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Court Hands DOE Procedural Victory in Potentially Costly Manufactured Housing Energy Standards Case

August 21st, 2018 Comments off

CourtHandsDOEProceduralVictoryInPotentiallyCostlyManufacturedHousingEnergyStandardsCaseMHProNews

The court in the Sierra Club V. Perry case has handed DOE [Department of Energy] a procedural victory, for the moment, in the case brought by the Sierra Club, trying to force the Department to act on the MH energy rule,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

 

After the Sierra Club filed its suit, DOE filed a motion contesting its standing to bring suit in this matter on behalf of its members,” stated Weiss, who is an attorney.

MarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformMHARRPresidentCEOMHProNews

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

In comments about the ruling last week requested by the Daily Business News on MHProNews, Weiss also said that the “Sierra Club responded by filing an amended complaint (which it has a right to do), and filing a motion for partial summary judgment, essentially trying to leapfrog the standing issue and get an order stating that DOE violated the EISA [Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007] mandate to establish an MH energy standard within five years of passage.”

DOE then filed a motion to hold Sierra Club’s motion for partial summary judgment in abeyance, while the standing issue is addressed by the court,” Weiss’ play by play explained.

The court, last Thursday [8.16.2018], granted that DOE motion to hold consideration of Sierra Club’s motion for partial summary judgment in abeyance, as shown by the docket note below.  In the note, “plaintiff” refers to the Sierra Club, “defendant” refers to DOE.  This is positive news for the moment, but does not guarantee anything regarding the final outcome,” per Weiss.

It’s a positive step for the industry, which has had this potentially costly rule hanging overhead for years.

MHARR fought the DOE rule from the outset, but for years, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) inexplicably supported standards third party research said could have added some $6,000 to a single section manufactured home.

After years of pushback by MHARR, the Small Business Administration, MHProNews, and other advocates for the industry, MHI finally flip-flopped on the issue last year.

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

The Trump Administration’s administrative executive orders put a stop to the matter, until the Sierra Club suit has revived the matter.

 

In the District of Columbia District Court, Judge Emmet G Sullivan ruled as follows, per the Pacer Monitor.

“MINUTE ORDER granting27 defendant’s motion to hold in abeyance23 plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Court has broad authority to control the disposition of the cases on its docket. See Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936). The Court cannot agree with plaintiff that allowing the parties to brief summary judgment maximizes efficiency, especially because the Court must first assure itself of jurisdiction. See, e.g., Furniture Brands Int’l Inc. v. U.S. Int’l Trade Comm’n, No. 11-202, 2011 WL 10959877, at *1 (D.D.C. Apr. 8, 2011) (“[St]aying further briefing of the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion will allow the parties to avoid the unnecessary expense, the undue burden, and the expenditure of time to brief a motion that the Court may not decide.”). Therefore, the Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE23 plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment. Plaintiff may refile its motion for summary judgment, assuming the Court denies the defendant’s pending motion to dismiss. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 8/16/2018. (lcegs3)” ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Focus on More Financing, HUD Program Reforms, Aimed at Increasing Manufactured Homes Sales, Meeting with Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery

July 27th, 2018 Comments off

BrianMontgomeryHUDAstSecretaryFederalHousingCommissionerFinanceRegulatoryMHARRMeetingManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Daily Business News has been advised of a meeting at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which took place on July 25, 2018.

 

The focus of that high-level meeting’s discussion?

It could be summarized with the following bullets. To:

obtain more personal property financing options for HUD Code manufactured homes,

simplify the often complex regulations and on-site inspections, in compliance with the law,

full enforcement of existing laws, notably in regards to the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA),

reinvigorate the state-federal partnership in the HUD Code program, via adequate funding,

insure that the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) fully represents industry interests, and is operated according to the law,

the status of the regulatory reform comments review mandated by President Trump’s executive orders,

address concerns over “40 years of de facto sole-source monitoring procurements,” per MHARR’s statement,

and to discuss who would replace Pam Danner as the administrator of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

 

The meeting was held between

HUD Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery,

Teresa Payne, who is the acting interim head of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs,

and senior leadership for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Specifically, “MHARR Chairman, James Shea, Jr., MHARR Immediate-Past Chairman, John Bostick, MHARR President Mark Weiss and MHARR Senior Advisor, Danny D. Ghorbani…”

In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, MHARR provided the following meeting memo, which will be published verbatim, further below.

A few points worth emphasizing, via the following pull quotes from the MHARR report.

“…the MHARR delegation focused on harm to consumers and the industry resulting from unjustified, unwarranted, and/or misdirected HUD regulations (or pseudo-regulations),”

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

Call 202-783-4087, email mharrdg@aol.com or click the above to learn more.

The MHARR delegation also addressed the decline – under the former federal program administrator — in the federal-state partnership that lies at the core of the HUD program and its proper operation.”

“…the MHARR delegation encouraged Commissioner Montgomery, as Federal Housing Commissioner, to explore the re-vitalization and expansion of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program which, after being a significant source of consumer financing for HUD Code homes in the past, has declined drastically, to minimal activity levels in recent years.”

“…MHARR noted that the “10-10” net worth and reserve rule implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae) for FHA Title I financial institutions has severely and unjustifiably limited lender participation in the Title I program to just two approved lenders, both of which are finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerate.”

The later, of course, was a reference to Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes and their subsidiaries, 21st Mortgage Corp., and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Specifically, MHARR pressed for reforms of FHA Title I – chattel, or personal property, “home only” loans – due to the lack of implementation by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) under their Duty to Serve mandate.

Such a revitalization and expansion in FHA Title I support for manufactured home financing is particularly crucial in light of the minimal and long-delayed “implementation” of the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their federal regulator, FHFA, and their failure to establish – any time soon – market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, which comprise upwards of 80% of all manufactured home consumer loans.”

The entire MHARR release to MHProNews is below. It will be followed by references to several other related reports that flesh-out related details of importance to:

manufactured home industry professionals,

affordable housing advocates,

investors,

public officials,

and others.

JULY 26, 2018

 

TO: MHARR MANUFACTURERS

MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

FROM: MARK WEISS

RE: MHARR MEETING WITH HUD ASSISTANT SECRETARY BRIAN MONTGOMERY_____________________________________________

A delegation of MHARR officials, including MHARR Chairman, James Shea, Jr., MHARR Immediate-Past Chairman, John Bostick, MHARR President Mark Weiss and MHARR Senior Advisor, Danny D. Ghorbani, met on July 25, 2018 with HUD Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery, the highest-ranking political appointee with direct oversight of the HUD manufactured housing program, to address issues concerning the both the program and the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Title I manufactured housing loan insurance program. Scheduled shortly after Commissioner Montgomery was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the meeting represents a continuation of MHARR’s direct interaction with Trump Administration officials at HUD and others agencies concerning both the federal manufactured housing program and federal financing support for affordable manufactured homes, including meetings with HUD Secretary Ben Carson and HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Dana Wade, and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director Melvin Watt, among others.

The main purpose of the meeting with Commissioner Montgomery who, while holding the same position in the Administration of President George W. Bush, was instrumental in establishing the statutory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) and securing major achievements in the implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, was to address key aspects of the ongoing manufactured housing program review and reform process initiated by President Trump and Secretary Carson, with a view toward putting the federal program back on track, in full compliance with all elements of the 2000 reform law.

Consequently, among other topics, the meeting addressed: (1) the status of the appointed manufactured housing program administrator mandated by the 2000 reform law; (2) the status of the pending “top-to-bottom” manufactured housing program regulatory review pursuant to Trump Administration Executive Orders (EOs) 13771 and 13777; (3) the status of the program monitoring contract, which is slated to expire in August 2018, the urgent need for a fully-competitive contracting process after more than 40 years of de facto sole-source monitoring procurements, and the selection of a new program “monitoring” contractor; (4) the necessity of retaining state participation in the HUD program and proper funding for State Administrative Agencies (SAAs); and (5) the restoration of collective industry representation on the MHCC. In addition, the MHARR delegation urged Commissioner Montgomery to consider reforms at the Federal Housing Administration and the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), to expand the utilization of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program and the availability of insured manufactured home chattel loans under that program, particularly in light of the highly-restricted implementation of the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” with respect to manufactured home chattel loans by FHFA and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In particular, the MHARR delegation focused on harm to consumers and the industry resulting from unjustified, unwarranted, and/or misdirected HUD regulations (or pseudo-regulations), citing, as an example, HUD’s excessively costly and needlessly burdensome 2016 “on-site” construction rule, which, rather than reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of on-site work and related approvals, has instead led to a decline in on-site completions and features requiring on-site completion, which has unnecessarily harmed the HUD Code market and unnecessarily denied consumers various on-site features that they seek in HUD Code homes. The MHARR delegation thus urged Assistant Secretary Montgomery to continue with – and aggressively implement and advance – the EO 13771/13777 regulatory reform process within the federal program that was initially spearheaded by Deputy Assistant Secretary Wade. And, in fact, it appears from responses at the meeting, that aspects of the Department’s regulatory reform process will be presented to – and considered by – the MHCC at a meeting currently expected to be held (but not yet formally announced in the Federal Register) on September 11-13, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The MHARR delegation also addressed the decline – under the former federal program administrator — in the federal-state partnership that lies at the core of the HUD program and its proper operation. Noting that state SAAs and state Primary Inspection Agencies (PIAs) had been tasked with numerous additional functions by HUD under its change to the “focus” of program inspections and monitoring, from the detection of specific standards violations to a new alleged emphasis on “quality control” and, worst of all, new unwarranted and baseless demands on long-standing and fully-compliant state installation programs – all without any corresponding rulemaking or regulatory process – MHARR pointed out that to date, there has been no corresponding increase in the compensation of such state agencies, leading some to either withdraw from the program or consider withdrawing. This, in turn, increases the power and influence of the entrenched monitoring contractor (and program installation contractor) – which assumes those expanded regulatory roles in “default” states, without the accountability, responsibility and responsiveness of the former state government entities. Meanwhile, a proposal to increase state SAA funding, recommended by the MHCC and published for notice and comment in 2016, needlessly remains in limbo, some two years after-the-fact. The MHARR delegation, accordingly, urged Commissioner Montgomery to address this matter as a priority issue for the program.

In addition, the MHARR delegation encouraged Commissioner Montgomery, as Federal Housing Commissioner, to explore the re-vitalization and expansion of the FHA Title I manufactured housing program which, after being a significant source of consumer financing for HUD Code homes in the past, has declined drastically, to minimal activity levels in recent years. Such a revitalization and expansion in FHA Title I support for manufactured home financing is particularly crucial in light of the minimal and long-delayed “implementation” of the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their federal regulator, FHFA, and their failure to establish – any time soon – market-significant levels of securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home chattel loans, which comprise upwards of 80% of all manufactured home consumer loans.

In particular, MHARR noted that the “10-10” net worth and reserve rule implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae) for FHA Title I financial institutions has severely and unjustifiably limited lender participation in the Title I program to just two approved lenders, both of which are finance subsidiaries of the industry’s largest corporate conglomerate. As a result, for far too many Americans, the inherently affordable home ownership offered by today’s manufactured homes, is simply not available – contrary to HUD and FHA’s fundamental mission — due to the lack of available, accessible, competitive financing. Consequently, as MHARR stressed, in addition to the reform of its regulatory activities, HUD should also re-examine and reform its financing-related programs for manufactured housing.

MHARR, as it has since the inauguration of President Trump – in all forms of direct and formal interaction with relevant officials — will continue to press the case for HUD Code manufactured housing, for increased governmental support for manufactured home consumer financing, in full accordance with all applicable laws, and for fundamental regulatory reform within the federal manufactured housing program in full compliance with the 2000 reform law, including proper program leadership in the person of an administrator appointed in accordance with the 2000 reform law.

cc: Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members

 

About MHARR

MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reports:

“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

Manufactured Housing Program Review Addressed by HUD Secretary Carson during Oversight Hearing

 

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

June 18th, 2018 Comments off
EaseShortagew400,000MoreManufacturedHomesCaliforniaSaysJonathanLansnerMHIsNextCEODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Original photo, OC Register, collage by MHProNews.

Industry professionals should note the mixing of nomenclature, or feel a level of angst in reading in California’s Orange County Register the following.

 

Look, I know mobile homes[1] are not for everybody and have a nasty stigma that is sometimes deserved.”

That line was preceded by the opening words, “Bet you didn’t know California has 517,173 mobile homes[1].”

JonathanLansnerColumnistOrangeCountyRegisterCALinkedInDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Snippets from LinkedIn profile of Jonathan Lansner.

Citing U.S. Census Bureau data, columnist Jonathan Lansner said, “Only three states had more mobile homes[1] than California. But as the nation’s most populous state, it’s another affordable-housing metric where California trails the pack: pre-fabricated homes are a tiny share of our residential-living supply — 3.7 percent vs. 6.6 percent in the rest of the nation.”

FearManufacturedHomesSolutionToAffordableHousingCrisisManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

To see the fact-packed Op-Ed, click the link here or the image above.

Lansner has teed up various facts – and takes a stab at the boil after his stigma comment – by saying, “But when the state’s having a serious rethinking of its housing policies — actions to come eventually, hopefully — shouldn’t everything be on the table?

Manufactured home (MH) industry pros could wince over the nomenclature, but must also note his salient point. Namely, that California ought to have more manufactured homes. How many more?

Lansner says the state is about “400,000” homes short of the national average for MH per state.

He then argues that the reason that other states have a lower housing cost is due in part to the fact that those states have more manufactured homes than California does.

Start with construction costs: The typical new “manufactured home” sold in the U.S. between 2007 and 2015 was 1,500 square feet and went for $64,000. Building the average new, single-family home — minus the land price — cost $230,598 for 2,556 square feet,” said Lansner.

For an MH outsider looking in, fascinating points he’s making with his “spreadsheet” and calculator, aren’t they?

 

What’s Wrong is That Enough Don’t Ask What’s Right  

As dedicated Daily Business News readers recall, history-making Rollohome went from zero to 60,000 homes in just two years. You can read the following linked report later, for more insights.

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

Lansner, his nomenclature aside, arguably makes a far better case than the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison.  Readers may recall that Jennison inexplicably argued for slow MH industry growth.

Pardon us, Dick? During the nation’s affordable housing crisis? Did Jennison not know about rapid ramp-up cases like Rollohome? Who promised Jennison that bonus and raise for saying or supporting stunning thoughts like that?

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

So, who were or are the geniuses and driving forces behind MHI’s president calling for slow growth? How does that help a state like California? Or the other 49 states, which all-in need some 8.3 million more affordable homes?

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

Please, give the MH Industry someone who thinks more like Lansner.

 

Lansner on California vs. Other Top MH States

Lansner doesn’t go into other facts, like California leading the nation in homelessness. The New York Times reported on Dec 21, 2017 that “This year that number [of homeless in the U.S.] reached nearly 554,000 — a 1 percent increase from last year, driven by the dramatic surge in West Coast cities. More than one-quarter of the total homeless population nationwide lives in California, roughly 114,000.”

Nor does his OCRegister column deal with land use, zoning, or a range of state regulatory, immigration, or tax issues that are also arguably hobbling opportunities in the Golden State.

Instead, Lansner’s laser focused on getting more manufactured homes. “Just look at economic competitors for California, the three states with more mobile homes[1].”

Lansner argues, ”Florida is the U.S. leader with 830,351 mobile homes. [1] That’s 9.1 percent of its housing supply and the 16th highest share nationally. It’s a good bet mobile homes[1] help put Florida’s monthly housing costs 32 percent below California, according to Census data.

Wonder why the median home value of a Florida home is $166,800 vs. California’s is $409,300? (That’s the value of all homes, not those that sold.) Or why 65 percent of Floridians are homeowners vs. 54 percent in California?”

Then the OCRegister writer says, “No. 2 is Texas with 762,848 mobile homes[1] or 7.3 percent of its housing supply — No. 23 nationally. It’s got housing costs 35 percent below California; a typical home valued at $142,700; and 62 percent ownership.”

He rounds out the top four states with the most pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post-HUD Code manufactured homes by saying, “Then there’s North Carolina with 590,302 mobile homes.[1]  That’s 13.3 percent of its housing supply — No. 7 nationally; housing costs 42 percent below California; a typical home worth $157,100; and 65 percent ownership. 

Where is the voice at MHI’s Arlington, VA headquarters making similar arguments to grow our industry?

Could the industry’s leaders have Lansner trained for a week on nomenclature plus some fine points, and then promote Lansner with his moxie to take Jennison’s spot at MHI?

JonathanLansnerOCRegisterCADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Lansner for MHI’s next President?;

But nobody brags about any state’s share of mobile homes. [1] In fact, it seems to be a little dirty secret when you look at the nation’s most “affordable” places to live,” Lansner said. It was an avoidable hyperbole.  But was he – like MHProNews also does at times – being satirical, to make his other compelling points?

He ends on a high note. 

Still, if California is serious about driving housing costs down — and ownership opportunities up — tough choices must be made. Novel thinking about far smaller homes in various formats should be on the table.”

The link to Lansner‘s interesting column is found here.

If the fine folks in Arlington, Knoxville and Omaha are willing to take their foot-off-the-pedals driving more industry consolidation – taking place at the very time millions of more manufactured homes are so desperately needed – do you think they may give Lansner an opportunity to replace Jennison as MHI’s president?

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.  To see Clayton Homes and the top 25, click here

That last point should not be considered a joke.  Given the choice between Lansner and Jennison, shouldn’t the pick be easy? “We Provide, You Decide.” (C) ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Footnotes:

[1] Mobile homes” and “manufactured homes” (MH) are not interchangeable terms, as well informed MH industry professionals know.  Regrettably, the Census Bureau has not yet made the move to differentiate between pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post June, 15, 1976 manufactured homes.  About 20 percent of the estimated 8.8 million of both types of MH housing units are mobile homes, the other 80 percent are manufactured homes.

2) A robust use of enhanced preemption and other parts of FHA and DTS would rapidly solve the affordable housing crisis, using primarily private capital.  See related reports, linked below.

Related Reports:

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

The Ultimate Manufactured Home Industry Fact$, Data, and Insights – Bullets plus at-a-Glance Infographic

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

 

Skyline Champion Corporation Created as Skyline and Champion Home Builders Announce Closing of Business Combination, Exclusive Details

June 4th, 2018 Comments off

SkylineChampionLogoKeithAndersonCEOPhotoTitanDriveHomeManufacturedModularPrefabHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Skyline Corporation (“Skyline”) and Champion Enterprises Holdings, LLC (“Champion”), the parent company of Champion Home Builders, Inc., publicized the closing of the previously announced combination of their operations.

 

Exclusive details will be found near the end of this report.

Via a press statement to the Daily Business News, carried by a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate – Business Wire – the newly combined company “will now operate as Skyline Champion Corporation and its common stock will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SKY.” Skyline had previously traded on the NYSE American exchange under the same ticker symbol,” per the release.

KeithAndersonCEOSkylineChampionManufacturedModularHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWe are very excited to close the transaction and look forward to operating as Skyline Champion Corporation,” said Keith Anderson, Skyline Champion’s Chief Executive Officer.

Skyline Champion is now the largest independent publicly traded factory-built housing company in the United States with combined revenue of more than $1.3 billion. The increased size and scale, coupled with a strong balance sheet and significant cash flow generation capability, has us well positioned to execute our long term growth strategy.”

The statement above reflects an adjustment to a prior claim spotlighted by the Daily Business News about the size of the company with respect to the balance of the industry at large.

There is a tremendous opportunity for Skyline Champion to take advantage of the attractive market dynamics in the industry given our broader geographic footprint across North America and our enhanced product offering. We will remain committed to providing quality products and outstanding customer service as we focus on executing our strategy on our newly enhanced platform,” Anderson said.

As we integrate the businesses, we continue to expect to achieve synergies of approximately $10 to $15 million, primarily driven by direct cost savings, reduced overhead costs and operational improvement opportunities,” the newly combined companies CEO said. Additional synergies are expected through cross-selling and distribution optimization through the combined company’s owned and independent dealer network.”

The complementary cultures and shared values of our legacy businesses are evident in the deep commitment to providing solutions to customers and delivering a broad range of quality products and value-added services. I am confident that this will translate into future success of Skyline Champion,” Anderson said, with the normal disclaimers about forward looking statements required by the SEC present. He thanked the employees for their hard work during the transition.

The closing ticker for the new stock tonight is as shown below.

SkylineChampionCombinationLogoAnnouncedCloseStock642018ManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Skyline (SKY) is traded on the NYSE, and is part of the MHProNews evening market report summary for tracked industry stocks.  Tonight’s report, is linked here.

As the Daily Business News recently and previously reported, certain plans were executed.

In conjunction with the closing of the transaction, Skyline issued approximately 47.8 million shares to Champion, representing 84.5% of the common stock of the combined company on a fully-diluted basis. Skyline also declared a special cash dividend of $0.62381 per share of Skyline’s common stock that was paid on May 31, 2018 to Skyline’s shareholders of record at the close of business on May 25, 2018,” per their release.

Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor to Skyline and Barnes & Thornburg LLP acted as Skyline’s legal counsel. Ice Miller LLP acted as legal counsel to Skyline’s Special Committee of the Board. RBC Capital Markets, LLC served as financial advisor to Champion and Ropes & Gray LLP acted as Champion’s legal counsel. Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP acted as Indiana legal counsel to Champion,” their statement said.

Skyline Corp, Champion Home Builder M&A Updates, Stockholder Insights

The firm is one of the industry’s vertically integrated operations.

About Skyline Champion Corporation:

Skyline Champion Corporation (NYSE: SKY) was formed in June of 2018 as the result of the combination of Skyline Corporation and the operating assets of Champion Enterprises Holdings, LLC. The combined company employs more than 6,800 people and is the largest independent factory-built housing company in North America. With more than 65 years of homebuilding experience and 36 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and western Canada, Skyline Champion is well positioned with a leading portfolio of manufactured and modular homes, park-models and modular buildings for the multi-family, hospitality, senior and workforce housing sectors,” their statement explained.

In addition to its core home building business, Skyline Champion operates a factory-direct retail business, Titan Factory Direct, with 21 retail locations spanning the southern United States, and Star Fleet Trucking, providing transportation services to the manufactured housing and other industries from 10 dispatch locations across the United States,” according to the media release.

Skyline Champion builds homes under some of the most well know brand names in the factory-built housing industry including Skyline Homes, Champion Home Builders, Athens Park Models, Dutch Housing, Excel Homes, Homes of Merit, New Era, Redman Homes, Shore Park, Silvercrest, Titan Homes in the U.S. and Moduline and SRI Homes in western Canada,” their release concluded.

 

Pecking Order – Industry Facts

The new Skyline Champion combination represents about 17 percent of the factory built housing industry’s total shipments.

Cavco weighs in at about 13 percent, per their recent quarterly statement.  Cavco’s president, Joe Stegmayer, is a former Clayton division president.

Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes has about 50 percent of the industry’s total production, according to various industry sources, and the recent Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder letter.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

So, the three firms now represent 80 percent of the industry’s production.

For related reports, see the below. MHProNews holds no position in any of the listed firms. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content, are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Skyline Corp, Champion Homebuilders Conference Call Presentation Facts, Figures, Forward-Looking Statements, Planned Merger Detail$

Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

NAR’s Lawrence Yun Raises Alarm for New Housing Crisis, MH Import?

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

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Cavco Industries (CVCO) Insights, Financial Update, Fiscal 2018 Fourth Quarter. Year End Results

May 31st, 2018 Comments off

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Cavco Industries, Inc. (CVCO) announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. On April 3, 2017, the Company completed the acquisition of Lexington Homes, Inc., which operates a manufactured housing plant in Lexington, Mississippi. Since the acquisition date, the results from this new business are included in Cavco’s consolidated financial statements presented herein,” according to the firm’s release to the Daily Business News.

 

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Three months ended March 31, 2018 compared to the three months ended April 1, 2017 revealed the following results, per Cavco.

  • Net revenue was $242.5 million, up 22.5% from $198.0 million. The increase was the result of higher home prices and sales volume. The Company recognized $14.8 million of home sales revenue and $1.8 million of income from operations from early commercial loan payoffs received under Cavco’s wholesale lending programs. This revenue was previously deferred in prior periods in the normal course of business.
  • Income before income taxes was $30.7 million, an 86.1% increase over $16.5 million. Current quarter results include $4.5 million of other income from gains realized in the sale of corporate investments.
  • Income tax expense was $8.6 million, resulting in an effective tax rate of 27.9% compared to $5.6 million and an effective tax rate of 33.9%.
  • Net income was $22.1 million compared to $10.9 million, a 102.8% increase.
  • Net income per share, based on basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding, was $2.45 and $2.40, respectively, versus $1.21 and $1.19, respectively.

CavcoIndustriesCVCO-InvestorRelations-ManufacturedHousingIndustryCompanyHighlightsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Twelve months ended March 31, 2018 compared to the twelve months ended April 1, 2017,” according to their statement.

  • Net revenue was $871.2 million, 12.6% higher than $773.8 million. The increase was primarily from a larger proportion of higher priced homes sold and improved home sales volume.
  • Income before income taxes increased 42.0% to $78.5 million as compared to $55.3 million. In addition to the investment gain described above, the improvement was from increased home sales volume and pricing, a $3.4 million favorable dispute settlement resolution in the third fiscal quarter and improved earnings in the financial services segment.
  • Income tax expense was $17.0 million, creating an effective tax rate of 21.7% compared to income tax expense of $17.3 million and an effective rate of 31.3%. The current fiscal year benefited from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax code. In connection with lower federal income tax liability related to the Tax Act and requisite revaluation of the net deferred income tax balance, the Company recorded a net income tax benefit of $4.8 million (or $0.52 per diluted share). Additionally, the Company recognized benefits of $2.1 million (or $0.23 per diluted share) from the current year adoption of accounting standards that required excess tax benefits on stock option exercises to be recorded as a reduction of income tax expense instead of equity as was previously required.
  • Net income was $61.5 million, up 61.8% from net income of $38.0 million.
  • Net income per share, based on basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding, was $6.82 and $6.68, respectively, versus basic and diluted net income per share of $4.23 and $4.17, respectively.

Joseph “Joe” Stegmayer, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer said, “We were pleased to complete the fiscal year with improved income from operations and growth in product sales. Fourth quarter gross profit as a percentage of revenue improved from home sales prices gradually increasing throughout the year to address rapidly rising material and labor input costs. Still, we work to keep prices competitive and affordable through efficient factory production processes and cost controls. We are also focused on improving production workforce size and productivity to raise home building levels further.”

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Stegmayer continued, “Fiscal year 2019 begins with optimism about demand for housing as home ownership rates, currently at a low 64.2%, are reported to be trending higher. With housing prices and rental rates also on the rise, we believe systems-built housing will be an increasingly sought after option for affordable living.”

Stegmayer was inducted into the RV MH Hall of Fame in 2016.

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He is also the current chairman of the hall and museum.

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Behind the Curtain, and the Data

Cavco has been surpassed by Champion, which has taken over the number 2 spot in manufactured housing production, per their respective data sets.

Cavco’s president Joe Stegmayer was formerly with Clayton Homes.  Clayton today is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, and is the industry’s largest producer.

Cavco’s Stegmayer is the new chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  For those members which thought that Stegmayer would lead the association in a new direction than the prior Berkshire Hathaway chair, there is no discernable difference.

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Cavco is one of the firm’s that is ‘vertically integrated’ in manufactured housing.

For more general industry insights, click the related report, links below.

Disclosure, MHProNews has no stake or financial interest Cavco, and is making no recommendation in this report.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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The Ultimate Manufactured Home Industry Fact$, Data, and Insights – Bullets plus at-a-Glance Infographic

 

NAR’s Lawrence Yun Raises Alarm for New Housing Crisis, MH Import?

 

Robotics, 3D Printed Housing, Imminent Challengers for Manufactured Homes, Modular Housing – 3D Build Systems CEO Don Musilli

Understanding the Modern Realities of MHVille – Winners, Losers, Profits, and Loss

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Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) Pressing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Fully Engage on Duty To Serve (DTS)

May 30th, 2018 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in written comments filed on May 30, 2018, has called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) — the federal regulator of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — to significantly revise and amend the final rule that it issued on December 29, 2016 to implement the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) mandate incorporated by Congress in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and related FHFA “guidance” for evaluating the Government Sponsored Enterprises’ supposed DTS compliance plans that became effective on January 1, 2018,” the Washington, D.C. based trade group told the Daily Business News via a news release.

 

MHARR’s comments were submitted to FHFA pursuant to a “Notice of Regulatory Review” published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2018, seeking comments on FHFA regulations that “should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed to make [FHFA’s] regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving its objectives” in accordance with a 2012 Regulatory Review Plan developed under Executive Order 13579 (“Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies,” issued July 11, 2011),” with emphasis added, per the MHARR release.

Based on this request – and in order to bring both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into full compliance with DTS — MHARR’s comments call for substantial amendments to: (1) FHFA’s final DTS implementation rule; (2) FHFA’s DTS plan “Evaluation Guidance;” and (3) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s DTS implementation plans themselves, given the patent failure and inability of these regulatory actions to effectively implement the DTS mandate in a market-significant and timely manner,” per MHARR.

In part, MHARR’s comments stress that a supposed “lack of information” regarding the performance of manufactured home chattel loans – which comprise upwards of 80% of the HUD Code market) – more than a decade after the enactment of DTS is both disingenuous and evidence of the type of continuing bias against manufactured housing and manufactured homebuyers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that DTS was meant to remedy in the first place,” according to their statement.

There is no similar known effort being made by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which sources say has postured a push for DTS, but whose prior chairman, Tim Williams, has said in published comments was a “waste of time.”

MHARR has previously noted that every day that DTS isn’t fully implemented is a “gift” to the Berkshire Hathaway lenders.

Industry veteran and MHI award-winner, Marty Lavin, JD, has recently told MHProNews that MHI works forthe big boys,” and only works for smaller companies when that aligns with the interests of larger firms.

MartyLavinTataroAwardWinnerManufacturedHousingInstituteSpySeaFollowtheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMHProNews

Further,” said MHARR, “the comments note that the supposed chattel loan “pilot programs” included in the Enterprises’ DTS “implementation” plans, are little more than token efforts that would serve slightly more than 1% of the manufactured housing market with no assurance whatsoever of expanded secondary market or securitization support for manufactured housing chattel loans at any time in the foreseeable future. As such, the supposed DTS compliance plans – and the final DTS rule and Evaluation Guidance that they are based on – are wholly inadequate to “effectively” implement DTS and must be revised in accordance with FHFA’s 2012 Regulatory Review process.”

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In Washington, D.C. MHARR President and CEO Mark Weiss said: “The continuing failure of FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – more than a decade after the enactment of DTS — to take concrete and market-significant steps to increase the availability of chattel loans for lower and moderate-income manufactured homebuyers is inexcusable and in defiance of the law and the will of Congress.

Weiss elaborated.

 Using the alleged lack of chattel loan “data” as a risible excuse, FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are standing in the way of greater competition in the manufactured housing finance market and lower,” he said, “more competitive interest rates for consumers that would allow many more Americans to purchase a truly affordable home of their own. Conversely, the failure to implement DTS as written and intended by Congress, will have the negative consequence of driving more consumers into the arms of the current industry-dominant lenders and their higher-cost loans. DTS is far too important to allow it to be emasculated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their enablers within and outside the industry.”

 

About MHARR

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

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Chairman Hensarling, Fannie Mae’s Latest “Backdoor Schemes,” Illegalities? MH Connections, Implications

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Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

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Chairman Hensarling, Fannie Mae’s Latest “Backdoor Schemes,” Illegalities? MH Connections, Implications

May 19th, 2018 Comments off

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Late Friday, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said that “high ranking Fannie Mae employees have been intentionally violating their government prohibition on lobbying through a series of secret meetings to remove the failed mortgage giant from federal oversight.”

 

According to Congressman Hensarling’s  statement to the Daily Business News, legal and ethical issues are at play in the latest controversy involving one – or more – of GSEs.

Attentive, long-term Daily Business News readers recall last year the editorial call by MHProNews for transparency, and the release of the minutes from closed door meetings between members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

Neither MHI, nor the GSEs responded to those concerns by releasing said private meeting minutes.

Will Hensarling’s Friday warning prompt the parties to belatedly release their minutes? If not, what are the parties involved hiding?

 

Bloomberg Exposes Concerns

For nearly a decade, a top U.S. housing regulator has restricted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from trying to influence the raging debate over whether they should live or die,” said Bloomberg.

But despite those limits, a top Fannie Mae executive has done just that…Brian Brooks, Fannie’s general counsel, has a specific goal,” per Bloomberg, adding that “Brooks, who has ties to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, wants this done without the involvement of Congress, which has failed since the 2008 financial crisis to come up with a legislative fix for the mortgage giants.”

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When Fannie Mae went broke, it came begging taxpayers for what has turned out to be $120.836 billion in federal bailouts so far.  As a condition of receiving those funds, Fannie Mae was explicitly prohibited from engaging in “all political activities—including all lobbying,” a prohibition which it is now being reported Fannie has deliberately violated,” Hensarling said.

 

Investigation Launched

If true, this violation is more than an outrage, it is a direct affront on taxpayers and the current structure of the federally-back conservatorship that has allowed Fannie Mae to operate for the last decade.  It is a slap in the face of taxpayers that Fannie Mae thinks it can take their money and blatantly ignore the rules that came with it.  The American people deserve better.  That’s why the Committee will be launching a full investigation into these allegations to identify those responsible and hold them accountable to taxpayers,” per Hensarling’s statement to the Daily Business News.

But we can’t stop there,” the Texas Congressman said. “In order to truly solve the problem of the broken GSE hybrid finance model, Congress must enact sustainable housing finance reform as soon as possible and once and for all get rid of any backdoor attempts to resurrect the old, failed ways of the past.”

Before the crisis, Fannie and Freddie commanded two of the most well-funded lobbying apparatuses in WashingtonBloomberg’s report said on the controversial topic.  “In addition to employing dozens of lobbyists, the companies funneled contributions to nonprofits and think tanks and pressured policy makers to abandon potential regulations or laws the companies thought would constrain them.”

 

Problematic History, Harmed MH and the Nation

Pre-2008 meltdown, Fannie and Freddie generously funded the lobbying of politicos, like then Congressman Barney Frank.   Chuck Schumer is among the names that comes up in the 3 minute 12 second video below, defending the GSEs as being safe and sound.

Congressman Frank and others returned the lobbying dollars from the GSEs with the favor of protection from calls to reform the mortgage giants.  Those lawmakers did so by delaying actions that could have mitigated – or perhaps avoid –  the meltdown that some warned were coming.

The video clip below is a reminder of the now-all-too-often forgotten history.

 

Depending upon how “lobbying” is defined, Fannie Mae could be in violation of lobbying with respect to the  manufactured housing industry.

How so?

Because Fannie is a member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), a trade group that does lobbying.

That MHI membership would appear on its face to be a conflict of interest for all involved.

Why?

Because if MHI is doing its job properly, it should have declined Fannie’s membership, to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

There could be ethical, and/or legal issues involved in the Fannie/MHI membership matter.

For instance, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) president and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, has said that ‘every day that the GSEs don’t robustly provide chattel and other lending under their Duty to Serve mandate to manufactured housing is a gift to Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured housing lenders.’

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There is more involved in this developing controversy. Those related issues will be part of an upcoming Daily Business News report.

Stay tuned. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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

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McKinsey Global Institute “Blueprint for Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Challenge” Points to Factory Building

May 4th, 2018 Comments off

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A new report by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), “A Blueprint for Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Challenge,” defines the affordability gap as the difference between the cost of an acceptable standard housing unit (which varies by location) and what households can afford to pay using no more than 30 percent of income.

 

The analysis uses MGI’s Cityscope database of 2,400 metropolitan areas, as well as case studies from around the world.

Per MGI, “It [the report] finds that the affordable housing gap now stands at $650 billion a year and that the problem will only grow as urban populations expand: current trends suggest that there could be 106 million more low-income urban households by 2025, for example. To replace today’s inadequate housing and build the additional units needed by 2025 would require $9 trillion to $11 trillion in construction spending alone. With land, the total cost could be $16 trillion. Of this, we estimate that $1 trillion to $3 trillion may have to come from public funding.”

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When you see the word “trillions” and affordable housing, it clarifies the comments by Alan Amy. See that video, below.

 

Tens of millions are impacted here in the U.S., said MGI.

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The propose a four-part plan to educe those costs.

Those 4 items are:

  1. Unlocking land supply.
  2. Reducing construction costs.While manufacturing and other industries have raised productivity steadily in the past few decades, in construction it has remained flat or gone down in many countries. Likewise, in many places residential housing is still built in the same way it was 50 years ago. Project costs could be reduced by about 30 percent and completion schedules shortened by about 40 percent if developers make use of value engineering (standardizing design) and industrial approaches, such as assembling buildings from prefabricated components manufactured off-site. Efficient procurement methods and other process improvements would help, as well.” (Italics added).
  3. Improved operations and maintenance.
  4. Lowering financing costs for buyers and developers.

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The video below is a summary of their research.

 

MH Industry Reaction

The McKinsey research summary video says tens of millions of Americans can benefit from affordable housing near areas it’s needed. While they don’t specifically mention manufactured homes, they do say that engineered, industrialized homes with affordable lending in the right locales are among the keys needed,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

That describes what MHARR has promoted for years; the full implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000,” said Weiss in a statement to the Daily Business News,including enhanced preemption. Combined with FHA lending and the robust implementation of the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).”

The McKinsey research certainly includes various forms of prefab and modular housing.

But what many researchers may not realize is that a robust application of the MHIA 2000, the robust application of the GSEs DTS and a broader use of FHA Title I and Title II  lending – all existing laws, that only need to be properly enforced and administered – could speed the time to addressing these issues.

The trillions of dollars in market potential globally provide a context for award-winning retailer, Alan Amy’s comments, below.

 

It is the latest example of what MHLivingNews reported some years ago. Namely, that the “Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight.” Research has suggested that manufactured homes are not only less costly to buy, they are also less costly to maintain.

The clock has been ticking since this report was first issued. While several types of factory-built housing could be used, shouldn’t the watchwords be, let’s get started?  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Breakup “Massive Power” of Giants, “Subvert Our Democratic Process” Says Senator Cruz, & MH CEO’s Call for “Fully Competitive Housing Access”

April 25th, 2018 Comments off

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Senator Ted Cruz added his voice to the voices across the left-right spectrum that are calling for a use of federal antitrust laws to break up the massive power” of giant companies that “subvert our Democratic process.

 

Cruz (R-TX) was responding to Joel Pollack’s question on Breitbart radio about the challenge of “censorship of conservatives” on Facebook and across the broader internet landscape.

Once more, the Daily Business News underscores the noteworthy point of the rising voices that are calling for more regulation – or an outright breakup – of giant conglomerates.  You don’t get much more left than Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), or more right than Senator Ted Cruz.

President Trump has pointed to specific companies, like Amazon, and concerns over monopolistic practices.

 

Cruz on Tech Giants and “Censorship”

Breitbart reports that Cruz said, “I think, number one, the growing power of tech to censor speech is a profound threat. We’re seeing now some two-thirds of Americans are getting their news through social media, and these tech companies are hard-left. They are are partisan Democrats, and what we’re seeing is they’re amplifying the views they agree with, those of liberal Democrats, and they are suppressing the views of conservatives. They are blocking conservatives.”

Its noteworthy that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told Congress that the Silicon Valley tech giants have a reputation for being left-leaning.  So Cruz’s concern is not hyperbole, when Zuckerberg admits the reality.

 

Industry CEO Segues Implication of Monopolies for Housing Industry

In a comment to MHProNews,If unfettered access to the internet is important — and it is — then full access to affordable home ownership, within a fully competitive market, is even more important, as it serves a basic and essential human need,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

MHARR is non-partisan, and represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.

MHARR is one of several voices in manufactured housing that have directly or obliquely raised concerns about monopoly power, and how it impacts the manufactured housing industry.

Left-of-center Bloomberg’s reported that one of Warren Buffett’s biggest concerns is of a breakup.

 

Back to Cruz – Scope of Power “Unprecedented”

Cruz said, “The scope of the power is truly unprecedented. You think back to the heights of yellow journalism, when publisher William Randolph Hearst controlled much of media and in fact got America into the Spanish-American War. These tech companies have power William Randolph Hearst could never have imagined.”

The ability, if there’s a view they dislike, simply to silence it so that if you put a post out there, if you put a tweet out there, it simply goes into the void, into oblivion, and no one sees it. Likewise, they have the ability, if there are views they want to promote, to just have everything on your feed be the views they want to promote. That is invidious. It is invisible, and it is profoundly dangerous,” stated Cruz.

Cruz proposed exposing technology firms to libel lawsuits to curb their political manipulation of the availability of information on their platforms.

Responding to Pollack’s question, the Texas senator said, “Now your question is a hard one and a good one. What remedies are there? I would say there are principally two.”

 Those two?

Number one, the question I asked Mark Zuckerberg, the opening question was, ‘Does Facebook consider itself a neutral public form?’ He danced around and refused to answer that. The reason the question matters is much, is under current law, Facebook and other tech companies have immunity from liability, so if someone posts something on their site, they can’t be sued for it, and it’s under what’s called the Communications Decency Act, section 230. The entire reason Congress enacted section 230 was under the assumption these tech sites would be neutral public forums, [that] they would allow people to be speaking. So the reasoning was, we’ll protect you from being sued because it’s not you speaking, it’s somebody else. Well, if Facebook and the other tech companies are going to choose instead to be partisan political speakers, they have a right to do that. They’ve got a First Amendment to become and to be partisan political speakers, but there’s no reason on Earth they should get a special immunity from liability from Congress.”

Cruz also floated the use of antitrust laws to curb technology companies’ power.

He said, A second remedy is considering using anti-trust laws. By any measure, Facebook is larger and more powerful than Standard Oil was the antitrust laws broke it up. It’s larger and more power than AT&T was when antitrust laws broke it up and given that, I think we need to have serious consideration about the massive power we’re seeing of these tech companies to subvert our democratic process.”  ##
(News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

March 28th, 2018 Comments off

ResultsFromManufacturedHousingIndustryLeadership

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

 

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

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

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

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

Will Trump Administration officials take note of what follows?

 

Leadership Strategy Backdrop

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

(5) enhanced federal preemption; and

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

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

 

MHARR, OBJECTIVE:  REASSIGN AND REPLACE HUD PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IBTInternationalBusinessTimesWarrenBuffettHillaryClintonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstituteSeniorVPLogoMHIlogoQuoteMHProNews

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

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

With those distinctions made, returning to Weiss’ points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Third party images, cites are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

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