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Association, Business, Professional Leaders Sound Off – MHVille, October 2017

October 6th, 2017 Comments off

ExtraExtraReadAllAboutItSocialNormsPGCC-eduDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIn “Interview with the Commissioner,” Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHAO) Executive Director Deanna Fields, shares her insights on engagement – past, present, and planned – with public officials, and how that benefits the industry.  Click here.

In “Healthy and Unhealthy Personal and Professional Promotion,” best-selling author and consultant Tim Connor, CSP, outlines where the lines are – what’s right and what’s wrong – with various types of promotional efforts. Click here.

Ross Kinzler has sounded off on Congressman Keith Ellison’s recent manufactured home community, and finance, related published commentary.  That article will be coming soon to the Daily Business News. A well-known community professional is joining that discussion.

In “Sustained Manufactured Home Production Growth in August 2017,” Mark Weiss, JD – President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – provides a snapshot of the latest facts on shipments.  Click here. A recent Daily Business News analysis of that data is found at this link here.

Another respected association leader sounds off in, “Kudos from Tim Williams to MHProNews on 9th Anniversary Celebration,” to see Williams’ kind words of encouragement, click here.

NewManufacturedHousingAsPercentageOfNewExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_1

MHProNews has been goal and solution oriented from day one. Manufactured housing is the solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight. Together with profesisonals who are passionate about advancing the industry,, MHProNews and our sister site – MHLivingNews.com are promoting the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

In Overlooked Lending Option, you’ll see a finance source that’s competitive and…overlooked. As past, present and future reports on MHProNews have demonstrated, there are plenty of manufactured home lending options that for various reasons are just not getting the attention they deserve, yet, the mainstream home buying public wants them.  To check that article out, click here.

The above are just some of the first wave of Featured Articles in – Volume 9, Issue 1 – now published and live on the home page of MHProNews, in the featured article module.  Or you can scan and access them all by clicking here.

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As thousands of daily, regular readers know, most of what you find here you’ll not find anywhere else in MHVille.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, announcements, analysis, commentary.)

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

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

Manufactured Housing Association Benefits Survey

September 26th, 2017 Comments off
AndreaReichmanAstDirectorOhioManufacturedHomesAssociation

Photo provided by Andrea Reichman upon MHProNews request.

The Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) tells MHProNews about their new survey of members that asks some key questions, including:

  • what association benefits do you currently use,
  • and what benefits would you like to see that aren’t currently offered?

This is an interesting topic for consideration, not just for OMHA, but for any association – or potential association.

P.E.P. = The Heart of a Good Association?

An award-winning association executive told MHProNews some time ago that every good association focuses on three core principles:

  • Protect,
  • Educate, and
  • Promote.

P.E.P.ProtectEducatePromoteMHProNews

Beyond those 3 core focal issues, the OMHA survey asked their members about the following:

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OMHAMembershipBenefitsSurvey2017-09-25_2034

Credit, OMHA.

MHProNews would be interested in hearing from not only OMHA members, but that of any association on what benefits professionals believe are the most useful in the manufactured housing industry.  While it may include those items noted above, there are numerous others that could be mentioned too.

IReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM-comMHProNews

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.

Please use the link above for News Tips and include in your subject line, “Good MH Association Benefits.” ## (News, Analysis.)

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

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

 

 

 

Governor’s Controversial Manufactured Housing Battle Concludes

June 29th, 2017 Comments off
OhioManufacturedHomesAssociationOMHAWeSupportOMHCommssion-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Image credits, OMHA, provided under fair use guidelines.

From the moment Governor John Kasich‘s Administration first proposed to eliminate the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission, the air has been full of misleading information and derogatory comments directed at almost one million Ohio residents who live in manufactured homes,” said Tim Williams, Executive Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA).

While the OMHA was able to rally support in their state house, as was reported at the link here, when the final budget was approved, the OMHC was not included.

Kasich’s “Administration did not tell the truth regarding the independent Manufactured Homes Commission‘s superior record of protecting homeowner safety,” said Williams.  “Neither did the Administration accurately report that today’s manufactured homes have the strictest fire code of any form of housing on the market, meeting rigorous federal quality construction standards.”

ManufacturedHomeInteriorOMHAwebsiteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Interior photo of a modern manufactured home from the OMHA website.

tim williams exev vp ohio mfg homes assoc

Tim Williams, OMHA.

Ohio has for years been a state that inspected every new manufactured home installation.

 

 

In place for the last ten years, the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission is an independent agency, with a team of trained professionals, knowledgeable about the homes and the way they are built and installed. The Commission does its job free of political influence,” Williams told MHProNews, “ensuring every home installation is inspected and each one is safe.”

SwimmingPoolOMHAWebsiteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Photo credit, OMHA website.

Now, the rigorous inspection process currently in place in Ohio will be absorbed into the Kasich Administration’s 800 employee Department of Commerce bureaucracy.  That body new regulatory body, OMHA states where “there exists no manufactured homes expertise or experience.”

AMHROAssocManufacturedHomeResidentsOhioOlmstedTownshipOH-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

AMHRO is affiliated with a national resident rights group, the NMHOA, long led by Ishbel Dickens, who has recently said she is ‘trying to retire,’ Collage credits, AMHRO, provided under fair use guidelines.

The residents rights group, Association of Manufactured Homes Residents in Ohio (AMHRO) fought alongside OMHA in their efforts to keep the independent OMHC alive against the Kasich Administration’s onslaught.

Williams said, “We stand ready to assist the Administration in the transition. Given the Ohio Department of Commerce’s lack of experience and expertise involving the unique nature of manufactured homes, we hope the Administration will call on our Association and AMHRO during the transition. We also encourage the Administration to transfer the small Commission staff with 88 years of combined experience to the Department of Commerce to ensure continuity in the regulatory program.”

The Ohio Manufactured Homes Association is a not for profit organization, comprised of some 500 manufactured home related businesses. ##

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

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

 

 

Are Mobile Home Fires Burning the Manufactured Housing Industry?

May 10th, 2017 Comments off
AreMobileHomeFiresBurningtheIndustrycreditKatzFinancial-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Passing the torches image credit, Katz Financial. Text graphic, by RC Williams/Daily Business News.

The battle between the office of Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) over the Ohio Manufactured Housing Commission (OMHC), shined a bright light on a large, ongoing challenge related to the industry and terminology.

When you type “mobile home fires” into Google, you get over 3 million entries, perhaps spanning the life of the internet. These include studies on causation, injuries, deaths, dollars, etc. — not just the fires alone.

Those millions of stories provide one of the striking reasons why the public impression about ‘mobile homes’ is so poor.  Years of media accounts about mobile homes burning are seared into the public’s minds.

Over3MillionHitsonMobileHomeFiresGoogleSearchPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

On 5.10.2017 at 2:11 ET, there were over 3 Million ‘hits‘ on Mobile Home Fires in this Google Search. Posted on the Daily Busines News, MHProNews.com.

Conflating fire risks in pre-HUD Code mobile homes with manufactured homes

marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronews

Marty Lavin, JD.

are one of several possible examples of what Marty Lavin, JD –  industry communities, retail and finance veteran calls “the other industry image campaign.”

That negative stereotypes mainstream media “campaign” is waged by locals – who for whatever reasons – fail to report information accurately.

That in turn naturally spills over into the public’s impression of manufactured homes.

While the public is clamoring for affordable housing – and the need is in the tens of billions annually – it seems that fears about fires are among the reasons they don’t turn to manufactured homes more often as their solution.

LindseyBostick-SunshineHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAs a result, a recent Zillow report indicates that only about 8% of shoppers are ‘considering’ a mobile or manufactured home, and only about half of those end up purchasing.  Yet, as Credit Human’s Barry Noffsinger – or millenial and manufactured home owner, Lindsey Bostick of Sunshine Homes – have told MHProNews, the description of what people are looking for fits well with what today’s manufactured homes offers.

The challenge is, that millions seeking housing just don’t consider it.  Per Zillow’s survey, half that do, buy.

Fire-Heated Questions

OldHouseOnFireCreditYouTube-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Every year, there are older conventional housing units that burn. Does that cause an outcry against conventional building? No. Similarly, when older mobile homes burn, it should not impact the image of modern manufactured homes. Sadly, though,
it does. Image credit: YouTube still.

The “burning question” is how many of these fires occurred in pre-HUD Code homes, and how many in manufactured homes?

Surprisingly, the exact answer is not known. But the reason that it’s unknown is sadly clear.

Many if not most news reports do not distinguish between mobile and manufactured homes. The absence of that distinction – and poor use of terminology in other stories – thus feeds into a myth that continues to plague the contemporary manufactured housing industry.

That in turn leads millions to incorrectly believe that all factory-built homes have the same old (high) risk of fire that mobile homes built 40 years ago did.

The Daily Business News has periodically pointed out the facts versus myths surrounding manufactured homes and fires, noting that homes built under post-1976 federal regulations have a somewhat lower fire rates than a traditional, site-built house.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

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

An Example of The Impact on the MH Industry

As noted, Ohio is an example where poor information created industry challenges, because the opposition claims run counter to the facts.

The Ohio Fire Chief’s Association’s letter to lawmakers in March supported a provision in the state budget to kill the Ohio Manufactured Home Commission (OMHC), proposing to roll its functions into the Ohio Department of Commerce.

The Daily Business News covered the response from the commission in a story, linked here.

30 people died in 1,208 manufactured home fires between 2012 and 2016,” said the letter from the fire chief’s association.

Ohioans are 4.2 times more likely to die in a manufactured home that caught fire than one- or two-family home.”

AreMobileHomeFiresBurningtheIndustrycreditNFPA2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Manufactured homes are far safer than mobile homes, per the NFPA. To see the report, click the graphic above for the story and attached documents, available as a download.

But that statement by the fire chief’s association was inaccurate, as a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) study reflected.

The NFPA also carefully noted the proper and improper use of nomenclature, see that graphic below.

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/big-win-for-omhaomhc-in-house-senate-vote-next/

Publisher and consultant Tony Kovach stresses that facts like the above must become second nature for industry professionals to know, link to and otherwise share. “It’s the industry that has the motivation to educate the public on the realities vs. the old facts or myths,” says Kovach. “The rewards and profits are going to those who take part in those educational efforts, and who make a difference in their own marketsThat educational effort benefits home owners too.  Manufactured home owners could enjoy faster resale and higher resale values.  Home buyers, renters, job creation…virtually everyone in the mix can benefit by dispelling the myths and dated relaties.”

Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) Executive Director Tim Williams and Association of Manufactured Home Residents in Ohio (AMHRO) President Frank Pojman joined forces to point out the facts to their legislators.

That “teaming up” is critical, because arguably home owners’ property values are negatively impacted by the impression that manufactured homes burn and kill, a mistaken notion spread by problematic media reports.

The administration is spreading false information and misleading information because the commission is pushing back against Kasich’s proposal,” said Williams.

The OMHC also conducts inspections of all new and previously owned manufactured home installations, resulting in less than 10 complaints in the last three years.

By comparison, 23,000 home installations have occurred in the last decade, and prior to the Commission’s existence 500-800 improper home installation complaints occurred annually.

UPDATEOMHAFiresBackinMHCommissionBattlecreditOfficialPhotosOMHAOMHCEPADigitalImagingReporter-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Gov. Kasich, official photo. Ohio EPA, OMHC, OMHA, logos, photo, credits: Digital Imaging Reporter and their respective organizations.

I urge any of your Committee to review agendas and minutes of the MH Commission meetings, to see the all-important issues that are discussed, for the benefits and safety of manufactured homeowners,” said Pojman during recent testimony.

Terminology Matters 

In a recent story on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, MHProNews asked Urbana, Ohio Fire Chief Mark Keller to clarify details on a recent home fire reported in his town.

This fire involved a true mobile home and was not a manufactured home. I do not have the age of the mobile home available right now,” Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller told MHProNews.

Mobile homes are inherently bad with fire conditions. They’re not really designed to withhold any kind of fire.”

Chief Keller was specific, because MHProNews directly inquired about the facts of the case, which allowed MHLivingNews to properly represent the facts of that sad incident.  But how can doing that correct-the-record once or occasionally be enough in the face of the thousands of such stories being reported a year?

Thus, Kovach argues that it responding to misleading media accounts must become the routine.  When both MHI and MHARR have said that the industry ought to be doing hundreds of thousands of new home shipments a year, the value of correctly the record should be clear.

Sloppy Journalism?

mark_weiss_mharr_pesident__mhpronews__creditMark Weiss, JD – President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – has spoken out strongly on the matter, calling the laziness of news agencies “sloppy journalism.”

While any harm to people or property is regrettable, there is no excuse for sloppy journalism that can harm the industry and consumers. The fact is that today’s federally regulated manufactured homes are as safe or safer than other types of homes when it comes to fire, as shown by research done by the National Fire Protection Association on multiple fire safety metrics,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President CEO of MHARR.

It is therefore misleading and a disservice to readers to fail to distinguish between pre-1976 ‘mobile homes,’ said Weiss, “and today’s manufactured homes. This is why MHARR successfully demanded several years ago that the U.S. Fire Administration remove similarly misleading language from it’s website.” 

The industry and consumers need to insist on an accurate media portrayal of today’s high-quality manufactured homes,” said Weiss.

MobileManufacturedHomeFireMythsgoUpinSmokecreditLinkedInAndreaReichman-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said OMHA Assistant Director Andrea Reichman, commenting on the Urbana fire story.

As noted by the local Fire Chief Mark Keller, the home involved was a ‘mobile home,’ which indicates the home was built prior to the 1976 HUD Code Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Reichman said.

Often times such incidents are reported inaccurately, and facilitate the image that manufactured homes are not safe when nothing could be further from the truth.  Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. The 1986 national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes,” said Reichman.

Their association’s latest call to action is linked as a download, click here.

MobileHomeUpInSmokeMobileManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHProNewsURbanOhioMobileHomeFire420x373

This is the image tens of millions of people have about ‘mobile homes.’ The irony is, in the majority of cases, that’s precisely what they are- pre-HUD Code mobile homes. Even within the MH industry, how many realize that there’s been no mobile homes built in over 40 years? Thus proper terminology always matters. Text graphic, MHProNews, original photo, Springfield News Sun.

The Question Remains

The “burning question,” is how does the manufactured housing industry change the commonly perceived notion that all factory-built homes are the same?

Graph_of_MH_Shipments_1991-2010_courtsey_of_MHI posted MHMSM.com MHProNews.com

MHI reports that for some 2 decades, the average shipment levels of manufactured homes were about 21 percent of all single family housing starts. Today, that number is closer to 9 percent. While tragic fire stories aren’t the only causal issue of the steep decline in the industry’s total share of the new home market, they are an example of what the industry must grapple with through educational efforts that impact local markets.  Additional facts will be explored in upcoming reports in this series.

What clearly won’t work,” says publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is doing nothingAll too often – for decades – the industry has routinely taken the tactic of ignoring the bad news, hoping it will eventually fade away.”

A glance at industry shipments today compared to 15, 20 or 25 years ago proves that while we’ve advanced from the great recessions’ bottom,” said Kovach, “we’re nowhere near our industry’s historic percentage of new construction starts. The steady drip, drip, drip, of what Marty Lavin and others call the ‘other image campaign’ persists.  So, we as professionals must become resolute in responding routinely too.

Engaging the media is one part of the solution,” Kovach says. “Many editors are willing to make corrections when a story has a fact error.  We as trade media are and can be part of education and solution.  But that also requires engagement and support from members of the industry.”

“It’s Education”

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Chet Murphree, Deer Valley Homebuilders. James McGee. Deer Valley Homebuilders, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Inside MH.

I want to thank you for what you do for this industry,” said James McGee of Deer Valley Homebuilders. “We’ve kind of zeroed around about what’s important. It’s education. I want to say, Tony, thank you for spearheading that. You’re an incredible guy, and our industry’s very lucky to have you.” 

Chet Murphree echoed McGee’s comments, with “Absolutely.” 

Kovach in turn routinely reminds people that without their writing and video team, supporters and sponsors, the news and educational efforts would not be possible. “It has to be about mutual effort – team work – that goes to the grass roots, at the local and regional levels,” he said.  “It isn’t about mountains of cash.  It’s about a wise use of time, talent and resources in responding and educating as needed.”

“As the myths and fears fade, we know from experience more customers come, see, are impressed with the value, and buy.”

Ohio is an example of where the state and both national associations – along with MHLivingNews, MHProNews – plus engaged industry members – acting in conjunction with home owners – all provided comments and made efforts to correct-the-record. As we recently reported, the outlook there is hopeful as a result.

Programming Note

With the launch of MHProNews’ newly updated home page and website, the Daily Business News will take a look in the coming days at a variety of issues that are holding our industry back from achieving and exceeding its historic potential.

Because as the myths and misconceptions subside, the sale of manufactured should skyrocket as the surprising private sector answer to the affordable housing crisis.  As McGee said, “It’s education.”

For more on manufactured housing being the affordable housing solution that’s hiding in plain sight, see the reports on the page, linked here. ##

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

RC Williams, Daily Business News MHProNewsSubmitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

Big Win for OMHA/OMHC in House, Senate Vote Next

May 4th, 2017 Comments off
BigWinforOMHOMHCinHouseSenateVoteNextcreditsNYMAGMHProNewsReddit-postedtothedailybusinessnewmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credits: Reddit, NY Mag, MHProNews/OMHA.

In a story that the Daily Business News has followed closely, the Ohio Manufactured Housing Association (OMHA) saw the Ohio House of Representatives pass Substitute HB 49, the “State of Ohio budget bill” on May 2nd, restoring the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission (OMHC), consistent with present law.

As we reported prior, the original proposal from Governor John Kasich’s’ office would have abolished the OMHC, and transferred its responsibility to the Ohio Department of Commerce (DOC).

At the core of the campaign against the Commission are claims from Ohio fire and environmental officials who say the board doesn’t do enough to prevent manufactured home fires and ensure clean drinking water in the MH communities.

DramainOhioFakeNewsFactsandMythscreditMediaNation-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Media Nation.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, we have pointed out the facts versus myths surrounding manufactured homes and fires, noting that homes built under post-1976 federal regulations have the same rates in this area as traditional homes.

The OMHC has wide ranging responsibilities as an independent agency, including all regulation of home installations & inspections, dispute resolution, sales licensing, and manufactured home community regulation.

The OMHC also conducts inspections of all new and previously owned manufactured home installations, resulting in less than 10 complaints in the last three years. By comparison, 23,000 home installations have occurred in the last decade, and prior to the Commission’s existence 500 -800 improper home installation complaints occurred annually.

OhioManufacturedHomesAssociationCallsforHelpcreditOMHA-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: OMHA.

The OMHA, along with the Association of Manufactured Home Residents of Ohio (AMHRO), representing homeowners and residents, vigorously opposed the proposal from the Kasich Administration during recent legislative testimony before the Ohio House.

During the testimony, AMHRO President Frank Pojman said: “I urge any of your Committee to review agendas and minutes of the MH Commission meetings, to see the all-important issues that are discussed, for the benefits and safety of manufactured homeowners.”

tim williams exev vp ohio mfg homes assoc

Tim Williams, OMHA.

The House of Representatives provided for thorough discussion during legislative testimony,” said OMHA Executive Director Tim Williams.

I am pleased the House recognized the value of maintaining the independent Manufactured Homes Commission and its record of consistently operating below budget, providing 100% homeowner safety inspections and reducing both homeowner and business fees.”

The Ohio Senate will now consider Substitute HB 49. The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story closely and provide updates. ##

 

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

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

City Adopts Manufactured Housing Ordinance, Terminology Matters

April 10th, 2017 Comments off
CityAdoptsManufacturedHousingOrdinanceTerminologyMatterscreditWisconsinDepartmentofProfessionalServices-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Wisconsin Department of Safety Professional Services.

In Groesbeck, Texas the city council passed an ordinance that makes a distinction between manufactured and mobile homes.

According to the Groesbeck Journal, the passing of the ordinance reflects the members’ consensus from a workshop on the subject that they held in early March.

As informed veteran manufactured housing professionals and enthusiasts know, HUD Code manufactured homes that are properly installed and maintained have a similar life expectancy as conventional housing. Any housing that is not, for whatever reason, properly maintained tends to fall into disrepair and can deteriorate more rapidly, and thus, shorten its useful life expectancy.

CityAdoptsManufacturedHousingOrdinanceTerminologyMatterscreditBestPlacestoLive-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Best Places to Live.

By contrast, pre-HUD Code mobile homes were not routinely built to those same standards. Even so, millions of mobile homes have gone years beyond their projected useful life expectancy.

The council said that the distinction between the two are important, because the term “mobile home” is often used in common parlance to refer to manufactured homes built before and after the defining 1976 date.

The city’s ongoing efforts to regulate manufactured housing have caused some people to believe the city is prohibiting all manufactured housing, regardless of age.

 

Terminology Matters 

In a recent story from the Daily Business News about mobile and manufactured home myths and facts, we shined a bright light on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, and why terminology matters.

MobileManufacturedHomeFireMythsgoUpinSmokeFireChiefMarkKellerCreditUrbanaFireDivision-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Chief Mark Keller. Official Photo.

This fire involved a true mobile home and was not a manufactured home. I do not have the age of the mobile home available right now,” Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller told MHProNews.

Mobile homes are inherently bad with fire conditions. They’re not really designed to withhold any kind of fire.”

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said Andrea Reichman, Assistant Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA).

MobileManufacturedHomeFireMythsgoUpinSmokecreditLinkedInAndreaReichman-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As noted by the local Fire Chief Mark Keller, the home involved was a ‘mobile home,’ which indicates the home was built prior to the 1976 HUD Code Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Reichman said.

Often times such incidents are reported inaccurately, and facilitate the image that manufactured homes are not safe when nothing could be further from the truth.  Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. The 1986 national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes,” said Reichman.

The issue in Ohio points to a larger trend that’s happening nationally, and one industry organization cites frustration with “sloppy journalism.”

m_mark_weiss_mharr_pesident__mhpronews__credit

M. Mark Weiss. Credit: MHProNews.

While any harm to people or property is regrettable, there is no excuse for sloppy journalism that can harm the industry and consumers. The fact is that today’s federally regulated manufactured homes are as safe or safer than other types of homes when it comes to fire, as shown by research done by the National Fire Protection Association on multiple fire safety metrics,” said M. Mark Weiss, JD, President CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

It is therefore misleading and a disservice to readers to fail to distinguish between pre-1976 ‘mobile homes,’ said Weiss“and today’s manufactured homes. This is why MHARR successfully demanded several years ago that the U.S. Fire Administration remove similarly misleading language from it’s website. 

The industry and consumers need to insist on an accurate media portrayal of today’s high-quality manufactured homes,” said Weiss.

MobileManufacturedHomeFireMythsgoUpinSmokecreditNFPAMHLivingNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: MHLivingNews.

For more on from the NFPA report on fire safety of modern manufactured home compared to conventional housing and mobile homes, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

UPDATE: OMHA Provides Additional Details in OMHC Fight

April 7th, 2017 Comments off
creditOMHA-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: OMHA.

In a story that the Daily Business News has covered extensively, the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) has provided an update regarding the battle with Ohio Governor John Kasich over the status of the Ohio Manufactured Housing Commission (OMHC).

According to the Dayton Daily News, Governor Kasich is calling for the OMHC to be disbanded, and its responsibilities delegated to the Ohio Department of Commerce. The call is part of the governor’s budget proposal pending before the Ohio General Assembly.

OMHA Executive Director Tim Williams has testified extensively before three different House of Representatives Finance Committees.

Additionally, OMHC commission members Ron Younkin of Greenlawn Homes and Evan Atkinson of Clayton Homes have also testified, along with Frank Pojman, President of the Association of Manufactured Home Residents of Ohio (AMHRO) and Jim Demetrus also of AMHRO and the former resident appointee to the MH Commission.

tim williams exev vp ohio mfg homes assoc

Tim Williams, OMHA Executive Director.

The Swamp has risen up against our residents and industry. OMHA and AMHRO have united on behalf of our residents and businesses to oppose the Ohio Department of Commerce’s extravagant request for spending authority of 30% more to conduct the same program,” said Williams.

Incredibly, the Department of Commerce not only wants more money but would drastically reduce the Commission’s 100% inspection of all new and used home installations, thus jeopardizing the safety of our homeowners and residents.”

Six of the nine members of the OMHC are appointed by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate President appoints, each appointing three, representing various industry segments.

The Governor appoints the remaining three seats on the Commission.

The OMHA points out that the Governor has failed to appoint a manufactured home resident for two years and for the better part of five years has left the health sanitarian seat empty on the commission, appointments which are required by law.

UPDATEOMHAFiresBackinMHCommissionBattlecreditOfficialPhotosOMHAOMHCEPADigitalImagingReporter-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credits: Official Photos, OMHA, OMHC, Digital Imaging Reports, Ohio EPA.

In his written testimony before two House of Representatives Committees, Mr. Pojman made a very strong statement regarding the commission’s commitment.

AMHRO’s view has not wavered in its support of the MH Commission. I urge any of your Committee to review agendas and minutes of the MH Commission meetings, to see the all-important issues that are discussed, for the benefits and safety of manufactured homeowners,” said Pojman.

When you look at all nine members, who make up the Commission, you’ll see the most important segments of our industry, putting manufactured housing ideas and plans together, that will always make it better at ground level and above.“

Additionally, the Manufactured Housing Institute’s Rick Robinson testified in support of the commission, noting the National Fire Protection Association’s 2013 study regarding the excellent fire safety record of modern manufactured homes.

Further, Matthew Klein, an engineer and president of Criterium Cincinnati Engineers, having done over 1000 OMHC inspections, responded to an article in the Dayton Daily News written by Josh Sweigart that suggested manufactured homes were not safe. Klein insists homes installed since the formation of the OMHC are much safer, and that disbanding the commission will cost the state more money and result in less safe manufactured homes. For his letter, click here.

The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story and provide updates. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

UPDATE: OMHA Fires Back in Manufactured Housing Commission Battle

April 4th, 2017 Comments off
UPDATEOMHAFiresBackinMHCommissionBattlecreditOfficialPhotosOMHAOMHCEPADigitalImagingReporter-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credits: Official Photos, OMHA, OMHC, Digital Imaging Reports, Ohio EPA.

In a story that the Daily Business News originally covered here, the battle between the office of Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Manufactured Housing Commission (OMHC) has heated up yet again.

And, the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) is firing back.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Governor Kasich is calling for the OMHC to be disbanded, and its responsibilities delegated to the Ohio Department of Commerce. The call is part of the governor’s budget proposal pending before the Ohio General Assembly.

At the core of the campaign against the Commission are the claims from Ohio fire and environmental officials who say the board doesn’t do enough to prevent manufactured home fires and ensure clean drinking water in the MH communities.

But industry professionals, including OMHA Executive Director Tim Williams, are backed with facts, and say that there’s more to the story.

The administration is spreading false information and misleading information because the commission is pushing back against Kasich’s proposal,” said Williams.

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Tim Williams, OMHA Executive Director.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, we have pointed out the facts versus myths surrounding manufactured homes and fires, noting that homes built under post-1976 federal regulations have the same rates in this area as traditional homes, and Williams pointed to similar data.

Local or state fire officials have no authority to inspect or educate or require different fire codes for manufactured homes,” said Williams.

Association of Manufactured Home Residents in Ohio President Frank Pojman says that in many cases, manufactured homes are actually safer.

When these houses are built, they are inspected at the factory,” said Pojman.

When they leave the factory, it has a tag that says it meets federal safety standards. You don’t get that in a stick built home.”

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Credit: Stoveguard, MHLivingNews.

For one industry professional, who is also involved with the commission, the need for it is obvious.

I believe wholeheartedly, whether I sit on the commission or not, it’s one of the best things that’s happened to the manufactured home community in Ohio,” said Evan Atkinson, general manager of Clayton Homes in Frazeyburg and a commissioner on the board.

Since the commission was created, the number of complaints about mobile home installation has plummeted from hundreds to a number you can count on one hand. What’s proposed now is to fragment it and stick it back out into deep bureaucracy.”

Atkinson says that the commission currently requires inspection of every single home installed in Ohio, and points out that it’s a commitment the Department of Commerce has not made.

I believe there’s a probably a good likeliness that homes may not be installed as well as they are currently being installed,” said Atkinson. He also noted that after establishing new rules for licensing and inspections, the commission has heard one complaint in the last three years, as opposed to the more than 500 complaints every year from consumers about mobile home installation before the commission was created in response to federal rules in 2003.

I think the Manufactured Homes Commission has proven they do the right thing by consumers in Ohio, and that’s very much proven by the number of dispute resolution cases there used to be and the number of dispute resolution cases today,” said Atkinson.

 

From Fire to Water

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Credit: OMHA.

In addition to the onslaught from Ohio fire officials, the Ohio EPA told the Dayton Daily News that its efforts to “force Ohio mobile home parks [sic] to provide their residents safe drinking water have been slowed by inaction on the part of the commission.”

In a statement, the Ohio EPA says that it shares oversight with OMHC over the state’s 250 manufactured home communities that operate their own water systems.

This includes Pineview Estates in Miamisburg, where about 400 residents routinely lost running water; and Catalpa Grove Mobile Home Park in Dayton, where the owner failed to test the system for contaminants such as lead, copper and bacteria,” the EPA said in the statement.

In both cases, the Manufactured Homes Commission denied any appreciable assistance to the Ohio EPA in taking action on the park’s [sic] license, instead forcing the EPA to pursue the issue through lengthy court battles. The manufactured homes commission rarely – if ever – bothers to use its full regulatory authority to enforce safe water rules.”

According to OMHC director Janet Williams dealing with the EPA caused more confusion than progress.

We have never had clear authority to take action against a mobile home park [sic] owner’s license for water quality issues since we began licensing mobile home parks [sic] in December 2012,” said Williams.

We want to work with them in the process of whatever legal avenue we have to help them enforce the water rules they have in manufactured home parks [sic].”

Strong words from the Ohio EPA came as a surprise to Tim Williams.

The EPA showed little interest in increasing oversight of manufactured home communities in the past.”

Jim Demitrus, who was on the commission board from 2006 through 2015, pointed out that pulling a manufactured home community’s license over water issues would lead to serious and potentially severe consequences for residents.

If they pull the license, everybody in that community has to move out,” said Demitrus.

I would like to see somebody in state government do that. Pull the license, and you have to move 100 families.”

The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story closely and provide updates. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Mobile, Manufactured Home Fire Myths go Up in Smoke

February 2nd, 2017 Comments off
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Text graphic, MHProNews, original photo, Springfield News Sun.

A tragic event in Champaign County, Ohio, on Monday shined a bright light on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, and why terminology matters.

The mobile home fire left Kalleen Emmons, 23, in critical condition and Robert Garringer, 31, in serious condition. Two children were also injured.

According to the Springfield News-Sun, which did not reply to MHProNews requests for clarification on the type of home involved in the blaze, firefighters were dispatched to the scene Monday at 12:15 a.m.  There they discovered the four victims, who had already escaped from the burning home, thanks to a smoke alarm.

The four were transferred by ambulance to Springfield Regional Medical Center.

MobileManufacturedHomeFireMythsgoUpinSmokeFireChiefMarkKellerCreditUrbanaFireDivision-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Chief Mark Keller. Official Photo.

This fire involved a true mobile home and was not a manufactured home. I do not have the age of the mobile home available right now,” Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller told MHProNews.

 

 

Mobile homes are inherently bad with fire conditions. They’re not really designed to withhold any kind of fire.

Chief Keller said that the home was a total loss and the fire also damaged siding on the home next door.

Usually once a window is broken out, it spreads very quickly throughout the rest of the trailer [sic]. And that’s pretty much what we had happened.

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The NFPA clearly understands the importance of proper terminology, as the clip from their Manufactured Homes Fires report, makes clear. As an editorial point, one of many reasons that MHProNews and MHLivingNews stress the value of precise terminology is because while some older mobile homes were built to better standards, many other pre-HUD Code mobile homes were not. The HUD Code – which starting June 15, 1976 established tough federal safety, energy and construction standards – resulted in a home building process that performs dynamically as well (or better) than conventional housing for about half the cost, according to third party studies; including the NFPA.  These HUD Code homes should only be referred to in reports as a manufactured home, or manufactured housing.

UpInSmokeMobileManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsUrbanaOHfireMHProNews

Terminology Matters

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Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said Andrea Reichman, Assistant Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA).

 

As noted by the local Fire Chief Mark Keller, the home involved was a ‘mobile home,which indicates the home was built prior to the 1976 HUD Code Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Reichman said.

Often times such incidents are reported inaccurately, and facilitate the image that manufactured homes are not safe when nothing could be further from the truth.  Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. The 1986 national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes,” said Reichman.

About 20 percent of all MH are pre-HUD Code mobile homes, so, the balance would be manufactured homes.

While many ‘mobile homes’ are replaced every day some still exist. OMHA was encouraged to hear that the home had smoke detectors that were activated during the fire. The industry encourages homeowners to install and test their smoke detectors monthly per the recommendation of the National Fire Protection Association for all residential properties,” she told MHProNews.

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Credits: MHLivingNews, NFPA.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, a “mobile homehas not been built in the U.S. since June 15th 1976, the day the first federally regulated manufactured homes began to the sounds of nail guns and saws in production centers from coast to coast.

National View on the MH Fire Issue

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For “A Cup of Coffee With…” MHARR president and CEO M. Mark Weiss, click here or on the photo. Credit: MHProNews.

While any harm to people or property is regrettable, there is no excuse for sloppy journalism that can harm the industry and consumers. The fact is that today’s federally regulated manufactured homes are as safe or safer than other types of homes when it comes to fire, as shown by research done by the National Fire Protection Association on multiple fire safety metrics,” said M. Mark Weiss, JD, President CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Weiss’ comments to the Daily Business News raises an important point.

Namely, that “sloppy journalism” can be harmful to the proper image and understanding of manufactured homes.  That in turn arguably harms manufactured home owner’s values.  Inaccurate media coverage also deters some would-be home buyers of manufactured housing, who might otherwise purchase one; if they realize how safe, appealing, energy-efficient, and affordable contemporary manufactured homes are.

Those lost new and pre-owned MH sales opportunities cost the industry’s businesses money, and workers better-paying job opportunities.

It is therefore misleading and a disservice to readers to fail to distinguish between pre-1976 ‘mobile homes,’ said Weiss, “and today’s manufactured homes. This is why MHARR successfully demanded several years ago that the U.S. Fire Administration remove similarly misleading language from it’s website. 

The industry and consumers need to insist on an accurate media portrayal of today’s high-quality manufactured homes,” said Weiss.

An industry wag told the Daily Business News that it’s inaccurate reporting that should go up in smoke – because compared to other forms of housing – modern manufactured homes more rarely do.  Still, prudent precautions such as smoke detectors ought to be followed, along with other safety steps reported in detail at this link here.

For more on the NFPA report on fire safety of modern manufactured home compared to conventional housing and mobile homes, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

NPR’s – “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” – Follow Up Report, Part 1

December 27th, 2016 Comments off

DanielZwenderlingNPR-TimWilliamsOMHA-ChallengingJournalistsNarrativeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews “The government estimates there are more than 8 million manufactured houses in America,” said Daniel Zwerdling, on National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered. “They’re a major source of low-income housing. But Syringa shows that the legal and financial ways that mobile home communities are set up often turn the residents into victims.”

The NPR article creates a false narrative of uncaring manufactured home community (MHC) operators, Tim Williams, Executive Director of the Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) said to MHProNews. 

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Photo credit, Lewiston Tribune.

The story of Syringa Mobile Home Park is a familiar one to long-time Daily Business News readers.  Per our report on March 2, 2016, the owner of the property Magar E. Magar, was ordered to pay fines to residents who lacked water.

But is that example a fair one in Ohio, or other parts of the U.S.?

NPR should be held accountable for balanced news reporting, where the truth of manufactured home living is accurately portrayed. NPR didn’t even bother to contact the only industry trade association (OMHA) to obtain more than one side to their reference regarding the Ohio EPA director’s comments,” Williams said.

We’ve been focusing this story on one community [Syringa Mobile Home Park], says NPR’s Zwerling, “but you can find Syringas across the country. Studies have found that manufactured housing communities are far more likely to have problems like this than people in other neighborhoods.”

Objective readers and industry professionals with a different experience might ask, is that allegation by NPR’s Zwerling accurate?

NPR seems to subtly imply in their anecdotal profile of a few residents in Idaho that the millions of Americans who choose the option of manufactured home living are somehow subjected to inferior conditions,” said Williams. “I find that discriminatory, elitist view offensive to our lower and moderate income manufactured home residents, and totally unrepresentative of the manufactured home living experience.

syringa-mobile-home-park-moscow-idaho Manufactured Housing Daily Business News, MHProNews

This map shows the location of manufactured homes that were “red-tagged” as uninhabitable by a Latah County building inspector at Syringa Mobile Home Park, east of Moscow.  But is this example a common one, as NPR’s Zwerling suggests?  Or is the NPR story an exception that promotes a false narrative, as OMHA’s Tim Williams said?

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Tim Williams, OMHA Executive Director. For the interview, A Breakfast with, Tim Williams, click here.

Indeed, the Inside MH video series routinely reflects that Williams’ view is the common one.

Most manufactured home owners and community residents MHProNews and MHLivingNews have spoken with over the years expressed satisfaction with their lifestyle and homes.  Third party research suggests the same reality.

Most community operators and other industry professionals understand that only fair and proper treatment of customers and residents makes for a good, sound long term business.

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Profiles about manufactured home owners, including facts that suggest satisfaction with their lifestyle, are found in the report linked from the image above. Image credit, Foremost Insurance, provided to MHLivingNews.com. To see their report, click here.

Manufactured Home Resident Satisfaction

Foremost Insurance reported to MHLivingNews that the vast majority of manufactured home owners plan to live in their home from 6 years to the rest of their life.

A study by the manufactured housing division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reported by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), indicated that just a fraction of 1 percent of all manufactured home buyers end up in dispute resolution; a reverse indicator of satisfaction.

And while most manufactured home owners are of more modest means, informed professionals know that the middle class, actors and even frugal millionaires live in manufactured homes.

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70 percent of manufactured home owners plan to stay in their homes long term, credit, Foremost report, linked above.

Those facts counter the impression of manufactured home owners as helpless victims.

NPR’s Report – Fair and Balanced Journalism? 

Pew’s Journalism.org reported their findings of trust in media earlier this year. Among the findings? “Only about two-in-ten Americans (22%) trust the information they get from local news.” National news fared even worse, with only “18% say the same [trust] of national organizations.” Gallup did a more recent survey that revealed similar findings; namely, that trust in media has sunk to at or near all-time lows.

NPR’s bio of the journalist in question reads in part, “Zwerdling has served as an adjunct professor of Media Ethics in the communications department at American University in Washington, D.C.”

To set the context of the NPR report and for the full published bio of their correspondent – “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” – please click here.

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Image credit, SOJ, see download linked from above or below.

Ethical Standards of Journalism…

To see the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Standard of Ethics, please click here. That SPJ code of ethics includes such admonitions as, quoting:

– Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.

– Label advocacy and commentary.

– Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information.

Minimize Harm

Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.

Journalists should:

– Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.

– Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage.

– Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.

Did NPR hit or miss those Ethical Marks?

In considering this partial list of ethical standards, shown above, did Zwerdling and NPR’s researchers/producers/writers editors consider the impact on:

  • manufactured home producers,
  • communities,
  • retailers,
  • suppliers,
  • other business and
  • home owners

from an article that implied that manufactured home owners are victims, and that manufactured home community operators as heartless souls who care only about their profit?

The manufactured housing industry must learn to define itself, or others will define manufactured homes, professionals, residents and home owners, often to their disadvantage,” said L. A. “Tony” Kovach, publisher of MHProNews.

Again, the SPJ code of professional ethics is linked here.

Follow Up

MHProNews has provided a series of detailed questions to NPR to elicit their response.  Williams responded with numerous details in about an hour, while NPR has acknowledged our request for information, but failed to respond with any details over 5.5 hours later.

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Video report with powerful insights and links to third party experts, sharing compelling insights about manufactured homes.

The portions of the NPR report on Magar E. Magar and that community in Moscow, ID are not inaccurate. But as Tim Williams explains, what Zwerdling has done is twist that report into a broader, and inaccurate or false representation of the manufactured home industry and MH Community sector. Our follow up report will include more from Williams, and other facts overlooked by NPR – including any reply they may make.

With affordable housing at crisis levels in many parts of the nation, and manufactured housing being reported by some as the solution that is hiding in plain sight, industry professionals must find ways to work with the media and public officials to properly understand and portray the facts vs. the myths about manufactured homes and communities.

The Daily Business News and/or MHLivingNews plans a more detailed follow up story that will include NPR’s replies, if any. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

soheylakovachmhlivingnewsmhpronews

Soheyla Kovach.

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