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

June 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

WhatCongressionalRepsSenatorsIndustryProfessionalsShouldBeAskingGSEDutyToServeManufacturedHousingMHProNews

There are several ways to understand people and organizations. One method, is to listen to what they say.

 

Another is to see how what they claim compares to what they actually do. 

Yet another is the investigator’s method, which is “follow the money.”

A classic variation on the above is the question: Cui Bono? Who benefits?

Toadies and lemmings will simply follow mindlessly, even if they are following a ‘leader’ over a cliff.

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MHInsider, George Allen, others are arguably the current examples of toadies to the industry’s powers that be.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has been pushing, prodding, and calling for action, not words by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with respect to their congressionally mandated Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing.

By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has taken money from the GSEs to sponsor events that have failed to deliver DTS.

Who benefits from that, other than the largest corporate players that are trying to consolidate manufactured housing into ever fewer hands?

With that introduction, let’s dive into MHARR’s release, which follows below. That will be followed by some additional comments, links, insights, and information. 

MHARRlogoMHARRNewsHeaderMHProNews

MHARR REITERATES CALL FOR DTS INVESTIGATION

 

Washington, D.C., June 18, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), in a June 13, 2019 communication to Fannie Mae Vice President Jonathan Lawless (copy attached), has reiterated its call for a congressional investigation into the failure of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement the statutory Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) in relation to manufactured home personal property (or “chattel) loans.  Those loans, which provide consumers with the most affordable access to the nation’s most affordable non-subsidized homes, comprise nearly 80% of the manufactured consumer lending market.  Nearly 11 years after the enactment of DTS as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), however, neither Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac have purchased any manufactured housing personal property loans pursuant to that mandate – which expressly includes such personal property loans – let alone provided the type of market significant securitization and secondary market support that Congress envisioned.  Indeed, even an extremely limited and highly restricted “pilot program” for such loans has yet to materialize after nearly two years of empty promises, and is referred to by Fannie Mae as only a “potential” pilot program. 

Instead of providing such crucial support for the largest single segment of the manufactured housing consumer lending market and mainstream, inherently affordable manufactured homes, as MHARR’s communication notes, both Fannie and Freddie have instead prioritized pilot programs for much higher-cost manufactured homes, as well as a supposed “new class” of manufactured homes with retail purchase prices as high as $220,000.00 – as contrasted with an average purchase of $71,900.00 for all types of existing, mainstream, HUD Code manufactured homes. Consequently, instead of expanding access to the industry’s most affordable mainstream homes, as DTS was designed to do, both Fannie and Freddie continue to discriminate against mainstream manufactured housing and mainstream manufactured housing purchasers, effectively forcing them into higher-interest loans offered by the finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerates, while stifling the recovery and market growth of the manufactured housing industry during a prolonged affordable housing crisis.  Indeed, this type of sustained institutional resistance to the full and proper implementation of DTS and the resulting ongoing discrimination against lower and moderate-income consumers of manufactured housing is, in substantial part, an outgrowth of the continuing failure of the industry’s post-production sector – dominated by the industry’s largest corporate conglomerates – to demand full compliance with DTS for manufactured housing.

Based, therefore, on the lack of any significant progress toward the market-significant implementation of DTS with respect to the vast bulk of the manufactured housing consumer financing market and apparent diversion of DTS activity into new, higher-cost types of hybrid manufactured homes, MHARR has called for a congressional investigation of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their federal regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), with respect to unconscionable and unnecessary delays in the implementation of DTS for mainstream, HUD Code manufactured housing.

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

 

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 512

Washington D.C. 20004

Phone: 202/783-4087

Fax: 202/783-4075

Email: MHARR@MHARRPUBLICATIONS.COM

— 30 —

 

Think about what these MHI past and present members have said, and ask yourself, who side is MHI on?

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What Haney’s statement reflects is the lack of credibility and effectiveness of MHI in their claims.

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

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

 

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Then, ask yourself, why hasn’t MHI done what MHARR is doing?

That’s tonight’s final installment of manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © here “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.) ##

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

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

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

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

 

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https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/time-to-investigate-fannie-and-freddies-mishandling-of-dts/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

March 12th, 2019 Comments off

 

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The source of the following memo is known to have served on one or more Duty to Serve (DTS) committee(s) with the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, other Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff, and MHI member companies that participated in various discussions about access to lower cost lending for manufactured homes.

 

Never forget, not every MHI member agrees with what the Arlington, VA based trade group is doing.

The memo itself says it was not for attribution, meaning it was sent to MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach for consideration of coverage on an ‘off the record’ basis.

The edits by the Daily Business News are shown in brackets, for example, to make clear that the sender provided an article from Housing Wire and was commenting on it.

The memo raises several troubling concerns that parallel issues that MHProNews has previously spotlighted. First, here’s the text of the memo to MHProNews.

 

Tony:

[I] offer the following points with respect to the article…[below from Housing Wire] on GSE reform and MHI signed on to – and thereby promoting — a “go slow” approach. These are not for specific attribution…but point out the hypocrisy inherent in MHI’s conflicting positions:

1.     How can MHI claim to be pressing the GSEs to implement DTS in a timely fashion, when they simultaneously advocate a “go slow” approach to needed GSE reforms overall? 

2.     How can MHI align itself with the site-built industry, which does not want GSE reform to negatively impact their much larger purchase-money loans (thus the overly-cautious go-slow approach), when the HUD Code manufactured housing industry wants and needs – on an expedited basis – GSE support for its much smaller consumer loans?

3.     This amounts to an “unholy alliance” between MHI and the site-built industry, which is trying to preserve its virtual monopoly on GSE support.

4.     This, however, is consistent with – and would seem to confirm – that MHI and large HUD Code manufacturers have cut a bargain with the GSEs and FHFA to divert much of DTS to a euphemistic “new class” of homes, which are not mainstream, affordable, manufactured homes (and particularly not chattel-financed manufactured homes).

5.     How can MHI claim to be working in Congress to enact beneficial reforms for the HUD Code industry when they are simultaneously trying to effectively slow-roll reforms that have already been mandated by Congress as part of DTS?

Conclusion: There can be no legitimate or acceptable private explanation or excuse by MHI behind closed doors for the predicament that they’ve placed the industry in with this action.  Instead, the inherent hypocrisy must be exposed and openly debated.”

  

MHI, Clayton and their allies have ducked such debate before.  The memo’s commentary and analysis draws to a conclusion with the words, “See the full article below.” That article by Housing Wire said the following, and is provided under fair use guidelines that apply for media.

 

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Shown for illustration purposes, this isn’t directly related to Housing Wire’s report.

Housing industry to FHFA: Go slow on GSE reform

Letter encourages agency to make affordable housing a priority

March 6, 2019

By Kelsey Ramírez

 

Talk of housing reform is heating up, and now several members of the housing industry are encouraging the Federal Housing Finance Agency not to go too fast, and to make sure affordable housing remains a priority throughout the process.

 

Many key members of the housing industry sent a letter to the FHFA, encouraging it to build on the current structure of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

“As the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) begins its next chapter under new leadership, our organizations seek to emphasize the vital role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), currently play in the mortgage market,” the letter, addressed to FHFA Acting Director Joseph Otting, said. “There is a unique opportunity today to maintain and build on important progress that has already been achieved in reforming the operations of the GSEs since the financial crisis.”

 

The letter states that GSE reform and an end to the conservatorship is ultimately necessary in order to ensure the safety and soundness of the housing market.

However, the letter encourages policymakers to act slowly and carefully.

 

“Any efforts to meaningfully change the GSEs’ market presence must be undertaken carefully, with vigilant monitoring and frequent recalibration (if necessary) to avoid disruptions to the flow of mortgage credit into the single-family and multifamily real estate markets,” it states. “Efforts to reduce the GSEs’ footprint should not move forward unless there is compelling evidence that the private market is able to assume an expanded role.”

 

The housing industry argued that GSE reform should accomplish two key objectives:

 

1. Preserving what works in the current system

2. Maintaining stability by avoiding unintended adverse consequences for borrowers, lenders, investors or taxpayers.

 

“Recognizing the vital role that the GSEs currently play, it is critical that any administrative reforms do not disturb essential functions in the secondary mortgage market,” the letter said. “Policymakers must take great care that actions to institute reforms to the GSEs are prudently developed and implemented over a sensible time horizon.”

 

The letter asks that housing finance reform maintain the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the single-family market. It also asks that the GSEs still be required to meet the needs of underserved markets and support affordable housing.

 

“We urge policymakers to take these principles into account to ensure that access and affordability are preserved under the current, and any future, housing finance regime,” the letter concludes.

 

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs recently voted to advance the nomination of Mark Calabria as director of the FHFA to a full Senate vote.

 

Previously, Calabria famously called for the end of the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Click here to read more about what Calabria as director of the FHFA would mean for the future of the GSEs.

 

Now, many think that GSE reform could be on the verge of becoming a reality.

 

The letter was signed by: the Asian Real Estate Association of America, the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumer Mortgage CoalitionEnterprise Community PartnersHabitat for Humanity International Leading Builders of AmericaLocal Initiatives Support Corporation Make RoomManufactured Housing Institute Mercy Housing, the Mortgage Bankers AssociationNareit, the National Apartment Association, the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Association of Realtors, the National Community Stabilization Trust, the National Council of State Housing AgenciesNational Housing ConferenceNational Housing Trust, National League of Cities, the National Multifamily Housing Council, The Real Estate Roundtable, the Real Estate Services Providers CouncilStewards of Affordable Housing for the Future and Up for Growth Action.

 

Click here to read the letter in full.

 

—- End of Housing Wire article sent by confidential source to MHProNews —-

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It must be recalled that Fannie Mae’s Paul Barretto told MHProNews in front of dozens of industry professionals that neither 21st Mortgage Corp, nor Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) provided data to the GSEs to help them launch a chattel loan program. By contrast, other MHI member lenders did. That begs the question, why did the Berkshire Hathaway brands work to foil lending on ‘regular’ manufactured homes, while diverting GSE lending to the Clayton Homes backed “new class of homes?” MHI and official voices in Knoxville are mute on those types of #NettlesomeThings questions. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/fannie-maes-paul-barretto-news-making-remarks-in-tunica/

 

Additional Concerns This MHI Memo Raises?

To set the context for this analysis, a similar prior case that also involved lending will be recalled. 

In 2015, MHProNews’ publisher – acting on a tip from within MHI – publicly called out Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President and CEO Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and MHI SVP Lesli Gooch for attempting to deliberately mislead their own members. The subject of the alleged deception was a Senate hearing with then Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray regarding the MHI backed Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.  Recall that Preserving Access was never passed.

But at that time, MHI had issued an emailed statement to their members that was accurate in quoting then Senator Joe Donnelly (IN-D), but failed to mention the pushback from Cordray, or other key parts of the full discussion. Those omissions by MHI to their members completely changed the meaning and context for what had actually occurred in that hearing. MHI postured progress, but in fact no progress had occurred. The MHI source provided CSPAN video to back up their contention that MHI was deliberately misleading their own members, and through MHI state affiliates, the Arlington, VA based trade group was misleading the industry at large.

 

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstituteSeniorVPLogoMHIlogoQuoteMHProNews

In hindsight, which Warren Buffett reminds us that the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield, it is now clear that the MHI plan for Preserving Access was filled with contradictions and purported head fakes. It didn’t matter to the powers that be if Preserving Access passed or not. But as the Jason Boehlert quote above reminds readers, it wasn’t expected to pass. So why did MHI spend millions in the effort? http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/industryvoices/2012-election-results-and-coming-lame-duck-session/

 

Based upon the evidence presented, which MHI did not dispute, a column by Tony Kovach called Jennison and Gooch out for their alleged attempt at the deception of the industry and the Arlington, VA based trade association’s own members, and asked for their resignation and or termination. But instead, then MHI Chairman Tim Williams, who is president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corp, arranged for a vote of confidence in Jennison.

 

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Notice. One can agree or disagree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett.  Why were millions spent, when Buffett was clearly ‘tight’ with then President Barack Obama? Why spend millions lobbying for Preserving Access, when then President Obama said he’d veto it if it ever hit his desk?

 

WarrenBuffettBarackObamaWikipediaMotherJonesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Buffett was a strong supporter of candidate and President Obama. Obama in turn was a strong support of Dodd-Frank, and not changing the CFPB. See related, linked below. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/manufactured-housing-institute-vp-revealed-important-truths-on-mhis-lobbying-agenda/

 

Rephrased, instead of holding those two senior MHI leaders accountable for deception, Jennison and Gooch were defended and retained by the direct and specific intervention of Williams, Clayton Homes representative on the executive committee, and others who align with them.

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has noted more than once that Jennison and Gooch were given bonuses for their work, according the federal document filings by MHI and confirmed by MHI’s CEO Jennison. Again, MHI staff nor MHI Executive Committee leaders have not denied those bonus payments to Jennison, Gooch, or others.  You can access the report below by clicking on the hot-linked text-image box. 

 

Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses

 

The letter reported by HousingWire and signed onto by MHI to FHFA Acting Director Joseph Otting, is arguably a double cross of the claims that MHI has been making even recently to the industry.  When MHI claims that they are acting to expand lending on manufactured housing, it is arguably demonstrably untrue.  See the “Illusion of Motion” further below. 

Without contradicting the source that sent the memo and tip above, the scenario that source describes is arguably far more corrupt than that DTS committee source alleges.

MHProNews will be asking for MHI, MHARR, and federal officials to react to this report now that it is published.

But equally important, this is the latest piece of evidence that seems to confirm what Marty Lavin, JD, former MHI member and award winner, previously said to MHProNews. Namely, that the so-called big boys get their way, and the rest of the industry only benefit from MHI when the big boy interests happen to align with independents.

   The manufactured home industry is struggling during an affordable housing crisis.

   There is mounting evidence that the Omaha-Knoxville metro powers have purportedly weaponized MHI and other operations in a manner that is contrary to the interests of the vast majority of other independent firms in the industry.

   DTS was clearly diverted to the “new class of homes” lending that MHI sources have told MHProNews was initiated by Clayton Homes. Leaders from MHI only member production firms have complained that this is an abuse of the industry’s most affordable housing, and that the ploy is aimed to benefit Clayton while harming others.

MHProNews will continue to unpeel the onion as more details emerge. See the related reports below, for more on Duty to Serve and finance related issues.

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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:

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

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

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

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

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

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

Chairman Hensarling, Fannie Mae’s Latest “Backdoor Schemes,” Illegalities? MH Connections, Implications

GSE Asked: Will Manufactured Housing Overtake Conventional Homebuilding?

 

Is Manufactured Housing Industry Backstab Coming Into Clearer Focus?

February 21st, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingIndustryBackstabComingIntoClearerFocusManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are several new and recent items that are purportedly making it ever more clear what is occurring that are artificially stymieing manufactured housing industry growth.

 

There is a new report from the Washington, D.C. based independent producers association – linked below – that raises several disturbing concerns.  They should each raise the question, where is the Manufactured Housing Institute on these issues?

 

 

The topics that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform covered are serious ones, and are outlined in their bullets, below.

  • HUD WHITEWASHES ALLEGED DOE ENERGY RULE COSTS
  • PROCEDURAL CHANGES SHOULD APPLY TO ANY DOE MH RULE
  • REVISED DTS PLANS RELEASED – CHATTEL STILL IN LIMBO
  • 2018 PRODUCTION UP – BUT SHORT OF 100,000 HOME BENCHMARK
  • UNFINISHED BUSINESS – HUD MONITORING CONTRACT REFORM
  • CONGRESS TAKES UP GSE REFORM
  • HUD ANNOUNCES MHCC/SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS

 

Sources from outside of the MHARR office – with connections to MHI – are telling MHProNews that the reasons to sound the alarm are increasingly self-evident.  Rather than deny or clarify issues, MHI’s hired outside counsel to do sabre rattling instead.  Wouldn’t it be easier and less costly for MHI if they simply disproved – if they could – concerns like those raised above or below?

 

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On January 9th, 2019, MHProNews revealed that on the MHI website, several key topics – important for the industry’s growth potential – are no where to be found.

 

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

 

MHI’s outside counsel specifically stated – and several sources in MHI – routinely monitor what is published here.  So, they knew this was a concern.  What have they done since the screen capture is done about 6 weeks ago?

Nada.  See the screen capture from this evening, which is time-date-stamped in the file name.

There seems to be several developing patterns.  Consider these to-date uncontroverted facts:

  • The Duty to Serve mandated in 2008 by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) that the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac support underserved markets, that included rural and manufactured housing.
  • MHI – purportedly at the bidding of Clayton Homes, per MHI sources – focused their push on DTS toward the so-called new class of homes, instead of on all manufactured homes. Why?
  • Even if that works for Clayton, how does that help the millions of current or potential ‘standard’ manufactured home owners that might have benefited from lower cost chattel loans?
  • Now, in hindsight, the MHI’s odd stance on the energy standards for DOE would have significantly raised the costs of new manufactured homes. MHARR was essentially battling MHI, as much as they were the Obama era DOE and their allies.  MHARR worked to align third party research that proved just how flawed the MHI plan was, and only then, did MHI do an about face – during the Trump Administration.
  • At each stage, MHI’s actions – or failures to act – reveal an arguably stated or unstated tendency toward increased consolidation through artificially enhanced barriers or entry, maintenance, or exit.

See the related reports below.  There could be a special report soon on a related issue, that once more shows MHI’s failure to act in their self-proclaimed role of representing all segments of the factory built housing industry.

 

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FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

Marty Lavin, Frank Rolfe, Kenny Lipschutz, and others within or tied to MHI have been proven right. The motivations for state associations to break from MHI are becoming more clear.

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It’s game on.

One side, there are those that posture or claim to be working on behalf of the industry, but the are either fumbling or failing repeatedly.  Why?

Then on the other side, are others who want to see the industry grow, but are running into headwinds that the post-production side of the industry is supposed to be fighting.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Back stabbing by MHI, anyone? Or is it a front stab? The featured photo lets you imagine it either way.

Meanwhile, pro-MHI sycophants are silent. Or amen-corner writers churn out their mealy-mouthed nonsense.  Is it the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis coming more visibly into focus?

It will be fascinating to see what Warren Buffett has to say. We’ll know soon enough.

 

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Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

December 1st, 2018 Comments off

 

ClaytonHomesLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoAssocRegulatoryReformHousingChoiceWhereModularTinyConventionalHousingCrisisSolutionMeets

Photos from Clayton website, and the logos are the properties of their respective organizations, provided here under fair use guidelines for news media. Text graphics and collage by MHProNews.

It is one of the most controversial issues in the manufactured housing industry today.  Through their apparent power at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes has backed the notion of a “new class of manufactured homes.”

 

It is a thorny issue, as there are various, divided views on the matter.

 

Certainly, every company has the right and ability to act according to its own perceived interests, within the norms of the law and ethical restraints.

  • If a production company so desires, it can build widget shaped homes and call it a new class of manufactured homes.
  • A firm or organization could say that all new homes should have bull-nosed exterior corners or inverted pyramid shaped roofs in order to get special financing from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • Or one could use less esoteric notions, and opt instead for making gutters, downspouts, higher-pitched roofs, and garages available options.

But such details have arguably been incorrectly framed from the start.  Shouldn’t buyers of whatever kind of home they want that meets basic safety, energy, and durability standards be given equal choice for housing in the marketplace, and for financing too?

Rephrased, shouldn’t there be a simple mantra ofhousing choice applied?

The Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a federal legal mandate since 2008 that they somehow managed to dodge for a decade. Now, instead of offering the lower-cost home-only lending that about 80 percent of manufactured home customers select, instead, they provided a program that is only useful for a new, untested, and special kind of HUD Code home?

  • That special kind of home is what Clayton said they wanted, why?
  • And why is that GSE lending pushing a program that is only for land-home loans, which leaves most land-lease communities and the bulk of the retail sales of manufactured homes out in the cold?
  • How do those forced-fits foster housing choice?

 

Housing Choice Should Become Part of the MH Industry’s Mantra

  • Shouldn’t those who want to buy an already federally regulated HUD Code manufactured home be allowed to choose that or any other kind of safe and durable housing they want and are able to purchase?
  • Shouldn’t all housing shoppers who can demonstrate the decades of proven durability of their housing choice be allowed to have the same kind of financing options that conventional housing buyers have been able to access for decades?
  • Shouldn’t home buyers have the right to buy an entry-level or residential-style HUD Code manufactured homes with parity of financing?
  • Isn’t parity of financing an important part of how potentially millions of more price- and payment-sensitive renters can afford to buy a home of their own?
  • So if the clear logic of all of the above are obvious, why did MHI, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac hold closed door meetings – refusing to release the minutes of said closed door meeting discussions – which resulted not in more chattel lending, but rather in loans geared only to this so-called, ‘new class of manufactured homes’ that are backed by Clayton?

 

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, a Novel Yet Proven Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis That Will Create Opportunities, Based Upon Existing Laws

 

Isn’t this new class of homes – and their accompanying Fannie and Freddie lending – just another back-door or oblique way of blocking access to more low-cost lending? Isn’t that effort obviously being led by the Berkshire brands in manufactured housing?  Doesn’t it remind you of the blast-from-the-past, courtesy of 21st Mortgage Corp, that is shown in their letter below?

 

21stMortgageCorpTimWillamsJune112009LetterBerkshireHathawayWarrenBuffettClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Click the image above to download a larger sized version of this 21st Mortgage Corp Letter.

 

Isn’t this new class of homes merely a revised and open version of Smoking Gun 3, where 21st Mortgage cut off lending to thousands of operations that didn’t carry Clayton product?  See the linked report that follows immediately below, plus more related reports further below for added details.

 

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

 

We Already Have Had State Coded Modular Homes for Decades, So, Why this ‘New Class’ of HUD Code Homes?

Several voices from various parts of the industry have noted that modular housing already – on paper – had access to the same land/home mortgage lending that conventional housing enjoys.

Indeed, FHA, VA, and USDA already give parity of lending to HUD Code manufactured homes, as well as modular housing, so long as a proper installation and other lending guidelines are met.

Many manufactured home producers already built both “HUDs” and state-coded modular homes.

But HUD Code manufactured homes have widely outsold modular home building for decades. MHI’s own periodic data reflects that point.

When the goal for thousands of land-lease manufactured home communities, hundreds of manufactured home retailing independents, and MHARR has long been to get the GSEs to fully support manufactured homes with personal property loans, where was the logic of MHI pushing ‘behind closed doors’ the use of GSE lending only [???] for this new class of homes?

Hold that thought.

Hold that notion closely, because what the stated goal of MHARR and MHI began with on Duty to Serve seemed on the surface to be the same thing.  That was the apparent intersection, on paper, that virtually everyone in MHVille said they wanted more lending from the GSEs.

But what MHI ended up doing was redirecting their energy to get GSE lending only for their so-called ‘new class of homes.’  Even the new MHI self-defense, self-promotion video makes that reality a key point, as the screen capture from their new video below reflects.

 

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Screen capture with commentary and MHI’s logo are a collage by MHProNews, which faithfully reflects their “We’re Using Our Momentum Leveraging the Creation of a New Class of Manufactured Homes.” First, what momentum? Second, why the need for a new class of homes? Manufactured housing builders have made residential style homes since at least the 1980s. Buyers could always option in or do on-site whatever they wanted and can afford. It’s therefor a head fake, an apparent ruse that seemingly limits GSE lending to only a tiny sliver of the market that could already be served by modular coded factory-built homes, or by existing residential style HUD Code manufactured homes. This new class of homes is a costly waste of time, save for the fact that it diverts lower-cost financing. Who benefits from that fact?  A monopolist, perhaps?

BloombergShipmentNewManufacturedHomesFactoryBuildRebuildDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Third-party to the industry Bloomberg’s shipment data of HUD Code homes reflects that there is a modest recovery, but that the manufactured home industry is still about 75 percent below its 1998 high water mark hit during the last 30 years.

If you want to sell more manufactured homes, this new class of homes is utterly illogical on the surface.  Manufactured housing roared during the 1990s compared to today.  Some claim it was only a sugar-high, based only on bogus lending.  But that claim ignores the reality that those home buyers wanted a manufactured home in the first place. In the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s, numerous researchers believed that the EXISTING class of HUD Code manufactured homes was the solution to the affordable housing crisis.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? Because it came before Buffett’s entry into MH? See Smoking Gun 3.

So why this need for a new class of homes?  Why not rediscover the proven affordable HUD Code homes, already improved by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000?

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

 

If you want to encourage the acceptance of HUD Code manufactured homes, then this Clayton/MHI backed ‘new class of homes’ is demonstrably counterproductive on the surface.

Keep in mind that a researcher for the Fannie Mae Foundation some two decades ago already noted back then that manufactured homes merited better lending, placement, zoning, and other treatment. Such facts alone should make it hard for a GSE today to backtrack on their own foundation’s research.  For that report, see the link below.

 

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

 

So, this new class of homes makes no sense, unless – unless – there is a hidden or unstated agenda?

  • Is this new class of homes just another monopolistic ploy to expand Berkshire’s Moat in MHVille?
  • And as has been noted previously, isn’t this once more using access to capital or lending to harm the interests of the majority of producers, in favor of one that is also selling site built housing?

 

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

 

The Risk to Existing Manufactured Home Owners

Furthermore, isn’t there an obvious risk that the value of millions of existing manufactured homes will be undermined by this so-called new class of homes?

That isn’t a merely rhetorical question.  Because a senior contact with one of the GSEs admitted to MHProNews that it was a potential hazard.

How would millions of manufactured home owners react to not only not getting GSE chattel lending, but instead, having Clayton-led MHI working in a fashion that undermines the resale values of their homes?  Doesn’t that open the door to a possible class-action lawsuit, against the GSEs, MHI, and Clayton?

An MHI-only member messaged the following to our publisher this week, “You seem to have [a] conceptual IQ that is more important than spelling ability.” That’s nice and clever, but the matter is simply deductive reasoning or logic.

Everything that MHI has done with respect to their so-called new class of homes has been aimed to sideline opposition to it. That isn’t ‘forging consensus,’ is it? Isn’t that silencing opposition or reason-based concerns?

Isn’t what Clayton/Berkshire Hathaway lenders in manufactured housing want is to keep their choke-hold on lower-cost home lending, while promoting their own growing interests in conventional housing, all at the same time?

 

WHERE IS THE LOGIC OF HAVING MANUFACTURED HOMES THAT MAY AS WELL BE MODULARS?

Unless it was to derail GSE lending, and harm independents, all by another slight-of-hand?

All magic tricks are gimmicks, ploys – tricks. The hand is quicker than the eye. Something looks or sounds cool and good, and razzle dazzle presentations are built around it with high-cost consultants who will naturally say what the ones who wrote the check want said. That’s what a state association executive, an MHI member, has told MHProNews.

Some people will always follow a given con, that’s why tricks exist – they work on some people.

This new class of homes is a purported trick, and that is arguably why Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison would not go on with his public presentation at Louisville last January. He apparently feared having to answer questions from the Daily Business News or from members of the audience, who came armed with questions supplied by MHProNews.

 

 

It is also why Fannie Mae arguably cancelled an interview with MHProNews that their media contact had already agreed to do.  What caused that last minute cancellation?  Note that they cancelled only after they knew that among our questions would be some that focused on the genesis of how this new class of homes.

It’s Clayton and MHI, isn’t it?  How else does one explain that BOTH GSEs wanted the same thing?

 

MHARR Exposes GSES’ Failure On Chattel Financing Before Congress

 

What’s Overlooked

The genius of the HUD Code is performance-based standards that superseded other local housing code stipulations. That performance based method keeps housing costs lower for marginal buyers who won’t qualify for $150,000-$225,000 priced housing. Yet the HUD Code achieves that without sacrificing safety or durability.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

All of the above are HUD Code manufactured homes, built years before the Clayton-MHI backed new class of homes. Newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

 

There have long been those who argue the HUD vs MOD matter.  Our publisher said years ago that all of factory-built housing should agree not to undermine each other’s products.  Automakers don’t undermine entry-level cars when selling a Rolls Royce. Besides, more expensive modular homes can have their own headaches, as do site built housing, as a new report yesterday underscored.

 

“No Good Deed” – Brad Pitt, Make It Right Foundation Sued for Defective Modular Housing, NBC News, More Video

 

  • Let modular builders do whatever the law allows.
  • Let HUD Code builders build entry-level or more residential-style homes, in any ethical manner that they wish.
  • Ditto for tiny housing, prefab, conventional builders, and so on down the list of legitimate, safe and durable housing providers.

But the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) which gave the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing didn’t mandate any changes to the federal HUD Code.  The GSEs should be providing lending on entry level HUD Code homes, including chattel loans, not just on these pricey new semi-modular housing units.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

 

This new class of homes is arguably a Trojan Horse, a blind alley, a grifters trick.

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

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

 

And sadly, the money trail and evidence – see links below – point to Clayton, 21st and Vanderbilt engineering this via MHI. That means that better lending would be unavailable to the majority of potential manufactured housing customers, as well as to those in communities or private land that may want to refinance their high cost Berkshire Hathaway loans at a lower rate.

 

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews48thMHINCClist

The charade calls for a federal investigation into MHI and the manufactured housing industry’s Berkshire brands, which sources suggest may already be underway.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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

 

Housing Choice should become part of the industry’s mantra. For our part, we will spotlight those issues that obscure the common-sense of making manufactured housing another ‘affordable housing choice‘ that home seekers can make with their heads held high, without having to jump through any special and limiting hoops.

 

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

There’s more to come on this in the days ahead, so stay tuned to the only source in manufactured housing trade media that tackles the tough topics with facts, evidence, money trail, reason, and moxie. See the related reports, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##(News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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:

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GSEs’ “Duty To Serve Underserved Markets” Plans

 

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

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

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Bloomberg “New Home for $90,000? Manufactured Housing Is Making a Comeback” Reveals MH Media Challenge

 

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

FHFA Hearing Before Congress Raises GSEs’ Failure on Manufactured Home Chattel Financing

September 28th, 2018 Comments off

FHFAHearingBeforeCongressRaisesGSEsFailureOnManufacturedHomeChattelFinancingDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

The Ford-Kavanaugh hearing wasn’t the only place in Washington, D.C. that charges of sexual misconduct were being publicly discussed yesterday.

 

As was noted by the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), featured a pile-on by members of both parties aimed at Mel Watt. But his time in office is short regardless, and thus the following is the more germane issue to manufactured housing industry professionals.

An extended quote from the release by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which includes a download at the end of their statement to the Congress.

ManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformLogoLetterheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), in a submission (copy attached) to the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee in conjunction with a September 27, 2018 oversight hearing on regulation of the two “Government Sponsored Enterprises” (GSEs) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – strongly criticized the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), for failing to implement federal law and, instead, sanctioning the GSEs’ continuing discrimination against lower and moderate-income American consumers seeking to purchase manufactured homes through personal property, or chattel loans.

Specifically, MHARR’s submission emphasizes that under the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), so-called DTS “implementation plans” developed by the GSEs and approved by FHFA in late 2017, fail to provide for market-significant participation by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the manufactured housing chattel finance market some ten years after Congress, through DTS, specifically directed the GSEs to “develop loan products and flexible underwriting guidelines to facilitate a secondary market for mortgages on manufactured homes for very low, low, and moderate-income families,” including chattel loans. Such chattel loans account for 80% (or more) of the entire manufactured housing market, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

As MHARR’s submission explains, the so-called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac DTS “implementation plans,” by failing to provide for market-significant participation in the manufactured housing chattel financing market – beyond tiny, highly-conditional, “pilot programs” that through 2020 would serve, at most, little more than 1% of the manufactured housing market – do not and cannot, by definition, satisfy the express statutory mandate of DTS. Indeed, it is utterly inconceivable that Congress, in adopting DTS, intended for the vast bulk of all manufactured housing purchasers — and potential purchasers — seeking to access the nation’s most affordable source of non-subsidized homeownership, to go unserved under DTS indefinitely and, potentially, forever.

Relying on an alleged lack of chattel loan “performance” data that is a direct result of their own long-term, discriminatory failure to serve the manufactured housing market – that DTS was specifically designed to remedy – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac instead seek to evade that “duty” indefinitely. As emphasized by MHARR, this will effectively force the 80% (or more) of the manufactured housing purchasers who currently rely on chattel financing to seek loans from one of the existing market-dominant manufactured housing lenders that do not require or seek secondary-market securitization or support from the GSEs and provide such financing at interest rates that are higher than would be the case if the GSEs were significant participants in the manufactured housing chattel market. Even worse, many more potential lower and moderate-income manufactured home purchasers, who might otherwise qualify for a loan, will continue to be needlessly excluded from the manufactured housing market – and from homeownership altogether – because of the higher chattel loan interest rates and monthly loan costs resulting from the GSEs’ continuing discriminatory refusal to fully implement DTS with respect to chattel loans.

MHARR, accordingly, will continue to press for the full implementation and application of DTS to manufactured home chattel loans and will continue to address, through all necessary means (including Congress and the Administration) the ongoing failure of FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement DTS in a timely and market-significant manner, thereby depriving lower and moderate-income Americans of the full access to affordable, non-subsidized manufactured homeownership that Congress sought to provide.

In Washington, D.C., MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, stated: “Congress, in its vital oversight role concerninhg FHFA, must hold that agency – and, by extension, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are being and have been bailed-out with billions of taxpayer dollars — accountable for their ongoing discriminatory failure,more than a decade after-the-fact, to fully implement DTS with respect to the 80% of the federally-regulated manufactured housing market that is represented by chattel purchase-money loans. Affordable homeownership is desperately needed in the United States and is at the core of the GSEs’ statutory mission. Neither FHFA nor the GSEs should be allowed to flout this mission, nor the specific mandate of DTS with regard to manufactured housing chattel loans.”

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

###

The download of the testimony by MHARR to the Financial Services Committee is linked here. For more details, see the related reports, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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

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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:

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

September 27th, 2018 Comments off


MelWattSexualHarrasmentPhotoFHFAFannieMaeFreddieMacLogosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

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

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

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

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

(Related Reports are further below. 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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2) To pro-vide 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 Re-sources

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:

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

 

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

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

September 26th, 2018 Comments off

 

FanniMaeFreddieMacLogosGuruFocusBerkshireHathawayLogoCharlieMungerWarrenBuffettHollyLaFonPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

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

 

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

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

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

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

HollyLaFonGuruFocusLinkedInCompositeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Figure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Related Reports:

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

 

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

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

 

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

September 5th, 2018 Comments off

 

StegmayerAllenRoanePhotosFHFAMHIFannieFreddieLogos

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

 

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

I) Be polite.

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

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

IV) Here’s an easy way to do this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Here are 8 suggested questions, these will suggest others.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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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

GSE Asked: Will Manufactured Housing Overtake Conventional Homebuilding?

May 26th, 2018 Comments off

GSEAskFreddieMacWillManufacturedHousingOvertakeConventionalHomebuilding

HISTORICALLY PLAGUED BY THE image of a tin box on wheels, manufactured housing finally is winning some of the mainstream acceptability that this housing segment has long sought. Today, manufactured housing—also mistakenly known as mobile homes, a colloquial but technically inaccurate name sometimes used to describe the housing product broader homeowning audience.”

–        Donald S. Bradley,

senior economist in Freddie Mac’s housing economics department.

 

It was a dramatically different time, and to be blunt, short term thinking back then in manufactured housing doubtlessly cost the industry tens of billions annually in new factory-built home sales.

The year was 1998, and the bust from the easy-credit go-go days of liar loans and questionable documentation was getting ready to bust. So, the researchers of that era did not yet know what we know today.

ManufacturedHousingIndustry1997FutureManufacturedHOusingHarvardUniversityJointCenterHousingStudies1997The chart below that reflects the nose dive in shipments from 1998 to 2009 are the only reminder that prudent, honest, long-term strategists need to realize that credit must be sustainable, or that promising future can vaporize like rainwater in the desert once the clouds pass.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

That said, the praise from third-party researchers then was plentiful. And Fannie Mae seriously asked the following question in a research document:

Will Manufactured Housing Become Housing of First Choice?

Before you think that the report and headline were a one-off, recall that Eric Belsky made the statements in the graphic shown below. He did so a few years later, knowing about the repossessions, foreclosures and the constricting of lending that were occurring by that time.

–        Harvard,

–        a GSE,

–        the Ford Foundation,

–        and others were seeing the future of American Housing as coming out of a HUD Code manufactured home factory.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

The Urban Institute, a HUD PD&R, and other reports reflect that manufactured homes (MH) can appreciate side-by-side with conventional housing. The law of supply and demand applies to MH and conventional housing too. When the GSEs, FHA, VA, USDA, and others realize that fixing appraisals through education, and leveling the playing field in lending will boost the value of the majority of manufactured homes, that in turn will fuel the financing for the millions of new manufactured homes needed in America today.

The proverbial table could be set for that type of future again, where manufactured and factory-built housing might be poised to overtake convention building, because the demand for housing is so great.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

And the gap between what site builders can do and what is needed is so wide that among the tech giants are those who believe that only factory building will accomplish the closing of the gap.

This article will only reference briefly as related reports at the end what the Urban Institute failed to note in an otherwise largely useful report that published on manufactured housing in January 2018.

But some of the takeaways found in these reports from the late 90s and early 2000s are still valid today. and ought to be required reading for industry professionals, investors, public officials, policy and housing advocates.  The research we need today is research that’s already been done, time and again.

The excuses – pardon the bluntness – that the GSEs give today find their answer in some of their own research documents from the past, along side that of other third parties that praise the manufactured housing industry’s product.

What about today?

In fact, a recent report by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) makes it clear the quality of manufactured housing is – as HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, “Amazing!” is proven by federal data that proves that only a tiny fraction of a single percent of the homes produced ever go to dispute resolution.  Keep in mind that the feds under Pam Danner’s watch at HUD started essentially advertising for complaints, because there were so few of them.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

The extended quotes that follow are from a Ford Foundation report.  The entire document will be linked as a download at the end.

The opening quotes above are from a Freddie Mac report, which will also be linked at the end as a download.

The closing thought for this is simple.  For at least 2 decades, the manufactured housing industry has allowed itself to be defined by others.  The industry has built a fine product for decades. The foundation for having the industry defining itself has been set.

The industry has the laws that it needs, now what is needed is to see those laws be fully enforced.

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

Back then, or more recently, there are media and researchers who discover that the solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight.

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

It is up to the individual businesses, or through a collective effort, to redefine in the public mind the myths vs. the realities. Please don’t take this as hubris, but we helped set the foundation for getting to the heart of what bothers consumers, media, researchers, and others when we launched – thanks to the support of others – MHLivingNews.com.

Surprised by the Truth, While Shopping for a New Home

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When conventional housing starts dwarf manufactured housing, the industry must scratch its head, and candidly ask why? When existing home resales can’t – per the NAR’s Lawrence Yun – ever close the needs gap, manufactured housing pros and investors with guts and vision must step up and say, “We can do this.”

What is self-evident from the new home shipment levels is that the industry’s ‘leadership’ failed terribly at protecting, educating and promoting the true value of our product.

IfPrettyPicturesVideosAloneWereEnoughMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews1

We must educate ourselves, and then we must educate others. James McGee and Chet Murphree said it, ‘its all about education.’ more about the above, linked here. John Bostick said it, “Easy doesn’t pay well.”  But with discipline and grit, the difficult becomes easy, and that proven system pays very well.

  • Evidenced-based education must be first to each other as professionals.
  • Then, education must then go out to our home owners and the rest of the general public.
  • We must not fear the truth.  Our product doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be a prudent option.  Site built housing is demonstrably not perfect, ours doesn’t have to be either.
  • There has to be some bold and courageous enough to stand up in their own respective field and do what a group of communities are doing, forge a new association that will address the needs that decades of history reveal hasn’t been solved by current leadership.

The proof of our quality and the reality of what holds us back are what MHProNews and MHLivingNews, with the support of others, has been documenting for years.  Those focus group videos are evidence of what happy manufactured home owners look like.

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

The solution for the affordable housing crisis has been hiding in plain sight.

Since we’ve said those words, others in media have picked it up, time and again.  That too is part of the proof of what is needed. Honest engagement with the media, researchers, advocates, home-shoppers, and public officials.

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

These reports from third parties from the glory days not so long past point the way foreword, for those willing to make common sense changes that bring new, more profitable and sustainable results.

TheFirstStepInSolvingAProblemIsToRecognizethatItDoesExistZigZiglarDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

That said, let’s dive into the powerful opening to the Ford Foundation, in the extended quotes below.

ManufacturedHousingCommunityAssetBuildingStrategyFordFoundationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

ABSTRACT OF FINDINGS

“An increasing share of lower-income families, the same population targeted by community-development organizations, are opting to live in housing that was built off-site in a factory to meet the performance standards of the national HUD manufactured-housing code. However, most community-development practitioners are just beginning to come to terms with the implications of manufactured housing for their work.

ManufacturingTransportReportToFordFoundationManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThis paper explores advantages and disadvantages of manufactured housing for those entities whose mission is community development and asset building. Several challenges are presented for practitioners: First, working to educate consumers while also creating financing processes that ensure manufacturedhome buyers obtain credit on the best terms for which they can qualify. Second, using the increased scrutiny under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to advocate for states to enforce more rigorous installation standards and increased accountability. Third, working to overcome land-use controls which prevent manufactured homes from being placed in communities in need of affordable housing, as well as areas with more potential for appreciation. Fourth, working with designers and planners to develop innovative designs and housing developments, while maintaining manufactured housing’s affordability advantages. Finally, equal effort must be devoted to address the difficult conditions of many lower-income people—owners and renters alike—living in older, and often deteriorating, mobile homes. While a few of these families and individuals could be relocated to new and better quality homes with the help of subsidies, resource limitations suggest the need to create cost-effective methods to eliminate health and safety problems by upgrading or rehabilitating this extremely affordable element of the nation’s housing inventory.

As a companion to this paper, an exhaustive literature review has been compiled.

INTRODUCTION

There are over eight million manufactured, HUDcode homes in the United States today, representing two-thirds of affordable units added to the stock in recent years and a growing portion of all new housing. In fact, buyers of manufactured homes contributed to a substantial share of the growth in low-income home ownership evidenced in the 1990s. These statistics send a message to all who seek to promote home ownership for low-income families, as well as promote safe, affordable housing opportunities in disenfranchised communities. An increasing share of the people whom community-development organizations serve are opting to live in housing that was built offsite in a factory to meet the performance standards of the national HUD manufactured-housing code. Many community-development practitioners are just beginning to come to terms with the implications of this for their work.

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This report and the “Developing Community Assets with Manufactured Housing: Barriers and Opportunities” symposium held in Atlanta in February 2002 by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation are part of an effort to better understand the implications and opportunities of manufactured housing for the community-development field. The goal of this project is to increase education and awareness about manufactured housing among practitioners. Similar to other markets, community-based organizations have the potential to help ensure that consumers make informed choices regarding manufactured housing, and to use programmatic and policy tools to make a positive impact on communities.

To supplement the quantitative findings of research conducted by staff of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, anecdotal information was collected from the national NeighborWorks® network of nonprofit community-development organizations, and model program profiles were developed to provide a more complete picture of the opportunities and challenges of manufactured housing. In addition, focus groups with community-development practitioners, lenders, manufactured-housing retailers, homebuyer-education specialists and actual clients and consumers were convened to assess perceptions, knowledge and experience with manufactured housing. Guiding this research were questions related to the community-development field, namely, what—if anything—should community-development entities be doing about manufactured housing? How can this field begin to discern what improvements in public policy are needed and what programs might be successful?

This report provides a unique overview of manufactured housing, including a thorough analysis of historic trends, household demographics and the characteristics of manufactured stock, as well case studies that highlight innovative programs and developments. As a companion to this report, an exhaustive review of existing literature has also been summarized (beginning on page 49).

  1. MANUFACTURED HOUSING CONTINUES TO EVOLVE

What is Manufactured Housing?

Manufactured housing began as an offshoot of the recreational-vehicle industry in the 1930s, providing shelter for households with mobile lifestyles as well as temporary housing needs. Following World War II, housing shortages induced many households to turn to mobile homes for permanent shelter. Recognizing an opportunity, during the 1950s the industry began designing and constructing units intended to be permanent shelters. This development engendered some quality improvements, but industrywide standards remained uneven.

Within a few decades, concerns over the quality, durability, health and safety of manufactured homes led to federal action. In 1974 Congress passed the Federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act, which led to the creation of a national manufactured-housing code (the “HUD code”). Unlike site-built homes, modular housing and other types of factory-produced homes, which are built to a variety of state and local building codes, HUD-code manufactured homes are built to a single, national quality and safety standard. This standard is generally based on the performance of the design and materials, rather than prescribing a specific material type or dimension must be used. Therefore, HUD-code units may use engineered lumber or alternative materials not commonly permitted under local building codes.

Homes built to the HUD code are still built on a permanent chassis like mobile homes built prior to 1976, but HUD-code units are of a higher quality, safer, and more durable than earlier models. Importantly, the HUD code pre-empts state and local building regulations, allowing manufacturers to use standardized building materials and components and avoiding the delays associated with local building inspection procedures.

Because of these streamlined codes, reduced delays and other efficiencies, one of manufactured housing’s most distinctive features is its affordability. These cost advantages do not stem from inherently inferior quality standards in the HUD code as compared to site-built homes. Detailed studies by the University of Michigan and others suggest that quality differences of the local site-built codes compared to the HUD code is minimal (Warner and Johnson 1993, Gordon and Rose 1998). In fact, manufactured housing’s affordability stems largely from cost savings from production processes.

Five factors primarily drive these efficiencies:

  1. economies of scale in high-volume materials purchase,
  2. ability to better coordinate production using assembly-line techniques,
  3. a controlled environment devoid of weather or other delays,
  4. standardized design and materials, and
  5. reduced costs (primarily time) of securing approval from local code officials.

Overall these advantages can generate significant cost savings, as indicated by a recent HUD study showing that building a 2,000-square-foot manufactured unit costs just 61 percent as much as a comparable sitebuilt home (HUD 1998)…”

— end of extended quotes —

UnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouvePlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Freddie Mac Report on Manufactured Housing Poised to Overtake Conventional Housing, download linked here.

Report to the Ford Foundation, download linked here.

DontGetCookedInASquatZigZiglarManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryDont-LetOthersSelfLimitYouByActionInactionThinkingMHPro

Let’s not let self-limiting thinking rob us, and the nation, of what could be a much brighter, richer future for all. The report linked below demonstrates how our industry could help grow the economy by some two trillion dollars annually.

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

Make no mistake.  The headline question is why Warren Buffett and other billionaires and multi-billion dollar operations are in this industry.

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

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

Related Reports:

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?

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

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

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

By L. A. Tony’ Kovach, publisher of MHProNews.com.
Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

Buffett’s Clayton Buys Yet Another Builder, Growing Dominance in U.S. Housing Market

July 10th, 2017 Comments off
BuffettBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesPropertyGroupHarrisDoyleHomesBerkshireHathawayHomeServicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Russ Doyle (left) and Brooks Harris, founder-principals in Harris Doyle Homes. Right hand photo, still from video on this page, below.

Last week, the Daily Business News on MHProNews was the first in manufactured housing to report that Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Property Group added Colorado based Oakwood Homes to their expanding site-built housing portfolio.

Now, Keith Holdbrooks, president of Clayton home building group, has another announcement.

We are proud to welcome Harris Doyle to our family of homebuilders,” Holdbrooks said in a press release.

Builder noted today that “In his 2017 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, ceo [sic] Warren Buffett gave a shout-out to Berkshire’s Maryville, Tenn.-based Clayton Homes group and the fact that it had closed on its first three “site-built” home building operators by the end of 2016.”

Adding that, “More will come,” Buffett promised. “Site-built houses are expected to amount to 3% or so of Clayton’s unit sales in 2017 and will likely deliver about 14% of its dollar volume.”

What Others Are Often Overlooking…

While those involved in the construction trades understandably focus on the site-built or factory home building, what is going largely unmentioned is that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has also gone into the real estate business in a substantial way. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

In a release, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services had this to say.

Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.”

 

Combined with their substantial – and growing? – presence in the housing building and remodeling supply chain, Buffett’s Berkshire – is growing in several directions.  Known within the factory built home industry for being the parent for the largest HUD Code builder, Clayton Homes, plus 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage.

Among other brands, Buffett’s strong presence in Wells Fargo and other banking units that do manufactured home, as well as conventional house loans.  Bloomberg and Business Insider reported last April that Buffett had to cut his stake to under 10 percent of Wells Fargo, in order to get around concerns raised by the Federal Reserve.

Back to Clayton’s Newest Buy…

Clayton, a Berkshire Hathaway company and one of America’s largest homebuilders, today announced it has acquired Harris Doyle Homes, a leading residential developer and home builder for the greater Birmingham, Ala., area, effective July 7, 2017,” stated the Clayton release.

Harris Doyle Homes is the fifth homebuilding acquisition for Clayton since 2015 and the second homebuilder acquired this month,” Clayton said.

The release pointed out that Clayton built “In 2016, Clayton built more than 42,000 homes.”  While it didn’t say how many were HUD Code, the industry total for last year was some 81,100 new manufactured homes.

FHFAFannieMaeFreddieMacGSEDutyToServeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews7102017

To see the special Sunday evening report on this time sensitive topic, click the image above. Want more lending? Email your thoughts and comments on the GSEs plan to ‘serve’ manufactured housing. You can submit electronically to FHFA at the link shown below.

What impact will this trend have on manufactured housing, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)?

A growing number of professionals are emailing or calling MHProNews, whispering their concerns about possible “conflicts of interest.” Given that Buffett’s brands now hold two of the four executive committee positions at MHI, will Berkshire’s ever-growing presence in conventional housing influence the industry in ways that may not be for the good of most other HUD Code producers, or independent retailers, communities, and others?

What do these non-factory built housing units under the Buffett banner mean to industry efforts such as the Duty to Serve and if these are more evidence of conflicts of interest for MHI’s dominant player? ## (News, analysis.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.