Posts Tagged ‘Ph.D.’

RE Focused Economist Says, ‘Millions of Housing Units’ Needed

June 14th, 2019 Comments off



Mark Fleming, Ph.D serves as the chief economist for First American Financial Corporation.  He’s been popping up more on various business news shows, so the Daily Business News on MHProNews decided to share the flavor of Fleming’s economic and housing insights.


It ought to be one of those rally points for manufactured housing professionals who are thirsting for growth.

About Fleming, “Before joining First American, he developed insights and analytical products for CoreLogic, and property valuation models at Fannie Mae. Fleming graduated from the University of Maryland with a Master of Science and a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics and holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Swarthmore College. He lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area,” per his company’s website.

As the posted videos reflect, he’s telling business news sources on both sides of the left-right media divide that ‘millions of housing units’ are needed.



In that, he says some points that longer time-readers of MHProNews are familiar with.  The National Association of Realtor’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has said similarly.



More recently, HUD Secretary Carson has pointed specifically to manufactured homes, along with other forms of prefab and innovative housing techniques.



So, while Fleming hasn’t been laser focused on manufactured housing, the industry’s professionals and investors must think of themselves as broader ‘housing’ members.  In that context, the needs are tremendous.

Only factory building can achieve that, is what tech gurus – who are increasingly entering the factory-built housing market – have decided.

Why does Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger love housing? Because they know which way the market is going.

In this context, one must ask. How is it possible, with the needs so great, that manufactured housing is still selling at a lower level than 15 years ago?




Logic says there are only a few possibilities.

·        The industry’s ‘big boy’ leaders don’t know what they are doing. While we disagree with them on many things, we don’t buy that option, but it is a logic possibility.

·        The industry’s ‘big boy’ leaders and their puppet association are lazy, and are not willing to do what it takes.  Again, it’s a possibility, but not one that we think fits the facts.

·        The industry’s leaders want the industry to perform at a low level, intentionally. If so, why? A common concern is that underperformance allows big companies to acquire smaller firms at a discounted price.


Is there evidence for this?

One might start with the words of Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) own statement on camera, arguing for slow growth. 



What? During an affordable housing crisis?

It was such an outrageous comment that our publisher brought it to the attention of then MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, who is also the President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp. Williams told MHProNews that he would ‘talk to Dick.’

The following Louisville Show, Jennison then said – also capture on video – that the industry could achieve 500,000 new homes. That’s arguably true. But what has MHI done to achieve that level of production?


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


NAMHCO, cited in a report earlier today, broke from MHI, precisely because of a lack of performance.



What Haney’s statement reflects is the lack of credibility and effectiveness of MHI in their claims.


Frank and Dave,” controversial in their own right, nevertheless told their readers 2 weeks ago not to look to MHI for support for community owners, using these words.



In peeling back the layers of the onion in manufactured housing, in hindsight, the insight of Marty Lavin makes sense when he said the following.


FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself objectively. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply with respect to MHI?


More pointed was Lavin – who is an MHI award winner – when he made the following statement.



MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?


MHI has purportedly engaged in what Mark Weiss, the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) who referred to the industry’s post-production sector – which is MHI’s turf – as the “illusion of motion.”


“THE ILLUSION OF MOTION VERSUS REAL-WORLD CHALLENGES” – Spotlighted by Manufactured Home Industry Leader


That comment sent our publisher laughing at the apt, penetrating insight.  Keep MHI members busy, keep them going to meetings that are profit centers for MHI, per their own IRS Form 990s.  Feed them ‘housing alerts’ that led them to believe that they are making progress…

…but the acid test is the sales, shipment and production of new manufactured homes.  Those numbers don’t lie.




Inept? Lazy? Or head fake with the goal of consolidating the industry into ever fewer hands?



Let’s not forget the 21st letter, Kevin Clayton video, and Warren Buffett letter, linked below.



In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money?


It makes the most logical case. Clayton, 21st, MHI, and MHI’s outside attorney – asked to address these concerns and allegations – routinely makes no on the record comment. 

Instead, they’ve put George F. (F?) Allen up as their purportedly incentivized attack dog and distraction surrogate.

When asked about claims from his own followers that have said Allen’s being compensated and rewarded by the big boys, Allen has no comment.

Millions of housing units are needed. Publicly traded MHI member companies own IR packets state that the industry is underperforming by historic standards.

Voices in Congress, per our sources, are wising up to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington ploy.

Voices in Congress, are already on the record going after high profile MHI members, including Clayton, 21st, and several large so-called ‘predatory’ community operators.

It’s not a pretty picture as to why the industry is underperforming. But the historical data – and the research by economists like Dr. Mark Fleming and others say that millions of homes are needed.

Tim Williams said it to MHProNews, and we’ve repeated it many times, because it was the truth – that they’ve arguably not followed. Every misleading report needs to be robustly responded to, as he said below.




MHI needs to push for enhanced preemption, a full implementation of the Duty to Serve mandated by law, and put the black hat behavior actors on notice.

Sources say, MHI can’t do it.  They’d lose Clayton and several big boy members, per those sources if they ever did such a thing.

Thus the need to expose the problem and the realities. Then the need for multiple layers of independent investigations, as publicly as possible.

There’s more in the links below.



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That’s today’s third episode of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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

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Related Reports:

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

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

Investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Over Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing








FHFA’s Mark Calabria, Ph.D., Address at HUD, NAHB’s Innovative Housing Showcase

June 6th, 2019 Comments off


The Daily Business News on MHProNews recently spotlighted the video interview with Mark A. Calabria, Ph.D., the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.


That report with a video interview with him is linked below.


Dr. Mark Calabria, FHFA Director Interview, Front Lines of GSE Reform, Manufactured Housing Impacts Ahead


As the director of the FHFA, Dr. Calabria has an opportunity to help shape how the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implement the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing, and other underserved markets. He’s known as a critic, as the above linked report makes clear, and is now has the opportunity to impact change. 

While the comments below don’t specify manufactured homes, it was delivered in the context of the same event that HUD Secretary Ben Carson actively participated and promoted, which included 3 HUD Code manufactured homes.  More on that in the related reports, below.

To help read the tea leaves for what might be ahead at FHFA, here are the unedited comments by FHFA Director Calabria, per their media release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.  There are some similar themes between Director Calabria’s and Secretary Carson’s observations about the importance of addressing the supply side of the housing equation, among other points.


Prepared Remarks of Dr. Mark A. Calabria, Director of FHFA, at HUD and NAHB’s Innovative Housing Showcase


​​Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Dr. Mark A. Calabria, Director

Federal Housing Finance Agency

HUD and NAHB’s Innovative Housing Showcase

National Mall – Washington, DC 


“Building a Mortgage Finance System that Supports Innovation In Housing”


Good morning! Thank you, Maren [Kasper], for that kind introduction.  

It is an honor to be here at what I hope will be the first of many Innovative Housing Showcases. Let me thank the teams at HUD and the National Association of Homebuilders for putting together this inaugural event. 

I have had the honor of working at both HUD and NAHB over the course of my career.  Being here is like being with family.  I cannot think of two better partners to come together to promote housing innovation and to tackle the challenge of housing affordability.

So, let me thank Secretary Ben Carson and the Homebuilders’ CEO Jerry Howard for their leadership. 

Let me also congratulate the exhibitors of this showcase and thank all of you for being here. It is not every day that I can find a group of people large enough to fit on the National Mall who like talking about home building and home financing – especially on a warm summer morning.

This event brings together two things that Americans have always been good at – building and innovating – both of which depend on a strong and resilient housing finance system. And that is what I am focused on.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. And as Director, one of my top priorities is to make sure our housing finance system is strong enough to keep lending through the cycle, not just when the economy is booming like it is right now. 

I also know how hard it is for you to make long-run investments in building and innovating when house prices ebb and flow with the housing cycle. 

And part of my job is to try to make sure that lenders of all sizes have enough capital to keep functioning during a downturn when it is needed most – especially the community banks that are the lifeblood of construction financing. 

To do that, I will be working to bring the same level of innovation on display here today to the financing side of the housing industry.  

Housing is a basic necessity for all of us. But it also has a major impact on every aspect of our lives. 

Where we live and make our homes determines the people we know and interact with every day – our neighbors and friends. It affects our health, our education, and our careers. 

And for many families, homeownership is the cornerstone of building wealth and pursuing the American Dream. 

I believe homeownership is one of the fundamental planks of a free society. 

Having a place to call home and to invest in making our own has always been a driving force of what makes America great.

And that’s why it is so important for all of us to work together to tackle our housing system’s affordability challenges for builders, for buyers, and for renters.

You can see the affordability problem in the history of two key housing indicators: Housing prices and housing starts. 

Typically, the number of new homes that are built at any given point in history tracks closely with changes in housing prices. As house price appreciation picks up, the number of housing starts increases too. 

And then as housing prices fall, the pace of building new homes slows down. 

But in recent years, we’ve seen this relationship start to break down. Housing prices have risen steadily, but the number of housing starts has not kept up.  

Since 2012, across the country, we have seen average housing prices appreciate nearly 6 percent per year. Despite this pressure, housing starts for single-family homes are currently stuck nearly 15 percent below historical averages.

And the average house in America today is 35 years old, the highest it has been in nearly a century.

So, that’s the affordability problem in a nutshell: Housing prices keep rising, but the supply of housing isn’t keeping up. 

For too many Americans, wages aren’t keeping up either. And even though the economy has been booming the past two years, the cost of housing is still increasing faster than most people’s paychecks. 

This means that the lowest-paid workers can’t find affordable rental options. And it means many middle-class Americans are locked out of homeownership. 

We see this especially in workforce housing for nurses, teachers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and all those who earn too much to qualify for government housing assistance but not enough to live in the communities where they work.

Part of the solution is simply to build more housing of all kinds. We need more single-family homes and more multi-family properties. And I know everyone here can support that. 

To build more houses, we need more builders.  

In the past 2 years, we’ve seen roughly 600,000 new construction jobs across the country. That’s definitely a good start to tackling the labor shortage that the industry has faced recently. But more work remains.

NAHB is invested in growing the homebuilding workforce of the future through your Home Builders Institute and your support of Job Corps. And we’re seeing new efforts in the Administration to expand job-training and apprenticeship programs.  

These are all welcome changes.  

America needs more bricklayers, carpenters, painters, iron workers, plumbers, and roofers – not just to build our houses, but to build our future. 

These are high-paying jobs. And they are highly rewarding jobs. 

In the building trades, hardworking Americans find the dignity of work and the satisfaction of making what a family will someday call home. 

We need to lift up these careers. And we need to make sure the next generation sees them as viable and rewarding opportunities to earn a good living and help others pursue the American Dream.

But it’s not just about labor. 

One of the biggest factors driving prices up and dragging supply down is the accumulation of burdensome government mandates and fees, zoning and land-use restrictions, environmental regulations, building codes, and permitting requirements. 

This is a problem that homebuilders deal with every single day. And NAHB has studied it extensively over the years.  

In fact, they estimate that the many layers of government red tape account for nearly a quarter of the price of a new single-family home and nearly one-third of the development and building costs of new multi-family properties.

And those are just the homes that actually get built. In many cases, steep regulatory costs prevent the construction of new housing in the first place. 

This is a national problem with local roots.

The most burdensome regulations come from local governments. And typically, it is the wealthiest communities that hike up the regulatory costs of homebuilding the highest. 

States like California are a case study of this problem. Almost half the country’s homeless population with no shelter whatsoever live in California. And many cities are making it even worse.

We saw this recently in Berkeley, where officials made it illegal for people to live in their R.V.s and campers, even though the city’s homeless population has risen by more than 40 percent over the past two years.

Tackling our affordable housing shortage requires organizing nationally and acting locally.

That’s exactly what NAHB does so well. And I encourage you to keep up your efforts across the country to reform local regulations so that our housing system meets the needs and financial situation of all Americans.

We have seen the power of de-regulation at the national level the past two years in everything from energy to health care to infrastructure. Now, we need to apply those lessons to the homebuilding industry in localities across the country. 

But as Americans, we have never really liked waiting on government to solve problems – especially when the problems are caused by the government in the first place. 

We have always been a nation of industrial pioneers, innovators, and problem-solvers – and that’s exactly what we are seeing in the housing sector right now. 

Across the country, and right here at this event, we are seeing the power of innovation to tackle our shortage of affordable housing.

The cutting-edge technologies and housing prototypes on display all around us are revolutionizing the homebuilding industry. 

The new materials, equipment, designs, and construction systems represented here will make it easier to build high-quality and high-density homes quickly and efficiently, while minimizing the environmental impact. 

They will make housing more resilient during natural disasters. And they will demonstrate the power of innovation to solve problems and make housing in America more affordable. 

To support that innovation on the building side of our housing industry, we need innovation on the financing side as well.  

For instance, it is often difficult in today’s mortgage market to find financing for smaller, less expensive homes.  Of course, such is all too often the result of fixed compliance costs that make small mortgage lending prohibitive.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks exist to help make housing accessible.  They do so by supporting lenders of all sizes.

But this does not mean our work is done. 

To truly meet the needs of people in underserved areas, we need to open up our mortgage finance system to more competition – because competition drives innovation. 

One way to do this is for Congress to authorize FHFA to issue more GSE charters so more players can enter the industry and compete with one another. 

There is already evidence that this kind of reform would succeed if enacted. Today’s reemergent private mortgage insurance industry shows a strong appetite and capacity for private capital to bear mortgage credit risk. 

And as more competitors enter the mortgage market, as a regulator, my job is to create a level playing field and subject everyone to the same set of rules. 

Fannie and Freddie should be successful because they have the best management, the best execution, the best business practices – not because they have the rules and regulations stacked in their favor. 

To be fair to everyone else in the emerging marketplace, no one is going to get any special favors. 

So, I will be taking administrative action where I can. And I will be consulting with Congress, the Administration, and other regulators wherever necessary. 

It is going to take all of us working together to build a mortgage finance system that is strong and resilient enough to continue lending through an economic downturn. 

And now is the time to act.

To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, the time to repair the roof is not in the middle of a downpour, but when the sun is shining. 

And right now, the sun is shining on our economy and our housing market. 

We know economic booms will eventually be followed by busts, just as housing prices go up and they go down. 

And it is during these boom moments that we must prepare for the inevitable downturn.

That will be my focus during my 5 years as FHFA Director.  I look forward to working with all of you to build a stronger, more secure housing market for all Americans.

Thank you for the opportunity to address you today. ​



Photo credit, MHProNews.


The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks.
These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $6.3 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions.


That’s News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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

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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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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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

Related Reports:

Pushing Back Against NIMBYism, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, NAHB Innovative Housing Showcase, Schedule

8 Months of Declining Year-Over-Year HUD Code Manufactured Home Production – When Will Manufactured Housing Institute Act?


Key to Unlocking Door for More Manufactured Home Sales, Professor Lisa Tyler’s Valuable Research

Tent Cities, Homelessness, Crime, Disease, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

HUD Secretary Ben Carson tours Innovative Housing Showcase on National Mall in Washington, D.C.








Key to Unlocking Door for More Manufactured Home Sales, Professor Lisa Tyler’s Valuable Research

May 31st, 2019 Comments off



Let’s begin with a factoid from Zillow. Only eight percent – 8% – of housing shoppers consider a manufactured home. To the savvy marketer, investor, or other industry professionals — that is the challenge and the opportunity in disguise.


Turned on it’s head, accepting Zillow’s data means that 92 percent of the population isn’t even thinking about living in a manufactured home. Stating the obvious can bring clarity. Keep in mind that every retail sale is a local sale. A home sold at retail is going to a specific home site, or into a specific lot, or to a specific piece of property or land-lease community.


Only 8 percent of housing shoppers considered a mobile or manufactured home, and many of those did not buy one. That’s both a challenge, but also an opportunity in disguise for those who have a sales and marketing system that deals with that reality. This graphic makes several points that savvy manufactured housing marketing and sales agents must be aware of, and include as part of an integrated marketing and sales plan.


So, to increase sales, one doesn’t have to convince the nation or the world that manufactured homes are better than is generally believed.  Rather, what must be accomplished is convince more people in a specific market area that manufactured homes are the best kept secret in affordable housing.

Hold those thoughts.

At its core, the above is an educational process. But it is a specific kind of education that can very much relate to marketing and selling. Hold those thoughts too, because we will return to them soon.

Rephrased, Manufactured Homes are misunderstood. Marketers, sales professionals, brokers, managers, and business owners must grapple with that reality.

The reasons for the misunderstandings are relevant, but we will leap over that for now, and point to Lisa Tyler, Ph.D., and the thesis of her important doctoral dissertation, entitled “Examining Community Attitudes Toward Manufactured Housing.”

For an article like this, one must drill down to core concepts. Let’s zero in on this gem from Professor Tyler. “Despite evidence that disproved misconceptions…negative stereotypes continued to influence local governments to impose regulatory restrictions on this type of [manufactured, factory-built] housing.”

Keep in mind that in order to obtain a Ph.D – the highest academic degree in her field – there are certain standards that must be met. Tyler had to go through peer reviewed examination, and the work she cited had to have occurred within five years of the time she produced her doctoral dissertation. That too had to be peer reviewed research.

Put differently, now Dr. Tyler wasn’t just a giving a bunch of nice sounding opinions.

That’s precisely what someone wants that is trying to debunk myths or mistaken notions.  It is third party information that millions of Americans need to be exposed to, or in the case of most independent professionals, thousands of people in your market(s) have to be effectively exposed to a process that ‘educates’ them as part of engaging them.


Cui Bono? Who Benefits?

People benefit or not from information. People can also benefit or not from misinformation. As a top executive in manufactured housing told this writer, “I’m ready for infowars.”

Beliefs don’t exist in a vacuum. Beliefs are formed one story at a time, until a picture emerges in someone’s mind. While some people have the background, training, or mental discipline to question commonly held thinking, not all do. That’s not a slam on those who don’t. Rather, that’s yet another opportunity in disguise.  What others in your area are unwilling to do – if you and your team do it – can honorably set you apart.

As an owner, manager, leasing, or sales professional, your primary concern is the reality of your business, and the market(s) your business serves. You want more of that 92 percent who don’t think about manufactured homes to do exactly that, and to do that with you at your location(s).

Consider the following.

Your prospective customer, in order to complete a sale must meet a few conditions.

  • They have to have the economic and financial ability to buy.
  • They have to have the willingness to buy.
  • They have to be able to explain their purchase in a satisfactory way to their friends and neighbors.

There is more. But those are essentials.  A Clayton Homes professional told MHProNews that cancellations of deals after they are started is a significant issue.  Clayton isn’t alone in that, “buyers remorse” happens to others too.

There are a variety of ways to summarize learning. My friend, author, and colleague Tim Connors, CSP, summed up sales and marketing education with these 4 phases.

  • Awareness.
  • Understanding.
  • Integration.
  • Mastery.

A front line sales person may be aware of some idea – this article, for instance – can be the start of awareness. But awareness of issues and opportunities without a deeper understanding, an integrated method for taking a shopper from skepticism to enthusiastic buyer, and that must be done enough to eventually master the method.

Is Connor alone in that thinking? Hardly.

Consider what Barry Noffsinger said to sum that up in the acronym, ADKAR.




Zig Ziglar believed something similar too. That’s why he stressed that hearing something once was not enough. Ziglar believed that motivation and training had to be routinely done to be enduring.



After years of research and real world experience, we’ve learned that properly educating – coaching, training – a sales team member or front-line manager is motivational. Rephrased, it’s not about merely emotional cheerleading. Rather, we provide the instruction that yields the confidence that allows the professional to BE motivated, instead of FEELING – briefly – motivated.  But something similar must happen for prospects too.


Repetitive inputs are critical.

Let’s apply that to manufactured housing.

Intentionally or not, Americans are fed a steady diet of misinformation and terminology that is demeaning about manufactured homes. A certain level of correct information must be available for them. There must also be a logical way to disabuse a prospect from years of what amounts to negative programming.

Articles and videos can help with that, but one must also have a front line professional(s) that have been properly forged in the methods of walking a prospect from curiosity to completing a sale with a customer who is satisfied enough to tell their friends. Then that new home buyer must be able to defend their decision too.

Given the reality of all the negativity around manufactured homes, that being dealt with in the marketing and sales process is huge.


Third Party vs. Your Words

You saying something may or may not be believed. But some third party that doesn’t benefit saying something is far more likely to be believed. That’s why those who mistakenly think they can post an article on their own retail center, community, factory, or lenders’ website is not likely to work with most people. That’s like you telling them, and the seller is doubted by most prospects.

So there must be a third-party resource that has experts that compliments the work of a front line sales or leasing professional and their manager(s).

Then, that third-party resource ideally likewise must cite third-party experts, such as Dr. Lisa Tyler.

Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) is that third-party platform. Seeing the need, we began that project several years ago. There are few things more compelling than watching and listening to happy home owners, combined with the research that uses experts and evidence to debunk misconceptions.  For example, Tyler’s work – and that of numbers of others – can be access in the article linked below.



Let’s use an analogy. There is positive and negative energy present in electricity. Without both positive and negative protons and electrons, there is no power.  Our society has for some reason been conditioned to avoid whatever appears negative. Nonsense. Without embracing and dealing with both the positive and negative, there will only be very limited results.  David Ogilvy was famous – as a marketer. Grasping nettles means you grasp the problems.  Nettles sting, but they are also medicinal. It’s a great metaphor for what our industry needs.




It seems controversial to some to question authority. Frankly, that’s a traditional role of media, including good trade media. For example, Kim Komando has built a large audience of tech lovers, but she has at times taken on vexing topics like the dark sides of Facebook. Understood properly, that helps her credibility, it doesn’t harm it.  Our credibility has arguably been helped, not harmed, by taking on vexing issues inside manufactured housing. That doesn’t mean that everyone likes every article or topic. Nor is that necessary.  We make people think, which is the first step to problem solving and goal attainment.

Dr. Tyler didn’t just write about manufactured homes. She owned one for several years. This I know, because she told me. Lisa was kind enough to mention me in her acknowledgements to her dissertation. While I encouraged her work, because it is important, she did the doing. She deserves the glory.

Dr. Tyler is one of several experts that have studied the subject of manufactured housing. She is pro-industry. Her research is useful.  Which begs the question. Why is her work not mentioned on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) website?



Or why is Eric Belsky’s work also missing from MHI’s website? Recall that in years gone by, MHI quite correctly used to refer to then Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) Belsky in their brochures and literature. If he was good enough before, why not now? Rephrased, Belsky was dropped by MHI. Why?




Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton did perhaps the most useful third party research on manufactured housing in 2018. Cororaton works for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as a Certified Business Economist (CBE). She’s missing the morning from MHI’s website too. Yet Cororaton cited not only myself in her first footnote, but also someone from MHI. It’s not like MHI doesn’t know about her.




Furthermore, each of these subjects have been brought to MHI’s attention directly by me, and indirectly – per our sources – to others.

Last but not least today, there is HUD Secretary Carson, and prior HUD Secretary Julian Castro. Carson’s speech to MHI is still missing from MHI’s website, yet that was now three weeks ago.




There is no mention of this video, posted below, where Carson on a national business news channel raised manufactured housing’s profile in a positive way. The interview begins with a discussion of 3D printed housing, but ends with favorable points about manufactured homes.



Nor is there any mention whatsoever of Julian Castro and his video. That’s really odd, as it was an MHI vice president who provided that video to me in the first place.



Rephrased, MHI has the Castro video, because they arranged for it. Yet, it is missing from their own website?

Manufactured housing – as Dr. Carson (GOP) and 2020 presidential hopeful Julian Castro (D) both have said – is an important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis. MHI knows that, so why have they failed to provide third party validation to their arguments for the industry?

Let’s be clear. Staffs’ jobs at a trade association are to carry out the board of directors instructions.  At MHI that’s the MHI Executive Committee.

These can’t all be oversights, can they?

So whatever one might attribute as the motivation for these failures by MHI, the fact remains they are doing some things, that are clearly insufficient, or manufactured housing wouldn’t be misunderstood, and new home shipments would not be sliding 7 straight months year-over-year during an affordable housing crisis. It is an apt example are what Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) called “The Illusion of Motion.”


The Solution Begins at the Local Level

You and I can’t fix MHI, nor do we need to do so. But we must grasp the reality of MHI, in order to advance in your local market(s) efforts.

When one grasps that the negative energy around manufactured housing often flows from ‘big boy’ MHI member companies, those who aren’t black hat ‘big boys’ should differentiate themselves from the rest. You and your firm – to unlock your full potential – must be seen by the public as a white hat company in an industry that housing shoppers have been led to believe is led by black hat operations.


We know the importance of emotions, because we have them too. But the Creator gave us a mind to think with, not just emotions that if unchecked can carry us away, a bit like dead fish floating down stream.

The correct combination of mind-opening marketing, combined with front line sales professionals supported by management that grasps these realities can walk an individual prospect one step at a time from curiosity into happy home ownership.

That’s best done one-on-one. By using a mind opening methodology, by teaching a staff to do the same, what you end up with is the widest array of prospects. As the sales team increasingly ‘gets it,’ they’ll sell an ever greater percentage and total number of prospects.

This method is honest, not manipulative. The customer is respected, not tricked. At the end of the process, they are now ‘in the know,’ which makes then feel empowered not diminished. They become the opposite of what too many think of as ‘trailer trash.’

This take effort, but it pays.

It is also something that requires nothing from the national association, or anyone other than you and your team’s connecting with our existing and proven resources. Which brings us back to Dr. Tyler.

She aptly made the point that it was community attitudes that are where the issue lies.  More fundamentally, it is with individuals, who in sufficient numbers influence or make up a community.

The positive, profitable change – once the dynamics are understood and navigated – can be addressed at the local level. That is where all sales take place. That’s something you and your team can successfully accomplish in a profitable, honorable, and sustainable fashion. To learn more, click one of the tabs – or check out the Related Reports, below the byline and notices.


This should not be misunderstood. Good videos, good photos and websites are useful. But if that was all that is needed, the industry’s sales would be 10 times larger than they are today. Clearly, education of the home buying public is missing. That’s what the Zillow research cited above reflects.

Denying reality may be a mild form of insanity. The opposite of that is to deal with what is real.  That’s this morning’s manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

March 4th, 2019 Comments off



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.


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?




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?




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?



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. 



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.



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?




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.



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.



Contact 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.



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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“Murder, Mobiles, Miscreants & Mayhem”

March 15th, 2018 Comments off


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.


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.


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.)


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.


  • 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…


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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

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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  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).


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

(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,


“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.”


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:, Wikipedia)



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