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“RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW TO MANUFACTURED HOUSING REGULATION” – MH Leader Call to Action

July 10th, 2018 No comments

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The rule of law, and the supremacy of law over the arbitrary whims of individuals who happen to wield government power, was a profound concern for the founders who debated and developed the Constitution of the United States. For over two centuries, legal scholars have pointed to the primacy of the “rule of law” in the system of limited government and defined powers established by the Constitution, stating, for example: “The rule of law may be the most significant and influential accomplishment of Western constitutional thinking. The very meaning and structure of our Constitution embody this principle. Nowhere expressed yet evident throughout the Constitution, this bedrock concept is the first principle on which the American legal and political system was built.”

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

 

 

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFor too long, though, the rule of law, as envisioned by the nation’s founders, has been undermined, ignored, or bypassed by the so-called “Fourth Branch” of government – the permanent, overgrown and largely unaccountable bureaucracy that has ballooned within the federal government, often in concert with overpaid and largely unaccountable government contractors,” said Weiss in a MHARR release to the Daily Business News. 

While this is a major socio-political issue with ramifications that extend far beyond the scope of this column, federally-regulated manufactured housing faces challenges of its own regarding the rule of law, and with a new Administration – with a new regulatory philosophy — now in place, there is no time like the present to clearly address this issue within the unique context of manufactured housing regulation,” said Weiss.

In the manufactured housing arena, the most fundamental expression of the primacy of the rule of law is the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000,” Weiss said

It’s a theme that MHARR, and editorially MHProNews, have held for years. 

Indeed, the 2000 reform law is a direct outgrowth of – and a direct congressional response to and remedy for – administrative abuses that had piled-up within the federal manufactured housing program over the first quarter-century of its existence. These included, but by no means were limited to:

 

(1) de facto rulemaking by “interpretation;”

(2) circumventing, evading, or ignoring notice and comment requirements;

(3) abuses of the “Interpretive Bulletin” process;

(4) closed-door standards development activity;

(5) non-consensus standards development;

(6) contracting abuses resulting in a non-competitive, de facto “sole-source” program monitoring contract, the same monitoring contractor for the (now) entire 40-year-plus history of the program, and the delegation of governmental power to an unaccountable private entity; and

(7) activity to subvert the operation and objectivity of the former Manufactured Housing Advisory Council, and a host of other actions that undermined the basic fairness, reasonableness and, ultimately, legitimacy of the federal manufactured housing program.   

Weiss, an attorney known for being detail-oriented, got into the weeds in his analysis. 

He also commented on the “Deep State” style “subversion” of the HUD Code program. 

Just as importantly, through nearly every step of this decade-plus subversion of the 2000 reform law, “deep state” regulators at HUD have been aided and abetted by “institutional” program contractors – i.e., de facto sole-source contractors, such as the program monitoring contractor – which constitute a “deep state” of their very own, wielding unlawfully-delegated and largely unaccountable governmental power, together with a built-in incentive to continually expand both the scope and cost of regulation, thereby increasing their own power and influence and, not surprisingly, their contract revenues,” stated Weiss, adding that “This needless regulatory expansion, in itself, has excluded hundreds-of-thousands of Americans from the benefits of manufactured home ownership, based on studies conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and has unnecessarily slowed and stunted the industry’s recovery from its modern production low in 2009, disproportionately harming smaller industry businesses.  Nor does the industry itself escape part of the blame for this activity, as far too many of its largest corporate conglomerates – and their representatives — have provided protection and “cover” for the HUD status quo and program “leaders” who have gone to extraordinary lengths to undermine the most important elements of the 2000 reform law.” 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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The change in presidential administrations, however, has opened the door to potential remedies for this fundamentally lawless regulatory activity. In particular, the Trump Administration’s “top-to-bottom” review of HUD’s manufactured housing regulations and “regulatory activities,” under Executive Orders 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) and 13777 (“Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”) provides a viable basis for action to repeal both the 2010 HUD interpretive rule and the slew of “field guidance” and other sub-regulatory mandates issued by HUD based on the Department’s unlawful construction of section 604(b)(6),” wrote Weiss.    

And indeed, MHARR in its February 20, 2018 regulatory review comments to HUD, specifically urged the program to return to the rule of law, through the withdrawal of the 2010 interpretive rule and all of the program’s sub-regulatory mandates issued without MHCC consideration and notice and comment rulemaking.” 

This effort…received a major boost when the U.S. Department of Justice notified federal agencies, through memoranda issued on November 16, 2017 and January 25, 2018 that it would no longer enforce administrative “guidance” documents issued without notice and comment rulemaking.  In part, the Justice Department stated: “Guidance documents cannot create biding requirements that do not already exist by statute or regulation.  Accordingly … the [Justice] Department may not use its enforcement authority to effectively convert agency guidance documents into binding rules.  Likewise, Department litigators may not use noncompliance with guidance documents as a basis for proving violations of applicable law…” said MHARR’s president.

For the full, unedited MHARR release, please click here. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Dog Whistles, as Epic Battle for Business Effecting Manufactured Housing, Others Looms

July 10th, 2018 No comments

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As Campus Reform humorously pointed out, the battle over the next nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States began almost immediately after the announcement that Justice Anthony “Tony” Kennedy would retire.

 

While the manufactured home industry veteran did not mention SCOTUS or the vacancy, in what reads like an anticipatory statement, Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said in a new article that it is time for a return to the rule of law, as it applies to manufactured housing. See that, linked here.

If certainty is an important issue for business and investing – and investors routinely tell MHProNews that it is – then dependability from the courts is a crucial issue for manufactured housing, and all others too.

Much of what has occurred in transforming American business and the legal landscape in recent decades has come from political and legal changes that flowed from Washington, D.C.

So like it or not, these issues matter to MHVille.

 

Increased Certainty for Business?

It is against a backdrop of certainty for business – rather than red herring issues like abortion, which even if someday it would be overturned, it would simply go back to the states – that this Daily Business News post examines the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  He stated last night that “A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

That is the essence of what certainty is. That a law means what it says, and thus provides certainty for business and all others. The rest are details and commentary.

Showing off their sometimes-subtle whit, right wing Breitbart – which provided some of the pull quotes used here – shared a video from left wing MSNBC to show their readers what Judge Kavanaugh had to say in his 8 minutes of initial fame. Our video will be from CSPAN.

 

 

Kavanaugh was a Bush Administration appointee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on May 30, 2006, per federal records.

Kavanaugh said, “The framers established that the Constitution is designed to secure the blessings of liberty. Justice Kennedy devoted his career to securing liberty. I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the Supreme Court.”

The D.C. judge later added some of the most important talking points that will doubtlessly come up during his confirmation process, “My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent. For the past 11 years, I’ve taught hundreds of students, primarily at Harvard Law School. I teach that the Constitution’s separation of powers protects individual liberty, and I remain grateful to the dean who hired me, Justice Elena Kagan. As a judge, I hire four law clerks each year. I look for the best. My law clerks come from diverse backgrounds and points of view. I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women.”

 

The View from the Oval Office

In a release to the Daily Business News, the White House press room said last night that Kavanaugh was “the best of the best.”

NomineeAssociateJusticeBrettMKavanaughWhiteHouseDailyBusinessMHProNews

 

Campus Reform and Democratic Push Back

Millions will be spent by both major parties and their backers, primarily in battle ground states where Democrats have senators up for re-election this November in ‘red states’ that President Donald J. Trump won in 2016.

 

As MHProNews previously reported, several potential issues are expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming years that will impact manufactured housing. So this business of certainty and following the law and Constitution matters.

The Importance for Businesses and Investors in Manufactured Housing for Selecting the Next Supreme Court Justice

 

The link to MH Industry attorney Kurt Kelley’s exclusive commentary to MHProNews on the importance of the vacant seat is above.

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Related Reports:

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

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Several issues that face manufactured housing are likely to end up at Supreme Court of the United States Certainty matters. See linked download, here.

 

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

June 5th, 2018 Comments off

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In a letter to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform presidents, Jonathan Lawless, Vice President of Fannie Mae advised the two national trade associations of their news “MH Advantage” program for manufactured homes.

 

The opening from the letter from Lawless to the two national trade association CEOs opens as is shown below.

LawlessOpeningtoRichardJennisonMHIMarkWeissPresidentManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews550x505

Click here or below for the entire Fannie Mae letter to MHI and MHARR.

Rephrasing, manufactured homes that don’t fit the program won’t get financing.

The entire letter from Lawless, which was obtained by the Daily Business News, is linked above as a download.

Fannie Mae, as attentive MHProNews readers may recall, has drawn fire for being a member of MHI.

The GSEs have also been called out by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling for lobbying, a charge the federally regulated home finance giant denies.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

A letter published by MHARR leaned into Lawless and Fannie Mae, saying the plan is not acceptable.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews“…the MH Advantage Initiative, both in its underlying concept and premise, is in fundamental conflict with the DTS mandate – and suffers from other fatal defects – which render it wholly unacceptable to MHARR.”

MHARR’s president – an attorney and multi-decade industry veteran – began to carve up the Lawless letter as follows.

In relevant part, your June 4, 2018 letter states: “MH Advantage homes [will] have design features – developed after consultation with a range of manufacturers – more often associated with site-built homes.” (Emphasis added). The purpose of DTS, however, is not to change the fundamental character of HUD-regulated manufactured housing to be more like site-built homes, or to funnel DTS-based financing to higher-cost homes that are not in the mainstream of affordable HUD Code manufactured housing production,” wrote Weiss.

The DTS mandate, rather, as MHARR has noted on multiple occasions, was enacted by Congress as:

(1)  a congressional finding that Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) have not — and still do not — properly serve the manufactured housing market and manufactured housing consumers, despite existing Charter obligations to support homeownership opportunities for very low, low and moderate-income Americans, as well as  

      (2) a remedy for that specific failure.”

Weiss said that the failure of the predecessor to this program, MH Select, completely missed the mark, saying: “As the abject failure of the earlier Fannie Mae “MH Select” program,” saying that no loans had been made under the prior program.  Weiss said, MH Select, “…resulting, according to available information, in exactly zero loans…”

Indeed, the fact that it has taken ten years to get even this far, after decades of failing to serve the manufactured housing market (as determined by Congress), shows that Fannie Mae has no real intent to comply with DTS as established and designed by Congress.”  HERA 2008 is the legislation that established the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing, and after a 10 years, and it is only now that a chattel lending program is being rolled out.

Instead, prejudice, discrimination and outright bias against those prospective homebuyers – who the GSEs were formed to serve and DTS was specifically enacted to serve and benefit – has been the hallmark of Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) policy for decades, leading to the DTS mandate in the first place,” said Weiss.

“…As such, this program does not constitute a legitimate implementation of DTS as much as a diversion, “bait and switch,” and illegitimate end-run around the consumers and policies that DTS was enacted in order to advance,” the Washington, D.C. based MHARR president said.

This circumvention of the purposes and objectives of DTS, moreover, does not even begin to address other significant competition-based concerns regarding the specifics of the MH Advantage Initiative, including compliance criteria that were developed behind closed doors, in closed proceedings accessible only to select participants (as determined by Fannie Mae); and — according to information available to MHARR, onerous energy requirements that have been advanced by the largest industry manufacturers from both a marketing and regulatory perspective, and specifically favor those manufacturers,” Weiss stated, adding, “Nor does any of this even begin to address the possible intersection between the MH Advantage Initiative and a secretive “new class” of manufactured homes being advanced by the same large manufacturers – and their trade organization, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – which supposedly was “well received by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Perhaps to Weiss point, the Fannie Mae website features two photos with their public announcement of the program, both from the company that MHI’s chairman represents.

The “MH Advantage” Initiative, therefore, is less about implementing DTS for its intended beneficiaries than avoiding the type of market-significant securitization and secondary market support for mainstream, affordable manufactured housing that DTS was designed and intended to produce.  As such, it violates DTS and is wholly unacceptable to MHARR.”

 

The View of the Finance Fray from MHProNews…

The Daily Business News warned the industry months ago that the so-called “new class of homes” being promoted by MHI was potentially the latest “trojan horse” from MHI. The articles linked below can be read later, and are provided as a reference and for more details.  But

 

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

 

The Fannie Mae letter should heighten that concern, as those retailers, communities, and producers that don’t participate in a plan tailored to the “big boys” at MHI.

 

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

 

As MHProNews has warned, there are potentially monopolistic implications from these actions.

 

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

Several pending reports related to this topic are on the horizon.  But the bottom line for now is that this move by Fannie Mae may signal yet another attempted end-around by larger MHI member companies aimed at smaller independent ones — and it may be happening with one or both GSEs assistance.

MHProNews has reached out to Fannie and MHI for comment. While there are many possibilities, based upon years of prior disappointments on DTS, this does not look promising. Time will tell, more to come. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Chairman Hensarling, Fannie Mae’s Latest “Backdoor Schemes,” Illegalities? MH Connections, Implications

May 19th, 2018 Comments off

ChairmanJebHensarlingFannieMaeLatestBackdoorSchemesIlelgalitiestManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews 

Late Friday, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said that “high ranking Fannie Mae employees have been intentionally violating their government prohibition on lobbying through a series of secret meetings to remove the failed mortgage giant from federal oversight.”

 

According to Congressman Hensarling’s  statement to the Daily Business News, legal and ethical issues are at play in the latest controversy involving one – or more – of GSEs.

Attentive, long-term Daily Business News readers recall last year the editorial call by MHProNews for transparency, and the release of the minutes from closed door meetings between members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

Neither MHI, nor the GSEs responded to those concerns by releasing said private meeting minutes.

Will Hensarling’s Friday warning prompt the parties to belatedly release their minutes? If not, what are the parties involved hiding?

 

Bloomberg Exposes Concerns

For nearly a decade, a top U.S. housing regulator has restricted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from trying to influence the raging debate over whether they should live or die,” said Bloomberg.

But despite those limits, a top Fannie Mae executive has done just that…Brian Brooks, Fannie’s general counsel, has a specific goal,” per Bloomberg, adding that “Brooks, who has ties to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, wants this done without the involvement of Congress, which has failed since the 2008 financial crisis to come up with a legislative fix for the mortgage giants.”

JebHensarlingChairmanHouseFinancialServicesCommitteR-TXWikiDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

When Fannie Mae went broke, it came begging taxpayers for what has turned out to be $120.836 billion in federal bailouts so far.  As a condition of receiving those funds, Fannie Mae was explicitly prohibited from engaging in “all political activities—including all lobbying,” a prohibition which it is now being reported Fannie has deliberately violated,” Hensarling said.

 

Investigation Launched

If true, this violation is more than an outrage, it is a direct affront on taxpayers and the current structure of the federally-back conservatorship that has allowed Fannie Mae to operate for the last decade.  It is a slap in the face of taxpayers that Fannie Mae thinks it can take their money and blatantly ignore the rules that came with it.  The American people deserve better.  That’s why the Committee will be launching a full investigation into these allegations to identify those responsible and hold them accountable to taxpayers,” per Hensarling’s statement to the Daily Business News.

But we can’t stop there,” the Texas Congressman said. “In order to truly solve the problem of the broken GSE hybrid finance model, Congress must enact sustainable housing finance reform as soon as possible and once and for all get rid of any backdoor attempts to resurrect the old, failed ways of the past.”

Before the crisis, Fannie and Freddie commanded two of the most well-funded lobbying apparatuses in WashingtonBloomberg’s report said on the controversial topic.  “In addition to employing dozens of lobbyists, the companies funneled contributions to nonprofits and think tanks and pressured policy makers to abandon potential regulations or laws the companies thought would constrain them.”

 

Problematic History, Harmed MH and the Nation

Pre-2008 meltdown, Fannie and Freddie generously funded the lobbying of politicos, like then Congressman Barney Frank.   Chuck Schumer is among the names that comes up in the 3 minute 12 second video below, defending the GSEs as being safe and sound.

Congressman Frank and others returned the lobbying dollars from the GSEs with the favor of protection from calls to reform the mortgage giants.  Those lawmakers did so by delaying actions that could have mitigated – or perhaps avoid –  the meltdown that some warned were coming.

The video clip below is a reminder of the now-all-too-often forgotten history.

 

Depending upon how “lobbying” is defined, Fannie Mae could be in violation of lobbying with respect to the  manufactured housing industry.

How so?

Because Fannie is a member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), a trade group that does lobbying.

That MHI membership would appear on its face to be a conflict of interest for all involved.

Why?

Because if MHI is doing its job properly, it should have declined Fannie’s membership, to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

There could be ethical, and/or legal issues involved in the Fannie/MHI membership matter.

For instance, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) president and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, has said that ‘every day that the GSEs don’t robustly provide chattel and other lending under their Duty to Serve mandate to manufactured housing is a gift to Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured housing lenders.’

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There is more involved in this developing controversy. Those related issues will be part of an upcoming Daily Business News report.

Stay tuned. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

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Who will replace Pam Danner at HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs?

May 17th, 2018 Comments off
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Photo credits are as shown, plus Vic DeRose photo from his law firm, Teresa Payne photo from Manufactured Home Living News, with Payne’s hands above and below the red HUD label on a manufactured home.

The Daily Business News can report that there are multiple candidates for the position vacated by the removal of Pam Danner at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).

 

According to the HUD website, the Mission of “The Office of Manufactured Housing Programs executes responsible regulation and solutions-oriented oversight and monitoring to protect consumers and preserve and promote the affordability, quality, durability, and safety of manufactured homes.  This office also provides technical assistance to Federal Housing Administration programs.”

The one candidate we are able to publicly name at this time is Vic DeRose.

At one point prior to Danner’s selection, DeRose was the “consensus candidate” openly advocated for by both national associations: the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

MHARR still supports DeRose, while MHI is characteristically mum on the topic, at least in public.

VictorAnthonyDeRoseDeRoseLawFirmVicDeRosePhotoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

As an attorney with a deep background in manufactured housing, DeRose would bring several useful experiences to the table at HUD. He is liked and respected, per industry sources.

Stating one or more names of others who are seeking the job of administrator over OMHP, or who are being promoted for the position by various interests, would de facto tend to reveal the source(s) for the information.

That said, it is fair to say that there is significant weight that could be thrown behind an alternative candidate to De Rose.

MHProNews know De Rose by reputation, including his deep family ties to the industry.

Industry sources tell MHProNews that De Rose comes highly recommended by those who know him.

 

The Word From HUD

The word heard from the halls at HUD is that no quick decision is going to be made to replace Danner.

As has been previously reported, Teresa Payne is temporarily in charge of the program there. HUD is still officially reviewing the input from public comments to HUD about the MH Program, requested earlier this year.

OfficeofManufacturedHousingProgramsTeresaPayneIshbelDIckensPamelaBeckDannerHUD-ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While De Rose, per our sources, would be a far better leader for the program – especially when compared to what was widely seen by industry professionals as the disastrous years under Danner – sources say it is far from certain that he will get the nod.

What is sure is that the Danner years – which Secretary Carson may have had in mind when he called some of the regulations over manufactured housing “ridiculous” – should serve as a reminder to the industry of just how problematic it is to have the wrong person in that critical role.

MHProNews will continue to monitor the developing situation. Some related back stories regarding Danner are found or linked in the report below. ##  (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Exclusive – HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program Administrator Pam Danner, Update

 

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U.S. Housing Trends and Manufactured Housing, Investor Data

April 19th, 2018 Comments off

USHousingTrendsandManufacturedHousingInvestorDataUMHDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Publicly traded companies often prepare graphically rich, and insight laden information in their investor relations (IR) presentations.

 

This snapshot here is from UMH Properties (UMH) latest IR presentation.

FavorableUSHousingTrendsManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

UMH is one of the largest community operators in the U.S. They are identified as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in the manufactured home community (MHC) space.

UMHPropertiesManufacturedHomeCommunityInvestorPresentationManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

UMH also operate some retail centers, which their president Sam Landy, JD, mentions as underperforming in video interviews conducted last year. Those videos with their CEO are linked below.

UMHPropertiesCompanyGrowthChartManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsUMHPropertiesBalanceSheetMetricsChartManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTheir latest presentation presents some information that is intended to highlight the opportunities and appeal of manufactured homes in the current economic and housing climate.

UMHPropertiesPorfolioGrowthChartManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsUMHPropertiesPaceofAquisitionsManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

UMH’s presentation naturally provides reasons why they believe that they’re particularly well suited for an investor to consider.

UMHPropertiesFinancialHighlightsManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsUMHPropertiesSalesFinanceManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It should be noted, as a disclosure, that the Daily Business News’ parent company and owners hold no stock in any manufactured home operation.

UMHPropertiesLoanPortfolioManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsUMHPropertiesSamePropertyNetOperatingIncomeManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There is steady growth in recovery of the industry, as the charts below reflects.

2008to2017HUDCodeManufacturedHomeProductionTotalsMHARRManufacturedHousingAssocReglatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsFEMAManufacturedHomesNotMobileHomesTrailersIndustryResearchReportsDataMHProNews

Credits, MHI, Cavco.

But the realities about manufactured housing indeed should reveal reasons why the industry ought to be roaring.

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

UMHPropertiesValueAddedAquistionsManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryInvestorRelationsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsUMHPropertiesstreetViewManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

RVs are outselling manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. Yet, even the lowest cost towable RVs are costlier per square foot than a typical manufactured home.  RVs are a luxury item for most, while manufactured homes are a permanent housing option.

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

The new 2018 Up for Growth study reveals just a great the need is for new homes. For more on that, and the realities of why manufactured housing has not yet robustly tapped those new home sales opportunities, click the related report, linked above. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

Sun Communities Annual Data and Manufactured Housing Industry Investor Presentation Highlights

Investors’ View of Manufactured Housing Industry Production & Retail – Cavco Industries (CVCO)

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“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

April 4th, 2018 Comments off
MoveOpenLiveThomTillisMobileHomeComments

A Detroiter model mobile home with a “bump out.”

When U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) spoke at an oversight hearing with HUD Secretary Ben Carson about a “mobile home” with a “bump out,” likely few understood just how keen an insight that statement was.

 

Back in the pre-HUD Code days of the factory-built home industry – prior to June 15, 1976 – there were mobile home models that had “pull outs,” “expando room” or “bump outs.”  It is likely that Tillis’ personal experience with that which prompted his timely “walk down memory lane.”

Consider those mobile home era “bump outs” as similar to the slide outs found in RVs, only in mobile homes, they were routinely larger.

Bump outs, slide outs, and ”tip outs” existed in the early manufactured home era too.  But they were largely supplanted by the advent of multi-sectional so-called “double-wides” and “triple-wides.”

ClassicDeRoseIndustriesMobileHomeManufactruredHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

The images of classic ads and reports above and below, all found on Pinterest and are sourced as noted.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

These images provide several insights relevant to the manufactured housing industry today. Consider these bullets:

DoubleDeckerMobileHome10WideVintagePrincessOldMobileHomesTrailManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews422GoBigTrotwoodResdientialMobileHomesWithBumpOutSlideOutClassicMobileHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews412x1517

  • Mobile homes – housing units on frames built prior to June 15, 2976 – were statistically more accepted then than manufactured homes are today. There’s an open question on why, which the Urban Institute, this publication and others have asked (for more on UI, and that question, click the related reports, below.)
  • Mobile homes had greater diversity than there is found in manufactured homes today.
  • Mobile homes had more manufacturers by far than there are found in the manufactured home industry today.
  • Mobile home leaders organized and promoted the creation of the HUD Code, following highly public scandals with substandard homes built by a few producers that quality builders didn’t want to be associated with. The HUD Code grew out of a desire to set construction standards, safety and energy standards for manufactured homes that would give consumers confidence, while avoiding the placement hassles that have sadly become so common today.

The history of the mobile home and manufactured home (MH) industry is fading, and that is problematic.

Because without an accurate industry history, a complete understanding of just how important this type of housing used to be, and how it helped create affordability then – and could again today – holds valuable insights.

Prior to the HUD Code, HUD studied factory home building – “industrialized housing” – with enthusiasm. What happened to that enthusiasm since the creation of the HUD Code?

Will Secretary Carson – who praised HUD Code manufactured homes when Senator Tillis’ question promoted a response – fuel a rebirth of that embrace by HUD of reasonable regulations that help promote practical housing solutions?

How many in government – or industry – today realize that when the industry had a wealth of producers, there were also a far wider variety of styles, types, innovations and models that industry contraction has arguably practically cut off?

More such factory home producers also yielded more acceptance, because each producer were naturally marketing their product, as the story and ads reflect.

 

About De Rose – It’s Worth Noting…

Vic De Rose, an attorney who was jointly recommended by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is from the family whose name the De Rose Industries of yesteryear recalls.   De Rose has insights on factory-home building that the vast majority of the population – including most regulators – do not have.

The De Rose ad touts the message, “Move. Open. Live.”  It’s quality, affordable housing in a hurry, as popular performer and manufactured home owner Kid Rock observed in an interview last year.

SenatorJoeDonnellySupportVicDeRoseJDManufacturedHouisngIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsVictorAnthonyDeRoseDeRoseLawFirmPhotoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

HUD has been silent on the subject of who is going to replace Pam Danner.  There is speculation that an announcement could take place later this month. If that’s so, it may be a troubling signal for the industry if it takes place in conjunction with a planned appearance by Secretary Carson with MHI’s Las Vegas event.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

Related Reports:

HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Senator Thom Tillis Discuss Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes, Video

“Po-Dunk” Performer Kid Rock, Eyes Senate Run, Makes Manufactured Home Living Hip

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

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

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Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

March 28th, 2018 Comments off

ResultsFromManufacturedHousingIndustryLeadership

The column below could carry a sub-title – proven results vs. hype and hot air. Every organization worth its salt takes a periodic victory lap.  The same occurs in manufactured housing.

 

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has periodically claimed or hinted that under their “leadership” on issues that they originally often had a different position on.  Perhaps as a response to MHI, or as a victory lap – or both – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) laid out some facts in a new, detailed statement today.  They point to the time line and documents that prove their nettlesome points.

In a new MHARR Issues and Perspectives, Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Washington, D.C. based trade organization does what he’s done several times before.

MHARRIssuesPerspectivesMHARRleadershipProducesResultsForIndustry

Weiss painstakingly lays out one fact after another.  Those facts could prove embarrassing for their rivals across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA.

While the Daily Business News will make a modest technical correction on part of MHARR’s statement, the thrust of their positions are not easy to contest, as an anticipated silence from MHI on MHARR’s claims will aptly demonstrate.

Will Trump Administration officials take note of what follows?

 

Leadership Strategy Backdrop

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR, as an organization, has always been tasked with being a leader on the issues it addresses. Established by industry pioneers in 1985, MHARR was not designed, and was never intended to be, a status quo organization given to complacency, pulling punches, or “going along” with regulators, industry detractors, or anyone else. It was formed, instead, to be an aggressive fighting force on behalf of manufactured housing industry businesses,” said MHARR in their latest Issues and Perspectives.

MHARR’s primary “objective,” from day-one, as its Charter attests, has been to “oppose abusive [regulatory] practices.” In pursuing this mission, MHARR’s principal focus has always been the federal manufactured housing regulatory program. But the HUD program is not, and never has been, MHARR’s sole focus, as government activity (or inactivity) in other areas, such as consumer financing, placement and development issues, and others, have had – and continue to have – a significant (negative) impact on the industry and especially its smaller businesses,” said the Washington, D.C. based trade association that represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

Leadership Results for Manufactured Housing Laid Out Step-by-Step

While the fight to protect, defend and advance the HUD Code industry took a major step forward with the enactment of the landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, the years that followed, and particularly the eight years of the Obama Administration, were difficult, as HUD was able – sometimes with the tacit support of some in the industry – to evade, distort, or ignore major statutory reforms, including:

(1) the requirement for an appointed, non-career program administrator;

(2) mandatory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) review of all proposed standards, regulations, interpretations and other changes to HUD policies, procedures and practices;

(3) the requirement for “separate and independent” contractors;

(4) limitations on the scope and nature of “monitoring;”

(5) enhanced federal preemption; and

(6) the absence of full and fair competition for program contracts, as exemplified by the 40-year-plus program “monitoring” contractor, among other things,” said Weiss.

Very early in 2016, however, and well prior to the election of President Trump, MHARR began to recognize – based on painstaking evaluation and analysis of the President’s specific campaign positions – that there would be an unprecedented opportunity under a Trump Administration to change the focus, direction and leadership of the federal manufactured housing program based on the letter and intent of the 2000 reform law, to stop excessive or unreasonable regulations (and regulatory “interpretations”), and to roll-back other aspects of federal regulation that needlessly increase the cost of manufactured housing while doing little or nothing for consumers. Now, slightly more than a year later, with the 2016 election having made MHARR’s recognition of this opportunity and its corresponding plan of action a reality, the results of that plan of action can be assessed,” said Weiss.

 

MHARR, OBJECTIVE:  REASSIGN AND REPLACE HUD PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

MHARR, immediately upon the election of president Trump – and alone within the industry – publicly called for the re-assignment and replacement of HUD manufactured housing program administrator Pamela Danner. In a December 1, 2016 communication to Vice President-Elect Pence (heading the Administration’s transition team), MHARR formally sought the reassignment of Ms. Danner and the appointment of a new non-career program administrator. MHARR explained at the time, “[T]he appointment of a non-career manufactured housing program administrator – in accordance with the 2000 reform law and, just as importantly, the policy perspectives of the President-Elect — is essential to revitalize this program, ensure the full and proper implementation of the 2000 reform law, and re-energize an industry which has suffered unprecedented production declines over the past decade-plus,” MHARR told the Daily Business News.

 

Here, a nuanced distinction that corrects MHARR statement above ought to be pointed out. MHARR was ‘alone’ among industry trade associations, but MHProNews was out in front on supporting candidate Trump, as the Google search result below reflects.

12ReasonsEducatedIranianAmericanWomanSupportsDonaldTrumpPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews954x846

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative, and pro-Trump websites.

Dozens of articles were published by the Daily Business News during the 2016 cycle that demonstrated why the Berkshire Hathaway chairman favored Hillary Clinton was the wrong choice for the industry, while the policy positions of candidate Donald J. Trump appeared to be the correct choice.

While MHI didn’t formally take a pro-Clinton endorsement, they did the next closest thing just days before the election.

MHI put not one, but two paid speakers on their platform in Chicago who were pro-Clinton as part of their talks.

In MHI’s presentation to members at that same meeting, MHI’s staff ‘experts’ incorrectly explained why one or both sides of Congress would likely also be lost to Democratic control.  MHI has never contested these MHProNews allegations, perhaps because they know that the their were too many witnesses, and too much evidence to the contrary.

So while MHI claimed to be working to mitigate Dodd-Frank related issues, the chairman of their most influential member – Warren Buffett – loudly and proudly proclaimed support for Secretary Clinton.  Inconsistency, anyone?

IBTInternationalBusinessTimesWarrenBuffettHillaryClintonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstituteSeniorVPLogoMHIlogoQuoteMHProNews

MHI has attempted to ignore or brush off the clearly contradictory facts that Buffett led Berkshire brands Clayton, 21st and Vanderbilt claimed to be working to mitigate Dodd-Frank, while Buffett himself supported President Obama and Secretary Clinton.  Both POTUS Obama and Clinton opposed any changes to the Dodd-Frank law and CFPB regulations of it. The reality is that Buffett’s brands benefited, directly and/or indirectly, whether or not Preserving Access passed, or not. Buffett has said he counts on people not studying history, while he does his own reading, and research, which includes history.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

With those distinctions made, returning to Weiss’ points.

MHARR reiterated the urgent need – and necessity for – the appointment of a new, non-career program administrator once again on December 6, 2016, and subsequently raised this matter in every interaction it had with Trump Administration officials at HUD. Others in the industry, by contrast, were publicly silent on this desperately-needed change through most of 2017,” wrote Weiss.

As a result of MHARR’s public leadership on this matter from the outset, the prior manufactured housing program administrator, as announced by HUD in late 2017, was re-assigned within the HUD Office of Single-Family Housing, and replaced on an interim basis by the program’s Deputy Administrator, with further action pending on a permanent replacement,” said the MHARR op-ed.

While this initial result is consistent with MHARR’s goals, it could have been achieved much earlier if MHARR’s public call for a new administrator had been supported by the rest of the industry” i.e. a veiled reference to MHI. “Nevertheless, as this process plays-out, MHARR will continue to seek the appointment of a qualified and appropriate non-career program administrator.”

MHARR’s step-by-step narrative then laid out how their organization, which has a fraction of MHI’s budget or staff, took the following positions which were successfully accomplished, while MHI in each case took the wrong position and/or came “late to the dance.”

  • OBJECTIVE: FREEZE, REVIEW AND REFORM HUD REGULATIONS
  • OBJECTIVE:  WITHDRAWAL OF THE PROPOSED DOE “ENERGY” RULE
  • OBJECTIVE: FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE “DUTY TO SERVE”

The full write up by Weiss via the latest MHARR issues and Perspectives, which lays out the facts behind those three key bulletted advances for manufactured housing, is linked here.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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

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MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

December 19th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRLogoDeptOfEnergyLogoPushbackDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWashington, D.C. – The proposed rule to implement manufactured housing “energy” standards, published by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on June 17, 2016 and consistently opposed by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in every phase of its development the only national manufactured housing industry trade organization to do so has been downgraded to the status of an inactiverulemaking in the latest update of the Federal Semiannual Regulatory Agenda (SRA), released on December 14, 2017,” MHARR told the Daily Business News via a release.

The proposed rule, which emerged from a tainted, illegitimate and scandalous negotiatedrulemaking process at DOE, and would have added $6,000.00 or more to the retail cost of a new double-section HUD Code manufactured home, was initially downgraded to a long-termregulatory action by the Trump Administration in the Spring 2017 SRA, meaning that a final rule would not be published for at least 12 months following the publication of that SRA,” said the MHARR release.

Its re-designation now, to inactivestatus, means, at a minimum, that the rulemaking has been removed from any active development or timeframe and could indicate that the proposed rule will ultimately be withdrawn by DOE in its current form,” the Washington, D.C. based trade association stated.

Regular Daily Business News readers may recall the documented “flip-flop” of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on the now-stalled energy rule, see the previous report, linked below.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

MHI was initially promoting the DOE Rule, and did so for some time, before their pivot.  Per the NAHB’s “Priced Out” study data, that could have cut over a million potential buyers out of the manufactured home market, and the potential for home ownership.

NAHB Report – High Cost of Regulations Impact Housing – and Manufactured Housing

Because consumers can already order Energy Star™ or upgraded energy-saving homes, what the DOE rule did was limit consumer choices, besides the potential loss of ownership opportunities.  Thus, the proposed DOE rule harmed consumers, as well as the retailers, communities, lenders, insurers, and others that serve them.

How is that consistent with prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith’s call for the Arlington-based organization to be pro-active, vs. reactive?


Documented Pushback, Resistance Paying Off

Perhaps anticipating an MHI claim for a win that they didn’t achieve – and for some time, worked against – MHARR points to the evidence that they the lone hold-out on the once-MHI promoted regulation.

MHARR has been a vocal and consistent opponent of the DOE proposed “energy” rule, casting the only “no” vote against that proposal (supported in the Working Group by the Manufactured Housing Institute) as a member of the DOE Manufactured Housing Working Group. MHARR later submitted comprehensive 35-page written comments opposing the proposed rule, which extensively detailed not only its extreme cost and expected devastating impact on the manufactured housing industry and American consumers of affordable housing likely eliminating millions of Americans from the manufactured housing market and from home ownership altogether — but also the scandalous process at DOE that led to its development and DOEs failure to fully-quantify the expected costs of the rule by omitting anticipated testing, inspection and enforcement expenses,” said MHARR.

The Digital Journal documented earlier this year the next part of MHARR’s efforts and contentions.

 

Per their statement to MHProNews,MHARR also encouraged the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to submit comments on the proposed rule, which it did, joining with MHARR in highlighting its extremely negative implications for the smaller businesses that comprise the traditional core of the manufactured housing industry.  Highly critical opposition comments citing MHARR in part — were also filed by the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center.”

Comments Period

MHProNews documented the following for industry readers and investors last summer.

Following the conclusion of the official regulatory comment period on the proposed rule, MHARR submitted additional written comments calling for its rejection and/or retraction based on: (1) the Trump Administrations official disavowal and rejection of the Obama Administration’s “Social Cost of Carbon(SCC) construct, which was used to inflate the alleged “benefits” of the proposed rule; (2) the Trump Administrations disavowal of the Paris Climate Accord,which formed part of the policy basis for the proposed rule; and (3) the regulatory reform mandates set forth in Trump Administration Executive Orders (EO) 13771 and 13777,” per the MHARR statement.

MHARR Reminds the Industry that this DOE Proposed Rule Battle Isn’t Over, Yet…

While not conclusive yet, the successive designation of the proposed “energy” rule as a long term actionand now an inactiveproceeding could indicate that the new Trump Administration leadership at DOE is cognizant of the many fatal substantive and procedural flaws inherent in the June 17, 2016 proposed rule, and will not proceed to finalize that rule as currently constituted,” said MHARR.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss stated: “The DOE proposed manufactured housing energy rule was and is a paradigm example of destructive government regulatory overreach in the service of an ideological agenda rather than the people who the federal government was elected to serve.”

Weiss continued, saying, “Indeed, as the Trump Administration seems to realize, this outrageous one-size-fits-all mandate would eliminate all of the known, recognized and significant benefits of home-ownership for millions of Americans who would be priced out of the market for the nations most affordable homeownership resource by this needless and destructive rule.  Having gone this far, the Trump Administration should officially disavow this proposed rule and allow consumers the freedom of choice that results from free markets and robust competition.”

Analysis

By way of analysis, MHARR’s release seems to have several purposes.

1)    Remind readers that MHARR took a consistent, and principled, approach to the DOE Energy rule, and that it was MHI that flip-flopped.

2)    That though they have a smaller budget and staff, they lined up relevant and respeted third party supporters for their position, which is paying off.

3)    They are calling on the Trump Adminstration to complete the job by killing the rule altogether, which would be consistent with the Adminstration’s stated philopophy and approach.

About MHARR

Some in the industry’s commentary arena have not yet clearly stated that MHARR and MHI are two different types of organizations.

MHARR states their mission and purpose in their own words,  “The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.”

Meaning, MHARR is an independent production-focused organization.  Efforts like this one reflect the fact that MHARR does achieve success by using a consistent, principled, fact-based approach.  Over time on this DOE issue, they de-facto bent MHI to their will.

Pushback pays off.

By contrast, as the Daily Business News has noted on several occasions, MHI is an umbrella organization that claims to represent both production and post-production (meaning, those operations that don’t build –  after-production or “post production“ – manufactured home businesses, such as retailers, communities, lenders and other service providers).

The Arlington-based MHI has periodically sent what several industry members have alleged are half-truths, spin, or outright deception.  Why?

Manufactured Housing Institute Outgoing Chair Tim William’s Remarks vs. MHI CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison Comments, Fact Checks

MHI’s positions tend to benefit the largest members, even if they fail to achieve their stated goal, because failure leads over time to more consolidation.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

 

The original MHARR release is linked here. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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Small Business Legalese, Restrictive Contracts to Protect Company Information, 2 Minute Video Tips

November 22nd, 2017 Comments off

BethMilitoSrCounselNFIBSmallBusinessLegalCenterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTrade associations often provide a variety of services, such as discount offers, to their members.

In the case of manufactured housing, you also have the group’s lobbying and advocacy activities.

But with most state associations limited to a few hundred companies, beyond the basics of an annual meeting, networking, some education, etc., it’s difficult for a state association to afford to do more.

Beyond what state associations do for industry professionals, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) may provide other options to leverage the influence of an organization of some 325,000 members, several hundred of home are in factory built housing.

The NFIB has been a strong and effective advocate on issues that impact businesses, such as tax reform. VP Mike Pence, is among the Trump Administration officials who have shown their open ears and minds to NFIB in substantive ways.

NFIB’s Juanita Duggan Cheers, Leads, Explains Why on Tax Reform for American Businesses

Part of what those dues dollars yields are how to videos and tips, like the one shown in this post on protecting company secrets.

These legal tips are less than 2 minutes, and may prove useful to many industry companies. Sr. Counsel Beth Milito, JD, provides this introduction to tips for protecting your companies confidential information.

Because the video offers generic tips in under 2 minutes, thoughts or ideas you pick up from this video should be double-checked with a legal expert in your market.  © ## (News, tips, and commentary.)

National Association Related.

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

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