Posts Tagged ‘resident-owned community’

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

February 10th, 2019 Comments off



It’s no secret. Not everything in life is sunshine and roses. Indeed, in order to have roses, one needs hydration – like rain that falls from the cloudy sky – and nutrition with fertilizers that are either natural or man-made.


A fundamental premise of free enterprise is to spot a problem and conceive of ways that an inconvenient or negative situation may become an opportunity to serve others, and thereby earn money.

A fundamental principle of human decency is to see someone in distress, and to step in an act solo or in concert on their behalf.

As an affordable housing crisis rages in America, and manufactured homes (MH) are the wildly misunderstood proven solution hiding in plain sight. So why hasn’t some MH industry leader or organization intervened in this troubling controversy that unexpectedly embroiled resident-home-owner, Millie Francis?

Community operator Brian Gallagher is correct in telling MHProNews that conventional housing has its share of controversies involving home owners’ associations (HOAs).  While true, its manufactured housing that is misunderstood, not conventional housing.

There are any number of organizations or individuals who should feel motivated to resolve the issue of 85-year-old Millie Francis in a manner that respects her rights and wishes.  They could do so in a way that might allow the Bradenton Tropical Palms, Vanguard Management, or the Knox and Levine law firm to save face.


Before proceeding with some of those who could benefit by such an intervention, let’s summarize what the issues are to inform new readers about this controversy, as well as provide a refresher for the thousands of manufactured home industry professionals who have already read about this previously.


Reported Facts and Assertions:


  • Millie Francis lives in a resident owned community (ROC), the Bradenton Tropical Palms, in Bradenton, FL.
  • According to a statement from Mrs. Francis to MHProNews this morning, her issues with Bradenton Tropical Palms community manager Janet Nowakowski long predate her placement of a faith-inspired artistic display.
  • After “years” of that community’s security service shining a spotlight into her home during nighttime hours like “2 [AM] o’clock in the morning,” along with other privacy incidents, Francis tells MHProNews that she decided to have her front window replaced to end the annoyances. Francis stated that she advised management. They gave her their okay.
  • There may be incomplete and/or unsubmitted community required paperwork involved in this controversy.
  • Manager Janet Nowakowski reportedly observed on several occasions the artwork as it was being done on the street facing of Francis’ pre-HUD Code mobile homes. It wasn’t until after the artwork commissioned by Francis was completed by professional artist IngridBrandt that Nowakowski, per Francis, demanded its removal.  That insight from Francis to MHProNews today may undermine any argument that the Bradenton Tropical Palms might raise.
  • Other homes in that same community have similar, often large displays on the exteriors facing the street. Those others cases could be viewed as either secular or religious, as can Francis’ art. Some are attached to a mobile or manufactured home, others are not.
  • Francis is being threatened with eviction and legal action over this alleged infraction.
  • A new hearing with a state agency is scheduled for tomorrow, but it may be postponed.
  • Legal action could still ensue whatever the state agency decides.


Additional details are found at this link here:


Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?


The Drudge Report linked up this article below, which made the issue a global one.


The video below is from the same local news source, linked above.




In fairness to the Bradenton Tropical Palms, Vanguard Management, or Knox and Levine, are there possibly other unknown facts? Yes. That said, the Daily Business News on MHProNews – and this writer – have reached out more than once to get their perspectives.

The downloadable document linked here is a communication sent by email to attorneys Jessica Knox and Bryan Levine. It was also sent to another associate in their law office. It contains background and perspectives useful to understanding this issue. It clearly invited them to comment, clarify, contest or otherwise tell their client’s version of the events in writing.

Knox and Levine electronically confirmed receipt. But they exercised their right not to comment. So, if there is anything incomplete in the way of background or related details, that is on them.  Moving on.


Terminology and the proper respect are important. But doing the right things, at the right time, is arguably even more important.


Who is Harmed by the Hullabaloo? Who Could Benefit?

When one reads the public comments on various mainstream media news sites posted about this Millie Francis and her Our Lady of Guadalupe art issue, the harm to the image of the manufactured home (MH) industry and its homeowners becomes evident.

From the typical demeaning nomenclature, to put downs about that location, or of our industry and millions of factory-built home owners, there are a range of comments that should inspire the desire to correct the record. 

A reasonable question is this.  Those public comments are reminders that should inspire — whom?

First, those on the front lines of this arguably mishandled matter by the Bradenton Tropical Palms management and their attorneys. Once a mistake(s) occurs, the motivated professional question becomes, ‘what to do about it?’ How can one take lemons, and make lemonade?

Paul Bradley and ROC USA had the vision to launch #NobleNotMobile. Why aren’t they stepping up to the plate on this ROC connected Millie Francis odyssey?  Does it matter that it isn’t in their network?  They could possibly get more good PR from helping to resolve this one issue, than anything else that they could do this year.  The fact that it is outside of their network is a plus, from a PR perspective, not a minus.

What about NMHOA or MHAction? Or Doug Ryan at Prosperity Now? Here is a woman living in a resident owned community (ROC). Her experience-to-date flies in the face of their narrative of the supposed ‘economic security’ she as a shareholder in that ROC community is supposed to enjoy. How so?  Because Millie Francis’ ROC is effectively threatening to evict her over a disputed rules infraction.  Can you spell, black eye?

Where is MHAction and their merry band of protesters-on-demand? Why aren’t they standing up for Millie Francis’ rights?  Where’s Doug Ryan’s outrage, or any others in organizations like theirs?

There are any number of possible persons or groups that could step up and turn this obvious negative into a potential positive.

There are professionals and firms that have given away a manufactured home at Christmas time. That’s a fine gesture, that gets some free media. Why not protect Millie Francis’ home and her rights to religious expression? Why not be a heroine or hero in bringing to a hopefully happy conclusion this messy matter?

Francis says she loves her pre-HUD Code mobile home. But she and her health are disturbed by the way her ROC community has handled this and other issues.

As arguably the most covered single controversy in all of manufactured housing in 2018, how this story draws to a close could influence public perceptions about this part of the affordable housing industry for years.  As the Chinese axiom states, their characters for crisis means danger as well as opportunity in disguise.




The wrap this up logically, one or more of the following could occur.

  • Unsatisfactory conclusion for Millie Francis. If so, then given the nature of the internet, this unforced contusion on MHVille could be a stain for years to come. That’s especially true for the Bradenton Tropical Palms, but the impact will go beyond that location. It could possibly harm the image of ROCs, land-lease community living, and manufactured homes in general.
  • Millie Francis could die. Ditto the bullet above, and perhaps as bad or worse than if she was effectively evicted. See the download linked here for what that might spark. Because if she does die, then this tragic tale will likely live on in the next round of litigation that her kin could launch in the wake of a stress-induced death.
  • Management of this community, ROCs, and the attorneys could be defined by this episode for years. Is being “tough” on rules – even if the community happens to be right, which is debatable – would firmness be the right image to project to the world in this case? Management and their attorneys need to study the meaning of the term, “Pyrrhic victory.”
  • The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their National Community Council (NCC). MHI purportedly fails on a routine basis to live up to their own claim of ‘representing all aspects of factory-built housing.’ Seriously? Do MHI leaders want to be a mensch, or not? Do they want to be seen again as hypocritical or not?
  • Other land-lease community owners. Has anyone thought to offer to move Mrs. Francis and her home to their land-lease community? Artwork and all? Or to simply offer to ‘foot the bill’ for the paperwork fix of this nettlesome issue, and get years of good PR as a result?
  • The same bullet above about MHI could be posed to the industry’s largest firms. We’ve alleged that Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage have deftly used for years avoidable and artificial headwinds. Negative media are among those, as but one of Chairman Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway’s “sharks in the water” of their “Moat.” Kevin Clayton could set the resolution of this matter in motion with a text, an email or phone call. Ditto Tim Williams at 21st, Eric Hamilton at VMF, etc.
  • Public officials. The list here is extensive, and obvious from the points noted above.
  • Faith-based, First Amendment, or other special interest groups. Ditto the bullet above.


That sets the stage for what happens next.

MHProNews has reasons to believe that one or more mainstream media outlets will be doing another report soon.  That could spark yet another round of problematic media for MHVille.

Or – if someone steps up to the plate – it could be a rainbow at the end of this ongoing storm.

An 85-year-old retired nurse and widow is suffering for what she believes in. On a purely human compassion level, why hasn’t someone from MHVille or beyond stepped up and helped her resolved this?

Enough said for now.

That’s just part of what is occurring in what was once the aspirational manufactured home industry of the 1990s.  Our once robust industry today has since been shrunk down to MHVille. Will we learn how to grasp the opportunities-in-disguise that could revive our industry’s reputation?

With no further adieu, for more headlines of the news, analysis and commentary about the affordable side of the housing industry in the week that was, see the reports linked below.


What’s New on the Masthead


Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market


What’s New on MHLivingNews


Who Will Act? Will Senator Elizabeth Warren, and/or the Trump Administration Act to Restore Open Markets, Thereby Supporting Affordable Manufactured Homes?


What’s New from MHARR

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



What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews


Saturday 2.9.2019

State of the Industry 2019 – Reality vs. Potential for Manufactured, Modular, and PreFab Homes? New Infographic

State of the Industry 2019 – Reality vs. Potential for Manufactured, Modular, and PreFab Homes? New Infographic


Friday 2.8.2019

  “Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

“Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

  What’s Coming at Cavco Industries (CVCO), Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Stock Updates

What’s Coming at Cavco Industries (CVCO), Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Stock Updates

  Russians Build Truly Mobile, “Mobile Home” – Lighter Side Videos Spark Serious Topics

Russians Build Truly Mobile, “Mobile Home” – Lighter Side Videos Spark Serious Topics

  Is POTUS Trump Racist? “Here Today, Here to Stay” – HUD Secretary Ben Carson Sounds Off

Is POTUS Trump Racist? “Here Today, Here to Stay” – HUD Secretary Ben Carson Sounds Off


Thursday 2.7.2019

  ‘Updating All Buildings,’ Other AOC “Green New Deal” – Mixed Reviews Among Democrats, GOP Jeers

‘Updating All Buildings,’ Other AOC “Green New Deal” – Mixed Reviews Among Democrats, GOP Jeers

  China, Trade, Tariffs, and Chicken – Plus Manufactured Home Equities Updates

  Meet the Revolutionaries in PreFab Housing Designs – Project Updates

Meet the Revolutionaries in PreFab Housing Designs – Project Updates

  MHVillage’s MHInsider on Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry Fact Check – Why Correct Data Matters

MHVillage’s MHInsider on Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry Fact Check – Why Correct Data Matters


Wednesday 2.6.2019

  Celebrating Capitalism Over Destructive Socialism? Highlights, As Talking Heads Weigh In, Plus MH Market Updates

  Cavco Industries (CVCO) Officials Issue Several Warnings

Cavco Industries (CVCO) Officials Issue Several Warnings

  SOTU 2019

SOTU 2019

  Lower Priced Homes Increase Most, Per Latest Housing Data from CoreLogic

Lower Priced Homes Increase Most, Per Latest Housing Data from CoreLogic


Tuesday 2.5.2019

  Real Rats and Disease – Not Metaphors – Where’s Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership?

Real Rats and Disease – Not Metaphors – Where’s Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership?

  Data Points Ahead of SOTU, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

  Manufactured Home Production Slide Continues – Call it Corruption, Collusion, Incompetence, Attempted Coverup – Self-Evident Failures Mount

Manufactured Home Production Slide Continues – Call it Corruption, Collusion, Incompetence, Attempted Coverup – Self-Evident Failures Mount

  Economic Opportunities Loom, Infrastructure and Opportunity Zones

Economic Opportunities Loom, Infrastructure and Opportunity Zones


Monday 2.4.2019

  Haverford Trust CIO Hank Smith on, Fed Policy, State of Economy, Recession Question – Plus, MH Market Updates

  Law Scrutinizes Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Score of Resident Owned Community (ROC) Deal

Law Scrutinizes Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Score of Resident Owned Community (ROC) Deal

  Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You\

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

  Sidney Powell, JD, Former Federal Prosecutor on “Licensed to Lie”

Sidney Powell, JD, Former Federal Prosecutor on “Licensed to Lie”


Sunday 2.3.2019

  Can Close Reading of Facts Bring Left & Right Together for MHVille, Nation?

Can Close Reading of Facts Bring Left & Right Together for MHVille, Nation?


Manufactured homes offer decades of proven solution to the affordable housing crisis. But until MHVille pros embrace the notion that negative media coverage ignored just makes the problems our profession face worse, we can only expect more of the same.


Almost any given problem is an opportunity in disguise.



As you ponder the linked reports above or further below, never forget that you are part of a larger housing industry that reportedly closed some $1.6 trillion dollars in sales in 2018. Manufactured homes closed under $8 trillion. The industry can do better.


If we are measured by those we serve, it is my hope that one or more people or organization’s will step up and lend Millie Francis and her adversaries – that should be her allies – a hand to bring this episode to a happy close.

That’s this week’s recap of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Headline news, week in review, news, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.


Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

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


Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”








Biggest Manufactured Home Living Story? Millie Francis’ Our Lady of Guadalupe Mobile Home Art, Religious Liberty, Heading to Mediation, Arbitration or Litigation

January 23rd, 2019 Comments off


It’s the top mainstream news story involving the industry that too few manufactured housing (MH) profession leaders seem to grasp – or are willing to tackle.



Nevertheless, it’s perhaps the biggest one in years to impact our flailing segment of the affordable housing industry.

Once the ubiquitous Drudge Report linked up the account of Millie Francis and her public display of Our Lady of Guadalupe, numerous other mainstream media outlets picked up the subject.




Scores of news sources have run variations of her tale. It includes Francis’ battle with her resident owned community’s (ROC) management company and on-site manager Janet Nowakowski, whom Francis claims is in violation of community rules, while selectively enforcing others.

Legal opinions and other manufactured home industry professional have weighed in with their views.

What mainstream media stresses Francis’ determined “They’ll have to kill me first” statement, standing before her now iconic painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the street facing of her pre-HUD Code mobile home comes down.

The Bradenton Tropical Palms resident owned community’s management hired the law firm, Knox and Levine, to pressure Francis into removing the painted image of the Madonna, the mother of Jesus under her venerated image as Our Lady of Guadalupe (OLG).




Devout Catholics see OLG as the patroness of the Americas, and of the unborn.




A Bradenton city official has told MHProNews that they are aware of the drama, and recommend that Francis contact a Fair Housing organization in the area. That mirrors other legal commentary shared on-and-off the record to MHProNews, previously reported at the link here.  One example is shown below.





The Millie Francis, Our Lady of Guadalupe Drama Synopsis 

Millie Francis found herself in a firestorm over a painting she was “inspired” to commission while at mass as she prepared to receive holy communion at Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton, FL.

Francis told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that she is seeking an off-ramp from the drama, but does not want to have the image painted by artist Ingrid Brandt removed.

Francis pointed out to MHProNews other examples of architectural changes in that same section of Bradenton Tropical Palms community she lives in that involve the use of dolphins, geckos, or other symbols.  Those other examples may also be viewed as religious in nature.




Which begs the questions, why is Francis’ painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe causing persecution? Why are the others apparently accepted by the resident owned community’s management? Is Francis’ interest in the cooperative ‘resident owned community’ somehow inferior to that of others who live there?




Part of the caustic elements in the evolution of this matter is that the entire affair was arguably sparked by the resident owned community’s own security company.




The security service would reportedly drive by Francis’ home at night, shining a light through her pre-HUD Code mobile home’s window. Some ‘stranger’ would also come by, said Francis, who would peer in.  That individual was apparently not spotted or stopped by security in the gated Brandenton Tropical Palms.

So, as a result of those incidents, Francis asked for and was given permission by that ROC to do what others at that property have done, architecturally remove and replace her front window.

A source close to Francis told MHProNews that this hullabaloo may be traced to something as simple as incomplete paperwork. If so, then why all the threats of litigation and eviction over a powerful cultural and religious symbol?

The Orlando Sentinel produced a short video, that included the still-video-frame of a comically evil-looking, mustachioed manager posted above. Is that the image that ROCs or others in the manufactured home industry want?  If not, where is the action to intervene and bring this to a proper resolution?  Why not let Francis fill out and sign a few papers, and let her keep her artwork, as others in the same community have been allowed to do?

The most recent video about this tragi-comic tale is posted below.




Behind the Veil of the Media Narrative

It is noteworthy that the art has its own legal protection under Florida law. But that law may not necessarily protect the artwork exactly where it is currently located, which is Francis’ stated desire.

The media accounts metaphorically paint Francis as a tough, 85-year-old woman, who will die before she gives up that commissioned art work.

While Francis is indeed determined, she is also a heart patient. The stress over this issue could kill her. When we spoke in person, she had to pause and catch her breath. Tears came to her eyes, as Francis shared the unexpected development of her circumstances.

A brief, follow-up phone call from MHProNews with the valiant senior revealed she was having her heart examined by medical professionals, apparently due to her distress.

A sense of the sheer breath of news coverage are found in the Google screen captures as shown. Well over 100,000 online links to this topic are reported by Google.




Mediation? Arbitration? Litigation?

A possible mediator for Francis has stepped forward. That party spoke to MHProNews at length, off-the-record. While trained in mediation, he is not an attorney. It remains to be seen if he can find a compromise with Knox and Levine.

Otherwise, the case will head to arbitration or the courts.




Where are the Manufactured Home Industry’s Non-Profits?

At the time Millie Francis spoke to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, she was unaware of any activity by any nonprofit on her behalf. There is no known indication since which indicates that has changed. Which should make any industry professional wonder, where are resident and/or trade groups such as:


  • Prosperity Now
  • MHAction
  • #NobleNotMobile
  • Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA)
  • Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)


on this issue, which has focused global attention on Manufactured Home Living since the Drudge Report linked a news story up?

Perhaps the most in-depth report – and one of the highest ranked among some of this morning’s Google searches – is the one posted on MHProNews. It is found at the link here, and in the related references below the byline.



It should be disclosed that MHProNews provided the Drudge Report with a document containing pages of evidence about Mille Francis’ Our Lady of Guadalupe case. That was sent to the Drudge team prior to our own publication of the report linked here and below.

Within hours of the email shown in the screen capture below, Francis’ narrative was linked up by news media maven Drudge.




A similar document as the one sent to the Drudge team, sent to the Bradenton Tropical Palms, is linked here as a download.  The parties certainly ought to know how badly this looks.  So, why haven’t they taken a bite of humble pie, and quietly resolved this with Millie Francis?

For reasons made clear in the in-depth report found linked below, which included third-party expert legal commentary, MHProNews editorially believes that the Bradenton Tropical Palms is harming Millie Francis’ civil and religious rights. They and their attorneys are thus arguably negatively impacting the interests of not only Francis, but that of the entire manufactured home industry and its millions of homeowners too.

After all, ponder how this appears to outsiders looking in. If millions of manufactured and mobile home owners live in a land-lease, and this is the kind of treatment that residents receive?  How can that be anything other than a negative reflection on our entire profession?

Examples of how the public has reacted to this are predictable, with some examples posted at the detailed report, linked below the byline.



All of the positive efforts of the industry are moot if post-production industry leaders are not wise enough to step up to the plate and help resolve this vexing matter in a positive way. If they won’t do it out of compassion for the rights of Millie Francis, then they should act out of pure self interest. Either way, they should act.


Sense of Urgency?

There ought to be some urgency for the industry’s post-production associations and non-profits to step in and help resolve this matter in a favorable fashion. Francis’ health is an obvious issue. Her rights are purportedly being violated, say legal experts. Plus, these troubling headlines and related reports will likely continue for weeks or months.  That will continue to forge a problematic stereotype about our industry, at the very time – the growing affordable housing crisis – that the opposite image is being portrayed than what is needed.

It’s baffling that one or more post-production industry nonprofits have reportedly not already stepped up to help settle this case.  As the meme from the Orlando Sentinel exemplifies, this makes a ROC and manufactured home communities in general look like a monster picking on an 85-year-old heart patient, a devout Catholic Christian who felt inspired to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Ouch.

Angels? Geckos? Dolphins? Those are all apparently okay.

But the Catholic patroness of the unborn and of the Americas? That’s apparently a no-no at the Bradenton Tropical Palms in Florida.

An affordable housing crisis grows.  The National Association of Realtors and others favorably spotlighted in 2018 manufactured homes as the most affordable type of permanent home ownership in America.  Nevertheless, due in no small measure to a stream of incidents – including this one – the opportunity for doing more good is misunderstood and maligned.

Warren Buffett is a well-known, big-time supporter of abortion. Apparently, the secular Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington masters of MHVille won’t lift a finger to come to the side of their own industry and this ailing Catholic widow.

What words does one find to describe the outrage this episode should spark from coast-to-coast among industry pros and investors?  What words should describe the way this impacts manufactured home owners, and what is more typically an appealing lifestyle?

MHVille’s so-called corporate and non-profit leaders?  Where’s your leadership on this top-headline issue? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be accessed by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:



Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Warren Buffett’s ‘Charitable’ Billions – Has Clayton’s Boss Funded Millions of Deaths by Abortion?


Millie Francis, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC Resident, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Religious Discrimination, Fair Housing Act=Media Drama Continues

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier


“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”












MHC Residents Triumph With Co-Op and Purchase

February 6th, 2017 Comments off

The Polly Ann Park community. Credit: Co-Operative News.

For manufactured home community residents in Dover Point, New Hampshire, Christmas came early.

According to Co-Operative News, those residents created the Dover Point Cooperative, elected a board, and engaged the Resident Owned Communities team (ROC) at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (NHCLF) to guide them through the $3.125 million purchase of Polly Ann Park.


The co-op signed the deal for the community right before Christmas, and became owners.

The journey began last February when Polly Ann Park residents received a letter from the owners at the time, Frank and Ann Torr.

The couple wanted to sell the community. And they were very keen on the residents buying it.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, New Hampshire laws on manufactured home communities are some of the strictest in the nation, and require residents be given the first opportunity to buy.


The location of Polly Ann Park in Dover, New Hampshire, marked with red indicator. Credit: Google.

With the Torrs’ wanting the community to go to the residents, they approached NHCLF about making the sale to the residents before telling the residents.

We can’t thank Frank and Ann Torr enough for coming to us about buying the park [sic],” said Steve Sheehan, community resident and the first president of the co-op’s charter board.


Credit: New England Real Estate Journal.

When we started this process, my wife and I told everyone we would have a cookout when we had a signed purchase and sales agreement.

Sheehan also shared that the process of getting to the point of ownership was challenging, yet rewarding.

This was a nine-month process with a lot of ups and downs,” said Sheehan.

Knowing that our future is secure is a great feeling. Once we renovate the garage into our meeting hall, we are going to have another celebration for the community.

With the standards set by New Hampshire, the state encourages these transitions, which are becoming the rule as opposed to the exception: 120 other manufactured home communities have converted from private ownership to a member-owned co-op, which represents 22 percent of the total communities in the state.

For Steve Sheehan, and the residents at Polly Ann Park, they are grateful for what the state, and others have done.

I know I can speak for everyone on the board in saying we couldn’t thank ROC and the Community Loan Fund enough for all their work and guidance throughout this process. We couldn’t have done this without them,” said Sheehan.

For more on New Hampshire resident owned communities, including the case of Lakemont Cooperative-owned Briarcrest Estates potential sale to Hometown America, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Study Reveals Resident-Owned Communities pay less for Sites

February 12th, 2016 Comments off

roc_usa__creditAs dailydemocrat tells MHProNews, a 2006 study by the University of New Hampshire compares resident-owned manufactured home communities (MHC) to those owned by investors. The research revealed those who live in a community owned by the residents, called cooperatives, have lower site rents, higher average home sales prices as well as faster sales, and access to fixed rate home financing. People who live in the co-ops have more control over the rents and governance of the community, and are not worried about the community closing resulting in their displacement.

Comparing the 150-home site Leisureville Mobile Home Park in Woodland, Calif., which has been resident-owned since 1995, with investor-owned, 262-home site Rancho Yolo in nearby Davis Calif., the residents of Rancho Yolo are paying $2,808 more per year in rent.

Both MHCs have their fair share of single, divorced or widowed women, and both have low to extremely low income groups: 40 percent of the residents at Rancho Yolo fall into that category, while 50 percent of that demographic live at Leisureville. All receive Social Security retirement or disability income, none are receiving Section 8.

On Founders Day at Leisureville April 6, 2014, the celebration in honor of 19 years of co-op ownership brought out current and former mayors and other local officials. There were toasts, reflections, speeches and extensive “thank yous” to the many people and organizations that helped the residents over a three-year period achieve their goal. Today the community has the lowest site rents of any MHC in Woodland or Davis.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the nation, in 1984 the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (NHCLF) initiated the purchase of a 14-site MHC in Meredith, NH. Currently, there are 114 MHCs in NH owned by the residents.

As other states got into the act, the NHCLF birthed ROC (resident-owned community)-USA in 2008, which with its affiliates have given rise to 174 resident-owned communities comprised of over 10,000 manufactured home owners in 14 states. ##

(Photo credit: ROC-USA)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

EBRI points to Manufactured Housing Opportunities, Challenges too

October 14th, 2014 Comments off

employee-benefit-research-institute-logo-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comContrary to common beliefs, older people may struggle as much as college students and young graduates to deal with rising housing costs; so says a recent survey by the Employment Benefit Research Institute. Insurance News Net  (INN) tells MHProNews  home-related expenses, including rent or mortgages, insurance, utilities, furnishings and home services, rose substantially from 2003 to 2011 for Americans older than age 50.

The survey reveals many now spend more of their income for housing than ever before. Knowing this, it is understandable to see major cut backs on other categories such as entertainments or food.

Some find a solution in Manufactured Housing, the report says. This new type of living, INN states, provides the opportunity for many lower-incomes to find convenient homes at reasonable costs.

This option is often found in developed communities with leased sites, but others of course may opt to buy both home and site.

INN goes further and describes the situation of a man, Steve Wiley, who found an initial answer by buying a multi-sectional manufactured home in a “mobile home park” – more propery known today as a land lease or manufactured housing community (MHC). 

Initially pleased, Wiley said now he simply cannot afford the site rent, which has rapidly risen 20%. Selling his ‘double wide’ and looking for a roommate, after years of being independent, were the only solutions he said he could find to afford modest housing.

Some MHC owner/operators have learned lessons from those like Wiley, by creating programs that keep their rent increases more affordable. Some consumers looking for affordable solutions may opt for those properties with good neighbor policies, while others seek out ROCs, or resident owned communities, as a solution.

The post-2008 financial crisis and facts like over 10,000 baby boomer hitting retirement daily suggest the needs for consumers and the opportunities for MH investors and professionals alike, which will only be met successfully when solutions that meet the needs of both buyers and business professionals alike are found. ##

Related OpEd: Here comes the Senior Tsunami!

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(Article submitted by Lucine Colignon to Daily Business News – MHProNews) 

Does Yard Maintenance Include a Rock Garden?

March 21st, 2011 Comments off in Florida offers a legal Q & A column.  Questioner lives in a manufactured home community six months of the year, pays for lawn maintenance, but has a rock garden instead of grass.  They have to weed their own rock garden despite paying for lawn care, and have to hire it to be done in their absence.  They feel the association should maintain their garden just like their neighbors’ grass.  The response listed four different Florida statutes that might apply depending upon the community set-up.  It may be a ‘mandatory homeowners association community” (governed by Chapter 720), it could be a cooperative (Chapter 719), it may be a factory-built housing community where the residents rent their homesite (Chapter 723), or a resident-owned community (Chapter 617).  In any case, maintenance is likely covered in the covenants and restrictions, not by the above statutes.  If the guidelines say the association is responsible for yard maintenance, the tenant may have a case.