Posts Tagged ‘frank rolfe’

RVHorizon/MHP Funds Investing/Mobile Home Univ Communities Leader, Frank Rolfe’s Hidden Gem

April 30th, 2018 Comments off

Before diving into RVHorizon’s/MHP Funds leader Frank Rolfe’s hidden gem, an acknowledgement ought to be paid to his partner Dave Reynolds, and others in their rising enterprise. No one person in an operation of that size does it all solo.


When we say Rolfe’s “hidden gem,” it’s an insight that’s been hiding in plain sight since the video below was first produced.

This preface is warranted. It’s difficult to solve any problem(s) or challenge(s) that are not fully understood. Is that self-evident?

For example, even if a doctor has a guess as to a patient’s condition, a good MD does tests before proposing a diagnosis.  Only after tests does the physician suggest possible treatments. Treatments ideally are evidence and fact-based. “Clinical.” That’s the scientific way, and it fits business too.

Thus, the same should be true for Manufactured Home (MH) professionals and investors facing an obvious but often overlooked or ignored challenge.

Frank Rolfe says several things in less than a minute in this video. We’ll focus on only one. It’s this. Most people have little or no clue as to what manufactured housing truly is.  Because so many in the news media doesn’t get it about MH, neither does the public.

In front of dozens of pros, Darren Krolewski of MHVillage made a very similar statement in Tunica. Darren said that when talking to the general public, it takes them time to explain what a manufactured home is.

Both described a similar problem.

That’s an important initial step. Namely, understanding a root issue.

But the solution?

Has the solution to this challenge been clearly proposed or articulated? If so, please show me. Because what we often see is a search for things like a higher volume of traffic. Traffic is important. But the reality is that often, the traffic level is fine; what’s needed is a better method of converting the existing traffic you already have into more positive action-steps by possible buyers.


Modern Housing Options

The vast majority of adults in America know what an apartment, duplex, townhouse, rental, condo, or single family house is. People know what a tiny house is. Many if not most understand RVs.

By contrast, millions may know ‘something’ about manufactured housing. But what they think they know is often inaccurate. Others are ignorant, as Frank and Darren said. We know this from our own years of public engagement experiences.

That lack of knowledge or misunderstandings about manufactured homes (MH) are the opportunity in disguise for MH Industry professionals and investors. Learn the correct systems, apply them properly, and watch sales rapidly rise.


Candor and Compelling Facts over Fiction and Emotions

There’s plenty of excuses, self-delusions, and false-beliefs floating around MHVille. That’s not uncommon in America in general today.

But realities like those that Frank and Darren raised ought to be acknowledged. Then, the root cause(s) of those realities must be addressed. Only when that occurs can opportunities and profits be pursued and maximized.

This is one of the most fundamental challenges that individual MH locations must face. Because change occurs at the person and business level.

As the publisher of the industry’s top two trade media, and as a multi-decade professional services provider, we’ve dealt with this at a pragmatic level for years. is a specific part of the solution.

That’s a foundational start. But there’s more needed to tie that specific foundation to individual businesses and locations.  Those that properly have, see positive results.

James McGee and Chet Murphree say something essential near the end of this video. They’re spot on with their point. What comes before it is useful and interesting, but the punchline – the best – was saved for last in the video montage below.



How Serious Is the Challenge Frank and Darren Stated?

In our professional visits to communities and retail centers, often similar problems to what Frank and Darren pointed to are spotted. A property or sales center may be okay to wonderful, but still isn’t performing as well as local market conditions suggest they should be.

Among the core problems at the location level? Low conversion ratios of lookers to buyers.

For some years, before we travel, before we’ve charged potential marketing and sales clients a dime, we ask very specific questions.

Among them, will you as a client be open minded about addressing challenges that are found? Will you take constructive advice in a positive way?

We’re not in the hurt feelings business. Like an MD, we as publishers and as business growth service providers strive to deal in evidence-based realities.

Our goal is always to objectively identify the good, as well as what can or must be improved. Most successful locations are doing far more right than wrong. The good stuff remains unchanged. But when there’s a big fall off rate between visits and sales, there’s an obvious disconnect.

Most pros who hire a consultant or business development service provider get the reality that one must do something different, to achieve a different outcome.

That said, there are some who want a magic pill, a solution involving no practice changes. But isn’t that self-contradictory? If there was no change needed, then there would be no challenge.  Nor would there be a wondrous disguised opportunity that to correctly addressed, can yielded positive change. We tell those prospective clients who want magic without a sincere willingness to make any needed changes, thanks but no thanks.


The Sheer Size of the Problem Points to Immense Opportunities

Data publicly self-reported from MHVillage is useful in making this point. I’ve know Darren for well over a dozen years. He’s intelligent. Darren and his colleagues have a successful operation. So what follows shouldn’t be taken as a slam or a critique. This is an going to be a fast-based, objective look at their self-stated data.  Because frankly, it’s a common MH Industry issue. I applaud them for stating this in public and in writing.

The problem at retail centers (a.k.a. ‘Dealerships’) and communities is mirrored – not equal to, but suggested by – the MHVillage statistics.  Here are the impressive numbers on their website.  25 million unique visitors in a year, equaled about 80,000 sales.

MHVillage’s own data set says they convert only about 1/3 of 1 percent of shoppers.

You read that correctly, that’s .0032 percent (just a fraction less than a third of one percent) visits to purchases. Furthermore, their average sales price demonstrates – and Darren confirmed – that the vast majority of those purchases are used homes, not new ones.

While industry giant Clayton Homes doesn’t publish their data, anecdotal statements from their team members to the Daily Business News, and some known data suggest their results are similar to MHVillage’s, only they are more new home sales focused.

What do facts like the above mean to a business like yours?

I asked Darren, publicly on stage, and face-to-face afterwards with several standing nearby. He politely admitted, he doesn’t know the answer.

Ok, let’s lend him, and all others a hand. Here’s the logic of it.

  • Millions of people are looking online for housing.
  • Some come in, and shop in person.
  • There’s obviously two big fallouts or disconnects.
  • The first is drop-off is online, the next one is on site.

These bullets point to unsolved challenges, unresolved concerns, that the home shopping public has.  But when the home shopper’s concerns are properly understood and dealt with, they are far more likely to buy.  That’s why the data also points to huge opportunities. When there’s an 8.3 million affordable housing unit shortage in the U.S., that’s a wakeup call for our MH Industry and investors.

Just as consumers approach manufactured housing with some ignorance and skepticism, prospective business clients come to us with a similar, but different mix.  Some doubt they can sustainably grow sales at their business several hundred percent. But its true.  We don’t reveal client data, unless we both mutually agree to do so.  Here is a link to a client interview that freely stated how rapidly they grew.

Once properly begun, clients see the sales totals rising, the logistics of growth is often the greatest challenge. But businesses have to make those initial steps to get started to realize that change is possible, and the logistics can also be navigated, in honest, ethical, sustainable ways.

Real Estate Conversions Compared to MH Conversions

Facts are facts.

I spoke recently with a marketer who does both real estate and manufactured home marketing. He candidly said that they have exactly that same experience. Namely, that far more convert – call or message, come in, and buy – in real estate than for manufactured homes.

Restated, a higher percentage of shoppers pull the trigger in real estate to buy conventional housing, than manufactured home pros routinely experience.


Frank Rolfe’s Hidden Gem

Properly acting upon reality is a key part of the secret for increased, sustainable success.

So long as huge swaths of buyers in your market misunderstand or don’t get it about manufactured homes, the conversion ratios will remain low.

The good news is that a professional or investor can deal with this locally.  You don’t have to wait for anything magic to happen in Washington, Omaha, Arlington, or anywhere else.  You can make the difference in your market, by going to the root issues.

We’ll dig into some of the solution for that in today’s episode of the Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales Meeting.  That will be posted later this morning just below. ##  (Business development, related news, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

The Apprentice – Proper Understanding, Planning, and Execution – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Marketing and Sales Meeting

As a related thought, the reported reaction in Vegas to the Ducker Worldwide presentations suggests those backing that plan don’t have a solution useful to the majority. See that in the link here.


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Evergreen, Manufactured Homes and NIMBY, “Why the Feds Must Step In”

April 12th, 2018 Comments off

Residents packed a meeting room to discuss – or oppose – a planned manufactured home community near their neighborhood.

A HUD PD&R, and other third-party studies reveal that manufactured homes appreciate side-by-side with conventional housing.


There’s been no new mobile homes built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976, the date construction on the first HUD Code manufactured homes formally began.

But you may not know those facts if you were one of dozens of residents who piled into a Montana town’s meeting room.

According to NBC Montana, most of those residents where there to protest the development of a new 122 site manufactured community.

A hung jury for the Flathead County Planning Board Wednesday night regarding a controversial mobile home [sic] development on West Evergreen Drive,” per NBC Montana.


The 6 person jury was split, 3 voted against and 3 voted for the proposed West Evergreen Estates subdivision.

More than 70 people turned out for the meeting from the surrounding vicinity to give testimony against it and a decision wasn’t reached until past midnight,” per the NBC affiliate.

Residents gave public comment on how the proposed 122-lot mobile home [sic] park could potentially lower their property values, increase crime in the neighborhood and strain their already congested streets and schools,” wrote Larisa Casillas.

Who’s going to pay for the loss in our property? We already have people who have their homes for sale, and the buyers will say, ‘It’s going to depend on whether the mobile home goes through, otherwise we don’t want your property,’” said Virginia Feiker, an Evergreen resident.

It’s really going to be devastating to all of us what ends up happening,” she added.

Anders’ neighbor Chance Jeschke doesn’t think it’s a good idea. “Neighbors would like to see another type of development built on the vacant lot across from them, but they feel a trailer park may lower their property values,said Casillas.

I was raised in a trailer, I don’t have a stigma against it, but I just don’t know if that’s exactly what we need right here,” said Jeschke, who has lived in his current home for 19 years.

The issue will now go before the County Board of Adjustment on May 1.


“…Hasn’t done Jack Sh-t…

A twenty-five year award winning veteran of a well known manufactured home industry operation lamented to the Daily Business News that the industry “hasn’t done Jack Sh-t” to deal with the image issue.

Frank Rolfe, before going silent in the wakes or reported “encouragement” from 21st Mortgage Corp., complained that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the industry’s self-proclaimed post production association routinely failed to deal with the challenge of bad news, and often ignored positive media reports beyond their own advertorials.

I think that [Richard] Dick Jennison [MHI’s President and CEO] wants to control the narrative with media. He’s afraid to talk to the press, because he knows he can’t control the narrative,” a state association executive told MHProNews


Why the Feds Must Step In


L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY. 

This is the latest sign of a long pattern that costs America an estimated $2 trillion dollars annually in lost productivity,” said published L.A. “Tony” Kovach (see linked YIMBY vs NIMBY, in related reports, linked further below).

Every claim and concern voiced in these videos by locals has a fact-based third-party response that’s been documented on MHLivingNews and MHProNews,” Kovach said. “Call it bigotry or ignorance, but their thinking fits a textbook definition for prejudice. This is why the Feds must step in, just as they did in the 1950s and 1960s on school and racial issues. Access to affordable housing is a right, part of the dream and promise of America.  Which of those residents would want to have their access to ownership denied in a similar fashion?”


He pointed out that the homes across the street have roof pitches that looked very much like those found on lower cost, entry-level manufactured homes. The award winning industry professional explained that HUD arguably had the jurisdiction to act in cases like this.


But beyond legal force, there ought to be a sustained educational effort. “Understanding that this costs them money not to do it, plus denies honest economic development, there are many reasons to do this kind of project.”


Homes like those shown would enhance the neighborhood in Evergreen, where a proposed community of 122 sites is being debated.

Manufactured home professionals are routinely honorable people. Manufactured home residents aren’t criminals whose kids are to be shunned in school. Change the story from NIMBY to race, and these people would be labeled bigots,” he said, adding “But this isn’t about name calling. It’s about action. This will cost their tax base if it isn’t advanced.  It will cost people who need or want a manufactured home an opportunity to build equity. Presuming the developer does what so many want, and execute on this project properly, it would raise their property values.” 

Many benefit if it is done properly, and the very ones protesting, plus many others are the losers if it isn’t advanced,” Kovach said.


Where is MHI?

When will MHI routinely begin to act to engage on issues like this one?

When will state and local officials realize that it often costs them money, because they have to create subsidized rental housing?


Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

And when will HUD and federal officials enforce the laws and rulings that could create more economic development and opportunities in towns like this from coast-to-coast? ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing “Top Ten Truths”

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

Pride and Prejudice: The Truth About Manufactured Home Communities and Crime

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Frank Rolfe, MHU/RV Horizons Protest by MHAction; Nathan Smith/SSK/MHI Flashbacks?

February 20th, 2018 Comments off

ProtestsMHActionAmericanStatesmanAustinTXFrankRolfeRVHorizonsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsAfter the MHProNews exposed – via a news tip – the plan by the resident activist group MHAction to protest the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) annual meeting last year, MHAction organizers pivoted and apparently went to ‘Plan B.’

Instead of protesting at MHI – where their element of surprise was lost, due to our coverage – MHAction organized a protest of a Frank Rolfe/Mobile Home University (MHU) “boot camp” held in Austin, TX, in late 2017.


Rolfe’s group and Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) have been the target of MHAction previously.  Certain claims by the resident group involved were exposed and debunked in the analysis, linked below.


MHAction makes a shrewd use of media to get their talking points out, as the following quotes from local reports will reflect.



What the Mainstream Media Reported…

Inside Austin’s Westin Hotel on Friday, two mobile home investors gathered more than 100 potential park owners for a crash course in how to maximize profits owning trailer parks,” opens the report from the American Statesman.

Downstairs, protesters flooded the Westin lobby with chants and signs, then gathered on the sidewalk for a graduation ceremony mocking the course — complete with a megaphone speech from “Dr. Profit,”” continued the Statesman report.

Austin is the state capital for Texas, so noting that legislators read and watch local media would be an accurate observation.



It was the latest showdown in the tension over Austin mobile home parks [sic], where displacement of low-income residents and vanishing space has narrowed options for those who own a mobile home [sic] but must rent a site for it.”



The Statesman’s article wasn’t all one-side against Rolfe and his colleagues.  The comments section is interesting to note as well.  Because while some torched Rolfe’s group, another praised them.  Three examples.

  • “beachlady1890 Jan 8, 2018

These two individuals buy parks and train people to run them and their philosophy is raise rent and then do no repairs on the park or homes they own. 

The owner Frank Rolfe snubs his tenants all the while acting like he is a caring person. He brings in new homes and forces the tenants to either continue living in the molded and damaged homes or buy one of the new ones from them. The cost he pays is very low and then you are paying back triple what the home is worth. Manufactured homes depreciate the moment they come off the line at the factory. The company talks a talk but doesn’t walk the walk.”


  • “Liza Wood from FacebookDec 2, 2017

Wow. A boot camp to learn to become a slum lord. Just wow.”

  • “TXMom512 17 hours ago

beachlady1890 curious to know which mobile home park you live in? I live in an RV Horizons park and I love where I live. My husband and I owned a home up north and every year our taxes went up causing our mortgage payments to go up from one year to the next. When we first moved to Texas, we moved into an apartment for 12 months. After 6 months they raised our rent and had we not opted to move into a mobile home they were going to raise it again. What’s the difference? RV horizons does a lot for our community. They through the biggest Christmas party for the entire community. Santa Claus was there and RV Horizons gave every child in the community $50 cash. There was close to 200 kids atleast that got $50. It was the nicest thing I’ve ever seen a landlord do for residents ever.

We started off renting a home here in the community and first decided to look at local dealers when we were ready to buy. But for 10k cheaper we could buy the same house directly from the community and not have to pay the setup expenses. We got a great deal from them. RV Horizons has been wonderful To our family so back to my original question. Which community do you live in?”


Highly Edited MHAction Video…

The Daily Business News held this report to today to see what, if anything, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), their National Communities Council (NCC) or other industry professionals might do or say in response. Opportunities were given for those groups to comment for this Daily Business News report.

Based upon the first few pages of Google results, their public response to the protestors?



But as noted above, local media covered the protests, which were then amplified by MHAction through online posts by their network of affiliates in several states.


Unless these newspapers fold or pull these pages, these reports and others like them will live online for years go come. Without routine responses by the industry, this becomes what MHI award winner Marty Lavin called tongue-in-cheek – the industry’s other image campaign.

Even in a clearly biased and heavily edited video produced by MHAction – posted below – Rolfe acquits himself well.  Short statements, with soundbites that gets in Rolfe’s denials of the charges these resident protestors leveled against him are evident.


But depending on the type of Google query a reporter or other researcher might make, the local media accounts – some 75 days after the event – can still be a page one search result.  The ‘bad news’ impact lives on.


Ironic – Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, MHI flashback

Multi-year-readers on MHProNews will recall that Rolfe blasted Nathan Smith and MHI for “hypocrisy,” and the harm that they caused the industry when resident legal actions threatened to become a major class action lawsuit.

The video posted is one by a Kentucky news channel during that time frame Rolfe was complaining about, during that time-frame.

Perhaps it was coincidence, but after MHProNews published Rolfe’s comments and a pair of reports that referenced the embarrassment of MHI’s then-chairman being sued by residents, reports of the legal action faded away.

As industry attorneys have told the Daily Business News, once a settlement in such matters are reached, a common clause in the agreement is a stipulation not to further discuss, protest, or disclose details about the case.


Rolfe and MHC Improvements

Industry sources tell MHProNews that Rolfe and his partner Dave Reynolds operations routinely do improvements to the properties they associates acquire. The posted comments, shown above, reflects one purported resident’s reflection of the same reality.

RV Horizons reportedly raises site fees (a.k.a. ‘lot rent’) to a market rate fairly rapidly. New homes are often brought in to fill vacant sites.

Positive details like community improvements, or mitigating facts – like moving rents to a market rate – aren’t the kinds of details that grab the attention or interest of local media.  Sometimes, that local media may be grinding an agenda driven axe of their own.

So it is most-often the unhappy residents that get the focus of mainstream media coverage, rather than the often far more numerous happy residents.

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

That negative spin or activist-hyped effort then may in turn feed into political, planning, and zoning related impacts — not to mention the turn-off of untold numbers of potential buyers.

MH Community developers – doing new or expanding manufactured home communities – have told MHProNews that any negative news, including those that feature Rolfe or Smith, are routinely raised at planning and zoning hearings.


Challenging Realities

It’s a difficult set of realities.  Because MHI/NCC routinely fail to engage local media on such issues, as Rolfe himself has noted and complained, they often go unaddressed.

The bottom line is that the industry often ends up with a black eye from reports, be it justified, over hyped, or not. That in turn shapes public perceptions and public policy.

Perhaps it won’t be until a new trade group supplants MHI/NCC on the post-production side that the industry image will recover nationally.  In the meantime, as the Daily Business News has often reported, there are those who do a good job of promoting the community lifestyle in their local markets.

Such positive local-market engagement is a strategy that almost any community owner, operator or MH retailer can engage in.

The alterative?  Is to continue to take it on the chin. ##

Related: the issue of the impact of media coverage on manufactured housing was widely overlooked in the recent Urban Institute report, see the article below, as one of several related references.

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

Other Rolfe Related Reports:

“No Other Options” – Frank Rolfe’s Pad, MH “Parks” Tug-of-War, Good, Bad or Meh for Manufactured Home Communities, MH Industry?

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

Sensationalistic ‘Cold Hard Lessons of Mobile Home U’ New York Times article  by Gary Rivlin draws Manufactured Home Industry Ire, Desire and Fire

Meet the Faces, Groups Behind Anti-MH Industry Activists, Protesters

What Happened to Those Anti-MHI Resident Group Protests?

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“Trailer Park Millionaires: How to Get Rich on Housing for the Poor,” Guardian Features

January 1st, 2018 Comments off



It’s the industry’s other image campaign,” quipped Marty Lavin, JD, an MHI award winner, to MHProNews.

Marty Lavin Lashes the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Latest Initiative

How do the ‘two campaigns’ compare?


The Guardian Feature is one of tens of thousands of videos online that have been produced by local, regional or national media. The bulk are routinely about ‘bad news.’ This Guardian Feature had over 800,000 views on the day we did this report. By contrast, MHI’s videos are as shown, a tiny fraction of the views. Perhaps more important to the industry, how do the MHI videos seek to counter the narrative of the mainstream media news item? Can MHI claim to even be trying to counter the allegations, impressions, and claims made?


The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) launched the video part of their “image campaign” on November 15, 2017.  There are over a thousand views of the ‘top’ view, but as the graphic of screen captures above demonstrates, most of the MHI videos have only a few hundred views on all their other sponsored videos.

2 ½ years after the Guardian Features had a reporter do some interviews that led to the video posted below, there are over 800,000 views on this one video.  That video, is shown below.

Keep in mind, there are thousands of news videos posted that have “mobile homes,” “trailers” [note: again, their improper use of terminology, not ours] besides this video from Guardian Features.

On the one hand are some 22 million Americans, which third party surveys say are happy with their lifestyle.

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

On the other hand, are news stories that often feature a bleaker view of “mobile homes,” “trailer parks,” [sic] and those who are in this industry.


What Guardian Features Said

Here’s the bulk of the text below the Guardian Feature’s video.

Trailer park [sic] millionaires: how to get rich on housing for the poor.”

Some of the richest people in the US, including billionaires Warren Buffett and Sam Zell, have made millions from trailer parks [sic] at the expense of the country’s poorest people,” stated the Guardian.

That statement is demonstrably inaccurate, on more than one point.  For example, Buffett sold off Clayton Homes owned communities.

Thomas: Buffett Should Buy Manufactured Home Community REIT, Plus MH Market Update$

Seeing their success, ordinary people from across the country are now trying to follow in their footsteps and become trailer park millionaires. The Guardian went to Orlando to learn the tricks of the trade from Frank Rolfe, the self-appointed dean of Mobile Home University, as he led would-be investors around a trailer park [sic] for sex offenders,” stated Guardian Features.

There are many reasons why manufactured housing isn’t soaring in an era of a growing affordable housing shortage. Is Marty Lavin’s “The industry’s other image campaign” one of them?

If so, what does MHI really believe their advertorials and videos will get the job done?


Note that while the Guardian does correctly show that Rolfe is improving the communities that he and his colleagues buy, the comments from viewers suggests that part of the message is lost.


Screen capture of some comments on the Guardian Features video about Frank Rolfe and his boot camp.

While Rolfe is popular and respected by many in the industry, mainstream news stories like this one – and another recent incident that included his operation that will be featured in the days ahead – leave some in manufactured housing with the impression that Rolfe makes their jobs harder.

Manufactured Home Community Best Practices Debate, Rentals vs. Sales and Accounting Methods

Rolfe told an audience in the video shown below what he now (then) thought was the better choice of terminology today.

What say you about these controversial topics?  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News in review, 2017, millennials, analysis, commentary.)

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Eminem, “8 Mile,” “Mobile Homes,” Frank Rolfe – Understanding Media and Public Perceptions of Manufactured Housing

November 14th, 2017 Comments off

EminemAndersonCooper60MinutesCBS8MileMobileHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTo solve a problem, you must first be willing to accept the problem by acknowledging that the problem exists,” stated Jacquie Hooker on Quizlet.

Many who aren’t exposed to “critical thinking” need an explanation that Hooker isn’t talking about criticizing someone or something.

Rather, critical thinking is logical thinking – the use of detached, unemotional reason.

Once you have accepted the problem, the first step in solving the problem begins with determining the importance of the problem,“ said Hooker.


Frank Rolfe, and “The Problem”

Rolfe has told MHProNews that he learned debating in school.

Successful debating requires analysis, or the kind of “critical” or logical thinking that Hooker was providing insights about.

If Rolfe is correct, the mainstream media – and most of America – have little or no clue about the realities about modern manufactured homes.

Rolfe says that he’s asked reporters, and they’ve told him, that their vision of manufactured homes is based upon “Eight Mile,” the movie staring Eminem.  Note that in the clip below, the homes behind Eminem in certain spots look to be mobile homes, meaning, pre-HUD Code homes that are not manufactured homes.


With those thoughts in mind, the Daily Business News as part of its State of the Manufactured Housing Industry in November 2017 presents this 60 Minutes segment with Marshall Mather, better known as the rapper Eminem.

Hooker isn’t the only person who says that to solve a problem one must first admit it exists. The positive thinker, Zig Ziglar is one of many who has said similarly.

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.” – Zig Ziglar.

In consulting and publishing, MHProNews also believes that when a problem is identified, possible or proven solutions need to be proposed. While some dispute the source of the quote, GoodReads gives credit to a prior American president and rough rider.

Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining.” – Teddy Roosevelt.

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$

That solution?

Education at the local market level.  See the 15-minute video seminar by Barry Noffsinger, linked above to begin to grasp the proven solutions. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

October 31st, 2017 Comments off
tristar-estates-bourbonnais-il-CreditMHC-MD-com, posted

Arial photo credit of TriStar Estate,

First reported here on the Daily Business News, others in the manufactured home publishing arena have since picked up and carried on their own expressed concerns and/or claims about the number of communities there are in manufactured housing industry.

Why Does the Controversy Matter?

Several reasons, which this report/analysis will explore.

First, it clearly matters enough to those writing –  Frank Rolfe, his partner Dave Reynolds and George Allen – to take the time to write it.  They are in the community space themselves, their operations are members of the Manufactured Housing Institute/National Communities Council (MHI/NCC).

Let’s briefly see what they’ve said.


Part of our original report, using MHI’s graphic, and citing Rolfe’s, Allen’s and MHI’s data in the text by the arrow.

George Allen on Community Controversy

George Allen, who’s blog laid out his case, revealed in the graphic below with key phrases from his column, summarizing Col. Allen’s key points.  Paragraphs of comments are on Allen’s site on this issue, so the below are the bullets.  His bottom line is that we can’t know the total, but he clearly felt it worth exploring.


Frank Rolfe/Dave Reynolds on Community Count Controversy


Dave Reynolds (l), Frank Rolfe (r), of Mobile Home University, Mobile Home Park Store, MHP Funds, and RV Horizons.

In an email to MHProNews and others, the partners in “Mobile Home University,” MHP Funds, RV Horizons and other ventures had this key point.

It took two of our employees two years to assemble this list. They started with the phone book. Then they augmented that with visual searches from aerials, discussions with city planning departments, and other unique sources. The end result was the complete list of parks in the U.S.”

Why Community Count Matters, Per Frank Rolfe

In a statement to MHProNews, Rolfe said that this issue relevant to the industry for a variety of good business reasons.  Those included, but may not be limited to:

  • Lenders want sound, accurate data about the industry (to Rolfe’s point, think GSEs/FHFA – lack of data is the reason the GSEs have given),
  • Investors also want sound accurate data about the industry,
  • Media wants useful information too, and Rolfe’s positions on MHI and their general lack of media engagement have been published here previously (example below), and also drew extensive comments at an industry association function, where Rolfe told MHPros – see the videos – some of his thinking on the importance of the industry getting accurate information out about the industry and communities.


MHI is Responding to “The Heat,” But Are Doing so Indirectly

After months of pressure from their own members and the industry – not limited to Frank Rolfe, MHARR, or MHProNews – there are at least three cases in recent months of various types of media engagement by MHI, that were not their previously critiqued advertorials.

Two of those three involved communities, and specifically the number of communities and closures.

The Washington Post, and Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star cited MHI’s SVP, as follows per the Star, “”We see these cases [manufactured home community closures] every week,” said Rick Robinson, general counsel of the Manufactured Housing Institute, which has launched a task force to combat what it believes are local government efforts to regulate trailer parks out of existence.”

What else did Robinson say that may not have made that editor’s cut?  We don’t know, because Robinson and MHI won’t say.  Yet, that information would be useful and was supplied to MHProNews for years, until MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison, per sources, decided to do otherwise.

But that article in the Star was focused on the tear jerking story of community closures, and how they impact – harm citizens.  The Fredericksburg paper citied some problematic figures, which deserve to be corrected.  But once more, without MHI’s cooperation, that is a task made more difficult.

So incorrect information about the industry, and the number of homes, and communities stands.

Here’s one of several problematic points, quoted from the LanceStar:

Mobile homes [sic] are vanishing even as the cost of living in major metropolitan areas creeps steadily upward. In the early 2000s, there were 8 million manufactured homes in the country. Today, there are about 6.3 million, according to census estimates. The disappearances come in clusters.

In Richmond, 24 families were forced out after a 2014 housing code-violation sweep, prompting a federal discrimination lawsuit that resulted in new policies geared toward protecting mobile-home [sic] communities. In Palo Alto, California, nearly 400 mobile home residents are fighting to keep the city from shutting down their park to make way for new condominiums and apartments.”

A recent report on the Daily Business News analyzed a Huffington Post report by Sophie Quinton, which read in part as follows:


Part of the article by Sophie Quentin, published by HuffPo and analyzed by MHProNews, at this link here.

The Manufactured Housing Institute, an industry group, said it doesn’t appear that parks are closing down more often today than in the past. But in many parts of the country, affordable housing advocates say market conditions make it tempting for park owners to sell to a developer.” (Note, Italics added for emphasis.)

Concerns over community closures are what’s fueled DNC Vice Chair and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) to push for new federal law about this issue. See that report, linked here.

Frank Rolfe’s Upcoming New Video Statement…

In a not yet produced video segment for MHProNews, Rolfe says on camera in front of dozens of industry pros words to the effect that many in the media believe that community closures are part of the industry’s business model.

Rolfe has spoken with several mainstream media outlets over the past few years.  If that impression of his is accurate, that is a serious issue to the industry, community owners and investors.


MHI’s statistical contradictions and inaccuracy – as recently as checked yesterday for this report – could be fueling concerns for serious researchers, for the GSEs, etc.  These contradictory, problematic graphics by and citing MHI, are accurately reflected in this fact-check report.  The hope is to get MHI to correct their factual errors.


If in fact Rolfe is correct – and many in media believe that the industry has a common business model of holding land-lease communities only until they are sold off for redevelopment – that in turn fuels comments from the public previously cited by MHProNews.


It’s misguided for anyone to try to spin this or other analysis into anything other than what it is. A fact check.  A search for accuracy, which Rolfe says is good for the industry. Faithful MHI members ought to want to see their association correct their factual errors. Corrected errors benefits everyone.

Variations of a common commented posted by the general public on articles related to manufactured home community closures reads like this, “never buy a home on rented land.”

That kind of concern is reflected by Paul Bradley’s statement to MHProNews quoted below.


One way to address this is to segment true homeownership land lease communities and differentiate it from traditional ‘parks’ where closure remains a risk, not a certainty but a risk.

Then, we can promote secure homeownership through an image campaign with good fundamentals.  I think it’s our saving grace in public perception and our path to GSE home only financing, too!”

Bradley, it should be noted, enjoys one of the few pilot programs with a Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), see that report, linked here.

Factory-Built Home Finance Professional, Titus Dare’s Take

Titus Dare blasted MHI’s advertorials, as he said in his own words, linked here.

But finance professional Dare also laid out his 3 point case for industry advancement, linked here.  His summary read in part, “End the Fear, and the Growth Will Follow,” emphasizing that ““Come on in the water is fine” won’t work when trying to get the FHFA, GSEs or anyone else to come to the manufactured housing table on doing long term chattle-style (home only) mortgage lending.”

As a career banker and a true believer that MH can, and will, solve our housing crisis in America,” Dare told MHProNews in that linked op-ed.


When he stresses education, it clearly implies education that is fact based and accurate. In Dare’s own words, he stressed what Rolfe did to that live audience in current and upcoming videos.

Calling on MHI to Correct and Maintain an Accurate Record

Based on our own experiences, it would take perhaps an hour or two tops for MHI to correct their reporting of the community count and update their graphics on their website.

Shouldn’t such an update be promptly done?  And shouldn’t it also be accompanied by an explanation/apology, that admits past confusion, but now commits to keeping the record straight moving ahead?

As it currently stands, MHI has documents and graphics that MHProNews and MHLivingNews have spotlighted as factual errors.  It seems possible – even likely, based upon some of the mainstream media accounts noted above and others – that failure to do so is leading to avoidable doubt and skepticism.

Rolfe, Reynolds, MHARR, MHProNews and others have directly and indirectly urged MHI to correct and maintain an accurate repository of information. What possible reason can they give for not doing so promptly?

As Rolfe has noted, investors, lenders, media, and the public are watching.  The GSEs want accurate data.

While accurate information isn’t the only issue that faces the industry, it is one that could be rapidly addressed and resolved. Isn’t it a worthy topic for the MHI/NCC Chicago meeting this week?

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


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Note: Soheyla Kovach is a co-founder and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to, and manufactured home industry focused business development services.

Frank Rolfe, Manufactured Home Community Pro – Shocking! Or Evolutionary? Video

October 12th, 2017 Comments off

FrankRolfeMOShowMeStateTerminologyManufacturedHomeCommunitiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews410The factory-built home industry has struggled for over 40 years with nomenclature. Perhaps one of the better known “offenders” in MHVille – in the view of George Allen, or several other industry professionals – has been Frank Rolfe.

Rolfe has commanded more mainstream media news stories that featured him and his colleagues’ operations than many associations in our industry. That’s just a fact.

As with anyone who raises their head above many of their peers, Rolfe has those who cheer, and jeer, what he’s accomplished — and how he’s done it.

So, in an exclusive discussion arranged by – one that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) was invited to participate in – Rolfe addressed a series of hot topics.

MH Industry Best Practices?


Frank Rolfe, MHP Funds, Mobile Home University, RV Horizons, Mobile Home Park Store.  Media reports by the New York Times, Bloomberg and others have made him one of the best known personalities in the industry today.

In this first in a periodic series of video, the topic is terminology or nomenclature.  As with any interview, the views are those of the person speaking.  So, without agreeing or disagreeing with Rolfe’s points, MHProNews presents this video as the first in a periodic series of videos that are useful for industry group discussion, as well as for individual professional reflection.

Over the years, MHProNews has heard from the gamut of those who promote their view on this topic.  For those who missed it or need the reminder, a primer on terminology is found linked here.

What’s Coming!

More reports and MHProNews and videos to come…enjoy and consider how you can benefit from this one. Professional, industry feedback is welcome “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Industry image, best practices, programing, announcement, news, commentary.)

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Frank Rolfe Wades In – Plus Sebastian Gorka, 21st/Tim Williams, More!

October 10th, 2017 Comments off

FrankRolfeWadesInHotManufacturedHomeTopicsVideoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsOne of the hottest tickets in MHVille for several years has been the colorful Frank Rolfe.

The New York Times, Bloomberg, MHProNews and a variety of others in media have spotlighted Rolfe’s often controversial views.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member has previously – and publicly – called out MHI’s chairman for “hypocrisy.”

Rolfe’s chided the Arlington, VA based MHI trade association for their failure to properly engage with the mainstream media, something Rolfe himself is clearly willing to do.

He’s used terminology that has caused some pros in the industry to blanch. But he and his partner’s success are well established.


Rolfe has taken dead aim on MHI several times. Watch for the latest insights, in a new periodic series of videos, found only on

Coming soon, will be the first in a periodic series of exclusive videos with Rolfe, found right here on MHProNews.

In that series, Rolfe will talk about key issues that impact manufactured housing investors, professionals, and others.

Watch for that rapidly approaching special series of videos and reports, that you will only see here on the Daily Business News on MHProNews. Or you can join the thousands who get our exclusive emailed headline news alerts, at this link below.  Sign up is free, and only takes about 5 seconds.

Coming Soon! Outgoing MHI Chairman, Tim Williams – Remarks


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

He’s now passed the MHI chairman’s baton on to Cavco Industries Joe Stegmayer, but President and CEO of 21st Mortgage is far from done with lighting up the pages here on MHProNews with his own brand of controversial comments.

You’ll find insights and information from Williams – that with our analysis – will rival prior revelations found only on MHProNews in the report found at the link here – only these insights will be new, and must-reading for two groups in the industry.

Who are those two industry groups? MHI members, and all others.

Watch for that report in the days ahead, with the kind of edgy, fact-based insights and commentary found only

What Happened to Those Resident Group Protests?

Fair question!

We won’t tell you, we’ll show you in an upcoming special report on Watch for it.

Vegas Shooter – Flashback & Analysis – Dr. Sebastian Gorka Sounds Off on


Dr. Sebastian Gorka recently left the White House.  He’s widely known for his own brand of “America First,” and “Make America Great Again” views.

His role at the White House was Deputy Assistant to President Donald J. Trump.

Dr. Gorka is a terrorism and counter-terrorism expert.  He’s been on Fox News,  Breitbart, CNN and numerous others news media.

Do terrorist incidents – such as what took place in Las Vegas, Paris, England, or other places here in the U.S. – shed light on issues that could be important to manufactured housing industry professionals?

Those flashback, flash-forward insights from Dr. Gorka will once-again be brought to you only here on MHProNews. Stay tuned…


Read and Viewed Hot!

I Love It!!!” said Deanna Fields, Executive Director of the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma.

What does Fields love?  The latest video in our exclusive Inside MH Road Show series.


Collage by MHProNews, and original photo, image are provided under fair use guidelines.

This newest video spotlighted the following;

Elected Official Explains Surprising Modern Manufactured Homes, Video Interview


Or check out another widely-acclaimed and exclusive report;

MH Lending, FEMA and False Profits (and False Prophets)


You’ll find all of this and more at the only place in MHVille that you’ll get the “Industry News, Tips and Views that Pros Can Use.”  ©


On behalf of the MHProNews and MHLivingNews team, we want to take a few moments and thank the hundreds who have been sending in their 9th Anniversary kudos messages to us.


We can’t do this without our sponsors, informed sources, clients, team members through the years – and of course – thousands of daily professional readers like you.  Third-party-research by MailChimp and Webalizer documents that engagement here blows away that on mainstream media news sites.


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

Our sincere thanks to all who have messaged or called.  Those kind words keep us fired up to bring you even more…


Plus our thanks to all who have made this adventure in the Manufactured Housing Revolution possible.


For another recent – and exclusive – report, click here or the image above.


Learn more, click here or the image above.

As we get set to embark on our 10th year in publishing and videos, we hope you agree that the best is yet to come.

We Provide, You Decide.” © (Upcoming news reports, announcements, analysis, commentary.)

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Is this MH Community Owner, Plus Thousands of Others, Unwittingly Waiving Rights Under Federal Law?

June 21st, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnerWilliamKellyGenevaALManufacturedHousingImprovementAct2000LocalTownOrdinanceIllegalDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAlabama’s Geneva City Council approved a new “mobile home” [sic] ordinance this month, removing an ‘age limit’ for manufactured homes allowed in their city.

Previously, the town barred manufactured homes more than 12 years old from being placed.

WTVY Channel 4 reports that now the city’s building inspector will determine if a “mobile home [sic] meets quality standards.”

The community owner, William Kelly, said he is in favor of the new regulations.


For media that want to learn how to get the terminology about mobile homes, manufactured homes and trailer houses correct, as per their code of standards, please click here or on the image above.

But Kelly may not be fully informed about manufactured housing’s enhanced preemption under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000).

What a DC Attorney and MH Industry Veteran Says

MarkWeissMHARRPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsA locality, obviously, cannot maintain its own “quality” standards for manufactured homes subject to federal regulation, as that field is occupied and preempted by federal authority,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Nor would a local inspector – absent anything else – have independent authority to determine compliance with federal “quality” standards, or any local “quality” standards that would/should be preempted by federal authority,” said Weiss.

One of the homes shown in the video could be a pre-HUD Code mobile home, based upon limited visual evidence.  But any home built since June 15, 1976 would be covered by federal law, to learn more, click here.

Another problem with this local report, as informed professionals know,  is their mixing of terminology.

An older manufactured home that may need repairs or updates doesn’t become a ‘trailer house.’

Manufactured housing is a legal definition, not one subject to taste or prejudice. To learn about the proper use of terminology, and why journalistic standards are being missed in such stories, see the report linked below.


Bob Crawford, Frank Rolfe in panel discussion on industry issues, both took aim at what they see as MHI’s misses and failures. Credit, Inside MH Road Show, MHProNews.

The Need for National Independent Retailers and Communities Association

Incidents such as this one are all too common, as state association executives have often reported to MHProNews. MHI rarely gets involved in such matters.

The solution?  Community owner Frank Rolfe told the Daily Business News that in the billboard industry, their association aggressively “went after” any jurisdiction that attempted to restrict their members.  Rolfe has expressed his disappointment with MHI for not doing the same.

Bob Crawford, president of award-winning Dick Moore Housing, has said that this is why the “post-production side” (meaning, retailers, communities, installers, etc.) of the manufactured home industry needs its own national representation.

MHARR historically – and still currently – represents the interests of HUD Code manufactured home producers.  But they voted at their Tunica Show meeting to explore the concept of broadening their membership base, to allow them to represent independent retailers, communities and the post-production side of the industry.

Given that federal law supports preemption of local entities, per Weiss’ statement and the views of others in the industry, the legal foundation exists to do what Rolfe and others think could dramatically change the legal landscape for the industry. ## (News, Analysis.)

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Keith Olbermann on Trump Supporters – Industry Reacts – When “Trailer Trash” Isn’t What You Think

April 25th, 2017 2 comments

Trump supporters at the White House – Kid Rock, left, Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent (right). Credit: Truth Examiner.

In what is quickly becoming known as the “tweet heard ‘round the manufactured housing world,” former ESPN and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann’s reference to President Donald Trump supporters — former Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and musicians Ted Nugent and Kid Rock during their White House visit — as “trailer park trash” has set off a fire storm.

It is amazing to me that any media person can stereotype millions of Americans without being worried about their career being at stake,” said Frank Rolfe.

Controversial tweet by GQ's anti-Trump shock jock Keith Olbermann.

Controversial tweet by GQ’s anti-Trump shock jock, Keith Olbermann.

In today’s politically correct world, why is it acceptable to use such a derogatory term as “trailer park trash“?

Rolfe opens up another potent question with his statement: why does it seem that some “get a pass” by the mainstream media, when others do not?


Credit: MHProNews.

Newscasters and journalists are losing their careers over the use of every other insulting slang term — however minor — simply from special interest groups threatening to boycott the advertisers. So why is ‘trailer trash’ the one insulting term in the U.S. that you can use without any fear of reprisal? Is it because the average American feels it’s true,” asks Rolfe, “thanks to the consistent negative portrayal of the industry in the media?”

Those in the industry know that there are some terrible properties out there, but they are a tiny fringe group of the 44,000 communities in the U.S. The average manufactured home community resembles a traditional subdivision — sometimes nicer than the surrounding subdivisions. We can only change the ‘trailer park trash’ stereotype by convincing the general public that the term is unfair and offensive and not a statement of fact,” Rolfe told MHProNews.  

He added, “That would generate a grassroots movement to protest the term aggressively and that, in turn, would scare the media away from ever using it again. If any journalist who uttered the phrase “trailer park trash” immediately lost their job, then it would disappear overnight.”


Credit: MHProNews.

Rolfe’s Not Alone…

And, Rolfe is far from alone in his feelings.

It’s an absolute disgrace that this pejorative (“Trailer Park Trash”) somehow remains ‘socially acceptable’ among the politically correct elite and their mouthpieces,” said MHARR President & CEO, M. Mark Weiss, JD.

People like Olbermann, who routinely slam others over alleged ‘micro-aggressions’ and other fabricated nonsense, would do well to show proper and decent respect for the millions of hard-working Americans who are able to own a home of their own because of the unequalled affordability of manufactured homes located either in — or outside of — manufactured home communities,” Weiss said to MHProNews.They, and a lot of other Americans living in the heartland of the country, deserve better than this type of arrogant slander.”

A Moment of Personal Commentary, by RC Williams, OK’d by the Editor…

As a writer who covers the manufactured housing industry – and also happens to be black – I wondered out loud today if Olbermann would have received the same “atta boys” and backslaps from his echo chamber if he would have used terms like “ghetto urchin,” “welfare queen,” or “wetback beaner” to describe hard working White, Black or Hispanic Americans?

There isn’t anything wrong with disliking a person, or having a different political, or policy perspective.  Such may be the case with Olbermann when it comes to Palin, Nugent and Kid Rock.  But Olbermann seems to be acting like a junior kid who didn’t receive discipline when he was young – and thinks it’s OK to do or say whatever he wants.

Journalism requires research, and respect, to build credibility. Olbermann seriously put his into question with his comments, and offended millions in the process.

Perhaps lacking sound arguments against the economic progress already being made by the Trump Administration, Olbermann resorts to what weak minds turn to — cheap insults and ad hominem attacks.


Community Owners Sound Off

Mari Blaquiere and Todd Lamb of Lamb Investments, are among the many who provided on-the-record comments to MHProNews from community owners on this issue.


Lamb views the situation as partisan hypocrisy.

Wow!! Keith Olbermann should be careful. I’m sure he knows that God humbles the proud, and gives grace to the poor,” said Lamb.



This is a perfect example of the hypocrisy from the left. They demand and cry for ‘political correctness’ from the GOP and Christians, but then turn around and place themselves in the judgment seat (which should be reserved for God alone – Duet 32:35) by using the term ‘Trailer Park Trash.’”

Lamb continued.

Some of the most joy-filled, hard-working and good people that I have had the privilege to know live in Manufactured Home Communities. I’m sure they would not appreciate his terminology, or Olbermann’s judgment on two Rockers and Sarah Palin.”

It really is shocking to see the left-wingers squirm when they are not in power,” Lamb said. “A reminder to all Conservatives:Pray for Donald Trump, the President is under constant attack.’”

Not All Will Speak Up – On or Off the Record – To Defend the Industry and It’s Homeowners

MHProNews asked Kevin Borden of MHAction for a comment, giving him an opportunity to defend the industry’s homeowners.


As with Borden, and also after more than 48 hours, a request was made to the senior staff at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for their reactions. Top staff and their communications director…were all equally silent, as if to prove Frank Rolfe’s previous point on their unwillingness to engage the media.

MHProNews will continue to monitor MHI’s responses, if any, and provide follow up from this as warranted. ##

(Editor’s Note: As our primary Daily Business News writer, RC Williams’ mission is reporting, not commentary. It’s a mission that management feels he does well – and the industry has responded to his writing with an ever larger audience. In this case, Wiliams was given the OK to share his personal thoughts on this highly charged issue, which MHProNews thanks him for offering – instead of just sounding off without warning. That’s a team player.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews