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Panicking Manufactured Home Community Residents Turning to Rent Control Demands

June 20th, 2019 No comments

 

PanickingManufacturedHomeCommunityResidentsTurningRentControlDemandsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Still from video, posted further below.

Residents of a manufactured home community in Marin County, California are stressing over announced rent increases that will hit them in July 1, 2019.

 

Per CBS local affiliate KPIX 5, the sharp spike may cause some to lose their homes.

It is part of a trend that has been sparking headlines in various parts of the United States.  Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D), and a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful who has been rising steadily in the polls.  Senator Warren recently sent letters to several manufactured home community (MHC) operators that have drawn national attention in the wake of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral but errantly named “Mobile Homes” video.

KPIX’s report is posted below. 

 

 

Local media quoted resident Joan Dobkowski saying, More than half of us are on a fixed, retirement income, which means this kind of steep increase is not something that can be handled in that short time period.”

Because they’re almost doubling the rent when we sell our units for the new people,” Dobkowski said. “No one wants to move here. So, we’re losing our homes as well…we can’t sell them.”

Larkspur does not have rent control, though much of the rest of the county does.  David Levin, managing attorney for Marin Legal Aid, said “That’s something [signing a long term lease] the renters [community residents] are wrestling with right nowbecause they’ve been presented with a 5-year lease agreement and that could lock them into the rent increase schedule as proposed.”

They’re going to get less money or possibly even lose some or most of their investment,” Levin said. “In many cases, all these people own is the mobile home [sic].”

This concern is part of a larger trend in the industry, one that was highlighted by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver spotlighted.  MHProNews readers are reminded that in the wake of that report, before mainstream media reports hit, our sources in Washington, D.C. said they expected national blowback. A tangential topic that has tie-ins has drawn attention from several Democratic lawmakers, including 2020 presidential hopefuls. 

Rephrased, there are indications that issues like this one could get hotter.

Representatives for the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA), the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) were invited to weigh in on this and related controversies.  They have not responded as of 1:52 PM ET – but were also given an option to respond to our report once published. 

NAMHCO recently weighed in on another community-focused matter, linked after the byline and notices.

While not a producer issue, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has weighed in on a related possible solution.  See that linked further below too.  MHProNews will continue to monitor this scenario.

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MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

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

“Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

“Trailer Parks,” Presidential Candidate, Prior HUD Secretary Julian Castro on MH Community Operators, Residents Not Knowing Their Rights

Gannett Media Exposés, MH Community Owner Moves Sparks Outrage – IEDs of Manufactured Housing

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

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

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

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

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

 

 

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

June 14th, 2019 No comments

 

NAMHCOlogoMonopolisticManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHARRlogoGeorgeFAllenPawnNAMHCOMHIMHARRWeighInOnControversialBillGeorgeAllenPawnGambitMHProNews

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

 

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

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

Why? How so?

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

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

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

But they have not yet made any formal response.

No official response was made by MHI.

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

 

— start of MHI release —

HOUSING ALERT

June 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

— End of the body of MHI’s release —

 

 

MHI’s Factual Misses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

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

 

 

Here is the formal NAMHCO statement to MHProNews.

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

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

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

 

 

The View from MHARR

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

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

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

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

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

 

RequestForCommentEmailtoManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI2019-06-14_0619DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

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

MHProNews would like to see:

1) the original language of the bill,

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

3) the revised language.

4) all communications relative to this bill.

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

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

Thank you.

Tony

LATonyKovachMHProNews2019-06-14_0741

 

 

 

 

What Third Party Legislation Monitoring GovTrack Says

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

 

HR926GovTrackSkoposLabsHUDManufacturedHousingModernizationAct2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

 

Problematic New Class of Homes Angle?

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Meanwhile the industry:

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

 

Downturn Harming Independents, Would-Be Consumers 

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

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

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

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

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

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

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

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

 

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

 

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

Secretary Ben Carson’s, Julian Castro’s Manufactured Housing, “Trailer,” “Mobile Home” Revelations, 2020 Battles Ahead

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

 

George Orwell, All Issues Are Political Issues, Manufactured Housing Challenges, and You

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries, MHI Chairman, Insights from Innovative Housing Showcase

 

 

 

 

 

George Allen’s “Peace Offensive,” Saul Alinsky, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and Manufactured Housing’s War

May 26th, 2019 Comments off

 

GeorgeAllenPeaceOffensiveSaulAlinskyHUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingWarDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

There are slogans and then there are solutions.

 

Slogans are what the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is well known for, examples are “Got Clout? Get it Here” or their recent slogan for their 2019 Congress and Expo fund-raising meeting, which used the phrase “Let’s Keep Building.”  More on those two slogans, later.

Let’s pivot to a news tip forwarded to MHProNews, succinctly described as “George Allen’s Peace Offensive,” which was an email last Tuesday forwarded by one of the blogger’s message recipients.  That Allen email was sent to leaders of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR),  the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO), among others.

To my knowledge, HUD Secretary Ben Carson knows nothing of this specific incident, but his summation in a cable news interview after his recent Capitol Hill testimony might seem to apply.  Wittingly or not, well intended or perhaps masking a hidden agenda, Allen’s move – as nice as it sounds to the uninformed – is a purported example of a “Rules for Radicals,” Saul Alinsky tactic.

It will be recalled that HUD Secretary Carson earlier this month made an important speech to manufactured housing professionals in New Orleans on May 7, 2019.  More than 2 weeks have gone by, yet it is still not on MH’s website. Did Allen call for that speech to be posted in its entirety by MHI?  No.

 

Instead, Allen is calling once more for ‘unity’ on messaging by the 3 national trade associations he addressed.

Allen has once more ducked or missed the point.  NAMHCO and MHARR exist precisely because they don’t trust MHI. To ask MHARR or NAMHCO to issue joint communiques is posturing at best, foolish and ill advised at worst.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

The speech by Carson praised the need and importance of manufactured housing.  Are the powers that be that pull the strings at MHI afraid that it might cause the industry’s sales to grow if it became widely known and properly understood?

More recently, during a congressional oversight hearing, Secretary Carson was attacked on Capitol Hill be Democrats hoping for cheap sound bites for later replay.  An example of that is shown below, by left-of-center Politico.

 

 

Here is how right-of-center Fox Business covered the same topic of Carson’s comments on Capitol Hill and how they were mishandled and portrayed by opposition media.

 

 

But what if the Democrats Appeared Right in This Case?

Let’s presume for a moment that Politico and that Democratic legislator had been correct, and that Secretary Carson actually did not know what an REO property was.  So what?  Or is that the left wing equivalent to the occasion when some on the political right slammed President Obama for saying on camera “57 states” in the United States, instead of 50. People misspeak. People sometimes don’t know.  That happens.  Political gotcha may be fun for a moment, but it proves little – unless that’s a pattern of someone saying 57 states over and over again, or of Dr. Carson perhaps misunderstanding an REO – then perhaps would be a valid issue.

These are Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radical tactics, said Carson near the end of this next video clip.

 

SaulAlinkys12RulesForRadicalsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

SaulAlinskyRulesforRadicalsDespaireIsthereRubSowDiscontentGalvanizeRadicalSocialchangeRawAZquotesManufacturedHousing

HowToCreateSocialistStateSaulAlinskyRulesforRadicalsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

The “Think: Common Core” would not have been in the original Alinksy mantra, as that was well after his time.  The last point above is the bookend to the quote from AZQuotes.

 

Now, let’s pivot back to Allen.

Why isn’t Allen were pressing MHI on:

  • promoting Secretary Carson’s comments in New Orleans via their media contacts,
  • Posting Secretary Carson’s comments on their own website,
  • Making a valid, robust “enhanced preemption” argument about manufactured housing in Bryan, TX or elsewhere – and threating to sue if the other party didn’t comply – those are the kinds of useful actions that Allen could undertake.
GotClout-questionmark-GetItHere-MHI-ManufacturedHousingInstitute-postedMHProNews-com-

Instead, Allen is posturing.  False flag.  Distraction, diversionary tactics, instead of offering real solutions. Like MHI saying “Got Clout?” showing photo opportunities, but providing no measurable results.

RichardDickJennisonMHIPresidentPhotoBrianMontgomeryEnhancedPreemptionFHATitleChattelLoans1010RuleTimWilliamsDontLearnFromHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Not long after this cartoon/meme was posted earlier this year, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison announced his retirement from MHI. As far as George Allen is concerned, he could press these same points, if he was truly solution oriented. Instead, why is there more useless slogans and posturing?

The truth is, that Clayton had clout, it was Warren Buffett.  He had an in with the White House. How was that used?  For or against the industry?  Don’t the actions speak louder than the words from Clayton, 21st, MHI, etc.?

WarrenBuffettPhotoPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Allen himself called Clayton and Berkshire brands a “monopoly” and has mused about the problem of “consolidation” in manufactured housing communities and other sectors of the industry.

Why has Allen toned that down, or stopped it altogether?

Is it because MHI and the big boys are rewarding him?  Is that why Allen is now posting about getting top dollar for the sale of a manufactured home community?

The evidence debatably suggests that Allen is a shill, pawn, and is selling out his followers. Whatever credibility he once enjoyed is vanishing as a result of each fact check, which he has been given the opportunity to respond to but has opted not to do so.

Make no mistake, just as there is a battle waging in Washington, D.C., there is a battle waging over the future of manufactured housing too.

Last year, an MHI only member said to MHProNews that he is ready for “Infowars” in manufactured housing. That was an apt description for what is occurring.

There is information, and disinformation. MHI, Allen, and MHInsider are among those who are peddling fluff which is often purportedly weaponized as disinformation.

By contrast, MHARR, MHProNews and MHLivingNews cite facts, and share evidence. Compare what the others say, to what MHARR, MHProNews and MHLivingNews produces.  Which one holds up?

Did you notice that on their Saturday news feed that Bing – a Microsoft brand, founded by Bill Gates, with whom Warren Buffett sits as a trustee of the Gates Foundation – featured Amazon’s home sales?

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How is Buffett, Clayton, and MHI really using their political and media access and clout? Why is the industry struggling during an affordable housing crisis?

 

With no further adieu, let’s check out the headline week in review from 5.19.2019 to 5.26.2019.

 

What’s New in Washington from MHARR

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews


11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

Saturday 5.25.2019

 

·        “Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

“Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

Friday 5.24.2019

 

·        Obstruction, Cover Up, Impeachable Says Speaker Pelosi – Donald Trump Jr. Responds – How Washington Works, or Not – Manufactured Home Import

 

Obstruction, Cover Up, Impeachable Says Speaker Pelosi – Donald Trump Jr. Responds – How Washington Works, or Not – Manufactured Home Import

 

·        Is War Ahead? Insider Sources in Iran Talk Trump, Middle East Conflicts, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

·        Skyline Champion Soared, What’s Up? Initial Look Behind the Curtain

Skyline Champion Soared, What’s Up? Initial Look Behind the Curtain

·        Americans “Lost Faith in Washington,” Politics Threatens Economic Recovery

Americans “Lost Faith in Washington,” Politics Threatens Economic Recovery

 

 Thursday 5.23.2019

·        City Permits Some Manufactured Home Replacements for Tornado Ravaged Conventional Housing

City Permits Some Manufactured Home Replacements for Tornado Ravaged Conventional Housing

·        Are You Customer or Product of Tech Giants? Manufactured Housing Connections and Implications

·        April New Home Sales Drop, Mortgage Rates Slide, Trade Tension Woes, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

April New Home Sales Drop, Mortgage Rates Slide, Trade Tension Woes, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

 

Wednesday 5.22.2019

·        The Best Medicine, “Honey, I Forget to Duck,” One Liners from the “Great Communicator”

·        Wild Washington “Impeachment,” “Infrastructure” Theater Fuels Wall Street Dip, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Stephanie Reid Raises Undocumented Immigrants Getting Ripped Off by Manufactured Home Communities Issue

Stephanie Reid Raises Undocumented Immigrants Getting Ripped Off by Manufactured Home Communities Issue

·        “Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

 

Tuesday 5.21.2019

·        “Home is Where Our Hearts Are” – President Trump Address to American Housing Professionals

“Home is Where Our Hearts Are” – President Trump Address to American Housing Professionals

·        Triad Financial Services, ECN Result$, plus Manufactured Housing Industry Stock Updates

Triad Financial Services, ECN Result$, plus Manufactured Housing Industry Stock Updates

·        HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” on Carport-Ready Manufactured Homes, Other Changes Ahead?

HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” on Carport-Ready Manufactured Homes, Other Changes Ahead?

·        Tiny House Comparisons, $50,000 Tiny House Vs. $165,000 Tiny House – Millions of Video Views

Tiny House Comparisons, $50,000 Tiny House Vs. $165,000 Tiny House – Millions of Video Views

 

Monday 5.20.2019

·        Modern, Proven Path to Freedom

Modern, Proven Path to Freedom

·        Capitalism vs. Socialism Town Hall Discussion, Plus Manufactured Housing Equities Updates

·        “Trailer Parks,” Presidential Candidate, Prior HUD Secretary Julian Castro on MH Community Operators, Residents Not Knowing Their Rights

“Trailer Parks,” Presidential Candidate, Prior HUD Secretary Julian Castro on MH Community Operators, Residents Not Knowing Their Rights

·        What Are Manufactured Housing Industry Professionals Focused On?

What Are Manufactured Housing Industry Professionals Focused On?

 

Sunday 5.19.2019

·        Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert! “On Capitol Hill…MHI Advances Manufactured Housing Finance Reform,” Redux

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert! “On Capitol Hill…MHI Advances Manufactured Housing Finance Reform,” Redux

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independent MH Communities, Retailers – NAMHCO’s Susan Brenton Says What Fueled Break from Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

March 30th, 2019 Comments off

 

NAMHCOlogoMHIbreakLogoIndependentCommunitiesRetailersSusanBrentonSaysWhatFueldBreakfromManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It is a principle of good medicine and good business that one must treat the underlying cause(s), and not merely the symptoms of an illness or problem.

 

The headline topic will follow this rapid thumbnail of mobile/manufactured home (MH) history, which will prove useful to new and longtime readers alike.  It will also tee up Susan Brenton’s insights in useful ways for industry professionals, investors, advocates, and researchers.

For decades, part of the business model of the mobile home industry – which later evolved into the manufactured housing industry – was that independent retailers sold homes that went either into ‘mobile home parks’ or onto privately property.

During those decades, while some MH community owners sold and/or rented housing, the more common practice was that they developed and then leased home sites to the buyers or owners of a mobile or later a HUD Code manufactured homes. The bulk of those home sales were made by manufactured home ‘dealers’ or ‘street retailers.’

New manufactured home (MH) communities sprang up, as other communities filled up.

MH Retailers and community owners alike benefited from that long-established business model. Note too that this early business model for the industry served and benefited consumers and MHC residents.

In the 1950s through much of the 1990s, MH Communities had to compete for the business of residents. The stories that have become more common in roughly the last 15 (+/-) years of communities closing, being sold off for big box stores or other forms of multiple-family housing redevelopment were not yet occurring. The related displacements of residents were thus not generating problematic events for those owners, nor vexing headlines for those in the industry. The organization of resident groups in MH Communities to ‘defend against’ their ‘landlords’ is a more recent phenomenon. Why? Because MH residents and MHC managers had an alignment of interests.

 

As long-time or ‘veteran’ industry professionals know, the development of new land-lease communities continued into the 1980s and the 1990s. It was after 2000 that the pace of new communities opening began to slow to a crawl, while community closures for a variety of reasons began to pick up steam, and make often sad news.

 

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Community closures like Lowry Grove sparked protests and headlines. But what has routinely not occurred is a deeper look at what has caused these troubling issues in the first place. Estimates on the numbers of community closures now runs into the thousands.  Meanwhile, consolidators are buying up properties from independently owned MHCs. 

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Thousands of manufactured home communities have closed since roughly 2000. By contrast, relatively few new communities have come on-line. That combination of facts impacts industry, consumers, and government alike.  Affordable housing is being lost, but once again, the root causes of the issues are often misunderstood.

 

While somewhat simplified, millions of MH home owners and thousands of MH professionals that reflect back can see that pattern as an accurate reflection of what occurred.

In the 1980s, some may recall the S&L or savings and loans crisis.  There was turbulence in the housing and finance sectors, but not at the same level as occurred in 2008. There were peaks and valleys in the sales of new housing, including what by then was HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

ManufacturedHousingVsTotalCompletedHomesLegacyHousingS1FilingIPODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The use of this graphic here should not be construed to mean that Legacy agrees or disagrees with this thesis. That said, Legacy clearly believes in the future of the business, because they are raising capital to expand their retail base. It was part of their IR information.  This graphic shows the trend lines of both new MH shipments by years, and also the percentage of MH to conventional housing starts.  MH is underperforming on both levels.  The loss of thousands of independent MH retailers is one factor in that milieu. 

 

It was during the resurgence of sales and the production of manufactured housing in the 1990s that several states saw a significant percentage of new single-family housing stock construction were factory-built HUD Code homes.

There are those who say that easy financing fueled that surge in the 1990s. Beyond question, that played a role, because lending is always a factor in robust home sales.

But it is arguably too much to say that easy lending was the only factor. The quality and appeal of manufactured homes continued to evolve after the start of HUD Code homes on June 15, 1976.

The price advantage of manufactured homes over site-built homes remained steady in the 1990s. It was researchers for the Fannie Mae Foundation and Harvard’s prestigious Joint Center for Housing Studies that pointed to such various realities of increasing appeal, durability, energy and purchase cost-savings.  Based on an ever-growing need for new housing stock, those university and third-party level researchers began to project that the trend lines favored a continued growth of the housing market share for manufactured homes.

 

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Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? Because it came before Buffett’s entry into MH? See the more detailed report and video, found here.

 

Belsky was quoted for a time in the literature of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  But a check of his name today reveals nothing on the MHI website.  Curious?

 

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What Happened?

The two quotes from Belsky above have been pared by the Daily Business News on MHProNews. They should not be thought of as spoken by Belsky as one line after the other. Rather, those two pared thus reflect strong realities that researchers like Belsky recognized.  They are accurate sound-bites that drill down to essential points.

In the 1990s and into the early 2000, there were numerous lenders in the manufactured home space.  Even in the 1980s, there were financial services firms, such as Lenders Services Inc (LSI) or AGIC in cities like Tulsa, OK that acted as middle-men between those banks, S&Ls or other financial institutions and the authorized sellers of manufactured homes.

As the manufactured home repossession rout of the late 1990s and early 2000s occurred, numbers of those finance companies – for example, Ford Motor Credit or the Associates – exited the business. Unlike site-built housing, many of those manufactured home lenders never returned to serve the industry.

By 2003, when Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, Oakwood Homes, and some associated lending units, the MH industry was down, but not out. As Kevin Clayton said in the video in the report linked here, their firm used to have a road show that met with investment capital sources to raise capital to finance manufactured homes via their own captive lender. At the time, Clayton wasn’t in first or second place among the top producers or sellers of manufactured housing, that was still Fleetwood and Champion.

With Buffett’s deep Berkshire pockets, Clayton Homes need to fret about raising capital to finance new home sales vanished for Kevin Clayton and his firm’s team. Clayton said in the video on the page linked above that it was like saving several weeks a year in time, just because capital and reporting demands had been dramatically reduced.

Wall Street’s taste for MH finance paper had soured by 2004, so Berkshire owned Clayton had more than one strategic edge in the marketplace.

After the 2008 mortgage/housing collapse, which somewhat followed the pattern that occurred in manufactured housing a decade earlier, new starts in conventional housing sank like a rock. So did the values of existing housing. As Belsky observed, credit is part of the lifeblood of all housing.

By the time that Tim Williams from Berkshire owned 21st Mortgage Corp issued the first of his 2 now infamous letters linked here, that cut off of lending effectively took out or ‘knee capped’ numerous independent retailers.  That must not be thought of as a once and done event, as insider tips have revealed that it has occurred on floorplan lending by 21st more recently too.

That loss of thousands of retailers, chronicled in part by the Atlantic, IBISWorld and others, disrupted manufactured housing in several ways.  What they never identified, that tips by insiders to MHProNews did, was what arguably was a key that sparked that collapse.

In no particular order of importance, the loss of independent retailers impacted the following:

  • harmed the interests of the independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes that sold largely or exclusively through those independents. Several long-time producers were put out of business, why?  In part because of the cascade or domino effect of losing their retailers.
  • The loss of street retailers also harmed the interests of independently owned manufactured home communities (MHCs). Because most communities relied upon retailers to fill their spaces, when retailers vanished, so did many of those new arrivals into MHCs.
  • Needless to say, nearly all aspects of manufactured housing that supply the industry were harmed. From suppliers, vendors, service, utilities, financial services, installers, transporters, experts or consultants, etc.  Lose sellers, production is lost, and a downward spiral occurs. Who benefited?  Consolidators.
  • The loss of independent retailers also harmed the interests of consumers and residents in manufactured home communities. Consider this point, among many that could be listed.  So long as a community is at or near capacity, much like a conventional housing subdivision, the only way to ‘get in’ is to buy an existing home.  That protected the value of those home owners.  When new communities are no longer were being built at the historic pace, and existing communities’ lost residents for a variety of reasons, imbalances occurred.
  • Those imbalances harmed the interests of most independently owned MHCs, and it harmed the interests of the residents in those communities too.
  • Until more land lease communities began to sell their own homes, vacancies meant that their property values were reduced.  These factors harmed consumers and independents, but could be construed to have made property values lower, and thus aided in the consolidation of communities into the hands of consolidators.

 

While there is more to that historical outline, that is sufficient to set-the-table for the comments of Susan Brenton to other independents Thursday afternoon, 3.28.2019.

 

What Susan Said…

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Brenton wears more than one hat, including duties for the new NAMHCO trade group.

Susan Brenton from the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) shared several examples of issues that from her perspective and that of her community owner/members that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had failed to resolve for years.

In some cases, per Brenton, there were issues that she raised with the Arlington, VA based MHI that they were uninterested in addressing.

Let’s look at an example she gave.

While MHI is posturing with their members to this day that they are working with the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to get more lending, NAMHCO has taken that ‘bull by the horns’ and began making a direct effort.

In doing so, they learned that locally based team members of Fannie Mae didn’t even know what manufactured housing was.

That’s stunning, given that the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing became federal law, in good measure though the efforts of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) to get that into the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008.  Rephrased, more than a decade after HERA and DTS became law, and Fannie Mae officials that Brenton and her colleagues met with had no clue what a manufactured home was?

That speaks volumes.

That also begs these questions. How can the GSEs claim to be fulfilling their Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing when their own team has examples of employees unaware of what our industry does?  How sincere can the GSEs be at fulfilling the law, when their staffers have so little understanding of the industry that they are supposedly going to serve as mandated by federal law?

 

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Another discovery Brenton shared with independent retailers, producers, and other attendees on Thursday was the following. There were potential avenues for ‘carve outs’ from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s MLO rules that MHI was reportedly disinterested in addressing. Brenton was reportedly told by their staff that MHI’s plate was too full to consider working with another group Brenton and her colleagues encountered that was doing seller financing.

MHI was too busy to consider working with them, even though Brenton and their communities were dues paying members.

Out of frustrations like those that clearly harmed the interests of independently owned communities, community associations broke ranks from MHI.  Here is how Neal Haney put it.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Once the rules of engagement and methods used by an opponent are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. 

 

It remains to be seen what NAMHCO’s direct lobbying efforts with the GSEs will produce. But at least an effort is being made.

What in hindsight is increasingly clear is that the ‘smoking gun’ of the letter by Williams at 21st not only harmed the interests of independent retailers and producers of HUD Code homes.  It arguably likewise harmed the interests of independently owned communities, residents, lenders, and others in the industry supply and services chain.  Never forget that even U.S. Bank, who was doing profitable and successful lending in MHVille post 2003, finally exited the business after MHI failed to head of the implementation of the rules of Dodd-Frank.  U.S. Bank cited low sales volumes and the regulatory risks from making those loans.  Other examples could be named, but that makes the point.

 

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Some Takeaways from Fix the MH Industry Tricks Meeting

We will return to some of the other lessons and insights from Thursdays “Fix the MH Industry Tricks” meeting in the near future.  But for now, let’s note the following ones.

The school of hard-knocks from the domino effect of what Berkshire brands arguably caused as outlined in the account here is one that continues to be unpacked. Millions of residents, and thousands of independent owned businesses have been harmed.

Meanwhile, Arlington, VA based MHI did…what?  They certainly appear to have taken the Omaha-Knoxville party line. Whatever seemed to be contrary to that Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis’ goals went unaddressed.  That’s not just true for communities, it is true for retailers too.

 

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Some pundits, such as blogger George F. (F?) Allen have attempted to mischaracterize the work of MHI and MHARR. MHI clearly says of themselves that they represent “all segments of factory built housing,” that means retail, communities, lenders, suppliers and the like, not just producers. By contrast, MHARR clearly says that their focus is on the interests of the producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. So while MHARR has an indirect interest in lending, communities, or retail, that is not their mission. That said, MHARR members and leaders have voted to support the establishment of new post-production groups that would faithfully represent the interests of retailers, communities, and other segments of the industry. Allen’s characterization is arguably false, erroneous, or deliberately misleading. What is sadder, perhaps, is that Allen and Spencer Roane claim to represent the interests of communities. If so, why don’t they loudly and proudly call out MHI and Omaha-Knoxville for the ways that they’ve harmed other communities, and independents at large?

 

Brenton told the retailers, independent producers of manufactured homes, and the other interests represented Thursday at the “Fix the MH Industry Tricks discussions that she absolutely saw the value to creating a new non-production trade group that retailers and others could participate in.

What she implied was clear, as Haney or MHI award-winner Marty Lavin has previously said. If the interests of the big boys don’t align with those of the independents, it is only the big boys that benefit from MHI.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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

 

Closing Notes of Keen Importance – Who Didn’t Come

Despite being personally invited to attend, neither Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, Tim Williams, Tom Hodges, or any MHI staff leaders opted to attend.  Why not?

 

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These are some of those who have been invited to attend. We blocked out the specific email address, to respect their professional privacy. But the company or organizational names are shown on the above.

 

They were given the specific opportunity to explain or debunk to the industry attendees their respective views regarding the various allegations made by MHProNews, MHLivingNews, MHARR, NAMHCO, and a variety of others.  Their silence is their constitutionally protected right. But their silence also leaves the record of our publishing unchallenged. Our allegations stand on the merits of their own words, documents, follow-the-money trail and trend lines, plus that Kevin Clayton video evidence.

Two ‘publishers’ of MH industry news were also specifically invited by our publisher to attend the “Fix the MH Industry Tricks” meeting. One of those two was Darren Krolewski of MHInsider.  Apparently coming and perhaps having to write about the meeting wouldn’t fit their pro-Clayton, pro-MHI, pro-big boy narrative?

Maybe that is why their magazines go largely un-picked up at Tunica and elsewhere?

MHInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTunicaShow2019Day2

A photo of another rack at Tunica appears almost untouched. The industry’s pros, given a choice between fluff and reality often chose the real deal.

 

The other publisher specifically invited was one that privately called Clayton “evil,” but he nevertheless said he didn’t want to buy into the concerns over antitrust and other legal or MHI related issues.  That same publisher that thinks that Clayton is evil” said he wants to get along Clayton and MHI, and gladly publishes only “fluff” that makes the industry “look good.”

But how does one cure a problem who’s root causes are largely going unaddressed? Once more, one is left with the medical or good business practices analogy mentioned at the top of this article.  If the only thing that is dealt with are symptoms, then the core issues will continue to fester.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

Finally, while not specifically invited, other industry bloggers and writers failed to make the “Fix the MH Industry Tricks” scene. Where was George F. (F?) Allen?  Where was Spencer Roane, Kurt Kelley, Suzanne Felber, or others?  Did they not want to hear accounts like those of Brenton, that might shake up their “inclusive,” self-serving, and ‘happy talk’ industry views? These are not meant as personal slams against any of those mentioned, who can be very pleasant people. Rather, these are valid questions as to what drives those that publish content that industry readers are supposed to ‘learn’ from.

One of those that wasn’t able to attend that was among those that said they wanted to said this. ‘You guys are the only publication [MHProNews] that deals with the realities of manufactured housing.  Thanks for telling it like it is and standing up for the [interests of] independents in the industry.’

As the above should also reflect, standing up for independents is also standing up for the legitimate rights of consumers. When the system is rigged, there are a variety of consequences that arguably harms taxpayers, potential and current manufactured home owners, plus the businesses that seek to serve them.

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

 

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

 

 

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Lesli Gooch, PhD, Manufactured Housing Institute EVP Reveals DTS Financing Con Job

March 26th, 2019 Comments off

 

LesliGoochPhDphotoManufacturedHousingInstituteLOGOEVPExposesDutyToserveManufacturedHomesConJobDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When asked, manufactured home industry members often say they want more and better lending options.  That’s especially true for personal property, home only, or ‘chattel loans.’  Prospective consumers want more affordable lending. Existing or current manufactured home owners may want to refinance higher rate loans with a Berkshire Hathaway lending brand in order to get a lower interest rate.  So there are an array of those who want better lending options.

 

It is debatable if Executive Vice-President (EVP) Lesli Gooch – who some speculate is the heir apparent to Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison as the next Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) president – consciously or unconsciously intended to reveal the ‘Big Con‘ in manufactured housing finance with her new article in MHVillage’s MHInsider. 

Regardless, this Daily Business News on MHProNews fact-check will unveil the latest purported fabrication that mixes fact with fiction.  She claims that MHI is actually trying to get more financing options for the industry’s independents.  Is that demonstrably so?

First, let’s see what Gooch said in the March/April issue of the clearly pro-MHI MHInsider.

The purchase and securitization of chattel loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises or GSEs) is crucial to our industry, and MHI has engaged in years-long effort to push the Enterprises to purchase chattel loans as soon as possible.”  The first part of that sentence from Gooch’s column is a widely agreed to statement, but the accuracy of the second part (i.e.: if MHI is truly pushing for chattel loans by the GSEs “as soon as possible”) is what this fact-check will explore.

With housing finance reform expected to be on Congress’ agenda in the coming year, MHI has positioned the industry well,” wrote Gooch.  Positioned the industry well, for what? Let’s look.

One of MHI’s top priorities for 2019 is to continue to improve the supply of manufactured housing financing, including further progress toward the creation of a secondary market for chattel loans,” said Gooch.

  • If so, why did MHI’s former Executive Committee Chairman Tim Williams say that pursing duty to serve was a waste of time” – in his own prior written statement to MHProNews?
  • Or more recently, Paul Barretto with Fannie Mae confirmed that they had received no data to support chattel loan performance from either of the big two Berkshire Hathaway owned chattel lenders, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), or 21st Mortgage Corp, which has the same Tim Williams as its president. Doesn’t those facts alone mitigate against Gooch’s bold claim?
  • If the two largest MHI lenders wanted the GSEs to do lending ‘as soon as possible,’ then why didn’t they give their loan performance data as Fannie and Freddie requested?

MHI can’t logically claim to have it both ways.  One or more at MHI in key roles are not being accurate or honest. Other MHI lenders, by the way, did reportedly give the GSEs their loan performance data.  So why didn’t 21st or VMF?  It last factoid should be underscored.  It must never be misconstrued that what some do at MHI, Clayton, 21st, et al is automatically a bad reflection on others. It’s not.  MHProNews strongly believes in separating wheat from chaff.  Both are found wherever you look.

Note that neither MHI, Clayton Homes, nor Tim Williams/21st have denied our published reports in person, or in writing. MHProNews routinely gives them an invitation to do so.  Is that so because there are witnesses and documents that back up our evidence and fact-based assertions?

 

 

Follow the Money

Recall that an inside source recently told MHProNews about an “unholy alliance” to divert Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured home lending by the GSEs lending options away from most manufactured homes. Gooch claims in MHInsider and elsewhere that MHI is working to expand lending. Then how do they explain that MHI signed onto a public letter recently that asks FHFA to ‘go slow’ on changes with the GSEs?

That letter MHI signed onto with other associations outside of manufactured housing was reported by the mainstream media. What that joint letter says and what Gooch claims are mutually exclusive. MHI can’t have it both ways, logically.  Posturing or claiming something are not the same as doing what’s claimed.

Furthermore, MHI worked behind closed doors with the GSEs to get financing that ended up only useful for the Clayton Homes-backed ‘new class of homes.’ Repeated requests by MHARR or MHProNews to have those minutes released were not honored. If MHI truly wanted to expand lending with the GSEs, then why didn’t they work with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) to get lending on all manufactured homes, not for just a select few manufactured homes?

Rephrased, when viewed against a variety of known facts and evidence there is a gross lack of logic in what Gooch claims, and what the Arlington, VA based MHI trade association has done in recent years.

Recall that a GSE prior “MH Select” program was a dismal failure in the marketplace, per sources at a GSE. Note too that the new breakaway from MHI, NAMHCO hired a lobbyist in part precisely because they don’t think MHI is working to get robust GSE chattel lending for communities, or others. There is scant evidence – beyond mere words – that MHI has tried to get robust chattel lending by the GSE, but considerable evidence to the contrary.

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report

When you follow the money, for years, the annual Berkshire Hathaway annual report reflects the fact that much of the profits from manufactured housing that they earn are from financing and financial services. Is the industry, or clear and objective thinkers interested in affordable manufactured homes, really going to believe that the Berkshire brand lenders at MHI want to lose profits by having the GSEs compete with VMF and 21st?  Wouldn’t VMF and 21st lose millions of dollars a year if consumers switched their loans from higher interest rates with Berkshire Hathaway lenders to lower rates with a GSE, if competitive rate chattel loans were available for any manufactured homes?

It bears mention that at a San Antonio MHI meeting in 2017, in front of a relative small group of MHI members, Tim Williams specifically said to those MHI members that they (21st, VMF) didn’t want to see the GSEs get the best credit, and leave the Berkshire lenders with lower credits scores and lower profits.  That too contradicts Gooch’s claim.

Thus including from their former chairman, there is plenty of evidence that stands in stark contrast to what Gooch claimed.  Darren Krolewski – publisher of the MHInsider and Lesli Gooch were both at that same San Antonio MHI meeting, per sources.  They where there when Williams from 21st made the statements noted herein and above.  It seems unlikely that they didn’t hear or didn’t know about Williams statements, or the fact that Williams himself admitted that the had given no data to the GSEs.

All of those points contradict Gooch’s claim.  Indeed, it makes appear that her and Krolewski seem to be de facto ‘in on a con job’ – part of the problem, instead of part of the solution.

That leaves honest manufactured home industry members with this vexing conclusion.  Gooch and MHInsider – the first three letters of the publication’s name spell MHI – are deliberately trying to con or head fake the industry into believing something other than what MHI and the Berkshire brands are doing.  Logic alone suggests that Omaha and Knoxville based operations would purportedly thwart rather than promote lending that competes with what 21st or VMF offers.

If Krolewski, who has his own documented challenges with sharing facts accurately and honestly, or:

 

  • Lesli Gooch,
  • Tim Williams/21st,
  • the GSEs,
  • Joe Stegmayer, MHI chairman,
  • any other officials from MHI,
  • their attorneys,
  • or one of the other Knoxville-metro based Berkshire Hathaway brands want to provide evidence of their work that prove otherwise – not mere claims that are easily debunked – let them come to Session 1 of Thursday afternoon’s Fix the MH Industry Tricks meeting. Learn more linked there, or at the links found below.

 

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Ask yourself if this MHI member’s prior statement has been born out in fact-checks like this one?

 

The industry will arguably not achieve its tremendous potential for profitable and honorable growth until a pro-financing, pro-growth national association option exists to MHI.  Learn more at the links, above and below.  Make or modify your plans to attend the historic meetings Thursday afternoon, in Tunica MS near the trade show location, and after the main Tunica Show events are concluded.

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See ‘You’ve Gotta Have Swagger. ‘  You don’t have to be in the #MHM to attend. Click here to RSVP by saying RSVP in the subject line with your name, title and contact information.

That’s what’s new from manufactured housing most read and most trusted “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Cha-Ching! Manufactured Housing Made Simple in 2019

March 19th, 2019 Comments off

 

ChaChing!ManufacturedHousingMadeSimpleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A recent report reflected the potential for the manufactured housing industry during this current affordable housing crisis. There are some 100,000,000 Americans living in rental housing. About one in seven Americans are moving this year, and every year. Manufactured homes are the most affordable type of permanent housing.

 

 

So why aren’t far more manufactured homes being sold?

Perhaps the three top reasons heard are:

  • Zoning and placement.
  • Financing and access to capital.
  • Insufficient marketplace understanding and acceptance.

 

But those 3 broad topics all have ready-made answers.

 

  • The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 gives HUD Code manufactured homes federally “enhanced preemption.” MHProNews, looping in MHARR and other nonprofits/advocates, tested cases in 2018 and 2019 where local jurisdictions rapidly reversed discriminatory behavior through good communications. Properly citing enhanced preemption was part of that outcome.  The cities involved went from anti-manufactured housing legislation, to stopping such anti-manufactured home regulation.  Since it has been done before, it could be turned into a system, and done again.
  • Some fear the ‘loss’ of access to lending offered by 21st Mortgage. Why? Specific industry companies are proving they can do business with or without 21st. Beyond that, there are FHA, VA, USDA, and Duty to Serve laws already on the federal books. There’s hundreds of billions in capital that came into the U.S. in 2018. Capital access is made easier via existing state or federal programs. Rephrased, the solutions already exist.
  • Marketplace acceptance is about education, not mere marketing, both are needed. The most commonplace and harmful beliefs about manufactured home living can readily be corrected based upon facts.

 

In just 229 words after the headline, the above is the industry’s reality. It should be so simple.  Enforce existing laws that are already favorable. Promote positive facts about manufactured housing, which are already favorable. So why has the industry been so constrained?

 

  • Fear of loss is paralyzing for some.
  • Habits and behavior patterns that are obviously self-limiting.
  • Insufficient vision or motivation to make necessary changes achieve the greater sales levels and ethically earned increased profits.

 

It’s a battle between fear of loss, habits, and the opportunities that proven and positive changes can bring.  ICYMI, you can circle back later to read these linked reports above, or that can be accessed via the hot-linked text-image boxes that follow.

 

Subsidized Housing vs Manufactured Homes, Community Owner Marge Clark Sounds Off

 

One can talk about the allegations of the numerous failures by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to address pressing needs and concerns like those cited in articles from hot-linked text-image boxes above and below. Are there conflicts of interest that keep MHI from acting on behalf of most independents?

 

 

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One can review evidence of market manipulation of the industry by business units owned by Omaha, NE based Berkshire Hathaway. Those are potentially useful insights, which can also be intimidating. But federal law provides a solution for fear-based intimidation efforts that harms the free exercise of the marketplace.

 

White Collar Shakedown, Fear, Hobbs Act, and Manufactured Housing Independents Struggles

 

 

Balancing Habits or Fear of Loss vs. the Opportunities for Greater Gain

The need for millions of affordable housing units across the country are a compelling reasons why manufactured housing is underperforming. But that is an opportunity in disguise for those willing to make positive changes.

ManufacturedHomesAsPercentageofSinglefamilyHousingStartsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSkylineChampionSKY780x943

 

There are a variety of proven ways that the industry’s members could advance at the local level.

There is arguably a clear need to establish an alternative alliance of association.  That alternative should be willing to do what the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute clearly isn’t doing for whatever reasons.  Existing laws that need to be advocated and enforced would broadly advance the interests of the manufactured home industry’s independents.

It remains to be seen what the new National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) will or won’t do.  Time will tell.

The reason that there are federal laws like Duty to Serve (DTS) and “enhanced preemption,” to name but two of many possible points of accomplishments, is because the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) worked for years to achieve those goals. They did so without a PAC, and with a fraction of MHI’s budget or resources.

Retail sales of homes, financing, capital, education and advocacy are all post-production issues.  MHI has called themselves the representatives of “all segments of factory-built housing.” If so, then it falls on MHI and their purported masters in the Knoxville metro for failing – during an affordable housing crisis – to recapture the sales levels last achieved in 1998. Or the 500,000 new home sales the MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison said could be achieved. Yet 3 out of 4 of the years – 75 percent of the time since the industry’s last peak – were during the Berkshire Hathaway era of manufactured housing. During that time, the industry dipped further following 2003.  Coincidence?

The rest are details and commentary. Will anyone at MHI, or anyone in authority with the obvious major firms from Omaha, Knoxville, their surrogates or allies prepared to argue or prove otherwise?

 

 

Stopping the Insanity Of Doing the Same Things, Over and Over

The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things the same ways and expect a different result. Let’s stop the insanity in 2019. There will be a meeting for independents and investors at Tunica. Details will be posted soon. Make sure that you are signed up for our industry leading emailed headline “News, Tips, and Views that Pros Can Use.” ©

 

Phones ringing. Doors swinging. Cash registers cha-changing. Sales professionals and owners honestly singing.

That is the industry’s promising potential.

  • Fear?
  • Stuck in habits that are holding you down?
  • Or change for the better?

Fear of loss. Desire for gain. Status quo or growth?  Which way will you go?

It is arguably riskier and far more costly to stay stuck in the status quo than it is to step out and now do what is necessary.  The ROI on growth is compelling.

Let’s note that MHARR has advocated for a new post-production trade association for years.  They’ve stated that they want to work with a pro-growth post-production trade group. Such a group would be good for independents of all kinds, but arguably is good for some larger players too.  MHARR’s leaders have made clear that they want to remain an independent HUD Code producers’ association, but they nevertheless made the case in a report linked further below for a new post-production trade group.  MHARR’s leaders have also said that they will encourage as they can a new post-production trade association formation. For more details, see the linked reports below the byline, offers and notices.

The cha-ching possible in 2019 and beyond is simple. It simply requires common sense change away from the habits and fears that have increasingly paralyzed the industry since 2003. As consolidation and the failures of ever more independents has demonstrably occurred during those years since 2003, what really do most independents have to lose?

There is much to gain, and little to risk. Stay tuned for a report later today with more details on this topic, which will be addressed at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

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

 

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

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

 

 

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The Future of Retail, Disney, ‘Trailer Trauma,’ and Manufactured Housing

January 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

TheFutureOfRetailDIsneyTrailerTraumaAndManufacturedHousingDailyBuisnessNewsManufacturedHomeProNews

Disney’s theme parks are part of a larger conglomerate. It includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following companies.

 

EveryCompanyDisneyOwnsManufacturedModularHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Disney management seems to believe that they can ignore the more than 22 million in the U.S., and millions more in Canada, who call a manufactured or modular home – their home. Instead, they are wrongfully calling such code-compliant structures ‘trailers.’ Click to download the full size infographic.

 

 

Put differently, consider Disney as one of those giants that are steadily building their moat, rather akin to Berkshire Hathaway.

Our publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has periodically said that you either define yourself, or others will define you – and if others are defining you – that may often be to your detriment.

 

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ItsAsWrongtoUseNWordToDescribeBlackAsUseTWordTodescribeManufacturedHomeRevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword

 

We don’t believe in boycotts, for several reasons, including legal ones. But we do believe that information can prove to be powerful. Information can be accurate, misleading, mixed, or weaponized. Thus the rise of the term, across the political spectrum, of “fake news.

 

 

Disney and the Future of Retail

Some say retail is dead.  Some claim that manufactured housing independent retailers days are numbered too.  That may be true for some, but not for others.  Some will not accept the death or insult of their profession without a proper fight.

But in a battle against a giant, one must pace.  This #DisneySprings struggle – and the broader one it represents – is best understood as a marathon.

As a part of a conglomerate, Disney has access to some of the keenest minds in science, technology, marketing, and branding.

One can learn – and should – learn from anyone, but not necessarily what a given source thinks they are communicating.

The photos and videos are from Disney Springs. It’s open to the general public. It’s their freemium version of Disney’s theme parks.

 

 

Disney makes tons of money for themselves – and their retail partners – by attracting a crowd.

 

DIsneySpringManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Don’t think that Retail is Dead. Disney Springs proves otherwise. Disney – as with any firm – arguably does some things well, others, but others – like this ‘trailer’ slur – badly. MHPros can learn from both, but should not emulate both.

 

Part of their strategy?  They hire talented performers, many who are hoping for that ‘break’ that will take them to the next level beyond where they currently hang out. The Disney stage or street performances are arguably a far better venue for many talents than a dark club that attracts people whose aim is to get drunk.

Manufactured housing professionals and investors have much to learn from Disney, for good and ill,” says Tony Kovach. “On all things, prudent professionals should approach it with a wheat and chaff mindset.  What’s the good?  What’s wrong?  What can we learn from this? What can be done about what’s wrong?

MHProNews verified that Disney have still kept their problematic signage in place. We’ve also learned that they have other modular offices on the same property, kept behind fences draped by a plastic material meant to hide them from public view. Interesting.

Neal Haney, one of the co-founders of NAMHCO – the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners – is the most recent to weigh in on the Disney controversy.  Neal – via NAMHCO’s Executive Director Susan Bretton – said this, below.

 

NealHaneyPhotoNAMHCONationalAssocManufacturedHousingCommunityOwnersPresidentDisneyTrailerTerminologyQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We will be forwarding this article to Disney management, and ask them again to correct the public slur and misinformation about factory-built homes and modular structures.

 

DisneySpringsDeploymentOperationsTrailerCO3SignDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Few operations no better than Disney the subtle nuances of influencing the public. They’ve been notified, and they have formally responded. We’ve been told verbally and in writing that their management has discussed this vexing matter. So Disney can’t claim ignorance. There is a step-by-step, entirely lawful plan that is being implemented. Think of this Disney Springs issue as part of the broader Manufactured Housing Revolution.

 

 

See the related reports, linked immediately below as well as after the byline and notices further down this post for more details and information on how this matter has evolved.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

 

In the Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL area where MHProNews is based, one estimate puts the population of manufactured and mobile home residents at every fourth person. Statewide, it is about 10 percent.  Nationally, over 6 percent.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Disney understands math. Industry pros must too. There is power that our industry has failed to exercise, due to years of failed leadership.

That is changing.

 

Food, Folks, Fantasy, Fun, and Flubs – Disney’s “Trailer” Slur Update

 

A Disney spokesperson that the Daily Business News has been communicating with declined to say to MHProNews if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has weighed in, or not, on this #nettlesome issue.  But either way, it’s revealing that Berkshire Hathaway backed MHI has taken no public position on a matter that impacts the image of our industry, and the tens of millions of our home owners and residents.

Retail is not dead.  Here, we don’t just mean manufactured housing’s independent retailers, but also, retail stores and shopping centers. We won’t do a deep dive today, but merely note that Disney has demonstrated the art and science of becoming a destination. Thousands flock there daily. Manufactured housing has much to learn, good and ill, serious, smiley, and sobering, from Disney.

Our leadership team has several next steps in mind for Disney, until they correct this public misinformation and slur. Stay tuned.

But in the meantime, wheat and chaff.” Disney has good examples, and problematic ones. They have talented performers, and others who are less so.

Bryan Malpass below, and Nicholas Marks are two of those talents.  Malpass, below, has the voice.  Live, it is far better, but this gives you a clue.

 

 

Marks, if you watch the entire video, is one of the most amazing guitarists you will likely see.  Marks is the definition of performance art.

 

 

Will MHPros Accept the Fate of Sears?

CBSSundayMorningTheFallofSearsIntroManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

There is nothing changed until it’s challenged.  When the industry is in apparent retreat, when MHI is doing – and not doing – what they do – battles must be fought.  Haney and NAMHCO – or MHARR, over the course of many years – plus others are among those fighting for what’s right.

 

TheDeliberateMisueofTerminologyCanBeOffensivetoMillionsWhoProudlyOwnAManufacturedhomeOrThousandsinourIndustryMarkWeissMHARRMHproNews575

Learn more about MHARR, at this link here.

ManufacturedHousingRevolutionMHProNews

There are a variety of legitimate ways to patiently win battles like this one with Disney’s arguably misguided management. It may take weeks, months, or longer.  But victory is assured only for those who enter the fray with a ‘never quit’ – pursue all avenues until success is obtained for a just cause – mindset.

This is all part of the manufactured housing industry’s wake up call.  MHI has apparently failed the industry again (see further below).

Disney is arguably insulting the factory-built housing industry, and its 22 million plus residents in the U.S., plus millions more in Canada. There is no need to call a boycott, because better ways are available. Stay tuned, or join in the fun of the fray. That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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.)

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

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

 

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“Major Step” in Independent National Post-Production Manufactured Housing Advocacy Taken, Per Trade Group

January 8th, 2019 Comments off

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It has been one of the more-read articles on the Daily Business News on MHProNews, which means it is one of the hotter topics in the manufactured housing industry.

 

And today, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said the following about NAMHCO – in their take on the topic previously reported by MHProNews. More after their full release, which begins below.

 

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MHARR News Item — Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING

POST-PRODUCTION ASSOCIATION TAKES MAJOR STEP

 

Washington, D.C., January 8, 2019 – The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO), a new, independent association representing a key manufactured housing industry post-production constituency, has announced a major step in its initial organization and the start of national-level advocacy activities to better and more effectively represent the post-production sector in Washington, D.C. Accordingly, essential activity to begin addressing and correcting a major gap in the manufactured housing industry’s national-level representation in Washington, D.C. is starting to gain important momentum.

After announcing its formation as an independent organization in late-2018 — including as members (among others), state manufactured housing associations which had previously withdrawn from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) — NAMHCO, issued a News Release just before the start of 2019, stating that it has now retained the services of a lobbying consultant in Washington, D.C. to act on its behalf at the national level, where multiple issues continue to vex the manufactured housing industry’s post-production sector with significantly negative consequences for the entire industry and American consumers of affordable housing. Indeed, the industry – the nation’s premiere source of non-subsidized affordable housing — after a nine-year rebound from historically-low production levels reached in 2009, has just suffered its third consecutive month of flat-line or negative growth – at a time when production levels, due to an unusually strong national economy, should be booming.

In large measure, the industry — since 2000 — has seen its growth unnecessarily thwarted, undermined and impeded by a combination of factors primarily affecting its post-production sector. With manufacturers producing their best, highest quality homes ever, and with production-related regulatory issues at the federal level reduced to some degree in recent years by the highly-focused efforts of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in conjunction with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, it is in the post-production arena – and most particularly the failure to effectively address and remedy major issues affecting zoning, placement and especially consumer financing for HUD Code manufactured home purchasers – where the most significant constraints have been imposed on the industry and its ability to serve the millions of mostly lower and moderate-income American families that want and need affordable, non-subsidized homeownership, and rely on manufactured housing to fill that need.

While HUD Code manufacturers and other smaller and mid-sized industry businesses have — and have had for nearly thirty-five years – independent, aggressive, national-level representation in Washington, D.C. through MHARR, that type of independent representation has been almost entirely absent for the post-production sector and most importantly, its thousands of smaller, independent businesses, since the National Manufactured Housing Federation disappeared as an independent entity and was subsumed into MHI decades ago. And, indeed, the formation of NAMHCO is consistent with the call for an independent, national-level, post-production manufactured housing association set forth in a study, presented to and approved by MHARR’s Board of Directors in 2017.  Furthermore, this new entity will create opportunities – and a venue – for other state associations that have been seeking better and more effective representation of their post-production members in Washington, D.C., particularly with respect to the key issues of zoning, placement and consumer financing.

As was anticipated by MHARR’s study, the establishment of this new association could – and hopefully will – help to encourage and create potential areas of policy cooperation and synergy between MHARR and NAMHCO with benefits for the entire industry (and particularly its smaller, independent businesses) as well as consumers. MHARR has already communicated with the leadership of NAMHCO regarding matters of mutual interest, and will continue to follow-up as appropriate in the near future.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 512

Washington D.C. 20004

Phone: 202/783-4087

Fax: 202/783-4075

Email: MHARRDG@AOL.COM

 

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See our related report on this same topic, which includes other details. That’s found below the byline and notices. We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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New Era in National U.S. Manufactured Home Community Representation Underway?

 

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Federal Contract, MHARR and What National Trade Association Leadership Looks Like

November 3rd, 2018 Comments off

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The last time federal data was checked by the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had about 7 times the revenue that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) does.

 

In their last emailed message to their members, MHI – via the voice of their previous Executive Committee Chairman, Nathan Smith – made an arguably hypocritical attack on the brand-new national community association, as was fact-checked and analyzed in the report below.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement

 

In that same message from MHI to members – which several state associations then forward to their members – MHI failed to mention that HUD had clarified and issue that is important to communities and retailers, and thus all of those who supply them.

By contrast, MHARR notified their members, affiliates and readers on the same day that HUD notified both MHARR and MHI.  The ‘frost free foundation’ interpretive bulletin (IB) impacts thousands of locations nationally, some of which are MHI members.  Why the silence?

HUD “Clarification” on Frost-Free IB Offers More Questions and Confusion Than Answers

 

In that same most-recent MHI message to members, the Arlington, VA based production and post-production trade group also failed to raise the issue that MHARR has, in a new report at the link below. It is about the federal program’s monitoring contract. Why didn’t MHI feel it was worth mentioning?  Why did MHARR think it important to do so?

 

MHARR Communication with HUD Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery Regarding Program Monitoring Contract

 

 

Freedom isn’t Free or Easy

Manufactured housing industry professionals are free to spend their money, vote, travel, and do whatever they want to, within the bounds of laws and ethics.  People are free to be part of the new national community-owners trade association, which is made up of members who left MHI. ICYMI, or need a refresher, see what the NMHCO had to say, in their own words, quoted in the article below.

 

New National Manufactured Housing Association Makes Its Appeal to Industry Members

 

Professionals are free to be members of MHI, and/or MHARR

But wisdom suggests that the track record of MHI and MHARR should be routinely examined.

For example, in 2008, when the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) was passed, it included the SAFE Act, which MHI and their prior Chairman Nathan Smith and Tim Williams both freely admitted got passed them.  Keep in mind that MHI is a self-proclaimed umbrella trade group that says they work for post-production and producers issues.  That means, the SAFE Act was within their focus of attention.

 

 

By contrast, in that same HERA 2008 bill, MHARR – which is laser focused on federal production and related regulatory issues – worked to get the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) into that same HERA law.

MHARR does what they do without a political action committee (PAC), although their members are free to donate to campaigns as they may wish.

MHI has a PAC.  As MHProNews spotlighted recently, the key people and operations involved in MHI arguably backstabbed House Representatives Marsha Blackburn, and Andy Barr, both of whom faithfully supported MHI’s Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

 

“He’s Lying,” Campaign Insider Video – “Don’t Do Politics?” Tell Jim Clayton, Phil Bredesen, and Marsha Blackburn, Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Supporter

 

ICYMI or need a reminder, see those two links of what MHI and their big boy allies have done, above and below.

 

Was Manufactured Housing Advocate Congressman Andy Barr Backstabbed?

 

Let us be clear from an analytical perspective. MHI, or any trade group, is free to change positions.  They are free to be loyal to, and/or to betray congressional or senate candidates.

But should that be done lightly?  What message does documented betrayal send to MHI’s own membership?  Should it raise the question, has MHI betrayed some of their own members at times?

 

Modifying Marty Lavin

Let’s look at long-time MHI member Marty Lavin’s mantra, “Pay more attention to what people do than what they say.”  Doesn’t it suggest that one listen to what someone says, but then focus on what they actually do?

Yes.

MHI purportedly postures at lobbying.  They say they are doing something.  But meanwhile, they often fail the majority of their own members in the very things that they say they are doing. Why? Who benefits?

 

What MHI does Better

What MHI debatably does better than lobbying is having events that people can mix, mingle and network at nice locations. There is value to networking events. But it is a value that others could create outside of MHI. There is also value to education and marketing.  Those three items are appropriate for a post-production association. Perhaps the new national manufactured home community owners  association will do some of those roles?  Will they challenge MHI’s grip over them?

MHARR has for years fought for the interests of their members. MHI has allegedly tried to kill MHARR off many times, as they tried in just the past few days via their last email to kill off the still nascent NMHCOA.

 

Disclosures

As a disclosure, MHARR does run banner ads with MHProNews. But our policy is simple.  No sponsor dictates our editorial or publishing content.  We’ve had some MHI members recently that reached out for the purposes of running ads with us.  One recently did, Legacy Housing, and per our sources, they felt well served for both of their events.

While we welcome other perspectives, our writing and publishing perspectives are our own.  We faithfully share other’s messages.

No person, no product, no organization is perfect. That includes us. But when a mistake is made, the polite and professional thing to do is to raise one’s hand, and say, ‘ooops, that’s my bad, I’ll try to avoid this next time.’

MHI has a terrible track record in the last decade or so of heading off bad regulations, or of mitigating them.  Some of their own top people have said so. At least some with MHI arguably worked to get Pam Danner in at HUD. They then arguably defended and even promoted Danner, all while Danner’s work at HUD harmed thousands of manufactured home retailers, communities, and thus upstream suppliers and vendors.

pam-danner-hud-code-manufactured-housing-program-administrator-mhi-2014-summer-meeting-indianapolis-in-alexander-hotel-(c)2014-mhpronews-com-

Pam Danner, JD, HUD Code the prior Office of Manufactured Housing Programs Administrator, credit, MHProNews.

 

Post-midterms, the following should be considered by NMHCO and/or any other existing, new or planned trade group.  A good post-production trade group should do three things. P.E.P. Protect, Educate, Promote. At the heart of each of these three things, is education that is based upon reliable information.

A new or existing post-production trade group should realize that MHI has purportedly weaponized events and trade shows, to the benefit of their ‘big boy’ members.

 

With that in mind, post-midterm, we will begin several initiatives.  Among them is to promote the following, which was proven by the RV industry to work for their growth.

  • Wholesale and Retail Trade Events.
  • Education.
  • Media Engagement.
  • These should not necessarily exclude large companies, but they should not be allowed to dominate or in any way dictate their operation.

These realities noted, let’s close by saying that the record reflects that MHARR does an amazing job with limited resources.  To use a southern expression, they are good at making every dime “holler dollar.”

Make sure you read MHARR’s latest on the contract controversy, at this link here. It is a topic that for whatever reason, MHI has ignored. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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New National Manufactured Housing Association Makes Its Appeal to Industry Members

October 17th, 2018 Comments off

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The greatest hindrance and the greatest threat to the industry is not the economy, the homes or the communities, it is governmental interference and over-regulation,” said Neal T. Haney.

 

The manufactured housing industry has long been a mainstay of affordable housing in the United States. For decades the industry has provided an unmatched quality of life with an affordability not seen in any other sector of the housing market. The homes and the land lease communities in which they are situated have become fixtures across the country providing an affordable, quality lifestyle to all segments of our population. Over the years it has seen its ups and downs, but has been able to survive and even thrive through the difficult times,” said Haney, the president of the newly formed National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners, Inc. – or NAMHCO.

We’ve been reporting on the emergence of a new association for community owners, in articles like the ones linked further below.  It is a move that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has been encouraging for years.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

Now, that new NMHCOA association is taking shape.  Their organizers are making their appeal in writing.

 

The Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona (MHCA) is a statewide association representing community owners in Arizona. As state associations do, the MHCA has been very active and productive at the state level in combatting governmental interference with its burdensome regulations and obstacles,” said Haney, as he walked through some history. “At the state level most community owner associations have been able to not only monitor proposed local and statewide legislation, but interact with legislators to prevent onerous regulations that are detrimental to our industry.”

 

‘No Effective National Representation’…

The national legislation and rule making over the last ten years has proven that we do not have that representation” at the federal level, Haney explained. One only has to look at the passage of the Safe Act and the Dodd-Frank Act to see how devastating and onerous national legislation can be. Other similar chattel groups (the RV industry) saw the proposals and their representation managed to have them exempted.”

It was a devastating finger pointed at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which two state community associations broke from last year, due to a lack of effective national representation.  The group passed out literature at MHI’s annual meeting.

 

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

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The national organization to which we belonged [i.e. MHI] was apparently unaware of the legislation and its ramifications until after passage and it was already being implemented. The rule making in the aftermath has been horrendous and little if anything has been done to stop the bleeding,” said Haney’s letter. 

Recently, HUD has issued rules concerning the screening of prospective tenants for our communities. Again we find no one aware of what is happening, much less advocating on our behalf. Installation requirements are being implemented that have no basis in common sense and the result will be additional burdens on community owners and added costs for homeowners,” said Haney.

We need someone to advocate on behalf of the community owners. This singular task needs to be done at the congressional level and in the departments that make policy affecting our industry. Every community owner, and every association that is accepting membership dues from community owners, should be concerned with the lack of representation at the national level and should be involved in finding adequate representation. If you are willing to be a part of the solution, please contact our association office.”  Haney pointed to Susan Brenton, who has served the Arizona community owners for several years.

Brenton previously worked with resident groups in her state, so she is aware of the dynamics on both sides of that fence.

Brenton’s contact information is: 2158 N, Gilbert Rd., Suite 116, Mesa, AZ 85203, 480-966-2446 • suebrenton@me.com.

It should be noted that MHProNews is reporting on this ongoing development of the NAMHCO, and is not taking a position on this particular group either way at this time. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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