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Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform’

New Shipment Data, Top Manufactured Home State, Other MH States Continue Slide

November 6th, 2018 No comments

 

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August 2018 new home shipment data is in.

 

Let’s be clear, it’s not a disaster. But it continues to signal issues and challenges that the Daily Business News on MHProNews has led-the-charge in spotlighting.  Because during an affordable housing crisis, manufactured home should be doing much better than it is.  RVs are outperforming manufactured homes by a wide margin.  Clearly, something is missing in the leadership of the post-production side of the manufactured home industry.

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Michigan is down -16.9 percent year to date comparing 2017 to 2018 data. IL had a steep drop, but is still modestly up for the year. 4 of the 5 MMHF states dropped during August, with only Ohio up modestly.

 

A report will be published tomorrow that will reflect the national manufactured home shipment numbers, which are down a bit.  Some states are still rising, but others are sliding.

A source with ties to the OMHA has provided the information shown in the graphic above.  Michigan is one of the top ten manufactured housing states in the nation, as data from the product-focused independent producers Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has reported.  Michigan is the home to a number of large community operators, among others.

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Michigan shipment data reflects it is the #8 state in the nation since 2011.

 

MHProNews highlighted last summer the trend in the same 5 states.

 

Winners and Losers, 5 Midwestern States, Manufactured Home Shipment Breakdown

 

This is a trend that MHProNews alone has tracked and raised the cautionary flags on in reports to manufactured housing industry professionals for some years.

 

While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

 

Today is the November 6, 2018.  Regulations, financing, placement, and politics are all among the issues that keep manufactured housing artificially limited at a time of a growing affordable housing crisis.

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Shipment Data, FEMA, an Inside Look

 

But tomorrow, whatever the outcome of voting, there will need to be plans forged and put into motion that will address the root cause of these issues.

Today, if you haven’t already vote wisely. Make sure your colleagues do the same. Tomorrow, the Daily Business News will bring more data, and much more about the next steps for forward-looking and honest-success minded industry professionals.  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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While GSEs Play Footsy with MHI, Congressional Leadership Demands Answers on FHFA

October 19th, 2018 Comments off

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There are people in Washington, D.C. that are demonstrably fighting for the interests of small businesses and consumers.

 

As Daily Business News on MHProNews readers may recall, the hearings last month with the House Financial Services Committee and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) were dominated by sexual allegations surrounding soon-to-leave director Mel Watt. 

 

Mel Watt – FHFA and MH Connected Hearing Today to Feature Sexual Misconduct Allegations

 

Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has raised concerns over improper lobbying efforts by the GSEs, which was also previously reported to the industry by MHProNews.

 

“Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” – FHFA, GSE Federal Oversight Announcement

 

The Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both been giving money to the Manufactured Housing Institute, as has also been previously reported.  See but one example captured in the photo below from an MHI event.

 

2018-10-03_1018ManufacturedHousingInstituteHILogoCavcoFleetwoodPalmHarborFannieMaeFreddieMacLogoDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

Marty Lavin advises, “Follow the Money” and “Pay More Attention to What People Do Than What They Say.” You decide if Lavin’s dictum applies to this case. The GSEs are praising manufactured home quality, but then created a special class of manufactured homes, with key MHI member input, that is aimed at funneling that lending, per informed sources. What about the rest of the manufactured housing industry?

 

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Collage by MHProNews.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has been pushing Congress, as well as the FHFA, for a full and proper implementation of their Duty to Serve requirements, including the use of robust use chattel financing.

 

MHARR Exposes GSES’ Failure On Chattel Financing Before Congress

 

Sources at MHI, and with the GSEs, tell MHProNews that no serious chattel lending is currently being done by either of the GSEs.  There are reasons to believe that closed door meetings between MHI, industry lenders, and the GSEs may have resulted in deals that kept them from entering the chattel market, in spite of the law.  See the related reports, below the by-line.

With that backdrop, here is the latest from Chairman Hensarling,

 FinancialServicesCommiteePressReleaseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

Hensarling: Taxpayers Deserve Far Better

Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) released the following statement after the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on the potential management and performance challenges of 2019: 

“As was demonstrated at the Committee’s hearing on September 27 with FHFA Director Mel Watt and FHFA’s Inspector General, this country’s government-run housing finance system is broken. The FHFA has failed as both the conservator and the regulator of the Government Sponsored Enterprises.

The FHFA Inspector General’s report confirms this fact, and it is yet another indictment of our broken housing finance system. The report details ‘four serious management and performance challenges facing the Agency’ for 2019, running the gambit from repeated failure to exercise proper oversight as conservator to failure to adequately address ‘critical risk’ as the Enterprise’s supervisor.

Reform is needed now. Taxpayers deserve far better.”

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Hensarling is arguably correct.  But is there any reason to believe that MHI will do anything on this issue?  ICYMI, it need a refresher, see the related reports, linked below the byline. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##   (News, analysis, and commentary.) (Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)


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Affordable Housing, Manufactured Homes, Bipartisanship, Bill, Newt, Sexual Scandals, and You

October 5th, 2018 Comments off

 

AffordableHousingManufacturedHomesBipartisanshipSexualScandalsYouDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

It would be a grave mistake to think that bipartisanship is dead.

 

Earlier this year, Maxine Waters (CA-D)  and Jeb Hensarling (TX-R) worked with each other to pass a bill out of the Financial Services Committee that latter passed the House of Representatives by a wide margin.

Who Says Bipartisanship is Dead? House Passes Massive “JOBS & Investor Confidence Act” S 488 by 406 to 4 Vote

 

S. 2155 was passed mostly by Republicans, but with some Democrats joining the effort. While missing or hyping some details, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is correct in pointing out that there are benefits to our industry in S. 2155.

There are other possible examples of bipartisanship, but those two suffice to make the point.

That said, bipartisan efforts arguably aren’t as common today as they were two decades ago.  The photo at top features Democratic President Bill Clinton with GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R).

If you are under 35 – unless you were an unusually politically-focused teen or youth – you may only know from a historic reference by media of the following, compelling facts.

Bipartisan efforts in the President Bill Clinton (D) Administration worked with a Republican dominated Congress in 1996 and 1998 to pass legislation that:

  • reformed welfare,
  • balanced the budget,
  • passed a key piece of modern manufactured housing legislation,
  • and much more.
PresidentBillClintonHouseSpeakerNewtGingrichDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

As an upcoming special report will feature, Democratic President Bill Clinton, Republican (GOP) House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and others who were part of a cast that passed historic pro-growth, debt/deficit cutting, and pro-manufactured housing legislation. Make sure you are signed up for our emailed news updates so you don’t miss an upcoming special report.

 

That manufactured housing (MH) legislation is still on the books, but is only partially implemented.  That means it has not been fully applied to the benefit of the manufactured housing industry and consumers alike.

Yet that little-known law could unlock tens to hundreds of billions in business the next decade, if it is properly utilized. Tech gurus involved in factory-built housing say the new housing market is some $330 billion a year. That gives a reader a keen sense of what manufactured home potential is. More of those details about pro-manufactured housing laws another time, but they’re covered in part in the report linked here, which can be read later for greater fact-based insights.  ICYMI, the post below is another example of bi-partisan efforts.

Jeb Hensarling & Maxine Waters Unveil Bipartisan Capital Markets Reform Legislation

 

The First Takeaways

The first takeaway is that bipartisanship can still happen.  But it arguably isn’t as common as it once was.  The other takeaway is that manufactured housing is poised for tremendous potential profits, but those won’t occur until pragmatic and ethical action occurs.

 

MH Objectivity

As political independents who are pro-business, pro-consumers, and pro-workers, this industry-leading trade publication looks at facts, evidence, follows the money.  We then seek and present reality, always in search of what is necessary, true, and good. We do so with significant input from informed MH professionals, and the strategic support of a few-long-term thinkers and doers.

Bipartisanship can be good, but only when the legislation or policy is good.

But bipartisanship when a policy is flawed is wrong, period. Majorities don’t create morality. God establishes eternal moral standards. When laws or legislation are good, they comport with the moral norms given by the Creator of all humanity.

Principle of ‘The Lesser of Two Evils,’ and MHVille’s Future

 

Sexual, Sensationalized, Dirty Politics and Manufactured Housing

In the late 1990s, House Speaker Newt Gingrich worked with President Bill Clinton even as the two major parties sought to outmaneuver each other. President Bill Clinton was fairly accused of numerous sexual scandals.

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Clinton had sexual encounters that became widely known.  The photo below spotlight just 4 of them.

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The truth sets people free.

Speaker Gingrich himself had an affair while in office during the 1990s, with then Callista Bisek. That affair later resulted in a divorce, and an eventual marriage by Newt of the woman who is now his wife. Callista Gingrich today is the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.

NewtCallistaGingrichNixonFoundationDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndsutrfyProNews

Reality is what is. It makes no sense to live life based upon half-truth, spin, deception, or lies.

While bipartisanship was evident in the 1990s, so was manufactured political gamesmanship.

Eighty-four ethics charges were filed by Democrats against Gingrich during his term as Speaker. All were eventually dropped except for one: claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes,” says Wikipedia. “…In 1999, the IRS cleared the organizations connected with the “Renewing American Civilization” courses under investigation for possible tax violations.”

Rephrased, Gingrich was publicly smeared with dozens of charges, but in the end, nothing stuck.  Sound familiar?

Nevertheless, “In 1998, Republicans lost five seats in the House,” says Wikipedia… “His [Gingrich’s] private polls had given his fellow Republican Congress the impression that pushing theLewinsky scandal would damage Clinton’s popularity and result in the party winning a net total of six to thirty seats in the US House of Representatives in this [1998] election. The day after the election, a Republican caucus ready to rebel against him prompted his resignation of the speakership. He also announced his intended and eventual full departure from the House in January 1999. When relinquishing the speakership, Gingrich said he was “not willing to preside over people who are cannibals,” and claimed that leaving the House would keep him from overshadowing his successor.”

People can change. But human nature remains the same. We are all people who have our own unique weaknesses.

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It is difficult at best to succeed long-term in business in America today without having at least a basic sense of politics. Much of what happens is for the camera, sound bites, and public impact. Various scandals manufactured for media are used with the idea of manipulating and thereby influencing voters.

Having worked with mainstream media on several occasions spanning over 20 years, this writer can tell you first-hand that stories are routinely ‘framed’ by television and print media to fit a narrative.  That spin may or may not fit all of the facts.

Rephrased, sometimes key information is left out or over-emphasized, which can make a story appear to be plausible or true. In fact, some news is just agenda-driven, manipulative propaganda.

President Clinton remained in office, even though it is widely believed he was guilty of several examples of sexual misconduct.  Those Clinton misdeeds pale in comparison to what Judge Kavanaugh is accused of doing. After 7 FBI investigations, there is no evidence, no corroboration against Judge Kavanaugh. Yet, the slander against Judge Kavanaugh persists.

By comparison, the mainstream media largely gave President Bill Clinton a pass, and there was considerable evidence that spanned years against him.  Then First Lady Hillary Clinton orchestrated the defense of her husband Bill.  She did so by publicly crushing President Clinton’s accusers. For more of an inside, fact-based look at the inner-workings of the mainstream media, see the related reports, further below.

Hillary did her part to deflect the allegations against her husband Bill.  She did so in conjunction with Clinton political operative James Carville.  It was Carville who came up with the troubling line – quoted below – that still haunts manufactured housing to this day.

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” James Carville, Clinton Strategist

People on both sides of the aisle – and those who are a-political – still use Carville’s comment, yet it is deeply offensive to millions.

“’Trailer Trash’? Watch Who You’re Insulting When You Throw Around Those Words” – Buffalo News

It is an example of how politics can make strange bedfellows.

All that said, Speaker Gingrich and President Bill Clinton worked with each other to pass much of Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” The tech revolution was underway in the 1990s. Billionaires today like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and others were young in their careers in that timeframe. It took time for those tech gurus to evolve to the point that they became fabulously wealthy. They too played, and used, the political and media game.

An important lesson learned from billionaire Warren Buffett is precisely the need to understand history, to be well read, and to think long term.  It is no secret we disagree with much of Mr. Buffett’s machinations. But that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the lessons he has taught, for good-or-ill, to the manufactured home industry.

Buffett’s deeply political.

warren buffett pres obama motley fool 12-13

Warren Buffett, President Obama, credits Wikipedia.

 

MHARR, MHI, and State Associations, Working Together

We will look in greater depth in the days ahead to see how:

  • the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR, previously known as the Association for Regulatory Reform – ARR),
  • the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI),
  • and Will Earle of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA)

all came together with numbers of other industry pros to work with Speaker Gingrich, Congress, and President Bill Clinton to pass a historic piece of legislation for our then thriving HUD Code manufactured housing industry.

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Danny Ghorbani, left – then president of what today is MHARR. Bill Clinton, right. There were numerous industry and political professionals that were involved in the process of making pro-manufactured housing industry legislation come to fruition. Then and now, it will only happen when pragmatic reality guides enough peoples’ thinking and actions.

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

 

Clarity on reality – then, now, and in the future – is vital for our industry’s revival.

The intriguing back-story to how MHARR, MHI, and what became MHEC give an illuminating “lessons learned” that could make it easier for our industry if understood and applied.

Partisans on both sides of the aisle – including partisans in our industry’s trade associations – must see reality clearly to understand how tens of billions of dollars in annual sales could be achieved in the near term in manufactured housing.

That kind of growth only occurs when local businesses in their local markets do their best, achieving results several times greater than they now are accomplishing.

But that achievement won’t happen absent reality-checks, pragmatism, and the correct next steps.

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

Fair Warning

The video posted below opens with salty “R” rated language.  We’ll present both the teaser (the ‘trailer’) and the full length video.

 

The video shows rough-but-real, raw news footage. The video takes viewers on a compelling snapshot of how our future is being shaped. It also suggest how our collective future could become so much brighter.

 

There’s a highly documented affordable housing crisis. Lawrence Yun, Ph.D. and chief economist for the National Association of Realtors ® says that some 8.3 million housing units are needed.  That’s a sense of the potential manufactured home and other factory builders could be tapping into.

Manufactured homes are arguably best poised to address those needs, because of the two great federal laws, that if fully implemented could open the floodgates for manufactured housing and millions of Americans. To achieve our industry’s amazing potential, more should realize that President Trump, with a GOP House and Senate, could give our industry the brightest period it has ever achieved.

Please skip something else this evening, and make the time to watch the video above. Then kindly share this post and these videos with others. FYI, the video below is quick and industry-focused.

 

President Donald Trump, HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, Private-Public Partnerships to Solve Affordable Housing Crisis

Once informed, vote wisely in the midterms. Give the 45th President of the United States (POTUS) the support he needs in Congress to make America and our manufactured home industry great again.  He’s promised to enforce the law.  Let’s give him the Congress he needs, and then do as the NFIB and others have, ask him to fully enforce our industry’s two great laws.

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That’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, flashback, and commentary.)

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Related References:

Danny Glover, Presidents Barack Obama & Donald Trump, Promises Kept, and Affordable Manufactured Housing

President Donald J. Trump Visit to Manufactured Home Community, Video, Hurricane Florence Update

“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

HUD Action on Multiple Issues Rejected by Manufactured Home Industry Groups, Professionals

September 25th, 2018 Comments off

HUDActionOnMultipleIssuesRejectedByManufacturedHomeIndustryGroupsProfessionalsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • MHCC DELIVERS STRONG REBUKE TO HUD
  • MHARR COMMENTS FURTHER OPPOSE DOE ENERGY RULE

 

The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) was the focus of reports by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  A review with fact-check of one of those MHI reports, is linked below.

Report: Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Follows Prior MHProNews Lead

 

Meanwhile, MHARR issued the following statement to MHProNews, which can be read at the link below on the MHARR website, or further below on MHProNews. Following MHARR’s release to the Daily Business News, there is a link to related reports.

 

Washington Update – MHARR September 19, 2018 – an Exclusive Report and Analysis

 

EXCLUSIVE REPORT AND ANALYSIS

 

 

MHCC REJECTS HUD ACTION ON MULTIPLE ISSUES

 

The statutory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), meeting in Washington, D.C. from September 11-13, 2018, tackled a lengthy agenda of proposed items, including proposals derived from deregulatory comments filed by MHARR (and other stakeholders) pursuant to Trump Administration Executive Orders (EO) 13771 and 13777, concerning a wide range of matters, including the Subpart I regulatory process, multi-unit manufactured homes, so-called “add-ons,” on-site construction and HUD’s proposed “frost-free foundation” Interpretive Bulletin (IB) (all of which were raised and addressed in detail by MHARR in its February 20, 2018 manufactured housing program deregulation comments pursuant to EOs 13771 and 13777), as well as separate comments regarding the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Notice of Data Availability (NODA) on proposed manufactured housing energy standards (see also, article below). HUD’s ultimate disposition of these (and other anticipated) deregulatory recommendations by the MHCC (and other program stakeholders), will be a key test of the implementation of the Trump Administration’s deregulatory policies at HUD, including the strength and persistence of Trump Administration appointees at the agency, as contrasted with the entrenched regulatory bureaucracy at HUD and other federal agencies including, but not limited to, DOE.

 

  • Subpart I Procedures: The MHCC approved a motion to reduce the frequency of in-plant record reviews in 24 C.F.R. 416(a)(4) from “at least” once per month to once per quarter (MHCC Log Item 153).  Industry members will recall that when Subpart I was amended in 2013, as a consequence of a Petition for Rulemaking filed by MHARR seeking wide-ranging reforms to the overly and unnecessarily-costly Subpart I process, HUD – in the final rule (i.e., after the rulemaking comment period had expired) – surreptitiously inserted language in the rule requiring “at least” monthly IPIA record inspections. MHARR, at the time, and ever since, has strenuously objected to the needless and unduly burdensome “monthly” record inspection mandate — including calls to eliminate that baseless mandate in its June 7, 2017 EO 13771/13777 comments to HUD and its February 20, 2018 comments regarding the specific application of EO 13771/13777 to the HUD manufactured housing program. While mandatory quarterly inspections will still unnecessarily constrain IPIA discretion to conduct fewer inspections for manufacturers with proven compliance records, the change would nevertheless help to reduce regulatory compliance costs from current excessive levels and represents a step in the right direction.

 

  • Energy Regulation: The MHCC took several important steps on energy regulation.  First, by a vote of 17-1, following extensive comments by MHARR’s representative at the meeting, the Committee rejected a motion by a former MHCC member and energy special interest participant in the DOE Manufactured Housing Working Group (MHWG) that would have put the MHCC on a path to actively consider DOE’s high-cost June 2016 manufactured housing energy standards proposed rule, even though that proposal has effectively been superseded by the August 3, 2018 DOE NODA. Put differently, that proposal (MHCC Log Item 170), would have done an end-run around DOE’s retreat from the fundamentally tainted and arguably scandalous June 2016 DOE proposed rule, and would have retrenched that proposal, effectively, as a potential HUD standard. In addition, the MHCC (with significant input from MHARR’s representative at the meeting), only days before the September 17, 2018 DOE NODA comment deadline, adopted resolutions strongly expressing its continuing disapproval of DOE’s extremely costly and market-disruptive energy proposals for HUD Code manufactured housing (see, article below for the text of the MHCC’s resolution), and calling, as well: (1) for continuing HUD engagement with the MHCC on this matter; (2) for HUD’s Policy Development and Research (PD&R) office to develop information and data on potential energy regulation cost impacts on manufactured housing within sixty days; and  (3) for DOE (and, effectively, Congress) to re-delegate the entire matter of manufactured home energy performance back to HUD. MHARR, as the only national industry organization to continually oppose this rulemaking from its inception and at every stage, will continue to make this matter a top Association priority going forward.

 

  • Frost-Free” Interpretive Bulletin and “Field Guidance”: The MHCC also took action on MHARR’s call in its EO 13771 and 13777 deregulation comments (see, February 20, 2018 MHARR comments at pp. 28-30) for the withdrawal of HUD’s proposed “Frost-Free Foundation” Interpretative Bulletin, which would unilaterally and unlawfully change the existing federal manufactured housing installation standards be equating “acceptable engineering practice” — currently permitted by section 3285.312 of the standards — with the requirements of the American Society of Civil Engineers 32-01 reference standard in every instance.  By a unanimous vote, the MHCC recommended that HUD withdraw the existing proposed IB – the development and publication of which MHARR had strenuously opposed in written comments filed with HUD in 2017 and in direct meetings with HUD Secretary Ben Carson and senior-appointed HUD officials – and that further action on an amended, legitimate IB be referred to the MHCC’s Regulatory Subcommittee. Going forward, in addition to necessary changes to any IB, MHARR will also seek a parallel MHCC resolution for the withdrawal of HUD’s Frost-Free Foundation “Field Guidance” memorandum, which preceded the proposed IB and has not been rescinded.  This Frost-Free “Field Guidance” memorandum was addressed in MHARR’s February 20, 2018 EO 13771/13777 comments, which called for the withdrawal and/or invalidation of multiple “Field Guidance” edicts that were issued by HUD without MHCC review and recommendations as required by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

 

  • Carports, Garages and “Add-Ons”: The MHCC, in addition, addressed multiple proposals dealing with standards changes and/or the withdrawal of HUD “Field Guidance” memoranda (which were never submitted to or addressed by the MHCC, in violation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000) concerning carport-ready homes and attached garages. In part, the Committee voted to recommend the withdrawal of HUD Field Guidance memoranda requiring Alternate Construction (AC) approval for carports, by effectively classifying carport-ready designs as involving an “add-on.” The Committee also adopted a resolution supporting amendments to various sections of the Procedural and Enforcement Regulations to permit specific “add-on” structures, including garages. Again, each of these changes have been specifically addressed and advocated by MHARR in both written comments and direct interactions with HUD officials.

 

  • Multi-Family Manufactured Homes: Lastly, in response to a specific proposal (MHCC Log Item 160) addressing, among other things, the definition of the terms “dwelling” and “dwelling unit” within the Part 3280 Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards, HUD confirmed that a previous MHCC proposal to permit “multi-unit” manufactured homes – crafted and approved by the MHCC with the strong support and significant substantive input of MHARR – will be included in upcoming standards revisions currently being developed by HUD.

While, as is demonstrated above, the MHCC made important progress in a number of key areas, and particularly with respect to deregulatory proposals submitted in response to HUD’s manufactured housing program-specific EO 13771/13777 regulatory review, significant portions and aspects of the nearly 250-pages of proposals forwarded to the MHCC by HUD (essentially passing-through deregulatory comments submitted by 157 organizations and individuals) remain to be considered and addressed.  MHARR, therefore, will continue to aggressively seek proper HUD engagement with the MHCC, timely MHCC consideration of deregulatory proposals and participation in the program EO 13771/13777 process, and both timely and proper follow-up by HUD in accordance with both EO 13771/13777 and all applicable provisions of the 2000 reform law.   

 

MHARR STRONGLY OBJECTS TO NEW DOE ENERGY PROPOSALS

 

            MHARR has filed comments strongly opposing alternative new energy proposals put forward by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in its long-running and irretrievably-tainted manufactured housing energy standards rulemaking.

In written comments filed on September 17, 2018, MHARR, in response to an August 3, 2018 DOE Notice of Data Availability and Request for Information (NODA) regarding a series of “alternative” DOE proposals for manufactured housing energy criteria, objected to the adoption of any proposed manufactured housing energy standards based on – or derived from data developed during – the fundamentally tainted, illegitimate and fatally-flawed “negotiated rulemaking” process conducted by DOE in 2015 and 2016. That process, as demonstrated by documents obtained by MHARR pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), was structured by DOE and special interest allies as widow-dressing after DOE, by its own admission, “impermissibly” distributed copies of a draft energy rule to many of the same special interest groups.

Noting that manufactured homes, built in accordance with existing HUD standards, already achieve whole-house energy operating costs that are less than – or, in the case of electricity — only slightly higher than those for other types of homes, at a significantly lower purchase price that is inherently affordable without the need for costly government subsidies, MHARR stressed that the “alternate” DOE proposals (as well as the June 2016 DOE proposed standards) would either: (1) exclude hundreds-of-thousands (and potentially millions) of households from the manufactured housing market and homeownership altogether, with no possible offsetting benefits; or (2) offer minimal benefits to those not altogether excluded from the market at a significant additional initial cost of as much as $5,000.00 for a double-section home in Climate Zone 3 that would harm home purchasers and negatively impact competition within the manufactured housing market to the extreme detriment of smaller, independent manufactured housing producers.  

            As the only national industry association to continually and consistently oppose DOE energy standards for manufactured housing – during the “negotiated rulemaking” process (and even before), during the June 2016 DOE rulemaking process (including a direct meeting with the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which ultimately rejected the DOE proposed rule), and now in response to the 2018 NODA – MHARR successfully pursued MHCC comments opposing both the June 2016 DOE proposed rule, and now the NODA “alternate proposals,” with the MHCC stating in a resolution:

“The MHCC objects to the timing and substance of DOE’s request for information and content of the Proposed Rule. [The] MHCC … sees a need for significant review of work done previously as well as further review of conclusions reached in this Notice of Data Availability. The time allotted for comment in this notice is insufficient for the committee to properly consider all of the questions posed by DOE.  We strongly urge the Secretary of HUD to exercise his option under 42 U.S.C. 17071(a)(2) to seek further and ongoing counsel from the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) regarding proposed rules published by the Department of Energy (DOE) in the Federal Register Vol.83 No. 150.  In accordance with HUD’s preemptive authority under 42 U.S.C 5403 (g), it is the belief of this committee that the goals of affordable and safe energy efficient housing would be best served by re-delegating this regulatory authority to HUD/MHCC.”

MHARR believes, and has advised DOE, that it essentially has three possible courses in this matter, either – (1) abandon any manufactured housing energy rulemaking; (2) re-start its manufactured housing energy rulemaking process from the beginning, to eliminate any ongoing taint or prejudice from the improper and illegitimate “negotiated rulemaking” process; or (3) face potential litigation if it fails to act in accordance with either of the foregoing courses of action.

 

As it has been from the outset, possible DOE energy regulation, and aggressive, consistent opposition thereto, is – and will remain – a top regulatory priority for MHARR.

 

MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

###

 

On the highly important DOE energy rule, please see the linked reports, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

1. Terminology error – the word ‘trailer’ is in the original. It is unclear from the article if these are mobile homes, post-HUD Code manufactured homes, or a combination of both.

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Related Reports:

 

“A New Era of Cooperation and Coordination,” is Promised by HUD Secretary Carson, Saying “I Hear You”

 

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

 

MHI SVP Lesli Gooch & MHARR CEO Mark Weiss Bookend New, Prior HUD Controversies

 

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

 

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

 

 

MHPro Alert: DOE Issues Manufactured Housing Energy Rule RFI

August 8th, 2018 Comments off

MHProNewsDOEEnergyRuleRFI

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published a “Notice of Data Availability and Request for Information” (“Notice”) regarding its previously dormant manufactured housing energy conservation standards rulemaking in the August 3, 2018 edition of the Federal Register (see copy attached),” said the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

 

The DOE Notice seeks information and comments on possible alternatives to the horrific proposed manufactured housing energy rule previously published by DOE on June 17, 2016,” said MHARR in a statement to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

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

To refresh your recollection, this rulemaking was initiated in response to language contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) which purported to shift responsibility for manufactured housing energy standards from HUD to DOE.  This directive – which lacks any substantive basis and is totally unnecessary – as demonstrated by Census Bureau data showing that manufactured housing energy costs are either lower than, or comparable to those of other types of homes, has consistently been opposed by MHARR, which was successful in stopping the imposition of such damaging and discriminatory standards at least three times over the past decade,” per MHARR’s statement.

“Each time, though, the rulemaking proceeding was revived with the assistance and cooperation of some in the industry,” said MHARR.

That some” is MHARR’s thinly veiled code for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  MHI promoted costly energy standards that per the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) “priced out” study would have cost the industry hundreds of thousands of potential customers. After months of push-back by MHARR, MHProNews, and other third parties, MHI finally did a U-turn on their position.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

The most recent DOE activity, the January 2017 proposed  rule, was the product of a fundamentally tainted and arguably scandalous “negotiated rulemaking” which MHARR vehemently opposed, and was ultimately rejected by the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in late 2016,” said MHARR.

That proposal was subsequently withdrawn by the Trump Administration on January 31, 2017, after MHARR cast the only “no” vote against the proposed rule within the DOE Manufactured Housing Energy Standards Work Group and emphatically opposed the proposed rule in written comments to DOE and direct meetings with senior DOE and OIRA officials,” the Washington, D.C. based MHARR said to MHProNews.

Unfortunately, after declaring the manufactured housing energy rulemaking “inactive” in the Fall 2017 Federal Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda (SRA), DOE — apparently pressured by litigation filed in late December 2017 in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. by the special interest Sierra Club – has now revived this manufactured housing rulemaking proceeding once again.” MHProNews previously reported on that Sierra Club suit, at the article linked below.

Will Costs Rise $6,000 per Home? DOE Energy Rule on Manufactured Housing Revived, MHARR Rattles Legal Saber

While the Notice offers certain clues as to the possible direction that DOE may be pursuing, it will require extremely thorough study and an extremely strong response to prevent the imposition of debilitating and discriminatory energy standards on federally-regulated manufactured homes that could potentially exclude millions of moderate and lower-income Americans from the HUD Code manufactured housing market and the only type of non-subsidized home ownership that they can afford,” the D.C. based trade group said.

MHARR will carefully examine the DOE Notice and will respond in a strong and thorough manner consistent with its previous activity on this rulemaking.  By copy of this package, MHARR is urging others in the industry to further oppose any such rule.  MHARR will prepare and submit written comments on this matter soon, and will make those comments available to all HUD Code industry members,” said MHARR adding that: comments in response to the Notice must be filed with DOE on or before September 17, 2018.

DOE10CFRPart460RIN1904-AC11.EnergyStandardsforManufacturedHosuingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Download the DOE Federal Register RFI at this link here.

Comments should include RE: EERE–2009–BT– BC–0021 in the subject line of the message. Those comments can be sent as follows.

  1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  2. Email: to Manufactured_Housing@ ee.doe.gov. Include EERE–2009–BT– BC–0021 in the subject line of the message.
  3. Postal Mail: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE–5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

As MHARR noted – and MHProNews has previously reported – the cost per unit could grow $6,000 or more per unit, if the previously supported standards by MHI are enacted. Research suggests that the typical family can’t recoup that cost during the timeframe that the normal home owner lives in their new home. The bottom line is this would cost the industry sales, and would cost thousands annually the opportunity to stop renting, and start owning.

It’s your industry, and sales to your potential customers who may not be able to qualify that are the issue.  What too few discuss in this regard is that consumers can already upgrade their energy standards, with a variety of HUD Code builders.  Why not allow consumers the right to choose?  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

NAHB Report – High Cost of Regulations Impact Housing – and Manufactured Housing

Plot Twist – Duty to Serve – Freddie Mac CEO Layton Called to Accountability w/Congressional, Administration Leaders Over New Manufactured Home Lending Revelations

March 5th, 2018 Comments off

DonaldDonHLaytonCEOPhotoFreddieMacLogoGovtSponsoredEnterpriseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews.zip

The Duty to Serve (DTS) program for manufactured housing industry retailers, communities and potential home buyers took what may be a problematic twist in news revealed, according to a memo obtained by the Daily Business News.

 

The memo to Donald H. Layton, Chief Executive Officer, Freddie Mac – one of the largest lenders in the nation, cc’d Congressional leaders and Trump Administration officials as follows:

  • Hon. Michael Crapo
  • Hon. Sherrod Brown
  • Hon. Jeb Hensarling
  • Hon. Maxine Waters
  • Hon. Jeff Sessions
  • Hon. Mick Mulvaney
  • Hon. Gary Cohn
  • Hon. Melvin Watt

The memo said that, “At a February 26, 2018 telephone conference meeting of the MHIT, Freddie Mac representative, Ms. Simone Beatty, indicated, for the first time, that Freddie Mac plans to pursue implementation of a “pilot program” — on an expedited basis (i.e., during June and July 2018) — for loans on an undefined “new class” of manufactured homes, apparently based on the exclusionary (i.e., limited to MHI members) / proprietary MHI “new class” of manufactured home research and development activity.”

The MHIT meetings are supposed to be confidential, sources tell MHProNews. 

But when the Daily Business News inquired, how can an important public policy matter like this that impacts thousands of businesses be kept confidential?’ no reasonable response has come forward from any source yet.

Secrecy over DTS regulations defies common sense.  MHProNews has called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to produce all minutes from all meetings, for complete transparency in a process that critics say has notably provided Berkshire Hathaway lenders with a windfall every year that the program has been delayed.

 

Per the memo, obtained today by MHProNews, and linked here and here as a download, says in part:

 

“...a participant in Freddie Mac’s “Manufactured Housing Initiative Task Force” (MHIT), has learned that Freddie Mac apparently plans to divert an unspecified portion of its already minimal and wholly inadequate support of the manufactured housing market under DTS to a so-called “new class” of manufactured homes which is currently being researched and developed on an exclusionary, proprietary basis by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), under the direction and authority of a control group comprised, in relevant part, of executives of the industry’s three largest manufacturers.”

As noted, the memo CC’d key Washington leaders, concludes by saying:

For Freddie Mac, after ten years of inaction on DTS, followed by a blatantly inadequate DTS implementation plan, to now even consider diverting any aspect or portion of DTS to a “new class” of proprietary, high-priced, non-affordable manufactured home, is indefensible, inexcusable, in direct defiance of DTS, and unacceptable,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Weiss says MHARR will take any and all steps necessary to see that this rerouting of DTS monies won’t go to the controversial, so-called ‘new class’ of manufactured homes.

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plans for Duty to Serve (DTS) Program

Once more, the link to the full memo is here, or is available here as a downloadable PDF of the document provided. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related:

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

Keith Anderson, CEO Champion Homes, MHI ‘New Class’ Monopoly Concerns Memo, ‘Harms Owners, Independents’

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

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

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Manufactured Housing Propaganda

February 22nd, 2018 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingPropaganda550x328

The manufactured housing (MH) profession is blighted by propaganda from a variety of sources.  One example of a routine misstatement of reality – which can have a similar effect as propaganda – that has hurt the MH Industry, but has recently been debunked, and is linked below.

 

Weather Expert’s Surprising, Bombshell Statement on Tornado Deaths and Affordable Manufactured Homes

 

All propaganda has as its goal the aim to manipulate readers/listeners/viewers.

While Manufactured Housing has been on a gradual rise since the post 2008 crash – and is poised for further growth – it is no time for complacency.

 

 

There are still a variety of threats – notably to independents – from various forces.  Those threats, since the 2008 crash, resulted in thousands of once successful independent businesses closing or selling out for quite a bit less than their value might be in normal conditions.

Those forces inside and outside of manufactured housing often limit the MH Industry’s independent businesses potential. But because of a mix of half-truth and propaganda, many aren’t even aware of those ongoing threats.

A specific example will follow an explanation of what propaganda is, and how it can be spotted.

By understanding:

  • what propaganda is,
  • and how it works,
  • MHProNews readers can discern how propaganda aimed at manufactured housing can be identified, and overcome.

 

Defining Propaganda

Per Google’s definition,

prop·a·gan·da

ˌpräpəˈɡandə/

noun

    1.
derogatory
information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”

 

Spotting Propaganda

Score.Rims is an educational site that has adapted material that helps young readers discern propaganda. Those tips are equally useful for adults.

 

National Archives Teaching With Document Series. Jo Anne Gill 1993

 

PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUES

 

A propaganda technique is an improper appeal to emotion used for the purpose of swaying the opinions of an audience. The following propaganda techniques are common:

 

1. Bandwagon: This technique involves encouraging people to think or act in some way simply because other people are doing so. For example: “All your neighbors are rushing down to Mistri Motors to take advantage of this year-end sale. You come, too!”

 

2. Snob appeal: This technique involves making a claim that one should act or think in a certain way because of the high social status associated with the action or thought. For example: “Felson’s Furs – the feeling of luxury, for those who can afford the very best.”

 

3. Vague, undefined terms: This technique involves promoting or challenging an opinion by using words that are so vague or so poorly defined as to be almost meaningless. For example: “Try our new and improved, all-natural product.”

 

4. Loaded words: This technique involves using words with strong positive or negative connotations, or associations. Name-calling is an example of the use of loaded words. So is any use of words that are charged with emotion. For example: “No really intelligent voter would support his candidacy.”

 

5. Transfer: This technique involves making an illogical association between one thing and something else that is generally viewed as positive or negative. For example: ” The American pioneers worked hard because they cared about the future. If you can about the future of your family, then see your agent at Pioneer Insurance.”

 

6. Unreliable testimonial: This technique involves having an unqualified person endorse a product, action, or opinion. For example: “Hi, I’m Bart Bearson. As a pro-football quarterback, I have to be concerned about my health. That’s why I take Pro-Ball Vitamin Supplements.”

 

Avoid using propaganda techniques in your own speech and writing, and be on the alert for these techniques in the speech and writing of others. Look for these techniques when watching television or looking a published ads

 

PantsonFirePolitifactDailyBusienssnewsMHProNews

 “Pants on Fire” and the Error of “Speaking With One Voice”

Recently, it was learned from news tips that certain parties with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) were making a claim about HUD to members, which was in turn being repeated and thus – perhaps inadvertently spread by – one or more state associations too.

The claim was that HUD would not work with the industry until the industry ‘spoke with one voice,’ meaning one association.  Of course, the implication is that one association ought to be MHI.

A HUD official denied that claim, as is reported in the linked article below.

 

So not only was the need for ‘speaking with one voice claim debunked by HUD, as the Daily Business News reported at the link above, the allegation was demonstrably illogical in the first place.  HUD’s own spokesperson said as much, in saying thatHUD doesn’t believe it is even possible for the industry to speak with one voice.’

Rephrasing, even absent MHProNews debunking that MHI claim, it is demonstrably not logical.  HUD officials certainly believes that, why?

Let’s look at two different examples outside of the MH Industry, to understand and prove the point.

 

A Snapshot of Other Industries Associations

In the automotive industry, there is a production association, and a post-production association in Washington, D.C.

The NADA, per their website, “Founded in 1917, the National Automobile Dealers Association represents the interest of new car and truck dealers to the public, the media, Congress and vehicle manufacturers.”  Note all of the groups the auto dealers seek to engage?

NADA is a post-production group, and they seek to influence not only the public, media and public officials, but NADA also wants to influence the producers association!

According to the producers (i.e. manufacturers) association website, “The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is an association of 12 of the largest car manufacturers, and is the leading advocacy group for the auto industry.”

Then, there is the “The Auto Care Association is the voice for the auto care industry—a coast-to-coast network of 500,000 independent manufacturers, distributors, parts stores and repair shops…” and there are other trade associations involved in the automotive field too.

So, there is clearly not one voice in automotive, there are several.

How about conventional housing?

 

Housing Associations

Let’s look at just three of the many kinds of associations representing different interests in the conventional housing field.

The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members, including NAR’s institutes, societies, and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial…” real estate, per their website.

Think of the NAR as the mainstream housing industry’s post production association voice.  We’ll circle back to this point shortly.

Then, there is the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). These are the conventional housing industry’s main “producers” association.

There is also “Mortgage Bankers Association… (MBA), which “is the United States national association representing all facets of the real estate finance industry,” per Wikipedia.

 

What Does The Above Tell MH Industry Independents?

Against that backdrop, it is worth looking again at what the practical implications of not having a post-production sector has meant to the manufactured housing industry.

First, let’s note that independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes can turn to the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), whose members believe they ably represent their interests.  MHARR routinely provides updates to their members, and to others in the industry, of their perspectives and the facts they believe which back them up.

As a reminder, MHI for years provided that free service for their ‘new releases’ to MHProNews, until Dick Jennison opted to end that practice.  Why? Was it to ‘control their own messaging?’

So MHARR provides a voice and advocacy for their members.  But what about the post-production sector of manufactured home industry?

What has been the practical result of trusting MHI in representing manufactured housing’s Independent retailers, communities, and producers, among others?  Not MHProNews, but the Atlantic and IBISWorld answered that question this way.

AtlanticIbisWorldManufacturedHousingRetailersDealersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Whether one loves, hates or is meh about MHI, the facts speak clearly.

Namely, there has been a significant drop in the numbers of independents, even after the industry has slowly recovering from the post 2008 crash.

 

How Many MH Independents, Retailers Have Been Lost Recently? “They Think They Own Us”

 

The loss of producers, shown below, is according to MHI’s own data, or from an ex-Clayton manager. It also is in keeping with Warren Buffett’s “moat” principle, which Kevin Clayton himself explained.

For accuracy, MHI has supporters, opponents, and those on the fence.

But what should make each of those groups sit up and take notice is not only the trends and facts, but the track record of MHI.

During the watch of their current MHI President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison, they have ramped up what could be termed hype to industry members – example the graphic below – while producing results that include a significant consolidation of the industryDo you see how this can be understood as propaganda at work?  Where are the actual results that millions of dollars pent annually produced for independents? 

It was also arguably propaganda on the part of those speaking about MHI’s claim that the industry needs to speak with one voice.  Some 80 percent of the industry’s producers turn to MHI, and the numbers of producers has been dwindling.  Far more post-production companies have failed or sold out, as the third party data above from IBISWorld reflects.

Those are the facts.  That’s why independents – and large companies – are on our site daily by the thousands. They want news and analysis they can rely upon.

GusRodriguezTejasHomesConroeTXIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

And until the allegations – including, but not limited to propaganda – aboutthe industry speaking with one voice,’ along with other arguably false and deceptive claims made by the Arlington, VA based MHI are widely understood to be “pants on fire,” the sad reality is that more businesses will continue to sell out for less than their value, or will fail at a time when the industry should be doing many times better than it is.

 

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

 

Thus, the warning by MHProNews publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach to independents who are MHI members. “Are you feeding the hand that bites yours? Are you feeding the hands that are often misleading you, to your disadvantage?”

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

Related: Take one day, or three evenings, to truly understand the manufactured housing industry, as these special reports document and research the issues.

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Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

Benson Demonstrates How “Propaganda Works” on “Most Americans”

HUD Comment Letter – FR-6075-N-01 Regulatory Review of Manufactured Housing Rules

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

What Tim Williams, Dick Jennison, Rick Robinson, Lesli Gooch, et al, Taught Me About the Manufactured Housing Institute

Notice: For industry professional services, click here.

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“Mobile Home Ban” Suit Win, “Equal Justice Under Law,” Manufactured Home Owners, Buyers, Industry

December 5th, 2017 Comments off

McCroryARCaseMobileManufacturedHomeCaseSettlementNov2017EqualJusticeUnderLawManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThis kind of wealth-based banishment scheme is unconscionable discrimination,” said Phil Telfeyan, Executive Director of the non-profit, Equal Justice Under Law.

McCrory, [AR] and all of our communities, should invest in residents rather than criminalize poverty,” Telfeyan said.

Telfeyan’s comments addressed to MHProNews related to a victory reported by the Associated Press (AP), which attracted nationally attention to the discrimination case in McCrory, Arkansas.

A city in east-central Arkansas has settled a federal lawsuit brought by a national civil rights organization over an attempt to ban mobile homes worth less than $7,500,” said AP as quoted in U.S. News and World Report.

PhilTelfeyanExecDirectorEqualJusticeUnderLawDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Per AP, “…the McCrory City Council passed an ordinance in September 2016 banning trailers [sic] that have a value of less than $7,500. Equal Justice Under the Law sued the city and its police chief in January, calling the ordinance wealth-based discrimination. The group filed the lawsuit on behalf of a couple who were told they’d have to move out of their $1,500 mobile home.”

https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp and http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/your-words-matter-proper-terminology-for-factory-built-homes/

It’s unclear from the photographic evidence if the home was a pre-HUD Code mobile home, or perhaps an older HUD Code manufactured home (MH).  But neither would properly be called a “trailer.”  To learn more about proper terminology, click this link here, or the graphic below.

Dollars and Sense

The council repealed the ban in January,” said AP, adding that, “Equal Justice officials say the Tuesday settlement totaled just over $20,000.”

“…even though state law in Arkansas prohibits cities from totally banning manufactured/modular home placements; restricting them only to rented lots in ‘parks’; or setting conditions/restrictions that are dissimilar to those for ‘site-built units’ – a number of cities still attempt to unduly restrict MH placements due to unsubstantiated fears of plummeting property values and ‘undesirables’ that their decisions-makers fear will inhabit such domiciles,” said the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association’s JD Harper, in an Industry Voices column to MHProNews, linked here.

Harper said it’s an important victory for the MH Industry, current home owners and prospective manufactured home buyers.

ZoningDiscriminationAgainstManufaturedHomeJDHarperExecuitveDirectorArkansasManufacturedHousingAssociationAMHAlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews768

There are industry legal minds that have told the Daily Business News off-the-record that while useful, settlements aren’t a legal precedent.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThat noted, another industry attorney, Mark Weiss, JD, commented, “Great stuff by JD Harper about the Equal Justice Under the Law in McCrory,” case.

Weiss is the president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Most of the bans/restrictions that I’ve heard of, focus on age or specific features,” Weiss told the Daily Business News.

A source with ties to MHARR told MHProNews that this case is one that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and HUD should be pursuing, under the enhanced preemption enacted by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

The Arkansas Times said that “The couple makes about $13,000 a year, well below the federal poverty line.”

This settlement is a victory for Lindsey [Hollaway and], David [Watlington], and impoverished people everywhere. No one should fear being chased out of their hometown simply because they are too poor to afford a more expensive residence. At a time when civil rights feel under attack in this nation, this settlement is a victory for everyone who values individual dignity, according to Telfeyan.

McCrory will pay some $20,000 for the settlement, attorney fees, fine forgiveness, and other costs.  As MHLivingNews has spotlighted, public officials who do the proper research often discover what the elected official in the interview linked below learned.

ElectedOfficalExplainsSurprisingModernManufacturedHomesVideoInterviewMHLivingNews

Equal Justice Lead Counsel, says, ‘Willing to Consider Other, Similar Cases’

Your “readers should alert you [MHProNews] to any other ordinances that limit manufactured housing on the basis of value or age and contact you immediately if/when anyone is being faced with eviction based on an alleged violation of such an ordinance,” said Catherine Sevcenko, JD.

Sevcenko is the legal director at Equal Justice Under Law.

CatherineSevcenkoEqualJusticeUnderLawManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Assuming the person who gets in touch with you would be willing to be a plaintiff, there is a good chance we might be able to get

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involved,” Sevcenko said.  The attorney explained that “we can never promise legal representation until we have reviewed the facts and circumstances of a particular case.”

Sevcenko provided MHProNews with a case out of North Carolina that she stated is useful in such claims.  That case, is linked here as a download.

Tips on possible instances of discrimination for news and/or legal action can be provided to MHProNews via the link here and on the graphic at the right.

For ease of handling and consideration, please put “Possible Legal Case For Equal Justice Under Law” in the subject line. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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Latest Manufactured Home Shipment Data, for October 2017 Released

December 5th, 2017 Comments off
DeerValleyHomesProductionCenterMHLivingNews

Robert Gann in blue, touring Inside MH Road Show host, L. A. “Tony” Kovach, through Deer Valley Homebuilders production center, in Guin, AL.

Washington, D.C. – In a release to the Daily Business News, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that “according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production grew once again during October 2017.”

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,636 homes in October 2017, a 20.7% increase over the 7,154 HUD Code homes produced during October 2016,” per MHARR.

Cumulative industry production for 2017 now totals 77,055 homes, a 14.9% increase over the 67,043 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2016,” the Washington based association that represents independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes said.

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through October 2017  — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2017) and prior year (2016) shipments per category as indicated – are,” as shown in the summary chart, below.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryProductionDataOct2017ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformHUDDeptHousingUrbanDevelopmentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The latest information for October 2017 results in no changes to the cumulative top-ten list.

About MHARR

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing,” said their release.

That means that MHARR is a production focused trade association, as opposed to a post-production association.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

For a previous report by MHARR on post-production issues, click the linked image, above. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

Does a 2017 Harvard Study Point to More Manufactured Home Industry Potential?

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

November 24th, 2017 Comments off

MobileHomesAreSoExpensiveNowHurricanVictimsCantAffordThemBloombergBusinessWeekPhotoHeadlineDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsA story on Bloomberg, a left-of-center business publication, recently drew a number of emailed tips and comments to the Daily Business News, as a heads up for possible coverage.

Such emailed tips from readers are welcomed.  They often lead to one or more articles/fact checks about a given issue that impacts manufactured housing (MH) being reported.

More to the point, this kind of reader tips often lead to a look at how fairly, or not, the mainstream media is covering the MH Industry.  Of course, readers tips also lead to other, unique stories too.

The Bloomberg article falls into a mixed bag category, of problematic, incorrect, and accurate but misleading statements.

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

This from a media outlet that just last year spotlighted manufactured homes as part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.

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

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

About Bloomberg’s Report…“Where is MHI on this?” 

As one industry reader asked, “Where is MHI in responding to this?” which came with the link below, and the question to the Daily Business News.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-11-21/mobile-homes-are-so-expensive-now-hurricane-victims-can-t-afford-them

Good question. Doesn’t the fact that the question was posed to MHProNews instead of to MHI directly speak volumes in and of itself?

MobileHomesAreSoExpensiveNowHurricanVictimsCantAffordThemBloombergBusinessWeekDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Debunking and clarifying these points ought to be fairly easy. So, why didn’t Clayton or MHI engage on this issue?

Darren Krolewski told MHProNews earlier this year that he was looking forward to MHI becoming more engaged on such problematic media coverage.

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

But with nearly a year that has since gone by, where’s that promised MHI response to this and so many hundreds of other problematic news items?

MHI’s Alternative Approach…

Forget what people say, watch what people do is the bottom-line tip offered by MHI award winner, Marty Lavin.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.

Instead of responding to, fact-checking and thus debunking errant news coverage, MHI has focused on co-sponsoring videos that only mention four MHI members.

MHI has been critiqued by industry members about their advertorials too.

Manufactured Housing Latest Shipment Data, Trends, Compared to Conventional Housing Growth

Meanwhile, 18 states are flat, growing modestly or in decline on their new manufactured housing shipments.  As MHProNews has uniquely spotlighted, if manufactured homes going into land-lease communities as rental units are adjusted for, news HUD Code homes being built for sale are roughly the same – per MHI’s own data – as when the industry hit bottom in 2009.

While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

With such issues dogging the industry, the MH Industry’s self-anointed national umbrella, post-production association – MHI – has allegedly postured image building, but in fact has focused on issues that benefit only a few hand-picked insiders.

  • Clayton,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance,
  • 21st Mortgage Corp,
  • MHVillage, and
  • Suzanne Felber’s operation,

are among those favored specifically on MHI’s website – often, as some other members have noted privately – to the disadvantaged of some or most other dues paying MHI members.

SuzanneFelberFrankRolfeRichardADickJennisonAmericanHousingAdvocatesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

MHI is currently spotlighting 5 operations, which in some ways is arguably a disadvantage to other MHI members.

What’s the Difference? Advertising vs. Educating

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMonopolisticHousingInstituteMHIParadoySatireLogo

By allowing the industry to suffer, some industry observers say that MHI is tilting the playing field toward larger operations, to the disadvantage of smaller ones. Sam Zell, and MHI’s Jenny Hodge, made observations that when followed to their logical conclusion, lead thinkers to the conclusion that MHI is fostering an uneven playing field.

Department of Justice, Anti-Trust, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

Monopolistic Practices, Anyone? 

Frank Rolfe and Marty Lavin have pointed to the need to address such issues as the problematic Bloomberg report linked above, as have others inside or out of the association.

Marty Lavin Lashes the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Latest Initiative

That Bloomberg report noted above was spotlighted by the wildly popular Drudge Report.  Which means it will doubtlessly enhance an impression that manufactured homes aren’t affordable, when they are obviously far more affordable than other forms of housing are.

Surprised by the Truth, While Shopping for a New Home

MHARR has dug deeper on several issues that impact retailers and communities, even though it isn’t the focus for that independent producers’ association.

MHARR has also at times joined MHLivingNews and MHProNews in responding to media and researcher-related issues.  By contrast, MHI – which was invited to engage – declined to do so.

Before MHI Dues are Renewed…

For about 2 years, MHProNews has increasingly spotlighted problematic areas of MHI’s policies for actual actions.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

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Bob Crawford commented to MHProNews that the industry needs a new, post-production association, saying:The need for this type of organization was called for in 2009! The benefits could be SO GOOD for the industry, especially the independents and smaller retail stores who are running tight budgets!

Bloomberg’s report is high-profile, but it is just a symptom of the problem.

When will MHI, which has the budget for it, begin to address each and every one of the negative news stories that are published every week about the industry?

Before dues are renewed to MHI, that’s a question that hundreds of independent companies need to carefully consider.  This could be an ideal time to forge a new post-production industry association. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  ## (News, tips, and commentary.)

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