Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

When You Manage a Community Long Enough

May 24th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: The Ledger.

Both residents and operators of manufactured home communities will tell you that, if you’re around long enough, you may see anything.

That was the case this past weekend in the hometown of MHProNews, Lakeland, Florida.

According to The Ledger, a 19-year-old driver lost control of his vehicle while speeding on a state road, and crashed into an unoccupied manufactured home in Lakeland Harbor.

Officials from the Lakeland Fire Department say no one was at home at the time of the incident Sunday morning, and the driver was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center with minor injuries.


Credit: Google.

No additional information was available.


Other Recent Strange, But True MH Stories 


Graphic credit,

In our Daily Business News periodic series, we’ve covered a number of strange-but-true stories, including the case of a theft in Purcell, Oklahoma, for a man and woman charged in McClain County District Court with knowingly concealing stolen property.

Tana S. Lang, 41, and Michael G. Slay, 43, are accused of stealing appliances from a model home on the Mid-State Manufactured Housing retail sales center during a June burglary. A Whirlpool refrigerator, range and dishwasher were taken.

Other strange but true stories include:


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



RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.


(Copyright Notice: This and all content on MHProNews and MHLivingNews always have been and are Copyrighted, © 2017 by a dba of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – All Rights Reserved. No duplication is permitted without specific written permission. Headlines with link-backs are of course ok. A short-quoted clip, with proper attribution and link back to the specific article are also ok – but you must send a notice to of the exact page you’ve placed/posted such a use, once posted.)

NIMBY in Action – Commission Delays Zoning Ordinance

April 12th, 2017 Comments off

Nimby comic credit as shown, used here under fair use guidelines.

The Mt. Vernon, Illinois Zoning and Planning Commission has once again tabled conversation on a proposed zoning change that would clear the way for a manufactured home community.

According to the Register News, the decision came after a two-and-a-half hour hearing, which featured a number of residents speaking out against the proposed location.

I’m talking about green-space, people,” said Dianne Klein.

You guys are the zoning board. We are not going to get any more green-space back if you let this development go through. … We don’t want residential. We don’t care if they’re million dollar houses. We want green-space out there.”

The City Council also recently tabled discussions on the proposed community, to work on further establishing guidelines around what would happen to an adjacent park.

Developers Rob Berneking and Andrew Edwards are currently in discussions to purchase the property for the community, and they provided a detailed presentation on the project during the commission meeting.

We are ready, willing and able to develop this project. … The extensive history of managing manufactured home communities gives our group unrivaled experience in quality control, HUD installation, property maintenance, and customer satisfaction.”


Credit: Google.

At least one member of the audience disagreed.

I object to the stats that have been cited here that indicate manufactured homes perform as well as regular homes during storms,” said audience member Mindy Goss.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, officials, news agencies and the general public continue to specifically point out manufactured homes and communities – often identified incorrectly as “mobile homes” and “mobile home parks” – vs. site-built homes in damage reports.

On average, about 1 in 5 structures identified as “mobile homes” by the media are in fact pre-HUD code mobile homes.  They are routinely the ones that suffer the most damage, because HUD Code manufactured homes are more durable by design.

Zoning board members referenced a petition signed by 438 people objecting to the proposed location of the manufactured home community during the meeting, and the zoning board approved a motion to table the matter until the revised city ordinance regulating manufactured home communities is adopted.


Danny Feagin. Credit: Aiken Standard.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of potential NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) stories recently, where current residents appear to be working to keep manufactured homes or communities out. Most notable is the case in Aiken, South Carolinawhere Councilman Danny Feagin was quoted as saying “As long as it keeps the mobile home parks [sic] out, I think the folks would be satisfied,” in relation to a proposed rezoning ordinance.

Considering everything presented, we feel that our project is clearly the highest and best use for the subject property,” said Berneking.##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Mayor “Gung Ho” About 12,000 Home Modular Project

March 28th, 2017 Comments off

The Lakeshore site that will host a factory and 12k modular homes. Credit: Chicago Sun Times.

In a follow up to a story that Daily Business News originally covered here, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is “gung ho” about developers planning to build 12,000 modular homes, along with a factory to manufacture them, on the 430-acre site of the old U.S. Steel South Works plant in the city.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, top mayoral aides met with developers last week to get the latest updates on the project.

The mayor told me personally that he is committed to helping this project get off the ground,” said Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, whose ward also includes the U.S. Steel site.

The development of 430 acres in his city and the jobs that come with it. Bright and shiny new buildings and new technology. They’re looking at us to be the prototype so people can see this project and . . . [they can] bring this development to other Midwestern cities. The mayor always talks about giving back to the neighborhoods. This is huge. It’s bigger than downtown . . . . We might need another mayor.

The development is a result of a combination of a deal between steel giant U.S. Steel and prominent developer Dan McCafferty going bad, and a new joint venture between Barcelona Housing Systems and WELink.


Credits: Barcelona Housing Systems, WELink.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, the Barcelona Housing System/WELink joint venture recently partnered with Chinese firm CNBM and announced plans for modular home factories in the U.K.


Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza. Credit: NLG Chicago.

Last Wednesday, principals from the two firms outlined their ambitious plan for Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, Planning and Development Commissioner David Reifman and Buildings Commissioner Judy Frydland.

The developers talked about being six weeks away from signing a contract with U.S. Steel and about awaiting results of an environmental study of the 430-acre site,” said Garza.

They have the financing…. They wouldn’t have gotten to this point if they didn’t.

An aide to Mayor Emanuel said that his enthusiasm for the project is genuine.

We’re all very excited about it. It seems like a very strong proposal. We are encouraged and supportive of what’s happening,” said the aide.

In addition to building the plant that produces modular materials and modular homes in four phases of 3,000 homes each, the new plan calls for retail and recreational space. For Garza, this is also very important.

When the mills left, so did the jobs and the restaurants. We were kind of left with a shell of a community,” said Garza.

We had nine steel mills. At the peak, District 31 had 134,000 steelworkers. Now, if we have 100, I’m being generous. This is very exciting for us. The 10th Ward is on the upswing.” ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Proposed Manufactured Home Community Faces Fight

March 11th, 2017 Comments off

A manufactured home in Mt. Vernon, IL. Credit: Zillow.

In Mount Vernon, Illinois, what appears to be another case of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) has reared its head.

According to the Register-News, a first reading of an ordinance to annex property for a manufactured home community was held this week, and several residents in attendance voiced their concerns.

We would like a couple more weeks to find out more about what this entails,” said Attorney Hank Villani, speaking on behalf of his client, the Jefferson Fire Protection District.

The loss of tax revenue to the fire protection district was a concern.

The property owner, Jefferson County Holdings, LLC, is asking for the annexation and change of zoning designation from General Agriculture to Resident Manufactured Home Community to “facilitate potential sale of property to residential developer.

One of the challenges around the process lies in the existing classifications on the books.

Under the current classification, R-MH, which covers manufactured homes, laundromats, parks and playgrounds and essential services, the district is created to preserve and enhance property values in the community by providing designated, distinctive areas in which MH may be situated for residential dwelling purposes.

It’s an old ordinance and hasn’t been revisited for many years,” said City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel.

It’s time to improve and update it. … The standards for manufactured homes have changed, subdivision expectations have changed. We want to improve and control the construction in that zoning area closely. We want to revise the standards for a mobile home park [sic] so it’s more appropriate to modern living.”


Credit: OC Housing News.

But some residents, including Jill and Mike Nordin, were less than convinced that the move was a good idea.

I hope this won’t be a park view trailer court [sic],” said Jill Nordin.

We have more questions than answers,” said Mike Nordin.

A traditional mobile home park [sic] affects value of adjoining property. We have no information on what this is going to be. A reasonable real estate agent will tell you mobile homes [sic] affect area property values. You also have to remember there are already tremendous traffic problems there, especially when there are large gatherings at the ball fields. The kids have a ball, but the parents don’t know where to park.

They were not alone.

We don’t need mobile homes [sic] across from Klein Field and Lincoln Park,” said Larry Goss, a resident of the Western Gardens area of the city.

Go on Veterans (Memorial Drive) past Oak Grove mobile home park [sic] that was started in the 60s. They have done a certain job of keeping it up, with upkeep, but there are also a number of police calls in that area. … We don’t need another deteriorating mobile home park [sic] near Western Gardens.

Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley told those in attendance that although the council is now looking at the annexation, the Zoning and Planning Commission will hear more about the plans for the property while considering a zoning change next week. “At that time more information will be presented to the public,” said Chesley.

I do understand that a great deal of thought has gone into the plan and will be presented at the zoning meeting on Monday at City Hall.

The Daily Business News closely follows instances of NIMBY, including the recent instance in Winterville, North Carolina, where the town council moved to change where manufactured homes could be located. That story is linked here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

12,000 Modular Homes Could Be Coming to This City

February 1st, 2017 1 comment

The Lakeshore site that will host a factory and 12k modular homes. Credit: Chicago Sun Times.

Thanks to a combination of a deal between steel giant U.S. Steel and prominent developer Dan McCafferty going bad, and a new joint venture between Barcelona Housing Systems and WELink, Chicago could be in a position to not only get a manufacturing plant along the city’s iconic Lakeshore Drive, but also 12,000 modular homes.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the joint venture has emerged as the winning bidder for the massive site.

They did their due diligence, and they’ve got all of their ducks in a row,said Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza.

They’re gonna be building a manufacturing [plant] on the property where they’re going to be building modular homes. They’ve done it in Barcelona and Argentina. It’s a new, innovative product that’s never been here before.


Credits: Barcelona Housing Systems, WELink.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, the Barcelona Housing System/WELink joint venture recently partnered with Chinese firm CNBM and announced plans for modular home factories in the U.K.


Jorge Ramirez. Credit: Chicago Federation of Labor.

Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, said that he was excited about the prospect of major development and being able to get hundreds of skilled builders back to work.

I’ve just got to make sure that there’s a meeting of the minds as to how these things are gonna get done. That they’re not cutting corners or [compromising] safety standards,” said Ramirez.

They’re lifting people up into the middle-class and respecting labor. All of the run-of-the-mill standard types of concerns.”

Garza says that they also thoroughly vetted all 13 bidders for the project before narrowing the list to three finalists, scrutinized even more to make certain they had the financing, know-how and experience to do a project of this size.

Even though 12,000 homes and a factory is a large order, Garza is confident about the joint venture and their ability to deliver.

They took their time to learn about the neighborhood and find out what people want here,” said Garza.


Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza. Credit: NLG Chicago.

With their know-how, their capital and the people they have working with them, I have the utmost confidence they’re gonna do this. I’ve seen some of the work that they’ve done in Barcelona and it’s really incredible. They can build a three-flat in like 30 days. It’s all up to code. We’re not gonna have to wait 20 years to see movement.

The modular home portion of the project is slated to happen in four phases of 3,000 homes each, and the new plan calls for retail and recreational space.

And Garza is excited about the efficiency.

They don’t have to dig a foundation. They screw pylons into the ground. They can withstand a 7.8 earthquake. It’s just a new technology. The factory is going to be huge to build this much of a development,” said Garza.

And once we start building homes, three-flats and four-flats, then come the stores and the other amenities. They incorporate a lot of green space and green technology. Access to the lakefront for all. Stuff that’s been really important to this neighborhood for a very long time.” ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Blowtorching A ‘Mobile Home?’ Bad Idea, Says Official

December 20th, 2016 Comments off

Credit: Belleville News-Democrat.

An O’Fallon, Illinois “mobile home” resident took a cold matter into their own hands.

It didn’t end well.

A resident’s effort to warm frozen pipes under his home resulted in a fire and smoke damage on December 18th. Per the Belleville News-Democrat, the home’s resident told officials that he was trying to warm up the frozen pipes — by using a blowtorch.

It’s maybe not always a good idea to use any type of open flame near a home,” O’Fallon Fire Chief Brent Saunders, said dryly.

Pipes are susceptible to freezing under homes that are open underneath, such as mobile homes, but said preventative measures such as using heat tape or extra insulation is preferred.

The home’s two occupants are temporarily displaced.

As manufactured home retailers, community management, and service professionals all know, mobile and manufactured home owners should be taught that in areas prone to freezing temperatures, a foundation enclosure (aka ‘skirting‘) and heat tape on any exposed water line are standard practice to prevent frozen water lines.

The video below provides Do-It-Yourself (DIY) help for heat tape installation.

The Daily Business News could not find an expert or service pro that recommends using a blowtorch for unfreezing a water line.

Using a hair dryer on frozen lines? Different story. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Illinois Senator to Push FEMA Reform During Lame Duck Session

October 18th, 2016 Comments off

Washington, IL tornado damage. Credit: Indy Star.

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) is ready to tackle a huge task: reforming the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) during the post-election session of Congress.

Last week I met with tornado survivors from Washington, Illinois to discuss efforts to rebuild their community after the 2013 tornado that destroyed thousands of homes and caused more than $25 million in damage,” Senator Kirk told MHProNews.


Senator Mark Kirk. Credit: Twitter.

Communities, like Washington, should be eligible for FEMA aid, instead of being denied assistance when it is needed the most. That’s why I will continue to work to pass legislation I introduced with Senator Dick Durbin, S. 870, the Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act, to bring fairness and consistency to FEMA’s declaration process and ensure communities in our state get the assistance they need to rebuild and recover from natural disasters.

Kirk also shared that “a disaster is a disaster, regardless of what state or community it happens in, and thattime and again the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied disaster assistance to Illinois communities and families when they need it the most because the formula for determining aid is broken.

The Senator said that Illinois almost always comes up short on disaster assistance because of the large population in his state, especially when the disasters happen in small communities like Washington, Harrisburg or Ridgeway.

I’ll try to stick this (bill) in in any way we can,” Kirk said to the Daily Business News.


Photo credit, TheAdvocate, text added by,

According to the Peoria Journal Star, Kirk did not say what the likelihood of passage was in the Senate, but argued that since he is “now a member of the Senate majority and now a chairman of an appropriations subcommittee” he would hope to attach it to an omnibus bill funding the federal government.

I can go to (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell and say we need to do this,” he said.

MH Industry Implications



Credit: The Atlantic, Floodlist, CBS News.

As readers of the Daily Business News are aware, the actions proposed by Senator Kirk could have a significant impact on the manufactured housing industry.

Often thought of as “housing of last resort” by FEMA, manufactured housing has recently taken center stage in Louisiana with the August floods. We have provided extensive coverage of the storm, the fallout from it and the MH industry response.

The Daily Business News reported last week that FEMA issued a formal solicitation for “off the lot” manufactured homes. These actions came on the heels of FEMA’s concerns about contractors not being able to meet demand in time. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Accessing Washington’s Political Power Brokers? Open your Vault.

October 30th, 2014 Comments off

campaign-finance-2-michael-francis-daily-business-news-mhpronews-2With the mid-term elections just a halfway point to the 2016 Presidential Election, the topic of donations to candidates once again has us in disbelief in the obvious padding of campaign war chests from Goliath donors.

Foster’s Daily Democrat  are among those telling MHProNews  that it’s no secret that poorly funded candidates tend to lose and well-funded candidates often win. $100 million dollars spent in a Senate race in North Carolina can buy a victory with an avalanche of TV, radio, internet and social media ads, glossy resumes and promises in your mailbox while volunteers knock at your door.

A CNN  investigation reported that since lobbyists can no longer give elected officials junkets to exotic lands, the candidates are inviting the lobbyists to lavish parties. Come for free, CNN reported, but the suggested donation to the Senator or Congressperson is $2500.

In the most expensive gubernatorial race this cycle, Florida heads the list, with an estimated $77 million spent to air over 137,000 ads. Florida is followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas and Michigan.

According to the reporting of OpenSecrets, an organization tracking political donations and spending, overall ad spending has broken $1 billion in federal elections and state governors’ races, with the total number of ads exceeding 2.2 million.

Top outside groups

According to OpenSecrets, Team Blue (Democrat) managed to force its way into the top echelon of big-spending outside groups – but Republican-leaning groups still occupy the majority of the slots at the top of the list of big spenders.

The outside group with the highest outlays this cycle is Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC closely affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); it has spent $42.6 million. But Senate Majority falls to second on the list when super PAC American Crossroads and politically active nonprofit Crossroads GPS — the tandem of outside groups associated with Karl Rove — are considered together. These two – legally separate organizations, each of which have reported less spending than Senate Majority PAC — work closely; when their efforts are combined, their total spending comes to $46.8 million, giving them the title of top-spending outside organization this cycle. In 2010, this same pair was the top-spending organization, reporting a total of $38.2 million.

The remaining six members of the top 10 outside spending groups are conservative (including American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS). The Chamber of Commerce has disclosed spending $33.5 million this cycle and the National Rifle Association has spent $27.2 million, according to reports filed with the FEC.

Freedom Partners Action Fund, a super PAC that emerged from a network of dark money groups connected to the libertarian political financiers David and Charles Koch, received its first donation just four months ago, but rocketed to eighth on the list of top-spending outside groups, with $18.9 million. David and Charles Koch each gave $2 million to the group.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he number one donor of disclosed outside money is hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, followed by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has given $20 million to super PACs, of which 98 percent went to liberal or Democratic recipients.

But despite those top two donors, conservative donors dominate the top 20 — 15 of them are conservative. The three other liberal donors are: Fred Eychaner ($7.9 million), George Soros ($3.5 million) and hedge-funder James Simons (and his wife Marilyn), who have given $3 million.

The top conservative donor to outside groups is Paul Singer, of hedge fund Elliott Management, who has given $9.3 campaign-finance-2-michael-francis-daily-business-news-mhpronews-million. Last cycle’s top donor — both to outside groups and overall — was Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Venetian casino in Las Vegas, who with his physician wife Miriam gave $92 million. This cycle, the Adelsons have given $5 million.

Other prominent conservative donors include Linda and Vince McMahon, who have given $2.6 million, and Robert McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans football team who together have given $3 million.

Topping the list of organizations contributing money to outside groups is the National Education Association, which has given a whopping $22.4 million to outside groups. Following the NEA are a slew of other labor unions — the Carpenters & Joiners Union ($11.2 million), the AFL-CIO ($7.6 million) and AFSCME ($6 million). These unions gave almost exclusively to liberal outside groups.

Whether we break it down by Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, a SuperPAC, a labor organization, a Special Interest Group, or just a person with a net worth more than some countries, they all want the same thing. Unfettered access to elected officials at the highest levels: The Senate, The House of Representatives, and most of all, the White House.

You decide if that donation can sway a decision on a crucial piece legislation that hurts the American public but helps those with the keys to the vault. ##

(Photo credits: Shutterstock)

michael-francis-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-(Submitted by Michael Francis to Daily Business News – MHProNews.)

(Editor’s Note: MH related election commentary at this link.)

Nimby Leading Loss of Affordable Housing? County buys MHC to close it

August 28th, 2014 Comments off

google-street-view-nearby-1162-jenny-scyamore-near-closing-evergreen-village-mobile-home-park-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-De Kalb County, Illinois purchased to close “flood prone” Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park in Sycamore, the Daily Chronicle tells MHProNews. “I don’t have much of a choice, because we’re in a flood plain and I can’t fix houses,” the property owner, Frank Santoro said. “I have to accept what they are going to give me.”

The county reportedly paid $1.47 million for the property, which happens to be near Sycamore Golf Course, a community park, Sycamore Family Sports Center and a neighborhood with multifamily rentals, as shown in the first photo.

About 120 mobile or manufactured homes (MH) were once sited on the closing property. One of those families included Robert Baird’s, who was adamant that his family stay in Sycamore, even though they have to move out of Evergreen Village. But dozens of prior residents have had to leave the area, in search of new housing

Superintendent Kathy Countryman said 24 students who attended North Grove school last year moved out of the district, their families going to places like De Kalb or Rochelle.

County leaders secured $7.1 million in state and federal emergency management grants to buy the property, relocate its residents, and return it to open space by June 30. That’s an average cost per household of some $59,166.

As of Monday, the county bought 114 out of 121 mobile homes in Evergreen, according to Paul Miller, county planning, zoning and building director. “We’re focused on helping people find homes,” Miller stated, adding that, “We’re satisfied with those numbers [of closed purchases,] but it’s no time to sit back. We’re going to keep working.”

Numerous questions ought to be raised in studying a “park closure” such as Evergreen Village, including the impact on residents and was this the best use of taxpayer’s money in the light of a growing affordable housing needs nationwide in the U.S..


Certainly NIMBY – ‘not in my back yard’ – is commonly cited as a factor for nearby home owners as they view affordable housing. As manufactured housing professionals know, all other forms of permanent housing are more costly than modern MH. Per the U.S. Census Bureau, the costs for conventional construction are roughly double that of manufactured homes. And as Manufactured Home Living News  readers know, modern manufactured homes feature energy savings, more durability and appeal as well as lower costs. ##

(Photo credits: Google Streetviews and Danielle Guerra, Shaw Media)

Hometown America adds Saddlebrook Farms to Portfolio

May 14th, 2014 Comments off

Manufactured housing community (MHC) owner Hometown America of Chicago has acquired age-restricted Saddlebrook Farms MHC in Grayslake, Illinois, an hour from the corporate office. The 700-acre community features nature preserves, wooded areas and over 100 acres of lakes stocked with fish, and the new owners intend to install a state-of-the-art fitness facility, according to Hometown is a privately-held owner of over 45 manufactured housing communities in ten states, as has learned. ##

(Photo credit: Hometown America–Saddlebrook Farms MHC)