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Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

July 11th, 2018 No comments

 

ProperDefinitionsMobileHomeManufacturedHomeOrTrailerHOuseCivirlRightsPublicPolicy&ValuesIssuesSunshineHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews550x315

What other industry that has existed for over 40 years, and still struggles with the proper terminology about its product?

 

Have you ever heard of anyone use the term crank phone with a land-line,’ when describing a modern smart phone?

Or who calls a modern E-Class Mercedes by the name, ‘Model T?’

EvolutoinCrankBagCellSmartPhonesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Those are a little like what the manufactured housing industry has allowed to happen for far too many decades, when the industry accepts terms like ‘mobile home,’ or worse, ‘trailer house in a trailer park’ when it comes to manufactured homes and the industry’s land-lease communities.

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What other major industry has this kind of terminology problem?

Earlier today, a simple Google search revealed the “definition”  shown above.  This has issue has ripple effects for home owners, those considering a manufactured home, and all others too.

 

“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Examples of what educated Americans who own a manufactured home, including an assistant mayor, have had to say about this subject are linked above and below.

Taking on the Trash Talk! Are People Defined by their Housing Choice? Video, Photos

If you think it doesn’t matter, then you haven’t talked to, or read enough, articles and interviews with manufactured home (MH) owners.  For years, a common refrain has  been that manufactured home owners don’t want to have their home called a “trailer,” or have their community called a “trailer park,” because it makes them feel like “trailer trash.” So why – 42 years after the HUD Code created manufactured housing – does this nomenclature problem persist?

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

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The above arn’t a perfect set of definitions, but it is clarifying. It is a matter of law, not opinion, what is or is not a manufactured home. Ditto the example below, from the National Fire Protection Association.

manufacturedhomeNotMotorHomeNotTrailerNotMobileHome-NFPA-FARreportOnManufacturedHousingFires-posted-MHLiivingNews-com-

Again, not perfect, but clarifying.

 

“Economic Racism”

The publishers of MHProNews – almost alone in the MH industry, in conjunction with our sister-site, MHLivingNews and a few industry voices – has periodically tackled this topic for years, as the linked articles reflect.

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Isn’t what Donald Tye Jr said part of the antidote to the t-word issue?

The last Foremost survey indicates that the use of the term “trailer” and “mobile home” are on the rise, so those of you that follow the news are not imagining that the proper terms – manufactured home, or manufactured housing – aren’t growing.

We’ve asked industry voices to sound off on this issue from time to time.  Some examples of what industry pros have said, past and present, are found below.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

 

While Frank Rolfe has admitted on stage to contradicting himself on this issue, even he knows that the terminology matters, but he is correct that this is association work that should be done.

Because the video below makes that point, though we’d argue that the shrewd move long-term view is to routinely use the correct terminology.

 

 

The Media has Responsibility, but So Does the Industry’s Members

We’ve brought the topic periodically to the attention of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for years, as have others.

We’ve also asked several mainstream publishers and news outlets if MHI has followed up with them, questioning their improper use of terminology, data, or other issues.

Thus far, not a single publication or news source has answered that affirmatively.  Rephrasing, MHI routinely fails to address the terminology issue. It fits the hit that Frank Rolfe laid on them for not defending the industry, and its image.

Keep in mind, MHI are the ones for the multi-million dollar budget for this task.  It was part of what MHI’s ‘leadership’ said would occur before they brought on board their first – and now, reportedly second – public relations professional.

 

So, we asked Mark Weiss at MHARR, his thoughts on this topic of terminology.  He said the following, which is followed by what U.S. Legal says about the issue, and what some select quotes from the Code of Ethics from the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ).

The definition of “manufactured home” in our federal law, as well as all of the other statutorily-defined terms, is extremely important to the industry and consumers as well.  That term or “manufactured housing” distinguishes federally-regulated manufactured homes, which are subject to uniform, binding, preemptive federal construction and safety standards,” said Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

He said, “A manufactured home is the only federally regulated construction standard, which makes them unique from other types of structures that are either not federally-regulated, or not regulated at all, or are not designed or intended for use as a “dwelling.”

The use of any other term, by either uninformed or deliberately maligning media, academics, industry critics, or others, is not only inaccurate, but a disservice to the public,” per Weiss. “The deliberate misuse of terminology can also be offensive to the millions who proudly own a manufactured home, or the tens of thousands who work in our industry.”

Insofar as production is regulated at the federal level, under a law that specifically uses and defines the term “manufactured housing,” this is more often a post-production issue that needs to be addressed and fought by those who deal directly with the public,” said Weiss to MHProNews. “At that post-product level, it is vital to make sure that today’s manufactured homes are not confused with other types of structures that offer lower-quality, lower levels of safety, or are otherwise misrepresented to the public and/or government entities.”

TheDeliberateMisueofTerminologyCanBeOffensivetoMillionsWhoProudlyOwnAManufacturedhomeOrThousandsinourIndustryMarkWeissMHARRMHproNews575

 

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What does U.S. Legal Say?

Here below is an extended quote from U.S. Legal about the legal definition of manufactured homes.

Manufactured Home Law and Legal Definition

The Manufactured Housing program is a national program established to protect the health and safety of the owners of manufactured (mobile) homes. Under the program HUD issues, monitors, and enforces federal manufactured home construction and safety standards. HUD’s authority is granted under The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5401 et seq.; 24 CFR Part 3280 and Part 3282.

A manufactured home is defined by the regulations of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as housing that is essentially ready for occupancy upon leaving the factory and being transported to a building site. Other factory build homes, that require a significant amount of construction on site before they are ready for occupancy do not fall under the HUD definition. The following is a portion of a federal statute defining manufactured homes:

“Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width or forty body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is three hundred twenty or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein; except that such term shall include any structure which meets all the requirements of this paragraph except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the Secretary and complies with the standards established under this chapter

All of these quotes and sources should convince any journalist that this isn’t an optional matter.

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Society of Professional Journalism, Code of Ethics: Select Quotes:

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair,” said the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ). “Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:

There’s more, but those above serve to prove the point for serious writers, journalists, producers, and editors.

Accuracy matters. Rarely can one point to as common a misuse of terminology occurs.

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MHI arguably ought to be pushed, shamed and/or otherwise prompted into doing what it’s leaders promised with regards to engaging the media on each and every problematic story.

Isn’t this terminology and media engagement issues yet another example of the alleged failures by MHI to serve the industry’s obvious needs?  Shouldn’t the array of industry voices,  including several of their past or current own members, as well as those outside of their membership, be considered and cause MHI to act to pro-actively address this problem?

While other issues, like regulations, zoning, financing and the like matter, few others could be as useful as getting the mainstream media and third-party researchers to simply use the correct terminology, and accurate information.

It should be part of the mantra of every good post-production entity. Doing so would in time rally manufactured homeowners.  Accurate information and nomenclature could accomplish more over time do than a multi-million dollar campaign could accomplish.

But the media’s and academia’s role in giving the proper respect to manufactured home owners is important.

 

 

Some of the reasons to respects, and support, manufactured home owners and the industry are outlined in the article linked above.  That linked article above is useful, because it is on a mainstream media site. You can share that and MHLivingNews.com with those who just ‘don’t get it’ about manufactured housing.

Nothing is changed until it is challenged. Knowledge is power, but more so, whenever it is properly shared. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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For sharing this information with those outside of manufactured housing, please use the link below. Thank you. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/the-ultimate-manufactured-home-industry-fact-data-and-insights-bullets-plus-at-a-glance-infographic/

 

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Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

June 1st, 2018 Comments off

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Rollohome was started by Elmer Frey in his family barn as a one-time trailer sale. Soon he and his brothers Roland, Harold and Norman and his brother-in-law John Bertschie, began large scale operations in the sale and production of mobile homes. By 1950, Rollohome, was the city’s fastest growing business and within two years had sold more than 60,000 units,” according to Vintage Views in the Marshfield, WI News Herald.

 

Many industry veterans still think about Elmer Frey, and what their team accomplished in such a short period of time.

The relevance today?  If building and selling 60,000 homes could be achieved in 1950, why can’t that be done with manufactured homes in 2018 and beyond?

The Freys pushed the lengths to over 40 feet and several state laws pertaining to trailer length and width were changed. They also donated one trailer to the State Historical Society as a traveling museum,” per the News Herald.

Marshfield originally sported three mobile home manufacturing plants: Rollohome, Marshfield Homes, and Wisconsin Homes. Wisconsin Homes was a spin-off of Rollohome and was directly controlled by those in control of Rollohome. Wisconsin Homes and Marshfield Homes both had rail spurs and received rail service. Marshfield Homes,” according to wld-nmra.com.

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This production center produced 60,000 homes in two years, per the Marshfield News Herald.

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The original plant was located between East Ives and East Upham streets to the north and south and between North Central and North Peach avenues to the east and west. Today this area is occupied by the Marshfield Mall, Central City Credit Union, McDonald’s and the Comfort Inn,” said Vintage Views.

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It hasn’t been so long ago that John Wick addressed the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA), raising his concerns for the future of the industry.

John Wick of Wick Building Systems was sold a controlling interest and increased production and added manufactured homes. The names Marshfield Homes, Artcraft Homes and Rollohome all were part of the company at times,” the News Herald report concluded.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Once more, the purpose of these MHProNews Flashback reports is precisely to inspire the industry’s professionals, including the younger ones who otherwise have little-to-no connection to these past glory days for the industry.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

The periodic MHProNews flashback series is more than mere nostalgia.

What was accomplished 68 years ago, can absolutely be accomplished today.  We have more tech, more capital, arguably more of everything. So all it requires is the vision, commitment, “time, talent, and treasure” needed to make the possible reality.

MHLivingNewsImprovedLivingForLessMHProNewsMHMarketingSalesManagement

Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals © is how the U.S.’ 8.3 million unit shortages of affordable housing could be addressed by manufactured home professionals, and investors, starting today.  ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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Understanding the Modern Realities of MHVille – Winners, Losers, Profits, and Loss

Robotics, 3D Printed Housing, Imminent Challengers for Manufactured Homes, Modular Housing – 3D Build Systems CEO Don Musilli

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Manufactured Housing Roadblock? BBC Reports “Trailer Park Living”

May 7th, 2018 Comments off

Longtime Daily Business News readers know that the MHProNews view – and that of scores of industry professionals – is that proper terminology is important.

 

The reverse of that is that improper terminology is to be avoided.

When the Daily Business News uses the term “trailer house” or “trailer park,” its typically because some third party that used that phrase.  A quote is a quote, nothing more or less.  Even if the person or party is misspeaking, it is not the journalist’s or trade media’s place to change what was said.

That said, the BBC used the term trailer house living” in their video report, shown below.  That’s where the headline comes from, and as of this date, the BBC video has over 1.1 million views.  Compared to the vast majority of manufactured home videos, this video has been seen by hundreds of thousands to a million more people.  That gives a tiny sense of why this is an imporant challenge for the industry to address.

There are times that the term “mobile home” legitimately applies, because a factory-built home built on a permeant frame was built before June 15, 1976.  In the 1930s to the 1950s, there were arguably trailer houses built.  A trailer house could be pulled behind a properly equipped car or light-duty pickup (see linked report, immediately below).

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

There are scores who use the terms ‘trailer,’ ‘trailer house,’ ‘trailer park,’ ‘mobile home,’ or ‘mobile home park’ who are industry professionals and investors. When it’s a quote, we get it.  When it’s a punch like, in private, at MHProNews, we get it.  Properly used – it can be improperly applied – for SEO purposes, we get it.

But the vast majority of the time, the right thing to do is to use the correct terminology.  If you and your team don’t make that commitment, it’s not as easy to hold the media or others accountable when they misuse terms.

Some think that the term should be changed to just “home,” and that’s understandable.  That said, for reasons we won’t go into today, it’s not practical. Nor is it the law.

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Manufactured homes and manufactured housing are legal terms, defined by the HUD Code for manufactured housing, which went into effect on June 15, 1976. As Steve Duke said, the code defines the construction standards a factory-built home was built to, and thus should not be deliberately misused, ever.

The video above is one of numerous practical reasons why terminology matters.  When someone is shopping for a manufactured home – and they call it a trailer – or do a search for “trailer house living,” YouTube is likely to show the BBC video above as one of those results.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

When you wonder why the there is such a big fall-off between manufactured housing shoppers and buyers1, the BBC video posted above is one of dozens of exhibits industry pros, advocates and investors should consider.

Which video do you want the public watching, the one above, or the one below?

 

Correct terminology matters. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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“Mobile Home” Case Heading to U.S. Supreme Court, Potential MH Industry Impact Looms

April 27th, 2018 Comments off

MobileHomeCaseHeadingToUSSupremeCourtMobileManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWiki“…there is always the possibility that a court, in a case like this, involving the construction of a federal statute, could look to our law in an effort to resolve the question before it.  And that, in turn, could lead to a misconstruction or other problematic statement by the court that could later be turned around and asserted in a case involving our [Manufactured Housing] law…” – MH Industry Attorney

 

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari Monday in two cases dealing with the question of whether breaking into a mobile home or other “nonpermanent or mobile structure” constitutes a burglary under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), consolidating them for oral argument,” said Jurist in a report picked up and confirmed by the Daily Business News.

The ACCA provides that people who have been convicted of “violent felonies” (including burglary) or serious drug offenses at least three times will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 15 years if they are found possessing or transporting a firearm,” per Jurist’s report, linked above.

The Jurist website says it is a “Legal News & Research University of Pittsburgh School of Law,” based in Pittsburgh, PA.

In a brief statement to MHProNews, Jurist said that they were not sure if the case involved was a a true mobile home or a manufactured home.  Their selection of the photo shown above was therefore not meant to suggest the kind of structure involved, as either a pre-or-post HUD code home.

 

Two Legal Insights of the Case, One from Within MH, One Outside Looking In

The question presented to the Supreme Court in both cases is whether “burglary of a nonpermanent or mobile structure that is adapted or used for overnight accommodation can qualify as ‘burglary’ under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984,” said a legal source to MHProNews that requested anonymity.  That source said, “I don’t know whether the structures in question are true mobile homes or not.”

The source is from outside of the industry, and was asked if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), or other industry connected attorneys or associations had filed an amicus brief?

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the answer was “no.”

That same source said, “I also don’t know if the distinction between true mobile homes and manufactured structures is going to be germane to the Court’s consideration. However, to the extent that you can’t necessarily move a manufactured home and they don’t dissolve in the rain or anything, I would think that the fact that the Court’s considering the contours of a “nonpermanent or mobile structure” would rule out most manufactured homes. I would guess that most MH are both permanent and immobile.”

The petitions for certiorari (Stitt and Sims) should have more details about the facts of the case,” the source stated, adding, “Failing that, Court Listener should have all of the documents from the trial court (Stitt and Sims).”

An industry attorney told the Daily Business News reasons why this case could become significant to the industry, if it isn’t properly addressed.

While this case involves a criminal statute that is not directly related to the definition of “manufactured home” as set forth in the statutes governing the federal regulation of the industry, there is always the possibility that a court, in a case like this, involving the construction of a federal statute, could look to our law in an effort to resolve the question before it.  And that, in turn, could lead to a misconstruction or other problematic statement by the court that could later be turned around and asserted in a case involving our law, or, even worse, used in a way that fails to provide manufactured housing residents with the same type or degree of criminal law protections that are afforded other homeowners or residents.  The potential impact of such a discriminatory outcome — in this case – on the industry’s post-production sector, and the need for an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief addressing this issue, further illustrates the necessity of independent, national, collective representation for the industry’s post-production sector,” said Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

The industry’s self-proclaimed post-production sector has been represented for decades by the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

In a video comment to MHProNews, former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith said that the industry must be honest with itself, and admit that it had often failed to be proactive (see video below).

The question is, will MHI roll-the-dice and not issue a press release that clarifies the issues, accompanied by an amicus brief to the high court?  Or will MHI do both issue a clarifying release and file an amicus brief, and thus protect the industry from a risk that could be avoided if acted upon now?

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“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

April 7th, 2018 Comments off
RedmondNewMoonTrailerHouseMobileHomeLucyDesiLongLongTrailerMovieStillTailreHouseTraumaDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryRedmondNewMoonTrailerHouseMobileHomeLucyDesiLongLongTrailerMovieStillTailreHouseTraumaDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsMHProNews

A Redmond New Moon mobile home, which today would be part of Champion Homes. Still from the movie, “The Long, Long Trailer.” see clips of the video, below.

Misunderstood.

 

Perhaps no other industry which has a product that boasts 22 million daily users is as misunderstood as the Manufactured Housing Industry in 21st Century America.

DarrenKrolowskiDataCompJLTAssocMHVillageEVPCreditDataComp.

Darren Krolewski, MHV.

At the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Darren Krolewski exemplified the problem, when he told attendees that they can ask some adult about a “manufactured home,” and they often have “no clue what that means.”

Krolewski is not alone in that experience.

Part of that misunderstanding can be captured in the irony – the tragedies – illuminated in the routine misuse by media or others of the words, “trailer house,” and “trailer park.”

For millions, those words are synonymous with “trailer trash.” Not many want to be thought of as trailer trash, one of the last acceptable put-downs of the 21st Century. After interviewing many, often on video, it is clearly an emotional trauma for them.

When tens of millions of potential buyers don’t understand the manufactured home product, of course it’s acceptance as a mainstream form of housing is compromised.

There are opportunities that can arise from that understanding. But to tap them, one must take a fresh look, and begin by clearly grasping the cause before the cure can be understood, or applied.

MHVille’s “Trailer House Trauma” is not the only explanation why so relatively few manufactured homes are being sold today, but it is one of them.

 

Lucy and Desi – Flashback to When a Trailer House Was Classy and Cool

If you’ve ever watched the Lucy and Desi comedy movie, “The Long, Long Trailer” then you realize that when you flashback in time to the early 1950s when that film was produced, it was often upscale people who bought a mobile home or ‘trailer house.’

 

 

The reason it was called a ‘trailer’ is because it could be pulled behind many a car, or pickup, as is often demonstrated in the movie.

Note in the chart below how high the sales levels of mobile homes were in the 1950s through the early 1970s?

Image and understanding aren’t everything, but they are a key part of acceptance.

So, “The Long, Long Trailer movie certainly didn’t hurt the sales of mobile homes.

 

Fast Forward to the 1990s.

Now, hop in your De Lorean, and flash-forward from the 1950s to the 1990s.

The manufactured housing industry was hitting its most recent peak. Several problematic challenges were in motion, including poorly underwritten manufactured home chattel loans. 2 decades later, that’s another problem that still haunts the industry with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Wall Street.

But why?

There was a bigger bloodbath in conventional housing’s varied meltdowns, the most recent and memorable one being the bubble that burst in 2008. Conventional and other lending came back for mainstream homes, why not for manufactured homes?

Part of the reason the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing, rural, and undeserved markets was passed by Congress in 2008 was precisely the “poor paper” image that manufactured home chattel loans unfairly represented. Some independents in the industry realized that they needed Congress to act, to force federally chartered Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) lenders to support America’s most unsubsidized form of affordable home ownership.

After all, isn’t it discriminatory to robustly support mainstream housing, and not give equal opportunity for supporting manufactured homes?

But another issue for manufactured housing in the 1990s was the brewing “image issue.”

It was exacerbated when President Bill Clinton’s advisor James Carville, as a red herring on that administration’s simmering sex scandals, quipped “Drag a $100 bill through a trailer park, you never know what you will find.”

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” James Carville, Clinton Strategist

That comment by Carville went viral.

It’s haunted the industry ever since. In hindsight, one might ask, why didn’t the industry respond?

Carville’s calculated comment was a clearly bigoted, prejudicial statement that targeted the millions of Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-code manufactured homes (MH) — and by extension — the industry that serves them.  Not addressing the slander was arguably a mistake.

In the 1990s, the RV Industry – which began to separate from the MH industry during the mobile home (MH) era – launched and sustained since then their “Go RVing” image campaign. The manufactured housing (MH) tested marketing campaigns at times and regions, like ones done in California, or the Pacific Northwest. But those efforts were not sustained. Nor was there ever a coordinated, national MH campaign in the days when the industry’s producers were flush with cash.

So, the RV production chart reflects the fact that towable and motorized recreational vehicles (RVs) outsell manufactured homes today by more than 5 to 1. Yet RVs cost far more per square foot than even the higher priced manufactured homes. RVs are for most a luxury item, with many RVs not necessarily used for full-time living.  To rephrase, the Go RVing campaign has worked.

But that doesn’t imply that the same would work for manufactured housing.  That said, doing nothing is also not acceptable.

RVIARVBusinessManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

RVs are but one reminder than manufactured housing (MH) is nowhere near its potential.

 

 

Me Too?” Cures and Opportunities Begin with Understanding

CallKenCorbin10000ManufacturedHomeRetailerDealerDropDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

The above is a collage of some images from Ken Corbin’s presentation at the manufactured housing industry’s 5 State Event in Deadwood, SD. There’s been over 10,000 retailers lost since the 1990s, said Corbin. That’s “the 10,000 drop.” Graphic by Corbin used with permission.

Former Clayton manager and retailer, Ken Corbin told MH professionals in Tunica, “don’t be a me too” seller in the manufactured home industry. To be more successful than others, one must stand out from the crowd.

Ken’s correct on not being a “me too” point — if greater success is the goal — then Ken’s point is true.

But more than that, one must first understand the causes of what’s kept manufactured housing rising since 2009, but still at historically low levels. It’s common sense that the cure comes after a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

This article looks at measurable data points and troubling facts that almost no one in the industry today mentions, much less addresses.

The “Trailer House Trauma” is far from the only challenge, but it is a real one.  Those willing to stand out from the pack are those who are willing to do the research or hire the talent needed to gain a similar understanding that successful investors like Warren Buffett have routinely done.

Give the man his due, Buffett does his home work.  He says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day.

What’s Next?

This is part one of a periodic series on the true state of the manufactured housing industry after the first quarter of 2018.

Some related data points and reports are found linked after the Related Reports header, further below.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Trailers could be pulled by a properly equipped car or pickup truck. Mobile homes became heavier, wider, and long enough to require special equipment and a trained driver. Manufactured housing is routinely far heavier still, wider, and moving them properly takes heavy equipment and a skilled driver.

As a closing note for today, while being “misunderstood” and the “Trailer House Trauma” is a problem, but it’s also an opportunity in disguise for potentially hundreds of industry companies of all sizes.

Manufacturers, retailers, communities, lenders, vendors and other service providers are all able to benefit from the proper localized, targeted marketing and customer engagement approaches.  Those methods must be based upon reality, as opposed to wishful thinking.  They must be sustainable, or else they will fail.

Hundreds of thousands of affordable homes are needed every year in the U.S. What other sector of the multi-trillion-dollar housing industry has so much upside potential?  Can you name any?

“Starting” Dip in Home Sales, New Crisis Says Housing Experts

 

RV and National Association of Realtors (NAR) data are clear indicators that with the proper capital, planning, team, motivation, and execution, manufactured housing industry professionals can turn their own image around on a localized basis.  RV dealers and real estate firms invest in their success.  Half a million RVs in 2017, plus over 5 million resale housing units for the NAR in 2017 are proof that it pays off.

 

CelebratePastToEndTrailerHouseTraumaLongLongTrailerMobileManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Sadly, very few understand the connection between understanding the challenges, which can then lead to profitable solutions.  But that too is an opportunity in disguise, for those who reject being another ‘me too,’ and embrace the notion that success requires thoughtful change.

Case studies our consulting operation has done with those who put in the effort and resources have seen solid, positive results. To learn more, note the second related report, linked below. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines)

Related Reports:

“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

Understand, Plan, and Execute – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

LATonyKovachPresenting%StateConvDeadwoodSDKenCorbinCommentManufacturedHousingIndustryEventDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Consulting, Marketing, Video, Recruiting, and Training Resources

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates. You’ll see in the first issue or two why big, medium and ‘mom-and-pop’ professionals are reading these headline news items by the thousands. These are typically delivered twice weekly to your in box.

Fires Burning Manufactured Housing’s Public Image? News, Review, MH Industry Impact

December 26th, 2017 Comments off

FiresMobileHomesManufacturedHousingConventionalHousingComparisonPhotoGraphicOver two pages of current mainstream media news stories about “mobile homes,” are focused on one topic.

That subject?

Mobile home fire.”

MHLivingNews has previously reported that fire-related incidents, and thus news stories, increase in all kinds of housing when winter hits.  But local media often appears to hype – say industry readers – “mobile home fires.”

MobileHomeFiresDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNFPA

There are not 4.9 million pre-HUD Code mobile homes in existence. So that search outcome reflects several realities, including the fact that multiple media may pick up the same fire story, or the stories are being spread in other ways that Google is treating as ‘news.’ But the sheer volume of negative stories, reflects the size of the problem for the manufactured home industry.

That in turn leaves a misimpression about the safety of modern manufactured homes, which the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has informed MHLivingNews and MHProNews reflects that mobile homes were more vulnerable, but modern manufactured homes are as safe or slightly safer than conventionally built housing.

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ManufacturedHomeNotMotorHomeNotTrailerOftenCalledMobileHomeNotThatEitherNFPAFireAnalysisManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Avoidable Tragedies! Mobile Home Fires vs. Manufactured Home, and Conventional Housing

Misinformation, False Impression Cost to Industry, Consumers?

That misimpression can have costly repercussion for manufactured home retailers, communities, and those that build those homes and serve the industry.

Mobile and Manufactured Home Fire Reports, Fact Check, Industry Impact

LookAtTheFactsFactCheckMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsBecause of the practical impact of the law of supply-and-demand, that false impression arguably harm existing manufactured homeowners’ values.

Prospective buyers may get the wrong idea that today’s factory built homes are death traps, when the opposite is true.  Thus, an affordable housing option is all-too-often lost to them.

Part of the responsibility lies with media, for not using proper terminology or doing consistently accurate reports.

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

But does manufactured housing have some measure of responsibility too?

Example of False Impression Impact in 2017

For example, the fire related mobile home tragedies issue unjustly caused the state of Ohio to lose their independent Ohio Manufactured Home Commission (OMHC) earlier this year. Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich used selective data and spin to disrupt the commission’s existence, even though both consumers and industry agreed their state’s structure was working well for all parties.

Manufactured Homes Commission Abolished, Effective January 21, 2018

Because tens of millions improperly conflate the terminology of ‘mobile homes and ‘manufactured homes,’ one can safely conjecture that this single topic costs the manufactured home industry potentially billions of dollars in lost potential sales that might otherwise take place.

Your Words Matter: Proper Terminology for Factory Built Homes

Association Role in Educating, Correcting the Record

When one digs into stories about fires and mobile or manufactured homes, per third party, NFPA researcher, they are often

  • A) true pre-June 15, 1976 mobile homes, not manufactured homes; and
  • B) when they do involve a manufactured home, they are often caused by accidents or home owner neglected causes,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThat said, because the post-production side of the industry fails to clarify and respond to these stories, it is an ongoing negative for the industry,” per the MHARR CEO’s statement to the Daily Business News.

Much of it revolves around the terminology confusion that the post-production side of the industry needs to routinely address, every time it comes up,” said Weiss.

Weiss statement dovetails with MHI award-winning Marty Lavin’s comment to MHProNews that negative stories in the

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Marty Lavin, JD.

mainstream media are the de facto “other image campaign,” which caused Lavin to question the wisdom  and effectiveness of their announced marketing initiative.

 

Without an ongoing educational and response by individual businesses at their local market level and/or their post-production associations, the only thing that can be expected is more of the same for manufactured homes in 2018.

Otherwise, [absent an educational/media post-production engagement effort] the average American is left with misimpressions, when the facts, as gathered and reported by the National Fire Protection Association, are that manufactured homes have fewer fires and fire injuries than site built homes under the current HUD fire safety standards, and a fire death rate that NFPA calls “comparable” to site built homes,” per Weiss.

To Keep Doing the Same Things, the Same Way?

As part of the MHProNews 2017 year-end recap, and forward-looking, practical MH industry opportunities and challenges series of reports, it should be clear that failure to change how terminology/definitions and media interaction are handled – or not – is costly.

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Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

While individual companies can and should address this issue in their own local markets – see link – this is commonly the kind of work that a national association does.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) being the self-proclaimed umbrella organization that claims to represent all aspects of factory built housing, thus bears the burden of that mantle.

This isn’t a case where once-a- year press release, or an MHI advertorial is going to fix this,” observes industry expert, and publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

It’s simple math. There are hundreds of these [fire stories] stories every year.  So, if MHI is serious about promoting the industry, they must responsibly do what they claim. That should occur every time an issue arises, or the Arlington, VA based MHI association’s and the industry’s members must find a way to do this without MHI.”  Kovach said, adding, “What else is there that doesn’t fit the popular definition of insanity?”

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In fairness and for balance, MHProNews has routinely asked MHI for comments on such issues. But the association has declined privately and publicly to defend their controversial and allegedly problematic record. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Kid Rock vs. Rapper Eminem – F-Bombers ‘Running for U.S. Senate,’ Video Speech

October 13th, 2017 Comments off

KidRockUSSenate2018NashvilleBillboardMSNDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIf Kid Rock does this right, he can win and it could be good for the people, and manufactured housing.”  

So said factory-built housing owner, and self-proclaimed manufactured home advocate, the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.

Tye said that Kid Rock has the ingredients needed for success. 

In recent comments to MHProNews, Tye favorably compared Kid Rock to other artists who had a similar opportunity to be agents for positive change.

But others, Tye said, failed to capitalize on their fame to “do right” by the working class – and all other – Americans.

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.

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This could be much, much bigger than Duck Dynasty for the industry. opines L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. But it is a scenario that could also easily be mishandled by the industry, says the Rev. Tye.

With rapper Eminem blasting away freestyle against President Trump recently, and word floating that both may run for the same Michigan U.S. Senate seat, the new era of American politics may be taking an interesting twist.

Eminem has also been featured with factory built homes, which may have been pre-HUD Code mobile homes.  

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For a previous, and more in-depth and cross-linked report on this developing story, please click here.

Look for upcoming reports on this topic here and sanitized for more family friendly MHLivingNews.com. ##  (News, analysis.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Flashback Report – Urban Factory-Home Building Project, What It Could Mean Today

July 1st, 2017 Comments off

Able+AbleFactoryBuiltHomeModularManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIt was the early 1970s. 

Then – as now – affordable housing was an issue. 

Then as now, quality, affordable homes were needed in urban settings — not just in land-lease communities.  Nor limited to scattered, rural homesites.

The home in the featured photo above was reportedly produced in Elkhart, IN.  It was back in the days when Indiana was the predominate pre-HUD Code, mobile and modular home capital of the U.S.

Some 46 years after the home in this photo was built, it’s still standing tall.  It looks as good or better than on-site built homes in that neighborhood built during the same era.  The home stands with others as a proud part of a well-known metropolitan American city.

A local savings and loan financed these homes much like any other.

The homes gained in value, perhaps better than others.

Another Inside MH – Exclusive Report

MHLivingNews plans an exclusive video interview with an entrepreneurial member of a father-son team that placed and sold dozens of these homes…

…until the ‘powers that be’ reportedly stopped the successful project. 

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This family was ready, willing and able to do what was needed. They were succeeding. Then, the powers that be disrupted their flowering project. Their compelling story is coming…stay tuned.

Lessons for Factory Home Professionals Today

Stay tuned for another exclusive report on the factory built housing’s runaway #1 – “Industry News Tips and Views Pros Can Use.” ##

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4 and 0 – Special Elections and Manufactured Housing – Clayton, Connor, Hamilton

June 29th, 2017 Comments off

SpecialElectionGOPDemsSpecialElectionMHProNewsI don’t care whether you are a liberal, conservative, independent or something else – the bottom line with this year’s [2016 presidential] election was simply more of the same or something new, different or unique,” said Tim Connor, CSP.

Jim Clayton told MHProNews that “my thinking is increasingly optimistic and tends to align with those Republican leaders who are creatively saving-face while migrating back to the fold – and to PresidentDonald the Disruptor.”

But reading or watching much of the mainstream media makes it clear that many feel differently than Clayton’s founder or those who support the “Donald the Disruptor” agenda. #Resistance, insults to the president, his supporters and our industry from those like Keith Olbermann – reported here – have been headline news.

Georgia 6, MSM and MHVille

For several months, the mainstream media (MSM) covered the run-up to the Georgia 6th district special election.

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Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff, photo credit, Britany Photos, provided under fair use guidelines.

Republican Karen Handel won Georgia’s special election on Tuesday, June 20th.  That win kept in the GOP 4-0 vs. Democrats in the post-inauguration special elections.  The race pitted Handel – who emerged from a crowed Republican field – to defeat a young, appealing-to-many Democrat, Jon Ossoff.

While manufactured housing is far from a homogenous group politically, informal surveys have suggested that the professionals in the industry tend to favor President Donald J. Trump’s agenda.

A New York Times survey pre-election in 2016 indicated that most “mobile home” [sic] residents also tended to favor Trump.

DefiningSICinJournalismDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-comBoth MHI and MHARR have officially welcomed the Trump Administration, notably on areas where regulatory roll backs, pro-growth business policies are being advocated and advanced.

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GMHA – the View of Handel-Ossoff from GA 6th

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

The New York Times and the DNC [Democratic National Committee] decided to take this election and show Trump was such a poor President that even a Moderate Democrat could win in a typically Republican suburban district north of Atlanta. Trump only carried the 6th District by 2% because this district has been slowly shifting toward the Dems for the last few years,” said Jay Hamilton, Executive Director for the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA), to MHProNews.

All the [pre-election] polls showed Ossoff winning by a few points,” said Hamiliton, “but as it [the race] tightened up, the polls never [properly] reflected the change.”

Hamilton pointed out that record sums were spent, most of it from out-of-state. He noted the appeal of Ossoff and that he had many of the qualities that might have won Democrat.  “They were millennial hunting,” he with Ossoff, he said, trying to get someone who sounded fiscally conservative but socially liberal.

The GMHA exec recalled that “Handel is a very vocal opponent to abortion due to her devout Christian faith,” adding – “she left as Vice President the Susan Koman Cancer Foundation in a stink because she was encouraging them to not fund Planned Parenthood…” Hamilton noted one of the key errors in the Democratic strategy.

The “DNC made a huge deal out of how important this election was to them. They should have kept that to themselves. [They] Kept bragging about Trump was going to hand this to them. This brought out all the Republican voters as well as the Dems who voted for Trump to vote against DNC.”

Hamilton detailed several tactical and strategic errors the Democrats made, including: “They ran a candidate who could not vote in his own district that he was running in. He lives two districts a way.  Bad, Bad, Bad move as [POTUS] Trump would say.”

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Screen capture from GMHA website, shown under fair use guidelines.

What this leaves the DNC with is an 0-4 record, in some cases after having spent huge sums of money in a local race.  Early estimates for this GA6 contest indicate it was the most money ever spent on a congressional race.  Hamilton tells MHProNews to expect to see more of Ossoff in the future, as this is the kind of candidate the DNC is looking to win with.

NBC News’ Chuck Todd has said that while the president doesn’t have a clear majority, he does have a clear polarity of voters, describing his followers a the biggest thing out there in politics today.

Michael Bloomberg – who has considered an independent run for the White House and leans left – has stated that at this point, President Trump is well on his way toward re-election in 2020.

But the current GOP in the House and Senate may – or may not – fare as well, unless they get some key legislative items like a publicly acceptable repeal and replace ObamaCare, and tax reform done.

Democrats are still trailing in fund-raising, so given a mixed mood about the Congress, a plurality for the president and the DNC in disarray, the next 18 months are up for grabs. ##

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Manufactured Housing – Helping Those Most In Need

May 25th, 2017 Comments off
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Photo by MHProNews of a manufactured home in a Lakeland, Florida, 55+ Manufactured Home Community. 

In a conference this weekend in Roanoke, Virginia, a very important conversation was taking place about how to keep older residents in the state in their homes.

According to WVTF, the topic, along with others, was discussed at the Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging. Currently, there are one and a half million Virginians over the age of 60 – a large number of which are located in the southwest portion of the state.

The population faces a number of challenges, but none more taxing than the geographic makeup of the area,” said Nancy Brossoie, with the Center of Gerontology at Virginia Tech.

This is an area of our state that is full of hills and hollers, and if you’ve ever been in a holler you don’t get cell service in a holler. In fact, people live so far off the beaten track that even getting home-based services to their homes is very difficult.”

And one organization at the event was looking to manufactured housing as a viable solution.

The Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens is looking to repurposed older manufactured homes to create a senior community for the population in the Southwest portion of the state.

We would take these mobile homes [sic] as we acquired them or purchased them,” says executive director Regina Sayers.

We have renovated those; turned those so that they are handicap accessible, and they have ramps and everything on them, and make them a truly much better home than what some of our seniors in our communities are living in.”

Conference officials say that they hoped the conference would help make Virginia the most age-friendly state in the country.

 

Manufactured Housing – a Helping Hand, an Economic Boom

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Text Graphic, MHProNews.

As MHProNews and MHLivingNews continue to make the case for manufactured housing as a viable solution to hope for the American Dream of home ownership, it also represents an opportunity for those headed into, or already, in retirement to downsize into a quality residence at a reasonable price. And some in the industry see the opportunity clearly.

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Stan Posey, Sales Manager, Sunshine Homes.

When the National Association of Realtors chief economist says there are more buyers than existing homes available on the market, that should be a huge signal to manufactured and modular home professionals,” said Stan Posey, sales manager at Sunshine Homes of Red Bay, AL.

We build residential style homes that target the site-built customer,” Posey said. “Some of our retailers and communities are doing very well by targeting the site-built customer.”

And, the topic received national exposure recently, as manufactured housing industry veteran, Paul Bradley President of ROC USA appeared on NBC Nightly News in a segment on manufactured home communities.

The feature focused on those 55 and over, who are downsizing in retirement and choosing manufactured home communities as an option.

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Credit: NBC.

The recent media coverage is not only great for ROC USA and its affiliates across the country, but for the entire manufactured housing sector,” said Bradley.

These stories have focused on positive developments in and perceptions of manufactured housing,” he said. “Whether that’s in resident-owned communities or not, we all benefit from coverage that combats the stigma too often associated with these homes and worse, the hard-working people who live in them.” ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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