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Posts Tagged ‘JD Harper’

Equal Justice, Citizen Power, and Manufactured Housing

March 21st, 2018 Comments off

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The successful McCrory, AR lawsuit was a case brought by a nonprofit organization called Equal Justice.

 

The organization’s name, Equal Justice, is at some level likely inspired by a longer phrase found on the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. = Equal Justice Under Law.

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It’s a quintessential American ideal, that the law is to be equally applied to all.

In the McCrory case, Equal Justice sued on behalf of a lower income family, for the right to live in what a photo of their dwelling suggests was an an older factory produced home. AMHA’s JD Harper called the case a “significant victory” for that household, by extension others and for the industry.

McCrory Lawsuit – “Significant Victory Against Zoning Discrimination” – Manufactured Homes

As MH activist, businessman, and semi-retired minister, the Rev. Donald Tye Jr., has told the Daily Business News that a manufactured home can be a critical path for economic security and a step on the path to wealth building.

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Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Home ownership builds character, says Tye. It also brings other economic and social benefits. As a black who grew up in and lived through the civil rights movement, he believes that “access and equity” are critical for people of all racial groups to reach their potential.

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Government, Winners and Losers

Last year, a federal official described to the Daily Business News how HUD and other agencies in the federal government operate.

In a conversation, that federal official referred to HUD as a huge conduit to “channel money” into “various areas,” with “several cottage industries” that had grown up to tap into those funds.

At the time, former award-winning WHA executive director and prior MHI board member, Ross Kinzler provided the following reaction.

Almost all of the government is picking winners (contracts, grants, attention) and losers (ignore, regulate or prosecute),” Kinzler’s message said.

Surprised by…” the federal official’s “…contention?” Kinzler’s message added, “Nope.”

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Ross Kinzler, retired Executive Director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance. Credits, MHProNews.

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Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Kinzler compared the far greater success of MH communities serving than publicly funded housing.

In another reaction then, was the following industry veteran’s comment.

This is precisely why HUD and other federal agencies need to be down-sized and fundamentally reformed as promised by President Trump.  HUD studies show that manufactured housing — which it regulates — is the nation’s most affordable non-subsidized housing and home ownership resource,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

“The System Is Rigged,” Federal Official’s Description of HUD, Industry Reactions

 

Power, and Powerless?  No…

What Equal Justice reminded MH Industry professionals is that people are not powerless in the face of seemingly greater forces.

Persistent complaints and periodic news articles about alleged abuses at HUD that grew more intense last year, finally culminated in the removal of Pam Danner from her role at HUD over the federally regulated manufactured housing program.

More recently, a top down review of the HUD code manufactured home program was ordered, and public comments were solicited.

Tye recently stressed the concept of the “consent of the governed,” which pre-dates the U.S. Constitution, but which that charter which limits federal power is designed to protect, “We, the People.”

 

Multiple Votes

The notion of enhanced preemption that undergirds manufactured housing could be a key that unlocks up to nearly $2 trillion dollars annually, according the a study done late in the Obama Administration.

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

Law suits and demands made on public officials are some of the tools that everyday people have.

But informed citizens – and that is arguably a key, people must be well formed, and informed – also have multiple votes, not just period election votes.

Legal matters sometimes come down to a small group of citizens, empaneled in a grand jury or jury to hear civil or criminal cases.

Every juror has a vote. That guilty” or “not guilty” vote can often act as a check on authority.  While every vote in a voting booth matters, your single most powerful vote is arguably the vote as a juror.  A single juror can hold out against all of his or her peers and effectively nullify the power of government on a given case.

It was the ultimate defense of the rights of “We, the People” vs. the power of government.

 

Formation and Information

It is easy to imagine how some claims of abuses of corporate power could result in class action litigation that may end up in front of a jury of citizens.

The more informed they are, the better.

This is where professionals need to engage those that they know, and via social media and personal contact, spread a better understanding of both manufactured homes, the benefits they offer individuals and society.

It is also where proper character formation plays a role.

The founders were imperfect people, trying to form “a more perfect Union.”  They believed that education and morality based upon Judeo-Christian principles were essential.

As issues local and federal play out, formation begins with a thirst for understanding and justice. The principle of Equal Justice implies that no one is above the law.

It may sound amazing at first, but there is very good reasons to believe the following to be true. Universal moral norms could be critical for reviving the American Dream. ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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“Mobile Home Ban” Suit Win, “Equal Justice Under Law,” Manufactured Home Owners, Buyers, Industry

December 5th, 2017 Comments off

McCroryARCaseMobileManufacturedHomeCaseSettlementNov2017EqualJusticeUnderLawManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThis kind of wealth-based banishment scheme is unconscionable discrimination,” said Phil Telfeyan, Executive Director of the non-profit, Equal Justice Under Law.

McCrory, [AR] and all of our communities, should invest in residents rather than criminalize poverty,” Telfeyan said.

Telfeyan’s comments addressed to MHProNews related to a victory reported by the Associated Press (AP), which attracted nationally attention to the discrimination case in McCrory, Arkansas.

A city in east-central Arkansas has settled a federal lawsuit brought by a national civil rights organization over an attempt to ban mobile homes worth less than $7,500,” said AP as quoted in U.S. News and World Report.

PhilTelfeyanExecDirectorEqualJusticeUnderLawDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Per AP, “…the McCrory City Council passed an ordinance in September 2016 banning trailers [sic] that have a value of less than $7,500. Equal Justice Under the Law sued the city and its police chief in January, calling the ordinance wealth-based discrimination. The group filed the lawsuit on behalf of a couple who were told they’d have to move out of their $1,500 mobile home.”

https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp and http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/your-words-matter-proper-terminology-for-factory-built-homes/

It’s unclear from the photographic evidence if the home was a pre-HUD Code mobile home, or perhaps an older HUD Code manufactured home (MH).  But neither would properly be called a “trailer.”  To learn more about proper terminology, click this link here, or the graphic below.

Dollars and Sense

The council repealed the ban in January,” said AP, adding that, “Equal Justice officials say the Tuesday settlement totaled just over $20,000.”

“…even though state law in Arkansas prohibits cities from totally banning manufactured/modular home placements; restricting them only to rented lots in ‘parks’; or setting conditions/restrictions that are dissimilar to those for ‘site-built units’ – a number of cities still attempt to unduly restrict MH placements due to unsubstantiated fears of plummeting property values and ‘undesirables’ that their decisions-makers fear will inhabit such domiciles,” said the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association’s JD Harper, in an Industry Voices column to MHProNews, linked here.

Harper said it’s an important victory for the MH Industry, current home owners and prospective manufactured home buyers.

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There are industry legal minds that have told the Daily Business News off-the-record that while useful, settlements aren’t a legal precedent.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThat noted, another industry attorney, Mark Weiss, JD, commented, “Great stuff by JD Harper about the Equal Justice Under the Law in McCrory,” case.

Weiss is the president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Most of the bans/restrictions that I’ve heard of, focus on age or specific features,” Weiss told the Daily Business News.

A source with ties to MHARR told MHProNews that this case is one that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and HUD should be pursuing, under the enhanced preemption enacted by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

The Arkansas Times said that “The couple makes about $13,000 a year, well below the federal poverty line.”

This settlement is a victory for Lindsey [Hollaway and], David [Watlington], and impoverished people everywhere. No one should fear being chased out of their hometown simply because they are too poor to afford a more expensive residence. At a time when civil rights feel under attack in this nation, this settlement is a victory for everyone who values individual dignity, according to Telfeyan.

McCrory will pay some $20,000 for the settlement, attorney fees, fine forgiveness, and other costs.  As MHLivingNews has spotlighted, public officials who do the proper research often discover what the elected official in the interview linked below learned.

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Equal Justice Lead Counsel, says, ‘Willing to Consider Other, Similar Cases’

Your “readers should alert you [MHProNews] to any other ordinances that limit manufactured housing on the basis of value or age and contact you immediately if/when anyone is being faced with eviction based on an alleged violation of such an ordinance,” said Catherine Sevcenko, JD.

Sevcenko is the legal director at Equal Justice Under Law.

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Assuming the person who gets in touch with you would be willing to be a plaintiff, there is a good chance we might be able to get

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involved,” Sevcenko said.  The attorney explained that “we can never promise legal representation until we have reviewed the facts and circumstances of a particular case.”

Sevcenko provided MHProNews with a case out of North Carolina that she stated is useful in such claims.  That case, is linked here as a download.

Tips on possible instances of discrimination for news and/or legal action can be provided to MHProNews via the link here and on the graphic at the right.

For ease of handling and consideration, please put “Possible Legal Case For Equal Justice Under Law” in the subject line. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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Homeownership Rates in U.S. Compared to Top 50, MHI’s Idea Revisted

August 25th, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, Chicago Tribune, MHProNews.

Homeownership is a way for people to generate stability and wealth and not just go to work every day,” said Deborah Moore, neighborhood planning director for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.

In addition, homeownership can “change the trajectory of neighborhoods,” she added.

Homeownership is a dream that for many Americans seems far off.

The growing lack of affordable housing options across the country is manifest in a host of reports and in a variety of data.

Rents are higher than ever.  That makes it harder for minimum – and low-wage workers – to be able to afford their current housing costs, let alone save for a home.

In the United States, the homeownership rate as of the second quarter of 2017 was 63.7 percent, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Image credit, US Census Bureau, FRED St. Louis Fed.

But how does the United States stack up against the rest of the world?

According to Wikipedia, which takes twenty-one different sources into account, the United States ranks 41st highest percentage of homeowners in the world, with 65.4 percent.

The country with the highest homeownership rate is Romania, with 96.4 percent of citizens owning their home.

Coming in just under Romania is Singapore at 90.8 percent, Slovakia at 90.3 percent, and Cuba at 90 percent.

The U.S. is nearly neck-and-neck with the United Kingdom, where 63.5 percent are homeowners. (Editor’s Note: see the footnotes below, after the ## on Julia’s article.)

Rev. Tye on the Obvious Solution

Homeownership benefits more than just the homeowners, says manufactured housing advocate, Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.  People who own their home are more likely to maintain it, which keeps neighborhood’s more appealing, and adds to the tax base.

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Tye told MHProNews that, “As we think about housing in today’s world, the most important aspect should start with affordability. When home ownership is affordable, it has ancillary benefits.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has stated that the average net-worth of a homeowner in the U.S. is $200,000, while the net-worth of a renter is on average $5,000.

Ownership builds character, competence and integrity,” Tye said in soft yet potent tones.

One of the reasons that the U.S. ranks so low on homeownership compared to some of the countries on the Wikipedia list is because of the lack of affordable homes on the market.

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Harper’s Op-Ed on a related issue can be found at this link here, or by clicking the image above.

Since the so-called Great Recession of 2008, it has been more difficult to qualify for a home loan.  Conventional housing prices  continue to rise well above wages ability to sustain a mortgage on the average house.

Insufficient numbers of new homes being built are among the biggest contributing factors per a recent study, as the Daily Business News previously reported.

Manufactured housing presents a clearly viable solution, through cost-effective building that offers high-qualify homes for a fraction of the cost.

JD Harper told MHProNews last December that “most cities [in Arkansas] 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.”

However because of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitudes described above, along with outdated information perpetuated by the media, many people don’t consider it an option at all.

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If manufactured housing was better understood millions more could afford to become homeowners, and the number of homeowners in the U.S. could far exceed the current 63.4 percent. ## (News, Analysis, Fisking – below.)

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Editor’s Note: The spark for this article was our request to Julia Granowicz to do some research on MHI’s most recent Did You Know? feature.  What her research turned up was the latest example of flawed data, and unattributed information.  Please see the below.

 

 

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Original photo credit, Pixabay, text and collage credit, MHProNews.com.

Please see the statistics MHI showed, in the screen shot from their most recent email, below.  Then, compare it to the actual list shown on Wikipedia, which is shown further below.

Does it look to you like the very first country MHI showed is wrong?  Plus MHI failed to give proper credit to the source?  Then, MHI slapped their own copyright notice on someone else’s data?

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

MHIManufacturedHousingInstittueDidYouKnowPercentageHousingUStoTop50CountriesWorldPostedMHProNews

You are entitled to your own opinions. but your are not entitled to your own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Monaghan.

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

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Image collage by MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

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?

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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?

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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.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

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.”

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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.”

MHLivingNewsAffordableHomesJayHamiltonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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?!”

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

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?

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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).

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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.

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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?

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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 MHProNews.com.

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

 

TMHA’s Pendleton on Amarillo, Manufactured Home Placements in Urban and Suburban Areas

July 28th, 2017 Comments off

UrbanSuburbanPlacementManufacturedHomesAmarilloTxDJPendletonTMHAZillowDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe City of Amarillo, Texas, has approved permits for the construction or renovation of 104 manufactured homes – which is more than double the number of last year.  It is also the highest total number of permits yet, per the Amarillo Globe News.

In our industry, the biggest problem we have is that when people think of a mobile home, they think of their great-grandma’s trailer,” Texas Manufactured Home Association Executive Director DJ Pendleton told the local newspaper. “People hear ‘mobile home’ and automatically go to the worst image in their brain. Really, it’s an incredibly regulated product that has to go through federal building codes as well as state and local regulations.”

You can get a lot more house for the same amount of money,” said Texas A&M University Real Estate Center research economist, Harold Hunt.

Hunt has previously shared articles with MHLivingNews.com.  He knows and sees the value – and need for – the use of more manufactured homes, today.

Hunt said, “And with a lot of them today, it’s hard to distinguish the inside from any other house. We’re talking about a lot more affordable housing, which is a big issue in the state right now.”

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Dr. Harold Hunt has studied manufactured homes in his state, and is clearly supportive of their value, and need. To see one of his reports, click the image collage above, which were provided by Hunt and the Real Estate Center.

Amarillo Compared to Other Cities

Potter-Randall Appraisal District encompasses 4,499 manufactured homes, well above similar districts surrounding Columbus, Ga. (1,424), Rochester, Minn. (1,777), Greeley, Colo. (2,238) and Lubbock (3,151),” per the Globe News.

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DJ Pendleton. Credit: MHProNews.

Sure, we need to continue efforts to grow our presence in the more densely populated urban centers where population growth and housing demand drive large market potential,” Pendleton told MHProNews, “But bread and butter rural modest and lower income small Texas cities and towns must stay open for business when it comes to manufactured housing.”

The Globe News explained how manufactured home owner, Tammy Deterts’ property, about an acre of land north of the Amarillo city limits, has served her, her son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Deterts picked out nearly everything on the interior of her 16-by-80-foot home, including the flooring, drapes and carpet — all of which would have been unaffordable in a built-to-suit stationary house,” the Globe News reported

When we want to crank up our music, we can,” Deterts’ said. “(If) we want to have a big get-together with family, we’ve got the space to do that. In apartments, you don’t get that.”

Pendleton told MHProNews that overall, the Globe News report was fair and balanced, though it had a few imprecise points in terminology.

More open-minded cities, like Amarillo, prove the point that when given even a relatively fair playing field to compete, manufactured housing can thrive,” said the TMHA’s executive director.  “The issue is keeping and fighting to keep or even regain those level playing fields in similar cities, because it is hard to get out there and show really what all you can do and offer if you aren’t allowed off the bench.”

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Harper’s Op-Ed on a related issue can be found at this link here, or by clicking the image above.

In an Op-Ed on a related issue, neighboring Arkansas Executive Director JD Harper  thanked Rev. Donald Tye Jr. and MHProNews for underscoring the need to push enhanced preemption with HUD.

Doing so, as Pendleton, Harper and other industry professionals know, would grow sales and ease the housing crunch in numerous markets.

This Globe News story,

are all among the examples that demonstrate why the misconceptions are just that – a lack of understanding of the facts about HUD Code manufactured homes today.

Will more cities take Amarillo’s lead and increase the availability of manufactured housing to solve the housing crisis? # # (News, analysis.)

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

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

 

 

 

‘CFPB Rectal Exam,’ Congressman Stresses Need for Credit & Financial Reform, Manufactured Home Pros React

June 21st, 2017 Comments off

CongStevePearceNM2R-DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryReportsResearchDataMHProNewsCredit is one of the most powerful devices of the financial system designed over time by modern societies. It gives people the freedom to spend money now – whether to cover a medical expense, an emergency repair, buy a home or send their child to school – and pay it off later,” wrote Rep. Steve Pearce, Congressman from New Mexico’s 2nd district.

Pearce stated in a column published in the Albuquerque Journal  that there are risks and rewards with credit, but underscores how important it is for businesses and consumers alike.

Pearce said, “Half of the homes in the 2nd Congressional District of New Mexico are manufactured housing. The [CFPB] bureau took several actions that resulted in all but one or two banks no longer lending for those.”

This bureau [CFPB] was tasked with protecting consumers – a laudable goal. Very quickly though, the bureau began to show it had no idea how or why many elements of the credit markets were established. As it began to regulate those elements out of existence, credit to the poor began to dry up. People in New Mexico soon began to see their opportunities disappear because their sources of credit were diminishing before their eyes,” wrote Pearce.

The congressman then walks, step-by-step through his case for making the Financial Choice Act the law that will reform the well intentioned – but in his view, fatally flawed – Dodd-Frank Act, and its offspring, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The congressman’s full comments, are linked here.

Manufactured Home Industry Reactions

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

I’m thankful that many of our elected officials in Washington D.C. – like Rep. Steve Pearce from New Mexico and Rep. French Hill from Arkansas – have heard and understood the concerns that their constituents – including community bankers and the manufactured home industry – have with the real-world negative impact that some of the provisions of Dodd-Frank have had on working families seeking to purchase an affordable home,” said JD Harper, of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA).

Harper says, “I can only hope that the United States Senate will agree to act upon at least some of the less-controversial provisions contained in ‘The CHOICE Act’ – specifically those reforms aimed at helping manufactured home buyers access financing – instead of allowing a few Senators [to] derail this much-needed legislation with ‘scare tactics’ and ‘Doomsday Scenario’ rhetoric.”

A long-time “Lonnie dealer” type operation said they’d love to comment on this issue to MHProNews, but they didn’t want a “CFPB Rectal Exam. For decades, Lonnie Scruggs financed used pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post-code manufactured homes as well on an ‘owner carry’ basis.  That created a path to ownership for thousands who could otherwise only rent.

Many of those Lonnie dealers often made a good return on their investment. Some would then reinvest in more inventory, which meant that more homes could be purchased, and more home ownership opportunities created.  It was a classic free enterprise solution for affordable housing at work.

How many of those who once bought from a Lonnie dealer are today left renting, or are pushed into subsidized housing?

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An older manufactured home in a land lease community. Credit: Homes.

MH Community Sector Response

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Brian Gallagher. Credit: LinkedIn.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to properly discuss all of the issues raised in this column and their impact on the Manufactured Housing industry in general and on MH financing in particular in a brief response.  Our small firm is also significantly impacted by the new regulations,” said Brian Gallagher, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Santefort Real Estate Group.

No one should be in favor of oppressive, ineffective regulation,” said Gallagher, who stressed that sound, effective regulation would be good for consumers and the industry alike.  But Gallagher points out that the Choice Act has its own exceptions to the rule.  For example, he points to carving out protections for payday lenders, not offered to others in finance.

Gallagher laid out the burdens, risks and costs the current regulatory structure created for his operation, and wonders what good if any it does for potential home buyers?

Former Association Chair, and Retailer’s View

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Karl Radde, Southern Comfort Homes, Chairman, National Retailers Council, MHI.

Let’s forgo affordable housing for a bit and think of rent to own furniture places or pawn shops,” said Karl Radde of Southern Comfort Homes. He pointed to the example of rent-to-own stores, which he said he wouldn’t personally use, but others clearly find them beneficial.

Radde rhetorically asks, “If we try to ‘protect’ someone by over-regulating that industry, are we not in fact saying ‘You can’t have a TV?’”

Radde, the former Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) chairman, then raised a point that’s often missed. Namely, when owner financing is eliminated – something that Pearce noted in his editorial – then resale, values, and other economic consequences result.

At that point [in the absence of owner financing], the value of those homes dramatically decrease because they became worth only what someone could afford to pay for them in cash transaction,” said Radde.

That’s not only true of manufactured housing, but was equally true of conventional housing values.  When lending dried up in 2008/2009, existing conventional house values crashed.

Radde detailed more experiences, such as the need for being able to guide a home buyer into the better lending option, without being accused of ‘steering’ under the so-called MLO rule. He then applauded the financial reforms that Congressman Pearce, along with several manufactured home industry associations, are promoting.

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When the resale values of older manufactured homes are diminished or cut off due to regulations imposed by the CFPB, then the sale of new homes also suffers. Profits, jobs and opportunities are lost. A  home in McCrory, Arkansas. Credit: Realtor. 

Off the Record…

“…I’m not interested in doing an on-the-record comment on this,” at this time, said a party informed and engaged on industry financing issues, but wishing to avoid the political limelight.  “A point that you might want to make, though, is that Dodd-Frank is not the only significant impediment to access to consumer credit for manufactured home purchases.  There is another major impediment that has helped to distort 80% of the mh consumer financing market and that is the GSEs failure to provide secondary market and securitization support for mh chattel loans.”

That statement on the need for not just Dodd-Frank reform or replacement, but the need to implement the now almost decade-old Duty to Serve (DTS) mandate created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) is one that several industry professionals made in their own words.

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Many public officials are regulating homes they have little or no true understanding about. Photo, Sunset Village, Glenview, IL – credit, MHLivingNews.com. Caption comments by the editor.

Congressman Pearce’s Purpose

New Mexico’s Rep. Pearce said that cutting off access to credit harmed a range of things important to those in his state.  Home ownership, property values, business and jobs were all being harmed.

This [CFPB regulations] resulted in fewer jobs for New Mexicans and less support for our local economies. Along the way, the bureau established guidelines that resulted in banks in Deming being regulated the same way as banks in New York City.”

Pearce noted that he tried the direct approach with the CFPB, to no avail.

IDontThinkThereWasEverMuchHighCostLendingInTheManufacturedHousingMarket-stillcreditCSPAN2--RichardCordrayCFPBdirector-Posted-MHLivingNews-com-

Richard Cordray himself said that there was never much high cost lending in the manufactured housing industry market, still from in an MHLivingNews video, linked here.

I have personally sat down multiple times over the last six years with the head of the CFPB and the chairman of the Federal Reserve to express the damage the bureau’s actions have caused to New Mexico. They just don’t seem to care about the effect on the poor, rural areas and the weight of their regulations. For these reasons, I’ve joined Chairman (Rep. Jeb) Hensarling, R-Texas, of the House Financial Services Committee to pass the CHOICE Act, repealing many of the ways that the bureau flagrantly ruins the hopes and dreams of those who financially struggle,” the New Mexico congressman said.

Pearce concludes, “It is my aim to see that even the most economically fragile in New Mexico have the opportunity and resources to earn their way to success.” ##

(The congressman’s full comments, as published, are linked here, as a download. Note, this column drew extensive comments from those quoted above, which MHProNews plans to publish in full in the days ahead.)

(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 on MHProNews.com.

City Council Tables Manufactured Home Ordinance, Industry Pro Speaks Out

December 9th, 2016 Comments off
CityCouncilTablesMHOrdinanceIndustryProSpeaksOutcredit-StuttgartDailyLeader-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Stuttgart Daily Leader.

The Stuttgart, Arkansas City Council voted to table Ordinance 1943 during a December 6th meeting. While the feeling is that more clarity is needed, the stakes could be incredibly high.

The Stuttgart Daily Leader reports that the proposed ordinance, recommended by the Stuttgart Planning Commission, would amend the code to read that a manufactured home is defined as “a detached dwelling unit factory built in the United States to the HUD Title 6 construction standards, which took effect June 15, 1976 bearing a red HUD certification label or its successor label on the outside of the dwelling.

Other identifying factors of a manufactured home include a HUD data plate affixed inside the dwelling on or near the main electrical breaker box, or other readily visible location and/or a permanent chassis. Any factory built dwelling containing the HUD certification label or its successor label on the outside of the dwelling can only be classified as a manufactured home.

HUD Label

HUD Label.

For modular homes, they would be defined as “a factory assembled or prefabricated detached dwelling unit built and conforming to local and state codes for the City of Stuttgart, other than the manufactured home construction standards as set forth in the manufactured home definition herein, consisting of two or more modules designed for permanent attachment to make one dwelling. Other identifying factors of a modular home include a removable chassis frame.

The call for clarity was raised by the planning commission due to a number of discussions regarding a manufactured home that was placed in a zone where manufactured homes are not currently allowed by local officials.

There’s nothing that can be done about that home,” said Alderman Joe Rhine. “The new definitions would prevent a similar incident.

I think it needs some more clarity,” said Alderman Teddy Holt.

A Different View

CityCouncilTablesMHOrdinanceIndustryProSpeaksOutcredit-StuttgartDailyLeader2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Stuttgart Daily Leader, MHProNews.

This action by the city – like most others we encounter – is a reaction to the response of residents to a factory-built home being placed in a residential zone,” said J.D. Harper, Executive Director of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA).

City officials look at the placement of the home as a mistake – something that should be remedied and not allowed to happen again – rather than as the right of a resident to exercise his/her housing choice on land that is zoned for single-family housing.”

KitchenDining-Sunshine_Home-ManufacturedHomes-PostedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Homes like this are among those that the City of Stuttgart is seeking to restrict. Photo credit, Sunshine Homes and ManufacturedHomes.com.

To rephrase, what Harper is saying is that Stuttgart is trying to use definitions as a tool to effect NIMBY.

In a detailed, exclusive to MHProNews, Harper suggests that HUD is the ultimate source of this growing issue.

With 500 cities and incorporated towns in Arkansas – it is increasingly difficult for a one-person staff to keep up with all of the ordinances and regulations being enforced by local governments,” Harper said.

CityCouncilTablesMHOrdinanceIndustryProSpeaksOutcredit-mhpronews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: MHProNews.

The AMHA is currently a one-person office.  That one is J.D. Harper.

He pointed out the challenges and opportunities, as well as how manufactured homes are viewed by local cities and towns in their state.

While Arkansas does have a law that prohibits cities from banning manufactured homes or restricting their placement to only leased-land in parks or communities – most 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 is far from alone in stating his concerns.

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

Earlier this year, in an exclusive to MHLivingNews, 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.”

Texas retailer Gary Adamak thinks the zoning issue is bigger and more harmful than the challenges caused by the Dodd-Frank act. Describing battles with cities and

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More of Gary Adamek’s and other’s comments can the NIMBY war can be found at the link here.

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.”

It’s a place where people have birthdays, Christmas, they raise their kids. It’s not a manufactured house — it’s a home,” said Scott Cannon, national sales manager of a Clayton Homes manufacturing facility in Waco, TX.

Or as Diane Mack said about her new manufactured home and land, I want my own property where I can raise my grandkids like I was raised.

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,” Harper’s said.  His full commentary is linked here.

The Stuttgart council voted to table the ordinance until the Dec. 20 meeting, to receive clarity from the Planning Commission on definitions.

The Daily Business News has covered this growing issue, including federal preemption to allow a manufactured home to be sited. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Arkansas MHA’s ‘GET THE FACTS’ Video Series Completed

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off
AMHAsGetTheFactsManuFACTuredHousing-creditAMHApostedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-

NOTE: if you hear sounds coming on, scroll down to the FEMA manufactured housing report, and push PAUSE on the video. Sorry, but that video only offered an autoplay function. MHProNews produced videos do not do that…image credit above, AMHA video still.

JD Harper, Executive Director of the Little Rock based Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association has told the Daily Business News  that, “Our organization has been working on a series of short videos to address common myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that many potential homebuyers have about the quality, value and safety of manufactured homes.

Harper added that he’s announcing the launch of those videos, which will be featured on MHProNews as a featured article in our September issue.

The September Featured Articles – and videos – will be published and ‘go live’ on the MHProNews home page Saturday evening, Sept 3rd.  Update: Link to the AMHA videos is here.

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

Says Harper, “I hope that you enjoy the results of the project.” ##

(Image credit at top, still from AMHA’s video.)

l-a-tony-kovach-daily-business-news-mhpronews-

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

(Editor’s Note: As the insightful report today by Joe Dyton reflects, MHProNews is welcoming periodic guest writers. ICYMI, Matthew Silver is taking some much needed and well-earned time off, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach will be helping fill the Daily Business News role in the interim).

Article submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.com.