Posts Tagged ‘NC’

Person of the Year for Mountaineers? It’s a Modular Housing Professional

January 2nd, 2019 Comments off



The Mountaineer is a newspaper based in Waynesville, North Carolina, and is owned by The Mountaineer Publishing Company, with Vicki Hyatt as the editor, says Wikipedia.

They just named their person of the year as Jim Blyth, who is a real estate and modular housing professional.

Blyth is a native of Washington state and was once the mayor of North Pole, Alaska, where he worked to bring in 250 modular homes where workers could stay when the Alaska pipeline was being built,” sad Hyatt in the article honoring their person of the year.

Blyth “now lives in Maggie Valley [NC], where he sells modular homes and real estate and is a developer.”

Hyatt describes him as someone who works on both sides of the political aisle in the state capital of Raleigh, NC to impact issues of importance over a range of causes. State Sen. Jim Davis has worked closely with Blyth over the years, said the Mountaineer. “Everything he does is valuable,” Davis said. “He finds worthy projects at every turn and fully immerses himself in them.”

Kevin Ensley, chairman of the Haywood County Commissioners, was described by the Mountaineer as having known Blyth for 15 years.  That is time enough to learn that his primary interest is whatever seems best for the community. “He and Ron DeSimone were instrumental in establishing a committee to study the broadband needs for the county,” Ensley said.

Blyth is also described as an advocate for the Elks, local community college, and law enforcement – along with other groups and causes.  But affordable housing, specifically modular homes, are why the Daily Business News on MHProNews is re-sharing the spotlight on Blyth. Because his story is one that holds a number of lessons for manufactured and modular housing professionals, going into 2019.



Affordable Modular Housing

Patsy Davis, executive director of Mountain Projects, sings Blyth’s praises on efforts for Haywood Community College board and on Haywood Pathways Center.

He is a strong supporter and advocate of affordable housing,” Davis said.  She noted Blyth built a spec house that was sold as a fund raiser for the Haywood Pathways Center.

The Haywood Pathways Center governing board spent years striving to find a suitable model for families. Blyth arranged the purchase of a two-story modular building, where 10 families can be housed.

The Haywood Pathways Center provides emergency, temporary housing for men and women. but there is no space where families with young children can stay.  He did this reportedly at no profit.

No doubt such efforts are ‘good marketing’ and ‘good branding.’  We’ve spotlighted previously the efforts of Tom Fath and his family to be highly engaged in their northern Indiana land-lease community of Westville, IN.  That in turn has been good for the image of affordable manufactured home residents.

When factory-built housing is misunderstood, such use of time and talent are a positive part of what is necessary to establish a positive difference in local market.  Presently, all forms of factory-crafted homes are arguably underperforming.  It will take extra effort to change that.  But the potential is enormous, as the first related report linked beyond the byline and notices reflects.

So no wonder that kudos have come to Blyth, and they should to all those earnestly strive day-by-day to make a positive difference while elevating factory-built housing. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)



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Fatal Clayton Homes Maynardville Accident Fined, RIP Keith Tucker West Jr. of Hoyle’s Tire & Axle

May 16th, 2018 Comments off


Last February, a North Carolina truck drive died at Clayton Homes Maynardville plant.  The state and local media said little, pending the state’s investigation.


The initial Daily Business News report, is linked here.

Tragic Clayton Death Sparks Investigation, Background Others Missed

That state investigation is now complete, and here is what the findings are.

A North Carolina mobile home parts seller has been fined $2,000 by the state following the death of one of its drivers in February while making a delivery in Maynardville,” per WBIR 10 News.

The Tennessee State Department of Labor and Workforce Development imposed the fine against Hoyle’s Tire & Axle of Henderson, N.C. Hoyle’s has paid the fine, according to records.

State authorities found that Hoyle’s had “failed to ensure employees are protected from falling material when unsecuring a load,” records state.

Clayton’s plant was not fined in connection with the fatality.


RIP Keith Tucker West, Jr.


Smithfield, NC resident Keith Tucker West, Jr. died on Monday, February 12, 2018 from injuries from an accident at the Clayton Maynardville plant. West was born on March 3, 1974 in Vance County, NC. He was the son of Carol Faucette Harris of Henderson and the late Keith Tucker West, Sr.

Hoyle’s truck driver was Keith Tucker West, Jr. 43.  West was “struck and killed by falling axles after stopping to make a delivery Feb. 12 at a Clayton Homes manufacturing plant on Raccoon Valley Road,” according to WBIR. “The axles fell on West and crushed him as he was loosening straps on axle bundles.”

During the unloading process at Clayton’s Maynardville production center, it was the truck driver’s job to unstrap the load. Once the fasteners and straps were removed, records state, it was up to a forklift operator at Clayton Homes to remove the idler axes coming into the plant.

While in the process of unstrapping the load, a bundle of idler axles fell from the top tier of the trailer and struck Mr. West from above,” the Tennessee investigative summary states.

Hoyle’s, the Tennessee State Department of Labor and Workforce Development found, should “develop written procedures for safely unloading/unstrapping cargo and subsequently train all potentially exposed employees on the procedures.”

The West funeral photos are from Facebook, from his grieving friend Patrick Jackson.


Keith Tucker West, Jr, rest in peace.

MHProNews extends its sincere condolences to all of those touched by this tragic loss. ## (News, obituary, and passages.)

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“It Isn’t A Crime Time to Be Poor” Citizen Tells Anti-Manufactured Home Lawmakers

March 14th, 2018 Comments off

LexingtonNCItIsntCrimeToBePoorManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsProperty owners outside of manufactured home zoning districts in Lexington who want to replace “mobile homes will now have to do so with single-family homes,” said the Dispatch.


The Lexington City Council unanimously approved an amendment to city ordinances Monday making that change. Under the new rules, property owners can replace a mobile home with a stick-built or prefabricated home,” the Dispatch stated.

The new amendment still allows home owners to move a factory built home within property boundaries, or to make needed repairs without being required to replace them with a site built house.

Ed Parks spoke against the amendment during the public hearing. Parks stated it was unfair to create a financial burden on residents who were trying to live more economically.

It isn’t a crime to be poor,” Parks said. “It can be expensive to replace a trailer [sic] with a house.”


Lexington City Planner Josh Monk said that although manufactured homes provide an affordable means of housing, they do not lend permanency to neighborhoods and therefore are permitted on a limited basis,” stated a shockingly ignorant passage in the Dispatch.

Monk said the purpose of the amendment is to ensure compatibility with existing neighborhoods by imposing appearance standards for manufactured housing.

The amendment does not change any current permitting or regulations for trailers [sic] already within manufactured home zoning districts.”

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

MHProNews has brought the matter to the attention of a pair of attorneys for their feedback.  The case seems to have some similarities to one in Arkansas, that resulted in a lawsuit, and the ordinance being overturned. 

“Mobile Home Ban” Suit Win, “Equal Justice Under Law,” Manufactured Home Owners, Buyers, Industry

This amendment in Lexington, NC appears to be the latest case of discrimination against manufactured homes and their owners. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)


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Zoning Changes Could Affect Manufactured Housing

March 1st, 2017 Comments off

A manufactured home community in Michigan. Credit: MHProNews.

The Washington County, Maryland Board of Commissioners is holding a public hearing today regarding several proposed changes to the county’s zoning ordinance, including ones that affect manufactured homes.

According to the Herald-Mail Media, zoning amendments are proposed to the 1973 ordinance from time to time due to changing times and technology.

Current law states a mobile home [sic] can only be replaced with one that fits on the existing foundation, which does not allow for expansions to double-wides [sic],said Chief Planner Jill Baker.

The proposed change would create some flexibility, allowing for such replacements as long as setback requirements are met.

Existing manufactured homes with a smaller setback would be grandfathered in, but must meet their existing property setback with replacement homes.

The proposed amendments would also disallow accessory structures such as sheds or pools, in-ground or above ground, in front yards.

Some residents voiced concerns about such items in front yards, and they create problems for potential road widening and highway right of way projects, according to county documents on the matter.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, a number of zoning related stories have been in the news lately, including a case in Wilmington, North Carolina, where city leaders are moving forward with a plan to rezone parts of an area that includes the Melrose Mobile Home Park, where residents will be required to move.


Rhonda Pythress. Credit: TWC News.

It is all about money. At Wrightsville Beach they want this property so they can zone it so they can build more rich condos here,” said resident Rhonda Poythress.

Also of note is the case of the Boulder City Mobile Home Park in Boulder City, Nevada, where the area around the community was re-zoned to a multi-home residential area.

Those who commented on the matter didn’t pull any punches.


Boulder City Mobile Home Park. Credit: KTNV

I like the residential idea because it would not be a trailer park [sic] anymore,” said councilman Cam Walker.

Developer and board member Randy Schams, who asked for the rezoning, echoed Walker’s sentiment.

I have been building here for 20-plus years and I have never heard one positive thing about that trailer park [sic],” said Schams.

I am just trying to make it more appealing and with affordable housing.##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHC Leaders ELS, Sun – Assess Hurricane Matthew Impact

October 12th, 2016 Comments off

Sun logo and photo credits, Sun Communities, and are used here – as are all images – under fair use guidelines.

Sun Communities Inc. (NYSE: SUI) and Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (NYSE: ELS) each provided preliminary assessments of the impact from Hurricane Matthew on their properties.

Sun Communities reported that the bulk of any losses expected to be related to removal of damaged trees and debris cleanup and more thorough inspections will be performed.

Sun also says believes its properties and assets located in Hurricane Matthew’s path – Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia – did not sustain any material damages.

ELS Says…

Our team has worked diligently since we received early warnings of the storm through the passing of the hurricane to ensure that our residents and guests are safe and that services provided by Sun are restored as quickly as possible,” said President and Chief Operating Officer, John McLaren. “We are most fortunate that no one was injured and that the damage to our communities and resorts seems minimal.”

ELS – with properties in Florida and coastal North Carolina and South Carolina – reported no injuries to residents, guests or employees.


Credit: ELS logo, are used on MHProNews under fair use guidelines.

The Company has a total of 30 properties – 19 manufactured home communities and 11 RV resorts – that were within Hurricane Matthew’s trajectory. They reported having adequate insurance subject to deductibles, including business interruption coverage.

Property damage losses at those properties are preliminarily estimated to total less than $750,000. The bulk of those losses are expected to be related to removal of damaged trees and debris cleanup.

ELS reported that three manufactured home communities and four RV resorts were without electricity as a result of the Hurricane Matthew and does not yet have an estimate for business interruption losses, but they are expected to be relatively limited.

The company doesn’t believe that the storm will have a material impact on its financial condition or operating results.


You can read an exclusive interview with Marguerite Nader, linked here. Credit: Bloomberg.

Above all, we are grateful that there have not been any reported deaths or injuries to our residents, guests or employees. Our operations teams in Florida and the Carolinas have exhibited incredible efforts in preparing for and reacting to the effects of Hurricane Matthew, including assisting our customers,” said ELS President and Chief Executive Officer, Marguerite Nader.

Both Sun Communities and Equity LifeStyle Properties are among the various industry-connected stocks monitored each business day on the MH Industry’s only daily market report, featured exclusively on the Daily Business News

For yesterday’s closing numbers on all MH industry-connected tracked stocks, please click here. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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Attorney General Files Charges against alleged con man accused of fraudulently collecting deposits on manufactured homes from consumers

September 7th, 2016 Comments off

NCAttorneyGeneralroy-cooperLaurinburgexchange-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNewsUsing the dream of homeownership to trick consumers out of their hard-earned money is just plain wrong,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said. “My office is here to protect consumers from these misleading and fraudulent business tactics.”

Cooper filed suit against George Henry Smith of Robeson County, for collecting payments from consumers who wanted to purchase manufactured homes, then failing to provide the homes as promised or return buyers’ money.

It was not immediately clear at press time if this is the same George Henry Smith which Atlas Public Records reports was a 64 year old charged on January 22, 2016 with “Assault On A Female,” also of Robeson County.

The attorney general’s offices stated that Smith showed prospective buyers manufactured homes he was not authorized to sell at Prevatte Home Sales, and at Terry Pate Home Sales in Lumberton.

Smith allegedly told consumers that he met via ads off property that he was a salesman, and when he arrived at the retail centers, Smith told the firm’s staff that he was an agent for the consumers.

Cooper’s office states that “Smith advertised used and repossessed manufactured homes to consumers at his workplace, mobile phone store Page Talk, and at other locations in the Robeson County area. Smith targeted consumers who spoke limited English, including using business cards written in Spanish.”


The release states that, “Smith reportedly pressured consumers to sign phony purchase agreements and pay deposits as large as $9,800. When the manufactured homes failed to arrive as Smith promised, consumers contacted the sales lots and learned that the homes they thought were theirs had already been sold to someone else or had never been available for sale. Smith has refused to refund victims’ money, leaving several families unable to afford rent and forced to move in with relatives.”

Cooper’s statement has a problematic angle for honest manufactured home retailers, because it states that: “Before you put down money on a manufactured home, check out the dealer or agent thoroughly.”  But shouldn’t the same ‘buyer beware’ caution apply to the far more common scam of selling a conventional house to the unsuspecting and vulnerable consumers?

To get a sense of the scope of sheer volume of fake housing sales, USA Today reported that just one man in Detroit, MI fraudulently “sold” $18.5 million in houses; that man went to prison in 2015.

The attorney general’s pleadings asks the court to cancel all of the alleged bogus contracts buyers signed with Smith, to order Smith to pay refunds to consumers and $5,000 in civil penalties.

Cooper also asks the court that Smith be permanently barred from:

  • Engaging in unfair or deceptive business practices
  • Advertising or attempting to sell manufactured homes without a license
  • Accepting new orders or payments in North Carolina  ##

(Photo credit of attorney general Roy Cooper, LaurinburgExchange.)


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NBC News Today Show report shows Manufactured Home did as well as Conventional On-site Construction in hurricane high winds test

July 23rd, 2014 Comments off

homes-vs-hurricane12-winds-test-credit=nbc-today-show-posted-mastheadblog-mhpronews-com-Regarding this previous portion of the test, IBHS indicated: “When one of these high wind-rated HUD-Code homes is installed on a permanent foundation, in most of the country, it would end up resisting wind storms better than surrounding site-built homes.”

So stated a MHI President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison in a longer report to MHProNews. While part of the test was to show how superior a Wind Zone III home is to a standard HUD Code manufactured home in durability, Jennison said: the director of the IBHS (Julie Rochman, President) told the crowd how impressed she was at the performance of the Zone I home itself.”

MHProNews has been told that we will have additional information in the days ahead. More information on the specifics including stills and the video are found at this link, and a pre-broadcast report that provides more information and a related video is linked here. ##

(Image credit: NBC News Today Show)

Tim Williams, 21st Mortgage, elected Vice-Chair during Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Summer Meeting

June 11th, 2014 Comments off

tim-williams-CEO-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-The 2014 Summer Meeting for the  Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) concluded yesterday with Tim Williams, CEO of 21st Mortgage, was elected as Vice-Chair of the industry’s largest national trade association.  Williams, a respected industry icon, was unopposed.

97 industry leaders, plus MHI staff, friends and family attended the June 8-10 event at the Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN.  “On the heels of Congress and Expo, and with a number of state association meetings (taking place), we are very pleased with the number of attendees.” said MHI President, Dick Jennison, to MHProNews.

Pam Danner, HUD’s new manufactured housing program director and Bill Matchneer, who recently retired from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), we’re among the featured guests.  Danner assured attendees that she would listen to the industry, resolve back logged issues and seek to elevate understanding and use of programs manufactured housing at HUD.

Bill Matchneer, who is consulting for MHI on appraisal related issues,  urged members to get the story of MH home  owners who lost financing due to CFPB regs to have their stories told to regulators. See Matchneer’s related guest column here.

Educational, business meetings and networking mixers were all part of the agenda. ##

(Photo Credit: MHProNews)

Rain and Clouds Don’t Dampen Ohio Manufactured Home Show’s Strong Public Attendance

May 19th, 2014 Comments off

shoppers-manufactured-homes-eastern-ohio-home-show-credit-omho-ribbon-cutting--posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com300xCool, cloudy and rainy weather failed to dampen the solid turnout of the public who came by the thousands to see modern manufactured and modular homes on display during the Eastern Ohio Home Show. Tim Williams, executive director for the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association, provided MHProNews with these officials totals:

Public Show Attendance for Friday, May 16th, 2014 (56 degrees, intermittent rain, hours 4 PM – 8 PM) = 337

Public Show Attendance for Saturday May 17th, 2014 (54 degrees, rain, Hours 9 AM – 6 PM) = 1,149

Public Show Attendance for Sunday May 18th, 2014 (63, partly cloudy hours noon to 5 PM) = 1,010

Total of 2.5 days of public Show Attendance = 2,496

Industry Day Attendance (Friday May 16th, 9 AM to 3:30 PM) = 397

Total of all three days and both industry and public attendance = 2,893

Richard “Dick” Jennison said, “Tim, On behalf of myself and the entire MHI membership, I would like to extend a resounding round of applause to you, the Board of Directors of OMHA and the legion of volunteers who made the inaugural Eastern Ohio Home Show such a huge success!  Having the public see and tour our affordable and quality homes is an idea long overdue and a show format for others to emulate.  Great Show and a Great Job to all!” ##

(Photo Credit = Ohio Manufactured Homes Association)

Even with Thunderstorms, Tunica Pre-Show Estimates Exceeded

March 30th, 2014 Comments off

2014-tunica-manufactured-housing-show-entrance-south-central-manufactured-housing-institute-harrah's-convention-center-tunica-msWhile weather and other factors kept some potential attendees away, preliminary figures from Show Ways Unlimited and the registration company indicted that a total of 2195 professionals attended the 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.  Pre-Show estimates on total professionals expected at this year’s event were for 2100 total.

The timing of Ceasar’s Entertainments public announcement on March 26 that their Harrah’s Tunica property would be closed may have confused some potential attendees.

Sources close to the Show speculated that the property may still be sold prior to the June 2 planned closing date for the casino and hotels.  If indeed the property closes, a few ideas were floated for new potential locations for the show, including a new all indoor location in Nashville, TN.

One way or another, this March Manufactured Housing Show is expected to continue on.

Post show commentary and videos are expected in April’s Featured Articles on MHProNews, on the Industry Voices guest blog and on the Cutting Edge blog. ##

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