Posts Tagged ‘The’

Trump, Carson, Creating Jobs by Supplying the American Dream

April 24th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: MHLivingNews.

In the U.S., millions are still working, hoping and praying for the original American Dream: home ownership.

More than a half a century since the “War on Poverty” began, not much has changed – and the nation is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, where preservation, and creation, are both critical.

It appears that a key part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis is buried at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that Dr. Ben Carson now heads.

Secretary Carson has spoken of private-public partnerships as a part of the solution, and President Donald Trump has promised to fight for the forgotten Americans who elected him. The president also vowed to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C.

The president wants to create millions of jobs. He has started an aggressive agenda of regulatory rollbacks, sparking new economic activity and confidence.

The solution to the affordable housing crisis is “hiding in the open,” as MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach covers in his Inside the MH Road Show video interview with MHARR adviser and former association leader Danny Ghorbani, and current MHARR President and CEO M. Mark Weiss, JD, below.

Well, let me put it to you this way, if this industry was to create a person to put in the White House for betterment of our industry and consumer, they could not have come up with a better person than President Trump,” said Ghorbani.

If this industry, by the time he’s done 4 years, or hopefully 8 years, if this industry does not advance the way it should, the way it must in Washington, I hate to say this, the industry has dropped the ball.”

Manufactured housing is the private sector solution to affordable housing, without costing government subsidies. And we can supply that need,” said Weiss.

We just need to be unshackled from excessive regulations, in order to pursue our full potential.”

For the fully story on supplying the American dream on MHLivingNews, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews


Modular Home Builder Faces the Music

April 21st, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Infotel CA.

In Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, modular building manufacturer Britco laid off most of its employees earlier this month, in what the company is calling a “curtailing.”

According to Infotel CA, Western One, Britco’s parent company, announced the sale of Britco’s rental and U.S. manufacturing businesses on March 6 to Black Diamond Group, along with a group of investors led by Britco USA’s management team.

Black Diamond Group provides workforce accommodation, modular buildings, energy services, and full turnkey lodging and major project solutions including planning and management, logistics, and catering to customers in Canada, the United States and Australia.

Western One is evaluating strategic options for Britco’s Canadian manufacturing operations, which continue to be negatively impacted by the recent downturn in western Canadian markets,” the company said in a press release at the time.

About one month later, Western One announced an agreement with Triple M Modular Ltd. to buy Britco’s Canadian operations.

The layoffs in Penticton were announced the same day.

WESTERNONE EQUITY INCOME FUND - Modular Manufacturing in Texas

Britco installs the first of 480 modules for a large energy company in Northern Alberta. The modules, which are currently being manufactured in Britco’s Agassiz and Penticton plants, consist of 200 square foot executive style accommodations for 880 employees, featuring private washrooms, flat screen TV’s and high-end hotel quality finishes. (Credits: CNW Group/WesternOne Equity Income Fund)

I can’t say how many employees are affected by the layoff, but a few employees are still at work reconfiguring production lines at the facility,” said Meghan Cairns, Britco Manager of Marketing and Communications.

We have curtailed our production line at the moment because we’re reconfiguring the plant to build both single family homes and commercial projects.”

Cairns was also careful to point out that the company hopes to bring back employees in the future, based on need.

We’re not shutting the doors, just a curtailing for now. We’re still committed to the Penticton community,” said Cairns.

The intent of the company is to reopen the plant, the future date of which is unknown at this point.”

More on Britco’s work in Canada, including their buildout of a workforce housing project in northern Alberta, Canada for Devon Energy Corp., is linked here.

For more on the Canadian Modular Market, including Enerdynamic Hybrid Technologies Corp. (EHT) and their goal to deliver 50,000 homes in the nation of Ivory Coast for a branch of its military, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Could Modular Determine the Outcome of an Election?

April 14th, 2017 Comments off

A modular unit in London. Credit: The Guardian.

For incumbent London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the answer could very well be yes.

According to Property Week, the importance of addressing London – and the U.K.’s – affordable housing crisis was front and center in a discussion on the mayor’s performance among developers and professionals gathered in Cannes.

The message was clear: Khan needs to pick up the pace if he plans on being re-elected.

But one move could make a striking difference to perceptions of the mayor’s progress – removing barriers and accelerating the use of modular housing for London’s new homes,” said David Sheridan, CEO of Keepmoat.


David Sheridan. Credit: Property Week.

Sheridan believes that modular housing “is a feature of the normal rather than something that is unusual – but this view will take time to embed.”

Perhaps it is memories of system-built or prefabricated post-war homes that is holding the capital back – but if London throws off these shackles the rate of house building could increase dramatically and potentially play a big role in Mayor Khan’s re-election,” said Sheridan.

Sheridan says that the group realized that there was much to learn from other sectors, including those that build schools, when it comes to modular construction. The group also came up with a plan for the Greater London Authority to stimulate and invest in modular construction, including working with boroughs to standardize design, secure grant funding, and developing a framework of partners to speed development.

Output from traditional house building methods is constrained and close to its limit – with the availability of labor only set to tighten further as Britain prepares to leave the European Union,” said Sheridan.

The answer is in the existence of a number of progressive players delivering modular products that can be applied to different site challenges. These products will add to the supply from traditional house building, not replace it. Modular systems have the potential to accelerate estate regeneration; they can be used to provide new homes on top of existing buildings and on small infill sites. They also offer high-quality homes that can blend into the suburbs.”

Sheridan also believes that modular construction can reduce the upheaval on residents, by offering high-quality housing requiring much shorter construction periods.

We are talking about installation of up to eight homes a day,” said Sheridan.


Mayor Sadiq Khan. Credit: Property Week.

He also had a suggestion for the Mayor with regard to re-election.

With the clock ticking on his mayoralty, there is nothing Mayor Khan could do more effectively to speed up housing supply than making London an exemplar for modular construction over the next three years,” said Sheridan.

For more on modular and prefab housing in the U.K., including China National Building Material Company (CNBM), Barcelona Housing Systems and U.K. housing association Your Housing Group (YHG) joining forces to build six prefab factories that will deliver 25,000 energy efficient homes per year by 2022, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Obamacare in the Crosshairs – What’s the President’s Plan?

April 14th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: KPFA.

In the ongoing battle surrounding Obamacare, its repeal and its replacement, President Donald Trump is utilizing skills and tactics made famous in his book “Art of the Deal.”

In interviews this week, including one with the Wall Street Journal, President Trump said that he’s exploring the idea of withholding key Obamacare payments, a move designed to get Democrats to the table to negotiate.

I don’t want people to get hurt,” said President Trump.

What I think should happen — and will happen — is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.”

The move by the President could throw insurance markets into chaos, which in turn could put Democrats in a position to deal on repealing the law.

At the heart of the matter are the payments themselves, known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). The payments reimburse insurers for giving discounted deductibles to low-income Obamacare enrollees.

House Republicans have sued over the payments, arguing they are unconstitutional without a congressional appropriation.


ObamaCare is a jobs killer as well as unpopular with tens of millions of voters. Double digit hikes are coming in 2017, if this bill isn’t repealed and replaced by a GOP president and Congress.

One prominent Democrat spoke out forcefully in response to the President’s proposed move.

President Trump is threatening to hold hostage health care for millions of Americans, many of whom voted for him, to achieve a political goal of repeal that would take health care away from millions more,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.)

This cynical strategy will fail. Our position remains unchanged: drop repeal, stop undermining our health care system, and we will certainly sit down and talk about ways to improve the Affordable Care Act.”

President Trump has not said for sure whether he would actually seek to cancel the payments, or whether or not Congress should appropriate the money.

I might continue the payments so that I won’t be blamed for chaos in the system. That’s part of the reason that I may go the other way,” said President Trump.

The longer I’m behind this desk and you have Obamacare, the more I would own it.”


Credit: Liberty Juice.

While the suit from House Republicans is ongoing, President Trump could simply drop the defense of it and cancel the payments, which would likely result in insurers either spiking premiums or dropping out of the Obamacare market altogether.

Insurers are also pushing for more certainty, as they decide whether or not they will participate in Obamacare next year. Some Congressional Republicans have also called for appropriating the money, which could override any decisions from the Trump administration, and keep payments going.


A Real, Practical Solution for Healthcare?

The Daily Business News recently covered the story of Dr. Josh Umbehr of Atlas MD, discussing a potential “best option” for Obamacare repeal and replacement in terms of controlling costs and providing cost-effective services.

Umbehr’s co-op model has already been proven in their clinic, and in other clinics that are doing something similar. For additional insight on this plan and how it would work in combination with the proposed health plan from the Freedom                                 Caucus, MHProNews reached out to a respected MD about the concept.


Dr. David Murdock. Credit: Healthgrades.

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

If I was a primary doctor, I would push this for my patients.”

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

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

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

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


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Homes in America – The Land Where Even Doctors Struggle

April 13th, 2017 Comments off

HomesinAmericaLandWhereEvenDoctorsStrugglecreditReMaxLeadingEdgePostedMHLivingNewsIn the United States, some are native born, some immigrate, but all are unified in pursuing the American Dream.

For most, that includes owning a home. But according to a new report on housing affordability from real estate firm Trulia, there are some places in the country where even doctors struggle when it comes to home buying.

A combination of home prices on the rise and inventory at historic lows has pushed homeownership further and further away from middle-income Americans.

Nationwide, the average American worker earns $37,040 annually, while the median cost of a home is $254,900.  This is another compelling reason why there are trillions of dollars in opportunities for manufactured housing, per the report earlier this week by Soheyla Kovach.

The full story on the Trulia report is available at MHLivingNews, linked here. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Report submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

The Promise of Housing – Manufactured Homes Take Center Stage

April 11th, 2017 Comments off

A refurbished Family Promise home in Grand Rapids, MI. Credit: ABC Newspapers.

In Anoka County, Minnesota, just north of Minneapolis, one organization has seen the light, combining all the benefits of manufactured housing to combat homelessness.

According to ABC Newspapers, non-profit organization Family Promise will receive a $10,000 grant to kick-start a new effort to combat homelessness in Anoka County.

The “Home for Keeps” program allows families who are homeless the opportunity to transition to homeownership, as manufactured homes are refurbished and presented to them.

We are reaching out to local park [sic] owners to see if they have any manufactured homes sitting vacant on their land. We hope that park [sic] owners will sell such homes at low cost or donate them to Family Promise,” said David Frei, executive director of Family Promise.

Frei says that while no community owners have made homes available yet, the opportunity in Anoka County is significant, as it has almost 5000 homesites, more than any other county in the state.

We have a lot of potential for it to grow,” said Frei. “Manufactured housing is getting a rebound in our area.”

Volunteers from Family Promise will fix up the homes for families so they can move in, and eventually receive the title and claim ownership.

It’s a very inexpensive way for people to achieve stability,” said Frei.


The inside of a refurbished Family Promise home. Credit: ABC Newspapers.

Other Family Promise affiliates in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Orlando, Florida have launched similar programs and seen tremendous success.

Renting space in a manufactured home park [sic] typically costs families much less than renting an apartment would,” Cheryl Schuch, executive director of Family Promise of Grand Rapids.

On average, monthly rent is $450, and the average two-bedroom apartment in Grand Rapids goes for $1,100 monthly.”

Family Promise has moved 91 families into 84 manufactured homes to date.

The only way for them to exit poverty is for them to build assets,” said Schuch.

Owning a manufactured home is certainly a step in the right direction.”

The Daily Business NewsMHProNews and MHLivingNews have covered the case for manufactured housing as a viable solution to hope for the American Dream of home ownership at a reasonable price extensively, including Bloomberg making a statement to the same effect.

For more on manufactured housing being the solution that’s hiding in plain sight, see MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach’s insight into the opportunity linked here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Affordable Housing – In the Eye of the Beholder?

April 10th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Noozhawk.

Throughout most parts of California, almost everything is expensive.

That includes housing. But, in Santa Barbara, one developer believes that he’s solved the city’s housing shortage.

According to NoozHawk, project architect Jan Hochhauser and developer Ed Clark purchased the property, a former manufactured home community, out of bankruptcy.


The plan? To turn it into 40 new tiny home rental units to tackle the city’s affordable housing crisis.

Affordable” in this instance, is in the eye of the beholder.

It’s a market-rate rental project, but is affordable by design,” said Clark. “The two bedroom units will be rented out at $1,500 to $1,800 a month. The rental market is there.”

About a dozen of the tiny homes have already been put into place, and come in at 550 square feet. Once delivered, they install on top of a permanent slab that sits 3-to-4-feet above the ground. The entire property sits on a flood plain and is near a creek.

Clark says that due to California state guidelines, manufactured home communities are under the purview of the Housing and Urban Development Department. With state guidelines less stringent than city ones, the project has been able to move quickly.

We expect to be done by December and begin renting units in January,” said Hochhauser.

Each home will also have a small, one vehicle driveway and communal areas for events. And, while each unit has a full kitchen and washer and dryer, they are specially sized for the homes.


Why Not Manufactured Homes vs. Tiny Houses?


MHLivingNews has covered the “tiny home” movement extensively, including the potential for big legal trouble for owners and a detailed side-by-side comparison with manufactured homes, highlighting function and value versus fashion.

And, several manufactured housing professionals who believe that those fascinated with tiny houses ought to be thinking manufactured homes instead.


Brian Cira, photo credit, MHProNews.

Anybody with a brain in their head would look at a manufactured home,” Brian Cira, president, Fairmont Homes, Nappanee, IN said.

We do it much more efficiently, much more smartly. We’ve been doing this for decades. … We could build these [tiny houses] all day long.”

For more on the growth of tiny homes, including nearby San Luis Obispo’s effort to use them for their own housing crunch, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Tackling the Housing Crisis Down Under With Prefab

April 10th, 2017 Comments off

A Big World Homes Model. Credit: Domain AU.

In Australia, a handful of smart entrepreneurs believe that they have the answer to the nation’s housing crisis.

And, the answer lies in “flat pack” prefab.

According to Domain AU, and as the Daily Business News originally covered here, Big World Homes founder and architect Alex Symes has come up with what he calls “three tools and a set of instructions,” prefab homes that he estimates cost 80 per cent less than a similar-sized home.

We’ve designed a flexible system that allows people to take control of their shelter,” said Symes.


Big World Homes Founder Alex Symes. Credit: Big World Homes

Coming in at a cost of $65,000 each, the off-grid buildings come with a water tank and solar power capacity.

We’re negotiating with government entities who may come to the party with land,” said Symes.

But we already had lots of private landowners chomping at the bit to help because they know there is a problem, they have land that can be used (with local council approval), and they want to help.”

Symes believes that his innovative solution will provide younger people with a starter home, that they can add on to or move elsewhere, matching up with the desires of those younger buyers for flexibilityy without sacrificing quality, at a reasonable price.

The innovate style of Big World Homes was pointed out recently by Australian Institute of Architects Professor Ken Maher during his housing affordability briefing at Parliament House.

These homes demonstrate what is possible when creative minds take a fresh look at recurring problems,” said Maher.

Architecture was the logical profession to be called to the forefront of the solution finding and added how, with pre-fabrication building processes coming of age … they can be a game changer in affordable housing.”

This opportunity has also brought others to the table, including architect Bill McCorkell, via his company, ArchiBlox.

Off-site constructed houses are marginally cheaper than comparable-sized, conventionally-built homes by about 10 to 20 per cent,” said McCorkell.

The six month from concept to occupancy process is another aspect making prefabs attractive to a market interested in time-efficiencies.”


Inside of a Big World Home. Credit: Domain AU.

McCorkell also pointed out that a key component in making prefab homes work in this scenario would be volume.

Until we can build 200 houses at a time we’ll struggle to match the efficiency margins of the big volume builders,” said McCorkell.

If the Government did come to us with orders for 200 houses, it would allow us to get the costs down to around $1000 per square meter.”

Symes and McCorkell both point out that despite some of the potential challenges, the opportunity to help people, and to do substantial business, is significant

In contrast to a place like Japan where 80 per cent of new housing is pre-fabricated, the scale of the Australian pre-fab scene is a mere three per cent,” said McCorkell.

But the market is developing, and fast,” said Professor Maher.

As architectural creatives put time and thought into coming up with the housing affordability, it’s a game changer that isn’t going to be predicated on a house price crash scenario.”


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Stinking Up the Place: Manufactured Home Community Issues

April 6th, 2017 Comments off

The Ortega Village Community. Credit: MHVillage.

In Jacksonville, Florida, residents of the Ortega Village community say that they are tired… of the smell.

But it turns out that some residents may be causing the issue.

Per First Coast News, behind an attractive entrance to the community, lies a smelly, and potentially hazardous problem.

Sewer lines continue to back up at Ortega Village, and according to at least one resident, it’s been an ongoing issue.

It is disgusting and it has been going on too long,” said resident Kameelah Haywood.

I’ve been here a year and it has probably been five times where we have had sewage backed up into my toilet, and into the tub.”

The community, operated by Michigan Based RHP Properties and Bayshore Home Sales, has managed to identify the problem in a recent letter to residents.

We are experiencing high volume of sewer back up due to non- flushable items…. Socks, Shirts, Baby Wipes, golf balls, grease.”


One of the backups. Credit: First Coast News.

Haywood says that in past instances, plumbers would come out to fix the problem, but that the fixes were temporary, as the backups would happen shortly afterwards. She also can’t figure out why the non-flushable items would affect her.

I’m not putting any of those things down the drain so why would I have that problem? asked Haywood.

It is my neighbor and the other neighbor, it is three of (them) that I know of.”

Residents say that the backups happen so often, they have to remove the sewer clean out cap to get the stench and sewage out of their homes. They also believe that they know what the issue is – the community’s lift station, which moves wastewater from lower to higher elevations.


An unrelated lift station. Credit: Pollution Control Systems.

Haywood, who pays $650 a month in rent, says that she just wants the problem solved.

I feel it is their problem they should take care of it,” said Haywood.

Put me in another trailer [sic] or take care of the problem permanently.”

The Daily Business News recently has reached out to RHP Properties for comment and will update this story accordingly.

For more on sewage related challenges for manufactured home communities, including the case of Elmwood Mobile Manor in Puyallup, Washington dealing with the effects of flooding from a new community development, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHC Faces the Music – Different Place, Same Song

April 4th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Herald Sun.

Stories on manufactured home community owners being put through the pain of being uprooted from their property, and often having to make life-altering adjustments, are common in the U.S.

But the U.S. isn’t the only place where cases like this occur. They even happen in “the land down under.

According to the Herald Sun, residents of the Wantirna Caravan Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia are being forced out due to the community owner selling to a firm with ties to China, which plans to build high rise towers.

The company, Longriver, has a message on their website from managing director Andrew Yu stating he wants to leave “a positive mark in Melbourne’s history.

For one long time resident, that statement doesn’t hold water.


Trevor Russell. Credit: Herald Sun.

Once we found out who bought the park [sic], we knew we were stuffed,” said Trevor Russell, who has lived in the community for seven years, and received his eviction letter in December.

I had a neighbor come down in tears, then I started crying,” said Russell.

People are so upset.

Residents have been given until January 2018 to vacate. According to a PR firm representing Longriver, they made the decision on the site as a result of a detailed business analysis.

While the current owner of the community has offered to help residents relocate, some say that offer does not offer any real financial compensation.

According to Consumer Affairs in Victoria, there is no automatic right to compensation as long as residents have been given enough notice.

Last week, Yu officially announced that management had offered a package ahead of the eviction deadline in January.


Homes in the community. Credit: Herald Sun.

We recognize the upheaval the closure of the caravan park [sic] represents for residents and this assistance package aims to help ease residents’ transition into a more permanent housing solution,” said Yu.

Under the plan, residents, on giving 28 days notice, would not have to pay site costs once they leave.

Yu says that so far, 31 residents had already found new homes and moved out of the community.

Even with the help, residents, and those who support them, say they face massive costs.

There is no legal basis for compensation, but there certainly is an ethical one,” said Aoife Cooke, a representative for the Housing for the Aged Action Group, who is working to assist residents.

You have very low-income people who as well as having to move their house and becoming homeless, there are huge costs involved in this situation, such as relocation costs, moving costs, disposing of units if that’s relevant to their situation. I think the (residents) haven’t been protected by a legislative framework that really caters for the needs of people in caravan parks [sic].” ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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