Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Institute’

Members Point to Positives, Problematic – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) says, “Get the Facts on Zoning”

June 7th, 2019 No comments
MembersPointtoPositivesPromblematicManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoSaysGetFactsOnZoningDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from video posted further below.

Among the sources for the report that follows are MHEC, MHI, and their members.

 

Let’s begin by pondering MHI’s page on zoning, which has no date on their article/post.  That is being provided in its entirety below under fair use guidelines for media under this fact check and analysis.  The MHI statement mentioning Huntsville, Texas suggests it was possibly posted in 2016. But a link to that page elsewhere on the MHI website has a date of Oct 31, 2017.  With that understanding, let’s dive in to their verbatim text under their subheading shown on a page linked here.

 

CollageMHIPageGetFactsonZoningManufacturedHousingInstituteMHProNews

Unfair Zoning Laws Can Restrict Manufactured Home Placement

There is an affordable housing crisis in the U.S. and some communities are making a bad situation worse.

There is a growing trend of municipalities trying to use zoning and other land use regulations to restrict or eliminate manufactured housing in their jurisdictions. These actions could reduce the supply of critically-needed affordable housing for working families across the country and may be discriminatory under the Fair Housing Act.

The attempts at cities discriminating against manufactured housing are wide ranging. Some cities now restrict community owners from replacing units when someone moves, others are looking at banning them altogether, and some are segregating them at locations far out from local amenities such as schools, transportation, doctors and jobs.

Local city and county government’s use a variety of land use planning devices to restrict the use of manufactured homes as an available source of affordable housing. Interestingly, these devises are often in conflict with the entity’s comprehensive plan. These cases often involve zones within a community where manufactured housing fits the character and ascetics of the zone.

 

Outright Bans
This past year, Huntsville, Texas, passed an outright ban on the placement of manufactured homes in the community, including on private property. This change in the law came despite the presence of manufactured homes and multi-family homes in the community. After an outcry from residents living in manufactured homes, the council overturned the ban.

 

Lot Size

Rural Harrison County, Kentucky is attempting to pass a requirement that manufactured homes may only be placed on lots of 10 acres or more.  These types of ordinances are found in other communities and can range from 1 to 10 acres.

Lot size is not just a rural issue. In a community in South Carolina, the Georgetown council required minimum lot size in a zone predominated by older mobile homes whereby the practical effect would be to require the accumulation of several lots to build any new home. As this case involves a zone containing a majority of African American residents, HUD is investigating for possible Fair Housing violations.

 

Layering of Multiple Ordinances
When a Mississippi Supreme Court decision disallowed Pearl’s method of excluding manufactured housing, the city undertook changes to multiple land use planning devices (density, occupancy, setbacks) which allowed the placement of a home in a land-lease community, but made it illegal for anyone to occupy the home.

 

Density
Changes to density and setback requirements cause land-lease communities to provide homes on every other lot.

 

Restriction to Manufactured Home Communities (Parks) only
An affront to private property rights is where a government restricts the placement of manufactured homes to manufactured home parks only. An ordinance in Kentucky like this was passed in London, and following a lawsuit, reversed.

 

Age
A trend in western states (Kansas and Arizona for instance) is the adoption of ordinances where there is an age restriction on manufactured homes, disallowing the placement of a home more than 5- or 10- years old. These local laws basically place expiration dates on homes, and artificially kill resale values.

 

Non-conforming Uses
The Village of Lodi, Ohio, changed its interpretation of non-conforming use such that when a home would be removed from a land-lease community, the entire park would become a non-conforming use. The Ohio Supreme Court struck down the interpretation.

 

No Reason Whatsoever
The most frustrating cases come when a city or county denies the placement of a home for no reason whatsoever. In Washington Township, Ohio, it took a court order to force a zoning panel to issue a permit for the replacement of an older manufactured home with a new one.

 

— End of MHI Zoning post —

 

The above by MHI on zoning is fine, as far as it goes.  A helpful next step would be to add videos to that page, like their new one below.  Let’s see if they do that?

 

 

The Two Biggest Missed Items

But perhaps the two most important things missing from MHI’s zoning page are two absent, key words. “Enhanced Preemption.”  MHI members have agreed with that concern.  Even those pleased with the recent event are not able to explain how MHI could have failed to properly promote this in advance or during the event with the general public.  Harder still for backers to explain is why MHI doesn’t promote enhanced preemption. 

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

That’s legally powerful two-word phrase – “enhanced preemption” are found nowhere on the MHI website.

 

EnhancedPreemption672019PostInnovationHousingShowcaseManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

By contrast, Manufactured Housing Executive Council (MHEC) members, some MHI members, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), MHLivingNews, and MHProNews have all put “enhanced preemption” forth as important legal tools to deal with the zoning-placement issue that contributes to the affordable housing crisis.

 

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform4-26-2019ManufacturedHomesMHProNews

 

Their miss is so problematic that MHARR has launched an initiative to deal with that inexplicable oversight. 

 

 

Calling on MHI to Do Their Job on Enhanced Preemption

We’re hereby once more calling on MHI to start promoting Enhanced Preemption if they are serious about dealing with the zoning-placement issues.  Photos opportunities with administration and other leaders that don’t include “enhanced preemption” among the top items to not only ask for but obtain makes a mockery of their claim of “clout.”

GotClout-questionmark-GetItHere-MHI-ManufacturedHousingInstitute-postedMHProNews-com-

Clout isn’t measured by photo opportunities, but by bottom line results. In our industry, that must including dramatically rising manufactured home production and sales. Instead, we have see 8 months of year-over-year decreases.

Photos, graphics, videos, copy, and slogans are all fine so long as they advance the solutions that actually result in more sales.  But instead, it is shrinking sales during an affordable housing crisis that has been witnessed instead.

Emotions must be kept in check by the reality of shipments and the lack of full implementation of “enhanced preemption,” other aspects of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000, and the full implementation of the Duty to Serve not just a sliver of manufactured home production, but all manufactured homes. 

HUD Secretary Carson, in advance and during the Innovative Housing Showcase, was on several cable network and other mainstream news shows.  A video posted in the last related report linked further below by itself has about 20 times more views than all of MHI’s promotional videos on this same topic combined.

The industry needs more than claims and emotional ‘feel good’ items.  There is a need for action with measurable results.

Time will tell if they take the opportunities that Secretary Carson, two MHI members, MHARR, and others have made possible to actually improve the sales of manufactured homes.

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

Pushing Back Against NIMBYism, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, NAHB Innovative Housing Showcase, Schedule

8 Months of Declining Year-Over-Year HUD Code Manufactured Home Production – When Will Manufactured Housing Institute Act?

 

Key to Unlocking Door for More Manufactured Home Sales, Professor Lisa Tyler’s Valuable Research

Tent Cities, Homelessness, Crime, Disease, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

HUD Secretary Ben Carson tours Innovative Housing Showcase on National Mall in Washington, D.C.

 

 

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Months of Declining Year-Over-Year HUD Code Manufactured Home Production – When Will Manufactured Housing Institute Act?

June 4th, 2019 Comments off

 

8MonthsDecliningYearOverYearHUDCodeManufacturedHomeProductionWhenWillManufacturedHousingInstituteActDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Monday afternoon 6.3.2019 at about 5 PM ET, near the manufactured home display on the National Mall. Where are the crowds?

The release below is from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and they were charitable in not mentioning the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

 

Following the MHARR release there will be a brief analysis and some linked information.

 

MHARRlogoMHARRNewsHeaderMHProNews

HUD CODE PRODUCTION DECLINE CONTINUES BUT MODERATES

 

Washington, D.C., June 3, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year HUD Code manufactured home production declined again in April 2019, albeit at a moderating pace. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 7,993 homes in April 2019, down 3.2% from the 8,262 homes produced in April 2018. Cumulative industry production for 2019 now totals 30,352 homes, a decline of 10.1% from the 33,793 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2018.

While the production statistics for April 2019 show a moderation in the double-digit production decline that has thus far characterized 2019, the fact that there is any production decline at all in the face of continuing strong demand for affordable housing and homeownership highlights the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – thus far – to implement the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS), particularly with respect to the personal property loans which account for nearly 80% of the manufactured housing consumer finance market. That failure, more than a decade after the enactment of DTS, effectively forces consumers into higher-rate loans that cost more than would be the case if there was, in fact, proper, market-significant DTS securitization and secondary market support, which would lower risks for lenders and promote greater competition within the HUD Code consumer finance market.  This, in turn, needlessly excludes potential buyers from the HUD Code market altogether, while making it more difficult for others to finance the purchase of a HUD Code home, both of which suppress overall market volume.  As more and more questions are being raised in Washington, D.C. by the press, government figures and others regarding such issues, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this matter can, should and must be looked-into further.

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through April 2019  — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2019) and prior year (2018) shipments per category as indicated — are:

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRApril2019ProductionShipmentReportDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews

The latest information for April 2019 results in no changes to the cumulative shipments list.

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 —

 

There has been some positive mainstream media coverage of the Innovation’s in Housing event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., But it is clearly evident from the photo at the top that the Manufactured Housing Institute, which is the industry’s umbrella or post-production association, has done a terrible job of promoting this rare opportunity.

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonAddresstoManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIlogoMHIwebsiteSearchMHProNews2019-06-03_0844

MHI put a notice on their fly-in page on 5.30.2019, but that’s targeted for MHI members, not the general public. Where is their vaunted promotion of the industry? Recall their claim late last year?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMarketingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Pinocchio’s nose shows as it grows.

Secretary Carson seems to be doing more than any HUD Secretary in the last 2 decades. But MHI’s part of the effort is arguably badly lacking.

There will be more insights on this problematic but revealing MHI handling of this event in the days ahead, so stay tuned.

This is your 2nd 6.4.2019 installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

Census, HUD Official Residential Construction Report for April 2019, Dare to Compare to Manufactured Housing Data

National Association of Home Builders Co-Hosting HUD Innovative Housing Showcase

MHARR Weighs in, HUD Secretary Carson Letter – “Discriminatory…Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes”

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-releases-study-recommending-independent-collective-representation-for-post-production-sector/

 

Cowards, How Winning Is Done, and Manufactured Housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, Both Finger Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Failures, in Writing, Again

June 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

RVhorizonsMobileHomeUniversityFrankRolfeDaveReynoldsBothFingerManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoFailuresInWritingAgainMHIlogoMHProNews

Dave on left, Frank on right.

It has been a while since we’ve done a focus article on Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds, partners in RV Horizons, Mobile Home University, and other manufactured home industry related ventures.  Per third-party sources, RV Horizons is now financially tied to TPG Capital.  TPG and RV Horizons were the subject of a recent letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D), investigating their business practices.  Frank Rolfe also featured prominently in the April 2019 attack by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver errantly named “Mobile Homes” which featured the image of a modern manufactured home.

 

 

So, in spotlighting “Frank and Dave” on the Daily Business News on MHProNews, we do so with our normal ‘wheat and chaff‘ approach – separating the good (wheat) from the problematic (chaff).  There are controversial things that they have said and done over the years, that MHProNews and MHLivingNews have objectively spotlighted as problematic.  There are also things that they’ve said and done that are arguably useful and/or positive.

To clarify, our quoting the pair below at length, that should not be construed as an endorsement.  Nor are we doing a fact check per se, as terminology is but one of the problems that they continue to arguably go awry on.  Even the names of their various enterprises exemplify imprecise and inaccurately applied phrases.  There have been no mobile homes built since June 15, 1976 – as the duo well know.  But they continue to use terms as if “mobile home” and “manufactured homes” are interchangeable.  They are not.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

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

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

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

NFPAManufacturedHomeIsNotaMotorHomeOrTrailerAlthoughItisOftenCalledMobileHomeItIsNotThatEitherNFPADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is not a perfect definition, but it is clarifying.

 

That said, at a glance, many of the claims they make in their June, 2019 letter – which was brought to our attention by members of their team – are objectively reasonable enough.  It appears that some of their comments this month are done as part of an oblique response to regulatory ‘heat’ coming from Senator Warren, legislators in Iowa, and from still more third-parties.

That said, we’ll begin with their punch line, from the very end of their lengthy column: If you’re not a member of your state MHA then you’re making a mistake because these groups have become virtually the only representation park owners have in government today.”  That’s as much of a slam on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) today as it was in 2017, when Frank Rolfe said the following to MHProNews.

 

 

That said, let’s not overlook the fact that Berkshire Hathaway brands are routinely promoted by “Frank and Dave.”  Nor should we overlook the role that Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett has apparently paid in funding through so-called dark money channels MHAction, and others that have in turn been part time flame fanners who also attack the manufactured housing industry’s businesses.

The duo said: “It’s always interesting to hear what our peers are worried about, and to collectively brainstorm on the issues…”  and also “HUD’s Secretary Ben Carson has been outspoken on the benefits of manufactured housing.”  In doing so, they again obliquely call into question that punch-line already noted about the lack of effectiveness of MHI.  Because once more, as of this morning, Carson’s potent address on manufactured housing is AWOL from MHI’s own website, even though Dr. Carson’s talk was given at an MHI meeting.

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonAddresstoManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIlogoMHIwebsiteSearchMHProNews2019-06-03_0844

 

But it also can be construed as a swat against the new community trade group, NAMHCO.  The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) themselves have slammed MHI, whom they publicly broke ranks from.

In NAMHCO’s defense, Neal Haney made a statement about the Disney controversy – which when last checked in late May had not been corrected, thus has not gone away.  That said, there is not much that one can see that NAMHCO has done beyond hiring as a lobbyist a former staffer at MHI, the very organization they broke away from?  That was questionable logic at best. We’ll look at NAMHCO in the days ahead, as we are awaiting a response to some questions put to them on manufactured home community and industry issues.

With that tee up, that Rolfe himself in a video that follows this report reflects the notion that they are using improper terminology, we quote at length below the “June Mobile Home Park Investing Newsletter.”  In doing so, we are editing out the numerous plugs they give to Berkshire Hathaway brands, and a few others.  What remains is interesting on several levels, some of which are already noted above.  All third-party images are being provided under fair use guidelines for media.  The images and text are as in the original, sans advertising.

 

 

MemoFromFrankandDaveJune12019InvestingNewsletterDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Image are as from the Frank and Dave monthly memo, and are provided under fair use guidelines for media. This month’s message was brought to MHProNews’ attention by members of their team.

June is the first month of Summer and is also the start of the dreaded “mowing season” in mobile home parks. Why is it so dreaded? Because the average park owner has no control over the behavior of the residents regarding their lawn maintenance, and it can drive you nuts. While most park owners mow and edge the common areas and vacant lots weekly, many of our residents feel it’s OK to get out the old lawn mower once a month. As a result, the park manager is put in the unenviable position of having to be referee of which lawns have to be “forced mowed” when our mowers arrive (a “forced mow” is when the park’s lawn company mows the resident’s yard due to excessive height and then the park bills the customer for it). Of course, this typically results in an argument by the homeowner that “my yard wasn’t that bad”. At some point, the park owner thinks “maybe I should just mow all the yards every week and include that in the rent”. The problem with that concept is that we are in the affordable housing business and that will result in a monthly rent increase of probably $50 per month just to break even – a huge increase. The other issue is that the residents will now collectively complain that the mower has damaged their personal items in the yard or skirting and want monetary compensation. There’s no way to win. The workable solution is to simply do what city government does – even in McMansion subdivisions. You simply let people do their thing and you set a firm guideline of what is clearly not acceptable for the good of the community and you act only in those cases to bring them back into conformance. And you back those decisions up with photographic evidence of how tall the grass and weeds are to stop any potential argument from the homeowner (or judge if it ever came to that). While Summer is the best time of the year for mobile home sales and rentals (equivalent to the retail industry’s Christmas season) many park owners secretly smile when freezing temperatures return and the grass turns brown.

 

FrankRolfeDaveReynoldsPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

IsThisTheMobileHomeParkofTheFutureDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

The average American never pays attention to it, but mobile home parks share a common trait with the animal kingdom: they are becoming an endangered species. But the culprit is not climate change or the removal of the rainforest. Instead it’s an environment in which land values are constantly increasing while park owners are criticized for raising rents (or in the case of four states with rent control, stopping rent increases altogether). Contrary to what some people may think, without increasing rents, mobile home parks become other uses, such as the one pictured above. Why is this occurring?

Why mobile home parks are easy targets for re-development

In many cities, mobile home parks are the most valuable development site in the entire market. Why? Because most cities will do whatever it takes to get the mobile home park torn down. They have this motivation for two reasons: 1) the local residents unfairly blame the mobile home park for all local crime (which studies have shown is actually the Class C and lower apartment buildings) and 2) mobile home parks cost city government huge amounts of money in school tuition vs. actual property tax income (which is true in many cases). Since the city wants the mobile home park to be gone, they are willing to grant any type of zoning the builder applicant desires, such as ultra-high-density apartment (which they won’t allow anywhere else). Want to obtain once-ion-a-lifetime zoning for your development? Just buy a mobile home park and propose to tear it down.

How higher rents are essential to keep parks alive

There’s a misguided narrative in America right now that would suggest that the solution to all social ills is to hamper the ability to increase rents. Advocates try to do this politically (although it has failed miserably to date) or through cajoling park owners that higher rents are evil and sending them nasty letters. What these folks fail to grasp is that higher rents are actually the only way to keep parks in business. Without higher rents, the owner cannot afford to make the capital upgrades that most parks need for the next half-century. And, of course, without higher rents there are just too many other uses for the land that are more attractive. Case in point, the average apartment rent in the U.S. is $1,270 per month, while the average mobile home park rent is only $280 – about $1,000 per month different. That’s why so many mobile home parks are being torn down and made into apartments.

Should mobile home parks be subsidized by the U.S. government – just as apartments are?

Regarding the argument that higher rents will ultimately price the most marginal residents out of the housing market, the same argument could be made for apartment rents, which have risen far faster and higher than mobile home parks could ever accomplish. Yet there’s no push back from housing advocates because the poorer tenants are kept afloat through Section 8 – HUD’s assistance program that pays roughly 80% of the rent in many cases. So why should the government deny all assistance to mobile home park residents who are marginal? Good question. HUD passed a program of support to mobile home park residents a while back but then failed to enact it – so I guess you’d have to give them a call to find out the reasons. Perhaps the biggest is simply that the program – by HUD’s own admission – has no room for new customers.

Could tax breaks hold the key?

A few years ago Congressman Keith Ellison proposed a tax incentive that gives the mobile home park owner attractive tax breaks if they keep the property in that same use post-sale. Many people agreed with the simplicity of the concept (effectively reducing capital gains tax if the park is not re-developed) but nobody felt the issue was important enough to even vote on it. That’s a shame, as it might have saved some of the parks – and homes of thousands of residents – that have fallen under the wrecking ball since the idea was first bounced around.

What other things could be done to make owning a park more attractive?

When you add together city hostility, the absence of government assistance, and the constant negative pressure of special interest groups, it’s a wonder that more parks are not torn down than the current pace. We are not advocating that all Americans should install a bumper sticker that says “Hug a Park Owner” but there definitely needs to be more media narratives on the positive side of the industry and the important role that park owners play in solving the affordable housing crisis. It’s only fair.

Conclusion

Mobile home parks are the only workable solution to the U.S. affordable housing crisis. But they are a finite commodity and it’s dwindling every month. Politicians, media and the U.S. public need to understand the factors at play and support the industry like never before. Mobile home parks are limited in number and every time one is re-developed another one does not take its place. While many may argue over the importance of the Australian Water Frog, this is one endangered species that will result in huge ramifications for millions of Americans.

 

WinWinOpportuityThatAllParkOwnersShouldWatchForDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

Patricia and her husband had fallen on hard times and had spent the previous eight months living in their van. Pat explained that during their time without a home they boiled water from streams in the mountains to make it drinkable and Pat worked odd jobs to put food on the table. Her husband is ill and disabled. They always set money aside, and eventually were able to save up the down payment on a small travel trailer and placed it on a lot in our property in Grants, New Mexico. For eight years they were a model resident, never being late on the rent and always being a good neighbor.  But it was extremely difficult for them to live full-time in a tiny RV, particularly with a disability.

Recently a used mobile home became available in the property, with a nominal value. Our manager – and everyone in the community – had an idea. What if they could remodel the home and put Pat and her husband in it? To us, it was a great idea. Here we had a resident in need, who had been a pillar of our community, and we had the opportunity to give back to them, as well as to ignite the spirit of giving in others. Our manager, other company associates, and friends from their church contributed money and labor to remodel the home and to fully furnish it. Her pastor bought a new flat screen television – the generosity was contagious.

When Pat and her husband were presented with their new home, everyone present was crying. Statements were overheard “I have never felt this good before!” and “this shows there are still good people in the world!”. With building a strong sense of community an important mission of all park owners, it’s this type of project that really ignites this concept. Time magazine wrote a glowing article on the mobile home park industry a couple years ago that said that “mobile home parks are like gated communities of the less affluent”. They raved about how the bonds between residents were strong and highly important to a healthy life. We completely agree and were happy to help push this concept forward in our property.

 

 

WondersofMobileHomeParksinMichiganDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We have always been big fans of Michigan – even back when few people were in the 1990s. We knew that this is a great place for the housing industry and have done extremely well there. So what makes mobile home parks so successful in Michigan?

Why most people don’t understand Michigan to begin with (hint: the impact of Detroit)

The first issue is why anybody would not be attracted to Michigan in the first place. The answer, of course, is the collapse of the auto industry beginning in 1970s and the perceived impact on Detroit. For many years, the simple mention of Michigan struck terror into the heart of park buyers and lenders because they just couldn’t get the visual image of inner-city Detroit out of their mind. But that’s a ridiculous situation as the state is vase and Detroit is just one tiny piece of it. The Michigan that we know and invest in has zero exposure to the auto industry and is on the whole other side of the state. Cities like Ann Arbor and Traverse City have never had a notable recession and are economic powerhouses far removed from the world of Henry Ford.

Why it has a robust economy: a review of the state’s stats

Let’s review the stats for the State of Michigan today:

  • The unemployment rate is 4%.
  • The median home price is $151,700.
  • The average two-bedroom apartment rent is $915 per month.
  • There are 30 of the Fortune 500 companies based there.
  • There are 210,957 millionaires that live there.

Does that sound weak to you? And that’s despite the decline of Detroit, which was once the world center of automobile manufacturing.

Why it is a great market for mobile home parks

We have always said that to have successful mobile home parks you have to have a housing “contrast” – do have demand for affordable housing you need to have expensive housing. And Michigan has expensive housing. This may be due to economic factors as well as simply supply & demand as there is not a vast amount of buildable land in an area if water features and significant topography. On top of that, the customer base in Michigan is just wired different, with outstanding collections and pride-of-ownership that is only found in the northern states. The final unique feature to Michigan – although it’s growing throughout the U.S. – is higher rents. The typical lot rent in most of Michigan is $300 to $500 per month, and that’s even in lower population market. At that rent levels, it makes mobile home parks very valuable and worthy of significant time and effort to turn them around.

Conclusion

We are huge fans of the “Great Lakes State”. We own a significant number of mobile home parks there and really enjoy the quality of the product and the customer. If you don’t understand the true status of Michigan, we urge you to study it. And don’t forget that western Michigan is a great place to visit this Summer, with some of the best beaches in the U.S. and fantastic scenery.

 

 

HowMuchCapitalDoesItTakeToBringAMobileHomeParkBacktoLifeDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

We have spent that past 25+ years bringing old mobile home parks back to life. It’s a passion that more American investors are starting to share. Re-positioning an old mobile home park for the new century typically requires capital investment. So how much does it really cost?

Big dollar items

When bringing a mobile home park back to life, there are some really big dollar projects that are required in some properties. Here is what those are and roughly what they cost (of course, the cost is dependent on many factors ranging from size of property to number of vendors and even weather considerations):

  • Roads. This can include everything from pothole repair to asphalt skim coat to full road base and asphalt replacement ($10,000 to $250,000+)
  • Utility line replacement. This can include water, sewer, power or gas line upgrades ($100,000+)
  • Parking pads. These may be gravel, asphalt or concrete 20’ x 20’ squares ($50,000 to $100,000+)
  • Park-owned home renovations. Our average cost is $4,000 per home, so it’s completely contingent on the number of park-owned homes and the condition ($20,000 to $100,000+)

Medium dollar items

  • Tree trimming. This can range from a single dead tree to a virtual forest ($5,000 to $50,000+)
  • Restoration of the old mom and pop residence. These old homes typically have a ton of deferred maintenance including roofs, foundations, flooring and HVAC ($10,000 to $20,000+)
  • Restoration of the old clubhouse and/or pool. Basically taking the old shell of a building and installing new flooring and painting, or bringing the old pool back to life ($5,000 to $30,000+)
  • Large amount of fence installation. Many properties have large-scale privacy fencing separating the park from neighboring uses, or chain link fence on the lots ($5,000 to 15,000+)
  • Scrapping of obsolete park-owned homes. Sometimes mom & pop owners don’t take the time and money to remove vacated structures that are a detriment to the park ($4,000 to $20,000+)
  • Painting and skirting select homes. The park owner has to act as the catalyst even on the homes they don’t own, mostly taking care of home renovation projects for residents who are financially incapable of getting the job done ($5,000 to $15,000+)

Smaller dollar items

  • Entry fencing. Costing about $10 per linear foot, this would typically be three-rail white vinyl fence that is used to make our entry more attractive ($2,000 to $4,000)
  • Entry signage. This is the nice sign at the front of the property that sets the first impression for the residents and the community at large ($1,000 to $2,000)
  • Interior signage. A continuation of the entry sign design, these include all stop signs and street signs and are typically based on utilizing white vinyl posts and caps ($1,000 to $2,000)
  • Marketing materials. These range from banners to pennant streamers on homes, as well as “for rent” signs for windows and yards and brochures ($500 to $1,000)
  • Seasonal color. These are the flower beds at your entry sign and often the office ($100 to $500)
  • Debris removal. This would include the initial roll-off dumpsters and labor ($1,500 to $3,000)
  • Mowing. This would be the initial reclaiming of the property including all common areas, vacant lots, removal of grass from parking pads and edging of streets. ($2,000+)

Free items that still have a huge impact

  • Enacting professional management. Residents really appreciate a manager who is fair to everyone and shows no favorites, as well as consistent in enacting systems (collections and rules enforcement)
  • A cheerful manager that cares about the residents. Happiness and enthusiasm is contagious, and this is a very powerful force in building a successful resident base.
  • Building a sense of community. The relationships between our residents and the resulting support network are the bedrock of one of our biggest amenities. Time magazine noted this in their article a couple years ago titled “The Home of the Future” in which they raved about resident relationships in mobile home parks. Owners create this with the inclusion of a friendly manager, as well as treating residents with respect and enabling relationship-building by bringing “gathering spaces” (like picnic tables and playgrounds) back on-line.

Conclusion

Bringing old mobile home parks back to life costs money. It also requires smart planning and persistence. It’s not as simple as some people think, and it works to the benefit of all residents. The net effect is a gain for society and a resulting financial success.

 

 

TheOriginofAmericanDreamHowItsChangingSaveForPurposePictureofHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews editor’s note: It should be noted that HUD Secretary Carson, NAR, and others have clarified and debunked the notion that manufactured homes depreciate. Click links to learn more.

 

What is the “American Dream”?

According to Wikipedia, “the American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the “American Dream” by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The American Dream is rooted in the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that “all men are created equal” with the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

One big part of the “American Dream” has always been the ability to be a homeowner. When you ask the average American “what’s the American Dream?” they will always answer “owning your own home”. That’s been reflected in American culture for over a hundred years, even in small items like the piggy bank from the 1930s – shown above – that references that saving for your home down-payment is your #1 priority. So how has that opinion changed over time, and where is it heading?

Rates of home ownership increased for decades

The rate of home ownership in 1960 was 65.2%. It increased steadily to 69% by 2004 – the peak year of home ownership in American history. At that time, it seemed as though the rate would continuously inch upward until the ownership rate was ultimately nearly 100% — with the only renters being those who were saving up their down-payment for the home purchase.

And consider the financial performance during that period

In 1960, the average home in the U.S. cost $11,900. Inflation adjusted, that amount in 1960 is the same as $102,737 today. Yet the average home cost today in the U.S. is nearly $200,000, which is twice that of the rate of inflation. That would rank single-family homes as one of the most successful investment models of the 20th century. So were home buyers really chasing the goal of owning their residence, or were they merely following a traditional investment path?

But now things have changed

However, since the single-family home mortgage bubble burst and the Great Recession of 2007 began, the current rate of home ownership is 64.2%, which was lower than 1960. This would have been considered impossible to “American Dream” purists. But, of course, those who coined the phrase “American Dream” were born in the 19th century.

Unlocking the driver to home ownership

So the key question is: how much of home ownership is based on the desire to not be a renter, and how much of it is simply an investment strategy? And is the rate of home ownership declining simply because Americans are no longer convinced that homes are a great investment based on the financial performance and they prefer the freedom of renting over ownership? In that case, will this trajectory change in the years ahead?

What the “American Dream” of the future may look like

If younger generations do not share the “American Dream” and fail to believe in the investment strategy of a stick-built house or the necessity to own one simply because that’s what they’ve been told, then what happens? That’s an issue that builders and realtors across America are beginning to ponder. As the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) retire at the rate of 10,000 per day and downsize, who will be buying their homes? Will it be the end user, or companies that specifically buy these homes merely as rental property?

The impact of this theory on mobile home price appreciation arguments

One constant complaint by many people is that mobile homes do not appreciate – that they follow the same path of an automobile that declines in value annually because of age. But this complaint is only valid if you believe that home ownership is simply about the investment model. At the other end of the spectrum, you could also argue that the mobile home owner is smarter than the single family investor, since they spend a far lower amount monthly on their housing, and can invest the difference in other things that gain in value, or hold value, better than a dwelling.

The future is all about flexibility

Mobile home parks offer the ultimate in flexibility. The resident rents the land and has an investment as low as $2,000 or so in a used home up to $40,000 in a new one (about 80% to 99% less than stick-built home prices). And they can still be a homeowner without gambling on the single-family home business model. This also hedges their risk on mobility, as the stick-built owner is burdened by selling their gigantic investment that can sometimes take years, while the mobile home owner has a much smaller risk and a more robust market of those needing affordable housing. While most Americans have virtually all of their net worth invested in their home, mobile home owners do not have all their eggs in one basket.

Conclusion

Home ownership and price appreciation are rapidly evolving. Mobile home parks strike a good middle ground that offers low cost and greater mobility and this is clearly resonating well with the new America as demand has never been higher.

 

MajorDifferenceBetweenOwningMObileHOmesparksin1963VsTodayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

We were recently able to interview a mobile home park owner from 1963, who is among the oldest living members of a state association. And we were stunned by the major difference between park ownership back then versus today. Apparently, the hardest thing a park owner had to a half-century ago was to obtain financing. And that fact ties many things together in the industry today.

The difficulty of financing in 1963

The owner told me that they approached every bank in the local era and were almost immediately turned down. Just when it looked like financing was unattainable, they ran into a loan officer that was a Mason, and they agreed to take a look at the deal. It was the affiliation of both men with the Masonic Lodge that made the loan possible.

In contrast to today

Mobile home parks have the lowest – or second lowest – default rate of any commercial loan year after year. As a result, banks love the loan product today. The modern park purchaser has access to regular bank loans as well as CMBS “conduit” debt and even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “Agency” debt. In fact, there has never been a better climate to obtain a mobile home park loan in.

Why this ties many facts together

There are two main byproducts of this past difficulty in obtaining debt that are demonstrated in today’s industry:

  • The abundance of seller financing. Since most mobile home park owners of the 1960s had a terrible time obtaining a loan, then that’s probably the reason that so many mobile home park owners are willing to carry the financing – they just assume that getting bank debt is impossible.
  • Why there were so many parks built in the HUD program of the 1960s. There was a huge mobile home park financing program offered by HUD in the late 1960s and it provided up to 97% LTV at a low interest rate. Since it was so difficult to borrow money back then, this explains why there were so many parks constructed under this program.

Conclusion

Today’s mobile home park owners take for granted the ability to easily obtain bank debt. But it was not always the case, and the owners of the 1960s had this as one of their primary concerns. Since real estate investing is based upon the sensible leverage, it’s a miracle that the mobile home park industry was able to get off the ground back in its formative stage. Once again the “Greatest Generation” defied the odds and blazed the trails that we all take for granted today.

 

IsItAGoodThingthatMobileHomesArentMobileFrankDaveDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

The media often makes the case that it’s a terrible thing that mobile homes aren’t really mobile. It’s true that 98% never move a second time, and that’s probably the result of the high cost to do so (around $5,000) coupled with the simple reality that an older home is not really road-worthy. Frank is often criticized for his economics lesson for Bloomberg reporter that mobile home park residents are like customers chained to their booths in a Waffle House, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, just as seat belts restrict your movement in a car but have many positive attributes. So what are the benefits of mobile homes not being mobile?

The capability of having a larger home

Let’s not forget that the reason that it costs $5,000 to move a mobile home is that they are huge. They were able to transform from 8’ width to up to 18’ width, and 38’ length to as much as 100’ length, thanks to one-time moving permits. This loophole was found by Selby Industries in the 1960s – namely that the Highway Department would allow things to be moved down the highway that were bigger than an RV if you used professional drivers and rigs to handle that wide load. What do you call a mobile home that’s easy to move anytime you want? It’s called an RV. If that’s what you want, there’s a dealership down the highway that will be happy to sell you something that does not exceed 400 square feet typically – while mobile homes are around 1,000 square feet in many cases.

Greater sense of community with stable residents

One of the most important amenities for mobile home park residents according to Time magazine’s article “The Home of the Future” is the sense of community that mobile home park residents enjoy. In a transient situation, there is no such amenity. In RV parks – where customers come and go as they please – there are no long-term relationships forged and support network attained. Whether you’re a young person or a senior, people like to know their neighbors and feel unity with them. Lack of mobility creates this opportunity.

Closer to stick built than RV in all regards

Have you ever compared the interior of a mobile home and that of an RV? One thing you’ll immediately notice is that all RV furniture is nailed to the floor. That’s because mobile structures can’t have the attributes of stationary. Most people like conveniences and aesthetics of big kitchens, fancy bathrooms with real toilets and showers, chandeliers, and big furniture. They also like drywall, draperies and real doors. None of those are possible in homes that can move freely. The reason that mobile homes resemble stick-built structures is that they are extremely close in size and complexity – the only difference being that they arrive from a factory and not from raw lumber delivered in a field.

The ability to sell the home

One unfair criticism of the industry is that mobile homes can’t be moved so the customer is “trapped”. First of all, exactly what form of housing, besides RVs, is not “trapped” based on that definition. And what do you do in a brick house in a subdivision if you want to move? That’s right, you put a sign in the yard and you sell it. Mobile homes are no different. Each year, thousands of American households sell their mobile home and move to a new location. They don’t just abandon it or say “well, I guess I can’t take that job because I can’t move this home”. And mobile homes sell fast when priced appropriately, as the demand for affordable housing is huge and growing (just check out the active home market on MHBay and MHVillage to see for yourself).

Conclusion

The fact that mobile homes are not truly mobile is actually a benefit, not a detraction. If it was not for the complexity and expense of moving a mobile home, you would not have big sizes, nice finish-outs and the all the attributes of the American Dream, not to mention stable neighborhoods with a high sense of community.

 

 

LessonsLearnedfromWallyByamAndAirstreamFrankDaveDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

Back when the mobile home and RV product were one and the same, the Airstream would have been the wealthy relative of the modern mobile home. And the creator was Wally Byam, shown here with his Airstream trailer in 1933. Byam’s efforts at high-quality lifted the industry from mediocrity to a high level of professional design and construction, and spurred similar efforts by other notable individuals including Charles Lindbergh.

Wally Byam (1896–1962) was a mythical figure in the RV industry, who published a magazine selling “how-to” kits in the 1920s and began experimenting with building travel trailers out of Masonite in his backyard in Los Angeles. His fascination grew with this hobby, and he ultimately started producing units out of aluminum, which was a novel concept at the time. These shiny aluminum creations were much in demand by customers as they were light in weight, extremely low maintenance and had classic good looks. His greatest achievement was the introduction of the Airstream Clipper in 1936, which is still the essential design for Airstream to this day. Of the more than 400 travel trailer builders in 1936, Airstream was the sole survivor of the Depression. All other manufacturers went bankrupt during this period.

There are two main lessons to be learned from Wally Byam. The first is to always be on the quest of building the best product in the industry. That’s what allowed him to survive the Great Depression when all around him collapsed. The other is to be a master promoter of your product. Byam was known to organize Airstream tours of America and even international events, to demonstrate how great his product was. He was also a vocal RV industry proponent that led the industry following the end of World War II and the production again of RVs (the industry voluntarily ceased during the war due to a shortage of materials). Great products and great marketing are always a successful combination.

 

 

HowCreateHappyCommunityManagersFrankDaveDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

There is no powerful force in attracting and retaining residents in a mobile home park than a “happy manager”. This bright bastion of positivism puts customers at ease and infectiously spurs on their pride-of-ownership and sense of community. So how do you create happy community managers?

Choose the right person

There’s an old saying “don’t send a duck to eagle school” yet that’s what some mobile home park owners do on a regular basis. To have a happy manager you have to have the right raw ingredients. These qualities include self-confidence, a feeling of purpose, the enjoyment of dealing with people, and a cheerful personality. If the candidate is dour in the interview, then why would you expect them to be cheerful once hired? Look for potential managers that are upbeat and positive.

Train them properly

No manager is happy if they are failing at their job or lost as to their duties. The key is training. You have to show them what you expect and how to carry out those responsibilities. Only when you ask them “so are you 100% clear on every aspect of the job?” and they honestly answer “yes, I’ve got it” is your job truly done.

Treat them fairly

If you want to take the cheer out of any manager, then treat them unfairly. Nobody likes to be judged incorrectly – think back when you’ve put in the work yet are told “you don’t try at all”. Or worse when you made the basket fairly and the referee said your foot was over the line. The Golden Rule applies here. You should never consider yourself better than the manager or be quick to judge before you have the facts. Snap judgements – not supported by facts – lead to decision reversals which sour the manager and the damage cannot be undone on trust and sense of justice.

Let them know how they will be judged: eliminate uncertainty

There are only about five gauges on a mobile home park owner’s dashboard: 1) collections 2) occupancy 3) water and sewer recapture 4) property condition and 5) budget adherence. As a result, these are how a park manager should be judged. A manager that excels in these five categories should never have to worry about being scolded based on taking a “sick day” or “casual Friday” attire. When a manager feels that they are not being appreciated they start looking for different employment – and a successful manager will have no problem in finding a new home.

Don’t put them in impossible situations with residents

If you really want to create an unhappy manager, then go ahead and stick them into impossible situations with combative residents. Some owners, for example, use the on-site manager to serve all evictions paperwork when the same could be accomplished using the U.S. mail or a process server. The manager of the park needs to be a positive force and not a negative one. A good manager is able to get rules enforced and rent paid as a consultative friend wanting the resident to have a successful life – not a negative force that strikes fear in the hearts of residents. Don’t mix the two.

Conclusion

A happy manager is infectious, and spreads joy throughout the community. The happy residents tell all their friends and relatives and occupancy and collections hit 100%. The unhappy manager makes everyone miserable and never hits any targets. Happy managers are part born that way and part managed that way by the owner. Be part of the solution and not the problem.

 

EvolvingConcernsofMobileHomeParkOwnersFrankDaveDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews

We are on the Board of the Iowa Manufactured Home Association and recently attended their annual meeting. In the room were a number of park owners, both large and small, and they had a similarity of concerns about the industry right now – topics that resonate not only in Iowa but also across the United States. Here are some of the key issues that all owners are concerned about right now, as well as our predictions on where these topics are heading.

The political climate

No park owner is happy with the unfair stereotype that mobile home park owners are trying to “take advantage” of the residents. If this were the case, U.S. rents would mirror Denver at around $750 per month, not the roughly $280 current average throughout America. However, most politicians fail to grasp the reality of the situation and a few vocal non-profits have been able to steer weaker leaders to follow their incorrect narrative. As a result, legislators are continually filing new bills (which fortunately fail consistently) that attempt to disrupt normal business practices to reward those who don’t pay or fail to conform to the rules of society in general. We see this as a cycle that has probably happened before and will ultimately dissolve as the truth about the industry’s practices in providing good quality affordable housing comes to light while the false narrative of its opponents becomes readily apparent. To quote Abraham Lincoln “you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.

Unfair media coverage

The media loves to make fun of mobile home park residents and owners. They feel that their audiences find this funny and it’s one item they can pick on that offends few of their fans (since 92% of Americans do not live in mobile homes). The media portrays all mobile home residents as “hillbillies” and “lesser beings” while stereotyping all mobile home park owners as “evil” and “opportunistic”. This is unlikely to ever end as long as audiences like this portrayal, and the media simply wants to please those that pay their bills. Of course, it’s ironic that only a few decades ago, the media loved the mobile home park industry, and portrayed the residents as highly successful and park owners as nice and supportive – that’s why Elvis Presley lived in a park in two movies (and in actuality in the farm land behind Graceland) and why “I Love Lucy” had a continual storyline of how nice the landlords were to the Ricardos.

Laws that don’t work

Park owners are tired of some of the laws out there that make no sense and cause extreme confusion and liability exposure. Take, for example, the corrupted “companion animal rules” that essentially allow the resident to claim that any animal they choose is required for emotional support by buying a certificate on eBay and thereby circumventing any restrictions on pets. We think that this odd entitlement will soon be coming to a close thanks to the airline and lodging industries, which have a problem with Americans bringing their pet donkey on a trip under the veil of emotional support. One airline has already refused to allow an “emotional support” peacock on a flight, and there has already been at least one lawsuit from an “emotional support” pit bull attacking a customer on a flight. We’re hoping that somebody starts bringing “emotional support” livestock to Congressional hearings so these same politicians can suddenly get the intelligence to end the abuse of what was intended to be an actual medical requirement from a licensed doctor.

Rent control

Thankfully, only about four states enacted rent control in the period around World War I – yes, it’s been that long since most states even considered such terrible legislation and, even then, over 90% of states said “that’s a bad idea”. However, we now have a new state that has taken the mantle of rent control: Oregon. Apparently in an attempt to stem the hike in apartment rents in Portland, the entire state is now burdened with this idiocy which even they don’t support or like (just read the interviews with mayors outside of Portland on the enactment). Rent control is flawed for many reasons, but foremost is the fact that it doesn’t work. At all. What happens is that landlords, as a result of it, don’t put any capital investment back in properties (why should they?) and, at the same time, find loopholes to get around it. It also reduces property values and – in the end – results in higher housing costs. Just look at Los Angeles and New York City as the textbook examples. And that does not even include the cost to administrate the program, which are millions of dollars per year and burden all cities with massive compliance costs that they can’t afford and have no offset in higher property tax (as values actually go down). We believe that rent control will be as popular today as it was in World War I and that few states will be dumb enough to support its flawed rationale.

Little government assistance beyond financing

HUD’s Secretary Ben Carson has been outspoken on the benefits of manufactured housing. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s “Agency” debt program has been very successful, and now accounts for over 50% of total mobile home park loan volume each year. But when will their be support of the homes themselves and the customers who want to buy them. Currently, it’s only the park owners that support this cause, bringing in the homes and renting and selling them through programs administered by the home manufacturers. There’s absolutely no way that industry production can get much about 100,000 units per year (vs. around 400,000 two decades ago) unless the government participates in making loans possible for the consumer to go to a dealer and buy the homes themselves. We know the demand is there – affordable housing is in dire need virtually across America – but there can be no improvement in the number of households that attain it without greater government assistance. Unlike Section 8, these programs cost nothing to the U.S. taxpayer – so why are they so long in coming? Our opinion is that the government will tepidly explore this important topic, but in a manner that is more P.R. perception than reality and that park owners will remain the only source of significant new home purchases.

Conclusion

It’s always interesting to hear what our peers are worried about, and to collectively brainstorm on the issues, If you’re not a member of your state MHA then you’re making a mistake because these groups have become virtually the only representation park owners have in government today.

##

 

Let’s begin with a graphic that corrects their estimate of 400,000 new manufactured home shipments, which was actually above some 372,000 shipments that year.

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

 

Let’s note too that this pull quote from Frank and Dave above: “There’s absolutely no way that industry production can get much about 100,000 units per year (vs. around 400,000 two decades ago) unless the government participates in making loans possible for the consumer to go to a dealer and buy the homes themselves,”  is of interest for several reasons.

  • Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, MHI, Berkshire, and the GSEs are arguably a big part of the reason why there isn’t more lending than the law actually mandates. Rephrased, that’s an oblique slam at Berkshire Hathaway, one of their bigger strategic allies. It is one more reason why this is also a shot at MHI, see that closing paragraph by Frank and Dave again.
  • That tee’s up several related reports from MHARR relative to the GSEs, which while it isn’t a community organization, is arguably doing more for the independent communities in the industry than MHI is doing.

 

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen has pointed out the obvious, that MHARR is a sponsor of our website. But that’s out in the open, MHARR has banner ads here. What Allen fails to mention is that MHI used to sponsor MHProNews too as did Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage Corp. Our coverage has been based upon our LLC’s own research and work, without favor. Savvy sponsors do so because they find the largest and most engaged audience in the industry here.

 

Frank and Dave also spotlighted the Oregon zoning law, which MHProNews previously reported on at the link below, and in more detail.

 

Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

 

This pull quote from their last section by Frank and Dave is another noteworthy one: “Park owners are tired of some of the laws out there that make no sense and cause extreme confusion and liability exposure.” Because it makes a similar point, using a different example, that our publisher made last month at the link below.

 

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

 

Frank, Dave, and Brandon Reynolds are all known to be among the regular readers on MHProNews, per our sources. Our publisher – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – has noted that Frank Rolfe has routinely been willing to generously give time to speaking to industry professionals when asked, as the Inside MH videos below reflect. That deserves to be favorably mentioned (wheat).

 

 

Agree or not, terminology and controversies aside, Frank was routinely a fairly straight shooter about MHI, up until 21st Mortgage purportedly pulled his chain for blasting MHI, and they stopped commenting ‘on the record’ as readily as they did previously

Kovach said Rolfe’s content is superior in several ways to rival George Allen, as their above newsletter reflects. Frank and Dave also produced significantly better results that dwarfed Allen’s community experience. The later has toned down his attacks on the duo, perhaps because of his newfound love for MHI and their big boy backers.

That said, even these brief corrections make it clear that while Frank and Dave have useful concepts to share, they also have hyperbole, and errant points too.  In some cases, one must be pretty well informed about the industry in order to separate the good from the problematic. Precisely because they are successful, they are often not closely questioned within the industry, but from outside the industry, they are routinely met with skepticism.

This recent snapshot of the controversial professionals is useful on several levels in understanding what is ailing the manufactured housing industry. See the true state of the manufactured housing industry, below the byline and notices at the close of this article.

There are good things occurring as a result of Frank, Dave and their team’s work, such a dozens of older communities being brought ‘back to life’ through private capital investments, as the RV Horizon partners outlined above.

 

 

But there are also wildly controversial and problematic videos of their own that predate the formation of MHAction, which has made the pair’s operation a target.  The video dubbed “Trailer park millionaires” by the Guardian, above, has had over 1.8 million views.  That smokes the viewership of anything that MHI, or much of the best that Clayton Homes has produced. So they’ve been a lightening rod for some time.

 

 

Sources in the RV Horizon’s/Mobile Home University family of brands have told MHProNews that while Frank Rolfe is not easily intimidated, he has been concerned about some of the MHAction protesters.  Not the protests themselves, but allegedly some among those protestors have targeted Rolfe personally.  Per sources, specific MHAction protestors have appeared to the maverick community operator to be mentally unbalanced.  Perhaps at that time, Rolfe did not yet realize that money that flows from 21st and other Berkshire brands also went from Warren Buffett’s wallet via dark money channels to the NoVo Foundation, the Tides nonprofit, and onto MHAction, to protest the pair’s controversial work.

 

WarrenBuffettTidesNoVoFoundationMHActionGeorgeSorosManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

All is not as it first appears from the outside looking into MHVille, and that applies to this successful pair of manufactured home professionals.

 

RepAOCleftSenatorElizabethWarrenRightTMZDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Rep. AOC, left, Sen Warren, right.

While MHProNews has editorially debunked several of freshman Representative Alexandria Occasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policy pronouncements, this recent quote is a bit different than several of her others. “Housing is one of the most complicated policy issues that we have, period,” AOC said, per the left-of-center Common Dreams. She was speaking to a group that reportedly included manufactured home community resident-activists. “Because you have everything from city council, from how things are zoned, to state rent laws, to federal tax breaks, and all of it comes together to make a picture that all too often enriches people who are already powerful and impoverishes people who are already vulnerable, and we cannot allow that to happen anymore.”

The solution that AOC and other Democratic legislators want, said Common Dreams, was to support “Housing Justice for All, a campaign led by the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, a coalition of tenants, homeless people, manufactured housing residents, and advocates in New York” in their event to “pressure New York state legislators into passing a package of nine housing bills “that would supercharge rent protections in New Yorkby making rent control universal statewide, before current laws that affect millions of New York City residents expire on June 15.”

So, the controversial work of several manufactured home community investors that purportedly gave rise to the viral video, Mobile Homes, by John Oliver, and has sparked an inquiry by Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) that specifically targeted RV Horizon’s and others is fueling calls for rent control and other forms of regulatory oversight.

 

 

Some of the poster-boys for manufactured housing: Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, and a raft of MHI connected operations that include Frank Rolfe by name in the video above, are also bringing down often harsh media criticism that fuels demand for regulatory controls.  That complexity that AOC mentioned is real enough, but what she fails to say is that their solutions are not effective.  Indeed, one can argue that their ‘solutions’ have paved the way for larger firms to consolidate smaller ones.

 

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

 

Rolfe himself has pointed the finger at MHI numerous times over the years as being part of the problem, not part of the solution.

 

 

While long-time president of historic Dick Moore Housing opens in the video below, much of the commentary is by Frank Rolfe.  Rolfe candidly laid out the case why Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act would never pass.  Rolfe thought it a waste of time.  That too is a not subtle slam on the backers of the bill, which was led by MHI, Clayton Homes, and 21st Mortgage Corp.

 

 

This is all part of the complex picture of manufactured housing today. Good deeds are overshadowed by problematic ones, and the industry finds itself at sub-100,000 new manufactured home shipments as a consequence.  In a lengthy look at Preserving Access, our publisher who in principle backed the concept, called it in hindsight a “Rope-a-Dope” measure, designed to wear out community owners and retailers, several of which sold out to big boy firms, or folded.

 

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

 

Quoting Frank and Dave, from their column above, “Park owners are tired of some of the laws out there that make no sense and cause extreme confusion and liability exposure.” The charge for those laws that are confusing and make no sense have been led by candidates who garnered the support of Warren Buffett, or prominent MHI member Nathan Smith, of SSK Communities. Smith is a high prolife Democratic party leader in his home state of Kentucky, who backed Secretary Hillary Clinton’s campaign, that promised to strengthen Dodd-Frank. Smith was blasted by Rolfe in the quote below.

 

 

Indeed, the mainstream news videos on the page linked here make it clear that Rolfe was not exaggerating his concerns over the harm done by Smith and SSK Communities to the image of manufactured housing.

Some of the most prominent people in manufactured housing are what a perspective manufactured housing industry investor deemed ‘black hat operators’ in a conversation with MHProNews. While MHI has white hat firms too, it is the black hats that spark the onerous legislation that the white hats are left to struggle under.

Rolfe and Dave are arguably correct in his ongoing, if oblique, attack on MHI.  But it is worth noting that a non-community operation is trying to do something about it that would be good for affordable housing seekers, manufactured homeowners, and the industry’s independents. See that report linked here.

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

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

Representative Ilhan Omar’s Bill Would Regulate Manufactured Home Community Owners

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/major-and-continuing-mharr-accomplishments-for-the-hud-code-manufactured-housing-industry-and-consumers-of-affordable-housing/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/major-and-continuing-mharr-accomplishments-for-the-hud-code-manufactured-housing-industry-and-consumers-of-affordable-housing/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

Brief History and Objectives of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

June 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

BriefHistoryObjectivesofManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeNews

It’s the start of home ownership month. The White House said in a statement to the Daily Business News on MHProNews the following.

 

National Homeownership Month, we acknowledge the benefits of sustainable homeownership. Homeownership continues to be an important option for many Americans to invest in their communities, build wealth, and achieve the American Dream.”

During a recent discussion, the topic of the history of the trade association that is based in the nation’s capital arose.  MHProNews obtained the following history directly from that trade group, which will be followed by some commentary.

 

“The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was established on July 3, 1985 as the “Association for Regulatory Reform” (ARR). The Association changed to its current name in the summer of 1997.

Based in Washington D.C. since its founding, MHARR was formed to represent the views and interests of producers of manufactured housing. A major source of the nation’s supply of non-subsidized affordable homes, the manufactured housing industry is federally regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — the only segment of the housing industry to be regulated at the federal level. MHARR is dedicated to maintaining a regulatory framework which promotes both the availability and affordability of manufactured housing — an objective now enshrined in federal law thanks to the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, which MHARR successfully sought, promoted and advanced to enactment. Its primary and enduring mission is to protect, defend and advance the interests of its members and the manufactured housing lifestyle for American consumers of affordable housing.

Since MHARR’s establishment, the production of manufactured housing has become increasingly competitive and complex. As the industry has matured, numerous state and federal agencies have sought to impose rules and regulations that could significantly impact its cost and availability as a prime non-subsidized housing resource for Americans at every rung of the financial ladder.

Within the industry, the voice of manufacturers — the segment of the industry most directly affected by federal regulation — has tended to be merged with that of other segments of the industry, including retailers, suppliers, finance companies and community developers. Each such segment has its own specific interests and perspective, but unless manufacturers’ views can be articulated, published and advocated independently, the representation of those views is unavoidably weakened by being merged into an “umbrella” representation, which necessarily must be the lowest common denominator among various diverse segments of the industry.

The industry has also witnessed the emergence of a new type of manufacturer with large retailer and financing affiliates. That segment of the industry may also have different needs than smaller and medium-sized independent manufactures. Consequently, the primary objective of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is to enunciate the consensus view of manufacturers, so that their experience, understanding and approach will be considered in the formulation of any law, rule standard or regulation that is imposed on the industry.

Necessarily, though, the interests of manufacturers – and consumers – are unavoidably impacted by activity and developments affecting the post-production sector of the industry (i.e., activity and developments affecting manufactured homes and consumers once such homes leave the factory). Such activity – by government or quasi-governmental actors – can negatively impact both the utilization and availability of manufactured homes for large segments of the public and can significantly constrain that availability, to the extreme detriment of all concerned.  Current examples of this phenomenon include the failure of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to provide securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home loans in accordance with existing law and discriminatory and exclusionary zoning and placement restrictions on manufactured homes in many more densely-populated areas of the United States.  Because of this indisputable reality and the fact that the long-term absence of any type of independent, dedicated national representation for the industry’s post-production sector has allowed such problems to multiply and fester, MHARR has taken (and will continue to take) the lead on these matters as well.

Ultimately, though, it is axiomatic that there is no regulation without economic cost — particularly for a federally regulated industry. That cost, inevitably, will be passed on to the purchaser. Overall, therefore, MHARR seeks an improved environment for the growth of the industry and for the availability of affordable manufactured housing to American consumers through fair, reasonable and cost-effective federal regulation. Furthermore, the Association is dedicated to reassessing all existing regulations periodically to determine their cost, merit and relevance, and to measuring each new law and regulation against the same criteria, with the principal objective of protecting manufactured housing consumers while simultaneously ensuring the continuing availability of safe, affordable, non-subsidized manufactured homes.” ##

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEODannyGhorbaniPhotoManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformLogoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

There is evidence that MHARR punches above its weight class, as this report outlines. They do so without a PAC.

 

It should be noted that the above lines up with their often mentioned self-description, “The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform – MHARR – is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.”

It is self-evident that MHARR is an advertiser, as has been the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. It should be further noted that a number of state manufactured housing associations have been clients of MHProNews.

With those disclosures noted, let’s add a few of our own observations to what MHARR said.

MHARR has at times worked directly with consumer groups, such as the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA).  Sources in each group have indicated that the efforts have proven to be mutually beneficial on certain regulatory efforts.

By contrast, Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman Warren Buffett’s donations have been made to the NoVo Foundation, which in turn donated to the controversial, left-leaning Tides nonprofit, which in turn has given to MHAction. Since MHProNews reported that, MHAction changed the footer on their website to more clearly disclose their relationship to the left-of-center Tides. See the composite image below.

 

MHActionLogoWarrenBuffettGeorgeSorosPhotoTidesFoundationLogoDailyBusinessNewManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProsNews

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

 

As thousands of manufactured home industry professionals have learned on MHProNews, Buffett has de facto funded a key source of information cited by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver episode errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.”  More can be learned at the hotlinked text-image box above, as well as from the link to Oliver’s video and MHLivingNews’ analysis of that viral hit.

Arguably the strongest backer of the Arlington, VA based MHI is the Omaha based Berkshire Hathaway brands, such as Knoxville metro-based Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Note that when MHARR gets mentioned by the mainstream media, it is because they’ve helped de-throne Pam Danner from her role at Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Manufactured Housing Program (OHMP), per the Washington Post.

Or it was when MHARR helped stop the destructive energy standards plan that MHI was initially pushing, until MHARR lined up allies to put a halt to a scheme that would have reportedly raised prices by thousands of dollars per unit, and would not have been recovered during the normal timeframe that a resident stays in their home. Consumers already have the option to buy Energy Star rated manufactured homes, and some frankly need a lower price point in order to own a home.

Rephrased, on issue after issue, MHARR has for decades fought MHI on items that were already or could have harmed the industry.  HUD Secretary Ben Carson famously told Senator Thom Tillis that the regulations he reviewed during Danner’s tenure where “ridiculous.”

It should also be noted that Buffett’s ‘dark money’ backing of MHAction via the NoVo Foundation and the Tides nonprofits arguably helped make possible the disruptive protest of HUD Secretary Carson’s address at MHI’s own meeting last year.

 

 

It is MHARR that is pushing for the full implementation of “enhanced preemption” under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, which could open up numerous markets nationally for manufactured homes.

 

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform4-26-2019ManufacturedHomesMHProNews

 

By contrast, “enhanced preemption” is not even a phrase which is not even found on MHI’s website. Why not?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIwebsiteEnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-06-01_0437

MHI’s outside counsel, John Greiner at Graydon law has informed MHProNews that they monitor our content. We’ve also asked MHI, Clayton, 21st, and other Berkshire brands to respond to such allegations. They’ve ducked each time for months.

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

Put differently, MHARR shoots straight.  They mean what they say and do what they say. By contrast, past and current members of MHI have said that the trade group works like a secret society that favors a few ‘big boys’ while ignoring the interests of the few.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

So, yes, while MHARR advertises with MHProNews, we spotlighted their work for several years prior to receiving the first relatively modest ad payments.

MHIMHECMHARRlogosWeProvideYouDecideManufacturedHOusingMHProNews487

 

By contrast, we were critiquing the handling by MHI of issues, such as Preserving Access, which we in principle supported, but learned painfully later that MHI and their powers that be apparently never intended for it to pass.

 

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

 

There is purported evidence:

 

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

 

With affordable housing and antitrust allegedly predatory behavior by several big boy members of MHI already hot topics in Washington, the next obvious step is for the House and the Senate to open public investigations, and call Berkshire Hathaway, their manufactured housing brands, and MHI in to testify under oath about issues that this publication and MHLivingNews have been reporting on for some years.

 

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

It is national home ownership month. There are two metro Washington trade associations at work, one for the interests of independents and by extension, consumers, and that is MHARR.

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

Then there is another one – MHI – that has allegedly worked against the interests of independent businesses, as well as against the interests of millions of consumers.

 

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

 

The powers that be can’t duck the fact that we are the runaway most read in our industry, precisely because we take on the topics that other trade media in MHVille won’t touch.

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEwsTonyGetsItAlColeOxfordBankTrustManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

CaseyMackLegacyHousingManufacturedTinyHomesKudosMHProNews

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

 

 

There is no escaping the fact that this publication has been pro-consumer, and pro-ethical, sustainable growth from the outset. Once the evidence began to mount that MHI could not be so inept as to make all the mistakes it has, that begged the question.  Did they have a hidden agenda?

Mark Weiss didn’t answer that directly, but he did say that there was an “Illusion of Motion” present at MHI.

 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Now you know the rest of the MHARR efforts vs. the mounting allegations against MHI story.

 

Ross Kinzler Confirms Allegations, MHEC Peer Claims “Association Malpractice;” Member Backstab, MHI Failure Concerns

 

There must be a reason why MHI has failed to promote HUD Secretary Carson’s fine support for manufactured housing.

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHISiteSearchMHProNews

The same was true early this morning. Do you think they will update it during this weekend? Add the Carson speech next week? Ever? If not, why not?

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

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

 

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

MHARR Calls on New Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to Fully and Properly Implement Federal Law

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

May 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

GameOnFightingDiscriminatoryZonginMoralObligationFixWorseningNightmarestateAssociationsEnteringSpotlightMHProNews

Nature abhors a vacuum.

 

That axiom is true in science, as well as in issues of pragmatic leadership.

In a communique to the manufactured housing industry’s dozens of state association executives, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) outlined their plan to address the “moral obligation” to fix the “worsening nightmare” of “discriminatory zoning.”

The memo was described by one MHEC-connected source as “a shot across the bow” of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). MHEC is the Manufactured Housing Executives Council (MHEC), which includes most, if not all, manufactured housing state associations.

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

MHI, MHARR, MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.

That same source said that the shot missed the bow and landed on the deck of MHI’s battleship.

It’s game on,” said that pro-industry growth source. “The outrage of MHI’s power-brokers keeping the industry at a historically low ebb for over 15 years isn’t over.  But if MHARR is as serious as they appear to be, this represents a challenge to the behind the scenes efforts to artificially suppress and slow manufactured housing sales growth unlike anything I’ve seen in years.”

Per MHEC sources, there are ‘several’ states that have reached out to the Washington, D.C. based MHARR about their memo.  MHARR has not yet issued a follow-up or added details to their communique.  When asked, they would not characterize the responses at this time.

 

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

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

 

A Key Issue, Alongside Financing, Regulatory Overreach…

 Tony, as I’m sure you know, not everyone is comfortable with how ‘in your face’ some of your [MHProNews] reports have been,” said a message to MHProNews.  That message continued, “However, between what MHARR has laid out, and what your publications [MHProNews/MHLivingNews] have hammered home in recent months, there is a degree of clarity that some [state] executives and other industry members have lacked on why the industry has underperformed to the degree that it has. I’m not making predictions, because 21st and Clayton still have the raw power that report of yours [re: How Gold Rules] spelled out.  But your reports on the Mobile Home Militia, the expansionary moves by Legacy Housing, and others independents in the industry that reflect serious, committed resistance are perhaps giving some more confidence to others in the industry to test the waters of resistance too. While some will still likely sell out, some of us [executives] don’t want to see a lot more independents vanish. This MHARR initiative can help in that regard.  If states and MHARR work together on this initiative, it can make a difference and help return serious growth to the industry.”

Notice: the links were edited into the above, and were not in the original.  As longtime readers know, we turn quoted text bold and brown, to make it pop. Bracketed comments are added for clarity, but otherwise, the comments are as stated.  For newcomers, investors, and researchers, it is useful to understand that even MHI members – in their own investor relations package – make it clear that the industry is underperforming. The graphic below is an example of that, from an MHI member firm.  Comments in red and yellow are by MHProNews, but the original graphic and the trend line of 224,000 annual shipments a year are from that MHI member company.

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

MHARR’s full statement is available at the linked text-image box below, as well as here on MHProNews beneath that.

 

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

 

 

May 14, 2019

 

VIA E-MAIL

To: MANUFACTURED HOUSING STATE ASSOCIATION STAFF EXECUTIVES

Re:  MHARR’s “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Project 

Dear Friends:

As you know, the utilization and placement of federally-regulated manufactured homes in large areas of the United States is either excluded or discriminatorily restricted by local zoning mandates. These mandates have drastically limited affordable housing opportunities for millions of lower and moderate-income Americans, while unfairly burdening and restricting the growth and expansion potential of the HUD Code manufactured housing industry. The same mandates also constitute a direct impediment to the accomplishment of the most important and fundamental statutory objective of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, which seeks to “facilitate the availability of affordable manufactured homes and … increase homeownership for all Americans.”

While many of you and your respective associations have done your utmost to address and resolve such injustices within your individual states, the absence of a collective, organized and aggressive national effort to confront and eliminate these discriminatory zoning and placement mandates has — and will continue — to take a heavy toll on both our industry and consumers of affordable housing. Indeed, with the industry’s hard-working manufacturers, retailers and communities producing and offering their best homes ever, the aggressive application of the legislative mandates contained in the 2000 reform law to challenge, oppose and correct this long-standing and worsening nightmare for the industry and its consumers, is no longer an option, but a moral obligation for all who seek to advance the industry and its products.

Based on all of this, the MHARR Board of Directors, at its March 27, 2019 meeting, carefully considered the extremely detrimental impact of such discriminatory zoning and placement mandates. And, given the absence of an independent, unbiased, objective, national representative for the industry’s post-production sector, the Board ultimately concluded that action would be necessary by MHARR – in cooperation with as many state associations as appropriate and warranted — to take the lead in addressing this zoning and placement crisis; thus the establishment of this “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” project.

Now, therefore, MHARR, with your help and assistance, will begin to gather information from around the United States regarding the nature, extent and specific impact of such discriminatory mandates, and take action, as appropriate, within its sole discretion, designed to either eliminate or ameliorate specific, selected discriminatory mandates based on as much accurate and factual information as can reasonably be collected.

For these reasons, MHARR now seeks input and information from you, regarding the existence of specific and particularly egregious discriminatory local exclusions and/or restrictions on the siting and/or placement of both individual manufactured homes on privately-owned land and manufactured home communities within your state, for information-gathering, analysis, evaluation and potential follow-up by the Association, including possible litigation, if so determined by MHARR in its sole discretion. Through this initial process, MHARR seeks to gather information targeting a total of approximately one-dozen of the most egregious cases in various states where federally-regulated manufactured homes have either been excluded altogether or discriminatorily restricted by local ordinances.

As for the legal aspects and related costs of subsequent phases of this project, MHARR has – and continues to maintain — that the enhanced federal preemption provision of the 2000 reform law provides the industry with the opportunity to target the two most egregious available cases (i.e., a single home on privately-owned land and a land-lease community) to be challenged and pursued, if necessary, to the Supreme Court, as appropriate and necessary.  By taking this action for the first time under the specific enhanced preemption provision of the 2000 reform law, that case, if won on the merits, would establish the needed precedent to challenge other similar instances of discriminatory exclusion. Needless to say, however, this would be a costly undertaking.  Following the initial phase, therefore, MHARR would consult with the selected landowner/developer and state association involved, to determine and establish specific logistics for the legal aspects of the following phases and relevant costs of the project, and would do the same for the selected landowner and state association in the single home on privately-owned lot case.

Consequently, we ask that you consult with your Association’s Board on this matter and, within the next thirty-days — and utilizing the attached self-explanatory and easy-to-use forms — provide feedback to MHARR regarding local-level ordinances that impose either an outright exclusion of HUD Code manufactured homes or restrictions that discriminate against HUD Code homes. More specifically, MHARR seeks, from each state, the two most egregious examples of such exclusionary and/or discriminatory mandates within that state – one involving the development, placement, expansion, or redevelopment of a manufactured housing land-lease community, and one involving individual home placements on privately-owned land. MHARR, will then follow-up as it determines to be appropriate and prudent, and will share its findings with participating state associations as the project moves forward.

MHARR thanks you in advance for your cooperation and assistance in this crucial undertaking for both the industry and its consumers.

 

Sincerely,

John Bostick                                                                 Mark Weiss

MHARR Chairman                                      MHARR President & CEO

 

cc: MHARR Members

Manufactured Housing Retailers, Communities and Finance Companies

Attachments

###

 

This is part of an effort that was announced by MHARR shortly after the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show in March, 2019.

 

MHARR Board Holds Highly Productive Meeting — Adopts Bold New Initiatives

 

Following that meeting, MHARR formally requested that HUD initiate a new study to research discriminatory zoning and its impact on manufactured housing.

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

MHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, then authored an “Issues and Perspective” that essentially challenged MHI to do the job they claimed to do, or get out of the way and let MHARR do it.

 

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

 

In response to that, MHI did nothing directly.  But sources and evidence indicate that purported MHI surrogate George F. Allen ‘attacked’ MHARR’s initiative on his blog. Why would Allen, who claims to want to see the industry return to greatness, attack an effort aimed at accomplishing precisely that launched by MHARR? Thus, MHProNews did a fact check on Allen’s attack, at the link below.

 

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

 

Allen’s purported role as MHI’s ‘attack dog’ was further evidenced in the report that can be accessed by industry readers by clicking on the text-image box below.

 

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

 

Then, our publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach laid out a detailed review of how George Allen himself publicly called Clayton Homes and other Berkshire Hathaway brands operating in manufactured housing as part of a growing monopolization of the industry.  Allen did so on his own blog, see that report with the evidence and illustrations, linked below.

 

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

 

MHI, Allen, and the MHInsider are apparently working in concert with Berkshire Hathaway brands to distract the industry’s members from ploys that are arguably occurring that aim to create headwinds for manufactured housing independents.  Is there evidence?  Check it out for yourself.

 

Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

 

Our publisher laid out a details case for how MHI, backed by Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, et al, used the “Rope-a-Dope” to wear out independents in the battle for Preserving Access, which never passed.  Several MHI members are quoted in that report.

 

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

 

 

Neither the powers that be behind MHI, nor MHI’s outside attorney would not respond to the varied allegations against MHI, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Nathan Smith, and others in a scheme to monopolize the market, in a way that Allen himself claimed was occurring.

Rather than respond to specific concerns and credible evidence, MHI’s outside attorney threatened MHProNews with legal action, pointing to items in articles we’ve published. MHProNews has challenged them on their legal claims, and asked them to respond.  MHI’s outside attorney, which has an office in Nathan Smith’s home town, has not yet responded to the meat of the concerns.

 

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

 

 

MHI’s outside attorney has claimed that there is no connection between themselves and Nathan Smith, former MHI chairman and a partner in scandal plagued SKK Communities.  But frankly, that’s a nuance, a detail either way.  Isn’t the bigger issue – why hasn’t MHI hired an attorney to sue cities that are violating the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000?  Why isn’t MHI doing what MHARR has begun to undertake?

 

 

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

 

MHI’s Rick Robinson had an opportunity to discuss issues face to face with MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach in Deadwood, SD.  He declined publicly, in front of dozens of industry members as witnesses.

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Robinson – an attorney and MHI’s general counsel – personally knows an aspect of the law that might be useful to fight discriminatory zoning. Why hasn’t he put that to work himself, or done so with MHI’s outside attorney?

 

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

OccamsRazorDefinedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are several potential explanations for MHI’s failure to engage on issues that their own mission statement and IRS form 990s claim that they are supposed to be focused upon. For example: 1) They are incompetent. 2) They lack intelligence. 3) They lack motivation. 4) They have an unstated agenda. 5) They want to see the industry grow slowly and/or shrink, so that more companies close or sell out to major companies. These are a few of the logical options. MHProNews editorially believes that the people at MHI are intelligent enough, so what logical conclusions are left? Among others, it was longtime MHI member George Allen who said that they are working to monopolize the industry into a few hands.

MHCommunitiesOfAZNealTHaneyPresidentWhyTheyQuitManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

MHI, the Berkshire brands operating out of the Knoxville, TN metro area, and their outside attorney have been invited to debunk, refute, or otherwise respond in writing or in public to the mounting evidence and allegations against them.  So far, silence, which is their constitutionally protected 5th Amendment protected right. But in the meantime, there is evidence that Warren Buffett’s money has been donated to other nonprofits that have fought the industry publicly on issues that debatably have harmed the image and thus the sales of the industry.

 

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

 

That’s a snapshot of research and action plans vs. posturing, fig leaves, and sloganeering by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Its your industry.  This is your future. If you are a member of a state association, why not ask them if your state plans to participate in this MHARR initiative?

Zoning and financing are two key issues.  What has MHI done to fix them?  Yet it is there own claimed role to do what they’re arguably failing to do.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoOnlyTradeOrganizationrepresentingallsegmentsfactorybuilthousing2019-05-14_0808

Then contrast that to the ongoing efforts – like the removal of Pam Danner at HUD – and steady, reliable reports and warnings by MHARR.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen has pointed out the obvious, that MHARR is a sponsor of our website. But that’s out in the open, MHARR has banner ads here. What Allen fails to mention is that MHI used to sponsor MHProNews too. Our coverage has been based upon our LLC’s own research and work, without favor.

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

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

Warren Buffett “Oracle of Omaha” HBO Documentary Berkshire Hathaway #Advexon Video

Senator Cory Booker – ‘We Need a President…to Enforce Antitrust Laws,’ Digging Warren, POTUS Trump

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

Capitalism vs. Socialism Town Hall Discussion, Plus Manufactured Housing Equities Updates

 

“Trailer Parks,” Presidential Candidate, Prior HUD Secretary Julian Castro on MH Community Operators, Residents Not Knowing Their Rights

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert! “On Capitol Hill…MHI Advances Manufactured Housing Finance Reform,” Redux

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

Dr. Mark Calabria, FHFA Director Interview, Front Lines of GSE Reform, Manufactured Housing Impacts Ahead

Antitrust Heats Up With Supreme Court Ruling, Monopolization Legal Experts Weigh In, Clayton-Related Comment Connection

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

City Permits Some Manufactured Home Replacements for Tornado Ravaged Conventional Housing

May 23rd, 2019 Comments off
BattleInCityOverPermittingManufacturedHomeReplacementsforTornadoRavagedConventionalHousing

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.

 

AltoTXmanufacturedhomeStreetNextToOlderConventionalHousingMHProNewsMHIMembersChangingPerceptionOfManufacturedHousingMHILogoClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayLogoMHProNewsBloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

 

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.”

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

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.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

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

 

GregSchoorSevereStormsServicesCoordinatorNationalWeatherServiceManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

“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”

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

May 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

AndyGedoPhotoManageAmericaPartnerLinkedInDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Andy Gedo’s LinkedIn profile says he is a “Partner at ManageAmerica.” They are on online property management platform, that cites manufactured housing as one of their specialties. They are active at Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) events, and per sources, an MHI member.

 

To set the stage for the discussion that follows, let’s note that Gedo – who entered into a public online discussion this week with our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach on LinkedIn regarding Clayton Homes – previously posed a question to George F. Allen.

Gedo asked Allen a question about one of Allen’s posts, “George, please provide the details of your proforma $12,000 annual expense budget for a 200 site community.  That amount doesn’t even cover a Manager’s salary for such a community.  What am I missing?”  It was a perfectly reasonably question.

Allen’s response?  There was none.  To which Tony Kovach, after liking Gedo’s question, posted this: “George, Andy Gedo has asked a relevant question.  Where is your reply, sir?  How can you claim to educate, when you won’t answer questions?  Isn’t that part of the educational process, Q&As?” For more on Allen, Joe Stegmayer, MHI and related, click here.

That post and exchange reveals several things, because Tony Kovach previously asked Allen a question about another post. Allen’s reply? None.

The first reasonable takeaway is that respectful discussion – which can include direct questions, even pointed questions – are a potentially useful facet of social media.

With that backdrop, Gedo, who’s firm’s website says started in 1999, asked about a post made by our publisher earlier this week.  Here is the link to the that LinkedIn post, and the screen capture below is a reflection of the linked article that Gedo to, which sets the stage for the online discussion.

 

KevinClaytonAnswersCNBCsMonopolyQuestionLinkedInPostManufacturedHousingMHProNews

AndyGedoPhotoManageAmericaLinkedInManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Here’s Gedo’s comment/reaction to that public social media post. “Come on Tony, her question wasn’t whether Clayton/Berkshire intends to monopolize the entire homebuilding industry, but rather whether they intend “own every aspect” of it — to vertically integrate, not own the entire thing.”   The “her” Gedo was referring to is CNBC’s Diana Olick, who covers real estate news for the business focused, left-of-center news website.

Here’s Tony’s reply, with the typos like ‘distinction’ in original.

Its a distiction without a difference Andy.  Perhaps you’ve missed what HousingWire, Bloomberg LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertor others have spotlighted?  Warren Buffett said he had 3 percent of brokerage in an annual letter, and added “Only “97 percent to go.” Google it.  That said, I respect your question.  Try explaining these facts, linked below.  Kevin, Tim, and their attorneys have declined.  Why not try to explain it for them?

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

We routinely invite Clayton, 21st, and MHI to respond, or dispute our concerns. Why do they duck that, if there is nothing to hide?  So back to your question. CNBC is perhaps the first in mainstream media for a while that asked that question that way. It lacked a follow up, but at least they deserve credit for asking about the growing concerns not just here, but in other mainstream media that use the word “monopoly” when it comes to Clayton and Berkshire.  Those other media are found linked here.

http://mhpronews.com/blogs/tonykovach/ultimate-proven-contrarian-investing-ethical-vs-unethical-legal-vs-illegal-manufactured-housing-industry-strategies/

AndyGedoLinkedInManufacturedHomeCommunitiesPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGedo rapidly posted on LinkedIn the following retort. As MHProNews has often done for several years, we’ve turned the quoted text brown and bold to make it pop, but the comments are otherwise unedited in any material fashion.

Tony, the CNBC interviewer’s question was:  “Your parent company, Berkshire Hathaway owns a real estate brokerage, it owns an insulation company, it owns a Benjamin Moore… and it owns [Clayton Homes, which has bought 9 site-built homebuilders].  Is this their master plan, to own every aspect of the U.S. housing market?”   Kevin Clayton gives an honest and revealing answer that explains why Berkshire believes that owning both manufactured and conventional builders will enable them to realize efficiencies by “blurring the lines” between the two.  Both the question and the answer are about vertical integration, not monopolistic practices.   You are still entitled to your opinion about whether Clayton wields monopoly power, but it isn’t addressed in this interview, and that is obvious to anyone who bothers to watch it with an unbiased eye.”

Gedo was clearly posing a thoughtful defense for Clayton Homes via his comments.  That’s fair, and MHProNews editorially respects that, and encourages others to do the same.

Tony praised Gedo for his effort.

Andy, kudos on giving it a good shot, sir! Again, it is a distinction without a difference. Kevin’s reply is quoted at length in the linked report:

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/antitrust-heats-up-with-supreme-court-ruling-monopolization-legal-experts-weigh-in-clayton-related-comment-connection/

We don’t duck the facts, we check ’em.

Kevin didn’t deny the trend toward monopoly. What he did was say it was a 100 year plan, and yes, it includes ‘blurring the lines.’”

Our publisher then pivoted back to Gedo’s original question, which said in part: “…her [CNBC’s Oleck] question wasn’t whether Clayton/Berkshire intends to monopolize the entire homebuilding industry…” With that part of Gedo’s question in mind, Kovach said he added this in his publicly posted reply.

Italics, bold and brown – as before – are added for publication here to make it ‘pop,’ but the text by Tony is as in the original post.

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

Look, you or anyone can ignore what The Nation, OpenMarkets, the Atlantic, Guru Focus, or the Seattle Times published. It isn’t as if it is just MHProNews, is it?

Which begs the question. Why aren’t others in the industry’s trade media raising this issue? Why are so many – perhaps out of fear, going along to get along, etc. – not saying publicly what they discuss privately? Even George Allen, before he was re-embraced by Arlington, raised the issue of “oligarchy” and the problem of consolidation. That’s a polite phrase for alleged monopolistic practices. Please look at the links shared, and respond to those. Then, get your friends in Arlington and Knoxville to reply directly. It’d be the hottest read in MH. Feedback welcome. Thx.”

The Seattle Times in a May 18, 2018 article touched on the issue of ongoing federal investigations of Clayton Homes.

But Tony went further, adding follow up questions for Gedo.

Andy, now let me ask you a few questions, please. I think your firm is an MHI member, right? How do you explain the fact that MHI doesn’t have the Ben Carson speech on their website?

Why doesn’t MHI respond to attacks by MHAction? Or the John Oliver video?

Frank Rolfe, an MHI member, pointed out some years back that MHI fails to either promote good third party news, or defend against third party attacks. We’ve followed the pattern since then. There is evidence for Frank’s concerns.

Tim Williams, while MHI Chairman, said there is a good case to make to defend against every attack. So, why hasn’t MHI done so? Who benefits from 7 months of dropping year-over-year shipments? Consolidators?”

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHISiteSearchMHProNews

The same was true early this morning. Do you think they will update it during this weekend? Add the Carson speech next week? Ever? If not, why not?

 

The Value of Andy Gedo’s Comments

Now, there could be many possible reasons why Gedo didn’t respond further, as of 6:53 AM ET.  We encourage him or others interested in the discussion to do so.  Again, that LinkedIn post and related question thread is linked here.

It must be noted that Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, other Berkshire Hathaway brands, and numbers of individuals associated with the Arlington, VA based MHI monitor and/or engage there. Why didn’t they weigh into that discussion?

That’s just part of the value of the discussion that Gedo launched.

There could be several reasons why MHI has not yet posted the useful and encouraging Secretary Ben Carson New Orleans speech, or the positive National Association of Realtors (NAR) research by Scholastica Cororaton, or the comments MHI used to publicize – but stopped doing a few years ago – about Eric Belsky about manufactured housing as of 6:59 AM ET.

But that begs the question.  Why are they failing to do what Tim Williams, Frank Rolfe, and others have said is an obvious, useful or logical need?  The possibly reply to that is what Tony Kovach posted “Who benefits from 7 months of dropping year-over-year shipments? Consolidators?”  Kovach noted that even George Allen used to point to the same types of problems, until he was ‘re-embraced’ by MHI leaders, like Kevin Clayton or Joe Stegmayer.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

To see more disconnects between Allen and his flip-flops, then and now, click here. ‘Even a stopped clock is right twice daily.’ See the John Oliver Mobile Homes fact check here.

 

There will be a special report tomorrow morning that will be a ‘taking it to the next level’ report. Watch for it.

In the meantime, two prior quotes will be useful to end on here, after making the following observation.  Thousands of manufactured home industry – along with hundreds of other professionals interested in or researching the industry – logon daily, not for mere opinions. They can go elsewhere for more colorful if routine opinions, but rather, they come here for fact checks, analysis, and answers to the questions that no other trade publisher in the industry is addressing.

The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) broke away from MHI, precisely because they were not effective at their stated claims.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is an independent producer’s association.  For obvious disclosures sake, they are also a sponsor at this site. That said, they don’t control our content – nor do our parent company’s other clients or sponsors. We control our content, based on what seems to be relevant to the industry’s needs, timely issues, topics, and related factory-built housing industry interests.

Given a 7-month downturn of HUD Code manufactured home shipments during an affordable housing crisis, the industry is perched for a new round of consolidation – that is a virtual given.  Especially so, if there is no turn around.  Why has Clayton or MHI ducked that vexing issue?  Why has Clayton’s parent company – Berkshire Hathaway – not used their own BH Media Group to publish articles on manufactured housing that counter the negative media accounts?

But those obvious disconnects beg the questions: why has Buffett/Berkshire apparently used ‘dark money’ channels to de facto help fund MHAction?  Or why fund the Center for Public Integrity, which did the first Clayton Homes/Seattle Times expose?  Why support Prosperity Now, which opposed MHI backed Preserving Access?

To understand the full scope of the arguably deceptive web of traps that have been laid for unwitting manufactured home independents and investors in certain publicly traded firms, click here for more details and analysis.

If mere ‘opinion’ was what readers got here, this platform wouldn’t be the industry’s runaway largest audience by far reading reports like this. For more details, click the below.

 

B2B Statistics, Trends 2019 – April 2019 Snapshot of Manufactured Home Professional Readers

In a small industry, to have over 12,000 logons daily with well in April is an astonishing market penetration. In 12 months, over 16,818,375 pages have been viewed here on MHProNews. To grasp that number, picture a stack of over 525,574  32-page magazines piled high. That blows away anything in manufactured housing. To learn more, click the linked text-image box above.

Do draw this towards a close this Saturday, those who have the time and want to truly understand what is occurring in their industry, there is no other manufactured housing trade media analysis that has even dared scrutinize the facts like those linked here which Gedo, Clayton, or MHI have not responded to publicly. What are they skittish over?

Why are others in the industry trade media afraid to check those facts which quote Kevin Clayton, Warren Buffett, and Tim Williams, word for word?

Apparently so. No investor or professional can understand manufactured housing without understanding the ‘elephant in the room.’ That’s Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, and also Knoxville metro-based Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Andy Gedo is to be commended for making professional yet pointed questions. We welcome those. They clarify that what is occurring is more than opinion. We welcome him continuing the discussion, if he so chooses.

The startling issue is why others manufactured housing trade publishing or bloggers have ignored what the Nation, The Atlantic, GuruFocus, Forbes, The Hustle, the Seattle Times, or the Jacksonville Florida Times Union have reported that point to similar concerns that MHProNews and/or MHARR, or NAMHCO have raised. It’s not like we are crazed rogues, rather, we cover topics that others have – only we’ve done so with more focus, details, and depth. We’ve invited the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies to weigh in. Silence. At least Andy Gedo tried.

Note that those linked mainstream media reports above sources span the left-right political/media divides? So, Andy Gedo and others – with all due respect – the facts are what they are.

Dr_Ben_Carson__wikipedia

Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo. See his full speech in New Orleans, linked here, along with videos, and more. Note: we claim zero influence with Sec Carson, but it is interesting to note that his comments dovetailed with several points found in MHProNews, and in Tony Kovach comments letters to HUD.

When HUD Secretary Ben Carson tells MHI members to their faces that it is time to end the secret of manufactured housing, that should be a wakeup call to the industry and its many investors,” said industry expert, publisher, and former MHI member L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “MHI members have to ask why the Arlington based trade group have not touted to the whole world Secretary Carson’s entire speech?  Why hasn’t Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway, or the BH Media Group done so? Why not use their media contacts and self-proclaimed ‘clout’ to publicize this good news for most manufactured housing industry professionals and possible consumers? Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams – they are educated, and intelligent professionals.  Are we to believe that they are hiding the good news about manufactured homes? If so, why?  Who benefits from hiding the truths about manufactured homes? Perhaps as or more important, how many millions are being harmed?  How much does this cost manufactured housing independents every year?”

Such pertinent, ‘evergreen’ questions are not found anywhere else presently in MHVille’s trade media.  Why not?  Rather, there is an almost echo-chamber like effect, which sings various pages out of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington hymnal.  But if that song book is resulting in loss of shipments year-over-year, and more consolidations, why sing along?

Perhaps that is why our readers are voting with their browsers, tablets, smartphones, and time here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews because this is where they find news, analysis, fact-checks and commentary that holds together and makes troubling sense.

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

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

The next step in untying the Gordian knots of manufactured housing will be unveiled tomorrow morning. Watch for it.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

AllTruthPassesThroughThreestagesFirstRidiculedSecondViolatentlyOpposedThirdAcceptedAsbeingselfEvidentAuthurSchopenhauerIZQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FurtherSocietyDriftsFromTruthMoreItWillHateThoseWhoSpeakItGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Right is right even if no one is right. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is wrong. Objectivity, an issue that Andy Gedo correctly raised, is valuable. That takes time and discernment.

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

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

Antitrust Heats Up With Supreme Court Ruling, Monopolization Legal Experts Weigh In, Clayton-Related Comment Connection

 

Tariffs “…Will Effect Demand,” says Kevin Clayton, Answers CNBC’s Monopoly Question – Video – plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

Inside Scoop on the Manufactured Housing Industry in Memes

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Mark Calabria, FHFA Director Interview, Front Lines of GSE Reform, Manufactured Housing Impacts Ahead

May 16th, 2019 Comments off

 

DrMarkACalabriaFHFADirectorInterviewFrontLinesGSEReformManufacturedHousingImpactsAhead

Mark Anthony Calabria is the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). He was formerly the chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence,” per Wikipedia.

 

A release by the FHFA on April 15, 2019 said in part that: Dr. Mark Calabria Sworn In as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

 Roll Call said this week that the Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said he hopes to have a roadmap for ending the federal conservatorship…” of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

HousingWire reported on December 11, 2018 that “Calabria has been a critic of the GSE model…”  Let’s flash back to see HousingWire’s point.

 

 

Or consider this discussion with Dr. Calabria in the housing and finance debate, which will also give a good sense of Dr. Calabria’s thinking, in his own words.

 

 

Finally, the Daily Business News on MHProNews has previously reported the ongoing controversies over the Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing (DTS) and other underserved markets that were part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008.

With the former director of the FHFA, Mel Watt – considered by some going into the role as a ‘friend’ to manufactured housing – leaving under a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations, and with very little progress toward fulfilling the DTS mandate, there are open questions about what Calabria will do during his time at the helm at FHFA.

GotClout-questionmark-GetItHere-MHI-ManufacturedHousingInstitute-postedMHProNews-com-

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on April 4th, 2019 touted Calabria’s appointment confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

In that e-mailed statement, MHI said: “The U.S. Senate has confirmed Dr. Mark Calabria as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by a vote of 52 – 44. At his confirmation hearing, Dr. Calabria reaffirmed his commitment to the FHFA’s Duty to Serve mandate. Throughout his confirmation process, MHI sent numerous letters of support and worked with the White House and Senate leaders to secure his confirmation.”

MHI also provided their readers with their routine ‘photo op,’ an apparent part of their “got clout? get it here” theme, which has in recent years witnessed plenty of meetings, but what actual progress?

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

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

After all, manufactured home shipments are now had 7 months of declines during an affordable housing crisis.  If that is MHI’s vision of “clout,” please – “spare us oh, Lord…”

LesliGoochMHIEVPChiefLobbyistPhotoDrMarkCalabriaDirectorFHFAFederalHousingFinanceAgencyMHProNews

 

 

MHI went onto say, “Dr. Calabria has extensive experience in housing and financial services issues, as well as a thorough understanding of the importance of manufactured housing as an affordable source of quality homeownership. As the top housing staff member on the Senate Banking Committee for many years, he took the lead in drafting the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which created the FHFA as a strengthened regulator of the GSEs and established the Duty to Serve requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, requiring both entities to support manufactured housing in the secondary market. Previously, Dr. Calabria served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during President George W. Bush’s Administration, where he led the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Manufactured Housing.”

That biographical information aside, MHI added: “Dr. Calabria has served as a keynote speaker at MHI events, most recently in 2017 where he provided attendees with insights about the Administration’s housing and economic development priorities. In 2012, when he was Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the CATO Institute, he spoke to MHI’s members about the impact the Dodd-Frank Act could have on the housing finance sector.”

Those references to MHI should not be construed to diminish Dr. Calabria, now the Director of the FHFA, in any way. Federal officials meet with trade groups and others, it is part of what they do.

However, that recitation by MHI subtly suggests the opposite of what they are arguably seeking to portray to their members and readers.  Bear in mind that MHI pursued the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act during all of the Obama Administration years after the CFPB regulations were put in place, even though Warren Buffett backed the former president in both of his campaigns.

 

WarrenBuffettBarackObamaClassWarfareRichMakingWarWinning-Rule1NeverLoseMoneyRule2RememberRule1Luckiest1PercentThinkaboutOther99PercentMHProNews

Credits are as shown.  Buffett may indeed ‘think about’ the other 99 percent, but how are his surrogates policies in MHVille actually treating the other 99 percent?

 

MHI’s own Senior VP (SVP) of governmental affairs – or top lobbyist – Jason Boehlert, said in 2012 the following.

 

 

So, to borrow the phrase from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, there was an “Illusion of Motion” at MHI, which led nowhere after years of pursuing Preserving Access.  MHProNews’ publisher recently laid out a detailed review of how MHI’s chase of Preserving Access was arguably a “Rope-a-Dope” style ploy, that fostered industry consolidation while creating the impression that the Arlington, VA based trade group was ‘doing something.’ Yes, and no.

 

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

As recently as May 31, 2017, Patricia Boerger, per the MHI website said: Keep the Momentum Going – Ask Your Representative to Cosponsor H.R. 1699, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Twenty-one members of the U.S. House of Representatives have added their names as a cosponsor of H.R. 1699…” Momentum?  Hardly.

Preserving Access never passed.  The one thing that was obtained was S 2155, which ‘gave’ MHI the revision to the MLO rule – something that consumer groups were willing to do by agreement years before.  To understand the backstory and evidence on that, see the report linked below.

 

 

MHARR’s president said this in a recent “Issues and Perspectives” – Now, though, both the absence of an independent, national trade representative for the post-production sector [i.e.: MHI] and the related long-term failure of the broader industry to effectively address crucial issues within that sector…” MHARR announced this spring that they were going to go beyond their core mandate of dealing with federal regulatory issues that deal with production concerns, by working with state association on specific placement and zoning challenges, as well as: “(3) to publicly expose the failure of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) to fully and properly implement existing law, thereby forcing manufactured housing consumers into higher-cost, allegedly “predatory” purchase loans, while excluding other potential purchasers from the manufactured housing market altogether.”

 

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

 

It is so-called predatory loans that was part of the assault by John Oliver’s errantly named “Mobile Homes” video that exposed problematic business practices – each of which was apparently tied to an MHI member.

MHARR’s perspective on Dr. Calabria was outlined in their report linked below.

 

President Trump Announces Nominee Dr. Mark Calabria to Become New Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency

 

It is with that backdrop, that the Daily Business News on MHProNews turns to Dr. Calabria’s first in-depth interview since becoming the director of the FHFA in an interview with Fox Business News (FBN).

 

 

Per right-of-center FBN, on May. 10, 2019 – “President Trump’s new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency says he’s considering an initial public offering of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as early as the first half of next year to raise capital.”

FBN said that, “since taking the helm of the FHFA, Mark Calabria, says that allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to simply rebuild capital by retaining earnings isn’t enough to get the mortgage giants in a strong position quickly.”

Rephrased, the administration wants to untether the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) as much as possible from federal conservatorship, and from the implied taxpayer backstop.

As FBN put it, “Right now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are under control of the federal government since being bailed out by taxpayers during the financial crisis. Both send all of their profits to the U.S. Treasury, in what’s called a net worth sweep, while maintaining a thin capital cushion of $3 billion. Calabria says a sufficient amount of capital is what’s needed to exit conservatorship or government control.”

Calabria made a number of points, including that he feels that the law allows him to make several moves without further approval by the Congress.  That said, the new head of the FHFA also believes that Congress should be given some time to weigh in on changes to the current structure of housing finance.

Some other bullets from the FBN interview:

  • Calabria is currently waiting on a plan from the U.S. Treasury on reform for Fannie and Freddie, which he expects this summer. Then he will negotiate with Treasury and hopes to come to an agreement by the fall that would then allow them to stop Fannie and Freddie from sending all profits to Treasury later this year….By January (2020), Calabria wants to start the capital-building process and thinks it’s possible an IPO could occur at the earliest in the first half of next year.
  • Calabria maintains Fannie and Freddie should be treated like banks and have capital requirements akin to the ones the Federal Reserve requires of banks – that is, 4.5% of risk-weighted assets. “How do you get Fannie and Freddie to look no worse than other large financial institutions?” he said.
  • Raising capital is the first step to exiting government control…Calabria wants to see an entirely new housing finance system, both to improve pricing for consumers and to safeguard against another taxpayer bailout.

 

That is an item that should be closely watched.  It must be recalled that Berkshire Hathaway held stocks in the GSEs for years, and then dumped them.  See a report that deals with some of that history, linked below.

 

‘Minorities Aren’t Being Well Served in Housing Finance’ Today, per Mozilo – Former Exec Near Eye of the 2008 Housing/Mortgage Storm

 

Calabria also favors fully privatizing Fannie and Freddie, and hopes Congress will offer additional charters to create more GSEs to foster competition.

There are aspects similar to Senator Mike Crapo’s plan outlined earlier this year, which also aim to place Fannie and Freddie back into privately held hands, add additional GSE charters, and use Ginnie Mae and the full government backstop. Calabria said that Crapo’s plan is a “good framework.”

It can’t be this quasi are you private or you public is there something in the middle,” said Calabria. “It really has to be private capital at risk so the taxpayer is not on the hook… If you have several of these companies you know any one of them can fail and it’s a little less disruptive.”

Calabria admitted that getting Congress to go along with a plan is tough, but he is hopeful and will work toward that possibility. “I think we can come back and try to do that again. I’m hopeful that working with Chairwoman Waters in the House, Chairman Crapo in the Senate, I think that there are some areas for agreement. It’s not going to be easy, but I think that there are some areas we can work on.”

But if lawmakers don’t pass something, he will take action unilaterally. “Well I think I’m actually obligated to,” under the law that established the FHFA, he said. “As far as I see it, I don’t really have any choice but to fix them and get them out because that’s what the statute demands.”

Calabria wants to make sure that Fannie and Freddie play by the same rules as other private sector lenders.  That means that the GSEs should be held to the same rules, including the qualified mortgage (QM) rules.

Qualified mortgage rules went into effect as a result of the housing crisis, with the goal of strengthening underwriting standards for mortgages – except that Fannie and Freddie are exempt from the rule.

Calabria stated that means the GSEs are allowed to make riskier loans than what is allowed under the qualified mortgage rule. He believes the mortgage giants should be subject to the rule and hopes to work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to modify that scenario.

We’re going to continue to have I think to me historically low mortgage rates for next number of years,” he says.

But FBN noted that bringing private capital into the center of the GSE housing finance system could result in higher mortgage rates, because private companies are in business to earn more money.

Calabria is more concerned about affordability due in part to low housing supply. He wants to encourage more single family homes to be built, but also wants to ensure it’s stable and sustainable. “One of the lessons from last time around is we got a lot of people on housing and they weren’t able to stay in the housing,” he says. “So how do we make sure that if there’s another downturn … that homeownership or is sustainable.”

Each of these last views should be considered through what HUD Secretary Ben Cason said last week in New Orleans.

 

 

Oddly, as of this morning at the time shown, Secretary Ben Carson’s address – which was given to MHI members – is still missing from the MHI website.  What is it about that speech that has MHI and the powers that be nervous?

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHISiteSearchMHProNews

That’s a good reason for you to know that address, backwards and forwards. See the link above, and share it with your customers.  Because 15 years after Clayton was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway, manufactured housing is selling fewer homes today than then.  That’s the acid test of fact-based measurement of performance.

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

That’s this Thursday morning’s first episode of manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

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

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

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

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

What the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Said About March 2019 Shipment and Production Data

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

Bryan Resident Blast Officials “Travesty by Government” – Manufactured Home Ban, Limitations, Update

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

May 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

JoeStegmayerPhotoCavcoIndustriesLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoChairmanGeorgeFAllenPhotoSlogansSlumpSlursSolutionsMHProNews

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

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

 

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

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

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

FrankRolfeMHFundRVHorizonsMobileHomeUniversityDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryResearchReportsDataAnalysisMHProNews595

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

 

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

Let’s look.

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

HUDSecBenCarsonMHILogowebsiteManufactuerdHousingInstituteLogo2019-05-14_0617MHProNews

 

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

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

 

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

 

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

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

 

Is Fath alone? No.

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

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

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

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

 

 

One More Level

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

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Satirical logo by MHProNews, provided under fair use guidelines.

 

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

 

TylerJettChatanoogaTimesFreePressManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

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

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

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

 

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

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMarthaCNussbaumPhotoQuote

Design by MHProNews.

 

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

ProblemSolvingZigZiglarFirstStepRecognizetheProblemExistsNextIsProblemOurResponsiblityProblemSolvingVeryImportantDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

 

MHIMembersChangingPerceptionOfManufacturedHousingMHILogoClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayLogoMHProNews

LeveragingCreationNewClassManufacturedHomesMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

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

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

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

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

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIVideoStillMHIPromotionalClaims

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

 

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

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

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

FormerManufacturedHousingInstitutePresidentChrisStinebertManufacturedHomeOwnersUrbanInstituteYouMHLivingNews

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

 

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

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

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoOnlyTradeOrganizationrepresentingallsegmentsfactorybuilthousing2019-05-14_0808

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

What’s Going On?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

That ‘deeper dive’ report is linked here.

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

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

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

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

RickRobinsonSrVPGenCounselManufacturedHousingInstituteHUDSecBenCarsonMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

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

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

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

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

 

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

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

May 10th, 2019 Comments off

 

DrBenCarsonSecretaryHOusingUrbanDevelopmentManufacturedHousingConferenceRemarksNewOrleansLAHyattRegencyHotelMay72019MHProNews

This evening, as this report is being prepared, there are two, and only two places online that we can discern where someone can find the entire address by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) at their meeting earlier this week in New Orleans.

 

You might think that one of those two would be on the MHI website.  But that would be wrong.

There are about 6 places online we can find where snippets of Secretary Carson’s address are to be found.  But only 2 have the entire text. One of those is on our sister site, MHLivingNews and is found at this link here.

It may seem inexplicable to outsiders looking in why MHI doesn’t have this entire speech on their website.  Frankly, as sad as that reality is, it’s simply part of a broader pattern that isn’t the subject of our report tonight.

HUD and MHI are among thousands of organizations and professionals that read, monitor, or follow what we publish here and on MHLivingNews.  The typo of Joe Stegmayer’s name has been corrected now by HUD (you are welcome).

 

There is one other change, but it doesn’t involve a single word from Carson’s address as prepared.  It’s this.  We’ve added hotlinks that are not in his speech.  Those links have are identified with an * at the end of that hotlink.

 

The illustrations and videos above and below were selected by MHPronewsNews and were not part of Secretary Carson’s comments. Per HUD to MHProNews…

 

Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks
New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

As prepared for delivery. The speaker may add or subtract comments during his presentation.

 

Thank you, Joe [Stegmayer,* MHI Chairman], for those kind words. And thank you to MHI for inviting me to join you this morning. On behalf of HUD, it is a privilege to share my vision for addressing America’s affordable housing challenges – and the role of manufactured housing – with so many leaders and pioneers of the industry here today.

Under President Trump’s leadership, our nation is witnessing historic highs in employment, job creation, and economic growth. The financial optimism of everyday Americans has surged to an 18-year high, and is nearing an all-time record. For those families who have access to affordable housing, they are facing their bright futures with confidence.

And yet a serious challenge still persists: millions of hardworking Americans who seek affordable rents or sustainable homeownership simply cannot get their foot in the door. We have reached the point where many of our nation’s teachers, nurses, police officers, and firefighters struggle to live in or around the communities they serve.

What they face is a critical shortage in our country’s supply of affordable homes.

This is not just a housing crisis – it has a human face.* Homes are at the heart of building strong families, strong communities, and ultimately, a strong country.

HUD’s mission is to ensure all Americans have access to safe, quality, and affordable housing. And we believe that manufactured housing has a promising role to play – especially in the area of quality affordable housing.

For that reason, one year ago, I announced that HUD was in position to usher in a “new era of cooperation and collaboration between our Department and the manufactured housing industry.”*

Today, I’d like to share HUD’s current vision for how we are diagnosing affordable housing challenges, and how manufactured housing is an active ingredient in the medication we are prescribing for a stronger America.

 

Affordable Housing

Our nation’s shortage of affordable housing is ultimately an issue of supply and demand. With millions of people in need, high demand is already guaranteed. That’s why HUD has focused our strategy on increasing supply – namely, by promoting initiatives, programs, techniques, and technologies that produce more affordable homes.

Since the key constraint on supply is the cost of new construction and development, the solution to the problem is to change the cost side of the equation.

Manufactured housing has emerged out of the limestone and stepped into the limelight, to address precisely this need.

According to MHI reports, the average cost per square foot of a manufactured home is nearly half that of a site-built home – $49 [dollars] per square foot, as opposed to $107 [dollars]. These dramatic cost savings in construction enable responsible citizens to secure housing that may be considerably less expensive than renting or purchasing a site-built home.*

And yet, even at this lower price, manufactured homes appreciate in value at a rate similar to site-built homes, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency Housing Price Index.* Sustainable homeownership is the number one builder of financial capital for most American families. For example, the average net worth of a renter is $5,000 [dollars], while the average net worth of a homeowner is $200,000 [dollars]. That’s an extraordinary 40-fold difference. But with comparable home appreciation rates to site-built homes, manufactured homes exhibit their own extraordinary potential to be a wealth creation tool for ordinary, everyday American families.

Beyond the matter of price, there are also flexible ownership models, such as land-lease manufactured home communities, that could have the potential to combine affordability with a sense of neighborhood and lifestyle.

These factors – asset-building and community-building – are important to HUD’s mission to be more than a place that simply houses people, but a place that actually lifts people out of poverty and helps them become self-sufficient.

 

Manufactured Housing and Low-Income Communities

This industry is already having a tremendous impact on serving those communities who are most in need.

Today, more than 20 million Americans* live in manufactured housing, which makes up approximately 10 percent of single-family residences. As a result, manufactured housing has become the largest source of unsubsidized affordable homes in the nation –which saves taxpayer dollars.

By housing families that average between $30,000 to $50,000 [dollars] per year in income, manufactured homes also allow more people and families to pursue an American Dream that may have once felt out of reach.

While lives are helped through new homes, livelihoods are helped through new jobs. More than 40,000 citizens are employed in this sector, from all walks of life. And the Administration is especially impressed by the use of American suppliers in American manufacturing plants.
That is how innovation turns into opportunity.

 

Opportunity Zones

Which brings me to the topic of Opportunity Zones.*

Opportunity Zones were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to stimulate economic development and job creation by incentivizing long-term capital investments in low-income neighborhoods. They are also a potent tool to combat the shortage of affordable housing.

HUD expects that Opportunity Zones will be a catalyst for transformational real estate development in communities that are economically distressed. Thirty-five million Americans now live in such designated areas, in all 50 states. There, millions of housing units are needed, in both urban and rural areas.

I would encourage the industry participants here today to consider the role of Opportunity Zones in the context of local development plans, and how manufactured housing stakeholders may be included. As bursts of activity for new buildings and construction are unlocked by this powerful tax incentive, communities within Opportunity Zones are likely to experience significant growth and changing needs. When newly empowered residents pursue their path to self-sufficiency, such areas may generate strong local demand for affordable housing solutions – which manufactured homes are particularly well-positioned to provide.

 

Healthy Homes

Manufactured housing can also play a role in HUD’s mission to promote healthy homes.*

After many decades as a pediatric neurosurgeon – tasked with caring for the welfare of children – safety is a paramount concern for me in any housing solution.

As HUD Secretary, I have instituted a broad array of initiatives designed to promote healthy homes and to eliminate environmental hazards. For example, last December, HUD awarded nearly $140 million [dollars] in grant funding to 48 state and local government agencies to help protect families from lead-based paint and other threats.

For me, this is a personal issue. At an early age, I learned first-hand the hazards of an unsafe home. My mother raised my brother and me by herself from the time I was eight years old. While she struggled with single motherhood, our problems multiplied when we moved to a tenement in Boston. There, we shared a roof with rats, roaches and a host of other risks.

While my brother and I emerged with our health intact, many families do not. That’s why, as HUD Secretary, I advocate for new techniques and new technologies that can ameliorate these menaces. In manufactured housing, innovations in construction techniques have the potential to facilitate building in a less wasteful, and more environmentally sound way. Innovations in construction materials could create components that are higher performing, less prone to mold, wind or water damage, and more resistant to deterioration.

Those are the ingredients of a healthier home.

 

Natural Disasters

Such advantages are even more visible in the face of natural disasters.

Natural disasters do not just devastate housing capital – they devastate human capital, through lives interrupted, school days missed, and communities fragmented under strain. As a result, last year, HUD allocated more than $35 billion [dollars] in funding to 16 state and local governments, to help America’s hardest hit regions. These grants represented the largest single amount of disaster recovery assistance in HUD’s history.

Manufactured housing can help mitigate this kind of damage through the use of environmentally resilient construction materials, as well as by providing an affordable and permanent housing solution for lower-income survivors.

On a recent visit to Alabama, I was shown a site that was demolished by massive tornadoes – and the only homes in the area that successfully weathered the storm were manufactured houses.* It was a silent testament to their resilience. It is also possible that HUD’s work with industry leaders to update wind Standards for manufactured housing in 1994 could have helped to limit damage and potentially save lives.

This city, New Orleans, is all too familiar with the pain natural disasters can cause. If manufactured homes can alleviate some of those harms in the future, the next hurricane may leave much less devastation, and much more hope, in its wake.

 

Innovative Housing Showcase

I’d now like to cover two of the obstacles to adoption, and how HUD is trying to help.

The first obstacle is that manufactured housing is often overlooked because it is misunderstood. Many times, when people hear the words “manufactured house,” their first image is an old trailer that lacks the modern amenities and features of a site-built home. This image is a false façade.

The fact that manufactured homes can be so beautifully done – and in fact are often indistinguishable from site-built homes – is manufactured housing’s best kept secret. Well, HUD believes that secret should be shared.

That’s why we are proud to help educate both the American public and policymakers by featuring manufactured homes at HUD’s inaugural Innovative Housing Showcase,* which will be held this June on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

During the Showcase, MHI will be participating and working with its members to present at least two manufactured homes to be prominently displayed in the heart of our Nation’s capital, viewable to thousands of onlookers during the five-day event.

 

Deregulation; Removing Regulatory Burdens

The second obstacle is the presence of regulatory roadblocks* that still stand in the way.

HUD recognizes the importance of removing undue bureaucratic burdens on the industry* while striving to maintain the quality, safety, durability, and affordability of manufactured homes. As a result, we have placed an increased emphasis on clarifying our regulations, including by undertaking a full-scale review of our manufactured housing program to ensure we preserve the proper amount of oversight without stifling the industry.

We are also currently evaluating our Office of Policy Development and Research’s recent recommendation to expedite the manufactured home code-making process within HUD – which could better help HUD Standards keep pace with new industry innovations and techniques.

To advance these efforts, I am grateful for the many insights MHI has provided to HUD in the form of its available reports, educational materials, and constructive dialogue.

Last week, I spoke before the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee,* who makes the initial recommendations for proposed changes to our HUD-code provisions, setting in motion the approval process for updating regulations. The committee has an aggressive agenda and must be efficient to reach consensus and close out many of the more than 300 log and deregulatory items outstanding.

That’s why, to provide more help, I’ve brought on more staff at HUD for the manufactured housing and regulatory affairs offices. These new team members have extensive backgrounds and experience in the field. They are ready to work with committee members not just when visiting plants, State Administrative Agencies, third-party inspection agencies, or addressing consumer complaints, but on a holistic basis – to assist with getting HUD code updated and more hard-working Americans housed.

 

Conclusion

In closing, manufactured housing is a vital part of HUD’s prescription to make safe, quality, desirable, affordable homes available to millions of hard-working Americans.

The foundations of a better tomorrow are built with the new techniques and new technologies of today. And for manufactured housing, that time is now.

I look forward to continuing our work together in the months ahead, and delivering that brighter future to the hearts and homes of the American people we proudly serve.

Thank you, and God Bless.

###

We are adding a video from Steve Hilton’s ‘The Next Revolution’ where Secretary Carson also recently raised the topic of the value of manufactured housing, in the context of the discussion of Opportunity Zones.

 

Why It Matters

Manufactured housing is underperforming.  There are possible clues in this speech that suggest that Secretary Carson understands some of the reasons why it is underperforming, and he publicly stated that he wants to fix that.

The irony in this speech, one that should make every MHI member sit up and ask – what’s up with that? – is this. Quoting Carson, “…manufactured housing’s best kept secret. Well, HUD believes that secret should be shared.”

Carson nails a key issue when he said, “The first obstacle is that manufactured housing is often overlooked because it is misunderstood. Many times, when people hear the words “manufactured house,” their first image is an old trailer that lacks the modern amenities and features of a site-built home. This image is a false façade.”

Bingo.

Yet, once again tonight – as of the time this article is being drafted – Carson’s speech is missing from the MHI website.  Why?

But so too are other very useful third-party reports on the industry, several of which can be found at this link below. It perfectly fits what controversial but prominent MHI member Frank Rolfe said in the quote reported by MHProNews below.

 

Why is it that MHI doesn’t have all of the same generally useful resources found below on their own website?  Why does MHI hide behind a login what they say is useful research? By contrast, why is it that MHAction – with dark money funding that traces back to Warren Buffett – gives away research that is damaging to the industry?

At the link below you can find a list of decades of often positive and insightful third-party research.

 

 

The point is that even after we’ve raised this issue several times and brought it directly to the attention of MHI leaders, the lack of that third-party evidence on the MHI website persists.

Doesn’t it make a thinking person wonder, who’s side are they on? Who is benefiting from this lack of proper education of visitors to their website?  As a disclosure, the featured image at the top is not from the conference.   But it is a cool image of Secretary Carson speaking, and the drama of the that made it appealing for use here.

That’s tonight’s edition from the #1 most-read “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

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

Related Reports:

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

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

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

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

 

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

Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger Video Interview at Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting on GSEs Lending for Affordable Manufactured Housing and Clayton Homes

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

Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

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