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Posts Tagged ‘MHARR’

Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

May 24th, 2018 No comments

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There is nothing quite like pie charts, facts and figures to dramatically illustrate what has taken place in HUDVille – the manufactured housing industry – over the last several years.

Trend lines are important for lenders, investors, and business owners to be aware of, and these graphics should also be noteworthy to policy advocates, legal minds, and public officials too.

The first illustration below is from a 2004 issue of the MH Merchandiser Magazine. It shows the top 25 manufactured housing industry producers.  Please note that there is no similar listing that has been done for several years.  Why not?  Would the list of the facts of the top 25 producers of HUD Code manufactured housing prove alarming for independent retailers, communities, producers, suppliers, and others? Is it information that the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) doesn’t find useful to discuss?

Top25ManufacturedHomeMerchandiser2004ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600x929

To see a larger version of this same page, click here or the image itself.

The next illustrations are pie charts created by MHProNews, and based upon the sources as noted herein.

According to the data from the Merchandiser, Berkshire Hathaway purchased two significant manufactured housing brands in 2003.  The combination of Clayton Homes and Oakwood Homes that year, yielded just over a 21 percent market share.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Harken back to the painful realities underscored by quoted statements made by Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett and 21st Mortgage President and CEO, Tim Williams in 2009.  Those direct – and in context – quotes are found in the Smoking Gun 3 report. The Kevin Clayton video, linked here, shows him saying that the market share of Clayton Homes in 2011 was 25 percent.  Let’s take Kevin’s statement at face value.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Finally, the data supplied this year by Berkshire Hathaway – which does not precisely break down manufactured housing, modular homes and other models Clayton Homes builds – indicates that they held a 50 percent market share of manufactured housing in 2017.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2017DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Note that trend line since the 2009 Smoking Gun 3 report time frame?  Prior to 2009, Clayton Homes grew modestly as a percentage of the industry’s shipment totals, as manufactured housing continued to contract.

Since 2010, Clayton Homes percentage of the industry has soared.  That’s put a number of the businesses listed in 2003, out of business, per the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) own data.  Ouch…

That trend-line, per concerned independent voices to MHProNews is a crushing one.  At what stage will federal regulators, and anti-trust authorities step in?  Recall that the Seattle Times has reported just days ago that the Department of Justice (DoJ), HUD, and others are investigating Clayton.

Please see the linked related reports, below. Bookmark this article, because you will want to share it with your circle of influence, and periodically refer back to the facts that this column provides.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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

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

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

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

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

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

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

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

 

 

MHARR Points to Needs Underscored by Washington Post Article on HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program, Related Woes

May 22nd, 2018 No comments

 ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRPointsNeedsUnderscoredByWashingtonPostHUDsManufacturedHousingProgramOfficeManufacturedHousingInstitute

A recent article in the Washington Post regarding the HUD manufactured housing program and the reassignment of former program administrator, Pamela Danner, vividly highlights the glaring need for a new, independent, collective, national trade association to more effectively represent the industry’s post-production sector,” said Mark Weiss in the latest MHARR Issues and Perspectives.

 

Weiss, is an attorney by trade, and is the president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Weiss and MHARR were cited and interviewed in award-winning Juliet Eilperin’s documented Washington Post report 3 weeks ago.  Eilperin laid out the tug-of-war over the HUD Code manufactured housing program, past, present and future. Mark Weiss, Pamela Danner, Lois Starkey, Lesli Gooch, were among those named and quoted.  So too was Doug Ryan of Prosperity Now.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson drew serious attention from the Washington Post (WaPo), as did others at HUD.

 

The View from MHARR

While the Post article, published May 2, 2018, was surprisingly objective in describing MHARR’s successful effort to change the leadership of the HUD program following the election of President Trump (noting that the Manufactured Housing Institute, by contrast, “did not weight-in on [Pamela] Danner’s reassignment”), the story concluded with an all-to-typically-negative account of late-2017 post-production enforcement activity by HUD regulators focused on homes sited in a Massachusetts manufactured housing community. That HUD and a Washington Post reporter would focus on a post-production regulatory issue and related post-production enforcement activity, however, is not, in itself, surprising, given HUD’s evolving – and expanding — regulatory emphasis on post-production matters and post production issues,” wrote Weiss.

To rephrase, Weiss is saying that the article the WaPo article spotlighted several trends from recent years. These include a growing encroachment by HUD on the installation of homes, among other problematic developments.

Indeed, such growing emphasis by HUD and its defacto enforcement contractors (i.e., the Institute for Building Safety and Technology and SEBA Professional Services, L.L.C.) – and others — on post-production issues and post-production targets, is an entirely predictable by-product of the success of the industry’s production sector in two crucial areas, and represents a major challenge that the broader industry must now step-up to effectively address and resolve,” said Weiss.

As with everything else, though, success within the production realm has been paralleled by challenges in other areas which the industry has failed – and continues to fail — to effectively address, precisely because it lacks an independent, collective, national voice to lead and advocate on those matters on behalf of the industry’s post-production sector.  And, as the Washington Post article demonstrates, with just a single example, those challenges will continue to fester and expand, limiting the growth potential of the industry as a whole and the availability of inherently affordable manufactured housing for millions of lower and moderate-income American families, unless and until this underlying issue is properly addressed and resolved,” MHARR’s release to MHProNews stated.

 

A Step Back, Before Moving Ahead

In an on the record statement a week ago, the following on-the-record message came in to the MHProNews.

Tony, Excellent lead article in your Saturday [Daily Business News] blog.”

The article referred to is linked below.

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

You [MHProNews] now have placed the industry’s decades-long failure with its lack of a collective independent national post production representation in Washington, DC on top of its list of priorities and at the center of its debate going forward,” said the message from a RV MH Hall of Fame industry veteran.

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

Until and unless this glaring failure [to create a meaningful post-production association] is addressed and resolved soon, the industry’s snail pace of progress, with its resulting federal, state and local damaging setbacks, will continue, and indeed multiply unabated.”

Hopefully, the industry’s cooler heads will prevail on this most pressing matter, this time around.

Thanks,

Danny

Danny Ghorbani

Ghorbani, as long-time industry veterans recall, worked for the predecessor of what became the Manufactured Housing Institute IMHI).  Ghorbani later was a key player in the creation of what today is known as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, (MHARR), and became its first president.

HUDSecDrBenCarsonJohnBostickJimSheaMikeCappaertMakWeissDannyGhorbaniMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHPorNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/hud-secretary-dr-ben-carson-manufactured-housing-independent-producers-meeting-mh-program-progress-promised/

While Ghorbani is officially retired, he is still an active advisor to MHARR.  He takes part in many key meetings, as the photo with HUD Secretary Ben Carson above reflects.

As several industry members and observers have noted, a past squabble between Ghorbani and MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach was privately discussed and resolved some years ago.

While MHProNews and MHARR are independent of one another, the two often have similar perspectives on key issues; with each party bringing its own unique experiences to bear on industry topics.

 

MHARR’s Call for a New Post-Production Association

MHARR is not interested in being that new post-production association, as a report they published last year made clear.

But MHARR has stated that they are willing to lend their expertise, and experience in helping independent retailers, communities, lenders, and others to forge their own post-production association.

With an affordable housing crisis growing in scope, it is almost inconceivable to some industry observers and professionals that HUD Code manufactured housing is hovering at only an estimated 100,000 shipments projected for 2018.

An effective post-production association is an important part of the cure for that ailment.

As Weiss said in part of today’s newly published report, “…the modern industry’s unequalled ability to produce safe, high-quality homes that comply with all applicable federal standards, at an inherently affordable price-point.  Data compiled on behalf of HUD proves this point.”

In the July 2015 edition of the “MHARR Viewpoint,” MHARR observed that according to HUD’s federal dispute resolution contractor, of the 123,174 HUD Code manufactured homes placed in 23 federally-administered dispute resolution (DR) “default” states between 2008 and 2014, only 24 homes — or .019% — were referred to federal dispute resolution, a process encompassing, and available to, homeowners, producers and installers.  Of those 24 referrals, only 3 – or .002% — were found to actually qualify for dispute resolution under applicable HUD regulations.  Given those undisputed facts, MHARR pointed out that federal DR referrals “are a direct barometer of compliance with the relevant construction and installation standards, and the responsiveness of regulated parties (including manufacturers, installers and retailers) to homebuyers.”

Summing up, the quality of the HUD Code manufactured home industry’s product has never been better, and federal data proves it.

The industry accomplished the removal of Danner from her widely-construed as harmful impact to manufactured housing, thanks in no small part to the intervention of MHARR with HUD, as the Washington Post documented.

The Washington Post report made also clarified that fact based upon MHI SVP Lesli Gooch’s own statement. Gooch told WaPo that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) took no part in the removal of Pam Danner.  That was a stunningly tone-deaf response to industry members, with many in MHI, calling for Danner’s ouster.

That failure of MHI to act is but one more reason for a new post-production association. Such a body would arguably save the industry’s members money, and also help them penetrate markets they are now limited in.

MHI’s admission from Gooch – via WaPo’s report – ought to cause MHI supporters to rethink their lack of response to their own grass roots on that hot-button Pam Danner issue.

The entire MHARR Issues and Perspectives for June 2018 on the topic of the industry’s need for an effective, independent post-production association is linked here. ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

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

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Chairman Hensarling, Fannie Mae’s Latest “Backdoor Schemes,” Illegalities? MH Connections, Implications

May 19th, 2018 No comments

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Late Friday, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said that “high ranking Fannie Mae employees have been intentionally violating their government prohibition on lobbying through a series of secret meetings to remove the failed mortgage giant from federal oversight.”

 

According to Congressman Hensarling’s  statement to the Daily Business News, legal and ethical issues are at play in the latest controversy involving one – or more – of GSEs.

Attentive, long-term Daily Business News readers recall last year the editorial call by MHProNews for transparency, and the release of the minutes from closed door meetings between members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

Neither MHI, nor the GSEs responded to those concerns by releasing said private meeting minutes.

Will Hensarling’s Friday warning prompt the parties to belatedly release their minutes? If not, what are the parties involved hiding?

 

Bloomberg Exposes Concerns

For nearly a decade, a top U.S. housing regulator has restricted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from trying to influence the raging debate over whether they should live or die,” said Bloomberg.

But despite those limits, a top Fannie Mae executive has done just that…Brian Brooks, Fannie’s general counsel, has a specific goal,” per Bloomberg, adding that “Brooks, who has ties to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, wants this done without the involvement of Congress, which has failed since the 2008 financial crisis to come up with a legislative fix for the mortgage giants.”

JebHensarlingChairmanHouseFinancialServicesCommitteR-TXWikiDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

When Fannie Mae went broke, it came begging taxpayers for what has turned out to be $120.836 billion in federal bailouts so far.  As a condition of receiving those funds, Fannie Mae was explicitly prohibited from engaging in “all political activities—including all lobbying,” a prohibition which it is now being reported Fannie has deliberately violated,” Hensarling said.

 

Investigation Launched

If true, this violation is more than an outrage, it is a direct affront on taxpayers and the current structure of the federally-back conservatorship that has allowed Fannie Mae to operate for the last decade.  It is a slap in the face of taxpayers that Fannie Mae thinks it can take their money and blatantly ignore the rules that came with it.  The American people deserve better.  That’s why the Committee will be launching a full investigation into these allegations to identify those responsible and hold them accountable to taxpayers,” per Hensarling’s statement to the Daily Business News.

But we can’t stop there,” the Texas Congressman said. “In order to truly solve the problem of the broken GSE hybrid finance model, Congress must enact sustainable housing finance reform as soon as possible and once and for all get rid of any backdoor attempts to resurrect the old, failed ways of the past.”

Before the crisis, Fannie and Freddie commanded two of the most well-funded lobbying apparatuses in WashingtonBloomberg’s report said on the controversial topic.  “In addition to employing dozens of lobbyists, the companies funneled contributions to nonprofits and think tanks and pressured policy makers to abandon potential regulations or laws the companies thought would constrain them.”

 

Problematic History, Harmed MH and the Nation

Pre-2008 meltdown, Fannie and Freddie generously funded the lobbying of politicos, like then Congressman Barney Frank.   Chuck Schumer is among the names that comes up in the 3 minute 12 second video below, defending the GSEs as being safe and sound.

Congressman Frank and others returned the lobbying dollars from the GSEs with the favor of protection from calls to reform the mortgage giants.  Those lawmakers did so by delaying actions that could have mitigated – or perhaps avoid –  the meltdown that some warned were coming.

The video clip below is a reminder of the now-all-too-often forgotten history.

 

Depending upon how “lobbying” is defined, Fannie Mae could be in violation of lobbying with respect to the  manufactured housing industry.

How so?

Because Fannie is a member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), a trade group that does lobbying.

That MHI membership would appear on its face to be a conflict of interest for all involved.

Why?

Because if MHI is doing its job properly, it should have declined Fannie’s membership, to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

There could be ethical, and/or legal issues involved in the Fannie/MHI membership matter.

For instance, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) president and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, has said that ‘every day that the GSEs don’t robustly provide chattel and other lending under their Duty to Serve mandate to manufactured housing is a gift to Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured housing lenders.’

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There is more involved in this developing controversy. Those related issues will be part of an upcoming Daily Business News report.

Stay tuned. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Who will replace Pam Danner at HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs?

May 17th, 2018 No comments
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Photo credits are as shown, plus Vic DeRose photo from his law firm, Teresa Payne photo from Manufactured Home Living News, with Payne’s hands above and below the red HUD label on a manufactured home.

The Daily Business News can report that there are multiple candidates for the position vacated by the removal of Pam Danner at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).

 

According to the HUD website, the Mission of “The Office of Manufactured Housing Programs executes responsible regulation and solutions-oriented oversight and monitoring to protect consumers and preserve and promote the affordability, quality, durability, and safety of manufactured homes.  This office also provides technical assistance to Federal Housing Administration programs.”

The one candidate we are able to publicly name at this time is Vic DeRose.

At one point prior to Danner’s selection, DeRose was the “consensus candidate” openly advocated for by both national associations: the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

MHARR still supports DeRose, while MHI is characteristically mum on the topic, at least in public.

VictorAnthonyDeRoseDeRoseLawFirmVicDeRosePhotoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

As an attorney with a deep background in manufactured housing, DeRose would bring several useful experiences to the table at HUD. He is liked and respected, per industry sources.

Stating one or more names of others who are seeking the job of administrator over OMHP, or who are being promoted for the position by various interests, would de facto tend to reveal the source(s) for the information.

That said, it is fair to say that there is significant weight that could be thrown behind an alternative candidate to De Rose.

MHProNews know De Rose by reputation, including his deep family ties to the industry.

Industry sources tell MHProNews that De Rose comes highly recommended by those who know him.

 

The Word From HUD

The word heard from the halls at HUD is that no quick decision is going to be made to replace Danner.

As has been previously reported, Teresa Payne is temporarily in charge of the program there. HUD is still officially reviewing the input from public comments to HUD about the MH Program, requested earlier this year.

OfficeofManufacturedHousingProgramsTeresaPayneIshbelDIckensPamelaBeckDannerHUD-ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While De Rose, per our sources, would be a far better leader for the program – especially when compared to what was widely seen by industry professionals as the disastrous years under Danner – sources say it is far from certain that he will get the nod.

What is sure is that the Danner years – which Secretary Carson may have had in mind when he called some of the regulations over manufactured housing “ridiculous” – should serve as a reminder to the industry of just how problematic it is to have the wrong person in that critical role.

MHProNews will continue to monitor the developing situation. Some related back stories regarding Danner are found or linked in the report below. ##  (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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

Exclusive – HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program Administrator Pam Danner, Update

 

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Ben Shapiro Nails It on Taxes, Regulations, and Affordable Housing – Under 2 Minute Video Must View for MH Industry Pros

May 16th, 2018 No comments

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Ben Shapiro is a renowned conservative political pundit, syndicated columnist, lawyer, and NYT bestselling author. He is Editor-in-Chief of news and opinion site The Daily Wire and host of the popular video podcast, The Ben Shapiro Show,” says his YouTube page.

 

Fox News has called Shapiro “a leading millennial conservative.”

In the under-two minute video clip below, Shapiro joined Fox & Friends to discuss the new “head tax” in Seattle.  In it, he rapidly lays out the case that should have affordable housing advocates – including manufactured home professionals – on the edge of their seats, with note pad in hand.

Shapiro says that high demand, and over-regulations on developing are part of what’s fueling soaring housing costs.

A profile video on the fast-talking attorney is below.  Shapiro’s approximately 100 million page views a month Daily Wire is roughly 30 times more than what Webalizer says industry-leading MHProNews traffic is. He clearly must have something to say that people want to read and hear.

While the evidence-and-logic focused attorney doesn’t mention any specific kind of housing in the first video, common-sense suggests that the modern manufactured homes that HUD Secretary Ben Carson called “amazing” in recent Senate testimony are an important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis.  You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to realize that almost everything we use comes from a production center.

The logic of factory-based home building is proven, and necessary.

Affordable housing is a non-partisan issue, as Danny Ghorbani – an engineer and the retired founding president of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – has often said.

With this more business-friendly regulatory environment under the Trump Administration, the time is now to promote a better understanding of the factors that fuel economic growth.

Lower taxes, less and more common-sense regulations, are spurring the economy.

The Treasury took in a record amount of taxes last month, even though there’s been a big tax cut.  The formula that the Daily Business News has noted worked for Democratic President John F. Kennedy and Republican President Ronald Reagan, is also working for pragmatic President Donald J. Trump.

If the industry can cut through the D.C. noise, and get HUD and FHFA to enforce existing laws, the result will be a revival of manufactured housing (see related reports, below).  Thus private enterprise – in the form of routinely unsubsidized manufactured homes, as Secretary Carson said – can be an important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis.

On a closing note regarding Shapiro.

BenShapiroJDDailyWireWikipediaManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Note that “progressive” (read, Democratic) Jeff Bezos led Amazon, and equally progressive led Starbucks are among those hollering the loudest about the new Seattle head-tax.  Doesn’t Amazon’s threat to not build there make the point that higher taxes harm an economy?

Issues of taxation and regulation, as MHProNews has said for years, can be summed up like this.  The power to tax or regulate is the power to destroy. Manufactured home industry professionals, investors and advocates need to see the reality of that logic.  It is up to professionals to point to events both past and present that prove that to be so. We must personally take those proven principles, and make that case with your circle of influence, in the marketplace, and at the ballot box. ## (News, profile, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

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

Seattle’s Assault on Amazon, Bigger Businesses Passes Affordable Housing Tax, Plus MH Market Updates

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Michigan Rising Shipments, Home to Nine of Top 50 Largest Manufactured Home Community Owner-Operators

May 15th, 2018 No comments

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The manufactured housing industry is poised to have one of its best years in recent history. Michigan is responsible for a significant percentage of that, according to the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association, (MMHA).

 

Michigan has always been a big proponent of manufactured homes, the communities and the people who reside in them, so it really isn’t unexpected that Michigan is home to many of the largest manufactured home community owners and operators,” said Bill Sheffer, executive director of MMHA.

According to the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) National Communities Council, nine of the top 50 largest manufactured home community owners and operators in the United States are based in Michigan.

Those larger Michigan-based community operators are responsible for 213,244 of the 693,000 national manufactured home sites; nearly 31 percent of all manufactured home sites in the county that are held by the NCC’s top 50.

There are an estimated 45,000 land-lease communities in the U.S.

As data compiled by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform reveals, Michigan is in the top 10 states in the U.S. in total shipments.

 

MMHA members on the list include:

  • Sun Communities: of Southfield, which manages nearly 83,300 home sites across the country;
  • RHP Properties of Farmington Hills, with just over 60,000 reported home sites;
  • Lautrec, Ltd., Farmington Hills;
  • Meritus Communities, Bloomfield Hills;
  • M. Shapiro Real Estate Group, Farmington Hills
  • HomeFirst Certified Communities, Birmingham.
  • Nodel Parks, Southfield;
  • Riverstone Communities, Birmingham and
  • Choice Properties, Troy.

The MMHA community as a whole should be extremely proud of this,” said Kim Scott, Director – Operations (Manufactured Housing Division), M. Shapiro Real Estate Group. “Everyone on that list, as well as everyone involved in MMHA, worked together through the leaner years to do what was best for the communities, their owner/operators and their residents. Being recognized for our successes is a testimony to all those efforts over the years.”

About MMHA

The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) is one of Michigan’s oldest trade associations, founded in 1941. MMHA is a nonprofit association representing the manufactured and modular home industry in Michigan. MMHA works to improve the image of manufactured and modular housing by educating consumers, media and government about the quality, affordability, design and beauty of the homes.  ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipments, Housing Production – March 2018 Data

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

 

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

May 12th, 2018 No comments

GreenStylishManufacturedHomesHiddenFactsInWashingtonPostManufacturedHousingNarrativeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Whatever one thinks about their political leanings, the Washington Post is one of the most important and influential news publications in America.

 

They decided to publish an article recently about the HUD Code manufactured housing program.

More specifically, the Washington Post (WaPo or WP) wrote about the inner workings of HUD under the Trump Administration, with Secretary Ben Carson at the helm.

The WP’s award-winning Juliet Eilperin wrote about the quality of today’s manufactured homes, specifically citing Secretary Carson’s quote about how “amazing” they are.

Eilperin’s article also talked about both national manufactured housing associations.

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

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

As long-time Daily Business News readers know, there are two national associations that work in manufactured housing. There is the larger of the two, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. That’s right across the river from Washington, D.C.

Then there’s the Washington-based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Decades before, the Washington Post published another article about the association known today as MHARR. That article focused on MHARR’s fight with HUD for a removable chassis for manufactured homes. We will return to that removable chassis point later.

It isn’t at all odd that there are more than one national association for manufactured housing.

In conventional housing, there are:

  • The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a “producers” association.
  • There is the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a “Post-production” trade group focused upon the resale of existing homes.
  • There is the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and they focus more on financing of new construction, the resale of existing homes, and the refinancing of homes.

The list of housing associations goes on to multiple-family housing, remodeling, and more.

So, if anything, manufactured housing presently has fewer associations than conventional housing does.

That helps explain one reason why, perhaps, that a HUD official told MHProNews that they don’t expect the manufactured housing industry to speak with one voice.’ Unity doesn’t exist in housing.  Nor is there full unity in the automotive trade association world either, where dealers and producers have separate associations.

Those separate trade bodies often sit down, or via conference calls, communicate and work with each other to resolve issues and differences on legislative or other matters.

So manufactured housing isn’t unique, and Eilperin’s Washington Post article helped highlight that important detail.

So-called unity in manufactured housing is not to be expected any more than in other professions.

 

More Hidden-in-Plain-Sight WaPo Insights

But there is more to her Washington Post article, for those who read it carefully and objectively.

In America today, it’s become commonplace to understand that media has an agenda.

What the 45th president calls “fake news,” is at times agenda driven, weaponized reporting. There are partisans on both sides of the left-right divide that sharpen their articles to reflect their perspectives. It’s more out-in-the-open today, and thanks to research like award-winning Sharyl Attkinsson’s, we now have a chart – the one below – to reference that helps readers understand the left-right bias of a given major news source.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/no-fire-just-smoke-and-democratic-clinton-supporter-says-enough/ 

 

From the far left – The Nation – to the right – Breitbart – there are voices in media that have focused on the problematic issue of monopolistic dominance of certain sectors of the American economy.

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

In manufactured housing, The Atlantic, The Nation, the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Fox News are among those mainstream media outlets that have focused reports on various aspects of manufactured housing.

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

Let’s note that while agendas exist, affordable housing isn’t a partisan political issue.

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

That’s what former MHARR president, Danny Ghorbani has said, that the manufactured housing industry can work successfully with both sides of the political aisle.  He’s right, and that’s been the industry’s history for decades.

The contrast between MHARR and MHI is an interesting and notable one.  And Eilperin’s WaPo narrative helped highlight it.

MHI has a political action committee, or PAC. MHARR does not.

MHI says they represent ‘all aspects of factory-built housing,’ meaning production and post-production, including lending, suppliers, etc.  It also means MHI represents manufactured homes, and modular too.

MHARR, by contrast, clearly states they represent only the interests of the independent producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

That said, MHARR has an interest in seeing independent retailers, builder/developers and communities thrive.  After all, that’s their client base.

MHI has several times MHARR’s annual budget, and far more staff.

Yet the Washington Post report on the controversy at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) made clear that it was MHARR that succeeded at having Pam Danner removed from her role as administrator over the HUD Code manufactured home program.

Juliet Eilperin’s Washington Post HUD Manufactured Home Program News Confirms Manufactured Housing Institute Position and Report

Meanwhile, it was MHI that contributed to or influenced having Lois Starkey removed from her roll at HUD.

Why?

And why were the documents related to MHI’s effort to remove Starkey – note that those memos were dated months before the Washington Post story – why did take their attorney so long to complain to HUD after Starkey left MHI?

MHProNews published the fact that Starkey was at HUD, and MHI knew it before from other sources at HUD too.  So, why did MHI delay their protest of Starkey joining HUD?

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

Eilperin’s Washington Post report is a rich, revealing narrative. For example, it reflects an anti-Trump Administration stance. Eilperin says that the Trump Administration is trying to take control of all aspects of the federal government, even this previously obscure office manufactured housing office buried deeply away at HUD.

News flash. Every president tries to take control over the federal government. It’s part of the job description for the chief executive of the United States of America.

But Eilperin raises an important point: with an affordable housing crisis raging in America, why has manufactured housing been tucked away in obscurity for so long at HUD?

Lesli_M_Gooch__MHI_senior_vice_president_forgovernment_affairs

Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

What MHI EVP Lesli Gooch admits to doing, is surprising too.

Per Gooch to WaPo, MHI wanted to see HUD restructure the manufactured housing program office within the broader arrangement at HUD. Hmmm…okay, duly noted.

But what Pam Danner did was a clear federal overreach of her office’s power, from the perspective of hundreds of manufactured housing operations across the country. Why wasn’t MHI’s response to Danner’s overreach to try – as did MHARR – to have Danner removed?

Note that even though MHI and state associations – which are arguably dominated by MHI, as MHProNews has previously reported – also had members that wanted Danner’s removal.

So why didn’t MHI listen to their own grass roots?

Thus, MHARR is made to be – from an industry reading of the WaPo narrative – an association hero.

MHI’s own EVP frankly stated they were doing something different than seeking Danner’s removal. In fact, the action taken by MHI’s attorney toward Starkey was surprising. MHI’s outside counsel literally said in part that MHI considers HUD to be MHI’s client.

HUD a client of MHI?

Surprising, but it is there in black and white. Was that ‘client’ reference a boiler-plate-letter oversight that was sent by MHI’s outside counsel to HUD uncorrected? Or does MHI literally believe HUD is MHI’s client??  Isn’t either an embarrassment?

Go to the WaPo article – linked here – and see the downloadable related documents Eilperin obtained for yourself.

The WaPo narrative is rich in such details and insights. Eilperin did the industry numerous favors in how her article is framed, which is seemingly meant as a hit at Secretary Carson, and the Trump Administration.  But a careful reading of her narrative with insights like those noted herein reveals instead that Team Trump are reforming years of prior HUD Code program regulatory overreach that Dr. Carson called “ridiculous.”

Our sources tell us that the new status quo at the HUD manufactured housing program office is expected to continue under the temporary leadership of Teresa Payne.  Payne led the program once before, as long-time MHProNews readers with a keen mind recall.

The Daily Business News is also told to expect a slow-dance on the Brian Montgomery appointment by the Senate. Until that time, Dana Wade is ably serving Secretary Carson in a key spot, and seems to be doing so in a manner that keeps both trade groups – for now – officially pleased.

 

Another Bottom Line?

The WaPo narrative reveals many more details. Each of them confirms numerous, prior MHProNews reports and commentaries.  It’s an opportunity, as a reader prodded us, to say “I told you so” about MHI being the de facto road-block to not having Danner removed even sooner.  See Transparency, among many other reports that were confirmed by WaPo, linked below for later in-depth reading.

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Another thought provoking point for this weekend is this. MHI allowed HUD to overreach, without asking for Pam Danner’s removal. Why?

Who, besides big businesses, benefit when all sizes of businesses are being oppressed?

MHProNews has taken pains for years to lay out the cases that point to the fact that heavy regulation harms smaller businesses more than bigger ones.

NAMCostForComplianceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In banking, community banks suffered under Dodd-Frank, even though community banks arguably had far less impact on the financial meltdown that gave rise to the birth of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB in the first place.  Even giant U.S. Bank closed its manufactured housing program, not because it wasn’t profitable.  Rather, U.S. Bank pulled the plug due to regulatory risks and not enough volume to make up for those risks.  For later in-depth reading, click the below.

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

  • MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNews

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

    Mark Weiss, JD, at MHARR is portrayed by WaPo’s journalist as working to relieve the burdens imposed by Danner at HUD.

  • MHI is shown as allowing those burdens to stand.
  • Read that in the context of Smoking Gun 3 under related reports at the end, and you may never see manufactured housing industry politics the same ever again.

 

What About that Removal Chassis?

As to a removable chassis?

If manufactured housing were allowed by HUD to have removable chassis, as MHARR decades ago tried to accomplish, manufactured homes – with a chassis removed – would be:

NewDurhamEstatesSouthManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Credit, MHLivingNews.com. Photos from New Durham Estates south. These homes are ground set. But if a chassis was removed, then a home would be closer to the ground by about eight, ten or twelve inches, and would be more like those shown in this photo.

  • lower to the ground once installed.
  • They would look even more like a conventional house, once installed.
  • It would cost less to put a foundation enclosure around a manufactured home without a chassis that it normally does with one now.
  • Sans the chassis, it would remove the impression of the home being mobile, when most manufactuerd homes aren’t moved once installed.
  • It would be greener to recycle the chassis.
  • It might even save money.

MHARR fought for that removable chassis, decades ago.  Isn’t all of that stylish, green, and visionary? ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

 

PamelaBeckDannerJDAdministratorManufacturedHousingProgramHUD-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Pamela Beck Danner, JD, credit, HUD.

1)   Post-Script: Our sources at and connected to HUD tell us that the Eilperin’s report was prompted by a desire of “allies” of Pam Danner to undermine Dr. Carson and his team’s leadership as Secretary at HUD.

2)   The WaPo report is written in a way that makes Danner’s work as administrator look consumer focused, but what’s missing is the fact that service-related issues with HUD Code manufactured homes are so few, that out of the roughly 92,900 homes built last year, only a few dozen nationally went to dispute resolution. There is no similar dispute resolution program for site-built housing to settle consumer concerns.  So those service issues highlighted in Eilperin’s narrative are a rarity, a point her narrative didn’t cover.  That’s not a tag on her work, no one story can cover every detail.

3)   There are HUD connected sources that tell MHProNews that WaPo’s article signals an upcoming  battle for HUD Code homes, at the state installation level.

4)   There are industry voices that say that the time to prepare for that installation – a post-production battle – is now.  Discussions about enhanced preemption are, per reports, being carefully reviewed at HUD.  There are concerned sources in MHVille that say the need for an effective post-production association has never been greater.

5)   The WaPo narrative makes it clear that MHI isn’t that effective at stopping HUD’s over-regulation. In the association national realm, it was MHARR’s handiwork – not MHI’s – that proved effective for retailers, communities, and for the consumers they serve.  Of course, MHProNews covered it all in a “follow the evidence, follow the facts, follow the money” way that no other industry media even attempted to do.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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Related Reports:

It’s been hailed as the most important report on this topic to date…

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

Washington Post “Once obscure office at HUD [Manufactured Housing] is the subject of unusually intense lobbying effort”

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Coldwater, Tall Grass, P&Z Battles, Manufactured Home Community Plan OK’d – Manufactured Housing and the Don Westphal Back Story

May 10th, 2018 Comments off

ColdwaterTallGrassP&ZBattlesManufacturedHomeCommunityPlanOKdManufacturedHousingDonWestphalBackstoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Coldwater Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the City Council approve rezoning 20.6 acres from the township R-3 to the city’s AA — Agriculture Residential – for a 102 lot manufactured home subdivision,” said the Daily Reporter.

Leading the charge was Don Westphal.

DonWestphalHeadDailyReporterFarrelRoehTallGrassManufacturedHomeCommunityColdwaterMIDailyBusinessNwesMHProNewsThe petitioners from Farrell-Roeh of Littleton, Colorado want to rezone the land from Coldwater Township R-3 Medium Density Residential Zoning to City of Coldwater Double-A One Family Agricultural Residential Zoning,” said WTVBAM.

Planner Dean Walrack said this was the only match between land zoning categories that the township had zoned and put on its master plan for the manufacture[d] homes,” wrote Don Reid for the Daily Reporter.

This planning and zoning skirmish was done, but it was just one of many for Westphal.

I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape architecture from Michigan State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Illinois,” Westphal told MHProNews.

DonWestphalDailyReporterFarrelRoehTallGrassManufacturedHomeCommunityColdwaterMIDailyBusinessNwesMHProNews

I was accepted into Graduate School late in the spring of 1963 and was unable to find suitable married housing. We purchased a 36X8′ Brentwood mobile home in Muskegon Michigan, welded a hitch on a farm semi and towed it to the Glover Street Trailer Park in Urbana, Illinois. Our little home was perfect for students, but the 17 site trailer park was less than ideal. Rent then was $25.00 per month, and we ended up not having to pay the site fee, in exchange for keeping the washer and dryer in the laundry building clean and placing the mail in each mail slot daily,” Westphal said.

The well-known and award-winning Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member explained how he got into the industry.

While doing some research for a term paper on mobile homes, I found references to the Mobile Homes Manufacturers Association in Chicago and paid them a visit. I met Dick Beitler and Herb Behrend there and was hired as one of two consultants to their Land Development Division which was offering site planning services to developers as a way to improve the design of mobile home parks,” Westphal said.

The industry was trying to improve its image way back in the 60’s. I ended up writing my master’s thesis on Manufactured Housing and as they say, “the rest is history.” I continued as a consultant to MHMA designing communities for several years and taught sessions on planning at several MHMA Site Development Seminars in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Interestingly, Danny Ghorbani joined the staff at MHMA a year or two after I started consulting with MHMA,” Westphal stated to MHProNews. 

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

Ghorbani is an engineer by training, who worked for the precursor to what today is called the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

The award-winning Ghorbani later left MHI, and working with independent producers, founded the association that is known today as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

He retired a few years ago, but is still an advisor to MHARR.  Ghorbani himself was involved in community planning.

 

TallGrassColdwaterMISatViewManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Google street and satellite views can become dated, as is the case above. But this reflects how Tall Grass had vacancies before, which have since been occupied by new manufactured homes being brought into the land-lease community. Per the reports, most of those have been for rental housing purposes. The view above tells part of the tale that local media mentioned.

It’s all part of the backstory to the Tall Grass expansion approval, in Coldwater, MI.

 

Coldwater’s Tall Grass – Step Back, Regroup

A previous proposal to develop 9.6 acres was rejected by the planning commission at which point the developers increased the size to move forward. Donald C. Westphal, a partner and designer who lives in a similar development at Grass Lake, said the units “look like regular housing,” wrote Reid.

There are no single wide units but all will be at least 1,568 square foot homes and can be built with two car garages,” said Reid. “There are no basements but “are built solid, modern designs,” per his report in the local paper.

 

 

He [Westphal] explained the homes would be owned by purchasers and placed on leased lots which are a minimum 5,000 square feet. Larry Nelson, from Farrell- Roeh company of Colorado, said as a husband and wife team, they purchased the Tall Grass park for $2.852 million in May 2014 from bankruptcy court. They spent or will spend, by the end of the year, another $480,000 in upgrades and improvements,” per the Daily Reporter.

TallGrassColdwaterMIManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Michigan is one of the states where manufactured housing has been heating up in recent years. It is known for a number of more residential style land-lease communities, such as Tall Grass.

The Colorado-based company has 11 similar properties, many in the Midwest, with the Reid adding, “The developers bought two parcels totaling 20.6 acres for $203,324 and will invest another $2.3 million to develop the 102 lots.”

But as hundreds of industry professionals who’ve sat in such meetings know, there is routinely push-back from locals.

This Coldwater case was no exception.

 

MHC Rentals

Melvetta Swick told the commission she was upset because “riff raff” from Tall Grass had thrown trash from around dumpsters, which she claimed ended up in her yard. In response, Nelson promised to increase the size of the dumpsters and monitor that concern. He explained there is a strict policy of who can buy; monitored by a committee as well as background checks completed.

Nelson also said that even when homes are rented, “renters are qualified.”

When Farrell-Roeh took over Tall Grass there were only 177 occupied lots.  The satellite view reflects vacancies.  That occupancy increased to 226, in a year or 95 percent of physical capacity. He explained that the company has averaged 6.4 evictions for the last three years.

As MHProNews has previously reported, many firms are buying new manufactured homes for rental purposes. Farrell-Roeh has done so too at Tall Grass, reportedly purchasing 94 new manufactured homes.  Those are provided on a two year lease.

Counting the homes, there has been a total investment since Farrell-Roeh’s purchase of $6.8 million.

Westphal stated that for security reasons, there will be only one entrance to the entire development. The community will have planted screening from Garfield.

The site plan was approved, subject to the City Council approval of rezoning and adoption of certain local standards, including storm water retention requirements.

A previous proposal to develop 9.6 acres was rejected by the planning commission at which point the developers increased the size to move forward. Westphal, a partner and designer who lives in a similar development at Grass Lake, said the units “look like regular housing,” according to Reid.

There are no single wide units but all will be at least 1,568 square foot homes and can be built with two car garages. There are no basements but “are built solid, modern designs.”

 

More from the Don…

Westphal told MHProNews in an interview linked here that, “For years I have said that the Manufactured Housing Industry has succeeded in spite of itself. Fragmentation of the industry segments has resulted in a serious lack of consumer confidence. Many in the industry have neglected the needs of our customers who could ultimately be our best salespersons. Too many of us blame government or our regulators for the sorry state of the industry. I believe that if the industry spent more of its resources in conveying the value of our product to the public and taking care of our customers, we would have a base of support that would help us to overcome the regulatory and finance issues we face today. Think about it, potentially 20,000,000 sales people for our products and way of life.”

As the quotes above indicate, Westphal is well acquainted with planning and zoning, design and more.

Attractive Garage Additions for Manufactured Homes – Do It Right

There is plenty to unpack from each of these P&Z – planning and zoning – stories from across the country.  But a common thread is that there is resistance, at least initially, that must be overcome.

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

There is also a reason to wonder why, if the homes planned for this project look residential, then what is the purpose behind MHI’s so-called “new class of homes” that they’ve been promoting for about 2 years?

Another point this case makes is that rentals are a big part of what’s driving occupancy in dozens and dozens of manufactured home communities nationally. What that implies is that there are more rentals than homes being sold at retail being shipped into properties.

Each of these are warning signs for forward thinkers, but they are also opportunities in disguise.

Until the root or foundational issues are addressed, the problem of NIMBY can be expected to continue.  Westphal’s comments, linked above on what’s necessary to advance the industry, suggest parallel issues to consider.  “We Provide, You Decide.”  ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform Demands Clarification on “New Class” of HUD Code Manufactured Home

 

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McKinsey Global Institute “Blueprint for Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Challenge” Points to Factory Building

May 4th, 2018 Comments off

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A new report by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), “A Blueprint for Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Challenge,” defines the affordability gap as the difference between the cost of an acceptable standard housing unit (which varies by location) and what households can afford to pay using no more than 30 percent of income.

 

The analysis uses MGI’s Cityscope database of 2,400 metropolitan areas, as well as case studies from around the world.

Per MGI, “It [the report] finds that the affordable housing gap now stands at $650 billion a year and that the problem will only grow as urban populations expand: current trends suggest that there could be 106 million more low-income urban households by 2025, for example. To replace today’s inadequate housing and build the additional units needed by 2025 would require $9 trillion to $11 trillion in construction spending alone. With land, the total cost could be $16 trillion. Of this, we estimate that $1 trillion to $3 trillion may have to come from public funding.”

BuildingAffordableHousing9to11TrillionGlobalConstructionOpprotunityManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When you see the word “trillions” and affordable housing, it clarifies the comments by Alan Amy. See that video, below.

 

Tens of millions are impacted here in the U.S., said MGI.

FourApproachesNarrowHousingAffordabilityGap20-50PercentMcKinseyGlobalInstituteAnalysisPreFabModularManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews

The propose a four-part plan to educe those costs.

Those 4 items are:

  1. Unlocking land supply.
  2. Reducing construction costs.While manufacturing and other industries have raised productivity steadily in the past few decades, in construction it has remained flat or gone down in many countries. Likewise, in many places residential housing is still built in the same way it was 50 years ago. Project costs could be reduced by about 30 percent and completion schedules shortened by about 40 percent if developers make use of value engineering (standardizing design) and industrial approaches, such as assembling buildings from prefabricated components manufactured off-site. Efficient procurement methods and other process improvements would help, as well.” (Italics added).
  3. Improved operations and maintenance.
  4. Lowering financing costs for buyers and developers.

NarrowHousingAffordabilityGap20-50PercentMcKinseyGlobalInstituteAnalysisPreFabModularManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews

The video below is a summary of their research.

 

MH Industry Reaction

The McKinsey research summary video says tens of millions of Americans can benefit from affordable housing near areas it’s needed. While they don’t specifically mention manufactured homes, they do say that engineered, industrialized homes with affordable lending in the right locales are among the keys needed,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

That describes what MHARR has promoted for years; the full implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000,” said Weiss in a statement to the Daily Business News,including enhanced preemption. Combined with FHA lending and the robust implementation of the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).”

The McKinsey research certainly includes various forms of prefab and modular housing.

But what many researchers may not realize is that a robust application of the MHIA 2000, the robust application of the GSEs DTS and a broader use of FHA Title I and Title II  lending – all existing laws, that only need to be properly enforced and administered – could speed the time to addressing these issues.

The trillions of dollars in market potential globally provide a context for award-winning retailer, Alan Amy’s comments, below.

 

It is the latest example of what MHLivingNews reported some years ago. Namely, that the “Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight.” Research has suggested that manufactured homes are not only less costly to buy, they are also less costly to maintain.

The clock has been ticking since this report was first issued. While several types of factory-built housing could be used, shouldn’t the watchwords be, let’s get started?  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Kanye Controversy, Universal Income, Venezuela, President Trump, Manufactured Housing, First Principles, and You

May 4th, 2018 Comments off

KanyeControversyUniversalIncomeVenezulaPresidentTrumpManufacturedHousingFirstPrinciplesYouDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews520

What could all of those individual topics in the headline possibly have in common? What could each of those current events mean to manufactured housing professionals, owners, investors and advocates?

 

Plenty.

Here’s the quick rundown. The glue for each are the two words, “first principles.”  Let’s look…

 

The Kanye Controversy

Kanye West and Candace Owens where highlighted just days ago on the Daily Business News. One week after West’s remarks lit up mainstream news and social media, a new poll reveals that black male support for President Donald J. Trump has doubled.

That African American support doubled in a single week.

Black support is still low, but that doubling is enough to put the 2018 midterms back into play as a jump ball.

Remember that the Daily Business News used the internals of a New York Times poll in 2016 to predict that the small drift of blacks they noted toward the Trump campaign would be enough in states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Recall how that turned out?

 

Universal Income

Last year, the Daily Business News did several reports on universal income, each making the point that it will not work. Finland announced recently it will suspend its test trials in Universal Income. They didn’t work.

That was entirely predictable.

Yet there are still some powerful American voices promoting the failed and flawed universal income concept. If results facts and results matter, why should you listen to them on this topic?

Certain Voices are Pushing It – Would Universal Income Help or Hurting Americans?

 

Venezuela

The Daily Business News has periodically mentioned the meltdown of socialist Venezuela. A headline in Drudge today says that inflation in Venezuela has now quadrupled to 18,000 percent, in just two months.  By contrast, “The current inflation rate for the United States is 2.4% for the 12 months ended March 2018,” per U.S. Inflation Calculator.

Venezuela voted in socialists spouting utopian promises about a decade ago. That proud land has gone from one of the stronger South American economies, turning into a basket-case where people are starving, and are now being politically oppressed.

The Daily Business News has also reported on the rising poll numbers of socialists in the U.S.

Troubling New Study Reveals a Millennial Trend, Business, Economic, Political Impact 

Socialistic economics has not worked in Venezuela. It didn’t work in Greece, which the European Union bailed out. China is still communist but has turned to a more market economic system with less regulations.

Do you see the pattern?

No matter how much you like someone who is a preaching a socialistic economic approach, why trust or listen to them, when the clear pattern is one of repeated failure?

 

President Donald J. Trump

Keep in mind, editorially we are about principles over party labels. There is no doubt that the president has said and done things that get people across the spectrum stirred up.  MHProNews hears from those voices who complain about some tweet or remark about a controversial issue regularly.

A caller into a talk radio show observed that President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump is both “Democratic and Republican.” That’s truer that it may seem at first blush.

POTUS Trump has a position in common with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – trade and job protectionism.

POTUS is concerned over monopolistic impact over America’s economy and jobs. On that, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and right leaning Steve Bannon and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and the president all hold common ground.

Breakup “Massive Power” of Giants, “Subvert Our Democratic Process” Says Senator Cruz, & MH CEO’s Call for “Fully Competitive Housing Access”

On the southern border, former AZ sheriff Joe Arpaio and the president find common ground.  On peace through strength, the president looks like a Republican hawk; but he wants out of the Middle East as quickly as possible, a point he shares with libertarian leaning Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

About 2 years ago, this independent MH industry writer and publication promoted President Trump for the White House. It was picked up by thousands of sites, including the Trump for President campaign site.

 

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While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative and pro-Trump websites.

 

The takeaway or principle involved?  Turn down the noise and the drama, focus on the goal and results over the style. MHProNews predicted that based upon Mr. Trump’s stated platform, he would be good for business, the economy, jobs, wages, and manufactured housing.

The results?

Based upon survey after survey and reams of economic data, so far, so good.

Like Kanye, it’s about looking at what works instead of being distracted by what may be politically incorrect. Even Kanye’s wife – Kim Kardashian – has provided some distance between herself and her mate on the POTUS Trump question. Hmmm…

But results matter.

Black, and Hispanic unemployment are at historic lows. And female unemployment is near a two-decade low.

One principle involved is this, and everyone’s heard it.  The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things the same way, and expect a different result.  To H-E double LL with following that pattern any longer, within or beyond of MHVille.

From Presidents Clinton, both Bushes, or Obama, there have been some common – and flawed – stances. It was time for a new approach, based upon sound first principles.

 

First Principles

Curating principles from clear-thinkers like Thomas Sowell, we’ve promoted what will work for the vast majority of the industry and millions of our potential and actual customers.  We reject controversy for its own sake, but we do nut shun a controversial stance, if it is based upon reason and facts over emotion and rhetoric.

First principles matter. Principles like, G. K. Chesterton’s pithy, “What’s wrong is that we don’t ask what’s right.”  Or that the lessons of history, faith and reason matter. Of course they count.

 

Promises Made, Promises Kept

What may have seemed like madness two years ago in our campaign coverage and support is part of our pledge to carefully curate news topics that matter.  The manufactured home (MH) industry slid from a 1998 high of 372,000+ shipments to a low eleven years later of under 50,000 shipments.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The last twenty years have included most of the worst years of MH industry performance, even though manufactured housing quality is widely seen as the best ever. Those facts clearly point to unresolved problems that must be addressed.

As an industry, manufactured home professionals and investors can’t afford to make more big mistakes.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has time and again talked a great game.  But counting emails, Facebook likes, or waving their hands high with “razzle dazzle” doesn’t change how often they have factually gotten it wrong time and again.  If they were so right, why are shipments still so historically low?

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

Do you want positive results, or do you want style with no delivery?  Take your pick.

Prominent MHI leadership promoted Secretary Hillary Clinton over candidate Donald Trump. Clinton wanted heavy regulations, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence promised – and are delivering – one prudent regulatory rollbacks.  There are more and more who see that’s a clear disconnect, how about you?

As the president and VP have both said, “Promises Made, Promises Kept.”  The Heritage Foundation score sounds high, but that organization said that the Trump Administration has already fulfilled over 60 percent of its campaign promises in just 15 months.  If Heritage is right, that means the less than 40 percent of those campaign promises are left to go.

  • GDP is rising
  • Unemployment is falling
  • Peace through strength is underway, and seems to be moving in a positive way by largely defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and in tough stances and actions with North Korea. Is Iran next?  Time will tell.  But history reminds us that Nevil Chamberlin, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama’s efforts at appeasement have all failed. By contrast, Ronald Reagan’s peace through strength with the former USSR worked.  Appeasement or strength.  Take your pick.
  • Presidents Kennedy (D) and Reagan (R) cut taxes, and spurred the economy.  High taxes and sluggish growth, or lower taxes and more common sense regulations that yields more opportunities and jobs.  Take your pick.
  • There’s plenty of good, but there are also storm clouds. Too much automation, and robotics – notably by monopolistic companies – are destroying jobs.  Right now, more are being created than are being lost.  But if the monopolies aren’t broken up, then new business and new job creation will be stifled and will eventually stall out.

So the good work is underway, but the fight for a brighter future is far from over.

 

Winners and Losers

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – which includes hundreds of manufactured housing businesses – and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) have a much better track record that MHI on picking winning positions good for business and consumers alike.

Why?

Because they are operating under several proven “first principles.”

Among them?

  • Limited government,
  • with sound but limited regulation and
  • lower taxes will work better than;

heavy taxes, and heavy regulation both of which kills jobs, because it will drive businesses overseas. Giant Amazon just announced they are de facto working to force its will on Seattle on their latest tax to create housing proposal.  Monopolistic power forcing its will on a proven failure, another socialistic concept. It’s a classic case where both parties are wrong.

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A correct use

Dr. Carson praised the industry for building “amazing” homes, while blasting the regulatory regime under Pam Danner as “ridiculous.”

MHI’s EVP Lesli Gooch is quoted by the Washington Post as saying they did nothing about Pam Danner.  Proof once more that MHProNews was on the right path in our reports a year or more ago.  That’s not bragging, its a fact shared with an important point for manufactured housing professionals and investors in mind.

First principles matter. Investing the time to learn them, and apply them, and you’ll save years of wasted effort, and make more money, rather than let millions slip through your firms fingers.

Some of this may sound harsh to those who love MHI networking and mixers.  Sorry, but facts are what they are.

It’s not personal, its professional. It’s not a personal attack – that’s what our sources say that they do behind the scenes. Rather, what we do is analyze and critique, and give others a chance before or after to respond. There’s a difference.

Some – a minority – say they don’t want to read about concerns regarding monopolistic allegations, or who don’t want to read about weaponized MHI news delivered directly or through their surrogates. We understand that those are uncomfortable topics.  But when operations or third parties outside of MHVille – from across the political spectrum – point to the same problems and issues, why should we as trade publishers ignore it?

So as a first principles analogy, cancer is uncomfortable too, and sometimes the doctor has to tell the patient bad news. Hopefully, a troubling diagnosis is followed by a treatment plan that is proven to work.

Our site statistics prove that those ‘controversial stories’ about MHI and Berkshire Hathaway, et al, are at or near the top among the most read.

Speaking of site statistics, in case you missed it (ICYMI), check out the related report, linked below.  The third-party data proves that MHI is dropping, and MHProNews is growing.  Hint.  We’re winning.

What are the FACTS about Manufactured Housing Industry Traffic vs. Real Estate? MHVillage, MHProNews, Manufactured Housing Institute Data

How about that, Arlington and Omaha?  That’s MH Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.” ©.

It boils down to this. Make nice as has happened for too many years, and lose opportunities.  Or be candid, and apply first principles honestly in order to earn money.  Take your pick.

Count on us at MHProNews to deliver the first principles based news and analysis that many others apparently fear to candidly and publicly share.  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Resources and Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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

HUD Secretary Ben Carson – Manufactured Housing Historic Results – Words, Deeds, and Metrics

Happy MH Owners? Good Professional Actors? Overlooked, “Honorable People”

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.