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Posts Tagged ‘Pam Danner’

“But I Was Born Free”

July 4th, 2019 Comments off
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Stills from Born Free music video by Kid Rock, posted further below. Collage by MHProNews.

Music gets appropriated for commercials, campaigns, causes, and political events on a routine basis. So why not do that for the interests of manufactured home professionals, investors, and the tens of millions in the affordable home seeking public?

 

Facts, figures and slogans often get swatted around like a ping-pong ball in a professional-level table tennis match to advocate for some new law.

Why not cut-to-the-chase, save time, money, and implement the good laws that are already on the federal law books?

There are unique opportunities for honest gain being forged in the crucible of often troubling circumstances. There are purported ‘black hat’ operations that have manipulated the system and political forces in order to divert existing laws while lining their own pockets. They do so at the expense of our fellow Americans, ethical businesses, and honest investors.

Why not use some jujitsu to spotlight those bad behaviors, while ‘white hat’ businesses, investors, organizations, professionals, advocates, and lawmakers come together to enforce good laws?

Why not hold hearings in Congress to spotlight the various ways that existing laws have been blocked, often by posturing or feigning which masks entirely selfish interests – often within our own industry’s ranks?

Let’s explore that case briefly below.

 

Born Free

I was born free. We believe in free enterprise and respect all honest work. It’s a holiday, yet the groundskeepers caught us by surprise – they are working outside – keeping the lawn, shrubs, and the property pristine. Wow, that’s unexpected, yet it’s amazingly American.

But some are born into vexing scenarios made worse by corrupted versions of capitalism rightly called conquest or crony capitalism. Is it any wonder that millions – seeing such misbehavior – question free enterprise?

However well intended HUD Secretary Ben Carson or his predecessor Julián Castro may be or have been, there is evidence that corporate interests have colluded with officials currently or previously at HUD to thwart existing laws. We’ll explore who and name some names in the days ahead.

But even what we already know from Senate testimony or from the Washington Post should be enough to cause alarm for observant and thoughtful professionals and honorable public officials.

Senator Thom Tillis, in a dialogue with HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, “I don’t think that most people recognize how the regulatory burdens hit the poorest among us the hardest.” Tillis revealed that he grew up in what he called a ‘trailer house,’ but was more likely a mobile home or early HUD Code manufactured home. Tillis spoke about the morass of regulations that are “no doubt creating a higher price point.”

 

 

Senator Tillis (NC-R) jokingly said that in his personal case, the increased regulatory costs might have been the difference between a single wide, and a “single wide with a bump out.”  There are likely thousands of professionals in our industry that don’t even know what that means, because single sections with an extension are not so common any more. There was unquestionable more variety of manufactured homes built by more manufacturers 30 to 35 years ago than there are today. That’s not to say that there aren’t improvements, of course there are, as Secretary Carson said in the video above.  But for those who were in the industry in the 1980s, they recall ‘tip outs,’ balcony bedrooms, sunken baths, raised kitchens, and other floorplans that many today have not seen on a factory line in many years.

Tillis used his personal experience as an example to call attention for the need for regulatory stream lining that could benefit millions. That sound suspiciously like the executive order that President Trump issued just days ago. It was very much in keeping with what a Washington, D.C. based trade group has been calling public officials to do for years. Persistence may pay in the foreseeable future.

Secretary Carson, even early in his administration, noted that 22 million were living in manufactured homes and their mobile home predecessors. He said when you look at the progress made in the industry “it’s amazing.”

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

 

Dr. Carson went on to say that a lot of the housing was hard to distinguish from site-built housing, noted that pricing on manufactured homes was lower, but “the regulations are ridiculous.”  He noted that he put a moratorium on those and were inspecting regulations from “top to bottom.” More recently, Secretary Carson said that we can solve the affordable housing crisis, and he pointed to manufactured homes as part of that solution.

Some of those “ridiculous” regulations Carson spoke about in Senate testimony were no doubt about issues related to Danner that MHProNews and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), among others, had spotlighted for years.

Who was directly in charge of implementing HUD regulations?

Pam Danner, J.D., who per sources was inserted into her role at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) by backers within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  While that claim may or may not be easy to nail down, what follows is already known.

Juliet Eilperin writing in the Washington Post in May 2018 said that it was the efforts of Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of MHARR and his colleagues that got Danner removed, for her purported excesses in regulatory overreach. By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Senior Vice President (SVP) Lesli Gooch specifically stated that they did not seek Danner’s removal.

That WaPo report was not denied by MHI.

When thousands of industry professionals were howling from coast-to-coast about Danner and overreach, why wasn’t the Arlington, VA based trade group likewise pushing for Danner’s removal?

Once the ‘wheat and chaff’ are separated, what becomes clear is this. MHI postured action, but failed at the most basic and obvious step; i.e.: seeking and obtaining Danner’s removal. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s per the clear implication of MHI’s SVP Gooch’s own words, as reported by the Washington Post. That’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The deep pockets at MHI – and those behind them in places like Omaha, or the Knoxville metro, and their allies – can buy more of everything than MHARR and/or our publications can.  MHI is the one that claims they have clout at the federal level.  If so, how have they used that clout?

GotClout-questionmark-GetItHere-MHI-ManufacturedHousingInstitute-postedMHProNews-com-

That reality of their deeper pockets and broader access are precisely why it is logically stating the obvious where the roadblocks in our industry are. They are often internal, and the net impact is that the industry is consolidating instead of growing.  Several of MHI’s own past and present members have said as much.

 

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Former MHI state affiliates broke away and in 2018 formed the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners, NAMHCO. They cited MHI’s years of failures as part of their reason for doing so.

 

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Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

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Who benefits from slow growth or negative growth? Isn’t it the deeper pockets that can then buy more communities, retailers, producers, and suppliers at a discount? Doesn’t that fit the Warren Buffett mantra?

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.

 

Therefore, it is an obvious time for a new paradigm.

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When MHProNews spotlighted that MHI had reputedly done nothing on reaching out to the CFPB in 2017, MHI – perhaps in there embarrassment – began to move to get something done. When MHARR pushed MHI long enough on the DOE energy rule, MHI finally pivoted. It seems that MHI acts for the interests they claim to stand for best when the spotlight hits their lack of action otherwise. 

 

It is time for new alliances to be created that bridge the gaps that are causing a harmful status quo.  It is outrageous that manufactured home shipments are into 9 months of year-over-year decline.  It is a disgrace that MHI and their outside attorney threatened us for lawfully publishing the item below, when it was they who were making the false claims and promises.

 

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

That this decline is avoidable is exemplified by exceptions to the rule, such as our report on Nobility Homes, linked here.

That Buffett’s ‘donations’ have found their way into the hands of MHAction and other groups opposing MHI begs the question, have they been playing the industry’s white hats with the rope-a-dope for years?

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

While MHI, Prosperity Now and others are pushing for a new bill in Congress that could make things worse. Paradoxically, the claimed goal of that bill could be rapidly achieved simply by implementing existing federal laws. Which begs the question, why not push for implementing good laws that are already on the books?  Who benefits from more delays? Isn’t it the consolidators that want to keep manufactured housing misunderstood and underperforming?

 

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

There are several reasons to believe that there is collusion and corruption that purportedly violates antitrust, IRS or other regulations, and possibly laws such as RICO.

 

 

We have new and significant recent features on Manufactured Home Living News. They lay the foundation that makes the case for implementation of existing laws. They also suggest how white hat brands, organizations, honest public officials, and investors could be working with manufactured homeowners, renters, and others to reform the system by implementing existing laws.

It could – indeed should – start with public hearings by Congress and possibly states to investigate and explore what has gone wrong.  No one could be as incompetent as the powers that be in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have been, could they? Which suggests that a relatively small group of people could be manipulating the system in ways that cause more homelessness, more poverty, and more grief for millions that would otherwise be avoided.

 

 

More in the days ahead on specifics within HUD that should cause alarm and spark action.

Those of us born in the U.S.A. were born free.  Let’s not lose that freedom to the machinations of a few that are trying to wrongfully enrich themselves to the detriment of the many.

 

 

Roll the stone away. Let the guilty pay. It’s Independence Day.

 

 

Summing Up

The solution to the affordable housing crisis has been hiding in plain sight for years.  There is a case to be made that it is often forces within the industry that have thwarted, allowed, and diverted resources and good current laws from spurring more sustainable growth. That growth would have meant more home ownership for people otherwise trapped in rent. That kind of corruption must be exposed and punished.

Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it’s Independence Day.”

Now you may better understand our mantra, “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © Dig into the related and linked reports above and below to round out the picture. Let’s restore the American Dream, starting with an understanding of Independence Day. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)

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For MH professional expert services, click here. For examples of third-party media, see links here, here, and here.

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC parent company of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.

 

 

Related Reports:

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https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-reiterates-call-for-dts-investigation/

 

Manufactured Housing Production and Shipments, Official HUD Data, Report for May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall Street Expects POTUS Trump Reelection in 2020, MHVille First Looks

April 30th, 2019 Comments off

 

WallStreetExpectsPOTUSTrumpReelection2020MHVilleFirstLooksMHProNews

While some polling suggests that if the election were held today, Biden would have a 6 to 7 point edge.

 

But according to left-of-center CNBC:

  • While Biden was viewed as the most stock market-friendly possible Democratic candidate, more than 70% expect Trump to be reelected.
  • Elections can affect financial markets; the Dow rallied 8 percent from the 2016 election to year-end as investors grew confident in tax reform and big spending.
  • A new poll of Wall Street insiders shows that a vast majority expect President Donald Trump to win reelection in 2020.
  • While Joe Biden was viewed as the most stock market-friendly possible Democratic candidate for the White House, more than 70% of survey respondents told global investment bank RBC Capital Markets that they expect Trump to be reelected.
  • Most expect Trump to win in 2020, but there’s still some nervousness around the event,” Lori Calvasina, RBC’s head of U.S. equity strategy, wrote to clients. Sixty-seven percent “of our March 2019 survey respondents believe that Joe Biden is seen as the most acceptable Democratic candidate by the stock market for the White House. No other candidate got a significant number of votes.”

Biden held his first rally yesterday in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania where he drew an audience of an estimated 600 attendees.

By contrast, President Trump held a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Friday, where he packed a 12,000 seat auditorium, and had more outside.

Both PA and WI were states that had been reliably ‘blue’ or Democratic leaning in presidential contests for years.  Trump flipped those and Michigan, as part of his successful bid to crack ‘the blue wall.’

Certainly, Biden is in the lead in several polls.  His campaign said they raised $6.3 million dollars on the first day, which topped Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders first day campaign hauls.  While O’Rourke is fading in the eyes of some, it is still early.  Sanders leads in support for the Democratic nominee for president in some states.  But Washington whispers are that their party bosses prefer Biden to Sanders.

Some speculate neither will do sufficiently well, and that Michelle Obama will enter the race in that case.

Time will tell.

What is certain is that with the economy moving ahead, that plays in the incumbent Trump’s favor.  But much of the mainstream media tilts towards the Democrat, and some 90 plus percent of news coverage has been anti-Trump.

The Obama-Biden administration gave manufactured housing Pam Danner at HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP), Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the so-called Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare), higher taxes, and more regulations.

The Trump Administration removed Danner at HUD, cut taxes, ended the individual mandate in ObamaCare, signed a roll-back of the MLO rule that muzzled manufactured home sellers with the CFPB.  There is record low unemployment.  Wages are rising. Factory-jobs that former President Obama said were never coming back have returned by the hundreds of thousands.

 

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President Trump is also the only president known to have visited a manufactured home land-lease community at any time in decades, while in office.

See more under related reports, further below.

The battle for 2020 is well underway. Think long-term, but pick your party favorites early.

That’s this morning’s first pre-dawn edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Senator Thom Tillis Discuss Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes, Video

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

 

“I knew right from the beginning.” When President Trump, First Lady Melania, VP Pence Toured Manufactured Home Community

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Contender Presidential Julian Castro, Obama Era HUD Secretary Announces Exploratory Run

December 13th, 2018 Comments off

HUDSecretaryJulianCastroManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that “Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro says he’s taking a step toward a possible White House campaign in 2020 by forming a presidential exploratory committee,” with an announced decision set for Jan. 12, 2019.

 

Castro is said to be the second formally announced Democratic contender, following Maryland Rep. John Delaney.

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One of the points that makes this candidacy of interest to manufactured housing professionals is that Castro was former President Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

 

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Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

 

The MSNBC video clip below clearly reflects that Castro is taking positions very much in keeping with the leftward tilt of the Democratic party.

 

A video by the HUD Secretary praising manufactured housing is linked below.

 

 

Of course, verbal praise is one thing, but the actual deeds are often another.

Castro may also remind manufactured housing professionals about the painful memory of Pamela Danner’s selection to head up the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).

 

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Pam Danner, JD, HUD Code former Manufactured Housing Program Administrator, credit, MHProNews.

That in turn, should remind industry professionals that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) reportedly turned on their agreement to advance the candidacy of Victor DeRose.  De Rose was the “consensus candidate” formerly agreed to by MHI and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  But an MHI ‘insider’ advanced Danner – per sources – and while MHI’s President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison was purportedly “livid,” and “apologetic,” MHI in fact did only fig leaf posturing, while states struggled under the Obama- and Castro-era Danner appointment at OMHP.

It is also a reminder that MHI PAC Chairman, Nathan Smith, is a high profile Democrat, who if history holds, will promote whomever their party nominates. So, supporting someone like former Secretary Castro would arguably be no problem for Smith, and thus likely, for the rest of MHI.

 

Nathan & Mary Lee Chance Smith, Leaders in ‘Anti-Trump Resistance,’ Manufactured Housing Impact?

 

It is one of several #NettlesomeThings about MHI that as 2018 winds down, and 2019 looms ahead, the industry’s professionals must soberly consider.  For a detailed review of issues, see the linked report access in the box immediately below, as well as more insights from the Related Reports, further below. That’s tonight’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” © where  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers.

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

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“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

 

 

 

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

June 5th, 2018 Comments off

Presidential powers are substantial, but they are not unlimited. So among the tools a president can use to some effect is the bully pulpit. That’s the power of spotlighting a topic via a public forum.

 

In a speech, President Donald J. Trump raised the profile of a once-famed factory-based home builder he knew. The video of that part of his speech, is shown below.

 

 

The president’s family business has also had direct ties to an upscale factory home builder, Revolution PreCrafted Homes.

The 45th president clearly has personal knowledge of factory-crafted home building, as well as of conventional housing construction.

It is worth noting that Vice President Mike Pence hails from Indiana. Industry sources tell the Daily Business News, that then-Governor Pence understood manufactured housing (MH), used the proper terminology, and was supportive of the industry.

In Senate testimony, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, MD, has called modern manufactured homes “amazing.” Meanwhile, Secretary Carson labeled the regulatory regime of the Pamela Beck Danner era as “ridiculous.” Dr. Carson did so without mentioning her by name.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

 

Operation Breakthrough

Levittown and that builder named by the president was an example of factory-based home building were included in HUD’s report on Operation Breakthrough, linked below. The linked reports on Operation Breakthrough – along with other linked resources from this article – can be read later, for additional details, and a deeper understanding.

HUD’s Operation Breakthrough, Promoting Factory, Industrialized Building – Mobile Home Era to Modern Manufactured Homes.

A HUD’s PD&R report linked below are one of the sources that demonstrated via university-level research that modern manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side with conventional housing in urban infill settings.

 

The full implementation of two existing laws – manufactured housing’s enhanced preemption and the Duty to Serve could unlock two trillion dollars in additional growth, without the need for massive federal spending.

Enforcing the law” has become a Trump Adminstration catch-phrase.

Enforcing the two laws linked here and above could pave the way to home ownership for millions, which in turn would spur the personal wealth of many, including blacks, Hispanics and all other demographic groups.

As Secretary Carson reminded the nation last year, home owners have an average net worth of $200,000, while renters only have an average net worth of $5,000 dollars.

There are debatably few other items that the Trump Adminstration could do than enforce those two existing laws, which would:

  • cost the federal government less tax payer money over time,
  • yield more wealth for millions,
  • all while creating more good jobs,
  • and higher domestic economic growth.

Virtually everyone, save perhaps a few monopolistic forces, would benefit from enforcing two laws already on the books regarding manufactured housing.

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

Posturing vs. Doing

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has attempted to claim credit for the passage of the MLO rule when S 2155 was signed into law. The Masthead predicted that this dubious MHI claim would occur from the Berkshire Hathaway dominated association, prior to the signing of the bill.

It was the Trump Administration, not MHI, that made the MLO rule passage possible.

White House Signing Ceremony on Historic Pro-Growth Financial Regulatory Reform

Note that then candidate Trump pushed for such a bill, by campaigning for reforms of Dodd-Frank.

By contrast, Warren Buffett backed Hillary Clinton pledged to do what Barack Obama did. Chairman Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway used their manufactured housing mouthpiece, MHI, to posture reforms of Dodd-Frank for years. But that reform of Dodd-Frank was only accomplished under President Trump.

Buffett publicly supported President Barack Obama, who pledged to veto a bill that included a similar provision to S 2155. MHI’s now exited government relations Vice President Jason Boehlert admitted in writing that the passage of MHI’s bill, Preserving Access was unlikely while President Obama was in the White House.

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said early on in the Trump Administration that the industry could not ask for a better president in the Oval Office that Donald Trump.

Once understood, its an apparently classic case of what President Trump has called “a rigged system.”

 

Examples of a Corrupt, Rigged System?

The Washington Post made it clear that it was MHARR, not MHI, that worked with the Trump Administration to exit the destructive regulatory steps Pam Danner, JD, caused manufactured housing operations during her tenure at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

MHI EVP Lesli Gooch specifically told the Washington Post that they did not weigh in on the Danner controversy. That confirmed months of MHProNews reporting on that subject.

By contrast, Mark Weiss, President and CEO of MHARR, was cited by the Washington Post as specifically pushing for the removal of Danner as an Obama Administration holdover, who was working contrary to President Trump’s regulatory freeze order.

The fact-patterns appear to be stark, and clear.

The Buffett/Berkshire dominated MHI was allegedly posturing reforms of Dodd-Frank and HUD, but in fact supported for president, first Barack Obama and then Secretary Hillary Clinton. That’s Mr. Buffett’s right, but then it is debatably unjust for MHI to claim that they were trying to mitigate regulations.

In fact, regarding the Department of Energy (DOE) plans for manufactured housing under the Obama Administration, MHI was promoting heavier regulations, while MHARR stood alone among MH industry associations in Washington D.C. to stop them.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

Marty Lavin, JD, bluntly said on the record that MHI was working for “the big boys” and their interests.

The MHI award-winning Lavin has previously said “pay more attention to what people do than what they say.” In hindsight, isn’t it clear that MHI said they wanted to make certain reforms, but in fact Buffett’s “big boys” – such as Berkshire owned Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) – were working to maintain or even increase regulatory burdens?

Why?

Because heavy regulations are both a barrier of entry to new businesses, and are also a force that can crush existing business operations. It is part of Buffet’s strategic “Moat” philosophy.

 

Using the established principles that high taxes, and high regulations harm smaller business, the Buffett tool of MHI was de facto aiding in the consolidation of manufactured housing companies. These are points President Trump has often raised in a general way in his speeches.

Sources on- and off-the-record have leveled charges that MHI was working against the interests of smaller companies, while Berkshire Hathaway owned brands and some others in manufactured housing were “consolidating” – or killing off – smaller independents for years. MHI’s own data reflects the trend.

 

While MHARR has raised such issues in their own fashion, only MHProNews among the industry’s trade media has spotlighted these concerns. Long-time readers will recall that MHProNews editorially supported and endorsed President Trump during the 2016 campaign. That support drew the attention of the presidential campaign, which for months had one of this writer’s articles on the Donald J. Trump campaign website.

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While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family and MHProNews supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business, and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative and pro-Trump websites.

While industry’s bloggers and MHProNews competitors were often shilling or cheering MHI and Berkshire Hathaway owned brands, MHProNews and those who support this platform stood alone in the industry’s media to warn the industry’s members against the complex, and tortured ways MHI and Berkshire Hathaway were killing off and/or “consolidating” companies at bargain prices.

Time Travelers, and the Future of American Homes

Marty Lavin, a manufactured home industry success story in his own right, has said “follow the money.” People are entitled got their own opinions, but they are not to their own facts. MHI can claim to be working to mitigate regulations, but where is their evidence? Why did MHI VP Rick Robinson dodge questions and debate in Deadwood in 2017? Or why did MHI President Dick Jennison dodge questions in Louisville in 2018?

The Trump Administration is doing their part. They are striving to undo the damage of years of crony capitalism in Washington, D.C., step-by-step.

If Brian Montgomery and Secretary Carson will avoid the trap of appointing a MHI candidate to be the non-career Administrator of OMHP at HUD, it could be another next step forward for millions of Americans.

Based upon reports from industry sources, MHProNews has supported Vic DeRose to replace Danner. DeRose could be someone that holds to the regulatory philosophy of the president, to administer the manufactured housing program in a way that could benefit industry and consumers alike. “We Provide, You Decide.” (C) ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

May 12th, 2018 Comments off

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Whatever one thinks about their political leanings, the Washington Post is one of the most important and influential news publications in America.

 

They decided to publish an article recently about the HUD Code manufactured housing program.

More specifically, the Washington Post (WaPo or WP) wrote about the inner workings of HUD under the Trump Administration, with Secretary Ben Carson at the helm.

The WP’s award-winning Juliet Eilperin wrote about the quality of today’s manufactured homes, specifically citing Secretary Carson’s quote about how “amazing” they are.

Eilperin’s article also talked about both national manufactured housing associations.

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

MHI, MHARR, and MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.

As long-time Daily Business News readers know, there are two national associations that work in manufactured housing. There is the larger of the two, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. That’s right across the river from Washington, D.C.

Then there’s the Washington-based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Decades before, the Washington Post published another article about the association known today as MHARR. That article focused on MHARR’s fight with HUD for a removable chassis for manufactured homes. We will return to that removable chassis point later.

It isn’t at all odd that there are more than one national association for manufactured housing.

In conventional housing, there are:

  • The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a “producers” association.
  • There is the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a “Post-production” trade group focused upon the resale of existing homes.
  • There is the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and they focus more on financing of new construction, the resale of existing homes, and the refinancing of homes.

The list of housing associations goes on to multiple-family housing, remodeling, and more.

So, if anything, manufactured housing presently has fewer associations than conventional housing does.

That helps explain one reason why, perhaps, that a HUD official told MHProNews that they don’t expect the manufactured housing industry to speak with one voice.’ Unity doesn’t exist in housing.  Nor is there full unity in the automotive trade association world either, where dealers and producers have separate associations.

Those separate trade bodies often sit down, or via conference calls, communicate and work with each other to resolve issues and differences on legislative or other matters.

So manufactured housing isn’t unique, and Eilperin’s Washington Post article helped highlight that important detail.

So-called unity in manufactured housing is not to be expected any more than in other professions.

 

More Hidden-in-Plain-Sight WaPo Insights

But there is more to her Washington Post article, for those who read it carefully and objectively.

In America today, it’s become commonplace to understand that media has an agenda.

What the 45th president calls “fake news,” is at times agenda driven, weaponized reporting. There are partisans on both sides of the left-right divide that sharpen their articles to reflect their perspectives. It’s more out-in-the-open today, and thanks to research like award-winning Sharyl Attkinsson’s, we now have a chart – the one below – to reference that helps readers understand the left-right bias of a given major news source.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/no-fire-just-smoke-and-democratic-clinton-supporter-says-enough/ 

 

From the far left – The Nation – to the right – Breitbart – there are voices in media that have focused on the problematic issue of monopolistic dominance of certain sectors of the American economy.

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

In manufactured housing, The Atlantic, The Nation, the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Fox News are among those mainstream media outlets that have focused reports on various aspects of manufactured housing.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

Let’s note that while agendas exist, affordable housing isn’t a partisan political issue.

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

That’s what former MHARR president, Danny Ghorbani has said, that the manufactured housing industry can work successfully with both sides of the political aisle.  He’s right, and that’s been the industry’s history for decades.

The contrast between MHARR and MHI is an interesting and notable one.  And Eilperin’s WaPo narrative helped highlight it.

MHI has a political action committee, or PAC. MHARR does not.

MHI says they represent ‘all aspects of factory-built housing,’ meaning production and post-production, including lending, suppliers, etc.  It also means MHI represents manufactured homes, and modular too.

MHARR, by contrast, clearly states they represent only the interests of the independent producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

That said, MHARR has an interest in seeing independent retailers, builder/developers and communities thrive.  After all, that’s their client base.

MHI has several times MHARR’s annual budget, and far more staff.

Yet the Washington Post report on the controversy at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) made clear that it was MHARR that succeeded at having Pam Danner removed from her role as administrator over the HUD Code manufactured home program.

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

Meanwhile, it was MHI that contributed to or influenced having Lois Starkey removed from her roll at HUD.

Why?

And why were the documents related to MHI’s effort to remove Starkey – note that those memos were dated months before the Washington Post story – why did take their attorney so long to complain to HUD after Starkey left MHI?

MHProNews published the fact that Starkey was at HUD, and MHI knew it before from other sources at HUD too.  So, why did MHI delay their protest of Starkey joining HUD?

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

Eilperin’s Washington Post report is a rich, revealing narrative. For example, it reflects an anti-Trump Administration stance. Eilperin says that the Trump Administration is trying to take control of all aspects of the federal government, even this previously obscure office manufactured housing office buried deeply away at HUD.

News flash. Every president tries to take control over the federal government. It’s part of the job description for the chief executive of the United States of America.

But Eilperin raises an important point: with an affordable housing crisis raging in America, why has manufactured housing been tucked away in obscurity for so long at HUD?

Lesli_M_Gooch__MHI_senior_vice_president_forgovernment_affairs

Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

What MHI EVP Lesli Gooch admits to doing, is surprising too.

Per Gooch to WaPo, MHI wanted to see HUD restructure the manufactured housing program office within the broader arrangement at HUD. Hmmm…okay, duly noted.

But what Pam Danner did was a clear federal overreach of her office’s power, from the perspective of hundreds of manufactured housing operations across the country. Why wasn’t MHI’s response to Danner’s overreach to try – as did MHARR – to have Danner removed?

Note that even though MHI and state associations – which are arguably dominated by MHI, as MHProNews has previously reported – also had members that wanted Danner’s removal.

So why didn’t MHI listen to their own grass roots?

Thus, MHARR is made to be – from an industry reading of the WaPo narrative – an association hero.

MHI’s own EVP frankly stated they were doing something different than seeking Danner’s removal. In fact, the action taken by MHI’s attorney toward Starkey was surprising. MHI’s outside counsel literally said in part that MHI considers HUD to be MHI’s client.

HUD a client of MHI?

Surprising, but it is there in black and white. Was that ‘client’ reference a boiler-plate-letter oversight that was sent by MHI’s outside counsel to HUD uncorrected? Or does MHI literally believe HUD is MHI’s client??  Isn’t either an embarrassment?

Go to the WaPo article – linked here – and see the downloadable related documents Eilperin obtained for yourself.

The WaPo narrative is rich in such details and insights. Eilperin did the industry numerous favors in how her article is framed, which is seemingly meant as a hit at Secretary Carson, and the Trump Administration.  But a careful reading of her narrative with insights like those noted herein reveals instead that Team Trump are reforming years of prior HUD Code program regulatory overreach that Dr. Carson called “ridiculous.”

Our sources tell us that the new status quo at the HUD manufactured housing program office is expected to continue under the temporary leadership of Teresa Payne.  Payne led the program once before, as long-time MHProNews readers with a keen mind recall.

The Daily Business News is also told to expect a slow-dance on the Brian Montgomery appointment by the Senate. Until that time, Dana Wade is ably serving Secretary Carson in a key spot, and seems to be doing so in a manner that keeps both trade groups – for now – officially pleased.

 

Another Bottom Line?

The WaPo narrative reveals many more details. Each of them confirms numerous, prior MHProNews reports and commentaries.  It’s an opportunity, as a reader prodded us, to say “I told you so” about MHI being the de facto road-block to not having Danner removed even sooner.  See Transparency, among many other reports that were confirmed by WaPo, linked below for later in-depth reading.

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

Another thought provoking point for this weekend is this. MHI allowed HUD to overreach, without asking for Pam Danner’s removal. Why?

Who, besides big businesses, benefit when all sizes of businesses are being oppressed?

MHProNews has taken pains for years to lay out the cases that point to the fact that heavy regulation harms smaller businesses more than bigger ones.

NAMCostForComplianceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In banking, community banks suffered under Dodd-Frank, even though community banks arguably had far less impact on the financial meltdown that gave rise to the birth of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB in the first place.  Even giant U.S. Bank closed its manufactured housing program, not because it wasn’t profitable.  Rather, U.S. Bank pulled the plug due to regulatory risks and not enough volume to make up for those risks.  For later in-depth reading, click the below.

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

  • MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNews

    Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

    Mark Weiss, JD, at MHARR is portrayed by WaPo’s journalist as working to relieve the burdens imposed by Danner at HUD.

  • MHI is shown as allowing those burdens to stand.
  • Read that in the context of Smoking Gun 3 under related reports at the end, and you may never see manufactured housing industry politics the same ever again.

 

What About that Removal Chassis?

As to a removable chassis?

If manufactured housing were allowed by HUD to have removable chassis, as MHARR decades ago tried to accomplish, manufactured homes – with a chassis removed – would be:

NewDurhamEstatesSouthManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Credit, MHLivingNews.com. Photos from New Durham Estates south. These homes are ground set. But if a chassis was removed, then a home would be closer to the ground by about eight, ten or twelve inches, and would be more like those shown in this photo.

  • lower to the ground once installed.
  • They would look even more like a conventional house, once installed.
  • It would cost less to put a foundation enclosure around a manufactured home without a chassis that it normally does with one now.
  • Sans the chassis, it would remove the impression of the home being mobile, when most manufactuerd homes aren’t moved once installed.
  • It would be greener to recycle the chassis.
  • It might even save money.

MHARR fought for that removable chassis, decades ago.  Isn’t all of that stylish, green, and visionary? ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

 

PamelaBeckDannerJDAdministratorManufacturedHousingProgramHUD-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Pamela Beck Danner, JD, credit, HUD.

1)   Post-Script: Our sources at and connected to HUD tell us that the Eilperin’s report was prompted by a desire of “allies” of Pam Danner to undermine Dr. Carson and his team’s leadership as Secretary at HUD.

2)   The WaPo report is written in a way that makes Danner’s work as administrator look consumer focused, but what’s missing is the fact that service-related issues with HUD Code manufactured homes are so few, that out of the roughly 92,900 homes built last year, only a few dozen nationally went to dispute resolution. There is no similar dispute resolution program for site-built housing to settle consumer concerns.  So those service issues highlighted in Eilperin’s narrative are a rarity, a point her narrative didn’t cover.  That’s not a tag on her work, no one story can cover every detail.

3)   There are HUD connected sources that tell MHProNews that WaPo’s article signals an upcoming  battle for HUD Code homes, at the state installation level.

4)   There are industry voices that say that the time to prepare for that installation – a post-production battle – is now.  Discussions about enhanced preemption are, per reports, being carefully reviewed at HUD.  There are concerned sources in MHVille that say the need for an effective post-production association has never been greater.

5)   The WaPo narrative makes it clear that MHI isn’t that effective at stopping HUD’s over-regulation. In the association national realm, it was MHARR’s handiwork – not MHI’s – that proved effective for retailers, communities, and for the consumers they serve.  Of course, MHProNews covered it all in a “follow the evidence, follow the facts, follow the money” way that no other industry media even attempted to do.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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It’s been hailed as the most important report on this topic to date…

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

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

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

May 2nd, 2018 Comments off

JulietEilperinWashingtonPostManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBsuinessNewsMHProNews

The [association] efforts have come as [Trump] administration officials are embracing manufactured homes as a way to increase the stocks of affordable housing using the private sector rather than taxpayer funding,” writes Juliet Eilperin, for the Washington Post (WaPo).

 

Already, they [manufactured homes] serve as the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in America, with 22 million Americans living in structures ranging from trailers [*] to high-end homes with ample amenities,” Eilperin said.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post’s senior national affairs correspondent, covering how the new administration is transforming a range of U.S. policies and the federal government itself,” reads her brief WaPo bio. “She is the author of two books — one on sharks and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other — and has worked for The Post since 1998.”

The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, according to Forbes. Billionaires Bezos and President Donald J. Trump have been sparring over issues related to giant Amazon, which Bezos founded. Their politics differ too.

For most of its existence, the Office of Manufactured Housing has been an unassuming office within a federal department not known for its glitz and glamour,” said Eilperin.

But the little-known agency in the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been thrust into the spotlight as trade groups mount an unusually intense lobbying effort, seeking to scale back regulations that they say are hampering an industry that could provide a market-based solution to the affordable housing crisis,” said her insightful WaPo narrative.

That the Trump Administration would be party to such an amazingly ill-considered, offensive and arguably scandalous action ... is directly contrary to president trump’s own pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington D.C.,” wrote Mark Weiss, president of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, in a July 27 letter [2017], which was unusually harsh even by Washington standards,” the narrative continued, revealing part of the backstory, as to which association did what in the drama that took place at HUD last year.

Within a few months, Office of Manufactured Housing Programs Administrator Pamela Beck Danner had been reassigned, and the woman she had hired, Lois Starkey, had been terminated,” Eilperin said.

Lesli Gooch, vice president of government affairs and chief lobbyist for the institute, said in an interview...[that] her association [the Manufactured Housing Institute, or MHI] did not weigh in on Danner’s reassignment, preferring to push for a broader reorganization.”

 

First Takeaways from the Washington Post MH Report

Eilperin has arguably done thousands of manufactured housing industry professionals, and potentially millions of Americans, several significant favors through her tightly-written narrative.

Among them? Eilperin confirmed the following:

  • Lesli Gooch admits that MHI did not try to get Pam Danner removed from her destructive role as administrator over the HUD Code manufactured housing program office. Put multiple stars next to that revelation, and keep in mind that HUD Secretary Ben Carson called the regulations “ridiculous.”
  • Between the two national associations, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was credited for their part in having Danner removed from her ‘leadership’ as the administrator of the HUD Code Manufactured Housing Program Office.
  • The above portion of the WaPo story confirms months of reports by MHProNews. Specifically, that in spite of the call by numerous manufactured home industry pros, MHI’s own chief lobbyist admitted to the mainstream media that they did not attempt to have Danner removed.
  • Rephrasing, MHI was tacitly abetting Danner’s stay at HUD’s MH program office. Where was the logic in that for the majority of the manufactured housing industry? Over 17 years of experience since the passage of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 should have made it clear that the administrator of the program can implement, or foil, the intent of the law. Don’t MHI staffers know that history? Isn’t that self-evident logic, even absent that history?
  • MHI was clearly going against the wishes of the majority of the industry, which wanted to see Danner removed, see one of several examples of that in a report, linked here.

 

MHI and MHARR, Follow Ups

MHI has been asked to confirm, comment on, or clarify this Washington Post report. They have not yet done so as of this time.

MHARR issued a clarifying statement to their members and the industry in a release to the Daily Business News, after the online version if the WaPo report was published. That MHARR memo is linked below.

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

 

Bottom Lines, and What’s Ahead as a result of this WaPo MH report?

More will follow in the days ahead as the Daily Business News unpacks numerous revelations found in Eilperin’s insightful mainstream media reporting.

Keep in mind that the Washington Post just confirmed what some thought to be MHProNews’ controversial reports in 2017.  The WaPo report vindicates MHProNews, which MHI operatives and surrogates have allegedly sought to undermine. Indeed, the revelations above arguably suggest why MHI has sought to undermine this pro-industry trade news operation.

The facts matter to industry professionals and investors. MHProNews strives to be evidence and fact based, regarding HUD, MHI, or any other topic.  That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” ©  ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

AdvocatingEffectivelyForManufacturedHousingInToday'sWashingtonMHInsiderManufactruredHousingInstituteLogoJulietEilperinWaPoIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

[* The use of the word “trailers” here by Eilperin was inappropriate, see the graphic below, or to learn more, click here.]

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

May 1st, 2018 Comments off

HUDSecBenCarsonPamDannerHUD-ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRWashPostLogosThirdPartyMHProNewsLogo

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

 

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

            WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE ON HUD MH PROGRAM

 

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Citing Justice Department Ruling, MHARR Calls on HUD to Repeal Regulatory Guidance Documents

April 25th, 2018 Comments off

DepartmentofJusticeLogoHUDlogoManufacturedHousingAssociationforRegulatoryReformLogo525x310

The Justice Department [DOJ], which is charged with bringing civil actions to enforce federal health and safety laws, has now made it crystal clear that HUD may not use sub-regulatory ‘guidance’ documents that have not been considered by the MHCC and have not gone through rulemaking, in order to impose new or modified mandates on manufacturers of HUD Code homes, and new unnecessary costs on manufactured home purchasers,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

 

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFrom their offices in Washington, D.C.,  Weiss said in a statement to the Daily Business News that, The tragedy is that Congress itself said exactly the same thing nearly two decades ago when it included section 604(b)(6) in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.”

The rephrasing, the DOJ and the Trump Administration are reemphasizing the common sense notion that the law should be followed, as opposed to guidance or other documents that have not gone through the proper rule making process. In the case of manufactured housing, the process includes the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, or MHCC.

The time has come for HUD to finally obey the law as written, and its ongoing EO 13771/13777 review of all existing and pending regulations and “regulatory actions” offers the perfect opportunity for HUD to formally renounce both the fatally-flawed 2010 “Interpretive Rule” and its pile of invalid pseudo-regulatory “guidance” documents – before the Justice Department, or a federal judge, does it for them,”  said Weiss.

Weiss statements fit with principles outlined by MHProNews editorially and in regulatory comments letter t HUD in January.

The balance of the MHARR release to MHProNews reads as follows.

MHARR CALLS FOR REPEAL OF HUD   

MANUFACTURED HOUSING “GUIDANCE” DOCUMENTS

Washington, D.C., April 25, 2018 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), citing recent rulings by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) stating that DOJ would no longer use its authority to enforce Executive Branch agency “guidance” documents in civil court enforcement actions relating to alleged violations of federal health, safety, civil rights and environmental laws, has called on HUD to formally repeal manufactured housing regulatory “guidance” documents which should have been published for notice and comment and subjected to Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) review pursuant to section 604(b)(6) of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, but were not. MHARR, in the same April 25, 2018 communication (copy attached), also calls on HUD to repeal a 2010 “Interpretive Rule” which erroneously construes section 604(b)(6) of the 2000 reform law to require notice and comment rulemaking and MHCC consensus review only for HUD regulatory actions that would otherwise constitute “rules” within the meaning of the federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

For decades, the HUD manufactured housing program used “guidance” and other psuedo-regulatory pronouncements to evade the rulemaking requirements of both the APA and the original Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.  When Congress sought to put an end to this abusive practice by including section 604(b)(6) in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 – which, on its face, requires prior MHCC review and rulemaking for any new or modified “policies, practices or procedures” relating to “standards, regulations, inspections, monitoring or other enforcement activities” – HUD promptly ignored Congress’ clear directive, ultimately issuing the 2010 Interpretative Rule, which effectively and unlawfully read section 604(b)(6) out of the law, by limiting its application to “rules” that already require rulemaking under the APA.

This action to negate the clear and unambiguous will of Congress (with the passive acceptance of some within the industry), effectively opened the floodgates to a train of ever-increasing abuses during the Obama Administration – and particularly under the tenure of former program Administrator Pamela Danner – which saw multiple new, costly and needlessly burdensome de facto regulatory mandates imposed by HUD via “field guidance” and so-called “Standard Operating Procedures,” which were never brought to the MHCC for prior review, or published for notice and comment.  These include, but are not limited to: HUD’s massive expansion and re-direction of in-plant regulation; “frost-free” foundation “guidance,” which effectively modified an existing regulation; new and modified requirements for attached garages and other “add-ons;” baseless restrictions on multi-family manufactured housing; and memoranda relating to on-site completion, among other things.  Such actions – and many other similar pseudo-regulatory mandates — have significantly harmed both manufacturers (particularly smaller independent producers) as well as the industry’s post-production sector, by needlessly increasing regulatory compliance costs and simultaneously undermining the industry’s ability to compete with other segments of the housing market. Through these devices, and through the unchecked and unaccountable activities of its program “monitoring” contractor (set forth in a non-competitive contract which itself violates multiple aspects of federal law), HUD has developed – and enforces — an entire secondary tier of unlawful mandates under the guise of “interpretations” and “guidance.”

Recognizing the extremely damaging effects of such psuedo-regulation and reflecting the regulatory reform policies of the Trump Administration, the DOJ, in its rulings issued on November 16, 2017 and January 25, 2018, determined that it will no longer “use noncompliance with guidance documents as a basis for proving violations of applicable law” in civil lawsuits to enforce federal health and safety laws, such as the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  To the extent that HUD’s manufactured housing “guidance” documents conflict with this ruling and Trump Administration regulatory policy, MHARR’s April 25, 2018 communication calls for their retraction and repeal as part of HUD’s Executive Order (EO) 13771/13777 “top-to-bottom” regulatory review of the federal manufactured housing program. Similarly, insofar as the DOJ rulings show that HUD’s 2010 Interpretive Rule is fundamentally erroneous and fatally flawed, MHARR’s communication calls once again for the repeal of that rule.

About MHARR

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

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“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

April 4th, 2018 Comments off
MoveOpenLiveThomTillisMobileHomeComments

A Detroiter model mobile home with a “bump out.”

When U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) spoke at an oversight hearing with HUD Secretary Ben Carson about a “mobile home” with a “bump out,” likely few understood just how keen an insight that statement was.

 

Back in the pre-HUD Code days of the factory-built home industry – prior to June 15, 1976 – there were mobile home models that had “pull outs,” “expando room” or “bump outs.”  It is likely that Tillis’ personal experience with that which prompted his timely “walk down memory lane.”

Consider those mobile home era “bump outs” as similar to the slide outs found in RVs, only in mobile homes, they were routinely larger.

Bump outs, slide outs, and ”tip outs” existed in the early manufactured home era too.  But they were largely supplanted by the advent of multi-sectional so-called “double-wides” and “triple-wides.”

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The images of classic ads and reports above and below, all found on Pinterest and are sourced as noted.

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These images provide several insights relevant to the manufactured housing industry today. Consider these bullets:

DoubleDeckerMobileHome10WideVintagePrincessOldMobileHomesTrailManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews422GoBigTrotwoodResdientialMobileHomesWithBumpOutSlideOutClassicMobileHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews412x1517

  • Mobile homes – housing units on frames built prior to June 15, 2976 – were statistically more accepted then than manufactured homes are today. There’s an open question on why, which the Urban Institute, this publication and others have asked (for more on UI, and that question, click the related reports, below.)
  • Mobile homes had greater diversity than there is found in manufactured homes today.
  • Mobile homes had more manufacturers by far than there are found in the manufactured home industry today.
  • Mobile home leaders organized and promoted the creation of the HUD Code, following highly public scandals with substandard homes built by a few producers that quality builders didn’t want to be associated with. The HUD Code grew out of a desire to set construction standards, safety and energy standards for manufactured homes that would give consumers confidence, while avoiding the placement hassles that have sadly become so common today.

The history of the mobile home and manufactured home (MH) industry is fading, and that is problematic.

Because without an accurate industry history, a complete understanding of just how important this type of housing used to be, and how it helped create affordability then – and could again today – holds valuable insights.

Prior to the HUD Code, HUD studied factory home building – “industrialized housing” – with enthusiasm. What happened to that enthusiasm since the creation of the HUD Code?

Will Secretary Carson – who praised HUD Code manufactured homes when Senator Tillis’ question promoted a response – fuel a rebirth of that embrace by HUD of reasonable regulations that help promote practical housing solutions?

How many in government – or industry – today realize that when the industry had a wealth of producers, there were also a far wider variety of styles, types, innovations and models that industry contraction has arguably practically cut off?

More such factory home producers also yielded more acceptance, because each producer were naturally marketing their product, as the story and ads reflect.

 

About De Rose – It’s Worth Noting…

Vic De Rose, an attorney who was jointly recommended by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is from the family whose name the De Rose Industries of yesteryear recalls.   De Rose has insights on factory-home building that the vast majority of the population – including most regulators – do not have.

The De Rose ad touts the message, “Move. Open. Live.”  It’s quality, affordable housing in a hurry, as popular performer and manufactured home owner Kid Rock observed in an interview last year.

SenatorJoeDonnellySupportVicDeRoseJDManufacturedHouisngIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsVictorAnthonyDeRoseDeRoseLawFirmPhotoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

HUD has been silent on the subject of who is going to replace Pam Danner.  There is speculation that an announcement could take place later this month. If that’s so, it may be a troubling signal for the industry if it takes place in conjunction with a planned appearance by Secretary Carson with MHI’s Las Vegas event.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

Related Reports:

HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Senator Thom Tillis Discuss Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes, Video

“Po-Dunk” Performer Kid Rock, Eyes Senate Run, Makes Manufactured Home Living Hip

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

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

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

March 28th, 2018 Comments off

ResultsFromManufacturedHousingIndustryLeadership

The column below could carry a sub-title – proven results vs. hype and hot air. Every organization worth its salt takes a periodic victory lap.  The same occurs in manufactured housing.

 

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has periodically claimed or hinted that under their “leadership” on issues that they originally often had a different position on.  Perhaps as a response to MHI, or as a victory lap – or both – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) laid out some facts in a new, detailed statement today.  They point to the time line and documents that prove their nettlesome points.

In a new MHARR Issues and Perspectives, Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Washington, D.C. based trade organization does what he’s done several times before.

MHARRIssuesPerspectivesMHARRleadershipProducesResultsForIndustry

Weiss painstakingly lays out one fact after another.  Those facts could prove embarrassing for their rivals across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA.

While the Daily Business News will make a modest technical correction on part of MHARR’s statement, the thrust of their positions are not easy to contest, as an anticipated silence from MHI on MHARR’s claims will aptly demonstrate.

Will Trump Administration officials take note of what follows?

 

Leadership Strategy Backdrop

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR, as an organization, has always been tasked with being a leader on the issues it addresses. Established by industry pioneers in 1985, MHARR was not designed, and was never intended to be, a status quo organization given to complacency, pulling punches, or “going along” with regulators, industry detractors, or anyone else. It was formed, instead, to be an aggressive fighting force on behalf of manufactured housing industry businesses,” said MHARR in their latest Issues and Perspectives.

MHARR’s primary “objective,” from day-one, as its Charter attests, has been to “oppose abusive [regulatory] practices.” In pursuing this mission, MHARR’s principal focus has always been the federal manufactured housing regulatory program. But the HUD program is not, and never has been, MHARR’s sole focus, as government activity (or inactivity) in other areas, such as consumer financing, placement and development issues, and others, have had – and continue to have – a significant (negative) impact on the industry and especially its smaller businesses,” said the Washington, D.C. based trade association that represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

Leadership Results for Manufactured Housing Laid Out Step-by-Step

While the fight to protect, defend and advance the HUD Code industry took a major step forward with the enactment of the landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, the years that followed, and particularly the eight years of the Obama Administration, were difficult, as HUD was able – sometimes with the tacit support of some in the industry – to evade, distort, or ignore major statutory reforms, including:

(1) the requirement for an appointed, non-career program administrator;

(2) mandatory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) review of all proposed standards, regulations, interpretations and other changes to HUD policies, procedures and practices;

(3) the requirement for “separate and independent” contractors;

(4) limitations on the scope and nature of “monitoring;”

(5) enhanced federal preemption; and

(6) the absence of full and fair competition for program contracts, as exemplified by the 40-year-plus program “monitoring” contractor, among other things,” said Weiss.

Very early in 2016, however, and well prior to the election of President Trump, MHARR began to recognize – based on painstaking evaluation and analysis of the President’s specific campaign positions – that there would be an unprecedented opportunity under a Trump Administration to change the focus, direction and leadership of the federal manufactured housing program based on the letter and intent of the 2000 reform law, to stop excessive or unreasonable regulations (and regulatory “interpretations”), and to roll-back other aspects of federal regulation that needlessly increase the cost of manufactured housing while doing little or nothing for consumers. Now, slightly more than a year later, with the 2016 election having made MHARR’s recognition of this opportunity and its corresponding plan of action a reality, the results of that plan of action can be assessed,” said Weiss.

 

MHARR, OBJECTIVE:  REASSIGN AND REPLACE HUD PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

MHARR, immediately upon the election of president Trump – and alone within the industry – publicly called for the re-assignment and replacement of HUD manufactured housing program administrator Pamela Danner. In a December 1, 2016 communication to Vice President-Elect Pence (heading the Administration’s transition team), MHARR formally sought the reassignment of Ms. Danner and the appointment of a new non-career program administrator. MHARR explained at the time, “[T]he appointment of a non-career manufactured housing program administrator – in accordance with the 2000 reform law and, just as importantly, the policy perspectives of the President-Elect — is essential to revitalize this program, ensure the full and proper implementation of the 2000 reform law, and re-energize an industry which has suffered unprecedented production declines over the past decade-plus,” MHARR told the Daily Business News.

 

Here, a nuanced distinction that corrects MHARR statement above ought to be pointed out. MHARR was ‘alone’ among industry trade associations, but MHProNews was out in front on supporting candidate Trump, as the Google search result below reflects.

12ReasonsEducatedIranianAmericanWomanSupportsDonaldTrumpPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews954x846

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative, and pro-Trump websites.

Dozens of articles were published by the Daily Business News during the 2016 cycle that demonstrated why the Berkshire Hathaway chairman favored Hillary Clinton was the wrong choice for the industry, while the policy positions of candidate Donald J. Trump appeared to be the correct choice.

While MHI didn’t formally take a pro-Clinton endorsement, they did the next closest thing just days before the election.

MHI put not one, but two paid speakers on their platform in Chicago who were pro-Clinton as part of their talks.

In MHI’s presentation to members at that same meeting, MHI’s staff ‘experts’ incorrectly explained why one or both sides of Congress would likely also be lost to Democratic control.  MHI has never contested these MHProNews allegations, perhaps because they know that the their were too many witnesses, and too much evidence to the contrary.

So while MHI claimed to be working to mitigate Dodd-Frank related issues, the chairman of their most influential member – Warren Buffett – loudly and proudly proclaimed support for Secretary Clinton.  Inconsistency, anyone?

IBTInternationalBusinessTimesWarrenBuffettHillaryClintonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstituteSeniorVPLogoMHIlogoQuoteMHProNews

MHI has attempted to ignore or brush off the clearly contradictory facts that Buffett led Berkshire brands Clayton, 21st and Vanderbilt claimed to be working to mitigate Dodd-Frank, while Buffett himself supported President Obama and Secretary Clinton.  Both POTUS Obama and Clinton opposed any changes to the Dodd-Frank law and CFPB regulations of it. The reality is that Buffett’s brands benefited, directly and/or indirectly, whether or not Preserving Access passed, or not. Buffett has said he counts on people not studying history, while he does his own reading, and research, which includes history.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

With those distinctions made, returning to Weiss’ points.

MHARR reiterated the urgent need – and necessity for – the appointment of a new, non-career program administrator once again on December 6, 2016, and subsequently raised this matter in every interaction it had with Trump Administration officials at HUD. Others in the industry, by contrast, were publicly silent on this desperately-needed change through most of 2017,” wrote Weiss.

As a result of MHARR’s public leadership on this matter from the outset, the prior manufactured housing program administrator, as announced by HUD in late 2017, was re-assigned within the HUD Office of Single-Family Housing, and replaced on an interim basis by the program’s Deputy Administrator, with further action pending on a permanent replacement,” said the MHARR op-ed.

While this initial result is consistent with MHARR’s goals, it could have been achieved much earlier if MHARR’s public call for a new administrator had been supported by the rest of the industry” i.e. a veiled reference to MHI. “Nevertheless, as this process plays-out, MHARR will continue to seek the appointment of a qualified and appropriate non-career program administrator.”

MHARR’s step-by-step narrative then laid out how their organization, which has a fraction of MHI’s budget or staff, took the following positions which were successfully accomplished, while MHI in each case took the wrong position and/or came “late to the dance.”

  • OBJECTIVE: FREEZE, REVIEW AND REFORM HUD REGULATIONS
  • OBJECTIVE:  WITHDRAWAL OF THE PROPOSED DOE “ENERGY” RULE
  • OBJECTIVE: FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE “DUTY TO SERVE”

The full write up by Weiss via the latest MHARR issues and Perspectives, which lays out the facts behind those three key bulletted advances for manufactured housing, is linked here.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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