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Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

March 2nd, 2019 Comments off

 

RentControlMHPoliticiansAreCarpetBombingOurStateWithRegulationsThatWilldestablizeTheHousingMarketAndLeaveItObliteratedDailySignalBusinessNewsMHProNews

The quotation in the headline is a reaction cited in detail further below to legislation passed in Oregon for statewide rent control. Rent control is often hailed by resident groups in our industry.  The activists at MHAction are just one example of support among manufactured home community (MHC) resident groups.  A search of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) website today under the search phrase “rent control” brought up articles that appeared to have no connection with “rent control,” although they did have the word “rent” in numerous articles.

 

Put differently, on the post-production side of our industry, several resident groups are promoting rent control, and at least visibly, MHI is mostly silent on the issue.

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By contrast, MHProNews has spotlighted this troubling topic for several years.  One example is the article linked below.

 

Enemies of Manufactured Homes, Communities; Rent Control, MHAction, George Soros, Ignorance, & Entropy

 

For whatever reasons, numbers of voices on the political left are pushing rent control. It should be noted that not only Democrats, but sometimes Republicans flirt with price controls.  During the Nixon Administration, the imposition of wage and price controls was tried and failed.  Rent control has routinely been proven to fail too.

 

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The video below from Canada is balanced report that provides an real-world example of the unexpected problems or so-called “unintended consequences” of rent control on manufactured home communities.  A similar pattern occurs in conventional housing too.

 


With that introduction, what follows below is an interesting look by the right-of-center Daily Signal’s Joel Griffith about the recently passed Oregon rent control bill.  Griffith’s column, shared under fair use guidelines and in accordance with the Daily Signal’s policies, will be followed by some additional commentary by MHProNews.

 

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Oregon’s Proposed Rent Controls Would Shrink Supply of Housing

by Joel Griffith

Oregon just took a big step this week toward becoming the first state in the nation to impose statewide rent controls—a step in the wrong direction.

Senate Bill 608—which has now passed both houses of the Legislative Assembly—limits annual rent increases to the inflation rate plus 7 percent and imposes stringent restrictions on the ability to evict tenants without cause. (It exempts new construction for 15 years.)

A united Republican caucus was joined by only three Democratic House members in opposition when it passed the lower chamber Tuesday. Only one Democrat opposed the legislation when it cleared the state Senate on Feb. 12.

The Willamette Week reported that Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, is likely to sign the measure into law.

Unfortunately for Oregon residents, public policy crafted in defiance of economic reality yields poor results, good intentions notwithstanding.

Rent control is the cause celebre of the chief sponsor of the legislation, state Sen. Shemia Fagan, D-Portland. She knocked off incumbent state Sen. Rob Monroe in a Democratic primary last May in part by sharply criticizing his opposition to rent control.

Her win proved instrumental in shifting the entire Democratic caucus to the left on the issue. Her stern message to fellow Democrats: “They need to take a message from my victory. My community is not interested in watering down my victory.”

Across Oregon, stringent zoning restrictions, density limitations, and aggressive environmental regulation limit supply of housing while increasing the costs of construction.

Rental costs reflect those realities. Capping rent increases does nothing to make housing less costly to build. But it will have the perverse effect of shrinking future supply by deterring new construction and incentivizing landlords to spend less money on upkeep and remodeling.

With rents capped, demand likely will increase further, but with supply unable to keep up with demand, housing shortages will likely continue.

“Oregon Democrats are carpet-bombing our state with regulations that will deliberately destabilize the housing market and leave it obliterated,” said Jonathan Lockwood, a spokesman for a group of Republicans in the Oregon House and Senate. “And in the smoldering remains, they will cry out that Senate Bill 608 wasn’t enough.”

The legislation also denies landlords the option to give a tenant a one-month “no-cause notice” to vacate a unit after 12 months of tenancy. Ostensibly, the intent of the sponsors is to protect tenants from higher-priced rents elsewhere or the inconvenience of relocating.

Legislators neglected to take note that a no-cause notice is also the best way for a landlord to remove a tenant engaged in harassment of his or her neighbors. In effect, this new prohibition will restrict compliance with Fair Housing Act protections against harassment.

Salem, Oregon, property manager Melodie Atkinson warned in a Feb. 8 op-ed in The Oregonian that “taking away landlords’ ability to issue these no-cause notices removes a valuable tool in protecting other tenants from one who has been harassing them or engaging in behavior that falls short of a for-cause eviction.”

 

She added, “Under current law, residents are better protected, and bad actors creating a hostile environment are given ample time to make alternative arrangements.”

Criticism of rent control as bad economics is hardly limited to landlords or to free-market conservatives.

As far back as 1965, Gunnar Myrdal, one of the visionaries behind Sweden’s welfare state, warned, “Rent control has in certain Western countries constituted, maybe, the worst example of poor planning by governments lacking courage and vision.”

 

Economics professor Assar Lindbeck, Myrdal’s fellow Swede, cautioned in 1972, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

In 1989, communists running Vietnam linked the abject condition of Hanoi’s housing directly to rent control. Then-Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach said, “The Americans couldn’t destroy Hanoi, but we have destroyed our city by very low rents. We realized it was stupid and that we must change policy.”

Although the Oregon legislation may score cheap political points, rent control and handcuffing property managers does nothing to solve the affordable housing problem.

It’s no surprise that with its already onerous restrictions on landlords, rents in Portland soared 42 percent from 2010 to 2017, more than triple the overall rate of inflation. Now, these ills are likely to adversely affect the rest of the state, too.

 

By contrast, reforming land-use laws—in effect, increasing supply—would be a big step in the right direction. With increased supply, rental prices could plateau or even decline.

The governor defends land-use regulations as a reason why the state’s wine industry thrives. Even if that were true, the unaffordable rental costs would amount to a hidden tax on the general public (many of them working class) in order to allow wealthy vineyard owners to thrive.

Adding new controls will only force renters to live in more dilapidated conditions and preclude additional units from being built.

That’s what you might call a Pyrrhic victory for Fagan and her fellow advocates of rent control.

— end of Daily Signal article.

A Pyrrhic victory is a reference to a classical phrase from ancient history.  It means a win that is so costly, that it may as well have been a defeat or loss.  As Dictionary put it, “This expression alludes to King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in b.c. 279, but lost his best officers and many of his troops.”

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For Democrats or others who promote rent control, however good their intention may be, the results are routinely the same. It turns out badly.

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Impact of Rent Control on MH, Other Independents?

But there is another point about rent control that ought to be made. How does it impact independents vs. larger corporations?

  • As with many burdensome and complex regulations, rent control often forces the ‘mom and pop’ sized businesses, out of business.  In the manufactured home community sector, that routinely means that larger community operations end up purchasing – often at a discounted value – a manufactured home land-lease property.
  • Or, it may mean that a community is sold for redevelopment and closed forever as a source of affordable manufactured home living.

Ironically, these are the opposite of the outcomes that left-wing MHAction claims that they want.

MHAction recently torched several of the giants in manufactured home communities via a ‘white paper.’  That white paper was spotlighted by the left-of-center Washington Post, see the MHProNews review of that article linked below the byline and notices.

The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners or NAMHCO was formally established in 2018.  A Google search this morning makes it appear that NAMHCO does not have a website yet.  So, it is too soon to see what NAMHCO’s posture on this topic might be.

But it is worth noting that Paul Bradley, President of ROCUSA came out against rent control in a letter to the editor here on MHProNews. MHAction, and those like yourselves, are you listening?

Letters to MHProNews from western manufactured home communities trade association executive director, Sheila Dey and another from Sam Landy of UMH Properties, plus others on the rent control topic are also linked further below.

At this time, on this vexing post-production issue, this site is the primary national platform where those who question the value of rent control can come for intellectual support. For pragmatic reasons, independent MHProNews has and will continue to oppose rent control as eventually having the opposite effect that its proponents claim to want to promote.

That’s today’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

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“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

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

 

Fair and Balanced on CFED – plus – Another View On Rent Control

Rent Control is the Wrong Prescription for California’s Housing Crisis

City of Sunnyvale, CA Manufactured Home Community Rent Control Plan – A Closer Look

Rent Control in MHCs

 

UMH President and CEO, Sam Landy on Rent Control, Manufactured Home Communities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trump Administration Readies Budget Cuts, Familiar Name on List

February 23rd, 2017 Comments off
TrumpAdministrationReadiesBudgetCutsFamiliarNameonListcreditMediaMatters-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Media Matters.

As the Trump Administration prepares its first budget, a familiar name is on the chopping block.

Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), parent of National Public Radio (NPR), are all in the crosshairs for cuts.

According to the New York Times, Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, is now in place as budget director and his office is ready to move ahead with a list of nine programs to eliminate, in an effort to reorder the government and increase spending on defense and infrastructure.

The total amount of annual savings from cutting these programs would be in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion, which would be comparatively small. However, Trump administration officials have said that they want to highlight the agencies in their coming budget proposal as examples of misuse of taxpayer dollars.

A balanced budget is fine,” said President Trump in an interview with Fox News.

But sometimes you have to fuel the well in order to really get the economy goingI want a balanced budget eventually. But I want to have a strong military.

Some feel that the targets on the Trump Administration list don’t make sense.

Steve Bell, a former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee who is now with the Bipartisan Policy Center, said the programs identified in the memo would be of little significance in the government’s financial picture.

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Credit: 12 Bytes.

It’s sad in a way because those programs aren’t causing the deficit,” said Bell.

These programs don’t amount to a hill of beans.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, the CPB and NPR not only receive government funding, but also solicit donations from viewers and listeners. NPR recently produced a segment that cited UMH properties in Nashville, Tennessee, which not only included misinformation, but was also picked up by the Tennessean, which in turn contradicted a recent story they did on UMH, which highlighted how pleased residents were with their communities.

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Credit: iMediaEthics.

With huge deficits and mounting debt, should U.S. taxpayers be funding any media,” said MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach, commenting on a recent op-ed on the topic, “other than video feeds from CSPAN or social media posts by agencies that allow citizens to follow their government’s actions?

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156Kovach continued, speaking to “agenda journalism (as opposed to legitimate editorializing, which should be in a different part of publication) is the recent case of NPR’s attack on private investor owned manufactured home communities.

MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com dug into those issues, revealing facts that NPR simply ignored. When we contacted NPR for comments on clearly overlooked third-party information that ran counter to their narrative, their reply? That they stand by their reports, said Kovach.

Of the targets on the list, backers of the National Endowment for the Arts are very likely to put up a significant fight to survive.

The public wants to see agencies like the N.E.A. continue,” said Robert L. Lynch, head of Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization.

There is always a debate, but there has been agreement among Republicans and Democrats that funding for the arts is a good thing, and it has been kept in place.

But, Stephen Moore, a Heritage Foundation economist, says that “powerful constituencies” are behind many of the programs that are in the crosshairs.

Even so, he believes that since Republicans are now in control of the government, they need to make good the promise made to voters not only during the campaign, but over many years.

I think it’s an important endeavor to try to get rid of things that are unnecessary,said Moore.

The American public has a lot of contempt for how government is run in Washington, in no small part because there is so much waste.

The original NPR segment on UMH is linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

RC Williams, for Daily Business NewsMHProNews.

$15 Hour Minimum Wage would Cost Nine Million Jobs Nationally

August 18th, 2016 Comments off

lunch box thermos ebay postedDailyBusinesNewsMHProNewsAs labor activists promote the Fight for Fifteen, the push for a $15 an hour minimum wage would lead to the loss of nine million jobs as businesses scurry to find where to implement labor-saving technology, says , James Sherk in a Heritage Foundation brief as reported to hotair.

Including wages, payroll taxes and other withholdings, a $15 per hour employee must generate $38,700 annually in value to their employers “Such a high hurdle would make it much harder for less-experienced and less-skilled workers to find full-time jobs. Many of these workers are not yet productive enough to create that much value for their employers and businesses will not hire them at a loss,” according to Sherk.

Some companies may face closing or move outside the country. In Los Angeles, American Apparel slashed 500 jobs after the city’s $15/hr law took effect. The latimes says the Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate local apparel manufacturing in Los Angeles County had fallen 33 percent since 2005 to 2,182, and employment in the industry had also declined the same percent, to 40,500 workers. Expensive real estate, the rising cost of materials and finding employees skilled enough who can afford to live in the city are definite challenges.

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Charts credit,Heritage.org.

Studies by economists reveal an increase of ten percent in labor costs results in the loss of 6.8 percent less skilled workers in the long run. Although not an exact number, it does indicate the approximate level of job losses when wages increase.

The Washington Post reported in a study from Seattle where the minimum wage was mandated, researchers checking the numbers one way said the result was an increase in wages of $5.54/wk because of the increase, yet studying the numbers from a different angle results in a loss of $5.52/wk. Fewer workers had a job as the result of the minimum wage increase, and those that did, did not work as many hours as they had previously. The bottom line in Seattle: Earnings increased in one week sufficient to buy a Starbucks latte—until they raise the price or cut staff, which would increase wait time.

In a 40-hour week, $5.54 comes out to $0.14 per hour, which MHProNews understands means only nine percent of the increase in the minimum wage has effectively reached workers. “Ninety-one percent has dissipated in the need for businesses to counter the increased costs, either through reductions in hours or lost jobs. And that’s the best-case scenario,” said the study.

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It’s not rocket science: If costs go up at one end, they have to be cut somewhere else, and this may be achieved by laying off other workers. In the industries most affected by a forced wage increase, cost competition is too significant to allow for price increases, so costs are cut elsewhere, often in labor.

In Sherk’s analysis, if the minimum wage was raised to $15/hr across the country, more than a tenth of all job losses would be in Texas, followed by 981,000 lost in California, 727,000 would disappear in Florida and 434,000 in New York.

When manufactured housing businesses consider the impact of polcies that didn’t work for Republican Richard Nixon, when he tried wage and price controls which failed, or for Democrats who propose it today, the study suggests the impact won’t be what supporters of $15 minimum wage seek.  Rather, the law of supply and demand indicates that by increasing the demand for labor through private sector job creation is a better strategy. ##

(Photo credit: ebay–Lunch box and thermos)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

RV/MH Leaders Applaud Darryl Searer’s Fourth Year Leading the Hall

March 9th, 2016 Comments off

darryl searer  rv mh hall of fame president  rv mh creditWhen Darryl Searer agreed to a one-year commitment to volunteer as president of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation and the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall), little did he know his passion for the position would grow to four years—and counting. Little did industry leaders realize the extent to which he would be able to raise the profile of the non-profit, significantly reduce its debt and increase its revenue.

As MHProNews has learned from the RV/MH Hall of Fame, the list of his accomplishments include reducing the debt from $5.5 million to $1.2 million, adding a manufactured home to the museum, adding several historic RVs to the collection, and developing the Northern Indiana Event Center (NIEC) into an entertainment facility that covers over 50 percent of the Hall’s operating expenses each year, among others.

He has been lauded by industry leaders for his selfless devotion to his position. RVDA President Phil Ingrassia said, “Darryl has done an outstanding job uniting the industry behind the RV/MH Heritage Foundation and the RV/MH Hall of Fame. As a volunteer, it’s amazing the amount of work he has done to improve the visitor experience, make the hall more inclusive of all industry segments, and diversify foundation revenue.”

Cavco’s President and CEO, Joe Stegmayer, said “Darryl, a successful businessman in his own right, offered to be president and chief staff person of the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum. Darryl took on these responsibilities as a true volunteer–no salary, no incentive bonus, no compensation of any sort, no perks, no benefits!”

Barry Cole, former chairman of the board, said, “The RV/MH Hall of Fame is thriving and the building will be debt free shortly because of Darryl Searer. Not bad for a guy who would not accept any salary compensation in the four years since he took over.”

Stegmayer added, “I believe we owe a special debt of gratitude to Darryl Searer for taking the helm at a particularly tough and challenging time for the Foundation. The Foundation was mired in debt and was generating operating losses each year. Now, after four years of his volunteer service, the Hall operates in the black.” ##

(Photo credit: RV/MH Hall of Fame–Darryl Searer)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

RV/MH 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

January 8th, 2016 Comments off

RV MH hall of fame in elkhart indianaThe nominating committee for the inductees into the RV/MH Hall of Fame had to narrow down a field of 72 to ten people, as MHProNews understands. The Board of Directors of the Heritage Foundation hereby presents the Class of 2016:

  • Gary Bunzer, Bunzer Consulting, 40 years as an RV training and tech specialist, Calif. and Wash. state.
  • Ernie F. Friesen, owner, All Seasons RV Center in Yuba City, and Redding RV Cener in Redding, Calif.
  • Jay C. Hesse (deceased), founder Blue Ox towbar assemblies and fifth-wheel tailgates, Nebraska.
  • Thomas R “Tim” McGuire, Coast Distribution System, first national distributor of RV accessories.
  • William “Bill” Overhulser, Del Rey Industries, in 1968 the largest producer of truck campers.
  • Ross Kinzler, retired Executive Director of the Wisconsin Manufactured Housing Association.
  • James “Jim” Miller, R-Anell Housing Group, North Carolina, and MH Industry OEM and supplier.
  • Robert Edward Richardson, Richardson Homes Corp., Indiana, MH Manufacturer, OEM, Supplier, Dealer.
  • Roland Sahm (deceased), founder Elixir Industries, Calif., RV/MH Supplier
  • Joseph H. Stegmayer, CEO Cavco Industries, Inc., Arizona, MH manufacturer.

The Class of 2016 will be officially inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame at the Annual Induction Dinner on Monday, August 1, 2016, in Elkhart, Indiana. ##

(Photo credit: RV/MH Hall of Fame–Heritage Foundation)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

“You shouldn’t have to be a lawyer to run a business in America today…”

November 17th, 2014 Comments off

SEC-Commissioner-Daniel-Gallagher-crowdfunderinsider=credit-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-but that’s about where we are.” So says Heritage Foundation Economist David Burton, who explains that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) own numbers makes it clear that it takes $2.5 million dollars to access the public capital market, and another $1.5 million in legal fees.

The comments were evoked in part because SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher spoke at a Heritage Foundation meeting recently. Townhall  tells MHProNews   that Gallagher says its the SEC’s mission it is to facilitate marketplace growth, yet the SEC’s leaders admits they haven’t done enough to help new companies take off.

Others interviewed by Capitol Source  make it sound far worse that Gallagher states. They say a dizzying array of federal regulations are choking off small businesses from expanding or starting up in the first place.

Citing House Committee on Small Business Chairman Sam Graves report,

  • Small firms bear a regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee, which is 36% higher than the cost of regulatory compliance for large businesses.(2010 SBA study, The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms)
  • Since 89% of firms in the United States employ fewer than 20 employees, the smallest businesses are shouldering a disproportionate regulatory burden. (NFIB)
  • Small firms pay 67% more to comply with the tax code than larger firms. (SBA Office of Advocacy)
  • Nearly 220,000 small businesses employing more than 26 million workers could be subject to the health care law’s employer mandate (“Health Care Reform and Your Business,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Entire Small Business 1 page summary report is linked here).

As industry pros and aficionados know, most manufactured housing operations fall into the small business category described by these sources. ##

(SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher photo credit, CrowdFunderInsider)

RV/MH Hall of Fame Needs your Support

March 28th, 2013 Comments off

In the ongoing effort to support the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Ind., President Darryl Searer is offering the opportunity to become a lifetime member of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation for half price—$25 and $12.50 for a spouse, both tax deductible. In addition, the call has gone out for donations to buy tables and chairs for when the Hall is hosting an event and has to rent those items. One table and eight chairs costs $200; total costs of 23 tables and 184 chairs is $4,600. The hall also needs a scissors lift to change lights and do other service work inside and outside the building. MHProNews has learned a good used scissors lift costs about $6,000. For more information, go to www.rvmhhalloffame.org

(Photo credit: RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum)

Hall of Fame Names Inductees

February 20th, 2013 Comments off

RVBusiness informs MHProNews the RV/MH Heritage Foundation in Elkhart, Ind. has announced the names of those to be inducted into the Class of 2013 RV/MH Hall of Fame. In addition to five inductees from the RV sector, which includes Lawrence Lippert, founder of Lippert Components, Inc., now a subsidiary of Drew Industries, Inc., the manufactured housing honorees are: Craig M. Bollman, one time largest owner of MHCs in the country from Littleton, Colo. who established the first publicly-traded LLC in the USA; Theresa M. Desfosses, a 45-year manufactured housing veteran and president of HUD-Code manufacturer Burlington Homes in Maine, she is the only woman actively involved in retail, community, and manufacturing. She also serves on the board of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR); Thomas P. Meyers of Guerdon Industries in Louisville and a 50-year veteran of the MH industry, he led Guerdon in developing the first significant overseas markets in South America, Asia, and the Middle East; and Claude N. Palmer (deceased), who began providing affordable housing in 1971 to families in south central New York, and began Custom Modular Homes Company to build upscale modular homes. The induction ceremonies will be held Aug. 5 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

(Photo credit: RV/MH Hall of Fame)

New Guidelines for Nominations to the RV/MH Hall of Fame

January 31st, 2013 Comments off

In order to streamline nominations to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., the RV/MH Heritage Foundation has developed new guidelines: The nominee(s) must have been actively involved in the MH or RV industry for at least 25 years, and have a good, honorable, respectful reputation in support of the industry. He or she must also have experience in volunteer activities inside and outside the industry. Special emphasis is given to those who have furthered the cause of state and national associations as well as owners’ groups, and the RV/MH Hall of Fame itself. Nominations must be received by Oct. 31 for the following year’s class and be accompanied by three supporting letters. As MHProNews has learned, selections will be made in Jan. for the annual induction dinner in August.

(Photo credit: RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum)

Museum Seeking more Contributions

May 9th, 2012 Comments off

As follow up to a story we last covered March 16, 2012, RVBusiness tells MHProNews.com the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Indiana has initiated a new campaign to raise $100,000 by Aug. 31 to reduce its $200,000 bank loan with 1st Source Bank. The Boots Ingram family has issued a $100,000 challenge grant that will essentially cut the loan in half. Darryl Searer, president of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation, said, “The Ingrams continue to show their support for the Hall, and their generosity in making this challenge should inspire everyone concerned about the long-range health of our wonderful facility to pitch in and help.”

(Photo credit: RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum)