Posts Tagged ‘Marty Lavin’

MHVillage Confirms Data, and Michigan Operational Slide Revealed

June 22nd, 2018 Comments off


In a message forwarded to the Daily Business News, MHVillage (MHV) confirmed troubling data that has been presented in person to dozens of gathered industry professionals.

DarrenKroloweskiMHVillageCoPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronewsThe factoids were shared by MHVillage’s Co-President, Darren Krolewski, using a positive-spin narrative.

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, MHVillage Inc. is the nation’s premier online marketplace for buying and selling manufactured homes with more than 25 million unique visitors annually. Last year, more than 80,000 homes were sold on MHVillage with a combined transaction value exceeding $3 billion,” said their promotion of a George Allen event.

Accepting their data claims at face value, the numbers on the surface appear impressive, which is their obvious intent.  They’re claiming they are the “premier marketplace.”

But when the MHVillage data is viewed more closely, what they reveal ought to be troubling to marketers and sellers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

The ratio of sales of homes on their site is a tiny fraction of a single percent.

Specifically, using MHV published 2017 data,

  • it is only about 1/3 of 1 percent of all visitors to their site ends up buying a manufactured home, so,
  • the average sales price of the home listed and sold there would be $37,500.
  • Considering the U.S. Census Bureau said that the average sales price of a new manufactured home was $72,900 in Dec 2017,
  • meaning the average HUD Code manufactured housing unit sold there would be 51.44% – roughly half the value – of the average new manufactured home shipped in December 2017.



More Woes? Michigan Data Reveals Shipment Slide

According to the April 2018 shipment data supplied by a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) source, Michigan – one of the top 10 states per Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) data – is sliding.


Several questions about the decline and related were posed to the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association’s executive director, over the course of a few days.  Neither Bill Shaefer, nor the association, opted to answer.

What’s going on?  It’s part of a previously reported trend, which can be read in the linked article below after this column is finished.

While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

Krolewski is on record sharing this view, “I think one of the challenges we have as an industry is that there is not enough positive news about manufactured housing to counter the negative.


It’s a reality check, not a slam to do the math. If MHV is the industry’s “premier marketplace,” then the industry’s image woes are center stage, and Krolewski’s own statement explains why.


Bob Crawford, left, Frank Rolfe, right. Still credit, Inside MH video, by

For years, we have wondered WHY there was so little pro-industry advocacy from MHI to government movements, proposals, rules, etc. that were [often] not in the best interest of this industry,” said Bob Crawford, president of historic Dick Moore Housing, a BBB A+ rated firm.

On the MHU blog, Frank Rolfe has said, MHI – the industry lobby group…what’s with the concept of silence is golden? Negative articles on the industry are met with “no comment”. Positive news opportunities are met with “no comment”. 
I’ve never seen anything like it
.” 1

Krolewski has said at one point that the industry would be getting support from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on image building and messaging.  In fact, MHI has an active social media campaign, and reportedly one or two public relations people on staff, and has contracted others at times too.

That being so, where are their measurable results?


MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe industry is slowly crawling back from the bottom hit in 2009/2010. Aren’t new manufactured home sales the final metric that matters?  Isn’t that how the National Association of Home Builders ™ (NAHB), or the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR) are measuring results?  Don’t sellers see want to know how many housing starts, and how many actual conventional housing unit sales?

We always hear about the tornadoes, flooding, fires, residents getting evicted from their homes so a shopping center can be built, unreasonable rent increases, how manufactured homes depreciate in value, etc,” Krolewski has said. “I think it’s less about the industry not responding appropriately, than it is us constantly having to play defense when we do.”

And all of this from the publisher of the MHInsider?

Rolfe has said, “…it’s my belief that the only way to elevate the public opinion of our industry is to explain to people (who are often full of negative stereotypes from such movies as 8-Mile and television shows like COPS and Trailer Park Boys) the truth about our product and business model.”


Kurt Kelley. Credit: MHProNews.

Kurt Kelley, JD – a colleague of Rolfe’s in the MHR project – pointed out that: “My Dad used to tell me, ‘Perception is the reality of others. So you better make sure you are perceived accurately and positively.’ If you let others define you, you’re stuck with their definition of you.”

Historically,” Kelley said, “the MH industry has been defined by the lowest common denominator, and not by the great value offered by our homes or the excellent living choice MHC’s offer across the country. A recent poll showed that 85% of all Republicans and 60% of all Democrats didn’t trust the media. You can fight back successfully.”

Editorially, we note that Kelly’s point is precisely what MHLivingNews and MHProNews has done, fight back with facts.

So why did MHI, while this operation was still their member, undermine and allegedly attempt to derail our pro-growth industry efforts?  One of hundreds of examples can be found at the link below.


Readers can circle back and check out the article below, which points to facts useful for the manufactured home industry.

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist,” the late, great Zig Ziglar said.

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism,” said the inspirational minister, author, and speaker, the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, according to BrainyQuotes.

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things,” said Winston Churchill, per the New Statesman.


Critiques, fact checks, aren’t personal. Rather, they are a professional necessity.

Frank Rolfe, Marty Lavin, Bob Crawford, L. A. “Tony” Kovach and others are among those that have recognized that the industry’s post-production sector – specifically Arlington, VA based MHI – has failed to deliver on image building.

The result?  Historically low sales levels, which have contributed to industry consolidations.


What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

Having identified the problems, the next step must be to move toward solutions.

The communities sector, after breaking last year with MHI, is launching their own post-production national association.

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

What about those in retail, installation, lending, suppliers, and services, etc.? To learn more, see the related articles, linked below. ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Footnote: 1) Typo in the original.  In fairness to Rolfe, in England, quotes are placed as he used it, inside the punctuation mark.

Related Reports:

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room


George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions


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

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

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

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

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

Different Kind of Community Closure, Continues Grabbing Headlines in Mainstream News

June 18th, 2018 Comments off

DifferentKindofCommunityClosureContinuesGrabbingHeadlinesMainsreamNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHPronewsDon’t pretend that this isn’t happening, folks,” said receiver Mark Adams, addressing a gathering of the remaining residents of the Loyalton Mobile Estates, per KOLOTV. I’m sympathetic. I understand this is where you’ve been living, but it is what it is and it is happening.”

That was several months ago, and the community is now vacant.

Debris marks some of the sites where homes once stood for years.

The sad end of Loyalton Mobile Estates is one of those stories that finds its way into the mainstream media, and is revisited time and again. The scenario in Loyalton, while it has some less common wrinkles, can go on for several years.



Industry professionals can point to the fact that aging apartment complexes or even single-family housing neighborhoods can also come to controversial or gloomy endings. Stories of block after block of bulldozed houses in Detroit, post 2008, can serve to make that point.

But the tale of Loyalton has little or no visible MH advocate pushing back, as the current and prior video reports below reflect.

Like it or not, part of the reason manufactured home living has an image issue is tied to the issue of community closures. The challenge for manufactured housing (MH) industry professionals who want to sell more homes is that people don’t have as much skepticism when it comes to apartments, or single family housing, as they do toward MH. 


That’s not mere opinion, because research such as housing super-site Zillow, which shows that manufactured homes are often at the lowest percentage of options being considered by housing seekers.  Rephrased, retailers and communities alike are impacted, and that means that producers, lenders, and all others in the industry are too.

Fact-based and troubling tales such as Loyalton Mobile Estates are part of the reason why.  It’s a challenge that arguably can and is being navigated by some, at their local level.  But such issues can’t just be ignored by those who want to see the industry return to its glory days, and to achieve its new potential.


What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.  But that won’t happen by ignoring the factors that hamstring the industry’s full recovery. 


The Latest from Loyalton


News tip? Click the image above or

Seven months after they were evicted from their homes on short notice, the former residents of a Loyalton mobile home park have difficulty moving on, and their former neighborhood still troubles the community,” said KOLOTV.

Sierra Booster and other local media accounts indicate the owner of the property had abandoned the community, apparently after a failed attempt to sell it.

LoopNet lists the now-vacant 10.37 acres of land for sale at $425,000.  The property once had 51 home sites. For those who’ve spent years looking at manufactured home communities of all kinds, this certainly didn’t appear to be one of the worst.

Public officials have indicated a willingness to consider new manufactured homes on this same site.


There’s a huge back tax liability owed the County [on Loyalton Mobile Estates] and a $200,000 water and sewer bill owed the City of Loyalton,” per Sierra Booster. KOLOTV stated that the back-tax bill was some $300,000.

Naturally, other expenses had been paid by the receiver.  That includes relocation of some of the residents, along with clean up, plus other costs. While stories like this are a tiny sliver of most manufactured home land-lease communities, it leaves the impression that ROC USA President Paul Bradley described as that 1 in 100 chance of being eaten by a lion.


That fuels the stigma noted in a pro-MH column by Californian Jonathan Lansner.  Insights on Lansner’s push are found in the CA related story, linked below.

Ease Shortage with 400,000 More Manufactured Homes for California, says Jonathan Lansner, MHI’s Next CEO?


MHVillage and Loyalton Mobile Estates

Google still has roughly a decade old street view images from Loyalton Mobile Estates, so perhaps it is no surprise that MHVillage still lists the location as an MH community.


Such stories are not fun to report.  But this the type of issue that the industry’s marketing and sales professionals particularly face the consequences of, as reflected by low conversion ratios.


Their data and statistics are alarming, but they are also an opportunity in disguise. They point to the absolute need for the correct type of education.  This shouldn’t be construed as a put-down on MHVillage, but rather as a reality check for the industry.  Ignoring such issues doesn’t help the industry break out, and reach its potential.

It is part of the background noise that consumers who are shopping online for a manufactured home, and how check news reports, will stumble upon.

Does it help explain why MHVillage’s statistics reflect such a low conversion ratio?  It’s an example of what industry veteran Marty Lavin has called “the other image campaign.”

These are difficult realities, but they are also opportunities in disguise for forward thinkers who don’t ignore the problem, but rather face it head-on,” said consultant and publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

These are the kinds of controversial challenges that perhaps the newly forming national community association may consider tackling.  See the related reports to learn more. (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

Hundreds of New Manufactured Home Communities Opened, But How Many Have Closed? Industry Research Result$

Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Developers Face Disruptive, Troubling Trend

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


NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

5 Steps for Making Lemonade from Lemons, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting



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

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

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

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

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


George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

June 6th, 2018 Comments off


Finally, in 2018, a rallying cry, an apt theme, a worthy goal, for the manufactured housing industry! Here it is: Make Manufactured Housing Great Again!”

So said Vietnam veteran, MH Industry blogger, and retired Marine Lt. Col. George F. Allen, on 6.4.2018.

Perhaps he’s forgetting that ‘his’ theme was a headline and featured image he and a number of his readers likely saw here on the Daily Business News approaching two years ago. Note the date on the screen capture.


It should be noted that the Daily Buisness News periodically references this article, and the featured image has been shown several times since it was first published. Thus, Allen has likely picked up that Make Manufactured Housing Great Again phrase right here.



As an upcoming MHProNews report will demonstrate, there are:

  • multi-billion-dollars-a-year in missed new manufactured home sales opportunities,
  • as well as ethical reasons

why Allen’s recent blog-post is worthy of a few minutes consideration.

While some of what Allen wrote will debatably be shown as problematic, plagiaristic, etc., there are also a range of useful, timely, and important issues he has once again brought to light.

So, a careful reading of each part of this analysis is warranted. If you’re in a hurry, let’s politely suggest that you read this later, as a skim will likely cause misreading of this report.

Because even though he’s arguably ‘stepped in it’ here or there, the moving-toward-retirement Allen has provided a fresh glimpse at important issues. Thus, we’ll correct-the-record in the fisking of his post where needed, but the focus will be why his latest topic matters, though perhaps not always as he intended.

This analysis will also point out Allen’s reply to the controversy which erupted after mainstream media reporter Tyler Jett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press quoted Allen, and his COBA7/SECO buddy, Spencer Roane, defended embattled SECO board member, Thomas Lackey.

Lackey’s community business stands accused by several consumers, media, plus local officials, of allegedly “selling” homes “contract for title” that he did not own.

So, top to bottom, this will be a careful fact check, and analysis of issues that Allen raised and purports to address.

As Allen and Roane get stage-time, promotion, and support from some state associations, plus an industry museum, this analysis will be important for more than land-lease community operators.  Allen and Company’s actions impact retailers, producers, associations, and thus all sectors in manufactured housing.

Each section of this analysis relates to the ethics, image, and profit issue raised in the report linked below.

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

With that prolouge, let’s follow several more lines from Allen’s latest missive.


“Yes, You’re…Right!” Says Allen

 Continuing that ‘borrowed’ theme of “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again,” publisher and COBA7 leader Allen said this.

Yes, you’re reading that right! It ‘says it all’,” opined Allen, “hinting at our turn of the century loss of easy access to chattel capital, to the reality that quality, energy efficient, attractive HUD-Code manufactured housing can be, & is, the practical answer to the ‘affordable housing’ crisis!”

There too, Allen borrows a theme from another article first published by MHLivingNews years ago.  The linked articles can be accessed later, and are provided to document facts Allen neglected, or are otherwise related.

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

The refrain of “manufactured housing as the solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight” is one which several mainstream media outlets have since picked up, using it in a positive way.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

Editorially, we note that even when MHProNews dives into a seemingly negative issue, it is with the intent to heal, not harm.  Borrowing a principle from my better half’s profession, an untreated disease can kill a person.  A proverbial cancer in a business can kill a firm too.  Or if the plague spreads extensively enough, ‘cancer’ can be the death of a marginal or vulnerable industry.  The proper response to phyiscal or professional illness isn’t turning a blind eye, but rather, to treat the causes of the issue.

Next comes Allen’s literal punch line, allegedly aimed at this publication.

Plus, is the manufactured housing trade press up to the task of promoting this end, or still mired in backstabbing & innuendo?”

George, we’re not only “up for that challenge,” we’re happy to stand on our record of doing positive promotion and problem solving, not just talking about it.

As the above links demonstrated, it’s Allen who provided a selfy-style photo fit to sit next to the textbook definition of Chutzpah.


Some of Allen’s followers have periodically forwarded examples of his alleged “back stabbing,” so the quoted phrase arguably are more posturing for his audience than an actual challenge.

But for the second week in a row, what his opinion piece never does is directly address the serious allegations of wrongdoing raised by the Times Free Press, or the Daily Business News.   What’s George’s Answer to the Times Free Press, and other allegations? 

Allen’s answer is no answer.  Instead, he arguably practices the Ds of duck, dodge, detract, distract, and defame.

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

The absence of any denials or correction from Allen leaves him reduced to name calling, finger pointing at others, and a series of interesting distractions. Said themes are perhaps an attempt to take his readers minds off the woes Allen, Roane, and Lackey have voluntarily stepped into, see the above linked article for more details.


Chutzpah and Hypocrisy or MAGA on Display? Decoding Allen 

The above is arguably vintage Allen, according to veteran “Allen decoders,” which includes readers of his who are readers here. It’s his own readers who tipped us about some of his recent emailed messages, and posts.

Allen has “the chutzpah” to misappropriate themes first published by each of our trade media sites, while attempting to point fingers? Was that something he learned or taught in one of the Bible lessons he’s been known to share? If so, Oy-vez! 

But in fairness, again, besides metaphorically inedible chaff (e.g.: some of his quotes above), Allen provides some fine wheat too, which will be examined further below. Both the chaff and the wheat are useful to understand, because he’s public.

He, Roane, and Lackey are part of the forging of the problematic image of our largely noble industry.

So, let’s dig deeper into the thoughts of Allen, an RV MH Hall of Fame inductee.


Allen’s Bold Red Herrings…

The timing of Allen’s chest-thumping and finger-pointing are both noteworthy. He admits in his own post that his star has been sinking, because he admits to declining attendance at his round-table, and in his readership.

While admitting declines, he then lashes out with verbal challenges he posed to his long-time peers, and supporters. On several levels, they are stunning. 

Seemingly ignoring any suggestion that his or SECO’s Spencer Roane protection of scandal-challenged Tom Lackey – spotlighted by a mainstream media reporter Tyler Jett – was in any way flawed, he ignores those scandals and controversies, while lashing out at his peers and followers.

Allen – who his friends remind this writer knows and likes magic tricks – arguably attempts a series of verbal slights-of-hand.


Allen Lashes Out At Land Lease Community Owners, and Other Operations

Paraphrasing an unnamed source, Allen said:

I cringe every time I hear someone talk of these [land lease manufactured home] communities as being ‘cash cows’ – ready for the milking; real estate brokers casually talk of how easy it is to upgrade; and, others advocate ‘fix & flip’ strategies. Every time someone overpays for one of these communities, the writing is on the wall, warning the rest of us will suffer the consequences.”

While there are elements of tasteless wheat present in that quote, how many of his followers realize that it’s Allen, Roane, and Lackey who are putting the reputation of good communities or honest retailers at risk?

Haven’t the apparently unrepentant trio made themselves the poster children for yet another series of problematic reports that make our industry look bad? Haven’t they done so at the precise time manufactured homes (MH) are needed by millions?

Chutzpah firmly in hand, Allen plows ahead.

Your experience with neighboring communities that went downhill, reputation and appearance-wise, during 30 years of passing from one owner to another, is a sad but accurate testament to what happens when owners/operators don’t understand the cost of maintaining, let alone upgrading such properties; don’t have the funds to do so; or just don’t care,” the reportedly now-former MH Community owner Allen wrote.



Isn’t Allen describing the kind of problematic property that Tom Lackey is accused of running? If so, why isn’t he just calling him out, and calling for his ouster from the SECO planning committee? Why are MHInsider, and MHR promting this trio of trouble?

Allen continues, “There’s nary a land lease community owner reading these words who hasn’t experienced similar scenarios, whether they’ve suffered the consequences of being a neighbor to such malaise or profiteering – or, sorry to say, are guilty of it themselves! Yes, this is where the image improvement, affordable housing, and desirable lifestyle cycle begins and ends. Where do your properties fit into this perennial cycle?”

So, what are you doing; what are you willing to do, as a land lease community owner, to MAKE MANUFACTURED HOUSING GREAT AGAIN!?” said Allen.

Doesn’t he boldly ignore his, Roane’s, and Lackey’s hypocrisy? Isn’t the retired colonel finger-pointing in almost every direction – save the face in his mirror – odd, given he fails to hold himself or his colleagues to similar ethical standards?

Can you spell “Chutzpah,” George?  Are you colonel up to the challenge of debating all of this publicly, on video?


Here Comes Red Meat. Allen’s Shots at MHI, and a Swing-and-a-Miss at MHARR

In addressing the issue raised by MHARR about the lack of an effective post-production sector association, Allen says the following.

For example; it’s a given, HUD-Code housing manufacturers, the Big Three C firms in particular – who controlling 70%+/- national market share, are in the driver’s seat at the Manufactured Housing Institute they fund.”

On technical points, the soon—to-be-retiring Allen may not have noticed that the Skyline Champion deal closed Monday, so it’s no longer the 3Cs.

Skyline Champion Corporation Created as Skyline and Champion Home Builders Announce Closing of Business Combination, Exclusive Details

Nor did he notice the graphic below, which based upon their respective corporate data, reflects the fact that the big three now have 80 (+/-) percent of new HUD Code manufactured home production market share.


Allen’s points are interesting, and in a few moments, it will point to the challenge revealed in the trend spotlighted in the MHProNews graphic, above.

Factual errors aside, Allen’s next point is wheat.

Weak Link? The post-production sector,” wrote Allen – with post-production sector = code words for MHI. “In fairness, this industry observer can only opine on one of several sectors, that comprised of land lease community owners/operators nationwide. And yes, in my opinion, that sector continues to ‘go begging’ for attention and support, via advocacy and representation, within and outside Washington, DC. Not much [to] point [to] here, to repeat the ills and shortfalls of [MHI/NCC] leadership to date…”

What’s interesting, is that Allen has privately and in writing admitted his COBA7 isn’t an association, and doesn’t do the work of an association.


From a prior George Allen blog post.  The insights above are one of several reasons one can’t ignore the man, because he does make some arguably valid points – the wheat must be separated from the chaff.

The following is an extended, and interesting, extended quote from his June 4, 2018 blog. Typos are in the original (disclaimer/note: in our blizzard of publishing and other industry related work, we have typos too).

Referring to the same MHARR Press Release, five tasks are recommended for attention to MHI and or, as MHARR puts it, “a new independent, collective, national post-production association.”. Heavily edited, they include:

  • Aggressively engage in all aspects of manufactured housing consumer finance 1) including secondary market support for – and securitization of – all types of manufactured home loans…”, & 2) establish secondary market for home sales.
  • Effectively oppose local regulatory and zoning barriers to all forms of affordable housing, and the development of land lease communities.
  • Ensure reasonable, cost-effective housing installation and placement criteria promoting balance between regulation and affordability. Frost Free Foundations!
  • Promote professional property management within land lease communities, as well as strong, effective representation and advocacy on the national level.
  • Commit to and engage in national brand advertising, to stimulate and maintain growth and prosperity throughout the manufactured housing industry.

No question but that they’re many other measures to achieve this end, but it’s a start. Perhaps the overarching goal, among all manufactured housing-related trade sectors should simply, to

Make Manufactured Housing Great Again!

There are several points worth pondering in the above, which was inspired by MHARR’s June report, linked here.


Final Swipes, Allen’s Own Admissions, and Contradictory Praise 

Allen admits he’s no longer as diligent in writing, and is no longer as read as he once was. It’s a note of humility.

He praises other trade publications, including one where his own work appears. Go figure. It’s worth noting that he praised MHInsider, which in turn has recently promoted Allen again.  MHInsider did so, even after he, Roane, and Lackey have attracted a wave of negative media.  Those are the ‘insiders’ – their self-description – go figure.

But the oddity from the AllenWorld vantage point is that those periodicals are tilted strongly toward MHI, which Allen bashed moments before. If you want consistency in thought, is that Allen?

Then without naming the publications or the publisher he borrowed his blog post theme of – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again” – namely, MHProNews and MHLivingNews, he takes the following vague shot.

Quoting that part verbatim, without editing or filling in via [brackets] intended or implied words, he says of this publication team;

One online ezine, reportedly widely known – in this industry observer’s opinion – risks discrediting, as it brick bats those whose words and actions don’t mirror or support the editorial stance, and industry agenda, espoused by said ezine. One way to evaluate practitioners of such a fifth estate, is to number, identify, and critique the writing quality its’ stable of writers.”

It’s another classic Allenism, which only Allenites and Allen decoders can understand.  Keep in mind the “decoding Allen” tip from a former Allen client, found in the article linked below. “With George, it’s AAA.  All About Allen.”

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

Apparently, it is OK for Allen to critique the industry, which he clearly — and arguably, correctly —  believes that critique is necessary to advance the cause of manufactured housing.

Let’s underscore that point of his, because a good critique, and analysis are needed to make the manufactured housing industry great again.

Put differently, Allen is right to say that there are several festering issues that are harming the industry’s advancement.

But what some of Allen’s own followers tell MHProNews is this. It’s essential to have standards to base a critique on. It’s about principles, not mere posturing.  Lip service is posturing for an audience. Thus our topic on ethics, linked below.


NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

Allen and this writer agree on some issues, such as the troubling patterns, and arguably abject failures of MHI to represent the interests of the industry at large.

Despite numerous efforts by this writer over the years to bridge the gap with Allen, and get him off mere platitudes and to consistently focus on issues that matter, the reality is it hasn’t worked yet.


Allen’s Several Gifts to the MH Industry

All that said, the debatably plagiarizing, narcissistic Allen has done, and/or has attempted to do, the industry several favors.

Before diving in, in fairness to the veteran, one should ask the following questions. Why is Allen so wounded? What demons does he battle?

One possible example might be how he was allegedly betrayed by the Manufactured Housing Institute/National Communities Council (MHI/NCC). How so?

Per sources, a few years ago, MHI/NCC entered into discussions with Allen to buy out his annual roundtable event, his publishing, and training. After several discussions, there was ultimately no deal made.  But as part of the buyout discussions, MHI required Allen to enter into a non-disclosure agreement, and he revealed ‘everything’ to them during those discussions.

In turn, after failing to buy out Allen, MHI’s NCC division went into direct competition with a member/company.  What MHI/NCC did by going into competition with their own dues-paying member was outrageous on its face, isn’t it?

As MHI has thus far refused to provide MHProNews with their bylaws and other non-profit documentation, it is uncertain if they violated Allen’s rights in that sense. That said, objectively and ethically speaking, it seems like a clear conflict-of-interest for MHI to compete with a smaller, dues paying member company.


Nor is Allen alone in that regard, again per past and/or present MHI member statements.

In as much as Allen too has called out, and finally quit MHI and the NCC – the later of which he and others helped co-found – he’s also done the industry a favor.

Tossing aside the chaff, here’s a summary of the wheat.


Summary of the Good Wheat

Mistakes or allegations aside, “Allen and Roane” by example did the following for MHVille.

1)   Allen and Roane have shown the industry that motivated professionals can gather a group of hundreds of industry peers together.  SECO is a nonprofit, COBA7 – per sources – is not.  But they had the potential foundation for a genuine association.

2)   With the correct elements, a number of which MHARR has listed (see linked related resources, further below), a new post-production sector can be forged. Will there be one or more post-production trade associations? That remains to be seen.

3)   Allen has shown by painful example what MHI/NCC behavior looks like. What MHI/NCC did to Allen is copy several of his topics and services, and then proceed to give ‘them away with’ MHI/NCC memberships. That’s arguably unethical by MHI/NCC, and possibly illegal and/or legally actionable.

4)   Isn’t what MHI/NCC alleged to have done to Allen a variation on what MHI award winner Marty Lavin says the association has done for years?

5)   Putting that 4th point differently, Marty Lavin recently said that MHI works only for the interests of “the big boys.” The allegations, inferences – and by deductive reasoning – Allen and Lavin have made the following clear. If you aren’t a big boy operation, at MHI, your firm is a potential meal of a big boy.

Allen, Lavin, MHARR, we, and others have not necessarily been on the same page as to approaches. But all see the problems that have flowed from the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Frank Rolfe has sadly gone silent on this, allegedly enticed by Berkshire Hathaway ad dollars, and other benefits, per sources. But Rolfe was arguably correct in calling out MHI’s hypocrisy. He was debatably correct on saying that the industry’s greatest challenges are from within, i.e.: failures at MHI.

It’s on that point about MHI being a key part of the industry’s problem that:

  • Allen,
  • Lavin,
  • MHARR,
  • Rolfe,
  • Roane,
  • the AZ and NV associations – which are forming a new national communities/post-production trade association,
  • and MHProNews, thanks to those who’ve made this industry leading site possible,

…all have agreed upon.  It’s this.

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

MHI’s antics tilt toward the interests of a few big companies, arguably at the expense of smaller companies.

7 Surprising Keys to Unlock Manufactured Housing Industry Sales Success

It’s sad that Allen has allegedly been wronged by an association he served for so many years. Perhaps there are good reasons for Allen’s bitterness, which may explain why he lashes out at voices – including ours – that share similar concerns.

It’s not our job to condemn anyone.  But it is the job of media – including trade media – to hold “the powers that be” accountable. Speaking “truth to power” isn’t easy or fun. It’s not to be done lightly.

  • To the extent Allen and others have raised the red flag about MHI, they are to be commended.
  • To the degree that Allen and others have arguably been wronged by MHI, they deserve justice.
  • To the degree that Allen, Roane, Lackey, and MHI have wronged others, they ought to make amends.

Again, in as much as various organizations or persons are failing to address the root issues that hold back the industry, for manufactured home professionals reading this, your share of the additional billions of dollars a year in sales are arguably being lost.

We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, fisking, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

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

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

HUD’s New Man, Officials Statements, with Insider Info Beyond the Media Releases

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

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

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


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

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

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

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources


L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY.

By L. A. Tony’ Kovach, publisher of
Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and


“Trailer Park Millionaires: How to Get Rich on Housing for the Poor,” Guardian Features

January 1st, 2018 Comments off



It’s the industry’s other image campaign,” quipped Marty Lavin, JD, an MHI award winner, to MHProNews.

Marty Lavin Lashes the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Latest Initiative

How do the ‘two campaigns’ compare?


The Guardian Feature is one of tens of thousands of videos online that have been produced by local, regional or national media. The bulk are routinely about ‘bad news.’ This Guardian Feature had over 800,000 views on the day we did this report. By contrast, MHI’s videos are as shown, a tiny fraction of the views. Perhaps more important to the industry, how do the MHI videos seek to counter the narrative of the mainstream media news item? Can MHI claim to even be trying to counter the allegations, impressions, and claims made?


The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) launched the video part of their “image campaign” on November 15, 2017.  There are over a thousand views of the ‘top’ view, but as the graphic of screen captures above demonstrates, most of the MHI videos have only a few hundred views on all their other sponsored videos.

2 ½ years after the Guardian Features had a reporter do some interviews that led to the video posted below, there are over 800,000 views on this one video.  That video, is shown below.

Keep in mind, there are thousands of news videos posted that have “mobile homes,” “trailers” [note: again, their improper use of terminology, not ours] besides this video from Guardian Features.

On the one hand are some 22 million Americans, which third party surveys say are happy with their lifestyle.

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

On the other hand, are news stories that often feature a bleaker view of “mobile homes,” “trailer parks,” [sic] and those who are in this industry.


What Guardian Features Said

Here’s the bulk of the text below the Guardian Feature’s video.

Trailer park [sic] millionaires: how to get rich on housing for the poor.”

Some of the richest people in the US, including billionaires Warren Buffett and Sam Zell, have made millions from trailer parks [sic] at the expense of the country’s poorest people,” stated the Guardian.

That statement is demonstrably inaccurate, on more than one point.  For example, Buffett sold off Clayton Homes owned communities.

Thomas: Buffett Should Buy Manufactured Home Community REIT, Plus MH Market Update$

Seeing their success, ordinary people from across the country are now trying to follow in their footsteps and become trailer park millionaires. The Guardian went to Orlando to learn the tricks of the trade from Frank Rolfe, the self-appointed dean of Mobile Home University, as he led would-be investors around a trailer park [sic] for sex offenders,” stated Guardian Features.

There are many reasons why manufactured housing isn’t soaring in an era of a growing affordable housing shortage. Is Marty Lavin’s “The industry’s other image campaign” one of them?

If so, what does MHI really believe their advertorials and videos will get the job done?


Note that while the Guardian does correctly show that Rolfe is improving the communities that he and his colleagues buy, the comments from viewers suggests that part of the message is lost.


Screen capture of some comments on the Guardian Features video about Frank Rolfe and his boot camp.

While Rolfe is popular and respected by many in the industry, mainstream news stories like this one – and another recent incident that included his operation that will be featured in the days ahead – leave some in manufactured housing with the impression that Rolfe makes their jobs harder.

Manufactured Home Community Best Practices Debate, Rentals vs. Sales and Accounting Methods

Rolfe told an audience in the video shown below what he now (then) thought was the better choice of terminology today.

What say you about these controversial topics?  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News in review, 2017, millennials, analysis, commentary.)

Notice 1: Looking for our emailed MH Industry headline news updates? Click here to sign up in 5 seconds. You’ll see in the first issue or two why big, medium and ‘mom-and-pop’ professionals are reading them by the thousands, typically delivered twice weekly.

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

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


Resident Homeowner Groups, Public Policy, Media, Manufactured Housing, Investors, and You

October 24th, 2017 Comments off

PeopleGlobeSmartPhonePixabayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsState associations, in places such as Ohio or Florida, have demonstrated their ability to work with resident/homeowner groups on a variety of issues.

For example, Tim Williams and Andrea Reichman with the Ohio Manufactured Home Association collaborated with resident groups in their recent battle to save their state regulatory structure, as was extensively reported on the Daily Business News.

So, the notion that resident/homeowner groups are always in opposition to business interests in manufactured housing would be an inaccurate one.

At the same time, in places such as California, industry professionals witness a routine push by some resident organizations for rent control. MHProNews covered the fight over Measure V extensively.


Commentary on rent control via Industry Voices last year by:

and others who’ve provided expert commentary demonstrated a point made on MHProNews years earlier.

That Vexing, Controversial Rent Control Issue – The Point? 

Rent control fails everyone; residents, industry professionals, policy advocates, and those public officials who say they want to preserve affordable housing.

In fact, as the Canadian and other examples reported for years by MHProNews years before reflected, rent control results in a dramatic drop in new development, and has other negative impacts for consumers and professionals alike.

That makes Bradley’s point, that there must be a better way.

Ross Kinzler said in his commentary on Congressman Keith Elision’s bill which would impact manufactured home communities, that state and local policies are often harming affordable housing, rather than helping it.

Ishbel Dickens, NMHOA and Industry Issues – Like Rent Control

In spite of the track record of rent control failures in the U.S. and Canada, Ishbel Dickens – former executive director of the NMHOA – has not yet lived up to the challenge issued by MHProNews publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach to discuss/debate the issues that face the MH Industry.


Home owners and professionals in most ways should share a common set of goals.

Quality affordable home ownership is what attracts and retains millions of manufactured home owners, which MHLivingNews, federal HUD Data, and third-party consumer satisfaction research has revealed are routinely proud to call their homes their own.

Dickens, as was previously reported and is reflected in the email/collage shown, suggested in writing that such a public discussion could take place, if the “seamier side” of the industry was reported (see screen capture of her email, above).

Such reports have been done for years by the Daily Business News, including the very issue that Dicken’s referenced, which few if any other’s MH Industry’s publishing have covered at all, much less as robustly.

So that assurance by Dickens to engage on behalf of her members has yet to be fulfilled by the NMHOA.

A similar point could be made about left-of-center, MHAction.


Whatever their motivations may be, attacking private capital doesn’t attract more investors to create or update properties that would provide quality manufactured home communities. To see The Road to Hell, click here.

PBS and Carla Burr

An invitation to publicly discuss via a video recorded live event has been made to the resident group leaders, as well as to the representatives of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Both those resident groups, and MHI have ducked that public video discussion/debate.


Editorially, L. A. “Tony” Kovach has argued privately and publicly with resident leaders of MHAction or NMHOA that some of their tactics and policy positions harm their own home owners, as well as the industry.

The objective research reflected by third parties would come to a similar conclusion; namely, that rent control doesn’t work as claimed.

The reasons are simple.  Rent control violates the law of supply and demand, while it changes the risk-reward matrix for owners and investors.

John Jenkins, Hurricane Irma, Manufactured Home Owner,
Community Resident, Tells His Storm Survival Story

Similar violations of economic principles don’t work for Republicans like President Richard Nixon’s wage/price controls, nor for Democrats or any others.

Like gravity, those laws as applied to rent control can seemingly be suspended for a time, but only by expending energy/cost. During and after such artificial energy/cost, price controls reduce development, forcing some community owners to redevelop.

Yet that is the very thing that Ellison’s and others claim to want to avoid.

The Carla Burr PBS interview is an example of how a left of center mainstream media outlet tilted a report in a way that harmed the image of the entire industry. Using the principle of supply and demand, doesn’t that in turn harm every manufactured home owner’s value?

The Solution Is All American

Each of those linked industry professionals cited above provides keen insights into what seemingly is a complex issue.  The bottom line should be that residents and professionals work together, and seek understanding.

Paraphrasing Sam Landy, no savvy business owner wants to raise rents at a rate that creates stress for their residents.

American principles of free enterprise, properly applied, and earnest discussions between parties that seem to disagree, are the foundation for advancing the mutual interests of home owners, home seekers, public officials, industry professionals, current and potential investors.

Rent control, doesn’t the evidence show that it has done far more harm, than the alleged good? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, Analysis.)

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

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





Clayton Homes “Have It Made” Campaign, Manufactured Housing Pros React, Initial Analysis

September 7th, 2017 2 comments

Third party still image above from Clayton’s video, shown below. It is provided under fair use guidelines. It is worth noting that they took a page from one of Fleetwood’s media efforts in the early 2000s, using a person who may be of mixed racial origins.

The campaign has a noteworthy concept,” said publisher and industry consultant, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “It targets the industry’s stigma. The 60 second video then attempts to jiu-jitsu that stigma into interest. The question becomes, does it work?”

Taking the Bull by the Horns

 Tony, On the Record is fine. The ad is very good. It’s what the Industry has been debating for years,” said Jay Hamilton, Executive Director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, via email. “How do we increase our public image. The Industry had multiple ideas, but no money to do a True Campaign including prime [time] TV Spots,”


Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, (GMHA).

Clayton finally took the bull by the horns, and quit waiting on the industry to decide how to do it,” said Hamilton. “So, they are going to do it themselves.  Good for them!

Builder Online Touts

 Clayton, one of the largest home builders in the country, has kicked off its biggest marketing campaign to date focused on how its building process can help provide affordable housing for American families,” said Builder in their initial review.

The Have It Made initiative launched nationwide Sept. 2 with a 60-second commercial air during the the [sic] University of Alabama and Florida State University football game,” Builder’s article by senior editor Jennifer Goodman said. “The campaign represents the company’s mission to provide quality homes at affordable prices, says Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton Homes.”


Have It Made challenges the stigma associated with homes built in home building facilities and delivered in sections to their final locations,” Goodman stated.


Credits, Builder Online.

Common MH Industry Reactions

There have been numerous comments received by MHProNews regarding Clayton’s initiative. The Clayton video has drawn mixed reviews, as the comments above and below reveal.

A common reaction has been the notion advanced by some readers that “MHI should be doing this.”

There are concerns raised over Clayton’s sheer size vis-à-vis the balance of HUD Code home production, and their vertically-integrated retail arms, all of which operate under several different brand names.


Berkshire Hathaway’s dominance of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI – and by extension, much of the industry – leaves numerous independents concerned.

While some state and community association executives are enthusiastic supporters of MHI, others privately are less so.


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

MH Industry Veteran Disses Video

There are those who just don’t like the video.

The following IM exchange with MHProNews from an industry veteran is an example, and it took an interesting view.  Their comments = C, our reply = R.

  1. C) “I do not like the [Clayton Homes video] spot.”
  2. R) Interesting. Why not?
  3. C) Their “…commercial reinforces stereotypes more than I would like. I know their goal was to change it [perception, stigma], but they mention it way too much for my liking. I know of the firm they hired – they are out of Colorado.”


Rick Robinson, “MHI Zen” and the Clayton Promotion


Third party image provided under fair use guidelines. Note, because their original image was dark, MHProNews enhanced the photo.

For those that have voiced concerns that “MHI should be doing this,” hasn’t their General Counsel/Sr. Vice President of State & Local Affairs, Rick Robinson, obliquely spoken for the Arlington, VA based association’s take on Clayton’s campaign?

I know that Clayton [Homes] has been to many of your state [association] meetings showing their new ad campaign,” wrote Robinson earlier this week. “To see the formal release and a video of the first ad,click here. I hear that you’ll be seeing these ads a lot on SEC football games.”

Aren’t Robinson’s comments pretty matter of fact?

MHI funded research and resources, per sources to MHProNews, have allegedly been used in part by Buffett’s manufactured housing units.

If so, doesn’t that concern and other allegations noted indicate the reality that the Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman holds two of four seats on the organization’s all-powerful MHI Executive Committee?  Or that small to mid-sized members are helping pay for what the biggest members want?

Or consider this fact.  That the third MHI Executive Committee seat is held by what Forbes called a former Clayton Homes division president?

Or that the fourth seat is held by a firm that has Clayton product – or makes use of Berkshire-connected lending – in their land-lease communities?


Trust is another word that is used for monopoly. To see the video above about monopolies, along with other information about anti-trust laws, please click the still image above.

Can You Spell Monopoly?

Aren’t the facts hiding in plain sight?  Information such as the graphic by Cavco Industries – shown below – are among those “gifts that keep on giving,” that — reveal from their MHI-connected sources, in their own words — the reality of the industry, to quote a caller yesterday.


Using the figures supplied by Cavco (CVCO) and MHI, some 63 percent of the industry’s production is held by Clayton and Cavco. Can you spell, monopoly? Does that create conflict of interest within MHI? Or does it warrant other business, consumer, and legal concerns?

MHI’s own claim of having some 85 percent of the industry’s production, doesn’t that and several of their own statements play into the worries and allegations of monopolistic practices?


Click the above to learn more.

Don’t alleged ‘trust‘ practices – which often by definition – negatively impact consumers and independent operations?  See that report on monopolies/trusts and third-party videos, linked here.

State Association, non-MHI Member Reacts to Video and Image Campaign

 i think we should control our own destiny because MHI will do nothing for us at all…” (Note: typos, punctuation errors in these messages are in the original.)

So, “instead of going at them i think we should ignore them – for lack of a better term take our business elsewhere,” the messages read, adding, i am not a member of MHI – i am a member of some state associations but not MHI.”

While not commenting on this specific campaign, Marty Lavin has lashed out repeatedly at MHI’s failures, while carefully weaving, so as not to step on Clayton or Berkshire Hathaway toes.


The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Logo is their property, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews. Click the above for more.

MHI award-winner Lavin has said for well over a decade that the industry must get to the root issues. Otherwise, he’s said – “the other image campaign,” negative media that takes place somewhere in the U.S. several times a week – will tend to dominate in the public mind.


A teaser for Make Manufactured Housing Great Again, can be found by clicking the graphic above.

Facts Matter

The threat to Clayton, MHI – and potentially ‘monopoly innocent’ members of the industry – is that a video like theirs will raise questions in the public’s mind.

As MHI/NCC Vice President Jenny Hodge said, people research online, they don’t just buy.


  • Democratic lawmakers,
  • the Center for Accountability,
  • Ishbel Dickens/NMHOA and others are making charges and allegations of racism, steering, “near monopoly,” and predatory lending,

won’t those concerns be found by savvy buyers who do a Google, Yahoo or Bing search?


While there are a few that think it is a mistake for MHProNews to report on or analyze such matters, MHR publisher Kurt Kelley said, ” There’s nothing mean or villainous about stating the truth. In fact, most appreciate it when you do.”  To see the report and hunt for evidence, by-third parties, click the graphic above.  

MHI and senior Clayton/VMF/21st staff members were given a ‘softball opportunity’ to decry racism and those allegations.  In their wisdom, they declined that option. See the report of what third parties are alleging about Clayton and BH lenders, linked here.

What MHI President and CEO, Richard A. “Dick” Jennison said in the roughly 20 second video above is revealing, in the light of other reports by MHProNews.

Note the easy question asked, and what Jennison answered. Why would a man that requires Berkshire Hathaway’s support get his contract extended after making that shocking statement? Would the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or the National Association of Realtors (NAR) extend the contract of someone that said something similar in their industry?

Industry Potential, and Problems

RV’s outsell manufactured homes by about 5 to 1.  When RVs – which are a luxury item, not a necessity such as a home is –  have been growing rapidly, why not manufactured housing?  When the data that Clayton and Cavco published reflects the fact that those two companies are growing at a somewhat slower pace than the industry at large, should they be leading the charge for image, education, and marketing?


Where Sam Zell and MHARR Agree?

Sam Zell publicly pointed to the need for the industry to establish a sound credit base.

Obtaining a stronger source for competitive, additional financing – didn’t two of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BH) lending brands admit to NOT supplying the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) with data they wanted for chattel lending?  Didn’t that failure by BH lenders to supply such data harm most of the industry’s desire for the GSEs to do robustly do chattel loans?

Isn’t that what “Zell’s Math” implied?


Photo and collage credit, MHProNews. To learn more about the topic raised, click the image above.

Certainly, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), along with others industry professionals cited by MHProNews for years,  believe that’s a factor in the GSEs failure to act.

If MHI and their Berkshire Hathaway manufactured housing forces won’t defend their own name and reputation on an accusation as toxic as racism, how likely is it that either could successfully do an image and education campaign?


To learn more about Rolfe’s concerns and those of other industry professionals, click the above.

We’ve said for years something that resonates with our clients. If pretty pictures and slick videos were enough, then the industry would already be doing 500,000 or more new home shipments annually,” Kovach said. “Sure, the quality of a video is helpful.  But isn’t what the public wants reality – not fake news, spin, hype or manipulation?

Right Idea, Problematic Execution?

What’s the real solution to the industry’s huge opportunities, but poor image?


In the past 20 years, manufactured housing slipped from a peak of about 1/3 of all single family housing starts to only about 9 percent.  In a trillion dollar a year U.S. housing industry, with affordable housing at crisis levels, how could that happen? What did MHI do about it?  To see the 400 word executive summary, click the image above.

We’re the industry’s leading trade media, as well as service providers,” said MHLivingNews/MHProNews publisher Kovach. “We won’t tell Mr. Buffett, Clayton et al, or MHI all that is right or wrong with this video and their other campaign plans.”

What we will say is what we’ve demonstrated. There is proven value to factual storytelling. There is also value to establishing for manufactured housing independents an umbrella that refutes or deflects each and every false claim made. That worked for the ADL and the NAACP for decades. Properly done, it works for manufactured housing too,” Kovach said.

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156Thanks to the support of others, we began the process years ago of creating a system that mimics what the ADL/NAACP does, and apply that to manufactured housing. We’ve tested this in local markets. Our clients say, this works, they’ve profited,” Kovach said. “We plan to take the next steps in expanding that process, because others in the industry have failed to do so.”


Mutual Victories 


Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. left – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, right. To see that video and report, click the above.

Tye reminded Kovach, who reminds us of the following.


From the joint statement by the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. and L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.  To read the entire statement and how it relates to manufactured housing and improving America, click on the image above.

It’s all about what Steven Covey called the win-win, or ‘mutual victories.’ When consumers and business win, that’s a victory,” Kovach stated. “When consumers, business, and taxpayers all win, that’s an even bigger victory.”


To see this report and video, click the above.

Kovach explains that what the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr., Lindsey Bostick with Sunshine Homes, Paul Bradley with ROC USA, Marty Lavin, Tom Fath, Titus Dare, and others have repeatedly noted is that consumers must not be an afterthought, or just a target for a sale.

Rather, manufactured home owners and millions of potential manufactured home prospects must be the focus of the value proposition that the industry offers.

Properly serving the public – while respectfully addressing their interests and concerns – doesn’t that have to be front and center?

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, Analysis.)

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

Soheyla, Tamas L. A. "Tony" Kovach familySubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

(Notes: Soheyla Kovach is a co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent to and – and is a managing member.

Photo credit, 83 Degrees Media. To see their report about MHLivingNews, click here.)

Fighting Fake Manufactured Home News: Fisking OZY Media’s ‘Trailer Park Nation’

August 17th, 2017 Comments off

Original featured image from OZY Media.

It’s the manufactured housing industry’s other image campaign,” as Marty Lavin, JD, has called the mass media’s reporting on the manufactured housing industry.

The MHProNews often tries to bring other media or publication’s errors or misunderstandings and spin.

A recent example of this is the critique of an article out of North Carolina’s News & Observer, which poorly reflected data to look as though manufactured housing was more susceptible to damage during hurricanes than other types of housing.


Among a number of other messages, Daily Business News on MHProNews received an emailed link from a reader, in response to the award-winning Lavin’s latest article about communities.


Mary Lavin’s column sparked several messages, one was to this OZY Media video, shown below.

That link was sent by a concerned MHC owner to a video/article published by OZY Media under the title “Trailer Park Nation” [sic].


That OZY Media tale told the story of a Louisiana MH Community being forced off their leased property.


For our recent report on proper terminology, click here or the image above.

As regulars to the Daily Business News know, the first error OZY made was in their title.  Namely, using the term “trailer park,” [sic] rather than “manufactured home  in the title of the story.

It’s just as wrong to use the N-Word to describe a black as it is to use the T-Word to describe a manufactured home,” said MH advocate and actively retired businessman, the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that the wrong terminology impacts price. But it also impacts people’s emotions, see the poet who rejected the use of the t-word with regard to her home, by clicking the image above.

While talking about an older community in Louisiana where the land-leased property was being sold, OZY wrote – “nearly all of the nation’s 20 million mobile home [sic] dwellers are in a similarly precarious situation.”

The same was implied in their video, shown below, at about the 1:45 mark.


That statement for example, would incorrectly lead a reader or viewer to believe that most people who live in a manufactured home – which they incorrectly called “mobile home dwellers” – live in land-leased communities.

Not so, says community partner, Tom Fath.



Tom Fath comments to OZY Media, Credit, OZY Media.

On the contrary, as Fath pointed out in the comment section of the OZY article, around 2 out of 3 manufactured homes are placed on privately owned land, not in a land-lease community.


Notice how different this older, but well kept, community, is than the one OZY Media portrayed? Image collage credits, Highland Mobile Park.

While there are a percentage of communities that are almost exclusively pre-HUD Code mobile homes – which could be called ‘parks‘ – they are the minority among the estimated 45,000 MHCommunities in the U.S.


Paul Bradley comments to OZY Media, Credit, OZY Media.

Fath also made a point to mention that many states have created provisions that protect the residents of MH communities.  MN and FL are among those states, as MHProNews has reported.  That helps avoids scenarios like the one OZY features in their article and video series.

Fath also linked back to an MHLivingNews article that busts myths about manufactured homes being a fire hazard to dispel the myth that the OZY article was perpetuating.

Sad, Dark Music, Themes, and Manipulative Tones 

There are storytelling methods designed to manipulate people,” said L. A. “Tony” Kovach, publisher and award-winning MH Industry consultant.

The OZY Media articles and videos are what we would call today, ‘Fake News.’ They distort information in a way that makes an exception appear to be the rule.  PBS did this several times. Those distorted stories in turn harm the industry,” Kovach says.


Paul Bradley, left, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, right – still from an Inside MH video interview.

But due to the law of supply and demand, it also harms the values of millions of manufactured homes in the U.S.,” Kovach stated. “That’s among the reasons why MHLivingNews and MHProNews has for years placed rebuttal articles – fisking analysis – so that serious researchers will find the truth about manufactured homes and the millions of happy MH homeownersThat helps protect the industry, and protects home owners alike.”

To my knowledge, MHI never did a rebuttal to that OZY Media series,” Kovach said.  “By contrast, we asked several industry professionals – some of them republished on this report – that gladly gave thoughtful responses to the negative spin OZY placed on our industry and homeowners. When will MHI do the same?”

While some of the homes in the OZY series might have been pre-HUD Code homes, others were manufactured homes.  They used the terms interchangeably, which a good journalist is not supposed to do.  That skewed their articles and videos credibility, but only for those who actually understand or are told the distinctions.


Robert Cochran’s posted comments to OZY Media, Credit, OZY Media. One of several requested and gladly shared by industry pros, at the request of 

It’s precisely this sort of “reporting” – with hand-picked, misrepresented data being twisted to appear to be something it’s not – that has caused a larger gap between people and their trust for the media.


The OZY team clearly spun the facts, or made gross errors – take your pick. Either way, it was poor “journalism.” Image credit, srxawordonhealth.

This type of “Selective Target Reporting” has a recent Harvard study saying 65% of Americans don’t trust the media. Gallup’s similar poll said only 32% trust the media now,” said Tye to MHProNews, adding the word, “Sad.”

While some of the claims in OZYs article and video might be factually accurate on that specific incident, their use of the terminology “mobile home” and “trailer house” [sic] was apparently, as Kovach noted, a method of manipulation and spin.

However, it was the way they represented the facts that provide a poor illustration of modern manufactured housing, and the communities where residents live.

As you can see from the video above, not all manufactured homes resemble the “mobile homes” of the past. Many could even be mistaken for conventional housing, like the man in the video above mentioned.

When publisher L.A. Tony Kovach reached out to OZY about correcting their errors and misleading statements, the media company had little to say in response, and made no changes. For more on the exchange between Kovach and OZY Media click here.


Publishing hand-picked information can be worse for the impression it makes on manufactured homes and our industry than stating entirely false information,” said Brad Lovin, of North Carolina Manufactured Housing Association. ## (News, “fisking” = analysis.)

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

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews.




Financial Choice Act, with MHI Bill, Heading to Floor Vote, Outlook, Analysis

June 8th, 2017 Comments off

JebHensarlingGOPFinancialServicesTheHillDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Financial Choice Act, what some are calling version 2.0, passed out of the House Financial Services Committee in May on a partisan line vote, 34-26.

Financial Choice is back in the news, as the full House takes up the measure.

A Google search on Financial Choice Act 2017 brings up tens of millions of results.  Depending on the media outlet you pick, the news or editorializing paints the bill to be either grand, or a horror, for businesses and consumers.

Partisan Politics, 2017

The Hill reports Maxine Waters, ranking Democrat from CA saying, “The ‘Wrong Choice’ Act is a vehicle for Donald Trump’s agenda to get rid of financial regulation and help out Wall Street. It’s a deeply misguided measure that would bring harm to consumers, investors and our whole economy. The bill is rotten to the core.

By contrast, House Speaker Paul Ryan, (R-WI) said at a press conference Wednesday, “This legislation comes to the rescue of Main Street America.”  Ryan called the bill “the crown jewel” of the GOP deregulatory agenda. “The Financial CHOICE Act makes it possible for small businesses across this country to stop struggling and to start hiring.”

MHI’s Attached Bill to Financial Choice

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) celebrated several weeks ago that their Preserving Access bill was attached to the act, and thus passage of the act would mean passing their bill.


Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

MHI’s Lesli Gooch’s May 4 email to members said in part, “MHI’s efforts to pass the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act are multi-pronged. The association is seeking opportunities to move the legislation through the regular legislative process and is also seeking opportunities to attach the language to other legislative vehicles that are moving. MHI’s goal is to ensure the needed changes contained in the bill to make financing available for manufactured housing are passed into law as soon as possible. Inclusion of the language in the Financial CHOICE Act is a critical milestone, and an example of MHI’s comprehensive strategy.”

What’s missing from their self-proclaimed “compressive strategy,” as regular Daily Business News readers know was the opportunity to sign onto the PHH vs. CFPB case with an amicus brief.  When MHProNews specifically raised the strategy for an amicus brief with MHI, how could that option have been overlooked?

The “10,000 grassroots contacts” MHI’s Gooch crows about, where is that heading?

The Preserving Access bill (version 4.0 – 2017’s version is dubbed HR 1699), is sponsored by Garland ‘Andy’ Barr, Republican from Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district.  Barr has spoken as a true believer in manufactured homes, and one of his speeches in favor of manufactured homes is covered in a video and article, linked here.


Gooch notes in the message to MHI members that: “Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, is bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Barr (R-KY), Sinema (D-AZ), Poliquin (R-ME), Sewell (D-AL), Kustoff (R-TN), and Rice (D-NY). The companion bill for the Senate is expected to be introduced soon.”

What is it that their allegedly weaponized messages to members fails to mention, again?

Uh, Oh…

The challenge with the Financial Choice Act – even from the perspective of supporters – remains the same as was previously reported on the Daily Business News about Preserving Access.  The odds of passage of the HR 1699 bill, per GovTrack is 1%, which today cites Skopos Labs as their source for their estimate.


What about the Financial Choice Act’s odds of passage?

GovTrack reports those odds are better, but are still a weak 14% chance of being enacted, again per Skopos Labs.


So while the Financial Choice Act is expected to pass in the House, what are the odds in the Senate?

MHIGotCloutWheresTheBeefMHProNewsThe Collingswood Group, what sources tell us is a DC think tank and lobbying shop, state they expect the Financial Choice Act – and thus MHI’s rider attached to it – to pass the House.  But the bad news is that Collingswood likewise expects the bill to die in the Senate too, just as GovTrack reports.

Will MHI alert their dozens of industry members, getting ready to fly into Washington, DC to hear about all that MHI is doing on this front, about those facts?  Or will they instead send out a “Housing Alert,” once the bill passes the House – touting that “success” as they’ve done previously?

Do MHI members deserve the truth, the whole truth, or are they guilty of what they accused Ohio Governor John Kasich of, telling only half truths, or worse?  Do the principles MHI applied to the governor, apply to themselves?

By-Bye Baby…

While MHI has made their primary focus the passage of Preserving Access,  the $15 million dollars spent over the past 5 years – not counting PAC dollars – certainly went to places like salaries (of which Jennison, Gooch and her predecessor have made about $2.5 million in compensation over the past 5 years, per data MHI filed via form 990).


Lance Inderman, credit, MHProNews.

Industry success and veteran, Lance Inderman, prior chairman of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA), told MHProNews that:

It’s my personal opinion that we have incrementally given up every bit of financial freedom we had. Dodd Frank was a big increment, along with ObamaCare. I’m of the opinion that giving up key parts of the reform to get a “win” for posterity makes no sense.”

Inderman elaborated by saying, “We need to keep educating the populace and Congress on the facts that we [in manufactured housing] compete on a different price point, and therefore a different finance scale with their multi million dollar ocean front homes, paid for by their donors.”

Bob Crawford, multiple award winning retailer of historic Dick Moore Housing, told MHProNews that, state associations “do a great job.” But Crawford told MHProNews that he gives MHI at best “a 5 out of 10“ in their effectiveness.

As one source with deep ties to MHI told MHProNews,MHI is acting like a secret society, with only the inner circle fully informed, and most other members trusting them, following in good faith, or unable to effectively protest or even question leadership.”

Award winning industry veteran, L.A . “Tony Kovach asks, “Why does MHI’s tight band at the top allegedly want only their side of the story told to the industry? Why have they threatened MHProNews with legal action for providing documents given to us – in many cases, by their members – or for reporting to the industry on issues such as DTS, Preserving Access, pending DOE energy standards, and others?”

A link to a comparison between MHI and MHARR their self-stated mission and budgets, per their 990s, is found here.

A link to an analysis of Richard “Dick” Jennison and Lesli Gooch’s compensation, is found here.


Marty Lavin, JD.

As dozens of MHI members prepare to fly into Washington, D.C. to listen to lectures by MHI staff on all they are doing, consider the words of MHI award winner, Marty Lavin.

Lavin has often said, “follow the money,” and “pay more attention to what people do” …and accomplish… “than to what people say.” ##

Related topics:


Judgment Day for CFPB

Source – Manufactured Housing Institute Violated Law, Conflict of Interest?

Faked, Weaponized News Harms Manufactured Housing Homeowners, Professionals?

Richard Jennison, Lesli Gooch, Worth Millions to MHI Industry

Hot New, Different, Regulatory Topic that MHI is Missing a Key Point On (HUD, Pam Danner), linked here.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when they are the property of third parties, are provided under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News, on MHProNews.

Residents Bought Time, But City Still Taking Aim at Their Location, Video

June 8th, 2017 Comments off

Fairborn, Ohio, City Manager Rob Anderson said they were not the heartless people that a letter, which he pointed to, made them out to be.

But that’s not how Glenn Acres resident Pat Collins sees it.

No trailer park [sic] that I’ve ever talked to will take a trailer that’s more than 10 years old. And guess what? Mine’s 30 years old,” reported WHIO7 that Collins said.

The Daily Business News previously reported on the problem these residents face, at this link here.

The local TV station stated that “Residents at the Glenn Acres Mobile Home Park in Fairborn have been served notices to vacate the property pending the sale of the land to the city of Fairborn ‘for a use other than as a manufactured mobile home park.’”

A letter signed by McNamee & McNamee, PLL, gave the residents 180 days to vacate the property. While Anderson said that letter was in error, he also said that they had no plans to close the community until residents can make other arrangements.


The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Logo is their property, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews.

These are among the issues that award winning industry veteran, Marty Lavin refers to as ‘the other image campaign,’ and it’s not a good one.

While MHI did not cause this issue, Lavin’s point in part is that until such patterns are addressed, MHI’s concept for an image campaign is premature, and wasted money.

A Growing Trend or Pattern?

A source in central Florida tells MHProNews that this could be part of a growing pattern, of cities that target manufactured home communities for replacement by other forms of housing, commercial or mixed use.

Per that source, the older the community, the more likely it is to be targeted for closure by officials.

MHProNews will continue to monitor the developments on this story. ##

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

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


Are Mobile Home Fires Burning the Manufactured Housing Industry?

May 10th, 2017 Comments off

Passing the torches image credit, Katz Financial. Text graphic, by RC Williams/Daily Business News.

The battle between the office of Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) over the Ohio Manufactured Housing Commission (OMHC), shined a bright light on a large, ongoing challenge related to the industry and terminology.

When you type “mobile home fires” into Google, you get over 3 million entries, perhaps spanning the life of the internet. These include studies on causation, injuries, deaths, dollars, etc. — not just the fires alone.

Those millions of stories provide one of the striking reasons why the public impression about ‘mobile homes’ is so poor.  Years of media accounts about mobile homes burning are seared into the public’s minds.


On 5.10.2017 at 2:11 ET, there were over 3 Million ‘hits‘ on Mobile Home Fires in this Google Search. Posted on the Daily Busines News,

Conflating fire risks in pre-HUD Code mobile homes with manufactured homes


Marty Lavin, JD.

are one of several possible examples of what Marty Lavin, JD –  industry communities, retail and finance veteran calls “the other industry image campaign.”

That negative stereotypes mainstream media “campaign” is waged by locals – who for whatever reasons – fail to report information accurately.

That in turn naturally spills over into the public’s impression of manufactured homes.

While the public is clamoring for affordable housing – and the need is in the tens of billions annually – it seems that fears about fires are among the reasons they don’t turn to manufactured homes more often as their solution.

LindseyBostick-SunshineHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAs a result, a recent Zillow report indicates that only about 8% of shoppers are ‘considering’ a mobile or manufactured home, and only about half of those end up purchasing.  Yet, as Credit Human’s Barry Noffsinger – or millenial and manufactured home owner, Lindsey Bostick of Sunshine Homes – have told MHProNews, the description of what people are looking for fits well with what today’s manufactured homes offers.

The challenge is, that millions seeking housing just don’t consider it.  Per Zillow’s survey, half that do, buy.

Fire-Heated Questions


Every year, there are older conventional housing units that burn. Does that cause an outcry against conventional building? No. Similarly, when older mobile homes burn, it should not impact the image of modern manufactured homes. Sadly, though,
it does. Image credit: YouTube still.

The “burning question” is how many of these fires occurred in pre-HUD Code homes, and how many in manufactured homes?

Surprisingly, the exact answer is not known. But the reason that it’s unknown is sadly clear.

Many if not most news reports do not distinguish between mobile and manufactured homes. The absence of that distinction – and poor use of terminology in other stories – thus feeds into a myth that continues to plague the contemporary manufactured housing industry.

That in turn leads millions to incorrectly believe that all factory-built homes have the same old (high) risk of fire that mobile homes built 40 years ago did.

The Daily Business News has periodically pointed out the facts versus myths surrounding manufactured homes and fires, noting that homes built under post-1976 federal regulations have a somewhat lower fire rates than a traditional, site-built house.


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

An Example of The Impact on the MH Industry

As noted, Ohio is an example where poor information created industry challenges, because the opposition claims run counter to the facts.

The Ohio Fire Chief’s Association’s letter to lawmakers in March supported a provision in the state budget to kill the Ohio Manufactured Home Commission (OMHC), proposing to roll its functions into the Ohio Department of Commerce.

The Daily Business News covered the response from the commission in a story, linked here.

30 people died in 1,208 manufactured home fires between 2012 and 2016,” said the letter from the fire chief’s association.

Ohioans are 4.2 times more likely to die in a manufactured home that caught fire than one- or two-family home.”


Manufactured homes are far safer than mobile homes, per the NFPA. To see the report, click the graphic above for the story and attached documents, available as a download.

But that statement by the fire chief’s association was inaccurate, as a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) study reflected.

The NFPA also carefully noted the proper and improper use of nomenclature, see that graphic below.

Publisher and consultant Tony Kovach stresses that facts like the above must become second nature for industry professionals to know, link to and otherwise share. “It’s the industry that has the motivation to educate the public on the realities vs. the old facts or myths,” says Kovach. “The rewards and profits are going to those who take part in those educational efforts, and who make a difference in their own marketsThat educational effort benefits home owners too.  Manufactured home owners could enjoy faster resale and higher resale values.  Home buyers, renters, job creation…virtually everyone in the mix can benefit by dispelling the myths and dated relaties.”

Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) Executive Director Tim Williams and Association of Manufactured Home Residents in Ohio (AMHRO) President Frank Pojman joined forces to point out the facts to their legislators.

That “teaming up” is critical, because arguably home owners’ property values are negatively impacted by the impression that manufactured homes burn and kill, a mistaken notion spread by problematic media reports.

The administration is spreading false information and misleading information because the commission is pushing back against Kasich’s proposal,” said Williams.

The OMHC also conducts inspections of all new and previously owned manufactured home installations, resulting in less than 10 complaints in the last three years.

By comparison, 23,000 home installations have occurred in the last decade, and prior to the Commission’s existence 500-800 improper home installation complaints occurred annually.


Gov. Kasich, official photo. Ohio EPA, OMHC, OMHA, logos, photo, credits: Digital Imaging Reporter and their respective organizations.

I urge any of your Committee to review agendas and minutes of the MH Commission meetings, to see the all-important issues that are discussed, for the benefits and safety of manufactured homeowners,” said Pojman during recent testimony.

Terminology Matters 

In a recent story on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, MHProNews asked Urbana, Ohio Fire Chief Mark Keller to clarify details on a recent home fire reported in his town.

This fire involved a true mobile home and was not a manufactured home. I do not have the age of the mobile home available right now,” Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller told MHProNews.

Mobile homes are inherently bad with fire conditions. They’re not really designed to withhold any kind of fire.”

Chief Keller was specific, because MHProNews directly inquired about the facts of the case, which allowed MHLivingNews to properly represent the facts of that sad incident.  But how can doing that correct-the-record once or occasionally be enough in the face of the thousands of such stories being reported a year?

Thus, Kovach argues that it responding to misleading media accounts must become the routine.  When both MHI and MHARR have said that the industry ought to be doing hundreds of thousands of new home shipments a year, the value of correctly the record should be clear.

Sloppy Journalism?

mark_weiss_mharr_pesident__mhpronews__creditMark Weiss, JD – President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – has spoken out strongly on the matter, calling the laziness of news agencies “sloppy journalism.”

While any harm to people or property is regrettable, there is no excuse for sloppy journalism that can harm the industry and consumers. The fact is that today’s federally regulated manufactured homes are as safe or safer than other types of homes when it comes to fire, as shown by research done by the National Fire Protection Association on multiple fire safety metrics,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President CEO of MHARR.

It is therefore misleading and a disservice to readers to fail to distinguish between pre-1976 ‘mobile homes,’ said Weiss, “and today’s manufactured homes. This is why MHARR successfully demanded several years ago that the U.S. Fire Administration remove similarly misleading language from it’s website.” 

The industry and consumers need to insist on an accurate media portrayal of today’s high-quality manufactured homes,” said Weiss.


Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said OMHA Assistant Director Andrea Reichman, commenting on the Urbana fire story.

As noted by the local Fire Chief Mark Keller, the home involved was a ‘mobile home,’ which indicates the home was built prior to the 1976 HUD Code Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Reichman said.

Often times such incidents are reported inaccurately, and facilitate the image that manufactured homes are not safe when nothing could be further from the truth.  Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. The 1986 national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes,” said Reichman.

Their association’s latest call to action is linked as a download, click here.


This is the image tens of millions of people have about ‘mobile homes.’ The irony is, in the majority of cases, that’s precisely what they are- pre-HUD Code mobile homes. Even within the MH industry, how many realize that there’s been no mobile homes built in over 40 years? Thus proper terminology always matters. Text graphic, MHProNews, original photo, Springfield News Sun.

The Question Remains

The “burning question,” is how does the manufactured housing industry change the commonly perceived notion that all factory-built homes are the same?

Graph_of_MH_Shipments_1991-2010_courtsey_of_MHI posted

MHI reports that for some 2 decades, the average shipment levels of manufactured homes were about 21 percent of all single family housing starts. Today, that number is closer to 9 percent. While tragic fire stories aren’t the only causal issue of the steep decline in the industry’s total share of the new home market, they are an example of what the industry must grapple with through educational efforts that impact local markets.  Additional facts will be explored in upcoming reports in this series.

What clearly won’t work,” says publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is doing nothingAll too often – for decades – the industry has routinely taken the tactic of ignoring the bad news, hoping it will eventually fade away.”

A glance at industry shipments today compared to 15, 20 or 25 years ago proves that while we’ve advanced from the great recessions’ bottom,” said Kovach, “we’re nowhere near our industry’s historic percentage of new construction starts. The steady drip, drip, drip, of what Marty Lavin and others call the ‘other image campaign’ persists.  So, we as professionals must become resolute in responding routinely too.

Engaging the media is one part of the solution,” Kovach says. “Many editors are willing to make corrections when a story has a fact error.  We as trade media are and can be part of education and solution.  But that also requires engagement and support from members of the industry.”

“It’s Education”


Chet Murphree, Deer Valley Homebuilders. James McGee. Deer Valley Homebuilders, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Inside MH.

I want to thank you for what you do for this industry,” said James McGee of Deer Valley Homebuilders. “We’ve kind of zeroed around about what’s important. It’s education. I want to say, Tony, thank you for spearheading that. You’re an incredible guy, and our industry’s very lucky to have you.” 

Chet Murphree echoed McGee’s comments, with “Absolutely.” 

Kovach in turn routinely reminds people that without their writing and video team, supporters and sponsors, the news and educational efforts would not be possible. “It has to be about mutual effort – team work – that goes to the grass roots, at the local and regional levels,” he said.  “It isn’t about mountains of cash.  It’s about a wise use of time, talent and resources in responding and educating as needed.”

“As the myths and fears fade, we know from experience more customers come, see, are impressed with the value, and buy.”

Ohio is an example of where the state and both national associations – along with MHLivingNews, MHProNews – plus engaged industry members – acting in conjunction with home owners – all provided comments and made efforts to correct-the-record. As we recently reported, the outlook there is hopeful as a result.

Programming Note

With the launch of MHProNews’ newly updated home page and website, the Daily Business News will take a look in the coming days at a variety of issues that are holding our industry back from achieving and exceeding its historic potential.

Because as the myths and misconceptions subside, the sale of manufactured should skyrocket as the surprising private sector answer to the affordable housing crisis.  As McGee said, “It’s education.”

For more on manufactured housing being the affordable housing solution that’s hiding in plain sight, see the reports on the page, linked here. ##

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

RC Williams, Daily Business News MHProNewsSubmitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.