Posts Tagged ‘Steve Duke’

Spotlighting Pro-Growth Educational Effort by Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association

December 18th, 2018 Comments off



The Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association (LMHA) video below takes a tact at defending and promoting the acceptance of manufactured homes that is noteworthy.



It could have utilized the singularly important point of HUD Code manufactured home enhanced preemption, or any number of other research points that were available at the time the video was produced. So while it is useful, it could be improved.



Lenny Kopowski and Steve Duke at LMHA have been doing such educational and outreach efforts for years.



The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.


That said, it debatably stands far and away better than anything that the national Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has produced to date.

Several states have made efforts at growing the industry at the state level. That’s laudable.

The unfortunate point is that MHI, which has millions a year in budget should be doing this sort of work, shouldn’t they? Don’t they claim to represent all aspects of factory-built housing?


Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response


Louisiana’s slip in new home shipments is one of several topics that MHI has ignored in their recent ‘newsletter’ to their members. Several states have told MHProNews that they are concerned.



Louisiana is one of the top ten states for manufactured home shipments in recent years, per data collected by HUD and reported by MHARR. Clayton Homes has a serious presence in the state. Yet, sales are declining. Why???


Michigan’s shipments is another top ten state in recent years that has been losing, not gaining, in year-over-year new manufactured home shipments.

What will change this or other troubling industry dynamics?

One answer is the one that UMH President Sam Landy suggested, each company is responsible for its own marketing. Each company is logically responsible for its own sales engagement systems too.

After all, all sales are local ones.

Beyond that, independents who want to see growth should consider new alliances.

Because in the post-production sector, that MHI claims to be doing, the evidence suggests they are fast at defending themselves or a favored company, such as Clayton or 21st.

But beyond that, they’re  efforts for protecting, educating, and promoting on behalf of the broader industry have not produced anything akin to this generally promising notion by LMHA, posted above. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)


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Related Reports:

#1 Texas Among States with New HUD Code Sales, Experiences Shipment Drop, Facts Reveal Warning Signs


#$2Trillion U.S. GDP Growth via Affordable Housing Plan Few Discuss – Introducing #YimbyVictory2020




Propaganda, and the Manufactured Housing Revolution

October 25th, 2017 Comments off

PropagandaLeninDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsOne believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
― Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda


IdowuKoyenikanGoodReadsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.”
― Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability




Free enterprise can only be truly free when the laws and information flowing to people and professionals are as ‘accurate, fair and balanced’ as possible.

When a multi-tiered caste-like legal and information system exists – where some can get away with almost anything based upon money, influence, and power – a society’s freedom becomes ever-more limited.

From the beginning 9 years ago, MHProNews has brought readers a variety of perspectives from across the factory built housing world.


Just a tiny fraction of the industry personalities that have been interviewed or who have commented on the record on MHProNews, and/or

We’ve challenged professionals, but have done that by involving pros like you.

Hundreds of Industry Voices have been quoted over the years.

Sources across the political, economic, association spectrums have been – and continue to be – examined.


In a world of fake news, one has to understand the agenda behind the sources. We’re the first – and still only – industry publisher to spotlight the usefulness of Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart. This is a useful tool in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. We save readers time, and cut through the clutter with context, because time is money.

Thanks to our sponsors, clients, sources, supporters – and thousands of readers like you daily – we became the number one trade media source within just months of our initial launch in the depth of the UnGreat Post 2008 Recession.


We’ve said for years, 15 minutes minimum daily on MHProNews, and 15 minutes a day learning and sharing what’s on MHLivingNews, those are the building blocks of powerful understanding that can fuel the industry’s success.

It’s a fact.


Today, no one else in MHVille even comes close to our level of engaged readership.  My personal thanks to all who’ve made that possible. Sign ups for our headline news email updates are growing.


Together, we’ve created the content that industry professionals crave.

The mission has always been, and remains, to have a goal and solution orientation.

What’s the challenge? What are the root causes of any given problem?


By asking the right questions, and seeking the truth on a subject – we strive day by day to advance the cause of modern manufactured homes.

Alongside HUD Code manufactured housing, we share reports on the other necessary aspects of home building technologies, including modular, 3D, tiny, prefab and other forms of off-site building as a vital part for a prosperous America.


The Record Speaks

Material first published here has been read into the Congressional record.

The CFPB and others in federal government have cited our work.

Hundreds of mainstream newspapers have reported on or mentioned our work.

Yes, we candidly could be scaled to accomplish more, but we squeeze every dime until it hollers, dollars.


We engage public officials, media, industry professionals, and all those who may advance – or stand in the way – of the industry’s and our home owner’s complete acceptance.

Serious dives into hot button topics like Finance, Rent Control, Associations, Politics and Economics have made us the most trusted and respected source for news; even by those who may not agree with our editorial take on an issue.

Whatever your politics, whatever your role in the industry,

  • from the new and rising stars
  • to the most powerful people in our industry
  • and all in between read MHProNews.

The fact that some backstab, slur or slam – but still read or comment on our work – are among the highest compliments that we can get.

We’re here to break the chains that have held our industry back.


We’re here to provide the “Industry News Tips and Views Pros Can Use.” ©


We launched the Manufactured Housing Revolution © moniker years ago, with a copyrighted book.


None of this has been a solo act.JohnBostickPresidentSunshineHomesRedBayAL-OurIndustryProvidesGreenAppealingOptionsWeeksNotMonths-DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews

It has been team work from day one.


It remains a team effort, working to advance the best practices and proper understanding of the MHIndustry.


Together with equally goal and solution oriented individuals, we will advance the cause for consumers and professionals in leveling the playing field as best we can, day by day.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that the wrong terminology impacts price. But it also impacts people’s emotions, see the poet who rejected the use of the t-word with regard to her home, by clicking the image above.

With the continued support and interest in our work, with more signing up for our emailed news and views, and more logging on daily here to read, with God’s help, the best is yet to come.


We don’t tell you how to think, but we daily challenge people to think.


We Provide, You Decide.” ©


And by giving you facts from across the spectrum, you have the time saving, money making tools to do just that, right here, on MHProNews.

Only the truth will set us free.



My personal thanks to my wife, son, family, friends, fellow professionals and the hundreds who have sent in 9th anniversary kudos, and have provided kind words via phone, email, and social media. ## (9th Anniversary, principles, analysis, mission, commentary, and thank you.)

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


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach addressing industry professionals in an educational session.


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
Industry consultantservice provider,
and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC –
the parent company to the industry’s top trade media and

Happy 41st Birthday, HUD Code Manufactured Homes

June 15th, 2017 Comments off

HappyFrstBirthdayManufacturedHousingMHProNews41 years ago, today, manufactured housing was “born.” The conception for what become federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes was the media crisis that occurred regarding some “shoddy” mobile homes in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Flashback to Flash Forward…

While many mobile home builders in those pre-HUD Code days took the long view and built to reasonable construction and safety standards – such as the ANSI standards available then – other producers were less diligent about quality and customer satisfaction. 60 Minutes and others in media profiled consumer complaints.

Regrettably, as can happen, the good got lumped in with the bad.

The media and public ‘hue and cry’ led a coalition of builders to push for federally preemptive standards. Those were passed by Congress in 1974. Those standards took effect on June 15, 1976, the day when the first official manufactured homes were produced.

So as all industry professionals ought to know, mobile homes and manufactured homes are not the same thing.  Important safety, quality, energy and durability features were all “born” with the HUD Code for manufactured housing.


The popularity of mobile homes rose rapidly in the post World War II period. The first big drop came during the time that the HUD Code for manufactured housing was passed and went into effect. Chart above credit, Calculated Risk.

Why It Matters

As Steve Duke with the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association (LMHA) told MHLivingNews, “The terminology matters because the terminology determines the construction standards a home was built to.”

Terminology and its meaning with respect to pre-Code, post-HUD Code for manufactured home standards is precisely the hinge that creates headache issues for researchers, public officials and home buyers.

While many in the industry focus on the SEO value of ‘mobile homes,’ which doesn’t have to be ignored, they may fail to see that ‘mobile homes’ and ‘trailer houses’ have such a distaste with the bulk of the public, that it has tainted the manufactured home industry.

That in turn is one of several factors that have depressed manufactured home sales, as MHProNews and our sister site, MHLivingNews, have carefully documented over the years.


Most Men Appear Never to Have Considered What a House is…Henry David Thoreau, MHLivingNews.

Real World Examples of How the Public Views ‘Mobile Homes’

Do not buy a manufactured home, if this was a real tornado, this house would (be) gone in 60 seconds or less. wow! the things people do to make a dime. geez!” – Robert Delacerda, said in a post on YouTube.

Replying to a comment by ‘Root Beer,’ Delacerda elaborated by saying, “well said sir, mobile homes are weak and made of cheap materials. a tornado of f-0 [sic] would destroy this shack in a vlink [sic] of a eye. funny video though.”

Duane Dean posted, “We live in a newer (1993) single wide mobile home and its anchored. The work I have done myself on this place just make me quiver to think anyone would ever stay in one during any tornado.”

There have been pro-MH comments on the video too; one example of common sense was from a man who said he’s a Joplin firefighter.

Aegeus Max, said, “as a Joplin firefighter that worked the debris I can tell you that it is not safe anywhere in a tornado except underground. The neighborhood I worked was an upscale all with basements…”

It will take repeated efforts to clear up the confusion.  Even having read Max’s statement, James Dennis replied,But still, if I live in a M home or a mobile home and I see a tornado I’m getting in the car and driving to a shelter or getting out of the path of the tornado.”

When we look at the low conversion ratios of those shopping for modern manufactured home vs. those that actually buy, industry professionals have said to this writer for years that fear of tornadoes is one of the biggest issues.

This is why the research and videos MHLivingNews and MHProNews have done – in conjunction with industry professionals, sponsors and supporters – on this issue are useful and important. Those selling to actual home shoppers have told us that when they show someone “on the fence” that has expressed fears about windstorm one of our videos, it has often caused the skeptics to buy.


Engaging the public who are actually commenting on topics like mobile and manufactured homes has tremendous value, so long as the engagement is sustained, not just a one time thing.

Chris Noah, who identified himself as a manufactured home (MH) owner, and on the same YouTube video as the others quoted above, posted this: “we have had straight line storms with winds in access of 80mph, we also on a hill with no wind breaks, and no problems here…”

MH owner Noah found encouragement from that early video, and he also stood up to those who were belittling their lack of understanding about manufactured homes, with his own experiences.

We have, through debates and discussions, turned some nay-sayers into silence, actual or potential believers. But in the absence of engaging and changing minds, there are comments like this one this week:

ArmyGuy63Bravo1 said, “im gonna open the “tornado magnet trailer park” soon with free rent for 3 months.” (Typos in the original).

Do we wonder why zoning officials have a problem with the public pushing back on new development, expansions or placement of manufactured homes in their jurisdictions?

Only education – repeated, on-going education – can change those kinds of patterns of false impressions.  One press release one time isn’t enough.

A new video was posted on YouTube that updated the one Noah and the others have seen. This new video posted on YouTube is shown below.

Anniversaries for the ‘birthday’ of the HUD Code for manufactured homes are useful times to engage in such education.

People Want Facts, Not Hype and Claims

This goes to a point raised by community partner Tom Fath in his video interview.  Fath says that home owners want to be part of the solution for misunderstandings about the industry.  That’s the value Fath says that MHLivingNews provides to residents and homeowners. They have happier, better informed residents as a result.

Those residents – along with those videos they can point shoppers to – are in turn causing more people to buy.

Their sales have skyrocketed as a result.  Or as Deer Valley Homebuilders James McGee and Chet Murphree said in an previous video interview, “Tony, we know that it’s all about education…thank you for leading the charge for that…”

That’s a key point of doing videos and stories; to help doubters see the reality vs. the overhyped fears.  But there is more of it needed.  This is why the engagement with MSU researchers we did with MHARR is so important to the industry. See the summary of that debate, linked here.


To see the fuller context for the on-the-record disucssion with Mark Skidmore and his colleagues at MSU, click here or the image above.

Researchers all-too-often don’t know the factual difference between mobile homes and manufactured homes.  That’s how poor a job overall the industry has done with getting out the facts about Ron Thomas Sr.’s reference to manufactured housing as a “phenomenon,” but one that is misunderstood by many public officials, lenders, and millions of others.

About the 41st Birthday of Manufactured Homes

The establishment of the HUD Code was — and is — an important milestone for both the industry and consumers.  The industry itself sought out federal regulation under a preemptive, performance-based, uniform code of federal standards that balances the key factors of safety and cost, along with uniform enforcement within a federal-state partnership,” said Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

This type of federal regulation — so long as it is reasonable — allows the industry to pass-along the efficiencies of factory-construction to home buyers, in the form of unparalleled affordability and quality,” Weiss said.

He elaborated by saying that “today’s manufactured homes have achieved the level of quality, durability, and safety that Congress envisioned when it passed the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.” But he also said that for the industry to reach its potential, a shakeup of the HUD Program was needed by the Trump Administration. His full comments are linked here.

The Bottom Line

Industry business leaders and management professionals must be personally informed, and they in turn must engage their own teams in the best understanding of the need for and value of manufactured homes.

Professionals in turn must educate those that they encounter.  This has to be a local market level effort.  Tom Fath and his family, along with others, have proven that this is not only doable, its profitable ## (News, Analysis, Commentary).

(Editor’s Note: To see our 40th anniversary article – made for the public in mind – click here.)

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


L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Are Mobile Home Fires Burning the Manufactured Housing Industry?

May 10th, 2017 Comments off

Passing the torches image credit, Katz Financial. Text graphic, by RC Williams/Daily Business News.

The battle between the office of Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) over the Ohio Manufactured Housing Commission (OMHC), shined a bright light on a large, ongoing challenge related to the industry and terminology.

When you type “mobile home fires” into Google, you get over 3 million entries, perhaps spanning the life of the internet. These include studies on causation, injuries, deaths, dollars, etc. — not just the fires alone.

Those millions of stories provide one of the striking reasons why the public impression about ‘mobile homes’ is so poor.  Years of media accounts about mobile homes burning are seared into the public’s minds.


On 5.10.2017 at 2:11 ET, there were over 3 Million ‘hits‘ on Mobile Home Fires in this Google Search. Posted on the Daily Busines News,

Conflating fire risks in pre-HUD Code mobile homes with manufactured homes


Marty Lavin, JD.

are one of several possible examples of what Marty Lavin, JD –  industry communities, retail and finance veteran calls “the other industry image campaign.”

That negative stereotypes mainstream media “campaign” is waged by locals – who for whatever reasons – fail to report information accurately.

That in turn naturally spills over into the public’s impression of manufactured homes.

While the public is clamoring for affordable housing – and the need is in the tens of billions annually – it seems that fears about fires are among the reasons they don’t turn to manufactured homes more often as their solution.

LindseyBostick-SunshineHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAs a result, a recent Zillow report indicates that only about 8% of shoppers are ‘considering’ a mobile or manufactured home, and only about half of those end up purchasing.  Yet, as Credit Human’s Barry Noffsinger – or millenial and manufactured home owner, Lindsey Bostick of Sunshine Homes – have told MHProNews, the description of what people are looking for fits well with what today’s manufactured homes offers.

The challenge is, that millions seeking housing just don’t consider it.  Per Zillow’s survey, half that do, buy.

Fire-Heated Questions


Every year, there are older conventional housing units that burn. Does that cause an outcry against conventional building? No. Similarly, when older mobile homes burn, it should not impact the image of modern manufactured homes. Sadly, though,
it does. Image credit: YouTube still.

The “burning question” is how many of these fires occurred in pre-HUD Code homes, and how many in manufactured homes?

Surprisingly, the exact answer is not known. But the reason that it’s unknown is sadly clear.

Many if not most news reports do not distinguish between mobile and manufactured homes. The absence of that distinction – and poor use of terminology in other stories – thus feeds into a myth that continues to plague the contemporary manufactured housing industry.

That in turn leads millions to incorrectly believe that all factory-built homes have the same old (high) risk of fire that mobile homes built 40 years ago did.

The Daily Business News has periodically pointed out the facts versus myths surrounding manufactured homes and fires, noting that homes built under post-1976 federal regulations have a somewhat lower fire rates than a traditional, site-built house.


The terminology matters because the terminology determines the construction standards a home was built to,” said Steve Duke, LMHA.

An Example of The Impact on the MH Industry

As noted, Ohio is an example where poor information created industry challenges, because the opposition claims run counter to the facts.

The Ohio Fire Chief’s Association’s letter to lawmakers in March supported a provision in the state budget to kill the Ohio Manufactured Home Commission (OMHC), proposing to roll its functions into the Ohio Department of Commerce.

The Daily Business News covered the response from the commission in a story, linked here.

30 people died in 1,208 manufactured home fires between 2012 and 2016,” said the letter from the fire chief’s association.

Ohioans are 4.2 times more likely to die in a manufactured home that caught fire than one- or two-family home.”


Manufactured homes are far safer than mobile homes, per the NFPA. To see the report, click the graphic above for the story and attached documents, available as a download.

But that statement by the fire chief’s association was inaccurate, as a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) study reflected.

The NFPA also carefully noted the proper and improper use of nomenclature, see that graphic below.

Publisher and consultant Tony Kovach stresses that facts like the above must become second nature for industry professionals to know, link to and otherwise share. “It’s the industry that has the motivation to educate the public on the realities vs. the old facts or myths,” says Kovach. “The rewards and profits are going to those who take part in those educational efforts, and who make a difference in their own marketsThat educational effort benefits home owners too.  Manufactured home owners could enjoy faster resale and higher resale values.  Home buyers, renters, job creation…virtually everyone in the mix can benefit by dispelling the myths and dated relaties.”

Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) Executive Director Tim Williams and Association of Manufactured Home Residents in Ohio (AMHRO) President Frank Pojman joined forces to point out the facts to their legislators.

That “teaming up” is critical, because arguably home owners’ property values are negatively impacted by the impression that manufactured homes burn and kill, a mistaken notion spread by problematic media reports.

The administration is spreading false information and misleading information because the commission is pushing back against Kasich’s proposal,” said Williams.

The OMHC also conducts inspections of all new and previously owned manufactured home installations, resulting in less than 10 complaints in the last three years.

By comparison, 23,000 home installations have occurred in the last decade, and prior to the Commission’s existence 500-800 improper home installation complaints occurred annually.


Gov. Kasich, official photo. Ohio EPA, OMHC, OMHA, logos, photo, credits: Digital Imaging Reporter and their respective organizations.

I urge any of your Committee to review agendas and minutes of the MH Commission meetings, to see the all-important issues that are discussed, for the benefits and safety of manufactured homeowners,” said Pojman during recent testimony.

Terminology Matters 

In a recent story on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, MHProNews asked Urbana, Ohio Fire Chief Mark Keller to clarify details on a recent home fire reported in his town.

This fire involved a true mobile home and was not a manufactured home. I do not have the age of the mobile home available right now,” Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller told MHProNews.

Mobile homes are inherently bad with fire conditions. They’re not really designed to withhold any kind of fire.”

Chief Keller was specific, because MHProNews directly inquired about the facts of the case, which allowed MHLivingNews to properly represent the facts of that sad incident.  But how can doing that correct-the-record once or occasionally be enough in the face of the thousands of such stories being reported a year?

Thus, Kovach argues that it responding to misleading media accounts must become the routine.  When both MHI and MHARR have said that the industry ought to be doing hundreds of thousands of new home shipments a year, the value of correctly the record should be clear.

Sloppy Journalism?

mark_weiss_mharr_pesident__mhpronews__creditMark Weiss, JD – President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – has spoken out strongly on the matter, calling the laziness of news agencies “sloppy journalism.”

While any harm to people or property is regrettable, there is no excuse for sloppy journalism that can harm the industry and consumers. The fact is that today’s federally regulated manufactured homes are as safe or safer than other types of homes when it comes to fire, as shown by research done by the National Fire Protection Association on multiple fire safety metrics,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President CEO of MHARR.

It is therefore misleading and a disservice to readers to fail to distinguish between pre-1976 ‘mobile homes,’ said Weiss, “and today’s manufactured homes. This is why MHARR successfully demanded several years ago that the U.S. Fire Administration remove similarly misleading language from it’s website.” 

The industry and consumers need to insist on an accurate media portrayal of today’s high-quality manufactured homes,” said Weiss.


Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said OMHA Assistant Director Andrea Reichman, commenting on the Urbana fire story.

As noted by the local Fire Chief Mark Keller, the home involved was a ‘mobile home,’ which indicates the home was built prior to the 1976 HUD Code Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Reichman said.

Often times such incidents are reported inaccurately, and facilitate the image that manufactured homes are not safe when nothing could be further from the truth.  Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. The 1986 national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes,” said Reichman.

Their association’s latest call to action is linked as a download, click here.


This is the image tens of millions of people have about ‘mobile homes.’ The irony is, in the majority of cases, that’s precisely what they are- pre-HUD Code mobile homes. Even within the MH industry, how many realize that there’s been no mobile homes built in over 40 years? Thus proper terminology always matters. Text graphic, MHProNews, original photo, Springfield News Sun.

The Question Remains

The “burning question,” is how does the manufactured housing industry change the commonly perceived notion that all factory-built homes are the same?

Graph_of_MH_Shipments_1991-2010_courtsey_of_MHI posted

MHI reports that for some 2 decades, the average shipment levels of manufactured homes were about 21 percent of all single family housing starts. Today, that number is closer to 9 percent. While tragic fire stories aren’t the only causal issue of the steep decline in the industry’s total share of the new home market, they are an example of what the industry must grapple with through educational efforts that impact local markets.  Additional facts will be explored in upcoming reports in this series.

What clearly won’t work,” says publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is doing nothingAll too often – for decades – the industry has routinely taken the tactic of ignoring the bad news, hoping it will eventually fade away.”

A glance at industry shipments today compared to 15, 20 or 25 years ago proves that while we’ve advanced from the great recessions’ bottom,” said Kovach, “we’re nowhere near our industry’s historic percentage of new construction starts. The steady drip, drip, drip, of what Marty Lavin and others call the ‘other image campaign’ persists.  So, we as professionals must become resolute in responding routinely too.

Engaging the media is one part of the solution,” Kovach says. “Many editors are willing to make corrections when a story has a fact error.  We as trade media are and can be part of education and solution.  But that also requires engagement and support from members of the industry.”

“It’s Education”


Chet Murphree, Deer Valley Homebuilders. James McGee. Deer Valley Homebuilders, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Inside MH.

I want to thank you for what you do for this industry,” said James McGee of Deer Valley Homebuilders. “We’ve kind of zeroed around about what’s important. It’s education. I want to say, Tony, thank you for spearheading that. You’re an incredible guy, and our industry’s very lucky to have you.” 

Chet Murphree echoed McGee’s comments, with “Absolutely.” 

Kovach in turn routinely reminds people that without their writing and video team, supporters and sponsors, the news and educational efforts would not be possible. “It has to be about mutual effort – team work – that goes to the grass roots, at the local and regional levels,” he said.  “It isn’t about mountains of cash.  It’s about a wise use of time, talent and resources in responding and educating as needed.”

“As the myths and fears fade, we know from experience more customers come, see, are impressed with the value, and buy.”

Ohio is an example of where the state and both national associations – along with MHLivingNews, MHProNews – plus engaged industry members – acting in conjunction with home owners – all provided comments and made efforts to correct-the-record. As we recently reported, the outlook there is hopeful as a result.

Programming Note

With the launch of MHProNews’ newly updated home page and website, the Daily Business News will take a look in the coming days at a variety of issues that are holding our industry back from achieving and exceeding its historic potential.

Because as the myths and misconceptions subside, the sale of manufactured should skyrocket as the surprising private sector answer to the affordable housing crisis.  As McGee said, “It’s education.”

For more on manufactured housing being the affordable housing solution that’s hiding in plain sight, see the reports on the page, linked here. ##

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

RC Williams, Daily Business News MHProNewsSubmitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.


FEMA Disaster Relief Deadline Extended in Louisiana

October 17th, 2016 Comments off
Louisiana Flood damage, August 2016. Credit: BBC

Louisiana Flood damage, August 2016. Credit: BBC

According to a report from KATC TV, the deadline to apply for Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) disaster benefits in the wake of the floods in Louisiana has been extended to November 14th.

Credit: Twitter.

Credit: Twitter.

fema logo_t175_b1-black

Credit: FEMA.

60 days after the historic flooding, FEMA provided updated statistics revealing that an estimated seven trillion gallons of rainwater was dumped across southern Louisiana from the August storms. That is more than four times the amount of water in Lake Pontchatrain, according to KATC.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, we have provided extensive coverage of the storm, the fallout from it and the MH industry response.

More than 150,000 individuals and families have registered for FEMA disaster assistance to date. Survivors can register with FEMA by going online, calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362, or downloading the FEMA mobile app.

Over $695 million in disaster assistance has been provided by FEMA, with $559 million of that being housing assistance to help flood survivors with temporary housing solutions and rebuilding of their home.

To date, 448 applicants have been reportedly licensed into manufactured housing units.


Credit: The Atlantic, Floodlist, CBS News.

As the Daily Business News reported last week, FEMA issued a formal solicitation for “off the lot” manufactured homes.

The concern for FEMA in seeking manufactured homes from retailers is that manufactured homes being produced by FEMA contractors may not be finished in time to meet the current demand in Louisiana and the potential need in multiple states due to Hurricane Matthew. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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


FEMA’s Manufactured Home Installations slow for Louisiana flood victims

October 3rd, 2016 Comments off

Steve Duke, LMHA, says he could have coordinated in a week what FEMA has done in a month following the historic flooding in Louisiana. Photo credit, WAFB.

A month after the historic flooding in Louisiana, many residents are still having trouble finding housing, reports WAFB’s Scottie Hunter.

According to Hunter’s report, thousands of people have applied for a manufactured housing unit from FEMA, but as of September 30, only 169 people have been able to move into one.

The number of homes has increased from where the total was a week ago, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. FEMA spokesman Tito Hernandez said the inspection process is the main reason for the delay.

We’re inspecting hundreds of sites for sustainability,” Hernandez told WAFB. “We have to


Toto Hernandez, FEMA.

deliver the units, but we have to inspect those units before we take them out of the staging area when we put them in the site whether it’s a commercial or private site.

Unfortunately, FEMA says taht even when the homes can be inspected, the actual inspecting takes time, too—in some case it can take days or even weeks for inspectors to locate suitable spots for the units.

Meanwhile, the Shelter at Home Program, which allows residents whose homes were damaged to still live at their house while they rebuild, is moving along rapidly. As of Sept. 29, close to 20,000 homes were registered and more than 16,000 of those homes are inspection-eligible and approximately 5,000 are good to go for construction.

Inspections are being scheduled and occurring,” Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (GOHSEP) spokesman Casey Tingle said. “Construction is being started and being worked and we continue to look at how we expedite and improve the process to get all of that construction completed and final inspections done.”

The Shelter at Home Program has been able to reach close to 500 homes a day. However FEMA’s manufactured home process is still in need of improvement as it lags behind.


Award-winning journalist, Jan Hollingsworth.

This is a surprise to those who followed Jan Hollingsworth’s recent report for MHLivingNews, when FEMA said they had learned from their past mistakes during Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA’s got their plan and it’s moving and it looks like there’s some thought to it,” Steve Duke, Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association executive director and general counsel then told MHLivingNews.We just tell them, ‘If there’s anything we can do, let us know.’


Steve Duke, LMHA.

Our number one goal and objective is to get people out of the shelters.”

It was six weeks before FEMA could get 113 families out of shelters and into homes. I blew up that night at a FEMA meeting,” Duke said. “I could have gotten 113 families out of shelters in less than a week.

Hollingsworth’s report noted how rapidly manufactured home professionals were ready to jump in to help with the demand. For example, Alabama-based Sunshine Homes was optimistic it could supply high-quality, move-in homes within a month.


John Bostick, president, Sunshine Homes, Red Bay, AL.

Sunshine Homes CEO John Bostick said, “Our factory is running at about two-thirds capacity. We could stretch and build a lot of homes.”

As the Daily Business News recently reported, Lexington Homes was recently awarded a major contract from FEMA for more manufactured housing. To see that report, please click here.

We’re not perfect,” FEMA’s Hernandez said. “We’re going to have some folks that are going to fall through the cracks. For that, we have an appeal process.” ##

(Image credit is as shown on the linked page.)


Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Demand Rising for Manufactured Homes in Louisiana Flood Zone, Factories Gear Up for FEMA, Residents

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off

Photo credit, DigitalJournal, MHLivingNews.

For two days, rain tortured the heart of bayou country, dumping 24 inches in less than 48 hours on southern Louisiana, says a report in the DigitalJournal.

The 1000-year event flooded more than 100,000 residences, sending families into shelters and the homes of friends, relatives and even strangers.

Now, as the region enters peak hurricane season, with Hurricane Hermine bearing down on the Gulf coast, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials are scrambling to bring temporary housing to flood victims, and bracing for what Hermine may bring to the states in its path.

The last time events in the southeast tested federal resources was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when shoddy, hastily assembled “Katrina trailers” became enduring symbols of FEMA’s failure to provide safe haven for thousands left homeless.

FEMA has “upped their game” tremendously since then, says Steve Duke, executive director of the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association.

Thousands of newly minted Manufactured Housing Units — known as FEMA MHUs — were at the ready in Selma, AL, the southeastern staging area, when the floods inundated Louisiana.

Thousands more have been contracted to be built by manufacturers who met an August 24 application deadline.

All of these new-style FEMA manufactured housing units (MHUs) are constructed to exacting HUD-code specifications, designed to withstand local wind force criteria;  these will be anchored on piers, not rolled into yards and left there, on wheels, as were the Katrina trailers.

These are, in fact, bonafide manufactured homes, not trailers or mobile homes — a term that applies only to pre-HUD-code homes built prior to 1976 — a fine point that is widely missed in media reporting.


Steve Duke, LMHA.

The terminology matters, because the terminology defines the construction standard,” says Duke.

The number of homes damaged or destroyed is well over 100,000 and in that part of Louisiana, some 20 percent of the housing stock is manufactured homes.

That means MH factories may need to churn out 20,000 homes — or more — to replace homes lost in the disaster — in addition to the thousands of desperately needed MHUs that FEMA requires to provide flood victims with secure temporary housing.

Retailers and manufacturers that supply Louisiana are gearing up for a monumental effort to meet the almost unprecedented needs of the people of coastal Louisiana.

Alabama-based Sunshine Homes has opted to focus on keeping its Louisiana dealers stocked with inventory and has not applied to manufacture the transitional MHUs.

We anticipate our normal business in that market to be — unfortunately — spectacular,” says Sunshine president and CEO John Bostick. “I believe our Lafayette retailer is going to call and say everything is sold.”

Bostick says he can supply them with high quality move-in ready homes within a month.

We have almost unlimited capacity,” he says. The builder is already busy, but Bostick said, “We could stretch and build a lot of homes.”

For more on the race to provide shade, shelter — and much more — to the residents left homeless by natural disasters, see the latest account by award-winning consumer affairs reporter Jan Hollingsworth here at ##  

(Photo collage, Sunshine Home top, FEMA MHU lower center, John Bostick president, CEO of Sunshine Homes, right.)


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

Submitted by L. A. ‘Tony Kovach, to Daily Business News,