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More Confident About Future than 3 Years Ago, Americans Still Have Concerns, Per New Survey, MH Industry Opportunities

April 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

MoreConfidentAboutFutureThan3YearsAgoAmericansStillHaveConcernsPerNewSurveyMHIndustryOpportunitiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

CNBC and Survey Monkey conducted a survey of some 2,300 Americans in March, 2019. This is a particularly apt example of how “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing© could significantly reshape for the better the lives of millions of Americans.

 

Before turning to the MHProNews analysis, let’s begin with what the CNBC and SurveyMonkey research results discovered.

 

  • In the 45-to-54 age group, 35 percent of survey respondents peg “being able to save enough for retirement” as their top personal finance concern. Among people ages 55 to 64, that share is 42 percent.
  • Experts say if you’re feeling more confident about your financial situation, it’s a good opportunity to address your savings anxiety.
  • Putting a plan in place — whether you have a savings shortfall or not — can go a long way toward having peace of mind.

Failing at Money CNBC Video

 

 

  • While the Great Recession that ended in mid-2009 is far in the rearview mirror, recovering from it proved challenging for many people. And competing priorities — including home purchases, college educations, unexpected financial emergencies, higher health expenses — have squeezed a lot of household budgets.
  • Yet now, with the economy in its 10th year of expansion, wages creeping up and unemployment below 4 percent, experts say being in a better place financially is a good opportunity to address your savings anxiety.
  • If you haven’t already engaged in financial planning or done your own analysis, now is a good time to do it,” Boneparth said. “When you don’t do a retirement plan, you’re just guessing and shooting from the hip.”

 

Compared3YearsAgoMoreLessConfidentSavingsByAgeGroupCNBCDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

Now, as a ‘financial news channel,’ that last bullet is a pitch for turning to financial advisors.  We’re just stating the obvious, there are certainly pluses or minuses to that, depending on the advisor involved.

The news is good, but it could be better. How so?  Short answer?

 

 

By more opting to own manufactured homes than other more costly forms of housing.

 

Compared3YearsAgoMoreConfidentSaveForRetirementRepublicanIndependentDemocratCNBCDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

But what this report – as is so often the case – doesn’t touch upon is the role that modern manufactured homes could positively shake up the lives of millions of Americans.

 

Recall what Professor Ken Johnson from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) told MHLivingNews.  He explained that saving money on housing, and using that savings for retirement or other positive goals could put many Americans ahead of the curve financially.

 

 

There are any number of potential appeals that manufactured home sellers, advocates, and promoters could raise.

But what the industry is witnessing instead is arguably posturing promotion, fig leaf efforts, rather than a robust muscular move to get millions of Americans to seriously consider the manufactured home alternative.

That doesn’t require a national program.  Rather, it is arguably best done at the local level, because no two markets are quite the same.

The report below addresses one of the issues that causes potential manufactured housing buyers from taking a serious look.

 

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

Other issues that may be diverting potential shoppers from manufactured home communities and retail centers are found in more links below the byline and notices.  The video below is one of several from the report linked above.

 

 

That’s this morning’s 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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FEAR, a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis, and the Manufactured Home Dilemma

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

August 2nd, 2018 Comments off

 

AveragePriceNewConvSiteBuiltHousesCompareManufacturedHomesFeb2018USCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEwsOne of the most serious issues in America is the affordable housing crisis.

 

It should be noted that affordable housing is a non-partisan issue.

PercentageHOuseholdsSpentMOrethan30PercentOnHousingByTenureHousingUnitManufacturedHomesAffordableHousing

From the Realtor University report available below as a download.

People most commonly live in apartments, other forms of rental housing, and other types of homes.

MedianAverageSalesPriceConventionalHousingUnitedStatesUSCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Housing affordability – or the lack of it – is driven by several factors.  Land cost obviously varies by market and location.  Land use is another issue for a separate report.

Those hundreds of millions may be Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or any other political or apolitical view.

The point?

MonthlyHousingCostsByHousingTypeAptHousesManufacturedHomesRVsSingleFamilyRealtorUnivManufacturedHomeIndustryResearch

From the July 2018 update of the Realtor University report available below as a download.

Housing is non-partisan, even though there may be partisan views about it. Politicos or policy advocates routinely have a position on housing issues, perhaps because they recognize that the needs are large and growing.

How great are the needs for affordable homes in the summer of 2018?

They are summed up by Lawrence Yun, Ph.D., Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors ® as is shown below.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

 

The number of articles and reports to date in 2018 that are favorably reporting on manufactured homes as an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis seems to be rising.

 

MobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearch

While the thrust of these third-party reports have routinely been positive, an all too common facet has been misinformation on some data or terminology point.

Thus this post will be a data and evidence based effort to provide a rapid reference for third parties looking for more accurate information. Third party sources are as shown.

Feb2018ManufacturedHomeAverageCostUSCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDataResearchResultsMHProNews

Land cost varies by market and location. About 1 in 3 Manufactured homes, per NAR data, are being placed in land-lease communities, so about 2 out of 3 are going onto privately owned properties. Why are sales so low, when the data is so favorable?  See the comment from an industry professional, further below, plus the linked related reports at the bottom of this post.

The manufactured home industry bears some responsibility for the confusion.  The following sourced information, often using data from the National Association of Realtors ® (NAR), Census Bureau, HUD, IBTS, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), MHU, or other sources as noted.

 

Properly Defining Mobile Homes, and Manufactured Home

The National Association of Realtors Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies did a fact-based report entitled “The Market for Manufactured Homes” by Scholastica ‘Gay’ D. Cororaton, CBE, Research Economist, National Association of REALTORS®.

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

Cororaton’s research had some revisions in July 2018 – linked as a download, here – as was a related post on Realtor University’s blog entitled “Making the Case for Manufactured Homes.”  Their report on manufactured homes starts on page 48.

AveragePriceExisitngNewMobileHomeManufacturdHomeByYearSince1960GraphicNARManufacturedHomeDataResearchMHProNews

Insightful data, per NAR. From the July 2018 update of the Realtor University report available below as a download.

 

The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards

National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act as: “A manufactured home means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which in the traveling mode is 8 body feet or more in width or 40 body feet or more in length or which when erected on-site is 320 or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained in the structure.”

ConvHousingPlusManufacturedHomeByTypePriceSquareFootageNARRealtorUnivsDalyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Red arrow, blue text by MHProNews. Data from the Realtor University report available below as a download.

TheDeliberateMisueofTerminologyCanBeOffensivetoMillionsWhoProudlyOwnAManufacturedhomeOrThousandsinourIndustryMarkWeissMHARRMHproNews575

The Department of Housing and Urban Development are the primary federal regulator, and so the standards are often called the HUD Code for manufactured housing.  One simple way to identify a HUD Code manufactured home is if the home bears a HUD label, see photo below.

RedHUDCodeMetalLabel=ManufacturedHomeNOTMobileHomeNOTTinyHouseNOTrv-CreditsManufactruredHomeLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” per Steve Duke, JD, LMHA.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

The HUD Code standards went into effect on June 15, 1976.  So, homes built before that date can properly be called a mobile home.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been notified (again) about information that they’ve published in downloads, advertorials, and on their website that is a mix of accurate and inaccurate information.

They were advised that MHI members and others were included in a BCC addressed to the MHI Executive Committee, plus many on the MHI staff.

The NAR is among other trade associations that have been notified of the ongoing mix of data errors by MHI, which as noted, is a mix of good, bad and meh information coming from the Arlington, VA based trade group.

ManufacturedHomeShipmentsIntoPrivateLandOrManufacturedHomeCommunitiesSince1995TrendGraphicNARMHProNews

From the July 2018 update of the Realtor University report available below as a download.

 

Among the responses to the message to MHI and others?

Well put, Tony [Kovach, MHProNews publisher].   Thanks for the bcc, too.

STILL seems to be a void in the ether when it comes to a nationwide pro-MH body to represent our industry, not just certain players therein. I won’t beat the dead horse about BH/CMH other than to say they are at least 80% at cause for the lack of accurate information going out to the public, and IMHO, it’s for the purpose of their moat.  

Glad to see that there are still folks who can see the benefits a financially healthy & industry hearty organization could bring to us as a whole.  There are SO MANY fronts that need to be addressed that it would require a full-time devotion to them, something that business owners seem to be reluctant to do, for whatever (and valid) reasons…” This was part of a longer message from a well known industry professional.

Figure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

There are a growing number of industry voices that believe that BH/CMH and MHI have by various action/inaction has kept manufactured home sales at historically low levels. Evidence? See Related Reports and videos, linked below, which quotes and cites BH, MHI, CMH, 21st Mortgage Corp, and other sources.

 

This article may be updated, if MHI makes corrections, and does as NAR thoughtfully did – provide the appropriate credits for the sources of the correction of prior errors.  MHI’s leadership will be advised of this article, but frankly, its unnecessary.

Unnecessary, why?

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices-768x339

Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams to MHProNews.

Because as Tim Williams said – and it is still true – MHI members, leadership, and senior staff are among the routine readers of MHProNews.

Our latest 3rd party metrics reflect that our site traffic has more than doubled since Sept 2017.  Our sincere thanks to our readers, and all of those who make this site’s fact checks and reports possible. NOTE: as of this date, none of the linked reports have been publicly disputed by sources from BH, CMH or MHI.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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America and the Manufactured Housing Industry’s Future – It’s in Their Hands?!

January 30th, 2018 Comments off

CampusReformNYU-SOTUDailyBuisnessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsInvestopedia said that, “According to the College Board, the average annual tuition at a private university is $31,231 for the 2014-2015 academic year. With room, board and fees included, the total is $42,419. That means, over four years, a typical NYU student will pay $84,212 more than the average for a private-university attendee.”

NYU is New York University.  How smart do you have to be to attend a collage like NYU?

The average GPA at NYU is 3.7. This makes NYU Strongly Competitive for GPAs. With a GPA of 3.7, NYU requires you to be above average in your high school class. You’ll need a mix of A’s and B’s, with a leaning toward A’s,” says Prep Scholar.

 

That’s useful background for understanding the video that follows.

According to their YouTube page, Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, is America’s leading site for college news.”

As a watchdog to the nation’s higher education system, Campus Reform exposes bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses.”

Days before President Donald J Trump’s State of the Union Address (SOTU), “Campus Reform took to the campus of NYU to ask their opinions on President Trump’s State of the Union address… except the speech hadn’t happened yet.”  President Trump’s first SOTU will be Tuesday night, 1.30.2018.

 

Campus Reform also says that, “Our team of professional journalists works alongside student activists and student journalists to report on the conduct and misconduct of university administrators, faculty, and students. Campus Reform holds itself to rigorous journalism standards and strives to present each story with accuracy, objectivity, and public accountability.”

As a cross check, the Campus Reform video seemed reminiscent of a NYU edition of “Watters World.” In a pre-2016 election episode, Fox News’ Jesse Watters asked students from that same campus some basic questions about the then upcoming election.

Some did get it right, however…

 

 

Future Leaders

These are going to be some of the future leaders of America.

Regardless of a person’s political affiliation, or lack thereof, this ought to be a bracing reality check.

First, how is it possible that so many in institutions of higher learning could be so ignorant on the issues of the day?  What does it say about the state of American education?

Keep in mind that these young women and men are also among those who are discerning their next housing choices.

 

If they can be so misinformed/uninformed about politics that impact their lives and discussions, is it any surprise when research reveals they have only a dim understanding of manufactured homes?

Clearly, this isn’t to say that all young people are uniformed or misinformed.  This writer personally knows numbers of savvy young Americans.  But a nation is made up of a cross section that includes people like those shown in these videos – who often clearly need to be better informed.

Part of the Problem, or Part of the Solution?

Understanding a problem is the first step.

But the next step must be to engage those millennials and others who are so misinformed or uniformed about the kinds of matters that many of us would have considered basic during our college years.

Consider sharing links and/or encouraging your team mates to read and watch reports like these.

America and our industry are still near a tipping point.  One reason politicos can make absolutely outrageous statements on camera – and often seem to get away with it – is because tens of millions don’t know any better.

ComplaingAboutProblemWithoutPosingSolutionIsCalledWhiningQuote-teddy-theodore-rooseveltDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Whining or worry won’t fix it.  The proper engagement can. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson’s Critics, and Response

September 4th, 2017 Comments off
CarsonFoxSpecialReportCreditFoxNewsYouTubeDailyBusinessNews

HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Fox News “Special Report.” Featured image credit, Fox News, YouTube.

Not everyone at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) believes that Secretary Ben Carson deserves his place as head of the sprawling agency.

This has been apparent even before Carson was confirmed as HUD’s new secretary, as reported by the Daily Business News back in January.

People feel disrespected,” one HUD employ told NYMag. “They see Carson and think, I’ve been in housing policy for 20 or 30 years, and if I walked away, I would never expect to get hired as a nurse.”

NYMag recently posted an article titled “Is Anybody Home at HUD?”

The article is one of several that criticizes Carson’s leadership skills, and ability to effectively run HUD.

ShaunDonavanCreditWikipediaDailyBusinessNews

Image credit, Wikipedia.

By the time I left, almost 90 percent of our budget was to help people stay in their homes,” Shaun Donovan told NYMag.

So when you have a 15 percent cut to that budget, by definition you’re going to be throwing people out of their homes,” Donovan said. “You’re literally taking vouchers away from families, you’re literally shutting down public housing, because it can’t be maintained anymore.”

Among those critics are some within the manufactured housing industry who think that Dr. Carson doesn’t yet get it about the tremendous needs, quality and opportunities that HUD regulated manufactured homes offer.  A few mentioned to the Daily Business News the clear video statement by his predecessor, shown below.


The Other Side of HUD’s Coin, Carson Responds

The retired, famous neurosurgeon was calm and seemingly unfazed by the critics. When asked last Wednesday during an interview for Fox News’Special Report,” Secretary Carson focused on plans not spitballs. He spoke about his hopes for the future of the agency, which industry professionals know also regulates federally preemptive HUD Code manufactured housing.

With respect to the charge that HUD under him would be kicking people out of housing, Carson replied, “Let me just say first of all, our conviction is no eviction.

Carson said, “We will use whatever money we have in an extraordinarily efficient way.”  That would be in keeping with the Trump administration agenda, which noted recently that the federal workforce is down by some 11,000 people. That federal staff reduction was achieved mostly through attrition, already saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

A lot of it [i.e.: criticism] is politically motivated. Be that as it may, we have a deep bench [at HUD], a lot of people who are willing to step up to the plate and to help to fashion things and keep things moving in a positive direction,” Carson said. “Do recognize with some of the reorganization that we’ve done already, we’ve realized some tremendous savings.”

When asked what his vision for the agency was going forward, Carson answered by saying “It’s a bureaucracy, and I’m not a big fan of bureaucracy.”

He went on to say that, “Bureaucrats are people who think their rules are more important than the goals.”

Carson said he hopes to “recreate the way communities are done. … They need to be nurturing places. They need to be places that will help children to be able to maximize their potential. And not have a goal of just staying where their mother or grandmother was.”  Those sentiments are similar to those shared by manufactured housing advocate, Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.

Carson also pointed out that the federal budgets are not yet final.

Once they are finalized, HUD will use whatever money is given to them as efficiently as possible.

This is a concept that is foreign to a lot of people in Washington, the whole concept of efficiency and saving,” he said.

Though some may believe, like the HUD employees quoted in the NYMag article, that Dr. Carson is not qualified to manage the agency, he is optimistic that things can be turned around for the better.

I would say that you should ring the doorbell before you conclude that nobody’s at home. I don’t think they did a very good job at journalistic investigation there,” Carson said.

MHI and MHARR on Carson

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) were among the many industry professionals who have cheered Carson as the new head of HUD, there are also whispered concerns.

One was the omission during his interview on “Special Reportto even mention manufactured housing during the discussion of post-Harvey recovery.

VPMikePenceCreditWikipediaDailyBusinessNews

Vice President Mike Pence. Image credit, Wikipedia.

By contrast, as the Daily Business News reported, Vice President Mike Pence mentioned manufactured homes more than once in interviews, when asked about post-Harvey recovery. See that recent report, linked here.

Was that failure to mention manufactured homes an oversight by Secretary Carson?  Or a subtle signal of something else? ## (News, analysis.)

(Note: NYMag cites a 15 percent cut in funding to HUD, while Fox News cites 13 percent in the “Special Report.”)

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

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

 

We Live in the Future: NextGen Modular?

May 29th, 2017 Comments off
WeLiveintheFutureNextGenModularcreditDezeen-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A mock up of the “Pod Vending Machine” skyscraper. Credit: Dezeen.

A Malaysian designer has made quite a splashing when it comes to a hybrid of modular units and 3D printing.

According to Dezeen, Haseef Rafiei was awarded an honorable mention at this year’s eVolo Skyscraper competition. The competition recognizes innovative ideas for futuristic high-rise living.

Rafiei’s concept, a skyscraper that prints 3D modular homes and dispenses them like a vending machine, was inspired by the popularity of vending machines in Japan.

The skyscraper would offer prospective homeowners the ability to customize and manufacture a modular home, which then gets added into a high-rise framework. Customers would have the ability to choose from a selection of ready-to-use housing pods to design their home, based on their needs.

Then, the home would be created on-site by a pod printer, and installed above the building. Once completed, the pods are plugged into spaces in the structure below by crane arms attached to the skyscraper.

The Pod Vending Machine offers a solution to increasing need for housing in cities by growing in response to demand. As the mega-structure is filled with homes, the skyscraper would grow taller to accommodate more, adding to itself using materials delivered by hydraulics on the sides of the building,” said Rafiei.

The futuristic building concept has been designed to adapt to the needs of its inhabitants over time, rather than remaining a static structure. Modules stored within the building could be moved, regrouped, modified and recycled, preventing waste and ensuring that space is used efficiently.”

WeLiveintheFutureNextGenModularcreditDezeen-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews2

Credit: Dezeen.

Rafiei also says that the concept could be used for residential, business and commercial spaces.

The structure could be used for both residential and business use, housing start-ups and commercial spaces as well as homes.

I believe that robotic concepts like my skyscraper will become necessary to address the growing demands of the urban housing market, while easing pressure on labor, cost and time associated with construction through automation,” said Rafiei.

The Daily Business News has covered the 3D printing movement from around the world, including the case of Apis Cor, which claims to have printed a 400 square foot home just outside of Moscow, Russia in 24 hours.

While wild claims have come and gone with media hype, possible disruptions to the manufactured housing industry are no joke.

An association veteran told MHProNews that failing to adapt could result over time in manufactured housing’s associations becoming “the associations of mobile home remodelers.” It was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying there would be widespread industry business failures, and that only remodeling work would be left if the correct steps aren’t taken by members of the industry.

We are several years into our industry’s recovery. That’s good news.  But 3D, prefab, containers and tiny houses are all reminders that manufactured housing producers and others can’t rest on their laurels,” said L. A. “Tony”Kovach, publisher of MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

Manufactured housing is an amazing option, that’s highly sustainable, so long as we grow more rapidly towards our potential.  There is a high cost – and risk – to low volume sales, which is why we’ve repeatedly said that aiming for hundreds of thousands of new home sales a year in a sustainable way is a must.” 

Some companies are taking steps to grow in a responsible way.  That’s good news. But absent such growth,” Kovach cautions, our source is sadly but likely correct – in the next 5 to 10 years perhaps, technologies are emerging that could disrupt the manufactured housing industry.  Communities, production, lending, retailing – it could all change unless more of the industry’s members and leaders take the proper steps, now.”

The Daily Business News has covered the rise of 3D printed homes extensively, including other Chinese, Russian and Dutch 3D home projects, and asking the tough question: “Is America losing the 3D Technology race in housing?

In several off-the-record comments by professionals with community, production, association, retailing and other industry interests, say that the industry needs to pay attention.

For even more on 3D printed homes, including the story of The BigDelta, the world’s largest 3D printer and its year-long mission to print a mud house, click here. ##

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

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

 

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UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control

April 26th, 2017 Comments off
UPDATEMHCFutureinDoubttheOtherSideofRentControlcreditWesternInvestment-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Resident Lothar Netzel having a garage sale. Credit: Western Investor.

In an update to the story that the Daily Business News originally covered here, residents at the Thetis Lake Campground community in View Royal, British Columbia, Canada, are facing an imminent threat.

According to Western Investor, assessments on the community are threatening the viability of the most affordable housing option in the province, and options are limited.

 

Manufactured homes on rented pads cost about one-tenth of what an average detached house in B.C. costs, and provide thousands of seniors and others with the lowest-cost homes in the province,” said Al Kemp, executive director of the Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of BC.

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Al Kemp. Credit: LinkedIn

And the security of low cost is in doubt because park owners are under annual rental restrictions while assessed values, and subsequent property taxes, are increasing dramatically.”

Kemp says that owners are being squeezed, as assessment values on manufactured home communities have skyrocketed over the past year, but community owners can only increase site rents by 3.7 percent this year under the Residential Tenancy Act.

BC Assessment doesn’t have a clue how to value manufactured home parks [sic], which are a hybrid of commercial and residential real estate,” said Kemp.

The land-value sale of one park [sic], for example, will raise the assessed value of neighboring parks [sic] that may not have the same development potential.”

A community owner in Vancouver reached out to Kemp for help after receiving their 2016 assessment.

We will be out of business soon as our low rent-controlled increases never allow us to catch up,” said the owner.

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A home at Thetis Lake Campground. Credit: Mobile Homes Victoria.

This has community owners beginning to scramble to sell, which means residents are scrambling to find a new place to live. And that’s the case with Thetis Lake – the community’s assessment jumped more than $400,000 in the past year, to $2.98 million.

The owner is now in the process of selling to a developer who wants to build 45 single-family homes and 14 townhouses on the property. And residents are facing eviction next fall.

We don’t want to leave. It’s basically cheap living, close to a park and we’re comfortable here,” said resident Lothar Netzel.

With the average price of a detached house in View Royal at $645,000, a townhouse at $502,000, and a vacancy rate less than one percent, affordable housing for community residents is far from certain.

The sale of the community is hinging on the development being approved for rezoning by the Town of View Royal. If it goes through, the owner of the community has offered each homeowner $10,000 as compensation.

And that has not set well with residents.

What can we do with $10,000?” asked Netzel. “Look at the steep house prices and a tight rental market throughout the capital region.”

The impact of rent control has been felt in other parts of Canada as well, including the case in the video above with a community in Manitoba.

David Screech, Mayor of View Royal says that while he sympathizes with the owners, View Royal does not have any manufactured home bylaws.

In my opinion, they have been given a generous offer, more than what’s required by law,” said Screech.

 

Is Rent Control Necessary? MH Industry Experts Speak 

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Sam Landy, UMH President and CEO.

UMH would not buy a rent controlled community and believes all community owners should work with residents to avoid rent control,” said Sam Landy, President and CEO of UMH Properties, Inc.

The fact is if we raise our rents too high we will have no sales and no occupancy. No reasonable landlord would do such a thing. Our rents have to make economic sense or we have no business. Therefore, in the long term, there is never a need for rent control.” 

Sam Landy’s full commentary on rent control is linked here.

RentControlManufacturedHomeCommunitiesPaulBradleyROCUSA_postedIndustryVoices-ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews--e1474054729300

Graphic credit, MHProNews, statement by Paul Bradley,
ROC USA, in a longer post, found at this link here.

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C. William “Bill” Dahlin.

The entire objective of rent control is to distort the market and have a government agency decide what rent is appropriate,” said C. William Dahlin, JD of Hart | King Law.

Such governmental controls never lead to more housing or better housing.” 

 

For more opinions on the impacts of rent control in the U.S., click here. ##

 

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

 

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Ex-Amazon Leader Sees Future In Modular

April 12th, 2017 Comments off
ExAmazonLeaderSeesFutureInModularcreditGeekWire2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewmhlivingnews

A rendering of Blokable Units. Credit: Blokable.

Former Amazon manager Andy Holm sees the future as “Blokable” with modular housing.

Holm, who led the build out of Amazon’s physical locations, including work on the Amazon Go convenience store concept, discovered his pain during that process was actually a viable business. Finding and working with the firms that would design and build the stores, permitting projects and doing site work to get ready to build were all potential roadblocks.

We built and launched Amazon Books in something like nine months,” said Holm. “There was a ton of innovation that was done in a short period, and all of our constraints were architecture and construction. All of our time bottlenecks were based on those two parts of the process.”

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Andy Holm. Credit: Geek Wire.

According to Geek Wire, Holm also observed thousands of new people coming to Seattle each year, and developers struggling to keep up with housing demand. Combined with an interest in shipping container construction, it was enough for Holm to know it was time to move forward – his company, Blokable, was born.

The startup is focused on manufactured and modular housing, with the goal of speeding up production, cutting costs for builders and making a dent in housing affordability.

I was really deeply involved in the scaling out of building physical space (for Amazon),” said Holm.

And I just saw how inefficient the industry was, and it all just sort of made sense to me in a moment, and from that point when it all came together, there was nothing else that I wanted to do.”

Holm says that Blokable will build everything from single-family homes, to accessory dwelling units that share property with existing homes, to market-rate apartment buildings, to affordable housing.

Each Blok will be furnished with a suite of smart home technology, including lighting, temperature control and the ability to chat with property managers via the messaging app, Slack.

Instead of starting from scratch, we had designs in place in a week,” he said. “We’re looking at a one-third reduction in total project time in a difficult-to-build location at a price below the cost of traditional construction,” said Jeff Werbelow, head of development for Eden, Utah, based Summit Powder Mountain, where Blokable is working on a market rate project.

 

A View From the Industry

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Credit: Metro.

The Daily Business News has covered the rapid innovations of technology in the manufactured and modular industries, including a Russian company’s claims of producing a printed home for $10k.
As with 3D housing, this is an example of an emerging technology that could – in a few years – supplant HUD Code manufactured housing’s market potential,” said consultant and publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

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L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

We know that with the proper education and promotion and enforcement of the law, the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 gives our side of the housing industry a huge potential advantage.  But so long as we fail to see the proper PEP – Protection, Education and Promotion – of manufactured homes at the local market level, the industry may be growing short term, but longer term is insecure With proper PEP, amazing manufactured housing growth is proven possible.” ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

A 3D Home in Record Time? What the Future Holds

March 16th, 2017 Comments off
A3DHomeinRecordTimecreditMetro-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The Apis For home. Credit: Metro.

The innovations in 3D printed homes continue at a break-neck pace. Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda, which printed a two-story villa that can reportedly withstand a magnitude eight earthquake, and PassivDom, a Ukrainian startup, has now come up with a stand-alone, energy-efficient 3D printed house, ideal for off-the-grid living.

And now, a San Francisco, California-based Apis Cor claims to have taken the process to a whole new level.

According to the Daily Mail, they unveiled a 400-square-foot house in a town outside of Moscow, Russia that was constructed using a mobile 3D printer.

In just 24 hours.

The Apis Cor technology printed walls, partitions, and other items, and appears to be the first company to develop a portable 3D printer able to print whole buildings entirely on location.

Construction took place in December 2016, and the company reports the materials used should last at least 175 years.

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The home in progress. Credit: Daily Mail.

This project was selected specifically, as one of the main purposes of this construction is to demonstrate the flexibility of equipment and diversity of available forms,the company said in a statement.

A distinctive feature of the printer is its design, which is reminiscent of the tower crane, allowing the printer to execute the printing process of constructing the building both inside and outside.

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The crane in action. Credit: Daily Mail.

Apis Cor says that this was the first time in the Russian construction that a house was printed as a whole, rather than assembled from pre-printed panels.

Impacts this Technology has upon the Manufactured Housing Industry?  

The company says that the cost for the model described above is $10,134. However,  buildings can be printed in various shapes and at a larger size, with the only restrictions on designs being the laws of physics.

When one of several mainstream news articles, reporting on that 10k figure, were shared with industry professionals with production connections, one source told MHProNews that “It could be a game changer and has the potential to eliminate thousands of manufactured housing factory jobs…. but that would be way down the road.”

The ramifications were shocking enough, that the source would only speak off the record.

There is a big ‘however,’ here.

Before investors, developers and others go bailing on manufactured housing, and stocks take a dump, there are likely several caveats to this report by Futurism and from others in the mainstream media that need to be properly understood,” said industry consultant and publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

We contacted the 3D producer directly, and they have yet to answer numerous questions that relate to interior finishes, what building codes this may or may not meet, total cost with all finish work, etc.  Because some in the mainstream media may not get it about all that goes into the total costs of a home, details like:

  • cabinetry,
  • flooring,
  • tape and texture,
  • electrical,
  • windows,
  • doors,
  • plumbing, etc.

they can easily be wowed by a claim – that when scrutized – doesn’t quite hold up. Think Jim Walters housing – shell homes sold at a lower price, but with signficant finish costs.”

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Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Another example of a story that drew media hype – but was missing key details – was a report out of Europe covered for the Daily Business News by Joe Dyton.

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Original photo credit, Inhabitat and provided under fair use guidelines. Text credit, MHProNews.

Click the image above for facts the original story in the mainstream media missed.  “These are examples of why the industry needs an independent trade media, one that does some digging,” Kovach said.

MHI was contacted about the topic above – and the broader issue of potentially disruptive technologies negatively impacting manufactured housing – and they had no comment.

CompositeMHIWebsiteClaimtoRepresentEntireIndustry

Is MHI unprepared for issues that could disrupt the industry? Are they properly prepared to engage the mainstream media on topics that could at first blush seem to be harmful to manufactured housing interests? What lessons does the recent – and largely negative – NPR reporting hold for the industry at large, and what does it say about MHI’s engagement strategies? To learn more about such media and related questions – and what Frank Rolfe and other industry professionals have to say about them – click here.  MHARR has taken the position that the industry has a historic opportunity and can sell hundreds of thousands of homes a year, but must capitalize rapidly on opportunities that the Trump administration has made possible – to learn more about MHARR’s views, click here.  Pam Danner at HUD…is she one of those MH Industry roadblocks? For MHI award-winner Doug Gorman’s view on the Danner/HUD issue, click here. 

Possible Disruptions Are No Joke…

An association veteran told MHProNews that failing to adapt could result over time in manufactured housing’s associations becoming “the associations of mobile home remodelers.” It was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying – there would be widespread industry business failures, and that only remodeling work would be left – if the correct steps aren’t taken by members of the industry.

We are several years into our industry’s recovery. That’s good news.  But 3D, prefab, containers and tiny houses are all reminders that

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

manufactured housing producers and others can’t rest on their laurels,” Kovach said. “Manufactured housing is an amazing option, that’s highly sustainable, so long as we grow more rapidly towards our potential.  There is a high cost – and risk – to low volume sales, which is why we’ve repeatedly said that aiming for hundreds of thousands of new home sales a year in a sustainable way is a must.”

“Some companies are taking steps to grow in a responsible way.  That’s good news. But absent such growth,” Kovach cautions, “our source is sadly but likely correct – in the next 5 to 10 years perhaps, technologies are emerging that could disrupt the manufactured housing industry.  Communities, production, lending, retailing – it could all change unless more of the industry’s members and leaders take the proper steps, now.”

The Daily Business News has covered the rise of 3D printed homes extensively, including other Chinese, Russian and Dutch 3D home projects, and asking the tough question: “Is America losing the 3D Technology race in housing?

In several off-the-record comments by professionals with community, production, association, retailing and other industry interests, say that the industry needs to pay attention.

For more on 3D printed homes, including the story of The BigDelta, the world’s largest 3D printer and its year-long mission to print a mud house, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHC Residents Face Uncertain Future

February 16th, 2017 Comments off
MHCResidentsFaceUncertainFuturecreditMobileHomesVictoria-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnewsMHCResidentsFaceUncertainFuturecreditMobileHomesVictoria-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home at Thetis Lake Campground. Credit: Mobile Homes Victoria.

In the town of View Royal, British Columbia, the potential sale of a community, and developer plans, have residents wondering about their next move.

According to the Gold Stream Gazette, Eric Gieringer and his family have owned Thetis Lake Campground for the last 41 years.

On January 12th, Gieringer sent a letter to the community’s 17 homeowners that stated his desire to retire and sell the property, and that he has entered into a property sales agreement with a developer who plans to submit a rezoning application to the Town of View Royal in the near future.

Should the rezoning application fail,said Gieringer in the letter,the tenancy for the mobile home owners [sic] in the park [sic] will still end and the campground will evolve to fall in line with its current zoning, which is for temporary use and tourism, not permanent residency.

If the property is successfully rezoned, Gieringer has offered $10,000 to any tenant that agrees to completely vacate the property by the end of September.

If residents choose to remain, they will receive the minimum according to the British Columbia Tenancy Act, which is 12 months of the current monthly rent, and be given an extra year to leave.

Residents Lothar Netzel and Jacquelynn Starck say they are not surprised.

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Lothar Netzel in front of his home. Credit: Gold Stream Gazette.

Rumors have been going around for years,” said Netzel.

In fact, since 2000, any new tenant arriving on the property has signed a letter indicating that the tenancy might end due to rezoning or a transition into a more traditional campground.

Other residents are also concerned about the lack of affordable housing, as British Columbia has some of the highest costs in the nation.

 

This news has stressed people out …They are getting rid of the last affordable housing in Victoria,” said Karen Hayes.

It’s impossible. The rents are up to $900 to $1,200,” said Starck.

The application to have the property rezoned is still in its early stages and hasn’t been officially received by the Town of View Royal.

The council will have to weigh its options with regards to potential development of the property, and that its close proximity to a nature park means we’ll be looking for dedicated park land and proper buffers as part of any proposal,” said Mayor David Screech.

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Mayor David Screech. Official Photo.

He also sees both sides of the situation.

I respect the owners’ right that they have decided that they just don’t want to run the park [sic] anymore. So unfortunately what’s happening with the tenants is a by-product of that,” said Screech.

Gieringer also understands, but says he has been upfront all along.

I’m not happy about it. It’s not the way I thought this would all end, but we’ve been very frank with all of our tenants that we really saw no future the way this business model is,” said Gieringer.

For more on the housing situation in British Columbia, and manufactured housing as a proposed solution, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Future Looks Bleak for MHC

February 13th, 2017 Comments off
FutureLooksBleakforMHCcreditWIBX-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: WIBX.

In the Mohawk Valley of New York state, an ongoing battle between a manufactured home community and the town it’s in, one side landed what could be a knockout blow.

According to the Times Telegram, Bill and Virginia Jaquish, owners of the Creekside Mobile Home Park in German Flatts have been in a battle to keep the community open since 2013, and last Thursday, State Supreme Court Justice Norman I. Siegel denied a motion by the couple to set aside a judgment he issued in November.

The November ruling called for the Jaquish’s to close down the community, which is located in a flood zone. The couple applied for a floodplain development permit, and the town of German Flatts denied their permit. The town also claimed that Jaquish’s have “encroachments built in the floodway” of the creek that the community sits near.

According to town officials, the “floodway” is defined by law as the area where all development is generally prohibited due to the danger of flooding, according to a statement issued by the town.

As a result of the ruling, the Jaquish’s must close down and vacate their property, along with the residents, by May 31st, 2017.

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Bill & Virginia Janquish. Credit: Utica OD.

The floodway is defined by law as the most dangerous area, where all development is generally prohibited,” said German Flatts Supervisor, Frank Spatto.

The town board is encouraged by the Judge’s ruling again upholding our denial of the Jaquishs’ floodplain Development Permit.  We now look forward to the Jaquishs’ compliance with the Judge’s order to close the Creekside Park and move the residents of the Park out of harm’s way by May 31, and before another flood should occur.

Even with the denial of motion, it appears that the Jaquish’s plan to keep fighting however they can.

We brought this motion to ask the judge to reconsider based on evidence we believe he did not consider in earlier decision,” said Attorney Mark Wolber, who represents the couple.

The reason we brought the motion is that when you do an appeal you can only bring what was brought before the trial judge.

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A sign at the Creekside Mobile Home Park. Credit: WKTV.

Wolber stated that there is another notice of appeal on this order and he expects the appeals will be consolidated and brought before the Appellate Court. He plans to ask the Appellate Court to stay the judge’s order until it makes a decision and to file the application for the stay in the next 30 days.

The appeal itself will probably take about a year,” said Wolber.

This mobile home park [sic] has been there for 50 years,” said Wolber. “It was flooded on only one occasion when the rest of the town was also flooded. To close it does not make any sense to me at all.

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A home at Creekside Mobile Home Park. Credit: Scoop Nest.

But Spatto contends there’s more to the story.

We all remember the storm of 2013 when residents of the park were evacuated to safety by town personnel and equipment. The flood law that the town board must enforce is important for public safety, and to maintain the town and its residents’ eligibility for federal flood insurance and flood relief,” said Spatto.

The Jaquish’s have refused to comply with this flood law, even though their property is clearly in a regulated flood zone defined by the federal government. The town cannot sacrifice programs, which are of benefit to the entire town and its residents, especially others who live in the flood zone, both upstream and downstream, to favor one single property owner. We would be shirking our public duty and responsibility if we did that.” ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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