Posts Tagged ‘jay hamilton’

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

April 29th, 2019 Comments off



For those among the manufactured housing industry’s professionals, state association, or investment categories who stated a hope that the John Oliver video would blow over soon, guess again.


They’re [pro-MHI state execs] all drinking each other’s bath water with no objectivity left, whatsoever,” said a recent news tip to MHProNews included several messages from other association executives to make that source’s point.  That tipster was one of several that raised concerns about fellow state execs who are in their view engaged in wishful thinking, or worse.

Really? Was that quoted statement an accurate claim? Let’s look.

It will be recalled that MHProNews exclusively reported that Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) Executive Director Amy Bliss said to other state executives: “I am very disappointed in two entities that are supposed to be in favor of manufactured housing.  ROC USA and North Country Cooperative both added this John Oliver junk to their facebook page and ROC USA also tweeted it out as if they were sharing good news. This is such an insult to the people that have chosen manufactured housing to live in.  If there were not investor owned communities, they would have no communities to “convert” to resident owned.  Such a shame.”

In so saying, Bliss was undercutting a member of her own association, and that of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) too.  Was she alone? Hardly.

Jay Hamilton, from the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA), chimed in with: “I agree with the ones who commented [in that MHEC executives message thread] about opening up a can of worms [i.e.: if a public reply is made to the John Oliver video]. You would be fanning the fire at this point. MHI responding in advance was the best play you could make and its made. My concern is what we can do as an industry to encourage Frank Rolfe to avoid engaging with reporters.”

MHEC is the acronym for the Manufactured Housing Executives Council, which has historically been open to national and state association leaders.  That means that MHI and MHARR can monitor those communications. Given the size and power disparity between MHI and MHARR, it should go without saying that if someone will kiss someone’s behind in a semi-public forum that is monitored, it is the larger trade group that they tend to bow towards, kneel to, or kiss the proverbial ring.  



MHI, MHARR, MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.


That comment from Hamilton at GMHA reflects the point that other executives similarly made about that same John Oliver  “Mobiles Homes” video thread comments.  But this last example, in fairness, is a bit different.

For balance and accuracy, tips to MHProNews revealed that there was one state level executive that openly took a more nuanced view. “No surprise, other [media] outlets have picked up Oliver’s story. This is what my wife just sent me from “The Hustle”” said Logan Hanes, who is the Director of Education and Industry Advancement at the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI).

For balance and accuracy, tips to MHProNews revealed that there was one state level executive that openly took a more nuanced view. “No surprise, other [media] outlets have picked up Oliver’s story. This is what my wife just sent me from “The Hustle” said Logan Hanes, who is the Director of Education and Industry Advancement at the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI).  The Hustle was one of several publications that commented on the John Oliver video, in a typically dark view of various aspects of manufactured housing corporate behavior. That article that Logan forwarded used the feature image below.  It ripped Warren Buffett, Frank Rolfe, Clayton Homes by name. The Hustle ended with the following subheading and three short paragraphs. As we commonly do here on MHProNews, we’ll turn the text placed in quotes in bold and brown to make it pop, but the words are otherwise those of writer Wes Schlagenhauf in the Hustle.



Shill-ionaire of the people

Clayton stayed profitable through the financial crisis. In 2015, Clayton grabbed a record $700m in earnings, while foreclosing on over 8k homes.

Buffett has long been viewed as a corporate hero. The more he complains about his secretary having to pay higher income tax than he does, the more people view Big B as some rich do-gooder.

But Clayton homes’ manipulative business model, which Buffett immediately saw dollar signs in, contradicts many of the ideas of fairness for which Buffett is known.”

Thus, the comment by KMHI’s Logan was arguably responsible in the sense that it stated reality, without undercutting others not able to respond for themselves, absent the news tips.

Notice: Those being quoted herein, or others who want to defend them, are hereby invited, if they so wish, to submit an on-the-record the statements in response to this report.  Clearly, our quoting these sources is not intended to endorse their comments, but nor is it intended to undermine what good work they may also do or have done. One must separated the ‘wheat and chaff’ from all people, organizations, and things. That said, MHProNews’ editorially can not discern positive value to the industry in many of the comments exchanged by executives in that John Oliver-related MHEC thread.

But there is more to know…see further below.



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Who Among the State Executives Were Right On the Oliver Issue?

A short history lesson is timely.  Think back to the Seattle Times report.  First one, then another, in 2018 there was yet another installment on that same theme.  Look at what this Google search this evening revealed.



Tim Williams from 21st Mortgage Corp, ironically, made the right point, in an on-the-record statement made previously to MHProNews.



MHI failed to make a public response to that PBS segment. To date, MHProNews is unaware of an public response by MHI to the John Oliver video either. How will it be different? Despite the MHI whispered shares to state executives or others, does MHI want bad news to linger?  Consider Frank Rolfe’s word’s anew.


There are those in various segments of manufactured housing or the affordable housing advocacy world’s who find this Oliver satirical hit video against some of the industry’s giants a useful narrative useful for their purposes.  Agree or disagree, its their right, of course.

That means sober and realistic souls in manufactured housing must be able to respond in timely and effective ways. Verbally tossing ROC USA or Frank Rolfe under the bus accomplishes little in practical terms.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews have already provided several public responses.  While some have moaned and groaned about Oliver’s video, what are those moaners – save the sources of the shared tips – actually doing about it?

Those tips quoted above to MHProNews exposed something that association members at the state and national levels needed to see.



MHProNews could provide screen captures of the other emails, but this demonstrates that Bliss and the others sent what was quoted above in that message exchange with MHEC.



Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

Those association executives may take your dues, and while arguably undermining a person’s or firm’s reputation or interests. If they will do it to ROC USA or Rolfe, what is to keep them from doing that to you or your firm?

Furthermore, given the lessons learned from the report “How Gold Rules” what can the MHEC executives do – if they want to keep their jobs – other than give news tips to us?

It is increasingly clear that there are conflicts of interest involved in trying to point out who benefits and who is harmed by the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” video narrative? ICYMI, or need a refresher, the linked text-image box reveals prior tips from state association executives who are tired of how the MHEC system is manipulated, and how it arguably harms the interests of industry independents.



That said, Prosperity Now this sent out a statement about their most recent promotion of their use of John Oliver’s video narrative. Keep in mind that Prosperity Now has been getting funding from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for some years, among others.

Here’s the key part from the Prosperity Now release today, between the dashed — lines.


— start of Prosperity Now release quote —

John Oliver Addresses Manufactured Housing

John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight on HBO, explained why manufactured homeowners need to be able to use resources within their communities to build their own housing parks by citing research from Doug Ryan, Senior Director of Affordable Housing at Prosperity Now. Watch the Full Segment here. Use Prosperity Now’s Manufactured Housing Toolkit to learn how you can spread awareness and advocate for affordable housing in your community.


— end of Prosperity Now release quote —

Note that quoting Prosperity Now is
not to be construed as an endorsement of their position.
Reporting or quoting aren’t an endorsement.


MHProNew’s publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach sent an Op-Ed to an editor who fact-checked his claims, and then not only ran his letter, but did so in 5 markets, not just one.


  Jacksonville

  Gainesville

  Sarasota

  Lakeland

  Winter Haven


Those were based upon our initial public facing report on MHLivingNews, linked below.



Where is MHI’s public response?  Or Clayton Homes?  Frank Rolfe, or any of the other firms who have been negatively mentioned?

Agree or not, count on MHAction, Prosperity Now, ROC USA – among others – to keep beating this drum. Those state executives that aren’t caught in the ‘Gold Rules’ trap need to find ways to fight back for their independent members.

SpencerRoanePentagonPropertiesCreditsPostedDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNewsIronically, it was Spencer Roane who said last week the following. After taking a backhanded ad hominem swipe at our publisher, he then said this: “The Jacksonville newspaper post is about the need for affordable housing.  Hard to argue w/ that.  The only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.  So what?  Other than sharing the interest of many in the industry about overly aggressive community owners/managers, none of this has anything to do w/ me.”

Roane is reportedly a regular reader, but publicly with his circle, he is not a fan of MHProNews, per sources. That said, it is hard to argue with that Roane and others in the community sector are vexed by “overly aggressive community owners/managers” – which he then distances himself from. While he dismissively says, “So what?” he makes it clear that the “only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.” Call it what it is, a back-handed compliment.

But Roane missed perhaps the most important point.  It is Warren Buffet who via dark money channels has provided funding via the NoVo Foundation and Tides nonprofits to MHAction.


After years of fact-checks on irksome issues, MHProNews and MHLivingNews are uniquely positioned to do a useful response and analysis.

In this Oliver video case, it is demonstrably MHI backers who’ve sparked the bad news.  Roane is correct that this is an issue for independent community owners. But it is a key MHI backer – Warren Buffett – who have purportedly helped fund MHAction.




Building that case, one fact after another. Follow the money trail. Ask who benefits? Cui Bono?

Now, MHAction with Prosperity Now and others are fanning the flames of their attacks on manufactured housing’s image – and thus, manufactured housing independents, including Roane and others like him. What will the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) or others publicly do in response?



Ironically, it was Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage who obliquely provided this news tip to MHProNews a while back. CPI teamed up with the Seattle Times to do the original ‘hit’ on Clayton Homes. So there is a pattern that is arguably emerging. Buffett bucks goes to sources such as CPI or MHAction, at times via dark money channels.  Those nonprofits like CPI or MHAction in turn attack ‘black hat’ practices that may indeed include Buffett’s own brands, but  it is done in a way that makes the industry-at-large look like black hats to those who don’t go beyond the surface.  


Similar conclusion to Influence Watch, but this graphic is from Cory Morningstar. Open Secrets makes the point that it is difficult to trace these kinds of contributions, which may explain the disparity between the totals shown.


  • MHI’s leadership has been asked to respond to these allegations previously.  Silence.
  • MHI’s outside attorney has been asked to respond to these documented points, he too is silent.
  • Clayton and 21st, the same ‘nada’ responses.

That silence speaks volumes.


Part of a Pattern?

Then consider this in the following context.  This pattern is akin to tax and regulatory barriers, bigger firms can handle those better, per researchers.  Buffett can back whomever he wants to politically.  But what do you call it when Buffett’s backed POTUS Barack Obama – who in turn backed Dodd-Frank and the CFPB. Meanwhile MHI, Clayton and 21st claimed to be working to change a law that POTUS Obama said would be vetoed?

That truth about years wasted pursuing Preserving Access was hiding in plain sight.


Aren’t the effects similar?  Can you spell, MHI and Berkshire-brands head-fakes? Say one thing, and do another?

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?



Notice. One can agree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above.


Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceived.” –  Sir Walter Scott.


Are the head-fakes and patterns of deceptions becoming more clear?  Do they fit Buffett’s castle and moat metaphor?



Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.


Meanwhile, consolidation in MHVille continues…


The Lesson Learned?

At a minimum, more MHI affiliated association executives need to join the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington resistance,” observed MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “For those that can, why not consider doing what Neal Haney helped lead some associations out of MHI in the last two years?”


Once the rules of engagement and methods used are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. 

It isn’t just deception in ‘fighting’ regulations, or evidence of Buffett’s bucks fomenting bad news in MHVille.  It is purportedly also evidenced by diverting lower-cost financing away from retailers and communities too.


Your thoughts? See the related reports, further below.

That’s tonight’s edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money?

Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

MHARR Calls on New Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to Fully and Properly Implement Federal Law

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”


“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”







George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

May 30th, 2018 Comments off


The absurdity of publishing only half-truths, ‘happy talk,’ endless self-promotion, and polite platitudes has been on full display in manufactured housing for years.


Google’s dictionary defines absurd this way:

  • wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate – “the allegations are patently absurd”
  • arousing amusement or derision; ridiculous – “gym shorts and knee socks looked absurd on such a tall girl


MHR and MHInsider have featured Spencer Roane and George Allen recently in glowing terms. At least one of those was published after the Tom Lackey controversy erupted. In a free society with First Amendment guarantees, it is their absolute right to praise whomever they want to. As the MH Industry’s leading trade media, MHProNews defends their right to praise and elevate on a pedestal Allen, Roane, or anyone else.

Rights recognized, the wisdom of giving only praise without an honest analysis ought to be contrasted with the allegedly unethical – and perhaps illegal – acts committed by a follower and colleague of Allen and Roane; Tom Lackey.

Lackey stands accused by several people of ‘selling’ homes he did not own.


SECO still shows Tom Lackey on their planning committee, as of 12:27 PM ET, on 5.30.2018. Why?

Lackey – per more than one mainstream media source – plus local officials, ‘sold’ often older manufactured homes, that were in poor condition to individuals via “contract for title.”


That method of so-called “seller financing” is promoted by Roane at SECO, who in turn is promoted by Allen and COBA7.



Fairness, Balance

MHProNews contacted Lackey directly and indirectly through his SECO/COBA7 allies, to give him an opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings or inaccuracies that may exist in the mainstream media reports, and/or the allegations by local officials and those customers of his.

Lackey was invited by MHProNews to comment himself, or via an attorney.

Days later, Lackey has done neither, which of course is his right to remain silent.

Meanwhile, Allen and Roane – as the Daily Business News has previously reported, have repeatedly given cover to – or even praised Lackey.

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

That cover by Roane and Allen has occurred several times after the allegations by public officials and customers of Lackey have come to light. The most recent public embarrassment is in a report on 5.27.2018, by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, linked here.


It is important to note, as the Daily Business News previously reported, that reporter Tyler Jett and their paper have made it clear that they are sticking with this story-line.  There will likely be more such reports.

There have already been several troubling news items done by that media outlet, and another.

So, there is clear evidence that this is not a one-and-done affair for that publication.


This is the latest example of how head-in-the-sand is not an option for the majority of honorable professionals in manufactured housing.



See No Evil…

Certain state associations, an industry museum, and others have promoted Allen and Roane – per state-based sources – for industry ‘political’ reasons.

Yet the pair have for years been openly promoting concepts that arguably led to the tawdry allegations about Lackey. Those accusations are being leveled from public officials, consumers, and which are found in the mainstream media.

For an industry with an ongoing image issue, it’s madness to be silent about such apparent outrages. Absurd.

Consumer protection is at the heart of the HUD Code for manufactured homes (MH).  Why doesn’t the MH Industry take that consumer protection to the next level, by protecting would-be buyers via warnings against predatory operations?



MHProNews asked MHI to weigh in on this serious post-production issue, giving MHI an opportunity to defend their industry.

MHI’s reply? Silence. As of the time this is being written, there is no press release.  Nor any other apparent public response by MHI. It’s their right to not weigh in, of course.

But isn’t it absurd?


A far more prudent posture would be the Biblical analogy, using the example of the wheat and the chaff. Allen and Roane have done good things in their lives, such as serve America in the military. That deserves recognition and respect.

The pair of Allen and Roane – to an apparently authentic degree – care about their peers, notably those in the community sector. There have been times the duo have done good things. The RV MH Hall of Fame recognized Allen and Roane both as inductees. That’s reality.

Fair, balanced, and honest reality ought to be a central tenant of every news report, and commentary column.

It ought to be disclosed that this writer has on various occasions engaged Allen and Roane, privately and publicly. MHProNews gave Allen and Roane several opportunities to clarify or rebut the Chattanooga Times Free Press report.

Here below was Roane’s on-the-record reply.  The image is a composite, faithfully representing everything Roane said.



Against that backdrop, where are the public voices of reason from MHVille?

One that bears mention is the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association’s, Jay Hamilton.


Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

In a polite, and hypothetical fashion, Hamilton told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in his own words the following, in an indirect way.

When there is something allegedly wrong with a member company, a good association with a code of conduct will review the evidence. Based upon that internal review, a good association may recommend expulsion, or even a referral to a regulatory agency.

Of course. Bravo.  Hamilton’s exact words are found in the Times Free Press article, which once more, is linked here.



Defending the Indefensible?  Why?

As reporter Tyler Jett spotlighted, Allen has given cover to Lackey and Roane. In Allen’s self-touted blog post on 5.29.2018, he mentioned nothing at all about the controversy surrounding Lackey, SECO, COBA7, or himself published by Jett.

Had Allen thought the report inaccurate, wouldn’t Allen stand on his own soap box, and decry Jett’s accuracy?

So, de facto, one may logically presume that Jett’s Times Free Press report accurately quoted Allen and Roane.

And yet, Roane denied the accuracy of the report.  He said to the Daily Business News: “Those familiar with this situation are unwilling to comment further because statements already reported by news media were inaccurate or out of context.

Roane stated that via an email, which a collage of the screen capture, is shown above.

Can’t these two gents even get their stories straight?

And why would Allen assert to the reporter, Tyler Jett, that Lackey gave title to an alleged victim? Why say something so absurd, when local officials, at least one other media outlet, and numerous consumers all say that the title was never given?

It’s absurd. The allegations are tragic, on so many levels.

While Allen and Roane struggle against saying anything negative about themselves, or their SECO board member and colleague – Tom Lackey – Allen yesterday published his latest broadside against the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Allen will be quoted at length below. A few things ought to be noted, to set the table.

Allen and Roane are human. This writer, and all other mere mortals, make mistakes. When a publicly impactful error in judgment occurs, it ought to be acknowledged. Amends ought to be made. Normal people accept mistakes that are admitted, and may even respect the humility of the confession.


But instead, Lackey said nothing in public. If there is an attempt to make amends to those alleged “contract for title” victims, there is no public evidence of that yet known.

Meanwhile, Allen and Roane are tripping over each other in offering apparently phony red herrings, or praising Lackey for his role in SECO.  What?


Scenarios like Lackey’s were predictable. As Roane himself told Jett – per the Chattanooga Times report, and his own on-the-record emailed statement to MHProNews – the ‘contract for title process’ is “complicated.

So, with limited training” in a once a year “class,” Roane is teaching a process he calls “seller financing.” That on its face uses terminology that the CFPB has previously called a “disguised credit transaction.”

It’s absurd. Tragic.

Why are Allen and Roane given stage time and/or cross-promotions for this type of activity by state associations? It’s absurd. In hindsight, isn’t it being too polite, for “political” reasons? Are associations – or a museum that does so – opening themselves up for liability?

Every state the trio are an association member of, and every museum or institution that has given them a platform or promotion, ought to ask for a public apology — by each of the three.

Absent an appropriate public apology with amends, to protect the reputations of other members, and to protect the public who might keep doing business with such people, shouldn’t each of the associations they are connected to do what Hamilton said hypocritically could be done?



This writer has at various times urged Allen and Roane to reconsider the problematic parts of their enterprises. Clearly, to no avail. But someone in the industry must at least try do it.  Why? Because the majority of the honest businesses in this industry will continue to suffer so long as inexplicable, ‘allegedly’ problematic behavior is tolerated.

What’s ironic, is that when Allen publicly slaps MHI – which the Arlington, VA based group has arguably committed their own mistakes – is the retired Marine officer looking in the mirror?  Isn’t he as reticent to admit wrongs, and failures, as MHI is?  What happened to Semper Fi?

Where has that hiding-from-the-truth led the manufactured housing industry?

Answer, it is a self-evident part of a pattern that during an affordable housing crisis has led to the industry’s lowest sales levels in its history.


Manufactured housing is well below its historic highs. Credits, MHI, Cavco.

Tragic. Absurd.



And such behavior is no doubt what has led members and staff of the Arizona and Nevada community owner’s association to stand up to MHI, and announce the launch of a new national association.


Before turning to an extended quote from Allen’s blog, a related point is in order.  Multiple sources within and tied to the land-lease community sector have advised MHProNews about a now-aborted effort to launch yet another new national trade association.

Per those source, Allen “derailed,” and “sabotaged” that other new post-production association effort.

As a long-time, now-former client of Allen once told this writer, with George, “…it is AAA. All about Allen.”  That source said that AAA explains much of Allen’s behavior.

Final point before Allen’s extend quote.

With the above noted, there are times that Allen makes useful observations and speaks the truth. Chaff and wheat.  So, one must be discerning.

It is interesting to note that Allen apparently tosses his own COBA7 and MHI under the bus, in the except below. The one mentioned accurately, is the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Allen is right in saying MHARR represents independent producers of HUD Code homes. He is also correct in saying that MHARR has advocated for an effective, robust post-production association.

Allen also correctly noted the frustration by state associations with MHI. The later points have of course been reported by MHProNews in more detail, and with specific evidence.

—- Start of Extended Quote from George Allen blog —-


What happened to George Allen preaching against the use of the term “mobile home?”

National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’)

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new national advocacy presence ‘soon to be’ on the manufactured housing industry scene! Being formed to represent and advocate for business interests of land lease communities, from the smallest to largest in size, by rental homesite count.

Where do I stand on this potentially controversial matter? As administrator of COBA7, I am not one of NAMHCO’s organizers, though I certainly understand the pent-up frustration of state MH associations and property owners, feeling underserved by the three present day national MH advocates. Today’s status quo relative to the realty asset class? In my opinion,

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is 100% HUD-Code housing manufacturer focused. Land lease community owners/operators are not eligible to belong. Though MHARR does advocate for a new national presence to represent all non-manufacturing segments of the manufactured housing industry. (202) 783-4087

Manufactured Housing Institute is the ‘broad brush’ national advocate serving all segments of the manufactured housing industry. It is primarily financed and perennially led by the ‘Big Three C’ HUD-Code housing manufacturers: Clayton Homes, Champion Home Builders (soon to be, I believe, Skyline Champion), & Cavco Industries. MHI, through its’ National Communities Council division, since 1996, has, in this industry observer’s opinion, given little more than lip service to the land lease community real estate asset class it claims to serve…

Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance was launched in early 2014 to serve the product and service needs of land lease community owners/operators nationwide. COBA7…”

—- End of extended quote from George Allen. —-

The need for a new, post-production association ought to be self-evident.

The need for honorable professionals to police their own industry ought to be ever-more apparent.


That new national association that AZ and NV are promoting, along with current ones, ought to take steps to insure the following:

  • Organizations ought to be established or reorganized with a structure that keeps big companies from dominating the smaller ones.
  • An association’s professional code of conduct ought to be enforced, in a fair manner, that protects vulnerable consumers and the reputation of honest business people.

Once more, the story by Tyler Jett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press is linked here. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary)

(Third-party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

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Code of Conduct – Good or Bad News, and Home Selling – Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released


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L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY.

By L. A. Tony’ Kovach, publisher of
Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and



Code of Conduct – Good or Bad News, and Home Selling – Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

May 28th, 2018 Comments off


To do a good job of marketing and selling, one must first have a sense of the broader, and local market elements. We’ll share some examples today that are essential for a marketing or sales professional in manufactured housing to understand in order to be effective with qualified prospects. We note that in all of our coaching sessions, good ethics and customer satisfaction must be understood as the given background, and the goal must be for the good of all.


Crain’s Detroit published a story that explained just how far manufactured housing nosedived in their state from the peak of 1998, until the recovery from the bottom hit in 2009 began in 2010. While it has positive elements, that report also raises questions for a savvy shopper or investor.

The Urban Institute did a report in January on manufactured homes, which was largely positive for the manufactured home industry, at least by mainstream news standards.

Several mainstream media (MSM) outlets have been spotlighting the need to protect manufactured home communities from destruction, because they are so important for affordable housing.  We’ll plan to spotlight one of those, sent to us as a news tip, hopefully this week here on the Daily Business News

The first takeaway is that there are some positive news stories carried by MSM and by third party researchers. These are examples of the kinds of stories industry professionals should prefer to see more of – and it is in part, up to pros like you – to make that happen in your market(s).

That said, the sad reality is that beyond press releases, most media coverage about our industry tend to be negative. Ignoring that reality costs the industry billions of dollars a year in new HUD Code manufactured home sales.  That means, mostly negative media coverage likely costs your location millions of dollars a year in additional manufactured home sales that your business would otherwise make.

The two screenshots of Google search results below are recent examples. See for yourself the ratio of bad news to good news stories.



There are times when none of the top 8 to 15 MSM news stories about MH are positive. Do you think that pattern impacts home buyers?  The third story from the top, above, is linked here.


Let’s be clear. A large percentage of the time that we at MHProNews engage with the mainstream media, the reporter will use better terminology, and will try to work in some of what was said. Reporters are people, they usually want to be fair. Are there exceptions? Sure, but many will strive to get some balance into their report. For MHVille, more balanced reporting represents progress, every time it is done.

That in a nutshell explains a significant part of why manufactured home (MH) sales are still at historic lows, in spite of a raging affordable housing crisis.  But for the savvy MH marketer, that’s opportunity in disguise. Keep in mind that the MH Industry squandered a historic opportunity in the late 90s and early 2000s.  We’re being given another such moment in history.  Let’s make the most of it, shall we?


A savvy, visionary MH marketer sees the problematic trend since 2000 as opportunity in disguise.  To tap that opportunity requires work, but the reward is significantly higher levels of new home sales that result in happy customers.


Story Telling, Defining Yourself, Media Engagement, and Code of Conduct 

To tee this up, as a volume retailer for many years with happy homeowners, I never waited for someone else to define my business or my products. I didn’t wait for an association, a manufacturer or anyone else to do what our team could do best.

That’s not to say that associations, builders or other third parties can’t play a role. Indeed, they can and should.  But I didn’t hold my breath, waiting for that to happen. 

Because if you or I’m waiting for someone else to define and boost business, what if they delay? What if they do a poor job?

We set sales records, and hit the top ½ of 1 percent of all retailers in the nation by making things happen.  We synergized with others, as much as possible, but we also did what we needed to do, come rain or shine.  

So, akin to what Sam Landy, president and CEO of UMH Properties told MHProNews, we did our own marketing. It was wildly successful, and that occurred during tough times when dozens of new home retailers in our state vanished. 

The are many beautiful aspects to manufactured housing.  One such point – if you make it appealing in your market(s) – is this. Affordability is always going to have a clientele. Nor does affordability have to be the lowest rung on the ladder client. Good times, or bad times, a motivated retailer, community, developer, or producer, can sell, sell, sell. They can do so honorably, with good CSI, and happy homeowners who send their friends.   

After my first few years in the manufactured home business, I learned by trial end error how to successfully engage the media. Do that in your market, and forge that habit.



Here’s an example of a radio show I was recently invited to do. This was for a regional talk radio station, so imagine this in your market.


Notice that the topic sounded negative. Indeed, in one sense, it was, but it was dealing with a local reality. Don’t run from tough topics! Dive in! Push back with the facts, and the truth properly told! Make a difference!

This part of the radio show is about 20 minutes on air, with maybe half of that – near the middle – included me.  If you listen carefully, every caller had something good to say about manufactured homes. Even though the others on the air may have misused the terminology, I hit key points using the correct industry lingo, while also explaining briefly the industry’s evolution, and appeal to all economic groups.

Click the arrow to play back the audio.


Make a habit of using the correct terminology. Encourage your team to learn it and use it too. It pays.  

I’ve never stopped reading or learning about the industry, and how it fit into the broader housing market. We use that with our coaching clients, and with publishing.

Rephrased, we practice what we preach. 

Why? In the long run, it works best. Short-term thinking produces short-term results.  


Code of Conduct

The mainstream media story linked here makes an important point, and this is one that associations can, and ought to play a useful role in.  


Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

Jay Hamilton, of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) would not make a specific comment to that media about a specified series of bad-news stories that involve one or more members. But he did speak to the reporter (a plus), and Hamilton explained to the reporter what the GMHA’s ethical principles are (another plus).

Hamilton spoke about the GMHA’s code of conduct for members. That’s something members stipulate to, when they join the association. 

When a code of conduct is enforced in the way the GMHA executive director outlined, arguably that would make it clear to readers that the majority of the industry – or at least that membership organization – care about honest business practices.

That in turn is good for honorable association members.

But if an association fails to take action against a member that crosses a line who won’t repent, its arguably harmful to all.  

The code of conduct should be rigorously enforced, regardless of who it is. 

Mistakes happen. Corrections can and should be made. When they aren’t, let the members or board vote to expel an unrepentant offender for cause. If that became a habit, anywhere that took place would – over time – would likely see more sales growth among member companies.  Because consumers want ethical companies to do business with.



Do your best. Don’t wait for others. If you are part of an association, and bad news strikes about a member who won’t repent or do right by their customers, press for an enforcement of the code of conduct. Enough said for today. ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images are and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related References:

Life Hack Success Tip-Any Pro Can Do This-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Is it Better to Be Candid, or a Kiss-Up? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

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

What are the FACTS about Manufactured Housing Industry Traffic vs. Real Estate? MHVillage, MHProNews, Manufactured Housing Institute Data

‘You Are Either Clayton Homes, or You’re Not’ – Monday Morning MH Sales Meeting



Time, talent, treasure. Why not put your money, as we do, where your mouth is?

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Clayton Homes “Have It Made” Campaign, Manufactured Housing Pros React, Initial Analysis

September 7th, 2017 2 comments

Third party still image above from Clayton’s video, shown below. It is provided under fair use guidelines. It is worth noting that they took a page from one of Fleetwood’s media efforts in the early 2000s, using a person who may be of mixed racial origins.

The campaign has a noteworthy concept,” said publisher and industry consultant, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “It targets the industry’s stigma. The 60 second video then attempts to jiu-jitsu that stigma into interest. The question becomes, does it work?”

Taking the Bull by the Horns

 Tony, On the Record is fine. The ad is very good. It’s what the Industry has been debating for years,” said Jay Hamilton, Executive Director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, via email. “How do we increase our public image. The Industry had multiple ideas, but no money to do a True Campaign including prime [time] TV Spots,”


Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, (GMHA).

Clayton finally took the bull by the horns, and quit waiting on the industry to decide how to do it,” said Hamilton. “So, they are going to do it themselves.  Good for them!

Builder Online Touts

 Clayton, one of the largest home builders in the country, has kicked off its biggest marketing campaign to date focused on how its building process can help provide affordable housing for American families,” said Builder in their initial review.

The Have It Made initiative launched nationwide Sept. 2 with a 60-second commercial air during the the [sic] University of Alabama and Florida State University football game,” Builder’s article by senior editor Jennifer Goodman said. “The campaign represents the company’s mission to provide quality homes at affordable prices, says Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton Homes.”


Have It Made challenges the stigma associated with homes built in home building facilities and delivered in sections to their final locations,” Goodman stated.


Credits, Builder Online.

Common MH Industry Reactions

There have been numerous comments received by MHProNews regarding Clayton’s initiative. The Clayton video has drawn mixed reviews, as the comments above and below reveal.

A common reaction has been the notion advanced by some readers that “MHI should be doing this.”

There are concerns raised over Clayton’s sheer size vis-à-vis the balance of HUD Code home production, and their vertically-integrated retail arms, all of which operate under several different brand names.


Berkshire Hathaway’s dominance of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI – and by extension, much of the industry – leaves numerous independents concerned.

While some state and community association executives are enthusiastic supporters of MHI, others privately are less so.


MHI, MHARR, MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.

MH Industry Veteran Disses Video

There are those who just don’t like the video.

The following IM exchange with MHProNews from an industry veteran is an example, and it took an interesting view.  Their comments = C, our reply = R.

  1. C) “I do not like the [Clayton Homes video] spot.”
  2. R) Interesting. Why not?
  3. C) Their “…commercial reinforces stereotypes more than I would like. I know their goal was to change it [perception, stigma], but they mention it way too much for my liking. I know of the firm they hired – they are out of Colorado.”


Rick Robinson, “MHI Zen” and the Clayton Promotion


Third party image provided under fair use guidelines. Note, because their original image was dark, MHProNews enhanced the photo.

For those that have voiced concerns that “MHI should be doing this,” hasn’t their General Counsel/Sr. Vice President of State & Local Affairs, Rick Robinson, obliquely spoken for the Arlington, VA based association’s take on Clayton’s campaign?

I know that Clayton [Homes] has been to many of your state [association] meetings showing their new ad campaign,” wrote Robinson earlier this week. “To see the formal release and a video of the first ad,click here. I hear that you’ll be seeing these ads a lot on SEC football games.”

Aren’t Robinson’s comments pretty matter of fact?

MHI funded research and resources, per sources to MHProNews, have allegedly been used in part by Buffett’s manufactured housing units.

If so, doesn’t that concern and other allegations noted indicate the reality that the Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman holds two of four seats on the organization’s all-powerful MHI Executive Committee?  Or that small to mid-sized members are helping pay for what the biggest members want?

Or consider this fact.  That the third MHI Executive Committee seat is held by what Forbes called a former Clayton Homes division president?

Or that the fourth seat is held by a firm that has Clayton product – or makes use of Berkshire-connected lending – in their land-lease communities?


Trust is another word that is used for monopoly. To see the video above about monopolies, along with other information about anti-trust laws, please click the still image above.

Can You Spell Monopoly?

Aren’t the facts hiding in plain sight?  Information such as the graphic by Cavco Industries – shown below – are among those “gifts that keep on giving,” that — reveal from their MHI-connected sources, in their own words — the reality of the industry, to quote a caller yesterday.


Using the figures supplied by Cavco (CVCO) and MHI, some 63 percent of the industry’s production is held by Clayton and Cavco. Can you spell, monopoly? Does that create conflict of interest within MHI? Or does it warrant other business, consumer, and legal concerns?

MHI’s own claim of having some 85 percent of the industry’s production, doesn’t that and several of their own statements play into the worries and allegations of monopolistic practices?


Click the above to learn more.

Don’t alleged ‘trust‘ practices – which often by definition – negatively impact consumers and independent operations?  See that report on monopolies/trusts and third-party videos, linked here.

State Association, non-MHI Member Reacts to Video and Image Campaign

 i think we should control our own destiny because MHI will do nothing for us at all…” (Note: typos, punctuation errors in these messages are in the original.)

So, “instead of going at them i think we should ignore them – for lack of a better term take our business elsewhere,” the messages read, adding, i am not a member of MHI – i am a member of some state associations but not MHI.”

While not commenting on this specific campaign, Marty Lavin has lashed out repeatedly at MHI’s failures, while carefully weaving, so as not to step on Clayton or Berkshire Hathaway toes.


The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Logo is their property, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews. Click the above for more.

MHI award-winner Lavin has said for well over a decade that the industry must get to the root issues. Otherwise, he’s said – “the other image campaign,” negative media that takes place somewhere in the U.S. several times a week – will tend to dominate in the public mind.


A teaser for Make Manufactured Housing Great Again, can be found by clicking the graphic above.

Facts Matter

The threat to Clayton, MHI – and potentially ‘monopoly innocent’ members of the industry – is that a video like theirs will raise questions in the public’s mind.

As MHI/NCC Vice President Jenny Hodge said, people research online, they don’t just buy.


  • Democratic lawmakers,
  • the Center for Accountability,
  • Ishbel Dickens/NMHOA and others are making charges and allegations of racism, steering, “near monopoly,” and predatory lending,

won’t those concerns be found by savvy buyers who do a Google, Yahoo or Bing search?


While there are a few that think it is a mistake for MHProNews to report on or analyze such matters, MHR publisher Kurt Kelley said, ” There’s nothing mean or villainous about stating the truth. In fact, most appreciate it when you do.”  To see the report and hunt for evidence, by-third parties, click the graphic above.  

MHI and senior Clayton/VMF/21st staff members were given a ‘softball opportunity’ to decry racism and those allegations.  In their wisdom, they declined that option. See the report of what third parties are alleging about Clayton and BH lenders, linked here.

What MHI President and CEO, Richard A. “Dick” Jennison said in the roughly 20 second video above is revealing, in the light of other reports by MHProNews.

Note the easy question asked, and what Jennison answered. Why would a man that requires Berkshire Hathaway’s support get his contract extended after making that shocking statement? Would the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or the National Association of Realtors (NAR) extend the contract of someone that said something similar in their industry?

Industry Potential, and Problems

RV’s outsell manufactured homes by about 5 to 1.  When RVs – which are a luxury item, not a necessity such as a home is –  have been growing rapidly, why not manufactured housing?  When the data that Clayton and Cavco published reflects the fact that those two companies are growing at a somewhat slower pace than the industry at large, should they be leading the charge for image, education, and marketing?


Where Sam Zell and MHARR Agree?

Sam Zell publicly pointed to the need for the industry to establish a sound credit base.

Obtaining a stronger source for competitive, additional financing – didn’t two of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BH) lending brands admit to NOT supplying the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) with data they wanted for chattel lending?  Didn’t that failure by BH lenders to supply such data harm most of the industry’s desire for the GSEs to do robustly do chattel loans?

Isn’t that what “Zell’s Math” implied?


Photo and collage credit, MHProNews. To learn more about the topic raised, click the image above.

Certainly, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), along with others industry professionals cited by MHProNews for years,  believe that’s a factor in the GSEs failure to act.

If MHI and their Berkshire Hathaway manufactured housing forces won’t defend their own name and reputation on an accusation as toxic as racism, how likely is it that either could successfully do an image and education campaign?


To learn more about Rolfe’s concerns and those of other industry professionals, click the above.

We’ve said for years something that resonates with our clients. If pretty pictures and slick videos were enough, then the industry would already be doing 500,000 or more new home shipments annually,” Kovach said. “Sure, the quality of a video is helpful.  But isn’t what the public wants reality – not fake news, spin, hype or manipulation?

Right Idea, Problematic Execution?

What’s the real solution to the industry’s huge opportunities, but poor image?


In the past 20 years, manufactured housing slipped from a peak of about 1/3 of all single family housing starts to only about 9 percent.  In a trillion dollar a year U.S. housing industry, with affordable housing at crisis levels, how could that happen? What did MHI do about it?  To see the 400 word executive summary, click the image above.

We’re the industry’s leading trade media, as well as service providers,” said MHLivingNews/MHProNews publisher Kovach. “We won’t tell Mr. Buffett, Clayton et al, or MHI all that is right or wrong with this video and their other campaign plans.”

What we will say is what we’ve demonstrated. There is proven value to factual storytelling. There is also value to establishing for manufactured housing independents an umbrella that refutes or deflects each and every false claim made. That worked for the ADL and the NAACP for decades. Properly done, it works for manufactured housing too,” Kovach said.

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156Thanks to the support of others, we began the process years ago of creating a system that mimics what the ADL/NAACP does, and apply that to manufactured housing. We’ve tested this in local markets. Our clients say, this works, they’ve profited,” Kovach said. “We plan to take the next steps in expanding that process, because others in the industry have failed to do so.”


Mutual Victories 


Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. left – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, right. To see that video and report, click the above.

Tye reminded Kovach, who reminds us of the following.


From the joint statement by the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. and L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.  To read the entire statement and how it relates to manufactured housing and improving America, click on the image above.

It’s all about what Steven Covey called the win-win, or ‘mutual victories.’ When consumers and business win, that’s a victory,” Kovach stated. “When consumers, business, and taxpayers all win, that’s an even bigger victory.”


To see this report and video, click the above.

Kovach explains that what the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr., Lindsey Bostick with Sunshine Homes, Paul Bradley with ROC USA, Marty Lavin, Tom Fath, Titus Dare, and others have repeatedly noted is that consumers must not be an afterthought, or just a target for a sale.

Rather, manufactured home owners and millions of potential manufactured home prospects must be the focus of the value proposition that the industry offers.

Properly serving the public – while respectfully addressing their interests and concerns – doesn’t that have to be front and center?

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, Analysis.)

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

Soheyla, Tamas L. A. "Tony" Kovach familySubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

(Notes: Soheyla Kovach is a co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent to and – and is a managing member.

Photo credit, 83 Degrees Media. To see their report about MHLivingNews, click here.)

Preemption Fact Check: HUD’s Pam Danner Interview by MHI Surrogate Suzanne Felber

August 21st, 2017 Comments off

MultiBillionDollarFactCheckGraphicStockDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchReportsDataMHProNewsWhy does federal preemption of manufactured housing matter?

Because preemption is what allows a HUD code manufactured home (MH) to be built to a performance based standard proven to save consumers time and money, while protecting durability, and homeowner safety.

The enforcement of manufactured home preemption could open hundreds of thousands of new MH sales every year for manufactured housing retailers. That would in turn make more affordable housing options a reality for millions over time.

For those who worry that manufactured homes could reduce the property values of home owners, MHLivingNews spotlighted how HUD’s own PD&R report proves differently. University level research proves that manufactured homes and conventional housing in several cities are proven to have appreciated side-by-side.

Donald Tye, Jr’s family and neighbors’ experiences place a human face on that reality.  Tye’s story also underscores the transformation possible for millions otherwise trapped “like cattle” in what he called “tenements,” if quality, affordable factory-crafted manufactured homes are made available in urban areas to singles and households of modest means.


The Columbia Point Housing Project had near the end of its first life cycle, only some 300 housing units of the total of some 1500 were habitable. That’s the same number Donald Tye, Jr. used in his example to describe the better way for people, and government that could have been used on that same property. That way? Quality, affordable single-family manufactured homes.


HUD Sec Dr. Ben Carson, for related story, click the image above.

No less a famous personality than HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson has made a similar point to Tye’s.  Carson has said several times that home owning households have an average $200,000 average net worth. Meanwhile, HUD’s Secretary states that the average net worth of renters is only $5000 per household.

Carson has also said he sees the value of manufactured homes in rural areas.  What is unclear at present is this question.  Is Carson familiar with HUD’s own PD&R report, linked above, or the transformational power of enhanced preemption that the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) law calls for already?

So, enforcing manufactured home (MH) preemption could restore the American Dream for millions otherwise trapped in renting. It can do so with little or no cost to federal taxpayers.  It is obviously in keeping with the Trump Administration’s call for public/private partnerships to save federal tax dollars, while creating opportunities for businesses that create more-higher paying jobs.

The View of a Texan

If federal preemption means something, it’s that it preempts local and state housing codes.

Joe A. Garcia is the Executive Director, Manufactured Housing Division in the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA).


Garcia has said publicly that when asked by a local jurisdiction, he stresses how he would testify if asked about a manufactured home placement issue. Garcia has bluntly said that federal preemption means what it says.


Image collage by and

Yet, 17 years after the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) – which strengthened preemption, by referring to it as “enhanced preemption” – why do we still see so many local jurisdictions fight the plain meaning of the law?


Click the image above to see some relevant portions of the MHIA 2000.

NIMBY and ignorance are part of the answer. But is there more?


Follow the money.” “Pay more attention to what people do than what they say.”  Those favorite points of MHI award winner Marty Lavin, JD, may prove useful in the analysis of the video interview with Pam Danner, shown below.


Lavin has enjoyed significant success in working in manufactured housing. He’s considered an expert in the field of finance, is sensitive to consumer interests, image, and has worked in communities and retail for years as well. The vessel in the photo is his custom cruiser, berthed in Miami Beach, FL. The Lavin’s hang their hat in Burlington, VT in a big house in a pricey neighborhood.

AMHA’s Harper on Preemption

JD Harper told MHProNews last December that “…most [in Arkansas] cities view factory-built structures through the same prism as billboards, cell towers and sexually-oriented businesses… something to be avoided if at all possible, but restricted and heavily regulated if allowed at all.”


Harper, a twenty year industry veteran, is the executive director of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA). He is not alone in that assessment.

In fact, Harper’s view is so common that Lavin has paradoxically referred to the technically preemptive HUD Code as a “discrimination code.”

That discrimination plays out in states across the nation.  MHLivingNews spotlighted cases in Georgia and Texas, in the report, Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing.”


To see the entire report that includes quotes from Jay Hamilton and Gary Adamek, among other industry professionals, click here or the image above.

In that linked report, Jay Hamilton and Gary Adamek, among other industry professionals, shared their experiences in fighting local zoning challenges.

GaryAdamekFayetteCountryHomesMHLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWhat was evident to me in talking to a [Huntsville, TX] city councilman after the meeting — his concept of a manufactured home was what his grandmother would have lived in, in 1975: a 12×48 trailer with metal siding,” Adamek, a principle at Fayette Country Homes told MHLivingNews.

Harper has sounded the alarm on repeated occasions to defend preemption.

In a detailed letter to HUD with commentary to MHProNews, Harper called upon HUD and Pam Danner, the administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs, to task for not enforcing federal preemption.

As an industry wag has quipped, “where else in the federal government can you find an official fighting not to go to the letter of their authority, and beyond?!”


Actively retired minister and factory built housing advocate, Donald Tye Jr. Collage by

As a HUD insider source told MHLivingNews, HUD had an attorney who allegedly for 30 years failed to aggressively enforce preemption, as the enhanced preemption in MHIA calls for…why?


Interview with HUD’s MH Program Administrator, Pamela Beck Danner, JD

The video posted further below, is an ‘interview’ by Suzanne Felber of Danner. Note as a disclaimer that MHProNews is not promoting either Felber, or her AHA agenda, by showing this video.

Rather, the Daily Business News (DBN) on MHProNews presents this as a unique opportunity to see the real Danner, and a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) surrogate in action, in their own setting and words.

There are a variety of interview methods professionals may employ. The interview style in the video below might be described as a ‘fawning fan’ interview. That is made clear by Felber’s closing comments.

Note that sources tell MHProNews that Suzanne Felber and her partner draw financial benefit from MHI, directly and indirectly.  This publication has already previously noted Felber gushing over MHI President, Richard “Dick” Jennison (see example, linked here).


Caption: MHI’s Dick Jennison allegedly also used Felber in a spurious effort to attack MHProNews, claiming a copyright infringement by using a photo of Jennison that was clearly labeled as to its source, in complete compliance with fair use guidelines. Concerns and allegations about MHI, anti-Trust and RICO, other violations are found at this link here.

Defining Commentary

Critical analysis, “fisking,” and critiques are among the phrases used by journalists and others to describe “fact checking” a person’s or organization’s statements. They often look at possible motives too.


Against this backdrop, note that Danner uses the term preemptive or preemption in this video, to describe her authority at HUD.  Rightly so. Then, why – as Harper and so many others ask – does she fail to use it properly?  Why has she refused to reply to MHProNews when we directly asked her about preemption, but will reply to us on more mundane issue?

An electronic transcript of the video above is available as a download, linked here.

No publisher in manufactured housing history has devoted more time to spotlighting the fact that billionaires, millionaires, rich and famous people – along with all other socio-economic classes – have embraced manufactured homes. HUD’s own data proves manufactured homes are high quality, with just a fraction of 1 percent going to dispute resolution.

So what’s the hang-up with Danner at HUD making enhanced preemption a reality, when affordable housing is in crisis?


Mark Weiss at Washington, D.C. based MHARR has systematically pointed out the problems with HUD’s stance on issues, such as their IB on the frost free foundation issue.  Capitol Building credit, Wikipedia. MHARR, Mark Weiss images MHProNews. MHARR logo is their intellectual property, and is shown here under fair use guidelines.

Why is Danner at HUD allegedly overstepping it’s authority on issues like the Interpretative Bulletin (IB) on frost free foundations?

Why does MHI claim to oppose HUD’s position on the foundation issue, while at the same time not asking for Danner to be removed from the head of the program?

Does a new Industry in Focus report document in Chairman Tim Williams’ own words a clear disconnect between what MHI leadership says, and what it does?

An off-the-record message from an industry veteran and organizational leader, to MHProNews this weekend stated as follows.

The more I see and hear, the more I think Lois has been interviewing for a job with Pam Danner for the last two to three years. I hope my instinct is wrong, because I have always found Lois down to earth and approachable (compared to others). I’m starting to feel like the industry has been set up for the final knockout punch by HUD and we were just caught not paying attention.  Kind of like an old dog rolling over on his back to be petted by his master and instead finds himself in a small cage headed to the Vet’s office to be put to sleep.”

In an insightful comment from a federal official, linked below, we’re told from an inside the beltway vantage point what HUD is really all about.

At the end of that DBN article, Tye reacts by saying, “The system is rigged.” ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

We Provide, You Decide.”

(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

Note Kovach is a member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent operation to MHProNews and, and other MH Industry marketing and professional service.


Squamish Over Vancouver? BC Tiny House Controversy, Leadership, MH Parallels

June 12th, 2017 Comments off

TinyHouseTravailsAnastasiaKoutalianosBCTinyHouseCollectiveCTVNewVancouverManufacturedModularPrefabTinyHouseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThey are described by Vancouver’s CTV News as small, affordable and illegal.

Their advocates don’t claim that they are the entire solution to Vancouver’s growing affordable housing crisis, but they think they are part of the solution, if they’re given acceptance.

And meanwhile, Cory Grandfield says that their home – custom made and perfect for them, is being forced by the city to move.

North of the border, just as has occurred in many U.S. jurisdictions, tiny houses face a fight.  But what makes this story one that tiny – and manufactured home advocates – ought to follow closely, is that supporters of tiny houses have organized to fight city hall, wherever in British Columbia that they meet resistance.

Anastasia Koutalianos, the co-founder of the BC Tiny House Collective, is advocating for Grandfield and for others in Vancouver with tiny houses, but is not finding the welcome mat out for them.

I think it’s really about having a conversation with the city planners and council and really showcasing there’s a demand for this housing stock,” she told CTV News.

But until that happens, Grandfield thinks he’ll park his tiny home in Squamish.


Tiny Trendy Among Several Manufactured Home Producers

While some are being built to the ANSI or HUD Codes, there are tiny houses being built by HUD Code builders to no code at all, which have been displayed at events such as the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. What’s certain is that those who are producing them see the potential for added sales in a market perceived to have more positive media than manufactured housing does.

But the legal challenges for true, unregulated, tiny houses remains.

MHLivingNews and the Daily Business News have chronicled many of the tiny house challenges.  But what the tiny house enthusiasts are doing, is that a model for more successful engagement by manufactured home residents?  Given that a strict reading of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) supports enhanced preemption of manufactured homes, should they be more accepted in towns and cities?

Stan Dye has said, yes, they think that’s what should happen.

Other retailers –  like Gary Adamek from the Houston, TX market area – have told MHProNews that zoning is a bigger issue by far than Dodd-Frank ever was.

Several state association executive directors aren’t happy about the lack of back-up for preemption of the industry’s homes coming from the HUD Code manufactured home program’s current director, Pam Danner.

Not speaking directly to Danner’s controversial command over the program, J.D. Harper focuses his comments on local officials.


JD Harper, Executive Director, AMHA, credit, LinkedIn.

I’ve told many city officials that I don’t believe that manufactured homes belong on every lot in every zone in every town – but I DO believe there are MANY lots in MANY towns which restrict manufactured homes where a factory-built residence would provide access to decent, affordable housing for working Arkansans — without having an adverse impact on surrounding property values or the quality of life in that neighborhood,” J.D. Harper said to MHProNews.  His full commentary is linked here.



Jay Hamilton, Executive Director,  (GMHA).

Jay Hamilton, the executive director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, said: “The one issue that will prohibit affordable housing in the future — not only manufactured homes, but site-built — is local zoning and covenants.”

As noted, Adamek is among those professionals who believes that zoning for manufactured housing is bigger and more harmful than


Gary Adamek, Fayette Country Homes, TX.

the challenges caused by the Dodd-Frank Act. Describing battles with cities and towns in his state, “…some will simply pass ordinances that flatly prohibit manufactured homes,” says Adamek. “They don’t even have to get fancy about it.” 

MarkWeissMHARRPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR has long sought the enforcement of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, as a way of unchaining the industry and creating hundreds of thousands of additional opportunities for sales every year.  They include a call for comments on changing HUD’s regulations, per a door opened by the Trump Administration which has already proven a willingness to scale back on business and job killing regulations.  Those deadlines for comments are June 14, at 11:50 PM.  MHARR’s message on the issue is linked here.

These are among the reasons that MHProNews publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach in his comments to HUD has asked for replacing Pam Danner in her leadership over the program, and has called for the full implementation of the MHIA 2000. Kovach believes that wishing and hoping aren’t a strategy– it will require thoughtful and routine engagement to effect the changes needed.

He also points to the huge potential growth the industry could enjoy, if the MHIA 2000 were being fully enforced, a call that MHARR has been making for several years too.

Comments to HUD can still be made, please see the article – with four easy steps to comment – linked here.

Back in BC…

The BC Tiny House movement has organized about 1000 people to fight for their cause. Can manufactured homes – with millions of owners, and thousands of more businesses, manage some day to do the same? ##

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


Victory for Residents or Erosion of Rights? A City Takes Action

May 22nd, 2017 Comments off

The Winchester Ranch community in San Jose, CA. Credit: KQED.

In California, the San Francisco Bay Area is known as a technology hub and a center of activism. In the city of San Jose, the city council made a move last week that could make it known for something else.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the council voted 10-1 against a staff-recommended “closure” policy that would have weakened resident protections for manufactured housing community closures and have a significant impact on affordable housing in the Silicon Valley.

We won a big fight,” said manufactured home community resident Davyln Jones, who also sits on the city’s Housing and Community Development Commission.


Councilman Johnny Khamis. Official photo.

This says it’s not OK to yank the land out from underneath people who spent their life savings purchasing the homes.”

Councilman Johnny Khamis, who was the lone dissenting vote, expressed concern that the message being sent could have unintended consequences.

San Jose is punishing property owners,” said Khamis.

It punished landlords when it passed sweeping renter protections last week.”

With the vote, manufactured home community owners who want to close properties, then sell or redevelopment them, must now follow steps outlined in a “conversion policy.” This policy includes paying relocation benefits, offering to purchase a home at its current value, and negotiating with the manufactured home community’s residents’ association.


Margaret Nanda. Credit: Hopkins & Carley.

Attorney Margaret Nanda echoed Khamis’ comments, and also pointed out another factor.

San Jose’s housing crisis wasn’t caused by mobile home park [sic]owners,” said Nanda.

The policy is an erosion of property rights.”


Local housing advocates said that the proposed policy was troublesome because it had a loophole – it allowed a property owner to say that they were closing a community, meaning they would allegedly not have to pay as much in relocation benefits or draw as much attention, and then simply sit on the land and redevelop it at a later time. The policy also did not require a community closure to be approved by the city council.

Advocates say that this would provide residents with fewer safeguards.


Mayor Sam Liccardo. Official Photo.

San Jose is home to nearly 11,000 mobile homes [sic] in 59 parks [sic], the largest number of any city in the state,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

And, they’re viewed as one of the last affordable housing options in San Jose.”

Mayor Liccardo also recommended the exploration of creating a new land use designation just for manufactured home communities to bolster preservation. Such a designation would allow the city to set specific policies for, and control, how land is converted for other uses.


Credit: Google.

The origins of the actions by the council last week date back to 2015, when the owners of Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park informed residents they were planning to close to sell the land to a developer to build new apartments and a hotel.

The city blocked Winchester Ranch’s closure by adopting an emergency ban, and the community owners sued the city, but later dropped the lawsuit.


MH Industry Perspectives On Like Issues 


Credit: NBC.

As scenarios like the one in San Jose continue to play out in the U.S. and Canada, the thoughts shared by ROC USA President Paul Bradley are relevant.

How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities?” Bradley questioned.

It’s like selling tickets to a zoo where ‘only 1 in a 100 are eaten by the lions!’”

One way to address this is to segment true homeownership land lease communities and differentiate it from traditional ‘parks’ where closure remains a risk, not a certainty but a risk.

For the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association’s Jay Hamilton, he sees things differently.


Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

One of the biggest reasons that a Manufactured Home Community Owner sells his property is that over time property taxes increase four and five-fold.  But the owner can’t economically escalate the lot rent quick enough to keep up.  Or the resident could not afford to live there if they did,” said Hamilton.

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments – property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.” ##

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



RC Williams, MHProNews.

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


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

City Takes Plunge into Modular Housing

May 16th, 2017 Comments off

An artists rendition of the soon to be completed Westgate Manor in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Credit: Journal of Commerce.

In a trend that has become popular in Europe, the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta, is taking the plunge, with the development of its first modular housing project utilizing shipping containers.

Per the Journal of Commerce, the soon to be completed urban infill project, Westgate Manor, will consist of 20 units, specifically designed as affordable housing in a joint venture between Edmonton-based Step Ahead Properties and Calgary-based Ladacor Advanced Modular Systems.

Using this modular building approach offers numerous benefits over conventional construction,” said AJ Slivinski, owner of Step Ahead Properties.


AJ Slivinski. Credit: LinkedIn.

There is a faster schedule, off-site construction will mean less disruption to the existing tenants and surrounding neighbors, the steel building is non-combustible, which is far safer and more durable for rental housing, and lastly the modular construction gives a far better sound insulation between the suites, making them much quieter for the residents.”

Construction on Westlake Manor is expected to be completed by summer of this year.

For Ladacor, they say that there is significant opportunity for their modular units in a number of other verticals.

We have got some traction in the hotel market and we are looking to expand into different markets,” said Rhys Kane, Ladacor Business Development Director.

Hotels lend themselves very well to modular as the suites can be fully finished, the hotel suites themselves are good dimensions. Modular is flexible enough to be able to build those spaces. We are confident that we can do multifamily. It is just an obvious next step really.”


Ladacor and Step Ahead at the ground breaking of Westgate Manor. Credit: REMI Network.

Step Ahead Properties also sees additional opportunities for modular to help with affordable housing.

Senior housing is a big market across different spectrums,” said Kane.It’s a great opportunity particularly in small towns where people want to stay, as they would otherwise often have to go to major urban centers.”


Manufactured and Modular – Things to Remember

It should be noted that while modular homes offer savings over site built homes, manufactured housing is often 25 to 30 percent cheaper than modular housing, due to the extra costs related to onsite assembly.

And, while manufactured homes outsell modulars by about 5-to-1, there is still a stigma from the old pre-HUD-code mobile home days that affects financing and zoning issues.

Yet there may be very little difference between the products, when comparing a modular home to a residential-style manufactured home (as opposed to the entry level version).


Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Associatoin (GMHA).

About half of modular builders also build HUD-code manufactured homes,” says Jay Hamilton, executive director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association.

A lot of them build both products on the same assembly line,” he says. “If the products were vastly different, you could never get away with that.”

For a detailed and accurate comparison of manufactured and modular homes, click here. ##


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



RC Williams, MHProNews.

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


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

NPR, MHAction memo, Cities Raise Fees, Close Manufactured Home Communities too

January 9th, 2017 Comments off

Midfield Mobile Home Park. Credit: CBC.

The Daily Business News has provided in-depth coverage of the reaction to the National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast and story Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream, and the attack on investor owned communities by MHAction.

The ongoing response from the industry’s professionals is to keep pointing to facts – versus private agendas – that have shown that exaggerations about manufactured homes and the community sectors of the industry are alive and well.

As commentary on Industry Voices (see examples, linked here and here) has reflected, the industry’s professionals do not believe in protecting bad actors.

With all the noise around media-driven misconceptions, it’s often overlooked by groups like NPR and MHAction that even cities and towns shut down communities, or do other things that they blame private investors for doing.

A recent example is found in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The city has plans in place to close a manufactured home community that has been around for over 45 years, Midfield Mobile Home Park.

They treat us like trailer trash,” said long-time resident Rudy Prediger, referencing the City of Calgary’s stewardship of the property.


Rudy Prediger. Credit: Calgary Herald.

They made promises then broke them, they treated us with disrespect,” says Prediger, speaking of the city’s management.

I have a legal right to protect my property and that’s what I’m going to do.

Prediger speaks to a story that plays itself out repeatedly. Not just in manufactured communities, but in also in aging residential and commercial properties and apartment communities as well.

Per the Calgary Herald, the issues at Midfield began back to 2010, when their city council decided that repairing the park’s infrastructure, which included its aging sewer and water system, was too costly.


A Google search on this date for apartments being redeveloped yielded over 40,000 possible hits. Conventional housing and commercial properties are also the subject of redevelopment, for the kinds of reasons cited by GMHA’s Jay Hamilton, below.

During that year, notices went out to the homeowners to inform them the community would close down in 2012.

Residents were told that they could move to land the city had purchased for a new community, and would be given a moving allowance to do so.

In 2014, plans for the new “mobile park” — all other existing ones in the city were full — were scuttled. Residents then received notice of Midfield’s official 2017 closure, along with a list of resources, which included contact info for such agencies as the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the Mustard Seed, according to the Herald.

Up to $20,000 in buyouts, along with counseling, was offered to each of the 173 owners.

Midfield sits on what’s considered to be “prime inner-city land” in Calgary.


Aerial view of Midfield. Credit: Calgary Herald.

What often happens in these instances is that private and public community owners find themselves in “lose-lose” situations – which Jay Hamilton, Executive Director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) – described a few weeks ago.


Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

One of the biggest reasons that a Manufactured Home Community Owner sells his property is that over time property taxes increase four and five-fold.  But the owner can’t economically escalate the lot rent quick enough to keep up.  Or the resident could not afford to live there if they did,” said Hamilton.

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments – property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.

As this scenario continues to play out in the U.S. and Canada, the thoughts shared by ROC USA President Paul Bradley are relevant.

paul bradley roc usa founder cedit

Paul Bradley. Credit: Fosters.

How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities?” Bradley questioned.

It’s like selling tickets to a zoo where ‘only 1 in a 100 are eaten by the lions!’”

Bradley said, “One way to address this is to segment true homeownership land lease communities and differentiate it from traditional ‘parks’ where closure remains a risk, not a certainty but a risk.

NPR’s Latest anti-Investor Owned Community Salvo 

In their latest broadcast and published article dubbed “With Few Legal Protections, Nashville Mobile Home Park Residents At Risk Of Losing It All,” (see their article, linked here), NPR paints a radically different picture than what the USA Today network affiliate, The Tennessean did less than a month ago (see that article, linked here).


See article that was the source of the above, linked here. Credit, the Tennessean.

Independent community operations manager Tom Fath pointed out numerous errors in NPR’s previous reports, and told MHProNews of the problems that such mainstream media stories cause.


Sam Landy, To see an exclusive interview with Landy, click here.

UMH President and CEO Sam Landy told the Daily Business News that, “UMH has improved the lives of well over 1,000 manufactured home residents in the Nashville area. We have significantly upgraded communities. Our residents overwhelmingly support the companies actions.” Landy said his firm is preparing a detailed response to the NPR article about their Nashville locations.

The Daily Business News will continue to follow NPR, MHAction and similar cases of closely. The full commentary from Jay Hamilton is linked here. Commentary from Paul Bradley is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Residents Forced to Move Due to Rezoning

November 8th, 2016 Comments off

Melrose Mobile Home Park. Credit: TWC News.

Residents of the Melrose Mobile Home Park will have to move.

According to TWC News, city leaders in Wilmington, North Carolina are moving forward with a plan to rezone parts of Wrightsville Avenue.

Officials said the zoning became necessary due to continuous population growth. The city plans to designate the site mixed-use, with both business and residential units.

City officials told TWC News they are working to increase access to affordable housing in Wilmington, but many residents are concerned.

It is all about money. At Wrightsville Beach they want this property so they can zone it so they can build more rich condos here,” said park resident Rhonda Poythress.


Rhonda Poythress. Credit: TWC News.

But it is just putting so many people out. Not to mention the elderly people who can’t get out to look for a place or pack their stuff up and move it. Some of them don’t even have family here; that’s what’s really breaking my heart.

North Carolina state law only requires residents to be given 180 days notice to vacate a community. While some states require relocation assistance for displaced residents, North Carolina has no such provision.

Residents have been given until the end of March to vacate the property.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of rezoning cases recently, including Boulder City, Nevada and Aurora, Colorado.


Melrose Mobile Home Park. Credit: TWC News.

The MH Industry Speaks 

Jim Ayotte, executive director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA), speaking about a similar case told MHProNewsA community owner shouldn’t be compelled to close a community without regard for homeowners.jimayottecreditmhpronewsusersrcdesktoppaulbradleycredtimhpronewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnews

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.

jay-hamiltong-executive-director-georgia-manufactured-housing-association-gmha-posted-mhpronews-com(1) (1)

Jay Hamilton.

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 where owners, residents and local officials worked successfully together. Ayotte’s full comments about the matter are linked here. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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