Posts Tagged ‘doug ryan’

Center for Public Integrity – Stunning Clayton Homes-Warren Buffett-Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Home Lending Truth Outs

November 24th, 2018 Comments off

Our thanks to a key source at 21st that helped make this report possible.

The truth can be stranger than fiction. Prepare to scratch your head in wonder, to be stunned, or both. But the evidence will be provided, and you can decide for yourself whatever you think it means to you, your business, the manufactured home industry, and our nation that is seeking quality, safe, and affordable housing.



Doug Ryan has advocated for manufactured homes in a variety of ways for CFED cum Prosperity Now since February 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

But Ryan has also been a harsh critic of Berkshire Hathaway brands engaged in manufactured home lending, as well as Clayton Homes’ sales practices.



Writing in Shelter Force, Ryan pointed to the Center for Public Integrity’s journalism, which had combined with a writer at the Seattle Times.

Note Ryan’s headline?


That headline and the opening paragraph should seem odd-at-best on the surface.


Because CFED turned Prosperity Now, has received funding from Warren Buffett, via so-called “dark money” channels. One example is funding that flowed from Buffett via the Tides Foundation to Prosperity Now/CFED



MHLivingNews, in a previous exclusive, reported that CFED also had another conflict-of-interest that had gone undisclosed, because they reportedly received money from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) during the Obama Administration era.

There’s been no clearly visible disclosure by Ryan or CFED/Prosperity Now in their published commentaries about Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway manufactured home lending regarding dark money funding from Buffett. Just look at Ryan’s writing in Shelter Force, American Banker, or other similar Op-Eds. Do you see a disclosure there about where some of that money for Prosperity Now comes from? Why isn’t that disclosure made transparently?

But perhaps the most stunning revelation is that some of those ‘charitable’ millions from Warren Buffett’s billions have gone to – wait for it – the Center for Public Integrity.



Rephrased, Buffett’s millions were used in part to fund the print and digital media attacks on Chairman Buffett led Berkshire’s Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).  Others in media then picked those stories up, and ran with it.  Among them, Doug Ryan at Prosperity Now. 

To a normal person, that may boggle the mind. Why would Buffett effectively pay news media and non-profits to attack his own businesses?

But the facts are that: 

   The Center for Public Integrity (teamed with the Seattle Times),

   CFED/Prosperity Now, and


are all among the operations that have attacked manufactured housing professionals in a variety of ways. There are more, but let’s just look at those 3 operations for the purpose of this post.  Each of the above were paid via the Tides Foundation.  Not that it’s necessary for the point of this article, but how many other dark money paths might be involved, linking Buffett, his friends, and brands to attacks or stalls on our HUD Code manufactured home industry?



Just as a big company can demonstrably better withstand regulations than a smaller firm, arguably, a larger company can better handle negative media than smaller companies.

Similarly, the biggest company in an industry can reflect well-meh-or poorly on the balance of an industry.  That’s what Ryan purportedly does, throw the others in by implication with Buffett and his brands, at least in this Shelter Force article.


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Buffett has said he has confidence in manufactured housing and that’s why he gets into an industry. But he also plainly says that he wants to grow what he calls his Moat.



Oh, What a Tangled Web…

Manufactured housing has struggled under a multiple-layered headwinds that includes, but are not necessarily limited to:




   Image/stigma/media, and

   Zoning/placement, among others. Much of this can be boiled down to misinformation. So why has Buffett’s millions often clouded, or failed to clearly clarify, that misinformation?

You can ascribe whatever motives you like to the above facts. But logically, when Buffett’s money keeps going to the Tides Foundation for years, which Tides in turn gives money to:


   The Center for Public Integrity (which teamed up with the Seattle Times),

  Prosperity Now/formerly CFED, and

   MHAction, among others.

There is arguably only one logical conclusion. Mr. Buffett must like what Tides and these other groups named above do with his money, because he’s given them millions.  That money-flow spans the years.

As the Daily Business News on MHProNews has previously documented, Berkshire Hathaway has dozens of local and regional newspapers, the BH Media Group. Why does BH Media brands seldom cover manufactured housing in a way that clarifies the many misconceptions about our industry?


Most manufactured home industry professionals don’t realize the scope of the BH Media Group’s direct assets. Beyond these, there are other media ties and interests that they arguably can leverage. Why haven’t they done so to advance the industry? How does this reality compare with the claims of Kevin Clayton, MH Insider, or MHI?



Instead of clearly stating, over and over, the facts about manufactured housing, and how it can advance affordable housing, Buffett’s/Berkshire’s/Clayton’s money has flowed to those who, like Doug Ryan or Esther Sullivan, who send a problematic mix message about our HUD Code manufactured home industry.


Against that backdrop, see the new and prior reports that are linked immediately and further below.  


Failure, Success and Profitable Truth Detection for Manufactured Housing

That’s plenty to digest this Saturday 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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Related Reports:

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing


Manufactured Housing – MHVille, It’s Not a Matter Open to Interpretation

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



Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Asks Industry Members to Ask Senators to Support S 2155, Behind the Scenes Details

March 6th, 2018 Comments off


In a ‘housing alert’ email to association members, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) urged the industry’s professionals to contact their senators and ask them to vote “Yes” on S. 2155.


Passage of this language will ensure that manufactured housing retailers and sellers are not subject to compliance requirements clearly designed to apply only to the actual entity making the mortgage loan,” read part of the association’s message.

GovTrack tells the Daily Business News that the odds of passage, as of this morning, stands at 42 percent.

That’s better than what Skopos Labs believes the odds are for passage of Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which as of this morning were just 26 percent.


Like Getting Half of Preserving Access…

S 2155 has much more to it than MH Industry issues.


Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

That said, the language that is Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) rule related is akin to half of what Preserving Access bill purportedly hopes to accomplish.  Namely, the repeal of the MLO rule from CFPB regulations.  That is mildly similar to what MHI SVP Lesli Gooch has said is their strategy to move the bill ahead by whatever is moving on Capitol Hill.



Left and Right…

Doug Ryan at Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) opposes the bill, saying to the IndyStar that “This [provision for manufactured housing in the bill] will hamper new lenders from getting in.”

Some moderate Democrats, such as Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, are likely to vote for the S 2155 bill.  Meanwhile Senators like Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are opposed to it.

Progressive media, such as The Young Turks (TYT) scorched S 2155 backers, MHI, and Warren Buffett.

For example, “One of the bill’s chief architects, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and her husband have nearly $1 million invested in two of the bill’s biggest winners, J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, according to a 2016 financial disclosure document reviewed by TYT Investigates.

Heitkamp and her spouse collectively own between $100,001 and $250,000 of corporate securities stock in J.P. Morgan, as well as an additional up to $45,000 in a J.P. Morgan fund. Heitkamp alone owns between $215,000 and $550,000 worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock, and including joint investments, she and her husband have up to $600,000 invested in the company. Together, the Heitkamps could have up to $895,000 invested in the two firms.

For the senator, whose net worth was roughly $4.5 million in 2015, according to an estimate by the Center for Responsive Politics, these J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway investments potentially account for a substantial portion of her assets.”



Positives in the S 2155 Bill, PLUS Behind the Scenes Analysis

For those who favor free markets and more moderated regulations, the bill on the surface is just fine.

The bill would indeed be good news for thousands working in manufactured housing, if it is passed into law, because it makes communications for front-line sales people with prospective buyers.  In those ways, MHProNews and MHLivingNews demonstrably favored passage of Preserving Access, of which this bill has one of its two provisions.

But is that the key issue?

As MHProNews has previously reported, sources say there is a kind of hypocrisy in the Arlington, VA based association’s manufactured housing advocacy, as the linked and below reveal.  Plus both sides are playing politics on this issue, playing to their respective audiences.

MHI – and the powers that be behind them – are demonstrably being hypocritical, as sources inside and outside of MHI have told MHProNews – as recently as today – because MHI could have made a deal like this without Congress, by agreement with the non-profits in a deal with the CFPB’s then Director, Richard Cordray.

See the email below as one of several possible pieces of evidence.



Furthermore, MHI knew in 2012 that they were not going to be able to get past President Obama’s threatened veto of Preserving Access, even if the Senate had voted for it (the House has passed it repeatedly, but the Senate never has).

See former MHI VP Jason Boehlert’s statement, and full report, linked below. These can be called ‘allegations.’  But doesn’t the clear evidence support those claims?  And why won’t MHI defend or explain any of this, when they are often given the opportunity?

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

Sources say that “consumer groups” are now opposing the option they had previously offered, in part as a possible negotiating point.

Depending on which source and their claim(s) you listen to, MHI and their overlords are:

  • Inept, since they could have made this deal years ago, and saved millions of dollars in lobbying and costs,
  • Arrogant, for not making a deal, that MHI insiders tell MHProNews was on the table,
  • Playing a shell game, because a few big companies benefit from NOT passing any bill, and they would benefit if the bill passes too. For a select few, either one is ‘win-win.’
  • Deceptive to the small to mid-sized businesses that are the most harmed by this, which has per sources led to more companies that have sold out for less than their true value in a normal business climate, or were forced out of business entirely.
  • Harming many consumers, who really do need honest guidance.

What’s particularly interesting is that Nathan Smith, MHI’s prior chairman, admitted on camera that the association had a history of missed opportunities.  Has that history changed since he made that statement?

Per sources to the Daily Business News about this MHI plan, you can therefore call these maneuvers posturing, a con, hypocrisy, stupidity, arrogance, or any of the other claims and allegations noted herein or in the linked reports.

Whatever you or those sources believe, the end result for thousands of independents is the same.

Independents have been, and are being harmed, when MHI could have made this same deal years ago.

Who will hold MHI and their string-pullers accountable?


And just days ago, MHProNews confirmed with sources at the CFPB that no known meeting has taken place, nor had been scheduled there.  Why not, if they were serious about making these reforms to Dodd-Frank happen?


Inside Scoop Mulvaney-CFPB and MHI, Berkshire Hathaway Company Meeting Detail$


  • No wonder some states have quit MHI,

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

  • Even retired Ross Kinzler – who said in an email to the Daily Business News that he’s doing work for MHEI, an arm of MHI – won’t defend MHI’s legislative agenda,


‘Over Target’ Reactions, WHA Exec (ret) Ross Kinzler, Won’t Defend MHI Policies & Points to Prior MHI Failure


And businesses have reportedly quit MHI too; blogger and NCC co-founder George Allen says he is among them.


On paper, the S 2155 bill is worth supporting for many in the industry.  But who will hold MHI and the forces that control them to account for years of harm already done to the industry and untold thousands of more potential home owners every year?


Part of a memo from 21st Mortgage to their retailers, click the below report for details on this sad chapter in the industry’s history, that arguably led to hundreds of independent businesses, out of business.

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2


Its Easy Being a Cheer Leader, Not as Much Fun to Tell Bad News…

…but how can independents plan and execute, if ‘their’ national association has hidden agendas?

MHProNews gets a volume of calls and messages about such reports – cheers to jeers. We’ve made our mea culpa for being misled ourselves, but once an error is discovered, the best option left is to correct it and then avoid it next time.

But for the sake of independent businesses, someone has to be willing to stand up and speak truth to the industry’s powers, as that truth is known and reported by reliable sources, including those who are or were in MHI.


If we’re mistaken, please – MHI, show us where and how?

Oh, that’s right, your own paid MHI staff leaders won’t publicly defend the official agenda either, will you?





We thank the various industry sources that make these and other such behind-the-scenes reports possible. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, announcements, analysis, commentary.)

Finance Related:

Besides Preserving Access, there are the maneuvers that have taken place for years on the important Duty to Serve (DTS) issue.  Thankfully, the Washington, D.C. based trade group – as opposed to Arlington based MHI – has their eyes on the problematic issues emerging behind the curtain on that topic.

Plot Twist – Duty to Serve – Freddie Mac CEO Layton Called to Accountability w/Congressional, Administration Leaders Over New Manufactured Home Lending Revelations

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

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

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Starting Today, it’s Prosperity Now, CFED’s Rebranding

June 19th, 2017 Comments off

ProsperityNowformerlyCFEDDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNewsAndrea Levere, president of CFED has announced that as of this morning, their organization is rebranding as Prosperity Now.

Levere tells MHProNews that, “For 38 years, CFED has been a leader in the effort to create economic opportunity for all. Over the course of nearly four decades, our work has transformed from a focus on low-income entrepreneurs into a broader effort to fundamentally change the economy to work better for those with limited income—especially communities of color—in all facets of their lives.”


She then notes their new milestone by saying, “I’m proud to announce that as of this morning, CFED has become Prosperity Now.”

KristinLawtonDirectorCommunicationsCFED-rebrandingProspertityNowKristin Lawton, Director of Communications for CFED told MHProNews in a release some weeks ago that, “It’s been nearly six months since we experienced a seismic shift in the political climate here in Washington, and some days, it feels like none of the news is good.”

Indeed, there is much to lament,” said Lawton.

Sources – including those in their organization – suggest to MHProNews that CFED turned Prosperity Now has relied on many federal agencies for funding, including the CFPB.

So, the change from the Obama Administration that supported numerous progressive groups and causes to that of President Donald J. Trump, is for those groups depending on federal dollars, “a seismic shift.”

Doug Ryan at CFED, as MHLivingNews and MHProNews readers recall, was working with the mainstream media – such as the Seattle Times and others – to stop MHI’s Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act 2 years ago.

At the same time, CFED genuinely promotes manufactured housing as a positive option, notably for those who need to get onto the housing ladder to begin wealth building.

Sources have told MHProNews that CFED was willing to work with MHI. The quid pro quo?  CFED would have been willing to go to the CFPB with MHI on the MLO rule for a negotiated agreement, if MHI dropped the points and fees threshold changes they were seeking. For whatever reasons, that opportunity for a quick success was missed by MHI along with others, as the Daily Business News previously reported here and here.


Doug Ryan, CFED, which is rebranding as Prosperity Now, photo credit, MHProNews.

As have many others, MHProNews and MHLivingNews editorially supported prior versions of the Preserving Access bill for years. One of dozens of examples, is linked here. However, a growing number of industry professionals have questioned if MHI’s multi-million dollar strategies – which have yielded no success to date, and failed to capitalize on opportunities as is noted in reports linked above – now makes sense as the Trump Administration wants to wind down or radically change the CFPB, to make it more effective for consumers and businesses alike.


An example of CFED’s manufactured housing related research. Graphic info credit, CFED.

What Direction Will Prosperity Now Take?

Manufactured home industry professionals that realize that voices in Washington, D.C. perceived as being pro-consumer carry significant weight, wonder what would it take to be able to work effectively with CFED turned Prosperity Now?  Could they or other ‘consumer groups’ become allies instead of opponents?

An equally valid question is, will the shift to the Prosperity Now name signal other changes for the now defunct CFED brand?

Prosperity Now’s own team have signaled some possible answers.


Historically, CFED was pro-manufactured housing as a good housing option for wealth building, but took some anti-MHI positions, such as on Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing. What direction will the rebranded organization take?

Lawton lamented the Trump Administration’s moves as “dark spots,” but said there are “reasons to stay hopeful. The prior confirms that there is much work to be done, while the latter reminds us why it is that we all continue to do the important work of building financial stability, wealth and prosperity for everyone in this country.”

Prosperity Now President Levere was more direct.

As thrilled as we are about the exciting new changes that Prosperity Now will bring, I want to underscore that much will remain unchanged.”

With tens of billions of dollars of potential annual growth at stake for the manufactured housing industry, the Daily Business News will continue to track such developments, and report as events warrant. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis.)

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

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Biasness News on

New Federal Lending Option “Opens” for Manufactured Homes in Quiet, pre-New Year Report

January 2nd, 2017 Comments off

RHS-USDA-loansOnManufacturedHomesManufacuredHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service (RHS) announced it would begin a pilot project that would open up lending for manufactured home loans on existing (pre-owned, used) manufactured homes, per a report by Brian Collins on National Mortgage News.

Doug Ryan, director of affordable homeownership with the Center for Economic Development (CFED) in Washington cheered the move.

Now the 502 program can be used to finance existing homes that were


Doug Ryan, photo credit, MHProNews.

not previously financed through USDA,” he said. “We do think that will open up the market in these states. This could be very positive.”

The 2-year pilot is being offered in Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, New Hampshire and Wyoming.


Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

The pilot program is an important first step. We look forward to working with USDA to take this important change nationwide,” said Lesli Gooch, a senior vice president at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

BrianCollinsNationalMortgageNewsOne of the bigger changes in this announcement is that previously, RHS loans on existing manufactured homes were more limited.

If you have a 1,000-square-foot manufactured home that is a couple years old that is titled as real estate on a permanent foundation and lot, now you have more potential buyers,” Ryan said.

But with some 80% of manufactured home loans currently being made via chattel (personal property, home only) lending, how much of a difference this might make in the marketplace short term appears to be limited.

Center for American Progress

In a post dated September 13, 2016 on American Progress, co-authors Shiv Rawal, Sarah Edelman, and Gerado Sanz said the following about manufactured homes and the need for more rural lending options.


Rural manufactured homes, credit, CFED.

“Manufactured housing

Manufactured housing, which refers to houses built in factories that are transported to their sites and that meet certain federal safety standards, remains an important source of affordable housing for rural communities.

Many manufactured housing loans are titled as personal property or so-called chattel loans instead of as real estate loans, the way other mortgages are titled. While in some cases chattel loans may have certain cost savings for consumers, real estate loans tend to have many more consumer protections and lower interest rates.

Participants in the roundtable noted that manufactured housing lending tends to be concentrated among a handful of lenders. Additionally, according to a 2013 report by the Fair Mortgage Collaborative, borrowers with FICO scores under 650 may face difficulties in obtaining a mortgage-titled manufactured home.

University of Georgia, USDA Published Report

As the cost of housing rises, manufactured housing remains an affordable option to help more Americans realize their dream of homeownership,” says the Non-Technical Summary of a USDA reported, dated in 2008.


Image credit, RiverBankFinance.

The summary continues, “However, obstacles stand in the way of increasing the prevalence of manufactured housing. Negative perceptions of manufactured housing and zoning barriers prevent people from owning manufactured housing. The aim of this study is not just to learn more about the state of manufactured housing, but also to prepare a foundation for action plans to make the dream of homeownership come true for more Georgians and to help policy makers understand the issues for their community in a broader context.”

The project was terminated.  The post on the USDA website is linked as a download, click here.

Progress is progress. But approaching a decade later, how much has changed from University of Georgia’s description?

Given that the affordable housing crisis has only grown since that date, the need to educate and quicken the pace of such efforts needs to be enhanced dramatically. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


Soheyla Kovach.

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Bloomberg – Manufactured Home Industry is the Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis

September 23rd, 2016 Comments off

The single section home is featured in a video on MHLivingNews. The Energy Star ™ would often sell in the low 50s, has 3 bedroom, 2 baths and is thus lower in cost than what the Bloomberg story shows as the average price. Image, Sunshine Homes, Red Bay, AL.

An article in Bloomberg makes the case that manufactured homes – what they refered to as mobile homes (sic), are an obvious solution to the affordable housing crisis.

It starts with a simple question: Why Aren’t We Building More Mobile Homes?” While their terminology isn’t exactly accurate – and they admit that mobile homes aren’t very mobile – their message is clear.  The manufactured home industry provides real hope for the American Dream of home ownership at a reasonable price.

Bloomberg’s article shares metrics that show people in West Virginia accepted delivery of more than 1,000 manufactured homes last year, while 2,000 conventional builders secured permits to for new single family homes. This means that 1 in 3 homes added in the state last year was a manufactured home.

The more facts one sees, the more apparent the solution becomes, as MH professionals know.

The average sales price of a manufactured home was $67,800 in April, 2016. By contrast, the average sales price for a site-built home in the same month was  $380,000. While the manufactured home was priced without land, even factoring land cost in creates an amazing savings.

According the stats in the Bloomberg article, 75% of manufactured homes residents have household incomes of less than $40,000 per year.


Bloomberg means, HUD Code Manufacturd Homes, not mobile homes, but the stats are useful. Credit, Bloomberg.

While the graphic shown above cites that most of the manufactured homes are highly concentrated in southern states (where the bulk of sales have been,) there are over 500,000 manufactured homes in California, which has pushed aggressive regulation that continues to affect the ability to own a home.

While those of us in the industry can see growth, it’s not always as clear to those outside of manufactured housing, due to long insufficiently addressed lingering perceptions.


Bloomberg cites age, loose lending practices and the fact the manufactured home sales peaked in the mid 90’s – when they made up 1 in 3 homes sold nationwide – among reasons they think MH loans started to go bad, flooding the market with foreclosures and thus limiting demand.

While MH is years into its recovery, the data also shows that manufactured home sales have been slower to recover from the last recession than other forms of housing.

Bloomberg points to Doug Ryan, director of affordable home ownership at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED – a Washington-based nonprofit group,) who cites advantages, and challenges, that the industry faces.


Doug Ryan, CFED.

You can put them anywhere you have the land, said Ryan. As the Daily Business News recently reported, CFED’s Ryan routinely promotes manufactured homes as an important option in the affordable housing crisis.

What you’re up against is the stigma. You’d have people coming to the planning meetings and saying that you’re killing their home value.” The Daily Business News has covered this scenario playing out in Austin recently.

The Bloomberg piece ends with something for the industry to think about:

Maybe it’s time for another rebrand. The homes vary in size and price, but they’re generally smaller than the typical site-built home. Instead of “manufactured,” why not borrow the name for another kind of often prefabricated abode: the tiny house.”


Narrative control, it seems, is everything in the fight for the American dream.  As regular readers know, MHProNews and MHLivingNews, we’ve extensively covered the many ways that the MH industry is the solution to the housing affordability crisis in the U.S.

Underscoring Bloomberg’s tip to the MH Industry?  Rebrand them as tiny houses, which are hot. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC WIlliams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews

OregonMetro, CFED Urges Rethinking Manufactured Housing with 4 Surprising Facts on Manufactured Homes, Analysis

September 13th, 2016 Comments off

graphic-cfed-proofmhaffordablehousingsolution-posteddailybusinessnewsmhpronewsIn a recently reported discussion about affordable housing in Portland, Oregon, four “surprising facts” were raised by OregonMetro’s Craig Bebbe.

The panel discussion at the Metro Regional Center shared hopeful signs for preserving and possibly even expanding access for manufactured housing and manufactured home communities in the future.  Bebbe called manufactured homes “Oregon’s largest source of unregulated affordable housing.”

Here are Bebbe’s four points:

  1. Much of what you think you know about manufactured homes is probably wrong.

Decades of cultural baggage have fueled a common perception of manufactured homes,” wrote Bebbe, “And much of that perception is wrong.”

Affordability, especially for those with lower incomes, was stressed. “Fully three-fifths of manufactured housing is affordable – with mortgages costing less than 30 percent of monthly household income for poorer families, compared to just one-fifth of other housing types.”

Data used in the report and supplied by the Corporation for Enterprise Development – or CFED – is linked below.


Graphic info credit, CFED. Click here or above to download CFED report.

  1. That hot real estate market? It’s affecting manufactured homes too.

Here, Bebbe’s column echoes a report on the hot northwest housing market, and how manufactured homes are a good solution – see the article, found linked here.  Bebbe cites “panelist Chelsea Catto, who directs a program to protect manufactured housing for nonprofit CASA of Oregon.”

Catto stresses that of the two broad types of community owners,

  • corporate players who want to expand their portfolio or
  • “mom and pop” operations,

both are willing, says Catto, to sell to developers who will shut the community down for redevelopment purposes for big enough bucks.

While community closures certainly occur, and they routinely produce sad outcomes for many residents – see Joe Dyton’s example of a saved, and lost opportunity to preserve a community, linked here – the following question arises. Are significant numbers of closures for redevelopment done by large portfolio operators?

There is no data the Daily Business News could readily find that produced a breakdown on which of these two groups – portfolio operators vs. “mom and pop” owned properties – produces more community closures due to property sales to re-developers.  But the anecdotal evidence from stories covered on MHProNews in recent years suggests that more closures tend to be from the “mom and pop” community owner category.

Further, according to an informed source in the ROC sphere, the “mom and pop” category of community owners reportedly produces far more conversions to resident-owned communities (ROCs).


Image credit, Casa of Oregon.

  1. Fortunately, there are tools and policies that can help.

As Bebbe reports: A state law strengthened by the Legislature in 2014, requires landlords to give the community’s residents an opportunity to collectively buy the land under their homes,” said panelist Edward Brown with Oregon Housing and Community Services.

This type of legislation, and others designed to offer more safeguards for residents in communities, is becoming more common in recent years, for reasons like those cited in Dyton’s report, linked again here.


Preserving a manufactured home community provides an arguably better option than most apartments or other forms of lower cost housing, as the details and links in this article demonstrate. Photo/text credits, OregonMetro and HappyValley, CASA Oregon.

  1. New manufactured homes could be part of future affordable housing options.

There hasn’t been a new manufactured home community in the Portland region in a really long time,” said Carolyn O’Doherty, an affordable housing developer with nonprofit Innovative Housing, Inc.,” writes Bebbe. “Most manufactured homes are older. The vast majority in the Portland region were built before 1999, with roughly 40 percent built before 1980.”

Innovative Housing, he adds, is willing to support plans for two new manufactured home communities.


Note, the CFED logo is below the dashed line, the organization’s name was edited in by MHProNews for clarity on CFED’s meaning, and their logo is used here under fair use guidelines.

Today’s manufactured homes don’t look like the older ones many people think of, Carolyn O’Doherty, an affordable housing developer, said. “They tend to be as energy-efficient and high-quality as many traditional houses,” writes Bebbe.

Sites for possible new MHCs in their market are being sought, Bebbe says, and while more costly to develop initially than some multi-family projects, there are advantages as noted above, too.


CFED and other non-profit organizations often wield significant influence in local, state and national politics.

A number of manufactured housing associations routinely engage with these advocacy groups, and those engagement efforts are to be encouraged.  States like Florida are seeing a reasonably good working relationship when candid, respectful discussions are held between advocacy groups, non-profits and for-profit companies under the efforts led by the Florida Manufactured Housing Association’s banner.

CFED is an organization that clearly has respect for the manufactured home option. But they routinely hold positions that take a dim view of personal property lending – for example, see the report linked here – that has a less-than-realistic take on manufactured home lending.


Doug Ryan, CFED.

The tension that exists between industry companies and non-profits such as CFED requires a concerted effort, so that the gap is bridged in ways that benefit consumers, public appreciation, as well as respect for  manufactured home owners/buyers and manufactured housing professionals.

Beyond lending, CFED routinely produces interesting and often useful data on manufactured housing, as many of the facts downloadable in this report reflect.  They deserve credit where it is due.  ##

CFED Portland data snapshot, download.
CFED Oregon Data snapshot download.

(Image credits as shown.)


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of and

Submitted by L. A. “Tony” Kovach to the Daily Business News,

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Feb. 21-Feb. 28, 2016

February 28th, 2016 Comments off

mhpronews_sunday_morningWhat’s New in public focused Manufactured

Discovering a 9 out of 10 “Mobile Home Park” Lifestyle

What’s New in Manufactured Housing Industry Professional News

MHC development on Pacific coast may wash out, while Hillcrest MHC in New Hampshire gets nod for expansion. UK modular plant to hire 400-500, modulars for homeless in Dublin delayed—again, and Vancouver may provide 300 modular units annually for homeless. House committee seeks to repeal Volcker and CFPB. Chinese buying U. S. businesses and real estate at record rate. Buffett defends Clayton. Newer manufactured homes do not fit older MHC sites. Doug Ryan: Strip monopoly from MH financing. Bad actors in off site produced home sales stopped. 1981 MH on market for $1.8M. Much, much more in news and views about the manufactured home industry for you to peruse.

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016

Oracle of Omaha Defends Clayton Homes

Friday, Feb 26

Dubai-based Company moving on West Coast Workforce Modulars

Money Taken for Modular Homes, Promises Broken

Affiliated Managers Group Gains over Five Percent; Dow Slips

New Delays in Dublin Modulars for Homeless

Modular Home Factory to Hire 400 to 500

Sam Zell Continues Smiling

Thursday, Feb. 25

Older MHC Requires New Ordinance to Accommodate Larger Homes

Housing Market Recovery: Making Haste Slowly

ELS Gains +2.91%, Advances to $71.54; MHCV Gains +1.35%

House Committee Seeks to Repeal Volcker Rule and CFPB

Insider Trading at Patrick Industries, Inc.

Vancouver may Provide 300 Modular Homes Annually for Homeless

Wednesday, Feb. 24

Demographics of New York not Reflected in Home Purchase Loans

Universal Forest Products Gains +6.55 Percent in Two Days

Stabilizing Home Prices could make Home-buying More Feasible for First-time Buyers

Chinese Buying U. S. Firms at Record Rate. Will housing Fall-ow?

Tuesday, Feb. 23

35 Year-old Manufactured Home Lists for $1.8M

Sun Reports Q4 and Year-end Financials

Dow Rolls Back -1.14%; More MH-related Stocks Close Down than Up

Doug Ryan: Expand the Lending Opportunities for MH Buyers

Assetmark Increases Stake in Equity LifeStyle Properties

David Valenti Pleads Guilty to 19 Counts of Theft

Monday, Feb. 22

Fitch Ratings Predicts Homes for Sale Inventory to Change Little in 2016

Expansion for Hillcrest Estates MHC Approved by Planning Board

AMG Tops MH Gainers; Dow Begins Week Strongly

Real Estate Purchases by Foreign Nationals Rises

Modular Apartment Building Set within Two Days

California Coastal MHC Development Project may be in Jeopardy

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Feb. 14-Feb. 21, 2016 ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews)

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

Doug Ryan: Expand the Lending Opportunities for MH Buyers

February 23rd, 2016 Comments off

manuf home royal homes of raleigh nc creditManufactured housing (MH) is an inexpensive path to the American Dream of homeownership, said Doug Ryan, Director of Affordable Homeownership at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).  But he claims there is a lack of competition among the few MH lenders that exist—a market dominated by Clayton Homes, which builds, markets – and through related firms – finances MH.  Thus it does not have to rely on a secondary market.  According to Ryan, that vertically integrated operation makes the path to more ownership of quality affordable manufactured homes more difficult.

In an op-ed in American Banker, Time to End the Monopoly over Manufactured Housing, Ryan says the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should participate more in buying chattel loans. That might happen, due to a proposal from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that the GSEs would get credit for “duty to serve” underserved housing markets, like making loans to MH secured by real estate.

While not including chattel or “personal property” (home only) loans, the proposal advocated by CFED and others includes a move that encourages states to change their titling laws to recognize MH as real estate. If titling reform did go through, they claim, it would open the field up to more lenders, and present more competition for Clayton and their affiliated lenders.  

The move to magically dub “home only” loans as “real estate” is opposed by MH lenders and by third party MH financing experts, such as Marty Lavin, JD, because it is too costly and burdensome for lenders in practice.  Lavin and others assert that would drive out more manufactured home lending, rather than create more of it.

While Freddie Mac has recently made loans to acquire manufactured home communities (MHCs), as MHProNews  has previously reported, an additional part of the proposal would require the largest GSE mortgage companies to finance the purchase of MHs as chattel loans, which Ryan says would begin the development of a secondary mortgage market for MH.

Ryan said Clayton finances homes through lenders owned by parent company Berkshire Hathaway, and has no need for Fannie and Freddie. Ryan claims the industry’s largest national trade association, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and Clayton both oppose the inclusion of chattel loans in the rule.  This, asserts Ryan, prevents owners of manufactured homes on leased land from building equity.

What Ryan fails to mention is that MHI and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) are both working to get chattel lending included by FHFA’s Duty to Serve (DTS) instructions to the GSEs. CFED’s point man on manufactured housing also fails to mention that his organization has admitted to what is a conflict of interest on issues relating to the CFPB and MH lending.

Ryan also fails to mention that federal regulations have driven out personal property lending that previously existed for manufactured homes, so the very policies CFED advocates for would actually make MH lending even tougher.

Clayton Homes/Berkshire Hathaway have been hammered repeatedly by slanted and misleading by theSeattle Times/BuzzFeed  advocacy journalism “reports” charging discrimination, predatory lending, exploiting and even “threatening” borrowers.  Ryan and his allies – such as Ishbel Dicken’s led National Manufactured Home Owners of America (NMHOA) – have promoted such negative media, in an effort to undermine the progress made on passage of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650/S 682).

MHLivingNews  has outlined many of the issues relating to mistaken points made by Doug Ryan and others in a video and related article, found here. The video quotes CFPB’s Richard Cordray, HUD’s Julian Castro and Senator Bob Corker speaking on MH as an affordable housing solution, highlighting facts on MH lending that Ryan glosses over or blatantly ignores.

MHProNews has two upcoming video reports that will shed additional light on financing and quality affordable living issues that Ryan, Seattle Times, PBS NewsHour and those in league with CFED ignore. Marty Lavin’s in depth discussion on this topic, is linked here.  

Ryan’s Op-Ed, says MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, “badly misses the mark on the reality of manufactured home lending; whatever his intentions or motivations, Doug Ryan has proven that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, as he essentially admitted in an interview with Jan Hollingsworth, that MH finance expert Dick Ernst is better informed on these topics,” found in an in-depth report linked here.


The full GAO report on Manufactured Housing is linked from the image above or can be downloaded here.

Kovach reminds Daily Business News readers that Ryan has never denied any of the facts in reports MHLivingNews or MHProNews have published, and says if Ryan was correct and confident in his stance on these MH lending issues, he’d take up the offer to debate him and Ishbel Dickens.

Kovach commends Ryan to the extent that on paper, he and CFED are pro-MH as an affordable housing solution, while pointing out that sadly the policies Ryan and his associates advocate for via their media efforts are actually harming manufactured home owners, lenders and businesses. “The GAO’s report on manufactured housing has already documented, as have one of the GSEs’ own reports, that even with somewhat higher interest rates, MH is the lowest cost and the lowest monthly payment of any form of housing,” Kovach stated. “Modern manufactured homes are the solution to the affordable home crisis, and the path to more lending is found by allowing the free market to work and not be impeded by federal regulations and well meaning, but misguided policy advocates.” ##

(Image credit: Royal Homes of Raleigh)

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

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Oct. 4-Oct. 11, 2015

October 11th, 2015 Comments off

mhpronews_sunday_morningWhat’s New in public focused Manufactured

Kim Capen Medville ROC – MH Appreciation and the Senior Community Lifestyle

What’s New in Manufactured Housing Industry Professional News

MH Production continues rising. Maryland county shuns sprinklers. Doug Ryan remains oppositional. Clayton adds site-built homes. MHI elects new officers. ELS and Killem get strong buy rating, Drew gets buy rating. UMH seeking MH retail stores. FEMA helps CA fire victims. Solar Decathlon thru Oct. 18 in CA. Patrick stockholder dumps more. Tiny Home subdivisions. Manufactured homes in New Mexico buyer assist program. Much more in MH news and views as you sip your latte on the veranda.

Saturday, Oct. 10

Clayton Acquires Georgia-based Site-built Homebuilder

Friday, Oct. 9

Stock of Equity LifeStyle Properties gets Strong Buy Rating

Doug Ryan, CFED, HR 650/S 682 and Manufactured Home Lending

Four of Top Ten Cities with Mortgages by Millennials are in Louisiana

Dow Gains 4% on the Week, but Down on the Year

State Law Eases Manufactured Home Disposal

Maryland County Seeking to Douse Sprinkler Law

Thursday, Oct. 8

Drew gets “Buy” Rating

Passages: Jeffrey Allen

UFPI Outperforms other MH Stocks; MHCV gains +1.54 percent

Patrick Major Shareholder Unloads more Stock

FEMA Doles Out $4.5 Million to Fire Victims

Raymond James Upgrades Killam Properties to “Strong Buy”

Wednesday, Oct. 7

Manufactured Homes may House Fire Victims

Subdivisions of Tiny Homes Rising in Colorado

Solar Decathlon Competition opens in California, runs Oct. 8-Oct. 18, 2015

LPX Posts Significant Gains Three Consecutive Days, as the Dow Gains +122 Points

Ron Breymier to Lead IMHA-RVIC

Tiny Apartment Plugs into Framework, Moves to another City’s Framework

Tuesday, Oct. 6

MHI Elects New Officers and Presents Annual Awards

Manufactured Home Production Continues Rising

LPX Posts Significant Gains Two Consecutive Days

Yutzy Elected Treasurer of Kansas Manufactured Housing Association

Leading Community Operator Wants to Buy Manufactured Home Retail location

Student Built Modular Home will House Habitat for Humanity Family

Monday, Oct. 5

Planning Board Denies Siting of Modular Home

MHCV Gains +3.10%; Carlyle Spikes 9.19%; Dow Shoots Up 304 Points

Councilors to Discuss Infrastructure at New Hampshire Co-operative

Manufactured Homes Included in New Mexico Home Buyer Assistance Program

Manufactured Home Community Reduced for WalMart

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2015 ##

(Photo credit:MHProNews)

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

War of Words? DC’s The Hill Congressional Blog on Manufactured Housing Finance Reform

July 22nd, 2015 Comments off

Plus1 Properties – original image credit. Cartoon by

While the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s (CFED) Doug Ryan nominally supports manufactured homes (MH) as affordable housing for low income consumers, his response to The Hill  about Rep. Steve Fincher’s call to ease the regulatory burdens on prospective purchasers of MH demonstrably misses the mark. As MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach points out in The Hill Congressional Blog today, Ryan said recently that longtime MH finance expert Dick Ernst knows more about MH financing. “Ryan said that weeks after Ernst and a non-Berkshire-Hathaway MH lender privately walked him through the realities of MH financing,” notes Kovach.

Congressman Fincher pointed out that payments on an MH personal property loan are typically less than rent on an apartment or house. Kovach says, “The reason for higher rates on MH is simple business math. The cost to originate a $35,000 loan is similar to the cost of originating a $350,000 loan. Since there are no federal guarantees for conventional MH lending, no real secondary market and thus no risk to tax payers – naturally the rates, points and fees for an MH lender need to be higher to have a chance to profit.” Unlike the traditional mortgage market, interest rates are not kept artificially low via federal supports of the GSEs, FHA or VA loans.

Current CFPB regulations have caused a number of smaller and low rate lenders, as well as huge U S. Bank, to leave the MH finance market because of regulatory burdens. Why aren’t lenders pouring into the market if it was so profitable (i.e. “predatory”)?


Click the image to go The Hill’s Congressional blog post to see and share this time sensitive article. The Senate will take this up again soon. Photo credit, WikiCommons.


While millions of MH loans have been made over the years, consumer complaints reported by the CFPB do not show MH lenders ranking high in originating or servicing. Even when MH consumers are forced by CFPB regulations to turn to 36 percent interest rate payday-style loans, we know of real world examples of their payments on an inexpensive home still being less than rent. So why shut the door on lenders making smaller loans and give a break to consumers on interest charges?

Rep. Fincher’s measure, The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650/S682) gives manufactured home owners the opportunity to sell their homes if it has a value that would be financed under $20,000. It also allows MH sales people the ability to help MH consumers in their purchase, much like a realtor does in a conventional mortgage scenario.

Kovach says, “That’s all good for homeowners, consumers and business. That’s good public policy. The Senate should promptly pass the bill, and/or CFPB should change their policies on MH lending ASAP.”   MH associations are encouraging industry members to read and share the article with their Senators and staffs, because it documents and refutes opposition arguments, point by point. The link to the full blog post on the Hill is here. ##

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