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Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

May 10th, 2019 Comments off
NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteParadoyLogosLeaderProfitablyCorrectingRecordMHProNews

MHI parody logos are designed by MHProNews, a subsidiary of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and are gladly provided under fair use guidelines for media.

Mama used to say, you are known by the company you keep.

 

That’s a fairly common maxim, phrased in a variety of ways. Before applying it to Nathan Smith, let’s step back and look at a different Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) industry leader first.

The largest and best known manufactured housing builder active today is Clayton Homes, with President and CEO Kevin Clayton at the helm. For those of us who have been exposed to Clayton, there are phrases like “servant leadership” and other aspirational sounding models that have been raised by the Knoxville, TN metro based firm.

At an MHI meeting during the Patti Boerger era for their organization’s communications, Kevin Clayton addressed a break out session this writer attended. Kevin told dozens listening about the wonders of the impact of MHI’s Facebook page. He encouraged others to get involved, because they could measurably get hundreds of leads and click throughs shortly after each post.

Really?

Let’s say for a moment that’s literally true. Who were those click throughs? How many  of them where from India, vs. how many from the United States? How many were MHI fans, including past or present Clayton Homes team members?

How many actually bought a Clayton Home?

Beyond his father Jim Clayton, Kevin has indicated how Warren Buffett has mentored him. Buffett has said that the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield. It is a point that this writer, a Buffett critic, would agree with using our separate the ‘wheat and chaff’ discernment model.

 

InBusinessWorldRearViewMirrorClearerThanWindshieldWarrenBuffettLifehackquotes-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The rear view mirror is another phrase for history. Likely few people in manufactured housing have won more awards in history, at the high school and college levels than this writer has. That’s not bragging, it is what it is. History is what one looks at when we read a resume. History is what one looks at when one reads a corporate report. Every news report is actually a history report, unless it is a live feed. Somehow along the way, history has gotten a bad wrap, but we are fixing that day by day here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.  Want to profit? Buffett himself has a keen interest in history. By the way, not every history award came with a medal. But the ones below did.

 

HistoryAwardMedalsEarnedByLATonyKovachMHProNews

Cartoon caricature of L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach at the bottom right, who earned these history awards in statewide scholastic competitions, plus other awards in history that didn’t come with a medal.

Back to Kevin and his Facebook claim, before pivoting to Nathan Smith. We don’t claim to know the exact details that answer the questions in the paragraph above those medals. What we do know is shipment data. If there was some appreciable impact on sales, why are Clayton Homes and the industry at large’s production and shipment levels so low?

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

Let me now pivot to Nathan Smith.

When this writer interviewed Smith, it was while he was Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). It was before the embarrassing mainstream news reports were made public. The rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. But viewed through the lens of history, these video clips may be worth more now today then they were then.

 

 

Smith is high energy. He is rather entertaining and fun to be around. He is politically connected.  Not as a slam to Democrats, but he is one. Let me emphasize that I’ve been an independent for years. We believe that manufactured housing is the most proven form of affordable housing in modern American history. Affordable housing and manufactured homes are ideally a non-partisan or bipartisan issue. To stress that point, we have published the article linked below.

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Now, to be clear, hindsight isn’t actually 20/20. History, as any other subject, can be spun or weaponized. So facts must be discerned from fiction. Mama was right about the company you keep, but we don’t always know what company we are keeping until later on.  That’s no disrespect to your mama or mine.

We will be doIng a report that will have the theme, MHI, which is it? It will feature a collage similar to the one at the top, with our satirical logos, created under fair use guidelines, juxtaposed with their own actual logo.

It begs the question. What really is the image of MHI? Not what the industry has been ‘trained’ to see, but what is the image of manufactured housing – and that MHI specifically – projects to the public at large?

Not only here on MHProNews or on MHLivingNews, but also in the mainstream media linked letters, our team or I’ve personally made the point that each of the problematic firms that John Oliver’s viral “Mobile Homes” video identified has ties to MHI. Is that the company you want to keep for your firm?

 

 

We are inserting in this report videos from the mainstream media of the affable Nathan Smith and his SSK Communities. Look at the reports. This first video has had more views than all of the MHI ‘story telling videos’ combined. Think about that as you watch this report.

 

 

Are those allegations and litigations the image that you want your company associated with? Bear in mind what Oliver’s video depicted. Smith isn’t alone.

 

JohnOliverHBOLastWeekTonightMobileHomesSSKCommunitiesNathanSmithClassActionLawSuitMobileManufacturedHomeMHProNews

This is a still from the John Oliver viral video that mocks Clayton Homes, and several large MHI member community operators. One of those mocked is SSK Communities.

 

 

Hey, anyone who has ever managed an older property knows that stuff happens. SSK isn’t a poor boy operation, is it?  If they can make campaign contributions, and attend the Kentucky Derby, can they fix their water lines in a timely fashion too?

So, Nathan and others at MHI arguably help make the case that there is a need for a new, “white hat” alliance that distinguishes itself from the apparent “black hats” in the industry.

 

 

Here we use the term ‘white hat and black hat’ not as a cool color for headwear, because we all know someone who is a good guy or gal that sports head wear that might be black. Here we mean a bad actor, which is identified by behavior, not a literal hat color.

TamasKovachBlackHatSunshineLATonyKovachBlackWhiteStrawHat

Don’t kid yourself. We take our work seriously, but we have some fun along the way too. Work hard, play hard. Tamas Kovach, left, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, right.

 

The Hustle has called Warren Buffett the shillionare of the people. It’s their way of saying he is a shill, a con, a phony in terms of this folksy role he plays.

 

TheHustleMObileHomeInvestingHotWarreNBuffettHomeownersGetBurnedMHProNews

 

History and news meet right here on MHProNews. Because George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984, had a point.

 

GeorgeOrwellQuoteMostEffectiveWayDestroyPeopleDenyObliterateUnderstandingofTheirHistoryGeorgeOrwell1984QuoteMHProNews

 

Post-production or umbrella trade associations in manufactured housing that fail to establish and then enforce standards of ethics and professional behavior that comport with the law, and also clearly hold businesses to a higher standard are missing something huge.

 

 

GeorgeOrwellQuotesOurAGeNoSuchThingKeepingOutOfPoliticsAllIssuesPoliticalPOliticsMassLiesEvasionFollyHatredSchizophreniaManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Some ideas come too early, but in time, their value becomes clearer.  We floated the idea of an MHAlliance years ago. Done properly, its arguably a more valuable concept now than at the time we first presented it. Part of that alliance needs to be good standards of professional conduct. Taking good care of customers, residents, and clients.

 

FurtherSocietyDriftsFromTruthMoreItWillHateThoseWhoSpeakItGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

Because we are known by the company that we keep.

 

HeWhoControlsThePastControlsTheFutureHeWhoControlsthePresentControlsthePastGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

The number of emails, LinkedIn connections, email sign ups, and calls are rising. The merits of our taking on the industry’s black hats is becoming more apparent to more followers.

 

HowardZinnQuoteGeorgeOrwellSaidWhoeverControlsthePastControlsTheFutureHeMeantHistoryImportantShapingViewNextGenerationMHProNews

 

By the way, on LinkedIn, I don’t claim to know every soul among the thousands there that have connected. There are some invitations I don’t take, like someone who appears to be in an XXX industry type of role. But generally, I do accept professional invites. On Facebook, I stopped blindly liking someone’s FB page some time ago. Those disclaimers made, back to the topic of white and black hats companies.

If you are a black hat firm, we are happy to have you as a reader, but I would borrow a phrase from a letter we published earlier this week out of Bryan, TX. That phrase? Check out his letter, linked here. It ends with the word, “Repent.”

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. 

If you are a white hat firm, and want to distinguish yourself from those that create negative headlines like the ones about Nathan Smith posted here, please send me a message that has the subject line “White Hat Contact.”

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP, or Comments or ‘White Hat Contact‘ in the subject line.

 

Because HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s comments to the industry this week can be read in a very subtle fashion. Did Secretary Carson praise or chide MHI? Did he praise or chide their behavior? Did he challenge them to live up to their potential? Read it for yourself.

 

 

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) says that a journalist should hold the powerful to account. When an error is committed, one should correct the record. I’m hereby correcting the record. That’s not to be supercilious. There are embarrassing moments in my life too. But a brief embarrassment and a pattern of problematic behavior are two entirely different things.

SPJSocietyProfessionalJournalistsCodeofConductMHProNews

Besides, one always has the option of making amends. Of repentance.

You are known by the company you keep. If you wake up and have discovered that you have not been in an association that cares about keeping good company, don’t just sit there. Take action.

We aren’t looking for an association or alliance made up of perfect people, because there are none.  What we are looking for is an association that strives for perfection, because as coach Vince Lombardi said, when you strive for perfection, you can catch excellence.

 

ItsUnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouveBeenPlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballHallFameMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

What hall of famer Mickey Mantle said about baseball applies to manufactured housing too.

 

Imagine a trade group whose members attract good customers, because the alliance would be made up of honest business people.  If there is a mistake, the members will pledge to correct it. 

The manufactured home industry needs a white hat trade association that deals with post-production issues. One that lives up to the Secretary Carson challenge. One that has a standards of professional conduct that have teeth, within the limits of the law. That would be a profitable boost to those who are honorably in it.

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

The words of the late Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

The industry is underperforming. But an industry is made up of local level results. Yes, national issues and results impact you. But you won’t achieve your locations’ true potential until you’ve separated yourself from the black hat operations out there that spark the negative headlines that keeps manufactured housing collectively underperforming.

The housing industry is over a trillion dollar a year in the U.S.  The powers that be have thousands of pros thinking scarcity, instead of abundance.  Our potential at the local level is stunning.

1TrillionDollarInfographic$100BillsMillionsBillions

 

So there is a method to what some think is the madness here on MHProNews after all? You decide by your actions and behavior what company you want to keep.

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

Time is money. Knowledge is potential power. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By 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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

December 3rd, 2018 Comments off

 

Nathan+MaryLeeChanceSmithSmithLeadersInAntiTrumpResistanceManufacturedHousingImpactDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsCNNFacbook

Nathan Smith, caption says in part, “KY Democratic Committeeman Nathan Smith at important CNN DNC debate live tonight.” What have Nathan Smith, Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton and other ‘connected’ industry professionals actually done for manufactured housing?

If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, chances are, it’s a duck.

 

It’s useful, because of the insights revealed.

What’s useful?  The costly Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) self-defense, self-promotion video is arguably a fine razzle dazzle production. Their video obviously reflects the issues MHI’s leadership and backers are sensitive about.

What MHI’s video attempts is to deflect or distract from topics that:

  • MHARR – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform,
  • the newly-forming national manufactured home community owners association, NMHCO,
  • MHIdea – independent dealers opposing the monopolistic practices of Berkshire Hathaway and Berkshire dominated MHI,
  • and MHProNews among others – including MHI members – have raised for years.

 

The Nathan Smith Connection

Among the Arlington, VA based national trade group’s leaders is former MHI Chairman, Nathan Smith.

SSK Communities partner Nathan Smith and his wife Mary are self-proclaimed leaders of the anti-Trump resistance movement. They do fundraisers for candidates, and personally donate to campaigns. While personal giving matters, fundraising magnifies their widely noted political impact in KY and beyond.

Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has been to the Smiths home for fundraising.

Here’s what Cincinnati, part of the USA Today news group, had to say.

Northern Kentucky mover-and-shaker Nathan Smith is known for hosting big-name, high-dollar Democratic fundraisers at his Fort Mitchell home. But as part of the Trump resistance, he and his wife, Mary Lee Chance Smith, are doing more now. The Smiths have created “Project Run,” a day-long free training program for Kentucky Democrats interested in running for elected office at any level. Project Run will hold its first training program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Madison Avenue Christian Church, 1530 Madison Avenue, Covington.”

 

HillaryClintonCampaignFundraiserNathanSmithMaryLeeChanceSmithSSKCommunitiesPartnerFormerMHIChairmanMHProNews

 

Among those candidates that Nathan and his wife Mary Lee Chance Smith reportedly supported?

 

NathanMaryLeeChanceSmithSSKCommunitiesFormerMHIChairmanDemocraticCommitteeMemberHillaryClintonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

NathanMaryLeeChanceSmithSSKCommunitiesFormerMHIChairmanDemocraticCommitteeMemberHillaryClintonStreetViewGoogleMHProNews

 

Amy McGrath.

 

NathanSmithMaryLeeChanceSmithAmyMcGrathSSKCommunitiesFormerMHIChairmanManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

McGrath was running against Congressman Andy Barr (KY-R).  What’s surprising to innocent eyes is that Representative Barr led-the-charge for MHI in their now quietly shelved Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

Barr is a Congressman spotlighted in MHI’s video, saying pro-Manufactured Housing things in Congress.

 

AndyBarrKyRMHIVideoScreenShotManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Screen capture – still – from new MHI self-defense, self-promotion video.

 

Barr won, despite the back-stab by his purported MHI ‘supporters.’ By contrast, President Donald J. Trump personally campaigned with Barr, prior to the 2018 midterms.

 

Was Manufactured Housing Advocate Congressman Andy Barr Backstabbed?

 

Another prominent politician in the MHI video?

 

NathanSmithFundRaiserSenatorJoeDonnellyD-INChuckSchumerManufacturedHousingSSKCommunitiesMHProNews

JoeDonnellyIN-D-MHIScreenCaptureManufacrturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Screen capture from MHI self-defense, self-promotion video.

 

Now defeated Joe Donnelly, Democratic Senator from Indiana. Besides getting support from MHI, former President Barack Hussein Obama campaigned for Donnelly. By contrast, President Trump campaigned for businessman Mike Braun, in a successful effort to unseat Donnelly.

In under 500 words and a few photos are an emerging picture. MHI insiders are using what’s arguably been called the rope-a-dope against the independent members of their own industry.

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

With that backdrop, the Nathan Smith video interview clip reveals their monopolistic aim, as he admits MHI failed all too often.

 

 

Of course MHI has ‘failed.’ MHI leaders supported those opposing Preserving Access, which they claimed was needed.

 

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

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

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Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement

October 31st, 2018 Comments off

 

NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesPhotoBarackObamaVPJoeBidenManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoSlamsNMHCONewNationalCommunitiesGroupManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

In a written statement provided to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their prior Executive Committee Chairman, Nathan Smith, slammed the new manufactured home communities association.

 

From the issue shown in the screen capture above, comes the following direct quote:

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHINewsUpdatesAnalysis

 

MHI was the only national trade association representing manufactured home communities to file a comment letter. “I am so proud of MHI and our state associations in the way they are fighting to end discriminatory zoning,” said community owner and former MHI chair, Nathan Smith. “It doesn’t surprise me that our state EDs were all over it and groups like the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners ignored HUD’s call for comments, failing in their first opportunity to stand up for communities,” per that part of MHI’s statement today.

That’s an argument that MHI and Smith may not have realized cuts both ways.

 

Can You Spell Self-Contradictory?

What the message fails to say is that Nathan Smith, partner in SSK Communities, also failed to send a comments letter. Can you spell self-contradictory hypocrisy?

Equally absent in sending comments letters:

  • Anyone from Clayton Homes.
  • Anyone from Cavco Industries – which would include MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer.
  • Anyone from 21st Mortgage – which would include their President and CEO, Tim Williams.
  • George Allen, Spencer Roane, who likewise purport to represent manufactured home communities too.

NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesTimWillliams21stMortgageGeorgeAllenSpencerRoaneAFFHCommentsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsClaytonHomesRegulationsGovAFFHCommentsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&so=DESC&sb=commentDueDate&po=0&s=mobile%2Bhome&D=HUD-2018-0060

Following MHI’s submission,” states the same MHI chest-thumping message, “twenty-four state associations filed comment letters detailing how local land use planning decisions in their states had either a direct or disparate discriminatory impact on persons in protected classes residing in manufactured housing.”

 

2018-10-31_1334ManufacturedHOusingInstituteMHINewsUpdates10312018DailyBusinessNewsWhat MHI’s message fails to mention is that the Regulations.gov website has said for some time that ‘astroturfing’ isn’t viewed as a vote.  Numerous messages that are all essentially the same are not more impressive, per the federal regulatory comments site.

AstroturfingWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

What’s More Important?

What arguably is more important in their message is the fact that MHI felt the need to slam the new communities organization by name.

Keep in mind that MHProNews has reported on, but has not thereby endorsed, the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NMHCO) trade group.  What the Daily Business News has done is reveal how NMHCO has called into question MHI’s effectiveness.  That’s an issue that they did arguably with as much respect as one can, while essentially saying that the Arlington, VA based MHI trade group is a wasted time and money.  At least, it is a waste if you want to deter harmful regulations to manufactured housing industry independents.

 

New National Manufactured Housing Association Makes Its Appeal to Industry Members

 

For more on NMHCO, see the article linked above.

Another question ought to be this. Why is it that it takes pressure from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), trade publisher MHProNews, and/or others to get MHI to do even feign doing its job?

Doesn’t weaponized MHI ‘news’ like the above, demonstrate that they are feeling the heat? “We Provide, You Decide.” (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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City Sued Nathan Smith, 16th Street, for Breach of Contract

October 5th, 2018 Comments off

 

CitySuedNathanSmith1thStreetBreachContractMinotNDDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The City of Minot ND is suing 16th Street, Inc. for breach of contract in connection with development of an affordable housing project, that includes townhouses and manufactured homes.

 

Nathan Smith is identified by KFYRTV as the developer behind 16th Street.

I am not worried about that because I am doing the right thing,” said Smith last December, per the Minot Daily News (MDN).

The project involves the use of a post-disaster, HUD Community Development block grant, issued during the Obama Administration era.

The city voted unanimously following an executive session Monday night to move forward with litigation against 16th Crossing, Inc., for breach of contract.

The city contends that the developer has failed to follow through with deadlines on the project, and claim the stalled project could jeopardize funding from the federal government.

Smith, the developer behind 16th Crossing, said in December that the city is responsible for the delays, and he has not seen any of the $5 million in federal funding the city has allocated for the project, nor the $1 million of city dollars.

 

LegalBattleContinues16thStreetMinotNDTownhousesDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws600

 

The city argues that Smith has failed to finish the development. That in turn has jeopardized the federal funding for the city.

Smith responded by claiming that the city caused delays with infrastructure work.

We had multiple avenues to build all of this product quickly and a market there to absorb it by the time we could things have changed I think when Tom Barry says construction of the project didn’t interfere with our building can anybody take that seriously,” said Smith.

NathanSmith16thstreetMinotNDDeveloperDailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

The Smith in Minot has a full head of hair, so is not to be confused with Nathan Smith of SSK Communities in Fort Mitchell, KY, who ironically faces his own controversies.

Nathan Smith, From Mobile Home Resident to SSK Communities Owner and President Barack Obama Connection

 

Court Filings

MND says that court filings by 1th Street claims that The Agreement is void or subject to rescission due to the City’s fraud and deceit and its failure to follow HUD requirements and Federal Regulations. City’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, as the City took affirmative steps to defeat the purpose of the Agreement, and to stall and delay the Development.”

16th Crossing has been substantially damaged by the actions and inactions of the City, has generated no profit or income from the Development, and has incurred substantial indebtedness in its efforts to move forward with the Development despite the improper actions and inactions of the City, and despite the City’s unwillingness to cooperate with 16th Crossing as market and economic conditions change,” the developer’s court documents stated.

 

The City Says…

The city sued the developer for default for failure to meet the agreed-upon development schedule. The city requested reimbursement of $5 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery dollars and $951,194 in city funds spent on infrastructure.

Local media reports that the agreement was for 178 townhomes, with at least 51 percent occupied by low- to moderate-income (LMI) households for three years, by May 31, 2015. The agreement also called for 350 manufactured home lots, with at least 51 percent set aside for LMI households for three years.

The city states the developer, on Dec. 4, 2017, had listed 34 townhomes as completed, of which 15 were occupied by LMI households, or 44 percent. Another 15 townhomes were unoccupied or being built. The developer had listed 349 manufactured home sites had been developed, with 183 lots leased and occupied. Of those, 131 were occupied by LMI households.

The developer lists nearly $1.15 million that it claims the city owes 16th Crossing for breach of contract.

The City of Minot responded by denying all allegations against them, and stated that 16th Crossing is not entitled to any payment from the city. An Oct. 12 scheduling conference is scheduled in North Central District Court. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Lance Kennedy of North Dakota MHA Speaks Out

Has the Manufactured Housing Institute Accused Former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of Federal Law Violations?

October 1st, 2018 Comments off

 

HasManufacturedHousingInstituteLOGOAccusedFormerMHIChairmanNathanSmithPhotoSSKCommunitiesYouGotItHomesLogoViolatingFederalLawDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Earlier this month, the Manufactured Housing Institute produced a handout to their members. One of those was provided to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

 

It came with a question.

 

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Has former MHI Chairman, Nathan Smith violated federal law?  Isn’t that what MHI’s FAQ #6 implies, given SSK’s past and more recent marketing practices?”

It is an interesting topic.

This isn’t the first time that SSK Communities has been accused by others in manufactured housing for allegedly violating federal advertising, and possibly other laws.  As the Daily Business News noted last week, SSK Communities has had several legal woes.

Nathan Smith’s SSK Communities also has an “F” rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

 

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You can see a Nathan Smith, SSK Communities related report, by clicking this link here.

Further below, you can see a marketing item from Augusta Homes Sales, LLC, YouGotItHomes® from their Facebook page.  This is one of a number of such questioned marketing items over the years that has been brought to MHProNews’ attention by industry readers.

MHI’s new FAQ guide asks this question, among others, “Can retailers and community owners advertise monthly payment amounts and interest rates in their effort to sell a manufactured home?”

Here’s how MHI answered that question.

ANSWER:  “No. Pub. L. 115-174 § 107 provides added flexibility when discussing the mortgage lending process with customers during the sale of a manufactured home, including when referring customers to lenders to discuss financing options. It does not give authority to advertise credit terms.

While the law provides that a retailer or community owner cannot directly negotiate loan terms with a consumer or lender (including rates, fees, and other costs), advertising is generally not considered negotiating; it is an invitation to negotiate. However, Regulation Z, which implements TILA, still prohibits advertising hypothetical terms, such as a down payment, an interest rate, or a monthly payment. Advertising requirements also vary by state and advertising credit and/or loan terms may require registration and/or licensure under the SAFE Act. 

Retailers and community owners can make general statements about the availability of credit in advertisements, as long as they do not use specific credit terms or reference a particular lender’s available credit terms. They can also discuss hypothetical terms in person with customers when explaining the mortgage lending process. However, for additional information regarding state-specific advertising requirements, MHI recommends contacting qualified legal counsel.”

NathanSmithYouGotITHomesAugustaHomesLLCViolatedFederalLawUnderTILTARegZDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

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Click here to see this image above in its original, full size, or to download.

Was Richard Cordray – who led the CFPB until leaving the federal agency to run as a Democrat for Governor of Ohio – too busy to look into concerns about Nathan Smith, a prominent Democratic supporter of former President Barack Obama?  ICYMI, you can later read these 2 related reports, linked immediately and further below.

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, From Mobile Home Resident to Manufactured Home Communities Owner, & Manufactured Housing Institute Leader

MHProNews is hereby spotlighting and raising anew such concerns, noting that Nathan Smith, his companies, and MHI may have an explanation or defense, and that they are ‘innocent until proven guilty‘ by law. Smith, MHI, and the CFPB will be asked to comment about this matter.

Stay tuned for a planned follow up on this report, based upon their response(s).

This should also serve as reminder to others who may or may not be using similarly questionable or legally risky advertising messages.

As a final point, MHI’s handout busily patted their own back hard several times for their role in the passage of S 2155.  To understand the background and facts about that topic, please the related reports, linked further below. That’s this evening’s manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Nathan Smith, From Mobile Home Resident to SSK Communities Owner and President Barack Obama Connection

Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Berkshire Hathaway Backstory

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, From Mobile Home Resident to Manufactured Home Communities Owner, & Manufactured Housing Institute Leader

September 25th, 2018 Comments off

 NathanSmithPhotoFromMobileHomeSSKCommunitiesOwnerFormerMHIChairmanCincinatiUSATodayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

You are entitled to your own opinion
but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

– Daniel Patrick Moynihan, per Wikipedia.

 

Erlanger, KY is across the Ohio River and near Cincinnati, Ohio. Fort Mitchell, KY is nearby too. So, it is no surprise when a successful business professional and highly-visibly Democratic supporter was covered in a profile by Cincinnati, which said as follows.

ErlangerKYFortMitchellKYCincinnatiOhioMapManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

After Nathan Smith was born, his parents brought him to a single-wide mobile home perched on the side of a mountain in southeastern Kentucky.”

If you check the dates, that dwelling would indeed have been a true pre-HUD Code mobile home.

Here is an extended quote from that same source.  The brown text for direct quotes are added by MHProNews.

Today, the 42-year-old Fort Mitchell resident sells, finances and insures manufactured homes in addition to managing manufactured home communities. 

Smith has since leveraged his success in business to become one of the most effective and influential Democratic fundraisers in Kentucky.

For the last 10 or 12 years, Nathan has probably been the most energetic and committed political and financial backer of Democrats from Northern Kentucky,Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said. He is an indefatigable supporter of Democrats. 

Conway, also a Democrat, recalls campaigning in southeastern Kentucky when he heard he needed to meet Smiths parents in Bimble, a small community outside of Barbourville.

The next thing I knew, the car was pulling up a little road alongside a junkyard on the side of a hill,Conway said. I asked for Nathans father and a guy spit out his tobacco and said, You found him.’ ”

Smith has never forgotten the values he learned during his humble upbringing, Conway said.

Nathan has a big heart,Conway said. If he is supporting you, he doesnt just write you a check. He wants to get his friends behind you. He is one of the best in state at gathering support for you.”

Cincinnati is part of the USA Today group of media publications.  You can see below where they stand in the left-right media chart.

USATodayLeftRightMediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

 

As Sharyl Attkisson’s media bias infographic above reflects, USA Today leans left, or put differently, they are more pro-Democratic than Republican (GOP).  You can finish their article on Smith, at this link here.

 

Why This Nathan Smith Profile Now?

There are several reasons to bring up SSK’s Nathan Smith at this time. One is because he remains a mover and shaker at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Smith, MHI and MHI PAC are all busily trying to help shape the 2018 midterms.

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

Smith has considerable ties to Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, and 21st Mortgage Corp. See more in the related reports, linked further below.

As or more revealing, Smith has ties to former President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and is an active, long-time Democratic supporter. Various key U.S. Senate, gubernatorial, and other races will be influenced by Smith’s campaign support.

Smith’s support has included, but is not limited to, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN). According to federal filings, both Brown and Donnelly have reportedly received MHI PAC funds.

SSK’s leader is quoted by MHI as saying, The Manufactured Housing Institute Political Action Committee (MHI-PAC) is the only federally-registered PAC dedicated to supporting bipartisan federal candidates who support manufactured and modular housing as an essential homeownership option.  MHI-PAC allows MHI members from every segment of the industry to pool permissible, voluntary personal financial contributions to support federal candidates for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Thank you to all MHI-PAC contributors who are advancing our industrys dedication to providing affordable, quality homes and financing to all families.”

— Nathan Smith, Chairman of the MHI-PAC and Partner at SSK Communities

That’s an interesting commentary by Smith. Weren’t Democrats the party that passed Dodd-Frank, that throttled manufactured housing lending for years?  Didn’t Democrats pass ObamaCare, which laid heavy burdens on small businesses, and kept millions of workers from having a single, fulltime, living-wage jobs?

NathanSmithPhotoSSKCommunitiesLogoClaytonHomes21stMortgageLogoBerkshireHathawayLogoBillClintonKevinClaytonPhotoWarrenBuffettHillaryClintonphotoMHProNews

How can MHI staff or the MHI Executive Committee board members look their members in the face, and still claim that they’ve worked to advance the interests of small businesses, or manufactured home industry lending?

Isn’t there ample evidence that the opposite is true? Recall the comment linked below from former MHI VP Jason Boehlert, who admitted in writing that with Barack Obama in the White House, the CFPB wouldn’t change their rules or regulations on industry lending?

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

 

Aren’t the disconnects between what MHI – and what some of their leaders, like Nathan Smith – say and do in stark contrast to what they posture and proclaim in their messages and meetings?

In fact, then President Obama threatened to veto MHI’s Preserving Access, had it passed.  These are among the reasons that facts, evidence and history all matter.

Donald Trump, Jr., son of President Donald J. Trump wrote a recent op-ed for Salem News where he named Senator Brown as an opponent to his father’s agenda. Instead, Trump Jr. said those who want to Make America Great Again (MAGA) should support, “…Congressman Jim Renacci is [a pro-Trump MAGA backer]which is why my father endorsed his candidacy for senator. Unlike Brown, Renacci is a successful businessman who knows what it takes to continue the momentum of the Trump agenda.”

According to federal records, MHI’s PAC has cut checks to members of both parties. Among them is Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump is actively campaigning against.

In the tight battle for the U.S. Senate, several checks have been cut by MHI PAC to key Democrats.

Among them is Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), who as MHProNews has reminded industry pros, was Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Democratic running mate for president against Donald J. Trump in 2016. See the photo collage, further above.

Nathan Smith is colorful, affable, and popular. He has given to members of both major parties. But his loyalty is to Democrats. He leads the MHI PAC. He and MHI are in key races arguably working against the interests of small- to midsize-businesses, which are being “consolidated” by Berkshire’s brands, and other ‘big boy’ people just like himself.

The short video in that screen capture above is the one that follows. It’s must viewing for anyone that wants to understand what is actually going on in the foreground and background of the manufactured housing industry’s politics and business climate. Note that in the video, Smith candidly admits MHIs numerous mistakes.

 

But what Smith said must be seen through the lens of these twin adages.

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

It should be noted that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has no PAC, but they do engage in a nonpartisan manner. They are on record as supporting the Trump agenda of regulatory roll backs.

Meanwhile, MHI has postured and pivoted on a variety of issues, but they’ve in fact followed the lead of Buffett’s Berkshire brands in manufactured housing.

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Banner ad above is not connected with the story that it is posted in, for more details, see this link here or click the banner. 

Nathan Smith, Part One of a Series  – Part II Promises Explosive Insights

Nathan Smith led SSK Communities offices are at 467 Erlanger Road, Suite 200 Erlanger, KY 41018-1495. This report is part one of what is planned as a multi-part series here on the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

The Daily Business News will provide more insights into Smith, MHI, MHI PAC, and the ways they have and still are arguably undermining the Trump Administration pro-growth, pro-worker “American Business” and “American Workers” agenda. That’s the latest in “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Senator Elizabeth Warren, 2020 Presidential Prospect, Threatens Wave of New Regulations

June 6th, 2018 Comments off

SenatorElizabethWarrenThreatensWaveNewRegulations

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), blasted the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda Tuesday.   The progressive firebrand defended the post-2008 crisis reforms she helped implement, announcing legislation to end “corporate capture of the regulatory process,” per American Banker.

 

Her speech will accelerate speculation that she will be one of dozens of Democrats pondering a presidential run in 2020.

Warren said she plans to introduce bills to “padlock the revolving door between government and industry,” stop government officials from making policy decisions that personally benefit them, and empower government agencies to pass strong regulations to keep corporate influence out of the process.

Senator Warren “framed the Trump administration’s recent policies, including efforts to roll back Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules,” per AB, as a “war on regulations,” she said.

The so-called war on regulations isn’t about freedom,” Warren expressed during her speech at Georgetown University Law School. “The war on regulations is waged on behalf of giant companies that don’t want to follow any rules. So let’s call it what it really is — a war on public health, a war on public safety, a war on truly free and competitive markets, a war on American workers, a war on American consumers.”

That’s a clear challenge to the rising tide of some 2 out of 3 Americans who pollsters say believe that under President Donald J. Trump’s leadership, the economy is improving.

The answer is pretty simple — corruption,” Warren said. “Giant corporations and wealthy individuals are working in the shadows to make sure that government works for them, not for the people.”

Warren has blasted monopolistic practices before. But Secretary Hillary Clinton, who she supported in 2016, embraced the very corporate giants that Warren is now verbally blasting.

With recently rising markets suggesting that investors are regaining confidence that the White House could be correct on an array of domestic and foreign policy issues, and with Democrats like Doug Schoen saying that their party is locked in their own civil war between moderates and de facto socialists, the senator the president has dubbed “Pocahontas” will be one to watch.

With Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) government relations insider, Nathan Smith of SSK Communities, along side Warren Buffett’s well known pro-Democratic leanings, industry members must ask: if the achievements under the Trump Administration will be undone with their tacit or active support if a Warren win became reality? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Doug Schoen, Clinton Adviser, warns – “Democrats must advance an agenda…to create a society of opportunity for all – not guaranteed outcomes achieved through wealth redistribution.”

Warren Wages War

Warning Signs for Senate Democrats, per Survey Monkey Polling

Fed Reports = American Household Net Worth Soar$

 

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Warren Wages War

March 9th, 2018 Comments off

WarrenWagesWarBombersManufacruredHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Investors routinely say that they prefer “certainty.” That’s true for investors in manufactured home communities, stocks, or businesses.

 

The growing economic confidence during the year following the 2016 election witnessed a well-reported rise in stocks.  That was fueled in part by regulatory rollbacks – the “certainty” caused by an easing of business conditions imposed by the federal government.

The run-up and final passage in late 2017 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act fueled more investor enthusiasm.  Again, ‘certainty’ – plus higher returns on investments – were part of the motivating factors for those who don’t want excessive risk for their capital.

But in the last two months, Wall Street’s equity markets have become choppier.

Among the reasons?

Less certainty over issues like Federal Reserve policies. In the last few weeks anxieties over the looming issue of the Trump Administration’s tough talk on tariffs have emerged.

The headline for this Daily Business News report is an interesting, because there are “two Warrens” that have impacted manufactured housing, and business in general America.

Both Warrens are Democrats.

One is Warren Buffett, and the other is Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Both Warrens are waging wars.

But one Warren has in a sense declared war on the other one.

WarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawaySenElizabethWarrenDMAInquistrTheNationManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Strange Bedfellows, and the Upcoming 2018 Midterm Elections

 Politics makes for strange bedfellows,” said Charles Dudley Warner, per Brainy Quotes. It means “Political interests can bring together people who otherwise have little in common,” says Dictionary.

Elizabeth Warren and President Donald J. Trump can fall into that category, with each trading public barbs on the other.  Yet, on the issue of concerns over monopolistic practices, the two may be become de facto political allies. Both are and have been expressing concerns over monopolies, and how they those monopolies harm competition in the marketplace, the economy, and ultimately, job losses, and wages.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Warren Buffett both supported Secretary Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. In 2020, sources say that the Massachusetts Democrat may be among several hopefuls for her party’s nomination to oppose presumptive GOP favorite, POTUS 45 Trump.

IBTInternationalBusinessTimesWarrenBuffettHillaryClintonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Senator Warren has been an outspoken supporter of the Dodd-Frank legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that bill created under President Barack Obama. She supported Richard Cordray’s handling of the CFPB.

While it reportedly makes Berkshire Hathaway’s 21st Mortgage Corporation President Tim Williams unhappy to have it mentioned, Warren Buffett strongly supported both candidate Barack Obama in each of his presidential election bids, and he backed Secretary Clinton too.

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One may agree or disagree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission. At the same time, one logically ought to question how Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. Williams full presentation is linked here. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

 

Among the reasons cited by Mr. Buffett? His support for Clinton’s position on the CFPB and Dodd-Frank.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is championing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (H.R.1699, S. 1751) legislation to repeal parts of Dodd-Frank harmful to manufactured home lending, retailers, and selling land-lease communities (a.k.a. ‘parks’).

MHI must ignore the logical disconnect between their then chairman Williams blasting “the progressive agenda,” and Buffett’s very public support for Obama-Clinton support for Dodd-Frank.

The graphic above “Threats and Challenges” is from a power point presented by Williams to MHI members.  It was provided to MHProNews by a source with ties to 21st and MHI. Again, note the obvious contradictions?

Is Williams seriously opposed to his boss Buffett?

After all, Buffett says he supports progressive causes, and Democratic candidates.

Or is it, as industry insiders say, a form of shadow boxing – political play-acting – made to appear like an effort to help retailers and communities is underway?  When in fact Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman openly supported Clinton’s support, which included her support for Dodd-Frank?

The contradictions are too great to ignore.  Nor will MHI, or the Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing explain it, as repeated opportunities to do so have been offered by MHProNews.

 

Some Things Defy Logic…

Clinton Delivers DoddFrank Defense to Wall Street. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett will fundraise with Hillary Clinton,” reported Bloomberg in December 2015.

Yet just days before, Secretary Clinton wrote in a New York Times op-ed that, “As president, I would not only veto any legislation that would weaken financial reform, but I would also fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank.”

Why did Wall Street and Buffett support Clinton?  Because the big banks have grown under Dodd-Frank, as even Senator Warren admits.

It’s the smaller banks and lending institutions that have suffered.

If it seems confusing, it is simple once one thinks as Warren Buffett does – long-term, and per the thesis of the Nation’s recent series on monopolies – in terms of crushing the competition.

How handy is it from Mr. Buffett when the federal regulators – in this case, the CFPB – are the ones doing the crushing for the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway?

It’s “Fair Warning,” not “I Told You So”

 

Warren vs. Warren, Strange Bedfellows, and Manufactured Housing

Sen. Warren opposes S 2155, which is currently the hot topic for MHI on Capital Hill. She opposes Preserving Access too. MHI’s prior chairman has reportedly given Democrat Sherrod Brown campaign contributions. Interesting, because Brown has also come out against S. 2155, as the Daily Business News recently reported.

Brown and former MHI Chair Nathan Smith, of SSK Communities, are said to be chummy. Cincinnati reported that Smith’s cell had Sen Brown’s personal number, and Open Secrets also reported his support for Democratic candidates, including Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.

Senators Warren and Brown have both blasted S 2155.

Senator Warren has also stated her concerns over monopolistic practices and how that hurts the economy, workers and smaller business.  Warren’s House colleagues have specifically called out Warren Buffett on Preserving Access and the troubling business practices.

An Elizabeth Warren video is predominately promoted by Americans for Financial Reform, which boasts 50 organizations opposing Preserving Access, with several manufactured home owner groups named among them.

Perhaps it is that strong opposition that has been factored in by GovTrack and Skopos Labs, which give S. 1751 only a 3 percent chance of passage in the Senate.

 

SkoposGovTrack2018-03-09_1219PreservingAccessManufacturedHousingActDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act’s sad odds of passage that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is unlikely to publicly admit to, are at 3 percent. Why spend millions on a plan that has such low odds? This report and the details linked help shed light on that question.

 

Following the Money, and MHI Disconnects

The rather public disconnects between MHI’s stated positions and what key people at or behind MHI has been reported more widely in the past eighteen months on the Daily Business News.

MHI has literally written checks to candidates who support or even co-sponsored Dodd-Frank and the Safe Act. Berkshire’s Buffett, former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of SSK communities and others supported Secretary Clinton, who opposed Dodd-Frank changes.

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Let’s be clear. Nathan Smith, Warren Buffett, or anyone else, can support whomever they want to. That’s not the issue. The controversy here is that Smith is a leader at MHI, was the Chairman, is on the MHI PAC and GR committees, and yet was supporting those who opposed Preserving Access. It’s the contradiction of saying one thing, and doing another. That’s the issue that MH investors, professionals, and MHI members must focus on. Where is the logic?  The solution to that is spelled out in this and linked reports.

As MHI asks the rank and file of the industry to support this or that cause, bill, or candidate, each industry member may be tempted to give the benefit of the doubt to the national association.

As one community-retail operation president told MHProNews, most people are too busy trying do their day-by-day operations to pay much attention to what may look complex.  So, they often work on trust, and that is an advantage that Warren Buffett and others apparently count on (see the resource links, after this article for quotes and more details).

So perhaps not enough industry pros are looking at the actual track record of MHI?

Because bills MHI claim to support, or positions they advocated for, have often proven to enrich or benefit a few, while harming or cutting off opportunities for the many.

Discovering that MHI track record of legislative failures doesn’t take much research.  Preserving Access is just one example of the disconnects between what MHI claims to want to do, and what leaders like Buffett, Smith and others actually are doing.

SupporterdByMHIVotedForDoddFrankSafeActDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It’s like supporting politicos with donations that have taken positions that the association claims to be against.  See the above.

While other’s in America are concerned about monopolies and how they harm different industries, by contrast, MHI prefers to deny it.

100YearsAgoTodayNationMonopoliesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manufactured housing isn’t alone. But other industries are bucking up in their respective industries.  Why isn’t MHI doing the same as MHARR, which has sounded this alarm? See concentration in manufactured housing in the pie shaped graphic, further below.

 

Warren’s War on Monopolies, Like Buffett’s

Senator Warren’s theme that antitrust can be used to protect small businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, workers and just about everyone else from the ‘rich and powerful,’” averred the National Law Review, “shows that increasing antitrust enforcement has become a key party line for the upcoming” midterms, said the right-of-center New American.

I was very pleased that the entire Democratic caucus signed onto a statement of principle that urged stronger enforcement of antitrust laws as one of our promises to the American people.” Elizabeth Warren, The Nation.

In recent years,” according to the Democratic “Better Deal” platform, “antitrust regulators have been unable or unwilling to pursue complaints about anticompetitive conduct.”

It was a rare rebuke to Obama’s record, reflecting a shift in Democratic thinking on monopolization,” says the Nation, which cited Presidents Obama and Bush 43 as both being weak on antitrust (anti-monopoly) enforcement actions.

I believe in markets,” Senator Warren said. “But markets work only when everyone gets a fair opportunity to compete.”

Just look at the numbers: 

 

  • Four airlines control over 80 percent of domestic airline seats. 
  • Five health-insurance giants control over 80 percent of the health-insurance market. 
  • Three drugstore chains have 99 percent of the industry’s revenues.
  • Four companies control over 85 percent of America’s beef market.
  • Two giants sell over 70 percent of all beer in America.

That’s a big problem. It’s a problem because, when a few big players control an entire industry, it has devastating impacts on both the economy and our political system,” Senator Warren said.

Left, right, or center, those facts are hard to argue.

She didn’t say so, but using MHI’s own data:Warren Wages War, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Manufactured Housing Institute, MHI, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, VMF, Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, prior, former, MHI Chairman,

  • 3 companies control some 70 percent of manufactured housing.
  • If the Skyline – Champion deal goes through as expected, that will become some 75 percent market concentration in 3 companies.

Isn’t that the same pattern Senator Warren and others are expressing concerns about?

ManufacturedHomesMarketShareMHIMembersClaytonCavcoChampionDaiyBusinessNewsMHProNews

But it’s not just small-business owners who are forced to play a rigged game. When big companies control concentrated industries, as Bryce Covert makes clear in “Monopolies Harm Workers Too,” they can pay their employees less, because there aren’t other businesses around to make better offers,” said an editorial in the Nation, which cited Warren Buffett and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and others among the new breed of modern monopolists they are concerned about.

The big fight now is to make the Justice Department and the [Federal Trade Commission] and other agencies use the tools they already have to protect competition. I’ll give you three steps that the federal government can take to revive competition: Block anticompetitive mergers; stop anticompetitive conduct; and prioritize protecting competition,” Senator Warren said.

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

 

Summing Up…

Senator Warren has declared war on those who are monopolists and who support changes to Dodd-Frank. She has also prepared for battle on S 2155, or any other attempts to roll back Dodd-Frank.

Warren Buffett has, per the Nation, declared a different kind of war to take dominate certain sectors, and that includes manufactured housing. “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning,” said Warren Buffett, per Good Reads.

Kevin Clayton, Warren Buffett’s CEO over Clayton Homes jokes about Buffett’s hating two kinds of competition, foreign and domestic.

The Atlantic predicted years ago what has been coming to pass in terms of Clayton/Berkshire dominance over manufactured housing. Clayton freely says in the video linked among the resources below that Buffett wants the moat expanded.  Clayton said Buffett is willing to lose money (they haven’t, but would he said) for 5 years, so long as the moat kept expanding.

Isn’t that a classic anti-competition statement? One Kevin Clayton made on camera, in a video?

The logic of this is simple, once you understand the Buffet/Clayton/MHI moat concepts.

So long as competition is being harmed, passing Preserving Access or not means little to Warren Buffett/Berkshire/Clayton; so long as the moat is growing.

MHI has been dominated for years by Clayton dues, and Berkshire Hathaway brands holding 2 of the 4 key board positions on their executive committee.

That’s also obvious from quotes above about Buffett’s support of Secretary Clinton and President Obama, not to mention the linked information below.

Eric Belsky at Harvard believed manufactured housing could dominate home building by the end of 2010; but what he apparently didn’t count on was Buffett and their “Moat,” and how those sharks in the water work.

So, what is Preserving Access all about?  Insider sources say, it is a distraction.  It postures an effort, which win, lose or draw, benefits Berkshire Hathaway’s ‘the moat’ strategy.

There are reasons why a number of state associations quit MHI.

Others that haven’t quit are sticking in, some sources have told MHProNews, because of the power of 21st over independents (see report, linked below).

21st sources have told MHProNews, that they do business with those guys (Rolfe’s RV Horizons, MHU et al), and late last year, Rolfe announced he would not comment any more on such industry issues.

But if Rolfe never said another word, or if he completely shifted his tune, what he’s already said about MHI, their failure to defend the industry from outside attacks, and their doomed to ail Preserving Access plan were and are devastating. What more needs be said?

 

Independents, Defense and Offense

There are perhaps steps that could be taken by individual retailers and communities.  It could logicaly start with something as easy as no longer supporting MHI.

But survival strategies must begin with an understanding and acceptance of the painful reality that the industry’s largest association – MHI – is, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said, working for the interests of a few conglomerates.

Independents, small to mid-sized players take note.  Once mighty Fleetwood retail finally failed, about the time that 21st sent out their ‘smoking gun’ letters (see resources, below).  The Fleetwood of today, and the Champion of today are rebirths of once giant companies that were bankrupted by forces that arguably included the Berkshire Hathaway onslaught.

With Buffett’s manufactured housing industry connected brands,

  • moves on subjects such as DTS,
  • their control or influence over much of the lending (21st, Vanderbilt Mortgage (VMF) and Wells Fargo,
  • their financial and political clout,

…the threat to independents must be seen as serious.

Even in the stable manufactured home community sector, if capital and lending are cut, the value of properties drops dramatically.

Consolidation has increased, according to MHI’s own data.  Forces across the left-right political divide are pointing to monopolistic practices, as key causes.

Will Democrats and some in the GOP, including President Trump and his administration work together to solve the crisis caused by what the Nation has called modern monopolistic forces?

That legal battle is one that manufactured home investors and professionals should consider. Because as this and other analysis have alleged and outlined, whatever happens on Preserving Access or other regulatory forces benefit Buffett’s brands, no matter what happens.

A growing chorus of voices from inside and outside of manufactured housing are saying that smaller businesses, workers, and Americans are paying the price for that kind of market power.

The Warrens have both declared war. Buffett on industry’s he seeks to dominate. Independents, workers and Americans are caught up in the smoke of war, in what Senator Warren, the 45th president, and others have called “a rigged system.” ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related:

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

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

Warren Buffett’s Annual Report to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, Clayton Homes and Manufactured Housing

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

Federal Manufactured Housing Program Review Comments Due Next Week, 2.26.2018

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

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

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, MH won’t reach 40,000 of that total. What happened?

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

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

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

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

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

 

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Hensarling files Financial CHOICE Act to replace Dodd-Frank

September 13th, 2016 Comments off
house_____financialservices_dot_house_dot_gov__credit

Financial Services Committee logo.

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) recently introduced the Financial CHOICE Act, which would serve as a Republican alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act.

This move was made because it’s believed the Democratic-backed Dodd-Frank Act has had a negative impact on the country’s economic recovery; a recovery the Financial Services Committee chair says is the weakest and slowest since at least World War II.

The goal of the Financial CHOICE Act is to put the brakes on taxpayer-funded bailouts of large financial institutions and believe banks have fallen victim to regulations that are believed to not only slow the economy, but also harm consumers. The act will also pose harsher penalties on people who commit financial fraud and hold Washington Regulators more accountable.

Since Democrats passed Dodd-Frank, Americans on Main Street have been struggling with stagnant wages, struggling to get small business loans and struggling to save for the future,” Hensarling said in a statement, which was provided to MHProNews.

jeb_hensarling__financialservice_house_gov__credit__rep_texas

Jeb Hensarling Financial Services, credit, House.gov

House Republicans have a better way forward. It’s called the Financial CHOICE Act and it stands for Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs,” held Hensarling.

The Daily Business News (DBN) recently reported on how Dodd-Frank-inspired regulations have actually done more harm than good for consumers, as true costs equate to $112 and $310 per household. Most manufactured housing (MH) professionals have expressed that Dodd-Frank has harmed their business, and has harmed industry home owners and prospective MH consumers too.

Despite reports of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports more than $11 billion in relief for 27 million Americans, Dodd-Frank regulations have lead to a 14.5% decrease in revolving credit, per the DBN post linked here.

The Financial CHOICE Act Vision

Hensarling’s vision for the Financial CHOICE Act sees it as an opportunity to put an end to taxpayer-funded bailouts once and for all, prevent the well-connected and powerful from taking advantage of the current system and pull the “red tape” that’s intended for the big banks on Wall Street, off smaller, local banks on Main Street.

wall-street-journal-popvox-hensarling-dodd-frank-posteddailybusinessnews-mhpronews

Photo credit, Wall Street Journal, PopVox.

“(The Act) requires banks to be well capitalized to prevent another financial crisis and puts in place the toughest penalties in history to protect consumers from fraud and deception,” Hensarling said in his prepared statement. “It will help grow the economy for all Americans; not just those at the top.”

The Financial CHOICE Act is also looked at as an opportunity to create jobs to level the playing field so every American Citizen has an opportunity to gain financial independence, regardless of where their starting line is in life.

That’s our plan and it’s a better way to revitalize America,” Hensarling continued.

The Financial CHOICE Act’s first details were released in June. The committee plans to meet Sept 13 to begin the debate the of proposal, consider possible amendments and vote on legislation. Appealing to the majority of the nation that feels the system is rigged, Chairman Hensarling also stated that the act “…stops the cronyism that allows the powerful and well-connected to game our system.”

If passed and signed into law, the Financial CHOICE Act would make the MHI backed and MH industry sought Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650-S682) unnecessary.

Preserving Access passed the House last spring, but is stalled in the Senate. President Obama signaled he would veto the bill if it hit his desk.

Secretary Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, has pledged to continue Dodd-Frank. Clinton has the support of powerful industry figures like Warren Buffett and prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith. Meanwhile, GOP nominee Donald Trump has promised to repeal Dodd-Frank, asserting that it was harming business and the economy. ##

(Image credits as shown)

Joe_Dyton_DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews125x125-

Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton, Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Feb. 7-Feb. 14, 2016

February 14th, 2016 Comments off

mhpronews_sunday_morningWhat’s New in public focused Manufactured HomeLivingNews.com

Manufactured and Mobile Homes Aren’t Just for Millionaires – Main Street, Middle America Too

What’s New in Manufactured Housing Industry Professional News

High rents tough on low-income families. Residents of co-ops save money. Drew notches record revenues. New HUD rule supported by U. S. Senators. OMHA’s Director Williams testifies before state committee. Ordinance allows HUD Code homes in county. Modulars housing refugees in Germany, inmates in North Dakota, homeless in Hawaii. Dewberry helping Sioux with MH. SSK acquires MHC. CFPB corrects typo in rule. Labor and lot shortage inhibit site-built housing growth. New MHC set for Alberta, Canada. Much, much more in news and views for you to peruse as you sip your morning jo.

Saturday, Feb.13 2016

Senators Donnelly, Coats Support new HUD Rule

Friday, Feb 12

Capsys Swept up by Modular Builder Whitley Manufacturing

Study Reveals Resident-Owned Communities pay less for Sites

Dow Spikes, Carlyle Advances over 10 Percent, MHCV Gains more than Five Percent

Skyline Corp. Director Purchases 5,000 Shares

Pithy Letter to Editor contrasts Mobile Homes as Vehicles with the Modern Manufactured Home reality

Drew Reports Record Sales for Q4 2015

Thursday, Feb. 11

Modular Housing Booming for Refugees in Germany

Modular Housing: From Oil Patch to Patching a Correctional Facility

Patrick Advances Again, +6.08%, as Falling Oil Prices Fells Dow

Ohio’s Association Director Williams Testifies before House Committee

Ordinance Changed, County now Welcomes HUD Code since 1976

Carlyle Posts Q4 2015 Financials, as it Invests in Northern Calif. MHC

Wednesday, Feb. 10

SSK Acquires Hickory Hills MHC in Kentucky

Patrick Advances +2.70%, as Most Stocks are Quiet

William Sheffer takes Helm of Michigan Association

CFPB Corrects Typo in the TILA-RESPA Rule

Homeless Residents Occupying Modular Container Homes in Honolulu

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Producer of High Tech Manufactured Homes Obtains Loan to Buy Facility

Trump Thumps Rs, Hill feels the Bern in NH Primary

Labor and Lot Shortage could Hinder Housing Market Recovery

Patrick Falls over Nine Percent as Oil Drops below $28/bbl

Manufactured Home Community Planned in Alberta, Canada

First State MHA Offering Scholarships up to $1k

Monday, Feb. 8

Skyline Picks Foxworthy to Head Operations

Deer Valley Spikes Nearly 25% as Dow Falls over one Percent

HUD Closes Loophole on RV Exemption

Hollywood Calling: Quitsville Leaves Hilary Duff with Malibu Mobile Home

Dewberry Still Assisting Sioux with Manufactured Homes

High Rents Yield Hard Times for Low/Fixed Income Families

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Jan. 31 -Feb. 7, 2016 ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.