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What Are Federal Officials Researching About Manufactured Housing?

June 2nd, 2019 Comments off

 

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At the start of every month, businesses and organizations of all kinds routinely assess the activities and results for the weeks that were just completed.  When compared with an organization’s goals and objectives, that weekly, monthly, and quarterly review of activities and results are a prudent element for monitoring the pulse of an organization. Otherwise, the ‘illusion of motion‘ can set in.

 

To spotlight keen insights on federal officials with respect to our manufactured home industry, let’s take a quick step back.  Using that same method noted above, MHProNews strives to take an hour or two and review statistical and other data at the start of every month. On June 1st, 2019 data generated by third-party Webalizer reported the following about ‘the feds.’

On just two of our several cPanels for MHProNews, there were 3290 hits by “US Government (gov),” per Webalizer.  On our industry professional site, those same 2 cPanels reported 336,385 total visits.  That means that the U.S. Government website traffic is less than ½ of 1 percent of our total traffic on MHProNews.

But those thousands of hits by federal officials on MHProNews should not be discounted or dismissed as insignificant.

MHProNews’ content is geared toward industry professional readers.  Software tells us a lot, but not everything. We don’t ‘see you’ or othres who reading here, because you are not required to login to access our content. What software often does tell us are generic things, like are you a .com, .net, .org, .gov, etc.  Some platforms accessing the site are not identified at all, and are listed as ‘unknown.’ There are no doubt some from the general public that surf in, but ManufacturedHomeLivingNews (MHLivingNews) is designed for them and is more to their liking.

By contrast to generic site info reported by Webalizer or others, our emailed headline news is specific.  Those who sign up, or those who have been on our email list for over 9 years, have or use a given name, even if the name provided is a pseudonym.

That email list tells us that the bulk of our readers are people that can readily be identified, and are professionals who are directly connected to the manufactured home industry.  But there too among our emailed headline news readers are some who have self-identified as public officials. That’s fine.

From a marketer’s perspective, what the data – and comments like Casey Mack’s – tell us is and you is that the vast majority of our audience is what we intended when we launched this platform some 9.5 years ago — manufactured home industry professionals.  As noted, that’s good for business-to-business marketers, and it is a good gauge on other matters too. It’s the ‘other matters’ that no doubt interests federal officials.

So what the data tells us is that significant numbers of federal officials are reading on MHProNews. What are those feds reading and researching?

 

Beyond Data the eMail Inbox, Calls…

Beyond data from third party analytics, there are emails from public officials, and those who are running political campaigns.  The most notable there are several Democrats running for their party’s nomination for the 2020 contest for who sits in the Oval Office.  We also receive routine communications from federal agencies by email, including from the White House and the campaign of President Donald J. Trump.  Speaking of the president, whatever your views on his style may be, objective thinkers realize that the quote below applies to you, us, and anyone who uses common sense. We share the quote because it applies to our industry. The segue to the quote below aside, let’s return to the headline theme.

 

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Politically incorrect? Yes. But the quote above is apt and valuable to goal and solution oriented professionals, regardless of their views.

 

There are numbers of messages that come in daily from industry professionals. Those blow away the totals that come in from public officials. Once more, while not entirely scientific, even apart from Webalizer or other analytics data it gives us a good sense of who the vast majority of our readers are.  Namely, manufactured home industry professionals.

On any given day, our readers will totally dwarf the engagement of a blogger such as George F. Allen, based upon information we have, which includes what Allen calls his ‘intimates’ (ouch). Allen has flip-flopped from being a staunch Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Clayton/21st/Berkshire Hathaway critic, to a de facto – if not open – cheerleader for them.  We don’t see Allen’s banking account, but there are reasons to believe that he’s been ‘rewarded’ for his flip-flop, in which he has yet to disavow his own prior claims against what he said in his own words are monopolistic practices that are steadily eroding the numbers of manufactured housing independents.

Allen writes for MHInsider – whose first three initials are MHI, and they too are arguably MHI toadies – and each likes to name drop. It’s a reasonably free country compared to others, and we respect their first amendment rights. While Allen or MHInsider may get some federal readers too, it is logically unlikely that they do so for the same reasons as those who come to research here at MHProNews. Why? Because ‘Toadies‘ are easily identified by objective people.

 

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MHInsider, George Allen, others are current examples of toadies to the industry’s powers that be.

 

Growing Federal, State Interest in Manufactured Housing

The industry can thank HUD Secretary Ben Carson for his periodic plugs for manufactured housing.  The industry must also ask, why has MHI still failed – as of today’s date shown below – to promote Secretary Carsons’ strong endorsement of the use of manufactured homes to solve the affordable housing crisis?  Dr. Carson’s address to their own trade group is still not found on their website.  Nor have we found evidence that MHI used their media contacts to elevate the understanding of the industry, and thus provide third-party evidence that could boost new manufactured home sales.  We’ve asked MHI to respond to that, and have asked their outside attorney to do so too. Silence.

 

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HUD officials inform us that they are among those who surf our site and content.

 

These search results on MHI’s website are not just curiosities or oddities.  Rather, it goes to the heart of their claim to the IRS that they are ‘trying to improve the regulatory and market environment for the industry.’   There is no doubt that MHI meets with federal officials, they make sure that they show those photo opportunities to their industry readers. They’ve produced videos, but those routinely get very few views compared to those who attack MHVille.  So why do they then fail to tout good news about manufactured housing in an effective way with the general public?  Inept?  Unmotivated?  Incompetent?  We give them credit for being intelligent people. That therefor suggests a hidden agenda, because the alternatives are suggested by those prior three questions.

 

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A typical Allen statement to his ‘intimates’ is that MHProNews is sponsored by MHARR. Duh. Our banner ads are open for anyone to see. What Allen and his ilk fail to mention is that MHI, Clayton Homes, and 21st Mortgage were all banner advertisers or used other services supplied by our firm too. When our fact-checks and analysis did not suit them, apparently, they stopped their support. While our understanding of certain trends evolved, our pro-growth, pro-independent, pro-consumer views have not wavered, and pre-date modest banner ads from MHARR or others, which we of course value. But a few ad dollars doesn’t change our views, as we tell prospective advertisers. Our views are not changed by someone dangling the promise of ad support. We effectively tell them, support the biggest and most read professional platform, or not.  Marketers pay for engaged eye balls here, they don’t pay to influence our content. 

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The evidence reflects that it is often the ‘big boy’ members of MHI that spark negative headlines. Instead of improving the operating environment, as their IRS 990 filing claims, MHI and key members are arguably doing quite the opposite in practice. By suppressing the good news about manufactured homes with bad news, aren’t they depressing new manufactured home sales?

MHProNews and our sister site have made the argument that MHI is de facto – if not intentionally – working to consolidate the industry into the hands of a few larger brands.  Among those are Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation and others owned, connected to, or influenced by Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway. All of that is of potential interest to federal officials.

The following are hot-button issues in the U.S. in Washington, D.C. and beyond:

  • Affordable housing.
  • Income inequality.
  • Monopoly and consolidation.
  • The alleged failures of capitalism, and the rise of interest in ‘socialism.’
  • Anything connected to President Donald J. Trump and several of the members of his administration.

The vast majority of those topics are found only on MHProNews in MHVille.  That’s why industry pros flock by the thousands daily, and logically why thousands of hits resulted from federal officials too.

 

Independent

At MHProNews, we are political independents, which doesn’t mean that we don’t care.  Quite the opposite.  We are strongly in favor of morally undergirded Constitutional safeguarded rights given by God, not man, corporations, or governments. While Jefferson was – like us all – a less than perfect human, the Declaration of Independence that he drafted for the founding fathers captures some of the best thinking of thousands of years of human history when it comes to protecting the rights of citizens. The ‘right to life, liberty, and property‘ was the famous phrase he first wrote in the draft for the Declaration, which was tweaked in the final version to read “the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Free markets can benefit from proper oversight that protects against monopolistic power or criminal actions. So when corporate giants arguably subvert the normal channels open to small business owners, then not only do those small businesses suffer, but “We, the People” of America suffer too.

Before turning to our headlines for the week of 5-26-2019 to 6-2-2019, let’s summarize the above.

Of course federal officials are on our website daily.  If they want to get that Arlington, VA based MHI propaganda that has been authorized by those who pull their strings in Omaha and Knoxville, they can and no doubt do read that too.  Then, like intelligent people, they compare what they read.  That’s what thinking, analytical people do.

As a passing note, often the strongest arguments against something comes from those who’ve quit that something.  The former smoker or alcoholic may be the one that is most passionate about arguing against those potentially harmful items if they become habitual.  As former MHI members, one should take into account that our publication spent years as MHI members – and that sheds some light on the undemanding forged here too.

It is in testing or questioning results that may flow from an intelligent clash of ideas that allows someone to ponder the claims and underlying logic of:

  • what MHI, MHInsider, Allen, and other bootlickers say vs.
  • what is said here on MHProNews, on MHLivingNews, or at the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Those two bullets are the two broad camps in MHVille trade media today.

Rephrased, most of the topics linked in our weekly recap, further below, would never be found on an MHI minion’s website.  But they are found here.

Which claims stand the test of reason and time?  That is how the truth can be clarified.

We are only hours or days away from the latest shipment data.  7 months into a downturn that is taking place during an affordable housing crisis, MHI has sounded no alarms in their messaging to members.  Why not?

Some in D.C. have and will no doubt go with what MHI says, because they have donor dollars to dole out.  But buying votes isn’t the same as the truth.

Here it is only the power of evidence and reason that prevails.  While we are independent of each other, MHARR has no PAC either. You ask them why. By contrast, MHI makes their PAC well known.  Of course they can buy a statement read into the record.  But those statements, if heard mostly by their own followers, how do they advance the industry?  Or are they just another form of the ‘illusion of motion?’

We believe at MHProNews and MHLivingNews the that evidence, analysis, fact-checks and reason are magnetic.  That’s why we have by far the largest audience of its kind in our industry. And that’s why, IMHO — federal, other public officials and higher office seekers are drawn to MHProNews too.  Even if public officials or others who come here disagree, they know they will find evidence and reason to support our position.

With no further adieu, let’s turn to the headlines from the week that was.

 

What’s News on MHLivingNews

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Affordable Housing War – Does Ethical, Legal Way to Redistribute Wealth from Billionaires to Millions of Americans Exist Without Socialism or Passing New Laws?

Oklahoma Tornado Kills – Sobering, Surprising Fact Check – Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, Commercial Buildings, Conventional Housing, Twisters, and Death

 

What’s New in Washington, D.C. from MHARR

HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” On Carport-Ready Homes

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

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Saturday 6.1.2019

Brief History and Objectives of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

Friday 5.31.2019

2019 Maine Manufactured Housing Show Insights

Facts Aren’t Partisan – Southern Border & Immigration Reality Checks, plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

U.S. Slips in World Competitive Rankings, per Swiss-Based IMD Competitiveness Center

Key to Unlocking Door for More Manufactured Home Sales, Professor Lisa Tyler’s Valuable Research


Thursday 5.30.2019

Cavco Industries Investigated Anew for Violations of Federal Securities Laws, plus Manufactured Home Industry Stock Updates

Representative Ilhan Omar’s Bill Would Regulate Manufactured Home Community Owners

Patrick Industries-Manufactured Housing Supplier-PATK Investor Relations Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Challenges, Opportunities

Affordable Housing and the Two Sides of Rent Control, in Two Videos – Pros and Cons

 

Wednesday 5.29.2019

Democratic Professor Defends Conservative Right to Free Speech; How Free Speech Helps, Harms Manufactured Housing

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

John Grissim Guides Author Finger Pointed at 21st Mortgage Corporation, Notorious Tim Williams Letter Cutting Off Retailers

 

Tuesday 5.28.2019

Lawsuit By Manufactured Home Community Owner Claims City “Intent” on Putting it Out of Business

What is Marketing? What is Selling? Succeeding with Manufactured Homes in Your Local Marketplace(s)

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

 

Monday 5.27.2019

Wheel Estate – Manufactured Home Consumer – Special Shopping Report

Dramatic, But Misleading? Manufactured Home Marketers Eye-View of Recent Tornado Deaths in Oklahoma, Alabama

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

Memorial Day, We Remember, Beyond Burgers, Brats, and Buns

 

Sunday 5.26.2019

George Allen’s “Peace Offensive,” Saul Alinsky, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and Manufactured Housing’s War

Thanks as always for checking in. That’s this Sunday morning edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Headline news, weekly recap, news, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

Capitalism vs. Socialism Town Hall Discussion, Plus Manufactured Housing Equities Updates

 

“Trailer Parks,” Presidential Candidate, Prior HUD Secretary Julian Castro on MH Community Operators, Residents Not Knowing Their Rights

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert! “On Capitol Hill…MHI Advances Manufactured Housing Finance Reform,” Redux

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USDA Offering Refinancing to Homeowners

June 12th, 2012 Comments off

ModularHomeCoach reports the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has instituted a program through its Rural Development Housing division to lower interest rates and monthly payments for thousands of borrowers who have loans made or backed by the USDA. The pilot program, designed to improve the housing market, is being tested in 19 states stretching from Rhode Island to California to the Midwest and on to Georgia and North Carolina. Tammye Trevino, USDA administrator says, “USDA will work with industry stakeholders, citizens and other federal officials to build upon the administration’s goals to help responsible homeowners refinance loans stay in their homes and shore up the nation’s housing market.” MHProNews.com notes the article expresses hope the program is not just another government drain that takes money away from new home construction.

(Photo credit: ModularHomeCoach/USDA Administrator Tammye Trevino)

FEMA Still Housing Hurricane Irene Victims

March 28th, 2012 Comments off

7ThSpaceInteractive reports from eastern North Carolina 76 of the 194 families who received Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manufactured homes following Hurricane Irene in Aug. 2011 have been able to move into permanent homes. At first, the FEMA homes were not allowed to be sited in low-lying hazard areas given the potential for floods during the hurricane season. But local, state and federal officials reached a compromise that required people to be out by April 1 unless they request an extension. So far 82 families have received extensions to remain in the homes. “There was no easy housing solution in many of the areas hit hardest by Irene,” said state Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell. “The use of FEMA….. homes proved to be the most workable solution for many families, but we knew it was only a short-term answer for those in flood-prone areas.” MHProNews.com has learned North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) and FEMA counselors have been meeting regularly since last fall with those displaced to help them develop a plan for secure and functional housing.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)