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“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

June 16th, 2018 No comments
TakeMHAdvantageChallengeCanYouTellTheDifferenceFiskofSarahEdelmanDirectorDutyToserveSingleFamilyFannieMaePhotoLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews. Photo of Sarah Edelman, credit, The New Deal.

Most people wouldn’t recognize today’s factory-built homes. The manufactured housing industry has diversified and enhanced the models available so they can blend seamlessly into traditional neighborhoods of site-built homes, offering comparable amenities and curb appeal,” said Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business.

 

Her open is solid, and seemingly positive.

At Fannie Mae, we’re enhancing our mortgage financing options to keep pace with these important changes,” Edelman continued.

This trend toward modern designs is a smart way to meet demand from growing segments of buyers, including millennials, downsizing baby boomers, and first-time homebuyers. These buyers and others are looking to manufactured housing as an affordable option providing quality and value in a market where the supply of site-built housing is low and prices are high. Quite simply, manufactured housing is a key opportunity to address our growing affordable housing crisis,” said the Fannie Mae executive, on an article that was published 6.5.2018.

Ten days ago, her Fannie Mae “Perspective” was the top article on the Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) website.

But today, a week and a half later, that positive sounding article about manufactured homes is no longer visible on the Fannie Mae home page.

Now, comes what industry insiders – who’ve scrutinized her comments – are calling the veiled blow from the “perspective” of that GSE.

That’s why we introduced MH Advantage mortgage, an affordable financing option that recognizes the similarity of many manufactured homes to traditional site-built homes by offering the same conventional mortgage financing – including down payments as low as 3%, lower interest rates than most traditional manufactured home loans, and cancellable mortgage insurance,” Edelman said.

Homes that are eligible for MH Advantage have features that make them look more like traditional site-built homes including eaves and higher roof pitches, lower profile foundations, garages or carports, porches, dormers, upgraded interiors, and more,” she wrote.

Rephrased, what that means is that the bulk of manufactured homes being sold by HUD Code manufactured housing producers are NOT included in the Fannie Mae MH Advantage program.

That’s been confirmed to the Daily Business News by MHI connected sources familiar with this MH Advantage program.

These homes are now easily identified by a new MH Advantage “Mortgage Financing Notice” applied by participating manufacturers. This MH Advantage “sticker” makes it easy for retailers, shoppers, lenders, and others involved in the mortgage process to identify eligible homes when they’re bought, sold, or refinanced. It’s something interested buyers should look for and ask about, said Edelman.

What hasn’t been made known yet by her or others is

  • what percentage of Fannie Mae’s loans are going to be allocated to this program?
  • Or are the majority of manufactured homes going to be excluded from Fannie Mae lending?
  • Why doesn’t Edelman’s column make it clear that these loans are land/home, as opposed to chattel?

Why aren’t the answers to those questions part of the article?  Or where is a Fannie Mae FAQ for this topic? Or why aren’t other necessary facts being made known?

PaulBarrettoFannieMaeSpeakingAtTunicaShowMarch2018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Photo from March, 2018. To see his news making remarks there, click here

Why?

Because Fannie Mae won’t answer those or other related questions.

Perhaps this prior reply from Paul Barretto, at Fannie Mae, to the Daily Business News gives industry readers, public officials, investors, and affordable housing policy advocates a clue.

I’m sorry I can’t talk beyond what I presented…,” Barretto said in a message to MHProNews

Barretto, Sarah Edelman, their media office, and others contacted over the course of several days at Fannie Mae all declined commenting.

Why?

If Fannie Mae actually wants to promote this program, why not do so for free on the manufactured home industry’s most widely read news source? Who is hiding what, and why?

 

Industry Pro Says MH Advantage Defies the Purpose of the Duty to Serve (DTS)

The now-missing-from-their-home-page article by Edelman doesn’t note the complaint lodged by MHARR to Fannie Mae.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)’s president and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, said this program was “unacceptable” to that organization or their members for several reasons.

Weiss also said the MH Advantage plan was an “illegitimate,” “bait and switch.” Related articles, like the one linked below, can be read later for more details.

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

Among the reasons Weiss objects on behalf of independent manufacturers and their customers, is because MH Advantage “defied” the core principles of Duty to Serve (DTS), which was mandated in 2008 by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA).

Weiss said the GSEs have successfully ducked the law for a decade.

DTS is supposed to be about giving access to potentially millions of American to more affordable housing, specifically by providing lending for affordable manufactured homes.  That would benefit people otherwise trapped in rentals.  It could also reduce the costs for government subsidized housing programs, while creating more tax revenues for the states those manufactured homes are sold in.

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Instead, what Fannie Mae’s program is doing with MH Advantage is arguably creating a more costly, separate class of manufactured homes, all of which will sell at a higher price-point than the majority of what the industry currently offers.

How will that help lower income consumers? How does that boost job creation by the builders of lower cost homes?  Who does the Fannie Mae plan benefit?

Weiss’ comments indicate they answer queries like those as follows.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

Edelman’s article continued as follows.

We believe MH Advantage is an innovation whose time has come, but we remain committed to traditional manufactured homes, manufactured housing communities, and their important role as sources of affordable housing. In fact, Fannie Mae provided more than $9 billion in financing for manufactured housing in the past two years. And we’ll continue working with our partners to expand access to high-quality home rental and ownership opportunities in every market, every day,” Edelman concluded her column on the Fannie Mae website.

An unedited version of her article will be found later here as a download, or on their website, at this link here.

 

A Look at Sarah Edelman’s Resume 

An industry source with ties to the development of Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage program confirmed for MHProNews that Edelman is fairly new with the giant GSE.

SarahEdelmanPhotoDirectorOfHousingPolicyCenterProgressFannieMaeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Other industry sources in lending, and who are MHI members, told MHProNews that part of the DTS commitment to manufactured housing is going to be this MH Advantage program.  Those sources could not say with certainty what that percentage would be.  Again, Fannie Mae is mum.

Since when is silence to the media a “pro-growth” progressive virtue?

SarahEdelmanLinkedInPhotoProfileBioResumeFannieMaeDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHosuingIndustryMHProNews510

 

What MHI Connected Sources, and Manufacturers Say

MHI connected sources could not say with certainty how close the design specifications for the MH Advantage program are to MHI’s highly touted, but thin on public details, ‘new class of HUD Code manufactured homes.’

The controversy-plagued Arlington, VA association president and CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison, plus other MHI staffers, have refused to engage with more details.  Why not?

If they are proud of the facts, why not get the widest possible publicity?  If the national trade goup aren’t proud of their plan to talk about it openly, then what have they got to hide?

 

Does Your Firm Sell News Entry-Level Manufactured Homes?

Does the plan favor big companies over smaller independent producers or retailers?  The indications are, yes.

By implication, doesn’t “the new class of homes” and Fannie Mae’s “MH Advantage” restrict lending, and thus trade, on the majority of manufactured homes produced?  Isn’t that part of the federal definition of barred activity under anti-trust laws?

Again, related articles linked above and below can be read later for more details.

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

 

But there was wide agreement among MHI members who commented for this report that the two sets of standards – Fannie Mae’s “MH Advantage,” and MHI’s so-called “new class of homes” – may be the same.

All of this should be deeply concerning to public officials, affordable housing advocates, the vast majority of the manufactured housing industry’s professionals, investors, and the Trump Administration.

One source asserted that they are informed about the MH Advantage program, and favored it. When asked by MHProNews, that source admitted that the prior MH Select had little traction in the market.

That source also admitted that this new MH Advantage program could create problems for manufacturers that are not selling this kind of product.  ‘But Fannie Mae will be reviewing the [DTS] program in three years, and if it is harming manufacturers or the market, they can change it at that time,’ that  person said.

An MHI only member manufacturer expressed outrage over the plan to split the majority of the industry’s homes in two by misusing DTS in this fashion, saying it was an insult to the industry.

A careful read of Edelman’s article reveals that while it sounds like praise, MH Advantage is a de facto put-down of any home that doesn’t meet their standards.

Applying the logic of MHI award-winner Marty Lavin’s quote below – if successful – what this will do is cause fewer existing types of manufactured homes to be sold over time.

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

The logic of this statement can be applied to a variety of cases.

The Daily Business News and the Masthead have raised concerns about the lack of transparency and contradictions surrounding the DTS program.

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

MHProNews noted MHI’s “new class of homes” could be a “Trojan Horse” for the industry.  The fact that this program was allegedly created in secrecy is itself a warning that possible anti-trust prohibited actions could have taken place.

The history of back and forth support and opposition to DTS by Tim Williams – former MHI chairman and the president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage –  could be red flags.

Much of this could be cleared up if MHI and the GSEs released their closed-door meeting minutes.  But they have refused to do so.

Or it could be cleared up, if the parties involved simply, candidly answered a series of on-the-record questions, with those replies given by informed Fannie Mae and other related personnel.  Isn’t that just common sense?

The obvious logical conclusion to the various controversies, allegations, and concerns are that the parties involved with this MH Advantage and the DTS program don’t want clarity, because they are deliberately being opaque.

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The View from the Masthead

MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach has said that the principles Marty Lavin has laid out need to be applied in this case.

Kovach said that the industry must consider pretty words, platitudes, and overdue promises made to the manufactured housing based upon experience.  “Promises and pleasant words have often have resulted in little or no useful action for the majority of the manufactured home industry’s members,” Kovach said.

MHI award-winner Lavin, is an attorney who served for years with the Arlington, VA based trade body, and served a GSE as well.  He has offered a general summation on tip for reading the industry’s tea leaves, which could be applied to this scenario.

They are paraphrased in the following three bullets.

  • Follow the money.
  • Pay more attention to what people do than what they say.
  • MHI works only for the interests of theirbig boymembers, and the interests of the smaller MHI members are served only when they align with the interests of the big boys.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

It is for similar concerns and failures to properly serve them that the AZ and NV community associations have laid the foundation for a new, national post-production association, quitting MHI last year.

Fannie Mae announced they are an MHI member. Associations lobby.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling issued a statement to MHProNews that protested Fannie’s alleged involvement in lobbying, which they are currently prohibited by FHFA from doing. See that, and more, linked under related resources, below.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

MHI, members of Berkshire Hathaway brands, and Fannie Mae were contacted by the Daily Business News and asked to react to MHARR’s formal protest to Fannie.  None of them has weighed in as of this writing.

By contrast, when MHProNews asks most state associations for comment, a prompt reply – albeit sometimes off the record – are common.

Recall that Smoking Gun 3 documented related concerns over how cutting off or limiting lending put hundreds of companies out of business, some of which had been in the industry for decades.

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

As publisher Kovach told a mainstream media reporter last week, the reality of the challenges in manufactured housing for thousands of companies can be summed up in two words. “Rigged system.”

The trend is toward what appears to be an artificially created consolidation of the industry.  Why artificial?  Because the nation has an affordable housing crisis, and yet the industry is still constricting, debatably due in part by restricting the lending available to independents.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, data from HUD, MHARR, or other named entities.

The linked reports provide evidence plus reasons how capital, credit, nonprofits, and MHI have been among the tools used to consolidate the industry, to the advantage of a few at the cost to the many.

An executive level industry reader told MHProNews,You need to create an ‘I told you so’ list, to remind the [manufactured home] industry when warnings and concerns have proven to be accurate.”  Please put this topic, first raised over a year ago, among those.

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Related Reports:

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

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

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

 

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

 

 

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

 

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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.

 

Buffett, Dimon, Housing, Economic, Political Freedom, IG, Deep State, and Manufactured Housing Industry Progress

June 15th, 2018 No comments

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None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, GoodReads.

 

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

– Warren Buffett, BrainyQuotes.

 

Most of us are imprisoned by something. We’re living in darkness until something flips on the switch.”

–      Wynonna Judd, GoodReads.

 

Like a snake sheds its skin, we are capable of getting rid of assembled habits, creating space to call matters into question…We can retreat, then, from the imprisonment of a deadly routine, acquire an identity and develop our personality.”

– Erik Pevernagie, “Man Without Qualities.”

 

The American economy is becoming the envy of the world, says a new report in NewsMax.

USBecomesGlobalEconomicBrightSpotEuropeChinaStruggleNewsmaxManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While U.S. economic growth is surging, other national economies are reportedly slipping and faltering.

Coincidence? Hardly.

Even left-of-center sources or Democratic supporting political supporters are starting to acknowledge that Trump Administration policies, including regulatory rollbacks, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, are fueling economic expansion.

Politically Incorrect Cartoon Commentaries, Lighter Side of Making America and Manufactured Housing Great Again

Jobs that former President Barack Obama said where never coming back to the U.S. – like mining and manufacturing – are roaring back under the Trump Administration’s leadership.

 

Billionaires Warren Buffett, Chase’s Jaime Dimon Praise U.S. Economy

For those who don’t know, Warren Buffett has been a Trump critic long before his successful run for the Oval Office.

So, it is worth noting that Warren Buffett, who supported Barack Obama and later Secretary Hillary Clinton, recently praised the U.S. economic recovery that has been occurring as a result of President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump’s leadership.

Buffett says you should buy stocks, or make investments, when the long-term outlook in a field or company is good.  Think about that as you ponder Berkshire Hathaway’s moves in the manufactured housing industry space in the last 15 years.

Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

As regular manufactured home industry Daily Business News readers know, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway includes numerous brands in and serving the manufactured housing industry.

Longtime, careful readers know Buffett supported policies that are often the opposite of what POTUS Trump is successfully promoting.

Taking each candidate at their word, Secretary Hillary Clinton would not have signed S 2155 into law, but President Trump did.

White House Signing Ceremony on Historic Pro-Growth Financial Regulatory Reform

 

ChainsofHabitAreTooLighttoBeFeltUntiltheyaretooHeavytoBeBrokenChainsYouPUtAroundYouselfNowHaveConsquencesWarrenBuffettAZQUotesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

This Buffett quote is worth pondering in the light of MHI and related controversies.

 

The DOJ’s Inspector General’s Report

On 6.14.2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (IG) Office released an eighteen month report that points to issues with the 2016 election that point to a “Deep State,” and to issues that aren’t based in Russia, but rather are found right here in the U.S.A.

Before diving into elements of the DOJ IG report, let’s set the table with an understanding of the origin of the concept of the Deep State.

 

What is the “Deep State?”

Wikipedia says that “The term “deep state” was defined in 2014 by Mike Lofgren, a former Republican U.S. congressional aide, as “a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.”

According to whistleblower Edward Snowden, “the deep state is not just the intelligence agencies, it is really a way of referring to the career bureaucracy of government. These are officials who sit in powerful positions, who don’t leave when presidents do, who watch presidents come and go…they influence policy, they influence presidents.”

While some, like the New York Times, dismiss the notion of the Deep State, it is becoming widely discussed across the left-right media divide. The discussion on the so-called deep state is so intense, it’s spawned an upcoming cable TV series on Epix.

Part of the issue of “Deep State” bureaucrats, who are shown as flaunting rules that prohibit them from playing favorites, leaking information to the press, having their own agenda vs. that of an elected administration, and the like.

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There are those in MHVille who point to Pam Danner, the prior administrator of the Office if Manufactured Housing Programs at HUD, as an example of the Deep State at work in ways that harmed the manufactured housing industry. Danner did so, they say, until she was finally removed.

Citing sources, the Washington Post report noted that it was MHARR, not MHI, that worked for Danner’s removal.

While he focused on the military-industrial complex, President Dwight D. Eisenhower raised a similar theme to the Deep State over half-a-century ago.  In his 1961 farewell address, POTUS Ike said “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

The maxim of the proverbial “power behind the throne” makes it clear that various understandings of the Deep State are ancient, not new.

YourGuideToDeepStateBenGarrisonZeroHedgeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The IG’s Report Points to Deep State Woes 

The DOJ’s IG report is a both a political and legal document. It claims that there is no evidence of undue influence or favoritism, before or since the 2016 election, in the FBI or DOJ.

Nevertheless, sources that have read the over 500 page report say it is replete with examples of the opposite.

Attorney, constitutional author, and talk radio firebrand Mark Levin – who at one point was a “never Trump” believer – gives a quick litany of examples. Levin lays out the facts of how the IG report reveals wildly problematic legal issues, with a strongly and illicit anti-Trump bias.

Tucker Carlson, who has an independent, libertarian bent, had several features last night that likewise raised issues with the IG report.

The video below is about what the IG report reveals about the FBI, according to a former FBI Assistant Director.

 

 

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton on inspector general’s report’s findings in the handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation: Don’t trust mainstream media analysis.

 

Donald Trump Jr reacts to DOJ IG report.

 

 

Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Trump, speaks out after the release of DOJ inspector general report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

 

 

The president’s legal-team point man, former New York Mayor Ruddy Giuliani, said the IG report is proof that the entire special counsel handling has been tainted from the beginning.  He claims it is leading away from clear evidence of illegalities allegedly committed by Secretary Clinton and her supporters.

Meanwhile, with no evidence yet of any direct or illegal ties to Russia by the Trump campaign, there were “spies” (informants) used, electronic, and other surveillance methods used against now President Trump’s team.

The deep state could be viewed through the “Drain the Swamp” lens that helped elect Donald Trump.

ThereIsNoDeepStateSwampRightHoneyTinaTomNewYorkTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When senior FBI agents vowed to keep Mr. Trump from winning, or would cause him to be wrongfully impeached once he won, it is a constitutionally frightening development.

Elections are a peaceful way of selecting representatives of the people in a Republic. Elections create a stake for voters.  But if elections can be rigged by high-level public officials, attempting to work behind the scenes, that’s a problem that will not end well.

But it would be naïve to think that high-level “rigging of the system” was new.

We noted the concern of President Eisenhower.  But other examples exist of the power of the unelected bureaucratic federal officials – including but not limited to, the FBI – during the Vietnam conflict, and during the civil rights movement.

This is why vigilance is necessary.  That’s a basic price of freedom.

FreedomIsnTFreeFredrickDouglassQuoteCropsWithoutPloughingRainWithoutThunderOceanWithoutRoarSturggleMOralPowerConcedesNothingMHProNews

Every day, foreign powers seek to influence each other’s politics. That’s nothing new. The U.S. has done it, China and Russia do it, as do other nations too. So the hype – mostly from the left – over “Russia, Russia, Russia” shouldn’t be overlooked, but it must be taken in context.

For Americans to remain free, “We, the People” must be properly informed. President Trump and Bernie Sanders alike were debatably correct when each said that the “system is rigged.”

Day by day, it seems clear that the 45th Chief Executive of the United States means to keep his campaign promises.

Everyone has character foibles and flaws.

JamesWattFLOTUSHillaryClintonVastRightWingConspiracyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

James Watt was known for insightful quotes.

But Mr. Trump is demonstrably taking the nation in a better economic direction. The steps he’s taken have been good for business in general, and good for manufactured housing.

Editorially, MHProNews has and continues to support President Trump based upon principles like tax cuts that have worked for past Democratic and Republican presidents alike.

As the midterms are approaching, there is a fight within the Democratic party between moderate and more socialistic Democrats. So say members of the Democratic party.

Doug Schoen, Clinton Adviser, warns – “Democrats must advance an agenda…to create a society of opportunity for all – not guaranteed outcomes achieved through wealth redistribution.”

In the GOP, recent voting indicates that pro-Trump candidates are outperforming so-called moderate or more traditional Republicans.

Time and again, the president has found a way to get things done. That’s why Americans elected him.  Unelected “deep state” actors ought not be permitted to foil the will of the people, expressed in a valid election.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

 

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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.

 

“Trailers for Sale or Rent,” “Pencil Head, Its Not a Trailer Park,” Manufactured Home Rental Reality Checks

June 11th, 2018 No comments
TrailersforSaleorRentPencilHeadItsNotATrailerParkManufacturedHomeRentalRealityChecks

Face on left is a still from the music video, below.

It’s classic Sam Zell. “Pencil head,” Zell would say to potential investors who didn’t completely ‘get it’ about what is known today as Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), “it’s not a trailer park.”

 

It’s not a trailer park. So true.

pencil-head-its-not-a-trailer-park-els-chairman-sam-zell-c2013lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-all-rights-reserved-manufactured-ho

To see the quote from an exclusive interview with Sam Zell, click the link here or the image above.

But the song by Roger Miller, King of the Road,” provides an interesting glimpse at a historic period in MHVille that ought to be reconsidered. In decades long passed, there once weretrailer parks.”

Miller’s song opens with these lyrics.

Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents.

No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes

Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom

Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room

I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road…”

King of the Road” was like a battle hymn of affordable housing populists in the mid-to-late 1960s.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

Unlike the video posted above, those true trailer houses and mobile homes of that era were newer and nicer then. It wasn’t a scandal when Elvis Presley honeymooned in a mobile home.

Elvis & Priscilla Presley Honeymooned in this Mobile Home

As informed MH Industry professionals know, it wouldn’t be until June 15, 1976 that the first manufactured homes were built. That anniversary of the dawn of the manufactured housing era comes again, this week.

For some, as “Trailer House Trauma” dramatized, the trailers of yesteryear were often seen as cool, and classy.

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

But over the years, somehow that higher degree of acceptability of mobile homes and trailer houses changed.

Part of the solution of the industry’s image issue today is to recapture its largely forgotten glory days.

To do so is both easy, and complex. For example, the industry must give every facet of pre-code mobile home owners – plus their early manufactured home evolutionary offspring – their well-deserved dignity and respect.

Affordable housing, then and now, ought to be celebrated.  Affordable housing can make even those ‘of modest means,’ King of the Road.”

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.

 

Rediscovering Mobile Home Parks, and Manufactured Home Communities

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The mainstream media, researchers, investors, and politicos are discovering – or rediscovering – manufactured home (MH) communities (MHCs).

Part of the business model mix today is the notion of renting vs. selling HUD Code manufactured homes.

As the Glen Miller song lyrics reminds us, for decades there have been some who rented instead of sold units. Zell has suggested that rentals must be well managed, and kept marginal.

Arguably, renting homes was revived in part as a response to the flaws of Dodd-Frank, and how the CFPB under Richard Corday implemented the regulations regarding manufactured home financing.

The interview with Sam Landy, JD, from a couple of years ago, makes the point why seller financing was often dropped.  That’s explained in a report with a video interview linked below from a large community owner’s perspective.  Landy is also an attorney, which puts even more insight to the concerns that motivated their change to rentals. All of the linked reports can be read later for the added details, quotes, and color.

 

Sam Landy, UMH CEO, on Dodd-Frank and The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – S 682/HR 650

 

Manufactured Home Producers, Selling and/or Renting HUD Code Manufactured Housing

To dozens of factories, it doesn’t matter much if the manufactured home being shipped are going:

  • into a development where the home will be rented,
  • to a retailer who will sell the home,
  • or into one of hundreds of the estimated 45,000 land-lease communities from coast-to-coast where presently it will often be rented rather than sold.

Indeed, as yet another community operator told MHProNews recently, the ROI on rentals is strong.

UMH is one of several REITs or private portfolio operators who rent more manufactured housing units than they sell.

As Don Westphal said during a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) meeting, there are reasons to hope that renting homes may introduce a new wave of people to the manufactured housing industry. They may, he said, as a result buy later on.

While Westphal’s point might make sense in theory, the total shipment data doesn’t yet reflect that reality. Could it be made so?

Possibly.

In as much as a modest percentage convert from renting to buying, the potential exists.

 

Manufactured Housing’s Multi-Family Housing Opportunity?

There are no throw away or filler articles published on MHProNews. Each post or report exists for specific reasons. As the publisher, we admit that in hindsight, there are articles that we frankly might blanch at today that were published x years ago. But at that time, based upon what we then knew, we then-and-now have aimed for relevant topics.

As a result, industry professionals have always rewarded us with their time, and read about double the pages per visit than the average mainstream news websites get, per third-party data.  While the data has changed (e.g.: more traffic now than then), the prior video plug below makes the point.

 

MH Opportunities Knock

That’s said in part because there are significant opportunities to develop with manufactured housing, using more manufactured homes as rentals.

We’ve examined numerous issues, and scrutinized several themes over the years.  We’re refining insights into critical topics in the last 2 years. Each refrain is important-to-vital for the future of the sustainable growth of MH independents.

In an upcoming video interview, we have a retailer on camera who sold numerous residential style manufactured homes to a developer.

That developer using manufactured homes is reportedly renting the units as fast as he can get them in and properly installed.

Rephrased, a manufactured home retailer sold upscale models to a developer, not entry level ones, to be used for rental housing. Those residents who rent those sharp homes will be able to bring their family and friends over, to show them off with pride.

That in turn may fuel more of Westphal’s hope that rentals could lead to more sales.  It is one of several possible approaches, including the recent report on ‘reaching for the sky‘ with high-rise manufactured home towers.

High-Rise Manufactured Home Stackable Towers, Compete with Modular/PreFabs, Density at Lower Cost

The multiple-story manufactured housing Daily Business News report above spotlighted how the industry could be going vertical in more ways than one. The better-known expression for going vertical in MHVille is linked below, and can be read later for more depth of understanding.

 

Multi-Family with Manufactured Homes

The points noted herein are many, and some are nuanced.

On the one hand, factory-home builders ought to be doing 500,000 to a million new HUD Code manufactured homes a year.  Yet this year, the current estimates are that MH will finish with around 100,000 (+/-) new home shipments.  Ouch.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

There’s plenty of evidence – decades of proof of concept – that manufactured homes can be rented or sold. It’s a matter of chutzpah, the 7Ts, and establishing systems that allow one to scale results.

For example, as new apartments are going up, the evidence reflects that they fill up fast.

Bob Sullivan in Credit, citing the Urban Institute stated in a Nov 2017 report that “Today, single-family rental homes and townhomes make up 35% of the country’s 44 million rental units, compared to 31% in 2006.” and Almost all the housing demand in recent years has been filled by rental units,” says Sara Strochak, a research assistant with the Urban Institute. She also states that single-family rentals have gone up 30% within the last three years.”

Line those facts up with single-family manufactured homes, and the light-bulb for large, upside opportunities should be going off more often.

So, occasions for MHVille investing and earning more are actually more widespread than some in the business may realize.

 

Why the Low Production Numbers?

So why aren’t more new manufactured homes being shipped?

The reasons are many. But about a decade ago, capital constriction – artificially, by failing to follow federal law, and other forces – caused hundreds of retailers and numerous factories to fail or sell out for less. Related resources linked below will have more details.

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

But some of what’s gone wrong is perception.

SteveDukeLMHATheTerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDefinesTheConstructionStandardsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

 https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/the-ultimate-manufactured-home-industry-fact-data-and-insights-bullets-plus-at-a-glance-infographic/

We beat the drums on terminology in part because of two words. “Trailer trash.” How many people do you know that want to be known as “trailer trash?”

 

Millennials Need Affordable Housing, but “Trailer Park Boys” stigma slows Manufactured Home Acceptance

 

For example, we made numerous strategic efforts, sadly without any assistance from the folks in Arlington, to recast the discussion on the T-word.

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

Note, this graphic will be updated with the link to Rev, Tye’s comments, later today.

When is it appropriate to use the word “trailer?”

ItsAsWrongtoUseNWordToDescribeBlackAsUseTWordTodescribeManufacturedHomeRevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword

Isn’t this part of the antidote to the t-word issue?

When should the “T-word” be seen like the N-Word?

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The industry’s members and investors have several options to improve results. All of it should come down to a two words.

Compelling Education.”

Retailers, Communities, Developers, Financial Services, Producers and others must invest in education of their team, and the public. Those various forms of education must take place simultaneously.

That education must include a component that recognizes the dignity of our contemporary home buyers and residents.

That education must happen based upon facts, not hype.

The industry’s so-called leadership has arguably failed to make that case. It’s a reason why there are several alternative regional and national groups beginning to form to challenge MHI in the post-production advocacy.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMHIInfographicSnapshotFactCheckDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Sam Landy was and is correct when he said that each company is responsible for its own marketing. Similarly, each operation is responsible for its own sales training program.

What is being “taught” by MHEI may have some value, but it clearly isn’t moving the industry’s needle, when making some common-sense comparisons, and reality checks.

RVAnnuaShipments2011to2016RVIALogoDataCompareManufacturedHousingIndustryDataDailyBusNewsMHProNews

The RV industry has sold rings around manufactured housing for years. Why? RVs cost more per square foot, and are a luxury item, not a necessity like housing. Thus, RV data, combined with the data from NAR’s Lawrence Yun tell us that manufactured housing could be doing a million new HUD Code homes annually, in a sustainable fashion.

Despite the evidence that MHI had a member company – ours, on the consulting side of our operation – that succeeded time and again at attracting the site-built buyer – sources say that MHI first attempted to sideline us, then tried to derail us.  It’s an outrageous conflict of interest, but per sources, not the first or the last.  But the question should be asked, why would they not spotlight that proof of concept?  Doesn’t MHI’s leadership want more growth?

AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews800

Why did they spin and attempt to bury such behavior? Let’s see if they publicly answer that question, shall we?

 

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

The allegations herein, and those made by Marty Lavin, MHARR, and other voices in HUDVille are serious ones.

The facts reveal that manufactured housing could be doing far better.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

The most recent backstab at MHI member companies may be what some are calling the “new class of homes” scam. Producers, including MHI members, are disturbed by what Fannie Mae is doing, apparently with MHI assistance.

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

 

Congressional, Federal, State Investigations

This publication asked before that the minutes of the MHI GSE closed door meeting be revealed. We think it’s time for even more federal investigators to occur, plus state AGs to get involved. The link below mentions some federal investigations that are already underway.

The arguable failures at the Arlington-based national trade group are numerous.

Nevertheless, they continue to get the support by Berkshire Hathaway brands consistently. That fact belies any theories of mere arrogance, incompetence, collective low level of experience in MHVille, etc.

Put differently, Berkshire Hathaway won’t reward non-performance. Clayton closed roughly 100 of their own retail centers since 2011. Isn’t it reasonable to believe that the Berkshire brands in MHVille like what MHI is, and isn’t doing, and getting done?

Why would Jennison get his contracted extended at all? Several current and former MHI VPs have had less than favorable comments about Jennison’s abilities.  That’s simply a fact, repeatedly told to MHProNews.  So given the questions about the man, from his own office, why was he renewed? Or more to the point, why did he get a bonuses or a raise, per their IRS form 990?

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

More than one attorney the Daily Business News has spoken with see potential grounds for civil actions and/or anti-trust case potential. Other legal claims may be possible, such as allegations of deceptive trade practices charges, interfering in contractual relationships, conflicts of interest, RICO, and other instances that could result in federal and/or state bureaucratic action.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

It must be noted that those attorneys include those who are exploring class action or other claims on a contingency basis. Contingency cases mean that law firm must have a high degree of confidence in their potential case.

Will Berkshire Hathaway brands and MHI have a defense to mount? Of course. That’s what courtrooms, and the legal system are for, to give a civil battlefield for legally contentious concerns.

For over a year MHI and the Berkshire Hathaway brands in MHVille have declined numerous opportunities offered by MHProNews to respond in writing to the concerns raised, or to debate them publicly via video.  They fact that they won’t engage speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

The fact that Rick Robinson would not answer trade media questions in Deadwood, SD speaks volumes.

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsDitto when Dick Jennison ducked out on a presentation scheduled weeks in advance.  He did so after we published a list of questions attendees should ask him during the Q&A.  That too should shout “what’s going on?” Even pro-MHI state association executives told MHProNews how suspicious that behavior by Jennison.

RichardDickJennisonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCEOLouisvilleManufacturedHomeShow2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-76

The Top Twelve Questions for Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison

Manufactured housing has come of age.

The Ultimate Manufactured Home Industry Fact$, Data, and Insights – Bullets plus at-a-Glance Infographic

Manufactured homes are the solution to the affordable housing crisis that’s hiding in plain sight, as MHLivingNews spotlighted years ago. That slogan we floated is becoming a more common refrain in the mainstream media.

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

But until the debatable chokehold of Arlington, Knoxville, and Omaha are fully exposed and lawfully dealt with, consolidation rather robust growth may sadly continue.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

See Smoking Gun 3.

That seems to be the unstated purpose of MHI.  That’s why we’ve editorially dubbed MHI the ‘Monopolistic Housing Institute.’

The foot must be taken off regulatory and capital brake peddles.

The Trump Administration has repeatedly shown that they’re doing its part. We pray daily that the administration won’t mistakenly allow some Berkshire Hathaway lackey to be named as the next administrator at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs. The next administrator must be sensitive to the interests of independent producers, who are fighting against giants.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

The affordable housing crisis is costly to tax payers. The regulations have for years been harmful to competing investors, and independent businesses, who create jobs in MHVille that make the American Dream possible for more good people.

The industry hasn’t sold trailers or mobile homes for more than 4 decades.

We need more industry voices willing to support the common-sense cause of fully enforcing specific, existing laws.

  1. The robust implementing of the Duty to Serve manufactured housing by the Enterprises.
  2. To do the necessary tweaks to FHA and other federally insured loans to break the Berkshire Hathaway finance grip, and
  3. to fully enforce the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, including enhanced preemption.

Doing so will fully harness the power of manufactured housing to serve millions of Americans, with little or no tax payer subsidies. It’s a series of mutual victories, once the choke holds noted are removed.

 

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

 

The full implementation of the 3 points above could unlock some $2 trillion dollars in additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP), per third party research.

The case for contemporary manufactured housing advancement as the solution for millions of Americans is made above.  At the heart of the American Dream is the saying, “a man’s home is his castle.”

From the days of the 1960’s ballad King of the Road,” to today, the evolutionary solution is the same. Factory-built housing makes sense.

It is up to forward looking professionals to navigate the issues noted, to move manufactured homes up to meet the potential that Operation Breakthrough, Harvard’s Eric Belsky and a GSE – among others – said manufactured housing could achieve.

That’s why the billionaires want as much of the industry as they can get their hands on. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, and management news.)

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

Related Reports:

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

 

George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

June 6th, 2018 Comments off

DarrylSearerGeorgeAllenSpencerRoaneTomLackeyRVMHHallofFameSECOCommunitiesSymposioumExposeMakeManufacturedHousingGreatAgain

Finally, in 2018, a rallying cry, an apt theme, a worthy goal, for the manufactured housing industry! Here it is: Make Manufactured Housing Great Again!”

So said Vietnam veteran, MH Industry blogger, and retired Marine Lt. Col. George F. Allen, on 6.4.2018.

Perhaps he’s forgetting that ‘his’ theme was a headline and featured image he and a number of his readers likely saw here on the Daily Business News approaching two years ago. Note the date on the screen capture.

MartyLavinMakeManufaturedHousingGreatAgainMartyLavinDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsReplyToGeorgeAllen

It should be noted that the Daily Buisness News periodically references this article, and the featured image has been shown several times since it was first published. Thus, Allen has likely picked up that Make Manufactured Housing Great Again phrase right here.

 

Prologue

As an upcoming MHProNews report will demonstrate, there are:

  • multi-billion-dollars-a-year in missed new manufactured home sales opportunities,
  • as well as ethical reasons

why Allen’s recent blog-post is worthy of a few minutes consideration.

While some of what Allen wrote will debatably be shown as problematic, plagiaristic, etc., there are also a range of useful, timely, and important issues he has once again brought to light.

So, a careful reading of each part of this analysis is warranted. If you’re in a hurry, let’s politely suggest that you read this later, as a skim will likely cause misreading of this report.

Because even though he’s arguably ‘stepped in it’ here or there, the moving-toward-retirement Allen has provided a fresh glimpse at important issues. Thus, we’ll correct-the-record in the fisking of his post where needed, but the focus will be why his latest topic matters, though perhaps not always as he intended.

This analysis will also point out Allen’s reply to the controversy which erupted after mainstream media reporter Tyler Jett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press quoted Allen, and his COBA7/SECO buddy, Spencer Roane, defended embattled SECO board member, Thomas Lackey.

Lackey’s community business stands accused by several consumers, media, plus local officials, of allegedly “selling” homes “contract for title” that he did not own.

So, top to bottom, this will be a careful fact check, and analysis of issues that Allen raised and purports to address.

As Allen and Roane get stage-time, promotion, and support from some state associations, plus an industry museum, this analysis will be important for more than land-lease community operators.  Allen and Company’s actions impact retailers, producers, associations, and thus all sectors in manufactured housing.

Each section of this analysis relates to the ethics, image, and profit issue raised in the report linked below.

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

With that prolouge, let’s follow several more lines from Allen’s latest missive.

 

“Yes, You’re…Right!” Says Allen

 Continuing that ‘borrowed’ theme of “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again,” publisher and COBA7 leader Allen said this.

Yes, you’re reading that right! It ‘says it all’,” opined Allen, “hinting at our turn of the century loss of easy access to chattel capital, to the reality that quality, energy efficient, attractive HUD-Code manufactured housing can be, & is, the practical answer to the ‘affordable housing’ crisis!”

There too, Allen borrows a theme from another article first published by MHLivingNews years ago.  The linked articles can be accessed later, and are provided to document facts Allen neglected, or are otherwise related.

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

The refrain of “manufactured housing as the solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight” is one which several mainstream media outlets have since picked up, using it in a positive way.

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

Editorially, we note that even when MHProNews dives into a seemingly negative issue, it is with the intent to heal, not harm.  Borrowing a principle from my better half’s profession, an untreated disease can kill a person.  A proverbial cancer in a business can kill a firm too.  Or if the plague spreads extensively enough, ‘cancer’ can be the death of a marginal or vulnerable industry.  The proper response to phyiscal or professional illness isn’t turning a blind eye, but rather, to treat the causes of the issue.

Next comes Allen’s literal punch line, allegedly aimed at this publication.

Plus, is the manufactured housing trade press up to the task of promoting this end, or still mired in backstabbing & innuendo?”

George, we’re not only “up for that challenge,” we’re happy to stand on our record of doing positive promotion and problem solving, not just talking about it.

As the above links demonstrated, it’s Allen who provided a selfy-style photo fit to sit next to the textbook definition of Chutzpah.

ChutzpahCartoonIdLikeThisBookOnChutzpahandIWantYouToPayForItWikiDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Some of Allen’s followers have periodically forwarded examples of his alleged “back stabbing,” so the quoted phrase arguably are more posturing for his audience than an actual challenge.

But for the second week in a row, what his opinion piece never does is directly address the serious allegations of wrongdoing raised by the Times Free Press, or the Daily Business News.   What’s George’s Answer to the Times Free Press, and other allegations? 

Allen’s answer is no answer.  Instead, he arguably practices the Ds of duck, dodge, detract, distract, and defame.

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

The absence of any denials or correction from Allen leaves him reduced to name calling, finger pointing at others, and a series of interesting distractions. Said themes are perhaps an attempt to take his readers minds off the woes Allen, Roane, and Lackey have voluntarily stepped into, see the above linked article for more details.

 

Chutzpah and Hypocrisy or MAGA on Display? Decoding Allen 

The above is arguably vintage Allen, according to veteran “Allen decoders,” which includes readers of his who are readers here. It’s his own readers who tipped us about some of his recent emailed messages, and posts.

Allen has “the chutzpah” to misappropriate themes first published by each of our trade media sites, while attempting to point fingers? Was that something he learned or taught in one of the Bible lessons he’s been known to share? If so, Oy-vez! 

But in fairness, again, besides metaphorically inedible chaff (e.g.: some of his quotes above), Allen provides some fine wheat too, which will be examined further below. Both the chaff and the wheat are useful to understand, because he’s public.

He, Roane, and Lackey are part of the forging of the problematic image of our largely noble industry.

So, let’s dig deeper into the thoughts of Allen, an RV MH Hall of Fame inductee.

 

Allen’s Bold Red Herrings…

The timing of Allen’s chest-thumping and finger-pointing are both noteworthy. He admits in his own post that his star has been sinking, because he admits to declining attendance at his round-table, and in his readership.

While admitting declines, he then lashes out with verbal challenges he posed to his long-time peers, and supporters. On several levels, they are stunning. 

Seemingly ignoring any suggestion that his or SECO’s Spencer Roane protection of scandal-challenged Tom Lackey – spotlighted by a mainstream media reporter Tyler Jett – was in any way flawed, he ignores those scandals and controversies, while lashing out at his peers and followers.

Allen – who his friends remind this writer knows and likes magic tricks – arguably attempts a series of verbal slights-of-hand.

 

Allen Lashes Out At Land Lease Community Owners, and Other Operations

Paraphrasing an unnamed source, Allen said:

I cringe every time I hear someone talk of these [land lease manufactured home] communities as being ‘cash cows’ – ready for the milking; real estate brokers casually talk of how easy it is to upgrade; and, others advocate ‘fix & flip’ strategies. Every time someone overpays for one of these communities, the writing is on the wall, warning the rest of us will suffer the consequences.”

While there are elements of tasteless wheat present in that quote, how many of his followers realize that it’s Allen, Roane, and Lackey who are putting the reputation of good communities or honest retailers at risk?

Haven’t the apparently unrepentant trio made themselves the poster children for yet another series of problematic reports that make our industry look bad? Haven’t they done so at the precise time manufactured homes (MH) are needed by millions?

Chutzpah firmly in hand, Allen plows ahead.

Your experience with neighboring communities that went downhill, reputation and appearance-wise, during 30 years of passing from one owner to another, is a sad but accurate testament to what happens when owners/operators don’t understand the cost of maintaining, let alone upgrading such properties; don’t have the funds to do so; or just don’t care,” the reportedly now-former MH Community owner Allen wrote.

 

TomLackeySECO2018-06-06_1742PlanningCommitteeSECODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Isn’t Allen describing the kind of problematic property that Tom Lackey is accused of running? If so, why isn’t he just calling him out, and calling for his ouster from the SECO planning committee? Why are MHInsider, and MHR promting this trio of trouble?

Allen continues, “There’s nary a land lease community owner reading these words who hasn’t experienced similar scenarios, whether they’ve suffered the consequences of being a neighbor to such malaise or profiteering – or, sorry to say, are guilty of it themselves! Yes, this is where the image improvement, affordable housing, and desirable lifestyle cycle begins and ends. Where do your properties fit into this perennial cycle?”

So, what are you doing; what are you willing to do, as a land lease community owner, to MAKE MANUFACTURED HOUSING GREAT AGAIN!?” said Allen.

Doesn’t he boldly ignore his, Roane’s, and Lackey’s hypocrisy? Isn’t the retired colonel finger-pointing in almost every direction – save the face in his mirror – odd, given he fails to hold himself or his colleagues to similar ethical standards?

Can you spell “Chutzpah,” George?  Are you colonel up to the challenge of debating all of this publicly, on video?

 

Here Comes Red Meat. Allen’s Shots at MHI, and a Swing-and-a-Miss at MHARR

In addressing the issue raised by MHARR about the lack of an effective post-production sector association, Allen says the following.

For example; it’s a given, HUD-Code housing manufacturers, the Big Three C firms in particular – who controlling 70%+/- national market share, are in the driver’s seat at the Manufactured Housing Institute they fund.”

On technical points, the soon—to-be-retiring Allen may not have noticed that the Skyline Champion deal closed Monday, so it’s no longer the 3Cs.

Skyline Champion Corporation Created as Skyline and Champion Home Builders Announce Closing of Business Combination, Exclusive Details

Nor did he notice the graphic below, which based upon their respective corporate data, reflects the fact that the big three now have 80 (+/-) percent of new HUD Code manufactured home production market share.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Allen’s points are interesting, and in a few moments, it will point to the challenge revealed in the trend spotlighted in the MHProNews graphic, above.

Factual errors aside, Allen’s next point is wheat.

Weak Link? The post-production sector,” wrote Allen – with post-production sector = code words for MHI. “In fairness, this industry observer can only opine on one of several sectors, that comprised of land lease community owners/operators nationwide. And yes, in my opinion, that sector continues to ‘go begging’ for attention and support, via advocacy and representation, within and outside Washington, DC. Not much [to] point [to] here, to repeat the ills and shortfalls of [MHI/NCC] leadership to date…”

What’s interesting, is that Allen has privately and in writing admitted his COBA7 isn’t an association, and doesn’t do the work of an association.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

From a prior George Allen blog post.  The insights above are one of several reasons one can’t ignore the man, because he does make some arguably valid points – the wheat must be separated from the chaff.

The following is an extended, and interesting, extended quote from his June 4, 2018 blog. Typos are in the original (disclaimer/note: in our blizzard of publishing and other industry related work, we have typos too).

Referring to the same MHARR Press Release, five tasks are recommended for attention to MHI and or, as MHARR puts it, “a new independent, collective, national post-production association.”. Heavily edited, they include:

  • Aggressively engage in all aspects of manufactured housing consumer finance 1) including secondary market support for – and securitization of – all types of manufactured home loans…”, & 2) establish secondary market for home sales.
  • Effectively oppose local regulatory and zoning barriers to all forms of affordable housing, and the development of land lease communities.
  • Ensure reasonable, cost-effective housing installation and placement criteria promoting balance between regulation and affordability. Frost Free Foundations!
  • Promote professional property management within land lease communities, as well as strong, effective representation and advocacy on the national level.
  • Commit to and engage in national brand advertising, to stimulate and maintain growth and prosperity throughout the manufactured housing industry.

No question but that they’re many other measures to achieve this end, but it’s a start. Perhaps the overarching goal, among all manufactured housing-related trade sectors should simply, to

Make Manufactured Housing Great Again!

There are several points worth pondering in the above, which was inspired by MHARR’s June report, linked here.

 

Final Swipes, Allen’s Own Admissions, and Contradictory Praise 

Allen admits he’s no longer as diligent in writing, and is no longer as read as he once was. It’s a note of humility.

He praises other trade publications, including one where his own work appears. Go figure. It’s worth noting that he praised MHInsider, which in turn has recently promoted Allen again.  MHInsider did so, even after he, Roane, and Lackey have attracted a wave of negative media.  Those are the ‘insiders’ – their self-description – go figure.

But the oddity from the AllenWorld vantage point is that those periodicals are tilted strongly toward MHI, which Allen bashed moments before. If you want consistency in thought, is that Allen?

Then without naming the publications or the publisher he borrowed his blog post theme of – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again” – namely, MHProNews and MHLivingNews, he takes the following vague shot.

Quoting that part verbatim, without editing or filling in via [brackets] intended or implied words, he says of this publication team;

One online ezine, reportedly widely known – in this industry observer’s opinion – risks discrediting, as it brick bats those whose words and actions don’t mirror or support the editorial stance, and industry agenda, espoused by said ezine. One way to evaluate practitioners of such a fifth estate, is to number, identify, and critique the writing quality its’ stable of writers.”

It’s another classic Allenism, which only Allenites and Allen decoders can understand.  Keep in mind the “decoding Allen” tip from a former Allen client, found in the article linked below. “With George, it’s AAA.  All About Allen.”

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

Apparently, it is OK for Allen to critique the industry, which he clearly — and arguably, correctly —  believes that critique is necessary to advance the cause of manufactured housing.

Let’s underscore that point of his, because a good critique, and analysis are needed to make the manufactured housing industry great again.

Put differently, Allen is right to say that there are several festering issues that are harming the industry’s advancement.

But what some of Allen’s own followers tell MHProNews is this. It’s essential to have standards to base a critique on. It’s about principles, not mere posturing.  Lip service is posturing for an audience. Thus our topic on ethics, linked below.

 

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

Allen and this writer agree on some issues, such as the troubling patterns, and arguably abject failures of MHI to represent the interests of the industry at large.

Despite numerous efforts by this writer over the years to bridge the gap with Allen, and get him off mere platitudes and to consistently focus on issues that matter, the reality is it hasn’t worked yet.

 

Allen’s Several Gifts to the MH Industry

All that said, the debatably plagiarizing, narcissistic Allen has done, and/or has attempted to do, the industry several favors.

Before diving in, in fairness to the veteran, one should ask the following questions. Why is Allen so wounded? What demons does he battle?

One possible example might be how he was allegedly betrayed by the Manufactured Housing Institute/National Communities Council (MHI/NCC). How so?

Per sources, a few years ago, MHI/NCC entered into discussions with Allen to buy out his annual roundtable event, his publishing, and training. After several discussions, there was ultimately no deal made.  But as part of the buyout discussions, MHI required Allen to enter into a non-disclosure agreement, and he revealed ‘everything’ to them during those discussions.

In turn, after failing to buy out Allen, MHI’s NCC division went into direct competition with a member/company.  What MHI/NCC did by going into competition with their own dues-paying member was outrageous on its face, isn’t it?

As MHI has thus far refused to provide MHProNews with their bylaws and other non-profit documentation, it is uncertain if they violated Allen’s rights in that sense. That said, objectively and ethically speaking, it seems like a clear conflict-of-interest for MHI to compete with a smaller, dues paying member company.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoGFADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Nor is Allen alone in that regard, again per past and/or present MHI member statements.

In as much as Allen too has called out, and finally quit MHI and the NCC – the later of which he and others helped co-found – he’s also done the industry a favor.

Tossing aside the chaff, here’s a summary of the wheat.

 

Summary of the Good Wheat

Mistakes or allegations aside, “Allen and Roane” by example did the following for MHVille.

1)   Allen and Roane have shown the industry that motivated professionals can gather a group of hundreds of industry peers together.  SECO is a nonprofit, COBA7 – per sources – is not.  But they had the potential foundation for a genuine association.

2)   With the correct elements, a number of which MHARR has listed (see linked related resources, further below), a new post-production sector can be forged. Will there be one or more post-production trade associations? That remains to be seen.

3)   Allen has shown by painful example what MHI/NCC behavior looks like. What MHI/NCC did to Allen is copy several of his topics and services, and then proceed to give ‘them away with’ MHI/NCC memberships. That’s arguably unethical by MHI/NCC, and possibly illegal and/or legally actionable.

4)   Isn’t what MHI/NCC alleged to have done to Allen a variation on what MHI award winner Marty Lavin says the association has done for years?

5)   Putting that 4th point differently, Marty Lavin recently said that MHI works only for the interests of “the big boys.” The allegations, inferences – and by deductive reasoning – Allen and Lavin have made the following clear. If you aren’t a big boy operation, at MHI, your firm is a potential meal of a big boy.

Allen, Lavin, MHARR, we, and others have not necessarily been on the same page as to approaches. But all see the problems that have flowed from the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Frank Rolfe has sadly gone silent on this, allegedly enticed by Berkshire Hathaway ad dollars, and other benefits, per sources. But Rolfe was arguably correct in calling out MHI’s hypocrisy. He was debatably correct on saying that the industry’s greatest challenges are from within, i.e.: failures at MHI.

It’s on that point about MHI being a key part of the industry’s problem that:

  • Allen,
  • Lavin,
  • MHARR,
  • Rolfe,
  • Roane,
  • the AZ and NV associations – which are forming a new national communities/post-production trade association,
  • and MHProNews, thanks to those who’ve made this industry leading site possible,

…all have agreed upon.  It’s this.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

MHI’s antics tilt toward the interests of a few big companies, arguably at the expense of smaller companies.

7 Surprising Keys to Unlock Manufactured Housing Industry Sales Success

It’s sad that Allen has allegedly been wronged by an association he served for so many years. Perhaps there are good reasons for Allen’s bitterness, which may explain why he lashes out at voices – including ours – that share similar concerns.

It’s not our job to condemn anyone.  But it is the job of media – including trade media – to hold “the powers that be” accountable. Speaking “truth to power” isn’t easy or fun. It’s not to be done lightly.

  • To the extent Allen and others have raised the red flag about MHI, they are to be commended.
  • To the degree that Allen and others have arguably been wronged by MHI, they deserve justice.
  • To the degree that Allen, Roane, Lackey, and MHI have wronged others, they ought to make amends.

Again, in as much as various organizations or persons are failing to address the root issues that hold back the industry, for manufactured home professionals reading this, your share of the additional billions of dollars a year in sales are arguably being lost.

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

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

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

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HUD’s New Man, Officials Statements, with Insider Info Beyond the Media Releases

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

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

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

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Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

June 5th, 2018 Comments off

FannieMaeIntroducingMHAdvantageManufacturedHomeLoanEvolvingWithIndustry

In a letter to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform presidents, Jonathan Lawless, Vice President of Fannie Mae advised the two national trade associations of their news “MH Advantage” program for manufactured homes.

 

The opening from the letter from Lawless to the two national trade association CEOs opens as is shown below.

LawlessOpeningtoRichardJennisonMHIMarkWeissPresidentManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews550x505

Click here or below for the entire Fannie Mae letter to MHI and MHARR.

Rephrasing, manufactured homes that don’t fit the program won’t get financing.

The entire letter from Lawless, which was obtained by the Daily Business News, is linked above as a download.

Fannie Mae, as attentive MHProNews readers may recall, has drawn fire for being a member of MHI.

The GSEs have also been called out by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling for lobbying, a charge the federally regulated home finance giant denies.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

A letter published by MHARR leaned into Lawless and Fannie Mae, saying the plan is not acceptable.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews“…the MH Advantage Initiative, both in its underlying concept and premise, is in fundamental conflict with the DTS mandate – and suffers from other fatal defects – which render it wholly unacceptable to MHARR.”

MHARR’s president – an attorney and multi-decade industry veteran – began to carve up the Lawless letter as follows.

In relevant part, your June 4, 2018 letter states: “MH Advantage homes [will] have design features – developed after consultation with a range of manufacturers – more often associated with site-built homes.” (Emphasis added). The purpose of DTS, however, is not to change the fundamental character of HUD-regulated manufactured housing to be more like site-built homes, or to funnel DTS-based financing to higher-cost homes that are not in the mainstream of affordable HUD Code manufactured housing production,” wrote Weiss.

The DTS mandate, rather, as MHARR has noted on multiple occasions, was enacted by Congress as:

(1)  a congressional finding that Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) have not — and still do not — properly serve the manufactured housing market and manufactured housing consumers, despite existing Charter obligations to support homeownership opportunities for very low, low and moderate-income Americans, as well as  

      (2) a remedy for that specific failure.”

Weiss said that the failure of the predecessor to this program, MH Select, completely missed the mark, saying: “As the abject failure of the earlier Fannie Mae “MH Select” program,” saying that no loans had been made under the prior program.  Weiss said, MH Select, “…resulting, according to available information, in exactly zero loans…”

Indeed, the fact that it has taken ten years to get even this far, after decades of failing to serve the manufactured housing market (as determined by Congress), shows that Fannie Mae has no real intent to comply with DTS as established and designed by Congress.”  HERA 2008 is the legislation that established the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing, and after a 10 years, and it is only now that a chattel lending program is being rolled out.

Instead, prejudice, discrimination and outright bias against those prospective homebuyers – who the GSEs were formed to serve and DTS was specifically enacted to serve and benefit – has been the hallmark of Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) policy for decades, leading to the DTS mandate in the first place,” said Weiss.

“…As such, this program does not constitute a legitimate implementation of DTS as much as a diversion, “bait and switch,” and illegitimate end-run around the consumers and policies that DTS was enacted in order to advance,” the Washington, D.C. based MHARR president said.

This circumvention of the purposes and objectives of DTS, moreover, does not even begin to address other significant competition-based concerns regarding the specifics of the MH Advantage Initiative, including compliance criteria that were developed behind closed doors, in closed proceedings accessible only to select participants (as determined by Fannie Mae); and — according to information available to MHARR, onerous energy requirements that have been advanced by the largest industry manufacturers from both a marketing and regulatory perspective, and specifically favor those manufacturers,” Weiss stated, adding, “Nor does any of this even begin to address the possible intersection between the MH Advantage Initiative and a secretive “new class” of manufactured homes being advanced by the same large manufacturers – and their trade organization, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – which supposedly was “well received by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Perhaps to Weiss point, the Fannie Mae website features two photos with their public announcement of the program, both from the company that MHI’s chairman represents.

The “MH Advantage” Initiative, therefore, is less about implementing DTS for its intended beneficiaries than avoiding the type of market-significant securitization and secondary market support for mainstream, affordable manufactured housing that DTS was designed and intended to produce.  As such, it violates DTS and is wholly unacceptable to MHARR.”

 

The View of the Finance Fray from MHProNews…

The Daily Business News warned the industry months ago that the so-called “new class of homes” being promoted by MHI was potentially the latest “trojan horse” from MHI. The articles linked below can be read later, and are provided as a reference and for more details.  But

 

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

 

The Fannie Mae letter should heighten that concern, as those retailers, communities, and producers that don’t participate in a plan tailored to the “big boys” at MHI.

 

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

 

As MHProNews has warned, there are potentially monopolistic implications from these actions.

 

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

Several pending reports related to this topic are on the horizon.  But the bottom line for now is that this move by Fannie Mae may signal yet another attempted end-around by larger MHI member companies aimed at smaller independent ones — and it may be happening with one or both GSEs assistance.

MHProNews has reached out to Fannie and MHI for comment. While there are many possibilities, based upon years of prior disappointments on DTS, this does not look promising. Time will tell, more to come. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

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

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

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

 

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Manufactured Home Production and Shipment Report, April 2018, per MHARR, HUD, IBTS

June 4th, 2018 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports to the Daily Business News that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by their contractor.

 

Year-over-year “manufactured housing industry production grew again in April 2018. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,262 homes in April 2018, a 15.0% increase over the 7,184 HUD Code homes produced during April 2017.  Cumulative industry production for 2018 now totals 33,646 homes, a 10.0% increase over the 30,568 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2017,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the national association that advocates for regulatory reform and promotes positions that would benefit consumers and manufactured home companies, such as the full implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, and for the Duty to Serve manufactured housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), mandated by HERA 2008.

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through April 2018 — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2018) and prior year (2017) shipments per category as indicated — are:”

April2018ManufacturedHomeIndustryProductionShipmentReportManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMHProNews

About MHARR

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.

2018 Projections?

Based upon the April results, projected out for 12 months, the totals for 2018 would yield 99,144 new HUD Code manufactured homes. 

Using the first four months total for 2018, and projecting that out for the balance of the year, would yield  100,938 new HUD Code manufactured homes in 2018. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

NAR’s Lawrence Yun Raises Alarm for New Housing Crisis, MH Import?

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

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HUD’s Operation Breakthrough, Promoting Factory, Industrialized Building – Mobile Home Era to Modern Manufactured Homes.

June 1st, 2018 Comments off

ToddRichardsonActingGenDeptyAstSecPolicyHUDUserEdgeOperationBreakThroughManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Factory production can be achieved not only by complete factory production of housing units as in manufactured housing, but also with factory production of increasingly sophisticated building components that are then assembled in the field into traditional single and multifamily housing,” – Todd M. Richardson in Operation Breakthrough (reproduced below, including a video).

 

It’s an example of your federal tax dollars at work.

The project was deemed a failure, but it also provided lessons to be considered today.

It was likely Barry Cole, past chairman of the RV MH Hall of Fame – and himself a Hall inductee – who first brought Operation Breakthrough to the attention of MHProNews. Cole’s exclusive interview is linked here.

HUDOperationBreakthroughStillManufacturedHousingIndustryVideoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

From time-to-time since Cole’s head’s up, Operation Breakthrough pops up as the Daily Business News is researching various topics.

LevittBuildingSystemsHUDOperationBreakthroughFactoryHomeBuildingModularManufacturedHousingDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNEws

One can summarize the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) test in various ways. The way HUD’s Richardson summarized it, along with a video produced at the time, are shown below in its entirety. So, “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

These are among the keys MH Industry professionals and investors should consider.

  • There was a public/private effort made to create more affordable housing.
  • The project began in during the mobile home era; meaning, prior to June 15, 1976.
  • The quality of housing then was different than today. That’s true for conventional housing, or comparing the mobile homes of that era to the contemporary manufactured homes built today.
  • The logic of all forms of factory- and industrialized-building is affirmed in the report that follows.

 

Industry professionals and investors ought to be mindful that HUD Secretary Carson has sung the praises of manufactured homes, saying the evolution from the mobile home era until today has been “amazing!”

 

The manufactured and modular housing industries should not denigrate mobile homes. They must be understood and portrayed as they were. They were a step from the evolution of trailer houses, to mobile homes, to the early HUD Code manufactured housing units, to contemporary manufactured homes.

EvolutoinCrankBagCellSmartPhonesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It’s arguably as foolish and short-sighted to condemn mobile homes, as it is to condemn the bag phones used decades ago, that evolved into the smart phones hundreds of millions use daily.

Evolutionary American Dream, from Tiny Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, to “Amazing” Modern Manufactured Homes

There is an affordable housing crisis that’s so obvious that no one on the left-right political divide denies it.

Conventional builders can’t touch the manufactured housing price-point. Nevertheless, manufactured homes are outsold by conventional builders by a huge margin.

The HUD Code manufactured home industry’s top 4 builders by volume – soon to consolidate into 3 companies – produce 80 percent of all the industry’s homes. Those three builders are all members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Where is the leadership to address the underlying issues that have held the industry back?

Clearly, the MHI videos and social media have not moved the needle, no matter what they tell you about clicks (have you ever heard of click farms?). The facts remain, new home shipments are only advancing marginally, and at nothing like the pace needed or possible.

For those who point to the Ducker Worldwide research as the reply to what MHI is doing, state association executives commenting to the Daily Business News, and industry veterans like Marty Lavin pooh-poohed that MHI effort before it was launched.

The fact that reportedly 2/3 of MHI’s own Congress and Expo attendees left the presentation before it was over should speak volumes.

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

 

  • Is MHI’s failure due to institutional incompetence?
  • Arrogance?
  • An unstated agenda?
  • What explanation can be given for the gap between what Harvard Eric’s Belsky, a GSE and others expected from manufactured housing and the realities today?

 

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, MH won’t reach 40 percent of that total. What happened?

Is it any wonder that the AZ and NV associations stated in writing why they’re launching an alternative to MHI? Or why MHARR has promoted a post-production association for retailers, lenders, and other industry segments?

While the bulk of the industry’s arguably spin-filled, and weaponized messages from MHI spews forth an endless stream of vomitus mass, HUD and Congress have periodically help set the foundation for industry growth. They did so largely through the efforts of independents.

Read the full article by HUD’s Todd M. Richardson, reproduced below.  Keep in mind that HUD Secretary Carson said “I hear you– the industry –  and pledged a “new era of cooperation.”

As a professional or investor – ask yourself the following. Why isn’t manufactured housing producing 500,000 to a million units annually?

HousingIndicatorsNARSept2017DailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Of course, modular construction and other methods ought to be part of the mix where appropriate. But part of the point in our flashback reports is to demonstrate that what has been done and envisioned before, could be done once more, and more effectively today.

There is no other ethical way than to build our way out of the housing crisis.

 

NAR’s Lawrence Yun Raises Alarm for New Housing Crisis, MH Import?

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Robust factory-building requires vision, commitment, and a clean break with those inhibiting forces that have held the factory-built housing industry back.

With that commentary, here’s HUD’s Operation Breakthrough.

—————– Operation Breakthrough —————–

ToddMRichardsonHUDUserEDGEManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

 

Periodically, I find it helpful to look back at the early days of the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R). You may recall my post on the Housing Allowance Experiment that inspired what is today’s Housing Choice Voucher program.

Today’s post is about a very different PD&R demonstration, a massive effort to change how we build housing in the United States. In the late 1960s and 1970s, PD&R ran a demonstration called Operation BREAKTHROUGH. According to then-Assistant Secretary for PD&R Michael Moskow in 1974, “The Department of Housing and Urban Development launched Operation BREAKTHROUGH in 1969 to stimulate volume production of quality housing for all income levels. Factory building offered a logical means — then as it does now — for the housing industry to grow and progress. We set ambitious objectives for that growth. BREAKTHROUGH tested many techniques of industrialization.” The demonstration is well documented in this report from our archives that we have posted on HUDUSER.gov.

This demonstration involved complex partnerships with multiple “Housing System Producers” (including General Electric and Alcoa) and “Prototype Site Developers” (including the Boeing Company). The report states that between 1971 and 1973, “on the nine prototype sites are 2,938 housing units, 2,794 representing BREAKTHROUGH systems…. Those producers, assigned to 44 separate parcels or micro-sites, erected a variety of single family and multi-family dwelling types. There are 45 different combinations of producer and type….

Probably almost as interesting as the technology and site plans was the financing. Some of the financing tools used in the 1970s were different from the ones used today, although some have remained the same. This report provides some reminders of past practice. HUD contributed in multiple ways, such as providing mortgage insurance and housing subsidy contracts. Notably, in 1971 Congress funded $30 million ($192 million in 2017 dollars) toward PD&R’s Research and Technology Account to subsidize various aspects of the demonstration.

If you are interested in how these developments look today, I have linked to their approximate location in Google Maps. The report noted above provides site plans so that you can compare their current state to the 1970s site plans, including which housing system producer was associated with each section of the development. Unfortunately, not all the sites have Google Street View images, but for those that do, it is interesting to take a virtual walk through the community. The St. Louis site seems to have been demolished. The Sacramento site appears to be partially demolished, probably because of the many problems with the units documented in the HUD report. The other sites appear to have fared very differently over the more than 40 years since they were developed. In most of the sites, the architecture is notably different than that of other housing in the community.

  • Kalamazoo, Michigan. New Horizon Village (245 units by 7 producers): No Street View available.
  • St. Louis, Missouri. LaClede Town (464 units by 4 producers): As best as I can tell, this site was demolished in the late 1980s, and it looks as though St. Louis University has redeveloped the site.
  • Macon, Georgia. Crystal Lake (287 units by 6 producers): Partial Street View available.
  • Sacramento, California. Greenfair (407 units by 7 producers): Street View available.
  • King County, Washington. Lendemain (178 units by 4 producers): Street View available.
  • Memphis, Tennessee. Edison Park (518 units by 4 producers): Satellite view only.
  • Jersey City, New Jersey. Summit Plaza (486 units by 3 producers): Street View available
  • Seattle, Washington. Bryant Manor (58 units by one producer): Street View available.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana. Park Lafayette (295 units by eight producers): Street View available.

When the National Academy of Sciences reviewed PD&R in 2008, it summarized the core lessons from Operation BREAKTHROUGH as follows:

A series of demonstration houses were constructed, but most of the proposed systems did not advance to commercialization. Overall, the initiative proved ineffective and ended in the late 1970s. In citing Nelson and Langlois (1983), the National Research Council (2000, p. 7) noted: “the lessons learned from Operation Breakthrough and other federal R&D projects are that successful programs have the following characteristics: association with government procurement or some other well defined public-sector objective; support of defined, nonproprietary research guided by a scientific community; and an institutional structure that allows potential users to guide the program.” Operation Breakthrough’s failure was attributed to the attempt by government to introduce technologies in an arena in which it had no procurement interest.

However, one generally unrecognized success of Operation Breakthrough is the recent marketplace acceptance that increased factory production of housing improves construction efficiency, quality, and affordability. Factory production can be achieved not only by complete factory production of housing units as in manufactured housing, but also with factory production of increasingly sophisticated building components that are then assembled in the field into traditional single and multifamily housing. The latter concept of factory production has grown dramatically in the last two decades. The structural building component industry consisting primarily of factory-built wood trusses and walls has grown in sales in a decade by over 120 percent, from approximately $6.9 billion in 1996 to $15.3 billion in 2006 (SBC Legislative, 2007). The leadership shown in developing an idea that has continued to grow in the housing industry can be viewed as an Operation Breakthrough success. But, it is important not to overlook the lesson that the government’s role in sponsoring research and technological leadership has boundaries that must be compatible with marketplace conditions.

—- end of Operation Breakthrough by HUD User Edge —–

The video originally produced back during the Operation Breakthrough era – referenced above – is posted below.

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

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

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GSE Asked: Will Manufactured Housing Overtake Conventional Homebuilding?

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HUD’s New Man, Officials Statements, with Insider Info Beyond the Media Releases

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

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

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY.

By L. A. Tony’ Kovach, publisher of MHProNews.com.
Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) Pressing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Fully Engage on Duty To Serve (DTS)

May 30th, 2018 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in written comments filed on May 30, 2018, has called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) — the federal regulator of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — to significantly revise and amend the final rule that it issued on December 29, 2016 to implement the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) mandate incorporated by Congress in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and related FHFA “guidance” for evaluating the Government Sponsored Enterprises’ supposed DTS compliance plans that became effective on January 1, 2018,” the Washington, D.C. based trade group told the Daily Business News via a news release.

 

MHARR’s comments were submitted to FHFA pursuant to a “Notice of Regulatory Review” published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2018, seeking comments on FHFA regulations that “should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed to make [FHFA’s] regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving its objectives” in accordance with a 2012 Regulatory Review Plan developed under Executive Order 13579 (“Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies,” issued July 11, 2011),” with emphasis added, per the MHARR release.

Based on this request – and in order to bring both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into full compliance with DTS — MHARR’s comments call for substantial amendments to: (1) FHFA’s final DTS implementation rule; (2) FHFA’s DTS plan “Evaluation Guidance;” and (3) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s DTS implementation plans themselves, given the patent failure and inability of these regulatory actions to effectively implement the DTS mandate in a market-significant and timely manner,” per MHARR.

In part, MHARR’s comments stress that a supposed “lack of information” regarding the performance of manufactured home chattel loans – which comprise upwards of 80% of the HUD Code market) – more than a decade after the enactment of DTS is both disingenuous and evidence of the type of continuing bias against manufactured housing and manufactured homebuyers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that DTS was meant to remedy in the first place,” according to their statement.

There is no similar known effort being made by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which sources say has postured a push for DTS, but whose prior chairman, Tim Williams, has said in published comments was a “waste of time.”

MHARR has previously noted that every day that DTS isn’t fully implemented is a “gift” to the Berkshire Hathaway lenders.

Industry veteran and MHI award-winner, Marty Lavin, JD, has recently told MHProNews that MHI works forthe big boys,” and only works for smaller companies when that aligns with the interests of larger firms.

MartyLavinTataroAwardWinnerManufacturedHousingInstituteSpySeaFollowtheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMHProNews

Further,” said MHARR, “the comments note that the supposed chattel loan “pilot programs” included in the Enterprises’ DTS “implementation” plans, are little more than token efforts that would serve slightly more than 1% of the manufactured housing market with no assurance whatsoever of expanded secondary market or securitization support for manufactured housing chattel loans at any time in the foreseeable future. As such, the supposed DTS compliance plans – and the final DTS rule and Evaluation Guidance that they are based on – are wholly inadequate to “effectively” implement DTS and must be revised in accordance with FHFA’s 2012 Regulatory Review process.”

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In Washington, D.C. MHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss said: “The continuing failure of FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – more than a decade after the enactment of DTS — to take concrete and market-significant steps to increase the availability of chattel loans for lower and moderate-income manufactured homebuyers is inexcusable and in defiance of the law and the will of Congress.

Weiss elaborated.

 Using the alleged lack of chattel loan “data” as a risible excuse, FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are standing in the way of greater competition in the manufactured housing finance market and lower,” he said, “more competitive interest rates for consumers that would allow many more Americans to purchase a truly affordable home of their own. Conversely, the failure to implement DTS as written and intended by Congress, will have the negative consequence of driving more consumers into the arms of the current industry-dominant lenders and their higher-cost loans. DTS is far too important to allow it to be emasculated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their enablers within and outside the industry.”

 

About MHARR

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

May 24th, 2018 Comments off

ClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingLogoManufacturedHomeINdustrytop25HUDCodeHomeBuildersDailyBusinessnewsMHPronews

There is nothing quite like pie charts, facts and figures to dramatically illustrate what has taken place in HUDVille – the manufactured housing industry – over the last several years.

Trend lines are important for lenders, investors, and business owners to be aware of, and these graphics should also be noteworthy to policy advocates, legal minds, and public officials too.

The first illustration below is from a 2004 issue of the MH Merchandiser Magazine. It shows the top 25 manufactured housing industry producers.  Please note that there is no similar listing that has been done for several years.  Why not?  Would the list of the facts of the top 25 producers of HUD Code manufactured housing prove alarming for independent retailers, communities, producers, suppliers, and others? Is it information that the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) doesn’t find useful to discuss?

Top25ManufacturedHomeMerchandiser2004ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600x929

To see a larger version of this same page, click here or the image itself.

The next illustrations are pie charts created by MHProNews, and based upon the sources as noted herein.

According to the data from the Merchandiser, Berkshire Hathaway purchased two significant manufactured housing brands in 2003.  The combination of Clayton Homes and Oakwood Homes that year, yielded just over a 21 percent market share.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Harken back to the painful realities underscored by quoted statements made by Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett and 21st Mortgage President and CEO, Tim Williams in 2009.  Those direct – and in context – quotes are found in the Smoking Gun 3 report. The Kevin Clayton video, linked here, shows him saying that the market share of Clayton Homes in 2011 was 25 percent.  Let’s take Kevin’s statement at face value.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Finally, the data supplied this year by Berkshire Hathaway – which does not precisely break down manufactured housing, modular homes and other models Clayton Homes builds – indicates that they held a 50 percent market share of manufactured housing in 2017.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2017DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Note that trend line since the 2009 Smoking Gun 3 report time frame?  Prior to 2009, Clayton Homes grew modestly as a percentage of the industry’s shipment totals, as manufactured housing continued to contract.

Since 2010, Clayton Homes percentage of the industry has soared.  That’s put a number of the businesses listed in 2003, out of business, per the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) own data.  Ouch…

That trend-line, per concerned independent voices to MHProNews is a crushing one.  At what stage will federal regulators, and anti-trust authorities step in?  Recall that the Seattle Times has reported just days ago that the Department of Justice (DoJ), HUD, and others are investigating Clayton.

Please see the linked related reports, below. Bookmark this article, because you will want to share it with your circle of influence, and periodically refer back to the facts that this column provides.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY.

By L. A. Tony’ Kovach, publisher of MHProNews.com.
Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

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

May 22nd, 2018 Comments off

 ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRPointsNeedsUnderscoredByWashingtonPostHUDsManufacturedHousingProgramOfficeManufacturedHousingInstitute

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-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

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.

Thanks,

Danny

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.

HUDSecDrBenCarsonJohnBostickJimSheaMikeCappaertMakWeissDannyGhorbaniMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHPorNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/hud-secretary-dr-ben-carson-manufactured-housing-independent-producers-meeting-mh-program-progress-promised/

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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