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Spotlighting Pro-Growth Educational Effort by Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association

December 18th, 2018 Comments off

 

SpotlightingProGrowthEducatoinEffortLousianaManufacturedHousingAssociationLogoLMHALogoAnthonyTonyLucasPalmHarborDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association (LMHA) video below takes a tact at defending and promoting the acceptance of manufactured homes that is noteworthy.

 

 

It could have utilized the singularly important point of HUD Code manufactured home enhanced preemption, or any number of other research points that were available at the time the video was produced. So while it is useful, it could be improved.

 

 

Lenny Kopowski and Steve Duke at LMHA have been doing such educational and outreach efforts for years.

 

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

 

That said, it debatably stands far and away better than anything that the national Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has produced to date.

Several states have made efforts at growing the industry at the state level. That’s laudable.

The unfortunate point is that MHI, which has millions a year in budget should be doing this sort of work, shouldn’t they? Don’t they claim to represent all aspects of factory-built housing?

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

 

Louisiana’s slip in new home shipments is one of several topics that MHI has ignored in their recent ‘newsletter’ to their members. Several states have told MHProNews that they are concerned.

 

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Louisiana is one of the top ten states for manufactured home shipments in recent years, per data collected by HUD and reported by MHARR. Clayton Homes has a serious presence in the state. Yet, sales are declining. Why???

 

Michigan’s shipments is another top ten state in recent years that has been losing, not gaining, in year-over-year new manufactured home shipments.

What will change this or other troubling industry dynamics?

One answer is the one that UMH President Sam Landy suggested, each company is responsible for its own marketing. Each company is logically responsible for its own sales engagement systems too.

After all, all sales are local ones.

Beyond that, independents who want to see growth should consider new alliances.

Because in the post-production sector, that MHI claims to be doing, the evidence suggests they are fast at defending themselves or a favored company, such as Clayton or 21st.

But beyond that, they’re  efforts for protecting, educating, and promoting on behalf of the broader industry have not produced anything akin to this generally promising notion by LMHA, posted above. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

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#1 Texas Among States with New HUD Code Sales, Experiences Shipment Drop, Facts Reveal Warning Signs

 

#$2Trillion U.S. GDP Growth via Affordable Housing Plan Few Discuss – Introducing #YimbyVictory2020

 

 

 

State Associations – Clear Evidence of Advancing the Case for Manufactured Housing

January 4th, 2018 Comments off

2018-01-03_1959LennyKopowskiLMHALouisianaManufacturedHousingAssocDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsTheir video is professional quality.

The topic is a critical one for the industry – zoning and placement for manufactured homes.

Lenny Kopowski – with the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association – presents in the video below another example of how state-level manufactured housing trade associations have taken an often bold, proactive role at developing the HUD Code manufactured housing industry’s image, education, and understanding.

The LMHA’s efforts – or that of other state associations we’ve covered here on the Daily Business News, and MHLivingNews over the years – merits to be contrasted with what has been done by the national trade group, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

No video is perfect. 

But the fine LMHA video above was produced and posted online by LMHA about 6 years ago.  Meaning, they’ve been involved in doing that video educational effort, plus others, for years.

Meanwhile, MHI began late last year to publicize some of the advantages of manufactured housing. They did so after years of members and other industry professionals calling for such efforts – including from their own past president.

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Giving Credit Where It’s Due, State Associations, and Manufactured Home Living

Two other examples of how state associations have taken a pro-active step in promoting educational facts about manufactured homes are linked above and below.

Quality Affordable Housing Hunters – Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association Works to Stop Myths, Deliver Facts

Among the reasons that this is important to the industry, investors, public officials, and manufactured home owners will be clarified in a report to be published here on the Daily Business News.  The facts, commentary, and analysis will be framed in the context of statements made by MHI President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison, under oath.

Are the controversies, concerns, and allegations about MHI continuing into 2018? 

MHIManufacturedHousingInstituteBenefitsMembershipDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsYouTubeViews

Will the MHI members compel the Arlington, VA based organization be reformed, or be replaced, under pressure?

Bloomberg, Rising “Mobile Home” Prices, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

Where is MHI’s response to problematic mainstream media reports, like the one above or below?

The REAL Truth, vs. Fake News, About Modern Manufactured Homes

MHProNews’ publisher has extended an invitation for MHI to respond to these and numerous other concerns in writing, which can then be published here for the industry at large to consider. 

What’s the Difference? Advertising vs. Educating

Or, in the alternative, there’s been an invitation for MHI to debate publicly at Louisville or Tunica via a video presentation that the entire industry could see. 

Will MHI take up the challenge? Time will tell. If they won’t debate or disclose, why not?

Crawford’s point about state associations is dramatically demonstrated by LMHA’s video, or the other state association examples linked above. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

(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 MHProNews.com.

Nate Wasn’t Harvey, Irma or Maria – Gulf MH Report

October 9th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit, Pensacola News Journal.

Fortunately, for Louisiana and our friends along the Mississippi Gulf Coast Nate’s impact was relatively minimal,“ said Leonard “Lenny” Kopowski, of the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association.

Hurricane Nate barreled over Pensacola quickly, but left relatively little damage in its wake,” said the Pensacola News Journal. “Nate rolled into the mouth of the Mississippi River on Saturday night as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported.  By Sunday afternoon, the storm was well northeast of the area and weakened to a tropical depression.”

WHNT19 in Gulf Shores, AL. had a similar report.

Gulf Shores was expecting to get hit hard by Hurricane Nate, but according to a spokesperson for the city, the damage was minor,” per WHNT19

We’re very fortunate here. That last little jog to the west, it never really turned as far to the east as it was anticipated. Intensification didn’t quite get to Cat 2 level,” said Gulf Shores spokesperson Grant Brown.

Clearly, not every weather or – other warnings – turns out as feared.

There was minor localized flooding and other damage reported.  But after the devastation of Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the nation and people of the Gulf Coast got a break from mother Nature. ## (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 MHProNews.com.

Louisiana FEMA MHU Deployment Update

July 12th, 2017 Comments off
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Image credits are as shown, and are provided under fair use guidelines.

1001 households have reportedly left their FEMA MHUs – Manufactured Housing Units – and are back in what local news reports dub, “permanent housing.”

FEMA says at the height of the temporary housing program after the August 2016 flooding, more than 4,600 households were put into MHUs. Most of the households taking advantage of the MHUs were located in Ascension, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston Parishes. Currently, about 3,500 households still remain in MHUs,” stated WAFB.

MHUs were provided as a temporary housing solution by FEMA at the request of the state if no other housing options were available,” says WBRZ. “Flood survivors may be eligible to stay in an MHU for up to 18 months, until February 2018, if they continue to work on their long-term housing plans.”

The Daily Business News has tracked the drama before and during the problematic and delayed deployment of the FEMA MHUs.

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Informed sources with the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association advised MHProNews at the time that they could have done the same work faster, better – and for less.

The local news video in this report has the typical mainstream media (MSM) terminology problems, which is part of the pattern of irritants for the industry and manufactured home owners.

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Louisiana Flood damage, August 2016. Credit: BBC

Per WBRZ, “…FEMA, re certification teams with Individual Assistance meet regularly with applicants in all MHUs to review the applicant’s housing plan. FEMA says 72 percent of flood survivors are on track with permanent housing plans. All applicants living in MHUs must actively seek permanent housing.”

A prior report on this issue, is linked here. ##

(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 MHProNews.com.

 

Happy 41st Birthday, HUD Code Manufactured Homes

June 15th, 2017 Comments off

HappyFrstBirthdayManufacturedHousingMHProNews41 years ago, today, manufactured housing was “born.” The conception for what become federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes was the media crisis that occurred regarding some “shoddy” mobile homes in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Flashback to Flash Forward…

While many mobile home builders in those pre-HUD Code days took the long view and built to reasonable construction and safety standards – such as the ANSI standards available then – other producers were less diligent about quality and customer satisfaction. 60 Minutes and others in media profiled consumer complaints.

Regrettably, as can happen, the good got lumped in with the bad.

The media and public ‘hue and cry’ led a coalition of builders to push for federally preemptive standards. Those were passed by Congress in 1974. Those standards took effect on June 15, 1976, the day when the first official manufactured homes were produced.

So as all industry professionals ought to know, mobile homes and manufactured homes are not the same thing.  Important safety, quality, energy and durability features were all “born” with the HUD Code for manufactured housing.

FactoryHousingEvolution101TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHome

The popularity of mobile homes rose rapidly in the post World War II period. The first big drop came during the time that the HUD Code for manufactured housing was passed and went into effect. Chart above credit, Calculated Risk.

Why It Matters

As Steve Duke with the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association (LMHA) told MHLivingNews, “The terminology matters because the terminology determines the construction standards a home was built to.”

Terminology and its meaning with respect to pre-Code, post-HUD Code for manufactured home standards is precisely the hinge that creates headache issues for researchers, public officials and home buyers.

While many in the industry focus on the SEO value of ‘mobile homes,’ which doesn’t have to be ignored, they may fail to see that ‘mobile homes’ and ‘trailer houses’ have such a distaste with the bulk of the public, that it has tainted the manufactured home industry.

That in turn is one of several factors that have depressed manufactured home sales, as MHProNews and our sister site, MHLivingNews, have carefully documented over the years.

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Most Men Appear Never to Have Considered What a House is…Henry David Thoreau, MHLivingNews.

Real World Examples of How the Public Views ‘Mobile Homes’

Do not buy a manufactured home, if this was a real tornado, this house would (be) gone in 60 seconds or less. wow! the things people do to make a dime. geez!” – Robert Delacerda, said in a post on YouTube.

Replying to a comment by ‘Root Beer,’ Delacerda elaborated by saying, “well said sir, mobile homes are weak and made of cheap materials. a tornado of f-0 [sic] would destroy this shack in a vlink [sic] of a eye. funny video though.”

Duane Dean posted, “We live in a newer (1993) single wide mobile home and its anchored. The work I have done myself on this place just make me quiver to think anyone would ever stay in one during any tornado.”

There have been pro-MH comments on the video too; one example of common sense was from a man who said he’s a Joplin firefighter.

Aegeus Max, said, “as a Joplin firefighter that worked the debris I can tell you that it is not safe anywhere in a tornado except underground. The neighborhood I worked was an upscale all with basements…”

It will take repeated efforts to clear up the confusion.  Even having read Max’s statement, James Dennis replied,But still, if I live in a M home or a mobile home and I see a tornado I’m getting in the car and driving to a shelter or getting out of the path of the tornado.”

When we look at the low conversion ratios of those shopping for modern manufactured home vs. those that actually buy, industry professionals have said to this writer for years that fear of tornadoes is one of the biggest issues.

This is why the research and videos MHLivingNews and MHProNews have done – in conjunction with industry professionals, sponsors and supporters – on this issue are useful and important. Those selling to actual home shoppers have told us that when they show someone “on the fence” that has expressed fears about windstorm one of our videos, it has often caused the skeptics to buy.

CommentsPublicTornadoStormsMobileManufacturedHomeVideoYouTubePostedDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

Engaging the public who are actually commenting on topics like mobile and manufactured homes has tremendous value, so long as the engagement is sustained, not just a one time thing.

Chris Noah, who identified himself as a manufactured home (MH) owner, and on the same YouTube video as the others quoted above, posted this: “we have had straight line storms with winds in access of 80mph, we also on a hill with no wind breaks, and no problems here…”

MH owner Noah found encouragement from that early video, and he also stood up to those who were belittling their lack of understanding about manufactured homes, with his own experiences.

We have, through debates and discussions, turned some nay-sayers into silence, actual or potential believers. But in the absence of engaging and changing minds, there are comments like this one this week:

ArmyGuy63Bravo1 said, “im gonna open the “tornado magnet trailer park” soon with free rent for 3 months.” (Typos in the original).

Do we wonder why zoning officials have a problem with the public pushing back on new development, expansions or placement of manufactured homes in their jurisdictions?

Only education – repeated, on-going education – can change those kinds of patterns of false impressions.  One press release one time isn’t enough.

A new video was posted on YouTube that updated the one Noah and the others have seen. This new video posted on YouTube is shown below.

Anniversaries for the ‘birthday’ of the HUD Code for manufactured homes are useful times to engage in such education.

People Want Facts, Not Hype and Claims

This goes to a point raised by community partner Tom Fath in his video interview.  Fath says that home owners want to be part of the solution for misunderstandings about the industry.  That’s the value Fath says that MHLivingNews provides to residents and homeowners. They have happier, better informed residents as a result.

Those residents – along with those videos they can point shoppers to – are in turn causing more people to buy.

Their sales have skyrocketed as a result.  Or as Deer Valley Homebuilders James McGee and Chet Murphree said in an previous video interview, “Tony, we know that it’s all about education…thank you for leading the charge for that…”

That’s a key point of doing videos and stories; to help doubters see the reality vs. the overhyped fears.  But there is more of it needed.  This is why the engagement with MSU researchers we did with MHARR is so important to the industry. See the summary of that debate, linked here.

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To see the fuller context for the on-the-record disucssion with Mark Skidmore and his colleagues at MSU, click here or the image above.

Researchers all-too-often don’t know the factual difference between mobile homes and manufactured homes.  That’s how poor a job overall the industry has done with getting out the facts about Ron Thomas Sr.’s reference to manufactured housing as a “phenomenon,” but one that is misunderstood by many public officials, lenders, and millions of others.

About the 41st Birthday of Manufactured Homes

The establishment of the HUD Code was — and is — an important milestone for both the industry and consumers.  The industry itself sought out federal regulation under a preemptive, performance-based, uniform code of federal standards that balances the key factors of safety and cost, along with uniform enforcement within a federal-state partnership,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

This type of federal regulation — so long as it is reasonable — allows the industry to pass-along the efficiencies of factory-construction to home buyers, in the form of unparalleled affordability and quality,” Weiss said.

He elaborated by saying that “today’s manufactured homes have achieved the level of quality, durability, and safety that Congress envisioned when it passed the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.” But he also said that for the industry to reach its potential, a shakeup of the HUD Program was needed by the Trump Administration. His full comments are linked here.

The Bottom Line

Industry business leaders and management professionals must be personally informed, and they in turn must engage their own teams in the best understanding of the need for and value of manufactured homes.

Professionals in turn must educate those that they encounter.  This has to be a local market level effort.  Tom Fath and his family, along with others, have proven that this is not only doable, its profitable ## (News, Analysis, Commentary).

(Editor’s Note: To see our 40th anniversary article – made for the public in mind – click here.)

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

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L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

FEMA’s Manufactured Home Installations slow for Louisiana flood victims

October 3rd, 2016 Comments off
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Steve Duke, LMHA, says he could have coordinated in a week what FEMA has done in a month following the historic flooding in Louisiana. Photo credit, WAFB.

A month after the historic flooding in Louisiana, many residents are still having trouble finding housing, reports WAFB’s Scottie Hunter.

According to Hunter’s report, thousands of people have applied for a manufactured housing unit from FEMA, but as of September 30, only 169 people have been able to move into one.

The number of homes has increased from where the total was a week ago, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. FEMA spokesman Tito Hernandez said the inspection process is the main reason for the delay.

We’re inspecting hundreds of sites for sustainability,” Hernandez told WAFB. “We have to

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Toto Hernandez, FEMA.

deliver the units, but we have to inspect those units before we take them out of the staging area when we put them in the site whether it’s a commercial or private site.

Unfortunately, FEMA says taht even when the homes can be inspected, the actual inspecting takes time, too—in some case it can take days or even weeks for inspectors to locate suitable spots for the units.

Meanwhile, the Shelter at Home Program, which allows residents whose homes were damaged to still live at their house while they rebuild, is moving along rapidly. As of Sept. 29, close to 20,000 homes were registered and more than 16,000 of those homes are inspection-eligible and approximately 5,000 are good to go for construction.

Inspections are being scheduled and occurring,” Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (GOHSEP) spokesman Casey Tingle said. “Construction is being started and being worked and we continue to look at how we expedite and improve the process to get all of that construction completed and final inspections done.”

The Shelter at Home Program has been able to reach close to 500 homes a day. However FEMA’s manufactured home process is still in need of improvement as it lags behind.

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Award-winning journalist, Jan Hollingsworth.

This is a surprise to those who followed Jan Hollingsworth’s recent report for MHLivingNews, when FEMA said they had learned from their past mistakes during Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA’s got their plan and it’s moving and it looks like there’s some thought to it,” Steve Duke, Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association executive director and general counsel then told MHLivingNews.We just tell them, ‘If there’s anything we can do, let us know.’

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Steve Duke, LMHA.

Our number one goal and objective is to get people out of the shelters.”

It was six weeks before FEMA could get 113 families out of shelters and into homes. I blew up that night at a FEMA meeting,” Duke said. “I could have gotten 113 families out of shelters in less than a week.

Hollingsworth’s report noted how rapidly manufactured home professionals were ready to jump in to help with the demand. For example, Alabama-based Sunshine Homes was optimistic it could supply high-quality, move-in homes within a month.

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John Bostick, president, Sunshine Homes, Red Bay, AL.

Sunshine Homes CEO John Bostick said, “Our factory is running at about two-thirds capacity. We could stretch and build a lot of homes.”

As the Daily Business News recently reported, Lexington Homes was recently awarded a major contract from FEMA for more manufactured housing. To see that report, please click here.

We’re not perfect,” FEMA’s Hernandez said. “We’re going to have some folks that are going to fall through the cracks. For that, we have an appeal process.” ##

(Image credit is as shown on the linked page.)

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Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Pre-1988 HUD Code Homes may Receive Variance

August 27th, 2012 Comments off

gobogolusa reports the Washington Parish Planning Commission in Louisiana is considering amending parish regulations that prevents any manufactured home made before 1988 from being sited in the parish. That ordinance was instituted to prevent decrepit homes from being sited in the parish and rented as substandard housing, but the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association said the 1988 date was arbitrarily selected, and the correct date should be 1976, when homes were built to HUD Code standards with the correct wind zone rating. MHProNews has learned any HUD Code home can be sited anywhere in the parish. Parish Councilman Michael Fussell suggested leaving the 1988 ordinance date as-is, and add the condition that a variance could be requested for older manufactured homes on a case by case basis. The commission appointed a committee to consider the recommendation.

(Image credit: Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association)