Posts Tagged ‘Understanding’

Understanding the News as Business, and Manufactured Housing

December 6th, 2018 Comments off




News is a business. Period.


News as a business can provide useful, authentic, manipulated, and/or weaponized information.  Like any product or service, there are better ones, and worse ones.


Manufactured housing professionals have plenty of reasons to properly engage with news media, but also need to be wary of them too.

News can be created or framed in a variety of ways that suits the purposes of special interests, sponsors and/or corporate owners. Most know, but for those who don’t, one must realize that a smaller firm will not likely get the same treatment that a subsidiary of say Berkshire Hathaway will get.

News should therefor be treated with a level of skepticism.  It merits the same level of ‘buyer beware’ as you would extend to any major purchase you are about to make.  But just as you don’t skip buying a house or a car – just because it may have problematic players in those fields – one should similarly not tune out news entirely. Rather, it has to be filtered, just as sales talk is tested and filtered.

Because many in media are selling – or trying to sell – you on their point of view. BTW, we are transparent about our positions: we’re pro-industry, pro-consumer, and for maximum freedom under the rule of just laws.



Deepa Kumar quote from the thought-provoking video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page here or by clicking the image above.



Agenda News and Manufactured Housing

There are arguably still journalists that want to do straight news. Regardless of your political views, the fact that third-party research has determined that over 90 percent of the mainstream media’s coverage of President Donald J. Trump is negative should tell you much. When one looks at how fawning some in the mainstream media are over other world leaders or personalities – and those others routinely have much lower approval rating than POTUS – it speaks volumes that President Trump’s approval ratings are still hovering in the mid-to-upper 40s.

That’s astonishing, and it is a clear sign that millions of Americans wisely distrust much of what they hear from media in terms of politics.

Rephrased, the data in recent years suggests that millions are increasingly filtering and sourcing the news with greater care.

But the filter for the American – or Canadian – populations are demonstrably not yet as refined toward subjects covered by the media, beyond politics. Among those is our industry.

Manufactured homes are misunderstood for a variety of reasons, one is that associations like the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) have arguably failed in making good on their claims of promotion. Say what you will in defense of MHI, but the latest shipping data speaks for itself.



Dan Rather quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page in the box found further below.


What does that mean to small to mid-sized businesses?  Simply this.  You have to be proactive in your own market.  It also means that we as professionals better start by educating our team members about the realities of mainstream media.  To some, whatever a newscaster says is gospel. Sorry, but that isn’t always so. Who says? Award-winning journalist, Sharyl Attkisson.





Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 


Is Ms. Attkisson the only one who thinks this or says so?  Hardly, see the quote below, or the more details reports about media linked in the boxed reports below the byline and related.




Media, Engagement, and the Manufactured Housing Challenge 

The challenge for manufactured housing in the era of agenda journalism can be boiled down to a simple point. Beyond politics, millions arguably still accept local or national news media less critically.

Furthermore, the negative beliefs about manufactured homes are so pervasive, that those in media often tend to believe what they are saying. Every negative news story about manufactured housing is in a sense normal to them.

This challenge can be addressed at the local market level. Media engagement pays, but most people in business do so in a sadly ham-handed fashion that’s so obviously seeking free media coverage, that a trained journalist, seasoned producers, and editors will tune out.




Education, Education, Plus PEP Defense are Keys 

In our years of experience in engaging with mainstream media or researchers – while there may be agendas lurking with a given source – nevertheless, neither media nor researchers want to be embarrassed.

At a minimum, many want their report to be plausible or close enough to the truth so that they don’t lose credibility. Others sincerely want to do a good job of reporting. That can be especially true with local media reporting on local news.

It’s essential for those professionals with long-term goals in manufactured housing to make media engagement – done correctly – as part of your mix for sustainable success.

As an example, we’ve had success on several occasions getting good coverage for ourselves or clients by using the proper engagement formula. That begins with authenticity, plus having something of interest to them. News wants a topic with a hook for their audience. News as business want eyes, ears and clicks. If it is print journalism, they want to sell newspapers or magazines.

Because manufactured homes are so different, the typical reputation defense or other media relations firm or professionals are often of little use, and can be costly. Let’s look at a recent 2 year example.  For a few moments, lets give MHI the benefit of the doubt, and say that they and their now departed PR person, Patti Boerger, did their best. If so, that proves our point.  How so?  The debatably sad reality is that MHI either





Why is it so hard for pros in PR, marketing or media – people that may be just fine in another venue – why do they have so much trouble in formulating a message or campaign that actually works for manufactured housing?

Frankly, there are so many variables, it takes months or years of near-hands-on experience for fancy firms or people with even fine resumes to get up to speed with all of the nuances of MHVille. As a brief plug, for those who want such coaching or professional services in media engagement or marketing/business development services – click here.  Arguably none of those outside firms has done better than our team has at getting real, bottom line results.  A high profile example of our successful work is the widely recognized return of the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. See a letter of several letters of praise, linked here.

The two month trend of:

  • year-over-year dip in new manufactured home shipments in the latest report,
  • the routine drum beat of largely negative media – that often have correctable mistakes – aren’t the only factors.
  • But media and messaging are ones that savvy industry professionals must grasp as they plan for 2019 and beyond.

Learn more about the above, linked here.


MHVille Conclusion for this Report on Media Engagement

For our part, out of necessity, we began to approach trade media in manufactured housing differently.

Sharyl Attkisson is correct in saying there should be no blurring of the lines in mainstream news media between news and opinion.

In manufactured housing, the only trade publishing being done is almost all arguably agenda driven.

Some MHVille blogging or publishing is thinly veiled marketing or spin. Some doesn’t bother to even hide the fact that there is an apparent agenda. Some other sources out there exist to toot the horn of a given company, writer, professional(s), or organization. That doesn’t mean it’s all wrong. But it does means that it should be approached like an ad for a product or service. Skeptically.

MHI praised MHProNews for years, and acknowledged in word and in writing our role as the largest and most popular media in the industry.  With that understanding, imagine the thoughts at MHProNews HQ after receiving various threats related about reports related to DTS and other topics – some in writing from and by MHI and their connected attorneys.  Let’s note people in America can sue for whatever.  But as a result of various threats, we prudentially opted to simplify our reports in the following manner. Almost every Daily Business News on MHProNews item is now marked “news, analysis, and commentary.”

The result of that pivot in our reports, which began last year? The written threats we were previously getting from MHI, their allies, and their attorneys have since stopped.

We put facts, evidence, reason, and commentary into our Daily Business News or Masthead reports. We give MHI, Berkshire Hathaway brands and others the opportunity to comment. We give those who want to defend MHI, Clayton, 21st, Vanderbilt, et al the ability to comment. The report linked boxes found further below – click a box to access it – are but some examples.



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We follow the evidence, the claims vs the performance, and the money. Then we say, “We Provide, You Decide.” © That’s fair, authentic, and respectful.

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe bottom line results of our pivots, follow the facts, follow the evidence, and follow the money mantra?

Our readership has soared over the last year. We’ll show actual updated third-party generated numbers in an upcoming report. To keep it simple, we were already #1, but now our audience has more than doubled. We thank you and all involved for making that a truism.

When mainstream media or other researchers come to MHProNews, they see we are different than they are. That’s true on many levels, including disclosure. But it’s a difference that is arguably good for our industry, and that they recognize.

You don’t need a milquetoast covering the rough and tumble manufactured housing beat. You and thousands of others like you today voted their craving for what MHProNews produces, where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers.

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Related Reports: Click the Boxes Below to Read More…

Does Google Harm Manufactured Housing? Other Forms of Free Speech?


“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

“Pants on Fire” – Latest New Manufactured Housing Shipment Report

Facts & Analysis – Senator Elizabeth Warren re: Manufactured Housing Institute Memo to MHI Members, 10-3-2018

Crisis of Misinformation, Fact Checks, and Manufactured Housing




Understanding the Modern Realities of MHVille – Winners, Losers, Profits, and Loss

May 31st, 2018 Comments off


There have been voices within manufactured housing (MH) who from our earliest years in publishing advised and informed the leadership of this pro-industry trade media site. Industry voices, then and now, from across the spectrum, of political or business sizes, provide insights, inputs, and news tips.


Then, there are ‘competing’ industry voices.  Some of those blog, while others publish more sophisticated looking industry-related materials. Some articles in slick magazine-like look publications are demonstrably thinly veiled advertising.

But even ads can at times be revealing, and may provide nuggets of insights.

MHProNews strives for and encourages transparency. However, it requires industry experts – and students of human nature – to discern the realities behind the headlines and content that one reads elsewhere in MHVille.

For example, in our recent in-depth look at George Allen, and Spencer Roane, some of the insights about them are straight from among their own “followers” and “members.” Some are from former clients of Allen’s. Some are from people in associations, including MHI.

When one looks at MHInsider, that’s an interesting name for a pro-MHI publication. Perhaps never in the history of the industry have more ads been given to a new publication. Yet the publication is demonstrably unpopular among the rank-and-file members of MHVille.


There are several sites and trade media that are de facto surrogates for MHI ‘news.’  They all have demonstrably far less engagement from the industry than our hard-hitting coverage. Racks like this posted near the entrance of the exhibit hall looked untouched, on the last day of the show.  MH professional readers vote with their time, browsers, and engagement – or lack a of engagement.

So ads don’t mean that the publication is read, or trusted by the rank and file.

Is it possible that HUD code manufactured housing industry professionals – a.k.a HUDVille or MHVille – instinctively know pablum? In a number of cases, it seems so.

MHInsider has featured George Allen. It’s an interesting, even unusual, choice.

Sources say that Roane, Allen and an Allen ally, Ken Rishel, have to a certain extent been brought back towards MHI.  That’s an uncomfortable scenario for all involved, per those sources.

Allen and Roane are now both former MHI members. Both were declared, per sources, personanna non-grata at MHI.

But Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) backers have told MHProNews that MHI connected companies have found Allen and Roane, and their respective COBA7 and SECO meetings, to be useful as “counterweights.”

Similarly, while her following is reportedly tiny, Suzanne Felber is arguably openly a surrogate for MHI. Felber is respected in her design work. But her and Bruce Savage, who together launched a little known and lightly followed website some years ago, are per third party reports, actively used by MHI and “insider” member companies in various ways. Felber reportedly “volunteers” for certain “duties.”

She isn’t alone.

MHR has featured some articles by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and one article by MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach.  MHR struggled in certain ways, until a decision was made by sources connected to Arlington-based MHI to use MHR more aggressively. Again, it was a call by the ‘powers that be’ as a “counterweight” to this industry leading publication.  Ads for MHI events, and arguably weaponized reports by MHI EVP Lesli Gooch or others tell the tale.  It must be noted that their publisher is a genuinely nice, and a respected man.

But it seems that even nice guys can be turned into de facto MHI and “big boy” surrogates. Add dollars talk.


The Lavin Method

Part of the secret to “reading” those industry trade sources is to use the Lavin method.

Marty Lavin, as a state executive recently told MHProNews, has long been followed by informed industry readers. Lavin is an MHI award winner. He served on MHI boards, task forces, and committees. Lavin served a GSE. He’s been successful in finance, retail, and commuters. Lavin knows the industry at the street level, and the view from the ivory towers too.

With that backdrop, it is Lavin who has said:

  • Follow the money.”
  • Pay more attention to what people do than what they say.” And that:
  • So the association [MHI] is not there for the “industry,” unless the interests of the Big Boys join the industry’s.”

Those three sentences from Lavin speak volumes.  Those three thoughts are a key to decoding what is actually taking place in HUDVille.

Besides his varied, decades of successful interests in manufactured housing, the Lavins have other real estate investments.


Breaking Up Is Hard to Do?”

As MHProNews exclusively reported, two state associations broke ranks with MHI, because their members believed MHI routinely failed at representing their interests.

Those two states have begun the formal process of launching their own independent, land-lease communities focused national association.  Susan Brenton, who is playing an important role in that process, has a long history in the industry. Brenton’s background is quite useful to understand. She once served residents, before going to work for the Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona (MHCA).

Brenton also served for years on the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC).

Photo credit,

The MHCC is about to become more important again, now that Pamela Beck Danner has been removed from her role at HUD as the administrator over the Office Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP). While Danner was at OMHP, that legally established body was partially, and debatably unjustly, neutered.


What will happen at the MHCC?

While it remains to be seen if newly confirmed Brian Montgomery will be more like a President George W. Bush man, or more from the new mold of President Donald J. Trump, one ‘tell’ will be if Danner is kept out of the OMHP.

Photo credit, HUD.

Another ‘tell’ will be who gets assigned to administer the OMHP, and will that person be a non-career administrator s the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) requires?

HUD’s New Man, Officials Statements, with Insider Info Beyond the Media Releases

If the MHCC is run by the book, per the MHIA, then a spot on the MHCC is potentially useful and important to the industry.


Remaining MHI Affiliated State Associations

The bulk of the remaining state association executives are of necessity stuck with MHI at this time.

There are some state associations executives who, per sources, are genuinely enraptured with MHI.

But many are in MHI under various constraints. The exclusive Gold Rules report explained the details. More state association executives have since confirmed the Gold Rules Report in direct communications  to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

That’s a long lead up to say the following about industry information sources.

Most state association executives have little-to-no choice about sending to their members MHI’s arguably weaponized, spin-filled reports. When an MHI affiliated state association – in ‘their’ message to members – sings the praises of MHI, it’s not necessarily because they believe what a report might say.

Underscore that point. Just because a state association sends an MHI report, for example praising MHI for the passage of S. 2155, that doesn’t mean the executives actually believe it.

This is where decoding a source like George Allen can be useful. As publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach said yesterday, one must use a “wheat and chaff” approach with Allen. Separating the wheat from the chaff is useful with others in MHVille too.

State executives can literally lose their jobs if they don’t do what Lavin calls “the big boys” want.

That’s been made clear to the Daily Business News by state association directors themselves.

Richard “Dick” Jennison, Lesli Gooch, or even Rick Robinson are in a sense “mouthpieces” – per sources – for the big boys, who must march as directed by the MHI Executive Committee.  That executive committee for years has included two Berkshire Hathaway members. The other two often have ties to Berkshire Hathaway companies through finance, or other ways.


Follow the Money, Darkly….

As MHLivingNews and MHProNews publisher Kovach has noted, another important part of the puzzle of MHVille are often politically driven resident groups. There are two noteworthy organizations, the NMHOA, and MHAction. While both have similar views, at the state level, NMHOA affiliates have at times been able to work with manufactured housing state associations. The Ohio and Florida MH associations are two examples where dedicated state executives have been able to find common ground with NMHOA affiliates.

By contrast, MHAction is newer, and more radical. Following the money with them is a must.

The Center for Popular Democracy, which was founded in 2012, consists of old chapters of ACORN,“ said the Washington Free Beacon. That same D.C source reported last year that, A new $80 million anti-Trump network is being led by an organization whose top funder is liberal billionaire George Soros and which employs former members of the controversial and now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).”

The MHAction roots are found in the Obama-era ACORN. Per Wikipedia, “The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was a collection of community-based organizations in the United States and internationally that advocated for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other...”  ‘social justice’ causes. Read, “progressive,” or socialist-leaning organization.

ACORN was disbanded in a scandal, but spun off New York Communities for Change (NYCC), where MHAction executive director Kevin Borden hails from.

Manufactured Home Community Owner Alert, Rent Control, MHAction Plans Organized Action in Several States

In an ironic twist, it was former MHI Chairman, and 21st Mortgage Corp President Tim Williams who warned MHI members in a meeting about the radical “progressive agenda.”  Again, one must be open to getting keen insights from a wide range of sources, and then sift the meaning behind their messages.


Notice. One can agree 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.

What Williams did not say in that meeting is the obvious connection between Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett, former President Barack Obama, and two-time ‘wanna be’ presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Rephrased, Berkshire is in bed with radical progressive causes.


It is no secret that MHProNews did not support the re-election of President Barack Obama in the 2012 election cycle. As the cite from left-of-center media outlet, Mother Jones noted at the time, Buffett was a strong supporter of Obama. Obama in turn was a strong support of Dodd-Frank, and not changing the CFPB. See related, linked below.

Berkshire owned companies like Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage, 21st Mortgage, Berkadia, Shaw, NAI, and others dominate MHI and/or most state associations.


Then there are heavily influenced companies, where Berkshire holds large chunks of stocks, like Wells Fargo.  It is interesting to note that Wells and Clayton affiliated lenders have all had scandals that have made headlines in the mainstream media. And the affable Warren Buffett has come to their defense, every time.

Buffett supports left-wing causes. Buffett opposed Donald Trump for president in a very public way.

The Soros-and progressives funded “Center for Popular Democracyis likewise anti-Trump. They are for more taxes, more regulations, and for the redistribution of wealth.

With that background, it’s arguably utter nonsense to believe that MHI had anything significant to do with the passage of S. 2155.  A barely pro-Trump Congress passed, and the president signed the bill. POTUS Trump pledged to do this during his campaign, just as Secretary Hillary Clinton promised to block any bill rolling back parts of Dodd-Frank.

As the Daily Business News repeatedly reported, and the Masthead said more recently, MHI taking credit was to be expected. It’s also taking credit where it’s not deserved.

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

History reminds us that MHI said “no” to that very same MLO deal – that could have been made with NMHOA, other non-profits and Richard Cordray – years ago. That’s per sources within MHI, and from federal, and some other nonprofit group sources.

Lesli Gooch’s predecessor told MHProNews via an MHI sanctioned email the following.  When you line up all the facts – including those from MHI sources – it’s apparent that S 2155 was a CYA, a look for a victory-lap -which is what sources have said.

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

The reality published in the Washington Post that Lesli Gooch admitted that MHI did not do anything to remove Pamela Beck Danner from her role at HUD spoke volumes.  MHI, per sources, is hoping that fanfare over S 2155 will distract people from the disastrous harm caused by Danner’s heavy hand at HUD to hundreds upon hundreds of operations in MHVille.


Experts, Following the Money

It often takes an expert who knows these various sources, and to accurately discern which way is up.

Again, the fact that dozens of state associations will send messages of praise about MHI is evidence of how controlled those states are. But that doesn’t necessarily mean those executives believe it. Some of those executives are among those who are sources for MHProNews.

  • Follow the money.
  • Follow what the big boys really want, because their interests may be to gobble up smaller companies, so the interests often don’t align. That’s why MHARR exists, and why a new community-focused association is about to come into existence. One or more other independent national associations could follow.
  • Pay more attention to what people do, then what they say.

The proof that MHI has been weaponized isn’t that Lavin, or we, or others say so. Their track record debatably proves it.

When America needs 8.3 million new housing units, and manufactured housing shipments this year might break 100,000, the evidence should speak for itself.

HUDVille, MHVille. It’s sad that a great industry like manufactured housing was reduced to such low levels by the failures and machinations of a relatively small group of so-called “leaders.” Keep in mind what Kevin Clayton said in this video.

Even if Buffett’s Berkshire MH brands lost money, but could expand their Moat, Buffett is okay with losing money. Isn’t that’s their recipe for monopoly?


Rigged MH System?

The system in manufactured housing has arguably been rigged.  It’s designed to pick winners and losers.  It can be navigated, but the fact that so many companies have been squeezed out of business during an affordable housing crisis speaks volumes.

Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

We Provide, You Decide.” ©  Watch for part two of this report about the realities of MHVille in the days ahead. ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

The Ultimate Manufactured Home Industry Fact$, Data, and Insights – Bullets plus at-a-Glance Infographic

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies


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Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry – What’s MHARR? What does MHARR do?

March 19th, 2018 Comments off


What is MHARR?  What do they do?


And why are there two national trade associations in manufactured housing?

Often, a good place to begin is with what an organization says about itself.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is a Washington, D.C…-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing,” said part of a news release the Daily Business News.

MHARR provides the industry with research that is compiled and paid for by their members.  For example, MHARR provides a monthly shipment report, that is usually the first one out for the industry at large from D.C. metro sources.   The most recent such report, as published by MHProNews, is linked below.  The same new HUD Code shipment data as provided unedited by MHARR, is linked here.

New Manufactured Housing Production Results Report for January 2018

MHARR also engages in advocacy and lobbying activities.



Manufactured Housing – Why Is There More Than One Nation Trade Associations?

First, it is useful to understand that the manufactured housing industry is not unique in this respect. Conventional housing, RVs, automotive, and other industries also have 2 or more national trade associations.


The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is the only national trade organization representing the factory-built housing industry,” according to their own website.  They say, “MHI’s advocacy efforts are focused on overcoming barriers to the growth of the manufactured housing market.”

Given that from MHI, then why are some producers of manufactured homes members of MHARR, and are not members of MHI?

The answer may be similar to what state associations – that were previously MHI members – have since quit their MHI membership. They don’t believe MHI is that effective at their self-stated mission.

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


How MHARR and MHI Advocacy Differs

MHI has a political action committee (PAC), and does several things that at first blush seem similar to what other national associations do.  MHARR has no PAC.  MHI does meetings, often at posh getaway sites.  MHARR currently holds one in person meeting during the Tunica Manufactured Home Show, and another that in recent years has been conducted by conference call.

MHARR clearly says it represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. Common sense suggests that those manufactured housing companies are obviously MHARR members because they believe MHARR in some way better represents their interests.

All trade groups have members who are pleased with what they do, while others who may be less pleased.

MHI is the larger of the two trade groups with a far larger budget. At this time, MHARR has had far more institutional stability in their staff, with both of their top people having decades of industry experience.

Meanwhile, MHI’s educational affiliate is about to lose their last most seasoned team member. Last year, MHI saw another one of their veteran staff members leave the Arlington, VA based organization.  No explanation was given for that second MHI departure.


See the report on Lois Starkey’s departure, by clicking the image above.



Former MHI president, Chris Stinebert’s farewell letter can be read as an polite indictment of MHI’s work, click above to read it.

In spite of having a larger staff and a bigger budget, MHI seems to have a periodic problem with consistency.

For example, MHARR was the only ‘no’ vote on a multiple year problem with the Department of Energy (DOE) energy standards.

MHARR explained their position, while MHI took a very different view. See the facts, linked below.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

After considerable effort, MHI ended up reversing their position on the DOE proposed rule, to come more into line with MHARR’s original view.  Again, the details are linked above.  It should be noted that third-party Small Business Administration and George Washington University commentary supported MHARR’s view.

Similarly on the matter of HUD regulations and the HUD Code program director, MHI initially embraced what MHARR from the outset resisted.  Namely, Pam Danner, JD as the administrator of HUD Manufactured Housing program office. After some 4 years, Danner was finally forced out. But MHI resisted that change for some time.

Exclusive – HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program Administrator Pam Danner, Update

Other examples could be given.

But the simple question ought to be this. How is it that the smaller of the two groups – MHARR – often gets their position correct from the outset, while MHI often lurches from one position to another?

Before anyone says that is only an opinion, while Nathan Smith said it differently, it should be viewed as the considered judgement of MHI’s own prior chairman.  See the video, below.

From early on in the Trump Administration, MHARR completely embraced their Regulatory roll-back agenda, as the video below reflects.

By contrast, MHI had to pivot on issues like Danner at HUD.

There’s more to consider, but the above should suffice to explain to those who ask the Daily Business News about MHARR what they are, what they do, and why they exist.  It will also explain why some HUD Code home producers are not MHI members, and opt instead of membership in MHARR. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)


Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

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Michael Geller, Making a Home for Manufactured Housing, a Vision for America

June 19th, 2017 Comments off

SageCreekCommunityWestKelownaBCVancouverSunManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews530x429Europeans, Asians, Canadians and others world-wide are among those who come to the U.S. – and/or research online – about the differences and similarities between their version of factory crafted housing with what is found here in the United States.

That same exercise is useful in reverse.  It’s helpful to understand what other nations do that may prove to have valuable insights for manufactured and modular home builders here in the U.S.

Geller on Factory Home Building

Architect Michael Geller shared his experiences of the recent 2017 Manufactured Housing Association of British Columbia’s annual conference. Geller’s column in the Vancouver Sun began with the headline, “Making a Home for Manufactured Housing.”

Geller’s thoughts will be explored below, after context is provided.

Let’s note that Geller nailed all of the terminology. MHProNews, and MHLivingNews readers are routinely reminded how useful it is to properly describe our homes, because it elevates the value proposition to all those who are listening or reading.


For the RC Williams report, click the image above.

Snapshot from Canada’s Versions of Factory Building

For those not familiar with Canada’s version of manufactured housing, they have a code known as Z240 that their homes are built to, roughly analogous to the HUD Code for manufactured housing in the U.S.

As in the states, Canadian modular are built to the same standards as conventional housing, which like Z240s, are built in a controlled environment.

Specifically, the Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI) says, “Regardless of how or where a building is constructed, the authority having jurisdiction (e.g. the municipality) where the building will be located has a mandate to confirm that the building is built to code requirements. A certification label, indicating compliance with Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards, is the building inspector’s assurance that the factory-constructed parts of the building meet local requirements.”

Code References to Z240 MH Series Manufactured Homes

Some building codes state that homes constructed in compliance with Z240 MH Series are “exempt” from the code. In effect, this means that homes constructed to the standard are deemed to comply with the code. Local authorities rely on the Z240 MH label to confirm acceptability.”

If you look at the statistics in the CMHI statistical reports document, linked here, and adjust for the population difference between the U.S. and Canada, it seems that the Canadians could be doing better than their U.S. counterparts.  Their annual report has more data than their U.S. counterparts typically do.


Credit, CMHI, shown under fair use guidelines. For their full report, click the image above.


Credit, CMHI, shown under fair use guidelines. For their full report, click the image above.



About Geller

Simon Fraser University says that “Michael Geller is an architect, planner, real estate consultant and property developer with four decade’s experience in the public, private, and institutional sectors. His company, The Geller Group is active in real estate consulting and property development. Current activities include land use planning, feasibility studies, and development approvals for a variety of large and small projects around Metro Vancouver.”

As you consider Canadian vs. U.S. shipment totals, bear in mind that Canada’s population is about 11% of that in the U.S. So, to get a comparable, apples to apples sense, multiply their shipments by 8.91 and you’ll see that their shipment totals look to be higher percentage wise than HUD Code manufactured housing is here in the U.S.


With that Backdrop, Highlights from Michael Geller’s Expertise

Imagine if cars were built like houses,” says Geller.

I thought about the differences between building cars and houses on a recent tour of a Kelowna manufactured housing factory organized as part of the 2017 Manufactured Housing Association of British Columbia’s annual conference,” he said. “I was invited to offer the perspective of an architect and developer on factory-built housing to an audience comprising manufacturers, dealers, transporters and government officials,”

Geller explained his history, and the interest than – and now – with homes that could be relocated if needed, but typically would stay in their original location once sited.

I have had a longstanding interest in manufactured housing dating back to 1970 when I was one of seven architectural students from across Canada to win a CMHC travelling scholarship. Our travels took us across the U.S. with guide Warren Chalk, one of the founding members of Archigram, an avant-garde 1960s British architectural group, with projects that included Plug-in-City, a massive framework into which modular dwellings could be slotted and removed.”

Back then, Geller spent weeks learning and promoting the early days of factory built housing.

For six weeks,” he said, “we toured mobile home parks and housing factories on a government initiative to promote manufactured housing on a major scale.”

As part of his thesis years ago, he proposed concepts he believed would be good for the industry and Canadian society.


Image credits, Sage Creek website, a Canadian modular home community.

In my university thesis,” said Geller, “I focused on a factory-produced relocatable housing system, and proposed that just as schools set up portable classrooms, governments could install modular housing on vacant lots. This could then be relocated when the property was needed for redevelopment, effectively eliminating the cost of land.”

He gave examples of past projects and plans, then said, “In recent years, BC Housing and the City of Vancouver undertook a feasibility study of a concept to promote relocatable modular housing as an alternative to housing people in shelters.

In British Columbia (B.C.), “today, thousands of attractive permanent homes are being built in factories. Companies such as Triple M, Moduline, SRI and many other manufacturing plants are constantly improving assembly-line procedures to build complete homes in days, rather than weeks or months,” he says, using points familiar with professionals south of the U.S. Canadian line.

By building in climate-controlled settings, workers are not dealing with rain or snow,” he said. “Waste is considerably reduced, and consequently factory-built homes are cost-effective, environmentally smart, and able to be customized as on-site construction. For this reason, many of the PNE show homes have been built using modular construction.”

At the Kelowna conference, I learned there are two basic types of factory-built housing: manufactured homes and modular-built homes.”

What follows would be wonderful if American public officials and media reported as accurately as did Geller.

Manufactured homes are typically constructed on a steel frame in one or two sections and are virtually complete when they leave the factory. Thus, they are ready for move-in the same day or a few days after arriving on the site. These homes can be installed on simple foundations and even relocated, although most are never moved from their original site,” he wrote.


Image credits, Sage Creek website, a Canadian modular home community.

He notes that the homes can be placed on crawl spaces or over a full basement.  Many in the U.S. tend to forget that concrete slab construction can be harder on the body. So the type of building that manufactured and modular homes produces is not only more economical, it can be healthier too.

Modular-built homes do not have a steel frame,” (Editor’s note to American readers; in the U.S. you can have on-frame as well as off-frame modular building). Geller said, “A typical bungalow consists of one or two modules, while multi-storey homes or buildings are created with multiple modules. These homes are typically set on full-perimeter foundations with a crawl space or even a full basement.”

Geller wraps with surprise, but a prediction for future acceptance and growth.

While I am surprised that factory-produced housing is not more popular in Canada, expect this to change, since it is cost-effective, energy- and resource-efficient, and well suited to a variety of housing forms. It could be an affordable solution for infill and laneway housing, and multi-storey apartments.”

Imagine if houses were built like cars.”

Indeed. ##

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

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on





DBN Publisher Calls on Respect and Understanding for Manufactured Housing and Manufactured Home Owners

October 18th, 2016 Comments off

tradepublisherexpertsrespectunderstandingmanufacturedhousingmanufacturedhomeowners-posteddailybusinessnewsmhpronewsMHProNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach penned an op-ed to the Lakeland Ledger, picked up by  multiple newspapers over the weekend.

Millions struggle with costly housing. Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox News are among media that recently asked why aren’t more Americans turning to manufactured homes,” said Kovach.

We’re told that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is calling for manufactured home retailers within 1,000 miles of Louisiana flooding, plus Florida and the Carolinas, to advise the agency if they’re willing to sell homes for emergency use,” Kovach stated to the Lakeland Ledger. “Manufactured homes are the only federally preemptive, performance-based construction code. 

See the new story on Kovach’s call for respect and understanding for manufactured housing and our industry’s home owners – complete with photos, a home owner video interview and tour, linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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