Posts Tagged ‘Monopolistic Housing Institute’

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

February 4th, 2019 Comments off



Attorneys learn to think systematically. So too do engineers, philosophers, mathematicians, MDs, and other scientists.


Ideally, attorneys and other thinkers consider not only their own position, but other perspectives too. The better an attorney understands their opponent’s argument(s), the more effective they can be in representing their client’s interests.

It goes without saying to longtime readers here that MHProNews’ management are not attorneys. But we can read, research, analyze, and think. We can and do cite sources, first, because it is the right thing to do.  But also because crediting the source is what the law suggests should occur.  The Daily Business News on MHProNews does not knowingly use another party’s writing or images, without giving proper credit.

For media and certain kinds of critical analysis, there’s a legal principle involved – and its know as “fair use.”

A well known, third-party example will help illustrate and make the point of fair use.  CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News are among the mainstream media that routinely use each other’s logos, quote each other’s work, and use each other’s video clips.  Since the work of all mainstream media is copyrighted, and their trade marks are registered, how is it possible for each news outlet to use the other’s work legally?

Because such use is covered under the well-established principle used by media known as “Fair Use.”  The composite images show below are from this date, and are shown under fair-use guidelines.



For the sake of MHI’s attorneys, we’ll make our third-party fair use disclaimer logo larger today than we normally do. We also routinely place a notice at the end of each column, with our byline, disclaimers, and notices. We often use a smaller version of an image like the above on third-party sourced images, citing that source.  Some variation of that is what the law requires. Thus, we are neither stealing copyrighted content, nor claiming to be endorsed by MHI, etc. Anyone who thoughtfully, carefully reads an article by us knows that MHProNews is engaged in fact-checking, analysis, and often critiquing MHI and their puppet-master’s work. That kind of analysis by media is precisely what is permitted under fair use. MHI themselves referred to us as news, so they logically have no solid argument.


How Is MHI Spending Members Dues?

The Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) apparently decided some time ago that it is okay to spend untold thousands in dues and other revenue money defending themselves and/or Clayton Homes, or their related lending units.  Meanwhile, they routinely refuse to defend the industry at large that they claim to represent.




Who levels the charge that MHI isn’t acting in the best interests of most of their own members? Answer, past and current MHI members.  Even MHI’s prior president, see linked report further below, arguably took some polite-but-pointed parting shots at his own prior bosses.

The quotes that follow are for newcomers to MHProNews, which are attracted day-by-day to this industry-leading trade publication.

The following quotes serve to make the point that MHARR’s founding president and former MHI VP likewise made, or that the new NAMHCO association’s founder made, when they announced their break with MHI over their failures to perform.  Following these quotes below, we will springboard to the headline topic, after these thought-provoking examples.








What is MHI Actually Accomplishing?

MHI is what we’ve editorially and satirically have called the:

  • Monopolistic Housing Institute, or the
  • Machiavellian Housing Institute, or the
  • Manipulative Housing Institute, with each satirical alternative title intended to provoke thought and analysis by industry professionals and observers. Are any or all of those alternative titles an apt description, or not?

Satire is a form of approved fair use, according to the courts.


Perhaps the bigger or better question is why does MHI target MHProNews – a pro-sustainable and pro-ethical growth trade publisher, that for years was an MHI member – instead of spending those resources defending the industry at large? If MHI were doing their jobs, they would have arguably have no concerns from our analysis, critiques, and commentaries, would they?

So, whatever MHI says to their allies privately, what is increasingly apparent is the validity of the concerns of those industry members noted above about topics like those linked from this report.

The related reports, further below the byline and notices, are but the most recent reasons why a growing number of industry professionals are alarmed at what MHI allows – and what their puppet masters do.

Meanwhile, MHI’s attorney’s target MHProNews’ publisher.  Isn’t their action a stealth attack on the First Amendment?

Since that’s their apparent tactic, we’ll look below at some claims from their purported outside counsel, which is citing the Lanham Act as their claimed grounds for possible legal action against this platform’s publisher.




In a letter dated 12.21.2108 to MHProNews’ parent company’s managing member, attorney John J. Greiner, of Graydon Head & Richey, LLP gave numerous examples of his complaints, referencing the Lanham Act.  Perhaps Greiner doesn’t think we can read, research, or think for ourselves?

Consider but a few of the legal references that arguably refute Greiner’s claim.



A common tactic used by an opponent willing to abuse the legal system is to file suit, even if they are wrong. Some opponents want to drive an opposing firm or operation into financial insolvency, which could be done through costly legal battles. But that tactic is predicated on hiring an attorney to defend against a claim in the first place. People and organizations can act pro-se or pro-per until such time as they may want to shift strategies.


It is worth noting that a specific article Greiner mentioned is this one:


“Lots of Sizzle,” Clayton Sales Performance, Other MHI & Clayton Homes News Tips


Note that it mentions Clayton Homes, as well as MHI?

Greiner says “Again, we demand that you immediately pull this material from your blog and cease and desist any further copyright violations going forward.”

First, while our website is made up of several blogs, it is more properly trade media. Moving on from that minor point, Greiner ominously stated what MHProNews has said for years, “We will monitor your site to ensure that you comply.”  That’s Greiner stating the obvious. MHProNews has been read by MHI staff, plus large, medium, and small industry members for years.  The quote below is one of many examples.



Note, Barry Cole’s prior anniversary kudos message raises an important point. Most publications in the MH space failed or closed years ago. Some have since tried to make the cut, inspired by MHProNews’ success. Some noteworthy efforts have also since been suspended. MHProNews has stood the test of time, and the slings and arrows of the industry’s outrageous fortunes.


Response to MHI’s Disputed Allegations


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the publisher of, and MH Consultant.

Our publisher and managing member said, “We reject this claim by MHI, their purported attorney, and object to the notion that we’ve ever intentionally misused their logo or name.  Anyone of sound mind who objectively reads our various fact-checks, analysis, and critiques of MHI and their puppet-masters knows that we are not claiming to be MHI. Far from it, we’re holding them accountable for their various actions and/or failures to act.  We are not claiming to be MHI, nor have we claimed to be endorsed by them.  Let others bear the burden of being ‘endorsed’ by MHI, which reportedly has many of its top people under investigation.”

That’s L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s tongue-in-cheek way of saying that several of MHI’s top members are facing various forms of legal and media scrutiny.


“An objective reading of what we do would logically reduce their attorney’s argument to a bluff, wrong-headed, or an otherwise misuse of the law, in my lay view.  If they want to insist that we are incorrect, that is what juries are for, and we believe in the jury system.”  said Tony Kovach.  “Furthermore, to be crystal clear, we place a third-party fair use notice routinely on articles.  So we believe that we are well covered by the proper understanding of the principle of fair use under the law.” 

First let’s note that the Daily Business News on MHProNews uses various kinds and sizes of logos, some of which – see the example logos below – specifically state that the item it is attached to is being provided under fair use guidelines.  That is an approved method of citing fair use, per the law.  So Greiner and his clients in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are sure to see it, here is how a big version of that logo looks.




We also use smaller versions of that same logo above, here is but one example, that has the same disclaimer.

But even if that disclaimer above the logo was missing, MHProNews has for years noted at the end of each article that third-party images and references are provided under fair use guidelines.  That are other ways that MHProNews has taken prudential steps at defending our rightful exercise of fair use.

We’re comfortable with the legality of that, based upon third-party legal experts. For example, see the quotations and citations, found as a download, referenced here.

With that disclaimer, let’s next look at what Greiner of Graydon Head & Richey, LLP has complained about.  Because it is illuminating for the industry’s professionals to see what they debatably are wrongfully demanding that MHProNews remove from our website.




Notice that the “third party” “fair use” images notice was larger on this. Either Graydon’s research and attorney are not looking, or perhaps they are trying to bluff. If this is how MHI wants to spend dues money of their members, instead of going after those who harm the industry, c’est la vie.



MHI and their ‘echo chamber’ supporters are either badly misinformed, or won’t look at the facts and their causes. MHI – in the video that the still above references – claims to be promoting the industry. If what they do is ‘promotion,’ why are the results so poor? Why is manufactured housing shipments still well under 50 percent of what their own member company called the long-term average since 1990? Is MHI just bad at fulfilling their claims?  Or is MHI’s failure to perform part of the plan to consolidate the industry into fewer hands at a discounted value? Why are MHI leaders getting bonuses, when they are failing to perform?


Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses


JohnCGreinerAttorneyPhotoGraydonlawLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsWhat Greiner has not done is say, ‘gee, MHProNews/MHLivingNews, our clients are not willing to debate or discuss the issues you’ve raised in public. They can’t or won’t try to explain any of the allegations or concerns you’ve raised about MHI, Clayton, 21st et al.  So, we’d rather try various forms of intimidation tactics, hoping to silence your platform instead. Citing the Lanham Act is just a ploy.’

There are countless examples on MHProNews and MHLivingNews where we’ve used third party images and quotes, but always under legally protected third party media reports, critiques, and analysis guidelines.

As noted above, every day, mainstream media does the same thing.  Do you see Fox News suing CNN for showing their logo, when they critique their reports?  No.  Do you see CNN or MSNBC suing Fox News for showing their respective logos when they are doing an analysis, critique or commentary?  No.  Why not?

Because the law arguably allows for doing that, and that includes the fair use provisions and rulings under the Lanham Act.

Consider what the Society for Professional Journalists said in their Code of Ethics page.


See the SPJ’s full code of ethics at this link here.


We’ll stand on our understanding of the law.  At some point, they will either sue, or try some other tactic.

But if MHI and their Omaha-Knoxville masters and their allies had the guts, wouldn’t they’d debate in public, instead of ducking public debate?  Wouldn’t they – at a minimum – rationally explain concerns over issues like those linked from this report?


Calling out BS

We’re once more accusing the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies of arguably deceptive trade practices, violations of RICO, marketing rigging, and antitrust laws, among previously cited concerns.  Why not have their attorney’s explain those issues?

If their attorneys sue instead, then we’ll have little choice but to countersue, and use the discovery process to gain even more evidence against them. We’d ask for a jury trial, because the jury system is meant to sort out precisely such contests.




If the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis intentions are so pure, why don’t they explain it rationally?  But that doesn’t seem to be the path they’ve chosen – as Graydon’s attorney working for MHI exemplifies.  If so – if they launch a formal legal suit – then may justice be served, and may the best legal argument win.

But let’s be clear.  The latest salvo of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis isn’t so much directed against us.  Rather, isn’t MHI’s aim at keeping the industry at large in the dark about what MHI and their puppet masters are doing?



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


ICYMI, see what Clayton is said to be doing to their largest independent retailer.  Paraphrasing what MHM said last week, ‘if they rape their largest independent, what chance to the rest of us have?’  See that and other reports below.

The time to push back and fight the forces of the axis that seeks to conquer manufactured housing is now. If not now, when? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Related Reports:

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

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

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America


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

Independent Clayton Retailers – Insiders, High Cost of Going Along to Get Along?

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

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






“We Have to Keep Changing Too as Retailers”

December 27th, 2018 Comments off



As our recent report linked further below reminded MHProNews readers, Sears produced the precursor of the prefab home, and so much more.


So what doomed Sears?  An ex-Sears official in the CBS video below said, “bad leaders.

Of the 2,300 Sears locations 8 years ago, CBS says that only about 500 remain open today.

That sounds tragically like what occurred in manufactured housing (MH) retail, and in manufactured home production too.



At least 4 of the 5 named above have readily documentable ties to Berkshire Hathaway in one or more ways.


See article, linked here. MHI and Clayton can’t or won’t reply to the facts and evidence, other than via an attorney, so check out our publisher’s reply to their purported attorney.


They needed to reinvent themselves in a really disruptive way, and it just didn’t happen,” said Don Katz, author of a book on Sears.  Take Sears out, and put MH retail in, and you might get chills up your spine as you ponder this modern business morality tale.




Lessons for MHVille?

The Monopolistic Housing Institute, ooops, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) keeps trying to sell industry independents on just how great everything is, and why their leadership should be trusted.



But a quick glance at their own recent report, shown above – or MH shipment trends shown below – should be sufficient reasons inquiring and savvy manufactured home independents to consider a popular Latin phrase.  “Caveat emptor,” meaning “Let the buyer (of an MHI membership…) beware.”




If MHI knows what it’s talking about, then why has the industry slid so far, while often more expensive RVs have rocketed past?

The other logical option is equally disturbing. MHI is doing what it’s doing deliberately, posturing activities that produces measurable results only for a few favored firms, vs. the majority of the industry, which is steadily being consolidated.  Take your pick, but either way, MHI has failed in their claim to represent ‘all aspects of factory built housing’ successfully, which may explain why new post-production MH trade groups have and are forming.




As 2018 wraps to a close, the story of Sears is an ominous reminder of the high cost of bad leadership.  Beyond what the insightful CBS video spotlighted, is the fact that monopolistic maneuvers – which some believe include Arlington-based MHI puppet-masters in Omaha and Knoxville – can prove to be fatal to otherwise good businesses.

More than one state association executives have told MHProNews about the troubling trends they see as the numbers of independent manufactured home retailers decline.



MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the obvious problems, troubling trends, and vexing concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why doesn’t MHI and their Berkshire Hathaway/Clayton/21st masters offer a cogent explanation?

It is worth noting that Legacy Housing, which recently went public, cited as the prime goal of their use of new capital would be to open new retail centers. For more on that, see the related report, below the byline and notices at the end of this post.

Want a brighter 2019?  Common sense says that if you keep doing the same things, the same way, you’ll get the same result.

If you really want a brighter future in 2019 and beyond, and aren’t a monopolist, then you should carefully reconsider who you support, what information sources that you trust, and what changes need to be made in order to avoid the death knell that has grabbed once giant Sears. That’s this evening’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Related Reports:

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


Insider Tips – Clayton Multi-Million Dollar Plan Aims at Replacing Sales Staff? Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Kevin Clayton Meeting

Capital Pouring In, What Warren Buffett May Not Want MHVille Professionals to Know

Sears Prefab Home Initiative


Legacy Housing Exclusive to MHProNews on Firm’s Solid IPO, Plus MH Market Updates










“Trailers for Sale or Rent,” “Pencil Head, Its Not a Trailer Park,” Manufactured Home Rental Reality Checks

June 11th, 2018 Comments off

Face on left is a still from the music video, below.

It’s classic Sam Zell. “Pencil head,” Zell would say to potential investors who didn’t completely ‘get it’ about what is known today as Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), “it’s not a trailer park.”


It’s not a trailer park. So true.


To see the quote from an exclusive interview with Sam Zell, click the link here or the image above.

But the song by Roger Miller, King of the Road,” provides an interesting glimpse at a historic period in MHVille that ought to be reconsidered. In decades long passed, there once weretrailer parks.”

Miller’s song opens with these lyrics.

Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents.

No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes

Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom

Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room

I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road…”

King of the Road” was like a battle hymn of affordable housing populists in the mid-to-late 1960s.


Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

Unlike the video posted above, those true trailer houses and mobile homes of that era were newer and nicer then. It wasn’t a scandal when Elvis Presley honeymooned in a mobile home.

Elvis & Priscilla Presley Honeymooned in this Mobile Home

As informed MH Industry professionals know, it wouldn’t be until June 15, 1976 that the first manufactured homes were built. That anniversary of the dawn of the manufactured housing era comes again, this week.

For some, as “Trailer House Trauma” dramatized, the trailers of yesteryear were often seen as cool, and classy.

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

But over the years, somehow that higher degree of acceptability of mobile homes and trailer houses changed.

Part of the solution of the industry’s image issue today is to recapture its largely forgotten glory days.

To do so is both easy, and complex. For example, the industry must give every facet of pre-code mobile home owners – plus their early manufactured home evolutionary offspring – their well-deserved dignity and respect.

Affordable housing, then and now, ought to be celebrated.  Affordable housing can make even those ‘of modest means,’ King of the Road.”


What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.


Rediscovering Mobile Home Parks, and Manufactured Home Communities


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

The mainstream media, researchers, investors, and politicos are discovering – or rediscovering – manufactured home (MH) communities (MHCs).

Part of the business model mix today is the notion of renting vs. selling HUD Code manufactured homes.

As the Glen Miller song lyrics reminds us, for decades there have been some who rented instead of sold units. Zell has suggested that rentals must be well managed, and kept marginal.

Arguably, renting homes was revived in part as a response to the flaws of Dodd-Frank, and how the CFPB under Richard Corday implemented the regulations regarding manufactured home financing.

The interview with Sam Landy, JD, from a couple of years ago, makes the point why seller financing was often dropped.  That’s explained in a report with a video interview linked below from a large community owner’s perspective.  Landy is also an attorney, which puts even more insight to the concerns that motivated their change to rentals. All of the linked reports can be read later for the added details, quotes, and color.


Sam Landy, UMH CEO, on Dodd-Frank and The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – S 682/HR 650


Manufactured Home Producers, Selling and/or Renting HUD Code Manufactured Housing

To dozens of factories, it doesn’t matter much if the manufactured home being shipped are going:

  • into a development where the home will be rented,
  • to a retailer who will sell the home,
  • or into one of hundreds of the estimated 45,000 land-lease communities from coast-to-coast where presently it will often be rented rather than sold.

Indeed, as yet another community operator told MHProNews recently, the ROI on rentals is strong.

UMH is one of several REITs or private portfolio operators who rent more manufactured housing units than they sell.

As Don Westphal said during a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) meeting, there are reasons to hope that renting homes may introduce a new wave of people to the manufactured housing industry. They may, he said, as a result buy later on.

While Westphal’s point might make sense in theory, the total shipment data doesn’t yet reflect that reality. Could it be made so?


In as much as a modest percentage convert from renting to buying, the potential exists.


Manufactured Housing’s Multi-Family Housing Opportunity?

There are no throw away or filler articles published on MHProNews. Each post or report exists for specific reasons. As the publisher, we admit that in hindsight, there are articles that we frankly might blanch at today that were published x years ago. But at that time, based upon what we then knew, we then-and-now have aimed for relevant topics.

As a result, industry professionals have always rewarded us with their time, and read about double the pages per visit than the average mainstream news websites get, per third-party data.  While the data has changed (e.g.: more traffic now than then), the prior video plug below makes the point.


MH Opportunities Knock

That’s said in part because there are significant opportunities to develop with manufactured housing, using more manufactured homes as rentals.

We’ve examined numerous issues, and scrutinized several themes over the years.  We’re refining insights into critical topics in the last 2 years. Each refrain is important-to-vital for the future of the sustainable growth of MH independents.

In an upcoming video interview, we have a retailer on camera who sold numerous residential style manufactured homes to a developer.

That developer using manufactured homes is reportedly renting the units as fast as he can get them in and properly installed.

Rephrased, a manufactured home retailer sold upscale models to a developer, not entry level ones, to be used for rental housing. Those residents who rent those sharp homes will be able to bring their family and friends over, to show them off with pride.

That in turn may fuel more of Westphal’s hope that rentals could lead to more sales.  It is one of several possible approaches, including the recent report on ‘reaching for the sky‘ with high-rise manufactured home towers.

High-Rise Manufactured Home Stackable Towers, Compete with Modular/PreFabs, Density at Lower Cost

The multiple-story manufactured housing Daily Business News report above spotlighted how the industry could be going vertical in more ways than one. The better-known expression for going vertical in MHVille is linked below, and can be read later for more depth of understanding.


Multi-Family with Manufactured Homes

The points noted herein are many, and some are nuanced.

On the one hand, factory-home builders ought to be doing 500,000 to a million new HUD Code manufactured homes a year.  Yet this year, the current estimates are that MH will finish with around 100,000 (+/-) new home shipments.  Ouch.


There’s plenty of evidence – decades of proof of concept – that manufactured homes can be rented or sold. It’s a matter of chutzpah, the 7Ts, and establishing systems that allow one to scale results.

For example, as new apartments are going up, the evidence reflects that they fill up fast.

Bob Sullivan in Credit, citing the Urban Institute stated in a Nov 2017 report that “Today, single-family rental homes and townhomes make up 35% of the country’s 44 million rental units, compared to 31% in 2006.” and Almost all the housing demand in recent years has been filled by rental units,” says Sara Strochak, a research assistant with the Urban Institute. She also states that single-family rentals have gone up 30% within the last three years.”

Line those facts up with single-family manufactured homes, and the light-bulb for large, upside opportunities should be going off more often.

So, occasions for MHVille investing and earning more are actually more widespread than some in the business may realize.


Why the Low Production Numbers?

So why aren’t more new manufactured homes being shipped?

The reasons are many. But about a decade ago, capital constriction – artificially, by failing to follow federal law, and other forces – caused hundreds of retailers and numerous factories to fail or sell out for less. Related resources linked below will have more details.

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

But some of what’s gone wrong is perception.


We beat the drums on terminology in part because of two words. “Trailer trash.” How many people do you know that want to be known as “trailer trash?”


Millennials Need Affordable Housing, but “Trailer Park Boys” stigma slows Manufactured Home Acceptance


For example, we made numerous strategic efforts, sadly without any assistance from the folks in Arlington, to recast the discussion on the T-word.


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

When is it appropriate to use the word “trailer?”


Isn’t this part of the antidote to the t-word issue?

When should the “T-word” be seen like the N-Word?


Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The industry’s members and investors have several options to improve results. All of it should come down to a two words.

Compelling Education.”

Retailers, Communities, Developers, Financial Services, Producers and others must invest in education of their team, and the public. Those various forms of education must take place simultaneously.

That education must include a component that recognizes the dignity of our contemporary home buyers and residents.

That education must happen based upon facts, not hype.

The industry’s so-called leadership has arguably failed to make that case. It’s a reason why there are several alternative regional and national groups beginning to form to challenge MHI in the post-production advocacy.



Sam Landy was and is correct when he said that each company is responsible for its own marketing. Similarly, each operation is responsible for its own sales training program.

What is being “taught” by MHEI may have some value, but it clearly isn’t moving the industry’s needle, when making some common-sense comparisons, and reality checks.


The RV industry has sold rings around manufactured housing for years. Why? RVs cost more per square foot, and are a luxury item, not a necessity like housing. Thus, RV data, combined with the data from NAR’s Lawrence Yun tell us that manufactured housing could be doing a million new HUD Code homes annually, in a sustainable fashion.

Despite the evidence that MHI had a member company – ours, on the consulting side of our operation – that succeeded time and again at attracting the site-built buyer – sources say that MHI first attempted to sideline us, then tried to derail us.  It’s an outrageous conflict of interest, but per sources, not the first or the last.  But the question should be asked, why would they not spotlight that proof of concept?  Doesn’t MHI’s leadership want more growth?


Why did they spin and attempt to bury such behavior? Let’s see if they publicly answer that question, shall we?


Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

The allegations herein, and those made by Marty Lavin, MHARR, and other voices in HUDVille are serious ones.

The facts reveal that manufactured housing could be doing far better.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

The most recent backstab at MHI member companies may be what some are calling the “new class of homes” scam. Producers, including MHI members, are disturbed by what Fannie Mae is doing, apparently with MHI assistance.

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


Congressional, Federal, State Investigations

This publication asked before that the minutes of the MHI GSE closed door meeting be revealed. We think it’s time for even more federal investigators to occur, plus state AGs to get involved. The link below mentions some federal investigations that are already underway.

The arguable failures at the Arlington-based national trade group are numerous.

Nevertheless, they continue to get the support by Berkshire Hathaway brands consistently. That fact belies any theories of mere arrogance, incompetence, collective low level of experience in MHVille, etc.

Put differently, Berkshire Hathaway won’t reward non-performance. Clayton closed roughly 100 of their own retail centers since 2011. Isn’t it reasonable to believe that the Berkshire brands in MHVille like what MHI is, and isn’t doing, and getting done?

Why would Jennison get his contracted extended at all? Several current and former MHI VPs have had less than favorable comments about Jennison’s abilities.  That’s simply a fact, repeatedly told to MHProNews.  So given the questions about the man, from his own office, why was he renewed? Or more to the point, why did he get a bonuses or a raise, per their IRS form 990?

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

More than one attorney the Daily Business News has spoken with see potential grounds for civil actions and/or anti-trust case potential. Other legal claims may be possible, such as allegations of deceptive trade practices charges, interfering in contractual relationships, conflicts of interest, RICO, and other instances that could result in federal and/or state bureaucratic action.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

It must be noted that those attorneys include those who are exploring class action or other claims on a contingency basis. Contingency cases mean that law firm must have a high degree of confidence in their potential case.

Will Berkshire Hathaway brands and MHI have a defense to mount? Of course. That’s what courtrooms, and the legal system are for, to give a civil battlefield for legally contentious concerns.

For over a year MHI and the Berkshire Hathaway brands in MHVille have declined numerous opportunities offered by MHProNews to respond in writing to the concerns raised, or to debate them publicly via video.  They fact that they won’t engage speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

The fact that Rick Robinson would not answer trade media questions in Deadwood, SD speaks volumes.

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsDitto when Dick Jennison ducked out on a presentation scheduled weeks in advance.  He did so after we published a list of questions attendees should ask him during the Q&A.  That too should shout “what’s going on?” Even pro-MHI state association executives told MHProNews how suspicious that behavior by Jennison.


The Top Twelve Questions for Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison

Manufactured housing has come of age.

The Ultimate Manufactured Home Industry Fact$, Data, and Insights – Bullets plus at-a-Glance Infographic

Manufactured homes are the solution to the affordable housing crisis that’s hiding in plain sight, as MHLivingNews spotlighted years ago. That slogan we floated is becoming a more common refrain in the mainstream media.

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

But until the debatable chokehold of Arlington, Knoxville, and Omaha are fully exposed and lawfully dealt with, consolidation rather robust growth may sadly continue.


See Smoking Gun 3.

That seems to be the unstated purpose of MHI.  That’s why we’ve editorially dubbed MHI the ‘Monopolistic Housing Institute.’

The foot must be taken off regulatory and capital brake peddles.

The Trump Administration has repeatedly shown that they’re doing its part. We pray daily that the administration won’t mistakenly allow some Berkshire Hathaway lackey to be named as the next administrator at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs. The next administrator must be sensitive to the interests of independent producers, who are fighting against giants.


The affordable housing crisis is costly to tax payers. The regulations have for years been harmful to competing investors, and independent businesses, who create jobs in MHVille that make the American Dream possible for more good people.

The industry hasn’t sold trailers or mobile homes for more than 4 decades.

We need more industry voices willing to support the common-sense cause of fully enforcing specific, existing laws.

  1. The robust implementing of the Duty to Serve manufactured housing by the Enterprises.
  2. To do the necessary tweaks to FHA and other federally insured loans to break the Berkshire Hathaway finance grip, and
  3. to fully enforce the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, including enhanced preemption.

Doing so will fully harness the power of manufactured housing to serve millions of Americans, with little or no tax payer subsidies. It’s a series of mutual victories, once the choke holds noted are removed.


YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact


The full implementation of the 3 points above could unlock some $2 trillion dollars in additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP), per third party research.

The case for contemporary manufactured housing advancement as the solution for millions of Americans is made above.  At the heart of the American Dream is the saying, “a man’s home is his castle.”

From the days of the 1960’s ballad King of the Road,” to today, the evolutionary solution is the same. Factory-built housing makes sense.

It is up to forward looking professionals to navigate the issues noted, to move manufactured homes up to meet the potential that Operation Breakthrough, Harvard’s Eric Belsky and a GSE – among others – said manufactured housing could achieve.

That’s why the billionaires want as much of the industry as they can get their hands on. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, and management news.)

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

Related Reports:

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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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‘We Want Your Money’ – 2018 MHI Membership, Infographic Fact Check

January 10th, 2018 Comments off


All 2018 MHI membership payments are due by end of the January.  We look forward to welcoming your company back as we continue to make important strides within the manufactured housing industry,” reads MHI’s latest appeal for renewal of the dues of their members.

The second sentence begs the question, what strides?

Given their previous “MHI Zen,” and “Got Clout?” claims, where’s their documented, measurable success?

How would they answer the following questions?

Stating the obvious that they ignored: emails sent to Congress are not success, legislative passage is.

After about 6 years, and millions spent, why do they have exactly nada to show in the way of accomplishing their own main goal?


MHI in the same email that contained this graphic FINALLY began a ‘written’ debate of the issues. Great. But why did they duck most of the tough questions, while replying with a cool looking graphic that has still more misleading info? Do they hope razzle dazzle will get or keep the industry on board with a failed agenda? An agenda that’s arguably harmed thousands of independents, while helping big companies?

One graphic – below – could sum up MHI’s documented failure to advance the industry’s agenda.


If MHI’s program was so successful, why is the industry going backward? Graphic provided by Ross Kinzler when he was then the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

MHI totally ignores that they passed on a negotiated deal that could have given everyone in the industry relief from the MLO rule.  See the emailed document within the report, linked below.

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

More important, they utterly ignore numerous, well documented concerns and claims, often made by their own current or past members.  Many of those claims include documents from MHI’s own key members.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

Those claims include that they are working to promote their largest members, to the disadvantage of smaller ones and independents.

“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

Why have they never publicly explained notable moves, like the one linked below?

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

Their latest emailed “MHI Spin” update, dated today, is arguably an example of more spin.




There are several one-liners that MHI should try to answer.  Warren Buffett, left, supported Hillary Clinton, who supported Dodd-Frank.  Duh?  Who does MHI think they are fooling? Credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews.

Given that they clearly tried to respond, in several ways, didn’t they enter into a written debate?


Given that their messaging in their emailed update today fail to address several issues their own members have raised, isn’t it a de facto admission that the claims and allegations against them – and the dominant MHI members – have merit?

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Sources say they clearly made numerous attempts to appear to respond to their critics, without actually addressing them.

Why not do an open discussion/debate – video recorded, so the entire industry can see it – done next week at Louisville? We’ve emailed just such an invitation to Dick Jennison, and key MHI staff, which was copied to others. Let’s see if they take up the challenge, shall we?


If they do a video recorded debate, their members – and everyone in the industry – can have a better sense of the truth of their claims, as well as the many published concerns.  Isn’t that fair before independent members have to write their MHI renewal, dues checks?

They’ve made it the issue with their infographic.  Why pay dues to MHI?  Many, the big boys, clearly will.  But the independents?  What’s in MHI for them?




Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.

GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

Or is that too transparent for them?

Let MHI fact check the articles linked above, and respond to each one.

Or better yet, let their president debate their performance in public. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (Fisking, analysis, commentary, fact check, news.)


L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, He’s the publisher of the industry’s two largest and most popular trade media, and

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach, managing member,
LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC –
parent to, and