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Housing Policy, and Pragmatism – Bridging the Gap – Conservatives AND Liberals, or Conservatives VS. Liberals?

March 1st, 2019 Comments off
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Still of “TR” from video, below. Truly inspirational, and insightful, on numerous levels.

MHLivingNews recently featured a report where Democrats and Republicans came together in a bipartisan way to support manufactured homes as an important part of the solution the affordable housing crisis in their state.  That report is linked here and below.

 

 

Those lawmakers looked at facts, figures, and the reality of manufactured homes – not party labels, or outdated notions.  That’s how they overcame their party differences.  They were pragmatic.

 

Democrats, Republicans Agree – “Manufactured Homes Can Play a Vital Role in Easing” the Affordable Housing Shortage

 

Stating the obvious can bring clarity to an issue. Words have meanings. What follows is a practical matter to affordable housing advocates in general, including manufactured home professionals, as the example just noted exemplifies.

Words and their meaning can either divide or unite. Finding not some nebulous ‘compromise,’ but rather the truth that can be acted upon is how understanding facts can span the gaps that need to be bridged.

Affordable housing is a problem.  Properly understood, manufactured homes are an important part of the solution.

 

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For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

 

Repetition vs. Reality and the Truth

Some things are believed simply because – right or wrong – they are often repeated.

Often repeating a falsehood or a half-truth is proven to be an effective tool for spreading propaganda.  That’s why critical thinking is necessary.

With respect to manufactured homes, the thought provoking factoids posted helps cut through noise that may cause some to say, ‘Eureka! I get it!’  The infographic below is from data collected in 2018.

 

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Conservatives AND Liberals, Not Conservatives VS. Liberals

The word ‘conservative’ comes from the root word, ‘to conserve.’ That means, don’t waste, protect the environment, hold fast to good principles, etc.  Think about it. Aren’t those qualities that most could agree upon?

The meaning of ‘classical liberalism’ is a close cousin to conservative. The classical liberal wants maximum freedom. Conservatives want freedom too.  The video below explains classical liberalism. Most if asked after watching this video would likely say, that they are a classical liberal. Once someone understands what a conservative is, many more would say they are conservatives than now do.

 

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This is not from the video above, but provides a useful reference for journalists and thinkers.

 

Properly understood, the word ‘progress’ is not a dirty word either.

 

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Progress for workers and business – in much of the 1900s was seen by many as dependent on breaking up monopoly power. After about 3 decades of less antitrust action, there is a new interest among Democrats, by President Trump, and some in the GOP of this issue. Wheat and Chaff.

 

An early American progressive” was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. President Teddy Roosevelt (TR) changed over the years, but at a key point in his life, he fostered what became the national park system. TR was also a “trust buster,” who worked to break up monopolies – known in those days a ‘trusts’ – so that small businesses and workers alike would benefit.  Teddy would have been very comfortable with the Open Markets philosophy during that phase of his career.

 

POTUS TR used the phrase “Square Deal” to capture the notion that everyone should get an equal or fair opportunity. This first video from Free School, published on May 14, 2015.

 

 

The History of Theodore [Teddy] Roosevelt – A Short Story – video below.  Some similar points to the above, but also some unique points between the two.

 

 

 

 

Just as Republican Abraham Lincoln was the president who thankfully freed the slaves, it was more from the GOP than Democrats passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 

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History, once looked at closely with an open mind, can be full of surprises.  The above and below are here so that those who want to divide people based upon racial or other claimed issues are corrected, based upon the facts.

This is mentioned for several reasons. Each major party – and the minor parties – have people who wanted progress. Each has those who want to conserve. It is too much to say that the various views of parties agree on all things. That noted, there can be far more agreement if pragmatic approaches that look at facts, and don’t demonize the other, are used.

So, while it is true that some individuals who harbor ill intent must be ‘defeated’ – somewhat like a criminal must be arrested – the flaws of the few should not be imposed on the many who on the surface may appear to be from a seemingly similar group.

Simplified, facts and reality matter.  If more people stick with facts and strive to draw conclusions based upon facts and evidence, not only would our industry advance, but so too would our country.

There is no affordable housing solution more proven than manufactured homes.  The infographic below is from data collected in 2018.

 

 

Don’t Lump Everyone In, Allow for Areas of Agreement, Wheat and Chaff

There are those who question why we press upon certain issues, people, or groups.  First, let’s note that MHProNews has routinely made nuanced distinctions.  While we do question and hold to account – for example – the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for years of apparent failure to perform in a measurable way.  But that doesn’t mean we are condemning all MHI staff or members. We never have, nor would we lump everyone into one bucket in that fashion.

We may disagree with a company’s business practices, but that doesn’t mean that we condemn those working for that firm.  Wheat and chaff, on all things.  Even a problematic company or person, may have some worthwhile quality or principle.

There are policy points that editorially we’ve disagreed with Democrats on, but the same is true for some GOP policy positions.  That’s why we are political independents.

Just as businesses must turn a profit and professionals in business must perform to reasonable standards in a hopefully honorable way, that same measuring gauge ought to be held up for politicians, associations and their staff.

 

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Design by MHProNews.

 

Summary and Takeaways

There are some who are so in it only for themselves, or their masters, that they choose not to reason.  Those types may need to be ‘defeated’ in discussion or debate, so that their behavior is discredited.

But perhaps the majority of professionals – given the opportunity to work based upon facts, not opinions – can often find ways to work together in an effective way.  Employers don’t ask for a party membership card, or who the employee voted for in the last election.  People are expected to work together regardless of some protected class or belief they may hold.

MHProNews stresses facts, routinely cites sources, uses evidence, and common sense (i.e.: logic, reason).  Our once many times greater industry in scope ought to be soaring, not snoring. There are a variety of steps that ought to be considered to make the industry’s untapped potential to turn millions of renters into owners.  There are many ways that manufactured housing could be considered – based upon proven experience – as a viable option without resorting to the problematic and untested ‘new class of home’ scheme.

That’s this afternoon’s “Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

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

New Inductees Into State’s Manufactured Housing Industry Hall of Fame Announced

Manufactured Home Industry Professionals Feedback, Manufactured Housing Institute and Zoning Related Issues – Part 1

Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Agencies Probing Giant Equity Lifestyle Over Years of Alleged Senior Abuses at MH Community

March 27th, 2018 Comments off

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Several Oregon state agencies are investigating a manufactured home park for seniors in Eugene, amid complaints that it cheated some residents out of thousands of dollars,” says the Associated Press (AP).

 

The Register-Guard reports that those investigating the Falcon Wood Village park [sic] include the Department of Justice and the Department of Consumer and Business Services,” per KTVZ.

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The Oregon-based Register-Guard newspaper states that it has identified five cases from 2010 to 2013 in which residents agreed to allow the ELS owned community, Falcon Wood Village, to sell their homes for them.  But upon sale of the homes, only a small fraction of the ultimate selling price was allegedly paid to the seller.

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Local media photos include those like the one at the top of this post, while other views of the same ELS owned community include appealing photos like the one shown immediately above.

The claims by residents include that they were in difficult financial straits when they agreed to the sales.

After an internal audit, the Chicago-based Equity Lifestyle Properties, fired its regional manager Jeff Wehrung in Oregon in January, per AP, but the Register-Guard says it is unclear if Wehrung quit voluntarily or was terminated.

ELS says it’s cooperating with investigators.

Because of pending legal claims, the various parties involved are making only limited statements about the matter, summarized by the above.

ELS is a publicly traded company, and one of the largest operators of land-lease communities in the manufactured housing industry. The closing numbers for their stock last night are found in the report linked here.  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party image credits are as shown.)

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

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Barron’s – Will Freestone Capital Become Next Public Manufactured Home Community Operator?

July 25th, 2017 Comments off

FreestoneCapitalManagementBarronsManufactruiedHomeIndustryCommunitiesParksDailyBusinessNewssMHProNewsFreestone Capital Management, an investing firm based in Seattle, WA, has spent the last decade working their way into becoming one of the larger owners of manufactured home communities in the United States.

Now they are setting their sights on becoming even bigger.  And perhaps, going public.

It all started just after the 2008-09 financial crisis, when Freestone’s founder Gary Furukawa purchased three manufactured home communities.

After operating them for a few years the value of his investment was clear.

The case study by Freestone Capital Management found that benefits of owning manufactured home communities include the increasing demand for low-income housing, and relatively low capital expense, among other factors.

Per their website, Freestone is known for diversified endowment-type portfolios – and they work with both wealth management and investing management for their 950 clients.

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Manufactured Home Land-Lease Community is shown for illustration purposes only. Graphic credits, Financial Services Perspective, Bradley.

Investing in the manufactured home community sector on behalf of those clients made sense to them – and they’re preparing to continue to reap the benefits of this growing and much-needed industry.

According to Barrons, the firm has already invested $300 million in manufactured housing – specifically in communities that have around a 70 percent occupancy.

Right now, the report says that those investments are generating about a 7 percent yield.  But as occupancy grows – their obvious goal – the return on those investments should rise even more over time.

Our business case is to take [occupancy] to 95%, so the yield goes up a lot,” says Erik Morgan, senior advisor of the firm. “And we’re large enough to maybe take that private investment and make it public.”

ErikMorganSeniorPartnerInvestmentManagementFreeStoneCapitalDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeLandLeaseCommunityResearchReportsMHProNewsWhile many investors are looking to move into the digital age, focusing their investments into stocks like Amazon and Microsoft, Freestone is looking into a more long-term venture that they expect to see yielding them and their investors big returns in the future.

Our focus is typically on trying to find great businesses trading at attractive prices and owning those businesses for a long time,” Morgan says.

Morgan, who was named Barron’s Best Advisor in Washington, started off his career investing in those same sorts of stocks like Amazon – which ended up being a good investment in the long-haul – but he decided that wasn’t the direction in which he wanted to see his career go.

These days, working with Gary Furukawa and 29 other investors at Freestone, Morgan says they are looking to invest in cheap stocks, rather than the hot stocks that pose a higher risk to them and their clients.

Amazon remains a strong long-term opportunity, especially given the signals from their recent bid for acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

But Morgan believes that more traditional investments, like real estate – specifically the manufactured home community sector – are and should be their current focus.

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With $300 million already invested in manufactured home land-lease communities, Gary Furukawa, Erik Morgan, and their 29 associates believe they are in the right market.

Affordable housing is something that will always be in demand. Manufactured homes appeal to more than just low-income workers, as even millionaires and celebrities own manufactured homes.

It’s clear they’re confident in their investment in manufactured home communities – and why wouldn’t they be? # # (News, analysis.)

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

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

 

The Curious Case of a Sewer System… Or Not

May 27th, 2017 Comments off
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A look at the community in the 70’s. Credit: Post Star.

An interesting situation is playing out in the case of a Moreau, New York manufactured home community.

According to the Post-Star, the owner of Bluebird Terrace is taking a unique stance on whether his community should get sewer service.

There are no septic system problems there,” said owner John Cannone.

But I also desperately need sewer.”

The confusing response from Cannone just scratches the surface of the issue. The Moreau Town Board has been considering the issue for weeks, but Cannone did not reach out to board members or attend the board meetings.

I read news coverage about it, but didn’t then check the town website for agendas or the meeting schedule,” said Cannone.

I never knew there was a meeting. I will be at the next one.”

The Town Board says that it could apply for a federal grant on Cannone’s behalf, to bring sewer service to the community, and the grant would like cover almost all costs. One board member objected on the grounds that Cannone should pay the costs himself; while another member said that the system was not necessary.

In his defense, Cannone says he fixed all the septic systems in the year after he bought the community, and the state Department of Health confirmed that in 2015, and the community passed inspection.

But recently, residents have complained about issues with backed up toilets and odors, so the Department of Health inspected the community earlier this month.

Credit: Post Star.

The Department did not find any septic systems in failure or any evidence of sewage on the ground,” the department said in a statement.

However, two minor violations were cited related to the security of two septic covers. Although the security of the covers do not impact the ability of the septic system to function properly, the Department is in the process of following up with the park operator to ensure that these violations have been corrected.”

Cannone says that he’s also had to pump out one septic tank twice in the last month, but doesn’t think there are any problems with it.

That can fill up a tank quick,” said Cannone. And, he still wants the sewer service.

That would be awesome. Most likely because of neglect in the past, I’ve spent a small fortune just pumping septics. It’s not a great thing.”

The town board is due to discuss the grant application again at a June 12 meeting. ##

 

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

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

 

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Habits to Make or Break for a Cleaner, Healthier Home

March 2nd, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: MHLivingNews.

It never fails. No matter how much you clean, it always seems that something comes up, spills, or gets dirt on it.

Why? Over the course of time, things happen. But, there are some things that you can do – or stop doing – to keep your home cleaner.

According to Houzz, there are a few common habits that you break to keep your home a cleaner, and healthier place to be.

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Credit: MHLivingNews.

If you’re walking around with your shoes on in the house, let your pets on the furniture, toss your clothes over the back of a chair or hoard stuff, this is for you.

The full article, available on MHLivingNews, is linked 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.