Posts Tagged ‘ishbel dickens’

Presidents, Protest Groups, Update on Plot to Disrupt MHI Annual Meeting in Orlando

July 21st, 2017 Comments off

I’ve been protested before,” the corporate president said to MHProNews. “That doesn’t scare or bother me,” the caller said in reaction to the report, linked here.


MHProNews previously reported on the “All Parks Alliance for Change,” “Mobile Justice,” a photo taken at the Minnesota state capitol protest that activist group held. To see that prior story, click here or the image above. The leader of that particular group is one of those mentioned in more detail below.

Other manufactured home industry business and association professionals who called or messaged MHProNews about the notice that one or more left-wing resident groups were mulling disruptive activities were not as enthusiastic.

Several were leery about being caught up in the middle of – as one said – “bull horn toting, sign-carrying picketers,” press, and TV cameras.

But one party was more cynical, and clinical. “C’mon! They may protest means they may not too.”

Sources and Methods

Sources and methods for this Daily Business News report need to be carefully presented:

  • to be accurate,
  • useful to professionals discerning meeting and travel plans,
  • and which may also serve to disrupt the alleged disrupters.

At a minimum, as one professional noted, the element of surprise is gone for both left-wing resident group activists, as well as for those who may want to brave photographers with print media, and TV cameras — that follow in the wake of those anti-business minded protesters.

One of several fine points, per sources that tipped MHProNews, suggest is that the protest groups could use live streaming video themselves. They would certainly “milk any and all media” or self-generated coverage “for years to come after the MHI Orlando event.”

A simple check of activist resident group websites underscored the wisdom of that comment.  Some examples, will be seen below.

Revelations, Allegations, and An Exclusive Update from Activists


It is unclear if Communities for Change will or won’t be part of the alleged plot to disrupt the MHI meeting. What is known from a direct communication with this group is that they suggested to MHProNews that MHAction be contacted for information. To see a previously published story on how Westin and Borden teamed up using media in an attempt to discredit industry community operations, please click the photo above. Note that MHProNews debunked key elements of their media-driven claim.

MHProNews has verified directly with one such group that a steering committee has – or must – meet to further discuss just such a protest at MHI’s annual meeting in September in Orlando.

In follow ups to that same group, they have issued a “no further comment” statement.

Another group directly contacted has not yet replied.

That is not uncommon with that second organization. That group previously has replied at times, but at other times remain mute – as they know from experience that MHProNews and MHLivingNews are pro-Industry, pro-Consumer trade media that has actively debunked anti-industry claims for years. Two recent examples of this trade media platform defending the industry from unjust attacks are linked here and here.

For the response from Jonathan Westin’s organization, see the caption below his photo.

Insider Insights into ‘Splits’ Within Left-Wing Activists Resident Groups

Sources inform MHProNews that MHAction and NMHOA have a “split” when it comes to their respective “styles.”

MHAction, sources say, sees itself as more aggressive than long-time Ishbel Dickens led NMHOA.

For Ken Borden’s MHAction, per that source to the Daily Business News, NMHOA is “not aggressive enough.”

There are other resident groups that have done such ‘media magnet’ protests before, at their respective market levels.

What is unclear from information presently at hand is if – or how many of those more local groups – may be interested in leaving their normal theaters of operation, to step onto a national stage in Orlando.

That it could happen is suggested, sources say, by the emergence of Dave Anderson at NMHOA – see more on that – further below.

Disruption – Not Chess, Pinball

Tony, don’t think about these activists as chess players,” said one professional. “They absolutely have strategies, but it is more three dimensional than two. Think pinball. Disruption that gains favorable media attention for their cause – in their minds – that’s already a victory.”

That source wasn’t justifying the activist groups; rather it was an insight into their trouble-making, grab-attention worldview.

A comparison was also made by said professional between the types of protests one has seen in the U.S., pre-Trump Administration, and the far more virulent – and sometimes, violent – protests that have spring up this year, thanks in part to George Soros, and similar leftist-minded, funding sources.

Protest Group Profiles

We will provide 3 basic snapshots – self-descriptions and media headlines – of those who have been activist leaders against the business interests in the MH finance, and MH community sectors of the industry.

No particular order of importance should be construed from the 3 names listed below.

  • Ken Borden
  • Ishbel Dickens
  • David “Dave” R. Anderson


Ken Borden – Snapshot


Each of these spotlighted individuals and groups has a proven track record of protests, and being media savvy. As the graphics and links below reflect, MHI has been ‘caught off guard’ before with far less dramatic incidents than the ones such seasoned protesters are allegedly plotting.


Ishbel Dickens – Snapshot


HUD’s Belated, Blustering “Promotion” of Manufactured Homes

Democrat supporter and HUD’s manufactured housing program director Pam Danner at right, and Ishbel Dickens in center, in a HUD photo, shown under fair use guidelines. The political preference of Theresa Payne is unknown. Text and collage credits,  Note stating someone’s politics should be construed as a fact, nothing more or less. MHProNews readers span the political spectrum — including those who could care less about politics. 


Ishbel Dickens has directly challenged MHI positions in several venues, as MHProNews has previously reported. One such venue, where MHI said they were blind sided, was at the Congressional Field Hearings, to see that story, click here or the image above. Dickens and NMHOA colleague, Carla Burr, were part of the PBS News report that was harmful to manufactured housing and communities.  See that report, linked here. MHProNews has led-the-charge that debunked several of that group’s claims, but they are tenacious. Note their ties with CFED, Prosperity Now…others?


David “Dave” R. Anderson – Snapshot


As noted above in red, Dave Anderson of NMHOA was active in the MN based All Parks Alliance group, which staged the protest shown in the photo at the top.


An industry source stressed to MHProNews, that readers should note that not all resident groups are made up of radical political leftists. Some are interested in bridging gaps, another topic, another time – but that point is mentioned here for a balanced understanding of the various groups themselves.

For specific examples, some state associations work with various levels of effectiveness with resident groups in their states.

MHI Security and Countermeasures?

Those professionals who asked MHProNews about MHI’s plans, if any, to deal with protests and disruption were referred to MHI.  Note MHI has not opted to share a comment on this matter.


The original picture is of an actual protest against a manufactured home community operation — a mock up to illustrate what has happened, and part of what could – per sources – be coming in Orlando in September. As one source suggested, it should not be thought that the limits of what the protesters might do is what is shown above; as political leftist groups outside of MH have grown more aggressive and even violent in 2017.  MHI Logo is provided under fair use guidelines.

Some callers asked or spoke about other MHI related items.  But those are beyond the scope of this potential threat of protests at MHI’s annual meeting in Orlando focused report.


Many public officials and media are regulating homes or reporting on activities that they have little or no true understanding about. Photo, Sunset Village, Glenview, IL – credit,

Disclosures, Experience and Insights

This writer lived in a larger land lease community (several hundred sites) that had an activist protest group that was routinely able to get the local, anti-community owner media coverage they craved.

That location’s owner historically took the ‘no comment’ approach with the press. Thus, all of the coverage was slanted against that operation…

…until an alternative method and counter-plan was developed.

Those NMHOA linked-activists were listened to, a meeting attended, and parties involved were later addressed directly by this writer.

An alternate, indirect method of addressing both resident concerns and the media was established. Protest coverage by local media was no longer one-sided.

Over a period of several weeks, that engagement and countermeasures resulted in the activist numbers going from close to 100 attending their meetings, to their numbers dwindle down to single digits attending.  Only a handful afterwards were participating in their picketing and media actions, during the time this writer was involved in and led that effort.

That hardcore local version of NMHOA group remained, but the decreased level of protest, the shift in the overall resident population view, all proved useful with local media.

It was also good for generating new home sales, which protesters otherwise had previously hampered.

Those kinds of ‘disrupt the disrupters’ strategies have not been requested by MHI, who’s own ‘no comments’ approach, is unlikely to ask – or listen? – based upon their own recent patterns of problematic activity.

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsOther successful experiences of working directly with residents, to defuse anger, and turn them into satisfied promoters could be related.

CFED Turned Prosperity Now


If MHI is serious about passing their bill, then it would be wise to come to grips with operations such as Prosperity Now, which is pro-manufactured housing, but opposes much of the MHI agenda. To learn more, click the image above.

Yesterday the Daily Business News reported on the former CFED, which has rebranded as Prosperity Now.

They are using a different activist approach.

While they have not replied for comments on if they plan any direct level of involvement in an anti-MHI protest at Orlando, their recent actions offer a strong clue as to the kinds of issues that protesters that do attend are likely to raise.  Note too in the Ishbel Dickens graphic above the ties between NMHOA and CFED/Prosperity Now.

Borden’s History

Kevin Borden is already on record protesting Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), and Frank Rolfe and company’s operations. MHProNews did a report – linked here – that debunked the thrust of those MHAction claims.

Prosperity Now is anti-the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, and they will likely continue to beat the drum of certain industry lenders and operations who they deem to be engaged in – or wanting to do – what they call, “predatory lending.”

That report – which for MH Industry or Investor newcomers presents links plus facts that debunk Prosperity Now’s allegations – is linked here.

Further updates on the emerging elements of what sources allege are developing plans by left-wing activists to disrupt the MHI annual meeting in Orlando meeting will be made as warranted. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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


Photo by Mark Simon, of L. A. “Tony’ Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY. Kovach has a proven history of being for respect for residents, and being pro-Industry and pro-sustainable growth. He is a consultant, service provider and the publisher of the industry’s two largest and most popular trade media, and

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.




Governor’s Controversial Manufactured Housing Battle Concludes

June 29th, 2017 Comments off

Image credits, OMHA, provided under fair use guidelines.

From the moment Governor John Kasich‘s Administration first proposed to eliminate the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission, the air has been full of misleading information and derogatory comments directed at almost one million Ohio residents who live in manufactured homes,” said Tim Williams, Executive Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA).

While the OMHA was able to rally support in their state house, as was reported at the link here, when the final budget was approved, the OMHC was not included.

Kasich’s “Administration did not tell the truth regarding the independent Manufactured Homes Commission‘s superior record of protecting homeowner safety,” said Williams.  “Neither did the Administration accurately report that today’s manufactured homes have the strictest fire code of any form of housing on the market, meeting rigorous federal quality construction standards.”


Interior photo of a modern manufactured home from the OMHA website.

tim williams exev vp ohio mfg homes assoc

Tim Williams, OMHA.

Ohio has for years been a state that inspected every new manufactured home installation.



In place for the last ten years, the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission is an independent agency, with a team of trained professionals, knowledgeable about the homes and the way they are built and installed. The Commission does its job free of political influence,” Williams told MHProNews, “ensuring every home installation is inspected and each one is safe.”


Photo credit, OMHA website.

Now, the rigorous inspection process currently in place in Ohio will be absorbed into the Kasich Administration’s 800 employee Department of Commerce bureaucracy.  That body new regulatory body, OMHA states where “there exists no manufactured homes expertise or experience.”


AMHRO is affiliated with a national resident rights group, the NMHOA, long led by Ishbel Dickens, who has recently said she is ‘trying to retire,’ Collage credits, AMHRO, provided under fair use guidelines.

The residents rights group, Association of Manufactured Homes Residents in Ohio (AMHRO) fought alongside OMHA in their efforts to keep the independent OMHC alive against the Kasich Administration’s onslaught.

Williams said, “We stand ready to assist the Administration in the transition. Given the Ohio Department of Commerce’s lack of experience and expertise involving the unique nature of manufactured homes, we hope the Administration will call on our Association and AMHRO during the transition. We also encourage the Administration to transfer the small Commission staff with 88 years of combined experience to the Department of Commerce to ensure continuity in the regulatory program.”

The Ohio Manufactured Homes Association is a not for profit organization, comprised of some 500 manufactured home related businesses. ##

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

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



Hometown Trying to Preserve Manufactured Home Community in Washington

June 9th, 2016 Comments off

troy_new_york__auction_creditThe Kittitas County Commissioners approved a $1.45 million purchase agreement for the Shady Brook manufactured home community in April in order to expand the fairgrounds and event center, according to dailyrecordnews, reporting from central Washington state.

Although there was no entry on the agenda, several people spoke suggesting ways for the county or a non-profit to retain the community for the 30 families who live there.

Ishbel Dickens, former executive director of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA), suggested the Kittitas County Housing Authority buy the property, so residents could build equity in their homes and feel secure.

She said that King County works with Habitat for Humanity to help residents move into affordable, Energy Star-rated homes, as MHProNews understands.

Commissioner Paul Jewell said a consultant is on the case. “We’re getting suggestions from folks, chasing every lead, considering every possibility,” he noted. Two private property owners have also expressed an interest in affordable housing as well. ##

(Photo credit:–small manufactured home community)

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

Should the Manufactured Housing Institute’s CEO Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison resign?

January 27th, 2016 1 comment

dick jennison rvbusiness creditDozens of comments from MHPros coast to coast came in within hours in response to an OpEd by publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Writing on the Masthead blog, Kovach outlined examples of errors and tensions within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which allegedly point back to the national association’s CEO and President, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison.

Noting that the MH industry typically loses in Washington politics, which means the loss of potentially billions of dollars in lost sales to the industry, Kovach points to examples of missteps made at MHI.

One of the dozens of messages in response to the Masthead read, “Something has to be done or everyone including the consumers will suffer.”

Another message read in part, “…without Hydrick down in Alabama, and her knowing Shelby, our legislation would have gone nowhere…” The comment went on to say Doris Hydrick’s contribution was largely unrecognized by the national association. 

I was shocked…I was not aware all that had taken place. Serious need for transparency, obviously,” read another comment from an industry leader.

Numerous sensitive comments came from those who even a generic published reference would likely reveal the source.  They included new revelations that underscored points made or alluded to by Kovach’s OpEd.  Questions and comments about what direction the executive committee members will take on the revelations where numerous.

As troubling as the recent PBS and other news have been to MH, there are sources who tell MHProNews that the worst is yet to come. Which begs the question – if that’s true, would Jennison’s resignation, which insiders say is unlikely, could that in any way help MHI’s media-embattled efforts?

Confidence in Jennison waned years ago.” stated an MHI member. “Rumors and allegations within the Arlington office, coming from staff and those who know staff well, have sporadically arisen,” stated another.

Boe Davis, Vice President of the MHBGroup, followed Kovach’s OpEd within hours with one of his own, on the problems he experienced as a member in working within the MHI structure. For 3+ years his firm tried to expand a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for MH they had operated in the Santa Clara Valley in California for almost 30 years into a national service.

To that end they joined local associations as well as MHI, and were encouraged to attend meetings, pay dues, expound their idea by renting booths at trade shows, traveling and spending tens of thousands of dollars to promote their idea, but all for naught.

They finally realized they were seeing the “Same people and companies, doing the same thing over the course of two of three days. To grow an industry one needs to attract new blood. Having a limited, narrow membership base will get you narrow and limited input and outcomes. To me this means that our associations are attempting to achieve goals and outcomes for a selected few.”

Davis’ full letter to the editor, is linked here. A comment from an informed source who read Davis’ OpEd stated that MHI took elements of his ideas, and applied them in a different way, that brought no benefit to Davis’ operation.

Thousands read the Kovach OpEd in just a matter of hours, and traffic on the MHProNews website spiked 50%.

A among the issues raised by Kovach is that Ishbel Dickens and other non-profits allegedly tried to work with MHI on a compromise bill, and examples of how those efforts went sideways. Kovach told the Daily Business News, “For President Truman, the buck stopped at his desk. Where does the buck stop at MHI? If Preserving Access and other issues are important for the industry – and we’ve supported them and editorially believe they are important to thousands of pros and millions of MH home owners – can we afford to let business as usual continue in MHI’s office in Arlington?” Kovach says he is renewing his call for MHI to release the 3 page response they claim to have sent to PBS in the wake of their slanted video report, and suggests that MHI should ask FHFA to release the minutes of their meeting with MHI.  He also invited Dick Jennison’s response to the allegations. Kovach’s referenced and link-laced column, is linked here. ##

(Photo credit: MHI–Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO of MHI)

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

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Jan. 10 -Jan. 17, 2016

January 17th, 2016 Comments off

mhpronews_sunday_morningWhat’s New in public focused Manufactured

Bad and Good – Two Sides – Manufactured Home Living and News Reporting

What’s New in Manufactured Housing Industry Professional News

Ishbel Dickens refuses debate with Carla Burr over PBS NewsHour report. Part of MHC to close. Jurisdiction ready to impose master meter on MHC. Dems want Justice to Investigate Clayton. Manufactured homes go to pot. MH Reits return over 25 percent. Some protest, some accept modular homes in Dublin, Ireland. New tax law will only minimally contribute to affordable housing. New First Nations modular homes uninhabitable, while Green modular designed to last 300 years. Indiana city relaxes tough stance on MH siting. And much, much more in news and views for you to peruse.

Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016

Carlyle Group is one Resident Away from Updating Coastal MHC in CA

Friday, Jan. 15

Township Set to Impose Master Meter System on Manufactured Home Community

Cost of Extensive Utility Upgrades to MHCs will be Borne by all Ratepayers

Dow Plunges Nearly 400 Points; MHCV Drops Two Percent

New Tax Law will only Increase Affordable Housing Units Tepidly

Skyline Reports Earnings Per Share Increase

Manufactured Home Retailer Allegedly Absconds with Customers’ Funds

Thursday, Jan. 14

Government Sponsored Enterprises Grew Multifamily Loans in 2015

Skyline Gained Sharply, while the Dow reclaimed +227.64 points

Existing Home Sales Fall, perhaps due to New Disclosure Rules

Why did Ishbel Dickens/NMHOA decline a Debate with Carla Burr about PBS NewsHour’s Manufactured Housing Report?

Unique Homes may be Tough to Finance

Wednesday, Jan. 13

Portion of Manufactured Home Community to Close

UMH to Release Financials in March

Nobility Spikes, Patrick Falls, the Dow Plummets again

Manufactured Homes have Gone to Pot

Democratic Lawmakers want DOJ to Investigate Clayton Homes, lenders in wake of Seattle Times/BuzzFeed report

Balbriggan Neighbors Okay with Modulars in Neighborhood

Tuesday, Jan. 12

Aussie 578 Site Manufactured Home Community Iced

Problems with New Modular Homes Wreaking Havoc on First Nations Land

Skyline, Cavco, UFPI Gain in Three Figures; Dow Moves Up

Indiana City Relaxes Restrictions on Replacing Manufactured Homes

NW City Addressing Community Closures Proactively

Monday, Jan. 11

Plans for Modular Home Production did not Materialize

Green Modular Home Designed to last 300 Years

Dow Changes Direction; Several MH-related Stocks Look Up

Protests Mount against Modular Homes for the Homeless in Dublin

Manufactured Housing REITs Return Over 25 Percent

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Jan. 3 -Jan. 10, 2016 ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews)

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

Why did Ishbel Dickens/NMHOA decline a Debate with Carla Burr about PBS NewsHour’s Manufactured Housing Report?

January 14th, 2016 Comments off

bad_news_good_news__Jan_14_2016Opening with an analysis about the dynamics behind mainstream media coverage, MHLivingNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach used that to focus attention on the recent PBS NewsHour report that featured Carla Burr, titled Bad and Good – Two Sides – Manufactured Home Living and News Reporting.

Kovach reminds us of the rule of thumb in the newsroom: “If it bleeds, it leads!” Bad news travels fast and gets there first, and is often the lead—on TV and other news media. He provides examples of that, before moving onto the thrust of the article, which is the recent PBS NewsHour and Seattle Times/BuzzFeed stories.

Kovach acknowledges that there are rotten apples in every industry, and provides linked examples of how MHProNews and MHLivingNews has drawn attention to apparent bad actors from MH in the news. Thankfully, there are not many examples of criminal behavior in MH today. But when other media misrepresents or unjustly slants the news, Kovach makes it clear that we have and will spotlight errors and correct the record.

Carla Burr/Ishbel Dickens and NMHOA invited to debate PBS NewsHour topics, they decline

However, Kovach says it’s not just that the reporting was slanted on the PBS video and on the seattletimes/buzzfeed  “stories,” but there is a hidden agenda: interviewee Carla Burr is not a typical resident of a manufactured home community that the PBS happened upon. Burr is the vice president of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) and a known activist on MH finance and community issues.

Burr’s role in the activist group was not mentioned in the PBS broadcast. Moreover, a close look at the PBS report reveals she does not fit the profile PBS painted of MHC residents in general.

Kovach has since offered to debate Burr or Ishbel Dickens, the executive director of NMHOA on the PBS NewsHour video in Washington, D. C. in early February. Dickens formally declined. For the correspondence, click here.

Additionally, some of Dick Ernst’s key comments were edited from the script. Based upon Dicken’s emailed message noted above and other factors, Kovach suggests that special interests working against MHI supported legislation aimed at stopping the common-sense reforms in Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act reform of Dodd-Frank that would benefit millions of MH home owners and businesses was the aim behind both stories.

Just as bad news travels faster, one may not hear from media reports about the millions who live in manufactured homes who love their lifestyle and affordability. According to the Government Accounting Office (GAO), manufactured homes have lower payments and lower cost than conventional housing or most rentals.

For the full story with related videos and downloads, click on – Bad and Good – Two Sides – Manufactured Home Living and News Reporting##

(Image credit Deer Valley Homebuilders and MHLivingNews)

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

Will Matt Drudge, Fox or CNN Spotlight Unfair Challenges Harming Millions of Manufactured Home Owners?

May 20th, 2015 2 comments



Correction on this photo, an earlier version did not have the proper image of Mike Baker, left.

The Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity has allegedly targeted Clayton Homes and Berkshire-Hathaway affiliated finance companies in an attempt to derail much needed reforms to Dodd-Frank which harm millions of manufactured home (MH) owners and thousands of MH businesses.

Mike Baker and Daniel Wagner – writers of the Seattle Times articles, done in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity – used shock tactics prior to the House of Representatives vote to attempt to derail the now-passed HR 650, which enjoyed bi-partisan support.

More recently, that writing duo turn on Warren Buffett’s firms again, in advance of a Thursday May 21st vote in the Senate Banking Committee that will include industry sought relief (S 682) from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations. Industry professionals say that The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, would mitigate the harm done to the value of millions of low-cost manufactured home owners by the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank.

It might take a link by billion-plus monthly page views Drudge Report, or media mavens like Fox or CNN, to right the imbalanced coverage spawned by Baker’s and Wagner’s questionable journalism.

Writing in the Seattle Times, Baker says that the default rate on manufactured homes is higher than conventional housing, and uses pejorative terms about the loans such as “predatory” and “risky.” But should 97 home buyers be barred home ownership via financing others won’t offer, so that the 3 who fail in a year be spared their loss?

As a comparison, should millions be stopped from working because a small minority might quit or lose their jobs? Should subscribers to the Seattle Times digital or print publications be barred from buying their brand of news, because some every year will stop paying them? Should their publication be barred from selling ads because some advertisers will stop using them every year?

Yet that is kind of reasoning being used by Baker and Wagner. Their self-evident goal is an attempt to stir up enough shock value that blurs their use of faulty or circle reasoning, aimed at undermining support for much needed Dodd-Frank reforms.

Real Harm to Millions of Real Home Owners and Thousands of Businesses

The Seattle Times and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) fail to balance their report by pointing out that the loss of lending that has taken place is harming the value of the lowest cost manufactured homes.

Some 20% of the homes that 20 million manufactured home owners live in would sell for under $20,000, the mark that 21st Mortgage Corporation set below which they could not safely make a loan and still hope to profit. With 8.8 million manufactured homes and pre-HUD Code mobile homes in the U.S., that 20% would represent about 1,760,000 manufactured/mobile homes (MH).

Since most MH owners live in their homes an average of about 10 years, millions may not yet realize they are harmed.

Comrades in Arms Against Reform?

Organizations like the Center for Enterprise Development (CFED) are ducking tough questions from MHProNews. Meanwhile, CFED’s Doug Ryan willingly comments to the Seattle Times or OZY Media, why? Are his comments made to other media a desperate effort to shock enough people with headlines and stories that don’t stand up well to close scrutiny? Aren’t CFED and Ishbel Dickens led National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) harming the very home owners they claim to be advocating for? Is their ideological stance more important to them than the realities on the ground caused by the polices they advocate?

Dickens sent MHProNews an emailed reply, saying she was on vacation, and thus could not answer questions. Her “vacation” ends after the Senate vote. She can email that she is on vacation, but can’t email a simple reply on the impact of current CFPB regulations on the values of millions of manufactured homes? Or how publishers such as OZY Media are arguably harming the value of MH owners, by using improper and derogatory terminology?

CFPB Regulations harms all current Manufactured Home Lenders

By spotlighting Berkshire-Hathaway affiliated companies, Baker and Wagner are allegedly attempting to derail needed reforms of Dodd-Frank, that impact manufactured home owners and every lender in the manufactured housing space.

don_glisson_2Triad Financial Corporation is a competing company to 21st Mortgage. Triad’s President and CEO, Don Glisson Jr., has told MHProNews that his firm’s costs have skyrocketed since CFPB regulations have gone into effect.

Glisson said, “Triad has been the leading lender in the “A” credit market for over 50 years and I have personally been with the company for over 30 years. Regulations have always been a fact of life for us, but our compliance costs have quadrupled in the past 3 years alone.”

Another industry lender, formerly with US Bank, told MHProNews off-the-record that their bank’s manufactured housing loan program was profitable. But the high costs of regulatory compliance, coupled with low loan volume, caused U.S. Bank to end their manufactured housing lending program. That mirrors the official statement made by the bank when they pulled out of manufactured home lending in November, 2014.

A third manufactured home lender said off-the-record that they are glad 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) make the loans they do. Why? Because in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, loans on manufactured homes originated by 21st and VMF were crucial to the survival of thousands of MH Industry companies, which included hundreds of independent operations not owned by Berkshire-Hathaway.

Doesn’t the dismal failure to report in a balanced fashion – as Jan Hollingsworth did in writing on the impact of Dodd-Frank on manufactured home buyers and professionals – undermine the credibility of a journalist?

Senior management with every major industry lender MHProNews spoke in favor of reforms on Dodd-Frank, even if they don’t make the same kinds of loans 21st and VMF do.

Triad’s CEO elaborated on the challenges faced by their firm and other manufactured housing professionals. “Since we specialize in A credits, we have never had an issue with higher cost loans and the rules that surround higher priced loans have zero impact on us.”

However,” Glisson stated, “the rule that prohibits a manufactured home retailer from advising the customer on finance options is one that we would like to see changed. Currently a buyer of a site built home can receive advice from their realtor or builder on financing options, while manufactured home buyers have no similar ability to seek a seller’s help. This would be like going to a car dealer to buy a new SUV and when you ask for help securing a loan they hand you the phone book and say they can’t help you so just pick one out yourself.”

Glisson explained what impact this CFPB regulation has made on their operation. “This has doubled the amount of applications we are now processing to do the same amount of lending. In the past, before the CFPB regulations, a retailer could pre-qualify a buyer by accessing their credit reports and analyzing their income, just like every Realtor ® in America can do. With that information, they could at least determine what lender NOT to send the application to. We have had to add several full time equivalent team members to handle the crush of applications, as we are now bombarded with applicants who have no chance of qualifying with us.”

This is a pattern of “shot-gunning” applications by retailers to all MH lenders, to avoid the appearance of steering, that other lenders have confirmed for MHProNews.

Glisson went on to say that, “Beginning in 2014, when the rules went into effect, our origination cost per loan has skyrocketed. Pre-2014 we would approve about 50% of the applications we received as they were pre-screened. Currently we approve about 30% of the applications we receive, so our efficiency went down the tubes and we are working harder and spending more to make the same amount of loans.”

These are the kinds of real world problems caused by federal regulations that cause a lender such as U.S. Bank to pull out.


As Sam Landy, President and CEO of UMH Properties pointed out in a video interview linked here, it has caused them and others in the community business to stop lending to potential manufactured home owners. They now rent homes to those who before would be qualified by their finance arm to make renters into home owners. How does that regulatory caused impact help those thousands seeking ownership and equity instead of rent receipts to advance in life?

Doing the Math

Finance experts tell us that a community operator like UMH, using a related or ‘captive finance’ company, can afford to make loans at a lower interest rate than a traditional lender because they are only loaning on manufactured homes in their community. In the event of a default, their costs and thus their loses are lower. Additionally, a manufactured home community operator can benefit even if their loan program is only marginally profitable, because they are getting additional revenue from a sold home and filled homesite.

There is no similar benefit to the third party loans made by 21st, VMF, Triad Financial, CU Factory Built Lending or Mountainside Financial. The same holds true for regional or local lenders who must profit on the loan itself, or they won’t make the loan in the first place.

Does Buffett win more than Millions of home owners would from the proposed reforms to Dodd-Frank?

While the Seattle Times’ Baker and his tag team writer Wagner make it sound that Warren Buffett and Berkshire-Hathaway related companies are the big winner from financial reform, they clearly overlook the real world impact on an estimated 20% of those home owners who live in a home that is worth under $20,000.

If those homes averaged $15,000 each, 1.76 million MHs represent an aggregated value of $26,400,000,000. That sum dwarfs the benefits to Berkshire-Hathaway, or indeed, to the entire manufactured housing industry.

Since financing is the key to most big ticket sales, a loss of financing causes the same drop in value that was seen in conventional housing in the wake of the 2008 mortgage collapse.  Just as conventional housing lost value absent lending, the same holds true for manufactured homes.

As the now-retired president of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), Danny Ghorbani, has said, the factory built home industry was not the cause of the 2008 housing/mortgage bubble. So why were manufactured home owners, housing businesses and professionals penalized? Why is manufactured housing owners and buisnesses taking such a direct hit from the impact of CFPB regulations?


 As Eric Powell told Jan Hollingsworth about the impact of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB regulations on their manufactured home purchase, What were they thinking when they did that?”  Or as Sam Landy told MHLivingNews, the consequences to millions of manufactured home owners and thousands of business may well have been untended, but someone has got to fix this. ##

(Image credits 3 and 4, MHLivingNews; Don Glisson Jr photo and composite photo and graphic of Baker and Wagner made by MHProNews).

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

HUD Announces Members of Manufactured Housing Concensus Committee

February 5th, 2015 Comments off


On February 4, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the newly appointed members of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee for 2015 as well as those appointed to a second term.

Robin Roy, Chris Flannery, John W. Weldy, and Joseph L. Anderson II will serve as new committee members while Mark Mazz and James Demitrus will begin their second three-year terms.

These first- and second-term committee members are joining existing members Steven T. Anderson, Debra Blake, Ishbel Dickens, William Freeborne, Dominic Frisina, Rick Hanger, Jeffrey T. Legault, Michael Lubliner, Timothy J. O’Leary, Leo Poggione, Manuel Santana, Gregory K. Scott, Timothy Sheahan, David Tompos, and Richard Weinert.  HUD expresses its appreciation to departing members, Michael Wade, Theresa Desfosses, Mark Luttich, and Frank Walter.

Established in 2000, the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee advises HUD’s Secretary on manufactured housing construction and safety standards. The Committee also provides advice on federal procedural and enforcement regulations for manufactured housing.  The new appointments include:

Robin Roy, Ph.D.

Roy is currently employed with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and has served as the director of Building Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Strategy since 2010.  He has worked for three decades to help meet society’s need for secure, economic, and environmentally sound energy. Over the past year, Roy has immersed himself in the manufactured housing sector by working with the industry, consumers, utility, and efficiency groups to understand their perspectives and build support for strong, workable, and affordable efficiency standards as required by federal regulations.

Chris Flannery

Flannery currently serves as the Supervising Inspector for the State of Nevada Manufactured Housing Division (MHD). As the Supervising Inspector, Flannery collaborates with building officials, members of the public, and other staff members, and also represents the Division as the prime point of contact for inquiries from local jurisdictions.  Prior to serving as the Supervising Inspector, Flannery served as the state of Nevada’s Building Official and Planning Director for eight years.

John W. Weldy

Weldy, currently employed with Clayton Homes, Inc., has served as the Director of Engineering since October 2005.  As the Director of Engineering, Weldy directs activities of the engineering department and coordinates projects from the design state to successful construction by leading a team of approximately 30 professionals.  Prior to joining Clayton Homes, Weldy served as the Director of the Design Approval Plant Inspection Agency (DAPIA) Services at NTA, Inc. where he was responsible for all outgoing DAPIA approvals and DAPIA correspondence with states, HUD, and IBTS.

Joseph Lee “Jody” Anderson

Anderson is the owner of Timberland Mobile Housing, LLC, and has been a manufactured housing business owner for 28 years as a Texas licensee for manufactured housing retail. He is also a manufactured housing community owner.  In addition, he is an active member of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA), a non-profit trade association representing the interests of a variety of businesses involved in the manufactured housing industry.

Mark J. Mazz

Mazz has served on the MHCC as a member of the “User” category since 2010. Mazz is a licensed architect with significant knowledge of accessibility design. He provides accessibility consulting to property owners, developers, construction managers, contractors, civil engineers, architects, other design professionals, HUD, DOJ, advocates, and attorneys.  In 2005, Mazz assisted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in developing requirements for accessible emergency housing and co-wrote “Design Details for Accessible Disaster Relief Housing.”

James Demitrus

Demitrus has served on the MHCC as a member of the “User” category since January 1, 2012. He is a manufactured home owner and resident of Ohio, where he currently serves as the Commissioner for the Ohio Manufactured Home Commission (OMHC). He is also the President of Lakeside Terrace Homeowners Association in Ohio.  Demitrus retired from General Motors Corporation in Parma, Ohio, and is currently self-employed as an electrician. ##

(Graphic Credit: HUD)

Article submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News – MHProNews.


Washington Honors Six Affordable Housing Advocates

October 17th, 2014 Comments off

manufactured homes for washington fruit pickers   Dan Wheat capital press com  creditThe Housing Finance Commission (HFC) of Washington State has announced the winners of the 2014 Friend of Housing awards, including Ishbel Dickens, who was awarded the Margaret M. Sevy Affordable Housing Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with manufactured housing, according to


MHProNews recalls a story posted Feb. 8, 2012 regarding a hearing called by the House Financial Services Committee to hear testimony about HUD’s implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act and the unintended consequences of the SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank on manufactured housing (MH). At the hearing, Ms. Dickens, who is executive director of the Manufactured Homeowners Association of America (MHOAA), used her testimony to criticize manufactured housing community owners.

Dickens is also a member of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC).

Other Friend of Housing Award winners were: Stephen Buxbaum, Mayor of Olympia; Chris Venne, senior housing developer at Community Frameworks in Bremerton; Jayne Auld, who recently retired from Spokane Housing Ventures; Adrienne Quinn, formerly of Seattle Office of Housing and now with King County Community and Human Services; Beacon Development Group, a Seattle-based affordable housing developer; and Harry Hoffman, former executive director of Housing Development Consortium.

MHProNews has been advised that the HFC is a state agency targeted to increasing housing access and affordability. Certainly, from a number of manufactured housing community owner’s perspective, whom Ms Dicken’s has referred to as ‘the enemy,’ this award will be seen as ironic. ##

Editor’s note: related story, National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) -linked here.

(Photo credit: Dan Wheat/–manufactured homes for Washington fruit pickers)

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

MHARR, MHI and GSE Reform, Background to Danny Ghorbani’s release and George Allen’s Planned “Story”

March 18th, 2014 4 comments

mhpronews-mharr-mhi-associations-graphic-manufactured-home-marketing-sales-managementOn Sunday, March 16 at 4:47 PM ET, a news release was received from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on the topic of the highly-charged issue of a Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE, “Fannie and Freddie”) reform plan.

Some 3 Hours and 43 minutes later, at 8:30 PM on the same day, the first message came in from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) on the same topic. MHI’s full release on the topic of GSE reform is linked here, while the link to MHARR’s full release on the topic is found here.

In his message, MHARR’s President, Danny Ghorbani, claimed their “…calculated risk by MHARR that has now…” quoting their headline …achieves major victory.

While most industry professionals who follow these events would agree that this is certainly promising for consumers and the industry, the GSE reform legislation has a long way to go before it is becomes law. This is a one step along a longer path, as Ghorbani’s own statement from MHARR later acknowledges.

That fact begs the question, what makes this a bigger success than HR 1779 or S 1828, both of which are well underway?

It also raises the question, what was the “calculated risk” that Ghorbani’s message refers to in his release? Where is the “risk” in MHARR sending a position paper to the Senate Banking Committee?

Could it be that the “risk” Ghorbani refers to is that MHARR has not publicly supporting HR 1779 and S 1828? Isn’t it risky for their member-manufacturers and customers to not cover all possible legislative and lobbying bases, as MHI’s team has been doing on the finance and other issues?

MHARR claims MHI had a Single Focus

MHARR CEO Ghorbani’s message included this paragraph,

At a time when much of the industry was pursuing a singular focus on unsuccessful legislative modifications to the loan originator compensation and high-cost loan provisions of the Dodd-Frank finance reform law — and was unwilling to join MHARR in an  initiative on the much farther-reaching issue of GSE reform — the MHARR Board of Directors chose to advance the inclusion of all types of manufactured home loans and definitive action to end the discrimination that has dogged the industry’s consumer financing for decades, as part of the GSE reform process in Congress.”

As the numerous items that follow below demonstrate, the first part of this statement cited above is demonstrably in error. Namely:

At a time when much of the industry was pursuing a singular focus on unsuccessful legislative modifications to the loan originator compensation and high-cost loan provisions of the Dodd-Frank finance reform law –…”

Furthermore, as this Congressional legislative session is not yet over, none of these efforts – GSE Reform or Dodd-Frank reform – can be called a failure or a success.

So why is there a need for MHARR’s CEO to paint MHI’s efforts as a ‘failure,’ when the GSE effort is not as far along as HR 1779 or S. 1828?

Some MHARR officials and allied industry commentator in the dark?

Messages and calls from MHARR members, those aligned with MHARR and others outside of that camp to MHProNews seem to be unaware – or in some cases, won’t acknowledge – the fact that MHI has demonstrably been engaged on this topic of GSE reform for years, along with a variety of other issues in Washington. DC. Some examples will be shown in a down-loadable attachment, later below.

Agenda of Making MHI look bad, as a way of Making Ghorbani and Allen look more important?

broadside-darius-danny-ghorbani-president-mharr-george-allen-allen-letter-community-i ... actured-housing-institute-manufactured-housing-association-for-regulatory-reformOn Monday, after allegedly communicating with Danny Ghorbani, President and CEO at MHARR, George Allen sent an email to Rick Robinson, Vice President and General Counsel at MHI.

Robinson forwarded that email to Senior Vice President Jason Boehlert for response.

Allegedly, this email exchange has been shared with Ghorbani, Jim Visser, Ken Rishel and others linked to MHI and MHARR; and seems to accuse MHI of grabbing credit for work done by MHARR.

While sensational, the problem with this accusation by Allen against MHI, is that it flies in the face of the facts. But doesn’t this fit Allen’s self-description on his own blog of his activities? The word Allen used about himself, “agitate” includes the following definition from Google: “1) make (someone) troubled or nervous.”

The Google definition of agitator, is also insightful:

1. a person who urges others to protest or rebel.

synonyms: troublemaker, rabble-rouser, agent provocateur, demagogue, incendiary;

The Facts Say Differently

While some in the mix seem to take the position, ‘Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up,’ a simple Google search demonstrates to the truth seeker that MHI has issued numerous updates on their activities in the GSE Reform arena.

A search of the articles published in the MHI News module demonstrates the same, and for those who attended the 2014 MHI Winter Meeting and Legislative Session, a briefing was given to attendee/members that coveted all of MHI’s lobbying and legislative initiatives, including GSE reform.

Clearly, MHI’s engagement on the GSE issue is a matter of public record and is no secret.

As MHProNews has documented in a series of articles, linked at the end of this report, George Allen has in his own words:

  • describes himself as one who agitates,

  • has gone from opposing Danny Ghorbani and calling him a flawed writer and leader, to now lauding him as a leader others should follow. The difference between recent and prior statements by Allen on Ghorbani?   Is it the MHARR paid ad and factories who Allen himself says are now paying Allen?

  • Allen has blasted MHI off and on for some two years for not buying him out when Allen wanted to retire.

Don’t such flip flops, contradictions, slanted ‘coverage’ and motivations beg a reasonable person to question the motivations and accuracy of Allen’s commentaries?

The Emails Between Allen and MHI – “We Provide, You Decide” ©

The exchange below is in a first-to-last message time sequence. They are word-for-word as the respective parties sent them, save the removal of the ‘signature (contact/disclaimers/resource)’ info at the end of each email and what amounts to ads from each of the respective emails. The typos in George Allen’s emails are in the original. The first message, as shown below, is to Rick Robinson at MHI.

Start of George Allen to Jason Boehlert at MHI Email Exchange

From: <<>>

Date: March 16, 2014 at 5:43:35 PM EDT

To: <<>>

Cc: <<>>

Subject: Re: MHI Housing Alert –  Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE

Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and

Personal Property Loans


When did MHI switch its’ primary legislative focus from Dodd-Frank regulatory
reform to GSE Reform? Didn’t seem to be that much of a priority during the
annual Legislative Conference last month in Arlington, VA. Here quoting directly
from this afternoon’s HOUSING ALERT from MHI:

“MHI Successfully Stakes Out Ground for Manufactured Housing and Personal
Property Loans” and “As advocated for by MHI, the legislative draft released by
the Committee includes language that would provide manufaturd home loans secured
by personal property with key access to a newly envisioned secondary market

As exciting and hopeful as this news is, I’m wondering whether we’re indeed
reading/learning of a pure MHI effort to this much desired result, OR is there
more to this now quickly unfolding story, i.e. Is there someone else more
intimatly involved ‘in the mix’ who is NOT getting credit, in this email alert,
for drafting the language and lobbying for this legislative draft?

Frankly, I sense a story here….


George Allen

—–Original Message—–

From: Jason Boehlert <>

To: GFA7156 <>

Cc: Richard Jennison <>; Rick Robinson <>

Sent: Mon, Mar 17, 2014 11:32 am

Subject: RE: MHI Housing Alert – Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE

Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and

Personal Property Loans


Thank you very much for your email.  However, I am unclear what you mean by “Is
there someone else more intimatly(sic) involved ‘in the mix’ who is NOT getting
credit, in this email alert, for drafting the language and lobbying for this
legislative draft?” We do not comment on the activities or actions of other
national organizations—that is not our role. Nor do we believe it serves the
interests of the industry or our members to do so.

Since MHI represents every facet of the industry—including builders, community
owners, lenders, supplier, retailers—our policy priorities are reflective of the
totality of our membership.  Dodd-Frank is a priority.  As are housing
finance/GSE reform, energy efficiency, tax, HUD Code and environmental issues
and we would never focus on one issue so persistently that it would be to the
detriment of the others. I know you did not attend, but GSE reform was
reaffirmed as an association policy priority during our legislative conference
and winter meeting and was discussed at length during the meeting of our
newly-formed government relations committee. The new government relations
committee has multiple representatives from each MHI division.

Expanding secondary market access for manufactured home loans, including those
secured by personal property has been a long-standing priority of MHI—dating
back to at least the duty-to-serve requirements that were included in the
Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) in 2008.  We have, and continue to,
work with FHA, FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, HUD, and the House
Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees to improve the availability of
financing options in the manufactured housing market, both from a residential
and commercial standpoint.

MHI represents every significant manufactured home lender in the industry and we
work hard to see that the totality of their interests—which are not limited to
Dodd-Frank/CFPB rule makings—are served.  Our efforts on GSE reform extend well
beyond the Senate Banking Committee’s recent legislative draft. If you are
suggesting that we have not been an active player in this regard, you are
mistaken. GSE reform has been an issue that has received very close attention
from our internal and external lobbying teams on an ongoing basis for several

A sampling of our most recent activities include (but certainly not limited to):

· working with drafters of the underlying Corker-Warner bill (S.
1217)—which serves as the blueprint for the Senate Banking Committee bill—to
garner their approval for modifications of their measure that would expand
access for personal property loans

· communicating—both our internal and external lobbying teams—on an
ongoing basis with Democratic and Republican senior staff to the Senate Banking
Committee to include specific manufactured home/personal property language

·         providing key industry lending data to Senate staff to underscore the
need for specific statutory language

· facilitating an industry lender roundtable for Senate Banking
Committee staff—this panel of lenders, which represented the vast majority of
personal property manufactured home lending—provided the key information and
feedback needed by  committee staff to include manufactured home lending
provisions (which took place at our recent legislative conference)

· working to develop a consensus coalition position with consumer group
that are also seeking to expand personal property lending options for
manufactured housing

·  outreach to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)—the
administration’s voice on GSE reform—to support legislative provisions expanding
manufactured home lending opportunities

· engaging an external lobbying firm whose principals include the most
recent Democratic Staff Director to the Senate Banking Committee (working
directly for Chairman Tim Johnson) and provided significant access to committee
staff drafting the legislation

As I hope you are aware, MHI’s involvement has not only been limited to the

Senate Bill. Our work also includes:

· facilitating the first-of-its-kind lending conference, sponsored by
then Rep. Joe Donnelly, in Elkhart, Indiana (which I believe you attended)

· improving the FHA Title I &II programs and opening Ginnie Mae to new
issuers (a work in progress)

· coordinating more than 1,000 comments in opposition to FHFA’s
duty-to-serve rule, which would ignore secondary market access for personal
property loans

· working to provide equal access for all mortgages in the House version
of GSE reform –the Path Act (which also includes specific MH relief from the
Dodd-Frank Act)

· testifying before Congress on three separate occasions over the past
three years on the need for secondary market access for manufactured home loans
secured by personal property—this does not include testimony provided prior to
2010 on the need to improve the FHA Title I & II programs for manufactured

· more than 300 meetings conducted over the past three years with
Members of Congress specifically on the lack of credit access provided by the
GSEs for manufactured housing

· working directly with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop new
lending options for manufactured housing

I can only speak to the involvement of MHI, which has been continuous and
ongoing and substantial. Looking at the history, I think it is fair to say MHI
and its members have been leaders in working to expand manufactured housing
financing options for quite some time.


Jason Boehlert
Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)
Senior Vice President of Government Affairs


From: []

Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 1:20 PM

To: Jason Boehlert

Cc:;; Rick Robinson

Subject: Re: MHI Housing Alert –  Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE

Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and

Personal Property Loans


You, in behalf of MHI did NOT answer the lead question in my email
correspondence dated 3/16/2014, to wit; “When  did MHI switch its’ primary
legislative focus from Dodd-Frank regulatory reform to GSE Reform?” You can
blather all you want about ‘A sampling of our most recent activities include
(but certainly not  limited to)’ to  cloud the issue – which I’m getting to –
but the fact remains, throughout the Fall of 2014 MHI had tunnel vision relative
to effecting Dodd-Frank regulatory reform.

The tenor of your sentence,”We do not comment on the activities or actions of
other national organizations – that is not our role. Nor do we believe it serves
the interests of the industry or our members to do so.” tells me you well
understand what I was referring to in the above-referenced email  message, i.e.
Quoting MHARR’s Press Release dated 3/16/2014:  “…MHARR today lauded the
inclusion of specific  MHARR-proposed language in the bi-partisan GSE housing
finance reform bill (S.1217)…(containing) “langaguage submitted to the Senate
Banking Committee in Septermber and October 2013….” There lies the crux of
this whole issue of giving credit where credit is due!

Being as new as you are to MHI’s staff, you can be forgiven for not knowing how
often in the past, MHARR and MHI have ‘worked together’ to effect federal
legislation, e.g. Manufactured Housing Impovement Act of 2000 is but one
example. And how both national advocacy bodies have, in the past, ‘commented
(appropriately &/or positively) on the activities or actions of other national
organization’ YES, that should be one of the rolls taken on by MHI even if it’s
not as commonplace today as it has been at times in the past.

Furthermore; speaking as a 35 year entrepreneur businessman in the manufactured
housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class, and 20+ year
direct, dues-paying member of MHI, I disagree with you! Interadvocacy body
cooperation/praise (as should have been in this instance!) does serve the
greater interests of the industry, and certainly its’ members!

I think it entirely appropriate, that sometime this week, MHI take steps to
right the  misunderstanding couched in the subtitle & text:HOUSING ALERT, i.e.
“…MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and Personal
Property Loans”, before someone else does it for you….

Need someone to do this  public relations magic for you? I can recommend
someone, if asked.

George Allen

—–Original Message—–

From: Jason Boehlert <>

To: gfa7156 <>

Cc: news <>; ken <>; Rick Robinson <>; Richard Jennison <>

Sent: Mon, Mar 17, 2014 3:05 pm

Subject: RE: MHI Housing Alert – Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and Personal Property Loans


I am sorry to hear you found my response to your original inquiry,
unsatisfactory. I believe I answered in an honest and thorough fashion. But, to
try and further clear things up:

1) MHI is a multifaceted trade association.  This requires us to multitask and
pursue multiple policy priorities at the same time. Our focus is not solely
limited to Dodd-Frank. It also includes GSE reform, HUD-MHCC issues, tax, energy
and environmental policies.  This does not require us to shift our focus, but to
add to it–and GSE reform has been a focus of MHI now for several years.

2) I do not work for MHARR. Therefore, I have no real knowledge of their
lobbying activities. As such, it would be wholly inappropriate for me to comment
on MHARR’s activities. Just as it would be wholly inappropriate for MHARR to
comment, with any real knowledge on MHI’s policy activities.

3) Had you been able to attend MHI’s legislative conference, you have
undoubtedly learned that MHI’s GSE reform activities have been substantial and
ongoing.  MHI’s GSE efforts have been significant and have unequivocally led to
this positive outcome.  I am sorry you are unable to see yesterday’s news as a
positive development for the entire industry.

However, if you feel additional clarification is needed please feel free to
contact MHI’s CEO Dick Jennison at 703.558.0678.



From: <>

Date: March 17, 2014 at 3:47:48 PM EDT

To: <>

Cc: <>, <>, <>

Subject: Re: MHI Housing Alert –  Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and Personal Property Loans


You can dance around the issue all you want, but truth be told, GSE reform was not a primary focus for MHI during the last half of 2014. I am an MHI member read what little is sent my way these days.

Amazing. You & MHI claim no prior knowledge of the source of the language used in this bi-partisan GSE housing finance reform bill (S.1217), yet are bold to state: “MHI will continue in its’ role as the leading advocate for the manufactured housing industry to ensure that manufactured home finance opportunities are expended to the greatest extent possible in forthcoming housing finance reform measures.” By the way, in this sentence, did you intend for the word choice to be ‘expended’, rather than ‘expanded’ or some other appropriate non-dissipating word?

Of course I see yesterday’s developments to be of value to the entire HUD-Code manufactured housing industry. And I see MHI’s HOUSING ALERT, in the manner in which it was written, to be unequivocal grandstanding, when it’d have been highly appropriate, and much appreciated by ‘the entire HUD-Code manufactured housing industry’, if credit had been given where credit was truly do!

Thank You for fleshing out my story for this week, if nothing more newsworthy doesn’t come along.


George Allen

—- end of emailed messages on this thread —-

An impartial reading of George Allen’s messages suggests is a either a lack of objective research into the ongoing efforts and engagement by MHI on the subject of GSE reform, or perhaps an effort to “agitate” (Allen’s word about himself) against MHI, and/or some other motivations.  Allen clearly implies his intent to write about this topic, which is certainly his right, but after reading this exchange, does an objective person believe that Allen will right about it in a fair and balanced fashion?  Or will Allen use this once more to “agitate” against MHI?

As noted previously,

  • a simple Google search revealed numerous links dating back several years regarding MHI engagement on the topic of GSE reform. Please see below.

  • A search on the MHProNews website proves the same point of MHI engagement on GSE reform that Jason’s replies state.  So does a review of MHI’s typically weekly reports, that go out to members like Allen, and as did the update briefings during their 2014 Winter Meeting and Legislative session that all referenced efforts by that national trade association on GSE reform.

Why Does Allen seek to Manufacture a new Controversy?

It should be noted that MHARR has indeed made GSE reform an issue they have pursued.

But what is lacking from MHARR’s President and CEO, Danny Ghorbani is the same credit to MHI’s efforts, that Allen allegedly seeks on Ghorbani’s behalf from MHI as a tip of the hat to MHARR.

Thus Allen and Ghorbani seem to want from MHI what they are unwilling to give themselves. On MHI’s part, Boehlert’s responses to Allen are polite and professional.

Prior to issuing this report, MHProNews reached out once more for comment to Messrs. Allen and Ghorbani. For those anxious to share their views to their select group of readers, they have opted not to state reasonable replies to our questions for the record to the largest professional audience in the industry.  Why are they ducking replies?

A copy of the questions sent to MHARR’s President and Vice-President are below, as are the questions sent to George Allen.

A download of the search results from Google on this date for “Manufactured Housing Institute” = “GSE Reform” produced the results shown in the attachment linked here, which also reflects search results found on MHProNews, both of which pre-date by months or years the MHARR initiative ballyhooed by Danny Ghorbani.

The initiatives in the Senate both MHARR and MHI reference provide reasons for hope for all in the industry.

By contrast, this apparent manufactured controversy detracts from what ought to be one of many joint steps forward by MHARR, MHI and state associations, who all should be working in concert on issues vital to the manufactured housing industry.

Inflammatory messages may help a pair of ‘leaders’ posture themselves as tough, but do such missives advance or harm the manufactured housing industry’s agenda, and the interests of their own followers?

Industry voices cited in the articles found in the links below question if Danny Ghorbani – with or without the aid of George Allen – can effectively deal with regulators and politicos, without major changes in his modus operandi…or will real leadership by MHARR’s CEO come from Ghorbani’s successor, should Ghorbani depart or retire? ##


Questions provided to George Allen for response by MHProNews:

1) Will you publish the unedited reply from Jason this upcoming weekend on your blog, or will you continue on your allegedly pro-Danny Ghorbani/MHARR, anti-MHI public stance?

2) As a self-proclaimed MH Communities owner advocate, how do you defend Danny Ghorbani’s embrace of Ishbel Dickens and her anti-MHC owners organization, when Dickens has reportedly said in public that community owners are “the enemy…”?

3) You’ve described on your blog your activities in part as an “agitator. ”  You’ve described Danny Ghorbani as a “leader.” Yet in the past, you decried Ghorbani for very similar stands to his current one, and after your own analysis, described in the article and links from the post here,

you concluded Danny was mistaken in his writing that you then cited.  Where you wrong then? How do you answer your own rejection of Danny’s views  then, what has he practically accomplished since then which has caused you to change your stance? How much has payments for ads or other money received from MHARR factories influenced  your new found admiration for Danny?

4) Why do you not show remarks opposing your views on your blog?

5) We’ve invited you and Danny to debate MH Industry related topics; why have you not done so?

6) As an industry commentator, did you know that GSE reform was on the MHI legislative agenda?

7) You are fine with asking questions, so why do you not provide the courtesy of replying to questions when you are asked?

Questions provided to Danny Ghorbani and M. Mark Weiss at MHARR

1) We’ve asked many times, and ask again, what are the achievements of your last last 5 years at MHARR?

2) Why is it necessary to undermine MHI to make yourself look better?

3) Specifically what did you do – apart from MHI – that makes this advancement in GSE Reform your sole victory?

4) And how is this bill – not yet a law – more of a victory than HR 1779 or S 1828?

Previous Reports, Posts and Articles on this or Related Topics

Some Related Story Links:

Downloads and Attachments:

Commentary on MHARR ad from a cross section of MHPros in the Industry are found here.