Posts Tagged ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe’

Thorns and Roses In Manufactured Home Community Controversy

February 13th, 2019 Comments off



Affordable housing is in crisis in much of America. Manufactured homes are the most proven solution that has been hiding in plain sight for decades.



As a recent report reminded readers, there were numerous third-party organizations and media reports in 2018 alone that to various degrees made the case for manufactured homes.

A focus group video of manufactured home owners, plus numerous real – vs. staged – interviews over the years demonstrate that the owners of pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-HUD Code manufactured homes routinely love their homes. 

Tiny houses get tons of media love. So do RVs. But manufactured homes are less costly per square foot than either of those two options. Conventional housing isn’t perfect either, as mainstream media reports reflect.


Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes


So, given each of those realites, how does one explain why manufactured homes are not more widely embraced?

As the Daily Business News on MHProNews reader ponders that question, mindful that research studies prove those points, turn to the next item.

Manufactured home communities (MHCs) are a useful part of that affordable housing solution.

MHCs have been increasingly in demand among investors for a decade or so. With few new MHCs coming on-line in recent years, and with thousands that have closed for various reasons, given the law of supply and demand, the property values on remaining MHCs have been steadily rising.

That in turn means rising site fees in MHCs, which has often sparked a hue and cry among resident-activists. 

The combination of factors has prompted a steady growth in the movement for residents owned communities or ROCs. 

While support for ROCs can span the left-right divide, it is fair to say that anecdotally, more support tends to come from those who self-identify with the political left.  

There are numerous currents and eddies that influences public perceptions about manufactured homes and communities. Despite the rollout of this or that previous effort by MHI, Clayton Homes, or others, the following reality is clear.

Manufactured homes are not connecting with the broad swatches of the public. That’s indisputably proven by the low total new home production numbers. It’s a post-production Issue.

Now, what to do about reality?



In a stated desire to boost public perceptions, ROC USA launched the #NobleNotMobile effort. The jury is still out, but so far, there’s not a lot of visible traction. That said, the notion is, well, a noble one. It is certainly better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

There are a number of resident groups in the U.S. ROCs are a standard staple in their narratives. 

Then, there are manufactured home post-production associations that have a stake in the image of the industry.

Given the collective poor performance in new home sales of any number of states, or the low national production totals of HUD Code manufactured homes, one might think that MHI, Clayton, et al, would awaken to the notion that public perceptions matter.

Indeed, their leaders have said that they do.

For those realists who grasp that public perception is an issue, consider the publicly posted comments that follow. 




Those are a sampling of what has been posted on articles about the Millie Francis religious art controversy.

When Francis was asked by MHProNews if she thought this would be an issue if the painting where a menorah, a Star of David, a painting of Buddha or the prophet Mohamed, she replied “Absolutely not.” She is convinced that an element of this issue is what is painted. Given the examples of angels or other religious art in the same community, one might wonder.

Industry feedback has been mixed.

But consider this comment from the community sector, “Tony, Brian Gallagher is right in saying that we in the community business have residents with religious or secular art visible outdoors year round. The additional details from that [mainstream news] story [Tony] posted [on LinkedIn] makes it clear to me just how wrong the Bradenton Tropical Palms seem to be.”

Others may say that they care, but they also say that for this or that reason, they don’t want to get involved in this specific controversy.

Why not? Is it because religion is involved? Doesn’t that topic resonate with potentially millions of Americans our industry may want to attract?  Or would we rather turn that – and other target audiences off – by allowing this Bradenton Tropical Palms/ROC issue to fester?

Meanwhile, the Millie Francis saga rolls on. There is every reason to expect more mainstream news stories, like the one below, or perhaps more reports that have less balance that could make the matter worse. Take five, click the image or link, and read it.


Thorns and Roses in MHVille

Various species of natural roses have thorns. With one in 3 new manufactured homes, per MHI, going into land lease communities and with large numbers of vacant sites still awaiting residents, one might think that MHI or their NCC would have acted to nip-in-the-bud stories like this one about Francis. 

No one is saying that MHI, ROCs, resident groups – or anyone other than the Bradenton Tropical Palms, Vanguard Management or the Knox and Levine law firm – have caused the current state of affairs for Millie Francis, based upon the currently known information. 

But just as one may stop to help an injured stranger, isn’t there wisdom in trying to sort out how this matter might be brought to a positive end that could turn negatives into a positive?

At Valentines, some clip the thorns off roses before they are given to a loved one. Why hasn’t one or more of the industry’s leaders stood up to the plate, and turned a problem into an opportunity?



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MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine


Publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s commentary on this topic is linked above. More details are found linked below the byline, offers, and notices.   manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?


State-Level Data Provided for Total Manufactured Home Shipments in 5 Key States for 2018







MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

February 10th, 2019 Comments off



It’s no secret. Not everything in life is sunshine and roses. Indeed, in order to have roses, one needs hydration – like rain that falls from the cloudy sky – and nutrition with fertilizers that are either natural or man-made.


A fundamental premise of free enterprise is to spot a problem and conceive of ways that an inconvenient or negative situation may become an opportunity to serve others, and thereby earn money.

A fundamental principle of human decency is to see someone in distress, and to step in an act solo or in concert on their behalf.

As an affordable housing crisis rages in America, and manufactured homes (MH) are the wildly misunderstood proven solution hiding in plain sight. So why hasn’t some MH industry leader or organization intervened in this troubling controversy that unexpectedly embroiled resident-home-owner, Millie Francis?

Community operator Brian Gallagher is correct in telling MHProNews that conventional housing has its share of controversies involving home owners’ associations (HOAs).  While true, its manufactured housing that is misunderstood, not conventional housing.

There are any number of organizations or individuals who should feel motivated to resolve the issue of 85-year-old Millie Francis in a manner that respects her rights and wishes.  They could do so in a way that might allow the Bradenton Tropical Palms, Vanguard Management, or the Knox and Levine law firm to save face.


Before proceeding with some of those who could benefit by such an intervention, let’s summarize what the issues are to inform new readers about this controversy, as well as provide a refresher for the thousands of manufactured home industry professionals who have already read about this previously.


Reported Facts and Assertions:


  • Millie Francis lives in a resident owned community (ROC), the Bradenton Tropical Palms, in Bradenton, FL.
  • According to a statement from Mrs. Francis to MHProNews this morning, her issues with Bradenton Tropical Palms community manager Janet Nowakowski long predate her placement of a faith-inspired artistic display.
  • After “years” of that community’s security service shining a spotlight into her home during nighttime hours like “2 [AM] o’clock in the morning,” along with other privacy incidents, Francis tells MHProNews that she decided to have her front window replaced to end the annoyances. Francis stated that she advised management. They gave her their okay.
  • There may be incomplete and/or unsubmitted community required paperwork involved in this controversy.
  • Manager Janet Nowakowski reportedly observed on several occasions the artwork as it was being done on the street facing of Francis’ pre-HUD Code mobile homes. It wasn’t until after the artwork commissioned by Francis was completed by professional artist IngridBrandt that Nowakowski, per Francis, demanded its removal.  That insight from Francis to MHProNews today may undermine any argument that the Bradenton Tropical Palms might raise.
  • Other homes in that same community have similar, often large displays on the exteriors facing the street. Those others cases could be viewed as either secular or religious, as can Francis’ art. Some are attached to a mobile or manufactured home, others are not.
  • Francis is being threatened with eviction and legal action over this alleged infraction.
  • A new hearing with a state agency is scheduled for tomorrow, but it may be postponed.
  • Legal action could still ensue whatever the state agency decides.


Additional details are found at this link here:


Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?


The Drudge Report linked up this article below, which made the issue a global one.


The video below is from the same local news source, linked above.




In fairness to the Bradenton Tropical Palms, Vanguard Management, or Knox and Levine, are there possibly other unknown facts? Yes. That said, the Daily Business News on MHProNews – and this writer – have reached out more than once to get their perspectives.

The downloadable document linked here is a communication sent by email to attorneys Jessica Knox and Bryan Levine. It was also sent to another associate in their law office. It contains background and perspectives useful to understanding this issue. It clearly invited them to comment, clarify, contest or otherwise tell their client’s version of the events in writing.

Knox and Levine electronically confirmed receipt. But they exercised their right not to comment. So, if there is anything incomplete in the way of background or related details, that is on them.  Moving on.


Terminology and the proper respect are important. But doing the right things, at the right time, is arguably even more important.


Who is Harmed by the Hullabaloo? Who Could Benefit?

When one reads the public comments on various mainstream media news sites posted about this Millie Francis and her Our Lady of Guadalupe art issue, the harm to the image of the manufactured home (MH) industry and its homeowners becomes evident.

From the typical demeaning nomenclature, to put downs about that location, or of our industry and millions of factory-built home owners, there are a range of comments that should inspire the desire to correct the record. 

A reasonable question is this.  Those public comments are reminders that should inspire — whom?

First, those on the front lines of this arguably mishandled matter by the Bradenton Tropical Palms management and their attorneys. Once a mistake(s) occurs, the motivated professional question becomes, ‘what to do about it?’ How can one take lemons, and make lemonade?

Paul Bradley and ROC USA had the vision to launch #NobleNotMobile. Why aren’t they stepping up to the plate on this ROC connected Millie Francis odyssey?  Does it matter that it isn’t in their network?  They could possibly get more good PR from helping to resolve this one issue, than anything else that they could do this year.  The fact that it is outside of their network is a plus, from a PR perspective, not a minus.

What about NMHOA or MHAction? Or Doug Ryan at Prosperity Now? Here is a woman living in a resident owned community (ROC). Her experience-to-date flies in the face of their narrative of the supposed ‘economic security’ she as a shareholder in that ROC community is supposed to enjoy. How so?  Because Millie Francis’ ROC is effectively threatening to evict her over a disputed rules infraction.  Can you spell, black eye?

Where is MHAction and their merry band of protesters-on-demand? Why aren’t they standing up for Millie Francis’ rights?  Where’s Doug Ryan’s outrage, or any others in organizations like theirs?

There are any number of possible persons or groups that could step up and turn this obvious negative into a potential positive.

There are professionals and firms that have given away a manufactured home at Christmas time. That’s a fine gesture, that gets some free media. Why not protect Millie Francis’ home and her rights to religious expression? Why not be a heroine or hero in bringing to a hopefully happy conclusion this messy matter?

Francis says she loves her pre-HUD Code mobile home. But she and her health are disturbed by the way her ROC community has handled this and other issues.

As arguably the most covered single controversy in all of manufactured housing in 2018, how this story draws to a close could influence public perceptions about this part of the affordable housing industry for years.  As the Chinese axiom states, their characters for crisis means danger as well as opportunity in disguise.




The wrap this up logically, one or more of the following could occur.

  • Unsatisfactory conclusion for Millie Francis. If so, then given the nature of the internet, this unforced contusion on MHVille could be a stain for years to come. That’s especially true for the Bradenton Tropical Palms, but the impact will go beyond that location. It could possibly harm the image of ROCs, land-lease community living, and manufactured homes in general.
  • Millie Francis could die. Ditto the bullet above, and perhaps as bad or worse than if she was effectively evicted. See the download linked here for what that might spark. Because if she does die, then this tragic tale will likely live on in the next round of litigation that her kin could launch in the wake of a stress-induced death.
  • Management of this community, ROCs, and the attorneys could be defined by this episode for years. Is being “tough” on rules – even if the community happens to be right, which is debatable – would firmness be the right image to project to the world in this case? Management and their attorneys need to study the meaning of the term, “Pyrrhic victory.”
  • The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their National Community Council (NCC). MHI purportedly fails on a routine basis to live up to their own claim of ‘representing all aspects of factory-built housing.’ Seriously? Do MHI leaders want to be a mensch, or not? Do they want to be seen again as hypocritical or not?
  • Other land-lease community owners. Has anyone thought to offer to move Mrs. Francis and her home to their land-lease community? Artwork and all? Or to simply offer to ‘foot the bill’ for the paperwork fix of this nettlesome issue, and get years of good PR as a result?
  • The same bullet above about MHI could be posed to the industry’s largest firms. We’ve alleged that Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage have deftly used for years avoidable and artificial headwinds. Negative media are among those, as but one of Chairman Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway’s “sharks in the water” of their “Moat.” Kevin Clayton could set the resolution of this matter in motion with a text, an email or phone call. Ditto Tim Williams at 21st, Eric Hamilton at VMF, etc.
  • Public officials. The list here is extensive, and obvious from the points noted above.
  • Faith-based, First Amendment, or other special interest groups. Ditto the bullet above.


That sets the stage for what happens next.

MHProNews has reasons to believe that one or more mainstream media outlets will be doing another report soon.  That could spark yet another round of problematic media for MHVille.

Or – if someone steps up to the plate – it could be a rainbow at the end of this ongoing storm.

An 85-year-old retired nurse and widow is suffering for what she believes in. On a purely human compassion level, why hasn’t someone from MHVille or beyond stepped up and helped her resolved this?

Enough said for now.

That’s just part of what is occurring in what was once the aspirational manufactured home industry of the 1990s.  Our once robust industry today has since been shrunk down to MHVille. Will we learn how to grasp the opportunities-in-disguise that could revive our industry’s reputation?

With no further adieu, for more headlines of the news, analysis and commentary about the affordable side of the housing industry in the week that was, see the reports linked below.


What’s New on the Masthead


Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market


What’s New on MHLivingNews


Who Will Act? Will Senator Elizabeth Warren, and/or the Trump Administration Act to Restore Open Markets, Thereby Supporting Affordable Manufactured Homes?


What’s New from MHARR

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses



What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews


Saturday 2.9.2019

State of the Industry 2019 – Reality vs. Potential for Manufactured, Modular, and PreFab Homes? New Infographic

State of the Industry 2019 – Reality vs. Potential for Manufactured, Modular, and PreFab Homes? New Infographic


Friday 2.8.2019

  “Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

“Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

  What’s Coming at Cavco Industries (CVCO), Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Stock Updates

What’s Coming at Cavco Industries (CVCO), Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Stock Updates

  Russians Build Truly Mobile, “Mobile Home” – Lighter Side Videos Spark Serious Topics

Russians Build Truly Mobile, “Mobile Home” – Lighter Side Videos Spark Serious Topics

  Is POTUS Trump Racist? “Here Today, Here to Stay” – HUD Secretary Ben Carson Sounds Off

Is POTUS Trump Racist? “Here Today, Here to Stay” – HUD Secretary Ben Carson Sounds Off


Thursday 2.7.2019

  ‘Updating All Buildings,’ Other AOC “Green New Deal” – Mixed Reviews Among Democrats, GOP Jeers

‘Updating All Buildings,’ Other AOC “Green New Deal” – Mixed Reviews Among Democrats, GOP Jeers

  China, Trade, Tariffs, and Chicken – Plus Manufactured Home Equities Updates

  Meet the Revolutionaries in PreFab Housing Designs – Project Updates

Meet the Revolutionaries in PreFab Housing Designs – Project Updates

  MHVillage’s MHInsider on Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry Fact Check – Why Correct Data Matters

MHVillage’s MHInsider on Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry Fact Check – Why Correct Data Matters


Wednesday 2.6.2019

  Celebrating Capitalism Over Destructive Socialism? Highlights, As Talking Heads Weigh In, Plus MH Market Updates

  Cavco Industries (CVCO) Officials Issue Several Warnings

Cavco Industries (CVCO) Officials Issue Several Warnings

  SOTU 2019

SOTU 2019

  Lower Priced Homes Increase Most, Per Latest Housing Data from CoreLogic

Lower Priced Homes Increase Most, Per Latest Housing Data from CoreLogic


Tuesday 2.5.2019

  Real Rats and Disease – Not Metaphors – Where’s Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership?

Real Rats and Disease – Not Metaphors – Where’s Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership?

  Data Points Ahead of SOTU, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

  Manufactured Home Production Slide Continues – Call it Corruption, Collusion, Incompetence, Attempted Coverup – Self-Evident Failures Mount

Manufactured Home Production Slide Continues – Call it Corruption, Collusion, Incompetence, Attempted Coverup – Self-Evident Failures Mount

  Economic Opportunities Loom, Infrastructure and Opportunity Zones

Economic Opportunities Loom, Infrastructure and Opportunity Zones


Monday 2.4.2019

  Haverford Trust CIO Hank Smith on, Fed Policy, State of Economy, Recession Question – Plus, MH Market Updates

  Law Scrutinizes Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Score of Resident Owned Community (ROC) Deal

Law Scrutinizes Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Score of Resident Owned Community (ROC) Deal

  Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You\

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

  Sidney Powell, JD, Former Federal Prosecutor on “Licensed to Lie”

Sidney Powell, JD, Former Federal Prosecutor on “Licensed to Lie”


Sunday 2.3.2019

  Can Close Reading of Facts Bring Left & Right Together for MHVille, Nation?

Can Close Reading of Facts Bring Left & Right Together for MHVille, Nation?


Manufactured homes offer decades of proven solution to the affordable housing crisis. But until MHVille pros embrace the notion that negative media coverage ignored just makes the problems our profession face worse, we can only expect more of the same.


Almost any given problem is an opportunity in disguise.



As you ponder the linked reports above or further below, never forget that you are part of a larger housing industry that reportedly closed some $1.6 trillion dollars in sales in 2018. Manufactured homes closed under $8 trillion. The industry can do better.


If we are measured by those we serve, it is my hope that one or more people or organization’s will step up and lend Millie Francis and her adversaries – that should be her allies – a hand to bring this episode to a happy close.

That’s this week’s recap of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Headline news, week in review, news, commentary, and analysis.)

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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments


Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”








Biggest Manufactured Home Living Story? Millie Francis’ Our Lady of Guadalupe Mobile Home Art, Religious Liberty, Heading to Mediation, Arbitration or Litigation

January 23rd, 2019 Comments off


It’s the top mainstream news story involving the industry that too few manufactured housing (MH) profession leaders seem to grasp – or are willing to tackle.



Nevertheless, it’s perhaps the biggest one in years to impact our flailing segment of the affordable housing industry.

Once the ubiquitous Drudge Report linked up the account of Millie Francis and her public display of Our Lady of Guadalupe, numerous other mainstream media outlets picked up the subject.




Scores of news sources have run variations of her tale. It includes Francis’ battle with her resident owned community’s (ROC) management company and on-site manager Janet Nowakowski, whom Francis claims is in violation of community rules, while selectively enforcing others.

Legal opinions and other manufactured home industry professional have weighed in with their views.

What mainstream media stresses Francis’ determined “They’ll have to kill me first” statement, standing before her now iconic painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the street facing of her pre-HUD Code mobile home comes down.

The Bradenton Tropical Palms resident owned community’s management hired the law firm, Knox and Levine, to pressure Francis into removing the painted image of the Madonna, the mother of Jesus under her venerated image as Our Lady of Guadalupe (OLG).




Devout Catholics see OLG as the patroness of the Americas, and of the unborn.




A Bradenton city official has told MHProNews that they are aware of the drama, and recommend that Francis contact a Fair Housing organization in the area. That mirrors other legal commentary shared on-and-off the record to MHProNews, previously reported at the link here.  One example is shown below.





The Millie Francis, Our Lady of Guadalupe Drama Synopsis 

Millie Francis found herself in a firestorm over a painting she was “inspired” to commission while at mass as she prepared to receive holy communion at Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton, FL.

Francis told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that she is seeking an off-ramp from the drama, but does not want to have the image painted by artist Ingrid Brandt removed.

Francis pointed out to MHProNews other examples of architectural changes in that same section of Bradenton Tropical Palms community she lives in that involve the use of dolphins, geckos, or other symbols.  Those other examples may also be viewed as religious in nature.




Which begs the questions, why is Francis’ painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe causing persecution? Why are the others apparently accepted by the resident owned community’s management? Is Francis’ interest in the cooperative ‘resident owned community’ somehow inferior to that of others who live there?




Part of the caustic elements in the evolution of this matter is that the entire affair was arguably sparked by the resident owned community’s own security company.




The security service would reportedly drive by Francis’ home at night, shining a light through her pre-HUD Code mobile home’s window. Some ‘stranger’ would also come by, said Francis, who would peer in.  That individual was apparently not spotted or stopped by security in the gated Brandenton Tropical Palms.

So, as a result of those incidents, Francis asked for and was given permission by that ROC to do what others at that property have done, architecturally remove and replace her front window.

A source close to Francis told MHProNews that this hullabaloo may be traced to something as simple as incomplete paperwork. If so, then why all the threats of litigation and eviction over a powerful cultural and religious symbol?

The Orlando Sentinel produced a short video, that included the still-video-frame of a comically evil-looking, mustachioed manager posted above. Is that the image that ROCs or others in the manufactured home industry want?  If not, where is the action to intervene and bring this to a proper resolution?  Why not let Francis fill out and sign a few papers, and let her keep her artwork, as others in the same community have been allowed to do?

The most recent video about this tragi-comic tale is posted below.




Behind the Veil of the Media Narrative

It is noteworthy that the art has its own legal protection under Florida law. But that law may not necessarily protect the artwork exactly where it is currently located, which is Francis’ stated desire.

The media accounts metaphorically paint Francis as a tough, 85-year-old woman, who will die before she gives up that commissioned art work.

While Francis is indeed determined, she is also a heart patient. The stress over this issue could kill her. When we spoke in person, she had to pause and catch her breath. Tears came to her eyes, as Francis shared the unexpected development of her circumstances.

A brief, follow-up phone call from MHProNews with the valiant senior revealed she was having her heart examined by medical professionals, apparently due to her distress.

A sense of the sheer breath of news coverage are found in the Google screen captures as shown. Well over 100,000 online links to this topic are reported by Google.




Mediation? Arbitration? Litigation?

A possible mediator for Francis has stepped forward. That party spoke to MHProNews at length, off-the-record. While trained in mediation, he is not an attorney. It remains to be seen if he can find a compromise with Knox and Levine.

Otherwise, the case will head to arbitration or the courts.




Where are the Manufactured Home Industry’s Non-Profits?

At the time Millie Francis spoke to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, she was unaware of any activity by any nonprofit on her behalf. There is no known indication since which indicates that has changed. Which should make any industry professional wonder, where are resident and/or trade groups such as:


  • Prosperity Now
  • MHAction
  • #NobleNotMobile
  • Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA)
  • Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)


on this issue, which has focused global attention on Manufactured Home Living since the Drudge Report linked a news story up?

Perhaps the most in-depth report – and one of the highest ranked among some of this morning’s Google searches – is the one posted on MHProNews. It is found at the link here, and in the related references below the byline.



It should be disclosed that MHProNews provided the Drudge Report with a document containing pages of evidence about Mille Francis’ Our Lady of Guadalupe case. That was sent to the Drudge team prior to our own publication of the report linked here and below.

Within hours of the email shown in the screen capture below, Francis’ narrative was linked up by news media maven Drudge.




A similar document as the one sent to the Drudge team, sent to the Bradenton Tropical Palms, is linked here as a download.  The parties certainly ought to know how badly this looks.  So, why haven’t they taken a bite of humble pie, and quietly resolved this with Millie Francis?

For reasons made clear in the in-depth report found linked below, which included third-party expert legal commentary, MHProNews editorially believes that the Bradenton Tropical Palms is harming Millie Francis’ civil and religious rights. They and their attorneys are thus arguably negatively impacting the interests of not only Francis, but that of the entire manufactured home industry and its millions of homeowners too.

After all, ponder how this appears to outsiders looking in. If millions of manufactured and mobile home owners live in a land-lease, and this is the kind of treatment that residents receive?  How can that be anything other than a negative reflection on our entire profession?

Examples of how the public has reacted to this are predictable, with some examples posted at the detailed report, linked below the byline.



All of the positive efforts of the industry are moot if post-production industry leaders are not wise enough to step up to the plate and help resolve this vexing matter in a positive way. If they won’t do it out of compassion for the rights of Millie Francis, then they should act out of pure self interest. Either way, they should act.


Sense of Urgency?

There ought to be some urgency for the industry’s post-production associations and non-profits to step in and help resolve this matter in a favorable fashion. Francis’ health is an obvious issue. Her rights are purportedly being violated, say legal experts. Plus, these troubling headlines and related reports will likely continue for weeks or months.  That will continue to forge a problematic stereotype about our industry, at the very time – the growing affordable housing crisis – that the opposite image is being portrayed than what is needed.

It’s baffling that one or more post-production industry nonprofits have reportedly not already stepped up to help settle this case.  As the meme from the Orlando Sentinel exemplifies, this makes a ROC and manufactured home communities in general look like a monster picking on an 85-year-old heart patient, a devout Catholic Christian who felt inspired to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Ouch.

Angels? Geckos? Dolphins? Those are all apparently okay.

But the Catholic patroness of the unborn and of the Americas? That’s apparently a no-no at the Bradenton Tropical Palms in Florida.

An affordable housing crisis grows.  The National Association of Realtors and others favorably spotlighted in 2018 manufactured homes as the most affordable type of permanent home ownership in America.  Nevertheless, due in no small measure to a stream of incidents – including this one – the opportunity for doing more good is misunderstood and maligned.

Warren Buffett is a well-known, big-time supporter of abortion. Apparently, the secular Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington masters of MHVille won’t lift a finger to come to the side of their own industry and this ailing Catholic widow.

What words does one find to describe the outrage this episode should spark from coast-to-coast among industry pros and investors?  What words should describe the way this impacts manufactured home owners, and what is more typically an appealing lifestyle?

MHVille’s so-called corporate and non-profit leaders?  Where’s your leadership on this top-headline issue? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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Millie Francis, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC Resident, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Religious Discrimination, Fair Housing Act=Media Drama Continues

January 21st, 2019 Comments off

The geckos on the left are in some cultures religious icons, one of many actual or potential examples in the same section of the community Millie Francis lives in, which parallels what she did with her home on the right.  Why is one on the right drawing pressure, and the other, not? 

The stark saga of 85-year old Millie Francis and the theatre involving her pre-HUD Code mobile home has made the page of the ubiquitous Drudge Report since our previous update, linked here.


As one of the most trafficked news websites on earth, when the Drudge team links up a topic, it means that subject has gone global.

Drudge linked to a report from the Bradenton Herald.   That local media reported late last week – included the video posted below – from their page, linked here.  This MHProNews update will complement their work, while exploring comments from manufactured home industry professionals, including 2 legal perspectives.  This Daily Business News account will thus plow new ground on this vexing controversy, that has put manufactured home living and alleged religious intolerance in the global spotlight.

Like it or not, the handling by the Bradenton Tropical Palms of this issue is no doubt adding to the stereotypical images that have dogged our part of the affordable housing industry, as quotes from the general public further below will attest.

Hear what Millie Francis has to say.



Meeting Millie, Hearing Her Story

The Daily Business News on MHProNews team met with Millie Francis in person Saturday evening, 1.19.2019.  That was one day after the mainstream media report linked here and the video above were published.

Among the points Francis raised in roughly an hour of on-the-record comments included her contention that there are several examples of unequal treatment occurring at Bradenton Tropical Palms. The featured image, and the image-laced download attached here, illustrate her points.

Before turning to specifics about her stated concerns, consider the pull-quotes from reporter Mark Young’s prior report in the Bradenton Herald. 

Young’s reporting thoughtfully raised issues useful in understanding the broader scope of what sparked this controversy Francis finds herself enmeshed in.

Young’s narrative made plain that Francis was purportedly reacting to the actions of her community’s management. Meaning, this commissioned artwork wasn’t something she did on a whim.  Rather, her decision flowed from a series of prior events that the community’s management itself arguably sparked.

Each of the following bullets are quotes from Young’s previous article, linked here.

  • “The painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico, is on the wood where her front window used to be. Francis wanted the window removed because the park’s security would shine their flashlights into the window at night, and she used to have a neighbor who liked to peek in to see what she was doing.
  • So in April, she informed the park that she wanted to remove the window and received permission to do so.
  • I didn’t know what I wanted to do in that space,” Francis said. “I was at church during Mass just before communion. To be honest, I wasn’t concentrating much on Mass because I was preoccupied with what am I going to do with this board? I said, ‘Please dear Lord, help me decide on what I want to do.’ I don’t want to say I had a vision or anything like that, but felt enlightened and received the inspiration from our Lady of Guadalupe to paint her image. So I promised that I would.”
  • Other residents have a variety of things in their front yards from dolphins to angels, but for some reason management decided Francis’ painting had to come down.
  • [Janet] Nowakowski [property manager for Vanguard Property Management out of Tampa, and also a community resident] first said Francis didn’t get permission through the park’s architectural review committee, but she did get permission to remove the window.”

To oversimplify the above for clarity, Millie Francis made this ‘architectural change’ as a result of actions and/or inactions by the resident owned community’s (ROC) security company. Francis has the right to privacy in her residence. That right to peaceful enjoyment of her home was being impinged upon, as the first bullet/quote above noted.

Another point from Young’s previous narrative for the Bradenton Herald is that Francis had a near-death experience.  Here is how Young described that episode, which preceded the more recent events involving her window being replaced by the painting on that OSB/plywood.

  • “Millie Francis, 85, is a devout Catholic and makes no apologies for her relationship with God and the Virgin Mary. About 16 years ago, she was having her sixth stent placed into her heart and while in recovery, she slipped away. Francis was clinically dead for more than 15 minutes.
  • Her family and Catholic priest at the time, surrounding her hospital bed, thought she had passed, but when she awoke, it was called a miracle that she not only returned to the living, but also didn’t suffer any brain damage from the long period without oxygen.
  • I’m blessed,’ Francis said. “At first I was asking my son why am I back here? I was with St. Jude. I didn’t want to come back. But I feel blessed to know I have more to do.””

Francis’ faith may differ from billions of others, but it is fair to say that she is a true believer.  The combination of the Bradenton Tropical Palms management’s actions, and her faith, led to this current standoff that has made news world-wide.


Legal and Industry Views on the Millie Francis Saga

Based upon our previous report and that of the Herald linked here, an attorney sent the following off-the-record comments to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

  • “Mrs. Francis should not agree to arbitration unless it is “non-binding.”
  • Mrs. Francis attorneys should ask to see the paperwork from any and all other residents who have added anything “artistic” to their homes.
  • I noticed that the artist remarked:  Brandt said she understands both sides, “But I do believe she should be able to keep it and it’s not hurting anyoneThere are a lot of people in that park that have different things on their trailers and some are religious as well. With her faith, this is what she wanted.”  This should of course be documented.
  • The local fair housing organization/group should be notified as they may wish to get involved (i.e. religious discrimination may be a factor here).”

That italics and red were in the original, and the last quoted bullet is noteworthy.  The significance of that will become more evident, as a fair housing attorney similarly weighed in on that last point, on-the-record. That attorney’s insights follow the comments from a manufactured home community operator, below.


Brian Gallagher. Credit: LinkedIn.

It’s [issues like Francis’] not unique to our industry.  In fact, our industry has the advantage of common ownership of the sites and the ability to control to some degree what goes on a site (as opposed to a stick- built neighborhood without an association).  If this were one of our communities, I’d go to the Rules and Regs, and hope that we’d enforced them equally.  We certainly have religious statues in our communities year-round (as opposed to seasonal nativity scenes).  They don’t seem to offend anyone, but I can see how someone would draw the line on this much larger version,” said Brian Gallagher, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Santefort Real Estate Group, LLC.


Here’s an example of what’s going on elsewhere.



Thanks for your [MHProNews] efforts on behalf of the industry,” Gallagher said.


Fair Housing Attorney, Nadeen Green


Nadeem Green, JD, Fair Housing Attorney, author, and instructor.

If what other media has reported is accurate, then there is a strong possibility that the treatment of Millie Francis is contrary to the Fair Housing Act [FHA].  Religion has been a protected class under the FHA since its inception in 1968 (the FHA came into being one week after the assassination of Dr. King; something to think about as we celebrate his life and accomplishments today).  If [Millie] Francis has been treated differently than others who have displayed religious art of any nature, or if she is being held to administrative minutia purely as a pretext to require the removal of her art, then that is wrong for a number of reasons, including legal ones,” said Nadeen Green, JD.

Green was been known for years as the “Fair Housing Lady.”  As an attorney, she taught fair housing law in venues in numerous states, and has been a writer for the multifamily housing industry for years, including prior to her retirement, for MHProNews.

It is thus fair to say that Green is an expert on such Fair Housing Law related issues.  Her point that the Fair Housing Act may have been violated here thus ought to be taken seriously.



Next Legal Steps?

A hearing is looming regarding this matter involving Francis’ painting in the days ahead. Francis seemed uncertain of the precise date.

MHProNews has reached out to several parties involving these matters, but given the federal holiday weekend, most of them have not yet replied. That includes the community, the management company, and the law firm they’ve retained to deal with these troubling concerns.

A message sent by MHProNews to the community’s management company is linked here as a download. Similar messages have been sent to others for comments and reactions.


A Broader Context, plus Millie Francis’ Stated Desire

The relevance of issues of faith to Francis’ journey with her community’s management is beyond question.

But before diving into the faith-related components, let’s note that as recently as today, and many times over the years, MHProNews has featured quotes and speeches of a Baptist (Protestant-Christian) pastor, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. We’ve also featured Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, and Agnostic writings and thinkers, plus voices across the left-right spectrum.

As a trade publisher, ours has been a ‘wheat and chaff’ approach to all sources – meaning, take what is good, and ignore or discount the problematic.

So, what follows about a Catholic-Christian viewpoint should be understood within that framework and context.  Francis holds a widely-held perspective. It’s worthy of consideration, and is useful in discerning the drama that has unfolded in Bradenton Tropical Palms.

Francis doesn’t posture being something she is not.  She spoke to MHProNews about her own “sins” and her need for Jesus Christ’s redemption.  She stands by what she sincerely believes her faith and inspiration at that mass noted above is calling her to do.

Francis told the Daily Business News almost word-for-word what Young reported about being distracted during that mass.  As the time for her communion at that mass approached, the notion for having an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe painted to replace that window came to her mind.

She believes what she believes, is consistent, and has that kind of clarity.

MarkYoungLinkedinBradentonHeraldPhotoMillieFrancisBradentonTerracePalmsMobileHomeParkMHProNewsThe statements by Young’s narrative were surprisingly similar to what Francis said to MHProNews. That’s noteworthy, because on several occasions when this publication does follow up work on news first covered by mainstream media, there have been gaps, errors, and oversights, as long-time MHProNews may recall.  Young’s account was remarkably unswerving with what Francis told us.  Compared to others in mainstream media, in several ways, Young’s work in this matter has been exemplary.

Only Young’s lack of explanation for manufactured home industry terminology could be faulted, which is addressed further below.


Not an Ethnic Thing…

Despite comments from readers of Young’s report in the Bradenton Herald, it is worth noting that Francis said she is not Hispanic.  She explains that she’s been “dark-skinned” her whole life.  Thus the attraction, so to speak, by Francis to Our Lady of Guadalupe is not one based in an ethnic or cultural milieu.  

At the end of Young’s article linked here about Francis were dozens of comments, several from non-Catholics.  At least one of them was arguably anti—Catholic. It mocked the Virgin Mary, Catholic beliefs, and so on.  In response to that public comment, came a four word posted reply from another commenter, who simply wrote “No Mary……No Jesus.”  While it wasn’t part of that respondent’s message, a common online search result that accompanied that phrase is “Know Mary, Know Jesus.”

When MHProNews asked her If you had your wish, how would you want this controversy to play out?  Francis immediately stated that she wanted the story of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” to be better known. She modestly added that she may not fully understand the story enough herself.

With that background in mind, two informational videos posted below are provided as an answer to her sincerely expressed request and prayer, which provides context for the decisions that the community and their attorneys are grappling with.

Those who dare view the two videos will better understand the significance to Francis and millions of others of the “Our Lady of Guadalupe” (OLG) story.  There are compelling reasons why the site of the story of OLG is perhaps the most visited religious attraction in the Americas.

With those understandings, the first video that follows is from a documentary, scientific perspective. But the second – a roughly three-minute video before the plug that follows the video’s narrative – sets the stage for understanding why OLG is revered by hundreds of millions in the Americas, and around the globe.  Simply put, there is strong scientific and historic evidence for what Francis believes.



From, a Brief Introduction to Our Lady Of Guadalupe



Call from a Supporter of Millie Francis, and Irony

A person who supports Millie Francis’ cause called MHProNews earlier today (1.21.2019).  He explained during a lengthy call the efforts he’s personally planned for her situation, and the study of the related issues he’d already made. He candidly admitted being Catholic, and said in part that he thinks the world needs a feminine voice to help bring healing to our nation.  So, like Francis, he’s personally drawn to the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  He said he will provide an on-the-record commentary via email in the days ahead.

So these are just some of those who have responded to Francis’ journey after her near-death experience, and the stressful circumstances in the manufactured home community for the 85-year-old widow woman related herein.

An irony to this tale is that some who drive by Millie’s home in the gated Bradenton Tropical Palms may have no clue that this image is that of the Madonna, the Mother of Jesus.  By contrast, a passer-by who knows something of art and culture might surmise the style to be Hispanic.  But unless the passer-by were a devout Catholic themselves, or someone who has read the related news accounts, they may have no idea as to the nature of the image of OLG and its message.

Rephrased, the drama sparked by the various media accounts has already begun the very thing that Francis’ simple faith inspired.  Meaning, a better understanding of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  How could this fragile heart-patient have conceived what would follow her decision to act on her impulse at mass to have this painting commissioned?




MH Industry Perspective – Why This Matters in MHVille

There are any number of reasons why manufactured home industry’s professionals – of whatever background, faith, or no faith – should find this tale to be significant.

Here are a  few:

  • This episode debatably harms the image of the manufactured home industry in several ways, including that of resident owned communities (ROC).  Stating the obvious for clarity, mainstream media doesn’t have the same objectives that specialized MH industry trade media does.  Young’s story, while useful and accurate, doesn’t have as much context as one will find here.  Thus, even an accurate narrative without added flavor or insights from industry professionals or a trade media presentation of facts will leave mainstream readers with yet-another dim view of manufactured home living.
  • The mainstream media has long given ROCs a more favorable public hearing, right or wrong, than investor-owned properties.  As this matter currently stands, troubling reports of ROC management pressuring an 85 year old widowed heart-patient for roughly 9 months may chip away at the ROC image too.
  • For those outside of our industry, who don’t pick up on the fact that Francis lives is an ROC – a resident owned community – it casts the MH community sector at large in an unjustly dark light.
  • The Millie Francis story in the Bradenton Herald drew posted comments across-the-board, ranging from supportive to opposing her situation.  Many related to the location of the events, meaning, in a manufactured home community, though that wasn’t the terminology the public comments used.  Thus the ‘t-word‘ image (see Carville below) is exacerbated.
  • Residents in her community and manufactured home industry professionals are divided about the hullabaloo. Those divisions and comments are reflected in the published public perceptions, for good or ill.
  • Arguably all of this drama was avoidable, had management and their lawyers listened more on the front end, to their own failures that sparked these events.

Some of the posted comments by the general public are revealing.

The following are unedited, and are just a sampling of dozens found posted at the end of the article in the comments section, from the story linked here. Keep in mind that this is a widely read account, but only one of several by numerous media – state, regional, and national – about Francis and her commissioned OLG artwork.  So the following is only a tiny sense of the public impact this escapade has stirred.

  • If it were a painting of Hilary itwould be ok,” – Tom Rohrer


  • Don’t you all realize this will damage the prestegious look of the trailer park and may result in a drop in home values. You just cannot have art in a trailer park, ruins everything.” – Mike Dillon


  • The racist mobile park managers don’t know what Our Lady of Guadalupe means to Mexicans.” – Steven Spiff


  • This would be easily solved if she claimed that the painting was of a TG woman, and represented Gaia instead of Mary.
    Then the lawyers’ opposition would be spun as a hate crime and they’d have to pay to keep it preserved
    .” – Doctor Mark


  • There is a glaring issue in this country imo – that is a large majority of our legal and moral disputes are solved my the courts and lawyers. The people are loosing their grasp on our ability to self govern, because we won’t engage one another in a civil manner, so we leave it up to a bunch of slime-bag attorneys. At the end of the day, in court, this type of BS is based on opinion.This is an issue of religous freedom at the end of the day, and she should be allowed to display this unless there is some bylaw in the community which specifically says the Virgin Mary, or a Crucifix, Star of David, etc cannot be displayed – and I highly doubt that. Otherwise, Christmas deocrations wound not be permitted, and I’m sure there were a few of those this past Holiday.Anyone can be offended by anything these days, and I say God help us. If this lady was flying a Mexican flag, for instance, it would offend someone. So she happens to be displaying a picture of the Virgin Mary…hardly anything extreme or out of the ordinary when it comes to Latino Catholic norms. Leave her alone for God’s sake. She is 85 and doesn’t need this. She’ll be dead soon enough.” – Jay DeRush


Gallagher’s Right

Brian Gallagher is debatably correct in saying that this uproar isn’t one limited to manufactured home communities.  But this tale represents the reality that manufactured homes – unlike conventional housing – are widely misunderstood. The collage below has been used as an educational item, and has often sparked surprise from those who first see it, because they have no idea that modern manufactured homes (MH) can look like the homes shown.  But obviously many do.  Such realities are lost in this tragi-comic matter at an ROC, while negative stereotypes are reinforced instead.



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


So for whatever reasons, a common perspective among MH industry professionals is that any issue involving mobile or manufactured homes seem to be exacerbated in the public mind.  It often sparks the inaccurate  – and offensive to many – view of manufactured homes as “the t-word” = trailers.’



There is arguably a prejudice – based in large measure on ignorance – about manufactured homes and communities, as well as about certain aspects of specific Christian beliefs.  One nettlesome-yet-famous example is the one posted below.  The fact that the story of Millie Francis was coming to a head at the time of the memorial of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr federal holiday is poignant. There are many forms of prejudice, ignorance, and bigotry.  This tale has several possible examples of how a lack of good information – and avoidable behaviors – foster mistaken notions of reality.

As Dr. King wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”




Regrettably, the posture taken by Bradenton Tropical Palms – and those associated with them – in this matter are debatably fueling stereotypes that ought to be stamped out and corrected by proper information.  Francis is becoming an unintended metaphorical poster-child for several causes. Examples of a more balanced understanding of the Catholic perspective of Our Lady of Guadalupe were shown above.  What drew this trade publication to her story is where it took place.  So, what follows is the more accurate understanding of mobile and manufactured homes – and the diversity of their residents – summarized in the infographic, fast-facts, and quotes below.




Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton did a detailed research paper for the National Association of Realtors last year, found as a download from an article linked here. The quote above is from her research.


Closing Thoughts

Francis spoke briefly to MHProNews this afternoon (1.21.2019), while we were interviewing another party with information about this matter.  Francis said she was having her heart checked, but would call back later once her medical exam was completed.  As of the time of this post, she has not made that return phone call. A follow up call to Francis has also not had a reply. This writer’s family met her, and we hope she is well.


Tamas Kovach, this writer’s son, with Millie Francis on 1.19.2019 at her home.

MHProNews plans to update this report in the days ahead, with whatever replies the Bradenton Tropical Palms, their management company, and the attorneys who represent them care to share.

Once more, the letter sent to those parties earlier today is linked here as a download. That downloadable letter brings to light points that the sparked the legal opinions published above.  The photos and related quotes in that downloadable document are useful and necessary for a more complete understanding of the issues involved this ongoing controversy.

There is a melancholic poetry to the fact that this discussion with Francis occurred on the Martin Luther King Jr weekend remembrances. Let freedom and mutual respect ring. That’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be accessed by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:



Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

“Unwise and Untimely,” “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” African Studies Center, University Of Pennsylvania, MLK Day

His Dream Was Rooted in American Dream, “Free At Last”