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Factory-Crafted Home Living, Reimagined – “The Art Park” vs. MHCs – Interview with Robbie Antonio, Founder of Unicorn Revolution Precrafted Homes

June 20th, 2018 No comments
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Still from the video below. Text, collage by MHProNews.

Housing is a global need, and Asia is the largest market. As the Daily Business News recently reported, U.S. based Hometown America is one of several operations in manufactured housing that has ties to Asia, some of which are deepening.  Hometown’s recently announced deal is valued at nearly ½ a billion dollars.

 

CNBC is a division of NBCUniversal, and their “Managing Asia” program is about the Asia Pacific region, featuring CEOs, entrepreneurs and other business leaders.

Divestopedia defines a unicorn like this, “…a unicorn refers to any tech startup company that reaches a $1 billion dollar market value as determined by private or public investment. The term was originally coined by Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures.”

In a release to MHProNews, CNBC’s Christine Tan provided the following transcript of an interview with Robbie Antonio, or Revolution Precrafted, a firm which asserts their focus on “Modern Prefab Homes by World Renowned Architects & Designers.”

Here in the U.S. “trailer parks” evolved into “mobile home parks” of 5 (+/-) decades ago have become what a number of industry professionals today refer to as “land lease communities” or “manufactured home communities.”

Forget all of that for the next few minutes, save as history and background.

Then, consider what Robbie Antonio is doing to bring factory-crafted homes into the future. Note how Antonio is attracting global attention, including well qualified buyers and investors alike.

The project that Tan is asking Antonio about is the one in the video, below.

 

 

Christine Tan: You know Robbie, we’re here at this 150 hectare park at Batulao Artscapes which you call a living Art Park. What can one experience by living here?

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Robbie Antonio. Credit: Design Bloom & Revolution Precrafted Properties.

Robbie Antonio: I’ve seen other art parks around the world and many of them are just museums and you get to see art and then you go back home. Imagine living in it. Imagine living in a David Salle house, Elizabeth de Portzamparc house, and really being surrounded by this magical environment.

C: What is the price point? How cheap can a prefabricated housing be?

R: The house and lot here is less than 50,000 dollars which is about 3 million pesos or so

C: Your family has been in real estate for almost 30 years. You started Revolution Precrafted in 2015 to essentially create a startup for prefab housing. How did you stumble upon the idea?

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R: I come from the real estate world and I’ve been doing this for over 10 years. In New York, I built my own company called Antonio Development where I did a project in the Plaza District, the most sought after area in all of Manhattan, close to Central Park where nothing has been made in 20 years. So when I did that with Mr I.M Pei, it was the first round of residential products I had ever done. At the very early age of 28 I started the idea of positioning buildings in a proper format, came back to Manila and did a flurry of branded towers with fashion companies such as Armani, Missoni and Versace. I did Trump Tower and also projects with Hollywood icons such as Paris Hilton where I did 9 towers with them. In mid-2015, I wanted to do something extremely disruptive. I wanted to be an asset-light, no inventory business and global.

C: So you were tired of the old model?

R: Yes, to begin with, and second I was looking at major unicorns like Airbnb and Uber from miles away and I basically said this to myself: “What do they have in common?” I asked myself this for a straight week. No inventory, asset-light, using technology and truly global.

I feel that I’m a man of the world and I did not want to just do projects here in Asia. I wanted to look at the world as if it were all the same country and I wanted to be global without being asset heavy. Then it just dawned upon me. It was like a Eureka moment, an epiphany in the middle of 2015. I wanted to investigate an industry called the prefab market, a space which allows you to get from Point A to Point B very succinctly.

It’s a means to the end, not the end. The end is to truly be everywhere, ubiquitous, and I wanted to be prevalent and omnipresent in all the regions of the world. I’ve told my team I want to be in 25 different countries this year, 55 by next year, 85 in 2020 and possibly go public then.

C: You’re not worried about cannibalizing your family’s real estate business?

R: Why would you talk about cannibalization when you should be talking about complementary businesses?

C: How so?

R: We’re in Batulao, it’s a 145 hectare development. This specifically is a Century Properties Development, the only 1 I’m doing out of 11 countries and all the master plans we have closed. Case in point you have David Salle’s house there, Elizabeth de Portzamparc’s house here. Most of these developers outsource construction and supplying of construction to an entity anyway so that’s adding value, not cannibalization.

C: So I know it’s your own business but what did your father say when you told him about it?

R: I told him after the fact. I said this is what I’m doing, I’ve been working on this and I’m recently launching this in Miami Art Basel which had just happened a week or 2 weeks before. So I’m very independent, I’ve always been an independent person. To be emancipated and to really feel empowered is something that is integral to my existence.

C: You literally introduced brand to the whole concept of prefabricated housing by listing well known designers like the late Zaha Hadid and Tom Dixon to create these pre-fabricated housing for you. How do you get these high-end well known architects and designers to create something? They’re so used to big budgets, how do you get them to create something at a fraction of the cost? How big a challenge was it?

R: That’s the point. That’s why it was so intriguing for a lot of people and that’s why it was so intriguing for me. I always say in business that if someone’s in, I’m out. So that really means I always want to be a first mover in anything I do, and for this particular case as you just stated a lot of these brands are used to doing mega mansions or mega museums. Jean Nouvel’s did the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a billion dollar project but now we’re doing a Jean Nouvel museum here for not even 0.5% of that. So it was this antithetical rationale and business concept that was intriguing for them.

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Collage based upon still from video above.

C: They took it as a challenge?

R: Of course! If you have the foremost brands in design and architecture doing really expensive structures with probably no budgets at all, you get people to think a little bit more. That sets parameters like a mathematical equation and gets people to challenge themselves more.

C: I can understand architects, but you recently just signed on Manny Pacquiao –

R: That was last night, haha.

C: What has boxing got to do with housing?

R: I’m going to do sports cities around the world with him.

C: That’s your latest addition?

R: That was yesterday, he’s our 76th one. I told everyone in my office that I’m going to stop when we hit 100 and take a break.

RevolutionPreCraftedYoungGunsLegendsRobbieAntonioTrump-ModularPreFabHomeMHLivingNewDailyBusinessNews

MHLivingNews and MHProNews were the first in the manufactured home space to spotlight this rising star in prefab housing. Note the thinking of Robbie is similar to that of builder-businessman Donald Trump – “I like thinking big. If you are going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/young-guns-legends-robbie-antonio-eric-trump-high-end-designer-prefabs-class-for-the-masses-revolution-pre-crafted-properties/

C: How did you convince Manny Pacquiao to sign with you?

R: First we’re the only branded housing company in the world, bar none. So ultimately it’s a choice of doing it with some entity that has not done it or it’s not within their business plan, or doesn’t understand the full ethos of high impact design and doing it at an accessible price point.

He’s a humanitarian and that’s what I like about him. So we’re talking about creating sports cities and fitness centres under his name and his design, possibly even his land and really trying to change his neighborhood. That’s what I found also enthralling about the entire conversation, and we’re going to go after it. I don’t go for brands just because they’re famous; I go for people who are relevant.

C: So, you’ve got housing, you’ve got this, and you’ve got sports cities and sport complexes, what’s next?

R: At Revolution we’re doing multiple products in multiple geographies. I want to be in 6 regions in the world pretty much everywhere in the world. We’ve hit 4, definitely Asia with our projects in Myanmar, Philippines and Indonesia. For Dubai, our mega project in 9 islands in the world, we’re a foreign group doing something there where not even locals have actually announced so it has been something really interesting to us. I just came from Bahrain where I spoke and we’re definitely going to enter that market as well.

C: But what’s next? Office towers? Skyscrapers? What’s next for Robbie Antonio?

R: We’re going to go vertical, and we’re going to do prefab condominiums and prefab hotels later on this year. We’re actually going to do an Art Hotel here which is still relevant to the art concept. Aside from just creating products, we also engender creative and ingenious concepts for different master plans.

C: Revolution became profitable barely a year after it opened for business.

R: Yeah, the first quarter actually.

C: Did you ever think you would be so successful so quickly? You’re actually the Philippines’ first unicorn startup

R: I mean, I knew we were going to be successful, but I didn’t know the speed with which we were going to achieve this. A lot of these other mega startups, so-called unicorns have unbelievable valuations which raise a billion dollars so on and so forth, but I wanted to stay true to the integrity of the firm to be an asset light business model and to be everywhere.

C: You’ve signed up more than 7 billion dollars in deals in countries like Puerto Rico, Japan and Dubai, in more than 10 markets. Which overseas markets are you eyeing next?

R: I’m going to Europe next week, to 8 or 9 different countries. Scandinavian countries love modular prefab systems and I’m going to Norway, Sweden, Finland, also going to Poland as well and Spain. But this is a night each, this is no vacation. I haven’t had a single day of vacation since I started the company.

C: I understand the basic concept of your business model is that you manufacture parts of the home in the factory then you ship them on-site before assembling them like Lego bricks. How big a challenge is that, logistically?

R: Extremely complex. The prefab business has always been a fragmented industry, meaning that American prefab companies cater mostly to American end users and you go straight to retail. Asian ones are catering to Asians, Malaysian ones are catering to Malaysians and so forth, and it’s the same thing in Europe.

C: So you try to build the factories close to your projects?

R: No, that’s why I have a network, because the orders are coming from different parts of the world. In some cases for example Batulao is not all, fully prefab. Some are inserted on site in terms of some of the components.

C: So it’s basically cheaper to do it that way?

R: Yes, and faster. This goes back to the value proposition of Revolution. The first is speed, we’d like to say we produce things – we used to say at least 90 days, but now I produce in 45, 60 days.

C: So how safe is your housing, Robbie?

R: These are rigorously tested from the factories which go up to 250km/h seismic conditions to the highest degree, so these are very strong robust structures.

C: So just to clarify they can withstand a bad typhoon or a bad hurricane?

R: Why do you think we’re shipping in Puerto Rico and why do you think our orders are coming from there? Didn’t they just have a massive hurricane there last year? This is exactly why the value added is also helping people get to the points they usually can’t get to. For example, Islands, Dubai the World Islands is perfect. Puerto Rico, Vieques is perfect.

C: So you’re actually solving the world’s housing shortage problem?

R: In a way. I mean think about it right? It’s not all about design anymore. The amazing thing about it is it’s not a want, it’s a need and that’s something we’re trying to solve here.

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Still from video above.

C: I know you’ve done the math, so I know you’ve worked out how much it costs in terms of transportation costs and shipping, give me an idea how much it costs to actually ship such a big structure to market?

R: It’s actually not that much. Our containers ship a little bit over a thousand US Dollars only, so some of these homes can be put in 2 or 3 containers and you can do the math, when it gets from one point let’s say Southeast Asia to Australia.

C: So you’re inking all these multimillion dollar deals everywhere across the world. But are you investing enough in factories to support the kind of growth you see overseas?

R: We have an amazing network of global fabricators, and depending on where their orders are coming from and from which region in the world, I basically make that call and start producing these homes. So it’s a really B2B2C model where we partner and form a joint venture or we supply to a developer and they turn it out to the end user, and so far the sales have been super robust. For example, our project in Lakeshore Pampanga, the world’s first livable food bar, sold over a 1000 homes in about 2 months so it’s very enriching to see that people appreciate what you do.

C: Are you upping your investment in factories? What sort of amount are we talking about?

R: Absolutely. Ultimately later on I’d like to have different networks of different fabricators, but I’m not at that point right now. I’d like to create my own because I’m literally a control freak.

C: You want to set up your own factory?

R: Yeah.

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C: When will it happen?

R: As early as this year actually. I’m already having conversations with amazing technology providers and we’re just going to go make the investment

C: So how many of your own factories do you ultimately want to have?

R: Ideally I’d like to have 1 per region, so ultimately that will be 6. I’ll start with Asia because that’s where most of the orders are coming from.

C: So, late last year, you’ve actually raised an undisclosed amount of money in your second round of funding from Singaporean venture capital K2 Global. Given all these deals you’re inking and your need for investment in factories, how soon before your next capital raising exercise?

R: I’m probably not going to do a Series C because we don’t need the money until maybe next year. We’ve gotten good fresh round from institutional investors and large family offices so I think it won’t be until next year when I have hundreds or thousands of these homes already and different master plans to show, and I’ve reached the goal of hitting the 25 countries we have to have penetrated by the end of the year.

C: What are your plans to take Revolution public? What are you looking at?

R: I mean there are only 2 ways to go to exit out of this or to maintain it. One is to sell it to a company.

C: Are you interested in that?

R: Look, the biggest homebuilders in the world are in America and they’re worth 10-13 billion so how can they buy some entity which should be selling at more than that? So the only way to go like many of the unicorns you’ve seen is to go public

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C: Where would you list?

R: Probably America, UK, or Singapore

C: What sort of time frame are you looking at?

R: Maybe 2020 or 2021.

C: Give me a sense of how big you will be in 2020?

R: 85 countries, we hope – north of several billion dollars of revenue a year.

C: North of several billion dollars?

R: That’s for sure

C: What are you talking about, 10 billion, 20 billion?

R: No, that’s probably a valuation but that will be very difficult to achieve in terms of revenue and high profitability. The greatest thing for our business would be if we can achieve the sort of scale where we can be truly global, supply everywhere, and be very highly profitable.

C: What is highly profitable to you? What sort of figure are you looking at?

R: 30, 35% margin

C: And is that something you’re looking at?

R: So, think about it. We have total project revenues about 7.2. About a 3rd of that goes to construction, that’s our revenue. So you can just do the math accordingly and then we make about 30% of that, so that’s what we’re expecting from the current deals. I haven’t even got to Europe yet though, but that’ll be next week.

C: Do you worry about expanding too fast?

R: Do I worry about expanding too fast? I don’t think I’m expanding fast enough in fact.

C: Really?

R: I’m a man of instant gratification and quite frankly I need to see things done very quickly. Expediency is integral and I always say my biggest weakness which is actually my biggest strength as well, is my impatience. I like to see things in a jiffy.

C: Will you be happy just heading Revolution Precrafted? Is there something else in the pipeline you want to kick off?

R: Not at all, I don’t think this is the ultimate legacy.

C: What other things are you planning?

R: I think we’re doing something great here.

C: But what projects would interest you? Does it have to be a 100 million dollar idea or 200 million dollar idea?

R: No, it’s got to be a several billion-dollar idea for me to jump and be excited about something, and it’s not just about the math believe it or not. It’s about truly changing the way people think about something. That’s what really interests me, the challenge of that. The sheer challenge and difficulty of achieving something that is seemingly insurmountable challenges me.

C: You father is well known Philippine real estate tycoon Jose Antonio of Century Properties. You’ve joined him in the ranks to be among Forbes’ 50 richest in the Philippines. How does it feel like to create your own business, to be successful in your own right?

R: It’s obviously gratifying. I know a lot of people and friends from different countries who are of the 2nd or 3rd generation and I respect that but I respect the founders more. I mean growing a business is very impressive, but starting a successful business is the most difficult thing.

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C: So you don’t want to be seen as the 2nd generation, you want to build something in your own right, in your own right?

R: I’ve already done it, so I think that’s the point of this exercise. And look, I don’t know what you call that, insecurity. Sometimes when I interview people I actually like people who are because they always have something to prove and when you have something to prove you work harder than everyone else.

C: You have something to prove all the time?

R: To myself. Not to anyone else, but to myself.

C: So your family is in real estate, your father obviously running Century Properties. Any valuable lessons you picked up from him over the years as young boy watching him grow his business?

R: I mean I obviously thank him because my love for real estate came from him so I will never take that away from him. But the desire to do something differently, the desire to create something is truly inborn and sort of innate with me, so I always try to innovate, disrupt an industry or industries.

C: Whether it’s Paris Hilton, Lenny Kravitz or Adrien Brody, you in particular hang out with the who’s who in the celebrity world. What’s it like having friends in such high places? Is it mostly business or mostly pleasure?

R: First, I don’t just hang out with celebrities. I mean a lot of people think that but a lot of it is they’re my friends. Some of them are my very good friends or my best friends. To me work is play; to me a trip in Spain has got to be filled with meetings aside from other things. It’s all intertwined in one.

C: So you always try to find a way to turn a personal relationship into a business relationship? You’re always looking for an opportunity?

R: I always think, “Is there a deal here?”

C: So when you’re talking to Lenny Kravitz or Adrien Brody, you’re always thinking is there something I can do with them?

R: I bet you half of them are thinking the same way! So I might as well just make the first move, some of them may come to deals and some of them may not be deals and that’s really ok,

I get back to them in a couple of months or weeks when I have something formidable because I want everyone to be excited by this.

C: You’re one of the most well connected young Filipinos today. You’ve been described as someone with a magnetic personality that no one can say no to. Are you really that persuasive when it comes to closing a deal?

R: First I think I give the value proposition in a succinct and formidable manner where they can truly understand it and buy into it. I think obtaining 76 of the world’s best architects and designers is not an easy thing and I’ve been doing this prior to this, so I’ve totaled it to about 84, probably more than any human being in the world

C: So you just turn on that Robbie Antonio charm to get people to say yes to you?

R: No, I mean, I think it’s just my personality. I’m very much driven by obtaining these things

C: Do people ever say no to you?

R: Of course some people do. Very few, but some people do. Most say yes and we’d like to keep it that way

C: You’re 41 years old, born in the Philippines. You studied many years in the US, got your Economics degree there, an MBA from Stanford, spent 5 years working in the US, joined your father’s business in 2009, and then really founded Revolution Precrafted in 2015. How would you describe your leadership and your management style? What is Robbie Antonio like?

R: I’m hardcore. I have an almost West Point type of leadership, military style. In fact I love interviewing military people, people who have business backgrounds because they’re very disciplined. I wake up my team up at like 4:35 in the morning.

C: You wake them up at 4:35 in the morning?

R: Yeah, I basically Whatsapp all of them and I ask for reports and all that and I’m probably the last person they hear from in the evening.

C: Is it true you have a rule in the office where employees have to answer a text or an email within 10 minutes of getting it and accomplish the task within 24 hours?

R: Yeah, that is correct and if I don’t hear from them, I have 1 of my assistants (and I have 4) contact them to get me a response.

C: Why is speed important to you?

R: Because it’s always a race. People say it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, but I strongly disagree. It’s both, it’s always a sprint and then you need to be sustainable to make it a marathon.

C: And finally as one who’s won awards and really made the journey, what advice would you give other young entrepreneurs on how to build great disruptive businesses?

R: Think bold, always think big and achieve it no matter what people say. Be passionate, be obsessed, do it all. Know your rights and never, never, ever give up. Once you give up it becomes a habit and you don’t ever want that to happen. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

$1.1BillionDollarPreFabProjectRobbieAntonioRevolutionPreCrafttedHomesDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedModularPrefabHomeIndustryMHProNews

Robbie’s Revolution Precrafted’s $1.1 Billion-Dollar PreFab Project

 

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Owners Report Increased Profits, Compensation, Expansion Plans

June 19th, 2018 No comments


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The Small Business Optimism Index increased in May to the second highest level in the NFIB survey’s 45-year history,” said the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) to the Daily Business News in a release. “The index rose to 107.8, a three-point gain, with small businesses reporting high numbers in several key areas including compensation, profits, and sales trends.”

Hundreds of manufactured housing firms are represented by the NFIB, as a source with the Washington, D.C. based organization told MHProNews in 2017.  All told, some 325,000 small businesses of all kinds are NFIB members.

Main Street optimism is on a stratospheric trajectory thanks to recent tax cuts and regulatory changes. For years, owners have continuously signaled that when taxes and regulations ease, earnings and employee compensation increase,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.

The NFIB is celebrating 75 years serving as “the voice of small business.”

Their May 2018 report hit several records:

  • Compensation increases hit a 45-year high at a record net 35 percent.
  • Positive earnings trends reached a survey high at a net three percent.
  • Positive sales trends are at the highest level since 1995.
  • Expansion plans are the most robust in survey history.

Small business owners are continuing an 18-month streak of unprecedented optimism which is leading to more hiring and raising wages,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.

SmallBusinessOptimismIndexMay2018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While they continue to face challenges in hiring qualified workers, they now have more resources to commit to attracting candidates.”

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Access to credit continues as a non-issue with 37 percent of owners reporting all credit needs were satisfied and 43 percent saying they were not interested in a loan, down seven points from last month and the lowest reading since 2007,” said NFIB. “Only one percent reported that financing was their top business problem. Owners planning to build inventories rose three points to a net four percent, the nineteenth positive reading in the past 20 months.”

NFIB was an important part of the coalition that supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.) 

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Facebook, Marketing & News – Manufactured Housing Pros, Sarah Miller, ‘Citizens Against Monopoly’ Sound the Alarm

June 19th, 2018 No comments

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We got word that [Tuesday], Facebook Inc. is inviting Capitol Hill staffers to Washington DC’s “newest, most exclusive event venue” for free food and drinks. Events like this enable Facebook to peddle influence in the halls of power, and keep lawmakers from cracking down on its abuse of our democracy.”

So begins a statement by Sarah Miller, of Citizens Against Monopoly to the manufactured housing (MH) industry’s Daily Business News received at 8:15 PM last night. CAM is a subset of the Open Markets Institute, which promotes prosperity and liberty, including through their antitrust efforts.

MH industry marketing professionals are among the sources who have raised concerns over the enormous – and still growing – power that Facebook and Google have in marketing manufactured housing.

Voices across the left-right divide have increasingly been concerned too, because they exert so much sway over politicians.

But among those-laser focused on the issue is a group called Citizens Against Monopoly (CAM).

So we would like to extend the RSVP to you, the Citizens Against Monopoly community,” stated their message, about the latest Facebook lobbying move.

Some details about the Facebook event follow.

What:

“A Place to Connect, D.C.”, bringing together “the D.C. community and Facebook” for “conversation and product demos”

Where:

The Showroom, 1099 14th St NW, Washington, D.C.

When: 1:30 pm – 7:30 pm, June 19

RSVP

 

CAM on Facebook’s Lobbying

In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook spent $3.3 million lobbying the U.S. government, more than ever before,” CAM’s Miller told MHProNews.That’s a key part of how it builds power and evades accountability, and events like this one are part of the process.”

At “A Place to Connect,” Facebook’s #3 executive and top lobbyists will be schmoozing the people who are supposed to represent us, and trying to bamboozle Congress into believing that the company’s reforms are for real,” Miller said.

For instance, a former corporate lawyer who is now Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer will try to argue that Facebook is stepping it up on privacy — all actual evidence to the contrary,” she asserts.

Industry readers may have seen Facebook’s ads on cable TV and elsewhere. Facebook is pitching their reforms to the public, ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.

But critics say that Facebook has failed to seriously address the fact that they played a significant role in former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election effort, as did Google. Given their enormous power in online search, Facebook and Google are among those forces that can help make or break a candidate.

Other presenters will be discussing Facebook’s role in the opioid crisis and its approach to election integrity, vital topics that are in the national interest. Facebook is billing the event as a “conversation” — if that’s the case, the people affected by Facebook’s bad behavior should be in the room to ask the tough questions,” Miller said to MHProNews.

With so much at stake in the debate over Facebook and the future of internet privacy, your voice deserves to be heard. So if you’re able, show up and ensure that the public is represented,” CAM stated.

 

Facts About Facebook, Google’s Growing Power

A December 2017 report by Statista said, “In fact, two companies, you may know them by the names of Google and Facebook, are so dominant in the online world that they account for more than 60 percent of global online ad revenues.”

Many mainstream news operations are alarmed at how much ad money – and thus political power – Facebook and Google have accumulated.  Warren Buffett is among those who have said that many media outlets will fail as a result.

GlobalAdSpendFacebookGoogleManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The trend lines are similar to the trend lines in manufactured housing consolidation, see that chart, further below.

Among the concerns are the fact that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg himself said in congressional testimony that there is a strong bias against conservatives, and for leftist, so-called “progressive” political causes.

New York Stern university’s Scott Galloway has been cited previously as a pro-tech voice, that believes that the Big Four must be broken up.

The RSVP is for the Facebook D.C. event is linked below.

RSVP

While most industry pros are unlikely to be able to attend on such short notice, Citizens Against Monopoly provide the following link to ask the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to break up Facebook.

Sign the Freedom From Facebook petition: Tell the Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook’s monopoly.

 

Industry Trade Media and Monopoly Reporting

Regular, longtime readers know that MHProNews has cited similar concerns over the monopolistic influence over the industry exerted by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. To see how others in the mainstream media have raised similar concerns about Berkshire Hathaway’s increasingly monopolistic domination of manufactured housing, see the related reports links below.

Among the manufactured home industry’s trade media, or those in MH who blog, etc., MHProNews has stood largely alone in raising concerns about monopoly power in the industry.

To their credit, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in their reports has raised alarms over Berkshire Hathaway brands like Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt.

But MH industry bloggers and publishers are happily taking ad money from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and are largely silent on the disturbing trends. Many in MHVille believe that MHI is dominated by Berkshire Hathaway and their related interests.

One industry blogger that does periodic MH news admitted that “1,000” manufactured home industry professionals are talking about the influence of monopoly in MH, but that only MHProNews is focused on the subject. That MH blogger succumbed months ago to running more pro-MHI news too.

Given the trend lines of industry consolidation, it is a subject that no industry professional or investor can reasonably ignore.

When Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX) and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) are both speaking up about the corrosive influence of these monopolies, isn’t it time for more industry pros to sit up and take notice? These linked related reports can be read later, for more details.

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

Along with Apple and Microsoft, operations that are racing towards a trillion dollars in market cap which may be obtained next year, and how that can “suck the oxygen” out of the room for capital and competitors, as Galloway has said.

 

In the recently decided anti-trust case, some argued for AT&T that their survival is dependent on growth.

When a giant like AT&T, or Walmart are concerned about the rise of FANG or Amazon, and industry pros fret over the power of Berkshire Hathaway in MHVille, isn’t it a common-sense concern that federal regulators and advocates ought to address?

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

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

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Related Reports:

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

Wall Street Journal – Tech Giants are Monopolistic Threat to Businesses, U.S. Economy

“Audit the Algorithm!” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and Google Monopoly – Manufactured Housing Marketers Notice

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

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

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Buffett, Dimon, Housing, Economic, Political Freedom, IG, Deep State, and Manufactured Housing Industry Progress

June 15th, 2018 No comments

WarrnBuffettDimonManufacturedHousingFreedomDOJOfficeOfInspectorGeneralLogoEagleManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, GoodReads.

 

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

– Warren Buffett, BrainyQuotes.

 

Most of us are imprisoned by something. We’re living in darkness until something flips on the switch.”

–      Wynonna Judd, GoodReads.

 

Like a snake sheds its skin, we are capable of getting rid of assembled habits, creating space to call matters into question…We can retreat, then, from the imprisonment of a deadly routine, acquire an identity and develop our personality.”

– Erik Pevernagie, “Man Without Qualities.”

 

The American economy is becoming the envy of the world, says a new report in NewsMax.

USBecomesGlobalEconomicBrightSpotEuropeChinaStruggleNewsmaxManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While U.S. economic growth is surging, other national economies are reportedly slipping and faltering.

Coincidence? Hardly.

Even left-of-center sources or Democratic supporting political supporters are starting to acknowledge that Trump Administration policies, including regulatory rollbacks, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, are fueling economic expansion.

Politically Incorrect Cartoon Commentaries, Lighter Side of Making America and Manufactured Housing Great Again

Jobs that former President Barack Obama said where never coming back to the U.S. – like mining and manufacturing – are roaring back under the Trump Administration’s leadership.

 

Billionaires Warren Buffett, Chase’s Jaime Dimon Praise U.S. Economy

For those who don’t know, Warren Buffett has been a Trump critic long before his successful run for the Oval Office.

So, it is worth noting that Warren Buffett, who supported Barack Obama and later Secretary Hillary Clinton, recently praised the U.S. economic recovery that has been occurring as a result of President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump’s leadership.

Buffett says you should buy stocks, or make investments, when the long-term outlook in a field or company is good.  Think about that as you ponder Berkshire Hathaway’s moves in the manufactured housing industry space in the last 15 years.

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

As regular manufactured home industry Daily Business News readers know, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway includes numerous brands in and serving the manufactured housing industry.

Longtime, careful readers know Buffett supported policies that are often the opposite of what POTUS Trump is successfully promoting.

Taking each candidate at their word, Secretary Hillary Clinton would not have signed S 2155 into law, but President Trump did.

White House Signing Ceremony on Historic Pro-Growth Financial Regulatory Reform

 

ChainsofHabitAreTooLighttoBeFeltUntiltheyaretooHeavytoBeBrokenChainsYouPUtAroundYouselfNowHaveConsquencesWarrenBuffettAZQUotesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

This Buffett quote is worth pondering in the light of MHI and related controversies.

 

The DOJ’s Inspector General’s Report

On 6.14.2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (IG) Office released an eighteen month report that points to issues with the 2016 election that point to a “Deep State,” and to issues that aren’t based in Russia, but rather are found right here in the U.S.A.

Before diving into elements of the DOJ IG report, let’s set the table with an understanding of the origin of the concept of the Deep State.

 

What is the “Deep State?”

Wikipedia says that “The term “deep state” was defined in 2014 by Mike Lofgren, a former Republican U.S. congressional aide, as “a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.”

According to whistleblower Edward Snowden, “the deep state is not just the intelligence agencies, it is really a way of referring to the career bureaucracy of government. These are officials who sit in powerful positions, who don’t leave when presidents do, who watch presidents come and go…they influence policy, they influence presidents.”

While some, like the New York Times, dismiss the notion of the Deep State, it is becoming widely discussed across the left-right media divide. The discussion on the so-called deep state is so intense, it’s spawned an upcoming cable TV series on Epix.

Part of the issue of “Deep State” bureaucrats, who are shown as flaunting rules that prohibit them from playing favorites, leaking information to the press, having their own agenda vs. that of an elected administration, and the like.

DeepStateDestroyTrumpBrancoPoliticalCartoonManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are those in MHVille who point to Pam Danner, the prior administrator of the Office if Manufactured Housing Programs at HUD, as an example of the Deep State at work in ways that harmed the manufactured housing industry. Danner did so, they say, until she was finally removed.

Citing sources, the Washington Post report noted that it was MHARR, not MHI, that worked for Danner’s removal.

While he focused on the military-industrial complex, President Dwight D. Eisenhower raised a similar theme to the Deep State over half-a-century ago.  In his 1961 farewell address, POTUS Ike said “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

The maxim of the proverbial “power behind the throne” makes it clear that various understandings of the Deep State are ancient, not new.

YourGuideToDeepStateBenGarrisonZeroHedgeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The IG’s Report Points to Deep State Woes 

The DOJ’s IG report is a both a political and legal document. It claims that there is no evidence of undue influence or favoritism, before or since the 2016 election, in the FBI or DOJ.

Nevertheless, sources that have read the over 500 page report say it is replete with examples of the opposite.

Attorney, constitutional author, and talk radio firebrand Mark Levin – who at one point was a “never Trump” believer – gives a quick litany of examples. Levin lays out the facts of how the IG report reveals wildly problematic legal issues, with a strongly and illicit anti-Trump bias.

Tucker Carlson, who has an independent, libertarian bent, had several features last night that likewise raised issues with the IG report.

The video below is about what the IG report reveals about the FBI, according to a former FBI Assistant Director.

 

 

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton on inspector general’s report’s findings in the handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation: Don’t trust mainstream media analysis.

 

Donald Trump Jr reacts to DOJ IG report.

 

 

Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Trump, speaks out after the release of DOJ inspector general report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

 

 

The president’s legal-team point man, former New York Mayor Ruddy Giuliani, said the IG report is proof that the entire special counsel handling has been tainted from the beginning.  He claims it is leading away from clear evidence of illegalities allegedly committed by Secretary Clinton and her supporters.

Meanwhile, with no evidence yet of any direct or illegal ties to Russia by the Trump campaign, there were “spies” (informants) used, electronic, and other surveillance methods used against now President Trump’s team.

The deep state could be viewed through the “Drain the Swamp” lens that helped elect Donald Trump.

ThereIsNoDeepStateSwampRightHoneyTinaTomNewYorkTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When senior FBI agents vowed to keep Mr. Trump from winning, or would cause him to be wrongfully impeached once he won, it is a constitutionally frightening development.

Elections are a peaceful way of selecting representatives of the people in a Republic. Elections create a stake for voters.  But if elections can be rigged by high-level public officials, attempting to work behind the scenes, that’s a problem that will not end well.

But it would be naïve to think that high-level “rigging of the system” was new.

We noted the concern of President Eisenhower.  But other examples exist of the power of the unelected bureaucratic federal officials – including but not limited to, the FBI – during the Vietnam conflict, and during the civil rights movement.

This is why vigilance is necessary.  That’s a basic price of freedom.

FreedomIsnTFreeFredrickDouglassQuoteCropsWithoutPloughingRainWithoutThunderOceanWithoutRoarSturggleMOralPowerConcedesNothingMHProNews

Every day, foreign powers seek to influence each other’s politics. That’s nothing new. The U.S. has done it, China and Russia do it, as do other nations too. So the hype – mostly from the left – over “Russia, Russia, Russia” shouldn’t be overlooked, but it must be taken in context.

For Americans to remain free, “We, the People” must be properly informed. President Trump and Bernie Sanders alike were debatably correct when each said that the “system is rigged.”

Day by day, it seems clear that the 45th Chief Executive of the United States means to keep his campaign promises.

Everyone has character foibles and flaws.

JamesWattFLOTUSHillaryClintonVastRightWingConspiracyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

James Watt was known for insightful quotes.

But Mr. Trump is demonstrably taking the nation in a better economic direction. The steps he’s taken have been good for business in general, and good for manufactured housing.

Editorially, MHProNews has and continues to support President Trump based upon principles like tax cuts that have worked for past Democratic and Republican presidents alike.

As the midterms are approaching, there is a fight within the Democratic party between moderate and more socialistic Democrats. So say members of the Democratic party.

Doug Schoen, Clinton Adviser, warns – “Democrats must advance an agenda…to create a society of opportunity for all – not guaranteed outcomes achieved through wealth redistribution.”

In the GOP, recent voting indicates that pro-Trump candidates are outperforming so-called moderate or more traditional Republicans.

Time and again, the president has found a way to get things done. That’s why Americans elected him.  Unelected “deep state” actors ought not be permitted to foil the will of the people, expressed in a valid election.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

 

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How “Location, Location, Location” in Housing Can Shift, and Manufactured Home Industry Impact

June 15th, 2018 No comments
BoringCompanyElonMuskHyperloopManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from video, below.

One of the challenges facing manufactured housing for years falls under the heading of “Location.”

 

In real estate, there is an axiom that the three most important things about a property are location, location, and location. Per the Real Deal,the “Yale Book of Quotations” found the phrase used in a real estate classified ad in the Chicago Tribune in 1926,” so that notion has been around for nearly a century.

The Balance states that, “In a nutshell, location, locationlocation means identical homes can increase or decrease in value due to location.”

All of that may be true, but during an affordable housing crisis, there are tensions created by the dynamics that surround location.

It may sound like a fine point, but location is a common influence on not just housing prices, but land prices.  Among the costs associated with all forms of home building, is the cost of the underlying real estate — the value of the raw or developed land.

Rural land tends to be less costly than urban or suburban land does.  But among the reasons that urban or suburban land is higher, is that there are more people – think more demand – in a metro than in rural areas, by definition.

While there are exceptions, “that metro land cost is higher” rule-of-thumb, along with other dynamics, such as

  • work,
  • schools,
  • shopping,
  • worship,
  • social opportunities,
  • and entertainment, to name a few –

coupled with the law of supply and demand, has for centuries meant that an identical residence in a metro area will tend to cost more than the same residence in a rural setting.

Commuting time has also influenced the “location, location, location” realty mantra for those who are housing hunting.

And that last point, about commuting time, is what is facing a disruptive development that could prove useful to the manufactured housing industry.

But before moving onto the commute issue, a few specific points about manufactured homes in urban and suburban areas.

Some examples will make serve to make the case.

  • Aging manufactured home communities with locations that make them appealing for redevelopment has caused thousands of communities to vanish, while only a few hundred new properties have been opened. The linked articles can be read later for additional facts, insight, and understanding.

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

  • Scattered lot placements of manufactured homes have suffered from zoning discrimination – NIMBYism – an issue that tends to push the locations of homes into more rural areas, in a largely urban and suburban society.

 

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

  • Affordable Housing is in heavy demand. But when the locations that a manufactured home can be placed would require a long commute, that commute time can lead many to pass on the otherwise lower cost manufactured home option.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

 

How Emerging Tech is Poised to Change Some, or Perhaps Much of the Above

The Daily Business News has reported previously on the emerging hyperloop technology.

Can the Hyperloop Benefit Manufactured Housing, Millions of Home Seekers? w/Videos

Billionaire Elon Musks’ first hyperloop is nearing completion in Los Angeles, as the Daily Business News recently reported.

ElonMuskSpaceXTeslaBoringCompanyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Musk is known for the Tesla, SpaceX and his Boring Company, among other ventures.

In Chicago, Elon Musk’s Boring Company has been awarded a contract to build an underground system that will hit an estimated 150 MPH. Once completed, various sources say it will make the trip from downtown to Chicago O’Hare Airport in about 15 to 20 minutes, instead of some 45 minutes.

The Verge is reporting that the project could start in 3 to 4 months. It could be finished in under 2 years.  And for cash-craving governments, note this point.  That the estimated one billion dollar project will be done using only private capital.

Using these principles, picture other metro areas developing rapid-transit people-movers – be they hyperloop or some other underground system – could dramatically reduce commute times.  That in turn would open up more opportunities for lower cost construction, such as manufactured housing.

 

Other Areas of Industry Concern

This could be part of a revolutionary change for manufactured housing’s ability to attract and sell more prospective urban buyers in the near future.  But as is often the case in MHVille, there are still hurdles.

The industry faces a range of concerns, including, but not limited to:

  • Public perception;
  • Financing – such as a robust Duty to Serve (DTS), plus reforms to FHFA and other GNMA lending;
  • Arguably monopolistic practices – which concerned industry and other expert voices believe is and has been stunting the industry’s growth;
  • Failure to enforce the law, particularly the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, and the aforementioned DTS and related.

See related reports, linked below, for more details on what looks to be a seriously disruptive trend, that is just over the horizon.

Investors, consider what this could mean for those willing to think long-term, and act with vision, passion, and drive.  This could prove to be one of several possible magnets, attracting more to enter into the manufactured housing space. Time will tell. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Truth or Consequences – Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

5 Steps for Making Lemonade from Lemons, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

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

 

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

 

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Will Costs Rise $6,000 per Home? DOE Energy Rule on Manufactured Housing Revived, MHARR Rattles Legal Saber

June 12th, 2018 No comments

WillCostsRise$6000PerHomeDamagingDOEEnergyRuleRevivedMHARRrattlesLegalSaberManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

The revival of a previously “inactive” energy rule for manufactured homes by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) may trigger legal action by MHARR on behalf of smaller HUD Code industry businesses,” said MHARR in a release do the Daily Business News.

 

As MHARR reported on December 18, 2017, the baseless, contrived and excessively-costly DOE-proposed manufactured housing “energy” rule, developed as part of an illegitimate, so-called “negotiated rulemaking” process — urged by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and “energy” special interests, as shown by documents released by DOE to MHARR under the Freedom of Information Act — was designated an “inactive” rule by DOE in the Fall 2017 Federal Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda (SRA),” the Washington, D.C. based association’s statement said to the industry’s trade publication of record, MHProNews.

That proposed rule, however, possibly in response to pending litigation filed by the Sierra Club in December 2017 to force DOE to adopt a final manufactured housing rule, has now re-appeared in the Spring 2018 SRA, with a notation indicating that a “supplemental” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is being targeted for publication by DOE by August 2018. (See copy attached),” MHARR said.

The reason the rule is important is because some analysis of the arguably flawed proposal reveal that a multi-sectional could spike $6,000 each.  As long-time Daily Business News readers recall, the National Association for Home Builders has calculated that for every $1,000 in price increase, some 200,000 potential buyers will be “priced out” of the market for that higher-priced home.  Rephrased, some 1.2 million customers using the NAHB “priced out” model would be knocked out, and some advantage over conventional housing could be lost in the process.

Here’s how MHARR put it. 

While there is no information available at present as to what the “supplemental” NPRM will propose — or may change from the initial NPRM published by the Obama Administration in June 2016 — MHARR (unlike MHI, which voted in favor of the proposed rule as part of the illegitimate “negotiated” rulemaking process) has consistently and strongly opposed this proposed rule, which would needlessly explode the purchase price of manufactured housing (by $6,000.00, or more, for a double-section home) and effectively force hundreds-of-thousands of potential lower and moderate-income HUD Code purchasers out of the manufactured housing market, based on research conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).” 

Moreover, even for consumers who are able to remain in the HUD Code market, the contrived DOE “cost-benefit” assessment for the 2016 proposed rule, purportedly showing “benefits” for such remaining consumers, has been completely decimated by subsequent actions of the Trump Administration, which: (1) disavowed and repealed the Obama Administration’s invalid “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC) construct, which was used by DOE to inflate the alleged benefits of the 2016 proposed rule; and (2) withdrew the United States from the “Paris Climate Accord,” which formed part of the policy basis for the DOE proposed rule,” reasoned MHARR.

As MHProNews has previously reported, MHI pushed for this rule, and only later reversed course, under pressure from reports by MHARR, the SBA, George Washington University, and this publication.  The linked article below can be read for additional context and details.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

 

What’s Next from MHARR?

Here’s an extended quote from the balance of the MHARR release, which will be follow by our 3 point summary/analysis.

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Consequently, unless the forthcoming “supplemental” NPRM substantially modifies and/or withdraws objectionable, unnecessary, and unnecessarily-costly elements of the initial DOE proposed rule, MHARR may have no alternative but to consider legal action to enjoin the enforcement of any resulting “final” rule. Prior to any such court action, however, MHARR (and the industry) will have a further opportunity to comment and take other administrative action, as warranted, with respect to the “supplemental” energy NPRM. 

MHARR, accordingly, will continue to monitor this matter very closely and will take further and additional steps as it deems appropriate.

In other matters reflected in the Spring 2018 SRA, HUD announced three regulatory actions affecting manufactured housing. 

First, HUD has withdrawn – effective April 4, 2018 – a pending “Third Set” of amended HUD Code standards, including recommended standards concerning “carbon monoxide detection, stairways, fire safety considerations for attached garages and duplexes.”  Presumably, this action was undertaken pursuant to HUD’s current “top-to-bottom” review of all existing and pending standards, and will be subject to further consideration and action as determined by that review. 

Meanwhile, HUD has reactivated – on a long-term basis — two other manufactured housing rulemaking proceedings that had previously been suspended under the Trump Administration’s January 2017 regulatory freeze order. These are: (1) an “interim final rule” to amend HUD’s formaldehyde emissions standards based on the new formaldehyde standards adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and (2) a final rule on amendments to the HUD Code’s regulatory exemption for recreational vehicles.

Both of these actions are slated for action by April 2019 and will be addressed further by MHARR on an administrative basis as warranted.   

MHARR will continue to keep you updated on all of these matters as further developments unfold,” said their release.

Once more at the heart of this issue is that consumers, per some analysis,

  • won’t be able to recoup their investment during the normal 7 year time frame that a home buyer lives in a home they purchase.
  • Also, manufactured housing professionals will see thousands of potential home buyers not be able to qualify, about 1.2 million, per the NAHB priced out model.
  • SBA, and George Washington University both agreed with MHARR’s analysis, while MHI pushed this rule for some time, prior to relenting.
  • What the Trump Administration will ultimately do will be worth watching, as some believe that this may be tied to a lawsuit from an environmental group.

The Arlington, VA based MHI position on this development will be interesting to watch, given their prior flip-flops.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © That’s MH “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.”  © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

NAHB Report – High Cost of Regulations Impact Housing – and Manufactured Housing

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Sunday Morning Manufactured Home Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 6.3.2018 to 6.10.2018

June 10th, 2018 No comments
sundayMorningManufacturedHousingIndustryTradeNewsRecap6.3.3018to6.10.2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Trivia: If you look carefully, the screen shot of the iPad above often looks like the MHProNews home page did on that Sunday morning.

Mensch

 

We’re preparing an article about a Jewish gentleman known by scores in the Manufactured Home (MH) industry.

In mentioning our research to a Jewish MH industry colleague, he said, “Make sure you say that he was a mensch.”

Google’s online dictionary defines the word “mensch” like this.

MenschNobelPrizeofWordsTitleYouCantBestowOnYOurselfmensch

men(t)SH/

noun NORTH AMERICAN informal

  1. a person of integrity and honor

The Urban Dictionary says, “A mensch is a someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being “a real mensch” is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible.”

Dictionary.com says a mensch is a “person of strength and honor,” 1907, from Yiddish, from German Mensch, literally “man, person,” from Old High German mennisco “human,” from Proto-Germanic adjective *manniska- “human” (see mannish

Everyone, including we non-Jews (“the goyim”), can learn much from the mensch we are fortunate enough to encounter in life.

 

Divisions

Among the things Tony and I discuss from time to time is how governments, by accident or design, can divide people who otherwise can joyfully coexist side-by-side, absent irksome meddling.

RC Williams, Daily Business News MHProNews

RC Willaims.

As R.C. Williams put it about a year ago, there are professional race-baiters. It’s a term used by others besides R.C., to describe individuals who literally make money stirring up racial discord, often using a non-profit, or other operation to collect money.

Political parties are useful in some ways, but it must also be acknowledged that political parties and their advocates have the tendency to divide people into “us vs. them.”

That can happen in professional groups too.

HowToBeAModernDayMenschThoughtcoDailyBusinessNewsMNProNEws

Scriptural scroll for rabbinic reading.

We’re not among those who believe that every religion is equal.  There are for example, Satanists, not many believers would put them on the same level as other groups. But we acknowledge that if God-Who-Created all gave man free will, then we must respect other’s right to choose.

That doesn’t imply that in politics, religion, economic or other distinctions that dialogue should be avoided.

Robust, frank dialogue that seeks truth in all its forms is to be celebrated.

So, respectful dialogue on issues that divide people ought to be embraced.

Absent absolute standards of right and wrong, how can we recognize what’s criminal, okay or what soars to the level of what is honorable?

To be a mensch – an honorable person who acts with integrity – whatever one’s personal or demographic data might be – requires standards.

 

Back to Basics

Many a coach has taken a struggle team “back to basics,’ Tony says. When something is awry, the basics ought to be among the first its to examine.  When the industry is still at historically low levels of sales, everything that contributes to that should be evaluated.

When Tony and I met nearly 15 years ago, Tony was working in the Houston metro area. He described an impressive manufactured housing retail operation that had lots of traffic. It had leading edge tech at that time. The display made every home look as if it was ground set.  Every home was staged to the 9s.

That retailer had multiple outlets.

But as impressive as that retail operation was, as high as their traffic was, their conversion ratios were low. Their sales were low.

They ended up going bankrupt.

Tony said much of their plan was fine, but when people aren’t buying in sufficient numbers to sustain a business, it’s an obvious sign that one or more things are either missing or are not sufficiently emphasized.

That retailer never became a client of his. For a fraction of the cost of their monthly overhead, they could have invested and won. They pinched pennies, and it cost them millions. It’s but one of numerous examples of ways that a firm can fail.

The word “integrity” has several meanings. One is “the state of being whole and undivided.”

HonestyIntegrityWordCloudEthicsTrustRespectSincereMonsoonLeadersManufacturedHousingMHProNEws

Honest people can fail. Dishonest people can succeed for a time, as some criminal enterprises prove.

But ultimately every operation that has integrity – in a free enterprise system – learns to serve the public in ways that benefit the buyer, while profiting the seller. It must be a mutual victory.

That win-win requires a foundation, the basics. Every company or organization needs it.

When there’s one or more mensch in the mix, a person of integrity and honor, the odds for sustainable success arguably goes up.

We salute all people who are honorable, and who act with integrity.

With no further adieu, let’s look at the week that was, in over two dozen headline reports.

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

Celebrate National Home Ownership Month, with 26 Cool Prefab Cribs, a $1 Billion Dollar Hybrid Mansion, 4 Fun Videos

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

Saturday 6.9.2018

Politically Incorrect Cartoon Commentaries, Lighter Side of Making America and Manufactured Housing Great Again

Politically Incorrect Cartoon Commentaries, Lighter Side of Making America and Manufactured Housing Great Again

Friday 6.8.2018

“Final Nail in the Coffin,” Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Case Dismissed, Hensarling Reacts 

Oil Price Forecast, and Manufactured Housing, Plus MH Market Updates 

Manufactured Housing Institute Issues Alert – MHI Email Compromised

Manufactured Housing Institute Issues Alert – MHI Email Compromised

Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Developers Face Disruptive, Troubling Trend

Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Developers Face Disruptive, Troubling Trend

 

Thursday 6.7.2018

Reuters on U.S. Housing Price Pace, Manufactured Housing Visions

Buffett-Dimon Plan Dropping Guidance Harms Investor Insight, Analyst Bove Says, Plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

“Americans Deserve Accountability from Their Government,” Reforms, Result$, Counted, and Coming

“Americans Deserve Accountability from Their Government,” Reforms, Result$, Counted, and Coming

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims June 2018 as National Homeownership Month, Industry Reaction

 

Wednesday 6.6.2018 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, 2020 Presidential Prospect, Threatens Wave of New Regulations

Senator Elizabeth Warren, 2020 Presidential Prospect, Threatens Wave of New Regulations

“Gavin Newsom wants to turn this state [California] into Venezuela – we’re not going to let him,” John Cox – plus MH Market Updates

George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

 

Tuesday 6.5.2018 

Doug Schoen, Clinton Adviser, warns – “Democrats must advance an agenda…to create a society of opportunity for all – not guaranteed outcomes achieved through wealth redistribution.”

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

Jobs, Jobs, More Jobs – What the Data Says, plus Manufactured Housing Industry Markets Update

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

 

Monday 6.4.2018

Skyline Champion Corporation Created as Skyline and Champion Home Builders Announce Closing of Business Combination, Exclusive Details

Skyline Champion Corporation Created as Skyline and Champion Home Builders Announce Closing of Business Combination, Exclusive Details

Koch Brothers Battling POTUS Trump Tariffs, Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow Defends, Stocks Jump, plus MH Market Updates

Manufactured Home Production and Shipment Report, April 2018, per MHARR, HUD, IBTS

Manufactured Home Production and Shipment Report, April 2018, per MHARR, HUD, IBTS

Truth or Consequences – Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

Truth or Consequences – Monday Morning Sales, Marketing Meeting

Sunday 6.3.2018

Sunday Morning Manufactured Home Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 5.27.2018 to 6.3.2018

Sunday Morning Manufactured Home Industry Research, Reports, Headline News Recap 5.27.2018 to 6.3.2018

And that’s all she wrote, during the week that was, along with a bit of help from that other guy. ## (Headline news, week in review, recap, analysis, commentary.)

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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

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.

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Issues Alert – MHI Email Compromised

June 8th, 2018 No comments

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoIssuesAllertEmailCompromised550x315

In a series of news tips form industry sources to the Daily Business News, a new staffer, David Townsend, MHI Vice President, Finance and Administration, is alerting members that MHI staffer Jenny Hodge’s email has been compromised.

 

The Arlington, VA based trade group are issuing a specific warning to the industry.  Do not open specific emails from Jenny Hodge, who is the vice president for the National Communities Council (NCC), and does research for MHI as well. See the screen capture of the MHI message below.DavidTownsendMHIManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Sources say the discussion of how best to address this email breach is an issue that was been brewing at MHI for about a day, before they sent the above alert.

Data and email breaches can happen to organizations of all sizes, including the federal government.

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The ‘news’ here is that MHI took, per reports, a day before advising the industry that they appear to have had one of their email accounts compromised.

There is also an unstated – for today – implication to this story, which will be dealt with in a separate, future report. Stay tuned.  ##  (News, analysis, commentary.)

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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

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.

 

“Americans Deserve Accountability from Their Government,” Reforms, Result$, Counted, and Coming

June 7th, 2018 Comments off

AmericanDeserveAccountabilityFromTheirGovernmentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x315

Americans deserve accountability from their government,” President Donald J. Trump said.

 

In a release to the Daily Business News, the White House press room has provided a partial list of some of what the Trump Administration sees as accomplishments on behalf of the Americans.

Through the first 500 days of the Trump Administration, the President has refocused the Federal bureaucracy to make sure that voters are truly in charge of Washington,” the release said.

Among their bullets:

President Trump has issued multiple Executive Orders that reform the Civil Service, including making union contracts open to public inspection, cutting down on taxpayer-funded union activities at Federal agencies, and easing the process to remove poor-performing workers.
The Administration is operating under a “One Federal Decision” memorandum of understanding for infrastructure, which puts the burden of coordinating complex permitting reviews on Federal officials, not applicants.
Despite obstruction from Congressional Democrats, the President has appointed a record number of Federal judges who are interpreting the law as it is written, promoting federalism, and standing for Constitutional liberties to combat government overreach.

As MHProNews has noted in recent reports, such as those linked below, the president is a builder, who’s administration has taken numerous pro-growth, pro-industry steps.

AllAmericansDeserveAccountabilityAndRespectThatsWhatWereGivingThemPresidentDonaldJTrump672018

Vice President Pence knows manufactured housing first hand, and HUD Secretary Ben Carson has praised manufactured homes as “amazing,” called the regulations frozen at HUD as “ridiculous,” telling MHProNews that he hears the industry, and wants to work with manufactured home industry companies of all sizes.

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

So far, these represent unprecedented levels of support for manufactured housing at the federal level in over 25 years, per industry sources.

 

 

More from the White House

The White House also reminded MHProNews that the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is recovering nicely, and made her first public appearance since her kidney surgery last month.

FLOTUSMelaniaTrumpFEMABriefingJune72018OfficialPhotoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Today is also Vice President Mike Pence’s birthday. The Daily Business News editorially notes that VP Pence has not received as much recognition as his high-profile work has arguably merited.  He and the president do some events jointly, but VP Pence has also done several international and domestic events solo, engaged with Congressional or business leaders as the Oval Office has desired, and more.

HappyBirthdayVicePresidentPenceManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

An extended quote from the White House media communications team regarding the first 500 days to MHProNews is below.

— start of extended quote —

TheWhiteHouseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

TheWhiteHousedatelineJune72018

REFORMING BUREAUCRACY: Through Civil Service and VA reforms, President Donald J. Trump is refocusing

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the Federal workforce and increasing its accountability to taxpayers.

  • President Trump signed legislation to bring more accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide our veterans with more choice in the care they receive.

o   President Trump signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, and worked with Congress to forge an overwhelming bipartisan vote of support for the MISSION Act.

o   President Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act into law, authorizing $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.

  • The President has issued multiple executive orders aimed at reforming the civil service to work for the American people. These orders:

o   Require agencies to work on negotiating better, more efficient, union contracts and to make those contracts open to public inspection;

o   Cut down on tax-payer funded union activities at Federal agencies, saving tax-payers an estimated $100 million a year; and

o   Enhance the accountability of the Federal bureaucracy by easing the process for removing poor performing employees and strengthening the merit system.

  • The President issued his “One Federal Decision” memorandum of understanding, encouraging coordinated infrastructure permitting reviews across the Federal government.

RETURNING CHOICE TO HEALTHCARE: President Trump’s actions on healthcare have increased options for Americans and returned decision-making about healthcare to individuals.

  • President Trump successfully eliminated the penalty for Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • President Trump is expanding affordable coverage options through Association Health Plans and short-term, limited-duration plans for families and employers harmed by Obamacare.
  • President Trump has released a blueprint to lower drug prices for American patients and consumers, reform Medicare programs, promote competition, and increase transparency.
  • Last year alone, the FDA approved more new drugs than ever before in history, saving consumers $8.8 billion.  Medicare changes will save seniors an estimated $320 million.

EXPANDING LIBERTY: The President has appointed judges who faithfully apply the law and is working with State, local, and Tribal leaders to combat government overreach.

  • President Trump has appointed a record number of Federal judges, who are interpreting the law as it is written, promoting federalism, and standing for our individual constitutional liberties – including appointing Justice Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.
  • The President has protected freedom of conscience by issuing rules protecting religious employers from having to violate their religious or moral beliefs or shut their doors; revising FEMA policy to ensure that houses of worship receive the disaster aid to which they are legally entitled; and ardently defending religious liberty in the courts.
  • President Trump has improved the accountability of America’s immigration system and is actively combatting ‘sanctuary city’ laws, which endanger communities across the Nation.

— end of extended quote —

IWillLowerTaxesEliminateUnnecesaryRegulationUnleashAmercianEnergyPlacingAMericanBusienssandWorkersFirst-DOnalTrumpNationViewsMHProNews

President Trump and VP Mike Pence have both said they will be in the promise keeping business.

MHProNews notes as a disclosure that we’ve editorially supported Team Trump’s “America First” agenda as best for manufactured home owners, businesses, and the nation at large.

WeWillNeverFixRiggedSystemByRelyingOnPeopleRiggedItFirstPlaceDonaldJTrumpPOTUSTheConservativeTreeHouseMastheadMHProNews590

That support began during the presidential primaries, and has continued since. “Promises made, promises kept.”

As the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), and the Manufactured Housing Association of Regulatory Reform (MHARR) leadership have noted, the administration’s policies have been raising the boats of workers, investors, and other professionals.

There’s more work to do, and the midterms are looming. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

White House Signing Ceremony on Historic Pro-Growth Financial Regulatory Reform

Fed Reports = American Household Net Worth Soar$

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

HUD’s Operation Breakthrough, Promoting Factory, Industrialized Building – Mobile Home Era to Modern Manufactured Homes.

 

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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.

 

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

June 6th, 2018 Comments off

 

NorthStarManufacturedHousingRadixPXManufacturedModularHomeIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

This is why we operate with a “North Star Goal‘, a light that represents the highest aspirations of a business. Like a next-generation mission statement, a North Star Goal orients the identity and direction of a brand, guiding all decisions, strategies, and partnerships.”
Bag the Habit.
(emphasis added)

 

The northern star for centuries was and remains today as a guiding light in the nighttime sky, a star which helped sailors orient their direction at sea.

The North Star shines with a humble brightness that belies its navigational importance. Polaris, or the North Star, sits almost directly above the North Pole; therefore, it is a reliable gauge of North if you find yourself lost on a clear night without a compass,” says Universe Today.

 

What is the North Star for Manufactured Housing?

When morality in America represented a broadly shared set of values, many of the professional issues faced today were less evident. There was no huge pushback in the 1950s when in the words In God We Trust” was placed upon U.S. currency. There was less debate when images of the Ten Commandments were set in stone, or otherwise framed and placed in public settings or taxpayer funded buildings.

Shared Judeo-Christian values gave some 97 percent of the people greater moral clarity.

Time magazine reported in 2016 that, “a 1965 poll by Lou Harris finding that 97% of Americans still believed in God. By the time Gallup asked the same question in 2014, that number had fallen to 86%, with 12% of Americans claiming no belief and 2% with no opinion.”

Also in 2016, a Time article said, “In God We Trust” was first added to U.S. coins during the beginning of the Civil War, when religious sentiment was on an upswing and concerned Americans wanted the world to know what their country stood for. Many wrote to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase on the matter, and he agreed with their arguments. Congress passed his act requesting the addition of “In God We Trust,” adapted from a lesser-known verse of Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” and the first two-cent coin with the phrase was minted in 1864.”

Let’s be blunt. Consumers want to do business with honest professionals.

Few want to walk into a business that has a reputation for dishonesty.

Shared common values are so useful in society, that several of the founding fathers wrote that they deemed them to be essential to America’s success.  That doesn’t mean that every manufactured home sales office ought to have to have a Bible on every desk, but it does mean that a business ought to reflect its values through behavior. Indeed, most do.

But what about those organizations that don’t?

In our routine interactions with consumers – due to publishing, marketing and sales coaching/training with MHPros, and in online discussions with the public – it is safe to say that manufactured housing is unjustly viewed dimly by millions.

But whining about an undeserved image isn’t a solution.

Good industry businesses and professionals must get to the root issues, or the “image issues” caused by problematic people and/or organizations will define the good.  That’s reality.

Consumers may not use the term “morality,” or “ethics.”  But experience shows that a significant part of their distrust of the manufactured home industry is rooted in a lack of confidence in what is said.

MarkJobSomeoneIsTryingTosSellYouManufacturedHouseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How are more new manufactured home sales achieved, without addressing the causes of the public’s lack of trust?

When so-called industry leaders are seen as giving cover for arguably unethical activity, doesn’t that just fuel the problem?  A recent, actual case may serve to make the point.

Public officials and consumers alike have accused a business of “selling” homes to consumers “contract for title” when the seller allegedly doesn’t even own the units being sold. Doesn’t’ that type of story, repeatedly in a region’s local news, only fuels a negative image about manufactured housing and industry professionals?

When industry publishers and association leaders fail to fairly investigate and address that type of transgression in some lawful, and appropriate fashion, isn’t it reasonable to presume that more of the public’s confidence in manufactured housing as an industry can be further undermined?

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Back in the late 1960s, and early 1970s, news stories about flimsy or fire prone mobile homes in the mainstream media were responded to by industry professionals working to pass the HUD Code. Today, the industry’s quality is “amazing,” as HUD Secretary Ben Carson has said. But the industry’s image doesn’t match up with the reality. Part of the solution must be an ethical code of conduct that good associations promote and live by.  That means that when uehtical professional behavior occurs, there has follow through by the industry’s professionals.  That’s both the right and the prudent thing to do.  That’s a practical example of a North Star.

Manufactured Housing Radix

Google’s online dictionary defines both a mathematical meaning for the term “radix,” and a formal meaning. The formal definition says this about radix,

a source or origin of something.

“Judaism is the radix of Christianity

Radix is Latin, which is used some in medicine. Collins dictionary says this, “Word origin of ‘radix’ C16: from Latin rādīx root; compare Greek rhadix small branch, rhiza root.”

So, radix is the root, the origin or foundational issue.

For manufactured housing and the public, its an issue of trust. When millions a year in the U.S. consider manufactured homes, but only some 92,900 bought a new one in 2017,  that’s a wake up call.

Morality is essential at every level of business and society. For example, if brute force power becomes the organizing principle of Americans and business in the U.S., the nation is debatably heading toward even more turbulent waters.

Clear codes of business ethics that include action, not mere lip service, are a must if our industry is to thrive again.

In response to a controversy over some problematic advertising – MHI advertorials – industry professional, millennial Tom Fath, said this.

TomFathTheMHCommunityWillSucceedWhenWeFocusOnFactsNoSaleBasedUponIllusionOrFeelingsDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNEws

It is safe to say that none of us live up perfectly to the moral code set forth in the Ten Commandments. Everyone slips and falls, but isn’t part of the question what happens after a mistake is made? Is the error covered up?  For example, are consumers who are wronged made whole?

In the Daily Business News reports and analysis, the facts, the truth, and common decency – morality – are referenced as guiding lights.

When deception is occurring, it ought to be roundly condemned and corrected in some appropriate fashion.

That’s a sense of our North Star as a trade publisher. What about you and your business? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

NPR’s Syringa Mobile Home Park Story, Revisited by Community Owner

George Allen Reply to Mainstream Media re: Roane/Lackey/SECO Exposé, Plus MHI, MHARR, et al – “Make Manufactured Housing Great Again”

 

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

 

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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.