Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky’

Is an Economic Crisis Looming for Seniors? Manufactured Housing Industry Impact?

September 11th, 2017 Comments off

Featured image credit, The Daily Economist.

Retirees and those 50 or over make up about half of all manufactured home (MH) buyers, per sources such as Foremost Insurance’s MH industry research.

So the security – or lack thereof – of pension funds could prove important – perhaps even critical – for the industry in markets where pension funds are at risk.

It is one of several problems the new Trump Administration will have to take on, after decades of Democratic and GOP failures to successfully address the issue.

How bad is the problem?

U.S. public pensions lack $3.85 trillion needed to pay the retirement benefits of current and retired workers, per research shared with Financial Times.


Senator Orrin Hatch. Image credit, Senator Orrin Hatch.

This [research] further underscores the financial risks of the nation’s public pension crisis and the need to act on smart policies that will help secure retirement programmes for Americans that work for state and local governments,” a spokesperson for Orrin Hatch, chairman of the US Senate finance committee, said.

Not One Fund Balanced?

According to Stanford research, out of 649 pension plans reviewed between July 2014 and June 2015, not a single U.S. city or state was running a budget that was balanced to fund existing pensions.

Joshua Rauh, the author of the study, says that the situation is more difficult for cities such as Chicago, which has unfunded pension liabilities that come out to the equivalent of 19 years-worth of the cities tax revenue.

Greater Chicago, as many land-lease community professionals know, is home to several sizable operations, as well as dozens of “mom and pop” operations.

Other cities facing similar situations include Forth Worth, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Dallas. States like Illinois, New Jersey and Kentucky also ranked poorly in the Stanford study.  Most of these locations have a significant manufactured home community presence, some are in areas where retailer operations are important to independents and the industry.

Zero Hedge recently reported that many Kentucky residents have been retiring early in order to lock-in their pensions as legislature and Governor Matt Bevin discuss making cuts to retirement plans.


David Smith, executive director for the Kentucky Association of State Employees. Image credit, KASEKY.

There are folks that are saying you know what, I don’t care, I’m going to lock in my retirement now and get out while I can and fight it as a retiree if they go and change the retiree benefits,” said David Smith, executive director for the Kentucky Association of State Employees, per the Financial Times.

Pensions, for most government workers whether local, state or federal, are expected to support an individual through retirement.

With around half of manufactured home owners and buyers reportedly at 50 plus – retirees, and nearing retirement – this pension crisis is nothing to ignore for the industry’s professionals.

While it could prove a threat for some professionals current business model, it also could be an


L. A. “Tony’ Kovach., publisher,

opportunity in disguise for others who prepare for this,” says publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony” Kovach. “Still, the ideal is for national leaders to come to grips with this issue. That will require enacting a robust pro-growth agenda, combined with prudent action to stabilize fundsOtherwise, there’s not enough money in the system today to fix this issue.”

A government with a serious pension funding problem is like a ship trying to sail with its anchor stuck in the mud.” said Ed Bachrach, chairman of the Centre for Pension Integrity, an organization that studies public pension plans. ## (News, analysis.)

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

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




Economic Development Authority Awards Tax Incentives to Prefab Builder

November 22nd, 2016 Comments off

Credit: Think Kentucky.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) has awarded tax incentives to two businesses, including $20,000 for a $1.2 million operation that would utilize prefab to provide homes and light commercial buildings in five states.

Blueframe Design + Build is the brainchild of James C. Burris Architects, and plans to use advanced prefab technology to create energy-efficient buildings in an environmentally friendly manner.


Credit: James C. Burris Architects.

The company is planning to make prefab homes for senior housing developments, multi-family housing developments, single-family homes and light commercial projects in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and Georgia.

KEDFA also granted $1.4 million in tax incentives to Templar Manufacturing on a $5.3 million investment in Logan County for manufacturing emergency shelters to be used throughout the world in the areas that have been devastated by natural disasters.

The company is also focused on the development of “safe rooms.


Ribbon cutting ceremony for Champion Homes Kentucky plant. Credit: Woodworking Network.

The Daily Business News recently covered Champion Homes and their opening of a 100,000 square foot facility in Benton, Kentucky. KEDFA approved tax incentives for Champion of up to $2.25 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program to encourage investment and job growth in the community. ## 

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Freddie Mac Forms Partnership, Rolls Out MH Education Curriculum

November 18th, 2016 Comments off

freddiemacGovernment lender Freddie Mac has formed a partnership with Next Step Network, Inc., a Louisville, Kentucky-based non-profit housing intermediary, to roll out consumer education curriculum for manufactured home buyers.

The initiative is intended to foster new relationships with active participants in the manufactured housing industry, including mortgage lenders, at the local and national levels.

The average manufactured home costs $71,300,” said Danny Gardner, Freddie Mac’s vice president of affordable lending and access to credit.


Danny Gardner. Official photo.

That’s why it’s a crucial source of housing stock for people with very limited incomes, as well as those in underserved markets and rural areas.

The partnership with Next Step will provide educational information to prospective buyers in Kentucky, including information about the availability of down payment assistance programs and credit rebuilding services via housing counseling agencies.

Credit: Next Step.

Credit: Next Step.

We hope one of the outcomes of our educational initiative is an uptick in the number of ‘mortgage ready’ borrowers in Kentucky,” said Gardner.


Stacey Epperson. Credit LinkedIn.

We believe factory-built homes are one possible solution to our country’s growing affordable housing crisis,” said Stacey Epperson, president and founder of Next Step.

Our mission is putting sustainable homeownership within reach of everyone while transforming the manufactured housing industry through consumer education, affordability and energy efficiency.

The curriculum for buyers will be offered through eHome America, an online homebuyer education platform.


Milt Sharp. Credit: eHome America.

We’re pleased to participate in this pilot, and we’re excited about the enhancements to our online education curriculum to meet the needs of all homebuyers,” said Milt Sharp, president and national administrator for eHome America.

With potential increases in loan production on the horizon, Freddie Mac looks forward to seeing more lenders originating energy-efficient, real property loans for manufactured homes.

The Daily Business News has covered Next Step extensively, including their collaboration with NeighborWorks on low income housing in Waco, Texas. ##

(Image credits as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Champion Homes Opens Manufactured Home Plant in Kentucky

November 2nd, 2016 Comments off

Ribbon cutting ceremony for Champion Homes Kentucky plant. Credit: Woodworking Network.

Troy, Michigan-based Champion Homes has opened a 100,000-square-foot facility in Benton, Ky. The facility represents a $6.3 million investment for Champion and is expected to create 150 new jobs.

At Champion, we’re driven to produce the highest-quality affordable housing in part because we understand the special feeling our customers have when they first move into their new home,” said Keith Anderson, president of Champion Homes.

This is a day we’ll cherish for years because we’re experiencing that same feeling here today in Benton. The heart and soul of today’s celebration is really about what this new location means for our customers: better access to affordable housing, remarkable Champion value and increased convenience. We’re thrilled for them and look forward to what our collective futures hold.

Anderson added that the strong craftsmanship skills of the Benton workforce was the driving factor in the decision to select the location.

As many Daily Business News readers are aware, Champion Home Builders was founded in 1953, producing more than 1.7 million factory-built pre-HUD Code mobile homes, post-HUD Code manufactured homes and modular homes or buildings throughout the United States, in the United Kingdom and western Canada.


The new Champion plant in Benton, KY. Credit: Woodworking Network.

According to Woodworking Network, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved tax incentives up to $2.25 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program to encourage investment and job growth in the community.

The performance-based incentive allows Champion to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments, by meeting job and investment targets. Champion is also eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network, which offers free job placement and recruitment services and customized training incentives at a reduced cost.


A model home from Champion’s York, Nebraska production center.

The Champion Homes facility was an existing modular home plant in which Champion made renovations and added equipment. The facility will produce manufactured and modular homes for retailers in Kentucky and other states.

The Daily Business News covered Champion Homes and their original plans for the Kentucky facility here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Champion Homes Expanding Operations in Kentucky

April 30th, 2016 Comments off

champion_homes__creditChampion Home Builders will invest $6.3 million in a manufacturing plant in Benton, Kentucky, leasing a 100,000 square foot facility and create up to 150 jobs for production of manufactured homes, according to kyforward.

As encouragement to the investment in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has initially approved up to $2.25 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program. Champion will also be eligible to receive job placement services, reduced-cost customized training as well as job training incentives through the Kentucky Skills Network.

Starting as a single manufacturing plant in Troy, Michigan in 1953, Champion now operates 28 manufacturing facilities throughout North America and Europe, employing over 4,200 people. MHProNews understands the company makes manufactured, modular and park model homes as well as modular buildings for the multi-family, hospitality, senior and workforce housing markets.

Benton’s Mayor Rita Dotson said, “I am pleased to welcome Champion Homes to Benton, Kentucky. We are all very excited to see new opportunity created for our citizens. Congratulations Champion Homes and welcome to our community.” ##

(Photo credit:Champion Home Builders)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

NextStep Sponsors Lending to Buyers of EnergyStar Manufactured Homes

March 29th, 2016 Comments off

kentucky_housing_corporationForcht Bank of London, Kentucky has joined the SmartMH KY Alliance, an initiative to provide increased access to EnergyStar manufactured homes through flexible loan plans that save MH (manufacture home) owners money, while assuring them of low utility bills in the future, saving thousands over the life of the home.

As thenewsjournal informs MHProNews, manufactured homes account for 14 percent of Kentucky’s housing stock, with the purchase of about 2,000 new ones every year, but only one percent of which are EnergyStar certified.

Once being introduced to the SmartMH program we immediately understood the positive impact we could have on communities across Kentucky,” said Tucker Ballinger, President and CEO of Forcht Bank. “Our vision is to be a great community bank, and supporting the SmartMH initiative fits perfectly with that vision.”

Nonprofit Next Step Network, which is sponsoring the SmartMH KY Alliance, is identifying loan products through lenders that meet the SmartMH requirements for customers buying EnergyStar MH in Kentucky. The loans, now available through Forcht Bank, Kentucky Housing Corporation, Key Mortgage Company and CU Factory Built Lending, provide borrowers with good rates, better terms and down payment assistance.

It is hoped the project will increase the EnergyStar MH shipments from one percent to 50 percent within two years. “This has the potential to deeply impact the approach to energy efficiency within Kentucky’s marketplace, and the resulting benefits will extend to homebuyers and the communities in which they live,” according to the plan. ##

(Image credit: Kentucky Housing Corporation)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

SSK Acquires Hickory Hills MHC in Kentucky

February 10th, 2016 Comments off

kentucky__florence_hickory_hills_mhc__mobilehomeparkstore__creditMHProNews has learned from bizjournals that Erlanger, Kentucky-based SSK Communities has acquired Hickory Hills manufactured home community in Florence, Kentucky, marking SSK’s third acquisition this year. The community is adjacent to SSK’s Mosby Pointe, and residents of Hickory Hills will have access to amenities at Mosby, including the clubhouse and playgrounds.

Nathan Smith, former chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), is the owner and co-founder of SSK. He said, “We look forward to bringing this community up to the standards of Mosby’s Pointe and welcoming our new neighbors.”

According to mobilehomeparkstore, Hickory Hills has 101 home sites and a 69 percent occupancy rate when it was posted for sale at auction on Sept 28, 2015.

SSK’s portfolio includes 31 manufactured home communities with 6,900 home sites in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. It is one of the largest MHC owners in the Midwest, and ranks among the top 30 in the nation. ##

(Photo credit: mobilehomeparkstore–Hickory Hills manufactured home community)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

SSK Communities Plans Revamping of Manufactured Home Community

June 30th, 2015 Comments off

ssk_communities__wfie14newsMHPronews has learned from wfie14news that SSK Communities has acquired the 353 home site Lamp Lite Estates manufactured home community (MHC) in Owensboro, Kentucky and intends to “make significant improvements” which will include changing the name to Riverbend Pointe.

Nathan Smith, SSK co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), said, “This community, located along the banks of the Ohio River in Northern Owensboro, is part of a great city with wonderful amenities, tourism, arts and culture. We are planning to improve and expand this community into a neighborhood that people are proud to call home.

SSK plans to remove unoccupied homes and replace them with new homes which will be offered for sale and for rent. The company will also fill vacant home sites with new manufactured homes. MHProNews  has been informed by nkytribune SSK is the largest owner of MHCs in Kentucky, and owns 28 communities in Kentucky, Ohio and southern Indiana comprised of nearly 5,000 homes. Smith also serves as Chairman of the Board of Regents of Northern Kentucky University.

The previously published A Cup of Coffee with Nathan Smith, video interview, is found here.##

(Photo credit: wfie14news–Lamp Lite Estates, Owensboro Kentucky)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News- MHProNews.

HUD Code Production Rises Nearly 20 Percent in July

September 3rd, 2014 Comments off

mh_on_truck__credit_champion_homesAccording to the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) statistics reveal that production of manufactured homes jumped 18.4 percent in July over July 2013, 5,675 HUD Code homes this year as compared to 4,793 produced in July 2013. On the year, overall production is up 7.1 percent over last year’s totals, 36,350 this year versus 33,926 for last year.

Texas continues to lead the top ten list with shipments since Aug. 2011 (34,553) nearly triple those of homes going to second-ranked Louisiana (12,667), followed by Florida with 8,726 HUD Code homes. North Carolina is fourth with 7,285 homes, then Alabama with 7,147 homes. Mississippi, Kentucky, California, Tennessee and Oklahoma round out the top ten. MHProNews understands the top ten list did not change from last month. MHARR adds a reminder that this continued growth indicates there is no need for costly changes under the Title VI program or expanded energy mandates by the Department of Energy (DOE). ##

(Photo credit: Champion Homes)

From Single-section Home to Industry Success

January 31st, 2014 Comments off

Nathan Smith, 42, has grown from spending his early years in a pre HUD-Code home on a hillside in southeastern Kentucky to being the face of and partner in a company that develops and operates 25 manufactured housing communities (MHCs) in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. In a very animated TV commercial, Smith, who is naturally high energy, promotes SSK Communities of Erlanger, KY with a “move in today” message.

According to, he met businesswoman and philanthropist Alice Burns at Northern Kentucky University when they both served on the Board of Regents, when he was a student representative. They became friendly and she invested in SSK, and says Smith is a natural salesman.

In Democratic circles he is one of Kentucky’s most sought after fund raisers. “For the last 10 or 12 years, Nathan has probably been the most energetic and committed political and financial backer of Democrats from Northern Kentucky,” KY Attorney General Jack Conway said. KY Auditor Adam Edelen said to, “The great thing about Nathan is he is respectful by telling you precisely what he thinks but he never tells you what to think. That is a very special kind of characteristic that a lot of people in politics do not have. I think that is at the foundation of why he is so successful.” Calling politics a hobby, he says, “It is like the ultimate adult game.”

Currently serving as Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Smith was also present at the successful Louisville Manufactured Housing Show Jan. 22-24, as MHProNews knows. Howard Walker, vice chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties, the largest owner of MHCs in North America, compliments Smith on having built a “considerable portfolio” of properties.

Smith will be featured in a video interview on MHProNews that is planned to  go live this weekend.##

(Photo credit: Patrick Reddy/The Enquirer–Smith with inscribed photos from President Barack Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden.