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What’s Next in Affordable Housing, or for Manufactured Home Professionals and Investors?

July 6th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” – English maxim, origin credited to George Herbert.

 

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

 

No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things take time.
You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant
.” – Warren Buffett

 

Notice: MHProNews will be doing a website theme and URL switchover this weekend. By industry standards, ours is a huge website. Expect glitches. As every seasoned and successful business professional knows, change routinely means anticipated and unexpected bumps-in-the-road. That said, patience and persistence pays. What’s coming is relevant and potentially profitable to many.

 

 

Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. SWOT. 

Every person, profession, situation in life has its own SWOT. These are not always clearly understood by those who are in the middle of their own circumstances. Thus outsiders, often with experience in that same field, are brought in by success-minded business leaders to be a second set of eyes. Physicians often refer a patient to another doctor or an expert for a second opinion.

 

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The four quads of a good SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

 

Everyone that has ever owned a business that has endured for more than four years has achieved something that the majority of those who start a business can’t claim. If a business is profitable at the end of its fourth year, that is a notable accomplishment.

If that same 4+ year-old business can honestly say that they have achieved that profitability and sustainability with a high degree of customer satisfaction, so much the better. That combination of honest business success with both internal and external satisfaction merits celebration. 

Among public officials in both major parties that have studied manufactured housing with an open mind, several things become clear. Manufactured homes have been routinely misunderstood for years. 

For those who understand business strategies, that factoid and what follow are opportunities in disguise.

 

 

  About every third American is living in rental housing.

  There are some 22 million Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes or in post HUD Code manufactured homes.

  Millions of conventional housing owners plan to upsize, downsize, and otherwise change housing.

  NIMBYism and land use policies that are often designed to protect or promote special interests are among the reasons that manufactured homes are often blocked by zoning and placement restrictions. HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who is the top federal official in charge of regulating manufactured homes, has made it clear that he gets those facts.  

  Education is part of the solution to that issue. Secretary Carson has personally made efforts at educating others about manufactured homes on national TV programs, in published speeches, as well as in Senate testimony. There are plenty of examples of third-party studies that span more than 20 years that debunk the misplaced fears that many have about manufactured homes.

  The new presidential executive order (EO) establishing a White House Council to promote affordable housing underscores the two bullets above. President Donald J. Trump’s new EO also specifically cited manufactured homes.

  Several Democratic and Republican lawmakers and public officials are paying more attention to manufactured homes, industry lending, and other industry business practices.

 

There is more. But those bullets are enough to make a ‘can do’ minded professional wonder why manufactured housing isn’t performing far better than it is? Why is the industry only producing and shipping about ¼th of what it did in 1998? Or why is the industry only shipping about 17 percent of what was achieved in the early 1970s?

For those whose only answer is ‘lending,’ that’s at best incomplete.  For those who say image, that’s part of it too, but that’s an opportunity in disguise for those who see clearly. Simplistic ‘answers’ like those are often going to hobble professional growth.

Why, by contrast, has the RV industry gone from being outsold by manufactured homes at a 3 to 2 margin in 1998, to RVs outselling manufactured homes by some 5 to 1 in 2018? RVs also had image problems decades ago, but they addressed that successfully. RVs – towable or motorized – for most Americans are as their name implies, are recreational. By contrast, manufactured homes, while some are used as second homes, are for the most part primary permanent housing.

Meaning, the RV industry’s potential size should only be a fraction of what the potential is for manufactured housing. That’s another outside indicator that manufactured housing should be doing several times its current sales levels.

Seen through the eyes of an honest SWOT analysis, there are clearly obstacles and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses in the manufactured housing industry in the summer of 2019. 

At a more granular and personalized level, there is a SWOT for every professional, location, business, and organization.  But the infographic below reflects the enormous potential that the industry has.  

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What’s Next?

Amazon, Chinese imports, and 3D printed housing are just some of several looming threats to the domestic sales of more manufactured homes.

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But at this time, HUD Code manufactured homes have a clear price-per-square foot and/or other advantages over its rivals. As HUD Secretary Carson and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Certified Business Economist Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton have both said, manufactured homes are more resilient – far safer – than most realize. 

 

SunCommunitiesIncSUIRentalofManufacturedHomeVsOtherRentalComparisionsFeb2019IRDec312018DataManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Always keep in mind that data changes over time. This information was deemed accurate by a publicly traded company at the time it was originally published.

 

·        At least on paper, manufactured homes also have an advantage due to the ‘enhanced preemption’ clause that is already law, as established in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.

·        Manufactured housing has – at least on paper – support from the Duty to Serve (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008, that mandated support for manufactured homes. These two bullets are examples of good laws already on the books that are not being properly implemented.  That’s an opportunity in disguise for the savvy with moxie and resources.

There are also aspects of FHA, VA, and USDA (Rural Development) lending, plus several state finance programs, that offer opportunities for manufactured home professionals and investors to serve potentially millions of Americans who want to upsize, downsize, or get their first home. To be crystal clear, those opportunities exist apart from the so called ‘new class of homes’ that some in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are promoting. That new class of homes, whatever the intention, is arguably more problematic than promising.

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Click to download and see this full sized.

 

When people think image or stigma, that too is part of SWOT. However, a crisis that is properly understood is often an opportunity in disguise.

 

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Sam Zell famously observed that when others are going left, look right. Zell told MHProNews via the late Howard Walker, JD, then Vice Chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), that the ELS chairman has never lost confidence in manufactured homes and communities. Zell has preached that they aren’t ‘trailers or trailer parks,’ in his own pointed way.

SamZellQuotesPencilHeadItsNotATrailerParkWhenEveryoneisgoingleftLookRightELSChairmanManufacturedHomeProNews

 

 

The fact that Zell-led ELS and Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway have invested billions into the manufactured housing industry, and continue to do so, should speak volumes to objective thinkers. The fact that others are following suit is likewise noteworthy.

Here is where there may be some parting of the ways between various industry professionals. To oversimplify, there are those in manufactured housing that fully grasp the realities noted and linked herein. Some are ‘black hat’ operations, while others are ‘white hat’ business. On MHLivingNews we encourage housing shoppers to discern that difference.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by their president Tim Williams, Warren Buffett’s direct quotes from that same year’s annual letter, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, all line up in what attorneys who reviewed it see as ‘smoking gun’ evidence of antitrust violations. They demonstrate how thousands of independent retailers, communities, and several producers – among others – where purportedly directly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. See for yourself: https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

There are candidly those who don’t get it about such realities regarding ‘black hats’ in the ranks, or are in fear or denial, or may understand but don’t know what to do about issues like the ones found in the reports linked above and below.

 

 

Each of those are thorny topics. But ‘leaders grasp nettles.’ Nettles, properly understood, are prickly but have medicinal properties. ‘Grasping nettles’ is an apt metaphor that manufactured housing industry owners, managers, leaders, investors, and professionals should strive to understand and master in the context of their own unique SWOT.  

During a time that manufactured homes should be roaring, instead, the industry seems to be snoring. There are reasons that is so, including those noted in reports linked from this article. For 9 consecutive months, there are year-over-year declines in the production and shipments of new manufactured homes, despite all of the possible good news and positive resources that are available. That fact, considered in the light of others, begs questions. How to account for the failures to advance by the industry’s self-proclaimed leaders? Or who benefits from such a downturn? 

Businesses don’t become successful because they are operated by incompetent people. The management of MHProNews doesn’t believe that those leaders in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are incompetent; quite the contrary.  The are successful and some of them are quite shrewd.

So, there must be other explanations for the relatively low state of the manufactured home industry. There must be good reasons, ones that can lead to profitable opportunities once fully grasped, as to why new manufactured homes are selling at a slower pace than the year that Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton Homes and other affiliates starting in 2003.

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

May 2019 data reflects month 9th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

 

What’s Next?

From the ranks of investors in publicly traded firms in manufactured housing, the controversy at Cavco Industries ought to sound alarm bells, especially in the light of items noted and linked from within this report.

Among public officials – several of whom correctly believe that manufactured homes offers an opportunity to increase affordable home ownership in ways that grows the personal wealth of singles and households – the facts noted and linked herein ought to be significant enough to warrant public hearings into several industry issues. Those hearings should be public and ought to proceed on a range of issues related to: antitrust, RICO, IRS tax-exempt status, and what is causing the failure of existing laws on lending and enhanced preemption to be properly implemented.  Experts from all sides and camps of the industry, including consumers, should be part of those Congressional hearings. Industry leaders should be called in to testify under oath.

Then, industry professionals and business owners, past and present, ought to ponder how the facts herein relate to themselves and their business experiences.  If the market has been rigged, as some claim based upon evidence like that linked from this article, who has that harmed and to what degree? Who benefited from the allegedly rigged system?

Because investigations and possible litigation aren’t the only steps that ought to occur, what will current and prospective industry investors and business owners and leaders do to navigate the current circumstances?  How will professionals respond to their own unique SWOT?

The fact that some businesses are honestly growing, while others are shrinking, should be carefully examined and objectively understood. 

·        There are no less than half a dozen other serious trade publishers or bloggers that are writing about industry related issues.  Why has this trade media stood essentially alone in reporting on these challenges in recent years?  Why have some among those half-dozen at one point in time identified or mentioned some of the same problems, but later went silent or flip-flopped on reporting about them?

·        Why is it that the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) and some state association affiliates broken ranks from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? Why did they say that MHI failed in reflecting their interests?

·        Why does the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) so often see matters in stark contrast to what the Berkshire-backed MHI does?  Which association is more accurate in their assessments? 

·        Why has Warren Buffett – his money and influence – often backed both sides of fights that MHI was engaged in? Why has MHI routinely come up short?

 

These are nuances that have been documented here and/or on our sister site of MHLivingNews

To understate: it is worth noting that per available third-party evidence and data, MHProNews readership is equal to if not significantly greater than all of the other 6 industry trade media and bloggers combined. That suggests that people recognize the difference between spin and straight talk

 

The Next Step

MHProNews is about to take its next evolutionary step.  Some of the theme changes on our new website are subtle, but others will be significant.

We already dominate the manufactured home industry in news, fact-checks, and analysis. Nothing else even comes close in size, scope, and professional audience engagement.

Our parent company’s business development and expert services have worked with several operations of all sized firms over the years successfully. Our results are proven in often very public ways, such as the rebirth of the Louisville Manufactured Home Show after years of downturn and finally its only year to be cancelled.  That achievements make us a go-to resource for those who are willing to invest in their future to grow. 

Others firms or locations that were already successful, but that were not reaching their true potential, have likewise turned to us for proven results.

But those successes mean that companies or locations that closed or sold out for less than their true value were arguably harmed by the so-called leadership of those who are striving for discounted consolidation and acquisitions, by whatever means.

 

 

Let’s note that the video interview above was performed prior to the negative news that later hit the headlines about that former MHI chairman and his company. We don’t knowingly work to promote allegedly black-hat operations.  We strive, instead, to work with the industry’s apparent white hats. Because of our pivots on MHLivingNews, we are now in a unique position to spotlight the problematic as well as white hats.

 

 

Thus, we bring a unique set of experiences, tools, and proven resources. Keen insider insights found here cause more people to logon to MHProNews daily than some of our rivals have monthly.

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

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On MHLivingNews, we’ve been quietly revising and developing a platform that addresses that common questions and concerns from the general public’s perspective.  The success in attracting readers there is notable, because individual articles there may get several times more readers than even very popular articles found here on MHProNews.

Put differently, on both platforms, we’ve proven for years measurable results at what we have strived to do. 

To make that point, Casey Mack at Legacy Housing, with his company’s general counsel’s expressed okay, said the following.

 

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MHProNews has well-known publishing arms. Our publisher is one of the most highly acclaimed pros on LinkedIn among all manufactured housing professionals.

 

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There have been hundreds of accolades – endorsements and recommendations – provided via LinkedIn alone. Others have been provided via video and in letters, etc.

 

While our business development services tend to be lower key, the results are praised in videos, written letters of recommendation, and by measurable bottom-line results. Some of those kind comments come from rivals. As Casey Mack and others suggest, our services don’t ‘cost,’ they are investments that properly utilized pay dividends.

With almost a decade of publishing the industry’s most read-trade media, we are about to turn the page to the next chapter.

While we disagree with Warren Buffett on several business ethics and related issues, we agree with him that some things simply take time. We also agree on the importance of reading for understanding, something that Buffett says he spends 5 to 6 hours a day doing and has for years. If you and your team are each reading less than an hour daily on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, then you are not yet reading enough.

Keep in mind the levels of awareness.  There are few things that doing them once is enough.

Our Republic just celebrated this week a key time in American history.  This nation began a struggle some 243 years ago that defeated the world’s lone superpower during the time our nation’s founding fathers declared the 13 colonies independence from the British king. Perhaps 1/3rd of the people in some form of fashion originally supported that effort for independence.

The U.S. and our allies defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, which some thought unstoppable. The U.S. overcame the power of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. At various times, there were those who said those feats could not be accomplished.

This is a can-do nation. If you are in business, you are likely a can-do person reading this. The industry has very real challenges, both internal and external. It will not be a quick fight, if it is to be successful.

We’re in it for the long haul. This next chapter in manufactured housing trade media is proof of our resolve.  The fact that the opposition won’t engage us directly in public debates and forums – after so many of those same people have praised our work for years – is perhaps the most telling reason to believe that we at MHProNews are ‘over the target’ in our analysis and efforts.

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The industry should be some 10 times its current sales levels. 

Our slogans are as relevant today as when we launched the site under the third logo on the right, below, in mid-October 2009.

 

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We’ve added to those mantras since then Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © and News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing.” ©

 

 

The next evolutionary chapter in the industry’s biggest and most read trade media starts this weekend.  Stay tuned.

Our thanks to our sponsors and clients for making this possible.  Our thanks to our readers for seriously checking in often to consider all the news, fact-checks, reports, and analysis that we share here and on MHLivingNews.  With God’s help, the best is yet to come.  We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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

For marketing and other expert professional services, click here. Connect on LinkedIn here and here.

Soheyla Kovach, managing member, for LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – parent to Daily Business News on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

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

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

Addressing Manufactured Housing Insanity, Unusual Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Tip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addressing Manufactured Housing Insanity, Unusual Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Tip

July 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

AddressingManufacturedHousingInsanityUnusualEquityLifeStylePropertiesELSTipMHProNews

The [popular] definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results.”

– sources, Solon, Psychology Today.

 

Its like selling tickets to a zoo where only ‘1 in 100 are eaten by lions!’”

– Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA,
speaking about the problems caused by the issue of manufactured home land-lease community closures.

 

MHProNews has from the outset cited sources and those that deserve or wish to be acknowledged.

It was an off-the-record comment by a manufactured housing state association executive and award-winning winner member of MHEC – the Manufactured Housing Executives Council – who said that the proper role of a good association can be summed up with this 3 letter acronym, P.E.P.  Protect, Educate, and Promote.

It was an association peer of that MHEC member who said that the industry is now witnessing “association malpractice” on display from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), but also by others too.

In fairness, there are several associations that could lay claim to working hard at authentically attempting P.E.P.

But can an objective, informed,  evidence oriented professional say that Manufactured Housing Instiutte (MHI) can honestly be named among them?

  • The industry is continuing to consolidate while the industry remains mired under 100,000 shipments for over a decade.
  • Our publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was still an active MHI member when he said that there is a “high cost of low [manufactured home industry] volume sales.”
  • Within weeks of that analysis being published, U.S. Bank closed its manufactured housing lending division.
  • Since then, more independent retailers, and thousands of manufactured home communities have closed or were acquired by larger firms.
  • Several manufactured home producers have closed and/or were been consolidated since Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes, Oakwood Homes, and Clayton’s affiliated lending.
  • Because sales volumes and/or occupancy are much lower than they were during the roaring 1990s, those businesses were bought at what is arguably a reduced value for their business.

That ‘bargain’ or ‘value acquisition’ – defined as being something under the intrinsic value of that thing – just happens to be the mantra of Warren Buffett, and others who follow that investment philosophy.

Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway and a relatively small group of firms dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Is it a coincidence that since 2003, when Buffett purchased Clayton Homes, that the industry’s sales are still at historic lows?  Or is it mere chance that the industry is still selling fewer HUD Code manufactured homes than when Berkshire acquired Clayton and their affiliated manufactured home lenders?

 

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

April data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

 

Or does MHI’s routine failures – acknowledged by their own elected and staff leaders in the videos below – have a subtle but open and obvious explanation?

 

 

Is there a scheme involving MHI to consolidate independents that is publicly unstated, but is nevertheless the increasingly apparent goal?

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

 

On MHLivingNews there are two new reports. One is the call from a community leader for congressional investigations. ICYMI, that report is found from the link below.

 

The other is a new spotlight about Nathan Smith and his partner’s in SSK Communities rebranding as Flagship Communities.  Renaming is their right.

  • But does the manufactured housing industry’s white hat firms really think that it’s okay that the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI) gave one of those rebranded communities an industry award?
  • Is it appropriate when Smith’s SSK Communities was one of the firms that John Oliver’s viral hit video spotlighted as predatory?
  • Or when Smith and his partners’ You Got It Homes is rated as a “C-“ below average by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
  • Or when the BBB rates Smith and his partners’ SSK Communities as a “F” a failing grade?

 

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

Understanding the Industry Through the Eyes of the Those Outsiders Looking In

The industry must learn to see how others through the lens that others see manufactured housing.

  • Democratic lawmaker’s staff have told MHProNews recently that MHI is viewed as being “anti-consumer.” Ouch.
  • The history of Clayton Homes,
  • the costly legal woes at Cavco Industries since the November 2018,
  • or the ongoing headaches and heartaches that are caused often by Nathan Smith’s SSK,
  • or embarrassment sparked by other MHI member firms such as Havenpark Capital (a.k.a. Havenpark Management)

those are just some of the reasons why the industry’s image is suffering, even though the quality of the homes is overall high, per federal data. Or how does this factoid look to those who ponder it?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

The satirical logo is used in part to poke with a lighter touch at a serious topic. As some have framed it, there are white hat companies at MHI, and black hat companies.

 

An Interesting Tip from Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS).

It was voices from Chairman Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) home office that encouraged MHLivingNews to do more than just puff-pieces on MHLivingNews, a comment shared while Vice-Chair Howard Walker was still alive.

Walker himself said the following, which strikes a similar note.

 

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Thoughtful words, worth pondering with respect to MHI. 

 

That obliquely raises the following point.

Third-party data reflects the point that MHProNews dominates in manufactured housing trade media.

That said, readership on numbers of Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) articles routinely dwarfs the totals of individual articles on MHProNews. There are far more total articles on MHProNews, but the readership of MHLivingNews articles, fact-checks, and analysis reports are often far more popular than similar ones done on MHProNews.

Given that there are more consumers than professionals, that data is as it should be. But that also means that the years invested in developing MHLivingNews can yield serious benefits for home owners, home seekers, advocates, investors, industry professionals, and all others.

 

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MHI’s outside attorney, MHI itself, and surrogates of MHI have threatened and rattled sabers against this publication for some years. But when MHProNews calls their bluff, each time, they have backed down. Why? While attorneys tell MHProNews that MHI and their ‘big boy’ backers can certainly afford to sue even without good cause, such a suit would open them up to countersuits and discovery. Is it possible that MHI, Clayton, 21st and others don’t want to have to open their books up to discovery by MHProNews? Besides, how does MHI backers explain away the numerous words of public praise – like the example above – that they’ve previously made?

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals Should Police Ourselves in Concert with Public Officials, or Others Will Police MHVille to the Detriment of Many White Hat Businesses

Ironically, KMHI – which recently gave Nathan Smith and the former SSK Communities/Flagship Communities an award – says that they have a code of ethical conduct. Presumably MHI does too.

What code of ethical conduct explains the track record of high-profile members misbehaving in a way that draws negative attention on the entire industry? When has MHI publicly admonished or repudiated bad behavior by one or more of their member(s)?

MHARR has been involved in several important initiatives over the years that are useful for the manufactured housing industry. After some prodding, MHARR put together the list linked below so that others had a more complete understanding that their methods are fruitful.

 

 

But MHARR have long said that they need a post-production partner.  In November of 2017, they published a deep dive white paper that explained why such a post-production association is needed.

 

 

Indeed, as MHProNews has reported, the:

  • Mainstream conventional housing has numerous trade groups, not just one. NAHB, NAR, MBA are just three of numbers to make the point.
  • The automotive and RV industries also have several trade groups.
  • Why is it that so many in manufactured housing have been lulled into believing that our industry needs only one trade group?
  • When MHI is presiding over an era in our industry that benefits only a few ‘big boy’ companies, why should the balance of the industry trust MHI?

 

Benefits of a New MH Trade Group?

1)    If post-production alliance of ‘white hat’ firms and-or a post-production association of white hat companies were forged, and worked with MHARR, then increased pressure on lawmakers and public officials to enforce good laws already on the books due in good measure to MHARR’s visionary efforts could be brought to bear.

2)    By contrast, posturing and claims by MHI and several of their affiliates continues. Meanwhile, new rent control laws are being passed that will be harder on smaller communities who are routinely NOT the ones that cause rent-control or other such laws to be passed in the first place.

3)    The status quo harms the interests of the bulk of the industry’s independents, while it seems to benefit those who consolidate the industry. Is that accident? Mere chance? Or is that trend by design?

Whatever the cause, it doesn’t change that fact that the trend is what it is. So in a sense, what matters most is that the industry’s independents act in a positive fashion, rather than continue to behave in ways that keeps the industry shrinking when it should be robustly growing.

Manufactured housing has a great story to tell, that when told well, results in sales. But it is MHI’s own Chairman, Joe Stegmayer who recently oddly admitted that the story about manufactured housing is in many ways an under-told story. That was a stunning admission on camera by the man who’s behavior purportedly sparked a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoena that resulted in their stock value dropping like a rock overnight.

 

 

It was MHI member Terry Decio, whose father was once favorably found on the cover of Time Magazine, who in recent years lamented that he’s tired of being in the industry’s that is the best kept secret.

 

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Stopping the Insanity

At Tunica, there was a meeting of a dozen industry professionals exploring a new post-production association.  Susan Bretton with the newly formed National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) was in attendance.  Bretton encouraged the group to advance the cause of a new post-production association. NAMHCO themselves broke from MHI for their years of lack of performance.  Here’s how they put it.

 

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It isn’t only about little companies vs. big ones.

Perhaps more to the point, it is unethical or problematic companies – so called black hat operations – vs. the interests of companies that behave in an ethical fashion. The black hat brands bring black hat headlines and cause the white hats of our industry avoidable grief.

But because there is no retail, finance, installer, transporters and other ‘white hat’ post-production trade group to work with MHARR, what remains are associations that are a mixed in with white hats.  Who is harmed the most by that blending of black hats with white hats? Isn’t it obviously the white hat brands?

Our firm has worked with white hat companies to successfully increase sales at the local market level. Part of how that is accomplished is to distinguish a white hat company from black hat ones.  Then educate consumers to look for the difference, as MHLivingNews has been doing for some time.

The message to prospective consumers can be simple. Manufactured housing and properly operated manufactured home communities are a good option that can save money and deliver a good lifestyle for millions.

But perspective homeowners ought to avoid the bad behavior of the few – who are often, but not always larger firms – which may also hold prominent roles in a national and/or state association(s).  There are black hats in other sectors of housing, not just manufactured homes.  So the need for consumers is to do their homework before buying, shop wisely, and work only with companies that take care of their customers.

It was the same year that Tony Kovach warned about the high cost of low-volume sales that MHProNews took part in a video production that included this clip with MHI president Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison.

 

 

That statement by Jennison was stunning then, and it is stunning – but also revealing – now.

After all, what trade association leader argues for low volume and slow growth?  That statement by MHI’s president, in hindsight, was a warning sign. It seems like an open admission to the MHI agenda in recent years.  Slow growth or negative growth results in consolidation.  Mate that statement with the Nathan Smith comments in the video posted above reflecting his laughing as he said he wanted all of the communities for himself.  Spoken like a true consolidator?!

MHI’s own prior president, Chris Stinebert, politely ripped his own association in the exit message for failing to put customers first, and in failing to provide for alternative sources of financing. ICYMI or need a refresher, see his exit message at the link below.

 

These breadcrumbs merit Congressional inquires.

Jennison, prompted, admitted in 2015 that manufactured housing could achieve 500,000 new HUD Code home sales per year.  Why then is it that the industry is still struggling under 100,000 new home shipments? Why was there an 8 month dip in year over year new manufactured housing production/shipments?

 

April2019ManufacturedHomeProductionShipmentTop10StatesMHARRlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

How to Reverse the Trends, Benefiting Home Owners, Professionals, Investors and Others

If there were far more new home sales, as communities become full, the value of each home in that community arguably rises.  Meaning, not only does a family-owned business benefit, but so to can their residents.

If new manufactured home communities and the enhanced preemption provisions of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act existed, that would benefit consumers and most ethical industry owners/investors.  New supply must be brought on line in order to address the problems caused allegedly predatory ‘black hat’ companies such as Havenpark, SSK/Flagship Communities, and others.

No one argues that there should be no more apartments built in order to make existing apartments more valuable.  It is arguably madness – or worse – that MHI hasn’t addressed this problem years ago.

There are a several things that could result in sustainable surge of new manufactured home sales and new communities and privately owned home sites coming online.  Here is a partial list.

  • A new post-production alliance and/or trade association can make a bright line distinction between industry black hats and white hats. The KMHI and MHI examples, by contrast, seem to suggest that there is a lack of will or ability for those and possibly other MHEC members to address the negative blowback caused by black hat firms.
  • Such a new alliance or trade group could do educational events targeting industry, the general public, affordable housing advocates, and public officials. It should be noted that Stinebert and manufactured housing industry investor Robert Robotti held something like those sessions for investors. But something more robust could be done that would boost the sales of those who are part of such a post-production group.
  • Such a new trade group should publicly denounce black hat behavior, it should be part of their bylaws, along with an enforced code of ethical conduct.
  • That trade group could work with MHARR and any others that want to see the industry grow in a sustainable fashion.
  • That trade group could join hands with select resident groups that have a similar interest in boosting the image and understanding of manufactured housing, while calling out black hat behavior. It is a disgrace to the industry that lawmakers and their staff’s see MHI as being anti-consumer. That must change, and after years of waiting for MHI to change, it should be clearly argued that it is insane to keep waiting. MHI debatably has too many years of bad baggage. Isn’t it insane to keep doing the same things, and expect a different result?
  • Resident and industry trade groups must call on Congress to hold public hearings on why problematic behavior that has kept good laws from being enforced have come from within the ranks of the manufactured housing industry.
  • As an upcoming special report will spotlight, there is also evidence that certain public officials are part of that effort to misdirect and fail to implement the understanding of laws such as Enhanced Preemption.

This week the latest data on manufactured home shipments are going to be made known. If the 8-month downturn abates or not, it should not change the industry’s white hat members resolve to forge a new post-production trade group or alliance.

 

What’s the Alternative?

One of the attendees of the Tunica exploratory meeting made a case for trying to ‘take control’ of MHI.  Months have gone by.  Has anyone witnessed anything different from MHI since Tunica? Or is it just more of the same photo-opportunities and fig leaf posturing? There is hoopla presented to the industry’s members. But by contrast, where is the effort to use the good news that HUD Secretary Ben Carson or others have made possible?

It’s MHI members, past and present, that have been among their most vocal critics.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

JoanneStevensQuoteslammingMHI-havenparkBerkshireHathawayMHReviewDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The opportunity to reform MHI has been repeatedly provided and has gone a wasting.

The trendlines make it clear. The time to form a new white hat post-production structure is now.

 

Lessons Learned…

It Isn’t Just MHI Members Who Believe They Benefit From Black Hat Behavior…

Keep in mind that some believe that they benefit from MHI’s ‘black hat’ behavior in an indirect way.  So, don’t be surprised if white hat firms don’t immediately get on board with this renewed initiative.

But among the lessons to be learned from the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver viral hit video, errantly named “Mobile Homes” is this. Buffett’s and certain MHI member firm’s financial and other fingerprints are arguably on MHAction and the black hat operations.  ICYMI, see that, linked below.

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

Who would have thought in February 2019 that the John Oliver video was coming in April 2019?

There are billions of dollars in upside opportunities in manufactured housing. But in order to achieve that potential, operations of good will should either learn to do on their own what is described herein for their local market and/or they should join forces in a lawful fashion with ethical operations that want to grow and earn more should team up with others like them in a new trade group or alliance.

 

MHIdeals = Manufactured Home Independents Ethical Advancement Leadership Society

Such a society could foster what’s needed for manufactured housing to help millions of more Americans achieve the satisfying dream of home ownership.

Let MHI and black hat firms stay in MHI. If there is a new MHIdeals organization, that group could be the voice for honest business practices that are good for consumers and taxpayers.

Even membership in a properly operated MHIdeals would be valuable. Why? Because if a robust and enforce code of ethical conduct exists, then every MHIdeals member would arguably be a firm some home seeker, investor, or professional would want to do business with.

MHLivingNews, following the tip from ELS insiders and others, began laying the foundation for a method of spotlighting bad behavior from good.  Manufactured homeowners, housing shoppers, and investors exploring the manufactured home arena are all finding this revised vision of MHLivingNews to be a useful and positive resource.

While ELS is eschewed by several, it should be recalled that they purchased a ROC and do so in a fashion that provided those residents with safeguards. It is too soon to say what may follow. But suggestions like the one made to MHLivingNews is noteworthy.

It should be noted, as a disclosure, that ELS is not, nor has been, a sponsor of either site.

It may sound odd that something that spotlights negative behavior can be a positive force.  But the alternative is to allow lawmakers and regulators to punish the good along with the bad.

 

The industry must police its own and call for appropriate actions. In response to a request for comment on the article above, Kurt Kelley put it in writing to MHProNews the following statement.

KurtKelleyJDMobileAgencyMHRManufacturedHousingIndustryVoicesMHProNews

Kurt Kelley.

I’m glad to call you a friend, Tony…You and some other industry leaders do a fine job of holding MHI and others accountable for their work. I’ve chosen to leave that to you.” Kurt Kelley, MHReview publisher.

Kelley did not protest any of the report linked here and above. Instead he said “You [MHLivingNews/MHProNews] and some other [presumably, MHARR] industry leaders do a fine job of holding MHI and others accountable for their work.”

That certainly sounds like encouragement of this platform’s – and arguably MHARR’s – efforts to expose and get to the root causes of the problems that are holding manufactured housing at artificially low levels.

We in turn value that Kelley has published articles that – even if obliquely – revealed the troubling nature of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis. Kelley is also the only trade media, besides ours, that occasionally will publish a MHARR article.  By contrast, MHInsider, George F. Allen, and others are routinely publishing only pro-MHI material, and they – as well as Kelley – arguably do so uncritically.

 

 

Stop the Insanity

It is time to stop the insanity.

It is time to move beyond hoping or trusting that MHI might change.  Hasn’t that proven to be fruitless? Or arguably counterproductive?

It is important to note in closing that MHProNews has given Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Nathan Smith, Joe Stegmayer, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Rick Robinson, and MHI’s outside attorney several opportunities to respond to these and related concerns.  They’ve opted to remain silent.  Perhaps there is a good reason for them to take the fifth?

 

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

MHI’s Rick Robinson, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and others have ducked publicly and privately from responding to questions, and have for two years. Prior to that, they used to answer routinely and promptly. Are they unable to answers vexing questions without looking even worse?  The example above occurred in front of dozens of industry professionals. 

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

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Berkshire’s Joanne Stevens Rips Manufactured Housing Institute

June 27th, 2019 Comments off


BerkshireHathawayJoanneStevensRipsManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

NAI Iowa Realty Commercial is proud to be part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies,” says the Joanne Stevens website. The firm is a commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in manufactured home communities. Her website sports the logo of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), among others.

 

Stevens has her own following in the manufactured housing industry. She is known for typically being quieter and gracious.

In the June 25 release of Quarter 1, 2019 of publisher Kurt Kelley’s Manufactured Housing Review (MHR), Stevens had a column.  Under her byline, Stevens addressed the recent spat of negative news and resultant increased interest by political leaders in regulating manufactured home communities. She said that it revealed how unprepared the industry was to respond to such concerns.

Does Stevens have a point?

Saying in MHR that “Tenants, the media and legislators unleashed their outrage against rent increases and MHP owners,” she said that “What happened next [after what she described as a “significant” “rent increase”] is a commentary on how woefully unprepared the MH & MHP Industry is to make the case for the essential role mobile homes & parks provide in the low-cost housing landscape.”

Perhaps Stevens didn’t consider the full import or implications of her words. But when given an opportunity to respond, neither she nor publisher Kurt Kelly disputed the logic or accuracy of the facts outlined in a new report on MHLivingNews linked below. That report is a deeper dive into what is sparking the concerns she said that the industry is not prepared to deal with.

 

 

Her bold statement flies in the face of Nathan Smith’s pledge when he was chairman of MHI to leave the association as one that is more proactive than reactive. Smith said at that time that ‘the industry’ – which MHI members often use as phrase synonymous with MHI – had to be honest with itself. Smith said that ‘the industry’ [MHI] had failed repeatedly at being proactive. But there is more in his video, which was produced prior to Smith and SSK Communities legal and media controversies.

 

 

In praising MHProNews publicly and on camera, MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison also grudging admitted that “the industry” failed at times. Again, think of ‘the industry’ in this context as code words for MHI.

 

 

But what the new MHLivingNews fact check and analysis reveals is who and what are sparking those failures.

 

 

What Warren Buffett Said…

What Stevens may or may not know is that the word heard after Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes in 2003 was this. Buffett reportedly said he did not want to be seen as ‘raising the rents on grandma.’ Therefore, Buffett wanted the Clayton-owned land-lease communities out of the Berkshire family of brands. They spun off all of those manufactured home community assets.

But various Berkshire units clearly recognize the value of lending on manufactured home communities, or making personal property loans on the manufactured homes in them. The acquisition by Berkshire of Stevens’ led community side of NAI Iowa Realty Commercial was a recognition that there was money to be made in brokering land-lease communities too.

Snapshots like that are why a community leader – speaking about Buffett and Berkshire – said to MHProNews earlier this week, “Damn! That spider has webs everywhere.”

Stevens and Kelley were both given an opportunity to respond to this new report; Kelley already has, but Stevens has not yet done so.

But what they’ve arguable done is this.  Once more, they’ve obliquely made the case that it is often Berkshire and MHI connected brands that have sparked those bad news stories.  While Stevens did not name them, it was MHI member Havenpark that sparked media and political outrage. And as Stevens observed, ‘the industry’ – i.e.: MHI – was unprepared with a cogent reply to that outrage caused by their own members.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMemberCompanyHavenparkCapitalManagementDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Perhaps that is why? Or is there a method to the MHI madness about Berkshire and other ‘black hat’ brands causing bad news, and then not responding to it?  Does the graphic below Havenpark’s D+ rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) qualify as evidence of black hat behavior?  Where is MHI’s ethical code of conduct?

 

HavenparkCapitalPartners4-2-2019DesMoinesRegisterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) has been asked to weigh in on this controversy. A follow up on this topic is planned in the days ahead. See the related reports, above and below.

 

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

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MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

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Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

May 10th, 2019 Comments off
NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteParadoyLogosLeaderProfitablyCorrectingRecordMHProNews

MHI parody logos are designed by MHProNews, a subsidiary of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and are gladly provided under fair use guidelines for media.

Mama used to say, you are known by the company you keep.

 

That’s a fairly common maxim, phrased in a variety of ways. Before applying it to Nathan Smith, let’s step back and look at a different Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) industry leader first.

The largest and best known manufactured housing builder active today is Clayton Homes, with President and CEO Kevin Clayton at the helm. For those of us who have been exposed to Clayton, there are phrases like “servant leadership” and other aspirational sounding models that have been raised by the Knoxville, TN metro based firm.

At an MHI meeting during the Patti Boerger era for their organization’s communications, Kevin Clayton addressed a break out session this writer attended. Kevin told dozens listening about the wonders of the impact of MHI’s Facebook page. He encouraged others to get involved, because they could measurably get hundreds of leads and click throughs shortly after each post.

Really?

Let’s say for a moment that’s literally true. Who were those click throughs? How many  of them where from India, vs. how many from the United States? How many were MHI fans, including past or present Clayton Homes team members?

How many actually bought a Clayton Home?

Beyond his father Jim Clayton, Kevin has indicated how Warren Buffett has mentored him. Buffett has said that the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield. It is a point that this writer, a Buffett critic, would agree with using our separate the ‘wheat and chaff’ discernment model.

 

InBusinessWorldRearViewMirrorClearerThanWindshieldWarrenBuffettLifehackquotes-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The rear view mirror is another phrase for history. Likely few people in manufactured housing have won more awards in history, at the high school and college levels than this writer has. That’s not bragging, it is what it is. History is what one looks at when we read a resume. History is what one looks at when one reads a corporate report. Every news report is actually a history report, unless it is a live feed. Somehow along the way, history has gotten a bad wrap, but we are fixing that day by day here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.  Want to profit? Buffett himself has a keen interest in history. By the way, not every history award came with a medal. But the ones below did.

 

HistoryAwardMedalsEarnedByLATonyKovachMHProNews

Cartoon caricature of L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach at the bottom right, who earned these history awards in statewide scholastic competitions, plus other awards in history that didn’t come with a medal.

Back to Kevin and his Facebook claim, before pivoting to Nathan Smith. We don’t claim to know the exact details that answer the questions in the paragraph above those medals. What we do know is shipment data. If there was some appreciable impact on sales, why are Clayton Homes and the industry at large’s production and shipment levels so low?

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

Let me now pivot to Nathan Smith.

When this writer interviewed Smith, it was while he was Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). It was before the embarrassing mainstream news reports were made public. The rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. But viewed through the lens of history, these video clips may be worth more now today then they were then.

 

 

Smith is high energy. He is rather entertaining and fun to be around. He is politically connected.  Not as a slam to Democrats, but he is one. Let me emphasize that I’ve been an independent for years. We believe that manufactured housing is the most proven form of affordable housing in modern American history. Affordable housing and manufactured homes are ideally a non-partisan or bipartisan issue. To stress that point, we have published the article linked below.

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Now, to be clear, hindsight isn’t actually 20/20. History, as any other subject, can be spun or weaponized. So facts must be discerned from fiction. Mama was right about the company you keep, but we don’t always know what company we are keeping until later on.  That’s no disrespect to your mama or mine.

We will be doIng a report that will have the theme, MHI, which is it? It will feature a collage similar to the one at the top, with our satirical logos, created under fair use guidelines, juxtaposed with their own actual logo.

It begs the question. What really is the image of MHI? Not what the industry has been ‘trained’ to see, but what is the image of manufactured housing – and that MHI specifically – projects to the public at large?

Not only here on MHProNews or on MHLivingNews, but also in the mainstream media linked letters, our team or I’ve personally made the point that each of the problematic firms that John Oliver’s viral “Mobile Homes” video identified has ties to MHI. Is that the company you want to keep for your firm?

 

 

We are inserting in this report videos from the mainstream media of the affable Nathan Smith and his SSK Communities. Look at the reports. This first video has had more views than all of the MHI ‘story telling videos’ combined. Think about that as you watch this report.

 

 

Are those allegations and litigations the image that you want your company associated with? Bear in mind what Oliver’s video depicted. Smith isn’t alone.

 

JohnOliverHBOLastWeekTonightMobileHomesSSKCommunitiesNathanSmithClassActionLawSuitMobileManufacturedHomeMHProNews

This is a still from the John Oliver viral video that mocks Clayton Homes, and several large MHI member community operators. One of those mocked is SSK Communities.

 

 

Hey, anyone who has ever managed an older property knows that stuff happens. SSK isn’t a poor boy operation, is it?  If they can make campaign contributions, and attend the Kentucky Derby, can they fix their water lines in a timely fashion too?

So, Nathan and others at MHI arguably help make the case that there is a need for a new, “white hat” alliance that distinguishes itself from the apparent “black hats” in the industry.

 

 

Here we use the term ‘white hat and black hat’ not as a cool color for headwear, because we all know someone who is a good guy or gal that sports head wear that might be black. Here we mean a bad actor, which is identified by behavior, not a literal hat color.

TamasKovachBlackHatSunshineLATonyKovachBlackWhiteStrawHat

Don’t kid yourself. We take our work seriously, but we have some fun along the way too. Work hard, play hard. Tamas Kovach, left, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, right.

 

The Hustle has called Warren Buffett the shillionare of the people. It’s their way of saying he is a shill, a con, a phony in terms of this folksy role he plays.

 

TheHustleMObileHomeInvestingHotWarreNBuffettHomeownersGetBurnedMHProNews

 

History and news meet right here on MHProNews. Because George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984, had a point.

 

GeorgeOrwellQuoteMostEffectiveWayDestroyPeopleDenyObliterateUnderstandingofTheirHistoryGeorgeOrwell1984QuoteMHProNews

 

Post-production or umbrella trade associations in manufactured housing that fail to establish and then enforce standards of ethics and professional behavior that comport with the law, and also clearly hold businesses to a higher standard are missing something huge.

 

 

GeorgeOrwellQuotesOurAGeNoSuchThingKeepingOutOfPoliticsAllIssuesPoliticalPOliticsMassLiesEvasionFollyHatredSchizophreniaManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Some ideas come too early, but in time, their value becomes clearer.  We floated the idea of an MHAlliance years ago. Done properly, its arguably a more valuable concept now than at the time we first presented it. Part of that alliance needs to be good standards of professional conduct. Taking good care of customers, residents, and clients.

 

FurtherSocietyDriftsFromTruthMoreItWillHateThoseWhoSpeakItGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

Because we are known by the company that we keep.

 

HeWhoControlsThePastControlsTheFutureHeWhoControlsthePresentControlsthePastGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

The number of emails, LinkedIn connections, email sign ups, and calls are rising. The merits of our taking on the industry’s black hats is becoming more apparent to more followers.

 

HowardZinnQuoteGeorgeOrwellSaidWhoeverControlsthePastControlsTheFutureHeMeantHistoryImportantShapingViewNextGenerationMHProNews

 

By the way, on LinkedIn, I don’t claim to know every soul among the thousands there that have connected. There are some invitations I don’t take, like someone who appears to be in an XXX industry type of role. But generally, I do accept professional invites. On Facebook, I stopped blindly liking someone’s FB page some time ago. Those disclaimers made, back to the topic of white and black hats companies.

If you are a black hat firm, we are happy to have you as a reader, but I would borrow a phrase from a letter we published earlier this week out of Bryan, TX. That phrase? Check out his letter, linked here. It ends with the word, “Repent.”

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. 

If you are a white hat firm, and want to distinguish yourself from those that create negative headlines like the ones about Nathan Smith posted here, please send me a message that has the subject line “White Hat Contact.”

 

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

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, or Comments or ‘White Hat Contact‘ in the subject line.

 

Because HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s comments to the industry this week can be read in a very subtle fashion. Did Secretary Carson praise or chide MHI? Did he praise or chide their behavior? Did he challenge them to live up to their potential? Read it for yourself.

 

 

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) says that a journalist should hold the powerful to account. When an error is committed, one should correct the record. I’m hereby correcting the record. That’s not to be supercilious. There are embarrassing moments in my life too. But a brief embarrassment and a pattern of problematic behavior are two entirely different things.

SPJSocietyProfessionalJournalistsCodeofConductMHProNews

Besides, one always has the option of making amends. Of repentance.

You are known by the company you keep. If you wake up and have discovered that you have not been in an association that cares about keeping good company, don’t just sit there. Take action.

We aren’t looking for an association or alliance made up of perfect people, because there are none.  What we are looking for is an association that strives for perfection, because as coach Vince Lombardi said, when you strive for perfection, you can catch excellence.

 

ItsUnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouveBeenPlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballHallFameMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

What hall of famer Mickey Mantle said about baseball applies to manufactured housing too.

 

Imagine a trade group whose members attract good customers, because the alliance would be made up of honest business people.  If there is a mistake, the members will pledge to correct it. 

The manufactured home industry needs a white hat trade association that deals with post-production issues. One that lives up to the Secretary Carson challenge. One that has a standards of professional conduct that have teeth, within the limits of the law. That would be a profitable boost to those who are honorably in it.

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

The words of the late Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

The industry is underperforming. But an industry is made up of local level results. Yes, national issues and results impact you. But you won’t achieve your locations’ true potential until you’ve separated yourself from the black hat operations out there that spark the negative headlines that keeps manufactured housing collectively underperforming.

The housing industry is over a trillion dollar a year in the U.S.  The powers that be have thousands of pros thinking scarcity, instead of abundance.  Our potential at the local level is stunning.

1TrillionDollarInfographic$100BillsMillionsBillions

 

So there is a method to what some think is the madness here on MHProNews after all? You decide by your actions and behavior what company you want to keep.

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

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”Your Time is Up, White People” SA Politician Declares, Stirring Up Unrest Impacts MHVille, USA

December 10th, 2018 Comments off

 

YourTimeIsUpWhitePeopleStirringUpUnrestImpactsMHVilleUSA

It’s your own personal rights, property, and wealth that are in the crosshairs. If what is described from news accounts that follow hasn’t yet happened to you, odds are that someone at a meeting you or they attended know about just such an incident on some personal level.

 

 

Meaning, this is an underdiscussed trend already at work in the manufactured housing industry – a.k.a. MHVille.

Today’s report will start out with actual incidents from a distance – across the waters, and further south. That sets the stage for global tendencies. Then, we will walk backward toward the U.S.A. and specific ways that this is troubling trend is already at work in manufactured housing, and/or in a city or town not too far from you. Because what is a maturing problem overseas, is arguably already underway here in the U.S.A. too.

 

“Your Time is Up” – Whites About to Lose Big

SOUTH Africa (SA) has set a date – March 2019 – when a much-criticized land grab called “expropriations” can begin after a politician named Cyril Ramaphosa declared: “Your time is up, white people,” said the UK Daily Star.

In France, riots are spreading. They began with protests over ever-higher gas taxes – so-called “carbon taxes” tied to global warming – the science of which is surprisingly still in dispute. ICYMI or need a refresher later on, see the 5-minute expert video and related report on that issue, and how it impacts MHVille, by clicking on the linked box below.

 

Climate Change, Energy, Riots, and Manufactured Housing in Green Era

 

In oil-rich Venezuela, after a decade of socialism, the infrastructure is decaying.  That oil rich nation is now importing oil. The state grabbed – “nationalized” – their oil industry after socialists came to power about 10 years ago. Americans investors are among those who arguably lost out. But among the real losers are the Venezuelans, who after a decade of socialist control that they voted for, are now so hungry, they’ve reportedly lost an average of 19 pounds. Once one of the most prosperous nations in Latin America, Venezuela‘s economy is now a basket case. The graphic below is part of a larger report found by clicking on the linked box that follows it.

 

VenezuelaEconomicCrisisFoxInflation1MillionPercentPricesDouble26days2.3MillionFledDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews

To avoid having this happen in America, “We, the People” must understand that socialism, communism, and other faux promises of ‘free stuff’ are all based upon lies. The Chinese said centuries ago, teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime, but give a man a fish, and you only feed him for a day. Working age People must Produce, that’s life. In order to encourage production, the fruits of a person’s labors must be respected.  The proper goal of government isn’t to redistribute income, rather, it is to protect personal rights, peace, and to protect private property.  Otherwise, government becomes an enemy of the people it is ideally supposed to defend.  Trade groups like MHARR and NFIB arguably understand those lessons.

 

How to Avoid Losing Billions, Huge Loses Reported by WSJ, Other Media

 

In my nation of origin, Iran, the American-backed Shah of Iran was toppled decades ago by promises to the Persian people their that ‘electricity would be free,’ and that the nation’s oil money would be ‘shared with all of the people.’ The empty promises of ‘free stuff‘ and ‘free moneynever happened. ICYMI, you can read more at the link below.

 

“You Made Me, Promises, Promises…” Historic Iranian, American Lessons in Freedom

 

Instead, the Persian people have arguably grown poorer and are now less free.

The current Iranian regime might have toppled during the 2009 ‘green’ movement against the mullahs in 2009, had then President Barack Obama deftly intervened. Mr. Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not do so.  Instead, years later he cut a controversial deal that released about $100 billion to Iran, per the New York Times.  Meaning, to the very government that has kept the Iranians poorer.

What some Iranian expatriates in the U.S. have understandably called ‘fascists’ that rule Iran, are using those billions in funds released by the U.S. and others in a guerrilla war against neighboring nations, which includes the killing of Americans service members.

 

NYTimesRelease$100BillionDollarsToIranDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

What was former President Obama thinking when he gave to the leaders of a nation that lies to its people, and gets large, radicalized crowds to chant “death to America” or “death to Israel” as has been seen in globally seen televised marches?

And here is how it comes closer to MHVille.  Ponder how prominent people involved in MHVille – such as Warren Buffett or Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Chair Nathan Smith – are all-in with political leaders like the former 44th president, Secretary Clinton, and typically Democratic candidates that here in America are at times also promising something allegedly ‘free’ at no cost to voters.

 

Nathan & Mary Lee Chance Smith, Leaders in ‘Anti-Trump Resistance,’ Manufactured Housing Impact?

 

The money trail from billionaires Warren Buffett and George Soros has been previously documented, as it links to groups like the problematic MHAction and better known AntiFa.  Recall, that MHProNews is for free enterprise and limited government, but sees as problematic manipulations of the American system in unjust, thumbs-on-the-scale, or crony-capitalist ways. ICYMI, you can click the linked box below for details, because we follow the facts, money, and evidence.

 

Prosperity Now, Protests, Indivisible Project, Warren Buffett, George Soros, POTUS Donald Trump, MHAction and Manufactured Housing – Following the Money

 

MHI inexplicably elevated in their purported ‘newsletter’ a policy initiative by Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) that is arguably harmful to the interests of most of manufactured housing professionals. Furthermore, Senator Warren embraced those radical groups, the same ones that disrupted MHI’s own speaking event of HUD Secretary Ben Carson, MD.  What is MHI thinking?  What are Warren Buffett, his Berkshire Hathaway lieutenants that operate in manufactured housing, and leaders like Nathan Smith of SSK Communities thinking?

 

Expose! Why Has Warren Buffett/BH Funded Anti-MHC Activists, MHAction? Why Fund Attacks on ELS, Frank Rolfe, Blackstone Group?

 

Let’s give them their due.  Buffett, the Claytons, and Nathan Smith are intelligent.  So whatever they have in mind – since they continue to support the same leftist groups and policies – is there any doubt that their support to radical groups and radical politicos is intentional?

Award-winning manufactured housing legend Dick Moore, who helped launch the MHIdea independent retailer initiative, has said for the record that he was audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for political, not tax reasons, during the Obama administration.  Moore alleges that they did so as an attack of his written statements about limited government and free enterprise, among other topics he’s written about.

 

Here in America…AntiFa and MHAction

In the U.S., one of the better known radical groups is called AntiFa. In Manufactured Housing, it’s MHAction that has surpassed – for better or worse – the attention once given to the more mild-by-comparison national resident group, NMHOA.

 

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

 

One MHVille pro called MHProNews HQ recently to say that he’s been personally accosted by an MHAction member multiple times.

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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.

 

That activist MHAction member, per said MH Community owner, poked at the businessman with a walking stick – a cane – reportedly in the presence of several others.  The community owner in question feels caught, because he doesn’t want to say or do something that might cause the narrative to turn against himself.  The community owners doesn’t want him or his community to end up getting sued. So he says he is relatively passive during such incidents.

As noted, MHAction has disrupted the speech of HUD Secretary Ben Carson, MD. MHAction have protested – Blackstone, Equity LifeStyle Properties, and RV Horizons by name and/or in person – among others.

 

WarrenBuffettGeorgeSorosPhotosHUDSecBenCarsonTidesFoundationLogoMHActionLogoMHActionProtestorPhotoManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews600

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That radical group are holding organizing events. One MHAction event made the news in Illinois, pre-midterm election. Some pooh-pooh these as ‘not drawing very many attendees.’ Well, that may be true, but that misses the point. Such radical movements that toppled once-free Cuba started with only small groups too.  That same is true for each of the nations noted herein.  These radical movements begin small, gather steam, and then historically become quite potent.  One quality that they have is that they don’t stop until they win.

 

SouthFloridaCubaNorthSouthKoreaSatelliteNightSocialismFreeMarketsManufacutredHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Satellite photos of Cuba vs South Florida, on the left, North Korea vs. South Korea on the right. The freer a society, the more productive the people, and the more prosperous the people. Radical socialist movements, by contrast, lead to impoverishing their people.

 

This issue may be racial in South Africa and in some areas too.  But as a woman of Middle Eastern origins, let’s note that can perhaps better be understood not so much in racial terms, but as “have nots” being stirred into action against those who have. But one must ask, who are those who are stirring the pot? And how does this pattern of activity get stopped?

The short answers are that at times, powerful forces are acting behind the scenes of such radical movements.  And as to how they are stopped, one potent answer is education and historic lessons.

First, those who are drawn into these movements are often already unhappy.  The manufactured home community owner noted above said that he sincerely believes that man who has poked at him with the walking stick is mentally unstable. Perhaps so, but either way, he’s been attracted into a group that is making false promises.  Time and again, around the world, those who make promises like those of MHAction have made fail to deliver.

In Russia just over a century ago, the Tsars (or Czars) were toppled from power by Bolsheviks who were socialists that became known as communists. The nation grew poorer as a result.  There are historical references to Western nations – including some with ties to Wall Street – supporting the Russian revolutionaries. Think about that for a few moments — successful Americans and westerner capitalists helping destabilize Russia by supporting socialists, who later turned against the West as cold war communists. Troubling, but true.

WallStreetBokshievikRevolutionLeninTrotskyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are numerous examples of this, from a variety of sources.

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Learn more about that prior report by clicking this link here.

In the USA, as the Daily Business News on MHProNews has previously reported, there are more people on the political left calling for “Universal Income” – free money – “free health care” and “free education.”

 

LeadershipAndLearningAreIndispensiabletoEachOtherJohnFKennedyBQManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

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The Democratic party today is arguably not the same as the party of Democratic President John F. Kennedy.  President Kennedy signed taxes cuts into law, and revenues to the federal government rose.  Former Democrat, turned Republican, President Ronald Reagan (GOP), led tax cuts and revenues to the federal government rose too, as the graphics above demonstrate.

 

IndividualFederalIncomeTaxesSetRecordThroughAugust2018CNSNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The Trump Tax Cuts has spurred more tax revenue overall. These are facts. The lower rates spur more investment.

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22TrillionSpentWarOnPovertyHeritagePostedDaillyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The estimated $22 Trillion dollars spent on the War on Poverty, which turned 50 a while back, exceeds the total national debt of some 21 trillion dollars. The poverty rate was coming down in the U.S. through free enterprise. The perhaps well intentioned, but still misguided, impact of poverty programs has not proven to move the needle of poverty, as the graphic above demonstrates. Or as MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach said in a Masthead over a year ago, ‘whatever you subsidize, you tend to get more of it.’

Currently under former Democrat turned Republican, the 45th President of the United States (POTUS), Donald J. Trump, tax cuts passed last year have already sparked precisely the same trend as occurred during the Democratic President Kennedy and Republican President Reagan. So why is that trend under-reported by much of the mainstream media?

Part of the solution for our industry and our nation is to cut regulations, taxes, and to cut the size and scope of the federal government.  To minimize disruption, that process takes time.

 

PresidentTrumpCutsFederalWorkforceJobsDailyBusinessNewsMHpronews

 

But that process of taking billions of dollars away from deep-pocket groups that buy votes to get what they want from the federal government is underway. It’s President Trump and those aligned with him – not MHI – that got the roll backs of S2155.  Some key powers behind MHI – such as Warren Buffett and Nathan Smith – are openly for more big government, while MHI claims to be working for reduced regulations?  Once the facts are laid out, aren’t some of MHI’s claims blatantly misleading?

 

PresidentDonaldJTrumpSignsS2155ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That process of subsidized housing and the like has demonstrably cost manufactured housing billions of dollars a year, and has cost our nation trillions of dollars over the years. It also creates an avoidable underclass, which tend to vote Democratic, because they are the ones promising more ‘free stuff.’

 

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

ColumbiaPointHousingProjectBostonMA-AHI-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Columbia Point Housing Project had near the end of its first life cycle only some 300 housing units that were habitable. That’s the same number Donald Tye, Jr. used in his example to describe the better way for people, and government. Quality, affordable single family manufactured homes.

The manufactured home industry must realize that however imperfect any politician is – and they are all human, and thus all imperfect – the most pro-manufactured housing industry politico since 2000 is demonstrably POTUS Donald J. Trump.    The video on the report found on the page linked below shows the president, the first lady, Vice President Mike Pence, and other officials in Florida, touring a manufactured home community.  President Trump is mingling with residents, and talking about ‘the good people‘ living in that manufactured home community.

 

“I knew right from the beginning.” When President Trump, First Lady Melania, VP Pence Toured Manufactured Home Community

 

Where was there any similar trip by President Obama to a manufactured home community?

Instead, the Obama administration imposed heavy new regulatory burdens on the manufactured housing side of the affordable housing industry.  Apparently, those burdens are what Warren Buffett, the Claytons, their affiliated lenders, Nathan Smith and others involved at MHI want, because that is what campaign donations indicate they have often politically supported.

Protests of manufactured housing industry firms or leaders like HUD Secretary Carson – like the ones shown in the video below – are de facto being funded by big Democratic donors, like billionaires Warren Buffett and George Soros.

 

 

Do you see why a growing number of people within MHI are questioning their own organization? Why more are at MHI are seeing that trade body as a Berkshire Hathaway-led front group, instead of a lobbying group that is working on behalf of the majority of manufactured housing independents?

 

“It’s a Terrible Idea,” Comments from Manufactured Home Community Owners, Senior Management, and Investors

 

With that backdrop, now flashback to the video interview at Tunica with former president Danny Ghorbani, and current President and CEO Mark Weiss, JD, with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  Do you see why MHARR’s staff leaders think that the Trump Administration is better for the industry than the prior one was?

 

 

Housing and the Policies of Much of the Left’s Leaders

Keep in mind that these leftist groups are making claims and promises about housing too.  As a community owner told MHProNews, the biggest competition for our industry for decades has been subsidized housing.  Those who promise that are running counter to the interests of the vast majority of manufactured housing professionals.  In as much as it traps people in poverty, it is bad for Americans too.  See what the manufactured housing advocate, the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. said in his in-depth video interview, linked here.

 

Facts & Analysis – Senator Elizabeth Warren re: Manufactured Housing Institute Memo to MHI Members, 10-3-2018

 

As or more important, those promises from the left run counter to the interests of tens of millions of Americans who want to own, but are stuck in rentals instead.  See that report, by clicking the box linked below.

 

The American Dream, Arguably Among the Most Profitable, But Least Understood Stories in the USA Today

 

These are not matters of mere opinion, to be shrugged off lightly.  The facts, evidence, and money trail are being revealed, step-by-step.

Then look at who is rising on the left in the Democratic Party in America…

 

AlexandriaOcasioCortezDemocraticSocialistWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Once the issues are better understood, the vast majority of the nation could come together on a range of issues that span racial, political, religious, or other group labels. As some in the GOP have noted, President Trump isn’t a classic Republican. He’s spans the left-right divide in several ways with pragmatic policies that are arguably based upon the American ideals of life, liberty, and property.

 

Openly “Democratic Socialist” candidates are coming into office, like the already well-known Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D), or her longtime forerunner, Bernie Sander (VT-I, but caucuses with the Democrats).

 

BernieSandersWikipediaManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

BrancoBerniesandersDrinkThisFreeSocialismHillaryClintonDrinkThisImAWomanSocialismAndCorruptionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile said that the primary was rigged against Senator Sanders. There is evidence to suggest that the powers of the federal government were being used to tilt the election in favor of Secretary Clinton and against then candidate, Donald J. Trump.

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

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You can see a Nathan Smith, SSK Communities related report, by clicking this link here.

 

We in MHVille can, should, and must learn from what is happening in France, South Africa, and Venezuela.

Propaganda is demonstrably being fed to the masses, and millions are ‘buying into it.’ In MHVille, MHI has arguably weaponized their information to their members. While it would be inaccurate to say that all news is fake, or that all MHI news is propaganda.  But there is more than enough of it that is weaponized or demonstrably inaccurate, so that our industry’s professionals – and the nation – are increasingly looking askance at MHI or mainstream news.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-768x318

MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending, and ways to improve the industry’s image. For years, even though our parent operation was an MHI member – and showed the way to grow business – MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth allowed more consolidation of businesses, and at a cheaper price? 

For those who may have missed it, please see the related report, linked the in the linked box further below, on News as Business. 

These reports on “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © have been quietly praised by company leaders who say that it is vital to have such articles to help educate those team members at their companies that are being propagandized. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Understanding the News as Business, and Manufactured Housing

 

Danny Glover, Presidents Barack Obama & Donald Trump, Promises Kept, and Affordable Manufactured Housing

 

Explosive Comments on Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing Lending from Well Placed Sources

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s a Terrible Idea,” Comments from Manufactured Home Community Owners, Senior Management, and Investors

December 7th, 2018 Comments off


ItsTerribleIdeaCommentsFromManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnersSeniormanagementProducersInvestorsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews
Skimmer alert: the subject isn’t a video per se.  But we open this Daily Business News on MHProNews with a comment about a new video because it shines a light on broader issues that have drawn comments – also shared below – from a variety of industry personalities.  Many are from the manufactured home community sector.  But other voices from retail and production have weighed in too, as you will see.

 

A company president with interests in communities that has also done retail wrote a long missive that began as follows. “My first reaction when I saw the opening frames [of the Manufactured Housing Institute self-promotional video] was WTF?????  OBVIOUS to me at least that this was made for folks who DON’T know the real details behind the [manufactured housing industry’s current condition] story.  In a depressed industry, with competition slowly being choked out of existence, they [MHI] come out like we’re back in 1999!  What a joke.”

 

Terrible Idea

It’s a terrible idea,” said another large community owner during a 75-minute phone call to MHProNews,to have communities lumped in” with producers, retail, and other industry segments at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). That pro said he hasn’t seen the MHI video, and said he could care less.

Why?

What has MHI done to alleviate any of the concerns” for communities, was the response.  Examples given by the caller included costly installations being mandated by HUD was part of that community owners comment.

He’s far from alone.

The Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and financing issues have sparked several responses from operations of varied sizes, from coast-to-coast.

MHI pays lip service to communities. Sure, they have their community focused events. But in terms of policies, what has MHI actually done? It’s still a retail and production-oriented organization.”

The dues paid by communities [to MHI] are not that bad,” said one. “But there’s no performance [by MHI] either. I’m waiting to see who will step up and do something that will be helpful for communities.”

MHI provides “a lot of sizzle, but the steak’s still kinda tough. We as an industry are still WAY below where all rationale says we should be, IF ONLY NORMAL MARKET FORCES WERE AT WORK HERE.  I have long felt that to NOT be the case, as you [MHProNews] are also verifying through your investigative reporting.”

Put differently, one of the hot-topics include a growing sense of manufactured home market manipulation and monopolistic practices.  There are many who believe that the industry should be performing far better, but that manipulation of the market has kept the industry at far below it’s capability.

 

 

A Wink and a Nod?

I have no doubt that deals are made [at MHI] with a wink and a nod” that benefits some operations at the expense of others stated a partner in a community operation.

Nathan Smith was a name that drew repeated fire. “What a likable guy, who sadly is working every ——ing day to get politicians elected who harm everything independent business people in our industry stand for and need [in order] to be successful.” Without saying so, it is likely a reaction to the report found by clicking on the hot-linked box below.

 

Nathan & Mary Lee Chance Smith, Leaders in ‘Anti-Trump Resistance,’ Manufactured Housing Impact?

 

I just want an organization that helps keep Big Brother off my back,” explained one, commenting about MHI. “We have modest working-class [MH] communities. There are no clubhouses. Having to put in high-cost pads only increases the costs to consumers. MHI’s promos only shows photos or video of freshly black topped streets, that have double wides1, garages, and swimming pools. Hey, that’s great for those few that actually do offer that, but that ignores the reality at over 80 percent of the properties in our industry. It’s like they [MHI] are embarrassed by the reality that millions are happy to have a home that they can call their own, even if it is modest, it’s theirs.”

 

1 – sic terminology error in the original.  More properly,
multi-sectional manufactured homes. Note to Industry
newcomers – percentages shared by reader comments
may or may not be precise, but can be understood
as broadly on point.

SICSicutJournalismDefintionSocietyProfessionalJournalismDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

One mentioned a comment by Kevin Clayton, on an occasion when he said that the industry should “…dance with those that brought them to the dance.” Meaning, the industry should not forget the entry level product.  “But this Clayton/MHI new class of homes absolutely ignores the ones that brought manufactured homes to the housing industry dance.  Not providing them with Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac] lending is another case of leaders doing the opposite of what they’ve said. Their program does nothing for community owners, and all of our industry’s existing home owners. It’s outrageous.”

It’s why, one said, so many community people walked out last year from the MHI presentation at their Congress and Expo.  ICYMI, you can learn more about that by clicking on the box in the report linked below.

 

Manufactured Housing Institute “Walk Out,” “Cover Up,” and Shock at their Vegas Event

 

 

What’s Next?

There have been questions and comments about the new national manufactured home community organization.

MHProNews has spotlighted the emerging group, and without endorsing it, has noted that at least NMHCO has condemned MHI’s performance failures for communities, which is a hopeful sign that those organizing community owners not only understand the issues, but have plans to address them.

An industry veteran said the need for MHIdea and the new community organization could not be more pressing, saying in part that while most are figuring out how to do more or better business, “SOME in our industry focus on an entirely different goal every morning:  “What can I do today to make my competition go away?“”

One pro said that whatever MHI or Clayton say they want, automatically sparks skepticism.  She gave an example, citing the fact that MHVillage has launched MH Insider, which has praised Kevin Clayton and MHI makes.  That pro now questions not only that publication, but the parent operation too. “If someone is promoting those con artists,” that person alleged, “after the reports we’ve read [on MHProNews], they are either blind, naïve, or part of their con.”

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Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

Whistleblower! Ex-Clayton Homes Team Member on TV Denounces Manufactured Housing Giant’s Practices

 

Are Tech and Emerging Trends Threatening to Undermine MH Communities?

An interesting observation has been about the changes on the horizon in transportation. Out West, where Elon Musk and his Boring Company have been doing tests on the hyperloop, there’s a gnawing concern that in conjunction with other trends, that hyperloop could in time undermine community values in or near metro areas.

Some of us [in the community sector] have thought about or sell properties to big box stores or multifamily housing redevelopers. But as technology like hyperloop develops, it may become ever-more important to be resident satisfaction focused. While today, communities have great stability and lots of exit options, that may not always be the case. If so, that could be [a] good [development] for residents, and the industry, in the long run.

 

ElonMuskHyperloopBoringCompanyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

This may have been a reference to one of the reports on MHProNews on that topic, see one example, at this link here.

 

More people work from home than a decade ago,” observed another. “Their [a home owner’s] location doesn’t have to be near downtown, or even in a suburb. Where is there any drive [by MHI] to attract that [home buying] audience?

The fact that MHI used Nathan [Smith] to attack the new communities association in their so-called newsletter is [a] clear reason to believe that they know that there’s unrest among many NCC [National Community Council] members.”

Anyone who has gone to a few Congress and Expos knows that they have very low actual attendance at most of their breakout sessions,” said one. “They have a few keynotes [that get better attendance], but beyond those, most [community professionals] take off and talk business with others or are handling calls and messages.”

 

Regarding MHI/NCC meetings:

> Education could be better and more relevant, as often low attendance at actual sessions underscores.

> Lobbying on behalf of actual needs and concerns of communities is almost none-existent.

> Some argue that MHI is undermining communities, by favoring initiatives that tilt toward clients of what previously was known as Clayton Bank, 21st, Vanderbilt, or other Berkshire Hathaway brands operating in manufactured housing.

Some – as was indicated earlier – used choice, blunt words.

Nathan is a disgrace to our industry,” is one example. “How can he be in a leadership role? I wouldn’t be surprised if he helped that d-mned Richard Cordray in his Ohio campaign for governor [the comment came from several states away, Cordray was prior head to the Obama Administration CFPB]. Nathan’s whole schtick is like a carnival barker, an embarrassment to those of us who try to run an honest business.”

CarnivalBarkerWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews
DefinitonShtickWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

I wouldn’t mind supporting more than one association, if a new group actually wanted to do something real. Once they [a new organization] proved themselves, dropping out of MHI would be no problem.”

Other who aren’t in MHI – but may or may not be members of state associations – are hopeful too.

I’ve been told that the mixers and events [for MHI] exist for two main reasons. They want independents [retailers, communities] to come which raises money for MHI, but it also gives the portfolio operations a chance to —ing schmooze us into selling [to them]. That video you guys have of Nathan [Smith] laughing while he says he wants all the communities for himself says it all. You guys [MHProNews] need to use that Monopolistic Housing Institute logo more, because that’s like a meme that captures what they [MHI] are all about.”

 

 

 

Anger Over GSEs and Financing

 

While community owners like the rates and terms they get on refinancing a property with one of the GSEs, when the topic turns to lending on actual manufactured homes, they often get angry.

It’s worse than an insult to promote this Clayton [Homes] backed ‘new class of homes,” said one. “It undermines what the HUD Code stands for and has accomplished. MHI has essentially helped the GSEs avoid supporting 95% of what consumers want to buy, in favor of something that is totally unproven.”

A concerned producer and MHI member indicated that the lower rate offered by the GSEs on that new class of homes is cancelled out by the far higher cost of the product. That same producer soberly said that the majority of producers couldn’t build such a home the way they are configured.

Put differently, that professional was explaining why most of the 130 some plants producing homes in the U.S. are being undermined by this Clayton/MHI initiative, that they purportedly got the GSEs to buy into.

Another MHI only member producer stressed that modular homes already qualified for GSE lending. “This [new class of homes] was just unnecessary.”

There are clearly conflicting interests at MHI, and they always tilt toward what Berkshire Hathaway wants.”

The two most heard or read words?

Thank you,” with an example from one who added, “for giving voice to those of us who’ve been abused by a train of lies and broken promises.”

You [MHProNews] are smart to be mixing in those videos and reports that teach the basics of what made America great,” because “what the reality of what is happening to our country could cost everything we hold dear if we don’t change [the trajectory of] the culture.”

 

Articles on related topics are linked further below. NMHCO has promised a new, formal statement on their latest is in the works. MH Idea is also found further below. Quotes may or may not represent the views of MHProNews. That’s this afternoon’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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Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement

October 31st, 2018 Comments off

 

NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesPhotoBarackObamaVPJoeBidenManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoSlamsNMHCONewNationalCommunitiesGroupManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

In a written statement provided to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their prior Executive Committee Chairman, Nathan Smith, slammed the new manufactured home communities association.

 

From the issue shown in the screen capture above, comes the following direct quote:

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHINewsUpdatesAnalysis

 

MHI was the only national trade association representing manufactured home communities to file a comment letter. “I am so proud of MHI and our state associations in the way they are fighting to end discriminatory zoning,” said community owner and former MHI chair, Nathan Smith. “It doesn’t surprise me that our state EDs were all over it and groups like the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners ignored HUD’s call for comments, failing in their first opportunity to stand up for communities,” per that part of MHI’s statement today.

That’s an argument that MHI and Smith may not have realized cuts both ways.

 

Can You Spell Self-Contradictory?

What the message fails to say is that Nathan Smith, partner in SSK Communities, also failed to send a comments letter. Can you spell self-contradictory hypocrisy?

Equally absent in sending comments letters:

  • Anyone from Clayton Homes.
  • Anyone from Cavco Industries – which would include MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer.
  • Anyone from 21st Mortgage – which would include their President and CEO, Tim Williams.
  • George Allen, Spencer Roane, who likewise purport to represent manufactured home communities too.

NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesTimWillliams21stMortgageGeorgeAllenSpencerRoaneAFFHCommentsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsClaytonHomesRegulationsGovAFFHCommentsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&so=DESC&sb=commentDueDate&po=0&s=mobile%2Bhome&D=HUD-2018-0060

Following MHI’s submission,” states the same MHI chest-thumping message, “twenty-four state associations filed comment letters detailing how local land use planning decisions in their states had either a direct or disparate discriminatory impact on persons in protected classes residing in manufactured housing.”

 

2018-10-31_1334ManufacturedHOusingInstituteMHINewsUpdates10312018DailyBusinessNewsWhat MHI’s message fails to mention is that the Regulations.gov website has said for some time that ‘astroturfing’ isn’t viewed as a vote.  Numerous messages that are all essentially the same are not more impressive, per the federal regulatory comments site.

AstroturfingWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

What’s More Important?

What arguably is more important in their message is the fact that MHI felt the need to slam the new communities organization by name.

Keep in mind that MHProNews has reported on, but has not thereby endorsed, the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NMHCO) trade group.  What the Daily Business News has done is reveal how NMHCO has called into question MHI’s effectiveness.  That’s an issue that they did arguably with as much respect as one can, while essentially saying that the Arlington, VA based MHI trade group is a wasted time and money.  At least, it is a waste if you want to deter harmful regulations to manufactured housing industry independents.

 

New National Manufactured Housing Association Makes Its Appeal to Industry Members

 

For more on NMHCO, see the article linked above.

Another question ought to be this. Why is it that it takes pressure from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), trade publisher MHProNews, and/or others to get MHI to do even feign doing its job?

Doesn’t weaponized MHI ‘news’ like the above, demonstrate that they are feeling the heat? “We Provide, You Decide.” (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Was Manufactured Housing Advocate Congressman Andy Barr Backstabbed?

October 15th, 2018 Comments off

 CongressmanRepAndyBarrKY6-R-ManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Congressman Andy Barr has carried water for the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for several years.

 

MHI has justifiably called him a “champion” for the industry.

CongressmanAndyBarrManufacuredHousingActPassesHouseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The screen capture reveals just one of the bills he helped get done for MHI indicates, he’s delivered for them and for the industry.

Let these first two videos of Congressman Barr speak for themselves.  Wouldn’t it be great if every law maker felt this way?

 

MHLivingNews, spotlighted his efforts more than once on behalf of manufactured home owners, prospective buyers, and the industry itself. One such example is linked below.

 

Congressman Andy Barr Speaks in Favor of Manufactured Housing, While Industry Controversies Brew

 

MHI’s PAC understandably gave Congressman Barr campaign contributions. Rep. Barr got his part of the job done, time-after-time.

So where is their backstabbing involved?

 

Big League Politics

Barr’s KY 6 is considered a swing district for a possible Democratic takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives. Amy McGrath, a left-leaning Democrat and combat veteran is getting pools of money from outside of this district.

Bluntly, Democrats have targeted Barr for elimination. Kentucky Democrat Nathan Smith is not far away, sources suggest to MHProNews, working the system…

 

Giving to Both Sides…

As political savants know, there are those who give to both major party candidates in a race.  Sometimes those donations come directly.  But sometimes, they are oblique. That can be legal.

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The Drudge Report recently highlighted a story by the Hollywood Reporter, which said that 99 percent of Hollywood executives give their campaign contributions to Democrats. MHProNews spotlighted recently that 7 of the top 10 billionaires in the U.S. are Democratic supporters.  That includes Warren Buffett, who’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owns Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and numerous other companies involved in manufactured housing.

So, it must be noted that MHI is dominated by Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway. Voices inside and outside of the industry have made that observation.  It’s no secret.  A Berkshire Hathaway executive, sometimes two, have sat on the MHI executive committee for years.

Berkshire’s chairman routinely supports progressive, left-leaning, Democratic candidates.

Buffett’s mega-billionaire buddies, along with second tier billionaires like George Soros and Tom Steyer,  are doing the same. ICYMI, see the related reports, further below for facts and figures on this specific point.  That isn’t conjecture, it is documented reality.

So why is Congressman Barr – who did what Buffett’s Clayton, 21st, MHI et al wanted – suddenly facing a massive amount of campaign contributions from leftist groups?

Before you answer that question for yourself, consider the related question.

Isn’t what is happening to Barr a warning to all who may think today, ‘but I’ve been loyal to:’

  • Clayton Homes,
  • 21st,
  • MHI, etc.

because as soon as your usefulness is deemed over, you too could be discarded like a wet rag?

That’s not mere conjecture.

Bear in mind, that MHProNews has heard directly from those that did business with Clayton for years. Some even did high volume for Clayton. But when they did something that Clayton didn’t like, those sources tell us that Clayton turned on them and targeted them for elimination.

 

President Trump on the Stump for Rep. Andy Barr

By contrast, President Donald J. Trump campaigned with and for Andy Barr.  As a business man, the president understands the concept of loyalty.  Note too, if you watch the entire video, that the president – who is painted by his opponents as vindictive and petty – praises Senator McConnell, who he has on several occasions crossed swords with.  Can you detect any of that in this video?

But let’s return our focus back to Congressman Barr.

I’ve met Congressman Andy Barr in person. He described first-hand experiences with pre-HUD Code mobile homes, as well as with post-HUD Code manufactured homes. He seems well informed on our industry’s issues. He struck me as a genuinely good, sincere man. This is precisely the type of person whom the industry needs backing manufactured housing, from both sides of the political aisle,” said L. A. “Tony’ Kovach, publisher of MHProNews.

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

The comment above was said with respect to another recent topic, but relates to this issue too.

 

A Distinction 

There are plenty of rank and file Democrats who are nice people, well meaning, intelligent, caring, etc.

But there are examples of Democratic leaders who behave in a ‘use them and don’t care if you later abuse them’ fashion. That can happen in other organizations and political parties too.

But here is a case of Congressman Barr, who has fought successfully for manufactured housing industry interests in Washington, D.C..  If the indicators and sources are correct, then the purported powers-that-be behind MHI are treating Barr very badly.

Barr certainly merits the votes and support of those in KY6, and beyond.  Bear in mind too that it is only with

Other people resist, but this president gets results,” said Congressman Barr (KY-6-R) at a POTUS Donald J. Trump Rally on his behalf in Richmond, KY. In The video below, Barr begins to speak at about 24:20, you can watch him take the stage a few moments before that timeframe.

Barr said he knew that candidate Trump would become president when he said “My opponent has a slogan…’I’m with her’…I have a different slogan, “I’m with you!

 

Also, present Saturday night were Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (KY-R) and Senator Rand Paul (KY-R). The video below presented because it was part of the same event that Barr and POTUS Trump appeared at.  It is entitled by the source as “Rand Paul EXPLOSIVE Speech at Trump Rally in Richmond Kentucky – October 13, 2018.”


Was Manufactured Housing Advocate Congressman Andy Barr Backstabbed? 

In the backdrop of all that Barr did for manufactured housing and others, do you think you can trust the billionaires on the left? Or can you trust their non-profit tools, like MHI?

Why not ask Congressman Andy Barr that question?

But Barr may be too much of a gentleman to say that there are backstabbers at work in manufactured housing. Whatever he might say, the turn of the voters is upon us.

The midterms are three weeks out, early voting is underway in several states. Keep Andy Barr in mind, and others like him when you vote. It was mostly the GOP who passed S. 2155. It was entirely the GOP that passed The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  That’s this morning’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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Frank Rolfe. Manufactured Homes and Communities. Industry Politics. It’s Complicated.

October 11th, 2018 Comments off

 

MobileHomeUniversityLogoFrankRolfePhotosInsideMobileManufacturedHomesCommunitiesIndustryPoliticsItsComplicated

It’s complicated.

 

There is little doubt that Frank Rolfe is a believer in affordable housing, manufactured homes, and what he routinely – albeit controversially – refers to as “mobile home parks1 or “trailer parks.”2

Rolfe’s known for saying controversial things others don’t want in print.

Oh my God I’m going to be killed,” Rolfe told Mark Ferguson for an investor podcast, adding “because my only experience with mobile home parks was with what I saw on TV like the movie Pink Flamingos and Griffin of course, by the things in the past, it looked kind of scary. So I thought, “Oh man I’ve got to go get a concealed handgun license.”

MobileHomeParkOwnersGuideSuccessfulBattlefieldTacticsRecaptureProfitabilityInvestorsGuideFrankRolfeMHProNewsIf that makes some industry purists cringe, he went onto say the following in that podcast.

So I went down and I did that, I bought myself a nice pistol and loaded it up and put it in my pocket and showed up at the park and I soon learned that most of my stereotypes were completely wrong at the park. One thing that it was not and that was scary, I think I don’t know why I was so obsessed with the idea that I had my personal safety an issue, but that was definitely not the case.

So pretty soon after I got in there, I learned most all of the ideas I had of the industry were stupid. I started morphing into where I am today. So I no longer carry a gun. I no longer are terrified to go into a park. Basically, a mobile home park is just like any old subdivision. It’s just the homes are much smaller and the people typically are lower income earning but to me, it’s a much more safe environment than for example an apartment complex.”

 

Rolfe on Why “Parks” Are Rising Value?

Limited numbers, with almost no more being added is the answer.  Here’s how Rolfe explained it to Ferguson.

So by far the majority of the parks we own were built in the 60’s and there were still a lot built in the 70’s and pretty much ended by the 80’s and by the 80’s what happened is that most cities passed laws that you could no longer build mobile home parks in their city and in fact today, you pretty much cannot build a mobile home park in any city in the United States. There are only about 10 parks in the entire United States built per year. So the window pretty much closed in the 80’s.”

 

Rolfe on “Mobile Home” Durability

It’s a common misconception that these homes are — that they wear out, that they have a shelf life like a car. The industry kind of did that to itself because it used to be like a car. In fact, many mobile home sellers, dealers used to be car dealers. So they would tell people, “Oh you have to trade that in after so many years.” That’s bunk. What is a mobile home? A mobile home is just like your house; it’s two by four’s, it’s metal, it’s resins, it’s plastic and then it’s sheathed in metal, it’s not going to die. There are no moving parts in it, it’s not like an engine on a car. So they really never wear out.”

Rolfe has told MHProNews that he is wont at times to exaggerate while making a point. So, he’s not saying in the above that there’s no maintenance. He knows that roofs need care or replacement, along with other components like AC, heat, or appliances.

 

Rolfe On What Can’t Be Fixed

Real estate is about location. Lots of things, you can’t fix, you can’t change location. You can’t go out and take your property in the bad location and make it a winner because of the bad location. It’s very critical, in real estate you buy it right on the front end because you can’t fix it, you just can’t. No matter how good a manager you are, if the property has — if the lots are too small, if the water sewer is failing, location’s terrible, you can’t make it any better,” he told Ferguson.

 

FrankRolfePhotoSunshineHomesManufacturedHomeRedBayAlDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Frank Rolfe ‘teaching’ on often controversial industry issues. Still from one of two videos posted on this page from that address by Rolfe to dozens of industry professionals.

Rolfe About Teaching

Then when I got out of Stanford I kept on teaching public speaking at SMU in Dallas for 30 years approximately. So Dave did the same thing on accounting out there in Colorado so we’ve always loved teaching. Teaching is fun, if you do something, it’s always fun talking about it and showing people how you do it but that’s what our education stuff is about, it’s basically, it’s about honesty and factual — it’s just a different deal and I think people respond well to it because they can tell that it’s no BS and that we really enjoy doing it.”

 

Rolfe on Action and Thought

There’s the old saying, “Think like a man of action and act like a man of thought.” Thinking and learning and not taking action that never works. But equally as dangerous as taking action without knowing what you’re doing.”

Rolfe, like Warren Buffett is a reader, as well as a doer.

If you’re going to do something, learn — learn, learn. Read the instruction manual, that’s how you save yourself from bad endings. Benjamin Franklin who never owned a mobile home park, but back in the 1700’s wrote that due diligence is the mother of good luck.”

 

Rolfe on Cities and “Trailer Parks”

Rolfe argues that it is not stigma alone that keeps cities and towns from allowing more of them. “A lot of people think, “Oh well, it’s because cities hate trailer parks and trailer park people.” I mean sure, they are not excited about it, right? Any city would rather have a big mansion neighborhood than a trailer park.” He went on to say that the taxes are higher with more expensive housing than with older mobile homes or manufactured homes.

Those are not meant by Rolfe to all be value judgements.  Rather, they are matter-of-fact (to him) observations. Again, he has been known to speak his mind in often colorful ways, no doubt in part to entertain and attract an audience.  As with anyone, quoting Rolfe isn’t meant to imply that every thing he says or does is being endorsed.  MHProNews takes a ‘wheat and chaff’ approach, and is happy to source information from across a spectrum of people, opinions, and views.  One key is being accurate in fair in citing sources and sharing quotes.

Is the quote accurate and being used in an accurate application or context?  Then, have at it.

By the way, here’s Rolfe explaining terminology, in his own words.

Footnote 1: Some land-lease communities truly are ‘mobile home parks,’ in the sense that they were built during the mobile home era (pre-June 15, 1976), and have mostly mobile homes in them.

Footnote 2: Role would likely admit if pressed that trailers and mobile homes are different. There are RV ‘trailer parks,’ that’s their given name. But manufactured homes are not trailers, and they are not mobile homes. Manufactured homes and manufactured housing are legal phrases, applied to housing built to preemptive federal standards.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

 

Rolfe on Some Big Manufactured Home Industry Controversies

When it comes to Frank Rolfe’s willingness to weigh in on controversial topics, what once was, is now noticeably toned down.

 

1)         Rolfe – who today, with his associates is the number 5 manufactured home community operation in the U.S. – has previously blasted MHI for controversial positions.

2)         One example is Rolfe leveling Nathan Smith, MHI’s former Chairman, for what Rolfe said is the terrible publicity Smith has brought to the industry. See more on Smith, MHI and other related references which are linked at the end of this report.

3)         Rolfe blasted MHI’s mindless pursuit of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which he correctly said ‘had no chance’ of passage during the Obama Administration.

4)         Rolfe repeatedly blasted MHI for failure to engage the media, on positive or negative news topics that impacted the industry.

 

On bullet #4 above, here is Rolfe in his own words.

SuzanneFelberFrankRolfeRichardADickJennisonAmericanHousingAdvocatesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

MHI is currently spotlighting 5 operations in their videos, which in some ways is arguably a disadvantage to other MHI members. It is also worth noting that those 5 videos are not getting many views.

So, there were plenty of people in MHVille that followed such comments, here on MHProNews, or on other venues when Rolfe shared such talking points.

It is obvious that Rolfe his own controversial stances. Let’s turn to some more…

 

Rolfe On Politics

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One of the controversies that’s gone underreported in manufactured housing trades – until now – is his pre-2016 election day stance on Hillary Clinton.  Clinton was the Warren Buffet led Berkshire Hathaway pick for president in 2016.

Rolfe thought Hillary would win.  On that topic, MHProNews was correct in projecting and informing the industry of the path for the victory of Donald J. Trump in 2016.  While our styles are different, we too believe in education and information – all with a purpose.  That purpose is going more business, and serving more home owners well.

Back to Rolfe and 2016.

With former President Bill Clinton along with his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are hitting the speaking tour in the coming weeks.  Mainstream media outlets are doing past and present ‘compare and contrasts’ reports.  So, why not do so here on the Daily Business News on MHProNews too? Why not do it through the lens of Rolfe’s comments and related?

NathanSmithPhotoSSKCommunitiesLogoClaytonHomes21stMortgageLogoBerkshireHathawayLogoBillClintonKevinClaytonPhotoWarrenBuffettHillaryClintonphotoMHProNews

 

Frank Rolfe on Hillary Clinton

In the days just before the 2016 election day vote, and here’s what Rolfe said on NuWire Investor.

The U.S. Presidential Election is in only about a week. But the stats are showing that Hillary will probably win at this point – it would take a miracle to change the outcome. So if Hillary is the next President, what does that mean for real estate investors across the nation?

He made an interesting statement on interest rates under President Obama, which technically is controlled by the Federal Reserve, which is supposed to be independent of the White House. Let’s set that aside, and look at other extended pull-quotes by Rolfe to NuWire.

Keeping banks happy

One of the key issues that came up during the election was the apparent tight relationship between Hillary and big banks. They paid her millions of dollars in “speaking fees”, and the contents of her speeches (while only released by Wikileaks) would suggest that she intends to keep things status quo regarding banking policy. Since real estate is typically using leverage of 80%, a strong banking industry is imperative to keeping real estate prices healthy.

 

Keeping the economy weak

Following the U.S. Great Recession of 2008, we have entered into an era of extremely weak economic growth and employment. It would take a bold plan to exit this rut, and Clinton is unlikely to foster that. Her focus on higher taxes and more subsidies would suggest that the U.S. will remain just as it is for four more years. And that’s good for real estate, as this stable market allows investors to make safe decisions and obtain attractive loans.

 

Stabilizing immigration

Many sectors of real estate – particularly multi-family and mobile home parks – have a strong focus on Hispanic customers in many states, and removing the threat of immigration enforcement will make many owners breathe a sigh of relief. This issue has already pretty much gone away, but Clinton will probably finalize it during her administration.

 

Causing problems with capital gains tax

This is one huge downside to the Clinton presidency: anticipated higher capital gains taxes. This means that you might spend more or your profits in taxes to the IRS in the years ahead. Clearly, this is not a plus. However, it will still be difficult to get such legislation passed through Congress, so the key issue is whether or not the Democrats take control of Congress in this election. Our bet is that the issue will be muted and, if it does go forward, the effect will be gradual rather than overnight.”

No mere mortal one gets it right 100 percent of the time.  Rolfe’s analysis has a mix of correct and incorrect observations. You can read the entire Rolfe statement as a download at this link above.  Rolfe’s full commentary is found at the download, linked here.

 

Why Does This Rolfe Topic Matter to MHVille Now?

It’s complicated, but simple.

Follow the Money.

And follow how politics has evolved into a purported shell game for mega billionaires like Warren Buffett.

Because the mega rich, along with others, are arguably willing to manipulate markets – or allow inaction to harm the interests of tens of millions – while a few benefit at their expense.

Sources to MHProNews:

  • with Berkshire ties,
  • evidence of marketing and other benefits to Rolfe and his colleagues, from Berkshire’s manufactured housing brands
  • along with the evidence of Rolfe going silent about public criticism of MHI,
  • or holding a lower profile on other issues that Berkshire cares about –

all suggests an effort at influencing the narrative in the industry.

It isn’t limited to Rolfe.

 

That narrative to MHVille matters deeply to Berkshire brands like:

  • 21st Mortgage,
  • Clayton Homes,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – which has begun lending on communities
  • suppliers like Shaw Carpeting,

–       and others who broker communities or provide other products and services. Politics, media, nonprofits – these are demonstrable tools used by Berkshire Hathaway, as Kevin Clayton has explained in a video linked from related reports, further below.

 

Clinton vs Trump, Round 2 – Buffett, Soros, Rolfe and MHAction

Rolfe has previously cited concerns over left-wing billionaire George Soros’ influencing mainstream media.

It’s arguably another apt point Rolfe’s made.

He made that point very specifically with respect to Soros, citing a source that claims that the Center for Public Integrity – which played a role in the ongoing Seattle Times controversies surrounding Clayton Homes and Berkshire lending in the manufactured housing industry.

What Rolfe doesn’t say is that billionaires like Soros and Buffett can take some negative media, help fund the creation of some of that media themselves, and can still benefit. They can benefit to the tune of billions in revenue annually.

Negative media tends to impact others in manufactured housing, not just the target of a report.  That is the contention of others in the manufactured housing industry, as messages via social media, email, text or by phone to MHProNews has contended.

There are a variety of bullets that purportedly impact manufactured housing in ways that keeps our industry from recovering to its more higher production ‘glory days.’

There are reasons to believe that those controversies impacting manufactured housing will continue.  At least that is the logic – which Rolfe believes in – of the matter, until the motivation to stop the kinds of behavior that causes controversy remain largely unabated.

Rolfe and his colleagues were invited to participate in this article, and declined.  They’ve also been invited to participate in another industry related article which is planned in the days ahead. Stay tuned for that upcoming episode of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” ©  Where  “We Provide, You Decide” © who you will vote for in the rapidly approaching 2018 midterms.  Will you vote for those who rig the system, or for those who are trying to level the playing field for small to mid-sized operations of all kinds?  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Danny Glover, Presidents Barack Obama & Donald Trump, Promises Kept, and Affordable Manufactured Housing

 

Affordable Housing, Manufactured Homes, Bipartisanship, Bill, Newt, Sexual Scandals, and You

Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

Danny Glover, Presidents Barack Obama & Donald Trump, Promises Kept, and Affordable Manufactured Housing

October 3rd, 2018 Comments off

 

PresidentDonaldJTrumpBarackObamaDannyGloverPromisesMadeAffordableManufacturedHousing

It’s almost axiomatic.

 

Promises made during a campaign are not always promises kept.

But there is a promise that then Senator Barack H. Obama (IL-D) made during his successful 2008 campaign for the presidency that ought to stand out for all thinking people of independent thought and good will.

Then Senator Obama promised to fundamentally transform America. After 8 years, the U.S.A. was indeed a different place.

Donald J. Trump had never run for any office, but had periodically considering running for the presidency for decades. Like Mr. Obama, Mr. Trump made many campaign-promises.

Every time an investor or professional in manufactured housing – or any other profession – interviews a job applicant, or considers a possible investment, facts are gathered. Those facts are found in resumes, references, and job applications.

In investing, it’s the data and track record about the business or property that are carefully examined. P&Ls, sales, occupancy levels, and other aspects of due diligence aim to give a buyer or investor as close to a real-time and historic snapshot of what is reality.

Reality – the truth – matters in business. Reality can create more certainty, which successful investors crave.

No serious investor wants to put his or her money down blindfolded. Thus, facts and history matter. No smart manager, owner, or executive wants to hire someone without understanding that person’s background, accomplishments, and motivations.

When facts matter so much to hire a candidate for work, or to invest money, why do millions of Americans rely on mere feelings – emotions – or impressions before they vote for someone that could fundamentally change the way their business operates?

Yet that is true for tens of millions who voted in 2016, or in 2008 and 2012. Emotions and impressions mattered more for millions than facts did.  A farmer, and voters, reap what they first sowed.

 

Barack Obama – Remember Hope and Change We Can Believe In?

The list below by Doug Ross at the Journal is only a partial snapshot, but it was largely ignored at the time. Why? Because of what we will call the Danny Glover effect.

Recall what actor Danny Glover said in the highly-awarded documentary movie, Shadows of Liberty.

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Danny Grover quote from the fascinating video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.

 

What needed to be added to Glover’s comment, quoted above, are the techniques of manipulation and how much of the mainstream media favored Senator Obama, and then later, President Obama.  Here’s Doug Ross’ fact-based infographic.

PresidentBarackHusseinObamaTop10Broken2008CampaignPromisesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

PresidentBarackHusseinObamaTop10Broken2008CampaignPromisesNo6-10DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The national debt and historically high deficits soared during the Obama years. Frankly, the George W. Bush Administration added to it too, but nothing like the record-holder, Barack Obama.  Perhaps the best known broken promise is the one on ObamaCare, documented by it’s own designers as having been based upon lies.  They said so, on video, see the article and details below.

ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber – Lack of Transparency needed to pass ACA

Ross’ data-points are only a partial list, but serves to make the point. President Obama favored government “investments” vs. private investing. That historically is a recipe for corruption and failure, regardless of party label.

 

 

 

Some of the New Manufactured Housing Builders

Jessup, Hamilton, and New Vision are just three of the new builders of HUD Code manufactured homes that have emerged since President Donald J. Trump took over the White House.

NewVisionManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingAssocOfOklahomaSteveRossPhotoDialyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Look at fairly recent newcomer, Legacy Housing, which is roughly tied with American HomeStar, per the data below. They came into being during the Bush Administration.

#2ManufacturedHousingPositionMarketShareTop8DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

One of the driving forces that are growing in the next tier after Clayton, Skyline Champion and Cavco is Legacy Housing. They’ve grown rapidly in Texas, and are now doing the same in GA. Part of their success? Its financing, as well as other price point and specialized products.

By contrast, what happened in manufactured housing during the Obama years? We’ll turn to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) data to see.

 

How is it possible that so many HUD Code home builders vanished or where absorbed by larger firms during a growing affordable housing crisis? Recall an expert that MHI used to cite, before the Clayton Homes takeover by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway?

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? Because it came before Buffett’s entry into MH? See Smoking Gun 3.

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

When Harvard’s Belsky said that, manufactured housing production was far greater than it is today.

How did the destruction of so many factory builders occur?

In part, the evidence and reflect that capital and lending were choked off for independents. That forced closures and under-value sales. Recall this tip from a MHProNews reader below, which was signed by Tim Williams, of 21st Mortgage, a Berkshire Hathaway Company.

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticPloyConcernManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This document was provided as a news tip to MHProNews. See Smoking Gun 3.

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, MHI and their ‘big boy backers’ have gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

Marty Lavin is a multiple decades successful manufactured home professional, and a keen observer who very must strives to stay abreast of what is happening in MHVille. We’ll share some of his better known quotes in this context. The reason is because his quotes arguably fit.

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

The logic of this statement can be applied to a variety of cases. Discourage lending, and you discourage sales.  Cut off financing to independent operations, and you kill off independent companies. 

ChrisStinebertManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCreditTheJournalManufacturedHomeProfessionalNewsMHProNews

See the former MHI president’s farewell article, at this link here.

Lavin, an MHI award-winner is an expert in lending and finance, pointed to former MHI President Chris Steinbert’s last article in the now defunct Journal of Manufactured and Modular Housing. Steinbert used it to polite slap at his own Arlington, VA based trade association for failing to get to root issues, like financing. Lack of lending and other capital options were choking off businesses that debatably caused the failure of so many retailers, and thus builders, of HUD Code homes. Thousands of communities were impacted by harmful regulatory barriers too.

One or Lavin’s businesses became what was known as Mountainside Financial. That was later absorbed by what today is known as Credit Human Federal Credit Union. Lavin has professionally advised GSEs. MHI awarded him for a reason.

No quote is used to imply that everything else said or done by a person is perfect. Normal people know that. Not this writer, nor any other mortal today, could live up to a standard of perfection. Quotes and facts are used on MHProNews when relevant to a discussion, following a biblical maxim of the separating the “wheat and chaff.”

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Barack Obama had the support of most, but not all, of the billionaires on the chart below. Why? His economic principles were demonstrably wrong. Mr. Obama either made promises in ignorance, or knowing they could not be kept.  Either way, the result was the same, terrible for thousands of businesses in our industry.  That pattern was repeated by other industries and professions.  So millions of Americans were harmed by demonstrably bad policies.  But most of the top billionaires backed Mr. Obama, including Warren Buffett.

ForbesTenRichestInAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPolticalTendencies

Tech Billionaires, “Moral Cowardice,” MH Industry, and National Impact

 

Thousands of independent communities, and retailers vanished during the waning part of the Bush and all of the Obama years. The Daily Business News on MHProNews explored the causes of the 2008 financial meltdown.  Warren Buffett knew the fall of the GSEs was coming, he sold all of that stock.

Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Berkshire Hathaway Backstory

 

It was policies that dated back to the Clinton era, or even Carter Administration years, that led to that 2008 housing/financial collapse. President Bush failed to head it off, in part because people like Barney Frank and their supportive PACs, unions, etc. were getting big campaign donations from the GSEs.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Today, the GSEs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are co-sponsoring MHI events. Why? To NOT make many loans on manufactured housing?

2018-10-03_1018ManufacturedHousingInstituteHILogoCavcoFleetwoodPalmHarborFannieMaeFreddieMacLogoDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

Marty Lavin advises, “Follow the Money” and “Pay More Attention to What People Do Than What They Say.” The GSEs are praising manufactured home quality, but then created a special class of manufactured homes, with key MHI member input, that is aimed at funneling that lending, per informed sources.

By choking off lending, as described in Smoking Gun 3, Clayton Homes grew rapidly, as numerous independents failed or sold out for less than their real value. The pie charts help illustrate and tell the tale.  Isn’t what is occurring with the GSEs now just a variation on that same theme?

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Do you see a pattern?  Can you spell, “rigged system?”

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

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

The 45th President of the United States (POTUS), Donald J. Trump, is keeping his campaign promises. Who says?  People like industry veteran Eddie Hicks.

 

EddieHicksManufacturedHomeCommunitieDevelopingRedevelopingDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNews

 

President Trump’s opponents errantly call him a racist and misogynistic, but he’s created more jobs for blacks, women, and minorities. The same people who once praised Trump as a media or business personality, now slur and slander him. Why?

Facts and history matter. Evidence matters. The degree of emotional manipulation that is taking place in our nation is breathtakingly bold, but easy to spot for those who are willing to look with an open mind.

 

The Great Manufactured Housing Debate

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is in the palms of several larger operations, but most notably, Berkshire Hathaway owned brands. We’ve offered to debate these and other issues with them publicly and via video, so all could see it. MHI has ducked it, while arguably trying to undermine our pro-growth industry work. Why?  Why would MHI’s president say the industry should grow slowly, so that Berkshire Hathaway and others could consolidate greater pieces of it?

For a time in 2017, MHI attorneys, or surrogates for MHI, threatened us with various forms of litigation for publishing information that was accurate and supplied to us. MHProNews called their bluff.  Their response to our slowly evolving questions or concerns was to first remove this writer from an elected board position in the Suppliers Division, and later to eject the parent company of MHProNews from membership for the spurious reason that we were “News.”  By doing so, they ignored the fact that we did consulting and other business development services, just as other MHI members publish news or commentary and do other things too.

With each step, MHI created questions. What are they doing? Why? How? For how much?

The former MHI Chairman, Nathan Smith, supported Barack Obama. Smith and others involved with MHI support today several of the candidates that oppose President Trump’s tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks which allowed some new businesses to emerge since Donald Trump came to office.

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, From Mobile Home Resident to Manufactured Home Communities Owner, & Manufactured Housing Institute Leader

MHI is a nonprofit. Kevin Clayton said in the video below that nonprofits are part of the Berkshire/Clayton plan.

 

It’s nearly an hour long, but the references and his own words spell out “the Moat” that they used to consolidate so much of the industry.  That video, and linked articles, explains in detail how that consolidation of manufactured housing was accomplished.

The midterms are mere weeks away. Monopolistic-minded backers knowingly support Democrats that former President Barack Obama or Secretary Hillary Clinton are endorsing or supporting.

President Trump campaigned on several promises. Some have already been kept, like redoing NAFTA, bringing back manufacturing, repatriation of capital, cutting taxes and regulations. Others have been stymied by Democrats who resist and obstruct. The GOP margins in Congress are narrow.

As we did in 2016, as an independent, we once more gladly support the candidates that back the Trump Agenda.

12ReasonsEducatedIranianAmericanWomanSupportsDonaldTrumpPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews954x846

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the manufactured home industry, small business of all kinds, and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative and pro-Trump websites.

 

This president is doing more for our industry, and other professions, than anyone else in decades.

 

Facts are facts. There is a monopolistic pattern of powerful people that have been using the Democratic Party for years. It is not the party that it was during the Kennedy years, when President John F. Kennedy cut taxes and spurred economic growth.

We said in 2016 that Donald J. Trump could win, in spite of the barrage of anti-Trump media. Trump backed candidates can win again this year. As we track key Senate and other races, several pro-Trump Republicans are ahead in recent polls, others trail narrowly. It can all change by election night, on November 6.  It call comes down to turnout and voting.

MHI, people like Warren Buffett, Nathan Smith, Barack Obama, The Clintons or others will be supporting the opposition of President Trump.

There are thousands who believe as Eddie Hicks does, sometimes quietly, at other times, publicly.  When was the last time a president did what President Trump has done for our industry?

President Donald J. Trump Visit to Manufactured Home Community, Video, Hurricane Florence Update

We proudly stand for the President and his America First agenda.

  • American jobs.
  • American steel.
  • American oil.
  • American coal.
  • Smarter immigration.
  • Finishing the Wall.
  • Making tax and regulatory cuts permanent.
  • Rising wages.
  • More capital creation.
  • More free market competition.
Happy71BirthdayPresidentDonaldTrumpQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We’ll close for this morning by saying that we expect a successful GOP and President Trump to take serious aim at housing barriers and monopolies. HUD Secretary Ben Carson has already sent those signals. They mirror what our regulatory comments said to HUD, and what the YIMBY vs. NIMBY article below indicated.

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

 

Should pro-Trump Congressional representatives and Senators win by enough margins, before President Trump leaves office after 2024, expect Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, and other big-tech monopolistic forces to be broken up by federal action.

Should that happens, expect more Rollohomes to emerge. One new producer, building some 60,000 new homes, because the demand was there, and the regulatory environment wasn’t insane.

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

 

People like Judge Brett Kavanaugh are being smeared for political purposes. President Trump has taken the smear tactics head on. An army of deplorables of all races, religions, and genders has formed.  People like Kanye West are breaking the stereotypes.

The Importance for Businesses and Investors in Manufactured Housing for Selecting the Next Supreme Court Justice

The result of a red wave election could make the Americans Dream more real than it has been in decades. It can upset the socialistic minded candidates, who made and make false promises that they can never fulfill.

The alternative?  Venezuela, where a once prosperous nation a decade ago has been turned into a basket case economy, where some 2 million have fled, and the average person remaining has lost about 19 pounds due to hunger.

 

An avoidable socialistic tragedy, that they voted in, due to false promises.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

There is no free lunch.  Democrats can promise things that they can’t pay for, just as has occurred in Venezuela.  Look at Detroit under Democratic rule and bad trade policies.

Free Trade or Economic War?

The choices are increasingly clear.

 

But one must look beyond emotional manipulations, to the facts and evidence. In about 20 months, much has been accomplished.  Give the 45th president the Congress and Supreme Court Justice he needs to finish the job he has started so well.

Let’s keep the momentum going, together. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Related References:

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

Manufactured Homes Could Help Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis, So, Why Aren’t More Manufactured Homes Being Sold?