Posts Tagged ‘Lois Starkey’

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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Related Reports:

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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Related Reports:

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.

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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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Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry – What’s MHARR? What does MHARR do?

March 19th, 2018 Comments off


What is MHARR?  What do they do?


And why are there two national trade associations in manufactured housing?

Often, a good place to begin is with what an organization says about itself.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is a Washington, D.C…-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing,” said part of a news release the Daily Business News.

MHARR provides the industry with research that is compiled and paid for by their members.  For example, MHARR provides a monthly shipment report, that is usually the first one out for the industry at large from D.C. metro sources.   The most recent such report, as published by MHProNews, is linked below.  The same new HUD Code shipment data as provided unedited by MHARR, is linked here.

New Manufactured Housing Production Results Report for January 2018

MHARR also engages in advocacy and lobbying activities.



Manufactured Housing – Why Is There More Than One Nation Trade Associations?

First, it is useful to understand that the manufactured housing industry is not unique in this respect. Conventional housing, RVs, automotive, and other industries also have 2 or more national trade associations.


The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is the only national trade organization representing the factory-built housing industry,” according to their own website.  They say, “MHI’s advocacy efforts are focused on overcoming barriers to the growth of the manufactured housing market.”

Given that from MHI, then why are some producers of manufactured homes members of MHARR, and are not members of MHI?

The answer may be similar to what state associations – that were previously MHI members – have since quit their MHI membership. They don’t believe MHI is that effective at their self-stated mission.

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


How MHARR and MHI Advocacy Differs

MHI has a political action committee (PAC), and does several things that at first blush seem similar to what other national associations do.  MHARR has no PAC.  MHI does meetings, often at posh getaway sites.  MHARR currently holds one in person meeting during the Tunica Manufactured Home Show, and another that in recent years has been conducted by conference call.

MHARR clearly says it represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. Common sense suggests that those manufactured housing companies are obviously MHARR members because they believe MHARR in some way better represents their interests.

All trade groups have members who are pleased with what they do, while others who may be less pleased.

MHI is the larger of the two trade groups with a far larger budget. At this time, MHARR has had far more institutional stability in their staff, with both of their top people having decades of industry experience.

Meanwhile, MHI’s educational affiliate is about to lose their last most seasoned team member. Last year, MHI saw another one of their veteran staff members leave the Arlington, VA based organization.  No explanation was given for that second MHI departure.


See the report on Lois Starkey’s departure, by clicking the image above.



Former MHI president, Chris Stinebert’s farewell letter can be read as an polite indictment of MHI’s work, click above to read it.

In spite of having a larger staff and a bigger budget, MHI seems to have a periodic problem with consistency.

For example, MHARR was the only ‘no’ vote on a multiple year problem with the Department of Energy (DOE) energy standards.

MHARR explained their position, while MHI took a very different view. See the facts, linked below.

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

After considerable effort, MHI ended up reversing their position on the DOE proposed rule, to come more into line with MHARR’s original view.  Again, the details are linked above.  It should be noted that third-party Small Business Administration and George Washington University commentary supported MHARR’s view.

Similarly on the matter of HUD regulations and the HUD Code program director, MHI initially embraced what MHARR from the outset resisted.  Namely, Pam Danner, JD as the administrator of HUD Manufactured Housing program office. After some 4 years, Danner was finally forced out. But MHI resisted that change for some time.

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

Other examples could be given.

But the simple question ought to be this. How is it that the smaller of the two groups – MHARR – often gets their position correct from the outset, while MHI often lurches from one position to another?

Before anyone says that is only an opinion, while Nathan Smith said it differently, it should be viewed as the considered judgement of MHI’s own prior chairman.  See the video, below.

From early on in the Trump Administration, MHARR completely embraced their Regulatory roll-back agenda, as the video below reflects.

By contrast, MHI had to pivot on issues like Danner at HUD.

There’s more to consider, but the above should suffice to explain to those who ask the Daily Business News about MHARR what they are, what they do, and why they exist.  It will also explain why some HUD Code home producers are not MHI members, and opt instead of membership in MHARR. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)


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

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Association Reaction to HUD’s Pam Danner, Lois Starkey, Revelations

December 22nd, 2017 Comments off


MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIn a memo dated 12.21.2017, Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) addressed his trade association’s board of directors, and copied their Technical Review Group and state affiliates.

That memo was obtained by the Daily Business News, and reads as follows.


DECEMBER 21, 2017






FROM:           MARK WEISS





As a follow-up to our report on the above matter at the November 10, 2017 MHARR Board of Directors meeting and our memorandum to the Board on December 13, 2017, as well as numerous calls to MHARR’s offices, we can now report that Pamela B. Danner (installed as manufactured housing program administrator in 2014 on a career basis in violation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000), has been “detailed to the HUD Office of Single-Family Housing for 120 days.”  In the interim, Teresa B. Payne, currently manufactured housing program Deputy Administrator, “will serve as Acting Administrator for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.”  In addition to the foregoing, it has also been reported (although not yet confirmed through official HUD sources), that former MHI Vice President Lois Starkey, hired as a “Management Analyst” by the HUD program after she left MHI earlier this year, has been terminated from her employment at HUD.


            MHARR will now focus its full attention on pressing HUD to fully comply with the mandate of the 2000 reform law for an appointed manufactured housing program administrator, and will follow-up accordingly.


As a reminder, MHARR’s choice for this appointed position – as was previously agreed with MHI in January 2013 — continues to be Mr. Victor DeRose.


We shall keep you apprised of any new developments on this matter.



cc:  MHARR Technical Review Group

MHARR State Affiliates


— 30 –

As was previously reported earlier this week on MHProNews, HUD-connected and other sources stated a similar set of statements to us, as MHARR’s separate memo summarized.

The MHARR statement above reflects a solid executive summary of these recently reported events. MHProNews previously-published, in-depth report and analysis – with its own executive summary – on what our sources said concerning this topic are linked above.

A sampling of other industry commentary related to HUD, Danner, and Starkey are found from the links below.

Now You Will Hear — the Rest of the Story

The most recent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) memo makes no mention of this development.

Harper – Thank You Rev Donald Tye, Fighting for Enhanced Preemption of Manufactured Homes

This is not yet a ‘done deal,’ as the reported reassignment of Danner is for 120 days.

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

MHProNews will continue to monitor and report on these developments.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary, trends.)


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

2 Week NoticeMHProNews will be on a somewhat modified publication schedule from now through January 2nd, resuming normal scheduling in 2018. More detailsclick here.

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By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
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Major Shakeup-HUD Manufactured Housing Program-Danner, Starkey-Manufactured Housing Industry Regulators, Associations, MHI, MHARR – Special Report

December 21st, 2017 Comments off


America is in a well-documented affordable housing crisis.

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

As MHLivingNews and MHProNews have noted for years, an important part of the solution for that crisis has been hiding in plain sight.

Uncommon Sense, Stating the Obvious, Affordable Housing Crisis, and Manufactured Homes

When a Harvard University researcher predicted in a document cited by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) that manufactured homes could for several good reasons overtake the conventional housing builders in total numbers, the claim made good sense to many at the time.


At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 300,000 new units per year. This year, we’ll not reach 1/3 of that total. What happened?

So what happened?

Why did that Harvard prediction not come to pass?

Only 2 Choices – Media Engagement, Manufactured Homes, & You – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Stating the Obvious often helps clarify a subject, especially for those outsiders looking into the industry, as well as for industry newcomers.

Rephrasing, Stating the Obvious Benefits:

  • Manufactured Home (MH) Industry newcomers. There are thousands of millennials and other demographic groups who have entered the industry in the last decade.  Numbers of these, per industry sources, have insufficient knowledge about several of the facts and mechanics of their own industry.  This topic about HUD is one of them.
  • Researchers, including academics, media (who are increasingly on our trade-media websites),
  • non-profits, and housing advocates.
  • Investors (both foreign and domestic),
  • public officials: federal, state, and local.
  • others housing industry professionals, who may sincerely believe they understand an issue related to manufactured housing, but in fact may need to reset perceptions, based upon new insights, and industry changes.
  • Last but not least; our own operations will reference this report, to recruit and orient new MHPro Team members to our consulting, trade media, services and related operations in the first quarter of 2018.


Executive Summary: Major HUD Code MH Office Shakeup

In this specific news and analysis column, we will look at additional details from yesterday’s breaking news about Pam Danner and Lois Starkey’s departure – at least for now – from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

Word of Danner’s and Starkey’s temporary – perhaps permeant? – departure has come to the Daily Business News via a series of tips, initially from industry readers.

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

The HUD website has not yet reflected the change, but tips have been confirmed by other informed sources.


The Daily Business News has been told that Teresa Payne is the acting administrator.

We have also been informed that it is not unusual for a delay to occur in this type of personnel change to be noted on the HUD website.

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

For all those who may not realize the full meaning and potential impact of this shakeup at the HUD Office of Manufactured Housing Programs, is the following, detailed, Special Report, with the background and analysis warranted.

Why the HUD Shakeup Matters, “Inside MH” 

As industry veterans and numerous public officials ought to know, HUD is the federal agency that has the primary authority for federally-regulated manufactured housing’s construction and safety standards.

Researchers, media,and others are at times under the false impression that the terminology surrounding manufactured housing is optional, a matter of taste, or a marketing tool.  Each of those impressions would be inaccurate.

As the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association’s (LMHA) Steve Duke succinctly stated it, the terminology matters because the terminology defines the construction standards. Using the wrong term, therefor means an inaccurate description.

There have been no ‘mobile homes’ built in the U.S. since the advent of the HUD Code for manufactured housing, which went into effect on June 15, 1976.

40th birthday of Manufactured Housing, End of Mobile Home era

That’s a legal, building standards/code, and terminology distinction.

It’s not just Duke or industry pros who’ve made this statement. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) used the following to make a similar point. Manufactured homes are routinely safer, more durable, and energy saving than their pre-HUD Code counterparts.


They are also safer – somewhat less fire prone – than conventional housing.  But would you know that from some media reports?

Avoidable Tragedies! Mobile Home Fires vs. Manufactured Home, and Conventional Housing

So misusing the terminology means inaccurate, inappropriate, and words can lead to a false conclusion.

“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Further, it may be as insulting to home owners and professionals as the N-Word is the a black man, as the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. told MHProNews.


All of these are good reasons for mainstream media journalists, editors, and producers who want to adhere to the ideals of the Society for Professional Journalism’s code of ethical standards should habitual use.



If a factory-built home carries the HUD label and a HUD data plate, it is a manufactured home, not a mobile home.



The generic quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan reflects a point that it is a disservice to potentially millions when the improper terminology is applied to manufactured housing.


The graphic below represents the evolution from trailer houses, to mobile homes,to manufactured homes, while providing a visual that dramatically reflects the differences between those various kinds of building.



HUD is the Primary Federal Regulator of a Federally Preemptive Code

Anecdotal evidence suggests that most state and local public officials don’t realize that manufactured homes are federally preemptive.

Yet, under the terms of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000), that federal preemption of local standards was labeled as “enhanced preemption.”

While it is beyond the scope of this report, that enhanced preemption over local zoning is often ignored, but that doesn’t mean the legal status doesn’t exist. Reasons why preemption are important are covered in a recent legal case, linked below.


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

Because Regulatory Enforcement, or Overreach Matters,

The Danner/Starkey Shakeup at HUD Matters

Against that backdrop and the issues noted below, the news about Danner and Starkey’s status is a significant issue for the manufactured housing industry.

As the primary regulators for the manufactured home industry, the program’s director is an important role in how legal standards, “guidance,” and interpretations of rules and standards are carried out, or not.

This has been a hot topic for industry professionals on several levels, including, but not limited to,

  • installation standards,
  • the (in)ability for local jurisdictions to mandate such items as fire sprinklers, and
  • the revised alternative construction (AC), on-site completion standards.

Each of these impacts the costs and complexities driven by regulations of the manufactured home (MH) industry.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) Finds Manufactured Home Industry Support for Reform bill


Regulatory Impacts in the National News

In the post-World War II era where regulatory forces have grown stronger at the federal level – at the state and local levels too – regulations can serve multiple purposes, and has a wide range of effects.

The Trump Administration’s dramatic regulatory roll-backs are given credit by many as a factor for the increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  The graphic below reflects what some researches have said are the costs to the U.S. economy driven by regulation.



One of the illustrations included in the attached submission on behalf of manufactured home industry independents by L. A. “Tony” Kovach. Image credits are as shown.

Those regulatory costs hit the manufactured home industry too.  See as examples the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and National Association of Manufacturers studies linked below that suggest the impact of regulations on business.


Those higher costs must be passed along to consumers, so ultimately it is the consumer that pays.

The NAHB’s “Priced Out” report states that for every $1000 in higher costs, some 200,000 potential home buying consumers are priced out of the ability to buy a home.


Among the effects on business are the widely recognized reality that regulations can be a barrier of entry for a business.

But as Dodd-Frank and other examples have demonstrated, regulatory complexity and risk can also prove to be a barrier for staying in an industry.

The heavier and more complex the regulations, the greater the impact on business.

That in turn impacts job retention/creation.


Segue – Trade Media vs. Mainstream Media

Another Stating the Obvious bullet point is that Trade Media – trade journalism – is ideally understood as a subset of news media, but is also different from, mainstream news journalism.

How so?

In doing any story, the journalists basic goal is to answer the questions of “who, what, when, where, why, and how.” These are the same for mainstream and trade media.

But informed trade media have an obvious advantage in a specialized field, if the trade journalist is seasoned, and has the necessary insider insights and sources within an industry.

Thus, for years, MHLivingNews and MHProNews videos has often carried the subtitle, “This Is Inside MH” ©.  Those “MH Insider © insights can – and should – completely transform any story that relates to factory-built housing.

For example. In the case of federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes, when the manufactured home industry trade journalist knows and understands the perspectives of:

  • Regulators: who can be federal, as well as state and local officials.
  • Business: independent operations, as well as the larger corporations. In the case of MHProNews/MHLivingNews, as both trade media, and as a multiple awards and recognition winning MH industry veteran who does ongoing industry consulting/services, ours is arguably an unmatched perspective. Why? Because we have a depth of knowledge about the MH Industry in journalism. What we don’t know about MH – because no one knows it all – we can rapidly grasp, because we have worked in the trenches of the manufactured home (MH) industry for over a quarter century. Our network of industry contacts is extensive.
  • Associations: the two primary national association – the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), plus the dozens of state manufactured home associations and their staffers. In the case of this special report writer, most of those individuals are known personally, along with numbers of business professionals across the industry’s spectrum.
  • MH Home Owners and Prospective Consumers: including years of first-hand knowledge, as well as knowledge gained via third party university, insurance, or other outside research.
  • Media: as trade media and as a professional, we have years of interaction with mainstream media. For years prior to and since launching MHProNews, and later, (a.k.a., we also interacted with other industry trade media, as well as with mainstream local, regional, and national media in the course of our work.

An uncommsioned third party look at our work is linked below. By way of disclosure to mainstream media, investors and researchers, the journalist who wrote that linked story, worked afterwards with our for a time as a contract writer.



Federal Regulators, HUD, and Manufactured Housing

While all levels of government arguably impact a business, in the case of the federally regulated construction and safety standards of manufactured housing, not all other industries are as regulated as manufactured housing is.

Against that backdrop, the shakeup at the manufactured housing program office could play a significant role in how several controversies surrounding regulatory and placement issues are played out.

For example, there is university research that MHLivingNews has previously reported, commissioned by HUD, which has an important revelation to those seeking proven solutions to the affordable housing crisis. When NIMBY – Not in My Back Yard – mentalities strike, it is often due to the mistaken notion that manufactured homes cause the depreciation of conventional housing. The HUD PD&R research linked below demonstrates that such as not the case.

Other, more recent research, also demonstrates that manufactured home values can rise-or-fall for the same reasons as conventional housing values do.

The Pam Danner, Lois Starkey Controversies

Few items spotlight the dramatic difference between the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

MHARR’s basic instinct for years has been to carefully analyze a piece of rule making or legislation, and then plan a strategy based upon education to address or stop it.

MHARR, unlike the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), has no political action committee (PAC).  They work with an elected (or appointed) official based upon rezoning and engagement alone.

Does that work?

A recent example reveals that MHARR’s method can and does bear good fruit.


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

By contrast, the much larger and many times more expensive MHI team, which has a PAC, has routinely failed at obtaining their own stated objectives.

Instead, MHI attempts to dazzle their members with

  • busy work in the form of emails, that don’t achieve their stated goals,
  • meetings which many admit are pleasant functions and which may for some yield networking opportunities, but that nevertheless fail to achieve their stated purpose. Namely, to do what is necessary to stop or reverse bad legislation or regulations.


Mighty MHARR? Meek MHI?

That MHARR success example could be buttressed by others, which are linked within the Daily Business News article above, where MHARR and other industry voices – often carried here on MHProNews – successfully caused MHI to change their position.

This issue of Pam Danner is arguably one of those forced pivots.

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

It is sad and stressful to many in the industry that this scenario exists, where the two national associations routinely fail to agree on important issues.

In fact, on the issue of Pam Danner and her appointment itself, is a case where the two national associations ‘agreed’ in principle to both support Vic DeRose for the administrator’s role. But then MHI reportedly failed to keep their end of the bargain.

The industry could have had Vic De Rose – an attorney with deep connections and knowledge of the industry – for the non-career administrator that the two national associations met and agreed upon for the leadership of the HUD Office Manufactured Housing Programs.

But per multiple sources in D.C. and Arlington, an MHI insider allegedly helped Danner get the nod.  And that coup for Danner – that has widely been seen as harmful to much of the industry – was ‘achieved’ by MHI, even though Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), wrote a letter in support of Vic DeRose.

Is that MHI’s meaning of “Got Clout?”

Avoidable Fumbles, Missteps, and Failures

Which begs the question. If MHI is forced after a time to pivot or change their position, why did the pick an arguably weaker or flawed position to begin with?

  • Was it a flawed MHI analysis?
  • Was it reactive, vs. proactive, thinking – as prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith said the association must admit has occurred?  A problem Smith said he wanted to avoid at MHI in the future?  See the video below to hear Smith in his own words.

  • Or has it been so because – as several voices inside and outside of MHI have alleged – that the largest companies that dominate MHI benefit directly or indirectly regardless if their claimed position is successful, or not.
  • Which is it? And if one is objective, given their track record for failing to achieve their own claimed primary goals many years, does it matter to their rank-and-file, mom-and-pop to mid-sized dues paying members?

MHI literally and figuratively, per several sources, is picking ‘winners and losers’ in the industry. If that is so, and if that is their meaning of “clout,” then more than one attorney has told MHProNews that MHI may be more akin to a racket than a traditional association.

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

What Was Starkey Doing?

Starkey was, per sources, reportedly blamed by MHI president Richard “Dick” Jennison as having been the reason that Pam Danner got the top job over the MH program at HUD. There was friction reported between the two, as MHProNews has previously noted.

Was that alleged friction between Jennison and Starkey an example of the hostile workplace environment, previously reported at the link below?

Sexual Harassment-Not Just Hollywood, Media, Politicos-Manufactured Housing Workplace Claims, High Profile MH Cases Too?

When Starkey exited MHI, was there a settlement?  A non-disclosure agreement?  Industry attorney  William Hart informed MHProNews that such settlements often come with a non-disclosure agreement.

Given the rapid shift of Starkey to HUD, and now her exit from the program office, there are unanswered questions.  Those questions may be clarified, if MHI opened their books for a forensic, third-party examination.

Even MHI board members have voiced their frustration to MHProNews with the secrecy that has dominated the group, most notably since Jennison has come into office, and Berkshire Hathaway has exerted more dominance over the direction of the organization.

That BH dominance is exemplified by having two of the four executive committee seats held by a Berkshire Hathaway member, with a third seat held by a company led by a former Clayton Homes division president. The fourth seat, is held by ELS.   ELS reportedly have done business with Berkshire Hathaway (BH) owned divisions.

But it is ELS Chairman Sam Zell who on the MHI stage made the statement below, which can easily be interpreted as a dig against MHI, and against Berkshire Hathaway’s financial dominance.


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

ChrisStinebertManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCreditTheJournalManufacturedHomeProfessionalNewsMHProNewsEven an exiting MHI President politely criticized the organization for its failures, see that document linked here.

The Bottom Lines?

Manufactured housing growth dropped almost 20 years ago, and has been stymied for years, even though Harvard researchers and others believed there would be a recovery and gr0wth.


If MHI had the solutions that they claim, would the industry have seen the kind of slides witnessed since 1998?

There are several indicators that BH units that dominate various sectors of the industry are happy with how MHI functions.  If not, then wouldn’t they logically change staff leadership, and the association’s directions?

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

The rational conclusion is that BH and MHI take their courses of action because they like them, which fits the thoughtful, planned, long-termed mode of Warren Buffett, chairman of big Berkshire.

That would then lead the independents of the industry to conclude that MHI is either inept, ineffective or on a course of action that is deliberate.  Those who believe the latter, say the reasons are clear.  If MHI gets what they claim to want, the biggest companies – which include units owned by BH – benefit.  If MHI fails at obtaining what they claim to want to accomplish, then independents struggle, and are consolidated or fail.

These are among the reasons why Democratic lawmakers are pushing federal officials to investigate BH, Clayton, and perhaps MHI itself.

Make no mistake. Our sources tell us that this step reflects the “fingerprints” of the Trump Administration. They, per our sources, are “aware” of the problems.

And if MHI – once more, belatedly – makes a claim that this was somehow their doing (cough, cough), then they should be asked, why they waited so long to take make this pivot?

  • How do they respond to Democrats who charge BH dominates MHI as a near monopoly?
  • And how do they respond to the fact that just days before the election, MHI had two paid Hillary Clinton supporters on their stage?
  • Hasn’t MHI dumped on each of the two major party constituencies?

The problems at the HUD Code manufactured housing program office have led to two major groups being impacted.  Consumers, and independent businesses.

HUD’s Belated, Blustering “Promotion” of Manufactured Homes


On a cautionary note, HUD has per our sources not yet finalized the transfer of Danner. Our sources say it is for 120 days, and that Teresa Payne will be the acting head in the interim.

Now You Will Hear — the Rest of the Story

Thousands of industry professionals will cheer this shakeup at HUD.

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

But this struggle against the so-called DC Swamp isn’t yet a done deal.

HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, Vice President Mike Pence, and any other Trump Administration officials in the loop on this need to know that this was a move that needs to be made permeant.  They also need to learn who is, and isn’t, working for the broader interests of consumers and the independent businesses that have been hog-tied for too long by bureaucrats, such as the one who has headed up the HUD Code manufactured home program office.

MH Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Analysis, commentary, fact checks, news, trends.)

2 Week NoticeMHProNews will be on a somewhat modified publication schedule from now through January 2nd, resuming normal scheduling in 2018. More detailsclick here.

Note 1: Thousands do it. You, your team, and industry colleagues can sign up to the MH Industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – please click here to sign up in just seconds.

Note 2: For media, business development, training, or other professional services, click here.  The more pros like you that use our services over any others, the more we can protect, educate, and promote the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

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

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovach(C)2017MHproNewsBy L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended professionals in all of manufactured housing.

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

November 15th, 2017 Comments off

PamDannerQuestionMarkLightBulbDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsAn informed, Washington D.C. metro source exclusively tells MHProNews that the wheels have been put in motion for Pam Danner, JD, to be replaced at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Danner is currently serving as the administrator for the manufactured housing program.

The level of outcry by industry members has been growing in the last 2 years over Danner.  Her leadership has been widely seen as harmful to the HUD Code manufactured housing (MH) program.

Those issues, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has carefully documented for their members have documented the unnecessary hassles and costs to the industry, retailers, communities, producers, and others.

That in turn causes otherwise avoidable delays – plus added costs that must be passed onto consumers – or could cost some marginal buyers the ability to buy a home at all.

The Daily Business News hereby notes that per MH business and state association sources, there are one or more other problematic figures at the HUD Code MH office, which will be the subject of a future report.

Danner’s Fate Sealed?

For a variety of reasons that go beyond the scope of this specific report, the Trump Administration has been delayed in its effort to replace Obama Administration ‘holdovers,’ what U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) called “Sabotage.”  That has been noted by the Daily Business News previously at the report linked, below.

“Sabotage” says U.S. Senator

Related matters, per our insider source, are a significant element in why Danner hasn’t already been removed.

Therefore, the exact date for Danner’s removal hasn’t been determined – stated our source, because there are still some steps to take – per the administration.

But the word to MHProNews is that the Trump Administration is aware of the problem and has had this “drain the swamp” issue on their radar.

George Gunnell, WVMHI, Citing FMHA’s Jim Ayotte, Says HUD’s Pam Danner Must Go

Important, Must Note History…

As has been previously reported by MHProNews, and as MHARR protested at the time, Danner wasn’t the consensus candidate agreed to between MHARR and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Allegedly, Lois Starkey tipped her friend Danner to the opportunity, which would have gone to a seasoned, and reportedly pro-business, industry experienced leader.

Per sources, MHI’s President Richard “Dick” Jennison apologized to MHARR for the problem, and in doing so, Jennison pointed the finger at Starkey.

Years later, as MHProNews has been reporting for industry members, now Starkey is at HUD. Are warning flares going off for the majority of the industry’s professionals?

Reactive MHI…Per their Chairman

It was then MHI Chairman, Nathan Smith who told MHProNews exclusively that MHI’s leadership had historically been reactive.  Smith stated that during his term, he wanted to change that pattern of MHI behavior from reactive to proactive.  That stated goal was not only noteworthy, but if properly done, could have been widely approved by the industry and its members.

While his words drew praise at the time, has that reactive pattern by MHI that SKK Communities corporate leader Smith pointed to in fact change?

On issues after issue, on allegation after allegation, MHI has continued to be either

  • react to events,
  • or they’ve been pushed by others into changing positions and patterns of behavior other than what they were initially taking.

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

Then, when MHI pivots, sources allege that MHI acts as if they already held a previous, problematic position.

That’s precisely what happened with Danner.  MHI claimed to support a different candidate in an agreement with MHARR, then pivoted to supporting Danner after apologizing for Starkey’s ‘error.’

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

Now – after years of pressure and concerns from inside and outside of MHI – they’ve taken a dubious position, reported by the WVHI (see George Gunnell headline story, linked above).

Then, after that was reported by MHProNews, WVHI executive director Andy Gallagher, reportedly under pressure from others, pivoted in a clarification he asked MHProNews to report to the industry, as was detailed in the Masthead post linked below.

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

Need for Positive, Consistent Rational Representation for Independent Retailers, Communities, Others

A member source at MHARR told MHProNews last week that that group voted Friday to maintain their status quo in terms of who could become a member.  MHARR’s staff would not confirm or deny that report, but said that their official statement on the need for the post-production sector of the industry to form an MHI alternative would be released soon. (UPDATE, that’s now been released, and will be posted later today).


Through reports of comments by

  • MHI members,
  • others in the industry,
  • and editorially,

MHProNews has outlined the pressing need to replace the Arlington VA based trade group that:

  • Democratic lawmakers,
  • non-profits,
  • and others have noted is a body dominated by Berkshire Hathaway’s – via their units – Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and other industry lenders, suppliers, etc.

Post-Charlottesville, CfA’s Hunts Evidence of Racism, Steering, Predatory Lending Against Buffett’s Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and 21st Mortgage

Wittingly or not, Smith and other MHI elected and staff members have pointed to the mutli-years of problems with the national association.

An MHI’s outgoing president outlined several of those problems, in a column first published by the Journal of Manufactured Housing, sent to MHProNews by a long-time MHI member, linked as a download, below.

Extortion? RICO? Allegedly Illegal, and Dirty Side of Manufactured Housing, Exposed

It’s Past Time…

As MHProNews’ excusive State of the Manufactured Housing Industry in November 2017 periodic series has documented, the industry has tremendous opportunities.

State of the Manufactured Home Industry, Comparing RV vs. MH Data

But the lack of a consistent representation by MHI of the majority of the industry’s companies has arguably harmed the MH the industry as a whole for years, as Chris Stinebert’s parting column, MHARR, and numerous others have stated on and off the record to MHProNews.


Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance. It is up to the industry’s members to discern if Lavin’s comments fit the issue of MHI.

Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th century German thinker famously said, “All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

Fraud, Class Action, CFPB-Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the Manufactured Homes Industry


Warren Buffett, right, credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews. 

While some have misunderstood or mischaracterized MHProNews reports, analysis and editorials about MHI, for some – could it be those complaining are going through those three stages of grasping the troubling truth?

If our DC Metro source is correct, Danner is on the way out.

But perhaps the larger issue ought to be about how MHI allegedly tilts is representation in ways that favor a few ‘insider’ companies.  As a long time MHI member told MHProNews, ‘the big companies have figured out how to get the other companies to pay for what they want.’

Nothing is Changed Until it is Challenged

MHI leadership was politely asked by this publisher off the radar to reform, before we began our fact-checking and reports of their problematic actions and patterns of activity.

Later, when that off-the-radar effort failed to bring reforms at MHI, this publication’s approach was modified to publicly spotlight the problematic ways MHI reported to their own members.

MHI allegedly has consistently ducked, dodged, detracted, distracted, defended and defamed those who questioned them.


Nothing is changed until it is challenged.

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

Before MHI Members Renew…


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

Before people renew their MHI membership for 2018, and continue to support those who are consolidating the industry through their efforts, independent minded members should consider the growing call to forge a new, post-production association. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)


Note 1: Thanks to for those who directly and/or through social media are sharing their appreciation for our pro-Industry, pro-growth, pro-bottom line solution oriented industry coverage.

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

Related: For communication, marketing, training, and other MH Professional Services, click here.

Lois Starkey, Pam Danner, Manufactured Housing Institute, Fire Sprinklers, MHARR Reacts

September 6th, 2017 Comments off

Lois Starkey, left, Richard A Dick Jennison, center, HUD’s Pam Danner, right. Fire sprinkler image credit is as shown, collage credit,

Sources in the Washington, D.C. metro area tell MHProNews that one of former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Vice President Lois Starkey’s “pet interests” related to fire sprinklers and their use in manufactured homes.

As the Daily Business News previously reported, Starkey left MHI with no official announcement.

Just a few weeks the head of the manufactured housing program at HUD, Pam Danner, JD, announced that Starkey was joining Danner’s team.

Since her arrival at HUD, the subject of fire sprinklers in manufactured homes has suddenly heated up. Coincidence?

Industry Concerns

Manufactured Home Community (MHC) operators, retailers, and producers are among those who have long opposed the use of such sprinklers in HUD Code homes.  They cite the fact that manufactured homes are already safer than conventional housing, as this linked report and fire safety study detailed.  They also note that sprinklers can be added as an option, instead of forced upon consumers who may not want them.

Communities and retailers point out that due to the added costs, the National Association of Home Builder research documented could “price out” potentially hundreds of thousands of home buyers.

Community operators and retailers also note that sprinklers aren’t practical in many locations nationally. There may not be enough water pressure for sprinklers to do their job properly. In other words, they could be a waste of money.

MHARR Reacts

MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNewsThe Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has informed MHProNews in a release about a related issue on federal preemption, fire sprinklers and HUD regulated manufactured housing.

A letter from MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss to the Director of Maryland Codes Administration, Norman Wang, expressed their view of that state’s lack of understanding for federal preemption under the “Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.”

Wang claims that MHIA of 2000 “does not preclude a local government from setting its requirement of fire sprinkler[s] in manufactured homes.”

But the communique from MHARR pointed out that the federal HUD Code is not meant to be looked at as “minimum standards.”

Regulatory overreach issues like these are not often contested by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). What MHARR and other industry professionals say could be avoided because of federal preemption, is in fact being tacitly if not actively allowed by HUD, they say.

That’s an issue that JD Harper and the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association have addressed, and which several other state association executives reportedly share too.


See the report by clicking the image above.

The current management analyst for HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing, and prior Vice President (VP) of Regulatory Affairs for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has reportedly pushed for this sprinkler requirement in the past.  That may also explain in part why HUD felt comfortable neglecting to protect federal preemption on this issue.


Featured image credit, Brady Homes.

HUD is pushing for various new regulations. MHARR and others say oversteps the agency’s mandate, as well as the new policies of the Trump Administration.

For more from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform and their complete release and letter cited above on the issue of fire sprinklers, click here. ## (News, analysis.)

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



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

July 26th, 2017 Comments off

Was it something else that sent Starkey to HUD, other than the reported “friction?” See the report by clicking the image above.

In a release just minutes ago, the Daily Business News has been told by Pamela Beck Danner, JD, Administrator, Office of Manufactured Housing Programs the following.

Dear Manufactured Housing Partners and Stakeholders,

I am pleased to announce that Lois Starkey has joined the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs on Monday, July 24th as a Management Analyst.  Lois comes to HUD with 30 years of experience with the manufactured housing industry.  She was most recently Vice President Regulatory Affairs at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Prior to her work with MHI, she was a Legislative and Policy Associate for the National Council of State Housing Agencies. We are looking forward to utilizing Lois’ experience and expertise to improve the Federal Manufactured Housing Program and enhance working relationships with our state and inspection agency partners, manufactured housing consensus committee members, industry stakeholders, serving our 20 million manufactured housing homeowners nationwide.  Ms. Starkey is also no stranger to HUD since her job experience includes working in HUD’s Office of Congressional Relations.”

 Welcome back to HUD, Lois!”


Pam Danner, JD, HUD Code Manufactured Housing Program Administrator, credit, MHProNews.

 MHProNews was the first that broke the news to the industry that Starkey had left MHI, in a semi-secretive fashion. To see that story, click the link here. ##

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Photo by Mark Simon, of L. A. “Tony’ Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY. Kovach has a proven history of being for respect for residents, and pro-Industry. He is the publisher of the industry’s two largest and most popular trade media, and

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

MHI Legislative Fly In Clouded By New Controversy

June 26th, 2017 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been plagued by missteps and allegedly avoidable controversies, which, along with their lack of performance in achieving their own stated goals, has created industry concerns, according to sources’ statements to

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has created its own controversy, on the eve of their much ballyhooed “Legislative Fly-In” to Washington, D.C.  Two of the industry trade association’s senior staffers were allegedly terminated, days prior to their event, as was first reported by the Daily Business News, at this link here.

The Arlington, VA based trade group has removed the names of Vice Presidents Lois Starkey, and Tom Heinemann from their staff roster, but would not answer questions as to the cause of the two departures.

While the Executive Committee presumably knows, queries to several MHI board members and state association executives revealed that many were in the dark about the staff changes.  “I don’t know. If so, I didn’t hear. If I hear something I will let you know,” read one email to MHProNews.

I have not heard. As long as she’s been there I can’t see her quitting without sending some communication out. Obviously she was rushed out regardless,” said another.

Sources suggested to that Lesli Gooch – Senior VP, a Ph.D. and failed Republican candidate for Congress – demanded and got the two former MHI VPs’ terminations.

There was also friction reported between MHI President Richard A. Jennison and Starkey.


See the report by clicking the image above.

Starkey was involved in the more technical side of the federally regulated HUD code for manufactured housing. Sources say that while work-arounds are possible, not having that kind of experience on staff is troubling.

Starkey also is said to have had perhaps the most total tenure with MHI, outside of their educational affiliate.

Terminations – Signaling an MHI Pivot Regarding HUD? 

Sources are also saying that under growing pressure from grassroots elements of the industry, that MHI might be relenting on asking the Trump Administration for a new administrator over the HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program.

Commenting on Starkey, one source told MHProNews that “She [Lois] and Pamela Danner appeared to be tight. Pamela always went straight to her at any event and would generally see them leaving to go have dinner together.”

Several industry voices have been calling for a change at the leadership of the HUD Code manufactured home program.


Pam Danner, JD, HUD Code Manufactured Housing Program Administrator, speaking as she often has at an MHI event.  Danner and MHI have appeared to be “cozy,” say sources, which has lead to questions as to why MHI can’t get Danner to relent on alleged regulatory overreaches. That grass roots pressure on MHI may be coming to a head, as time will soon reveal, in one way or another.  Photo credit, MHProNews.

Mark Weiss, president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), MHProNews editorially, and even voices from within MHI have called for a new program administrator to replace Pam Danner, J.D. as part of a necessary changes the industry is seeking at HUD.

MHARR has accused HUD of being out of compliance with federal law on several issues. MHARR’s leadership has also said that MHI goes along to get along with HUD, which hurts independent producers, perhaps to the indirect benefit of larger ones.  That Washington, D.C. based trade rival to MHI says that while they are representing producers, the harm being done applies to communities, retailers, suppliers and all those who want to see the industry grow more rapidly.

One rumor is that Starkey – who has some history with Danner – and Heinemann, who was formerly with HUD – were in part being swept away to make room for a shift on MHI policy regarding keeping or replacing Danner.

In reports found first on the Daily Business News, MHI’s centerpiece efforts for reforming Dodd-Frank have low odds of success, per third party research. Several wonder, what’s the point or strategy? 

The Fly In Agenda’s Featured Focus Itself is Doubtful

MHProNews has previously reported that third party research reveals that MHI’s plan for reforming Dodd-Frank is unlikely to pass. See the most recent report on that, linked here and here.

For the report on the termination, related controversies at MHI, click the link here.

For commentary on this incident, framed in the context of the need to reform the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), click here.

For MHARR’s position on their call to replace Danner, click this link here. ## (News, Analysis.)

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

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