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Will New State Rent Control Laws Conflict With Presidential Affordable Housing Initiatives? Who Has What Agenda?

July 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

WillNewStateRentControlLawsConflictWithPresidentialAffordableHousingInitiativesWhoHasWhatAgenda

 

Starting with specific examples from a large state, a trend spreading to other states will come into focus.

 

As you know, the New York Housing Association has been battling the adoption of rent control in NYS for decades. Unfortunately, with all parts of the legislative body voting with one voice, we lost the battle just a couple of weeks ago. We are now faced with understanding how the new legislation works and the ramifications it will have on our industry,” said Robert Capenos, Executive Director of New York Housing Association, Inc.

Not being a current member is leaving you without the crucial information you need to navigate this new and onerous legislation. We implore you to re-join your association and be part of the discussion to manage these changes,” Capenos said in an email to past members, openly aiming to coax them back.

New York isn’t the only state to recently pass rent control statewide. Oregon has too. Other states have been or are pondering variations on that rent-control theme.

What Capenos’ letter didn’t mention is news items like the one accessed from the text-image box below.  When a Republican lawmaker joined with Democratic lawmakers to cry ‘foul,’ wasn’t the sudden loss on this latest push for rent control all but inevitable?  Yet, it was only the Daily Business News on MHProNews that seriously covered this topic among the manufactured home industry’s trade media. How to explain that gaping void in an industry with so many bloggers and writers?

 

Manufactured Home Community Residents on ‘Rent Strike,’ Republican Lawmaker Calls Foul

 

Libertarian John Stossel summed up a suggestion that sounds sinister.  Or was Stossel’s a pragmatic reading of what is occurring at the local, state, and federal level?

 

‘Use Government to Handcuff Your Rivals, Clever’ – Stossel

 

Be that as it may, MHProNews was also essentially alone in the industry in tracking the ongoing developments in New York or elsewhere, including the MHAction connection.

 

Ongoing MH Headwinds – Angry Manufactured Home Residents, Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry Dilemma Through Their Eyes

 

Recall that MHAction, which is pushing rent control in other states and jurisdictions, is backed by whom?  Follow the money trail right back to the Tides nonprofit, and from the Tides their largest donor is the NoVo Foundation. The man who gave millions to the NoVo foundation is none other than Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. See the data, at this link here.

With that tee up, a clearer view of what is occurring is now coming into focus.

From that perspective, let’s pivot to a report in the Riverhead News Review regarding this newly minted New York law, which is as noted also on the march in numerous states, including in the heartland. 

Tim Gannon for the News Review said on 6.22.2019 that “A state bill limiting rent increases for tenants in mobile/manufactured home parks has been approved by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.” 

The new law was combined with other bills in a Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act that included an extension of rent control laws in New York City, which expired June 15,” per the News Review.

We’re very happy about this,” according to Peter Baldwin of Riverside, vice president of the Mobile/Manufactured Homeowners Association of Suffolk. “It’s been a long, hard fight, but it was worth it now that we got it.”

Resident groups hope the law will protect against “unreasonable” Think about the example linked above, how the problematic behavior of Havenpark attracted attention from Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D).  Or industry professionals and advocates should muse over the woes spotlighted in John Oliver’s viral hit video on manufactured home companies and other so-called predator firms, linked here.

Local media reported that the new law in New York establishes so-called ‘protections’ for those residents by limiting annual rent increases to 3% — or up to 6% if the increase can be shown to be related to higher operating expenses or property taxes or the cost of capital improvements, according to a release from State Assembly speaker Carl Heastie (D). 

·        There may be an exception higher than 6% obtained by applying for a hardship allowance from New York State Housing and Community Renewal. 

·        But the new law also allows community residents to challenge increases over 3% in court. 

·        Further, the new law strengthens resident protections against eviction from communities for the purpose of changing the use of the land. 

·        The new law requires community owners from initiating eviction cases against residents for two years.  If they are eventually evicted due to a change of use, it provides for a stipend of up to $15,000, according to a release from New York State Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D). 

It’s going to benefit people who are having trouble staying in their homes, because now, they won’t get kicked out on the street,” Mr. Baldwin said. “Senior citizens and people on fixed incomes also should benefit from the law.” 

Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) said he’s been working for passage of this bill for about 10 years.  That confirms Capenos claim at the top. While the rent control measure has been approved previously in the Democrat-controlled Assembly, it was never approved by the Republican-controlled Senate. Now that Democrats control the Assembly, the Senate and the governorship, the bill could and did pass and was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo into law. 

When local media cited Bob Capenos of the New York Housing Association’s long standing opposition, Capenos said many communities are 40 to 60 years old.  He understandably argued that strict controls on rent increases could limit a community owners’ ability to pay for capital improvements.

As if to confirm the points MHProNews and MHLivingNews have been making for some time, among the posted comments on the Times Review article were these.

Shari Harberts said, Hope Iowa will do the same.” Haberts added [typos in the original], “Mr. Capenos forgets he gets paid by big investors who do not care about improvements and improvements are tax deductable. Most mobile home parks offer no ammenties only increased rent. He knows mobile home parks are being bought up by companies for profit ( Havenpark, LLC. Sun Communties (stock symbol SUI) so , please Mr. Capenos be truthful. I love in Iowa and my park was sold to Havenpark.LLC. Utah and their goal is raising lot rent to the sky to provide income for investors. They raised the rent by 69% saying our park has not kept up with the market atound us. Yes, it was lower but they fotget to say that the other parks have been bought by other REIT like Yes Communties. Did he miss watching John Olivers – Mobile Home on Youyube or, Franke Rolfe the creator of his get rich invesyment course called Mobile Home University or that it’s the only industry that is allowed to rob and rape the buyers and tenants.”

Each of these topics have been spotlighted at various times on either or both MHProNews and or MHLivingNews.  Those insiders who aren’t closely following the trends – for example, from the retail, production or supplier sides of the industry – may not otherwise be able to fully grasp what Harberts means.

A community operator, who is on the NY Housing Association’s board of directors responded as follows to Harberts.

Steve Newman, On the contrary, I am an owner of 2 Manufactured Home Communities in NYS. I invested my own money to buy these properties and use my own capital or borrow at my own risk funds to make significant improvements. Many of my colleagues at NY Housing are like me, small operators!

I can tell you that I will be very cautious about making improvements as a result of the new rent regulations Be careful what you wish for. The real culprits here are localities that impose restrictive zoning ordinances restricting construction of new communities and burdensome regulations which add to cost of buying and installing homes. Lack of financing options for homes by government agencies tasked to serve these communities also increases costs. Unfortunately this complex problem requires a more incentives than disincentives.”

Newman, per his LinkedIn profile, has two communities. One is described [typos in the original] from a company website as “A all age community owned and operated by Rural Home Communities. Steven L. Newman, Owner. Conveniently located south of Watkins Glen, NY offering easy commute to Corning/Elmira and access to all attractions in Finger Lakes…”

RolingAcresMobileHomeParkNYHousingMemberDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Indeed, Newman’s point is one made from community operators in Canada and the United States, as a prior report with Canadian video reflected from this link here.  Progressives should bear in mind that Paul Bradley, President and CEO of ROC USA told MHProNews that to his mind rent control doesn’t work.

So, there are concerns – even among progressives that are pro-resident – over the effectiveness, or lack thereof, in rent-control efforts.

There is one more point to be made before drawing this narrative to a somewhat painful close.  Who is atop the NY Housing board of Directors? Joe Bushey, who is identified as with G&I Homes.  Here’s how the association website shows it, sans the phone and email.

 

President:

Joe Bushey
G & I Homes
PO Box 226
Frankfort, NY 13340

 

Who owns G&I Homes?  Per the Clayton Homes website, it is Clayton.

ClaytonHomesFindRetailerJoe BusheyGIHomesLocationsNewYorkDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews 

That’s not to imply that every case of rent control has Clayton or Warren Buffett the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerates fingerprints on it.  But clearly, several of such scenarios do have precisely those Omaha-Knoxville fingerprints and money trails. As Joanne Stevens, who works for a division of Berkshire Hathaway was reported to say last week, the industry – i.e. the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been to confront these issues.  That’s an understatement, since the ultimate power behind Arlington, VA based MHI are the Berkshire brands.

Commenting on similar moves in Iowa for regulating manufactured home communities and imposing new rent control, Stevens said: What happened next [in Iowa and elsewhere] is a commentary on how woefully unprepared the MH & MHP Industry is to make the case for the essential role mobile homes & parks provide in the low-cost housing landscape. Tenants, the media and legislators unleashed their outrage against rent increases and MHP owners.”

 

 

One ought to ask, is creating rage against community owners in general an accident or a byproduct? Is it more than a coincidence when something similar is happening in state after state?  Especially when so often, there are Buffett and Berkshire fingerprints and funds clearly at hand?

It is inevitable once MHI is so highly weaponized that more state associations will likewise feel the power of Clayton, 21st Mortgage, and Berkshire related influence or domination. That has been previously reported in the report below.

 

 

This may help explain in part why some state community associations broke rank with MHI to form the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO).  The question now is this.  Will NAMHCO now play footsie with MHI and the powers that be in MHVille’s Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis and their big boy allies? Or will they buck the system and publicly call them out as they did before?

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Finally, rent control and manufactured housing were both mentioned in the new presidential executive order.  Is a battle looming ahead? Time will tell. Meanwhile, MHProNews will monitor these and other developments and report to the industry’s professionals, investors, owners, and advocates accordingly.  

See the related reports below for more.

 

That’s this Monday, Monday second installment of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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

Related Reports:

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

Rent Controls and Manufactured Housing Restrictions Targeted in New Presidential Executive Order

 

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Affordable Housing Crisis, Ray of Light for Manufactured Housing? Plus, Manufactured Home Stock Updates

Federal Bill that MHI, Prosperity Now, NAMHCO Tout – MHARR Opposes, Why?

 

Ongoing MH Headwinds – Angry Manufactured Home Residents, Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry Dilemma Through Their Eyes

June 12th, 2019 Comments off

 

HeadwindsAngryManufacturedHomeResidentsUnderstandingManufacturedHousingDilemmaThroughTheirEyesNYStateAssemblyGailTraversTrusteeAkronMobileHomeParkMHProNews

Still from NY State video, posted further below. The problem that Gail Travers describes exists in a number of states, as serious and objective observers know. The challenge, insights, analysis, and solutions follow.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has been promoting manufactured homes as a sustainable private-sector element to the affordable housing crisis since early in his tenure at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

 

That acknowledged and saluted, as much as Secretary Carson has been striving to do, his factually grounded theme is largely drowned out by a variety of other voices.

 

Among them?  The angry resident who lives in a pre-HUD Code mobile home, or in a manufactured home built on or after the date that the HUD Code construction and safety standards went into effect on June 15, 1976.

Those angry residents often misuse terminology, much the same as other Americans or much of the mainstream media does.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

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

 

With that backdrop, there is no denying that the problem that Gail Travers, a resident and ‘trustee’ in Akron, New York’s “Akron Mobile Home Park Tenants Association” exists in numerous U.S. markets.

As you read this letter below from Ms. Travers, imagine that you have been considering buying a manufactured home. How excited would you read her letter, would you still be ask excited about making that same decision?

The letter is presented neither to either endorse or debate her contention.  There is plenty of evidence for her claim. As our analysis which follows will reflect, our biggest point of departure with Ms. Travers and the thousands of others like her in numous states is the proposed solutions that many such voices advances in the face of the very real and painful challenges they share.

With that backdrop, here is her letter to the editor of the Buffalo News.

 

LetterMobileHomeResidentsNeedProtectionsFromPredatorsBuffaloNewsGayleTraversAkronNYManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

I read with interest the May 21 editorial: “NYC Rent Laws Unneeded Here.” New Yorkers throughout the state need safe, affordable housing, like elsewhere across the country.

The people of New York State fear monied investors are stealing our communities and future. We want our legislators to enact laws to protect the decent, affordable housing options that remain. And it is not just in cities.

Look at what is happening to mobile home parks – the largest segment of affordable housing in the country. Parks are being purchased by out of state investors with little interest in the area. Corporate investors like Sunrise Capital from Clearwater, Fla. (who bought Akron Mobile Home Park in Akron in late 2017) are snapping up parks, raising rents, and disrupting the well-being of life for the people who live there, most of them on fixed incomes. Now Sunrise has purchased another park in Lockport and is attempting to do the same as they have tried to do in Akron.

Mobile home owners who rent the land on which their homes sit need protections from these predators, as do apartment renters elsewhere.

This sentence from the editorial is interesting: “There are affordable housing options here, not on every block, but enough that most working people can find a place to live.” Shouldn’t ALL people have a place to live? We need safe, affordable housing free from exploitation. If our legislators are listening to their constituents, they will vote for protections.

Gail Travers, Trustee in Akron Mobile Home Park Tenants Association
Akron

End of Buffalo News letter to editor by Gail Travers.

 

Even a quick Google search reveals that Ms. Travers has been active in engaging the media and legislators. 

For example. You can see Travers’ testimony before the NY State Assembly hearing, starting about the 24:32 time mark, and ending about the 28:42 time mark.

 

 

It must be noted that other manufactured home community residents are also sharing similar stories in that same video, posted above. So for those who are not familiar with this issue, viewing more of this video is sobering. It paints the picture that her letter to the Buffalo News stated.

It may bear mention that Stacey White, noted on the NY State Assembly website as “a leader at MHAction,” also testified at this same session.  Certainly, some of the talking points that Ms. Travers used are like those raised by MHAction in their white paper, videos, talking points, etc.  The letter from the Democratic chair of the committee that held these hearings is linked here as a download.

 

Rent Control?

Rent control is one of the notions commonly floated as a ‘solution’ to such problems as Travers recounts.  But that has been passed in other jurisdictions, and it has routinely proven to not work as it was believed it might. Who said? Another resident activist in Delaware, that said as much, in a statement found in the report linked here.

Rent control, regardless of who promotes it, fails as badly as wage-price controls did when the late President Richard Nixon (GOP) promoted that ploy during his demonstration, and he watched that fail. The free market routinely works better than a command and control economy, so long as the free market isn’t badly distorted.  For those who doubt that, just look at communist-run China, were virtually empty, nearly new high-rise housing buildings stand.  Rent control, as several linked reports further below reveal, simply doesn’t work as its proponents claim.

Indeed, what is occurring is a distortion of the free market, that’s why this problem that Travers describes exists. The good news? Secretary Carson – should he opt to do so – holds in his hands the key that could unlock the solution to this vexing issue.

 

Corporations and Local Officials Distorting the Free Market, and What Secretary Carson Could Do

Secretary Carson is quite right when he repeated said in recent weeks that the heart of the problem for housing is found in increasing the supply of affordable homes. When more affordable housing options exist, then the increasing spike in prices will begin to abate.

Besides Secretary Carson, who else has said as much?  How about Lawrence Yun, Ph.D., Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Writing in Forbes, Yun said the following.

 

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

 

But he did more than just say that, per our sources, it was Dr. Yun who encouraged the study of manufactured housing by NAR’s Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE).

Cororaton made a similar claim to Secretary Carson’s claim of the ‘resilience’ of manufactured homes, as the quote/graphic below reflects.  It bears mention that her 2018 research cited our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and MHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, in her first footnote on page 48.  See her insightful research, linked here.

 

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

 

The facts that Carson and Cororaton touted complement each other to a significant degree.

But that is not the message that the vast majority of Americans are getting about manufactured homes, because of the image-plagued ‘mobile home parks’ (SIC).  It is from such land-lease communities where millions of pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-HUD Code manufactured homes are found. 

It is from such land-lease communities where a significant number of ‘bad news’ stories originate.  Note the screen capture from Google news, below, that makes the point.

 

MobileHomesNewsGoogleSearchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The bulk of these stories are from manufactured home land-lease communities, a.k.a. mobile home parks. Street retailers and HUD Code home producers, take note. This impacts you as much as it does community owners.

 

It is arguably from ‘black hat’ operations that Travers and others understandably complain about that are causing significant levels of the blowback that manufactured home (MH) living experiences.

On the one hand, we respect the right of Travers and others to organize and ‘fight back.’ But the reality is that some of what they do arguably undermines their own economic position.  More on that another time, because what the focus should be is how can the issues they raise best be addressed?

Let’s look.

 

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

Manufactured Home Residents, MH Investor Reality Checks

If an investor came into a community like Akron, paid a lot to buy what is a commercial property, and then tried to aggressively hike site fees (lot rents), what options does someone like Travers have today?  In her area, and many others, the choices may be very limited.

But if ‘enhanced preemption’ were being aggressively promoted, and/or new communities were coming on-line, the dynamic would shift.

This is what is missing from Secretary Carson’s pro-manufactured home dialogue.  Our sources at HUD, the fact that HUD officials asked about this question declined comment, and the utter lack of any mention of the words “enhanced preemption” on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) website all suggest that the good doctor has been kept in the dark on this subject.

That begs the question, why?

That should also beg the question, why doesn’t the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) have that critically valuable phrase on their website? 

 

MHIlogoManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoEnhancedPreemptionNoResults2019-06-12_1203MHProNews

The fact that MHI keeps reportedly nudging Allen into distractions away from the central issues that are harming the industry is itself revealing. Listen to what pro-MHI voices like that say, but consider the opposite. It will often be closer to the truth. Note, Allen calling MHI a monopoly, and blaming MHI members for the problems caused by consolidation are below.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

Allen, in the quotes above, is de facto pointing to positions that MHARR correctly took, but that MHI took the wrong stance. The purported choice of Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, who is said to be communicating with Allen, of him as their surrogate is almost comical, because of Allen’s history of attacking the Arlington, VA based trade group. He’s not a credible surrogate.

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

You can’t make this stuff up. Allen blasted MHI, but was reportedly recruited by Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison for being their surrogate and attack dog. But when his bark or ‘roar’ are examined, there is no bite behind it. Allen contradicted MHI’s new stances several times, publicly, and has never explained his flip flops. Per sources, he is rewarded for his attack dog role.

 

Or why doesn’t the MHInsider – who along with brown-noser George F. Allen – who purportedly routinely regurgitate whatever their overlords in Arlington, VA desire – lack the words on their ‘professional’ blog?

 

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

By contrast, facts, problem, and solution oriented Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has numerous articles on the topic of Enhanced Preemption.

 

ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARREnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

So too here on MHProNews, or ManufacturedHomeLivingNews. See what the Google search done today reveals.

 

EnhancedPreemptionSearchManufacturedHousingMHProNewsNadaMHIbutMHARRhasit2019-06-12_1227

 

This goes back to the argument that the power players behind MHI are posturing efforts to promote manufactured housing, but do so tepidly. Even brown-noser Allen admitted in a recent post that MHI was essentially dragged into the Innovative Housing Summit (IHS). He downplayed the key role that companies played, and made it look like MHI rose to the occasion, as if to save the day. 

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteInnovativeHousingSummit2019-06-12_1242DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

If so, why was there so little public media coverage of the event from a manufactured housing perspective?  That’s an acid test.  The rest is window dressing for those who will buy whatever the big boys sell.

 

 

Frank Rolfe…

What MHI member and controversial community investor Frank Rolfe referred to as customers being chained to a Waffle House is apt but ugly description of this current environment.

Investors and resident groups like MHAction, NMHOA, or others talk about that point, each from their own perspective.  They agree, for example, that few move homes, and that the cost of such a move of a mobile/manufactured home can be $5,000

 

But the solution is potentially simple. HUD could begin implementing the solution on short notice. It fits a theme that the Trump Administration has repeated many times.

Enforce the law” on “enhanced preemption.”

HUD has oddly used their power of enhanced preemption only rarely, but it has been used, as the screen capture of the top of letter to a local jurisdiction below reflects.

 

HUDLetterCityRichlandMSEmilyGoodeJenHallMMHAFederalPreemptionofManufacturedHomesFederalEnhancedPreemptionMHIA2000DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Letter from MHARR to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, with examples supporting Enhanced Preemption is linked here.

 

What is missing is making that kind of letter from HUD to local jurisdictions a routine.  HUD could rapidly start the fix of problems like those Travers raised, simply by enforcing enhanced preemption routinely.  Doing so would open up new options for current and potential manufactured home buyers.

That’s why MHARR has been promoting it for years, and it is the same reason that MHProNews and MHLivingNews has too.  As a disclaimer, note that our trade media support of enhanced preemption predates any ads from MHARR by several years.  In fact, while our firm was an MHI member, our management was mystified that MHI didn’t push it. So as years of articles reflect, our editorial position has been consistent, unlike the ‘cowardly lion’ Allen – who when asked on the record – has not denied that he’s been rewarded for attacking MHARR, and this pro-growth trade platform.  So, he’s purportedly guilty of doing what he accuses others of doing.  How nice.

State association executives who are MHEC members know about enhanced preemption. The letter above was obtained at the request of a state association. But apparently, the word is out that MHI and the powers that be in MHVille don’t want this discussed.

 

 

MHARR has provided notice to HUD Secretary Carson delivered by FedEx and is documented here.  When carefully read, it reflects the intent of Democrats and other legislators who supported the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) in 2000.

The evidence in favor of enhanced preemption is compelling.

Which once more begs the question, if MHARR and congressional representatives who were in the mix are promoting the use of enhanced preemption, then why aren’t MHI and the big boys?

The logical answer, based upon the known evidence, is sad and sobering.  The big boys benefit from the current state of affairs, because it allows them to consolidate more of the industry at a discounted price. Because it is subtle, it isn’t obvious.  This fits Buffett’s ‘strategic Moat’ and other mantras. 

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Bad news is arguably part of the moat. A lack of good news serves a dastardly use for someone who wants to consolidate the industry too.  Since Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton, the industry is actually smaller today than then. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis, unless they wanted it to be so?

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

 

Rephrased, for the big boys, bad news for the industry is paradoxically useful.  How so?  Because it harms marginal players the most.

 

 

That causes businesses to sell out at a discount. 

Some are silent on this trend, because they think they benefit from it. Others are silent out of fear of a loss of their jobs. But some, like Alan Amy call it out for what it is.

 

 

How Enhanced Preemption Would Make the Difference

If new communities were opening, or the Gail Travers of her area had an option to move to another community or to a development homesite, that would act as a competitive check

there have numerous times in our industry’s history that developers and communities paid to move someone in.

What’s missing, in other words, are options for consumers.  Rent control is a band-aid that will likely cause fewer to want to build a community, than the few that already do.

The solution is to encourage the creation of more home sites.

MHARR’s initiative is potentially part of the solution. More on that at this link here

As a total contradiction of his own arguments, Allen admits to the problems of predatory firms, without mentioning that many of these have clear ties to MHI.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

But if MHI and the industry’s powers that be truly wanted to solve the dilemma that faces Travers and others, they would have pressed HUD Secretary Carson, or Brian Montgomery at HUD, to ‘enforce the law’ on enhanced preemption.

Since many of the problematic news stories that are reported in the mainstream media are about issues related to the concerns raised by those like Ms. Travers, logically, the number of ‘bad news’ headwinds would abate as more options would come online.  ICYMI, or need a referesher, see the article linked from the text-image box below.

 

Spreading City Ban on Individual Lot Placements Threatens Independently Owned Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Residents, and HUD Code Producers

 

Buffett’s Gift to Manufactured Housing Industry, Media Coverage…

Letters and news like the gut-wrenching woes of Gail Travers drive down interest in our industry and sales. To reverse the trends, one must get to and resolve the root issues.

For MHI or state association members with the cojones, don’t forget to write a letter and thank Warren Buffett for contributing via the Novo Foundation to the Tides nonprofit, which in turn supports MHAction. It is MHAction that has been generating more bad media for the industry than MHI claims to generate good media.  Coincidence?

Or is it a coincidence that Berkshire Hathaway owned BH Media Group assets failed to cover IHS2019.

 

WAVY, Mainstream TV – HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase – Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway Revelations

 

These are professionals.  MHI has a professional public relations person on staff. What was that PR person doing prior to IHS2019? Why didn’t Kevin Clayton, or Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage Corp, ask Berkshire to have their media assets robustly cover Secretary Carson’s positive comments about manufactured housing?

The pattern is there to see, for those with open minds.

One must wonder if Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral video misnamed “Mobile Homes” would ever have been made without Buffett’s support of MHAction? Oliver shows a screen shot of the MHAction co-branded white paper.

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time.

 

Whenever you see MHAction at work, are you thinking of Warren Buffett? Of Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage Corp?

 

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

WarrenBuffettTidesNoVoFoundationMHActionGeorgeSorosManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

Conclusions – The Solution for Residents and Independents

Without supply and demand coming into better balance, the manufactured home industry is logically heading into a blind alley. Communities will slowly return to capacity, after years of being artificially depressed as evidenced by the documented machinations like the one linked here. When asked, MHI, Clayton, 21st and their attorneys have repeatedly declined comment on those documents.

What happens when existing communities reach capacity?  What impact will that have on independent producers of HUD Code homes that supply communities?

TonyGetsItAlColeOxfordBankTrustManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Sure, there will be replacements of older mobile homes or earlier manufactured homes even when a community reaches effective capacity.  But for the long-term health of the industry, and the benefit of consumers, it will require more #HousingChoice for consumers.

Enforce the law, as stated in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  That must be part of the savvy, long-term mantra of industry professionals, especially independents.  It is on that point that consumer groups and industry independents could come together.

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

 

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UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

June 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

RVhorizonsMobileHomeUniversityFrankRolfeDaveReynoldsBothFingerManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoFailuresInWritingAgainMHIlogoMHProNews

Dave on left, Frank on right.

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

 

 

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

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

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

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

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

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

NFPAManufacturedHomeIsNotaMotorHomeOrTrailerAlthoughItisOftenCalledMobileHomeItIsNotThatEitherNFPADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonAddresstoManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIlogoMHIwebsiteSearchMHProNews2019-06-03_0844

 

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

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

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

 

 

MemoFromFrankandDaveJune12019InvestingNewsletterDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

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

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

 

FrankRolfeDaveReynoldsPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

IsThisTheMobileHomeParkofTheFutureDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

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

Why mobile home parks are easy targets for re-development

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

How higher rents are essential to keep parks alive

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

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

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

Could tax breaks hold the key?

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

 

WinWinOpportuityThatAllParkOwnersShouldWatchForDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

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

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

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

 

 

WondersofMobileHomeParksinMichiganDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why it is a great market for mobile home parks

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

Conclusion

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

 

 

HowMuchCapitalDoesItTakeToBringAMobileHomeParkBacktoLifeDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

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

Big dollar items

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

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

Medium dollar items

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

Smaller dollar items

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

Free items that still have a huge impact

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

Conclusion

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

 

 

TheOriginofAmericanDreamHowItsChangingSaveForPurposePictureofHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

What is the “American Dream”?

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

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

Rates of home ownership increased for decades

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

And consider the financial performance during that period

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

But now things have changed

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

Unlocking the driver to home ownership

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

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

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

The impact of this theory on mobile home price appreciation arguments

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

The future is all about flexibility

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

Conclusion

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

 

MajorDifferenceBetweenOwningMObileHOmesparksin1963VsTodayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

The difficulty of financing in 1963

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

In contrast to today

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

Why this ties many facts together

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

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

Conclusion

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

 

IsItAGoodThingthatMobileHomesArentMobileFrankDaveDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

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

The capability of having a larger home

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

Greater sense of community with stable residents

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

Closer to stick built than RV in all regards

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

The ability to sell the home

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

Conclusion

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

 

 

LessonsLearnedfromWallyByamAndAirstreamFrankDaveDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

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

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

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

 

 

HowCreateHappyCommunityManagersFrankDaveDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

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

Choose the right person

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

Train them properly

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

Treat them fairly

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

Let them know how they will be judged: eliminate uncertainty

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

Don’t put them in impossible situations with residents

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

Conclusion

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

 

EvolvingConcernsofMobileHomeParkOwnersFrankDaveDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews

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

The political climate

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

Unfair media coverage

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

Laws that don’t work

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

Rent control

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

Little government assistance beyond financing

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

Conclusion

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

##

 

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

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

 

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

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

 

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

WarrenBuffettTidesNoVoFoundationMHActionGeorgeSorosManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

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

 

RepAOCleftSenatorElizabethWarrenRightTMZDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Rep. AOC, left, Sen Warren, right.

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Related Reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

BriefHistoryObjectivesofManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeNews

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEODannyGhorbaniPhotoManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformLogoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

MHActionLogoWarrenBuffettGeorgeSorosPhotoTidesFoundationLogoDailyBusinessNewManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProsNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform4-26-2019ManufacturedHomesMHProNews

 

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

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIwebsiteEnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-06-01_0437

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

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

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

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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

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

MHIMHECMHARRlogosWeProvideYouDecideManufacturedHOusingMHProNews487

 

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

 

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

 

There is purported evidence:

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

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

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEwsTonyGetsItAlColeOxfordBankTrustManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

CaseyMackLegacyHousingManufacturedTinyHomesKudosMHProNews

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

 

 

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

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

 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

 

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

 

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

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHISiteSearchMHProNews

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Related Reports:

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

 

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

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

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Reid Raises Undocumented Immigrants Getting Ripped Off by Manufactured Home Communities Issue

May 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

GSMOEFStephanieReidRaisesUndocumentedImmigrantsGettingRippedOffManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGSMOEFGSMOLMHProNews

In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews today was a Q&A by Stephanie Reid.  Reid was “formerly on staff with the Senate Select Committee for Manufactured Homes,” said the GSMOEF – the GSMOEF, or the Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners Education Fund, which is affiliated with the Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League (GSMOL).

 

It will be recalled that GSMOL provided the initial tip to Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) that Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) was being funded by the Tides nonprofit. Not only did their report prove to be accurate, it led to the discovery that Warren Buffett – via so-called ‘dark money’ funding of NoVo Foundation – which in turn was the top donor to the Tides.

Translated, Warren Buffett money arguably benefited opposition to manufactured housing image and political efforts.  See the broader list of organizations Buffett’s bucks have been tied to, linked here, or the hot-linked text-image box below.

 

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

 

Against that backdrop, is this Q&A submitted by Reid.  Note the allegation about immigrants, noted in the headline, above.  We’ve highlighted that portion by making it bold, but otherwise, the text is as sent by GSMOL’s affiliated GSMOEF.

 

GoldenStateManufacturedHomeOwnersEducationFundYourRightsHeaderMay222019MHProNews

 

Question:  I own a mobilehome park where there are many abandoned homes.  Can I sell them without registering as a real estate agent?

 

Background:

Although I heard from only a few park managers and realtors about this issue, it was a volatile-enough problem that it needed to be included in this series.

The majority of calls on this subject were from residents who reported many observations of illegal acquisitions.  The most egregious example – of, well, theft – were of a few MHP owners and managers who routinely “sold” abandoned homes to persons who were living in this country without proof of citizenship.

The “undocumented” resident would pay for their MH in cash installmentsThen, when the resident paid the last installment on their home, the park owner or manager would order the undocumented resident and their family to leave the park immediately under threat of being reported to immigration authorities.

The family would flee the park and the home was then sold to the next undocumented family with the same outcome.

A penalty of $2,000 would hardly dissuade a theft of a home that would yield thousands more, if the theft was prosecuted at all.

Answer:  Generally, the answer is “no”.  First, in order to act as an agent between a seller or buyer of a used mobilehome or manufactured home, you either must be registered with HCD as a “manufactured home dealer” or with the Bureau of Real Estate as a licensed real estate agent.  Acting as an unlicensed dealer or agent can result in criminal penalties, civil penalties, and citations of up to $2,000 for each illegal sales activity.

The only exception to this is if the prior residents/homeowners have “walked away” from the homes, a park owner may sell them if he/she first obtains the right to ownership through a court action for the judgment of abandonment (Civil Code Section 798.61) or after a warehouse lien sale (Civil Code Section 798.56a).

After that, if the park owner intends to rent, sell or salvage the units, the park owner must go to HCD and transfer title to his or her name, which includes paying all property taxes or HCD fees that are owed.  HCD also has special procedures for when the prior registered owner cannot be found or when there are unpaid or unsatisfied loans on the home.

Only after registering as the new owner may the Park owner (who is now the homeowner) rent, sell, or salvage the abandoned homes.

##

By Stephanie Reid.  Reid was formerly on staff with the
Senate Select Committee for Manufactured Homes Communities. 

 

Manufactured home community and other industry professionals will span the gamut of reactions to the above. The same can be said about an industry trade publication quoting from a resident group.

The industry’s professionals may slowly be waking to the following vexing reality.  Big companies are often fueling the problems that create problems for smaller firms, as well as woes for numbers of manufactured home residents.  See the related report, further below the byline and notices.

 

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

 

As a final thought, it was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) exiting prior present who said that manufactured home professionals had to be in alignment with the interests of their consumers in order to be successful.  Chris Stinebert’s interesting point is found in the link below.

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

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“Toxic Trailers” – Clayton Homes, Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clintons – Exposé Videos

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

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

 

 

 

 

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

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

 

ProsperityNowNonprofitsSustainJohnOliversMobileHomesVideoInTheirReportsManufacturedHomeProNews

For those among the manufactured housing industry’s professionals, state association, or investment categories who stated a hope that the John Oliver video would blow over soon, guess again.

 

They’re [pro-MHI state execs] all drinking each other’s bath water with no objectivity left, whatsoever,” said a recent news tip to MHProNews included several messages from other association executives to make that source’s point.  That tipster was one of several that raised concerns about fellow state execs who are in their view engaged in wishful thinking, or worse.

Really? Was that quoted statement an accurate claim? Let’s look.

It will be recalled that MHProNews exclusively reported that Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) Executive Director Amy Bliss said to other state executives: “I am very disappointed in two entities that are supposed to be in favor of manufactured housing.  ROC USA and North Country Cooperative both added this John Oliver junk to their facebook page and ROC USA also tweeted it out as if they were sharing good news. This is such an insult to the people that have chosen manufactured housing to live in.  If there were not investor owned communities, they would have no communities to “convert” to resident owned.  Such a shame.”

In so saying, Bliss was undercutting a member of her own association, and that of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) too.  Was she alone? Hardly.

Jay Hamilton, from the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA), chimed in with: “I agree with the ones who commented [in that MHEC executives message thread] about opening up a can of worms [i.e.: if a public reply is made to the John Oliver video]. You would be fanning the fire at this point. MHI responding in advance was the best play you could make and its made. My concern is what we can do as an industry to encourage Frank Rolfe to avoid engaging with reporters.”

MHEC is the acronym for the Manufactured Housing Executives Council, which has historically been open to national and state association leaders.  That means that MHI and MHARR can monitor those communications. Given the size and power disparity between MHI and MHARR, it should go without saying that if someone will kiss someone’s behind in a semi-public forum that is monitored, it is the larger trade group that they tend to bow towards, kneel to, or kiss the proverbial ring.  

 

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

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

 

That comment from Hamilton at GMHA reflects the point that other executives similarly made about that same John Oliver  “Mobiles Homes” video thread comments.  But this last example, in fairness, is a bit different.

For balance and accuracy, tips to MHProNews revealed that there was one state level executive that openly took a more nuanced view. “No surprise, other [media] outlets have picked up Oliver’s story. This is what my wife just sent me from “The Hustle”” said Logan Hanes, who is the Director of Education and Industry Advancement at the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI).

For balance and accuracy, tips to MHProNews revealed that there was one state level executive that openly took a more nuanced view. “No surprise, other [media] outlets have picked up Oliver’s story. This is what my wife just sent me from “The Hustle” said Logan Hanes, who is the Director of Education and Industry Advancement at the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI).  The Hustle was one of several publications that commented on the John Oliver video, in a typically dark view of various aspects of manufactured housing corporate behavior. That article that Logan forwarded used the feature image below.  It ripped Warren Buffett, Frank Rolfe, Clayton Homes by name. The Hustle ended with the following subheading and three short paragraphs. As we commonly do here on MHProNews, we’ll turn the text placed in quotes in bold and brown to make it pop, but the words are otherwise those of writer Wes Schlagenhauf in the Hustle.

 

TheHustleMObileHomeInvestingHotWarreNBuffettHomeownersGetBurnedMHProNews

Shill-ionaire of the people

Clayton stayed profitable through the financial crisis. In 2015, Clayton grabbed a record $700m in earnings, while foreclosing on over 8k homes.

Buffett has long been viewed as a corporate hero. The more he complains about his secretary having to pay higher income tax than he does, the more people view Big B as some rich do-gooder.

But Clayton homes’ manipulative business model, which Buffett immediately saw dollar signs in, contradicts many of the ideas of fairness for which Buffett is known.”

Thus, the comment by KMHI’s Logan was arguably responsible in the sense that it stated reality, without undercutting others not able to respond for themselves, absent the news tips.

Notice: Those being quoted herein, or others who want to defend them, are hereby invited, if they so wish, to submit an on-the-record the statements in response to this report.  Clearly, our quoting these sources is not intended to endorse their comments, but nor is it intended to undermine what good work they may also do or have done. One must separated the ‘wheat and chaff’ from all people, organizations, and things. That said, MHProNews’ editorially can not discern positive value to the industry in many of the comments exchanged by executives in that John Oliver-related MHEC thread.

But there is more to know…see further below.

 

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

 

Who Among the State Executives Were Right On the Oliver Issue?

A short history lesson is timely.  Think back to the Seattle Times report.  First one, then another, in 2018 there was yet another installment on that same theme.  Look at what this Google search this evening revealed.

SeattleTimesCenterforPublicIntegrityClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeMHProNews4292019

 

Tim Williams from 21st Mortgage Corp, ironically, made the right point, in an on-the-record statement made previously to MHProNews.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

MHI failed to make a public response to that PBS segment. To date, MHProNews is unaware of an public response by MHI to the John Oliver video either. How will it be different? Despite the MHI whispered shares to state executives or others, does MHI want bad news to linger?  Consider Frank Rolfe’s word’s anew.

 

There are those in various segments of manufactured housing or the affordable housing advocacy world’s who find this Oliver satirical hit video against some of the industry’s giants a useful narrative useful for their purposes.  Agree or disagree, its their right, of course.

That means sober and realistic souls in manufactured housing must be able to respond in timely and effective ways. Verbally tossing ROC USA or Frank Rolfe under the bus accomplishes little in practical terms.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews have already provided several public responses.  While some have moaned and groaned about Oliver’s video, what are those moaners – save the sources of the shared tips – actually doing about it?

Those tips quoted above to MHProNews exposed something that association members at the state and national levels needed to see.

 

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAllianceExecutiveDirectorAboutROCUSANorthCountryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews could provide screen captures of the other emails, but this demonstrates that Bliss and the others sent what was quoted above in that message exchange with MHEC.

 

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

Those association executives may take your dues, and while arguably undermining a person’s or firm’s reputation or interests. If they will do it to ROC USA or Rolfe, what is to keep them from doing that to you or your firm?

Furthermore, given the lessons learned from the report “How Gold Rules” what can the MHEC executives do – if they want to keep their jobs – other than give news tips to us?

It is increasingly clear that there are conflicts of interest involved in trying to point out who benefits and who is harmed by the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” video narrative? ICYMI, or need a refresher, the linked text-image box reveals prior tips from state association executives who are tired of how the MHEC system is manipulated, and how it arguably harms the interests of industry independents.

 

 

That said, Prosperity Now this sent out a statement about their most recent promotion of their use of John Oliver’s video narrative. Keep in mind that Prosperity Now has been getting funding from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for some years, among others.

Here’s the key part from the Prosperity Now release today, between the dashed — lines.

 

— start of Prosperity Now release quote —

John Oliver Addresses Manufactured Housing

John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight on HBO, explained why manufactured homeowners need to be able to use resources within their communities to build their own housing parks by citing research from Doug Ryan, Senior Director of Affordable Housing at Prosperity Now. Watch the Full Segment here. Use Prosperity Now’s Manufactured Housing Toolkit to learn how you can spread awareness and advocate for affordable housing in your community.

 

— end of Prosperity Now release quote —

Note that quoting Prosperity Now is
not to be construed as an endorsement of their position.
Reporting or quoting aren’t an endorsement.

 

MHProNew’s publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach sent an Op-Ed to an editor who fact-checked his claims, and then not only ran his letter, but did so in 5 markets, not just one.

 

  Jacksonville

  Gainesville

  Sarasota

  Lakeland

  Winter Haven

 

Those were based upon our initial public facing report on MHLivingNews, linked below.

 

 

Where is MHI’s public response?  Or Clayton Homes?  Frank Rolfe, or any of the other firms who have been negatively mentioned?

Agree or not, count on MHAction, Prosperity Now, ROC USA – among others – to keep beating this drum. Those state executives that aren’t caught in the ‘Gold Rules’ trap need to find ways to fight back for their independent members.

SpencerRoanePentagonPropertiesCreditsPostedDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNewsIronically, it was Spencer Roane who said last week the following. After taking a backhanded ad hominem swipe at our publisher, he then said this: “The Jacksonville newspaper post is about the need for affordable housing.  Hard to argue w/ that.  The only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.  So what?  Other than sharing the interest of many in the industry about overly aggressive community owners/managers, none of this has anything to do w/ me.”

Roane is reportedly a regular reader, but publicly with his circle, he is not a fan of MHProNews, per sources. That said, it is hard to argue with that Roane and others in the community sector are vexed by “overly aggressive community owners/managers” – which he then distances himself from. While he dismissively says, “So what?” he makes it clear that the “only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.” Call it what it is, a back-handed compliment.

But Roane missed perhaps the most important point.  It is Warren Buffet who via dark money channels has provided funding via the NoVo Foundation and Tides nonprofits to MHAction.

 

After years of fact-checks on irksome issues, MHProNews and MHLivingNews are uniquely positioned to do a useful response and analysis.

In this Oliver video case, it is demonstrably MHI backers who’ve sparked the bad news.  Roane is correct that this is an issue for independent community owners. But it is a key MHI backer – Warren Buffett – who have purportedly helped fund MHAction.

 

TidesFoundationNovoFoundationWarrenBuffettMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHActionHomePage2019-04-13_0857TheAdvocacyFundThePresidioDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Building that case, one fact after another. Follow the money trail. Ask who benefits? Cui Bono?

Now, MHAction with Prosperity Now and others are fanning the flames of their attacks on manufactured housing’s image – and thus, manufactured housing independents, including Roane and others like him. What will the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) or others publicly do in response?

 

CenterForPublicIntegrityFundingTidesFoundationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Ironically, it was Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage who obliquely provided this news tip to MHProNews a while back. CPI teamed up with the Seattle Times to do the original ‘hit’ on Clayton Homes. So there is a pattern that is arguably emerging. Buffett bucks goes to sources such as CPI or MHAction, at times via dark money channels.  Those nonprofits like CPI or MHAction in turn attack ‘black hat’ practices that may indeed include Buffett’s own brands, but  it is done in a way that makes the industry-at-large look like black hats to those who don’t go beyond the surface.  

NovoFoundationWarrenBuffettTidesFoundationFundsMHActionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Similar conclusion to Influence Watch, but this graphic is from Cory Morningstar. Open Secrets makes the point that it is difficult to trace these kinds of contributions, which may explain the disparity between the totals shown.

DarkMoneyBasicsWikipediaOpenSecretsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • MHI’s leadership has been asked to respond to these allegations previously.  Silence.
  • MHI’s outside attorney has been asked to respond to these documented points, he too is silent.
  • Clayton and 21st, the same ‘nada’ responses.

That silence speaks volumes.

 

Part of a Pattern?

Then consider this in the following context.  This pattern is akin to tax and regulatory barriers, bigger firms can handle those better, per researchers.  Buffett can back whomever he wants to politically.  But what do you call it when Buffett’s backed POTUS Barack Obama – who in turn backed Dodd-Frank and the CFPB. Meanwhile MHI, Clayton and 21st claimed to be working to change a law that POTUS Obama said would be vetoed?

That truth about years wasted pursuing Preserving Access was hiding in plain sight.

 

Aren’t the effects similar?  Can you spell, MHI and Berkshire-brands head-fakes? Say one thing, and do another?

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

WarrenBuffettMedalofFreedomAwardfromBarackObama2010-UPI-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews525

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceived.” –  Sir Walter Scott.

 

Are the head-fakes and patterns of deceptions becoming more clear?  Do they fit Buffett’s castle and moat metaphor?

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

Meanwhile, consolidation in MHVille continues…

 

The Lesson Learned?

At a minimum, more MHI affiliated association executives need to join the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington resistance,” observed MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “For those that can, why not consider doing what Neal Haney helped lead some associations out of MHI in the last two years?”

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

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

It isn’t just deception in ‘fighting’ regulations, or evidence of Buffett’s bucks fomenting bad news in MHVille.  It is purportedly also evidenced by diverting lower-cost financing away from retailers and communities too.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Your thoughts? See the related reports, further below.

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

 

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

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SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money?

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

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

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

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

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secretary Carson Letter Lights Fuse for Explosive Change, Obliquely Addresses Manufactured Housing Action Concerns

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

 

SecCarsonLetterLightsFuseExplosiveChazngeObliquelyAddressesManufacturedHousingActionConcernsMHProNews

 

Last year at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) in conjunction with other left-leaning groups, protested Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson’s address to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) at their annual “Congress and Expo” fundraising and networking event.

 

At that time, MHAction issued a press release, photos, and video footage of their efforts to disrupt the talk by Secretary Carson.  The picture above is one of those items, and it’s use or quoting MHAction herein are not to be construed as an endorsement of their views or tactics.

Ben Carson insulted and dismissed us while telling the corporate investors in attendance that they should keep profiting off the housing crisis. Ben Carson’s job is to help solve the housing crisis for people, not profiteers. We came to Las Vegas today to remind Secretary Carson to do his job,” said Patricia Norberg, a manufactured homeowner from Delaware and a grassroots leader with MHAction. “Corporate and private equity investors associated with MHI say ‘jump’ and Carson says ‘how high?’ We’ve had enough.”

MHAction said that low-income senior Jeliner Jordan asked Carson, “If you increase rents and cut the HUD budget, where will I live?” Carson responded by saying “This is a perfect example of what happens when the swamp gets ahold of people.”

 

DarkMoneyBasicsWikipediaOpenSecretsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

What perhaps was missing from a clear understanding of the above drama was the fact brought forth by twin reports on Manufactured Home Living News, the first of which documented that MHAction has had dark money funding from Warren Buffett through the NoVo Foundation and the Tides nonprofit.

 

 

The second and more recent report then applied that insight learned to the MHAction supported and inspired video by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.”   In an apparent head-fake to many resident groups and industry professionals alike, MHAction – in concert with others – published a white paper that was cited by Oliver in his report.

 

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time. To see the John Oliver errantly named “Mobile Homes” video and related fact-check, click here.

 

That MHAction co-branded white paper in turn was publicized by the Washington Post, others in media, and finally Oliver’s video.   But when one grasps how dark money operates in such matters, and steps back to look with that in mind, it is Buffett money that arguably helped fund an attack on a number of significant MHI members, including his own Clayton Homes and related lenders.

The rationale for Buffett doing so, in brief, is that like taxes or regulations, bigger companies can handle negative media better than smaller firms can.  Negative news for he and his allies is less harmful than it is for independents.  That in turn allows larger firms to gobble up smaller ones at reduced prices.  Here’s how retailer Alan Amy summed it up.

 

 

A View from NMHOA… 

TimSheahanPresidentPhotoNationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssoclogoNMHOAlogoMHProNews

Separate the “wheat and chaff,” with all people, organizations, and ideas. One must separate the useful from what is not.

As a letter from the prior National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) president Tim Sheahan quoted below in part reflects, when manufactured home communities were being developed, site fess or ‘lot rents’ were being held in check. Here is how he put it while he was still president of NMHOA, in his comments letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) last year.

In 1970, my city of San Marcos had a population of less than 4,000 and was part of the dramatic manufactured housing community development boom of the 1970s, adding over 3,000 pads among 18 manufactured home communities, which led to more than a doubling of the population by the mid 1970s.” wrote Sheahan.

Like many areas of CA, manufactured home purchasers in San Marcos were lured away from metropolitan areas by the promise of a quiet semi-rural retirement lifestyle with low lot rents and nice amenities, which often included clubhouses/community centers, swimming pools and spas, saunas, shuffleboard courts, pool tables and card rooms, community kitchens; and, in some cases, tennis courts, golf courses and fishing ponds. Downsizing to a MH also enabled them to enhance their financial nest eggs for the retirement years. Initially, stiff competition among various developers during the only time a true “free market” situation existed in these communities commonly led to very reasonable starting rents,” stated Sheahan.  That last sentence is a telling and arguably correct point with the law of supply and demand in mind.

He then said, “As the communities filled with “im-mobile” homes, free market forces such as competition were lost and lot rents for captive homeowners skyrocketed in many areas of California.” That point is largely correct, but it fails to note that it was the lack of new community development that de facto eliminated the option for someone to leave a community where they felt like they were being mistreated in favor of a newer one.”

 

Real World Lessons Learned

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertIn the Oklahoma City and Houston, Texas metro areas, I personally witnessed periods in manufactured housing history where land-lease community owners that were developing new sites, offered to move residents from other area communities in to their property at the property owners’ cost,” said publisher and industry consultant L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Rephrased, as long as there are reasonable alternatives to residents, then the temptation to ‘jack up’ site fees of ‘trapped’ residents is significantly reduced or even eliminated.

Imagine if apartment complexes were no longer being built in the U.S. What would happen? In a free market, as population grows and demand rises, rents would too.  The steady construction of new apartment buildings helps keep existing apartment owners from going too high on rental rates,” explained Kovach.

So, NMHOA’s Tim Sheahan isn’t wrong about the early history, but the solution now isn’t rent control, which Paul Bradley of ROC USA has himself said isn’t an answer,” Kovach said. “Rather, a longer-term solution is to provide more options for community residents, so that the temptation to do what certain MHI member companies have been accused of in recent years is eliminated.”

 

With that Backdrop, The Fuse for Meaningful Solutions is Lit with New Letter

At their annual meeting at the 2019 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) voted to undertake a new initiative to address zoning and placement issues that in their view is not being successfully addressed by the MHI. That perspective is held by others in MHVille too, including a number of MHI members.  At the recent Bryan, TX effective ‘ban’ voted by their city council of even new manufactured housing in various cases, MHI – per MHI members in attendance – did not even send a staffer to protest the ban.

Although MHARR is an independent production association, which compared to MHI claims to be both a producers and post-production association, they’ve taken another step into post-production territory, with their recent vote.

As careful and regular MHProNews readers know, MHARR recently asked HUD to initiate a study of the problems related to placement and zoning issues, tied into the legal concept of enhanced preemption.

In a light-the-fuse letter obtained by MHProNews to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the next step in that process is being taken.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss said to Secretary Carson and several key Washington, D.C. figures as follows, under the subject: Discriminatory and Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes.

One of the principal challenges faced by the manufactured housing industry and particularly its smaller businesses in providing inherently affordable, non-subsidized housing and homeownership for lower and moderate-income Americans, is the discriminatory exclusion of HUD Code manufactured housing from large areas of the United States under the guise of local zoning regulation.”

Such exclusionary and, in fact, discriminatory zoning mandates, affect not only single-home manufactured housing placements, but also the development and/or expansion of manufactured housing communities which provide much-needed land-lease (i.e., rental) space for manufactured homes.”

Weiss’ letter than reminds Secretary Carson that he himself made a similar point last year.

In a 2018 speech to the Policy Advisory Board of the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, you specifically identified and recognized the harmful impact of exclusionary zoning on the availability of affordable housing and homeownership for all Americans, stating that HUD would act “to identify and incentivize the tearing-down of local regulations that serve as impediments to the developing [of] affordable housing stock. Out-of-date building codes, time consuming approval processes, restrictive or exclusionary zoning ordinances, unnecessary fees or taxes, and excessive land development standards can all contribute to higher housing costs and production delays.” (Emphasis added).”

Weiss followed that up by agreeing in this highly specific fashion, “…indeed, in the case of HUD-regulated manufactured housing, the law provides HUD with powerful tools and authority to override local zoning actions that discriminatorily exclude or severely limit the placement and utilization of HUD Code homes. Specifically, in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, Congress gave HUD the express authority to federally preempt state and local “requirements” of any kind that impair “federal superintendence of the manufactured housing industry” and the accomplishment of the Act’s congressionally-mandated federal purposes, including “facilitat[ing] the availability of affordable manufactured homes.” Indeed, in a November 13, 2003 letter to then-HUD Secretary Mel Martinez (copy attached), key congressional proponents of the 2000 reform law stated that enhancements to the scope of federal preemption set forth in that law “have given HUD the legal authority to preempt local requirements or restrictions which discriminate against the siting of manufactured homes (compared to other single family housing) simply because they are HUD-code homes.”

Rephrased, Weiss stressed the merits of using “Enhanced Preemption” – a point that MHARR, MHLivingNews, and MHProNews have stressed for years as an existing legal remedy to prompt local zoning “NIMBYites” to relent under federal supremacy.

While there are examples of HUD flexing its supremacy since the 2000 law, those cases are scant.  One such letter from HUD to a local jurisdiction is linked here.

Thus, Weiss pressed on by saying, “Despite this enhanced preemption authority, however, HUD has failed to take action to stop the baseless – and expanding – exclusion of safe, decent and affordable HUD-regulated manufactured homes from numerous jurisdictions around the United States.”

“…MHARR met with officials of HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) on April 4, 2019 and requested that HUD, as a first step, utilize its resources to research, study and analyze such discriminatory and exclusionary zoning and its local and national impact(s) on the availability of affordable housing and homeownership in light of relevant national housing policies. Such research and analysis could then serve as a roadmap for further HUD action going forward.  Accordingly, we ask that you authorize and advance such a study within the Department,” wrote Weiss.

MHARR’s CEO added, “Quite simply, in order for manufactured housing to reach its full potential as an inherently affordable, non-subsidized housing resource for millions of lower and moderate-income Americans, it cannot, should not, and must not be unfairly and illegitimately excluded from significant areas of the country. In order to stop and reverse this phenomenon, leadership from HUD and by you, personally, as HUD Secretary, is essential and, indeed, indispensable.”

Among those cc’d were:

Hon. Mike Crapo
Hon. Maxine Waters
Hon. Mick Mulvaney

The letter and attachment are linked here.

As important as that letter is in tipping a domino toward more action, were the attachments.  One was a powerful letter dated in 2003, signed by Maxine Waters and others in Congress calling on HUD then to exercise their rights under “enhanced preemption” given to HUD by Congress under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA).

That letter from congress is a legally significant document, because it reflected in that time-frame the legislative intent that Congress had.

All of this begs an important question.  Why hasn’t MHI done this years ago?

It is MHI that claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing,” while MHARR has historically stated plainly that they represent the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

While there are several ways that HUD can respond, there is now a formal series of steps being taken by MHARR to prompt action.  Given that the Trump Administration has said that they are in the “enforce the law” and “promise keeping” business, it will be interesting to see how Secretary Carson and senior HUD leadership responds to these efforts. To learn more, see the link below, “Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way.”

 

A New Paradigm Ahead?

Consider the opening quotes from MHAction, NMHOA, and Secretary Carson at the top. Then ponder how independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes, and residents of manufactured homes, could both begin pushing for implementation of existing federal law.  The common opponent, it would seem, are the big corporate interests that MHAction claims to rail against, but is in fact supported by.  But that point doesn’t seem to be a logical hinderance for the good that could flow to existing residents, independent businesses, new investors, and new housing seekers. MHARR’s effort is timely, and in hindsight, it can be seen as a significant one.

Time will tell, but the stage is being set.  The proverbial fuse has been lit…

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

 

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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Bryan Manufactured Homes Ban Passed, But Petition Count, Other Legal Moves May Stop Texas City

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

April 28th, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingWhiteHatBlackHatINvestingConsumersMHIndependentsMHProNews600

Let’s begin this report with a clarification of the headline. The term white hats and black hats are metaphorical for ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys.’ We know professionals in our industry who literally wear black hats. That should not be construed as a slam on any of those who literally wear a black hat.

 

That said, ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ are a symbolic case of ‘if the behavioral shoe fits, wear it.’

Furthermore, within firms one might deem to be a black hat operator, there are good people working for them. People may find themselves working at a company, association, or nonprofit with problematic professional ethics for a variety of reasons.  Some may have a difficult time leaving or otherwise navigating an escape.

Now, let’s define for purposes of this analysis the black hats.

For this discussion, a black hat company is one that periodically causes negative headlines or other forms of blowback for the manufactured housing industry.

They may or may not be engaging in problematic practices at all times and places. But they do so often enough we’re the public and/or media impression regarding manufactured housing is a poor one.

Examples of such black hats?

Using the objectively negative media barometer, here’s what Google searches suggest as some.

  • Clayton Homes

 

ClaytonHomesHeadlineCheckManufacturedHousingNews2019-04-27_1454_001

When you are looking to cure an illness, you don’t treat the symptoms. You look for the root causes.

  • Nathan Smith – SSK Communities

SSKCommunitiesNathanSmithManufacturedHousingInstituteChairmanMHProNews2019-04-27_1504_001

  • Frank Rolfe RV Horizons/Mobile Home University

 

FrankRolfeNewsSearchMobileHomeParkInvestingDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeMHProNews2019-04-27_1507

  • As you watch this video by the activist group MHAction targeting Frank Rolfe and his colleague’s “Mobile Home University” boot camp, keep in mind that MHAction has reportedly had dark money funding from Warren Buffett.  Not to defend or attack Rolfe and his partners, but keep in mind, that this kind of protest could be organized against whomever they want to target. These types of protests have attracted negative media coverage.

  • Havenpark Capital, a more recent edition for headlines that arguably spark industry blowback…

HavenparkCapitalNewsHeadlinesMobileHomePark2019-04-27_1512ManufacturedHomesMHProNews_001

  • Cavco, on their SEC travails

CavcoIndustriesJoeStegmayerSECNewsSearch2019-04-27_1516ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIMHProNEws_001

There are others, but that is enough to make the point.

Then look at the MHI Executive Committee composition.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Satirical logo provided under fair use guidelines.

 

Once more, put yourself as an outsider looking in.  How would you see MHI? White Hat, or Black Hat?  Then, for a contrast, take a peek at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  Fewer headlines, but no black eyes.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRvsMHI2019-04-27_1524MHProNews_001

MHARR at this time is only open for independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes and certain state associations. But if you wanted an impression of a white hat, which association would you pick? MHI, or MHARR? Right or wrong, many form opinions based on who you are associated with.

 

Why Does MHI Have White Hat and Black Hat Companies?

That said, the question must be asked. What role or function do white hat companies play at arguably black hat dominated MHI?

Here is what years of evidence arguably boils down to:

  • The industry’s smaller firms are caught up – intentionally or not – in the narratives spun by the MHAction white paper, or the John Oliver viral, satirical video, etc. After all, why would Buffett be funding MHAction, if not for a reason like that?  Buffett’s not a masochist. Keep in mind what Kevin Clayton said in the video linked here.  “Warren” would be okay with Clayton losing money for 5 years, so long as they are growing their moat.  Kevin Clayton said it, why not take it at face value?

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

They are formidable, but they can be taken by jujitsu. Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. See a prior Sunday’s report, linked here, for more.

 

Take Buffett at his word, he wants sharks, piranha, and alligators in the waters of his Clayton’s castle moat.

With that vantagepoint, here’s what the evidence trail, ‘follow the money’ and some deductive reasoning suggest.

  • Smaller companies at MHI are the buffet for Buffett and their Big Boy allies.
  • Smaller or modest with firms with a better reputation give cover to MHI’s black hat firms.
  • Small companies are helping pay for what the bigger companies want to do.
SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

Keep in mind that when MHI produced those ‘story telling’ videos a couple of years ago, only a handful of firms were represented.  Unless you were one of those, how did you or your firm benefit from that spending?  That’s just one example out of many possible.

 

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Keep in mind too that just as taxes and regulatory hurdles are barriers to entry, maintenance, or exit, so too is public perception of your product or service. Rephrased, the value of your business is depressed by the blowback caused by the black hat operators.

Within that context, consider what Alan Amy said.

 

A top gent at one of the industry’s rising star firms said at to us as we toured Tunica words to this effect.  ‘You guys (MHProNews) lay out the facts and evidence step-by-step in a logical manner that makes it easy to follow.  I’m just glad that you’re taking aim at Clayton and company, and aren’t taking aim at us [i.e. his company].’

Black hat behavior arguably by high-profile companies makes it harder for white hats to do business.  But never forget, there are ways to jujitsu that, as we reported on a prior Sunday.  ICYMI, see that linked here.

With no further adieu, it is time to dive into the headline news from the week that was.

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

Ultimate Reporters, Researchers, Affordable Housing Advocates, or Shoppers 3’rd Party Research Reports on Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, and Modular Housing

Warren Buffett, Affordable Manufactured Homes, Expert L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s Clayton Homes Counter

Manufactured Housing – Greener Savings by Design – Earth Day Opportunities Missed?

 

What’s New from MHARR

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

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

Saturday 4.27.2019

National Academy of Sciences Praise for Industrialized Housing Projects, Research, Profitable Manufactured Housing Lessons Learned

Friday 4.26.2019

 

Climate Change, Greener Manufactured Housing Investing, and Truth Telling

Bipartisan Praise for Manufactured Housing, What’s Next

2020 News: Big Brother, Antitrust – Anti-Monopoly – Manufactured Housing, and You

Thursday 4.25.2019

American Pie – The Parody Project – The Day Collusion Died, and Manufactured Home Investing

FEMA Opens Its First Manufactured Home Community In Disaster Response

Manipulating Manufactured Housing Pros – Caterwauling Mudslinger, Just Write a Check, Pay Cash, Use Plastic, and Shut You Up

 

Wednesday 4.24.2019

YIMBY Action, Extreme Housing Shortage, and Manufactured Homes

“You Cannot Tax People Into Prosperity,” Housing, Taxes, Policy Failures, Plus MH Market Updates

 

Bill Advances New Rules Regulating Manufactured Home Communities, Esther Sullivan Strikes Again

Unique Shipping Container Home, Lessons for Factory Builders, Manufactured Home Professionals

 

Tuesday 4.23.2019

Infographic – Mapping How Much A Buyer Must Earn to Buy Median Priced House

Legacy Housing Corporation’s $10 Million Stock Repurchase, Plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

HUD Secretary Carson to Host Innovative Housing Showcase Featuring Affordable Housing Solutions

Deer Valley Homebuilders Release w/Video Underscores Surprising Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Connections

 

Monday 4.22.2019

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

State of Blue-Collar Workforce White Paper, Plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

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

“Baseless Discrimination Against HUD Code Manufactured Homes”

 

Sunday 4.21.2019

Ultimate Victory

TEASER Alert: News Tip – Exclusive Report planned Monday morning.

If you are reading to sign up for the manufactured housing industry’s top emailed headlines news, scroll down to the banner below on the right, and sign up in seconds.

Every deception has a goal.

One common goal of deception is to separate you from your God-given rights and your money.

Thanks for checking in. That’s this Sunday’s fact-checked take on “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Deer Valley Homebuilders Release w/Video Underscores Surprising Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Connections

April 23rd, 2019 Comments off

 

DeerValleyHomebuildersReleaseVideoUnderscoresSurprisingClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayConnectionsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNew

Deer Valley Homebuilders (DVLY) has issued a press release that will be featured further below. But their release obliquely spotlighted several issues that could easily make Deer Valley a case study on the ways that Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway’s ability to influence the manufactured home marketplace.  This report – using sources inside and beyond Deer Valley or the other firms mentioned – will begin to unpack the nature of the challenges faced by every independent of most any kind in the manufactured housing industry today.

 

 

Clayton Homes’ retail division, per sources, has done several million dollars annual business with Deer Valley in recent years.  That gives Clayton Homes insights into the Deer Valley operation that they may not gain as easily in any other way.

Keep in mind that the same is true for other firms that Clayton retail does business with.

As almost any independent retailer can tell you, 21st financing is a ubiquitous reality in manufactured home lending. Because of overall low totals of new manufactured home retail sales volumes – estimated at under $8 billion in 2018 for the entire industry – there are numerous consequences to those relatively low sales levels.

One of several worth noting is that lenders looking for places to do business may quickly look beyond manufactured housing, because there isn’t enough volume today to gain the interest for many larger lending firms.

To underscore that point, look no further than U.S. Bank.

U.S. Bank had a successful and profitable manufactured housing financing program. But U.S. Bank nevertheless still pulled the plug on their lending program in manufactured housing. Why? Their stated reasons noted the combination of factors which included:

  • relatively low total retail sales volumes,
  • regulatory, and other perceived risks.

What money U.S. Bank made in manufactured home lending was not worth those perceived risks and factors, per both published and insider sources associated with their largely shelved national finance program.

Note that the ‘increases’ in total manufactured home sales volumes since they pulled out of the market has not yet been sufficient to tempt U.S. Bank to return to manufactured home lending. These are all sobering signals to thoughtful industry professionals.

These are among the kinds of nuances and minutiae that time-pressured mainstream journalists – along with others commenting on manufactured housing – are likely to be unaware of or easily digest, even if they are getting input from manufactured home industry sources. And what If those journalists take the easy step of calling the Manufactured Housing Institute? Hold that thought for later, below.

Then, there’s the ‘reputation,’ ‘stigma,’ or ‘image’ of the HUD Code manufactured housing industry.

Journalists are people too. Stating the obvious can bring clarity to issues. ‘Reports’ such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s satirical hit video on manufactured housing arguably has an outsized influence on others in media.

Unless a journalist or media outlet is motivated to look more closely, it’s like challenging any mainstream narrative that could well have a strongly differing worldview. How many will have the chutzpah to bring forward a contrarian position – however fact-based – in the face of a media dominated by only a handful of mega-corporate interests?

 

MediaLandscapeRecodeApril2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Frank Rolfe, who with his partners in their operations has sparked numerous controversies of his own before Oliver’s spotlighted video hit, was nevertheless correct about several things with respect to mainstream media reporters. The video clip below and the quotes by Rolfe linked here are just some of the ways that media has been given the wrong impression.

 

 

It is an entirely fair question to ask, how has Rolfe and his partners influenced the media impression of manufactured home communities and the industry at large? Beyond the Oliver video, a sense of that can be had from the video below, which on this date has had over 1.8 million views.

 

 

Publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s column in the Jacksonville newspaper Florida Times Union plus others in the Sunshine state that carried the same linked commentary noted the following common thread.  The problematic firms in Oliver’s misnamed “Mobile Homes” viral video report is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing.  A relatively few ‘big boy’ brands and operating principles are creating an outsized negative influence on the impression made in the mainstream media. That same Op-Ed by Tony Kovach also noted the need and value of manufactured homes, and the connection to the also viral “Seattle is Dying” video, which can be accessed in the report linked via the text-image box below.

 

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

 

It is Warren Buffett led Berkshire’s money that can be traced through so-called ‘dark money’ trails to “Manufactured Housing Action” or MHAction. The ‘white paper’ flashed by Oliver in the video was co-authored and co-branded by MHAction.

 

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time.

 

Rephrased, Buffett, Berkshire brands, MHI, key MHI members, and MHAction – by a combination of action and inaction – can stoke headwinds that are entirely unforeseen by most independents. Why? As a number of independents have told MHProNews, they are so focused on their day-to-day efforts, that they have little time to ponder such macro issues.

Those that do know, or have begun to grasp the matter, already had a healthy respect born out of fear and necessity for 21st, or the TRU line of homes that Clayton has grabbed serious market share with.

 

ClaytonHomesTunicaShowTRU13.3PercentHUDCodeMarketShareTotalNonBig3Production20PercentClaytonHomesLogoMHProNewsLogo600

 

The Final Place Setting on Today’s DVLY Media Release Table…

In a more normal world, or less manipulated marketplace, home such as Deer Valley’s would be flying off the production lines. Absent the influences of media reports like John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” video, well informed retail buyers would be lined up to buy appealing yet affordable housing products like theirs. Bear in mind that just 5 years before Buffett pulled the trigger on manufactured housing by acquiring Clayton and other industry brands, manufactured housing was selling 4 times more homes than the industry is today.

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

Other brands beyond Deer Valley could be named here, such as Solitaire Homes, which for decades has built and sold HUD Code manufactured homes via their own vertically integrated retail locations.

Why isn’t Solitaire – or any other independent producers – doing significantly more business than they in fact are doing? The vexing answers are found in the items linked from within this report, or in the related reports linked after the byline and notices further below.

The influence of misinformed media and a misguided public on the housing marketplace isn’t just in the U.S. Canadians and Austrians are among those moved by reports about manufactured homes that are coming out of the U.S.A.

It is with this backdrop that one of the following linked 300 word summaries in mainstream media ought to be carefully considered.

 

  Jacksonville

  Gainesville

  Lakeland

  Winter Haven

 

In the light of such overbearing realities, a press release by Deer Valley or anyone else in the industry to mainstream media gets only a passing look by most writers.

That’s more than a shame.

The impact isn’t only on Deer Valley, but on essentially any independent one might name. This post outlines a tragedy in our nation, because millions are seeking the affordable homes that Deer Valley or numerous other independent builders of any price-point HUD Code manufactured homes produce.

 

DeerValleyHomebuildersMossyOakSeriesVideoStillDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2

Still from DVLY video. Their new video is high quality, and makes a positive portrayal of the target audience and model home toured.

 

Those points noted, here below their appealing new video is the Deer Valley press release.

 

 

Deer Valley Partners with Mossy Oak to Create the First-Ever Nativ Living Manufactured Home

GUIN, Ala., April 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In a world of buzzing smartphones and endless emails, outdoor enthusiasts know that there’s nothing like spending time in nature to take a break from the daily grind. That’s why Deer Valley has partnered with Mossy Oak’s Nativ Living Series to help bring the beauty of nature indoors through the creation of the “Robin’s Nest”: a three bedroom, two bath manufactured home for those whose passion for the outdoors inspires them to bring those elements inside.

Deer Valley Homebuilders partners with Mossy Oak to bring you the Nativ Living Series of homes!

Deer Valley’s affordable, high quality homes and commitment to environmentally-friendly construction practices makes a partnership with Mossy Oak a natural fit,” says Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Senior VP at Mossy Oak.

The Robin’s Nest is a 1,920 square foot, first-of-its-kind prefab home which combines Mossy Oak’s signature nature-focused designs with Deer Valley’s top-of-the-line construction, ensuring that homes are built using the highest quality construction materials in a climate-controlled factory facility.

We’re proud to partner with Mossy Oak to create an ideal home for any sportsperson, whether you’re looking for the perfect family retreat or a new deer camp headquarters,” says Joey Aycock, Director of Sales at Deer Valley Homebuilders.

Because your home should be every bit as enjoyable as a day spent in the woods.

Stay tuned for the construction of three variations of the Robin’s Nest, coming soon!
WL-MOIL-7206 – “Robin’s Nest Outdoor Closet”
WL-MONL-7206B – “Robin’s Nest Man Cave”
WL-MONL-8037 – “Robin’s Nest 4 Bedroom”

Deer Valley Homebuilders
Deer Valley Homebuilders is the number one source for quality manufactured homes that are heavy-built to last a lifetime. 

Mossy Oak Nativ Living
Mossy Oak Nativ Living is for those who are drawn to the beauty of nature and whose passion for the outdoors inspires them to bring those elements into their home. Using textures, colors, elements and designs inspired by nature, Mossy Oak Nativ Living offers a variety of products to complement any cabin, home or lodge.

 

 

DeerValleyHomebuildersMossyOakSeriesVideoStillDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Another video still from their new production in conjunction with Mossy Oaks.

###

Deer Valley (DVLY) is one of the stocks tracked in our evening manufactured housing market report. Last night’s data is linked here.

 

The Wrap  

A competing trade media site approached our publisher at an event at the Tunica Show in March, 2019. With others in earshot, that competing professional objected to the statements in the graphic that follows below, thinking that they were targeted at their work product. In response, Tony Kovach explained that Clayton Homes, as well as other brands or sites, use 3D visual tours, high-quality videos, and other eye-catching images.

So the comments that follow aren’t a put down of any specific company. Rather, it is an observation that is objectively and demonstrably true. Until the core issues are addressed, the impact of great visuals will sadly be nominal.

There is widely acknowledged affordable housing crisis. Manufactured homes as an industry are underperforming. The shipment data reflects that point.

 

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

That begs the question, why?

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

 

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

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

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

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

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

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

Warren Buffett, Affordable Manufactured Homes, Expert L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s Clayton Homes Counter

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

 

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

 

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

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

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

April 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

JuJitsuLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoFactCheckRevelationsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Dictionary.com says, “Jujitsu definition, a method developed in Japan of defending oneself without the use of weapons by using the strength and weight of an adversary to disable him.”

 

Ponder that, “using the strength and weight of an adversary” against them. Here’s more about jujitsu or jiujitsu: “use of an opponent’s strengths or one’s own weaknesses to accomplish one’s goals.” That might sound like magic, an answer to prayer, or a dream come true.

Manufactured home industry professionals who want to see honest and robust growth need all of the above, plus what follows.

The hottest topic in the industry presently is that viral video by Oliver called “Mobile Homes.” You can see that video on MHLivingNews, linked further below.  Because that is the hottest issue, that also means that the fact checks and related on MHLivingNews are ‘read hot’ here on MHProNews.

That logically means those who are found here or on MHLivingNews can benefit from Oliver’s hit video. Those who aren’t, can’t to that same degree.

Our twin public and professional platforms have done fact-checks on challenging issues like Oliver’s video for years. The more analysis and commentary we do, the stronger our pro-growth trade media platforms become. No one else in our industry even comes close. No wonder there’s 1.2 million page views monthly on MHProNews alone.

Let’s give of how tackling to thorny issues is useful.  Let’s look at an example from 5 years ago.  It was arguably Frank Rolfe’s first big splash, “The Cold Hard Lessons of Mobile Home U” in the New York Times by Gary Rivlin.

 

ColdHardLessonsMobileHomeUNewYorkTimesGaryRivlinFrankRolfeMHProNewsManufacturedHomeLivingNews2019-04-13_1549

 

5 years from now, don’t be surprised if you find the same outcome above to be true about this hit video by Oliver.  We robustly respond online with appropriate fact checks and pushing back were needed. The result?  Jujitsu pays off.

 

JiuJitsuMartialArtsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Note, there are variants of proper spellings for Jujitsu.

 

John Oliver Video Analysis Summary

The short version of our various fact-checks – all found linked further below – reveals these surprising connections.

The firms slammed by Oliver are all connected to:

  • Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes and/or or the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).
  • As Saturday’s special report linked below documents, MHAction’s dark money funding traces back to Warren Buffett. We followed the money trail, so it’s easy for you or anyone else to see the compelling evidence.
  • Those two bullets above mean that the responsibility for the allegations against each of the operations named by Oliver belong with those companies and non-profits, not anyone else. Why should the balance of the manufactured home industry suffer for what a relatively small group has done?
  • Rephrased, we’ve used jujitsu to put the responsibility where it should be.  Meanwhile, we, our industry allies, and comrades can benefit.

 

The rest are the fascinating details, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.

That means that MHProNews can pivot back to other matters, because those reports will keep working in the background for years to come.  So while MHI and their bud whine and preen, we’ve done what they couldn’t or wouldn’t do.

There’s Always More…

Several other significant issues occurred this past week, from 4-7-2019 to 4-14.-2019. With no further adieu, check those out in the reports linked from the text-image boxes or other hot-links that follow.  They are all here for you on the most pro-growth platforms in all of manufactured home professional or public engagement.

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

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

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


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

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

 

MHARRlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews324

What’s New from MHARR

MHARR Calls on New Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to Fully and Properly…

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

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

What’s New on the Masthead

For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News from MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

Saturday 4.13.2019

Upcoming Special Opportunities Intelligence Reports, Plus Headwinds, Immediate MHC Independents Warning

Upcoming Special Opportunities Intelligence Reports, Plus Headwinds, Immediate MHC Independents Warning

 

Friday 4.12.2019

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

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

Announcements Speeding 5G, Plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates 

MarketWatch Reports on Manufactured Housing, 2018-2019

MarketWatch Reports on Manufactured Housing, 2018-2019

Sun Communities Under the Hood – Data Reveals – Manufactured Homes, Communities, Comparisons with Conventional, Multifamily Housing

Sun Communities Under the Hood – Data Reveals – Manufactured Homes, Communities, Comparisons with Conventional, Multifamily Housing

Thursday 4.11.2019

Bryan Manufactured Homes Ban Passed, But Petition Count, Other Legal Moves May Stop Texas City

Bryan Manufactured Homes Ban Passed, But Petition Count, Other Legal Moves May Stop Texas City

Stephen Moore Would Challenge Fed’s ‘Growth Phobia,’ Plus Manufactured Home Equities Updates

Michigan Association’s Video Campaign, What They’ve Said About Manufactured Home Living

Michigan Association’s Video Campaign, What They’ve Said About Manufactured Home Living

Warren Buffett Wades Into Politics, Why Not John Oliver’s Piece on “Mobile Homes?”

Warren Buffett Wades Into Politics, Why Not John Oliver’s Piece on “Mobile Homes?”

 

Wednesday 4.10.2019

“Mind Blowing,” Ultra-Modern Tiny House on Wheels, Viral Video – MH Intelligence Report

“Mind Blowing,” Ultra-Modern Tiny House on Wheels, Viral Video – MH Intelligence Report

President Trump Remarks to Union, Signs Executive Order on Energy & Infrastructure, Plus MH Market Updates

President Trump Remarks to Union, Signs Executive Order on Energy & Infrastructure, Plus MH Market Updates

“When Rules Don’t Apply” Docudrama Video, How Workers, Others Get Ripped Off By Giants Breaking Laws – Successful Case Spotlighted

“When Rules Don’t Apply” Docudrama Video, How Workers, Others Get Ripped Off By Giants Breaking Laws – Successful Case Spotlighted

Gen Z – Manufactured Housing Independents’ Intelligence Report, Useful Research Infographic

Gen Z – Manufactured Housing Independents’ Intelligence Report, Useful Research Infographic

 

Tuesday 4.9.2019 

Flashback! Funny, Surprising, Interesting Jay Leno, Donald J. Trump 1999 Video Interview

Flashback! Funny, Surprising, Interesting Jay Leno, Donald J. Trump 1999 Video Interview

Short History Of Taxation in U.S., Infographic, Plus Manufactured Home Equities Updates

Short History Of Taxation in U.S., Infographic, Plus Manufactured Home Equities Updates

Factory-Builders, Retailers, Developers – Is This Your Future Competition Beyond Berkshire Brands in MHVille? Understanding Jeff Bezos’ Amazon

Factory-Builders, Retailers, Developers – Is This Your Future Competition Beyond Berkshire Brands in MHVille? Understanding Jeff Bezos’ Amazon

“Economic Racism.” Angry Residents, Students, Civic Leaders Fight Plan to Ban Affordable Manufactured Homes, Industry Professionals Sound Off

“Economic Racism.” Angry Residents, Students, Civic Leaders Fight Plan to Ban Affordable Manufactured Homes, Industry Professionals Sound Off

 

Monday 4.8.2019

Mexico City, Florida Manufactured Home Community, Drone Photo, Video – 6 Months after Hurricane Michael

Mexico City, Florida Manufactured Home Community, Drone Photo, Video – 6 Months after Hurricane Michael

Art Laffer on POTUS Trump’s Federal Reserve Board Picks, Plus MH Market Updates

HUD Office of Inspector General Breaks Up Section 8 Scam

HUD Study on Manufactured Housing Discriminatory Zoning, Placement by Local Cities, Counties Requested

HUD Office of Inspector General Breaks Up Section 8 Scam

Sunday 4.7.2019

 

Seattle Is Dying, Are Cities Near You Dying Too? High Costs, Corrupted Systems, Manufactured Housing’s Potential Silver Lining

Seattle Is Dying, Are Cities Near You Dying Too? High Costs, Corrupted Systems, Manufactured Housing’s Potential Silver Lining

 

That’s When you carefully digest the content we provide each week, here are the two bullets it often boils down to once pondered.

  • First, there are numerous ways that a savvy firm in manufactured housing could be doing far more business than what it is, honorably and ethically.
  • The second point is that the industry’s leaders are arguably doing a terrible job, given the tremendous needs for affordable housing in the U.S.

That’s this Sunday morning weekly recap. We’re happy to be “Delivering to Manufactured Home Independents & Investors Useful Intelligence for Your Professional Life.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

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

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

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

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

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

 

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Sun Tzu – Ultimate Manufactured Home Freedom Alliance