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Sparks fly on NFPA Report on Fires and Manufactured Homes: We provide, You decide

October 27th, 2011 Comments off

 

MHProNews.com We Provide You Decide2MHProNews has received press releases and statements/reports from and about the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) on the topic of fire safety in HUD Code manufactured housing. The differing press releases from MHI and MHARR are closely tied with the subject of fire sprinklers, preemption and the very nature of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). The NFPA has issued a correction on their report from last summer, including a statement that their report concludes that the rate of fire injury and the incidents of fires for manufactured home occupants is lower than for occupants of other single family homes.

“This report concludes what the industry and our customers have known all along.  Manufactured homes are built with consumer safety considerations first and foremost, and manufactured homes are built to high quality, stringent standards to keep customers safe,” said Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Thayer Long.  MHI’s position also stated, “MHCC members also heard from industry representatives, including a third party inspection agency and several state regulators, that the current fire safety standards for manufactured homes are more stringent than for site built homes constructed to the International Residential Code (IRC). Flame spread, egress, and smoke detector requirements are three examples.” Click here to read  the entire MHI press release.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) resent a previous release, that took the NFPA to task for misstating the facts in their summer reports, and essentially called upon the NFPA to correct the errors in their report, which the the NFPA has now addressed.

MHI’s statement began with this sentence, “Last week, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) testified before a federal advisory committee that occupants of manufactured homes are no more likely to die from a fire in their home than occupants of other single family homes. ” This phrasing “federal advisory committee” (emphasis added in the above) has caused concerns in the past, as some MHCC members read the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA of 2000) not to have created a typical “federal advisory committee” at all. An informed source stated, “The 2000 law does say that the MHCC is an “advisory committee,” but then goes on to provide specific powers, authority and procedures for the MHCC that go far beyond those of run-of-the-mill federal advisory committees; powers that are extraordinary. HUD has sought to downgrade and ignore the unique role and powers of the MHCC by claiming that the MHCC is a run-of-the-mill advisory committee and by trying to shoehorn it into strict compliance with the Federal Advisory Committees Act, which generally governs the existence and procedures of federal advisory committees, but states that its provisions are super-ceded by more specific federal law – in this case the specific authority of the MHCC under the 2000 law.  So, what we don’t want to conceded (is) that the MHCC is a typical or run-of- the-mill federal advisory committee. It is an advisory committee with a unique role and extensive, specific authority delegated directly by Congress.”  Those powers are designed to make the MHCC a check on HUD’s regulatory authority, to keep the agency from imposing unrealistic, unduly burdensome or overly costly regulations on HUD Code manufactured home builders.

Downloads from the various parties are available at the links below. An Industry Voices Guest Blog post by long time MHCC member Doug Gorman on a related topic can be found at this link.

Manufactured Home Fires
MHARR letter to NFPA on its firestudy 8-3-2011
National Fire Protection Association July 2011

 

(Graphic credit: MHProNews)

Sun Communities announces third quarter 2011 results

October 25th, 2011 Comments off

Sun_Communities,_Indian_Creek,_credit_MHProNews.com,_MHMSM.com,_manufactured_home_marketing_sales_management,_MHProNews has learned the third quarter 2011 results for Sun Communities, Inc. Sun (SUI) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities. Sun’s highlights include Adjusted Funds from Operations (“AFFO”)(1) excluding certain items described in this release was $0.75 per diluted share and OP Unit (“Share”) compared to $0.69 per Share in the third quarter of 2010, an increase of $0.06 per share or 8.7 percent. Same site Net Operating Income (“NOI”)(2) increased by 4.7 percent. Same site revenue producing sites increased by 199 sites, compared to an increase of 76 sites during the third quarter of 2010. “We are pleased to report that we have completed the integration of our acquisition properties into our operations model ahead of schedule. This has resulted in the Kentland portfolio, located entirely in Michigan, gaining 103 revenue producing sites in our first 90 days of ownership,” said Gary A. Shiffman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Based on these positive results and operational efficiencies already realized, we are confident this acquisition will continue to meet or exceed anticipated proforma results,” Shiffman added. “The rate of occupancy growth in our same site portfolio has tripled, from 0.5 percent in 2009 to an estimated 1.5 percent for 2011, and we believe this momentum will carry us to 90 percent occupancy in the next two to three years,” said Shiffman.  Sun Communities stock (SUI) is tracked by MHProNews.com here on the Daily Business News market report.

(Photo credit: MHMSM.com)

Dearing announces Sun’s dividend and new revolving credit facility

October 3rd, 2011 Comments off

Sun_Communiities_logoMHProNews has learned that Sun Communities Inc. (SUI) announced today that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.63 per share for the third quarter of 2011.  According to Karen J. Dearing, Chief Financial Officer,  the dividend is payable October 21, 2011 to shareholders of record October 13, 2011.  Sun Communities has 21.7 million shares outstanding. Sun is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that currently owns and operates a portfolio of 155 manufactured home and RV communities comprising approximately 53,600 developed sites.  In other corporate news, Sun also announced today it has entered into a senior secured revolving credit facility in the amount of $130.0 million (the “Facility”) with the Company’s bank group led by Bank of America, N.A. (Administrative Agent) and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Sole Lead Arranger and Sole Book Manager). The Facility replaces the Company’s $115.0 Million revolving line of credit scheduled to mature on October 1, 2011.  The Facility is secured primarily by a first priority lien on all of the Company’s equity interests in each entity that owns all or a portion of the properties constituting the borrowing base.  The Facility has a built in accordion feature allowing up to $20.0 million in additional borrowings and a year extension option, both at the Company’s discretion.  The Facility will bear interest at a floating rate based on Eurodollar plus a margin determined on the Company’s leverage ratio calculated in accordance with the Facility, which ranges from 2.25% to 2.95%. Based on the Company’s current leverage ratio, the margin will be 2.75%.  Other banks participating in the transaction include Fifth Third Bank (Syndication Agent), PNC Bank, The PrivateBank, Citibank, N.A. and Comerica Bank.  At the time of the closing, there were $95.0 million of borrowings under the Facility, including letters of credit issued in the normal course of the Company’s business.  Sun Communities Inc. stock (SUI) is tracked by the market report in our Daily Business News.

(Graphic credit: Sun Corporate Logo)

Bill could make private loans in manufactured home land lease communities easier

September 28th, 2011 2 comments

Jean Fuller CA state senator credit aquafornia posted on MHMSM.com MHProNews.com Istockanalyst reports that a bill by CA state Senator Jean Fuller could make it easier for residents in land lease communities there to get private money loans. With professionals, buyers and sellers all pointing to a lack of commercial banks in the field, this is seen as important for all concerned. The bill would allow mobile and manufactured home community owners to make private seller’s loans without having to secure additional certification. It passed unanimously in the Senate and was recently tabled for the Assembly’s next session in early 2012. Fuller’s district include Barstow, CA, where a number of community owners have historically offered financing at their discretion, so long as they held a real estate broker license. Kathy Pirwitz, an assistant manager at Holiday Homes community said: “It’s always been an issue to get loans on mobile homes,” especially compared to conventional housing. Since the housing/finance crisis, federal and state regulations passed in 2008 and 2009 required the mobile and manufactured home community owners to get an additional finance lender license before giving out such loans. Senator Fuller’s office said the extra regulations overly burdensome on community owners, who tend to only occasionally give out a private loan. “Seller financing is one of the keys in financing markets,” Curtis O’Brien, a local broker and owner of Exit Strategy Realty said, adding that he thinks mobile home owners should have the choice to take the risk with a loan without extra restrictions. Fuller’s bill “restores some of the freedom they should have had all along,” O’Brien said.

(Phot credit: Aquafornia)

More New Homes, Seminars and Exhibits at 2014 Louisville Show

September 3rd, 0005 Comments off

show-me-the-money-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Inquiries about the 2014 Louisville Show to MHProNews serve as a good reminder to share updates about the manufactured housing industry’s best attended trade event in 2013. Website updates are complete, but tweaks and ongoing announcements will be added at the LouisvilleManufacturedHousingShow.com site in the months ahead.   As previously reported here, there will be 48 new model homes on display, and show space on homes is sold out, says show coordinator Dennis Hill. Exhibitor space is also approaching a sell out, 4 months before the show begins. “These are among the many good signs for the continued growth and success of the Louisville Show since its come back in 2011” Hill said.   The updates for the Louisville Show will be completed today, as the online registration link was scheduled to go live sometime on September 3. This website’s Louisville Show blog has other news and show updates. The blog is found at the bottom of virtually every page on the website, as is contact information for show management. ##

(Image Graphic: 2014 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show theme)