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Exclusive – HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program Administrator Pam Danner, Update

November 15th, 2017 Comments off

PamDannerQuestionMarkLightBulbDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsAn informed, Washington D.C. metro source exclusively tells MHProNews that the wheels have been put in motion for Pam Danner, JD, to be replaced at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Danner is currently serving as the administrator for the manufactured housing program.

The level of outcry by industry members has been growing in the last 2 years over Danner.  Her leadership has been widely seen as harmful to the HUD Code manufactured housing (MH) program.

Those issues, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has carefully documented for their members have documented the unnecessary hassles and costs to the industry, retailers, communities, producers, and others.

That in turn causes otherwise avoidable delays – plus added costs that must be passed onto consumers – or could cost some marginal buyers the ability to buy a home at all.

The Daily Business News hereby notes that per MH business and state association sources, there are one or more other problematic figures at the HUD Code MH office, which will be the subject of a future report.

Danner’s Fate Sealed?

For a variety of reasons that go beyond the scope of this specific report, the Trump Administration has been delayed in its effort to replace Obama Administration ‘holdovers,’ what U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) called “Sabotage.”  That has been noted by the Daily Business News previously at the report linked, below.

“Sabotage” says U.S. Senator

Related matters, per our insider source, are a significant element in why Danner hasn’t already been removed.

Therefore, the exact date for Danner’s removal hasn’t been determined – stated our source, because there are still some steps to take – per the administration.

But the word to MHProNews is that the Trump Administration is aware of the problem and has had this “drain the swamp” issue on their radar.

George Gunnell, WVMHI, Citing FMHA’s Jim Ayotte, Says HUD’s Pam Danner Must Go

Important, Must Note History…

As has been previously reported by MHProNews, and as MHARR protested at the time, Danner wasn’t the consensus candidate agreed to between MHARR and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Allegedly, Lois Starkey tipped her friend Danner to the opportunity, which would have gone to a seasoned, and reportedly pro-business, industry experienced leader.

Per sources, MHI’s President Richard “Dick” Jennison apologized to MHARR for the problem, and in doing so, Jennison pointed the finger at Starkey.

Years later, as MHProNews has been reporting for industry members, now Starkey is at HUD. Are warning flares going off for the majority of the industry’s professionals?

Reactive MHI…Per their Chairman

It was then MHI Chairman, Nathan Smith who told MHProNews exclusively that MHI’s leadership had historically been reactive.  Smith stated that during his term, he wanted to change that pattern of MHI behavior from reactive to proactive.  That stated goal was not only noteworthy, but if properly done, could have been widely approved by the industry and its members.

While his words drew praise at the time, has that reactive pattern by MHI that SKK Communities corporate leader Smith pointed to in fact change?

On issues after issue, on allegation after allegation, MHI has continued to be either

  • react to events,
  • or they’ve been pushed by others into changing positions and patterns of behavior other than what they were initially taking.

Manufactured Housing Institute Outgoing Chair Tim William’s Remarks vs. MHI CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison Comments, Fact Checks

Then, when MHI pivots, sources allege that MHI acts as if they already held a previous, problematic position.

That’s precisely what happened with Danner.  MHI claimed to support a different candidate in an agreement with MHARR, then pivoted to supporting Danner after apologizing for Starkey’s ‘error.’

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

Now – after years of pressure and concerns from inside and outside of MHI – they’ve taken a dubious position, reported by the WVHI (see George Gunnell headline story, linked above).

Then, after that was reported by MHProNews, WVHI executive director Andy Gallagher, reportedly under pressure from others, pivoted in a clarification he asked MHProNews to report to the industry, as was detailed in the Masthead post linked below.

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Need for Positive, Consistent Rational Representation for Independent Retailers, Communities, Others

A member source at MHARR told MHProNews last week that that group voted Friday to maintain their status quo in terms of who could become a member.  MHARR’s staff would not confirm or deny that report, but said that their official statement on the need for the post-production sector of the industry to form an MHI alternative would be released soon. (UPDATE, that’s now been released, and will be posted later today).

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-575x132

Through reports of comments by

  • MHI members,
  • others in the industry,
  • and editorially,

MHProNews has outlined the pressing need to replace the Arlington VA based trade group that:

  • Democratic lawmakers,
  • non-profits,
  • and others have noted is a body dominated by Berkshire Hathaway’s – via their units – Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and other industry lenders, suppliers, etc.

Post-Charlottesville, CfA’s Hunts Evidence of Racism, Steering, Predatory Lending Against Buffett’s Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and 21st Mortgage

Wittingly or not, Smith and other MHI elected and staff members have pointed to the mutli-years of problems with the national association.

An MHI’s outgoing president outlined several of those problems, in a column first published by the Journal of Manufactured Housing, sent to MHProNews by a long-time MHI member, linked as a download, below.

Extortion? RICO? Allegedly Illegal, and Dirty Side of Manufactured Housing, Exposed

It’s Past Time…

As MHProNews’ excusive State of the Manufactured Housing Industry in November 2017 periodic series has documented, the industry has tremendous opportunities.

State of the Manufactured Home Industry, Comparing RV vs. MH Data

But the lack of a consistent representation by MHI of the majority of the industry’s companies has arguably harmed the MH the industry as a whole for years, as Chris Stinebert’s parting column, MHARR, and numerous others have stated on and off the record to MHProNews.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance. It is up to the industry’s members to discern if Lavin’s comments fit the issue of MHI.

Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th century German thinker famously said, “All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

Fraud, Class Action, CFPB-Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the Manufactured Homes Industry

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

Warren Buffett, right, credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews. 

While some have misunderstood or mischaracterized MHProNews reports, analysis and editorials about MHI, for some – could it be those complaining are going through those three stages of grasping the troubling truth?

If our DC Metro source is correct, Danner is on the way out.

But perhaps the larger issue ought to be about how MHI allegedly tilts is representation in ways that favor a few ‘insider’ companies.  As a long time MHI member told MHProNews, ‘the big companies have figured out how to get the other companies to pay for what they want.’

Nothing is Changed Until it is Challenged

MHI leadership was politely asked by this publisher off the radar to reform, before we began our fact-checking and reports of their problematic actions and patterns of activity.

Later, when that off-the-radar effort failed to bring reforms at MHI, this publication’s approach was modified to publicly spotlight the problematic ways MHI reported to their own members.

MHI allegedly has consistently ducked, dodged, detracted, distracted, defended and defamed those who questioned them.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged

Nothing is changed until it is challenged.

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

Before MHI Members Renew…

IReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM-comMHProNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

Before people renew their MHI membership for 2018, and continue to support those who are consolidating the industry through their efforts, independent minded members should consider the growing call to forge a new, post-production association. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

Note 1: Thanks to for those who directly and/or through social media are sharing their appreciation for our pro-Industry, pro-growth, pro-bottom line solution oriented industry coverage.

(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 Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC the parent company to MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

Related: For communication, marketing, training, and other MH Professional Services, click here.

Explosive! MSU’s Mark Skidmore on Flawed Tornadoes and “Mobile Homes” Study, Exclusive

June 10th, 2017 Comments off

MarkSkidmoreMSUEconomicsProfessorMobileManufacturedHomeFLawedTornadoStudyManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThere are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

– Mark Twain

How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

– Abraham Lincoln

 

We don’t plan to respond any further…Our analysis captures the average effect of mobile home living on tornado related fatalities…it does not distinguish between types or nature of mobile homes such age, improper installation of additions, proper tie downs, etc.”

– Mark Skidmore, Michigan State University (MSU)

In an explosive set of admissions that were not part of their original, and widely-published by other media study of tornadoes, deaths and ‘mobile homes,’ MSU’s Mark Skidmore admitted in an on-the-record email exchange with MHProNews that several factors were ignored in their research.

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L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

Those factors,” says L. A. “Tony” Kovach, “completely change the import of their findings. When they admit that they didn’t consider the age of the homes, improper installations, proper tie downs and other factors, that’s like admitting that some of the key facts in the cause of death by tornado are being ignored.”

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Mark Weiss. Credit: MHARR.

It’s unfortunate and telling that the authors, when confronted with the facts regarding today’s manufactured homes were unwilling to further engage and address those facts,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Weiss was a party to the exclusive exchange from the outset.

I am happy to talk with you or correspond with further if that is helpful,” said Skidmore just last week.

That willingness to was before he had to look, and look again, at facts that they now admit to not considering.

site-built-houses-moor-ok-ef5-tornado-did-worse-than-manufactured-home-credit-ok4-posted-cutting-edge-blogmhpronews-com-500x228

These photos above are both from the same storm in Moore, OK. The houses on the left were conventional houses. They are rubble, leveled. The manufactured home on the right was rolled over, but someone could survive in that home. What’s not visible is that the manufactured home on the right may not have had proper tie downs. Industry professionals routinely recommend that, and in many places now, is required by law.

MarkSkidmoreMSUAgTornadoMobileHomeStudy

Mark Skidmore, MSU.

Skidmore said, “…Again, I think the benefits of manufactured homes are great…I see them as filling an important niche in the housing market (as highlighted in the book chapter I forwarded).  Still, is it possible we could do better?  A high proportion of tornado fatalities are connected to mobile home living, and it isn’t just our research.  Does it make sense to look at this more carefully and see if we can do better?  Maybe it’s just the older mobile homes.  Or maybe its improper tie downs.  Or maybe is the improper additions you highlighted.  Certainly there is variability in quality of manufactured housing…I’d be quite happy to live in some but others are shoddy.  Perhaps additional analysis could help zero in on what is happening??”

He added, “Manufactured housing has come a long way while at the same time maintaining affordability…but isn’t there room for further improvement?”

Kovach did not disagree with the MSU findings, rather, he pointed out that the findings failed to dig into issues that impacted the topic of fatalities, which was sensationalized in the media and their publicity of the research.

MSUphotoTornadoDestructionwithTonyKovach'squestionsToMarkSkidmoreEconomicsProfessorMSU

Kovach also noted that conflating the terms ‘mobile homes’ and ‘manufactured homes’ creates potential confusion for those residents who are living in manufactured homes.  HUD Code manufactured home owners and residents could be made to think that they had the same risk factor that mobile home residents do.  That’s not a given, as Skidmore was happy to admit.

I did not mean to conflate…I think the statement indicates that they are different…I just don’t have data to test for differences and I asked you if you have such data,” Skidmore replied.

LATonyKovachMHLivingNewsMHProNews

L. A. “Tony” Kovach addressing industry professionals at an educational session.

Mark,
I hear you sir, and I get that point.  But the research is being pushed out by Forbes and others with conflated terminology.

Your problem noted is correct, the Census Bureau doesn’t break it down. But I’m not sure you see that this doesn’t excuse the other issues?

So that still leaves our other questions unanswered.  Kindly do so, point for point.  Just reply below to each question, for clarity.  It’s necessary for the record to be clear to all involved.

Again, thank you,” replied Kovach for MHProNews.

The photo above is a still from an IBHS wind study test. The conventional house on the left loses its roof, and ends up collapsing, see the video below. The manufactured home on the right, with a properly attached cover on one side, has only minor damage under hurricane force winds. Who says? IBHS Chief Engineer Tim Reinhold, and the video footage below. Seeing is believing.

After a few days elapsed without a reply from MSU, Kovach and Weiss followed up.

Hi Tony, We don’t plan to respond any further.  However, please let me know if you are aware of any additional data on the nature of mobile homes by county over the last 40  years; we are interested in doing additional statistical analysis to learn more about what it is that makes some types of mobile homes more vulnerable to high wind events such as tornados.  Our analysis captures the average effect of mobile home living on tornado related fatalities…it does not distinguish between types or nature of mobile homes such age, improper installation of additions, proper tie downs, etc. Best regards, Mark,” said Skidmore.

ManufacturedHomeHurricaneTornadoWindstormVideoManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The year that 4 hurricanes hit Florida, there was an estimated $50 billion in property damage. Older mobile homes were destroyed, but manufactured homes right next door survived. Some 1600 properly installed manufactured homes were hit by those storms that year. Not one was blown off its foundation. Not one of those newer manufactured homes was destroyed. While hurricanes and tornadoes aren’t identical, the still above dramatizes the point that mobile and manufactured homes aren’t the same in durability.  Still from the video on this page.

Kovach pressed for additional responses to substantive questions.  Those are planned as part of yet another critical revelation coming on yet the apparent flaw in such research.

When Kovach’s follow up drew no response, MHARR’s Mark Weiss jumped in.

MMarkWeiss-JD-PresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARR-creditDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

Mark Weiss, MHARR. Photo credit, MHProNews.

Mark, you stated last week that you would be happy to engage in such a discussion.  Having set this episode in motion with hyperbolic language and some dubious assertions, I would ask that you please do respond to the questions posed by Tony Kovach, thank you,” wrote Weiss for MHARR.

Silence — from Skidmore, his research colleague, and the communications department at MSU followed.

JoplinMOManufacturedHomesOKSiteBuiltHousingIsWhatGodCrushedManufacturedHomeLivingNEwsAn issue ignored by most researchers is this, that as tragic as the loss of a life in a storm is, the odds are 1.8 million to one in the most recent year that someone living in a mobile home or a manufactured home would not die in a tornado related incident.

l_a_tony_kovach__mhlivingnews__credit

L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

In 2016, NOAA Reported 12 deaths in what it calls “mobile homes.” That’s a 0.00000055% chance of dying in a tornado for the year. To rephrase, the odds were 1,833,333 to 1 in your favor that you wouldn’t die in a mobile or manufactured home in 2016,” said Kovach.

Imagine if you could go to Las Vegas and get 1.833 million to one odds in your favor.  Vegas would go broke in a day.  That’s one of the safest bets imaginable,” he says.

Should there be tornado safety promotion?  Yes, but that should not be limited to mobile or manufactured homes.  Are there safeguards that professionals and consumers should promote and practice?  Yes.  But as things stand at this very moment, you’re at greater risk of dying in your bathtub by a factor of 70 than you are in dying in a mobile or manufactured home. Tens of millions are under the false impression that manufactured homes are death traps.  That’s simply not the case, nor is it true of older mobile homes.”

No one is suggesting doing away with or avoiding using bathtubs due to accidental deaths that take place in them.

KurtKelleyMobileInsuranceManufacturedHomesDidGreatInHurrincaneProperlyInstalled

Key Facts Skidmore’s Statements Spotlight.

MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews will do a follow up in the near term, but in the interim, the revelations above undermine the MSU study – and all others like it – for the following reasons.

1)    Mobile homes and manufactured homes are not the same thing.

2)    When Skidmore admits that they are different, yet the terminology is conflated – it’s akin to calling a bag phone from the 1980s a smart phone today. The smart phone evolved from the bag phone, but they are quite different in capabilities.

3)    None of the publicized material by MSU made it into the admissions that Skidmore did in the on-the-record Q&A with Kovach and Weiss. For example, quotes from Skidmore:

  • I think the benefits of manufactured homes are great.
  • I see them as filling an important niche in the housing market.
  • Maybe it’s just the older mobile homes.”
  • Or maybe its improper tie downs.”
  • Or maybe is the improper additions you highlighted.”
  • Certainly there is variability in quality of manufactured housing…I’d be quite happy to live in some but others are shoddy.”
  • Perhaps additional analysis could help zero in on what is happening?? “

It is precisely that “additional analysis” that the Q&A with MSU, MHARR and MHProNews was aimed at accomplishing.

Will other media, once they discover these admission, begin to dig deeper?

We will continue to follow this topic,” Kovach said, “and we encourage industry professionals to share these facts with their residents.  Improper add-ons and proper tie downs are two of the keys, per the research by IBHS Chief Engineer Tim Reinhold.”

Kovach did want to publicly thank Skidmore and Weiss for taking part in the frank and respectful exchange.  Kovach noted that Skidmore may have been under instructions from MSU not to go further in the dialogue. As other third party research has shown, universities often receive grants that can influence their research, and the outcomes of that research.

MobileHomesMichiganStateUniversityMSUTornadoesForbesManufacturedHomes

To see the full text of Skidmore’s originally published article, along with the his full study, plus the early parts of the email exchange – including comments from other manufactured home industry professionals – in those details,  click here.

For additional resources relating to the climate portion of the issue MSU raised, see this linked page.  The information linked from this report and the insights above  are already useful in countering the false impressions similar research produces.  “This is important for professionals, the public, public officials, policy wonks, the media, and open-minded researchers,” Tony Kovach said. ##

(Editor’s note: A veteran reporter told MHProNews that a good story – or a good study – ought to be “bullet proof.” No flaws should exist in the narrative, argument or findings. The quotes at the top of this article aren’t meant to imply that Skidmore or his colleagues at MSU have deliberately deceived using statistics or by mixing nomenclature.  But they raise the point that even if the MSU statistics are precise, they fail to address the issues noted above. That flaw makes their research almost irrelevant in terms of its value.  Further, by conflating terminology, it creates risks that would not otherwise exist, which will be part of our follow up report. Watch for it.)

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

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

MHARR on Tariffs, DOE, and, Federalized Installation – Exclusive Report and Analysis

May 1st, 2017 Comments off
MHARRPresidentTrumpsActionsOfferMajorOpportunityforMHIndustryandConsumerscreditWikipediaMHARR-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: MHARR, Wikipedia.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has released its latest Washington Update, an exclusive report and analysis that addresses key issues with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Covered in this MHARR report:

 

  • HUD Installation Power Grab Intensifies

 

  • MHARR To FHFA: Stop GSEs’ Discrimination Against MH and

 

  • U.S. Tariff Imposed on Canadian Lumber

 

MHARR has received numerous inquiries from industry members and other HUD program stakeholders regarding a rapidly-widening power grab by program administrators to effectively federalize installation regulation in all 50 states,” says MHARR in the report.

HUD, and some uninformed elements within the industry, excuse this gross over reach as a consequence of the structure and language of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.”

The report also provides insight on the Canadian lumber tariffs.

After threatening to impose trade duties on goods imported from China and Mexico during the presidential election campaign in 2016, the administration announced its first new tariff on imported goods in a statement issued by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on April 24, 2017,” says MHARR in the report.

( Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO, MHARR. Credit: MHProNews)

While the imposition of the Canadian lumber tariff caps a period of serious economic uncertainty for the residential construction industry, increases in home prices driven by higher supply costs for basic raw materials, such as wood, will have a magnified impact on the highly-priced sensitive manufactured housing market.”

The full MHARR report and analysis is available for Daily Business News readers here. ##

 

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

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

MHARR on HUD, DOE, Chattel and Powergrabs – Exclusive Report and Analysis

April 19th, 2017 Comments off
USCapitolDomeLOC-MHARRWashingtonUpdate-MHProNews-com-

Collage credit, MHProNews.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has released its April 2017 Washington Update, an exclusive report and analysis that addresses key issues with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Covered in this MHARR report:

 

  • HUD Defines President Trump’s Regulatory Reforms
  • MHARR Highlights Urgent Need for Securitized Chattel
  • DOE Manufactured Housing Energy Rule Takes Another Hit

In a re-play of its well-documented institutional resistance to the full and proper implementation of the program reforms mandated by Congress in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, mounting evidence indicates that the HUD manufactured housing program, with its management team of Obama Administration holdovers, is openly defying the regulatory reform agenda of the new Trump Administration,” MHARR says in the report.

The report also provides insight on HUD program funding.

With the HUD program continuing to seek ever-higher funding levels from Congress in order to fund an unnecessary expansion of in-plant regulation via contractor make-work activity, MHARR is urging Congress to continue exercising strict oversight of the HUD program budget, in order to curb needless and costly contractor-driven paperwork and red tape.”

The full MHARR report and analysis is available for Daily Business News readers here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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