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Secretary Ben Carson’s, Julian Castro’s Manufactured Housing, “Trailer,” “Mobile Home” Revelations, 2020 Battles Ahead

June 8th, 2019 Comments off

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonJulianCastroManufacturedHousingTrailerHouseMobileHomeRevelations2020BattlesAheadMHProNews

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., has demonstrably done much since taking his oath of office to advance a proper understanding of manufactured homes.

 

In fairness, his predecessor Julian Castro, made a video that praised manufactured housing too.

 

 

While the next video interview with then Secretary Castro unfavorably used “trailer” terminology, the former mayor of San Antonio and current 2020 Democratic presidential nomination hopeful, nevertheless stressed the need for manufactured homes as an affordable housing option. Castro also stressed the need for resident protections, years before Last Week Tonight with Joy Oliver’s viral video misnamed “Mobile Homes” did.

 

 

Thus, videos and interviews by Dr. Carson as a HUD Secretary highlighting manufactured homes are not totally unique. There have been years of bipartisan efforts involving manufactured homes in this decade and previous ones too.

 

 

That is as it should be as affordable housing has been and remains a crisis.

 

 

It is also arguably part of HUD’s mandate that such pro-manufactured home statements and efforts fulfill.

Manufactured housing is the private sector solution to this problem, as Secretary Carson has underscored in various ways since taking on his new role. The evidence suggests he has been doing more to promote manufactured homes and other private sector innovative housing options than any HUD Secretary in the 21st century.

 

 

One can say he has built upon the foundation laid by his predecessor.  Indeed, the two echo the case made by a bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers who cited the facts that point to manufactured homes being an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.  The recent event on the National Mall, reflected in 2 of the videos above, was positive and could be potentially useful for the industry to clarify outdated misconceptions.

 

 

But all of that begs several questions for the inquiring mind. For example:

How is it that during an ongoing affordable housing crisis, given all the useful facts and evidence, that the market share of manufactured homes has declined in the overall percentage of new housing starts?

 

AveragePriceExisitngNewMobileHomeManufacturdHomeByYearSince1960GraphicNARManufacturedHomeDataResearchMHProNews

Insightful data, per NAR. From the July 2018 update of the Realtor University report available from this link here as a download, along with other third party studies on manufactured homes.

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? Note that even an exiting MHI president took thinly veiled parting shots at his own association, see that, linked here

 

How is it that the use of the pejorative and inaccurate term “trailer” has grown in recent years, instead of diminished?

 

ManufacturedHomeDescriptionForemostInsuranceGroupResearchDailyBusinessNewsMHLivingNews

NFPAManufacturedHomeIsNotaMotorHomeOrTrailerAlthoughItisOftenCalledMobileHomeItIsNotThatEitherNFPADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is not a perfect definition by the NFPA, but it is clarifying and accurate.

 

What most think of as “mobile homes” has not been built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976. It was on that date, now some 43 years ago, that the mobile home era ended and the federally regulated HUD Code “manufactured home” era dawned.  These are construction, safety, and energy standard differences, not just marketing nomenclature.

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TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

 

Mobile homes served a useful and important purpose prior to the HUD Code. Millions of pre-HUD code mobile homes are still serving as some of the nation’s most affordable homes, often with updates added since they were first built.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

Recent post-Oklahoma, Alabama tornado fact-check, videos, and related reports, linked here.

 

Indeed, the HUD Code manufactured home industry has over two decades or positive, third-party research to back up the claim that it is the most proven form of permanent affordable housing used in the United States today.

 

 

Which again begs questions. With so much useful data and evidence, why has manufactured housing been the solution for the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight?

 

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Earlier this year, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s (MHARR) Mark Weiss, JD, used an interesting phrase to capture what he and his colleagues believe is an “Illusion of Motion” at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). It was a new way to illustrate prior claims that MHI has been failing the industry’s post-production efforts.

The “Illusion of Motion” built upon a research study from MHARR President and CEO Weiss in November of 2017. That MHARR study demonstrated a need for a new body to represent communities, retailers, lenders, and others who are “post-production” operations. Producers, in this context, are those who build HUD Code manufactured homes, which MHARR itself is, as they state that they represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

Post-production topics are those issues that arise after a home leaves the factory.

Those post-production issues would include, but are not be limited to, zoning, placement, and financing issues.

Is MHARR alone in such concerns? Hardly.

Some manufactured home community associations broke from MHI, saying something similar. Neal Haney, who in 2018 co-founded the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO), said before their trade group was formalized why they broke from MHI in the first place.

 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

Publicly traded UMH President and CEO and MHI member said the following.

 

SamLandyQuotePeopleNeedQualityHomeReasonablePriceWeMHIndustryProvideThatOnlyEconomicDistortionsCausedByGovtMadeOurIndustry

 

Another MHI community sector member was more specific, pointing to financing related issues.

 

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FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

Numerous third party media reports underscored Rolfe’s claim. See several of those mainstream media video reports, linked here.

 

But to Landy’s and Lipshutz’s points, wasn’t it Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which includes MHI dominating forces such as Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, that supported presidential candidates that in turn backed the legislation that was the source of complaints like those cited above? 

Or why hasn’t Berkshire Hathaway used their dozens of BH Media Group and other media resources to clear up the mysteries about manufactured homes?

 

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

Or ponder what MHI member Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds of controversial RV Horizons – said this as part of a longer statement issued on June 1, 2019.

 

FrankRolfeDaveReynoldsRVHorizonsMobileHomeUQuoteSlammingManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

 

Mysterious Disconnects and Apparent Ineffectiveness, Why?

This pro-industry trade publication, our sister operations such as consulting, and our the general public focused Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) were MHI members for some 7 years. MHProNews and MHLivingNews were praised by several MHI elected and staff leaders, as what follows demonstrates.

 

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices-768x339

Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams that praised the pro-industry work of MHProNews, and our sister site. We at times take a light-hearted, or even satirical approach, to illustrate the issues. See an example of that in the video, below.

 

 

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

Disclosures

By way of disclosure, ours is a for-profit organization, that has been supported at various times by MHARR, MHI, and companies which are members of each trade group.  Our editorial stance is demonstrably based upon a simple premise. That the manufactured housing industry is much needed, misunderstood, and should be performing far better during an affordable housing crisis.

We’ve supported and led the way on educational initiatives, such as fact, evidence, and third-party commentary focused MHLivingNews. As pro-consumer, pro-free enterprise trade media, and as industry experts/consultants/service providers, we have long believed that manufactured homes are a nonpartisan or bipartisan solution for the need for affordable housing.

The homes our industry produces routinely serve the nation with no-taxpayer subsidies.

At various times, we’ve questioned the efforts of a variety of trade groups, based upon the evidence known at that time. So those MHI surrogates that allege differently are demonstrably mistaken. It’s our follow-the-evidence, facts, common sense, patterns, and the money-trail that has made and kept us the runaway most-read trade media in our industry’s history.  The top people and management in MHI companies, MHARR member firms, or among non-association aligned companies of all sizes have told us that they are regular readers.

 

BarryColeMHInsuranceRVMHHallofFameCongratsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

That’s not said to brag, but rather to clarify that we’re not crackpots on the sidelines spouting nonsensical conspiracy theories. We cite sources accurately, provide evidence, follow-the-money trail, and give those we question in our fact-checks the opportunity to respond. As recently as a few days ago, MHI’s and Berkshire’s manufactured home corporate leaders were given an opportunity to explain concerns like those noted herein.

Their response?  No comment.

Given that MHI leaders themselves have praised us publicly, that begs more questions.

Why on various occasions have their general counsel, or outside attorneys for MHI, threatened us in writing over evidence-based reports?  Note that after several years of that, they’ve never taken legal action; perhaps wisely so. Because how would they justify a suit against an operation that they’ve praised? Or how do they attack a trade media source whose goal is to see the industry grow to its potential?  Wouldn’t a suit open them up to a counter-suit, that could lead via discovery to them being forced to disclose information that they’ve withheld when requested in recent years?

The evidence suggests that the powers that be in MHVille praised us up until our fact-checks and analysis apparently made them too uncomfortable.  But instead of disproving or explaining away the concerns raised here, they stopped responding, and used other tactics instead.  Besides legal and other threats, they apparently lined up surrogates.  One of them is the one that follows.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

To see more disconnects between Allen and his flip-flops, then and now, click here and here.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

The word heard is that MHI-connected leaders made a bargain with Allen to get him to praise them and attempt to diminish our trade media. Allen has called for a boycott of this publication, in writing.  Among the problems with that approach has been that Allen himself has blasted MHI, Clayton Homes, and others for the same kinds of concerns that we or MHARR, among others, have raised. To our knowledge, Allen has never explained his flip-flops on his blog or other musings.  By contrast, Allen’s record of criticism of those he now embraces is evidenced by the pull quotes as shown.  Rephrased, Allen makes a poor surrogate, as he’s made similar allegations himself, prior to his recent flip-flop.

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

Like MHARR – indeed, citing MHARR, Allen called for a new post-production association. Oddly, Allen more recently has attacked MHARR, whose position has been consistent, while Allen’s has arguably vacillated based upon MHI’s support, or not. But Allen is but one of many who have made allegations of monopolistic practices in manufactured housing. 

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x237

While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge, Doug Ryan at CFED (renamed Prosperity Now), and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI. 

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsAntiTrustAntiMonopolyClaytonHomesWarrenBuffettPredatoryLenderMinoritiesMoreDailyBusinessNewsManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

Austin Frerick with the Open Markets nonprofit is among a range of writers that span the left-right media divide which have criticized Buffett’s tactics as monopolistic.

HowClaytonHomesMakesMoneyAustinFrerickTwitterOpenMarketsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

Let’s note here that success in an industry – honestly earned – is not what we’re called out. Antitrust laws are not designed to punish success, as a former DOJ antitrust professional recently said. However, various kinds of bad behavior may be violations of antitrust or other laws. That’s what our concerns are aimed at. Evidence and allegations of violations of the law.

 

Does Monopolistic Machinations Explain Why MHI Is Ineffective? Or Why Manufactured Housing Has Retreated Since Berkshire Bought Clayton Homes?

Which begs perhaps the most salient points at this time in the wake of what is properly understood as a positive week by Secretary Carson’s Innovative Housing Showcase.

For all of the positive and apt points that Dr. Carson has raised, why has he never mentioned “enhanced preemption?”

–      Is it possible that HUD staff – that certainly must be aware of that provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) – has not told him about the enhanced preemption of manufactured housing passed by Congress in a bipartisan way, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton?

–      Is it possible that MHARR’s letter addressed to Secretary Carson on enhanced preemption was not provided to him?

–      Is it possible that MHI has not raised and pressed this issue of enhanced preemption, in their several meetings with HUD staff?

Noting that MHARR and MHProNews are among those who’ve promoted enhanced preemption in digital print for years, more on those questions later.

But for now, let’s point to our recent report on that in the linked text-image box below, and then press on to what is shaping up as a serious issue in the approaching 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Other 2020 Democratic Candidates, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

There is an affordable housing crisis in this country,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren in the video below. “That’s why we are here. A safe, stable, affordable home is the foundation for almost everything else in our lives.”

That statement by Senator Warren is every bit as accurate as the ones by HUD Secretary Carson who has said similarly, in his own words.

Note that at the time that Senator Warren made this comment in the MHAction video below, MHProNews was not yet aware of the financial connections between Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), and numerous other interests that are directly engaged in the manufactured housing industry. Buffett bucks fund the Tides nonprofit, which in turn funds MHAction. Restated, it isn’t just progressive billionaire icon George Soros who is supporting some of these groups.  Warren Buffett has been too. Buffett and Berkshire have arguably been funding both sides of the fight over key issues in manufactured housing.

 

 

That noted, Senator Warren – sometimes in concert with congressional representatives – has fired off several letters to firms that routinely have ties to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Copies of those letters can be found as a download in the report linked below.

 

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

 

Warren and other 2020 Democratic hopefuls have raised the issue of Clayton Homes, and their fellow Berkshire Hathaway owned manufactured housing industry lenders, in a letter to the CFPB. See that in the report linked from the text-image graphic below.

 

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

 

Anti-monopolistic actions are taking a more important role on the national stage, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have reportedly launched antitrust probes. Clayton has been accused of racism by Democratic leaders too.

 

President Donald J. Trump, a variety of Democratic and Republican leaders, have raised several concerns over consolidation, tipping the scales of free speech online, antitrust, and monopolistic behavior in the last 2 years.

 

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

While there is known to be such probes regarding the FAANG stocks, and so-called Big Tech, our sources tell us that Berkshire Hathaway’s activities has also been brought to DoJ’s antitrust division’s attention.

The Seattle Times similarly reported in 2018 that several federal investigations are underway in Washington involving Clayton and their related lenders.  Knoxville, TN metro based Clayton and their related lending units were spotlighted by their hometown media, in the May 22, 2018 video report below.  So there is smoke, does it suggest a fire?

 


 

Several Mainstream Media Reports cited Concerns Over Monopolistic Practices, and Often Name Buffett, Berkshire, and Clayton Homes

·        The New York Times had an interesting article on the historic trends, and named several industries being monopolized.

·        The Atlantic, without specifying how the monopolization was being accomplished, noted that the independent retailers in manufactured housing were being rapidly eliminated/consolidated, that report is linked here.

·        GuruFocus said “Warren Buffett Can’t Escape Unethical Strategic Moats,” their specific points are linked here.

·        The Nation called it “The Dirty Secret Behind Warren Buffett’s Billions…” and specifies Clayton Homes among those using the strategic moat in ‘dirty’ ways.

·        The Jacksonville Florida Times Union summarized the connection between the John Oliver viral hit video dubbed “Mobile Homes,” MHI, Clayton Homes, and their related lenders. That op-ed was first fact-checked by an editor, before it was published not only in the one newspaper it was submitted, but at least in 5 Florida newspapers.

While these and other mainstream media sources that span the left-right spectrum have pointed to ethical and other concerns with respect to Warren Buffett’s ‘strategic Moat,’ it is Manufactured Home Living News and this platform have to date documented specific examples. Attorneys which have reviewed the report linked below say is compelling evidence of antitrust violations by MHI’s most prominent member, Clayton Homes and their affiliated lender, 21st Mortgage.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, one of two such documents from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

Finally, there have been long-standing concerns raised for years by this trade publisher – MHProNews – and by MHARR regarding the need to fully implement the Duty to Serve by the GSEs.

 

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

Since 2003, during an affordable housing crisis, the total number of manufactured homes being produced per year has declined.  So too has the percentage of new manufactured housing units.  The factors noted and linked from this report are among the contributing challenges that have arguably caused this to be so.

Publicly traded MHI member, Skyline Champion (SKY), is but one of several sources that point to the industry’s underperformance.  Do factors like those outlined and linked from this report help shed light as to why the industry is underperforming?  As but one of several internal and external barometers, RVs have soared in the last 2o years, while manufactured housing is but a shadow of what it was 2 decades ago in total sales.  Yet RVs are a luxury item, and housing is a necessity, the later point being made by voices across the political divide, such as Senator Warren and Secretary Carson, have pointed out.

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Graphic by Skyline Champion, commentary by MHProNews.

 

But what federal officials may not have completely honed in upon is that during that contraction, Clayton has grown their market share, as the next two pie charts reflect.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Note the acceleration of Clayton’s consolidation, after the letter below by 21st was issued? That’s what some legal minds have called ‘smoking gun’ evidence of antitrust behavior.  Other evidence linked here reflects that the claims by Tim Williams were a mix of the truth and untrue. Rephrased, this was plausible cover for alleged antitrust law behavior.

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticPloyConcernManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This document was provided as a news tip to MHProNews. To see the full report, click here.

 

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesMarketShareManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e1528746976415

 

 

Coincidence? Or is it because Buffett’s bucks have – via third-party documented ‘dark money’ channels, has funded both the opposition to the industry by MHAction and other activist groups, as well as purportedly dominating MHI.

 

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

This raises several issues that bear federal agencies, media and other investigations, and congressional oversight.

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

Because there is a pattern and evidence that reflects the very real possibility that market manipulations and ‘predatory behavior’ by a small number of MHI member companies has cost the industry billions of dollars a year in potential sales.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

Is that an accident, mere coincidence?  Or is it indicative of something more sinister that often causes millennials and others to question capitalism, when it is specific and problematic corporate behavior that should be scrutinized, not the entire free enterprise system.

As tent cities grow in various parts of our nation, of course there will be an outcry by people against such troubling developments.

 

Tent Cities, Homelessness, Crime, Disease, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

While Secretary Carson and his predecessor have both praised manufactured homes, the inexplicable failure to use “enhanced preemption” or the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” legal principles to address these issues reflect some breakdown between the need and solutions that are already law.

It is mind boggling that MHI has no mention of enhanced preemption on their website, as of the date of the report linked below.  By contrast, MHARR, MHLivingNews, MHProNews and others have numerous articles and years of reports that point to that the need to enforce the law on federal preemption.

 

Members Point to Positives, Problematic – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) says, “Get the Facts on Zoning”

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

Summing Up

Affordable housing, related lending, and a failure to properly promote manufactured housing are cited by people in and out of MHI as real problems.  This publication has stressed that not all MHI members should be viewed as black hats.  But that ‘black hat’ behavior has occurred from several prominent MHI member-firms is difficult if not impossible to intelligently dispute.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Nathan Smith, Joe Stegmayer, Tim Williams, have all had various allegations lodged against them, as has Clayton Homes. Follow the links to learn more, which explains the satirical logo’s point.

 

Small Businesses, Consumers Are Being Harmed

These purported ploys in turn have cost small businesses collectively billions of dollars in the value of their enterprises. In response to declining shipments during an affordable housing crisis, which clearly harm smaller, more marginal businesses more than larger ones.  Bigger players with black hat behavior fuels bad news. The black hats may be using white hat companies in the same association to dress up their overall image.

MHI routinely has a reference to their antitrust statement – linked here – at the start of their individual business meeting sessions.  But that doesn’t change the reality that the industry is being consolidated into ever fewer hands.

To see if this is mere happenstance or something sinister if not illegal, federal, state, other interests, and advocates must do more to investigate beyond what has been done in articles like this and the linked reports herein and further below.

Secretary Carson has been doing a lot for manufactured housing publicly. But a counternarrative is also at play, which videos like John Oliver’s dwarf the good news that Secretary Carson is attempting to foster.  To date, the MHI ‘Homes on the Hill’ videos posted on this page have had about 2,000 total views between the 5 videos.  That’s helpful.  But John Oliver’s viral attack on manufactured housing has had over 6 million views.  That’s the factual reality.

Both major parties are making affordable housing and antitrust issues.

–      Will one party or both grab the bull by the horns, and investigate Berkshire Hathaway publicly?

–      Will one or both political parties call Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, and Tim Williams in to testify under oath about the evidence and allegations linked here?

–      Will federal and other investigators formally and publicly examine claims since the item linked above of further market manipulations, such as the ones reported at this link here?

–      Will the Feds and others allow Berkshire’s money and reputation to back them off? Or will they listen to voices that include MHI members who have said for years there is something wrong at the Arlington, VA based ‘umbrella’ trade group?

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

The comment above was said with respect to another recent topic, but relates to this issue too.

Ponder the following 4 items from current-former MHI members.  On the issue of DTS, ponder the photo of MHI’s sponsors, and then MHARR’s comment about DTS.

 

TheHUDCodeforManufacturedHomesisADiscriminationCodeMartyLavinJDMHIAwardWinnerMHRetailFinanceExpertCommunitiesOwnerPhotoQuoteMHProNews

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

 

2018-10-03_1018ManufacturedHousingInstituteHILogoCavcoFleetwoodPalmHarborFannieMaeFreddieMacLogoDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

Marty Lavin advises, “Follow the Money” and “Pay More Attention to What People Do Than What They Say.” The GSEs are praising manufactured home quality, but then backed Clayton in supporting a ‘new class’ of manufactured homes, with key MHI member input, that is aimed at funneling that lending, per informed sources.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

ManufacturedHousingInstitutePhotoOpportunitiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Trump Administration officials shown above could well find themselves the target of MHAction, or other similar activist group’s claims, that they are acting on behalf of the MHI’s largest companies. Indeed, MHI has implied as much in their ‘photo op’ messages to their own members. Are we to think that MHAction doesn’t already have these photos? MHAction and their affiliated groups have arguably already laid the foundation for that in their prior protests of Secretary Carson, and large MHI members, as the video with Senator Warren above illustrates. To be clear, MHProNews is not accusing these officials of any wrongdoing, but rather, we are hereby pointing out the on issues such as DTS, Enhanced Preemption, or Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, failure to fully and properly address those as federal law already requires could leave well meaning photo ops to be twisted into something that those officials never imagined. To learn more, click here.

 

Let’s dot the i on the above by saying anew that in pointing the finger at the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, that is not to be misconstrued as saying that all of those in said organizations are all tainted.  Among our sources are those in Clayton Homes, 21st, and MHI, to name but a few.  There are good people working in these organizations who are as troubled by what is occurring to the industry as we and others are.

 

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

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 in the subject line.

Millions of Americans are trapped in rentals, largely unaware of the good news that Secretary Carson has said during his tenure at HUD, or what scores of others in manufactured housing have been saying for years. Will MHI take these helpful videos that Secretary Carson made possible, and robustly promote them?  Or will they be a mere fig leaf? The latest head-fake to members, another illusion of motion, while the industry continues to consolidate?  Meanwhile,  millions search for affordable housing, when the solution is hiding in plain sight?

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One can agree or not with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above. 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 What is undisputable is that for years, MHI pursued a bill that their own SVP of Government Relations said had essentially no chance of passage. Where was the logic? Or was it a ‘rope-a-dope‘ ploy?

 

But there is a rationale case to be made that forces within the industry have intentionally limited the industry, with the purported aim of consolidating businesses at a discount in a fashion that might slip by antitrust regulatory scrutiny.

 

Enforce Existing Law

But as or more important is that the solution requires no new legislation.  The solution is already federal law.  It need but be enforced. But there is evidence that the powers that be in the industry don’t want to solve the problem now.  They want to consolidate more of the industry. Meanwhile, the suffering of millions of people and thousands of independent business professionals continues.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. MHProNews and our sister site continue to chop away at the core issues that are close to the heart of what is arguably keeping manufactured housing from achieving its potential.

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMHProNews

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Sometimes the truth is hiding in plain sight. Follow the facts, evidence, and the money.

 

Thus a public federal investigation, led by Congress, but with parallel efforts in the federal agencies, needs to be handled as publicly as possible. Why? Because the harm being done to the manufactured home industry is harming the public, plus independents who are arguably a victim too.

Renters, manufactured home owners, and voters need to understand that this is consolidating Machiavellian ploy is harming their interests.  The industry’s honest professionals should not be punished, it is the alleged bad actors who need to be held to account.

If we as a nation do so, then Secretary Carson’s solution for America may come to pass. The fabled doctor’s prescription, if put to work, could prove useful to millions and would save taxpayers billions too.  It would also create countless new jobs, and spark new investment opportunities.

ValuePenguinFearManufacturedHomesSolutionAffordableHousingCrisis

https://www.valuepenguin.com/home-insurance/fear-manufactured-homes-affordable-housing-crisis If MHI were serious about growing the industry, why have they not spotlighted articles like the one linked above?

 

The reports linked herein plus those below the byline and notices include articles that document how a natural economic boom could take place, raising the net worth of individuals who could leave the world of renting and become owners of affordable housing’s most obvious and proven solution. Modern manufactured homes are a proven solution. There is much work to be done to make that prescription and potential a reality.

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Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.

To learn more, see the reports linked above and below. More on this simple yet-profound topic tomorrow and in the days ahead. No politics, just 311 words that boil down to two words. Enhanced preemption. “We Provide, You Decide” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary)

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

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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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Related References:

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

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/we-as-a-nation-can-solve-the-affordable-housing-crisis-says-secretary-ben-carson-spotlighting-manufactured-homes-other-emerging-housing-technologies/

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hud-secretary-ben-carson-speech-on-manufactured-homes-manufactured-housingactive-ingredientmedicationfor-a-stronger-america/

 

 

 

 

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

Tim Sheahan, NMHOA President, Controversial Points of Agreement with Marty Lavin, George Allen on Communities

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

 

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Hawaii’s First “Trailer Park” on Oahu – Civil Beat’s Report Draws Heat

April 17th, 2018 Comments off

HawaiiFirstTrailerParkCivilBeatManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550x322

Hawaii’s Governor David Ige issued a proclamation in 2017 to deal with that state’s growing problem with homelessness.

 

Affordable housing is big issue in Hawaii, as it is in many parts of the mainland United States.

Oahu Civil Beat’s Natanya Friedheim wrote a report in March about the latest effort under Gov. Ige’s proclamation to ease their homeless crisis.

That story by Friedheim drew sharp criticism from a civil rights advocate in her state.MarshaRoseJoynerDrMartinLutherKingJrCoalitionHonoluluAdvertiserDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The reason?

Nope, they are not trailer parks,” is the subheading from Marsha Rose Joyner, of Honolulu. “I find that the headline “Oahu’s First Trailer Park Just The Latest In New Wave Of Public Housing” is salacious and terribly misleading,” said Joyner, who is identified by Civil Rights Movement Vet as the “past president of the Hawaii Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition.”

Joyner makes points editors and journalists in Hawaii – and beyond – should take to heart.

Addressing Friedheim’s choice of terminology, Joyner said, “The article continues “It is in essence Oahu’s first trailer park.” That simply is not true,” in a letter to Civil Beat’s editor.

The residents of the Waianae Coast have enough problems without Civil Beat demeaning their new homes, alluding to the stigma of trailer trash and stripping them of their dignity before they move in,” Joyner chides Friedheim.

Joyner isn’t shy about her views.  Writing about America’s involvement in the Middle Eastern wars, she wrote in 2003, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.”  Nor was she silent in a more recent claim of discrimination involving a ten-year veteran police officer.

So, it is interesting to note Joyner’s unwillingness to be “silent” in the case of Friedheim’s incorrect and prejudicial terminology.

Often people use the terms trailer and mobile home interchangeably. There is a huge difference,” Joyner correctly stated.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

By an act of Congress in 1974, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was designated as the government agency to oversee the Federal Manufactured Housing, “The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Manufactured Housing,” Joyner wrote.

The small living units provide homeless families more stability than they might find in shelters or on the streets, but it is unclear how long people will live in them,” Friedheim said of the new housing option.

CivilBeatKahuikiVillageNimitzHighwayHawaiiDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The photo and text above are part of Friedheim’s article, that Joyner critiqued. These are not mobile homes, or manufactured homes.  They are Japanese prefabs. Per her report in Civil Beat, the units apparently don’t meet many standards that Americans would find common in all housing, including manufactured homes.

Some of the prefab housing that Friedham described would be $120,000 for 1,000 square feet. That’s more than double what a typical single section home installed on the mainland would be.  In late 2017, the national average for a new single section home was about $50,000, and would be about that 1000 sq. feet, or perhaps larger, per U.S. Census Bureau data.  The national average for a typical multi-sectional would be under $100,000, in late 2017.

SukupManufacturingCoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The photo and text above are also part of Friedheim’s article, which fails to make clear that these steel bin units are emergency shelters designed to sleep as many as 10 people.  But these Sukup units aren’t permanent housing in the sense that a manufactured home would be, which by federal law, must include cooking, and bathing facilities.

  

The Controversy Highlight the Issues

Hawaii has a population of about 1.42 million people. Gov. Ige’s efforts to fight homelessness claims there’s some 7,200 homeless in the state.

That’s down by several hundred, per the governor’s office, due to their efforts to ease restrictions on alternative housing, like the examples shown from Civil Beat, above.

On Feb 7, 2018, “the average rent for a studio apartment in Hawaii is a whopping $1,821. For one-bedroom apartments, it’s $1,903. The price jumps to $2,453 for two-bedroom apartments and $2,977 for three-bedroom apartments,” stated Smart Asset.

As of 2017 the median price for a single family home in Hawaii was $730K. Condos were $390K. Average rent in Hawaii (Oahu) for a studio will vary based on location but expect to pay around $1,670 with Waikiki studios going from $1,400 to about $1,700,” says Aim for Awesome’s housing report about the island.

Even allowing for shipping costs, manufactured homes would be a fraction of such figures.

FabMac – a manufactured home operation in Hawaii – said in post-dated 2015, that since 2006, some 20 manufactured homes had been sold and installed there. But a source in manufactured housing told MHProNews that tough restrictions were part of what kept them from doing more business on the islands.

The video posted below uses several incorrect terms, and the cost data can’t be relied upon, as much of it was not accurate, even at the time it was filmed. That said, the video reflects insights from Hawaiians who were interested in seeing more manufactured housing on the islands. Short interviews by “KentJ1” are laced together.  They paint a picture of why manufactured homes – which the video incorrectly calls “mobile homes” –  aren’t already being more utilized there.

It’s hard enough to find the truth and state it clearly, isn’t it? Even the truth is getting harder to identify,” Joynor wrote in 2003. As was noted above, her topic was different than housing. But the principles behind her words about the difficulty in finding the truth echo the thoughts of manufactured housing activist, the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.

Tye has promoted the use of manufactured housing’s enhanced preemption, in order to provide blacks and others an opportunity to build equity that affordable home ownership provides.

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hawaii, along with other states that struggle with affordability issues, would benefit significantly by an application of the enhanced preemption provided under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000 – see related reports, linked below).

But ignorance about the MHIA 2000, plus the challenges of NIMBY, zoning, and placement restrictions are only part of the problem.

A historic lack of follow through by HUD in enforcing preemption has arguably harmed the citizens of Hawaii, and other states.

EconomicRacismIlGenAssemblyRevDonTyeJr-JDHarperArkManufacturedHousingAssoc-IndustryVoicesMHProNews

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/harper-thank-you-rev-donald-tye-fighting-for-enhanced-preemption-of-manufactured-homes/

That has a ripple effect in an economy. A source with deep ties to HUD told MHProNews in 2017 that an attorney there tasked with enforcing preemption made it a habit of avoiding invoking that federal power.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Every home in the photo collage above is a HUD Code manufactured home.

Will the Trump Administration and HUD Secretary Ben Carson change that pattern?

Carson’s recent comments praising the “amazing” progress in manufactured housing, and branding many of the regulations at HUD as “ridiculous” may provide a clue that change is coming.  They’ve frozen regulations at HUD.  A top-down review was ordered.  Will that review bring enforcement of federal preemption?  Or an end to “interpretative bulletins” (IB) that don’t meet the standards set by the MHIA 2000? Time will tell.

As Joyner said, there are times when one must not be silent.  ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

Is More Manufactured Housing Coming to Hawaii?

 

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Are Manufactured Home Communities Good or Bad?

May 15th, 2017 Comments off
creditCitizenTimes1-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home in the Wellington community. Credit: Citizen Times.

The answer to that question throughout Western North Carolina comes down to something simple: it depends on whom you ask.

Manufactured housing in the region, on average, accounts for between 15 and 30 percent of overall housing.

According to the Citizen Times, opponents of manufactured housing in the area say “you get what you pay for,” and although manufactured homes are cheap up front, their values and materials degrade over time.

Advocates disagree, saying they are an affordable path to homeownership.

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

As the region works to address its affordable housing crisis, manufactured home community owners are pushing for growth, and officials are left with the decision of whether more permissive zoning is the answer.

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Credit: Google.

For longtime Asheville businessman and Wellington Estates community owner, George Morosani, it’s a no brainer.

Describing himself as an advocate for manufactured homes, he’s one of the people driving the push for more permissive zoning.

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George Morosani. Credit: Morosani.

It’s just good old working class people that need a place to live,” said Morosani.What’s most important is at the end of ten years they own the home, and they can have it payment-free for the next 20 or 25 years.”

While manufactured homes are banned in Ashville, Wellington Estates, due to its age, is grandfathered in.

Morosani says that he buys homes and resells them, and buyers put ten percent down and pay off the balance through private financing with Wellington Estates within ten years.

I’ve always found if someone owns something, they’re apt to take better care of it than if you’re renting,” said Morosani.

And that appears to carry over to Wellington West, which is right across the street and also owned by Morosani.

Some residents there are accusing Morosani of forcing them out, telling them that they need to upgrade their homes and pay the Wellington Estates pad rent, or leave.

I feel frustrated because I don’t know where to go,” said Wellington West resident Carina Hernandez.

He said that businesses are businesses, and that’s why we’re taking these out and putting new ones in.”

For Morosani, he says that he has no tolerance for situations like Wellington West.

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A home in Wellington West. Credit: Citizen Times.

This is what the public thinks a trailer park [sic] is,” said Morosani, pointing to a part of the community.

This is trailer trash [sic].”

I want to prove a trailer park [sic] doesn’t have to look scruff. The clean up is part of my strategy to persuade city leaders to open up zoning for mobile homes,” said Morosani.

The difference between trailer trash [sic] in a trailer park [sic] and a manufactured home community is tremendously different. It is not an eyesore. It just takes maintenance. It takes care.”

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

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

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

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

UPDATE: New Manufactured Home Community Laws Take Effect

April 13th, 2017 Comments off
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The ordinance is discussed. Credit: Daily Iberian.

In Iberia Parish, Louisiana, an area the Daily Business News has covered prior, new laws are going into effect for manufactured home communities related to trash collection.

And some residents and owners are not pleased.

According to KATC, the Iberia Parish city council approved ordinances last month, making manufactured home communities commercial property, and requiring owners to hire their own trash collection services.

While Parish President Larry Richard signed the two ordinances into law after the council approved them, he’s now asking the council to revise and clarify some of the language.

We are not trying to get rid of mobile homes [sic] in Iberia Parish. We welcome mobile homes [sic]. We recognize we have a problem with it,” said Richard.

I hope these new laws will fix those problems,” said Council Chair Natalie Broussard.

The first of the laws now classifies communities with three or more manufactured homes commercial property.

The second one requires owners of both new and existing communities to provide their own trash services beginning October 1st.

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Credit: Google.

For Broussard, she wondered exactly what all of this means.

Are these really commercial enterprises? Should they be treated like the other commercial enterprise and the developers or owners of these parks [sic] pay for their own trash disposal just like every other commercial enterprise in Iberia Parish?” asked Broussard.

She’s not alone.

If you have three or more trailers [sic], you’re now a trailer park [sic]. So, if I owned a trailer [sic] and I had two kids that wanted to live on the same property, we would be required as a trailer park [sic] to assume our own trash pickup,” said Councilman Warren Gachassin at a community meeting last month.

That’s one of our big failures in this ordinance is that we did not set up a way that anybody can apply for a variance,” said Broussard.

We need to offer some variance of making it commercial when it is truly family members living on the same piece of property and nobody is paying rent.”

Broussard also said that this is one of the areas that the council should review, in addition to the list of language that Richard has asked the council to clarify.

We can always amend an ordinance, so it’s very simple. Let’s let it go into effect now that he signed it,” said Broussard.

Let’s see how it works, and then we can start tweaking it. Nobody is opposed to making some necessary changes.”

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Oh Paradigm Shift: Million Dollar Manufactured Homes for Rich and Frugal

January 13th, 2017 Comments off

OhParadigmShiftMillionDollarManufacturedHomesforRichandFrugalcreditLATimes2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews660x330sWhen it comes to “California Dreaming,” most thoughts instantly go to sunshine, the beach, Hollywood and mansions.

Even so, it turns out the even the biggest Hollywood stars and those who are upwardly mobile see the incredible value in manufactured, prefab and modular housing. The numerous misconceptions about “trailers and crime” are safely put to rest with the ability to literally design the home of your dreams, and have it delivered, for a fraction of the cost and significantly faster than a traditional site built home.

This two bedroom, two bath home comes in at 1,280 square feet and is located in Malibu’s Paradise Cove community.

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Jess Maxcy, president, California Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI).

And it comes with a $1.849 million price tag, which happens to be a bargain in a neighborhood where the average median price of over $4 million. That figure represents an increase of 101.5 percent year-over-year.

Just because someone has a lot of money doesn’t mean they’re not frugal,” says Jess Maxcy, president of the California Manufactured Home Institute.

For the full MHLivingNews story, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

 

Proposed Council Ordinance Sparks Property Rights, Discrimination Discussion

November 15th, 2016 Comments off
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Nimby comic credit as shown, used here under fair use guidelines.

In Greene County, Indiana, the Linton city council voted to move forward with a controversial ordinance.

The vote, which required the mayor to break a tie, approved a measure stating all future manufactured homes brought into the city must be moved into a manufactured home community.

What I’m going to propose is all of the trailers [sic] in town now be grandfathered in. Any trailer [sic] from this day forward will go into a state-mandated trailer park [sic],” said Linton mayor John Wilkes.

You look at all the other communities around, their cities are clean, their towns are cleaned up. They have trailer parks [sic] to put their trailers [sic] in.

According to the Greene County Daily World, the Linton city council has been debating for months about how to move forward with cleaning up unsightly older mobile and manufactured homes in the city limits, while still providing affordable and safe housing for Linton residents.

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Mayor John Wilkes. Official Photo.

One of the reasons why the city has been unable to put together a trailer [sic] ordinance is because Linton does not have any zoning,” said Wilkes.

The mayor said the city is working to clear out houses in the city and commended city councilwoman Linda Bedwell for her work with the county-led blighted property ordinance.

I think we are on the same page here. We want to clean the city up and make it a better place,” Wilkes said during the council meeting.

Upon the call for a vote, council members Fred Markle and Jerry Ellett voted in favor of putting together the ordinance as proposed by the mayor. Council members Tony Richards and Linda Bedwell voted against the measure.

Councilman Jeff Sparks was not in attendance.

In a situation like this, the chair will break the tie and I’m in favor of that motion so that motion carries,” Wilkes said.

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Linton city council. Official photo.

Markle told the council that based on his independent research, he found many communities of similar size have zoning in place, and this seems like the right direction to go in addressing the problem.

Markle also stressed that it may take 10 to 12 years for the proposed ordinance to take effect.

Mayor Wilkes noted while about 10 percent of manufactured homes in the city limits are in top shape, it is the rest of the older mobile or manufactured homes, which he characterized as being run down and negatively impact the neighbor’s property values.

But you also have that problem with houses, too,” said Bidwell.

I think if you own the property you should do with it what you want,” said councilman Tony Richards.

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Linton, Indiana. Credit: Google.

A member of the public was not pleased.

While Mayor Wilkes did not open up the topic for public discussion during the meeting, local landlord Jerry May addressed the council after the meeting was adjourned.

I wanted to put you on notice that I plan to file an injunction on the ordinance. I think you need to rethink that because you’re violating some laws,” May said.

May buys, sells and trades manufactured homes in the city, rents out several homes and currently has a manufactured home community.

This is taking away the usability, sell-ability and buy-ability of the property. It takes away all value in all aspect. We’ve got one park [sic] here in town, and it’s got restrictions itself,” said May.

The landlord also said that he believes this is a dangerous step in the direction of zoning.

It’s a major takeover. It’s not just the creation of an ordinance. This is a major form of zoning, and there’s lots more zoning to come. I promise,” May said.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) cases recently, including one in Hutchinson, Kansas here.  It should also be noted that a close reading of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 provides for enhanced preemption, which ought to limit such local zoning efforts.

MHARR and state associations are often raising this issue, with one example in a case linked here.  Please see the download from that linked column. ##

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Image credits are as shown.

(Editor’s Note: the story in the image linked above is another case of NIMBY that is worth exploring. Also, to understand the home owner’s vantage point, please see the article linked here.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

City Council Approves Rezoning of Manufactured Home Community

October 29th, 2016 Comments off
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Boulder City Mobile Home Park. Credit: KTNV

The Boulder City, Nevada City Council has unanimously approved the request of developer Randy Schams to rezone 7.33 acres of land he owns in the city to a multi-home residential area.

A number of regular Daily Business News readers may recognize Schams’ name, as part of our coverage on the Boulder City Planning Commission vote on the issue last month.

Schams purchased the property, known as the Boulder City Mobile Home Park. out of bankruptcy last November, and had been working to clean up the community, with a plan to turn it into 19 single story townhomes.

bouldercityplanningcommissionapprovesrezoningofmobilehomeparkcreditbouldercitybeat-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Boulder City Planning Commission, Randy Schams 2nd from left. Credit: Boulder City Beat

The planning commission unanimously approved the request on September 21st, setting the stage for a city council decision.

Given the location of the property, Brok Armantrout, director of community development and other community members felt that the land should have a commercial designation.

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Brok Armantrout. Credit: bcnv.org.

We have asked the developer to change the designation to commercial, but he felt that a commercial property was not a viable option with the Interstate 11 coming,” said Armantrout.

According to the Boulder City Review, Schams insisted that “the mobile home park [sic] be rezoned as a residential area and not a commercial area” despite the pleas.

I didn’t have an issue here until recently because I was happy that the park [sic] was getting cleaned up,” said Boulder City resident Kevin Tibbs.

But after a lot of thought I think the only reasonable designation for the land is commercial just like everywhere else along the highway. Residential does not belong on this highway; we know that because of the condition of the park [sic] when the owner bought it. Please urge the developer to change his residential designation.

The city had a plan to make the area commercial and now they are just throwing it out to appease one person,” said resident Tracy Folda.

The city council and the planning commission disagreed, citing that the area has been a manufactured home community since the late 1950s.

Why is the best use of this land commercial if it has never been commercial?” Councilman Duncan McCoy asked.

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Duncan McCoy. Credit: bcnv.org

I have no problem with this project; people have been griping about the quality of homes in that area for 28 years and I am not persuaded we need the area for commercial lots when not all of our current lots are filled.

With the new Interstate 11 bypass coming to the area, planning commission member Glenn Leavitt and councilwoman Peggy Leavitt agreed that a residential designation was acceptable, as some business will likely shut down once the bypass is complete.

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Peggy Leavitt. Credit: bcnv.org.

We can ignore the elephant in the room or go for it head on, but the hard truth is that some businesses will fail when the bypass shows up,” commissioner Leavitt said. “We agreed with a residential designation because people were demanding more affordable housing and because commercial businesses that move in there could fail.

We have taken a lot of heat because there is not enough affordable housing in the city and this appeals to me because it is affordable housing,” councilwoman Leavitt said.

One councilman had a slightly different take.

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Cam Walker. Credit: bcnv.org.

I like the residential idea because it would not be a trailer park [sic] anymore,” said councilman Cam Walker.

Randy Schams echoed Walker’s sentiment.

I have been building here for 20-plus years and I have never heard one positive thing about that trailer park [sic],” said Schams. “I am just trying to make it more appealing and with affordable housing.

The council expressed issues surrounding limited access to and from the property, but did not take any action.

According to the Boulder City Review, with the rezoning designation approved, residents of the community will be ordered to leave by a designated date given by the developer. ##

prideandprejudicethetruthaboutmanufacturedhomecommunitiesandcrime-postedtomhlivingnews

(Editor’s Note: while some believe that manufactured home communities are havens of crime, the story linked here has a downloadable report, authored by a university professor, that demonstrates the contrary is true).

(Image Credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Massachusetts Mystery Home

February 3rd, 2016 Comments off

question_mark_houses__fotosearchA home in Lowell, Massachusetts that, says a neighbor who saw it delivered, is a manufactured home, is causing consternation at city hall, accoding to lowellsun. Mayor Ed Kennedy says it is a trailer and since they are not allowed by law, he wants it removed. At the Jan. 26 City Council meeting he said, “If you had 20 of these, it would look like a trailer park.”

Meanwhile, Lowell’s Building Commissioner Shaun Shanahan says his research indicates it is a manufactured home, a city building permit from last month refers to it as a modular home, and an electrical permit from 2014 refers to it as a mobile home.

The Pawtucketville Citizens Council and Councilor Bill Samaras would like to see the structure moved. MHProNews understands the matter was referred to the council’s zoning subcommittee. ##

(Image credit: fotosearch–Question mark homes)

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

Deseret News runs “Trailer Park” solution “report”

November 5th, 2014 Comments off

case-for-trailer-parks-credit=the-atlantic-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Lane Anderson at theDeseret News  is one of the writers and various media outlets that picked up on The Atlantic’s recent article, The Case for Trailer Parks. Lane writes, According to 2013 data from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, 50 percent of renters in the U.S. spent more than 30 percent of gross income on rent. This is up 12 percent points since 2000.”

About 35 percent of Americans are renting now, according to the report, and more demand keeps driving rent prices up and up.”

Now, enter the humble trailer home. It’s affordable and relatively new and spacious as compared to a lot of cramped, crumbling low-end apartment buildings, say housing experts.”

Lane quotes from generally favorable comments made about manufactured housing from The Atlantic, and continues: “The median cost of a single-family home last year was $324,000 according to the Census Bureau. A trailer? Just $64,000.

Freddie Mac started financing trailer park developers last year, according to The Wall Street Journal, signaling that the mortgage lender is moving into that market as an affordable housing option.”

Having based her writng primarily on The Atlantic’s, Lane’s article has essentially the same strengths and – weaknesses – such as improper terminology and perpetuating the stereotype of MH as being for the poor. Lane may not have seen the CBS News video which interviewed millionaires living in manufactured homes who called modern HUD Code certified homes,trendy.

A manufactured home industry response that corrects the weaknesses made in The Atlantic  column would apply for Lane’s article too, and is linked here. ##

(Photo credit: La Citta Vita/Flickr/The Atlantic)

 

Key West Property Transforms into MHC

February 18th, 2013 Comments off

KeysNews reports Carefree RV Resorts, with 61 communities across the nation, is transforming the Sunset Harbor Trailer Park in Key West into Sunset Harbor Community, which will become a no age restriction manufactured housing community with 77 new HUD Code pastel homes. The price of the Jacobsen Homes, built to withstand 180 mph winds, will range from $114,900 to $134,900, and site rents from $800 to $1200. Payments will be around $2,300 to $2,750 a month for land and mortgage, given a ten percent down payment. Carefree, based in Scottsdale, AZ, is installing a new swimming pool, a pavilion with grills and social areas, boat slips behind some of the MH, and is providing better views of the waterways. Current residents will be allowed to remain living in their factory-built homes “as long as they pay the rent,” says Carefree CEO David Napp. MHProNews has learned the majority of the privately owned company’s communities are in Florida—it bought Sunset in 2010—but it also has properties in five other states and in Ontario, Canada.

(Image credit: Google Images)