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

June 14th, 2019 No comments

 

NAMHCOlogoMonopolisticManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHARRlogoGeorgeFAllenPawnNAMHCOMHIMHARRWeighInOnControversialBillGeorgeAllenPawnGambitMHProNews

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

 

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

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

Why? How so?

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

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

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

But they have not yet made any formal response.

No official response was made by MHI.

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

 

— start of MHI release —

HOUSING ALERT

June 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

— End of the body of MHI’s release —

 

 

MHI’s Factual Misses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

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

 

 

Here is the formal NAMHCO statement to MHProNews.

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

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

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

 

 

The View from MHARR

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

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

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

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

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

 

RequestForCommentEmailtoManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI2019-06-14_0619DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

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

MHProNews would like to see:

1) the original language of the bill,

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

3) the revised language.

4) all communications relative to this bill.

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

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

Thank you.

Tony

LATonyKovachMHProNews2019-06-14_0741

 

 

 

 

What Third Party Legislation Monitoring GovTrack Says

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

 

Problematic New Class of Homes Angle?

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Meanwhile the industry:

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

 

Downturn Harming Independents, Would-Be Consumers 

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

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

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

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

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

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

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

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

 

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

 

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Members Point to Positives, Problematic – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) says, “Get the Facts on Zoning”

June 7th, 2019 No comments
MembersPointtoPositivesPromblematicManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoSaysGetFactsOnZoningDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from video posted further below.

Among the sources for the report that follows are MHEC, MHI, and their members.

 

Let’s begin by pondering MHI’s page on zoning, which has no date on their article/post.  That is being provided in its entirety below under fair use guidelines for media under this fact check and analysis.  The MHI statement mentioning Huntsville, Texas suggests it was possibly posted in 2016. But a link to that page elsewhere on the MHI website has a date of Oct 31, 2017.  With that understanding, let’s dive in to their verbatim text under their subheading shown on a page linked here.

 

CollageMHIPageGetFactsonZoningManufacturedHousingInstituteMHProNews

Unfair Zoning Laws Can Restrict Manufactured Home Placement

There is an affordable housing crisis in the U.S. and some communities are making a bad situation worse.

There is a growing trend of municipalities trying to use zoning and other land use regulations to restrict or eliminate manufactured housing in their jurisdictions. These actions could reduce the supply of critically-needed affordable housing for working families across the country and may be discriminatory under the Fair Housing Act.

The attempts at cities discriminating against manufactured housing are wide ranging. Some cities now restrict community owners from replacing units when someone moves, others are looking at banning them altogether, and some are segregating them at locations far out from local amenities such as schools, transportation, doctors and jobs.

Local city and county government’s use a variety of land use planning devices to restrict the use of manufactured homes as an available source of affordable housing. Interestingly, these devises are often in conflict with the entity’s comprehensive plan. These cases often involve zones within a community where manufactured housing fits the character and ascetics of the zone.

 

Outright Bans
This past year, Huntsville, Texas, passed an outright ban on the placement of manufactured homes in the community, including on private property. This change in the law came despite the presence of manufactured homes and multi-family homes in the community. After an outcry from residents living in manufactured homes, the council overturned the ban.

 

Lot Size

Rural Harrison County, Kentucky is attempting to pass a requirement that manufactured homes may only be placed on lots of 10 acres or more.  These types of ordinances are found in other communities and can range from 1 to 10 acres.

Lot size is not just a rural issue. In a community in South Carolina, the Georgetown council required minimum lot size in a zone predominated by older mobile homes whereby the practical effect would be to require the accumulation of several lots to build any new home. As this case involves a zone containing a majority of African American residents, HUD is investigating for possible Fair Housing violations.

 

Layering of Multiple Ordinances
When a Mississippi Supreme Court decision disallowed Pearl’s method of excluding manufactured housing, the city undertook changes to multiple land use planning devices (density, occupancy, setbacks) which allowed the placement of a home in a land-lease community, but made it illegal for anyone to occupy the home.

 

Density
Changes to density and setback requirements cause land-lease communities to provide homes on every other lot.

 

Restriction to Manufactured Home Communities (Parks) only
An affront to private property rights is where a government restricts the placement of manufactured homes to manufactured home parks only. An ordinance in Kentucky like this was passed in London, and following a lawsuit, reversed.

 

Age
A trend in western states (Kansas and Arizona for instance) is the adoption of ordinances where there is an age restriction on manufactured homes, disallowing the placement of a home more than 5- or 10- years old. These local laws basically place expiration dates on homes, and artificially kill resale values.

 

Non-conforming Uses
The Village of Lodi, Ohio, changed its interpretation of non-conforming use such that when a home would be removed from a land-lease community, the entire park would become a non-conforming use. The Ohio Supreme Court struck down the interpretation.

 

No Reason Whatsoever
The most frustrating cases come when a city or county denies the placement of a home for no reason whatsoever. In Washington Township, Ohio, it took a court order to force a zoning panel to issue a permit for the replacement of an older manufactured home with a new one.

 

— End of MHI Zoning post —

 

The above by MHI on zoning is fine, as far as it goes.  A helpful next step would be to add videos to that page, like their new one below.  Let’s see if they do that?

 

 

The Two Biggest Missed Items

But perhaps the two most important things missing from MHI’s zoning page are two absent, key words. “Enhanced Preemption.”  MHI members have agreed with that concern.  Even those pleased with the recent event are not able to explain how MHI could have failed to properly promote this in advance or during the event with the general public.  Harder still for backers to explain is why MHI doesn’t promote enhanced preemption. 

 

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

 

That’s legally powerful two-word phrase – “enhanced preemption” are found nowhere on the MHI website.

 

EnhancedPreemption672019PostInnovationHousingShowcaseManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

By contrast, Manufactured Housing Executive Council (MHEC) members, some MHI members, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), MHLivingNews, and MHProNews have all put “enhanced preemption” forth as important legal tools to deal with the zoning-placement issue that contributes to the affordable housing crisis.

 

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Their miss is so problematic that MHARR has launched an initiative to deal with that inexplicable oversight. 

 

 

Calling on MHI to Do Their Job on Enhanced Preemption

We’re hereby once more calling on MHI to start promoting Enhanced Preemption if they are serious about dealing with the zoning-placement issues.  Photos opportunities with administration and other leaders that don’t include “enhanced preemption” among the top items to not only ask for but obtain makes a mockery of their claim of “clout.”

GotClout-questionmark-GetItHere-MHI-ManufacturedHousingInstitute-postedMHProNews-com-

Clout isn’t measured by photo opportunities, but by bottom line results. In our industry, that must including dramatically rising manufactured home production and sales. Instead, we have see 8 months of year-over-year decreases.

Photos, graphics, videos, copy, and slogans are all fine so long as they advance the solutions that actually result in more sales.  But instead, it is shrinking sales during an affordable housing crisis that has been witnessed instead.

Emotions must be kept in check by the reality of shipments and the lack of full implementation of “enhanced preemption,” other aspects of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000, and the full implementation of the Duty to Serve not just a sliver of manufactured home production, but all manufactured homes. 

HUD Secretary Carson, in advance and during the Innovative Housing Showcase, was on several cable network and other mainstream news shows.  A video posted in the last related report linked further below by itself has about 20 times more views than all of MHI’s promotional videos on this same topic combined.

The industry needs more than claims and emotional ‘feel good’ items.  There is a need for action with measurable results.

Time will tell if they take the opportunities that Secretary Carson, two MHI members, MHARR, and others have made possible to actually improve the sales of manufactured homes.

That’s today’s second installment of 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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HUD Secretary Ben Carson tours Innovative Housing Showcase on National Mall in Washington, D.C.

 

 

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

June 7th, 2019 No comments
PositiveCongressionalReactionsInnovatieHousingShowcaseHUDMHECMHIOtherInsightsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Still from video, posted further below.

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Proclamation on National Homeownership Month, 2019

 ECONOMY & JOBS

 Issued on: May 31, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

DONALD J. TRUMP

InnovativeHousingShowcaseHUDDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsJune1-52019PhotoStill

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Reality Checks

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

SaulAlinkys12RulesForRadicalsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

SaulAlinskyRulesforRadicalsDespaireIsthereRubSowDiscontentGalvanizeRadicalSocialchangeRawAZquotesManufacturedHousing

Learn more, linked here.

 

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

 

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

InnovativeHousingShowcaseHUDNAHBDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsStillPhoto

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

 

A Positive Event Set in a Difficult Reality

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

But the numbers speak loudly.

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

 

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

Related Reports:

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Tent Cities, Homelessness, Crime, Disease, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

June 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

BriefHistoryObjectivesofManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeNews

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEODannyGhorbaniPhotoManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformLogoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

MHActionLogoWarrenBuffettGeorgeSorosPhotoTidesFoundationLogoDailyBusinessNewManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProsNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform4-26-2019ManufacturedHomesMHProNews

 

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

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIwebsiteEnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-06-01_0437

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

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

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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

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

MHIMHECMHARRlogosWeProvideYouDecideManufacturedHOusingMHProNews487

 

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

 

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

 

There is purported evidence:

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEwsTonyGetsItAlColeOxfordBankTrustManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

 

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

 

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

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHISiteSearchMHProNews

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

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

 

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Related Reports:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

May 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

AndyGedoPhotoManageAmericaPartnerLinkedInDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Andy Gedo’s LinkedIn profile says he is a “Partner at ManageAmerica.” They are on online property management platform, that cites manufactured housing as one of their specialties. They are active at Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) events, and per sources, an MHI member.

 

To set the stage for the discussion that follows, let’s note that Gedo – who entered into a public online discussion this week with our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach on LinkedIn regarding Clayton Homes – previously posed a question to George F. Allen.

Gedo asked Allen a question about one of Allen’s posts, “George, please provide the details of your proforma $12,000 annual expense budget for a 200 site community.  That amount doesn’t even cover a Manager’s salary for such a community.  What am I missing?”  It was a perfectly reasonably question.

Allen’s response?  There was none.  To which Tony Kovach, after liking Gedo’s question, posted this: “George, Andy Gedo has asked a relevant question.  Where is your reply, sir?  How can you claim to educate, when you won’t answer questions?  Isn’t that part of the educational process, Q&As?” For more on Allen, Joe Stegmayer, MHI and related, click here.

That post and exchange reveals several things, because Tony Kovach previously asked Allen a question about another post. Allen’s reply? None.

The first reasonable takeaway is that respectful discussion – which can include direct questions, even pointed questions – are a potentially useful facet of social media.

With that backdrop, Gedo, who’s firm’s website says started in 1999, asked about a post made by our publisher earlier this week.  Here is the link to the that LinkedIn post, and the screen capture below is a reflection of the linked article that Gedo to, which sets the stage for the online discussion.

 

KevinClaytonAnswersCNBCsMonopolyQuestionLinkedInPostManufacturedHousingMHProNews

AndyGedoPhotoManageAmericaLinkedInManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Here’s Gedo’s comment/reaction to that public social media post. “Come on Tony, her question wasn’t whether Clayton/Berkshire intends to monopolize the entire homebuilding industry, but rather whether they intend “own every aspect” of it — to vertically integrate, not own the entire thing.”   The “her” Gedo was referring to is CNBC’s Diana Olick, who covers real estate news for the business focused, left-of-center news website.

Here’s Tony’s reply, with the typos like ‘distinction’ in original.

Its a distiction without a difference Andy.  Perhaps you’ve missed what HousingWire, Bloomberg LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertor others have spotlighted?  Warren Buffett said he had 3 percent of brokerage in an annual letter, and added “Only “97 percent to go.” Google it.  That said, I respect your question.  Try explaining these facts, linked below.  Kevin, Tim, and their attorneys have declined.  Why not try to explain it for them?

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

We routinely invite Clayton, 21st, and MHI to respond, or dispute our concerns. Why do they duck that, if there is nothing to hide?  So back to your question. CNBC is perhaps the first in mainstream media for a while that asked that question that way. It lacked a follow up, but at least they deserve credit for asking about the growing concerns not just here, but in other mainstream media that use the word “monopoly” when it comes to Clayton and Berkshire.  Those other media are found linked here.

http://mhpronews.com/blogs/tonykovach/ultimate-proven-contrarian-investing-ethical-vs-unethical-legal-vs-illegal-manufactured-housing-industry-strategies/

AndyGedoLinkedInManufacturedHomeCommunitiesPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGedo rapidly posted on LinkedIn the following retort. As MHProNews has often done for several years, we’ve turned the quoted text brown and bold to make it pop, but the comments are otherwise unedited in any material fashion.

Tony, the CNBC interviewer’s question was:  “Your parent company, Berkshire Hathaway owns a real estate brokerage, it owns an insulation company, it owns a Benjamin Moore… and it owns [Clayton Homes, which has bought 9 site-built homebuilders].  Is this their master plan, to own every aspect of the U.S. housing market?”   Kevin Clayton gives an honest and revealing answer that explains why Berkshire believes that owning both manufactured and conventional builders will enable them to realize efficiencies by “blurring the lines” between the two.  Both the question and the answer are about vertical integration, not monopolistic practices.   You are still entitled to your opinion about whether Clayton wields monopoly power, but it isn’t addressed in this interview, and that is obvious to anyone who bothers to watch it with an unbiased eye.”

Gedo was clearly posing a thoughtful defense for Clayton Homes via his comments.  That’s fair, and MHProNews editorially respects that, and encourages others to do the same.

Tony praised Gedo for his effort.

Andy, kudos on giving it a good shot, sir! Again, it is a distinction without a difference. Kevin’s reply is quoted at length in the linked report:

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/antitrust-heats-up-with-supreme-court-ruling-monopolization-legal-experts-weigh-in-clayton-related-comment-connection/

We don’t duck the facts, we check ’em.

Kevin didn’t deny the trend toward monopoly. What he did was say it was a 100 year plan, and yes, it includes ‘blurring the lines.’”

Our publisher then pivoted back to Gedo’s original question, which said in part: “…her [CNBC’s Oleck] question wasn’t whether Clayton/Berkshire intends to monopolize the entire homebuilding industry…” With that part of Gedo’s question in mind, Kovach said he added this in his publicly posted reply.

Italics, bold and brown – as before – are added for publication here to make it ‘pop,’ but the text by Tony is as in the original post.

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

Look, you or anyone can ignore what The Nation, OpenMarkets, the Atlantic, Guru Focus, or the Seattle Times published. It isn’t as if it is just MHProNews, is it?

Which begs the question. Why aren’t others in the industry’s trade media raising this issue? Why are so many – perhaps out of fear, going along to get along, etc. – not saying publicly what they discuss privately? Even George Allen, before he was re-embraced by Arlington, raised the issue of “oligarchy” and the problem of consolidation. That’s a polite phrase for alleged monopolistic practices. Please look at the links shared, and respond to those. Then, get your friends in Arlington and Knoxville to reply directly. It’d be the hottest read in MH. Feedback welcome. Thx.”

The Seattle Times in a May 18, 2018 article touched on the issue of ongoing federal investigations of Clayton Homes.

But Tony went further, adding follow up questions for Gedo.

Andy, now let me ask you a few questions, please. I think your firm is an MHI member, right? How do you explain the fact that MHI doesn’t have the Ben Carson speech on their website?

Why doesn’t MHI respond to attacks by MHAction? Or the John Oliver video?

Frank Rolfe, an MHI member, pointed out some years back that MHI fails to either promote good third party news, or defend against third party attacks. We’ve followed the pattern since then. There is evidence for Frank’s concerns.

Tim Williams, while MHI Chairman, said there is a good case to make to defend against every attack. So, why hasn’t MHI done so? Who benefits from 7 months of dropping year-over-year shipments? Consolidators?”

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHISiteSearchMHProNews

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

 

The Value of Andy Gedo’s Comments

Now, there could be many possible reasons why Gedo didn’t respond further, as of 6:53 AM ET.  We encourage him or others interested in the discussion to do so.  Again, that LinkedIn post and related question thread is linked here.

It must be noted that Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, other Berkshire Hathaway brands, and numbers of individuals associated with the Arlington, VA based MHI monitor and/or engage there. Why didn’t they weigh into that discussion?

That’s just part of the value of the discussion that Gedo launched.

There could be several reasons why MHI has not yet posted the useful and encouraging Secretary Ben Carson New Orleans speech, or the positive National Association of Realtors (NAR) research by Scholastica Cororaton, or the comments MHI used to publicize – but stopped doing a few years ago – about Eric Belsky about manufactured housing as of 6:59 AM ET.

But that begs the question.  Why are they failing to do what Tim Williams, Frank Rolfe, and others have said is an obvious, useful or logical need?  The possibly reply to that is what Tony Kovach posted “Who benefits from 7 months of dropping year-over-year shipments? Consolidators?”  Kovach noted that even George Allen used to point to the same types of problems, until he was ‘re-embraced’ by MHI leaders, like Kevin Clayton or Joe Stegmayer.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

To see more disconnects between Allen and his flip-flops, then and now, click here. ‘Even a stopped clock is right twice daily.’ See the John Oliver Mobile Homes fact check here.

 

There will be a special report tomorrow morning that will be a ‘taking it to the next level’ report. Watch for it.

In the meantime, two prior quotes will be useful to end on here, after making the following observation.  Thousands of manufactured home industry – along with hundreds of other professionals interested in or researching the industry – logon daily, not for mere opinions. They can go elsewhere for more colorful if routine opinions, but rather, they come here for fact checks, analysis, and answers to the questions that no other trade publisher in the industry is addressing.

The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) broke away from MHI, precisely because they were not effective at their stated claims.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is an independent producer’s association.  For obvious disclosures sake, they are also a sponsor at this site. That said, they don’t control our content – nor do our parent company’s other clients or sponsors. We control our content, based on what seems to be relevant to the industry’s needs, timely issues, topics, and related factory-built housing industry interests.

Given a 7-month downturn of HUD Code manufactured home shipments during an affordable housing crisis, the industry is perched for a new round of consolidation – that is a virtual given.  Especially so, if there is no turn around.  Why has Clayton or MHI ducked that vexing issue?  Why has Clayton’s parent company – Berkshire Hathaway – not used their own BH Media Group to publish articles on manufactured housing that counter the negative media accounts?

But those obvious disconnects beg the questions: why has Buffett/Berkshire apparently used ‘dark money’ channels to de facto help fund MHAction?  Or why fund the Center for Public Integrity, which did the first Clayton Homes/Seattle Times expose?  Why support Prosperity Now, which opposed MHI backed Preserving Access?

To understand the full scope of the arguably deceptive web of traps that have been laid for unwitting manufactured home independents and investors in certain publicly traded firms, click here for more details and analysis.

If mere ‘opinion’ was what readers got here, this platform wouldn’t be the industry’s runaway largest audience by far reading reports like this. For more details, click the below.

 

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

In a small industry, to have over 12,000 logons daily with well in April is an astonishing market penetration. In 12 months, over 16,818,375 pages have been viewed here on MHProNews. To grasp that number, picture a stack of over 525,574  32-page magazines piled high. That blows away anything in manufactured housing. To learn more, click the linked text-image box above.

Do draw this towards a close this Saturday, those who have the time and want to truly understand what is occurring in their industry, there is no other manufactured housing trade media analysis that has even dared scrutinize the facts like those linked here which Gedo, Clayton, or MHI have not responded to publicly. What are they skittish over?

Why are others in the industry trade media afraid to check those facts which quote Kevin Clayton, Warren Buffett, and Tim Williams, word for word?

Apparently so. No investor or professional can understand manufactured housing without understanding the ‘elephant in the room.’ That’s Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, and also Knoxville metro-based Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Andy Gedo is to be commended for making professional yet pointed questions. We welcome those. They clarify that what is occurring is more than opinion. We welcome him continuing the discussion, if he so chooses.

The startling issue is why others manufactured housing trade publishing or bloggers have ignored what the Nation, The Atlantic, GuruFocus, Forbes, The Hustle, the Seattle Times, or the Jacksonville Florida Times Union have reported that point to similar concerns that MHProNews and/or MHARR, or NAMHCO have raised. It’s not like we are crazed rogues, rather, we cover topics that others have – only we’ve done so with more focus, details, and depth. We’ve invited the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies to weigh in. Silence. At least Andy Gedo tried.

Note that those linked mainstream media reports above sources span the left-right political/media divides? So, Andy Gedo and others – with all due respect – the facts are what they are.

Dr_Ben_Carson__wikipedia

Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo. See his full speech in New Orleans, linked here, along with videos, and more. Note: we claim zero influence with Sec Carson, but it is interesting to note that his comments dovetailed with several points found in MHProNews, and in Tony Kovach comments letters to HUD.

When HUD Secretary Ben Carson tells MHI members to their faces that it is time to end the secret of manufactured housing, that should be a wakeup call to the industry and its many investors,” said industry expert, publisher, and former MHI member L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “MHI members have to ask why the Arlington based trade group have not touted to the whole world Secretary Carson’s entire speech?  Why hasn’t Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway, or the BH Media Group done so? Why not use their media contacts and self-proclaimed ‘clout’ to publicize this good news for most manufactured housing industry professionals and possible consumers? Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams – they are educated, and intelligent professionals.  Are we to believe that they are hiding the good news about manufactured homes? If so, why?  Who benefits from hiding the truths about manufactured homes? Perhaps as or more important, how many millions are being harmed?  How much does this cost manufactured housing independents every year?”

Such pertinent, ‘evergreen’ questions are not found anywhere else presently in MHVille’s trade media.  Why not?  Rather, there is an almost echo-chamber like effect, which sings various pages out of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington hymnal.  But if that song book is resulting in loss of shipments year-over-year, and more consolidations, why sing along?

Perhaps that is why our readers are voting with their browsers, tablets, smartphones, and time here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews because this is where they find news, analysis, fact-checks and commentary that holds together and makes troubling sense.

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The next step in untying the Gordian knots of manufactured housing will be unveiled tomorrow morning. Watch for it.

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FurtherSocietyDriftsFromTruthMoreItWillHateThoseWhoSpeakItGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Right is right even if no one is right. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is wrong. Objectivity, an issue that Andy Gedo correctly raised, is valuable. That takes time and discernment.

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

 

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Related Reports:

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

Antitrust Heats Up With Supreme Court Ruling, Monopolization Legal Experts Weigh In, Clayton-Related Comment Connection

 

Tariffs “…Will Effect Demand,” says Kevin Clayton, Answers CNBC’s Monopoly Question – Video – plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

Inside Scoop on the Manufactured Housing Industry in Memes

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Stegmayer, George F. Allen, Manufactured Housing Institute Slogans, Slump, Slurs, Solutions

May 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

JoeStegmayerPhotoCavcoIndustriesLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoChairmanGeorgeFAllenPhotoSlogansSlumpSlursSolutionsMHProNews

Photo at left is a still from a YouTube video, posted further below.

The manufactured housing industry is now 7 months into a slump – a downturn. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis?  Is it incompetence?  Or something else?

 

While controversial himself in mainstream media reports for a variety of reasons, prominent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member Frank Rolfe is on record for calling out prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith and the association for “hypocrisy.”

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

Rolfe also accused MHI of failing to promote good news, while failing to defend against bad news.

FrankRolfeMHFundRVHorizonsMobileHomeUniversityDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryResearchReportsDataAnalysisMHProNews595

The phrase ‘the industry’ is often a euphemism for MHI. While the two are obviously distinct, given that MHI is the industry’s umbrella association and larger than its rivals, there are reasons that phrase is used.

 

Despite his own controversies, did Rolfe make valid points in the quotes cited above?

Let’s look.

A recap of Nathan Smith, partner in SSK Communities, and their media and legal woes are linked below. It includes numerous mainstream media video reports, which underscored Rolfe’s first point.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

 

The recent, useful – and largely favorable comments to the manufactured home industry in general – made by HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a speech last week  are of this morning at the date and time shown still not posted on MHI’s website. Why not? It is arguably good news for the industry at large. It was made at MHI’s own event.  Secretary Carson is in charge of the agency that has the primary federal oversight for manufactured housing.

Where is the MHI logic in not having a favorable talk spotlighted on their own website?  Again, this evidence makes a point Rolfe claimed about good news not being shared by MHI.

 

HUDSecBenCarsonMHILogowebsiteManufactuerdHousingInstituteLogo2019-05-14_0617MHProNews

 

This oddity begs questions. For example, is it only Rolfe at MHI who has expressed concerns about MHI? Hardly.

Kenny Lipschutz – whose firm is a MHI/National Communities Council (MHI/NCC) member – said the following in an interview with MHProNews.

 

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Tom Fath is a partner in his family’s manufactured home community business. The sell new and pre-owned manufactured homes.  Their operations are reportedly doing well. Which makes Fath’s comments all the more striking.

 

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

This comment was a response to a critique of MHI and their ‘advertorial’ campaign. Fath was arguing that facts and consumer benefits should be stressed, rather than claims that actually undermined the industry’s credibility.

 

Is Fath alone? No.

Current and former MHI members have privately and publicly called out the trade group for being ineffective, for favoritism, for being an oligarchy, or of de facto working to consolidate the industry.

In 2017, state communities associations broke from MHI, saying the planned to form their own trade organization. They have since done so. Their founder explained their break from MHI as follows.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

So, there are significant examples of MHI members – past and present – plus other industry business leaders – that have in word and deed voiced published concerns about the state of the industry in general, and often named MHI in particular.

 

 

One More Level

MHI’s current and 2 prior executive committee members, have all faced various troubling legal or problematic business practice allegations.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Satirical logo by MHProNews, provided under fair use guidelines.

 

George F. Allen, along with Spencer Roane and Tom Lackey of SECO have had their own mainstream media woes.

 

TylerJettChatanoogaTimesFreePressManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Allen and Roane have ‘taught’ selling contract for title at SECO or elsewhere, a practice that the New York Attorney General’s office and others have taken action against. https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/may/26/industry-members-decline-take-sides-rossville/471775/

 

Allen has been an MHI critic in the past, as these pull quotes from his website remind industry professionals.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

George F.  Allen, has a modest following today, which once used to be a larger following. Once Allen was re-embraced by MHI’s leaders = purportedly to be a surrogate for them to blunt growing industry concerns and criticisms = Allen has muted his prior blasts, and has arguably turned instead at sliming MHI’s critics. 

 

But Allen, who was persona non grata just a few years ago at MHI, has more recently cozied up to and has been re-embraced by the Arlington, VA based association. Joe Stegmayer appeared again at Allen’s annual event in 2018.

 

 

Joe Stegmayer – as MHI’s Chairman – lends to the under-informed a certain credibility to Allen.  Allen in turn has purportedly attacked privately and publicly this publication for holding the industry’s power players to account. But instead of accepting the opportunity to disprove or debate the issues raised, Allen has resorted to slurs and a call to boycott MHProNews.

Allen’s call for a boycott is noteworthy, because it can be an element in antitrust law.  Allen has also used demonstrably flawed claims in a purported effort to slime the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which is trying to address underlying issues, and thereby help the industry return to growth. Attacking a trade group that is honestly and honorably seeking growth during an affordable housing crisis and while the industry is in a slump ought to be common sense.  Thus, Allen’s attacks on MHARR merits its own scrutiny. See that report, via the hot-linked text/image box linked below.  But once more, it also sparks further questions and concerns.

 

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

 

There are evidence-based examples of how MHI leaders have directly and indirectly rewarded Allen and SECO, which he is associated with.

Now MH Village’s co-president, Darren Krolewski – who previously praised MHProNews for taking on the tougher issues – more recently has launched their own trade publication, which is of course their right.

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHVillage’s Krolewski dubbed their new publication MHInsider, the first three letters of which spell MHI. They are in fact a prominent supporter of MHI. They have given Allen and SECO a lift via their own platform. Attempt to find an article in MHInsider that is critical of MHI or Clayton Homes. There are better odds of winning the lottery than finding a critique of any MHI or Berkshire Hathaway MH industry company leader, or of those who are the ‘big boys’ at the Arlington, VA based trade group.

Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Howard Walker arguably had a different view on what should be done about good and bad news than what MHInsider- or the flip-flopping George F.(F?) Allen – has taken. The late Walker, JD and longtime vice chairman and a right hand man to Sam Zell, ELS’ chairman, said this.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story, linked here.

 

While it was before the more recent fact checks, it was after other examples of concerns and issues being raised by MHProNews not found elsewhere in the industry’s trade media. So not unlike the prior comment of praise by Krolewski, Walker said the following for publication.

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

 

MHProNews has previously cited the need for good business ethics, quoting the following as an example.

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMarthaCNussbaumPhotoQuote

Design by MHProNews.

 

This publication has also promoted the notion of getting to the root issues of the industry’s challenges, citing Zig Ziglar as follows.

ProblemSolvingZigZiglarFirstStepRecognizetheProblemExistsNextIsProblemOurResponsiblityProblemSolvingVeryImportantDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When the industry hit the start of its now 7-month slump, what have MHI’s leaders offered? Let’s look at some examples of ‘slogans vs. solutions.’

Last fall, when the corporate leaders of the trade group arguably knew that the downturn was underway, MHI produced a video promoting the association. The stills that follow are from that video and are provided under fair use guidelines for media.

 

MHIMembersChangingPerceptionOfManufacturedHousingMHILogoClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayLogoMHProNews

LeveragingCreationNewClassManufacturedHomesMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The first slogan was a claim of changing the perception of the industry.  If it was for the better, then why aren’t sales growing?

The next MHI claims is one of momentum.  This was clearly not true, unless they meant momentum in reverse?  Instead, what the ‘new class of homes’ project arguably has done is divert lending that ought to be going to all manufactured homes under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 away from all manufactured homes, to only a few ‘select’ homes.  Here’s how MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, phrased it.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

MHI also claimed in their video to be promoting the industry. That may be true in a technical, fig leaf, or posturing sort of sense. But the lack of growth in manufactured housing shipments itself undermines the credibility of the Arlington, VA based trade group’s claim.

Nevertheless, to prove their point, MHI cited statistics that were wildly arguably misleading at best, or demonstrably deceptive at worst.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIVideoStillMHIPromotionalClaims

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

While MHI in their monthly shipment report doesn’t deny the decline, neither are they addressing the underlying causes, nor have they proposed a remedy via their messages to the industry. Why not?

 

When, MHProNews called out the deception, and offered MHI and their leaders an opportunity to respond, MHI hired an outside attorney who issued a series of letter threatening this publication and specifically mentioned our showing these still video images. Some of the claims that MHI’s outside attorney made are dealt with in a report linked below.

 

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

 

So instead of offering solutions, MHI has offered slogans. Instead of addressing legitimate concerns, they have threatened this publication that their own leaders have previously praised as being pro-industry.  Perhaps more to the point, as the quote below reveals, their leaders ought to know that they have to address bad news, as Rolfe suggested in the quote cited above.  If they know they should, but fail to do so, what does that say about the trade group?  What concerns does that raise?

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

 

Such facts puts MHI in an awkward spot, perhaps because MHProNews has cited investor relations reports by publicly trade MHI member companies that also point out the obvious truth that the industry is underperforming.

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

MHLivingNews, NAMHCO, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform for years, even a former MHI president on his exit message have raised concerns about the failures of MHI.

FormerManufacturedHousingInstitutePresidentChrisStinebertManufacturedHomeOwnersUrbanInstituteYouMHLivingNews

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/former-manufactured-housing-institute-president-manufactured-home-owners-urban-institute-and-you/

 

What has MHI done in a practical way to address the issues? At their recent Congress and Expo, they offered this slogan – “Let’s Keep Building.”

Slogans coupled with an action plan are fine. But where is MHI’s action plan? After all, they claim themselves to represent the interests of all segments of the industry, per the following from their website this morning. The commentary in the blue boxes are by MHProNews.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoOnlyTradeOrganizationrepresentingallsegmentsfactorybuilthousing2019-05-14_0808

 

It should be noted that not all in the industry are sliding.  The article below is but one example of a firm that is bucking the trend.  That clearly implies that others can too.

 

 

Which begs the question, what the devil is going in with MHI’s so-called leadership?  What are the ‘powers that be’ behind MHI actually doing?

 

 

What’s Going On?

The largest corporate force behind MHI are the Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway owned brands. A survey of troubling mainstream media reports about their behavior is linked below.

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

 

Before several of these episodes occurred, became known, or were coming into focus, Clayton, 21st, and MHI supported the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. In hindsight, was the entire bill a ruse? A head fake designed to consolidate the industry into ever fewer hands?

 

That’s what a more detailed report, fact-checks, and analysis linked below examines.

 

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

 

 

There are already several federal investigations reportedly underway with respect to Clayton Homes, and their related lenders.  Former Clayton division president Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries are under an SEC subpoena, to name but a few of the publicly known federal investigations.

 

 

But sources tell MHProNews, that other investigations – federal and others – are also underway.

The fact-checks by MHLivingNews of the recent Last Week Tonight with John Oliver revealed that each firm the satirical, sharp hit on “Mobile Homes” made was on a MHI member connected firm.

 

Warren Buffett has been documented to have financially supported via so-called ‘dark money’ channels the organizations that attacked his own brands, and MHI firms.

 

 

It is with that backdrop that publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach takes a deeper dive into what in hindsight was arguably the true goal of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. Tony Kovach raises the questions, have more than just antitrust laws been broken? Are possible fraud and RICO concerns valid?

That ‘deeper dive’ report is linked here.

It is far more pleasant being a cheer leader when one has something honest and honorable to cheer. But to fail to call out real problems is to betray readers who are looking for solutions, not slogans, slurs, slimes, or dodges.

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

While surrogate writers for the powers that be – like Allen – purportedly use diversionary, smear or slime tactics vs. engaging in an actual – robust discussion or debate – MHProNews continues to follow the evidence, follow the money, and does fact checks to uncover what the underlying issues actually point toward.

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

RickRobinsonSrVPGenCounselManufacturedHousingInstituteHUDSecBenCarsonMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Robinson is a good speaker, good writer and likeable person, says MHProNews publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. The questions that they duck and dodge will only continue until they are properly addressed in a transparent way, he opines.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

Therefore, while Joe Stegmayer and George F. (F?) Allen are playing footsie – or MHInsider and the bulk of the others in the manufactured home industry’s trade media other than MHLivingNews or MHProNews ignore the vexing issues – or slime those such as MHARR for raising logical concerns and for offering solutions – our pro-growth platforms will continue to promote the good news about manufactured housing, while holding to account those who are behaving in problematic ways.

That’s today’s third look at “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 Home Community Case Study, UMH Properties, Lessons for Independent Community Owners, Investors

 

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

May 10th, 2019 Comments off

 

DrBenCarsonSecretaryHOusingUrbanDevelopmentManufacturedHousingConferenceRemarksNewOrleansLAHyattRegencyHotelMay72019MHProNews

This evening, as this report is being prepared, there are two, and only two places online that we can discern where someone can find the entire address by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) at their meeting earlier this week in New Orleans.

 

You might think that one of those two would be on the MHI website.  But that would be wrong.

There are about 6 places online we can find where snippets of Secretary Carson’s address are to be found.  But only 2 have the entire text. One of those is on our sister site, MHLivingNews and is found at this link here.

It may seem inexplicable to outsiders looking in why MHI doesn’t have this entire speech on their website.  Frankly, as sad as that reality is, it’s simply part of a broader pattern that isn’t the subject of our report tonight.

HUD and MHI are among thousands of organizations and professionals that read, monitor, or follow what we publish here and on MHLivingNews.  The typo of Joe Stegmayer’s name has been corrected now by HUD (you are welcome).

 

There is one other change, but it doesn’t involve a single word from Carson’s address as prepared.  It’s this.  We’ve added hotlinks that are not in his speech.  Those links have are identified with an * at the end of that hotlink.

 

The illustrations and videos above and below were selected by MHPronewsNews and were not part of Secretary Carson’s comments. Per HUD to MHProNews…

 

Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks
New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

As prepared for delivery. The speaker may add or subtract comments during his presentation.

 

Thank you, Joe [Stegmayer,* MHI Chairman], for those kind words. And thank you to MHI for inviting me to join you this morning. On behalf of HUD, it is a privilege to share my vision for addressing America’s affordable housing challenges – and the role of manufactured housing – with so many leaders and pioneers of the industry here today.

Under President Trump’s leadership, our nation is witnessing historic highs in employment, job creation, and economic growth. The financial optimism of everyday Americans has surged to an 18-year high, and is nearing an all-time record. For those families who have access to affordable housing, they are facing their bright futures with confidence.

And yet a serious challenge still persists: millions of hardworking Americans who seek affordable rents or sustainable homeownership simply cannot get their foot in the door. We have reached the point where many of our nation’s teachers, nurses, police officers, and firefighters struggle to live in or around the communities they serve.

What they face is a critical shortage in our country’s supply of affordable homes.

This is not just a housing crisis – it has a human face.* Homes are at the heart of building strong families, strong communities, and ultimately, a strong country.

HUD’s mission is to ensure all Americans have access to safe, quality, and affordable housing. And we believe that manufactured housing has a promising role to play – especially in the area of quality affordable housing.

For that reason, one year ago, I announced that HUD was in position to usher in a “new era of cooperation and collaboration between our Department and the manufactured housing industry.”*

Today, I’d like to share HUD’s current vision for how we are diagnosing affordable housing challenges, and how manufactured housing is an active ingredient in the medication we are prescribing for a stronger America.

 

Affordable Housing

Our nation’s shortage of affordable housing is ultimately an issue of supply and demand. With millions of people in need, high demand is already guaranteed. That’s why HUD has focused our strategy on increasing supply – namely, by promoting initiatives, programs, techniques, and technologies that produce more affordable homes.

Since the key constraint on supply is the cost of new construction and development, the solution to the problem is to change the cost side of the equation.

Manufactured housing has emerged out of the limestone and stepped into the limelight, to address precisely this need.

According to MHI reports, the average cost per square foot of a manufactured home is nearly half that of a site-built home – $49 [dollars] per square foot, as opposed to $107 [dollars]. These dramatic cost savings in construction enable responsible citizens to secure housing that may be considerably less expensive than renting or purchasing a site-built home.*

And yet, even at this lower price, manufactured homes appreciate in value at a rate similar to site-built homes, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency Housing Price Index.* Sustainable homeownership is the number one builder of financial capital for most American families. For example, the average net worth of a renter is $5,000 [dollars], while the average net worth of a homeowner is $200,000 [dollars]. That’s an extraordinary 40-fold difference. But with comparable home appreciation rates to site-built homes, manufactured homes exhibit their own extraordinary potential to be a wealth creation tool for ordinary, everyday American families.

Beyond the matter of price, there are also flexible ownership models, such as land-lease manufactured home communities, that could have the potential to combine affordability with a sense of neighborhood and lifestyle.

These factors – asset-building and community-building – are important to HUD’s mission to be more than a place that simply houses people, but a place that actually lifts people out of poverty and helps them become self-sufficient.

 

Manufactured Housing and Low-Income Communities

This industry is already having a tremendous impact on serving those communities who are most in need.

Today, more than 20 million Americans* live in manufactured housing, which makes up approximately 10 percent of single-family residences. As a result, manufactured housing has become the largest source of unsubsidized affordable homes in the nation –which saves taxpayer dollars.

By housing families that average between $30,000 to $50,000 [dollars] per year in income, manufactured homes also allow more people and families to pursue an American Dream that may have once felt out of reach.

While lives are helped through new homes, livelihoods are helped through new jobs. More than 40,000 citizens are employed in this sector, from all walks of life. And the Administration is especially impressed by the use of American suppliers in American manufacturing plants.
That is how innovation turns into opportunity.

 

Opportunity Zones

Which brings me to the topic of Opportunity Zones.*

Opportunity Zones were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to stimulate economic development and job creation by incentivizing long-term capital investments in low-income neighborhoods. They are also a potent tool to combat the shortage of affordable housing.

HUD expects that Opportunity Zones will be a catalyst for transformational real estate development in communities that are economically distressed. Thirty-five million Americans now live in such designated areas, in all 50 states. There, millions of housing units are needed, in both urban and rural areas.

I would encourage the industry participants here today to consider the role of Opportunity Zones in the context of local development plans, and how manufactured housing stakeholders may be included. As bursts of activity for new buildings and construction are unlocked by this powerful tax incentive, communities within Opportunity Zones are likely to experience significant growth and changing needs. When newly empowered residents pursue their path to self-sufficiency, such areas may generate strong local demand for affordable housing solutions – which manufactured homes are particularly well-positioned to provide.

 

Healthy Homes

Manufactured housing can also play a role in HUD’s mission to promote healthy homes.*

After many decades as a pediatric neurosurgeon – tasked with caring for the welfare of children – safety is a paramount concern for me in any housing solution.

As HUD Secretary, I have instituted a broad array of initiatives designed to promote healthy homes and to eliminate environmental hazards. For example, last December, HUD awarded nearly $140 million [dollars] in grant funding to 48 state and local government agencies to help protect families from lead-based paint and other threats.

For me, this is a personal issue. At an early age, I learned first-hand the hazards of an unsafe home. My mother raised my brother and me by herself from the time I was eight years old. While she struggled with single motherhood, our problems multiplied when we moved to a tenement in Boston. There, we shared a roof with rats, roaches and a host of other risks.

While my brother and I emerged with our health intact, many families do not. That’s why, as HUD Secretary, I advocate for new techniques and new technologies that can ameliorate these menaces. In manufactured housing, innovations in construction techniques have the potential to facilitate building in a less wasteful, and more environmentally sound way. Innovations in construction materials could create components that are higher performing, less prone to mold, wind or water damage, and more resistant to deterioration.

Those are the ingredients of a healthier home.

 

Natural Disasters

Such advantages are even more visible in the face of natural disasters.

Natural disasters do not just devastate housing capital – they devastate human capital, through lives interrupted, school days missed, and communities fragmented under strain. As a result, last year, HUD allocated more than $35 billion [dollars] in funding to 16 state and local governments, to help America’s hardest hit regions. These grants represented the largest single amount of disaster recovery assistance in HUD’s history.

Manufactured housing can help mitigate this kind of damage through the use of environmentally resilient construction materials, as well as by providing an affordable and permanent housing solution for lower-income survivors.

On a recent visit to Alabama, I was shown a site that was demolished by massive tornadoes – and the only homes in the area that successfully weathered the storm were manufactured houses.* It was a silent testament to their resilience. It is also possible that HUD’s work with industry leaders to update wind Standards for manufactured housing in 1994 could have helped to limit damage and potentially save lives.

This city, New Orleans, is all too familiar with the pain natural disasters can cause. If manufactured homes can alleviate some of those harms in the future, the next hurricane may leave much less devastation, and much more hope, in its wake.

 

Innovative Housing Showcase

I’d now like to cover two of the obstacles to adoption, and how HUD is trying to help.

The first obstacle is that manufactured housing is often overlooked because it is misunderstood. Many times, when people hear the words “manufactured house,” their first image is an old trailer that lacks the modern amenities and features of a site-built home. This image is a false façade.

The fact that manufactured homes can be so beautifully done – and in fact are often indistinguishable from site-built homes – is manufactured housing’s best kept secret. Well, HUD believes that secret should be shared.

That’s why we are proud to help educate both the American public and policymakers by featuring manufactured homes at HUD’s inaugural Innovative Housing Showcase,* which will be held this June on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

During the Showcase, MHI will be participating and working with its members to present at least two manufactured homes to be prominently displayed in the heart of our Nation’s capital, viewable to thousands of onlookers during the five-day event.

 

Deregulation; Removing Regulatory Burdens

The second obstacle is the presence of regulatory roadblocks* that still stand in the way.

HUD recognizes the importance of removing undue bureaucratic burdens on the industry* while striving to maintain the quality, safety, durability, and affordability of manufactured homes. As a result, we have placed an increased emphasis on clarifying our regulations, including by undertaking a full-scale review of our manufactured housing program to ensure we preserve the proper amount of oversight without stifling the industry.

We are also currently evaluating our Office of Policy Development and Research’s recent recommendation to expedite the manufactured home code-making process within HUD – which could better help HUD Standards keep pace with new industry innovations and techniques.

To advance these efforts, I am grateful for the many insights MHI has provided to HUD in the form of its available reports, educational materials, and constructive dialogue.

Last week, I spoke before the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee,* who makes the initial recommendations for proposed changes to our HUD-code provisions, setting in motion the approval process for updating regulations. The committee has an aggressive agenda and must be efficient to reach consensus and close out many of the more than 300 log and deregulatory items outstanding.

That’s why, to provide more help, I’ve brought on more staff at HUD for the manufactured housing and regulatory affairs offices. These new team members have extensive backgrounds and experience in the field. They are ready to work with committee members not just when visiting plants, State Administrative Agencies, third-party inspection agencies, or addressing consumer complaints, but on a holistic basis – to assist with getting HUD code updated and more hard-working Americans housed.

 

Conclusion

In closing, manufactured housing is a vital part of HUD’s prescription to make safe, quality, desirable, affordable homes available to millions of hard-working Americans.

The foundations of a better tomorrow are built with the new techniques and new technologies of today. And for manufactured housing, that time is now.

I look forward to continuing our work together in the months ahead, and delivering that brighter future to the hearts and homes of the American people we proudly serve.

Thank you, and God Bless.

###

We are adding a video from Steve Hilton’s ‘The Next Revolution’ where Secretary Carson also recently raised the topic of the value of manufactured housing, in the context of the discussion of Opportunity Zones.

 

Why It Matters

Manufactured housing is underperforming.  There are possible clues in this speech that suggest that Secretary Carson understands some of the reasons why it is underperforming, and he publicly stated that he wants to fix that.

The irony in this speech, one that should make every MHI member sit up and ask – what’s up with that? – is this. Quoting Carson, “…manufactured housing’s best kept secret. Well, HUD believes that secret should be shared.”

Carson nails a key issue when he said, “The first obstacle is that manufactured housing is often overlooked because it is misunderstood. Many times, when people hear the words “manufactured house,” their first image is an old trailer that lacks the modern amenities and features of a site-built home. This image is a false façade.”

Bingo.

Yet, once again tonight – as of the time this article is being drafted – Carson’s speech is missing from the MHI website.  Why?

But so too are other very useful third-party reports on the industry, several of which can be found at this link below. It perfectly fits what controversial but prominent MHI member Frank Rolfe said in the quote reported by MHProNews below.

 

Why is it that MHI doesn’t have all of the same generally useful resources found below on their own website?  Why does MHI hide behind a login what they say is useful research? By contrast, why is it that MHAction – with dark money funding that traces back to Warren Buffett – gives away research that is damaging to the industry?

At the link below you can find a list of decades of often positive and insightful third-party research.

 

 

The point is that even after we’ve raised this issue several times and brought it directly to the attention of MHI leaders, the lack of that third-party evidence on the MHI website persists.

Doesn’t it make a thinking person wonder, who’s side are they on? Who is benefiting from this lack of proper education of visitors to their website?  As a disclosure, the featured image at the top is not from the conference.   But it is a cool image of Secretary Carson speaking, and the drama of the that made it appealing for use here.

That’s tonight’s edition from the #1 most-read “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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Manufactured Home Community Case Study, UMH Properties, Lessons for Independent Community Owners, Investors

 

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

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George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Said About March 2019 Shipment and Production Data

May 9th, 2019 Comments off

 

LET’S KEEP BUILDING!” declares one of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) messages about their recent Congress and Expo in New Orleans.

 

The upbeat sound of that message is arguably betrayed by the reality that for the 7th straight month, manufactured housing shipments are down.

But that embarrassing detail is not mentioned anywhere in the MHI release earlier today.

Here’s the meat of what MHI’s statement said, which will be followed by an analysis.

 

MHIlogoMonopolisticHousingInstituteLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMarch2019ProductionShipmentReport

7,623 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in March 

In March 2019, new manufactured home shipments decreased 13.5% to 7,623 homes as compared to the 8,813 homes shipped in March 2018. Total shipments for March 2019 were 382 homes more than the prior month of February. Compared with March 2018, shipments of single-section homes are down by 18.2% and multi-section homes are down by 9.2%. Total floors shipped in March 2019 decreased 12.1% to 11,859 compared to March 2018.

Of the 7,623 homes shipped in March, there were no homes designated as FEMA units shipped which is generally flat against the five FEMA units shipped in March 2018.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 90,459 in March, down 1.9% from the adjusted rate of 92,195 in February. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

In March, 134 plants representing 34 corporations reported production data which is the same number of active plants and corporations as in February 2019.

##

The video below is from about prominent MHI member, Nathan Smith and SSK Communities. It is not related to their economic report, other than as food for thought as to some of the public perception reasons why the industry is struggling.  A clip from this video was part of John Oliver’s viral hit video. 

 

Compare and contrast what MHI said this week vs. what MHARR did days earlier.

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

While it may not be Jenny Hodges’ job at MHI to explain what the Arlington based trade group’s plan are to address the 7-month downturn, whose job there is it?  We’ve asked several times, and MHI isn’t saying.

 

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

 

One MHI member-producer floated the notion of FEMA shipment related being a factor, but the MHI statement above belies that notion for this cycle.

When purported MHI surrogate George F. Allen asked Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, still MHI’s chairman, about the shipment drop Stegmayer said:

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco.

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco.

 

George 

Believe inventories of retailers climbed rather suddenly to above comfort levels. Now being adjusted. 

Our view is consistent with Clayton’s that consumer traffic is solid. would add that it appears that credit availability has improved somewhat. 

Another plus: The inventory of all existing homes for sale is near historically low levels.

Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”

 

Bear in mind that Stegmayer is an ex-Clayton Homes division president.  He also happens to be under a cloud of last November’s SEC subpoena, at a firm that faces several legal woes. Stegmayer’s comment was referencing this from Kevin Clayton.

kevinclaytonl-warrenbuffettr-inclaytonhomecredittodayonline-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Kevin Clayton, left, Warren Buffett, right, standing in a Clayton Homes model. Credit, TodayOnline.

Retail inventory correction

Look at RV industry….it is even more severe for them. 

Good news is retail activity remains healthy to work through it.  That’s just one opinion \ view.   

Kevin Clayton

This from a company president reportedly under several federal investigations. It is also from the president who’s conglomerate’s chairman, Warren Buffett is reportedly funding the industry’s opposition, see the reports linked here and here.

 

While others have noted that there were more orders last year to counter long factory backlogs, that fails to address the point that demand at some point slumped, or the backlog would have continued.

Furthermore, industry pros and investors should bear in mind that the RV industry is not in the affordable housing market.  It is an interesting item to look at, MHProNews uses it as a reference too.  But we do so to reflect the point that RVs are outselling MHs by some 5 to 1, when in 1998, MHs outsold RVs by 3 to 2.

Not a peep about that from Clayton, Stegmayer or other senior MHI leaders in public.  Apparently, it doesn’t fit their ‘party line’ or ‘narrative.’

March2019MHARRManufacturedHousingAssocRegReformTop10states8StatesInDeclineMHProNews

 

The issue of a downturn during an affordable housing crisis is serious, as the related reports below reflect.  See two special reports tomorrow morning that spotlight various aspects of this #NettlesomeThings issue.

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

 

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

 

 

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

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

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Housing’s Professional Credibility

May 8th, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingProfessionalCredibiltyMeansSalesDeclinesGrowthDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

To understand the relatively low level of manufactured home production, one needs to consider a variety of factors. Let’s oversimplify. Before looking at credibility, let’s consider what it takes to sell a home.

 

 

  • Placement. That includes zoning or other barriers, and how to overcome challenges.
  • Financing. It must be accessible, sustainable, and reasonable. That’s needed for any big ticket item.
  • Demand. To have demand for any product or service, one must have sufficient credibility and acceptance.

 

There are scores of other details, but those are near the bull’s eye. Now, let’s step back and examine some specific cases.

 

1)    When cities in Indiana, California, and Texas moved to ban or restrict the placement of manufactured homes, where was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? This publication and writer asked them/their affiliates to get involved. Sadly, the record reflects that MHI were silent no shows – why?

 

  • While MHI members where there to protest the city’s efforts to limit/ban the placement of manufactured homes, MHI’s own members told MHProNews that they saw no MHI staff and were aware of no MHI engagement with the City of Bryan.

 

  • Furthermore, MHProNews spoke to a city official yesterday. That official said he was aware of no outreach by MHI, but was aware of the contact made by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which addressed the city to oppose their ban measure.

 

That’s a snapshot over the battle regarding zoning and placement.

 

 

Financing:

2) The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) worked with Congress to get the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac included as a mandate in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008. Why did Berkshire Hathaway brands – per a number of sources – repeatedly take steps to foil the full and proper implementation of both laws, why? When MHI meet with the GSEs, they met behind closed doors, and they and the GSEs declined providing the minutes, why? When a program was finally rolled out, it was only for select, more expensive ‘new class’ of homes pushed by Clayton Homes and MHI, why? Is it because Clayton now has conventional housing developments and home sites?

Those are examples of the battle over financing.

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

 

3) When bad news comes from the media, MHI offers excuses to select members that effectively says, ‘let’s let this blow over.’ When what looks like good news comes, they may or may not advise members, but where are the list of pages on MHI website that tout third party research that all the world can see? Why is supposed good news on a survey hidden behind a login, while Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) gives away their attack material for free?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoHUDSecretaryBenCarsonNewOrleansCongressExpo2019FactCheckMHProNews2019-05-08_2052

  • Yesterday, MHI rapidly put out a photo op to their members and state affiliates touting HUD Secretary Ben Carson at their fund raiser/networking event, held this year in New Orleans. But why isn’t that good news about manufactured housing posted on MHI’s website?

BenCarsonNewOrleansProMHSpeechCongressExpoSearchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-05-08_2041

 

Why are so many bad news stories tied directly to often prominent MHI members?

 

HBOJohnOliverLastWeekTonightMobileHomesVideoManufacturedHomeCommunitiesFactCheckMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDBN

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hbos-john-oliver-on-last-week-tonight-mobile-homes-video-manufactured-home-communities-fact-check/

 

The good news is hidden from public view.  By contrast, the bad news caused by the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” video – which every problematic story that video publicized was an MHI member firm.  There is a money trail and evidence that suggests that Warren Buffett has provided financial support to those who in turn attack or embarrass the industry.  Who thinks and behaves like this and claims to be trying to grow the industry?

 

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

 

Doesn’t that fit what MHI member Frank Rolfe said?  Or what MHI award winner Marty Lavin said?

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

That’s the battle over image, education, and proper understanding.

These are simple, yet vexing realities. As recently as earlier today, MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer and their outside attorney once more declined refuting, correcting, or responding to the evidence, allegations, and patterns of action/inaction that leads to routine dead ends.

So, who benefits from low sales volumes? Who is harmed?

The second question is easier to answer. The smaller the operation, the more that low volume sales harms them. This writer did an article in 2014 entitled “The High Cost of Low Volume Sales.” Within weeks, we had to run the report, “The Bank Vault Door Closes,” because US Bank closed their manufactured housing program, citing in part, low sales volumes.

Who benefited from that?

Slogans or photo opportunities sent mainly to manufactured home (MH) industry professionals, and not to the general public, might make an industry reader think something is happening. Isn’t that propaganda?  Manipulation? Head fakes?

Freedom isn’t free. Since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, the battle for various forms of freedom has been on.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. 

The reason America’s constitutional founders protect freedom of speech and the press is because accurate information access is part of the means of maximizing freedom.

Information has been weaponized. That’s not just true in our industry, it happens in other aspects of modern lift. That’s why the term fake news exists.

 

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

 

Arlington, VA based MHI and their primary masters from Omaha and Knoxville arguably ought to be able to win every battle, if they wanted to do so. The law is routinely on our industry’s side. Berkshire Hathaway owns some 31 newspapers. They have plenty of money that they could use to really promote successfully, instead of posture with videos, Facebook, or advertorials that clearly don’t significantly move the needle. Because if it did, the industry would be soaring, not snoring.

 

March2019MHARRManufacturedHousingAssocRegReformTop10states8StatesInDeclineMHProNews

 

In America, sadly, one can sue over almost anything.  MHI has for some years had inside or outside attorneys threaten MHProNews. Why don’t they use those outside attorneys to threat cities that block the placement of manufactured homes instead?

There have purportedly been other threats we’ve reported previously from straw men (or women) being put up to harass us on behalf of the Arlington based group.  Why don’t those folks just do their jobs?  We’d far rather report that they were doing their jobs, than that they were failing to do their jobs. But based on the last few years, at some point, the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies might file suit against us, even though we’ve repeatedly given them the opportunity to debunk – live or in writing – any of the concerns or allegations raised here on MHProNews or on MHLivingNews.  We’ll see what happens, and they will see too.

But this is simple. Are they doing their jobs at MHI and several of their affiliated state association’s properly or not?

Given the quality of our MH industry’s homes, the good laws we have on the books, it seems that a good case can be made that the industry’s so-called leaders are allowing the industry to consolidate.

 

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

 

Who does that benefit? The big boys.

Who does that harm? The independents.

 

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

 

MHI has arguably deceived, failed, and/or in protection-racket-style manner bullied numbers of its independents and several of the state associations to suffer as a result. Ditto their Omaha-Knoxville masters and surrogates.

 

Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

 

NAMHCO and MHARR exist because they had no confidence in MHI. A group met in Tunica to explore a new trade group to do what MHI claims to do.

Why does MHI lack credibility? Just look at the industry from the outside in to answer that question.

 

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If there is a logical or factual inaccuracy in any of the linked reports or this report, please let me know personally, via the link above.

Or, if you have your own examples of how this plot has impacted you or your firm, please use the same link, and say “Comments” or “News Tips” in the subject line.

That’s tonight’s #NettlesomeThings wrap up report. We will continue to hold the powers that be accountable, but we plan to do more. Stay tuned. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Related References:

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The Two Gardens, America, and Manufactured Housing

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

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

Manufactured Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits

God’s Sense of Humor, Tilting After Windmills, Manufactured Housing – Merchants or Crusaders?

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

 

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

April 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

LessWasteBetterBuyingEarthDayManufacturedHousingImageBuildingManufacturedHomeProNews

The conventional housing seller or buyer’s wisdom, pardon the pun, is that manufactured homes cost less because they are “cheaper.”

 

How does the industry respond to that common concern?

A pair of Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member producers responded to questions on that topic today, to MHProNews or to MHLivingNews. 

On Earth Day, here’s what a MHI-only (i.e.: not a member of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform) member producer said in a text message, in explaining why a HUD Code home costs so much less than a conventional site built home.

MHImemberProducer2019-04-22_1541DailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

“Labor cost much higher [on conventional housing] as well and seems to be growing” is a topic that another MHI builder told MHLivingNews about today, as part of their Earth Day comments, see that at the link here or below.

While MHI might publish a press release before Earth Day is done, it is now approaching 4 PM ET. The latest search on this topic today resulted in the following.

Given the sad outcome in the last two weeks since John Oliver’s viral – and misnamed – “Mobile Homes” video – it should be stunning to MHI believers that their association failed on even such a basic effort on this topic.

But let’s look at the positive for the industry today – not found by the Arlington, VA based post-production association that claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing” – but rather, provided by our public-focused sister site, on Manufactured Home Living News.  That link to the left or below the byline is one share with those seeking greener homes.

EarthDayManufacturedHomeSearch4.22.2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

 

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