Posts Tagged ‘GA’

Public Official, ABC News, Manufactured Home Community Owner Clash Over Resident Concerns

November 23rd, 2018 Comments off

Composite image from still of the video, posted further below.

If there is one thing that almost everyone likes, it’s good press.  The reverse of that reality is that public officials, mainstream media, and professionals dread media scrutiny that reveals unjust behavior.


Against that backdrop is the following mainstream news story out of Columbus, GA. It focused on a manufactured home community threatened with closure by a local official.  The uproar is over reported concerns about water, sanitation, and health issues.

This Daily Business News on MHProNews report and analysis will proceed as follows.

  • What the local ABC affiliate reported.
  • That ABC outlet’s video, with running must-read commentary that clarifies issues in an objective fashion, critiquing media, the local official named, and the claims about the community.
  • Third-party manufactured home industry insight.
  • BBB snapshot of the community.
  • The rapid and professional response by the property owner, which stands in stark contrast to some of the claims being made.
  • Analysis and commentary, because this case could reverberate well beyond the incident being reviewed.

For owners and managers in manufactured housing, this should be informative reading and viewing for front-line personnel. Investors, owners, and upper management may also find keen insights in this scenario.  Finally, mainstream media as well as public officials can be guided by the facts, analysis, expert insights further below, takeaways, and lessons learned that follow.


What WTVM 9, ABC News Reported:

The text that follows immediately below are from WTVM 9, including typo and nomenclature errors found in the original report, and are provided under fair use, as the local ABC News affiliate published it on the date shown.



The video posted further below, with fact-checks, commentary, and analysis, accurately reflect all that WTVM 9, an ABC affiliate, reported. These are shown under fair use guidelines that apply to media and such commentary.  Their text is as they had it on today’s date, including typo and terminology errors found in the original.

John Hudgison, the director of Building Inspections and Code Enforcement for Columbus, says his team went to the area Nov. 15.

Residents were left a notice stating in part, to “make arrangements to vacate property in case the owner cannot repair existing conditions.”

Caleb Walsh, the owner of the site with with Parks Management, described the various issues in an emailed response, as just “minor” code enforcement problems to News Leader 9.

He says there is “no eminent shut-down” and the notice by the city is a “standard” notice to residents letting them know the owner’s responsibility to fix various issues.

Walsh writes, “as always, we will be solving all outstanding issues.” It’s something many living in the area say they don’t believe will be done.

“If this place close down, I don’t have anywhere to go. I was homeless when I got here. I don’t want to be homeless again,” says one renter.

Inspection and Code officials will be on site Monday Nov. 26 to review compliance measures.

Officials say they are preparing and expecting to officially condemn the area.

Residents are being directed to United Way and Housing Authorities for immediate living options.



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



As our commentary in the video posted above reflects, the introduction to the report by the ABC affiliate was professional and accurate.

However, the report that followed that anchor’s introduction was a mixed bag that begs for clarifying details. It ought to address improper terminology, and other errors, and thus merits expert – corrective – insights.  When media staff are under-informed on an issue, they should follow the SPJ Code of Ethics, and get all the information needed to properly and accurately report.



Anecdotal evidence suggests that the wrong terminology impacts price and acceptance. But it also impacts people’s emotions, including those of home owners.  See the commentary by the poet who rejected the use of the t-word with regard to her home, by clicking the image above.


Others from GA in MHVille About This

An early contact with SECO today failed to get a reply prior to press-time, but a source with the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) promptly stated matter-of-factly that neither Caleb Walsh nor his “Park Management” firm are apparently members of their trade group.

The GMHA source did not weigh in on the specifics of this case, which are quite different than the tragic drama in Northern GA involving a SECO planning committee member, and others on the board of that media-and-legally vexed trade group.  Sources say those distinctive legal issues involving a SECO board member are still not resolved. See more on that unrelated SECO connected case – but equally instructive report – further below.


What the BBB Says About Ft Benning Estates

The local Better Business Bureau (BBB) provided the following snapshot, captured in the collage as shown.




As noted, Caleb Walsh of Park Management – which reportedly owns Fort Benning Estates – provided prompt replies to a series of questions and follow-ups from MHProNews.



All images or commentary were selected and presented by MHProNews, not by any other third party.


Regarding the BBB, here’s what Walsh’s on-the-record reply said:

This was our response to the BBB over the complaint that gave the property a C rating. It was filed by one of my staff members named Alexis Murdock:

I filed as response to this complaint for Denna Brown.”


Denna Brown has been a resident in our Fort Benning Estates property since July of 2018. At the time she moved in we were holding a move-in special in which the $200 she paid moved her in and covered her first month (July 2018 Rent), and there would also be $200 off her first two months (August/September 2018 Rent), also part of the special.

This allowed the amount she was to pay for August and September to be at a discounted rate of just $220 for the first two months, and this also includes her water and trash for those months as well. As per her contract, starting 10/01/18 her rent would go up to the normal rate of $420 a month, including water and trash fees.

Mrs. Brown entered into a rent to own contract in which she agreed that unit repairs (if any) after the time she moved in would be HER responsibility. No changes have been made to her one and only contract and their have been no moves to any other units since the time she has been living in our property. We understood based off of some of the communications she was sending to managers onsite, and on social media that maybe she had not read through her contract or that there was some confusion on what she was to pay and why, so we made several attempts to call her, text her, email her, and even had onsite contacts knock on her door with no response. If we are unable to reach the tenant, regardless of unit repairs being her responsibility we cannot assist with answering her questions or see if the extent of repairs needed are something that we can assist with.

Our goal is to provide affordable housing to people in need at a low cost, and give them the opportunity to own their own home with no credit check required. This was the arrangement Mrs. Brown entered into by signing a Rent to Own contract. That does not mean we will not ensure each and every one of our tenants have proper working necessities to keep them safe and with proper essentials such as water, electricity, and working plumbing. However, we are unsure what unit conditions are an issue for this tenant as stated above, because we have not been able to reach her in any way.

To conclude, we are happy to assist further, keep her as a tenant in our property and ensure she is taken care of if she is willing to allow the contact needed to do this. We can be reached at 855-862-8837 or at We take pride in ensuring that all of our tenants are taken care of in each of our properties and that we provide low income housing for those in need and will continue to do so.”


Several of the images that follow are from websites associated with Caleb Walsh and his affiliated firms. They are provided under fair use guidelines that apply to media, and are presented to round out the picture presented by local media in a more balanced and robust fashion.




What Ft. Benning Estates’ owner Caleb Walsh Said About City Claims, Local Media Reporting

What follows are Walsh’s emailed reply, with typos and terminology errors below found in the original message.

Fort Benning Estates is a 140 unit community located on the south side of Columbus Ga that I have been pouring big capital into renovations and repair of the units and the utility infrastructure. I purchased the property in a distressed condition and am turning around the property like I have with countless other mobile home parks around the nation.

Over the past year as I had plumbing experts and engineers come in and replace and repair the utility infrastructure, it was brought to my attention that the water pressure was unlike anything they had ever seen reaching 120 PSI and higher caused by unregulated pump variation from the city water supply.

With utility bills reaching almost $130,000 for the year I contacted Columbus Water Works about the pressure and my findings. To my surprise they had no interest in a mutual fix or further investigation of the problem but instead wanted to continue being paid the massive amounts for water utility cost.

I brought in my legal team to get an injunction to halt everything until we could solve the physical infrastructure issues and it was discovered that the only judge who could hear the case had a relative who sat on the board of Columbus Water Works. The judge later recused himself when this was brought to light from my attorney and we have been able to keep the water on as we further investigated to fix the issue. Unfortunately the city is now attempting to close down the property through miscellaneous code enforcement issues because our experts made them look bad and brought to light their negligence with the water pressure and the city owned water company.

I have teams on the ground as we speak ensuring top level compliance with code, and I also have legal teams standing by if the city should attempt anything Monday. Thankfully in my decade of experience and my 2000 unit multi state portfolio this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with a city who had a bias against affordable housing. The city of Columbus would rather put 100 families on the street than put money into fixing their faulty infrastructure. If if comes to that I will go to the mat with the city because in America everyone deserves a place to live!



Disclosure. MHProNews pulled the various visual items together independent of all those involved in this report. All of the commentary and analysis are by MHProNews.


Fort Benning’s Facebook Page, and More Insights 

The screen capture above reflects a photo array from Facebook that suggests that John Hudgison, the director of Building Inspections and Code Enforcement for Columbus, GA, at best exaggerated his claimed concerns. The unit shown in the photos above don’t appear to be “unfit for human occupancy,” which Hudgison‘s memo, shown further above, alleged is the case for the entire community.

The once homeless man interviewed in the video above is worried about what he would do, if he losses this home at Ft. Benning Estates.

As MHProNews has learned from other incidents in various parts of the U.S., there is often an unstated prejudice against manufactured homes, which can include manufactured home communities.  In other cases, there are hidden agendas, such as a publicly unstated desire to see a property closed for redevelopment. That later point is a nagging problem that manufactured home community owners from various states have told MHProNews they have personally encountered.




While the industry’s self-proclaimed post-production national trade association – the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) –  acknowledges such realites, they in fact purportedly do ‘fig leaf’ posturing – or nothing at all – in the majority of cases that MHProNews has spot checked for the past 2 years.

Frustration with MHI has resulted in the birth of a new post-production national MH community association.  Failure to successfully address the image issue, or regulatory problems, has caused others to initiate their own efforts, see the related reports, linked here and further below.

MHProNews will reach out to the local official involved in this matter, advising him of the trends and concerns raised in his case and others seemingly like it in other jurisdictions.  Those have at times ended up with legal actions taken against a given municipality, for steps that on the surface appear similar to what Columbus has threatened in this case. ICYMI, or need a refresher, see one such report, linked below. Another report – at this link – spotlights another case, with more examples crossed-linked.


Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit


This pro-industry and pro-consumer trade publication will also ask local media to instruct their reporters to learn and use proper terminology in their reporting about manufactured homes and communities, in order to avoid the appearance of prejudicial, biased, or merely underinformed, and/or ignorant reporting.



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


Takeaways from Columbus?

When a community operator acquires or takes over the management of a previously neglected property, it takes time, professional effort, and money to bring it up to standards.  In this case at Fort Benning Estates, that is apparently being accomplished via free enterprise, through private investment dollars — presumably without local, state, or federal funds.

Walsh has the opportunity for his deed to match his words, provided above.  If so, Walsh’s response for the allegations against Ft Benning Estates – if his promises prove accurate – will likely turn this incident into an overblown local bruhaha that could prove his operation to be someone worthy of applause, as opposed to being a business that is perhaps being unfairly targeted by a local official.

If public officials in Columbus, GA promptly and properly respond as did the city officials in Washington, IN, they may avoid an ACLU and other investigations of their case, which a prior MHProNews’ report sparked in that town’s troubling incident.  See that, linked below.


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


Lessons Learned? 

These are among the real-world examples of what steps are necessary the manufactured home industry-at-large must take to advance.  As MHProNews has said for years, what our industry needs in such cases are an ADL-style response.

Ideally, objective pro-industry, and pro-consumer trade media reports and analysis can work with all honorable, forward-looking professionals in a fashion that nationally spotlights overreach by public officials, and/or by mainstream media.  Industry professionals must also be held to account for any failures to properly follow just laws or sound business ethics.

Affordable housing is a critical need, as the once homeless man in the video above reminds us.  Manufactured homes can provide options that no other form of permeant housing can match, for quality, safety, and low-cost living.  That’s a reasonable takeaway from the National Association or Realtors (NAR) 2018 research about manufactured homes.


The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers.

That NAR research can be examined in a report found here, along with other insights that are linked further below the byline.



The quality of modern manufactured homes are also reflected in a prior HUD Office of Manufactured Housing Program (OMHP) administrator’s commentary, told to MHLivingNews, in their report in the video shown above.  These should be required viewing for media and all public officials who deal with manufactured homes.



Open-minded public officials, like the county official in the video above revealed, find that manufactured homes today are very different than the stigma, prejudice, and/or biased thinking reflects.

It is thus useful for all people of good will concerned about affordable housing to objectively reconsider manufactured homes in the light of facts. Too often, reports and public policy are based upon mere uninformed opinions, that rely upon outdated notions about some of the mobile homes built over 40 years ago, instead of the reality of today’s federally regulated manufactured homes.

It is also necessary for local officials to seek solutions to legitimate problems, but without doing so in a fashion that disrupts the lives of members of a community, such as the ABC affiliate’s video of Fort Benning Estates reflected.



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


While it is in another nearby state, the views of the affordable housing focus group below, reflects the unpaid views of those who’ve owned conventional housing prior to buying a manufactured home.  They are insightful to those with bias or a misunderstanding about modern manufactured homes.



The Daily Business News on MHProNews will continue to monitor and report on this incident in Columbus, GA, as needed. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

Anti-MH Bigotry, Prejudice, and Possibly Illegal Action on Display in Manufactured Housing’s Birthplace?

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies


Manufactured Homes Could Help Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis, So, Why Aren’t More Manufactured Homes Being Sold?

Has the Manufactured Housing Institute Accused Former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of Federal Law Violations?

Giving Thanks for Manufactured Housing Independents, Applauding “MHIdea!”



Wholesale “Hurricane Sale” Attracts Communities, Retailers, Manufactured Home Pros, Event Update

August 2nd, 2018 Comments off


Legacy Georgia’s Hurricane Liquidation in Eatonton is going to be the biggest MH sale of the Fall,” said Casey Mack Legacy Housing Corporation in charge of Marketing | Web | Dealer Programs. “The countdown is on with less than 42 days to go!”



Casey Mack.

They are running several weeks ahead of plan, Mack said, “we appreciate your [MHProNews] team’s help in getting the word out — it’s been fantastic.”

Their promotion began about 2 weeks ago.  Third-party site statistics today indicate that articles on the topic have drawn more than 8,000 hits.  Based upon feedback from the field, part of the reason may be the opportunity to get new home inventory that’s priced right and is ready to go, when other producers are several months out to get a new order.

We’re just under the half-way mark for this event, even though there’s 42 days to go. Our room block, once it is filled, we can’t get any more rooms. So those who want to stay overnight should consider acting sooner,” Mack said in reply to a follow up question from the Daily Business News.

That was part of a series of messages that came yesterday, so the count down to the big event continues.


Gus Rodriguez, Tejas Homes.

A multi-year Legacy Housing retailer said the following, “Legacy is a partner you can grow with long term. Very good product, they have special retail financing programs, and a liberal floorplan [wholesale financing] program for their dealers too,” said Gus Rodriguez, a principal at Tejas Homes.


The event will include their popular tiny houses – which has drawn national attention – plus single and multi-sectional HUD Code manufactured homes.

Huge New Factory-Built Home Wholesale Liquidation Event Announced

Mack added some details, saying “Our hotel room block is filling up — rooms are first come-first serve…” Additional information, to RSVP so to ensure your spot and your free hotel room can be done by clicking on the banner, below.


To learn more about Legacy Housing, see the article linked below. The Daily Business News is told that factory tours of Legacy’s giant facility are available prior to the event. ## (News, event update, and commentary.)

Related Reports:


Out of millions of privately owned businesses, Legacy has been named to this prestigious list.  It’s an impressive accomplishment.

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Huge New Factory-Built Home Wholesale Liquidation Event Announced

July 16th, 2018 Comments off

Composite image by

It’s an event that’s more than double the size of the Louisville manufactured housing trade show’s display.


This brand-new event is also much larger than the number of manufactured and tiny homes displayed at the factory-built housing industry’s Tunica Show.

Who’s making this special event happen?


Out of millions of privately owned businesses, to be named to this prestigious list is an amazing accomplishment.

Out of millions of American businesses, they’ve been named as “one America’s Fastest Growing Companies” by Inc. Magazine.

Even during the industry’s most difficult times, the strong rise of Legacy Housing in Texas – and beyond – has been observed with keen interest by manufactured home industry professionals, and investors.

Legacy is now announcing a giant “hurricane overrun liquidation sale” at their Eatonton, GA facilities.

The upcoming event – set for September 12 and 13, 2018 – is for manufactured home communities and retailers, – a wholesale buyers only extravaganza.

So, it is not open to the general public.

Less than 2 years ago, Legacy moved into the expansive factory home building facility once operated by Horton Homes. 

So Legacy Housing now has one of the largest factory home building production centers – perhaps the biggest in the country – according to various industry sources.  That means, they’re poised to support the growing demand for manufactured homes in the Southeastern U.S., including Florida and Tennessee.


A Legacy Retailer Sounds Off

The Daily Business News reached out to a Legacy Housing retailer that’s sold their products for several years for comments about the popular, and growing company.

Legacy is a partner you can grow with long term. Very good product, they have special retail financing programs, and a liberal floorplan [wholesale financing] program for their dealers too,” said Gus Rodriguez, a principal at Tejas Homes. 

Management sources at Legacy tell MHProNews that they are now the #4 producer of HUD Code manufactured homes in the U.S. It’s an impressive rise to prominence in a short period of time.


Learn more about Legacy Housing at this link here, or to learn more about the event, click here or the image above.

Their leadership’s eyes are set on more growth. As prices on new inventory have been rising for all builders, this Legacy event offers manufactured home (MH) retailers and MH Communities in the South Eastern U.S., Florida, and Tennessee the opportunity to restock at special prices and terms.

To learn more about Legacy Housing and their history, click the link here.

To learn more or to register for their wholesale liquidation event in Eatonton, GA – click here or on the graphic above. ## (News, events, analysis and commentary.)

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Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

July 12th, 2018 Comments off

Photo of a D.R. Horton Home model in MD. 

Investors: D.R. Horton, Inc., America’s Builder, has been the largest homebuilder by volume in the United States for thirteen consecutive years,” says the publicly-traded company’s website.


Their website provided the following data, linked here.  The screen capture below is just part of that fact sheet.


Click here or the image above to download the full size fact sheet.


Horton sells more than half the total number of housing units annually sold by the entire manufactured housing industry, and obviously at a far higher average price-point.

A report in Oct 2017, said their sales total in 2016 was $12.3 billion in revenues.

That’s more than double the retail sales total for all of the HUD Code manufactured homes sold in 2017 by the manufactured housing (MH) industry. The latest MH data can be reviewed later, at the link below.

Manufactured Home Shipments, State by State Breakdown, May 2018 Official HUD Data

Why does any of this matter to MHVille?

Fair question, let’s look.


The Site Built Housing Industry Reality Check  #1

ABC News did the following exposé of the host of problems found in the conventional housing industry.

This isn’t new, there are numerous other similar reports.  Check out this short one by a local news report.


These are similar to the kinds of problems that caused the old pre-HUD Code mobile home industry’s leaders to turn to the federal government and ask for federal standards.  Problematic pre-HUD Code mobile home builders in the early 1970s caused the builders of better homes NOT to want to be branded by those with a poor image.

The ‘quality crisis’ of the late 1960s and early 1970s led to exposés by CBS’ 60 Minutes and others.  That threatened the credibility of the then-booming mobile home business.  Are site builders heading toward a similar crisis? And will manufactured home producers, marketers and sellers be able to tap into those concerns?


What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.

D.R. Horton is far from alone in facing such concerns among conventional, on-site builders.  There have been numerous websites over the years – example, – that spotlight these kinds of problems with other stick builders.

The point here isn’t to trash D. R. Horton, nor any other, conventional housing builders.

Rather, it is to make a few points similar to what the National Association of Home Builder (NAHB) official interviewed in the ABC News video above made.

Namely, that housing isn’t perfect.

No product is, and that includes manufactured homes.

So why is it that conventional housing is roaring, and manufactured home shipments are snoring?


The only JCHS graphic that specifically mentions manufactured housing. To see our exclusive review of the Harvard’s “State of the Nation’s Housing in 2018, click here or the graphic above. 

Part of the beauty of manufactured homes is that there are third-party inspections. Those avoid many of the kinds of problems being identified by site builders, noted in the videos above.

HUD Code manufactured housing consumers can take comfort in that inspection process. Furthermore, the dispute resolution process that is part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA) gives consumers a level of confidence that is frankly not found in the conventional housing world.  The MHIA of 2000 is found in the article linked below, along with other information that can be read later for greater depth of understanding on a related topic.

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

Unlike many conventional builders, manufactured home producers are all third-party inspected. And the review process – per HUD data reveals – so few consumer complaints that it should make all manufactured home sellers proud.

The article from MHLivingNews last year spotlighted the relatively few numbers of dispute resolution complaints on HUD Code homes.

Federal Data Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Quality, Regulatory Questions

There are so many ways to make the points to consumers that today’s manufactured homes are a good investment.

It should be noted that Horton Homes, a manufactured housing company that was based in Georgia, was not connected with D.R. Horton.

Per References for Businesses, “…the publicly-owned D. R. Horton construction firm, based in Dallas, Texas, is an entirely different company…Horton [Homes] had played a part in improving the industry’s prestige, however. For years, jokes had persisted about manufactured housing–or rather trailers, sometimes nicknamed “tornado bait.” The homes had been considered to be shoddy, unattractive, substandard, and (in the case of a tornado or even of high winds) unsafe. Starting in the 1970s, however, that began to change. In June 1976, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) set new safety standards for mobile home construction. In the wake of hurricanes Hugo (1989) and Andrew (1992), HUD increased its requirements, declaring that manufactured homes should be able to withstand winds of 110 m.p.h. Horton [Industries] decided that his own product should meet even higher standards, and in 1997 the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that some Horton Homes could sustain winds of 135 m.p.h.”


As an interesting side-note, Texas-based Legacy Housing, Inc. states that it purchased Horton Industries manufactured housing production facilities in Eatonton, GA in a January 2016 statement.


The Stick-Builder Horton Website Says the Following

About D.R. Horton, Inc.

D.R. Horton, Inc., America’s Builder, has been the largest homebuilder by volume in the United States for sixteen consecutive years. Founded in 1978 in Fort Worth, Texas, D.R. Horton has operations in 79 markets in 26 states across the United States and closed 48,731 homes in the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2018. The Company is engaged in the construction and sale of high-quality homes through its diverse brand portfolio that includes D.R. Horton, Emerald Homes, Express Homes and Freedom Homes ranging from $100,000 to over $1,000,000. D.R. Horton also provides mortgage financing and title services for homebuyers through its mortgage and title subsidiaries.”


The D. R. Horton Takeaways for Manufactured Housing?

There are numerous top-line takeaways for manufactured housing in the D. R. Horton story. The Daily Business News on MHProNews will point to only one this morning.  It’s this.  There is a need for all true leaders in the manufactured home industry to stand up and fight for the reputation of their industry.

D. R. Horton proves you can have significant issues, and still be wildly more successful than those in our industry are today. D. R. Horton’s quality concerns arguably dwarf those of manufactured housing. D.R. Horton aggressively markets their product.

If that is obviously so, then how is it that on something as apparently simple as the use of proper terminology about manufactured homes, the MH Industry can’t get the media to get that right?  How can it be that 42 years after the first HUD Code homes were built, that the industry’s big corporate leaders can’t get many in the media to use the correct nomenclature?

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

See the related story, linked above.  The public focused story on D.R. Horton, is linked below.

Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

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

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Related Reports:

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”


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



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Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

May 15th, 2018 Comments off


 We bought a trailer [1] that wasn’t really ours. I mean, it really hurt me.
My nerves have been tore up. I’ve been crying

Tonya Evans, a customer of Tom Lackey’s Stoney Pointe MH Community business.


Spencer Roane is an RV MH Hall of Fame Inductee, and is one of a group of manufactured home land-lease community owners who has organized the Southeast Community Owners (SECO) symposium. 

Among the features of the annual SECO gathering? 

Talks by Roane on a controversial use of a lease-to-own (rent-to-own) program that he has previously said can be used to “finance” the sale of manufactured homes.

Roane was asked by the Daily Business News about Tom Lackey, who stands accused of ‘selling’ pre-owned manufactured homes rent-to-own. More on Roane’s reaction and comments to the troubling accusations, later below.

But first, what exactly is creating such a troubling mainstream media stir? 


1) Terminology used is in the original, and isn’t the legally correct term. The homes in this sad story appear to be HUD Code manufactured homes, based upon photos, perhaps dating to the 1980s or 1990s.



Charges of “Selling” Homes “Rent to Own,” Without Titles

According to accusations reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Lackey and his business did not own the homes that he “sold” rent-to-own.

18 residents learned their homes would be auctioned off for back taxes.

Tonya Evans and her family had a jolt when “…about five weeks ago, county workers showed up and taped a yellow seizure notice to their house. They did the same with 17 other mobiles homes [1]  at Stoney Pointe and Blue Ridge Estates, located around the block on Schmitt Road. Nobody had paid property taxes for years,” per Times Free Press staff writer Tyler Jett.

Lackey reportedly did not return calls and messages from the Times Free Press.

Nor did Tom Lackey reply to a number of direct and indirect queries from the Daily Business News, that invited him to share his version of the highly-emotionally – and legally charged – allegations.  But oblique comments about Lackey were offered by a colleague, Spencer Roane.


Spencer Roane’s Comments on Tom Lackey


A SECO attendee who said they’re aware of the dynamics involved in this matter told MHProNews that ‘Spencer Roane has gone out of his way to protect Tom Lackey.’ 

Tom has been a member of our SECO planning group for several years. I couldn’t ask for a more professional, conscientious, or capable member of our team,” Roane said in a message to the Daily Business News.

Roane was asked about Lackey.  Roane was also asked about their often publicized to industry members ‘rent to own’ or ‘lease purchase option’ process.

I am somewhat familiar w/this situation [i.e; Lackey/Stoney Pointe] but am not comfortable commenting on it, except to say that lease-option contracts are [a] complicated, legally enforceable means of transferring ownership of MHs in some states,” Roane said.  

Roane added, “I’ve bcc’ed Tom on this msg. He will contact you if he wants to discuss it.” 

The SECO website shows Lackey on their planning team.


Editorially, MHProNews believes that the majority of the industry’s professionals are honorable people. Every industry or profession has so-called ‘bad actors.’ Manufactured housing is no exception. But unlike many other industries, manufactured housing is routinely portrayed in a negative fashion in media reports. When allegations are false, they should be disputed. When allegations are true, ignoring them doesn’t help the industry, its home owners and leaves a problematic impression for potential buyers. An industry that policies itself may more often avoid such problems, and thus could avoid onerous legislation or regulations that can result from the ‘bad actions’ of a few. About the case of Tom Lackey and Stoney Pointe, all that is known at this time is as shown and linked. Lackey would not accept the Daily Business News’ offer to have him and/or his attorney explain their version of the events described in the Times Free Press.  To learn more about our view of the industry, its professional and overall happy home owners, click the related report below.” We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Happy MH Owners? Good Professional Actors? Overlooked, “Honorable People”

Apparently, Lackey did not want to explain his view on what took place with Tonya Evans, her family, and 17 other households that live in his community. Should he and/or his attorney offer a comment, we can update this report.



George Allen, photo credit,

Blogger, COBA7 owner, and RV MH Hall of Famer retired Col. George Allen – who has been played a role in the SECO program – declined comment on the troubling story.   

I’m somewhat familiar with the matter. No comment from here,”  Allen said to the Daily Business News via email.  

As Allen’s COBA7 followers and others know, Allen has promoted Roane’s rent-to-own program and SECO for several years.  


What Local Authorities Said

Dealer rules and regulations are very clear,” said Danny Sane, the tax commissioner of Whitfield County. “You’re not supposed to be able to sell a car or a mobile home without the title in your name.”

Sane called the bill of sale ‘worthless,’ per the Times Free Press.

Walker County Tax Commissioner Carolyn Walker said, Mr. Lackey must go through the proper proceedings before he can legally rent, or sell the mobile home [1],” Walker said in an email to the Times Free Press. Their report indicated that Lackey never obtained those titles to the manufactured homes they were ‘selling’ when he purchased the community in 2014.


Evans Paid Cash 

While most of Lackey’s customers were presumably ‘buying’ rent-to-own, Evans and her husband reportedly paid cash for their home.

Now, they’ve packed up and moved on, saying they had been defeated. 

What impact, if any, this has on Stoney Pointe, Lackey, SECO, COBA7 attendees and their followers is not easy to predict.  But some consequences wouldn’t be surprising.  And what will those various residents who thought they would become owners do?

The Times Free Press has signaled that this is going to be an ongoing investigation by their publication.


Will the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) step in and comment on this troubling case? On rent-to-own a.k.a. ‘lease purchase option’ so-called ‘sales’?


A source familiar with the matter from Georgia had this off-the-record comment, “…this is common among Community Owner’s because states don’t have appropriate abandoned housing laws, these guys buy a community and can’t move a home because it has ten years back taxes to pay for because customer died 8 years ago and family want moved the home. Doesn’t mean it’s right though. Georgia has a new Abandoned housing law that goes in effect July 1st that will help avoid this in the future.”

In the era of Google and internet-driven news searches, this is likely to be an ongoing image issue for many other community operators, and arguably the industry at large.  

It is part of what MHI award-winner Marty Lavin, JD,  has called tongue-in-cheek the industry’s “other image campaign.”

Lavin was travelling, and was not able to comment on the specific concerns in this case.  But he has previously noted the principles that people should pay more attention to what people do than what they say, and to follow the money.

  • Will the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) weigh in on the troubling issue?
  • Will MHI defend the reputation of those who strive day-by-day to serve their customers properly? 
  • Will Lackey respond to our numerous attempts to get him to comment on his version of these incidents? 
  • The Chattanooga Times Free Press news report is linked here. ## (News, analysis, and commentary)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) 


[1] The terminology shown is in the original, and isn’t the proper legal name for the kind of home being described. To learn more about terminology and general industry facts, click here. MHProNews encourages mainstream media, and all others too, to use the proper terminology for each type of home. 

Update, on the record comments from GMHA (5.15.2018 at 11:43 AM ET):


Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

We [GMHA] recognized the state had an issue and so we utilized the legislative process to rectify the problem. We know this [new] law is sound. We used the Alabama law for precedence and invited the states magistrate judges, tax commissioners, and bankers to the table. We worked together for two years until we had 100% agreement,” said Jay Hamilton, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) to MHProNews.

The Daily Business News pressed the GMHA, in a follow up, about Tom Lackey, Stoney Pointe, and the details of this specific matter.  In their follow up reply, Hamilton said via a text message the following.

The GMHA can’t comment on the specifics of such matters,” the GMHA executive director said.

But in general, when a potentially problematic issue exists with a member, there is a code of conduct and process the GMHA follows.”

The association is always focused on resolving underlying issues, and doing so in a manner that respects consumers and members alike,” Hamilton said to MHProNews.

Related Reports:

Governor Signs new “Mobile Home” Act

NPR’s Syringa Mobile Home Park Story, Revisited by Community Owner


Community Co-Owner/Manager View On Richard Jennison and the Manufactured Housing Institute StatePoint Advertorial


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MHC Leaders ELS, Sun – Assess Hurricane Matthew Impact

October 12th, 2016 Comments off

Sun logo and photo credits, Sun Communities, and are used here – as are all images – under fair use guidelines.

Sun Communities Inc. (NYSE: SUI) and Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (NYSE: ELS) each provided preliminary assessments of the impact from Hurricane Matthew on their properties.

Sun Communities reported that the bulk of any losses expected to be related to removal of damaged trees and debris cleanup and more thorough inspections will be performed.

Sun also says believes its properties and assets located in Hurricane Matthew’s path – Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia – did not sustain any material damages.

ELS Says…

Our team has worked diligently since we received early warnings of the storm through the passing of the hurricane to ensure that our residents and guests are safe and that services provided by Sun are restored as quickly as possible,” said President and Chief Operating Officer, John McLaren. “We are most fortunate that no one was injured and that the damage to our communities and resorts seems minimal.”

ELS – with properties in Florida and coastal North Carolina and South Carolina – reported no injuries to residents, guests or employees.


Credit: ELS logo, are used on MHProNews under fair use guidelines.

The Company has a total of 30 properties – 19 manufactured home communities and 11 RV resorts – that were within Hurricane Matthew’s trajectory. They reported having adequate insurance subject to deductibles, including business interruption coverage.

Property damage losses at those properties are preliminarily estimated to total less than $750,000. The bulk of those losses are expected to be related to removal of damaged trees and debris cleanup.

ELS reported that three manufactured home communities and four RV resorts were without electricity as a result of the Hurricane Matthew and does not yet have an estimate for business interruption losses, but they are expected to be relatively limited.

The company doesn’t believe that the storm will have a material impact on its financial condition or operating results.


You can read an exclusive interview with Marguerite Nader, linked here. Credit: Bloomberg.

Above all, we are grateful that there have not been any reported deaths or injuries to our residents, guests or employees. Our operations teams in Florida and the Carolinas have exhibited incredible efforts in preparing for and reacting to the effects of Hurricane Matthew, including assisting our customers,” said ELS President and Chief Executive Officer, Marguerite Nader.

Both Sun Communities and Equity LifeStyle Properties are among the various industry-connected stocks monitored each business day on the MH Industry’s only daily market report, featured exclusively on the Daily Business News

For yesterday’s closing numbers on all MH industry-connected tracked stocks, please click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Home owners, State Association Protest as County seeks to restrict placement of older Manufactured Homes

November 12th, 2014 Comments off

bulloch-county-map=credit-georgia-info-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comThe fight goes on to protect thousands of manufactured homes owners and some related businesses in Bulloch County, GA. WTOC tells MHProNews that “Hundreds of mobile home owners demanded changes at a meeting last night in Bulloch County, where commissioners will adopt restrictions they passed last month. Under the rules, mobile homes ten years old or older couldn’t be located or relocated in Bulloch County without approval from the planning and zoning commission.”

The county’s leaders say surrounding counties have passed similar rules, and they didn’t want Bulloch to become a dumping ground for dilapidated homes.

But owners say the rules were vague and insulting. “We’re just middle class people,” said manufactured home owner Jimmy Driggers. “We’re not trying to ugly up the community. We’re all God’s children and this is America.”


What Bulloch County Commissioners say they didn’t know is what Georgia Manufactured Housing Association Executive Director Jay Hamilton tells MHProNews, namely that Georgia Law “…prohibits any Georgia Municipality from limiting permits or re-location based on the age of a home. “

jay-hamiltong-executive-director-georgia-manufactured-housing-association-gmha-posted-mhpronews-com(1) (1)

Hamilton says they are working with the county to resolve the issue. A complete exclusive commentary from GMHA’s Executive Director on this issue, including a copy of GA law on this subject, are linked here. ##

(Image credits: Bulloch County seal and Georgia Info)


Canadians Investing Large in U.S. Housing Markets

August 29th, 2014 Comments off

canada-us-flags-wikicommons-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-“In the U.S., given the affordability and the fact that prices in the suburbs went down more significantly than in the cities you will see more and more options and opportunities outside big cities,” said Benjamin Tal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) analyst. With Canadian markets hot – and some fear over-heating – the bargains south of the border in the U.S. are appareling, Reuters  tells MHProNews.

Compared to Canadians, U.S. home builders may be more tentative. Canadian firms such as Mattamy Homes, Landmark Group and Brookfield Residential are targeting suburban U.S. markets, where they believe they see more value and lower costs. Some are planning 2 years out, when they believe U.S. recovery will be more solid; a nice way of saying that the bargain deals are here now.

Privately held Mattamy Homes is Canada’s biggest builder. They’ve purchased 9,600 acres in Florida alone this year, but also are operating in Minnesota, Arizona, North Carolina.

Landmark Group is a leader in Alberta. They’ve invested in land in Phoenix, Arizona, to build their first U.S. condos. Texas, California and Georgia are all on their radar.

Calgary, Alberta-based Brookfield Residential announced developments will start developing several new projects this year, ahead of their initial 2016 schedule. 

This news comes on the heals of China-based Landsea’s announcement that they will be doing 1 billion dollars in new U.S. Housing. Canadians investors are among those targeting the U.S. for manufactured home community purchases, for more, click here. ##

(Image credits: WikiCommons)

George Allen Fact Check: 6 Errors/Contradictions in one section alone (290/1)?

April 1st, 2014 Comments off

Caesar-Palace-main-fountain-at-night-in-Las Vegas-NV-WikiCommons-posted-on-mhpronews-comThe Washington Post famously hands out “Pinocchios” for false or misleading statements made by public officials they fact check, including notables such as U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other foreign or domestic public figures.

Since the MHIndustry’s George F. Allen boldly proclaims himself weekly to be a “reporter” and “communications resource,” let’s see in just one of the three parts (not counting his standard introduction, or “end notes”) in his recent post how many errors or contradictions this alleged “reporter” makes.

1) The first error/contradiction is found in the very first sentence in George F. Allen’s blog post (#290, section I); which is a typo of one of his own publication’s name.

2) When George Allen wrote;

“…NEVER EVER ENGAGE IN PUBLIC BACKSTABBING of MHBusiness associates online or anywhere else!”

…does Allen realize he violated that principle in that very paragraph, in his own blasting of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI’s) popular Congress and Expo? Is it ‘Do as I say, not as I do?’ for Allen in Indy? Does Allen hold himself and his friends to this standard, or not?

3) The early bird special for Congress and Expo runs through Friday, April 4, so Allen has 2 fact errors in his second bullet point, and once more violates his own stated principle of “…NEVER EVER ENGAGE IN PUBLIC BACKSTABBING of MHBusiness associates online or anywhere else!” As a side note, when has MHI ever attacked Allen’s so-called Roundtable or other “meetings” publicly?

4) Allen’s paragraph five states registrations for MHI’s Congress and Expo in 2014 “…are up 30 percent over last year!” An MHProNews source at MHI puts that at up 39% increase over last year, as of 3PM ET, 3/31/2014. Doesn’t that fact-error contradict his bullet point 3, which boldly claims his location has become “the hub…” “…of 1) research, 2) resources, 3) communication, 4) networking, 5) deal-making, 6) PM training & certification, and when need be, 7) national advocacy…” What Allen himself has said in a prior blog post, that he agitatesagainst MHI seems accurate. If MHProNews grades errors and contradictions on the curve, that would be a sixth fact/contradiction error. But if you look at the fact that accurate research, business building resources, more (…and more accurate…) communications, some 5 times more networking at the Congress and Expo event alone, true testing and certification through MHEI’s ACM (Accredited Community Manager), those first 6 claims are all errors/contradicted, because he is clearly not “…the hub…” based solely on Allen’s own missive. As to Allen point 7), when has Allen last engaged in “national advocacy” on an issue with Congress, the CFPB, HUD or other Washington based regulatory agency? Should that self-proclaimed “reporter” get a total 6 or 13 fact errors/contradictions for that one section of his blog? Does the Scripture-quoting Allen recall Exodus 20:16?

With so many obvious errors in just section “I” of a single Allen post – a pattern of errors which allegedly occurs routinely with this self-described “reporter” and “community-investor” – is it any wonder that the New York Times has not called George Allen to have a reporter spend a week in his “land lease life style community?”

For those wishing to learn the facts about the MHI/NCC 2014 Congress & Expo to be held on April 29 – May 1, 2014 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas – or to save $200 on early bird special for the hottest ticket in the manufactured housing industry ‘business building, educational, networking and deal making’ with an estimated 1000 +/- attendees from companies of all sizes – please click here by Friday April 4 for the discounted rates.

MHI organizers say similar events in the home building or real estate industry often cost more, and tell us they have arranged for discounted room rates ‘while they last,’ but MHProNews – which will have a paying attendee of the event – encourages readers to check out the facts for yourself. ##

(Image credit of Caesar’s Palace main fountain at night in Las Vegas, NV: WikiCommons. Editor’s note: by way of disclosure, MHProNews’ parent company was hired by MHI to help promote this event, but we were not asked to comment or fact-check this George Allen article.)

New Hampshire’s Community Loan Fund converts MHC #106

August 21st, 2013 Comments off

nh-community-loan-fund-logo-posted-daily-business-news-manufactured-home-pro-news-Residents of Lamprey River and Railroad Street land lease communities in Newmarket, NH recently purchased their communities. Heron Point Estates Cooperative, New Hampshire’s 106th manufactured-home cooperative forged through the work of the state’s Community Loan Fund, will manage both communities.  Education, technical assistance and funding were arranged by the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, which allowed Lamprey River and Railroad Street residents to organize and form Heron Point Estates Cooperative, Inc. in June 2012. The coop then negotiated with the Wajda Family Trust – the communities private owner- for the final purchase price of $1.295 million before finalizing with mortgages from the Community Loan Fund and Profile Bank. Fosters says the Community Loan Fund converted its first manufactured home community (which it refered to as “mobile home parks”) in Meredith, NH in 1984. Their strategy is being applied in other parts of the U.S. by what Fosters calls a spinoff organization, ROC USA.  Cooperative President Susan Robshaw said: “We own it, we manage it and we will never have to worry about someone coming in and taking it away from us. It has brought a lot of us closer together and formed or renewed friendships. We will now work together to make it an awesome place to live because it is ours! It is my hope that everyone will take pride in ownership.”  ##

(Image credit: NH Community Loan Fund)