Posts Tagged ‘ishbel dickens’

Pooling Resources for Manufactured Housing, or Pulling them Apart?

February 25th, 2014 Comments off

In a commentary by‘s publisher L. A. ‘Tony” Kovach, noting a recent advertisement by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) targeted to industry lenders who are members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in an attempt to have them join MHARR, he alludes to a 1971 Pogo cartoon by cartoonist Walt Kelly in which Pogo says, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Infighting is destructive to common goals and a waste of energy, as if someone outside the manufactured housing industry has a policy of divide and conquer in order to derail the goal of making affordable housing accessible. As several MH industry execs have indicated, we all have more in common than not, and our cause is best advanced when we all—state associations, trade organizations, lenders, retailers, community owners, etc., pull together in the same direction.

Kovach specifically points out MHARR’s president, Danny Ghorbani, does not publicly support HR 1779 and S 1829, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act in the House and the Senate, nor does he support bills backed by state associations. He apparently does not see the inconsistency in embracing Ishbel Dickens of the National Manufactured Homeowners Association who testified publicly that manufactured home community owners are the enemy, and then he asks for support from community owners. Meanwhile, support for HR 1779 continues to grow, a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate, and the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been put on the hot seat about shortcomings in Dodd-Frank that negatively affect manufactured home lending practices.

When Danny and his allies throw bombs, it diverts attention from the true goal: Pooling resources to promote the industry in a positive manner so more people have access to buying manufactured homes. For the full commentary, click here. ##

(Editor’s Note: A related news column is linked here.)

(Photo credit: Horizon Land Co.–manufactured home)

Dickens Moans, but Equity Lifestyle Properties had already done the right thing

September 3rd, 2013 Comments off

bay-indies-manufactured-home-community-els-creditheraldtribune-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronewsWhen two Sarasota Florida area manufactured home communities had their tax appraisals, property owner Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) appealed the stiff jump in what the county Value Adjustment Board wanted. The appeal was successful. It saved Bay Indies MHC residents some $96,000 according to the HeraldTribune. The nearby Lake Village land lease community also won their appeal in a similar challenge, saving residents there about $105,000 in taxes that are normally passed through to the home owners. At Bay Indies, taxable value per the county rose from $38.5 million to $47.5 million, or about a 23.5 percent. At Lake Village, the value has supposedly increased from $11.4 million to $19.5 million, or 71.5 percent. This sparked ELS’ ultimately successful appeal. But that might have been missed if the only facts brought to light were the allegations of Ishbel Dickens. “The homeowner loses out every time,” says Dickens, executive director of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA), based in Seattle. “When owners pass along the taxes, rents go up, creating the illusion that income and the value of the park has gone up…It creates its own dilemma. Their homes aren’t increasing in value. They’re decreasing more in value as the rent goes up. The homeowner is trapped.” Dickens says. But the facts of the case betray Dicken’s allegation, as ELS not only appealed, but won. Reasonable community property owners want to make it as easy as possible for residents to afford their home-site, so there is a significant degree in the commonality of goals between residents and community owners.  Groups  like NMHOA either misunderstand – or some community owners alleged, deliberately distort – that common interest in resident well being, in order to keep and attract more members. Unfortunately, too often in the media only hear or report one side of the issue, at least in this case, facts presented painted a picture that a discerning person can better understand. ##

(Photo credit: HearldTribune)