Posts Tagged ‘#ProsperityNow’

Federal Bill that MHI, Prosperity Now, NAMHCO Tout – MHARR Opposes, Why?

June 26th, 2019 Comments off


Last week, the Daily Business News on MHProNews published a multiple perspective report on a bill that NAMHCO, MHI, and Prosperity Now have all come out in support of, which can be accessed via the text/image box below.


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


Against that backdrop, earlier this week, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform provided MHProNews their analysis on this measure. It follows below.



JUNE 24, 2019




                       MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

                       MHARR STATE AFFILIATES


FROM:           MHARR




MHARR, based on numerous inquiries from industry members, has conducted a study and investigation of parallel bills introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives, entitled the “HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019.”  The Senate version of the bill – S. 1804 – was filed on June 13, 2019. The House version – H.R. 926 – was filed in the current Congress on January 30, 2019, but was previously introduced by the same sponsor, Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA), in 2017 and has been closely monitored by MHARR since that time.

In MHARR’s opinion, while seemingly innocuous on their face and apparently well-intended by their respective congressional sponsors, these bills — being pressed behind-the-scenes by narrow special interests, both within and outside of the industry – are not only unnecessary, but could have profoundly damaging unintended consequences for both the mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing industry and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on those mainstream manufactured homes as the nation’s premier source of affordable, non-subsidized homeownership.  Indeed, if enacted into law (in either the House or Senate form), these bills could ultimately undermine and destroy all of the gains, advancements, recognition and acceptance that the industry (and consumers) have achieved under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 and the reforms within that law designed to transition manufactured homes from the “trailers” of yesteryear to modern, legitimate “housing” for all purposes.

And, in fact, it is because of the reforms mandated by the 2000 law, that recognition and acceptance of manufactured homes and the manufactured housing industry has become the norm among decision-makers in the nation’s capital, as demonstrated particularly (but not exclusively) by HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s accolades for manufactured housing as a major part of the solution to the nation’s affordable housing crisis. As explained below, however, these bills, if enacted, would: (1) undermine the progress that mainstream, affordable, HUD Code manufactured homes have made in Washington, D.C.; (2) would split the industry into a class of “high-end” homes and ade facto “second class” of mainstream, affordable homes that would once again be re-relegated to “trailer” status; and (3) effectively exclude such mainstream, affordable, HUD Code manufactured homes from any consideration for, or participation in, housing programs sponsored by the federal government – all for the benefit of a handful of corporate conglomerates.

Specifically, these bills — in light of recent developments concerning the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) and the apparent effort by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, promoted by some in the industry, to divert DTS support to a supposed “new class” of pseudo-manufactured homes while providing no support whatsoever to existing, mainstream manufactured homes financed through personal property loans — appears to be tailored not only to legitimize the so-called “new class” of pseudo-manufactured home, but also to mandate government support for the utilization of that new class of home. The legislation, consequently, if enacted, would legally validate the discriminatory DTS policies adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the establishment of two separate “classes” of “residential manufactured homes” — the new class of high-cost, site-built-like hybrid homes favored and prioritized for securitization and secondary market support by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the one hand, and a “second class” comprised of existing, affordable, mainstream HUD Code manufactured homes on the other, with continued and worsening discrimination against the “second-class” of mainstream manufactured homes. 

The legislation, if enacted, would thus sanitize and institutionalize the diversion of DTS support from mainstream manufactured housing to this so-called “new class” of home.  It would also simultaneously pave the way for local jurisdictions to utilize this “new class” of home – while in many, if not most cases, continuing to exclude and discriminate against mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing — in order to access HUD grants and other funding. The bills do this through a two-step process of effectively expanding the definition of “manufactured home” currently contained in federal law and then requiring the inclusion of homes meeting this expanded definition in the “Consolidated Plans” that jurisdictions must submit to HUD in order to receive federal funding under multiple HUD programs.

In relevant part, the bills direct HUD to “issue guidelines for jurisdictions relating to the appropriate inclusion of residential manufactured homes in a Consolidated Plan of the jurisdiction.” (Emphasis added). The term “Consolidated Plans,” as noted above, refers to “comprehensive housing affordability strategy and community development plans” required by HUD regulations for communities seeking federal funds under HUD’s formula grant programs, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) among many others. The definition of “residential manufactured home” contained in the bills, in turn, while referring to the definition of “manufactured home” contained in the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, would nevertheless expand that definition by using the term “residential,” which is not contained or included in the existing federal law definition. The Senate bill, in addition refers to homes ‘used as a dwelling,” which differs from existing law which defines “manufactured homes” as being “designed to be used as a dwelling.” The bills, accordingly, would create a discrepancy between the existing definition of “manufactured home” and what does – or does not – constitute a “residential manufactured home,” potentially without any type of vetting, analysis or due consideration, that would elevate the so-called “new class” of home for use in every jurisdiction receiving HUD grants and other funding, while reducing mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes, once again, to second-class “trailer” status contrary to the 2000 reform law.

The bills, accordingly, pose a significant threat to existing, affordable, mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income families that rely upon those homes.  At a minimum, with their expanded definition of “residential manufactured home,” which is materially different from the definition already contained in federal manufactured housing law, the two bills, if enacted, would create immediate market confusion – particularly for existing HUD Code manufactured homes, homeowners, and purchasers that could further suppress the mainstream, affordable HUD Code market — and could lead to liability and litigation over just what does or does not constitute a “manufactured home” for purposes of federal regulation and a multitude of other issues. Consequently, MHARR does not and cannot support these bills and has already begun efforts in Congress (and at HUD) to expose the significant problems inherent in these bills and the major harm that they could – and likely would — cause for both consumers of mainstream, affordable  manufactured housing and the industry as a whole, but especially its smaller businesses.


            Again, and in summary, these bills are unnecessary and potentially harmful, in that they:


  • Would perpetuate a negative connotation and image of existing, mainstream, HUD Code manufactured housing through their identical titles, which imply that manufactured homes are in need of “modernization” notwithstanding the sweeping institutional reforms of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  In addition, these titles are misleading and inaccurate, in that the HUD program and the legal treatment of manufactured housing itself were already “modernized” by the 2000 reform law, after input from all stakeholders and the National Commission on Manufactured Housing;


  • Would, by changing the definition of what constitutes a “manufactured home,” create a substantial risk that the so-called “new class” of manufactured homes could lead to the establishment of a new baseline for all federal manufactured home standards, which would destroy the fundamental affordability of manufactured homes;


  • Would — even if it does not lead to more expansive and costly federal standards, as above — re-relegate existing, mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes to second-class “trailer” status;


  • Would undermine gains and advances made through and as a result of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to elevate the status of mainstream, affordable manufactured homes to that of legitimate “housing” for all purposes (including federal and federally-sponsored housing programs);


  • Would legitimize and institutionalize continuing discrimination against mainstream, HUD Code manufactured home personal property loans under DTS;


  • Would legitimize and reinforce the discriminatory exclusion of mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes in jurisdictions seeking HUD grants and other related funding by effectively directing those jurisdictions instead to higher-cost, “new class,” hybrid-type homes;


  • Would direct HUD funding and grants to jurisdictions that continue to discriminate against and exclude mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes and manufactured housing residents;


  • Would create immediate market confusion, would further suppress the existing HUD Code manufactured housing market and depreciate the re-sale value of such mainstream, affordable manufactured homes;


  • Would benefit just a handful of industry conglomerates at the expense of smaller, independent industry businesses and the lower and moderate-income American homebuyers who rely on the affordability of mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing.

Consequently, rather than these bills, with their inconsistent language and potentially devastating consequences for mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing, MHARR will instead seek to advance language that could be included in any moving bill involving HUD or housing finance that would ensure equal, non-discriminatory treatment for all HUD Code manufactured housing in both HUD housing and community grant programs, and housing finance programs under the jurisdiction of HUD (i.e., the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae) and/or the Federal Housing Finance Agency (i.e., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).  It is worth noting that under the 2000 reform law, manufactured housing producers have – and have always – been capable of building homes with additional upgrades and features.  Thus, the MHARR-suggested language below.

That language, which MHARR has already started to provide to Congress, states:


  • “The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide for the inclusion of manufactured homes in all housing, federal housing assistance and community development programs and activities, including community development grants, administered by the Department, and shall ensure that any jurisdiction participating in any such program or applying to participate in any such program does not exclude or unreasonably restrict the placement of manufactured homes as defined by and regulated pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 5401, et seq.) within that jurisdiction.”


  • “The Federal Housing Finance Agency shall ensure that the Government Sponsored Enterprises provide securitization and secondary market support for loans to purchase manufactured homes regulated pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 5401, et seq.), including loans secured by manufactured homes titled as real estate and manufactured homes titled as personal property, on an equal basis with all other types of single-family homes.”


Such language, attached to any moving bill in Congress, would propel parity and equality between existing, mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing and all other types of housing, while simultaneously prohibiting discrimination against HUD Code housing (and manufactured homeowners) in vital areas.  By contrast, when the innocuous veneer of the pending bills is stripped away, it becomes apparent that they would do serious harm to existing, mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on the non-subsidized affordability of those homes.  Indeed, a thorough analysis, based on accurate and factual information, shows that congressional (and Administration – i.e., HUD) goodwill toward the industry is being diverted instead toward the benefit of extremely narrow special interests.  As a result, these bills should be unacceptable to the industry at large.  MHARR, for its part, will continue to disseminate accurate and factual information to educate and inform Congress, the Administration and other decision-makers of the potentially serious market disruptions that could result from such legislation, and how the positive and constructive intent of Congress toward mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing can best be advanced through the above language.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional information regarding this matter.  We will continue to keep you apprised as new developments unfold. 

cc: Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members  

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 512

Washington D.C. 20004

Phone: 202/783-4087

Fax: 202/783-4075



MHProNews has contacted legislators on both sides of the political aisle about this piece of legislation. There were polite, professional assurances made that our concerns would be reviewed and addressed. Stay tuned.

It should also be noted that MHProNews and our parent company has provided input and content from sources that we may agree, disagree, or have a nuanced ‘wheat and chaff’ interest in. We have sources that we may or may not agree with, but if their perspective is of importance to the industry’s professionals, we routinely opt to share it.

We have at times held positions that are different than that of a sponsor or client. No two people or organizations hold the same vantagepoint on every issue.  Nor should it be expected.  It would be contrary to human nature and experiences. We don’t expect a sponsor to agree with everything we say or do, and the same is true in reverse.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of that is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and 21st Mortgage Corporation.  Each of them were sponsors.  We took periodic positions that were different than theirs.  Then MHI Chairman Tim Williams praised our objectivity, which he said made our support – when they had it – all the more valuable.

That was arguably the right stuff thinking.

Manufactured housing is in an 8-month slide.  Some sources with MHI tell us that we should expect an uptick that reveres that trend.  We will soon see.

What is certain is that MHI, Clayton, and the ‘powers that be’ in the industry, plus their surrogates, act as if all is well. Unless the goal is to throttle the industry and consolidate it at a discount, who can say all is well with a straight face? See the report below.



That’s today’s first chapter of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsConnect on LinkedIn here. (Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)


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Submitted 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

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Lesli Gooch, PhD, Manufactured Housing Institute EVP Reveals DTS Financing Con Job

March 26th, 2019 Comments off



When asked, manufactured home industry members often say they want more and better lending options.  That’s especially true for personal property, home only, or ‘chattel loans.’  Prospective consumers want more affordable lending. Existing or current manufactured home owners may want to refinance higher rate loans with a Berkshire Hathaway lending brand in order to get a lower interest rate.  So there are an array of those who want better lending options.


It is debatable if Executive Vice-President (EVP) Lesli Gooch – who some speculate is the heir apparent to Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison as the next Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) president – consciously or unconsciously intended to reveal the ‘Big Con‘ in manufactured housing finance with her new article in MHVillage’s MHInsider. 

Regardless, this Daily Business News on MHProNews fact-check will unveil the latest purported fabrication that mixes fact with fiction.  She claims that MHI is actually trying to get more financing options for the industry’s independents.  Is that demonstrably so?

First, let’s see what Gooch said in the March/April issue of the clearly pro-MHI MHInsider.

The purchase and securitization of chattel loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises or GSEs) is crucial to our industry, and MHI has engaged in years-long effort to push the Enterprises to purchase chattel loans as soon as possible.”  The first part of that sentence from Gooch’s column is a widely agreed to statement, but the accuracy of the second part (i.e.: if MHI is truly pushing for chattel loans by the GSEs “as soon as possible”) is what this fact-check will explore.

With housing finance reform expected to be on Congress’ agenda in the coming year, MHI has positioned the industry well,” wrote Gooch.  Positioned the industry well, for what? Let’s look.

One of MHI’s top priorities for 2019 is to continue to improve the supply of manufactured housing financing, including further progress toward the creation of a secondary market for chattel loans,” said Gooch.

  • If so, why did MHI’s former Executive Committee Chairman Tim Williams say that pursing duty to serve was a waste of time” – in his own prior written statement to MHProNews?
  • Or more recently, Paul Barretto with Fannie Mae confirmed that they had received no data to support chattel loan performance from either of the big two Berkshire Hathaway owned chattel lenders, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), or 21st Mortgage Corp, which has the same Tim Williams as its president. Doesn’t those facts alone mitigate against Gooch’s bold claim?
  • If the two largest MHI lenders wanted the GSEs to do lending ‘as soon as possible,’ then why didn’t they give their loan performance data as Fannie and Freddie requested?

MHI can’t logically claim to have it both ways.  One or more at MHI in key roles are not being accurate or honest. Other MHI lenders, by the way, did reportedly give the GSEs their loan performance data.  So why didn’t 21st or VMF?  It last factoid should be underscored.  It must never be misconstrued that what some do at MHI, Clayton, 21st, et al is automatically a bad reflection on others. It’s not.  MHProNews strongly believes in separating wheat from chaff.  Both are found wherever you look.

Note that neither MHI, Clayton Homes, nor Tim Williams/21st have denied our published reports in person, or in writing. MHProNews routinely gives them an invitation to do so.  Is that so because there are witnesses and documents that back up our evidence and fact-based assertions?



Follow the Money

Recall that an inside source recently told MHProNews about an “unholy alliance” to divert Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured home lending by the GSEs lending options away from most manufactured homes. Gooch claims in MHInsider and elsewhere that MHI is working to expand lending. Then how do they explain that MHI signed onto a public letter recently that asks FHFA to ‘go slow’ on changes with the GSEs?

That letter MHI signed onto with other associations outside of manufactured housing was reported by the mainstream media. What that joint letter says and what Gooch claims are mutually exclusive. MHI can’t have it both ways, logically.  Posturing or claiming something are not the same as doing what’s claimed.

Furthermore, MHI worked behind closed doors with the GSEs to get financing that ended up only useful for the Clayton Homes-backed ‘new class of homes.’ Repeated requests by MHARR or MHProNews to have those minutes released were not honored. If MHI truly wanted to expand lending with the GSEs, then why didn’t they work with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) to get lending on all manufactured homes, not for just a select few manufactured homes?

Rephrased, when viewed against a variety of known facts and evidence there is a gross lack of logic in what Gooch claims, and what the Arlington, VA based MHI trade association has done in recent years.

Recall that a GSE prior “MH Select” program was a dismal failure in the marketplace, per sources at a GSE. Note too that the new breakaway from MHI, NAMHCO hired a lobbyist in part precisely because they don’t think MHI is working to get robust GSE chattel lending for communities, or others. There is scant evidence – beyond mere words – that MHI has tried to get robust chattel lending by the GSE, but considerable evidence to the contrary.

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report

When you follow the money, for years, the annual Berkshire Hathaway annual report reflects the fact that much of the profits from manufactured housing that they earn are from financing and financial services. Is the industry, or clear and objective thinkers interested in affordable manufactured homes, really going to believe that the Berkshire brand lenders at MHI want to lose profits by having the GSEs compete with VMF and 21st?  Wouldn’t VMF and 21st lose millions of dollars a year if consumers switched their loans from higher interest rates with Berkshire Hathaway lenders to lower rates with a GSE, if competitive rate chattel loans were available for any manufactured homes?

It bears mention that at a San Antonio MHI meeting in 2017, in front of a relative small group of MHI members, Tim Williams specifically said to those MHI members that they (21st, VMF) didn’t want to see the GSEs get the best credit, and leave the Berkshire lenders with lower credits scores and lower profits.  That too contradicts Gooch’s claim.

Thus including from their former chairman, there is plenty of evidence that stands in stark contrast to what Gooch claimed.  Darren Krolewski – publisher of the MHInsider and Lesli Gooch were both at that same San Antonio MHI meeting, per sources.  They where there when Williams from 21st made the statements noted herein and above.  It seems unlikely that they didn’t hear or didn’t know about Williams statements, or the fact that Williams himself admitted that the had given no data to the GSEs.

All of those points contradict Gooch’s claim.  Indeed, it makes appear that her and Krolewski seem to be de facto ‘in on a con job’ – part of the problem, instead of part of the solution.

That leaves honest manufactured home industry members with this vexing conclusion.  Gooch and MHInsider – the first three letters of the publication’s name spell MHI – are deliberately trying to con or head fake the industry into believing something other than what MHI and the Berkshire brands are doing.  Logic alone suggests that Omaha and Knoxville based operations would purportedly thwart rather than promote lending that competes with what 21st or VMF offers.

If Krolewski, who has his own documented challenges with sharing facts accurately and honestly, or:


  • Lesli Gooch,
  • Tim Williams/21st,
  • the GSEs,
  • Joe Stegmayer, MHI chairman,
  • any other officials from MHI,
  • their attorneys,
  • or one of the other Knoxville-metro based Berkshire Hathaway brands want to provide evidence of their work that prove otherwise – not mere claims that are easily debunked – let them come to Session 1 of Thursday afternoon’s Fix the MH Industry Tricks meeting. Learn more linked there, or at the links found below.



Ask yourself if this MHI member’s prior statement has been born out in fact-checks like this one?


The industry will arguably not achieve its tremendous potential for profitable and honorable growth until a pro-financing, pro-growth national association option exists to MHI.  Learn more at the links, above and below.  Make or modify your plans to attend the historic meetings Thursday afternoon, in Tunica MS near the trade show location, and after the main Tunica Show events are concluded.


See ‘You’ve Gotta Have Swagger. ‘  You don’t have to be in the #MHM to attend. Click here to RSVP by saying RSVP in the subject line with your name, title and contact information.

That’s what’s new from manufactured housing most read and most trusted “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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