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Peer Alleges State Execs Crossed Line, “Kissing Ass” Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute, Back-Stabbed MHI Member Reacts

April 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Off the record, but these [other] state associations [in this email thread] have crossed the line with their blind loyalty and kiss a — to Clayton [Homes] and MHI. This is not healthy for the industry well-being and [the] future of the industry,” said one of several news tips received by MHProNews last week.

 

That comment was tied to the embarrassing-for-the-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Clayton Homes viral video on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver entitled, “Mobile Homes.” MHLivingNews did a fact-check that posted said video and unpacked it’s points, hits and misses, in a report linked below.

 

HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check

 

That fact-check on MHLivingNews landed on page 1 of Google early Sunday morning.  That’s relevant, but first the evidence of that factoid.

JohnOliverMobileHomesViralVideoSunday41420198-50AMET

 

More of that email-thread between various state association executives may or may not be reported in the days ahead.   But for this report, we’ll focus on a specific comment about a multi-year Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member by an MHI affiliated state association executive.

That executive?

Amy Bliss, of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

It should be noted that, per sources, MHI monitors those electronic transmissions among the MHEC execs, which is open to most industry trade association staff leaders.  So that ‘monitoring’ by MHI – which sources say are periodically forwarded to Executive Committee members that include Berkshire Hathaway brands – may in various ways influence comments like the one that follows.

It would be somewhat akin to mom and dad monitoring their teenagers’ emails.  Or more to the point, a stern boss overseeing all the messages his staff sent via email.

AnIndustryWithHeartTomorrowsHomeFoundationWiscHousingAllianceMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-310x165

Wheat and chaff, fairness, with all people, organizations, and things. Bliss was instrumental in the work of starting and operating the Tomorrow’s Home Foundation, learn more at this link here. That said, what follows isn’t the only questionable behavior by Bliss. See the link here for a recent example.

Here’s what Bliss said, following the screen capture of the email, with her photo added to the top left of her words as an illustration that was not in her original message.  As is the custom here on MHProNews, we’ve turned her direct quote into bold and brown text so it pops.

 

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAllianceExecutiveDirectorAboutROCUSANorthCountryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAlliancePhoto

Photo provided under fair use guidelines for media.

From: Amy Bliss
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Subject: RE: [mhexecs] FW: How Private Investors Are Threatening the Fate of Manufactured Housing

I am very disappointed in two entities that are supposed to be in favor of manufactured housing.  ROC USA and North Country Cooperative both added this John Oliver junk to their facebook page and ROC USA also tweeted it out as if they were sharing good news. This is such an insult to the people that have chosen manufactured housing to live in.  If there were not investor owned communities, they would have no communities to “convert” to resident owned.  Such a shame.

 

Amy Bliss, CAE
Executive Director,
WI Housing Alliance and WI Recreational Vehicle Dealers Alliance

If indeed comments like Bliss’ are monitored by MHI, then why didn’t the Arlington, VA based trade group come to the defense of a member being tagged by Bliss in such a manner?  Normally, an association member would never know – and thus would never have had a chance to respond to on behalf of the themselves and/or the organization being disparaged.  What does this incident say about not just Bliss, but MHI, or some others in MHEC?

Agree or disagree with ROC USA on this or that, but they have first amendment rights – even if Bliss doesn’t care for that protected speech.  MHProNews, once that and other messages were provided by multiple parties, asked for comments from both Bliss and Paul Bradley, ROC USA President.

Bradley replied as follows, his photo is likewise added for illustration purposes, and as with Bliss, we turned his statement to MHProNews and Bliss bold and brown for clarity and emphasis, but his words are unedited.

paulbradleycredtimhpronewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnews

Award winning, Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA.

Hello Tony and Amy,

I am happy to talk directly anytime, Amy, but will respond at this late hour to the two of you here.    

First, it probably goes without saying that I have no control over the independent press or a satirist like John Oliver.  However, as Tony knows, I am always quick to point out that there are many good operators in the business. 

John Oliver focused on the onslaught of aggressive new money in the sector.  The examples of rent hikes cited were alarming and atypical but also real.  I know one of the examples well.  (In fact, I referred that one to Rick Robinson at MHI to handle when Time Magazine called recently.) 

Oliver was making a point about the fate of residents in communities that experience significant rent increases and, as any good debater would, chose stories that best illustrated that point.

He pointed to resident ownership as a way to mitigate such increases by removing MHCs from the speculative real estate market, and we agree that it is.  This was hardly an attack on the homeowners who suffered these hardships — that’s something we would never condone. 

In terms of our sharing it, I am not going to miss an opportunity share the ROC USA story with our followers when we appear on national TV.  I certainly understand the piece is embarrassing to some operators who subscribe to a certain school of thought when it comes to homeowners and MHC ownership. 

I know the three of us actually care about the homeowner experience for both business and basic humanity reasons, and many others do, too.  I believe we all wish it was universal. 

Thank you.  Happy to talk anytime.  Paul

Given several days to respond to Bradley or MHProNews, Bliss said nada in the way of a follow up to this publication. If she did so privately to Bradley, he has not so indicated. From an editorial perspective, Bradley’s reply above – especially give the circumstances – could fairly be described as ‘classy.’

 

Part of a Pattern?

By contrast, Bliss – per sources in the George F. (F?) Allen camp – has supposedly called for a “boycott” of this site last year that Bliss concurred with.  When asked about that claim by MHProNews, Bliss neither confirmed nor denied that allegation lodged by members of Allen’s following.  The reason that is relevant will be made clear.

It is this.  One is left with an impression of Bliss as someone that – at least among her state association peers – wants only the MHI party line.  That’s what seemingly sparked the tips – outrage – like the one comment noted at the top. That comment was not the only one…

That apparent desire for only the MHI party line by Bliss is seemingly true even with respect to another MHI member – i.e. Bradley/ROC USA.  A source with knowledge indicated that ROC USA is a member of the WHA – led by Bliss – not just MHI.

If so, Bliss arguably ‘back stabbed’ a dues paying member of her WHA trade group and a dues payer to MHI.  How does that impact that member’s business interests?  Why did none of the MHEC Execs openly chide her for that in that email thread?  Why did some feel the need to send that and other messages to MHProNews to expose what some other execs are doing to one or more dues paying members?

Because there was another dues paying member of MHI that was likewise mentioned between the state execs.

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Apology or…?

Given the influence that state association executives have with numbers of people in this industry, will Bliss step up and at a minimum, publicly apologize?  If not, what remedial steps should be taken?

Or what about the group messages – which are supposed to be used by the MHExecs to discuss issues faced by members, such as zoning, legal, or legislative issues.  That list’s use presumably ought not include slamming members of the industry’s trade groups by those they pay dues too.

 

FactsFoulPlayFearFreedomWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingInstiutute#MHIUpdateMHProNews

It must not be thought that just because Warren Buffett happens to be a staunch Democrat, that all other Democrats are like him. Or because Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway lending affiliates has purportedly done dark deeds, that everyone that works there are the same. There is good, bad, and meh in all people, organizations, associations, etc. One must fairly discern ‘wheat and chaff’ – what’s good and not – in individuals, people, and organizations. Each of us has been tempted to do good, evil, or nothing while evil occurred. There is a path for successful, profitable, honorable resistance.   Watch for an upcoming special report – Facts, Foul Play, Fear, and Freedom.

 

Even More Important?

Perhaps as or more important, what has Bliss, other execs, MHI, or others done to respond in a constructive way to the John Oliver video on “Mobile Homes?”  That HBO/Oliver video, when properly understood, disparages specific larger MHI members.  Has Bliss taken any of them to task, given it was logically their purported behavior that fueled Oliver’s sharp satirical commentary?  ROC USA might benefit from Oliver’s video, but they are not the focus of HBO’s sharp satirical attack.

If any state execs took MHI to task in a public way, that has not yet been provided to MHProNews.  That said, several are disgusted enough to share with MHProNews what was shared.

  • Time will tell if Bliss has the chutzpah to stand up to the powers-that-be in a manner even modestly analogous to what she did with ROC USA and North Country.
  • The industry will also see if Bliss – or any state exec – asks the powers-that-be to behave in ways that might avoid such harmful and embarrassing mainstream media commentary, satirical or otherwise.

Finally, as the articles linked below the byline make clear, Warren Buffett’s ‘follow the money-trail’ leads one to a reasonable conclusion that he has helped fund MHAction through ‘dark money’ channels. Will Bliss and her state association colleagues hold Buffett, the Berkshire brands, and others accountable for business practices that harm the image of an already struggling industry?

2019-04-01_1358December2019ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It isn’t just the MMHF states. 7 of the top 10 states in manufactured housing shipments are reporting declines. At what point will MHI – the self proclaimed representative of “all segments of factory-built housing” actually do something useful to reverse this troubling trend? Or will they reveal by inaction that they are allowing it, perhaps with the goal of causing more independents to sell out to big boys, or close shop?

 

Other reports that correct the record, debunk, and/or jujitsu key concerns on that issue are linked from the report below the byline and notices. That’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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Canadian-Owned U.S. “Mobile Home Park” Condemned, Residents Must Scramble to Meet Deadline to Vacate

March 5th, 2019 Comments off

 

CanadianOwnedUSMobileHomeParkCondemnedResidentsMustScrambletoMeetDeadlineToVacateWLNS-MI-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This troubling story out of the northern U.S. is one that periodically crops up in state-after-state.  As Amy Bliss, the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) state association executive director recently said to MHReview (MHR),  “The biggest reason for community closures is because the municipality revokes the license to operate because the owner has let the community go into a state of disrepair. I hate to see Wisconsin lose sites and it is extremely sad for the tenants.”

 

This specific planned closure of a condemned community is in the state of Michigan. The reasons cited by officials include a state of disrepair that the residents at this community can no longer successfully address, because of what local media says is an ‘absentee’ owner in Canada.

Per WLNS, in Jackson County, Michigan, “Several families in a Jackson mobile home park will be forced to leave on March 13th because of unfit and dangerous living conditions.”

The issues of alleged bad management and poor maintenance at the Fisher Mobile Home Park date back for a year.

Don Hayduk, Division Director for Environmental Health, Hayduck said he knows condemning the property isn’t convenient for the residents.  But that official says he believes that resident safety has to come first.

I like it here, and…I don’t want to move,” says Ginger, a current resident at Fisher says in the video posted produced by WLNS.I hate change.”

It seems likely that the costs of living are low, which is something for cash-strapped residents to like.

 

 

But moving is exactly what Ginger and other remaining residents at the community will have to do in about 8 days, if they hold to the order. Fisher Mobile Home Park was condemned by the Health Department for several reasons, dating back for more than a year.

Hayduk said absentee management is a factor.

There is no onsite management and hasn’t been for quite some time,” Hayduk says. “They don’t have a certified water operator, as per Michigan requirements, as well as the park is unlicensed at this point.”

It should be noted that in this instance, based upon the visual evidence from the video, the community appears to be comprised mostly – or perhaps entirely – of pre-HUD Code mobile homes. If so, it is indeed a “mobile home park.”

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

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

 

Remaining residents have been trying to handle problems themselves, but can’t.

It is beyond their capability,” Hayduk stated. “And I give them all the credit in the world, the residents. They are trying their best to live there, to create an environment that is acceptable for them. But it’s gotten to the point where it’s not sustainable.”

According to WLNS, different Michigan agencies have tried contacting the property owner, who they say lives in Canada. The video report indicated that there has been no response.

A case worker was assigned by public officials to the Fisher MHP to help those remaining families and households find new places to live once time runs out.

 

Not Just MH Communities, but Manufactured Home Industry Impacts?

It is one more headache for residents, and one more black eye for the industry. Community closures are all too commonplace.  How they are handled – or mishandled – is an ongoing issue for community operators, and the industry at large, since about 1/3 of all new manufactured homes are installed in a land-lease community, per the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

It must be considered as part of the puzzle of items that contribute to shirking new home sales at the very time that affordable housing is most needed.  You can access the related report below, and others that follow the byline, by clicking on the linked text-image box.

 

As Affordable Housing Crisis Rages, New HUD Code Manufactured Housing Shipments Fall, Some States Drop 35-40 Percent

 

The Google search result shown below are from this morning.  The comments on that graphic are integral to the understanding of this issue, and how it impacts the industry at large.

 

MobileHomeparkRedevelopmentClosureGoogleSearch2019-03-05_0816DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

One might wonder what is next for this Jackson County, MI location?  Will it be redeveloped?  Is the city doing the work of eviction for an absentee owner who wanted to see the property closed in as inexpensive a way as possible?

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will strive to monitor this matter, and others like it.  See the related reports below the byline, notices, and business development opportunities for industry commentary on this and similar issues.

 

MartyLavinJDFormerCommunityOwnerMHIAwardWinner-NotEnoughHunger-IndustryVoicesMHProNews-500x365

Marty Lavin, JD, was a long time community owner, before selling the properties, in at least one case, into resident ownership. He is an MHI award winner, did work for many years in retail and lending.  He is also a part-time industry critic, who may aim sharp words to stir the desire for positive changes.

 

Comments are encouraged on this topic.

 

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

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: 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 do.

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2019 Trade Shows, Next Battleground of the Manufactured Housing Revolution?

January 7th, 2019 Comments off

 

2019TradeShowsNextBattlegroundTheManufacturedHousingRevolutionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Capital, other market manipulations, plus an apparent failure by the Arlington, VA based Monopolistic Housing Institute (MHI) to deliver on their self-proclaimed ‘promotion’ of the industry are obvious takeaways from the latest new HUD Code manufactured home (MH) shipment report. But those are not the only problems that the Manufactured Home (MH) industry and its numerous varied professionals face. Yet, every problem – properly understood – is an opportunity in disguise.

 

Cohesion – so called ‘unity’ – sounds like a noble goal. But for various reasons that aren’t the focus of this column, cohesion won’t possibly be achieved accept by conquest of the larger powers, OR until clear alternatives to the present Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis power structure in MHVille are established.

Without balanced and mutually respected interests, how else could cohesion or unity be achieved?

The aim of alternative structures in MHVille should not be to create a new monopolistic nexus that challenges the current monopolistic one.

Rather, the goal should be to fuel in an authentic manner what made manufactured housing a far greater – in sheer size and scope – the industry in the past to begin with. Diversity! Thousands of MH Independents, and hundreds of different independent producers.  There was diversity galore in those MH Industry glory days gone by.  That’s how growth is proven to occur.

 

Genuine vs. Weaponized Insights

To be historically more accurate about manufactured housing, what too many industry pros never lived through – and thus never understood – is that the old Fleetwood and the old Champion home builders each established their own unique vertically integrated machines in the 1990s.  Those firms are not the Fleetwood or Champion of today, but the names are similar.

The old Fleetwood and the old Champion had a similar thirst for market domination as Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage jointly share. The ongoing relevance of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has long been as a counterweight to the Machiavellian Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, then or now.

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Satirical Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) logo provided under fair use guidelines.

The names at the top of the pile at MHI have changed, but the challenges have has some similarities.

Monopolistic practices that manipulate capital access, political, placement, and regulatory schemes are the enemy. What MHARR, or National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) have done for decades for smaller firms is provide the authentic cover that MHI has arguably long neglected.

Hundreds of manufactured housing firms, per sources at NFIB, are members of that organization. If the MH industry felt fully represented by MHI, what would lead so many to join organization’s like MHARR or NFIB? What would spark the revolt among community owners that has led to NAMHCO? New and existing alternatives to MHI should be fueled, not thwarted.

The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is simply better at building moats than Fleetwood and Champion were. By ‘better,’ one should understand ‘cheaper.’

For example, the old Fleetwood and Champion arguably overpaid in many cases for the retail centers they acquired. By contrast, the evidence in the linked reports reflect that Buffett’s style of moat-building underpays for businesses. They accomplish that by artificially depressing sales and thus business and/or property valuations.

That process thereby creates the “value” acquisition Buffett and his longtime partner Charlie Munger crave. The rest are details and commentary.

Manufactured Home Production Decline Accelerates in November 2018

It is Buffett who reportedly said he wants sharks in the waters of his Moat, not MHProNews. We simply accept that – plus the evidence of his, Kevin Clayton, and Tim Williams – each at their own words. Perhaps one reason why – until this point in time – that their respective attorneys rattle sabers in our direction instead of just sue, is that they know that it is hard to argue with their own words.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHARRlogo600

Which leads us to trade shows and the opportunity for the next phase of the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

New Era in National U.S. Manufactured Home Community Representation Underway?

 

 

Show Ways Unlimited and Manufactured Housing Trade Shows

Sources with close ties to Show Ways Unlimited are among those that shed light on how Clayton allegedly manipulated the now defunct Carolina show, and tipped it out of existence. Those same informed sources have said that Clayton only entered the Louisville Show as a defensive mechanism, to counter the independents who were behind the revival of the show. Team Clayton has been working to undermine the Tunica Show, per sources, by establishing their own show in Birmingham, AL. Those claims are whatever they are, and should be discerned in the light of the evidence.

Meanwhile, the current trade shows are nothing like the glory days of Louisville or the Nashville Show, which was the forerunner of the Tunica Show. Back in the glory days, 100, 150, or 200 plus new homes used to crowd exhibit halls and parking lots.  Professionals from around the world attended those much larger events. The mainstream media came too, just as they do today for automotive, RV, and boat shows.

One question that potential MH Revolutionaries must ask is this. Is this going to be an industry on the rise or slide?  Do you want to enhance the income-producing and exit-value of your business, or do you want to sell it someday cheap to a monopolistic player?

One must look at authentic manufactured housing history, not the weaponized version that some like George F. (F?) Allen produces, that later version of which magically places Allen himself in the center of the MH Universe.

Allen, like MHI, is arguably a would be power-broker. If he and his MHI supported allies can succeed at diminishing the largest trade publisher in the industry – MHProNews – that would make Allen appear to be bigger than he is. It’s somewhat like taking a lake and shrinking it, to make little fish look bigger. Sad.

What MHI and Allen have in common are meetings that draw a crowd, however modest. Never mind that those crowds are small compared to a manufactured housing trade show. For those who would shrink an industry in order to grow their own influence, it is arguably a bit like Buffett’s moats. Only G F (F?) Allen’s is discernably cruder in execution.

A key to authentically re-growing the industry has long been about more than attracting more industry professionals to an event. As or more important, one must also attract mainstream media, new potential lenders (as Triad has done for years), and investors. Then, post-industry trade days, there must also be public days.  It worked in the past, why not now?  It’s worked for RVs, and other industries, why not ours in MHVille?

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

Click here to learn more.

Among the most common comments heard at Louisville and Tunica every year from exhibitors is, why aren’t there public days?  The same old tired story is given in reply by show management, year after year.  Who does that old, tired cover-story benefit?

This writer had an operation that used what amounted to ‘public days’ to sell dozens of additional homes per year to retail customers. Few things would serve to remove the stigma of the industry better than spotlighting realty, instead of allowing the old ‘mobile home’ or ‘trailer house’ stereotypes to live on.

WhenTrailerTrashIsntWhatYouThinkcreditMHProNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsFrankRolfe

See the entire article and other industry reactions, at this link here.

 

PewResearchRentalHouseholdsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThere is an obvious opportunity to start that ball rolling at the upcoming 2019 trade shows. That is where hundreds of independent retailers and communities will be.  But those must be an organizing stepping stone to something that is entirely new in 2020.

That there is frustration in MHVille is apparent to all who will listen.

The launch of a new community association is but one example. The longtime existence of MHARR as a counterweight to MHI is another. A third is the #NobleNotMobile concept. Like MHI member Frank Rolfe’s lament against MHI and what he called their hypocrisy, Paul Bradley and ROC USA are MHI members too.  Bradley was clearly no longer satisfied with what MHI claims as promotion. Thus Bradley and his colleagues conceived of #NobleNotMobile, and that’s how frustration gave birth to action.

There are 22 million Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post-HUD Code manufactured homes. There are millions more in the U.S. who rent. According to Pew Research, CityLab and others, about 100 million in the U.S. are living in rentals. Most of those obviously fail to seriously consider manufactured housing as an option, in part, due to the ‘trailer’ stigma.

Ten percent of either of those 2 populations groups could swing many elections in the nation. Something similar could occur in Canada, for that matter.

The ability of the industry to achieve it full potential lies not along the proven failed path of the Manipulative Housing Institute, and the arguably hypocritical and jealous path of yesterday’s news, George F (F?) Allen.

The path is to forge new structures that fuel independents. That must avoid the problems that made MHI the Menacing Housing Institute that it has become.

The humble observations, evidence, allegations, history, and logic herein are for the industry’s and investors consideration.

Among the next questions should be this one. At what point will the bulk of the industry’s remaining independents realize that their numbers are still shrinking? They are shrinking in the community and retail sides.

The number of retailers and communities are shrinking during an affordable housing crisis.  Is that coincidence or market manipulation? Who’s side is MHI on? In that battle, who’s side has George F. (F?) Allen taken?

The new HUD Code manufactured home shipment tallies are going to be low and vulnerable to many headwinds so long as the number of distribution points, producers, capital access, and image all remain artificially limited.  That’s what producers – including MHI members – tell us.

The fact that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis would apparently stoop to using a surrogate like George F (F?) Allen, speaks volumes. It’s the latest in a series of over-the-target reactions, previously reported. See the linked report, further below.

 

Taking Charge of Your Own Future by Teaming with Others Like Yourself

The time to take the bull by the horns is now. Hundreds of billions in new capital is flowing into the U.S. Jeff Bezos led Amazon’s Alexa Fund estimates that the market potential is $330 billion annually.

You do the math that mathematically-challenged MHI can’t or won’t do for you. They claimed, incorrectly (again), the Manufactured Housing adds $3 billion a year to the economy. At retail in 2017, the obvious math was some $6.5 billion.

Divide $6.5 billion into $330 billion.

The product of the above is how much the potential growth could be for factory-homebuilders of all kinds.

MonopolisticHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoManufacturedHousingInstiutteLogoLarge

New paths, new structures to do for retailers, communities, and all others in the industry are how that potential is to be tapped. That’s the next step in the Manufactured Housing Revolution. Ready to take that next step?  Ready to take a step that will liberate you from the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Axis? “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 access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

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

 

MHARR, ROC USA, Canadian Association Weigh-In On Disney “Trailers” Controversy

December 28th, 2018 Comments off

 

MHARRROCUSAMHPOCanadianAssocWeighInDisneySpringsTrailersControversyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There is a school of thought that the only way to effect change in addressing stereotypes, prejudice, and other forms of misinformation is to push for a change with the appropriate organizations and institutions that misuse a term.

 

Tim Williams, President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp and former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Chairman acknowledged that viewpoint in writing to MHProNews in these words.

 

 

It came to the attention of MHProNews recently that nearby Disney in Orlando are using modular units on their Disney Springs property that are inappropriately labeled as “trailers.” To see that full Daily Business News post, see the Related Reports, further below the byline and disclaimers at the end of this post.

MHProNews’ publisher reached out to Disney via two different contact points.  Disney confirmed receipt, but have not yet made a formal reply to the issue, which they said could be expected next week.

Three other industry organizations have directly sounded off on this issue to Disney, copying MHProNews in their message.  What follows will be all three of those respective organization’s messages.

 

 

The View on Disney’s Misuse of the Term ‘Trailer’ from MHARR

The Washington, DC based Manufactured Housing Association for a Regulatory Reform (MHARR) President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, sent his own message to Disney.  It was short, and to the point. It reads as follows, between the — lines.  The photo below was added here to identify the writer.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsDisney Springs Media and Guest Relations:

Tony Kovach at MHProNews, as noted below, is correct, Disney’s use of the term “trailer” in this matter is problematic and offensive to many.  Please consider the corrective steps he suggested.

Thank you.

Mark Weiss

President & CEO

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Suite 512

Washington, D.C. 20004

Phone: 202/783-4087

Fax: 202/783-4075

Email: MHARRDG@AOL.COM

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org

 

MHPO, a Canadian Trade Group Representing Manufactured Home Communities

AlKempExecutiveDirectorMHPOManufacturedHomeParkOwnersBCCanadaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews utilizing MHPO images under fair use guidelines.

Hello [Disney],

The link below was drawn to my attention and it demands a response.

By way of introduction, I am the Executive Director of the Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of British Columbia (Canada).

Our nearly 400 members provide homes for over 60,000 British Columbia households – seniors, singles, professionals, and young couples embarking on home ownership.

Similar to the USA HUD requirements, all manufactured homes built in Canada are constructed to a federal standard (Z240) that means they are 2×4 or 2×6 construction with strong frames and roofs, full insulation, sheetrock walls – and can accommodate king size beds and jacuzzis!

The terms “trailer” and “trailer parks” are inaccurate and offensive to manufactured home community owners and home owners.  Manufactured homes are seldom moved once they are placed on a site in the community.  Manufactured home residents are a unique breed in that – unlike in a condo or rental apartment building – they generally know all or many of their neighbours, watch out for each other, care for each others’ homes when a neighbour is on vacation, and hold community events such as bingo nights, potluck dinners, etc.

Every community owner and park owner will be quick to tell you that trailers haul beer and cattle; manufactured homes provide an affordable and desirable home ownership alternative.

Many Canadians enjoy travelog to Disneyland and Disneyworld.  Many Canadians live in manufactured homes.  In the interests of maintaining Disney’s positive reputation, please request your organization to remove the “T-word” from all manufactured homes.

I would welcome confirmation from you and would be pleased to report to our members in our magazine that Disney has removed this offensive word from their buildings.

. . . . Al Kemp

info@mhpo.com

250-213-2617

 

 

From New Hampshire, ROC USA Leader Reacts

ROC USA has weighed in on this topic too.  As in the above, the Daily Business News on MHProNews is adding Paul Bradley’s photo, which was not in the original message to Disney. Here’s between the lines is the message today from Paul Bradley, President of ROC USA to Disney.

paul-bradley-jerry-voorhis-memorial-award-2014Dear Disney staff,

What Tony highlights here is a real issue – the stigma associated with factory-built housing, especially HUD-code Manufactured Housing – is inaccurate as well as hurtful to many of your customers.

Case in point:  We highlighted a homeowner in a video last Spring who after touring the viewer around her home, she said (something to this effect):  “We were excited so we sent out invitations for an Open House.  A friend called and said, ‘Why are you having an open house, you only bought a trailer.’”

Take a look, it’s a house and it’s home to her and her family – see video on top left of our homepage at www.rocusa.org.  It just happens to be a Manufactured Home.

We and the 79 co-op leaders at our Leadership Institute were so moved by the video that we decided to put up hard earned cash to tackle stigma through a video competition.  It’s running right now.  We invite Disney to enter!  Please share with your staff.  https://www.noblenotmobile.com/

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.

Paul Bradley, President,

ROC USA

6 Loudon Road, Suite 501

Concord, NH 03301

 

 

The Word to Disney from MHProNews Publisher

Here between the — lines below is how L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, award-winning manufactured home industry veteran and publisher of MHProNews/MHLivingNews addressed Disney.

LATonyKovachMHLivingnewsMHProNewsPHotoDisney Springs Media and Guest Relations,

Let me bring to your attention the issue described in the article posted at the link below.

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/disney-utilizes-inaccurate-prejudicial-terminology-trailer-offensive-to-factory-builders-homeowners/

The article should be self explanatory, but briefly. The term “trailer” here is inaccurate, and in the view of thousands of industry professionals, offensive in this context. While it may be ‘common,’ it is still wrong – as the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. – a veteran of the civil rights movement – aptly explains in the article linked above.

The term used in this manner is likewise a sore point for millions of mobile and manufactured home owners.

I’m cc’ing a few select industry colleagues in this message, to make them aware of this issue, and to hereby advise them that it is being formally brought to Disney’s attention for correction.  While we don’t speak for those other organizations, my hunch is that they will look at this vexing matter described in the post linked above in a similar way.  A few other business leaders in our industry are also bcc’d.

Please confirm your receipt of this message. Kindly advise me of what remedial steps you plan, and let us know if your comments – which we prefer by email for clarity of thought, accuracy, and ease of transcription – are on or off the record. I’d invite you to “reply all.”

We hope that this instance is merely a case of misinformation or misunderstanding, and that you will take this opportunity to correct the error in an appropriate manner. Either way, we will do a follow up report for our readers, that reflects your reply and hopefully corrective steps. Thank you.

Respectfully,

Tony

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

Connect on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

+++

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford

 

 

It’s the Holidays, So Far, Not Much from Disney, But More is Promised 

There has been a message to MHProNews from Disney promising a formal reply sometime next week.

There is another trade group that could weigh in next week, we’ll see.  It should be noted that Al Kemp took time away from his Hawaiian vacation to thoughtfully provide the comments above.  That said, Al and his office associate advised our publisher that had Kemp been unavailable, the MHPO would still have provided a comment from another association professional.

Put differently, the MHPO – and the others above – all see this as an important issue.

As industry professionals consider the latest new home shipments, it ought to be clear that terminology impacts stigma, our homeowners and potential consumers. This is frankly the kind of thing that a post-production association, such as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) ought to be dealing with.  But heretofore, despite what Tim Williams said above, MHI has done so only sporadically, if at all.  We’ll plan to reach out and see if  MHI will make an exception, and dive into this Disney issue, or not. Either way, it will be insightful.

This is also the kind of issue that resident home owner groups may also consider taking to heart, because it impacts their residents in a variety of ways.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-768x318

MHProNews will encourage those noted above to provide their comments on this Disney controversy. Time will tell if Disney is as senstiveto our home owners and industry as they would be toward other minority groups.  The Daily Business News on MHProNews will update readers as appropriate. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Disney Utilizes Inaccurate, Prejudicial Terminology “Trailer” Offensive to Factory-Builders, Homeowners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enduring Good Will Value from Good Business Practices, Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

July 30th, 2018 Comments off

 

RyanKirkMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomeCommunityPhotoEnduringGoodWillValueGoodBusiinessPracticesMOndayMorningSalesMarketingMeetingDailyBusinessNewMHProNewsEvery Man owes some of his time to the
upbuilding of the profession to which he belongs
.”
– Theodore Roosevelt per AZquotes.

 

If memory serves, it was about 1988 when Colorado’s manufactured housing association used that quote in an article about this writer’s operation in Purcell, OK.  The story that the Colorado writer spotlighted was published in one of the now defunct industry trade publications.

That snippet from Colorado may still be in a box somewhere, but the point is the quote, and how it applies to the story of Ryan Kirk, shown below.  It is also how it applies to everyone else in our industry too, you, me, and all others.

We plan an upcoming special report in MHProNews on this community and its owner, Ryan Kirk.

But let’s make the case here and now for why this local news video reflects the enduring value of good business, that gives a great service to that area.  That service is building good will for his business, and arguably for the industry in his market too.

It immediately made me consider what ROC USA has done that generates good PR for their operation. See that for later reading, its linked below.

CityLabs Spotlights ROC USA’s Bright Communities Brand, Lessons for Manufactured Home Professionals, Investors

Here’s how Kirk’s story makes a similar point that the one that award-winning ROC-USA president, Paul Bradley has shared with us on MHLivingNews or MHProNews numerous times over the years.

Provide a good value proposition, promote it, and the public will flock to it.

That’s the potential for the manufactured home community industry.  Kirk’s taken a small, ‘run down’ community, and is giving it a facelift.  Sam Landy led UMH Properties has done this in several markets.  Others are too, so Kirk is far from alone.

From what we’ve already learned, at least one of the homes getting makeovers in Kirk’s community is a true mobile homes, one allegedly dating back to the 1950s.

Kirk’s upgrades of the homes and the community gives local workers a place of enhanced pride that they can call home.

Contrast this with the sad outcome from what was reported near GA, linked below.  Which story would you rather have shared about your operation?

TonyaEvansAllegedVictimTomLackeyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews624

ICYMI, to see the more recent report later, linked here. We’ve had another call from mainstream media about this case, so this story may not be over yet. Which story would YOU rather see in the media, the Lackey story, or the Ryan Kirk story?

 

Candidly. Which story would you rather read about or watch on TV/video about the MH industry?

There is always a right and a wrong way to do something.

EveryManOwesSomeofHisTimeTotheUpbuildingOfProfessionToWhichHeBelongsThedoreTeddyRooseveltAZQuoteMHProNews

A reader wrote recently to say that he thought we were “too confrontation.” It’s not the first or last such message that we’ll get, and we respected the candid comment.  Let me explain to him, and others who wonder why the switch?

LegacyHousingHurricaneLiquidationEatontonGAMHProNews500x335

Learn more about the company at this link here, or to learn more about the event, click here or the image above.

First, we’ve long done stories on the Daily Business News like the Magar Magar tragic tale.  We did that ages before NPR discovered it.  Why spotlight both the negative and positive about the industry?  Why not just shovel out an ongoing stream of feel-good stories?

“Jail Him!” NPR’s “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” Refuted

The answer is found in our new report on ELS’ Vice-Chairman Howard Walker‘s advice.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story about his advice to this writer – and the industry = linked here.

We shifted how we’ve done reports in the last year, to drive home the points from each story more clearly.  Each article is now “news, analysis and commentary.”  That gives us more latitude in writing style to explain the ‘moral of the story,’ or the ‘takeaways’ as people more often say today.

A competitor recently wrote to say, “I truthfully much like your new format.  It makes it easier to find articles pertinent to one’s interests.”  Thanks.

We did a turn-around project with elements that are similar to Kirk’s for a community operator some years ago. It generated considerable free – and positive – local media.  We got free national coverage in the now defunct MHMerchandiser Magazine for the work being done there.

JoeDiedrichLinkedInLATonyKovchRecommendationDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews

Award-winning Joe’s kudos via LinkedIn reflect the view of about half-a dozen different, positive news stories in local, and regional news media, plus national trade media coverage. Those good will stories cost not a dime. 

Peers in and out of the industry praised the work.  Was that a one off?  Hardly, here’s another example from a different project in a different state.

KenGeljackCEOGlobablBuiseinssDevelopmentGroupLLCManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Ken’s experiences include running a respected manufactured housing production center, as well as the RV business.  Again, there were numerous articles obtained in local media, by doing positive things in positive ways – during frankly difficult times.

The principles are very much like what ROC does routinely, and what Kirk did with this story, shown in the video posted above.

These are all shared as lived examples of the same principle – outside looking in – that Ryan Kirk’s business is putting to work in Montgomery.

There are plenty of success principles that one can point to, and that ought to be at the core of every professional’s being.  They can be summed up with what winning coach Lou Holtz summarized in two words.  “Do Right.”

LouHoltzCoachNDDOwhatsRightDoYourBestTreatOthersLIkeYOuWanttoBeTreated3QuestionsCanITrustYOuAreYouCommittedDoYOuCareAboutMeNCRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Before Lou Holtz coached at Note Dame, he coached at Arkansas. The 1978 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 2, 1978, featuring the Arkansas Razorbacks against the heavily-favored Oklahoma Sooners. The sixth-ranked Razorbacks were 10–1, but were heavy underdogs to the #2 Sooners. Holtz benched two of his best players before the game, for rules violations. He still pulled off a stunning upset win.

Is there more to success than those two words?  Of course.  But the takeaway, the moral of the story that caused a favorable spotlight for Ryan, or ROC USA or for this writer in various projects are the same.  Provide a good value proposition. Do right by your team, and your customers.

Learn, earn, return, and repeat daily. That’s today’s Monday Morning sales meeting “News, Tips, and Views That Pros Can Use.” ©   ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Life Hack Success Tip-Any Pro Can Do This-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Public Radio, State Research Says “Manufactured Homes Could be Opportunity in Affordable Housing Crisis”

July 26th, 2018 Comments off

 

VTPublicRadioRichmondVAResearchSaysManufacturedHomescouldBeOpportunityInAffordableHousingCrisisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax held a series of community meetings on the eviction crisis recently, says Virginia’s Public Radio (VPR) to the Daily Business News.

 

JustinFairfaxVALtGovManufacturedHOusingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

VA Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax.

The underlying problem?

A lack of affordable housing.  “Now some advocates think manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, could be a part of the solution,” wrote Mallory Noe-Payne, for VPR.

According to a recent National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) study, someone making minimum wage in Richmond or Charlottesville would have to work more than 100 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

That NLIHC graphic is shown below.

 

NLIHCNatlLowIncomeHousingCoalitionHowMuchToPayForRentByStateHourlyPayMHProNewsDailyBusinessNews

Bob Adams, with Housing and Development Advisors, said that manufactured homes represent an affordable path to housing.

There’s no one who’s coming in and questioning what you do in your own home,” Adams said, as he argued the case for owning a manufactured home vs. rentals. “A lot of families find that living in manufactured housing communities is very desirable and more desirable than being in a traditional apartment community.”

RegionalDistributionofManufacturedHousingRicmondSMAMetroVADailyManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Slide from Bob Adams, with Housing and Development Advisors, research study.

Manufactured homes have become more durable and energy efficient,” said Noe-Payne, pointing to Adam’s research.

ManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWVTFVirginaPublicRadioRichmondVAMHProNews

Manufactured home on privately owned land. Still from WVTF, Public Radio.

According to research Adams presented to a group of lawmakers Wednesday, almost 60,000 people already live in manufactured housing in the Richmond metro area alone.”  More precisely, that’s a mix of mobile homes and manufactured homes.

Senator Mamie Locke says she sees the opportunity. “But we have to get a handle on making sure that individuals who are in manufactured homes also get a good deal on the parks where they’re located,” she said, a refrain that’s often heard from advocate groups, such as Prosperity Now.

VPR said that “One possibility is turning to nonprofits. There’s already a growing trend in Virginia of charities buying and redeveloping manufactured home parks.”

On the one hand, the report is overall positive.  Similar to the report noted from CityLabs last week, a common refrain is that resident ownership is popular among many advocates.

CityLabs Spotlights ROC USA’s Bright Communities Brand, Lessons for Manufactured Home Professionals, Investors

Paul Bradley, with ROC USA has told MHProNews that their capacity to do conversions is increasing.  But they still can’t handle all of the potential conversions.  Furthermore, thousands of communities will never be converted to ROC status.

MidPerformers2ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesRIchmondVAmetroManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Adam’s report shows three different levels of quality for communities. This is a mid-level range community of affordable manufactured housing.

There’s a significant opportunity for manufactured home communities that are ‘investor owned’ to brand or rebrand themselves in more positive ways.

TopPerformersManufacturedHomeCommunitiesRIchmondVAmetroManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

A “top performing” community in Adam’s research of Richmond, VA area communities.

ROC’s Bradley has noted that a number of operations that he personally knows are well run, and are mindful of their residents.

RecommendationsbyBobAdamsHousingDevelopmentAdvisorsRichmondVAMobileHomeManufacturedhm,eDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

From Bob Adam’s report of Richmond metro area communities. This is a mobile home that is 4 plus decades old.

The challenge for the industry at large is that much of the media reports are slanted against them, due in part to protests from activist groups such as MHAction or NMHOA. For more on those groups, see the related resources, linked below.

ResearchApproachBobAdamsHousingDevelopmentAdvisorsMobileManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Part of Adam’s research PowerPoint. The full report is linked below.

 

Competing Trends?

There are competing trends found in mainstream media. On the one hand, there is a steady rise of positive reports, like the one from the National Association of Realtors, linked in the related reports, further below.

But regrettably, far more common are the problematic reports about pre-HUD Code mobile homes, or post HUD Code manufactured homes.

“Even When We Had a Hurricane, It Wasn’t This Bad,” Profitably Decoding Post-Windstorm, Survivor of Possible Tornadoes Statement, Impacting Manufactured Home Community, Manufactured Housing Industry

It is incumbent upon the industry to get to the root issues, which often comes down to positive industry engagement with researchers and media.

Finally, the industry must engage to insure that affordable housing seekers aren’t left with an false impression that site-built housing is necessarily superior. While Bob Adam’s report doesn’t make that point, industry professionals must learn to make and repeat the facts that underscore the value proposition of today’s manufactured homes.

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

The D.R. Horton reports, the public one above the professional version further below, are reminders of why manufactured home producers and owners can and should feel proud of the value that the industry’s been producing for years.

Bob Adam’s entire report can be downloaded here. © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Home Community Owner Alert, Rent Control, MHAction Plans Organized Action in Several States

The case below includes a point that reflects NMHOA activities.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Asks Industry Members to Ask Senators to Support S 2155, Behind the Scenes Details

Realtor University, Journal for the Center of Real Estate Studies, Makes Corrections– “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” by Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE

Road to Zero Wealth, Fisking Prosperity Now, Institute for Policy Studies Report

CityLabs Spotlights ROC USA’s Bright Communities Brand, Lessons for Manufactured Home Professionals, Investors

July 19th, 2018 Comments off

CitylabsSotlightsROCUSAsBrightCommunitiesBrandLessonsForManufacturedHomeProfessionalsInvestorsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manufactured home communities have a long history of providing low-cost housing in the U.S., where residents drive their homes in, secure them, and pay a monthly rent to stay on the owner’s land. These homes are typically the least expensive option when it comes to unsubsidized housing, serving households with a median annual income of about $30,000,” wrote Hallie Golden, in a new article for CityLabs. 

Golden – a freelance writer, who per LinkedIn does some work for the AP too – is the most recent to look at the topic of manufactured homes, land-lease communities, specifically through the lens of cooperatives as a form of resident owned communities (ROCs).

HallieGoldenReliefReporterAPAssociatedPressDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Third party content shown under fair use guidelines.

Golden’s story – and the majority of others through the years in mainstream media and third-party research – is readily categorized as positive, at least for ROC USA. Here’s how Golden opened her report,

When a landlord sells a mobile home park1, it can upend an entire community. Through co-ops, residents are finding a way to stay where they live and control their rent costs.”

It’s frankly a common theme in academia, and in mainstream media reports.  That point about “insecurity” for manufactured home owners in a land-lease is often played up by Prosperity Now (formerly, CFED), or resident activist groups such as NMHOA, and MH Action.

Golden cites Jim Wallace, a resident in a community who she says is “now a 71-year-old retired manufacturing engineer.” “I was doing some pacing on the floor,” said Wallace, when the community he lived in for years was about to be sold by its owner.

I was doing some pacing on the floor,” said Wallace.

Per CityLab’s account, “Wallace and the other members of the 25-home community had a plan. For years, the residents had wrestled with the fact that they have little to no say in the park’s long-term future. So in July, they wrote a letter to the landlord, expressing their concern. “We wanted assurance that our homes would be safe for us to enjoy in the future,” said Katy Bowen, president of the Duvall Riverside Village’s board of directors and one of its residents. The next month, the landlord sent them a letter offering to sell them the property.”

They formed a co-op, got a loan, and bought the 4.5-acre land, about 25 miles northeast of Seattle, for $1.18 million,” said Golden. “With that, they officially became Duvall Riverside Village.”

Golden’s story references the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on a factoid that’s likely accurate. Namely, that the average income of a mobile or manufactured home owner hovers around $30,000.

But her CityLab report also references some other claims, including from Apartment List, which published a report that’s a mixed bag of accurate and problematic data. Golden’s figure on the number of communities comports with no known source, so perhaps she split the difference between what MHI and a source like “Frank and Dave” use.  As she put it: “an increasing number of approximately 40,000 mobile home communities1 in the United States have opted to take landlords out of the equation.”

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

That may be technically true, but if someone reads that as if there is a wave of ROCs, that’s not true. ROC USA’s president, Paul Bradley, has told MHProNews that they can convert roughly 15 communities a year as they are currently configured.  Would they like to do more?  In time, of course.

By the way, Mike Bullard told MHProNews today that they attempt to educate those they speak to about the proper terminology.  He also said that crane’s are obviously rarely used in the moving of a HUD Code manufactured home.

Here’s part of how Golden reported, “Owners [of manufactured homes] also must be able to afford the $5,000 to $15,000 price tag that may be needed to move the structure. Bullard said the process involves a crane and a truck, and often additional vehicles to escort the oversize load.”

 

Why the ROC Articles Matter, Lessons Learned?

The industry faces a real image issue that MHI and thousands of others in our industry have arguably only put their toe in the water on addressing.

Consider the comment below, posted on Golden’s article:

Gary_Gilmore: The housing solution that no one wants. No developer wants this – no profit. No architect wants it – no glory. No neighbor wants this – too much drain on the tax base.”

Almost every word of the above is demonstrably inaccurate.  But there’s plenty of evidence that there are millions who believe similarly.  Until MHProNews posted a reply, that statement went unaddressed.  Why?

Moving on, ROC USA has for years had overwhelmingly positive media. While they are at times misunderstood within the industry, that’s perhaps due in part due to the action of groups apart from ROC – like NMHOA or MHAction. When they demand ROCs, people believe they must be in cahoots with Bradley’s group.

There’s evidence to the contrary, like Bradley’s reply to the rent control issue.  As the commentary linked below from Bradley to MHProNews reflects, his view on rent control is hardly the position of NMHOA or MH Action.

 

Fair and Balanced on CFED – plus – Another View On Rent Control

So beyond the industry, where some totally get Bradley and company’s vision, and others don’t (joke – welcome to that club), ROC USA is widely admired.  Try to find a negative article in mainstream media that includes ROC USA.

You’ll be hard pressed to do so.

ROC isn’t the only one that gets positive media, but consider how often the industry gets negative media. Each one of those stories – good, bad or meh – are wake-up calls for manufactured housing professionals.  Just consider the series of largely negative stories on Clayton Homes in the Seattle Times, Buzz Feed and others.  While Clayton gets positive media, those are often fawning fans of Buffett who are bragging about their latest acquisition of a site builder.

The bottom line is that ROC USA is a bright spot for the industry’s story, but they shouldn’t be the only one.  There are, as Bradley has told MHProNews, numbers of good community operators who safeguard resident interests.

Bradly has also encouraged that the industry clearly define land lease communities that protect resident tenancy, and those who may sell out for redevelopment.

Promoting Manufactured Home Ownership – With “Only 1 in 100 Eaten by a Lion”

It’s the kind of advice that professionals should consider, because it comes from a voice that has carved a positive name for their brand in an often unjustly dismissed industry. Perhaps the new communities association that is being formed will take on this issue? Doing so well is arguably worth tens of billions of dollars in more revenue for the industry every year.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Footnote 1 Typo or terminological error is in the original. For a better understanding of industry terminology, click here and here.

Related Reports:

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

Good News With Harmful Twist, Anti-Community Owners MHAction Activist Grabs Headlines

New Manufactured Home Industry National Association Related Statements

 

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

 

“Trailers for Sale or Rent,” “Pencil Head, Its Not a Trailer Park,” Manufactured Home Rental Reality Checks

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Different Kind of Community Closure, Continues Grabbing Headlines in Mainstream News

June 18th, 2018 Comments off

DifferentKindofCommunityClosureContinuesGrabbingHeadlinesMainsreamNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHPronewsDon’t pretend that this isn’t happening, folks,” said receiver Mark Adams, addressing a gathering of the remaining residents of the Loyalton Mobile Estates, per KOLOTV. I’m sympathetic. I understand this is where you’ve been living, but it is what it is and it is happening.”

That was several months ago, and the community is now vacant.

Debris marks some of the sites where homes once stood for years.

The sad end of Loyalton Mobile Estates is one of those stories that finds its way into the mainstream media, and is revisited time and again. The scenario in Loyalton, while it has some less common wrinkles, can go on for several years.

LoyaltonCALoyaltonMobileEstatesDailybusinessNewsMHProNews

Balance

Industry professionals can point to the fact that aging apartment complexes or even single-family housing neighborhoods can also come to controversial or gloomy endings. Stories of block after block of bulldozed houses in Detroit, post 2008, can serve to make that point.

But the tale of Loyalton has little or no visible MH advocate pushing back, as the current and prior video reports below reflect.

Like it or not, part of the reason manufactured home living has an image issue is tied to the issue of community closures. The challenge for manufactured housing (MH) industry professionals who want to sell more homes is that people don’t have as much skepticism when it comes to apartments, or single family housing, as they do toward MH. 

 

That’s not mere opinion, because research such as housing super-site Zillow, which shows that manufactured homes are often at the lowest percentage of options being considered by housing seekers.  Rephrased, retailers and communities alike are impacted, and that means that producers, lenders, and all others in the industry are too.

Fact-based and troubling tales such as Loyalton Mobile Estates are part of the reason why.  It’s a challenge that arguably can and is being navigated by some, at their local level.  But such issues can’t just be ignored by those who want to see the industry return to its glory days, and to achieve its new potential.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.  But that won’t happen by ignoring the factors that hamstring the industry’s full recovery. 

 

The Latest from Loyalton

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Seven months after they were evicted from their homes on short notice, the former residents of a Loyalton mobile home park have difficulty moving on, and their former neighborhood still troubles the community,” said KOLOTV.

Sierra Booster and other local media accounts indicate the owner of the property had abandoned the community, apparently after a failed attempt to sell it.

LoopNet lists the now-vacant 10.37 acres of land for sale at $425,000.  The property once had 51 home sites. For those who’ve spent years looking at manufactured home communities of all kinds, this certainly didn’t appear to be one of the worst.

Public officials have indicated a willingness to consider new manufactured homes on this same site.

LoyaltonMobileHomeParkLoopnetManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There’s a huge back tax liability owed the County [on Loyalton Mobile Estates] and a $200,000 water and sewer bill owed the City of Loyalton,” per Sierra Booster. KOLOTV stated that the back-tax bill was some $300,000.

Naturally, other expenses had been paid by the receiver.  That includes relocation of some of the residents, along with clean up, plus other costs. While stories like this are a tiny sliver of most manufactured home land-lease communities, it leaves the impression that ROC USA President Paul Bradley described as that 1 in 100 chance of being eaten by a lion.

PromotingHomeOwnershipMobileHomeParkClosurePaulBradleyROCUSA_postedManufacturedHousingIndustryVoices-MHProNews-

That fuels the stigma noted in a pro-MH column by Californian Jonathan Lansner.  Insights on Lansner’s push are found in the CA related story, linked below.

Ease Shortage with 400,000 More Manufactured Homes for California, says Jonathan Lansner, MHI’s Next CEO?

 

MHVillage and Loyalton Mobile Estates

Google still has roughly a decade old street view images from Loyalton Mobile Estates, so perhaps it is no surprise that MHVillage still lists the location as an MH community.

LoyaltonMobileEstatesDailyBusinessNewsMHPronEws

Such stories are not fun to report.  But this the type of issue that the industry’s marketing and sales professionals particularly face the consequences of, as reflected by low conversion ratios.

MHVillageLogoDataStatisticsManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

Their data and statistics are alarming, but they are also an opportunity in disguise. They point to the absolute need for the correct type of education.  This shouldn’t be construed as a put-down on MHVillage, but rather as a reality check for the industry.  Ignoring such issues doesn’t help the industry break out, and reach its potential.

It is part of the background noise that consumers who are shopping online for a manufactured home, and how check news reports, will stumble upon.

Does it help explain why MHVillage’s statistics reflect such a low conversion ratio?  It’s an example of what industry veteran Marty Lavin has called “the other image campaign.”

These are difficult realities, but they are also opportunities in disguise for forward thinkers who don’t ignore the problem, but rather face it head-on,” said consultant and publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

These are the kinds of controversial challenges that perhaps the newly forming national community association may consider tackling.  See the related reports to learn more. (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

Hundreds of New Manufactured Home Communities Opened, But How Many Have Closed? Industry Research Result$

Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Developers Face Disruptive, Troubling Trend

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

 

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

5 Steps for Making Lemonade from Lemons, Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

 

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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.

 

Closure by Collusion? Dark Side of Local Manufactured Home Community Code Enforcement?

May 3rd, 2018 Comments off

NorthernHousingCommunity281GrandAveSchofieldWausauDailyHeraldWisconsinManufacrturedHomeCommunityIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x292

A manufactured home community in the Wausau, Wisconsin area may be putting a fresh light on a dark topic.

 

Media and others often fail to put the topic of closures in the broader context of housing.  Hundreds of thousands of housing units a year are demolished in America, and the minority of those are manufactured homes, or pre-HUD Code mobile homes.

But for whatever reasons, manufactured home (MH) community closure stories often make local, regional or sometimes even national news.  Each one is arguably a case of a loss of affordable housing, at the very time when the nation or locales need affordable homes.

NorthernHousingCommunity281GrandAveSchofieldWausauWisconsinManufacrturedHomeCommunityIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Northern Housing Community is what the signs say, but local media have called it Northern Mobile Home Park, and its listed that way on MHVillage too. The location came under scrutiny for reportedly hundreds of code violations, which an attorney for the community said they were addressing. That didn’t stop the city from deciding to close it, and force residents out.

Thousands of these land-lease properties were built in the days prior to the HUD Code, and their names may still officially include the words “mobile home park.”  Meanwhile, other community operators update their property name as they also update their communities.

MH Community closures outnumber new community openings by a wide margin, as an exclusive upcoming report on the Daily Business News will reveal.

An underlying cause or end result of community closures are routinely for the purposes of redevelopment.  Those redevelopment projects may include, but aren’t necessarily limited to:

  • Multi-family housing,
  • commercial business space,
  • so-called big-box stores,

or what some call a “higher purpose.”  Those redevelopments of property often equals higher tax revenues, a not-to-be-overlooked motivator for municipalities and counties.

NorthernHousingCommunityAKA-NorthernMobileHomePark281GrandAveSchofiledWIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Across the street from this location is the Wausau Downtown airport. Several businesses are adjacent or near this largely commercial location.

Communities first developed some 50 or more years ago, back in the true mobile home park era, mature over time. If a community’s infrastructure and maintenance are not kept up, the cost of repairing them can grow to substantial sums.

For several “mom and pop” community operations, those costs might prove to be prohibitive.

Some investors buy aging communities with the specific intent of closing them for redevelopment purposes. Media reports have documented cases where new move-ins of manufactured homes have been accepted, with the owners knowing their plan to shut the community down in the foreseeable future.

That type of behavior often results in a firestorm in local or regional media, as the impacted residents protest the closure.

NorthernHousingCommunity281GrandAveSchofieldWSAUWausauWisconsinManufacrturedHomeCommunityIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Recent photo from WSAU in Wausau, WI of Northern Housing Community. There are rental and other housing units in this same market that are 60 to over 100 years old, that aren’t in as good a shape as the homes in this community.

Those and other cases of improper maintained, or other negative issues, poses a problem for good MH Community (MHC) operators.  The majority of small to large manufactured home community owners legitimately want to provide quality affordable living for their residents.

Thus MHC closures or other bad news unjustly paints good operations with an unjustified and problematic image by implication.

That issue was noted by the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Ducker Worldwide researchers. Ducker noted, but didn’t directly address that issue per attendees, until a direct question about how those problems was asked at the recent MHI Las Vegas event.

Against that backdrop, the story of the Northern community in Schofield – across the busy road from the Wausau, Wisconsin downtown airport – is illuminating.

 

Wausau Wisconsin Area MH Community Closure

When asked about a local mainstream media story linked here, a community operator with knowledge of the property said the following to MHProNews via email.

It is a dump!  I did not purchase the place in the 80’s. It is an old HID design, very small lots. Narrow street and tight parking.  The home[s] are very old, some probably less than 14′ width. It sound[s] like many home[s] have become owned by the community and are rented.  Stories of poor maintenance of homes and community. The MHC has been thru multiple CA owners.”

A local newspaper – the Wausau Daily Herald – called it “a hellhole” in a headline.

But residents who have fought to keep it alive have called it, home.

I don’t even know where we’re going to go or what we’re going to do,” said Haley Ferguson, whose been there for four years.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been asked by MHProNews previously about the image, legal, and other problems caused to the industry by community closures. MHI has not directly addressed any of those in the last year.

By contrast, state manufactured home associations often respond promptly, although it may be off the record.  Some industry comments – including state association executives – on the community closure topic are linked under the resources, below.

That said, the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) did not respond to this case, on-or-off the record.

Public officials, media, and researchers are among those who routinely respond to inquiries from MHProNews.  Many of those replies are rapid ones, same day or within an hour or two.

But when several local officials were asked a specific questions about the Northern Housing Community closure story linked above, there was no reply.

What where some of those questions posed to officials?

*  Was an effort being made to turn the community into a Resident Owned Community (ROC), and thus save it for the residents in that fashion?
*  Was there an unstated plan to redevelop the property?
*  Were the code violations giving local officials cover for the closure being protested by residents?

The owner of this community, per mainstream media reports, fought the code violations efforts for some time.  But when the time to appeal the closure came a few days ago, they failed to appeal. Why?

What changed?

The answers to these issues are not clear at this time.  But the reality that certain voices in the mix – noted above – didn’t sound off may suggest this is a topic they were not enthusiastic about addressing.  What was said to local media, was problematic…

NorthernHousingCommunitySchofiledWIManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

KreggHoehnMayorCityofSchofieldWIManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The Mayor Speaks

Local media reports about the choice of words by Schofield Mayor Kregg Hoehn spoke volumes.

We have come up with a list of trailer parks [*] that are accepting trailers [*] if they can get theirs there. We will hopefully come up with a list of rentals in the Schofield area as well,”  according to WSAU.

The city is promising no funds for those seeking to move, per WSAU, although a prior report seemed to indicate the some funds might be used.

As the maps and photos reflect, the property is on a highly-trafficked thoroughfare that connects Weston, Schofield, and Wausau, WI.

 

Wider MH Industry Impact

What is clear is that search engines have turned local news into easily accessible reports for anyone searching specific topics.

Those searches can be from housing shoppers, media, public officials, policy advocates, researchers, and others.

 

NorthernHousingCommunityAKANortherMobileHomeParkNews2018-05-03_0856ManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

So, while this particular MHC incident – or others – may be in a state far from yours, it is an issue for the entire manufactured home industry.  Because it impacts every state, including Hawaii, where fears over having a manufactured home community exists, even when there has never been a mobile home park built there.

 

Hawaii’s First “Trailer Park” on Oahu – Civil Beat’s Report Draws Heat

Why It Matters

  • The image and concerns over community closures are part of the home-buying public’s impressions about land-lease communities, as years of experience by MHLivingNews with the public indicates, and Ducker’s research obliquely confirmed.
  • It’s a concern for MHC residents, who often have lived in a community for ten years or more, and they don’t want to move when their told that the place they’ve called home is about to be sold or redeveloped.
  • Closures provide an easy target for organized protesters too.
  • Community resales and closures are on the radar of the Congress, as Representative Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) proposed bill made clear.

Kinzler, Gallagher on Congressman Keith Ellison, the MH Industry, and Manufactured Home Communities

All of those examples and more make it a public policy issue.

Some communities close by collusion between private capital and local officials. Some MH Community operators have also told MHProNews about a different twist; where MHC owners have had civic officials contact them about closing their communities, even if the property is being well run.

These are troublesome, and dark spots on an otherwise proud industry that has nobly served tens of millions of Americans.

Left unaddressed, the closure issue will only continue to fester like an untreated wound, hurting manufactured home businesses, sales, and consumers alike. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.) 

  • The term ‘trailer’ is not appropriate for HUD code manufactured homes, nor for most ‘mobile homes.’  To learn more, click here.

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.

Related Reports and Industry Commentary:

Promoting Manufactured Home Ownership – With “Only 1 in 100 Eaten by a Lion”

“Mobile Homeless” (sic) – Denver Meadows Mobile Home Park Aurora, CO closure case – Another Look

On Aurora “Mobile Home Park” Closure, related Negative Media Coverage

 

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Resident Homeowner Groups, Public Policy, Media, Manufactured Housing, Investors, and You

October 24th, 2017 Comments off

PeopleGlobeSmartPhonePixabayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsState associations, in places such as Ohio or Florida, have demonstrated their ability to work with resident/homeowner groups on a variety of issues.

For example, Tim Williams and Andrea Reichman with the Ohio Manufactured Home Association collaborated with resident groups in their recent battle to save their state regulatory structure, as was extensively reported on the Daily Business News.

So, the notion that resident/homeowner groups are always in opposition to business interests in manufactured housing would be an inaccurate one.

At the same time, in places such as California, industry professionals witness a routine push by some resident organizations for rent control. MHProNews covered the fight over Measure V extensively.

BattleOverMeasureVYes-NO-ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews--575x214

Commentary on rent control via Industry Voices last year by:

and others who’ve provided expert commentary demonstrated a point made on MHProNews years earlier.

That Vexing, Controversial Rent Control Issue – The Point? 

Rent control fails everyone; residents, industry professionals, policy advocates, and those public officials who say they want to preserve affordable housing.

In fact, as the Canadian and other examples reported for years by MHProNews years before reflected, rent control results in a dramatic drop in new development, and has other negative impacts for consumers and professionals alike.

That makes Bradley’s point, that there must be a better way.

Ross Kinzler said in his commentary on Congressman Keith Elision’s bill which would impact manufactured home communities, that state and local policies are often harming affordable housing, rather than helping it.

Ishbel Dickens, NMHOA and Industry Issues – Like Rent Control

In spite of the track record of rent control failures in the U.S. and Canada, Ishbel Dickens – former executive director of the NMHOA – has not yet lived up to the challenge issued by MHProNews publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach to discuss/debate the issues that face the MH Industry.

IshbelDickensPhotoNationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssocNMHOALogoDailyBuisnessNewsMHproNews

Home owners and professionals in most ways should share a common set of goals.

Quality affordable home ownership is what attracts and retains millions of manufactured home owners, which MHLivingNews, federal HUD Data, and third-party consumer satisfaction research has revealed are routinely proud to call their homes their own.


Dickens, as was previously reported and is reflected in the email/collage shown, suggested in writing that such a public discussion could take place, if the “seamier side” of the industry was reported (see screen capture of her email, above).

Such reports have been done for years by the Daily Business News, including the very issue that Dicken’s referenced, which few if any other’s MH Industry’s publishing have covered at all, much less as robustly.

So that assurance by Dickens to engage on behalf of her members has yet to be fulfilled by the NMHOA.

A similar point could be made about left-of-center, MHAction.

MHActionHarmsManufacturedHomeOwnersMDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Whatever their motivations may be, attacking private capital doesn’t attract more investors to create or update properties that would provide quality manufactured home communities. To see The Road to Hell, click here.

PBS and Carla Burr

An invitation to publicly discuss via a video recorded live event has been made to the resident group leaders, as well as to the representatives of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Both those resident groups, and MHI have ducked that public video discussion/debate.

Why?

Editorially, L. A. “Tony” Kovach has argued privately and publicly with resident leaders of MHAction or NMHOA that some of their tactics and policy positions harm their own home owners, as well as the industry.

The objective research reflected by third parties would come to a similar conclusion; namely, that rent control doesn’t work as claimed.

The reasons are simple.  Rent control violates the law of supply and demand, while it changes the risk-reward matrix for owners and investors.


John Jenkins, Hurricane Irma, Manufactured Home Owner,
Community Resident, Tells His Storm Survival Story

Similar violations of economic principles don’t work for Republicans like President Richard Nixon’s wage/price controls, nor for Democrats or any others.

Like gravity, those laws as applied to rent control can seemingly be suspended for a time, but only by expending energy/cost. During and after such artificial energy/cost, price controls reduce development, forcing some community owners to redevelop.

Yet that is the very thing that Ellison’s and others claim to want to avoid.

The Carla Burr PBS interview is an example of how a left of center mainstream media outlet tilted a report in a way that harmed the image of the entire industry. Using the principle of supply and demand, doesn’t that in turn harm every manufactured home owner’s value?

The Solution Is All American

Each of those linked industry professionals cited above provides keen insights into what seemingly is a complex issue.  The bottom line should be that residents and professionals work together, and seek understanding.

Paraphrasing Sam Landy, no savvy business owner wants to raise rents at a rate that creates stress for their residents.

American principles of free enterprise, properly applied, and earnest discussions between parties that seem to disagree, are the foundation for advancing the mutual interests of home owners, home seekers, public officials, industry professionals, current and potential investors.

Rent control, doesn’t the evidence show that it has done far more harm, than the alleged good? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, Analysis.)

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

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