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

December 11th, 2018 No comments

 ClaytonHomes21stVanderbiltManufacuturedHousingInstituteFannieMaeLogoChoppedLiver

 

It should be a given that the upper management of Clayton Homes, and their Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) are in favor of their stated agendas.

 

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHINewClassofHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from MHI Video, logos added by MHProNews.

 

No sooner than MHI released their self-promotion video, than the industry’s new home shipments data – those nettlesome facts below – indicated that for all of MHI’s claims of millions of readers, their own emailed statement yesterday reflects the opposite results of what they’ve claimed.

Here are the claims, and the evidence, according to MHI.

 ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHILogoMHIVideoStillsMillionsofViewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Here below is a screen capture of MHI/National Community Council (NCC) Vice President Jenny Hodge’s email on the latest data, per MHI.

 ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoOctober2018HUDCodeHomeShipmentsDeclineDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What MHI’s own data and claims logically prove is that for all their bluster, new HUD Code manufactured shipments measured by the seasonally adjusted shipment rate (SAAR) – as of the above – are flat for 2018.  Even if the manufactured home industry finishes strong in the final quarter, what actual good has MHI’s promotions done so far?  

But there’s more sobering words from MHI members.

 

“What are We, Chopped Liver?”

An MHI member producer, in a long phone call to MHProNews, argued that the so-called MHI led “new class of homes” makes no sense, because it would have been easier to have simply built state-coded modular homes.

Another MHI producer said that “KEVIN CLAYTON” supported this “new class of homes” plan – which in that professional’s view – harms the interests of the majority of current manufactured housing plants. 

That source said, What are we [meaning the balance and majority of HUD Code manufactured housing production], chopped liver? 

 

The Genesis…

Here’s how a MHI-only member producer explained it in a message to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Three years ago I took a group from Fannie Mae through a plant to tour to show what we were building… they were blow away… made you feel they don’t get out much to see what we are building… Surely, good would come from this to obtain better financing on our homes for all [of the manufactured home] industry,” said the message to MHProNews’ tip line.

Fast forward to the roll out of the new class of homes financing…This a slap in the face,” said that production veteran, adding “…what are we chopped liver! Our HUD code is not good enough?

Why [a] 5:12 pitched roof? Many, many factories today will not build that when they have back logs of 3 to 6 months.” He added a laundry list of specs between standard HUD Code production, and the specs that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac want to see in this Clayton/MHI led “new class of homes,” including, “100% drywall… Why? You cannot see that from the street… let the consumer chose that.”

A number of professionals said that this plan was not only developed by Clayton, it obviously could benefit their new conventional housing subdivisions, which that from has been purchasing in recent years.

Warren Buffett has said that they expect to buy more site building opportunities.

Fannie Mae, Clayton, and MHI – to name but three key organizational players – are attempting to move the industry in a direction that arguably contradicts Kevin Clayton’s own statement from a few years ago.  Some may recall Clayton saying that the industry should not to forget those “that brought you to the dance.”

 

WarrenBuffettKevinClaytonClaytonTinyHouseBerkshireAnnualMeetingDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNews

 

But that new class plan is arguably just what the new GSE connected lending does. It ignores the majority of the industry’s products and consumers in favor of a minority. 

Furthermore, the industry’s HUD Code producers have long been able to build entry-level or residential style products. MHLivingNews articles and videos have made that consumer choice option apparent.

As more than one HUD Code builder proves, you can have residential style homes that are less expensive than these new class of homes will be, and they are proven to attract conventional new home buyers. 

manufacturedhomecollage-entrylevelcapecodmultisectionalsinglesectional-creditmanufacturedhomelivingnewsmhlivingnews

There are markets for each of these styles of homes, and consumers ought to have the ability to chose that home based upon their budget, circumstances, and desires. Builders should be allowed to build whatever the want to as well. That said, what this new class of homes does is bend the system in an artificial way, based upon financing that the GSEs were required to provided under HERA 2008 mandated Duty to Serve to Manufactured Housing. Its an apparent manipulation of the system, and sources say that even if this plan is successful, it will harm many for the benefit of a few. But what if this plan is no more successful than Clayton’s iHouse or iHouse 2.0?  Then, not only time and expense are lost, but the reputation of the industry is harmed too.

For example, award-winning retailer Stan Dye said that half of his sales are to people that previously owned a conventional house.  Isn’t that good enough for Clayton, the GSEs, and MHI?

 

 

Logically, given that

      FHFA,

      the National Association of Realtors,

      HUD’s PD&R

      plus other research shows that the millions of current manufactured homes can and do appreciate,

      where is the logic for creating these new and unproven standards?

 

Consider the Track Record… 

Consider the track record Clayton Homes has in such “innovative” product roll-outs. Our sources at Clayton remind readers that the Clayton’s iHouse and the iHouse 2.0 – which were both rolled out with great fanfare, and got significant media attention – both flopped.

Oops.

 

ihouse Clayton Green-Bridge-Farm-i-House-Chevy-Volt-568x378

Ever wonder whatever happened to the Clayton’s iHouse? Not much, so it was quietly dropped, per sources at Clayton. Will this new class of homes be next?  More to the point, will this Clayton-MHI “new class of homes’ harm the value of the current HUD Code manufactured homes in the process?  Photo Green Bridge Farm, the Clayton iHouse is shown with a Chevy Volt, which is also being cancelled by GM. Oops.

 

Thus far, the GSEs are leaving the vast majority of producers and all other HUD Code manufactured homes essentially out. The indications are that this plan purportedly came from Clayton and is obviously being promoted MHI. Why didn’t they back chattel and other lending for millions of proven HUD code standards homes instead? 

Isn’t backing all HUD Code manufactured homes what the Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing part of the law clearly implied? Where in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 – which gave us the Duty to Serve (DTS) did it say that the GSEs should compel manufactured housing to create entirely different homes before they get lending?

It’s an outrage, which is why that MHI builder said it is “a slap in face.”

 

 

It Gets Worse

This plan, which MHProNews said last year could be a Trojan Horse, is sadly developing in just that fashion. Because sources say that this plan arguably undermines the acceptance – and thus the value – of millions of existing HUD Code homes.

Who says? A parter and association member in a community operation. He’s not alone.

Beyond complaints about the new class and related GSE lending, one source said that when you factor in the additional costs of building to this new class or homes standards that Clayton-MHI are leading, the consumers who buy them are not going to save money, or get lower payments, even with the GSEs lower interest rate.

Recall that in San Antonio last year, in a room with a few dozen MHI members, Tim Williams of 21st said that the Berkshire Hathaway lender’s wants to make sure that the GSEs don’t take only their top tier credit “traunch.”

Well, it seems that this plan currently avoids taking any loans away from 21st or Vanderbilt. So Tim Williams, former MHI Chairman and still 21st President and CEO, will get his wish.

Put differently, this plan if it fails or succeeds, purportedly harms the bulk of would be and existing consumers. It does so to the benefit one major conglomerate that also does site building. The plan is finding quiet resistance on several fronts from MHI’s own members. 

 InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

But the voices are muted because of the Smoking Gun track record.   You can learn more about that by clicking the linked box, below, for that report.

 

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

These are some of the explosive comments signaled last week, in the prior report that is linked from the box below.

 

Explosive Comments on Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing Lending from Well Placed Sources

 

Clever Moat Building?

This new class of homes is arguably clever as a tool to eliminate over time more of Berkshire’s competition. By causing some industry firms to invest in a product, it will tend to get those producers ‘dug in’ to continue the plan. They may be following a lead whose Clayton iHouse and iHouse 2.0 both failed. 

But in the meantime, how many thousands of consumers who wanted to refinance 21st Mortgage Corp or Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance loans – Berkshire Hathaway brands – at a lower interest rate will be left out in the cold? Millions of their HUD Code homes don’t qualify for a program that Congress mandated?  How is that possible, or even sufficient to meet the legal mandates?

Rephrased, this is de facto a head shot against the interests of:

     millions of existing manufactured home homeowners,

     aims at any plants and companies that don’t participate in the plan,

     bending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the will of Berkshire Hathaway, and it was accomplished in closed door meetings that the GSEs, and MHI won’t release the minutes to.

The standards arguably fail in the essence of the Duty to Serve, namely, to provide more lower cost financing for millions of renters.

The American Dream, Arguably Among the Most Profitable, But Least Understood Stories in the USA Today

 

Let the Consumer Choose

The Daily Business News on MHProNews last Saturday said that #HousingChoice should be part of the mantra of the industry’s independents. 

#HousingChoice

Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

 

Consumers need to be educated to accept what millions have already benefited from. What’s good for consumers is also a strong market for investors, lenders, sellers, communities, suppliers, and others.

Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said months ago that the Duty to Serve was a mandate.

 MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Weiss also argued that this roll out of the GSE program was set to benefit only a few companies.

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

 

It’s not MHI’s VP Jenny Hodge’s fault if new manufactured home shipments are declining. MHI’s president is said to “turn red” when embarrassed or upset. So, how “red” does Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison glow today, after he’s done reading this analysis? 

How red with anger will resident groups become once they figure out that Berkshire Hathaway and MHI – which they arguably dominate – plus the GSEs have ignored them in favor of more expensive housing?

How mad will community owners be if they map out the trend lines, and realize that this plan shafts them too?

Clayton, MHI, and the GSEs won’t formally respond to such concerns. But MHProNews has had tips from ‘inside’ this program, on the GSEs side of the fence.

 

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.

 

As one of those sources experienced in financing told MHProNews, the way this program was developed was “completely backwards.” Instead of listening to the industry, and finding ways to meet the needs, the GSEs dictated standards that were set only for this new class of homes. 

The evidence and the comments from an array of sources suggest that this is no accident. It was an arranged plan. It was rigged from the GSE side, and from the producers side. This plan was unveiled in Las Vegas, we are told that many walked out of the presentation in disgust or protest.

Manufactured Housing Institute “Walk Out,” “Cover Up,” and Shock at their Vegas Event

 

It’s as that MHI producer said, a slap in the face of the industry. And MHI now wants members to open up their checkbooks and renew their association membership for a plan their biggest member logically engineered, aimed at harming their own interests.

 

 

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?

 

It was on a different topic that Marty Lavin said it, but doesn’t it apply here?  As an MHI Producer said, “This program clearly was not “duty to serve.

Based upon the evidence and the track record, MHProNews advises the industry’s members to explore their options with MHARR, MHIdea and NMHCO. More on this in the links below and the days ahead.We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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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.

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Giving Thanks for Manufactured Housing Independents, Applauding “MHIdea!”

November 22nd, 2018 Comments off

 

GivingThanksForManufacturedHousingIndependentsAppluadingMHIdea

Disclosure.  This “MHIdea” is not about MHProNews, and predates topics and positions we’ve published in the last few years. So this Daily Business News report is just that – an article that quotes from a manufactured home industry trade group that industry legend Dick Moore conceived, and was advanced with the work of the President of Dick Moore Housing, Bob Crawford.

 

DickMooreHousingBobCrawfordDickMooreDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

 

The purpose for the trade “alliance” Moore and Crawford inspired was to represent manufactured home retail independents.  It was articulated in several quotes we’ve pulled from their MHIdea website. The logo at the featured image at the top of this article, and that home shown, are from their website, but the headline is ours.

FYI – they don’t even know that this article is being written.

With that introduction, let’s begin with the following quote. As we often do, the bold and brown is added to directly quoted text, which was originally in black, save for the blue and red they used in MHIdea.

— from MHIdea website, with our commentary —

“IF we keep doing what we’ve been doing,

  We will keep getting what we got!”

Or this quote: 

We must come together as an industry fighting for its very existence,

and we must do so very soon, or we may not be able to

change our current direction and momentum.” 

And consider this quote:

MHIdea was initially conceived as a trade organization for independent retail dealers.  Multi-billion dollar manufactured housing corporations have definite advantages not available to many independent manufacturers and retailers, and MHIdea was seen as, and remains to be, an excellent opportunity for these independents to enjoy some of those benefits

However, the developments of the recent months have shown the desperate need of an industry voice that can bring our united message to the consumer and to our legislating agenciesMHIdea can provide the conduit for that message.

Many of the issues we face today arose from the world of shadows that has been the recent inner-workings of HUD.  A strong, national Alliance such as MHIdea could shine the light of truth onto the inequitable dealings of HUD and provide the check and balance so sorely missing in the DC arena.” 

Was the Dick Moore and Bob Crawford inspired MHIdea ahead of its time?

Before diving deeper, let’s post a video interview of Dick Moore, below. It reveals his significant success, and fascinating historic insights.

 

 

With that better understanding of Moore as a backdrop, backdrop, consider the following quote from their dated site.

MHIdea has a multi-pronged plan of action:

 

Investigate HUD’s policies and actions of HUD personnel

for Legal Compliance and the legal options available

to us if non-compliance is found;

 

Defend the position of the independent street retail

sales center owner, before Congress and local govt’s;

 

Educate the consumer about the benefits of modern-day MH living;

 

Advocate the interests of Alliance members & the MH Industry.

 

A coordinated plan of action for our industry

is critically important to our future.

Then there is this quote:

The manufactured housing industry faces many challenges in the coming years.  But with great challenges come great opportunities, and MHIDEA is here to help independent dealers across American enjoy them more!

This quote is humble, but wise.

Whether the voice is MHIdea or some other is immaterial.

The need for such a voice is undeniable!

 

Because…

“IF we keep doing what we’ve been doing,

          We will keep getting what we got!”

 

There may be a fact glitch here and there on the MHIdea website. But the thrust of the thought process appears sound. For example. 

“…The challenge concerning retail financing is further aggravated by HUD and other agencies working against the best interests of both the consumer base which could benefit from our product and industry members themselves, from the manufacturers and parts suppliers to the retail sales personnel.  The lack of help coming from Washington, DC is glaring, with HUD boldly operating in violation of its federal mandate…” i.e: the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.   ICYMI, or want a refresher later, the next link is from MHProNews, and not from MHIdea

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

Before returning to items from MHIdea, it must be noted that recent data reflects that about 1/3 of manufactured homes are going into land-lease communities. The other 2/3 are predominantly being sold by retailers, although FEMA orders and some going to developers are a periodic part of the mix.  Rephrased, retailers are still the bulk of new HUD code manufactured home sales.

Vertically integrated companies, such as Clayton Homes, and to a lesser extent, Skyline-Champion and Cavco Industries, are among those who sell to independents, but also have their own retail operations.

Other semi-vertical integrated firms exist, for example, Legacy Housing,  or American HomeStar. Legacy sells to independents and communities, but also has its own retail centers.

That said, let’s return to content from MHIdea, because this next quote speaks volumes.

“…One body has become overloaded with members representing factions of our industry that are financiallybetter poised to weather the regulatory storms on the horizon, almost to the point of a technical monopoly.  MHI [i.e.: Manufactured Housing Institute] has no real incentive and apparently not much interest to work hard for the small independent retailer sales centers.  Some of their recent efforts appear to be motivated by industry members’ frustration at their previous inactions.”  That wasn’t written by MHProNews, or Marty Lavin, or Frank Rolfe.  That’s the view from a pair who have a retail operation, and only recently sold their communities, which accounted for over 25,000 mobile and manufactured homes sold over the years. 

Put differently, Dick Moore’s and Bob Crawford’s perspective is not to be taken lightly. 

Their commentary continues: “Our other representative group, MHARR, is Danny Ghorbani.   His writings have been steadfastly on the side of the retailers, but too often he has been the lone voice in the wilderness...”

When an observation has merit, it is often timeless. Note that this was done circa 2009/2010.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 With the above graphic and shipment levels in mind, let’s cite another quote from MHIdea:

The dismal report of total shipments in 2009, the continued lack of substantive progress from the recent MHI meeting, the continued depressed condition of the economy and its effect on our customer base all weigh heavily on the future of our business.   Our needs have NOT been adequately represented before Congress or the various federal regulatory agencies we are forced to deal with; our product has NOT been successfully marketed to our customer base in a time when our product is ideally suited to provide a much-needed commodity; our industry has NOT had a voice to speak with an unbiased voice for the benefit of ALL.  

MHIdea can provide that voice.  MHIdea personnel will be autonomous from any manufacturer or retailer associate.  We will speak for the benefit of the Alliance, with no favoritism to any one.  We will speak nationally through the Internet, video and other media productions.  We can provide a unique marketing logo supported with national advertising and PR efforts, to help our local retailer associate member’s improve their market recognition.”

MHProNews did provide at that time some coverage for their effortBut in candor, we didn’t see then all that we do now.

MHIdea had a solid concept. It could have used some refinement. It needed to have what we said yesterday about the #NobleNotMobile concept.  Namely, it will have to be given ongoing, sustained support and commitment.

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Over two years ago, Bob Crawford, speaking off the cuff at Tunica, once more addressed the industry’s needs. He mentioned the MHIdea in the video posted below the photo.  If you listen to what Frank Rolfe and Bob Crawford had to say, and none of this was rehearsed or planned, its amazingly insightful – even today.

 BobCrawfordDickMooreHousingFrankRofleRVHorizonsMobileHomeUniversityTunicaShowManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Several community owners have come to a similar conclusion that Dick Moore and Bob Crawford did, over 8 years ago. One might question this or that, but isn’t the concept worth highlighting?  One more time, let’s quote from their now dated website, but that they correctly kept online.

 

IF we keep doing what we’ve been doing,

           We will keep getting what we got”

 

Today, let’s give thanks for all of the independents in the manufactured home industry. In the days ahead, we can reflect beyond thanks towards positive action. We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Court Ruling for HUD on Amending Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Opens Door for More HomeSites for Manufactured Housing

August 23rd, 2018 Comments off

CourtRulngHUDAmendingAffirmativelyFurtheringFairHousingOpenMoreHomesitesManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNEwsManufacturedHomeProNews

During this affordable housing crisis, there are several arguments to be made for a broader use of manufactured housing.  But discriminatory local zoning is often a barrier.

 

A new ruling is being embraced by HUD and others as a welcome development that could lead to more manufactured home placements.

On Tuesday, HUD tells the Daily Business News that, “In the wake of a federal court decision upholding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s approach to rulemaking, HUD Secretary Ben Carson today announced that HUD intends to move forward in amending its 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations.”

Dr_Ben_Carson__wikipedia

Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

Addressing HUD employees, Secretary Ben Carson said, “I am tremendously gratified that the Court agreed with HUD on all its legal arguments. My approach to regulations is that they should work in practice and not just in theory.  Fairness is baked into our DNA.  Whether it’s making sure our regulations work in the real world, or challenging discrimination where we find it, HUD stands for fairness.”

HUD is asking for comments on rulemaking that will follow this court ruling.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said, “This is potentially an important rulemaking for HUD Code manufactured housing, as Secretary Carson has indicated that he wants to use an amended AFFH framework to combat exclusionary local zoning rules that keep affordable housing — including federally-regulated manufactured homes — out of many communities. We address this in the upcoming September 2018 issue of MHARR — Issues and Perspectives, and will take further specific actions to advance this issue.”

The full text of the HUD statement about the ruling and related to MHProNews, including the link to the request for comments to rulemaking is found below.

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FOLLOWING COURT RULING, HUD MOVING FORWARD ON AMENDING AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING REGULATIONS

WASHINGTON – In the wake of a federal court decision upholding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s approach to rulemaking, HUD Secretary Ben Carson today announced that HUD intends to move forward in amending its 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations. 

Last week, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, dismissed a lawsuit against HUD related to the Department’s decision to suspend the use of a computer tool to be used by local governments in meeting their fair housing obligations to ‘affirmatively further fair housing.’  Rather than helping local governments, this tool proved confusing, difficult to use, and frequently produced unacceptable results.  Read the Court’s ruling. 

In a message to HUD employees, Secretary Carson said, “I am tremendously gratified that the Court agreed with HUD on all its legal arguments. My approach to regulations is that they should work in practice and not just in theory.  Fairness is baked into our DNA.  Whether it’s making sure our regulations work in the real world, or challenging discrimination where we find it, HUD stands for fairness.” 

On August 13, 2018,  HUD published a notice inviting the public’s comment on amendments to the Department’s AFFH regulations. HUD’s goal in pursuing new rulemaking is to offer more helpful guidance to states and local communities to effectively promote fair housing choice through the use of their federal funds.

Specifically, HUD is seeking public comment on changes that will: (1) minimize regulatory burden while more effectively aiding program participants to meet their statutory obligations, (2) create a process focused primarily on accomplishing positive results, rather than on analysis, (3) provide for greater local control and innovation, (4) seek to encourage actions that increase housing choice, including through greater housing supply, and (5) more efficiently utilize HUD resources. 

In addition, HUD plans a number of informal listening forums across the country to hear directly from interested stakeholders, including civil rights advocates, public housing authorities and state and local planners.  Read HUD’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and provide comment.

###

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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.

 

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Court Hands DOE Procedural Victory in Potentially Costly Manufactured Housing Energy Standards Case

August 21st, 2018 Comments off

CourtHandsDOEProceduralVictoryInPotentiallyCostlyManufacturedHousingEnergyStandardsCaseMHProNews

The court in the Sierra Club V. Perry case has handed DOE [Department of Energy] a procedural victory, for the moment, in the case brought by the Sierra Club, trying to force the Department to act on the MH energy rule,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

 

After the Sierra Club filed its suit, DOE filed a motion contesting its standing to bring suit in this matter on behalf of its members,” stated Weiss, who is an attorney.

MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNews

Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

In comments about the ruling last week requested by the Daily Business News on MHProNews, Weiss also said that the “Sierra Club responded by filing an amended complaint (which it has a right to do), and filing a motion for partial summary judgment, essentially trying to leapfrog the standing issue and get an order stating that DOE violated the EISA [Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007] mandate to establish an MH energy standard within five years of passage.”

DOE then filed a motion to hold Sierra Club’s motion for partial summary judgment in abeyance, while the standing issue is addressed by the court,” Weiss’ play by play explained.

The court, last Thursday [8.16.2018], granted that DOE motion to hold consideration of Sierra Club’s motion for partial summary judgment in abeyance, as shown by the docket note below.  In the note, “plaintiff” refers to the Sierra Club, “defendant” refers to DOE.  This is positive news for the moment, but does not guarantee anything regarding the final outcome,” per Weiss.

It’s a positive step for the industry, which has had this potentially costly rule hanging overhead for years.

MHARR fought the DOE rule from the outset, but for years, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) inexplicably supported standards third party research said could have added some $6,000 to a single section manufactured home.

After years of pushback by MHARR, the Small Business Administration, MHProNews, and other advocates for the industry, MHI finally flip-flopped on the issue last year.

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

The Trump Administration’s administrative executive orders put a stop to the matter, until the Sierra Club suit has revived the matter.

 

In the District of Columbia District Court, Judge Emmet G Sullivan ruled as follows, per the Pacer Monitor.

“MINUTE ORDER granting27 defendant’s motion to hold in abeyance23 plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Court has broad authority to control the disposition of the cases on its docket. See Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936). The Court cannot agree with plaintiff that allowing the parties to brief summary judgment maximizes efficiency, especially because the Court must first assure itself of jurisdiction. See, e.g., Furniture Brands Int’l Inc. v. U.S. Int’l Trade Comm’n, No. 11-202, 2011 WL 10959877, at *1 (D.D.C. Apr. 8, 2011) (“[St]aying further briefing of the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion will allow the parties to avoid the unnecessary expense, the undue burden, and the expenditure of time to brief a motion that the Court may not decide.”). Therefore, the Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE23 plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment. Plaintiff may refile its motion for summary judgment, assuming the Court denies the defendant’s pending motion to dismiss. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 8/16/2018. (lcegs3)” ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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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.

 

Carson’s Recent Address on HUD, Affordable Housing, and the Manufactured Housing Vantagepoint

August 8th, 2018 Comments off

 

HUDSecBenCarsonHUDAffordableHousingManufacturedHousingVantagepointOfficialHUDCarsonPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIf you listen to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies video below, the outlook for affordable housing sounds bleak.

 

 

By contrast, Mark Weiss, in a soon-to-be-released commentary, told MHProNews that “HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, as the saying goes, “gets it.”

 

First, and most fundamentally, he understands – and has very plainly stated — that to successfully address and ultimately solve the nation’s affordable housing crisis, which has some 21 million American families spending more than one-third of their household income on housing expenses and 11 million of those spending more than half of their income on housing, it is “vitally important … to develop more affordable housing.”

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonMDOfficialPhotoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Official HUD photo provided to MHProNews.

Perhaps the best ‘get’ of the year for MHI are the comments that Secretary Carson made to their last Congress and Expo scheduled in Las Vegas. There, per HUD’s official transcript to MHProNews, Dr. Carson said:

When I originally got the invitation to join you [manufactured housing professionals], “I was quick to say yes. Back when my hair was less gray, when you thought of manufactured homes, you basically thought of a small box, on concrete blocks, with some uninspiring siding or trim. Times have certainly changed.”

It’s a theme that many cited by MHLivingNews or MHProNews have shared.

Let me say straight out, at HUD, it is not about how much money we spread around. We define success not by the amount of money we pour into our programs, but by the number of people we help graduate from our services and become self-sufficient. Only then can we begin to help others in need of our resources.” said Carson, per HUD.

Carson said that at HUD, “we drive for new efficiencies, transparency, and accountability in our large portfolio – or as some would call it, our alphabet soup of programs and services.”

That’s why everyone in this audience and the manufactured housing industry is so important – and that’s why I am here today. You are a big part of the solution to providing unsubsidized, quality, affordable housing.”

That’s a snapshot of why MHARR’s president’s case for Secretary Carson ‘getting it,’ about manufactured housing is hopeful.

 

HUD and Transparency

Needless to say, there are a variety of audiences that Dr. Carson addresses.

One doesn’t expect Secretary Carson to say the same things, or stress the same points.  But are the broad-brush principles he espouses in synch?

Tonight, against that backdrop, we’ll feature a release from HUD on Sec. Carson’s address to a group in Orlando 2 days ago.

HUDNewsHousingUrbanDevelopmentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Delivers Remarks at the
Florida Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (FAHRO) Annual Convention

Orlando, FL ~ August 6, 2018

Thank you all for the invitation.

 

Also, I would like to thank Debbie Johnson, the current President of FAHRO, and William Russell, President and CEO of the Sarasota Housing Authority.

 

I really appreciate the testimony William gave on behalf of FAHRO, in late April, before the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance on rent reform. As you’ll hear in a few minutes, we are aligned on all the major issues.

 

When I got the invitation, I knew I had come to your convention and expo and discover what new programs and policies are in the works for Florida’s 84 housing authorities.

 

As the local Sarasota Herald-Tribune mentioned in a recent editorial, there is a lot the Secretary of HUD could learn from what Housing officials are doing in Florida, so here I am.

 

Sarasota Visit

 

I ought to also mention that I was in Miami just last week – to announce an end to veteran homelessness in Miami-Dade County – and before that, I was in Sarasota with William, handing out free books to children living in public housing as part of HUD’s Book-Rich Environments Initiative. This is a win-win partnership with the National Book Foundation, our public housing authorities, libraries, educational partners, and everyone involved.

 

I think the children were more excited about the books they were receiving than the ice cream that was also being handed out. That’s a wonderful observation.

 

Growing up in Detroit, I learned that between the covers of those books we could go anywhere, we could do anything, we could be anyone – books can help you believe in yourself, and with that vision, you can accomplish most anything.

 

That’s why we are here today, to have a conversation and ultimately move forward on new initiatives to help our residents have a vision of themselves living a life full of many possibilities outside of public housing and realizing their God-given potential.

 

The question is, how do we accomplish this? And that’s mainly what I would like to discuss with you today – the key goals of our “Making Affordable Housing Work” rent reform proposal, and how it dovetails with FARHO’s action plan on reform.

 

Rent Reform: Making Common Cause  

 

It’s no secret that the current rent system is counterproductive. I understand your discouragement and frustration. Every one of us here knows that the current model of public housing is unsustainable, in both dollars and common sense.

 

Let’s look at three main concerns we both share.

 

First, the rent system, as it currently exists, perpetuates an economic disincentive to earn more in wages.

 

Our policies ensure that the more our residents earn, the more rent they have to pay. Where then, is the incentive to work, or to get a better paying job, or have two parents living together and sharing their wages? There isn’t any, I’m afraid to say.

 

The unintended consequences of the way we calculate the level of assistance – more specifically, how it can hold back the very people we’re supposed to help – must be the central piece of any reform efforts.

 

Second, it is common knowledge that the current system is unduly difficult.

 

Is there a tenant, housing authority or policy maker who hasn’t been puzzled by the complexity of our rental model?  Or, extremely troubled by the resources in time and staff, you must allocate to carry out the necessary procedures?

 

We all know how dense and complicated the system is: public housing agencies, owners, and residents must monitor and record more than several dozen different sources of income – from figuring out future incomes and tax deductions, to recording detailed medical, child, and other mandated information.

 

It creates a perfect storm of paperwork that is incredibly burdensome and often creates confusion along with errors.  We have discovered that each year, nearly 25 percent of rents charged to HUD-assisted families are miscalculated, resulting in $750 million in improper rent payments.

 

So, why would we continue a policy that costs us millions of dollars in errors? Any rental reform also needs to tackle head-on this mounting burden as well.

 

Third, we also find common cause in changing a policy that forces all public housing authorities into a one size-fits-all system, to one that grants greater flexibility – so that those with “boots on the ground,” not Washington, will have increased local control and choice on how best to serve their communities and encourage residents on the road to independence.

 

Just look at the 39 Moving to Work demonstration programs that provides this flexibility for public housing agencies. It has proven to be so successful that the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act expands this program by an additional 100 public housing authorities.

 

The question remains then, why are we still committed to a policy that gives very little flexibility to local housing agencies that best understand the specialized needs of their residents?

 

We therefore need to push for policies that encourage choices and grant waivers that allow more innovation and experimentation.

 

Unstainable Rental System

 

Most of you know the large number of new applications who file for housing assistance and receive it – only one in four — and the small number who graduate out.

 

Overall, public housing was originally meant be help vulnerable people take their first step toward self-sufficiency, and not be an end in itself — with families locked into helplessness for generations, relying solely on the federal purse for survival. Though, in rare cases, some agencies do require time limits on staying in federal housing.

 

That’s why we need to make rental reform a top priority. But I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention the need to encourage more private sector investment in affordable rental units, as well as helping our able-body residents secure better job opportunities – a point I will return to later.

 

Up Date: Where We Go from Here

 

Overall, the Administration’s legislative proposal is only the first step on the road to major reform. But even today, we are having an impact on helping define the debate and drawing attention to the pressing need for a change – both in the way we calculate rent and require minimum work requirements for work-able households.

 

Since our original proposal to increase tenant contributions, both houses of Congress plan to continue to fund our housing assistance programs at historic funding levels, around $1.25 billion — so that decreases for now, the immediate need for any rent increases.

 

As to where we are, in getting our rent reforms through Congress, Representative Dennis Ross and I had a good discussion recently regarding his draft bill, which contain several of our key suggestions.

 

Conclusion: Moving Toward Self-sufficiency  

 

Let me conclude on this note.

 

For generations, the idea of the government providing housing assistance meant only one thing—helping to pay the rent so families can have a roof over their heads. But we must think also about how we can help families access financial, education, and other opportunities.

 

In short, we must think beyond investing in bricks and mortar and invest in human capital. In today’s very tight labor market, employers are desperate for workers, and we need to rise to the challenge. The result being a win-win for everyone – with tenants earing more money so they can move out, and the local economy getting the manpower it needs.

 

That’s why HUD is focusing far more on policies and partnerships with the public and private sector and nonprofit community to further develop the skills and talents of our residents – with the end goal an independent life out of public assistance.

 

I know you’re familiar with Job Plus, Moving to Work, and Section 3 – in fact, we just kicked off a major conference with all the parties involved to reinvigorate the program.  There is also the launch of our new EnVision Centers, located on or near our public housing developments.

 

We need to envision a new path forward for our residents — one takes a holistic approach and goes beyond simply providing housing – and these Centers will provide a one-stop shop, for key services in health, education, and job training.

 

I am certain we can all agree with this approach and ultimate goal.

 

By working together, we’re going to make these major changes in how our affordable housing system operates, so that it encourages economic advancement and well-being for Florida’s vulnerable families.

 

FAHRO and HUD make a formidable team and together we will make rent reform happen.

 

Thank you again for the invitation to join you in Orlando. I look forward to your questions.

HUDGovPressNewsMediaDailyBusinessNewsMHPronEws

— end of HUD’s official Carson transcript —

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonMDPlayingPoolManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews

Taken in Las Vegas, durng the same trip as the MHI event. Who won? 

A fair reading of his statements to FAHRO, mindful of the difference in audience, does reflect a similar desire to lift people from dependence to independence.

With indications that HUD will complete their regulatory review this year of the manufactured housing program, the industry will move from reading tea leave to seeing just what happens on issues such as:

  • Title I, and changing the 10-10 rule,
  • Enhanced preemption being fully implemented,
  • A non-career administrator being appointed,
  • And the other aspects that are required by law under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.
YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

The logic of this statement can be applied to a variety of cases.

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

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

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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:

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

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Tells Senators, Today’s Manufactured Homes “Amazing” Quality and Value

FEAR, a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis, and the Manufactured Home Dilemma

 

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

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies 2018 – Affordability, Manufactured Homes, and Modular Housing Report

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

August 8th, 2018 Comments off

WasteFraudAbuseFHFAFannieMaeFreddieMacLogosMHProNewsLogoOversightHearing

The House Financial Services Committee announced that there will be an upcoming hearing that will continue their probe into allegations of “waste, fraud, and abuse.”

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has tracked developments over the ongoing drumbeat out of Washington, D.C. over concerns regarding the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) and their legal charges.

Mel Watt Charged With Sexual Harassment – Manufactured Housing Industry Repercussions?

By law, the FHFA oversees the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. See the linked articles herein for more details.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

The allegations include sexual misconduct by Mel Watt, plus concerns over apparent lobbying activity by Fannie Mae, among others.

 

Why It Matters to MHVille Owners, Investors and Professionals

All this could impact the lending which by law the GSEs are supposed to be doing for manufactured housing.

The Duty to Serve (DTS) provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) mandated support for manufactured housing.  Yet it has taken a decade to reach the current toe-in-the-water stage.

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has been pushing for years on this issue.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – which is seen by many as a lobbying tool for Berkshire Hathaway’s lending, production, supplier, and retail interests in the industry – could become part of the backdrop to concerns over improper lobbying by Fannie Mae.

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

Via a media release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Financial Services Committee announcement said as follows.

 

HouseFinancialServicesCommitteePressReleaseDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews598

Official statement from the U.S. House of Representatives, Financial Services Committee.

Committee Announces September FHFA Oversight Hearing

WASHINGTON – House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Ann Wagner (R-MO) announced today that the Committee plans to hold a hearing no later than Thursday, September 27, 2018 as a part of its ongoing investigations into various allegations of waste, fraud and abuse at the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Timothy Mayopoulus and FHFA Director Mel Watt will be invited to testify.

The hearing will take place in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews
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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) Pressing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Fully Engage on Duty To Serve (DTS)

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

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

“Insulting” – Local News Report on “Mobile Home” Fire Underscores Why Terminology Matters

August 7th, 2018 Comments off

 

InsultingLocalNewsReportOnMobileHOmeFireUnderscoresWhyTerminologyMattersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A local news story of a “mobile home fire” on I-20 underscores why the terminology issue matters.

 

Before diving into the local media report to see the lessons learned, let’s examine part of a detailed statement from a multi-decade manufactured home professional.

Why?

Because it very much relates to this issue.

It was an off-the-record remark, and the key part reads exactly as follows, with only the brackets added for clarity:

You [MHProNews/MHLivingNews] have to give us – and the rest of the owners out there – a break on the “terminology”. I agree that we should try to elevate the industry, but you know as well as I do that you cannot reach anyone with the name “manufactured home community” as nobody Google searches for that term. It’s marketing suicide. It’s like pretending that the average American wears a tuxedo to dinner just because we want them to. Until some other term becomes the standard for our product line, there’s no way we can use any term that is not the #1 on searches. We did not create this fact, decades of time and millions of Americans did…I think any term but “home” is frankly insulting.”

There is no doubt that the search term “mobile home” scores far better on Google than “manufactured home.” Take a look for the proof.

GoogleTrendsMobileHomeVsManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Then compare the search term for “trailer house” to “manufactured home,” shown below. Sadly, its not ideal either, but per Google it is improving.  But do those trend lines from Google make that message writer correct?  Let’s look deeper before we answer that question, because common sense and doing what’s right may surprise you.

 

GoogleTrendsManufacturedHomeTrailerHouseTerminologyDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingProNews

MHLivingNews reported on the trend in the rise of the use of the term “mobile home” and “trailer house” in a research study by Foremost, found at this linked report below.

Foremost Report: Manufactured Home Customer Survey and Market Facts

Does that mean that we as industry professionals should abandon the effort?

The chart below reveals that a steady efforts in recent years by forward thinkers and doers in the industry are starting to pay off.

The use of the term “manufactured home” was trending down for several years, as you can see below.  But in the last few years, the use of the term manufactured home is finally trending up.  The second side-by-side trend line above reveals the term manufactured home is starting to surpass the term “trailer house.”

Those facts from Google suggest that more efforts are needed.  But the steady efforts of those who use the correct terminology already are demonstrably working.  The opposite of trying to correct the problems would be to abandon the effort, as some mistakenly believe should occur.  You’ll see why reason, facts, and emotions are all reasons why this effort ought to be accelerated, not quit.

 

ManufacturedHomeTerminologyGoogleTrendsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailiyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews is a data, common sense, and an evidence-based trade publisher. This graphic proves that the existing efforts are bearing fruit. The principle of prove one applies. Thus, more effort is needed. BTW, do you notice that this improvement is occurring during the time after MHProNews, and MHLivingNews began to push on the terminology issue?  Clearly others do too.  This is a job everyone can do their part to repair. 

A look at a quoted reply from the publisher of MHProNews and MHLivingNews to that industry professional provides the relevant response.

RE: “Terminology.  This is not a killer between us, but I respectfully disagree.  You said it yourself.  The ideal is home, but the practical is manufactured home.  All you have to do is what Realtor did in their [white] paper.  You say, people call it ‘trailer house, mobile homes, and trailer parks.’ [Indeed] Some of them [the homes being described] ARE trailers and mobile homes.  But since June 15, 1976, its manufactured homes.  No mobile homes since that date.”

We do that [in marketing work for others and for our own platforms], “Realtor does that, and you can get the marketing/SEO mileage that way too.”

With all due respect to our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach could have clarified a few points.

How so?

Obviously, the best of all possible worlds is to have each of those terms found on your website.

So,

  • if someone is searching for “mobile home,” make it easy for them to find you.
  • If someone is searching for “manufactured home,” you certainly want them to find you.
  • If someone is searching for trailer house,” make it possible for them to find you.
  • But that should debatably be done as Realtor, MHProNews and MHLivingNews do it, educationally explaining the terminology while using it.

One would think that Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) and others that use terms like “Village,” “Estates,” “Community” recognize that home owners don’t want to have the terminology of “trailer” attached to them.

SamZellEquityLifestylePropertiesELSManufacturedHomeCommunitiesRVParksNotTrailerNotMobileHomeParksDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Photo of Sam Zell, credit, MHProNews. ELS Logo, photos are provided under fair use guidelines.

MHProNews reported it, but we didn’t make it up.  Third-party research suggests that one of the ‘turn offs’ for millennials to manufactured homes is precisely the terminology “trailer.”

Millennials don’t like it.

Why turn-off the largest home buying demographic group by saying mobile home or trailer house?

So why would you or anyone use that term, other than to explain that it doesn’t apply to a manufactured home?  And that the cut off date when manufactured homes were born occurred on June 15, 1976.

WalkDownMemoryLane600x315TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeEvolutionMHLivingNews

You could fit the square footage of some of those old trailer houses into the living area of a modern manufactured home. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/walk-down-memory-lane-from-trailers-and-mobile-homes-to-early-and-modern-manufactured-homes-video/

But here is a brilliant and succinct use of terminology that the NFPA – the National Fire Prevention Association – used.

NFPAManufacturedHomeIsNotaMotorHomeOrTrailerAlthoughItisOftenCalledMobileHomeItIsNotThatEitherNFPADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is not a perfect definition, but it is clarifying. There have been no mobile homes built in the U.S since June 15, 1976, which is the date that the HUD Code for manufactured homes went into effect. Learn more, click here.

And that is just how simple it can be for anyone who wants to maximize both education and SEO.  Quote the NFPA, and reference it to MHLivingNews.

That one-two punch gives your comments two sources of third-party credibility.  We’ve done this, coached this, and know that when done properly, it works.

And guess what?  That’s what people frankly want anyway.  In the U.S., or Canada, people don’t like the term trailer house. They don’t like it in Australia either. There are very few manufactured homes in Hawaii, which could be a perfect place to prove what the future of manufactured housing could be.  But the term ‘trailer house’ dogs those on the islands who want to bring HUD Code homes there.

Mobile home is not an accurate term either, as Steve Duke explained succinctly in the quote cited below why the nomenclature matters, which he gave on-the-record to MHLivingNews.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

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

 

Why Terminology Matters, Local Media Report

Traffic was blocked on Interstate 20 Westbound near Ruston [LA] due to a mobile home fire,” said KNOE.

According to the Ruston Fire Department, a mobile home being moved caught fire while on Interstate 20. The fire department was able to contain the fire,” said the report. The visual evidence suggests that this was in fact a mobile home, and not a manufactured home.

MobileManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Mobile home fires are in the news on a routine basis. It is one of several reasons why the industry MUST teach the public the difference in terminology, because it makes prospective home buyers feel safer when they buy a manufactured home, vs. a pre-HUD Code mobile home.

The reason why terminology can matter is what occurred in the battle waged in Ohio.

Recall that their Governor John Kasich weighed in on an effort against the industry and their home owner associations, claiming mobile homes were less safe in a fire.  What the governor was being deceptive or ignorant on is that the pre-HUD Code mobile home safety issue had been remedied by the national manufactured home construction and safety standards.  That fix took place 4 decades before the issues in Ohio came to a head.

That powerful fact is one of numerous reasons why the precise terminology matters.

In this specific KNOE report, local media got it right, because the fire fighters called the charred unit by its actual proper name.

With all due respect to Stacey Epperson, who has previously said that “a home is a home” and there should be no other terminology, like “mobile home,” “trailer house” or “manufactured home” used. That’s nice, but arguably unrealistic. A home that is born in a factory on a chassis – and that running gear is often used just once or twice – and then is rarely if ever moved again. Was that home born before of after June 15, 1976? Did it exit the production center with or without a red HUD Label, which is makes it earn the title of a manufactured home?  Those details matter.  The standards the home was built to matter to that homeowner, the neighbors, to the industry, and a nation seeking an affordable housing solution.

StaceyEpperson_NextStepAHomeIsAHomeNextStepUS-AHomeIsAHomeITsJustThatSimple-MHLivingNews-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

Stacey Epperson, credit, Next Step.

Education is an answer that could bring tens of billions of dollars annually in more retail sales to the industry.  That education can and should be done locally, regionally or nationally. See the related reports, linked further below.

Mobile homes are more fire prone, while a manufactured home is as safe as a conventional site built house statistically. That’s a reality that requires names, facts, and definitions.  That reality is the one that caused the NFPA to do their study, referenced above.

AreMobileHomeFiresBurningtheIndustrycreditNFPA2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Here is another reason why definitions and proper terminology matters.

Easy doesn’t pay well,” says Sunshine Homes President John Bostick.  It may be hard work – at first – to change habits of how we call things. But changing terminology was accomplished during the civil rights movement.  It was the right thing to do.  It needs to be done to advance the manufactured home movement, because that’s the right thing to do too.

 

Reviewing Another Reason Terminology Matters

Here’s another reason why it matters.  This local media report, whether they knew it or not, got it right. That house that burned wasn’t a manufactured home.  It wasn’t a trailer house.  It was a pre-HUD Code mobile home, as an expert can tell by looking at the photo from the local media, shown above.

FactoryHousingEvolution101TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHome

To see the Ultimate Manufactured Housing Infographic, click here.

The public and millions of manufactured home owners don’t want to be known as trailer trash.  The industry can and must lead on this issue.  It is as simple as it is laid out herein.

If the

  • Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) wanted to fix this issue,
  • or if Berkshire Hathaway wanted to fix this issue, arguably either or both could make big strides in short order. Berkshire owns numerous newspapers. Berkshire could alternate the use of their various platforms to educate others in media, and the public at large.

So why don’t they?

But if the whole world did it wrong, is that a reason for you or your colleagues to do it wrong?

“What’s wrong is that we don’t ask what’s right.” – G.K. Chesterton. The tuxedo argument of that message writer is cute, clever, but it isn’t logical.  We don’t call a black man the n-word, as the Rev. Donald Tye Jr explained. Nor should we call a manufactured home a trailer house or a mobile home.

ItsAsWrongtoUseNWordToDescribeBlackAsUseTWordTodescribeManufacturedHomeRevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword

Two wrongs never have, and never will, make something right.  Experience shows that qualified people who are home shopping would rather buy a manufactured home, as opposed to a mobile home or a trailer houses.  The letters to the editor that pop up over the years often say the same thing.

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

 

The Bottom Line?

We as MH Industry business owners, investors or professionals need to elevate the discussion, not add to the confusion. Check out the linked related reports, below and above, to see more practical reasons why the terminology matters.

But that email from an industry professional was arguably correct in this sense.  A misuse of terminology is “frankly insulting” to millions of home owners, and thousands of industry professionals. 

Who agrees with that last point?  Mark Weiss, President and CEO of MHARR.

TheDeliberateMisueofTerminologyCanBeOffensivetoMillionsWhoProudlyOwnAManufacturedhomeOrThousandsinourIndustryMarkWeissMHARRMHproNews575

When did he say that?  At the same time others did in response to the outrage expressed in MHVille when an anti-Trumper used the term “trailer park trash” to describe three people who visited the White House.

KeithOlbermannReactionAgainstTrailerTrashCommentMHProNews

See the full, original story, by clicking the image above.

When Frank Rolfe was still speaking publicly against MHI and their failure to engage with the media, he said this about Olbermann’s tweet.

WhenTrailerTrashIsntWhatYouThinkcreditMHProNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsFrankRolfe

See the entire article and other industry reactions, at this link here.

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

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

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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:

 

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

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

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

“Trailers for Sale or Rent,” “Pencil Head, Its Not a Trailer Park,” Manufactured Home Rental Reality Checks

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

August 4th, 2018 Comments off


ThouShallNotsteal$2TrillionAnnuallyLostLackofAffordableHomesMakingManufacturedHomeCase

After years of arguably failed polite talk, perhaps more direct and blunt words are needed.

 

The logic of research economists Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti is that improper land use policies are costing the nation some $2 trillion dollars a year.

Past25YearsHousingConstraintsChangTaiHsiehUChicagoEnricoMorettiUCBerkely

See the Daily Business News report on that topic, at this link here. It includes a download of their research.

The reasoning of National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun is that only more and faster new construction will fix the housing affordability issue.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

It is this Daily Business News on MHProNews writer’s understanding, Dr. Yun prompted Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE) to research manufactured homes. Among her 30 pages of reports, charts, and data include the following.

 

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

See more of her research, at this link here.

 

The logic of Trulia’s research, summarized by the data in the graphic below, supports that of the research economists above. Affordable housing has negligible impact on all other housing nearby. Both forms of housing are growing in value, side by side.

TruliaImpactofAffordableHomesHousingValueDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Trulia research reinforces what HUD’s PD&R on manufactured homes (MH) found, that MH appreciated side by side with conventional housing.

But what if that affordable housing are manufactured homes? Do manufactured homes harm property values for neighboring conventional housing?

The university level research that HUD commissioned in their PD&R report preceded the Trulia study. It looked at manufactured homes as infill in cities, right next door to conventional site built, single family homes.

The results?

Housing values of both conventional homes and the manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side.

RegulatoryBarrierstoManufacturedHousingPlacementinUrbanCommunitiesHUDPDR-postedManufacturedHomeLivingNews595x357

The research from multiple cities documented that manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side with conventional housing. The findings are similar to what Trulia’s study learned. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2011HUDPDRRegulatoryBarriersManufacturedHousingPlacementUrbanCommunitiesMHLivingNewsPDF.pdf

The summary of the logic of the third-party researched facts are overwhelming when laid out side-by-side like this.

But the irony is that Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies researcher Eric Belsky came to the conclusion over 16 years ago that manufactured homes where likely to surpass conventional housing in production. No doubt for the kind of reasons Cororaton more recently cited.

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, MH won’t reach 40 percent of that total. What happened?

 

Richard Genz did research prior to the statement by Harvard’s Belsky, making the case for manufactured home quality and durability in a study for the Fannie Mae Foundation.

 

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

So what happened?  Why were Genz and Belsky – the obvious logic of their clear view that manufactured homes deserved support and were bound to grow – why were their visions not realized?

How is it possible than when manufactured homes (MH) – by law – must perform dynamically the same as conventional housing in safety, durability and energy savings – and when MH costs less, why aren’t more HUD Code homes being sold?

 

 

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

 

The simple answer is that a variety of seemingly unrelated forces have been at play.

Those forces included, but where not necessarily limited to:

–   ignorance,

–   prejudice,

–   greed,

–   political and regulatory pressures, fostered by the above,

–   and perhaps a failure to put all these facts back-to-back, to see reality vs. outdated perceptions. Fear and falsehoods were allowed to drive too many people’s thinking.

President Gerald Ford said prior to the HUD Code that the “mobile home” industry would always be necessary. It was market-based affordable homes, that routinely required no taxpayer subsidizes.

U.S. President Praised “The Mobile Home Industry,” Manufactured Homes are “Here to Stay”

Failure to heed that observation caused city after city on “both coasts” and the interior of the U.S. to lose decades of opportunities for more housing affordability.

The upshot?

Growing homelessness, including vehicular homelessness.

“Vehicular Homelessness” Rising, Land Use, and Manufactured Housing Policies

 

The answer being sought by many among the politically connected is to build more subsidized housing. In fact, for over 50 years, those housing programs have proven to be unable to keep up with the ever rising demand. The Heritage Foundation estimated that those social programs – which included subsidized housing – cost the nation some $22 trillion dollars in 5 decades.

That’s virtually the same amount as the national debt.

Isn’t it lunacy to continue doing more of the same self-evident failures? Why not turn to the proven solution?  Why not use free market driven investments by entrepreneurs vs. tax dollars?

MobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearch

 

What’s Missing in the Data? Real Harm to Real People

We as a society can’t change what’s happened. But we can learn from it. Perhaps the data needs to be humanized?  Do we need poster children to show what’s happened, and how that’s harmed Americans?

Almost every retailer who has sold a manufactured home direct to the public for at least a year has encountered the following scenario. Often numerous times.

A single, couple or family/household owns or wants to buy a manufactured home for a piece of property. But a local official stops that placement. Isn’t that using the force of law to rob people of the opportunity to own an affordable home?

The non-profit Equal Justice thinks so, and successfully sued a town on that issue. They are now suing another city.

Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

What does that process of denying Americans affordable housing actually cost such persons or families?

More personal wealth.  Keep in mind that HUD Secretary Carson spent some time in 2017 telling people that home owners had an average net worth of some $200,000, while the average renting household only has $5000 net worth.

The logic of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Professor Kenneth Johnson’s research indicates that manufactured home ownership may yield the most wealth for a household. The lower the cost of the housing, for a disciplined saver/investor, the greater the potential for other investments, thus increasing personal wealth.

KenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

FAU’s Ken Johnson made an eye opening point that applies to manufactured homes in terms of the ability for manufactured homes to help build more personal wealth https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/researchers-shake-up-american-dream-rent-vs-buy-ken-johnson-florida-atlantic-university-exclusive-to-manufacturedhomelivingnews/

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Cororaton’s research both demonstrated that manufactured homes are the lowest cost form of permanent housing. Less than rent, and even when higher rates and shorter loan terms, manufactured homes dramatically lower price yields the lowest monthly payments.

 

But we can put a face, a family, to this snapshot.

The Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. said that their affordable pre-HUD Code factory-built home made it possible for he and his wife to do things for their family they could not have done any other way.  Tye told MHProNews that planners are missing out on the many social and economic benefits that affordable home ownership provides.

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

He also addressed the lost tax benefits, as well as the prejudice against manufactured homes, and the misuse of terminology like this.

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ItsAsWrongtoUseNWordToDescribeBlackAsUseTWordTodescribeManufacturedHomeRevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword

Mark Weiss, JD, weighed in on that same point, saying the the use of the t-word is offensive to millions.

TheDeliberateMisueofTerminologyCanBeOffensivetoMillionsWhoProudlyOwnAManufacturedhomeOrThousandsinourIndustryMarkWeissMHARRMHproNews575

A poet who sold her conventional housing to buy a manufactured home was shocked at the prejudice generated by others.

Taking on the Trash Talk! Are People Defined by their Housing Choice? Video, Photos

There are letters-after-letters, stories-after-stories that have a similar refrain.  Here’s a pair of others.

“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Trade Publisher, Experts call for Respect, Understanding for Manufactured Housing, Manufactured Home Owners

Part of what should have been learned in recent decades is that there is a huge cost to taking opportunities from others. That arguably becomes a form of theft.  Thus the commandment that most faiths believe to be true – “thou shall not steal” – reasonably applies.

It includes mobile and manufactured home community owners who in various jurisdictions are increasingly being told that they can’t replace an older home with a new one. What?

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

A state supreme court ruling in one case was described by an attorney as an “unconstitutional taking.” That community owner won. But how much time and effort did it cost that community owner to be allowed to use their own land as a place where affordable home ownership can occur for families?  Those legal costs have to be passed onto others, those who live in those affordable manufactured homes.

Time and again – however well intended the local policies may be – the net result is that it is costing millions opportunities for more affordable home ownership.

 

The High Cost of Ignorance and Prejudice

This writer told a group of business professionals last year in Deadwood that manufactured homes were the civil rights issue of our times. That message was applauded by those who know first-hand how difficult it can be to sell a manufactured home, and get it safely installed on an appropriate permanent site and foundation.

CivilRightsIssueAbolitionCivilRightsAffordableQualityHomesManufacturedHousingDrMartinLutherKingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

LATonyKovachPresenting%StateConvDeadwoodSDKenCorbinCommentManufacturedHousingIndustryEventDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tony Kovach doing a presentation in a packed room of industry professionals.  The essence of the talk was the importance of educating people locally about the truths regarding modern manufactured homes.

The logic of these facts is this.

$2 trillion dollars a year is lost in GDP – that’s the cost of ignorance and prejudice against manufactured homes in America.  Take 326 million Americans, divide it into $2 trillion dollars lost annually, and that’s like $6,134.97 per man, woman and child.

For a family of four, that’s $24,539.88 in lost U.S. GDP.

It’s an avoidable loss, and can be fixed by a proper understanding coupled with the application of existing laws, as you will see below.

 

Terminology Matters

People wrongly believe the terminology for factory built homes is optional. It’s not. The correct terminology is a matter of law – the code which a home was built to meet.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

After more than fifty years of short-sighted and prejudiced thinking, it’s decades past the time that modern manufactured homes be seen for what they are.  It’s time to stop cherry-picking exceptional tales, and to look at the broad facts.

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

To see the report on tornadoes and manufactured homes, click here.

 

Manufactured homes are the solution for the affordable housing crisis that’s hiding in plain sight. It must be noted that modular and other forms of factory home building can all perform a vital part of the solution to America’s costly affordable housing crisis.

But because of the genius of the HUD Code, setting national standards with regional requirements, much of the harm caused by local regulators is avoided with manufactured homes.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Every photo above is a manufactured home.  For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here..

 

Solutions? Parallel Path One

The former chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage, said the following.

People cited in this column today might later say something different, perhaps because they may (errantly) believe that money tempts them to do so.  Some back off due to other pressures.

But they can’t unring the bell on what they’ve already said.

A consistent theme of MHProNews and MHLivingNews for years has been the need to honestly and sustainably grow the industry. We have never advocated, for example, for the kind of poor lending practices that led to the post-1998 nosedive of manufactured home sales.

Education – sound information are a key step.  21st’s Williams was right, and so was Frank Rolfe, who said that the media must be engaged with the truth when errant information crops up.

 

 

Solution – Parallel Path 2 – The Logic of Sound, Sustainable Lending

Lenders are protected when home values are protected.

Home values are protected and enhanced by demand and sound lending.

Sound and profitable lending is good for business, good for people, and good for the economy.

Good information – vs. prejudice or short-sighted thinking for whatever motivations – is how bigoted influences are pushed out.  This is how information and sound lending, parallel paths, can support each other, as a train running on a track is supported by parallel rails.

 

Manufactured Housing Appreciation?

The Urban Institute, and the National Association of Realtors ® have both reported what MHProNews and MHLivingNews has said for years. Manufactured homes can and do appreciate. But why are there times that they don’t rise in value?

First, all housing rises and falls in value for much the same reasons.

I’m not speaking for ‘Gay’ Cororaton when I share my take on a conversation this writer and she had a few weeks ago. I asked her about the economic logic of the following

Home appreciation is fueled by the following factors.

  • Location,
  • Condition of the home (maintenance, appearance),
  • Demand for housing,
  • Local economic factors (wages, employment opportunities, etc.), and
  • the availability of reasonable lending. Other points could be mentioned too, but those are key ones.

So, if any of those factors are reduced or eliminated, then the value would be lessened. Think about conventional housing post 2008, lending dried up, housing dropped in value.

My understanding was that she agreed with those principles.  My hunch is most objective thinkers and economists would too.

That being so, consider this.

Because manufactured homes have had lending options artificially reduced due to the absence of robust support from the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then to some degree, that will influence resale values. Again, my understanding was that she agreed with that premise.

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

In our comments letter to HUD, we stressed that since the GSEs were arguably not doing their job, that FHA could step up to the plate, as should VA and USDA (Rural Housing) loans.

Now, let’s rephrase that to make the following point.

For decades, the GSEs have resisted lending on manufactured homes. Fannie Mae’s highly touted MH Advantage is arguably another artful dodge, as it forces manufactured home builders to meet additional criteria beyond what the HUD Code mandates.

 

“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

Who worked with Fannie Mae on that MH Advantage program? Our sources say, past and current members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Why would MHI argue for a so-called “new class” of manufactured homes – where there is no data or track record – when there is decades of data and track record that proves the value of millions of units of HUD Code manufactured homes?

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

That was the logic of Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Rephrased, who benefits, and who is harmed by this questionable ploy between MHI and the GSEs?

Hold that thought for latter.

Because the bottom line is this. Manufactured homes have proven their value. Their value would logically be enhanced, given a proper understanding of their safety, quality and durability.

 

Two Types of HUD Code Manufactured Homes?

This writer has told people for years that there are broadly speaking, entry level manufactured homes, and residential style manufactured homes.  Both styles must meet the safety, energy and construction standards set forth by federal law under HUD and the DOE.

When you go shopping for a vehicle, there’s a wide array of sizes and styles to select from.  There are entry level cars, mid-range, and luxury ones too. That can be said about cell phones vs. smart phones, RVs, laptops, or most any product one cares to consider.

So, with manufactured homes, it is similar. If all you’ve seen are entry level manufactured homes, then you need to see a residential style one.

 

One must stress that any and all manufactured homes must all meet HUD’s safety, energy, and durability standards. From the least costly, all manufactured homes (MH) get consumer protection not found in conventional housing that costs many times the price. It was the MH industry that fought for that legislation – MHARR MHI, and states like Texas too – as part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.

compare-interiors-class-c-apartment-vs-modern-manufactured-home-credits-betweenapsontheporch-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-

Credits are as shown, collage by MHProNews.com.

But another key part of the MHIA of 2000 was enhanced preemption. That enhanced preemption is the key to unlocking $2 Trillion dollars a year in increased GDP for the U.S. This needs 5 stars next to this point.

Put differently, there is no need to wait for local jurisdictions across the land to get a backbone, or learn the truth the obliterates their ignorance, prejudices, sweetheart deals to favored developers, etc.

All that’s needed is for HUD to enforce existing law.  Enhanced preemption for manufactured homes is already the law of the land.

Let’s say that again for emphasis. All that’s needed is for HUD to enforce existing law.  Because the MHIA of 2000 preemption protects the rights of everyday Americans to buy and safely install a manufactured home on any buildable property.

We don’t need decades of battles, or more studies. The logic and the realities have been hiding in plain sight for years.

 

The Urban Institute’s Vital 2018 Question

Urban Institute researchers in a January 2018 report came to some similar points about manufactured homes, appreciation, and related. They asked a key question. Why aren’t more manufactured homes being sold, when they are a proven part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis?  Here’s how they phrased it, in the caption above “We Follow the Money.”

UrbanInstituteWeFollowTheMoneyClaytonHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews560x352

What they didn’t say was as important as what they did say.

One researcher was Edward Golding, who used to work for HUD. That wasn’t disclosed in their report. Golding had Pam Danner, JD, periodically report to him. Danner was the Administrator for what the Washington Post called the “once obscure” Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).

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

Which begs this question. Why didn’t Golding and others at the Urban Institute mention enhanced preemption in their reporting on manufactured homes?

After all, zoning, economic prejudice, and enhanced preemption all intersect.

When manufactured home businesses and state association executives from coast to coast say that zoning/land use/placement are key issues, how could Golding or the Urban Institute fail to mention enhanced preemption?

Hold that thought. Because another undisclosed fact was the connection of Warren Buffett as a lifetime trustee for the Urban Institute. It’s mentioned on the big Urban Institute site, if you got hunting for it. But there was no disclosure on the article that Golding and his fellow researchers published on the topic.

 

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

Nor did the Urban Institute mention that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) helped forge their paper. A source at the Urban Institute told us that “anonymity” was promised to MHI and Clayton, for their role in crafting their report.

What?

Since when do non-profits and university level style researchers not state their sources? Since when are possible conflicts-of-interests not disclosed by nonprofits or researchers in publishing their findings?

 

Smoking Guns…?

Eric Belsky made another statement about housing that very much applies to the question the Urban Institute asked.

CreditIsTheLifeBloodOfHousingEricBelskyHarvardDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

It’s a statement that most every manufactured home retail or community professional who experienced the slide from 1998 to 2008 know all too well. For more on Belksy, and MH, click here.

 

Let’s go back to what Belsky and Genz said over 15 years ago. Belsky expected manufactured homes to advance, so did Genz.

Why didn’t they?

Short answer, lending was choked off. Absent enough lending to supports home sales, there will be fewer manufactured homes sold. Duh, right?

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews-com

Kenny Lipschutz, Home First Certified Communities.

Absent a level playing field on lending or resales, manufactured homes are placed at a disadvantage in resale values.

Another issue is appraisals. Thousands of appraisers misunderstand manufactured homes. But that too is and educational issue, noted here as a placeholder.

So, we see the need for factual, evidenced and reason-based thinking about manufactured homes. Among the best-informed investors is arguably Warren Buffett. He reads and reads, per his own statements, and that of others who know him.

So why did Belsky miss his projection about manufactured housing achieving dominance in production over conventional builders by 2010? Arguably, the short answer is that Belsky did not count on Warren Buffett entering the industry in 2003. Belsky didn’t count on what Berkshire Hathaway did, as they began to deploy the Buffett strategic “Moat.”

WarrenBuffettTheMoatQuoteMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

Who speaks of “the moat?” Warren Buffett explains his principles of “the Moat” in a video on the page linked below. So does Kevin Clayton, in a separate video also found below.  Clayton says in his own words in that video that “Warren” stresses widening “the Moat” against competitors on a routine basis.

 

Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

 

The Truth is Not Political

We believe that truth is apolitical, but political officials may use – misuse, ignore, or abuse – the truth.

A closer look at the problem of why there is not more manufactured housing being sold can be summed up by the notion of the impact of failure to educate, and monopolistic practices. Who says?

GuruFocus and the Seattle Times.

MoatCastleBuffettBerkshireClaytonHomes21stMortgageVanderbiltMortgageManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x305

Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat. http://www.mhpronews.com/daily-business-news/seattle-times-federal-investigations-berkshire-hathaways-clayton-homes-gurufocus-spotlights-buffetts-claytons-unethical-monopolistic-moat/

 

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

And the evidence that manufactured housing’s ascendancy was derailed by forces within the industry is found in part with documents and quotes from Berkshire owned 21st Mortgage, Warren Buffett’s own words, and Berkshire dominated MHI’s own chart.

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Thousands lost their businesses, and millions arguably lost the opportunities to benefit from manufactured home ownership. It’s cost taxpayers a fortune, that can be measured in the trillions of dollars in losses to the GDP, and avoidable costs to federal taxpayers.

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

 

The Problem of the One Percent

We won’t hype the issue of the 1 percent, nor understate it.

What this will propose that may be unique is a free enterprise solution to the problem of the one percent. It’s this. De facto monopolistic forces are at work in manufactured housing, and in other parts of the economy, such as the tech giants.  Apply the logic of the NY Stern professor to manufactured housing, and it is just as apt as it is when applied to the world of the tech giants.

We’ll let Professor Scott Galloway make his case in tech.

 

“Winners and Losers,” L2 Founder, Prof Scott Galloway on Monopolies

But for those who believe that monopolistic forces harm Americans, we can point to voices as politically separated as Senator Ted Cruz and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

If we start listening to the factual points – vs. the opinions or spin – of what others are saying, those facts can lead someone to the root issues.  Facts are what is.  Opinions and interpretations are a dime a dozen.

The opportunity to use evidence, facts, and objective reasoning to discover the underlying causes – and thus the cures – of the affordable housing crisis is possible.  Keep in mind, that sooner or later, monopolies arguably harm workers and consumers.

 

Does Monopoly Power Impact Workers’ Stagnant Wages? MH Industry Impact$

 

The irony may be this. Aren’t even monopolists harmed by what they create?  Think about that $2 trillion a year in lost GDP.

Regardless, society as a whole is harmed, and that is why anti-trust laws exist.

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

 

The Fix is Applying Existing Laws

There is no need for years of delays in hearings or more studies.

Antitrust laws debatably need to be applied to Berkshire Hathaway, and to all others in business who’ve become invasive, as Galloway said.

The Smoking Gun 3 documents, facts and related quotes from officials who are part of Berkshire speak for themselves.  It would be difficult for them to unsay, what they’ve already said that arguably proves they are monopolistic.

MHI and Berkshire Hathaway has been given repeated opportunities to respond to any of these concerns.  Rather than respond, instead of debating the merits or misses in this reading of the facts, they’ve tried a variety of other tactics.  But if they could easily disprove this, why haven’t they?  Those from Berkshire brands who once praised us, now sit in silence as we publish reports like this one. Why?

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices-768x339

Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams to MHProNews. MHI’s president praised us for some years to, as this mirthful short demonstrates. 

MHI should be scrutinized for fostering the conditions that allowed manufactured housing to be derailed from what Belsky thought was a bright future. Some who see the problems outlined herein hold out hope that MHI can be redeemed. This writer – based upon sources, evidence and past history – believes that people can change, but that said, the evidence is that MHI’s leadership isn’t changing.  Thus, they need to be exposed, and supplanted with something entirely new.

MHARR does its job, but an MHI award winner says that MHI works only for the “the big boys.”

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?

 

I’ve said for years that pretty pictures alone are not enough to convince people of the truth about manufactured homes, and what it can do to transform for the better millions of lives.

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

Education is the answer. Refuting false claims must be part of that educational process.  People aer entitled to their opinions, but not to their own facts.

Understanding the issues are can help avoidable for others the tragedies caused by ignorance, greed and the evidenced based factors alleged herein. Millions of Americans have been robbed of what they could have had, instead of subsidized housing, or a life of rental, give people the information and opportunity to increase their personal wealth through affordable home ownership.

There are numerous voices that have blasted MHI’s hypocrisy. The one above is just one of many.

It’s time for the disinfectant of sunlight to cure what decades of ignorance, private agendas, monopolistic forces, and prejudice has caused.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

It’s time for the truth that’s been hiding in plain sight.

The reward is $2 trillion dollars in enhanced GDP annually, just by applying existing law.

The reward is that affordable home ownership could would do for millions of all colors and creeds.

Let’s stop robbing people of the possibility of a brighter future.  That theft has debatably occurred by misusing government and economic power.

Rather, lets allow existing laws to go to work, so that Americans select the home of their dreams, wherever they have a buildable home-site. More can be learned from the links from this article, but that’s enough said for today. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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

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

Movie Mogul Rupert Wyatt and Screenwriter Erica Beeney’s Magnificent Manufactured Home

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

Focus on More Financing, HUD Program Reforms, Aimed at Increasing Manufactured Homes Sales, Meeting with Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery

July 27th, 2018 Comments off

BrianMontgomeryHUDAstSecretaryFederalHousingCommissionerFinanceRegulatoryMHARRMeetingManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Daily Business News has been advised of a meeting at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which took place on July 25, 2018.

 

The focus of that high-level meeting’s discussion?

It could be summarized with the following bullets. To:

obtain more personal property financing options for HUD Code manufactured homes,

simplify the often complex regulations and on-site inspections, in compliance with the law,

full enforcement of existing laws, notably in regards to the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA),

reinvigorate the state-federal partnership in the HUD Code program, via adequate funding,

insure that the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) fully represents industry interests, and is operated according to the law,

the status of the regulatory reform comments review mandated by President Trump’s executive orders,

address concerns over “40 years of de facto sole-source monitoring procurements,” per MHARR’s statement,

and to discuss who would replace Pam Danner as the administrator of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

 

The meeting was held between

HUD Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery,

Teresa Payne, who is the acting interim head of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs,

and senior leadership for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Specifically, “MHARR Chairman, James Shea, Jr., MHARR Immediate-Past Chairman, John Bostick, MHARR President Mark Weiss and MHARR Senior Advisor, Danny D. Ghorbani…”

In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, MHARR provided the following meeting memo, which will be published verbatim, further below.

A few points worth emphasizing, via the following pull quotes from the MHARR report.

“…the MHARR delegation focused on harm to consumers and the industry resulting from unjustified, unwarranted, and/or misdirected HUD regulations (or pseudo-regulations),”

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

Call 202-783-4087, email mharrdg@aol.com or click the above to learn more.

The MHARR delegation also addressed the decline – under the former federal program administrator — in the federal-state partnership that lies at the core of the HUD program and its proper operation.”

“…the MHARR delegation encouraged Commissioner Montgomery, as Federal Housing Commissioner, to explore the re-vitalization and expansion of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program which, after being a significant source of consumer financing for HUD Code homes in the past, has declined drastically, to minimal activity levels in recent years.”

“…MHARR noted that the “10-10” net worth and reserve rule implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae) for FHA Title I financial institutions has severely and unjustifiably limited lender participation in the Title I program to just two approved lenders, both of which are finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerate.”

The later, of course, was a reference to Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes and their subsidiaries, 21st Mortgage Corp., and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Specifically, MHARR pressed for reforms of FHA Title I – chattel, or personal property, “home only” loans – due to the lack of implementation by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) under their Duty to Serve mandate.

Such a revitalization and expansion in FHA Title I support for manufactured home financing is particularly crucial in light of the minimal and long-delayed “implementation” of the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their federal regulator, FHFA, and their failure to establish – any time soon – market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, which comprise upwards of 80% of all manufactured home consumer loans.”

The entire MHARR release to MHProNews is below. It will be followed by references to several other related reports that flesh-out related details of importance to:

manufactured home industry professionals,

affordable housing advocates,

investors,

public officials,

and others.

JULY 26, 2018

 

TO: MHARR MANUFACTURERS

MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

FROM: MARK WEISS

RE: MHARR MEETING WITH HUD ASSISTANT SECRETARY BRIAN MONTGOMERY_____________________________________________

A delegation of MHARR officials, including MHARR Chairman, James Shea, Jr., MHARR Immediate-Past Chairman, John Bostick, MHARR President Mark Weiss and MHARR Senior Advisor, Danny D. Ghorbani, met on July 25, 2018 with HUD Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery, the highest-ranking political appointee with direct oversight of the HUD manufactured housing program, to address issues concerning the both the program and the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Title I manufactured housing loan insurance program. Scheduled shortly after Commissioner Montgomery was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the meeting represents a continuation of MHARR’s direct interaction with Trump Administration officials at HUD and others agencies concerning both the federal manufactured housing program and federal financing support for affordable manufactured homes, including meetings with HUD Secretary Ben Carson and HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Dana Wade, and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director Melvin Watt, among others.

The main purpose of the meeting with Commissioner Montgomery who, while holding the same position in the Administration of President George W. Bush, was instrumental in establishing the statutory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) and securing major achievements in the implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, was to address key aspects of the ongoing manufactured housing program review and reform process initiated by President Trump and Secretary Carson, with a view toward putting the federal program back on track, in full compliance with all elements of the 2000 reform law.

Consequently, among other topics, the meeting addressed: (1) the status of the appointed manufactured housing program administrator mandated by the 2000 reform law; (2) the status of the pending “top-to-bottom” manufactured housing program regulatory review pursuant to Trump Administration Executive Orders (EOs) 13771 and 13777; (3) the status of the program monitoring contract, which is slated to expire in August 2018, the urgent need for a fully-competitive contracting process after more than 40 years of de facto sole-source monitoring procurements, and the selection of a new program “monitoring” contractor; (4) the necessity of retaining state participation in the HUD program and proper funding for State Administrative Agencies (SAAs); and (5) the restoration of collective industry representation on the MHCC. In addition, the MHARR delegation urged Commissioner Montgomery to consider reforms at the Federal Housing Administration and the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), to expand the utilization of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program and the availability of insured manufactured home chattel loans under that program, particularly in light of the highly-restricted implementation of the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” with respect to manufactured home chattel loans by FHFA and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In particular, the MHARR delegation focused on harm to consumers and the industry resulting from unjustified, unwarranted, and/or misdirected HUD regulations (or pseudo-regulations), citing, as an example, HUD’s excessively costly and needlessly burdensome 2016 “on-site” construction rule, which, rather than reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of on-site work and related approvals, has instead led to a decline in on-site completions and features requiring on-site completion, which has unnecessarily harmed the HUD Code market and unnecessarily denied consumers various on-site features that they seek in HUD Code homes. The MHARR delegation thus urged Assistant Secretary Montgomery to continue with – and aggressively implement and advance – the EO 13771/13777 regulatory reform process within the federal program that was initially spearheaded by Deputy Assistant Secretary Wade. And, in fact, it appears from responses at the meeting, that aspects of the Department’s regulatory reform process will be presented to – and considered by – the MHCC at a meeting currently expected to be held (but not yet formally announced in the Federal Register) on September 11-13, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The MHARR delegation also addressed the decline – under the former federal program administrator — in the federal-state partnership that lies at the core of the HUD program and its proper operation. Noting that state SAAs and state Primary Inspection Agencies (PIAs) had been tasked with numerous additional functions by HUD under its change to the “focus” of program inspections and monitoring, from the detection of specific standards violations to a new alleged emphasis on “quality control” and, worst of all, new unwarranted and baseless demands on long-standing and fully-compliant state installation programs – all without any corresponding rulemaking or regulatory process – MHARR pointed out that to date, there has been no corresponding increase in the compensation of such state agencies, leading some to either withdraw from the program or consider withdrawing. This, in turn, increases the power and influence of the entrenched monitoring contractor (and program installation contractor) – which assumes those expanded regulatory roles in “default” states, without the accountability, responsibility and responsiveness of the former state government entities. Meanwhile, a proposal to increase state SAA funding, recommended by the MHCC and published for notice and comment in 2016, needlessly remains in limbo, some two years after-the-fact. The MHARR delegation, accordingly, urged Commissioner Montgomery to address this matter as a priority issue for the program.

In addition, the MHARR delegation encouraged Commissioner Montgomery, as Federal Housing Commissioner, to explore the re-vitalization and expansion of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program which, after being a significant source of consumer financing for HUD Code homes in the past, has declined drastically, to minimal activity levels in recent years. Such a revitalization and expansion in FHA Title I support for manufactured home financing is particularly crucial in light of the minimal and long-delayed “implementation” of the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their federal regulator, FHFA, and their failure to establish – any time soon – market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, which comprise upwards of 80% of all manufactured home consumer loans.

In particular, MHARR noted that the “10-10” net worth and reserve rule implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae) for FHA Title I financial institutions has severely and unjustifiably limited lender participation in the Title I program to just two approved lenders, both of which are finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerate. As a result, for far too many Americans, the inherently affordable home ownership offered by today’s manufactured homes, is simply not available – contrary to HUD and FHA’s fundamental mission — due to the lack of available, accessible, competitive financing. Consequently, as MHARR stressed, in addition to the reform of its regulatory activities, HUD should also re-examine and reform its financing-related programs for manufactured housing.

MHARR, as it has since the inauguration of President Trump – in all forms of direct and formal interaction with relevant officials — will continue to press the case for HUD Code manufactured housing, for increased governmental support for manufactured home consumer financing, in full accordance with all applicable laws, and for fundamental regulatory reform within the federal manufactured housing program in full compliance with the 2000 reform law, including proper program leadership in the person of an administrator appointed in accordance with the 2000 reform law.

cc: Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members

 

About MHARR

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

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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:

“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

Manufactured Housing Program Review Addressed by HUD Secretary Carson during Oversight Hearing

 

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

 

Realtor University, Journal for the Center of Real Estate Studies, Makes Corrections– “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” by Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE

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

 

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

“Market for Manufactured Homes,” Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, for Realtor University, Analysis and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

July 18th, 2018 Comments off
MarketforManufacturedHomesScolasticaGayCoronatonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoAnalysisDailyBuisnessNewMHProNewsLogo

Collage above is from Realtor University ®, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) logo, and designed by MHProNews, with images shown under fair use guidelines.

Compared with the unregulated mobile/trailer homes of the past, the manufactured homes built after 1976 have a higher level of safety, durability, and quality, and the small fraction of homes damaged during hurricanes attests to their safety and durability. New design features and multi-section homes are increasingly giving them the look of traditional site-built homes. These safety standards and improved features should lead to the increasing acceptance of manufactured homes as a safe, durable, and affordable type of housing.”

–   Scholastica D. Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE), National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).

 

Scholastica “Gay” D. Cororaton, CBE, took a statistical dive into the manufactured housing industry in a report published in the National Association of Realtors ® (NAR) related Realtor University ® Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies publication for May 2018.

ScholasticaGayDCororatonDBEResearchEconomistNationalAssociationRealtorsWashDCManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews507

Composite information from LinkedIn.

Manufactured housing is an affordable housing option, especially among lower income groups. Households who obtain chattel financing for mobile/manufactured homes and who rent the land will tend to spend less on housing expenses (mortgage, interest, mortgage insurance, taxes, land rent) compared to households who obtain mortgage financing for the mobile/manufactured home and the land, even if chattel financing (interest) costs are higher (because the loan value is higher in the latter). However, if the house-hold already owns the land, then mortgage financing for the manufactured home only is less costly than obtaining chattel financing. However, taking account of both the appreciation in the value of the land and the cost savings, households who lease the land will likely accumulate less wealth compared with households who own the land.”

As the above pull-quotes reflect, The Market for Manufactured Homes,” is a arguably a good reflection on Cororaton, the NAR and in many respects for manufactured housing too.

She told the Daily Business News on MHProNews yesterday that this was her first serious foray into the world of manufactured housing.

Most of her nomenclature was well done, which sadly can’t be routinely said about much of the mainstream media, or other researchers.  Overall, she produced a largely positive, useful document.

That said, there are some errors, which we will explore.

 

The Review Plan

First in reviewing NAR’s “The Market for Manufactured Homes,“ this analysis notes the largely-solid information from Cororaton’s research.  There are potentially some areas that one might discuss the why, behind the what, which will be addressed briefly further below.  But in fairness to Cororaton, that could be viewed by NAR as going beyond a strictly data-driven report.

That said, this review will spend significant digital ink looking at a few data and graphical points that were errant, and how that came to be.

Why?

ManufacturedHousingHomesSingleDoubleMultisectionAveragePricesComparedConventionalHomesSizeCostPersqFt2016NationalAssocRealtorsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

From Scholastica D. Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE), research for National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).  Solid, useful data is shown above.

The purpose for correcting-the-record is to support the accuracy about the bulk of her data for manufactured housing, pure and simple. It is not to undermine her largely valuable work.

Accuracy matters, a point which Cororaton gracefully agreed to by email and telephone yesterday.

ManufacturedHomeShipmentsbyState2016NARscholasticaGayCororatonDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers on affordable, quality, manufactured homes. 

As prominent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member Frank Rolfe told MHProNews last year, the manufactured home (MH) industry is in serious need of accurate information.

Lenders, investors, and reporters are all looking for accurate information, said Rolfe (note: that same point is true for affordable housing advocates, public officials, and obviously home seekers). Rolfe’s comments were part of a conversation separate but related conversation to the report featuring him and others connected with MHI, found at this link here.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The NAR research could have benefited from some visuals of modern manufactured homes. That said, the thrust of the research is useful.  The above is provided by MHProNews, and wasn’t part of the NAR research. 

 

AveragePriceNewManufacturedHomesOctober2017NationalAssocRealtorsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

Accuracy, Accountability and The MHI Connection

Before taking a brief look at the important NAR research on manufactured housing, some background is useful.

Two Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff members, plus an MHI paid consultant, were identified by NAR’s Cororaton report as having provided her data, as well as for reviewing early drafts of the information Realtor University ® published.

“…Jenny Hodge, Vice President Research & Market Analysis, Kara Beigay, Senior Director of Government Affairs, and Marc Lifset, Consultant, of the Manufactured Housing Institute for their invaluable comments on the earlier draft and industry insights,” said Cororaton‘s acknowledgment footnote.

All three MHI team members were electronically contacted by MHProNews to check to see if they had noticed any factual errors. MHI’s current and prior chairman were also CC’d.

MediaHouseholdInocome2016ByTypeTenureInThousandsManufacturedHomeConventinalRentingDaillyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The previously responsive MHI – which for years gave timely replies to MHProNews – did not respond to our inquiries on this issue.

By contrast, NAR’s Cororaton was prompt in her reply, and open to an immediate discussion of any concerns about factual errors.

What’s fascinating is that as of this date and time, this largely useful report is entirely absent from a Google search result for “The Market for Manufactured Homes,“ and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  Nor is it apparently on the MHI research page of their website.

Why not?

2018-07-18_1429MarketForManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHPronews598

Further, why has there been no effort by MHI to promote a largely useful third party NAR report?

That absence, and the NAR reported absence of any follow up by MHI to have the glitches corrected, are both revealing.  They beg questions like these:

–   Did MHI review the work they participated in, once it was published by Realtor University®?

–   Since MHI staff and their consultant reportedly reviewed the draft, was there no one among them who found these errors?

–   If MHI reviewed and found the errors noted, why did they not contact Cororaton, and ask her to effect corrections?

–   Since the bulk of Cororaton‘s NAR research is useful, why hasn’t MHI put out press releases, or other media outreaches, to promote this information? Especially since it could arguably win over converts to manufactured housing? See the dearth of references from Google on this topic, in the screen capture, above.

–   Perhaps as important, why hasn’t MHI done a similar level of scholarly research, or commission truly useful third-party research?

For an association – MHI – that claims to represent ‘all aspects of factory-built housing,’ how is it that they routinely fail to properly protect and promote the industry?

LowerMonthlyCostManufacturedHomesConventinoalHouseRentalHousing2016narRealtorUDaiyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers.

After some years of internal and external pressure on MHI, in fairness, they have produced a few articles, controversial advertorials, and arguably meh videos.  But these have gone largely unused, seem to be ineffective – based upon shipment data – and often contradict known facts – or even other MHI ‘data,’ as MHProNews has previously documented.

That debatable point brings serious minds back to the point Rolfe raised.  Namely, that the HUD Code manufactured home industry needs dependable information.

LowerMonthlyPercentCostManufacturedHomesConventinoalHouseRentalHousing2016narRealtorUDaiyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The bulk of Rscholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers.

 

Cororaton and the NAR Research

The impression from the NAR economist was that she understood the concerns MHProNews raised, and that they would be addressed.

Rephrased, Cororaton was professional, and appeared to be sincerely interested in better understanding the reality of manufactured housing (MH).  She said she wants to get the facts about the MH industry’s stated accurately.

The impression from Cororaton was that no one from MHI had contacted her with any factual concerns.

As noted, her report clearly says she valued the 3 MHI team member’s input, and she holds only herself responsible for any factual errors. Classy, and that’s the mature, educated, and professional posture.

  • That said, why doesn’t MHI have a similar attitude about accountability and accuracy? 
  • Why have they for some two years, failed to take ownership of demonstrable failures and fact errors, and make their own corrections? 
  • Why have they failed to engage with this pro-industry trade media?

It’s the failures of MHI, which reportedly led 2 state associations to leave their membership, and more recently, to start their own national association.

OddsofLivingInMobileManufacturedHOmesByRegionNARDataScholasticaCororatonDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

The Specific Concerns

The first error in the NAR report is relatively minor, which Cororaton quickly acknowledged.

The date that the manufactured housing industry’s standards went into effect is June 15, 1976. Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) confirmed that date for the NAR economist, and cited relevant part of the law.

Quoting Weiss’ message to Cororaton:

MarkWeissMHARRPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsScholastica:

Regarding the below, thank you for your interest in manufactured housing, although I must concur with trade publisher Tony Kovach’s initial point.  Specifically, per 24 CFR 3282.1(a), the effective date of the federal (HUD) manufactured housing standards was June 15, 1976, not June 16, as stated in your article…”

Cororaton was but a day off on the start-date for manufactured housing. Not a huge issue, but facts are facts.  Accuracy on details arguably undergirds the rest of a document’s research. She was matter of fact, concurred, and thankful for the correction.

Another issue in her report – and a more serious one – was the graphic and related data below.

MarketforManufacturedHomesScolasticaGayCoronatonManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBuisnessNewMHPronews

It is the first map in the NAR report, and thus, significant in that it can set the tone for the accuracy of the rest of her research. The first clue was Hawaii, which caused a deeper look at the rest of their data.

The Realtor University ® data indicated that several states have a larger percentage of manufactured homes than they actually do.

2014ManufacturedHousingIndustryWhitePaperDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndsstryResearchDataReportsMHProNews

That stands in contrast to the CFPB’s white paper, which is a document that was a resource for the NAR report. MHI’s consultant, Marc Lifeset, certainly is familiar with that CFPB white paper, because he’s previously told MHProNews as much.  No doubt others at MHI know the CFPB white paper too.

This percentage of homes error by state error is a more serious oversight, as public officials and others from or familiar with those states are likely to notice those factual glitches.

Why didn’t MHI notice these apparent factual errors?

 

Vital – 5 out of 5 Stars in Importance – Related Discussion for Manufactured Housing

Among the most important items discussed with Cororaton during a 90 minute call was the following. It relates to the discussion of the factors that cause appreciation and depreciation of any housing, including manufactured homes.

This NAR economist and this writer walked through what are the factors that cause appreciation and depreciation in all housing, including conventional homes or manufactured homes. We agreed upon the following (not in a specific order of improtance):

–   Location,

–   Condition of the home,

–   Local economy (jobs, opportunities),

–   Supply and Demand, and

–   Availability of financing.

Because financing is an ongoing issue for manufactured housing, the support for resale values – especially for resales in land-lease – are not as robust as they are for homes on privately owned land.

Cororaton agreed that the contraction of financing options caused conventional housing values to crash in the 2008-2009 mortgage/housing crisis. As lending began to return, conventional housing resale values rose.

When that same principle is applied to manufactured housing, one of the key reasons why manufactured homes don’t always appreciate the same as conventional housing comes into greater focus.

Conventional housing can be purchased and financed long term far more readily than manufactured homes. That’s true, even for conventional housing on a land-lease, in states like Maryland, Hawaii, and in parts of the Chicago metro, among others. Long-term mortgage financing has been done on land-lease too, for manufactured homes.  But its not something that MHI has actively pursued for years, per several sources.  Why?

In practice, it’s been well over a decades since an MHI task force dove into mortgages on land-lease.  The tests, per sources, were successful.  So why was there no robust follow up?

It is an advantage for manufactured housing to have both chattel (home only, personal property) lending options, and to also have mortgage options that operate at parity with conventional housing.

This is a crucial topic to home buyers and sellers, yet it goes largely unmentioned in MHVille trade media, save here on MHProNews.  It’s the kind of topic that a truly growth-oriented, post-production association should be promoting.

So why isn’t MHI pursuing it?

Could it be because MHI’s top two lenders – 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) – are both Berkshire Hathaway owned?  And wouldn‘t more real estate type financing potentially impact a profit-center that Warren Buffett has often bragged about in his annual letter to shareholders, and touted elsewhere too?  See related linked reports, at the end of this post for more details.

MonthlyPaymentEquityGainManufacturedHomesComparedNewSingleFamilySigeBuiltHomesNARScholasticaCororatonDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The discussion of appreciation and related with manufactured homes must be seen through the prism of more access to FHA, VA, USDA (Rural Housing), GSE and other lending. See discussion, above.  An important takeaway is that manufactured homes can and do appreciate, as other research has also demonstrated.

 

Part One – the Bottom Lines

Gay Cororaton did an overall fine, professional report that was data focused.  She explained that the point discussed above about financing access and resale values was not part of the scope of her initial data-based report. That’s understandable.

Cororaton indicated that she would see what could be done to correct the fact errors, and that she plans to revisit manufactured housing in her blog posts.

The National Association or Realtors ® (NAR) dwarfs MHI, and the entire manufactured housing industry in size and scope. That said, there is much that the MH Industry could learn from NAR.

As thousands of daily, long-time, detail-oriented industry readers of MHProNews know, this publication routinely cites NAR for their valuable research.

We specifically cite Dr. Lawrence Yun, PhD, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President. He’s arguably an accuracy and analysis rock star.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

The hope should be that NAR’s and Cororaton’s anticipated revised work on manufactured housing provide fuel for more evidence-based interest, investments, and embracing of the manufactured housing solution to the affordable housing crisis. Manufactured homes are a solution that’s been hiding in plain sight, a mantra started on MHLivingNews, and since picked up by others in and out of the MH industry.

Further, perhaps the NAR research will inspire in Arlington, VA a desire for greater accuracy, accountability, and willingness to correct errors.

As almost every industry veteran can confirm, when someone ‘stumbles upon’ the truth of manufactured housing – vs. the myths and misconceptions – professionals and the home buying public alike are impressed with the value found in modern HUD Code manufactured homes.

The path to growing the industry to a potential of some 500,000 to 1,000,000 (+/-) or more new HUD Code manufactured homes a year must include fact-reason-and-evidence based education.

MHI, and all others, are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. On that point, Rolfe is right. Accurate facts, defense, and proper engagement of the industry with the mainstream media and researchers very much matters.

Cororaton’s full report by NAR is found linked here, beginning on page 48 to page 78.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images are and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related References:

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

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

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

Updated, added related resource:

John Wake, FSBOs, Forbes, Real Estate Decoded, Mobile Homes or Manufactured Housing Resales

 

Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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