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Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

July 11th, 2018 Comments off

 

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What other industry that has existed for over 40 years, and still struggles with the proper terminology about its product?

 

Have you ever heard of anyone use the term crank phone with a land-line,’ when describing a modern smart phone?

Or who calls a modern E-Class Mercedes by the name, ‘Model T?’

EvolutoinCrankBagCellSmartPhonesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Those are a little like what the manufactured housing industry has allowed to happen for far too many decades, when the industry accepts terms like ‘mobile home,’ or worse, ‘trailer house in a trailer park’ when it comes to manufactured homes and the industry’s land-lease communities.

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What other major industry has this kind of terminology problem?

Earlier today, a simple Google search revealed the “definition”  shown above.  This has issue has ripple effects for home owners, those considering a manufactured home, and all others too.

 

“Home Sweet Home” – Assistant Mayor Wants to End Housing Choice Stigma

Examples of what educated Americans who own a manufactured home, including an assistant mayor, have had to say about this subject are linked above and below.

Taking on the Trash Talk! Are People Defined by their Housing Choice? Video, Photos

If you think it doesn’t matter, then you haven’t talked to, or read enough, articles and interviews with manufactured home (MH) owners.  For years, a common refrain has  been that manufactured home owners don’t want to have their home called a “trailer,” or have their community called a “trailer park,” because it makes them feel like “trailer trash.” So why – 42 years after the HUD Code created manufactured housing – does this nomenclature problem persist?

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Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

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The above arn’t a perfect set of definitions, but it is clarifying. It is a matter of law, not opinion, what is or is not a manufactured home. Ditto the example below, from the National Fire Protection Association.

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Again, not perfect, but clarifying.

 

“Economic Racism”

The publishers of MHProNews – almost alone in the MH industry, in conjunction with our sister-site, MHLivingNews and a few industry voices – has periodically tackled this topic for years, as the linked articles reflect.

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Isn’t what Donald Tye Jr said part of the antidote to the t-word issue?

The last Foremost survey indicates that the use of the term “trailer” and “mobile home” are on the rise, so those of you that follow the news are not imagining that the proper terms – manufactured home, or manufactured housing – aren’t growing.

We’ve asked industry voices to sound off on this issue from time to time.  Some examples of what industry pros have said, past and present, are found below.

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While Frank Rolfe has admitted on stage to contradicting himself on this issue, even he knows that the terminology matters, but he is correct that this is association work that should be done.

Because the video below makes that point, though we’d argue that the shrewd move long-term view is to routinely use the correct terminology.

 

 

The Media has Responsibility, but So Does the Industry’s Members

We’ve brought the topic periodically to the attention of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for years, as have others.

We’ve also asked several mainstream publishers and news outlets if MHI has followed up with them, questioning their improper use of terminology, data, or other issues.

Thus far, not a single publication or news source has answered that affirmatively.  Rephrasing, MHI routinely fails to address the terminology issue. It fits the hit that Frank Rolfe laid on them for not defending the industry, and its image.

Keep in mind, MHI are the ones for the multi-million dollar budget for this task.  It was part of what MHI’s ‘leadership’ said would occur before they brought on board their first – and now, reportedly second – public relations professional.

 

So, we asked Mark Weiss at MHARR, his thoughts on this topic of terminology.  He said the following, which is followed by what U.S. Legal says about the issue, and what some select quotes from the Code of Ethics from the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ).

The definition of “manufactured home” in our federal law, as well as all of the other statutorily-defined terms, is extremely important to the industry and consumers as well.  That term or “manufactured housing” distinguishes federally-regulated manufactured homes, which are subject to uniform, binding, preemptive federal construction and safety standards,” said Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

He said, “A manufactured home is the only federally regulated construction standard, which makes them unique from other types of structures that are either not federally-regulated, or not regulated at all, or are not designed or intended for use as a “dwelling.”

The use of any other term, by either uninformed or deliberately maligning media, academics, industry critics, or others, is not only inaccurate, but a disservice to the public,” per Weiss. “The deliberate misuse of terminology can also be offensive to the millions who proudly own a manufactured home, or the tens of thousands who work in our industry.”

Insofar as production is regulated at the federal level, under a law that specifically uses and defines the term “manufactured housing,” this is more often a post-production issue that needs to be addressed and fought by those who deal directly with the public,” said Weiss to MHProNews. “At that post-product level, it is vital to make sure that today’s manufactured homes are not confused with other types of structures that offer lower-quality, lower levels of safety, or are otherwise misrepresented to the public and/or government entities.”

TheDeliberateMisueofTerminologyCanBeOffensivetoMillionsWhoProudlyOwnAManufacturedhomeOrThousandsinourIndustryMarkWeissMHARRMHproNews575

 

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What does U.S. Legal Say?

Here below is an extended quote from U.S. Legal about the legal definition of manufactured homes.

Manufactured Home Law and Legal Definition

The Manufactured Housing program is a national program established to protect the health and safety of the owners of manufactured (mobile) homes. Under the program HUD issues, monitors, and enforces federal manufactured home construction and safety standards. HUD’s authority is granted under The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5401 et seq.; 24 CFR Part 3280 and Part 3282.

A manufactured home is defined by the regulations of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as housing that is essentially ready for occupancy upon leaving the factory and being transported to a building site. Other factory build homes, that require a significant amount of construction on site before they are ready for occupancy do not fall under the HUD definition. The following is a portion of a federal statute defining manufactured homes:

“Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width or forty body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is three hundred twenty or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein; except that such term shall include any structure which meets all the requirements of this paragraph except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the Secretary and complies with the standards established under this chapter

All of these quotes and sources should convince any journalist that this isn’t an optional matter.

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Society of Professional Journalism, Code of Ethics: Select Quotes:

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair,” said the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ). “Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:

There’s more, but those above serve to prove the point for serious writers, journalists, producers, and editors.

Accuracy matters. Rarely can one point to as common a misuse of terminology occurs.

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MHI arguably ought to be pushed, shamed and/or otherwise prompted into doing what it’s leaders promised with regards to engaging the media on each and every problematic story.

Isn’t this terminology and media engagement issues yet another example of the alleged failures by MHI to serve the industry’s obvious needs?  Shouldn’t the array of industry voices,  including several of their past or current own members, as well as those outside of their membership, be considered and cause MHI to act to pro-actively address this problem?

While other issues, like regulations, zoning, financing and the like matter, few others could be as useful as getting the mainstream media and third-party researchers to simply use the correct terminology, and accurate information.

It should be part of the mantra of every good post-production entity. Doing so would in time rally manufactured homeowners.  Accurate information and nomenclature could accomplish more over time do than a multi-million dollar campaign could accomplish.

But the media’s and academia’s role in giving the proper respect to manufactured home owners is important.

 

 

Some of the reasons to respects, and support, manufactured home owners and the industry are outlined in the article linked above.  That linked article above is useful, because it is on a mainstream media site. You can share that and MHLivingNews.com with those who just ‘don’t get it’ about manufactured housing.

Nothing is changed until it is challenged. Knowledge is power, but more so, whenever it is properly shared. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

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Respect Demanded: MHC Residents, Families, Speak Out

April 24th, 2017 Comments off
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A home in the Vineyard Estates community. Credit: Realtor.

In California, the San Francisco Bay Area remains one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., with some one-bedroom apartments running well over $3,000 per month.

In the city of Pleasanton, an affluent enclave, the Vineyard Estates 55 and over manufactured home community remains one of the few affordable housing options left in the area.

What started with one letter to the editor calling a real home “one that is firmly attached to the ground,” turned into two very strong endorsements for the community, and the quality of modern manufactured housing.

My definition of a home goes more along the lines of the old proverb, ‘Home is where the heart is,” wrote Susan Reid, whose parents live in the Vineyard Estates community.

Vineyard Estates has a definite heart in Pleasanton. Taking a drive through this safe, friendly senior community, it is easy to see the feeling of home. While these are not stick-and-brick dwellings, these mobile homes [sic] allow many seniors the opportunity to enjoy living in Pleasanton.”

Reid also shared the importance of independence for the community’s senior residents, and that the “old stereotypes” are just that.

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Credit: Google.

Neighbors care about neighbors; there is always a smile and a wave by those passing by, either on dog-walks or golf cart rides. The grounds are well maintained. There are activities to be enjoyed each day. Vineyards Estates is serviced by public transit, allowing seniors, my parents included, to be more mobile.

These units are safe and affordable; much more so than some other senior units in Pleasanton. ‘Home’ is an emotional word. Vineyard Estates allows many seniors an affordable place in which to live near loved ones. So, sir, do not denigrate the community as ‘being overpriced shacks’ and ‘crumbling carcasses.”

Ralph Mele, a resident at Vineyard Estates, also shared his feelings.

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Another home in the Vineyard Estates community. Credit: Redfin.

I have lived in Vineyard Estates for four years and bought a new manufactured home in 2013. After living in several very nice custom houses, I found to my surprise the manufactured house I purchased was every bit as nice and well constructed as the custom house I owned. In fact, it is built to very high standards sometimes not found in custom houses. The standards for a manufactured house are set by law, and each factory that builds these units must adhere to the rules, or is not able to sell their houses,” said Mele.

These manufactured houses vary in size from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet and feature granite countertops, wood flooring, fireplaces and laundry rooms, many have three bedrooms and two baths. They are affordable and offer seniors a safe and comfortable environment to live in. You cannot find a new house in Pleasanton for the price you pay for the manufactured houses available in Vineyard Estates.”

As Daily Business News readers are already well aware, even though those old stereotypes persist, but many in the industry are working to set the record straight.LindseyBostick-SunshineHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Today’s manufactured homes can look and live like a conventional, site-built house, and can be half the price of new constructionAdditionally, many manufactured homes are Energy Star rated, so they are more efficient than older, existing homes,” said Lindsey Bostick of Sunshine Homes.

Many desire to move from renting to owning, but often struggle to find that a real possibility in the current site-built market. The manufactured housing industry can offer a solution to that problem.”

For a more detailed history on the journey from mobile to manufactured homes, please click here. ##

 

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

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Buffett On President-Elect Donald Trump: “He Deserves Everybody’s Respect”

November 15th, 2016 Comments off
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Warren Buffett. Credit: Invest With Alex

Even though he supported Hillary Clinton in this years’ presidential election, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett says that the nation needs to unite.

I support any president of the United States. It’s very important that the American people coalesce behind the president,” Buffett told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an interview on November 11th.

That doesn’t mean they can’t criticize him or they can’t disagree with what he’s doing maybe. But we need a country unified. He deserves everybody’s respect.

Buffett says that his choice to support Clinton was largely due to her temperament, and that he has not spoken with her since the election. He also shared that he understands that Americans upset about the lack of growth of the economy helped to get Trump elected.

Buffett also said that he would be willing to help the president-elect should he ask.

I would do that with any president. I’ve never called a president in my life. So I don’t initiate ‘em,” he said.

But if any president asks me for help in any way, I mean, that’s part of being a citizen.

Berkshire Hathaway stock has been on the rise since the election, with increase each day. For Buffett, he said that he was never concerned about stories predicting a stock market crash if Trump won, calling the fears “silly.”  For the most recent closing numbers, found on the Daily Business News’ manufactured housing industry connected stocks, please click here.

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Credit: Bloomberg.

Buffett said that he’s optimistic about the future of the U.S.

America is a fantastic county.

The Manufactured Housing Industry Speaks

MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach provided post-election commentary and collected feedback from MH industry pros.

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Credits: As shown.

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Tim Connor, CSP. Credit: LinkedIn.

I don’t care whether you are a liberal, conservative, independent or something else – the bottom line with this year’s election was simply more of the same or something new, different or unique,” said Tim Connor, CSP.

Eddie Hicks, a long time MH industry veteran and consultant shared his take.

M/H owners are certainly one of the ‘hidden majority’ who may have felt somewhat disenfranchised in recent years,” said Hicks.

It’s the dawning of a new day. After the shock and elation or disappointment wash over us, and we all have taken a collective deep breath, we can begin looking to the future. And in that future I think it is safe to say that changes, well, they are a come’in,” said Texas Manufactured Housing Association executive director DJ Pendleton.

DJ Pendleton. Credit: MHProNews.

DJ Pendleton. Credit: MHProNews.

For any who might not yet be aware, in addition to President-Elect Trump heading to the White House, both the House and Senate will now be controlled by a Republican majority. All three branches of government are in Republican control. What will this mean? It simply means that there is little in the way of the Republican policy agenda.

The full article by Kovach can be found here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

DBN Publisher Calls on Respect and Understanding for Manufactured Housing and Manufactured Home Owners

October 18th, 2016 Comments off

tradepublisherexpertsrespectunderstandingmanufacturedhousingmanufacturedhomeowners-posteddailybusinessnewsmhpronewsMHProNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach penned an op-ed to the Lakeland Ledger, picked up by  multiple newspapers over the weekend.

Millions struggle with costly housing. Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox News are among media that recently asked why aren’t more Americans turning to manufactured homes,” said Kovach.

We’re told that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is calling for manufactured home retailers within 1,000 miles of Louisiana flooding, plus Florida and the Carolinas, to advise the agency if they’re willing to sell homes for emergency use,” Kovach stated to the Lakeland Ledger. “Manufactured homes are the only federally preemptive, performance-based construction code. 

See the new story on Kovach’s call for respect and understanding for manufactured housing and our industry’s home owners – complete with photos, a home owner video interview and tour, linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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