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Joe Stegmayer, George F. Allen, Manufactured Housing Institute Slogans, Slump, Slurs, Solutions

May 14th, 2019 No comments

 

JoeStegmayerPhotoCavcoIndustriesLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoChairmanGeorgeFAllenPhotoSlogansSlumpSlursSolutionsMHProNews

Photo at left is a still from a YouTube video, posted further below.

The manufactured housing industry is now 7 months into a slump – a downturn. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis?  Is it incompetence?  Or something else?

 

While controversial himself in mainstream media reports for a variety of reasons, prominent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member Frank Rolfe is on record for calling out prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith and the association for “hypocrisy.”

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

Rolfe also accused MHI of failing to promote good news, while failing to defend against bad news.

FrankRolfeMHFundRVHorizonsMobileHomeUniversityDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryResearchReportsDataAnalysisMHProNews595

The phrase ‘the industry’ is often a euphemism for MHI. While the two are obviously distinct, given that MHI is the industry’s umbrella association and larger than its rivals, there are reasons that phrase is used.

 

Despite his own controversies, did Rolfe make valid points in the quotes cited above?

Let’s look.

A recap of Nathan Smith, partner in SSK Communities, and their media and legal woes are linked below. It includes numerous mainstream media video reports, which underscored Rolfe’s first point.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

 

The recent, useful – and largely favorable comments to the manufactured home industry in general – made by HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a speech last week  are of this morning at the date and time shown still not posted on MHI’s website. Why not? It is arguably good news for the industry at large. It was made at MHI’s own event.  Secretary Carson is in charge of the agency that has the primary federal oversight for manufactured housing.

Where is the MHI logic in not having a favorable talk spotlighted on their own website?  Again, this evidence makes a point Rolfe claimed about good news not being shared by MHI.

 

HUDSecBenCarsonMHILogowebsiteManufactuerdHousingInstituteLogo2019-05-14_0617MHProNews

 

This oddity begs questions. For example, is it only Rolfe at MHI who has expressed concerns about MHI? Hardly.

Kenny Lipschutz – whose firm is a MHI/National Communities Council (MHI/NCC) member – said the following in an interview with MHProNews.

 

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Tom Fath is a partner in his family’s manufactured home community business. The sell new and pre-owned manufactured homes.  Their operations are reportedly doing well. Which makes Fath’s comments all the more striking.

 

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

This comment was a response to a critique of MHI and their ‘advertorial’ campaign. Fath was arguing that facts and consumer benefits should be stressed, rather than claims that actually undermined the industry’s credibility.

 

Is Fath alone? No.

Current and former MHI members have privately and publicly called out the trade group for being ineffective, for favoritism, for being an oligarchy, or of de facto working to consolidate the industry.

In 2017, state communities associations broke from MHI, saying the planned to form their own trade organization. They have since done so. Their founder explained their break from MHI as follows.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

So, there are significant examples of MHI members – past and present – plus other industry business leaders – that have in word and deed voiced published concerns about the state of the industry in general, and often named MHI in particular.

 

 

One More Level

MHI’s current and 2 prior executive committee members, have all faced various troubling legal or problematic business practice allegations.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Satirical logo by MHProNews, provided under fair use guidelines.

 

George F. Allen, along with Spencer Roane and Tom Lackey of SECO have had their own mainstream media woes.

 

TylerJettChatanoogaTimesFreePressManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Allen and Roane have ‘taught’ selling contract for title at SECO or elsewhere, a practice that the New York Attorney General’s office and others have taken action against. https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/may/26/industry-members-decline-take-sides-rossville/471775/

 

Allen has been an MHI critic in the past, as these pull quotes from his website remind industry professionals.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

George F.  Allen, has a modest following today, which once used to be a larger following. Once Allen was re-embraced by MHI’s leaders = purportedly to be a surrogate for them to blunt growing industry concerns and criticisms = Allen has muted his prior blasts, and has arguably turned instead at sliming MHI’s critics. 

 

But Allen, who was persona non grata just a few years ago at MHI, has more recently cozied up to and has been re-embraced by the Arlington, VA based association. Joe Stegmayer appeared again at Allen’s annual event in 2018.

 

 

Joe Stegmayer – as MHI’s Chairman – lends to the under-informed a certain credibility to Allen.  Allen in turn has purportedly attacked privately and publicly this publication for holding the industry’s power players to account. But instead of accepting the opportunity to disprove or debate the issues raised, Allen has resorted to slurs and a call to boycott MHProNews.

Allen’s call for a boycott is noteworthy, because it can be an element in antitrust law.  Allen has also used demonstrably flawed claims in a purported effort to slime the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which is trying to address underlying issues, and thereby help the industry return to growth. Attacking a trade group that is honestly and honorably seeking growth during an affordable housing crisis and while the industry is in a slump ought to be common sense.  Thus, Allen’s attacks on MHARR merits its own scrutiny. See that report, via the hot-linked text/image box linked below.  But once more, it also sparks further questions and concerns.

 

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

 

There are evidence-based examples of how MHI leaders have directly and indirectly rewarded Allen and SECO, which he is associated with.

Now MH Village’s co-president, Darren Krolewski – who previously praised MHProNews for taking on the tougher issues – more recently has launched their own trade publication, which is of course their right.

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHVillage’s Krolewski dubbed their new publication MHInsider, the first three letters of which spell MHI. They are in fact a prominent supporter of MHI. They have given Allen and SECO a lift via their own platform. Attempt to find an article in MHInsider that is critical of MHI or Clayton Homes. There are better odds of winning the lottery than finding a critique of any MHI or Berkshire Hathaway MH industry company leader, or of those who are the ‘big boys’ at the Arlington, VA based trade group.

Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Howard Walker arguably had a different view on what should be done about good and bad news than what MHInsider- or the flip-flopping George F.(F?) Allen – has taken. The late Walker, JD and longtime vice chairman and a right hand man to Sam Zell, ELS’ chairman, said this.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

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

 

While it was before the more recent fact checks, it was after other examples of concerns and issues being raised by MHProNews not found elsewhere in the industry’s trade media. So not unlike the prior comment of praise by Krolewski, Walker said the following for publication.

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

The words of the late Howard Walker, JD, longtime ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

 

MHProNews has previously cited the need for good business ethics, quoting the following as an example.

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMarthaCNussbaumPhotoQuote

Design by MHProNews.

 

This publication has also promoted the notion of getting to the root issues of the industry’s challenges, citing Zig Ziglar as follows.

ProblemSolvingZigZiglarFirstStepRecognizetheProblemExistsNextIsProblemOurResponsiblityProblemSolvingVeryImportantDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When the industry hit the start of its now 7-month slump, what have MHI’s leaders offered? Let’s look at some examples of ‘slogans vs. solutions.’

Last fall, when the corporate leaders of the trade group arguably knew that the downturn was underway, MHI produced a video promoting the association. The stills that follow are from that video and are provided under fair use guidelines for media.

 

MHIMembersChangingPerceptionOfManufacturedHousingMHILogoClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayLogoMHProNews

LeveragingCreationNewClassManufacturedHomesMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The first slogan was a claim of changing the perception of the industry.  If it was for the better, then why aren’t sales growing?

The next MHI claims is one of momentum.  This was clearly not true, unless they meant momentum in reverse?  Instead, what the ‘new class of homes’ project arguably has done is divert lending that ought to be going to all manufactured homes under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 away from all manufactured homes, to only a few ‘select’ homes.  Here’s how MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, phrased it.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

MHI also claimed in their video to be promoting the industry. That may be true in a technical, fig leaf, or posturing sort of sense. But the lack of growth in manufactured housing shipments itself undermines the credibility of the Arlington, VA based trade group’s claim.

Nevertheless, to prove their point, MHI cited statistics that were wildly arguably misleading at best, or demonstrably deceptive at worst.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIVideoStillMHIPromotionalClaims

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

While MHI in their monthly shipment report doesn’t deny the decline, neither are they addressing the underlying causes, nor have they proposed a remedy via their messages to the industry. Why not?

 

When, MHProNews called out the deception, and offered MHI and their leaders an opportunity to respond, MHI hired an outside attorney who issued a series of letter threatening this publication and specifically mentioned our showing these still video images. Some of the claims that MHI’s outside attorney made are dealt with in a report linked below.

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

 

So instead of offering solutions, MHI has offered slogans. Instead of addressing legitimate concerns, they have threatened this publication that their own leaders have previously praised as being pro-industry.  Perhaps more to the point, as the quote below reveals, their leaders ought to know that they have to address bad news, as Rolfe suggested in the quote cited above.  If they know they should, but fail to do so, what does that say about the trade group?  What concerns does that raise?

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

 

Such facts puts MHI in an awkward spot, perhaps because MHProNews has cited investor relations reports by publicly trade MHI member companies that also point out the obvious truth that the industry is underperforming.

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

MHLivingNews, NAMHCO, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform for years, even a former MHI president on his exit message have raised concerns about the failures of MHI.

FormerManufacturedHousingInstitutePresidentChrisStinebertManufacturedHomeOwnersUrbanInstituteYouMHLivingNews

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/former-manufactured-housing-institute-president-manufactured-home-owners-urban-institute-and-you/

 

What has MHI done in a practical way to address the issues? At their recent Congress and Expo, they offered this slogan – “Let’s Keep Building.”

Slogans coupled with an action plan are fine. But where is MHI’s action plan? After all, they claim themselves to represent the interests of all segments of the industry, per the following from their website this morning. The commentary in the blue boxes are by MHProNews.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoOnlyTradeOrganizationrepresentingallsegmentsfactorybuilthousing2019-05-14_0808

 

It should be noted that not all in the industry are sliding.  The article below is but one example of a firm that is bucking the trend.  That clearly implies that others can too.

 

 

Which begs the question, what the devil is going in with MHI’s so-called leadership?  What are the ‘powers that be’ behind MHI actually doing?

 

 

What’s Going On?

The largest corporate force behind MHI are the Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway owned brands. A survey of troubling mainstream media reports about their behavior is linked below.

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

 

Before several of these episodes occurred, became known, or were coming into focus, Clayton, 21st, and MHI supported the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. In hindsight, was the entire bill a ruse? A head fake designed to consolidate the industry into ever fewer hands?

 

That’s what a more detailed report, fact-checks, and analysis linked below examines.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

 

There are already several federal investigations reportedly underway with respect to Clayton Homes, and their related lenders.  Former Clayton division president Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries are under an SEC subpoena, to name but a few of the publicly known federal investigations.

 

 

But sources tell MHProNews, that other investigations – federal and others – are also underway.

The fact-checks by MHLivingNews of the recent Last Week Tonight with John Oliver revealed that each firm the satirical, sharp hit on “Mobile Homes” made was on a MHI member connected firm.

 

Warren Buffett has been documented to have financially supported via so-called ‘dark money’ channels the organizations that attacked his own brands, and MHI firms.

 

 

It is with that backdrop that publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach takes a deeper dive into what in hindsight was arguably the true goal of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. Tony Kovach raises the questions, have more than just antitrust laws been broken? Are possible fraud and RICO concerns valid?

That ‘deeper dive’ report is linked here.

It is far more pleasant being a cheer leader when one has something honest and honorable to cheer. But to fail to call out real problems is to betray readers who are looking for solutions, not slogans, slurs, slimes, or dodges.

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

While surrogate writers for the powers that be – like Allen – purportedly use diversionary, smear or slime tactics vs. engaging in an actual – robust discussion or debate – MHProNews continues to follow the evidence, follow the money, and does fact checks to uncover what the underlying issues actually point toward.

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

RickRobinsonSrVPGenCounselManufacturedHousingInstituteHUDSecBenCarsonMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Robinson is a good speaker, good writer and likeable person, says MHProNews publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. The questions that they duck and dodge will only continue until they are properly addressed in a transparent way, he opines.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

Therefore, while Joe Stegmayer and George F. (F?) Allen are playing footsie – or MHInsider and the bulk of the others in the manufactured home industry’s trade media other than MHLivingNews or MHProNews ignore the vexing issues – or slime those such as MHARR for raising logical concerns and for offering solutions – our pro-growth platforms will continue to promote the good news about manufactured housing, while holding to account those who are behaving in problematic ways.

That’s today’s third look at “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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Manufactured Home Community Case Study, UMH Properties, Lessons for Independent Community Owners, Investors

 

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

What Does Doing Your Job Looks Like in Manufactured Housing?

May 9th, 2019 No comments

 

WhatDoesDoingYourJobLooksLikeinManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

There is nothing wrong with photo opportunities and videos. MHProNews and MHLivingNews have used them too. But photo ops and videos ought to compliment a broader vision, not replace it.

 

There are thousands of videos about manufactured housing online.  There are untold numbers of still images.  But the ones that are negative often outweigh the views of those that present manufactured housing in a positive light.  That in a nutshell summarizes the plight of the industry’s image challenge.

sam-landy-ceo-umh-posted-manufactured-housing-industry-communities-retailing-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-

Sam Landy, UMH President and CEO.

Sam Landy, JD, President and CEO of UMH Properties (UMH) told MHProNews that marketing is ultimately the responsibility of each individual company.  That is an obvious truism.  It would be nice if a trade group stepped up to do or compliment that effort, but in the current state of industry affairs, that certainly isn’t occurring effectively.  Yes, MHI makes videos or posts photos on Facebook numerous times each week.  But the 7 months of declining shipment numbers tell the tale.

The report last night about Bryan, TX tells another part of the sad tale of the low state of affairs in manufactured housing.  The Arlington, VA based trade group says about itself that: “The Manufactured Housing Institute is the only national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry.” Rephrased, they are saying that they address both production and post-production related issues. Hmmm, let’s see.

By contrast, here is what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform says about itself, “MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.”

Recast, they are saying that they are a production-issues oriented trade group. Really?  Let’s see.

In the past few days, MHARR has tackled these two issues, published at the links below.

Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery Removal of Obsolete and Superseded Guidance Documents Letter

New, Revised, and Proposed Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Manufactured Homes

By contrast, what has MHI published on their website?

Where is the fine Secretary Ben Carson speech delivered at their own Congress and Expo?  As the report linked below reveals, they emailed a few words from it.  But as of this morning at 9:10 AM ET, their own search tool says the same thing as the screen capture below.  That’s largely a post-production speech.  Secretary Carson’s address praises manufactured housing.  Why isn’t MHI promoting it?

Manufactured Housing’s Professional Credibility

 

An online search this morning reveals the Secretary Carson address on MHLivingNews’ site, but not on MHI’s website either.

 

BenCarsonNewOrleansProMHSpeechCongressExpoSearchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-05-08_2041

This was rechecked today at the time shown, so that’s the latest. Will MHI – out of embarrassment, the desire to do what is right, or for any reason post this pro-industry address on their own website? If so, when? If not, why not?

MHARR is stretching beyond their production issue mandate, to see how they can use targeted efforts to address post-production issues.

Bear in mind that the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAHMCO) broke from MHI, precisely as a vote of no-confidence in MHI addressing issues such as the Duty to Serve manufactured housing.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

But in the world of manufactured home trade media, we are not aware of any that have raised such fundamental and obvious points.  Rather, they have touted MHI – as if they are doing their jobs.

That’s their right to publish what they wish – within the norms of the law and morality – which we respect their right to be wrong in the manner that they ‘inform’ their readers.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

That’s this morning’s first look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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

Related Reports:

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Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

 

Gannett Media Exposés, MH Community Owner Moves Sparks Outrage – IEDs of Manufactured Housing

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foundation for Action as Fannie Mae CEO Put on Notice for Robust Personal Property Manufactured Home Lending

April 17th, 2019 Comments off

 

FoundationForActionHughFraterCEOphotoFannieMaeLogoOnNoticeRobustPersonalPropertyManufacturedHomeLendingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Congress, as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), enacted the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS), a remedial mandate which directs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “develop loan products and flexible underwriting guidelines to facilitate a secondary market for mortgages on manufactured homes for very low, low and moderate-income families.” (See, 12 U.S.C. 4565(a)). In addition, to ensure that the term “mortgages” is not misconstrued to limit the scope of DTS to manufactured home real estate “mortgage” loans, the same section of HERA expressly provides that “in determining whether an Enterprise has complied” with DTS, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) “may consider loans secured by both real and personal property.” (I.e., home-only “chattel loans”). (See, 12 U.S.C. 4565(d)(3)).”

 

 

So said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in a letter to Hugh R. Frater, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fannie Mae.  As is customary for MHProNews, the quotes from the document shown herein are in bold and brown text, but the phrasing is as in the original, which is linked here as a download.  MHARR’s accompanying press release, is linked below.

 

 

Fannie Mae is one of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).  The letter from MHARR to Fannie Mae makes several important points.  But it should also be understood as a possible predicate for other action.  The view from the Daily Business News on MHProNews on this matter is this.  With a FexEx delivered letter, there is arguably reduced ‘plausible deniability’ for a top man at Fannie Mae.

Rephrased, looking at this from a lay view with a legal lens, they appear to be on notice.

But there is more at play here, because there is a broadside shot at the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington triangle too.

Here is how that is teed up, as MHARR has repeatedly emphasized in DTS implementation comments to FHFA, the Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as in congressional testimony, DTS, without market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, cannot and will not achieve its remedial objectives within the manufactured housing market as mandated by law.”

Weiss’ letter for MHARR goes on to say, that the GSE’s failure “continues to unduly restrict and constrain the market for inherently affordable, non-subsidized manufactured homes (which again, in 2018, failed to reach its historical production benchmark of 100,000 homes per year), while forcing consumers to pay higher-cost interest rates for manufactured home chattel loans due to extremely limited competition and the parallel domination of the manufactured home consumer lending market by a small number of existing lenders, which primarily are subsidiaries of the largest industry conglomerates, such as Berkshire-Hathaway-owned Clayton Homes, Inc. (Clayton).  Fannie Mae obsequiously describes this de facto stranglehold on the manufactured housing consumer lending market as lending that is “somewhat consolidated amongst a small group of prominent chattel lenders.”

 

 

Harm to Consumers and Independent Businesses Caused by Government Sponsored Enterprises

MHARR argues that Fannie Mae – and by inference, Freddie Mac – having failed to follow their Duty to Serve legal mandate harms home owners, prospective buyers, and independent manufactured home industry businesses.

Fannie Mae’s failure to implement DTS in a market-significant manner, with respect to the vast bulk of manufactured home consumer loans, more than ten (10) years after the enactment of that mandate, has caused and continues to cause significant harm to both American consumers of affordable housing and the manufactured housing industry. In particular, this failure has disproportionately impacted – and continues to have its greatest negative impact – on smaller, independent manufactured housing businesses, which, unlike the industry’s largest conglomerates, do not have the luxury or advantage of controlling captive consumer financing subsidiaries or affiliates.”

Readers may recall an applicable quote from Weiss, shown below.

 

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Meaningless Meetings, the “Illusion of Motion”

The “illusion of motion” is a phrase used from a recent analysis by MHARR that is linked in the quoted phrase above.

It should be noted that Fannie and Freddie are both paying the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to co-sponsor their events.  That raises ethical and conflict of interest questions.  But it also raises questions such as those that follow.

 

  • If MHI has so much clout, as they claim to their members, industry professionals, and prospective members, why is there so little progress toward full DTS implementation?
  • Is Fannie and Freddie paying MHI not to make waves for them, while they slow walk implementation?
  • Cui bono? Who benefits from slow walking the full implementation of DTS?

 

It must be recalled the point that Weiss makes above, namely that the: “extremely limited competition and the parallel domination of the manufactured home consumer lending market by a small number of existing lenders, which primarily are subsidiaries of the largest industry conglomerates, such as Berkshire-Hathaway-owned Clayton Homes, Inc. (Clayton).”

In science, logic, or journalism, one looks at the evidence and applies certain logical ‘tests.’  One of the possible conclusions one can come to is that Fannie, Freddie, MHI and their ‘big boy’ firms have worked to limit lending, to the benefit of Berkshire Hathaway owned finance firms.

By contrast, sources at Credit Human and Triad Financial Services have worked to advance lending by the GSEs, because it would be good for the industry. As a high-level source told MHProNews, it isn’t more profitable for their firm to get the GSEs to do robust chattel and other lending on all manufactured homes, not just the openly Clayton-backed ‘new class of homes.’

Rephrased, it would be misleading to say that everyone in MHI is essentially slow-walking or foiling GSE lending.  There are those working for ‘big boy’ companies that privately oppose the alleged rigging of the system against the interests of consumers and independent companies.

Time will tell what Fannie Mae – or for that matter, Freddie Mac – will do.  We have sources with ties to MHI that say that they expect some modest personal property or chattel lending activity sometime this summer.  But what MHARR is pushing for – as are some others in MHVille – is market significant lending.

The higher rates are often the focus of attacks on the industry by groups such as MHAction, or in that viral video by John Oliver misnamed “Mobile Homes” are often linked back to the lack of lending options that keep rates lower.

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Note that MHProNews continues to periodically reach out to the GSEs or the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis leaders or spokespeople to correct or confirm concerns like those raised.  They’ve maintained their constitutional right to remain silent, which is to be respected, but that also leaves these concerns unchallenged to serious researchers and thinkers.

 

See the related reports, further below the byline, offers, and notices.

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

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HUD Study on Manufactured Housing Discriminatory Zoning, Placement by Local Cities, Counties Requested

April 8th, 2019 Comments off

 

HUDStudyManufacturedHousingDiscriminatoryZoningPlacementCitiesCountiesRequestedMHARRvsMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

It will be recalled for the sake of new readers that the Daily Business News on MHProNews has been documenting cases of manufactured homes being limited, excluded, and/or discriminated against in zoning and placement practices by local jurisdictions for several years.

 

That is so, despite the wide body of evidence that has been amassed that debunks concerns that NIMBYites, special interests, and others use to exert such discriminatory efforts against federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes.

It will also be noted that recently, after years of purported failures on the part of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to robustly and successfully address this growing threat, that the production-focused Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) voted in Tunica on March 27, 2018 to take up this cause themselves. See that, at this link here.

In an exclusive report, MHARR has notified MHProNews that they are directly addressing this matter with HUD and others.  Among their first steps?  They’ve met with officials in Washington, D.C. to obtain HUD sponsored research into this growing and troubling pattern of exclusionary zoning and placement challenges that foil the meaning of the legal phrase “enhanced preemption.”

You can read the full report at the MHARR website, linked above, via that text-image box.

 

 

The contest for growth vs. more manufactured housing industry stagnation is already on.

 

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

 

It will be recalled that it was MHARR, not MHI, that caused the removal of Pam Danner from her perch at HUD.  Who said? The Washington Post, in their report, learn more at the report linked from the text image box below.  MHI and others might duck, posture, and hide, but they can’t do so forever, so long as industry professionals hold them accountable for their purportedly routine failure to perform their duty in their own problematic claim to represent “all segments of factory-built housing.”

 

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

 

It’s Monday, Monday. The industry’s opportunities are legion.  The nation needs what we do, as the first linked report below the byline and notices reflects. That’s this morning’s Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

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Historic Manufactured Housing Industry Decisions Were Made Here on 3.27.2019

April 2nd, 2019 Comments off

 

HistoricManufacturedHousingIndustryDecisionsWereMadeHereon3.27.2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

In a statement today to recapping what they are calling Bold New Initiatives,” the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is taking aim at issues to get to some underlying challenges facing manufactured housing going that arise from post-production scenarios.

 

MHARR and its members have kept these items under close wraps, as the Daily Business News on MHProNews learned about these core details through this release.

Here was the full MHARR statement today.

 

MHARRNEWSheaderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHARR BOARD HOLDS HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE

MEETING — ADOPTS BOLD NEW INITIATIVES

 

Washington, D.C., April 2, 2019 – Despite producing its best homes ever, at a price point that is inherently affordable for virtually every American family, in a market environment featuring an ever-growing need for affordable homeownership and housing resources, the production and market-share of the federally-regulated manufactured housing industry continues to lag well behind not only the single-family housing market as a whole, but also the twenty and thirty-year historical production norms for the HUD Code industry itself.  Confronting, as it does, a myriad of factors and challenges in the post-production arena that have combined to stunt the growth and expansion of the industry to levels far below what would otherwise be expected given an expanding population, job growth, and a prospering economy, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), at its March 27, 2019 Board of Directors meeting, adopted a bold plan of action to begin addressing key issues that the broader industry has failed to resolve, which have paralyzed the HUD Code market after the industry’s outstanding homes leave the factory. In addition, to lead this aggressive agenda, MHARR members elected an experienced slate of Association officers, to be led by John Bostick, President and CEO of Sunshine Homes, Inc., who will return as MHARR Chairman.

MHARR members, at their bi-annual Board of Directors meeting, identified, in particular, three post-production-related matters that, both short and long-term, have vexed the industry and American consumers of affordable housing, and the ability of the industry as a whole to fully serve the housing needs of vast numbers of Americans, contrary to both the letter of federal law and the will and intent of Congress, as set out quite plainly in both the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 with regard to production and consumer protection, and the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) with regard to affordable and competitive consumer financing. These matters, which will now become the major focus of MHARR activity to take the lead within the industry to fully and completely implement both such existing laws, include:

(1) exclusionary/discriminatory zoning mandates;

(2) other placement restrictions or exclusions (principally affecting the development of manufactured housing communities); and

(3) the availability of consumer financing.

Discriminatory zoning – zoning restrictions or exclusions targeted at manufactured housing and manufactured housing consumers over large areas of the United States, and the failure of the broader industry to effectively fight and address those mandates – is a crucial aspect of the industry’s inability to expand and better serve the housing and homeownership needs of large numbers of Americans. To begin addressing this issue with the urgency that it deserves and warrants, MHARR will work cooperatively with state-level industry associations to target a sample set of localities with major and/or obvious discriminatory prohibitions against HUD Code manufactured homes, and, following appropriate fact-finding, will mount an aggressive campaign against those prohibitions, including litigation, if necessary, to the highest level that may be needed.

Similarly, in the related area of placement and placement restrictions/prohibitions that limit or preclude the development of new manufactured home communities and/or the expansion of existing communities – both of which are essential to ensuring the availability of inherently affordable manufactured homes for every American who wants one, and the economic expansion of the industry – MHARR will likewise work cooperatively with state-level industry associations to seek out egregious examples of discrimination against the industry and its consumers, and will take aggressive action to address those mandates as well.

Rounding-out MHARR’s three major post-production focus areas, is the matter of consumer financing and the full, market-significant implementation of the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” mandate by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Despite targeted marketing to industry members, the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) – more than a decade after the enactment of DTS – have done little or nothing to even begin serving the largest segment of HUD Code industry consumer financing, represented by home-only personal property (or “chattel”) loans, which comprise nearly 80% of the entire manufactured housing market.  Despite years of promises (including decades of promises before the adoption of DTS), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have not only failed to deliver – but have been allowed to fail to deliver — anything in the way of market-significant support for the vast bulk of the manufactured housing market and instead – supported by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) — have diverted much of their focus to a “new class” of manufactured homes at a price point that is significantly higher than mainstream manufactured housing. This diversion of DTS benefits to the industry’s largest entities and higher-cost market-dominant lenders, rather than attracting new lenders and promoting the type of market competition that would result in lower interest rates and greater affordability for consumers.

To address these matters, MHARR will take aggressive action, both in Congress and within the Administration (including the Office of Management and Budget, the Treasury Department and HUD) to press for full GSE/FHFA compliance with DTS – and expanded manufactured home consumer lending support from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Ginnie Mae – to expand the availability of consumer financing for the mainstream HUD Code market and promote greater competition and affordability for consumers.

In addition to these matters centered within the post-production arena, MHARR members also directed the Association to: (1) continue to aggressively oppose (including via litigation, if necessary and appropriate) discriminatory manufactured housing energy regulation by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as is still being sought and promoted by energy special interests; (2) press for the conclusion and effective implementation of HUD’s regulatory reform activities pursuant to Trump Administration Executive Orders 13771 and 13777; and (3) take action to ensure full and fair competition (as required by federal law) for the next HUD monitoring contract.  In this regard, MHARR has already had a dialogue with senior-level HUD contracting personnel to stress the need for fair and open competition and a new contractor after more than 40-years of de facto sole-source contract procurements and awards.

Lastly, MHARR members had an opportunity to speak with representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), who gave a comprehensive presentation to MHARR manufacturers and answered questions regarding the next FEMA procurement of manufactured homes for use in emergencies.  The productive dialogue was extremely useful for the independent manufacturers which comprise MHARR and reflects a laudable commitment by FEMA to include smaller, independent HUD Code producers in the procurement process to provide essential housing assistance to victims of natural disasters going forward.

 

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.

— 30 —

 

The same release on MHARR’s website is found at the link below.

 

MHARR Board Holds Highly Productive Meeting — Adopts Bold New Initiatives

 

That’s tonight’s installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

 

 

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Cha-Ching! Manufactured Housing Made Simple in 2019

March 19th, 2019 Comments off

 

ChaChing!ManufacturedHousingMadeSimpleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A recent report reflected the potential for the manufactured housing industry during this current affordable housing crisis. There are some 100,000,000 Americans living in rental housing. About one in seven Americans are moving this year, and every year. Manufactured homes are the most affordable type of permanent housing.

 

 

So why aren’t far more manufactured homes being sold?

Perhaps the three top reasons heard are:

  • Zoning and placement.
  • Financing and access to capital.
  • Insufficient marketplace understanding and acceptance.

 

But those 3 broad topics all have ready-made answers.

 

  • The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 gives HUD Code manufactured homes federally “enhanced preemption.” MHProNews, looping in MHARR and other nonprofits/advocates, tested cases in 2018 and 2019 where local jurisdictions rapidly reversed discriminatory behavior through good communications. Properly citing enhanced preemption was part of that outcome.  The cities involved went from anti-manufactured housing legislation, to stopping such anti-manufactured home regulation.  Since it has been done before, it could be turned into a system, and done again.
  • Some fear the ‘loss’ of access to lending offered by 21st Mortgage. Why? Specific industry companies are proving they can do business with or without 21st. Beyond that, there are FHA, VA, USDA, and Duty to Serve laws already on the federal books. There’s hundreds of billions in capital that came into the U.S. in 2018. Capital access is made easier via existing state or federal programs. Rephrased, the solutions already exist.
  • Marketplace acceptance is about education, not mere marketing, both are needed. The most commonplace and harmful beliefs about manufactured home living can readily be corrected based upon facts.

 

In just 229 words after the headline, the above is the industry’s reality. It should be so simple.  Enforce existing laws that are already favorable. Promote positive facts about manufactured housing, which are already favorable. So why has the industry been so constrained?

 

  • Fear of loss is paralyzing for some.
  • Habits and behavior patterns that are obviously self-limiting.
  • Insufficient vision or motivation to make necessary changes achieve the greater sales levels and ethically earned increased profits.

 

It’s a battle between fear of loss, habits, and the opportunities that proven and positive changes can bring.  ICYMI, you can circle back later to read these linked reports above, or that can be accessed via the hot-linked text-image boxes that follow.

 

Subsidized Housing vs Manufactured Homes, Community Owner Marge Clark Sounds Off

 

One can talk about the allegations of the numerous failures by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to address pressing needs and concerns like those cited in articles from hot-linked text-image boxes above and below. Are there conflicts of interest that keep MHI from acting on behalf of most independents?

 

 

Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’

 

One can review evidence of market manipulation of the industry by business units owned by Omaha, NE based Berkshire Hathaway. Those are potentially useful insights, which can also be intimidating. But federal law provides a solution for fear-based intimidation efforts that harms the free exercise of the marketplace.

 

White Collar Shakedown, Fear, Hobbs Act, and Manufactured Housing Independents Struggles

 

 

Balancing Habits or Fear of Loss vs. the Opportunities for Greater Gain

The need for millions of affordable housing units across the country are a compelling reasons why manufactured housing is underperforming. But that is an opportunity in disguise for those willing to make positive changes.

ManufacturedHomesAsPercentageofSinglefamilyHousingStartsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSkylineChampionSKY780x943

 

There are a variety of proven ways that the industry’s members could advance at the local level.

There is arguably a clear need to establish an alternative alliance of association.  That alternative should be willing to do what the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute clearly isn’t doing for whatever reasons.  Existing laws that need to be advocated and enforced would broadly advance the interests of the manufactured home industry’s independents.

It remains to be seen what the new National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) will or won’t do.  Time will tell.

The reason that there are federal laws like Duty to Serve (DTS) and “enhanced preemption,” to name but two of many possible points of accomplishments, is because the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) worked for years to achieve those goals. They did so without a PAC, and with a fraction of MHI’s budget or resources.

Retail sales of homes, financing, capital, education and advocacy are all post-production issues.  MHI has called themselves the representatives of “all segments of factory-built housing.” If so, then it falls on MHI and their purported masters in the Knoxville metro for failing – during an affordable housing crisis – to recapture the sales levels last achieved in 1998. Or the 500,000 new home sales the MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison said could be achieved. Yet 3 out of 4 of the years – 75 percent of the time since the industry’s last peak – were during the Berkshire Hathaway era of manufactured housing. During that time, the industry dipped further following 2003.  Coincidence?

The rest are details and commentary. Will anyone at MHI, or anyone in authority with the obvious major firms from Omaha, Knoxville, their surrogates or allies prepared to argue or prove otherwise?

 

 

Stopping the Insanity Of Doing the Same Things, Over and Over

The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things the same ways and expect a different result. Let’s stop the insanity in 2019. There will be a meeting for independents and investors at Tunica. Details will be posted soon. Make sure that you are signed up for our industry leading emailed headline “News, Tips, and Views that Pros Can Use.” ©

 

Phones ringing. Doors swinging. Cash registers cha-changing. Sales professionals and owners honestly singing.

That is the industry’s promising potential.

  • Fear?
  • Stuck in habits that are holding you down?
  • Or change for the better?

Fear of loss. Desire for gain. Status quo or growth?  Which way will you go?

It is arguably riskier and far more costly to stay stuck in the status quo than it is to step out and now do what is necessary.  The ROI on growth is compelling.

Let’s note that MHARR has advocated for a new post-production trade association for years.  They’ve stated that they want to work with a pro-growth post-production trade group. Such a group would be good for independents of all kinds, but arguably is good for some larger players too.  MHARR’s leaders have made clear that they want to remain an independent HUD Code producers’ association, but they nevertheless made the case in a report linked further below for a new post-production trade group.  MHARR’s leaders have also said that they will encourage as they can a new post-production trade association formation. For more details, see the linked reports below the byline, offers and notices.

The cha-ching possible in 2019 and beyond is simple. It simply requires common sense change away from the habits and fears that have increasingly paralyzed the industry since 2003. As consolidation and the failures of ever more independents has demonstrably occurred during those years since 2003, what really do most independents have to lose?

There is much to gain, and little to risk. Stay tuned for a report later today with more details on this topic, which will be addressed at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

That is this morning’s manufactured home industry “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

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

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

 

 

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“Tug of War” – Manufactured Home Community Legislation – “Vicious Cycle Goes On,” Impacting Industry, Home Owners, and Potential Buyers

March 13th, 2019 Comments off

 TugofWarManufacturedHomeCommunityLegislationViciousCycleGoesOnImpactingIndustryHomeOwnersPotentialBuyersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How does the manufactured housing industry, it’s current and potential home owners achieve mutual victories? That ought to be a key issue for professionals, investors, indeed all in the mix.

 

Here’s how a multi-year manufactured home industry leader put it.

ChristStinebertPhotoFormerMHIPresidentCurrentAmericanFinacialServicesAssociationPresidentAFSA-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe entire industry must focus on one goal – increasing the value proposition to the homeowner. If we cannot offer our homeowners realistic value for their housing dollar, how do we expect to compete in the marketplace. This means giving the customer true value with their purchase, then keeping them happy after the sale. This means insuring the homeowner builds equity and wealth in their home. And finally, this means providing for stable, viable resale market for when it is time to sell the home. Once the industry delivers this value, the rest will fall into place naturally.”

 

That point was made by former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Chris Stinebert. See his full commentary, linked here.

 

That goal of Stinebert’s ought to be at the heart of what all sides consider in a looming state legislative slug fest. The Daily Business News on MHProNews will explore the issue in depth, below. Why?  Because this pending bill is a symptom of a broader problem, that based on years of trend-lines and left unaddressed will leave manufactured housing stuck in low gear.

That would harm the interests of most businesses, home owners, housing seekers, investors and others in the mix.

Here’s the genesis of how this issue was brought to MHProNews’ attention.

 

 

Mainstream Media Outreach for Background on Pending Legislation

An email came in 3.12.2019 from a reporter to MHProNews’ publisher yesterday morning. As is often the case, the journalist had a deadline – in his case – for that same day. It was a request for ‘on the record’ comment about a bill pending at the state level that would impact community owners, management companies, and mobile or manufactured home residents.

By late afternoon, that reporter’s article was already written and published.

On Google’s news function, it was the top article last night under both “manufactured home” news searches and “mobile home” news searches. That’s important, as will be revealed later.

 

BradentonHeraldLATonyKovachinNewsFloridaMobileHomeParkOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeownersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The screen captures above and below document that point.

 

BradentonHeraldLATonyKovachinNewsFloridaManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeownersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

To a reporter doing his research and making his inquiry, it might have seemed like a black and white issue.

But in fact, the tension between community owners and those residents involved is arguably an artificially created problem. It is avoidable, but only if the various parties begin to understand what caused these symptoms that lead to the legislative proposals and resulting tensions in the first place. That will be covered further below.

This is therefore a useful example of lessons learned in dealing with media, public officials, or other researchers who want the truth, instead of some pre-packaged agenda driven response.

The print journalist should be commended for getting a range of perspectives, and then trying to accurately reflect them in his report. Note that headlines are often the work of an editor, not the journalist.

Here was the segue that led to the reporter’s question to MHProNews’ publisher. As is our custom here on the Daily Business News on MHProNews, direct quotes are in brown and bold text. The first and last paragraph are from the reporter, the big middle paragraph is from a third party, and it is what the reporter wanted reaction to for his report.

MarkYoungPhotoBradentonHeraldUrbanAffairsReporterLinkedInDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The first and third paragraphs at the right are Mark Young’s statement or questions, while the large paragraph in the middle was the statement he was receiving comments and reaction to from industry expert, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach,

On a different matter, I’d like your official input on another story. I received the following email today:

 

“Are you aware there are bills before the Florida Legislature that will have a tremendous impact on the lives on those that live in land leased mobile home parks.  723.035 will amend the law to include the responsibility for mowing, trimming trees, power washing, and painting their home, just to name a few.  If, after notice from the park owner, if the violations are not corrected within the stated time, the park owner may enter the lot, perform the work and charge enough to “ensure compliance in the future”.  Though we do see the need for some method of keeping up appearances of the community, it is that “ ensuring compliance “ that we object to.  And can you envision the elderly trimming our live oaks and palm trees.  Can you imagine being away on vacation and not receiving the notice that your home needs painting, only to return and find that it has been painted and you are receiving the bill for it.  The other large issue in the bills, is mandatory binding arbitration for minor violations of Homeowners Associations. There are many land leased mobile home parks in the Manatee Sarasota area, I thought this may be of interest to them.  Thank you for your time.”

 

Are you up to speed on this? Thoughts? Good idea, bad idea? I’m hoping to have a story on this today. I just got in so still have to research it.”

 

Note that the journalist didn’t reveal who spoke those words?  That’s fine, but the writer did provide a direct quote, to which publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach responded as follows momentarily.  The final news product had the video below, which of course was not made available to Tony until after the print journalist’s report was finished. The video was credited to another person other than the article’s reporter.

 

 

 

 

As a housekeeping note for professional reader clarity, the other items being discussed between the mainstream journalist and Tony Kovach are edited out as not germane to the issue the print reporter was focused upon for an article about pending legislation. Kovach began addressing the reporter on his requested topic as follows.

 

Now, to your question. It’s not as simple as you might think.

As to the pending legislation, I’m not familiar with the specifics of the bill.  The Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA) could give you their feedback.  That said, I am broadly familiar with the issues being mentioned, and will give you insights few if any will care to share.

At present, there is a tug of war that takes place all too often between home owner groups and some manufactured home community owners and most industry trade groups.  While the issues can be significant to the residents and community owners alike, the source of tension are frankly symptoms of broader issues. 

Here’s why. 

More manufactured home communities are closing than are being opened.  That fact has several impacts on the business marketplace, manufactured home owners, and potential customers.  Using the issues you asked about as an example, here’s how that plays out in the real world. 

First, it is in everyone’s interests to keep a community neat and clean. Mowing grass, trimming trees, etc. are both safety and appearance issues that protect the value of the home owners and community alike. 

The question is, how is a valid goal best accomplished?  Let’s look at a hypothetical case, and you’ll see why this simple question can be problematic in practice.

John and Mary Smith are getting fined for unmowed grass by an overly aggressive community owner.

Unlike an individually owned land-lease community, where the community owner may interact with their residents daily, the corporate giants are answering to investors.  Those giants can ‘get away with’ steep fines or other practices in part because the resident have few if any other options. 

The resident can’t move their manufactured home with ease.  Manufactured homes can be moved, but it requires specialized equipment and experienced professionals to move them, that’s thousands of dollars.  It’s part of the reason why once they are properly installed, manufactured homes are better thought of as immobile homes rather than ‘mobile,’ it’s costly to move.

But that cost to move would be less relevant if there were plenty of competitors in a given market that were opening up new land-lease communities.  30 or 40 years ago, these sorts of tension issues between management and residents just didn’t occur as they do now.  Why?  Because new communities were being built. If some resident didn’t like management company X, and that resident was in fact being mistreated by the management at X, new community owner Y may pay to have that customer’s home moved to Y’s new community. 

Rephrased, normal supply and demand decades ago created options for everyone in the mix. That in turn kept all parties at a more level playing field.  Management treated residents fairly, because they didn’t want to see their home moved. Makes sense?

Which bring us to a broader issue. How is possible that during an affordable housing crisis, there are so few manufactured home communities being built or expanded?  Factually, manufactured homes are the most proven kind of affordable housing, period. The graphic below summarizes key data points, from 2018. The problems that were associated with the construction, safety, and energy standards of older mobile homes were largely resolved after the federal HUD Code for manufactured housing went into effect on June 15, 1976.  Put differently, the issues over quality or durability of construction were resolved almost 43 years ago.  Yet the stigma remains.  Why?

Those federal standards for manufactured homes ought to be preemptive, especially since the passage of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA), which established “enhanced preemption.”

But for a variety of reasons, some major industry trade groups won’t routinely publicly defend and promote that preemption.  An arguable case in point is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). State associations often follow MHI’s lead.

Here’s how that plays out with John and Mary.  Let’s say that there were too few manufactured home communities being built, as is now the case. The Smith’s could, in theory, move to a privately owned site that they buy.  Enhanced preemption makes that possible.  By the way, the fear that NIMBY forces have of a manufactured home installed next door has been debunked by HUD research and others.

 

 

But for whatever reason, many – but not all – trade groups may posture support for enhanced preemption, but they do little in practice to support it. Some manufactured home community association leaders won’t even mention it. 

By de facto failing to encourage a robust array of options for current and future community residents to turn to, the existing manufactured home communities become in some ways ‘more valuable’ real estate.

What ends up happening as a result are scenarios like this bill you are asking about.  Resident groups want to nix it, because they don’t want (understandably so) a community owner to excessively fine them. Communities want the ability to do so, for both just – and potentially unjust – reasons.

The ‘solution’ that more radical resident groups like MHAction promote is that communities should all be resident owned communities (ROCs).  But that brings us back to Millie Francis. She lives in a resident owned community.  She is supposed to have certain safeguards. In fact, Millie told me she was fined for unmowed grass, and otherwise harassed prior to her Our Lady of Guadalupe artwork incident. Where was her protection as a shareholder in her community?

The solution to this patchwork of overlapping problems is to stop the artificial manipulation of the market.  By action or inaction, big corporate interests and their trade groups can increasingly gain control over more once independently owned communities. With little effective competition, the residents become trapped.  But the answer isn’t ROCs, as Millie’s case proved they can be just as overreaching as an aggressive large community owner might be.

Finally, I’m not saying that every big community is bad, nor that every small community owner is good.  [So] the dynamics above may or may not fit specific cases.

To answer your final question, it isn’t a good or a bad idea. It’s entirely misplaced.  They are looking at symptoms, not the cause.

The underlying causes for the tension will likely remain unaddressed by any such bill.  Until market forces are allowed back in, giving home owners choices, and giving manufactured home communities a natural check on overreaching, there are going to be no quick or easy solutions. Education has to be part of that mix, because lack of understanding causes fear, frustration and can lead to bad legislation. 

A case in point is rent control in the state of Delaware, where resident groups wanted that measure passed to prevent abuses by big operators.  The resident groups in fact got a bill passed.  Those same resident groups, now years later, are still unhappy.  The law doesn’t work as they thought it would. Meanwhile, those complex laws only push more small operators out of the business, and thus encouraged more big companies to buy out smaller ones.  No new communities are being built. And the vicious cycle goes on.

Make sense, sir? 

All the Best,

 

LATonyKovachMHLivingnewsMHProNewsPHotoTony

 

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
www.MHLivingNews.com|www.MHProNews.com| Office 863-213-4090 |

 

The article the reporter published is linked below.

 

 

 

BradentonHeraldBillWouldGiveFloridaMobileHomeParkOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeOwners

Thousands won’t go beyond the headline. It is one more black eye for the industry, and hurts the appeal and value of communities, retailers, and home owners among others. Before industry considers such a bill, they should realize that such headlines are likely to occur. The image above is a collage from the sources as noted.  The story is linked below.
https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article227400579.html

 

Why it Matters? What Does This Reveal? 

First, there are voices in media across the left-right divide that want to frame stories to fit an agenda. Per third party surveys – many but not all in media tent to tilt left or Democratic, so that narrative is going to be more common. That said, there are a range of media today that likewise find audiences that cross that left-right divide. Some in media – perhaps cognizant of the charges in the last few years of ‘Fake News’ – want to get the facts correctly and accurately.  The point is that a journalist merits some benefit of the doubt, unless or until they reveal themselves as a mere hack for a particular perspective.

But all of those points mean that precise phrasing is important. This report in the Bradenton newspaper  – a McClatchy owned media outlet – is a case in point.

Every reporter feels compelled to cull out as much as possible to get to the heart of the matter. Good writers want to reflect the tension in a controversy that reflects ‘both sides.’

MHProNews readers can see for themselves that every quote used by the reporter was accurate. Keep in mind as you read the article linked below that the same process of culling out some details from each source the Bradenton Herald’s writer sought for comments is likely at play.  No one gets every word quoted, unless the quote is a sound bite only.

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Warren Buffett didn’t say it, but another successful business guru did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day. Wow…but look were that got him.

 

 

Back to Stinebert, MHARR – and The Third Way for Manufactured Housing?

At present, the arguable manipulation of the marketplace by forces within and outside of manufactured housing is leading the industry and its customers into what amounts to an oppositional or confrontational posture.  It is win-lose, and each side wants what it wants.

But the various parties may or may not always realize that they are dealing with symptoms rather than the core issue that Tony Kovach addressed in his commentary, quoted at length above.

That core issue is summed up in making the value proposition good for the consumer, and it is achieved by applying what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has argued in favor of for many years.  Namely, robust enforcement of enhanced preemption and a level playing field in financing. Only that combination, says MHARR, will yield robust rising production.  It is achieved by ending the “Illusion of Motion” vs. seeking actual measurable results.

It is that third way – getting to the heart of the matter instead of dealing with symptoms – that manufactured housing professionals and resident leaders ought to ponder and pursue.  Because the lack of options for the resident-homeowner is indeed a factor that yields the “tug of war” dynamic.

In no particular order of importance:

 

  • Manufactured home communities, residents, and possible buyers are all being impacted by this confrontational dynamic. This kind of tug-of-war or ‘win-lose’ vantagepoint doesn’t tend to exist to this same degree in other American industries between businesses and their customers.  The natural order of free enterprise ought to yield more alignment than the currently manipulated marketplace all-too-often produces.  More typically, a business provides a desired service, and the customer is willing to pay, thus both routinely end up happy, because that is what keeps a business, in business. That’s healthy, while the current state of affairs is arguably harmful to each segment’s longer term interests.
  • Short-term thinking and behavior may appear to benefit the businesses briefly and the same may seem to be true for the mobile or manufactured home owners. But in fact, both sides end up with mid-to-longer term issues that will at some point artificially harm the interests of each. The current low level of new home sales is in part due to a steady stream of mainstream news reports that often appear problematic to the home seeking public. A possible home buyer won’t slug through this kind of nuanced analysis, but professionals or leaders keen on sustainability and win-win growth may.
  • There are no short-cuts. The multifamily housing world is growing, and that growth isn’t seen as problematic for existing apartment owners. So why is it stunted growth in manufactured home community development viewed as healthy or desirable by some in the manufactured home world? The current state-of-affairs mitigates against smaller firms in favor of larger ones.  But even bigger firms know the obvious parallel between manufactured home communities and multifamily housing. So why don’t leaders of larger operations see the longer term harm this current dynamic will eventually impose upon investors and resident-owners alike?  The status quo – viewed objectively – has a future Cavco Industries type threat looming over it, perhaps one that is even bigger.  Or, if a strongly leftist government takes root in Washington, D.C., or at a state house, then the interest of community owners could well be harmed sufficiently. It is avoidable now, so long as long-term win-win mindsets are at work.
  • Therefore, it is arguably in the long-term interests of most involved in such struggles to restore the marketplace to a more normal state affairs. That’s very much in keeping with what MHARR’s advocacy would yield. Enforce existing laws, and the market will be resorted to more normal, and eventually, robust health.

 

That would in turn yield what MHI’s former president Christ Stinebert called for, as previously quoted.

 

ChrisStinebertFormerPresidentManufacturedHousingInstituteAFSAceoMHIndustryMustFocusGoalIncreasingValuePropositionHomeOwnerMHProNewsQuotePhoto

 

Tony Kovach took the time to lay out and link up facts that allowed for a more nuanced final news product.  That should be a key part of what growth-minded associations, and businesses of all sizes seek.

The status quo is fraught with landlines. It creates winners-and-losers. That’s arguably not the norm in most industries. For longer term sustainability that leads to mutual victories, the status quo must be changed.

If current industry trade groups won’t adapt and to the best elements of the principles that MHARR and MHI’s former CEO made in his quote above, then new structures in the post-production realm must be established. Otherwise, the trend lines of more community closures than openings will yield only more woes.  It remains to be seen what the new National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) will do about such vexing controversies.

 

 

The Last Blockbuster?

The last Blockbuster store on planet earth was recently in the news. Not so many years ago, Blockbuster was a giant, but it failed to adapt. That’s a timely warning to the manufactured housing industry. The low new home shipment levels is another warning.  The time to act is ASAP, as soon as possible, preferably now.

Positive changes that yield mutual victories must be part of the mix. On that point quote above, Stinebert was arguably correct.

Which begs the question, why did it have to be Stinebert’s parting message? Was the growing influence of Omaha-Knoxville over Arlington based MHI already playing out?  See the related reports below for more insights on that question. “We Provide, You Decide” ©  ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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

 

 

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

 

Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

Warren Buffet’s Quotable Quotes on Business, Institutions, Behavior, and News Reporting

DTS Manufactured Home Lending Committee Member Says MHI in “Unholy Alliance” to Divert Needed GSE Support Away from Manufactured Housing

Apt Warning for Manufactured Housing Professionals, MH Customers, by Award Winning Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, TEDx

 

Drilling Down on State Manufactured Housing Shipment Data, Shocking Revelations, Warning Signs

 

$170 Million Manufactured Home Community Acquisition by Giant RHP Properties, 17 MHCs, Now 25 States

 

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

 

Sheila Dey, Western Manufactured Housing Communities Assoc, Tells Capitol – Manufactured Homes Could Ease Housing Crisis, Report and Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

February 28th, 2019 Comments off

 

BillionDollarEmpireFromMobileHomesWashingtonPostPeterWhoriskeyDidntSayMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

According to Realtor Magazine,While a 3 to 5 percent annual increase is standard, you may want to adjust this to fit your situation and the local rental market,” said a publishing arm of the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR), in February, 2016.

 

In a January, 2019 report, RentCafé reported “Strong demand for rental units in 2018 has fueled price growth nationally with the average rent in the U.S. clocking in at $1,419 at the end of 2018, 3.1% more expensive than the previous year.”

But when the Washington Post reported that Yes! Communities was raising their site fees (a.k.a. ‘lot rent’) by 4 percent a year over the past 6 years, it was framed in an evocative way.  The report – by using selective quotes from residents – made it sound as if the rental hikes were horrifying. Yet, based upon the spot checks reflected above, the increases seem to be roughly in line with mainstream rental housing trends in recent years.

Note too that even conventional housing owners may experience increases in property tax, HOA fees, insurance, and the like.

The Washington Post (WaPo) article keeps getting republished by various mainstream media outlets. As of this date, the Google search below reflects over 7,000 sites have picked this story up.

Here are some pull quotes from the WaPo article:

  • Okay — it’s a trailer park, not a fancy gated community,” said Jessica Boudreaux, 33, who lives there with her two daughters. “If people could, they’d live somewhere else.” (MHProNews will comment on that point, and others, further below. Note the terminology error, see further below for correct nomenclature).
  • They prey on people who can’t afford land, people who can’t move,” said David Barrett, 62, an excavation equipment operator who lives in Florence Commons.
  • It’s [Florence Commons manufactured home community] really gone downhill,” said Kris Wilkin, 47, a state corrections officer who bought a 2003 double wide in Florence Commons seven years ago.

 

  • For practical reasons, they can’t move. The dwellings are called “mobile,” but they are costly to transport and sometimes owners are contractually forbidden to move them. (Actually, on a national basis, perhaps one out of five are ‘mobile homes,’ four out of five are HUD Code manufactured homes, so the author is mistaken in his terminology.)
  • Vanessa Jasinski, vice president of marketing for Yes Communities…said…that in the past five years, 46 home renters at Florence Commons have purchased homes in the community.
  • Florence Commons, along with more than 200 other mobile home parks across the U.S., has produced hefty returns for Stockbridge Capital, a $13 billion private-equity firm, and its major investors.

 

  • [Per Stockbridge]…“senior management team [at Yes! Communities] has a demonstrated track record of increasing home rental rates.”
  • It has received $1.3 billion in financing through government-sponsored lender Fannie Mae, which says mobile homes are inherently affordable.” The money helped them buy existing mobile-home parks.
  • Over the past three years, some of the biggest private-equity firms — Carlyle Group, Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital — have taken stakes in mobile home parks, according to a forthcoming report by the nonprofit groups Private Equity Stakeholder Project, MHAction and Americans for Financial Reform. The mobile home parks owned by private-equity firms have more than 100,000 home sites, according to the report.

 

The WaPo Report is Largely the MHAction Report…

One might ask, why is MHAction so adept at getting their narrative out to the mainstream media, while the Manufactured Housing Institute – which says it represents “all segments of factory-built housing” – so often fails to rebut or get its own counter-narrative out?

MHAction has published a new ‘white paper’ style document that addresses this same topic. That new document from MHAction, is linked here as a download. As with other MHAction narratives, while it is mildly pro-manufactured home living, it is apparently – even blatantly – anti-businesses that operate in manufactured housing.  While big businesses are often named, the ‘end game’ for MHAction is arguably to turn privately owned communities into all Resident Owned Communities (ROCs).

Yet, when MHAction was asked to weigh in on the vexingly apparent misbehavior purportedly taking place at Bradenton Tropical Palms, a ROC in Florida, that non-profit and others have remained silent. To learn more about that scenario – which has been one of the top reported news stories in manufactured housing for about 10 months, see the linked text-image box below.

 

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

 

Peter Whoriskey, with the Washington Post, was contacted for some additional insight on his use of the MHAction white paper for this report, but did not return the message as of the time this report is being written.  MHAction was likewise contacted about some fact-errors in their white paper, they declined comment.

It should be noted that since Manufactured Home Living News published the report linked below, MHAction has been mute. This report, and others similar to it, identifies the money trail from Warren Buffett – Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway – has funding to nonprofits, which in turn funded MHAction and other anti-manufactured housing reporting.  Even another resident group’s leader has publicly blasted MHAction, for taking credit for activities that they had little or nothing to do with.

 

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

MHAction has protested Blackstone, RV Horizons, Mobile Home University, Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), HUD Secretary Ben Carson, among others. Oddly, while they protested those organizations and events, they stayed mute on the ‘education’ provided to SECO members by George F (F?) Allen supported Spencer Roane and his protegee, Tom Lackey, who made the news in a bad way for promoting and/or selling homes ‘contract for title’ or ‘lease-purchase option.’  For more on that, see the report on the MHI part-time surrogate Allen and company, linked here.

Rephrased, MHAction has not lifted a finger in some egregious cases that involve manufactured home community residents. Instead, they target specific community operators. By extension, many readers of reports like WaPo’s by will take away Whoriskey will be left with the impression that all community living is like what they are reporting.

 

 

Where is the Balance in Whoriskey’s Story?

The MHAction white paper includes some flawed data, and some spin.  For example, they say there are 18 million living in mobile or manufactured homes, when the more commonly cited estimated figure is 22 million.

PrivateEquityGiantsConverageOnManufacturedHomesPeterWhoriskeyWashingtonPostDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Click here to see the complete, but arguably agenda-driven, MHAction and their colleagues ‘white paper.’

 

Ironically, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) just announced that they have a report that they showed some attendees at their Winter fundraiser (err, ‘winter meeting’).  Per MHI in an email to their members on 2.27.2019.

  • “MHI commissioned Trifecta Research for the study and the findings provide exciting insights into a variety of topics and market trends, including the characteristics and satisfaction of individuals who live in manufactured homes across the country.

 

  • This extensive independent research study of manufactured housing residents reveals positive signs for future growth. For example, a notable finding from the research is the level of satisfaction that individuals feel regarding their decision to live in a manufactured home. Two-thirds of owners were either “extremely” or “very satisfied” with their manufactured homes, and at least “very likely” to recommend manufactured housing to others. For those living in land-lease communities, 62% were either “extremely” or “very satisfied.” Satisfaction soared to 76% for respondents living in a 55+ community, indicating they were either “extremely” or “very satisfied.”

 

  • MHI has a strategic plan to utilize this research to bolster advocacy efforts, public relations outreach, and more. We want you to utilize these exciting findings as well.’

 

After saying that they want these findings to be used, they then contradict themselves by placing it behind a member-only login. Where is their logic?  MHAction – to promote their errant ends – is prompting their white paper, which can be download from their website.  By contrast, MHI ‘hides’ its good news about manufactured home living?

GoogleSearchBillionDollarWaPoManufacturedHousingInstiituteYesCommunitiesFrankRolfeMHActionEmpireDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The National Association of Realtors, Bloomberg, and over a dozen organizations and reports last year were pro-manufactured housing.  Yet, MHI has neglected to archive and publicize those findings to the world?

Is it inept?  Lazy?  Trying to foster contraction of the industry by allowing mostly bad news to have more play?  How does one explain years of such behavior by MHI?

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

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

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

MHProNews curates quotes and applies them in cases where they fit or apply.

 

See the report linked below to see how stunning this pattern of behavior is by MHI.

 

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

MHI’s response?  Mostly silence, but an arguably illicit threat by MHI to sue MHProNews for citing what they’ve said.

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

 

Can you spell, ‘over the target’ reaction?

 

 

The Bottom Lines?

Billion-dollar empire made from mobile homes, by WaPo’s Peter Whoriskey is a arguably a slanted hit piece.  MHI hasn’t bothered to refute it.  MHAction, which crafted the white paper that apparently sparked the Whoriskey’s column, gets funding from the same source that MHI does, Warren Buffett and/or Berkshire Hathaway brands or supported nonprofits and foundations.

It’s all out in the open to the extent that someone can follow the money, follow the facts, and connect the same dots that MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews has done.  But the bulk of manufactured housing trade media are either all-in for MHI, or at least silent about their problematic behaviors, and that of their purported Omaha-Knoxville masters.

Buffett had a stake in the Washington Post years ago. Mainstream media reporters – who may not have the same agenda that the WaPo does – have communicated with MHProNews about various issues reported here and on/or MHLivingNews.  The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has already been cited in a favorable way – by WaPo – for having intervened with HUD for having Pam Danner, JD, removed for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

Danner, per reports, is no longer with HUD.

The bottom line is yet another example of how MHI inexplicably fails to do what good post-production trade groups are supposed to do.  Protect, Educate, and Promote or P.E.P.

UnzipLookingForUsUnlockedMindHowCanWeHelpThemSeeManufacturedHOusingINdustryDailyBsuinessNewsMHproHNEws

P.E.P.ProtectEducatePromoteMHProNews

How long will retailers, lenders, suppliers, and others tolerate the multi-year pattern of behavior that has left 5 of the top 10 manufactured housing shipment states sliding in new home shipments during an affordable housing crisis?

 

ManufacturedHousingShipments2018vs2017Top10StatesManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusienssNewsMHProNEw

 

To learn more, see the linked related reports, above and below.  MHProNews invites those voices in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to refute, confirm, or clarify their pattern of behavior either in writing, or live at the Tunica Show with an audience of manufactured home professionals. That’s fair, if they are able to explain their behavior, let them do so.  If not, let their small to mid-sized members beware.

That’s manufactured housing “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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

 

 

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Top Independent Manufactured Home Retailer Outsells Clayton Homes, Doesn’t Sell CMH Products, Per Mainstream News

February 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

TopIndependentManufacturedHomeRetailerOutsellsClaytonHomesDoesn'tSellCMHProductsPerNaplesDailyNewsUSATodayMHProNews

 

An independent manufactured home retailer has made mainstream news with a media outlet that is part of the USA Today family of media brands. For whatever reasons, that retailer only sells new homes built by members of the independent producer’s trade group, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

 

ChrisLeePhilLeeJaniceLeeLeeCorpHomesFlorida#1RetailermanfuacturedHousingjacobsenHomesScotbiltHomesMHProNewsAccording to an article in the Naples Daily News, part of the USA Today family of newspapers, Estero, FL based LeeCorp Homes was recently named as the top retailer of manufactured homes in Florida.

Rephrased, that claim means that they are outselling Clayton Homes in Florida, or any other retailer in that state.

Our company has played an integral role in shaping the landscape of quality, custom-designed manufactured housing in Southwest Florida over 35 years,” said Chris Lee, president of LeeCorp Homes, “The key to our success lies in our ability to oversee every aspect of the homebuilding process, from customized design to permitting to installation and final move-in.”

Florida has been the #3 seller of manufactured housing in recent years. LeeCorp Homes sells new HUD Code manufactured homes built by Jacobsen Homes and ScotBilt Homes. Both of those producers are members of MHARR, according to federal and other sources.

Rephrased, based on the report, the accomplishment by LeeCorp Homes is quite impressive.  Why?  Because there are vertically integrated operations in the same state – including Clayton Homes – that LeeCorp Homes is outselling.

Independent retailers of manufactured homes, take heart.

MHARR2018vs2017ToptenManufacturedHousingStatesManufacturedHousingAssocRegualtoryReform

Data per MHARR, graphic by MHProNews.

 

According to their website and the Naples Daily News, “LCH Enterprises of Southwest Florida, LeeCorp’s construction and engineering sister company, was created in 2005 to implement turn-key packages including installation and completion of each new home. The company expanded its operation to include a second sales center in North Port to serve customers in the Port Charlotte, North Port, Venice, Englewood, Nokomis, Osprey and various areas.”

On this date, the firm enjoys a BBB rating of A+

LeeCorpHomesBetterBusinessBureauRatingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Interesting MH Industry Takeaways?

It should be noted that LeeCorp Homes has used advertorials, besides other marketing methods.

As with many forms of marketing, there are arguably good, bad, or mediocre uses for advertorials,” said manufactured home industry consultant and MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “Our critiques of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) uses of advertorials is NOT about the generic use of that medium of marketing. Rather, we’ve objected to what is arguably misinformation or problematic statements or claims that MHI has made using StatePoint or other advertorials. There are times we’ve used factually accurate advertorials that rocked for specific clients.”

What Tony Kovach is explaining is that advertorials are only as good as the content that goes in them. His critiques of MHI advertorials are many, including the obvious point that despite their claims, they clearly haven’t moved the needle on new manufactured home shipments nationally.

That said,” Tony Kovach elaborated, “often the best option – when possible – is getting authentic news coverage, rather than advertorials. For that matter, our MHLivingNews platform has proven valuable for specific clients. But on MHLivingNews, we do authentic interviews, not scripted or staged videos. The public can often discern the difference between what’s real and what’s faked.”

Customers interviewed on MHLivingNews are not paid to participate, they do so because they want to share their experiences with manufactured homes, the community that they live in, and those that sold them there home.  On one occasion, a meal and fuel cost was offered, in order to get a group of customers to participate in a focus group.  But there was not real monetary compensation made with that landmark focus group.

Tony Kovach is the co-founder of MHProNews, which rapidly became the most read trade media in all of manufactured housing. He also co-founded MHLivingNews, which is the arguably the #1 educational resource for consumers and others who are interested in learning more facts about manufactured home living.  He’s been cited by mainstream media on numerous occasions over the years as an industry expert, including being noted in the first footnote of the 2018 research by the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR) 2018 report on manufactured homes.

We’ve often been able to get our clients mainstream media coverage in authentic ways,” Tony Kovach said. “We do that in part by framing a topic in a manner that strikes a mainstream news source as relevant to their audience. But if that doesn’t work, advertorials and numerous other options are certainly a viable alternative.

 

Consistency and Third Party Authenticated 

Another key to credibility in marketing is consistency. Sadly, MHI has published paid-for information via press releases and/or advertorials that have purportedly proven to contradict their own previously stated claims,” Tony Kovach explained. “We make a point of referencing a third-party information as often as possible. That too ads to credibility. Furthermore, unlike some bloggers or publishers in our industry’s trade media, that seem to have no problem making periodic claims without evidence.  Or as bad, using information or phrases as their own that actually originally came from another source they’ve seen, heard, or read.”

See related report about Florida, other states, and more, below the byline, notices, emailed headline news signup, and offers.

 

The Bottom Line About this Florida Based Firm?

LeeCorp Homes ought to feel good and is hereby applauded for accomplishing the results stated in the Naples Daily News, and for their fine BBB rating.

That’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Which Manufactured Home Producer is the #1 Leader in the Hot Florida Market?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Manufactured Housing Industry Backstab Coming Into Clearer Focus?

February 21st, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingIndustryBackstabComingIntoClearerFocusManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are several new and recent items that are purportedly making it ever more clear what is occurring that are artificially stymieing manufactured housing industry growth.

 

There is a new report from the Washington, D.C. based independent producers association – linked below – that raises several disturbing concerns.  They should each raise the question, where is the Manufactured Housing Institute on these issues?

 

 

The topics that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform covered are serious ones, and are outlined in their bullets, below.

  • HUD WHITEWASHES ALLEGED DOE ENERGY RULE COSTS
  • PROCEDURAL CHANGES SHOULD APPLY TO ANY DOE MH RULE
  • REVISED DTS PLANS RELEASED – CHATTEL STILL IN LIMBO
  • 2018 PRODUCTION UP – BUT SHORT OF 100,000 HOME BENCHMARK
  • UNFINISHED BUSINESS – HUD MONITORING CONTRACT REFORM
  • CONGRESS TAKES UP GSE REFORM
  • HUD ANNOUNCES MHCC/SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS

 

Sources from outside of the MHARR office – with connections to MHI – are telling MHProNews that the reasons to sound the alarm are increasingly self-evident.  Rather than deny or clarify issues, MHI’s hired outside counsel to do sabre rattling instead.  Wouldn’t it be easier and less costly for MHI if they simply disproved – if they could – concerns like those raised above or below?

 

2019-02-21_1900EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingInstituteWebsiteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

On January 9th, 2019, MHProNews revealed that on the MHI website, several key topics – important for the industry’s growth potential – are no where to be found.

 

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

 

MHI’s outside counsel specifically stated – and several sources in MHI – routinely monitor what is published here.  So, they knew this was a concern.  What have they done since the screen capture is done about 6 weeks ago?

Nada.  See the screen capture from this evening, which is time-date-stamped in the file name.

There seems to be several developing patterns.  Consider these to-date uncontroverted facts:

  • The Duty to Serve mandated in 2008 by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) that the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac support underserved markets, that included rural and manufactured housing.
  • MHI – purportedly at the bidding of Clayton Homes, per MHI sources – focused their push on DTS toward the so-called new class of homes, instead of on all manufactured homes. Why?
  • Even if that works for Clayton, how does that help the millions of current or potential ‘standard’ manufactured home owners that might have benefited from lower cost chattel loans?
  • Now, in hindsight, the MHI’s odd stance on the energy standards for DOE would have significantly raised the costs of new manufactured homes. MHARR was essentially battling MHI, as much as they were the Obama era DOE and their allies.  MHARR worked to align third party research that proved just how flawed the MHI plan was, and only then, did MHI do an about face – during the Trump Administration.
  • At each stage, MHI’s actions – or failures to act – reveal an arguably stated or unstated tendency toward increased consolidation through artificially enhanced barriers or entry, maintenance, or exit.

See the related reports below.  There could be a special report soon on a related issue, that once more shows MHI’s failure to act in their self-proclaimed role of representing all segments of the factory built housing industry.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

Marty Lavin, Frank Rolfe, Kenny Lipschutz, and others within or tied to MHI have been proven right. The motivations for state associations to break from MHI are becoming more clear.

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNewsMHCommunitiesOfAZNealTHaneyPresidentWhyTheyQuitManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It’s game on.

One side, there are those that posture or claim to be working on behalf of the industry, but the are either fumbling or failing repeatedly.  Why?

Then on the other side, are others who want to see the industry grow, but are running into headwinds that the post-production side of the industry is supposed to be fighting.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Back stabbing by MHI, anyone? Or is it a front stab? The featured photo lets you imagine it either way.

Meanwhile, pro-MHI sycophants are silent. Or amen-corner writers churn out their mealy-mouthed nonsense.  Is it the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis coming more visibly into focus?

It will be fascinating to see what Warren Buffett has to say. We’ll know soon enough.

 

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That’s this evening’s “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

 

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