Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)’

What RV Industry’s 2018, Prior Results Reveal for Manufactured Housing

August 10th, 2018 No comments



Executive Summary?  The facts are black and white. Eye-opening.


Some RV vs. MH Shipment Performance Facts:

  • The RV industry shipped more units in March of 2018 than did the entire manufactured housing industry through June of 2018.  Good for them, ouch for our industry.


  • In 1998, when HUD Code Manufactured Homes (MH) last peaked, there were about 373,000 (+/-) MH shipments vs. some 282,700 RVs shipped that year, per the RVIA.

To see a related report, click here.


Since 1998, when MH last peaked, RVs have generally risen, while manufactured housing declined to historically low levels. For an evidence-based analysis on ‘why,’ click here.

  • In 1998, per the data as shown, RVs were about 76% the shipment levels of HUD Code Manufactured homes.
  • While manufactured housing was sliding backwards from 1998 until 2010, the RV industry was growing from 1995 until 2006.
  • The RV industry’s bottom was hit in 2009, which was still more than three times higher than the manufactured housing industry’s low point.
  • Post “Great Recession,” the RV industry experienced a year that it grew 46 percent YoY in a single year.
  • Unlike the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is incorrectly reporting the industry’s GDP (apparently at wholesale?), the RVIA does their data correctly, by publishing their data at retail.
  • The most recent manufactured housing shipment data is linked below.

Manufactured Housing Shipment Totals, June 2018


More Facts and Insights

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has repeatedly noted that RVs are a “luxury” item for most, not a necessity.

By contrast, while manufactured housing are purchased by some as a vacation home, the majority of HUD Code MHs are purchased for use as a primary residence.

It must also be noted that the large percentage of manufactured homes being purchased for rentals by REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and other manufactured home community operations arguably masks a still relatively low new home SALES level at retail.

Rephrased, if you pull rental unit statistics out of new manufactured home shipments, the industry is essentially flat since it hit bottom. That’s a statement that MHI-only-member manufacturers have confirmed.

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data


A Key Takeaway?

So, the RV industry is demonstrably doing better at representing their industry – in bottom line units shipped, image, total GDP, and total performance – than the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has, which claims to represent “all aspects of factory-built housing.”

It’s black and white.  RVs are outperforming our industry by more than 5 to 1.

That may be true, but logically one must ask. How are such low performance levels possible, given the affordable housing crisis, and the quality of today’s manufactured homes?




Collage by MHProNews.


RV News?

A check of RV news on this date reveals that they get bad news stories too.  Of course, the media newsroom mantra is “If it bleeds, it leads.”  That said, RVs appear to have a greater proportion of positive news stories than MH does.  For example, new RV park opening, positive company news that are not press releases, etc.  If someone scans or reads RV news today, they likely won’t be scared off by what they see.


By contrast, as MHProNews has pointed out, the industry has a routine string of bad news stories. Yet, prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams admitted in writing that there was a good case to be made for the MH industry to respond to each and every bad news and relevant inaccuracy.


That being so, why hasn’t the MH industry demanded that MHI do what their chairman observed?  Is it, fear?

“Fixing Our Industry’s Terrible” Public Relations, a Proven Strategy


While he’s gone radio-silent on public critiques of the MHI in 2018, prominent member Frank Rolfe has blasted MHI for years for “hypocrisy,” plus their failure to defend and promote the good name of the industry.  He certainly isn’t alone in that, as others quoted on and off the record have said the same.

Do you notice that Rolfe used the word “Enemy?!

Among the reasons Rolfe is spotlighted is because MHI themselves opted to put Rolfe on their stage.  So here is someone that MHI has lifted up, that’s blasted them repeatedly over their performance.


Learn more, click here.

The same is true for Marty Lavin, who was honored with a lifetime achievement award by MHI.  Lavin served MHI for years.  Yet, he has consistently critiqued the association for their numerous apparent failures.

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Why has Lavin, who served MHI for years and was awarded one of their most prestigious awards for lifetime achievement, been such a critic of their performance? Click here.

On the Masthead, our publisher – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has done a careful look at our industry’s potential, as well as what’s gone wrong in MHVille since the last peak. The analysis pulls together new and prior data in a logical, fact-and-evidence based way that will be clear to researchers, newcomers, and all others.

MHProNews spotlights these issues precisely for the reason that the legendary Zig Ziglar said. In a column on “Problem Solving” provided by Ziglar’s editor to this trade journal, linked here, Zig said the following.


Maturity vs. Denial or Wishful Thinking 

Whatever rationale that one wishes to apply for the reasons why MHI’s “leadership” is failing the industry, isn’t the bottom line that the facts prove that MHI is demonstrably failing?

Ziglar spoke about maturity.

A mature adult in his own business will normally not tolerate problematic or failed behavior for long.  But what the above data of RVs growth vs. MH shrinkage reflects is that manufactured housing’s so-called leadership has demonstrably failed.

It’s black and white.

UMH President and CEO, Sam Landy has told MHProNews that every company is responsible for their own marketing.  Common sense says, that’s a given.  But it is one that industry pros must embrace.

But what the breakaway of two state associations – plus the steady drop out of some of their members who can leave without arguably feeling that they are under duress – is that MHI has failed to represent their interests.

If “MHI Clout” is measured by results for the many, where is MHI’s clout?  Who are they selling?  The industry’s members, on how great they say they are?  Or are they selling the public-at-large?


If the MHVillage data is any evidence, the public hasn’t bought it.


Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews.

Bottom Line

What the RV industry data reflects is overall growth for their industry, and overall shrinkage for HUD Code manufactured homes.

That’s the first step of Ziglar’s problem solving reality check.  The question of how did the industry get here must be understood.

FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

For next steps, see the related reports, linked below. We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

March 23rd, 2018 Comments off


A veteran Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) lender’s controversial comments to the Daily Business News are bound to shake up discussions about two hot button industry topics.


Those two subjects are:

  • the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing, mandated by Congress a decade ago, and
  • the Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) Rule, established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) during the Obama Administration, and run under Richard Cordray’s leadership for several years.

A senior lender in manufactured housing, whose company is an MHI member, said that Triad Financial Services turned over their data to the GSEs “about 5 or 6 months ago.

The same informed source said that Credit Human, formerly known as CU Factory Built Lending, committed to turning over their data to the GSEs as well. That hand-off was reportedly more recent.

Therefore, the two Berkshire Hathaway owned lenders – 21st Mortgage Corp and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) – were the 2 major holdouts.

The industry’s larger chattel lenders split along ‘party lines,’ with Berkshire Hathaway not providing data to the GSEs, and non-BH lenders providing data to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

That loan performance data, said the GSEs, was needed to responsibly implement home-only “chattel” loans.

Despite assurance from MHI to members that they were doing ‘all that can be done’ to promote the Duty to Serve, the revelation that the Berkshire Hathaway owned lenders gave no data to the GSEs undermines that contention. MHI and the Berkshire Hathaway companies have previously been invited to clarify or confirm these concerns. Doesn’t their silence speaks volumes?

The comments confirmed once more the public statement in Tunica that Fannie Mae’s Paul Barretto made earlier this week, that Berkshire Hathaway failed to provide them with any relevant data.

According to Barretto, that meant that the bulk of the data they had was from the Conseco loan pool, which dated back to the late 1990s and early 2000, and were widely known for problematic origination and thus poor loan performance.

The combination of comments by the MHI lender and Fannie Mae’s Barretto underscored key revelations that help explain a decade of delays in implementation of the Congressionally mandated Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing.

That lack of data claim was in turn was used by the GSEs to do only a relatively modest pilot program by Fannie and Freddie. Those pilot projects are to be rolled out over 3 years, in support of the most affordable permanent housing in America.


Preserving Access…err…S. 2155

Once more, the potential for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to make a deal on the Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) Rule – which some in media are mischaracterizing as “steering” – directly with the non-profit consumer groups was asserted by an MHI member lender.

Why does it matter?

First, because while the odds of passage on S 2155 are up, it is no guarantee that the manufactured housing amendment to the bill will survive a House/Senate conference committee.


As or more important, the recent reveal by the lender and Barretto both belie MHI’s official claim that they’ve been doing everything possible to advance the cause of more lending in manufactured housing.

If Barretto’s public comment in front of dozens of industry pros, plus the MHI lender and other sources are to be believed, then what MHI claims “just ain’t so.”

As MHProNews exclusively reported, the lender noted above confirmed what other sources have already said, which is that the non-profit “consumer groups” were ready to deal on the MLO rule, so long as the points and fees that mostly Berkshire Hathaway lenders wanted would be dropped from Preserving Access.


Dickens and others reportedly offered a compromise, which MHI declined. Consumers and independent industry professionals alike have suffered as a result.


As the MHI member lender told MHProNews, the art of compromise is the essence of political advancement.

Yet, “MHI’s leadership” was unwilling to compromise at all.

To rephrase, and emphasize – per our sources — MHI allegedly misled their own members and the industry at large


The likely answer has been supplied by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which tacitly supported Preserving Access, but felt that bill had no chance for passage.

MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, said that every day that DTS isn’t fully and robustly implanted is “a gift” to the Berkshire Hathaway owned lenders.


MHARR tacitly supported Preserving Access, but also privately felt the bill had no chance. Years later, they’ve been proven correct.

The same logic can be applied to S 2155.  By creating a burden for competitors, the larger Berkshire Hathaway companies could endure the discomfort, knowing it would cause their industry competitors even more pain.

MHARR has called for a congressional investigation of the DTS matter, and has hinted at other possible steps that they may take.  MHI’s failures – whatever the cause or motivation – to get meaningful relief, has resulted in hundreds of once independent retailers and several HUD Code home producers vanishing in a few short years.  That fact is demonstrated by MHI’s own data.


State Association Voices Largely Silenced 

Even more state association executives have privately confirmed for the Daily Business News what then MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, said after he took over a conference call.  Williams reportedly threatened and pushed reluctant state executives to promote the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act with their state members (see Gold Rules report, linked below along with other resources for more details).

Yet, former MHI Vice President Jason Boehlert said in a formal statement that Preserving Access was unlikely to pass while then President Barack Obama was in the Oval Office. And it was Warren Buffett who supported then POTUS Obama’s reelection effort.


Those numerous and clear disconnects between what MHI claimed, and what Warren Buffett did are so blinding, some fail to see it.

But a growing number are grasping the apparent sham of MHI saying one thing, while Buffett was personally working for the opposite.

The only logical implication is that MHI’s elected and staff leadership were driving the MH Industry at large into years of wasted and costly efforts.


Publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has observed what other voices inside or outside of MHI have said. Berkshire Hathaway owned companies benefit if the Preserving Access bill passes, or not.

Furthermore, the longer more new HUD Code home shipments are diminished, the more retailers and communities sell out for less than their value, or are forced out of business.

That in turn would lead to more closures of the independent HUD Code producers, who once supplied the failed or consolidated independents retailers and communities.


If MHProNews were the only source with these concerns, then one might be more inclined to dismiss it. But several sources inside and outside the industry raise the same or similar concerns. Where there is smoke, there is fire, right?

So while the affordable housing crisis rages, manufactured housing had the brakes put on it.  Frank Rolfe, an MHI member, said last year that the industry is its own worst enemy.

It’s a process the fits perfectly with Warren Buffett’s “the Moat” principle, which the two posted videos below confirm.  But for someone to really understand the issues Kevin Clayton and Buffett himself raise, they must do what Buffett does.  Invest the time to research and read.

What Buffett says in brief about “the Moat” – increasingly seen as a monopolistic plan – Kevin Clayton confirms in detail.

This is parallel to the reasons why the Nation recently named Buffett as a monopolistic player in industries, including manufactured housing.

The Nation specifically pointed a finger at Clayton Homes, and their Berkshire Hathaway sister companies.


They Win, While a Growing Number of Independent Businesses Lose…

 …or is There Another Option?

MHProNews has received multiple contacts from veteran attorneys who believe that an antitrust case could be made, by federal authorities, but also by independent businesses suing under civil antitrust laws that carry triple damages.

Among those attorneys are those who would do the case on contingency.

Meaning, the law firm collects only if they win the case or come to an agreed upon settlement. With many contingency cases, the attorney doesn’t require the normal hourly fee.  The reason an attorney does a case on contingency is because they believe they can get more by taking a percentage of a case, then the hourly fee would be. That reduces the risk for the plaintiff, while increasing the drive by the suing law firm.

As the nation is caught in an economic vice that the affordable housing crisis has fueled, manufactured housing is – as MHLivingNews touted years ago – the solution that’s hiding in plain sight.

MHI’s shadow boxing on regulatory issues has stymied and delayed the industry’s recovery. The very professionals who are paid to promote the industry, in this view, have been rewarded for failure to achieve any meaningful regulatory relief.

Given several on-the-record statements by

  • Clayton Homes CEO, Kevin Clayton,
  • Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage,
  • Warren Buffett’s well publicized principles,
  • and documents obtained by MHProNews on 21st letterhead,

there is mounting evidence which seems to support the allegations that the thousands of industry retailers – and numerous producers – failed or sold out cheap, all while MHI postured ‘advocacy’ on their behalf.

Some believe that the push for S. 2155 compromise now, is precisely because of the ‘heat’ that MHI has been getting from MHProNews coverage of their problematic handling of Preserving Access.

As was reported yesterday, a growing number of the industry’s professionals have taken these MHProNews reports seriously.

While some continue to believe MHI et al, others were in Tunica this week taking practical steps to distance themselves from options linked to Berkshire Hathaway owned brands.


The Return of Common Sense?

Common sense says you don’t feed a dog that’s proven to bite your or others’ hands,” says Tony Kovach.


L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY. Kovach is the publisher of the industry’s two largest and most popular trade media, and

The pattern seems to be this.  MHI takes the wrong position on an issue, and only after extended pressure, do they finally relent and pivot to the more logical stance for industry independents.  So there is no glory for them in finally taking a correct step, after months or years of allegedly bad ones.

Meanwhile, the majority of the industry’s independent members have suffered. Some have sold out for less than the true value of their business, or lost their once successful businesses altogether. No wonder law firms are interested in working a legal action against this sort of behavior on contingency.” Tony Kovach said.

While MHProNews naturally values on-the-record comments, such off the record insights from the lender noted above can be invaluable for the industry’s independents.

The concept can be digested in minutes.

But to fully digest the nuances of what is taking place, one must do as Warren Buffett himself does: it may take a few hours of reading for all of the facts to be fully understood.

Buffett sees the value of studying the issues, but how many independent professionals do? Will more dig deeper in the days ahead? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

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

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

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

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

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

Inside Scoop Mulvaney-CFPB and MHI, Berkshire Hathaway Company Meeting Detail$

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

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

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

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

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Keith Holdbrooks, Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and the 2018 Tunica Show Controversy

March 22nd, 2018 Comments off


The 2018 Tunica Show is now in the history books.


Reports are that registrations and attendance was up at Tunica over last year’s event.

Exhibitors in the events center – and those who displayed new factory built homes – reported good traffic, happy attendees, and solid results.

What was conspicuously missing in Tunica this year was the presence of Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

There were good reasons to hold this report until after the event concluded, to make sure that our Daily Business News reporting would not impact turnout, which discerning minds should grasp.


Inside Word, from the South Central Show…

Per show sources to MHProNews, Clayton Homes’ Keith Holdbrooks communicated the decision months ago that Clayton would not be participating in this year’s Tunica Show trade event.

There are more details, but those are being held to protect some of the sources for the allegation that Clayton is trying to – quoting – “kill off the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.”

Those reports from informed sources that Clayton was working to – again, quoting another source – “kill off the Tunica Show” began over a year ago, when Clayton scaled back their presence at Tunica in 2017.

Reports last year – and again in 2018 – told the Daily Business News that a similar pattern was followed by Clayton Homes at the now defunct North Carolina manufactured home trade show.

Clayton reportedly expressed a different set of reasons than a desire to kill the Tunica Show off to explain their decision to pull their support from the South Central Manufactured Housing Institute (SCMHI) annual trade event.

MHProNews will continue to monitor such issues, which a variety of sources allege are part of a broader plan by Clayton to increase Berkshire Hathaway’s dominance over the manufactured housing industry. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)


GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

Manufactured Housing – “Giants vs. Independents” – Tunica Talk – “You’ve Got to See This”

Clayton Homes’ Keith Holdbrooks, Deer Valley Homebuilders’ (DVLY) Chet Murphree Honored

4 F’s and True Believers

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

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Fires, News Media Reports Impact Manufactured Housing Sales, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes Reaction

February 14th, 2018 Comments off


The screen capture below is a case of a picture is worth 1,000 words.  It is a composite from a page one Google search this morning for “mobile home” news.


Note that each of these page one search results reveals a news report that negative.   Every day, such media reports are part of the problem for the industry’s image.



Under ‘Manufactured Housing‘ news screen capture below, the pattern shown above largely holds true.

The Tennessee Fire Marshal’s story about manufactured housing and fire dangers was number 2 today on a Google search this morning, but was a top linked search result at one point last week.


The Daily Business News reached out to some of the media that picked up that Fire Marshal’s release.

Per a top management source at one of those news outlets contacted, when asked if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), or others in manufactured housing (for example, the Tennessee Manufactured Housing Association, or Clayton Homes, as this is their home state) contacted them about this news item, what did that news media’s management source tell MHProNews?

Their responses to our inquiries are shown in the screen captures shown above below.  Reportedly, nada, zip, zilch.

By contrast, MHLivingNews has done fact-based reports like the one below for years.

Avoidable Tragedies! Mobile Home Fires vs. Manufactured Home, and Conventional Housing

As noted in the graphic above, often, but not always – such communications are done by MHProNews via email. That makes ‘he said, she said’ denials later difficult.  It is routinely in black-and-white.

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

This pro-active outreach by MHProNews is how we broke the story on tornado deaths and mobile homes, or last year on the Michigan State University (MSU) tornado death story, to mention just two examples.


Urban Institute and Manufactured Housing

When the Urban Institute (UI) issued their report, they cited three reasons for manufactured housing sales to be as low as they are today. After acknowledging thatmanufactured homes could ease the affordable housing crisis. So why are so few being made? quoting the UI report:

Yet the number of manufactured units shipped remains low for three reasons.

  1. Restrictive zoning
  2. Restrictive or unavailable financing
  3. Lower appreciation…”

Why didn’t their research mention the impact of negative news media on the industry’s sales?  Arguably, it is implied in their point #1.  But it isn’t mentioned, much less a separate 4th, point.

Was the Urban Institute Misled, Duped, or Part of a Manufactured Housing Industry Scam?

How is that possible, for serious researchers? When MHLivingNews, MHProNews, and several mainstream media sources have hit that very theme as harming manufactured housing acceptance, and thus sales?

MHI told the industry that media engagement would be part of their plan for their public relations professional.  MHI’s problematic advertorials and lightly viewed YouTube videos clearly haven’t moved the new manufactured home shipments needle.

MHProNews’ publisher – at an MHI event – explained the necessity for media engagement, which includes correcting the record on negative or problematic reports or stories.


8 million plus affordable housing units are awaiting, and there are numerous sources targeting that affordable housing market. Is MHI part of the problem, or part of the solution?


What does the evidence from MHI and their big company members suggest on the question above?

Why does MHI or other big companies routinely fail to task their PR people do what was a promised; namely, to engage the media on such problematic reporting issues? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, linked context, analysis, and commentary.)

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Appealing Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Marketing, Finance Booklet Reviewed

December 4th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoFactCheckAnalsisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1000x737The image to the left and those below are from a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) produced booklet.

It’s good.

With nuanced exceptions, it’s accurate.

This booklet – combined with other educational materials – are precisely the kind of document that could appeal to and inform:

  • home buyers/consumers,
  • public officials,
  • policy advocates,
  • researchers,
  • and the mainstream media.

Such educational material – properly promoted – could over time bring more better qualified buyers into the manufactured home market.


From an overall fine MHI booklet, produced circa 2002.

Is There a Catch?

Yes, and no.


First, we’ll make the disclosure that this truly fine Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) booklet is ‘outdated,’ but only in a narrow sense.


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There are doubtlessly newer manufactured home professionals in sales or leasing offices that are unaware of some of the appealing styles shown in the complete booklet that this was excerpted from. Those unique styles of HUD Code manufactured housing are, or could be, done as well or better today.

Second, while the booklet doesn’t have a date of publication, MHProNews has indications that it was produced circa 2002. That’s important, as we’ll note later.

Third, unlike documents and graphics produced in the Richard A. “Dick” Jennison era at MHI, which:

  • conflicts with other MHI data,
  • conflicts with data from other member companies,
  • has factual errors, per federal, lender, or other data,

this roughly 15-year-old ‘dated’ MHI document – after an initial read, and given some modest changes – could largely be used today.

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

It’s arguably better than what MHI now produces, because it is more accurate on the lending options.


For example, this MHI-produced – largely consumer-focused document – cited a useful Harvard study.  That university research predicted that manufactured housing would take off in the years ahead.

So, on the one hand, this document is better than some items being produced by MHI today.  There were voices such as Harvard saying the era of manufactured housing was upon America.

What happened?


Graphic provided by Ross Kinzler when he was then the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

Bear in mind Warren Buffett’s notable quotes, cited at the link below.  Keep in mind that the booklet was produced prior to Buffett’s manufactured housing buying spree.  Buffett believes that history is to be studied and learned from, how about you?  Do you agree with Buffett on studying and learning from history?

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

Why Does This Fine MHI Booklet Matter Today?

For several reasons, this 15-year-old MHI booklet ought to raise curiosity, praise or the prior effort, and numerous concerns for:

  • MHI members,
  • manufactured home professionals,
  • and third-party-researchers.

Some bullets why this is worth evaluating and updating could include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • The booklet is generic, which means it did not plug specific manufactured home producing companies, as MHI’s new videos do.
  • While it names FHA, VA, USDA (Rural Housing Services, the old FmHA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc. it doesn’t name any lenders that provide those programs. To rephrase, it’s generic on lending too.  It doesn’t name a Berkshire Hathaway (BH) lender, for example.
  • Because in those days, it couldn’t have named a BH lender, because it was only later that BH bought companies that included MH chattel loans.

To recap, this booklet had no favoritism.


Another photo from the educational, generic marketing MHI booklet, produced circa 2002.

Almost anyone in the industry could have used this to promote a better understanding of manufactured housing, and the kind of loans that most consumers who are comparing to conventional housing would be familiar with.

  • There was no picking ‘winner’ companies that got spotlighted at the cost of all members.
  • Because there were no featured ‘winners’ companies, there are therefore no by-default, ‘loser’ companies. This is an application of what Drew (now Lippert) Chairman Leigh Abrams told MHProNews in A Cup of Coffee with Leigh J. Abrams interview linked here that the industry should be promoting. “Generic” educational/marketing material.
  • What this booklet indirectly spotlights goes to the allegation by contemporary MHI members, and others in the industry, that the Arlington, VA based trade organization now favors a few select companies. What that would imply in practice is that all others who are dues-paying members are paying to promote those few “winner” companies.

Big companies are benefiting from the dollars of the little companies.  That clearly wasn’t so when this booklet was produced 15 years ago.

Are these facts, allegations and concerns still more good reason to support a new, post-production trade association?

To learn more click the linked post above, or below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

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


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.

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


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.


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.


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



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


To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

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.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

Sunday Morning Weekly Recap Manufactured Housing Industry News August 6th to August 13th, 2017

August 13th, 2017 Comments off

A look at the new home page.

Our new August issue will go live tonight, Aug 6th.   Our featured articles will be available on the home page. Our August theme will be available mid-week this week.

 To see the line-up of over 2-dozen featured articles for this month, along with the headline commentary, please click the link above.

Manufactured, modular and prefabricated home professionals know that how a home got to its location should not define a person or their dwelling.

What the Daily Business News spotlights day-by-day are the tragedies, triumphs and struggles for acceptance of the obvious solution for millions for the growing affordable housing crisis in the U.S. and beyond.


When you read the lineup for the month found on the home page, you can reflect on another motto as you chart your own professional path ahead: “We Provide, You Decide.”  ©


What’s New On MHLivingNews

Billionaire$ and Millionaire$ Proudly Hang Out in New York Manufactured Homes, Condo Resort

“Po-Dunk” Performer Kid Rock, Eyes Senate Run, Makes Manufactured Home Living 

Rising Renters Nation, Pew Research, Overlooked Affordable Home Ownership 

What’s New On MHProNews

August 12th, 2017


August 11th, 2017


August 10th, 2017


August 9th, 2017


August 8th, 2017


August 7th, 2017


Kid Rock for Senate website = credit.


August 6th, 2017


Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the Law of Supply and Demand

July 19th, 2017 Comments off

MillennialLooksSecRickPerrySupplyDemandManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsHere’s a little economics lesson,” said Rick Perry, Secretary of the Department of Energy, in response to a question about how the coal industry can stay competitive, when the shale revolution of the last 10 years has made the supply of natural gas so abundant and cheap. “Supply and demand: You put the supply out there, and the demand will follow,” Perry said.

The reply was made by Perry after he had been subject to criticism in the media – with headlines such as:

  • Another ‘Oops’ Moment?”
  • Rick Perry Hilariously Misunderstands Supply and Demand Theory,”
  • and more.

However, as an article in TownHall, pointed out, Perry’s “theory” was generally accepted by economists, even if it was well over a century ago.

A product is no sooner created, than it, from that instant, affords a market for other products to the full extent of its own value,” – Jean-Baptiste Say, the French economist, in “A Treatise on Political Economy”

Understanding supply and demand is important, especially when industry professionals are seeing it directly affect the factory-built housing market.

For example, a higher demand for affordable housing has led to a shortage of that in many markets nationwide. That has boosted manufactured home sales by double-digits growth rates.  While more is possible, say industry experts, even without that extra effort, the growth from demand is there.


Supply and Demand in Charts and Video

VEA Australia produced the video below, which demonstrates a basic understanding of the law of supply and demand.

The law of supply and demand, defined simply, is that when the price of a product or service falls, people will buy more of it – and more often.

However, following that same logic, when the price of that product or service rises, the demand for it falls along with that price hike. That drop-in demand continues as the price continues to increase, slowly reducing the amount that is demanded.


This – it should be noted – is why the NAHB “Priced Out” study makes sense.

Ironically, The Law of Supply and Demand is also why the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) original position was on the proposed DOE rule was flawed, and why the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) position opposing the DOE regulations that MHI originally supported was the common sense one, representing the greatest good for the majority of the industry.


The law of supply and demand makes it easy to analyze the original positions of the two national manufacturd home associations when it comes to the DOE proposed standards. Links to a previous  analysis of MHI and MHARR views, with other related commentary. Collage credits, Pixabay, MHProNews.

Price Alone Isn’t the Only Factor

On the other hand, price is not the only factor that reflects the demand for any one product or service.

One also has to take into consideration changes to

  • population,
  • income,
  • and consumer preferences

– which can increase and decrease the demand depending on whether they are rising or falling.


For example, in the factory-built housing industry, the demand for affordable housing is high – due to increased populations, fewer jobs and lower-income levels there are fewer workers in various occupations.

Unfortunately, consumer preference presently tends to work against the industry for various reasons, including the misconceptions, stigma and stereotyping of manufactured housing.

Right now, the factory-built housing sector and affordable housing both fall into the same category on the supply and demand chain – shortage.

There is a very high demand for affordable housing – but because the price of traditional housing (the consumer preference) is so high, it does not fit the current demand.

The solution is a more affordable type of housing, like manufactured, modular and prefabricated housing, which is lower in price and can fill that shortage gap.


Not only would more people be able to buy a home, but since they will be able to reasonably afford the home, they will be able to spend more in other areas. That will lead over time lead to an increase in demand for many other products and services.

Eventually, if people would turn to manufactured housing to end the shortage of affordable homes, the supply and demand could reach an equilibrium – and from there we would see economic improvements among all income-brackets. This would lead to more economic freedom for individuals who earn low wages and cannot afford to live on that income in the current economy.

Secretary Perry’s Timely Comments

While Perry’s comments may seem misconstrued to some, the idea is that with more of something available, there will be an opportunity for a higher demand. That’s true for energy, and it is also true for housing.

Not everyone who owns a manufactured home is in the low-income, or even the middle-income bracket. The demand for manufactured housing will grow in all income and age brackets – once we see a change in consumer understanding and thus consumer preferences.


Debunking media or other errors are all a part of changing perceptions, which in turn is proven to raise demand. Collage by

Educational efforts by innovators like New Durham Estates has proven that the proper information, presentation (education), combined with demand will lead to a surge in sales.

It all tends to go back to erasing the stigma that has dogged manufactured homes due to improper terminology, prejudice and stereotypes of decades long past.

Change the consumer preference – and we have the means to fill the supply shortage in this time when affordable homes are in the highest demand. ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for

Proposed Changes to Dodd-Frank in New Federal Budget Offers Hope to Manufactured Housing Industry

December 15th, 2014 Comments off

u-s-capitol-building-credit=dc-shpo-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-For awhile, it seemed doubtful that any changes to the Dodd-Frank bill governing financing for residential or manufactured housing (MH) might pass. Now, there seems to be a ray of hope for the MH industry. The evidence is a rider attached to the 2015 federal budget passed late on the evening of Thursday, December 11, that reversed the Dodd-Frank rule concerning the purchase and sale of derivatives.

According to Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times, “Dodd-Frank forbid banks from dealing in exotic securities, the kind that played such a big role in the financial crisis. In itself, last week’s action wasn’t decisive, but it was clearly the first skirmish in a war to roll back much, if not all of the financial reform.”

This should give hope to supporters of a bill such as HR 1779 and S 1828, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, might be passed in the upcoming 2015 legislative sessions.

Krugman points out that “it’s hard to find Republicans expressing major reservations about undoing reform.” However, he says that few Democrats actually believe that undoing Dodd-Frank is a good idea.

That opinion was vociferously expressed by Senator Elizabeth Warren who tried to block the Dodd-Frank revision from being included in the new $1.1 trillion federal spending bill. Warren’s high-profile budget move failed, but dramatically raised her standing among the Democrats’ left-of-center party base, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hillary Clinton’s anticipated 2016 presidential candidacy.

According to the New York Post, This Warren thing puts Hillary in a horrendous position.” The Post continued by saying a prominent New York Democratic consultant involved in presidential politics stated, “Wall Street money has always been Hillary’s bread and butter, and she’s been counting on it for 2016. Now, because of the Senate debate, she’ll be forced to say where she stands on things like the derivatives rule and Wall Street’s continuing effort to repeal Dodd-Frank.”

The debate concerning Dodd-Frank continues. Although some Democrats oppose any changes, with the Republicans gaining control of both the House and the Senate, the prospect of more changes to that bill is promising.

Thus the outlook for a manufactured housing backed reform of parts of Dodd-Frank in 2015, ala the Manufactured Housing Institute led HR 1779 and S. 1828, now looks brighter. ##

(Photo credit: Photo courtesy of the DC SHPO and

sandra-lane-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-75x75-Article submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News – MHProNews.

Incoming MHARR president calls on DOE Secretary to Reject Proposed MH Energy Standards

November 27th, 2014 Comments off

doe-logo-graphic-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-energy-standards-mhpronews-M. Mark Weiss, JD, the incoming president for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), laments the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) stance on the proposed Department of Energy (DOE) standards for manufactured housing.

The essence of MHARR’s position is that the DOE’s standards are far more costly than the benefits to consumers, and will cost producers and consumers alike.

The announcement that MHARR was calling on the DOE to reject the proposal – which came as a press release to MHProNews  – doesn’t come as a surprise. Mr. Weiss took the opposing view to MHI in the November Featured Article, 3 Differing Views on Proposed DOE Energy Standards,  that outlines each trade organization’s thinking in their own words.

Quoting the incoming MHARR president-designate, “Most surprising, is why part of the manufactured housing industry is supporting such costly proposals given the current state of the manufactured housing market and the continuing regulatory-driven erosion in the availability of manufactured home purchase-money financing. While providing little or no relevant information to industry members, the other national industry group touts the Working Group proposal as ‘a win-win for [manufactured] homebuyers and the environment.’”

Their entire MHARR release on the DOE MH Energy standards proposal is linked here. A related article presenting a non-profit’s perspective – which praises the DOE standards proposal – is linked here. ##

(Original image credit – DOE logo – graphic addition, MHProNews)