Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Institute’

“Less Waste, Better Buying” – Earth Day and Manufactured Housing Image-Building

April 22nd, 2019 No comments

 

LessWasteBetterBuyingEarthDayManufacturedHousingImageBuildingManufacturedHomeProNews

The conventional housing seller or buyer’s wisdom, pardon the pun, is that manufactured homes cost less because they are “cheaper.”

 

How does the industry respond to that common concern?

A pair of Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member producers responded to questions on that topic today, to MHProNews or to MHLivingNews. 

On Earth Day, here’s what a MHI-only (i.e.: not a member of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform) member producer said in a text message, in explaining why a HUD Code home costs so much less than a conventional site built home.

MHImemberProducer2019-04-22_1541DailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

“Labor cost much higher [on conventional housing] as well and seems to be growing” is a topic that another MHI builder told MHLivingNews about today, as part of their Earth Day comments, see that at the link here or below.


While MHI might publish a press release before Earth Day is done, it is now approaching 4 PM ET. The latest search on this topic today resulted in the following.

Given the sad outcome in the last two weeks since John Oliver’s viral – and misnamed – “Mobile Homes” video – it should be stunning to MHI believers that their association failed on even such a basic effort on this topic.

But let’s look at the positive for the industry today – not found by the Arlington, VA based post-production association that claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing” – but rather, provided by our public-focused sister site, on Manufactured Home Living News.  That link to the left or below the byline is one share with those seeking greener homes.

EarthDayManufacturedHomeSearch4.22.2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That’s this afternoon’s edition 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 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 Housing – Greener Savings by Design – Earth Day Opportunities Missed?

 

 

 

 

Insider Tip – “Selling Access” to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Institute’s Latest Razzle Dazzle

April 18th, 2019 No comments
InsiderTipSellingAccesstoHUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLOGOLatestRazzleDazzleMHProNews600

If the shoe fits…satirical MHI logo provided under fair use guidelines.

The definition given by Dictionary of the noun razzle-dazzle reads in part as follow, with the bold added for emphasis: “Informal. showiness, brilliance, or virtuosity in technique or effect, often without concomitant substance or worth; flashy theatricality: The razzledazzle of the essay’s metaphors cannot disguise its shallowness of thought.”

 

The Urban Dictionary defines the term ‘dog and pony show’ in similar terms. “Man do the ignorant apathetic masses eat up this dog and pony show.”

Dog and pony show” is a colloquial term which has come to mean a highly promoted, often over-staged performance, presentation, or event designed to sway or convince opinion for political, or less often, commercial ends,” said Wikipedia.

 

So razzle dazzle, or dog and pony show are designed to catch the eye and impress, even if there is no substance or practical usefulness to it. With that backdrop is this following insider tip. The words in brackets are added for clarity, our common MHProNews bold and brown are added to make a direct quote pop, but the comments – typos and all are in the original – are from an insider with knowledge of the developments in the manufactured housing industry’s version of ‘the Swamp.’

On the BC [Ben Carson] matter, though, you are absolutely right, as they use these stuff for dog and pony show, but never ask these people [at the Manufactured Housing Institute] to get something tangeable done for the industry and consumers…waste of the industry’s hard-earned clout.”

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHICongressExpo2019BenCarsonPhotoOpSpeechDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

From an MHI email to their members earlier this week. Such an address by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, MD, could be useful or not.  Will Secretary Carson do something substantive, that will help the industry, consumers, and HUD? Or is this just another photo op? Time will tell.

 

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

The Daily Business News with MHProNews was previously tipped some time back about the red herring use of photo ops with political figure by Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and members of Congress, federal or state officials.  Photo ops are morally neutral, the specifics of how it is used is the question. In MHI’s case, per insiders, they are literal ‘head fake’ attempts to impress the rank and file industry member with their access – what MHI touts as clout – but without actually producing any useful results.

This new allegation would suggest that MHI is selling access to photo opportunities to Secretary Carson, because it costs hundreds of dollars to attend MHI’s Congress and Expo.

People love selfies and photos with celebrities and famous people. The desire for a photo with a notable person can include public officials. The photo of Nathan Smith with Vice-President Joe Biden, or the signed photo from Barack Obama serves to make the point.

 

 

One reason that presidential or other campaigns make coffee shop, restaurant, factory, or other stops is precisely to give ‘real people’ the opportunity to have a photo made with them. It is a practice done by people of both major parties. Those photos become free ads for a politico on social media, emails, texts or other more traditional ways to commemorate that moment. MHProNews team members are not immune to that phenomenon; we have photos with notables and officials too. We have not opted to publish such photos recently of a given team member with some well-known political personality. Doing so could be misinterpreted.

 

 

It’s a Profit Center

An upcoming analysis of the MHI 990s make it clear that meetings and events like their ‘Congress and Expo’ are profit centers. They earn significantly more from such an event than the cost to put it on.

In essence, per another source with insider knowledge, what the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is doing is “selling access” for “photo opportunities” with HUD Secretary Ben Carson in this case, or with other figures in various instances. Professionals got photos last year with Secretary Carson or others and more will doubtlessly do so this year. That’s not necessarily a slam on Carson or HUD. It is what it is.

Both MHI and HUD will be given an opportunity to respond to these concerns.

 

Where is the Practical Use of MHI Access and Clout?

The quote at top is a key to understanding the emergence of the puzzling picture that is manufactured housing today. If MHI has such “clout,” when they have photos with several key people in the Trump Administration, or with Democrats or the GOP in Congress, why aren’t they using it to gain real results? Why is MHI proudly pushing a speech and photo opportunities?

Why aren’t they asking and OBTAINING Secretary Carson’s potentially powerful position for HUD’s intervention in areas like

Or why haven’t they shown results in obtaining:

  • Eliminating the 10/10 rule on FHA Title I loans?
  • A broad use of the Duty to Serve lending by the GSEs for all manufactured homes, not just for the Clayton Homes promoted ‘new class of homes?’

The list of possible ‘asks’ by MHI and their ‘big boy’ masters could go on.  One might note what MHARR said to Fannie Mae’s new CEO, when they made the point that failing to implement DTS (or by inference, other such policies) adds to the profitability of Berkshire Hathaway owned brands in manufactured housing.  It gives Clayton and their sister companies an outsized influence.  It makes the point that MHI award-winner Marty Lavin previously made, doesn’t it?

 

Wasted MHI Clout? 

If MHI has such clout, as they have claimed for years in graphics like the above, why didn’t the stop the hit against their own prominent members in the John Oliver viral “Mobile Homes” video?

If MHI has such clout, why is the primary media narrative arguably against the industry’s homes and communities, rather than for it?

MHI can no longer as easily escape with the ‘head fake’ photo “razzle dazzle” or “dog and pony show” techniques any longer, so long as MHProNews and/or any others spotlight what they are and have been doing for years.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoSupportersofMHIElevatedTopAdminPositionsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews574

What have these prior photo ops actually resulted in, other than photos?

Rhetorical or visual red herrings are a deceptive ruse arguably designed to deceive and impress independents or others without delivering any actual and measurable results. MHI is collecting millions in dues, and what do they have to show for it?  Why is the industry performing at a lower total production rate today than the year that Warren Buffett entered the industry over 15 years ago?

 

2018-12-10_0949SkyChampionManufacturedHousingShipmentHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNov2018

Skyline-Champion (SKY) is an MHI member.  They are making the case in the chart above that there is upside.  Of course there is, but why isn’t that upside being achieved?  It is self evident to those who look at history and the facts that the industry is under-performing. Several MHI member companies have said as much, in their own IR presentations. Rollohome went from zero to 60,000 new homes shipped in 2 years. What was done before can be done again, better, faster, and with sustainable results, thanks to existing laws.

 

MHI obtained a video with Secretary Carson, and a video with previous HUD Secretary Julian Castro. Castro is currently seeking a run at the White House as a Democrat. Dr. Carson is a well-known member of the GOP, and as a Republican, sought his party’s nomination as president in the 2016 campaign cycle.  Why are those videos touting bi-partisan praise for the industry not on the home page of their website?  Why instead are they a challenge to find?

The evidence and reasons suggests – and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis has not yet denied or explained away – the claim that the “Illusion of Motion” has made MHI money, while the industry continues to consolidate into ever fewer hands.  MHI meetings have become ‘Buffett’s Big Boy Buffet.’ Members pay for the honor of potentially becoming the next meal for a corporate giant.

If the industry was performing near their historic norm, or to the industry’s potential, then the value of those businesses arguably would be higher.

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMHProNews

Does MHI, Clayton Homes, et al’s failure to seriously move the needle to advance the industry de facto benefit Berkshire Hathaway and others who are consolidating the industry at effectively depressed prices? If so, is MHI engaging in unethical or perhaps illegally deceptive trade practices?

Is it a coincidence that failing to fight and win media image, to fully implement good laws, to overcome regulatory or other hurdles creates shark-like resistance?  Meanwhile, the manufactured home industry staying smaller limits the attraction of new competition, and that pattern allows Warren Buffett and his de facto allies to buy up chunks of the industry at a discount? Aren’t these useful in doing exactly what Buffett has said in his own words?”  That summarizes points that publisher and industry expert L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has made.

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Sometimes the truth is hiding in plain sight. Follow the facts, evidence, and the money.

The industry’s independents in MHI ought to demand their money’s worth, or seek new structures that achieve the claimed goals of the Arlington based association that claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing.”

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. These lessons are not shared to discourage, but to identify the root issues, so that they can be successfully addressed.  One of many things that Secretary Carson could do is ask the FTC and DOJ to investigate allegations of violations of antitrust and other laws.

 

Photo ops and nice speeches are fine, and we can all enjoy them.  But it is measurable results that the industry needs, and the same applies to current manufactured home owners and the roughly 100 million living in rentals, most of who want to become a home owner.” says Kovach.

The time for razzle dazzle and head fakes is over. The industry continues to be consolidated.

See the related reports to learn more, found further below the byline, offers, and notices.  That’s this morning’s edition 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.

For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

Cui Bono? “Killing Me Softly,” Manufactured Housing’s New Theme Song?

 

 

 

 

 

Peer Alleges State Execs Crossed Line, “Kissing Ass” Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute, Back-Stabbed MHI Member Reacts

April 15th, 2019 No comments

 

AmyBlissWiscHousingAllianceWHAStateExecCrossLineKissingAssClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHImemberReactsMHProNews

Off the record, but these [other] state associations [in this email thread] have crossed the line with their blind loyalty and kiss a — to Clayton [Homes] and MHI. This is not healthy for the industry well-being and [the] future of the industry,” said one of several news tips received by MHProNews last week.

 

That comment was tied to the embarrassing-for-the-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Clayton Homes viral video on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver entitled, “Mobile Homes.” MHLivingNews did a fact-check that posted said video and unpacked it’s points, hits and misses, in a report linked below.

 

HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check

 

That fact-check on MHLivingNews landed on page 1 of Google early Sunday morning.  That’s relevant, but first the evidence of that factoid.

JohnOliverMobileHomesViralVideoSunday41420198-50AMET

 

More of that email-thread between various state association executives may or may not be reported in the days ahead.   But for this report, we’ll focus on a specific comment about a multi-year Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member by an MHI affiliated state association executive.

That executive?

Amy Bliss, of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

It should be noted that, per sources, MHI monitors those electronic transmissions among the MHEC execs, which is open to most industry trade association staff leaders.  So that ‘monitoring’ by MHI – which sources say are periodically forwarded to Executive Committee members that include Berkshire Hathaway brands – may in various ways influence comments like the one that follows.

It would be somewhat akin to mom and dad monitoring their teenagers’ emails.  Or more to the point, a stern boss overseeing all the messages his staff sent via email.

AnIndustryWithHeartTomorrowsHomeFoundationWiscHousingAllianceMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-310x165

Wheat and chaff, fairness, with all people, organizations, and things. Bliss was instrumental in the work of starting and operating the Tomorrow’s Home Foundation, learn more at this link here. That said, what follows isn’t the only questionable behavior by Bliss. See the link here for a recent example.

Here’s what Bliss said, following the screen capture of the email, with her photo added to the top left of her words as an illustration that was not in her original message.  As is the custom here on MHProNews, we’ve turned her direct quote into bold and brown text so it pops.

 

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAllianceExecutiveDirectorAboutROCUSANorthCountryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAlliancePhoto

Photo provided under fair use guidelines for media.

From: Amy Bliss
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Subject: RE: [mhexecs] FW: How Private Investors Are Threatening the Fate of Manufactured Housing

I am very disappointed in two entities that are supposed to be in favor of manufactured housing.  ROC USA and North Country Cooperative both added this John Oliver junk to their facebook page and ROC USA also tweeted it out as if they were sharing good news. This is such an insult to the people that have chosen manufactured housing to live in.  If there were not investor owned communities, they would have no communities to “convert” to resident owned.  Such a shame.

 

Amy Bliss, CAE
Executive Director,
WI Housing Alliance and WI Recreational Vehicle Dealers Alliance

If indeed comments like Bliss’ are monitored by MHI, then why didn’t the Arlington, VA based trade group come to the defense of a member being tagged by Bliss in such a manner?  Normally, an association member would never know – and thus would never have had a chance to respond to on behalf of the themselves and/or the organization being disparaged.  What does this incident say about not just Bliss, but MHI, or some others in MHEC?

Agree or disagree with ROC USA on this or that, but they have first amendment rights – even if Bliss doesn’t care for that protected speech.  MHProNews, once that and other messages were provided by multiple parties, asked for comments from both Bliss and Paul Bradley, ROC USA President.

Bradley replied as follows, his photo is likewise added for illustration purposes, and as with Bliss, we turned his statement to MHProNews and Bliss bold and brown for clarity and emphasis, but his words are unedited.

paulbradleycredtimhpronewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnews

Award winning, Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA.

Hello Tony and Amy,

I am happy to talk directly anytime, Amy, but will respond at this late hour to the two of you here.    

First, it probably goes without saying that I have no control over the independent press or a satirist like John Oliver.  However, as Tony knows, I am always quick to point out that there are many good operators in the business. 

John Oliver focused on the onslaught of aggressive new money in the sector.  The examples of rent hikes cited were alarming and atypical but also real.  I know one of the examples well.  (In fact, I referred that one to Rick Robinson at MHI to handle when Time Magazine called recently.) 

Oliver was making a point about the fate of residents in communities that experience significant rent increases and, as any good debater would, chose stories that best illustrated that point.

He pointed to resident ownership as a way to mitigate such increases by removing MHCs from the speculative real estate market, and we agree that it is.  This was hardly an attack on the homeowners who suffered these hardships — that’s something we would never condone. 

In terms of our sharing it, I am not going to miss an opportunity share the ROC USA story with our followers when we appear on national TV.  I certainly understand the piece is embarrassing to some operators who subscribe to a certain school of thought when it comes to homeowners and MHC ownership. 

I know the three of us actually care about the homeowner experience for both business and basic humanity reasons, and many others do, too.  I believe we all wish it was universal. 

Thank you.  Happy to talk anytime.  Paul

Given several days to respond to Bradley or MHProNews, Bliss said nada in the way of a follow up to this publication. If she did so privately to Bradley, he has not so indicated. From an editorial perspective, Bradley’s reply above – especially give the circumstances – could fairly be described as ‘classy.’

 

Part of a Pattern?

By contrast, Bliss – per sources in the George F. (F?) Allen camp – has supposedly called for a “boycott” of this site last year that Bliss concurred with.  When asked about that claim by MHProNews, Bliss neither confirmed nor denied that allegation lodged by members of Allen’s following.  The reason that is relevant will be made clear.

It is this.  One is left with an impression of Bliss as someone that – at least among her state association peers – wants only the MHI party line.  That’s what seemingly sparked the tips – outrage – like the one comment noted at the top. That comment was not the only one…

That apparent desire for only the MHI party line by Bliss is seemingly true even with respect to another MHI member – i.e. Bradley/ROC USA.  A source with knowledge indicated that ROC USA is a member of the WHA – led by Bliss – not just MHI.

If so, Bliss arguably ‘back stabbed’ a dues paying member of her WHA trade group and a dues payer to MHI.  How does that impact that member’s business interests?  Why did none of the MHEC Execs openly chide her for that in that email thread?  Why did some feel the need to send that and other messages to MHProNews to expose what some other execs are doing to one or more dues paying members?

Because there was another dues paying member of MHI that was likewise mentioned between the state execs.

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.

 

Apology or…?

Given the influence that state association executives have with numbers of people in this industry, will Bliss step up and at a minimum, publicly apologize?  If not, what remedial steps should be taken?

Or what about the group messages – which are supposed to be used by the MHExecs to discuss issues faced by members, such as zoning, legal, or legislative issues.  That list’s use presumably ought not include slamming members of the industry’s trade groups by those they pay dues too.

 

FactsFoulPlayFearFreedomWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingInstiutute#MHIUpdateMHProNews

It must not be thought that just because Warren Buffett happens to be a staunch Democrat, that all other Democrats are like him. Or because Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway lending affiliates has purportedly done dark deeds, that everyone that works there are the same. There is good, bad, and meh in all people, organizations, associations, etc. One must fairly discern ‘wheat and chaff’ – what’s good and not – in individuals, people, and organizations. Each of us has been tempted to do good, evil, or nothing while evil occurred. There is a path for successful, profitable, honorable resistance.   Watch for an upcoming special report – Facts, Foul Play, Fear, and Freedom.

 

Even More Important?

Perhaps as or more important, what has Bliss, other execs, MHI, or others done to respond in a constructive way to the John Oliver video on “Mobile Homes?”  That HBO/Oliver video, when properly understood, disparages specific larger MHI members.  Has Bliss taken any of them to task, given it was logically their purported behavior that fueled Oliver’s sharp satirical commentary?  ROC USA might benefit from Oliver’s video, but they are not the focus of HBO’s sharp satirical attack.

If any state execs took MHI to task in a public way, that has not yet been provided to MHProNews.  That said, several are disgusted enough to share with MHProNews what was shared.

  • Time will tell if Bliss has the chutzpah to stand up to the powers-that-be in a manner even modestly analogous to what she did with ROC USA and North Country.
  • The industry will also see if Bliss – or any state exec – asks the powers-that-be to behave in ways that might avoid such harmful and embarrassing mainstream media commentary, satirical or otherwise.

Finally, as the articles linked below the byline make clear, Warren Buffett’s ‘follow the money-trail’ leads one to a reasonable conclusion that he has helped fund MHAction through ‘dark money’ channels. Will Bliss and her state association colleagues hold Buffett, the Berkshire brands, and others accountable for business practices that harm the image of an already struggling industry?

2019-04-01_1358December2019ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It isn’t just the MMHF states. 7 of the top 10 states in manufactured housing shipments are reporting declines. At what point will MHI – the self proclaimed representative of “all segments of factory-built housing” actually do something useful to reverse this troubling trend? Or will they reveal by inaction that they are allowing it, perhaps with the goal of causing more independents to sell out to big boys, or close shop?

 

Other reports that correct the record, debunk, and/or jujitsu key concerns on that issue are linked from the report below the byline and notices. That’s 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 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.

Jujitsu – Last Week Tonight John Oliver “Mobile Homes” Video Fact-Check Revelations

Watchdogs? Attack-Dogs? The Smear, and Manufactured Housing

MarketWatch Reports on Manufactured Housing, 2018-2019

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watchdogs? Attack-Dogs? The Smear, and Manufactured Housing

April 12th, 2019 No comments

SharylAttkissonTwitterWatchdogsAttackDogsTheSmearManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600 

The historic vision in America for the news media is to hold the powerful to account. To be a voice for the voiceless.  Investigating concerns about governmental, criminal, or corporate malfeasance are what made for riveting reports that sold newspapers or caused channels to be turned to for some breaking, relevant news report.

 

Unlike numbers today, we believe that mainstream news reporting absolutely still occurs. That reporting – to varying degrees – occurs on both sides of the left-right divide.  But the reason that media has lost so much credibility, per surveys, is because the independence and objectivity of news reports have been called into question.  The fact that Sharyl Attkisson – among others – has devised a list of left-right media bias is itself revealing, and saddening.

 

 

The Smear, Media, and Manufactured Housing

Speaking of the media, today Sharyl Attkisson’s team provided the Daily Business News on MHProNews her expert insights on Smear Tactics as they are used in the media.

Here are the top-lines and neatly notes Attkisson provided here, as published last month in the Hill.

 

 

SharylAttkissonTwitterPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews“I Dream of a World Without Smears”

Smear /smeer/: noun

  1. Carefully timed and publicized release of negative material, true or not, about a target.
  2. Character assassination.

Bork, Thomas, Hill, Clinton, Clinton, Beck, Imus, Palin, Biden, Obama, O’Reilly, Sanders, Trump, Hannity, Kavanaugh, Northam, Klobuchar, Carlson …

Smears have become a distasteful staple in our media diet. The nonprofits, LLCs, super PACs, PR firms, crisis management companies and global law firms that organize and promote smears have formed a multibillion-dollar industry. They’re profiting beyond imagination.

Are we?

After interviewing many players who work in the smear industry, I came up with three characteristics that qualify an accusation as a smear. The determination of whether a particular attack is, in fact, a smear lies not so much in the truth of the accusation, but in execution and motivation.

In a smear:

▪           The media are used as a tool in an organized effort to amplify accusations, true or not, in a fashion disproportionate to the alleged offense.

▪           Though moral outrage is voiced, the accused actually is targeted for entirely different reasons, usually in a campaign by political or financial competitors.

▪           The goal of a smear is the target’s destruction.

When a smear is launched against someone we don’t like, we may be happy to enjoy the ride. If it’s against someone we like, we fret about how unjust it is. But we seldom step back and see the big truth: We are little more than an unwitting audience watching a scripted play. There are behind-the-scenes producers, writers and actors. They are experts at working the media, plucking our emotions and prompting their desired results. They carefully time each allegation, roll out demands for apologies or resignations, and organize “grassroots” boycotts.

 

##

SharylAttkissonAuthorJournalistStonewalledWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

 

With that backdrop from award-winning journalist and best selling author Attkisson, it seemed prudent to see what bias, if any, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver portrayed, per third party sources.  So MHProNews looked.

 

HBOThisWeekLastNightMediaBiasInfluentialShowDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MediaLandscapeApril2019HBO-ATTTimeWarnerDirectTVDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

More than one left-of-center outlets described it and HBO as ‘liberal’ leaning programing.  Fair enough.

That’s interesting, because a reportedly liberal program has taken dead aim at a progressive billionaire icon.  That would be Warren Buffett, who drew a healthy dose of Oliver’s satirical wrath.  If you’ve not yet seen the video and report, check it out at the linked text-image box below, along with an analysis, and fact-check.  BTW, what follows is the number 1 fact check on this viral video on this date.

 

HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check

 

Back to Mr. Buffett, the person who supported Secretary Hillary Clinton, or Senator-turned President Barack Obama.

That would also be the same Buffett who is Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, that includes brands like Clayton Homes and their related lending units.  Those firms reportedly dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Now what’s odd about that is the fact that Tim Williams, when he was chairman of MHI, said that one of the risks to the industry was from the progressive agenda.  Would that be the same agenda that Chairman Buffett supports politically?

 

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One can agree or disagree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

The Hustle, in their review of the John Oliver video essentially called Buffett a fake liberal fraud, posturing being a do-gooder, while actually taking advantage of the poor. Here is how they said it: “Buffett has long been viewed as a corporate hero. The more he complains about his secretary having to pay higher income tax than he does, the more people view Big B as some rich do-gooder. But Clayton homes’ manipulative business model, which Buffett immediately saw dollar signs in, contradicts many of the ideas of fairness for which Buffett is known.”

 

What those sources didn’t say is how the Buffett empire came to dominate the manufactured home market, and how that impacted customers or independent businesses.  ICYMI, or need that refresher, see that at the linked text-image box below.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

By the way, no Clayton, 21st, or MHI senior leader has publicly challenged the accuracy of any of these points. MHProNews has asked them, and their attorneys, to do so. They’ve ducked out every time for some 2 years.  Given the report linked above uses their own words and documents, how could they deny it, with a straight face?

Now, there are several possible ways to consider these facts on top of other facts.  Manufactured home industry professionals who want to believe and support Clayton and MHI are left with a dilemma. Either Williams and Buffett don’t see eye-to-eye on politics, or there is some kind of head-fake going on, right?

Let’s not forget that Secretary Clinton, as the Democratic candidate for the White House pledged to keep Dodd-Frank intact.  Hmm, so the MHI sponsored Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act was backed by Tim Williams, 21st, Clayton Homes, and their allies – but Warren Buffett was backing a candidate that opposed that same legislative bill?

These apparent contradictions lead to another question.  If Buffett, Williams, and Clayton are willing to give a head-fake on one thing, and another, is it unrealistic to think that they might do so on something else of consequence?

 

Holding the Powerful to Account

The media is supposed to hold the powerful to account when the crossed a line.  Are they going to play the role of watchdog?  Attack dog?  Will they take part in a smear?

What shouldn’t happen is that reports that hold the powerful to account, is that others get swept up who are bystanders, making the innocent and the alleged wrongdoers – or their victims – all look badly.

Buffett and a few of his uber-rich, MHI supporting buddies are exposed in this video by John Oliver.  Okay.  But do the independents and honorable people in the industry wanted to be tarred and feathered along with them?

 

InBusinessWorldRearViewMirrorClearerThanWindshieldWarrenBuffettLifehackquotes-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Keep in mind that Warren Buffett has said that the lesson of history is that people don’t learn the lessons of history. He and his allies count on busy professional people not looking in the rearview mirror of history. When we look back at just the last few years, isn’t it apparent that Buffett supports one thing, his minions claim to support the opposite, and the industry is being lead down blind allies? Meanwhile, the data suggests that industry has not yet recovered to the level that it was when Buffett bought Clayton in 2003. Does keeping the industry at a low level of production allow for more industry consolidation, and also keep more new competitors out?

 

That’s enough food for thought on a Friday night.

But for those who want to dig deeper into these mysterious issues, see the linked related reports, below the byline, offers, and notices that follow. That’s tonight’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 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.

 

Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

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

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

Independent MH Communities, Retailers – NAMHCO’s Susan Brenton Says What Fueled Break from Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

March 30th, 2019 Comments off

 

NAMHCOlogoMHIbreakLogoIndependentCommunitiesRetailersSusanBrentonSaysWhatFueldBreakfromManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It is a principle of good medicine and good business that one must treat the underlying cause(s), and not merely the symptoms of an illness or problem.

 

The headline topic will follow this rapid thumbnail of mobile/manufactured home (MH) history, which will prove useful to new and longtime readers alike.  It will also tee up Susan Brenton’s insights in useful ways for industry professionals, investors, advocates, and researchers.

For decades, part of the business model of the mobile home industry – which later evolved into the manufactured housing industry – was that independent retailers sold homes that went either into ‘mobile home parks’ or onto privately property.

During those decades, while some MH community owners sold and/or rented housing, the more common practice was that they developed and then leased home sites to the buyers or owners of a mobile or later a HUD Code manufactured homes. The bulk of those home sales were made by manufactured home ‘dealers’ or ‘street retailers.’

New manufactured home (MH) communities sprang up, as other communities filled up.

MH Retailers and community owners alike benefited from that long-established business model. Note too that this early business model for the industry served and benefited consumers and MHC residents.

In the 1950s through much of the 1990s, MH Communities had to compete for the business of residents. The stories that have become more common in roughly the last 15 (+/-) years of communities closing, being sold off for big box stores or other forms of multiple-family housing redevelopment were not yet occurring. The related displacements of residents were thus not generating problematic events for those owners, nor vexing headlines for those in the industry. The organization of resident groups in MH Communities to ‘defend against’ their ‘landlords’ is a more recent phenomenon. Why? Because MH residents and MHC managers had an alignment of interests.

 

As long-time or ‘veteran’ industry professionals know, the development of new land-lease communities continued into the 1980s and the 1990s. It was after 2000 that the pace of new communities opening began to slow to a crawl, while community closures for a variety of reasons began to pick up steam, and make often sad news.

 

lowrygroveresidentprotestcredtmprnewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnews1

Community closures like Lowry Grove sparked protests and headlines. But what has routinely not occurred is a deeper look at what has caused these troubling issues in the first place. Estimates on the numbers of community closures now runs into the thousands.  Meanwhile, consolidators are buying up properties from independently owned MHCs. 

DataCompMHVillageNewManufacturedHomeCommunityOpeningsClosuresManufacturedHomeIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNews

Thousands of manufactured home communities have closed since roughly 2000. By contrast, relatively few new communities have come on-line. That combination of facts impacts industry, consumers, and government alike.  Affordable housing is being lost, but once again, the root causes of the issues are often misunderstood.

 

While somewhat simplified, millions of MH home owners and thousands of MH professionals that reflect back can see that pattern as an accurate reflection of what occurred.

In the 1980s, some may recall the S&L or savings and loans crisis.  There was turbulence in the housing and finance sectors, but not at the same level as occurred in 2008. There were peaks and valleys in the sales of new housing, including what by then was HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

ManufacturedHousingVsTotalCompletedHomesLegacyHousingS1FilingIPODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The use of this graphic here should not be construed to mean that Legacy agrees or disagrees with this thesis. That said, Legacy clearly believes in the future of the business, because they are raising capital to expand their retail base. It was part of their IR information.  This graphic shows the trend lines of both new MH shipments by years, and also the percentage of MH to conventional housing starts.  MH is underperforming on both levels.  The loss of thousands of independent MH retailers is one factor in that milieu. 

 

It was during the resurgence of sales and the production of manufactured housing in the 1990s that several states saw a significant percentage of new single-family housing stock construction were factory-built HUD Code homes.

There are those who say that easy financing fueled that surge in the 1990s. Beyond question, that played a role, because lending is always a factor in robust home sales.

But it is arguably too much to say that easy lending was the only factor. The quality and appeal of manufactured homes continued to evolve after the start of HUD Code homes on June 15, 1976.

The price advantage of manufactured homes over site-built homes remained steady in the 1990s. It was researchers for the Fannie Mae Foundation and Harvard’s prestigious Joint Center for Housing Studies that pointed to such various realities of increasing appeal, durability, energy and purchase cost-savings.  Based on an ever-growing need for new housing stock, those university and third-party level researchers began to project that the trend lines favored a continued growth of the housing market share for manufactured homes.

 

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? Because it came before Buffett’s entry into MH? See the more detailed report and video, found here.

 

Belsky was quoted for a time in the literature of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  But a check of his name today reveals nothing on the MHI website.  Curious?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoSiteSearchEricBelksyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews


What Happened?

The two quotes from Belsky above have been pared by the Daily Business News on MHProNews. They should not be thought of as spoken by Belsky as one line after the other. Rather, those two pared thus reflect strong realities that researchers like Belsky recognized.  They are accurate sound-bites that drill down to essential points.

In the 1990s and into the early 2000, there were numerous lenders in the manufactured home space.  Even in the 1980s, there were financial services firms, such as Lenders Services Inc (LSI) or AGIC in cities like Tulsa, OK that acted as middle-men between those banks, S&Ls or other financial institutions and the authorized sellers of manufactured homes.

As the manufactured home repossession rout of the late 1990s and early 2000s occurred, numbers of those finance companies – for example, Ford Motor Credit or the Associates – exited the business. Unlike site-built housing, many of those manufactured home lenders never returned to serve the industry.

By 2003, when Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, Oakwood Homes, and some associated lending units, the MH industry was down, but not out. As Kevin Clayton said in the video in the report linked here, their firm used to have a road show that met with investment capital sources to raise capital to finance manufactured homes via their own captive lender. At the time, Clayton wasn’t in first or second place among the top producers or sellers of manufactured housing, that was still Fleetwood and Champion.

With Buffett’s deep Berkshire pockets, Clayton Homes need to fret about raising capital to finance new home sales vanished for Kevin Clayton and his firm’s team. Clayton said in the video on the page linked above that it was like saving several weeks a year in time, just because capital and reporting demands had been dramatically reduced.

Wall Street’s taste for MH finance paper had soured by 2004, so Berkshire owned Clayton had more than one strategic edge in the marketplace.

After the 2008 mortgage/housing collapse, which somewhat followed the pattern that occurred in manufactured housing a decade earlier, new starts in conventional housing sank like a rock. So did the values of existing housing. As Belsky observed, credit is part of the lifeblood of all housing.

By the time that Tim Williams from Berkshire owned 21st Mortgage Corp issued the first of his 2 now infamous letters linked here, that cut off of lending effectively took out or ‘knee capped’ numerous independent retailers.  That must not be thought of as a once and done event, as insider tips have revealed that it has occurred on floorplan lending by 21st more recently too.

That loss of thousands of retailers, chronicled in part by the Atlantic, IBISWorld and others, disrupted manufactured housing in several ways.  What they never identified, that tips by insiders to MHProNews did, was what arguably was a key that sparked that collapse.

In no particular order of importance, the loss of independent retailers impacted the following:

  • harmed the interests of the independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes that sold largely or exclusively through those independents. Several long-time producers were put out of business, why?  In part because of the cascade or domino effect of losing their retailers.
  • The loss of street retailers also harmed the interests of independently owned manufactured home communities (MHCs). Because most communities relied upon retailers to fill their spaces, when retailers vanished, so did many of those new arrivals into MHCs.
  • Needless to say, nearly all aspects of manufactured housing that supply the industry were harmed. From suppliers, vendors, service, utilities, financial services, installers, transporters, experts or consultants, etc.  Lose sellers, production is lost, and a downward spiral occurs. Who benefited?  Consolidators.
  • The loss of independent retailers also harmed the interests of consumers and residents in manufactured home communities. Consider this point, among many that could be listed.  So long as a community is at or near capacity, much like a conventional housing subdivision, the only way to ‘get in’ is to buy an existing home.  That protected the value of those home owners.  When new communities are no longer were being built at the historic pace, and existing communities’ lost residents for a variety of reasons, imbalances occurred.
  • Those imbalances harmed the interests of most independently owned MHCs, and it harmed the interests of the residents in those communities too.
  • Until more land lease communities began to sell their own homes, vacancies meant that their property values were reduced.  These factors harmed consumers and independents, but could be construed to have made property values lower, and thus aided in the consolidation of communities into the hands of consolidators.

 

While there is more to that historical outline, that is sufficient to set-the-table for the comments of Susan Brenton to other independents Thursday afternoon, 3.28.2019.

 

What Susan Said…

Susan_BrentonManufacturedHousingCommunitiesAZ-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNAMHCO

Brenton wears more than one hat, including duties for the new NAMHCO trade group.

Susan Brenton from the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) shared several examples of issues that from her perspective and that of her community owner/members that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had failed to resolve for years.

In some cases, per Brenton, there were issues that she raised with the Arlington, VA based MHI that they were uninterested in addressing.

Let’s look at an example she gave.

While MHI is posturing with their members to this day that they are working with the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to get more lending, NAMHCO has taken that ‘bull by the horns’ and began making a direct effort.

In doing so, they learned that locally based team members of Fannie Mae didn’t even know what manufactured housing was.

That’s stunning, given that the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing became federal law, in good measure though the efforts of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) to get that into the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008.  Rephrased, more than a decade after HERA and DTS became law, and Fannie Mae officials that Brenton and her colleagues met with had no clue what a manufactured home was?

That speaks volumes.

That also begs these questions. How can the GSEs claim to be fulfilling their Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing when their own team has examples of employees unaware of what our industry does?  How sincere can the GSEs be at fulfilling the law, when their staffers have so little understanding of the industry that they are supposedly going to serve as mandated by federal law?

 

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Another discovery Brenton shared with independent retailers, producers, and other attendees on Thursday was the following. There were potential avenues for ‘carve outs’ from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s MLO rules that MHI was reportedly disinterested in addressing. Brenton was reportedly told by their staff that MHI’s plate was too full to consider working with another group Brenton and her colleagues encountered that was doing seller financing.

MHI was too busy to consider working with them, even though Brenton and their communities were dues paying members.

Out of frustrations like those that clearly harmed the interests of independently owned communities, community associations broke ranks from MHI.  Here is how Neal Haney put it.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Once the rules of engagement and methods used by an opponent are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. 

 

It remains to be seen what NAMHCO’s direct lobbying efforts with the GSEs will produce. But at least an effort is being made.

What in hindsight is increasingly clear is that the ‘smoking gun’ of the letter by Williams at 21st not only harmed the interests of independent retailers and producers of HUD Code homes.  It arguably likewise harmed the interests of independently owned communities, residents, lenders, and others in the industry supply and services chain.  Never forget that even U.S. Bank, who was doing profitable and successful lending in MHVille post 2003, finally exited the business after MHI failed to head of the implementation of the rules of Dodd-Frank.  U.S. Bank cited low sales volumes and the regulatory risks from making those loans.  Other examples could be named, but that makes the point.

 

FixMHIndustryTricksSpecialMeetingTunicaManufacturedHousingShowDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Some Takeaways from Fix the MH Industry Tricks Meeting

We will return to some of the other lessons and insights from Thursdays “Fix the MH Industry Tricks” meeting in the near future.  But for now, let’s note the following ones.

The school of hard-knocks from the domino effect of what Berkshire brands arguably caused as outlined in the account here is one that continues to be unpacked. Millions of residents, and thousands of independent owned businesses have been harmed.

Meanwhile, Arlington, VA based MHI did…what?  They certainly appear to have taken the Omaha-Knoxville party line. Whatever seemed to be contrary to that Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis’ goals went unaddressed.  That’s not just true for communities, it is true for retailers too.

 

EnhancedPreemptionMHIWebsiteSearch

ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARREnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Some pundits, such as blogger George F. (F?) Allen have attempted to mischaracterize the work of MHI and MHARR. MHI clearly says of themselves that they represent “all segments of factory built housing,” that means retail, communities, lenders, suppliers and the like, not just producers. By contrast, MHARR clearly says that their focus is on the interests of the producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. So while MHARR has an indirect interest in lending, communities, or retail, that is not their mission. That said, MHARR members and leaders have voted to support the establishment of new post-production groups that would faithfully represent the interests of retailers, communities, and other segments of the industry. Allen’s characterization is arguably false, erroneous, or deliberately misleading. What is sadder, perhaps, is that Allen and Spencer Roane claim to represent the interests of communities. If so, why don’t they loudly and proudly call out MHI and Omaha-Knoxville for the ways that they’ve harmed other communities, and independents at large?

 

Brenton told the retailers, independent producers of manufactured homes, and the other interests represented Thursday at the “Fix the MH Industry Tricks discussions that she absolutely saw the value to creating a new non-production trade group that retailers and others could participate in.

What she implied was clear, as Haney or MHI award-winner Marty Lavin has previously said. If the interests of the big boys don’t align with those of the independents, it is only the big boys that benefit from MHI.

 

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?

 

Closing Notes of Keen Importance – Who Didn’t Come

Despite being personally invited to attend, neither Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, Tim Williams, Tom Hodges, or any MHI staff leaders opted to attend.  Why not?

 

EmailKevinClaytonHUDTimWilliamsMarch222019

These are some of those who have been invited to attend. We blocked out the specific email address, to respect their professional privacy. But the company or organizational names are shown on the above.

 

They were given the specific opportunity to explain or debunk to the industry attendees their respective views regarding the various allegations made by MHProNews, MHLivingNews, MHARR, NAMHCO, and a variety of others.  Their silence is their constitutionally protected right. But their silence also leaves the record of our publishing unchallenged. Our allegations stand on the merits of their own words, documents, follow-the-money trail and trend lines, plus that Kevin Clayton video evidence.

Two ‘publishers’ of MH industry news were also specifically invited by our publisher to attend the “Fix the MH Industry Tricks” meeting. One of those two was Darren Krolewski of MHInsider.  Apparently coming and perhaps having to write about the meeting wouldn’t fit their pro-Clayton, pro-MHI, pro-big boy narrative?

Maybe that is why their magazines go largely un-picked up at Tunica and elsewhere?

MHInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTunicaShow2019Day2

A photo of another rack at Tunica appears almost untouched. The industry’s pros, given a choice between fluff and reality often chose the real deal.

 

The other publisher specifically invited was one that privately called Clayton “evil,” but he nevertheless said he didn’t want to buy into the concerns over antitrust and other legal or MHI related issues.  That same publisher that thinks that Clayton is evil” said he wants to get along Clayton and MHI, and gladly publishes only “fluff” that makes the industry “look good.”

But how does one cure a problem who’s root causes are largely going unaddressed? Once more, one is left with the medical or good business practices analogy mentioned at the top of this article.  If the only thing that is dealt with are symptoms, then the core issues will continue to fester.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

Finally, while not specifically invited, other industry bloggers and writers failed to make the “Fix the MH Industry Tricks” scene. Where was George F. (F?) Allen?  Where was Spencer Roane, Kurt Kelley, Suzanne Felber, or others?  Did they not want to hear accounts like those of Brenton, that might shake up their “inclusive,” self-serving, and ‘happy talk’ industry views? These are not meant as personal slams against any of those mentioned, who can be very pleasant people. Rather, these are valid questions as to what drives those that publish content that industry readers are supposed to ‘learn’ from.

One of those that wasn’t able to attend that was among those that said they wanted to said this. ‘You guys are the only publication [MHProNews] that deals with the realities of manufactured housing.  Thanks for telling it like it is and standing up for the [interests of] independents in the industry.’

As the above should also reflect, standing up for independents is also standing up for the legitimate rights of consumers. When the system is rigged, there are a variety of consequences that arguably harms taxpayers, potential and current manufactured home owners, plus the businesses that seek to serve them.

That’s this Saturday’s 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 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.

 

MH IDEAL, Understanding Manufactured Housing’s Choke Points, Tunica Show Day 3

 

Warren Buffett Urges Government Care For People Who’ve Become ‘Roadkill’ – Video, Analysis

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

Clayton Homes Insiders Tips – After Birmingham ‘Fiasco,’ Clayton Pivots Back to Tunica Show – Day 2 Insights

Attraction Marketing, Appealing to More Cash, Good Credit Customers into Manufactured Homes

Affordable Housing Crisis Rages, Sages Sing Manufactured Home Praises, Fix the MH Industry Tricks – Easy as 1, 2, 3

Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, MH Industry Pro Feedback, Day 1

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cha-Ching! Manufactured Housing Made Simple in 2019

March 19th, 2019 Comments off

 

ChaChing!ManufacturedHousingMadeSimpleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

 

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

Perhaps the three top reasons heard are:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

ManufacturedHomesAsPercentageofSinglefamilyHousingStartsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSkylineChampionSKY780x943

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

That is the industry’s promising potential.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

 

Manufactured Housing Institute’s Monthly Economic Report Spotlights Challenge, What MHI, WHA’s Amy Bliss Said

 

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Housing Institute’s Monthly Economic Report Spotlights Challenge, What MHI, WHA’s Amy Bliss Said

March 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMonthlyEconomicReportJan2019DataMarch2019ReportWisconsinHousingAllianceWHAAmyBlissPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) released its monthly economic report.  It will be recalled that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) published their similar data about 2 weeks ago, and that MHARR previously raised concerns about the causes and trajectory of declines new HUD Code manufactured home shipments starting with production reports in last months of 2018.

 

Let’s begin with what the Arlington, VA based MHI said.  MHI bills itself as representing “all segments of factory-built housing” – meaning production and post-production issues. Most of the key issues that face the industry today are arguably in the post-production realm. So, that is the lens we often scrutinize their performance through, because it is their own claim.

Here below is the meat of MHI’s March economic report.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMonthlyEconomicReportLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

7,493 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in January [2019]

In January 2019, new manufactured home shipments decreased 13.3% to 7,493 homes as compared to the 8,646 homes shipped in January 2018. Total shipments for January 2019 were 1,509 homes more than the prior month of December. Compared with January 2018, the trend is mixed with shipments of single-section homes down by 28.4% and multi-section homes up by 5.4%. Total floors shipped in January 2019 decreased 7.7% to 11,607 compared to January 2018.

Of the 7,493 homes shipped in January, there were only 25 homes designated as FEMA units shipped which is significantly less than the 850 FEMA units in January 2018.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 88,461 in January, up 4.1% from the adjusted rate of 85,008 in December 2018. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

In January, 134 plants representing 35 corporations reported production data which is an increase of one active plant and the same number of corporations compared to December 2018.

##

 

Note that nowhere does this report reflect any concern, analysis or solutions to the problem of shirking shipments during a well-publicized U.S. affordable housing crisis.

MHProNews waited a few days to see if MHI would before or after this economic report explain their plan to address the troubling data in their own report.

While there are hints of reasons why ‘future growth’ could be found in their new consumer research, they fail to explain why that research is hidden behind a member-only login. Why would a post-production trade group – which normally publishes for all the world to see research that is claimed at being positive – is instead hidden.

 

MHIlogoNewsUpdates362019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Isn’t that contradicted by MHI’s own data?

Furthermore, the research and results of the PBS and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ own statement, along with other MHI published members statements, all point to a need to address the root causes of manufactured housing’s malaise.

Prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith admitted on camera that the national association had often failed to be proactive. He pledged to members on camera that his goal was to change that dynamic.  Now, years later, how did that pledge work out for the industry?

 

 

But what has been working out for Nathan and his peers is the consolidation of the industry into ever fewer hands.  Coincidence?

 

Tim Williams PBS

Besides MHI itself, none of their more prominent surrogates offer any reasonable explanation or plan either.

Take the example of Amy Bliss – who is allegedly connected with part-time MHI surrogate George F. (F?) Allen’s call for a boycott.  Bliss previously made a public claim which an attorney with antitrust insights said could constitute tying, which like a boycott, is another antitrust flag.

Bliss, the Executive Director the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA), told Kurt Kelley’s MHR last month the following.

 

MHR Q) What’s the biggest challenge to acting as the leader of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance?

WHA’s Bliss-A)

For me, the blatant hypocrisy of Federal, State and local governments. They all talk about wanting affordable housing and workforce housing, but when it comes down to it, they exclude manufactured homes at every turn. They feel the only acceptable form of affordable housing should be apartments. It frustrates me that most of the grant funding always excludes land lease community residents and they are the people that often need the help the most.”

 

What her comments fail to mention is that the role of any post-production trade group, WHA’s or MHI, is precisely to address such concerns. What’s the goal of hand-wringing over ‘hypocrisy’ by public officials?  Is the looking for an amen?  Instead, why aren’t they routinely using the ‘enhanced preemption’ argument in public and with public officials? Why is MHI instead hiding it on their own website?

 

C:\Users\L. A. Tony Kovach\Downloads\ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogo2019-01-09_1250ManufacturedHousingEnhancedPreemptionSearchMHProNews3.png

A recent check revealed the same result.

 

Bliss contradicts herself, as the next two Q&A’s reveal. She also signals what she – as a reportedly periodic receiver of selected MHI insider insights – may have been told what to expect. Keep in mind that the major companies all know their production levels soon after the end of each month.  With the production of the Big 3 accounting for about 80 percent of all manufactured homes, MHI could easily know weeks before others what the data is going to look like before HUD Reports it.

With that factoid in mind, let’s look at what Bliss also.

 

MHR-Q) Can you tell us a few pressing issues facing manufactured housing in Wisconsin?

WHA’s Bliss-A) “The industry in Wisconsin is doing well. The most pressing issues I hear from my members is lack of installers and transporters, municipalities increasing fees or eliminating services for community owners and of course the number one issue is lack of financing. Another item of concern is older communities that have not been managed well. The biggest reason for community closures is because the municipality revokes the license to operate because the owner has let the community go into a state of disrepair. I hate to see Wisconsin lose sites and it is extremely sad for the tenants.”

 

Within Bliss’ answer above is already an implied string of contradictions to her claim that the “industry…is doing well.” The industry in her state and others are wildly underperforming.  Her predecessor – Ross Kinzler – was so alarmed, that he created this graphic before he left the role to Bliss. The facts summarized below blows away Bliss’ ‘sunshine and roses’ claim that all is so well in the industry. It isn’t.

 

average-shipment-per-decade-manufactured-home-posted-on-mhpronews-com-d

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

 

The next question further contradicts her claim that the ‘industry is doing well.’  This reply by Bliss to MHR is another stark alarm for manufactured housing industry professionals.

 

MHR- Q) What industry and association concerns wake you up at night?

 

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAlliancePhoto

Photo provided under fair use guidelines for media.

Bliss-A) “I worry about another downturn in the industry. We lost a tremendous number of retailers and we had to live off our reserves for several years. That was not a fun time for anyone in the industry and I would hate to see that happen again. I am fully aware that the housing industry in general has cycles, but I hope it never goes that low again. Wisconsin lost a manufacturer that had been in business for over 50 years.”

Once more, this begs several follow up questions that MHR never asked, or at least, never published. For example:

Where is the reaction by Bliss or MHI to the document, quotes, and video linked below that constitute an ostensible ‘smoking gun’ of artificial market rigging, a restraint of trade that could be construed as a violation of federal law. Silence.

Where is the reaction by Bliss, or voices from Arlington and Knoxville, to claims by state association executives that they were strong-armed by 21st and Tim Williams? There has been off the record confirmation of those concerns, but no one is willing to speak out on the record.

Why not?  In a phrase, fear for their job.

That fear is another potential Hobbs Act issues, see that linked report.

 

 

The Bottom Line?

Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh expressed his belief on the radio today that “…most limitations are self-imposed…”

That may be true for some as a factor in manufactured housing’s stunted performance.   There are some voices that say there is significant upside for the industry.  But MHI is largely silent on that potential. Why?

 

Investors, Professionals, Planners, Advocates – Examining Affordable Manufactured Home Industry Market Potential

But in our much-needed part of the affordable housing industry, manufactured home professionals have time and again expressed fear of stepping out or speaking out.  Those fears arguably fall into the definitions that can spark potential federal or state criminal, administrative, or civil actions. The reason for that fear is based upon passed actions that have become ever more widely known.

There are several reported and known investigations underway.  But one of the ways that could be accelerated is by more people speaking out, not by more people being intimidated into silence.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotes

Rollohome, like the firm that Amy Bliss mentioned in the quote above, was a Wisconsin based builder. Other builders of HUD Code and modular homes have vanished from Bliss’ state. How many more companies must unnecessarily vanish during an affordable housing crisis? Where is the discussion by Bliss or MHI on the impact of market manipulation on current MH owners and potential consumers?

 

The law and facts are debatably on the side of those who are beginning to coalesce in the post-production side, just as MHARR previously did on the production side. There will be more on these themes in the days ahead.

That is tonight’s “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 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.

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

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

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America

“I Can’t Think of a Good Reason to Keep People from Buying Affordable Housing” – Manufactured Home Industry Voices Video

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

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restraint of Trade, Manufactured Housing Institute, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and Antitrust Law

March 17th, 2019 Comments off

 

RestraintofTradeManufacturedHousingInstituteClaytonHomesVanderbiltVMF21stMortgageAntitrustLawDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Generally, before the start of each session of a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) business meeting, there is a brief reference made the antitrust guidelines.  This, say experts, is important on several levels.

 

MHI has produced a handout, linked here, which includes the following sentence.

The general requirements of the antitrust laws prohibit any agreement to restrict trade between competitors.”

That begs the question. What constitutes a restraint of trade?  As our Sunday morning topic that leads into our weekly headlines-in-review, the Daily Business News on MHProNews discovered the following doing some basic research.

restraint of trade

noun

LAW

  1. action that interferes with free competition in a market.”

 

There can be in contract law both licit and illicit restraint of trade.  For example, if you hire an employee, teach that person the business, and had them sign a non-compete agreement that covers a reasonable time frame (two years is common) after a possible separation, that might be a legal restraint on trade. Check with an attorney for details.

But price fixing or other efforts at manipulating or rigging the marketplace is not a legal restraint on trade.

 

Restraints of trade is a common law doctrine relating to the enforceability of contractual restrictions on freedom to conduct business. It is a precursor of modern competition law,” said Wikipedia

SummaryAntitrustLaw4PsGraphicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Here’s how the FindLaw website describes the matter.

Restraint of Trade – FindLaw

FindLaw › smallbusiness › restraint-of-trade

At the most basic level, “restraint of trade” is any activity that prevents another party from conducting business as they normally would without such a restraint. For instance, two businesses agreeing to fix prices in order to put another competitor out of business is an illegal restraint of trade.”

Rottenstein Law said:

“What is “restraint of trade”?

RXInjuryHelp.com › … › Injury”

 

Restraint of trade is an economic injury that involves interfering with another person’s ability to do business freely. Restraint of trade is part of antitrust law…”

So if a company or person is ‘INJURED’ or HARMED by a restraint of trade, or the threat of a restraint of trade that can be the cause of action by civil, state or federal authorities.  Note that under civil law, some causes of action – which can at times be handled by an attorney working on a contingency fee basis in a firm that specializes in such cases – can result in 3x damages to the injury incurred.  Do you think that may be why those in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis aren’t too keen to confess possible misdeeds?

 

Here’s another example, from Business Dictionary, that covers possibly licit actions.

“What is restraint of trade? definition and meaning

Business Dictionary › definition › restraint of trade…

Legal contract between a buyer and a seller of a business, or between an employer and employee, that prevents the seller or employee from engaging in a similar business within a specified geographical area and within a specified period.

Finally this morning, there is this pull quote from US Legal.

 

Restraint Of Trade Law and Legal Definition

USLegal › definitions › restraint-of-trade

Restraint of trade means any activity which tends to limit trade, sales and transportation in interstate commerce or has a substantial impact on interstate commerce.” 

There’s more on all of these, but that gives industry readers and investors a better sense.

Now think about restraint of trade in terms of what the Mobile Home Militia or #MHM has recently alleged. This is the latest allegation from that group. See that report under the Masthead, further below.

 

BarriersEntryMaintainExitMonopolisticTrustsCartonbulletsInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews editorially is pro-free enterprise, faith, flag, family and friends. That makes us 5F. America has a long tradition of antitrust or anti-monopolistic law and enforcement. In recent decades, that has arguably slipped. But there are voices across the left-right spectrum that see the risk of the monopolistic, and the issue of antitrust is roaring back. We support that for the benefit of small to mid-sized businesses and consumers. Where monopolistic behavior warrants it, big firms should be broken up under existing law. For a legal rationale on how that can be done without new laws, see the report linked here. For documents, quotes, video and examples of alleged monopolistic behavior in manufactured housing, click here.

 

Or ponder antitrust laws in terms of what the document from 21st Mortgage, the quotes from Warren Buffett, and what Kevin Clayton said in the video on this page stated.

Is attempting to interfere with the free communication of business information – say an organized or quiet boycott of a business publication – a possible restraint of trade?  Engaged Scholarship says “Protest Boycotts as Restraints of Trade under the Sherman Antitrust Act…”  So, yes.

Note that tying, boycotts, restraint of trade, and other such practices that are cited under various antitrust laws have been called for by purported surrogates of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  Some of the have been published, others were done verbally, by email, and so on.

With those thoughts in mind, now look more closely at what MHI’s own antitrust document said about possible, once more linked here as a download for your convenience. Also, ask yourself this.  Why has MHI refused to turn over documents that may reflect other possible conflicts of interests between their ‘elected’ leaders and the actions of the trade group?

AntitrustInstructionsWarningManufacturedHousingInstituteLogo

MHI antitrust instructions are shown at the link here as a download. Provided under fair use guidelines for media.

 

Hundreds of millions of dollars in fines were reported in 2018 alone by the Department of Justice (DoJ), see November Rain, by the DoJ’s top antitrust cop in the article linked further below. Keep in mind that not only are fines possible under antitrust laws, but federal law gives the government the power to break up a firm engaged in monopolistic practice.

With the breakup of monopolies in mind, while we disagree with Senator Elizabeth Warren on several issues, on that topic, she and her campaign could do the nation a favor. More on that, linked here and here.  Once more, we take a ‘wheat and a chaff’ approach to each person, each group.  Accept whatever is good – like wheat – but reject what is not – like chaff.

When you look at manufactured housing through the lens of market manipulation, it may become more clear why the industry is still well below historic norms.  That is based upon data that the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute’s own members have produced.

The SPJ is the Society of Professional Journalists. “The SPJ’s code of ethics states that journalists should “seek truth and report it” and that “journalists should be honest, fair, and courageous…” In fairness, we routinely reach out to those we are researching.

 

MHProNews’ dares speak ‘truth to power’ and hold the powerful to account.
That’s a traditional and respected roll of media.

 

We are not a trade organization, which is why we’ve encouraged the formation of a new post-production trade group, given the apparent failure of current post-production leadership over the course of many years. The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) came to birth in 2018, stating their dismay over years of MHI promises without fulfilment. Years before, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was born to deal with issues that MHI was failing to address for independent producers of HUD Code homes.  That said, we respect the right of those who freely want to be members of MHI.  There is another question about just how ‘free’ some of those decision are, but we’ll look at RICO law and related another time.

What will happen for other post-production groups? Will retailers, lenders, suppliers or others organize, as NAMHCO and MHARR have done?  Stay tuned.  Keep in mind that most industry have numerous trade groups, manufactured housing is odd in that it has so few.  Is that also a possible reason why the industry is constrained in its growth?

In the meantime, see the reasons for growing alarm and frustration, among a variety of other reports.  Below you will find the good news, the bad, and the ugly. Because while we aren’t SPJ members, we seek the truth and report it, coupling it with expert analysis you won’t find anywhere else in manufactured housing.

As usual, we don’t create a text-linked image box for each report, but we never do a topic that we don’t think has relevance to manufactured housing investors and professionals. With no further adieu, let’s dive into the week that was from 3.10.2019 to 3.17.2019.

 

What’s New on the Masthead

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

 

What’s New from MHLivingNews

 

Celebrities, Millionaires, Billionaires and Their Appealing Manufactured Homes

 

What’s New from Washington, DC based MHARR

 

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News from MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

Saturday 3.16.2019

 

Prefabulous by Clayton Homes, Behind the Scenes of Manufactured Housing’s Powerhouse “Have it Made” Campaign

 

Friday 3.15.2019

 

“I Can’t Think of a Good Reason to Keep People from Buying Affordable Housing” – Manufactured Home Industry Voices Video

 

“I Can’t Think of a Good Reason to Keep People from Buying Affordable Housing” – Manufactured Home Industry Voices Video

“November Rain” – DoJ’s Top Antitrust Cop – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim ABA Speech on Antitrust Enforcement for Americans

 

Thursday 3.14.2019

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Sounds Off on Housing Market, Opportunity Zones, More

Hedge Fund Dumps Shares of Skyline-Champion, plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

Court Ruling on Sierra Club vs Rick Perry DOE on Manufactured Home Energy Regulations, Constitutional Law Professor, MHARR Weigh In

Tim Williams, PBS News’ Bad Bargain, Manufactured Housing Institute, Buffett’s Mirror, and Clayton’s Costume

 

Wednesday 3.13.2019

 

Minnie Driver, Millionaires, and Billionaires – Debunking “Housing for the Poor” Image of Manufactured Housing

Howard Schultz Serious About 2020 Independent Run, Outlines Plans, plus Manufactured Housing Equities Updates

Investors, Professionals, Planners, Advocates – Examining Affordable Manufactured Home Industry Market Potential

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

 

Tuesday 3.12.2019

 

 

“Warren Buffett has Another Headache” from Berkshire Hathaway Owned Brand, Says NY Post “it ain’t from a Dairy Queen Blizzard.”

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

Rocking Manufactured Housing Shows, Events, and Marketing Promotions

 

Monday 3.11.2019

 

What HUD Will and Won’t Say About Manufactured Housing Programs in 2020 HUD Budget

No Impeachment Says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-D), Trump 2020 Budget Rollout, Plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

 

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

 

Sunday 3.10.2019

 

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

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

That just about does it for this weekly recap.  Let’s note again that we respect the fifth amendment right to remain silent. We respect as well the rights of others to speak up, via the link below.

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.

 

See the related reports immediately and further below the by line, notices, and  business development offers.

Make sure that you and your circle are plugged into the largest professional audience in all of MHVille. Sign up in seconds for our 2x weekly emailed headline news. From the largest to the mom and pops, and all in between, it is the most read emailed headline news in all of manufactured housing.

 

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.

Finally, thanks to our sponsors, sources – plus thousands of daily readers like you – that’s made us and kept us the industry’s runaway most read trade media for some 9 years. Thank you so much. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, 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 Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits

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

Controversy Erupts! Tunica Manufactured Home Show ‘Educational Seminar’-Legally Questioned “Lease Option” “Chattel Lending” ‘Taught’ by Spencer Roane, Promoted By George F. Allen, SECO

 

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

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

March 13th, 2019 Comments off

 TugofWarManufacturedHomeCommunityLegislationViciousCycleGoesOnImpactingIndustryHomeOwnersPotentialBuyersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

Mainstream Media Outreach for Background on Pending Legislation

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

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

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

 

BradentonHeraldLATonyKovachinNewsFloridaMobileHomeParkOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeownersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The screen captures above and below document that point.

 

BradentonHeraldLATonyKovachinNewsFloridaManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeownersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

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

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

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

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

MarkYoungPhotoBradentonHeraldUrbanAffairsReporterLinkedInDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

Here’s why. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make sense, sir? 

All the Best,

 

LATonyKovachMHLivingnewsMHProNewsPHotoTony

 

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

 

The article the reporter published is linked below.

 

 

 

BradentonHeraldBillWouldGiveFloridaMobileHomeParkOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeOwners

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

 

Why it Matters? What Does This Reveal? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

In no particular order of importance:

 

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

 

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

 

ChrisStinebertFormerPresidentManufacturedHousingInstituteAFSAceoMHIndustryMustFocusGoalIncreasingValuePropositionHomeOwnerMHProNewsQuotePhoto

 

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

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

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

 

 

The Last Blockbuster?

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

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

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

 

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.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anti-Monopolistic or “Antitrust” Action Heating Up in Washington, D.C., What It Could Foreshadow for MHVille

March 7th, 2019 Comments off

AntiMonopolisticAntiTrustActionHeatingUpWashingtonDCWhatCouldForeshadowforMHVilleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

On the left or so-called progressive side of the political aisle, several Democratic candidates for the 2020 race have made strong statements about doing more antitrust action. One of those are linked further below. Then, on the conservative side of the aisle, some Republicans and others are condemning what they see as a trend toward bias by Big Tech that violates their free speech rights.

 

Furthermore, President Donald J. Trump has purportedly had drafted an executive order (EO) on antitrust action. See that prior report, from the linked test image box below the byline and notices.

Against that backdrop, there is talk of how this talk of antitrust could play out in MHVille. That talk about the issue is more behind the scenes of late, but it exists. Some firms, per sources, are shoring up antitrust and other legal experts.

With that, there is a growing move in Washington, D.C. to take a more serious look at antitrust, most of the news revolves around big tech. But it should not be though that it would end there.

There’s discussion, for example, of how Cavco and their SEC woes may or may not include possible antitrust issues.  If so, that could prove difficult for Clayton Homes and their related Berkshire Hathaway manufactured home lenders.

These two videos and the pull quotes from Bloomberg Law, therefore, should be construed not only on the obvious level of big tech. Big Tech also obviously impacts manufactured housing, via marketing and in other ways.

While there is debate back and forth, one could argue that there is growing energy behind antitrust action in Washington and beyond.

So, these videos and the Bloomberg Law commentary should be construed through the lens of how this may play out for members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

 

 

Antitrust Enforcement in Spotlight at Senate Hearing

  • Posted on Bloomberg Law, at this link here, March 5, 2019, 5:46 AM Updated March 5, 2019, 5:20 PM
  • Senate antitrust hearing comes amid heightened pressure on Alphabet’s Google, Facebook
  • Robert Reich, Joshua Wright testify
  • The Senate’s top Republican [Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)], on antitrust issues March 5 cautioned against using competition law to address growing concerns about big-tech companies.

By contrast, Bloomberg’s recent video discussion, posted below, said the following

Feb.27 — U.S. antitrust enforcers are zeroing in on technology giants following years of criticism that they haven’t done enough to rein in dominant internet companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. The Federal Trade Commission said it’s creating a task force led by senior competition officials and 17 staff lawyers to investigate potentially anticompetitive conduct by technology companies. Matt Stoller, Open Markets Institute fellow, and Bloomberg’s David McLaughlin discuss on “Bloomberg Technology.”

 

 

Note that the Open Market’s folks have taken specific aim at Clayton.  Some tweets are shown below.

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsAntiTrustAntiMonopolyClaytonHomesWarrenBuffettPredatoryLenderMinoritiesMoreDailyBusinessNewsManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

HowClaytonHomesMakesMoneyAustinFrerickTwitterOpenMarketsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

See the related reports below for more that is more manufactured housing specific, and ties together mentions of the above.

 

Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

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

Lina Khan, AntiTrust Legal Queen, Set to Join Democratic Staff, FAANG & BM, Beware – Plus MH Market Updates

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

Manufactured Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits

 

 

Who Will Act? Will Senator Elizabeth Warren, and/or the Trump Administration Act to Restore Open Markets, Thereby Supporting Affordable Manufactured Homes?

 

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

 

Brad Says POTUS Trump is Right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google Threatens Democracy, Online Freedom