants.

Scott Galloway is one the Daily Business News has mentioned before. The same principle applies to other giants, which are found in the related report links below.  Note that left and right news media videos above and below show that the interest spans the spectrum.

But the takeaway for marketers, investors and industry professionals is this.

The midterms are rushing up.  There ought to be a push to ask politicos where they stand on the problems of modern monopolies. Will they support those who believe that breaking up the monopolies is good for the majority of businesses, and is good long term for jobs and the vast majority of people?

There is still time to act.  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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