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City Permits Some Manufactured Home Replacements for Tornado Ravaged Conventional Housing

May 23rd, 2019 Comments off
BattleInCityOverPermittingManufacturedHomeReplacementsforTornadoRavagedConventionalHousing

Still from video posted below.

A month after tornadoes ripped through Alto, Texas, many were left homeless as their residences were damaged or destroyed.

 

Last week, in a special city council meeting, the Alto city council voted to allow manufactured homes to be used as replacement homes for residents living there.

The homes were being provided by a local church, and dozens have signed up hoping to obtain one of those homes.

But that doesn’t mean that the decision was popular with numbers of Alto’s citizens, as the video report posted here from CBS 19 reflects.

 

 

In this situation particularly, we had a family that lost their home and we were able to purchase them a two bedroom, one bath HUD-manufactured mobile home,” said Ann Henley, employee of the River Church. “And we’re trying to replace it on their lot here in Alto.”

Henley said the church was been gifted with money to assist families impacted by last month’s natural disaster. They have purchased 6 manufactured homes, and at that time had already placed three of the homes on designated lots.

We have three more that they’re trying to get their lots cleaned up,” Henley said. “We’ve replaced about seven or eight roofs so far and we have about five or six lined up to replace the roofs in the next week or two.”

It’s one of those notes of positive irony. Conventional housing was sadly reduced to rubble in many cases, and manufactured homes were the quick and positive solution.

 

AltoTXmanufacturedhomeStreetNextToOlderConventionalHousingMHProNewsMHIMembersChangingPerceptionOfManufacturedHousingMHILogoClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayLogoMHProNewsBloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

 

But the resistance in that town council meeting was present, and slinging the ‘t-word’ was part of the process.

You can pull onto Putman Avenue and the trailer is the biggest thing on the road there now,” one resident in the news video said. “I don’t think that’s what we want, certainly I don’t in that neighborhood and I don’t think that’s what we want for the city.”

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

 

I think our biggest concern are basically the people that have been misplaced and that are basically homeless and getting them into a house as quick as possible,” Henley said. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in Alto who are very low-income and even if they did own their home, they weren’t able to afford home owner’s insurance. They’re just in a bad situation and we’re just trying to help them as best as we can.”

This scenario of manufactured housing being the obvious solution, but encountering local resistance, is playing out in various ways from coast-to-coast.  It will be part of an upcoming special report on MHProNews. Watch for it.

That’s tonight’s last look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

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

 

 

 

 

 

Urgency Grows, Another City Prepares Ban on Manufactured Homes

March 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

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The report of yet another American city considering a ban on new manufactured housing is the most recent warning-flag for an issue that has been growing for several years in states across the country.

 

 

City of Bryan, TX, District Two Councilman Prentiss Madison, told KBTX that he is getting calls and messages from people on both sides of the issue, meaning for and against the ban.

I’m hearing from both sides of the issue,” said Madison.

If the proposed ordinance passes,” says KBTX,manufactured homes would not be allowed on vacant lots going forward. Those already living in a manufactured home would be grandfathered into the ordinance.”

Bryan has roughly 3,500 manufactured homes. A little more than half are in manufactured home communities, per local media. The rest are in mixed-use neighborhoods of conventional housing and manufactured homes, such as the Kemp Carver and Castle Heights neighborhoods.

This is about the community of Bryan,” said councilman Madison, per the local report linked here. “What do the citizens and the community wants to look like going forward?”

Or is this possibly about big money interests that want to eliminate competition under the guise of something else?  But set that question aside for later.

If Madison’s comment sounds negative to those with sensitive manufactured home industry ears, it did as well to Karl Radde. Radde is with Southern Comfort Homes, and he attended a Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting a few weeks earlier with D.J. Pendleton in Bryan, along with that state association’s executive director, per the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) website.

Radde has served in leadership roles for both the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) retailer council, and is also as a well liked prior chairman of the TMHA.

Radde’s pitch was based upon reason and compromise, per the TMHA and other informed sources.

As you guessed, that argument apparently fell on deaf ears as I was politely thanked for my comments,” said Radde.

While Radde made an intelligent argument, he and Pendleton – per TMHA’s report and other sources – failed to make an argument based upon the enhanced preemption clause of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA). Radde and other sources in and beyond Texas have provided additional insights to MHProNews, and as of the time that those comments were provided, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had not weighed in. That too is a vexing pattern that’s becoming better known, as the report linked here reflects.

Castle Heights neighborhood association President Rafael Pena, who was previously on city council, says manufactured homes are necessary.

It’s a price point issue. Not everybody can afford a stick-built home,” said Pena. “I think we would love to be in a stick-built home, but a lot of times a lot of people don’t have enough money, they don’t earn enough at their jobs.

 


Kemp Carver’s neighborhood association president, Ray Arrington, was cited by local media saying that it’s an ordinance his neighbors should consider.

When we want curbs and gutters and improvements in our neighborhood, we have to look at what our tax base is,” said Arrington. “They are paying less taxes, so that calls for less services.”

It’s what J.D. Harper in neighboring  Arkansas once referred to as economic racism.

 

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

Prior and arguable applicable statements by the Rev Donald Tye, Jr.

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Cases like the one noted often have hidden special interests operating in the background.  They may be using an ordinance or other bill to help eliminate manufactured housing as a form of competition to their interests. That may include those who would rather build housing projects instead of seeing manufactured homes. 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.

 

Bryan Proposal Purportedly Violates Federal Law, Plus Harms Local Economy

The case is a mirror of prior incidents in Indiana and California. In those other instances, they too had civic forces with motivations to limit or ban manufactured homes. But both municipalities rapidly revered themselves after city officials were contacted by MHProNews, which looped in two pro-industry non-profits, and provided legal references for each city’s leaders and attorneys to chew on. See the related reports, further below the byline and notices for details.

Radde provided MHProNews with more extensive comments, which will be reviewed at a future point, likely after this issue is resolved, as they are revealing and insightful.

Radde also wanted MHProNews to clarify a point, “while I have zero issues with Clayton Homes, the only new Clayton product my company has sold was a couple of Tru homes a few years back.  While we are about 65% preowned homes, our new line is primarily Fleetwood.  We have also recently added the Jessup line of homes.”

That requested comment from Radde brings up the Clayton question. Where are they in this troubling scenario? After all, Texas is the number one state in the nation for manufactured home sales, production, and shipments.  Where is Clayton’s defense of the industry and reputation?  Why aren’t they standing up for groups that Pena and Radde represents?

 

 

What if This Trend of Banning Manufactured Homes Continues Unabated?

Several factual as well as legal arguments can be made in such cases, but for whatever reasons, in spot checks by MHProNews, the MHIA and enhanced preemption are repeatedly not being presented to local officials. Why not?

Furthermore, where is the claimed clout that MHI is supposed to have? Don’t they proudly proclaim on their website that they represent all segments of factory-built housing? Why aren’t they sticking up for the rights of citizen’s like Pena? Or independents like Radde?

This case is the latest #NettlesomeThings issue of #Nimby vs. #Yimby.   In order to address growing threats like these, and others, the manufactured housing industry’s members are encouraged to attend an afternoon aimed at identify causes, outlining proposed proven cures, and then laying out action steps to create growth from challenges that will others only limit affordable manufactured home sales in the future.

 

Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

 

See the related report, above, and others below for more details.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-768x318

MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending the charge on preemption or ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation was an MHI member, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth allowed more consolidation by big boy companies and at a cheaper price? 

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That’s this morning’s troubling but true “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © See the related reports for more details. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Drilling Down on State Manufactured Housing Shipment Data, Shocking Revelations, Warning Signs

March 8th, 2019 Comments off

 

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There are numerous states that experienced a downturn in new HUD Code manufactured home shipments in December of 2018. Each of those, to varying degrees, merit their own story.

 

One that experienced a pronounced drop was the #1 production and shipment state in the U.S., which is the state of Texas.  According to data that ultimately comes from IBTS collected for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHOA) said that year over year (YoY) December 2018 vs. 2017, Texas experienced a stunning 44 percent drop.

 

December 2017  2018   % Change

Texas         1941  1085    -44.1%.

 

But we will look for the next few moments at Arkansas, and their shipment data.  Because like Michigan – which also is experiencing a downturn – Arkansas has invested in a nascent marketing campaign to boost their new manufactured home sales.   We will note that Michigan in some ways has reportedly invested more and longer in marketing than Arkansas, but both experienced a drop in new HUD Code manufactured homes shipped.

Here’s the regional shipment data, per MHAO.

 

December2018vsDec2017YearOverYearShipmentReportMHAO-ArKsLAMoNmOkTx

 

There are differences between what Michigan and Arkansas have done and are doing, which is not the focus of this analysis, but that point is hereby duly noted. In Arkansas’ case, a feature for them has been their videos, which aim to address several common concerns that consumers have about manufactured homes.

MHProNews has been one of the platforms that has shared their videos.  Here is one of the AMHA promotional videos again.  It is a quality, professional video production.

 

 

In favor of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association’s (AMHA) video efforts vs. say the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) marketing-promotional videos, the AMHA’s videos have attracted far more viewers.  The video above was published on Sep 1, 2016, per the AMHA’s YouTube page. On this date at 4:37 AM ET, there are 68,434 views reported on this 2:30 second video.

That said, one must ask, has the AMHA videos moved-the-needle on new manufactured home sales?  That’s the acid test.

Per the report by MHAO, YoY for the month is as follows.

December 2017  2018   % Change
Arkansas   104      67     -35.6%

Year over year totals for Arkansas are as follows.

Year-To-Date 2017   2018   % Change
Arkansas         1766   1805   2.2%

Here’s how our publisher’s and award-winning industry consultant’s comments were phrased, in the red textbox on the graphic below.

 

ArKsLaMoNmOkTxShipmentsPerMHAOMarch2019NewsletterWithDec2018vs2017dataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The above is a collage from the MHAO’s most recent newsletter, and is provided here under fair use guidelines for media.

 

There are those voices in manufactured housing that are talking about weather, inventory adjustments, or how other sectors like automotive had declines too among other excuses for the lack of serious growth.  But there are numerous reasons why those are false arguments, which are easily disproven.

One example is the article below, which demonstrates that within automotive, there are firms that rose while others slipped.  So how a marketing message is crafted, and then what happens after that marketing message is produced all are factors in bottom line performance.  Click the text-image box to see that video and report.  Further below the byline is a report on a video about a home built on a frame with a hitch set on blocks.  The video is over 16 minutes long, is an interview done by a third-party, and has had over 1 million views in just 3 weeks.

 

“What’s My Name?” What Manufactured Housing Marketers, Pros, Investors Could Learn From This Video

 

There are those who are deliberately distorting – or at best, misreading – the authentic causes for concern about manufactured housing’s slide.  Automotive, RVs, and other industries have far out performed manufactured housing since the last manufactured housing industry peak was achieved in 1998.  Yet it is manufactured housing that is in the affordable housing business, during an affordable housing crisis.  Aren’t the distinctions significant?

 

As the Klaxon sounds, the Wake Up Call to Change Call

A klaxon is a powerful horn or alarm that often signifies danger. A klaxon is hard to ignore. The klaxon means the time to act is asap, not someday in the murky mist.

Compared to MHI, AMHA’s budget is modest.  One should say in AMHA’s favor that it is better to try something than do nothing.

There is no one cause for this problem of shipment and production at disappointing and still historically low levels.  So, no one article is going to lay out all of the facts.  But to better understand the range of issues that arguably contribute to this malaise, see the linked related reports, below the byline, notices and market-based business development opportunities. Other thoughtful perspectives are encouraged and welcomed.  Comments can be private or for publication, just so note in your messages.

 

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Some years ago, UMH President Sam Landy, JD, told MHProNews that every firm is ultimately responsible for their own marketing.  That’s demonstrably and logically true.

But beyond the duty of each company to self-promote, there are other needs as well that could be done in groups of firms that have reasons to work together to promote more sales and profits.

There is a thirst for manufactured housing independent industry professionals for understanding.  There are numbers who realize that what MHI claims vs. their performance on behalf of the industry are not necessarily the same thing, to be polite.

A new post-production association is needed, period.  To rely on MHI after years of failed performance in the post-production side is demonstrably foolish.

Ready for solutions instead of excuses?  Are you going to the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show?  To learn more about organizing such a post-production alternative to MHI, contact Tony@MHMSM.com, or call 863-213-4090.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotes

 

The communities sector had state associations break away from MHI.  The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) broke away from MHI years before. Both cited the failed performance of MHI, in their own words. This operation’s parent company was an MHI member, and L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was elected by peers to serve on an MHI board.  If MHI wee performing, instead of their purported posturing, more head-fakes, and making excuses themselves and/or through surrogates, MHProNews would arguably still be a member of that trade group.

Performance matters more than empty promises.

Isn’t it self-evident that doing more of the same as in recent years, will only produce more of the same sad, low results? That’s obviously not cheer leading, like others are wont to do in MHVille that kiss the MHI donkey derriere. Rather, it’s the increasingly self-evident sobering truth.

 

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsCavcoIndustriesCVCOMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Only the truth told well and often enough, and then acting upon truth, will set manufactured housing operations free to return to and surpass the industry’s glory days. The time to act is asap or now. Contact Tony@MHMSM.com, or call 863-213-4090.

 

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ZIg Ziglar’s editor provided MHProNews with years of articles that have been published here. We believe in possibility thinking, but that must be grounded in reality. Ziglar says the same. To solve a problem, one must admit it exists, identify its causes, and the plan how to address the root causes of the issues. That’s how progress is achieved.

That’s “Manufactured Housing News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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Fall Manufactured Housing Show Features Free Education, Fun, Special Financing, & More

September 18th, 2018 Comments off

FallManufacturedHousingShowLegacyHousingOct15-172018DailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

A big manufactured housing show is set for October 15-17, 2018 in Fort Worth, TX. 

 

It makes several simple, yet profit-generating, promises.

  •  Free Education,

HummerHappyHourTourLegacyHousingFallShowOct15to172018ManufacturedHousingMHProNews

  • A variety of off-hours fun and entertainment,

TourofCowboyStadiumStarLegacyHousingFallShow0ct15-172018DailyBusinessNEwsMHproNews

  • Special Financing that helps you stock and sell more homes,

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  • Marketing and Sales Tips from Pros,

To learn more, click the article linked above and/or click their banner ad below for more details, or to RSVP. 

October15-172018RSVPmanufacturedHousingFall2018LegacyHousing

Free hotel rooms are currently available for the rapidly-approaching event. ## (MH Industry Event, business news, and commentary.)

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City Considers Manufactured Homes on Scattered Lots for More Affordable Housing

April 12th, 2018 Comments off

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It’s grand to see local media using the proper terminology, and a city considering the use of manufactured homes as an option in an area where conventional builders haven’t been prepared to build any longer.

So on vacant “buildable” lots, Andy Taubman’s local manufactured home operation has offered to develop these sites in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Where this proposal goes is not yet determined. But it’s Texas, currently the number one manufactured home producing and sales state in the nation. What is certain is that the research that HUD’s previously commissioned would suggest that property values will rise uniformly for both the conventional and manufactured home.

MHProNews plans to monitor this effort. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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3D Printed Home in Austin, TX Aims to Revolutionize Affordable Housing

March 29th, 2018 Comments off

3DPrintedHousingAustinTXAimstoRevolutionizeAffordableHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

3D printing isn’t new.

 

Tools and parts are among the items that were 3D printed years ago.

3D printing of homes isn’t new either, as the Daily Business News has been reporting on the emerging tech for several years.

An Austin, TX based company believes they’ve found the magic that can make housing overseas and in the U.S. more affordable.  While some media have reported very low pricing on this process, several notes of caution need to be applied.  First, the claims are often made based upon only the shell of the home.

Often, foundation and finish costs, plumbing, electric, cabinetry, and other necessary items are not included.

Unlike others in media, MHProNews reached out to this firm to specifically ask about those add-on questions, and how much those additional costs might be.  After over a week, no follow up, which may suggest that indeed the pricing publicized elsewhere is hype that can’t be achieved in practice in the U.S.

Still, it’s a trend that factory-built housing professionals of all kinds must keep their eyes on. The Daily Business News will continue to monitor such developments. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

Note: this story came in via email as a news tip.  Often several times a week, stories are forged as a result of tips from readers and industry pros, investors and observers. To submit an item for consideration, please click the image below. You can remain anonymous.

 

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Survey Top 2017 PreFab, Modular, Tiny and 3D Printed Housing News Stories

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George Bush Hands Couple Keys to FEMA Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU)

November 20th, 2017 Comments off

KVIII3ABCGeorgeBushHandsKeysFamilyFEMAManufacturedHousingUnitDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Texas Land Commissioner [GLO] was in Rockport Thursday morning to present the keys to a FEMA manufactured housing unit to a couple who lost everything to Hurricane Harvey, said South Texas’ KIII News.

The GLO commissioner is George P. Bush, son of previous Florida Governor and one-time GOP presidential candidate, Jeb Bush.

Not only did Rene and Bo Carettini lose their home to Hurricane Harvey, their 26-year-old autistic son had to move away with relatives because of it; but now, with their new FEMA manufactured house, they said their life is getting back on track,” according to that local media.

There was nothing salvageable about it,” Rene said in that report. “It actually looked like a giant came along and picked it up, crushed it together, balled it up, and set it back down.”  The move allowed the couple to leave their ‘tiny’ RV.


The FEMA MHU will allow their son to rejoin the family.

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The couple in the video shown reflects their pleasure and relief at receiving the manufactured home.  As Daily Business News readers know, thousands in Texas were impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and FEMA as well as private companies are an important part of the relief effort for those citizens.

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Enhanced still from video posted on this page.

So far FEMA has identified 230 families that are eligible for direct housing assistance here in Aransas County,” Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said.

Bush’s entourage included federal, state, and local officials, to congratulate the Carettini’s and reassure other residents that housing help is coming.

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According to the report, “Texas General Land Office [GLO], 660 manufactured homes have been distributed statewide, with 70 in Aransas County and 25 in the Rockport area. So far, 26 residents have been given keys to homes, and nine more families will get their keys in the next week.”

FEMA, Manufactured Housing Industry’s Gift that Keeps Giving?

The GLO has also reportedly distributed 92 travel trailers to two different RV sites in Aransas County.

MH Lending, FEMA and False Profits (and False Prophets)

As MHProNews readers know, FEMA has been a mixed bag for the industry. To learn more, click the image above.  © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

How Many Manufactured Housing Units Will FEMA Use? Disastrous Opportunities, Knock

October 11th, 2017 1 comment
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Newer model FEMA MHUs were deployed in Louisiana, during their flooding. Credit: Yahoo.

Post-Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) has provided the Daily Business News with an update on the recovery steps in their state.

In trying to anticipate next steps, we expect vendors will be selected by the GLO [General Land Office} and soon to follow local Council of Governments (COGs) for temporary housing,” TMHA’s statement said.

TexasManufacturedHousingAssociationTMHADailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNo one at this point knows how many MHUs [Manufactured Housing Units] will be used in temporary housing efforts,” the Austin-based trade association said. “Both state and local agencies are waiting for FEMA to vet the disaster registrants to determine eligibility, need, and type of temporary housing.”

FEMA has had over 900,000 registrants with some level of disaster claim. Expectations are that the total number of registrants will surpass one-million people,” TMHA stated, noting that in “prior disaster events, TMHA has been told approximate six percent of FEMA claims result in eligible persons in need of some form of temporary (18-month) housing, of which MHUs are one option.”

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It will be months before the details all become clear.

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Featured image credit, Hurricane Harvey Relief.

In the coming weeks and months, we anticipate contractors and vendors selected by federal, state and local governments to start deploying and building MHUs,” TMHA’s release stated. “We also anticipate more calls for adequate placement locations, such as on vacancies in MH Communities.”

A COG in the Machinery of Government…

For our industry to participate and demonstrate the role we can play providing some of the permanent replacement housing, you must get involved with the local COGs. We must appeal at the local COG levels to be included, and not excluded, when the permanent rebuilding efforts begin in 2018,” they said.

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TMHA is already working to advance this effort at the state level, but we have been told time and again the ultimate decision on housing and rebuilding will be controlled at the local level,” per the TMHA. “We ask our members to get involved early, participate vigorously, educate people about our homes, and advocate for yourself and our industry.”

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Manufactured Housing Units, designed for FEMA, called MHUs, where deployed in 2016 in Louisiana in response to their floods.  The score card for the effort wasn’t high, see story linked from the photo above. Photo credit, WAFB.

Enormous Opportunities Require Effort

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Reports from Texas have been that D.J. Pendleton and the TMHA team have been working long hours in the run up and wake of Hurricane Harvey on behalf of their industry members. Photo credit, MHProNews.

The permanent rebuilding efforts will be enormous and last for years,” per the TMHA’s research.

This effort is one that the manufactured housing industry must be a major contributor to. In the years to come we will have an opportunity to show not only what we can do,” the association said, “but also amaze would be detractors just how far we have come. It is on all the industry to make sure we are given opportunities to compete on a level playing field so recovering homeowners are presented our homes as a permanent housing option.” ## (News, Analysis.)

Related stories: 

MH Lending, FEMA and False Profits (and False Prophets)

MH Lending, FEMA and False Profits (and False Prophets)

FEMA, Clayton Growing “Threat” to Independent “Non-Corporate” Companies – from Omaha

1000s of Homes Needed, Independent Clayton Retailer Expresses Concern, Frustration with FEMA Connected Delays

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1000s of Homes Needed, Independent Clayton Retailer Expresses Concern, Frustration with FEMA Connected Delays

September 19th, 2017 Comments off

TejasHomesLogoGusRodriguezCo-OwnerDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAn informed source tells MHProNews that “I have been told that FEMA has 3,700 units on hand and they have commitments for about 11,000. However, they needed 36,000 before Irma.”

To put that total need by FEMA into perspective, last year, the entire manufactured housing industry produced some 81,100 HUD Code manufactured homes.

With manufactured home retail and community orders rising, the very real possibility exists that if FEMA demands that their orders take priority, as multiple sources reported to the Daily Business News (DBN) on MHProNews recently, then manufactured housing retailers and communities could be left out in the cold.

And that – says independent retailer Gus Rodriguez of Tejas Homes in Conroe, TX – could harm an operation like his, or numerous others.

Rodriguez stated in an on-the-record series of messages to MHProNews that one of his Clayton (CMH) plants has told his company that their next order won’t arrive until February 2018.

We can see why FEMA buys direct from manufacturers to expedite new homes to those [storm victims] who lost their homes,” Rodriguez said. He is “Absolutely” sympathetic to the needs of those tens of thousands of hurricane victims.

However,” the Tejas Homes leader asked, “who is looking out for the long-term viability of the [independent] retailer organizations?”

Other independents are asking the same thing.  Who is looking out for them?

Rodriguez Isn’t Alone

Rodriguez isn’t alone in his numerous concerns.

One of MHProNews’ original sources on this challenging issue said last week, “FEMA threaten [sic] to force manufacturers to put them in front of retailers [sic] orders. The threat is real but keep my name out of it. I will shut my plant down and they will have to nationalize before we build them sh-t,”

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FEMA has yet to respond to these concerns, but an association source in contact with them told the DBN,It is my understanding that if there is an emergency declaration that FEMA can require manufacturers that they have contracts with to provide them with priority production.  I don’t know the details.”

That statement was verified independently by a memo from the RVIA, see that document on the report, linked here.

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Collage by MHProNews.  The RVIA says they have stood up for their industry’s independent retailers, what about manufactured housing industry associations and producers? 

While the RVIA has stated that they support FEMA buying from retailers, no parallel statement is known to have come from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  Yet, MHI purports to represent independents as well as corporate giants.  Some ask, is that yet another apparent MHI disconnect?

Independents Express Concerns

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FEMA has asked retailers and communities to sell directly to them. However, FEMA is also going directly to producers, and per one normally informed source, to “brokers” of HUD Code manufactured homes as well.

Several independents have expressed concerns off-the-record to MHProNews about FEMA by-passing retailers and communities in their purchases.

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One source said, “The industry is experiencing unprecedented backlogs, the likes of which I have not seen in my 45 years in the industry; and this was before the hurricanes.”

Manufacturers who take FEMA orders direct are hurting their existing dealer base.  FEMA should have to buy from Retailers just like everyone else,” that multiple location operation told the DBN.

Rodriguez statements would suggest that he agrees.

There is a real impact to retailers when you take out 4 months – or 1/3 of a year’s – availability away,” Rodriguez said.

We applaud Legacy Housing Ltd. in Texas for their approach to provide housing availability thru their retailers,” he added, while noting that Legacy’s Georgia plant may not be following that same standard. Their Georgia plant is building FEMA houses, his source with the company told Rodriguez.

Other Sources, Concerns

Another industry professional expressed concerns that FEMA’s process of using brokers can make “millionaires” out of some.

In a detailed statement, another source said that FEMA’s system is inefficient, and that better ways could be used that the current MHU process.  That statement is linked here.

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MHI, Clayton Homes, MHARR and FEMA

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has previously stated to MHProNews that they encourage the use of manufactured homes over RVs. But the Washington, D.C. based association has not yet been specific on how they believe that distribution to FEMA should take place.

MHProNews will reach out again for comments from MHI, Clayton Homes, and FEMA ## (News, analysis.)

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Implementing rules in newly acquired manufactured home community results in resident, media reaction

November 11th, 2014 Comments off

amy-silverstein-reporter-dallas-observer=credit-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-The DallasObserver’s  Amy Silverstein reports that Harvest Partners Ltd acquired Oak Creek Ranch park in the suburb of Irving. Management firm Alegre TKO LLC in August who allegedly asked residents to sign “the cruelest lease agreement ever, making HOA-level demands of its low-income residents.”

The Silverstein outlines elements of the new lease as follows:

–“Trampolines and swing sets are not permitted in the community

— “Washing of any vehicle (car, truck, boat, trailer etc,) within the community

–“Repairs of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, boats or trailers

— “No more than three (3) potted plants will be permitted; all must be uniform in size, shape and color.”

— “Nothing shall be propped up against the home which includes but is not limited to ladders

Texas Tenant’s Union advocacy group told the Silverstein that fine letters included,”a $75 fine for “Mow high grass and weeds.” One resident received a $50 “immediate fine” for “playhouse & trampoline.”

Eliot Barnett, co-founder of Harvest Partners Ltd, had “no comment” Silverstein said.

A news media that tends towards attention-getting ”bad news,’ may have overlooked that such changes could have improved the property and living conditions for residents. The very point that Silverstein made, that these new rules looked like HOA (Home Owners Association) guidelines, is telling. Why do HOA have such rules for middle and upper class neighborhoods, if not to maintain the quality of living there?

Further, what incentive does a potentially negative-slanted news media give a property owner for making on-the-record statements?

On the other hand, did management carefully explain to residents the goals and possible benefits of implementing such guidelines for living and reasons for lease changes? The Observer’s account is silent on such topics and potentially useful insights. ##

(Image credit: Dallas Observer)