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“RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW TO MANUFACTURED HOUSING REGULATION” – MH Leader Call to Action

July 10th, 2018 No comments

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The rule of law, and the supremacy of law over the arbitrary whims of individuals who happen to wield government power, was a profound concern for the founders who debated and developed the Constitution of the United States. For over two centuries, legal scholars have pointed to the primacy of the “rule of law” in the system of limited government and defined powers established by the Constitution, stating, for example: “The rule of law may be the most significant and influential accomplishment of Western constitutional thinking. The very meaning and structure of our Constitution embody this principle. Nowhere expressed yet evident throughout the Constitution, this bedrock concept is the first principle on which the American legal and political system was built.”

   Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

 

 

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFor too long, though, the rule of law, as envisioned by the nation’s founders, has been undermined, ignored, or bypassed by the so-called “Fourth Branch” of government – the permanent, overgrown and largely unaccountable bureaucracy that has ballooned within the federal government, often in concert with overpaid and largely unaccountable government contractors,” said Weiss in a MHARR release to the Daily Business News. 

While this is a major socio-political issue with ramifications that extend far beyond the scope of this column, federally-regulated manufactured housing faces challenges of its own regarding the rule of law, and with a new Administration – with a new regulatory philosophy — now in place, there is no time like the present to clearly address this issue within the unique context of manufactured housing regulation,” said Weiss.

In the manufactured housing arena, the most fundamental expression of the primacy of the rule of law is the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000,” Weiss said

It’s a theme that MHARR, and editorially MHProNews, have held for years. 

Indeed, the 2000 reform law is a direct outgrowth of – and a direct congressional response to and remedy for – administrative abuses that had piled-up within the federal manufactured housing program over the first quarter-century of its existence. These included, but by no means were limited to:

 

(1) de facto rulemaking by “interpretation;”

(2) circumventing, evading, or ignoring notice and comment requirements;

(3) abuses of the “Interpretive Bulletin” process;

(4) closed-door standards development activity;

(5) non-consensus standards development;

(6) contracting abuses resulting in a non-competitive, de facto “sole-source” program monitoring contract, the same monitoring contractor for the (now) entire 40-year-plus history of the program, and the delegation of governmental power to an unaccountable private entity; and

(7) activity to subvert the operation and objectivity of the former Manufactured Housing Advisory Council, and a host of other actions that undermined the basic fairness, reasonableness and, ultimately, legitimacy of the federal manufactured housing program.   

Weiss, an attorney known for being detail-oriented, got into the weeds in his analysis. 

He also commented on the “Deep State” style “subversion” of the HUD Code program. 

Just as importantly, through nearly every step of this decade-plus subversion of the 2000 reform law, “deep state” regulators at HUD have been aided and abetted by “institutional” program contractors – i.e., de facto sole-source contractors, such as the program monitoring contractor – which constitute a “deep state” of their very own, wielding unlawfully-delegated and largely unaccountable governmental power, together with a built-in incentive to continually expand both the scope and cost of regulation, thereby increasing their own power and influence and, not surprisingly, their contract revenues,” stated Weiss, adding that “This needless regulatory expansion, in itself, has excluded hundreds-of-thousands of Americans from the benefits of manufactured home ownership, based on studies conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and has unnecessarily slowed and stunted the industry’s recovery from its modern production low in 2009, disproportionately harming smaller industry businesses.  Nor does the industry itself escape part of the blame for this activity, as far too many of its largest corporate conglomerates – and their representatives — have provided protection and “cover” for the HUD status quo and program “leaders” who have gone to extraordinary lengths to undermine the most important elements of the 2000 reform law.” 

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The change in presidential administrations, however, has opened the door to potential remedies for this fundamentally lawless regulatory activity. In particular, the Trump Administration’s “top-to-bottom” review of HUD’s manufactured housing regulations and “regulatory activities,” under Executive Orders 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) and 13777 (“Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”) provides a viable basis for action to repeal both the 2010 HUD interpretive rule and the slew of “field guidance” and other sub-regulatory mandates issued by HUD based on the Department’s unlawful construction of section 604(b)(6),” wrote Weiss.    

And indeed, MHARR in its February 20, 2018 regulatory review comments to HUD, specifically urged the program to return to the rule of law, through the withdrawal of the 2010 interpretive rule and all of the program’s sub-regulatory mandates issued without MHCC consideration and notice and comment rulemaking.” 

This effort…received a major boost when the U.S. Department of Justice notified federal agencies, through memoranda issued on November 16, 2017 and January 25, 2018 that it would no longer enforce administrative “guidance” documents issued without notice and comment rulemaking.  In part, the Justice Department stated: “Guidance documents cannot create biding requirements that do not already exist by statute or regulation.  Accordingly … the [Justice] Department may not use its enforcement authority to effectively convert agency guidance documents into binding rules.  Likewise, Department litigators may not use noncompliance with guidance documents as a basis for proving violations of applicable law…” said MHARR’s president.

For the full, unedited MHARR release, please click here. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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

 

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Manufactured Home Production and Shipment Report, April 2018, per MHARR, HUD, IBTS

June 4th, 2018 Comments off

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The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports to the Daily Business News that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by their contractor.

 

Year-over-year “manufactured housing industry production grew again in April 2018. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,262 homes in April 2018, a 15.0% increase over the 7,184 HUD Code homes produced during April 2017.  Cumulative industry production for 2018 now totals 33,646 homes, a 10.0% increase over the 30,568 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2017,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the national association that advocates for regulatory reform and promotes positions that would benefit consumers and manufactured home companies, such as the full implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, and for the Duty to Serve manufactured housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), mandated by HERA 2008.

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

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 April 2018 — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2018) and prior year (2017) shipments per category as indicated — are:”

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About MHARR

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.

2018 Projections?

Based upon the April results, projected out for 12 months, the totals for 2018 would yield 99,144 new HUD Code manufactured homes. 

Using the first four months total for 2018, and projecting that out for the balance of the year, would yield  100,938 new HUD Code manufactured homes in 2018. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

NAR’s Lawrence Yun Raises Alarm for New Housing Crisis, MH Import?

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

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Manufactured Home Community Owner Alert, Rent Control, MHAction Plans Organized Action in Several States

May 31st, 2018 Comments off

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Rent control fights are heating up in California and Illinois, and manufactured homeowners are continuing to organize for better treatment from corporate landlords,” the leftist-activist group, MHAction stated in a release to the Daily Business News.

Nationwide, MHAction is joining a coalition of affordable housing advocates calling for Congress to fully fund HUD and reject proposed rent increases for recipients of section 8 funds. Now, more than ever, as corporate real estate investors move into ownership of manufactured home communities, apartment buildings, and single family homes, we need a strong, fully funded HUD to advocate for our communities,” per their statement.

On May 15th, manufactured homeowners in Illinois, from Urbana and Beecher, joined tenant activists with the Lift the Ban Coalition for a lobby day in Springfield to call for the repeal of the Illinois state law that prevents rent control. Many other homeowners from across the state who were unable to travel to Springfield participated by writing letters and making phone calls to their state Senators. We’ll be holding a conference call next week, Wednesday June 6th, to update everyone on the status of SB 3512 and talk about how we can build momentum for rent control this summer,” per MHAction.

Regular, long-time Daily Business News readers recall that MHProNews has been warning industry investors and professionals about the actions of this group for some years. A recent report, is linked below.  So, thoughtful readers should not construe reports about them, as an endorsement of their efforts or thinking.

Behind So-Called “MH Resident Activists,” MHAction’s Kevin Borden, Anti- HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Industry Protests

In California manufactured homeowners are continuing to work in coalition with affordable housing advocates statewide to fight for expanded rent control and real solutions to the affordable housing crisis. We’ll be holding a conference call on Thursday, June 14th to discuss how manufactured homeowners can help pass the Affordable Housing Act in November, and use the increased focus on housing issues to build momentum for community fights,” per their release, which is peppered with sign ups, that have not been included in this column.

In Maryland and New York, communities owned by Sunrise Capital Investors are continuing to fight back against drastic rent increases they received last January,” they stated in their call-to-arms for fellow activists.

If you have updates on your local work you’d like us to share,” said MHAction, “or would like support from other manufactured homeowners, send us an email,” they requested.

The group creates stories, shares photos, graphics, and videos designed to attracts more activists.  They have apparent ties to Black Lives Matter, the now-dissolved ACORN group, and other left-wing activist organizations.

As has been previously noted, their core thinking is heavily laced with socialistic and other flawed economic concepts.

MHProNews will continue to monitor the group for industry professionals and investors, and plans to report about their problematic activities periodically. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Frank Rolfe, MHU/RV Horizons Protest by MHAction; Nathan Smith/SSK/MHI Flashbacks?

Washington Post – Protests of HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Institute, by MHAction, New York Communities for Change, CarsonWatch – An Inside Look

“Death by Government,” Fascism, Communism, Socialism, ‘Big Brother,’ per Williams, Rummel and Owens

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Sunday Morning Manufactured Housing Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 5.6.2018 to 5.13.2018

May 13th, 2018 Comments off

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Millions could care less about politics. Many don’t want to talk about religion either. Especially those in business, who want to be able to serve as many people as possible, topics like that are almost a taboo.

Then there is “industry politics.”  Some only want to hear ‘good news.’  ‘We keep it positive’ was part of a longer thread of messages from an industry blogger.

Isn’t that like not wanting to know when it will rain, hail, snow – or if a hurricane is coming your way?

When the industry was on its heels in October of 2009, the year what’s known as MHProNews launched, there was a need then to get industry professionals to rally.  That required cheer leading, but it also required the facts that supported the reasons to be confident in our factory-built home – notably HUD Code manufactured home – industry.  But modular, prefab, conventional – all housing slid in those days

The automotive, RV, and conventional housing industry recovered more rapidly than manufactured homes did.  Why?  Document and fact laden Smoking Gun 3 will help answer that question.

MHProNews waited to see who among the industry’s trade voices would let the thousands who didn’t go to Las Vegas know that the MHI event was repeatedly disrupted by protestors. It’s on video. See that on the Masthead, because who else in the industry among industry trade talkers will bring you what is real?

We don’t want disunity,’ or ‘But we don’t want to hear negative things,’ some say.  Sure, we get that on the Daily Business News, but as an MD by training, I can tell you that patients don’t want to hear that they have a serious illness either.  Early treatment is the path to the cure.

The doctor, attorney, or account who tells you only what you want to hear can get sued for malpractice.  Don’t you want reliable information, not just happy talk?

As an MD and as a mother-to-be, I didn’t want to hear that our son Tamas wasn’t going to live.  But thank God, by prayer and daily action, he did live and while it required a complete change of plan for me personally, look at what a child who spent much of the first years of his life in a hospital looks like today.

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Tamas Kovach (pronounced like “TahMash CoVatch), is part of the MHProNews/MHLivingNews family, with a Tunica Show attendee. Numerous such photos are taken during the course of the event.

Sacrifices were made in my career for the sake of our son.  Because we faced a tough reality in the face – through that combination of action and prayer – the payoff with our son was priceless. Almost everyone who meets him rapidly says, how special he is.  At the affordable housing focus group, our son went from table to table, telling joke after joke, to the delight of the attendees, while the video cameras, mics. and lights were being set up.

Every child is special.  Every adult is too.

On MHLivingNews, where the industry truly needs something positive, we do that better than anyone ever in the history of the industry.  But we also use that site to disprove time and again the false and misleading concepts that are held by millions.  It is done factually, based upon evidence, using as often as possible third party research, actual home owners, or other experts. No one else in the history of the industry has produced more such research, useful, and positive content.

The industry still needs a level of confidence building.  But it also needs reality checks and fact checks so that those who hide the facts – who hide the real news, and what’s going on behind the scenes – are shown to be who they are.

In the real world, people do bad things to each other, like it or not.  You have to be ready for that, as a mature adult.

In medicine, you change the prescription and the treatment according to the evidence and to suit the case of the patient.  We pivoted on our format here on MHProNews several times, to suit the evolving situation and to follow the evidence, while following the money.

There’s an affordable housing crisis, and manufactured housing might break the 100,000 shipment mark this year.  That, to borrow HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s phrase, is “ridiculous.”  See Greener and Stylish to better understand just how ridiculous some of what’s been going on in MHVille truly is.

Or on the Masthead, see a report you have yet to see anywhere else in manufactured housing industry trade news or commentary.

Or look at the modular survey for a different reality check.  Some want to run to mods as the solution.  We embrace all kinds of factory built housing.  But if someone thinks that “going modular” alone is the answer, that survey is a wake up call.

The latest MH Industry BIG DEAL is below, with details not found in the official press release.

Not just those, but every story we publish is carefully curated to inform – and yes, inspire – industry professionals.

That’s why you made and keep us the runaway #1 trade media in the industry. That’s what third party facts reveal. Thank you for that confidence.  We don’t ever intend to betray it, even if it means tell you some tough realities. From the biggest names in the industry, to the mom-and-pops, and all in between – plus public officials, investors and others – they all flock to read here by the thousands daily. That’s just a fact.

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On the nightly market report, we summarize headlines from CNN Money and Fox Business – about as different as you can get – just to give you a fuller sense of how dramatically different the same events are often covered.

We’ve done that for years.  It is called balance.  It’s called fairness. That’s what being truly pro-industry looks like.

Count on us to tell you what the evidence points to, what it means for industry professionals, so that you can better navigate your decisions and actions.  Then, you’ll understand this tag lines, MH “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.” ©We Provide, You Decide.” ©

That said, let’s dive into your Sunday Morning Headline news recap…

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

Evolutionary American Dream, from Tiny Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, to “Amazing” Modern Manufactured Homes

Evolutionary American Dream, from Tiny Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, to “Amazing” Modern Manufactured Homes

 

What’s New on the Masthead

Anti-MH Industry MHAction Protesters Have Struck Manufactured Housing Again, and Again

Anti-MH Industry MHAction Protesters Have Struck Manufactured Housing Again, and Again

 

May Featured Articles

http://mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/featured-articles/may-2018 

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What’s New on the Daily Business News

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Saturday 5.12.2018

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

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

 

Friday 5.11.2018

Reprieve in Community Closure Collision, Another Round Ahead?

Reprieve in Community Closure Collision, Another Round Ahead?

Hyperloop Nearly Complete, Pros, Cons, Videos, MH Impacts – Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Investor Market Reports, Data

Manufactured Housing Supporting VP Mike Pence in Elkhart, Indiana – Highlights

Manufactured Housing Supporting VP Mike Pence in Elkhart, Indiana – Highlights

White House Official Statement on Artificial Intelligence – Industry and Business Summit

 

Thursday 5.10.2018

Home Group Commissions YouGov Study, Most Don’t Understand Modular Homes

Home Group Commissions YouGov Study, Most Don’t Understand Modular Homes

Communities and Counties Pay People to Move There, Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Reports

Governor Signs new “Mobile Home” Act

Governor Signs new “Mobile Home” Act

Coldwater, Tall Grass, P&Z Battles, Manufactured Home Community Plan OK’d – Manufactured Housing and the Don Westphal Back Story

Coldwater, Tall Grass, P&Z Battles, Manufactured Home Community Plan OK’d – Manufactured Housing and the Don Westphal Back Story

 

Wednesday 5.9.2018

Uber Flying Taxis, Manufactured Housing Impact – Plus Manufactured Home Industry Market Data, Updates

Manufactured Housing and the Midterms, what did Democratic and GOP Primaries Signal?

Manufactured Housing and the Midterms, what did Democratic and GOP Primaries Signal?

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

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

Yes! Communities Closes on Major Deal, Added Insights Not in Media Release

Yes! Communities Closes on Major Deal, Added Insights Not in Media Release

 

Tuesday 5.8.2018

Manufactured Home Nonprofit Affordable Housing Initiative Brings Joy, But Hits Wall

Manufactured Home Nonprofit Affordable Housing Initiative Brings Joy, But Hits Wall

Stocks Mixed After POTUS Trump Announcement, Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Updates

Promoting Home Ownership and Private Property is Premised by Understanding This

Promoting Home Ownership and Private Property is Premised by Understanding This

MIA from Fannie Mae’s Latest Housing Survey, MHI Producer Sounds Off

MIA from Fannie Mae’s Latest Housing Survey, MHI Producer Sounds Off

 

Monday 5.7.2018

Warren Buffett on President Trump’s Tax Cut, Berkshire Video, Plus MH Stocks, Market Update$

Manufactured Housing Roadblock? BBC Reports “Trailer Park Living”

Manufactured Housing Roadblock? BBC Reports “Trailer Park Living”

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

Affordable Housing Revolt! Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Video Responds to “Breakup” Growing Monopoly, and Manufactured Housing

Affordable Housing Revolt! Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Video Responds to “Breakup” Growing Monopoly, and Manufactured Housing

 

Sunday 5.6.2018

Sunday Morning Manufactured Housing Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 4.29.2018 to 5.6.2018

Sunday Morning Manufactured Housing Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 4.29.2018 to 5.6.2018

The above is just what the doctor ordered for this past week. Thanks to those who noticed that I took a little time off at the end of this past week, it was great, but glad to be back too. ## (Headline news, week in review, analysis, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Citing Justice Department Ruling, MHARR Calls on HUD to Repeal Regulatory Guidance Documents

April 25th, 2018 Comments off

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The Justice Department [DOJ], which is charged with bringing civil actions to enforce federal health and safety laws, has now made it crystal clear that HUD may not use sub-regulatory ‘guidance’ documents that have not been considered by the MHCC and have not gone through rulemaking, in order to impose new or modified mandates on manufacturers of HUD Code homes, and new unnecessary costs on manufactured home purchasers,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

 

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFrom their offices in Washington, D.C.,  Weiss said in a statement to the Daily Business News that, The tragedy is that Congress itself said exactly the same thing nearly two decades ago when it included section 604(b)(6) in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.”

The rephrasing, the DOJ and the Trump Administration are reemphasizing the common sense notion that the law should be followed, as opposed to guidance or other documents that have not gone through the proper rule making process. In the case of manufactured housing, the process includes the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, or MHCC.

The time has come for HUD to finally obey the law as written, and its ongoing EO 13771/13777 review of all existing and pending regulations and “regulatory actions” offers the perfect opportunity for HUD to formally renounce both the fatally-flawed 2010 “Interpretive Rule” and its pile of invalid pseudo-regulatory “guidance” documents – before the Justice Department, or a federal judge, does it for them,”  said Weiss.

Weiss statements fit with principles outlined by MHProNews editorially and in regulatory comments letter t HUD in January.

The balance of the MHARR release to MHProNews reads as follows.

MHARR CALLS FOR REPEAL OF HUD   

MANUFACTURED HOUSING “GUIDANCE” DOCUMENTS

Washington, D.C., April 25, 2018 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), citing recent rulings by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) stating that DOJ would no longer use its authority to enforce Executive Branch agency “guidance” documents in civil court enforcement actions relating to alleged violations of federal health, safety, civil rights and environmental laws, has called on HUD to formally repeal manufactured housing regulatory “guidance” documents which should have been published for notice and comment and subjected to Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) review pursuant to section 604(b)(6) of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, but were not. MHARR, in the same April 25, 2018 communication (copy attached), also calls on HUD to repeal a 2010 “Interpretive Rule” which erroneously construes section 604(b)(6) of the 2000 reform law to require notice and comment rulemaking and MHCC consensus review only for HUD regulatory actions that would otherwise constitute “rules” within the meaning of the federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

For decades, the HUD manufactured housing program used “guidance” and other psuedo-regulatory pronouncements to evade the rulemaking requirements of both the APA and the original Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.  When Congress sought to put an end to this abusive practice by including section 604(b)(6) in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 – which, on its face, requires prior MHCC review and rulemaking for any new or modified “policies, practices or procedures” relating to “standards, regulations, inspections, monitoring or other enforcement activities” – HUD promptly ignored Congress’ clear directive, ultimately issuing the 2010 Interpretative Rule, which effectively and unlawfully read section 604(b)(6) out of the law, by limiting its application to “rules” that already require rulemaking under the APA.

This action to negate the clear and unambiguous will of Congress (with the passive acceptance of some within the industry), effectively opened the floodgates to a train of ever-increasing abuses during the Obama Administration – and particularly under the tenure of former program Administrator Pamela Danner – which saw multiple new, costly and needlessly burdensome de facto regulatory mandates imposed by HUD via “field guidance” and so-called “Standard Operating Procedures,” which were never brought to the MHCC for prior review, or published for notice and comment.  These include, but are not limited to: HUD’s massive expansion and re-direction of in-plant regulation; “frost-free” foundation “guidance,” which effectively modified an existing regulation; new and modified requirements for attached garages and other “add-ons;” baseless restrictions on multi-family manufactured housing; and memoranda relating to on-site completion, among other things.  Such actions – and many other similar pseudo-regulatory mandates — have significantly harmed both manufacturers (particularly smaller independent producers) as well as the industry’s post-production sector, by needlessly increasing regulatory compliance costs and simultaneously undermining the industry’s ability to compete with other segments of the housing market. Through these devices, and through the unchecked and unaccountable activities of its program “monitoring” contractor (set forth in a non-competitive contract which itself violates multiple aspects of federal law), HUD has developed – and enforces — an entire secondary tier of unlawful mandates under the guise of “interpretations” and “guidance.”

Recognizing the extremely damaging effects of such psuedo-regulation and reflecting the regulatory reform policies of the Trump Administration, the DOJ, in its rulings issued on November 16, 2017 and January 25, 2018, determined that it will no longer “use noncompliance with guidance documents as a basis for proving violations of applicable law” in civil lawsuits to enforce federal health and safety laws, such as the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  To the extent that HUD’s manufactured housing “guidance” documents conflict with this ruling and Trump Administration regulatory policy, MHARR’s April 25, 2018 communication calls for their retraction and repeal as part of HUD’s Executive Order (EO) 13771/13777 “top-to-bottom” regulatory review of the federal manufactured housing program. Similarly, insofar as the DOJ rulings show that HUD’s 2010 Interpretive Rule is fundamentally erroneous and fatally flawed, MHARR’s communication calls once again for the repeal of that rule.

About MHARR

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

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“Sexual Predators” Beware! MH Community Owners! Retailers Warning – New Federal Sexual Harassment Initiative

April 13th, 2018 Comments off

SexualPredatorsBewareMHCommunityOwnersRetailersWarningNewFedSexualHarrassmentLionLittleGirlDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Behind every good intention can be unintentional consequences. Behind every real problem, abuses of the system can occur.

 

What some might consider to be an innocent flirt, what if an applicant or resident might view it as sexual harassment?

Thus everyone should be aware of a new initiative between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which could bring a world of hurt to Manufactured Home Community (MHC) owners, or perhaps even to manufactured home retailers too.

Obviously, there are genuine cases of sexual harassment – or other violations of the Fair Housing Act – which merit the kind of response that the federal government has just announced.

 

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD and DOJ Announce National Program 

In a release to the Daily Business News, HUD and the DOJ have announced nationwide plans to combat sexual harassment.

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Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

All discrimination stains the very fabric of our nation, but HUD is especially focused on protecting the right of everyone to feel safe and secure in their homes, free from unwanted sexual harassment,” said HUD  Secretary Ben Carson. “No person should have to tolerate unwanted sexual advances in order to keep a roof over his or her head. Part of our mission at HUD is to provide safe housing and we will remain diligent in this mission to protect those we serve. I look forward to working with Attorney General Sessions and the Department of Justice as part of this task force to bring an end to this type of discrimination.”

AttorneyGeneralJeffSessionsDepartmentOfJusticeOfficialPhotoWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, photo credit, Wikipedia.

Sexual harassment in housing is illegal, immoral, and unacceptable,” said Attorney General Sessions.

It is all too common today, as too many landlords, managers, and their employees attempt to prey on vulnerable women. We will not hesitate to pursue these predators and enforce the law. In October, I ordered a new initiative to bring more of these cases, and we have already won relief for 15 victims. Today we announce three new steps to make the initiative more effective and to win more cases. I want to thank the dedicated and committed professionals in our Civil Rights Division and our partners in the Department of Housing and Urban Development for their hard work in this effort. We will continue to aggressively pursue harassers, because everyone has a right to be safe in their home, Sessions stated.

A pilot program was already launched in various places in the U.S.

White it’s announced focus is rental property, retailers or others who engage the home seeking public should realize that this initiative could become part of this effort too.

Per HUD’s release to MHProNews,In October 2017, the Justice Department announced an initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing and launched pilot programs in D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. The initiative sought to increase the Department’s efforts to protect women from harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, security guards, and other employees and representatives of rental property owners.”

During these pilots, “the Department developed and tested ways to better connect both with victims of sexual harassment in housing and with those organizations that victims may turn to first for help – including law enforcement, legal services providers, public housing authorities, sexual assault services providers, and shelters.  The Department also tested certain aspects of the initiative in other jurisdictions, including New Jersey, the Central District of California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Michigan.”

Two examples of fair housing cases involving manufactured housing in recent years are posted below.

 

VA MH Community Charged with Violating the Fair Housing Law

 

More Complaints Followed HUD, DOJ Pilot Campaign

These pilots created an “upswing” in legal complai9nts.

The two pilot programs generated an upswing in harassment reporting to the Department from both D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. In D.C., the Department generated six leads since the October 2017 launch. In Virginia, the Department generated three leads. While the Justice Department recognizes that leads and investigations do not always lead to enforcement actions, the pilot program’s results—when extrapolated across all the U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country—could lead to hundreds of new reports of sexual harassment in housing across the country.”

Because of what they called “promising results,” the  HUD is rolling out three major components to the initiative. Per their statement, the following.

First, the new HUD-DOJ Task Force to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing will drive a shared strategy between the Department and HUD for combatting sexual harassment in housing across the country. It will focus on five key areas: continued data sharing and analysis, joint development of training, evaluation of public housing complaint mechanisms, coordination of public outreach and press strategy, and review of federal policies.

Second, the outreach toolkit is designed to leverage the HUD and Justice Department’s nationwide network of U.S. Attorney’s Offices. The toolkit provides templates, guidance, and checklists based on pilot program feedback. It ultimately will amplify available enforcement resources and help victims of sexual harassment connect with the Department.

Third, the public awareness campaign has three major components: a partnership package with relevant stakeholders, launch of a social media campaign, and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) run by the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. The campaign is specifically designed to raise awareness, and make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment.”

Federal HUD Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint Case Update 

 

Owners and Professionals, Knowledge and Fairness Are Power

Nadeen-Green-For-Rent-Media-Solutions-

Nadeen Green, JD.

MHProNews published years of articles by an attorney who specialized in the field, “The Fair Housing Lady,” Nadeen Green, J.D.

Neither MHProNews – nor writers for this publication – are your attorney.  Nor are we giving legal advice per se, but rather are providing awareness of the issues and related news.

That said, common sense says that honesty and an understanding of both legitimate risks and possible abuses of the system should all be on the minds of professionals and owners.

As several past reports in the Daily Business News have noted, manufactured home communities have periodically been caught up in Fair Housing cases. The examples linked above are just 2 of many.

Anyone selling to, or dealing directly with the public in housing ought to be aware of the law, and apply the rules of decency and good sense.

That could start as simply as following the words of Jesus of Nazareth, “Do unto others as you would have others do to you.”  (Mt 7:12, Luke 6:31).  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

March 28th, 2018 Comments off

ResultsFromManufacturedHousingIndustryLeadership

The column below could carry a sub-title – proven results vs. hype and hot air. Every organization worth its salt takes a periodic victory lap.  The same occurs in manufactured housing.

 

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has periodically claimed or hinted that under their “leadership” on issues that they originally often had a different position on.  Perhaps as a response to MHI, or as a victory lap – or both – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) laid out some facts in a new, detailed statement today.  They point to the time line and documents that prove their nettlesome points.

In a new MHARR Issues and Perspectives, Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Washington, D.C. based trade organization does what he’s done several times before.

MHARRIssuesPerspectivesMHARRleadershipProducesResultsForIndustry

Weiss painstakingly lays out one fact after another.  Those facts could prove embarrassing for their rivals across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA.

While the Daily Business News will make a modest technical correction on part of MHARR’s statement, the thrust of their positions are not easy to contest, as an anticipated silence from MHI on MHARR’s claims will aptly demonstrate.

Will Trump Administration officials take note of what follows?

 

Leadership Strategy Backdrop

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR, as an organization, has always been tasked with being a leader on the issues it addresses. Established by industry pioneers in 1985, MHARR was not designed, and was never intended to be, a status quo organization given to complacency, pulling punches, or “going along” with regulators, industry detractors, or anyone else. It was formed, instead, to be an aggressive fighting force on behalf of manufactured housing industry businesses,” said MHARR in their latest Issues and Perspectives.

MHARR’s primary “objective,” from day-one, as its Charter attests, has been to “oppose abusive [regulatory] practices.” In pursuing this mission, MHARR’s principal focus has always been the federal manufactured housing regulatory program. But the HUD program is not, and never has been, MHARR’s sole focus, as government activity (or inactivity) in other areas, such as consumer financing, placement and development issues, and others, have had – and continue to have – a significant (negative) impact on the industry and especially its smaller businesses,” said the Washington, D.C. based trade association that represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

Leadership Results for Manufactured Housing Laid Out Step-by-Step

While the fight to protect, defend and advance the HUD Code industry took a major step forward with the enactment of the landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, the years that followed, and particularly the eight years of the Obama Administration, were difficult, as HUD was able – sometimes with the tacit support of some in the industry – to evade, distort, or ignore major statutory reforms, including:

(1) the requirement for an appointed, non-career program administrator;

(2) mandatory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) review of all proposed standards, regulations, interpretations and other changes to HUD policies, procedures and practices;

(3) the requirement for “separate and independent” contractors;

(4) limitations on the scope and nature of “monitoring;”

(5) enhanced federal preemption; and

(6) the absence of full and fair competition for program contracts, as exemplified by the 40-year-plus program “monitoring” contractor, among other things,” said Weiss.

Very early in 2016, however, and well prior to the election of President Trump, MHARR began to recognize – based on painstaking evaluation and analysis of the President’s specific campaign positions – that there would be an unprecedented opportunity under a Trump Administration to change the focus, direction and leadership of the federal manufactured housing program based on the letter and intent of the 2000 reform law, to stop excessive or unreasonable regulations (and regulatory “interpretations”), and to roll-back other aspects of federal regulation that needlessly increase the cost of manufactured housing while doing little or nothing for consumers. Now, slightly more than a year later, with the 2016 election having made MHARR’s recognition of this opportunity and its corresponding plan of action a reality, the results of that plan of action can be assessed,” said Weiss.

 

MHARR, OBJECTIVE:  REASSIGN AND REPLACE HUD PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

MHARR, immediately upon the election of president Trump – and alone within the industry – publicly called for the re-assignment and replacement of HUD manufactured housing program administrator Pamela Danner. In a December 1, 2016 communication to Vice President-Elect Pence (heading the Administration’s transition team), MHARR formally sought the reassignment of Ms. Danner and the appointment of a new non-career program administrator. MHARR explained at the time, “[T]he appointment of a non-career manufactured housing program administrator – in accordance with the 2000 reform law and, just as importantly, the policy perspectives of the President-Elect — is essential to revitalize this program, ensure the full and proper implementation of the 2000 reform law, and re-energize an industry which has suffered unprecedented production declines over the past decade-plus,” MHARR told the Daily Business News.

 

Here, a nuanced distinction that corrects MHARR statement above ought to be pointed out. MHARR was ‘alone’ among industry trade associations, but MHProNews was out in front on supporting candidate Trump, as the Google search result below reflects.

12ReasonsEducatedIranianAmericanWomanSupportsDonaldTrumpPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews954x846

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, 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, and hundreds of conservative, and pro-Trump websites.

Dozens of articles were published by the Daily Business News during the 2016 cycle that demonstrated why the Berkshire Hathaway chairman favored Hillary Clinton was the wrong choice for the industry, while the policy positions of candidate Donald J. Trump appeared to be the correct choice.

While MHI didn’t formally take a pro-Clinton endorsement, they did the next closest thing just days before the election.

MHI put not one, but two paid speakers on their platform in Chicago who were pro-Clinton as part of their talks.

In MHI’s presentation to members at that same meeting, MHI’s staff ‘experts’ incorrectly explained why one or both sides of Congress would likely also be lost to Democratic control.  MHI has never contested these MHProNews allegations, perhaps because they know that the their were too many witnesses, and too much evidence to the contrary.

So while MHI claimed to be working to mitigate Dodd-Frank related issues, the chairman of their most influential member – Warren Buffett – loudly and proudly proclaimed support for Secretary Clinton.  Inconsistency, anyone?

IBTInternationalBusinessTimesWarrenBuffettHillaryClintonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstituteSeniorVPLogoMHIlogoQuoteMHProNews

MHI has attempted to ignore or brush off the clearly contradictory facts that Buffett led Berkshire brands Clayton, 21st and Vanderbilt claimed to be working to mitigate Dodd-Frank, while Buffett himself supported President Obama and Secretary Clinton.  Both POTUS Obama and Clinton opposed any changes to the Dodd-Frank law and CFPB regulations of it. The reality is that Buffett’s brands benefited, directly and/or indirectly, whether or not Preserving Access passed, or not. Buffett has said he counts on people not studying history, while he does his own reading, and research, which includes history.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

With those distinctions made, returning to Weiss’ points.

MHARR reiterated the urgent need – and necessity for – the appointment of a new, non-career program administrator once again on December 6, 2016, and subsequently raised this matter in every interaction it had with Trump Administration officials at HUD. Others in the industry, by contrast, were publicly silent on this desperately-needed change through most of 2017,” wrote Weiss.

As a result of MHARR’s public leadership on this matter from the outset, the prior manufactured housing program administrator, as announced by HUD in late 2017, was re-assigned within the HUD Office of Single-Family Housing, and replaced on an interim basis by the program’s Deputy Administrator, with further action pending on a permanent replacement,” said the MHARR op-ed.

While this initial result is consistent with MHARR’s goals, it could have been achieved much earlier if MHARR’s public call for a new administrator had been supported by the rest of the industry” i.e. a veiled reference to MHI. “Nevertheless, as this process plays-out, MHARR will continue to seek the appointment of a qualified and appropriate non-career program administrator.”

MHARR’s step-by-step narrative then laid out how their organization, which has a fraction of MHI’s budget or staff, took the following positions which were successfully accomplished, while MHI in each case took the wrong position and/or came “late to the dance.”

  • OBJECTIVE: FREEZE, REVIEW AND REFORM HUD REGULATIONS
  • OBJECTIVE:  WITHDRAWAL OF THE PROPOSED DOE “ENERGY” RULE
  • OBJECTIVE: FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE “DUTY TO SERVE”

The full write up by Weiss via the latest MHARR issues and Perspectives, which lays out the facts behind those three key bulletted advances for manufactured housing, is linked here.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Equal Justice, Citizen Power, and Manufactured Housing

March 21st, 2018 Comments off

EqualJusticeUndreLawUSSupremeCourtWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The successful McCrory, AR lawsuit was a case brought by a nonprofit organization called Equal Justice.

 

The organization’s name, Equal Justice, is at some level likely inspired by a longer phrase found on the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. = Equal Justice Under Law.

McCroryARCaseMobileManufacturedHomeCaseSettlementNov2017EqualJusticeUnderLawManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It’s a quintessential American ideal, that the law is to be equally applied to all.

In the McCrory case, Equal Justice sued on behalf of a lower income family, for the right to live in what a photo of their dwelling suggests was an an older factory produced home. AMHA’s JD Harper called the case a “significant victory” for that household, by extension others and for the industry.

McCrory Lawsuit – “Significant Victory Against Zoning Discrimination” – Manufactured Homes

As MH activist, businessman, and semi-retired minister, the Rev. Donald Tye Jr., has told the Daily Business News that a manufactured home can be a critical path for economic security and a step on the path to wealth building.

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Home ownership builds character, says Tye. It also brings other economic and social benefits. As a black who grew up in and lived through the civil rights movement, he believes that “access and equity” are critical for people of all racial groups to reach their potential.

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

Government, Winners and Losers

Last year, a federal official described to the Daily Business News how HUD and other agencies in the federal government operate.

In a conversation, that federal official referred to HUD as a huge conduit to “channel money” into “various areas,” with “several cottage industries” that had grown up to tap into those funds.

At the time, former award-winning WHA executive director and prior MHI board member, Ross Kinzler provided the following reaction.

Almost all of the government is picking winners (contracts, grants, attention) and losers (ignore, regulate or prosecute),” Kinzler’s message said.

Surprised by…” the federal official’s “…contention?” Kinzler’s message added, “Nope.”

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Ross Kinzler, retired Executive Director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance. Credits, MHProNews.

MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNews

Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Kinzler compared the far greater success of MH communities serving than publicly funded housing.

In another reaction then, was the following industry veteran’s comment.

This is precisely why HUD and other federal agencies need to be down-sized and fundamentally reformed as promised by President Trump.  HUD studies show that manufactured housing — which it regulates — is the nation’s most affordable non-subsidized housing and home ownership resource,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

“The System Is Rigged,” Federal Official’s Description of HUD, Industry Reactions

 

Power, and Powerless?  No…

What Equal Justice reminded MH Industry professionals is that people are not powerless in the face of seemingly greater forces.

Persistent complaints and periodic news articles about alleged abuses at HUD that grew more intense last year, finally culminated in the removal of Pam Danner from her role at HUD over the federally regulated manufactured housing program.

More recently, a top down review of the HUD code manufactured home program was ordered, and public comments were solicited.

Tye recently stressed the concept of the “consent of the governed,” which pre-dates the U.S. Constitution, but which that charter which limits federal power is designed to protect, “We, the People.”

 

Multiple Votes

The notion of enhanced preemption that undergirds manufactured housing could be a key that unlocks up to nearly $2 trillion dollars annually, according the a study done late in the Obama Administration.

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

Law suits and demands made on public officials are some of the tools that everyday people have.

But informed citizens – and that is arguably a key, people must be well formed, and informed – also have multiple votes, not just period election votes.

Legal matters sometimes come down to a small group of citizens, empaneled in a grand jury or jury to hear civil or criminal cases.

Every juror has a vote. That guilty” or “not guilty” vote can often act as a check on authority.  While every vote in a voting booth matters, your single most powerful vote is arguably the vote as a juror.  A single juror can hold out against all of his or her peers and effectively nullify the power of government on a given case.

It was the ultimate defense of the rights of “We, the People” vs. the power of government.

 

Formation and Information

It is easy to imagine how some claims of abuses of corporate power could result in class action litigation that may end up in front of a jury of citizens.

The more informed they are, the better.

This is where professionals need to engage those that they know, and via social media and personal contact, spread a better understanding of both manufactured homes, the benefits they offer individuals and society.

It is also where proper character formation plays a role.

The founders were imperfect people, trying to form “a more perfect Union.”  They believed that education and morality based upon Judeo-Christian principles were essential.

As issues local and federal play out, formation begins with a thirst for understanding and justice. The principle of Equal Justice implies that no one is above the law.

It may sound amazing at first, but there is very good reasons to believe the following to be true. Universal moral norms could be critical for reviving the American Dream. ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Housing, Jobs, Poverty, Opportunity – Kerner Commission Remix, HUD and Manufactured Homes

February 27th, 2018 Comments off

KernerCommissionReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550

Just over 50 years have elapsed since then President Lyndon B Johnson announced the formation of the Kerner Commission. It was formed in response to race riots protesting poor housing, insufficient jobs, educational, and other issues in Detroit and other cities across the country.  In the vintage video below, the first few minutes are a list of names on the commission, followed by the issues – including housing – that sparked riots, along with other related issues.

 

Democratic President Johnson called for

 

  • prayer and peace,
  • threatened rioters with severe penalties, 
  • while promising preparations and touting efforts already underway.

 

Then and now – housing, jobs, dignity and opportunities were important issues.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulated manufactured housing program could provide many of the necessary ingredients for genuine progress.

In the wake of the comments that came into HUD in response to their ‘top down’ review of the manufactured housing program, the Kerner Commission, then and now, considerations are timely.

Why?  As noted, because housing, jobs, dignity and opportunities were important issues then – and now.

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ItsAsWrongtoUseNWordToDescribeBlackAsUseTWordTodescribeManufacturedHomeRevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword

 Isn’t this part of the antidote to the t-word issue?

Lessons of Decades of Failure

As the Daily Business News noted in the recent comments to HUD linked below from L. A. “Tony” Kovach, after over $22 trillion in federal spending on ‘poverty programs,’ the challenge of poverty levels remains the same.

 

Trulia, HUD, MHLivingNews, MHARR, MHProNews, and numerous others have proposed practical steps that could save tax dollars, while leveraging mostly private capital to solve these and related issues.

The YIMBY vs. NIMBY report linked below references a UC Berkley and University of Chicago research that asserts how housing policies are costing the economy nearly $2 Trillion dollars a year.

 

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

 

As President Johnson then, or President Donald J. Trump now, alike noted — faith, family and the inspiration of our flag are also elements that must not be overlooked.

But after 5 decades of social, economic, and political experiments, pragmatists should now admit that those policies have failed. Trillions in federal, state, and local spending failed to solve what faith-infused morality, free markets, and free people alone can fix what is holding tens of millions of Americans in rentals, trapped in poverty.

 

The Trump Administration and HUD Secretary Carson and his team can fix much, not all, of this using private capital by fully grasping what manufactured homes are truly like today.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

HUD technocrats must immerse themselves and learn the industry’s complex dynamics, so that they can unleash the multi-trillion dollar housing component of the economy.

RegulatoryBarrierstoManufacturedHousingPlacementinUrbanCommunitiesHUDPDR-postedManufacturedHomeLivingNews595x357 (1)

What the HUD PD&R screen capture – with linked download available below – reflects is a lack of understanding about how enhanced preemption could solve the affordable housing crisis using mostly private capital. The research is useful, but adding in the missing ingredient of enhanced preemption would make it priceless.
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/multi-billion-dollar-bombshell-hud-affordable-housing-solution-ignored/regulatorybarrierstomanufacturedhousingplacementinurbancommunitieshudpdr-postedmanufacturedhomelivingnews595x357/

 

Trulia, and HUD’s own commissioned research, say that affordable housing – and specifically manufactured homes – don’t negatively impact other housing from appreciation.

 

TruliaLowIncomeHousingImpactOnNearbyHousingValuesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Don’t Put All the Eggs in One Basket

Beyond follow up and engagement with HUD on the comments, manufactured housing professionals and home owners would be wise to take at least two more steps.

1)    Manufactured home professionals would be well advised to contact their legislators now, and ask them to prompt HUD on the broad and liberal use of HUD Code manufactured homes.  You could link this report, others or send the PDFs of comments submitted to HUD, found linked below.  Send them with your own comments encouraging proper reforms of the manufactured housing program.

Shake Up at HUD Manufactured Housing Program May Stop Industry Overregulation, per MH State Association

2)    Legal Action. As two of the comment letters linked below indicate, allegedly monopolistic practices are part of the problem.  The comfortable relationship between the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – via a reported intermediary – with HUD’s Pam Danner can’t be overlooked.  What was missing from MHI’s 5 point comments was precisely that issue – ‘who will be next in line to run the manufactured housing program leadership?’

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

After all of the drama with Pam Danner, JD and her leadership of the manufactured housing program office at HUD, and that was harming the industry, was nothing learned about the importance of having a reasonable person at the helm of the program?

Now You Will Hear — the Rest of the Story

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Harper – Thank You Rev Donald Tye, Fighting for Enhanced Preemption of Manufactured Homes

4 sets of linked proposals to HUD are at in the focus section, were linked above, and are also found below.

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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Sparks Fly – MHI, HUD Allegations Do “Not Comport with HUD Policy”

February 15th, 2018 Comments off

MarlaYMcAfeeTnManufacturedHousingAssocMattKerlin21stMorgageBrianSullivanHUDPublicAffairsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo550

In a statement to MHProNews, a representative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave their reactions to allegations flowing from a discussion among industry members in Tennessee, discussing the recent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) winter meeting.

 

Part of those allegations are that a ‘representative of HUD’ spoke with one or more ‘representative(s) of MHI.’ In that discussion, an MHI source claimed that HUD told them that they would not be very cooperative with the industry, ‘until the industry spoke “with one voice.”’

Rephrasing, that claim by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to members at their recent winter meeting means that other voices, i.e. the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), et al, had to go.

If followed to its logical conclusion, it would de facto silence other voices. Per sources as reported, it is yet another example of an alleged bold, semi-public monopolistic maneuver.  It arguably violates MHI’s own anti-trust guidelines.

 

Given the gravity of the claim and impact for thousands of MH industry independent companies – retailers, communities, producers, and others – MHProNews reached out first to the person who reportedly gave that briefing to members of the Tennessee Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA, TnMHA) board of directors, James McGee.

JamesMcGeeDeerValleyHomeBuildersTnManufacturedHousingAssocTMHATnMHADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Shortly after MHProNews’ email outreach to McGee, the following message was circulated to the Tennessee association’s board members.

 

———- Forwarded message (note: brown text used for quote, added) ———-

From: Marla McAfee <marla@tnmha.org>
Date: Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 11:25 AM
Subject: THA – Board Code of Conduct Reminder
To:

THA Board of Directors:

This morning I received a call from one of our Board of Directors, who has been approached by a representative of the press.  The press inquiry was relative to specific conversations/updates given during our February 8, 2019, Board of Director’s conference call.

As a professional reminder, discussions held and conversations or statements made by your fellow Board members, within the context of Board meetings or conference calls, are not to be shared outside of the Board, in general, but especially with members of the press.

Sharing of information or providing specific names and content of commentators, is prohibited under your Code of Conduct agreement, as a Board member, as well as some provisions within the Anti-Trust Guidelines.

Respectfully,

Marla
Marla Y. McAfee
Executive Director
Tennessee Housing Association (THA)
Tennessee Manufactured Housing Foundation (TMHF)
Tennessee Manufactured Housing Political Action Committee (PAC)
1002 Meb Court, Suite B, Mt Juliet, TN 37122
615/256-4733, ofc; 615/255-8869, fax
Home:  https://www.tnmha.org<https://www.tnmha.org/>;

— end of forwarded message —

 

The Daily Business News took the emailed statement above, which came in as news tips to MHProNews, and shared it with others for feedback, insights, and reaction.  Among them, was McGee.

McGee’s employer DVLY – per sources – effectively barred McGee from speaking to MHProNews.  In fairness, given that DVLY reportedly sells millions of dollars of product to various Clayton Homes retail locations, perhaps DVLY wanted arm’s length, in part out of fear that they might lose those millions in sales?

Another source, a member of the TnMHA association that wasn’t the first to send the tip to MHProNews, made the following, very succinct statement.

They think they own us.”

The Tennessee Housing Association then sent out yet another, more strongly worded statement, that specifically named L. A. “Tony” Kovach – referencing this pro-MH Industry trade media.

That second TnMHA message, which sources say was designed to intimidate members, was then reported to MHProNews by only one TnMHA member-source as a news tip.  As noted, it contained what some believe is yet another veiled threat to their own association’s members.  Thus, the comment from another member, noted above, They think they own us.”  

Federal officials, legal minds, and some among the manufactured home (MH) industry’s independent (non-major corporation) members may or may not grasp just how chilling these kinds of intimidation tactics could be.

MHEC-logo-ManufacturedHousingExecutivesCouncil-postedMHProNews600x204-com-

The Manufactured Housing Executives Council (MHEC) logo used under fair use guidelines. MHEC is made up of MH state and MH Community associations, MHARR and MHI representatives.  The association member in noted below was a state association.

 

Another MHI ‘affiliated’ state association executive was asked about the above message.  Part of a longer reply said in part as follows:

I’ve always believed MHI does the bidding of the big manufacturers and now REIT communities.

The answer is for the states to rebel.  But they won’t for reasons I’ve only lately understood.”

 

Asking Marla McAfee, TnMHA Executive Director

Following the second email to TnMHA board members, MHProNews promptly contacted Marla Y. McAfee, who sent out both messages.  The MHProNews message read as follows:

——- emailed message to Marla McAfee, TMHA ——-

Marla,

I’m told that you’ve sent out yet another email, and this one specifically names me and our organization.

I’m hereby requesting that you send that to me, asap.  Also, that you retain all of your records on this subject.

Please forward asap any and all emails or other documents regarding communications with media, MHProNews or that names myself or anything associated with our enterprises.

Thank you.

Tony

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

 

——-  end of emailed message ——-

 

With no response from McAfee after 3 hours and 20 minutes, a message like the following was sent to her and to Matt Kerlln, with 21st Mortgage Corp, a Berkshire Hathaway owned company, based in TN, with Kerlin as an association board member.

——- emailed message to Marla McAfee, TMHA & Matt Kerlin, 21st Mortgage (brown color added)  ——-

date:    Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 2:49 PM

 

Marla and Matt,

I’ve not yet heard from Marla, so I’m going to address you both in this message.  I’m also bcc’ing several people, to document the ask.

While I’m not an attorney, it is my understanding of the law that when a public official speaks or meets in an official capacity with someone or the representative of some group, that’s not privileged or confidential information.

Thus, that communication is a matter of public interest, as it is reflective of public policy.  It can’t be confidential.

Frankly, I was skeptical about the claim being made, which is why I reached out to James McGee in the first place, to determine its accuracy, and to understand the purported source of said briefing statement between HUD, MHI that was conveyed to your board members.

McGee in turn reached out to you, and you sent 2 different messages I’m aware of to date on this topic. Matt is in that cc loop, we know each other, and he clearly carries weight with 21st.

The logic of the law is that your members can’t be barred from speaking about an item of this nature, as it reflects an alleged public policy position. 

As a heads up, we intend to dig into this with appropriate federal authorities. 

Before we publish a report on this topic, I’m giving you an opportunity to:

1)  Encourage James [McGee] to tell me what he told the members of your board,

2) Encourage your other board members to do the same, as a matter of transparency, 

3)    Provide me with any and all emails or other materials that mentions communications with the media, myself, or with industry trade media, etc.

4)    That as a matter of law – again, as I understand it – you can’t bar a member from speaking about this, given that it is a claimed public policy position that ought to be – public!

Let me state the obvious. The fact that TN MHA is trying to squelch this discussion is disturbing.

As a pro-industry trade media, it seems obvious and logical that you’d encourage the sharing of information, if in fact it is relevant and important to the industry.

To say that TN MHA are discouraging communications, with what might be construed as a veiled threat to your members, ought to be a wake-up call to all, if in fact you fail to do the four steps noted above.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Respectfully,

Tony

Managing Member,
LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC
Parent company to MHProNews.com, MHLivingNews.com, et al.

 

——-  end of emailed message ——-

 

Cover Up” Plus “Command and Control

Tony, this smacks of yet another cover up by MHI and their puppet masters,” said a source asked by the Daily Business News to comment about the TnMHA issue.

Another legal source told the Daily Business News,The fact that they are using fear and intimidation tactics could suggest that one or more of these associations are behaving more like a protection racket, than a traditional association,” which according to what legal sources have told MHProNews, could make MHI and all who behave in such a fashion, subject to a claim under federal and/or state RICO laws.

Readers are reminded of the “Command and Control” comment from an attorney studying the manufactured housing industry controversies, notably over anti-trust concerns, as has been reported.

 

MHProNews Asks HUD for Reaction to MHI’s Claim

MHProNews reached out to several sources at HUD.  HUD was provided with the emailed message shown above, from TnMHA to their board, along with some background information.  They were then asked the following emailed questions for HUD’s comments, clarification on the claims by MHI, and their reactions.

 

——- except from longer emailed message to HUD (brown color added for quote) ——-

 

…That said, my questions to you.

1) What do you know about any such meeting between HUD and MHI where such a statement may have been conveyed by a HUD rep to MHI?

2) As a matter of policy, is HUD in fact seeking only one association to deal with?

TNMHA is trying to stifle this discussion, as the below and another like message reflects.  For some inside MH baseball, the TN association is the home state of Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage.  To say that they influence that board would be accurate.

Your reply can be on or off the record, but it would help us to sort this out if we could get to the bottom of:

  • IF such a statement was made, 
  • who at HUD might have made it, 
  • and if dealing with a single MH association is a HUD goal?

Thank you so much,

Respectfully,

Tony

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
MHLivingNews.comMHProNews.com| Office 863-213-4090 |

 

——-  end of emailed message ——-

A call from HUD to MHProNews rapidly followed the email, shown above.

 

The MHI Claim Would “Not Comport With HUD Policy”

During that call from Washington, D.C., a HUD representative told MHProNews that the alleged claim of a HUD staffer ‘expecting the industry to speak with one voice’ would ‘not comport with HUD policy.’

Further, the HUD source said that the reason they have asked for public comments about the manufactured housing program is precisely to hear from ‘the widest possibly array of voices’ – mentioning manufactured home owners, industry members, and others interested in manufactured housing and affordable housing.  Both MHI and MHARR were named by HUD official as among those they want to hear from.

When the Daily Business News asked during that call if Pam Danner may have made such a statement, MHProNews was reminded of the obvious by that federal official; that Danner was no longer in the role of HUD Code manufactured housing program administrator.

Shake Up at HUD Manufactured Housing Program May Stop Industry Overregulation, per MH State Association

A HUD official acknowledged that ‘at some time in the past,’ such a statement ‘might have been made in a very unique circumstance.’ However, as a matter of policy, HUD ‘does not believe it is even possible‘ for the manufactured home (MH) ‘industry to all be on the same page,’ must less, ‘to speak via any one industry association with a single voice.’

That was part of a longer discussion with that HUD source.

Within an hour of the discussion with said HUD official, the call was followed up by the following emailed formal statement, which was requested by MHProNews.

——- emailed from HUD to MHProNews (brown text color added) ——-

Tony,

HUD is keeping an open mind as we seek the public’s comments about our manufactured housing rules.  Right now, our only interest is to hear from anyone and everyone who has an opinion to share.

 

Brian Sullivan

HUD’s Office of Public Affairs

——-  some information following the title has been edited out, end of emailed message ——-

 

MH Industry Monopoly Concerns, Impact

As a feature in tonight’s market report reflected, manufactured housing is far from the only industry that is being harmed by the problem of monopolistic dominance.

Such dominance – and how political, non-profit, and other forces are aligned by monopolistic powers – are seen as stifling in their effects by economists and others as harmful to the economy, jobs and society.  Those points and others are made by the experts in the video feature posted on the market recap report, linked above.

That’s precisely why anti-trust laws exist.

 

What That State Exec Believes

The solution, said that MHI connected state association executive cited above and linked below, is for the states to rebel.  See the report that was originally cited in, below, which explains that exec’s point on why quitting MHI is so difficult for most state associations.

How Many MH Independents, Retailers Have Been Lost Recently? “They Think They Own Us”

There may be one or more states that eventually quit supporting MHI – as the ones linked below did.  But arguably, most states are no in a position to quit MHI, given the domination by Berkshire Hathaway, as the association executive in the story linked above detailed.

 

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

 

What Options Remain for MH Industry Independents?

Every state, every company, and any professional – including those currently or previously working for Berkshire Hathaway firms, and/or their competitors –  have the ability to supply information to MHProNews with news tips, which is how so many of these news stories originate.

What has already been noted in other reports is that MHI – after sufficient and ongoing public pressure – tends to pivot.

As a reminder, MHProNews assures anonymity to sources, unless the source wants to be acknowledged.

If a source wants to be particularly careful in how the deliver a news tip, they could create or use a private email account using gmail, yahoo, etc.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

There are other options, of course, such as the one noted above.

For example, it is always possible that anti-trust, RICO or other legal actions may be initiated by federal and/or state(s) officials, which are among the reasons MHProNews reports such incidents. That’s another reason why tips, emails, and documents provided by industry sources is necessary for such news and analysis posts.

Ken Corbin “the 10,000 Drop,” points to Industry Woe, Causes of Manufactured Housing’s 10 & 20 Year Collapse?

But failure to act by independents is arguably the riskiest course of action of all.  MHI’s own data, or comments such as those by former Clayton manager Ken Corbin linked above, prove it. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

Fiduciary Responsibility to Corp Shareholders-MH Anti-Trust Concerns; Plus MH Market UPdate$

Warren Buffett Wants an MH Shark Tank – Clayton, 21st, MHI, ‘Gift that Keeps Giving’

Extortion? RICO? Allegedly Illegal, and Dirty Side of Manufactured Housing, Exposed

Weaponized, Faked News Harms Manufactured Housing Homeowners, Professionals

Billionaire Titans Battle, Overshadowing Modest Independents – Surviving, Thriving in Manufactured Housing Industry Today, Tomorrow

“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Gives Written Responses – “Part of a Rigged, Corrupt System”

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

Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.