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Manufactured Housing’s Professional Credibility

May 8th, 2019 No comments

 

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To understand the relatively low level of manufactured home production, one needs to consider a variety of factors. Let’s oversimplify. Before looking at credibility, let’s consider what it takes to sell a home.

 

 

  • Placement. That includes zoning or other barriers, and how to overcome challenges.
  • Financing. It must be accessible, sustainable, and reasonable. That’s needed for any big ticket item.
  • Demand. To have demand for any product or service, one must have sufficient credibility and acceptance.

 

There are scores of other details, but those are near the bull’s eye. Now, let’s step back and examine some specific cases.

 

1)    When cities in Indiana, California, and Texas moved to ban or restrict the placement of manufactured homes, where was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? This publication and writer asked them/their affiliates to get involved. Sadly, the record reflects that MHI were silent no shows – why?

 

  • While MHI members where there to protest the city’s efforts to limit/ban the placement of manufactured homes, MHI’s own members told MHProNews that they saw no MHI staff and were aware of no MHI engagement with the City of Bryan.

 

  • Furthermore, MHProNews spoke to a city official yesterday. That official said he was aware of no outreach by MHI, but was aware of the contact made by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which addressed the city to oppose their ban measure.

 

That’s a snapshot over the battle regarding zoning and placement.

 

 

Financing:

2) The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) worked with Congress to get the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac included as a mandate in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008. Why did Berkshire Hathaway brands – per a number of sources – repeatedly take steps to foil the full and proper implementation of both laws, why? When MHI meet with the GSEs, they met behind closed doors, and they and the GSEs declined providing the minutes, why? When a program was finally rolled out, it was only for select, more expensive ‘new class’ of homes pushed by Clayton Homes and MHI, why? Is it because Clayton now has conventional housing developments and home sites?

Those are examples of the battle over financing.

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

 

3) When bad news comes from the media, MHI offers excuses to select members that effectively says, ‘let’s let this blow over.’ When what looks like good news comes, they may or may not advise members, but where are the list of pages on MHI website that tout third party research that all the world can see? Why is supposed good news on a survey hidden behind a login, while Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) gives away their attack material for free?

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  • Yesterday, MHI rapidly put out a photo op to their members and state affiliates touting HUD Secretary Ben Carson at their fund raiser/networking event, held this year in New Orleans. But why isn’t that good news about manufactured housing posted on MHI’s website?

BenCarsonNewOrleansProMHSpeechCongressExpoSearchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-05-08_2041

 

Why are so many bad news stories tied directly to often prominent MHI members?

 

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https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hbos-john-oliver-on-last-week-tonight-mobile-homes-video-manufactured-home-communities-fact-check/

 

The good news is hidden from public view.  By contrast, the bad news caused by the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” video – which every problematic story that video publicized was an MHI member firm.  There is a money trail and evidence that suggests that Warren Buffett has provided financial support to those who in turn attack or embarrass the industry.  Who thinks and behaves like this and claims to be trying to grow the industry?

 

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

 

Doesn’t that fit what MHI member Frank Rolfe said?  Or what MHI award winner Marty Lavin said?

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

That’s the battle over image, education, and proper understanding.

These are simple, yet vexing realities. As recently as earlier today, MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer and their outside attorney once more declined refuting, correcting, or responding to the evidence, allegations, and patterns of action/inaction that leads to routine dead ends.

So, who benefits from low sales volumes? Who is harmed?

The second question is easier to answer. The smaller the operation, the more that low volume sales harms them. This writer did an article in 2014 entitled “The High Cost of Low Volume Sales.” Within weeks, we had to run the report, “The Bank Vault Door Closes,” because US Bank closed their manufactured housing program, citing in part, low sales volumes.

Who benefited from that?

Slogans or photo opportunities sent mainly to manufactured home (MH) industry professionals, and not to the general public, might make an industry reader think something is happening. Isn’t that propaganda?  Manipulation? Head fakes?

Freedom isn’t free. Since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, the battle for various forms of freedom has been on.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. 

The reason America’s constitutional founders protect freedom of speech and the press is because accurate information access is part of the means of maximizing freedom.

Information has been weaponized. That’s not just true in our industry, it happens in other aspects of modern lift. That’s why the term fake news exists.

 

Watchdogs? Attack-Dogs? The Smear, and Manufactured Housing

 

Arlington, VA based MHI and their primary masters from Omaha and Knoxville arguably ought to be able to win every battle, if they wanted to do so. The law is routinely on our industry’s side. Berkshire Hathaway owns some 31 newspapers. They have plenty of money that they could use to really promote successfully, instead of posture with videos, Facebook, or advertorials that clearly don’t significantly move the needle. Because if it did, the industry would be soaring, not snoring.

 

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In America, sadly, one can sue over almost anything.  MHI has for some years had inside or outside attorneys threaten MHProNews. Why don’t they use those outside attorneys to threat cities that block the placement of manufactured homes instead?

There have purportedly been other threats we’ve reported previously from straw men (or women) being put up to harass us on behalf of the Arlington based group.  Why don’t those folks just do their jobs?  We’d far rather report that they were doing their jobs, than that they were failing to do their jobs. But based on the last few years, at some point, the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies might file suit against us, even though we’ve repeatedly given them the opportunity to debunk – live or in writing – any of the concerns or allegations raised here on MHProNews or on MHLivingNews.  We’ll see what happens, and they will see too.

But this is simple. Are they doing their jobs at MHI and several of their affiliated state association’s properly or not?

Given the quality of our MH industry’s homes, the good laws we have on the books, it seems that a good case can be made that the industry’s so-called leaders are allowing the industry to consolidate.

 

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

 

Who does that benefit? The big boys.

Who does that harm? The independents.

 

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

 

MHI has arguably deceived, failed, and/or in protection-racket-style manner bullied numbers of its independents and several of the state associations to suffer as a result. Ditto their Omaha-Knoxville masters and surrogates.

 

Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

 

NAMHCO and MHARR exist because they had no confidence in MHI. A group met in Tunica to explore a new trade group to do what MHI claims to do.

Why does MHI lack credibility? Just look at the industry from the outside in to answer that question.

 

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If there is a logical or factual inaccuracy in any of the linked reports or this report, please let me know personally, via the link above.

Or, if you have your own examples of how this plot has impacted you or your firm, please use the same link, and say “Comments” or “News Tips” in the subject line.

That’s tonight’s #NettlesomeThings wrap up report. We will continue to hold the powers that be accountable, but we plan to do more. Stay tuned. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peer Alleges State Execs Crossed Line, “Kissing Ass” Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute, Back-Stabbed MHI Member Reacts

April 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

AmyBlissWiscHousingAllianceWHAStateExecCrossLineKissingAssClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHImemberReactsMHProNews

Off the record, but these [other] state associations [in this email thread] have crossed the line with their blind loyalty and kiss a — to Clayton [Homes] and MHI. This is not healthy for the industry well-being and [the] future of the industry,” said one of several news tips received by MHProNews last week.

 

That comment was tied to the embarrassing-for-the-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Clayton Homes viral video on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver entitled, “Mobile Homes.” MHLivingNews did a fact-check that posted said video and unpacked it’s points, hits and misses, in a report linked below.

 

HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check

 

That fact-check on MHLivingNews landed on page 1 of Google early Sunday morning.  That’s relevant, but first the evidence of that factoid.

JohnOliverMobileHomesViralVideoSunday41420198-50AMET

 

More of that email-thread between various state association executives may or may not be reported in the days ahead.   But for this report, we’ll focus on a specific comment about a multi-year Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member by an MHI affiliated state association executive.

That executive?

Amy Bliss, of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

It should be noted that, per sources, MHI monitors those electronic transmissions among the MHEC execs, which is open to most industry trade association staff leaders.  So that ‘monitoring’ by MHI – which sources say are periodically forwarded to Executive Committee members that include Berkshire Hathaway brands – may in various ways influence comments like the one that follows.

It would be somewhat akin to mom and dad monitoring their teenagers’ emails.  Or more to the point, a stern boss overseeing all the messages his staff sent via email.

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Wheat and chaff, fairness, with all people, organizations, and things. Bliss was instrumental in the work of starting and operating the Tomorrow’s Home Foundation, learn more at this link here. That said, what follows isn’t the only questionable behavior by Bliss. See the link here for a recent example.

Here’s what Bliss said, following the screen capture of the email, with her photo added to the top left of her words as an illustration that was not in her original message.  As is the custom here on MHProNews, we’ve turned her direct quote into bold and brown text so it pops.

 

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From: Amy Bliss
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Subject: RE: [mhexecs] FW: How Private Investors Are Threatening the Fate of Manufactured Housing

I am very disappointed in two entities that are supposed to be in favor of manufactured housing.  ROC USA and North Country Cooperative both added this John Oliver junk to their facebook page and ROC USA also tweeted it out as if they were sharing good news. This is such an insult to the people that have chosen manufactured housing to live in.  If there were not investor owned communities, they would have no communities to “convert” to resident owned.  Such a shame.

 

Amy Bliss, CAE
Executive Director,
WI Housing Alliance and WI Recreational Vehicle Dealers Alliance

If indeed comments like Bliss’ are monitored by MHI, then why didn’t the Arlington, VA based trade group come to the defense of a member being tagged by Bliss in such a manner?  Normally, an association member would never know – and thus would never have had a chance to respond to on behalf of the themselves and/or the organization being disparaged.  What does this incident say about not just Bliss, but MHI, or some others in MHEC?

Agree or disagree with ROC USA on this or that, but they have first amendment rights – even if Bliss doesn’t care for that protected speech.  MHProNews, once that and other messages were provided by multiple parties, asked for comments from both Bliss and Paul Bradley, ROC USA President.

Bradley replied as follows, his photo is likewise added for illustration purposes, and as with Bliss, we turned his statement to MHProNews and Bliss bold and brown for clarity and emphasis, but his words are unedited.

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Award winning, Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA.

Hello Tony and Amy,

I am happy to talk directly anytime, Amy, but will respond at this late hour to the two of you here.    

First, it probably goes without saying that I have no control over the independent press or a satirist like John Oliver.  However, as Tony knows, I am always quick to point out that there are many good operators in the business. 

John Oliver focused on the onslaught of aggressive new money in the sector.  The examples of rent hikes cited were alarming and atypical but also real.  I know one of the examples well.  (In fact, I referred that one to Rick Robinson at MHI to handle when Time Magazine called recently.) 

Oliver was making a point about the fate of residents in communities that experience significant rent increases and, as any good debater would, chose stories that best illustrated that point.

He pointed to resident ownership as a way to mitigate such increases by removing MHCs from the speculative real estate market, and we agree that it is.  This was hardly an attack on the homeowners who suffered these hardships — that’s something we would never condone. 

In terms of our sharing it, I am not going to miss an opportunity share the ROC USA story with our followers when we appear on national TV.  I certainly understand the piece is embarrassing to some operators who subscribe to a certain school of thought when it comes to homeowners and MHC ownership. 

I know the three of us actually care about the homeowner experience for both business and basic humanity reasons, and many others do, too.  I believe we all wish it was universal. 

Thank you.  Happy to talk anytime.  Paul

Given several days to respond to Bradley or MHProNews, Bliss said nada in the way of a follow up to this publication. If she did so privately to Bradley, he has not so indicated. From an editorial perspective, Bradley’s reply above – especially give the circumstances – could fairly be described as ‘classy.’

 

Part of a Pattern?

By contrast, Bliss – per sources in the George F. (F?) Allen camp – has supposedly called for a “boycott” of this site last year that Bliss concurred with.  When asked about that claim by MHProNews, Bliss neither confirmed nor denied that allegation lodged by members of Allen’s following.  The reason that is relevant will be made clear.

It is this.  One is left with an impression of Bliss as someone that – at least among her state association peers – wants only the MHI party line.  That’s what seemingly sparked the tips – outrage – like the one comment noted at the top. That comment was not the only one…

That apparent desire for only the MHI party line by Bliss is seemingly true even with respect to another MHI member – i.e. Bradley/ROC USA.  A source with knowledge indicated that ROC USA is a member of the WHA – led by Bliss – not just MHI.

If so, Bliss arguably ‘back stabbed’ a dues paying member of her WHA trade group and a dues payer to MHI.  How does that impact that member’s business interests?  Why did none of the MHEC Execs openly chide her for that in that email thread?  Why did some feel the need to send that and other messages to MHProNews to expose what some other execs are doing to one or more dues paying members?

Because there was another dues paying member of MHI that was likewise mentioned between the state execs.

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Apology or…?

Given the influence that state association executives have with numbers of people in this industry, will Bliss step up and at a minimum, publicly apologize?  If not, what remedial steps should be taken?

Or what about the group messages – which are supposed to be used by the MHExecs to discuss issues faced by members, such as zoning, legal, or legislative issues.  That list’s use presumably ought not include slamming members of the industry’s trade groups by those they pay dues too.

 

FactsFoulPlayFearFreedomWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingInstiutute#MHIUpdateMHProNews

It must not be thought that just because Warren Buffett happens to be a staunch Democrat, that all other Democrats are like him. Or because Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway lending affiliates has purportedly done dark deeds, that everyone that works there are the same. There is good, bad, and meh in all people, organizations, associations, etc. One must fairly discern ‘wheat and chaff’ – what’s good and not – in individuals, people, and organizations. Each of us has been tempted to do good, evil, or nothing while evil occurred. There is a path for successful, profitable, honorable resistance.   Watch for an upcoming special report – Facts, Foul Play, Fear, and Freedom.

 

Even More Important?

Perhaps as or more important, what has Bliss, other execs, MHI, or others done to respond in a constructive way to the John Oliver video on “Mobile Homes?”  That HBO/Oliver video, when properly understood, disparages specific larger MHI members.  Has Bliss taken any of them to task, given it was logically their purported behavior that fueled Oliver’s sharp satirical commentary?  ROC USA might benefit from Oliver’s video, but they are not the focus of HBO’s sharp satirical attack.

If any state execs took MHI to task in a public way, that has not yet been provided to MHProNews.  That said, several are disgusted enough to share with MHProNews what was shared.

  • Time will tell if Bliss has the chutzpah to stand up to the powers-that-be in a manner even modestly analogous to what she did with ROC USA and North Country.
  • The industry will also see if Bliss – or any state exec – asks the powers-that-be to behave in ways that might avoid such harmful and embarrassing mainstream media commentary, satirical or otherwise.

Finally, as the articles linked below the byline make clear, Warren Buffett’s ‘follow the money-trail’ leads one to a reasonable conclusion that he has helped fund MHAction through ‘dark money’ channels. Will Bliss and her state association colleagues hold Buffett, the Berkshire brands, and others accountable for business practices that harm the image of an already struggling industry?

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It isn’t just the MMHF states. 7 of the top 10 states in manufactured housing shipments are reporting declines. At what point will MHI – the self proclaimed representative of “all segments of factory-built housing” actually do something useful to reverse this troubling trend? Or will they reveal by inaction that they are allowing it, perhaps with the goal of causing more independents to sell out to big boys, or close shop?

 

Other reports that correct the record, debunk, and/or jujitsu key concerns on that issue are linked from the report below the byline and notices. That’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Upcoming Special Opportunities Intelligence Reports, Plus Headwinds, Immediate MHC Independents Warning

April 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

UpcomingSpecialOpportunitiesIntelligenceReportsPlusHeadwindsImmediateMHCIndependentsWarningDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Businesses, organizations, and professions are based upon solving some need(s).  Keep that simple truth in mind.

 

 

In the case of our industry, that need is for affordable housing, and/or for ‘fast homes.’  Manufactured homes are not instant, but compared to many other operations, HUD Code homes are quicker.

This morning we will tease two upcoming reports, but our focus today is on an immediate headwinds and threats to manufactured home independents. That looming dagger is most notably in the land lease manufactured home community sector, but by extension, into other arenas too.

 

Upcoming 1: There are numerous opportunities that manufactured housing can and should serve. One very specific one will be featured in a report that should be ready next week. Demographic changes are creating opportunities that the big boys will know, but operations of small to medium size need to better understand in order to profit from.

Upcoming 2: perhaps as soon as tomorrow, we will publish a turning ‘lemons into lemonade’ report, that takes nettlesome issues that create headwinds for the industry and reveals how they can become opportunities in disguise.

Immediate – even this morning’s ‘headwinds’ report – which outlines risks current and coming, could be turned into opportunities in disguise for savvy professionals.  So read with care, don’t skim.

 

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Warren Buffett didn’t say it, but another successful and ethical business guru – Matthew Kelly – did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day. Wow…but look were that got him. Invest an hour or two a day on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, and share them with your team.  You will have more intelligence for your professional life if you do so. 

 

With those upcoming features noted, let’s dive into today’s Manufactured Housing Intelligence Report for Independents.

 

 

Behind the Curtain of John Oliver’s Mobile Homes Viral Video? MHAction, and Their Agenda

First, the facts. Much of the John Oliver satirical viral hit on manufactured housing ne’er do wells was sourced from MHAction related materials. This is easy to identify because Oliver shows the ‘white paper’ that includes MHAction in his report.

 

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You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time.

PrivateEquityGiantsConvergeOnManufacturedHomesMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

You can download their ‘white paper’ at this link here.

That is the same white paper that MHProNews spotlighted for industry independents a few weeks ago. The Washington Post, followed by other news media outlets, reported on that same MHAction co-branded ‘research.’  Note that then and now, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) response was the same. Per sources, they shared a few things with various state executives and others, explained why they really could not effectively respond, and it was just best to let the matter blow over.

Really?

Question. What do they get paid millions of dollars a year to do? Is MHI paid to give excuses? As one source with knowledge told MHProNews, they are committing “association malpractice.” That same source also said MHI has about $4 million in their reserves fund, and that they could mount an effective reply if they wanted to do so.

So why don’t they?

The apparent response from those smiling faces in Arlington, VA where MHI is headquartered is that they obviously don’t want to reply to attacks on the industry, even in this case, when several of those attacked are their own members. That begs the question, why not defend even your own?

As a non-industry attorney investigating manufactured housing issues that called MHProNews this week noted, who benefits from the MHI inaction? Who is harmed by their inaction?

Moving back to the MHAction co-branded ‘white paper.’

Let’s recall where MHAction gets their funding. No conjecture is needed, because here are some eye-opening facts.  Keep in mind what investigative reporter Sharyl Attiksson says, “follow the money.” ICYMI, you can click on the linked report later for more details and insights.

 

Watchdogs? Attack-Dogs? The Smear, and Manufactured Housing

 

A) From the bottom of their home page, we see this.  The image is a collage, but from their website with MHProNews comments.

 

MHActionHomePage2019-04-13_0857TheAdvocacyFundThePresidioDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

B) As a reminder, a resident group informed MHLivingNews last year about MHAction’s ties with the Tides Foundation. The Advocacy Fund gets money from the Tides Foundation.

 

TidesAdvocacyFundSupportsMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

C) Who are the top donors to the Tides?

 

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D) Who gave the money to the top donor, the Novo Foundation? Warren Buffett.

 

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Summing Up Before Moving Onto What’s Coming Next

We are left with the inescapable fact that Buffett’s largess helped pay for that MHAction co-branded ‘white paper’ attack on private equity firms investing in manufactured home communities.

We see that MHI, and several state executives affiliated with them, are saying let’s let this blow over.  Buffett’s Berkshire brands in MHVille dominate MHI, as the do numbers of state associations too.

That MHAction co-branded ‘white paper’ targets giant firms, and a common thread is that the ones noted by Oliver’s video were MHI members.

Just as big banks can handle regulatory hurdles better than smaller ones, so too big companies can afford to take media hits easier than smaller firms. So while it may seem counterintuitive to fund those that attack your own interests, that what is occurring. The purported logic is they can take it better than you as as a smaller business can.

To the general public watching that John Oliver video, yes, it may make Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes, Frank Rolfe, or others look bad. But that casual observer sees the entire industry looking bad. Here are some actual comments posted on the John Oliver video

 

  • You had me convinced things are wrong when you stated how many people live in mobile homes” – Chris McElroy.

 

  • John Oliver can take any topic I’ve never cared about and make them extremely interesting.” – Perfect Dawnn.

 

  • I’m laughing on the outside but crying inside,,, of my mobile home.” – dustymcdirt.

 

  • Wow, a connection between Warren Buffet and Duck Dynasty.” – TlalocW.

 

  • Wow I never knew all this before. We never hear these on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX etc.” – Maximus Augustus.

 

  • Socialism for the rich Capitalism for the poor” – LAVIN20.

 

  • You gotta admire the dedication this show’s crew has to actually enroll in these shady seminars just to find out how awful the people behind these things really are.” – Floating Sunfish.

 

MHI, and the states, are doing little more than hand wringing. Hey! Daddy Buffet Bucks helped pay for this assault?!

Are you an MH Independent?  If so, do you see the various ways that the powers that be can hit you with unexpected headwinds?  But there is more.  Like a grand master in chess, your opponents are thinking several moves ahead.

Here is what they’ve already signaled, per sources to MHProNews, on what they are working on next.  The John Oliver viral video on “Mobile Homes,” or the Washington Post and related reports that MHAction – thanks to funding from Uncle Warren – are arguably preparing.  You may look back and think of this as the calm before the coming storm.

 

 

What’s Looming Next?

Start with two words. Rent Control.

The next ‘white paper’ the folks at MHAction are pushing is one calling for broader rent control. It is a threat to MH Communities that are independently owned.  But don’t think that the impact stops there, because our industry is interconnected, so others in MHVille will feel the impact too.  You can access their sadly flawed 2-page summary of their thinking on that issue from the image below, or this link here.  MHAction and their allies are calling for nationwide rent control.

 

OurHomesOurFutreRentControlPromotedByMHAction-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Download their two page summary promoting the flawed notion of rent control, at this link here.

 

We’ve debunked its value before, but the most recent report on that is linked below.  We’ll plan a follow up on the MHAction backed item in the days ahead.  ICYMI – our prior Daily Business News on MHProNews exclusive report, see that at the link below.

 

Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

 

If you are an association member in a post-production or umbrella trade group, ask your leaders, or yourself, what are they doing to head this off?  That’s what a good trade association does to earn their keep.

 

 

Washington Politicos, Advocates Are Watching John Oliver’s Video

 

Sources are telling MHProNews that the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” viral video has been raising concerns in Washington, D.C. While that doesn’t always result in legislative action, it could. Do you hear that from MHI? What happened to Nathan Smith’s pledge to make MHI more proactive?

 

 

The industry’s independents are left with several vexing problems.  Among them is the question of feeding the hand(s) that bite them, by paying an association(s) that may be working against your interests. Or doing business with brands that may be working against your long-term interests as an independent. Or that some associations stand mute when challenges like these artificially generated headwinds arise.

No easy way out?

If you’ve been paying an organization to protect-educate-promote your firm, perhaps saving those dues or fees would be a useful first step?

Or as a notable association member suggested, there may need to be a battle within those trade groups to wrestle control away from the powers that be which are arguably leading the industry into one ambush after another.

We began this column with a simple truth.  Businesses, organizations, and professions are based upon solving some need(s).  What need does MHI solve?

If their purpose is to help consolidate the industry into ever fewer “big boy” hands, they are succeeding at that mission.

But in that case, MHI would arguably be falsely claiming to represent “all segments of factory-built housing,” when in fact they seem to be serving only a favored few.

Our industry has powerful and timely truths, but they are being obscured by messages like Oliver’s and MHAction’s. The good news about manufactured homes, communities, or the industry at large are not being successfully defended or promoted by MHI. The shipment data proves that all too well.

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

 

The facts and quotes that follow demonstrate a snapshot of why this current downturn is avoidable.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

AllTruthPassesThrough3stagesFirstRidiculed2ndViolentlyOpposed3rdAcceptedAsSelfEvidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuinessNewsMHProNews

CaseyMackLegacyHousingManufacturedTinyHomesKudosMHProNews

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

That’s Saturday’s edition of “Delivering to Manufactured Home Independents & Investors Useful Intelligence for Your Professional Life.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

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Related Reports:

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HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check

 

“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes

MarketWatch Reports on Manufactured Housing, 2018-2019

Bryan Manufactured Homes Ban Passed, But Petition Count, Other Legal Moves May Stop Texas City

Michigan Association’s Video Campaign, What They’ve Said About Manufactured Home Living

Warren Buffett Wades Into Politics, Why Not John Oliver’s Piece on “Mobile Homes?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MarketWatch Reports on Manufactured Housing, 2018-2019

April 12th, 2019 Comments off

 

MarketWatchLogoReportsManufacturedHousing2018-2019-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It’s Flashback Friday. Reviewing two reports by MarketWatch are timely, and ought to make followers of the popular personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, or HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver sit up and think again.

 

These are equally timely because of the arguably injustice that is taking place in Bryan, TX of cities and towns across the country, where manufactured homes are increasingly being zoned out. The vote in Bryan is subject to a special petition that, if those petitions are certified as accurate, could void Tuesday’s council vote, so this ought to be a timely topic for our industry’s professionals.

Especially independents, and those who are keen on industry growth should sit up and take notice. Because as the latest Masthead reminds readers, for want of a nail, the war was lost.

 

 

For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

 

 

Teeing Up the MarketWatch Reports 2018-2019

To set the table, these articles are provided under fair use guidelines. These are not a fact checks per se, but we will clarify the terminology with some graphics and illustrations between them, while providing commentary and analysis.

Let’s note that the featured photo below from the first MarketWatch report included at least one home that wasn’t a manufactured home. It is a mobile home, as the windows on that unit are a dead giveaway for a feature that is forbidden by the federally preemptive HUD Code for manufactured homes.

It is worth mentioning that what some MarketWatch staffer selected for use to illustrate was hardly the best photo to use showcase the appeal of modern manufactured homes. Those are either older manufactured homes, and/or mobile homes.

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will then note that anecdotally that mobile homes can and have appreciated too. The factors for appreciation are roughly the same for conventional housing as for mobile homes or manufactured housing. For example,

  • availability of financing is a key factor,
  • as too are location,
  • condition,
  • area market conditions,
  • along with other aspects of the laws of supply and demand.

With that brief introduction and noting that MHProNews is not editing either report for typos, facts, undisclosed conflicts of interest, or terminology errors, let the reader dive into MarketWatch’s two timely flashback articles on the wisdom of manufactured homes, and appreciation.  Here’s the link to the first article.

 

MobileHomeValuesMightRiseAsFastRegularHomesWhyThatMattersMarketWatchDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Recent data challenges the idea that manufactured housing isn’t a strong investment

Many have long held the assumption that mobile homes don’t increase in value — or, at the very least, they rise in value at a much slower rate than traditional homes.

But recent data suggests the opposite is true — and that could have major implications in the push for increased affordable housing nationwide.

A new report from the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.–based think tank, examined data released in August by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The home price index for manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) featured an average annual growth rate of 3.4%, versus 3.8% for traditional, site-built homes.

In recent years, home prices have actually risen at a faster clip for manufactured, or mobile, homes than they have for traditional properties.

But that trend is not always easy to see, because manufactured housing is more popular in parts of the country where the overall recovery from the housing crisis has been less robust. For instance, California represents nearly 18% of the nation’s overall housing market, but it comprises just 4% of the manufactured housing market based on the number of units shipped.

Because manufactured homes generally aren’t highly concentrated in housing markets that have notably recovered from the crisis, it creates the impression that these homes’ values don’t appreciate at the same rate as traditional homes. In reality, this is more a reflection of where the homes are located than the types of homes.

Comparatively, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas represent 41% of the manufactured-housing market, but have experienced price appreciation below the national level.

The report only looked at mobile homes that were financed with loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, most homeowners who finance the purchase of a manufactured home don’t get a traditional mortgage because they only own the structure and not the land beneath it.

Instead, they typically get a chattel loan — a personal loan that is more similar to an auto loan than it is a mortgage. Chattel loans are more expensive than mortgages and typically come with higher interest rates.

It is not clear whether the report’s findings apply to homes purchased with chattel loans as well. Nevertheless, it’s a strong indication that mobile homes may be a worthwhile investment. “Although there are limits to what the data can tell us, the index suggests a need to reevaluate the presumption that manufactured homes do not appreciate at the same rate as site-built homes,” the Urban Institute researchers wrote.

There are many downsides to manufactured homes. If a mobile-home owner doesn’t own the land they will obviously have to rent it — and those costs can rise over time. What’s more, these homes aren’t actually mobile in most cases, despite the common moniker. As a result, if land rents get too expensive or if the land’s owner decides to sell, homeowners might be forced to move and sell their home, regardless of what price they can get for their home.

The homes also are more prone to damage in natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. Because many owners buy their mobile homes in cash, insurers often only offer “actual cash value” coverage for the properties rather than covering the replacement value. This lowers the amount the insurer pays out, which left many people in Florida facing serious losses after Hurricane Irma tore through the state last year and destroyed or damaged many manufactured homes.

##

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology. 

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

For MarketWatch to note that mobile or manufactured homes were damaged, without noting that so were conventional housing units, is an oversight. The above clarifies that miss.

As a brief added commentary to both MarketWatch articles, are the terminology illustrations, plus other quotes and factoids provided above and below by MHProNews. The terminology is not interchangeable. 

 

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

 The link to the next report from MarketWatch is here.

3OutsideTheboxAtlernativeForHomeBuyersinToughHousingMarketDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

As the housing crunch continues, would-be buyers may want to consider these unorthodox options

Here’s a bold forecast for the housing market in 2019: conditions will continue to be strained as affordable inventory gets snatched up quickly, leaving the least desirable and most pricey properties to stagnate.

Given how steep the housing shortfall has been for so many years – Freddie Mac economists estimated we’re nearly 5 million units short – that’s kind of a no-brainer. The bigger question is what we do about it.

In the spirit of “new year, new approach,” MarketWatch has collected several suggested solutions to the housing crunch. These are unconventional ideas, but ones that industry participants have been exploring for years. They may provide fodder for house hunters willing to think outside the box – especially if the idea of another wasted Sunday afternoon of open houses doesn’t appeal.

 

Factory-built homes

Jenny Cochrane and her husband had spent years taking care of her mother, who was struggling with breast cancer and who owned a manufactured home in Yulee, Florida.

The couple ran into some financial trouble in the downturn – “the economy went splat and so did we,” Cochrane said in an interview. But she still had enough saved in her 401(k) to consider buying a traditional house. Eventually, though, the couple decided to assume her mother’s mortgage and take over her house, mostly because they liked the space that the much-cheaper factory-built home afforded them.

ManufacturedHomeMarketWatchLogoJennyCocchranCarringtonMOrtgageCustomerFlorida

“It’s a double-wide manufactured home on a solid foundation, it’s not going anywhere,” Cochrane said. The couple rode out the last hurricane with barely a scratch to show for it. They have a front porch, back porch, 3 bedrooms, and laundry room on about an acre of land.

Manufactured homes are 35-47% cheaper than traditional “site-built” properties, according to an analysis from the Urban Institute. Factory-built homes accounted for 16-25% of all new single-family houses between 1977 and 1995, but just 10% in 2017, even as the quality of construction has become much better over the past few years, the Urban researchers noted.

Restrictive zoning is partially to blame for the low take-up of manufactured homes. About one-third of them are currently in single-purpose communities, and municipalities often ban the development of such areas.

But a more significant challenge is that lenders have often struggled to make mortgages on manufactured homes. That’s in part because it can be challenging to find comparable properties against which to appraise them, and in part because most owners don’t own the land on which the houses sit. (Another wrinkle, as the Urban Institute notes, is that most mortgages for manufactured homes tend to be much smaller, and small-dollar loans are always less desirable for lenders, who have fixed overhead costs.)

Freddie Mac, the giant government-sponsored enterprise that buys mortgages from banks and other lenders, has introduced a new program to allow conventional-style financing for factory-built homes, in part by allowing appraisers to use site-built properties as comparables. But Freddie’s financing, and that offered by many lenders, including Cochrane’s mortgage, is only available for homes where the house is tied to the property.

Still, that small step may be enough to start to encourage more supply and lending into the housing market, the Urban analysts wrote.

 

Communal living

Imagine a scheme that allowed a third-party bureaucracy to own property and homeowners to lease those ownership rights from it. (If that sounds somewhat Bolshevik, don’t forget that most Manhattan properties are cooperatives, and utilize roughly the same structure, with little of the socialism.)

Community land trusts use a similar structure to help foster affordable housing and economic development. They’ve been around for a few decades, and have a stellar track record for building community and enabling sustainable homeownership.

“The basic concept is that you want to take housing and land off the speculative market,” said Michael Swack, who helped develop the concept, and now directs the Center for Impact Finance at the University of New Hampshire. The “speculative” real estate market Swack describes is familiar: communities can be affordable for many families, until they’re “discovered” by more affluent people outside the neighborhood, who move in and, over time, make it less affordable for everyone and off-limits for some.

But community land trusts, which despite their name are usually not true trusts, but nonprofit entities, own and retain ownership of land, and offer long-term leases to homeowners. One of the oldest in the country is the Burlington, Vermont-based Champlain Housing Trust. The trust currently has 611 owned homes, and over the 35 years it’s been around, 1,100 families have become owners with its help.

Owners deed the land on which the homes sit to Champlain, which reduces the market price of those homes by about 20%. When an owner is ready to sell, she gets 100% of the equity that comes from having paid down her mortgage, and 100% of the appraised value of any capital improvement, but only 25% of the market appreciation, also determined by an appraisal. The home reverts back to the trust, and the cycle can begin again.

 

A sample community land trust lifecycle
Year 1 Appraised value of home $240,000
Purchase price $200,000
Year 8 Appraised value of home $280,000
Equity built $20,000
Market appreciation assigned to owner $10,000
New purchase price $230,000
Source: Champlain Housing Trust

 

“We’ve added a rung” to the homeownership ladder, Brenda Torpy, the trust’s CEO and one of its founders, told MarketWatch. “People now see that they can use our program as a stepping stone. We can provide a homeownership equivalent to what they can pay in rent and they start building equity immediately.”

Champlain owners sell their homes about every seven years or so, roughly the same tenure as national averages, and they move on for all the reasons Americans always move – in search of a bigger home to accommodate children, to warmer places for retirement, or to wherever a new job beckons.

In contrast, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, has about 36 owned housing units dating back to its inception in 1989, and “less than a handful” of those owners have left, according to its director of operations, Tony Hernandez.

“People confess that they originally thought of it as a stepping stone, but now they think of it as home,” Hernandez said. “The intent was to get owners who would stay and keep the family knit into it, rather than a land trust model where they come in, build wealth and move on. We created a village.”

Grounded Solutions Network, a national affordable housing advocacy group, estimates that there are about 165 community land trusts around the country, with about 12,000 owned homes between them. Many land trusts also have affordable rental properties, which Grounded Solutions estimates includes about 25,000 rental units.

A Grounded Solutions analysis as of June 2018 founded that the average household income at the time of home purchase was 64% of area median income, and on average owners were buying homes at about 34% below fair market value.

For the people who buy from land trusts, homeownership has been a success. Through the worst of the foreclosure crisis, they became delinquent only about one-fourth as often as other homeowners.

Grounded Solutions and others argue that it also works for communities: “These programs retained the affordability of the homes to serve the same income level resale after resale. That means that these programs successfully created a stock of affordable homes that remain forever, even if the neighborhood gentrifies or the real estate market turns up or down.”

 

Fixer-uppers

Picture a house-hunter in an average American city, pre-qualified for a mortgage that would allow him to buy a median-priced home of about $250,000. Now picture that buyer hustling to bid on every house that comes along in that price range, only to be outbid by someone with more money, an all-cash offer, or something else.

But now imagine there’s a house that’s lingered on the market. It’s priced at about $180,000, but that’s because it requires a lot of work – a lot.

This scenario happens often enough that the mortgage finance industry has tools specifically for it. Meet the “renovation mortgage,” an innovation that allows the home buyer to take out one loan for the purchase price of the home plus the cost to rehab it.

“I like to say, don’t look at a house as it is, look at a house as what it could be,” said Jonathan Lawless, who runs Fannie Mae’s product development team for affordable housing. “That could be a much better way to get people in the door.”

What’s the catch? Anyone who’s ever undertaken a big renovation knows the drill, pardon the pun. While it may be a lot more convenient to apply for and manage one debt rather than two, renovation loans can still be a beast, rolling the nightmare of home repair into the knotty bureaucracy of mortgage underwriting. Brooke Anderson-Tompkins, president of upstate New York-based 1st Priority Mortgage, calls them both “cumbersome” and “a phenomenal product that more agents need to be aware of.”

For one thing, most renovation loans require that contractors be paid on a draw basis, which several sources told MarketWatch usually makes many potential hires uninterested in such projects. But Jamie Zeitz, who manages the Southeastern U.S. operations of Homebridge Financial Services, points out that contractors and homeowners should both be aware “there’s no safer way” to enter into a construction deal since the work being done is part of a financing package that requires all parties be satisfied, and that work be paid for.

There are also more parties involved than in a regular renovation process. Most loan programs require that a consultant oversee the project, for example. Homebridge offers a “Concierge Service Manager” to serve as a single point of contact for the homeowner, rather than forcing that person to deal with the consultant, the contractor, the appraiser, the people paying the contractor, and so on.

While they’re unwieldy, the mortgage finance industry increasingly sees such loan programs as an important key to solving the housing crunch, Lawless said. Fannie is looking at ways to streamline the draw process, for example, and also recently clarified that its program, called HomeStyle, can be used for accessory dwelling units, which are smaller, standalone buildings on an existing property. ADUs can be used to create rental income, or to house relatives.

Homebridge is the biggest originator of the renovation loan program offered by the Federal Housing Administration, which carries the unwieldy title “203(k) loans.” As with its more traditional mortgage programs, FHA 203(k) loans can be made with as little as 3.5% down, but they will cost a bit more than conventional mortgages.

##

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

The estimate of a 5 million unit housing shortage cited by MarketWatch is far lower than what is estimated by Lawrence Yun, or the Low Income Housing Coalition. Collage by MHProNews.

The MHProNews report linked below on Sun Communities provides some useful data as a tie-in to the above from MarketWatch. How so?

Sun, as a publicly trade company, has provided their research points comparing manufactured home rentals with apartment rentals.  The savings and advantages to manufactured homes in that category is significant.

Then, there is a comparison of buying a manufactured home with purchasing an existing home.  Neither Sun or MarketWatch makes a list of all of the possible pluses, but those they share – such as price point data – are useful.

The Government Accountability Office’s 2014 report on manufactured homes was largely favorable, and included an explanation for a concern that MarketWatch and the Urban Institute raised but did not resolve. Namely, that even with a higher loan cost, the price saving makes the monthly payment for a manufactured home significantly less than conventional housing.

 

 

The possible takeaways or bottom lines are many.  Most certainly, the above is useful in scenarios like Byran, TX, debunking Dave Ramsey, or clarifying some issues with John Oliver’s viral “Mobile Homes” video.

They also make the sad case for what one of the sources with long ties to MHI provided information to MHProNews about state executives chatter which bemoaned the Oliver video dubbed “association malpractice.”  See more on that in an upcoming report that will rip another band-aid off what is taking place in the MHI affiliated network.

All of these are reasons why manufactured home sales should be soaring, not snoring. As MHI member Skyline-Champion notes in their illustration, shown below, manufactured homes are far below their long term average, much less their recent or all-all time highs.

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

Note the trend line. Manufactured housing is underperforming. Note the difference between RVs 20 years ago, and MH 20 years ago. MH Is underperforming. No one else has advanced a thesis as logical and compelling. To date, Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have not even attempted to refute the claims. Will they today?

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

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

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Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

Sun Communities Under the Hood – Data Reveals – Manufactured Homes, Communities, Comparisons with Conventional, Multifamily Housing

 

HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check

Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes

 

 

 

 

Michigan Association’s Video Campaign, What They’ve Said About Manufactured Home Living

April 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

MichiganAssociationVIdeoCampaignWhatTheyveSaidAboutManufacturedHomeLivingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Cannot believe they used our promotional material from the nineties to mock our industry! Not cool!!” said William G. ‘Bill’ Sheffer, CAE, Executive Director, Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA).

 

Sheffer and the MMHA are not the only Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members and affilates who have ranted about HBO’s John Oliver Last Week Tonight viral hit called “Mobile Homes.”

MHI is said to have tried to head this off, if so, they missed.  Now that it is out, the consensus of the emailed statements among MHI affiliated executives – under the watchful eye of Arlington, VA – is that it is wise not to respond to this latest hit against the industry.

Really?

What happened to the notion from former MHI Chairman, Tim Williams?  See his prior on the record quote on just such hits below.

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

For clarity, using the wheat and chaff principle, MHProNews agrees with the first two sentences of this on the record prior statement by Tim Williams, then MHI chairman. So after years of not doing this, and the industry still struggling, when is MHI going to do what their chair said makes for a common sense argument?

 

The MHI connected leaders can’t have it both ways.  They’ve tried not responding to PBS, to OZY Media, other such perceived slurs on our industry for years. How is that working out?

Let’s let Michigan’s own stated facts answer that question.

At the request of their marketing contractor, the Michigan association wanted readers to know about the following.

Hi Tony,

Here’s some initial information for you.

The two TV spots are on MMHA’s YouTube page:

“50% Less per Square Foot”

 

 

Communities in Great Locations

 

Michigan Manufactured Home NEW Sales

2017: 4864 (significantly up from 2016’s sales of 2759)

2018: 4096

 

Michigan Manufactured Home USED Sales

2017: 1881

2018: 2900

 

…Thanks,

Cheryl Russell

 

So, let’s recap the above from Ms. Russell.

During an affordable housing crisis, Michigan’s new home sales went up from 2016, and then went down from 2017.  What is not stated in the above are the large numbers of those new units going into land-lease communities as rental housing.  New HUD Code home sales remain at historically low levels.  Industry factories – including numbers of MHI-only producer members – have told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that they see a wall coming, as communities get closer to capacity.

Something must change, because the industry isn’t advancing.  Instead, both MHI and MHARR’s data reveal that the industry is going backwards now for the past 6 months.  What do the leaders of MHI have to say?  They point to inventory restructuring, a decline in FEMA order, an other arguable head fakes. MHI’s own members investor relations data points to historically low production as reason to believe there is more upside.

 

Let’s be clear.  MHProNews believes it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.  So to that extent, we commend the MMHA.

That said,  what the MMHA effort has done is once more prove that pretty pictures, nice website, or a fine commercial video aren’t the only answer.  Frankly – and to their credit – the MMHA has done more than many states, and has for years.  Yet Michigan’s shipments have been in decline. Russell and the MMHA admit it is so.

It isn’t a slam to say the following, it is a sobering reality check.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

 

As of the time this report is being created, here are the video view statistics on the MMHA videos, compared to the views on John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” viral hit video.

MHProNews respects the MMHA’s contracted media firm – via Ms. Russell – doing what was asked, giving factual replies. Here was some of the pull quotes from the press release Russell initially asked us to run.

 

  • Consumer interest in manufactured housing continues to be strong. In 2018, new manufactured home sales in Michigan totaled 4,096. MMHA wants to continue the industry’s momentum and educate potential homebuyers on manufactured housing quality, style, lifestyle and affordability.

 

Momentum?  The statistics betray that claim.  It was one of the reasons we, as responsible trade media, asked the follow up questions, which Russell thoughtfully did.

 

  • We are targeting those who are looking for affordable alternatives to traditional built homes,” said Bill Sheffer, executive director of MMHA. “Homebuyers are looking for high-quality homes with great features in friendly neighborhoods.”

 

MMHA has, once more as noted, done more than many manufactured home state trade groups. But what they have arguably not done are the same thing that MHI and the ‘big boys’ have not done.  That is to fight back, debunk the false or misleading claims made against the manufactured home industry.  It is our contention – backed by years of evidence – that it is a critical part of advancing sales once more.

Why hasn’t MMHA, done so?  Sources say it is difficult for many associations, not just MHI.  Why? Because what Marty Lavin, JD, who won one of MHI’s most prestigious awards, said is arguably true.

 

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MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

 

While the industry’s Arlington based trade group and their surrogates posture action, every savvy business measures action by results.  Those results are certainly going to include shipment and production reports. It isn’t just Michigan, even number 1 and 2 Texas and Louisiana have declined year-to-date.

 

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

 

But big boy firms can measure results differently.  They can measure results by consolidation of more independently owned sites, of more independent retail centers that vanished.

 

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MHI’s general counsel and others there have been asked to respond to these concerns. We know they got the messages. Silence.  That’s their right in the U.S. constitutional system.

But that silence can be construed to imply that our concerns are valid.

Meanwhile, the industry gets buffeted – pun intended – by the new John Oliver video that has gone viral, and is being reported by numerous media outlets.

It is time to shake up the system, because what has been occurring has benefited only a few.

That’s this afternoon’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views That Pros Can Use.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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“Mind Blowing,” Ultra-Modern Tiny House on Wheels, Viral Video – MH Intelligence Report

April 10th, 2019 Comments off

 

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There are concerns in MHVille about the 4.4 million plus views of John Oliver’s HBO piece for Last Week Tonight on “Mobile Homes.”

 

There arguably should be furrowed brows among industry leaders. But that’s not our focus, rather, the viral Tiny House Video below is.

Why?

Because in about 5 days, YouTube reports well north of 10 million views of their video.

The video runs almost 6 minutes before you actually step into the ‘tiny house on wheels.’ Hmm, let’s see. House on wheels, if it is tiny, that’s okay?  If it a HUD Code manufactured home, that’s not?

But the fact that almost a third of the video goes by before entering the home once more blows out of the water the notion that videos must be short to be watched. Because their video is about 18 minutes long.

 

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has used a variety of methods to illustrate a point. It’s this.

The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis can’t deny the facts.

New HUD Code Manufactured Housing producers are collectively selling fewer units today than the year Warren Buffett bought into the industry.

 

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsCavcoIndustriesCVCOMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While the numbers of independently owned manufactured home industry firms has dramatically shrunk since 2003, Berkshire brands in MHVille such as Clayton Homes, et al have watched as their market share steadily grew.

 

  • Either Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington leaders are inept at growing the industry, or not.  For the record, we believe these to be intelligent, capable people.  The question is, capable of what?

 

  • Berkshire was either lucky that they grew their strategic Moat, or it was their stated plan has been well executed (link).

 

  • Are we to believe that a modest organization that made this tiny house video can routinely generate viral videos in days on tiny houses that may be made to no building code, while the HUD Code manufactured home industry’s giants and their Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) can only muster low 4 or 5 figure levels of viewership in over a year?

 

The Berskhire brands, Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, and MHI leaders had an opportunity at Tunica to debunk or refute the concerns and evidence that has mounted against them.  They have exercised their constitutionally protected right to remain silent.

If they’ve engaged in any illegal or unethical actions, perhaps that silence is wise.  But how to explain their silence in defending their own members from attacks by Oliver’s episode?  See the report, below the bylines and notices.

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

There will be new reports tomorrow and upcoming that will peel back more of the layers on the proverbial onion.  It will include on the record input from a state association that makes some interesting admissions.  There will be some more explosive items from state execs, that were provided as tips off-the-record.

 

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For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

 

Manufactured housing was roughly 4 times larger in sales some 20 years ago.  During an affordable housing crisis, are we to believe that MHI, Clayton, and the related Berkshire brands can’t do better than what they are?  These are the #NettlesomeThings that an authentic trade media outlet ought to be asking, so why are the others in MHVille not asking these tough questions, and then following up with fact-packed reports?

 

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

That’s tonight’s Delivering to Manufactured Home Independents & Investors Useful Intelligence for Your Professional Life.” ©  where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

 

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