Posts Tagged ‘fact check’

Fact Check, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider Claim on 2019 Louisville Show Attendance

March 25th, 2019 Comments off



Darren Krolewski, Co-President at MHVillage and publisher of their MHInsider magazine made another bold claim in their most recent issue.  As regular and close readers of MHProNews fact-checks may recall, a problematic claim was made in their prior issue too, and no known correction of that factual error took place.


In that prior instance, they made an outrageously high claim for the number of new home sales that claimed were being made by a Clayton Homes retail center.  Even MHProNews sources with Clayton denied the accuracy of the overblown MHInsider reported statistics.

In this fact-check instance, Krolewski personally said that in 2019, they had the biggest attendance of any Louisville Show in the 60-year history of the event.




First, common-sense alone tells an informed manufactured home industry reader or investor that when this segment of the factory-built home industry is at only about 75% under its last peak in 1998, that outrageous claim on its face doesn’t make much sense.  There were thousands of more retailers years ago, not to mention more communities, suppliers, producers, lenders and so on.




Second, the industry today is doing only about 20 percent of what it produced in the early 1970s. See the shipment graphic, provided by another Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member, Skyline-Champion (SKY).

Third, Danny Ghorbani used to run the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show as a vice president for the Manufactured Housing Institute in the 1970s. When asked by MHProNews about the attendance, he said the show drew roughly 10,000 attendees a year back in the day.  That would be several times higher than the 2019 turnout.  Ghorbani stressed that the show was a national event then, and is only a regional show now.

Keep in mind as well that the number of new home display units in Louisville declined in 2019, a fact they show management, MHVillage, and MHI can’t hide.  At its peak, by contrast, the Louisville Show used to have over 150 or more factory-built homes on display.  That’s several times bigger than what the show has been in recent years.  Homes used to occupy several show halls. This year, exhibitor space and display unit totals both decline.  Is MHVillage/MHInsider giving cover to MHI for troubling signs ahead?


What Does This Obvious Error by MHVillage/MHInsider Means?

At a minimum, this is another example of either an obvious error that a manufactured home industry knowledgeable editor should catch, or perhaps is an example of a deliberately false or “fake news” claim.  The problem is this is a pattern of repeated errors, not a one-off.  See another recent example from MHInsider below. But why would they be making obviously mistaken or fake claims?




Legacy Housing monitored their results of their most recent promotion.  Casey Mack, made the following statement. Additional details are found here and here, or further below.  Rephrased, part of this might be puffery on the part of MHVillage/MHInsider.  They may be posturing for the sake of advertisers.   But beyond that, this purported pattern of “fake news” all seems to point in one direction.  Namely, to make the readers of such false information believe that times are better than they actually are.  The industry in numerous markets is in months of decline, not growth.  Where is there such an admission by Krolewski, MHInsider, or MHI?



While several speculative notions could be floated as to why this occurs, one point is clear.  MHInsider repeatedly themselves makes or publish the claims of others that appear exaggerated on their face or are perhaps deliberately misleading.  Either way, it is part of an ongoing pattern that pro-Manufactured Housing Institute MHInsider has exhibited for some time.

For just one example of a growing industry crisis, where are their reports on problems like the one reported in MHVille only by MHProNews, in the hot-linked text-image box below?


Urgency Grows, Another City Prepares Ban on Manufactured Homes


These are the issues that cause manufactured home retailers real or metaphorical heartburn. Why doesn’t MHInsider, MHR, or other industry publishers aligned with MHI cover these same concerns?


Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’


Wittingly or not, these articles by MHInsider are akin to purported propaganda techniques being used by MHI, their surrogates, and select MHI members While the industry is routinely being buffeted by several problematic issues, MHInsider routinely makes it seem that all is sunshine and roses, forgetting that the later always has thorns.


MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes



Darren and others at MHI praised the fact checks and ‘thankless‘ pro-growth work based upon reality, not falsehoods.


The Daily Business News on MHProNews believes in accuracy.  While anyone – including us – can get typos or such accidental mistakes, factual errors beg for correction. Where is MHInsider’s mature admission of such mistakes?


As Affordable Housing Crisis Rages, New HUD Code Manufactured Housing Shipments Fall, Some States Drop 35-40 Percent


Fake news or false hype are apparently aimed to make manufactured home industry pros and independents think things are better than they are.  MHInsider, MHI, or MHR each provide examples that sadly don’t help manufactured home pros recover from the very real challenges faced in zoning, financing, public acceptance, and the like.  These are issues that MHProNews, MHARR, NAMHCO, and others will be exploring at Tunica Thursday March 28 at 12:15 PM.  We’ve documented the problems for some years, now it is time for industry professionals to organize and take the steps towards cures.





See the related reports below the byline for more on the special Tunica Show event.  RSVP and sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news that sources say Krolewski, George Allen, and Ken Rishel – all MHInsider writers – among others read closely, per their confidants.



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Media Claims New Story/ICON Builds 3D Printed Housing for $4000, Fact Check & Analysis

October 10th, 2018 Comments off



Different construction methods exist – or emerge – for a variety of reasons.


3D printing of housing, for example, is being tested globally. Some say 3D printed housing is the obvious answer for building housing on the lunar landscape, or other planets.  “It sounds crazy, but it would be a lot crazier to fly sheet rock and 2×4’s to Mars,” Jason Ballard, ICON CEO per Business Insider.

JasonBallardPhotoCofounderCEOIconTreehouseICONLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo400There are also reasons why independent trade publishing which fact-checks is necessary for the factory-built-housing industry.

When there is a buzz about:

  • alternative construction,
  • emerging, or
  • automated technologies then

investors, homebuyers, policy wonks, and others may ask – ‘why should we mess with HUD Code manufactured homes?’

So, it is obviously an important issue to millions.

With that backdrop, mentally place yourself in the shoes of an affordable housing advocate, hedge fund manager, or housing seeker, and then read the following.


Mainstream media outlet Business Insider (BI) ran what is at best a dubious headline, “These 3D-printed homes can be built for less than $4,000 in just 24 hours.”

The videos by third party are posted by the Daily Business News on MHProNews, and were not part of the BI article.


Here’s how that BI article opens:

Printable homes represent the latest wave in construction, but they’re not always cheap to build.

Earlier this year, Branch Technology, an architectural startup,developed a prototype of a 1,000-square-foot 3D-printed home that would cost about $300,000 — a price too high to be considered a solution to the global housing crisis.

In March, New Story, a housing nonprofit based in San Francisco, and ICON, a construction-technology company that designs 3D printers, unveiled what they said was “the first permitted, 3D-printed home in America”: a 350-square-foot structure that cost about $10,000 and took just 48 hours to build.

At the time, the printer — known as the Vulcan — was running at only 25% speed. That gave the companies confidence that they could build a 600- to 800-square-foot home in just 24 hours for $4,000 or less. Before using 3D-printing technology, it took New Story eight months to build 100 homes, each costing about $6,000.”  Their article is found at this link here.

Note that the printer for these 3D printed housing units is portable, weighing about 2,000 pounds.

Here’s a news video that serves to make the point on why fact-checks and common-sense analysis are not only useful, but necessary. Note how the still emphasizes that same $4,000 price?  It’s the same figure that BI and others in mainstream media are reports on ICON’s and the New Story’s non-profit efforts are using.


But if you listen carefully, ICON’s founder says that the price is for the wall system and framing, not the systems of the house, like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc.

Another news outlet said that an ICON project in El Salvador would cost $1,000,000 for 100 homes. Presumably, that is the price of building it there, not in the U.S. If so, that’s $10,000 per ‘tiny house.’

FYI – MHProNews reached out to ICON with questions about what is and is not included in the cost, and received no reply. We plan another outreach in reaction to this article.

So, the Daily Business News turned to another 3D printing builder for their take on this ICON related pricing claims. Here’s what Don Musilli, CEO of 3D Build Systems LLC, Englewood, Florida told MHProNews this week.


3D Builder Sounds Off on ICON, Media Claims

Tony: The prices stated with these printed homes are materials cost. We can print an exterior and interior wall in a 1,000 sq. ft. home for under $10,000.00 materials cost. So these numbers are not really indicative of the sell price of the home plus this home has no HVAC and minimal lighting. No toilet, sink, etc.,” said Musilli.

We [3D Build Systems] believe we can produce a 1,400.00 sq. ft. home, complete, ready to move in for around $100,000.00. That is more reasonable and more accurate,” Musilli said in an electronic statement.

One more point,” added Musilli. “It is our goal to attempt to complete the homes in 30 days or less. We are working on the process for wiring, plumbing and installation of the split heating/cooling system to be done as quickly as possible. The finish is just the concrete wall with a stucco like finish.”

If Musilli’s pricing comes to pass, that would be $71.42 per square foot. That’s considerably less than prior estimates for the same sized home of about $100,000.


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


As has been noted above and previously, to achieve more affordable housing, there should be an openness to new as well as proven construction methods, including HUD Code manufactured homes, on an equal opportunity basis.


Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data



What Does the Emerging 3D Printing Mean to Manufactured Housing?

A manufactured home industry veteran told MHProNews today that the industry has a “once in a lifetime” chance to get it right.  The need for affordable housing is so great, and there are numerous media sources that are shedding positive light on HUD Code manufactured homes.  One of several examples from this year is found below.


Bloomberg “New Home for $90,000? Manufactured Housing Is Making a Comeback” Reveals MH Media Challenge


Be that as it may, it is challenges from emerging technologies that are among the reasons our publisher repeatedly warns the industry’s independents against what he sees as the “artificially caused challenges” to HUD Code manufactured home builders, retailers, communities and other industry professionals. One of many such challenges are spotlighted in the article linked below, which can be read later for greater understanding of the issues.


Rumble over Anti-MH Law-State Association, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and MHARR


The Manufactured Housing InstituteMHI – and their mouth-pieces keep calling for ‘unity’ in the industry.  That’s a potentially loaded term,” says L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.  “Someone can unite an industry by consolidating it. Uniting an industry could in some cases be construed as an antitrust issue, as their own handout says. That said, the point should be that a few players that have purportedly manipulated regulators, aspects of media engagement, public officials and capital could have over played their hand. In the meantime, that process has arguably cost thousands of industry professionals to lose their businesses to closure or a cheaper sale than a normal market condition would have provided them.”

The other side of the coin,” said Kovach, “is that MHARR, MHI and state association like Texas did pull together in a way that benefited everyone.  That should be the test for ‘unity.’ Does it benefit consumers? Does it benefit businesses of all sizes?  Does it work to the advantage of taxpayers? That’s kind of authentic unity is worthwhile. So, the word ‘unity’ must be carefully parsed.  Some unity is good, but other kinds of unity is akin to conquest.”


The comment above was said with respect to another recent topic, but relates to this issue too.

MHProNews will be doing a special report on that topic, to provide an example of how ‘good unity’ has worked before, and can work again.

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“Challenges to Obtaining Manufactured Home Financing,” Urban Institute Report Fact Check, Analysis

July 4th, 2018 Comments off


Is the Urban Institute (UI) attempting to use their “research” to blunt the manufactured housing industry’s steady yet modest recovery?  If so, why?


It’s a debatable point that could be made after a close analysis of the UI nonprofits’ most recent – and once again, problematic – manufactured home industry related research.  The prior report and analysis on manufactured housing, linked below, can be read later for greater depth of understanding on their latest research.

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

In the Urban Institute’s (UI) latest report, attached below, Laurie Goodman and Bhargavi Ganesh are the only two researchers with bylines in their June 2018 document.

Both Goodman and Ganesh were part of a quartet of co-authors who in January 2018 signed onto a report entitled, “Manufactured homes could ease the affordable housing crisis. So why are so few being made?” Edward Golding and Alanna McCargo were not named in the UI’s latest June report. More on that prior research will be touched on later, below.


The two 2018 UI reports are similar in this respect. It isn’t so much the UI statements, but rather:

  • what they didn’t say, which is significant,
  • and how what they did say is phrased in troubling ways, starting with the headline.

Those sum up the issues for manufactured housing professionals, many investors, and intelligent prospective buyers. The one clear positive that should be noted is that they writers used the industry’s homes correct terminology.

Beyond that…? Let’s look at specifics.


Imagine that You’re a Home Buyer, Considering a Manufactured Home…

In the single-family housing market, most homeowners take out a real estate loan or mortgage to finance their home. But in the manufactured housing market, most consumers rely on chattel loans, or property loans, which typically have less favorable loan terms and fewer consumer protections than mortgages. The high costs of chattel financing can dissuade people from purchasing a manufactured home, contributing to the relatively small number of homes shipped,” stated Goodman and Ganesh in their opening few lines.

There were 240,000 homes shipped each year from 1977 to 1995, but only 93,000 homes shipped in 2017. This report examines the challenges to obtaining affordable financing for a new manufactured home,” concludes their opening paragraph.

Rephrased, they are telling media, other researchers, and those savvy shoppers that might read such a report:

  • Manufactured home sales have declined dramatically;
  • Buyers are being dissuaded by high cost chattel loans;
  • Starting with the headline, they make financing a manufactured home sound like “Challenges;”
  • admit to not considering the mitigation of closing costs in their evaluation, saying “Moreover, we have not accounted for differences in closing costs. The up-front costs of a chattel loan might be lower.”

Nor do they mention the hassles that retailers report when a significant percentage of real estate loans may not meet appraisal. The causes? Because appraisers may be ignorant about manufactured housing, or are otherwise hamstrung by guidance which relies on a lack of “comps,” plus other factors that keep manufactured homes in mortgage deals from getting a fair appraisal.


While some 80 percent of mortgage loans make appraisal, said an FHA lender to MHProNews, that still  means that 20 percent don’t.

That appraisal hassle – that ‘roll of the dice’ that may cause a lost sale – causes some retailers to shy away from mortgage loans. Having lost sales for that reason, say some retailers to MHProNews, they are not as enthusiastic about that potential outcome.

Are those factors for the decline in land home mortgages made in manufactured housing since the early 2000s? That’s the kind of question that serious, dispassionate “evidence based” researcher might do.

But UI’s Goodman and Ganesh don’t even raise those issue, nor others.

Who did they interview for this? It’s another unanswered question.

That said, in the prior UI report in January, sources at the nonprofit indicated that Berkshire Hathaway brands, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (NHI) were consulted. If that occurred again this time, what did those sources say? With a week now elapsed since this UI report, why aren’t Berkshire brands, or MHI, raising concerns like those noted herein publicly?



More UI Report Wrinkles

It isn’t until page 4 of their report that the pair from UI mention another reason why buyers may legitimately want a personal property – home only, or chattel loan. That prudential reason? “Moreover, some states have a lower property tax on personal property than on real property.”

  • don’t consider the potential savings in real estate taxes vs. personal property taxes found
  • and they even failed to clearly link to their somewhat more positive, but still problematic report published in January.

For a report that is supposed to examine manufactured home financing, they don’t mention:

  • FHA Title 1,
  • the USDA’s Rural Development program,
  • VA loans,
  • or the role Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) could be making to lower rates via their Duty to Serve (DTS) mandate.

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) Pressing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Fully Engage on Duty To Serve (DTS)

Nor did UI mention that the:

  • Government Accountability Office (GAO),
  • Fannie Mae,
  • and other researchers found that even with higher interest rates, manufactured homes are generally still lower in cost than rent, and significantly lower than conventional housing.

Any serious researcher could find this information, which is from the GAO report on manufactured housing, and is found on MHLivingNews . So why didn’t the UI researchers find and report on this in their latest report?

Interviews with educated, savvy homeowners on MHLivingNews indicated that when they did their own math, they found that manufactured homes made good sense. Again, UI fails to mention any such favorable companions.


UI Acknowledgement – A Head Fake?

Longtime, devoted Daily Business News readers will recall that MHProNews took the Urban Institute to task for not disclosing their funders, trustee, and other apparent conflicts of interest in their January, 2018 report.

Was the Urban Institute Misled, Duped, or Part of a Manufactured Housing Industry Scam?

Perhaps for that reason, UI added an acknowledgement in this report, and used the following disclaimers, shown in brown text below.


The Housing Finance Policy Center (HFPC) was launched with generous support at the leadership level from the Citi Foundation and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional support was provided by The Ford Foundation and The Open Society Foundations.

Ongoing support for HFPC is also provided by the Housing Finance Innovation Forum, a group of organizations and individuals that support high-quality independent research that informs evidence- based policy development. Funds raised through the forum provide flexible resources, allowing HFPC to anticipate and respond to emerging policy issues with timely analysis. This funding supports HFPC’s research, outreach and engagement, and general operating activities.

This brief was funded by these combined sources. We are grateful to them and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. 

The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders…”

Convenient? Coincidence?

First. Money is fungible, as an industry attorney noted to MHProNews. To say that prior Berkshire Hathaway or Gates Foundation money has no impact on UI is debatable, or perhaps even laughable.

But equally noteworthy is the presence of the George Soros backed Open Foundation Money in this project. How many other intersections are there between Soros, Buffett, Gates and their interests?



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Summed up, the oversights and omissions by UI are stunning.

The issue of lending falls in the post-production sphere in the association world.

So arguably it is equally stunning that MHI, if they were serious about growing sales or financing options – or the Berkshire brands – haven’t weighed in – per Google search at this date and time – to publicly correct the misleading narrative forged by these ‘researchers.’

Pray tell, why not? Are they serious about promoting accurate facts about the manufactured home industry?

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“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

June 16th, 2018 Comments off

Collage by MHProNews. Photo of Sarah Edelman, credit, The New Deal.

Most people wouldn’t recognize today’s factory-built homes. The manufactured housing industry has diversified and enhanced the models available so they can blend seamlessly into traditional neighborhoods of site-built homes, offering comparable amenities and curb appeal,” said Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business.


Her open is solid, and seemingly positive.

At Fannie Mae, we’re enhancing our mortgage financing options to keep pace with these important changes,” Edelman continued.

This trend toward modern designs is a smart way to meet demand from growing segments of buyers, including millennials, downsizing baby boomers, and first-time homebuyers. These buyers and others are looking to manufactured housing as an affordable option providing quality and value in a market where the supply of site-built housing is low and prices are high. Quite simply, manufactured housing is a key opportunity to address our growing affordable housing crisis,” said the Fannie Mae executive, on an article that was published 6.5.2018.

Ten days ago, her Fannie Mae “Perspective” was the top article on the Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) website.

But today, a week and a half later, that positive sounding article about manufactured homes is no longer visible on the Fannie Mae home page.

Now, comes what industry insiders – who’ve scrutinized her comments – are calling the veiled blow from the “perspective” of that GSE.

That’s why we introduced MH Advantage mortgage, an affordable financing option that recognizes the similarity of many manufactured homes to traditional site-built homes by offering the same conventional mortgage financing – including down payments as low as 3%, lower interest rates than most traditional manufactured home loans, and cancellable mortgage insurance,” Edelman said.

Homes that are eligible for MH Advantage have features that make them look more like traditional site-built homes including eaves and higher roof pitches, lower profile foundations, garages or carports, porches, dormers, upgraded interiors, and more,” she wrote.

Rephrased, what that means is that the bulk of manufactured homes being sold by HUD Code manufactured housing producers are NOT included in the Fannie Mae MH Advantage program.

That’s been confirmed to the Daily Business News by MHI connected sources familiar with this MH Advantage program.

These homes are now easily identified by a new MH Advantage “Mortgage Financing Notice” applied by participating manufacturers. This MH Advantage “sticker” makes it easy for retailers, shoppers, lenders, and others involved in the mortgage process to identify eligible homes when they’re bought, sold, or refinanced. It’s something interested buyers should look for and ask about, said Edelman.

What hasn’t been made known yet by her or others is

  • what percentage of Fannie Mae’s loans are going to be allocated to this program?
  • Or are the majority of manufactured homes going to be excluded from Fannie Mae lending?
  • Why doesn’t Edelman’s column make it clear that these loans are land/home, as opposed to chattel?

Why aren’t the answers to those questions part of the article?  Or where is a Fannie Mae FAQ for this topic? Or why aren’t other necessary facts being made known?


Photo from March, 2018. To see his news making remarks there, click here


Because Fannie Mae won’t answer those or other related questions.

Perhaps this prior reply from Paul Barretto, at Fannie Mae, to the Daily Business News gives industry readers, public officials, investors, and affordable housing policy advocates a clue.

I’m sorry I can’t talk beyond what I presented…,” Barretto said in a message to MHProNews

Barretto, Sarah Edelman, their media office, and others contacted over the course of several days at Fannie Mae all declined commenting.


If Fannie Mae actually wants to promote this program, why not do so for free on the manufactured home industry’s most widely read news source? Who is hiding what, and why?


Industry Pro Says MH Advantage Defies the Purpose of the Duty to Serve (DTS)

The now-missing-from-their-home-page article by Edelman doesn’t note the complaint lodged by MHARR to Fannie Mae.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)’s president and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, said this program was “unacceptable” to that organization or their members for several reasons.

Weiss also said the MH Advantage plan was an “illegitimate,” “bait and switch.” Related articles, like the one linked below, can be read later for more details.

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

Among the reasons Weiss objects on behalf of independent manufacturers and their customers, is because MH Advantage “defied” the core principles of Duty to Serve (DTS), which was mandated in 2008 by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA).

Weiss said the GSEs have successfully ducked the law for a decade.

DTS is supposed to be about giving access to potentially millions of American to more affordable housing, specifically by providing lending for affordable manufactured homes.  That would benefit people otherwise trapped in rentals.  It could also reduce the costs for government subsidized housing programs, while creating more tax revenues for the states those manufactured homes are sold in.


Instead, what Fannie Mae’s program is doing with MH Advantage is arguably creating a more costly, separate class of manufactured homes, all of which will sell at a higher price-point than the majority of what the industry currently offers.

How will that help lower income consumers? How does that boost job creation by the builders of lower cost homes?  Who does the Fannie Mae plan benefit?

Weiss’ comments indicate they answer queries like those as follows.


Collage by MHProNews.

Edelman’s article continued as follows.

We believe MH Advantage is an innovation whose time has come, but we remain committed to traditional manufactured homes, manufactured housing communities, and their important role as sources of affordable housing. In fact, Fannie Mae provided more than $9 billion in financing for manufactured housing in the past two years. And we’ll continue working with our partners to expand access to high-quality home rental and ownership opportunities in every market, every day,” Edelman concluded her column on the Fannie Mae website.

An unedited version of her article will be found later here as a download, or on their website, at this link here.


A Look at Sarah Edelman’s Resume 

An industry source with ties to the development of Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage program confirmed for MHProNews that Edelman is fairly new with the giant GSE.


Other industry sources in lending, and who are MHI members, told MHProNews that part of the DTS commitment to manufactured housing is going to be this MH Advantage program.  Those sources could not say with certainty what that percentage would be.  Again, Fannie Mae is mum.

Since when is silence to the media a “pro-growth” progressive virtue?



What MHI Connected Sources, and Manufacturers Say

MHI connected sources could not say with certainty how close the design specifications for the MH Advantage program are to MHI’s highly touted, but thin on public details, ‘new class of HUD Code manufactured homes.’

The controversy-plagued Arlington, VA association president and CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison, plus other MHI staffers, have refused to engage with more details.  Why not?

If they are proud of the facts, why not get the widest possible publicity?  If the national trade goup aren’t proud of their plan to talk about it openly, then what have they got to hide?


Does Your Firm Sell News Entry-Level Manufactured Homes?

Does the plan favor big companies over smaller independent producers or retailers?  The indications are, yes.

By implication, doesn’t “the new class of homes” and Fannie Mae’s “MH Advantage” restrict lending, and thus trade, on the majority of manufactured homes produced?  Isn’t that part of the federal definition of barred activity under anti-trust laws?

Again, related articles linked above and below can be read later for more details.

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns


But there was wide agreement among MHI members who commented for this report that the two sets of standards – Fannie Mae’s “MH Advantage,” and MHI’s so-called “new class of homes” – may be the same.

All of this should be deeply concerning to public officials, affordable housing advocates, the vast majority of the manufactured housing industry’s professionals, investors, and the Trump Administration.

One source asserted that they are informed about the MH Advantage program, and favored it. When asked by MHProNews, that source admitted that the prior MH Select had little traction in the market.

That source also admitted that this new MH Advantage program could create problems for manufacturers that are not selling this kind of product.  ‘But Fannie Mae will be reviewing the [DTS] program in three years, and if it is harming manufacturers or the market, they can change it at that time,’ that  person said.

An MHI only member manufacturer expressed outrage over the plan to split the majority of the industry’s homes in two by misusing DTS in this fashion, saying it was an insult to the industry.

A careful read of Edelman’s article reveals that while it sounds like praise, MH Advantage is a de facto put-down of any home that doesn’t meet their standards.

Applying the logic of MHI award-winner Marty Lavin’s quote below – if successful – what this will do is cause fewer existing types of manufactured homes to be sold over time.


The logic of this statement can be applied to a variety of cases.

The Daily Business News and the Masthead have raised concerns about the lack of transparency and contradictions surrounding the DTS program.

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

MHProNews noted MHI’s “new class of homes” could be a “Trojan Horse” for the industry.  The fact that this program was allegedly created in secrecy is itself a warning that possible anti-trust prohibited actions could have taken place.

The history of back and forth support and opposition to DTS by Tim Williams – former MHI chairman and the president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage –  could be red flags.

Much of this could be cleared up if MHI and the GSEs released their closed-door meeting minutes.  But they have refused to do so.

Or it could be cleared up, if the parties involved simply, candidly answered a series of on-the-record questions, with those replies given by informed Fannie Mae and other related personnel.  Isn’t that just common sense?

The obvious logical conclusion to the various controversies, allegations, and concerns are that the parties involved with this MH Advantage and the DTS program don’t want clarity, because they are deliberately being opaque.



The View from the Masthead

MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach has said that the principles Marty Lavin has laid out need to be applied in this case.

Kovach said that the industry must consider pretty words, platitudes, and overdue promises made to the manufactured housing based upon experience.  “Promises and pleasant words have often have resulted in little or no useful action for the majority of the manufactured home industry’s members,” Kovach said.

MHI award-winner Lavin, is an attorney who served for years with the Arlington, VA based trade body, and served a GSE as well.  He has offered a general summation on tip for reading the industry’s tea leaves, which could be applied to this scenario.

They are paraphrased in the following three bullets.

  • Follow the money.
  • Pay more attention to what people do than what they say.
  • MHI works only for the interests of theirbig boymembers, and the interests of the smaller MHI members are served only when they align with the interests of the big boys.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

It is for similar concerns and failures to properly serve them that the AZ and NV community associations have laid the foundation for a new, national post-production association, quitting MHI last year.

Fannie Mae announced they are an MHI member. Associations lobby.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling issued a statement to MHProNews that protested Fannie’s alleged involvement in lobbying, which they are currently prohibited by FHFA from doing. See that, and more, linked under related resources, below.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

MHI, members of Berkshire Hathaway brands, and Fannie Mae were contacted by the Daily Business News and asked to react to MHARR’s formal protest to Fannie.  None of them has weighed in as of this writing.

By contrast, when MHProNews asks most state associations for comment, a prompt reply – albeit sometimes off the record – are common.

Recall that Smoking Gun 3 documented related concerns over how cutting off or limiting lending put hundreds of companies out of business, some of which had been in the industry for decades.

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

As publisher Kovach told a mainstream media reporter last week, the reality of the challenges in manufactured housing for thousands of companies can be summed up in two words. “Rigged system.”

The trend is toward what appears to be an artificially created consolidation of the industry.  Why artificial?  Because the nation has an affordable housing crisis, and yet the industry is still constricting, debatably due in part by restricting the lending available to independents.


Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, data from HUD, MHARR, or other named entities.

The linked reports provide evidence plus reasons how capital, credit, nonprofits, and MHI have been among the tools used to consolidate the industry, to the advantage of a few at the cost to the many.

An executive level industry reader told MHProNews,You need to create an ‘I told you so’ list, to remind the [manufactured home] industry when warnings and concerns have proven to be accurate.”  Please put this topic, first raised over a year ago, among those.

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

(Third party image, and/or content, are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

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

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

Manufactured Housing Institute “Walk Out,” “Cover Up,” and Shock at their Vegas Event


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



NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix



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Sunday Morning Manufactured Housing Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 5.6.2018 to 5.13.2018

May 13th, 2018 Comments off



Millions could care less about politics. Many don’t want to talk about religion either. Especially those in business, who want to be able to serve as many people as possible, topics like that are almost a taboo.

Then there is “industry politics.”  Some only want to hear ‘good news.’  ‘We keep it positive’ was part of a longer thread of messages from an industry blogger.

Isn’t that like not wanting to know when it will rain, hail, snow – or if a hurricane is coming your way?

When the industry was on its heels in October of 2009, the year what’s known as MHProNews launched, there was a need then to get industry professionals to rally.  That required cheer leading, but it also required the facts that supported the reasons to be confident in our factory-built home – notably HUD Code manufactured home – industry.  But modular, prefab, conventional – all housing slid in those days

The automotive, RV, and conventional housing industry recovered more rapidly than manufactured homes did.  Why?  Document and fact laden Smoking Gun 3 will help answer that question.

MHProNews waited to see who among the industry’s trade voices would let the thousands who didn’t go to Las Vegas know that the MHI event was repeatedly disrupted by protestors. It’s on video. See that on the Masthead, because who else in the industry among industry trade talkers will bring you what is real?

We don’t want disunity,’ or ‘But we don’t want to hear negative things,’ some say.  Sure, we get that on the Daily Business News, but as an MD by training, I can tell you that patients don’t want to hear that they have a serious illness either.  Early treatment is the path to the cure.

The doctor, attorney, or account who tells you only what you want to hear can get sued for malpractice.  Don’t you want reliable information, not just happy talk?

As an MD and as a mother-to-be, I didn’t want to hear that our son Tamas wasn’t going to live.  But thank God, by prayer and daily action, he did live and while it required a complete change of plan for me personally, look at what a child who spent much of the first years of his life in a hospital looks like today.


Tamas Kovach (pronounced like “TahMash CoVatch), is part of the MHProNews/MHLivingNews family, with a Tunica Show attendee. Numerous such photos are taken during the course of the event.

Sacrifices were made in my career for the sake of our son.  Because we faced a tough reality in the face – through that combination of action and prayer – the payoff with our son was priceless. Almost everyone who meets him rapidly says, how special he is.  At the affordable housing focus group, our son went from table to table, telling joke after joke, to the delight of the attendees, while the video cameras, mics. and lights were being set up.

Every child is special.  Every adult is too.

On MHLivingNews, where the industry truly needs something positive, we do that better than anyone ever in the history of the industry.  But we also use that site to disprove time and again the false and misleading concepts that are held by millions.  It is done factually, based upon evidence, using as often as possible third party research, actual home owners, or other experts. No one else in the history of the industry has produced more such research, useful, and positive content.

The industry still needs a level of confidence building.  But it also needs reality checks and fact checks so that those who hide the facts – who hide the real news, and what’s going on behind the scenes – are shown to be who they are.

In the real world, people do bad things to each other, like it or not.  You have to be ready for that, as a mature adult.

In medicine, you change the prescription and the treatment according to the evidence and to suit the case of the patient.  We pivoted on our format here on MHProNews several times, to suit the evolving situation and to follow the evidence, while following the money.

There’s an affordable housing crisis, and manufactured housing might break the 100,000 shipment mark this year.  That, to borrow HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s phrase, is “ridiculous.”  See Greener and Stylish to better understand just how ridiculous some of what’s been going on in MHVille truly is.

Or on the Masthead, see a report you have yet to see anywhere else in manufactured housing industry trade news or commentary.

Or look at the modular survey for a different reality check.  Some want to run to mods as the solution.  We embrace all kinds of factory built housing.  But if someone thinks that “going modular” alone is the answer, that survey is a wake up call.

The latest MH Industry BIG DEAL is below, with details not found in the official press release.

Not just those, but every story we publish is carefully curated to inform – and yes, inspire – industry professionals.

That’s why you made and keep us the runaway #1 trade media in the industry. That’s what third party facts reveal. Thank you for that confidence.  We don’t ever intend to betray it, even if it means tell you some tough realities. From the biggest names in the industry, to the mom-and-pops, and all in between – plus public officials, investors and others – they all flock to read here by the thousands daily. That’s just a fact.


On the nightly market report, we summarize headlines from CNN Money and Fox Business – about as different as you can get – just to give you a fuller sense of how dramatically different the same events are often covered.

We’ve done that for years.  It is called balance.  It’s called fairness. That’s what being truly pro-industry looks like.

Count on us to tell you what the evidence points to, what it means for industry professionals, so that you can better navigate your decisions and actions.  Then, you’ll understand this tag lines, MH “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.” ©We Provide, You Decide.” ©

That said, let’s dive into your Sunday Morning Headline news recap…


What’s New on MHLivingNews

Evolutionary American Dream, from Tiny Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, to “Amazing” Modern Manufactured Homes

Evolutionary American Dream, from Tiny Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, to “Amazing” Modern Manufactured Homes


What’s New on the Masthead

Anti-MH Industry MHAction Protesters Have Struck Manufactured Housing Again, and Again

Anti-MH Industry MHAction Protesters Have Struck Manufactured Housing Again, and Again


May Featured Articles 


What’s New on the Daily Business News

DailyBusinessNewsLogoMHProNewsLogo (1)

Saturday 5.12.2018

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative


Friday 5.11.2018

Reprieve in Community Closure Collision, Another Round Ahead?

Reprieve in Community Closure Collision, Another Round Ahead?

Hyperloop Nearly Complete, Pros, Cons, Videos, MH Impacts – Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Investor Market Reports, Data

Manufactured Housing Supporting VP Mike Pence in Elkhart, Indiana – Highlights

Manufactured Housing Supporting VP Mike Pence in Elkhart, Indiana – Highlights

White House Official Statement on Artificial Intelligence – Industry and Business Summit


Thursday 5.10.2018

Home Group Commissions YouGov Study, Most Don’t Understand Modular Homes

Home Group Commissions YouGov Study, Most Don’t Understand Modular Homes

Communities and Counties Pay People to Move There, Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Reports

Governor Signs new “Mobile Home” Act

Governor Signs new “Mobile Home” Act

Coldwater, Tall Grass, P&Z Battles, Manufactured Home Community Plan OK’d – Manufactured Housing and the Don Westphal Back Story

Coldwater, Tall Grass, P&Z Battles, Manufactured Home Community Plan OK’d – Manufactured Housing and the Don Westphal Back Story


Wednesday 5.9.2018

Uber Flying Taxis, Manufactured Housing Impact – Plus Manufactured Home Industry Market Data, Updates

Manufactured Housing and the Midterms, what did Democratic and GOP Primaries Signal?

Manufactured Housing and the Midterms, what did Democratic and GOP Primaries Signal?

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Yes! Communities Closes on Major Deal, Added Insights Not in Media Release

Yes! Communities Closes on Major Deal, Added Insights Not in Media Release


Tuesday 5.8.2018

Manufactured Home Nonprofit Affordable Housing Initiative Brings Joy, But Hits Wall

Manufactured Home Nonprofit Affordable Housing Initiative Brings Joy, But Hits Wall

Stocks Mixed After POTUS Trump Announcement, Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Updates

Promoting Home Ownership and Private Property is Premised by Understanding This

Promoting Home Ownership and Private Property is Premised by Understanding This

MIA from Fannie Mae’s Latest Housing Survey, MHI Producer Sounds Off

MIA from Fannie Mae’s Latest Housing Survey, MHI Producer Sounds Off


Monday 5.7.2018

Warren Buffett on President Trump’s Tax Cut, Berkshire Video, Plus MH Stocks, Market Update$

Manufactured Housing Roadblock? BBC Reports “Trailer Park Living”

Manufactured Housing Roadblock? BBC Reports “Trailer Park Living”

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

Affordable Housing Revolt! Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Video Responds to “Breakup” Growing Monopoly, and Manufactured Housing

Affordable Housing Revolt! Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Video Responds to “Breakup” Growing Monopoly, and Manufactured Housing


Sunday 5.6.2018

Sunday Morning Manufactured Housing Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 4.29.2018 to 5.6.2018

Sunday Morning Manufactured Housing Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 4.29.2018 to 5.6.2018

The above is just what the doctor ordered for this past week. Thanks to those who noticed that I took a little time off at the end of this past week, it was great, but glad to be back too. ## (Headline news, week in review, analysis, and commentary.)

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


“Live in a Mobile Home to Buy a House?” – Dave Ramsey Video

February 5th, 2018 Comments off



Relevant background information is important for understanding an issue.


To understand why Dave Ramsey’s take on “mobile homes” [sic] as an “investment” for a home buyers matters to the industry and millions of manufactured home owners, Ramsey’s background matters.


Ramsey doesn’t claim to be a journalist, but everyone should care about using the correct terminology.

The Dave Ramsey Show is a three-hour, self-syndicated radio program and podcast, hosted by the eponymous finance author and speaker, that airs Monday through Friday from 2-5 EST. It is primarily broadcast from Brentwood, Tennessee,” says Wikipedia.

Per the Dave Ramsey Show “Fact Sheet,”

  • More than 4.5 million people have participated in Financial Peace University;
  • More than 13 million radio and digital listeners weekly to The Dave Ramsey Show;
  • More than 600 radio affiliates to The Dave Ramsey Show…”

Against that background, is the video from Dave Ramsey, posted below.

Ramsey’s YouTube page says, “Dave Ramsey explains why buying a mobile home is not a wise investment.”  That’s a problem for manufactured home owners, and for the industry, to the degree that it impacts the public’s perception.



Ramsey’s stock-in-trade is teaching people to get debt free, among other things.

A pair of other Ramsey “Fact Sheet” bullets,

  • More than 25 years of Dave on-air
  • More than 10 million books sold combined

Among his websites milestones,

  • 1992: Self-published Financial Peace
  • 1992: Began The Dave Ramsey Show
  • 1994: Began teaching Financial Peace University
  • 1997: Financial Peace becomes a best-seller
  • 1999: More Than Enough published and debuted a best-seller
  • 2002: The “Dave Says” column is launched in newspaper publications

The point for manufactured housing professionals?

Several, but let’s point to these.

1)    At least during this segment which was posted on  Oct 25, 2017, Ramsey fails to make any distinction between a mobile home, which haven’t been built since June 15, 1976, and a modern manufactured home, though he mentions the terminology.

American Dreamers and HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson; How Millions Could Win by Enforcing the Law

2)    Perhaps Ramsey is unaware of the HUD PD&R that Manufactured Home Living News referenced several times, which documented that manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side with conventional housing.

3)    Or maybe the talk show celebrity doesn’t know the research coming out of the Pacific Northwest, that documents rising manufactured home values.

4)    Nor does Ramsey note – in those cases where mobile or manufactured homes lose value – why they do.  Industry professionals must know these and stand for the facts. Because they mirror the same factors that limit or cause the loss in value of a conventional house.  2008 wasn’t that long ago, when tens of millions saw their conventional housing drop in value.

5)    Where was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) response to this Dave Ramsey segment?  It is part of the ‘other image campaign,’ that Marty Lavin blasted MHI for in their self-touted campaign.

Since that segment aired, FAU’s Ken Johnson statements that indicate that manufactured homes can be a good investment, even a superior one – using Professor Johnson’s formula.

New University Research Shaking Rent vs. Buy Beliefs in Housing, MH Industry Impact?


6)    Their is also the Urban Institute (UI) issued report that claims that manufactured homes appreciate, but at a slower pace then conventional housing. While that UI report has its own issues, that MHProNews has been fact-checking, that point on appreciation is worth noting.

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

MHLivingNews and MHProNews have promoted the obvious reality that Eric Belsky said.  Ramsey’s an intelligent fellow. Given the opportunity, Ramsey may well see it differently if he understands the combination of factors – including financing – that has limited manufactured homes.


  • Fact-based public education,
  • good lending options,
  • in a healthy economy,
  • with homes in good condition in an appealing location,
  • the law of supply and demand,
  • are what result in appreciation. Each of those are true for conventional and manufactured homes.

See what the lender said in the article linked below.×60-single-section-manufactured-home-selling-for-150000-is-a-bargain/

It should be the national umbrella association’s task to routinely reply to each and every falsehood.  Or to promote each and every good piece of news.  As MHI member Frank Rolfe noted, they don’t do so.

There’s good reason to believe MHI knows that rebutting falsehood is wise.  Their own prior chairman said there’s a good case to be made for that practice.

So why doesn’t MHI promote useful news that they don’t create?  Or why is MHI piddling-around with problematic advertorials, and videos that focus on only 4 members, that are barely getting watched?


As far as appreciation is concerned, it is insightful to see what the lender said in the article linked below.  Because he summarizes the drivers behind gain-or-loss of value in any form of housing, not just manufactured homes.×60-single-section-manufactured-home-selling-for-150000-is-a-bargain/


You don’t have to agree with everything that Frank Rolfe says or does to see the wisdom of having the national umbrella association’s task to include routinely replying to each and every falsehood.  Would that make a difference with widely respected professionals like Ramsey?  Could it hurt?

On the Dave Ramsey Show website, there was an episode where, “Dave speaks out against big taxes on the rich and invites people who disagree with him to call in and go head-to-head. In this hour, Dave argues about why the Warren Buffett rule is a lie and responds to a caller’s claim that many of the wealthy are irresponsible.”


Warren Buffett Wants an MH Shark Tank – Clayton, 21st, MHI, ‘Gift that Keeps Giving’

Based upon that, one might think that Ramsey doesn’t seem to be a fan of the Oracle of Omaha.

So does Ramsey understand the role that Buffett’s “moat” plays in depressing the demand for manufactured housing in ways that benefit the widening of said Clayton/21st/VMF et al moat?

That’s a point that Berkshire Hathaway dominated MHI is unlikely to make.

This is another reason why no matter how nice most people or members at MHI may be, the organization itself needs to have their records forensically examined.  Buffett’s businesses need to have the widest possible array of inquiries. Once those investigations are accomplished, any and all legal action that are warranted should be taken.

That’s a key part of how the industry can break free of its still relatively low production and sales levels.  It is also the fact-based, logical key to making sure that manufactured home owners get the maximum value out of their housing investment.

We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

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


Celebration, Fact Check$, Plus Small Biz Nuts and Bolts on 2018 Tax Changes

January 3rd, 2018 Comments off

TestingTaxCutsCBSDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issued the following statement in a release to MHProNews.

President and CEO Juanita Duggan, speaking about the on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act becoming law:

NFIB fought for decades for a real tax cut for small business owners. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act dramatically improves the way small businesses are treated, delivering hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts,” she said.

Small business optimism has been near record highs all year long in anticipation of this moment. Starting in 2018, millions of small businesses will have substantially more money to convert their optimism into investments. They can buy new equipment, increase inventory, pay workers more, create new jobs, and engage in the economic activities that drive the U.S. economy,” per Duggan’s statement.

VPMikePenceNFIBPresidentJunaittaDugganSmallBusinessConfidenceThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation achievement. This is a historic day for small business and the country. We are grateful to President Trump for his leadership on this issue, which started even before he took office. Today he fulfilled his promise to cut taxes for American small businesses,” according to the NFIB.

From left-of-center CBS, we learn that the tax cut bill will in fact help the middle class.

As regular Daily Business News readers know, NFIB has over 300,000 members, hundreds of whom are reportedly from the manufactured home industry.

While the tax law will bring changes that are routinely being celebrated, per experts, as good for the middle class and small business, understanding the changes can help maximize benefits for small businesses.

The right-of-center Fox Business video above may prove useful. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

Mobile and Manufactured Home Fire Reports, Fact Check, Industry Impact

December 11th, 2017 Comments off

LilacFieDestroysTightlyPackedMobileHomeParkFallbrookDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWe need to get these people out” of that “mobile home park. These homes are going to go up in flames,” said Shannon Handy, a reporter for CBS8 Local in California, near the end of the video embedded below.

The male co-anchor of CBS8 Local makes the more correct statement after Handy’s, but it is at the end of the video.  Namely, that the fire will take everything in its path.

But for about 4 minutes, the viewers are treated to the tragic scene of dozens of factory-built homes that were burned down.

Beginning with their headline, their written and video news item was an emotionally-charged report, which tended to make the “tightly packed” “mobile home park” – their words – look bad.

With dozens of those homes burned down to their frames, there is no visual evidence to help determine if the homes were indeed pre-HUD Code mobile homes or post June 15, 1976 safety standards manufactured homes.

But as a careful read of their own story stated, or what the male anchor closed with said, any house in the path of that firestorm being swept along by Santa Ana winds are at risk.  Hundreds of site-built houses have been lost recently in similar blazes.

Had these units been condos or apartments – far more tightly packed than any manufactured home community – those would have been equally charred ruins, for the reason that the male anchor stated.  The fire doesn’t discriminate.

They go over 3 minutes into the video before you see that some of the homes survived.  That’s certainly a potential issue, per the SPJ code of ethics standards.



CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8


So how is it accurate reporting for local media to hype the tragedy of those so-called “mobile homes?”  Did they check with the community’s management for any details?  If so, there is no hint of that in their video.

There was also no clue in the CBS8 Local story that today’s manufactured homes are safer against an interior fire than conventional housing, per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report that’s a download within the linked story below.

So as affordable housing is in crisis – most notably in California – what takeaway would someone listening to that report have, if they were considering a manufactured home?  What does that do to the resale value of existing manufactured home owners?


Keeping the Home Fires from Burning: Fire Safety and the Modern Manufactured Home


It Is Not a One-off News-Story, It’s Part of a Pattern…

2017 isn’t quite done. We are now into the time of year for increased home fire risks.


Its obvious to an informed manufactured home professional that these Google searches that follow are skewed.  There’s only been a fraction of that number of pre-HUD Code mobile home, and post-federal-code manufactured homes, built.

MobileHomeFires2017-12-11_0730DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeHousingIndustryMHProNewsLookAtTheFactsFactCheckMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsBut would a rushed reporter know that, as they are trying to form some basis and context for their reporting?

With many mainstream media outlets laying off staff – due in some measure to the increased competition from Google and Facebook for ad revenues – and a near perfect storm is emerging that impacts media, and those topics that the news is reporting.

Fewer reporters are trying to get stories out, and they may not always be doing the same level  or quality of research.

As you look at these literally millions of fire related stories under the “mobile home fire” Google searches, keep in mind that some stories are covered by multiple media outlets, or are shared via social media, etc..  No one will go through 55 million results.  There are likely other fires, like a ‘mobile phone’ that caught ‘fire’ while someone is at ‘home.’

But would the rushed reporter or editor consider those possibilities?

Or will they rely on bias and stereotypes – quickly reinforced by a problematic and shocking Google search result – like the two screen captures shown above?

Then consider what MHI award-winner, Marty Lavin said about the industry’s “other image campaign.”

With that context, industry professionals should be mindful that the Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) fought a long campaign that was ultimately unsuccessful over what their Governor John Kasich (R-OH) inaccurately termed the increased dangers that come from fires.  Even though their home owners association sided with the industry, OMHA still was unable to carry the day due to heavy political spin.


Manufactured Homes Commission Abolished, Effective January 21, 2018


In hindsight, the industry may see why the OMHA’s battle was far more important nationally than one might believe.  Because Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) spun the matter as ‘how unsafe this form of factory built housing was,’ and that justified the ‘need for more regulation.’


Drama in Ohio: Fake News, Facts and Myths

Sharing articles on MHLivingNews like the one below, which sites third-party research, and cites a fire official, can only help.

Avoidable Tragedies! Mobile Home Fires vs. Manufactured Home, and Conventional Housing

The report linked below published earlier today about responding to problematic mainstream media reports comes into greater focus in the light of such mostly negative media coverage.

Only 2 Choices – Media Engagement, Manufactured Homes, & You – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

There are 2 and only two choices when it comes to addressing the issue of bad news that hits your market(s).

  1. Do nothing, and hope it blows over.

2) Or do something.  See that clarifying report, linked above.


It should be simple, and obvious.

The only way to drive out bad information, is with good information that’s routinely repeated. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

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“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

December 7th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoTradeAssocChargedWeaponizedNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews“…the Senate Banking Committee passed legislation to clarify that a manufactured housing retailer or seller is not considered a “loan originator” simply because they provide a customer with some assistance in the mortgage loan process,” said a “Housing Alert” from Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to their members, and through them, to others in the HUD Code manufactured home industry.

This is a key tenet of S. 1751, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which excludes manufactured housing retailers and sellers from the definition of a loan originator so long as they are only receiving compensation for the sale of a home,” said the MHI alert.  That is a reference to the so-called MLO rule.

The language was passed as a part of S. 2155, the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which is a package of reforms intended to improve the national financial regulatory framework and promote economic growth. S. 2155 was passed by the Senate Banking Committee by a bipartisan vote of 16 to 7,” per MHI.

For many hard-working Hoosiers and Americans, manufactured housing provides the most affordable option available when they look to buy a home. I’m pleased the bipartisan regulatory relief legislation that I helped craft and that passed the Senate Banking Committee includes a provision based on my Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. This measure would help prevent federal regulations from getting in the way of financing that families need as they step into homeownership,” said U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, per MHI’s statement.


Critical Fact Check, Analysis

LookAtTheFactsFactCheckMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAccepting all of the above at face value, what the MHI release completely fails to mention is that per sources within MHI – as well as from non-profits familiar with the matter – the MLO rule could have been changed by an agreement years ago.


  • without spending millions of dollars and years ‘fighting’ for their Preserving Access bill, which still isn’t and may never become law,
  • MHI could have had the final product that their now bragging about; and which is still not a done-deal.

While supporting the Preserving Access measure in principle, MHProNews and our parent company’s management believes that no deception or misleading statements are needed to pass that or any worthwhile bill, or to motivate the honest, hard-working members of the MH Industry to act.

The Daily Business News and MHLivingNews have historically held accountable the non-profit groups for their own errors – see the examples linked in the reports, below.


CFED and CFPB – Confused, Conflicted “Friends” of Manufactured Home Owners and Prospective Buyers?

Sophie Quinton – Why Some Cities Are Buying “Trailer Parks,” [SIC] and “Mobile Home Parks” [SIC] – HuffPo

The truth matters. Manufactured housing has enough unjustified black-eyes, without having to give itself avoidable ones, at the hand of one of its own associations.


One of a number of sources that have told MHProNews that MHI could have had the MLO rule rescinded by agreement years ago.

The Real Takeaway…?


Part of the evidence is the Ishbel Dickens email, shown above this graphic as a screen capture.

Accurate, but Misleading


L. A. Tony Kovach at the 2017 San Antonio MHI meeting, Dick Jennison and Lesli Gooch repeatedly made thinly veiled statements, aimed at MHProNews. But when these signs were first introduced, top MHI staff claimed it was aimed at ‘outside’ media, not ‘industry media.’ What caused this change toward a dues paying association member? What message does it send to others in the association? What message does it send to the industry at large? Is MHI trying to create a de facto industry trade media monopoly? Are they weaponizing news?

It can be understood as technically accurate, but misleading MHI Housing Alert. It’s arguably a half-truth that is deceptive, and manipulative of their own members,” alleged award-winning industry veteran L. A. “Tony” Kovach in a comment about the most recent controversial contentions regarding the Arlington, VA based trade association.

For a number of years, MHI’s current leadership have engaged in debatably deceptive messages sent to their own members. These messages have at times been like their most recent one. A half-truth, with the unstated facts MHI ought to be aware of not being mentioned in their allegedly weaponized ‘housing alerts’ at all,” Kovach said in comments about the most recent MHI housing alert.

Its tips from other [MHI] members, and/or information obtained directly from MHI staff, that has led to a periodic series of revelations that are arguably harmful to the industry, and is damaging to the reputation of MHI.  That in turn can be construed as harmful to the industry they claim to be acting for in Washington, D.C. They are solely responsible for the harm they are causing to the industry their members, and their own reputation when they engage in allegedly deceptive practices, that they have yet to formally address,” said Kovach, who is a managing member of Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to MHProNews.

We’ve offered to publicly discuss or debate via video these concerns. We’ve given MHI numerous opportunities to respond in writing,” Kovach said. “They’ve routinely failed to take advantage of those opportunities. If they were correct in their methods, wouldn’t they want to defend their accuracy and reputation?”

Their Own VP Said It Preserving Access, Wasn’t Happening

MHI’s own vice-president said in writing in a prior on-the-record statement to MHProNews that the odds of passing Preserving Access where long ones under the Obama Administration.  See that Daily Business News report, linked below.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda


Partially as a result over concerns that MHI is not properly representing their independent retail, community and other members, there are numerous voices and third-party efforts underway which aim to create a new association that will represent them.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

As MHProNews first-reported to the industry, Maxine Waters and other congressional Democrats have recently characterized MHI as being a puppet for the benefit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway manufactured housing brands.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

In her official statement – found as a download, from the article linked above – to the House of Representatives, she named:

  • Warren Buffett,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Clayton Homes, and their sister production and retail operations,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage, and
  • 21st Mortgage.

In a prior letter by Waters and some of her congressional colleagues to the Department of Justice (DoJ), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), she called Buffett’s manufactured housing interests as a ‘near monopoly.’

That ‘near monopoly’ and related letter by Waters and others is a download from the Daily Business News report linked below.


U.S. Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Mike Capuano (D-MA) – all four signed onto a letter damaging to MHI, and the Berkshire Hathaway led brands, calling for federal investigations. Image credit, Twitter, Wikipedia.

A Question of Time?

It may only be a question of time before members begin to cancel their MHI membership, realizing – as one MHI award winner told MHProNews – that the largest companies have learned how to get the small-to-mid-sized companies to pay for what the ‘big boys’ want.


The ‘fear’ over retaliation, or cutting members out of certain alleged ‘benefits’ of working with MHI and the industry’s largest companies, are reportedly keeping a number of companies on board with MHI.

Warren Buffett himself has reportedly said that

  • failing to learn the lessons of history, and
  • that chains of habit,

are hard to break. See that detailed report, linked below.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

While failing for over 5 years to accomplish their own primary goal, the industry is continuing to consolidate.

Sam Zell, Frank Rolfe, and Kenny Lipschutz are among the MHI members who have publicly critiqued MHI, either pointedly, or politely.

ELS’ Sam Zell – Compliance Costs Destroys Smaller Businesses = Consolidation


Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism


Is the truth of an important element of what is holding hiding in plain sight?


Critiques, properly understood, are a way of improving performance. Every business, every sports team which aims to win does evaluations, which are a critique. “We Provide, You Decide.”

What is hard to argue is that MHI has repeatedly failed to do what their affable, popular prior chairman, Nathan Smith, said that the association needed to be.  Pro-active, vs. reactive.

We Provide, You Decide.” ©.  ## (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

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Tax Reform, “Epic Blunder” in “Bizzaro World,” Fact Check$, Videos Across Partisan Divide

December 2nd, 2017 Comments off

GOP Majority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, smiles after the bill passed in the early hours Saturday. Dec. 2nd.

Higher wages.  More economic output. More opportunities.

All of these would be good things for manufactured housing, and it goes to the heart of what the White House Pressroom has told the Daily Business News is at the heart of what they say this bill that passed early this morning is about.

That it is time to “fix America’s self-destructive tax code.”

Democrats say it’s a “middle class con job,” per the right-of-center Wall Street Journal.

Fox and the Wall Street Journal said it was an “epic blunder” for Democrats to think that this won’t hurt them, rather than Republicans, in the 2018 midterms.

From left-of-center CNBC this report will outline changes to the bill that got 51 of 52 GOP Senators to sign on.

ICYMI – for those not familiar with the “Full Measure,” ‘left-right’ media tendency chart, please click here  

For left-of-center Bloomberg, Professor DeLong says the tax cuts/reforms package has a 70 percent chance of becoming law.  If so, that would give the President his first big legislative win, and coupled with his other promises kept to-date, and could bode well for the GOP in the 2018 mid-terms.

The lone Republican holdout from their 52 Senate members?

The retiring Bob Corker of TN, who was considered at one point last year for being President Trump’s running mate.


Ortiz on the Historic Bill

Alfredo Ortiz is President and CEO of the Job Creators Network, self-described as “a non-partisan organization founded by entrepreneurs.”

Ortiz, writing for right-of-center Fox News, said, Tax reform is on track and Democrats want to derail it. Don’t believe these myths about the Senate’s bill

Democrats are desperate to derail long-overdue tax relief that is heading to the Senate floor for a vote this week – even if by doing so they take money from the pockets of their own constituents,” Ortiz asserted.

There are no good arguments against allowing hardworking Americans to keep more of their money,” the Job Creator’s CEO said. “But that hasn’t stopped Democrats, who are intent on denying President Trump a victory at any cost – including lying about the Senate tax bill’s impact in an attempt to block its passage.”

This deceit was on full display at a CNN Town Hall debate this week, where career politicians Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Maria Cantwell of Washington state leaned on shopworn Democratic talking points as the basis for…their opposition to the tax bill.”

Ortiz then laid out 5 myth-busters, to debunking claims “making the rounds among Democrats and their media allies.”

MYTH 1: The tax bill is a tax increase on the middle class.

Cantwell: “Raising taxes on the middle class is wrong, and that’s what this bill does.”

Recognizing the popularity of a middle-class tax cut, Democrats are trying to use the Bizarro-world argument that the tax cut bill is actually a tax increase. They cite a Tax Policy Center report claiming the bill would raise taxes on 87 million middle-class families,” said the Job Creator CEO.

What the Democrats don’t mention is that the Tax Policy Center is a project of the left-wing Brookings Institution and Urban Institute, funded by donors like George Soros who want to disrupt President Trump’s agenda by any means necessary.”

Soros is the Hungarian born left-wing billionaire, who recently gave billions to fund left wing-causes, many of which oppose the Trump agenda.  For more on that, see the report below.

“You Made Me, Promises, Promises…” Historic Iranian, American Lessons in Freedom

The Tax Policy Center can only arrive at this eyebrow-raising conclusion by making the unrealistic assumption that the tax cuts would expire after 10 years,” said Ortiz.

In reality, the tax bill would provide significant relief for the middle class by doing the following: doubling the income threshold under which families pay no taxes at all to $24,000; doubling the child tax credit to $2,000; and eliminating the 15 percent tax rate in favor of an expanded 12 percent rate, among other provisions,” per Ortiz.

He said that the above changes would “save ordinary families thousands of dollars a year.”

MYTH 2: The majority of the tax bill’s benefits go to the top 1 percent of earners.

Sen. Sanders: “60 percent of the tax benefits in the Republican plan would go to the top 1 percent.”

Democrats are trying to distract from the bill’s middle-class tax relief by claiming most of the benefits go to the super-rich. But in reality, the bill is targeted at the middle class,” stated Ortiz.

Besides, who’s money is it anyway?  What years of repeated claims from those who love big government and socialistic policies often overlook, is that money is earned by citizens and guest workers. Yet, many in Washington and beyond want to treat that privately earned money as if it was up to technocrats to decide how much of your own money you get to keep.

Influencing the Socialists in Your Office, the Best Way Out of Poverty

Ortiz notes that “In addition to the middle-class provisions mentioned above, consider the bill’s relief for Main Street small businesses. The bill offers a 20 percent small business tax deduction for all small businesses earning less than $500,000 a year.”

This 20 percent tax deduction would allow small business owners to keep more of their earnings, helping them to compete with their big business and international competitors – as well as hire more employees, raise wages and expand,” the Job Creators president said.

He added, “According to the Tax Foundation, 97 percent of small businesses earn less than this $500,000 threshold, meaning the overwhelming majority of small businesses would see relief from this provision. But who would see little-to-no relief from it? The top 1 percent, with annual incomes of roughly $500,000 and higher.”

Ortiz asks, “Given this clear middle-class relief, how do Democrats back up their 1 percent claim? By pointing to the tax bill’s provision to bring the corporate tax rate in line with international standards.”

That’s a provision that even some Democrats have agreed that current tax policy drives corporations to move their headquarters, and jobs with it, overseas.  Estimates as to what ending that and bringing that cash back to the U.S. could mean to the American economy range from 2 to 4 trillion dollars.

However, survey and economic evidence demonstrates that corporate tax cuts benefit the middle class in the form of higher wages, better workplace benefits, new job opportunities and lower consumer prices,” said Ortiz.

The Job Creator’s CEO notes that, “Even higher dividend payouts benefit the middle class, because the majority of corporate stock is owned by retirement plans, including IRAs, 401ks and government pension plans that help ordinary Americans save.”


President Trump and VP Mike Pence have both said they will be in the promise keeping business.

MYTH 3: The tax bill will grow deficit by $1.4 trillion.

Sen. Sanders: “This legislation will grow the deficit by $1.4 trillion. Mark my words.”

Ortiz quips that, “Democrats are suddenly pretending to care about the nation’s fiscal state by pointing to the tax bill’s $1.4 trillion of lost revenues on a static basis over 10 years. What isn’t said is that this is only a 3 percent drop from the $43 trillion Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revenue projection over this timeframe.”

He might have mentioned that during the Obama Administration, the federal debt ballooned by some $10 trillion dollars, doubling the national debt to about $20 trillion in just 8 years. Yet, the economic recovery was slower than any in modern history, and the 44th president is the first in over a century to have less than 3 percent economic growth in any of his 8 years in office.

Ortiz says, “But in the real world – outside of simplistic Excel spreadsheets – people respond to incentives. With more money in their pockets and in their communities, consumers, businesses and investors will spend more, creating economic growth that will more than pay for the $1.4 trillion in lost revenues.”

According to the CBO, every 0.1 percent increase in the gross domestic product adds over $250 billion in revenue over 10 years. This means that even returning to 2.5 percent economic growth – still well below the U.S. historical average – would more than pay for the tax cut,” he stated.


MYTH 4: The tax bill won’t create economic growth.

Sen. Cantwell: “No, I don’t think (the tax bill) will grow (the economy).”

What too few are saying is that tax cuts/reform worked for Democratic President John Kennedy and for GOP President Ronald Reagan.  Just as we see Americans move from high tax states to lower tax ones when they can, so too lower tax rates will likely keep and attract more money as a result.  That additional revenue has historically more than balanced out tax cuts, but there routinely is an initial revenue dip.

Given the dynamic effects on tax revenue from even minor economic growth, Democrats are at pains to deny the growth created by tax cuts. They cite left-wing economists to make their case – but historical evidence and commonsense undermine it,” said Ortiz.

The tax cuts enacted under Presidents Coolidge, Kennedy and Reagan, among others, all generated several years of supercharged economic growth. The principle is simple: More money in the wealth-creating hands of the private economy – and less in the wealth-destroying hands of government – creates economic growth,” Ortiz said.

Some 100 economists wrote an open letter to Congress with the following message: “Economic growth will accelerate if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes, leading to more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living for the American people,” the Job Creators Network president wrote.

MYTH 5: The tax bill will cause 13 million people to lose health insurance.

Sen. Sanders: “This bill… will result in 13 million people losing their health insurance.”

Given this scare tactic worked so well to kill health-care reform, Democrats are trotting it out in an attempt to do the same to tax reform. But the facts are very different this time around,” said Ortiz.

Far from kicking people off health insurance as Democrats imply, the tax bill would simply eliminate the health-care tax on those who choose not to purchase health insurance. This tax is borne mostly by working- and middle-class Americans: Nearly 80 percent earn $50,000 a year or less. In fact, this provision would reduce the middle-class tax burden even further,” he said.

The tax-cut bill currently before the Senate offers ordinary Americans the best opportunity for tax relief in a generation. But Democrats are putting their narrow political interests ahead of what’s good for the country and lying to try to sink it. Their agenda should be exposed.”


While not specifically addressing the tax cuts and jobs act, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has broadly supported the Trump Agenda as being good for the industry.



CNBC’s Notes on Changes That Helped Pass the Bill Early Saturday

Here are some of the last-minute changes in the Senate bill, which was released Friday night:

  • Pass-through deduction: To appease Daines and Johnson, the bill would now allow business owners to deduct 23 percent of pass-through income. The Senate initially proposed a deduction for 17.4 percent of income. Pass-through entities are taxed at individual tax rates.
  • State and local deductions: The Senate plan would make up to $10,000 in state and local property taxes deductible. Collins urged the change, which makes the Senate proposal match the legislation already passed by the House.
  • Alternative minimum tax: The alternative minimum tax would be partially retained. The initial Senate plan repealed the tax. The measure aims to guarantee that businesses and wealthy individuals pay a minimum tax.
  • Business expensing: The initial bill let businesses write off the full cost of expenses such as equipment for five years. After that, the benefit would now phase out instead of being eliminated immediately.
  • Medical cost deduction: Collins also pushed to expand the deduction for health-care costs that are not reimbursed. The bill would now lower the threshold for the deduction to 7.5 percent from 10 percent of income.
  • 401(k) contributions: The Senate plan would also scrap a previous proposal to eliminate so-called catch-up contributions to retirement accounts on a pretax basis, Collins said.

House-Senate Conference Committee

There are two possibilities for working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of tax cuts and reform bill.  One, the House could simply adopt the Senate version.  Or a House/Senate conference committee could work out their differences, and both chambers would then once more have to vote on that revised bill.

The president’s stated goal is to give Americans “a big beautiful tax cut by Christmas.”

This early morning Senate vote makes that a possibility. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

Programing Note: Watch for a special Monday report and analysis on a truly fine MHI produced document. Stay tuned.

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