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Secretary Carson Letter Lights Fuse for Explosive Change, Obliquely Addresses Manufactured Housing Action Concerns

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Last year at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) in conjunction with other left-leaning groups, protested Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson’s address to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) at their annual “Congress and Expo” fundraising and networking event.

 

At that time, MHAction issued a press release, photos, and video footage of their efforts to disrupt the talk by Secretary Carson.  The picture above is one of those items, and it’s use or quoting MHAction herein are not to be construed as an endorsement of their views or tactics.

Ben Carson insulted and dismissed us while telling the corporate investors in attendance that they should keep profiting off the housing crisis. Ben Carson’s job is to help solve the housing crisis for people, not profiteers. We came to Las Vegas today to remind Secretary Carson to do his job,” said Patricia Norberg, a manufactured homeowner from Delaware and a grassroots leader with MHAction. “Corporate and private equity investors associated with MHI say ‘jump’ and Carson says ‘how high?’ We’ve had enough.”

MHAction said that low-income senior Jeliner Jordan asked Carson, “If you increase rents and cut the HUD budget, where will I live?” Carson responded by saying “This is a perfect example of what happens when the swamp gets ahold of people.”

 

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What perhaps was missing from a clear understanding of the above drama was the fact brought forth by twin reports on Manufactured Home Living News, the first of which documented that MHAction has had dark money funding from Warren Buffett through the NoVo Foundation and the Tides nonprofit.

 

 

The second and more recent report then applied that insight learned to the MHAction supported and inspired video by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.”   In an apparent head-fake to many resident groups and industry professionals alike, MHAction – in concert with others – published a white paper that was cited by Oliver in his report.

 

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You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time. To see the John Oliver errantly named “Mobile Homes” video and related fact-check, click here.

 

That MHAction co-branded white paper in turn was publicized by the Washington Post, others in media, and finally Oliver’s video.   But when one grasps how dark money operates in such matters, and steps back to look with that in mind, it is Buffett money that arguably helped fund an attack on a number of significant MHI members, including his own Clayton Homes and related lenders.

The rationale for Buffett doing so, in brief, is that like taxes or regulations, bigger companies can handle negative media better than smaller firms can.  Negative news for he and his allies is less harmful than it is for independents.  That in turn allows larger firms to gobble up smaller ones at reduced prices.  Here’s how retailer Alan Amy summed it up.

 

 

A View from NMHOA… 

TimSheahanPresidentPhotoNationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssoclogoNMHOAlogoMHProNews

Separate the “wheat and chaff,” with all people, organizations, and ideas. One must separate the useful from what is not.

As a letter from the prior National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) president Tim Sheahan quoted below in part reflects, when manufactured home communities were being developed, site fess or ‘lot rents’ were being held in check. Here is how he put it while he was still president of NMHOA, in his comments letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) last year.

In 1970, my city of San Marcos had a population of less than 4,000 and was part of the dramatic manufactured housing community development boom of the 1970s, adding over 3,000 pads among 18 manufactured home communities, which led to more than a doubling of the population by the mid 1970s.” wrote Sheahan.

Like many areas of CA, manufactured home purchasers in San Marcos were lured away from metropolitan areas by the promise of a quiet semi-rural retirement lifestyle with low lot rents and nice amenities, which often included clubhouses/community centers, swimming pools and spas, saunas, shuffleboard courts, pool tables and card rooms, community kitchens; and, in some cases, tennis courts, golf courses and fishing ponds. Downsizing to a MH also enabled them to enhance their financial nest eggs for the retirement years. Initially, stiff competition among various developers during the only time a true “free market” situation existed in these communities commonly led to very reasonable starting rents,” stated Sheahan.  That last sentence is a telling and arguably correct point with the law of supply and demand in mind.

He then said, “As the communities filled with “im-mobile” homes, free market forces such as competition were lost and lot rents for captive homeowners skyrocketed in many areas of California.” That point is largely correct, but it fails to note that it was the lack of new community development that de facto eliminated the option for someone to leave a community where they felt like they were being mistreated in favor of a newer one.”

 

Real World Lessons Learned

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertIn the Oklahoma City and Houston, Texas metro areas, I personally witnessed periods in manufactured housing history where land-lease community owners that were developing new sites, offered to move residents from other area communities in to their property at the property owners’ cost,” said publisher and industry consultant L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Rephrased, as long as there are reasonable alternatives to residents, then the temptation to ‘jack up’ site fees of ‘trapped’ residents is significantly reduced or even eliminated.

Imagine if apartment complexes were no longer being built in the U.S. What would happen? In a free market, as population grows and demand rises, rents would too.  The steady construction of new apartment buildings helps keep existing apartment owners from going too high on rental rates,” explained Kovach.

So, NMHOA’s Tim Sheahan isn’t wrong about the early history, but the solution now isn’t rent control, which Paul Bradley of ROC USA has himself said isn’t an answer,” Kovach said. “Rather, a longer-term solution is to provide more options for community residents, so that the temptation to do what certain MHI member companies have been accused of in recent years is eliminated.”

 

With that Backdrop, The Fuse for Meaningful Solutions is Lit with New Letter

At their annual meeting at the 2019 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) voted to undertake a new initiative to address zoning and placement issues that in their view is not being successfully addressed by the MHI. That perspective is held by others in MHVille too, including a number of MHI members.  At the recent Bryan, TX effective ‘ban’ voted by their city council of even new manufactured housing in various cases, MHI – per MHI members in attendance – did not even send a staffer to protest the ban.

Although MHARR is an independent production association, which compared to MHI claims to be both a producers and post-production association, they’ve taken another step into post-production territory, with their recent vote.

As careful and regular MHProNews readers know, MHARR recently asked HUD to initiate a study of the problems related to placement and zoning issues, tied into the legal concept of enhanced preemption.

In a light-the-fuse letter obtained by MHProNews to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the next step in that process is being taken.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss said to Secretary Carson and several key Washington, D.C. figures as follows, under the subject: Discriminatory and Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes.

One of the principal challenges faced by the manufactured housing industry and particularly its smaller businesses in providing inherently affordable, non-subsidized housing and homeownership for lower and moderate-income Americans, is the discriminatory exclusion of HUD Code manufactured housing from large areas of the United States under the guise of local zoning regulation.”

Such exclusionary and, in fact, discriminatory zoning mandates, affect not only single-home manufactured housing placements, but also the development and/or expansion of manufactured housing communities which provide much-needed land-lease (i.e., rental) space for manufactured homes.”

Weiss’ letter than reminds Secretary Carson that he himself made a similar point last year.

In a 2018 speech to the Policy Advisory Board of the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, you specifically identified and recognized the harmful impact of exclusionary zoning on the availability of affordable housing and homeownership for all Americans, stating that HUD would act “to identify and incentivize the tearing-down of local regulations that serve as impediments to the developing [of] affordable housing stock. Out-of-date building codes, time consuming approval processes, restrictive or exclusionary zoning ordinances, unnecessary fees or taxes, and excessive land development standards can all contribute to higher housing costs and production delays.” (Emphasis added).”

Weiss followed that up by agreeing in this highly specific fashion, “…indeed, in the case of HUD-regulated manufactured housing, the law provides HUD with powerful tools and authority to override local zoning actions that discriminatorily exclude or severely limit the placement and utilization of HUD Code homes. Specifically, in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, Congress gave HUD the express authority to federally preempt state and local “requirements” of any kind that impair “federal superintendence of the manufactured housing industry” and the accomplishment of the Act’s congressionally-mandated federal purposes, including “facilitat[ing] the availability of affordable manufactured homes.” Indeed, in a November 13, 2003 letter to then-HUD Secretary Mel Martinez (copy attached), key congressional proponents of the 2000 reform law stated that enhancements to the scope of federal preemption set forth in that law “have given HUD the legal authority to preempt local requirements or restrictions which discriminate against the siting of manufactured homes (compared to other single family housing) simply because they are HUD-code homes.”

Rephrased, Weiss stressed the merits of using “Enhanced Preemption” – a point that MHARR, MHLivingNews, and MHProNews have stressed for years as an existing legal remedy to prompt local zoning “NIMBYites” to relent under federal supremacy.

While there are examples of HUD flexing its supremacy since the 2000 law, those cases are scant.  One such letter from HUD to a local jurisdiction is linked here.

Thus, Weiss pressed on by saying, “Despite this enhanced preemption authority, however, HUD has failed to take action to stop the baseless – and expanding – exclusion of safe, decent and affordable HUD-regulated manufactured homes from numerous jurisdictions around the United States.”

“…MHARR met with officials of HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) on April 4, 2019 and requested that HUD, as a first step, utilize its resources to research, study and analyze such discriminatory and exclusionary zoning and its local and national impact(s) on the availability of affordable housing and homeownership in light of relevant national housing policies. Such research and analysis could then serve as a roadmap for further HUD action going forward.  Accordingly, we ask that you authorize and advance such a study within the Department,” wrote Weiss.

MHARR’s CEO added, “Quite simply, in order for manufactured housing to reach its full potential as an inherently affordable, non-subsidized housing resource for millions of lower and moderate-income Americans, it cannot, should not, and must not be unfairly and illegitimately excluded from significant areas of the country. In order to stop and reverse this phenomenon, leadership from HUD and by you, personally, as HUD Secretary, is essential and, indeed, indispensable.”

Among those cc’d were:

Hon. Mike Crapo
Hon. Maxine Waters
Hon. Mick Mulvaney

The letter and attachment are linked here.

As important as that letter is in tipping a domino toward more action, were the attachments.  One was a powerful letter dated in 2003, signed by Maxine Waters and others in Congress calling on HUD then to exercise their rights under “enhanced preemption” given to HUD by Congress under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA).

That letter from congress is a legally significant document, because it reflected in that time-frame the legislative intent that Congress had.

All of this begs an important question.  Why hasn’t MHI done this years ago?

It is MHI that claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing,” while MHARR has historically stated plainly that they represent the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

While there are several ways that HUD can respond, there is now a formal series of steps being taken by MHARR to prompt action.  Given that the Trump Administration has said that they are in the “enforce the law” and “promise keeping” business, it will be interesting to see how Secretary Carson and senior HUD leadership responds to these efforts. To learn more, see the link below, “Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way.”

 

A New Paradigm Ahead?

Consider the opening quotes from MHAction, NMHOA, and Secretary Carson at the top. Then ponder how independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes, and residents of manufactured homes, could both begin pushing for implementation of existing federal law.  The common opponent, it would seem, are the big corporate interests that MHAction claims to rail against, but is in fact supported by.  But that point doesn’t seem to be a logical hinderance for the good that could flow to existing residents, independent businesses, new investors, and new housing seekers. MHARR’s effort is timely, and in hindsight, it can be seen as a significant one.

Time will tell, but the stage is being set.  The proverbial fuse has been lit…

That’s this morning’s edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Bryan Manufactured Homes Ban Passed, But Petition Count, Other Legal Moves May Stop Texas City

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urgency Grows, Another City Prepares Ban on Manufactured Homes

March 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

UrgencyGrowsAnotherCityPreparesBanManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The report of yet another American city considering a ban on new manufactured housing is the most recent warning-flag for an issue that has been growing for several years in states across the country.

 

 

City of Bryan, TX, District Two Councilman Prentiss Madison, told KBTX that he is getting calls and messages from people on both sides of the issue, meaning for and against the ban.

I’m hearing from both sides of the issue,” said Madison.

If the proposed ordinance passes,” says KBTX,manufactured homes would not be allowed on vacant lots going forward. Those already living in a manufactured home would be grandfathered into the ordinance.”

Bryan has roughly 3,500 manufactured homes. A little more than half are in manufactured home communities, per local media. The rest are in mixed-use neighborhoods of conventional housing and manufactured homes, such as the Kemp Carver and Castle Heights neighborhoods.

This is about the community of Bryan,” said councilman Madison, per the local report linked here. “What do the citizens and the community wants to look like going forward?”

Or is this possibly about big money interests that want to eliminate competition under the guise of something else?  But set that question aside for later.

If Madison’s comment sounds negative to those with sensitive manufactured home industry ears, it did as well to Karl Radde. Radde is with Southern Comfort Homes, and he attended a Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting a few weeks earlier with D.J. Pendleton in Bryan, along with that state association’s executive director, per the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) website.

Radde has served in leadership roles for both the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) retailer council, and is also as a well liked prior chairman of the TMHA.

Radde’s pitch was based upon reason and compromise, per the TMHA and other informed sources.

As you guessed, that argument apparently fell on deaf ears as I was politely thanked for my comments,” said Radde.

While Radde made an intelligent argument, he and Pendleton – per TMHA’s report and other sources – failed to make an argument based upon the enhanced preemption clause of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA). Radde and other sources in and beyond Texas have provided additional insights to MHProNews, and as of the time that those comments were provided, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had not weighed in. That too is a vexing pattern that’s becoming better known, as the report linked here reflects.

Castle Heights neighborhood association President Rafael Pena, who was previously on city council, says manufactured homes are necessary.

It’s a price point issue. Not everybody can afford a stick-built home,” said Pena. “I think we would love to be in a stick-built home, but a lot of times a lot of people don’t have enough money, they don’t earn enough at their jobs.

 


Kemp Carver’s neighborhood association president, Ray Arrington, was cited by local media saying that it’s an ordinance his neighbors should consider.

When we want curbs and gutters and improvements in our neighborhood, we have to look at what our tax base is,” said Arrington. “They are paying less taxes, so that calls for less services.”

It’s what J.D. Harper in neighboring  Arkansas once referred to as economic racism.

 

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Prior and arguable applicable statements by the Rev Donald Tye, Jr.

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Cases like the one noted often have hidden special interests operating in the background.  They may be using an ordinance or other bill to help eliminate manufactured housing as a form of competition to their interests. That may include those who would rather build housing projects instead of seeing manufactured homes. 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.

 

Bryan Proposal Purportedly Violates Federal Law, Plus Harms Local Economy

The case is a mirror of prior incidents in Indiana and California. In those other instances, they too had civic forces with motivations to limit or ban manufactured homes. But both municipalities rapidly revered themselves after city officials were contacted by MHProNews, which looped in two pro-industry non-profits, and provided legal references for each city’s leaders and attorneys to chew on. See the related reports, further below the byline and notices for details.

Radde provided MHProNews with more extensive comments, which will be reviewed at a future point, likely after this issue is resolved, as they are revealing and insightful.

Radde also wanted MHProNews to clarify a point, “while I have zero issues with Clayton Homes, the only new Clayton product my company has sold was a couple of Tru homes a few years back.  While we are about 65% preowned homes, our new line is primarily Fleetwood.  We have also recently added the Jessup line of homes.”

That requested comment from Radde brings up the Clayton question. Where are they in this troubling scenario? After all, Texas is the number one state in the nation for manufactured home sales, production, and shipments.  Where is Clayton’s defense of the industry and reputation?  Why aren’t they standing up for groups that Pena and Radde represents?

 

 

What if This Trend of Banning Manufactured Homes Continues Unabated?

Several factual as well as legal arguments can be made in such cases, but for whatever reasons, in spot checks by MHProNews, the MHIA and enhanced preemption are repeatedly not being presented to local officials. Why not?

Furthermore, where is the claimed clout that MHI is supposed to have? Don’t they proudly proclaim on their website that they represent all segments of factory-built housing? Why aren’t they sticking up for the rights of citizen’s like Pena? Or independents like Radde?

This case is the latest #NettlesomeThings issue of #Nimby vs. #Yimby.   In order to address growing threats like these, and others, the manufactured housing industry’s members are encouraged to attend an afternoon aimed at identify causes, outlining proposed proven cures, and then laying out action steps to create growth from challenges that will others only limit affordable manufactured home sales in the future.

 

Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

 

See the related report, above, and others below for more details.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-768x318

MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending the charge on preemption or ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation was an MHI member, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth allowed more consolidation by big boy companies and at a cheaper price? 

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That’s this morning’s troubling but true “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © See the related reports for more details. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

 

 

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Feds Bring Charges Against Manufactured Home Community Owner

October 27th, 2018 Comments off

 

FedsBringFairHousingChargesAgainstManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnerDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has notified the industry’s professionals of charges brought under the Fair Housing Act of discrimination against a Tennessee manufactured home community owner.

 

The HUD media release included a copy of the complaint, which redacted the names of two female residents and the name of the community. That legal complaint referred to the location as a 21 site “mobile home park.”

 

Perhaps for that reason, the HUD press release used the term “mobile home park*,” so the  * was added in the release by MHProNews, and a HUD PR spokesperson was advised to look for – and hopefully avoid that – in the future.

 

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

 

The charges, which are linked here as a download, contains sexually explicit language and suggestions.

HUD’s full release, including the aforementioned *, is as shown below.

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD CHARGES TENNESSEE LANDLORD WITH SEXUAL HARRASSMENT

 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today charged Chad David Ables, the owner of a mobile home park* in Lexington, TN, with discrimination for allegedly pressuring two female tenants, a same-sex couple, to perform sexual favors for him instead of paying rent. Read HUD’s Charge.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits sexual harassment of tenants and other forms of housing discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion and familial status.

“No one should have to submit to unwelcomed sexual advances as a condition for remaining in their home,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.  “Today’s charge sends a clear message to all landlords that HUD is committed to taking action against landlords whose behavior violate the Fair Housing Act.”

HUD’s charge alleges that Ables showed the couple sexually explicit pictures and videos of women he identified as tenants, boasted that he had engaged in sexual acts with multiple female tenants, and asked the couple to give him nude photos or videos in exchange for rent.  HUD’s charge further alleges that the owner disconnected the water to the couple’s unit after they rebuffed his advances.

The couple and their children eventually moved out after the owner accused them of paying their rent late and issued them a notice to vacate the property.

“Subjecting female tenants to sexual harassment is illegal, and HUD will continue to enforce the Fair Housing Act against property owners who engage in such misconduct,” said Paul Compton, HUD’s General Counsel. “HUD is steadfastly committed to protecting the right of tenants to be free from sexual or other discriminatory harassment by their landlords.”

HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he may award damages to the complainant for harm caused by discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines to vindicate the public interest. If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages.

In July, HUD and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness of housing-related sexual harassment The goal of this campaign is to make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment. Watch the public service announcement (PSA). HUD and DOJ are also providing training materials [shown below] on preventing and addressing harassment in housing to public housing staff, private landlords who accept housing vouchers, and residents of public housing and voucher housing.

Last April, HUD marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, joining local communities, housing advocates, and fair housing organizations across the country in a coordinated campaign to enhance awareness of fair housing rights.

Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

###


MHProNews for several years carried articles by the Fair Housing Lady, Nadeen Green, JD, which provided tips and training on avoiding the sorts of things that can result in fair housing complaints.  Green retired over a year ago, which ended that series.

An article on fair housing/sexual harassment related issues is linked further below, which includes a video on what not to do.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

 

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Sunday Morning Weekly Recap – Manufactured Housing Industry News – November 13th – November 20th, 2016

November 20th, 2016 Comments off

sunday-morning-weekly-manufactured-home-pro-news-recap-1-4-to-1-10-2015-mhpronews-com-We continue with our thought-provoking theme for the monthEntrepreneurs November in MHVille 2016That link will take you to all of the featured articles and interviews this month.

Manufactured, modular and prefabricated home professionals know that how a home got to its location should not define a person or their dwelling.

What the Daily Business News spotlights day-by-day are the tragedies, triumphs and struggles for acceptance of the obvious solution for millions for the growing affordable housing crisis in the U.S. and beyond.

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When you read the lineup for the month found on Entrepreneurs November in MHVille 2016, you can reflect on another motto as you chart your own professional path ahead: 

We Provide, You Decide.  ©

 

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Texas ROC Leaders Tout Resident-Ownership at “I’m Home” Convention

 

State’s Manufactured Home Sales Soar

 

What’s New On MHProNews

 

Saturday November 19th, 2016

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Dodd-Frank, CFPB Deep in Trump Administration Cross Hairs

 

Friday November 18th, 2016

Skyline, Cavco Lead Up Day for the Manufactured Housing CV, Broader Markets Down

 

Flood Recovery Grant to Help Flood Victims with Manufactured Homes

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Investors Up Stakes In Affiliated Managers Group

 

Freddie Mac Forms Partnership, Rolls Out MH Education Curriculum

 

Manufactured Home Communities Cut Ribbon on New Indoor Pool Complex

  

Thursday November 17th, 2016

 

Trump/Congress Call on Federal Agencies to Defer Action on all Pending Regulations

  

Council Looks to Allow FEMA Homes, Rescind Solar Fees

 

Patrick Industries Leads Up Day For Manufactured Housing CV, Broader Markets Rise

 

ROC Leaders Meet at Texas Conference

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Sam Zell On CNBC: Donald Trump’s Election Represents “Huge Psychological Difference” About the Economy’s Future

 

Prominent Democratic Lawyer Defends Breitbart’s Steve Bannon

 

Wednesday November 16th, 2016

Innovative, Affordable Modular Housing Highrise Set for Completion in 2018

 

Patrick Industries, Drew Industries Lead Manufactured Housing CV, Broader Markets Mixed

 

Layered Cardboard Modular Home Unveiled

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British Giant Eyes Cavco Industries Holdings

 

Manufactured Home Set on Fire, Anti-Trump Messages Spray-Painted on Another

 

Tuesday November 15th, 2016

 

Carlyle Group, Louisiana-Pacific Lead Manufactured Housing CV, Broader Markets Up

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Proposed Council Ordinance Sparks Property Rights, Discrimination Discussion

 

Buffett On President-Elect Donald Trump: “He Deserves Everybody’s Respect”

 

Monday November 14th, 2016

 

Manufactured Housing CV Down, Broader Markets Mixed On Trump Policy News

 

Startup Wins Innovation Award For Upcoming 3D Home

 

CBS and Full Measure Trump Videos, Transition Advances, Protests and Democratic Snafus

 

Investors Increase Stakes In Sun Communities

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Rent Control Measure Victorious, Questions, Issues Remain

 

Sunday November 13th, 2016

 8sundaymorningweeklyrecapmanufacturedhousingindustrynewsnovmeber14thnov20th2016-postedtomanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Sunday Morning Weekly Recap – Manufactured Housing Industry News – November 6th – November 13th, 2016  ##

(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.

Proposed Council Ordinance Sparks Property Rights, Discrimination Discussion

November 15th, 2016 Comments off
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Nimby comic credit as shown, used here under fair use guidelines.

In Greene County, Indiana, the Linton city council voted to move forward with a controversial ordinance.

The vote, which required the mayor to break a tie, approved a measure stating all future manufactured homes brought into the city must be moved into a manufactured home community.

What I’m going to propose is all of the trailers [sic] in town now be grandfathered in. Any trailer [sic] from this day forward will go into a state-mandated trailer park [sic],” said Linton mayor John Wilkes.

You look at all the other communities around, their cities are clean, their towns are cleaned up. They have trailer parks [sic] to put their trailers [sic] in.

According to the Greene County Daily World, the Linton city council has been debating for months about how to move forward with cleaning up unsightly older mobile and manufactured homes in the city limits, while still providing affordable and safe housing for Linton residents.

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Mayor John Wilkes. Official Photo.

One of the reasons why the city has been unable to put together a trailer [sic] ordinance is because Linton does not have any zoning,” said Wilkes.

The mayor said the city is working to clear out houses in the city and commended city councilwoman Linda Bedwell for her work with the county-led blighted property ordinance.

I think we are on the same page here. We want to clean the city up and make it a better place,” Wilkes said during the council meeting.

Upon the call for a vote, council members Fred Markle and Jerry Ellett voted in favor of putting together the ordinance as proposed by the mayor. Council members Tony Richards and Linda Bedwell voted against the measure.

Councilman Jeff Sparks was not in attendance.

In a situation like this, the chair will break the tie and I’m in favor of that motion so that motion carries,” Wilkes said.

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Linton city council. Official photo.

Markle told the council that based on his independent research, he found many communities of similar size have zoning in place, and this seems like the right direction to go in addressing the problem.

Markle also stressed that it may take 10 to 12 years for the proposed ordinance to take effect.

Mayor Wilkes noted while about 10 percent of manufactured homes in the city limits are in top shape, it is the rest of the older mobile or manufactured homes, which he characterized as being run down and negatively impact the neighbor’s property values.

But you also have that problem with houses, too,” said Bidwell.

I think if you own the property you should do with it what you want,” said councilman Tony Richards.

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Linton, Indiana. Credit: Google.

A member of the public was not pleased.

While Mayor Wilkes did not open up the topic for public discussion during the meeting, local landlord Jerry May addressed the council after the meeting was adjourned.

I wanted to put you on notice that I plan to file an injunction on the ordinance. I think you need to rethink that because you’re violating some laws,” May said.

May buys, sells and trades manufactured homes in the city, rents out several homes and currently has a manufactured home community.

This is taking away the usability, sell-ability and buy-ability of the property. It takes away all value in all aspect. We’ve got one park [sic] here in town, and it’s got restrictions itself,” said May.

The landlord also said that he believes this is a dangerous step in the direction of zoning.

It’s a major takeover. It’s not just the creation of an ordinance. This is a major form of zoning, and there’s lots more zoning to come. I promise,” May said.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) cases recently, including one in Hutchinson, Kansas here.  It should also be noted that a close reading of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 provides for enhanced preemption, which ought to limit such local zoning efforts.

MHARR and state associations are often raising this issue, with one example in a case linked here.  Please see the download from that linked column. ##

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Image credits are as shown.

(Editor’s Note: the story in the image linked above is another case of NIMBY that is worth exploring. Also, to understand the home owner’s vantage point, please see the article 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.

Manufactured Home Community Sued, Accused of Housing Discrimination By Department of Justice

October 6th, 2016 Comments off
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May Grove manufactured home community entrance. Credit: Central FL Equities.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against May Grove Village Manufactured Home Community based in Lakeland Florida, alleging that employees actively worked to keep African-Americans out.

Managers falsely told African-Americans that no mobile homes, (sic) or fewer mobile homes, (sic) were immediately available for sale, but told similarly situated white persons that more mobile homes were available, (sic)” the DOJ said in a release. “Managers also quoted prospective African-American purchasers higher prices and worse financial terms than similarly situated white purchasers. 

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DOJ Logo

According to the lawsuit obtained by the Daily Business News, between July and November 2015, undercover investigators with the DOJ Fair Housing Testing Program posed as buyers at May Grove Village and found that preference was being given to white buyers.

MHProNews readers are aware that use of the Fair Housing Testing Program has been on the increase, including in a settlement by Effingham Illinois based Four Seasons Estates last year.

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Nadeen Green, JD.

In an MHProNews column, attorney Nadeen Green, JD, shared that while attending the John Marshall Law School annual conference on fair housing that “the audience, particularly those involved with Fair Housing Assistance Programs (FHAPs), were chastised for not aggressively seeking emotional damages in their fair housing cases.

 

 

Green went on to share that “agencies and attorneys were coaching attendees to aggressively seek emotional damages in their fair housing cases,” and, that “the denial of housing or housing rights does not only mean that someone does not get to live in their housing of choice.

Green, referencing information shared during the conference, continued. “It can also mean that they are angry, hurt, shamed, discouraged, and perhaps facing consequences that could be life defining, such as their child not being able to attend the good public school in that area. 

In the May Grove Village case, Bay News 9 spoke with community residents who were surprised by the allegations.

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May Grove Village Manufactured Home Community, Lakeland, FL

It would be very shocking if there were any truth to it,” said resident Chuck Baggett. “Because of all the other people we have had in here.

I was surprised because it is the first time I hear that,” said long-time resident Ana Ocasio.

According to Bay News 9, other residents said that African-Americans had been regular community residents over the years.

May Grove owner James C. Goss and park managers Cathy Plante and Joey Gwozdz are named as defendants in the suit. The Daily Business News was unable to reach parties for additional insights or comments.

The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and monetary compensation for anyone turned away due to their race. ##

(Image credits are as shown.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

 

 

 

 

 

CFPB Director Cordray tells Whistleblower to have her Attorneys “Back Down”

May 31st, 2016 Comments off

consumer_financial_protection_bureausteve rhode slas get oug of debt org__kicks_aClaiming senior managers within her office bullied and demoted her for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office, Angela Martin said in testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) had a “pervasive” culture of intimidation and hostility within the bureau, adding that CFPB Director Richard Cordray personally called her and said to have her attorneys “back down” after speaking out against mismanagement.

A senior enforcement attorney at the CFPB and former civilian attorney for the judge advocate general at Fort Bragg, Martin said Scott Pluta, the CFPB assistant director of the Office of Consumer Response, demoted her after she filed a formal complaint of discrimination for being “isolated” and prevented from performing any “meaningful work” in Dec. 2012.

There is a pervasive culture of retaliation and intimidation that silences employees and chills the workforce from exposing wrongdoing,” she said.

Martin alleges that in the two minute conversation with Director Cordray, he also said he was assigning her to another position within the agency, but the next day Martin discovered that position went to someone else, as MHProNews has learned.

A workplace private investigator who was hired by the CFPB to investigate the case, Misty Raucci, backed up Martin’s testimony, and said after six months she became a “veritable hotline for employees at CFPB, who called to discuss their own maltreatment at the bureau, mainly at the hands of Scott Pluta or [CFPB official] Dane D’Alessandro.”

Raucci stated Martin was subjected to “open bashing, bullying and marginalization” by D’Alessandro, and Pluta removed her from her position as chief counsel in the Office of Consumer Response.

Raucci alleges Pluta encouraged two lower-level employees to file complaints against Martin, one of whom stood to directly benefit from Martin’s removal from her position.

I found that the general environment in Consumer Response is one of exclusion, retaliation, discrimination, nepotism, demoralization, devaluation, and other offensive working conditions which constitute a toxic workplace for many of its employees,” said Raucci.

While Martin’s complaint is still pending, Raucci said she has received complaints from a dozen other CFPB employees.

Vowing to continue investigating what he sees is a hostile work environment at the CFPB, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee said, “Hearing evidence of government-sanctioned discrimination is beyond the pale. And as chairman of this committee, if this was merely restricted to Ms. Martin’s story—as compelling as it is—I would not have allowed this hearing to go forward,” Hensarling said. “But instead, regrettably, shamefully, this appears to be the tip of the iceberg.”

CFPB officials were invited to testify before the committee, but the agency refused to send any witnesses.

While first calling for cancellation of the hearing, Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) are now calling for a hearing with CFPB management to discuss the allegations against the agency since hearing Ms. Martin’s and Ms. Raucci’s testimony. ##

(Image credit: steverhodesletsgetoutofdebt)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Department of Justice Sues RV Community Owner

October 15th, 2013 Comments off

Allegations of sexual discrimination against a recreational vehicle community in Texas has led to a lawsuit filed by the U. S. Department of Justice against owner George Toone and In Toone Services. The suit alleges Toone evicted a transgender woman and her partner Aug. 18, 2012 after handing them a set of rules giving management the right to evict someone for reasons other than “race, religion, handicapped, color or national origin.” Sex and familial status are protected under the Fair Housing Act, as lgbtqnation.com tells MHProNews, and the couple filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Toone at one time told HUD officials he would do everything “legally and morally possible” to remove Roxanne Joganik, the transgender woman, from the community. HUD’s Fort Worth Regional Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity investigated the complaint and determined “reasonable cause exists to believe the defendants engaged in discriminatory housing practices.”

(Image credit: National Equity Fund)

American Banker Interviews Richard Cordray

August 20th, 2013 Comments off

While bankers fear the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under Director Richard Cordray may be too aggressive, he assures them he is balancing safety and soundness with consumer protection. In a wide-ranging interview with American Banker, he says despite the fight over his initial recess appointment, he and his staff prioritized their mission: Protect and empower consumers in a financial marketplace. He says the Bureau recently received its 200,000 complaint, a statistic he says indicates the protection is being effective, as MHProNews has learned. Responding to a question regarding the biggest challenges of the agency, he referred to the four D’s: Deceptive and misleading marketing of products; debt traps like payday loans and deposit-advance products that can garner up to 390% interest; discrimination—treat all consumers the same; and dead ends, like debt collection, loan servicing, and possibly student-loan servicing and other instances in which the consumer is between two institutions. For the complete interview, please click here.

(Image credit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Sun Communities gets Slapped with Discrimination Complaint , Settles

June 28th, 2013 Comments off

A complaint lodged against Scio Farms Estates that their policies violated the U. S. Fair Housing Act has resulted in a $39,500 out-of-court settlement that will go to two non-profits in southeastern Mich. Renaissance Community Homes helps developmentally disabled and mentally ill people find housing and live independently, and Scio Farms manufactured housing community denied their application in 2011. Renaissance contacted the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Mich. which subsequently discovered discrepancies in policy application. A complaint filed with the U. S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) against Scio Farms and its owner, Sun Communities, Inc. of Southfield, Mich. for discrimination ended with a monetary settlement: $30,000 will go to Renaissance and the Fair Housing Center will use $9,500 to monitor Sun Communities for fair housing compliance in the coming year. As annarbor.com informs MHProNews, Sun employees will have to undergo training on fair housing procedures. Sun owns and operates 185 land lease communities comprised of over 67,000 developed home sites.

(Photo credit: Alan Warren/annarbornews–Scio Farms Estates, Mich.)