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Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

June 18th, 2019 No comments

 

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National and state level data are obviously relevant. But so too are impressions and facts that arise from street retailers, manufactured home communities, and HUD Code producers.

 

 

One multiple location retailer told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that they are having a good year.  They report that most, but not all, of their locations are up over last year. That’s not Clayton, which will be the focus of a separate upcoming report. 

Other sources besides ‘Big Blue’ – code for some that means Clayton Homes – have told us that they are up, flat, or down compared to last year. One producer is reportedly ‘to the saws,’ per a well-connected independent retailer, while others are 30 to 45 days out.

Factory lead-times are generally down from a year ago.  Depending on the part of the country and the plant, they are from about 2 weeks to 10 weeks out.  A year ago, 16 weeks was far more commonly heard from numbers of HUD Code factory-builders. 

While a buyers group says that they are up year-over-year last year, that must be taken with a grain of salt, as the industry is down about 10 percent nationally vs the same time next year. 

A source with Legacy Housing (LEGH) said, “Tony, production here is 3-5 weeks out.” As a publicly traded company, that data will eventually turn up in their SEC filings.

Here is a snapshot from a well-placed source with another non-‘big blue’ vertical operation.  As a reminder, MHProNews turns some quotes bold and brown to make them pop, but the punctuation, spelling, etc. are all in the original:

Orders are soft at mfg. but applications up at Retail

It is coming

My monitoring graphs tell me over last 20 years there is a pick  of 8 to12% at mfg. that starts in mid  July…. It has always been thereripple or tsunami it happens many speculate why it happenssometimes it falls in Sept and sometimes it goes through winter.

Also, business has never been down in an election yearcoming..

June Vacation month over 

Got get ready for school this fall

Time to turn and act on plans

No doubt the excessive rains have slowed deliveriesthat is going to pass

Sales centers got jammed with inventory during winter and those are beginning to come downwhich will create some scattered opportunities for mfg. replacements. 

New Vision Homes in Madill, OK may be a stressful situation to make itI didn’t say it.

This should not have happenedbut a blip in the market shows how vulnerable some are

Presido, TX. mfg. dodge a bullet on 5% tariffSolitaire

Built in Mexico, transported over the bridge and tested and appliances installed and labeled in Presidio… (built in Americaso they skate the built-in-Mexico to exploit labor.. could have killed the singles with a 5% hit….

Biggest issue with GSE is not getting us chattel in HUD homes and

Treating us like chopped liver on the upper end HUD product…  missed the marktrying to make a new class

Went to Tunica and there were plenty of Freddie/Fannie proposed product….

And the new market …. The site builder who is squeezed on the cost of stick built

…. Did not do anything for main stream for  us…  if so we may not be in a down turn… if the economy is roaring …. Where is our ray of sunshine… ???

Best kept secret…”

That source has previously blasted the so-called new class of homes, see that and more in the report linked below.

 

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

As a follow up, that manager was asked if zoning placement barriers hindered the industry?  The response:

You are probably correct

It is the look, not the code. 

…. But you disqualify many with the price to get the look…

Strange that a 3.5:12 pitched roof will keep out weather, but if [the] power [that be, the GSEs] does not like the look… it will not get accepted… and some customers are denied housing… why?

(not talking about subdivisions; they have to be similar to promo community at the address)

Strange, if not 100% drywall it will not qualify for the [GSEs] program why.. who says. Why are you getting into that specwhy not let the customer chooseyou cannot see it from the street but you knocked out customers and some mfg. facilities

Okay, we have a two year window of trial….

We will see…”

Rephrased, angst over a misdirection of the Duty to Serve financing to the new class of homes, and away from all other manufactured homes, plus and a lack of parity in placement that ought to be permitted by the enhanced preemption provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 are on that professionals mind.  That manager is far from alone.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

Land-Lease Community Frustration, Anger

Independently owned manufactured home communities have expressed anger and frustration over the types of headlines and concerns raised by videos like the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” sparked.

Several have thanked us for the reports like the one linked below.

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

A notable recent public comment from a higher profile MHI member is the one below.

 

 

Concerns Over Vertical Integration and Consolidation

One can learn a lot from inbound callers, as well as from messages.  The following Q & A helps reflect the view of a previously growing retailer.

Q: Member of your state association? 

A. No.

 

Q. Do you go to factory-sponsored events?

A. YES…All events

 

Q. What is the approx. radius of your prospect client base? 

A.    80% of sales are within a 25 mile radius.

 

Q. How many homes in inventory?

A. Carry about 30+ homes in one location, and about 20 in another

 

Q. How many MH communities do you know [well]?

A.    6.

 

How many retailers?  

A.    5.

 

Q. This isn’t a term paper, but any relevant thoughts to the above and our phone conversation are welcome.

A.    Challenges:

1. Ability to grow, be profitable and have long term staying power as a business.

2. Develop a competitive advantage to most effectively serve retail customers, park owners, and different customer segments we wish to serve,

3. Rationalize our product offering to reduce inventory level by 50% by year end. We are paying about $23,000 in floor plan each month,

4. Ability to compete when competitive dealers resort to lower prices ranging about 10% less since they belong to dealer buyer groups and we do not,

5. Continue developing simple processes to follow and delegate more responsibilities with accountability,

6. Develop a more effective social media platform,

7. Train our sales team to improve how we serve customers, follow up and more self-sales staff sufficiency,

 

Q. Are you on our email list? (Notice: brackets are edited what follows below for clarity, otherwise the text is turned bold and brown to make it pop, but the balance is as submitted).

A.    I am the only one [at his store] on your mailing list. [Note, several owners and managers forward articles to their team members].

In response to a hypothetical question, what does the realtor expect if Democrats take control of all three branches of the federal government in 2020, this source said the following. It should be noted that this retailer works in markets that has significant numbers of Hispanics, has a bi-lingual staff, and note that many of their customers are undocumented.

 

1. Impact to individuals – There is a high probability to increase demand for affordable housing. Legacy [Housing] financing could be a great avenue to accommodate non-citizen retail financing…more so than Vanderbilt and 21st for customers with ITIN and non-citizens. There will be more regulations similar to Dodd Frank which will favor the corporate stores vs independent retailers. The scales of business survival tip in favor or corporate stores…with more regulation

2. Impact to U.S.-retailers will be taxed more and take incentive to grow. There will be regulation and cost to do business which will impact home affordability

3. Future Impact to independents and business professionals – I see a market where Clayton [Homes], Palm Harbor, Titan [originally part of Champion], and in 2020 Legacy through corporate stores will generate the majority of the business over time. [Independent] Retailers will be mostly found in rural or smaller areas. I see more dealers focus on specialty markets such as: Tiny Homes and used homes

 

 

Takeaways for Industry, Politicos, and Partisans

The Daily Business News on MHProNews are using those responses cited above not because there aren’t other perspectives, of course there are. There are industry firms led by pro-Democratic, pro-GOP, independents and those that could care less about politics. But quoted above are commonly held perspectives. It comes from a part of the country that could be viewed as more open to and accepting of undocumented immigrants than others.

Democrats elected dozens of Congressional representatives in 2018 based upon the notion that they were going to behave as more pro-business political moderates.  The quoted source above isn’t buying it based upon the verbal and written feedback. 

A non-association attorney who has numerous media and political ties told MHProNews that they expect a historic electoral college win in 2020. He said it he thought it would be similar to the Nixon vs. McGovern blowout, or Reagan vs. Mondale.  When asked if he trusted the polls, the short answer was no, especially this far out (about 500 days to the election).

That same attorney said his reasoning was historically low unemployment, wages up, taxes down and other positive economic news.  When asked about antitrust, housing access, or other issues that several 2020 Democrats are raising, he said he thought that was necessary for them politically, as they can’t take President Trump on without shifting the subject away from economic successes.  He did acknowledge that several things could occur between now and the election that might shift the momentum.

The industry’s independents often see trust-busting of monopolistic operations as an important topic. 

The trust in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is low among many independents, even among some in management whose companies are MHI members.

This snapshot is far from scientific in the way that Gallup, Pew, Rasmussen, or media polling operations are done. But it does reflect slices of insights that both professionals and politicos should be mindful of as they plan ahead.

These are the reports found nowhere else, except here at the manufactured home industry’s largest and most-read trade media – MHProNews – your source for “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.) ##

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Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

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

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

 

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

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

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/

 

TimeToInvestigateFannieFreddieMishandlingofDutyToServeDTSMHARRissuesPerspectiveManufacturredHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogo

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/time-to-investigate-fannie-and-freddies-mishandling-of-dts/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

May 6th, 2019 Comments off

 

DecliningManufacturedHomeShipmentsMoreSeriousThanRetailersCommunitiesBeingToldDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The new data for March 2019 is in. This May 2019 HUD Code production data update is arguably more serious than any other bloggers or trade media in manufactured housing dare publish.

 

This Daily Business News on MHProNews report will reflect the latest toplines. But it will also shed light on how this 7 month trend arguably more serious than alternative theories promoted by numerous ‘association mush’ sycophants that are emanating from several corners of MHVille.

Let’s bullet some of the reasons why this new data further below is arguably worse than what many are saying.

 

  • First and foremost, there is an affordable housing crisis. FEMA, inventory adjustments, and other excuses that Joe Stegmayer, Kevin Clayton or others who regurgitate their words without analysis have shared are arguably just that, excuses.  Stegmayer contradicts himself on that very point, as the link above reflects, because encountering declining new manufactured home shipments during a growing affordable housing crisis is arguably a klaxon that should signal ‘all hands-on deck’ to get to the root issues.
  • Thousands of manufactured homes that are going into manufactured home communities are rental units. As MHProNews exclusively reported, taken in aggregate, there are producers – both MHI, MHARR members or non-aligned producers of HUD Code manufactured homes – that have told the Daily Business News on MHProNews the following for years.  If rentals going into manufactured home land-lease communities were factored out, the true level of new home sales has been largely flat or are declining in numbers of states.
  • Given the arguably growing number of negative reports in the media that can be traced back to the influence of Warren Buffett dark-money recipient non-profits, such as Manufactured Housing Action (or MHAction) is an issue that MHProNews alone has raised publicly.
  • Bad news stories coming out of Iowa, California, Colorado, New York or other states are routinely connected to MHI “big boy” community or other members.

Let’s be clear.  There are retailers, communities, and producers who can sincerely report improving results in new home sales. But that doesn’t change the fact that the overall trends are down.

What follows are details from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), released earlier today.  It should be noted that MHARR makes their reports, used as is with proper credits, available for others to publish. Which begs the question. Why does MHInsider, George F. Allen, MHR, or others fail to publish these kinds of reports?

More after their report, which follows.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Contact: MHARR

(202) 783-4087

 

HUD CODE PRODUCTION DECLINE CONTINUES

 

Washington, D.C., May 6, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year HUD Code manufactured home production declined once again in March 2019. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 7,590 homes in March 2019, down 14% from the 8,830 homes produced in March 2018. Cumulative industry production for 2019 now totals 22,359 homes, a decline of 12.4% from the 25,531 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2018.

This ongoing significant production decline, following a long period of only modest industry growth after its modern-era production low in 2009, underscores the importance and validity of the decision by the MHARR Board of Directors to begin aggressively tackling (by mid-May) three major issues – zoning exclusion, placement discrimination, and the failure of the Government Sponsored Enterprises, to date, to provide market-significant securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home personal property loans. These three major issues, individually and in combination, have worked to inhibit and stifle the growth of the manufactured housing market after the industry’s outstanding homes leave the factory, and deny millions of Americans the affordable, non-subsidized homeownership that manufactured housing can uniquely provide.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRTop10ShipmentStatesManufacturedHomesMarch2019v2018BTW, the video posted below is the source for the feature image above. It is a reminder of what several publicly traded companies investor reports reflect. Namely, that they are a source of about 1/3 of all new HUD Code manufactured home orders.  In the case of many land-lease communities, those properties are often buying rental housing to fill vacant sites, instead of filling vacant sites with sold or spec-for-sale manufactured homes.

 

 

 

It will also be recalled that some weeks ago, the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) Executive Director Amy Bliss told MHR that she was worried about a possible downturn.  But that was in the wake of MHI – who Bliss is arguably a routine surrogate for – was touting “momentum” in the MHI self-promotion video.  Given that MHI could or should have advance data on these trends, one can argue that MHI deliberately misled their own members.  To ‘soften’ what the powers-that-be knew was coming, did Bliss float her comments? 

 

 

MHI’s outside attorney had the chutzpah to threaten MHProNews for reporting the following using their own graphics and stills. 

 

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

MHI1085mediaplacementAudience84MillionMHIVideoStillMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Warren Buffett was right about good journalists asking the questions others have not. Why aren’t others in the industry asking these questions? Why is MHI telling exaggerations at best, arguably demonstrable falsehoods at worse, to their own members and the industry at large?

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsCavcoIndustriesCVCOMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI’s own member companies make the point, in their own words, that the industry is preforming under its historic norms.

March2019MHARRManufacturedHousingAssocRegReformTop10states8StatesInDeclineMHProNews

See the related reports, below the bylines, free email headline news signup, other offers, and notices. 

Others are peddling spin, propaganda, deception, lies – whatever one may want to call it. Perhaps that’s why MHProNews traffic has roughly doubled in about a year

TonyKovachbookshelfJimCollinsWeathermanRainLATonyKovachDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

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Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

B2B Statistics, Trends 2019 – April 2019 Snapshot of Manufactured Home Professional Readers

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factory-Builders, Retailers, Developers – Is This Your Future Competition Beyond Berkshire Brands in MHVille? Understanding Jeff Bezos’ Amazon

April 9th, 2019 Comments off

 

FactoryBuildersRetailersDevelopersIsThisYourFutureCompetitionBeyondBerkshireBrandsMHVilleUnderstandingJeffBezosAmazonDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

There are several operations that believe they are positioning themselves for the future of manufactured housing. Some are not only aware; they are arguably counting on the Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes and their “strategic Moat.”  A number of those firms are Manufactured Housing Institute members, but others are not.

 

But this report is about Amazon, not Clayton or Berkshire.

 

You may love Amazon Prime. You might admire the rise of Jeff Bezos. You might recall that Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Jaime Dimon shook the financial markets on the day they announced their plans for a joint health care initiative.

But don’t forget that Bezos directly entered the factory-built home market in 2018 when his Amazon Alexa Fund estimated bought Plant Prefab.

 

$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes

 

They stated that they estimated the annual factory-built housing market potential to be a whopping $330 billion dollars annually.

The video on this page outlines how Bezos has ducked by antitrust activism so far. But don’t forget that after this video was produced, and after Senator Elizabeth Warren and others rattled sabers about big tech and monopolies, Bezos’ Amazon quietly backed off one of the complained about tactics.

 

Under Scrutiny, Giant Amazon Pivots, But What About Berkshire’s Manufactured Housing Brands? Plus MH Market Updates

See that prior report, linked above.

You and other independents need to be aware of how they operate. Their next target could be you. Finally, keep in mind what CNN aptly observed about the three involved in the health care deal, noted above.  ‘These guys [the billionaires] talk to each other all the time.’  Buffett himself says that he spends 5 to 6 hours a day reading, and then he spends added time on the phone, a point that Kevin Clayton mentioned in the video on the page linked here.

That’s this afternoon’s chapter in “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory built housing.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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12 Reasons to Oppose a New Manufactured Home Post Production Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spreading City Ban on Individual Lot Placements Threatens Independently Owned Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Residents, and HUD Code Producers

March 26th, 2019 Comments off

SpreadingCitiesBanOnIndividualLotPlacementsThreatensIndependentlyOwnedManufacturedHomeCommunititesRetailersResidentsHUDCodeProducersMHProNews 

Former volume retailer, community owner and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) award winner Marty Lavin has referred to the HUD Code has a discrimination code.

 

State association executive J.D. Harper has called the bias against manufactured housing and their residents an example of “economic racism.”

 

It will be recalled that Harper’s association launched a nascent video campaign to boost manufactured housing acceptance. To the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association’s (AMHA) credit, that campaign is outperforming in YouTube views that MHI ‘story telling campaign’ has on achieved on that same online video platform.

Yet Arkansas is one of those states that is struggling against a growing trend to restrict or ban manufactured homes. The new HUD Code manufactured home shipment trend lines in that state have been problematic, as has Michigan, which has done varied promotional efforts of their own.  Despite MHI, or some state’s efforts to ‘promote’ manufactured housing, that’s arguably being drowned out by a longer and stronger drumbeat of often negative news.

Mainstream news stories like this next one –  going largely unanswered by MHI or the Berkshire Hathaway owned brands that reportedly dominate the Arlington, VA based trade group – add to a volume of anti-manufactured home background noise. 

LaPorteCountyMHParkBadNewsViolationsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are proven ways to deal with such ‘bad news’ for the industry stories, be they local or national. But MHI and several state associations routinely won’t do so. This video had no embed code, so you can see the report at the link that follows. https://www.abc57.com/news/abc57-investigates-la-porte-county-mobile-home-park-hit-with-multiple-violations-residents-complain-of-awful-conditions Doing nothing only keeps the drum beat of bad news coming, while new HUD Code manufactured home shipments flounder during an affordable housing crisis.

 

 

 

The New Durham Estates, Tom Fath Experience 

In contrast to that phenomenon, is Tom Fath and his family’s business. The Fath’s New Durham Estates Community is undergoing a transformation. Once treading water at best, or losing occupancy, they are now reportedly attracting more new residents who are buying new, newer, nicer and more expensive HUD Code homes. They are selling more, in a move away from the refurbished and/or rental housing trends found in so many other land-lease communities.

Yet Fath sounded a warning to the industry when he said the following.  When there business is dramatically improving, why is he sounding an alarm?

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

That was said by Fath in response to the MHI’s arguably problematic advertorial campaign. MHProNews led the charge in calling that faux news effort out as ineffective at best, or a risk at worst.

But back to Fath’s comments. They’re impressive improvements at New Durham Estates are driving their occupancy, income, and values higher. Furthermore it’s obvious that their residents love the Fath family, some of whom live on property along side their MH owning residents.

Want proof? 

Beyond video interviews with actual residents – some of which like the one linked here and here are posted on MHLivingNews, there’s the fact that Tom Fath was voted onto his town’s council. Unhappy residents obviously don’t vote for their owners!  As one of those links reveals, a retired police chief and his wife settled at New Durham Estates, and she too was voted onto the town council.  That’s a stark contrast to what’s happening in Bryan TX or other places where manufactured home bans are being discussed.  How does Fath describe their experiences in turning around their property and making it into a desirable destination? 

 

>

 

The troubling trend to attack manufactured homes – or ‘mobile homes’ and ‘trailer houses’ as the cities and residents often wrongly describe our housing products – can be countered.  Fath and his family, just miles from that other community prove it.  Proper engagement with the media, with residents, with public officials are all part of the solutions mix.

 

 

Crawl, Walk, Run

Dennis Hill, who was previously quoted as saying to MHProNews that the once cancelled Louisville Show needed to take a crawl, walk, run approach to rebuilding. Once up-trending while the Louisville Show was being promoted by MHProNews, and educational efforts were run by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, now that Show has shrunk in exhibitions and display size again. Instead of acknowledging a warning signal, the new promoters – staunch pro-MHI member MHVillage and their so-called MHInsider magazine is spinning, wrongly – or lying? – about the downward trend at that event, as the report below reveals.  ICYMI, or want a refresher, you can click the linked text-image box below later for more depth on a related topic.

 

Fact Check, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider Claim on 2019 Louisville Show Attendance

 

These disparate threads are surprisingly interconnected. Because they all come together to threaten the HUD Code industry’s independent producers, retailers, communities, residents and their related interests

It’s arguably a different manifestation of Warren Buffett’s, Kevin Clayton’s and Tim Williams’ strategic and economic moat,” says Tony Kovach. ICYMI, see the related reports, further below the byline and notices.

 

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

 

The Solution?

Tony Kovach says that the Ziglar and other success guru principles that advocate understanding a problem before proposing solutions is a key. 

ProblemSolvingZigZiglarFirstStepRecognizetheProblemExistsNextIsProblemOurResponsiblityProblemSolvingVeryImportantDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Crawl, walk, run is an apt principle to keep in mind here too,” says Kovach. “These seemingly disconnected trends intersect. It might seem to help in the short term some aggregators of manufactured home communities, who buy up distressed or under-performing properties from mom-and-pop ownership and turn them into a corporate ownership that is then targeted by MHAction. Is it surprising to learn that resident group GSMOL tipped us and helped identify the ‘follow the money’ ties between the radical anti-MHC corporate ownership MHAction group, and the Tides Foundation, which demonstrably got funding from Berkshire chair Warren Buffett?

 

It is not quite a stage-managed affair.  But if you set people into motion doing what they do anyway, then what occurs is a seemingly choreographed resistance to manufactured homes. That does impact lending.  It does impact – artificially so – the natural appreciation that the National Association of Realtors and the Federal Housing and Finance Administration (FHFA) has each identified exists in manufactured homes. 

We respect the rights of individuals and companies to support with their money whomever they please,” says Tony Kovach. “But out of concern for those who support MHI, we and a few other voices have for some time raised the alarm about the troubling trends that MHI and their puppet masters have allowed the industry to be faced with. If I thought MHI was trying to solve problems, we’d more likely still be a MHI member. But as members of NAMHCO, MHARR long before them, and others have come to realize, paying MHI money is like feeding the hand that is biting yours.”

 

 

Fake News, False or Misleading Narratives  

It may seem entirely unrelated, but it’s nevertheless an apt example. For years, large swaths of the mainstream media has been parroting “Trump Russia Collusion.”  Now, after nearly 2 years of examinations by over a dozen Democratic-supporting attorneys working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after 25 million dollars spent, thousands of subpoenas, piles of documents, and over 500 witness interviews, they found no shred of evidence against the president or his campaign. Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat himself, objectively denounced the probe repeatedly as illicit.  MHProNews reported those points by Dershowitz and others across the left-right divide.  Now Dershowitz is blasting Mueller for how he framed his statement of findings, but the famous Harvard law attorney is unsurprised by the result. He is sorry for the harm Mueller and the probe has had on numerous levels our largely polarized nation.

The fact trail now know reveals that the Mueller probe was fake news sparked by a disgruntled fired former FBI director Jim Comey, that was based upon a fake dossier. Our publisher placed this satirical cartoon on the home page years ago. Much of it has since come to pass.

PresidentObamaFBIComeyAGLynchBookingDealsDCSwampDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPolticalCartoon

Once the rules of engagement and methods used are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. This satirical cartoon was done years ago by MHProNews, and much of it has since come to pass.

 

 

President Obama was supported by Warren Buffett. Buffett’s grandson served in the Obama White House. 

 

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

It’s not a conspiracy theory when there are facts, clear evidence, and a pattern of behavior that is largely predictable.  Buffett’s ties to manufactured housing are unmistakable. His ties to other high-level Democrats are too. The same is true for Nathan Smith, of SSK Communities, and Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes.  All are MHI members.  Again, that doesn’t taint all MHI members, or all of those working for MHI member firms.  But a few key ones are clearly benefiting from actions and inactions that harm the majority to benefit a minority. 

But how does this Mueller analogy tie into the burgeoning movement to ban manufactured homes in cities and towns across America?

They are both examples of how fake news can be believed by millions of Americans.  Millions think of our industry in dark terms.  That’s why a study by an independent real estate firm revealed that only about 4 percent of housing buyers seriously consider manufactured homes.  That’s an alarm bell.  Couple that with MHVillage’s own poor conversion data – which shows that less than a fraction of a single percent that shops for a manufactured home actually buys one – and you have a full blown crisis that helps explains that shipment challenges reflected below.  It can be viewed as coincidence or not that Buffett, along with other mega-billionaires, are tied into the machinations that have sparked, allowed or even fueled both of the disinformation trends. It is whatever it is.


ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsCavcoIndustriesCVCOMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

An Industry Under Assault? 

Is manufactured housing an industry under assault as Fath said? How can one say differently, in the light of the evidence? Yet Fath himself reveals that the pattern isn’t a forgone conclusion. Rather, Fath himself says that something can and should be done to resist and profit during this troubling trend.

Protect, Educate, Promote. P.E.P. That’s the simple formula for fighting the combination of seemingly natural but also artificially stoked and relatively unimpeded headwinds that are Buffett’s proverbial sharks in the waters of his Moat. 

Part of the arguably evil genius here is that to a causal observer, it looks harmless enough.  When industry professionals don’t recognize what’s happening, how are regulators supposed to see it clearly without expert help?  The headwinds that lead to business closures and consolidations may appear to be natural market forces.  But even in nature if a fire is fueled and is allowed to spread, there is avoidable destruction just the same.  

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPosturing activity, what Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) called “the Illusion of Motion” is an apt description for what MHI does. For example, MHI make videos that too few watch, but it looks like an effort to promote. The Arlington based MHI place advertorials in newspapers and then claim that millions see them. Even if MHI’s claim were so, then millions remain unconvinced by MHI’s ads, social media, and videos. The proof is in the vexingly low new home production numbers.  That’s not conspiracy 101, that’s reality 101.

Meanwhile, MHI has attempted to weaponized much of the industry’s trade media and bloggers. The resistance is on MHARR and MHProNews. It remains to be seen what NAMHCO will or won’t do.

But a pair of reports from sources tied to NAMHCO suggest to MHProNews that they believe they are already making progress on Duty to Serve (DTS) when MHI could not? If so, that’s a stunning indicator of just how poorly MHI performs in practice. If NAMHCO sources are correct, it will be the next exhibit in the collective case against MHI.

 

Manufactured housing should be soaring, not snoring,” says Tony Kovach. “The majority of manufactured home residents should be working with the independents of the manufactured home industry. Together they could break the chains that artificially bind the industry to low levels of performance. It’s actually easy, in the sense that the laws already exist to make the needed changes. Thank the members of MHARR for two of those laws — the Duty to Serve, and “enhanced preemption,” both of which MHARR leadership worked to enact. They are examples of what even a small association with focus can accomplish.  Now imagine if MHARR had the kind of funding that MHI does?”

 

The pattern of ineffective action or ill acts by MHI or the Berkshire brands being allowed to fester are part of a series of fake or misleading ‘information’ sources that’s been purportedly weaponized to harm the interests of independents and individuals alike. 

That pattern hurts most everyone, save a few consolidators. It is an open question if or how those consolidators who are consciously supporting – or are standing mute and watching – will respond when those same forces that have been unleashed has turned on them. 

There were protests in the streets against Donald J. Trump, our nation’s 45th president. The organizers said he collided with Russia.  Its likely that most of those protesters believed it. But over a dozen “angry Democrat” attorneys with $25 million spent in the effort couldn’t find any evidence of collusion by anyone in America with Russia.  None.  That includes the president and his campaign. 

There are protests against manufactured housing too.  Citizens are led to believe that manufactured homes harm their property values. It’s demonstrably not true, save perhaps in a narrow sense of how fake news influences some individuals home shopping behavior. Scaled, that does cause ripples.  Lower demand, and values are impacted.

 

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

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

 

Kevin Clayton is arguably right when he said on camera that Warren Buffett and his anti-competition strategic Moat can use nonprofits to their benefit. The BH Media Group, part of Buffett’s Berkshire Empire could single handedly start the debunking process. They don’t. Why? 

Isn’t it obvious that Buffett, his lieutenants, their minions, and lemmings are getting what they want?  He could be promoting the truth of manufactured housing better than anyone.  Yet Berkshire’s efforts are clearly metaphorical fig leaves compared to what is the naked truth of ineffective postured leadership.  

Meanwhile, the industry’s independents suffer. So too do millions who could benefit from manufactured home living.

But it’s not over. 

There is still time.

POTUS Trump proved by patient endurance and fighting back his innocence against a barrage of claims that he colluded with Russia.  His approval with mostly negative media hovers at around the same levels as then POTUS Barack Obama enjoyed with a mostly fawning media.  Fake news and misleading reports can be beaten.  Tom Fath and others prove it.  There are other examples that illustrate how a committed cadre of manufactured housing professionals and residents can begin the process of reclaiming the HUD Code industry. 

MHARR and MHProNews, and an array of sources and supporters who make the resistance possible have been laying the foundation independently, yet collaborating where possible, for years now. The next step is to begin to organize a post-production trade group that will do what MHI claims to do, but in fact fails to do.

That next step will be Thursday afternoon, at noontime. The location will be announced, but it is in the Tunica area,  not too far from the trade show that opens there today.

It will be a modest first step. MHARR, NAMHCO, or even the now purportedly weaponized NCC, all began with a modest meeting of the minds.  

The often debatably fake or ineffective education by MHI and their surrogates can be replaced by real education that is part of PEP. Protect. Educate. Promote.

 

WhatTheHellAudacityOfHopePOTUSObamaTrumpPromisesKeptManufacturedHousing525

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Protect. Educate. Promote. P.E.P.

 

Those three letters of P.E.P. sum up what must be consistently and honestly done. It doesn’t matter how hard the wind may seem to blow. POTUS Trump reveals that victory is possible. It starts – crawl, walk, run at Tunica with a small group of leaders who can make the changes to a brighter future a reality.  With about 100,000,000 in rental housing, there are few businesses with more upside potential than modern manufactured homes.  But the industry must fight forces within and without.  Think about Frank Rolfe’s statement.

SuzanneFelberFrankRolfeRichardADickJennisonAmericanHousingAdvocatesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

UnzipLookingForUsUnlockedMindHowCanWeHelpThemSeeManufacturedHOusingINdustryDailyBsuinessNewsMHproHNEws

When customers come to your website, are they finding what they are looking for, because they have a beautiful dream they want to fulfill. But they also have questions. Are they ‘bouncing’ at a high rate? If so, that is a red flag for a possible design issue. Other red flags include low conversion rates.

The alternative? Is to continue to allow those who spin or allow fake news to drive independent businesses out of business.  

P.E.P.ProtectEducatePromoteMHProNews

This is what a good post-production association does. P.E.P. There are billions of dollars in opportunities. But it requires visionaries to get involved.

 

 

Fear of loss. Desire for gain. Take your pick – or both – for motivations.

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

  • NAMHCO,
  • MHARR,
  • Independent Producers and Retailers that are currently members of a variety of associations, or no association,
  • are all among those who plant to come to the kick off event to discuss that causes and cures for our industry’s low results.  A new association doesn’t require hundreds of members, but it may end up with hundreds of members once it begins. A new association needs only a few committed members, that is how each of the above as noted began.

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

 

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Related Reports:

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Speak No Evil, Only Evidence. Tunica Show, Feds, Clayton, 21st, MHI, MHARR, Public Debate, and You

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Smile! You’re on Candid Camera! Security, Casino Hotels, and Fix the MH Trick$ Tunica Event

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Subsidized Housing vs Manufactured Homes, Community Owner Marge Clark Sounds Off

 

Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

HUD Proposes Rule to Adopt EPA Formaldehyde Standards — Eliminate Formaldehyde “Health Notice”

HUD Secretary Carson HUDdle Conference Features Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform Engagement on Zoning, Placement, and Financing

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

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sobering Federal Report on Manufactured Housing Lending – Retailers, Communities, Producers, and Finance Companies – Take Note

January 17th, 2019 Comments off

 

SobertingFederalReportOnManufacturedHOusingLendingRetailersCommunitiesProducersFinanceCompaniesTakeNoteBCFPDirectorKathleenLKraningerMHProNews

The rebranded Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection – formerly the CFPB, now the BCFP – has produced a January 2019 report that contains new data regarding manufactured housing lending.

 

There are over 200 pages. We’ll simplify that for busy readers.

MHProNews will hereby provide the entire document here as a download, while give readers like yourself the most relevant pull-quotes for manufactured housing.

After the quoted sections and tables, the Daily Business News on MHProNews will provide a brief and relevant analysis for manufactured home industry professionals, investors, affordable housing advocates, plus public elected or appointed officials.  The graphics are from the name of the report, that included the following quoted items.

 

BureauConsumerFinancialProtectionJan2019AbilityRepayQualifiedMortgageRulesAssessmentReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMessageFromKathleenLGrningerDirectorBureauConsumerFinancialProtectionAbilityToRepayQMReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

7.2.1 Data and methods

Figure72CountyLevelMarketShareofSmallCreditorsin2014HMDABureauConsumerFinancialProtection

2014…

This analysis uses the non-public HMDA data described in Chapter 1.350 In the context of this chapter, any reference to “lender(s)” or “creditor(s)” only refers to HMDA reporting lenders. Estimates of small lenders in this analysis are not the complete universe of mortgage originators. The Bureau estimates that there are over 4,000 depository institutions which originate mortgages but are not HMDA reporters. Most, if not all, of HMDA non-reporters would qualify as small creditors due to their small size…

Figure73CountyLevelMarketShareofSmallCreditorsin2016HMDABureauConsumerFinancialProtection

…2016. Fewer lenders, ‘consolidation.’

Table 38 reports mortgage originations by small and non-small creditors in rural counties.366 Among small creditors, the share of total originations occurring in rural areas is much larger than for non-small creditors. This appears to be consistent with the higher likelihood that small creditors operate only or predominantly in rural or underserved areas compared to non-small creditors. The 2016a columns suggests that without the 2016 threshold amendments, the rural share of small creditor originations would have stayed the same instead of decreasing to 21…

—–

Foonote 366) The Bureau publishes a yearly list of rural and underserved counties that are exempt from certain regulatory r equ irements of the Truth in Lending A ct. Bureau of Con sumer Fin. Prot., Rural and Underserved Counties List, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov /policy-compliance/guidance/implementation-guidance/rural-andu n derserved-counties-list/ (last v isited Dec. 31, 2018) (for the current and previous y ear’s lists).

EstimatedNumberHMDAReportingMOrtageLendersOriginationsRuralCountiesJan2019BCFPReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

…percent in 2016 with the amendments. The 2016 amendments did however increase the share of small creditors operating in rural areas due to being more inclusive of larger lenders. The amendments in 20

Table 39 reports manufactured housing mortgage originations by small and non-small creditors. Manufactured housing loans make up a larger share of small lenders’ originations compared to non-small lenders. Similar to rural loan originations, these patterns are consistent with small creditors being more likely to provide access to mortgage credit for manufactured housing compared to larger creditors although the share or manufactured originations that make up a small creditor’s lending has been declining since 2012.

 

Table39EstimatedNumberHMDAReportingManufacturedHousingMortgageLendersBCFPJan2019

What Does This Reveal for MHPros, Policy Wonks, and Advocates?

Lenders in the manufactured housing space has declined during the period reported.

Put differently, manufactured lending has contracted, just as the number of retailers have shrunk.  Here is the key line.

“…small creditor’s lending has been declining since 2012.”

This has occurred in the aftermath of Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Clayton Homes, other producers, retailers, and associated lenders, notably 21st Mortgage Corp and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

While making noise for several years about making the Duty to Serve by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) a reality, what the BCFP data reflects is that the opposite is taking place.

Manufactured housing professionals, investors, and advocates? This is another wake up call.  For more details, see the related reports, linked below the byline and notices.  That’s this afternoon’s Manufactured Housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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SWOT – Threats to Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Independent Producers, and Others in MHVille

October 25th, 2018 Comments off

SWOTThreatsManufacturedHomeCommuniteisRetailersIndependentProducersOthersMHVIlleDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats = SWOT.  Opportunities can be found at this link here. But this report is focused on the threats. Two new reports need to be carefully digested by the industry’s readers.

 

MH Challenger – 3D Printed Housing ICON Closes Funding, Conventional Housing Giant DR Horton, Middle Eastern, Deep Pocket Investors

Those two are linked above and below.

Weaponized News Spotlight – HUD, MHARR and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

They should be understood in the light of Smoking Gun 3. ICYMI, or need a refresher, it is linked below.

 

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

 

There is a planned new report, based upon new insights from the GSEs and manufactured housing industry professionals.  Make sure you are signed up for our industry-leading headline news, so that you don’t miss that next industry exclusive.  Thousands of industry leaders, investors, rising stars and other professional readers from companies of all sizes and types follow MHProNews’ emailed headline news closely.

 

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From the White House Press Room to MHProNews…

WhiteHousePressRoomOct232018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Socialism belongs in the dustbin of history

With the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, socialism is making a comeback in America. Democrats used to accuse Republicans of fear-mongering when they called out certain far-left policy ideas as “socialist.” Now, a growing number of Democrats are wearing the label as a badge of honor.

American socialists may imagine their proposals mirror those in Northern European countries such as Sweden and Norway. In reality, ideas along the lines of “Medicare for All” have more in common with economists’ traditional definition of socialism. The record of countries who have experimented with those types of command-and-control systems is devastating: Maoist China, the Soviet Union, and Venezuela among them.

Something to share: Socialism has a long legacy of failure across the world.

The sky-high taxes needed to fund “Medicare for All” alone, for example, would lead to a staggering $17,000 drop in household incomes after taxes and healthcare expenditures—a 19 percent decline. Without taxing American workers, funding this radical plan would require cuts to half of the Federal budget, wrecking Medicaid, Social Security, and traditional Medicare in the process.

Socialist policies have failed across the world wherever they are tested. They have no place in the United States of America.

Get the facts: What Democrats will take from you to push their socialist agenda.

Full report: The true costs of socialism

 

 ###

Some MHProNews reports on Socialism, linked here.

 

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

 

MHProNews Summing Up Threats  

There are numerous threats, from inside and outside manufactured housing that several industry voices have signaled for years.  Some of those other voices that have been warning the industry have arguably been ‘bought off.’  Others continue to sound their respective alarms.

The time to act is now.  The logical first next step – the most time sensitive – is to do all you can in your market(s) and circles of influence to support the candidates that support President Donald J. Trump.  As the reports linked above and below reveal, MHI and those who back them purportedly are continuing to work to sideline lending options, and have taken positions that put the industry’s independents at risk.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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50 States Ranked by Income, Credit – Manufactured Housing Marketers Data, Cheet Sheet

September 4th, 2018 Comments off

50StatesRankedByIncomeCreditScoresManufacturedHousingMarketersDataCheatSheetDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

While there could be a debate about the ranking of the 50 states by which is the hardest working, a far clearer picture emerges on the topics of ranking states by income and credit.

 

The reason?

Facts about income and credit scores are just facts.

HouseholdIncomebyStateByPercentageGroups2017ManufacturedHousingIndustryDataResearchReportsMHProNews

But the criteria selected by Wallet Hub, which certainly uses some objective data, nevertheless mixes metrics into an amalgamated score and ranking that some could certainly debate.  It’s interesting, and worth noting, because others are looking at it.  ICYMI, that report – which includes recent manufactured housing data, is linked below.

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/2018s-hardest-working-states-in-america-how-does-your-state-rank/

Credit Scores

 WhatIsGoodCreditExperianDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Meaning of Credit Scores

FICOScoresExperianCreditImpactDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Scores by State Per Core-Logic

AverageCreditScoreByStateOnMorgageLoansMHproNews

What data like this reflects is that manufactured housing professionals routinely report lower credit scores applying than those shown. That said, Triad Financials’ credit profile reflects higher credit scores than several of their counterparts. Good credit – as well as cash customers – are attracted to manufactured housing. But most retailers and communities need to step up their marketing and sales efforts to attract those better qualified buyers.

The Daily Business News on MHProNews noted on Saturday some of the reasons and considerations for manufactured home retailers and communities to consider factors like income in your local market(s).  That county-level report, is linked below.

MH Intelligence for Your Business – Incomes by U.S. Counties, How Do Your Counties Compare?

Watch for some data and analysis in the days ahead that could prove eye-opening, and uncomfortable, but useful for manufactured housing professionals and investors.

1DailyBusinessNewsLogoMHProNewsLogo-1

Note that some of the sources – which are deemed reliable – came to different conclusions.  But that’s possible for potentially valid reasons.  For example, Experian’s data is presumably reliable for their own data pool, but other sources may have a different yet still accurate pool they are measuring from.

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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.

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Wholesale “Hurricane Sale” Attracts Communities, Retailers, Manufactured Home Pros, Event Update

August 2nd, 2018 Comments off

WholesalesHurricaneSaleAttractsRetailersCommunitiesManufacturedHomeProsEventUpdate

Legacy Georgia’s Hurricane Liquidation in Eatonton is going to be the biggest MH sale of the Fall,” said Casey Mack Legacy Housing Corporation in charge of Marketing | Web | Dealer Programs. “The countdown is on with less than 42 days to go!”

 

CaseyMackLegacyHousingManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Casey Mack.

They are running several weeks ahead of plan, Mack said, “we appreciate your [MHProNews] team’s help in getting the word out — it’s been fantastic.”

Their promotion began about 2 weeks ago.  Third-party site statistics today indicate that articles on the topic have drawn more than 8,000 hits.  Based upon feedback from the field, part of the reason may be the opportunity to get new home inventory that’s priced right and is ready to go, when other producers are several months out to get a new order.

We’re just under the half-way mark for this event, even though there’s 42 days to go. Our room block, once it is filled, we can’t get any more rooms. So those who want to stay overnight should consider acting sooner,” Mack said in reply to a follow up question from the Daily Business News.

That was part of a series of messages that came yesterday, so the count down to the big event continues.

GusRodriguezTejasHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Gus Rodriguez, Tejas Homes.

A multi-year Legacy Housing retailer said the following, “Legacy is a partner you can grow with long term. Very good product, they have special retail financing programs, and a liberal floorplan [wholesale financing] program for their dealers too,” said Gus Rodriguez, a principal at Tejas Homes.

LegacyHousingMapGoogleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The event will include their popular tiny houses – which has drawn national attention – plus single and multi-sectional HUD Code manufactured homes.

Huge New Factory-Built Home Wholesale Liquidation Event Announced

Mack added some details, saying “Our hotel room block is filling up — rooms are first come-first serve…” Additional information, to RSVP so to ensure your spot and your free hotel room can be done by clicking on the banner, below.

LegacyHurricaneLiquidation-Sep12-13

To learn more about Legacy Housing, see the article linked below. The Daily Business News is told that factory tours of Legacy’s giant facility are available prior to the event. ## (News, event update, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

AmericasFastestGrowingPrivateCompaniesINC5000ManufacturedHousingLegacyHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Out of millions of privately owned businesses, Legacy has been named to this prestigious list.  It’s an impressive accomplishment. 

http://www.mhpronews.com/featured-articles/july-2018/spotlight-establishing-your-own-legacy

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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.

 

Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Developers Face Disruptive, Troubling Trend

June 8th, 2018 Comments off

TroublingTrendManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNHews

There’s an old axiom that describes the purported three options that someone faces when confronted with a threat.Fight, flight or deal with it.”

 

Marty Lavin, JD, is one of a few voices in manufactured housing who has publicly called out in digital print the problem of discrimination against manufactured homes where thousands can consider it.

MartyLavinJDMHProNewsLavin’s professional history has included involvement in a high volume retail center, land-lease communities, manufactured home lending, and working with a GSE. Lavin made the speaking circuit for years, was featured in the now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser Magazine, has periodically contributed for MHProNews, and published himself. He was awarded one of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) most coveted awards, the Tataro, for his lifetime of service to the industry in financing.

So when Lavin says that “The HUD Code is a discrimination code,” it’s a phrase that should make industry readers across the spectrum sit up, and take notice. It should raise questions, like what does that mean?  We will explore that, and step-by-step see how it leads up to an emerging issue – one that is holding the industry’s sales at bay – related below. 

 

Discrimination Against MH

Ponder for a few moments the fact that modular, prefab, and tiny house builders – those who don’t build manufactured homes – distance themselves from manufactured homes. It isn’t just stick builders, or others in the general public, who attempt to besmirch manufactured housing, often by unjust and inaccurate reference to HUD Code homes as “mobile homes,” or “trailer houses.”   

There are regrettably voices within Manufactured Housing that mix the terminology in problematic ways too.  The need to correct terminology is real.

 

It’s a flawed strategy to diminish manufactured housing, or misuse the terminology, said L.A. “Tony” Kovach years ago. It plays into the hands of those who unjustly target any factory-built home.

Which is part of the reason why MHProNews and MHLivingNews periodically use the Steve Duke quote and graphic below.

Brad Lovin of the NCMHA put a different, but related point on the issue of mainstream media reporting.  

 PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

It is all part of the puzzle that has kept manufactured housing at historically low levels, during an affordable housing crisis.

 

Fractures Within the Factory Housing Industry

There are several fractures, and conflicts that exist within the ranks of factory builders. Modular homes get trucked in too.  Some modular homes have a permanent frame, at times referenced by industry members as “HUDulars,” while other MODs use a detachable carrier.  But site-built housing components get trucked to a job-site too. Does that make a site-built house, a trailer or pick up house?

Retailers have been known for decades to target residents in a land lease community for trading in their older manufactured home, encouraging them to buy a new one that would become part of a land-home package. No more “landlord” is part of the argument made in such cases.

Communities have competed with each other for residents, what some have called “poaching.” While unpopular among land-lease community owners, it is arguably free enterprise at work. Deal with it.

Developers of fee-simple land/home projects are impacted too, as the case below will explain.

All of these fractures demonstrate a lack of industry cohesion. But perhaps it is to be expected.  Certainly HUD has said that they don’t believe that it’s realistic to expect the industry to speak with one voice.  The related report linked below can be read later for additional depth of understanding on the point.

 

 

Regardless, all of the above plays into the hands of those in the offices of local jurisdictions who are prepared to discriminate against the sellers of – or providers of home sites for – HUD Code manufactured homes. 

 

Exclusive Hilton Head MH Development  

A developer and realtor in posh Hilton Head was recently in their local news for proposing a small development of single family manufactured homes.  The owner of the parcel wanted to subdivided it into lots for manufactured homes, to create some more affordable housing there.

HiltonHeadDevelopmentManufacturedHOusingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Screen capture from Google News.

Push-back from NIMBY-minded locals was deafening.  They said they did not want “a trailer park” [SIC] with “mobile homes” [SIC] in their neighborhood.

 SICSicutJournalismDefintionSocietyProfessionalJournalismDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The realtor involved with the Hilton Head, SC, development plan told MHProNews that the homesites would be sold fee simple, they are not planned as a land lease. Every home owner would own their own land, the so-called land/home package.

That important detail that the proposed manufactured home development – that it was not going to be a “park” – didn’t seem to matter to locals.

 NimbyBananaDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeLivingMHProNews

It is an example of the prejudice against manufactured homes being displayed for all who “google the news” about this industry to see. It exemplifies Lavin’s point about the HUD Code being used as a discriminatory target. 

While this directly impacts retail sellers of manufactured homes, it impacts factories too, and thus other product and service providers to the industry. 

The Hilton Head and other cases like it raise several legal issues. But law suits might cost that property owner in Hilton Head more than the profits from the sale of that parcel of land for development for manufactured homes may be worth. Sam Zell’s point about defending the property line is an apt one.

sam_zell_2013_ncc_fall_leadership_forum_featured_speaker_photo_credit_mhpronews_com_c_2013_lifestyle_factory_homes_llc_

Zell’s comments on defending the property line, along with other community related comments, are found in the interview linked here.

 

Developing Trend that Communities and Execs are Telling MHProNews

MHProNews has been virtually alone in reporting to the industry news stories like the one in Wisconsin, where local officials want to shut down a community they don’t like, by non-renewal of their operating license.  The details can be read later, in the article linked below.

Reprieve in Community Closure Collision, Another Round Ahead?

That attorney, others, MH Communities professionals, and executives are among those that have called or messaged MHProNews with their insights and concerns on what they described as a “disruptive, emerging trend.” 

Community operators have told MHProNews that they’re concerned that local jurisdictions targeting “blighted” properties near their own well-kept ones, which could be later used as a wedge to arguably undermine their license renewal too. 

 

Non-Renewal 

There are multiple cases in various parts of the nation where local officials are in various stages of non-renewal of a community’s license to operate, which would be a prelude to closing a community.

Such a forced closure could be a prelude to redevelopment with far more costly housing, or other forms of development. The biggest losers are arguably the residents, and they routinely say so to local media. The related report about a corrupt practice raised by Fox contributor John Stossel could be playing out in a similar way in MHVille.

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

All of the above are examples of what family-community operator Tom Fath has called an industry under assault.

TomFathTheMHCommunityWillSucceedWhenWeFocusOnFactsNoSaleBasedUponIllusionOrFeelingsDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNEws 

While this impacts producers of manufactured homes indirectly, it is a post-production issue. What have MHI discussions or “task forces” actually done to address such issues?

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

What positions will that the emerging new national association for community operators take to address such matters? Their stance could decide how many MHI members, or non-aligned communities, they will attract? 

 

Is the Industry’s Image Being Defined by the Lowest Common Denominator? 

Publisher Kovach has been a consultant, service provider, and a multiple award-winning manager/owner involved in the front lines of manufactured home retail and communities for decades. He says that this unjust discrimination against manufactured homes is but another example of how the underlying issues must be dealt with, rather than discussing the symptoms.

Among the reasons that the Daily Business News on MHProNews has spotlighted problems in the industry, is to help industry members fully grasp how officials and the public reacts to stories, like the one in Moscow, Idaho, or the more recent ones coming from Northern Georgia tied to controversial SECO board member, Tom Lackey.  The referenced links below can be read later.

“Jail Him!” NPR’s “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” Refuted

More than one SECO member has attempted to defend their ‘hands-off Tom Lackey’ position.

One of them said recently that they are trying to lead by example. They attempt to show operators of visually unappealing or problem plagued properties how to upgrade their communities. They don’t want to be cops, policing their own industry.

Understandable. But does that go far enough? And when the SECO planning board members are in the news, drawing problematic headlines, what examples does that set?

 

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

 

In Ohio, stories about actual pre-HUD Code mobile homes burning down were used to change their state’s regulatory structure. It was an entirely unjust line of attack. Resident groups and the state association worked together to attempt to preserve the successful regulatory structure.

But in the end, the voices in Ohio pushing a “dangerous dwellings” narrative image won. Those anti-MH naysayers won, even though manufactured homes are safer than site built homes against a fire.  The anti-MH voices won despite the fact the incidents cited were true mobile homes. The appearance of MHI VP and general counsel, Rick Robinson made no appreciable difference, did it?

Manufactured Homes Commission Abolished, Effective January 21, 2018

 

Getting to the Underlying Issues 

It is the problematic stories in MHVille that are part of the root causes of the industry’s challenges, argues Kovach. It impacts all, but it is largely a post-production issue.  

Each individual business must create a distinction in the minds of the local home buying public. “That’s the opportunity in disguise,” Kovach says. 

Each business, every location, must learn how to effectively define itself. Otherwise, time after time, others will define you, often to your disadvantage.”  UMH’s Sam Landy is correct when he says that ultimately, each business must market itself.

But it is also a problem that an effective post-production national association could be utilized to address such challenges.

Fight, flight or deal with it.” Without dealing with the underlying issues, the industry can expect more of the same. The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things, in the same ways, and expect a different result.  ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Promoting Manufactured Home Ownership – With “Only 1 in 100 Eaten by a Lion”

On Aurora “Mobile Home Park” Closure, related Negative Media Coverage

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

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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.

 

“Sexual Predators” Beware! MH Community Owners! Retailers Warning – New Federal Sexual Harassment Initiative

April 13th, 2018 Comments off

SexualPredatorsBewareMHCommunityOwnersRetailersWarningNewFedSexualHarrassmentLionLittleGirlDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Behind every good intention can be unintentional consequences. Behind every real problem, abuses of the system can occur.

 

What some might consider to be an innocent flirt, what if an applicant or resident might view it as sexual harassment?

Thus everyone should be aware of a new initiative between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which could bring a world of hurt to Manufactured Home Community (MHC) owners, or perhaps even to manufactured home retailers too.

Obviously, there are genuine cases of sexual harassment – or other violations of the Fair Housing Act – which merit the kind of response that the federal government has just announced.

 

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD and DOJ Announce National Program 

In a release to the Daily Business News, HUD and the DOJ have announced nationwide plans to combat sexual harassment.

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Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo.

All discrimination stains the very fabric of our nation, but HUD is especially focused on protecting the right of everyone to feel safe and secure in their homes, free from unwanted sexual harassment,” said HUD  Secretary Ben Carson. “No person should have to tolerate unwanted sexual advances in order to keep a roof over his or her head. Part of our mission at HUD is to provide safe housing and we will remain diligent in this mission to protect those we serve. I look forward to working with Attorney General Sessions and the Department of Justice as part of this task force to bring an end to this type of discrimination.”

AttorneyGeneralJeffSessionsDepartmentOfJusticeOfficialPhotoWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, photo credit, Wikipedia.

Sexual harassment in housing is illegal, immoral, and unacceptable,” said Attorney General Sessions.

It is all too common today, as too many landlords, managers, and their employees attempt to prey on vulnerable women. We will not hesitate to pursue these predators and enforce the law. In October, I ordered a new initiative to bring more of these cases, and we have already won relief for 15 victims. Today we announce three new steps to make the initiative more effective and to win more cases. I want to thank the dedicated and committed professionals in our Civil Rights Division and our partners in the Department of Housing and Urban Development for their hard work in this effort. We will continue to aggressively pursue harassers, because everyone has a right to be safe in their home, Sessions stated.

A pilot program was already launched in various places in the U.S.

White it’s announced focus is rental property, retailers or others who engage the home seeking public should realize that this initiative could become part of this effort too.

Per HUD’s release to MHProNews,In October 2017, the Justice Department announced an initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing and launched pilot programs in D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. The initiative sought to increase the Department’s efforts to protect women from harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, security guards, and other employees and representatives of rental property owners.”

During these pilots, “the Department developed and tested ways to better connect both with victims of sexual harassment in housing and with those organizations that victims may turn to first for help – including law enforcement, legal services providers, public housing authorities, sexual assault services providers, and shelters.  The Department also tested certain aspects of the initiative in other jurisdictions, including New Jersey, the Central District of California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Michigan.”

Two examples of fair housing cases involving manufactured housing in recent years are posted below.

 

VA MH Community Charged with Violating the Fair Housing Law

 

More Complaints Followed HUD, DOJ Pilot Campaign

These pilots created an “upswing” in legal complai9nts.

The two pilot programs generated an upswing in harassment reporting to the Department from both D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. In D.C., the Department generated six leads since the October 2017 launch. In Virginia, the Department generated three leads. While the Justice Department recognizes that leads and investigations do not always lead to enforcement actions, the pilot program’s results—when extrapolated across all the U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country—could lead to hundreds of new reports of sexual harassment in housing across the country.”

Because of what they called “promising results,” the  HUD is rolling out three major components to the initiative. Per their statement, the following.

First, the new HUD-DOJ Task Force to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing will drive a shared strategy between the Department and HUD for combatting sexual harassment in housing across the country. It will focus on five key areas: continued data sharing and analysis, joint development of training, evaluation of public housing complaint mechanisms, coordination of public outreach and press strategy, and review of federal policies.

Second, the outreach toolkit is designed to leverage the HUD and Justice Department’s nationwide network of U.S. Attorney’s Offices. The toolkit provides templates, guidance, and checklists based on pilot program feedback. It ultimately will amplify available enforcement resources and help victims of sexual harassment connect with the Department.

Third, the public awareness campaign has three major components: a partnership package with relevant stakeholders, launch of a social media campaign, and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) run by the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. The campaign is specifically designed to raise awareness, and make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment.”

Federal HUD Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint Case Update 

 

Owners and Professionals, Knowledge and Fairness Are Power

Nadeen-Green-For-Rent-Media-Solutions-

Nadeen Green, JD.

MHProNews published years of articles by an attorney who specialized in the field, “The Fair Housing Lady,” Nadeen Green, J.D.

Neither MHProNews – nor writers for this publication – are your attorney.  Nor are we giving legal advice per se, but rather are providing awareness of the issues and related news.

That said, common sense says that honesty and an understanding of both legitimate risks and possible abuses of the system should all be on the minds of professionals and owners.

As several past reports in the Daily Business News have noted, manufactured home communities have periodically been caught up in Fair Housing cases. The examples linked above are just 2 of many.

Anyone selling to, or dealing directly with the public in housing ought to be aware of the law, and apply the rules of decency and good sense.

That could start as simply as following the words of Jesus of Nazareth, “Do unto others as you would have others do to you.”  (Mt 7:12, Luke 6:31).  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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