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

May 26th, 2019 Comments off

 

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There are slogans and then there are solutions.

 

Slogans are what the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is well known for, examples are “Got Clout? Get it Here” or their recent slogan for their 2019 Congress and Expo fund-raising meeting, which used the phrase “Let’s Keep Building.”  More on those two slogans, later.

Let’s pivot to a news tip forwarded to MHProNews, succinctly described as “George Allen’s Peace Offensive,” which was an email last Tuesday forwarded by one of the blogger’s message recipients.  That Allen email was sent to leaders of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR),  the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO), among others.

To my knowledge, HUD Secretary Ben Carson knows nothing of this specific incident, but his summation in a cable news interview after his recent Capitol Hill testimony might seem to apply.  Wittingly or not, well intended or perhaps masking a hidden agenda, Allen’s move – as nice as it sounds to the uninformed – is a purported example of a “Rules for Radicals,” Saul Alinsky tactic.

It will be recalled that HUD Secretary Carson earlier this month made an important speech to manufactured housing professionals in New Orleans on May 7, 2019.  More than 2 weeks have gone by, yet it is still not on MH’s website. Did Allen call for that speech to be posted in its entirety by MHI?  No.

 

Instead, Allen is calling once more for ‘unity’ on messaging by the 3 national trade associations he addressed.

Allen has once more ducked or missed the point.  NAMHCO and MHARR exist precisely because they don’t trust MHI. To ask MHARR or NAMHCO to issue joint communiques is posturing at best, foolish and ill advised at worst.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

The speech by Carson praised the need and importance of manufactured housing.  Are the powers that be that pull the strings at MHI afraid that it might cause the industry’s sales to grow if it became widely known and properly understood?

More recently, during a congressional oversight hearing, Secretary Carson was attacked on Capitol Hill be Democrats hoping for cheap sound bites for later replay.  An example of that is shown below, by left-of-center Politico.

 

 

Here is how right-of-center Fox Business covered the same topic of Carson’s comments on Capitol Hill and how they were mishandled and portrayed by opposition media.

 

 

But what if the Democrats Appeared Right in This Case?

Let’s presume for a moment that Politico and that Democratic legislator had been correct, and that Secretary Carson actually did not know what an REO property was.  So what?  Or is that the left wing equivalent to the occasion when some on the political right slammed President Obama for saying on camera “57 states” in the United States, instead of 50. People misspeak. People sometimes don’t know.  That happens.  Political gotcha may be fun for a moment, but it proves little – unless that’s a pattern of someone saying 57 states over and over again, or of Dr. Carson perhaps misunderstanding an REO – then perhaps would be a valid issue.

These are Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radical tactics, said Carson near the end of this next video clip.

 

SaulAlinkys12RulesForRadicalsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

SaulAlinskyRulesforRadicalsDespaireIsthereRubSowDiscontentGalvanizeRadicalSocialchangeRawAZquotesManufacturedHousing

HowToCreateSocialistStateSaulAlinskyRulesforRadicalsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

The “Think: Common Core” would not have been in the original Alinksy mantra, as that was well after his time.  The last point above is the bookend to the quote from AZQuotes.

 

Now, let’s pivot back to Allen.

Why isn’t Allen were pressing MHI on:

  • promoting Secretary Carson’s comments in New Orleans via their media contacts,
  • Posting Secretary Carson’s comments on their own website,
  • Making a valid, robust “enhanced preemption” argument about manufactured housing in Bryan, TX or elsewhere – and threating to sue if the other party didn’t comply – those are the kinds of useful actions that Allen could undertake.
GotClout-questionmark-GetItHere-MHI-ManufacturedHousingInstitute-postedMHProNews-com-

Instead, Allen is posturing.  False flag.  Distraction, diversionary tactics, instead of offering real solutions. Like MHI saying “Got Clout?” showing photo opportunities, but providing no measurable results.

RichardDickJennisonMHIPresidentPhotoBrianMontgomeryEnhancedPreemptionFHATitleChattelLoans1010RuleTimWilliamsDontLearnFromHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Not long after this cartoon/meme was posted earlier this year, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison announced his retirement from MHI. As far as George Allen is concerned, he could press these same points, if he was truly solution oriented. Instead, why is there more useless slogans and posturing?

The truth is, that Clayton had clout, it was Warren Buffett.  He had an in with the White House. How was that used?  For or against the industry?  Don’t the actions speak louder than the words from Clayton, 21st, MHI, etc.?

WarrenBuffettPhotoPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Allen himself called Clayton and Berkshire brands a “monopoly” and has mused about the problem of “consolidation” in manufactured housing communities and other sectors of the industry.

Why has Allen toned that down, or stopped it altogether?

Is it because MHI and the big boys are rewarding him?  Is that why Allen is now posting about getting top dollar for the sale of a manufactured home community?

The evidence debatably suggests that Allen is a shill, pawn, and is selling out his followers. Whatever credibility he once enjoyed is vanishing as a result of each fact check, which he has been given the opportunity to respond to but has opted not to do so.

Make no mistake, just as there is a battle waging in Washington, D.C., there is a battle waging over the future of manufactured housing too.

Last year, an MHI only member said to MHProNews that he is ready for “Infowars” in manufactured housing. That was an apt description for what is occurring.

There is information, and disinformation. MHI, Allen, and MHInsider are among those who are peddling fluff which is often purportedly weaponized as disinformation.

By contrast, MHARR, MHProNews and MHLivingNews cite facts, and share evidence. Compare what the others say, to what MHARR, MHProNews and MHLivingNews produces.  Which one holds up?

Did you notice that on their Saturday news feed that Bing – a Microsoft brand, founded by Bill Gates, with whom Warren Buffett sits as a trustee of the Gates Foundation – featured Amazon’s home sales?

BingAmazonSellingHouses20000DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

WarrenBuffettBillMelindaGatesFoundationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

How is Buffett, Clayton, and MHI really using their political and media access and clout? Why is the industry struggling during an affordable housing crisis?

 

With no further adieu, let’s check out the headline week in review from 5.19.2019 to 5.26.2019.

 

What’s New in Washington from MHARR

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews


11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

Saturday 5.25.2019

 

·        “Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

“Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

Friday 5.24.2019

 

·        Obstruction, Cover Up, Impeachable Says Speaker Pelosi – Donald Trump Jr. Responds – How Washington Works, or Not – Manufactured Home Import

 

Obstruction, Cover Up, Impeachable Says Speaker Pelosi – Donald Trump Jr. Responds – How Washington Works, or Not – Manufactured Home Import

 

·        Is War Ahead? Insider Sources in Iran Talk Trump, Middle East Conflicts, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

·        Skyline Champion Soared, What’s Up? Initial Look Behind the Curtain

Skyline Champion Soared, What’s Up? Initial Look Behind the Curtain

·        Americans “Lost Faith in Washington,” Politics Threatens Economic Recovery

Americans “Lost Faith in Washington,” Politics Threatens Economic Recovery

 

 Thursday 5.23.2019

·        City Permits Some Manufactured Home Replacements for Tornado Ravaged Conventional Housing

City Permits Some Manufactured Home Replacements for Tornado Ravaged Conventional Housing

·        Are You Customer or Product of Tech Giants? Manufactured Housing Connections and Implications

·        April New Home Sales Drop, Mortgage Rates Slide, Trade Tension Woes, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

April New Home Sales Drop, Mortgage Rates Slide, Trade Tension Woes, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

 

Wednesday 5.22.2019

·        The Best Medicine, “Honey, I Forget to Duck,” One Liners from the “Great Communicator”

·        Wild Washington “Impeachment,” “Infrastructure” Theater Fuels Wall Street Dip, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Stephanie Reid Raises Undocumented Immigrants Getting Ripped Off by Manufactured Home Communities Issue

Stephanie Reid Raises Undocumented Immigrants Getting Ripped Off by Manufactured Home Communities Issue

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

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

 

Tuesday 5.21.2019

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

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

·        Triad Financial Services, ECN Result$, plus Manufactured Housing Industry Stock Updates

Triad Financial Services, ECN Result$, plus Manufactured Housing Industry Stock Updates

·        HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” on Carport-Ready Manufactured Homes, Other Changes Ahead?

HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” on Carport-Ready Manufactured Homes, Other Changes Ahead?

·        Tiny House Comparisons, $50,000 Tiny House Vs. $165,000 Tiny House – Millions of Video Views

Tiny House Comparisons, $50,000 Tiny House Vs. $165,000 Tiny House – Millions of Video Views

 

Monday 5.20.2019

·        Modern, Proven Path to Freedom

Modern, Proven Path to Freedom

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

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

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

·        What Are Manufactured Housing Industry Professionals Focused On?

What Are Manufactured Housing Industry Professionals Focused On?

 

Sunday 5.19.2019

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

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

 

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

 

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Senator Cory Booker – ‘We Need a President…to Enforce Antitrust Laws,’ Digging Warren, POTUS Trump

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

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

 

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

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

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

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

Antitrust Heats Up With Supreme Court Ruling, Monopolization Legal Experts Weigh In, Clayton-Related Comment Connection

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

May 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

GameOnFightingDiscriminatoryZonginMoralObligationFixWorseningNightmarestateAssociationsEnteringSpotlightMHProNews

Nature abhors a vacuum.

 

That axiom is true in science, as well as in issues of pragmatic leadership.

In a communique to the manufactured housing industry’s dozens of state association executives, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) outlined their plan to address the “moral obligation” to fix the “worsening nightmare” of “discriminatory zoning.”

The memo was described by one MHEC-connected source as “a shot across the bow” of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). MHEC is the Manufactured Housing Executives Council (MHEC), which includes most, if not all, manufactured housing state associations.

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

MHI, MHARR, MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.

That same source said that the shot missed the bow and landed on the deck of MHI’s battleship.

It’s game on,” said that pro-industry growth source. “The outrage of MHI’s power-brokers keeping the industry at a historically low ebb for over 15 years isn’t over.  But if MHARR is as serious as they appear to be, this represents a challenge to the behind the scenes efforts to artificially suppress and slow manufactured housing sales growth unlike anything I’ve seen in years.”

Per MHEC sources, there are ‘several’ states that have reached out to the Washington, D.C. based MHARR about their memo.  MHARR has not yet issued a follow-up or added details to their communique.  When asked, they would not characterize the responses at this time.

 

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A Key Issue, Alongside Financing, Regulatory Overreach…

 Tony, as I’m sure you know, not everyone is comfortable with how ‘in your face’ some of your [MHProNews] reports have been,” said a message to MHProNews.  That message continued, “However, between what MHARR has laid out, and what your publications [MHProNews/MHLivingNews] have hammered home in recent months, there is a degree of clarity that some [state] executives and other industry members have lacked on why the industry has underperformed to the degree that it has. I’m not making predictions, because 21st and Clayton still have the raw power that report of yours [re: How Gold Rules] spelled out.  But your reports on the Mobile Home Militia, the expansionary moves by Legacy Housing, and others independents in the industry that reflect serious, committed resistance are perhaps giving some more confidence to others in the industry to test the waters of resistance too. While some will still likely sell out, some of us [executives] don’t want to see a lot more independents vanish. This MHARR initiative can help in that regard.  If states and MHARR work together on this initiative, it can make a difference and help return serious growth to the industry.”

Notice: the links were edited into the above, and were not in the original.  As longtime readers know, we turn quoted text bold and brown, to make it pop. Bracketed comments are added for clarity, but otherwise, the comments are as stated.  For newcomers, investors, and researchers, it is useful to understand that even MHI members – in their own investor relations package – make it clear that the industry is underperforming. The graphic below is an example of that, from an MHI member firm.  Comments in red and yellow are by MHProNews, but the original graphic and the trend line of 224,000 annual shipments a year are from that MHI member company.

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

MHARR’s full statement is available at the linked text-image box below, as well as here on MHProNews beneath that.

 

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

 

 

May 14, 2019

 

VIA E-MAIL

To: MANUFACTURED HOUSING STATE ASSOCIATION STAFF EXECUTIVES

Re:  MHARR’s “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Project 

Dear Friends:

As you know, the utilization and placement of federally-regulated manufactured homes in large areas of the United States is either excluded or discriminatorily restricted by local zoning mandates. These mandates have drastically limited affordable housing opportunities for millions of lower and moderate-income Americans, while unfairly burdening and restricting the growth and expansion potential of the HUD Code manufactured housing industry. The same mandates also constitute a direct impediment to the accomplishment of the most important and fundamental statutory objective of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, which seeks to “facilitate the availability of affordable manufactured homes and … increase homeownership for all Americans.”

While many of you and your respective associations have done your utmost to address and resolve such injustices within your individual states, the absence of a collective, organized and aggressive national effort to confront and eliminate these discriminatory zoning and placement mandates has — and will continue — to take a heavy toll on both our industry and consumers of affordable housing. Indeed, with the industry’s hard-working manufacturers, retailers and communities producing and offering their best homes ever, the aggressive application of the legislative mandates contained in the 2000 reform law to challenge, oppose and correct this long-standing and worsening nightmare for the industry and its consumers, is no longer an option, but a moral obligation for all who seek to advance the industry and its products.

Based on all of this, the MHARR Board of Directors, at its March 27, 2019 meeting, carefully considered the extremely detrimental impact of such discriminatory zoning and placement mandates. And, given the absence of an independent, unbiased, objective, national representative for the industry’s post-production sector, the Board ultimately concluded that action would be necessary by MHARR – in cooperation with as many state associations as appropriate and warranted — to take the lead in addressing this zoning and placement crisis; thus the establishment of this “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” project.

Now, therefore, MHARR, with your help and assistance, will begin to gather information from around the United States regarding the nature, extent and specific impact of such discriminatory mandates, and take action, as appropriate, within its sole discretion, designed to either eliminate or ameliorate specific, selected discriminatory mandates based on as much accurate and factual information as can reasonably be collected.

For these reasons, MHARR now seeks input and information from you, regarding the existence of specific and particularly egregious discriminatory local exclusions and/or restrictions on the siting and/or placement of both individual manufactured homes on privately-owned land and manufactured home communities within your state, for information-gathering, analysis, evaluation and potential follow-up by the Association, including possible litigation, if so determined by MHARR in its sole discretion. Through this initial process, MHARR seeks to gather information targeting a total of approximately one-dozen of the most egregious cases in various states where federally-regulated manufactured homes have either been excluded altogether or discriminatorily restricted by local ordinances.

As for the legal aspects and related costs of subsequent phases of this project, MHARR has – and continues to maintain — that the enhanced federal preemption provision of the 2000 reform law provides the industry with the opportunity to target the two most egregious available cases (i.e., a single home on privately-owned land and a land-lease community) to be challenged and pursued, if necessary, to the Supreme Court, as appropriate and necessary.  By taking this action for the first time under the specific enhanced preemption provision of the 2000 reform law, that case, if won on the merits, would establish the needed precedent to challenge other similar instances of discriminatory exclusion. Needless to say, however, this would be a costly undertaking.  Following the initial phase, therefore, MHARR would consult with the selected landowner/developer and state association involved, to determine and establish specific logistics for the legal aspects of the following phases and relevant costs of the project, and would do the same for the selected landowner and state association in the single home on privately-owned lot case.

Consequently, we ask that you consult with your Association’s Board on this matter and, within the next thirty-days — and utilizing the attached self-explanatory and easy-to-use forms — provide feedback to MHARR regarding local-level ordinances that impose either an outright exclusion of HUD Code manufactured homes or restrictions that discriminate against HUD Code homes. More specifically, MHARR seeks, from each state, the two most egregious examples of such exclusionary and/or discriminatory mandates within that state – one involving the development, placement, expansion, or redevelopment of a manufactured housing land-lease community, and one involving individual home placements on privately-owned land. MHARR, will then follow-up as it determines to be appropriate and prudent, and will share its findings with participating state associations as the project moves forward.

MHARR thanks you in advance for your cooperation and assistance in this crucial undertaking for both the industry and its consumers.

 

Sincerely,

John Bostick                                                                 Mark Weiss

MHARR Chairman                                      MHARR President & CEO

 

cc: MHARR Members

Manufactured Housing Retailers, Communities and Finance Companies

Attachments

###

 

This is part of an effort that was announced by MHARR shortly after the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show in March, 2019.

 

MHARR Board Holds Highly Productive Meeting — Adopts Bold New Initiatives

 

Following that meeting, MHARR formally requested that HUD initiate a new study to research discriminatory zoning and its impact on manufactured housing.

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

MHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, then authored an “Issues and Perspective” that essentially challenged MHI to do the job they claimed to do, or get out of the way and let MHARR do it.

 

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

 

In response to that, MHI did nothing directly.  But sources and evidence indicate that purported MHI surrogate George F. Allen ‘attacked’ MHARR’s initiative on his blog. Why would Allen, who claims to want to see the industry return to greatness, attack an effort aimed at accomplishing precisely that launched by MHARR? Thus, MHProNews did a fact check on Allen’s attack, at the link below.

 

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

 

Allen’s purported role as MHI’s ‘attack dog’ was further evidenced in the report that can be accessed by industry readers by clicking on the text-image box below.

 

Joe Stegmayer, George F. Allen, Manufactured Housing Institute Slogans, Slump, Slurs, Solutions

 

Then, our publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach laid out a detailed review of how George Allen himself publicly called Clayton Homes and other Berkshire Hathaway brands operating in manufactured housing as part of a growing monopolization of the industry.  Allen did so on his own blog, see that report with the evidence and illustrations, linked below.

 

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

 

MHI, Allen, and the MHInsider are apparently working in concert with Berkshire Hathaway brands to distract the industry’s members from ploys that are arguably occurring that aim to create headwinds for manufactured housing independents.  Is there evidence?  Check it out for yourself.

 

Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

 

Our publisher laid out a details case for how MHI, backed by Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, et al, used the “Rope-a-Dope” to wear out independents in the battle for Preserving Access, which never passed.  Several MHI members are quoted in that report.

 

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

 

 

Neither the powers that be behind MHI, nor MHI’s outside attorney would not respond to the varied allegations against MHI, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Nathan Smith, and others in a scheme to monopolize the market, in a way that Allen himself claimed was occurring.

Rather than respond to specific concerns and credible evidence, MHI’s outside attorney threatened MHProNews with legal action, pointing to items in articles we’ve published. MHProNews has challenged them on their legal claims, and asked them to respond.  MHI’s outside attorney, which has an office in Nathan Smith’s home town, has not yet responded to the meat of the concerns.

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

 

 

MHI’s outside attorney has claimed that there is no connection between themselves and Nathan Smith, former MHI chairman and a partner in scandal plagued SKK Communities.  But frankly, that’s a nuance, a detail either way.  Isn’t the bigger issue – why hasn’t MHI hired an attorney to sue cities that are violating the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000?  Why isn’t MHI doing what MHARR has begun to undertake?

 

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

 

MHI’s Rick Robinson had an opportunity to discuss issues face to face with MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach in Deadwood, SD.  He declined publicly, in front of dozens of industry members as witnesses.

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Robinson – an attorney and MHI’s general counsel – personally knows an aspect of the law that might be useful to fight discriminatory zoning. Why hasn’t he put that to work himself, or done so with MHI’s outside attorney?

 

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

OccamsRazorDefinedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are several potential explanations for MHI’s failure to engage on issues that their own mission statement and IRS form 990s claim that they are supposed to be focused upon. For example: 1) They are incompetent. 2) They lack intelligence. 3) They lack motivation. 4) They have an unstated agenda. 5) They want to see the industry grow slowly and/or shrink, so that more companies close or sell out to major companies. These are a few of the logical options. MHProNews editorially believes that the people at MHI are intelligent enough, so what logical conclusions are left? Among others, it was longtime MHI member George Allen who said that they are working to monopolize the industry into a few hands.

MHCommunitiesOfAZNealTHaneyPresidentWhyTheyQuitManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

MHI, the Berkshire brands operating out of the Knoxville, TN metro area, and their outside attorney have been invited to debunk, refute, or otherwise respond in writing or in public to the mounting evidence and allegations against them.  So far, silence, which is their constitutionally protected 5th Amendment protected right. But in the meantime, there is evidence that Warren Buffett’s money has been donated to other nonprofits that have fought the industry publicly on issues that debatably have harmed the image and thus the sales of the industry.

 

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

 

That’s a snapshot of research and action plans vs. posturing, fig leaves, and sloganeering by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Its your industry.  This is your future. If you are a member of a state association, why not ask them if your state plans to participate in this MHARR initiative?

Zoning and financing are two key issues.  What has MHI done to fix them?  Yet it is there own claimed role to do what they’re arguably failing to do.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoOnlyTradeOrganizationrepresentingallsegmentsfactorybuilthousing2019-05-14_0808

Then contrast that to the ongoing efforts – like the removal of Pam Danner at HUD – and steady, reliable reports and warnings by MHARR.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen has pointed out the obvious, that MHARR is a sponsor of our website. But that’s out in the open, MHARR has banner ads here. What Allen fails to mention is that MHI used to sponsor MHProNews too. Our coverage has been based upon our LLC’s own research and work, without favor.

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

 

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

May 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

MonopolyManufacturedHousingAllegedByGeorgeAllenMHIDefendersTurnByFormerCommunityInvestorSelfClaimedEducateMHCBloggerMHProNews

Free enterprise is predicated in part on the ability to compete. Be it in tea, banking, or other sectors of the economy, America from its earliest days as a colony includes examples of not just tax revolt, but anti-monopoly rebellion too. New York Times columnist David Leonhardt are among the scores of sources that have said as much.

 

  • The Open Markets Institute has said that antitrust or anti-monopoly efforts are one of the most important issues of our time. As they put it on their home page, the Open Markets Institute “…promote greater awareness of the political and economic dangers of monopolization, identifies the changes in policy and law that cleared the way for such consolidation, and fosters discussions with policymakers and citizens as to how to update America’s traditional political economic principles for our 21st century digital society.” Note to newcomers, MHProNews often turns direct quotes bold and brown to make them ‘pop,’ but otherwise the quoted words are as reported.
  • Several Democratic 2020 presidential contenders have made monopoly and antitrust enforcement a campaign issue.
  • The Trump Administration has let it be known that they have an executive order drafted on antitrust, a copy of which was obtained by MHProNews.
  • The Department of Justice’s antitrust point man – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim – was cited at length in a prior Daily Business News on MHProNews report in a talk dubbed “November Rain.”
  • A top antitrust attorney named Lina Kahn was hired by Capitol Hill Democrats.  These 4 bullets make it clear that this challenge of market consolidation and monopoly are a bi-partisan concern, though the two major parties may have differing approaches.
  • Facebook’s co-founder is among several who have called for the breakup of the company.  But it isn’t just big tech that is facing calls of breakup under antitrust law.

 

That brief survey with links to various reports makes it clear that antitrust or anti-monopolistic practices sentiment has swelled in several swaths of the national political and economic discourse.

Which begs the question.  Other than MHProNews, and MHLivingNews, why has the bulk of the other trade media or bloggers in the manufactured housing industry been so obviously silent on the topic of monopolization, antitrust, and consolidation?

As MHProNews has noted before – but will hereby spotlight in a different way with additional quotes – there is an exception of sorts.

It’s George F. Allen, who shed his COBA7 moniker in favor of EducateMHC, reportedly sold his modest direct interests manufactured home communities, but still has a website called “Community-Investor.”

Before turning to Allen’s comments, let’s note that MHInsider, a far larger medium which is a staunchly pro-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) backer, reveals nothing on a site search under the term ‘monopoly.’  Ditto a search under ‘consolidation’ or ‘antitrust.’ A search for articles about manufactured housing’s ‘enhanced preemption’ – mandated by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 – are missing from MHInsider, much like that topic turns up nothing on MHI’s website too. In fairness and accuracy – to MHInsider’s credit – they provided a few pull quotes from HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s address in New Orleans, which is more than the zero found on MHI’s website as of this morning as this article is being drafted.  But MHInsider lacks the entire – and highly useful for the industry’s independents – recent Secretary Carson speech to manufactured housing professionals.

 

MHInsiderLogoSiteSearchOligarchyMonopolyAntitrustEnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingTradeJournalMediaMHProNews

 

Other publishers in MHVille may lack a search tool, or have so few industry readers, that their pro-MHI stance is worth mentioning but not worth the time to document.  So, there are others, most of whom routinely sing from the same hymnal that MHI provides.  MHI-affiliated state associations often likewise regurgitate uncritically – often verbatim – MHI’s missives, perhaps for reasons noted in a prior report linked here.  That stated, one must note that a few manufactured home community (MHC) state associations broke ranks with MHI, citing the Arlington, VA based trade group’s lack of effectiveness.

 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

Onto Allen and Monopoly…

With that survey and backdrop, here’s what Allen has had to say on the topic of monopoly operating in the manufactured housing industry.

 

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

The date shown is when the screen captures were performed, not the date it was published. More on that, further below.

 

To use a phrase Allen enjoys, those are salient points. He’s made others before, like this one.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

While those are comments were made in years gone by, that begs the question. When the evidence for monopolistic behavior in America and our manufactured home industry specifically has mounted, why has Allen more recently defended the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is the arguably the breeding ground for what Allen dubbed himself called oligarchs and monopolists?

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x237

While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge that Ryan raised in the article above, Doug Ryan at CFED, and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI. 

When Allen has demonstrably agreed with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in the past, why has he attacked the Washington, D.C. based MHARR more recently?   Aren’t his disconnects apparent?

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformlogoMHARRlogoSearchMonopolyAntitrustConsolidation

 

Hold those thoughts.

Be it Allen, MHI, or others – each has precisely the same rights protected by the Constitution that we all do. From the days of the British colonies, to after the time that the United States was finally formed following years of revolutionary warfare, and through the varied phases of our national history, America has had a love-hate relationship with pamphleteers and publishers. But with few exceptions – like the classic prohibition of not crying “fire” in a crowded theater when there is none – we defend in principle the constitutionally protected right citizens enjoy to say what they will, even if it is determined later to be demonstrably wrong.

Which brings us to a pressing point of free speech and free press. On the left, right and the dwindling center, there are voices in media talking about the news that have raised concerns about free speech, concentration of media, and manipulation of news reports.  That there is a need for a graphic like the one below is troubling, but speaks volumes.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

The quotes that follow exemplify the issue, across the left-right and even academic landscape.

 

TheseLargeConglomerateCompaniesDecideOnTheirownandForTheirOwnPurposesTheNewsWeSeeandHearDanRatherQuoteFormerCBSNewsPhotoTwitterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Dan Rather quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

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Deepa Kumar quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Danny Glover quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

ThomasSowellQuoteIfPeopleInMediaCannotDecideWhetherTheyAreInNewsReportingbusinessorManufacturingPropagandaMoreImportantForPublicchoseNewssourcesAccordingly

 

That’s problematic, but hardly new in either American or world history. In ancient times, a leader might lop the head off someone who brought bad news.  Far more recently, media in the 20th or 21st century have examples of being pushed and prodded by government and/or private interests. One must be aware of that pattern in order to begin to discern the vexing reality that someone’s worldview is forged by what media sources they adhere to most routinely.

 

GeorgeOrwellQuotesOurAGeNoSuchThingKeepingOutOfPoliticsAllIssuesPoliticalPOliticsMassLiesEvasionFollyHatredSchizophreniaManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

HowardZinnQuoteGeorgeOrwellSaidWhoeverControlsthePastControlsTheFutureHeMeantHistoryImportantShapingViewNextGenerationMHProNews

 

The founding fathers themselves experienced the problems of negative media that was often harsh and agenda driven.  The founders used the press and pamphleteering to stoke the flames that caused a revolution against England, and eventually turned colonies into the independent but United States. Those founders believed that it is the clash and testing of ideas that can reveal to those who scrutinize details what is or is not true.

A close reading or attention paid to statement and subsequent events may also reveal the instances when people say or write one thing, but do another.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

While all fail from time to time to live up to ideals, there is a special scorn many have for blatant and repeated hypocrisy. Perhaps rightly so.

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

 

Now the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has an antitrust statement. According to form, MHI’s numerous meetings every year are opened with a reminder that antitrust guidelines apply. But does that mean that they are adhering in deed to those antitrust guidelines, and not just merely in the mentioned word? There are highlighted items in the MHI antitrust statement, linked here, which in this writer’s informed view merit legal and regulatory oversight attention.

So why are these issues missing from MHI’s website?

 

2019-05-22_0735ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoAntitrustConsolidationMHProNews

Every symphony has high and low notes. There may be sobering, often dark drum rolls, and heartening crescendos. Symphonies – like other art forms – are meant to entertain, reflect, and inspire life. Novelists have plots, as well as subplots. Intentionally or not, publishing, writers, and media sources go through their own peaks, valleys, twists, turns, and familiar refrains.

The wonder isn’t that Allen – not just MHProNews or MHLivingNews – has raised concerns about “consolidation.”

Rather, it’s that others in manufactured housing trade publishing have not done the same. Are they unaware? That’s highly unlikely, because this writer hears from those publishers, their team, and followers. Are they afraid to rock the boat? Fearful? Paid-off via ads or other incentives? What?

One trade media competitor, in what was an unintended backhanded compliment said ‘Tony, you [MHProNews, MHLivingNews] write about that others in the industry read or talk about at bars and during meals.’  If so, that may explain why our audience dwarfs all others.  But that statement begs the question, then why doesn’t that gent and other writer/bloggers follow the lead of tackling the real issues, instead of playing footsy with MHI-driven drivel?

 

BarryColeMHInsuranceRVMHHallofFameCongratsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

Why does MHI have an antitrust statement, beyond as legal cover, while doing nothing of merit to commission independent research over concerns that they as a nonprofit group are being used as a tool for consolidation?

 

Then keep your tongue from evil

and your lips from speaking deceit.

Turn aside from evil and do good…” Psalm 34:13.

 

Let’s recall anew that George Washington, and other founders, for whatever their personal failings were – and they had them, as we all do – stressed the need for morality and religion, not just laws or a constitution.

 

OfAllDispositionsHabitsPoloticalProspertityReligionMoralityIndispensable-GeorgeWashington-picWikiCommons-postedMHProNews-

 

With that backdrop, back to Allen, monopoly, consolidation and what to do about it in MHVille.

 

Quoting Allen

A Final Thought for Year 2018, but Key for 2019

No names here, but hope you too boycott an ongoing online MH-related news media attempt to denigrate and divide us as an industry and realty asset class!

In my opinion, life is too short to be making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks, only befouling internet platforms better used to promote manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle!

If so, join me in 2019, committing to read only print and online trade publications advancing the causes, and improving the image, of HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities! No more caterwauling (‘to fight like cats’) in public and in private. Period.”

To spell it out for those not informed, Allen called there for a boycott of MHProNews, and of this writer. The ironies and hypocrisy there are thick.  Because of his own self-contradictions, and his own de facto concerns over the very kind of monopolization and consolidation – in that quoted case above, of media – that he blasted previously about MHI and Clayton. Can George spell hypocrisy?

Yet Allen’s aptly cited problems with consolidation, oligarchy, and monopoly. He still calls consolidation “a problem” in even recent posts.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

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

 

Nevertheless, he is hypocritically attacking this platform, and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), each of which have consistently been sounding alarms about those issues – with specific examples – to the attention of the thousands of the industry’s readers.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen has pointed out the obvious, that MHARR is a sponsor of our website. But that’s out in the open, MHARR has banner ads here. What Allen fails to mention is that MHI used to sponsor MHProNews too. Our coverage has been based upon our LLC’s own research and work, without favor. What Allen has, by contrast, avoided is what are the ways that he is being coached, rewarded, and influenced?  In pointing an errant finger, are three pointing back at George’s chest? Note too that MHProNews cites sources from MHI, MHEC members, MHARR, and others.  We do so accurately and in their historic context. 

 

Allen’s voice is significant, but small compared to this platform’s.  We have more readers in a few hours than he will have all week.  So, why bother?  Because frankly, reviewing the history of Allen’s musings make clear some of the very problems he once asserted, and now denies.  Its instructive to unpack Allen.

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

Allen is interesting to the extent that he does periodically make accurate statements.  But a stopped clock is correct twice daily too.  More politely, he is a reason why we believe in the wheat and chaff approach to people and sources. We all have our good and bad days, our good points, and our weaker ones.  Our readers have pointed out that we get typos, for instance.  Guilty as charged.  That’s our chaff, but who strive for finer wheat that feeds our audience that doesn’t find like content from other’s in the industry trade media.

Closely read, Allen’s arguably consistent about only one thing, support for himself.

With that said, he has apparently been re-embraced by the very people – MHI and their leaders – that he railed against for unfair treatment by examining his business interests under the cover of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), and then unethically going into competition against him. Allen personally felt the sting of manipulative and costly maneuvers from MHI, whose structure and funding point to firms in Omaha and the Knoxville, TN metro areas as their dominating, driving forces.  He ought to be leading the charge, instead of giving the manipulators cover.

Rephrased, Allen knows first-hand who pulls the puppet strings at Arlington, VA based MHI. He fought them, he was marginalized, he lost. That is, he lost until he was more recently reembraced to be the apparent purported surrogate and attack dog for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.  Now, for example, MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer is back on Allen’s stage.

The key to understanding Allen’s pivots in publishing is to understand that he is highly motivated by self-interest.  That is per a former, significant client of his, who told this writer that the way to understand Allen is summed up in this saying: “With George, it’s always AAA – All About Allen.” Pondering that claim, and watching the pattern after that was heard, that source arguably proved correct.

The point here isn’t that Allen has flip-flopped, or that the balance of the industry’s trade media has been mute on the issues of monopolization, consolidation, antitrust, and market manipulation that has kept manufactured housing underperforming.

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

While MHI in their monthly shipment report doesn’t deny the decline, neither are they addressing the underlying causes, nor have they proposed a remedy via their messages to the industry. Why not?

Frankly, we’ve covered much of that ground previously.

So the point here now is to make clear to new industry readers, investors wondering why a stock isn’t performing as it could be, outside researchers, legal, and public officials looking into MHVille seeking to grasp the facts that have caused obvious patterns to be obscured by others –including, but not limited to, the industry’s trade media.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

 

Be Skeptical, Question and Test

It’s entirely logical to test the accuracy of the reports and analysis here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. It is logical to likewise test the writing and publishing of others in this same news and commentary space, to see how consistent each sources may be, or what evidence is offered by said sources beyond mere words.

GeorgeAllenPhotoPamDannerPhotoEducateMHCMobileHomeCommunityInvestorManufacturedHomeProfessionalNewsUnlike Allen’s railing – as was cited above – about “…making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks…” we’ve provided on MHLivingNews and MHProNews the documents and direct quotes from the sources involved.

Besides, Allen himself said similarly – as this report makes clear – only he’s not been consistent about it.

Allen uses the old debaters’ tricks of red herrings, commits the ad hominin attack fallacy, and demonstrably accuses others of what he does himself. It’s the classic definition of a hypocrite.

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

When we’ve given documented opportunities to Allen to publicly debate the issues we claim.  Bring on the supporting evidence as to what are the factors hindering manufactured housing industry’s growth, during an affordable housing crisis.

Other than MHARR and our trade media, who today in MHVille have offered a cogent explanation for the why and how the explains the cause of over 15 years of manufactured housing as an industry’s underperformance?

That underperformance in turn cost taxpayers, homeowners, and independent businesses collectively billions, at each turn.  Some of those independent businesses are the smaller community owners that Allen and his allies claim to care about.

That public debate offer with George Allen is one he’s routinely ducked out on. Thus, noting his roar like the lion in Wizard of Oz – but his failure to back up that roar – he’s arguably earned the mantle of that fictional character. It should be noted, Cowardly Lion finally got his courage, and did the right things.

We hope and pray Allen will do the same. Because Allen, in fairness and accuracy, has at times – albeit inconsistently – argued similar claims to those we, MHARR or others in MHVille seeking to maintain a lower profile have raised. Let’s note that some of those MHI sources, unhappy with what the Arlington trade group is apparently doing, have said they would testify to federal investigators about what they know.

Let’s return to one of those flashes from the past of apparent candor from Allen about the problem of monopoly power.

GeorgeAllenCommunityInvestorBlogMHMPostedMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryNewsMHProNews-133x150a

George Allen, photo credit, MHProNews.com.

Hopefully you already realize we live and work in turbulent times, where the national economy and our industry’s business model are concerned. But have YOU stopped and considered the lasting effects horizontal (consolidation) and vertical integration have had, and continue to have, on our industry and realty asset class?

If you’re one of those who believe the MHIndustry needs a new, independent national trade association to protect and advance the business interests and concerns of the post production sector of manufactured housing, you’ll want to read this week’s blog posting from beginning to end. Because there is indeed a third such party ‘waiting in the wings’ for the timing and leadership to be right and effective from the word ‘Go’!

  • In short order, the number of independent (street) MHRetailers plummeted from more than 14,000 to fewer than 4,000.”

After listing some of the extensive holdings of Buffett led Berkshire in manufactured housing, Allen says:

Now, here’s the proverbial ‘rub’. With quiet but increasing frequency we read of conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over (if not already ‘taken over’) the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry.”

Assuming truth and legitimacy of these claims of ‘conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry’, what’re the solutions? In the same op/ed piece in THE JOURNAL, the writer makes this case for a new independent national trade association to represent the post production sector of manufactured housing:

  • “…to monitor issues in the nation’s capitol, mobilize for effective action, and fight for their interests and issues, rather than the few industry-dominant lenders and the corporate conglomerates that stand behind them.” And until that happens, the writer opines, our shipments of new HUD-Code homes will continue to languish well below 100,000 units per year.

So, where’s this new independent national trade association going to come from? Surely not the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) with its’ 80+ percent national member market share of new HUD-Code manufactured housing distribution; nor, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) and its’ regional housing manufacturing firms.”

Allen on that occasion from his blog dated 21 August, 2016 proposed himself  and his now defunct COBA7 as the industry’s solution and savior.  It is as if he set out to prove the point noted above from that former client of his that said, “With George, it’s always AAA – All About Allen.”

But sadly, one must ask, is Allen a white hat in MHVille, or a black hat?

 

White Hats, Black Hats…

 

 

TomLackeySECO2018-06-06_1742PlanningCommitteeSECODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Allenites – those who uncritically follow him – turn a blind eye to problems like his ‘education’ on lease-purchase, or contract for title, which an industry attorney has called ‘illegal’ in the Dodd-Frank era, and which the NY State Attorney General’s office punished dozens of manufactured home communities for practicing. Hasn’t Allen condemned the kind of problematic negative news headline causing issues that his buddy Tom Lackey is accused of running? If so, why didn’t Allen called Lackey out, and asked for his ouster from SECO’s board? See the Chattanooga Times Free Press report, which notably cited MHProNews in part of its coverage. Note the circle.  MHVillage – which is a sister firm to MHInsider, which has Allen as a writer.  MHInsider’s parent company is part of MHI.

Allen failed to mention at all then that Dick Moore/Bob Crawford had launched a third party effort dubbed the MHIDEA, which MHProNews reported years before this specific 8-21-2016 musing by Allen.

While the effort never garnered the traction its concept merited, MHIDEA – short for the Manufactured Housing Independent DEaler Alliance – was launched in 2008, even before the full effects of Buffett’s Moat became clear.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.

 

MHProNews reviewed MHIDEA’s otherwise insightful notions in depth in a report, linked below.

 

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

 

During the 2010 timeframe, MHProNews reported on the MHIDEA efforts. Hindsight can be 2020. Had MHIDEA been better supported – by us and others – would the industry’s current issues be as severe as they are now?

By contrast, MHARR covered these issues to various degrees, and in a consistent fashion.  It must be noted that several of Allen’s references to concerns over monopolization were oblique references to claims and allegations made by MHARR.  They have been by far the most consistent in the industry on the topics that they’ve engaged upon.

Once more, it must be noted that MHI avoids these controversies, as reflected by using the site-search tool on their website.  If they suddenly, after weeks and months of such reports suddenly popped information that mentions these issues onto their platform, that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve avoided it for some years.

 

 

Summing Up

This current and historic survey revealed the following.

  • MHARR has consistently called out the problems of market monopolization, proposed solutions, and has done so for a period of years. It should be noted that the MHARR website is relatively new, so one would have to go to MHProNews’ MHARR module, or specific MHARR monthly articles to see the years of consistency in their reports and analysis.

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • MHIDEA – while effectively dormant at this time – raised these concerns over a decade ago.
  • NAMHCO – which does not yet have a website – is still young, but has made it clear that they felt that MHI was ineffective and not advancing the interests of their members, which is why they said they broke from MHI in 2017.
  • MHI has nothing on several potentially positive items for the industry, ignored publishing Secretary Carson’s fine speech, and has nothing on these controversies.
  • MHInsider – essentially parrots the MHI stance, as have most if not all of the lesser known trade bloggers and publishers.
  • Blogger George Allen has flip-flopped, apparently based on if he’s getting benefits from MHI or not. But what’s clear is that Allen on several occasions raised the issue of monopoly, consolidation, and ‘oligarchy.’  More recently, Allen has attacked MHARR, and MHProNews for making arguments similar to those he himself previously advanced.  Allen does not bother to explain his contradictions, which can demonstrably occur within the same blog post.
  • MHProNews raised the issues years ago, in reporting on the MHIDEA and MHARR reports. But frankly, this writer – and our LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC family of publications – were not convinced initially. We reported what others said, but did not strongly advocate on the issues of monopoly, consolidation, marketing rigging, and the need for legal and federal action.
  • As I’ve said previously, per the SPJ standards of journalism ethics that call for clearly stating errors or omissions once noted, it took years of evidence, documents, news tips, and commentary by others until the scope and chutzpah of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis was fully grasped in more recent years.
  • Oddly, some of Allen’s and MHI’s circle and readers have been among those who’ve for some time explained why they thought market manipulation was underway. They explained Allen’s role – or lack thereof – in masking or exposing it at various times.
  • It should also be noted that MHInsider publisher Darren Krolewski himself praised this publication and writer for taking on the tough issues. He was among those that informed us of what was underway, where MHI was allegedly undermining our pro-industry growth work, even as we were dues paying members of that association.

 

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Krolewski is now co-president of MHVillage, and the publisher of MHInsider. He now arguably avoids the difficult topics he once praised us for tackling on MHProNews.

 

Allen could perhaps go back and purge his site, if he was incentivized to do so. But we already have the screen captures, so why bother?

While he loves to charge that we misquote or do something ‘out of context,’ he’s not once provided evidence of that claim. In fact, as noted, when invited to debate or prove his case in a third-party moderated forum, publicly in front of an industry audience, and on video so others could witness it later, he’s always declined that offer.

The allegations and concerns raised in this report clearly tie directly into the issue of what we’ve dubbed  the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Namely, that leaders at Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), Joe Stegmayer (MHI Chair), MHI salaried staff, and their inside and/or outside attorneys have repeatedly been invited to discuss and debate these concerns publicly.  Such offers to those leaders have been documented. The offer was to do hold such a discussion/debate in front of a live manufactured home industry professional audience.  That means that those who understand and/or are the most impacted by the issues to be discussed would be in attendance. A third-party moderator, plus video recording so others could see it all later, were part of the offer.

The powers that be in MHVille have declined every time. It’s their right to remain silent.  But that means that the allegations against them stand unrefuted.  One might ask, why they haven’t sued us – with or without just cause – as they’ve threatened in writing several times to do?  Is it perhaps because their leaders have praised us often, and for years, and that would come up in any legal proceedings?  How could they possibly explain it all away with a straight face?

 

TimWilliamsToRephraseMHITonyBothCorrectThereisNoDaylight21stMortgageCorpMHIChairmmanufacturedHousingProNews

 

What the axis apparently did instead was reembraced Allen, who was persona non grata after their purported backstab of Allen only a few years ago. Allen was apparently re-engaged and rewarded precisely, to be used as a purported surrogate and as an attack dog against MHARR, MHProNews, and this writer.  Given that they can’t or won’t defend their actions, they’ve turned to the smear tactics instead. Allen and company do what they allege we do, interesting ploy, isn’t it?

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

 

Last week, an MHI member named Andy Gedo began to enter into a question/answer with this writer about an article posted on LinkedIn.  That posted article spotlighted how Kevin Clayton, in a recent video interview with CNBC, did not deny that Berkshire monopolization of not only manufactured housing, but the broader housing market, was underway. Gedo initially questioned, but gave up on, defending Clayton against that claim. The Gedo discussion with this writer in its entirety is linked below.

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

 

While these incidents, Berkshire Hathaway documents and direct quotes in context linked here or other concerns are not proof in an absolute or legal sense, it is enough to cause more federal regulators, public officials, candidates, media/researchers to sharpen their scrutiny.  That’s frankly part of the reason to do such summary articles, which then link evidence and examples.

The reason we say ‘more’ is because there are already – beyond MHARR, NAMHCO, MHIDEA, MHProNews, and MHLivingNews – non-industry sources that have spotlighted some of these same concerns.  Some of those are linked below.

 

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

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

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

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

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

But what those other sources may lack are specific examples of documents and video that were not yet published, until the trade media our LLC deploys covered them.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

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

 

What this summary does is reveal to industry readers and to outsiders looking in that there is substantial evidence of monopolization, consolidation, and examples of potential violations of antitrust laws at play in manufactured housing that date back about a decade or more. That’s almost roughly the same timeframe that Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, and began the slow ‘strategic moat’ and other related conquest techniques of the manufactured housing industry.

No one with common sense can believe that Buffett, Berkshire, and their billions could somehow have failed to grow manufactured housing to over 500,000 or more shipments a year.  MHI’s president himself said that was doable.

 

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

 

Which leads thoughtful readers and researchers with the vexing concerns that manufactured housing has been de facto sabotaged, largely from within.

 

 

That’s why the industry is the ‘best kept secret’ in affordable housing, as Terry Decio from Skyline Homes lamented on camera.

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That’s arguably why Secretary Carson’s full address isn’t found on MHInsider, or at all on MHI’s website.  Carson made it clear he wants to promote the manufactured housing solution, and end the secrecy that hangs over the industry.

Alan Amy is one of the many quiet, thoughtful voices that helped advise this writer as to what was occurring, and why. Manufactured housing is the housing of the future, not just the past, said Amy.  The big boys are consolidating the industry at a discount now, knowing that they can reap billions in annual earnings once they’ve completed their conquest of the industry, and a friendly administration to their interests takes over in Washington, D.C.

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.  From independents like Gus, to the largest players in the industry, and thousands in between, this is the most read source in the industry, because we tackle the issues most avoid – all in search of getting manufactured housing to achieve its true potential.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

Note the trend line. This is from an MHI member firm’s investor relations package.  They point to the industry underperforming, but they refer to it as the upside potential for growth. Manufactured housing is underperforming. Note the difference between RVs 20 years ago, and MH 20 years ago. No one else has advanced a thesis as logical and compelling. To date, Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have not even attempted to refute the claims. Will they today?

The puzzle pieces fit, which is what Occam’s Razor calls for in its test of reason.  Otherwise, observers are to believe that Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, and MHI staff are all incompetent?  That they don’t know how to grow this industry that used to produce hundreds of thousands of homes per year?  That they can’t achieve growth during an affordable housing crisis? That’s absurd.

Once more, the powers that be are invited to refute or explain away these concerns and allegations. Or they can keep using diversionary tactics, while the industry’s shipments have shrunk for 7 months, during an affordable housing crisis?  Absurd. Preposterous.  Impossible to believe, unless the powers that be want it to be so.

And on that note, let’s call it a morning, as the sky suggests that the dawn will soon break.  We pray that dawn will be a sign for this once far greater industry that a new day is coming.  But like the founders and generations before us, freedom won’t be free. It will only come from a struggle.  That struggle begins with understanding the issues, which hopefully this report, fact-check, and analysis has helped shed fresh light upon.

It is long past time to break up the monopolists, using existing federal and state laws.  As Secretary Carson said about a different topic last night on Tucker Carlson’s show, “enforce the law.”

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

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State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

January 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

NYStateAGFilesSuitFoxCroftVillageNYDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews

The Town of Fallsburg organized a forum in response to growing complaints about FoxCroft Village, where Paula Frumkin, president of the community’s homeowners association, was one of the residents who spoke on Jan. 23, 2018.

 

The situation deteriorated since then, she said, per the Record Online.

We have more empty homes than we’ve ever had,” Frumkin said earlier this month. “None of them are being fixed up. Nothing is being done.”

MapFoxCroftVillageManufacturedHomeCOmmunityDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

In mid-December 2018, then-New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the owners of FoxCroft Village.  The legal action aims “to compel them to fix the water system; properly dispose of garbage; fix septic systems; repair roads and public lights; abate outstanding Town of Fallsburg and state Health Department violations; and secure a valid permit to operate from the state Health Department,” said the Record Online.

FoxCroft Village reportedly has some 321 home sites.  About 200 are resident-owned homes, with the balance rented to the residents via rent-to-own contracts, according to the NY AG’s lawsuit.

 

NewFoxCroftVillageHomeSaleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The community’s operating permit expired in December 2017.  It has been unable to obtain a new one due to the conditions there, the AG’s lawsuit states.

The lawsuit sets a deadline of Feb. 15, 2019 to achieve compliance, plus seeks restitution for all the aggrieved residents.

George Levin and Gayla Sue Levin of the state of Florida are defendants, along with L & F Enterprises, Inc., and Foxcroft Village, LLC.

FoxCroft Property Manager Mike Mergendahl declined to comment on the pending legal matter.

It is evident that respondents are unwilling to perform the maintenance, repairs, and system replacements necessary to address Foxcroft’s failing water and septic systems and other dangerous conditions throughout the park,” the state’s legal complaint says.

George Levin reportedly denounced the lawsuit in an email, saying it relies on misinformation. Levin criticized Assistant Attorney General Stephen Barry, who has been representing the state in the case.

 

FoxCroftVillageManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

No one from the State’s AG Office has ever visited Foxcroft to verify what has been done or is being done on a daily basis,” Levin wrote in the message.

Levin said that Barry’s basis for the lawsuit is Fallsburg’s meeting from last year, which was “called for the sole purpose of disparaging Foxcroft” because of a “running vendetta” by Town Supervisor Steven Vegliante against park management.

There was no water service on Dec. 26, as of the report dated Jan 6th.  It is the second year in a row that the community lost water service around Christmas, according to Lisa Stephens-Hotalen, a 16-year resident. Hotalen lives across the street from Frumkin.

There’s so much water leaking near their homes that it reportedly pools up in one portion of her lawn when Hotalen presses her foot into the grass. It was the only part of her yard that wasn’t covered in snow.

The lawsuit claims that FoxCroft has experienced “park-wide intermittently functioning water distribution and failing septic systems” since the summer of 2017 and that residents reported brown water coming from their taps.

Residents have also been under a boil-water order since Dec. 23, 2017. The Town of Fallsburg cited FoxCroft for a code violation for the water system on Jan. 14, 2018. Since then, the community has faced a maximum fine of $1,500 per day it remains in violation, according to the NY AG’s lawsuit.

Levin said a new water system has been installed and Sullivan County’s health department approved of the installation.

Vegliante confirmed that FoxCroft’s owners have begun to replace the water system.

It’s been unbelievably frustrating,” he said of the past year. “People deserve a safe place to live, and finally they’re [the owners] starting to resolve some of the issues.”

Officials noted that noted that “We’re doing everything we can not to condemn it,” meaning the community, and hope that the state AG’s suit will spur completion of the pending work.

Code Enforcement Officer Mollie Messenger declined comment on alleged violations, citing active litigation, referring questions to the town of Fallsburg’s attorney, Bruce Perlmutter. Fallsburg is set to go to trial with FoxCroft in town court near the end of January.  The parties could not agree on the total amount that should be paid in fines for the code violations.

 

‘Rent To Own’ Woes…

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The New York attorney general’s lawsuit also takes aim at the approximately 100 rent-to-own contracts FoxCroft has with some residents, calling the agreements “deceptive” and in violation of state law, which are subject to fines per contract.

FoxCroft’s documents reportedly tag rent-to-own payments as ‘loan payments’ pursuant to a mortgage.  But L & F Enterprises, Inc., is not a lender.  They hold the title to each home until it’s completely paid for by the resident. Those residents are subject to summary eviction for non-payment at any time before that time, the AG’s lawsuit states.

This is a noteworthy issue to every community in the nation that is doing, or is considering doing, rent to own, lease purchase options, or other contracts of this kind.

Some industry professionals, such as George F. (F?) Allen, Spencer Roane, and the so-called SECO conference have promoted this kind of ‘seller financing’ for years.  They claim it is legal, purportedly checked out by an attorney who advised Roane.

But if the New York AG believes they are problematic, and since it seems to violate the notion of a “disguised credit transaction” – which can be problematic under Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidance – do Allen, Roane and SECO leaders really think they can successfully defend a similar state or federal claim against their process?  Do their ‘students’ and followers want to take these types of risks?

CFPBFilesSuitDisguisedCreditTransactionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Back in New York, Levin denies that FoxCroft has such contracts. But he said that FoxCroft does internally finance the sale of its homes to residents.

 

DisguisedCreditTransactionCFPBLonnieDealsRentToOwnLeasePurchaseOptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will continue to monitor such cases.  While we are not attorneys, and don’t give legal advice, it is prudent to consider legal actions like this case in New York as the most recent in a string of warnings to those who literally buy the advice of those – like Allen, Roane, and SECO – who sell such apparently problematic, and potentially risky “education.”

 

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

September 11th, 2018 Comments off

 

TimSheahanPresidentNMHOAControversialPointsAgreementMartyLavinGeorgeAllenMHCommunities600x315

When it comes to doing relevant fact checks, analysis, and commentary, timing is everything.

 

In 1970, my city of San Marcos had a population of less than 4,000 and was part of the dramatic manufactured housing community development boom of the 1970s, adding over 3,000 pads among 18 manufactured home communities, which led to more than a doubling of the population by the mid 1970s,” wrote Tim Sheahan, President of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA).

The comments were part of Sheahan’s much longer written comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which for the last 10 years has overseen the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

Like many areas of CA, manufactured home purchasers in San Marcos were lured away from metropolitan areas by the promise of a quiet semi-rural retirement lifestyle with low lot rents and nice amenities, which often included clubhouses/community centers, swimming pools and spas, saunas, shuffleboard courts, pool tables and card rooms, community kitchens; and, in some cases, tennis courts, golf courses and fishing ponds. Downsizing to a MH also enabled them to enhance their financial nest eggs for the retirement years. Initially, stiff competition among various developers during the only time a true “free market” situation existed in these communities commonly led to very reasonable starting rents.”

The above is a commentary that mobile/manufactured home professionals from that era, along with hundreds of thousands of mobile/manufactured home owners from that timeframe could agree upon.

Rephrased, those are statements that could be a possible starting point for common ground between communities and activist groups that are otherwise often at odds.

But what followed from Sheahan is where a significant degree of divergence – and hot controversies – arises.

Sheahan wrote, “As the communities filled with “im-mobile” homes, free market forces such as competition were lost and lot rents for captive homeowners skyrocketed in many areas of California. Proactive homeowners organized and eventually achieved rent stabilization ordinances in over 100 cities or counties in California to combat the contagious greed of many MH community operators. These ordinances protected not only homeowners, they protected lenders, dealers, manufacturers as well, while providing a “just and reasonable” return on investment for community operators, a similar standard as used in regulating utility rates. Local rent ordinances also helped fuel local economies by keeping more dollars in the pockets of homeowners to spend on goods and services rather than being sent to out-of-town operators in the form of excessive rent.”

Sheahan’s use of the term “im-mobile homes” is intelligent and insightful.  He thoughtfully explained that the phrase came from a researcher’s paper some years ago. He’s quite right to say that it’s not easy, instead it is costly, to move a manufactured home. Thus, the phrase, “im-mobile home.”

But the cost of a move for “im-mobile” manufactured homes (MH) are hardly the only factor that causes rising site fees in some communities. The proof is simple. In many parts of the country where land-lease site fees are rising rapidly – regardless of the cost – where would you move that “im-mobile home” to? Where are the new land-lease communities being opened in California, or many other states, that would keep the law of supply and demand in balance?

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Click here or the above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

Because it’s a combination of factors, including a lack of new construction of land-lease communities, that results in what Sheahan called “manufactured housing done extremely wrong,” when he, NMHOA or MHAction blast so-called ‘greedy’ property owners who aggressively hike a community’s site fees.

Sheahan’s own comments indirectly suggest as much, because it was during the MH community (MHC) building boom of the 1970s that MHC site fees were kept lower and in check.

So shouldn’t that be part of Sheahan and resident group’s arguments? That more communities need to be built, and more opportunities should be opened up for keeping site fees naturally in check?

The ‘two great laws’ could be one of those places where residents and manufactured home professionals – most notably, the small to mid sized independents – could find common ground.

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

 

George Allen, Marty Lavin – Periodic De Facto Allies With Sheahan?

Sheahan is not without de facto defenders, at least in part, among the ranks of manufactured housing professionals who oppose heavy hikes in manufactured home site fees on residents. For example, former community owners George Allen on his blog and Marty Lavin, JD, in recent comments to MHProNews have publicly attacked manufactured home community owners who have aggressively hiked site fees.

Lavin admits in written comments that he once did the same as community owners that raised rents to the point that residents moved out and legislators with rent control on their minds wanted to move in.  Lavin said that he realized through that process the error of that way.

He now cautions community owners from adopting that practice.

As Lavin told the Daily Business News on MHProNews in commenting about recent media reports that proved to be another black eye to the industry, “Sure, like most LLC [land lease community] owners, I railed at rent control. Hated it. Rent control was wrong, an intrusion on my property rights, raising rents was perfectly safe to do, a good business move, and it should be prohibited to have rent control! Over time, as I saw the destructive results of heavy rent and fee increases in LLCs, my thoughts shifted. There was a heavy bludgeon to the face to bring me around.”

That noted, a demonstrable problem that contributes to the concerns Sheahan and Lavin have described are land use policies.

Restrictive land-use, coupled with NIMBY-driven reactions, has demonstrably kept more manufactured home communities from being developed.  Restrictive land-use, and failure to enforce the enhanced preemption that the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 established, have made it more difficult for those facing higher site fees.

With reduced options for tens of thousands of manufactured home owners in land-leases who’ve faced heavier site fee hikes, that can seem like what community owner Frank Rolfe referred to as customers being chained to the booth of a Waffle House restaurant.

But those comments by Rolfe and Lavin need to be taken in their context. Former community owner Allen, by comparison, simply leveled a blast at those who have done such heavy-handed practices, arguably as a way of dodging his relationships to those who generate problematic headlines. See a related report, linked below.

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

In roughly the last 2 decades, thousands of more communities have closed as opposed to opening. These are market forces that Sheahan, Weymouth, or others don’t normally address as factors that directly contribute to rising site fees. See those related reports, linked below

Hundreds of New Manufactured Home Communities Opened, But How Many Have Closed? Industry Research Result$

So it is a variety of market-based issues, some having nothing to do with ‘greed,’ that contribute to higher costs for community owners, which in turn are passed on to residents.

  • Mr. Sheahan, and
  • Rob Weymouth, writing columns supported by the DMHOA – affiliates of NMHOA and MHAction – have apparently failed to consider or mention those as serious reasons.
  • Furthermore – and here’s where the avoidable tragedioes occurs – when resident groups unjustly protest, they are arguably contributing to a troubled image that can make the cycle described herein demonstrably worse.
  • MHProNews has argued for years that there is a better way for residents and businesses alike. The goal should be mutual victories – win-win – or the outcome will be win-lose. Who is going to benefit from those win-lose battles?  If you read what Weymouth and Sheahan both say, it is often going to be the few, and they will tend to be the larger consolidators of independently owned communities.
  • The reason is the law of supply and demand.  The supply side must be addressed, or the rising demand will only make the current trends worse.

See that column by Weymouth, and comments from his supporters, at the related report, linked below. As an FYI to those who’ve read that report, this is the promised “Part 2” follow up to it.

MH Communities, Owners, MH Independents Alert – NMHOA and MHAction Next Steps? – Part 1

In a free market, the solution that ought to be encouraged is the construction of more manufactured home communities.  Sheahan’s own comments above demonstrated that it was during that phase of the industry’s history that site fees were kept in check. Of course, because there was competition.

Competition for manufactured home owners kept site fees in check.

But land-use, local NIMBYism – arguably made worse by protests and legal battles – have eroded the climate that made the creation of thousands of manufactured home communities by small to mid sized businesses a norm in years gone by.

How to reverse the vexing trends of recent decades?

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has argued that it can be accomplished in part by making make more home sites available through a robust application by HUD of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 with local public officials.

There are fundamentally two paths.

  • The right combination of well informed and motivated residents combined with ethical businesses working together, which could lead to mutual victories through a savvy use of the free market.
  • Or by contrast, failure to act in win-win ways punishes the thousands of community owners who don’t do what Sheahan, Weymouth, Allen, and Lavin all say is wrong.  Who suffers?  Residents and small-to-mid sized businesses.  Larger businesses have historically proven to benefit vis a viz their smaller brethren in business when heavier regulations, including rent control or other factors, are in play.

 

Putting Facts in Perspective

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) statistics, their “data,” and claims are often wrong, as the Daily Business News on MHProNews has periodically pointed out.  MHI claims are unreliable often enough where they merit this type of disclaimer.

That said, MHI claims that site fees at manufactured home communities nationally average about 3 percent annually, similar to increases at apartments, but much lower than what property tax rates hikes are in markets from coast-to-coast.

CNBC reports that property values have doubled in the last 5 years, per ATTOM, and that some housing markets are seeing year over year (YoY) increases from 38 percent to 75 percent. RentCafe said 2017 increases in apartments were 2.5 percent over the prior year.

As WalletHub pointed out this year, “And though property taxes might appear to be a non-issue for the 37 percent of renter households, that couldn’t be further from the truth. We all pay property taxes, whether directly or indirectly, as they impact the rent we pay as well as the finances of state and local governments.”

WalletHubRealEstatePropertyTaxesByState2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The rent-control that Weymouth, DMHOA, NMHOA, MHAction and others promote will arguably only make the problem worse.  It is worth noting that not one official from NMHOA or MHAction would accept the offer of MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach to publicly discuss or debate the issues that led Weymouth to call on more Democrats to be elected.  Yet Weymouth himself admits that the rent control law his state’s legislature passed was “useless.”

In a Canadian province, their rent control law has likewise witnessed a shrinkage in home sites, as manufactured home communities close.  The result?  Similar to places, such as California, where when a community closes, it becomes difficult – as well as costly – to find another manufactured home community to move into.

The pattern described in the article below will arguably continue, so long as directives and roadblocks remain for the construction of new communities.  The other side of rent control is that fewer communities are being built.  However well intended Weymouth and Sheahan may be, good intentions can still have unintended and problematic consequences. The very things that Sheahan, Weymouth and others rails against are conditions created by heavy regulations, such as rent control.

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

 

Avoidable Tragedies for MH Owners and Businesses Alike?

Sheahan and others affiliated with NMHOA or MHAction cite specific community owners as their examples for aggressive hikes in site fees.

MHI award winner Lavin says:

  • the MH lending fiasco in the late 1990s and early 2000s,
  • plus those in the community sector that do aggressive hikes that residents like Sheahan have protested,

have harmed the entire manufactured home industry’s image among regulators, lenders, investors, and the public.

If so, then is there an analogy – a parallel – in the MH industry and community sector to what Daily Business News readers discovered from the Poverty, Inc video report?

IfYouReallyWanttoHelpPovertyThenthepovertyIndustryAsWeKnowitHastoGoPovertyIncQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Well intentioned programs have proven to hurt the very people they are supposed to help. That’s the contention of the highly acclaimed video documentary, “Poverty, Inc.” See clips and Learn more at the link below.

Acclaimed Poverty Inc. Video, MHVille – Why Left & Right Should Listen, Learn From Each Other

Is there a need to rethink the true root causes of the issues that face residents along with the honorable professionals in the industry?  Is there a need for more than good will?  A combination of the heart and the head working together?  That’s what Poverty, Inc. advocates.

It remains to be seen if some of the leadership of resident groups would enter into a serious discussion/debate over what would really work long-term for all involved.

What seems clear at this point is that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) leadership has arguably rejected the possible courses of action that would be good for residents and small-to-mid-sized businesses alike. As Lavin has said, they operate on behalf of the big boys.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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

The industry’s most recent results suggest that by year’s end, something like 100,000 (+/-) new manufactured homes could be built.  But it should and could be more like 1 million (+/-) new homes annually that are needed to close the gap in affordable housing. Consider what the National Association of Realtors™ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had to say about supply, demand and its impact on price hikes.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

Those same principles outlined by Yun need to be generously applied to manufactured housing.

There are many contributing causes that explain the gap between how manufactured housing as an industry is performing, how it worked in the past, and how it could or should be.  The evidence reviewed in numerous reports on MHProNews reveals the gap and its causes.  See the linked related reports, found further below.  But this next Lavin-ism is worth mentioning.

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

The logic of this statement can be applied to a variety of cases.

What is certain is that how homeowner groups – or associations such as MHI, MHARR, NFIB or others – behave publicly in ways that contribute to the cure or the cause of that gap.

MHARR and NFIB are demonstrably acting in ways that are improving the business climate.  By contrast, MHI is continuing to behave much as they have since Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway entered into manufactured housing in 2003, and began the takeover of MHI.  MHI acts in favor of their largest members, is what Lavin and others have said.

Getting headlines may create a thrill for some among resident-activists, but isn’t the bottom line result the more important metric?

The evidence suggests that NMHOA, MHAction – however well intended their members may be – are being led down a problematic path that has never produced the outcome they desired.

As the midterms approach, there are broadly speaking, two choices for resident and other groups.

  • Which political party is advocating for failed approaches, such as rent control?
  • Which party has done better in recent years for elevating the incomes and opportunities for workers?
  • Which party in recent years has done more for creating the kind of investor/capital environment that has lead to more business and job growth?
  • Which party is working toward more housing options, including more manufactured homes and communities?

Before you cast your ballots, get informed. Because the right vote can accelerate the real progress being made for manufactured housing during the still young Trump Administration. The wrong vote can slow or even reverse that progress.

Former President Barack Obama had eight years in the Oval Office. His first two of those eight years his party had control of the House, and Senate.  We should ask Mr. Weymouth and Mr. Sheahan:

  • Exactly what did Democrats do on a practical level that lifted up residents of manufactured housing?
  • Didn’t the rate of home ownership decline during the last Democratic Administration?
  • Didn’t the super-rich billionaire class – people like Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos Bill Gates, and other supporters of Mr. Obama – grow richer?
  • Meanwhile, didn’t the working and middle class tread water or lose ground?
  • Didn’t small business suffer during the Obama years, while the giants and their lobbyists thrived?

YouAreEntitledtoYourOwnOpinions.ButYouAreNotEntitledToYourOwnFactsDanielPatrickMoynihanDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There’s talk and there’s results. There is style and there is substance. There’s feel good belief, and then there is evidence and facts. Which do you want? “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Related Reports:

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

 

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

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

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

September 5th, 2018 Comments off

 

StegmayerAllenRoanePhotosFHFAMHIFannieFreddieLogos

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

 

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

I) Be polite.

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

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

IV) Here’s an easy way to do this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

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

Here are 8 suggested questions, these will suggest others.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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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.

Related Reports:

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

 

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

 

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

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

Town’s Stance Against “Mobile Homes” Caused Division, Uncertainty – MH Association Reacts, Video, Report

July 20th, 2018 Comments off

WelcometoMcBeeMarkDillardSCManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In May, the McBee Town Council passed a temporary moratorium on manufactured homes from being placed in that town’s city limits.

 

WISTV reports that the motion read, “Mobile Homes are prohibited from being placed on any lot within the town limits of McBee, South Carolina and any current uninhabited mobile homes cannot be occupied and that the Mobile Home Ordinance will be reviewed and updated within the next 90 days.”

I’m a single mother of four kids. I’m going to try not to cry,” said Carrie Johnson, with her voice faltering with emotion. “I’m mad, I’m angry, and I’m hurt.”

Johnson, and her four daughters had been living in two-room single section home, stated WISTV, but then she got good news: a plan to rent a double wide1 and move it to the small town of McBee.”

I’ve seen pictures of it, and it’s beautiful. To me, it would be their mansion,” she said of the manufactured home.

The sudden controversy has caused some like Johnson to feel less than welcome, said WISTV. The resident feels like she’s thought of as “trailer trash” or a “second-class citizen” in the Town of McBee, “a town where some estimate there are more mobile homes1 than stick-built homes.”

But Johnson says that slice of her American Dream is now uncertain, due to McBee’s planned change in their ordinance.

According to a councilman Kemp McLeod, McBee simply isn’t discriminating at all. “It’s not the intent of the town to judge anybody,” he said. The town needed to make sure manufactured homes weren’t blocking right-of-ways, were hooking up to the water system correctly, and weren’t devaluing homes already here.

But that councilman’s statement reflects a common mistaken notion is disproven by Trulia and a study by two economic researchers, previously reported in the report linked below.

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

McLeod’s comment also represents a potential unjust taking, as was a decision in a recent court ruling in a high court ruling in Iowa.

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

 

Associations, Associations…

The Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina is working with the city officials in McBee,” said Mark Dillard, Executive Director Manufactured Housing Institute of SC (MHISC) to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

We’ve offered to help them put together an updated manufactured home ordinance.  We’ve always found it works well to get with officials during the early drafting stage,” Dillard said.That’s when you can have the most influence.”

That fits with what MHISC’s Ed Schafer said to MHProNews in 2016, who’s praise for forward looking towns hints that there are others that aren’t so open minded.

Zoning, Opening up Urban Infill and Making Sure Citizens who want Manufactured Homes are Heard

 

But the battles in South Carolina – which has one of the highest percentage of manufactured homes in the housing stock – rages on there, and elsewhere in the U.S. too.

ManufacturedHousingShareofOccupiedHousingUnitsBystateCFPB2014WhitePaperManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBUisnessNewsMHPronews

Third-party researchers who’ve been contacting MHProNews have asked variations of the following question. ‘Given the national scope of the problem, isn’t this something that a national trade association should be addressing?’

Fair question. Two MHI connected sources suggested to MHProNews today that MHI has not taken any apparent interst in the McBee matter.

It’s one of the reasons why the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has said that a new national post-production association is needed to supplant what is often seen as the failures of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) from habitually acting.

Those failures aren’t new, argued former MHI award winner, Marty Lavin, who explained that MHI has long worked in favor of the interests of their largest members.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

Long time, now former, MHI member George Allen recently said that the problem with MHI is summed up as “Perennial corporate consolidation and power plays among far too few elite producers of HUD-Code manufactured homes, along with far too few purveyors of chattel capital…”

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

The graphic above was a prior set of similar comments by Allen, who regular Daily Business News readers know has some of his own controversies.

While some might quibble over Allen’s conclusion, the problem he described echoes a point Sam Zell has also made.  High regulatory barriers results in more consolidation.

ELS’ Sam Zell – Compliance Costs Destroys Smaller Businesses = Consolidation

But beyond the cost to business, is the far higher cost to would be manufactured home owners.

MHI in recent years has responded only after months, or years, of pressures from within the industry, per voices inside and outside of that trade body.

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

That failure to provide genuine representation is among the reasons why the Arizona and Nevada community owners associations have launched their own national body with a focus on communities.

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

The steady spread of local jurisdictions attempting to zone out, or outright ban, manufactured homes has led a non-profit to take legal action. For more on that, see the related report, linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Footnote 1: typo or terminological error is in the original WISTV report. As LMHA’s Steve Duke, JD, has said, “The terminology matters because the terminology defines the construction standards.” 

SteveDukeLMHATheTerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDefinesTheConstructionStandardsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/your-words-matter-proper-terminology-for-factory-built-homes/

Related Reports:

“’Trailer Trash’? Watch Who You’re Insulting When You Throw Around Those Words” – Buffalo News

 

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

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

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

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.

 

George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

June 6th, 2018 Comments off

DarrylSearerGeorgeAllenSpencerRoaneTomLackeyRVMHHallofFameSECOCommunitiesSymposioumExposeMakeManufacturedHousingGreatAgain

Finally, in 2018, a rallying cry, an apt theme, a worthy goal, for the manufactured housing industry! Here it is: Make Manufactured Housing Great Again!”

So said Vietnam veteran, MH Industry blogger, and retired Marine Lt. Col. George F. Allen, on 6.4.2018.

Perhaps he’s forgetting that ‘his’ theme was a headline and featured image he and a number of his readers likely saw here on the Daily Business News approaching two years ago. Note the date on the screen capture.

MartyLavinMakeManufaturedHousingGreatAgainMartyLavinDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsReplyToGeorgeAllen

It should be noted that the Daily Buisness News periodically references this article, and the featured image has been shown several times since it was first published. Thus, Allen has likely picked up that Make Manufactured Housing Great Again phrase right here.

 

Prologue

As an upcoming MHProNews report will demonstrate, there are:

  • multi-billion-dollars-a-year in missed new manufactured home sales opportunities,
  • as well as ethical reasons

why Allen’s recent blog-post is worthy of a few minutes consideration.

While some of what Allen wrote will debatably be shown as problematic, plagiaristic, etc., there are also a range of useful, timely, and important issues he has once again brought to light.

So, a careful reading of each part of this analysis is warranted. If you’re in a hurry, let’s politely suggest that you read this later, as a skim will likely cause misreading of this report.

Because even though he’s arguably ‘stepped in it’ here or there, the moving-toward-retirement Allen has provided a fresh glimpse at important issues. Thus, we’ll correct-the-record in the fisking of his post where needed, but the focus will be why his latest topic matters, though perhaps not always as he intended.

This analysis will also point out Allen’s reply to the controversy which erupted after mainstream media reporter Tyler Jett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press quoted Allen, and his COBA7/SECO buddy, Spencer Roane, defended embattled SECO board member, Thomas Lackey.

Lackey’s community business stands accused by several consumers, media, plus local officials, of allegedly “selling” homes “contract for title” that he did not own.

So, top to bottom, this will be a careful fact check, and analysis of issues that Allen raised and purports to address.

As Allen and Roane get stage-time, promotion, and support from some state associations, plus an industry museum, this analysis will be important for more than land-lease community operators.  Allen and Company’s actions impact retailers, producers, associations, and thus all sectors in manufactured housing.

Each section of this analysis relates to the ethics, image, and profit issue raised in the report linked below.

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

With that prolouge, let’s follow several more lines from Allen’s latest missive.

 

“Yes, You’re…Right!” Says Allen

 Continuing that ‘borrowed’ theme of “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again,” publisher and COBA7 leader Allen said this.

Yes, you’re reading that right! It ‘says it all’,” opined Allen, “hinting at our turn of the century loss of easy access to chattel capital, to the reality that quality, energy efficient, attractive HUD-Code manufactured housing can be, & is, the practical answer to the ‘affordable housing’ crisis!”

There too, Allen borrows a theme from another article first published by MHLivingNews years ago.  The linked articles can be accessed later, and are provided to document facts Allen neglected, or are otherwise related.

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

The refrain of “manufactured housing as the solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight” is one which several mainstream media outlets have since picked up, using it in a positive way.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

Editorially, we note that even when MHProNews dives into a seemingly negative issue, it is with the intent to heal, not harm.  Borrowing a principle from my better half’s profession, an untreated disease can kill a person.  A proverbial cancer in a business can kill a firm too.  Or if the plague spreads extensively enough, ‘cancer’ can be the death of a marginal or vulnerable industry.  The proper response to phyiscal or professional illness isn’t turning a blind eye, but rather, to treat the causes of the issue.

Next comes Allen’s literal punch line, allegedly aimed at this publication.

Plus, is the manufactured housing trade press up to the task of promoting this end, or still mired in backstabbing & innuendo?”

George, we’re not only “up for that challenge,” we’re happy to stand on our record of doing positive promotion and problem solving, not just talking about it.

As the above links demonstrated, it’s Allen who provided a selfy-style photo fit to sit next to the textbook definition of Chutzpah.

ChutzpahCartoonIdLikeThisBookOnChutzpahandIWantYouToPayForItWikiDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Some of Allen’s followers have periodically forwarded examples of his alleged “back stabbing,” so the quoted phrase arguably are more posturing for his audience than an actual challenge.

But for the second week in a row, what his opinion piece never does is directly address the serious allegations of wrongdoing raised by the Times Free Press, or the Daily Business News.   What’s George’s Answer to the Times Free Press, and other allegations? 

Allen’s answer is no answer.  Instead, he arguably practices the Ds of duck, dodge, detract, distract, and defame.

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

The absence of any denials or correction from Allen leaves him reduced to name calling, finger pointing at others, and a series of interesting distractions. Said themes are perhaps an attempt to take his readers minds off the woes Allen, Roane, and Lackey have voluntarily stepped into, see the above linked article for more details.

 

Chutzpah and Hypocrisy or MAGA on Display? Decoding Allen 

The above is arguably vintage Allen, according to veteran “Allen decoders,” which includes readers of his who are readers here. It’s his own readers who tipped us about some of his recent emailed messages, and posts.

Allen has “the chutzpah” to misappropriate themes first published by each of our trade media sites, while attempting to point fingers? Was that something he learned or taught in one of the Bible lessons he’s been known to share? If so, Oy-vez! 

But in fairness, again, besides metaphorically inedible chaff (e.g.: some of his quotes above), Allen provides some fine wheat too, which will be examined further below. Both the chaff and the wheat are useful to understand, because he’s public.

He, Roane, and Lackey are part of the forging of the problematic image of our largely noble industry.

So, let’s dig deeper into the thoughts of Allen, an RV MH Hall of Fame inductee.

 

Allen’s Bold Red Herrings…

The timing of Allen’s chest-thumping and finger-pointing are both noteworthy. He admits in his own post that his star has been sinking, because he admits to declining attendance at his round-table, and in his readership.

While admitting declines, he then lashes out with verbal challenges he posed to his long-time peers, and supporters. On several levels, they are stunning. 

Seemingly ignoring any suggestion that his or SECO’s Spencer Roane protection of scandal-challenged Tom Lackey – spotlighted by a mainstream media reporter Tyler Jett – was in any way flawed, he ignores those scandals and controversies, while lashing out at his peers and followers.

Allen – who his friends remind this writer knows and likes magic tricks – arguably attempts a series of verbal slights-of-hand.

 

Allen Lashes Out At Land Lease Community Owners, and Other Operations

Paraphrasing an unnamed source, Allen said:

I cringe every time I hear someone talk of these [land lease manufactured home] communities as being ‘cash cows’ – ready for the milking; real estate brokers casually talk of how easy it is to upgrade; and, others advocate ‘fix & flip’ strategies. Every time someone overpays for one of these communities, the writing is on the wall, warning the rest of us will suffer the consequences.”

While there are elements of tasteless wheat present in that quote, how many of his followers realize that it’s Allen, Roane, and Lackey who are putting the reputation of good communities or honest retailers at risk?

Haven’t the apparently unrepentant trio made themselves the poster children for yet another series of problematic reports that make our industry look bad? Haven’t they done so at the precise time manufactured homes (MH) are needed by millions?

Chutzpah firmly in hand, Allen plows ahead.

Your experience with neighboring communities that went downhill, reputation and appearance-wise, during 30 years of passing from one owner to another, is a sad but accurate testament to what happens when owners/operators don’t understand the cost of maintaining, let alone upgrading such properties; don’t have the funds to do so; or just don’t care,” the reportedly now-former MH Community owner Allen wrote.

 

TomLackeySECO2018-06-06_1742PlanningCommitteeSECODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Isn’t Allen describing the kind of problematic property that Tom Lackey is accused of running? If so, why isn’t he just calling him out, and calling for his ouster from the SECO planning committee? Why are MHInsider, and MHR promting this trio of trouble?

Allen continues, “There’s nary a land lease community owner reading these words who hasn’t experienced similar scenarios, whether they’ve suffered the consequences of being a neighbor to such malaise or profiteering – or, sorry to say, are guilty of it themselves! Yes, this is where the image improvement, affordable housing, and desirable lifestyle cycle begins and ends. Where do your properties fit into this perennial cycle?”

So, what are you doing; what are you willing to do, as a land lease community owner, to MAKE MANUFACTURED HOUSING GREAT AGAIN!?” said Allen.

Doesn’t he boldly ignore his, Roane’s, and Lackey’s hypocrisy? Isn’t the retired colonel finger-pointing in almost every direction – save the face in his mirror – odd, given he fails to hold himself or his colleagues to similar ethical standards?

Can you spell “Chutzpah,” George?  Are you colonel up to the challenge of debating all of this publicly, on video?

 

Here Comes Red Meat. Allen’s Shots at MHI, and a Swing-and-a-Miss at MHARR

In addressing the issue raised by MHARR about the lack of an effective post-production sector association, Allen says the following.

For example; it’s a given, HUD-Code housing manufacturers, the Big Three C firms in particular – who controlling 70%+/- national market share, are in the driver’s seat at the Manufactured Housing Institute they fund.”

On technical points, the soon—to-be-retiring Allen may not have noticed that the Skyline Champion deal closed Monday, so it’s no longer the 3Cs.

Skyline Champion Corporation Created as Skyline and Champion Home Builders Announce Closing of Business Combination, Exclusive Details

Nor did he notice the graphic below, which based upon their respective corporate data, reflects the fact that the big three now have 80 (+/-) percent of new HUD Code manufactured home production market share.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Allen’s points are interesting, and in a few moments, it will point to the challenge revealed in the trend spotlighted in the MHProNews graphic, above.

Factual errors aside, Allen’s next point is wheat.

Weak Link? The post-production sector,” wrote Allen – with post-production sector = code words for MHI. “In fairness, this industry observer can only opine on one of several sectors, that comprised of land lease community owners/operators nationwide. And yes, in my opinion, that sector continues to ‘go begging’ for attention and support, via advocacy and representation, within and outside Washington, DC. Not much [to] point [to] here, to repeat the ills and shortfalls of [MHI/NCC] leadership to date…”

What’s interesting, is that Allen has privately and in writing admitted his COBA7 isn’t an association, and doesn’t do the work of an association.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

From a prior George Allen blog post.  The insights above are one of several reasons one can’t ignore the man, because he does make some arguably valid points – the wheat must be separated from the chaff.

The following is an extended, and interesting, extended quote from his June 4, 2018 blog. Typos are in the original (disclaimer/note: in our blizzard of publishing and other industry related work, we have typos too).

Referring to the same MHARR Press Release, five tasks are recommended for attention to MHI and or, as MHARR puts it, “a new independent, collective, national post-production association.”. Heavily edited, they include:

  • Aggressively engage in all aspects of manufactured housing consumer finance 1) including secondary market support for – and securitization of – all types of manufactured home loans…”, & 2) establish secondary market for home sales.
  • Effectively oppose local regulatory and zoning barriers to all forms of affordable housing, and the development of land lease communities.
  • Ensure reasonable, cost-effective housing installation and placement criteria promoting balance between regulation and affordability. Frost Free Foundations!
  • Promote professional property management within land lease communities, as well as strong, effective representation and advocacy on the national level.
  • Commit to and engage in national brand advertising, to stimulate and maintain growth and prosperity throughout the manufactured housing industry.

No question but that they’re many other measures to achieve this end, but it’s a start. Perhaps the overarching goal, among all manufactured housing-related trade sectors should simply, to

Make Manufactured Housing Great Again!

There are several points worth pondering in the above, which was inspired by MHARR’s June report, linked here.

 

Final Swipes, Allen’s Own Admissions, and Contradictory Praise 

Allen admits he’s no longer as diligent in writing, and is no longer as read as he once was. It’s a note of humility.

He praises other trade publications, including one where his own work appears. Go figure. It’s worth noting that he praised MHInsider, which in turn has recently promoted Allen again.  MHInsider did so, even after he, Roane, and Lackey have attracted a wave of negative media.  Those are the ‘insiders’ – their self-description – go figure.

But the oddity from the AllenWorld vantage point is that those periodicals are tilted strongly toward MHI, which Allen bashed moments before. If you want consistency in thought, is that Allen?

Then without naming the publications or the publisher he borrowed his blog post theme of – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again” – namely, MHProNews and MHLivingNews, he takes the following vague shot.

Quoting that part verbatim, without editing or filling in via [brackets] intended or implied words, he says of this publication team;

One online ezine, reportedly widely known – in this industry observer’s opinion – risks discrediting, as it brick bats those whose words and actions don’t mirror or support the editorial stance, and industry agenda, espoused by said ezine. One way to evaluate practitioners of such a fifth estate, is to number, identify, and critique the writing quality its’ stable of writers.”

It’s another classic Allenism, which only Allenites and Allen decoders can understand.  Keep in mind the “decoding Allen” tip from a former Allen client, found in the article linked below. “With George, it’s AAA.  All About Allen.”

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

Apparently, it is OK for Allen to critique the industry, which he clearly — and arguably, correctly —  believes that critique is necessary to advance the cause of manufactured housing.

Let’s underscore that point of his, because a good critique, and analysis are needed to make the manufactured housing industry great again.

Put differently, Allen is right to say that there are several festering issues that are harming the industry’s advancement.

But what some of Allen’s own followers tell MHProNews is this. It’s essential to have standards to base a critique on. It’s about principles, not mere posturing.  Lip service is posturing for an audience. Thus our topic on ethics, linked below.

 

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

Allen and this writer agree on some issues, such as the troubling patterns, and arguably abject failures of MHI to represent the interests of the industry at large.

Despite numerous efforts by this writer over the years to bridge the gap with Allen, and get him off mere platitudes and to consistently focus on issues that matter, the reality is it hasn’t worked yet.

 

Allen’s Several Gifts to the MH Industry

All that said, the debatably plagiarizing, narcissistic Allen has done, and/or has attempted to do, the industry several favors.

Before diving in, in fairness to the veteran, one should ask the following questions. Why is Allen so wounded? What demons does he battle?

One possible example might be how he was allegedly betrayed by the Manufactured Housing Institute/National Communities Council (MHI/NCC). How so?

Per sources, a few years ago, MHI/NCC entered into discussions with Allen to buy out his annual roundtable event, his publishing, and training. After several discussions, there was ultimately no deal made.  But as part of the buyout discussions, MHI required Allen to enter into a non-disclosure agreement, and he revealed ‘everything’ to them during those discussions.

In turn, after failing to buy out Allen, MHI’s NCC division went into direct competition with a member/company.  What MHI/NCC did by going into competition with their own dues-paying member was outrageous on its face, isn’t it?

As MHI has thus far refused to provide MHProNews with their bylaws and other non-profit documentation, it is uncertain if they violated Allen’s rights in that sense. That said, objectively and ethically speaking, it seems like a clear conflict-of-interest for MHI to compete with a smaller, dues paying member company.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoGFADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Nor is Allen alone in that regard, again per past and/or present MHI member statements.

In as much as Allen too has called out, and finally quit MHI and the NCC – the later of which he and others helped co-found – he’s also done the industry a favor.

Tossing aside the chaff, here’s a summary of the wheat.

 

Summary of the Good Wheat

Mistakes or allegations aside, “Allen and Roane” by example did the following for MHVille.

1)   Allen and Roane have shown the industry that motivated professionals can gather a group of hundreds of industry peers together.  SECO is a nonprofit, COBA7 – per sources – is not.  But they had the potential foundation for a genuine association.

2)   With the correct elements, a number of which MHARR has listed (see linked related resources, further below), a new post-production sector can be forged. Will there be one or more post-production trade associations? That remains to be seen.

3)   Allen has shown by painful example what MHI/NCC behavior looks like. What MHI/NCC did to Allen is copy several of his topics and services, and then proceed to give ‘them away with’ MHI/NCC memberships. That’s arguably unethical by MHI/NCC, and possibly illegal and/or legally actionable.

4)   Isn’t what MHI/NCC alleged to have done to Allen a variation on what MHI award winner Marty Lavin says the association has done for years?

5)   Putting that 4th point differently, Marty Lavin recently said that MHI works only for the interests of “the big boys.” The allegations, inferences – and by deductive reasoning – Allen and Lavin have made the following clear. If you aren’t a big boy operation, at MHI, your firm is a potential meal of a big boy.

Allen, Lavin, MHARR, we, and others have not necessarily been on the same page as to approaches. But all see the problems that have flowed from the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Frank Rolfe has sadly gone silent on this, allegedly enticed by Berkshire Hathaway ad dollars, and other benefits, per sources. But Rolfe was arguably correct in calling out MHI’s hypocrisy. He was debatably correct on saying that the industry’s greatest challenges are from within, i.e.: failures at MHI.

It’s on that point about MHI being a key part of the industry’s problem that:

  • Allen,
  • Lavin,
  • MHARR,
  • Rolfe,
  • Roane,
  • the AZ and NV associations – which are forming a new national communities/post-production trade association,
  • and MHProNews, thanks to those who’ve made this industry leading site possible,

…all have agreed upon.  It’s this.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

MHI’s antics tilt toward the interests of a few big companies, arguably at the expense of smaller companies.

7 Surprising Keys to Unlock Manufactured Housing Industry Sales Success

It’s sad that Allen has allegedly been wronged by an association he served for so many years. Perhaps there are good reasons for Allen’s bitterness, which may explain why he lashes out at voices – including ours – that share similar concerns.

It’s not our job to condemn anyone.  But it is the job of media – including trade media – to hold “the powers that be” accountable. Speaking “truth to power” isn’t easy or fun. It’s not to be done lightly.

  • To the extent Allen and others have raised the red flag about MHI, they are to be commended.
  • To the degree that Allen and others have arguably been wronged by MHI, they deserve justice.
  • To the degree that Allen, Roane, Lackey, and MHI have wronged others, they ought to make amends.

Again, in as much as various organizations or persons are failing to address the root issues that hold back the industry, for manufactured home professionals reading this, your share of the additional billions of dollars a year in sales are arguably being lost.

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Related Reports:

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

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

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

HUD’s New Man, Officials Statements, with Insider Info Beyond the Media Releases

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

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

 

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

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

Arial photo credit of TriStar Estate, MHC-MD.com.

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

Why Does the Controversy Matter?

Several reasons, which this report/analysis will explore.

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

Let’s briefly see what they’ve said.

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-768x388

Part of our original report, using MHI’s graphic, and citing Rolfe’s, Allen’s and MHI’s data in the text by the arrow. http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/manufactured-housing-institute-outgoing-chair-tim-williams-remarks-vs-mhi-ceo-richard-dick-jennison-comments-fact-checks/

George Allen on Community Controversy

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

GeorgeAllenCommunityInvestorBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Frank Rolfe/Dave Reynolds on Community Count Controversy

DaveReynoldsFrankRolfeRVhorizonsMobileHomeParkStoreMobileHomeUniversityBootCamps-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

Why Community Count Matters, Per Frank Rolfe

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IshbelSanchezMapletonMobileHomeParkBoulderCO-PewHuffPo-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Part of the article by Sophie Quentin, published by HuffPo and analyzed by MHProNews, at this link here. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/sophie-quinton-why-some-cities-are-buying-trailer-parks-sic-and-mobile-home-parks-sic-huffpo/

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

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

Frank Rolfe’s Upcoming New Video Statement…

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

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

ManufacturedHousingIndustry50000CommunitiesCavcoManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryFactCheckMHProNews

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

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-768x388

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

CritiqueHighlyVisibleEcnouragesIndividu8alsRaiseStandardsDavidDidauQuoteMastheadBlogManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

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

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

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

PromotingHomeOwnershipMobileHomeParkClosurePaulBradleyROCUSA_postedManufacturedHousingIndustryVoices-MHProNews-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TitusDareEageOneFinancial4SSafeSoundSanitarySustainable-postedIndustryVoicesMHProNews-com-

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

Calling on MHI to Correct and Maintain an Accurate Record

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.)