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Posts Tagged ‘Industry Voices’

Pending Denver Meadows Sale/Closure roils media, creating ripples and reactions from residents and owner

September 29th, 2016 Comments off

denvermeadowsmobilehomervparkgabrielchristusaurorasentinel-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronewsAn already tumultuous relationship between Denver Meadows Mobile Home and RV Park owner Shawn Lustigman and the community’s residents has only gotten worse in recent weeks.

In two years, I’ll be homeless,” resident Petra Bennett told The Aurora Sentinel.I need two tractor trailers to move it at $10,000; I don’t have $10,000 in two years, nor can I save $10,000 in two years.”

Close to 100 residents will be forced to move from the community when Lustigman closes it in June 2018, reports The Sentinel. Lustigman’s plan is sell the property to a developer.

The land is in a valuable location, due to its proximity to the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Colfax Station of the Regional Transportation District’s upcoming light rail.

The decision is unpopular among Denver Meadow residents, despite the two-year heads up.

Many like Bennett have paid thousands of dollars in principle and interest on their homes, plus of course their site fees.  Local media relays her assertion that she doesn’t see how she will be able to pay off her loan, much less afford to move their home from Lustigman’s community.

Seeking the Various Perspectives…

MHProNews reached out and spoke to Lustigman’s manager, who referred us to Lustigman himself.  He was polite, but in the wake of a lot of unfavorable local media coverage, the owner was not willing to add to statements he had previously made.

Numerous, Largely Negative Local Media Reports

Lustigman’s decision to close and sell Denver Meadows and protests by residents are not the first reported bone of contention between him and the community’s residents.

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Photo credit, Westword.

In May, residents were concerned that they were going to have to move when a proposed zoning change was before the Aurora City Council. The re-zoning was geared towards transit-oriented development.  It would have eliminated Denver Meadows to make room for properties like high-rise apartments, commercial, mixed-use residential, retail or hotels.

Residents and Lustigman alike were confident that the re-zoning was going to happen.

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The move is definitely going to happen,” Bennett told The Denver Post in May. “They want to go ahead and rebuild this area to better serve the veteran’s hospital and the light rail, so us vacating the land is definitely going to happen; they made it clear.”

I don’t know why it wouldn’t go through; it would be good for the city,” Lustigman told The Post. Speaking about his own property, the owner said – “It’s a rundown park, it isn’t very attractive and I think the city will welcome a change in zoning so that it can be redeveloped.”

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The map reflects the potential value of a property like this, near businesses, hospital and extensive highway frontage.

Lustigman seemed willing to help out his residents if they were forced to move. “We’re going to try to with some of the people there to try to help them out,” he told The Denver Post.They have been my tenants and I’m going to try to help them.”

Sometime between then and now, the local reports suggest that his sentiment seems to have changed.

It may have had to do with the small victory Denver Meadows received in July when the City Council postponed the vote to rezone the property. Fox 31 Denver reported council members decided to put the vote on hold until Lustigman could secure a developer, and a way for residents to be compensated for their moving costs.

In August, Denver Meadows residents received a letter from the property managers, stating that their lot fees, would be raised another $60 a month, from the current $780 to $840.

While increases happen for a variety of reasons, a manufactured housing professional who spoke to MHProNews off-the-record about Denver Meadows issue thought that this was a shoddy business practice, given the plan to close the property.

Residents say that the property gets worse day by day, pointing to raccoons and feral cats roaming between or under the homes. Plus, residents have stated that their vehicles are towed randomly from the property.

Denver-Meadows-Aurora, Colorado - posted Daily Business News MHProNews

A raccoon takes a plate of food under a home on Wednesday Sept. 07, 2016 at the Denver Meadows mobile home park. However, it should be noted that a manufactured home’s foundation enclosures – a.k.a. “skirting” – is typically the duty of the home owner.  Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel.

 

Jim Ayotte, Executive Director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA), told MHProNews – A community owner shouldn’t be compelled to close a community without regard for homeowners.

Ayotte explained some of the various stress points that are often at play, including local governments that have limited ability in their budgets to provide affordable housing.  Yet, local governments often try to impose measures that force property owners to act contrary to their property rights.

This is unfair to the private sector and quite frankly, should be unconstitutional,” Ayotte said.

As MH Association Directors, we support a property owner’s rights to buy, sell and make a profit at any time,” Jay Hamilton, of the George Manufactured Housing Association told MHProNews. “What we do hope for is that the MH Community owner does it ethically, which is usually the case.”

The community owner should help minimize the impact by working with local government and social service agencies to identify alternative housing options,” Ayotte said, adding that he has seen a number of examples of community closures done where owners, residents and local officials worked successfully together.  Ayotte’s full comments about the matter are linked here.

Since the initial rash of reporting, Lustigman has largely remained silent.  When asked what he planned to do with the property when it closed, he simply replied, “It’s my property.” ##

(Editor’s Notes – for every community like this one, there are numerous others that have a different experience, please see the story, linked here. For related MH professional commentary, click here.

On a similar owners rights vs. residents rights battle – featured on Fox News complete with their video – is linked here.)

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Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

(Image credits are as shown above.)

Submitted by Joe Dyton to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Battle Over Community Owner’s Rights vs. Resident’s Rights highlighted in St. Anthony case

September 28th, 2016 Comments off

lowrygrovecreditstartribunestanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnewsResidents of the Lowry Grove community in the Minneapolis, MN suburb of St. Anthony lost their bid to block the sale of the property, according to a ruling by a Hennepin County Judge.

We continue working together to save Lowry Grove. We will organize more action,” said Antonia Alvarez, president of the Lowry Grove Resident Association, per the Star Tribune’s report. I understand they are very rich, but we have community support.”

The ruling is a blow to the residents who sued to keep the park open. A state law drafted in 1991 was designed to give manufactured home owners the right of first refusal to buy land in the event it was put up for sale.

paulbradleycredtimhpronewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnewsPaul Bradley, president of ROC USA posed the following question to MHProNews. “How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities?”

Judge Joseph R. Klein wrote, in part, that the statute “…does not grant them an unfettered ability to purchase the park. They were not deprived on that right because it was never, in fact, granted to them.judgejosephkleincreditmncourtsgovstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnews1

 

This is believed to be the first major legal test of the law.

The owners of Lowry Grove, LLC notified residents in April that they intended to sell the property to The Village LLC, a subsidiary of Wayzata, MN based Continental Property Group, for $6 million. The Village announced that they would close the park in a year and redevelop the 15 acres of land.

Fearing the loss of access to good schools and safe streets, the residents prepared to respond.

Under state law, residents had 45 days to match the offer. Homeowners partnered with Aeon Management, a Minneapolis based non-profit management company, to make a matching $6 million offer on June 10, the day of the deadline.

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Lowry Grove residents protesting.

The offer was rejected.

On June 13, the sale to The Village became final. Aeon Management and Lowry Grove residents sued, arguing that the law, and their civil rights, had been violated.

 

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The Lowry Grove RV park and manufactured home community is on a prime parcel of real estate, as this Google earth image reflects.

When the statue was passed, said Judge Klein, the intent was clear.

Should a park be sold contrary to [the law] the only remedy the residents in the park have is to sue under a violation of this law for something besides ownership of the land, said Judge Klein.

Explaining further, Klein wrote that lawmakers were balancing competing priorities when passing the statute, giving manufactured homeowners a tool to protect their homes while not overtly interfering with park owner’s ability to sell their property.”

tomastracicreditiremmnstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnews1We are pleased with, but not surprised by, Judge Klein’s ruling,” said The Village Vice President Traci Tomas in a written statement. “From the beginning, we’ve realized that this is a difficult situation for the residents. That has never been something we’ve taken lightly.”

Tomas has also denied violating the state statute, countering that residents didn’t meet all the criteria. She also shared where the Village’s focus is.

Right now, we are focused on those who have expressed a desire to complete their move before winter sets in,” Tomas said. “We are working with the City of St. Anthony so residents can submit applications to the Minnesota Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund for financial assistance that will help with their relocation.”

jimayottecreditmhpronewsusersrcdesktoppaulbradleycredtimhpronewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnewsJim Ayotte, Executive Director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA), provided commentary on a similar situation with the Denver Meadows community in Aurora, CO in his column on MHProNews. “It costs money to create affordable housing, which local governments don’t have, and it is more politically expedient to put the screws to a business owner and get favorable press for protecting a group of economically challenged homeowners.

This is unfair to the private sector and, quite frankly, should be unconstitutional,” says Ayotte. “What that said, it is the responsibility of all parties to do the right thing.”alanarthuraeoncreditmprnewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnews1

Aeon Management CEO Alan Arthur commented, “I am sad that our world seems to value bottom line financial returns more than it does people.” Aeon is also exploring other legal options for Lowry Grove residents.

The struggle over community owner’s property rights vs. land-lease community resident rights continues, and the Daily Business News plans to track this story to its conclusion. ##

(Editor’s Note: Equity LifeStyle Communities Chairman Sam Zell’s view on property owners rights is published exclusively in a report on MHProNews, linked here.

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC WIlliams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

The Atlantic’s article on Manufactured Housing Evoked Comments

October 29th, 2014 Comments off

mfg_home__pine_grove_mfg_homes_incCommenting on The Atlantic‘s article about manufactured housing (MH), the CFPB and MH financing, Amy Bliss of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance, compliments the piece for citing facts such as:

> energy efficiency,
> less waste in the building process,
> availability to middle-incomers,
while acknowledging the difficulty in finding financing for chattel loans.

Writing on Industry Voices  at MHProNews, she notes the lack of a secondary market with few lenders for MH loans, saying the CFPB should mandate that any lender allowing conventional mortgages cannot simply deny a manufactured home loan.

Doug Ryan, with the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a non-profit that supports manufactured housing as an affordable alternative, says in The Atlantic, The biggest problem (with MH loans) is with how the loans are done. It’s about as enjoyable as buying a used car.”

Bliss says many manufactured home consumers are elderly, the disabled and families with children. The industry should make a talking point out of the disparate impact made on these three protected age groups when lenders refuse to make loans to MH in communities.

Bliss notes that considering manufactured homes in land lease communities as real property is not an answer, but suggests filling communities with new MH will add vigor to the communities. For the full Bill OpEd, click here.

MHProNews  will have a more in-depth look at The Atlantic‘s coverage of the CFPB’s MH Finance report, planned for later this week. ##

(Photo credit: Pine Grove Manufactured Homes)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com(Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews)

Even with Thunderstorms, Tunica Pre-Show Estimates Exceeded

March 30th, 2014 Comments off


2014-tunica-manufactured-housing-show-entrance-south-central-manufactured-housing-institute-harrah's-convention-center-tunica-msWhile weather and other factors kept some potential attendees away, preliminary figures from Show Ways Unlimited and the registration company indicted that a total of 2195 professionals attended the 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.  Pre-Show estimates on total professionals expected at this year’s event were for 2100 total.

The timing of Ceasar’s Entertainments public announcement on March 26 that their Harrah’s Tunica property would be closed may have confused some potential attendees.

Sources close to the Show speculated that the property may still be sold prior to the June 2 planned closing date for the casino and hotels.  If indeed the property closes, a few ideas were floated for new potential locations for the show, including a new all indoor location in Nashville, TN.

One way or another, this March Manufactured Housing Show is expected to continue on.

Post show commentary and videos are expected in April’s Featured Articles on MHProNews, on the Industry Voices guest blog and on the Cutting Edge blog. ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews.com)

Regulator May Act Against Eminent Domain Plan

August 14th, 2012 Comments off

fhfa-logo-headerReuters tells MHProNews that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) raised concerns about a private investor group’s controversial aim to seize and restructure poor-performing mortgages. The federal housing regulator of the GSEs said it is concerned about the program’s constitutionality. “FHFA has significant concerns with programs that could undermine and have a chilling effect on the extension of credit to borrowers seeking to become homeowners and on investors that support the housing market,” the agency said in a statement. Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the FHFA, has objected to principal reductions on mortgages. DeMarco told reporters “the anticipated benefits do not outweigh the costs and risks.” Concerns about costs to taxpayers was also expressed. Mortgage Resolution Partners, a San Francisco-based group backed by some prominent West Coast financiers, is promoting the concept. Eminent domain traditionally has been used by local governments to condemn buildings and properties for public works projects. A related column in Industry Voices can be found here. ##

(Graphic Credit: FHFA Logo)

Sparks fly on NFPA Report on Fires and Manufactured Homes: We provide, You decide

October 27th, 2011 Comments off

 

MHProNews.com We Provide You Decide2MHProNews has received press releases and statements/reports from and about the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) on the topic of fire safety in HUD Code manufactured housing. The differing press releases from MHI and MHARR are closely tied with the subject of fire sprinklers, preemption and the very nature of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). The NFPA has issued a correction on their report from last summer, including a statement that their report concludes that the rate of fire injury and the incidents of fires for manufactured home occupants is lower than for occupants of other single family homes.

“This report concludes what the industry and our customers have known all along.  Manufactured homes are built with consumer safety considerations first and foremost, and manufactured homes are built to high quality, stringent standards to keep customers safe,” said Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Thayer Long.  MHI’s position also stated, “MHCC members also heard from industry representatives, including a third party inspection agency and several state regulators, that the current fire safety standards for manufactured homes are more stringent than for site built homes constructed to the International Residential Code (IRC). Flame spread, egress, and smoke detector requirements are three examples.” Click here to read  the entire MHI press release.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) resent a previous release, that took the NFPA to task for misstating the facts in their summer reports, and essentially called upon the NFPA to correct the errors in their report, which the the NFPA has now addressed.

MHI’s statement began with this sentence, “Last week, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) testified before a federal advisory committee that occupants of manufactured homes are no more likely to die from a fire in their home than occupants of other single family homes. ” This phrasing “federal advisory committee” (emphasis added in the above) has caused concerns in the past, as some MHCC members read the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA of 2000) not to have created a typical “federal advisory committee” at all. An informed source stated, “The 2000 law does say that the MHCC is an “advisory committee,” but then goes on to provide specific powers, authority and procedures for the MHCC that go far beyond those of run-of-the-mill federal advisory committees; powers that are extraordinary. HUD has sought to downgrade and ignore the unique role and powers of the MHCC by claiming that the MHCC is a run-of-the-mill advisory committee and by trying to shoehorn it into strict compliance with the Federal Advisory Committees Act, which generally governs the existence and procedures of federal advisory committees, but states that its provisions are super-ceded by more specific federal law – in this case the specific authority of the MHCC under the 2000 law.  So, what we don’t want to conceded (is) that the MHCC is a typical or run-of- the-mill federal advisory committee. It is an advisory committee with a unique role and extensive, specific authority delegated directly by Congress.”  Those powers are designed to make the MHCC a check on HUD’s regulatory authority, to keep the agency from imposing unrealistic, unduly burdensome or overly costly regulations on HUD Code manufactured home builders.

Downloads from the various parties are available at the links below. An Industry Voices Guest Blog post by long time MHCC member Doug Gorman on a related topic can be found at this link.

Manufactured Home Fires
MHARR letter to NFPA on its firestudy 8-3-2011
National Fire Protection Association July 2011

 

(Graphic credit: MHProNews)

George Allen Sounds Off in Exclusive Interview on Key MHC and Industry Issues

March 15th, 2011 Comments off

MHMSM.com Industry In Focus Reporter Matthew J. Silver spoke with land-lease community owner and Industry consultant George F. Allen.  The conversation produced some perceptive insights into some of the most pressing issues in the manufactured housing industry today.  Allen shared his view with MHMSM.com that community ownership is one of the best investments to be made today.   Click here to read Part One of the George F. Allen interview today in the Industry Voices Guest Blog on MHMSM.com.