Posts Tagged ‘richard dick jennison’

What’s Next in Affordable Housing, or for Manufactured Home Professionals and Investors?

July 6th, 2019 Comments off



Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” – English maxim, origin credited to George Herbert.


Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford


No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things take time.
You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant
.” – Warren Buffett


Notice: MHProNews will be doing a website theme and URL switchover this weekend. By industry standards, ours is a huge website. Expect glitches. As every seasoned and successful business professional knows, change routinely means anticipated and unexpected bumps-in-the-road. That said, patience and persistence pays. What’s coming is relevant and potentially profitable to many.



Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. SWOT. 

Every person, profession, situation in life has its own SWOT. These are not always clearly understood by those who are in the middle of their own circumstances. Thus outsiders, often with experience in that same field, are brought in by success-minded business leaders to be a second set of eyes. Physicians often refer a patient to another doctor or an expert for a second opinion.



The four quads of a good SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.


Everyone that has ever owned a business that has endured for more than four years has achieved something that the majority of those who start a business can’t claim. If a business is profitable at the end of its fourth year, that is a notable accomplishment.

If that same 4+ year-old business can honestly say that they have achieved that profitability and sustainability with a high degree of customer satisfaction, so much the better. That combination of honest business success with both internal and external satisfaction merits celebration. 

Among public officials in both major parties that have studied manufactured housing with an open mind, several things become clear. Manufactured homes have been routinely misunderstood for years. 

For those who understand business strategies, that factoid and what follow are opportunities in disguise.



  About every third American is living in rental housing.

  There are some 22 million Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes or in post HUD Code manufactured homes.

  Millions of conventional housing owners plan to upsize, downsize, and otherwise change housing.

  NIMBYism and land use policies that are often designed to protect or promote special interests are among the reasons that manufactured homes are often blocked by zoning and placement restrictions. HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who is the top federal official in charge of regulating manufactured homes, has made it clear that he gets those facts.  

  Education is part of the solution to that issue. Secretary Carson has personally made efforts at educating others about manufactured homes on national TV programs, in published speeches, as well as in Senate testimony. There are plenty of examples of third-party studies that span more than 20 years that debunk the misplaced fears that many have about manufactured homes.

  The new presidential executive order (EO) establishing a White House Council to promote affordable housing underscores the two bullets above. President Donald J. Trump’s new EO also specifically cited manufactured homes.

  Several Democratic and Republican lawmakers and public officials are paying more attention to manufactured homes, industry lending, and other industry business practices.


There is more. But those bullets are enough to make a ‘can do’ minded professional wonder why manufactured housing isn’t performing far better than it is? Why is the industry only producing and shipping about ¼th of what it did in 1998? Or why is the industry only shipping about 17 percent of what was achieved in the early 1970s?

For those whose only answer is ‘lending,’ that’s at best incomplete.  For those who say image, that’s part of it too, but that’s an opportunity in disguise for those who see clearly. Simplistic ‘answers’ like those are often going to hobble professional growth.

Why, by contrast, has the RV industry gone from being outsold by manufactured homes at a 3 to 2 margin in 1998, to RVs outselling manufactured homes by some 5 to 1 in 2018? RVs also had image problems decades ago, but they addressed that successfully. RVs – towable or motorized – for most Americans are as their name implies, are recreational. By contrast, manufactured homes, while some are used as second homes, are for the most part primary permanent housing.

Meaning, the RV industry’s potential size should only be a fraction of what the potential is for manufactured housing. That’s another outside indicator that manufactured housing should be doing several times its current sales levels.

Seen through the eyes of an honest SWOT analysis, there are clearly obstacles and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses in the manufactured housing industry in the summer of 2019. 

At a more granular and personalized level, there is a SWOT for every professional, location, business, and organization.  But the infographic below reflects the enormous potential that the industry has.  



What’s Next?

Amazon, Chinese imports, and 3D printed housing are just some of several looming threats to the domestic sales of more manufactured homes.



But at this time, HUD Code manufactured homes have a clear price-per-square foot and/or other advantages over its rivals. As HUD Secretary Carson and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Certified Business Economist Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton have both said, manufactured homes are more resilient – far safer – than most realize. 



Always keep in mind that data changes over time. This information was deemed accurate by a publicly traded company at the time it was originally published.


·        At least on paper, manufactured homes also have an advantage due to the ‘enhanced preemption’ clause that is already law, as established in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.

·        Manufactured housing has – at least on paper – support from the Duty to Serve (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008, that mandated support for manufactured homes. These two bullets are examples of good laws already on the books that are not being properly implemented.  That’s an opportunity in disguise for the savvy with moxie and resources.

There are also aspects of FHA, VA, and USDA (Rural Development) lending, plus several state finance programs, that offer opportunities for manufactured home professionals and investors to serve potentially millions of Americans who want to upsize, downsize, or get their first home. To be crystal clear, those opportunities exist apart from the so called ‘new class of homes’ that some in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are promoting. That new class of homes, whatever the intention, is arguably more problematic than promising.


Click to download and see this full sized.


When people think image or stigma, that too is part of SWOT. However, a crisis that is properly understood is often an opportunity in disguise.




Sam Zell famously observed that when others are going left, look right. Zell told MHProNews via the late Howard Walker, JD, then Vice Chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), that the ELS chairman has never lost confidence in manufactured homes and communities. Zell has preached that they aren’t ‘trailers or trailer parks,’ in his own pointed way.




The fact that Zell-led ELS and Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway have invested billions into the manufactured housing industry, and continue to do so, should speak volumes to objective thinkers. The fact that others are following suit is likewise noteworthy.

Here is where there may be some parting of the ways between various industry professionals. To oversimplify, there are those in manufactured housing that fully grasp the realities noted and linked herein. Some are ‘black hat’ operations, while others are ‘white hat’ business. On MHLivingNews we encourage housing shoppers to discern that difference.



In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by their president Tim Williams, Warren Buffett’s direct quotes from that same year’s annual letter, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, all line up in what attorneys who reviewed it see as ‘smoking gun’ evidence of antitrust violations. They demonstrate how thousands of independent retailers, communities, and several producers – among others – where purportedly directly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. See for yourself:


There are candidly those who don’t get it about such realities regarding ‘black hats’ in the ranks, or are in fear or denial, or may understand but don’t know what to do about issues like the ones found in the reports linked above and below.



Each of those are thorny topics. But ‘leaders grasp nettles.’ Nettles, properly understood, are prickly but have medicinal properties. ‘Grasping nettles’ is an apt metaphor that manufactured housing industry owners, managers, leaders, investors, and professionals should strive to understand and master in the context of their own unique SWOT.  

During a time that manufactured homes should be roaring, instead, the industry seems to be snoring. There are reasons that is so, including those noted in reports linked from this article. For 9 consecutive months, there are year-over-year declines in the production and shipments of new manufactured homes, despite all of the possible good news and positive resources that are available. That fact, considered in the light of others, begs questions. How to account for the failures to advance by the industry’s self-proclaimed leaders? Or who benefits from such a downturn? 

Businesses don’t become successful because they are operated by incompetent people. The management of MHProNews doesn’t believe that those leaders in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are incompetent; quite the contrary.  The are successful and some of them are quite shrewd.

So, there must be other explanations for the relatively low state of the manufactured home industry. There must be good reasons, ones that can lead to profitable opportunities once fully grasped, as to why new manufactured homes are selling at a slower pace than the year that Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton Homes and other affiliates starting in 2003.


May 2019 data reflects month 9th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?


What’s Next?

From the ranks of investors in publicly traded firms in manufactured housing, the controversy at Cavco Industries ought to sound alarm bells, especially in the light of items noted and linked from within this report.

Among public officials – several of whom correctly believe that manufactured homes offers an opportunity to increase affordable home ownership in ways that grows the personal wealth of singles and households – the facts noted and linked herein ought to be significant enough to warrant public hearings into several industry issues. Those hearings should be public and ought to proceed on a range of issues related to: antitrust, RICO, IRS tax-exempt status, and what is causing the failure of existing laws on lending and enhanced preemption to be properly implemented.  Experts from all sides and camps of the industry, including consumers, should be part of those Congressional hearings. Industry leaders should be called in to testify under oath.

Then, industry professionals and business owners, past and present, ought to ponder how the facts herein relate to themselves and their business experiences.  If the market has been rigged, as some claim based upon evidence like that linked from this article, who has that harmed and to what degree? Who benefited from the allegedly rigged system?

Because investigations and possible litigation aren’t the only steps that ought to occur, what will current and prospective industry investors and business owners and leaders do to navigate the current circumstances?  How will professionals respond to their own unique SWOT?

The fact that some businesses are honestly growing, while others are shrinking, should be carefully examined and objectively understood. 

·        There are no less than half a dozen other serious trade publishers or bloggers that are writing about industry related issues.  Why has this trade media stood essentially alone in reporting on these challenges in recent years?  Why have some among those half-dozen at one point in time identified or mentioned some of the same problems, but later went silent or flip-flopped on reporting about them?

·        Why is it that the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) and some state association affiliates broken ranks from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? Why did they say that MHI failed in reflecting their interests?

·        Why does the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) so often see matters in stark contrast to what the Berkshire-backed MHI does?  Which association is more accurate in their assessments? 

·        Why has Warren Buffett – his money and influence – often backed both sides of fights that MHI was engaged in? Why has MHI routinely come up short?


These are nuances that have been documented here and/or on our sister site of MHLivingNews

To understate: it is worth noting that per available third-party evidence and data, MHProNews readership is equal to if not significantly greater than all of the other 6 industry trade media and bloggers combined. That suggests that people recognize the difference between spin and straight talk


The Next Step

MHProNews is about to take its next evolutionary step.  Some of the theme changes on our new website are subtle, but others will be significant.

We already dominate the manufactured home industry in news, fact-checks, and analysis. Nothing else even comes close in size, scope, and professional audience engagement.

Our parent company’s business development and expert services have worked with several operations of all sized firms over the years successfully. Our results are proven in often very public ways, such as the rebirth of the Louisville Manufactured Home Show after years of downturn and finally its only year to be cancelled.  That achievements make us a go-to resource for those who are willing to invest in their future to grow. 

Others firms or locations that were already successful, but that were not reaching their true potential, have likewise turned to us for proven results.

But those successes mean that companies or locations that closed or sold out for less than their true value were arguably harmed by the so-called leadership of those who are striving for discounted consolidation and acquisitions, by whatever means.



Let’s note that the video interview above was performed prior to the negative news that later hit the headlines about that former MHI chairman and his company. We don’t knowingly work to promote allegedly black-hat operations.  We strive, instead, to work with the industry’s apparent white hats. Because of our pivots on MHLivingNews, we are now in a unique position to spotlight the problematic as well as white hats.



Thus, we bring a unique set of experiences, tools, and proven resources. Keen insider insights found here cause more people to logon to MHProNews daily than some of our rivals have monthly.


Note, Barry Cole’s prior anniversary kudos message raises an important point. Most publications in the MH space failed or closed years ago. Some have since tried to make the cut, inspired by MHProNews’ success. Some noteworthy efforts have also since been suspended. MHProNews has stood the test of time, and the slings and arrows of the industry’s outrageous fortunes.



On MHLivingNews, we’ve been quietly revising and developing a platform that addresses that common questions and concerns from the general public’s perspective.  The success in attracting readers there is notable, because individual articles there may get several times more readers than even very popular articles found here on MHProNews.

Put differently, on both platforms, we’ve proven for years measurable results at what we have strived to do. 

To make that point, Casey Mack at Legacy Housing, with his company’s general counsel’s expressed okay, said the following.



MHProNews has well-known publishing arms. Our publisher is one of the most highly acclaimed pros on LinkedIn among all manufactured housing professionals.



There have been hundreds of accolades – endorsements and recommendations – provided via LinkedIn alone. Others have been provided via video and in letters, etc.


While our business development services tend to be lower key, the results are praised in videos, written letters of recommendation, and by measurable bottom-line results. Some of those kind comments come from rivals. As Casey Mack and others suggest, our services don’t ‘cost,’ they are investments that properly utilized pay dividends.

With almost a decade of publishing the industry’s most read-trade media, we are about to turn the page to the next chapter.

While we disagree with Warren Buffett on several business ethics and related issues, we agree with him that some things simply take time. We also agree on the importance of reading for understanding, something that Buffett says he spends 5 to 6 hours a day doing and has for years. If you and your team are each reading less than an hour daily on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, then you are not yet reading enough.

Keep in mind the levels of awareness.  There are few things that doing them once is enough.

Our Republic just celebrated this week a key time in American history.  This nation began a struggle some 243 years ago that defeated the world’s lone superpower during the time our nation’s founding fathers declared the 13 colonies independence from the British king. Perhaps 1/3rd of the people in some form of fashion originally supported that effort for independence.

The U.S. and our allies defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, which some thought unstoppable. The U.S. overcame the power of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. At various times, there were those who said those feats could not be accomplished.

This is a can-do nation. If you are in business, you are likely a can-do person reading this. The industry has very real challenges, both internal and external. It will not be a quick fight, if it is to be successful.

We’re in it for the long haul. This next chapter in manufactured housing trade media is proof of our resolve.  The fact that the opposition won’t engage us directly in public debates and forums – after so many of those same people have praised our work for years – is perhaps the most telling reason to believe that we at MHProNews are ‘over the target’ in our analysis and efforts.


The industry should be some 10 times its current sales levels. 

Our slogans are as relevant today as when we launched the site under the third logo on the right, below, in mid-October 2009.



We’ve added to those mantras since then Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © and News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing.” ©



The next evolutionary chapter in the industry’s biggest and most read trade media starts this weekend.  Stay tuned.

Our thanks to our sponsors and clients for making this possible.  Our thanks to our readers for seriously checking in often to consider all the news, fact-checks, reports, and analysis that we share here and on MHLivingNews.  With God’s help, the best is yet to come.  We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)


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


To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

For marketing and other expert professional services, click here. Connect on LinkedIn here and here.

Soheyla Kovach, managing member, for LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – parent to Daily Business News on MHProNews and






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“I Can’t Think of a Good Reason to Keep People from Buying Affordable Housing” – Manufactured Home Industry Voices Video

March 15th, 2019 Comments off



Numbers of these people are paying more for rental housing” than they would for manufactured homes, said then Senator Bob Corker (TN-R) in the video posted below. The headline quote is from an independent ‘mom and pop’ owned manufactured home community owner, who is also on this Inside MH video episode.


What both said they and others said at the time this video was made still applies today.

Flashbacks and history are massively useful, but only to those who are willing to clean the smudge off the lens of their glasses, see what was said then, and watch to see what has transpired since.  Every single voice on the second video below, every statement made, has relevance and value.

For example.

In hindsight, one could argue that it was never the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) belief that their publicly desired and supported Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act would ever pass.  But set that aspect of the video aside for now.

Several of the broader issues relating to financing and access to manufactured homes that this video tackles could matter as much or more today as it did the day this episode of Inside MH was first produced and published.

Imagine, then Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director, Richard Cordray admitted on camera several useful facts for the industry.  Cordray, a Democratic candidate in 2018 race to be Governor of Ohio made admissions that are as useful today as they were when he said them. Sadly, several of those facts were arguably never properly illustrated by the fine folks whose factory-built housing association offices are in Arlington, VA.  But again, that’s an aside, not the main point.

Rather, at about the 5:30 mark in the Inside MH episode, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison says something we referred to a few weeks ago.  The manufactured home industry, said Jennison on camera in front of a live industry audience, could achieve 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home sales.  Compare that to the under 97,000 the industry actually achieved, 4 years after Jennison spoke.



What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.



500,000 new HUD Code manufactured homes produced and sold should still be an active goal for retailers, communities, suppliers, producers – everyone that wants more affordable home ownership.

It stands in stark contrast with what he said months before, that the industry should grow slowly, noted in the 18 second video clip, below.



Before Jennison speaks at that 5:30 mark, former community owner, volume retailers and finance expert – MHI award-winner Marty Lavin – shared valuable insights.

Lavin, it should be noted, made these statements prior to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) or the FHFA research in 2018, both of which underscored the fact that manufactured homes were gaining in value.

That said, the principles Lavin addressed – properly understood are potentially huge for our industry. For example, with a better exit strategy for manufactured home owners who want to sell, several groups benefit.

  • The ability to more easily finance and sell a HUD Code home protects the value for its owner.
  • The ability to sell a home more easily benefits sellers and buyers alike.
  • The easier access to financing becomes a reality, and the more Americans understand that opportunity to enjoy appreciation in an appealing home praised by numerous third parties in 2018, the healthier that is for almost every segment of society.

We’ll note that we waved bye-bye to our videographer on this video some time ago, but it still conveys its points effectively.



The video raises other topics that the recent Duty to Serve (DTS) letter MHI signed onto to the FHFA should be raising concerns about. See that in the related topics, by the by lines, notices and offers.

There is a need to look back, look around, and look ahead.  When you drive a car, you don’t look down, you don’t look up, you grab glances that give you a sense of what’s 360.  That’s true for business, investing, public policy, and more.  Looking back at this video, it is relevant today, and will continue to be until the industry begins to achieve its true potential.  Then, it will be relevant as a reminder of how low the industry’s professionals and investors allowed itself to sink.

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



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

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

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

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and



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2020 Contender Presidential Julian Castro, Obama Era HUD Secretary Announces Exploratory Run

December 13th, 2018 Comments off



The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that “Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro says he’s taking a step toward a possible White House campaign in 2020 by forming a presidential exploratory committee,” with an announced decision set for Jan. 12, 2019.


Castro is said to be the second formally announced Democratic contender, following Maryland Rep. John Delaney.


One of the points that makes this candidacy of interest to manufactured housing professionals is that Castro was former President Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).



Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 


The MSNBC video clip below clearly reflects that Castro is taking positions very much in keeping with the leftward tilt of the Democratic party.


A video by the HUD Secretary praising manufactured housing is linked below.



Of course, verbal praise is one thing, but the actual deeds are often another.

Castro may also remind manufactured housing professionals about the painful memory of Pamela Danner’s selection to head up the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).



Pam Danner, JD, HUD Code former Manufactured Housing Program Administrator, credit, MHProNews.

That in turn, should remind industry professionals that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) reportedly turned on their agreement to advance the candidacy of Victor DeRose.  De Rose was the “consensus candidate” formerly agreed to by MHI and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  But an MHI ‘insider’ advanced Danner – per sources – and while MHI’s President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison was purportedly “livid,” and “apologetic,” MHI in fact did only fig leaf posturing, while states struggled under the Obama- and Castro-era Danner appointment at OMHP.

It is also a reminder that MHI PAC Chairman, Nathan Smith, is a high profile Democrat, who if history holds, will promote whomever their party nominates. So, supporting someone like former Secretary Castro would arguably be no problem for Smith, and thus likely, for the rest of MHI.


Nathan & Mary Lee Chance Smith, Leaders in ‘Anti-Trump Resistance,’ Manufactured Housing Impact?


It is one of several #NettlesomeThings about MHI that as 2018 winds down, and 2019 looms ahead, the industry’s professionals must soberly consider.  For a detailed review of issues, see the linked report access in the box immediately below, as well as more insights from the Related Reports, further below. That’s tonight’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” © where  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers.

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

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


To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if your comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

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Manufactured Housing Institute Shipment Data, FEMA, an Inside Look

October 18th, 2018 Comments off


Jenny Hodge, MHI VP and National Communities Council (NCC)

On October 12, Jenny Hodge at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) released the new HUD Code manufactured housing shipment data report. That report was sent to the Daily Business News on MHProNews for analysis and commentary.

Hodge is doing her job. As readers learned from yesterday’s “#Me Too” report, the reins are held tightly at the Manufactured Housing Institute offices. So, this analysis should not be construed as a critique of Hodge.

ICYMI, or need a refresher as to how this relates to a relatively mundane task of providing shipment numbers, yesterday’s inside look at the Arlington offices is linked below.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Women, #MeToo and Insider Information

Hodge began her report with the headline, “9,091 New HUD Code Homes Shipping in August 2018 First 9,000+ Month since 2007.”

It was a great month for production!” is a quote shared from sources which said that Hodge’s point in her headline was underscored by Pam Brillhart, Project Coordinator of Federal and State Programs, Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS). IBTS gathers the data for the federal government, and provides them to HUD and others as a contracted service.

Rephrased, IBTS gathers data, and MHI is one of the sources that obtains that information from them for a fee.

Indeed, the industry has some cause to ‘celebrate’ rising shipment totals. But those totals need to be fully grasped, in the context to the reality that they are still at historically low levels. There were individual producers of pre-code mobile homes and post HUD Code manufactured homes that used to produce that many or more homes per year.

Hodge said that, “In August, 133 plants representing 37 corporations reported production data which is the same as July 2018.”

Compare that with the MHI production company chart history, shown below. It is 73 fewer HUD Code builders than started in 1990. That is fewer HUD Code builders than when Berkshire Hathaway entered manufactured housing in 2003.

Rephrased, manufactured housing was down on the mat. There were individuals who were long time veteran professionals in 2008-2010 that thought the manufactured housing industry was going to go the way of the “buggy whip.” They believed that industry was dying.

Thankfully, that proved wrong.  But the industry was brought to its knees, and that resulted in “consolidations.” Several of those who have sold to Clayton, for example, have told MHProNews that they didn’t get much for their businesses.  Isn’t that in keeping with Warren Buffett’s dictum that he loves a bargain?

Let’s look deeper.

Of the 9,091 homes shipped in August, there were no homes designated as FEMA units,” an apt point because FEMA artificially gooses the number. And as sources are telling MHProNews, there appears to be a move at FEMA away from the use of manufactured homes as much as possible, in favor of RVs or other temporary rental lodging options.

Manufactured Housing Shipments “The SAAR” 

In conventional as well as manufactured housing, there is a SAAR. Here is how Hodge’s report read.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 98,104 in August 2018, up 5.8% from the adjusted rate of 92,694 in July 2018. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.”

Put differently, there were MHI producers who last year expected to do some 107,000 (+/-) new HUD Code manufactured homes. Modular, tiny and other non-HUD Code factory built housing product would be in addition to those totals.

In August 2018, new manufactured home shipments increased 7.9% to 9,091 homes as compared to the 8,425 homes shipped in August 2017,” per MHI’s info from Hodge. “Total shipments for August 2018 are higher by 2,340 homes when compared to the prior month of July. Compared with August 2017, the trend is positive with shipments of single-section homes up by 6.0% and multi-section homes up by 9.5%. Total floors shipped in August 2018 increased 8.5% to 14,174 compared to August 2017.”

What Does it Really Mean?

Look at states like Michigan or Florida, where sizable numbers of units designed to be rentals are being shipped into manufactured home communities. Who else in manufactured housing trade publishing is telling the industry’s independents that factories see a warning sign in the data. What happens when shipments into communities slow down? Given that few new communities are being built, if zoning, finance, acceptance and other issues aren’t successfully addressed, in 3 to 5 years, the industry could plateau.

Winners and Losers, 5 Midwestern States, Manufactured Home Shipment Breakdown

Here is the HUD Code shipment data for August 2018, by state.


Look at the state production data, to realize just how low the numbers can be.


Then, recall that RVs are blowing manufactured housing away.


Dick Jennison and Lesli Gooch were described as “control freaks” in yesterday’s report by MHI office insiders.


As in any office or operation, there are people at MHI that have formed personal relationships. There is chatter outside of the office, not just in it. Even ‘lower level’ staff can hear and share insights with the operation’s several ‘vice presidents.’


There are a growing number of industry voices that believe that BH/CMH and MHI have by various action/inaction has kept manufactured home sales at historically low levels. Evidence? See Related Reports and videos, linked below, which quotes and cites BH, MHI, CMH, 21st Mortgage Corp, and other sources.

It is human nature. People who are “bullied” in an office find ways of dealing with that kind of harsh or “hostile work atmosphere.

One more reminder before closing this report. Sources said what industry readers should already know. The marching orders for MHI comes from the MHI Executive Committee. When one wonders why MHI spent years chasing after Preserving Access, and then abandoned half that goal in favor of the inclusion in S 2011, those marching orders come from the Executive Committee.

There are voices from within MHI’s membership that have asked if it isn’t a conflict of interest for Clayton Homes – which has site built housing and is part of Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate that has deep real estate interests – is exerting influence to keep production at low levels. See the related reports, further below.

Then ask yourself when RVs are roaring, and MH is snoring, why Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison was trying to tell the industry that it should grow slowly? Who does that benefit?

MHARR’s report on the same data was published earlier, and can be found at the link below.

Strong HUD Code Production Growth in August 2018

More in an upcoming report from inside Arlington, VA’s office at MHI in the hours and days ahead. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Related Reports:

For Independents, Independent-Minded MH Professionals, and Freedom-Loving Investors Only, Sunday Headline News Recap 10-7 to 10.14.2018

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

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Reminder to Clayton Homes. Cavco Industries, and Skyline Champion Employees

Manufactured Housing Production Report – After Slow June 2018, July 2018 Increases

September 7th, 2018 Comments off



After a modest 1 percent increase in year over year (YoY) production increases in 2018 vs. 2017, the growth in production for manufactured housing has taken a heftier bump up.


A total of 6,781 homes shipped in July 2018.  By comparison, 5,803 shipped in July 2017. That is a 16.85 percent YoY increase.

Production by states, per IBTS, are as shown below.


Production and shipments of new HUD Code manufactured homes are where the rubber meets the road.


Results Matter

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which claims to be doing promotion for the industry, has to be measured against actual results, not just words or years of what some of their members have said are the “same old posturing and promises.”

But should the independent producers, retailers, communities, lenders, and others in the industry be surprised?  Recall what MHI President and CEO, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison said, 4 years ago, because he candidly signaled then the reality that exists today.  As publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach said, “The facts speak loudly, and the rest are details and commentary.”


As the Daily Business News on MHProNews exclusively reported last month, 20 years ago, manufactured housing used to outperform RVs in shipments.


But today, RV’s outsell manufactured housing by some 5 to 1.

What RV Industry’s 2018, Prior Results Reveal for Manufactured Housing

A more detailed look will be published on Monday.  See prior, related reports, linked below.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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

Manufactured Housing Shipment Totals, June 2018

Warren Buffett Would be Okay With Clayton Homes Losing Money, Says Kevin Clayton – But Why?


8 Questions for Joe Stegmayer, George Allen, Spencer Roane, GSEs, MHI, FHFA, Other Presenters At Indianapolis Roundtable Meeting

NDAs, Warren Buffett, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and MHVille

2018’s Hardest-Working States in America, How Does Your State Rank?


NDAs, Warren Buffett, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and MHVille

September 5th, 2018 Comments off



Warren Buffett, left. Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) center. Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, right. 

You can fool all the people some of the time,
and some of the people all the time,
but you cannot fool all the people all the time
–  Abraham Lincoln


Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me
– George Horne, according to Quora.


People who have a vested interest are feeding the journalist confirmatory material all along the line.” – Warren Buffett, quoted in Medium.

We can afford to lose money — even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation — even a shred of reputation…We must continue to measure every act against not only what is legal but also what we would be happy to have written about on the front page of a national newspaper in an article written by an unfriendly but intelligent reporter.”- Warren Buffett, quoted in Business Insider.


Controlling the narrative is something Warren Buffett and every serious political or business operative in America wants to do whenever possible.

One only has to look at how much Buffett speaks to the media, and owns or influences media via the giant conglomerate he leads, named Berkshire Hathaway.

Warren Buffett Strikes Deal with Lee to Manage Berkshire Units, plus MH Market Updates

The battle over controlling the narrative about manufactured housing is something that has been occurring inside and outside of the MH industry for decades.

But arguably no one before Berkshire Chairman Buffett, or Vice-Chair Charlie Munger, have had the depth of media connections, ownership, savvy, and influence they do.


Flashback to the late Howard Walker

Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Vice-Chair, and then Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Executive Committee Treasurer, Howard Walker was previously reported by the Daily Business News on MHProNews to have encouraged MHI President and CEO Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison as follows.


Nathan Smith was then MHI chairman at the time of this message from ELS Vice-Chairman, and MHI Treasurer, Howard Walker. Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison was and is the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher and co-founder of and


What until now has largely unknown by the bulk of the industry is this message from Jennison to MHProNews publisher, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. That was later followed up with the NDA from MHI general counsel, Rick Robinson, JD.


MHProNews could produce other such messages, which MHI would have too. So it is unlikely that they will deny the obvious, namely, that they wanted to buy MHProNews. Isn’t the logic of that they wanted to control or own the MH Industry’s most popular trade media? 


NDA’s and MHI

Note that both Walker and Berkshire brand MH lender 21st Mortgage Corp President and CEO Tim Williams both praised MHProNews before and after that spring of 2014 time frame.

  • Jennison said he wanted MHI to buy MHProNews.
  • Walker, himself an attorney, participated in a discussion that advocated a formal, transparent relationship. See the image captured, above.
  • MHProNews’ publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, was covered by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) at the time, which MHI requested by Jennison and MHI VP and General Counsel, Rick Robinson.
  • Due to the NDA, Kovach was unable for years to discuss this matter in any form or fashion.

Notice: the sponsor’s ad is not connected to or related with the story it is posted in. To see the sponsored content, click here

But the Timeframe Covered by that NDA has now Passed…

Sources with MHI and past MHI VPs tell MHProNews that there’s a “wide use” of NDAs by the Arlington, VA based trade association.

NDAs are clearly a way to control people, who might otherwise communicate on an issue or topic.  That in turn controls a narrative.

Kevin Clayton, President and CEO of Clayton Homes in the video and report linked below, mentions how they like to work with nonprofits.  MHI is a nonprofit, one of several they work with. That statement by Clayton is an important revelation, one of several made in that nearly hour long interview video.

The Daily Business News has been reporting on how voices that span the left-right divide have said the high degree of control that American news media outlets are controlled by a handful of conglomerates.


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


Deepa Kumar quote from the thought-provoking video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.

That’s not to say that all news is alike.


Dan Rather quote from  the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.

It is to say, as various experts previously cited have explained, that those few media conglomerates decide what makes the news, and what doesn’t.


That’s why Thomas Sowell, Ph.D., says it’s important to select your news sources carefully.


It’s perhaps also why Martin Luther King, Jr. – who himself experienced harsh, as well as favorable media coverage, in his time – said the purpose of education is to think critically.


It’s not important at this moment why the parent company of MHProNews did not sell out to MHI. That will be explored in a future report.


To see the full on-the-record statement by Williams to MHProNews, click here.

What is important is that MHI initiated a move to buy MHProNews.



Recapping the facts in evidence: MHI, and senior people with MHI, saw the value of owning and/or controlling the most read news read by MH industry professionals.

It must be noted that before and since that time,

  • MHProNews continued to publish MHARR news, not just MHI news,
  • and that editorially, MHProNews supported MHARR on some issues, and MHI, state associations, along with numerous other sources.

And Williams himself said that we strive for balance.



That was 2015.  Williams knows that more recently, MHProNews has often asked him, MHI, officials at Clayton, et al, for comments on issues related to alleged efforts to monopolize – as much as possible -both messaging to industry professionals, and consolidate industry itself. The method for that is found in the link below. They’ve not disputed the documents, some signed by Williams, nor the analysis.

Warren Buffett Would be Okay With Clayton Homes Losing Money, Says Kevin Clayton – But Why?


Fool Me Once…

Our publisher says, “There are times I ponder the quote,Fool me once, shame on you [meaning, the person that pulled the underhanded trick]. But fool me twice, shame on me [meaning, for falling for the same trick again].”

Publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach says that now MHVillage Co-President Darren Krolewski approached him at the Louisville Show a couple of shows ago. “Would you consider selling out?” – Krolewski asked Tony Kovach.

The conversion took place on the Louisville show floor, and covered other topics. Our publisher made no direct comment on Krolewski’s question. But only a few minutes after the conversation ended, Krolewski and MHI President and CEO Jennison were seen on the show floor talking.

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIt’s obvious that MHI and the powers that be associated with them want to control the narrative within the industry,” Kovach said. “They support those in MHVille bloggers and publishers – like MHVillage owned MHInsider – who will publicly support MHI, that’s what the open evidence reflects. It is equally obvious that MHVille professionals largely aren’t buying the arguable propaganda’ that MHInsider and others are putting out (see photo, taken on the final day of the Tunica show).”

We focus on what sources with apparent knowledge tell us, we follow the money, the evidence, and use common sense. We then line up what people say, and compare it with what they in fact do,” said Kovach.” “We give MHI, the key Berkshire brands in MH, and others the opportunity to comment, clarify, deny, or whatever.”

It’s also worth noting obvious connections. Using our “wheat and chaff” methodology, we are less concerned with the source – be it left, right, or neutral – than the evidence and logic of the source. Some sources can be correct on a given topic, yet may be wildly inaccurate on others.


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

Buffett’s Concerns Over Journalism

Buffett has expressed concerns over journalism and journalists, but still believes there’s value in journalism.

The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. For to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves – and the better the teacher, the better the student body.” – Warren Buffett, per BrainyQuote.

Buffett addresses journalists routinely, but they are often ‘friendly’ sources. He owns numerous media outlet, starting with the newspaper based in Berkshire’s capital city, Omaha. Isn’t it all a part of controlling the narrative?

Why did Buffett himself defend Clayton, their lenders, or Wells Fargo when they were under mainstream media attack? Why didn’t he defend and promote the good name of manufactured housing industry in the same fashion?

MHI’s Jennison may have supplied the answer. He said the industry needed to grow slowly. Why?

Why should MH grow slowly, when there’s an affordable housing crisis? Why should MH have fallen so far behind the RV industry? Why did RVs recover more quickly than MH?



Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? Because it came before Buffett’s entry into MH? See Smoking Gun 3


It’s In Plain Sight

The best place to hide is often in plain sight.

But hiding in plain sight doesn’t discount the possibility that Berkshire – while allowing other forces to press on the industry through regulations, zoning, media, and other means – may have used MHI in ways that violated antitrust guidelines that MHI themselves have published. See that MHI document, linked here.

As of this date, after repeated requests to MHI and executives with various Berkshire brands operating in MHVille, readers should note that they’ve offered no alternative explanation or defense to these allegations and documented concerns.

Rather, they and their apparently rewarded surrogates do cheer leading, perhaps hoping to continue to distract the industry, even as they’ve demonstrably worked to consolidate the industry.

Now you know why an executive told the Daily Business News, “Tony, if MHProNews is writing about it, I want to know about it.”

That executive isn’t alone, as LinkedIn reports a record number of profile views of our publisher.


NOTICE: MHProNews thanks all those who reached out during the month of August to congratulate this publication for our anniversary last month, as well as to all those who asked to connect, or who sent private tips and comments.

Third-party statistics, including those by Webalizer, says our readership is up some 250% in a year. As an advertiser recently said, “Tony, I don’t think [that most] understand the power and reach of your platform[s].”

Doesn’t that sounds like the kind of compliments that Tim Williams and Howard Walker publicly shared about MHProNews and MHLivingNews, months after the events noted above?

  • NDA’s,
  • prodding,
  • and buying influence among MHVille industry commentaries

are among the apparent modus operandi of MHI and their ‘big boys’ that seek to profitability consolidate – at bargain/depressed rates – because the industry has been kept at historically low sales and production levels.


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

The facts, and evidence are compelling, aren’t they?

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

See the related reports, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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


To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Related Reports:

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

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

Follow the Money – Surprising, Inconvenient Truths Impact Manufactured Housing, U.S. Economy, and More

Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute CEO, Doubles Down, Industry Reactions, Fact Check to Growth Strategy

August 21st, 2018 Comments off



The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been critiqued a number of times by industry professionals for their demonstrably failed strategy to grow industry sales by using paid advertorials.


As but one barometer of the lack of sales being driven for manufactured housing (MH), while RVs have grown in shipment levels, MH has fallen far behind (see the linked report below for graphics, facts and details). Nevertheless, another MHI advertorial has been published recently, as MHI’s CEO Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison doubles down on the questionable strategy.

Trendlines Don’t Lie, Real Challenges, Hidden Manufactured Housing Opportunities Revealed

MHI promoted at membership renewal time last December the graphic below. It touted a claim that “83 million” have seen their ‘Statepoint’ Advertorials.  Even if the claimed total views was true, which is highly uniquely, what industry shipments in 2017 revealed is that the paid placements of stories had no noticeable impact on industry home sales.  That graphic, with some analysis, is posted below.


The fact checks reveal head fakes to members and to others who may not be informed about the claims being made by MHI. Note, none of the fact checked items shown above has been disputed by MHI, which has been given a number of opportunities to correct, clarify or respond to such concerns.

The latest MHI paid StatePoint advertorials often quote Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison by name.

The paid ads have hotlinks to MHI’s website.  So, their ‘ad stories’ may drive some traffic to the MHI website, which Alexa reported has a high bounce rate.

But MHI’s having done this for a couple of years, even a glance at shipment statistics reveals there is no significant or proven ability to demonstrably drive more new home sales.


For the full comparison between MH in the last 2 decades and RVs, click here or the graphic above. This tells the tale of MHI’s lack of effectiveness at promoting manufactured housing to the public at large. Trend lines don’t lie.

Which begs the question, why does MHI still bother?  Who are they trying to impress?  Members and potential members?  In an era when the term ‘fake news’ has become commonplace, doesn’t MHI just play into that narrative, thereby undermining the industry’s credulity?


On the Record Industry Comment on Jennison’s Latest Advertorial

M.Mark.WeissJDPresidentCEOMHARRManufacturedHousingAssociationforRegulatorReform-creditManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWe can all agree that manufactured housing should be performing better, as the country is in the throes of an affordable housing crisis,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Weiss didn’t comment on the wisdom, or lack thereof, of using advertorials in the first place.  Instead, Weiss focused on what Jennison did and didn’t say in the StatePoint item.

Weiss continued by saying that “Oddly missing from the comments of MHI’s president, however, are any mention of expanded access to consumer financing or enhanced federal preemption under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

Weiss points are telling.  After all, if you are paying to say whatever you want, why not say something useful to advancing the industry’s broader interests?

This [failure to mention preemption and financing] illustrates why a new independent national post-production association would be welcomed by MHARR,” concluded Weiss’ comments. Weiss and MHARR aren’t alone, as some states and communities have already broken ranks with MHI.


What Jennison’s Quotes Said

‘Quotes’ from Jennison were in the final paragraph of the StatePoint ad. They are in these two sentences. Beyond what Weiss said, why did the first line by Jennison seemingly demean “earlier generations of manufactured housing?”

  • Part of this bias may be based on the negative stereotype of earlier generations of manufactured housing, however, today, our homes are built with quality construction materials to meet rigorous federal standards for safety, installation and construction,” says Richard Jennison, president and CEO of MHI.


  • At a time when there is a great need for high-quality, affordable housing, today’s manufactured homes are an effective solution for many American families and communities,” says Jennison.


Jennison’s Background…

A look at Jennison’s LinkedIn page reveals his prior role was with a brick industry association.


Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway owns Acme Brick.  There’s been speculation as to what role, if any, that brick industry connection may have had in Jennison’s being considered and hired by MHI.


MH Marketer’s Analysis

First, among the versions of the story we found online was The Journal News, which blew up a provided photo so large, that it was pixelated. If they were counting on the image to help sell appeal, it would not be effective.

Next, that begs the question – didn’t MHI or StatePoint bother to check the photos and placements, to see if they looked good or were correctly published?

Weak,” is what L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, award winning industry veteran, expert consultant, and publisher, said to sum the advertorial up.


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

The narrative is weak from start to finish. Ask yourself, if you were in the market for a home, what in this advertorial would make you want to visit your local manufactured home retailer or land-lease community?”

The narrative fails to answer the kinds of issues that keep consumers from buying a manufactured home in the first place. Next, it links up MHI’s website four times in 337 words. Virtually any journalist or serious researcher would spot this for what it is, a paid advertorial. When there are legitimate and positive news stories, why would MHI publish problematic stuff like this? Finally, one of those four links go to their quick facts document, which still has inaccurate information.”

The full text of the StatePoint MHI advertorial is below the definition shown.  The hotlinks all pointed to MHI’s website, as was noted above, were at located at the blue text as shown.  Those links were removed for this column.

At the end of this post are links to prior comments by other industry professionals that blasted this debatably flawed advertorial approach, and other related reports.


(StatePoint) With the cost of housing continuing to rise faster than wages, it’s no wonder that many Americans nationwide are struggling to make ends meet. Luckily, solutions already exist to address the affordable housing shortage, say experts.

For example, more than 22 million people in the U.S. now live in manufactured housing — homes built to a federal standard in factories and placed on a homeowner’s land or on rented lots in manufactured home communities, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). In many parts of the country, homes like these are the least expensive kind of housing available without a government subsidy. The cost to buy a manufactured home averages about $70,600, compared with $286,000 for a single-family site-built home, not including land costs.

In response to growing market demand, almost 93,000 new manufactured homes were built in the U.S. in 2017, an approximate 15 percent increase over 2016, according to MHI, but this is still not nearly enough to meet the nation’s affordable housing needs, according to experts. Advocates say that zoning restrictions and other rules and regulations in many areas are preventing manufactured housing from closing the gap — as certain jurisdictions only allow manufactured housing in locations far from town centers and other jurisdictions have considered banning them altogether.

“Part of this bias may be based on the negative stereotype of earlier generations of manufactured housing, however, today, our homes are built with quality construction materials to meet rigorous federal standards for safety, installation and construction,” says Richard Jennison, president and CEO of MHI.

What’s more, today’s manufactured housing includes features that today’s homebuyers want, such as luxury bathrooms, vaulted ceilings and state-of-the-art kitchens with energy-efficient appliances. Often situated in communities with swimming pools, playgrounds and clubhouses, they can be a very attractive option for families and retirees seeking affordability. To learn more visit,

“At a time when there is a great need for high-quality, affordable housing, today’s manufactured homes are an effective solution for many American families and communities,” says Jennison. ##


Given the recent and positive reports about manufactured housing by the National Association of Realtors ®, Bloomberg, and Value Penguin and others, why did MHI go this problematic route?  Is any reasonable answer to that question one that should build confidence in MHI? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Community Co-Owner/Manager View On Richard Jennison and the Manufactured Housing Institute StatePoint Advertorial

Problems with Quote from Richard Jennison, MHI’s CEO in StatePoint Advertorials


Kevin Clayton, Leslie Gooch Sound-off; Left & Right Agree? Manufactured Homeland, MHI, & You

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$


Ease Shortage with 400,000 More Manufactured Homes for California, says Jonathan Lansner, MHI’s Next CEO?

June 18th, 2018 Comments off

Original photo, OC Register, collage by MHProNews.

Industry professionals should note the mixing of nomenclature, or feel a level of angst in reading in California’s Orange County Register the following.


Look, I know mobile homes[1] are not for everybody and have a nasty stigma that is sometimes deserved.”

That line was preceded by the opening words, “Bet you didn’t know California has 517,173 mobile homes[1].”


Snippets from LinkedIn profile of Jonathan Lansner.

Citing U.S. Census Bureau data, columnist Jonathan Lansner said, “Only three states had more mobile homes[1] than California. But as the nation’s most populous state, it’s another affordable-housing metric where California trails the pack: pre-fabricated homes are a tiny share of our residential-living supply — 3.7 percent vs. 6.6 percent in the rest of the nation.”


To see the fact-packed Op-Ed, click the link here or the image above.

Lansner has teed up various facts – and takes a stab at the boil after his stigma comment – by saying, “But when the state’s having a serious rethinking of its housing policies — actions to come eventually, hopefully — shouldn’t everything be on the table?

Manufactured home (MH) industry pros could wince over the nomenclature, but must also note his salient point. Namely, that California ought to have more manufactured homes. How many more?

Lansner says the state is about “400,000” homes short of the national average for MH per state.

He then argues that the reason that other states have a lower housing cost is due in part to the fact that those states have more manufactured homes than California does.

Start with construction costs: The typical new “manufactured home” sold in the U.S. between 2007 and 2015 was 1,500 square feet and went for $64,000. Building the average new, single-family home — minus the land price — cost $230,598 for 2,556 square feet,” said Lansner.

For an MH outsider looking in, fascinating points he’s making with his “spreadsheet” and calculator, aren’t they?


What’s Wrong is That Enough Don’t Ask What’s Right  

As dedicated Daily Business News readers recall, history-making Rollohome went from zero to 60,000 homes in just two years. You can read the following linked report later, for more insights.

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

Lansner, his nomenclature aside, arguably makes a far better case than the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison.  Readers may recall that Jennison inexplicably argued for slow MH industry growth.

Pardon us, Dick? During the nation’s affordable housing crisis? Did Jennison not know about rapid ramp-up cases like Rollohome? Who promised Jennison that bonus and raise for saying or supporting stunning thoughts like that?

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

So, who were or are the geniuses and driving forces behind MHI’s president calling for slow growth? How does that help a state like California? Or the other 49 states, which all-in need some 8.3 million more affordable homes?


Collage by MHProNews.

Please, give the MH Industry someone who thinks more like Lansner.


Lansner on California vs. Other Top MH States

Lansner doesn’t go into other facts, like California leading the nation in homelessness. The New York Times reported on Dec 21, 2017 that “This year that number [of homeless in the U.S.] reached nearly 554,000 — a 1 percent increase from last year, driven by the dramatic surge in West Coast cities. More than one-quarter of the total homeless population nationwide lives in California, roughly 114,000.”

Nor does his OCRegister column deal with land use, zoning, or a range of state regulatory, immigration, or tax issues that are also arguably hobbling opportunities in the Golden State.

Instead, Lansner’s laser focused on getting more manufactured homes. “Just look at economic competitors for California, the three states with more mobile homes[1].”

Lansner argues, ”Florida is the U.S. leader with 830,351 mobile homes. [1] That’s 9.1 percent of its housing supply and the 16th highest share nationally. It’s a good bet mobile homes[1] help put Florida’s monthly housing costs 32 percent below California, according to Census data.

Wonder why the median home value of a Florida home is $166,800 vs. California’s is $409,300? (That’s the value of all homes, not those that sold.) Or why 65 percent of Floridians are homeowners vs. 54 percent in California?”

Then the OCRegister writer says, “No. 2 is Texas with 762,848 mobile homes[1] or 7.3 percent of its housing supply — No. 23 nationally. It’s got housing costs 35 percent below California; a typical home valued at $142,700; and 62 percent ownership.”

He rounds out the top four states with the most pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post-HUD Code manufactured homes by saying, “Then there’s North Carolina with 590,302 mobile homes.[1]  That’s 13.3 percent of its housing supply — No. 7 nationally; housing costs 42 percent below California; a typical home worth $157,100; and 65 percent ownership. 

Where is the voice at MHI’s Arlington, VA headquarters making similar arguments to grow our industry?

Could the industry’s leaders have Lansner trained for a week on nomenclature plus some fine points, and then promote Lansner with his moxie to take Jennison’s spot at MHI?


Lansner for MHI’s next President?;

But nobody brags about any state’s share of mobile homes. [1] In fact, it seems to be a little dirty secret when you look at the nation’s most “affordable” places to live,” Lansner said. It was an avoidable hyperbole.  But was he – like MHProNews also does at times – being satirical, to make his other compelling points?

He ends on a high note. 

Still, if California is serious about driving housing costs down — and ownership opportunities up — tough choices must be made. Novel thinking about far smaller homes in various formats should be on the table.”

The link to Lansner‘s interesting column is found here.

If the fine folks in Arlington, Knoxville and Omaha are willing to take their foot-off-the-pedals driving more industry consolidation – taking place at the very time millions of more manufactured homes are so desperately needed – do you think they may give Lansner an opportunity to replace Jennison as MHI’s president?


Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.  To see Clayton Homes and the top 25, click here

That last point should not be considered a joke.  Given the choice between Lansner and Jennison, shouldn’t the pick be easy? “We Provide, You Decide.” (C) ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)


[1] Mobile homes” and “manufactured homes” (MH) are not interchangeable terms, as well informed MH industry professionals know.  Regrettably, the Census Bureau has not yet made the move to differentiate between pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post June, 15, 1976 manufactured homes.  About 20 percent of the estimated 8.8 million of both types of MH housing units are mobile homes, the other 80 percent are manufactured homes.

2) A robust use of enhanced preemption and other parts of FHA and DTS would rapidly solve the affordable housing crisis, using primarily private capital.  See related reports, linked below.

Related Reports:

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

The Ultimate Manufactured Home Industry Fact$, Data, and Insights – Bullets plus at-a-Glance Infographic


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Largest 50 Manufactured Home Community Operations, per Manufactured Housing Institute, Analysis

April 24th, 2018 Comments off


Sun Communities of Southfield, Michigan, took the top spot with 83,294 home sites under management, followed by Equity LifeStyle Properties of Chicago with 73,700 home sites, RHP Properties of Farmington Hills, Michigan, with 60,163 sites, YES! Communities of Denver with 47,278 sites and MHP Funds of Cedaredge, Colorado, with 31,652 sites.” said the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) National Communities Council (NCC) release to the Daily Business News.


These 50 organizations have a total of more than 693,000 home sites with portfolios ranging in size from more than 80,000 sites to just under 3,000,”said the NCC’s statement.

The prior 2017 list was faulted by MHI/NCC members as double-counting some sites listed by RHP and Brookfield Asset Management, then shown as #3 and #5, respectively.

The NCC serves its members by being an effective advocate before public policy makers, the media and the general public,” is another standard line that has drawn the ire of members, who have told MHProNews that MHI (and by implication, the NCC) is “irrelevant” – ineffective at their own agenda – or fails to defend the industry’s members from flawed media reports.


MHP Funds, currently #5, is a tandem of well known partners/investors headlined by Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds.  While Rolfe has ‘gone quiet’ on critics of MHI late last year, he has not walked back his stinging criticism of MHI in failing to defend the industry, harming all of those in the business.


Bob Crawford, president of award winning Dick Moore Housing, which sold its last community fairly recently, has given MHI a “5 out of 10” – a failing grade – in its lobbying efforts.

Jenny Hodge for NCC

jenny hodge mhi v p ncc

Jenny Hodge photo credit, MHI/NCC.

Jenny Hodge is a talented, well liked and respected member of the MHI team. At one point, she was seen by some as the heir apparent to the “floundering” or worse view held by some regarding their president, Richard “Dick” Jennison.

Jennison has since, say sources, gained the upper hand in the Arlington inner-office struggles.

Hodge’s release said, “With the tens of thousands of communities, we are trying to responsibly identify with this list who the up and coming operators are as we see signs of continued consolidation as the industry evolves into a more mature phase,” said Jenny Hodge, Vice President of Research and Market Analysis for MHI, according to their release.

Hodge added, “We are seeing more interest in manufactured housing from large institutional investors and smaller independent developers as well as individuals who want to live in high-quality affordable housing.”

Each of these statements by Hodge is upon considered examination, accurate.

What her first point obliquely underscore is part of the reason for MHI’s existence, which is to foster consolidation, according to a number of their critics. Thus the spreading nick-name for MHI, “the Monopolistic Housing Institute,” which the “I want them all for myself” statement by Nathan Smith nurtured.  Smith is the former MHI Chairman, a prominent Democratic operative, a NCC member, and a partner in SSK Communities.



MHProNews & MHI – Who is Telling it Like It Is?

It is natural to believe that your side, whichever side that may be, is the ‘right side.’

That said, it is important to note that MHProNews’ publisher has for over a year offered to publicly meet and debate the issues, concerns, and topics raised by MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews.  MHI has ducked, dodged, detracted and declined to accept the invite.

One must ask, why?


The MHI statistics are a mix of accurate and inaccurate. This year’s list appears to be clean and controversy free. The same can’t be said about the statistics that claim there are some 38,000 communities.  Their own members dispute that number, and that goes to the heart of what’s wrong with MHI, or NCC.

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

This isn’t a critique of Jenny Hodge, who is following orders.”  It is a critique of those who are seen as manipulating and “weaponizing” data and messages to their members.

If they had a good come-back, why don’t they present it?

Rather, they dodge those concerns by what a long-time MHI member told MHProNews is “Razzle Dazzle.” While his example was on a different topic, the principle is the same.

“Razzle Dazzle,” Says Former Manufactured Housing Institute Member

There are concerns by some that HUD Secretary Carson might, might by intent or not, give MHI an apparent win, when there is nothing that MHI has arguably done save keep the industry’s growth at lower levels, by failing to accomplish their own claimed agenda. For more details, the related reports will dot i’s and cross t’s that have as of this writing, gone unanswered by MHI, and which their surrogates have used only “razzle dazzle,” hoping to distract people with smoke and mirrors.

It’s a great industry, with numbers of very fine professionals, but some are holding up the industry from within, as Frank Rolfe and others have said.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Asks Industry Members to Ask Senators to Support S 2155, Behind the Scenes Details

March 6th, 2018 Comments off


In a ‘housing alert’ email to association members, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) urged the industry’s professionals to contact their senators and ask them to vote “Yes” on S. 2155.


Passage of this language will ensure that manufactured housing retailers and sellers are not subject to compliance requirements clearly designed to apply only to the actual entity making the mortgage loan,” read part of the association’s message.

GovTrack tells the Daily Business News that the odds of passage, as of this morning, stands at 42 percent.

That’s better than what Skopos Labs believes the odds are for passage of Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which as of this morning were just 26 percent.


Like Getting Half of Preserving Access…

S 2155 has much more to it than MH Industry issues.


Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

That said, the language that is Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) rule related is akin to half of what Preserving Access bill purportedly hopes to accomplish.  Namely, the repeal of the MLO rule from CFPB regulations.  That is mildly similar to what MHI SVP Lesli Gooch has said is their strategy to move the bill ahead by whatever is moving on Capitol Hill.



Left and Right…

Doug Ryan at Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) opposes the bill, saying to the IndyStar that “This [provision for manufactured housing in the bill] will hamper new lenders from getting in.”

Some moderate Democrats, such as Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, are likely to vote for the S 2155 bill.  Meanwhile Senators like Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are opposed to it.

Progressive media, such as The Young Turks (TYT) scorched S 2155 backers, MHI, and Warren Buffett.

For example, “One of the bill’s chief architects, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and her husband have nearly $1 million invested in two of the bill’s biggest winners, J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, according to a 2016 financial disclosure document reviewed by TYT Investigates.

Heitkamp and her spouse collectively own between $100,001 and $250,000 of corporate securities stock in J.P. Morgan, as well as an additional up to $45,000 in a J.P. Morgan fund. Heitkamp alone owns between $215,000 and $550,000 worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock, and including joint investments, she and her husband have up to $600,000 invested in the company. Together, the Heitkamps could have up to $895,000 invested in the two firms.

For the senator, whose net worth was roughly $4.5 million in 2015, according to an estimate by the Center for Responsive Politics, these J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway investments potentially account for a substantial portion of her assets.”



Positives in the S 2155 Bill, PLUS Behind the Scenes Analysis

For those who favor free markets and more moderated regulations, the bill on the surface is just fine.

The bill would indeed be good news for thousands working in manufactured housing, if it is passed into law, because it makes communications for front-line sales people with prospective buyers.  In those ways, MHProNews and MHLivingNews demonstrably favored passage of Preserving Access, of which this bill has one of its two provisions.

But is that the key issue?

As MHProNews has previously reported, sources say there is a kind of hypocrisy in the Arlington, VA based association’s manufactured housing advocacy, as the linked and below reveal.  Plus both sides are playing politics on this issue, playing to their respective audiences.

MHI – and the powers that be behind them – are demonstrably being hypocritical, as sources inside and outside of MHI have told MHProNews – as recently as today – because MHI could have made a deal like this without Congress, by agreement with the non-profits in a deal with the CFPB’s then Director, Richard Cordray.

See the email below as one of several possible pieces of evidence.



Furthermore, MHI knew in 2012 that they were not going to be able to get past President Obama’s threatened veto of Preserving Access, even if the Senate had voted for it (the House has passed it repeatedly, but the Senate never has).

See former MHI VP Jason Boehlert’s statement, and full report, linked below. These can be called ‘allegations.’  But doesn’t the clear evidence support those claims?  And why won’t MHI defend or explain any of this, when they are often given the opportunity?

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

Sources say that “consumer groups” are now opposing the option they had previously offered, in part as a possible negotiating point.

Depending on which source and their claim(s) you listen to, MHI and their overlords are:

  • Inept, since they could have made this deal years ago, and saved millions of dollars in lobbying and costs,
  • Arrogant, for not making a deal, that MHI insiders tell MHProNews was on the table,
  • Playing a shell game, because a few big companies benefit from NOT passing any bill, and they would benefit if the bill passes too. For a select few, either one is ‘win-win.’
  • Deceptive to the small to mid-sized businesses that are the most harmed by this, which has per sources led to more companies that have sold out for less than their true value in a normal business climate, or were forced out of business entirely.
  • Harming many consumers, who really do need honest guidance.

What’s particularly interesting is that Nathan Smith, MHI’s prior chairman, admitted on camera that the association had a history of missed opportunities.  Has that history changed since he made that statement?

Per sources to the Daily Business News about this MHI plan, you can therefore call these maneuvers posturing, a con, hypocrisy, stupidity, arrogance, or any of the other claims and allegations noted herein or in the linked reports.

Whatever you or those sources believe, the end result for thousands of independents is the same.

Independents have been, and are being harmed, when MHI could have made this same deal years ago.

Who will hold MHI and their string-pullers accountable?


And just days ago, MHProNews confirmed with sources at the CFPB that no known meeting has taken place, nor had been scheduled there.  Why not, if they were serious about making these reforms to Dodd-Frank happen?


Inside Scoop Mulvaney-CFPB and MHI, Berkshire Hathaway Company Meeting Detail$


  • No wonder some states have quit MHI,

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

  • Even retired Ross Kinzler – who said in an email to the Daily Business News that he’s doing work for MHEI, an arm of MHI – won’t defend MHI’s legislative agenda,


‘Over Target’ Reactions, WHA Exec (ret) Ross Kinzler, Won’t Defend MHI Policies & Points to Prior MHI Failure


And businesses have reportedly quit MHI too; blogger and NCC co-founder George Allen says he is among them.


On paper, the S 2155 bill is worth supporting for many in the industry.  But who will hold MHI and the forces that control them to account for years of harm already done to the industry and untold thousands of more potential home owners every year?


Part of a memo from 21st Mortgage to their retailers, click the below report for details on this sad chapter in the industry’s history, that arguably led to hundreds of independent businesses, out of business.

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2


Its Easy Being a Cheer Leader, Not as Much Fun to Tell Bad News…

…but how can independents plan and execute, if ‘their’ national association has hidden agendas?

MHProNews gets a volume of calls and messages about such reports – cheers to jeers. We’ve made our mea culpa for being misled ourselves, but once an error is discovered, the best option left is to correct it and then avoid it next time.

But for the sake of independent businesses, someone has to be willing to stand up and speak truth to the industry’s powers, as that truth is known and reported by reliable sources, including those who are or were in MHI.


If we’re mistaken, please – MHI, show us where and how?

Oh, that’s right, your own paid MHI staff leaders won’t publicly defend the official agenda either, will you?





We thank the various industry sources that make these and other such behind-the-scenes reports possible. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, announcements, analysis, commentary.)

Finance Related:

Besides Preserving Access, there are the maneuvers that have taken place for years on the important Duty to Serve (DTS) issue.  Thankfully, the Washington, D.C. based trade group – as opposed to Arlington based MHI – has their eyes on the problematic issues emerging behind the curtain on that topic.

Plot Twist – Duty to Serve – Freddie Mac CEO Layton Called to Accountability w/Congressional, Administration Leaders Over New Manufactured Home Lending Revelations

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

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

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