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City Ponders “Mobile Housing Units,” to Address “Affordable Housing Shortage,” Citizen Reaction

June 13th, 2019 No comments
CityPondersMobileHousingUnitsAddressAffordableHousingShortageCitizenReactionManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Photo of manufactured home from the same city, posted on a local real estate MLS.

Union Springs is located in Alabama. According to Wikipedia, Union Springs is a city in and county seat of Bullock County, Alabama, United States. The population was 3,980 at the 2010 census.”  The population, per at least two online sources, appears to be trending down. “Total Population: 3,785,” in 2018, per Suburban Stats. 

 

 

The Census Reporter estimates the town at 3640.

Google maps says it is about a 50-minute drive into Montgomery, AL, which is 45 miles away by the more direct route.

 

UnionSpringsALMapMontgomeryALDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Alabama is one of the top 10 states in the U.S. for the production and sales of new manufactured homes.

Bearing those points in mind as a brief introduction, let’s dive into a letter to the editor of the Union Springs Herald, found at this link here and reproduced below.  A collage of their header is reproduced, along with the letter, under fair use guidelines for media.  It will be followed by commentary and analysis.

 

UnionSpringsHeraldDailyBusinessNewsMobileManufacturedHomesMHProNews2019-06-13_0902

Dear Editor:

I recently attended a public hearing assembly held by the Union Springs planning commission and I was dismayed by the number of requests to install mobile housing units within the city limits. Union Springs has an affordable housing shortage and providing a means to relieve this problem is needed. However, it seems as if these mobile units will be squeezed into any available space with little regard to the impact they will have on their neighbors. One proposal was to bring in a minimum of four to six mobile units on 5 acres of land on Industrial Park Rd. This sounds like someone is interested in building a trailer park.

There are other remedies that can be used to relieve our housing issues. Many of the vacant buildings in our downtown would be perfect as condominiums with retail space on the ground level. Centrally located to the major thoroughfares, this would be quite attractive to young singles or newly married couples who cannot afford to live in Pike Road.

An effort to build two or three-bedroom single family homes would also attract families with children or elderly parents for the same reasons.

One indicator of neighborhood stability and viability is the number of owner-occupied homes in the area. If the City of Union Springs wants to attract high paying jobs and reduce the number of residents who move out looking for modern homes and conveniences, then we need to encourage building single family homes vs. mobile homes.

When I use our highways to travel to the surrounding cities, I am awed by the newly built homes that dot the countryside. Let us not limit ourselves to a vision of who we will be in the future by who we are now. If someone can afford to rent, they can afford to buy. There are many programs which will educate and assist renters into becoming buyers.

Finally, let us consider the age and code requirements of these proposed mobile units before granting approval. Do these older units meet the current standards of insurability? Changes to existing structures must meet current building standards; the same should be required for new mobile units.

Darlene McGaw

 

CherylMcGawJoinsHousingCommissionUnionSpringsHeraldManufacturedHOusingMHProNews

 

In the same newspaper last year, I am a Highly Qualified History teacher,” in announcing her campaign for the Plainfield Board of Education, “I am Darlene McGawasking for your prayers, support and your vote on June 05, 2018.” The Union Herald also said that she has a “B.A. in Psychology.” A LinkedIn profile reflects that “Cheryl Darlene McGaw is a Teacher at Plainfield Board of Education.”

Safe to say that she is an intelligent, educated woman who had the confidence to run for public office and to speak her mind openly on civic issues. She has apparently earned a significant level of public confidence.

One might wonder, why hasn’t the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), or the state association responded to this letter to the editor?

We waited about 19 hours, nothing.  Yet, MHI has a full-time public relations person.

In another letter to the editor in Buffalo, New York that MHProNews did a detailed analysis on yesterday, has since had one posted response as of this morning. The letter and a video with others that feel similarly is found at this link here, or by clicking the text-image box below.

 

Ongoing MH Headwinds – Angry Manufactured Home Residents, Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry Dilemma Through Their Eyes

 

Here below is the lone posted comment to that recent letter and prior video commentary by Gail Travers. The typos that follow are in the original. Reminder to new readers, often MHProNews takes direct quotes and turns the text bold and brown to make it pop, but otherwise does not change the words quoted.

 

Linda Tower
keep fighting to keep scum like these peple under control we wanted to buy there but because of the situation with this company there we changed our minds i feel so bad for the residents there i hope N.Y. will do the right thing and give these folks a worry free nights sleep and place heavey restrictions on these investors rather fron out of town or here if the folks there dont win this battle where would many of them go its shameful

 

In fairness to the ‘Linda Tower,’ there are times that comments posted by smart phone can result in some ‘fat finger’ errors. That noted, Tower’s comments, Travers’ and that of Ms. McGaw are indicative of the way that much of the public reacts to manufactured housing.  It helps explains why the Zillow research below reflects the point that only 8 percent of housing seekers even admit to considering a manufactured home.

Zillow2016HomeBuyersSurveyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Only 8 percent of housing shoppers considered a mobile or manufactured home, and many of those did not buy one. That’s both a challenge, but also an opportunity in disguise for those who have a sales and marketing system that deals with that reality.

 

Thousands of manufactured home professionals know better. But let’s be candid. There are also scores who work in our industry that believe similarly. The level of true ‘education’ in the industry is pitiable.

These kinds of public comments – or industry realities, in numbers of cases – are educational and public relations issue, not just a marketing challenge. That’s why speeches and addresses like HUD Secretary Carson’s, prior HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s comments are useful.  But only to the degree that they are made know.

 

 

Last week, in under 400 words, the case was made that “Enhanced Preemption” must be a mantra of HUD and MHI.  It has already been promoted for years by MHARR, and our publications.  See the report, via the linked text-image box below.

 

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

 

The proper application of “enhanced preemption” would make local opposition moot. The combination of enhanced preemption and articles like the one below would ease the fear that so many fear that property values will be diminished. HUD and other third party research demonstrates that is not the case.

 

FearASolutionToAffordableHousingCrisisAndManufacturedHousingDilemmaManufacturedHomeLivingNews600x315a

The article cites numerous third party research that debunks several concerns that McGaw and millions of others have been led to mistakenly believe. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/fear-a-solution-to-the-affordable-housing-crisis-and-the-manufactured-home-dilemma/

 

Union Springs isn’t Seattle or Los Angeles. But which is worse?  Tents or people living in cardboard boxes living outside of your housing unit? Or is it to have a properly installed manufactured home next door? Which will help or harm housing value more?

 

 

There has been reams of nonprofit and university level research for over 2 decades to debunk the vast majority of the public’s concerns, based upon facts, third party research, unpaid expert or home owners statements. Why is so little or none of it on MHI’s website? Why is it that some that MHI promoted before is now missing?

 

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Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? See that ‘smoking gun’ report, linked here. See too what the John Oliver video background research revealed

 

More. on these and other industry focused topics soon. See the related reports for more.

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

 

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

Pushing Back Against NIMBYism, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, NAHB Innovative Housing Showcase, Schedule

FHFA’s Mark Calabria, Ph.D., Address at HUD, NAHB’s Innovative Housing Showcase

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

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

 

 

“A Nation of Laws” – Donald Tye, Jr. Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

October 24th, 2018 Comments off

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The new video interview with actively retired businessman and minister, Donald Tye, Jr., draws to a close with these words from Tye.

 

 

We are a nation of laws,” Tye said.

Tye explained that when laws aren’t enforced, all people and the nation at large suffers.

The useful, and often powerful video interview is found at this link below.

 

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, a Novel Yet Proven Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis That Will Create Opportunities, Based Upon Existing Laws

 

Much like Tye describes himself, the video and article are nonpartisan.  Needs, goals, laws, and solution oriented.

  • What are the needs?
  • What are the facts?
  • What are the laws?
  • How can enforcing existing laws help people of all economic backgrounds?

Take a good look. Then share the link above. It can open numerous minds, which can open up opportunities and more honestly earned profits. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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Transparency – What Manufactured Housing Industry Pros Have Proclaimed

Manufactured Home Communities Sold=Mega-Million$, SUN Settles Big Case, ‘Mobile Homes’ in the News

October 22nd, 2018 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHomeCommunitieSoldMegaMillionsSUnCommunitiesSettlesBigCaseMObilesHomesNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What follows are a series of screen captures of news headlines from across the country.

 

These screen captures are from this morning, 10.22.2018, at the times shown.

GooglesearchNewsHeadlines10222018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsPage1Top5Hits 

There are two communities that sold for a total of $165 million dollars. That’s one of the headlines that professionals – notably those in or tied to the communities sector – are keenly interested in reading about.

 NewYorkAttorneyGeneralSettlesCaseSunCommunitiesManufacturedHousingDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

 

Next, the State of New York’s Attorney General settled a case a big case with Sun Communities and others in the manufactured home community (MHC) business.  The litigation involved rent-to-own or lease-purchase options. Keep in mind prior news we’ve covered on the Daily Business News on MHProNews that related to that hot topic, starting at this link here.

 

Consumers/MH Shoppers

Now, imagine yourself as a typical American.  Picture that you are not in the manufactured home industry.  You know only what you read, see, or hear from the mainstream news media. 

This imaginary person is seeking affordable housing.  You are more likely to be thinking the words ‘mobile home’ instead of ‘manufactured home,’ right?  After all, that is what Foremost told us in their survey, linked here.

 Page1GooglesearchMobileHomes10222018-600

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What if you are one of the claimed 25 million unique visitors that MHVillage says visits their website each year?  Please, keep scanning, and keep that mind open for what follows.

 Page2GooglesearchMobileHomesNews10222018600

 

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Page2bGooglesearchMobileHomesNews10222018600

 

This Google search is a common result. Page after page of what appears to be mostly bad news. 

Objectively speaking, isn’t this what millions of Americans think about ‘mobile homes’ or more properly, manufactured homes – right?  Millions wonder, what is the cost for them to get a lower price?  Millions think no further than the headlines like those, shown above. 

 

2018-06-22_0521ConversionRatiosPerMHVillageLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews.  This is not a slam on MHVillage, rather it is a reality check that neither they, nor anyone else in MH trade media tackles with the serious view required to solve the problem of an ongoing drum beat of negative news.  This list of news articles above is unedited, as it appeared this morning. Solutions will be explored in an upcoming report.

 

It is headline news like the above that is part of the reason why MHVillage – or for that matter, most every manufactured housing operation in the nation – has such a low percentage of closings vs visitors to their websites or business locations.

That sadly low closing ratio are common, even among the giants. 

This is under 400 words. It’s the first part of today’s manufactured housing professional wake-up call.  More to follow, as we lay out not only the challenges, but also solutions.   ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes

September 28th, 2018 Comments off

 

$330BillionMarketJeffBezosAmazonAlexaFunDivesDeperintoPreFabHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We love working with companies that make a world positive impact on everyday lives, said Andrew Beebe, managing director of Obvious Ventures, as part of a statement to MHProNews. “Plant Prefab is focused on dramatically improving efficiencies and environmental responsibility in the $330 billion market for new homes in the US. With increased costs, labor shortages, reduced affordability, and the enormous impact housing has on carbon emissions, there are few challenges more important than creating more accessible, healthy housing,”

 

PlantPrefabLogoKitchenAlexaAmazonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo

 

Those are all points that the Daily Business News on MHProNews has raised for investors and industry pros to consider for several years.  We noted that last year, Amazon began marketing for third-parties homes, including container housing that sells for under $40,000 a unit.

Amazon has also been selling via their site pre-cut kit homes, a concept similar to what Sears and Roebuck used to offer a century or more ago.

SearsCatalogHomesPreCutKitHomesWikipeidaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSearsFullertonKitHomesPinterestDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Now, through Amazon’s Alexa Fund, they’re taking the next step.

An array of media have given them considerable free ink, virtually all of it positive.

Plant Prefab, a Rialto, Calif., based factory-builder, tells MHProNews that they’ve raised $6.7 million “Plant Prefab’s Series A funding included Obvious Ventures and the Amazon Alexa Fund.”

PlantPrefabLogoExteriorAlexaAmazonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo

The new funding will go toward investments in “new senior hires, building the marketing and sales team, and developing Plant Prefab’s patented Plant Building System,” said Globewire to MHProNews.

PlantPrefabAlexaAmazonDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Voice has emerged as a delightful technology in the home, and there are now more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 3,500 different brands,” said Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund. “Plant Prefab is a leader in home design and an emerging, innovative player in home manufacturing. We’re thrilled to support them as they make sustainable, connected homes more accessible to customers and developers.”

Alexa Fund added as new investor, marking Amazon’s first known direct investment in a home prefabrication/construction company.

In 2016, the Plant Prefab was spun out of LivingHomes, “a design and development company that’s designed and built dozens of award-winning prefabricated homes, including the nation’s first LEED Platinum home.”

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

Click here or the above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

According to a statement by Plant Prefab Founder and CEO Steve Glenn, “In the housing-crunched major cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, along with areas like Silicon Valley, it takes too much time to build a home from groundbreaking to occupancy, and labor shortages, construction delays and increased construction costs are exacerbating this trend even further — and making homes increasingly less affordable.”

That’s a theme thousands of factory-built housing industry pros know all too well.  Note that Glenn takes direct aim at manufactured housing, mis-characterizing HUD Code homes as “Most existing prefabrication companies in the US focus on standard, low quality, non-sustainable mobile and modular homes — for suburban communities.”

Glenn then juxtaposes what they do with manufactured and modular builders by saying, “Plant Prefab is unique in that we’re focused on custom, high quality, very sustainable homes and we have a special facility and a patented building system optimized for this. We build based on client’s architects or clients can select from a growing number of homes we offer from world-class architects, all of which can be customized for specific lots and client needs. By building in an all-weather facility with lower cost and staff labor, we offer clients a more reliable, time and cost-effective alternative to local, urban general contractors.”

Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales

Rephrased, they sound more like they are targeting more of a U.S. based, Soft Bank backed Katerra, or international player, Revolution Precrafted homes.

Factory-Crafted Home Living, Reimagined – “The Art Park” vs. MHCs – Interview with Robbie Antonio, Founder of Unicorn Revolution Precrafted Homes

Plant Prefab operates out of a 62,000 square foot facility in Rialto, California.  They point to recent projects they’ve done where they “installed 26 units in California and Utah as well as a multifamily project in Berkeley.”

Keep in mind, that a few million bucks from Bezos could quickly lead to far more from the world’s richest man. Architecture says that the Alexa Fund can provide up “to $100 million in venture capital funding.” But as the world richest man, that too is far from Bezos’ limit.

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Independent and even larger corporate manufactured housing professionals, outside of the Berkshire Hathaway family of brands, arguably have to realize that Amazon, Google, Facebook, and other giants could quickly become a major player in factory built homes, including modular or manufactured homes.

With Buffett, Bezos and JP Morgan-Chase’s Jaime Dimon teaming up to carve out a bite from healthcare, what’s to keep some array of multibillion-dollar conglomerates from crowding out factory-builders through their money and political influence?

Thus MHProNews’ advocacy for antitrust action, and a new post-production association.  That later is similar to a call from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which has made a similar call.  See the related reports, linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Manufactured Housing Shipment Totals, June 2018

August 6th, 2018 Comments off
ManufacturedHomeShipmentTotalDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsJune2018

For the industry professionals who know the inside of a factory-building operation, the home in this photo is the start of a modular flooring system. The plant in the photo builds both HUD Code manufactured homes, and state coded modular homes. Details matter.

Manufactured housing shipments continued to rise, but the pace of growth slowed in June, per the latest data from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  MHProNews presents MHARR’s latest data, and their formal statement, followed by an MHProNews analysis. 

 

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Washington, D.C., August 6, 2018 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production growth was sustained in June 2018.

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,258 homes in June 2018, a 1.3% increase over the 8,152 HUD Code homes produced during June 2017.

Cumulative industry production for 2018 now totals 50,897 homes, a 9.4% increase over the 46,502 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2017.

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through June 2018 — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2018) and prior year (2017) shipments per category as indicated — are:

Top10ManufacturedHousingshipments2018CummulativeManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRTXLAFLALNCMSCAKYMITN-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The latest information for June 2018 results in no changes to the cumulative top ten list.

About MHARR

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

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

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MHProNews Analysis

MHARR is statistically correct in pointing to the ongoing rise in shipments.  There are good reasons to celebrate any gain.

That said, as the Daily Business News on MHProNews reported last week, the statistics also point to a slowing of the growth rate. MHARR’s leadership, in a video previously posted, indicates that the industry ought to be fully engaging in the post-production side, in order to grow more rapidly.  As if to underscore that point, the latest HousingEconomics data reveals that conventional housing is outselling manufactured homes by more than 16 to 1.

HousingEconomics Releases New Data on U.S. Housing, Comparing MH and Stick Built Data

Given that data point, consider the wide cost difference between conventional and manufactured homes.

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

Couple that with some state-specific data, and there are several states which represent a potential warning sign for HUD Code manufactured housing producers, and sellers – if this trend were to continue.

Significant Slowdown of New HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Growth in June, Per Latest Data

When one looks at the data for conventional housing starts, what this trend also reflects is the continuing underperformance of manufactured housing in the marketplace.

The related reports reflect several concerns being expressed by various industry voices, and those who are researching manufactured housing.

The industry historically did much more.  It can and should be doing more today. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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

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Washington Post “Once obscure office at HUD [Manufactured Housing] is the subject of unusually intense lobbying effort”

May 1st, 2018 Comments off

HUDSecBenCarsonPamDannerHUD-ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRWashPostLogosThirdPartyMHProNewsLogo

The Washington Post has run a print and online article about the HUD Code manufactured housing program, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Pam Danner, Lois Starkey, the industry’s national trade associations, and manufactured homes in general. That story, is linked here.

 

In a release do the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has issued the following release.  Their release is shown verbatim, below.

            WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE ON HUD MH PROGRAM

 

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The photo and logo have been added by the Daily Business News, and where not part of their release.

The Washington Post has published an article (see, copy attached) concerning the HUD manufactured housing program and MHARR’s efforts in 2017 to change the leadership of the program in order to comply with applicable federal law.

 

Although the article is self-explanatory, an important point that I stressed in speaking with the author does not stand-out in the article – i.e., that MHARR’s principal objective is to seek, compel and ensure full HUD compliance with all applicable federal laws relating to manufactured home production and, conversely, to oppose deviations from applicable law that could harm either producers or consumers. Thus, insofar as the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 requires the appointment of a non-career administrator for the manufactured housing program in order to ensure both visibility, responsiveness and accountability, MHARR has consistently sought and demanded a proper appointee in accordance with that law.

 

In accordance with this fundamental mandate and mission, MHARR will continue to seek the full and proper implementation of the 2000 reform law with Trump Administration officials at HUD, including but not limited to: (1) the appointment of a non-career program administrator; (2) full utilization of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) in accordance with the 2000 reform law (including proper collective representation of the industry); (3) repeal of HUD’s unlawful 2010 “Interpretive Rule” on section 604(b)(6) of the 2000 reform law, and the full implementation of that section to require prior MHCC review and full rulemaking for all changes to HUD procedures and practices regarding enforcement and/or “monitoring;” (4) the solicitation and selection of a new program monitoring contractor – in accordance with the 2000 reform law’s definition of “monitoring” – based on full and fair competition; and (5) completion and implementation of the “top-to-bottom” program regulatory reform review currently underway at HUD pursuant to Executive Orders 13771 and 13777.”

 

The Daily Business News plans an analysis of this report, as it touches upon several issues that MHProNews has reported on, in some cases, for several years. Some prior, related reports, are linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Exclusives from HUD, and Attendees about Secretary Carson’s comments at MHI will be part of an upcoming report. Sign up for our emailed news updates for that notice, and to stay up with all of the industry’s most popular, independent, and fact-based converge. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Juliet Eilperin’s Washington Post HUD Manufactured Home Program News Confirms Manufactured Housing Institute Position and Report

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

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) SVP Rick Robinson Ducks Serious Industry Questions in Deadwood

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Award-Winning MHI Retailer Regarding HUD Objectives, Pam Danner, Needed Changes

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

 

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RVHorizon/MHP Funds Investing/Mobile Home Univ Communities Leader, Frank Rolfe’s Hidden Gem

April 30th, 2018 Comments off

Before diving into RVHorizon’s/MHP Funds leader Frank Rolfe’s hidden gem, an acknowledgement ought to be paid to his partner Dave Reynolds, and others in their rising enterprise. No one person in an operation of that size does it all solo.

 

When we say Rolfe’s “hidden gem,” it’s an insight that’s been hiding in plain sight since the video below was first produced.

This preface is warranted. It’s difficult to solve any problem(s) or challenge(s) that are not fully understood. Is that self-evident?

For example, even if a doctor has a guess as to a patient’s condition, a good MD does tests before proposing a diagnosis.  Only after tests does the physician suggest possible treatments. Treatments ideally are evidence and fact-based. “Clinical.” That’s the scientific way, and it fits business too.

Thus, the same should be true for Manufactured Home (MH) professionals and investors facing an obvious but often overlooked or ignored challenge.

Frank Rolfe says several things in less than a minute in this video. We’ll focus on only one. It’s this. Most people have little or no clue as to what manufactured housing truly is.  Because so many in the news media doesn’t get it about MH, neither does the public.

In front of dozens of pros, Darren Krolewski of MHVillage made a very similar statement in Tunica. Darren said that when talking to the general public, it takes them time to explain what a manufactured home is.

Both described a similar problem.

That’s an important initial step. Namely, understanding a root issue.

But the solution?

Has the solution to this challenge been clearly proposed or articulated? If so, please show me. Because what we often see is a search for things like a higher volume of traffic. Traffic is important. But the reality is that often, the traffic level is fine; what’s needed is a better method of converting the existing traffic you already have into more positive action-steps by possible buyers.

 

Modern Housing Options

The vast majority of adults in America know what an apartment, duplex, townhouse, rental, condo, or single family house is. People know what a tiny house is. Many if not most understand RVs.

By contrast, millions may know ‘something’ about manufactured housing. But what they think they know is often inaccurate. Others are ignorant, as Frank and Darren said. We know this from our own years of public engagement experiences.

That lack of knowledge or misunderstandings about manufactured homes (MH) are the opportunity in disguise for MH Industry professionals and investors. Learn the correct systems, apply them properly, and watch sales rapidly rise.

 

Candor and Compelling Facts over Fiction and Emotions

There’s plenty of excuses, self-delusions, and false-beliefs floating around MHVille. That’s not uncommon in America in general today.

But realities like those that Frank and Darren raised ought to be acknowledged. Then, the root cause(s) of those realities must be addressed. Only when that occurs can opportunities and profits be pursued and maximized.

This is one of the most fundamental challenges that individual MH locations must face. Because change occurs at the person and business level.

As the publisher of the industry’s top two trade media, and as a multi-decade professional services provider, we’ve dealt with this at a pragmatic level for years. ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com is a specific part of the solution.

That’s a foundational start. But there’s more needed to tie that specific foundation to individual businesses and locations.  Those that properly have, see positive results.

James McGee and Chet Murphree say something essential near the end of this video. They’re spot on with their point. What comes before it is useful and interesting, but the punchline – the best – was saved for last in the video montage below.

 

 

How Serious Is the Challenge Frank and Darren Stated?

In our professional visits to communities and retail centers, often similar problems to what Frank and Darren pointed to are spotted. A property or sales center may be okay to wonderful, but still isn’t performing as well as local market conditions suggest they should be.

Among the core problems at the location level? Low conversion ratios of lookers to buyers.

For some years, before we travel, before we’ve charged potential marketing and sales clients a dime, we ask very specific questions.

Among them, will you as a client be open minded about addressing challenges that are found? Will you take constructive advice in a positive way?

We’re not in the hurt feelings business. Like an MD, we as publishers and as business growth service providers strive to deal in evidence-based realities.

Our goal is always to objectively identify the good, as well as what can or must be improved. Most successful locations are doing far more right than wrong. The good stuff remains unchanged. But when there’s a big fall off rate between visits and sales, there’s an obvious disconnect.

Most pros who hire a consultant or business development service provider get the reality that one must do something different, to achieve a different outcome.

That said, there are some who want a magic pill, a solution involving no practice changes. But isn’t that self-contradictory? If there was no change needed, then there would be no challenge.  Nor would there be a wondrous disguised opportunity that to correctly addressed, can yielded positive change. We tell those prospective clients who want magic without a sincere willingness to make any needed changes, thanks but no thanks.

 

The Sheer Size of the Problem Points to Immense Opportunities

Data publicly self-reported from MHVillage is useful in making this point. I’ve know Darren for well over a dozen years. He’s intelligent. Darren and his colleagues have a successful operation. So what follows shouldn’t be taken as a slam or a critique. This is an going to be a fast-based, objective look at their self-stated data.  Because frankly, it’s a common MH Industry issue. I applaud them for stating this in public and in writing.

The problem at retail centers (a.k.a. ‘Dealerships’) and communities is mirrored – not equal to, but suggested by – the MHVillage statistics.  Here are the impressive numbers on their website.  25 million unique visitors in a year, equaled about 80,000 sales.

MHVillage’s own data set says they convert only about 1/3 of 1 percent of shoppers.

You read that correctly, that’s .0032 percent (just a fraction less than a third of one percent) visits to purchases. Furthermore, their average sales price demonstrates – and Darren confirmed – that the vast majority of those purchases are used homes, not new ones.

While industry giant Clayton Homes doesn’t publish their data, anecdotal statements from their team members to the Daily Business News, and some known data suggest their results are similar to MHVillage’s, only they are more new home sales focused.

What do facts like the above mean to a business like yours?

I asked Darren, publicly on stage, and face-to-face afterwards with several standing nearby. He politely admitted, he doesn’t know the answer.

Ok, let’s lend him, and all others a hand. Here’s the logic of it.

  • Millions of people are looking online for housing.
  • Some come in, and shop in person.
  • There’s obviously two big fallouts or disconnects.
  • The first is drop-off is online, the next one is on site.

These bullets point to unsolved challenges, unresolved concerns, that the home shopping public has.  But when the home shopper’s concerns are properly understood and dealt with, they are far more likely to buy.  That’s why the data also points to huge opportunities. When there’s an 8.3 million affordable housing unit shortage in the U.S., that’s a wakeup call for our MH Industry and investors.

Just as consumers approach manufactured housing with some ignorance and skepticism, prospective business clients come to us with a similar, but different mix.  Some doubt they can sustainably grow sales at their business several hundred percent. But its true.  We don’t reveal client data, unless we both mutually agree to do so.  Here is a link to a client interview that freely stated how rapidly they grew.

Once properly begun, clients see the sales totals rising, the logistics of growth is often the greatest challenge. But businesses have to make those initial steps to get started to realize that change is possible, and the logistics can also be navigated, in honest, ethical, sustainable ways.

Real Estate Conversions Compared to MH Conversions

Facts are facts.

I spoke recently with a marketer who does both real estate and manufactured home marketing. He candidly said that they have exactly that same experience. Namely, that far more convert – call or message, come in, and buy – in real estate than for manufactured homes.

Restated, a higher percentage of shoppers pull the trigger in real estate to buy conventional housing, than manufactured home pros routinely experience.

 

Frank Rolfe’s Hidden Gem

Properly acting upon reality is a key part of the secret for increased, sustainable success.

So long as huge swaths of buyers in your market misunderstand or don’t get it about manufactured homes, the conversion ratios will remain low.

The good news is that a professional or investor can deal with this locally.  You don’t have to wait for anything magic to happen in Washington, Omaha, Arlington, or anywhere else.  You can make the difference in your market, by going to the root issues.

We’ll dig into some of the solution for that in today’s episode of the Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales Meeting.  That will be posted later this morning just below. ##  (Business development, related news, analysis and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

The Apprentice – Proper Understanding, Planning, and Execution – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Marketing and Sales Meeting

As a related thought, the reported reaction in Vegas to the Ducker Worldwide presentations suggests those backing that plan don’t have a solution useful to the majority. See that in the link here.

 

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Latest Manufactured Home Shipment Data, for October 2017 Released

December 5th, 2017 Comments off
DeerValleyHomesProductionCenterMHLivingNews

Robert Gann in blue, touring Inside MH Road Show host, L. A. “Tony” Kovach, through Deer Valley Homebuilders production center, in Guin, AL.

Washington, D.C. – In a release to the Daily Business News, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that “according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production grew once again during October 2017.”

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,636 homes in October 2017, a 20.7% increase over the 7,154 HUD Code homes produced during October 2016,” per MHARR.

Cumulative industry production for 2017 now totals 77,055 homes, a 14.9% increase over the 67,043 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2016,” the Washington based association that represents independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes said.

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through October 2017  — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2017) and prior year (2016) shipments per category as indicated – are,” as shown in the summary chart, below.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryProductionDataOct2017ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformHUDDeptHousingUrbanDevelopmentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The latest information for October 2017 results in no changes to the cumulative top-ten list.

About MHARR

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

That means that MHARR is a production focused trade association, as opposed to a post-production association.

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

For a previous report by MHARR on post-production issues, click the linked image, above. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

Does a 2017 Harvard Study Point to More Manufactured Home Industry Potential?

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

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The REAL Truth, vs. Fake News, About Modern Manufactured Homes

July 14th, 2017 Comments off

PBSNPRNews&ObserverFakeNewsLogoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsProNewsThere is an apparently ever-growing mountain of alleged ignorance – or agenda driven – reporting about manufactured homes.

  • PBS NewsHour,
  • NPR
  • and more recently The Raleigh, NC headquartered News & Observer are just 3 of many examples of what Marty Lavin, JD has paradoxically called, the manufactured housing industry’s other image campaign.”

In one sense, as Lavin noted, this isn’t new.

But what has accelerated are the following:

– the use of improper – and arguably demeaning terminology –

 

 

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

For clarity – not everyone mentioned in these reports is holding MHI responsible for what Rolfe, Lavin and others have said is a failure by MHI to properly defend the industry. Darren Krolewski has specifically and publicly defended MHI.  Don’t assume that all those who speak out are for or against MHI.  Listen to and watch their words, and watch their deeds. That said, the story with Brad Lovin’s comment – shown above – is available by clicking the image above. 

The Daily Business News has seen media personalities, such as Keith Olbermann, who trashed talked the president, his guests and millions of Americans who live in pre-HUD Code mobile homes or post-code manufactured homes (see graphic, below).

WhenTrailerTrashIsntWhatYouThinkcreditMHProNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Newscasters and journalists are losing their careers over the use of every other insulting slang term — however minor — simply from special interest groups threatening to boycott the advertisers. So why is ‘trailer trash’ the one insulting term in the U.S. that you can use without any fear of reprisal? Is it because the average American feels it’s true,” asks Rolfe, “thanks to the consistent negative portrayal of the industry in the media?”

NorthCarolinaManufacturedHousingAssociationNCMHADialyBusinessNewsMHProNews469

Photo from NCMHA.

Those in the industry know that there are some terrible properties out there, but they are a tiny fringe group of the 44,000 communities in the U.S. The average manufactured home community resembles a traditional subdivision — sometimes nicer than the surrounding subdivisions. We can only change the ‘trailer park trash’ stereotype by convincing the general public that the term is unfair and offensive and not a statement of fact,” Rolfe told MHProNews.

KeithOlbermannReactionAgainstTrailerTrashCommentMHProNews

See the full, original story, by clicking the image above.

He added, That would generate a grassroots movement to protest the term aggressively and that, in turn, would scare the media away from ever using it again. If any journalist who uttered the phrase “trailer park trash” immediately lost their job, then it would disappear overnight.”

Rolfe’s Not Alone…

And, Rolfe is far from alone in his reactions.

It’s an absolute disgrace that this pejorative [“Trailer Park Trash”] somehow remains ‘socially acceptable’ among the politically correct elite and their mouthpieces,” said MHARR President & CEO, M. Mark Weiss, JD.

WhenTrailerTrashIsntWhatYouThinkcreditMHProNews3-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

People like Olbermann, who routinely slam others over alleged ‘micro-aggressions’ and other fabricated nonsense, would do well to show proper and decent respect for the millions of hard-working Americans who are able to own a home of their own because of the unequalled affordability of manufactured homes located either in — or outside of — manufactured home communities,” Weiss said to MHProNews. “They, and a lot of other Americans living in the heartland of the country, deserve better than this type of arrogant slander.”

Marty Lavin questioned MHI’s ability and commitment to dealing with image issues, as was reported at this link here.

MartyLavinLashesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDruckerWorldWideRoperReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Logo is their property, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews.

Enter the Reverend Donald Tye, Jr.

The Daily Business News recently introduced Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. to the manufactured housing industry, as a fresh new face willing to stand up for those who are not able or comfortable speaking up for themselves.

ReverandDonaldTyeJrDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNews

The Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. – who is voluntarily taking on the mantle of manufactured home advocate.

Tye is part of this new video below, the first of a planned series.  His comments and that of the other guest in this episode of the Inside MH Road Show follow the home and factory tour — all of which clearly sets the stage for those who don’t understand the quality found in today’s manufactured housing.

While there are no known studies on this, an anecdotal sense is that many in media have further eroded the understanding that ‘mobile homes’ and ‘trailer houses’ haven’t been built in over 40 and 50 years, respectively. Manufactured homes are different, as Tye states in the video that follows.

It’s an evolution from the prior era, superior designs born of the implementation of the HUD Code for manufactured housing standards.

MHProNews knows from our sister operations in consulting, as well as from other sources, that large numbers of home owners, experts and potential consumers are prepared to be part of the solution to image and educational issues.

– Marty Lavin is not alone in doubting MHI’s ability (or motivations?) to successfully address these issues, especially when – as Frank Rolfe has said – they routinely refuse to engage in addressing problematic reports.

CreditsAsShownWeatherChannelManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Disclosures

None of those in this video have any direct connection to each other — the only common point is L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and his videographer. So it shouldn’t be construed that these know each other, or are working with each other in any formal fashion.

Rather, what this video that follows does are a few things.

USCapitolBuildingWashingtonDCLatestManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsHUDCodeShipmentReportMHProNews-com

To see the latest HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Report, click the image above. If you are a first time-visitor to the Daily Business News, keep in mind that often – but not always – images are hot linked to other information.

1) Spotlight an operation that  reportedly is successfully growing at double the industry’s double-digit growth rates.  They are doing this specifically by debunking myths and misinformation;

2) that company does so beginning with compelling education, by supporting a better, more accurate understanding of manufactured homes today;

3) that industry firm allows customers, third party experts, and others knowledgeable about the issues to speak their minds, and thus share perspectives that may otherwise not be heard;

4) those interview clips directly challenge many false narratives about modern manufactured homes today;

5) those interviewed are not compensated – they share, as Tom Fath said in an interview linked here –  because they want to be part of the solution;

6) We’ve spotlighted Terry Reynolds previously, who will also appear near the end of this video;

7) New on video to our readers is Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.  Tye shares experiences of factory-built homes – and closes on thoughts that are not to be missed by those who are tired of too little being done to address a long overdue correction of ignorance and prejudice about modern manufactured homes.

DonaldTyeJrNewFaceFactoryBuiltHousingAdvocacyHUDDrCarsonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-563x430

Every element and point made by this video supports and benefits from the other.

There’s nothing quite like this, until now. Watch it, then share it with others.  Become, as Tye is demonstrating, an active manufactured home advocate.

Potential Power

Scientia potentia est,” as best selling author and speaker Tony Robbins says, “Knowledge isn’t power.”  Rather “Knowledge is potential power.”

That power of knowledge is unlocked, says Robbins, only when it is put to use.

Millions of current and potential home owners are depending on others – on people, professionals – to help them stand up to this fake news barrage. ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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

Richard W. Florea named President and CEO of Skyline Corporation, Manufactured/Modular Home Builder

June 26th, 2015 Comments off

richard-w-flora-credit-linkedin-skyline-corp-new-president-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-1

ELKHART, IN., June 25, 2015. Skyline Corporation (NYSE: SKY) announced their Board of Directors named Richard W. Florea as President and Chief Executive Officer and appointed him to the Board of Directors effective July 27, 2015.  The company also stated that Bruce G. Page who previously was President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director is no longer with the Company, according to what PR Web tells MHProNews.

Rich is a charismatic leader, who is uniquely suited to lead Skyline at this important time. He knows our industry well and has an impressive list of accomplishments along with a demonstrated ability to grow businesses and develop value creation strategies which will benefit our dealer partners and their customers,” said John C. Firth, Chairman of Skyline’s Board of Directors. “Notably, Rich was a highly successful division sales manager for Skyline early in his career. The Board is pleased to welcome Rich back to Skyline.”

Florea commented, “I have long been an admirer of Skyline and the principled way it has conducted business since Art Decio founded the Company over 65 years ago. I am excited to return to Skyline and am impressed with its industry leading products and the growth potential of the Company. I look forward to leading the team in its effort to generate long-term shareholder value by building profitable sales in our core manufactured housing business.”

Florea, 52, has more than 27 years of experience with manufacturing companies, mostly in the recreational vehicle and truck industries. Most recently, he was President and Chief Operating Officer for Truck Accessories Group, LLC, North America’s largest producer of fiberglass caps and tonneaus for light and mid-sized trucks. From 1998 through 2009, he was with Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc., a maker of travel trailers, where he helped grow the company’s annual revenues from $95 million to more than $400 million during his nine-year tenure as President and Chief Operating Officer. He was a division sales manager for Skyline from 1994 to 1998. ##

(Photo credit: Composite of LinkedIn, Skyline logo and MHProNews text graphics)

l-a-tony-kovach-daily-business-news-mhpronews-

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Submitted by L. A. “Tony” Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.