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Cha-Ching! Manufactured Housing Made Simple in 2019

March 19th, 2019 No comments

 

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A recent report reflected the potential for the manufactured housing industry during this current affordable housing crisis. There are some 100,000,000 Americans living in rental housing. About one in seven Americans are moving this year, and every year. Manufactured homes are the most affordable type of permanent housing.

 

 

So why aren’t far more manufactured homes being sold?

Perhaps the three top reasons heard are:

  • Zoning and placement.
  • Financing and access to capital.
  • Insufficient marketplace understanding and acceptance.

 

But those 3 broad topics all have ready-made answers.

 

  • The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 gives HUD Code manufactured homes federally “enhanced preemption.” MHProNews, looping in MHARR and other nonprofits/advocates, tested cases in 2018 and 2019 where local jurisdictions rapidly reversed discriminatory behavior through good communications. Properly citing enhanced preemption was part of that outcome.  The cities involved went from anti-manufactured housing legislation, to stopping such anti-manufactured home regulation.  Since it has been done before, it could be turned into a system, and done again.
  • Some fear the ‘loss’ of access to lending offered by 21st Mortgage. Why? Specific industry companies are proving they can do business with or without 21st. Beyond that, there are FHA, VA, USDA, and Duty to Serve laws already on the federal books. There’s hundreds of billions in capital that came into the U.S. in 2018. Capital access is made easier via existing state or federal programs. Rephrased, the solutions already exist.
  • Marketplace acceptance is about education, not mere marketing, both are needed. The most commonplace and harmful beliefs about manufactured home living can readily be corrected based upon facts.

 

In just 229 words after the headline, the above is the industry’s reality. It should be so simple.  Enforce existing laws that are already favorable. Promote positive facts about manufactured housing, which are already favorable. So why has the industry been so constrained?

 

  • Fear of loss is paralyzing for some.
  • Habits and behavior patterns that are obviously self-limiting.
  • Insufficient vision or motivation to make necessary changes achieve the greater sales levels and ethically earned increased profits.

 

It’s a battle between fear of loss, habits, and the opportunities that proven and positive changes can bring.  ICYMI, you can circle back later to read these linked reports above, or that can be accessed via the hot-linked text-image boxes that follow.

 

Subsidized Housing vs Manufactured Homes, Community Owner Marge Clark Sounds Off

 

One can talk about the allegations of the numerous failures by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to address pressing needs and concerns like those cited in articles from hot-linked text-image boxes above and below. Are there conflicts of interest that keep MHI from acting on behalf of most independents?

 

 

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

 

One can review evidence of market manipulation of the industry by business units owned by Omaha, NE based Berkshire Hathaway. Those are potentially useful insights, which can also be intimidating. But federal law provides a solution for fear-based intimidation efforts that harms the free exercise of the marketplace.

 

White Collar Shakedown, Fear, Hobbs Act, and Manufactured Housing Independents Struggles

 

 

Balancing Habits or Fear of Loss vs. the Opportunities for Greater Gain

The need for millions of affordable housing units across the country are a compelling reasons why manufactured housing is underperforming. But that is an opportunity in disguise for those willing to make positive changes.

ManufacturedHomesAsPercentageofSinglefamilyHousingStartsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSkylineChampionSKY780x943

 

There are a variety of proven ways that the industry’s members could advance at the local level.

There is arguably a clear need to establish an alternative alliance of association.  That alternative should be willing to do what the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute clearly isn’t doing for whatever reasons.  Existing laws that need to be advocated and enforced would broadly advance the interests of the manufactured home industry’s independents.

It remains to be seen what the new National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) will or won’t do.  Time will tell.

The reason that there are federal laws like Duty to Serve (DTS) and “enhanced preemption,” to name but two of many possible points of accomplishments, is because the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) worked for years to achieve those goals. They did so without a PAC, and with a fraction of MHI’s budget or resources.

Retail sales of homes, financing, capital, education and advocacy are all post-production issues.  MHI has called themselves the representatives of “all segments of factory-built housing.” If so, then it falls on MHI and their purported masters in the Knoxville metro for failing – during an affordable housing crisis – to recapture the sales levels last achieved in 1998. Or the 500,000 new home sales the MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison said could be achieved. Yet 3 out of 4 of the years – 75 percent of the time since the industry’s last peak – were during the Berkshire Hathaway era of manufactured housing. During that time, the industry dipped further following 2003.  Coincidence?

The rest are details and commentary. Will anyone at MHI, or anyone in authority with the obvious major firms from Omaha, Knoxville, their surrogates or allies prepared to argue or prove otherwise?

 

 

Stopping the Insanity Of Doing the Same Things, Over and Over

The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things the same ways and expect a different result. Let’s stop the insanity in 2019. There will be a meeting for independents and investors at Tunica. Details will be posted soon. Make sure that you are signed up for our industry leading emailed headline “News, Tips, and Views that Pros Can Use.” ©

 

Phones ringing. Doors swinging. Cash registers cha-changing. Sales professionals and owners honestly singing.

That is the industry’s promising potential.

  • Fear?
  • Stuck in habits that are holding you down?
  • Or change for the better?

Fear of loss. Desire for gain. Status quo or growth?  Which way will you go?

It is arguably riskier and far more costly to stay stuck in the status quo than it is to step out and now do what is necessary.  The ROI on growth is compelling.

Let’s note that MHARR has advocated for a new post-production trade association for years.  They’ve stated that they want to work with a pro-growth post-production trade group. Such a group would be good for independents of all kinds, but arguably is good for some larger players too.  MHARR’s leaders have made clear that they want to remain an independent HUD Code producers’ association, but they nevertheless made the case in a report linked further below for a new post-production trade group.  MHARR’s leaders have also said that they will encourage as they can a new post-production trade association formation. For more details, see the linked reports below the byline, offers and notices.

The cha-ching possible in 2019 and beyond is simple. It simply requires common sense change away from the habits and fears that have increasingly paralyzed the industry since 2003. As consolidation and the failures of ever more independents has demonstrably occurred during those years since 2003, what really do most independents have to lose?

There is much to gain, and little to risk. Stay tuned for a report later today with more details on this topic, which will be addressed at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

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

 

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

 

 

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Manufactured Housing Institute’s Monthly Economic Report Spotlights Challenge, What MHI, WHA’s Amy Bliss Said

 

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HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

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Manufactured Housing Institute’s Monthly Economic Report Spotlights Challenge, What MHI, WHA’s Amy Bliss Said

March 18th, 2019 No comments

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMonthlyEconomicReportJan2019DataMarch2019ReportWisconsinHousingAllianceWHAAmyBlissPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) released its monthly economic report.  It will be recalled that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) published their similar data about 2 weeks ago, and that MHARR previously raised concerns about the causes and trajectory of declines new HUD Code manufactured home shipments starting with production reports in last months of 2018.

 

Let’s begin with what the Arlington, VA based MHI said.  MHI bills itself as representing “all segments of factory-built housing” – meaning production and post-production issues. Most of the key issues that face the industry today are arguably in the post-production realm. So, that is the lens we often scrutinize their performance through, because it is their own claim.

Here below is the meat of MHI’s March economic report.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMonthlyEconomicReportLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

7,493 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in January [2019]

In January 2019, new manufactured home shipments decreased 13.3% to 7,493 homes as compared to the 8,646 homes shipped in January 2018. Total shipments for January 2019 were 1,509 homes more than the prior month of December. Compared with January 2018, the trend is mixed with shipments of single-section homes down by 28.4% and multi-section homes up by 5.4%. Total floors shipped in January 2019 decreased 7.7% to 11,607 compared to January 2018.

Of the 7,493 homes shipped in January, there were only 25 homes designated as FEMA units shipped which is significantly less than the 850 FEMA units in January 2018.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 88,461 in January, up 4.1% from the adjusted rate of 85,008 in December 2018. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

In January, 134 plants representing 35 corporations reported production data which is an increase of one active plant and the same number of corporations compared to December 2018.

##

 

Note that nowhere does this report reflect any concern, analysis or solutions to the problem of shirking shipments during a well-publicized U.S. affordable housing crisis.

MHProNews waited a few days to see if MHI would before or after this economic report explain their plan to address the troubling data in their own report.

While there are hints of reasons why ‘future growth’ could be found in their new consumer research, they fail to explain why that research is hidden behind a member-only login. Why would a post-production trade group – which normally publishes for all the world to see research that is claimed at being positive – is instead hidden.

 

MHIlogoNewsUpdates362019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Isn’t that contradicted by MHI’s own data?

Furthermore, the research and results of the PBS and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ own statement, along with other MHI published members statements, all point to a need to address the root causes of manufactured housing’s malaise.

Prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith admitted on camera that the national association had often failed to be proactive. He pledged to members on camera that his goal was to change that dynamic.  Now, years later, how did that pledge work out for the industry?

 

 

But what has been working out for Nathan and his peers is the consolidation of the industry into ever fewer hands.  Coincidence?

 

Tim Williams PBS

Besides MHI itself, none of their more prominent surrogates offer any reasonable explanation or plan either.

Take the example of Amy Bliss – who is allegedly connected with part-time MHI surrogate George F. (F?) Allen’s call for a boycott.  Bliss previously made a public claim which an attorney with antitrust insights said could constitute tying, which like a boycott, is another antitrust flag.

Bliss, the Executive Director the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA), told Kurt Kelley’s MHR last month the following.

 

MHR Q) What’s the biggest challenge to acting as the leader of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance?

WHA’s Bliss-A)

For me, the blatant hypocrisy of Federal, State and local governments. They all talk about wanting affordable housing and workforce housing, but when it comes down to it, they exclude manufactured homes at every turn. They feel the only acceptable form of affordable housing should be apartments. It frustrates me that most of the grant funding always excludes land lease community residents and they are the people that often need the help the most.”

 

What her comments fail to mention is that the role of any post-production trade group, WHA’s or MHI, is precisely to address such concerns. What’s the goal of hand-wringing over ‘hypocrisy’ by public officials?  Is the looking for an amen?  Instead, why aren’t they routinely using the ‘enhanced preemption’ argument in public and with public officials? Why is MHI instead hiding it on their own website?

 

C:\Users\L. A. Tony Kovach\Downloads\ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogo2019-01-09_1250ManufacturedHousingEnhancedPreemptionSearchMHProNews3.png

A recent check revealed the same result.

 

Bliss contradicts herself, as the next two Q&A’s reveal. She also signals what she – as a reportedly periodic receiver of selected MHI insider insights – may have been told what to expect. Keep in mind that the major companies all know their production levels soon after the end of each month.  With the production of the Big 3 accounting for about 80 percent of all manufactured homes, MHI could easily know weeks before others what the data is going to look like before HUD Reports it.

With that factoid in mind, let’s look at what Bliss also.

 

MHR-Q) Can you tell us a few pressing issues facing manufactured housing in Wisconsin?

WHA’s Bliss-A) “The industry in Wisconsin is doing well. The most pressing issues I hear from my members is lack of installers and transporters, municipalities increasing fees or eliminating services for community owners and of course the number one issue is lack of financing. Another item of concern is older communities that have not been managed well. The biggest reason for community closures is because the municipality revokes the license to operate because the owner has let the community go into a state of disrepair. I hate to see Wisconsin lose sites and it is extremely sad for the tenants.”

 

Within Bliss’ answer above is already an implied string of contradictions to her claim that the “industry…is doing well.” The industry in her state and others are wildly underperforming.  Her predecessor – Ross Kinzler – was so alarmed, that he created this graphic before he left the role to Bliss. The facts summarized below blows away Bliss’ ‘sunshine and roses’ claim that all is so well in the industry. It isn’t.

 

average-shipment-per-decade-manufactured-home-posted-on-mhpronews-com-d

Graphic provided by Ross Kinzler when he was then the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

 

The next question further contradicts her claim that the ‘industry is doing well.’  This reply by Bliss to MHR is another stark alarm for manufactured housing industry professionals.

 

MHR- Q) What industry and association concerns wake you up at night?

 

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAlliancePhoto

Photo provided under fair use guidelines for media.

Bliss-A) “I worry about another downturn in the industry. We lost a tremendous number of retailers and we had to live off our reserves for several years. That was not a fun time for anyone in the industry and I would hate to see that happen again. I am fully aware that the housing industry in general has cycles, but I hope it never goes that low again. Wisconsin lost a manufacturer that had been in business for over 50 years.”

Once more, this begs several follow up questions that MHR never asked, or at least, never published. For example:

Where is the reaction by Bliss or MHI to the document, quotes, and video linked below that constitute an ostensible ‘smoking gun’ of artificial market rigging, a restraint of trade that could be construed as a violation of federal law. Silence.

Where is the reaction by Bliss, or voices from Arlington and Knoxville, to claims by state association executives that they were strong-armed by 21st and Tim Williams? There has been off the record confirmation of those concerns, but no one is willing to speak out on the record.

Why not?  In a phrase, fear for their job.

That fear is another potential Hobbs Act issues, see that linked report.

 

 

The Bottom Line?

Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh expressed his belief on the radio today that “…most limitations are self-imposed…”

That may be true for some as a factor in manufactured housing’s stunted performance.   There are some voices that say there is significant upside for the industry.  But MHI is largely silent on that potential. Why?

 

Investors, Professionals, Planners, Advocates – Examining Affordable Manufactured Home Industry Market Potential

But in our much-needed part of the affordable housing industry, manufactured home professionals have time and again expressed fear of stepping out or speaking out.  Those fears arguably fall into the definitions that can spark potential federal or state criminal, administrative, or civil actions. The reason for that fear is based upon passed actions that have become ever more widely known.

There are several reported and known investigations underway.  But one of the ways that could be accelerated is by more people speaking out, not by more people being intimidated into silence.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotes

Rollohome, like the firm that Amy Bliss mentioned in the quote above, was a Wisconsin based builder. Other builders of HUD Code and modular homes have vanished from Bliss’ state. How many more companies must unnecessarily vanish during an affordable housing crisis? Where is the discussion by Bliss or MHI on the impact of market manipulation on current MH owners and potential consumers?

 

The law and facts are debatably on the side of those who are beginning to coalesce in the post-production side, just as MHARR previously did on the production side. There will be more on these themes in the days ahead.

That is tonight’s “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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“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Collar Shakedown, Fear, Hobbs Act, and Manufactured Housing Independents Struggles

March 18th, 2019 No comments

WhiteCollarShakedownFearHobbsActManufacturedHousingIndependentsStrugglesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Fear can be an element of extortion, according to the Hobbs Act, says the Justice Department website. For newcomers to the Daily Business News, on MHProNews, brown and bold text are direct quotes from the source cited.  This topic is being raised because more than one credible source – both recent and previously – has contacted MHProNews with their experiences in this context.

 

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed …. A civil RICO action can be filed in state or federal court. Both the criminal and civil,” per Wikipedia.

Shakedowns and ‘Protection Rackets’ are other terms used for various types of extortion, and they will be examined following the DoJ information.

 

Relevance to Manufactured Housing

The relevance to manufactured housing is simple and direct. There have been a number of manufactured housing independents who are afraid of doing things that are lawful and within their constitutionally protected rights. They are arguably victims of extortion.

Does that extortion come from drug dealers? No. MS 13? Not reports on that at this time either.   Rather, these are fears based upon well known actors in the Manufactured Housing Industry. Links will be provided after the DOJ and other information that follows, below.

Because there are several reports from different markets that have pointed to the same sources that they fear. Coincidence?

 

 

How the Hobbs Act May Be Applied to Manufactured Housing

What follows is from the Department of Justice (DoJ) website. It is copied verbatim, but

MHProNews is turning bold and blue some of the items from DoJ below that may be relevant and apply to our industry.

 

USDepartmentofJustice2402HobbsActGenerallyExtortionMHProNews

  1. HOBBS ACT — EXTORTION BY FORCE, VIOLENCE, OR FEAR

 

In order to prove a violation of Hobbs Act extortion by the wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, the following questions must be answered affirmatively:

  1. Did the defendant induce or attempt to induce the victim to give up property or property rights? Property” has been held to be “any valuable right considered as a source of wealth.” United States v. Tropiano, 418 F.2d 1069, 1075 (2d Cir. 1969) (the right to solicit garbage collection customers). Property” includes the right of commercial victims to conduct their businesses. See United States v. Zemek, 634 F.3d 1159, 1174 (9th Cir. 1980) (the right to make business decisions and to solicit business free from wrongful coercion) and cited cases). It also includes the statutory right of union members to democratically participate in union affairs. See United States v. Debs, 949 F.2d 199, 201 (6th Cir. 1991) (the right to support candidates for union office); United States v. Teamsters Local 560, 550 F. Supp. 511, 513-14 (D.N.J. 1982), aff’d, 780 F.2d 267 (3rd Cir. 1985) (rights guaranteed union members by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 29 U.S.C. §  411).
  2. Did the defendant use or attempt to use the victim’s reasonable fear of physical injury or economic harm in order to induce the victim’s consent to give up property? A defendant need not create the fear of injury or harm which he exploits to induce the victim to give up property. See United States v. Duhon, 565 F.2d 345, 349 and 351 (5th Cir. 1978) (offer by employer to pay union official for labor peace held to be “simply planning for inevitable demand for money” by the union official under the circumstances); United States v. Gigante, 39 F.3d 42, 49 (2d Cir. 1994), vacated on other grounds and superseded in part on denial of reh’g, 94 F.3d 53 (2d Cir. 1996) (causing some businesses to refuse operations with the victim sufficiently induced the victim’s consent to give up property, consisting of a right to contract freely with other businesses, as long as there were other businesses beyond defendants’ control with whom the victim could do business).
    Moreover, attempted extortion may include an attempt to instill fear in a federal agent conducting a covert investigation or a defendant “made of unusually stern stuff.” See United States v. Gambino, 566 F.2d 414, 419 (2d Cir. 1977) (argument that FBI agent pretending to be extortion victim could not be placed in fear is not a defense to attempted extortion of the agent); see also United States v. Ward, 914 F.2d 1340, 1347 (9th Cir. 1990) (an attempt to instill fear included a demand for money from a victim who knew that the defendant was only pretending to be a federal undercover agent when he threatened the victim with prosecution unless money was paid).
    However, the payment of money in response to a commercial bribe solicitation, that is, under circumstances where the defendant does not threaten the victim with economic harm, but only offers economic assistance in return for payment to which the defendant is not entitled, is not sufficient to prove extortion by fear of economic loss. United States v. Capo, 817 F.2d 947, 951-52 (2d Cir. 1987) (solicitation of money from job applicants by persons having no decision making authority in return for favorable influence with employment counselors was insufficient evidence of inducement by fear); but see United States v. Blanton, 793 F.2d 1553, 1558 (11th Cir. 1986) (inducement by fear was proven by the defendant’s solicitation of a labor consulting contract, to help employer stop outside union organizing, when the solicitation was accompanied by defendant’s threat to form another union and begin organizing employees if the consulting contract was not accepted).
  3. Did the defendant’s conduct actually or potentially obstruct, delay, or affect interstate or foreign commerce in any (realistic) way or degree? The Hobbs Act regulates extortion and robbery, which Congress has determined have a substantial effect on interstate and foreign commerce by reason of their repetition and aggregate effect on the economy. Therefore, the proscribed offenses fall within the category of crimes based on the Commerce Clause whose “de minimis character of individual instances arising under [the] statute is of no consequence.” United States v. Bolton, 68 F.3d 396, 399 (10th Cir. 1995) (upholding Hobbs Act convictions for robberies whose proceeds the defendant would have used to purchase products in interstate commerce), quoting, United States v. Lopez, — U.S. —, 115 S.Ct. 1624, 1630 (1995); material in brackets added; see also United States v. Atcheson, 94 F.3d 1237, 1243 (9th Cir. 1996) (robbery of out-of-state credit and ATM cards); United States v. Farmer, 73 F.3d 836, 843 (8th Cir. 1996) (robbery of commercial business); United States v. Stillo, 57 F.3d 553, 558 n.2 (7th Cir. 1995).
    Hobbs Act violations may be supported by proof of a direct effect on the channels or instrumentalities of interstate or foreign commerce, as for example, where the threatened conduct would result in the interruption of the interstate movement of goods or labor. See United States v. Taylor, 92 F.3d 1313, 1333 (2d Cir. 1996) (extortion of money, unwanted labor, and subcontracts on construction projects by threatened shutdowns and labor unrest); United States v. Hanigan, 681 F.2d 1127, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 1982) (robbery of three undocumented alien farm workers while they were traveling from Mexico to the United States in search of work); United States v. Capo, 791 F.2d 1054, 1067-68 (2d Cir. 1986), vacated on other grounds, 817 F.2d 947 (2d Cir. 1987) (scheme to extort local job applicants had a potential effect on interstate applicants who might otherwise be hired).
    Indirect effects on such commerce are also sufficient, as for example, where the obtaining of property and resulting depletion of the victim’s assets decreases the victim’s ability to make future expenditures for items in interstate commerce. Taylor, supra (depletion of contractors’ assets). However, the Seventh Circuit has distinguished Hobbs Act cases involving depletion of a business’ assets from those involving the depletion of an individual employee’s assets which, the court has ruled, are not as likely to satisfy the jurisdictional requirement of the Hobbs Act. United States v. Mattson, 671 F.2d 1020 (7th Cir. 1982); United States v. Boulahanis, 677 F.2d 586, 590 (7th Cir. 1982). Other circuits have agreed where the extortion or robbery of an individual has only an “attenuated” or “speculative” effect on some entity or group of individuals engaged in interstate commerce thereby diminishing the “realistic probability” that such commerce will be affected. See United States v. Collins, 40 F.3d 95, 100 (5th Cir. 1994) (conviction for robbery of a computer company employee reversed on grounds that theft of victim’s automobile with cellular phone had an insufficient effect on his employer’s business); United States v. Quigley, 53 F.3d 909 (8th Cir. 1995) (upholding the acquittal, following guilty verdict, of defendants who beat and robbed two individuals in route to buy beer at a liquor store).
  4. Was the defendant’s actual or threatened use of force, violence or fear wrongful? Generally, the extortionate obtaining of property by the wrongful use of actual or threatened force or violence in a commercial dispute requires proof of a defendant’s intent to induce the victim to give up property. No additional proof is required that the defendant was not entitled to such property or that he knew he had no claim to the property which he sought to obtain. See United States v. Agnes, 581 F.Supp. 462 (E.D. Pa. 1984), aff’d, 753 F.2d 293, 297-300 (3d Cir. 1985) (rejecting claim of right defense to defendant’s use of violence to withdraw property from a business partnership).
    However, the Supreme Court has recognized a claim-of-right defense to Hobbs Act extortion in labor-management disputes. In a 1973 decision, the Court reversed the conviction of union-member defendants who had used violence against an employer’s property, during an otherwise legitimate economic labor strike, in order “to achieve legitimate union objectives, such as higher wages in return for genuine services which the employer seeks.” United States v. Enmons, 410 U.S. 396, 400 (1973). The Court reasoned that the legislative history of the Hobbs Act disclosed that Congress had been concerned with attempts by union officials to extort wages for unwanted and fictitious labor, to which employees were not entitled, as contrasted with the policing of legitimate labor strikes in general. Therefore, the Court concluded that the union members’ use of violence during the strike was not “wrongful” for purposes of Hobbs Act extortion. The Supreme Court also made a broadly worded statement that
    “wrongful” has meaning in the Act only if it limits the statute’s coverage to those instances where the obtaining of the property would itself be “wrongful” because the alleged extortionist has no lawful claim to that property.

Id.

In its labor-management context, the claim-of-right defense is not applicable where defendants do not have legitimate labor objectives. The labor claim-of-right defense has been held not to excuse the following kinds of coercive demands:

  • payoffs to union officials and employee representatives in violation of the federal labor laws (29 U.S.C. § 186); United States v. Quinn, 514 F.2d 1250, 1259 (5th Cir. 1975) (solicitation of church donation in return for removal of labor pickets); United States v. Gibson, 726 F.2d 869 (1st Cir. 1984) (request for payoff to remove pickets);
  • sham fees which labor unions are not entitled to collect under the labor laws; United States v. Wilford, 710 F.2d 439, 444 (8th Cir. 1983) (economic coercion of dues and initiation fees from truck drivers who were self-employed or who were told they would receive no member benefits);
  • employee payments which violate existing labor contracts; United States v. Russo, 708 F.2d 209, 215 (6th Cir. 1983) (under threat of job loss, employees’ payment of health and pension contributions which labor contract required employer to pay);
  • employer payments to labor unions which are not included in existing labor contracts; United States v. Traitz, 871 F.2d 368, 381-82 (3d Cir. 1989) (violence used to collect fines on employers for non-compliance with union rules which were not made part of the labor contract);
  • demands that a non-union employer cease business operations during a sham union organizing campaign; United States v. Edgar Jones, 766 F.2d 994, 1002-03 (6th Cir. 1985) (violent campaign by union officials and union-represented competitor to drive the non-union employer out of business under the pretext of persuading employees to join the union and enforce area wage standards);
  • employer payments for labor consulting to establish a bogus “sweetheart union” and thereby discourage legitimate organizing by other unions; United States v. Blanton, 793 F.2d 1553 (11th Cir. 1986).
  • construction contractors’ payments of money, wages for unwanted and superfluous employees, and subcontracts with employee representatives which were unrelated to the hiring of employees. United States v. Taylor, 92 F.3d 1313, 1319 and 1333 (2d Cir. 1996) (extortion of contractors by leaders of minority labor coalitions).

Several courts of appeals have limited the claim-of-right defense to the context of labor-management disputes by refusing to extend the defense to extortionate violence and economic fear in commercial disputes and public corruption cases. United States v. Debs, 949 F.2d 199, 201 (6th Cir. 1991) (violence against union members in retaliation for support of opposition candidate for union office); United States v. Castor, 937 F.2d 293, 299 (7th Cir. 1991) (violent threats to obtain consent to enter into business arrangement); United States v. Zappola, 677 F.2d 264, 269 (2d Cir. 1982) (beating of debtor to coerce repayment of purported debt); United States v. Porcaro, 648 F.2d 753, 760 (1st Cir. 1981) (franchisor’s violence to compel franchisee to vacate premises); United States v. French, 628 F.2d 1069, 1075 (8th Cir.1980) (public official’s kickbacks on bail bond settlements); United States v. Cerilli, 603 F.2d 415, 419 (3d Cir. 1979) (solicitation of political contributions); United States v. Warledo, 557 F.2d 721, 729-730 (10th Cir. 1977) (violence by Native Americans to compel railroad to pay reparations for tribal lands).However, other courts have held that the extortionate use of fear of economic harm in commercial disputes is subject to a claim-of-right defense on the grounds that, unlike violence, the use of economic fear is not inherently “wrongful.” See United States v. Kattar, 840 F.2d 118, 123-24 (1st Cir. 1988) (threat to expose church to litigation unless purported “award” for information was paid to defendant was not a legitimate use of economic fear where the information was false and defamatory); United States v. Clemente, 640 F.2d 1069, 1077-78 (2d Cir. 1981) (extortion of bogus consulting payments from subcontractor coerced by the threat of labor unrest against the subcontractor’s principal).Where the claim-of-right defense applies, courts have generally held that the Government must prove that the defendant knew that he was not entitled to receive the property which he sought to obtain. United States v. Arambasich, 597 F.2d 609, 611 (7th Cir. 1979) (demand by labor union official on employer that the official and others be hired for no-show employment using threat of labor unrest); United States v. Sturm, 870 F.2d 769, 774 (1st Cir. 1989) (in prosecution involving debtor’s withholding of property from a creditor-bank, “the term ‘wrongful’ requires the government to prove, in cases involving extortion based on economic fear, that the defendant knew that he was not legally entitled to the property that he received.”); United States v. Dischner, 974 F.2d 1502, 1515 (9th Cir. 1992) (failure to instruct that defendant must know he had no entitlement to property he sought by use of economic fear did not rise to the level of plain error; but “knowledge of the extortion encompasses knowledge of the lack of lawful claim to the property.”). [cited in JM 9-131.010]

##

 

DoJ notes that this type of behavior – extortion by fear – can have significant economic impact.  Of course. It is arguably in the tens of billions of dollars for manufactured housing, and far more for the nation large. See the report liked below, noting that the term ‘fear’ in that case is a reference to marketplace fear, rather than a reference to fear by extortion.

 

ValuePenguinFearManufacturedHomesSolutoinAffordableHousingCrisisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The use of the term FEAR here is NOT in the sense of the Hobbs Act, RICO, etc. Rather, this linked article is shared to help establish some of the economic impact on the U.S. economy that the purported efforts of extortion by fear being exercised in the manufactured housing industry. https://www.valuepenguin.com/home-insurance/fear-manufactured-homes-affordable-housing-crisis

 

 

What is extortion?

Extortion refers to obtaining property or compelling action by the use of threats or by the misuse of public office. … Extortion by threats or fear (coercive extortion) can refer to any illegal use of a threat or fear to obtain property or advantages from another, short of violence, which would constitute robbery,” says Encyclopedia’s legal definition.

Extortion is a serious crime because it causes victims to believe they are perpetrators, and by exploiting that fear, the extortionist can repeatedly and openly engage in acts of extortion with little threat of being prosecuted,” said Jeffrey E Grell, JD, on RicoAct.com.

The threats and fear that have been publicly described by the Mobile Home Militia (#MHM), others that have been privately described and have not yet been are all potentially subject to the Hobbs Act, RICO, and other activities. RICO can include a misuse of the mails, and a misuse of the wires.  See purported examples of that linked here and here.

For the purported reasons why there is fear, beyond those noted, readers may find more about the related reports, below. The law exists to protect the interests of the honest from those who would warp or manipulate the system. Federal and other officials should be called to full use.  See that among the related reports, below the bylines, notices, email headline news offer, etc.

 

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MHProNews has repeatedly offered major players based in the Knoxville metro, Arlington, VA and their attorneys the ability to respond.  They’ve exercised their right to remain silent.

 

 

Stay tuned for more, as the law provides solutions.  The marketplace and civil process offers opportunities too. Sign up for our emailed headline news, below at the right. That is this afternoon’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Investors, Professionals, Planners, Advocates – Examining Affordable Manufactured Home Industry Market Potential

March 13th, 2019 No comments

 

InvestorsProfessionalsPlannersAdvocatesExaminingAffordableManufacturedHomeIndsutryMarketPotentialDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are already some 22 million in the U.S. living in
pre-or-post HUD Code homes, but what is the potential for the market?

 

Several reports independent of the manufactured housing industry in 2018 established the value of modern manufactured homes.  Several stated that manufactured homes were an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.

A summary on several of those third-party studies that reflected positively on manufactured homes is linked here and further below, following the byline and notices.

So, there are already groups that see the value of manufactured homes, but there are also those outside of MHVille that think of our form of factory-built housing as homes for the poor, working, or lower middle class.  Some in our industry believe something similar. But is that a fair assessment?

The short answer to that subtopic is ‘yes and no.’ How so?

On the one hand, researchers reveal that the average income of HUD Code manufactured home residents is significantly lower than that of conventional housing. That’s a large market that is worth serving.

But it would ignore the reality that thousands who make far more than the average – and chose manufactured home living. Manufactured homes are desirable regardless of income.

  • MHLivingNews has interviewed millionaires who live in manufactured homes. There are also reports there of billionaires who own manufactured homes – even a single sectional.
  • MHLivingNews has also interviewed upper middle class owners of manufactured homes. There are likewise numbers of prior owners of conventional housing that own and praise their manufactured homes.
  • There is also Kid Rock video with the performer, his Rolls Royce, private jet and his manufactured home.

 

KidRockRollsRoyceManufacturedHomePoDunkOffiicalVideoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Kid Rock – Po-Dunk [Official Video] Published on Jul 13, 2017 – 23,196,137 views, as of 3.13.2019 at 1:35 PM ET.

Which bring us to the broader question. Given the fact that numbers of upper-middle-class, plus some millionaires and billionaires have a manufactured home, what is the manufactured housing market potential? Let’s look.

First, to understand the answer to the question, first time readers and those new to manufactured housing must realize that for decades, there have been upscale manufactured homes and entry level HUD Code homes. It is somewhat similar to entry level cars, boats, RVs, other big ticket item industries.

With those thoughts in mind, here’s a snapshot of who could be a potential manufactured home customer.

  • Renters,
  • First Time Home Buyers.
  • Upsizers – including those who may own a conventionally built or other house, but want a larger floorplan home,
  • Downsizers – including those who own a conventional housing unit,
  • Retirees, and
  • Second or vacation home seekers.

 

Rephrased, almost anyone who is properly exposed to the realities vs the myths might want a manufactured home. Renters alone represent some 100,000,000 in the U.S., per CityLabs. iPropertyManagement says that about 33 percent of all households are in rental housing.  That one demographic group – renters – is enough to keep manufactured home producers busy growing in a sustainable way for years to come.  And the 2018 research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reflects the fact that millions of those make enough money to qualify for a manufactured home.

 

 

One more Factoid – What’s the Potential in Your Market?

Pointing to Census Bureau information, Melisa Data says that every year in the U.S. “an overall percentage of 14.19 percent annually” are moving from one housing unit to another. That means about 1 in 7 on average in your market are going to be moving every year.  Imagine that every 7th driver, every 7th person at a store, house of worship or wherever you encounter Americans are going to be moving this year.

Viewed as a marketer or sales professional should see this, that’s a huge and ongoing pool of potential prospects. Which begs the following questions.

  • So why are so relatively few prospects coming into your manufactured home community or street retail sales center?
  • Why are significant numbers of those coming into a sales center or community credit challenged than the pool seeking conventional housing?

Each of those 2 bullets are marketing, public relations, and educational issues.  But the fact that some prospects are well qualified, means that others like them can be attracted too. The fact that some millionaires and billionaires own a manufactured home, mean that more could be attracted too.  A look at the data with clear eyes tells the savvy that properly understood, the potential for manufactured housing is astronomical.

Which also means that the industry is underperforming, and it also means that those willing to apply the Sam Zell dictum could soar.  “When others are going left, look right.”  That ‘right’ is manufactured homes, communities, and other segments of the business.  Many underperforming means others could and should be outperforming and wildly prospering.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

 

Bottom Line Takeaways for Industry Professionals? 

Whatever the agenda or reasoning process of others who seek to explain manufactured housing’s relatively low performance, the outline above reveals something brighter and more opportunity laden.

It’s an obvious advantage to be able to sell a product or service that costs less than competing alternatives. At present, manufactured homes are the lowest cost permanent housing choice made in the U.S. or Canada.  Here in the U.S., manufactured homes have the advantage of enhanced preemption. There are also multiple story options for manufactured homes that are rarely consider outside of this publication.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

Those looking to explore this potential for their own business or location should check out the article linked from the text-image box below.

 

Rocking Manufactured Housing Shows, Events, and Marketing Promotions

 

The trump card the industry must use are the power of enforcing existing federal laws. Enhanced preemption is just one of the existing laws that could catapult the industry ahead, at the local level.

 

 

There are numerous reasons for a motivated operation with sufficient access to capital and other resources to be able to grow significantly.

 

 

The facts outlined herein provide reasons for the industry’s investors and professionals to grow at a far more robust clip.  Some of the reasons that the industry isn’t growing faster are found in the linked reports, below. “We Provide, You Decide” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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“Tug of War” – Manufactured Home Community Legislation – “Vicious Cycle Goes On,” Impacting Industry, Home Owners, and Potential Buyers

March 13th, 2019 No comments

 TugofWarManufacturedHomeCommunityLegislationViciousCycleGoesOnImpactingIndustryHomeOwnersPotentialBuyersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How does the manufactured housing industry, it’s current and potential home owners achieve mutual victories? That ought to be a key issue for professionals, investors, indeed all in the mix.

 

Here’s how a multi-year manufactured home industry leader put it.

ChristStinebertPhotoFormerMHIPresidentCurrentAmericanFinacialServicesAssociationPresidentAFSA-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe entire industry must focus on one goal – increasing the value proposition to the homeowner. If we cannot offer our homeowners realistic value for their housing dollar, how do we expect to compete in the marketplace. This means giving the customer true value with their purchase, then keeping them happy after the sale. This means insuring the homeowner builds equity and wealth in their home. And finally, this means providing for stable, viable resale market for when it is time to sell the home. Once the industry delivers this value, the rest will fall into place naturally.”

 

That point was made by former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Chris Stinebert. See his full commentary, linked here.

 

That goal of Stinebert’s ought to be at the heart of what all sides consider in a looming state legislative slug fest. The Daily Business News on MHProNews will explore the issue in depth, below. Why?  Because this pending bill is a symptom of a broader problem, that based on years of trend-lines and left unaddressed will leave manufactured housing stuck in low gear.

That would harm the interests of most businesses, home owners, housing seekers, investors and others in the mix.

Here’s the genesis of how this issue was brought to MHProNews’ attention.

 

 

Mainstream Media Outreach for Background on Pending Legislation

An email came in 3.12.2019 from a reporter to MHProNews’ publisher yesterday morning. As is often the case, the journalist had a deadline – in his case – for that same day. It was a request for ‘on the record’ comment about a bill pending at the state level that would impact community owners, management companies, and mobile or manufactured home residents.

By late afternoon, that reporter’s article was already written and published.

On Google’s news function, it was the top article last night under both “manufactured home” news searches and “mobile home” news searches. That’s important, as will be revealed later.

 

BradentonHeraldLATonyKovachinNewsFloridaMobileHomeParkOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeownersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The screen captures above and below document that point.

 

BradentonHeraldLATonyKovachinNewsFloridaManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeownersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

To a reporter doing his research and making his inquiry, it might have seemed like a black and white issue.

But in fact, the tension between community owners and those residents involved is arguably an artificially created problem. It is avoidable, but only if the various parties begin to understand what caused these symptoms that lead to the legislative proposals and resulting tensions in the first place. That will be covered further below.

This is therefore a useful example of lessons learned in dealing with media, public officials, or other researchers who want the truth, instead of some pre-packaged agenda driven response.

The print journalist should be commended for getting a range of perspectives, and then trying to accurately reflect them in his report. Note that headlines are often the work of an editor, not the journalist.

Here was the segue that led to the reporter’s question to MHProNews’ publisher. As is our custom here on the Daily Business News on MHProNews, direct quotes are in brown and bold text. The first and last paragraph are from the reporter, the big middle paragraph is from a third party, and it is what the reporter wanted reaction to for his report.

MarkYoungPhotoBradentonHeraldUrbanAffairsReporterLinkedInDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The first and third paragraphs at the right are Mark Young’s statement or questions, while the large paragraph in the middle was the statement he was receiving comments and reaction to from industry expert, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach,

On a different matter, I’d like your official input on another story. I received the following email today:

 

“Are you aware there are bills before the Florida Legislature that will have a tremendous impact on the lives on those that live in land leased mobile home parks.  723.035 will amend the law to include the responsibility for mowing, trimming trees, power washing, and painting their home, just to name a few.  If, after notice from the park owner, if the violations are not corrected within the stated time, the park owner may enter the lot, perform the work and charge enough to “ensure compliance in the future”.  Though we do see the need for some method of keeping up appearances of the community, it is that “ ensuring compliance “ that we object to.  And can you envision the elderly trimming our live oaks and palm trees.  Can you imagine being away on vacation and not receiving the notice that your home needs painting, only to return and find that it has been painted and you are receiving the bill for it.  The other large issue in the bills, is mandatory binding arbitration for minor violations of Homeowners Associations. There are many land leased mobile home parks in the Manatee Sarasota area, I thought this may be of interest to them.  Thank you for your time.”

 

Are you up to speed on this? Thoughts? Good idea, bad idea? I’m hoping to have a story on this today. I just got in so still have to research it.”

 

Note that the journalist didn’t reveal who spoke those words?  That’s fine, but the writer did provide a direct quote, to which publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach responded as follows momentarily.  The final news product had the video below, which of course was not made available to Tony until after the print journalist’s report was finished. The video was credited to another person other than the article’s reporter.

 

 

 

 

As a housekeeping note for professional reader clarity, the other items being discussed between the mainstream journalist and Tony Kovach are edited out as not germane to the issue the print reporter was focused upon for an article about pending legislation. Kovach began addressing the reporter on his requested topic as follows.

 

Now, to your question. It’s not as simple as you might think.

As to the pending legislation, I’m not familiar with the specifics of the bill.  The Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA) could give you their feedback.  That said, I am broadly familiar with the issues being mentioned, and will give you insights few if any will care to share.

At present, there is a tug of war that takes place all too often between home owner groups and some manufactured home community owners and most industry trade groups.  While the issues can be significant to the residents and community owners alike, the source of tension are frankly symptoms of broader issues. 

Here’s why. 

More manufactured home communities are closing than are being opened.  That fact has several impacts on the business marketplace, manufactured home owners, and potential customers.  Using the issues you asked about as an example, here’s how that plays out in the real world. 

First, it is in everyone’s interests to keep a community neat and clean. Mowing grass, trimming trees, etc. are both safety and appearance issues that protect the value of the home owners and community alike. 

The question is, how is a valid goal best accomplished?  Let’s look at a hypothetical case, and you’ll see why this simple question can be problematic in practice.

John and Mary Smith are getting fined for unmowed grass by an overly aggressive community owner.

Unlike an individually owned land-lease community, where the community owner may interact with their residents daily, the corporate giants are answering to investors.  Those giants can ‘get away with’ steep fines or other practices in part because the resident have few if any other options. 

The resident can’t move their manufactured home with ease.  Manufactured homes can be moved, but it requires specialized equipment and experienced professionals to move them, that’s thousands of dollars.  It’s part of the reason why once they are properly installed, manufactured homes are better thought of as immobile homes rather than ‘mobile,’ it’s costly to move.

But that cost to move would be less relevant if there were plenty of competitors in a given market that were opening up new land-lease communities.  30 or 40 years ago, these sorts of tension issues between management and residents just didn’t occur as they do now.  Why?  Because new communities were being built. If some resident didn’t like management company X, and that resident was in fact being mistreated by the management at X, new community owner Y may pay to have that customer’s home moved to Y’s new community. 

Rephrased, normal supply and demand decades ago created options for everyone in the mix. That in turn kept all parties at a more level playing field.  Management treated residents fairly, because they didn’t want to see their home moved. Makes sense?

Which bring us to a broader issue. How is possible that during an affordable housing crisis, there are so few manufactured home communities being built or expanded?  Factually, manufactured homes are the most proven kind of affordable housing, period. The graphic below summarizes key data points, from 2018. The problems that were associated with the construction, safety, and energy standards of older mobile homes were largely resolved after the federal HUD Code for manufactured housing went into effect on June 15, 1976.  Put differently, the issues over quality or durability of construction were resolved almost 43 years ago.  Yet the stigma remains.  Why?

Those federal standards for manufactured homes ought to be preemptive, especially since the passage of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA), which established “enhanced preemption.”

But for a variety of reasons, some major industry trade groups won’t routinely publicly defend and promote that preemption.  An arguable case in point is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). State associations often follow MHI’s lead.

Here’s how that plays out with John and Mary.  Let’s say that there were too few manufactured home communities being built, as is now the case. The Smith’s could, in theory, move to a privately owned site that they buy.  Enhanced preemption makes that possible.  By the way, the fear that NIMBY forces have of a manufactured home installed next door has been debunked by HUD research and others.

 

 

But for whatever reason, many – but not all – trade groups may posture support for enhanced preemption, but they do little in practice to support it. Some manufactured home community association leaders won’t even mention it. 

By de facto failing to encourage a robust array of options for current and future community residents to turn to, the existing manufactured home communities become in some ways ‘more valuable’ real estate.

What ends up happening as a result are scenarios like this bill you are asking about.  Resident groups want to nix it, because they don’t want (understandably so) a community owner to excessively fine them. Communities want the ability to do so, for both just – and potentially unjust – reasons.

The ‘solution’ that more radical resident groups like MHAction promote is that communities should all be resident owned communities (ROCs).  But that brings us back to Millie Francis. She lives in a resident owned community.  She is supposed to have certain safeguards. In fact, Millie told me she was fined for unmowed grass, and otherwise harassed prior to her Our Lady of Guadalupe artwork incident. Where was her protection as a shareholder in her community?

The solution to this patchwork of overlapping problems is to stop the artificial manipulation of the market.  By action or inaction, big corporate interests and their trade groups can increasingly gain control over more once independently owned communities. With little effective competition, the residents become trapped.  But the answer isn’t ROCs, as Millie’s case proved they can be just as overreaching as an aggressive large community owner might be.

Finally, I’m not saying that every big community is bad, nor that every small community owner is good.  [So] the dynamics above may or may not fit specific cases.

To answer your final question, it isn’t a good or a bad idea. It’s entirely misplaced.  They are looking at symptoms, not the cause.

The underlying causes for the tension will likely remain unaddressed by any such bill.  Until market forces are allowed back in, giving home owners choices, and giving manufactured home communities a natural check on overreaching, there are going to be no quick or easy solutions. Education has to be part of that mix, because lack of understanding causes fear, frustration and can lead to bad legislation. 

A case in point is rent control in the state of Delaware, where resident groups wanted that measure passed to prevent abuses by big operators.  The resident groups in fact got a bill passed.  Those same resident groups, now years later, are still unhappy.  The law doesn’t work as they thought it would. Meanwhile, those complex laws only push more small operators out of the business, and thus encouraged more big companies to buy out smaller ones.  No new communities are being built. And the vicious cycle goes on.

Make sense, sir? 

All the Best,

 

LATonyKovachMHLivingnewsMHProNewsPHotoTony

 

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
www.MHLivingNews.com|www.MHProNews.com| Office 863-213-4090 |

 

The article the reporter published is linked below.

 

 

 

BradentonHeraldBillWouldGiveFloridaMobileHomeParkOwnersEvenMorePowerOverHomeOwners

Thousands won’t go beyond the headline. It is one more black eye for the industry, and hurts the appeal and value of communities, retailers, and home owners among others. Before industry considers such a bill, they should realize that such headlines are likely to occur. The image above is a collage from the sources as noted.  The story is linked below.
https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article227400579.html

 

Why it Matters? What Does This Reveal? 

First, there are voices in media across the left-right divide that want to frame stories to fit an agenda. Per third party surveys – many but not all in media tent to tilt left or Democratic, so that narrative is going to be more common. That said, there are a range of media today that likewise find audiences that cross that left-right divide. Some in media – perhaps cognizant of the charges in the last few years of ‘Fake News’ – want to get the facts correctly and accurately.  The point is that a journalist merits some benefit of the doubt, unless or until they reveal themselves as a mere hack for a particular perspective.

But all of those points mean that precise phrasing is important. This report in the Bradenton newspaper  – a McClatchy owned media outlet – is a case in point.

Every reporter feels compelled to cull out as much as possible to get to the heart of the matter. Good writers want to reflect the tension in a controversy that reflects ‘both sides.’

MHProNews readers can see for themselves that every quote used by the reporter was accurate. Keep in mind as you read the article linked below that the same process of culling out some details from each source the Bradenton Herald’s writer sought for comments is likely at play.  No one gets every word quoted, unless the quote is a sound bite only.

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Warren Buffett didn’t say it, but another successful business guru did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day. Wow…but look were that got him.

 

 

Back to Stinebert, MHARR – and The Third Way for Manufactured Housing?

At present, the arguable manipulation of the marketplace by forces within and outside of manufactured housing is leading the industry and its customers into what amounts to an oppositional or confrontational posture.  It is win-lose, and each side wants what it wants.

But the various parties may or may not always realize that they are dealing with symptoms rather than the core issue that Tony Kovach addressed in his commentary, quoted at length above.

That core issue is summed up in making the value proposition good for the consumer, and it is achieved by applying what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has argued in favor of for many years.  Namely, robust enforcement of enhanced preemption and a level playing field in financing. Only that combination, says MHARR, will yield robust rising production.  It is achieved by ending the “Illusion of Motion” vs. seeking actual measurable results.

It is that third way – getting to the heart of the matter instead of dealing with symptoms – that manufactured housing professionals and resident leaders ought to ponder and pursue.  Because the lack of options for the resident-homeowner is indeed a factor that yields the “tug of war” dynamic.

In no particular order of importance:

 

  • Manufactured home communities, residents, and possible buyers are all being impacted by this confrontational dynamic. This kind of tug-of-war or ‘win-lose’ vantagepoint doesn’t tend to exist to this same degree in other American industries between businesses and their customers.  The natural order of free enterprise ought to yield more alignment than the currently manipulated marketplace all-too-often produces.  More typically, a business provides a desired service, and the customer is willing to pay, thus both routinely end up happy, because that is what keeps a business, in business. That’s healthy, while the current state of affairs is arguably harmful to each segment’s longer term interests.
  • Short-term thinking and behavior may appear to benefit the businesses briefly and the same may seem to be true for the mobile or manufactured home owners. But in fact, both sides end up with mid-to-longer term issues that will at some point artificially harm the interests of each. The current low level of new home sales is in part due to a steady stream of mainstream news reports that often appear problematic to the home seeking public. A possible home buyer won’t slug through this kind of nuanced analysis, but professionals or leaders keen on sustainability and win-win growth may.
  • There are no short-cuts. The multifamily housing world is growing, and that growth isn’t seen as problematic for existing apartment owners. So why is it stunted growth in manufactured home community development viewed as healthy or desirable by some in the manufactured home world? The current state-of-affairs mitigates against smaller firms in favor of larger ones.  But even bigger firms know the obvious parallel between manufactured home communities and multifamily housing. So why don’t leaders of larger operations see the longer term harm this current dynamic will eventually impose upon investors and resident-owners alike?  The status quo – viewed objectively – has a future Cavco Industries type threat looming over it, perhaps one that is even bigger.  Or, if a strongly leftist government takes root in Washington, D.C., or at a state house, then the interest of community owners could well be harmed sufficiently. It is avoidable now, so long as long-term win-win mindsets are at work.
  • Therefore, it is arguably in the long-term interests of most involved in such struggles to restore the marketplace to a more normal state affairs. That’s very much in keeping with what MHARR’s advocacy would yield. Enforce existing laws, and the market will be resorted to more normal, and eventually, robust health.

 

That would in turn yield what MHI’s former president Christ Stinebert called for, as previously quoted.

 

ChrisStinebertFormerPresidentManufacturedHousingInstituteAFSAceoMHIndustryMustFocusGoalIncreasingValuePropositionHomeOwnerMHProNewsQuotePhoto

 

Tony Kovach took the time to lay out and link up facts that allowed for a more nuanced final news product.  That should be a key part of what growth-minded associations, and businesses of all sizes seek.

The status quo is fraught with landlines. It creates winners-and-losers. That’s arguably not the norm in most industries. For longer term sustainability that leads to mutual victories, the status quo must be changed.

If current industry trade groups won’t adapt and to the best elements of the principles that MHARR and MHI’s former CEO made in his quote above, then new structures in the post-production realm must be established. Otherwise, the trend lines of more community closures than openings will yield only more woes.  It remains to be seen what the new National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) will do about such vexing controversies.

 

 

The Last Blockbuster?

The last Blockbuster store on planet earth was recently in the news. Not so many years ago, Blockbuster was a giant, but it failed to adapt. That’s a timely warning to the manufactured housing industry. The low new home shipment levels is another warning.  The time to act is ASAP, as soon as possible, preferably now.

Positive changes that yield mutual victories must be part of the mix. On that point quote above, Stinebert was arguably correct.

Which begs the question, why did it have to be Stinebert’s parting message? Was the growing influence of Omaha-Knoxville over Arlington based MHI already playing out?  See the related reports below for more insights on that question. “We Provide, You Decide” ©  ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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

 

 

Related Reports:

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Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

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DTS Manufactured Home Lending Committee Member Says MHI in “Unholy Alliance” to Divert Needed GSE Support Away from Manufactured Housing

Apt Warning for Manufactured Housing Professionals, MH Customers, by Award Winning Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, TEDx

 

Drilling Down on State Manufactured Housing Shipment Data, Shocking Revelations, Warning Signs

 

$170 Million Manufactured Home Community Acquisition by Giant RHP Properties, 17 MHCs, Now 25 States

 

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

 

Sheila Dey, Western Manufactured Housing Communities Assoc, Tells Capitol – Manufactured Homes Could Ease Housing Crisis, Report and Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUD, Census Bureau Releases Mainstream January 2019 Housing Starts Data, How Does Manufactured Housing Compare?

March 8th, 2019 No comments

HUDCensusBureauMainstreamJanuary2019HousingStartsDataHowDoesManufacturedHousingCompareDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are voices in manufactured housing that are floating a variety of reasons for the poor results in 2018, and the continuingly poor performance to start out 2019.  Those reasons could be listed, in no particular order of importance, such as:

 

–      Weather,

–      FEMA,

–      Inventory adjustments by retailers, especially those by a vertically integrated giant,

–      Claimed slowdowns in other segments of America.

Before considering the validity of any of those claims, look at the latest multifamily and single family housing starts. Because facts trump opinions.

HUDCensusBureauReportnewResidentialSalesNewsReleaseDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

HUD AND CENSUS BUREAU REPORT

RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY IN JANUARY 2019

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for January 2019.

 

Building Permits

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,345,000. This is 1.4 percent (±0.8 percent) above the revised December rate of 1,326,000 but is 1.5 percent (±1.0 percent) below the January 2018 rate of 1,366,000.  Single‐family authorizations in January were at a rate of 812,000; this is 2.1 percent (±1.0 percent) below the revised December figure of 829,000.  Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 482,000 in January.

 

Housing Starts

 

Privately owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,230,000.  This is 18.6 percent (±26.6 percent)* above the revised December estimate of 1,037,000, but is 7.8 percent (±12.7 percent)* below the January 2018 rate of 1,334,000.  Single‐family housing starts in January were at a rate of 926,000; this is 25.1 percent (±29.0 percent)* above the revised December figure of 740,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 289,000.

 

NewResidentialConstructionJanuary2019NewResidentialConsctructionSAARTrendLinesHUDCensusBureauPlusMHIMHAOFinalDatafor2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Housing Completions

Privately owned housing completions in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,244,000.  This is 27.6 percent (±13.5 percent) above the revised December estimate of 975,000 and is 2.1 percent (±12.2 percent)* above the January 2018 rate of 1,218,000.  Single‐family housing completions in January were at a rate of 914,000; this is 30.2 percent (±14.4 percent) above the revised December rate of 702,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 327,000.

The February report is scheduled for release on March 26, 2019.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Data collection and processing were delayed for this indicator release due to the lapse in federal funding from December 22, 2018 through January 25, 2019. While response rates were consistent with normal levels, delays in data collection could make it more difficult to determine exact start and completion dates. However, processing and data quality were monitored and no systematic issues were identified.

 

In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take three months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2 percent) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percentage change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percentage changes are 90 percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply to the confidence intervals for percentage changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised 3 percent or less. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found at the Census Bureau’s website.

 

* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. In such cases, there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.

 

— end of joint HUD, Census Bureau release to MHProNews. —

 

Two congressmen debated the merits of the group, Nickelback. The song below – if rated – would likely draw a PG13 rating. It asks the question, are we having fun yet? 

Nickelback – How You Remind Me [OFFICIAL VIDEO] 25,344,379 views on 3.8.2019 at about 12:06 PM ET.

Facts are #NettlesomeThings. There’s every reason for the manufactured home industry’s leadership to do more than posture or provide excuses.

#HousingChoice requires that issues like those linked below be effectively addressed in a manner that provides measurable results. #YIMBY should be a mantra too, so where’s #MHIUPdate on those hashtags?

 

The balance are details and commentary, which you and others can begin to unpack in the related reports beyond the byline, our industry-leading email headline news free sign-up offer, and other notices. That’s “Manufactured Housing News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Drilling Down on State Manufactured Housing Shipment Data, Shocking Revelations, Warning Signs

Study – Top Reasons People Can’t Buy a House? Plus, Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

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Arrested! Triple Homicide, Arson of “Mobile Home,” Crime and Affordable Manufactured Housing Resistance

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

February 28th, 2019 Comments off

 

BillionDollarEmpireFromMobileHomesWashingtonPostPeterWhoriskeyDidntSayMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

According to Realtor Magazine,While a 3 to 5 percent annual increase is standard, you may want to adjust this to fit your situation and the local rental market,” said a publishing arm of the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR), in February, 2016.

 

In a January, 2019 report, RentCafé reported “Strong demand for rental units in 2018 has fueled price growth nationally with the average rent in the U.S. clocking in at $1,419 at the end of 2018, 3.1% more expensive than the previous year.”

But when the Washington Post reported that Yes! Communities was raising their site fees (a.k.a. ‘lot rent’) by 4 percent a year over the past 6 years, it was framed in an evocative way.  The report – by using selective quotes from residents – made it sound as if the rental hikes were horrifying. Yet, based upon the spot checks reflected above, the increases seem to be roughly in line with mainstream rental housing trends in recent years.

Note too that even conventional housing owners may experience increases in property tax, HOA fees, insurance, and the like.

The Washington Post (WaPo) article keeps getting republished by various mainstream media outlets. As of this date, the Google search below reflects over 7,000 sites have picked this story up.

Here are some pull quotes from the WaPo article:

  • Okay — it’s a trailer park, not a fancy gated community,” said Jessica Boudreaux, 33, who lives there with her two daughters. “If people could, they’d live somewhere else.” (MHProNews will comment on that point, and others, further below. Note the terminology error, see further below for correct nomenclature).
  • They prey on people who can’t afford land, people who can’t move,” said David Barrett, 62, an excavation equipment operator who lives in Florence Commons.
  • It’s [Florence Commons manufactured home community] really gone downhill,” said Kris Wilkin, 47, a state corrections officer who bought a 2003 double wide in Florence Commons seven years ago.

 

  • For practical reasons, they can’t move. The dwellings are called “mobile,” but they are costly to transport and sometimes owners are contractually forbidden to move them. (Actually, on a national basis, perhaps one out of five are ‘mobile homes,’ four out of five are HUD Code manufactured homes, so the author is mistaken in his terminology.)
  • Vanessa Jasinski, vice president of marketing for Yes Communities…said…that in the past five years, 46 home renters at Florence Commons have purchased homes in the community.
  • Florence Commons, along with more than 200 other mobile home parks across the U.S., has produced hefty returns for Stockbridge Capital, a $13 billion private-equity firm, and its major investors.

 

  • [Per Stockbridge]…“senior management team [at Yes! Communities] has a demonstrated track record of increasing home rental rates.”
  • It has received $1.3 billion in financing through government-sponsored lender Fannie Mae, which says mobile homes are inherently affordable.” The money helped them buy existing mobile-home parks.
  • Over the past three years, some of the biggest private-equity firms — Carlyle Group, Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital — have taken stakes in mobile home parks, according to a forthcoming report by the nonprofit groups Private Equity Stakeholder Project, MHAction and Americans for Financial Reform. The mobile home parks owned by private-equity firms have more than 100,000 home sites, according to the report.

 

The WaPo Report is Largely the MHAction Report…

One might ask, why is MHAction so adept at getting their narrative out to the mainstream media, while the Manufactured Housing Institute – which says it represents “all segments of factory-built housing” – so often fails to rebut or get its own counter-narrative out?

MHAction has published a new ‘white paper’ style document that addresses this same topic. That new document from MHAction, is linked here as a download. As with other MHAction narratives, while it is mildly pro-manufactured home living, it is apparently – even blatantly – anti-businesses that operate in manufactured housing.  While big businesses are often named, the ‘end game’ for MHAction is arguably to turn privately owned communities into all Resident Owned Communities (ROCs).

Yet, when MHAction was asked to weigh in on the vexingly apparent misbehavior purportedly taking place at Bradenton Tropical Palms, a ROC in Florida, that non-profit and others have remained silent. To learn more about that scenario – which has been one of the top reported news stories in manufactured housing for about 10 months, see the linked text-image box below.

 

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

 

Peter Whoriskey, with the Washington Post, was contacted for some additional insight on his use of the MHAction white paper for this report, but did not return the message as of the time this report is being written.  MHAction was likewise contacted about some fact-errors in their white paper, they declined comment.

It should be noted that since Manufactured Home Living News published the report linked below, MHAction has been mute. This report, and others similar to it, identifies the money trail from Warren Buffett – Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway – has funding to nonprofits, which in turn funded MHAction and other anti-manufactured housing reporting.  Even another resident group’s leader has publicly blasted MHAction, for taking credit for activities that they had little or nothing to do with.

 

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

MHAction has protested Blackstone, RV Horizons, Mobile Home University, Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), HUD Secretary Ben Carson, among others. Oddly, while they protested those organizations and events, they stayed mute on the ‘education’ provided to SECO members by George F (F?) Allen supported Spencer Roane and his protegee, Tom Lackey, who made the news in a bad way for promoting and/or selling homes ‘contract for title’ or ‘lease-purchase option.’  For more on that, see the report on the MHI part-time surrogate Allen and company, linked here.

Rephrased, MHAction has not lifted a finger in some egregious cases that involve manufactured home community residents. Instead, they target specific community operators. By extension, many readers of reports like WaPo’s by will take away Whoriskey will be left with the impression that all community living is like what they are reporting.

 

 

Where is the Balance in Whoriskey’s Story?

The MHAction white paper includes some flawed data, and some spin.  For example, they say there are 18 million living in mobile or manufactured homes, when the more commonly cited estimated figure is 22 million.

PrivateEquityGiantsConverageOnManufacturedHomesPeterWhoriskeyWashingtonPostDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Click here to see the complete, but arguably agenda-driven, MHAction and their colleagues ‘white paper.’

 

Ironically, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) just announced that they have a report that they showed some attendees at their Winter fundraiser (err, ‘winter meeting’).  Per MHI in an email to their members on 2.27.2019.

  • “MHI commissioned Trifecta Research for the study and the findings provide exciting insights into a variety of topics and market trends, including the characteristics and satisfaction of individuals who live in manufactured homes across the country.

 

  • This extensive independent research study of manufactured housing residents reveals positive signs for future growth. For example, a notable finding from the research is the level of satisfaction that individuals feel regarding their decision to live in a manufactured home. Two-thirds of owners were either “extremely” or “very satisfied” with their manufactured homes, and at least “very likely” to recommend manufactured housing to others. For those living in land-lease communities, 62% were either “extremely” or “very satisfied.” Satisfaction soared to 76% for respondents living in a 55+ community, indicating they were either “extremely” or “very satisfied.”

 

  • MHI has a strategic plan to utilize this research to bolster advocacy efforts, public relations outreach, and more. We want you to utilize these exciting findings as well.’

 

After saying that they want these findings to be used, they then contradict themselves by placing it behind a member-only login. Where is their logic?  MHAction – to promote their errant ends – is prompting their white paper, which can be download from their website.  By contrast, MHI ‘hides’ its good news about manufactured home living?

GoogleSearchBillionDollarWaPoManufacturedHousingInstiituteYesCommunitiesFrankRolfeMHActionEmpireDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The National Association of Realtors, Bloomberg, and over a dozen organizations and reports last year were pro-manufactured housing.  Yet, MHI has neglected to archive and publicize those findings to the world?

Is it inept?  Lazy?  Trying to foster contraction of the industry by allowing mostly bad news to have more play?  How does one explain years of such behavior by MHI?

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

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

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

MHProNews curates quotes and applies them in cases where they fit or apply.

 

See the report linked below to see how stunning this pattern of behavior is by MHI.

 

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

MHI’s response?  Mostly silence, but an arguably illicit threat by MHI to sue MHProNews for citing what they’ve said.

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

 

Can you spell, ‘over the target’ reaction?

 

 

The Bottom Lines?

Billion-dollar empire made from mobile homes, by WaPo’s Peter Whoriskey is a arguably a slanted hit piece.  MHI hasn’t bothered to refute it.  MHAction, which crafted the white paper that apparently sparked the Whoriskey’s column, gets funding from the same source that MHI does, Warren Buffett and/or Berkshire Hathaway brands or supported nonprofits and foundations.

It’s all out in the open to the extent that someone can follow the money, follow the facts, and connect the same dots that MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews has done.  But the bulk of manufactured housing trade media are either all-in for MHI, or at least silent about their problematic behaviors, and that of their purported Omaha-Knoxville masters.

Buffett had a stake in the Washington Post years ago. Mainstream media reporters – who may not have the same agenda that the WaPo does – have communicated with MHProNews about various issues reported here and on/or MHLivingNews.  The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has already been cited in a favorable way – by WaPo – for having intervened with HUD for having Pam Danner, JD, removed for the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

Danner, per reports, is no longer with HUD.

The bottom line is yet another example of how MHI inexplicably fails to do what good post-production trade groups are supposed to do.  Protect, Educate, and Promote or P.E.P.

UnzipLookingForUsUnlockedMindHowCanWeHelpThemSeeManufacturedHOusingINdustryDailyBsuinessNewsMHproHNEws

P.E.P.ProtectEducatePromoteMHProNews

How long will retailers, lenders, suppliers, and others tolerate the multi-year pattern of behavior that has left 5 of the top 10 manufactured housing shipment states sliding in new home shipments during an affordable housing crisis?

 

ManufacturedHousingShipments2018vs2017Top10StatesManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusienssNewsMHProNEw

 

To learn more, see the linked related reports, above and below.  MHProNews invites those voices in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to refute, confirm, or clarify their pattern of behavior either in writing, or live at the Tunica Show with an audience of manufactured home professionals. That’s fair, if they are able to explain their behavior, let them do so.  If not, let their small to mid-sized members beware.

That’s manufactured housing “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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

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

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

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

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

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

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

 

 

Related Reports:

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Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

 

Democrats, Republicans Agree – “Manufactured Homes Can Play a Vital Role in Easing” the Affordable Housing Shortage

Mobile Home Burns, Woman Dies, Details At Ten – Back Story of Mobile Home Fires, Regulatory Facts

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

President Trump Announces Nominee Dr. Mark Calabria to Become New Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

February 28th, 2019 Comments off

 

IndependentBusinessesAffordableManufacturedHousingOpenMarketsRobustMHSalesGrowthDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

According to their website, “The Open Markets Institute uses journalism to promote greater awareness of the political and economic dangers of monopolization, identifies the changes in policy and law that cleared the way for such consolidation, and fosters discussions with policymakers and citizens as to how to update America’s traditional political economic principles for our 21st century digital society.”

 

The Open Markets Institute (OMI) website also says, “In America today, wealth and political power are more concentrated than at any point in our country’s history. The Open Markets Institute, formerly the Open Markets program at New America, was founded to protect liberty and democracy from these extreme — and growing — concentrations of private power.”

In an article entitled, “Entrepreneurship & Monopoly,” OMI said this.

Since the founding, Americans have viewed entrepreneurship as a way to secure our nation’s political freedom. Thomas Jefferson’s celebrated the civic virtue of “yeoman farmers.”  Since then a long line of American political thinkers have seen independent, small-scale business and property owners as guarantors of a vibrant democracy.”

This is a principle that every small- to midsized-business should be able to relate to easily. Note that property ownership – think affordable home ownership – is an important element to a vibrant free people.

But in the U.S., the world’s richest nation, home ownership is at relatively low levels. The U.S., per the data compiled from Wikipedia, isn’t even in the top 40 nations for the rate of home ownership. Why?

 

Top49NationsInWorldInHomeOwnershipRatesGlobalHomeOwnershipRatesMHProNews602

HUD Secretary Ben Carson promoted during his first year at HUD the notion that the average net worth of a household that owned a home is some $200,000. By contrast, said Secretary Carson, the average renting household had an average net worth of only $5,000.  Home ownership is a worthwhile goal.  More home ownership would in time create less dependency on federal or other programs.

 

Affordable Housing, Manufactured Housing, and Monopolies are Nonpartisan Issues  

OMI’s article doesn’t mention manufactured homes, but it would be nice if it did. Because not only is small business important for a vibrant economy and a free people, so too is home ownership.  No form of permeant home ownership exists today that is more proven than federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

MostMenAppearNeverConsideredWhatHouseHomeIsNeedlessPoorAllTheirLivesThinkMustHaveOneSuchAsTheirNeighborsHaveHenryDavidThoreau

Image collage by MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

Note, this graphic will be updated with the link to Rev, Tye’s comments, later today.

 

That noted, “Americans also know that new business ventures are essential to economic progress and upward mobility,” said OMI in “Entrepreneurship & Monopoly.”

In manufactured housing, there are on paper three national trade associations. The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) represents the bulk of the production and claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing.” That means that post-production issues should fall into their domain.

But in fact, the other two national trade groups both sprung from MHI, each pointing to the failure of MHI to properly represent their respective interests.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform says it “is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.”

 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A key word above from MHARR is independent. The newly minted NAMHCO – the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners put their breakaway from MHI like this.

 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

There are several industry voices that have equated MHI as the big business lobbyists, with smaller businesses there as the buffet – or Buffett? – serving-line for their next or future acquisition.

While MHI puts out an antitrust statement at their meetings, they oddly fail to give more than lip service and posturing to the interests of small business. MHI award winner, Marty Lavin put it as follows.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence.  We curate quotes that apply to specific topics.

 

Why does that matter? OMI says that, “…startups help create an inclusive economy. They provide opportunities for women and minorities to more quickly achieve financial success and leadership than in larger firms. New enterprises also are responsible for high rates of job-creation and innovation. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small firms employ over half of the private-sector workforce and created nearly two-thirds of the nation’s net jobs over the past fifteen years.”

Yet while entrepreneurship is essential to the American Dream, over the past thirty years the rate of new business formation has declined. The number of companies less than a year old, as a share of all businesses, dropped by 44 percent between 1978 and 2012. In all 50 states, the number of firm exits has outpaced new firm formation,” said “Entrepreneurship & Monopoly.”

The pattern of foiling new business startups combined with growing consolidation is a serious one for manufactured housing independents. MHI has helped document the trend on the production side.

 

 

As new producers have begun to emerge during the Trump Administration, how has the largest producer behaved?  Each of the text/image boxes is a hot link to a report on that topic.

 

“Mobile Home Militia,” Retail/Production Sources, Sound Alarm Against Clayton Homes, CMH, New “Anti-Competitive Practices” Allegation

 

MHI and Clayton, each asked to comment on the above and other topics linked from this report, have both declined to respond on numerous occasions.

The exercise of market power by companies like Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) have manifest themselves in other ways too. One notorious example is laid out in the report below.

 

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

 

That isn’t the only such case, as bold as it seems to be.  A more recent news tip and follows up revealed the following, which officials at Knoxville declined to comment on.

 

CFPB and 21st, Second Shoe Drops? Flooring w/21st Mortgage Corp? Insider Tips

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At the heart of these issues are access to capital, the impact of overburdensome regulations, the need for education, and timely communications.  Former MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, addressed the later like this.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

Williams is arguably right that there are good reasons to respond to each case of media or other misinformation. How else will ignorance or bias be corrected? Then, why does MHI so often fail to do what their former chairman said was logical?

 

These manufactured housing related issues are much in keeping with the thesis from OMI .  While noting that no one factor is to be solely blamed, OMI said “Similarly, overly broad regulations can hamstring new startups.”

OMI also adds these noteworthy points, bulleted below.

 

  • Another less discussed cause is a set of legislative changes that have weakened anti-monopoly laws over the past thirty years.”
  • Market concentration harms new business formation in many ways.  For example, when monopolistic firms learn of new entrants, they can engage in loss-leading.”
  • Similarly, well-established firms in concentrated industries can collude with each other…”
  • The impact of lower enforcement of antitrust laws has harmed small businesses, and by extension, the public, “The effects on small business and entrepreneurship have been devastating. According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, between 1997 and 2012, “the number of small manufacturers fell by more 70,000, local retailers saw their ranks diminish by 108,000, and the number of community banks and credit unions dropped by half, from about 26,000 to 13,000.”

 

Even MHI member producers have complained about the lack of independent retailers. But it was arguably the action of 21st, Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett “Moat” principle that has arguably contributed to throttling thousands of independent retailers.

Legacy Housing is not the only one producer that is going into more vertical integration to counter the trends, but they are in some ways the higher profile example of the trend, given their recent IPO.

 

Legacy Housing IPO (LEGH) Quiet Period Set to Expire, SA’s Don Dion

ManufacturedHousingVsTotalCompletedHomesLegacyHousingS1FilingIPODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Legacy clearly believes in the future of the business, because they are raising capital to expand their retail base.  Trend lines and data like the above also tell the story of how much more manufactured homes could be doing, because it did so in the past.  Why aren’t more sold today?  What role does market collusion and manipulation play in limiting manufactured housing, so that larger firms can acquire smaller ones at a discount?

 

 

History and Aggressiveness

An MHI member executive wrote in recently to say, “You seem pretty aggressive against MHI?  There must be history there.  To me, we need groups like them to move the industry forward.”

While it is debatably true that there is a need for trade groups, the better question is this. Is MHI part of the problem, or part of the solution for independents and industry growth?  If they were part of the solution, than how is the vexing trend summarized below to be explained?

 

 

If MHI were part of the solution, why have they routinely deferred to what the monopolizing forces Omaha, NE based Berkshire, or Knoxville metro based Clayton, 21st, and VMF want?

 

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.

 

As an MHI-only member company of official complained about the way that the Duty to Serve (DTS), for example, has arguably been manipulated to serve the interests of Omaha and Knoxville, “What are we, chopped liver?” What about using DTS to serve all of manufactured housing, not just some of it?  Isn’t it tragic that industry voices feel compelled to speak off the record, because they fear retaliation or career harm if they spoke their minds openly?

 

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

 

As MHARR’s president put it like this.

 

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

While the comment was about DTS, there are parallel educational principles that apply. Manufactured housing arguably should be doing more sales of all kinds of lending. To accomplish that is in part an educational and communication issue. That is a post-production topic too, and yet where are the efforts by MHI to teach retailers and communities to attract more qualified customers to their offices and sales centers?

 

Manufactured Housing was poised to overtake conventional housing in production in the 2010s, said Harvard’s Eric Belsky.

 

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? Because it came before Buffett’s entry into MH? See the report linked here.

 

But the purported manipulation of the credit markets and other regulatory, zoning, communications and other factors have worked to foil what Belsky said was going to occur. As MHI member Frank Rolfe lamented.

 

 

The regulatory burdens, capital access, educational and communications efforts are barriers to entry as well as to maintenance, and exit for a business. That combination yields lower sales levels. In turn, the means most communities and each retailer’s businesses are worth less. That happens to play into Warren Buffett’s ‘value acquisition’ aim, plus his Moat.

 

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

 

Coincidences?

 

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

 

These various federal, state, or local level policies or the failure to robustly enforce antitrust laws ought to be front and center in the efforts of any good post-production trade group. Yet, the case linked below reflects that MHI often fails to intervene. State associations sources have told MHProNews that if they don’t do what Knoxville and Arlington, VA based MHI wants, they fear for their jobs.

 

Dramatic Reversal, City Passes Urgency Ordinance Effectively Banning Manufactured Homes, Front & Back Stories

 

A combination of federal and state investigations, plus a new post production trade group could help change these dynamics. See the related reports for more.

What is certain is that more of the same will only yield more of the same.

As to “history” between MHI and MHProNews, there is indeed history there. Our publisher was a member for years, and was elected by his peers to serve on an MHI board. But after years, there was no changes to issues like those noted taking place. Why pay a group for doing something that NAMHCO’s Neal Haney and others have said is not working for them?  Why not rather forge a new association that actually does, what MHI claims to do?

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

 

 

Back to OMI…

The principle of wheat and chaff has to be applied to OMI, and all others. Learn and apply what is good, but understand that sometimes an organization, person, or other source self-contradicts its own principles.  It must not be construed from this article that every position that OMI takes is hereby endorsed.

That said, OMI is arguably correct on much of the history and impact of the issues that the nonprofit group raises. For a recent example, “Open Markets Institute calls on Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to immediately investigate how to protect America’s independent news media from the power and predatory business models of Google and Facebook.” That’s an issue that MHProNews has also raised for some time.

Open Markets Institute sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler with recommendations on how to approach the problem of monopoly this Congressional session,” noting that MHProNews recently did a focus on a top-antitrust attorney Lina Khan possibly heading to the staff of a Democratic lawmaker.

Political and professional posturing is not limited to any one party or organization. There are several ways that the Trump Administration, Democrats, and numbers in the GOP could be working together to get to the heart of much of what ails America, affordable housing, and manufactured homes role in serving the nation.

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Facts, evidence, following-the-money, history, and trend-lines should speak loudly. Without real change, the industry will continue in its current funk. The fact that MHI uses apparent threats from attorneys against this former member instead of publicly engaging on the issues raised speaks volumes, see below.

 

 

YouAreEntitledtoYourOwnOpinions.ButYouAreNotEntitledToYourOwnFactsDanielPatrickMoynihanDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHINewClassofHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from MHI Video, logos added by MHProNews.  At the time that MHI created this video, sources say that they already knew that the production/shipment slide was coming.  Instead of addressing it, instead, they created a video that touted all that they were doing. But if all of these claimed efforts were so good, where are the measurable results? 

ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHILogoMHIVideoStillsMillionsofViewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

 

Tunica is a place where independents meet by the hundreds, and it’s a place that this dynamic could be changed, by establishing a new post-production group that will fight-like-hell for the heavenly causes that MHI has arguably laid down on.

That’s industry “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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

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

 

 

Related Reports:

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

12 Reasons to Oppose a New Manufactured Home Post Production Association

 

21st Mortgage Suit’s CFPB Denial, Exclusive Document on Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Housing Brands Investigation

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Home Industry Professionals Feedback, Manufactured Housing Institute and Zoning Related Issues – Part 1

February 27th, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHomeProfessionalsFeedbackManufacturedHousingInstituteZoningRelatedIssuesP1DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are on- and off-the-record statements that will follow.  While the Daily Business News on MHProNews talks with industry professionals by phone on a regular basis too, our preference in using comments is to get the person to send their statements in an email, for our mutual accuracy.  There is no question in electronic messages about accurately conveying what was said. We note that some in the mainstream media are starting to use a similar process too.

 

That said, when someone is communicating “off the record” via email to MHProNews, they often use lingo, shorthand or don’t double-check their typing as well as they might if they would be named in an on-the-record statement.

There have been several replies and inputs from industry members about the MHProNews article linked below.  For those who have not yet read this report, which MHI has been asked to comment on prior to publishing, you can learn more in about 3 minutes at the linked text-image box below.

 

Dramatic Reversal, City Passes Urgency Ordinance Effectively Banning Manufactured Homes, Front & Back Stories

 

What is interesting is that a number of industry professionals forwarded a link to a new video that they thought addressed some of the safety and durability issues that caused concerns to Clearlake, CA city officials. That new video is posted further below.

 

MH Industry Pros Sound Off

Each of those quoted are MHI connected members, none are connected with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). So that helps frame their comments.

First, the following from an MHI connected attorney, who said:

For Clearlake [CA] however as a government entity , it should not have different standards for MH than stickbuilt for its code , since the whole idea of federal HUD preemption is to prevent unreasonable discrimination in land use and building standard decisions respecting manufactured housing,” noting that the spacing and other typos are in the original.

Next, an on-the-record reply from Karl Radde, who is an MHI member and also a Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) member. Radde has held several board-level positions, and is an independent retailer, who sells Clayton products. We will look in the near term at longer, more in depth comments from Radde, who should be commended for speaking on-the-record, noting his formal statement is in ‘defense’ of MHI.

With respect to the recent Heath Jenkins/Regional Enterprises and this Clearlake, CA issues, Radde said:

KarleRaddeSouthernComfortHomesBryanTX-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

Karl Radde, Southern Comfort Homes, National Retailers Council, MHI and prior TMHA chairman, who still holds board positions.

I have no comment on the Regional Enterprises fellow because I do not have enough information to make an informed decision one way or the other.  This would be my take on other articles as well.  I am one guy but I am a member of MHI and I honestly believe they are doing good for the industry.  Is there room for improvement?  Quite possibly.  Anyone or any organization that says it doesn’t have room for improvement is fooling themselves.  Again, this is a general statement of belief, not a reference to anything specific.  There are those out there who don’t feel TMHA is doing enough good for the industry, and they are also entitled to their opinion.”

It should be noted anew that neither sources in Knoxville or with MHI replied on these issues. We documented our request, by bcc’ing other MHI members in our contact with Clayton Homes and MHI.

 

Longtime Industry Veteran Sounds Off

Next, let’s see what a longtime MHI-only member professional said, off-the-record.  He still has active ties to the industry.  Again, the spacing and other typographical errors are in the original.  A word in brackets were added to make clear the meaning of the writer.

When I got into the business in 1972, there was aluminum wiring in some and small windows in bedrooms..

All of that change June 15th, 1976.

All copper wiring… egress windows. etc

Older cars had no seat belts… they are still in service.. understand it

The ignorance is ramped [rampant] the modular is built to the  local code.. are you going to band them when they are built to the same standard code as any site built home… the very homes that the council folks live in

Well, but it came in on wheels… oh yea, how did your home get there, did it fly in? …  came in wheels

Somehow there seems to be an underlying thought that it costs less so it is sub-standard.

It cost less because it is built more efficiently…13% labor versus 30% labor… can you see labor, no  and secondly HUD code is a performance code, it will provide what you need and not overbuild to satisfy a local jurisdiction of some whim or belief.

MHI can also quote several studies (some colleges did some) …if you ask…. where there are less fires in manufactured housing as a % than site built.    one could say you are safer in a manufactured home?”

 

PalmHarborHurricaneMichaelModularHomeManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

Factory-Built Homes, So Strong that they Survive the Storm

Here is the video that a number of professionals sent, to exemplify the durability of factory-built housing.  While it is clearly a commercial, it is nevertheless an intelligent presentation of what happened, and includes interview clips with homeowners whose home survived Hurricane Michael when the others around it were severely damaged or destroyed.

 

 

 

The home shown is a Palm Harbor brand modular home.  But it must be stressed that a HUD Code manufactured home at this same local would have been ‘hurricane rated’ by code requirements too.

To demonstrate the point, the video in the article linked below includes an eye-opening statement by a weather professional plus spotlights HUD Code manufactured homes that survived either a tornado or a hurricane.

 

Weather Expert’s Surprising, Bombshell Statement on Tornado Deaths and Affordable Manufactured Homes

 

The points are many.  The industry has a tremendous story to tell.  MHI claims to be representing that post-production sector of the industry. Where is their performance?  How does the latest research help the industry, when several of even the top states involved in HUD Code manufactured home sales are in decline?

MarkWeissMHARRPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Mark Weiss, JD. President and CEO, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform put it well when he called MHI’s efforts, “The Illusion of Motion.”

Weiss also called on the industry’s post production sector to begin acting, not just talking.  See the related reports, further below. If MHI or the folks in Knoxville had a good come-back, wouldn’t they have already made it?

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Here’s another invitation for them to do so either in writing, or it can be live in front of industry professionals at the Tunica Show. Note that so far, there is no explanation as to why MHI – the industry’s ‘post-production national association’ – has failed to directly intervene in cases like the one we explored at at Clearlake, CA, or Washington, IN. For the sake of future growth, MHProNews will continue to spotlight those failures to act, as necessary.   “We Provide, You Decide.” (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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

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

 

 

Related Reports:

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

Mobile Home Burns, Woman Dies, Details At Ten – Back Story of Mobile Home Fires, Regulatory Facts

 

“Mobile Home Militia,” Retail/Production Sources, Sound Alarm Against Clayton Homes, CMH, New “Anti-Competitive Practices” Allegation

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Independent Manufactured Home Retailer Outsells Clayton Homes, Doesn’t Sell CMH Products, Per Mainstream News

February 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

TopIndependentManufacturedHomeRetailerOutsellsClaytonHomesDoesn'tSellCMHProductsPerNaplesDailyNewsUSATodayMHProNews

 

An independent manufactured home retailer has made mainstream news with a media outlet that is part of the USA Today family of media brands. For whatever reasons, that retailer only sells new homes built by members of the independent producer’s trade group, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

 

ChrisLeePhilLeeJaniceLeeLeeCorpHomesFlorida#1RetailermanfuacturedHousingjacobsenHomesScotbiltHomesMHProNewsAccording to an article in the Naples Daily News, part of the USA Today family of newspapers, Estero, FL based LeeCorp Homes was recently named as the top retailer of manufactured homes in Florida.

Rephrased, that claim means that they are outselling Clayton Homes in Florida, or any other retailer in that state.

Our company has played an integral role in shaping the landscape of quality, custom-designed manufactured housing in Southwest Florida over 35 years,” said Chris Lee, president of LeeCorp Homes, “The key to our success lies in our ability to oversee every aspect of the homebuilding process, from customized design to permitting to installation and final move-in.”

Florida has been the #3 seller of manufactured housing in recent years. LeeCorp Homes sells new HUD Code manufactured homes built by Jacobsen Homes and ScotBilt Homes. Both of those producers are members of MHARR, according to federal and other sources.

Rephrased, based on the report, the accomplishment by LeeCorp Homes is quite impressive.  Why?  Because there are vertically integrated operations in the same state – including Clayton Homes – that LeeCorp Homes is outselling.

Independent retailers of manufactured homes, take heart.

MHARR2018vs2017ToptenManufacturedHousingStatesManufacturedHousingAssocRegualtoryReform

Data per MHARR, graphic by MHProNews.

 

According to their website and the Naples Daily News, “LCH Enterprises of Southwest Florida, LeeCorp’s construction and engineering sister company, was created in 2005 to implement turn-key packages including installation and completion of each new home. The company expanded its operation to include a second sales center in North Port to serve customers in the Port Charlotte, North Port, Venice, Englewood, Nokomis, Osprey and various areas.”

On this date, the firm enjoys a BBB rating of A+

LeeCorpHomesBetterBusinessBureauRatingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Interesting MH Industry Takeaways?

It should be noted that LeeCorp Homes has used advertorials, besides other marketing methods.

As with many forms of marketing, there are arguably good, bad, or mediocre uses for advertorials,” said manufactured home industry consultant and MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “Our critiques of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) uses of advertorials is NOT about the generic use of that medium of marketing. Rather, we’ve objected to what is arguably misinformation or problematic statements or claims that MHI has made using StatePoint or other advertorials. There are times we’ve used factually accurate advertorials that rocked for specific clients.”

What Tony Kovach is explaining is that advertorials are only as good as the content that goes in them. His critiques of MHI advertorials are many, including the obvious point that despite their claims, they clearly haven’t moved the needle on new manufactured home shipments nationally.

That said,” Tony Kovach elaborated, “often the best option – when possible – is getting authentic news coverage, rather than advertorials. For that matter, our MHLivingNews platform has proven valuable for specific clients. But on MHLivingNews, we do authentic interviews, not scripted or staged videos. The public can often discern the difference between what’s real and what’s faked.”

Customers interviewed on MHLivingNews are not paid to participate, they do so because they want to share their experiences with manufactured homes, the community that they live in, and those that sold them there home.  On one occasion, a meal and fuel cost was offered, in order to get a group of customers to participate in a focus group.  But there was not real monetary compensation made with that landmark focus group.

Tony Kovach is the co-founder of MHProNews, which rapidly became the most read trade media in all of manufactured housing. He also co-founded MHLivingNews, which is the arguably the #1 educational resource for consumers and others who are interested in learning more facts about manufactured home living.  He’s been cited by mainstream media on numerous occasions over the years as an industry expert, including being noted in the first footnote of the 2018 research by the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR) 2018 report on manufactured homes.

We’ve often been able to get our clients mainstream media coverage in authentic ways,” Tony Kovach said. “We do that in part by framing a topic in a manner that strikes a mainstream news source as relevant to their audience. But if that doesn’t work, advertorials and numerous other options are certainly a viable alternative.

 

Consistency and Third Party Authenticated 

Another key to credibility in marketing is consistency. Sadly, MHI has published paid-for information via press releases and/or advertorials that have purportedly proven to contradict their own previously stated claims,” Tony Kovach explained. “We make a point of referencing a third-party information as often as possible. That too ads to credibility. Furthermore, unlike some bloggers or publishers in our industry’s trade media, that seem to have no problem making periodic claims without evidence.  Or as bad, using information or phrases as their own that actually originally came from another source they’ve seen, heard, or read.”

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The Bottom Line About this Florida Based Firm?

LeeCorp Homes ought to feel good and is hereby applauded for accomplishing the results stated in the Naples Daily News, and for their fine BBB rating.

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