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Will New State Rent Control Laws Conflict With Presidential Affordable Housing Initiatives? Who Has What Agenda?

July 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

WillNewStateRentControlLawsConflictWithPresidentialAffordableHousingInitiativesWhoHasWhatAgenda

 

Starting with specific examples from a large state, a trend spreading to other states will come into focus.

 

As you know, the New York Housing Association has been battling the adoption of rent control in NYS for decades. Unfortunately, with all parts of the legislative body voting with one voice, we lost the battle just a couple of weeks ago. We are now faced with understanding how the new legislation works and the ramifications it will have on our industry,” said Robert Capenos, Executive Director of New York Housing Association, Inc.

Not being a current member is leaving you without the crucial information you need to navigate this new and onerous legislation. We implore you to re-join your association and be part of the discussion to manage these changes,” Capenos said in an email to past members, openly aiming to coax them back.

New York isn’t the only state to recently pass rent control statewide. Oregon has too. Other states have been or are pondering variations on that rent-control theme.

What Capenos’ letter didn’t mention is news items like the one accessed from the text-image box below.  When a Republican lawmaker joined with Democratic lawmakers to cry ‘foul,’ wasn’t the sudden loss on this latest push for rent control all but inevitable?  Yet, it was only the Daily Business News on MHProNews that seriously covered this topic among the manufactured home industry’s trade media. How to explain that gaping void in an industry with so many bloggers and writers?

 

Manufactured Home Community Residents on ‘Rent Strike,’ Republican Lawmaker Calls Foul

 

Libertarian John Stossel summed up a suggestion that sounds sinister.  Or was Stossel’s a pragmatic reading of what is occurring at the local, state, and federal level?

 

‘Use Government to Handcuff Your Rivals, Clever’ – Stossel

 

Be that as it may, MHProNews was also essentially alone in the industry in tracking the ongoing developments in New York or elsewhere, including the MHAction connection.

 

Ongoing MH Headwinds – Angry Manufactured Home Residents, Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry Dilemma Through Their Eyes

 

Recall that MHAction, which is pushing rent control in other states and jurisdictions, is backed by whom?  Follow the money trail right back to the Tides nonprofit, and from the Tides their largest donor is the NoVo Foundation. The man who gave millions to the NoVo foundation is none other than Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. See the data, at this link here.

With that tee up, a clearer view of what is occurring is now coming into focus.

From that perspective, let’s pivot to a report in the Riverhead News Review regarding this newly minted New York law, which is as noted also on the march in numerous states, including in the heartland. 

Tim Gannon for the News Review said on 6.22.2019 that “A state bill limiting rent increases for tenants in mobile/manufactured home parks has been approved by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.” 

The new law was combined with other bills in a Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act that included an extension of rent control laws in New York City, which expired June 15,” per the News Review.

We’re very happy about this,” according to Peter Baldwin of Riverside, vice president of the Mobile/Manufactured Homeowners Association of Suffolk. “It’s been a long, hard fight, but it was worth it now that we got it.”

Resident groups hope the law will protect against “unreasonable” Think about the example linked above, how the problematic behavior of Havenpark attracted attention from Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D).  Or industry professionals and advocates should muse over the woes spotlighted in John Oliver’s viral hit video on manufactured home companies and other so-called predator firms, linked here.

Local media reported that the new law in New York establishes so-called ‘protections’ for those residents by limiting annual rent increases to 3% — or up to 6% if the increase can be shown to be related to higher operating expenses or property taxes or the cost of capital improvements, according to a release from State Assembly speaker Carl Heastie (D). 

·        There may be an exception higher than 6% obtained by applying for a hardship allowance from New York State Housing and Community Renewal. 

·        But the new law also allows community residents to challenge increases over 3% in court. 

·        Further, the new law strengthens resident protections against eviction from communities for the purpose of changing the use of the land. 

·        The new law requires community owners from initiating eviction cases against residents for two years.  If they are eventually evicted due to a change of use, it provides for a stipend of up to $15,000, according to a release from New York State Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D). 

It’s going to benefit people who are having trouble staying in their homes, because now, they won’t get kicked out on the street,” Mr. Baldwin said. “Senior citizens and people on fixed incomes also should benefit from the law.” 

Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) said he’s been working for passage of this bill for about 10 years.  That confirms Capenos claim at the top. While the rent control measure has been approved previously in the Democrat-controlled Assembly, it was never approved by the Republican-controlled Senate. Now that Democrats control the Assembly, the Senate and the governorship, the bill could and did pass and was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo into law. 

When local media cited Bob Capenos of the New York Housing Association’s long standing opposition, Capenos said many communities are 40 to 60 years old.  He understandably argued that strict controls on rent increases could limit a community owners’ ability to pay for capital improvements.

As if to confirm the points MHProNews and MHLivingNews have been making for some time, among the posted comments on the Times Review article were these.

Shari Harberts said, Hope Iowa will do the same.” Haberts added [typos in the original], “Mr. Capenos forgets he gets paid by big investors who do not care about improvements and improvements are tax deductable. Most mobile home parks offer no ammenties only increased rent. He knows mobile home parks are being bought up by companies for profit ( Havenpark, LLC. Sun Communties (stock symbol SUI) so , please Mr. Capenos be truthful. I love in Iowa and my park was sold to Havenpark.LLC. Utah and their goal is raising lot rent to the sky to provide income for investors. They raised the rent by 69% saying our park has not kept up with the market atound us. Yes, it was lower but they fotget to say that the other parks have been bought by other REIT like Yes Communties. Did he miss watching John Olivers – Mobile Home on Youyube or, Franke Rolfe the creator of his get rich invesyment course called Mobile Home University or that it’s the only industry that is allowed to rob and rape the buyers and tenants.”

Each of these topics have been spotlighted at various times on either or both MHProNews and or MHLivingNews.  Those insiders who aren’t closely following the trends – for example, from the retail, production or supplier sides of the industry – may not otherwise be able to fully grasp what Harberts means.

A community operator, who is on the NY Housing Association’s board of directors responded as follows to Harberts.

Steve Newman, On the contrary, I am an owner of 2 Manufactured Home Communities in NYS. I invested my own money to buy these properties and use my own capital or borrow at my own risk funds to make significant improvements. Many of my colleagues at NY Housing are like me, small operators!

I can tell you that I will be very cautious about making improvements as a result of the new rent regulations Be careful what you wish for. The real culprits here are localities that impose restrictive zoning ordinances restricting construction of new communities and burdensome regulations which add to cost of buying and installing homes. Lack of financing options for homes by government agencies tasked to serve these communities also increases costs. Unfortunately this complex problem requires a more incentives than disincentives.”

Newman, per his LinkedIn profile, has two communities. One is described [typos in the original] from a company website as “A all age community owned and operated by Rural Home Communities. Steven L. Newman, Owner. Conveniently located south of Watkins Glen, NY offering easy commute to Corning/Elmira and access to all attractions in Finger Lakes…”

RolingAcresMobileHomeParkNYHousingMemberDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Indeed, Newman’s point is one made from community operators in Canada and the United States, as a prior report with Canadian video reflected from this link here.  Progressives should bear in mind that Paul Bradley, President and CEO of ROC USA told MHProNews that to his mind rent control doesn’t work.

So, there are concerns – even among progressives that are pro-resident – over the effectiveness, or lack thereof, in rent-control efforts.

There is one more point to be made before drawing this narrative to a somewhat painful close.  Who is atop the NY Housing board of Directors? Joe Bushey, who is identified as with G&I Homes.  Here’s how the association website shows it, sans the phone and email.

 

President:

Joe Bushey
G & I Homes
PO Box 226
Frankfort, NY 13340

 

Who owns G&I Homes?  Per the Clayton Homes website, it is Clayton.

ClaytonHomesFindRetailerJoe BusheyGIHomesLocationsNewYorkDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews 

That’s not to imply that every case of rent control has Clayton or Warren Buffett the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerates fingerprints on it.  But clearly, several of such scenarios do have precisely those Omaha-Knoxville fingerprints and money trails. As Joanne Stevens, who works for a division of Berkshire Hathaway was reported to say last week, the industry – i.e. the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been to confront these issues.  That’s an understatement, since the ultimate power behind Arlington, VA based MHI are the Berkshire brands.

Commenting on similar moves in Iowa for regulating manufactured home communities and imposing new rent control, Stevens said: What happened next [in Iowa and elsewhere] is a commentary on how woefully unprepared the MH & MHP Industry is to make the case for the essential role mobile homes & parks provide in the low-cost housing landscape. Tenants, the media and legislators unleashed their outrage against rent increases and MHP owners.”

 

 

One ought to ask, is creating rage against community owners in general an accident or a byproduct? Is it more than a coincidence when something similar is happening in state after state?  Especially when so often, there are Buffett and Berkshire fingerprints and funds clearly at hand?

It is inevitable once MHI is so highly weaponized that more state associations will likewise feel the power of Clayton, 21st Mortgage, and Berkshire related influence or domination. That has been previously reported in the report below.

 

 

This may help explain in part why some state community associations broke rank with MHI to form the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO).  The question now is this.  Will NAMHCO now play footsie with MHI and the powers that be in MHVille’s Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis and their big boy allies? Or will they buck the system and publicly call them out as they did before?

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Finally, rent control and manufactured housing were both mentioned in the new presidential executive order.  Is a battle looming ahead? Time will tell. Meanwhile, MHProNews will monitor these and other developments and report to the industry’s professionals, investors, owners, and advocates accordingly.  

See the related reports below for more.

 

That’s this Monday, Monday second installment of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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Rent Controls and Manufactured Housing Restrictions Targeted in New Presidential Executive Order

 

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Affordable Housing Crisis, Ray of Light for Manufactured Housing? Plus, Manufactured Home Stock Updates

Federal Bill that MHI, Prosperity Now, NAMHCO Tout – MHARR Opposes, Why?

 

Al Kemp, Taking out the Trash Talk about Manufactured Homes

April 5th, 2019 Comments off

AlKempManufacturedHomeParkOwnersAllianceBritishColumbiaTakingOutTrashTalkAboutManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Long before Al Kemp and MHProNews became virtually acquainted, the Canadian was dedicated to tackling the problematic image that programing such as the “Trailer Park Boys” has fostered.

 

The TP Boys, as Kemp refers to them – doubtlessly, tongue in cheek – are just part of the reason that some don’t consider manufactured homes in Canada. That same vexing issue occurs here in the U.S. too.

 

 

Those irreverent TP Boys are a factor, but regrettably, they are not the only one.

At least on their side of the border, Kemp – who is the executive director of the Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of British Columbia – takes on that ‘trailer house’ and ‘trailer park’ issue on.

 

TrailerHouseTrailerParkInaccurateOffensiveAlKempExecutiveDirectorManufacturedHomeParkOwnersAllianceBritishColumbiaCanadaQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There is much more at this link here.

 

So has Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), whenever MHProNews has requested a comment on issues ranging from Disney’s misuse of the term, to Keith Olbermann’s slam of manufactured housing by his misuse of the ‘trailer’ slur.

 

 

Why hasn’t the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) weighed in on such issues?

MHProNews has asked MHI repeatedly, they won’t engage on such topics.  Maybe the fine folks in Arlington, VA will explain why they don’t defend the good name of the industry and its homeowners?  Or perhaps they think their relatively unwatched videos was enough to get the job done?

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will allow that question to hang for now.

There are third party surveys, besides common sense and anecdotal evidence, that suggests that the ‘trailer park’ and ‘trailer trash’ stigmas are part of what is keeping manufactured housing at historically low levels.

A new report on MHLivingNews addresses that topic, see that in the article linked below.

 

Debunking the Trailer Trash Stigma for Affordable, Modern Manufactured Housing for Residents, Home Shoppers

 

In a perfect world, Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage was correct when he said that there are good reasons to tackle that every time the problem raises its ugly head.  The NAACP, and the Jewish ADL both made it quite unacceptable to demean their ethnic groups with hateful racial slurs.  The same thing must arguably occur for manufactured home owners and professionals.

 

RevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword_001

Anecodtale evidence suggests that the wrong terminology impacts price. But it also impacts people’s emotions, see the poet who rejected the use of the t-word with regard to her home, by clicking the image above.

 

Failure to address the issue only leads to more of the same.

MHLivingNews and MHProNews can’t correct it alone. But it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.  We know from feedback from clients and industry professionals that content on Manufactured Home Living News – per retailers and communities – has helped them close sales.

That’s good.  By why aren’t the big boys doing more to promote a proper understanding of the industry?  So frankly, far more is possible.  We’d rather light a candle than curse the darkness.  Why not light a candle in your market(s)? To learn more, see the link here and  here.

That’s another episode from the manufactured home industry’s “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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“’Trailer Trash’? Watch Who You’re Insulting When You Throw Around Those Words” – Buffalo News

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” James Carville, Clinton Strategist

Cui Bono? “Killing Me Softly,” Manufactured Housing’s New Theme Song?

 

 

 

 

 

“Trailer Park Boys” – Al Kemp, Canadian Manufactured Home Community Association Letter Reacts to Netflix Series

December 21st, 2018 Comments off

 

TrailerParkBoysAlKempPhotoCanadianManufacturedHomeCommunityAssocLetterReactsNetflixSeriesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Al Kemp is the Executive Director of the Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance (MHPOA) of British Columbia (BC). That Canadian trade group’s manufactured home community (MHC) members, say Kemp, has an average vacancy rate of one site for every two properties.

 

Rephrased, those BC community owners have ½ a unit vacancy rate per MHC.

That would put them in a very elite category in the U.S.

Kemp has been an outspoken critic of the Canadian “mocukumentaryNetflix series problematically dubbed the Trailer Park Boys.

TrailerParkBoysWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has spotlighted Kemp’s thoughts as recorded by mainstream media previously, for example, in the report linked in the clickable image/text-box below.

 

Millennials Need Affordable Housing, but “Trailer Park Boys” stigma slows Manufactured Home Acceptance

 

That prior report linked above is a useful read to understand the new letter and plans Kemp has shared with MHProNews readers. He begins by saying that “…at least in Canada – “trailer park” connotes exactly the type of persons portrayed in Trailer Park Boys.”

That evokes, says Kemp, the painful “long-standing stereotype” he believes harms the proper understanding of manufactured homes and their reality of their products or residents vs. the shameful portrayal of the “TPBoys” on Netflix.

Kemp’s insightful letter is found at the linked image/text-box below.

 

“Trailer Park Boys” Al Kemp, Canadian Manufactured Home Community Association, Reacts to Netflix Series

 

Among the themes that MHLivingNews discovered was an issue with numerous manufactured home residents was the sting of the terms:

  • Trailer,
  • Trailer Park,” and of course,
  • Trailer Trash.”

Of course, just as some blacks refer to each other using what manufactured home advocate Donald Tye Jr. called the “n-word,” some manufactured home residents or even some professionals do likewise.

 

RevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword_001

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the wrong terminology impacts value perceptions and thus sales and resales. But it also impacts people’s emotions, see the poet who rejected the use of the t-word with regard to her home, by clicking the image above or this link here.

 

A survey by Foremost Insurance suggests that the use of the “t-word” was not always so for numbers of those living in our industry’s factory-built homes and communities.

 

ManufacturedHomeDescriptionForemostInsuranceGroupResearchDailyBusinessNewsMHLivingNews

 

As 2018 winds down and industry professionals on either side of the U.S. Canadian line prepare for 2019 and beyond, there is an obvious need for tackling such #NettlesomeThings. See Kemp’s thoughtful letter at this link here, or the link above to understand their perspectives.

What Kemp refers to as the “TPBoys” is clearly not the only challenge that faces our industry. But it is a thorn in the side, that along with other factors, harms the understanding and acceptance of manufactured housing and those who own them. That spills over into other arenas.  It’s clear that after years of ignoring such issues that doing nothing isn’t an acceptable answer.

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

See the related reports further below the byline and notices to better understand how the sting of the “t- word” has harmed our industry’s home owners and business interests. That’s “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

“’Trailer Trash’? Watch Who You’re Insulting When You Throw Around Those Words” – Buffalo News

The First Step to Problem Solving and #HousingChoice

Improving Resale Values: Manufactured Home Owners, Professionals, Shoppers – NMHOA & MHAction, What’s Right, Wrong, Supply & Demand – How to Achieve Mutual Victories

“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Trade Publisher, Experts call for Respect, Understanding for Manufactured Housing, Manufactured Home Owners

Taking on the Trash Talk! Are People Defined by their Housing Choice? Video, Photos

 

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

 

“Trailers for Sale or Rent,” “Pencil Head, Its Not a Trailer Park,” Manufactured Home Rental Reality Checks

 

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” James Carville, Clinton Strategist

Millennials Need Affordable Housing, but “Trailer Park Boys” stigma slows Manufactured Home Acceptance

 

 

 

 

 

“Huge Opportunity for Growth,” Says Tom Hardiman, Executive Director, Modular Building Institute

July 24th, 2018 Comments off
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Composite image by MHProNews, credits for elements are as shown.

The hotel/hospitality sector represents a huge opportunity for growth and greater adoption of modular construction,” said Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the Modular Building Institute (MBI).

 

His comment came as a reaction to this video about modular construction, as well as the latest data that he’s reviewed.

In fact,” said Hardiman “in our most recent report, the hotel sector is the fastest growing segment for the commercial modular construction industry.”

It only makes sense when speed to occupancy is a key driver, that developers choose a construction method that is more efficient and predictable,” stated Hardiman.

While factory-built home pros may realize the benefits of modular or other forms of prefabricated building, it is incumbent industry professionals to make sure that others grasp the benefits.

It is for reasons like this – to celebrate the good in factory-based construction, and to act as a check against the misleading or false – that MHProNews and MHLivingNews exist.  It is also arguably why we’re the factory-built home industry’s most trusted and popular resources. 

Hardiman recently ripped an error plagued report on modular homes.  See that report, linked below.

MHBA’s Hardiman Rips “Global Banking & Finance” Article Entitled, “Why Does Your Bank Not Finance Modular Homes?”

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

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

“New Law,” Using Real Estate Agents to Sell More Manufactured Homes

March 7th, 2018 Comments off

 NewLawRealEstateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWheeHomeBuyersFoundHomeTheyPurchasedRealtorDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews 

In an Industry Voices guest column, Susan Brenton, Executive Director of the Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona (MHCA) explains their association’s goal for a new law that has gone into effect.

 

Real estate personnel are now allowed to sell homes in manufactured and mobile home parks without first having to be licensed as a broker under the Arizona Division of Manufactured Housing, Department of Housing,” said Brenton.

The National Association of Realtors ® tells MHProNews that, “The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States. According to the 2012 Economic Census , there are 86,004 real estate brokerage firms operating in the United States.” That data is as of Apr 30, 2017.

While the distribution of licensed agents between the states is uneven, that would ‘average’ some 40,000 real estate agents per state. WorldoMeter says that “The current population of the United States of America is 326,021,620 as of Tuesday, March 6, 2018,” so 2 million agents, yields an average of one agent for every 163 Americans.

RealEstatePersonnelCanSellMHCASusanBrentonManufacturedHousingIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The point? There’s a lot of potential when an informed agent is teaming up with sellers.

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

And as the Daily Business News has reported several times, agents are struggling for inventory, especially, affordable inventory.

 

While this video above is now two years old, the insights as to what even one informed agent can do is revealing.  The NAR ® graphic at top further suggests what the potential is.  But as Brenton knows, it isn’t just a snap of the fingers.  Education and engagement are required.

On the consulting side of our MHMSM.com operations, a system for engaging successfully with realtors was developed that yields a nice increase in a local market for new home sales.

One key is in getting agents past the stigmas and the outdated concepts.  Videos like the one can be a useful part of that process; albeit not the only part.

Law Allows Real Estate Personnel to Sell Homes in Your Manufactured Home Community

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Housing, Jobs, Poverty, Opportunity – Kerner Commission Remix, HUD and Manufactured Homes

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“Every Day has been a Fight,” Comparing Conventional with Modular Homes in New York City’s Build it Back, Post-Superstorm Sandy

October 30th, 2017 Comments off

HomeCollapsesUnderBuildItBackProgramMarineParkNewYorkCityNewYorkBuildItBackProgramDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedModularPrefabhomeBuildlingNewsThe New York Times, and others like the Sarasota Herald Tribune carried a recent news story about using modular construction in NYC’s “Build It Back” program.  The story provided an opportunity to highlight the pros and cons of off-site construction in a storm surge prone zone.

We are excited to see NYC embrace modular construction for this much needed rebuilding effort.  Those in the industry have long known that modular homes are higher quality and more durable than site built homes,” Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the Modular Building Institute (MBI) told MHProNews.  

Hardiman’s comments were made in the context of his broader media commentary on what’s taking place in metro New York City.

NYCBuildItBackProgramDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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That sort of superior building system dialogue may strike skeptical outsiders as ‘just industry talk.’  But the video below of a conventional house that was constructed under New York City’s “Build it Back” program highlights some differences that favor modular building.

The first video is about a conventionally built house under the Build it Back program that collapsed.

Among those interviewed in this first video are the neighbors, who noted in their own words that the building materials used in the conventional house were not adequate for the rebuilding task.

The next video features an interview with Lisa Palma McSherry, whose whom was badly damaged and eventually rebuilt, and later raised under the NYC Build it Back program.

Near the end of the video below she sums up her experiences by saying, “Every day has been a fight.”

McSherry walks through that fight to rebuild her damaged conventional home. Compare this to the modular home photos, further below, installed under this same program.

This third video, by an MBI member, visually demonstrates in a generic way the modular building process. While the process would be somewhat different under the Build it Back guidelines, the basic concepts are the same.

The NYTimes reported that, — “Nancy Fisher’s replacement home arrived on a truck. In four big pieces.”

WinnieHuNewYorkTimesPostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedModularPreFabHomeProfessionalMHProNewsEach one was lifted by crane and set atop concrete pillars in Midland Beach, a neighborhood on Staten Island that was swamped by Hurricane Sandy. Then the pieces were strapped and bolted together like giant toy blocks and utility lines were connected to make an elevated Cape Cod-style house,” said Winnie Hu, for the NYTimes.

Inside, the rooms were larger than she [Fisher] expected,” wrote Hu, “with gleaming hardwood floors, freshly painted walls and wide open views beyond the neighborhood to the One World Trade Center skyscraper in Lower Manhattan.”

It has taken five years after Superstorm Sandy struck the region, but New York City began turning to modular homes as a faster and lower cost option to onsite construction. “The replacement houses are part of the city’s controversial $2.2 billion Hurricane Sandy rebuilding program for homeowners, which is funded through federal aid,” per Hu.

Only 189 out of a total of 500 houses that will be rebuilt through the program are completed so far this month.

City Councilman Mark Treyger, a Democrat said, “Yes, progress has been made but it should not be celebrated because we have a long way to go.” Treyger, wants the city to reopen the program to more applicants.

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Tom Hardiman, Modular Building Institute, credit, Bisnow.

The Herald Tribune stated that, “City officials said that more than 20,000 people initially registered for Build It Back, most of whom lived in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Of those, about half never finished the application process and program workers were later dispatched to reach out to them. In 2015, they contacted 4,000 homeowners, 599 of whom returned to the program.”

While noting power lines or other challenges may not allow for a modular to be the solution in every case, nevertheless “Across the country, homeowners have increasingly turned to modular units to rebuild after a disaster,” said Hardiman.

Modular homes are more durable than traditional homes,” Hardiman said per Hu, “because the individual units, when stacked together, reinforce one another with, say, two layers of interior walls instead of one.”

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Award winning retailer Stan Dye noted to MHLivingNews that with factory built homes, you can often pick them up with ‘two pickup points,’ and move them into position. That is only possible, said Dye, because factory home building is inherently stronger than conventional construction.

Hu walks through some modular history.

Modular units have existed, in one form or another, for more than a century, and include early kit homes sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and ready-made homes for World War I munitions workers in Nitro, West Virginia,” according to the Herald Tribune.

Today, modular units are increasingly sought for large-scale housing, ranging from Marriott hotels to apartments for Google employees,” noted Hu.

In New York City, “modular homes are expected to improve the rebuilding process,” Hu stated, according to Lou Mendes, chief operating officer of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations.

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Previously, “there have been delays because the extent of damage to an existing house was not known until it was already elevated, requiring major structural repairs to be made in the air,” the NY Times reported.

Modular homes eliminate such surprises, as factory built home industry professionals know.

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In a heavily regulated jurisdiction such as NYC, the time line for conventional building can be longer, which means that the time savings for modular building can be proportionately shorter.

They are also time saving, because they are based on designs that allow the foundation and the home to be built at the same time, vs. sequentially.  Instead of the long, long build times, Mendes said he aims to have a homeowner in a modular home in four to six months.

It’s avoiding the “Every day has been a fight,” that off-site building with modular, prefab and manufactured homes offers the public, as veteran industry professionals know. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

(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 on MHProNews.com.

Community Assists Manufactured Home Residents

May 10th, 2017 Comments off
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Photo credit, MyMHCommunity.

Long-time community owner and award-winning industry professional, Marty Lavin, has said that many of the industry’s residents are “financially fragile.”

Alongside numerous others in the industry, Lavin’s not alone in his concerns for the economically vulnerable residents of manufactured homes.

There are also those outside of the MH Industry willing to lend a hand to the fiscally marginalized.

In the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Jose, the Habitat for Humanity East Bay & Silicon Valley is working to assist manufactured home residents with critical repairs.

According to ABC 7 News, of Tim and Valerie Jaggers, residents at the city’s Westwinds Mobile Home Park, are happy to have the help. Their home had fallen into disrepair due to their physical limitations.

Sixty volunteers from Habitat for Humanity are working to do various repairs at the community, made possible by the combination of a grant from the city of San Jose and a zero-interest loan from the organization.

Volunteer teams are usually half women and half men, but today is the annual Women’s Leadership Build, an opportunity for employees to develop new skills, provide community service, and network,” said Habitat for Humanity East Bay & Silicon Valley executive director Janice Jensen.

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(Photo credit, MHVillage.)

For Tim and Valerie Jaggers, the help is significant, and insures that their manufactured home will remain in good condition for the foreseeable future. They’ve been in their home since 1983 and live on the combination of a small pension and Social Security.

Doing Good, All Over

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Anthony Isabella, Executive Director, credit, Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, Habitat for Humanity has been helping residents throughout the country, including the Gloucester County, New Jersey branch, which has spent $2 million over the past decade acquiring property and rehabbing and building homes.

In 2015, the organization built its first modular home for a family of four. When a Habitat family applies for a home, they are required to put in 350 hours of sweat equity for the opportunity to purchase a home with no additional interest.

This is our first venture into modular homes,” said Anthony Isabella, Executive Director of Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity.

We work with volunteers 15 hours a week. Generally it takes us eight to 12 months to build a home. With this, we could actually have a finished home for a partner family in Gloucester County in three months, which is awesome.”

The added details on the story of efforts by the Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity, see the article linked here. ##

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

RC Williams, Daily Business News MHProNewsSubmitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Rent Control-WMA Rolls out ‘No On Measure V’ Video, Talking Points

October 14th, 2016 Comments off
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Original collage credit, MHProNews – addtional logo credit: WMA. Other image credits are as shown above, and are used here under fair use guidelines.

Measure V – a proposition on the ballot in Humboldt County, California – has generated significant interest from both inside and outside the MH industry.

As Daily Business News’ Joe Dyton covered recently, Measure V proposes that:

  • Manufactured home community owners would be permitted to raise site rents once annually, and the increase would be tied to inflation via the Consumer Price Index;
  • When a home is sold or transferred, new resident site fees could only increase five percent higher than what the previous residents paid;
  • A community owner could raise rents to pay for improvements, but would first require written approval from more than 50 percent (a simple majority) of the homeowners/residents.

In a statement released this week, the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA) is “making an effort to educate public policymakers on how mobile home parks (sic) operate and how the misapplication of rent control has contributed to California’s housing crisis.”

A public education campaign is underway by the WMA.

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Sheila Dey. Credit: WMA.

There is no question that California is one of the most expensive places to live in the country,” said Sheila Dey, Executive Director of WMA.

So when the purchase price of a mobile home (sic) can be up to 30% less than a traditional home, state and local government should be creating incentives to build more mobile home parks (sic) and not less.

WMA released a video that explains how “parks” operate and how they have become a source of quality housing for scores of people from all socio-economic backgrounds.  From frugal millionaires to the working class and all in between are living in manufactured homes.

As a example, the video showcases a community with rent control in Malibu, California, where millionaires live in beachfront properties, and for some, the properties serve as a second home.

The Daily Business News has previously covered the various opinions on Measure V, in a follow up to Dyton’s article, at this link here.

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Actress Betsy Russell’s Malibu manufactured home listed for 2 million 2 years ago, and prices are still rising in that same location. To see the photo tour of her manufactured mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean, click the photo above.

According to the WMA, rent control is a reaction to local government’s failure to plan for their community’s future housing needs. When attainable housing is no longer accessible, politicians force “park owners” to subsidize a tenant’s housing costs, regardless of income.

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Photo above is a still from a video on the page linked above and in the text below.

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Humboldt County, CA (in red.) Credit: Wikipedia

That often leads to a reduction in park amenities and in some cases, lawsuits when site fees do not cover a communities operational costs.

In their statement, the WMA points out that California has created a regulatory environment where existing manufactured home communities are threatened by rent control ordinances that undermine a park’s economic sustainability, and cost prohibitive building regulations and fees that have stifled the construction of new parks. As a consequence, it’s been decades since a new mobilehome park (sic) has been built in California.

As the Daily Business News and ManufacturedHomeLivingNews have reported, manufactured housing presents a potential solution to the housing crisis in California and throughout the U.S. with quality homes at a lower cost that meet stringent federal standards. ##

(Editor’s Notes: The WMA’s column and resources on this issue are linked here.

  • Note too, while some use other terminology for a variety of reasons – including a number of those within the ranks for the MH Industry – as a professional publication, MHProNews strives to use the proper terminology every time, thus the (sic) inserted by RC Williams at various places above.)

(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.

U.S. Senator touts Lexington Homes, awarded $6.76 million contract from FEMA for manufactured homes

September 26th, 2016 Comments off

lexingtonhomessenatorthadcochran_manufacturedhousingindustrynews-mhpronewsIn the effort to provide shelter for the many displaced after the devastating August flooding in Louisiana, Mississippi-based Lexington Homes is about to step into the limelight, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

Lexington Homes, a HUD Code manufactured home builder, was awarded a $6.76 million fixed-price contract from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will be used to construct and deliver 155 manufactured homes.

The agreement includes four option years.

Flood victims whose pre-disaster home is either inaccessible or uninhabitable may apply for temporary housing assistance through the FEMA Individuals and Households Program. FEMA provides one, two and three-bedroom units through this program, as was reported in the story linked here on MHLivingNews.

Lexington Homes was one of seven builders in the running for this delivery/indefinite quantity contract.

The temporary housing assistance offered by FEMA can help disaster victims rebuild their lives,” U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) said in a statement. I am pleased that a Mississippi manufacturer has been awarded a contract to supply this housing.”

Cochran is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and serves on the subcommittee with funding jurisdiction over FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.

Cochran was supported during his re-election bid by Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association (MSMHA) Executive Director, Jennifer Hall, as the photo below reflects.

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Thad Cochran, foreground, Jennifer Hall, in red to the left in this photo, credit Getty.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the recovery process was the hesitancy to embrace manufactured homes as an option sooner. It was just a few days ago in R.C. Williams’ “one month later” report, that FEMA insisted that manufactured homes were a last resort for flood victims.

Instead, FEMA instructed families to find hotels. But according to local station WBRZ, no rooms were available after calls were made to 10 different hotels.

Manufactured homes are a proven option for displaced residents. They will also be selected by some who may opt to buy a home rather than rebuild a badly flood-damaged house.

We’re slowly turning from response to recovery. This is going to be a long time effort,” a FEMA spokesman said. “The thing with the manufactured house units, is that we have to work with the state and local officials that we put it in a safe place.”

Lexington Homes, Inc. was founded in August 2004 in Lexington, MS. The company provides affordable housing to Mississippi residents, as well as those living in the surrounding states, through a network of independent retailers.  ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.com.

Study: Michiana areas top job creators; Manufactured Housing helps leading the way

September 15th, 2016 Comments off

manufacturedhomes-dailybusinessnews-mhpronewsA recent study done by the financial publication 24/7 Wall St. ranked the nations’ top 50 metro areas based on the percentage at which their jobs increased over the past four years.

The Elkhart-Goshen area was ranked 10th nationwide and first in Indiana when it comes to job creation over the past four years. The South Bend-Mishawaka area, consisting of St. Joseph County in Indiana and Cass County in Michigan, was ranked 42nd in the country.

 

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Michiana Area (in red). image credit: Wikipedia.

Among those leading the way in that growth are suppliers that make parts for the manufactured housing and residential construction industries.

MHProNews reached out to Ron Breymier, Executive Director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association for his take.

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Photo credit: TheLegisGroup.com

Michiana is great area for employment. Indiana’s manufactured housing industry employs approximately 10,000 workers and Indiana’s RV industry employs another 22,000 workers,” said Breymier.

Manufacturing is a huge factor in our state’s economy,” IMHA’s executive director stated.

The IMHARVIC association also serves the RV industry, so Breymier’s insights are thus deeper than many other’s might be.

The challenge now is to keep up with the job growth by providing a quality pool of workers to fill openings. IMHARVIC is working on developing a program through the Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs to provide HR departments in our industries with qualified veterans who are willing to relocate to Michiana. We are hopeful we can get this program started yet this fall.” ##

(Image credits are as shown.)

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RC WIlliams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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