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Public Official, ABC News, Manufactured Home Community Owner Clash Over Resident Concerns

November 23rd, 2018 Comments off
PublicOfficialABCNewsManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnerClashoverResidentConcenrsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Composite image from still of the video, posted further below.

If there is one thing that almost everyone likes, it’s good press.  The reverse of that reality is that public officials, mainstream media, and professionals dread media scrutiny that reveals unjust behavior.

 

Against that backdrop is the following mainstream news story out of Columbus, GA. It focused on a manufactured home community threatened with closure by a local official.  The uproar is over reported concerns about water, sanitation, and health issues.

This Daily Business News on MHProNews report and analysis will proceed as follows.

  • What the local ABC affiliate reported.
  • That ABC outlet’s video, with running must-read commentary that clarifies issues in an objective fashion, critiquing media, the local official named, and the claims about the community.
  • Third-party manufactured home industry insight.
  • BBB snapshot of the community.
  • The rapid and professional response by the property owner, which stands in stark contrast to some of the claims being made.
  • Analysis and commentary, because this case could reverberate well beyond the incident being reviewed.

For owners and managers in manufactured housing, this should be informative reading and viewing for front-line personnel. Investors, owners, and upper management may also find keen insights in this scenario.  Finally, mainstream media as well as public officials can be guided by the facts, analysis, expert insights further below, takeaways, and lessons learned that follow.

 

What WTVM 9, ABC News Reported:

The text that follows immediately below are from WTVM 9, including typo and nomenclature errors found in the original report, and are provided under fair use, as the local ABC News affiliate published it on the date shown.

 

ColumbusGAFortBenningEstatesManufacturedHomeCommunityHeadlineWTVMABC9DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The video posted further below, with fact-checks, commentary, and analysis, accurately reflect all that WTVM 9, an ABC affiliate, reported. These are shown under fair use guidelines that apply to media and such commentary.  Their text is as they had it on today’s date, including typo and terminology errors found in the original.

John Hudgison, the director of Building Inspections and Code Enforcement for Columbus, says his team went to the area Nov. 15.

Residents were left a notice stating in part, to “make arrangements to vacate property in case the owner cannot repair existing conditions.”

Caleb Walsh, the owner of the site with with Parks Management, described the various issues in an emailed response, as just “minor” code enforcement problems to News Leader 9.

He says there is “no eminent shut-down” and the notice by the city is a “standard” notice to residents letting them know the owner’s responsibility to fix various issues.

Walsh writes, “as always, we will be solving all outstanding issues.” It’s something many living in the area say they don’t believe will be done.

“If this place close down, I don’t have anywhere to go. I was homeless when I got here. I don’t want to be homeless again,” says one renter.

Inspection and Code officials will be on site Monday Nov. 26 to review compliance measures.

Officials say they are preparing and expecting to officially condemn the area.

Residents are being directed to United Way and Housing Authorities for immediate living options.

 

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

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

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As our commentary in the video posted above reflects, the introduction to the report by the ABC affiliate was professional and accurate.

However, the report that followed that anchor’s introduction was a mixed bag that begs for clarifying details. It ought to address improper terminology, and other errors, and thus merits expert – corrective – insights.  When media staff are under-informed on an issue, they should follow the SPJ Code of Ethics, and get all the information needed to properly and accurately report.

 

RevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword_001

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the wrong terminology impacts price and acceptance. But it also impacts people’s emotions, including those of home owners.  See the commentary by the poet who rejected the use of the t-word with regard to her home, by clicking the image above.

 

Others from GA in MHVille About This

An early contact with SECO today failed to get a reply prior to press-time, but a source with the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) promptly stated matter-of-factly that neither Caleb Walsh nor his “Park Management” firm are apparently members of their trade group.

The GMHA source did not weigh in on the specifics of this case, which are quite different than the tragic drama in Northern GA involving a SECO planning committee member, and others on the board of that media-and-legally vexed trade group.  Sources say those distinctive legal issues involving a SECO board member are still not resolved. See more on that unrelated SECO connected case – but equally instructive report – further below.

 

What the BBB Says About Ft Benning Estates

The local Better Business Bureau (BBB) provided the following snapshot, captured in the collage as shown.

 

BetterBusinessBureauFortBenningEstatesManufacturedHomeCommunityNotRVParkDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

As noted, Caleb Walsh of Park Management – which reportedly owns Fort Benning Estates – provided prompt replies to a series of questions and follow-ups from MHProNews.

 

2018-11-23_1408FtBenningEstatesColumbusGaManufacturedHOusingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews663

All images or commentary were selected and presented by MHProNews, not by any other third party.

 

Regarding the BBB, here’s what Walsh’s on-the-record reply said:

This was our response to the BBB over the complaint that gave the property a C rating. It was filed by one of my staff members named Alexis Murdock:

I filed as response to this complaint for Denna Brown.”

 

Denna Brown has been a resident in our Fort Benning Estates property since July of 2018. At the time she moved in we were holding a move-in special in which the $200 she paid moved her in and covered her first month (July 2018 Rent), and there would also be $200 off her first two months (August/September 2018 Rent), also part of the special.

This allowed the amount she was to pay for August and September to be at a discounted rate of just $220 for the first two months, and this also includes her water and trash for those months as well. As per her contract, starting 10/01/18 her rent would go up to the normal rate of $420 a month, including water and trash fees.

Mrs. Brown entered into a rent to own contract in which she agreed that unit repairs (if any) after the time she moved in would be HER responsibility. No changes have been made to her one and only contract and their have been no moves to any other units since the time she has been living in our property. We understood based off of some of the communications she was sending to managers onsite, and on social media that maybe she had not read through her contract or that there was some confusion on what she was to pay and why, so we made several attempts to call her, text her, email her, and even had onsite contacts knock on her door with no response. If we are unable to reach the tenant, regardless of unit repairs being her responsibility we cannot assist with answering her questions or see if the extent of repairs needed are something that we can assist with.

Our goal is to provide affordable housing to people in need at a low cost, and give them the opportunity to own their own home with no credit check required. This was the arrangement Mrs. Brown entered into by signing a Rent to Own contract. That does not mean we will not ensure each and every one of our tenants have proper working necessities to keep them safe and with proper essentials such as water, electricity, and working plumbing. However, we are unsure what unit conditions are an issue for this tenant as stated above, because we have not been able to reach her in any way.

To conclude, we are happy to assist further, keep her as a tenant in our property and ensure she is taken care of if she is willing to allow the contact needed to do this. We can be reached at 855-862-8837 or at admin@parksmgt.com. We take pride in ensuring that all of our tenants are taken care of in each of our properties and that we provide low income housing for those in need and will continue to do so.”

CalebWalshParkManagementFortBenningEstatesManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Several of the images that follow are from websites associated with Caleb Walsh and his affiliated firms. They are provided under fair use guidelines that apply to media, and are presented to round out the picture presented by local media in a more balanced and robust fashion.

 

WTVMABC9DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsColumbusGA-CBOJohnHodgison523

 

What Ft. Benning Estates’ owner Caleb Walsh Said About City Claims, Local Media Reporting

What follows are Walsh’s emailed reply, with typos and terminology errors below found in the original message.

Fort Benning Estates is a 140 unit community located on the south side of Columbus Ga that I have been pouring big capital into renovations and repair of the units and the utility infrastructure. I purchased the property in a distressed condition and am turning around the property like I have with countless other mobile home parks around the nation.

Over the past year as I had plumbing experts and engineers come in and replace and repair the utility infrastructure, it was brought to my attention that the water pressure was unlike anything they had ever seen reaching 120 PSI and higher caused by unregulated pump variation from the city water supply.

With utility bills reaching almost $130,000 for the year I contacted Columbus Water Works about the pressure and my findings. To my surprise they had no interest in a mutual fix or further investigation of the problem but instead wanted to continue being paid the massive amounts for water utility cost.

I brought in my legal team to get an injunction to halt everything until we could solve the physical infrastructure issues and it was discovered that the only judge who could hear the case had a relative who sat on the board of Columbus Water Works. The judge later recused himself when this was brought to light from my attorney and we have been able to keep the water on as we further investigated to fix the issue. Unfortunately the city is now attempting to close down the property through miscellaneous code enforcement issues because our experts made them look bad and brought to light their negligence with the water pressure and the city owned water company.

I have teams on the ground as we speak ensuring top level compliance with code, and I also have legal teams standing by if the city should attempt anything Monday. Thankfully in my decade of experience and my 2000 unit multi state portfolio this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with a city who had a bias against affordable housing. The city of Columbus would rather put 100 families on the street than put money into fixing their faulty infrastructure. If if comes to that I will go to the mat with the city because in America everyone deserves a place to live!

 

2018-11-23_1352FtBenningEstatesFacebookPageManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Disclosure. MHProNews pulled the various visual items together independent of all those involved in this report. All of the commentary and analysis are by MHProNews.

 

Fort Benning’s Facebook Page, and More Insights 

The screen capture above reflects a photo array from Facebook that suggests that John Hudgison, the director of Building Inspections and Code Enforcement for Columbus, GA, at best exaggerated his claimed concerns. The unit shown in the photos above don’t appear to be “unfit for human occupancy,” which Hudgison‘s memo, shown further above, alleged is the case for the entire community.

The once homeless man interviewed in the video above is worried about what he would do, if he losses this home at Ft. Benning Estates.

As MHProNews has learned from other incidents in various parts of the U.S., there is often an unstated prejudice against manufactured homes, which can include manufactured home communities.  In other cases, there are hidden agendas, such as a publicly unstated desire to see a property closed for redevelopment. That later point is a nagging problem that manufactured home community owners from various states have told MHProNews they have personally encountered.

 

2018-11-23_1405PMMarketManagementCalebWalshManufacturedHomeProNews

 

While the industry’s self-proclaimed post-production national trade association – the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) –  acknowledges such realites, they in fact purportedly do ‘fig leaf’ posturing – or nothing at all – in the majority of cases that MHProNews has spot checked for the past 2 years.

Frustration with MHI has resulted in the birth of a new post-production national MH community association.  Failure to successfully address the image issue, or regulatory problems, has caused others to initiate their own efforts, see the related reports, linked here and further below.

MHProNews will reach out to the local official involved in this matter, advising him of the trends and concerns raised in his case and others seemingly like it in other jurisdictions.  Those have at times ended up with legal actions taken against a given municipality, for steps that on the surface appear similar to what Columbus has threatened in this case. ICYMI, or need a refresher, see one such report, linked below. Another report – at this link – spotlights another case, with more examples crossed-linked.

 

Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

 

This pro-industry and pro-consumer trade publication will also ask local media to instruct their reporters to learn and use proper terminology in their reporting about manufactured homes and communities, in order to avoid the appearance of prejudicial, biased, or merely underinformed, and/or ignorant reporting.

 

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

 

Takeaways from Columbus?

When a community operator acquires or takes over the management of a previously neglected property, it takes time, professional effort, and money to bring it up to standards.  In this case at Fort Benning Estates, that is apparently being accomplished via free enterprise, through private investment dollars — presumably without local, state, or federal funds.

Walsh has the opportunity for his deed to match his words, provided above.  If so, Walsh’s response for the allegations against Ft Benning Estates – if his promises prove accurate – will likely turn this incident into an overblown local bruhaha that could prove his operation to be someone worthy of applause, as opposed to being a business that is perhaps being unfairly targeted by a local official.

If public officials in Columbus, GA promptly and properly respond as did the city officials in Washington, IN, they may avoid an ACLU and other investigations of their case, which a prior MHProNews’ report sparked in that town’s troubling incident.  See that, linked below.

 

Rumble over Anti-MH Law-State Association, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and MHARR

 

Lessons Learned? 

These are among the real-world examples of what steps are necessary the manufactured home industry-at-large must take to advance.  As MHProNews has said for years, what our industry needs in such cases are an ADL-style response.

Ideally, objective pro-industry, and pro-consumer trade media reports and analysis can work with all honorable, forward-looking professionals in a fashion that nationally spotlights overreach by public officials, and/or by mainstream media.  Industry professionals must also be held to account for any failures to properly follow just laws or sound business ethics.

Affordable housing is a critical need, as the once homeless man in the video above reminds us.  Manufactured homes can provide options that no other form of permeant housing can match, for quality, safety, and low-cost living.  That’s a reasonable takeaway from the National Association or Realtors (NAR) 2018 research about manufactured homes.

LowerMonthlyPercentCostManufacturedHomesConventinoalHouseRentalHousing2016narRealtorUDaiyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers.

That NAR research can be examined in a report found here, along with other insights that are linked further below the byline.

 

 

The quality of modern manufactured homes are also reflected in a prior HUD Office of Manufactured Housing Program (OMHP) administrator’s commentary, told to MHLivingNews, in their report in the video shown above.  These should be required viewing for media and all public officials who deal with manufactured homes.

 

 

Open-minded public officials, like the county official in the video above revealed, find that manufactured homes today are very different than the stigma, prejudice, and/or biased thinking reflects.

It is thus useful for all people of good will concerned about affordable housing to objectively reconsider manufactured homes in the light of facts. Too often, reports and public policy are based upon mere uninformed opinions, that rely upon outdated notions about some of the mobile homes built over 40 years ago, instead of the reality of today’s federally regulated manufactured homes.

It is also necessary for local officials to seek solutions to legitimate problems, but without doing so in a fashion that disrupts the lives of members of a community, such as the ABC affiliate’s video of Fort Benning Estates reflected.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

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

 

While it is in another nearby state, the views of the affordable housing focus group below, reflects the unpaid views of those who’ve owned conventional housing prior to buying a manufactured home.  They are insightful to those with bias or a misunderstanding about modern manufactured homes.

 

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will continue to monitor and report on this incident in Columbus, GA, as needed. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines. MH Industry professionals and investors who are not already on our industry-leading headline news email list can sign up at the link below. )

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Related Reports:

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

Anti-MH Bigotry, Prejudice, and Possibly Illegal Action on Display in Manufactured Housing’s Birthplace?

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

 

Manufactured Homes Could Help Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis, So, Why Aren’t More Manufactured Homes Being Sold?

Has the Manufactured Housing Institute Accused Former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of Federal Law Violations?

Giving Thanks for Manufactured Housing Independents, Applauding “MHIdea!”

 

 

Feds Bring Charges Against Manufactured Home Community Owner

October 27th, 2018 Comments off

 

FedsBringFairHousingChargesAgainstManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnerDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has notified the industry’s professionals of charges brought under the Fair Housing Act of discrimination against a Tennessee manufactured home community owner.

 

The HUD media release included a copy of the complaint, which redacted the names of two female residents and the name of the community. That legal complaint referred to the location as a 21 site “mobile home park.”

 

Perhaps for that reason, the HUD press release used the term “mobile home park*,” so the  * was added in the release by MHProNews, and a HUD PR spokesperson was advised to look for – and hopefully avoid that – in the future.

 

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

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

 

The charges, which are linked here as a download, contains sexually explicit language and suggestions.

HUD’s full release, including the aforementioned *, is as shown below.

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD CHARGES TENNESSEE LANDLORD WITH SEXUAL HARRASSMENT

 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today charged Chad David Ables, the owner of a mobile home park* in Lexington, TN, with discrimination for allegedly pressuring two female tenants, a same-sex couple, to perform sexual favors for him instead of paying rent. Read HUD’s Charge.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits sexual harassment of tenants and other forms of housing discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion and familial status.

“No one should have to submit to unwelcomed sexual advances as a condition for remaining in their home,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.  “Today’s charge sends a clear message to all landlords that HUD is committed to taking action against landlords whose behavior violate the Fair Housing Act.”

HUD’s charge alleges that Ables showed the couple sexually explicit pictures and videos of women he identified as tenants, boasted that he had engaged in sexual acts with multiple female tenants, and asked the couple to give him nude photos or videos in exchange for rent.  HUD’s charge further alleges that the owner disconnected the water to the couple’s unit after they rebuffed his advances.

The couple and their children eventually moved out after the owner accused them of paying their rent late and issued them a notice to vacate the property.

“Subjecting female tenants to sexual harassment is illegal, and HUD will continue to enforce the Fair Housing Act against property owners who engage in such misconduct,” said Paul Compton, HUD’s General Counsel. “HUD is steadfastly committed to protecting the right of tenants to be free from sexual or other discriminatory harassment by their landlords.”

HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he may award damages to the complainant for harm caused by discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose fines to vindicate the public interest. If the matter is decided in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages.

In July, HUD and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness of housing-related sexual harassment The goal of this campaign is to make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment. Watch the public service announcement (PSA). HUD and DOJ are also providing training materials [shown below] on preventing and addressing harassment in housing to public housing staff, private landlords who accept housing vouchers, and residents of public housing and voucher housing.

Last April, HUD marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, joining local communities, housing advocates, and fair housing organizations across the country in a coordinated campaign to enhance awareness of fair housing rights.

Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

###


MHProNews for several years carried articles by the Fair Housing Lady, Nadeen Green, JD, which provided tips and training on avoiding the sorts of things that can result in fair housing complaints.  Green retired over a year ago, which ended that series.

An article on fair housing/sexual harassment related issues is linked further below, which includes a video on what not to do.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Related Reports:

Sexual Harassment in Housing – HUD and DOJ Campaign PSA Launched

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

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Women, #MeToo and Insider Information

 

 

 

 

 

MH Community Owner Slammed as “Vulture Capitalist” by Mainstream Media

August 25th, 2018 Comments off

MHCommunityOwnerSlammedAsVultureCapitalistByMainstreamMediaDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsThe Daily Business News plans to review a mainstream news story next week that featured as part of their headline the phrase, “Vulture Capitalists.”

 

An upset resident/activist group used the phrase, which of course the mainstream media repeated.

Like it or not, that’s part of the reality of numerous companies in MHVille.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

Click here or the above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

The operative question for those who want to improve their bottom lines ought to be, what can be done about an image or vexing issues like that one? Let’s start to unpack that question and topic, with some facts, evidence and common sense.

 

Status Quo

Doing nothing will logically only continue the past pattern.

Marty Lavin told MHProNews a few days ago that the industry has seen hundreds of stories similar to Bloomberg’s recent positive report on modern manufactured homes.

Lavin’s view is that nothing changed before, why should it be different now?

 

“156,” and “Questioning Politics”

Our publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and his brother Tom often have wildly different views on political, lifestyle, or other subjects. So, when this writer heard Tony laughing out loud over a text from his brother, naturally, the next question was ‘what did he say that was so funny?’

Tom had told Tony, “I question your politics, not your ethics.”

The brothers have locked horns on numerous issues. The discussions can get heated, at times. Nevertheless, the two stay in touch, respect each other’s views, and love each other as brothers should. FYI, Tom ok’d this reference before our publishing it.

While controversial, Tom developed quite a reputation in local politics, before stepping down from years on the Norman, OK city council. He’s done political and other consulting.

Tom’s not just smart, he’s a genius, with a tested IQ of 156.  That’s Tony’s nickname for Tom, “156.”

WhatDifferentIQscoresMeanTomKovach156DailybsuinessNewsMHproNEws

After decades of experience in debating topics, Tom may disagree with Tony’s political views, but not his ethics.

LegacyManufacturedHousing-LiquidationEvent-HurricanOverRun-image500x335

Click here or the above to learn more or register for the event, which is unrelated to the article.

 

“Muckraker” 

A well-known and respected industry professional emailed Tony yesterday, and said in part that our publisher is a ‘gent,’ ‘…even though some think you are a muckraker.’ It was a jest from the that industry pro who sent the message, but it also reflects a serious allegation held by few in the industry.

To some in MHVille, publishing anything that is deemed ‘negative’ is equal to ‘muckraking.’  But is that true?

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices-768x339

Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams to MHProNews.

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThere are several cheer-leading writers and publishers in MHLand today, and every industry needs some measure of that kind of writing. But if the prime focus of others is ‘feel good’ stuff – published without balance or at the expense of honesty, ethics, or reality – isn’t that a problem?

By analogy, what doctor want to hear only the good things from their patient?  Every medical professional wants a complete picture: the good, bad and the ugly. The good MD asks questions, listens, looks for evidence, tests it, all before making a diagnosis. Accountants, attorneys and other professionals do something similar. It’s what journalists and serious writers are supposed to do too.

Reality matters.

  • So why is there a dearth of other independent trade media in MHVille that dig deeply into real world issues?
  • Why do so few other writers care about evidence and facts that point to why manufactured housing is so badly underperforming during this affordable housing crisis?

MHProNews has a history of looking at the facts, evidence, and then considering ways real challenges can be addressed.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story, linked here.

Back for a moment to the headline topic.

If your company was accused by residents or customers of being a ‘vulture capitalist,’ what would you say or do to counter that claim in public?

There are many answers, but let’s start with some facts next…

Trendlines Don’t Lie, Real Challenges, Hidden Manufactured Housing Opportunities Revealed

Robust Pageviews – What MHVille Readers Read a Lot

To understand how valuable articles and the digital real estate are on MHProNews.com (a.k.a. MHMSM.com, mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com, etc., etc.) consider this statistical peek at media giant FORBES, shown below.

 Forbes2912ViewsonArtilceTaxComplianceSimilarWebForbesDataManufacturedHOusingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHpronews

So, while the giant Forbes’ mega-site will no doubt get some articles with huge readership, a pretty important topic like the one shown has – after some 2 years – fewer page views than the ones shown above got in their first month online.

LATonyKovachMHProNewsMHLivingNewsMHINoJournalistPhotoNCCPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

An MHI member said, “Tony you should take that sign as abadge of media courage.”  At last year’s San Antonio MHI meeting, Dick Jennison and Lesli Gooch repeatedly made thinly veiled statements, aimed at MHProNews – while this publication was still a member-company. But when these signs were first introduced, top MHI staff claimed it was aimed at ‘outside’ media, not ‘industry media.’ What caused this change toward a dues paying association member? What message does it send to others in the association? What message does it send to the industry at large? Is MHI trying to create a de facto industry trade media monopoly?

Our MHProNews.com platform has numerous valid URLs (web addresses), and a number of c-panels. So complete site gathering statistics can take quite a bit of time, if each URL and C-panel data set is checked.

To save precious time, we normally only check one c-panel, and that’s the one for our original URL, MHMarketingSalesManagement.com.

In spite of direct and indirect push-back from a certain trade group that’s been going after us for years – but lacks the guts to debate our publisher in public – third-party data reflects our traffic has more than doubled in the past year.

Rephrased, in spite of digs and disses by MHI – which began years before we did our first deep dive into their problematic practices – what was an initial hit from them has over time eventually resulted in a regrowth and new appreciation by industry readers of our topics and covered issues. Yes, they can say they  ‘got us’ for a while, but by focusing on facts and evidence no one else in MHVille does, our readers have rewarded us with more traffic that is still rising at steady rate.

 

The first examples – the evidence or proof – are from the dates and times, shown below.

 

Summary Period: August 2018
Generated 23-Aug-2018 07:18 CDT

Here’s how you read this. The first number reflects its relative page rank, with #1 always being ‘direct request’ i.e.: the home page. The second number reflects reader hits on a given linked article, and the third box shown is the URL of the specific article being ranked.

11 15788 http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/kevin-clayton-leslie-gooch-sound-off-left-right-agree-manufactured-homeland-mhi-you/
12 15415 http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/warren-buffett-would-be-okay-with-clayton-homes-losing-money-says-kevin-clayton-but-why/

 

It was May 9th, 2018 when Smoking Gun 3 was published.  The below was the traffic for roughly 2/3rds of the month on that one article.  That one article is more than anything else in MHVille’s professional trade media, period. Third-party data like this tells you want industry professional readers really want to read and know.

12 10675 http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/smoking-gun-3-warren-buffett-kevin-clayton-clayton-homes-21st-mortgage-corp-tim-williams-manufactured-home-lending-sales-grab/

 

That same month (May 2018), Tom Lackey, Spencer Roane, George Allen were spotlighted in the article linked below.  Yes, ours is a small industry today, but in that small industry thousands wanted to read these articles.

16 7301 http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/spencer-roane-w-southeast-community-owners-seco-praises-tom-lackey-accused-of-rent-to-own-manufactured-home-sales-improprieties/
18 4812 http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/seco-woes-southeast-community-owners-symposium-tom-lackey-industry-pros-mh-consumer-legal-clouds/

 

During August of 2019, an article like Smoking Gun 3, over 90 days later, still draws significant traffic.

44 1523 http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/smoking-gun-3-warren-buffett-kevin-clayton-clayton-homes-21st-mortgage-corp-tim-williams-manufactured-home-lending-sales-grab/

 

We can’t spare the time to check how many times TOTAL Smoking Gun 3 has been accessed, but its in the tens of thousands of hits, from professional readers like you.

 

What Does it Mean?

With over well over 25,000 articles online, it’s no surprise that MHProNews is the most widely read publication in the industry, and has been since near the end of our first year publishing.

Per Alexa, and other third-party sources, some of our less read new Daily Business News articles get more pageviews than an entire issue of a given competitor’s magazine or several combined competitor’s blog posts.

Industry readers are hungry to know the truth, not just feel good cheerleading that has led the industry no where exciting.

What those statistics tell us is that professional readers in MHVille want meat and potatoes, not pablum.

PablumBlandInsipidBabyFoodDefintionWikipediaDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

Professionals don’t have to agree with everything to realize that we are all eager to find and share solutions to the issues that hold the industry at historically low levels of performance.

Back to our headline question.

If you were slammed with the phrase, “vulture capitalist,” what would you do?  Say nothing? Frank Rolfe thinks that’s a mistake.

Or would you do something?

  • This upcoming Monday morning’s “sales meeting” will tackle that issue.
  • A relevant upcoming Masthead post promises simple yet profound ways to advance sales in local, regional, and national markets.
  • Next week also promises a new report or two that some may call ‘muckraking,’ but they are fact and evidence-based insights that no one else in MH trade media dares to do.

That’s part of the reason why from the smallest to the largest players in the industry, we are the runaway #1.

Thank you for that confidence.  Stay tuned, and please sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news at the link below.  Thousands get it, from the biggest in the business, to the mom-and-pops or one-person shops.

The above is something to think about for those who are marketers in MHVille, because we not only have the largest audience, but also the most engaged.

The above also tells you this.  We understand MHVille better overall than some who proclaim themselves to be champions of the industry.

That’s an inside Saturday look at News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where our respectful motto is “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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Negative views about Manufactured Housing in the media – do we just expect and accept it?

December 4th, 2014 Comments off

manufacturedhome-credit=manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-posted-mhpronews-In a recent Question and Answer column in Maine’s Tri-Town Weekly,  a commentary by news writer John McDonald was published under the headline, DOWN THE ROAD A PIECE: On the move.  McDonald’s column was in reply to an email received from “Frank,” who wrote: “We moved here from a southern state where lots of people live in mobile homes or trailers. When grouped together, as they often are, the resulting community is called a ‘trailer park.’ You’ve probably read stories about southern trailers – the things that get banged around a bit every time there’s a hurricane or a tornado.”

McDonald’s article says as part of his reply to Frank, The idea of living in a real mobile home or trailer has never enjoyed wide acceptance among the majority, who prefer to live in what might be called immobile homes.

McDonald elaborated,Makers of “trailers” never liked the name, so they began insisting that their creations be called “mobile homes.” No matter what they were called, everyone knew they were still trailers. Then in 1980 Congress officially changed the name to “manufactured home.”  But, like I said, they’ll always be trailers to the rest of us.”

What the question and reply in Tri-Town Weekly demonstrates are some common attitudes found in the media and the public at large, well known to many in MH.

First, John McDonald is clearly a good writer and knows how to turn a phrase and be funny. But he’s not accurate in much of what he asserts as true. For example, MH industry veterans know that there have been no ‘mobile homes’ built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976. The 1980 date McDonald gives in his article is flat wrong.

‘Trailers’ are pulled behind cars or pickup trucks. In residential terms today a travel trailer is a common kind of RV. They are smaller and far lighter than an MH. By contrast, it takes special equipment to move even most pre-HUD Code mobile homes. Since houses built on site use trailers to haul their parts to location, does that make on site building a ‘trailer house’ too? Both MH and site built are ‘immoble’ once installed.

Modern manufactured homes can weigh 25,000 or more pounds per section. They use the same lumber, shingles, vinyl siding, appliances, etc. that conventional housing does. Because they travel down the road to their location, as Modular Lifesyles Vice President Steve Lefler has said, they are tougher. It is like going through an EF 1 tornado and an earthquake at the same time.

Properly installed, as the video linked below proves, modern MHs are stronger than conventional housing, not weaker.

Marty Lavin, community owner and industry expert, has told the industry not to be confused. The MH industry already has an image campaign underway; and it is the media’s campaign. This article is a reminder that media accounts are often not favorable.

Clearly McDonald and Frank are misinformed on almost every level. As they try to educate each other, neither one of them has the updated information about the Manufactured Housing Industry. Neither knows that some 22 million Americans live in communities and homes throughout the nation.

But McDonald and Frank are not alone.

Until the industry learns to pull together in a campaign like what Murex Properties’ Steve Adler advocates in a new interview – or what Chairman Randy Rowe of Green Courte Partners has called for in his 5 point plan – expect that every professional or organization should stand up and correct the media when they err.

The photo from Manufactured Home Living News at top comes from the #1 resource of its kind that has videos, news stories and photo galleries that dispel myths. These stories and videos are on subjects ranging from MH in hurricanes and tornadoes – or that manufactured homes are ‘only for the poor‘ – when in fact millionaires own them too.

Stereotypes and outdated perceptions keep manufactured homes from being accepted as mainstream housing. When will more people grasp what Mary McBrady of the Massachusetts Manufactured Housing Association has advocated, that industry professionals pull together to support the platforms that advance the true narrative of the industry? ##

Photo Credit: (MHLivingNews)

joseine-josie-thompson-writer-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com50x50-Article Submitted by Josie Thompson to- Daily Business News- MHProNews