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Havenpark Capital Management Responds to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Dave Loebsack

June 21st, 2019 No comments

 

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The formal response to a letter in late May 2019 from Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-D) to Havenpark Capital has been obtained by MHProNews.

 

ICYMI, or want a refresher, the Daily Business News on MHProNews most recent report on this issue is linked below. As a thumbnail, Havenpark stirred regional controversy by sharply raising site fees on residents in manufactured home communities that they purchased. Havenpark has been accused of “predatory” practices by residents, activist groups, lawmakers, and others. In the wake of those concerns, Senator Warren and Rep. Loebsack addressed Havenpark, with a series of ‘discovery’ like requests – seeking facts and information. That letter from Senator Warren is part of the report below. 

 

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

 

The response by the community operator was printed on plain paper (sans letterhead) to the Democratic lawmakers named. The written response was signed by Managing Partners J. Anthony Antonelli and Robison Pratt for Havenpark Management.

Note: publishing their response should not be construed as an agreement with their claims, but rather what it is – Havenpark’s formal position as submitted. An analysis will follow their letter. Dashed ———- lines represent division made in the original letter to denote footnotes in their reply. The companies address was cited at the top, and is not shown below, but otherwise, the letter is structured as in the original. The … indicate a break in the copy due to footnotes, to mimic the original. 

 

The Honorable Elizabeth Warren
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Dave Loebsack
1211 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

June 18, 2019

Dear Senator Warren and Representative Loebsack,

This letter is in response to the letter we received from you dated May 28, 2019.

We respect, understand and agree with your concerns regarding the issue of affordable housing. Affordable housing is among the most pressing issues America faces today, and we are proud to be a small part of the solution to that crisis.

We strongly support the notion that solving the affordable housing crisis starts with preserving existing housing stock.1 Few types of real estate housing are more at-risk of disappearing than manufactured home communities located in commercial districts and other prime acreage of high-demand areas.2

Manufactured home communities are prime targets for developers of big box retail, luxury apartments, office buildings and other types of development.3 Tragically, this gentrification is occurring with greater frequency from all corners of the country in cities large…

 

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1 Why Preserving Affordable Housing is More Important than Building it. May 15, 2017. Retrieved from http://www.icastusa.org/why-preserving-affordable-housing-is-more-important-than-building-it/

2 Sullivan, A. America’s Most Invisible Communities – Mobile Home Parks. August 10, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/esther_sullivan_america_s_most_invisible_communities_mobile_home_parks/transcr ipt?language=en

3 Turner, S.L. Mobile Home Park Redevelopment & The Loss of Unsubsidized Housing. May 2010. Retrieved from https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/22331

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and small4 5. The results are disastrous – the unconscionable act of mass evicting all community residents – and are occurring at an alarming rate around the country6 7.

Preserving existing manufactured home communities is tantamount, but it is not enough. Those properties also need preliminary and ongoing capital upgrades, good maintenance, and helpful onsite property managers to ensure the property is a safe and clean community for all residents for the long term.

Havenpark is a regional operator of manufactured home communities. We are committed to preserving affordable housing by purchasing manufactured home communities and investing heavily in them – upfront, and on an ongoing basis – to ensure they are a secure, safe, clean and desirable place for our residents to live long-term.

Given the rapidly rising land values and rental rates across the country, Havenpark agrees there is a place for local, state and federal governments to pass legislation that would truly help the residents of manufactured homes. For example, the proposed legislation creating refundable tax credits for renters paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing are worthy of exploration. As are laws that would give mobile home park residents greater notice of rent increases before they can go into effect. Another proposal would benefit residents by providing federal tax incentives to owners of manufactured home communities if they sell the community directly to the residents. The current laws, rules and regulations likely need to be updated to protect both residents and landowners alike. Havenpark will continue to adhere to all current and future municipal, state, and federal rules regarding the operation of manufactured home communities.

We respect that as elected leaders you have the power to create real solutions. By looking at the affordable housing issue, real improvements are possible. To do that also requires a candid examination of the fiscal realities and costs. For example, one must acknowledge that had Havenpark not recently purchased manufactured home communities in North Liberty, IA and Waukee, IA – two of the fastest-growing areas in the region and country8 9 – they almost assuredly would have been sold to a developer that would have closed those communities –

 

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4 Mobile Home Parks at Risk of Redevelopment. September 25, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.statesman.com/NEWS/20180207/Mobile-home-parks-at-risk-of-redevelopment

5 Nearly 300 mobile homes lost since 2011. June 15, 2019. Retrieved from https://missoulian.com/news/local/affordable-housing-crisis-nearly-mobile-homes-lost-in-missoulacounty/article_a93950eb-7d0f-5c0c-89ec-7046511b3930.html

6 As land values rise in Phoenix area, mobile-home parks disappear. July 26, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/real-estate/catherine-reagor/2018/07/25/mobile-home-parksdisappear-fewer-affordable-housing-options-metro-phoenix/789332002/

7 Half of Hennepin County’s Mobile Home Parks Have Closed. July 17, 2017. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/as-mobile-home-parks-close-attention-turns-to-how-to-protect-them/434708163/

8 Waukee, IA one of the 10 fastest-growing suburbs in the U.S. July 18, 2018. Retrieved from https://businessrecord.com/Content/Default/All-Latest-News/Article/Waukee-one-of-the-10-fastest-growingsuburbs-in-the-U-S-/-3/248/83265

9 North Liberty among fastest growing cities in Iowa. Retrieved from https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/north-liberty-among-fastest-growing-cities-in-iowa20170525

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mass-evicting hundreds of residents – in order to repurpose that prime real estate into something more valuable. In this case, developers are who we outbid in order to make these two purchases in Iowa, securing long-term affordable housing for hundreds of Iowan families in the process. Havenpark is now in the process of making a substantial capital investment to ensure the communities are brought up to our operating standards and have sufficient upgrades and amenities to meet our residents’ needs. Market forces dictated the purchase price of those two properties, which went far beyond what the current income on rent provided. Taken together with the heavy capital commitment we’re making to ensure a good quality of life for our residents, we had to normalize the rents to the level of comparable manufactured home communities in the immediate area, otherwise we would effectively be “under water” and unable to preserve their current use. Even after normalizing rents, these two communities provide among the most affordable units in their respective markets with site rent leasing for approximately 30% of the cost of the average apartment in the area and are in-line with other manufactured home communities of comparable quality in those markets.

We do understand that any housing price increase is a burden, especially when residents haven’t seen rent increases that align with cost of living adjustments for several years. This was the case in the two Iowa communities referenced here. This is why after meeting with community residents from those two properties we decided to stagger the rent increases over a period of two years. This amounted to an increase in monthly rent of $75 (North Liberty) and $100 (Waukee) during the first full year of operations. This rent normalization was the cost of securing and preserving these communities.

Market forces continue driving housing prices and rental rates up. For example, it was recently noted that the average one-bedroom apartment rent in the Des Moines market experienced a 17% increase since last year10. Clearly, wages are not growing anywhere near that rate. Therefore, we believe there are some proposed policies and solutions that should be explored that would potentially mitigate the effects of such rent increases that many middle and lower income Americans are dealing with.

We also hope you acknowledge our financial investment which improves the properties and raises the quality of life for our residents. These include repaving streets, adding improved lighting, building dog parks, adding community playgrounds, renovating community centers, landscaping, and others. The biggest investment many Americans have is their home. These capital investments improve the value of our residents’ homes11 12, instill community pride, promote camaraderie among neighbors, and contribute to the overall well-being of our community residents.

 

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10 2019 Annual Rent Guide. Retrieved from https://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/apartment-guide-annual-rentreport/#Rent_Increases

11 Will a Manufactured Home Appreciate in Value? FAQ Retrieved from https://www.manufacturedhousing.org/faq/

12 New evidence shows manufactured homes appreciate as well as site-built homes. September 13, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/new-evidence-shows-manufactured-homes-appreciate-wellsite-built-homes

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Our overall mission is to secure and preserve affordable housing across the country. We look forward to continuing to invest in our communities to make them attractive, safe, clean places for individuals and families alike.

We note that your letter requested Havenpark answer a long list of specific questions about our company. We have been advised by counsel not to respond point-by-point.

We hope to be of assistance in the discussion and formation of policies and regulations that would preserve existing affordable housing and create more options for affordable housing going forward.

Respectfully,

JAnthonyAntonelliHavenparkManagementRobinsonPrattHavenparkManagementSignedLetterSentorWarrenRepLoebsackMHProNews

 

The video below is from the Iowa City Press Citizen. Once more, this reflects the views of those speaking, and ads balance to the report.

 

 

MHProNews Analysis and Commentary

In our analysis, MHProNews will focus on a particular part of the Havenpark reply letter.  That portion of their letter is shown below, with each bullet as a line from paragraph 7, above.

  • Given the rapidly rising land values and rental rates across the country, Havenpark agrees there is a place for local, state and federal governments to pass legislation that would truly help the residents of manufactured homes.

The above quote is arguably an attempt at jiujitsu and posturing, as are other portions of their letter. Continuing with their next line:

  • For example, the proposed legislation creating refundable tax credits for renters paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing are worthy of exploration.

That second sentence from paragraph 7 is a reference to proposed legislation that would arguably shift the burden of rising rents to taxpayers. It’s a bold, de facto call for federal subsidies of their communities. Their third sentence:

  • As are laws that would give mobile home park residents greater notice of rent increases before they can go into effect.

Besides the errant use of terminology, this is disingenuous at best. Having re-calibrated after serious blowback in Iowa, Havenpark’s management well know that they can give ‘greater notice’ without a law. Posturing.

Sentence four, paragraph 7:

  • Another proposal would benefit residents by providing federal tax incentives to owners of manufactured home communities if they sell the community directly to the residents.

That’s a reference to a bill that bears scrutiny on several levels, see the report on that topic linked here. Let’s note that while MHProNews believes there are clear merits to resident owned communities (ROCs), those who believe they are a panacea or utopia are mistaken. The Millie Francis case reflects the vexing reality that ROCs that are improperly run can have their own problems: see that, linked here.

Final sentence, paragraph 7:

  • The current laws, rules and regulations likely need to be updated to protect both residents and landowners alike. Havenpark will continue to adhere to all current and future municipal, state, and federal rules regarding the operation of manufactured home communities.

Much of this obliquely reveals a concern that MHProNews and our sister site have raised on numerous occasions previously. The purported ‘black hat’ behavior in this matter unjustly creates a public perception that impacts others in the community world who don’t engage in such allegedly aggressive practices.  Further, mainstream media reports on scenarios like those involving Havenpark likely have a negative impact on new and pre-owned manufactured home retail sales too.

Restated, residents, potential buyers, and ‘white hat’ intendents are all among the ‘victims’ of black hat firms.

What Havenpark is doing is akin to what our publisher dubbed conquest capitalism, see the case for that, linked here. When organizations such as Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway brands Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage Corporation seemingly have escaped federal consequences – at least so far – for what’s described below, doesn’t that only embolden other operations to dare such misbehavior too?

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

The industry’s good message is debatably clouded by such problematic behavior. See our prior report on the Havenpark linked controversy from the linked text-image box below.

 

Gannett Media Exposés, MH Community Owner Moves Sparks Outrage – IEDs of Manufactured Housing

 

While not every black hat firm is an MHI member, what John Oliver’s video obliquely revealed is that there is often a common tie between Buffett, Clayton Homes, MHI, and negative media.

 

 

Those bad news stories dwarf the exposure potentially positive events such as the Innovative Housing Showcase (IHS2019).

In the wake of such problematic media, as Havenpark and others have stirred up, is there any wonder that manufactured home sales are slipping instead of growing?

Not everything that goes wrong in the industry is purportedly caused by Buffett, Berkshire, Clayton, and MHI black hat brands.  That said, much arguably is.

In the related reports further below is a letter from a community leader that ought to spark thought among the industry’s ‘white hat’ operations.

That letter linked below the byline and notices could become part of the solution.  A second element that could rapidly play a useful role is to fully apply federal law, including the enhanced preemption clause of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000. Again, for more, see the related reports below the byline and notices.

But a third element of the solution should include a new post-production trade association that stands up for the industry’s good post-production firms, and publicly denounces black hat behavior. Otherwise what happens is harmful to independent businesses and to potentially millions of Americans.

Havenpark, MHI, and others noted will be invited to provide their retort to these concerns in a letter to the editor.

 

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MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panicking Manufactured Home Community Residents Turning to Rent Control Demands

June 20th, 2019 No comments

 

PanickingManufacturedHomeCommunityResidentsTurningRentControlDemandsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Still from video, posted further below.

Residents of a manufactured home community in Marin County, California are stressing over announced rent increases that will hit them in July 1, 2019.

 

Per CBS local affiliate KPIX 5, the sharp spike may cause some to lose their homes.

It is part of a trend that has been sparking headlines in various parts of the United States.  Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D), and a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful who has been rising steadily in the polls.  Senator Warren recently sent letters to several manufactured home community (MHC) operators that have drawn national attention in the wake of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral but errantly named “Mobile Homes” video.

KPIX’s report is posted below. 

 

 

Local media quoted resident Joan Dobkowski saying, More than half of us are on a fixed, retirement income, which means this kind of steep increase is not something that can be handled in that short time period.”

Because they’re almost doubling the rent when we sell our units for the new people,” Dobkowski said. “No one wants to move here. So, we’re losing our homes as well…we can’t sell them.”

Larkspur does not have rent control, though much of the rest of the county does.  David Levin, managing attorney for Marin Legal Aid, said “That’s something [signing a long term lease] the renters [community residents] are wrestling with right nowbecause they’ve been presented with a 5-year lease agreement and that could lock them into the rent increase schedule as proposed.”

They’re going to get less money or possibly even lose some or most of their investment,” Levin said. “In many cases, all these people own is the mobile home [sic].”

This concern is part of a larger trend in the industry, one that was highlighted by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver spotlighted.  MHProNews readers are reminded that in the wake of that report, before mainstream media reports hit, our sources in Washington, D.C. said they expected national blowback. A tangential topic that has tie-ins has drawn attention from several Democratic lawmakers, including 2020 presidential hopefuls. 

Rephrased, there are indications that issues like this one could get hotter.

Representatives for the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA), the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) were invited to weigh in on this and related controversies.  They have not responded as of 1:52 PM ET – but were also given an option to respond to our report once published. 

NAMHCO recently weighed in on another community-focused matter, linked after the byline and notices.

While not a producer issue, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has weighed in on a related possible solution.  See that linked further below too.  MHProNews will continue to monitor this scenario.

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Affordable Housing and the Two Sides of Rent Control, in Two Videos – Pros and Cons

May 30th, 2019 Comments off

 

AffordableHousingTwoSidesRentControlTwoVideosProsConsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Still from the second video, posted further below.

As a disclosure, MHProNews has argued for years that however good it sounds, rent-control doesn’t work in practice. That noted, as the affordable housing debate is only growing, and some are pushing rent control as a ‘solution,’ this morning the Daily Business News on MHProNews hereby presents two videos on opposite sides of the rent control debate.  We’ll close with a link to one of our own reports on the topic.

 

The first video spotlights in a somewhat lighthearted way the growing affordable housing crisis, and goes through some notable facts, mixed with debatably opinions, and which ends with the presenter’s argument for rent control.  In fairness, the stats near the start of her video are largely useful.

 

 

The next is a shorter video that explains why rent control does not work in practice.

 

 

The National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, Ph.D, made the point that only more housing supply can successfully address the problem of rising housing cost in a free market fashion.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson made a similar argument, and specifically proposed manufactured homes as part of his prescription for a better America.

If you are a manager or owner of a company, it is prudent to have your staff understand issues like rent control.  The more people you have working in your company, the more likely you will have some that think rent control is a good idea. Facts and reason can help those who believe that rent control is a solution, when history has repeatedly shown that it is not.

Affordable housing is likely to shape up as a 2020 issue. Expect rent control arguments to be part of that slippery ‘debate.’ See related reports, further below.

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

 

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“Results vs. Resistance,” Cutting Fog with Facts for MHVille

October 1st, 2018 Comments off

 

ResultsVsResistanceFogVsFactsPXDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600x315

Some 72 percent of Americans believe that misinformation from media is common today, said a recent Axios poll. Distortions of reality impacts manufactured housing in a variety of ways.  The light of truth is a useful disinfectant to the darkness of false information or harmful fiction.

 

As was recently reported on the Daily Business News on MHProNews, manufactured home community resident Rob Weymouth wrote a letter to his local editor to encourage readers to “vote Democratic” to fix his states rent control bill. It was Democrats who passed the rent control measure, a Democratic governor signed into law, and Weymouth himself said the law was “useless.”

Weymouth has the seal of approval from the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association (DMHOA), which is affiliated with MHAction, and NMHOA.  ICYMI, see the related report, below, later for the details.

MH Communities, Owners, MH Independents Alert – NMHOA and MHAction Next Steps? – Part 1

MHProNews has reported for years on the unintended problems caused by rent control.  Paul Bradley, of ROC USA, took aim at the issue of rent control too, saying there had to be a better solution.

PaulBradleyPresPhotoROCUSALogoRentControlManufacturedHomeLandLeaseCommunties

Why not look past the feel good, easy fix sound bites – that are often based upon myth – and see the reality that rent control harms residents, potential developers, and smaller property owners alike? Tim Sheahan, President of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association himself identified, albeit perhaps unwittingly, the fact that when there was a lot of developing going on, land-lease was affordable and the free market kept site-fees – a.k.a. ground rent – stable.

Tim Sheahan, NMHOA President, Controversial Points of Agreement with Marty Lavin, George Allen on Communities

Part of Weymouth’s – and those of his associates who agreed with his reasoning for voting for Democrats – was another claim that’s easily disputed.  Namely, that Republicans are the party of the rich.

Tell that to the top 10 billionaires in America.

ForbesTenRichestInAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPolticalTendencies

7 of those 10 billionaires are reliably Democratic supporters.  3 of those top ten are more conservative or Libertarian leaning.  Warren Buffett is near the top of this list, and he and his fellow travelers are reliably Democratic supporters.

Yesterday, on Sunday Morning Futures, House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy was asked how does the GOP fight the perceived blue wave and their oversized pockets?

McCarthy answer was comparing “results vs resistance.”  The “resistance” is a term that the left has adopted to the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Democrats have two liberal billionaires that are trying to buy the House to flip it,” McCarthy said, per the Daily Caller. “You have Mike Bloomberg who first promised $80 million. Now he’s talking about going to $100 million just on Democrats in the House. And then Tom Steyer who has already spent $120 million. And he brags because he wants to impeach the president.”

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has signaled that he may run in 2020 for president as a Democrat.  If so, having a majority in the Congress would be for him and his colleagues the ideal outcome.

The difficulty is, when you have liberal billionaires willing to write a $100 million check at the time, that’s very difficult to try to equal the playing field,” McCarthy said.

How do we equal the playing field? Results vs. resistance. The results of this economy [are] better than we’ve seen in the last 50 years.”

 

Counter-Indicators?

President Trump, when out on the stump at his rallies, explains to his listeners how suppression polling is supposed to work.

Take, for example, a “push poll” that tries to get a surveyed person to answer questions in a preferred fashion. Here at MHProNews, we are routinely called for polls.  We know first-hand that push polls are a common surveying method.

Another tactic used by some polling operations is the over-sample from among Democratic supporters, while under sampling Republicans and independents. That occurred in the 2016 election cycle.  By looking at the internals of some polls, and using public data with adjustments, MHProNews was able to use mainstream polling and project the path for a Trump victory on election night accurately.

But how many voters look at the ‘internals’ of a poll to begin with?  The president is correct in suggesting that a possible goal of polls is to convince people that the election is “over,” and there are no good reasons to go out and vote.  The odds may favor the Democrats, on money or the historic trends of many midterms in the last 50 years.  But going to vote still counts.

In 2016, Republicans were outspent by Democrats for president that year. CBS News reported that “Election 2016’s price tag: $6.8 billion. Americans who are running for federal elective offices spent more than ever — about $6.8 billion — in that pursuit, including the nastiest presidential election in recent memory, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”

Per the New York Times,Mrs. Clinton’s total expenses were $565 million, compared with $775 million for President Obama; Mr. Trump spent $322 million, while Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee that year, spent $460 million. Mrs. Clinton closed with under $1 million in the bank, much less than the $7 million remaining for the Trump” campaign.

Former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Chairman was one of those movers and shakers in MHVille that supported Clinton, and previously supported President Barack Obama.  He’s used Clayton Homes for product, and 21st Mortgage for lending, both Berkshire Hathaway brands.  Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett was a prominent backer of then Senator, later President Barack Obama.  The money and influence tilted toward the Democrats.

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, From Mobile Home Resident to Manufactured Home Communities Owner, & Manufactured Housing Institute Leader

So the trend for years has been more money for Democrats, including more big donors for Democrats. But just as President Trump was able to win with fewer dollars, that is possible in the 2016 cycle too.

 

Evidence for the Red Wave?

In fact, there are several surveys and counter-signals that could indicate that the blue wave Democrats and much of the mainstream media is reporting could prove to be incorrect.  Let’s look at some facts.  Gallup did a survey in September that demonstrated that the GOP is at its highest level of acceptance in some 7 years.

GallupSurveyRepublicanPartyMoreFavorableVsDemocratsSept2018vs2017DailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

Per Gallup, the Republican Party is viewed slightly more favorably than Democrats.  Isn’t that odd, given all of those polls that suggest an edge to Democrats? But there’s more.

GallupViewPartyMoreFavorablyDemocratsRepublicansSept2018vs2017DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – which sources there tell the Daily Business News on MHProNews includes hundreds of manufactured housing industry firms among their 325,000 members – has reported their highest levels of business confidence in many years.  That confidence wave began with the election of Donald J. Trump.

Record Shattered on SBO, Yields Growth, Profits, More Says Juanita Duggan’s Group

Consumer confidence surveys are likewise at historic levels since President Trump began his term in office.

In the recent TV viewing of the Ford-Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate last week, Nielson said that some 20 million Americans tuned in that day to watch part or all of the proceedings. “20.4 million people tuning in on six broadcast and cable networks, according to Nielsen data released on Friday,” said NBC NewsMillions more listened to the testimony by radio.

Per Forbes,On the three major [cable] news networks, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, the Kavanaugh hearing averaged 11 million total viewers from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., according to Nielsen data. That viewership peaked from 3:15 and 6:45 p.m., when Kavanaugh himself testified, with almost 13 million total viewers.”

Fox News easily beat the audience share of MSNBC and CNN. See the graphic, below. While not every CNN viewer leans Democratic, and not every Fox viewer leans GOP, those are the widely noted tendencies.

FoxNewsCableRaceCNNMSNBCDrudgeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Perhaps more significant are the radio audiences.  While there are “progressive” talk radio shows, conservatives and libertarians dominate talk radio. Rush Limbaugh, per various reports, can reach up to 30 million people online, via broadcast, etc. Sean Hannity can be about half that “Rush” audience size.

With unemployment among blacks, Hispanics and women at record lows, and wages rising, there are reasons to believe that their support for President Trump-backed candidates will grow.

Once again, black entertainer Kanye West publicly made a pro-Trump talk this past weekend.  While booed by some members of the largely liberal Saturday Night Live (SNL) audience, he’s part of that trend towards a less monolithic voting among minorities for Democrats. The broad-minded network did not air it, but here is a clip of what took place.

Democrats may be signaling their own concerns over 2018 in subtle as well as obvious ways.  Former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Secretary Hillary Clinton have been and/or soon plan to hit the campaign trail in support of Democrats.  It is worth noting that former Secretary Clinton will be campaigning with openly socialistic candidate, Mayor Andrew Gillum in FL.

Every election comes down to turn-out. November 6 is just 36 days away, and early voting has begun. Some polling suggests that a record midterm could be ahead. The president has a packed campaign rally schedule.

As MHProNews fact-checks and analysis has documented and reminded industry professionals, the Obama Administration era foisted more regulations, Pam Danner at HUD, higher taxes, Dodd-Frank, doubled the federal debt, ObamaCare, and other road-blocks on our industry’s growth. President Obama promised to veto Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, while President Donald J. Trump signed S. 2155 into law, which contained a key plank from the same bill.

The mask is arguably coming off of the various ways that MHI acts as Buffett’s Berkshire tool. MHI’s own former VP blew part of the Arlington, VA based trade group’s cover.

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

The midterms can continue the momentum in the economy, or it could reverse it with promised socialist policies being openly advanced by several Democratic candidates.

 

Results vs. Resistance.”

Which way, MHVille pro, will you vote?  What will you tell your circle of influence?  Keep in mind, if you don’t vote, you’ve de facto voted for the winner. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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President Trump – “Bigger than Watergate,” “We Need Accountability” – National, MH Industry Impacts

Influencing the Socialists in Your Office, the Best Way Out of Poverty

 

Ending Rigged, Corrupted Systems, Manufactured Housing Advancement, Sunday Headline Recap Week Sept 9.2018 – Sept 16.2018

Tim Sheahan, NMHOA President, Controversial Points of Agreement with Marty Lavin, George Allen on Communities

September 11th, 2018 Comments off

 

TimSheahanPresidentNMHOAControversialPointsAgreementMartyLavinGeorgeAllenMHCommunities600x315

When it comes to doing relevant fact checks, analysis, and commentary, timing is everything.

 

In 1970, my city of San Marcos had a population of less than 4,000 and was part of the dramatic manufactured housing community development boom of the 1970s, adding over 3,000 pads among 18 manufactured home communities, which led to more than a doubling of the population by the mid 1970s,” wrote Tim Sheahan, President of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA).

The comments were part of Sheahan’s much longer written comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which for the last 10 years has overseen the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

Like many areas of CA, manufactured home purchasers in San Marcos were lured away from metropolitan areas by the promise of a quiet semi-rural retirement lifestyle with low lot rents and nice amenities, which often included clubhouses/community centers, swimming pools and spas, saunas, shuffleboard courts, pool tables and card rooms, community kitchens; and, in some cases, tennis courts, golf courses and fishing ponds. Downsizing to a MH also enabled them to enhance their financial nest eggs for the retirement years. Initially, stiff competition among various developers during the only time a true “free market” situation existed in these communities commonly led to very reasonable starting rents.”

The above is a commentary that mobile/manufactured home professionals from that era, along with hundreds of thousands of mobile/manufactured home owners from that timeframe could agree upon.

Rephrased, those are statements that could be a possible starting point for common ground between communities and activist groups that are otherwise often at odds.

But what followed from Sheahan is where a significant degree of divergence – and hot controversies – arises.

Sheahan wrote, “As the communities filled with “im-mobile” homes, free market forces such as competition were lost and lot rents for captive homeowners skyrocketed in many areas of California. Proactive homeowners organized and eventually achieved rent stabilization ordinances in over 100 cities or counties in California to combat the contagious greed of many MH community operators. These ordinances protected not only homeowners, they protected lenders, dealers, manufacturers as well, while providing a “just and reasonable” return on investment for community operators, a similar standard as used in regulating utility rates. Local rent ordinances also helped fuel local economies by keeping more dollars in the pockets of homeowners to spend on goods and services rather than being sent to out-of-town operators in the form of excessive rent.”

Sheahan’s use of the term “im-mobile homes” is intelligent and insightful.  He thoughtfully explained that the phrase came from a researcher’s paper some years ago. He’s quite right to say that it’s not easy, instead it is costly, to move a manufactured home. Thus, the phrase, “im-mobile home.”

But the cost of a move for “im-mobile” manufactured homes (MH) are hardly the only factor that causes rising site fees in some communities. The proof is simple. In many parts of the country where land-lease site fees are rising rapidly – regardless of the cost – where would you move that “im-mobile home” to? Where are the new land-lease communities being opened in California, or many other states, that would keep the law of supply and demand in balance?

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformJOINMHARRbani-200x200

Click here or the above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

Because it’s a combination of factors, including a lack of new construction of land-lease communities, that results in what Sheahan called “manufactured housing done extremely wrong,” when he, NMHOA or MHAction blast so-called ‘greedy’ property owners who aggressively hike a community’s site fees.

Sheahan’s own comments indirectly suggest as much, because it was during the MH community (MHC) building boom of the 1970s that MHC site fees were kept lower and in check.

So shouldn’t that be part of Sheahan and resident group’s arguments? That more communities need to be built, and more opportunities should be opened up for keeping site fees naturally in check?

The ‘two great laws’ could be one of those places where residents and manufactured home professionals – most notably, the small to mid sized independents – could find common ground.

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

 

George Allen, Marty Lavin – Periodic De Facto Allies With Sheahan?

Sheahan is not without de facto defenders, at least in part, among the ranks of manufactured housing professionals who oppose heavy hikes in manufactured home site fees on residents. For example, former community owners George Allen on his blog and Marty Lavin, JD, in recent comments to MHProNews have publicly attacked manufactured home community owners who have aggressively hiked site fees.

Lavin admits in written comments that he once did the same as community owners that raised rents to the point that residents moved out and legislators with rent control on their minds wanted to move in.  Lavin said that he realized through that process the error of that way.

He now cautions community owners from adopting that practice.

As Lavin told the Daily Business News on MHProNews in commenting about recent media reports that proved to be another black eye to the industry, “Sure, like most LLC [land lease community] owners, I railed at rent control. Hated it. Rent control was wrong, an intrusion on my property rights, raising rents was perfectly safe to do, a good business move, and it should be prohibited to have rent control! Over time, as I saw the destructive results of heavy rent and fee increases in LLCs, my thoughts shifted. There was a heavy bludgeon to the face to bring me around.”

That noted, a demonstrable problem that contributes to the concerns Sheahan and Lavin have described are land use policies.

Restrictive land-use, coupled with NIMBY-driven reactions, has demonstrably kept more manufactured home communities from being developed.  Restrictive land-use, and failure to enforce the enhanced preemption that the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 established, have made it more difficult for those facing higher site fees.

With reduced options for tens of thousands of manufactured home owners in land-leases who’ve faced heavier site fee hikes, that can seem like what community owner Frank Rolfe referred to as customers being chained to the booth of a Waffle House restaurant.

But those comments by Rolfe and Lavin need to be taken in their context. Former community owner Allen, by comparison, simply leveled a blast at those who have done such heavy-handed practices, arguably as a way of dodging his relationships to those who generate problematic headlines. See a related report, linked below.

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

In roughly the last 2 decades, thousands of more communities have closed as opposed to opening. These are market forces that Sheahan, Weymouth, or others don’t normally address as factors that directly contribute to rising site fees. See those related reports, linked below

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

So it is a variety of market-based issues, some having nothing to do with ‘greed,’ that contribute to higher costs for community owners, which in turn are passed on to residents.

  • Mr. Sheahan, and
  • Rob Weymouth, writing columns supported by the DMHOA – affiliates of NMHOA and MHAction – have apparently failed to consider or mention those as serious reasons.
  • Furthermore – and here’s where the avoidable tragedioes occurs – when resident groups unjustly protest, they are arguably contributing to a troubled image that can make the cycle described herein demonstrably worse.
  • MHProNews has argued for years that there is a better way for residents and businesses alike. The goal should be mutual victories – win-win – or the outcome will be win-lose. Who is going to benefit from those win-lose battles?  If you read what Weymouth and Sheahan both say, it is often going to be the few, and they will tend to be the larger consolidators of independently owned communities.
  • The reason is the law of supply and demand.  The supply side must be addressed, or the rising demand will only make the current trends worse.

See that column by Weymouth, and comments from his supporters, at the related report, linked below. As an FYI to those who’ve read that report, this is the promised “Part 2” follow up to it.

MH Communities, Owners, MH Independents Alert – NMHOA and MHAction Next Steps? – Part 1

In a free market, the solution that ought to be encouraged is the construction of more manufactured home communities.  Sheahan’s own comments above demonstrated that it was during that phase of the industry’s history that site fees were kept in check. Of course, because there was competition.

Competition for manufactured home owners kept site fees in check.

But land-use, local NIMBYism – arguably made worse by protests and legal battles – have eroded the climate that made the creation of thousands of manufactured home communities by small to mid sized businesses a norm in years gone by.

How to reverse the vexing trends of recent decades?

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has argued that it can be accomplished in part by making make more home sites available through a robust application by HUD of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 with local public officials.

There are fundamentally two paths.

  • The right combination of well informed and motivated residents combined with ethical businesses working together, which could lead to mutual victories through a savvy use of the free market.
  • Or by contrast, failure to act in win-win ways punishes the thousands of community owners who don’t do what Sheahan, Weymouth, Allen, and Lavin all say is wrong.  Who suffers?  Residents and small-to-mid sized businesses.  Larger businesses have historically proven to benefit vis a viz their smaller brethren in business when heavier regulations, including rent control or other factors, are in play.

 

Putting Facts in Perspective

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) statistics, their “data,” and claims are often wrong, as the Daily Business News on MHProNews has periodically pointed out.  MHI claims are unreliable often enough where they merit this type of disclaimer.

That said, MHI claims that site fees at manufactured home communities nationally average about 3 percent annually, similar to increases at apartments, but much lower than what property tax rates hikes are in markets from coast-to-coast.

CNBC reports that property values have doubled in the last 5 years, per ATTOM, and that some housing markets are seeing year over year (YoY) increases from 38 percent to 75 percent. RentCafe said 2017 increases in apartments were 2.5 percent over the prior year.

As WalletHub pointed out this year, “And though property taxes might appear to be a non-issue for the 37 percent of renter households, that couldn’t be further from the truth. We all pay property taxes, whether directly or indirectly, as they impact the rent we pay as well as the finances of state and local governments.”

WalletHubRealEstatePropertyTaxesByState2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The rent-control that Weymouth, DMHOA, NMHOA, MHAction and others promote will arguably only make the problem worse.  It is worth noting that not one official from NMHOA or MHAction would accept the offer of MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach to publicly discuss or debate the issues that led Weymouth to call on more Democrats to be elected.  Yet Weymouth himself admits that the rent control law his state’s legislature passed was “useless.”

In a Canadian province, their rent control law has likewise witnessed a shrinkage in home sites, as manufactured home communities close.  The result?  Similar to places, such as California, where when a community closes, it becomes difficult – as well as costly – to find another manufactured home community to move into.

The pattern described in the article below will arguably continue, so long as directives and roadblocks remain for the construction of new communities.  The other side of rent control is that fewer communities are being built.  However well intended Weymouth and Sheahan may be, good intentions can still have unintended and problematic consequences. The very things that Sheahan, Weymouth and others rails against are conditions created by heavy regulations, such as rent control.

UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control

 

Avoidable Tragedies for MH Owners and Businesses Alike?

Sheahan and others affiliated with NMHOA or MHAction cite specific community owners as their examples for aggressive hikes in site fees.

MHI award winner Lavin says:

  • the MH lending fiasco in the late 1990s and early 2000s,
  • plus those in the community sector that do aggressive hikes that residents like Sheahan have protested,

have harmed the entire manufactured home industry’s image among regulators, lenders, investors, and the public.

If so, then is there an analogy – a parallel – in the MH industry and community sector to what Daily Business News readers discovered from the Poverty, Inc video report?

IfYouReallyWanttoHelpPovertyThenthepovertyIndustryAsWeKnowitHastoGoPovertyIncQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Well intentioned programs have proven to hurt the very people they are supposed to help. That’s the contention of the highly acclaimed video documentary, “Poverty, Inc.” See clips and Learn more at the link below.

Acclaimed Poverty Inc. Video, MHVille – Why Left & Right Should Listen, Learn From Each Other

Is there a need to rethink the true root causes of the issues that face residents along with the honorable professionals in the industry?  Is there a need for more than good will?  A combination of the heart and the head working together?  That’s what Poverty, Inc. advocates.

It remains to be seen if some of the leadership of resident groups would enter into a serious discussion/debate over what would really work long-term for all involved.

What seems clear at this point is that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) leadership has arguably rejected the possible courses of action that would be good for residents and small-to-mid-sized businesses alike. As Lavin has said, they operate on behalf of the big boys.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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

The industry’s most recent results suggest that by year’s end, something like 100,000 (+/-) new manufactured homes could be built.  But it should and could be more like 1 million (+/-) new homes annually that are needed to close the gap in affordable housing. Consider what the National Association of Realtors™ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had to say about supply, demand and its impact on price hikes.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

Those same principles outlined by Yun need to be generously applied to manufactured housing.

There are many contributing causes that explain the gap between how manufactured housing as an industry is performing, how it worked in the past, and how it could or should be.  The evidence reviewed in numerous reports on MHProNews reveals the gap and its causes.  See the linked related reports, found further below.  But this next Lavin-ism is worth mentioning.

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

The logic of this statement can be applied to a variety of cases.

What is certain is that how homeowner groups – or associations such as MHI, MHARR, NFIB or others – behave publicly in ways that contribute to the cure or the cause of that gap.

MHARR and NFIB are demonstrably acting in ways that are improving the business climate.  By contrast, MHI is continuing to behave much as they have since Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway entered into manufactured housing in 2003, and began the takeover of MHI.  MHI acts in favor of their largest members, is what Lavin and others have said.

Getting headlines may create a thrill for some among resident-activists, but isn’t the bottom line result the more important metric?

The evidence suggests that NMHOA, MHAction – however well intended their members may be – are being led down a problematic path that has never produced the outcome they desired.

As the midterms approach, there are broadly speaking, two choices for resident and other groups.

  • Which political party is advocating for failed approaches, such as rent control?
  • Which party has done better in recent years for elevating the incomes and opportunities for workers?
  • Which party in recent years has done more for creating the kind of investor/capital environment that has lead to more business and job growth?
  • Which party is working toward more housing options, including more manufactured homes and communities?

Before you cast your ballots, get informed. Because the right vote can accelerate the real progress being made for manufactured housing during the still young Trump Administration. The wrong vote can slow or even reverse that progress.

Former President Barack Obama had eight years in the Oval Office. His first two of those eight years his party had control of the House, and Senate.  We should ask Mr. Weymouth and Mr. Sheahan:

  • Exactly what did Democrats do on a practical level that lifted up residents of manufactured housing?
  • Didn’t the rate of home ownership decline during the last Democratic Administration?
  • Didn’t the super-rich billionaire class – people like Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos Bill Gates, and other supporters of Mr. Obama – grow richer?
  • Meanwhile, didn’t the working and middle class tread water or lose ground?
  • Didn’t small business suffer during the Obama years, while the giants and their lobbyists thrived?

YouAreEntitledtoYourOwnOpinions.ButYouAreNotEntitledToYourOwnFactsDanielPatrickMoynihanDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There’s talk and there’s results. There is style and there is substance. There’s feel good belief, and then there is evidence and facts. Which do you want? “We Provide, You Decide.” © (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:

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

 

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

City Settles Case with Community Owner for $1.5 Million

August 7th, 2018 Comments off


CityChinoSettlesCaseWithCommunityOwnerfor1.5MillionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The City of Chino recently reached a $1.5 million settlement with a manufactured home community owner.

The suit originally asked for $34 million, and was filed in July 2010 by Chino MHC, owner of Lamplighter Chino Mobile Home Park,  per the Champion Newspapers.

The settlement agreement resolves long-standing disputes and litigation between the parties,” city spokeswoman Arianna Fajardo said in July. “The settlement makes clear that it is not an admission of any wrongdoing whatsoever on the part of the city. Instead, the city council wished to move beyond the disputes and avoid further expenditure of time and funds litigating these matters.”

The California Supreme Court declined the city’s request to hear the case.

In 2011, Superior Court Judge Joseph Brisco ruled that the City of Chino could not prohibit the conversion of the park, even though a survey of residents reportedly revealed most opposed the plan.

The City of Chino appealed, but lost in October 2012, when the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that the city council could not stop conversion of the mobile home park to resident ownership, unless city could show the owner was taking the step to avoid the city’s rent control policy on land-lease manufactured home communities.

Under this scenario, non-purchasing resident households will not be required to vacate their spaces,” former-city attorney Jimmy Gutierrez told the council.  He had warned officials that the decision could result in lawsuits that the city would lose.

LamplighterChinoMHCChinoMHCManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

A Community Sector Industry Attorney Comments

Hart King tells MHProNews that they were not involved in this case, and that the comments from C. William “Bill” Dahlin “are personal and do not reflect any client or the firm.”

CWilliamBillDahlinHartKingLawManufacturedHomeCommunitiesManufacturedHousngIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It is my understanding the tenants also sued the city [in 2014] and I am not sure if this second piece of litigation is also at issue in the settlement referenced in the article,” Dahlin told the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

As an FYI, an approved subdivision of a MHP in California makes the park exempt from local rent control once the first space has been sold,” Dahlin said.

LegacyHousingHurricanOverrunWholesaleEvent200x200ManufacturedHomeINdustryMHProNews

Click to learn more about this upcoming wholesale event, which is not related to the story posted.

As a generality most park owners do not require existing residents to buy their space when a subdivision is approved. Rather the park owner generally allows existing homeowners to continue as tenants, but frequently do require a successor tenant to buy the space.” the California-based attorney said.

I assume this subdivision was pursued because the city’s rent control ordinance had the rents at a small fraction of market rent. After this subdivision was judicially approved the state legislature made it almost impossible to subdivide a MHP w/o tenant support. That legislation has effectively stopped almost all subdivision applications.” Dahlin added that this was “Just another consequence of rent control. The state has also made park closures economically VERY difficult and that has prevented older functionally obsolete MHPs from closing to allow newer developments to proceed. Yet another consequence of rent control and one factor in the state’s “housing crisis

The battle is part of the ongoing struggles between local jurisdictions and manufactured home community owners that are taking place in many parts of the country.  Some other recent cases are linked below.  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

MHCs and Rent Control – Cure or Cause for Affordable Housing Crisis?

 

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

 

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control

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

 

 

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

May 31st, 2018 Comments off

ManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnerAlertRentControlMHActionOrganizedActionSeveralStatesDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNEws

Rent control fights are heating up in California and Illinois, and manufactured homeowners are continuing to organize for better treatment from corporate landlords,” the leftist-activist group, MHAction stated in a release to the Daily Business News.

Nationwide, MHAction is joining a coalition of affordable housing advocates calling for Congress to fully fund HUD and reject proposed rent increases for recipients of section 8 funds. Now, more than ever, as corporate real estate investors move into ownership of manufactured home communities, apartment buildings, and single family homes, we need a strong, fully funded HUD to advocate for our communities,” per their statement.

On May 15th, manufactured homeowners in Illinois, from Urbana and Beecher, joined tenant activists with the Lift the Ban Coalition for a lobby day in Springfield to call for the repeal of the Illinois state law that prevents rent control. Many other homeowners from across the state who were unable to travel to Springfield participated by writing letters and making phone calls to their state Senators. We’ll be holding a conference call next week, Wednesday June 6th, to update everyone on the status of SB 3512 and talk about how we can build momentum for rent control this summer,” per MHAction.

Regular, long-time Daily Business News readers recall that MHProNews has been warning industry investors and professionals about the actions of this group for some years. A recent report, is linked below.  So, thoughtful readers should not construe reports about them, as an endorsement of their efforts or thinking.

Behind So-Called “MH Resident Activists,” MHAction’s Kevin Borden, Anti- HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Industry Protests

In California manufactured homeowners are continuing to work in coalition with affordable housing advocates statewide to fight for expanded rent control and real solutions to the affordable housing crisis. We’ll be holding a conference call on Thursday, June 14th to discuss how manufactured homeowners can help pass the Affordable Housing Act in November, and use the increased focus on housing issues to build momentum for community fights,” per their release, which is peppered with sign ups, that have not been included in this column.

In Maryland and New York, communities owned by Sunrise Capital Investors are continuing to fight back against drastic rent increases they received last January,” they stated in their call-to-arms for fellow activists.

If you have updates on your local work you’d like us to share,” said MHAction, “or would like support from other manufactured homeowners, send us an email,” they requested.

The group creates stories, shares photos, graphics, and videos designed to attracts more activists.  They have apparent ties to Black Lives Matter, the now-dissolved ACORN group, and other left-wing activist organizations.

As has been previously noted, their core thinking is heavily laced with socialistic and other flawed economic concepts.

MHProNews will continue to monitor the group for industry professionals and investors, and plans to report about their problematic activities periodically. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

Frank Rolfe, MHU/RV Horizons Protest by MHAction; Nathan Smith/SSK/MHI Flashbacks?

Washington Post – Protests of HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Institute, by MHAction, New York Communities for Change, CarsonWatch – An Inside Look

“Death by Government,” Fascism, Communism, Socialism, ‘Big Brother,’ per Williams, Rummel and Owens

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control

April 26th, 2017 Comments off
UPDATEMHCFutureinDoubttheOtherSideofRentControlcreditWesternInvestment-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Resident Lothar Netzel having a garage sale. Credit: Western Investor.

In an update to the story that the Daily Business News originally covered here, residents at the Thetis Lake Campground community in View Royal, British Columbia, Canada, are facing an imminent threat.

According to Western Investor, assessments on the community are threatening the viability of the most affordable housing option in the province, and options are limited.

 

Manufactured homes on rented pads cost about one-tenth of what an average detached house in B.C. costs, and provide thousands of seniors and others with the lowest-cost homes in the province,” said Al Kemp, executive director of the Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of BC.

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Al Kemp. Credit: LinkedIn

And the security of low cost is in doubt because park owners are under annual rental restrictions while assessed values, and subsequent property taxes, are increasing dramatically.”

Kemp says that owners are being squeezed, as assessment values on manufactured home communities have skyrocketed over the past year, but community owners can only increase site rents by 3.7 percent this year under the Residential Tenancy Act.

BC Assessment doesn’t have a clue how to value manufactured home parks [sic], which are a hybrid of commercial and residential real estate,” said Kemp.

The land-value sale of one park [sic], for example, will raise the assessed value of neighboring parks [sic] that may not have the same development potential.”

A community owner in Vancouver reached out to Kemp for help after receiving their 2016 assessment.

We will be out of business soon as our low rent-controlled increases never allow us to catch up,” said the owner.

MHCResidentsFaceUncertainFuturecreditMobileHomesVictoria-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnewsMHCResidentsFaceUncertainFuturecreditMobileHomesVictoria-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home at Thetis Lake Campground. Credit: Mobile Homes Victoria.

This has community owners beginning to scramble to sell, which means residents are scrambling to find a new place to live. And that’s the case with Thetis Lake – the community’s assessment jumped more than $400,000 in the past year, to $2.98 million.

The owner is now in the process of selling to a developer who wants to build 45 single-family homes and 14 townhouses on the property. And residents are facing eviction next fall.

We don’t want to leave. It’s basically cheap living, close to a park and we’re comfortable here,” said resident Lothar Netzel.

With the average price of a detached house in View Royal at $645,000, a townhouse at $502,000, and a vacancy rate less than one percent, affordable housing for community residents is far from certain.

The sale of the community is hinging on the development being approved for rezoning by the Town of View Royal. If it goes through, the owner of the community has offered each homeowner $10,000 as compensation.

And that has not set well with residents.

What can we do with $10,000?” asked Netzel. “Look at the steep house prices and a tight rental market throughout the capital region.”

The impact of rent control has been felt in other parts of Canada as well, including the case in the video above with a community in Manitoba.

David Screech, Mayor of View Royal says that while he sympathizes with the owners, View Royal does not have any manufactured home bylaws.

In my opinion, they have been given a generous offer, more than what’s required by law,” said Screech.

 

Is Rent Control Necessary? MH Industry Experts Speak 

sam-landy-ceo-umh-posted-manufactured-housing-industry-communities-retailing-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-

Sam Landy, UMH President and CEO.

UMH would not buy a rent controlled community and believes all community owners should work with residents to avoid rent control,” said Sam Landy, President and CEO of UMH Properties, Inc.

The fact is if we raise our rents too high we will have no sales and no occupancy. No reasonable landlord would do such a thing. Our rents have to make economic sense or we have no business. Therefore, in the long term, there is never a need for rent control.” 

Sam Landy’s full commentary on rent control is linked here.

RentControlManufacturedHomeCommunitiesPaulBradleyROCUSA_postedIndustryVoices-ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews--e1474054729300

Graphic credit, MHProNews, statement by Paul Bradley,
ROC USA, in a longer post, found at this link here.

c-william-bill-dahlin-hartkinglaw-postedmanufacturedhousingindustryvoicesmhpronews-1

C. William “Bill” Dahlin.

The entire objective of rent control is to distort the market and have a government agency decide what rent is appropriate,” said C. William Dahlin, JD of Hart | King Law.

Such governmental controls never lead to more housing or better housing.” 

 

For more opinions on the impacts of rent control in the U.S., click here. ##

 

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

 

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

MHCs and Rent Control – Cure or Cause for Affordable Housing Crisis?

December 7th, 2016 Comments off

rentcontrolunionleadercaliforniamanufacturedhomecommunity-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronewsThe housing and human services commission in Sunnyvale, California, has made a significant recommendation to the city council.

Per the San Jose Mercury News, on November 16th the commission unanimously voted to rank “rent stabilization” as the top issue to recommend that the city council study in January.

The recommendation comes as groups form to “protect” manufactured home community residents from high prices and projects that could replace the parks.

I believe it’s important and that it needs to be studied and understood to see what can the city can consider putting in place to protect these residents,” said Commissioner Diana Gilbert.

The issue was driven to the forefront in part by residents of the Plaza Del Rey Mobile Home Park.

The community was sold to the Carlyle Group last year, and residents claim that their rents were increased by 7.5 percent. In August several residents of Plaza Del Rey contacted residents of other manufactured home communities in the city and founded the Sunnyvale Mobile Home Alliance, which made rent stabilization for their communities a top priority.

Many group members attended the commission meeting and urged commissioners to recommend the issue be studied by the city council.

This is an important issue to a lot of people. We’re afraid we’ll be priced out,” said Ron Banks, a Plaza Del Rey resident.

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Location of Plaza Del Ray. Credit: Google.

The Mercury News reports that in June, Councilmembers Jim Davis and Tara Martin-Milius both suggested studying the rent control issue in 2017. City staff recommended deferring the issue, suggesting instead that the council prioritize affordable housing efforts. Housing and human service commissioners disagreed, ranking the issue number one of several issues presented to them.

If the city council does choose to study rent stabilization, phase one would involve research into existing stabilization programs and assessing the benefits and costs of such an ordinance in the city. It would be followed by community outreach and study sessions with the housing and human services commission.

What Does “Rent Control” Actually Mean? MH Industry Experts Speak

rentcontrolcwilliamdahlinjdhartkinglawindustryvoicesmanufacturedhomeindustrycommentarymhpronews-500x300The entire objective of rent control is to distort the market and have a government agency decide what rent is appropriate,” said C. William Dahlin, JD  of Hart | King Law in his comments regarding the situation in Sunnyvale.

Such governmental controls never lead to more housing or better housing. 

Dahlin also cites the impact on taxpayers.

Any unbiased research will disclose that cities across California, and elsewhere in the nation, have engaged in time consuming and expensive litigation because of price-fixing for rents in mobilehome parks,” said Dahlin.

The cities of Escondido, Hollister, San Marcos, Palm Springs, and multiple others have spent literally millions of dollars arising out of enactment of rent control ordinances. All of those funds come from the taxpayers in the city. Only a small minority of city residents reap the ‘benefits.’” Dahlin’s full commentary is here.

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Sam Landy, UMH President and CEO.

Sam Landy, Esq., President and CEO of UMH Properties, Inc., makes his company’s position very clear on the issue.

UMH would not buy a rent controlled community and believes all community owners should work with residents to avoid rent control,” said Landy.

The fact is if we raise our rents too high we will have no sales and no occupancy. No reasonable landlord would do such a thing. Our rents have to make economic sense or we have no business. Therefore, in the long term, there is never a need for rent control.

Landy’s points dovetail with those of Dahlin.  You can read Sam Landy’s full commentary here.

I would like to think there are alternatives that don’t rely on third-party boards and local ordinances,” said Paul Bradley, President of ROC USA. “I approach

paul bradley roc usa founder fosters.com cedit

Paul Bradley. Credit: Fosters.

things with a win/win mindset, and from what I’ve seen, courts and boards seem to satisfy neither party in most cases.  A fundamentally different value proposition and mindset is required to stem the tide of rent control.” The fully commentary from Bradley can be found here.

The Daily Business News will continue to monitor the Sunnyvale situation as it develops. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Rent Control Measure Victorious, Questions, Issues Remain

November 14th, 2016 Comments off
battleovermeasurevyes-no-manufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Collage and text credit by MHProNews. Click to see full sized image.

In a highly charged campaign that focused on rent control measures for manufactured home communities, Humboldt County, California’s Measure V passed on November 8th with 54.57 percent of the vote.

The Daily Business News has covered the measure V battle extensively, breaking the measure down to its key points:

  • Manufactured home community owners would be permitted to raise site rents once annually, and the increase would be tied to inflation via the Consumer Price Index;
  • When a home is sold or transferred, new resident site fees could only increase five percent higher than what the previous residents paid;
  • A community owner could raise rents to pay for improvements, but would first require written approval from more than 50 percent (a simple majority) of the homeowners/residents.
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Credit: HumboldtMobileHome.org

Both sides involved with the measure provided details on their position leading up to the election.

In May, a federal jury unanimously found that the city of Carson and its rent control board violated the constitutional rights of the owner of Colony Cove — a mobile home park in Southern California,” said Doug Johnson, who is a member of Citizens Against Rent Control — NO on Measure V, in his letter to the Times-Standard.

Credit: Facebook.

Credit: Facebook.

The jury concluded that the board’s rejection of lawfully filed rent increase applications in 2007 and 2008 constituted a regulatory taking without just compensation,” Johnson wrote.  “Such government actions are barred by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Hilary Mosher, chair of the Humboldt Mobile Home Coalition, provided a different take.

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Credit: HumboldtMobileHome.org

Park owners are being merciless, and in some cases, outside the law in their rush to gouge park residents in raising fees and lot rents prior to the Nov. 8 election,” Mosher alleged.

This provides us with a perfect example of why Measure V is necessary – park owners are not required to be fair with their increases and we park residents are captive and have no say about whatever they want to do to us,” Mosher continued.

One park owner in McKinleyville, who failed to give tenants adequate notice, has even gone so far as to tell them in a letter that if Measure V does not pass, he may not raise the rent! We view this as voter manipulation and intimidation.

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Humboldt County, CA (in red.) Credit: Wikipedia

 

The MH industry also weighed in with their perspective.

Park owners in Humboldt County have been addressing the issue of alleged “excessive” rent for well over a year,” attorney C. William Dahlin told MHProNews.

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C. William “Bill” Dahlin.

However, the reality is that rents in Humboldt County are not excessive. Indeed, rents in Humboldt County mobile home parks are exceptionally low. Do the research,” Dahlin said.

Most Park owners offer long-term leases that address and stabilize any legitimate concern about rent increases,” Dahlin explained. “A rent increase that reflects an increase in property taxes simply reflects the costs of doing business. Not one penny of such increases go to the park owner. Rather, such funds go the county for roads as well as police and fire services.

paul bradley roc usa founder fosters.com cedit

Paul Bradley. Credit: Fosters.com

I think rent control is a symptom of a larger problem.  To my eye, these stories are always about both sides doubling down politically and legally,Paul Bradley, president of Resident Owned Communities (ROCUSA) told MHProNews.

I would like to think there are alternatives that don’t rely on third-party boards and local ordinances.  I approach things with a win/win mindset, and from what I’ve seen; courts and boards seem to satisfy neither party in most cases.  A fundamentally different value proposition and mindset is required to stem the tide of rent control,” said Bradley.

sam-landy-ceo-umh-posted-manufactured-housing-industry-communities-retailing-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-

Sam Landy, UMH President and CEO.

The fact is, if we [as community owners] raise our rents too high, we will have no sales and no occupancy,said UMH President and CEO Sam Landy.

No reasonable landlord would do such a thing. Our rents have to make economic sense or we have no business. Therefore, in the long term, there is never a need for rent control.

The Daily Business News will continue to monitor the progress of Measure V and its impact on the manufactured housing industry. ##

(Editor’s Note: for a similar, related story featured in a Fox News video, please click here.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.