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Peer Alleges State Execs Crossed Line, “Kissing Ass” Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute, Back-Stabbed MHI Member Reacts

April 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Off the record, but these [other] state associations [in this email thread] have crossed the line with their blind loyalty and kiss a — to Clayton [Homes] and MHI. This is not healthy for the industry well-being and [the] future of the industry,” said one of several news tips received by MHProNews last week.

 

That comment was tied to the embarrassing-for-the-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Clayton Homes viral video on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver entitled, “Mobile Homes.” MHLivingNews did a fact-check that posted said video and unpacked it’s points, hits and misses, in a report linked below.

 

HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check

 

That fact-check on MHLivingNews landed on page 1 of Google early Sunday morning.  That’s relevant, but first the evidence of that factoid.

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More of that email-thread between various state association executives may or may not be reported in the days ahead.   But for this report, we’ll focus on a specific comment about a multi-year Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member by an MHI affiliated state association executive.

That executive?

Amy Bliss, of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

It should be noted that, per sources, MHI monitors those electronic transmissions among the MHEC execs, which is open to most industry trade association staff leaders.  So that ‘monitoring’ by MHI – which sources say are periodically forwarded to Executive Committee members that include Berkshire Hathaway brands – may in various ways influence comments like the one that follows.

It would be somewhat akin to mom and dad monitoring their teenagers’ emails.  Or more to the point, a stern boss overseeing all the messages his staff sent via email.

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Wheat and chaff, fairness, with all people, organizations, and things. Bliss was instrumental in the work of starting and operating the Tomorrow’s Home Foundation, learn more at this link here. That said, what follows isn’t the only questionable behavior by Bliss. See the link here for a recent example.

Here’s what Bliss said, following the screen capture of the email, with her photo added to the top left of her words as an illustration that was not in her original message.  As is the custom here on MHProNews, we’ve turned her direct quote into bold and brown text so it pops.

 

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAllianceExecutiveDirectorAboutROCUSANorthCountryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAlliancePhoto

Photo provided under fair use guidelines for media.

From: Amy Bliss
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Subject: RE: [mhexecs] FW: How Private Investors Are Threatening the Fate of Manufactured Housing

I am very disappointed in two entities that are supposed to be in favor of manufactured housing.  ROC USA and North Country Cooperative both added this John Oliver junk to their facebook page and ROC USA also tweeted it out as if they were sharing good news. This is such an insult to the people that have chosen manufactured housing to live in.  If there were not investor owned communities, they would have no communities to “convert” to resident owned.  Such a shame.

 

Amy Bliss, CAE
Executive Director,
WI Housing Alliance and WI Recreational Vehicle Dealers Alliance

If indeed comments like Bliss’ are monitored by MHI, then why didn’t the Arlington, VA based trade group come to the defense of a member being tagged by Bliss in such a manner?  Normally, an association member would never know – and thus would never have had a chance to respond to on behalf of the themselves and/or the organization being disparaged.  What does this incident say about not just Bliss, but MHI, or some others in MHEC?

Agree or disagree with ROC USA on this or that, but they have first amendment rights – even if Bliss doesn’t care for that protected speech.  MHProNews, once that and other messages were provided by multiple parties, asked for comments from both Bliss and Paul Bradley, ROC USA President.

Bradley replied as follows, his photo is likewise added for illustration purposes, and as with Bliss, we turned his statement to MHProNews and Bliss bold and brown for clarity and emphasis, but his words are unedited.

paulbradleycredtimhpronewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnews

Award winning, Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA.

Hello Tony and Amy,

I am happy to talk directly anytime, Amy, but will respond at this late hour to the two of you here.    

First, it probably goes without saying that I have no control over the independent press or a satirist like John Oliver.  However, as Tony knows, I am always quick to point out that there are many good operators in the business. 

John Oliver focused on the onslaught of aggressive new money in the sector.  The examples of rent hikes cited were alarming and atypical but also real.  I know one of the examples well.  (In fact, I referred that one to Rick Robinson at MHI to handle when Time Magazine called recently.) 

Oliver was making a point about the fate of residents in communities that experience significant rent increases and, as any good debater would, chose stories that best illustrated that point.

He pointed to resident ownership as a way to mitigate such increases by removing MHCs from the speculative real estate market, and we agree that it is.  This was hardly an attack on the homeowners who suffered these hardships — that’s something we would never condone. 

In terms of our sharing it, I am not going to miss an opportunity share the ROC USA story with our followers when we appear on national TV.  I certainly understand the piece is embarrassing to some operators who subscribe to a certain school of thought when it comes to homeowners and MHC ownership. 

I know the three of us actually care about the homeowner experience for both business and basic humanity reasons, and many others do, too.  I believe we all wish it was universal. 

Thank you.  Happy to talk anytime.  Paul

Given several days to respond to Bradley or MHProNews, Bliss said nada in the way of a follow up to this publication. If she did so privately to Bradley, he has not so indicated. From an editorial perspective, Bradley’s reply above – especially give the circumstances – could fairly be described as ‘classy.’

 

Part of a Pattern?

By contrast, Bliss – per sources in the George F. (F?) Allen camp – has supposedly called for a “boycott” of this site last year that Bliss concurred with.  When asked about that claim by MHProNews, Bliss neither confirmed nor denied that allegation lodged by members of Allen’s following.  The reason that is relevant will be made clear.

It is this.  One is left with an impression of Bliss as someone that – at least among her state association peers – wants only the MHI party line.  That’s what seemingly sparked the tips – outrage – like the one comment noted at the top. That comment was not the only one…

That apparent desire for only the MHI party line by Bliss is seemingly true even with respect to another MHI member – i.e. Bradley/ROC USA.  A source with knowledge indicated that ROC USA is a member of the WHA – led by Bliss – not just MHI.

If so, Bliss arguably ‘back stabbed’ a dues paying member of her WHA trade group and a dues payer to MHI.  How does that impact that member’s business interests?  Why did none of the MHEC Execs openly chide her for that in that email thread?  Why did some feel the need to send that and other messages to MHProNews to expose what some other execs are doing to one or more dues paying members?

Because there was another dues paying member of MHI that was likewise mentioned between the state execs.

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Apology or…?

Given the influence that state association executives have with numbers of people in this industry, will Bliss step up and at a minimum, publicly apologize?  If not, what remedial steps should be taken?

Or what about the group messages – which are supposed to be used by the MHExecs to discuss issues faced by members, such as zoning, legal, or legislative issues.  That list’s use presumably ought not include slamming members of the industry’s trade groups by those they pay dues too.

 

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It must not be thought that just because Warren Buffett happens to be a staunch Democrat, that all other Democrats are like him. Or because Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway lending affiliates has purportedly done dark deeds, that everyone that works there are the same. There is good, bad, and meh in all people, organizations, associations, etc. One must fairly discern ‘wheat and chaff’ – what’s good and not – in individuals, people, and organizations. Each of us has been tempted to do good, evil, or nothing while evil occurred. There is a path for successful, profitable, honorable resistance.   Watch for an upcoming special report – Facts, Foul Play, Fear, and Freedom.

 

Even More Important?

Perhaps as or more important, what has Bliss, other execs, MHI, or others done to respond in a constructive way to the John Oliver video on “Mobile Homes?”  That HBO/Oliver video, when properly understood, disparages specific larger MHI members.  Has Bliss taken any of them to task, given it was logically their purported behavior that fueled Oliver’s sharp satirical commentary?  ROC USA might benefit from Oliver’s video, but they are not the focus of HBO’s sharp satirical attack.

If any state execs took MHI to task in a public way, that has not yet been provided to MHProNews.  That said, several are disgusted enough to share with MHProNews what was shared.

  • Time will tell if Bliss has the chutzpah to stand up to the powers-that-be in a manner even modestly analogous to what she did with ROC USA and North Country.
  • The industry will also see if Bliss – or any state exec – asks the powers-that-be to behave in ways that might avoid such harmful and embarrassing mainstream media commentary, satirical or otherwise.

Finally, as the articles linked below the byline make clear, Warren Buffett’s ‘follow the money-trail’ leads one to a reasonable conclusion that he has helped fund MHAction through ‘dark money’ channels. Will Bliss and her state association colleagues hold Buffett, the Berkshire brands, and others accountable for business practices that harm the image of an already struggling industry?

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It isn’t just the MMHF states. 7 of the top 10 states in manufactured housing shipments are reporting declines. At what point will MHI – the self proclaimed representative of “all segments of factory-built housing” actually do something useful to reverse this troubling trend? Or will they reveal by inaction that they are allowing it, perhaps with the goal of causing more independents to sell out to big boys, or close shop?

 

Other reports that correct the record, debunk, and/or jujitsu key concerns on that issue are linked from the report below the byline and notices. That’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Thorns and Roses In Manufactured Home Community Controversy

February 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Affordable housing is in crisis in much of America. Manufactured homes are the most proven solution that has been hiding in plain sight for decades.

 

 

As a recent report reminded readers, there were numerous third-party organizations and media reports in 2018 alone that to various degrees made the case for manufactured homes.

A focus group video of manufactured home owners, plus numerous real – vs. staged – interviews over the years demonstrate that the owners of pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-HUD Code manufactured homes routinely love their homes. 

Tiny houses get tons of media love. So do RVs. But manufactured homes are less costly per square foot than either of those two options. Conventional housing isn’t perfect either, as mainstream media reports reflect.

 

Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

 

So, given each of those realites, how does one explain why manufactured homes are not more widely embraced?

As the Daily Business News on MHProNews reader ponders that question, mindful that research studies prove those points, turn to the next item.

Manufactured home communities (MHCs) are a useful part of that affordable housing solution.

MHCs have been increasingly in demand among investors for a decade or so. With few new MHCs coming on-line in recent years, and with thousands that have closed for various reasons, given the law of supply and demand, the property values on remaining MHCs have been steadily rising.

That in turn means rising site fees in MHCs, which has often sparked a hue and cry among resident-activists. 

The combination of factors has prompted a steady growth in the movement for residents owned communities or ROCs. 

While support for ROCs can span the left-right divide, it is fair to say that anecdotally, more support tends to come from those who self-identify with the political left.  

There are numerous currents and eddies that influences public perceptions about manufactured homes and communities. Despite the rollout of this or that previous effort by MHI, Clayton Homes, or others, the following reality is clear.

Manufactured homes are not connecting with the broad swatches of the public. That’s indisputably proven by the low total new home production numbers. It’s a post-production Issue.

Now, what to do about reality?

 

#NobleNotMobile? 

In a stated desire to boost public perceptions, ROC USA launched the #NobleNotMobile effort. The jury is still out, but so far, there’s not a lot of visible traction. That said, the notion is, well, a noble one. It is certainly better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

There are a number of resident groups in the U.S. ROCs are a standard staple in their narratives. 

Then, there are manufactured home post-production associations that have a stake in the image of the industry.

Given the collective poor performance in new home sales of any number of states, or the low national production totals of HUD Code manufactured homes, one might think that MHI, Clayton, et al, would awaken to the notion that public perceptions matter.

Indeed, their leaders have said that they do.

For those realists who grasp that public perception is an issue, consider the publicly posted comments that follow. 

 PublicCommentsMillieFranicsControversyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 VirginMaryOurLadyofGuadalupeMilleFrancisBradentonTropicalPalmsDalyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Those are a sampling of what has been posted on articles about the Millie Francis religious art controversy.

When Francis was asked by MHProNews if she thought this would be an issue if the painting where a menorah, a Star of David, a painting of Buddha or the prophet Mohamed, she replied “Absolutely not.” She is convinced that an element of this issue is what is painted. Given the examples of angels or other religious art in the same community, one might wonder.

Industry feedback has been mixed.

But consider this comment from the community sector, “Tony, Brian Gallagher is right in saying that we in the community business have residents with religious or secular art visible outdoors year round. The additional details from that [mainstream news] story [Tony] posted [on LinkedIn] makes it clear to me just how wrong the Bradenton Tropical Palms seem to be.”

Others may say that they care, but they also say that for this or that reason, they don’t want to get involved in this specific controversy.

Why not? Is it because religion is involved? Doesn’t that topic resonate with potentially millions of Americans our industry may want to attract?  Or would we rather turn that – and other target audiences off – by allowing this Bradenton Tropical Palms/ROC issue to fester?

Meanwhile, the Millie Francis saga rolls on. There is every reason to expect more mainstream news stories, like the one below, or perhaps more reports that have less balance that could make the matter worse. Take five, click the image or link, and read it.

 

Thorns and Roses in MHVille

Various species of natural roses have thorns. With one in 3 new manufactured homes, per MHI, going into land lease communities and with large numbers of vacant sites still awaiting residents, one might think that MHI or their NCC would have acted to nip-in-the-bud stories like this one about Francis. 

No one is saying that MHI, ROCs, resident groups – or anyone other than the Bradenton Tropical Palms, Vanguard Management or the Knox and Levine law firm – have caused the current state of affairs for Millie Francis, based upon the currently known information. 

But just as one may stop to help an injured stranger, isn’t there wisdom in trying to sort out how this matter might be brought to a positive end that could turn negatives into a positive?

At Valentines, some clip the thorns off roses before they are given to a loved one. Why hasn’t one or more of the industry’s leaders stood up to the plate, and turned a problem into an opportunity?

 

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

 

Publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s commentary on this topic is linked above. More details are found linked below the byline, offers, and notices.   manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

 

State-Level Data Provided for Total Manufactured Home Shipments in 5 Key States for 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

January 23rd, 2019 Comments off

BiggestManufacturedHomeLivingStoryMilleFrancisOurLadyofGuadalupeMobileHomeartReligiousLibertyHeatintoMediationArbitrationLitgationMHProNews

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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The Millie Francis, Our Lady of Guadalupe Drama Synopsis 

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

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

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

 

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

 

DolphinBradentonTropicalPalmsMillieFrancisOurLadyofGuadalupeManufacturedHomeCommunityMHProNews

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Behind the Veil of the Media Narrative

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

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

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

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

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

 

2019-01-23_0515MillieFrancisBradentonTropicalPalmsSearchResultsManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews

 

Mediation? Arbitration? Litigation?

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Disclosure

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

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

 

DrudgeReportMillieFrancisOurLadyOfGuadalupeArtPaintingManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLATonyKovach

 

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

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

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

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

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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

 

Sense of Urgency?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

 

Related References:

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

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

 

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

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

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MHARR, ROC USA, Canadian Association Weigh-In On Disney “Trailers” Controversy

December 28th, 2018 Comments off

 

MHARRROCUSAMHPOCanadianAssocWeighInDisneySpringsTrailersControversyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There is a school of thought that the only way to effect change in addressing stereotypes, prejudice, and other forms of misinformation is to push for a change with the appropriate organizations and institutions that misuse a term.

 

Tim Williams, President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp and former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Chairman acknowledged that viewpoint in writing to MHProNews in these words.

 

 

It came to the attention of MHProNews recently that nearby Disney in Orlando are using modular units on their Disney Springs property that are inappropriately labeled as “trailers.” To see that full Daily Business News post, see the Related Reports, further below the byline and disclaimers at the end of this post.

MHProNews’ publisher reached out to Disney via two different contact points.  Disney confirmed receipt, but have not yet made a formal reply to the issue, which they said could be expected next week.

Three other industry organizations have directly sounded off on this issue to Disney, copying MHProNews in their message.  What follows will be all three of those respective organization’s messages.

 

 

The View on Disney’s Misuse of the Term ‘Trailer’ from MHARR

The Washington, DC based Manufactured Housing Association for a Regulatory Reform (MHARR) President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, sent his own message to Disney.  It was short, and to the point. It reads as follows, between the — lines.  The photo below was added here to identify the writer.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsDisney Springs Media and Guest Relations:

Tony Kovach at MHProNews, as noted below, is correct, Disney’s use of the term “trailer” in this matter is problematic and offensive to many.  Please consider the corrective steps he suggested.

Thank you.

Mark Weiss

President & CEO

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Suite 512

Washington, D.C. 20004

Phone: 202/783-4087

Fax: 202/783-4075

Email: MHARRDG@AOL.COM

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org

 

MHPO, a Canadian Trade Group Representing Manufactured Home Communities

AlKempExecutiveDirectorMHPOManufacturedHomeParkOwnersBCCanadaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews utilizing MHPO images under fair use guidelines.

Hello [Disney],

The link below was drawn to my attention and it demands a response.

By way of introduction, I am the Executive Director of the Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of British Columbia (Canada).

Our nearly 400 members provide homes for over 60,000 British Columbia households – seniors, singles, professionals, and young couples embarking on home ownership.

Similar to the USA HUD requirements, all manufactured homes built in Canada are constructed to a federal standard (Z240) that means they are 2×4 or 2×6 construction with strong frames and roofs, full insulation, sheetrock walls – and can accommodate king size beds and jacuzzis!

The terms “trailer” and “trailer parks” are inaccurate and offensive to manufactured home community owners and home owners.  Manufactured homes are seldom moved once they are placed on a site in the community.  Manufactured home residents are a unique breed in that – unlike in a condo or rental apartment building – they generally know all or many of their neighbours, watch out for each other, care for each others’ homes when a neighbour is on vacation, and hold community events such as bingo nights, potluck dinners, etc.

Every community owner and park owner will be quick to tell you that trailers haul beer and cattle; manufactured homes provide an affordable and desirable home ownership alternative.

Many Canadians enjoy travelog to Disneyland and Disneyworld.  Many Canadians live in manufactured homes.  In the interests of maintaining Disney’s positive reputation, please request your organization to remove the “T-word” from all manufactured homes.

I would welcome confirmation from you and would be pleased to report to our members in our magazine that Disney has removed this offensive word from their buildings.

. . . . Al Kemp

info@mhpo.com

250-213-2617

 

 

From New Hampshire, ROC USA Leader Reacts

ROC USA has weighed in on this topic too.  As in the above, the Daily Business News on MHProNews is adding Paul Bradley’s photo, which was not in the original message to Disney. Here’s between the lines is the message today from Paul Bradley, President of ROC USA to Disney.

paul-bradley-jerry-voorhis-memorial-award-2014Dear Disney staff,

What Tony highlights here is a real issue – the stigma associated with factory-built housing, especially HUD-code Manufactured Housing – is inaccurate as well as hurtful to many of your customers.

Case in point:  We highlighted a homeowner in a video last Spring who after touring the viewer around her home, she said (something to this effect):  “We were excited so we sent out invitations for an Open House.  A friend called and said, ‘Why are you having an open house, you only bought a trailer.’”

Take a look, it’s a house and it’s home to her and her family – see video on top left of our homepage at www.rocusa.org.  It just happens to be a Manufactured Home.

We and the 79 co-op leaders at our Leadership Institute were so moved by the video that we decided to put up hard earned cash to tackle stigma through a video competition.  It’s running right now.  We invite Disney to enter!  Please share with your staff.  https://www.noblenotmobile.com/

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.

Paul Bradley, President,

ROC USA

6 Loudon Road, Suite 501

Concord, NH 03301

 

 

The Word to Disney from MHProNews Publisher

Here between the — lines below is how L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, award-winning manufactured home industry veteran and publisher of MHProNews/MHLivingNews addressed Disney.

LATonyKovachMHLivingnewsMHProNewsPHotoDisney Springs Media and Guest Relations,

Let me bring to your attention the issue described in the article posted at the link below.

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/disney-utilizes-inaccurate-prejudicial-terminology-trailer-offensive-to-factory-builders-homeowners/

The article should be self explanatory, but briefly. The term “trailer” here is inaccurate, and in the view of thousands of industry professionals, offensive in this context. While it may be ‘common,’ it is still wrong – as the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. – a veteran of the civil rights movement – aptly explains in the article linked above.

The term used in this manner is likewise a sore point for millions of mobile and manufactured home owners.

I’m cc’ing a few select industry colleagues in this message, to make them aware of this issue, and to hereby advise them that it is being formally brought to Disney’s attention for correction.  While we don’t speak for those other organizations, my hunch is that they will look at this vexing matter described in the post linked above in a similar way.  A few other business leaders in our industry are also bcc’d.

Please confirm your receipt of this message. Kindly advise me of what remedial steps you plan, and let us know if your comments – which we prefer by email for clarity of thought, accuracy, and ease of transcription – are on or off the record. I’d invite you to “reply all.”

We hope that this instance is merely a case of misinformation or misunderstanding, and that you will take this opportunity to correct the error in an appropriate manner. Either way, we will do a follow up report for our readers, that reflects your reply and hopefully corrective steps. Thank you.

Respectfully,

Tony

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

Connect on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

+++

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

 

 

It’s the Holidays, So Far, Not Much from Disney, But More is Promised 

There has been a message to MHProNews from Disney promising a formal reply sometime next week.

There is another trade group that could weigh in next week, we’ll see.  It should be noted that Al Kemp took time away from his Hawaiian vacation to thoughtfully provide the comments above.  That said, Al and his office associate advised our publisher that had Kemp been unavailable, the MHPO would still have provided a comment from another association professional.

Put differently, the MHPO – and the others above – all see this as an important issue.

As industry professionals consider the latest new home shipments, it ought to be clear that terminology impacts stigma, our homeowners and potential consumers. This is frankly the kind of thing that a post-production association, such as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) ought to be dealing with.  But heretofore, despite what Tim Williams said above, MHI has done so only sporadically, if at all.  We’ll plan to reach out and see if  MHI will make an exception, and dive into this Disney issue, or not. Either way, it will be insightful.

This is also the kind of issue that resident home owner groups may also consider taking to heart, because it impacts their residents in a variety of ways.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-768x318

MHProNews will encourage those noted above to provide their comments on this Disney controversy. Time will tell if Disney is as senstiveto our home owners and industry as they would be toward other minority groups.  The Daily Business News on MHProNews will update readers as appropriate. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Disney Utilizes Inaccurate, Prejudicial Terminology “Trailer” Offensive to Factory-Builders, Homeowners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Radio, State Research Says “Manufactured Homes Could be Opportunity in Affordable Housing Crisis”

July 26th, 2018 Comments off

 

VTPublicRadioRichmondVAResearchSaysManufacturedHomescouldBeOpportunityInAffordableHousingCrisisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax held a series of community meetings on the eviction crisis recently, says Virginia’s Public Radio (VPR) to the Daily Business News.

 

JustinFairfaxVALtGovManufacturedHOusingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

VA Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax.

The underlying problem?

A lack of affordable housing.  “Now some advocates think manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, could be a part of the solution,” wrote Mallory Noe-Payne, for VPR.

According to a recent National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) study, someone making minimum wage in Richmond or Charlottesville would have to work more than 100 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

That NLIHC graphic is shown below.

 

NLIHCNatlLowIncomeHousingCoalitionHowMuchToPayForRentByStateHourlyPayMHProNewsDailyBusinessNews

Bob Adams, with Housing and Development Advisors, said that manufactured homes represent an affordable path to housing.

There’s no one who’s coming in and questioning what you do in your own home,” Adams said, as he argued the case for owning a manufactured home vs. rentals. “A lot of families find that living in manufactured housing communities is very desirable and more desirable than being in a traditional apartment community.”

RegionalDistributionofManufacturedHousingRicmondSMAMetroVADailyManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Slide from Bob Adams, with Housing and Development Advisors, research study.

Manufactured homes have become more durable and energy efficient,” said Noe-Payne, pointing to Adam’s research.

ManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWVTFVirginaPublicRadioRichmondVAMHProNews

Manufactured home on privately owned land. Still from WVTF, Public Radio.

According to research Adams presented to a group of lawmakers Wednesday, almost 60,000 people already live in manufactured housing in the Richmond metro area alone.”  More precisely, that’s a mix of mobile homes and manufactured homes.

Senator Mamie Locke says she sees the opportunity. “But we have to get a handle on making sure that individuals who are in manufactured homes also get a good deal on the parks where they’re located,” she said, a refrain that’s often heard from advocate groups, such as Prosperity Now.

VPR said that “One possibility is turning to nonprofits. There’s already a growing trend in Virginia of charities buying and redeveloping manufactured home parks.”

On the one hand, the report is overall positive.  Similar to the report noted from CityLabs last week, a common refrain is that resident ownership is popular among many advocates.

CityLabs Spotlights ROC USA’s Bright Communities Brand, Lessons for Manufactured Home Professionals, Investors

Paul Bradley, with ROC USA has told MHProNews that their capacity to do conversions is increasing.  But they still can’t handle all of the potential conversions.  Furthermore, thousands of communities will never be converted to ROC status.

MidPerformers2ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesRIchmondVAmetroManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Adam’s report shows three different levels of quality for communities. This is a mid-level range community of affordable manufactured housing.

There’s a significant opportunity for manufactured home communities that are ‘investor owned’ to brand or rebrand themselves in more positive ways.

TopPerformersManufacturedHomeCommunitiesRIchmondVAmetroManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

A “top performing” community in Adam’s research of Richmond, VA area communities.

ROC’s Bradley has noted that a number of operations that he personally knows are well run, and are mindful of their residents.

RecommendationsbyBobAdamsHousingDevelopmentAdvisorsRichmondVAMobileHomeManufacturedhm,eDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

From Bob Adam’s report of Richmond metro area communities. This is a mobile home that is 4 plus decades old.

The challenge for the industry at large is that much of the media reports are slanted against them, due in part to protests from activist groups such as MHAction or NMHOA. For more on those groups, see the related resources, linked below.

ResearchApproachBobAdamsHousingDevelopmentAdvisorsMobileManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Part of Adam’s research PowerPoint. The full report is linked below.

 

Competing Trends?

There are competing trends found in mainstream media. On the one hand, there is a steady rise of positive reports, like the one from the National Association of Realtors, linked in the related reports, further below.

But regrettably, far more common are the problematic reports about pre-HUD Code mobile homes, or post HUD Code manufactured homes.

“Even When We Had a Hurricane, It Wasn’t This Bad,” Profitably Decoding Post-Windstorm, Survivor of Possible Tornadoes Statement, Impacting Manufactured Home Community, Manufactured Housing Industry

It is incumbent upon the industry to get to the root issues, which often comes down to positive industry engagement with researchers and media.

Finally, the industry must engage to insure that affordable housing seekers aren’t left with an false impression that site-built housing is necessarily superior. While Bob Adam’s report doesn’t make that point, industry professionals must learn to make and repeat the facts that underscore the value proposition of today’s manufactured homes.

Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

The D.R. Horton reports, the public one above the professional version further below, are reminders of why manufactured home producers and owners can and should feel proud of the value that the industry’s been producing for years.

Bob Adam’s entire report can be downloaded here. © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reports:

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

The case below includes a point that reflects NMHOA activities.

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

Realtor University, Journal for the Center of Real Estate Studies, Makes Corrections– “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” by Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE

Road to Zero Wealth, Fisking Prosperity Now, Institute for Policy Studies Report

Nine-Woman Board Leads Record-Breaking Manufactured Home Community Purchase

October 20th, 2017 Comments off

HalifaxEstatesResidentOwnedCommunityROCUSACooperativeManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIt’s a record.

In an industry often dominated by men, it’s women who took the leadership role.

Homeowners in Halifax Estates closed recently on the largest-ever reported limited equity manufactured home cooperative purchase.  The move provided pride and enhanced security to the community’s 700 retirement-age residents who live there, per a release from ROC USA to MHProNews

The $27 million purchase “is certainly a milestone in the cooperative and manufactured housing sectors, the impact is life changing for the people who live in the 430 homes in Halifax Estates,” said ROC USA’s Mike Bullard.

Nancy Froio, president of the residents association that purchased Halifax Estates, and her husband downsized into Halifax more than 12 years ago and fell in love with the community,” Bullard’s statement said. “A widow for nine years now, Froio is thankful that her neighborhood won’t be sold again now that she and her neighbors own it.”

The resident association has purchased the community for $27 million with assistance from Cooperative Development Institute. CDI is a certified technical assistance provider with ROC USA® Network,” per ROC USA.

Mike_Bullard_Marketing_and_Communications_Mgr_at_ROC_USA

Mike Bullard. Credit: Linkedin.

ROC USA is a non-profit that works nationally through a network of nine such technical assistance providers to assist residents of for-sale mobile home parks form resident corporations and buy their communities cooperatively,” stated Bullard. ”Technical assistance will continue to be provided by CDI to the association for the length of the mortgage — a minimum of 10 years.”

The Daily Business News is told that the Halifax Estates is the 18th Massachusetts community supported by ROC USA Network and the 210th nationwide. There are nine technical assistance providers in ROC USA Network work with 13,500 households in 14 states.

In these democratic resident-owned communities (ROCs), homeowners each buy one low-cost membership interest. Each household has one vote on matters of the community. The members elect a Board of Directors to act on day-to-day issues and vote as a membership on larger matters like the annual budget, bylaws and community rules,” per ROC USA.

The network prides itself on being able to perform on a commercial basis and competitively with the market at large, per prior interviews between MHProNews and ROC USA President, Paul Bradley.

Financing for the project came from ROC USA® Capital in collaboration from TD Bank, Bank of America, Boston Community Capital and Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund,” said Bullard. “ROC USA Capital is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ROC USA and a U.S. Department of Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution. “

For their full release, click here. ## (News, analysis.)

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

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

MHC Video Interview on Cohesion, Brand, and Manufactured Housing Industry Advancement

August 22nd, 2017 Comments off
PaulBradleyROCUSALATonyKovachManufacturedHomeIndustryCohesionImage

Paul Bradley, left, L. A. “Tony” Kovach, right. Still from Inside MH video, credits, ManufacturedHomes, MHProNews.com.

The video interviews that MHProNews or MHLivingNews has provided over the years are geared toward shedding light on real-world manufactured housing industry issues.

Those videos are done with professionals, experts, and home owners. While the focus is understood with those being interviewed – some aspect(s) of manufactured homes – the videos aren’t scripted.

That makes it useful to the professional, public officials, investors – and when appropriate – to shoppers.

In this flashback video report, ROC USA President Paul Bradley talks about:

industry cohesion,
community closures,
the industry brand and image,
relationship with home owners in communities,
making transactions that are commercially viable,
cap rates and commercial appraisals,
which portfolio operators Bradly admires,
Randy Rowe,
the need for strong value proposition,
non-profits and for-profits, the time frame to close a deal, social ventures – the middle space and more.

MorningStarCooperativeROCUSANeighborWorksMTManufacturedHousingIndustryReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-768x389

Since this video was done, the organization has grown substantially, see a recent story, linked here.

 

 

Bradley has been an advocate for fighting fake news about the industry, while still calling upon the industry to take steps that harm the industry’s image.

ROCUSACooperativesFacebookPageManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-575x218

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis.)

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Kalispell’s Morning Star Opted for ROC Status

June 14th, 2017 Comments off

ROCUSACooperativesFacebookPageManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsCongratulations to all the Members of Morning Star. A job well done by you and NeighborWorks Montana! Welcome to the ROC USA family of 202 Resident-Owned Communities,” reads the post on the ROC USA Facebook page.

The Daily Interlake reports that Kalispell, Montana’s Morning Star community has closed on their resident-ownership loan.  The $1.55 million dollar deal is a step toward greater control over their financial future, says ROC USA and the Daily Interlake.

Morning Star Community Homes is the second resident-owned community in Kalispell — and the 202nd such community in the United States. It has 41 mobile homes [sic] and is located on South Woodland Drive, next to Green Acres, which became the first resident-owned community in the Flathead Valley six years ago,” said Lynnette Hintze.

When Morning Star’s owner, Tim Ohler, decided to sell his land-lease community, he contacted NeighborWorks Montana about creating a resident-owned community, states Danielle Maiden.

Maiden is a cooperative housing specialist with NeighborWorks.

MorningStarCooperativeROCUSANeighborWorksMTManufacturedHousingIndustryReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The owner knew about Green Acres and when he got ready to sell he reached out to us,” Maiden said. “We came in and knocked on doors and told them what we could offer.

NeighborworksMTphotocreditNeighborworksMTdailyBusinessNewsMHPRoNEws

Office of NeighborWorks. MT. Credit NeighborWorks.

We have a special structure [that] makes it so their down payment is membership in the cooperative,” Maiden said. She said what the residents, and the seller, believe too, “It’s a really amazing program.”

Daily Interlake states there’s a $100 one-time membership fee to belong to the resident-owned community. That fee is refunded when a home owner moves out of the community. Incoming residents are required to belong to the cooperative.

Its first successful ROC project was with homeowners in Mountain Springs Villa in Red Lodge. There are reportedly now eight resident-owned communities in Montana. Others include two in Missoula, two in Great Falls and one in Pablo. ##

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Residents Face Risks Leaving Manufactured Home Community

May 31st, 2017 Comments off
creditTheColoradoan-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A resident mows his grass in the community. Credit: The Coloradoan.

When a manufactured home community gets “lost in the shuffle,” it could be an issue with a bad actor, community activists, or a shutdown.

In the case of the Poudre Valley Mobile Home Park just north of Fort Collins, Colorado, getting lost in the shuffle involves a 1000-foot stretch of road known as “the gap.”

According to the Coloradoan, the redevelopment of the main thoroughfare on which the community sits has left the thousand foot stretch of road in front of it, the sole entry and exit point, without sidewalks or bike lanes… critical connection points for pedestrians to safely access amenities and social services just down the road.

One time, I crossed the road when the walk sign came on and here comes a big ole truck who didn’t look at the light, and he almost hit me,” said resident Abe Ramos Jr., who is in a wheelchair, when describing his version of the game “Frogger.”

Another time, another car almost hit me because of the same reason.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said that, due to the planning of projects, the work in front of the community has to happen now because that’s where the road narrows from four to two lanes.

creditTheColoradoan-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews4

A portion of “the gap.” Credit: The Coloradoan.

It’s an area where it requires coordination with the city and the county and the state,” Fort Collins capital projects manager Dean Klingner said.

Fort Collins, Larimer County and CDOT — are now working together to fix the problem.

Until they can, the struggle continues for pedestrians and cyclists.

Our bike advocacy and our commitment to a platinum, bike-friendly community is really uneven,” said Chris Johnson, executive director of the transportation advocacy nonprofit Bike Fort Collins.

A lot of the people who make policies and set the advocacy agenda probably mostly live within a mile of Mountain Avenue and are white and upper-middle class.”

creditTheColoradoan-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews2

Credit: The Coloradoan.

As the city of Fort Collins grows, it’s left with tough questions, including what happens to affordable housing communities on the outskirts of town? Will communities such as Poudre Valley be able to survive as development happens all around them?

Manufactured Housing Industry Pros Speak

jay-hamiltong-executive-director-georgia-manufactured-housing-association-gmha-posted-mhpronews-com1-1

Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

What are communities, and community owners to do when progress comes knocking?

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments,” Jay Hamilton, Georgia Manufactured Housing Associations’ executive director told MHProNews, “property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.”

The struggle over community owner’s property rights vs. land-lease community resident rights continues. Equity LifeStyle Communities Chairman Sam Zell’s view, published exclusively on MHProNews on that topic, are linked here.

paul bradley roc usa founder fosters.com cedit

Paul Bradley. photo credit: Fosters.

In commenting on such cases, ROC USA President Paul Bradley told MHProNews, “How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities? It’s like selling tickets to a zoo where ‘only 1 in a 100 are eaten by the lions!’ ##

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

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

 

(Copyright Notice: This and all content on MHProNews and MHLivingNews always have been and are Copyrighted, © 2017 by MHProNews.com a dba of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – All Rights Reserved. No duplication is permitted without specific written permission. Headlines with link-backs are of course ok. A short-quoted clip, with proper attribution and link back to the specific article are also ok – but you must send a notice to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com of the exact page you’ve placed/posted such a use, once posted.)

UPDATE: Manufactured Home Community Saved

May 19th, 2017 Comments off
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Buena Vista Mobile Home Park. Credit: NBC Bay Area.

In a hotly contested property rights versus residents rights case, originally covered by the Daily Business News in September, and then again in December, the five-year journey for residents of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto, California has come to a favorable end for all parties.

In a case that received national attention, the community, which was the last manufactured home community, and one of the last affordable housing options in the Silicon Valley city, was moving towards closure, as owner Tim Jisser had filed documents with the city to do so.

On Thursday, Buena Vista residents received word that a deal had been reached to keep the community, and its residents, in place

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the deal will place the 4.5-acre community’s property in the hands of the Housing Authority of Santa Clara County, which partnered with Santa Clara County and the city of Palo Alto to make a $40 million offer to the Jisser family.

Residents, who were concerned about having to relocate in an area where rents can reach $4000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, were concerned that they would end up having to move far away from the city because they could not afford the cost of living.

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Residents protesting the closure. Photo credit, Palo Alto Online.

I didn’t know how or where I would have moved his family, including my 7-month-old son,” said resident Henry Ayala.

It’s good to hear that we can stay. Anywhere that’s affordable is going to be in the valley, Modesto, Tracy [40 to 50 miles] — too far away.”

Previously, the Jisser family had turned down a $36 million offer for the property.

We are pleased we reached this settlement,” the family said in a statement.

(The settlement) will enable the families to stay here and also allow the housing authority to pursue the park’s renovation and upgrade.”

Joe Simitian, a Santa Clara County Supervisor, had long worked to save the community and was very pleased with the outcome.

Residents celebrate the decision. Credit: San Jose Mercury News.

This is a great, great day. The agreement preserves more than 100 units of desperately needed affordable housing, prevents evictions of low-income residents and gives the property owner a fair shake,” said Simitian.

At one level, this was a test… a test of whether or not our region remains a place of inclusivity and opportunity. In this instance, at least, I’m gratified to say we passed the test.”

Simitian said that negotiations over the value of the property took about four months, and the settlement avoided a much more difficult course of action.

It is important to note that the $40 million obviated the need for eminent domain,” said Simitian. “And now we have results sooner rather than later.”

Resident Rose Rocha, who says she plans to retire in the community, feels that the settlement is a blessing for many.

It’s been a long struggle for everybody,” said Rocha.

A lot of people who live here, work here: Stanford, the schools. And many are barely making it, struggling to make payments. I know I’ve donated to families to help out now and then.”

 

MH Industry Professional Speak

 

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments,” Jay Hamilton, Georgia Manufactured Housing Associations’ executive director told MHProNews, “property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.”

The struggle over community owner’s property rights vs. land-lease community resident rights continues. Equity LifeStyle Communities Chairman Sam Zell’s view, published exclusively on MHProNews on that topic, are linked here.

In commenting on such cases, ROC USA President Paul Bradley told MHProNews, “How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities? It’s like selling tickets to a zoo where ‘only 1 in a 100 are eaten by the lions!’

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Paul Bradley. photo credit: Fosters.

Bradley believes that the community sector should identify those communities that may be subject to closure and redevelopment, and differentiate them between those land-lease locations that have no plans to be anything but a manufactured home community; see his statement, linked here. ##

 

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

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

 

(Copyright Notice: This and all content on MHProNews and MHLivingNews always have been and are Copyrighted, © 2017 by MHProNews.com a dba of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – All Rights Reserved. No duplication is permitted without specific written permission. Headlines with link-backs are of course ok. A short-quoted clip, with proper attribution and link back to the specific article are also ok – but you must send a notice to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com of the exact page you’ve placed/posted such a use, once posted.)