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Tic Toc – July 4th, Tim Williams 21st Mortgage, John Greiner, JD, Graydon Law – Message Review

July 5th, 2019 Comments off

TicTockJuly4thTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpJohnGreinerJDGraydonLawMessageReviewDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Part of the ‘secret’ for legal victories can be consistency, procedures, and documentation.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOMHProNews

Tim Williams, prior MHI chairman, president and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, photo credit, MHProNews.com

There is little doubt that Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation and his company has vastly more experience in legal matters than our far more modest operation does.

It should similarly stand to reason that the outside attorney for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), John “Jack” C. Greiner with Graydon Law would likewise have more experience in legal matters than little ole us. Per Graydon’s website, “Jack is a commercial litigator with an emphasis on communications and media law. He is one of the region’s leading advocates for governmental transparency.” Transparency, how interesting. That’s one we’ll all have to place in our memory file. Jack, should nonprofits, corporations, and their officers be transparent too?

That said, it would not be surprising if they would agree with the first sentence at the top. Juries and judges look for consistency, evidence, facts, and common sense.  The court system – judges and juries – also keep an eye out in cases for inexplicable, odd, or behavior that is in conflict with their stated claims. It’s been many years since we’ve been involved in any litigation, over a decade in fact. Though it is rarely fun, we recall the lessons, and have routinely been successful on the rare occasions it was necessary.

The truth backed by evidence is an often powerful thing. My hunch is that the other side has carefully researched that claim, and knows it to be accurate.  

 

Consistency?

In 2017, 2018, and 2019 were some of the years when messages and letters were sent to the management of MHProNews by attorneys for MHI, as well as by purported surrogates for the Arlington, VA based trade group. Those messages were threats, legal or not, and arguably attempts at intimidation.

Part of our consistent response has been to call out those actions publicly but also to invite them to reply to our many fact-checks, related analysis, and reports. In early 2017 and previously, responses from Berkshire Hathaway brands and/or MHI were swift, as numerous articles and letters published over the years reflects. Williams was among several MHI leaders who publicly praised this publication publicly and in writing.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

It was apparently only as reasonable answers to reasonable questions posed by MHProNews became elusive for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis that they stopped replying directly.  But they often used indirect means to communicate, including those noted above. 

Those patterns of behavior could prove relevant in several ways the days ahead.

 

Shifting Sands in Washington and Beyond

The dynamics in Washington, D.C. are shifting rather significantly in recent months. There are some things, as Warren Buffett correctly observed, that just take time.

·        Antitrust drums are heating up on both sides of the left-right political aisle.

·        More in Congress are talking and writing about the Duty to Serve, and why it hasn’t been fully implemented with respect to manufactured housing.

·        Affordable housing, homelessness, zoning, regulatory barriers, and even enhanced preemption are being discussed by more people in and out of the industry.

Slow, steady progress is apparently being made.

Those are all topics that are largely found in manufactured housing trade media only on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. Why? The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has been on several of those topics for years, to their credit.

But by contrast, MHI sycophants are mute or deflect from those topics. Why?

MHI themselves tout their latest photo op, their latest lightly viewed videos, or the newest bill that they support. Those are all apparent razzle dazzle, but where is the beef?

Where are the bottom line results as measured by new manufactured home shipments?  Given the MHI claim that they are the umbrella trade group that should ‘lead’ the industry, what direction has that MHI leadership actually taken MHVille at large?

The facts speak loudly.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryProductionShipmentsMay2019DailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMHARR 

MarkWeissQuoteFactsAreStubbornThingsManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogo

 

Tic Toc, Tic Toc… 

Moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years go by. Some things only gain clarity from the passage of time and consistent observations. As Warren Buffett aptly said, the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. This is a point of agreement between our publication and Mr. Buffett.

 

InBusinessWorldRearViewMirroIsAlwaysClearerThantheWindshieldWarrenBuffettMHProNews

 

It was about 5 years ago that we brought to the industry’s attention the full length video version of this now better-known 18 second video clip.

  

 

That comment by MHI’s president made no sense at the time, but in hindsight it was arguably a piece of a puzzle. 

Because it was an odd and embarrassing MHI comment, not long after, during a time when Tim Williams at 21st was still in rapid-reply mode with MHProNews, and while this writer was still an MHI member, MHProNews asked Williams/21st – then MHI’s chairman – to have MHI’s Jennison clean that comment up publicly.

Williams agreed.

Jennison, no doubt with Williams’ prompting, did so on video camera and in front of dozens of industry professionals.  MHI’s president pledged both that the industry could achieve 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home shipments as well as promised the passage of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. 

 

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

 

Neither one has come to pass. Both are part of the MHI Orwellian ‘memory hole.’ 

Words can be cheap at MHI, it seems?  

JohnCGreinerAttorneyPhotoGraydonlawLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsWith the industry now into its ninth month of year-over-year downturn, MHProNews sent the following to Tim Williams/21st, John Greiner, and one of Greiner’s colleagues at Graydon Law. Greiner is MHI’s outside attorney assigned, said Greiner, to monitor our website.  MHI members, that’s where part of your dues are going to, why not rather to suing cities like Bryan, TX for failure to abide by enhanced preemption

That logical but rhetorical question aside, the meat of that message’s contents is shown below, between the dashed lines.

 

 

Subject: Tim, a formal request for you/MHI

Tim,

1)    Let me hereby request copies of any and all audio or other recordings, notes, emails or any records in any format relative to our discussion in Las Vegas during the dinner we shared with your colleagues from Berkshire Hathaway brands in the context of that year’s Congress and Expo.

2)    You and/or your colleagues are also hereby invited to respond to any of our recent or other reports.  See the below. Please email those for our mutual accuracy in handling said comments.

Thank you. 

Tony

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/but-i-was-born-free/

Other articles are linked from the forward below. Thank you. 

tk

 

The screen capture that documents that email is found below.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCorpJohnCJackGrienerGraydonLawManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIOutsideattorneyMHProNews

 

We will report back on what response, if any, is obtained. 

Until then, let this be kept in mind by investors, professionals, researchers, public officials, attorneys, investigators and others.

·        There is an affordable housing crisis.  Yet with numerous positive reports that debunk the myths and misconceptions often held by the public, somehow, magically, the industry is shirking in new home shipments? Why are MHI staff given bonuses instead of being terminated for lack of performance?

·        HUD Secretary Ben Carson has valiantly laid out a thoughtful case for manufactured housing.

·        On MHI’s own website, examples of those important topics are difficult or impossible to find, and Carson’s fine speeches are not to be found.

·        Manufactured housing is now into 9 months of year-over-year declining shipments.

 

By contrast, on MHARR’s website, topics like “enhanced preemption” are easy to find several articles. An MHI state affiliate successfully obtained a letter from HUD invoking enhanced preemption, so why not MHI? Yet MHARR is a fraction of the size of MHI, and has been online only a fraction of the time that MHI has.

Which association is doing their stated job better?

To George F. Allen’s [past] credit, his blog does raise some of these same issues and concerns.  But he has contradicted himself in arguing in recent months for MHI, the Berkshire brands, and larger community operators that behaved in problematic ways – per Allen.  Rephrased, Allen – without public explanation, other than what sources say is a compensated flip-flop – has gone from criticizing Clayton, 21st, MHI and others, to now being their cheer leader.

2019-06-30_0852-GeorgeAllenEnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingInstituteSurrogateMHProNews

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

FrankRolfeDaveReynoldsRVHorizonsMobileHomeUQuoteSlammingManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Frank Rolfe swore off commenting about MHI further publicly, but he and Dave Reynolds recently took this swipe at MHI. They are MHI members, taking a shot at their own trade group. http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-dave-reynolds-both-finger-manufactured-housing-institute-mhi-failures-in-writing-again/

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

More on this below.

Allen, more recently has called for a boycott of this publication, a possible antitrust violation, and has urged his readers to only read other trade media in manufactured housing that he has personally approved.  Ironically, one of those publications – Kurt Kelley’s – has praised our work, and said that they are leaving our call for accountability to us.  Interesting, isn’t it?

KurtKelleyPublisherPhotoManufacturedHousingReviewMHLivingNewsQuoteFriendHoldMHIAccountableMHARR

Indeed, Kelley has contributed to MHProNews numerous times over the years, and has commented on political topics too. He published an article by Berkshire Hathaway unit manager Joanne Stevens, which without mentioning MHI, was clearly slamming them for what her article in MHR saw as a failure of industry preparation for obvious attacks on the industry.

 

Some things take time.  With a shifting political climate in America, it may only be a question of time before topics and issues found only on MHProNews, MHLivingNews or on the MHARR websites may become more common headlines and topics elsewhere in Washington, and then the mainstream media.

 

Unorthodox 

This writer freely admits that some of what we have done in trade publishing has been unconventional by MHIndustry standards. It was also never my or our publications’ ambition to stumble into troubling facts via news tips about the underlying causes for so many of our industry’s woes. But once discovered, where we supposed to ignore them?  Turn a blind eye as others do?  Cower in fear over every threat? 

If the industry is to regain its former glory and surpass it while independents still have an opportunity, it will only happen when enough honest professionals and other people of good will stand up and force the issues.

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

April data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

That said, what has harmfully impacted thousands of independents in manufactured housing has arguably been largely avoidable, and it has harmed the interests of millions of our fellow Americans. Unconventional situations can’t always be addressed in the normal ways.

 

MobileHomeEraManufacturedHomeEraMHIA2000EraShipmentProductionDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews2019-06-29_1051

There are several factors that should be understood to explain the rises and falls in the sales, production, and shipments of new factory-built homes during the varied mobile home and manufactured home eras. One should not be overly simplistic. That said, the historic trend is far higher than it has been since Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders. Political and other factors enter into the mix as well.

Keep in mind, we’ve spotlighted examples of these topics for years, beyond having the most extensive coverage of industry stocks, business and other news. A first look at our June 2019 traffic suggests a record month for readership. Our thanks to readers like your, our business development clients, and our sponsors who make this possible.

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MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending, and ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation as an MHI member showed the way to grow business, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth or negative growth allowed more consolidation and at a cheaper price for big boy companies

 

Given the choice, thoughtful professionals can discern fluff and cheerleading from logic, fact-checks, and evidence. Perhaps that’s why we are the industry’s most read, and the others that cheerlead for MHI merely lag behind. The manufactured housing industry is arguably engaged in an undeclared war, and has been since 2003.  The big boys have decided to conquer MHVille, and the remaining independents have to recognize and decide to sell out, fold, or resist. The odds favor the big boys, but when the 13 colonies declared their Independence the odds favored the Brits of that era. This too is doable. This undeclared war is winnable. 

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

When the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain, they were taking on the most powerful army and navy in the world. The odds were against the rebels. But after a long struggle, the U.S. became independent. Freedom is never free. It always comes at a cost. But the price is lower, and the cause of freedom far nobler, than the cost of bondage and servitude.

We Provide, You Decide.” © Dig into the related and linked reports above and below to round out the picture. Let’s restore the American Dream, starting with an understanding of Independence Day. ## (News, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is co-founder of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reports:

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Nobility Homes Bucks National Trends, Reported Serious Growth, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unpacking New White House Council on Affordable Housing Initiative and Manufactured Homes

July 1st, 2019 Comments off

UnpackingNewWhiteHouseCouncilOnAffordableHousingInitiativeAndManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Success has many fathers,
failure is an orphan
.”
– Maxim based on saying popularized by President John F. Kennedy,
but originated in a saying by Italian Count Caleazzo Ciano, per Wikipedia.

 

 

Manufactured housing is underperforming as an industry, as has been noted numerous times here on MHProNews.  So perhaps it is no surprise that when something positive appears to occur, there is a rush to grab credit for that apparent glimmer of hope.

There is therefore a sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious battle in manufactured housing over who did what, when, where, why, and how.  There is also a contest as to what the meaning is of some legal or administrative ruling, or what the possible risks and benefits are of a bill that is being proposed in Congress, and so on.

In the wake of the White House’s surprise announcement of a new executive order establishing a “White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing,” the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their surrogates were quick to leap to take credit. MHI’s claims could be examined in an upcoming fact-check.  But what follows below is the view from the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Note that MHARR specifically mentions MHProNews participation in that pre-announcement conference call.  MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s query was one of only four questions taken by the White House during their pre-rollout conference call. According to the automated login for that call, only several dozen were in on that White House call, and MHARR and MHProNews were among that tiny group so invited.

 

 

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform Unpacks New White House Council and Manufactured Homes

JUNE 26, 2019

  

TO:                  MHARR MANUFACTURERS

                        MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

                        MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

 

FROM:             MARK WEISS

 

RE:                 

President Announces White House Council
on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers
to Affordable Housing

MHARR participated in a conference call on June 25, 2019, conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), during which White House officials announced the impending issuance of an Executive Order (EO) to create a “White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.” While the substance of the EO – which, as detailed below, is fully consistent with and reflects MHARR policy objectives as advanced before the Administration, Congress and HUD – was described during the conference call, that call, as repeatedly emphasized by the same White House Officials, was specifically “off the record.” MHARR, in accordance with that request, withheld publication on this initiative until it was publicly announced and issued by the White House (see HUD Press Release attached).

Consistent with MHARR’s fundamental focus on the costs imposed by unnecessary and unreasonable regulatory mandates, as well as its more recent initiative and undertaking to combat discriminatorily restrictive and exclusionary local zoning mandates that effectively ban HUD-regulated manufactured housing from large areas of the nation, the President’s Executive Order, specifically acknowledges that “federal, state [and] local … governments impose a multitude of regulatory barriers – laws, regulations and administrative practices – that hinder the development of housing.”  The EO then goes on to expressly recognize types of regulatory actions – which have been prioritized for action and opposition by MHARR — that continue to hinder both the affordability and availability of federally-regulated manufactured housing, stating: “These regulatory barriers include – overly restrictive zoning and growth management controls … excessive energy … efficiency mandates [and] outdated manufactured housing regulations and restrictions.”  (Emphasis added).

Indeed, the EO’s specific emphasis on zoning and other “outdated … restrictions” on federally-regulated manufactured housing is fully consistent with an April 24, 2019 communication from MHARR to Secretary Carson, calling on HUD to “utilize its resources to research, study and analyze such discriminatory and exclusionary zoning and its local and national impacts on the availability of affordable [manufactured] housing and homeownership in light of relevant national housing policies.” The same communication calls on HUD to exercise its authority under the enhanced federal preemption language of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to either eliminate or limit such baseless restrictions.  And, indeed, in response to an inquiry from MHProNews Publisher L.A. Tony Kovach, it appears that the specific issue of federal preemption will be “on the table” in this process.

Under the EO, the White House Council will be chaired by Secretary Carson and will consist of representatives from eight federal agencies, including agencies that either currently regulate matters affecting manufactured housing – i.e., HUD and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – or seek to regulate aspects of manufactured housing – i.e., the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  Among other things as set forth in the EO, the Council will seek to identify and then “reduce and streamline statutory, regulatory and administrative burdens at all levels of government that inhibit the development of affordable housing.”  This will lead to the development of specific initiatives designed to reduce the targeted federal, state and local regulatory barriers and a report to President Trump within the next twelve months regarding “the Council’s implementation of … this order.”

The EO, accordingly, presents a potentially unequalled opportunity for the specific advancement of policy objectives that MHARR has been tasked with advancing, including, but not limited to: (1) the full and complete implementation of all reform aspects of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000; (2) the elimination of unnecessary regulatory burdens imposed on manufactured housing and manufactured housing consumers by HUD in accordance with Executive Orders 13771 and 13777; (3) the elimination or modification of baseless and discriminatory zoning restrictions on manufactured housing, including both single lots and communities; and (4) other related issues involving regulatory impediments to the availability and affordability of HUD-regulated manufactured housing.

In addition, the initiative established by the EO underscores that recent legislation introduced in Congress to supposedly “modernize” manufactured housing – but which would, in reality, undermine and harm existing, inherently affordable HUD Code manufactured housing – is unnecessary and should not go forward, as set forth by MHARR in its June 24, 2019 Memorandum entitled “Unnecessary/Damaging Bills Introduced in Congress.”

MHARR will continue to keep you apprised of developments related to this important Administration initiative.

cc: Other Interested Industry Members

##

 

MHProNews Analysis

Let’s be blunt.

The fact that “enhanced preemption” is only “on the table” in this process is a possible warning sign.

There is no doubt that MHARR is pushing for preemption. That has been well documented, as is shown in the screen capture graphics herein plus the links below the byline.

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform4-26-2019ManufacturedHomesMHProNews

Since the screen capture above was performed, MHARR has done more articles that mention or are focused on the federal preemption given to HUD Code manufactured homes under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

 

MHProNews and MHLivingNews have likewise promoted the broad use of federal preemption for manufactured homes for years.

 

EnhancedPreemptionSearchManufacturedHousingMHProNewsNadaMHIbutMHARRhasit2019-06-12_1227

MHProNews and MHLivingNews has been online longer than MHARR, so it is no surprise that MHARR is #3 on this search result. But MHI has been online since the 1990s. They were part of the coalition led by MHARR that included state associations that helped make enhanced preemption part of federal law. How is it possible that MHI has no mention of it on their website? State executives are aware of it, and though rarely used, it has been used by HUD on occasion.

 

By contrast, it is MHI and their surrogates that purportedly have hidden and/or obscured this important key in federal law that already exists. Why?  What explains that claim, if they truly want to see the industry grow?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogo2019-06-30_0828

Site search of MHI website conducted on 6.30.2019. By contrast, see what a purported surrogate of theirs has said on this same topic, at this link here and here. Curious, isn’t it?

 

That key of HUD actually using their significant power of federal preemption over local and state roadblocks could turn the lock that opens the door to more manufactured home ownership opportunities for millions of Americans. It is a regulatory short-cut, because it is already federal law.  It fits perfectly with the White House’s stated mission. Is there a reason to delay on this? See but one example of federal preemption being exercised by HUD in the letter to Richland, MS below. 

 

HUDLetterCityRichlandMSEmilyGoodeJenHallMMHAFederalPreemptionofManufacturedHomesFederalEnhancedPreemptionMHIA2000DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The letter to Richland is found here, and was requested by that state’s executive, Jen Hall. So why wouldn’t MHI promote it’s use? Indeed, why didn’t MHI ask for this on the recent Bryan, TX case?

So this White House initiative, while promising, nevertheless comes with cautionary notes too.  

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMeetingNotOpenJournalistsReportsMHProNews

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach in photo by sign displayed at a MHI meeting.

It is a disgrace that the Manufactured Housing Institute [MHI] has not boldly, consistently, and faithfully promoted the enhanced preemption that is a key part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. MHI was part of that effort in the waning days of the 20th century. It is already federal law. Because they were part of the coalition that worked for passage, MHI therefore ought to be well aware of the law and its meaning. But that was prior to Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Clayton Homes, and much has changed at MHI since 2003.” said former MHI board member and MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. 

If MHI sincerely wants to see the industry grow in a robust and sustainable fashion, then they will push for the Government Sponsored Enterprises [GSEs] lending on all HUD Code manufactured homes, not just a select group of them that Clayton Homes wanted supported.  If MHI isn’t just posturing when they say they want to see the industry grow, then they should begin immediately to promote the true meaning of enhanced preemption.  MHI should likewise do more than give a fig leaf to their members whom they hope to mollify or ‘razzle dazzle,’ by going loudly, proudly, and consistently public on the valuable steps that HUD Secretary Ben Carson has taken in recent months to promote a better understanding and broader use of manufactured homes, Kovach said.

The fact that MHI has failed to do so even on their own website speaks volumes, Kovach said.

MHProNews will circle back to this topic as warranted in the near term.  Note that as a courtesy to new readers, or those who may have missed it, the evidence of MHARR’s claims are found linked below the bylines and notice. The hot links above also lead to more evidence on the issue of enhanced preemption.

That’s today’s first 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.)

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.

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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:

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

 

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

 

 

 

Clayton Homes Contradicts Wall Street Journal’s “Fannie and Freddie’s Latest Push: Factory-Built Homes”

June 27th, 2019 Comments off

 

ClaytonHomesContradictsWallStreetJournalsFannieFreddieLastestPushFactoryBuiltHomesDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Earlier this week, the Daily Business News published a report that called into question several of the claim alleged by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in a report accessed via the linked text-image box below.

 

 

Nicole Friedman, Ben Eisen, Wall Street Journal – Fannie, Freddie, Manufactured Homes, and MH Financing – Part 1

 

 

Clayton Data Debunks a WSJ Claim

The WSJ report said “Clayton says it sells about 42% of the manufactured homes in the U.S…” Really?

But this graphic from the Clayton website shown below said they had 47.7 percent market share in 2017. That market share is based upon home sales data. Are the WSJ reporters saying that Clayton has lost s0me 5 percent market share? Or are they suggesting that Clayton’s total sales fell in 2018?  How can the WSJ justify their odd claim that flies in the face of Clayton’s own data?

 

ClaytonHomesbuiltMarketShare2017-47.7manufacturedhousingindustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Among the claims made in their recent report was that the FHFA said that the industry was trending up. Here is how they phrased it.

Manufactured-house shipments have trended higher since the financial crisis, according to the Federal Housing Administration.”

While the industry is up from the bottom (see over twenty years of shipment trend graphics, further below), the data obtained from IBTS on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development — upon which the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) rely upon — indicate that the trend in manufactured housing is now down year-over-year for 8 straight months.

Here is what a snapshot earlier this month from MHARR revealed.

 

April2019ManufacturedHomeProductionShipmentTop10StatesMHARRlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

When the above and other concerns were brought to the attention of the WSJ, their writers, editors, and media relations professionals – they all said they reviewed the concerns presented – but would stick with their story as is.  Here is how their senior communications director phrased it in a communication to L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach at MHProNews.

Hi Tony, I am the Communications Director for the Journal. We have reviewed your messages with our reporters and have determined the Journal’s reporting is fair and accurate. We stand by the reporting.

Many thanks,

Steve  

Steve Severinghaus
Senior Director, Communications

That was received from Severinghaus on Mon, Jun 24, 3:03 PM.  Additional evidence and questions about other errors and controversial claims have not yet been addressed since then.

 

Fake, Weaponized News, Agenda-Driven News About Manufactured Housing

Pew Research revealed in a new survey in early June 2019 that public concerns over Fake News now reflects the perspective of half the nation. Here is how Pew’s graphic summed it up.

 

PewResearchCenterJournalismMediaFakeNewsManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That is telling, and directly relates to reports like this one by the WSJ. While not all news or fake, spin, mistaken, or agenda driven, some reports more clearly reflect an open or hidden agenda. That spin or agenda-focused reporting that lack balance is arguably what those in the know see as “fake.”

It should be noted that the Society for Professional Journalism Code of Ethics contradicts the position the WSJ have taken.

SPJSocietyProfessionalJournalistsCodeofConductMHProNews

See bullets 2, 3, and 4 in the second box, above. The WSJ decision seems to fly in the face of the standard in the top box too.

 

The WSJ did not deny that they failed to contact the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) in doing their report. A NAMHCO source told MHProNews that the where not contacted.

Nor did WSJ representatives deny that they had interviewed Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) for about an hour. That was confirmed by sources with MHARR, which went on to say that they provided the reporter information that contradicts what their report claims.

What the WSJ did was double down, ignoring those other sources, voices, insights, and perspectives.

This is not to imply that everything the WSJ report on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lending was inaccurate or false. The way that spin is produced is often to include demonstrably true information with questionable, agenda driven, or false information mixed in. That way, only an expert can discern what is what. It makes the point previously shared by Brad Lovin of the North Carolina Manufactured Housing Association (NCMHA).

 

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

 

This article is valuable as an object lesson is not only fake or weaponized news, but who is behind it. Who benefits from this article as written? Several suspects become evident.

  • Nicole — is a Berkshire Hathaway focused reporter, as her own bio says.
  • Clayton Homes wanted to push their so called new class of homes.
  • The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is widely seen as the mouthpiece of Berkshire brands, such as Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have paid MHI, ‘sponsoring’ events. That raises concerns over  conflicts of interest. It should be noted that former House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling publicly questioned the propriety of lobbying by the GSEs.

 

Who does the status quo harm?

Who does the status quo in MHVille harm?  Arguably manufactured housing independents, prospective consumers, and those manufactured home owners that might refinance existing chattel loans away from Berkshire owned brands if chattel lending was being done in earnest.  A lack of growth, or declining sales harms independents.  In fatigue, frustration, etc. a certain percentage sell out. As they do so, the value of their business is harmed by lower sales vs. higher ones, or lower community occupancy than higher occupancy, etc.

Rephrased, it harms the little guy, but can benefit the big boys.

 

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

April data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

There is more developing on this WSJ topic, so stay tuned.

That’s another Thursday edition of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © 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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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.

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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.

MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

 

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

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?

June 26th, 2019 Comments off

FederalBillMHIProsperityNowNAMHCOToutMHARROpposesWhyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews 

Last week, the Daily Business News on MHProNews published a multiple perspective report on a bill that NAMHCO, MHI, and Prosperity Now have all come out in support of, which can be accessed via the text/image box below.

 

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

 

Against that backdrop, earlier this week, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform provided MHProNews their analysis on this measure. It follows below.

MHARRlogoMHARRNewsHeaderMHProNews

 

JUNE 24, 2019

 

 

TO:                 MHARR MANUFACTURERS

                       MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

                       MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

 

FROM:           MHARR

 

RE:                 UNNECCESSARY/DAMAGING BILLS INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS

 

MHARR, based on numerous inquiries from industry members, has conducted a study and investigation of parallel bills introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives, entitled the “HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019.”  The Senate version of the bill – S. 1804 – was filed on June 13, 2019. The House version – H.R. 926 – was filed in the current Congress on January 30, 2019, but was previously introduced by the same sponsor, Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA), in 2017 and has been closely monitored by MHARR since that time.

In MHARR’s opinion, while seemingly innocuous on their face and apparently well-intended by their respective congressional sponsors, these bills — being pressed behind-the-scenes by narrow special interests, both within and outside of the industry – are not only unnecessary, but could have profoundly damaging unintended consequences for both the mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing industry and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on those mainstream manufactured homes as the nation’s premier source of affordable, non-subsidized homeownership.  Indeed, if enacted into law (in either the House or Senate form), these bills could ultimately undermine and destroy all of the gains, advancements, recognition and acceptance that the industry (and consumers) have achieved under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 and the reforms within that law designed to transition manufactured homes from the “trailers” of yesteryear to modern, legitimate “housing” for all purposes.

And, in fact, it is because of the reforms mandated by the 2000 law, that recognition and acceptance of manufactured homes and the manufactured housing industry has become the norm among decision-makers in the nation’s capital, as demonstrated particularly (but not exclusively) by HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s accolades for manufactured housing as a major part of the solution to the nation’s affordable housing crisis. As explained below, however, these bills, if enacted, would: (1) undermine the progress that mainstream, affordable, HUD Code manufactured homes have made in Washington, D.C.; (2) would split the industry into a class of “high-end” homes and ade facto “second class” of mainstream, affordable homes that would once again be re-relegated to “trailer” status; and (3) effectively exclude such mainstream, affordable, HUD Code manufactured homes from any consideration for, or participation in, housing programs sponsored by the federal government – all for the benefit of a handful of corporate conglomerates.

Specifically, these bills — in light of recent developments concerning the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) and the apparent effort by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, promoted by some in the industry, to divert DTS support to a supposed “new class” of pseudo-manufactured homes while providing no support whatsoever to existing, mainstream manufactured homes financed through personal property loans — appears to be tailored not only to legitimize the so-called “new class” of pseudo-manufactured home, but also to mandate government support for the utilization of that new class of home. The legislation, consequently, if enacted, would legally validate the discriminatory DTS policies adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the establishment of two separate “classes” of “residential manufactured homes” — the new class of high-cost, site-built-like hybrid homes favored and prioritized for securitization and secondary market support by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the one hand, and a “second class” comprised of existing, affordable, mainstream HUD Code manufactured homes on the other, with continued and worsening discrimination against the “second-class” of mainstream manufactured homes. 

The legislation, if enacted, would thus sanitize and institutionalize the diversion of DTS support from mainstream manufactured housing to this so-called “new class” of home.  It would also simultaneously pave the way for local jurisdictions to utilize this “new class” of home – while in many, if not most cases, continuing to exclude and discriminate against mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing — in order to access HUD grants and other funding. The bills do this through a two-step process of effectively expanding the definition of “manufactured home” currently contained in federal law and then requiring the inclusion of homes meeting this expanded definition in the “Consolidated Plans” that jurisdictions must submit to HUD in order to receive federal funding under multiple HUD programs.

In relevant part, the bills direct HUD to “issue guidelines for jurisdictions relating to the appropriate inclusion of residential manufactured homes in a Consolidated Plan of the jurisdiction.” (Emphasis added). The term “Consolidated Plans,” as noted above, refers to “comprehensive housing affordability strategy and community development plans” required by HUD regulations for communities seeking federal funds under HUD’s formula grant programs, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) among many others. The definition of “residential manufactured home” contained in the bills, in turn, while referring to the definition of “manufactured home” contained in the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, would nevertheless expand that definition by using the term “residential,” which is not contained or included in the existing federal law definition. The Senate bill, in addition refers to homes ‘used as a dwelling,” which differs from existing law which defines “manufactured homes” as being “designed to be used as a dwelling.” The bills, accordingly, would create a discrepancy between the existing definition of “manufactured home” and what does – or does not – constitute a “residential manufactured home,” potentially without any type of vetting, analysis or due consideration, that would elevate the so-called “new class” of home for use in every jurisdiction receiving HUD grants and other funding, while reducing mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes, once again, to second-class “trailer” status contrary to the 2000 reform law.

The bills, accordingly, pose a significant threat to existing, affordable, mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income families that rely upon those homes.  At a minimum, with their expanded definition of “residential manufactured home,” which is materially different from the definition already contained in federal manufactured housing law, the two bills, if enacted, would create immediate market confusion – particularly for existing HUD Code manufactured homes, homeowners, and purchasers that could further suppress the mainstream, affordable HUD Code market — and could lead to liability and litigation over just what does or does not constitute a “manufactured home” for purposes of federal regulation and a multitude of other issues. Consequently, MHARR does not and cannot support these bills and has already begun efforts in Congress (and at HUD) to expose the significant problems inherent in these bills and the major harm that they could – and likely would — cause for both consumers of mainstream, affordable  manufactured housing and the industry as a whole, but especially its smaller businesses.

 

            Again, and in summary, these bills are unnecessary and potentially harmful, in that they:

 

  • Would perpetuate a negative connotation and image of existing, mainstream, HUD Code manufactured housing through their identical titles, which imply that manufactured homes are in need of “modernization” notwithstanding the sweeping institutional reforms of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  In addition, these titles are misleading and inaccurate, in that the HUD program and the legal treatment of manufactured housing itself were already “modernized” by the 2000 reform law, after input from all stakeholders and the National Commission on Manufactured Housing;

 

  • Would, by changing the definition of what constitutes a “manufactured home,” create a substantial risk that the so-called “new class” of manufactured homes could lead to the establishment of a new baseline for all federal manufactured home standards, which would destroy the fundamental affordability of manufactured homes;

 

  • Would — even if it does not lead to more expansive and costly federal standards, as above — re-relegate existing, mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes to second-class “trailer” status;

 

  • Would undermine gains and advances made through and as a result of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to elevate the status of mainstream, affordable manufactured homes to that of legitimate “housing” for all purposes (including federal and federally-sponsored housing programs);

 

  • Would legitimize and institutionalize continuing discrimination against mainstream, HUD Code manufactured home personal property loans under DTS;

 

  • Would legitimize and reinforce the discriminatory exclusion of mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes in jurisdictions seeking HUD grants and other related funding by effectively directing those jurisdictions instead to higher-cost, “new class,” hybrid-type homes;

 

  • Would direct HUD funding and grants to jurisdictions that continue to discriminate against and exclude mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes and manufactured housing residents;

 

  • Would create immediate market confusion, would further suppress the existing HUD Code manufactured housing market and depreciate the re-sale value of such mainstream, affordable manufactured homes;

 

  • Would benefit just a handful of industry conglomerates at the expense of smaller, independent industry businesses and the lower and moderate-income American homebuyers who rely on the affordability of mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing.

Consequently, rather than these bills, with their inconsistent language and potentially devastating consequences for mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing, MHARR will instead seek to advance language that could be included in any moving bill involving HUD or housing finance that would ensure equal, non-discriminatory treatment for all HUD Code manufactured housing in both HUD housing and community grant programs, and housing finance programs under the jurisdiction of HUD (i.e., the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae) and/or the Federal Housing Finance Agency (i.e., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).  It is worth noting that under the 2000 reform law, manufactured housing producers have – and have always – been capable of building homes with additional upgrades and features.  Thus, the MHARR-suggested language below.

That language, which MHARR has already started to provide to Congress, states:

 

  • “The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide for the inclusion of manufactured homes in all housing, federal housing assistance and community development programs and activities, including community development grants, administered by the Department, and shall ensure that any jurisdiction participating in any such program or applying to participate in any such program does not exclude or unreasonably restrict the placement of manufactured homes as defined by and regulated pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 5401, et seq.) within that jurisdiction.”

 

  • “The Federal Housing Finance Agency shall ensure that the Government Sponsored Enterprises provide securitization and secondary market support for loans to purchase manufactured homes regulated pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 5401, et seq.), including loans secured by manufactured homes titled as real estate and manufactured homes titled as personal property, on an equal basis with all other types of single-family homes.”

 

Such language, attached to any moving bill in Congress, would propel parity and equality between existing, mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing and all other types of housing, while simultaneously prohibiting discrimination against HUD Code housing (and manufactured homeowners) in vital areas.  By contrast, when the innocuous veneer of the pending bills is stripped away, it becomes apparent that they would do serious harm to existing, mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on the non-subsidized affordability of those homes.  Indeed, a thorough analysis, based on accurate and factual information, shows that congressional (and Administration – i.e., HUD) goodwill toward the industry is being diverted instead toward the benefit of extremely narrow special interests.  As a result, these bills should be unacceptable to the industry at large.  MHARR, for its part, will continue to disseminate accurate and factual information to educate and inform Congress, the Administration and other decision-makers of the potentially serious market disruptions that could result from such legislation, and how the positive and constructive intent of Congress toward mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing can best be advanced through the above language.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional information regarding this matter.  We will continue to keep you apprised as new developments unfold. 

cc: Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members  

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 512

Washington D.C. 20004

Phone: 202/783-4087

Fax: 202/783-4075

 ###

 

MHProNews has contacted legislators on both sides of the political aisle about this piece of legislation. There were polite, professional assurances made that our concerns would be reviewed and addressed. Stay tuned.

It should also be noted that MHProNews and our parent company has provided input and content from sources that we may agree, disagree, or have a nuanced ‘wheat and chaff’ interest in. We have sources that we may or may not agree with, but if their perspective is of importance to the industry’s professionals, we routinely opt to share it.

We have at times held positions that are different than that of a sponsor or client. No two people or organizations hold the same vantagepoint on every issue.  Nor should it be expected.  It would be contrary to human nature and experiences. We don’t expect a sponsor to agree with everything we say or do, and the same is true in reverse.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of that is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and 21st Mortgage Corporation.  Each of them were sponsors.  We took periodic positions that were different than theirs.  Then MHI Chairman Tim Williams praised our objectivity, which he said made our support – when they had it – all the more valuable.

That was arguably the right stuff thinking.

Manufactured housing is in an 8-month slide.  Some sources with MHI tell us that we should expect an uptick that reveres that trend.  We will soon see.

What is certain is that MHI, Clayton, and the ‘powers that be’ in the industry, plus their surrogates, act as if all is well. Unless the goal is to throttle the industry and consolidate it at a discount, who can say all is well with a straight face? See the report below.

 

 

That’s today’s first chapter of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © 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.)

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.

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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.

MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

 

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Democrat Specifically Urges Broader Manufactured Housing Lending, Bipartisan Approach to GSE Reform

June 23rd, 2019 Comments off

 

SenateDemocratSpecificallyUrgesBroaderManufacturedHousingLendingBipartisanApproachGSEReformMHProNews

Freshman Senator Tina Smith (MN-D) is drawing attention to the lack of implementation under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) that established the federally mandated Duty to Serve (DTS) for manufactured housing.

 

Her letter to Republican and Democratic leaders of the powerful Senate Housing, Banking, and Urban Affairs Committee is covered in a new report, linked below on MHLivingNews.

The timing is noteworthy. Why? Because the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has recently been calling for Congressional investigations into what they say is the flawed roll-out of DTS by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That too is linked below in our Sunday morning weekly news recap.

There are also insider insights from Cavco Industries regarding their legal woes.  That hot-linked headline is found further below on the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

That’s just for starters. There is the Havenpark’s controversy. Deprecation debate. Cavco, Carson, campaigns, CoreLogic, plus more are all below. 

 

 

Toot the Horn

There is demonstrably no manufactured housing-focused Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © that is larger, more diverse, robust, or better-read in MHVille than this publication. Nothing else even comes close.

Perhaps that’s why early next week, insider insights at HUD will reveal exclusively on MHProNews a serious scandal that involves manufactured housing.  

Stay tuned for that and more.

 

Small Industry, Big Potential, The Most…

As some U.S. Senators and members of Congress are beginning to grasp, the industry is only performing at about ¼ of the level that it did some 20 years ago. In 1998, production topped 372,000 new manufactured home shipments. So why – during a growing affordable housing crisis that many in Congress, the Trump Administration, and others want to see addressed – is manufactured housing underperforming?

For the last 8 months, year-over-year new manufactured home shipments are in decline. What? During an affordable housing crisis?

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has dryly reported the facts of that decline, but they seem tone-deaf as to any explanation for that decline.  As evidence of how tone-deaf they are, they speak about ‘momentum’ and have used a slogan, ‘let’s keep building.’ Seriously?

Our industry is demonstrably smaller than it was 15 or 20 years ago. There are thousands of fewer retailers. There are thousands of fewer communities. There are fewer builders of HUD Code manufactured housing. Several of the companies whose names endured – Champion or Fleetwood, to name but two – companies that were giants 20 years ago went into bankruptcy in the first decade of the 21st century. What exists today are essentially new entities under an older brand name. What caused longtime successful firms to tip into bankruptcy? Doesn’t that bear scrutiny?

 

 

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

April 2019 data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why? 

These are the snapshots of reality that others in MHVille trade media – much less MHI – bother addressing. Why?

But the kinds of reports that you find here are the reason that this is by far the largest and most read “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © site in all of manufactured housing trade media.  Others may make bold – even demonstrably outlandish claims.  They may produce slick magazines, but those slick covers sit on the racks, because they are not picked up. Why? Apparently not many want to read phony sunshine stories?

 

MHInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTunicaShow2019Day2

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

From the largest firms, to the mid-sized, or ‘mom-and-pops,’ the pros in manufactured housing are on our pages daily by the thousands. There are those who cheer what they read here, because almost no one else is exposing what MHProNews is willing to cover with facts, evidence, and follow-the-money-trail published here. Then there are those who are bothered by what they read or those who are just trying to figure out why manufactured housing is underperforming so badly – they are all among those who read here.  Investors and nonprofits read here too. Among the 1.2 million-page views monthly, per third party tracking, third-party software tells us that thousands of hits on our site come from federal officials who are on our site every month.

Those who want to know and understand, come here.

To stay in the know in order to grow, you too can become a part of the most engaged professional audience in MHVille history.  To sign up in seconds for our twice weekly emailed headline news updates, click here or the graphic below.

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.

There is no more goal- and solution-oriented trade media in all of manufactured housing than this site. While toadies kiss the derrière of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, we dare pull back the curtain and show the evidence, money trail, and concerns others try to ignore or obscure. 

 

Per Third Parties, Billions of Dollars in Potential Growth for Factory-Builders

What is the goal here on MHProNews?

As true believers and often praised experts in the industry, we know firsthand that sustainable growth is possible because we’ve worked professionally with firms that have achieved profitable growth. The evidence reflects that far more could be done.  Tens of billions of dollars in additional manufactured housing production at retail is attainable.

That requires understanding of the obstacles and the opportunities.

Who says there is that kind of growth potential? How about one of the most valuable conglomerates in the world’s investment unit? In part of a 2018 statement when they invested in Plant Prefab, Amazon’s Alexa Fund pegged the opportunity for new housing at $300 billion a year.

If only a quarter of that $300 billion-dollar annual potential were earned by Manufactured Housing, that would represent about a nine fold increase in dollar volume over 2018.

Given the potential of manufactured housing, it’s a disgrace that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is so focused upon hobbling our industry and posturing instead of doing what’s necessary to improve measurable performance.  The evidence arguably reflects they seek to foster consolidation and ‘taking out’ honest independents to the extent that they are letting tens of billions of dollars annually slip through the fingers of investors and professionals,” said publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.  

Experts and politicos across the left-right spectrum are increasingly expressing alarm over the monopolization of several sectors of American businesses and professions. Is it a surprise that it is happening in manufactured housing too?

But how some of this is occurring in MHVille may be somewhat different.

Never forget that Kevin Clayton said on video that it would be okay with ‘Warren’ if Clayton Homes lost money for 5 years, so long as they expanded their Moat. While roughly 100 of their retail locations have lost money.  But they aren’t losing money overall, and they are expanding their Moat. Clayton and their allies are earning and slowly consolidating at the same time. Literally thousands of industry independents have been steadily vanishing during an affordable housing crisis. Coincidence?” – asked Kovach, a long-time MH industry veteran. 

What’s happened in manufactured housing is a largely misunderstood tragedy, because too many others in the manufactured home industry’s trade media largely overlook or spin it. MHI gives the ‘big boys’ cover, so that purported corrupt behavior in turn harms the affordable housing seeking public, millions of whom could purchase a new manufactured home for less than they pay in rent,” Kovach said. “This pattern of behavior within the industry has drawn a number of critics from inside the industry’s ranks. It cries out for Congress to publicly investigate this slow-rolling tragedy, its impact on business, millions of Americans, and taxpayers.”

The stories that follow reflect what sparks such comments. 

With no further adieu, here are the headlines for the week that was from 6.16.2019 to 6.23.2019

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

 Senator Tina Smith Urges Republican, Democratic Senators to Provide Greater Financing Access to Affordable Manufactured Homes

 

What’s New from Washington, D.C. from MHARR

MHARRReiteratesCallForCongressionalDTSInvestigationManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogoMHProNews

 

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

 

Saturday 6.22.2019

·        Fighting Fear With Facts, Pushing Back About Depreciation, Manufactured Home Concerns

Fighting Fear With Facts, Pushing Back About Depreciation, Manufactured Home Concerns

 

Friday 6.21.2019

·        Havenpark Capital Management Responds to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Dave Loebsack

Havenpark Capital Management Responds to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Dave Loebsack

·        Drone Downed, U.S. Counter Paused, American Oil Refinery Blast, Social Media Raises Concerns – Plus, Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        News Tip – Cavco Industries Legal Woes with SEC, Insider Insights

News Tip – Cavco Industries Legal Woes with SEC, Insider Insights

·        Amidst Controversy, CoreLogic’s Special Report on Investor Home Buying Trends

Amidst Controversy, CoreLogic’s Special Report on Investor Home Buying Trends

 

Thursday 6.20.2019

·        New HUD Videos of Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase 2019, Surprising Manufactured Housing Institute Reveals

New HUD Videos of Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase 2019, Surprising Manufactured Housing Institute Reveals

·        Iran Downs US Drone, Why Didn’t Oil Jump Higher? Plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

·        Panicking Manufactured Home Community Residents Turning to Rent Control Demands

Panicking Manufactured Home Community Residents Turning to Rent Control Demands

·        Life-Saving Effort, Call to Celebrate Manufactured Housing’s Professional Installers

Life-Saving Effort, Call to Celebrate Manufactured Housing’s Professional Installers

 

Wednesday 6.19.2019

·        MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

·        Democrats React to Former VP, ‘They’ll Eat Joe Biden Alive,’ Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

·        Rising Star – U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pressing Manufactured Housing Regulatory, Legislative Issues

Rising Star – U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pressing Manufactured Housing Regulatory, Legislative Issues

·        Democrats, Independents, Elephant in the Room, Third Parties, 2020 Kickoff, and Manufactured Housing

Democrats, Independents, Elephant in the Room, Third Parties, 2020 Kickoff, and Manufactured Housing

 

Tuesday 6.18.2019

·        What Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Industry Professionals Should Be Asking About Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

What Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Industry Professionals Should Be Asking About Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

·        EQUITY ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky – Investigation Possible Fraud by Certain Officers and Directors of Cavco Industries, plus MH Stock Updates

EQUITY ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky – Investigation Possible Fraud by Certain Officers and Directors of Cavco Industries, plus MH Stock Updates

·        Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

·        Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

Monday 6.17.2019

·        Sextortion, Business, Investing, FBI Reports Scam Rising, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

Sextortion, Business, Investing, FBI Reports Scam Rising, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Democrats? Republicans? Political Campaigns Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Supported

Democrats? Republicans? Political Campaigns Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Supported

·        Insights on Manufactured Housing From Obama White House Federal Archives

Insights on Manufactured Housing From Obama White House Federal Archives

·        “Color and Depth,” “Sad,” “Raising Standards,” and Manufactured Housing

“Color and Depth,” “Sad,” “Raising Standards,” and Manufactured Housing

 

Sunday 6.16.2019

·        Father’s Day, ‘Making America America Again’

Father’s Day, ‘Making America America Again’

That’s a wrap on this edition of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (Headline news, weekly recap, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsNOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. Connect on LinkedIn here.(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) 

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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

 

 

 

 

 

MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

June 19th, 2019 Comments off

 

MHCommunityRobertVanCleefPublicCallFederalInvestigationsBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomes21stMortgageManufacturedHousinginstituteMHProNews

In a news tip today to the Daily Business News on MHProNews is the following public call by Californian Robert ‘Bob’ Van Cleef for federal investigations of some high profile organizations in the manufactured home industry.

 

From Van Cleef’s post today, found at this link here, is the following.  The post is styled “Requesting an Antitrust Investigation.” He cites and links several sources, including his representative, DoJ, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, John Oliver’s viral video, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, and Manufactured Home Living News, among others.  The hot-links are in the original.

 

Requesting an Antitrust Investigation

Posted on June 19, 2019 by Bob

This is a follow up related to John Oliver’s report on living in Manufactured Home Parks. In his report, he exposed the illegal and immoral actions, potentially violating Antitrust and RICO laws, by various companies.

     See:  HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video

One of the major threads of his report relates to the actions of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and the Manufactured Housing Institute. He shows them working in collusion to violate the law.  He also shows the harm that they are bringing to the people that live in the manufactured home parks they manage.   This includes many who are seniors, disabled and living on fixed incomes.

Request to Congress

Based on my research, after viewing that report, I sent an email to a staff member for Congressman Ame Bera, who represents the district I now live in, requesting the following actions. 

First, I asked that the Congressman write a letter to Makan Delrahim, the Assistant Attorney General responsible for overseeing the Antitrust Division.  The focus of his letter should be to ask the Antitrust Division to review the actions of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and the Manufactured Housing Institute for possible Antitrust and RICO violations.

The second request would be to have him contact HUD Secretary Carson to have his agency enforce the existing federal laws with respect to Federal Preemption and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH).

Finally, it would not hurt to supply for our Democratic Representative to reach out in a bi-partisan manner to support Secretary Carson’s efforts to treat Manufactured Homes as an asset in today’s housing crisis.

See:  HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s Speech on Manufactured Homes, “Manufactured Housing…Active Ingredient…Medication…for a Stronger America.

Affordable Housing

Mary and I couldn’t afford to live in San Jose anymore.  (We were economically evicted.)  However, after selling our heavily mortgaged home in San Jose, we purchased outright a manufactured home in Rancho Cordova.  I was amazed at the improvement of our quality of life!  The home was bigger and nicer than the one we left in San Jose.  Also, we found the new neighborhood to be open and welcoming, and best of all, it was affordable!

Everyone is talking about affordable housing.  Based on my experience and as described by Secretary Ben Carson, manufactured homes could be a valuable tool for reversing our current housing shortage. 

Why can’t more people take advantage of manufactured homes to get out of their housing trap?

That will be the basis for future posts.

##

 

Per sources and his post suggests, Van Cleef has become a leader in his land-lease community among residents there. He’s actively engaging public officials and others in an effort to find solutions to the types of troubling issues his post referenced.

MHProNews will plan to monitor his posts, as we do others that are engaged on issues relating to manufactured home professionals and consumers.

 

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

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Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

 

Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

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

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

 

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

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? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

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

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

What Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Industry Professionals Should Be Asking About Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE Focused Economist Says, ‘Millions of Housing Units’ Needed

June 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

REFocusedEconomistsaysMillionsofHousingUnitsNeededManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

Mark Fleming, Ph.D serves as the chief economist for First American Financial Corporation.  He’s been popping up more on various business news shows, so the Daily Business News on MHProNews decided to share the flavor of Fleming’s economic and housing insights.

 

It ought to be one of those rally points for manufactured housing professionals who are thirsting for growth.

About Fleming, “Before joining First American, he developed insights and analytical products for CoreLogic, and property valuation models at Fannie Mae. Fleming graduated from the University of Maryland with a Master of Science and a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics and holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Swarthmore College. He lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area,” per his company’s website.

As the posted videos reflect, he’s telling business news sources on both sides of the left-right media divide that ‘millions of housing units’ are needed.

 

 

In that, he says some points that longer time-readers of MHProNews are familiar with.  The National Association of Realtor’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has said similarly.

 

 

More recently, HUD Secretary Carson has pointed specifically to manufactured homes, along with other forms of prefab and innovative housing techniques.

 

 

So, while Fleming hasn’t been laser focused on manufactured housing, the industry’s professionals and investors must think of themselves as broader ‘housing’ members.  In that context, the needs are tremendous.

Only factory building can achieve that, is what tech gurus – who are increasingly entering the factory-built housing market – have decided.

Why does Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger love housing? Because they know which way the market is going.

In this context, one must ask. How is it possible, with the needs so great, that manufactured housing is still selling at a lower level than 15 years ago?

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

 

Logic says there are only a few possibilities.

·        The industry’s ‘big boy’ leaders don’t know what they are doing. While we disagree with them on many things, we don’t buy that option, but it is a logic possibility.

·        The industry’s ‘big boy’ leaders and their puppet association are lazy, and are not willing to do what it takes.  Again, it’s a possibility, but not one that we think fits the facts.

·        The industry’s leaders want the industry to perform at a low level, intentionally. If so, why? A common concern is that underperformance allows big companies to acquire smaller firms at a discounted price.

 

Is there evidence for this?

One might start with the words of Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) own statement on camera, arguing for slow growth. 

 

 

What? During an affordable housing crisis?

It was such an outrageous comment that our publisher brought it to the attention of then MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, who is also the President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp. Williams told MHProNews that he would ‘talk to Dick.’

The following Louisville Show, Jennison then said – also capture on video – that the industry could achieve 500,000 new homes. That’s arguably true. But what has MHI done to achieve that level of production?

 

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

 

NAMHCO, cited in a report earlier today, broke from MHI, precisely because of a lack of performance.

 

MHCommunitiesOfAZNealTHaneyPresidentWhyTheyQuitManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

What Haney’s statement reflects is the lack of credibility and effectiveness of MHI in their claims.

 

Frank and Dave,” controversial in their own right, nevertheless told their readers 2 weeks ago not to look to MHI for support for community owners, using these words.

 

 

In peeling back the layers of the onion in manufactured housing, in hindsight, the insight of Marty Lavin makes sense when he said the following.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself objectively. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply with respect to MHI?

 

More pointed was Lavin – who is an MHI award winner – when he made the following statement.

 

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?

 

MHI has purportedly engaged in what Mark Weiss, the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) who referred to the industry’s post-production sector – which is MHI’s turf – as the “illusion of motion.”

 

“THE ILLUSION OF MOTION VERSUS REAL-WORLD CHALLENGES” – Spotlighted by Manufactured Home Industry Leader

 

That comment sent our publisher laughing at the apt, penetrating insight.  Keep MHI members busy, keep them going to meetings that are profit centers for MHI, per their own IRS Form 990s.  Feed them ‘housing alerts’ that led them to believe that they are making progress…

…but the acid test is the sales, shipment and production of new manufactured homes.  Those numbers don’t lie.

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRApril2019ProductionShipmentReportDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews

 

Inept? Lazy? Or head fake with the goal of consolidating the industry into ever fewer hands?

 

 

Let’s not forget the 21st letter, Kevin Clayton video, and Warren Buffett letter, linked below.

 

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? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

It makes the most logical case. Clayton, 21st, MHI, and MHI’s outside attorney – asked to address these concerns and allegations – routinely makes no on the record comment. 

Instead, they’ve put George F. (F?) Allen up as their purportedly incentivized attack dog and distraction surrogate.

When asked about claims from his own followers that have said Allen’s being compensated and rewarded by the big boys, Allen has no comment.

Millions of housing units are needed. Publicly traded MHI member companies own IR packets state that the industry is underperforming by historic standards.

Voices in Congress, per our sources, are wising up to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington ploy.

Voices in Congress, are already on the record going after high profile MHI members, including Clayton, 21st, and several large so-called ‘predatory’ community operators.

It’s not a pretty picture as to why the industry is underperforming. But the historical data – and the research by economists like Dr. Mark Fleming and others say that millions of homes are needed.

Tim Williams said it to MHProNews, and we’ve repeated it many times, because it was the truth – that they’ve arguably not followed. Every misleading report needs to be robustly responded to, as he said below.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCorpGoodArgumentsQuoteRespondEveryStoryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

MHI needs to push for enhanced preemption, a full implementation of the Duty to Serve mandated by law, and put the black hat behavior actors on notice.

Sources say, MHI can’t do it.  They’d lose Clayton and several big boy members, per those sources if they ever did such a thing.

Thus the need to expose the problem and the realities. Then the need for multiple layers of independent investigations, as publicly as possible.

There’s more in the links below.

 

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That’s today’s third 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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Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

Investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Over Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

June 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

NAMHCOlogoMonopolisticManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHARRlogoGeorgeFAllenPawnNAMHCOMHIMHARRWeighInOnControversialBillGeorgeAllenPawnGambitMHProNews

Stung by recent critiques and fact checks of MHI [Manufactured Housing Institute] before, during, and after the recent Innovative Housing Showcase – for which they have no good response – MHI had to try to change the narrative.”

 

A source with long, ongoing ties to MHI said the above in response to MHProNews inquiries about the Arlington, VA based trade group’s release to MHI members and followers that is published herein further below.

You only have to look at the timing of the MHI statement and look at George’s [Allen] follow up to his readers to know that Dick [Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, MHI President and CEO] coordinated with his compensated pawn. From the perspective of MHI and the [MHI] Executive Committee, Allen is seen as a useful surrogate – a tool that they think they can’t lose with.”

Why? How so?

Allen, per, that source, helps MHI continue to continue their manufactured home industry consolidation campaign with Allen’s help as a masking cover. Allen can be sacrificed like a pawn at any time. But unlike an actual game of chess, MHI can replace Allen any time they want to, once his usefulness to them is done. “The perfect example of that is Suzanne Felber,” of whom that source said that MHI “…tried to use [her as a surrogate in attacks] against MHProNews, but it proved ineffective, so they simply moved on to others like Allen.”

It should be noted that Felber, who is also “compensated,” is still used by MHI for minor event-related tasks.

MHI’s Executive Committee, senior leadership, and outside law firm hired to deal with MHProNews were contacted in response to questions about their statement on 6.13.1.2019 to MHI’s members and followers. Cincinnati based Graydon, MHI’s outside law firm that has an office in MHI board member Nathan Smith’s home town of Fort Mitchell, KY, confirmed receipt of the inquiries.

But they have not yet made any formal response.

No official response was made by MHI.

Here is the MHI statement to their readers, which was described by one source as “their latest head-fake,” for purpotedly factual reasons that will be noted afterward. MHI’s statement – with all of their legal threats and warnings not to share this with publicly – follows below. Let’s note that MHProNews does not at this time support this bill as it stands. Nor should publishing this be construed in any way as an endorsement of MHI, for reasons long-time readers understand. As a stating the obvious disclaimer to longtime readers, MHI and their ‘big boy backers’ used to be a sponsor of this site, until questions from this pro-growth trade media apparently became to difficult for them to respond to. Our track record reflects that banner ads or sponsorship doesn’t change our editorial stance, which perhaps explains why we are the most read trade media in the industry by far.

 

— start of MHI release —

HOUSING ALERT

June 13, 2019

MHI Protects Industry and Manufactured Housing Land-Lease Communities from Attack

MHI was able to successfully combat efforts to have anti-industry language included in a bill that would require the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue guidelines for localities to consider manufactured housing in their use of federal funds. Nestled within a broader proposal to gain support of localities for manufactured housing, the original language would have actually sought to establish congressional intent that certain manufactured homes and land-lease communities are harmful for consumers.

The original version included language that disparaged the energy efficiency of HUD Code manufactured homes and also criticized all manufactured housing land-lease communities that are not resident-owned. Thanks to MHI’s efforts, the bill that was ultimately introduced on Wednesday, S. 1804, did not include any of the negative language. Instead, the language supports the inclusion of manufactured housing in jurisdictions across America.

MHI was the only association representing the industry to identify the threat and fight for removal of the language prior to Senate introduction. Other associations that claim to represent the industry actually supported the provisions that disparaged manufactured housing. In contrast, MHI worked to have that language removed so that the bill only promotes the industry’s goal of having localities support more manufactured housing in their jurisdictions.

This anti-industry attack was timed during last week’s MHI Homes on the Hill Legislative Fly-In, when policymakers were seeing first-hand the quality and beauty of manufactured housing. MHI appreciates our champions in Congress who worked with us to remove the negative language and ensure the final legislation that was introduced on Wednesday genuinely helps promote manufactured housing. The bill now makes the following positive points about manufactured housing:

(1) Manufactured housing is a significant source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the United States.

(2) Nearly 22,000,000 people in the United States live in manufactured housing, which opens the door to homeownership for families who, in many housing markets, cannot afford to buy a site-built home.

(3) Manufactured housing is the only form of housing regulated by a Federal building code, which includes standards for health, safety, energy efficiency, and durability, and is found on land owned by the homeowner and land leased by the homeowner in communities owned and operated by private entities, nonprofit organizations, or resident owned communities.

(4) Manufactured homes can open the door to homeownership for millions of families; they can appreciate in value and be an effective long-term affordable housing solution for some families and communities across the United States.

If passed, HUD will issue guidelines to states and localities relating to the appropriate inclusion of residential manufactured homes in their comprehensive housing affordability strategies and community development plans, called the Consolidated Plans. HUD requires these Consolidated Plans, which are designed to help states and local jurisdictions assess their affordable housing and community development needs and market conditions, as a part of applications for funding under any of the Community Planning and Development formula grant programs, including the Community Development Block Grant Program, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and Housing Trust Fund.

S. 1804 was sponsored by Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV) and cosponsored by Senators Scott (R-SC), Smith (D-MN), Young (R-IN) and Cramer (R-ND).

MHI will continue our consistent and constructive presence on Capitol Hill and cultivation of strong bipartisan relationships to ensure that manufactured housing is a part of federal efforts to address the nation’s affordable housing challenges.

 

— End of the body of MHI’s release —

 

 

MHI’s Factual Misses

It should be noted that MHI, for all of their posturing above, did not mentioned that the House and Senate versions of the bill are not identical. Thus, their own claim of fixing the language of the bill is not accurate.

The House version has one or more factual errors, which also arguably undercuts MHI’s posturing, above. For proof, see both versions of the bill, linked below.

Questions were sent to the “MHI compensated surrogate, George Allen,” who has not formally denied nor confirmed that he is “rewarded” – per sources that claim knowledge – for being MHI’s “pawnand “attack dog.”

One source noted with humor the prior reference on MHProNews of Allen as the roaring, but cowardly lion – which helped suggest the featured image at top, with Allen’s head on the pawn.

But more than one Allen follower copied in messages had things to say to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

For example, the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) provided a detailed on-the-record statements last night to MHProNews, which will follow below.

That source said they understood why MHProNews did articles that included mentions and or does fact-checks of Allen, but the new trade group official saw no value in commenting on “George” at all.

Another source with NAMHCO previously said that Allen’s usefulness to them was mainly for recruiting new members into their association who distrust MHI.  There is apparent ongoing communications.

Another source reminded MHProNews of NAMHCO’s prior statement about MHI [shown below], and said that Allen’s missives and flip-flops were too “self-contradictory” for him to have “any credibility.” Further, the public scandals and purported controversies attached to Allen are known by too many to give him use behind his own die hard followers. Ouch.

 

MHCommunitiesOfAZNealTHaneyPresidentWhyTheyQuitManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

What Haney’s statement reflects are the apparent track record of a lack of credibility and effectiveness of MHI in their claims. 

 

The NAMHCO source who spoke to MHProNews yesterday likewise saw no value in commenting about MHI or their motivations.

That said, it was noteworthy, per that caller, that HUD officials took a “narrow view” of “enhanced preemption” even though the evidence provided by MHARR reflected a much broader power. That source said that MHARR was correct in pressing the matter. Rephrased, at least one party at NAMHCO sees enhanced preemption as MHARR and MHProNews do. For those readers not yet aware of that issue, see the related report, linked from the text-image box below.

 

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

 

Here is the formal NAMHCO statement to MHProNews.

We are pleased with the introduction of S.1804, the “HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019.”  Beyond the findings sections, this bill actually does something quite important.  It requires HUD to issues guidelines to include manufactured housing to states and localities as they develop their comprehensive plans to address affordable housing.  This means, manufactured housing could be considered in state and local grant applications for Community Planning and Development grants, HOME investment grants, and the Housing Trust Fund.   This bill puts manufactured home communities at the table at both the federal and the state and local level, and presents and opportunity for state and local agencies to support and strengthen the affordable homeownership that communities provide.”

Additionally, I also attached the House version of the Bill, H.R. 926 introduced by Norma Torres, which NAMHCO did not endorse.”

The post-production, manufactured home community focused trade group also provided the text of the NAMHCO release on the issue, which is found linked here as a download.

 

 

The View from MHARR

MHARR had no formal comments about the matter.  But a source with the Washington, D.C. based trade group noted that Allen was misguiding his readers because they collect no dues from post-production companies.

Indeed, that fits with their routine statement that MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

It was purported and ongoing failures of MHI to address financing, placement, and zoning issues – among others – that has motivated MHARR and their members – who produce HUD Code manufactured homes – to go beyond their core mission.  In that respect, the trade group is arguably doing more than those who are paid by the post-production sector.

A MHARR source also observed that MHI’s statement – cited above – was not accurate, as they spoke in person with more than one party in Congress connected with the pending bill.

To that point, the questions put to MHI and their outside law firm – which were sent by MHProNews prior to hearing from a contact with MHARR – are worth noting.

 

RequestForCommentEmailtoManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI2019-06-14_0619DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

No doubt you’ve also seen the email from your purported surrogate, George F. Allen that followed this email from MHI.

MHProNews would like to see:

1) the original language of the bill,

2) evidence that others in the industry failed to address the matter.

3) the revised language.

4) all communications relative to this bill.

Perhaps more to the point, instead of this legislation, how do you explain MHI’s failure promote enhanced preemption?  What evidence can you provide that you’ve asked HUD to fully enforce enhanced preemption?

We are on deadline.  While you are welcome to respond now, or later, we’d prefer your on-the-record reply via email asap, so it can be included in our planned report.

Thank you.

Tony

LATonyKovachMHProNews2019-06-14_0741

 

 

 

 

What Third Party Legislation Monitoring GovTrack Says

GovTrack, pointing to Skopos Labs research, is giving the MHI supported bill a 3 percent chance of becoming law.

 

HR926GovTrackSkoposLabsHUDManufacturedHousingModernizationAct2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That was similar to the odds GovTrack gave for the MHI backed Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act at various times.

Preserving Access never passed. To learn more about that, see the deeper dive, linked below.

 

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

 

Given low odds of passage, this new controversial MHI supported bill – whatever its merits may or may not be – appears to be a moot point.

But that doesn’t mean that the language of the bill in its current – MHI supported – form is without risks. The controversy exists precisely because the bill, per sources, has several possible land-mines. Even without passage, the bill may cause harm to the industry.

 

 

Starting with the Title, Reasons Why MHProNews Says Bill is Flawed As Is

First, it should be realized that the Senate version of this bill is supported by Prosperity Now and MHI.  Put differently, that means that Buffett’s fingerprints are on it from two sources. That’s the first red flag, IMHO,” said publisher, consultant, and multiple award-winning L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Next, whoever the geniuses at Prosperity Now and/or MHI were that gave this bill its name, that too is arguably flawed. Think about the title: “HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019’’. For those who will never read beyond the title, that implies that manufactured homes need to be ‘modernized.’ It’s poor marketing, and factually inaccurate,” said industry expert Kovach.

How is it that MHI keeps taking positions that undermine the industry’s image? Or why do they back steps that seem to derail or reroute access to more capital, financing, and placement of the industry?” Kovach asked. “Why doesn’t MHI just back a full throated use of Enhanced Preemption? Or the GSE’s Duty to Serve all new HUD Code manufactured home sales, not only those new class of homes that Clayton Homes and MHI wants to sell?”

Beyond the fact that MHI is using this as a purported dodge over their recent misses, he pointed in that last comment to the problematic use of a phrase that is looked at in more depth, below.

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

 

Problematic New Class of Homes Angle?

What NAMHCO and Allen have apparently missed is a problem with MHI’s language – quoted above, and recapped below – that could be a reference to the Clayton Homes/MHI backed ‘new class of homes.’ New readers are reminded that MHProNews often takes a direct quote and makes the text bold and brown so it ‘pops,’ but otherwise leaves the quoted statement unaltered.

Quoting from MHI’s email: “If passed, HUD will issue guidelines to states and localities relating to the appropriate inclusion of residential manufactured homes in their comprehensive housing affordability strategies and community development plans,” with the underscoring editorially added.

Sources tell MHProNews that “residential manufactured homes” is not language used in federal legislation already in effect on HUD Code manufactured housing. It may be a possible end-around way of promoting ONLY the Clayton/MHI backed ‘new class’ of homes, or one more ‘Trojan Horse.’

As MHI themselves admit, “If” the bill is passed, which is low odds, per GovTrack. Which brings industry professionals and advocates back to the issue of the lack of consistent enforcement of “enhanced preemption,” which MHI seems unwilling to support, per prior reporting that MHI has not challenged.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

Thus, posturing by MHI and their surrogate Allen on this issue yesterday, and repeated red-herring style head-fakes by both ought to be seen for what it is.

Meanwhile the industry:

  • is now into 8 consecutive months of year-over-year declines in new home shipments during an affordable housing crisis.
  • MHI continues to put up fig leaf videos and statements, which get very little visibility beyond industry members, which are their apparent target audience. How does that help increase industry shipments?  Isn’t it the public that needs persuasion?
  • Despite MHI saying they invite questions – “If you have any questions, please contact MHI’s Government Affairs Department” – they continue to exercise their Fifth Amendment protected right to remain silent when asked by MHProNews, even though they routinely replied promptly until questions by MHProNews apparently became to difficult for them to navigate.  That fits the pattern of Rick Robinson, SVP and General Counsel, and MHI’s Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, ducking questions in public for 2 years when asked by MHProNews. 

 

Downturn Harming Independents, Would-Be Consumers 

Independent manufactured home industry members have been telling MHProNews that they are personally impacted by the downturn in new HUD Code manufactured home sales, which only makes sense based upon the statistics.

Meanwhile, MHI, while claiming “clout,” uses that for photo opportunities – or even nice videos – but demonstrably continues to miss at what matters most to businesses, investors, and professionals.  Namely, the bottom line of more sales.

One of the most insightful phrases this year in describing MHI is theIllusion of Motion,” said Kovach. “Their controversial bill is arguably an example of how MHI is running around the block to do what full implementation of Enhanced Preemption and better lending demanded by DTS would achieve.  If they had clout, what this bill claims to do could be done by administrative fiat. It’s almost pointless.”

If they really care about growth instead of consolidation, MHI, NAMHCO, and others should join MHARR and MHProNews in calling for full enforcement of the industry’s good, existing lawsWe consistently pushed for enforcing existing laws before, while we were MHI members, and since. Everything else is a dodge, distraction, and delay that is costing our industry billions of dollars collectively every year.”

He added, “Its a disgrace that MHI and Allen aren’t robustly promoting enhanced preemption and the good news that Secretary Ben Carson has made available, instead of this latest head fakeThey are arguably deceptive cowards, unwilling to face in public and debate the issues that are costing this industry billions, and are leaving millions who could benefit from manufactured homes with a false perception — shame on their disgraceful behavior.”

See the related reports, below the byline and notices for more.

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

The quote above is about a year old, and is standing the test of time. 

 

That’s today’s second installment 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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Secretary Ben Carson’s, Julian Castro’s Manufactured Housing, “Trailer,” “Mobile Home” Revelations, 2020 Battles Ahead

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George Orwell, All Issues Are Political Issues, Manufactured Housing Challenges, and You

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries, MHI Chairman, Insights from Innovative Housing Showcase

 

 

 

 

 

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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Positive Congressional Reactions – Innovative Housing Showcase, HUD, MHEC, MHI, and Other Insights

June 7th, 2019 Comments off
PositiveCongressionalReactionsInnovatieHousingShowcaseHUDMHECMHIOtherInsightsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Still from video, posted further below.

By presidential proclamation and custom, June is National Home Ownership Month.  So it was fitting to set the dates for the Innovative Housing Showcase at the first of June.

 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) media relations (“Office of Public Affairs”) provided the following to the Daily Business News on MHProNews on 6.4.2019.

The first-of-its-kind Innovative Housing Showcase is underway on the National Mall in Washington! In the first three days of this unprecedented event on “America’s front yard,’ thousands of people saw for themselves some of the innovative building technologies that are designed to address some of the serious housing challenges confronting the nation. Secretary Carson and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue were among a host of senior-level officials who addressed the assembled audience about how the federal government is helping to drive some of the innovations on display during the event. And two more days still to come!

On several levels, the event was certainly a positive for manufactured housing, tiny houses, container, and other types of prefab structures.  It was also good for the installation technologies that compliment them. More on that, further below, including new videos that give a feel for the reactions of those who saw manufactured homes, often for the first time. 

As HUD press release reminded readers, the Innovative Housing Showcase was set in the context of June as National Home Ownership  month.  Both HUD and the White House provided the following.

 

Proclamation on National Homeownership Month, 2019

 ECONOMY & JOBS

 Issued on: May 31, 2019

During 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.

My Administration’s economic policies have helped spur a booming economy, in which nearly 6 million new jobs have been created and wages are rising at the fastest rate in a decade.  We have slashed more than 30,000 pages of job-killing regulations from the rule book that had been constraining economic growth, and my Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has put more money into the pockets of American workers.  These successes have led to more opportunities for Americans to become homeowners, and we are committed to building on them by continuing to work with State and local governments to remove burdensome and unnecessary regulations that restrict development and artificially raise housing costs.

To offer the opportunity for more sustainable homeownership to a greater number of Americans, we must also reform our Nation’s housing finance system.  Earlier this year, I signed a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Secretaries of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development to construct a plan on reforming the housing finance system to promote competition in the housing finance market that will also preserve the 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage for qualified homebuyers.  These reforms are critical to improving access to sustainable mortgages and to maintaining responsible support for homeownership and for building wealth.

This month, we reaffirm our commitment to empowering more Americans with the opportunity to take the important step of becoming homeowners.  By keeping taxes low, continuing to remove burdensome and unnecessary regulations, and making much-needed reforms to the housing finance system, we will open doors to sustainable homeownership to more Americans and their families.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2019 as National Homeownership Month.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

DONALD J. TRUMP

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Still from Innovative Housing Showcase presentation, courtesy of HUD to MHProNews.

 

Part of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) release on the topic said the following: “Thousands visited three manufactured homes displayed on the National Mall this week. Among them were Members of Congress who walked from meetings and votes on Capitol Hill to learn more about the quality and attainability of today’s manufactured homes.

Attendees indicated that the presentations in the tent on the National Mall were well attended, as this stills above and further below from HUD also attests.

Sources told MHProNews that Adventure Homes, which initially was going to participate, in the end did not place a model on display.  Skyline Champion had two multi-sectional homes on display. Cavco Industries provided the single-sectional. Indications are that roughly a thousand people walked through a manufactured home on a given day.

Among those who did so was Secretary Carson himself, as well as Congressional representatives as the video posted below attests.  The video was well done, reflecting members of both major political parties.  The reactions are clearly positive, some are even enthusiastic. 

 

 

As MHProNews reported earlier this week, the response by the public to an interview with Secretary Carson ‘talking up’ manufactured homes was overall positive. See that report in the link below.

 

Public Reactions to HUD Secretary Carson’s “Innovations in Housing” Promoting Manufactured Homes

 

Reality Checks

That said, the manufactured home industry is in its eighth consecutive month of year-over-year declines in production during an affordable housing crisis. Yes, steps like this one led by Secretary Carson are useful.  But per our sources, it was producers that took the lead to get manufactured homes on the display.  MHI pivoted their fly-in schedule to meet that change. So the credit goes largely to those individual producers. 

Conspicuously absent in the display on the National Mall this week was Clayton Homes.  Sources tell MHProNews that they had representatives there, but no manufactured homes by that firm were on display.

It must be kept in mind that ‘the big boss’ over Clayton Homes President and CEO Kevin Clayton is Warren Buffett. As MHProNews and MHLivingNews has documented, Buffett’s money has flowed to nonprofit groups that in turn have publicly attacked firms in manufactured housing, often other MHI members. That was most notable in the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver viral attack, errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.”

One must also be mindful that it was early April that Olver’s video, which topped 6 million views on YouTube. Does any objective manufactured home professional think that helped industry shipments that month, or since? 

 

 

While hundreds have watched the well-done MHI video above that reflects positive federal reactions to manufactured homes, another video viciously mocking and attacking HUD Secretary Carson has had over 1.6 million views since May 26, 2019. Let’s note that posting this below is not to be construed as endorsing it, quite the opposite is true.  But in order for the industry’s professionals, investors, and public advocates to grasp the realities and challenges that the industry – and Secretary Carson – faces, a complete picture must be painted. 

 

 

That video above, as well as other media-launched slurs aimed against him, utilize what Dr. Carson correctly identified as Saul Alinsky tactics.

 

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Learn more, linked here.

 

The industry’s professionals, supporters and advocates must objectively grapple with what it is up against. For whatever motives one may wish to ascribe, Buffett’s bucks – via so-called dark money channels – has been documented to being used to attacking manufactured housing.  This has been going on for some years that MHProNews has documented to date.

 

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

InnovativeHousingShowcaseHUDNAHBDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsStillPhoto

Still from Innovative Housing Showcase presentation, courtesy of HUD to MHProNews.

 

A Positive Event Set in a Difficult Reality

It is natural to feel good about a noble effort by two HUD Code manufactured home producers.  We’ve said previously, and say again, we applaud those builders for their participation in this National Mall display.

But aren’t those efforts being undermined by their association’s biggest member’s biggest boss?  While MHI claims to be working to reduce regulations, Warren Buffett has consistently supported candidates that push for more regulations.  That’s not speculation, that’s reality.  Without dealing with those realities, the industry could be locked in low gear for years to come, until Buffett and his brands believe they’ve achieved sufficient mass to dominating a critical part of the national needs for affordable housing.

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

The first video branded by MHI posted above had 566 views as of about 8:25 AM ET on 6.7.2019. By contrast, there are over 1.6 million views of the video mocking Secretary Carson, whom this publication has since his nomination and continues to editorially support. That’s just one of several such assaults on the good doctor. Those attacks on our industry, at least in some cases, have Warren Buffett’s donor fingerprints on them. We noted that the disruption last year by MHAction of Secretary Carson’s address to MHI was by the same group – MHAction – that Buffett funded that undergirded the John Oliver hit video.

Until that clear conflict of interest – the elephant in the room, ‘big boy’ member of MHI seemingly trying to tamp down manufactured housing’s image, and thus sales and production, with the apparent objective of consolidating more of the industry – the rest of the industry can do whatever. 

But the numbers speak loudly.

Secretary Carson is doing is part, no doubt.  He’s doing so with national networks, as well as with this Innovative Housing Showcase, and more.  There is no HUD Secretary of either party that in the last 2 decades has done more promotion of manufactured homes than Secretary Carson has. 

 

 

Thus we see that there are individual member-companies of the industry, including some in MHI, that are arguably trying to promote the industry.

 

 

But that quality video above has had 176 views on 6.7.2019 as of about 8:30 AM ET.  Rephrased, the attack videos are dwarfing the positive videos. And those attacks are purportedly coming in several instances from groups that Buffett’s bucks have been documented to have funded. 

 

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

 

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) argued in a detailed study released in 2017 that the industry needs a new post-production body. They’ve done so numerous times before and since.

 

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MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-releases-study-recommending-independent-collective-representation-for-post-production-sector/

 

Federal investigations of Clayton Homes are already underway, as the video below reminds us.  HUD and other agencies are involved in those investigations.

 

 

Perhaps concerns like those alleged above, and others that Democratic law makers are raising against Clayton and their affiliated manufactured home lenders need to be publicly elevated by having Congress call Mr. Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage Corp, and others in to see if they are still behaving in ways that are harming the acceptance of manufactured housing.  One must not forget the documents and video evidence linked here that antitrust experts say is compelling.

How long will the industry accept the “Illusion of Motion” when the clear reality is that manufactured housing should be roaring? Instead, manufactured homes are now into 8 straight months of a decline. That doesn’t happen by accident, during an affordable housing crisis.  There are logical reasons why this downturn is occurring. If the industry’s members allow a few positive sound bites to obscure the reality of the data, then too many will be surprised by what may follow. 

Time will tell if MHI does a better job of promoting these positive videos with the public-at-large after this useful and positive event than was arguably done before the Innovative Housing Showcase.  The acid test is will MHI truly promote what Secretary Carson has teed up?  Will they do so in a fashion that will spark sales growth?  Will Buffett continue to undermine an industry that is smaller today than the year he entered the business?

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. We fight the good fight, believing that victory can occur.  But it won’t happen without grappling with reality, getting to and resolving root issues. 

 

That’s this morning’s first look at 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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Key to Unlocking Door for More Manufactured Home Sales, Professor Lisa Tyler’s Valuable Research

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson tours Innovative Housing Showcase on National Mall in Washington, D.C.

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-launches-fighting-discriminatory-zoning-mandates-manufactured-housing-project/