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Stinking Up the Place: Manufactured Home Community Issues

April 6th, 2017 Comments off
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The Ortega Village Community. Credit: MHVillage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One of the backups. Credit: First Coast News.

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

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

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

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

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An unrelated lift station. Credit: Pollution Control Systems.

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

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

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

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

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

 

(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.

What is Clayton Homes Up to With Partnership?

March 15th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: Times Free Press.

It appears that the industry giant has formed a new partnership.

For tiny homes.

According to the Times Free Press, Clayton Homes is teaming up with Mountain Brook, Alabama-based Jeffrey Dungan Architects for “The Low Country,” a line of tiny homes with a unique spin.

When we started working on these tiny houses we began by thinking of living a more edited life and in simple ways and times,” said Dungan.

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Jeffery Duggan. Credit: Jeffery Duggan website.

As that line of thinking led to making architectural choices, we also found that simple lines were the most powerful and elegant. We looked at forms of simple outdoor structures and found tents and teepees and sheds. We found materials that were natural seemed to fit in best with what we were creating, and indeed in the environments that these structures might populate.

And out of that exploration came the Low Country design, which is currently featured in the Alabama Center for Architecture’s new exhibit, “Living Space: Tiny House Project.

Coming in at 393 square feet, the design incorporates high end features and finishes, including oak flooring, aluminum-clad windows and cedar shake shingles. The homes can sleep eight.

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Inside of the Low Country home. Credit: Times Free Press.

The homes are being made-to-order in our Addison facility. The approximately $120,000 homes take six-to-eight weeks to construct, said Clayton Homes representative Michael Burleson.

The home that’s now on exhibit is sold and will be shipped soon.

The Living Space exhibit features tiny spaces from across the globe, and was originally curated by Seattle based architect Garrett Reynolds.

It showcases unique and innovative micro-living spaces from New York City, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Seoul and Tokyo.

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Credit: Clayton Homes.

Has the price-point shifted?  What The Times Free Press may not have known about this series, the Daily Business News has previously covered at this link here.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, MHProNews and MHLivingNews have covered the “tiny home” movement extensively, including the potential for big legal trouble for owners and a detailed side-by-side comparison with manufactured homes, highlighting function and value versus fashion.

Clayton Homes is the largest producer of manufactured homes (MH) in North America and is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Vertically integrated, the company has several hundred retail centers nationwide. Through its affiliates and family of brands, Clayton builds, sells, finances, leases and insures Clayton-built manufactured and modular homes.  The operation also buys products and uses services from other producers.

For the most recent closing numbers on all Berkshire Hathaway – and all MH industry-connected tracked stocks – please 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

Mobile, Manufactured Home Fire Myths go Up in Smoke

February 2nd, 2017 Comments off
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Text graphic, MHProNews, original photo, Springfield News Sun.

A tragic event in Champaign County, Ohio, on Monday shined a bright light on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, and why terminology matters.

The mobile home fire left Kalleen Emmons, 23, in critical condition and Robert Garringer, 31, in serious condition. Two children were also injured.

According to the Springfield News-Sun, which did not reply to MHProNews requests for clarification on the type of home involved in the blaze, firefighters were dispatched to the scene Monday at 12:15 a.m.  There they discovered the four victims, who had already escaped from the burning home, thanks to a smoke alarm.

The four were transferred by ambulance to Springfield Regional Medical Center.

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Chief Mark Keller. Official Photo.

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

 

 

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

Chief Keller said that the home was a total loss and the fire also damaged siding on the home next door.

Usually once a window is broken out, it spreads very quickly throughout the rest of the trailer [sic]. And that’s pretty much what we had happened.

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The NFPA clearly understands the importance of proper terminology, as the clip from their Manufactured Homes Fires report, makes clear. As an editorial point, one of many reasons that MHProNews and MHLivingNews stress the value of precise terminology is because while some older mobile homes were built to better standards, many other pre-HUD Code mobile homes were not. The HUD Code – which starting June 15, 1976 established tough federal safety, energy and construction standards – resulted in a home building process that performs dynamically as well (or better) than conventional housing for about half the cost, according to third party studies; including the NFPA.  These HUD Code homes should only be referred to in reports as a manufactured home, or manufactured housing.

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Terminology Matters

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Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said Andrea Reichman, Assistant Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA).

 

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

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

About 20 percent of all MH are pre-HUD Code mobile homes, so, the balance would be manufactured homes.

While many ‘mobile homes’ are replaced every day some still exist. OMHA was encouraged to hear that the home had smoke detectors that were activated during the fire. The industry encourages homeowners to install and test their smoke detectors monthly per the recommendation of the National Fire Protection Association for all residential properties,” she told MHProNews.

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Credits: MHLivingNews, NFPA.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, a “mobile homehas not been built in the U.S. since June 15th 1976, the day the first federally regulated manufactured homes began to the sounds of nail guns and saws in production centers from coast to coast.

National View on the MH Fire Issue

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For “A Cup of Coffee With…” MHARR president and CEO M. Mark Weiss, click here or on the photo. Credit: MHProNews.

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

Weiss’ comments to the Daily Business News raises an important point.

Namely, that “sloppy journalism” can be harmful to the proper image and understanding of manufactured homes.  That in turn arguably harms manufactured home owner’s values.  Inaccurate media coverage also deters some would-be home buyers of manufactured housing, who might otherwise purchase one; if they realize how safe, appealing, energy-efficient, and affordable contemporary manufactured homes are.

Those lost new and pre-owned MH sales opportunities cost the industry’s businesses money, and workers better-paying job opportunities.

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

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

An industry wag told the Daily Business News that it’s inaccurate reporting that should go up in smoke – because compared to other forms of housing – modern manufactured homes more rarely do.  Still, prudent precautions such as smoke detectors ought to be followed, along with other safety steps reported in detail at this link here.

For more on the NFPA report on fire safety of modern manufactured home compared to conventional housing and mobile homes, 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.