Posts Tagged ‘Lesli Gooch’

“But I Was Born Free”

July 4th, 2019 Comments off

Stills from Born Free music video by Kid Rock, posted further below. Collage by MHProNews.

Music gets appropriated for commercials, campaigns, causes, and political events on a routine basis. So why not do that for the interests of manufactured home professionals, investors, and the tens of millions in the affordable home seeking public?


Facts, figures and slogans often get swatted around like a ping-pong ball in a professional-level table tennis match to advocate for some new law.

Why not cut-to-the-chase, save time, money, and implement the good laws that are already on the federal law books?

There are unique opportunities for honest gain being forged in the crucible of often troubling circumstances. There are purported ‘black hat’ operations that have manipulated the system and political forces in order to divert existing laws while lining their own pockets. They do so at the expense of our fellow Americans, ethical businesses, and honest investors.

Why not use some jujitsu to spotlight those bad behaviors, while ‘white hat’ businesses, investors, organizations, professionals, advocates, and lawmakers come together to enforce good laws?

Why not hold hearings in Congress to spotlight the various ways that existing laws have been blocked, often by posturing or feigning which masks entirely selfish interests – often within our own industry’s ranks?

Let’s explore that case briefly below.


Born Free

I was born free. We believe in free enterprise and respect all honest work. It’s a holiday, yet the groundskeepers caught us by surprise – they are working outside – keeping the lawn, shrubs, and the property pristine. Wow, that’s unexpected, yet it’s amazingly American.

But some are born into vexing scenarios made worse by corrupted versions of capitalism rightly called conquest or crony capitalism. Is it any wonder that millions – seeing such misbehavior – question free enterprise?

However well intended HUD Secretary Ben Carson or his predecessor Julián Castro may be or have been, there is evidence that corporate interests have colluded with officials currently or previously at HUD to thwart existing laws. We’ll explore who and name some names in the days ahead.

But even what we already know from Senate testimony or from the Washington Post should be enough to cause alarm for observant and thoughtful professionals and honorable public officials.

Senator Thom Tillis, in a dialogue with HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, “I don’t think that most people recognize how the regulatory burdens hit the poorest among us the hardest.” Tillis revealed that he grew up in what he called a ‘trailer house,’ but was more likely a mobile home or early HUD Code manufactured home. Tillis spoke about the morass of regulations that are “no doubt creating a higher price point.”



Senator Tillis (NC-R) jokingly said that in his personal case, the increased regulatory costs might have been the difference between a single wide, and a “single wide with a bump out.”  There are likely thousands of professionals in our industry that don’t even know what that means, because single sections with an extension are not so common any more. There was unquestionable more variety of manufactured homes built by more manufacturers 30 to 35 years ago than there are today. That’s not to say that there aren’t improvements, of course there are, as Secretary Carson said in the video above.  But for those who were in the industry in the 1980s, they recall ‘tip outs,’ balcony bedrooms, sunken baths, raised kitchens, and other floorplans that many today have not seen on a factory line in many years.

Tillis used his personal experience as an example to call attention for the need for regulatory stream lining that could benefit millions. That sound suspiciously like the executive order that President Trump issued just days ago. It was very much in keeping with what a Washington, D.C. based trade group has been calling public officials to do for years. Persistence may pay in the foreseeable future.

Secretary Carson, even early in his administration, noted that 22 million were living in manufactured homes and their mobile home predecessors. He said when you look at the progress made in the industry “it’s amazing.”



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


Dr. Carson went on to say that a lot of the housing was hard to distinguish from site-built housing, noted that pricing on manufactured homes was lower, but “the regulations are ridiculous.”  He noted that he put a moratorium on those and were inspecting regulations from “top to bottom.” More recently, Secretary Carson said that we can solve the affordable housing crisis, and he pointed to manufactured homes as part of that solution.

Some of those “ridiculous” regulations Carson spoke about in Senate testimony were no doubt about issues related to Danner that MHProNews and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), among others, had spotlighted for years.

Who was directly in charge of implementing HUD regulations?

Pam Danner, J.D., who per sources was inserted into her role at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) by backers within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  While that claim may or may not be easy to nail down, what follows is already known.

Juliet Eilperin writing in the Washington Post in May 2018 said that it was the efforts of Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of MHARR and his colleagues that got Danner removed, for her purported excesses in regulatory overreach. By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Senior Vice President (SVP) Lesli Gooch specifically stated that they did not seek Danner’s removal.

That WaPo report was not denied by MHI.

When thousands of industry professionals were howling from coast-to-coast about Danner and overreach, why wasn’t the Arlington, VA based trade group likewise pushing for Danner’s removal?

Once the ‘wheat and chaff’ are separated, what becomes clear is this. MHI postured action, but failed at the most basic and obvious step; i.e.: seeking and obtaining Danner’s removal. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s per the clear implication of MHI’s SVP Gooch’s own words, as reported by the Washington Post. That’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The deep pockets at MHI – and those behind them in places like Omaha, or the Knoxville metro, and their allies – can buy more of everything than MHARR and/or our publications can.  MHI is the one that claims they have clout at the federal level.  If so, how have they used that clout?


That reality of their deeper pockets and broader access are precisely why it is logically stating the obvious where the roadblocks in our industry are. They are often internal, and the net impact is that the industry is consolidating instead of growing.  Several of MHI’s own past and present members have said as much.





Former MHI state affiliates broke away and in 2018 formed the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners, NAMHCO. They cited MHI’s years of failures as part of their reason for doing so.



FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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


Who benefits from slow growth or negative growth? Isn’t it the deeper pockets that can then buy more communities, retailers, producers, and suppliers at a discount? Doesn’t that fit the Warren Buffett mantra?



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


Therefore, it is an obvious time for a new paradigm.



When MHProNews spotlighted that MHI had reputedly done nothing on reaching out to the CFPB in 2017, MHI – perhaps in there embarrassment – began to move to get something done. When MHARR pushed MHI long enough on the DOE energy rule, MHI finally pivoted. It seems that MHI acts for the interests they claim to stand for best when the spotlight hits their lack of action otherwise. 


It is time for new alliances to be created that bridge the gaps that are causing a harmful status quo.  It is outrageous that manufactured home shipments are into 9 months of year-over-year decline.  It is a disgrace that MHI and their outside attorney threatened us for lawfully publishing the item below, when it was they who were making the false claims and promises.




That this decline is avoidable is exemplified by exceptions to the rule, such as our report on Nobility Homes, linked here.

That Buffett’s ‘donations’ have found their way into the hands of MHAction and other groups opposing MHI begs the question, have they been playing the industry’s white hats with the rope-a-dope for years?


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


While MHI, Prosperity Now and others are pushing for a new bill in Congress that could make things worse. Paradoxically, the claimed goal of that bill could be rapidly achieved simply by implementing existing federal laws. Which begs the question, why not push for implementing good laws that are already on the books?  Who benefits from more delays? Isn’t it the consolidators that want to keep manufactured housing misunderstood and underperforming?




There are several reasons to believe that there is collusion and corruption that purportedly violates antitrust, IRS or other regulations, and possibly laws such as RICO.



We have new and significant recent features on Manufactured Home Living News. They lay the foundation that makes the case for implementation of existing laws. They also suggest how white hat brands, organizations, honest public officials, and investors could be working with manufactured homeowners, renters, and others to reform the system by implementing existing laws.

It could – indeed should – start with public hearings by Congress and possibly states to investigate and explore what has gone wrong.  No one could be as incompetent as the powers that be in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have been, could they? Which suggests that a relatively small group of people could be manipulating the system in ways that cause more homelessness, more poverty, and more grief for millions that would otherwise be avoided.



More in the days ahead on specifics within HUD that should cause alarm and spark action.

Those of us born in the U.S.A. were born free.  Let’s not lose that freedom to the machinations of a few that are trying to wrongfully enrich themselves to the detriment of the many.



Roll the stone away. Let the guilty pay. It’s Independence Day.



Summing Up

The solution to the affordable housing crisis has been hiding in plain sight for years.  There is a case to be made that it is often forces within the industry that have thwarted, allowed, and diverted resources and good current laws from spurring more sustainable growth. That growth would have meant more home ownership for people otherwise trapped in rent. That kind of corruption must be exposed and punished.

Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it’s Independence Day.”

Now you may better understand our mantra, “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © Dig into the related and linked reports above and below to round out the picture. Let’s restore the American Dream, starting with an understanding of Independence Day. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)


For MH professional expert services, click here. For examples of third-party media, see links here, here, and here.

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC parent company of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.



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Manufactured Housing Production and Shipments, Official HUD Data, Report for May 2019







Lesli Gooch, PhD, Manufactured Housing Institute EVP Reveals DTS Financing Con Job

March 26th, 2019 Comments off



When asked, manufactured home industry members often say they want more and better lending options.  That’s especially true for personal property, home only, or ‘chattel loans.’  Prospective consumers want more affordable lending. Existing or current manufactured home owners may want to refinance higher rate loans with a Berkshire Hathaway lending brand in order to get a lower interest rate.  So there are an array of those who want better lending options.


It is debatable if Executive Vice-President (EVP) Lesli Gooch – who some speculate is the heir apparent to Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison as the next Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) president – consciously or unconsciously intended to reveal the ‘Big Con‘ in manufactured housing finance with her new article in MHVillage’s MHInsider. 

Regardless, this Daily Business News on MHProNews fact-check will unveil the latest purported fabrication that mixes fact with fiction.  She claims that MHI is actually trying to get more financing options for the industry’s independents.  Is that demonstrably so?

First, let’s see what Gooch said in the March/April issue of the clearly pro-MHI MHInsider.

The purchase and securitization of chattel loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises or GSEs) is crucial to our industry, and MHI has engaged in years-long effort to push the Enterprises to purchase chattel loans as soon as possible.”  The first part of that sentence from Gooch’s column is a widely agreed to statement, but the accuracy of the second part (i.e.: if MHI is truly pushing for chattel loans by the GSEs “as soon as possible”) is what this fact-check will explore.

With housing finance reform expected to be on Congress’ agenda in the coming year, MHI has positioned the industry well,” wrote Gooch.  Positioned the industry well, for what? Let’s look.

One of MHI’s top priorities for 2019 is to continue to improve the supply of manufactured housing financing, including further progress toward the creation of a secondary market for chattel loans,” said Gooch.

  • If so, why did MHI’s former Executive Committee Chairman Tim Williams say that pursing duty to serve was a waste of time” – in his own prior written statement to MHProNews?
  • Or more recently, Paul Barretto with Fannie Mae confirmed that they had received no data to support chattel loan performance from either of the big two Berkshire Hathaway owned chattel lenders, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), or 21st Mortgage Corp, which has the same Tim Williams as its president. Doesn’t those facts alone mitigate against Gooch’s bold claim?
  • If the two largest MHI lenders wanted the GSEs to do lending ‘as soon as possible,’ then why didn’t they give their loan performance data as Fannie and Freddie requested?

MHI can’t logically claim to have it both ways.  One or more at MHI in key roles are not being accurate or honest. Other MHI lenders, by the way, did reportedly give the GSEs their loan performance data.  So why didn’t 21st or VMF?  It last factoid should be underscored.  It must never be misconstrued that what some do at MHI, Clayton, 21st, et al is automatically a bad reflection on others. It’s not.  MHProNews strongly believes in separating wheat from chaff.  Both are found wherever you look.

Note that neither MHI, Clayton Homes, nor Tim Williams/21st have denied our published reports in person, or in writing. MHProNews routinely gives them an invitation to do so.  Is that so because there are witnesses and documents that back up our evidence and fact-based assertions?



Follow the Money

Recall that an inside source recently told MHProNews about an “unholy alliance” to divert Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured home lending by the GSEs lending options away from most manufactured homes. Gooch claims in MHInsider and elsewhere that MHI is working to expand lending. Then how do they explain that MHI signed onto a public letter recently that asks FHFA to ‘go slow’ on changes with the GSEs?

That letter MHI signed onto with other associations outside of manufactured housing was reported by the mainstream media. What that joint letter says and what Gooch claims are mutually exclusive. MHI can’t have it both ways, logically.  Posturing or claiming something are not the same as doing what’s claimed.

Furthermore, MHI worked behind closed doors with the GSEs to get financing that ended up only useful for the Clayton Homes-backed ‘new class of homes.’ Repeated requests by MHARR or MHProNews to have those minutes released were not honored. If MHI truly wanted to expand lending with the GSEs, then why didn’t they work with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) to get lending on all manufactured homes, not for just a select few manufactured homes?

Rephrased, when viewed against a variety of known facts and evidence there is a gross lack of logic in what Gooch claims, and what the Arlington, VA based MHI trade association has done in recent years.

Recall that a GSE prior “MH Select” program was a dismal failure in the marketplace, per sources at a GSE. Note too that the new breakaway from MHI, NAMHCO hired a lobbyist in part precisely because they don’t think MHI is working to get robust GSE chattel lending for communities, or others. There is scant evidence – beyond mere words – that MHI has tried to get robust chattel lending by the GSE, but considerable evidence to the contrary.

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report

When you follow the money, for years, the annual Berkshire Hathaway annual report reflects the fact that much of the profits from manufactured housing that they earn are from financing and financial services. Is the industry, or clear and objective thinkers interested in affordable manufactured homes, really going to believe that the Berkshire brand lenders at MHI want to lose profits by having the GSEs compete with VMF and 21st?  Wouldn’t VMF and 21st lose millions of dollars a year if consumers switched their loans from higher interest rates with Berkshire Hathaway lenders to lower rates with a GSE, if competitive rate chattel loans were available for any manufactured homes?

It bears mention that at a San Antonio MHI meeting in 2017, in front of a relative small group of MHI members, Tim Williams specifically said to those MHI members that they (21st, VMF) didn’t want to see the GSEs get the best credit, and leave the Berkshire lenders with lower credits scores and lower profits.  That too contradicts Gooch’s claim.

Thus including from their former chairman, there is plenty of evidence that stands in stark contrast to what Gooch claimed.  Darren Krolewski – publisher of the MHInsider and Lesli Gooch were both at that same San Antonio MHI meeting, per sources.  They where there when Williams from 21st made the statements noted herein and above.  It seems unlikely that they didn’t hear or didn’t know about Williams statements, or the fact that Williams himself admitted that the had given no data to the GSEs.

All of those points contradict Gooch’s claim.  Indeed, it makes appear that her and Krolewski seem to be de facto ‘in on a con job’ – part of the problem, instead of part of the solution.

That leaves honest manufactured home industry members with this vexing conclusion.  Gooch and MHInsider – the first three letters of the publication’s name spell MHI – are deliberately trying to con or head fake the industry into believing something other than what MHI and the Berkshire brands are doing.  Logic alone suggests that Omaha and Knoxville based operations would purportedly thwart rather than promote lending that competes with what 21st or VMF offers.

If Krolewski, who has his own documented challenges with sharing facts accurately and honestly, or:


  • Lesli Gooch,
  • Tim Williams/21st,
  • the GSEs,
  • Joe Stegmayer, MHI chairman,
  • any other officials from MHI,
  • their attorneys,
  • or one of the other Knoxville-metro based Berkshire Hathaway brands want to provide evidence of their work that prove otherwise – not mere claims that are easily debunked – let them come to Session 1 of Thursday afternoon’s Fix the MH Industry Tricks meeting. Learn more linked there, or at the links found below.



Ask yourself if this MHI member’s prior statement has been born out in fact-checks like this one?


The industry will arguably not achieve its tremendous potential for profitable and honorable growth until a pro-financing, pro-growth national association option exists to MHI.  Learn more at the links, above and below.  Make or modify your plans to attend the historic meetings Thursday afternoon, in Tunica MS near the trade show location, and after the main Tunica Show events are concluded.


See ‘You’ve Gotta Have Swagger. ‘  You don’t have to be in the #MHM to attend. Click here to RSVP by saying RSVP in the subject line with your name, title and contact information.

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Wall Street, Lesli Gooch – Manufactured Housing Institute EVP – Penetrating Scotsman Guide Interview Analysis

January 26th, 2019 Comments off



Timely information combined with money can move stocks and markets. Information may be legally or illegally used, as the growing storm clouds over Cavco Industries (CVCO) concerning certain trades by Joe Stegmayer and Cavco reminded the manufactured home industry and its investors.  But note that Stegmayer and Cavco are not directly tied into today’s analysis, though they will be the focus of a looming report.


There was an interview reported this past week by the Scotsman Guide with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Executive Vice President (EVP) Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. That publication has quoted MHI previously.

Before examining Gooch’s comments and their timing, one should pause and do a brief refresher on the award-winning Oliver Stone movie, Wall Street.  Some selected quotes from Wikipedia will serve to tee up the ball, by conveying plot-lines that convey fictional but still useful concepts.  Each bullet is a quote from the link here.

     Bud Fox is a junior stockbroker at Jackson Steinem & Co. in New York City. He wants to work with his hero, Gordon Gekko, a legendary Wall Street player.

     Bud provides him [Gecko] some inside information about Bluestar Airlines, which he has learned in a casual conversation with his father, Carl, leader of the company’s maintenance workers union.

     …Gekko offers Bud another chance, and tells him to spy on British CEO Sir Lawrence Wildman and discern Wildman’s next move. Bud learns that Wildman is making a bid for a steel company. Through Bud’s spying, Gekko makes money, and Wildman is forced to buy Gekko’s shares to complete his takeover.

     …Bud is promoted as a result of the large commission fees he is bringing in and is given a corner office with a view. He continues to maximize inside information and use friends as straw buyers to provide more income for him and Gekko. Unknown to Bud, several of his trades attract the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

     …Bud devises a plan to drive up Bluestar’s stock before manipulating it back down…” 


The MH Evening Market Report 

Every evening for several years, the Daily Business News on MHProNews does a closing market recap of specific manufactured housing industry connected stocks after the closing bell. What years of observations have yielded helped forge an evolving evening market report. Every business news show or website is premised in part on the notion that news stories, data, headlines, and insights often move one or more stocks, or even the broader markets.

For balance, MHProNews uses bullets from CNN Money and Fox Business, to allow for the media’s evident left-right divide. We use closing market data from CNN, Yahoo, and Bloomberg too.



MHProNews looks at issues from a wide variety of perspectives.


That a mere statement can move stocks and/or the broader markets is beyond question. For example:

Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Jaime Dimon made a public announcement in 2017 on the day of President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union (SOTU) Address. Healthcare stocks, and much of rest of the markets dropped that day, as an apparent result.  Prior to that, stocks had enjoyed a long, steady rise.

Words and ideas apparently matter to Wall Street and investors. Who speaks those words matters too.

With that backdrop, let’s consider what “Dr. Gooch” from MHI said to the Scotsman Guide, as well as what occurred. There are no specific allegation being made. But the facts, quotes, narrative, and the outcomes after the shutdown will be considered. 

Let’s next look at some selected items from Scotsman Guide (SG) Media’s About Us page.

Scotsman Guide, the leading resource for mortgage originators, is published nationally every month in separate residential and commercial editions


Our History

Scotsman Guide Media is privately held company that has served the mortgage lending industry since 1985

Mission Statement

Scotsman Guide Media’s mission is to be the leading provider of information, resources and tools for professionals in the mortgage industry —in both the residential and commercial markets.

Toward this goal, Scotsman Guide Media has been taking the following steps

         Publishing educational articles and in-depth news-based features that keep mortgage professionals apprised of market trends and developments…”

The Daily Business News on MHProNews now turns to the actual SG article, starting with the date, time stamp, and featured image as shown.



Top Headlines 

Jan 22, 2019  16:50 ET.

Shutdown threatens manufactured-home industry

The government shutdown hasn’t widely affected the manufactured-housing industry yet, but a prolonged closure has the potential to stop deliveries of new manufactured homes all over the country, an industry trade group says. 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Manufactured Housing, an agency that oversees the building code and certification process for manufactured homes, has been closed during what has become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. This has only so far affected manufacturers producing homes that require letters of approval for alternative construction, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), an industry trade group.  

HUD often opts to approve alterations in approved floor designs or other features in manufactured homes on a case-by-case basis.  Because of the shutdown, HUD’s office can’t do that, leaving some manufacturers in limbo, said Lesli Gooch, MHI’s senior vice president for government affairs.

“If you don’t have approval through the alternative-construction process, that house can’t be delivered because that house can’t receive the HUD code-certification label,” Gooch told Scotsman Guide News. “We have a lot of manufacturers.”

Gooch said one plant in Mississippi, for example, was awaiting approval last week from HUD to install an HVAC unit that isn’t on its approved list. That company is producing manufactured-home units for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Because HUD is closed, they are not going to get approval, which means the production of these FEMA units is on hold until they get approval,” Gooch said. She said the trade group is still investigating how many deliveries have similarly been disrupted.

“I don’t have a sense of how large a problem this is as far as production being halted because of the need to renew an alternative-construction letter or the need to obtain an alternative-construction letter,” Gooch said. “The Mississippi issue is one that I was contacted about just because it is one federal agency requesting homes, and they can’t be built because HUD is closed,” she said.

Gooch also said there is the potential for widespread problems should the shutdown drag on for another month. MHI believes there is a possibility that the supply of HUD tags could run out because of the closure and budget impasse.  

Every manufactured home that is built and delivered in the U.S. — roughly 8,000 per month — has to be inspected and certified as having met safety standards. Once inspected, the manufacturer is given a red-metal tag, which is affixed to the exterior of the building to verify that it meets the standard. The home can’t be delivered to a customer until it is tagged.

“Based on our research, the industry’s PIAs [primary inspection agencies] should have enough labels on hand to get through the end of February,” Gooch said. “If the government shutdown continues, early March is our first estimate of when a problem could develop.” 

For the duration of the shutdown, HUD has also stopped the Title 1 loan program, which backs a small number of chattel loans each year used by borrowers to buy manufactured homes that aren’t titled as real property.  

 ## End of SG article being reviewed ##

The original article from the Scotsman Guide is linked here, and a download of the screen capture of that article’s page as of the date of this Daily Business News on MHProNews post is linked here.

Now, let’s turn to two graphics from our evening market reports.  The first is from the evening of 1.23.2019.  This would be the day after Gooch’s quoted commentary, shown above.


Berkshire and MMI clearly have other interests, beyond manufactured homes, as is true of some of the other tracked stocks shown above. But Cavco is a factory-built housing focused firm. The majority of the tracked stocks fell on the day following Gooch’s comments.


The next graphic is from the evening of 1.25.2019, after the end of the partial federal shutdown was announced.


Virtually all tracked stocks moved up by the close of the market’s day following the partial federal shutdown. Next, look at what the broader markets did on 1.23.2019 and on 1.25.2019.


Note that there was already Washington, D.C. and media scuttlebutt that a deal to end the recent shutdown was already in motion at the time the Scotsman Guide article was published.  Note too what the broader markets did on both days, which largely closed up.



These 12 indicators are published every evening on the Daily Business News on MHProNews market summary and related featured report. Note that the markets generally rose both days, but on the 1.23.2019, the manufactured housing industry’s connected tracked stocks largely fell. It could be a coincidence. But what if Gooch’s article – intentionally or not – was used by traders and investors to reconsider some of their positions in manufactured home businesses?


Then consider this point.  There are arguably few manufactured home industry professionals, much less stock market watchers and investors, who would have even considered the notion that a partial federal shutdown could impact manufactured housing at all.

So why make did Gooch make those comments in the first place?

As was noted at the top of this column, Joe Stegmayer is under the cloud of an SEC subpoena. He stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Cavco, and the stock plunged as a result. A follow up report on that topic is pending, as there are new developments learned about that fiasco, which will be reviewed in the days ahead by MHProNews. 

But for now, we will simply note the obvious. Stegmayer is still MHI’s Chairman. He is an ex-division president of Clayton Homes, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Since the time that Triad Financial Services CEO Don Glisson, Jr was briefly their chairman, MHI apparently has had no problem with keeping someone on as chair that has come under a cloud of legal or media suspicion. Consider these three. 

   Better Business Bureau (BBB) “F rated” SSK Communities’ partner Nathan Smith

   Tim Williams, President and CEO or Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corp, and

   Joe Stegmayer of Cavco Industries (CVCO) have all come under a cloud of legal, media, regulatory, and/or some other combination of suspicion. 

None of those 3 bothered to step down as MHI Chairman.   Although MHI has postured efforts for growth for years, the industry has steadily been consolidating. Sales have been moribund, in spite of overall quality and satisfaction that third party research has documented. One such example of their party praise is linked here.


Questions, Questions…

There ought to be some open questions from investigators that seek honest answers as to why Gooch would make these statements in the first place.

  • Who did or might have benefited from Gooch’s odd statements?
  • Who did this potentially impact – or which firms might have been harmed – by Gooch’s statements?
  • Were her arguably misguided comments merely foolish? Or where they a page out of the MHI play book – namely, actions and/or inactions that harm independents – that also fits loosely with a plot-line of the movie Wall Street?

What is certain is that Congressional hearings and an SEC investigation ought to be conducted related to several issues connected to the Manufactured Housing Institute. But it won’t be only about the article reviewed above. It should also be about the facts and evidence from articles linked below the bylines and the notices that follow.

We opened this with the words, “Timely information combined with money can move markets. Information may be legally or illegally used…”  There’s an affordable housing crisis.  Yet, manufactured housing is snoring instead of roaring.  MHI claims to be promoting the industry.  How did Gooch’s comments promote confidence?



See MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison’s comments, linked below the byline. Also see what MHI’s prior president said at this link here.


Corruption, waste, fraud, and other abuses in the Washington, D.C. metro are not new.  But that doesn’t mean that they should be tolerated.

Something has smelled in certain offices in Arlington, VA for some time. And it’s not a flowery aroma.  Rather, it’s arguably the stench of a string of troubling incidents and concerns connected to MHI that has made them worthy of suspicion, which our coverage and analysis of such #nettlesome things have made this pro-manufactured housing growth publication the most widely read trade media in this industry today. 

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



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“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

Production Decline Continues in November 2018









MHARR Points to Needs Underscored by Washington Post Article on HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program, Related Woes

May 22nd, 2018 Comments off


A recent article in the Washington Post regarding the HUD manufactured housing program and the reassignment of former program administrator, Pamela Danner, vividly highlights the glaring need for a new, independent, collective, national trade association to more effectively represent the industry’s post-production sector,” said Mark Weiss in the latest MHARR Issues and Perspectives.


Weiss, is an attorney by trade, and is the president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Weiss and MHARR were cited and interviewed in award-winning Juliet Eilperin’s documented Washington Post report 3 weeks ago.  Eilperin laid out the tug-of-war over the HUD Code manufactured housing program, past, present and future. Mark Weiss, Pamela Danner, Lois Starkey, Lesli Gooch, were among those named and quoted.  So too was Doug Ryan of Prosperity Now.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson drew serious attention from the Washington Post (WaPo), as did others at HUD.


The View from MHARR

While the Post article, published May 2, 2018, was surprisingly objective in describing MHARR’s successful effort to change the leadership of the HUD program following the election of President Trump (noting that the Manufactured Housing Institute, by contrast, “did not weight-in on [Pamela] Danner’s reassignment”), the story concluded with an all-to-typically-negative account of late-2017 post-production enforcement activity by HUD regulators focused on homes sited in a Massachusetts manufactured housing community. That HUD and a Washington Post reporter would focus on a post-production regulatory issue and related post-production enforcement activity, however, is not, in itself, surprising, given HUD’s evolving – and expanding — regulatory emphasis on post-production matters and post production issues,” wrote Weiss.

To rephrase, Weiss is saying that the article the WaPo article spotlighted several trends from recent years. These include a growing encroachment by HUD on the installation of homes, among other problematic developments.

Indeed, such growing emphasis by HUD and its defacto enforcement contractors (i.e., the Institute for Building Safety and Technology and SEBA Professional Services, L.L.C.) – and others — on post-production issues and post-production targets, is an entirely predictable by-product of the success of the industry’s production sector in two crucial areas, and represents a major challenge that the broader industry must now step-up to effectively address and resolve,” said Weiss.

As with everything else, though, success within the production realm has been paralleled by challenges in other areas which the industry has failed – and continues to fail — to effectively address, precisely because it lacks an independent, collective, national voice to lead and advocate on those matters on behalf of the industry’s post-production sector.  And, as the Washington Post article demonstrates, with just a single example, those challenges will continue to fester and expand, limiting the growth potential of the industry as a whole and the availability of inherently affordable manufactured housing for millions of lower and moderate-income American families, unless and until this underlying issue is properly addressed and resolved,” MHARR’s release to MHProNews stated.


A Step Back, Before Moving Ahead

In an on the record statement a week ago, the following on-the-record message came in to the MHProNews.

Tony, Excellent lead article in your Saturday [Daily Business News] blog.”

The article referred to is linked below.

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

You [MHProNews] now have placed the industry’s decades-long failure with its lack of a collective independent national post production representation in Washington, DC on top of its list of priorities and at the center of its debate going forward,” said the message from a RV MH Hall of Fame industry veteran.


Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

Until and unless this glaring failure [to create a meaningful post-production association] is addressed and resolved soon, the industry’s snail pace of progress, with its resulting federal, state and local damaging setbacks, will continue, and indeed multiply unabated.”

Hopefully, the industry’s cooler heads will prevail on this most pressing matter, this time around.



Danny Ghorbani

Ghorbani, as long-time industry veterans recall, worked for the predecessor of what became the Manufactured Housing Institute IMHI).  Ghorbani later was a key player in the creation of what today is known as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, (MHARR), and became its first president.


While Ghorbani is officially retired, he is still an active advisor to MHARR.  He takes part in many key meetings, as the photo with HUD Secretary Ben Carson above reflects.

As several industry members and observers have noted, a past squabble between Ghorbani and MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach was privately discussed and resolved some years ago.

While MHProNews and MHARR are independent of one another, the two often have similar perspectives on key issues; with each party bringing its own unique experiences to bear on industry topics.


MHARR’s Call for a New Post-Production Association

MHARR is not interested in being that new post-production association, as a report they published last year made clear.

But MHARR has stated that they are willing to lend their expertise, and experience in helping independent retailers, communities, lenders, and others to forge their own post-production association.

With an affordable housing crisis growing in scope, it is almost inconceivable to some industry observers and professionals that HUD Code manufactured housing is hovering at only an estimated 100,000 shipments projected for 2018.

An effective post-production association is an important part of the cure for that ailment.

As Weiss said in part of today’s newly published report, “…the modern industry’s unequalled ability to produce safe, high-quality homes that comply with all applicable federal standards, at an inherently affordable price-point.  Data compiled on behalf of HUD proves this point.”

In the July 2015 edition of the “MHARR Viewpoint,” MHARR observed that according to HUD’s federal dispute resolution contractor, of the 123,174 HUD Code manufactured homes placed in 23 federally-administered dispute resolution (DR) “default” states between 2008 and 2014, only 24 homes — or .019% — were referred to federal dispute resolution, a process encompassing, and available to, homeowners, producers and installers.  Of those 24 referrals, only 3 – or .002% — were found to actually qualify for dispute resolution under applicable HUD regulations.  Given those undisputed facts, MHARR pointed out that federal DR referrals “are a direct barometer of compliance with the relevant construction and installation standards, and the responsiveness of regulated parties (including manufacturers, installers and retailers) to homebuyers.”

Summing up, the quality of the HUD Code manufactured home industry’s product has never been better, and federal data proves it.

The industry accomplished the removal of Danner from her widely-construed as harmful impact to manufactured housing, thanks in no small part to the intervention of MHARR with HUD, as the Washington Post documented.

The Washington Post report made also clarified that fact based upon MHI SVP Lesli Gooch’s own statement. Gooch told WaPo that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) took no part in the removal of Pam Danner.  That was a stunningly tone-deaf response to industry members, with many in MHI, calling for Danner’s ouster.

That failure of MHI to act is but one more reason for a new post-production association. Such a body would arguably save the industry’s members money, and also help them penetrate markets they are now limited in.

MHI’s admission from Gooch – via WaPo’s report – ought to cause MHI supporters to rethink their lack of response to their own grass roots on that hot-button Pam Danner issue.

The entire MHARR Issues and Perspectives for June 2018 on the topic of the industry’s need for an effective, independent post-production association is linked here. ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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


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

May 12th, 2018 Comments off


Whatever one thinks about their political leanings, the Washington Post is one of the most important and influential news publications in America.


They decided to publish an article recently about the HUD Code manufactured housing program.

More specifically, the Washington Post (WaPo or WP) wrote about the inner workings of HUD under the Trump Administration, with Secretary Ben Carson at the helm.

The WP’s award-winning Juliet Eilperin wrote about the quality of today’s manufactured homes, specifically citing Secretary Carson’s quote about how “amazing” they are.

Eilperin’s article also talked about both national manufactured housing associations.


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

As long-time Daily Business News readers know, there are two national associations that work in manufactured housing. There is the larger of the two, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. That’s right across the river from Washington, D.C.

Then there’s the Washington-based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Decades before, the Washington Post published another article about the association known today as MHARR. That article focused on MHARR’s fight with HUD for a removable chassis for manufactured homes. We will return to that removable chassis point later.

It isn’t at all odd that there are more than one national association for manufactured housing.

In conventional housing, there are:

  • The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a “producers” association.
  • There is the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a “Post-production” trade group focused upon the resale of existing homes.
  • There is the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and they focus more on financing of new construction, the resale of existing homes, and the refinancing of homes.

The list of housing associations goes on to multiple-family housing, remodeling, and more.

So, if anything, manufactured housing presently has fewer associations than conventional housing does.

That helps explain one reason why, perhaps, that a HUD official told MHProNews that they don’t expect the manufactured housing industry to speak with one voice.’ Unity doesn’t exist in housing.  Nor is there full unity in the automotive trade association world either, where dealers and producers have separate associations.

Those separate trade bodies often sit down, or via conference calls, communicate and work with each other to resolve issues and differences on legislative or other matters.

So manufactured housing isn’t unique, and Eilperin’s Washington Post article helped highlight that important detail.

So-called unity in manufactured housing is not to be expected any more than in other professions.


More Hidden-in-Plain-Sight WaPo Insights

But there is more to her Washington Post article, for those who read it carefully and objectively.

In America today, it’s become commonplace to understand that media has an agenda.

What the 45th president calls “fake news,” is at times agenda driven, weaponized reporting. There are partisans on both sides of the left-right divide that sharpen their articles to reflect their perspectives. It’s more out-in-the-open today, and thanks to research like award-winning Sharyl Attkinsson’s, we now have a chart – the one below – to reference that helps readers understand the left-right bias of a given major news source.


Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 


From the far left – The Nation – to the right – Breitbart – there are voices in media that have focused on the problematic issue of monopolistic dominance of certain sectors of the American economy.

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

In manufactured housing, The Atlantic, The Nation, the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Fox News are among those mainstream media outlets that have focused reports on various aspects of manufactured housing.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

Let’s note that while agendas exist, affordable housing isn’t a partisan political issue.


Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

That’s what former MHARR president, Danny Ghorbani has said, that the manufactured housing industry can work successfully with both sides of the political aisle.  He’s right, and that’s been the industry’s history for decades.

The contrast between MHARR and MHI is an interesting and notable one.  And Eilperin’s WaPo narrative helped highlight it.

MHI has a political action committee, or PAC. MHARR does not.

MHI says they represent ‘all aspects of factory-built housing,’ meaning production and post-production, including lending, suppliers, etc.  It also means MHI represents manufactured homes, and modular too.

MHARR, by contrast, clearly states they represent only the interests of the independent producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

That said, MHARR has an interest in seeing independent retailers, builder/developers and communities thrive.  After all, that’s their client base.

MHI has several times MHARR’s annual budget, and far more staff.

Yet the Washington Post report on the controversy at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) made clear that it was MHARR that succeeded at having Pam Danner removed from her role as administrator over the HUD Code manufactured home program.

Juliet Eilperin’s Washington Post HUD Manufactured Home Program News Confirms Manufactured Housing Institute Position and Report

Meanwhile, it was MHI that contributed to or influenced having Lois Starkey removed from her roll at HUD.


And why were the documents related to MHI’s effort to remove Starkey – note that those memos were dated months before the Washington Post story – why did take their attorney so long to complain to HUD after Starkey left MHI?

MHProNews published the fact that Starkey was at HUD, and MHI knew it before from other sources at HUD too.  So, why did MHI delay their protest of Starkey joining HUD?

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

Eilperin’s Washington Post report is a rich, revealing narrative. For example, it reflects an anti-Trump Administration stance. Eilperin says that the Trump Administration is trying to take control of all aspects of the federal government, even this previously obscure office manufactured housing office buried deeply away at HUD.

News flash. Every president tries to take control over the federal government. It’s part of the job description for the chief executive of the United States of America.

But Eilperin raises an important point: with an affordable housing crisis raging in America, why has manufactured housing been tucked away in obscurity for so long at HUD?


Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

What MHI EVP Lesli Gooch admits to doing, is surprising too.

Per Gooch to WaPo, MHI wanted to see HUD restructure the manufactured housing program office within the broader arrangement at HUD. Hmmm…okay, duly noted.

But what Pam Danner did was a clear federal overreach of her office’s power, from the perspective of hundreds of manufactured housing operations across the country. Why wasn’t MHI’s response to Danner’s overreach to try – as did MHARR – to have Danner removed?

Note that even though MHI and state associations – which are arguably dominated by MHI, as MHProNews has previously reported – also had members that wanted Danner’s removal.

So why didn’t MHI listen to their own grass roots?

Thus, MHARR is made to be – from an industry reading of the WaPo narrative – an association hero.

MHI’s own EVP frankly stated they were doing something different than seeking Danner’s removal. In fact, the action taken by MHI’s attorney toward Starkey was surprising. MHI’s outside counsel literally said in part that MHI considers HUD to be MHI’s client.

HUD a client of MHI?

Surprising, but it is there in black and white. Was that ‘client’ reference a boiler-plate-letter oversight that was sent by MHI’s outside counsel to HUD uncorrected? Or does MHI literally believe HUD is MHI’s client??  Isn’t either an embarrassment?

Go to the WaPo article – linked here – and see the downloadable related documents Eilperin obtained for yourself.

The WaPo narrative is rich in such details and insights. Eilperin did the industry numerous favors in how her article is framed, which is seemingly meant as a hit at Secretary Carson, and the Trump Administration.  But a careful reading of her narrative with insights like those noted herein reveals instead that Team Trump are reforming years of prior HUD Code program regulatory overreach that Dr. Carson called “ridiculous.”

Our sources tell us that the new status quo at the HUD manufactured housing program office is expected to continue under the temporary leadership of Teresa Payne.  Payne led the program once before, as long-time MHProNews readers with a keen mind recall.

The Daily Business News is also told to expect a slow-dance on the Brian Montgomery appointment by the Senate. Until that time, Dana Wade is ably serving Secretary Carson in a key spot, and seems to be doing so in a manner that keeps both trade groups – for now – officially pleased.


Another Bottom Line?

The WaPo narrative reveals many more details. Each of them confirms numerous, prior MHProNews reports and commentaries.  It’s an opportunity, as a reader prodded us, to say “I told you so” about MHI being the de facto road-block to not having Danner removed even sooner.  See Transparency, among many other reports that were confirmed by WaPo, linked below for later in-depth reading.

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Another thought provoking point for this weekend is this. MHI allowed HUD to overreach, without asking for Pam Danner’s removal. Why?

Who, besides big businesses, benefit when all sizes of businesses are being oppressed?

MHProNews has taken pains for years to lay out the cases that point to the fact that heavy regulation harms smaller businesses more than bigger ones.


In banking, community banks suffered under Dodd-Frank, even though community banks arguably had far less impact on the financial meltdown that gave rise to the birth of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB in the first place.  Even giant U.S. Bank closed its manufactured housing program, not because it wasn’t profitable.  Rather, U.S. Bank pulled the plug due to regulatory risks and not enough volume to make up for those risks.  For later in-depth reading, click the below.

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

  • MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNews

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

    Mark Weiss, JD, at MHARR is portrayed by WaPo’s journalist as working to relieve the burdens imposed by Danner at HUD.

  • MHI is shown as allowing those burdens to stand.
  • Read that in the context of Smoking Gun 3 under related reports at the end, and you may never see manufactured housing industry politics the same ever again.


What About that Removal Chassis?

As to a removable chassis?

If manufactured housing were allowed by HUD to have removable chassis, as MHARR decades ago tried to accomplish, manufactured homes – with a chassis removed – would be:


Credit, Photos from New Durham Estates south. These homes are ground set. But if a chassis was removed, then a home would be closer to the ground by about eight, ten or twelve inches, and would be more like those shown in this photo.

  • lower to the ground once installed.
  • They would look even more like a conventional house, once installed.
  • It would cost less to put a foundation enclosure around a manufactured home without a chassis that it normally does with one now.
  • Sans the chassis, it would remove the impression of the home being mobile, when most manufactuerd homes aren’t moved once installed.
  • It would be greener to recycle the chassis.
  • It might even save money.

MHARR fought for that removable chassis, decades ago.  Isn’t all of that stylish, green, and visionary? ## (News, analysis and commentary.)



Pamela Beck Danner, JD, credit, HUD.

1)   Post-Script: Our sources at and connected to HUD tell us that the Eilperin’s report was prompted by a desire of “allies” of Pam Danner to undermine Dr. Carson and his team’s leadership as Secretary at HUD.

2)   The WaPo report is written in a way that makes Danner’s work as administrator look consumer focused, but what’s missing is the fact that service-related issues with HUD Code manufactured homes are so few, that out of the roughly 92,900 homes built last year, only a few dozen nationally went to dispute resolution. There is no similar dispute resolution program for site-built housing to settle consumer concerns.  So those service issues highlighted in Eilperin’s narrative are a rarity, a point her narrative didn’t cover.  That’s not a tag on her work, no one story can cover every detail.

3)   There are HUD connected sources that tell MHProNews that WaPo’s article signals an upcoming  battle for HUD Code homes, at the state installation level.

4)   There are industry voices that say that the time to prepare for that installation – a post-production battle – is now.  Discussions about enhanced preemption are, per reports, being carefully reviewed at HUD.  There are concerned sources in MHVille that say the need for an effective post-production association has never been greater.

5)   The WaPo narrative makes it clear that MHI isn’t that effective at stopping HUD’s over-regulation. In the association national realm, it was MHARR’s handiwork – not MHI’s – that proved effective for retailers, communities, and for the consumers they serve.  Of course, MHProNews covered it all in a “follow the evidence, follow the facts, follow the money” way that no other industry media even attempted to do.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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It’s been hailed as the most important report on this topic to date…

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

Washington Post “Once obscure office at HUD [Manufactured Housing] is the subject of unusually intense lobbying effort”


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach addressing industry professionals in an educational session.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

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Kanye Controversy, Universal Income, Venezuela, President Trump, Manufactured Housing, First Principles, and You

May 4th, 2018 Comments off


What could all of those individual topics in the headline possibly have in common? What could each of those current events mean to manufactured housing professionals, owners, investors and advocates?



Here’s the quick rundown. The glue for each are the two words, “first principles.”  Let’s look…


The Kanye Controversy

Kanye West and Candace Owens where highlighted just days ago on the Daily Business News. One week after West’s remarks lit up mainstream news and social media, a new poll reveals that black male support for President Donald J. Trump has doubled.

That African American support doubled in a single week.

Black support is still low, but that doubling is enough to put the 2018 midterms back into play as a jump ball.

Remember that the Daily Business News used the internals of a New York Times poll in 2016 to predict that the small drift of blacks they noted toward the Trump campaign would be enough in states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Recall how that turned out?


Universal Income

Last year, the Daily Business News did several reports on universal income, each making the point that it will not work. Finland announced recently it will suspend its test trials in Universal Income. They didn’t work.

That was entirely predictable.

Yet there are still some powerful American voices promoting the failed and flawed universal income concept. If results facts and results matter, why should you listen to them on this topic?

Certain Voices are Pushing It – Would Universal Income Help or Hurting Americans?



The Daily Business News has periodically mentioned the meltdown of socialist Venezuela. A headline in Drudge today says that inflation in Venezuela has now quadrupled to 18,000 percent, in just two months.  By contrast, “The current inflation rate for the United States is 2.4% for the 12 months ended March 2018,” per U.S. Inflation Calculator.

Venezuela voted in socialists spouting utopian promises about a decade ago. That proud land has gone from one of the stronger South American economies, turning into a basket-case where people are starving, and are now being politically oppressed.

The Daily Business News has also reported on the rising poll numbers of socialists in the U.S.

Troubling New Study Reveals a Millennial Trend, Business, Economic, Political Impact 

Socialistic economics has not worked in Venezuela. It didn’t work in Greece, which the European Union bailed out. China is still communist but has turned to a more market economic system with less regulations.

Do you see the pattern?

No matter how much you like someone who is a preaching a socialistic economic approach, why trust or listen to them, when the clear pattern is one of repeated failure?


President Donald J. Trump

Keep in mind, editorially we are about principles over party labels. There is no doubt that the president has said and done things that get people across the spectrum stirred up.  MHProNews hears from those voices who complain about some tweet or remark about a controversial issue regularly.

A caller into a talk radio show observed that President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump is both “Democratic and Republican.” That’s truer that it may seem at first blush.

POTUS Trump has a position in common with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – trade and job protectionism.

POTUS is concerned over monopolistic impact over America’s economy and jobs. On that, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and right leaning Steve Bannon and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and the president all hold common ground.

Breakup “Massive Power” of Giants, “Subvert Our Democratic Process” Says Senator Cruz, & MH CEO’s Call for “Fully Competitive Housing Access”

On the southern border, former AZ sheriff Joe Arpaio and the president find common ground.  On peace through strength, the president looks like a Republican hawk; but he wants out of the Middle East as quickly as possible, a point he shares with libertarian leaning Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

About 2 years ago, this independent MH industry writer and publication promoted President Trump for the White House. It was picked up by thousands of sites, including the Trump for President campaign site.



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.


The takeaway or principle involved?  Turn down the noise and the drama, focus on the goal and results over the style. MHProNews predicted that based upon Mr. Trump’s stated platform, he would be good for business, the economy, jobs, wages, and manufactured housing.

The results?

Based upon survey after survey and reams of economic data, so far, so good.

Like Kanye, it’s about looking at what works instead of being distracted by what may be politically incorrect. Even Kanye’s wife – Kim Kardashian – has provided some distance between herself and her mate on the POTUS Trump question. Hmmm…

But results matter.

Black, and Hispanic unemployment are at historic lows. And female unemployment is near a two-decade low.

One principle involved is this, and everyone’s heard it.  The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things the same way, and expect a different result.  To H-E double LL with following that pattern any longer, within or beyond of MHVille.

From Presidents Clinton, both Bushes, or Obama, there have been some common – and flawed – stances. It was time for a new approach, based upon sound first principles.


First Principles

Curating principles from clear-thinkers like Thomas Sowell, we’ve promoted what will work for the vast majority of the industry and millions of our potential and actual customers.  We reject controversy for its own sake, but we do nut shun a controversial stance, if it is based upon reason and facts over emotion and rhetoric.

First principles matter. Principles like, G. K. Chesterton’s pithy, “What’s wrong is that we don’t ask what’s right.”  Or that the lessons of history, faith and reason matter. Of course they count.


Promises Made, Promises Kept

What may have seemed like madness two years ago in our campaign coverage and support is part of our pledge to carefully curate news topics that matter.  The manufactured home (MH) industry slid from a 1998 high of 372,000+ shipments to a low eleven years later of under 50,000 shipments.


The last twenty years have included most of the worst years of MH industry performance, even though manufactured housing quality is widely seen as the best ever. Those facts clearly point to unresolved problems that must be addressed.

As an industry, manufactured home professionals and investors can’t afford to make more big mistakes.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has time and again talked a great game.  But counting emails, Facebook likes, or waving their hands high with “razzle dazzle” doesn’t change how often they have factually gotten it wrong time and again.  If they were so right, why are shipments still so historically low?

Manufactured Housing Institute “Walk Out,” “Cover Up,” and Shock at their Vegas Event

Do you want positive results, or do you want style with no delivery?  Take your pick.

Prominent MHI leadership promoted Secretary Hillary Clinton over candidate Donald Trump. Clinton wanted heavy regulations, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence promised – and are delivering – one prudent regulatory rollbacks.  There are more and more who see that’s a clear disconnect, how about you?

As the president and VP have both said, “Promises Made, Promises Kept.”  The Heritage Foundation score sounds high, but that organization said that the Trump Administration has already fulfilled over 60 percent of its campaign promises in just 15 months.  If Heritage is right, that means the less than 40 percent of those campaign promises are left to go.

  • GDP is rising
  • Unemployment is falling
  • Peace through strength is underway, and seems to be moving in a positive way by largely defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and in tough stances and actions with North Korea. Is Iran next?  Time will tell.  But history reminds us that Nevil Chamberlin, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama’s efforts at appeasement have all failed. By contrast, Ronald Reagan’s peace through strength with the former USSR worked.  Appeasement or strength.  Take your pick.
  • Presidents Kennedy (D) and Reagan (R) cut taxes, and spurred the economy.  High taxes and sluggish growth, or lower taxes and more common sense regulations that yields more opportunities and jobs.  Take your pick.
  • There’s plenty of good, but there are also storm clouds. Too much automation, and robotics – notably by monopolistic companies – are destroying jobs.  Right now, more are being created than are being lost.  But if the monopolies aren’t broken up, then new business and new job creation will be stifled and will eventually stall out.

So the good work is underway, but the fight for a brighter future is far from over.


Winners and Losers

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – which includes hundreds of manufactured housing businesses – and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) have a much better track record that MHI on picking winning positions good for business and consumers alike.


Because they are operating under several proven “first principles.”

Among them?

  • Limited government,
  • with sound but limited regulation and
  • lower taxes will work better than;

heavy taxes, and heavy regulation both of which kills jobs, because it will drive businesses overseas. Giant Amazon just announced they are de facto working to force its will on Seattle on their latest tax to create housing proposal.  Monopolistic power forcing its will on a proven failure, another socialistic concept. It’s a classic case where both parties are wrong.


A correct use

Dr. Carson praised the industry for building “amazing” homes, while blasting the regulatory regime under Pam Danner as “ridiculous.”

MHI’s EVP Lesli Gooch is quoted by the Washington Post as saying they did nothing about Pam Danner.  Proof once more that MHProNews was on the right path in our reports a year or more ago.  That’s not bragging, its a fact shared with an important point for manufactured housing professionals and investors in mind.

First principles matter. Investing the time to learn them, and apply them, and you’ll save years of wasted effort, and make more money, rather than let millions slip through your firms fingers.

Some of this may sound harsh to those who love MHI networking and mixers.  Sorry, but facts are what they are.

It’s not personal, its professional. It’s not a personal attack – that’s what our sources say that they do behind the scenes. Rather, what we do is analyze and critique, and give others a chance before or after to respond. There’s a difference.

Some – a minority – say they don’t want to read about concerns regarding monopolistic allegations, or who don’t want to read about weaponized MHI news delivered directly or through their surrogates. We understand that those are uncomfortable topics.  But when operations or third parties outside of MHVille – from across the political spectrum – point to the same problems and issues, why should we as trade publishers ignore it?

So as a first principles analogy, cancer is uncomfortable too, and sometimes the doctor has to tell the patient bad news. Hopefully, a troubling diagnosis is followed by a treatment plan that is proven to work.

Our site statistics prove that those ‘controversial stories’ about MHI and Berkshire Hathaway, et al, are at or near the top among the most read.

Speaking of site statistics, in case you missed it (ICYMI), check out the related report, linked below.  The third-party data proves that MHI is dropping, and MHProNews is growing.  Hint.  We’re winning.

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

How about that, Arlington and Omaha?  That’s MH Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.” ©.

It boils down to this. Make nice as has happened for too many years, and lose opportunities.  Or be candid, and apply first principles honestly in order to earn money.  Take your pick.

Count on us at MHProNews to deliver the first principles based news and analysis that many others apparently fear to candidly and publicly share.  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Resources and Reports:

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

Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

HUD Secretary Ben Carson – Manufactured Housing Historic Results – Words, Deeds, and Metrics

Happy MH Owners? Good Professional Actors? Overlooked, “Honorable People”


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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Juliet Eilperin’s Washington Post HUD Manufactured Home Program News Confirms Manufactured Housing Institute Position and Report

May 2nd, 2018 Comments off


The [association] efforts have come as [Trump] administration officials are embracing manufactured homes as a way to increase the stocks of affordable housing using the private sector rather than taxpayer funding,” writes Juliet Eilperin, for the Washington Post (WaPo).


Already, they [manufactured homes] serve as the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in America, with 22 million Americans living in structures ranging from trailers [*] to high-end homes with ample amenities,” Eilperin said.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post’s senior national affairs correspondent, covering how the new administration is transforming a range of U.S. policies and the federal government itself,” reads her brief WaPo bio. “She is the author of two books — one on sharks and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other — and has worked for The Post since 1998.”

The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, according to Forbes. Billionaires Bezos and President Donald J. Trump have been sparring over issues related to giant Amazon, which Bezos founded. Their politics differ too.

For most of its existence, the Office of Manufactured Housing has been an unassuming office within a federal department not known for its glitz and glamour,” said Eilperin.

But the little-known agency in the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been thrust into the spotlight as trade groups mount an unusually intense lobbying effort, seeking to scale back regulations that they say are hampering an industry that could provide a market-based solution to the affordable housing crisis,” said her insightful WaPo narrative.

That the Trump Administration would be party to such an amazingly ill-considered, offensive and arguably scandalous action ... is directly contrary to president trump’s own pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington D.C.,” wrote Mark Weiss, president of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, in a July 27 letter [2017], which was unusually harsh even by Washington standards,” the narrative continued, revealing part of the backstory, as to which association did what in the drama that took place at HUD last year.

Within a few months, Office of Manufactured Housing Programs Administrator Pamela Beck Danner had been reassigned, and the woman she had hired, Lois Starkey, had been terminated,” Eilperin said.

Lesli Gooch, vice president of government affairs and chief lobbyist for the institute, said in an interview...[that] her association [the Manufactured Housing Institute, or MHI] did not weigh in on Danner’s reassignment, preferring to push for a broader reorganization.”


First Takeaways from the Washington Post MH Report

Eilperin has arguably done thousands of manufactured housing industry professionals, and potentially millions of Americans, several significant favors through her tightly-written narrative.

Among them? Eilperin confirmed the following:

  • Lesli Gooch admits that MHI did not try to get Pam Danner removed from her destructive role as administrator over the HUD Code manufactured housing program office. Put multiple stars next to that revelation, and keep in mind that HUD Secretary Ben Carson called the regulations “ridiculous.”
  • Between the two national associations, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was credited for their part in having Danner removed from her ‘leadership’ as the administrator of the HUD Code Manufactured Housing Program Office.
  • The above portion of the WaPo story confirms months of reports by MHProNews. Specifically, that in spite of the call by numerous manufactured home industry pros, MHI’s own chief lobbyist admitted to the mainstream media that they did not attempt to have Danner removed.
  • Rephrasing, MHI was tacitly abetting Danner’s stay at HUD’s MH program office. Where was the logic in that for the majority of the manufactured housing industry? Over 17 years of experience since the passage of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 should have made it clear that the administrator of the program can implement, or foil, the intent of the law. Don’t MHI staffers know that history? Isn’t that self-evident logic, even absent that history?
  • MHI was clearly going against the wishes of the majority of the industry, which wanted to see Danner removed, see one of several examples of that in a report, linked here.


MHI and MHARR, Follow Ups

MHI has been asked to confirm, comment on, or clarify this Washington Post report. They have not yet done so as of this time.

MHARR issued a clarifying statement to their members and the industry in a release to the Daily Business News, after the online version if the WaPo report was published. That MHARR memo is linked below.

Washington Post “Once obscure office at HUD [Manufactured Housing] is the subject of unusually intense lobbying effort”


Bottom Lines, and What’s Ahead as a result of this WaPo MH report?

More will follow in the days ahead as the Daily Business News unpacks numerous revelations found in Eilperin’s insightful mainstream media reporting.

Keep in mind that the Washington Post just confirmed what some thought to be MHProNews’ controversial reports in 2017.  The WaPo report vindicates MHProNews, which MHI operatives and surrogates have allegedly sought to undermine. Indeed, the revelations above arguably suggest why MHI has sought to undermine this pro-industry trade news operation.

The facts matter to industry professionals and investors. MHProNews strives to be evidence and fact based, regarding HUD, MHI, or any other topic.  That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” ©  ## (News, analysis and commentary.)


[* The use of the word “trailers” here by Eilperin was inappropriate, see the graphic below, or to learn more, click here.]

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

Related Reports:


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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Washington Post “Once obscure office at HUD [Manufactured Housing] is the subject of unusually intense lobbying effort”

May 1st, 2018 Comments off


The Washington Post has run a print and online article about the HUD Code manufactured housing program, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Pam Danner, Lois Starkey, the industry’s national trade associations, and manufactured homes in general. That story, is linked here.


In a release do the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has issued the following release.  Their release is shown verbatim, below.




The photo and logo have been added by the Daily Business News, and where not part of their release.

The Washington Post has published an article (see, copy attached) concerning the HUD manufactured housing program and MHARR’s efforts in 2017 to change the leadership of the program in order to comply with applicable federal law.


Although the article is self-explanatory, an important point that I stressed in speaking with the author does not stand-out in the article – i.e., that MHARR’s principal objective is to seek, compel and ensure full HUD compliance with all applicable federal laws relating to manufactured home production and, conversely, to oppose deviations from applicable law that could harm either producers or consumers. Thus, insofar as the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 requires the appointment of a non-career administrator for the manufactured housing program in order to ensure both visibility, responsiveness and accountability, MHARR has consistently sought and demanded a proper appointee in accordance with that law.


In accordance with this fundamental mandate and mission, MHARR will continue to seek the full and proper implementation of the 2000 reform law with Trump Administration officials at HUD, including but not limited to: (1) the appointment of a non-career program administrator; (2) full utilization of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) in accordance with the 2000 reform law (including proper collective representation of the industry); (3) repeal of HUD’s unlawful 2010 “Interpretive Rule” on section 604(b)(6) of the 2000 reform law, and the full implementation of that section to require prior MHCC review and full rulemaking for all changes to HUD procedures and practices regarding enforcement and/or “monitoring;” (4) the solicitation and selection of a new program monitoring contractor – in accordance with the 2000 reform law’s definition of “monitoring” – based on full and fair competition; and (5) completion and implementation of the “top-to-bottom” program regulatory reform review currently underway at HUD pursuant to Executive Orders 13771 and 13777.”


The Daily Business News plans an analysis of this report, as it touches upon several issues that MHProNews has reported on, in some cases, for several years. Some prior, related reports, are linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Exclusives from HUD, and Attendees about Secretary Carson’s comments at MHI will be part of an upcoming report. Sign up for our emailed news updates for that notice, and to stay up with all of the industry’s most popular, independent, and fact-based converge. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Juliet Eilperin’s Washington Post HUD Manufactured Home Program News Confirms Manufactured Housing Institute Position and Report

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) SVP Rick Robinson Ducks Serious Industry Questions in Deadwood

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Award-Winning MHI Retailer Regarding HUD Objectives, Pam Danner, Needed Changes

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes



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Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Asks Industry Members to Ask Senators to Support S 2155, Behind the Scenes Details

March 6th, 2018 Comments off


In a ‘housing alert’ email to association members, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) urged the industry’s professionals to contact their senators and ask them to vote “Yes” on S. 2155.


Passage of this language will ensure that manufactured housing retailers and sellers are not subject to compliance requirements clearly designed to apply only to the actual entity making the mortgage loan,” read part of the association’s message.

GovTrack tells the Daily Business News that the odds of passage, as of this morning, stands at 42 percent.

That’s better than what Skopos Labs believes the odds are for passage of Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which as of this morning were just 26 percent.


Like Getting Half of Preserving Access…

S 2155 has much more to it than MH Industry issues.


Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

That said, the language that is Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) rule related is akin to half of what Preserving Access bill purportedly hopes to accomplish.  Namely, the repeal of the MLO rule from CFPB regulations.  That is mildly similar to what MHI SVP Lesli Gooch has said is their strategy to move the bill ahead by whatever is moving on Capitol Hill.



Left and Right…

Doug Ryan at Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) opposes the bill, saying to the IndyStar that “This [provision for manufactured housing in the bill] will hamper new lenders from getting in.”

Some moderate Democrats, such as Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, are likely to vote for the S 2155 bill.  Meanwhile Senators like Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are opposed to it.

Progressive media, such as The Young Turks (TYT) scorched S 2155 backers, MHI, and Warren Buffett.

For example, “One of the bill’s chief architects, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and her husband have nearly $1 million invested in two of the bill’s biggest winners, J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, according to a 2016 financial disclosure document reviewed by TYT Investigates.

Heitkamp and her spouse collectively own between $100,001 and $250,000 of corporate securities stock in J.P. Morgan, as well as an additional up to $45,000 in a J.P. Morgan fund. Heitkamp alone owns between $215,000 and $550,000 worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock, and including joint investments, she and her husband have up to $600,000 invested in the company. Together, the Heitkamps could have up to $895,000 invested in the two firms.

For the senator, whose net worth was roughly $4.5 million in 2015, according to an estimate by the Center for Responsive Politics, these J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway investments potentially account for a substantial portion of her assets.”



Positives in the S 2155 Bill, PLUS Behind the Scenes Analysis

For those who favor free markets and more moderated regulations, the bill on the surface is just fine.

The bill would indeed be good news for thousands working in manufactured housing, if it is passed into law, because it makes communications for front-line sales people with prospective buyers.  In those ways, MHProNews and MHLivingNews demonstrably favored passage of Preserving Access, of which this bill has one of its two provisions.

But is that the key issue?

As MHProNews has previously reported, sources say there is a kind of hypocrisy in the Arlington, VA based association’s manufactured housing advocacy, as the linked and below reveal.  Plus both sides are playing politics on this issue, playing to their respective audiences.

MHI – and the powers that be behind them – are demonstrably being hypocritical, as sources inside and outside of MHI have told MHProNews – as recently as today – because MHI could have made a deal like this without Congress, by agreement with the non-profits in a deal with the CFPB’s then Director, Richard Cordray.

See the email below as one of several possible pieces of evidence.



Furthermore, MHI knew in 2012 that they were not going to be able to get past President Obama’s threatened veto of Preserving Access, even if the Senate had voted for it (the House has passed it repeatedly, but the Senate never has).

See former MHI VP Jason Boehlert’s statement, and full report, linked below. These can be called ‘allegations.’  But doesn’t the clear evidence support those claims?  And why won’t MHI defend or explain any of this, when they are often given the opportunity?

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

Sources say that “consumer groups” are now opposing the option they had previously offered, in part as a possible negotiating point.

Depending on which source and their claim(s) you listen to, MHI and their overlords are:

  • Inept, since they could have made this deal years ago, and saved millions of dollars in lobbying and costs,
  • Arrogant, for not making a deal, that MHI insiders tell MHProNews was on the table,
  • Playing a shell game, because a few big companies benefit from NOT passing any bill, and they would benefit if the bill passes too. For a select few, either one is ‘win-win.’
  • Deceptive to the small to mid-sized businesses that are the most harmed by this, which has per sources led to more companies that have sold out for less than their true value in a normal business climate, or were forced out of business entirely.
  • Harming many consumers, who really do need honest guidance.

What’s particularly interesting is that Nathan Smith, MHI’s prior chairman, admitted on camera that the association had a history of missed opportunities.  Has that history changed since he made that statement?

Per sources to the Daily Business News about this MHI plan, you can therefore call these maneuvers posturing, a con, hypocrisy, stupidity, arrogance, or any of the other claims and allegations noted herein or in the linked reports.

Whatever you or those sources believe, the end result for thousands of independents is the same.

Independents have been, and are being harmed, when MHI could have made this same deal years ago.

Who will hold MHI and their string-pullers accountable?


And just days ago, MHProNews confirmed with sources at the CFPB that no known meeting has taken place, nor had been scheduled there.  Why not, if they were serious about making these reforms to Dodd-Frank happen?


Inside Scoop Mulvaney-CFPB and MHI, Berkshire Hathaway Company Meeting Detail$


  • No wonder some states have quit MHI,

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

  • Even retired Ross Kinzler – who said in an email to the Daily Business News that he’s doing work for MHEI, an arm of MHI – won’t defend MHI’s legislative agenda,


‘Over Target’ Reactions, WHA Exec (ret) Ross Kinzler, Won’t Defend MHI Policies & Points to Prior MHI Failure


And businesses have reportedly quit MHI too; blogger and NCC co-founder George Allen says he is among them.


On paper, the S 2155 bill is worth supporting for many in the industry.  But who will hold MHI and the forces that control them to account for years of harm already done to the industry and untold thousands of more potential home owners every year?


Part of a memo from 21st Mortgage to their retailers, click the below report for details on this sad chapter in the industry’s history, that arguably led to hundreds of independent businesses, out of business.

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2


Its Easy Being a Cheer Leader, Not as Much Fun to Tell Bad News…

…but how can independents plan and execute, if ‘their’ national association has hidden agendas?

MHProNews gets a volume of calls and messages about such reports – cheers to jeers. We’ve made our mea culpa for being misled ourselves, but once an error is discovered, the best option left is to correct it and then avoid it next time.

But for the sake of independent businesses, someone has to be willing to stand up and speak truth to the industry’s powers, as that truth is known and reported by reliable sources, including those who are or were in MHI.


If we’re mistaken, please – MHI, show us where and how?

Oh, that’s right, your own paid MHI staff leaders won’t publicly defend the official agenda either, will you?





We thank the various industry sources that make these and other such behind-the-scenes reports possible. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, announcements, analysis, commentary.)

Finance Related:

Besides Preserving Access, there are the maneuvers that have taken place for years on the important Duty to Serve (DTS) issue.  Thankfully, the Washington, D.C. based trade group – as opposed to Arlington based MHI – has their eyes on the problematic issues emerging behind the curtain on that topic.

Plot Twist – Duty to Serve – Freddie Mac CEO Layton Called to Accountability w/Congressional, Administration Leaders Over New Manufactured Home Lending Revelations

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

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

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“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

December 7th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoTradeAssocChargedWeaponizedNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews“…the Senate Banking Committee passed legislation to clarify that a manufactured housing retailer or seller is not considered a “loan originator” simply because they provide a customer with some assistance in the mortgage loan process,” said a “Housing Alert” from Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to their members, and through them, to others in the HUD Code manufactured home industry.

This is a key tenet of S. 1751, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which excludes manufactured housing retailers and sellers from the definition of a loan originator so long as they are only receiving compensation for the sale of a home,” said the MHI alert.  That is a reference to the so-called MLO rule.

The language was passed as a part of S. 2155, the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which is a package of reforms intended to improve the national financial regulatory framework and promote economic growth. S. 2155 was passed by the Senate Banking Committee by a bipartisan vote of 16 to 7,” per MHI.

For many hard-working Hoosiers and Americans, manufactured housing provides the most affordable option available when they look to buy a home. I’m pleased the bipartisan regulatory relief legislation that I helped craft and that passed the Senate Banking Committee includes a provision based on my Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. This measure would help prevent federal regulations from getting in the way of financing that families need as they step into homeownership,” said U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, per MHI’s statement.


Critical Fact Check, Analysis

LookAtTheFactsFactCheckMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAccepting all of the above at face value, what the MHI release completely fails to mention is that per sources within MHI – as well as from non-profits familiar with the matter – the MLO rule could have been changed by an agreement years ago.


  • without spending millions of dollars and years ‘fighting’ for their Preserving Access bill, which still isn’t and may never become law,
  • MHI could have had the final product that their now bragging about; and which is still not a done-deal.

While supporting the Preserving Access measure in principle, MHProNews and our parent company’s management believes that no deception or misleading statements are needed to pass that or any worthwhile bill, or to motivate the honest, hard-working members of the MH Industry to act.

The Daily Business News and MHLivingNews have historically held accountable the non-profit groups for their own errors – see the examples linked in the reports, below.


CFED and CFPB – Confused, Conflicted “Friends” of Manufactured Home Owners and Prospective Buyers?

Sophie Quinton – Why Some Cities Are Buying “Trailer Parks,” [SIC] and “Mobile Home Parks” [SIC] – HuffPo

The truth matters. Manufactured housing has enough unjustified black-eyes, without having to give itself avoidable ones, at the hand of one of its own associations.


One of a number of sources that have told MHProNews that MHI could have had the MLO rule rescinded by agreement years ago.

The Real Takeaway…?


Part of the evidence is the Ishbel Dickens email, shown above this graphic as a screen capture.

Accurate, but Misleading


L. A. Tony Kovach at the 2017 San Antonio MHI meeting, Dick Jennison and Lesli Gooch repeatedly made thinly veiled statements, aimed at MHProNews. But when these signs were first introduced, top MHI staff claimed it was aimed at ‘outside’ media, not ‘industry media.’ What caused this change toward a dues paying association member? What message does it send to others in the association? What message does it send to the industry at large? Is MHI trying to create a de facto industry trade media monopoly? Are they weaponizing news?

It can be understood as technically accurate, but misleading MHI Housing Alert. It’s arguably a half-truth that is deceptive, and manipulative of their own members,” alleged award-winning industry veteran L. A. “Tony” Kovach in a comment about the most recent controversial contentions regarding the Arlington, VA based trade association.

For a number of years, MHI’s current leadership have engaged in debatably deceptive messages sent to their own members. These messages have at times been like their most recent one. A half-truth, with the unstated facts MHI ought to be aware of not being mentioned in their allegedly weaponized ‘housing alerts’ at all,” Kovach said in comments about the most recent MHI housing alert.

Its tips from other [MHI] members, and/or information obtained directly from MHI staff, that has led to a periodic series of revelations that are arguably harmful to the industry, and is damaging to the reputation of MHI.  That in turn can be construed as harmful to the industry they claim to be acting for in Washington, D.C. They are solely responsible for the harm they are causing to the industry their members, and their own reputation when they engage in allegedly deceptive practices, that they have yet to formally address,” said Kovach, who is a managing member of Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to MHProNews.

We’ve offered to publicly discuss or debate via video these concerns. We’ve given MHI numerous opportunities to respond in writing,” Kovach said. “They’ve routinely failed to take advantage of those opportunities. If they were correct in their methods, wouldn’t they want to defend their accuracy and reputation?”

Their Own VP Said It Preserving Access, Wasn’t Happening

MHI’s own vice-president said in writing in a prior on-the-record statement to MHProNews that the odds of passing Preserving Access where long ones under the Obama Administration.  See that Daily Business News report, linked below.

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


Partially as a result over concerns that MHI is not properly representing their independent retail, community and other members, there are numerous voices and third-party efforts underway which aim to create a new association that will represent them.

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

As MHProNews first-reported to the industry, Maxine Waters and other congressional Democrats have recently characterized MHI as being a puppet for the benefit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway manufactured housing brands.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

In her official statement – found as a download, from the article linked above – to the House of Representatives, she named:

  • Warren Buffett,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Clayton Homes, and their sister production and retail operations,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage, and
  • 21st Mortgage.

In a prior letter by Waters and some of her congressional colleagues to the Department of Justice (DoJ), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), she called Buffett’s manufactured housing interests as a ‘near monopoly.’

That ‘near monopoly’ and related letter by Waters and others is a download from the Daily Business News report linked below.


U.S. Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Mike Capuano (D-MA) – all four signed onto a letter damaging to MHI, and the Berkshire Hathaway led brands, calling for federal investigations. Image credit, Twitter, Wikipedia.

A Question of Time?

It may only be a question of time before members begin to cancel their MHI membership, realizing – as one MHI award winner told MHProNews – that the largest companies have learned how to get the small-to-mid-sized companies to pay for what the ‘big boys’ want.


The ‘fear’ over retaliation, or cutting members out of certain alleged ‘benefits’ of working with MHI and the industry’s largest companies, are reportedly keeping a number of companies on board with MHI.

Warren Buffett himself has reportedly said that

  • failing to learn the lessons of history, and
  • that chains of habit,

are hard to break. See that detailed report, linked below.

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

While failing for over 5 years to accomplish their own primary goal, the industry is continuing to consolidate.

Sam Zell, Frank Rolfe, and Kenny Lipschutz are among the MHI members who have publicly critiqued MHI, either pointedly, or politely.

ELS’ Sam Zell – Compliance Costs Destroys Smaller Businesses = Consolidation


Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism


Is the truth of an important element of what is holding hiding in plain sight?


Critiques, properly understood, are a way of improving performance. Every business, every sports team which aims to win does evaluations, which are a critique. “We Provide, You Decide.”

What is hard to argue is that MHI has repeatedly failed to do what their affable, popular prior chairman, Nathan Smith, said that the association needed to be.  Pro-active, vs. reactive.

We Provide, You Decide.” ©.  ## (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

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