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Rising Star – U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pressing Manufactured Housing Regulatory, Legislative Issues

June 19th, 2019 Comments off

 

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BuzzFeed News are among those in media that has described the freshmen U.S. Senator as a ‘rising star’ in her party.

 

That makes it all the more surprising that only the Daily Business News on MHProNews is essentially the only industry-focused trade media that has reported on the broader scope of issues that Senator Tina Smith (MN-D) has been involved with that directly relate to the manufactured housing industry.

Keep in mind that Smith’s state is one that has a bipartisan panel of legislators that have both agreed that manufactured homes are an important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis.

 

 

There are good reasons to believe that Smith is serious about the broader use of manufactured homes, which is part of the aim of S. 1804, dubbed the HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019.” That said, as this MHProNews report and analysis will reflect, good intentions aside, there are warning flags that must be considered in the legislation she is supporting.

 

Senator Tina Smith, Manufactured Housing Regulations, Increased Use

As a reminder, or ICYMI, Smith was one of the Democratic Senate lawmakers who signed onto a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger. That letter fingered Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes and related lending, notably 21st Mortgage Corp and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance.  That report and the related letter from lawmakers is found in the linked text-image box below. As our report linked below reflects, that’s an important step. But why not ask DoJ to investigate Berkshire, Clayton, et al for allegations of market rigging?

 

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

 

Also, Senator Smith and other lawmakers is involved in efforts that they believe will promote manufactured homes. At this point in time, while acknowledging the potential for positive outcomes, in its current form, MHProNews is not on board with this legislation for a variety of reasons. 

That said, what follows is the full press release from Smith’s office. It includes two letters to the FHFA and other lawmakers as downloads.  All of those are important to be aware of, because Prosperity Now and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) are reportedly ‘in agreement’ on the changes made to this pending legislation. By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) per our sources, is not yet on board with this bill.

These elements will all be spotlighted in upcoming MHProNews reports, fact-checks, and analysis. With that tee up, here is the release from Senator Smith’s office.

 

USSenatorTinaSmithMN-D-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

U.S. Senators Smith, Cortez Masto, Scott, Cramer, Young Introduce Bipartisan Bill to
Promote Manufactured Housing as Part of Solution to Affordable Housing Crisis

Senators’ HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act Would Ensure HUD Supports State and Local Governments
Wishing to Include Manufactured Housing as Affordable Solution When Applying for Federal Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/12/2019]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith, (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced bipartisan legislation promoting manufactured housing as part of the solution to America’s affordable housing crisis.

The HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019 would require the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue guidelines for including manufactured housing in state and local governments’ Consolidated Plans, which outline their housing and community development priorities, when applying for HUD funding. This legislation will ensure that manufactured housing, a significant source of affordable housing, is considered when jurisdictions develop their housing plans.

“We need to support the affordable housing market and increase housing availability in urban, rural and tribal areas,” said Sen. Smith, a member of both the Senate Banking and Indian Affairs Committees. “Manufactured housing is a critical source of affordable housing all over Minnesota, and our bipartisan bill would make sure that more communities across the country think of manufactured housing as a possible solution to their housing needs.”

“We’re in the midst of an affordable housing crisis in Nevada, and in communities throughout America. Home prices are rising fast, and Americans are spending a greater share of their paychecks to keep a roof over their heads. It’s unacceptable, and we must take immediate action,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This bipartisan legislation recognizes that manufactured housing can be part of the solution.”

“Manufactured housing is an affordable housing option for over 22 million Americans, including one out of every five families in South Carolina,” said Senator Scott. “Ensuring that we keep this important option open to families puts them in a safer position and a path to affordable home ownership.”

“Nearly 25,000 North Dakota families live in manufactured houses, built for a fraction of the cost of a single-family site-built home. The HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act makes it clear that communities should consider if and how manufactured housing could fit into their affordable housing plans,” said Senator Cramer.

“Solving the housing affordability crisis for Hoosiers of all income levels is going to require bold and innovative changes to our nation’s housing policies,” said Senator Young. “With over 2.5 million Hoosiers already living in manufactured homes — and with Hoosier workers leading the way in construction of manufactured housing — I know it’s time to put greater emphasis on manufactured housing as a housing affordability solution.” 

Manufactured housing is a significant source of un-subsidized affordable housing, with nearly 22 million Americans living in manufactured housing. Manufactured homes also cost as little as $45,000, while a new single-family site-built home can cost $323,000. The quality of manufactured homes has improved dramatically in recent years; manufactured homes can also be more energy efficient and save families costs on utilities in the long-term.

This bill is supported by Prosperity Now, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners.

As Congress considers reforms to the nation’s housing finance system, last week Sen. Smith outlined her top priorities. In a letter to the nation’s top housing finance agency and leaders of the Senate Banking Committee—on which she serves—Sen. Smith pressed the officials to make sure any changes to the housing finance system support the affordable housing market and housing availability in rural areas, including on tribal lands. Following the Senate Banking Committee’s hearings on the housing finance system earlier this year and ongoing discussions about housing finance reform, Sen. Smith is fighting to preserve meaningful gains made in the housing finance system, especially those that support the housing market in low-income, rural, and Native areas. In her letters to leaders of the Senate Banking Committee and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria, Sen. Smith highlighted the importance of the federal requirement to serve underserved rural areas and low-income communities, and other initiatives currently in place that aim to alleviate the affordable housing crisis.

 

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A prior ‘deeper dive’ report on MHI and their related surrogate’s posturing on this issue is linked below.

 

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

 

It’s laudatory that this legislation has bipartisan backing, which is practically necessary in a divided federal government.  However, this bill ought to beg several questions.

·        Why isn’t a robust application of HUD’s authority under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000’s Enhanced Preemption provision being demanded by these lawmakers?

·        Why aren’t lawmakers demanding the FHFA to fully and properly implement the Duty to Serve provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008, as it relates to manufactured home lending?

The intent behind this bill, and its House counterpart, seems to be authentically pro-industry and pro-consumer. That said, as the MHIA and DTS reveal, passing a bill doesn’t mean that it will be properly implemented. Furthermore, as Dodd-Frank revealed, good intention doesn’t always end up with the desired outcome.

In order to properly frame such a bill, Congressional lawmakers should hold hearings on:

·        Duty to Serve (DTS), and its lack of properly implementation in 11 years.

·        The MHIA 2000, with a specific focus on why Enhanced Preemption has not been fully implemented.

·        Clayton Homes and MHI, to see if they are involved in collusion to rig the marketplace in a fashion that leads to increasing consolidation of the industry’s independents.

Clayton, their related lenders – as the report linked further above and here reflects – and MHI are clearly on the radar of several Democratic lawmakers.  Rightly so. More GOP lawmakers need to scrutinize these issues. So too should more federal agencies.

As independents who are pro-industry and pro-consumer, we believe that rushing this bill in its current form could lead to several future problems. The goal may be positive, but the industry’s independents, homeowners, and renters who could be potential homeowners have been battered too many times by good intentions that remained practically unfulfilled.

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

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Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

 

Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

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

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

 

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

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

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Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

What Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Industry Professionals Should Be Asking About Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

EQUITY ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky – Investigation Possible Fraud by Certain Officers and Directors of Cavco Industries, plus MH Stock Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Over Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

June 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Facts are stubborn things.”

 

Assuming that the meaning of “new” hasn’t changed recently, “new” means “not done before.” And, if “new” still means “new,” then it also means, by definition, that there is no pre-existing loan performance data for that “new” class of home – because it’s … well … “new.” – Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

 

Wit is the soul of wisdom, goes an old maxim.

With that pull quote above from his full message below, Weiss exposes the apparent contradiction of providing Duty to Serve (DTS) lending for the Clayton Homes/Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) backed ‘new class of homes.’

Attentive industry readers will recall that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have said that a ‘lack of data’ caused them to not dive deeply into manufactured home lending, especially on home only or ‘chattel’ personal property loans.  Yet they do have data on those loans. They also have the obvious example of several lender sustainably performing personal property loans.  That’s inferred performance.

By contrast, as Weiss said, the GSEs have no data whatsoever on this Clayton/MHI backed new class of homes.

An outraged MHI-only member producer told MHProNews in 2018 his disgust over how the GSEs snubbed the vast majority of manufactured housing by Fannie and Freddie with this phrase: “What are we chopped liver?”

 

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

Another MHI-only member producer told MHProNews about the same time that the new class of homes makes no sense. Per that source, the GSEs already did lending on par with conventional housing for modular homes.  Why establish this new class of HUD code manufactured homes, when modular housing already exists, and the same producers routinely do both? In a sense, it is arguably like doing nothing at all for manufactured housing, unless it is much the same as an on-frame modular unit.

 

Insider Insights from GSEs

The Daily Business News on MHProNews asked a consultant to a GSE, prior to the roll out of their ‘new class of homes,’ program the following.  Had the GSEs considered what the impact would be on the rest of manufactured housing? And if the ‘new class’ of homes was successful, what if it undermined confidence in the balance of all other manufactured housing?

The reply was stunning. Per that consultant, if a negative impact on other manufactured homes occurred, the GSE could always take that into consideration after a year or so of data was collected.

Rephrased, the consultant said the GSE was willing to risk undermining the value and confidence in all manufactured homes, in order to roll out the new Clayton/MHI backed project as they envisioned it.

Outrageous, but there it is.  Other consultants to GSEs told MHProNews equally stunning revelations.

 

But the focus of this report is the newest edition of MHARR ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVES.  It is being reproduced below in its entirety.  It will be followed by additional insights and commentary by MHProNews.

 

TimeToInvestigateFannieFreddieMishandlingofDutyToServeDTSMHARRissuesPerspectiveManufacturredHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogo

“TIME TO INVESTIGATE FANNIE AND FREDDIE’S MISHANDLING OF DTS”

By Mark Weiss 

JUNE 2019

It’s been more than ten years since Congress enacted the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and its “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) mandate.  DTS directs both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “develop loan products and flexible underwriting guidelines to facilitate a secondary market for mortgages on manufactured homes for very low, low and moderate-income families.” Insofar as it expressly authorizes programs for both real estate and personal property (chattel) manufactured housing consumer loans, DTS was – and always has been – aimed at increasing the availability (and lowering the cost) of purchase-money financing for mainstream, affordable manufactured homes by providing securitization support for lenders, which would lower their credit risk, while promoting greater market competition, which would also result in lower borrowing costs for consumers. That laudable objective, however, has not been achieved, and with the industry now in an eight-month sustained production decline, DTS remains a nearly empty shell, leaving the 80% of the manufactured housing consumer finance market that relies on personal property loans totally unserved, while scarce – and badly needed – DTS resources are diverted to programs that do nothing for mainstream manufactured housing consumers, but do benefit a handful of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerates. This “hijacking” of DTS, with the knowledge and support of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, deserves a thorough investigation by Congress and full accountability for those involved.

 

Put simply, DTS was never designed to be a corporate welfare program for the industry’s largest conglomerates. But that is exactly what it’s becoming, as a result of its botched implementation by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (with a “wink and a nod” from their federal regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency – FHFA), and its diversion away from the mainstream, affordable manufactured homes produced by all HUD Code industry manufacturers, in favor of high-dollar, hybrid-type homes that are produced by only one or, at most, just a handful of manufacturers.  As usual, the winners in this fiasco (thus far) are certain well-heeled, well-connected industry conglomerates that play to the pre-existing prejudices of Fannie and Freddie, while the “losers” are the rest of the HUD Code industry and the millions of lower and moderate-income American families that could otherwise be helped by DTS to purchase and own a home of their own.

 

The factual analysis leading to these conclusions is, in actuality, simple, straightforward and fundamentally undisputed.  Start with a basic undisputed fact, as confirmed by federal government data.  That is — as shown by U.S. Census Bureau housing market data — that some 76% of all HUD Code manufactured housing placements in 2017 (the most recent year for which such data is available), were titled as personal property (i.e., chattel). While not necessarily representing a one hundred-percent direct correlation, this data effectively means that something close to three-quarters of the manufactured homes purchased in 2017 were financed as personal property, while only 17% of all manufactured homes that year were titled – and presumably purchased and financed – as real property. This division between personal property-based placement and financing on the one hand, and real estate-based placement and financing on the other, has remained relatively constant in recent years, moreover, with the proportion of personal property placements varying between 76% and 80%, while real estate placements varied between 13% and 17%.  Thus, there can be no actual or legitimate dispute that the vast bulk of the manufactured homes purchased by lower and moderate-income American families, are served by personal property-based chattel financing.

 

Nor is this – or should this — be a surprise to anyone.  While manufactured housing personal property loans generally carry a higher interest rate than real estate-based loans, due, in part, to the absence of land as security for the lender, personal property loans, using the home itself as the sole security for the lender, cost less overall than real estate loans which include the purchase cost of the land underlying the home.  As a result, personal property loans have tended to be favored by lower and moderate-income consumers, including consumers who might otherwise be unable to afford a home of their own. That is, with an average sales price of $48,300.00 without land (in 2017) a single-section manufactured home would cost far less to purchase and finance than either an average site-built home with land (with an average combined sales price of $384,900.00) or a single-section manufactured home with land, which, according to the same data, could add something on the order of $90,000.00 to the structural price of the home itself.  Consequently, even with higher borrowing costs for chattel loans (resulting from higher interest rates), such loans on HUD Code manufactured homes nevertheless represent – and have always represented – the most affordable route to homeownership for any American anywhere in the United States.

 

Given this basic, undisputed data, the most direct route to fulfilling the promise and mandate of DTS – i.e., putting more lower and moderate-income American families into homes that they can truly and legitimately afford – would be for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide market-significant securitization and secondary market support for the manufactured housing personal property consumer lending market, as MHARR has always maintained. This is where the vast majority of manufactured housing purchasers are, and where the vast majority of lower and moderate-income manufactured housing purchasers are. And, not to overstate the point, these are the very people that Fannie and Freddie should be serving and, in fact, were created to serve, and are directed to serve by their respective charters and authorizing legislation.

 

But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have no interest in serving the type of housing consumers served by mainstream manufactured housing. Thus, they have no interest in providing securitization and secondary market support for mainstream, chattel-financed manufactured housing.  If they did have such an interest, and had been serving the mainstream manufactured housing market all along, DTS would not have been necessary and would not have been enacted by Congress.  What need would there be for a remedy – such as DTS — if there was no problem to begin with?  Conversely, the fact that Congress felt the need to enact a remedy shows that there was, in fact, a problem with Fannie and Freddie’s treatment of manufactured housing consumers. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, aided by FHFA and some within the industry, have worked overtime to circumvent that remedy, while they continue to discriminate against lower and moderate-income manufactured American families that seek to purchase a truly affordable, mainstream manufactured home. At the same time, Fannie and Freddie talk about support for the mainstream manufactured housing market while, in fact, doing no such thing.

 

How do we know this?  Again, “facts are stubborn things.”  To start with, the reality is that neither Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac has yet to implement even a “pilot program” for manufactured home chattel loans, some 11 years after the enactment of DTS.  A May 23, 2019 letter from Fannie Mae Vice President Jonathon Lawless to MHARR thus refers only to a “potential” manufactured housing personal property “pilot” program. And forget any kind of market-significant support for the predominate type of manufactured home consumer lending in the United States. In fact, according to sources, Fannie and Freddie have yet to provide market support for any manufactured home consumer personal property loans under DTS – a point effectively confirmed by Mr. Lawless, whose May 2019 letter states that Fannie Mae’s DTS Plan “has never called for [the] immediate purchase and securitization of these [personal property] loans.”

 

And what are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doing instead?  Rather than providing the type of market support that is desperately needed to expand the availability and affordability of mainstream manufactured homes for lower and moderate-income purchasers – what they should be doing under DTS – Fannie and Freddie instead, are offering support for the types of “manufactured homes” that they want to see and promote; not mainstream, affordable, HUD Code manufactured homes, but “manufactured homes” that are more like the far more costly site-built homes that Fannie and Freddie are accustomed to dealing with. Thus, in a January 14, 2019 article entitled “Delivering on Our Affordable Housing Mission Under Duty to Serve” (and there are many more such examples), Fannie Mae Executive Vice President Jeffrey Hayward refers to “manufactured homes” constructed in accordance with Fannie’s “MH Advantage” program – for manufactured homes titled as real estate (not chattel) – as being “similar to site-built homes.”  And, of course, this is – and remains – Fannie and Freddie’s central criterion in providing support for “manufactured homes” – i.e., they cannot be mainstream (and therefore affordable) manufactured homes but, instead, must be “similar to [the] site-built homes” that Fannie and Freddie are used to dealing with, and thus are within their pre-existing “comfort zone.”

 

It’s the same thing with the so-called “new class” of manufactured homes.  These homes are described (and specified) as being more like site-built homes – or a hybrid between site-built homes and manufactured homes.  As a result, they are projected to cost significantly more than an “average” mainstream manufactured home – up to approximately $220,000.00 as compared with an “average” (2017) price of $71,900.00 for all mainstream manufactured homes (i.e., both single and multi-section) — and are simply not the type of affordable, non-subsidized affordable housing resource that is provided by mainstream manufactured housing; meaning, again, that they would appeal – and be marketed to – the more “upscale” consumers that Fannie and Freddie would prefer to deal with.

 

And just as long as we’re on the subject, what type of loan performance data exits to support the creation of a special program for this supposed “new class” of manufactured home (or “MH Advantage” homes for that matter)?  For more than a decade, Fannie and Freddie have refused to provide any type of DTS support for mainstream manufactured housing personal property loans, citing a lack of “performance data” to justify entry into that market. So, if the availability of “performance data” is thus a prerequisite for market support from Fannie and Freddie under DTS, what type of “performance data” do Fannie or Freddie have for an entirely “new class” of home?

 

Assuming that the meaning of “new” hasn’t changed recently, “new” means “not done before.” And, if “new” still means “new,” then it also means, by definition, that there is no pre-existing loan performance data for that “new” class of home – because it’s … well … “new.” So, for the 80% of the existing, mainstream manufactured housing market financed through chattel loans, no performance data means no DTS support. It means not even a measly “pilot program” after 11 years. But for a “new” class of higher-cost home, being pursued by just a few of the industry’s largest conglomerates (if that many), no performance data means a ticket to instant Fannie and Freddie support – even though there is not one word about a “new class” of manufactured homes or a pilot program for a “new class” of manufactured homes in the DTS implementation plans filed by Fannie and Freddie and approved by FHFA in 2018.  And all of this comes to you courtesy of the same people who nearly crashed the world economy by backstopping trillions of dollars in “subprime” loans on homes that borrowers could not legitimately afford.

 

The reality is that DTS is in the process of being “hijacked” by special interests. It is being diverted from its primary, essential and crucial mission with regard to manufactured housing – to expand the availability of consumer loans for mainstream manufactured housing; to bring more lenders into the market; and to lower the (interest) cost of mainstream manufactured home consumer loans through increased competition and risk reduction for lenders. Fannie and Freddie’s treatment and botched implementation of DTS is an ongoing farce for the industry and an ongoing tragedy for lower and moderate-income Americans who simply wish to purchase a home of their own, but continue to be subjected to flat-out discrimination, in open defiance of Congress and with a knowing, and apparently intentional pass from FHFA. The time has come, therefore, for Congress to re-involve itself in this matter, to conduct a thorough and probing investigation of DTS with respect to manufactured housing, and see to it that the DTS directive is enforced and implemented now, not “honored” in the breach.

 

Mark Weiss

 

MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views
and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

 

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MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Disclosure

Stating the obvious, let’s nevertheless note as a disclosure that MHARR is a banner advertiser, thus a sponsor of this publication. That noted, Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries – Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation – and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) were also banner advertisers/sponsors of this site – which is the industry’s largest and most read manufactured home trade media by far. Our fact-checks of MHI, et al began while they were advertisers. Our fact-checks began years before MHARR became a sponsor.  Therefore, we have a clearly established record of covering matters as we see them.

It must also be noted that while we were doing such fact-checks and analysis, that MHI’s elected and staff leaders were publicly praising MHProNews.

 

 

 

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HowardWalkerEmergenceOfTonyKovachsPublicationsProfessionalsFilledVacuumDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Our publisher – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – has also stated several times in ‘digital print’ that in hindsight, he now sees the disconnects.  For example, there was Warren Buffett’s very public support of candidates who signed into law and worked to protect from any changes the Dodd-Frank legislation that gave birth to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Meanwhile, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, other Berkshire Hathaway brands, and MHI all spent years and millions of dollars ‘opposing,’ lobbying, and fighting to modify. A detailed review of that ‘Rope-a-Dope’ is linked here. That fact-check and analysis includes this following stunning admission by a former MHI SVP who could not have been clearer. The years of efforts that lied ahead were a waste of time and money.

 

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstituteSeniorVPLogoMHIlogoQuoteMHProNews

WarrenBuffettPhotoPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Satirical cartoons can illustrate meaningful points.

WarrenBuffettPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

The Common Threads?

The common thread between DTS and the never-enacted Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act are access to financing. Our publisher stressed that the principle behind Preserving Access – or DTS – are fine. In the case of Preserving Access, while it was a ‘good idea,’ it was also all but guaranteed to fail. There was no practical logic in pursuing it.

What has been occurring with DTS is similar. So Weiss’ points are timely.

An MHI-only member connected source that’s worked with the GSEs has told MHProNews that part of what caused Fannie and Freddie from not implementing DTS in the aftermath of the passage of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) 2008 was the relatively poor performance of 21st Mortgage Cop and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) lending.

Now, given the mainstream housing mortgage/credit meltdown, that ‘relatively poor’ has to be considered in the broader context.  After all, lending did return to conventional housing, despite the scandals that occurred.  Manufactured homes had negligible impact on the 2008 housing/mortgage crisis that trigged the so-called ‘great recession’ that rippled through the world’s economy.

As a former MHI connected executive has said, manufactured home lending and past losses were a “pimple on an elephant’s ass” compared to what happened with conventional housing.

 

“An Elephant Ass,” Understanding GSEs, Duty to Serve, Manufactured Home Lending

 

Let’s recall that the 2008 housing/mortgage crisis was not the first such event.  The S&L crisis was smaller by comparison, but had an estimated $160 billion finance impact.

 

SavingsLoansCrisisWikiDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

Within that context, what’s noteworthy is that per various sources, Berkshire owned lenders de facto helped derail the use of DTS early after its passage and were a source of an excusing DTS now on virtually all but this new class of homes.

21st, Clayton, and Warren Buffett de facto revealed their responsibility for their harmful impact on manufactured home lending which caused thousands of retailers and some producers to go out of business.

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

That in turn also arguably kept lending from flowing back into the manufactured housing space.

 

DTS Manufactured Home Lending Committee Member Says MHI in “Unholy Alliance” to Divert Needed GSE Support Away from Manufactured Housing

 

The aftermath and outcomes were many. These incidents contributed to the tidal shift that hit not only manufactured home retailers, but also communities, occupancy, and thus their values were impaired too.

 

Manufactured Home Community Case Study, UMH Properties, Lessons for Independent Community Owners, Investors

 

There is also an element of self-fulfilling prophecy in this matter. A lack of lending naturally harms resale values of manufactured homes, much like it did with conventional housing during the housing/mortgage crisis.

Furthermore, as was reported last year, it was the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that said that manufactured homes demonstrably appreciated in value. Given the various ways that lending to manufactured homes have purportedly been artificially limited, that factoid is a pleasant surprise.

It should be noted that virtually all of what Weiss has recounted occurred prior to the Mark Calabria becoming Director of the FHFA.

 

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

In a previous comment to MHProNews, Weiss made the previous statements above and below about Duty to Serve (DTS).

 

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Additional points that bears mention is that the GSEs have been sponsoring MHI events. How is that not a conflict of interest?

 

2018-10-03_1018ManufacturedHousingInstituteHILogoCavcoFleetwoodPalmHarborFannieMaeFreddieMacLogoDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

Marty Lavin advises, “Follow the Money” and “Pay More Attention to What People Do Than What They Say.” The GSEs are praising manufactured home quality, but then worked with Clayton Homes and MHI to create a so-called ‘new class’ of manufactured homes, per sources.

 

Furthermore, well prior the Calabria era beginning and before the new Congress being seated in 2019, Jeb Hensarling pointed to what he felt was improper lobbying by GSEs. One of several possible references to that is linked via the text-image box below.

 

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

 

 

Conclusions

There is a quilt-work of items that are causing the slowdown and underperformance of manufactured housing. Financing must rank high on that list, for the reasons noted herein.

But at the core of these concerns ought to be the common threads.

  • Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, and Berkshire Hathaway have their finger prints on these matters.
  • Clayton and their related Berkshire lenders has been spotlighted by several Democratic lawmakers, including 2020 presidential hopefuls.

 

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

 

  • The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) held closed door meetings with the GSEs, that none of the parties involved have released meeting minutes on.  They should be part of any Congressional or other investigation.
  • The Seattle Times, and Clayton’s hometown local news media – besides MHProNews – has reported on numerous federal investigations relative to Clayton that purported involve MHI connections.

 

 

 

One of the posted comments on the video above, from ‘Tobz4uhuni ItsMyName’ posted this, with typos in the original:

Clayton aka Vanderbilt is a horrible place. I have been in mine since 07. They placed it on the wrong land and it sets off by 3 acres. They know they did this and refuses to move it and correct the problem. They also have been offered a deed to the piece of land where it sits providing they quit claim the other piece of land that sits 3 acrea off and they refuse to move. Yet these unethical people, predators, illegal subhumans expect for me to pay for this mobile home when it isnt attached to the acre its suppose to. It sits on someone elses land and he will be moving it soon bc he is building a home where the mobile home sits. Clayton can make it right, but refuses. Plus they sell someone whose credit scores are 500 and 525 mobile homes with a price tag of 63k, an interest rate of 10.5% and make only 9 dollars an hr. Make complaints with your attorney generals office, the state of Tennessees attorneys office and the consumer protection bureaus office. These people need to be stopped.”

These may well rise to the level that merit Congressional investigation, but also Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation.  In a recent statement, DoJ’s top antirust person made statements that if applied to Clayton et al could be seen as a warning sign. See the link here, and the related reports, further below.

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

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

 

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

Secretary Ben Carson’s, Julian Castro’s Manufactured Housing, “Trailer,” “Mobile Home” Revelations, 2020 Battles Ahead

 

 

 

 

 

Secretary Ben Carson’s, Julian Castro’s Manufactured Housing, “Trailer,” “Mobile Home” Revelations, 2020 Battles Ahead

June 8th, 2019 Comments off

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonJulianCastroManufacturedHousingTrailerHouseMobileHomeRevelations2020BattlesAheadMHProNews

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., has demonstrably done much since taking his oath of office to advance a proper understanding of manufactured homes.

 

In fairness, his predecessor Julian Castro, made a video that praised manufactured housing too.

 

 

While the next video interview with then Secretary Castro unfavorably used “trailer” terminology, the former mayor of San Antonio and current 2020 Democratic presidential nomination hopeful, nevertheless stressed the need for manufactured homes as an affordable housing option. Castro also stressed the need for resident protections, years before Last Week Tonight with Joy Oliver’s viral video misnamed “Mobile Homes” did.

 

 

Thus, videos and interviews by Dr. Carson as a HUD Secretary highlighting manufactured homes are not totally unique. There have been years of bipartisan efforts involving manufactured homes in this decade and previous ones too.

 

 

That is as it should be as affordable housing has been and remains a crisis.

 

 

It is also arguably part of HUD’s mandate that such pro-manufactured home statements and efforts fulfill.

Manufactured housing is the private sector solution to this problem, as Secretary Carson has underscored in various ways since taking on his new role. The evidence suggests he has been doing more to promote manufactured homes and other private sector innovative housing options than any HUD Secretary in the 21st century.

 

 

One can say he has built upon the foundation laid by his predecessor.  Indeed, the two echo the case made by a bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers who cited the facts that point to manufactured homes being an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.  The recent event on the National Mall, reflected in 2 of the videos above, was positive and could be potentially useful for the industry to clarify outdated misconceptions.

 

 

But all of that begs several questions for the inquiring mind. For example:

How is it that during an ongoing affordable housing crisis, given all the useful facts and evidence, that the market share of manufactured homes has declined in the overall percentage of new housing starts?

 

AveragePriceExisitngNewMobileHomeManufacturdHomeByYearSince1960GraphicNARManufacturedHomeDataResearchMHProNews

Insightful data, per NAR. From the July 2018 update of the Realtor University report available from this link here as a download, along with other third party studies on manufactured homes.

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders? Note that even an exiting MHI president took thinly veiled parting shots at his own association, see that, linked here

 

How is it that the use of the pejorative and inaccurate term “trailer” has grown in recent years, instead of diminished?

 

ManufacturedHomeDescriptionForemostInsuranceGroupResearchDailyBusinessNewsMHLivingNews

NFPAManufacturedHomeIsNotaMotorHomeOrTrailerAlthoughItisOftenCalledMobileHomeItIsNotThatEitherNFPADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is not a perfect definition by the NFPA, but it is clarifying and accurate.

 

What most think of as “mobile homes” has not been built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976. It was on that date, now some 43 years ago, that the mobile home era ended and the federally regulated HUD Code “manufactured home” era dawned.  These are construction, safety, and energy standard differences, not just marketing nomenclature.

Terminology2HarvardFreddieMacNeighborworksManufacturedHomeDefintionMobileHomeTraileModularPanelizedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews432

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

 

Mobile homes served a useful and important purpose prior to the HUD Code. Millions of pre-HUD code mobile homes are still serving as some of the nation’s most affordable homes, often with updates added since they were first built.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

Recent post-Oklahoma, Alabama tornado fact-check, videos, and related reports, linked here.

 

Indeed, the HUD Code manufactured home industry has over two decades or positive, third-party research to back up the claim that it is the most proven form of permanent affordable housing used in the United States today.

 

 

Which again begs questions. With so much useful data and evidence, why has manufactured housing been the solution for the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight?

 

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Earlier this year, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s (MHARR) Mark Weiss, JD, used an interesting phrase to capture what he and his colleagues believe is an “Illusion of Motion” at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). It was a new way to illustrate prior claims that MHI has been failing the industry’s post-production efforts.

The “Illusion of Motion” built upon a research study from MHARR President and CEO Weiss in November of 2017. That MHARR study demonstrated a need for a new body to represent communities, retailers, lenders, and others who are “post-production” operations. Producers, in this context, are those who build HUD Code manufactured homes, which MHARR itself is, as they state that they represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

Post-production topics are those issues that arise after a home leaves the factory.

Those post-production issues would include, but are not be limited to, zoning, placement, and financing issues.

Is MHARR alone in such concerns? Hardly.

Some manufactured home community associations broke from MHI, saying something similar. Neal Haney, who in 2018 co-founded the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO), said before their trade group was formalized why they broke from MHI in the first place.

 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

Publicly traded UMH President and CEO and MHI member said the following.

 

SamLandyQuotePeopleNeedQualityHomeReasonablePriceWeMHIndustryProvideThatOnlyEconomicDistortionsCausedByGovtMadeOurIndustry

 

Another MHI community sector member was more specific, pointing to financing related issues.

 

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

Numerous third party media reports underscored Rolfe’s claim. See several of those mainstream media video reports, linked here.

 

But to Landy’s and Lipshutz’s points, wasn’t it Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which includes MHI dominating forces such as Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, that supported presidential candidates that in turn backed the legislation that was the source of complaints like those cited above? 

Or why hasn’t Berkshire Hathaway used their dozens of BH Media Group and other media resources to clear up the mysteries about manufactured homes?

 

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

Or ponder what MHI member Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds of controversial RV Horizons – said this as part of a longer statement issued on June 1, 2019.

 

FrankRolfeDaveReynoldsRVHorizonsMobileHomeUQuoteSlammingManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

 

Mysterious Disconnects and Apparent Ineffectiveness, Why?

This pro-industry trade publication, our sister operations such as consulting, and our the general public focused Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) were MHI members for some 7 years. MHProNews and MHLivingNews were praised by several MHI elected and staff leaders, as what follows demonstrates.

 

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices-768x339

Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams that praised the pro-industry work of MHProNews, and our sister site. We at times take a light-hearted, or even satirical approach, to illustrate the issues. See an example of that in the video, below.

 

 

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

The words of the late Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

Disclosures

By way of disclosure, ours is a for-profit organization, that has been supported at various times by MHARR, MHI, and companies which are members of each trade group.  Our editorial stance is demonstrably based upon a simple premise. That the manufactured housing industry is much needed, misunderstood, and should be performing far better during an affordable housing crisis.

We’ve supported and led the way on educational initiatives, such as fact, evidence, and third-party commentary focused MHLivingNews. As pro-consumer, pro-free enterprise trade media, and as industry experts/consultants/service providers, we have long believed that manufactured homes are a nonpartisan or bipartisan solution for the need for affordable housing.

The homes our industry produces routinely serve the nation with no-taxpayer subsidies.

At various times, we’ve questioned the efforts of a variety of trade groups, based upon the evidence known at that time. So those MHI surrogates that allege differently are demonstrably mistaken. It’s our follow-the-evidence, facts, common sense, patterns, and the money-trail that has made and kept us the runaway most-read trade media in our industry’s history.  The top people and management in MHI companies, MHARR member firms, or among non-association aligned companies of all sizes have told us that they are regular readers.

 

BarryColeMHInsuranceRVMHHallofFameCongratsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

That’s not said to brag, but rather to clarify that we’re not crackpots on the sidelines spouting nonsensical conspiracy theories. We cite sources accurately, provide evidence, follow-the-money trail, and give those we question in our fact-checks the opportunity to respond. As recently as a few days ago, MHI’s and Berkshire’s manufactured home corporate leaders were given an opportunity to explain concerns like those noted herein.

Their response?  No comment.

Given that MHI leaders themselves have praised us publicly, that begs more questions.

Why on various occasions have their general counsel, or outside attorneys for MHI, threatened us in writing over evidence-based reports?  Note that after several years of that, they’ve never taken legal action; perhaps wisely so. Because how would they justify a suit against an operation that they’ve praised? Or how do they attack a trade media source whose goal is to see the industry grow to its potential?  Wouldn’t a suit open them up to a counter-suit, that could lead via discovery to them being forced to disclose information that they’ve withheld when requested in recent years?

The evidence suggests that the powers that be in MHVille praised us up until our fact-checks and analysis apparently made them too uncomfortable.  But instead of disproving or explaining away the concerns raised here, they stopped responding, and used other tactics instead.  Besides legal and other threats, they apparently lined up surrogates.  One of them is the one that follows.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

To see more disconnects between Allen and his flip-flops, then and now, click here and here.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

The word heard is that MHI-connected leaders made a bargain with Allen to get him to praise them and attempt to diminish our trade media. Allen has called for a boycott of this publication, in writing.  Among the problems with that approach has been that Allen himself has blasted MHI, Clayton Homes, and others for the same kinds of concerns that we or MHARR, among others, have raised. To our knowledge, Allen has never explained his flip-flops on his blog or other musings.  By contrast, Allen’s record of criticism of those he now embraces is evidenced by the pull quotes as shown.  Rephrased, Allen makes a poor surrogate, as he’s made similar allegations himself, prior to his recent flip-flop.

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

Like MHARR – indeed, citing MHARR, Allen called for a new post-production association. Oddly, Allen more recently has attacked MHARR, whose position has been consistent, while Allen’s has arguably vacillated based upon MHI’s support, or not. But Allen is but one of many who have made allegations of monopolistic practices in manufactured housing. 

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x237

While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge, Doug Ryan at CFED (renamed Prosperity Now), and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI. 

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsAntiTrustAntiMonopolyClaytonHomesWarrenBuffettPredatoryLenderMinoritiesMoreDailyBusinessNewsManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

Austin Frerick with the Open Markets nonprofit is among a range of writers that span the left-right media divide which have criticized Buffett’s tactics as monopolistic.

HowClaytonHomesMakesMoneyAustinFrerickTwitterOpenMarketsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

Let’s note here that success in an industry – honestly earned – is not what we’re called out. Antitrust laws are not designed to punish success, as a former DOJ antitrust professional recently said. However, various kinds of bad behavior may be violations of antitrust or other laws. That’s what our concerns are aimed at. Evidence and allegations of violations of the law.

 

Does Monopolistic Machinations Explain Why MHI Is Ineffective? Or Why Manufactured Housing Has Retreated Since Berkshire Bought Clayton Homes?

Which begs perhaps the most salient points at this time in the wake of what is properly understood as a positive week by Secretary Carson’s Innovative Housing Showcase.

For all of the positive and apt points that Dr. Carson has raised, why has he never mentioned “enhanced preemption?”

–      Is it possible that HUD staff – that certainly must be aware of that provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) – has not told him about the enhanced preemption of manufactured housing passed by Congress in a bipartisan way, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton?

–      Is it possible that MHARR’s letter addressed to Secretary Carson on enhanced preemption was not provided to him?

–      Is it possible that MHI has not raised and pressed this issue of enhanced preemption, in their several meetings with HUD staff?

Noting that MHARR and MHProNews are among those who’ve promoted enhanced preemption in digital print for years, more on those questions later.

But for now, let’s point to our recent report on that in the linked text-image box below, and then press on to what is shaping up as a serious issue in the approaching 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Other 2020 Democratic Candidates, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

There is an affordable housing crisis in this country,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren in the video below. “That’s why we are here. A safe, stable, affordable home is the foundation for almost everything else in our lives.”

That statement by Senator Warren is every bit as accurate as the ones by HUD Secretary Carson who has said similarly, in his own words.

Note that at the time that Senator Warren made this comment in the MHAction video below, MHProNews was not yet aware of the financial connections between Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), and numerous other interests that are directly engaged in the manufactured housing industry. Buffett bucks fund the Tides nonprofit, which in turn funds MHAction. Restated, it isn’t just progressive billionaire icon George Soros who is supporting some of these groups.  Warren Buffett has been too. Buffett and Berkshire have arguably been funding both sides of the fight over key issues in manufactured housing.

 

 

That noted, Senator Warren – sometimes in concert with congressional representatives – has fired off several letters to firms that routinely have ties to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Copies of those letters can be found as a download in the report linked below.

 

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

 

Warren and other 2020 Democratic hopefuls have raised the issue of Clayton Homes, and their fellow Berkshire Hathaway owned manufactured housing industry lenders, in a letter to the CFPB. See that in the report linked from the text-image graphic below.

 

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

 

Anti-monopolistic actions are taking a more important role on the national stage, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have reportedly launched antitrust probes. Clayton has been accused of racism by Democratic leaders too.

 

President Donald J. Trump, a variety of Democratic and Republican leaders, have raised several concerns over consolidation, tipping the scales of free speech online, antitrust, and monopolistic behavior in the last 2 years.

 

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

While there is known to be such probes regarding the FAANG stocks, and so-called Big Tech, our sources tell us that Berkshire Hathaway’s activities has also been brought to DoJ’s antitrust division’s attention.

The Seattle Times similarly reported in 2018 that several federal investigations are underway in Washington involving Clayton and their related lenders.  Knoxville, TN metro based Clayton and their related lending units were spotlighted by their hometown media, in the May 22, 2018 video report below.  So there is smoke, does it suggest a fire?

 


 

Several Mainstream Media Reports cited Concerns Over Monopolistic Practices, and Often Name Buffett, Berkshire, and Clayton Homes

·        The New York Times had an interesting article on the historic trends, and named several industries being monopolized.

·        The Atlantic, without specifying how the monopolization was being accomplished, noted that the independent retailers in manufactured housing were being rapidly eliminated/consolidated, that report is linked here.

·        GuruFocus said “Warren Buffett Can’t Escape Unethical Strategic Moats,” their specific points are linked here.

·        The Nation called it “The Dirty Secret Behind Warren Buffett’s Billions…” and specifies Clayton Homes among those using the strategic moat in ‘dirty’ ways.

·        The Jacksonville Florida Times Union summarized the connection between the John Oliver viral hit video dubbed “Mobile Homes,” MHI, Clayton Homes, and their related lenders. That op-ed was first fact-checked by an editor, before it was published not only in the one newspaper it was submitted, but at least in 5 Florida newspapers.

While these and other mainstream media sources that span the left-right spectrum have pointed to ethical and other concerns with respect to Warren Buffett’s ‘strategic Moat,’ it is Manufactured Home Living News and this platform have to date documented specific examples. Attorneys which have reviewed the report linked below say is compelling evidence of antitrust violations by MHI’s most prominent member, Clayton Homes and their affiliated lender, 21st Mortgage.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, one of two such documents from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

Finally, there have been long-standing concerns raised for years by this trade publisher – MHProNews – and by MHARR regarding the need to fully implement the Duty to Serve by the GSEs.

 

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

Since 2003, during an affordable housing crisis, the total number of manufactured homes being produced per year has declined.  So too has the percentage of new manufactured housing units.  The factors noted and linked from this report are among the contributing challenges that have arguably caused this to be so.

Publicly traded MHI member, Skyline Champion (SKY), is but one of several sources that point to the industry’s underperformance.  Do factors like those outlined and linked from this report help shed light as to why the industry is underperforming?  As but one of several internal and external barometers, RVs have soared in the last 2o years, while manufactured housing is but a shadow of what it was 2 decades ago in total sales.  Yet RVs are a luxury item, and housing is a necessity, the later point being made by voices across the political divide, such as Senator Warren and Secretary Carson, have pointed out.

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Graphic by Skyline Champion, commentary by MHProNews.

 

But what federal officials may not have completely honed in upon is that during that contraction, Clayton has grown their market share, as the next two pie charts reflect.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Note the acceleration of Clayton’s consolidation, after the letter below by 21st was issued? That’s what some legal minds have called ‘smoking gun’ evidence of antitrust behavior.  Other evidence linked here reflects that the claims by Tim Williams were a mix of the truth and untrue. Rephrased, this was plausible cover for alleged antitrust law behavior.

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticPloyConcernManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This document was provided as a news tip to MHProNews. To see the full report, click here.

 

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesMarketShareManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e1528746976415

 

 

Coincidence? Or is it because Buffett’s bucks have – via third-party documented ‘dark money’ channels, has funded both the opposition to the industry by MHAction and other activist groups, as well as purportedly dominating MHI.

 

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

This raises several issues that bear federal agencies, media and other investigations, and congressional oversight.

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

Because there is a pattern and evidence that reflects the very real possibility that market manipulations and ‘predatory behavior’ by a small number of MHI member companies has cost the industry billions of dollars a year in potential sales.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

Is that an accident, mere coincidence?  Or is it indicative of something more sinister that often causes millennials and others to question capitalism, when it is specific and problematic corporate behavior that should be scrutinized, not the entire free enterprise system.

As tent cities grow in various parts of our nation, of course there will be an outcry by people against such troubling developments.

 

Tent Cities, Homelessness, Crime, Disease, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

While Secretary Carson and his predecessor have both praised manufactured homes, the inexplicable failure to use “enhanced preemption” or the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” legal principles to address these issues reflect some breakdown between the need and solutions that are already law.

It is mind boggling that MHI has no mention of enhanced preemption on their website, as of the date of the report linked below.  By contrast, MHARR, MHLivingNews, MHProNews and others have numerous articles and years of reports that point to that the need to enforce the law on federal preemption.

 

Members Point to Positives, Problematic – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) says, “Get the Facts on Zoning”

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

Summing Up

Affordable housing, related lending, and a failure to properly promote manufactured housing are cited by people in and out of MHI as real problems.  This publication has stressed that not all MHI members should be viewed as black hats.  But that ‘black hat’ behavior has occurred from several prominent MHI member-firms is difficult if not impossible to intelligently dispute.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Nathan Smith, Joe Stegmayer, Tim Williams, have all had various allegations lodged against them, as has Clayton Homes. Follow the links to learn more, which explains the satirical logo’s point.

 

Small Businesses, Consumers Are Being Harmed

These purported ploys in turn have cost small businesses collectively billions of dollars in the value of their enterprises. In response to declining shipments during an affordable housing crisis, which clearly harm smaller, more marginal businesses more than larger ones.  Bigger players with black hat behavior fuels bad news. The black hats may be using white hat companies in the same association to dress up their overall image.

MHI routinely has a reference to their antitrust statement – linked here – at the start of their individual business meeting sessions.  But that doesn’t change the reality that the industry is being consolidated into ever fewer hands.

To see if this is mere happenstance or something sinister if not illegal, federal, state, other interests, and advocates must do more to investigate beyond what has been done in articles like this and the linked reports herein and further below.

Secretary Carson has been doing a lot for manufactured housing publicly. But a counternarrative is also at play, which videos like John Oliver’s dwarf the good news that Secretary Carson is attempting to foster.  To date, the MHI ‘Homes on the Hill’ videos posted on this page have had about 2,000 total views between the 5 videos.  That’s helpful.  But John Oliver’s viral attack on manufactured housing has had over 6 million views.  That’s the factual reality.

Both major parties are making affordable housing and antitrust issues.

–      Will one party or both grab the bull by the horns, and investigate Berkshire Hathaway publicly?

–      Will one or both political parties call Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, and Tim Williams in to testify under oath about the evidence and allegations linked here?

–      Will federal and other investigators formally and publicly examine claims since the item linked above of further market manipulations, such as the ones reported at this link here?

–      Will the Feds and others allow Berkshire’s money and reputation to back them off? Or will they listen to voices that include MHI members who have said for years there is something wrong at the Arlington, VA based ‘umbrella’ trade group?

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

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

Ponder the following 4 items from current-former MHI members.  On the issue of DTS, ponder the photo of MHI’s sponsors, and then MHARR’s comment about DTS.

 

TheHUDCodeforManufacturedHomesisADiscriminationCodeMartyLavinJDMHIAwardWinnerMHRetailFinanceExpertCommunitiesOwnerPhotoQuoteMHProNews

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

 

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Marty Lavin advises, “Follow the Money” and “Pay More Attention to What People Do Than What They Say.” The GSEs are praising manufactured home quality, but then backed Clayton in supporting a ‘new class’ of manufactured homes, with key MHI member input, that is aimed at funneling that lending, per informed sources.

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The Trump Administration officials shown above could well find themselves the target of MHAction, or other similar activist group’s claims, that they are acting on behalf of the MHI’s largest companies. Indeed, MHI has implied as much in their ‘photo op’ messages to their own members. Are we to think that MHAction doesn’t already have these photos? MHAction and their affiliated groups have arguably already laid the foundation for that in their prior protests of Secretary Carson, and large MHI members, as the video with Senator Warren above illustrates. To be clear, MHProNews is not accusing these officials of any wrongdoing, but rather, we are hereby pointing out the on issues such as DTS, Enhanced Preemption, or Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, failure to fully and properly address those as federal law already requires could leave well meaning photo ops to be twisted into something that those officials never imagined. To learn more, click here.

 

Let’s dot the i on the above by saying anew that in pointing the finger at the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, that is not to be misconstrued as saying that all of those in said organizations are all tainted.  Among our sources are those in Clayton Homes, 21st, and MHI, to name but a few.  There are good people working in these organizations who are as troubled by what is occurring to the industry as we and others are.

 

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

Millions of Americans are trapped in rentals, largely unaware of the good news that Secretary Carson has said during his tenure at HUD, or what scores of others in manufactured housing have been saying for years. Will MHI take these helpful videos that Secretary Carson made possible, and robustly promote them?  Or will they be a mere fig leaf? The latest head-fake to members, another illusion of motion, while the industry continues to consolidate?  Meanwhile,  millions search for affordable housing, when the solution is hiding in plain sight?

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One can agree or not with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett What is undisputable is that for years, MHI pursued a bill that their own SVP of Government Relations said had essentially no chance of passage. Where was the logic? Or was it a ‘rope-a-dope‘ ploy?

 

But there is a rationale case to be made that forces within the industry have intentionally limited the industry, with the purported aim of consolidating businesses at a discount in a fashion that might slip by antitrust regulatory scrutiny.

 

Enforce Existing Law

But as or more important is that the solution requires no new legislation.  The solution is already federal law.  It need but be enforced. But there is evidence that the powers that be in the industry don’t want to solve the problem now.  They want to consolidate more of the industry. Meanwhile, the suffering of millions of people and thousands of independent business professionals continues.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. MHProNews and our sister site continue to chop away at the core issues that are close to the heart of what is arguably keeping manufactured housing from achieving its potential.

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Sometimes the truth is hiding in plain sight. Follow the facts, evidence, and the money.

 

Thus a public federal investigation, led by Congress, but with parallel efforts in the federal agencies, needs to be handled as publicly as possible. Why? Because the harm being done to the manufactured home industry is harming the public, plus independents who are arguably a victim too.

Renters, manufactured home owners, and voters need to understand that this is consolidating Machiavellian ploy is harming their interests.  The industry’s honest professionals should not be punished, it is the alleged bad actors who need to be held to account.

If we as a nation do so, then Secretary Carson’s solution for America may come to pass. The fabled doctor’s prescription, if put to work, could prove useful to millions and would save taxpayers billions too.  It would also create countless new jobs, and spark new investment opportunities.

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https://www.valuepenguin.com/home-insurance/fear-manufactured-homes-affordable-housing-crisis If MHI were serious about growing the industry, why have they not spotlighted articles like the one linked above?

 

The reports linked herein plus those below the byline and notices include articles that document how a natural economic boom could take place, raising the net worth of individuals who could leave the world of renting and become owners of affordable housing’s most obvious and proven solution. Modern manufactured homes are a proven solution. There is much work to be done to make that prescription and potential a reality.

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.

To learn more, see the reports linked above and below. More on this simple yet-profound topic tomorrow and in the days ahead. No politics, just 311 words that boil down to two words. Enhanced preemption. “We Provide, You Decide” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/we-as-a-nation-can-solve-the-affordable-housing-crisis-says-secretary-ben-carson-spotlighting-manufactured-homes-other-emerging-housing-technologies/

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hud-secretary-ben-carson-speech-on-manufactured-homes-manufactured-housingactive-ingredientmedicationfor-a-stronger-america/

 

 

 

 

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

Tim Sheahan, NMHOA President, Controversial Points of Agreement with Marty Lavin, George Allen on Communities

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

“Home is Where Our Hearts Are” – President Trump Address to American Housing Professionals

May 21st, 2019 Comments off
HomeWhereOurHeartsArePresidentTrumpAddressAmericanHousingProfessionalsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from video, shown further below.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a slight dip in the sales of existing homes, which will be part of a planned upcoming report.  But real estate in general is seen as strong.  But the need for housing is strong, which is a factor fueling the steady rise of prices in most parts of the country.

 

Against that backdrop, the Daily Business News on MHProNews shares the recent speech by President Donald J. Trump to the NAR in Washington, D.C.  HUD Secretary Carson was in attendance too, and we’ll link his relevant and related address to manufactured housing professionals, at this link here.  The 45th president references the HUD Secretary’s work several times during a roughly one hour speech.

The pull quotes that will follow the video of the entire talk by POTUS Trump are from Inman, who’s full report on this talk by President Trump is linked here.

The president – who spent decades in real estate, developing, and building – very much has the feel of a professional talking to a group of friends.  He’s clearly comfortable.  The president kids with them, and the audience applauds – or boos – in a friendly, joking manner.

This address is useful to understanding the Trump Administration’s approach to many issues, and how much he respects the housing industry.

With those thoughts, let’s dive into the video and some pull quotes. The linked comments under lending and housing finance reform topics are not in the original but were edited in by MHProNews to connect it to manufactured housing related reports.

 

 

Opening Comments from President Trump

“Home is where our hearts are. And all of you, as Americans, you find a home for the ones that you love the most. So today, I want to thank all of you. This is a time of extraordinary opportunity for our country. And as I said, I think our country is doing better now than we’ve ever done before, as an economy. And I think it’s going to get even better. (Applause.)

We’re the envy of the world. There’s only — truly never been a better time, in my opinion, to build and break ground in America. People are making a lot of money and they’re doing well. And jobs are so good. And so many positive things are happening.

We’ve added nearly 6 million jobs since my election, including more than 120,000 real estate jobs. You believe that? (Applause.) See, I view that as a negative. I say, “120,000 more people that we have to compete with.” Right? (Laughter.) What do we need that for?

We’ve also gained more than 650,000 new construction jobs. (Applause.) And, you know — and if you remember, when I first came here — and if you remember three years ago, four years ago, five years ago, it wasn’t so good. But right now, America really is, once again, a nation of builders. We’re building again. (Applause.)

More than 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps, and we’re getting Americans off of welfare and back into the workforce. That’s a great thing. (Applause.) Great thing. That’s a great thing. I mean, you think of that: Five million people off of food stamps. You know what that costs? First of all, it’s a tragedy. But you know what that costs? So they’re off and now they’re working. So they’re actually paying taxes instead of — really, it’s costing a lot of money. Food stamps is very expensive.”

 

Improving Economy, Draining Swamp

“And after years of stagnation, wages are rising fast, with the quickest growth for blue-collar workers. The best statistic of all — and people don’t know. Everyone is doing great. The rich are doing great. The not-so-rich are doing great. The middle income is doing the best. But the best of all: The blue-collar worker has the biggest percentage increase of anybody. And that’s beautiful. (Applause.)

And these things didn’t just happen by accident. They happened because we are taking out this power out of Washington — these bad people — and returning it to the American people, where it belongs. Just think about Comey and these characters. Think about Comey and the gang. (Applause.) Drain the swamp. Drain the swamp.

Comey, Brennan, Clapper — we’re draining the swamp, folks. (Applause.) And you think it’s easy? It’s not easy. It’s not easy, but we’re doing it. We’re getting rid of a lot bad ones.”

 

Realtors, Farmers, Ranchers…

And we’ve also done something that, for this room, and for farmers, and for ranchers, and for, you know, small businesses — fairly big businesses, actually — we’ve virtually eliminated the very unfair estate tax, also known as the death tax. So — — (applause) — so, if you want to leave your real estate company to your child or your children — they like real estate, they have an aptitude, and you love them, and they love you; otherwise don’t do it. To hell with them. (Laughter.)

But what we have now is you don’t have to pay any estate taxes. You know what that is? That’s a big deal. Because a lot of times — and it happened with the farmers, where in some cases, they’re land rich, but not income rich, but the farm has been in the family for 150 years, and they love it, and they do well, and that’s what they do, and they love it. They wouldn’t want to do anything else. And they die and it would taxed on the value of the land, and all sorts of things happened. Then they go to the banks and they borrow money. And then they have a little down spell and they end up losing the farm, losing the business. You have no tax to pay anymore. And nobody talks about it, but to me that’s a big thing. That’s a big thing. (Applause.)

 

Opportunity Zones, HUD Secretary Ben Carson

“And thanks to the Opportunity Zones — where Ben Carson has been working so hard — (applause) — right? — made possible by tax reform, we’re making enormous investments in distressed communities. Tremendous.

I will tell you this — and, Ben, I think you can agree with me. He has to agree. (Laughter.) By the way, if he doesn’t, he will tell me. I guarantee. He’ll stand up and say, “Sir, I disagree with you there.”

It’s amazing the way it’s worked out. Do you agree? I had no idea. Tim Scott was very much involved. And we did it. And, you know, I’ve been hearing about these things for 40 years. “Oh, we’re going to do this; we’re going to do that.” Nothing works. These things have become tremendously successful. Tremendously successful in areas where money was never invested.

Very, very big, powerful, rich people are spending tremendous amounts of money. They have certain tax advantages, but we’ve got them to open their wallets, and the jobs that are being created in neighborhoods where people wouldn’t go before.

The Opportunity Zones — and it’s starting to be seen, and it’s starting to be written about — it’s a great achievement for Tim Scott. It’s a great achievement for Ben Carson. It’s really a — some of the people that those — the early people, Ben, that worked. Who else would you say, Ben? Four or five people that really were in the front — the forefront. But you two, I’d say, in particular. I’m going to get myself in trouble with the other three, but I’m not going to bother because you people don’t care who the hell they are. (Laughter.)

But they know they did a good job. Right, Ben? (Laughter.) They know they did a good job. (Applause.)”

Bob, opportunity zones

  1. TURNER: Thank you, Mr. President. What an honor to be here today.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, Bob!

  1. TURNER: (Laughs.) Thanks. Thank you so much for this great economy. When you were elected, in Memphis, the cloud lifted off of Memphis and the economy took off. It really did. (Applause.) And the Opportunity Zones are creating so many opportunities for everybody across this country. And you came to Millington, Tennessee, a couple of years ago.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.

  1. TURNER: About a mile from where you landed, we own 47 acres that are in the Opportunity Zone. We’re developing 247 units of apartments, and we’re building 71 single-family home lots on this 47 acres. We will create about $40 million of economic development in Millington, Tennessee. (Applause.)

Millington has not seen any new developments for over 10 years. No new apartments, very few houses, and it’s home of the naval air station — naval base — with your fine patriots. And it’s going to make a change in that town.

We’re also developing a large development in Memphis. It’s 1,500 apartments, a hotel, and about 3,500 square-foot of retail space that will create about $400 million in economic development. It’s not in an Opportunity Zone, but it’s creating a tremendous amount of jobs in Memphis. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Great. Great place.

  1. TURNER: Yep. So, as realtors across this country, we’ve been talking about this all this week, and I’ve told them they are the catalyst for this Opportunity Zone with Mr. Carson and President Trump. And without it, we would not be able to revitalize these communities that need help.

I had the opportunity to come to the White House and represent our realtors in your economic summit for the Opportunity Zone, and I thought it was all about real estate. But it’s about workforce, it’s about housing, it’s about every kind of economic development you can do in these zones. And it’s really going to make a difference.

As you said, the money is flowing. The day that you all released those rules, the faucet turned on. There is hundreds of millions of dollars looking for a place to invest in your communities. And this group here, Mr. President, is in the center of it. (Applause.)

Our realtors are going to create this situation in every city and town across the country and be the catalyst for building these Opportunity Zones out to put people to work and put people in homes, and revitalize our nation. And we — on behalf of the realtors, we want to thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

  1. TURNER: And I want to say one more thing. (Applause.) Thank you, Mr. President, for making America great again. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Bob. Wow. That’s from the heart. No notes, no nothing. That’s from the heart.”

 

Lifting Undue Regulations Leads to Growth

So as our economy booms like never before, we’re lifting millions of our citizens from welfare to work, dependence to independence, and poverty to prosperity.

But as everyone in this business knows, nothing kills economic growth faster than government bureaucrats, regulation. With all that power and not enough common sense, lots of bad things can happen quickly. And that’s why we’re waging a historic deregulation campaign that especially affects the real estate business. And that’s liberating our citizens from bureaucracy and freeing our economy to soar higher than ever. And it can continue to go up.

To see the disastrous results of over-regulation, you take a look at what’s going on in California. Housing costs are among the highest in the country. Development restrictions make it sometimes impossible to build. What they do — I mean, years and years of turmoil. I have one job, it’s called the Coastal Commission. Oh, they’re fun to deal with. (Laughter.) If you’re really good, you’ll have your permits within 20 years, or not have them within 20 years. “We vote no.” “Wait a minute, we’ve been looking at these things for 20 years.” “We vote no.” How about that?”

“How about when you’re looking at a permit, you’ve devoted millions and millions of dollars, and you go into that hearing, after years, and you have no idea if they’re going to vote yes or no? And oftentimes, they vote no. So we’re trying to end that.

State and local regulations can easily add $200,000 to the price of a single home. And it’s no surprise that in California — and I don’t want to single them out, but they have a train going up now — you know, this fast train? You heard about this disaster? (Laughter and applause.) I mean, you people know how to build on time, on budget — preferably ahead of time and under budget, right? This is a train that’s not working out so well. It’s a fast train, but not a bullet train. So it’s not that fast. (Laughter.) And it was going to go from San Francisco to Los Angeles. And then, a thing called cost overruns happened. And many of you know about it — well, it’s in the thing today because I said, “We’re not paying any more money for it. California has lost control.”

 

California and the Bullet Train

“What a minute, what are they doing? You got an airline that goes from San Francisco to Los Angeles much faster, and it’s less money. So how does this work?”

And again, it’s not that really fast train; it’s just a fast train. (Laughter.) Meaning, it’s slow. (Laughter.) Meaning — meaning, it’s obsolete, right? You know, it’s obsolete before — if you’re going to do it, you do the bullet train. You do the really fast deal. So it’s obsolete before they start.”

 

Global Warming vs. Forest Management 

“But they had a way of doing it. They were going to show me — the [CA] Governor — a nice guy. A nice, young guy. (Laughter.) Talking about forests — clean up your forests; you won’t have forest fires. Clean them up. He blames it on global warming. I said, “No, try cleaning the floor of the forest a little bit so you don’t have four feet of leaves and broken trees that have sit there for 25 years.” (Applause.) “Try cleaning the floor of the forest. You won’t have forest fires.” (Applause.) And I got killed for that. It’s called “forest management.” I got killed for that. And then, about three weeks later, they announced I was right. (Laughter.) Because I was out there last year and what I saw was so horrific with some of the fires — so many people killed. The fire was — you talk about bullets, the fire was like a bullet.”

 

Developing, Regulatory Story Telling and Corrupt, “Rigged System” Example

The president told a story about a development of his that never took place, and why he thinks it failed to come to fruition.

“And how did [environmental/regulatory] people find out about the lake? My consultant told them. Because, this way, you have to use your environmental consultant longer, pay them more money to get you out of the jam. Isn’t that nice? (Laughter.) I fired his ass so fast. (Laughter and applause.) True story. It’s a true story. A true story.”

 

Low Unemployment, High Employment

“The unemployment numbers are great, but the employment numbers are even better. We have the most people working today than at any time in the history of our country. We have almost 160 million people working. (Applause.)

And many of those people are going to go out and buy a house. Right, Tracy? They’re going to use you as the broker. (Applause.) They’re going to call — “Tracy, I want to buy a house. And I won’t pay you 6 percent, Tracy. I won’t.” (Laughter.) “I’ll pay you 1 percent.” I was famous for that. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: No, no. Don’t worry. Nobody accepted it. Don’t feel — (laughter) — but I tried like hell, I’ll tell you. (Laughter.) No, but I’d get it down to 4 or 5; that’s not so bad.”

 

Having a Good Seller/Broker

“But, really, there’s nothing like a good broker. I mean, you’re no different than a great surgeon, a great anything. I mean, it’s true. (Applause.) It’s true. And you’re not all brokers; you’re realtors, and you build, and you rent, and you lease. But you sell.”

 

As President, Still Thinks About Real Estate

“So, even as President — and that’s why I tell you — even as President, I ride down those streets, and I say, “Wow, is that place nice. Wow, what could you do with that? Look at that site.” And then I said, “Wait a minute. I have to deal with China. Forget about this now.” (Laughter and applause.)

So I love your business, and we’re here today because realtors play a special role in the American economy. And that’s true. I would think it’s the largest business in this country, when you add it all up. You add up all the family firms and the big real estate firms, and the single-family homebuilders, and the ones that do a lot of homes — I mean, thousands and thousands.

But you add it all up, and it’s the biggest business. There’s nothing close. It’s bigger than oil and gas, which is big. It’s bigger than cars. Bigger than anything. You know, as a group — as a group, you’re a tremendously big business and a very powerful business, politically, because you have numbers. Numbers is power.”

 

Trade, China, WTO, NAFTA

“So we’re reversing years of calamitous trade policies that gutted the American middle class. Nearly two decades ago, politicians in Washington placed China into the WTO — the World Trade Organization — one of the great catastrophes in the history of our country as far as trade is concerned — between that and NAFTA, you had two real beauties — allowing it to largely do whatever they want to do to the American marketplace.

During that time, we lost nearly one in four manufacturing jobs and racked up trillions and trillions of dollars in trade deficits. But those days are now over, folks. (Applause.) And we’re taking action.”

“And also, you take a look at what’s happening: If we build here, there are no tariffs. You know, people don’t realize that. If we build here — you know, right now we’re — you become dependent on buying things from outside. If we put a little factory or whatever, to make whatever product they’re buying — and a lot of people are now looking at it. And the other alternative: You buy from another country where they’re not tariffed, where they’re treating us more fairly and we don’t tariff them.

So it’s hundreds of billions of dollars. And out of that, we’re going to give a portion of it to our farmers, because these are great patriots. These are people that don’t want anything. They just want a fair playing surface. And our farmers are doing — going to do really well. I mean, they’re doing well, but they’re going to do really well. (Applause.)

Between that and the USMCA, our farmers are going to be very happy, very shortly. But you’re talking about maybe $15 billion to our farmers, out of $125 billion. And they’re really — you have to understand: They’ve taken the brunt because China, to negotiate with us, said, “Well, we’re not going to buy any of your farm products.” So I called Sonny Perdue, our great Secretary of Agriculture, and I said, “Sonny…” — (applause) — I said, “Sonny, what’s the biggest amount they’ve ever spent in this country?” He said, “About $15 billion. People could say 18, 19. But basically $15 billion.” And I said, “So let’s take $15 billion, set it aside out of the 100 or 125 billion, whatever it may be, and what we’ll do is, the farmers will sell at a lower price because of competition. And what we do is we make up the difference. We have a little bit of a difference. We make up the difference.”

 

Farmers better than Realtors 

“But you can go back 18 years, and you see what’s happened. How has it worked out? NAFTA has been bad for the farmers. A lot of people don’t realize it. They get stuck on it, out of habit. But we’re taking care of our farmers, and everybody is happy about it. I’ve never heard a complaint, literally.

But these are patriots. I watched some people on television today, because some of them don’t even know what I just told you. They said, “Yeah, we’re hurting, but I know that China is doing terrible things to us for many, many years. And we want our President to fix it, and this is the only President that’s had the courage or the guts to fix it. And we’re behind our President all the way.” (Applause.) That’s the farmers say that. That’s the farmers. That’s the farmers. Farmers are incredible.

I don’t know, they may even be better than the realtors, as far as I’m concerned.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: I think they’re better than the realtors.”

 

No Subsidies

“What do you mean by that?” “We don’t want that. We want to produce — I’ve been on this land with my family for 150 years.” He said, “My family has been here for 152 years,” or something. He said, “We just want a fair playing field. It’s not fair what they’ve done to us with Canada charging us 285 percent tariffs.” We took care of that.

With all of the things that happens — and then China, every time they want to negotiate with the United States, they stop buying farm product. And China is massive. You know, they can buy a lot or stop buying a lot. And they use the farmers to negotiate — and especially with me, because they know I love the farmers. And they know the farmers — you look in the middle of this country; that whole thing is beautiful Republican red. That whole thing. (Applause.) So they use them…

But I thought it was incredible. They said, “We don’t want subsidy. We don’t want a handout, sir. We don’t want this. We want just a level playing field. Let us do what we do better than anybody in the world.” I said, “Man, is that nice.” And every single person in that room agreed with him. It was great. So I had to tell you that story. It’s not a real estate story, but it’s a — (applause).”

 

NATO and EU

“After years of building up other countries, we’re finally building our country. (Applause.) And I’ve directed federal agencies — thank you. (Applause.) Thank you.

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT: You just — you know — smart people. (Laughter.) Aren’t we — hey, seriously, aren’t we tired of being ripped off? (Applause.) We’re being ripped off by everybody.

You know, I tell people about NATO — NATO is fine. But I got them to spend $100 billion more. We were paying, essentially, for most of NATO. I got them to pay $100 billion. And believe it or not, that’s not nearly enough. You know, it’s big stuff.

But the European Union treats us, I would say, worse than China. They’re just smaller. Can you believe it? They have trade barriers. They don’t want our farm products. They don’t want our cars. They don’t want — they send Mercedes Benzes in here like they’re cookies. (Laughter.) They send BMWs here. We hardly tax them at all, John. We hardly tax them at all. Yet, you want to send our cars over there? Forget it. You want to send our agricultural products over there? “Oh, I’m sorry. We don’t want them. We have our own farmers.” It’s a very unfair situation…

So we protect them. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars protecting them. And then they take advantage of us on trade. It’s not — it’s not fair. We lost $180 billion with the European Union. And we all love Europe. We love Europe. I think they got to be careful with Europe, frankly. But we all love Europe. But it’s not fair the way they treat us. So I just tell you that.”

 

Transportation, Roads Speed Up

“I’ve directed federal agencies to drastically accelerate the approval process for new roads and bridges so that our families can get where they want to go, safely — (applause) — and our economy can keep running full speed ahead.

I mean, highways that were taking 21 years to get an approval. There’s a highway in a state not so far away — took 20 years to get it approved. And they had an opening, fairly recently — not a big road — it’s, sort of, not even a highway. It’s less than a highway. But by the time it ended up, it was 20 years late. They spent tens of million dollars on environmental impact statements. The road was a dead-straight road — the first road, dead straight — so that, if you had a rough night, you can go straight. (Laughter.)

Now it’s a road that goes this way — (laughter) — because of nesting — different things. Nesting. Who the hell knows what’s nesting? But whatever it is — (laughter). So the road ends up being twice as long and curving like hell. And unless you’re 100 percent sharp, you’re in deep trouble. (Laughter.) They got these barriers, right? You know, the barriers? These — bwah, wah. (Laughter.)…

So we’re stopping that. We’re trying to get it down. It takes 17, 18 years to get a highway approved. We’re trying to get it down to one. We have it down to two. We think we can get it down to one. (Applause.)”

 

Approvals from 17 Years Down to 2 Years

“And we’re getting rid of the quadruples. You know, you have many quadruples. You have some where you need 10 agencies to approve the exact same thing. So let’s say you’re doing really well; you get Carson to approve it, you get all these different people to approve it. And then you have one agency you can’t get. That’s the end of that project.

So we’re simplifying it. And we’ve done, I think, Ben, a great a job on that. And we have it down to a much lower number. Probably two years. We’d like to get it down to one.

And it may get rejected. You know, if it’s not environmentally good, if it’s not good, we’re going to get — we’ll reject it very quickly. But at least you know.”

 

Local Lenders 

“We’ve freed local lenders from the heavy-handed regulations also — you know what was going on there — (applause) — that were crushing community banks and threatening the housing market. Pocahontas had an agency that was — (laughter) — I mean, she was a disaster. She was — she enjoyed destroying these local lenders. I mean, I think she got pleasure out of destroying beautiful local lenders who have been lending to your clients, and probably yourselves, for years. And they were going out of business and they were living in fear. Pocahontas — that’s another beauty. (Laughter.) She’s doing really well so far, isn’t she? Her and her beer commercial. (Laughter and applause.)”

“By some estimates, under the previous administration, CFPB regulations cost credit unions a stunning $6 billion. Well, that’s what we’re talking about. That was her baby. And she had the man that was in charge of that running in the great state of Ohio.”

 

Credit Unions and Dishonest Media

“Last year, we rolled back the Dodd-Frank regulations that were crippling local banks — (applause) — that millions of homebuyers and small businesses rely on. I didn’t know this was a banking convention. I thought this was — this is a real estate convention.

But, you know, you know what was happening to bankers, right? John — I mean, you know what was happening to bankers. The bankers were being crushed and they were being threatened. And these are people that were phenomenal. They were being destroyed.

Now, small lenders are once again thriving. They’re free to invest in our communities and help more families experience the joy and the pride of homeownership. And I’ll never get credit for this. The press doesn’t give me any credit for anything, no matter what I do. (Laughter.) No, it’s true. Doesn’t matter. Look, who cares. The people know. The people know. That’s why I have to go through a different source. It’s called: Do speeches and go with our social media stuff, which is quite powerful, I must say. (Applause.) But they’re very dishonest.”

 

Iran, BS, and Fake News

“And, you know, we’re right now dealing with Iran. And they put out so many false messages that Iran is totally confused. I don’t know, that might be a good thing. No, they put out — the fake news — they put out messages — these people right back here. (Laughter.) They put out messages that I’m angry with my people. I’m not angry with them. I make my own decisions. But I’m “angry with my people.” I’m “not angry with my people.” I’m “worse than they are; they’re worse than we are. They’re more militant.”

Mike Pompeo is doing a great job. Bolton is doing a great job. (Applause.)

But they make it sound like it’s a conflict. And the good news — I was thinking today, I said, “Gee, what must our adversaries think?” And then I look and I say, “You know, it’s probably a good thing because they’re saying, ‘Man, I don’t know where these people are coming from.’” Right? (Laughter.) But they put out false — you know, they say, “confidential sources.”

Do you ever notice they never write the names of people anymore. Everything is “a source says…” There is no source. The person doesn’t exist. The person is not alive. It’s bullshit. Okay? It’s bullshit. (Laughter and applause.)

“Three people who were at that meeting” — you know, a meeting of like seven — “three people have confirmed that this happened and that happened.” There were no three people. They make it up. These are bad people. These are people — that’s why I came up with the term “fake news.” It’s a good term. I’ve had better, but that’s a good term. “Fake news.” (Applause.) It’s a hoax.”

 

Housing Finance Reform

My administration is also committed to reforming our housing finance system. So important. More than a decade after the financial crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still in conservatorship. Fannie and Freddie still dominate the market with no real competition from the private sector. And taxpayers are still on the hook if another crisis should happen.

And this is a pretty urgent problem. We’re doing well with it now. It’s well managed now. We have great people, but it’s a pretty big problem. And it’s really a problem that other than government should be doing, so we’re looking at different alternatives. We have many geniuses looking at it and we’ll figure something out. But Fannie and Freddie can do a lot better than they’re doing, although now they have some very good people running it.

And that’s why I recently directed the Department of Treasury and HUD — Ben — to develop a framework for a modern housing finance system. And you’re working on that, Ben. I know you have some incredible talent from Wall Street coming in. (Applause.)

We actually call on very smart people. You know, somebody said, “Why are you using Wall Street?” I said, “Because I want to get very smart people.” I want to get people that do this and one that welcomes the private sector, competition, protects taxpayers, and preserves homeownership for future generations to come. (Applause.)

So we will be working closely with Congress to pass these critical reforms, and we will consider taking other administrative actions to modernize our housing programs and to ensure more affordable housing to get rid of ridiculous regulations so you can build and build quickly and build beautifully. Actually, you’ll put more money into the house, because instead of spending on a ridiculous paperwork, you’ll be able to buy better lumber and better flooring and better windows. (Applause.)”

 

Give Every American Opportunity to Own 

And just as we believe that every American should have the chance to own a home if they work hard and follow the rules, we’ll also believe that every American should have the right to choose their own healthcare. We’re going to become, really, the party of healthcare. (Applause.) That includes our newly created “association health plans” that a lot of you are using. (Applause.)

 

Association Health Plans

“We recently went — a couple of colleagues and I went and met at the White House with the Department of Labor because association health plans are under attack. And we’re working with the Department of Labor to ensure that this critical need for our realtors is allowed to continue. It’s critically important to our realtors to have choices to fully affordable and full-coverage health plans.

Thank you again, Mr. President. It’s a great honor. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks, Teresa. It’s a great state, too. Great. And it is under attack — you know, these health plans are — because they want to keep the public deal going. And it’s a shame. And they’re fighting it so hard. But we’re going to win, and we are winning. And it’s saving a tremendous amount of money for firms, but it’s also getting great healthcare like you haven’t had before. And we also have to protect the 180 million people with private healthcare. They want to destroy that.”

 

Democrats Want to Take it Away

“I must tell you, we have an election coming up that’s going to be very important for you people, because they want to take it away. They want to bring your taxes up to 80 or 90 percent. They started, a couple of months ago, at 70. But they really mean 80 or 90 or 95 — and that won’t pay for it, by the way. That won’t — you’d need twice that. So you have to be very careful. But we’ll always be defending America’s rights to have low-cost, high-quality healthcare of your choice. So important.”

“I mean, they’re promoting the biggest socialist takeover in the history, really, of the world. Because, if you think — I mean, this is the United States. And they have a hundred-trillion-dollar Green New Deal. Nobody has any idea what the hell it is. (Laughter.) They know that you can’t take a plane anymore; you have to take a train to Hawaii. Train. (Laughter.) A train to Australia and a train — hey, if they can’t build from San Francisco to Los Angeles — (laughter and applause) — what’s going to happen when they say, “Let’s build a train to Europe”? “Let’s build one up to Europe. We’ll do a fast train.” (Laughs.) A hundred miles an hour. Let’s see. Well, a plane goes six [hundred], so you got a long trip on a train, I’ll tell you.

This is crazy. This is crazy. But I don’t want to hit it too hard. I want to save it for the election, because I don’t want them to change. (Laughter and applause.) You know? I don’t want them to change. I don’t want them to have time to pivot. I want them to go with this stuff.

But we still have to be careful. And it’ll never happen as long as I’m President, so you can bet on that. (Applause.)”

 

Home Ownership 

“So, just to finish up — you’re friends of mine; I know a lot of people in the room. And homeownership and what you do as realtors and as real estate people, this is a part of Americana. This is a great, great thing you do. You work hard. You love people. You love this land. You love this country. You take care of employees. In some cases, you are employees, and you love the person that takes care of you. But you’re very, very special people.

I know so much about what you do because I did the same thing. Can you believe it now? It’s almost three years. Can you believe this? Who knew this was going to happen? (Applause.) It just shows how smart you are when you can go and do this. And they say, “But he doesn’t have any experience.” But, you know, intelligence is a very, very good substitute sometimes. (Laughter and applause.)

And I’m gaining a lot of experience very fast. I have a lot of experience. And I had a lot of experience because I was in your business. And you do everything. You build, you lease, you rent, you negotiate, you deal with foreign people, you deal with people that live right next door — you do everything. You’re very smart and you love your business. And I loved being here. And John and everybody, thank you. And Ben Carson, thank you. (Applause.) And this was great.

And go and enjoy your lives and keep building, and we’ll keep the economy strong so that you will go on and on and on. (Applause.)

Have a great time. It’s been my great honor. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.”

##

 

With this in mind, check out the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) home page, and see their top video.  That flashback video to the early days of the Trump Administration is worth another look.

That’s tonight’s last look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Economic Opportunities Loom, Infrastructure and Opportunity Zones

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Shots at former VP Joe Biden, Team Trump Supporters Ponder Improving Economy

Census, HUD Official Residential Construction Report for April 2019, Dare to Compare to Manufactured Housing Data

Dr. Mark Calabria, FHFA Director Interview, Front Lines of GSE Reform, Manufactured Housing Impacts Ahead

‘Minorities Aren’t Being Well Served in Housing Finance’ Today, per Mozilo – Former Exec Near Eye of the 2008 Housing/Mortgage Storm

 

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FHFA Requests Input on Proposed Modifications to GSEs’ “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” Plans

October 4th, 2018 Comments off

 FederalHousingFinancingAgencyLogoFHFADutyToServeRequestCommentsLogoDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews

While the Manufactured Housing Institute is apparently taking contributions from the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for doing toe-in-the water lending on manufactured homes, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has been pushing numerous buttons and doors in Washington, D.C.

 

Their goal?

To get more lending on manufactured homes.  That would thereby reduce the industry’s dependence on Berkshire Hathaway brand financing.

In a statement to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the D.C. based trade group for independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes said as follows. “As industry members are aware, MHARR has been pressing FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Congress and the Administration to provide for market-significant levels of secondary market and securitization support, by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) under DTS, for the personal property or “chattel” loans which comprise 80% or more of the purchase-money consumer financing for HUD Code manufactured homes.”

The nation’s credit unions have also blasted at the GSEs implementation of the Duty to Serve, or DTS. ICYMI, or for a refresher, see the linked report below.

Loan Zone Manufactured Home Buyers, Sellers – CU Insight on Fannie, Freddie and Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing Industry

MHARR plans to carefully analyze these proposed DTS plan modifications, and will submit appropriate comments to FHFA.  They encourage industry members to do likewise.

Comments on the proposed modifications must be submitted to FHFA no later than November 2, 2018.

MHARR, FHFA and another tip-source all provided the following to MHProNews.

 

FHFA, Requests Input, Proposed Modifications, GSEs’ “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets”, Plans for Manufactured Home Lending, Manufactured Housing Assoc Regulatory Reform, MHARR,

Duty to Serve Update: FHFA Requests Public Input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Proposed Duty to Serve Plan Modifications

Greetings:

Today the Federal Housing Finance Agency is requesting public input as part of the Agency’s consideration of proposed modifications to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) 2018-2020 Underserved Markets Plans (Plans) under the Duty to Serve program.  FHFA has determined that public input would be helpful in considering four of Fannie Mae’s twenty-two proposed modifications that would each make a substantial change to the content of its Plan.  Freddie Mac has submitted one modification that FHFA considers to be a modest correction and, as a result, FHFA is not seeking public input on this proposal.

FHFA intends to issue Non-Objections to the Enterprises, where appropriate, for proposed modifications by December 2018.  Upon the issuance of a Non-Objection, FHFA intends to publish the following documents on FHFA’s public website:

  • The modified Plan(s) the Enterprises submitted that received a Non-Objection from FHFA;
  • Redlined versions of the portions of the modified Plans containing all modifications, including technical edits;
  • All of the Enterprises’ completed “Plan Modification Request” templates (twenty-two from Fannie Mae and one from Freddie Mac).  These documents will be published to provide the public with insight into the reasons the Enterprises’ changed their Plans.

FHFA is issuing this Request for Input on its dedicated webpage, FHFA.gov/DTS through November 2, 2018.

For more information and program updates, visit FHFA.gov/DTS.

###

MHARR Exposes GSES’ Failure On Chattel Financing Before Congress

 

As recently as last week, MHARR provided the report linked above, which contains their testimony to Congress protesting the FHFA’s handling of the GSEs and DTS.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

It is one of a series of moves with Congress and others, designed to bring about more lending for manufactured home retailers, and communities, and thus supporting their member-manufacturers.

Readers are reminded of the drama last week with the FHFA’s own sexual improprieties fracas.  See that under the related reports, linked further below.  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

Mel Watt – FHFA and MH Connected Hearing Today to Feature Sexual Misconduct Allegations

September 27th, 2018 Comments off


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Mel Watt, who runs the Federal Housing Finance Agency, of sexual” misconduct. “Watt’s accuser, Simone Grimes, requested to testify at the hearing” today, per Roll Call.

Manufactured housing is in the background of this hearing, and MHProNews plans a follow up on this topic.

There are charges of corruption, waste, and fraud involving the GSEs – Fannie and Freddie – and at the FHFA.

See related reports, linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

“Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” – FHFA, GSE Federal Oversight Announcement

 

Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Berkshire Hathaway Backstory

Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Berkshire Hathaway Backstory

September 26th, 2018 Comments off

 

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Arguably at the heart of the affordable housing crisis is an access to lending for the most affordable homes built in America, manufactured homes.The Enterprises” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) to support manufactured home lending under the ‘Duty to Serve,’ or DTS for short.

 

The “Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (FMCC) (Freddie Mac), a government-sponsored home mortgage lender, was delivering 23% returns on equity and trading for less than eight times estimated earnings when Buffett touted the investment to Fortune Magazine in 1988,” writes Holly LaFon, an editor for GuruFocus.

You’ve got a low price/earnings ratio on a company with a terrific record,” Buffett told the magazine. “You’ve got growing earnings. And you have a stock that is bound to become much better known to equity investors.”

The Fortune article cited factors why Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Buffett and Charlie Munger, the Vice Chairman of Berkshire, were particularly attracted to Freddie Mac. ”I can’t think of a more tangible compliment to the stock than to buy every damn share we are allowed to,” Munger said.

By 2000, Berkshire was the largest shareholder of Freddie Mac, said LaFon, explaining that the “stock had soared to between $41 and $64 per share, for a sizable gain. His view on it changed, though, and he unloaded nearly all of his Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae shares that year, according to his testimony to the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in May 2010.”

HollyLaFonGuruFocusLinkedInCompositeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Brad Bondi, deputy general counselor of the commission, asked if Buffett if he sold because the stocks were no longer good investments.  Per GuruFocus, Buffett responded that he “didn’t know they weren’t going to be good investments” but became “concerned” about their management.

The Motley Fool, another investment-focused operation, said that Buffett colorfully said: I figure if you see just one cockroach, there’s probably a lot.”

They were trying to -– and proclaiming that they could increase earnings per share in some low double-digit range or something of the sort,” Buffett reportedly said. “And any time a large financial institution starts promising regular earnings increases, you’re going to have trouble, you know?”

Now, they are dealing essentially with government-guaranteed credit, so we know about that and we had it ratified subsequently about what has happened,” Buffett said. “So, here was an institution that was trying to serve two masters: Wall Street and their investors, and Congress.”

And the truth was that they were arbitraging the government’s credit, and for something that the government really didn’t intend for them to do,” the Berkshire chairman told the commission. “And, you know, there is seldom just one cockroach in the kitchen. You know, you turn on the light and, all of sudden, they all start scurrying around. And I couldn’t find the light switch, but I had seen one.”

The Daily Business News reported recently on a related commentary by Forbes contributor, David Marotta, who said that in 2012, that the entire presidential race should come down to a single question. “Who caused the financial crisis of 2008?” By the sounds of Buffett’s testimony, he didn’t cause it, but he did apparently believe that there was a crisis coming.

That crash, combined with other maneuvers linked below, led to a historic drop in manufactured housing shipments.

Figure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s stock prices did not begin to crash until seven years later in 2007 when mounting home foreclosures led to unsustainable losses. In 2008, Buffett passed when Freddie Mac approached him about participating in a capital infusion. See that related report later, at the link below.

President Jimmy Carter Blasts Trump Administration on Affordable Housing, Carter’s Manufactured Home Ties

They’re [the GSEs, Fannie and Freddie] looking for help, obviously. And the scale of help is such that I don’t think it can come from the private sector,” Buffett told CNBC. Fannie and Freddie are still under the supervision of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

As regular Daily Business News readers know, there’s been a swirl of controversies around Mel Watt, FHFA, the GSEs, and the tepid way that the GSEs are meeting the decade old required Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing. See related reports, further below.

Recall too that earlier this year, GuruFocus and Seattle Times, both did reports on Clayton Home and allegations of how Buffett’s manufactured housing brands engaged in monopolistic practices.

Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat

There is no questioning the overall Buffett and Munger success at operating Berkshire’s investments. But does this once more spotlight some of the ways that success has occurred.  Upcoming related reports will be forthcoming in the days ahead. Stay tuned, and sign up for our emailed updates, further below at the right. That’s this evening’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

The Rich, Famous, PreFab Homes, Manufactured Housing, Hypocrisy, and You

 

8 Questions for Joe Stegmayer, George Allen, Spencer Roane, GSEs, MHI, FHFA, Other Presenters At Indianapolis Roundtable Meeting

September 5th, 2018 Comments off

 

StegmayerAllenRoanePhotosFHFAMHIFannieFreddieLogos

You can be a citizen reporter! You can make a difference in breaking the purple wall of MHI silence!  You can get George Allen, Spencer Roane, federal and GSE officials, or others to answer questions that in many cases they’ve avoided for months.

 

Here are our suggestions and tips. Please read carefully, and book mark this page/post for quick reference.

I) Be polite.

II) Just ask one question that hasn’t already been asked. You don’t have to argue. Allow the person asked to answer, while you or a friend record the public answer.

III) Shy? Just record what’s said. MHProNews plans to publish those recorded replies that are provided by industry members.

IV) Here’s an easy way to do this:

  • A) Turn on the recording feature on your smart phone.
  • B) Be polite. Just ask the question and record the answer. Email that to us later at  iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com.
  • C) Have this article open on your smart phone as a reminder.

Last January, the Daily Business News on MHProNews published a list of 12 questions that we asked attendees in Louisville to ask Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, MHI President and CEO.  Jennison ducked out on his own presentation, as was reported at this link here.  We hope that won’t happen, because the industry deserves to have these questions asked and answered.

For the next two days, MHProNews encourages the following from attendees at the George Allen roundtable in Indianapolis, IN.

Because it is a public meeting room, there is no expectation of privacy – save in restrooms or private hotel rooms – per numerous legal precedents and published research. While we are not attorneys, and aren’t providing legal advice, here’s what some of the legal research says. “In general, most video only recordings are legal whether you inform the persons you are recording them or not provided their privacy isn’t invaded,” per PalmVid’s legal page.

Audio recordings are also normally permitted, “Federal law permits recording telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one of the parties. … This is called a “one-party consent” law. Under a one-party consent law, you can record a phone call or conversation so long as you are a party to the conversation,” per the DLMHP legal guide.

Allen or others may try to discourage recording. That’s your constitutional right. If there are signs that say, “don’t record,” please take photos of those signs.  Per a contact at the ACLU, it would be a violation of your rights to stop you from recording in a public meeting place – vs. a private place, like a bathroom or private hotel room where someone sleeps.

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Here are 8 suggested questions, these will suggest others.

  • 1) To anyone associated with MHI, “If the MHI/GSE ‘new class of home’ plan is so good, why are the details hidden behind a fire wall on the MHI website?

 

  • 2) Joe Stegmayer used to be a Clayton Homes division president. Sources tell MHProNews that their early acquisitions could not be accomplished based solely upon Cavco’s balance sheet at the time, alleging that Berkshire Hathaway was involved in an oblique fashion.  With that background ask Joe Stegmayer “is there any truth to the concern that Cavco needed outside help to do its initial acquisitions? If so, who helped and how much?”

 

  • 3) Ask Stegmayer and everyone associated with MHI, “why have you declined public discussion/debate via video with MHARR and/or MHProNews?”

 

  • 4) Ask George Allen, Spencer Roane, “Why haven’t you publicly condemned the alleged behavior of Tom Lackey, who per locale media and officials, ‘sold’ manufactured homes ‘rent to own’ without transferring title to buyers, who lost thousands of dollars?”

 

  • 5) Howard Walker, the late MHI treasurer and ELS Vice Chairman, said that he believes in Transparency. “Why has MHI ducked questions from trade media like MHProNews in the last two years, when MHI routinely answered questions asked by MHProNews in the years prior to the last two years?”

 

  • 6) Ask the GSEs, “Why have you ducked out on interviews with MHProNews about your ‘new class of homes’ program on select, not all, manufactured homes?

 

  • 7) Ask the FHFA, “Why have you allowed the GSEs to duck the clear Congressional mandate of the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing for so many years?”

 

  • 8) Anyone associated with MHI, “With 8.3 million housing units needed, per the National Association of Realtors, why have hasn’t manufactured housing kept up with the RV industry in production and sales?
  • These will get you started.

Below is a link to the questions we asked attendees in Louisville to ask Dick Jennison.  Jennison suddenly canceled, after that linked article was published.  See the related reports, linked below. Again, our hope is not that speakers cancel, but rather that they will be faithfully, accurately recorded, and they will have to answer questions that in some cases they’ve ducked for over a year.

Working together, with industry professionals, the problematic performance and allegations surrounding MHI, George Allen, COBA7, SECO, and Spencer Roane can be addressed and remedied. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

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Related Reports:

The Top Twelve Questions for Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison

 

Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, George Allen-COBA7, Collusion, Coverup, and Allegations of Selling Out

 

FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

NDAs, Warren Buffett, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and MHVille

Mel Watt Charged With Sexual Harassment – Manufactured Housing Industry Repercussions?

July 30th, 2018 Comments off
MelWattChargedWithSexualHarrasmentManufacturedHousingIndsutryRepercussionsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Official photo, Mel Watt, FHFA. Graphic by MHProNews.

The mortgage industry and Washington were rocked Friday by news that Federal Housing Finance Agency Director [FHFA] Mel Watt has been accused by an agency employee of sexual harassment,” wrote Rob Blackwell for AmericanBanker.

 

As many manufactured home industry veterans know, the FHFA was established as the receiver for the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, after the mortgage/housing financial crisis.  It was part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008), signed into law by President George W. Bush.

The Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing and underserved markets also flows from HERA.  Since the FHFA is the regulator of the GSEs, who’s at the top at FHFA matters to the industry’s consumers and professionals.  Numerous non-profits – as well as various associations and industry businesses – have expressed their desire for a robust entry by the GSEs into manufactured home lending.

Much of the focus has been in the arena of chattel (personal property, home only) lending.

Watt was already slated to leave the FHFA in January 2019.  There have already been several names floated for his replacement.  Some, per informed sources, say that while the names are all “familiar faces,” some are “potentially problematic” for the interests of manufactured housing.

If allegations spelled out in Politico prove true, that time line for Watt’s departure could be accelerated.

 

Politico Pounces

Politico obtained transcripts of reported conversations between Watt and an employee, whose name was withheld. In those alleged conversations, Watt appears to be suggesting a relationship with the employee.

Well, you probably want to know what I wanted to talk to you about,” Watt said, according to Politico. I mentioned to you there is an attraction here that I think needs to be explored. In my experience there are four types of attraction: emotional, spiritual, sexual or of friendship. So, the exercise here is to find out which one exists here.”

Watt supposedly noticed a tattoo on the employee’s ankle and asks her, “If I kissed that one would it lead to more?”

The employee’s lawyer, Diane Seltzer Torre, confirmed to American Banker that an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint had been filed against Watt. The FHFA confirmed an investigation is underway,” but Watt’s response is that it was “intended to embarrass or to lead to an unfounded or political conclusion.”

However, I am confident that the investigation currently in progress will confirm that I have not done anything contrary to law,” Watt said. “I will have no further comment while the investigation is in progress.”

Watt’s statement did not specifically confirm or deny claims that he made those suggestive comments to an employee. Rather, he stressed that any actions he took were not illegal.  One question that needs to be asked, who will pay if there is a settlement? Will it be taxpayers, or Watt himself?

Legalities and the truth aside, if Watt made such comments, this may be enough to force him out before his term is up.

As the head of an independent agency, Watt can only be removed “for cause” by President Donald J. Trump.  These allegations could possibly qualify, if the Trump Administration wanted to accelerate his departure for whatever reason.

The president could either allow one of Watt’s deputies to temporarily run the agency if he stepped aside, or appoint an interim head under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which allows a Senate-confirmed official to temporarily serve as director,” according to Blackwell.

Mick Mulvaney is a similar case, who has been serving for months as the temporary head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Whether Watt chooses to leave or is forced out, it is obvious that his days at the agency were winding down.

The transition timeline is likely to be expedited,” said Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research for Compass Point Research & Trading.

 

FHFA, DTS and Manufactured Housing Lending

MHProNews will monitor these developments, as they impact the various efforts to compel the GSEs to do more in the way of supporting manufactured housing chattel and other lending options.

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has signaled a level of satisfaction with DTS to date, the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has made it clear they believe the process has been largely stymied to date from doing what Congress mandated a decade ago.

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

MHARR, per sources, has launched several initiatives to compel more lending.

Meanwhile, MHI has given lip service to similar efforts, but there has been signs of foot dragging and posturing, perhaps because of the interests of their dominant Berkshire Hathaway members, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance.

It should be noted that after numerous offers to publicly respond to or debate the evidence-based reports linked below, neither MHI nor a Berkshire Hathaway owned unit has accepted those offers to respond to these published concerns. Why not?  Is it because the documents and quotes provided are often from 21st, Tim Williams, Kevin Clayton, or Warren Buffett himself? Doesn’t that make it hard for them to refute? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

 

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

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

May 30th, 2018 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in written comments filed on May 30, 2018, has called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) — the federal regulator of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — to significantly revise and amend the final rule that it issued on December 29, 2016 to implement the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) mandate incorporated by Congress in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and related FHFA “guidance” for evaluating the Government Sponsored Enterprises’ supposed DTS compliance plans that became effective on January 1, 2018,” the Washington, D.C. based trade group told the Daily Business News via a news release.

 

MHARR’s comments were submitted to FHFA pursuant to a “Notice of Regulatory Review” published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2018, seeking comments on FHFA regulations that “should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed to make [FHFA’s] regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving its objectives” in accordance with a 2012 Regulatory Review Plan developed under Executive Order 13579 (“Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies,” issued July 11, 2011),” with emphasis added, per the MHARR release.

Based on this request – and in order to bring both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into full compliance with DTS — MHARR’s comments call for substantial amendments to: (1) FHFA’s final DTS implementation rule; (2) FHFA’s DTS plan “Evaluation Guidance;” and (3) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s DTS implementation plans themselves, given the patent failure and inability of these regulatory actions to effectively implement the DTS mandate in a market-significant and timely manner,” per MHARR.

In part, MHARR’s comments stress that a supposed “lack of information” regarding the performance of manufactured home chattel loans – which comprise upwards of 80% of the HUD Code market) – more than a decade after the enactment of DTS is both disingenuous and evidence of the type of continuing bias against manufactured housing and manufactured homebuyers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that DTS was meant to remedy in the first place,” according to their statement.

There is no similar known effort being made by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which sources say has postured a push for DTS, but whose prior chairman, Tim Williams, has said in published comments was a “waste of time.”

MHARR has previously noted that every day that DTS isn’t fully implemented is a “gift” to the Berkshire Hathaway lenders.

Industry veteran and MHI award-winner, Marty Lavin, JD, has recently told MHProNews that MHI works forthe big boys,” and only works for smaller companies when that aligns with the interests of larger firms.

MartyLavinTataroAwardWinnerManufacturedHousingInstituteSpySeaFollowtheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMHProNews

Further,” said MHARR, “the comments note that the supposed chattel loan “pilot programs” included in the Enterprises’ DTS “implementation” plans, are little more than token efforts that would serve slightly more than 1% of the manufactured housing market with no assurance whatsoever of expanded secondary market or securitization support for manufactured housing chattel loans at any time in the foreseeable future. As such, the supposed DTS compliance plans – and the final DTS rule and Evaluation Guidance that they are based on – are wholly inadequate to “effectively” implement DTS and must be revised in accordance with FHFA’s 2012 Regulatory Review process.”

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In Washington, D.C. MHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss said: “The continuing failure of FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – more than a decade after the enactment of DTS — to take concrete and market-significant steps to increase the availability of chattel loans for lower and moderate-income manufactured homebuyers is inexcusable and in defiance of the law and the will of Congress.

Weiss elaborated.

 Using the alleged lack of chattel loan “data” as a risible excuse, FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are standing in the way of greater competition in the manufactured housing finance market and lower,” he said, “more competitive interest rates for consumers that would allow many more Americans to purchase a truly affordable home of their own. Conversely, the failure to implement DTS as written and intended by Congress, will have the negative consequence of driving more consumers into the arms of the current industry-dominant lenders and their higher-cost loans. DTS is far too important to allow it to be emasculated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their enablers within and outside the industry.”

 

About MHARR

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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

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

Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

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