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Arrested! Triple Homicide, Arson of “Mobile Home,” Crime and Affordable Manufactured Housing Resistance

March 4th, 2019 Comments off

 

Arrested!ShockingTripleHomicideArsonofMobileHomeCrimeAndAffordableManufacturedHousingResistanceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Murders. Robbery. Burglary. Arson. These and other crimes – drug related or whatever other illegal activities – occur in all kinds of housing. From public housing projects to the swankiest gated developments with multimillion dollar site-built housing, crimes occur wherever people are.

 

But for whatever reason, news about crimes, windstorms, or fires involving mobile and manufactured homes often seem to be amplified in media reports. The Daily Business News on MHProNews will provide the details of the headline’s tragic incident, based on mainstream news reports.  We’ll then turn to an analysis those mainstream news sources lack of how such episodes could be better handled by the industry’s professionals.  Because in the absence of a response to such reports, bad news often makes our industry unjustly look bad, when in fact our industry is more needed than ever before.

 

What Happened in the Headline Case?

On Friday, March 1, WFLA 8 said “TAMPA, Fla. – A man has been arrested in connection with a November triple homicide in Tampa.”

WTSB said, “After a fire on Nov. 15, three people were found dead in the mobile home on 16th Avenue S. in Tampa. Deputies said the victims — Xavier Greene, 28, Derek Archie, 28, and Haley Stone, 20 — all had upper body trauma.”

Surveillance video captured three suspects leaving a white Nissan Altima at the home,” said WFLA.

23 year old Ricky Wilkerson Jr., was apprehended and is being held without bond.

Other suspects, Xavier Whitehead, 28, were arrested on Dec. 1 on charges of Armed Burglary of a Dwelling, Arson 1st Degree, and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

 

Mainstream news reports like this one, combined with others that occur, may give housing shoppers the false impression that every manufactured home community is a haven of crime. Yet, third-party university-level research reveals that is not the case. But to look at this first from the prospective of a home shopper, look at this search result.

WilliamPMcCarrtyPhDCrimeMobileManufacturedHomes2019-03-03_1757DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGoogle

On a number of occasions, MHProNews’ has found that engaging other news media directly can win them over with the facts. Writers, editors, and producers routinely want to be correct. While some have an agenda, many want to do straight news. But if they don’t understand the facts, how can they properly report them? Media engagement is arguably more important than marketing ads. As years of Clayton ads on Duck Dynasty or SEC football should have demonstrated to the industry’s thinking true leaders, and a look at the relatively low totals compared to historic norms, it should be obvious that debunking false impressions in the news matters.

 

 

Is there More Crime in Mobile and Manufactured Housing than Conventional Housing?

Do you recall the study reported in Manufactured Home Living News by award-winning journalist, Jan Hollingsworth about crime and manufactured housing? The reason it’s there is to provide third party, university-level research that debunks the notion that manufactured homes has more crime than conventional housing.

 

Pride and Prejudice: The Truth About Manufactured Home Communities and Crime

 

Professor William P. McCarty did extensive research on this topic, who said that manufactured home communities have “…lower rates of crime than you would expect, because they had pride of ownership…” McCarty, PhD, did the research for the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Criminology, Law and Justice.

Professor McCarty said, “Obviously those places [older communities that had lax maintenance and management] that have less investment in the asset is where we would see more issues, more transient populations — just like an apartment complex, except the apartment would be the manufactured home.

Rephrased, some of the ‘hits’ that media may deliver on rules and regulations in a community help make those places more appealing with a better qualify of life.  Crime is proven to be lower, said McCarty, in well-run manufactured home communities.

As a matter of professional experience, a client firm we worked with on several land-lease communities had lower crime rates than nearby conventional housing that sold for far more. That was according to the local police data. So, not only does McCarty’s research demonstrate that useful fact, but anectodical experience confirms it.

 

Method or Madness?

There’s a method to the process that Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) or MHProNews follows. There’s widespread misinformation and several negative stereotypes about manufactured homes and community living.

There is misinformation on the B2B and the B2C levels alike.  Facts matter, and thus fact checks and analysis are useful.  Note that mainstream media is doing more fact checks too?

To debunk misinformation, ideally, each issue should be addressed as soon as possible after the subject arises. Otherwise, the dominant narrative becomes the accepted one. We do so periodically, as a demonstration.  But ideally, a trade group should be laser focused on such issues, and should address them promptly.

So, it would be great if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) routinely took on such mainstream reporting issues. That’s part of what their public relations person should be doing, right? Even if a news report is factually accurate, even if the mainstream media’s nomenclature is perfect – when they often are not – each negative news article is an opportunity in disguise, if it’s treated as such.

But on the nettlesome topic of crime and manufactured homes, MHI’s website is silent on Dr. McCarty’s valuable research on manufactured homes and communities.  So, by default, the drum-beat of news – that happens in all kinds of housing – makes currently depressed manufactured home living look riskier than it is.  Our living is as safe as others, said McCarty. But would you know that from looking at headlines like those that follow, below?

 

WilliamPMcCarrtyPhDCrimeMobileManufacturedHomes2019-03-03_1757DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGoogle

 

In the Absence of Pushback or Counter-Narratives, Dominant Narratives Often Win

It would be great if MHI did their job of positively representing “all segments of factory-built housing.” But years of evidence reveals what the search below from the MHI website on 3.3.2019 reflected. Silence on their own website on this critical issue for those considering manufactured home living. What are they thinking?

 

WilliamPMcCartyNoResultsFoundDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHI claimed that their advertorials reached an ‘audience’ of some 84 million people. That’s coy phrasing, but take it at face value.  If they actually reached 84 million people, then why did less than 97,000 Americans households select a new manufactured homes in 2018?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHILogoMHIVideoStillsMillionsofViewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Regardless if they are exaggerating their claim or not, either way, the above from MHI should be an embarrassment to any caring MH Professional. If 84 million people truly saw those MHI advertorials, and less than 97,000 Americans bought a manufactured home in 2018, what does that say about MHI’s effectiveness? Facts and pragmatic analysis matters to everyday industry professionals. That’s why we do fact-checks on MHProNews. That said, it is now time to take it to the next level. The graphic below proves we are under-performing as an industry.  Unless changes and new options are created, it will stay the same. 

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ManufacturedHousingShipments2018vs2017Top10StatesManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusienssNewsMHProNEw

It’s not just a slide in the last quarter of 2018 that should concern manufactured housing professionals and investors.  That 4th quarter 2018 dip is a serious a warning sign. Why? Given an affordable housing crisis, several states – including half of the top 10 manufactured home selling states – experienced a year over year (YoY) decline in sales in 2018 vs. 2017. These are trends that should not be ignored or swept under the rug with MHI’s latest photo op picture of a staffer with some public official.  Question.  How many new manufactured home sales are made due to those photo ops?  Few?  Any? 

 

While MHI’s claim itself sound exaggerated, even if they were true, doesn’t the industry’s low 2018 outcome reflect that negative stories like these about crime are winning the day in the public’s mind?

By contrast, the analysis and engagement by MHProNews – in the case below done  in concert with MHARR, which is a producer, not post-production trade group – is an example of how if every negative story was addressed, it could turn lemons into lemonade.  In many cases, the facts are on the industry’s side.  But if the facts are not reported, then they don’t help the industry, and consumers are cheated of an opportunity too.

 

MichiganStateUniversityMSUMarkSkidmoreTornadoesMobileHomesAdmitsOversitesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-03-03_1808

This is a different topic than crime, but the same principle applies. The facts about mobile homes, manufactured homes and related statistics about tornadoes are widely misunderstood. To get to the heart of this or any other issue, it must be addressed and corrected as routinely as it comes up, until news media realizes the facts vs. the outdated notions. ‘One and done’ just doesn’t work in a 24/7/365 news cycle. Repeated misinformation will create an impression that is false, and manufactured home shoppers will be misinformed unless facts are corrected every time.

 

MHI’s own prior chairman, Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage Corp, admitted that there’s a good argument for MHI – or another trade group – routinely correcting misinformation.  Given the clearly weak results for many years running, why isn’t MHI heading their own chairman’s logic, quoted below?

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

 

Pragmatic and Practical Motivation

In sports and business, results are what’s measured. The nicest person in the world – if they always failed in sports or the business world – would get replaced.

One can debate why Omaha and Knoxville are such steady supporters of Arlington, VA based MHI. But when the word “trailer” is used more today than a decade ago, when sales levels are lower today than 10 or 20 years ago, the performance of MHI should be the measuring rod.  By 2012, the term trailer was trending up, not down.  The term manufactured home was trending down.  This is a post-production issue, which means it is MHI’s responsibility as a trade organization.

 

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Advancing Solutions to the Ongoing Mess? 

At the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, an organizational effort to form a new post-production trade group will take place. Stay tuned to learn more. For leadership opportunities, click here or the image below.  Put the phrase, New MH Association Inquiry in the subject line.

 

TimeOrganizePostProductionRetailSuppliersVendorsLendersOthersPostProductionFirmsMustDoWhatMHARRsBeenDoingforProducersNAMHCOforCommunitiesMHProNews

Contact Tony@MHMSM.com for meeting times at Tunica 2019 in March. Put the phrase, New MH Association Inquiry in the subject line.

 

Murders, fires, windstorms and other woes should not be defining manufactured home living. Stories like the above from the Tampa, FL metro happen in all kinds of neighborhoods, not just manufactured home communities or homes.

 

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

Manufactured homes should be selling at ten time or more the sales currently experienced. Would you like to see a 10x increase in honestly earned sales?  To learn more click here or above. That’s this morning’s installment of manufactured housing professional focused “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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

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

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Murder, Mobiles, Miscreants & Mayhem”

March 15th, 2018 Comments off

ChristianPachecoIndioCAMobileManufacturedModularHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x375

A scan of regional crime news in the past two weeks would include several incidents that relate to murder, arson, drugs, and other serious crimes that took place in a mobile or manufactured home.  Those incidents often took place in a land-lease community.

 

It’s an issue for the industry, because there is a false narrative that “Murder, Mobiles & Mayhem” all go hand in hand.  Some reasons why the ‘crime and trailer trash’ narrative is false will be outlined and linked further below.

 

Murder, Arson, Domestic Violence & More

Among those crime stories are the real-life legal drama that’s unfolded in the wake of a homicide-arson case in 2017.

The alleged murder victim was killed with a knife, not a firearm.

A male suspect named Christian Pacheco, 23, of Indio, is accused of killing his girlfriend, possibly after a domestic dispute. Pacheco is accused in the death of 30-year-old Elilia Valdez, a mother of two whose body was found on March 18, 2017 “about six hours after sheriff’s deputies found her mobile home ablaze,” said the Press Enterprise.

Pacheco is being held in a mental health facility, and has not yet been determined to be fit to stand trial.

According to the criminal complaint, a knife was used in Valdez’s murder. No one was inside the home, but “information obtained from witnesses indicated that a domestic violence incident may have occurred between an adult female resident and her boyfriend before the home was set on fire,” said Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Raymond Huskey.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling ruled that testimony from two doctors who examined Pacheco showed that he likely suffered from schizophrenia, though Sterling did have issues with the fact that neither doctor definitively diagnosed Pacheco with the disorder,” per local media.

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It will be at least May before the accused may be found ready to stand trial.

 

Crime, Operations, Image and Mobile/Manufactured Housing

As previously noted, the incident is one of several recently reported across the country, covering a range of locales from more urban to rural areas.

But the number of crime reports found in apartments or conventional housing are far more numerous.  Some industry professionals note that it’s wrong to mention the kind of housing a crime took place at all, as if the house was somehow responsible.

As a manufactured home community operator told the Daily Business News that regardless of guilt or innocence, the sensational cases that brought O.J. Simpson to trial or that landed Charles Manson in prison are proof that crimes take place in even upscale, wealthy neighborhoods.

As MHLivingNews reported a couple of years ago, crime is no more common in a mobile or manufactured home than it is in any other kind of housing.

DrWilliamMcCartyPhDAstProfDeptCriminologyLawJustieUnivILatChicagoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Who says? University of Illinois at Chicago, criminology researcher – William McCarty, Ph.D..

 

Pride and Prejudice: The Truth About Manufactured Home Communities and Crime

 

Crime, Manufactured Home Operations and Perceptions

As many industry professionals know, the shifting sands of regulations and the law has made it more challenging for industry professionals to do meaningful background checks to screen out those with a criminal history. What was once common in manufactured home communities – or in apartments, rental and ‘multifamily housing’ – is now often limited or prohibited.

This pattern of media reporting crime in connection with housing type ought to compel industry professionals to take the obvious step of debunking false or misleading story lines.

While no one should suggest that the Clinton administration caused the industry’s image to sink, because it is a variety of causes that lead to that, the statement by Clinton adviser James Carville certainly didn’t help the industry.  The evidence is that decades later, that prejudiced Carville line is still sadly being used.

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” James Carville, Clinton Strategist

What is, is, and that includes any criminal, weather or other tragic incident.  But the industry’s professionals must own the messaging in their own market(s), in order to avoid a possible drop in sales that can follow ‘bad news’ in local, regional or national media reports.

The alternative is for millions of Americans to continue to believe that pre-HUD code mobile homes and post-code manufactured homes are “tornado magnets” which somehow magically attracts “murder, mayhem and miscreants.”  If the studies and reports linked below are accurate, the various causes of false information that keeps millions from considering manufactured housing as a key part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis is costing the national economy – and thus all Americans – nearly 2 trillion dollars annually.     ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related:

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

Getting More Manufactured Home Financing Options?  HUD Comments Provide Unique Door,

Fires Burning Manufactured Housing’s Public Image? News, Review, MH Industry Impact

Affordable Housing Focus Group

First Things First in Manufactured Housing

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New University Research Shaking Rent vs. Buy Beliefs in Housing, MH Industry Impact?

November 18th, 2017 Comments off

KenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsThe National Association of Realtors (NAR), and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) must be huddling in strategy sessions on how to respond to new university level research. The study group’s claims could shake the core belief of which is better as an investment, renting or buying? And is renting always a waste of money?

Not only could their findings shake up real estate, and conventional builders, it has deep potential meaning for the manufactured housing industry too, and MHProNews has exclusively learned.

So, it will be important for all housing professionals to understand the research, because the topic is likely to increasingly come up from shoppers and others.

When considering buying and building wealth through equity appreciation versus renting and reinvesting in a portfolio of stocks and bonds, property appreciation does not change the results,” said study co-author Ken Johnson, Ph.D., real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Business and co-developer of the Beracha, Hardin and Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index.

The media release to MHProNews states, “The American Dream of homeownership as the path to creating wealth may be due for a revision. A new study by faculty at Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and the University of Wyoming finds that the property appreciation most homeowners expect when buying a home may be relatively meaningless in terms of building wealth.”

Before You Reject Their Findings…

Some may be tempted to just reject their findings in a knee-jerk fashion.

Diana Olick, CNBC’s Real Estate editor, published the following top lines/bullets about Johnson and his colleague’s study.

CNBCDianaOlickRealEstateEditor

  • Homeownership doesn’t build wealth, study finds
  • Households are better off taking control of their finances than relying on fluctuating home values.
  • The homeownership rate is still hovering near its record low, yet demand has been steadily rising.
  • Nationwide, since the recession, there have been two distinct housing markets.

On average, renting and reinvesting wins in terms of wealth creation regardless of property appreciation.”-Ken Johnson, study co-author

The question of rent versus buy has been wildly popular during the housing recovery. The historic housing crash at the end of the last decade came as a bitter shock to millions of Americans, many of whom never considered that home values could fall at all or that they could fall as far as they did.

Johnson’s Video Outline Similar to a Canadian Study Video in their Findings

When you assume that those monies are reinvested at a rate of return, renting, on average, wins in terms of wealth creation,” Johnson said in the release. “Of course, many renters will not reinvest those monies and will instead use them for consumer goods, which is the least desirable option in terms of building wealth.”

Their analysis –  published in the Journal of Housing Research –  showed that households not likely to reinvest buy-rent cash differentials should lean toward ownership, rather than rent, because their primary residence as ownership forces them to save.

The American Dream is alive and well but in need of revision,” Johnson said. “To that end, we suggest not all but most should own rather than rent due to ownership’s embedded commitment to save. Owning real estate should be sold as a strategy to create better set of risk-adjusted returns rather than create wealth alone.”

This Canadian video by the Globe and Mail works a formula that comes to a similar conclusion as Johnson’s research.

While Americans can often buy with a lower down payment than Canadians, the fact that both sides of the border came to a similar conclusion is noteworthy.

How Will This Impact Housing Shoppers, and the Manufactured Home Industry?

While the impact is an open question, one must note that millennials have been slower that prior generations – for several reasons – to make the move toward ownership.

MHLivingNews contacted the researchers with some specific questions, to gauge how their research may impact those considering manufactured housing?

 

Successful Professional Couple Spotlights Modern Manufactured Home Living Realities 

‘Significant’ would be an understatement as to what the researchers said in reply to our inquiries.

That exclusive report is planned for MHLivingNews this weekend. Make sure you check it out, and have your colleagues do the same.  This story will be updated with a link to that report, once published. Stay tuned.

Update: as promised…

Kapow!

## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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NRDC, ACEEE on DOE Energy Rule Proposals – Analysis – Helpful or Harmful for Consumers, Manufactured Housing Industry?

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off
NRDC-ACEEE-DOE-ManufacturedHome-MHHousing-EnergyControversy-DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-

Logo collage, each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Photo, Dennis Raper, chain saw artist and supervisor at Sunshine Homes, with Energy Star home under construction in the background (credit, still from video on MHLivingNews.com).

Lauren Urbanek, writing for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is among the recent writers and policy advocates expressing their support for the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed revised standards for manufactured housing (MH).

Building on a report on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) done by Senior Policy Advisor Lowell Ungar, Ph.D., Urbanek mimics Ungar’s findings in touting projected benefits for manufactured housing and its potential home owners.

LauraUrbanek-credit-NRDC-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-But who is the NRDC?  How accurate is the information (ACEEE) that they’re basing their claims on about manufactured homes?  Are there facts that have been glossed over, ignored or overlooked by NRDC, ACEEE, the DOE and others?

And will this specific type of media attention harm or help manufactured housing and its recovery from the bottom hit in 2009?

NRDC’s Self-Description

From the NRDC’s website, “We combine the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.”

Headquartered in New York City, NY, they have other offices in:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago, IL
  • Bozeman, MT
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Beijing, China

Clearly, this is a significant organization shining its light on the manufactured housing industry, and the energy efficiency of our HUD Code MH producers’ homes.

But the sheer scope of this organization doesn’t mean that clean air, less-waste and thus greener and energy-saving manufactured home professionals should be intimidated by their influence.

Rather, their scope ought to be a call to action to by professionals to engage this group, and encourage them and others to take a closer look.  Only by truly understanding the realities of what today’s HUD Code manufactured homes already are, can move advocacy groups from being skeptics or critics and advance to becoming natural allies (pun intended) for the MH Industry, and millions of potential homeowners.

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Collage from ACEEE article by Lowell Unger, Ph.D. Text graphic by MHProNews.

Non-Profits, Media and Manufactured Housing

MH Industry professionals have seen this kind of non-profit pushed, media-geared promotional efforts before.  One vivid example is the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008), which gave the nation and manufactured housing the SAFE Act as well as “Duty to Serve.”  How did that work out for the MH Industry and its professionals?

The Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has repeatedly raised the warning flags against this DOE proposal.

Initially embraced by members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), more recently that Arlington, VA based group have said in their soon-to-be-retired communications email, the Week in Review, that they too are now urging restraint on the Department of Energy (DOE – see their letter, linked here).

The NRDC’s headline is the first clue that advocacy is at play, “Standards for Manufactured Housing Will Mean Higher Quality and Better Comfort.” But that misses a key fact. Manufactured housing has had performance-based federal standards for over 40 years.

StandardsManufacturedHousingHigherQualityBetterComfort=NRDC-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

Collage from NRDC, text graphic, by MHProNews.

LowellUngerSeniorPolicyAdvisor-credit-ACEEE-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-Ungar’s ACEEE pro-DOE proposal post fails to cite sources or to use proper terminology.  When someone who has had the rigorous academic training needed to obtain a doctorate fails to get the basics correct, what is to be expected of the rest of Unger’s work?

Dr Harold Hunt, Ph.D, in an article found on MHLivingNews, has cast a favorable light on modern manufactured housing, its green features, including energy savings. See Hunt’s report, linked here.

DrHaroldHuntPhDTXAMResearchEconomist-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews

Collage above is from the article posted on MHLivingNews, by Dr. Harold Hunt. To see the article, click here or the image above.

A review by MHProNews’ Daily Business News of what is going understated by these advocacy-driven media reports is this; that the estimated costs for implementing these rules are higher than is expected to be recouped in a typical 7- to 10-year ownership period common for most homebuyers.

To rephrase, the cost-benefit numbers are upside-down for potential buyers. The ROI may be there after 12 to 20 years of ownership, but they are often lacking for 10 years or less. During that long window of time, what advances might occur that makes the current proposal or needs obsolete?

Also underplayed or ignored are those MH Industry voices that say that this proposed regulation, as is true of any other, will fall disproportionately harder on smaller, independent builders.

formaldehydefreeInsulationBlownBattsManufacturedHousingUnderConstructionSunshineHomes-MHLivingNewsVideo-postedMHProNews-

Formaldehyde-free insulation is being used in the Energy Star rated home shown, still from video below. This producer is now building only to Energy Star standards.

The Daily Business News recently reported on the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) in-depth study on the impact of regulations on their builders, see that link here, which includes a link to the NAHB’s so-called Priced-Out Report.

The NAHB Priced Out report demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of prospective home buyers would be knocked out of the opportunity to buy, in this case, all in the name of an energy plan that does not pay for itself in a timely fashion.

JerryKarenMcKibbenEngineerCustomerServiceParisTNArrowheadHomeSalesSunshineHomesManufacturedHomeLivingNews1com-

Jerry and his wife Karen McKibben are featured in the video shown below. Jerry is an engineer by trade, and both praised the construction, quality, appeal and the energy savings in their manufactured home. They previously owned an conventional house, as well as a pre-HUD Code mobile home.

What Do Manufactured Home Owners say?

Perhaps no one in manufactured housing today has done more third-party video interviews with manufactured home owners than is found in the Inside MH Road Show series, found on MHLivingNews.com.  One of the common questions interviewed homeowners are asked about is regarding their utility bills.  How does the manufactured home they now own compare to their prior housing in energy costs?

MH homeowners routinely report that they are paying less for their utility bills then when they owned conventional, site-built housing.

 

 

Such points ought to lead objective researchers to what appears to be a critical oversights by each of these well-meaning advocates who are pushing the DOE proposed rule on manufactured housing.

Perhaps the biggest fallacy of this entire DOE proposal is that it doesn’t respect the consumers right to choose.  Energy Star rated manufactured homes are already available. Some manufacturers specialize in energy saving, and some even offer “net zero” factory-built homes. Upgraded insulation can already be ordered from almost any producer by any consumer who wants it.

Why not let the consumer choose for himself? Isn’t that the American Way?

Going into this Labor Day weekend, manufactured housing ought to tout itself for what it already is – greener than conventional, on-site housing construction, and often half the cost of conventional building, backed by warranties and federal performance and state/federal installation standards.

When even frugal millionaires are buying manufactured homes, doesn’t that speak volumes?

The NRDC, ACEEE and others ought to revisit their report in the light of a better, more global understanding of what manufactured housing has already accomplished for some 20 (+/-) million Americans. The DOE in turn should heed the concerns of manufactured housing industry professionals. The proposed cure could cost the industry and potentially tens of thousands of renters and housing shoppers every month a golden opportunity at becoming homeowners.  ##

(Image credits as shown above).

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

(Editor’s Note: As the insightful report yesterday by Joe Dyton reflects, MHProNews is welcoming periodic guest writers. ICYMI, Matthew Silver is taking some much needed and well-earned time off, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach will be helping fill the Daily Business News role in the interim).

Article submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.com.

 

“Momentum!” for HR 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act 2015, Is Increasing

February 11th, 2015 Comments off

rep-stephen-fincher-tennesseeThe bill styled Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act 2015 (HR 650) was introduced by Rep. Stephen L. Fincher, (R-TN) on February 2, 2015. Since then, support for the bill has been building.

At the bill’s introduction, Congressman Fincher said: “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss my bill, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. My legislation makes two important changes to regulations that could affect the accessibility of financing options for purchasers of manufactured homes.”

The Tennessee congressman continued, “Manufactured housing serves as a valuable, affordable housing option for American families all across our nation. Unfortunately, due to CFPB mortgage regulations that do not reflect the unique nature of the manufactured home sales process, access to financing for manufactured homes is in serious jeopardy. My bill would modify the definition of high-cost loans so that manufactured housing loans are not unfairly swept under the high-cost loan designation simply due to their size.”

Rep. Fincher also pointed out that the Act will clarify the fact that manufactured housing retailers not engaged in financing loans should not be considered mortgage loan originators for purposes of heightened regulation and limitation on activity under the SAFE Act.

He urged his colleagues in the House (and Senate) to support him in passing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, “in order to ensure continued availability of this affordable housing option.”

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The Manufactured Housing Institute’s  Senior Vice President of Government Affairs,  Dr. Lesli Gooch, said there is real momentum building for this piece of legislation. In support of that claim, the facts below provided by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) show that support is increasing:

  • 1,392 emails have been sent to Capitol Hill, covering 245 congressional districts.
  • 20 Members of Congress received ten (10) or more emails expressing support for HR 650.
  • 56% of U.S. House members received at least one (1) email urging support of this bill.
  • The states of Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin had at least one (1) email from each house district in that respective state.

Rick Robinson, General Counsel and Sr. VP State & Regulatory Affairs for MHI  said, “The initial response by manufactured housing professionals to flood the Hill with emails in support of HR 650 has been tremendous. In part, it is because of how easy we’ve made it to contact Members of Congress. If you have time to make four quick clicks on your computer, you have time to let your Representative know your support.”

However, Robinson explained that it’s more than just the ease of operation. He said that people in the industry are anxious to tell their story and explain how these rules are negatively impacting their ability to deliver quality and affordable housing to consumers.

So, if you have not yet expressed your support to your congressional representative, please do so today.

Barry Noffsinger, Sales and Marketing Manager, CU Factory Built Lending, summed up the importance of this action, explaining that, “Without hearing from their constituents, legislators do not know what is important to them. Remember, your recommendation may be the deciding factor in a congressional member’s decision to vote for or against a bill.”

To contact your Congressman in just a few fast keystrokes, please click here. Or call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.  Just give your postcode and the switchboard will connect you to your Congressman’s office. ##

(Photo Credit: Congress.gov, Wikipedia)

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Article submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News – MHProNews.