Posts Tagged ‘Solution’

“FEAR, Manufactured Homes, and a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis,” Special

June 12th, 2018 Comments off


Popular ValuePenguin recently featured a column on manufactured homes entitled, “Fear, Manufactured Homes and a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis.”

It opens with, “Fear affects decision-making every day. But often, “fear” is an acronym for “false evidence appearing real.” Our research indicates that the solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in sight, but fear and prejudice have kept it from being widely embraced.”

This “ValuePenguin op-ed, manufactured home experts Tom Egelhoff and L. A. “Tony” Kovach explain why fear and prejudice are keeping a key solution to the affordable housing crisis from being widely embraced.”

The article linked below sparked the team work between “Tom and Tony.”

Talk Radio “Open for Business Host” Tom Egelhoff Sounds Off On “MOBILE HOMES” as “AFFORDABLE HOUSING ANSWER”

The pro-industry article by “Tom and Tony” can be read in its entirety at this link here, or at the link below.

Enjoy, and share the good word about today’s manufactured homes. ## (News, analysis, 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

Billionaire Sees Shipping Containers as Homeless Solution

April 11th, 2017 Comments off

Homeless encampment residents watch it being destroyed in San Jose, CA. Credit: Bloomberg.

In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, housing, along with most everything else, is very expensive. In many cities in the region, this disparity creates a toxic combination: an affordable housing crunch and rampant homelessness.

A billionaire in the area believes that the solution lies in repurposing shipping containers.

According to HousingWire, Santa Clara based real estate developer John Sobrato recently unveiled a proposal to build 200 micro apartments for both homeless and low-income renters, utilizing shipping containers, turning them into units between 160 and 240 square feet with kitchenettes and bathrooms with showers.

I think it’s time to turn my attention to creating a very cost-effective solution to housing the homeless and very low-income people,” said Sobrato.


John Sabrato. Credit: Forbes.

Instead of sleeping in a pup tent or under an overpass, Santa Clara homeless folks will have a clean, dignified, safe place to call home.”

Sobrato plans to lease a 2.5-acre plot of city-owned land three miles from the San Francisco 49ers football stadium, which the city acquired in 2005 with the intention of creating affordable housing.

Funding for that plan fell through, and in October of last year Sobrato approached the city with his idea.

Per Bloomberg, Sobrato asked for a 57-year lease at the cost of $1 a year. In return, his group, the Sobrato Organization, would build and own the apartments, then lease them back to Santa Clara County, which would hire property management and homeless service providers.


The proposed area for development. Credits: Google, The Petition Site.

The project, called Innovation Place, would be projected to open in 2018, with half of the apartments being rented to the homeless, and the other half being made available to renters earning between 50 and 80 percent of the area’s median income.



While many see Sobrato’s idea as noble, there are those that disagree. An anonymous petition began to circulate shortly after Sobrato presented his plan, and has 852 supporters.

While some may disagree, the numbers show that the need for affordable housing is the state is dire: 17 ballot measures were on the ballot last November dealing with affordable housing.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of potential NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) stories recently, where current residents appear to be working to keep manufactured homes or other affordable housing options for communities out.

Most notable is the case in Aiken, South Carolinawhere Councilman Danny Feagin was quoted as saying “As long as it keeps the mobile home parks [sic] out, I think the folks would be satisfied,” in relation to a proposed rezoning ordinance.

For more on shipping containers being used to solve the growing affordable housing crisis around the world, click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Modular Housing Serves as Affordable Housing Solution

March 29th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: 24 Housing.

The trend of municipalities turning to manufactured and modular homes as a solution to housing shortages continues to grow.

In the U.K., recently completed modular housing developments have been slated to serve first time homebuyers and workers in South London.

According to 24 Housing, Vision Modular Systems, in partnership with construction firm Donban Contracting, has completed two finished blocks of modular housing, and turned them over to Pocket Living, an affordable housing provider that only sells to first-time buyers.

Partnering with Pocket Living on multiple projects has allowed us to deliver vital new housing for first-time buyers and key workers who underpin the very fabric of our cities,said Kieran White, managing director at Vision Modular Systems.

Built using 162 modules, the homes were constructed inside a factory in Bedford using production-line techniques, which, as Daily Business News readers are already aware, allows for better quality control, faster delivery, reduction of waste and contributes to  higher levels of energy efficiency.


A prefab home in progress on site. Credit: Reuters.

All of the buildings that Pocket Living operates are community focused, with shared spaces, including roof terraces. Tim Western, a director at U.K. property giant JLL, who believes modular is the way forward, has proposed a similar plan.

Off-site construction in the UK is growing 25 percent per year. This technique results in a 30 percent reduction in build time, a 75 percent reduction in workforce and 40 percent less vehicle movements, meaning that modular housing is likely to drive a huge change in how homes get built over the next five years, said Western.

Homes manufactured like cars, in other words off-site in a factory, with the opportunity to pick and choose what goes into a basic structure, will bring ‘car quality’ to the market.

Traditional site built developments of this scale in the U.K. can take up to two years to complete, putting additional pressure on housing inventory. Modular provides a practical solution to the problem.

Getting high-quality homes built quickly is key to solving the housing crisis. Modular techniques will play an increasingly important role in meeting this challenge and, through our partnership with Donban and Vision Modular, over a quarter of Pocket’s future pipeline will be built through modular construction,” said Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket Living.

For modular to really take off as a viable construction method, the government and lenders should look at making it easier for SMEs to access the working capital needed to take advantage of its benefits.

For more on modular housing in the U.K., including major builders making moves into the modular space, click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

ObamaCare Snarl, Can Trump Work Magic? Possible Back-to-the-Future Medical Solution

March 15th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Liberty Juice.

As one of the consummate dealmakers in American history, President Donald Trump is working to pull out all the stops to get a “repeal and replace” solution for ObamaCare done.

With the plan recently put forward by House leadership, led by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), many are saying that it is likely dead on arrival when it comes to a vote in the Senate.  It faces hurdles in the House too.

While some might be frayed at the thought of a battle such as this, President Trump has gone on the offensive, and turned on the charm.

Beginning with a call to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who joined forces with the conservative House Freedom Caucus last month to deliver their own version of an ObamaCare replacement, President Trump got to work.


Senator Rand Paul. Credit: Bloomberg.

I think we’re wooing each other,” said Paul. “The president sounded open to my ideas.

While his predecessor was more reserved and reclusive in dealing with lawmakers, President Trump has drawn compliments from many corners.

Trump was talking about how we all got to work together, said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who was part of a group that met with the President recently.

He even said at one point, ‘Maybe we should meet once a week. Maybe we should meet every four days!’”

According to Bloomberg, even a former Republican presidential competitor and critic sees that there’s a desire to make progress.


Paul Ryan walks though his plan to replace Obamacare. Credit: 10 News.

He’s in a deal-making mode,” said previous GOP rival, Senator Lindsey Graham.

He’s conservative but he’s not ideological. Most of these deals around here fall apart because of ideological objections. There’s actually a chance for President Trump to do things you could never get another Republican to do.

A Combination Solution for Healthcare?


In the video above, Dr. Josh Umbehr of Atlas MD, discusses a potential “best option” for ObamaCare repeal and replacment in terms of controlling costs and providing cost-effective services.  Umbehr’s co-op model that has already been proven in their clinic, and many others who are doing something similar.

For additional insight on this plan and how it would work in combination with the proposed health plan from the Freedom Caucus, MHProNews reached out to a respected MD about the concept.


Dr. David Murdock. Credit: Healthgrades, where patients rated him 5 out of 5 stars.

I’ve always liked this type of practice. It doesn’t include hospital care or specialty care, but that could be covered by the catastrophic insurance with a large deductible,” Dr. David Murdock, a cardiologist from Wausau, WI, said to MHProNews when asked about this practice. “If I was a primary doctor, I would push this for my patients.”

Murdock explained that this proven medical care system was a case of back-to-the-future.

That’s actually a return to the way medical care was done in the years before Medicare and widespread insurance,” Murdock said. “It’s not new, it’s a return to how it worked well in the past.

You can see the built in mechanism to contain cost,” said Murdock.

For more on Obamacare and its impact on the manufactured housing industry, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MH Presented as Solution for Affordable Housing

February 24th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: KRIS TV.

In Corpus Christi, Texas, Andy Taubman has once again presented manufactured housing as an affordable solution to an ongoing challenge for the city.

Taubman, former chairman of the Streets Committee, believes that using manufactured homes as infill is viable, and has proposed the solution to the city council on two separate occasions in the past. He has also been willing to place two manufactured homes at his cost on property he owns as a demonstration.

According to the Caller-Times, Taubman’s proposal last year drew criticism from former council members, in part because of questions about how long the homes would last.

When Taubman presented to the council this week, he said once again that he would self-fund two demonstration projects on lots he already owns, and the design of the homes would have a similar look to traditional pier-and-beam constructed homes.

The council responded with strong support for Taubman’s proposal.


Andy Taubman. Credit: The Paper Trail.

It’s the right path to resolve an issue we’ve had for a long time,” said City Councilwoman Paulette Guajardo.

The council made a motion directing city staff to work with Taubman to evaluate manufactured housing as a possibility to help address affordable housing options.

A follow-up presentation from Taubman is planned for March 21.

The city is interested in affordable housing but so far it’s all been talk,” said City Councilman Joe McComb.

So this may move it down the football field a little bit.

McComb also said he was looking forward to seeing the demonstration projects, noting that Taubman believes enough in the model to put his own money into it.

In addition to Taubman’s proposal, city leaders have several options under consideration, some of which are seeking the council’s support to secure government grant money to build.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, MHProNews and MHLivingNews continue to cover the challenges as well as the numerous advantages that the manufactured housing industry provides in the U.S., making affordable, quality housing easily available to most of the population.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach provides deep insight into this opportunity in Obstacles and Opportunities in Affordable Housing – October 2016, and the understanding that the solution to affordable housing is hiding in plain sight.

For more on Taubman’s prior efforts in Corpus Christi, click here, and here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Op-Ed Takes City to Task, Advocates for MH as Solution

February 22nd, 2017 Comments off

A home in the Crown Villa community in Bend, Oregon. Credit: Crown Villa.

Former Bend, Oregon mayor and property firm president Allan Bruckner, recently penned an op-ed in The Bulletin, which makes the case for manufactured housing as a solution to the city’s affordable housing crisis.

One of the obvious and most talked about problems in Bend is our need for affordable housing. Yet so far there has been no effective approach to solving this need. There has been some success for apartments, which require a subsidy to the developer, but very little progress for single-family dwellings,” wrote Bruckner.

Why not consider a subdivision based on factory-built housing (previously called mobile homes [sic]) that doesn’t require a subsidy. Economical factory housing is advertised for around $50 per square foot, whereas low-cost, site-built housing in Bend costs around $100 per square foot for a 900- to 1,200-square-foot house. (Costs for land, water, sewer and road are additional.)


Allan Bruckner. Credit: Source Weekly.

Bruckner continued, speaking very strongly about the negative perceptions of manufactured housing, and how it needs to change.

While they have a historic negative image as creating slum like conditions, or depreciating like junk, that need not be the case,” wrote Bruckner.

For example, consider the successful local examples such as the Romaine Village subdivision or the Crown Villa mobile home park. Each has provided safe, code-compliant, low-cost housing for over 40 years! Each remains very attractive after these 40 years. Why not develop such a project today? And such a project could address a large number of housing units, not like a few ‘ADUs’ (accessory dwelling units) here and there.”

Bruckner went on to discuss the Juniper Ridge industrial park, and its failure over the last 10 years, as an option for the city to redesignate in parts for extensive affordable housing.

He also called for specific restrictions to make sure that it happens.

Of course, just rezoning land for housing will not guarantee its use for low-cost housing, so specific restrictions are necessary,” wrote Bruckner.

To make this truly low-cost housing, the city should make the land available free. At an average price of $100,000 per lot in Bend, combined with factory-built housing at about half the price of site-built houses, this would be a huge savings. With perhaps 10 units per acre, and developing 20 or 30 acres, this approach would have a major impact on availability of affordable housing.


The Juniper Ridge Industrial Park. Credit: Bend Bulletin.

In closing, Bruckner pointed to the need for the housing, and for action.

The need is obviously great. If we really want to provide affordable housing, why not free land? After all, the city got the land for $1 from the county, which got it free from Bureau of Land Management. Understandably, there would have to be controls so the resident gets the benefit of free land, and doesn’t get a windfall upon resale, but those are solvable legal issues. (Perhaps the city places a lien on the property, maybe releasable gradually over time),” wrote Bruckner.

It could provide a huge increase in affordable housing with limited out-of-pocket costs to taxpayers. If this problem is to be addressed, it is time for bold action.” ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

A Solution for the Dysfunctional Home Loan Market?

January 25th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Jack Guttentag.

Mortgages are a complicated thing.

Between bad loan quotes, potentially having to commit in advance of information verification, and “Lock Abuse,” which is a lock price that is above the lender’s posted price at the time of commitment, the home loan market is prime for a change.

Jack Guttentag, also know as “The Mortgage Professor” agrees.

With a new administration in Washington, D.C., the time is ripe to reconsider some fundamental features of our housing-finance system,” said Guttentag.


Jack Guttentag. Credit: Wikipedia.

One weakness is a dysfunctional market structure in which borrowers often overpay, and may not get the type of mortgage that best meets their needs.

In an article published in the Seattle Times, Guttentag also makes a statement that many in the manufactured housing industry would be inclined to agree with.

Note that the mandatory disclosures now administered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) prevent none of these abuses.

The solution that Guttentag recommends involves the creation of a multi-lender website, certified by an agency such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that would allow users to compare posted prices of multiple lenders, uniformly formatted, in one place.

While there are no legal barriers to the creation of such a tool now, it is extremely difficult for such a site to distinguish itself from fake versions, and to counter the high-powered merchandising of lenders with name recognition,” said Guttentag.

The need is for certification by a known trustworthy source that a site has the features necessary to provide borrowers with competitive prices and selection guidance.”

With a certified site, Guttentag suggests a set of features that would solve current problems.

  • Complete prices posed directly to site

Three or more lenders provide posted prices to the site directly from each lender’s internal pricing system, without the intermediation of loan officers,” said Guttentag.

Prices should cover all lender charges and all price-related features of adjustable-rate mortgages.

  • Live prices

Whenever a participating lender posts new prices on its own site or for its loan officers, prices on the multi-lender site change as well,” said Guttentag.

  • Fully adjusted prices, anonymity, and price monitoring

Credit: The Mortgage Professor.

The site should have the capacity to adjust prices from each lender for all the transaction characteristics that affect price,” said Guttentag.

Borrowers should be able to shop prices on the site without revealing contact information to lenders until a lender has been selected, and be able to monitor the posted prices of the lender they select until their price is locked.

  • Lender selection and decisions support

Borrowers select the lender, not the site,” said Guttentag.

Borrowers also need to have access to guidance in making decisions about the type of mortgage, and the combination of upfront fees and interest rate that best meets their needs.

Guttentag makes it clear that his list is designed to be illustrative and would need to be further developed by a certifying agency.

He also sees real hope in the proposed solution.

The burden on the agency that does it would be very small, however, while the potential benefits are enormous,” said Guttentag.


Credit: Scott Lewis, Creative commons.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, loans for the MH industry are unique, as they are largely so-called “chattel loans” – also known as “home only” or “personal property” loans.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) finalized a rule on December 13th that creates a “duty to serve” for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and is expected to have an impact on manufactured home loans. That story is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Modular Becomes Solution for Supply Chain Slowdown

January 19th, 2017 Comments off

A Skyclad modular home. Credit: Independent IE.

As the U.K. battles an ever-increasing housing crisis, more and more people are looking to manufactured and modular housing as a solution.

Ashley Ilsen, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Lending at development finance lender Regentsmead, tells MHProNews that supply chains, in the wake of the recent Brexit vote, have presented a unique opportunity.

Supply chains seem to have slowed since the Brexit vote and this is severely hampering the rate that we are able to build houses,” said Ilsen.

Cost of building materials is predicted to rise dramatically over the next few years, following our rather painful exit from the EU. Worryingly, this seems to be widely ignored by the government, which I can’t understand given that housing is such a prominent topic these days.”


Ashley Ilsen. Credit: RegentsMead.

Ilsen believes he knows the solution.

Modular housing could well be the answer here. We have come a long way from some of the pre-fabricated solutions that we saw during the 1990s. With a huff and a puff it would be touch and go whether these would stay standing, and after a few winters you were lucky if the size of your house wasn’t very different to when you first moved in,” said Ilsen.

Today we are of course in a very different age where we now have a plethora of various modular housing products. Each one I see seems to be even more superior to the last. The house is constructed in a third of the time as a brick and block structure. Usually, the house arrives on site in sections and is pieced together almost like a giant puzzle, something that has caused headaches for lenders that haven’t necessarily comprehended how to fund such buildings.

Ilsen feels strongly that as modular housing solutions become more mainstream in the U.K., it’s critical that lenders better understand them.

There may well be a different type of warranty required for a modular house; funds will need to be released in a different structure and when problems occur on site a lender should have the expertise to deal with it,” said Ilsen.

Modular builds will also carry a different site value as they are constructed, which means no more hiding behind the ‘bricks and mortar’ phraseology that we hear so often. There are also numerous risks involved in modular construction that a good development lender will have a deep understanding of.


Credit: The Daily Mail.

The Daily Business News has covered the U.K. housing crisis, and potential solutions closely, including supermarket giant Tesco adding modular units on top of their store locations and an “urban bungalow” home created by Willerby Innovations. That story is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Hundreds Wait in Line for Affordable Housing, Solution Remains in Plain Sight

December 12th, 2016 Comments off

Credit: WUSA 9.

Hundreds in Washington D.C. braved cold temperatures overnight with hopes of being considered for affordable housing being made available.

According to WUSA 9, the first 200 people in line were accepted inside to begin their applications. If approved, they would be put on a waiting list for affordable housing at the Woodberry Village developments. It could be more than a year before their name is called.

I’ve been homeless for awhile now,” said Alonzo Simmons, who had been waiting in line since 4am. “And it’s time for me to get in the inside.

Doors did not open until 9 am on December 8th, but many people arrived Wednesday evening to lock in a spot at the front of the line. People did attempt to cut in line and some arguments ensued, but no serious incidents occurred.

You may get a call six months to a year from now,” said Carolyn Young, who was near the front of the line. “But because we all desperately need affordable housing, we have to do this right here.


Credit: ABC 7.

One D.C. resident said that the length of the line shows that the city needs to do more to address the affordable housing issues. Homelessness is up 14 percent this year.

The city makes me so upset because there’s money to be used to put into housing,” said Cynthia Green. “And they’re not doing it for the people. And it’s the people’s money.

The Solution


Credit: MHLivingNews.

MHLivingNews has covered how manufactured housing is the solution  “hiding in plain sight” for the affordable housing crisis that can be used in rural, suburban and many municipal settings.

Modular building – notably on multi-story projects like the one spotlighted by the Daily Business News linked here is another green, time and money saving approach that factory builders should be encouraged to provide the growing numbers seeking affordable housing. Those calls have been heard – and echoed – by major publishers including Bloomberg, which famously wrote, “The solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight.

MH Experts, Academics, and MH Industry Pros Point the Way 


Leigh Abrams, prior chairman, Drew Industries. To see the interview, A Cup of Coffee with Leigh Abrams, click here.

Noting that RVs outsell manufactured housing by some 5 to 1, Leigh Abrams, prior chairman of Drew Industries, told MHProNews that: “I think the GoRVing campaign has been crucial to the success of the RV industry. This campaign, albeit on a smaller scale, was continued even during the economic downturn.”

In prior years and I continue to be today,” said Abrams, “a staunch supporter of a MH industry generic advertising campaign. Unfortunately, we were unable to gather the various segments within the MH industry to agree upon a method of funding the campaign and what the campaign should be about.”

JimVisserRetiringJournalManufacturedModularHousingPublisher-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-The retiring Jim Visser has told many that he has been a long-time advocate of doing an image and marketing campaign.  Visser has metaphorically tossed his arms up in disbelief that the industry keeps missing a golden opportunity to tap into the affordable housing crisis, by helping manufactured housing shed its negative image.

Industry consultant and long-time president of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), Danny Ghorbani, likewise joined the chorus of voices calling for not just a new “post production” association, but also for doing an image and education campaign.

Just Imagine…


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of, and MH Consultant.

Imagine engineered homes, that meet or exceed strict federal safety, energy and performance standards, built to the nation’s only preemptive code for permanent homes,” said Daily Business News Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach.

By using the same proven systems that keep costs down on cars, smartphones, clothing or other produced products, you save on labor, time, have about 30% less waste, can buy in bulk and thus save money.

And the U.S. Census Bureau and Government Accountability Office state our homes are about half the cost of conventional construction,” he added.



Lisa Tyler. Credit: MHLivingNews

Despite evidence that disproved misconceptions … negative stereotypes continued to influence local governments to impose regulatory restrictions on this type of housing,” writes Lisa Tyler, PhD, of Bethel University.

NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard – is alive and well,” says Kovach, “in part because for too long, industry professionals have just taken the old stereotypes and ribbing on the chin.

Do we put down the old cell phones that led to today’s smart phones? No. As a society,” the publisher and industry advocate rhetorically asks, “would we accept that same kind of close-minded prejudice towards a racial or ethnic group?

The full story, “The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight,” is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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