Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform’

What’s Next in Affordable Housing, or for Manufactured Home Professionals and Investors?

July 6th, 2019 Comments off



Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” – English maxim, origin credited to George Herbert.


Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford


No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things take time.
You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant
.” – Warren Buffett


Notice: MHProNews will be doing a website theme and URL switchover this weekend. By industry standards, ours is a huge website. Expect glitches. As every seasoned and successful business professional knows, change routinely means anticipated and unexpected bumps-in-the-road. That said, patience and persistence pays. What’s coming is relevant and potentially profitable to many.



Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. SWOT. 

Every person, profession, situation in life has its own SWOT. These are not always clearly understood by those who are in the middle of their own circumstances. Thus outsiders, often with experience in that same field, are brought in by success-minded business leaders to be a second set of eyes. Physicians often refer a patient to another doctor or an expert for a second opinion.



The four quads of a good SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.


Everyone that has ever owned a business that has endured for more than four years has achieved something that the majority of those who start a business can’t claim. If a business is profitable at the end of its fourth year, that is a notable accomplishment.

If that same 4+ year-old business can honestly say that they have achieved that profitability and sustainability with a high degree of customer satisfaction, so much the better. That combination of honest business success with both internal and external satisfaction merits celebration. 

Among public officials in both major parties that have studied manufactured housing with an open mind, several things become clear. Manufactured homes have been routinely misunderstood for years. 

For those who understand business strategies, that factoid and what follow are opportunities in disguise.



  About every third American is living in rental housing.

  There are some 22 million Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes or in post HUD Code manufactured homes.

  Millions of conventional housing owners plan to upsize, downsize, and otherwise change housing.

  NIMBYism and land use policies that are often designed to protect or promote special interests are among the reasons that manufactured homes are often blocked by zoning and placement restrictions. HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who is the top federal official in charge of regulating manufactured homes, has made it clear that he gets those facts.  

  Education is part of the solution to that issue. Secretary Carson has personally made efforts at educating others about manufactured homes on national TV programs, in published speeches, as well as in Senate testimony. There are plenty of examples of third-party studies that span more than 20 years that debunk the misplaced fears that many have about manufactured homes.

  The new presidential executive order (EO) establishing a White House Council to promote affordable housing underscores the two bullets above. President Donald J. Trump’s new EO also specifically cited manufactured homes.

  Several Democratic and Republican lawmakers and public officials are paying more attention to manufactured homes, industry lending, and other industry business practices.


There is more. But those bullets are enough to make a ‘can do’ minded professional wonder why manufactured housing isn’t performing far better than it is? Why is the industry only producing and shipping about ¼th of what it did in 1998? Or why is the industry only shipping about 17 percent of what was achieved in the early 1970s?

For those whose only answer is ‘lending,’ that’s at best incomplete.  For those who say image, that’s part of it too, but that’s an opportunity in disguise for those who see clearly. Simplistic ‘answers’ like those are often going to hobble professional growth.

Why, by contrast, has the RV industry gone from being outsold by manufactured homes at a 3 to 2 margin in 1998, to RVs outselling manufactured homes by some 5 to 1 in 2018? RVs also had image problems decades ago, but they addressed that successfully. RVs – towable or motorized – for most Americans are as their name implies, are recreational. By contrast, manufactured homes, while some are used as second homes, are for the most part primary permanent housing.

Meaning, the RV industry’s potential size should only be a fraction of what the potential is for manufactured housing. That’s another outside indicator that manufactured housing should be doing several times its current sales levels.

Seen through the eyes of an honest SWOT analysis, there are clearly obstacles and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses in the manufactured housing industry in the summer of 2019. 

At a more granular and personalized level, there is a SWOT for every professional, location, business, and organization.  But the infographic below reflects the enormous potential that the industry has.  



What’s Next?

Amazon, Chinese imports, and 3D printed housing are just some of several looming threats to the domestic sales of more manufactured homes.



But at this time, HUD Code manufactured homes have a clear price-per-square foot and/or other advantages over its rivals. As HUD Secretary Carson and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Certified Business Economist Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton have both said, manufactured homes are more resilient – far safer – than most realize. 



Always keep in mind that data changes over time. This information was deemed accurate by a publicly traded company at the time it was originally published.


·        At least on paper, manufactured homes also have an advantage due to the ‘enhanced preemption’ clause that is already law, as established in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.

·        Manufactured housing has – at least on paper – support from the Duty to Serve (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008, that mandated support for manufactured homes. These two bullets are examples of good laws already on the books that are not being properly implemented.  That’s an opportunity in disguise for the savvy with moxie and resources.

There are also aspects of FHA, VA, and USDA (Rural Development) lending, plus several state finance programs, that offer opportunities for manufactured home professionals and investors to serve potentially millions of Americans who want to upsize, downsize, or get their first home. To be crystal clear, those opportunities exist apart from the so called ‘new class of homes’ that some in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are promoting. That new class of homes, whatever the intention, is arguably more problematic than promising.


Click to download and see this full sized.


When people think image or stigma, that too is part of SWOT. However, a crisis that is properly understood is often an opportunity in disguise.




Sam Zell famously observed that when others are going left, look right. Zell told MHProNews via the late Howard Walker, JD, then Vice Chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), that the ELS chairman has never lost confidence in manufactured homes and communities. Zell has preached that they aren’t ‘trailers or trailer parks,’ in his own pointed way.




The fact that Zell-led ELS and Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway have invested billions into the manufactured housing industry, and continue to do so, should speak volumes to objective thinkers. The fact that others are following suit is likewise noteworthy.

Here is where there may be some parting of the ways between various industry professionals. To oversimplify, there are those in manufactured housing that fully grasp the realities noted and linked herein. Some are ‘black hat’ operations, while others are ‘white hat’ business. On MHLivingNews we encourage housing shoppers to discern that difference.



In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by their president Tim Williams, Warren Buffett’s direct quotes from that same year’s annual letter, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, all line up in what attorneys who reviewed it see as ‘smoking gun’ evidence of antitrust violations. They demonstrate how thousands of independent retailers, communities, and several producers – among others – where purportedly directly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. See for yourself:


There are candidly those who don’t get it about such realities regarding ‘black hats’ in the ranks, or are in fear or denial, or may understand but don’t know what to do about issues like the ones found in the reports linked above and below.



Each of those are thorny topics. But ‘leaders grasp nettles.’ Nettles, properly understood, are prickly but have medicinal properties. ‘Grasping nettles’ is an apt metaphor that manufactured housing industry owners, managers, leaders, investors, and professionals should strive to understand and master in the context of their own unique SWOT.  

During a time that manufactured homes should be roaring, instead, the industry seems to be snoring. There are reasons that is so, including those noted in reports linked from this article. For 9 consecutive months, there are year-over-year declines in the production and shipments of new manufactured homes, despite all of the possible good news and positive resources that are available. That fact, considered in the light of others, begs questions. How to account for the failures to advance by the industry’s self-proclaimed leaders? Or who benefits from such a downturn? 

Businesses don’t become successful because they are operated by incompetent people. The management of MHProNews doesn’t believe that those leaders in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are incompetent; quite the contrary.  The are successful and some of them are quite shrewd.

So, there must be other explanations for the relatively low state of the manufactured home industry. There must be good reasons, ones that can lead to profitable opportunities once fully grasped, as to why new manufactured homes are selling at a slower pace than the year that Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton Homes and other affiliates starting in 2003.


May 2019 data reflects month 9th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?


What’s Next?

From the ranks of investors in publicly traded firms in manufactured housing, the controversy at Cavco Industries ought to sound alarm bells, especially in the light of items noted and linked from within this report.

Among public officials – several of whom correctly believe that manufactured homes offers an opportunity to increase affordable home ownership in ways that grows the personal wealth of singles and households – the facts noted and linked herein ought to be significant enough to warrant public hearings into several industry issues. Those hearings should be public and ought to proceed on a range of issues related to: antitrust, RICO, IRS tax-exempt status, and what is causing the failure of existing laws on lending and enhanced preemption to be properly implemented.  Experts from all sides and camps of the industry, including consumers, should be part of those Congressional hearings. Industry leaders should be called in to testify under oath.

Then, industry professionals and business owners, past and present, ought to ponder how the facts herein relate to themselves and their business experiences.  If the market has been rigged, as some claim based upon evidence like that linked from this article, who has that harmed and to what degree? Who benefited from the allegedly rigged system?

Because investigations and possible litigation aren’t the only steps that ought to occur, what will current and prospective industry investors and business owners and leaders do to navigate the current circumstances?  How will professionals respond to their own unique SWOT?

The fact that some businesses are honestly growing, while others are shrinking, should be carefully examined and objectively understood. 

·        There are no less than half a dozen other serious trade publishers or bloggers that are writing about industry related issues.  Why has this trade media stood essentially alone in reporting on these challenges in recent years?  Why have some among those half-dozen at one point in time identified or mentioned some of the same problems, but later went silent or flip-flopped on reporting about them?

·        Why is it that the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) and some state association affiliates broken ranks from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? Why did they say that MHI failed in reflecting their interests?

·        Why does the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) so often see matters in stark contrast to what the Berkshire-backed MHI does?  Which association is more accurate in their assessments? 

·        Why has Warren Buffett – his money and influence – often backed both sides of fights that MHI was engaged in? Why has MHI routinely come up short?


These are nuances that have been documented here and/or on our sister site of MHLivingNews

To understate: it is worth noting that per available third-party evidence and data, MHProNews readership is equal to if not significantly greater than all of the other 6 industry trade media and bloggers combined. That suggests that people recognize the difference between spin and straight talk


The Next Step

MHProNews is about to take its next evolutionary step.  Some of the theme changes on our new website are subtle, but others will be significant.

We already dominate the manufactured home industry in news, fact-checks, and analysis. Nothing else even comes close in size, scope, and professional audience engagement.

Our parent company’s business development and expert services have worked with several operations of all sized firms over the years successfully. Our results are proven in often very public ways, such as the rebirth of the Louisville Manufactured Home Show after years of downturn and finally its only year to be cancelled.  That achievements make us a go-to resource for those who are willing to invest in their future to grow. 

Others firms or locations that were already successful, but that were not reaching their true potential, have likewise turned to us for proven results.

But those successes mean that companies or locations that closed or sold out for less than their true value were arguably harmed by the so-called leadership of those who are striving for discounted consolidation and acquisitions, by whatever means.



Let’s note that the video interview above was performed prior to the negative news that later hit the headlines about that former MHI chairman and his company. We don’t knowingly work to promote allegedly black-hat operations.  We strive, instead, to work with the industry’s apparent white hats. Because of our pivots on MHLivingNews, we are now in a unique position to spotlight the problematic as well as white hats.



Thus, we bring a unique set of experiences, tools, and proven resources. Keen insider insights found here cause more people to logon to MHProNews daily than some of our rivals have monthly.


Note, Barry Cole’s prior anniversary kudos message raises an important point. Most publications in the MH space failed or closed years ago. Some have since tried to make the cut, inspired by MHProNews’ success. Some noteworthy efforts have also since been suspended. MHProNews has stood the test of time, and the slings and arrows of the industry’s outrageous fortunes.



On MHLivingNews, we’ve been quietly revising and developing a platform that addresses that common questions and concerns from the general public’s perspective.  The success in attracting readers there is notable, because individual articles there may get several times more readers than even very popular articles found here on MHProNews.

Put differently, on both platforms, we’ve proven for years measurable results at what we have strived to do. 

To make that point, Casey Mack at Legacy Housing, with his company’s general counsel’s expressed okay, said the following.



MHProNews has well-known publishing arms. Our publisher is one of the most highly acclaimed pros on LinkedIn among all manufactured housing professionals.



There have been hundreds of accolades – endorsements and recommendations – provided via LinkedIn alone. Others have been provided via video and in letters, etc.


While our business development services tend to be lower key, the results are praised in videos, written letters of recommendation, and by measurable bottom-line results. Some of those kind comments come from rivals. As Casey Mack and others suggest, our services don’t ‘cost,’ they are investments that properly utilized pay dividends.

With almost a decade of publishing the industry’s most read-trade media, we are about to turn the page to the next chapter.

While we disagree with Warren Buffett on several business ethics and related issues, we agree with him that some things simply take time. We also agree on the importance of reading for understanding, something that Buffett says he spends 5 to 6 hours a day doing and has for years. If you and your team are each reading less than an hour daily on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, then you are not yet reading enough.

Keep in mind the levels of awareness.  There are few things that doing them once is enough.

Our Republic just celebrated this week a key time in American history.  This nation began a struggle some 243 years ago that defeated the world’s lone superpower during the time our nation’s founding fathers declared the 13 colonies independence from the British king. Perhaps 1/3rd of the people in some form of fashion originally supported that effort for independence.

The U.S. and our allies defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, which some thought unstoppable. The U.S. overcame the power of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. At various times, there were those who said those feats could not be accomplished.

This is a can-do nation. If you are in business, you are likely a can-do person reading this. The industry has very real challenges, both internal and external. It will not be a quick fight, if it is to be successful.

We’re in it for the long haul. This next chapter in manufactured housing trade media is proof of our resolve.  The fact that the opposition won’t engage us directly in public debates and forums – after so many of those same people have praised our work for years – is perhaps the most telling reason to believe that we at MHProNews are ‘over the target’ in our analysis and efforts.


The industry should be some 10 times its current sales levels. 

Our slogans are as relevant today as when we launched the site under the third logo on the right, below, in mid-October 2009.



We’ve added to those mantras since then Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © and News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing.” ©



The next evolutionary chapter in the industry’s biggest and most read trade media starts this weekend.  Stay tuned.

Our thanks to our sponsors and clients for making this possible.  Our thanks to our readers for seriously checking in often to consider all the news, fact-checks, reports, and analysis that we share here and on MHLivingNews.  With God’s help, the best is yet to come.  We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)


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


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

For marketing and other expert professional services, click here. Connect on LinkedIn here and here.

Soheyla Kovach, managing member, for LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – parent to Daily Business News on MHProNews and






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

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Addressing Manufactured Housing Insanity, Unusual Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Tip









Tic Toc – July 4th, Tim Williams 21st Mortgage, John Greiner, JD, Graydon Law – Message Review

July 5th, 2019 Comments off


Part of the ‘secret’ for legal victories can be consistency, procedures, and documentation.



Tim Williams, prior MHI chairman, president and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, photo credit,

There is little doubt that Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation and his company has vastly more experience in legal matters than our far more modest operation does.

It should similarly stand to reason that the outside attorney for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), John “Jack” C. Greiner with Graydon Law would likewise have more experience in legal matters than little ole us. Per Graydon’s website, “Jack is a commercial litigator with an emphasis on communications and media law. He is one of the region’s leading advocates for governmental transparency.” Transparency, how interesting. That’s one we’ll all have to place in our memory file. Jack, should nonprofits, corporations, and their officers be transparent too?

That said, it would not be surprising if they would agree with the first sentence at the top. Juries and judges look for consistency, evidence, facts, and common sense.  The court system – judges and juries – also keep an eye out in cases for inexplicable, odd, or behavior that is in conflict with their stated claims. It’s been many years since we’ve been involved in any litigation, over a decade in fact. Though it is rarely fun, we recall the lessons, and have routinely been successful on the rare occasions it was necessary.

The truth backed by evidence is an often powerful thing. My hunch is that the other side has carefully researched that claim, and knows it to be accurate.  



In 2017, 2018, and 2019 were some of the years when messages and letters were sent to the management of MHProNews by attorneys for MHI, as well as by purported surrogates for the Arlington, VA based trade group. Those messages were threats, legal or not, and arguably attempts at intimidation.

Part of our consistent response has been to call out those actions publicly but also to invite them to reply to our many fact-checks, related analysis, and reports. In early 2017 and previously, responses from Berkshire Hathaway brands and/or MHI were swift, as numerous articles and letters published over the years reflects. Williams was among several MHI leaders who publicly praised this publication publicly and in writing.



It was apparently only as reasonable answers to reasonable questions posed by MHProNews became elusive for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis that they stopped replying directly.  But they often used indirect means to communicate, including those noted above. 

Those patterns of behavior could prove relevant in several ways the days ahead.


Shifting Sands in Washington and Beyond

The dynamics in Washington, D.C. are shifting rather significantly in recent months. There are some things, as Warren Buffett correctly observed, that just take time.

·        Antitrust drums are heating up on both sides of the left-right political aisle.

·        More in Congress are talking and writing about the Duty to Serve, and why it hasn’t been fully implemented with respect to manufactured housing.

·        Affordable housing, homelessness, zoning, regulatory barriers, and even enhanced preemption are being discussed by more people in and out of the industry.

Slow, steady progress is apparently being made.

Those are all topics that are largely found in manufactured housing trade media only on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. Why? The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has been on several of those topics for years, to their credit.

But by contrast, MHI sycophants are mute or deflect from those topics. Why?

MHI themselves tout their latest photo op, their latest lightly viewed videos, or the newest bill that they support. Those are all apparent razzle dazzle, but where is the beef?

Where are the bottom line results as measured by new manufactured home shipments?  Given the MHI claim that they are the umbrella trade group that should ‘lead’ the industry, what direction has that MHI leadership actually taken MHVille at large?

The facts speak loudly.




Tic Toc, Tic Toc… 

Moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years go by. Some things only gain clarity from the passage of time and consistent observations. As Warren Buffett aptly said, the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. This is a point of agreement between our publication and Mr. Buffett.




It was about 5 years ago that we brought to the industry’s attention the full length video version of this now better-known 18 second video clip.



That comment by MHI’s president made no sense at the time, but in hindsight it was arguably a piece of a puzzle. 

Because it was an odd and embarrassing MHI comment, not long after, during a time when Tim Williams at 21st was still in rapid-reply mode with MHProNews, and while this writer was still an MHI member, MHProNews asked Williams/21st – then MHI’s chairman – to have MHI’s Jennison clean that comment up publicly.

Williams agreed.

Jennison, no doubt with Williams’ prompting, did so on video camera and in front of dozens of industry professionals.  MHI’s president pledged both that the industry could achieve 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home shipments as well as promised the passage of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. 


MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments


Neither one has come to pass. Both are part of the MHI Orwellian ‘memory hole.’ 

Words can be cheap at MHI, it seems?  

JohnCGreinerAttorneyPhotoGraydonlawLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsWith the industry now into its ninth month of year-over-year downturn, MHProNews sent the following to Tim Williams/21st, John Greiner, and one of Greiner’s colleagues at Graydon Law. Greiner is MHI’s outside attorney assigned, said Greiner, to monitor our website.  MHI members, that’s where part of your dues are going to, why not rather to suing cities like Bryan, TX for failure to abide by enhanced preemption

That logical but rhetorical question aside, the meat of that message’s contents is shown below, between the dashed lines.



Subject: Tim, a formal request for you/MHI


1)    Let me hereby request copies of any and all audio or other recordings, notes, emails or any records in any format relative to our discussion in Las Vegas during the dinner we shared with your colleagues from Berkshire Hathaway brands in the context of that year’s Congress and Expo.

2)    You and/or your colleagues are also hereby invited to respond to any of our recent or other reports.  See the below. Please email those for our mutual accuracy in handling said comments.

Thank you. 


Other articles are linked from the forward below. Thank you. 



The screen capture that documents that email is found below.




We will report back on what response, if any, is obtained. 

Until then, let this be kept in mind by investors, professionals, researchers, public officials, attorneys, investigators and others.

·        There is an affordable housing crisis.  Yet with numerous positive reports that debunk the myths and misconceptions often held by the public, somehow, magically, the industry is shirking in new home shipments? Why are MHI staff given bonuses instead of being terminated for lack of performance?

·        HUD Secretary Ben Carson has valiantly laid out a thoughtful case for manufactured housing.

·        On MHI’s own website, examples of those important topics are difficult or impossible to find, and Carson’s fine speeches are not to be found.

·        Manufactured housing is now into 9 months of year-over-year declining shipments.


By contrast, on MHARR’s website, topics like “enhanced preemption” are easy to find several articles. An MHI state affiliate successfully obtained a letter from HUD invoking enhanced preemption, so why not MHI? Yet MHARR is a fraction of the size of MHI, and has been online only a fraction of the time that MHI has.

Which association is doing their stated job better?

To George F. Allen’s [past] credit, his blog does raise some of these same issues and concerns.  But he has contradicted himself in arguing in recent months for MHI, the Berkshire brands, and larger community operators that behaved in problematic ways – per Allen.  Rephrased, Allen – without public explanation, other than what sources say is a compensated flip-flop – has gone from criticizing Clayton, 21st, MHI and others, to now being their cheer leader.




Frank Rolfe swore off commenting about MHI further publicly, but he and Dave Reynolds recently took this swipe at MHI. They are MHI members, taking a shot at their own trade group.


More on this below.

Allen, more recently has called for a boycott of this publication, a possible antitrust violation, and has urged his readers to only read other trade media in manufactured housing that he has personally approved.  Ironically, one of those publications – Kurt Kelley’s – has praised our work, and said that they are leaving our call for accountability to us.  Interesting, isn’t it?


Indeed, Kelley has contributed to MHProNews numerous times over the years, and has commented on political topics too. He published an article by Berkshire Hathaway unit manager Joanne Stevens, which without mentioning MHI, was clearly slamming them for what her article in MHR saw as a failure of industry preparation for obvious attacks on the industry.


Some things take time.  With a shifting political climate in America, it may only be a question of time before topics and issues found only on MHProNews, MHLivingNews or on the MHARR websites may become more common headlines and topics elsewhere in Washington, and then the mainstream media.



This writer freely admits that some of what we have done in trade publishing has been unconventional by MHIndustry standards. It was also never my or our publications’ ambition to stumble into troubling facts via news tips about the underlying causes for so many of our industry’s woes. But once discovered, where we supposed to ignore them?  Turn a blind eye as others do?  Cower in fear over every threat? 

If the industry is to regain its former glory and surpass it while independents still have an opportunity, it will only happen when enough honest professionals and other people of good will stand up and force the issues.


April data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

That said, what has harmfully impacted thousands of independents in manufactured housing has arguably been largely avoidable, and it has harmed the interests of millions of our fellow Americans. Unconventional situations can’t always be addressed in the normal ways.



There are several factors that should be understood to explain the rises and falls in the sales, production, and shipments of new factory-built homes during the varied mobile home and manufactured home eras. One should not be overly simplistic. That said, the historic trend is far higher than it has been since Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders. Political and other factors enter into the mix as well.

Keep in mind, we’ve spotlighted examples of these topics for years, beyond having the most extensive coverage of industry stocks, business and other news. A first look at our June 2019 traffic suggests a record month for readership. Our thanks to readers like your, our business development clients, and our sponsors who make this possible.


MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending, and ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation as an MHI member showed the way to grow business, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth or negative growth allowed more consolidation and at a cheaper price for big boy companies


Given the choice, thoughtful professionals can discern fluff and cheerleading from logic, fact-checks, and evidence. Perhaps that’s why we are the industry’s most read, and the others that cheerlead for MHI merely lag behind. The manufactured housing industry is arguably engaged in an undeclared war, and has been since 2003.  The big boys have decided to conquer MHVille, and the remaining independents have to recognize and decide to sell out, fold, or resist. The odds favor the big boys, but when the 13 colonies declared their Independence the odds favored the Brits of that era. This too is doable. This undeclared war is winnable. 


When the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain, they were taking on the most powerful army and navy in the world. The odds were against the rebels. But after a long struggle, the U.S. became independent. Freedom is never free. It always comes at a cost. But the price is lower, and the cause of freedom far nobler, than the cost of bondage and servitude.

We Provide, You Decide.” © Dig into the related and linked reports above and below to round out the picture. Let’s restore the American Dream, starting with an understanding of Independence Day. ## (News, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is co-founder of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.







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“But I Was Born Free”




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“But I Was Born Free”

July 4th, 2019 Comments off

Stills from Born Free music video by Kid Rock, posted further below. Collage by MHProNews.

Music gets appropriated for commercials, campaigns, causes, and political events on a routine basis. So why not do that for the interests of manufactured home professionals, investors, and the tens of millions in the affordable home seeking public?


Facts, figures and slogans often get swatted around like a ping-pong ball in a professional-level table tennis match to advocate for some new law.

Why not cut-to-the-chase, save time, money, and implement the good laws that are already on the federal law books?

There are unique opportunities for honest gain being forged in the crucible of often troubling circumstances. There are purported ‘black hat’ operations that have manipulated the system and political forces in order to divert existing laws while lining their own pockets. They do so at the expense of our fellow Americans, ethical businesses, and honest investors.

Why not use some jujitsu to spotlight those bad behaviors, while ‘white hat’ businesses, investors, organizations, professionals, advocates, and lawmakers come together to enforce good laws?

Why not hold hearings in Congress to spotlight the various ways that existing laws have been blocked, often by posturing or feigning which masks entirely selfish interests – often within our own industry’s ranks?

Let’s explore that case briefly below.


Born Free

I was born free. We believe in free enterprise and respect all honest work. It’s a holiday, yet the groundskeepers caught us by surprise – they are working outside – keeping the lawn, shrubs, and the property pristine. Wow, that’s unexpected, yet it’s amazingly American.

But some are born into vexing scenarios made worse by corrupted versions of capitalism rightly called conquest or crony capitalism. Is it any wonder that millions – seeing such misbehavior – question free enterprise?

However well intended HUD Secretary Ben Carson or his predecessor Julián Castro may be or have been, there is evidence that corporate interests have colluded with officials currently or previously at HUD to thwart existing laws. We’ll explore who and name some names in the days ahead.

But even what we already know from Senate testimony or from the Washington Post should be enough to cause alarm for observant and thoughtful professionals and honorable public officials.

Senator Thom Tillis, in a dialogue with HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, “I don’t think that most people recognize how the regulatory burdens hit the poorest among us the hardest.” Tillis revealed that he grew up in what he called a ‘trailer house,’ but was more likely a mobile home or early HUD Code manufactured home. Tillis spoke about the morass of regulations that are “no doubt creating a higher price point.”



Senator Tillis (NC-R) jokingly said that in his personal case, the increased regulatory costs might have been the difference between a single wide, and a “single wide with a bump out.”  There are likely thousands of professionals in our industry that don’t even know what that means, because single sections with an extension are not so common any more. There was unquestionable more variety of manufactured homes built by more manufacturers 30 to 35 years ago than there are today. That’s not to say that there aren’t improvements, of course there are, as Secretary Carson said in the video above.  But for those who were in the industry in the 1980s, they recall ‘tip outs,’ balcony bedrooms, sunken baths, raised kitchens, and other floorplans that many today have not seen on a factory line in many years.

Tillis used his personal experience as an example to call attention for the need for regulatory stream lining that could benefit millions. That sound suspiciously like the executive order that President Trump issued just days ago. It was very much in keeping with what a Washington, D.C. based trade group has been calling public officials to do for years. Persistence may pay in the foreseeable future.

Secretary Carson, even early in his administration, noted that 22 million were living in manufactured homes and their mobile home predecessors. He said when you look at the progress made in the industry “it’s amazing.”



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


Dr. Carson went on to say that a lot of the housing was hard to distinguish from site-built housing, noted that pricing on manufactured homes was lower, but “the regulations are ridiculous.”  He noted that he put a moratorium on those and were inspecting regulations from “top to bottom.” More recently, Secretary Carson said that we can solve the affordable housing crisis, and he pointed to manufactured homes as part of that solution.

Some of those “ridiculous” regulations Carson spoke about in Senate testimony were no doubt about issues related to Danner that MHProNews and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), among others, had spotlighted for years.

Who was directly in charge of implementing HUD regulations?

Pam Danner, J.D., who per sources was inserted into her role at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) by backers within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  While that claim may or may not be easy to nail down, what follows is already known.

Juliet Eilperin writing in the Washington Post in May 2018 said that it was the efforts of Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of MHARR and his colleagues that got Danner removed, for her purported excesses in regulatory overreach. By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Senior Vice President (SVP) Lesli Gooch specifically stated that they did not seek Danner’s removal.

That WaPo report was not denied by MHI.

When thousands of industry professionals were howling from coast-to-coast about Danner and overreach, why wasn’t the Arlington, VA based trade group likewise pushing for Danner’s removal?

Once the ‘wheat and chaff’ are separated, what becomes clear is this. MHI postured action, but failed at the most basic and obvious step; i.e.: seeking and obtaining Danner’s removal. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s per the clear implication of MHI’s SVP Gooch’s own words, as reported by the Washington Post. That’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The deep pockets at MHI – and those behind them in places like Omaha, or the Knoxville metro, and their allies – can buy more of everything than MHARR and/or our publications can.  MHI is the one that claims they have clout at the federal level.  If so, how have they used that clout?


That reality of their deeper pockets and broader access are precisely why it is logically stating the obvious where the roadblocks in our industry are. They are often internal, and the net impact is that the industry is consolidating instead of growing.  Several of MHI’s own past and present members have said as much.





Former MHI state affiliates broke away and in 2018 formed the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners, NAMHCO. They cited MHI’s years of failures as part of their reason for doing so.



FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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


Who benefits from slow growth or negative growth? Isn’t it the deeper pockets that can then buy more communities, retailers, producers, and suppliers at a discount? Doesn’t that fit the Warren Buffett mantra?



Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.


Therefore, it is an obvious time for a new paradigm.



When MHProNews spotlighted that MHI had reputedly done nothing on reaching out to the CFPB in 2017, MHI – perhaps in there embarrassment – began to move to get something done. When MHARR pushed MHI long enough on the DOE energy rule, MHI finally pivoted. It seems that MHI acts for the interests they claim to stand for best when the spotlight hits their lack of action otherwise. 


It is time for new alliances to be created that bridge the gaps that are causing a harmful status quo.  It is outrageous that manufactured home shipments are into 9 months of year-over-year decline.  It is a disgrace that MHI and their outside attorney threatened us for lawfully publishing the item below, when it was they who were making the false claims and promises.




That this decline is avoidable is exemplified by exceptions to the rule, such as our report on Nobility Homes, linked here.

That Buffett’s ‘donations’ have found their way into the hands of MHAction and other groups opposing MHI begs the question, have they been playing the industry’s white hats with the rope-a-dope for years?


Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports


While MHI, Prosperity Now and others are pushing for a new bill in Congress that could make things worse. Paradoxically, the claimed goal of that bill could be rapidly achieved simply by implementing existing federal laws. Which begs the question, why not push for implementing good laws that are already on the books?  Who benefits from more delays? Isn’t it the consolidators that want to keep manufactured housing misunderstood and underperforming?




There are several reasons to believe that there is collusion and corruption that purportedly violates antitrust, IRS or other regulations, and possibly laws such as RICO.



We have new and significant recent features on Manufactured Home Living News. They lay the foundation that makes the case for implementation of existing laws. They also suggest how white hat brands, organizations, honest public officials, and investors could be working with manufactured homeowners, renters, and others to reform the system by implementing existing laws.

It could – indeed should – start with public hearings by Congress and possibly states to investigate and explore what has gone wrong.  No one could be as incompetent as the powers that be in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have been, could they? Which suggests that a relatively small group of people could be manipulating the system in ways that cause more homelessness, more poverty, and more grief for millions that would otherwise be avoided.



More in the days ahead on specifics within HUD that should cause alarm and spark action.

Those of us born in the U.S.A. were born free.  Let’s not lose that freedom to the machinations of a few that are trying to wrongfully enrich themselves to the detriment of the many.



Roll the stone away. Let the guilty pay. It’s Independence Day.



Summing Up

The solution to the affordable housing crisis has been hiding in plain sight for years.  There is a case to be made that it is often forces within the industry that have thwarted, allowed, and diverted resources and good current laws from spurring more sustainable growth. That growth would have meant more home ownership for people otherwise trapped in rent. That kind of corruption must be exposed and punished.

Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it’s Independence Day.”

Now you may better understand our mantra, “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © Dig into the related and linked reports above and below to round out the picture. Let’s restore the American Dream, starting with an understanding of Independence Day. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)


For MH professional expert services, click here. For examples of third-party media, see links here, here, and here.

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC parent company of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.



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Manufactured Housing Production and Shipments, Official HUD Data, Report for May 2019







Unpacking New White House Council on Affordable Housing Initiative and Manufactured Homes

July 1st, 2019 Comments off


Success has many fathers,
failure is an orphan
– Maxim based on saying popularized by President John F. Kennedy,
but originated in a saying by Italian Count Caleazzo Ciano, per Wikipedia.



Manufactured housing is underperforming as an industry, as has been noted numerous times here on MHProNews.  So perhaps it is no surprise that when something positive appears to occur, there is a rush to grab credit for that apparent glimmer of hope.

There is therefore a sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious battle in manufactured housing over who did what, when, where, why, and how.  There is also a contest as to what the meaning is of some legal or administrative ruling, or what the possible risks and benefits are of a bill that is being proposed in Congress, and so on.

In the wake of the White House’s surprise announcement of a new executive order establishing a “White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing,” the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their surrogates were quick to leap to take credit. MHI’s claims could be examined in an upcoming fact-check.  But what follows below is the view from the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Note that MHARR specifically mentions MHProNews participation in that pre-announcement conference call.  MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s query was one of only four questions taken by the White House during their pre-rollout conference call. According to the automated login for that call, only several dozen were in on that White House call, and MHARR and MHProNews were among that tiny group so invited.



Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform Unpacks New White House Council and Manufactured Homes

JUNE 26, 2019


TO:                  MHARR MANUFACTURERS

                        MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

                        MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)


FROM:             MARK WEISS



President Announces White House Council
on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers
to Affordable Housing

MHARR participated in a conference call on June 25, 2019, conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), during which White House officials announced the impending issuance of an Executive Order (EO) to create a “White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.” While the substance of the EO – which, as detailed below, is fully consistent with and reflects MHARR policy objectives as advanced before the Administration, Congress and HUD – was described during the conference call, that call, as repeatedly emphasized by the same White House Officials, was specifically “off the record.” MHARR, in accordance with that request, withheld publication on this initiative until it was publicly announced and issued by the White House (see HUD Press Release attached).

Consistent with MHARR’s fundamental focus on the costs imposed by unnecessary and unreasonable regulatory mandates, as well as its more recent initiative and undertaking to combat discriminatorily restrictive and exclusionary local zoning mandates that effectively ban HUD-regulated manufactured housing from large areas of the nation, the President’s Executive Order, specifically acknowledges that “federal, state [and] local … governments impose a multitude of regulatory barriers – laws, regulations and administrative practices – that hinder the development of housing.”  The EO then goes on to expressly recognize types of regulatory actions – which have been prioritized for action and opposition by MHARR — that continue to hinder both the affordability and availability of federally-regulated manufactured housing, stating: “These regulatory barriers include – overly restrictive zoning and growth management controls … excessive energy … efficiency mandates [and] outdated manufactured housing regulations and restrictions.”  (Emphasis added).

Indeed, the EO’s specific emphasis on zoning and other “outdated … restrictions” on federally-regulated manufactured housing is fully consistent with an April 24, 2019 communication from MHARR to Secretary Carson, calling on HUD to “utilize its resources to research, study and analyze such discriminatory and exclusionary zoning and its local and national impacts on the availability of affordable [manufactured] housing and homeownership in light of relevant national housing policies.” The same communication calls on HUD to exercise its authority under the enhanced federal preemption language of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to either eliminate or limit such baseless restrictions.  And, indeed, in response to an inquiry from MHProNews Publisher L.A. Tony Kovach, it appears that the specific issue of federal preemption will be “on the table” in this process.

Under the EO, the White House Council will be chaired by Secretary Carson and will consist of representatives from eight federal agencies, including agencies that either currently regulate matters affecting manufactured housing – i.e., HUD and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – or seek to regulate aspects of manufactured housing – i.e., the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  Among other things as set forth in the EO, the Council will seek to identify and then “reduce and streamline statutory, regulatory and administrative burdens at all levels of government that inhibit the development of affordable housing.”  This will lead to the development of specific initiatives designed to reduce the targeted federal, state and local regulatory barriers and a report to President Trump within the next twelve months regarding “the Council’s implementation of … this order.”

The EO, accordingly, presents a potentially unequalled opportunity for the specific advancement of policy objectives that MHARR has been tasked with advancing, including, but not limited to: (1) the full and complete implementation of all reform aspects of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000; (2) the elimination of unnecessary regulatory burdens imposed on manufactured housing and manufactured housing consumers by HUD in accordance with Executive Orders 13771 and 13777; (3) the elimination or modification of baseless and discriminatory zoning restrictions on manufactured housing, including both single lots and communities; and (4) other related issues involving regulatory impediments to the availability and affordability of HUD-regulated manufactured housing.

In addition, the initiative established by the EO underscores that recent legislation introduced in Congress to supposedly “modernize” manufactured housing – but which would, in reality, undermine and harm existing, inherently affordable HUD Code manufactured housing – is unnecessary and should not go forward, as set forth by MHARR in its June 24, 2019 Memorandum entitled “Unnecessary/Damaging Bills Introduced in Congress.”

MHARR will continue to keep you apprised of developments related to this important Administration initiative.

cc: Other Interested Industry Members



MHProNews Analysis

Let’s be blunt.

The fact that “enhanced preemption” is only “on the table” in this process is a possible warning sign.

There is no doubt that MHARR is pushing for preemption. That has been well documented, as is shown in the screen capture graphics herein plus the links below the byline.


Since the screen capture above was performed, MHARR has done more articles that mention or are focused on the federal preemption given to HUD Code manufactured homes under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.


MHProNews and MHLivingNews have likewise promoted the broad use of federal preemption for manufactured homes for years.



MHProNews and MHLivingNews has been online longer than MHARR, so it is no surprise that MHARR is #3 on this search result. But MHI has been online since the 1990s. They were part of the coalition led by MHARR that included state associations that helped make enhanced preemption part of federal law. How is it possible that MHI has no mention of it on their website? State executives are aware of it, and though rarely used, it has been used by HUD on occasion.


By contrast, it is MHI and their surrogates that purportedly have hidden and/or obscured this important key in federal law that already exists. Why?  What explains that claim, if they truly want to see the industry grow?



Site search of MHI website conducted on 6.30.2019. By contrast, see what a purported surrogate of theirs has said on this same topic, at this link here and here. Curious, isn’t it?


That key of HUD actually using their significant power of federal preemption over local and state roadblocks could turn the lock that opens the door to more manufactured home ownership opportunities for millions of Americans. It is a regulatory short-cut, because it is already federal law.  It fits perfectly with the White House’s stated mission. Is there a reason to delay on this? See but one example of federal preemption being exercised by HUD in the letter to Richland, MS below. 



The letter to Richland is found here, and was requested by that state’s executive, Jen Hall. So why wouldn’t MHI promote it’s use? Indeed, why didn’t MHI ask for this on the recent Bryan, TX case?

So this White House initiative, while promising, nevertheless comes with cautionary notes too.  


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach in photo by sign displayed at a MHI meeting.

It is a disgrace that the Manufactured Housing Institute [MHI] has not boldly, consistently, and faithfully promoted the enhanced preemption that is a key part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. MHI was part of that effort in the waning days of the 20th century. It is already federal law. Because they were part of the coalition that worked for passage, MHI therefore ought to be well aware of the law and its meaning. But that was prior to Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Clayton Homes, and much has changed at MHI since 2003.” said former MHI board member and MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. 

If MHI sincerely wants to see the industry grow in a robust and sustainable fashion, then they will push for the Government Sponsored Enterprises [GSEs] lending on all HUD Code manufactured homes, not just a select group of them that Clayton Homes wanted supported.  If MHI isn’t just posturing when they say they want to see the industry grow, then they should begin immediately to promote the true meaning of enhanced preemption.  MHI should likewise do more than give a fig leaf to their members whom they hope to mollify or ‘razzle dazzle,’ by going loudly, proudly, and consistently public on the valuable steps that HUD Secretary Ben Carson has taken in recent months to promote a better understanding and broader use of manufactured homes, Kovach said.

The fact that MHI has failed to do so even on their own website speaks volumes, Kovach said.

MHProNews will circle back to this topic as warranted in the near term.  Note that as a courtesy to new readers, or those who may have missed it, the evidence of MHARR’s claims are found linked below the bylines and notice. The hot links above also lead to more evidence on the issue of enhanced preemption.

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

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Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019



Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here.





City Permits Some Manufactured Home Replacements for Tornado Ravaged Conventional Housing

May 23rd, 2019 Comments off

Still from video posted below.

A month after tornadoes ripped through Alto, Texas, many were left homeless as their residences were damaged or destroyed.


Last week, in a special city council meeting, the Alto city council voted to allow manufactured homes to be used as replacement homes for residents living there.

The homes were being provided by a local church, and dozens have signed up hoping to obtain one of those homes.

But that doesn’t mean that the decision was popular with numbers of Alto’s citizens, as the video report posted here from CBS 19 reflects.



In this situation particularly, we had a family that lost their home and we were able to purchase them a two bedroom, one bath HUD-manufactured mobile home,” said Ann Henley, employee of the River Church. “And we’re trying to replace it on their lot here in Alto.”

Henley said the church was been gifted with money to assist families impacted by last month’s natural disaster. They have purchased 6 manufactured homes, and at that time had already placed three of the homes on designated lots.

We have three more that they’re trying to get their lots cleaned up,” Henley said. “We’ve replaced about seven or eight roofs so far and we have about five or six lined up to replace the roofs in the next week or two.”

It’s one of those notes of positive irony. Conventional housing was sadly reduced to rubble in many cases, and manufactured homes were the quick and positive solution.




But the resistance in that town council meeting was present, and slinging the ‘t-word’ was part of the process.

You can pull onto Putman Avenue and the trailer is the biggest thing on the road there now,” one resident in the news video said. “I don’t think that’s what we want, certainly I don’t in that neighborhood and I don’t think that’s what we want for the city.”



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


I think our biggest concern are basically the people that have been misplaced and that are basically homeless and getting them into a house as quick as possible,” Henley said. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in Alto who are very low-income and even if they did own their home, they weren’t able to afford home owner’s insurance. They’re just in a bad situation and we’re just trying to help them as best as we can.”

This scenario of manufactured housing being the obvious solution, but encountering local resistance, is playing out in various ways from coast-to-coast.  It will be part of an upcoming special report on MHProNews. Watch for it.

That’s tonight’s last 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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“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”






Trump Administration Move on Housing Financing Draws Sharp Manufactured Home Association Response

March 29th, 2019 Comments off




Washington, D.C., March 28, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), in written testimony submitted to the Senate Banking Committee in conjunction with its March 26-27, 2019 hearing concerning reform of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and the domestic housing finance system, has called on Congress to maintain the express “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) mandate of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) in any final reform legislation.

MHARR’s testimony stresses that given the fact that the GSEs, after more than a decade, have yet to implement DTS at all with respect to the personal property loans that comprise nearly 80% of the federally-regulated manufactured housing market, even with the express DTS statutory mandate, the elimination of that mandate in any GSE reform legislation, would essentially end any leverage over the GSEs (or a successor organization or facility) to provide secondary market and securitization support for the inherently affordable manufactured housing market.  This would not only have a strongly negative impact on the availability of highly-affordable manufactured homes (with production levels already having significantly declined over the same period), but would constitute an undeserved windfall for the handful of dominant, higher-cost lenders already within the manufactured housing market (affiliated with the corporate conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Corporation), which do not need – or apparently want – government securitization of a broader segment of manufactured housing consumer loans.

Recognizing, however, that Congress may want to take a different approach to DTS – as it did in an earlier, 2013 GSE reform bill that would have created a “Market Access Fund” in the place of DTS and the existing GSE affordable housing goals – MHARR, in its testimony, asks Congress to include specific protections for manufactured housing loans, and manufactured housing personal property loans in particular, in any such provision, based on language developed by MHARR in connection with that earlier bill and incorporated by the Senate in later versions of the bill that it ultimately approved.

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 —

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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Conservatorship Draws Secretary Carson’s Broadside, Plus MH Stock Updates







HUD Secretary Ben Carson Touts 2018 Accomplishments, Highlights

February 1st, 2019 Comments off



The partial federal shutdown, now over, delayed several reports, like the one that follows.



The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) press room provided the Daily Business News on MHProNews select highlights of what they point to as Carson’s accomplishments.

Given the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) claims of close ties and “clout,” it is worth noting that manufactured housing isn’t mentioned at all.  But there are several data points and mentioned items that directly or obliquely should be of interest to manufactured home industry professionals.



Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response



Here’s the HUD release.  Some analysis will follow HUD’s release.






WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its 2018 Year in Review outlining the major accomplishments of the agency under Secretary Ben Carson.

“Over the past year, the Trump Administration has continued to deliver on its promise to create greater economic opportunity for low-income families and encourage reinvestment in underserved communities,” Secretary Carson said. “HUD is advancing its mission by providing sustainable homeownership opportunities, removing barriers to revitalization and affordable housing, and helping communities impacted by natural disasters rebuild, among other efforts. I look forward to continue building on the successes of the past year and opening more pathways to self-sufficiency for HUD-assisted families.”

HUD’s achievements in 2018 include:

  • Spurring Reinvestment in Communities

o HUD preserved affordable housing options by converting over 100,000 public housing units through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which has generated close to $6 billion in construction investment.

o The Administration established the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, covering 13 federal agencies and led by Secretary Carson, which will work to prioritize Opportunity Zones in a variety of federal efforts, including grant funding, loan guarantees, infrastructure spending and crime prevention.


  • Advancing Economic Opportunity

o HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) served nearly 669,000 mostly first and low- to moderate-income, single-family homebuyers through home loans; supported the production and preservation of 121,600 multifamily units; and provided $2.45 billion in insurance for hospital and residential care facilities.

o Ginnie Mae served 1.86 million households by attracting global capital to the nation’s housing market through its mortgage-backed security (MBS) in conjunction with the government’s lending programs, such as the FHA and Veterans Affairs (VA).


  • Reducing Homelessness Among Extremely Vulnerable Populations

o   HUD, through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, reduced veteran homelessness by 5.4 percent since last year, falling to nearly half of the number of homeless veterans reported in 2010.

o   HUD-supported Continuums of Care (CoCs) reduced the number of families with children experiencing homelessness by 2.7 percent since 2017 and 29 percent since 2010.


  • Funding Disaster Recovery at Historic Levels

o HUD has responded to natural disasters with historic funding levels and assistance to support the long-term recovery of affected communities. Specifically, HUD is allocating more than $35 billion in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding to 16 states and local governments in FY2018 following several natural disasters to support long-term recovery efforts.

o HUD introduced new FHA financing options, including the “Disaster Standalone Partial Claim,” for disaster victims who are rebuilding or buying another home following a disaster. This option covered up to 12 months of missed mortgage payments via an interest-free second loan on the home.


  • Protecting Taxpayers

o   HUD won a significant legal victory in Anaheim Gardens v. United States, a case that has been pending for 25 years and presented HUD and the Federal government with potentially more than $100 million in liability exposure.

o   HUD reduced the FHA’s exposure to risk and promoted sustainable homeownership. Specifically, HUD exceeded the statutorily mandated 2.0% capital ratio in the Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 by not implementing a premium decrease announced by the previous administration.


Read more of HUD’s 2018 accomplishments here and about many of the individuals and families who have been impacted by HUD’s programs and services at

### End of HUD Release ###

Secretary Carson, it will be recalled, promised manufactured housing professionals a new era of cooperation last year, saying the Trump Administration here’s our industry’s interests and concerns. It is beyond doubt that Carson made significant changes, such as the removal of Pam Danner, JD, from the administrative role at HUD.  There has been some regulatory relief – or at least a pause.

The industry’s members should not forget Lesli Gooch’s questionable statement to Scotsman Guide, just prior to the end of the federal shutdown.  See the related reports below for more.

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



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

Wall Street, Lesli Gooch – Manufactured Housing Institute EVP – Penetrating Scotsman Guide Interview Analysis

Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses

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

HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Senator Thom Tillis Discuss Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes, Video

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















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

November 6th, 2018 Comments off



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.


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.


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


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.



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?



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,



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.”



Confidential or on the record on-the-record comments and news tips, are welcomed. Please say NEWS TIPS in the subject line, to help us spot it in our volume of email. News tips can be sent with documents tot this linked email 

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



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.

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.



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


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.


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.


Learn more by clicking here or above. The banner ad is not connected with the story it is posted in.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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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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