Posts Tagged ‘HUD Code manufactured housing’

Father’s Day, ‘Making America America Again’

June 16th, 2019 Comments off



Pardon the pun, but we believe that facts trumps spin.


Actor Scott Baio said it during the 2016 GOP Convention. Democratic hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden said it recently too, though both meant something different by the same words. “Make America America Again.” But it was Let America Be America Again” is a poem written in 1935 by American poet Langston Hughes, per Wikipedia. Let’s look at that slogan in a unique way, using the context of Father’s Day. 


Millions of fathers of millennials were raised with a Horatio Alger view of America. “A man’s home was his castle.” History reflects that women or men could achieve the American Dream. With savvy, hard honest work, a few breaks, discipline and so on, anyone could become a millionaire, if that was a person’s goal.  These were common thoughts, although the evidence even then was incomplete at best.

There is a significant, albeit imperfect, correlation between overall home ownership rates and the sales of more manufactured homes. The graphic below tells part of the tale. 



Some of the spike in conventional housing sales in the 2000s were through so-called ‘liar loans.’ Those in turn set the stage for the 2008 housing/mortgage crisis. The correlation is not perfect, but it is common sense that when more affordable housing – including factory-built homes – are being sold, then the overall rate of home ownership will rise by that same degree.


Compare that graphic to the production of pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post HUD Code manufactured homes. Given the caveats cited, do you see some correlation between the two rates?



The reason that presidents on both sides of the political aisle often promoted first mobile homes, and later manufactured homes is because several understood that affordable housing needs were being met by the private sector with factory-built homes.


America has to a certain degree gone from ‘can do’ mentality to ‘no, there’s a law or regulation, and you can’t do that.’

Let’s stress that ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and ‘Father Knows Best  were more idealized than a universal truth. But that such TV programs existed and were widely embraced decades ago depicted a world view that has been slowly shifting. Now, one has to go to TV Land on cable to see that type of programming – which was often literally in black and white.

Race riots during the later half of the prior century were often fueled by practical hurdles to equality. But if one traveled back in time to the early 1200s and England, whites were fighting other whites over the rights of the people. These were finally guaranteed by the Magna Carta in 1215.



Among the rights safeguarded by Magna Carta were protection of private property – housing – rights.


It is also a historic fact that free blacks owned black slaves in various parts of pre-1865 America. That’s not to say that race wasn’t a factor in America, of course it was. But those two factoids about whites oppressing whites and blacks oppressing blacks are to stress the reality that there has been a long climb up from slavery, to serfdom that all races were subject to for much of human history.  That struggle toward a higher degree of freedom and equality crossed several imaginary lines we hold to today. Injustice and oppression has existed globally since early in the dawn of human history.  Indeed, a fair view of history could be imperfectly summed up with the following sentance.  History is the story of the struggle of one group, tribe, people, or nation trying to oppress others, and those others resisting – or succumbing to – that oppression. 

Those acts of oppression occurred within a ‘nation,’ as well as between tribes and nations.

Why do people pour across our southern border if not because they hope to get a better life here in the imperfect USA than their even more imperfect and troubled homeland? 

The expression ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ takes the American Dream and turns it on its head. But that expression exists because it reflects the understandable perspective of numbers of people that the system is to some extent rigged.

This writer grew up in the wake of the civil rights era. America wasn’t perfect then, nor is it now. But my parents came to America after post-World War II Europe.  They had witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by the National Socialists (NAZI) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), who between the two had carved up Poland and other places, until the two European socialist powers turned upon each other. 

Sanitized American or global history helps no one, save in the view of those who engage in revisionism in the hopes of weaponizing the past to their supposed benefit in the present. 

Home ownership and the right to earn an honest living and keep the product of one’s own two hands have been frustrated at various times for large periods of our national and global history. It is no surprise that it is so today.


Fathers and Families

Good fathers – as well as good mothers – routinely want the best for their children. There are sad exceptions to the rule, but there is something deep within a parent in an organic family that desires to improve the lot of their offspring.

  • Ease of access to capital,
  • ease of access to home ownership,
  • equality of opportunity,
  • equal justice under the law,

these are just some of the ideals that have sparked generations of Americans for centuries.  Don’t forget that despite the guarantees of Magna Carta, it was imperfectly applied.  That’s why thousands left England, risking a dangerous voyage to come to the American colonies in the first place. History is an uneven struggle of advances and retreats in personal rights. That’s true here and in other lands too. As a disclaimer, this writer has been a political independent for years, respectful of the rights of those who support this or that major or minor political party.  The point is that these facts have political implications, but they transcend politics too.

As was noted last Sunday, some 70 years after George Orwell’s novel 1984 was published, his thoughts are sparking new interest. Orwell and other authors saw what was taking shape in their time, and they warned against a possibly darker future ahead. Big brother re-casting history, creating memory holes to do away with inconvenient truths, these Orwell and others could see were already becoming problematic.  A good bit of Orwell’s concerns related to weaponizing history.


Thousands of manufactured home industry professionals have little or no clue about the rich history of their profession. Nor do most understand the context of their industry in the broader scope of Americana. For example, in the early 1970s, new home shipments approached 600,000 new homes per year for 2 years. Given more technology, and billions in capital that poured into the U.S. from overseas or domestically from tax reforms, is there any reason why manufactured homes can’t exceed those totals today? See more about Orwell and thought-provoking quotes at the linked report here and further below.


America is polarized today. But it was at the time of the revolution against England too. There were decades of efforts known as the abolition movement to end slavery. There was division in the lead up to the war between the states, which is most commonly called the Civil War.  There is an uneven march to ending serfdom and slavery in the world, as the graphic below depicts.



Along with ending serfdom or slavery in a formal sense, it is wise to understand that the right to private property goes with personal freedom. Economic, religious, political, and personal liberty all go hand-in-hand. Part of the tragedy of our era is that reportedly tens of millions are still de facto slaves in various parts of the world. The fight for freedom never stops.


Those points said, while there are always extremists, there is perhaps an opportunity to forge something new and unique in our own time. But that will only occur if people clearly see what’s gone wrong, and address the root causes of injustices. Those injustices include limiting people’s access to affordable housing.  They also include manipulations – what Senator Bernie Sanders and now President Donald J. Trump have called – a rigged system.  Increasingly, left and right see similar issues.  What differs is their approach to solving those issues.

Our industry has arguably been weaponized from within, not just from outside it’s boundaries. In contacts with public officials – elected and appointed- there is among several a willingness to accept the evidence and reasoning presented here on MHProNews and on MHLivingNews, precisely because we strive to accurately cite facts, evidence and sources.  Meaning, we strive to be grounded in reality. That in turn means our readers are more grounded in reality too. 

As our readers are routine sources of news tips, it is an exchange, not a one-sided communication.  



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


Mobile and Manufactured Home History

Yesterday, we noted the celebration of the 43rd Anniversary of the start of HUD Code manufactured homes (see reports below). One might wonder why the same powers-that-be in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis that failed to robustly tout the Innovations in Housing Showcase also failed to build on that event by celebrating the start of manufactured housing on June 15, 1976?

The truth is hiding in plain sight. We see evidence from politicos on both sides of the left-right aisle that manufactured homes could become a factor in the 2020 contests ahead. 

But as or more important, manufactured homes offers an opportunity for those who want their own slice of the American Dream to have it. Research shows that most renters – something like 80 percent – want to be owners someday. 

There are an estimated 111 million renters – per Apartment List – in America.  Those fathers, mothers, and households must be presented with the full truth about manufactured homes. They must also be given the opportunity tap that opportunity in practical ways.  That’s why topics like ‘enhanced preemption’ are so vital.


Be it Ever So Humble…

Even with all of the hardships and challenges, America represents an opportunity that most places on earth only aspire to have. Never forget that as we work in our own way for a better American Republic, we are each already so fortunate when compared to billions of others around the world. 

The truth and proven principles must be the guiding lights in the night sky.  That’s part of what that featured image at the top means.

Let’s all tip the hat to our fathers, who along with our mothers, made our lives possible. My folks and yours were human, a mix of goodness and weakness. That’s why we need a measure of mercy and appreciation combined. 

Then, let’s build on the hard work of the generations that have struggled for an ever higher degree of human freedom and equality under the law. Let’s make sure that those who manipulate the system in ways that diminish our own rights and that of others are exposed, and brought to as swift an end as the law permits.

The monopolization of America is just part of a pattern that been evolving. It’s not only occurring in our manufactured home (MH) industry, but there are egregious cases in MHVille that must be addressed. That will involve the legal and political systems.  In a sense, the biggest compliment we can get is the back-handed one that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis work so hard to obscure or attempt to undermine what we do here. The second biggest compliment they can give us is to keep ducking public debate over the published concerns. If they were so confident, they’d debate us, right? Instead

That said, well plan to be here for you day-by-day to share the reports, to celebrate the successes, to do the fact-checks and analysis, as well as to call for the corrections needed. 

Happy Father’s Day.

Those latest reports follow below. With no further adieu, let’s dive into the week that was from 6.9.2019 to 6.16.2019.


New June Featured Articles:

Including new Tim Connor, plus A Cup of Coffee with…, and other reports – linked here.


What’s New on MHLivingNews:




What’s New in Washington, D.C. From MHARR



What’s New on the Masthead

Surprising Non-Partisan Revelations, Opportunities, Controversies Could Decide 2020 Campaigns – Affordable Housing, Antitrust, Wealth Inequality, and Manufactured Homes

Surprising Non-Partisan Revelations, Opportunities, Controversies Could Decide 2020 Campaigns – Affordable Housing, Antitrust, Wealth Inequality, and Manufactured Homes



What’s New on the Daily Business News


Saturday 6.15.2019

·        Celebrating Manufactured Housing’s 43rd Birthday, Born June 15, 1976

Celebrating Manufactured Housing’s 43rd Birthday, Born June 15, 1976


Friday 6.14.2019 

·        It’s Your Money, Your Future – 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate Line Up, Plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

It’s Your Money, Your Future – 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate Line Up, Plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        RE Focused Economist Says, ‘Millions of Housing Units’ Needed

RE Focused Economist Says, ‘Millions of Housing Units’ Needed

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

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

·        “Together, We Are Building a Safe, Strong, and Proud America,” Happy Birthday, President Donald. J. Trump

“Together, We Are Building a Safe, Strong, and Proud America,” Happy Birthday, President Donald. J. Trump


Thursday 6.13.2019 

·        Criminal Justice Reform, Benefits Cited, Including MH Industry, Communities, American Society

Criminal Justice Reform, Benefits Cited, Including MH Industry, Communities, American Society

·        Tanker Strike Spark Oil Jump, Likely Rise in MH Transport Costs, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Over Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

Investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Over Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

·        City Ponders “Mobile Housing Units,” to Address “Affordable Housing Shortage,” Citizen Reaction

City Ponders “Mobile Housing Units,” to Address “Affordable Housing Shortage,” Citizen Reaction


Wednesday 6.12.2019 

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

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

·        Ongoing MH Headwinds – Angry Manufactured Home Residents, Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry Dilemma Through Their Eyes

Ongoing MH Headwinds – Angry Manufactured Home Residents, Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry Dilemma Through Their Eyes

·        Time to Say Goodbye, Lessons Learned, What’s Next

Time to Say Goodbye, Lessons Learned, What’s Next

·        Highlights Of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen Kraninger’s First Six Months, What’s Next?

Highlights Of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen Kraninger’s First Six Months, What’s Next?


Tuesday 6.11.2019

·        News Media Alliance Slams “Anti-Competitive Behavior,” Report, Congress Investigates – Plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

News Media Alliance Slams “Anti-Competitive Behavior,” Report, Congress Investigates – Plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries, MHI Chairman, Insights from Innovative Housing Showcase

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries, MHI Chairman, Insights from Innovative Housing Showcase

·        WAVY, Mainstream TV – HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase – Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway Revelations

WAVY, Mainstream TV – HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase – Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway Revelations

·        Country Star John Rich Performs ‘Shut Up About Politics’ – Manufactured Housing Takeaways

Country Star John Rich Performs ‘Shut Up About Politics’ – Manufactured Housing Takeaways


Monday 6.10.2019


·        U.S. Chamber hits POTUS on ‘Weaponization of Tariffs,’ POTUS Trump Hits Back, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

U.S. Chamber hits POTUS on ‘Weaponization of Tariffs,’ POTUS Trump Hits Back, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Governor Kristi Noem Tells Young Woman too Many People are Governed by Feelings

Governor Kristi Noem Tells Young Woman too Many People are Governed by Feelings

·        HUD Secretary Ben Carson Address to Innovative Housing Showcase, Complete Official Speech Text

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Address to Innovative Housing Showcase, Complete Official Speech Text

·        “Cribs with Carson,” Tiny House, Manufactured Homes, Innovative Housing Showcase, National Mall, Washington, D.C. Video Report

“Cribs with Carson,” Tiny House, Manufactured Homes, Innovative Housing Showcase, National Mall, Washington, D.C. Video Report


Sunday 6.9.2019

·        George Orwell, All Issues Are Political Issues, Manufactured Housing Challenges, and You

George Orwell, All Issues Are Political Issues, Manufactured Housing Challenges, and You

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Let’s close with the following plug, that is actually free plug for you and your professional future.

There are a numerous good reasons why you should be on our industry-leading email headline news list. Let’s name only a few.

  • When numerous federal officials are on our email list, shouldn’t you want to know what their reading?
  • When the corporate leaders of the largest companies in manufactured housing are – per our sources – regular ‘5 star’ readers of our headline news, knowing they may not even like what they read, doesn’t that tell you that you should be reading them too?
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  • To properly inform and educate others, one must be as informed as they can be too.  This site is ‘informing the leaders,’ and ‘teaching the teachers.’ While we disagree with several of Warren Buffett’s business practices, one must acknowledge the wisdom of his habit of reading a lot, from a variety of sources. He reportedly reads 5 to 6 hours a day.  If you read 30 minutes to an hour a day here and on MHLivingNews, you’ll find yourself grasping opportunities, and avoiding possible heartaches that you may not have realized existed.

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When our homes and industry are properly understood, manufactured housing can be a major force for solving the affordable housing needs of Americans. That means we can be part of lifting millions from dependence to greater independence. From poverty to greater personal wealth. That’s accomplished in part through education and information, and this is the runaway #1 professional resource for that in all of manufactured housing. Thank you so much for your part in making that statement true. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Sunday headline news recap, commentary, fact-checks, and analysis.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is co-founder of MHLivingNews, MHProNews, is a highly acclaimed industry consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma. His minor in business included “Management by Objective (MBO).


Related Reports:

Click on the hot-linked text-image boxes below to learn more.







In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money?



Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here.










“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

March 31st, 2018 Comments off


In the video interview with Kevin Clayton, the son of Jim Clayton says what Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway says is what’s wrong with the manufactured home industry.


Per Clayton, Buffett says it’s resale.

Kevin, it seems to me that the problem of your industry is resale.” – Warren Buffett said to Kevin Clayton, per Clayton’s video interview.

That may seem simple. But it is profound.

In the same video interview posted below, Clayton says that he can see the day when their company’s manufactured homes may also be sold via the Berkshire Hathaway real estate arm.

Another source tells the Daily Business News that Kevin – speaking at an Illinois state association event – said, Resale is the key. As Warren Buffett says ‘the MH industry is not going to grow until we expand the market by improving resale’s” – said Joanne Stevens, whose community brokerage operation is also part of Berkshire Hathaway.

Speaking of real estate, in Buffett’s recent annual letter, he says they now have 3 percent of the real estate agents in the country. ‘Just 97 percent to go,’ Buffett said.

The above begs a question.  Realtors weren’t necessary for the industry to hit is previous highs.  So why are the necessary now?

But setting that question aside for now, with respect to the broader housing market, resale and realtors are important topics. Buffett and Clayton are correct in saying its an issue, as what follows will reveal.


Realtors and Manufactured Housing

Among the consulting projects this writer has done in manufactured housing over the years is to successfully get real estate agents to engage with manufactured homes being sold in land-lease communities.

The following observation is neither a defense, nor a hit, on the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their toe-in-the-water approach to manufactured home lending – especially home only, chattel lending.

If more:

  • realtors were engaged in resale’s of manufactured homes in communities,
  • if the exit strategy for manufactured housing on leased or owned land were easier,
  • it would logically be a game changer for the industry.

Why?  Because it would be a game-changer for lenders, as it could cut hold time and losses on homes that repossess or foreclose.

It would also be appealing for manufactured home owners too, because they would know that they’ve got an obvious exit strategy when the time comes to sell their personal home.

Buffett and Clayton are logically correct.


Realtors and Resales of Manufactured Homes

Don’t misread. There are already real estate pros listing and selling manufactured homes.  There are realtors who sell new as well as pre-owned, “existing” manufactured homes.

But a little like the GSEs, for most real estate agents, that engagement is at toe-in-the-water level.

Law Allows Real Estate Personnel to Sell Homes in Your Manufactured Home Community


The End of the First Quarter of 2018 in Manufactured Housing

As the first quarter of manufactured housing in 2018 is about to hit the history books, what the past tells us is that the industry’s still at levels far below historic norms.  The chart below is an example.



A combination of factors causes those relatively low levels of new HUD Code manufactured home sales.  HUD and third party data reveal that quality isn’t an issue, so what is?

Federal Data Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Quality, Regulatory Questions

Among them is a scarcity of independent retailers.

Who says?  Producers of HUD Code manufactured homes, all of whom – including those who are members in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) that were asked about this – confirmed that a lack of independent retailers is as an issue.

As was previously noted in the Daily Business News, some are attempting to address the problem by ‘giving vertical.’ Others told MHProNews that they are considering going vertical. A few have made strong commitments to their independent retailers, and said they would never go into competition with their dealer base.

Beyond the lack of intendent retailers, what else holds the industry back?  Stop and consider these bullets.

  • Berkshire could bridge the gap between real estate (RE) agents and manufactured housing with ease. Why hasn’t that RE agent switch – which Kevin imagined coming in 2011 – been more broadly turned on?


  • Berkshire has its own array of newsmaper/media outlets. Why don’t their media outlets do a steady stream of fact-based articles on the wonders of modern manufactured homes?


  • Several other challenges facing the industry could readily be addressed by a snap of a finger in Omaha.


  • Why haven’t those industry growth steps already occurred? What could be the logical motivation for Berkshire Hathaway keeping a foot on the break peddle of the industry’s growth?  Isn’t that counter-intuitive?



The Answer to those BH Questions…?

Are the same reasons Buffett’s Berkshire brands not boosting manufactured housing, as the bullets above suggest they could be, similar to why Buffett supported POTUS Obama, and then Secretary Hillary Clinton for president?

Both Clinton and Obama opposed changes to Dodd-Frank.  Those changes in CFPB regulations, that Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage said he wanted those regulations modified by MHI’s multi-year – and still unsuccessful – pursuit the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

Given the sheer size of Berkshire Hathaway, if one imagines a foot on a brake pedal, artificially slowing the growth of the industry, whose foot’s on that brake? And why?

Is it because the greater percentage of the industry will fall into Berkshire’s hands?  Buffett has said that he loves a bargain.  Buffett has also said that he tells his managers to fight competitors, including by expanding their “moat.”

In that context, isn’t it worth noting that MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison touted on video his desire for slow growth for manufactured housing? Who did that slow growth serve?

HUD Secreatary Carson was so enthusiastic about manufactured housing’s “Amazing” progress and quality, that he is almost gushing about it in the video posted below.

The professionals working for the GSEs this writer has privately spoken with are impressed with the quality and value of today’s manufactured homes.

When professionals from outside of our industry are properly exposed to manufactured homes, they are routinely blown away by the value.  At a recent trade show, a senior vice president for an international operation told MHProNews that he was shocked that manufactured housing sales levels were so low, given their quality and value.

What did the Urban Institute miss?

Is it what was went undisclosed in their report on manufactured homes?

If you have a long Easter weekend, this may be a good chance to catch up on the study of your own industry. “Warren” – says Kevin Clayton – has studied manufactured housing.

Perhaps it’s time for more industry pros to do the same?  See the linked resources and reports, including the Warren Buffett and Kevin Clayton videos, found below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports – some with videos – to the above.


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

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

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

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Intelligence Report – MHI Producer Spotlights “the Plan” for MHCs, Community REITs

March 29th, 2018 Comments off


A senior management team member for a HUD Code manufactured housing (MH) production company told the Daily Business News about the emerging plan for MH Communities, according to a REIT moving towards capacity.


As MHProNews has reported, a third or more of new manufactured home shipments are going into land-lease communities. 

While new homes are being purchased by communities of all sizes, large numbers are being ordered by “portfolio operations,” including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), such as Sun Communities (SUI), Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), and UMH Properties (UMH).


As an Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member company president told the Daily Business News, if new home shipments going into land lease community are factored out, then new home production is essentially flat. In some states, shipments of new homes are still declining since the official bottom for the industry was hit in 2009. 




Given the comparison in price and value, it is difficult to for many third parties and industry professionals to imagine how manufactured housing (MH) can be hovering at around 9 percent of single family housing starts.  That’s far below MH’s historic norms (see shipment chart above). Some point to the affordable housing crisis, the quality of today’s manufactured homes, and ask a question similar to what the Urban Institute (UI) did in January, even though they may come to a different conclusion than UI did.


While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

Another MHI member producer’s president and vice president both said that based upon current trends, they expect a three to five year window, before MH Communities fill their vacancies of existing home sites. 

Against that backdrop, a new MHI production source tells MHProNews about his insights learned from the plans that Sun Communities (SUI) and another major portfolio operation.

Sun, a titan in the MH Communities sector, are planning beyond their current vacancies. They, per our source, are looking beyond vacant lots, and planning on replacing older homes on occupied but dated home sites. Some of those sites are odds sizes by today’s standards, he explained, which may require special models of homes designed to fit certain lots.

If that replacement of aging inventory becomes a trend, as rental units did after Dodd-Frank, such a replacement process may continue the orders coming from giant land lease operations.

That means the production cliff some are concerned about could be extended beyond the thousands of now vacant home sites in MHCs.

That may sound like good news for HUD Code home producers.  But those replacement plans are not likely to be as busy as the current infill in the dwindling numbers of vacancies in MHCs, coming primarily from homes being offered as rental units. 

The fact that so many homes are being sold as rentals instead of sales to home buyers as was the historic norm is in itself a troubling trend, per producers. 


The Take Aways

All of the above implies a coming new home shipment cliff in manufactured housing, unless some new trend or development takes place. 

While the industry’s members are in several cases understandably celebrating modestly rising new home shipment levels, the underlying realities are not as rosy.


When 92,900 new HUD Code manufactured homes are divided by the 5.57 million units of new existing housing sales, you get 0.01667863554. That means that only new manufactured home sales is equal to only 1.67 percent of the sale of existing conventional homes. With 8.3 million new housing units needed in the U.S., what explains the relatively low levels of manufactured home sales?

Given the nature of their business, MH production companies have to be aware of such trends.

As another HUD Code MH producer – an MHI member and careful reader of MHProNews – has said, MHI’s official policies, plans and positions “have made no sense” for “several years.”  

All of the reports noted herein are from MHI only member companies, not from members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Given the affordable housing crisis, and MHI’s indirect admission of their failed industry promotion and marketing plans, industry professionals and public officials alike ought to take notice.

Some producers told MHProNews that they are “open” to being acquired by larger companies.

So the data like the above ought to be of concern to independents, including MH retailers and other industry operations who want to remain independent.

Among independent factory home builders, even those planning to sell at some foreseeable point, should realize that Warren Buffett and another larger player are both known for trying to buy “cheap” rather than at full value.  If historic normal shipment levels existed today, it would translate as more value for those firms who are thinking about selling.

The latest report by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) lays out step-by-step examples of how MHI was on the wrong side of issues that both associations were engaged with. In case after case, MHI had to pivot toward MHARR’s original and steady stance. How can that be so consistently true?

In all of this, per sources, MHI is being revealed as de facto working mainly for the interests of major consolidators, while posturing “activities” that in fact has proven time and again to largely be fruitless. A look at the dues structure of MHI, and who three of the four MHI Executive Committee seats are held by paints a picture.

The Daily Business News review of the MHARR report is linked here. The full length version without commentary of MHARR’s report is linked here. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

“Razzle Dazzle,” Says Former Manufactured Housing Institute Member

“Winners and Losers,” L2 Founder, Prof Scott Galloway on Monopolies

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New Manufactured Housing Production Results Report for January 2018

March 7th, 2018 Comments off


Washington, D.C., March 7, 2018 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells the Daily Business News that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


Year-over-year manufactured housing industry production increased again during January 2018.

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,636 homes in January 2018, a 10.3% increase over the 7,827 HUD Code homes produced during January 2017,” said MHARR.

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through January 2018,” MHARR’s release stated.

Cumulative, monthly, current year (2018) and prior year (2017) shipments per category as indicated – are as follows.


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

Related: What’s the potential?

“Starting” Dip in Home Sales, New Crisis Says Housing Experts

Before You Close, Sell or Quit, Why Not Try a Test? Test Market Marketing & Sales, Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales Meeting

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Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), What Role Will Trillionaire Firms Play in Factory Built Housing?

January 27th, 2018 Comments off


There’s a race on between the giant 3 As of the tech world.

Which will become the first trillion-dollar operation?


Analysts project that in about 12 months, Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet – the parent company to Google –  could hit the $1 trillion-dollar mark in valuation.

As the Daily Business News has previously reported, several of the tech giants are dabbling directly or indirectly in the world of factory-built housing.

In one sense, their realities give them little choice.

Housing for their workers is a problem. So, of course they will be focusing on solutions for those kinds of issues.

The composite Google search results from this morning – shown below – provides a snapshot of the realities.


With affordability an issue, as the housing news search above demonstrates, the tech giants are both compelled – and will be attracted into – the world of factory built homes.

  • When Apple announced that it will repatriate over $200 billion dollars due to tax reform,
  • with over 200 U.S. companies announcing bonuses and pay hikes to workers, that positively impact millions of Americans,
  • with President Trump’s Davos trip theme of “America is Open for Business” to the titans of international commerce being widely hailed, even by many in an often-critical press,
  • with consumer confidence at or near record highs,
  • with business confidence high,
  • with unemployment is at or near historic lows,
  • with immigration related issues moving towards – yes, hard to believe based upon the political theater – the first stage of resolutions,
  • and housing affordability and millions of housing units need,

those bullets all read like a road map for investors into the universal need for more quality, affordable housing.

That in turn has and will continue to lead investors into affordable factory-built housing. Which has already led some in tech into various kinds of prefab or modular housing, as we reported throughout 2017.

Meet the Modular Housing Builder Google Picked, and their “Industrial Cathedral”

Survey Top 2017 PreFab, Modular, Tiny and 3D Printed Housing News Stories

But others will “discover” that manufactured homes are very different than the stigmatized stereotype projects. That’s when the Sam Zell mantra – when others are going right, look left – will take root with a growing number of tech companies, hedge funds, and other deep pocket players searching for smart, sustainable value.


Private Equity Fund Grabbing 2 PreFab Home Builders

Given the fact that:

  • production backlogs of HUD Code manufactured homes are several months deep,
  • new plants are scheduled to come online,
  • manufactured housing – which outsells modular, as the example from Skyline below reflects – will doubtlessly get its share of the investment pie.

83 percent of Skyline’s production, per the graphic above, is from HUD Code manufactured homes. 9 percent is from modular homes. The other 8 percent are categorized as “park models,’ which some would see as similar to ‘tiny houses.’ Learn more, at this link here.


Housing, Housing, Housing…

The latest announced shakeup at HUD is a signal, Daily Business News’ sources tell us, that the Trump Administration is recognizing the potential, importance and value of manufactured housing in the mix of the nation’s total housing outlook.

Keep in mind that Vice President Mike Pence is from Indiana, which is the ‘birthplace’ of manufactured homes.  Sources there tell MHProNews that VP Pence understands HUD code homes – even our industry’s lingo – far better than most politicos.


As MHLivingNews reported during the campaign, one of President Trump’s family businesses – building – has direct exposure to high-end prefabs.

So the foundation for a federal policy more embracing of factory-built homes exists.

These are among the reasons why MHProNews early, loudly, and proudly promoted Team Trump during and since the 2016 campaign.  The background and policy positions of the Trump/Pence ticket were clearly superior to those of Secretary Hillary Clinton.  2017 and early 2018 economic news has proven that to be an accurate assessment.


While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, MHProNews and the Kovach family supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, plus on numerous news, conservative, and pro-Trump websites.

The Latest Big Deal…

The Skyline-Champion deal has and will cause more investors to take a new, fresh look at manufactured and modular homes.  As last night’s market report reflected, the stock has soared in the wake of the announcement.

Skyline – Insider Trade$, Institutional Owner Move$ – Plus Manufactured Housing Market Update$

The manufactured housing REITs and publicly traded companies that have land-lease communities have had a strong, steady performance, even in the face of the headwinds caused by the Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

For a snapshot of the market impact, see the links from last night’s MH connected market report for the 1 Year Post-Election trends of the various companies the Daily Business News tracks better and in more detail than anyone else in the manufactured housing industry’s trade media.

Big Toe in the Water…

While it’s a arguably a pittance to start, Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s toe into the manufactured home chattel lending waters has drawn headlines, and that also means, investors’ eyes too.

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plans for Duty to Serve (DTS) Program

England’s financial services giant Legal and General has taken a direct dive into modular housing.  Plus L&G has reported investments in U.S. based Cavco Industries (CVCO), the current #3 producer of HUD Code manufactured homes.

Capital has and will seek ways to be deployed in areas of opportunity.  Housing may not be quite as sexy as tech, AI and self-driving vehicles for some.  But it very much fits the mold of a market that is already attracting new capital, and is poised to draw in even more.

The chart posted below is a reminder of the tremendous upside opportunities for manufactured housing, within the broader conventional housing market.


The list of promising indicators are so numerous, that a book is needed, not an article.

Thus this post is designed to provide a flavor of known facts, trends, and links to more details about the dynamics behind it all.

Investors, Investors…

Investors are reaching out to and researching MHProNews and MHLivingNews – directly and indirectly.  Why?  Because they find these to be a superior resource for their research.  The same can be said about public officials.

Beyond messages and conversations, website and third-party statistics provide insights of why these sister-trade-media-platforms are well received by the public, professionals, and politicos alike.

“Controversial Topics” Exist in Part as Answers to Tough Questions from Outsiders Looking at HUD Code Manufactured Homes

The controversial topics that cause some in MHVille angst, are in fact a necessary part of the industry’s reality check.

They answer questions that investors and industry pros alike are posing.

The articles linked herein take a deeper dive into some of the related topics.

Manufactured housing underwent a major shakeup after the industry’s downturn that began in 1998.

The Warren Buffett/Clayton/Vanderbilt/21st/MHI related articles are designed in part to answer a common question from investors.

Among the questions or lenders and investors?

For those who have seen and touched the product, “How is it that manufactured housing hasn’t already taken off?”



Interview videos with experts – such as the one above – help answer that question.

The video below helps answers concerns that arise from informed public officials.  The written reports that compliment those two and other videos we’ve produced over the years round out fact-based insights that intelligent investors, shoppers, and others want answers to; today.



The Powerful Insights from the Clayton Video Interview

The thumbnail link to the Kevin Clayton video interview has now been placed on the MHProNews home page.



That interview is akin to a road-map for the industry’s story in recent years in several ways.

Combined with our related reports, that interview video helps explain several of the dynamics on how and why so many in manufactured housing have struggled when it should be soaring. It explains why and how Clayton – via Berkshire and “the moat” – gobbled up such big pieces of the industry in a relatively short period of time.

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

The Clayton interview and related report – linked above – also plainly states what the billionaires and the billion-dollar corporations want to know.

Namely, what must others do to be successful in a sustainable way in manufactured housing?


Study!  Research!  Facts! Expert Guidance! Understanding! 

Warren Buffett’s success, as Kevin Clayton mentioned, is due in part to the Berkshire Hathaway chairman’s studious ‘professorial’ approach, and ongoing research.

The advantage Buffett has wielded is understanding.

Understanding is what reduces risk, says Buffett, and can lead to maximum opportunities.

The Alan Amy and Mike Harrison videos each make or underscore points that the factory-built housing industry’s current and incoming professionals must grasp.

They are?

  • Alan Amy states the obvious truth that is hiding in plain sight. Manufactured housing is the future. That’s why people like Buffett or real estate/investment mogul Sam Zell are in the business, and why they continue to try to increase their presence.


  • Mike Harrison is one of several possible examples of how quickly manufactured housing can be used to develop – or redevelop – properties with hundreds of homes, in a short time-frame.


While MHI’s strategic initiative will draw some attention, what is already known about it is typical of their work.  They’re behind, not ahead.

Part of the evidence is Barry Noffsinger with Credit Human fine job of explaining for MHProNews reader/viewers almost a year ago several of the same points – in several ways, better – and certainly for less money.



The irony is that “the moat” -building Berkshire boys are growing at a slower pace than the industry at large is. That’s based upon their own and MHI’s data.

Further, if you listen to Kevin Clayton’s video and look at their current number of retail locations, one must draw the conclusion that they reduced the number of retail locations in recent years by about 100.

While reducing many of their own retail centers, Clayton Homes purchased others from independents. Among those purchased by Clayton, were operations our consulting side had involvement with.  Most of their profits aren’t from retail, they are from finance.

Facts simply are. None of those are slams.  Rather, they are reality-checks that are precisely the kinds of insights that investors and professionals alike ought to crave.

Clayton arguably would be doing better – and certainly the industry at large would be doing better – if they had not killed off/forced out hundreds of competing companies, as “the Moat” article above lays out and links up in more detail.  Keep in mind that IBISWorld/The Atlantic projected that it would occur.  So these are not mere opinions, they are observable realities that objective researchers will uncover if they but look.

Those researchers are looking here and on MHLivingNews.

Our upcoming exclusive focus group videos and reports continue to build on the body of evidence that manufactured housing is the future, and can routinely yield happy home owners.

So, while there is a certain ‘tension’ between the elephant-in-the-room (Berkshire’s manufactured housing units, the rest of the industry and outsiders looking in); the behavior of the Omaha/Knoxville/MHI axis could be a case study as to why anti-trust (anti-monopoly) laws exist in the first place.

MH Resistance – Unmasking, Demystifying, Manufactured Housing Industry’s Roadblocks

Anti-trust laws exist because it is overall bad for business, bad for consumers and bad for the economy at large — even if it may seem to specifically benefit a given ‘trust.’

Faster Growth Outside of the Giants

Independent producers, such as Sunshine Homes, have been growing at more than double pace of Clayton and Cavco.

Publisher Rebuked! Doubting Doctor, Skeptic Stunned!

Independent retailers and selling communities – such as New Durham Estates and others – are growing at a far faster pace than the industry ‘leaders.’

One takeaway is clear.

Free enterprise works when its allowed to work.

Taking the foot off the regulatory break – a foot that Buffett and others helped put and keep in office with President Barack Obama – will naturally be good for business.

While people can hate or love his tweets, President Trump – the builder/entertainer/communicator – is reopening America for business.

Housing Hunger…a Necessity That Must Be Fixed

Realtors are hungry for more affordable inventory.

Realtor’s website joined Bloomberg, Fox and HousingWire in 2015 in proclaiming the role that manufactured homes need to make in the nation’s housing supply.

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

MHI continues to communicate problematic narratives to Washington (e.g.: stressing manufactured housing as predominantly “rural housing” is arguably one of several tactical/strategic errors they’ve made for years).

But the reality of MH being successfully used in urban and suburban settings has been a theme that MHLivingNews and MHProNews have spotlighted for years.


Appealing Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Marketing, Finance Booklet Reviewed

In the pre-MHI president and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison era, MHI’s staff were far better at grasping and pointing to those urban and suburban uses.  See the report, linked above.

Until those within and outside of MHVille fully grasp the amazing benefits of the ‘two great laws‘ already on federal books that could benefit manufactured housing, the industry will not reach its potential.

But the reverse is true.  Applying those two great laws are part of what the savvy players are banking on.

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

Only Patient Research, Sufficient Resources and Expertise Will Sustainably Succeed

It’s a complex industry at first.

Warren Buffett’s Political Payoff$, THIPS, and Manufactured Housing

There are many moving parts.

The politics of the industry and its associations are not instantly grasped.

Too many within the industry’s own ranks are not clear on just how great the upside potential truly is.

None of those claims should be construed as a slam. They are demonstrably true, as sources tell us or admit.

But the reason that the latest ‘big deal’ – Skyline Champion – is a signal to:

  • investors,
  • housing/policy advocates,
  • public officials and
  • those in the industry

is precisely the reasons why the tech giants and billions being unleashed in the America economy will attract billions of investor dollars into factory-built housing.

While no one can say how many billion that will be, the math is clear.

For those who understand or learn about the HUD Code manufactured home industry’s two already existent great laws, it ought to be obvious.

Manufactured homes are, as Alan Amy wisely said, the housing of the future.

Some might call all of the above our opinion.

But it’s the view from a veteran of the industry, not just a ‘reporter.’  That combination of veteran and consulting experiences, combined with our daily research and reports places us in that enviable Masthead perch.



It’s a fact. You can see farther from atop the Masthead than you can from the deck of the ship. It’s not bragging if it’s true.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary, links to documents and research.)

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


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, parent to MHProNews, and

Both are #1 in their categories.

For consulting and business development, other professional services, click here.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

Sunday Morning Weekly Recap Manufactured Housing Industry News July 2 to July 9, 2017

July 9th, 2017 Comments off

MHProNewsHomePage610.2017IpadManufacturedHousingIndustryReportsRecapResearchDataAs vacation season rolls on, we’ll try something just a little bit different again today for our weekly recap of .  Reader feedback, always encouraged and appreciated.  Matthew and his work are missed, but we hope his trip to the mountains will be a good one!

What’s New on

We’re testing out some new things on the Daily Business News this week too, and have had some guest writers doing reports for us.  Traffic on these reports have been good  – that’s always a positive sign – but your written feedback is appreciated.

July 8th, 2017 


To see this report, click here or the image above.

July 7th, 2017


July 6th, 2017


See the report by clicking the image above.

July 5th, 2017


Smiling faces at the Lakeside closing, the names for those shown were not immediately available.

July 4th, 2017


July 3rd, 2017


July 2nd, 2017


MHARR gets Third Party backup on Controversial, Proposed DOE Rule for Manufactured Homes

September 14th, 2016 Comments off

Each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines, collage and text graphic, by MHProNews.

Written comments submitted by two highly-respected independent organizations regarding the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed manufactured housing “energy” rule — specifically citing the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) — echo and confirm the vigorous objections to that proposed rule set out by the Association in its own comprehensive August 8, 2016 written comments,” MHARR said in a press release to MHProNews.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) – stated in a document found as a download from the full release, linked here – that the DOE rule does “not comply” with the requirements of the federal Regulatory Fairness Act.

Further, the SBA stated that the DOE proposed rule “would have significantly disproportionate economic impacts on small manufactured home manufacturers if finalized” leading, among other things, to adverse impacts on competition within the industry...”

The Regulatory Studies Center also made a statement on this issue.

Citing MHARR materials published in the industry trade journal, MHProNews – echoes serious concerns over anti-competitive effects resulting from the DOE proposed rule,” reads the MHARR release.

For the full MHARR release and related information, please click here.


To see the original report, click here or above – fo Image credits, click to the original story.

Note that MHProNews has taken its own, independent objections to the proposed rule, in an analysis reported by mainstream media sites, and as originally found on the link here or by clicking on the graphic above. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of and

Submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Resources for HUD Code Manufactured Homes Onsight Completion Rule, effective Sept 7, 2016

September 6th, 2016 Comments off

HUDManufacturedHousingConsensusCommitteeMHCC-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsOne of the areas that witnessed broad manufactured housing industry consensus was the opposition to the HUD onsite completion rule, which goes into effect Sept 7, 2016.

Manufactured homes that include the following features, says MHI, are among those which will be impacted by the new and costly rule.

  • A fireplace hearth that cannot be completed in the factory because it spans the mating line of a multi-section manufactured home.
  • Exterior French doors that cannot be completed in the factory due to potential damage during home shipment.
  • Roof dormers, including windows in dormers, which cannot be completed in the factory due to shipment height limitation.
  • Hinged roofs and eaves not considered to be installation. Homes with hinged roofs and eaves that are considered installation and not subject to the rule are homes located in Wind Zone I in which the roof pitch of the hinged roof is less than 7:12.
  • Siding not considered close-up, such as stone, brick, stucco, or other materials that cannot be installed at the factory due to transportation challenges.

For previous commentary on this topic, seen through the lens of the Pam Danner appointment to head the HUD Code manufactured housing program, please click here.


NTA’s White Paper on the final rule is linked here as a download.

MHI’s statement, download linked here.

Some of MHARR’s prior commentary, linked here.

HUD’s FAQs, are linked here.

HUD’s Newsletter with some of their related commentary, is linked here.

The final rule as published in the Federal Register, is linked here. ##

(Image credit, HUD’s ManuFACTured Housing Newsletter.)


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of and

Submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Daily Business News, MHProNews

NRDC, ACEEE on DOE Energy Rule Proposals – Analysis – Helpful or Harmful for Consumers, Manufactured Housing Industry?

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off

Logo collage, each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Photo, Dennis Raper, chain saw artist and supervisor at Sunshine Homes, with Energy Star home under construction in the background (credit, still from video on

Lauren Urbanek, writing for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is among the recent writers and policy advocates expressing their support for the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed revised standards for manufactured housing (MH).

Building on a report on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) done by Senior Policy Advisor Lowell Ungar, Ph.D., Urbanek mimics Ungar’s findings in touting projected benefits for manufactured housing and its potential home owners.

LauraUrbanek-credit-NRDC-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-But who is the NRDC?  How accurate is the information (ACEEE) that they’re basing their claims on about manufactured homes?  Are there facts that have been glossed over, ignored or overlooked by NRDC, ACEEE, the DOE and others?

And will this specific type of media attention harm or help manufactured housing and its recovery from the bottom hit in 2009?

NRDC’s Self-Description

From the NRDC’s website, “We combine the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.”

Headquartered in New York City, NY, they have other offices in:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago, IL
  • Bozeman, MT
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Beijing, China

Clearly, this is a significant organization shining its light on the manufactured housing industry, and the energy efficiency of our HUD Code MH producers’ homes.

But the sheer scope of this organization doesn’t mean that clean air, less-waste and thus greener and energy-saving manufactured home professionals should be intimidated by their influence.

Rather, their scope ought to be a call to action to by professionals to engage this group, and encourage them and others to take a closer look.  Only by truly understanding the realities of what today’s HUD Code manufactured homes already are, can move advocacy groups from being skeptics or critics and advance to becoming natural allies (pun intended) for the MH Industry, and millions of potential homeowners.


Collage from ACEEE article by Lowell Unger, Ph.D. Text graphic by MHProNews.

Non-Profits, Media and Manufactured Housing

MH Industry professionals have seen this kind of non-profit pushed, media-geared promotional efforts before.  One vivid example is the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008), which gave the nation and manufactured housing the SAFE Act as well as “Duty to Serve.”  How did that work out for the MH Industry and its professionals?

The Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has repeatedly raised the warning flags against this DOE proposal.

Initially embraced by members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), more recently that Arlington, VA based group have said in their soon-to-be-retired communications email, the Week in Review, that they too are now urging restraint on the Department of Energy (DOE – see their letter, linked here).

The NRDC’s headline is the first clue that advocacy is at play, “Standards for Manufactured Housing Will Mean Higher Quality and Better Comfort.” But that misses a key fact. Manufactured housing has had performance-based federal standards for over 40 years.


Collage from NRDC, text graphic, by MHProNews.

LowellUngerSeniorPolicyAdvisor-credit-ACEEE-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-Ungar’s ACEEE pro-DOE proposal post fails to cite sources or to use proper terminology.  When someone who has had the rigorous academic training needed to obtain a doctorate fails to get the basics correct, what is to be expected of the rest of Unger’s work?

Dr Harold Hunt, Ph.D, in an article found on MHLivingNews, has cast a favorable light on modern manufactured housing, its green features, including energy savings. See Hunt’s report, linked here.


Collage above is from the article posted on MHLivingNews, by Dr. Harold Hunt. To see the article, click here or the image above.

A review by MHProNews’ Daily Business News of what is going understated by these advocacy-driven media reports is this; that the estimated costs for implementing these rules are higher than is expected to be recouped in a typical 7- to 10-year ownership period common for most homebuyers.

To rephrase, the cost-benefit numbers are upside-down for potential buyers. The ROI may be there after 12 to 20 years of ownership, but they are often lacking for 10 years or less. During that long window of time, what advances might occur that makes the current proposal or needs obsolete?

Also underplayed or ignored are those MH Industry voices that say that this proposed regulation, as is true of any other, will fall disproportionately harder on smaller, independent builders.


Formaldehyde-free insulation is being used in the Energy Star rated home shown, still from video below. This producer is now building only to Energy Star standards.

The Daily Business News recently reported on the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) in-depth study on the impact of regulations on their builders, see that link here, which includes a link to the NAHB’s so-called Priced-Out Report.

The NAHB Priced Out report demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of prospective home buyers would be knocked out of the opportunity to buy, in this case, all in the name of an energy plan that does not pay for itself in a timely fashion.


Jerry and his wife Karen McKibben are featured in the video shown below. Jerry is an engineer by trade, and both praised the construction, quality, appeal and the energy savings in their manufactured home. They previously owned an conventional house, as well as a pre-HUD Code mobile home.

What Do Manufactured Home Owners say?

Perhaps no one in manufactured housing today has done more third-party video interviews with manufactured home owners than is found in the Inside MH Road Show series, found on  One of the common questions interviewed homeowners are asked about is regarding their utility bills.  How does the manufactured home they now own compare to their prior housing in energy costs?

MH homeowners routinely report that they are paying less for their utility bills then when they owned conventional, site-built housing.



Such points ought to lead objective researchers to what appears to be a critical oversights by each of these well-meaning advocates who are pushing the DOE proposed rule on manufactured housing.

Perhaps the biggest fallacy of this entire DOE proposal is that it doesn’t respect the consumers right to choose.  Energy Star rated manufactured homes are already available. Some manufacturers specialize in energy saving, and some even offer “net zero” factory-built homes. Upgraded insulation can already be ordered from almost any producer by any consumer who wants it.

Why not let the consumer choose for himself? Isn’t that the American Way?

Going into this Labor Day weekend, manufactured housing ought to tout itself for what it already is – greener than conventional, on-site housing construction, and often half the cost of conventional building, backed by warranties and federal performance and state/federal installation standards.

When even frugal millionaires are buying manufactured homes, doesn’t that speak volumes?

The NRDC, ACEEE and others ought to revisit their report in the light of a better, more global understanding of what manufactured housing has already accomplished for some 20 (+/-) million Americans. The DOE in turn should heed the concerns of manufactured housing industry professionals. The proposed cure could cost the industry and potentially tens of thousands of renters and housing shoppers every month a golden opportunity at becoming homeowners.  ##

(Image credits as shown above).


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of and

(Editor’s Note: As the insightful report yesterday by Joe Dyton reflects, MHProNews is welcoming periodic guest writers. ICYMI, Matthew Silver is taking some much needed and well-earned time off, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach will be helping fill the Daily Business News role in the interim).

Article submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach to the Daily Business News,


Manufactured Home Community Named Top Retirement Locale in Florida

October 29th, 2015 Comments off

The_Villages__newsmax_credit__also_wikimediaAs MHProNews knows, Newsmax’s top – #1 – rated retirement community in their list of 50 is The Villages. The Villages is a mix of HUD Code Manufactured Housing and other construction that includes site building that in some cases mimics the look of a manufactured home.

With 56,260 homes, The Villages is more like an age-restricted city 60 miles northwest of Orlando than an Active Adult Retirement Community. Stretching over portions of three counties, and with a population of 8,333 at the 2000 Census, it grew to 51,442 by 2010 and around 114,000 today. It boasts 42 golf courses, over 60 restaurants, dozens of outdoor swimming pools and a variety of other leisure activities. Homes range in price from under $100,000 to $2 million. ##

(Photo credit:wikimedia/newsmax–The Villages in Florida)

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