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MHC Expansion Proposal Makes Progress

May 1st, 2017 Comments off
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A home in Big Maple. Credit: Remax.

In a story that the Daily Business News originally covered last October, the Sechelt, British Columbia council has given second and third readings to a proposed community plan and zoning amendments for expansion of the Big Maple Mobile Home Park.

According to the Coast Reporter, developer Chapman Creek Holdings Ltd. wants to rezone two lots adjacent to Big Maple Mobile Home Park to R-5, a designation that would expand the park by 1.55 hectares to accommodate about 28 additional manufactured homes.

Back in October, directors with the Sunshine Coast Regional Districts’ (SCRD) planning and community development committee in British Columbia, Canada addressed a referral from Sechelt on the expansion, which was met with a positive response.

I really wish that people would search out locations in OCPs where mobile home parks [sic] could go in, because it is one solution for people to have affordable housing,” said Lorne Lewis of Elphinstone, who is also a big proponent for manufactured housing as an affordable option.

During the readings, Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne pulled no punches.

We plan to apply tough environmental standards to the project,” said Milne.

We need to hold the mitigating geotechnical and environmental factors to the highest standards. The district wants to use standards set by its own Water Resource Center for design of the mobile park’s [sic] new sewer system. The standards of Vancouver Coastal Health and the Ministry of Environment may be considerably lower.”

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Big Maples (red marker). Credit: Google.

At a March 22nd public hearing on the matter, members of the public expressed concerns about potential flood hazards, loss of wildlife habitat and impacts from traffic.

Complaints about a recurring smell from the original Big Maple wastewater treatment plant were also expressed, but Milne says that the new owners have committed to installing a new system and connecting all of the current homes to bring the community up to standard.

It will be an overall improvement,” said Milne.

Council member Noel Muller agreed, and also spoke to the need for affordable housing.

There were a lot of things to weigh for this, such as what’s going to happen to Chapman Creek. That hinges on the septic system,” said Muller.

We have a desperate need for affordable housing in this district and that’s why I’m voting in favor.”

The council did not provide additional details on next steps regarding the proposal during the readings, but the Daily Business News will continue to monitor its progress. ##

 

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

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

City Makes Moves to Preserve Affordable Housing

April 6th, 2017 Comments off
CityMakesMovestoPreserveAffordableHousingcreditDailyCamera-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Daily Camera.

In Colorado, city officials in Louisville are working to solve a growing affordable housing crisis.

According to the Daily Camera, the focus is on the sole manufactured home community in the city, the 94-unit Parco Dello Zingaro Mobile Home Park, which has served as a cost effective alternative for a number of decades.

The city is weighing city-funded incentives – tax breaks, loans or grants to promote maintenance of the community.

Affordable housing is certainly something that is critical,” said Councilman Chris Leh.

It’s something that everyone recognizes as increasingly difficult in Louisville, and it’s not going to get any easier.”

Also on the table is the potential for a resident-owned community, similar to nearby Boulder’s Mapleton Mobile Home Park. In this scenario, residents would purchase the community and form a co-op.

Community owners in the area and beyond face intense pressure to sell or redevelop their properties as the community around them grows and land values increase. The Daily Business News recently covered a similar scenario in Calgary, Canada, in a story linked here.

In the area over the last three years, the number of single-family homes for sale under $250,000 has dropped 72 percent, and the number of attached dwellings for less than $150,000 has declined by 87 percent.

And in these desperate times, city officials are looking to manufactured housing as a practical solution.

Generally we can say that in addition to the work we do all over Boulder County, the Boulder County Housing Authority is supportive of efforts that can help preserve existing affordable housing where and when possible,” said Jim Williams, a spokesman for Boulder County Housing and Human Services.

These are complicated issues,” said Councilman Jeff Lipton.

There’s lots of balances that need to be weighed. If there was a way to kind of have those interests come together and the area be designated somehow as an area where we want affordable housing, it could be better for us.”

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Louisville, shaded in red. Credit: Google.

In an affordability study done by Amy Aschenbrenner, CEO of the Longmont Association of Realtors, and Kyle Snyder, of Land Title Guarantee Company, the average single-family home price in Louisville last year was $627,938.

There are no entry level housing options left in Boulder County,” said Snyder.

And, as the dream of homeownership moves further out of reach, housing authority officials have shifted to preserving manufactured housing communities like Parco Dello Zingaro.

City officials recognizing a lack of affordable housing often leads to a chill on development,” said Parco Dello Zingaro owner Keith Cowan.

After dealing with several cities, there are times something is said about lack of affordable housing and the very first thing (the city says) is that you can’t build anymore.

Cowan says that there are fears of him opting to raze the community in favor of more costly townhomes. But as a proponent of affordable housing, he’s actually looking to double down.

My plans are exactly the opposite of redeveloping the park [sic],” said Cowan.

I want to build more, but council and city zoning will not allow that to happen. If you want to restrict it and not allow it to expand, then don’t stand and say we need more affordable housing.”

For more on similar situations, including a case in Melbourne, Australia, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Sam Zell Makes New Play?

March 6th, 2017 Comments off
SamZellMakesNewPlaycreditOilPrice-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A stretch of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Credit: OilPrice.

Sam Zell is no stranger to success, or “knowing where the money is.

It appears he’s found his next target.

According to the Bloomberg Quint, the billionaire real-estate investor and chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) is joining Continental Resources Inc.’s Harold Hamm in the growing list of enthusiasts of Oklahoma’s Stack shale formation.

Zell made an investment in the region recently, and said that he sees “awesome prospects for the oil-producing area,” in a Bloomberg TV interview.

Zell also said that he plans to double down on his previous investment in North Dakota’s Bakken play, in anticipation of the approval of the Dakota Access pipeline. The project cleared its last regulatory hurdle after President Donald Trump took office.

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Sam Zell, credit, Forbes.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, we have covered progress in the Bakken region extensively, including mounting real estate losses during a downturn in 2016.

The region is going through another drilling boom, and appears to offer good returns at a $50 oil price.

Trump’s administration is likely to be very positive for the business community and the energy industry specifically,” said Zell.

OPEC’s agreement to cut production is positive for oil producers and oil investments all over the world, including North America.

Zell also provided his take on what impact Saudi Arabia had on the situation.

If you look at the crash in the price of oil, what you really saw was Saudi Arabia showing the rest of the oil-producing world what life could be like with uncontrolled output,” said Zell.

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Credit: Drudge Report.

OPEC officials have hailed implementation of the deal as “excellent,” but also said that they were still waiting for evidence of its success in reducing the global oil glut.

Saudi Arabia inflicted a significant amount of pain leading to the agreement,said Zell.

And it’s unlikely producers will cheat this time.

A five-nation committee said OPEC achieved more than 90 percent of its promised cutbacks in January and the group’s partners implemented almost 60 percent.

Zell has been in the news recently, including a session at a conference in Florida, where he spoke about the “staggering economic opportunity” for the U.S. under President Donald Trump. That story is linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews

Skyline Makes Announcement Regarding Mansfield Facility

March 6th, 2017 Comments off
SkylineMakesAnnouncementRegardingMansfieldFacilitycreditStarTelegram-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Star-Telegram.

MHProNews has learned that Skyline Corp. has come to terms to sell its Mansfield, Texas manufactured-housing facility to Champion Home Builders.

According to the Star-Telegram, under terms of the deal, Champion would pay a $99,000 deposit and then $2,125,000 upon closing, scheduled to occur on or before April 7, according to a filing with the SEC.

As the Daily Business News reported last week, Skyline was prepared to shut down their Mansfield, Texas facility due to an inability to operate profitably.

The suspension is due to the plant being unable to profitably operate since it was converted from producing recreational vehicles to manufactured housing in fiscal 2014,said Florea in an announcement to employees at the plant on February 24th.

Challenges this location faced included fewer independent manufactured housing dealerships buying homes than anticipated resulting in sales volumes not reaching profitable levels.

Skyline had originally stated in their recent 8-K filing that if a buyer could not be found by the time current production at the facility is completed at the end of March, the majority of the workforce will have to be terminated.

With the purchase, Champion Homes also alerted officials in Mansfield that they intend to hire the current workers at the facility, saving over 100 jobs.

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Credit: Champion Homes.

Skyline also said that a portion of the property is leased for oil and gas production and that a subsidiary, Homette, would continue to receive royalties for 60 months following the sale.

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

As regular Daily Business News readers already know, Champion Homes was founded in 1953, producing more than 1.7 million factory-built pre-HUD Code mobile homes, post-HUD Code manufactured homes and modular homes or buildings throughout the United States, in the United Kingdom and western Canada. For more on the companies’ recent acquisition of a former Excel Homes facility in Susquehanna Township, Penn., click here.

Skyline Corporation is one of the oldest and larger independent producers of manufactured, modular and park model homes.

Skyline is also one of the industry stocks monitored each business day on the MH Industry’s leading professional news resource, the Daily Business News, on MHProNews.  For the most recent closing numbers on all MH industry-connected tracked stocks, please click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews

Skyline Corporation Makes Executive Announcement

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off
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Skyline Homes logo, kitchen and CEO’s photo, credits – Skyline Homes.

Skyline Corp. (NYSE: SKY) tells MHProNews that Jeff Newport has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer.

Newport previously served as Senior Vice President of Operations, joining Skyline in February 2016.

Jeff has already made a significant impact on our operations and his promotion to Chief Operating Officer is well-earned,” said Richard W. Florea, Skyline’s President and CEO.

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Jeff Newport. Credit: Skyline Corp.

I have worked closely with Jeff over the past 12 months and I look forward to continue working together as we strive to continuously improve our operating efficiency and overall profitability.

Newport will continue to report to Florea, and will serve as a member of the executive leadership team. His responsibilities include leading Skyline’s overall operations in the areas of manufacturing, procurement, quality, human resources and engineering.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, Skyline has been in the news recently, including a story on the shut down of their Mansfield, Texas facility.

The suspension is due to the plant being unable to profitably operate since it was converted from producing recreational vehicles to manufactured housing in fiscal 2014,” said Florea in an announcement to employees at the plant.

Challenges this location faced included fewer independent manufactured housing dealerships buying homes than anticipated resulting in sales volumes not reaching profitable levels.”

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Credit: Skyline Corp.

Skyline is looking for a buyer for the facility, but stated in their recent 8-K filing that if a buyer cannot be found by the time current production at the facility is completed at the end of March, the majority of the workforce is expected to be terminated.

More on Skyline, including their spike in stock price is linked here. For more Vector Capital Management increasing its stake in the company by 805 percent in December, click here.

Skyline is one of the industry stocks monitored each business day on the MH Industry’s leading professional news resource, the Daily Business News, on MHProNews.  For yesterday’s closing numbers on all MH industry-connected tracked stocks, please click here. ##

(Editor’s Note: most recent earnings report from Skyline Corp. is linked here.)

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

State Makes Move to Combine Housing Divisions

February 14th, 2017 Comments off
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Nevada State Capitol Building, Carson City. Credit: Wikipedia.

In the state of Nevada, the Department of Business and Industry presented a plan last week to combine the manufactured and state housing divisions. According to administrators, the move will improve efficiency and responsiveness to the public.

The merger would provide better service and open up resources for the agency,” said Steve Aichroth, administrator of the Nevada Division of Manufactured Housing.

Aichroth shared his comments with a Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means joint subcommittee. The Nevada Division of Manufactured Housing currently has 14 employees and is responsible for all manufactured homes, and insures that they are safely constructed and properly installed.

As least one member of the committee was curious.

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Senator Aaron Ford. Credit: Review Journal.

This merger has been proposed several times over the past few years. Why is it being pitched again this year?” asked Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford (D-Las Vegas).

The timing is right. It’s the right thing to do for good government,” said Bruce Breslow, director of the Department of Business and Industry

According to the Review Journal, the manufactured housing division also helps resolve consumer and landlord-tenant complaints, and administers a program to help low-income residents pay for rental spaces in mobile home parks.

That program is currently funded through a $12 annual per-space fee collected from manufactured home communities.

The meeting provided a brief overview of the agency’s funding request, but the subcommittee will dive more deeply into the housing division’s various budget accounts at future meetings.

And for one of the committee members, that deep dive is important.

I want a bill detailing how the combined divisions would work before budget action is taken,” said Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D-Reno).

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For more on the quality of modern manufactured housing, including record low complaint levels for quality, click here or on the photo above. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Killam Properties Makes Significant Moves

January 30th, 2017 Comments off
KillamReceivesRecommendationsFromRatingsFirmscreditRentalHousingBusiness-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewmhlivingnews

Credit: Rental Housing Business.

Canada based real estate investment trust Killam Properties Inc. (TSE:KMP.UN) tells MHProNews that the company has closed on two Canadian acquisitions worth $26.2 million, including 153 apartment units in London, Ontario, and 66 units in Calgary, Alberta.

On December 22, Killam acquired a five building portfolio in London for $13.4 million, or $87,500 per unit. Killam’s London portfolio now consists of 417 total rental units.

On January 16, Killam acquired Spruce Grove Lane Apartments, its second apartment property in the city of Calgary. The 3-acre site consists of 66 townhouse-style apartments, with a purchase price of $12.8 million, or $195,000 per unit.

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Spruce Grove Lane. Credit: Rentboard CA.

philipfraser-presidentceokillamproperties-manufacturedhomecommunitiesdailybusinessnews-mhpronewsWe are pleased to grow our rental portfolios in both London and Calgary,” noted Philip Fraser, President and CEO.

We have been monitoring the Calgary rental market over the last year and Spruce Grove Lane Apartments, located in a sought-after residential neighborhood, has great upside. We have the opportunity to add value and grow net operating income at this property.

The acquisitions bring the company’s total for 2016 to $70 million, which exceeds management’s goal of $50 million in acquisitions for the year.

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Killam 1 year look. Credit: Bloomberg.

Killam also received recommendations from rating agencies recently, with an average recommendation of “buy,” from TD Securities and “sector perform” from Scotiabank. That story is linked here.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, in addition to multifamily apartments, Killam owns 35 manufactured home communities in Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

Killam is also one of the manufactured home industry stocks monitored each business day on the MH Industry’s leading professional news resource, the Daily Business News, on MHProNews. For the recent closing numbers yesterday on all MH industry-connected tracked stocks, please click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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