Posts Tagged ‘USDA’

Appealing Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Marketing, Finance Booklet Reviewed

December 4th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoFactCheckAnalsisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1000x737The image to the left and those below are from a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) produced booklet.

It’s good.

With nuanced exceptions, it’s accurate.

This booklet – combined with other educational materials – are precisely the kind of document that could appeal to and inform:

  • home buyers/consumers,
  • public officials,
  • policy advocates,
  • researchers,
  • and the mainstream media.

Such educational material – properly promoted – could over time bring more better qualified buyers into the manufactured home market.


From an overall fine MHI booklet, produced circa 2002.

Is There a Catch?

Yes, and no.


First, we’ll make the disclosure that this truly fine Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) booklet is ‘outdated,’ but only in a narrow sense.


To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

There are doubtlessly newer manufactured home professionals in sales or leasing offices that are unaware of some of the appealing styles shown in the complete booklet that this was excerpted from. Those unique styles of HUD Code manufactured housing are, or could be, done as well or better today.

Second, while the booklet doesn’t have a date of publication, MHProNews has indications that it was produced circa 2002. That’s important, as we’ll note later.

Third, unlike documents and graphics produced in the Richard A. “Dick” Jennison era at MHI, which:

  • conflicts with other MHI data,
  • conflicts with data from other member companies,
  • has factual errors, per federal, lender, or other data,

this roughly 15-year-old ‘dated’ MHI document – after an initial read, and given some modest changes – could largely be used today.

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

It’s arguably better than what MHI now produces, because it is more accurate on the lending options.


For example, this MHI-produced – largely consumer-focused document – cited a useful Harvard study.  That university research predicted that manufactured housing would take off in the years ahead.

So, on the one hand, this document is better than some items being produced by MHI today.  There were voices such as Harvard saying the era of manufactured housing was upon America.

What happened?


Graphic provided by Ross Kinzler when he was then the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

Bear in mind Warren Buffett’s notable quotes, cited at the link below.  Keep in mind that the booklet was produced prior to Buffett’s manufactured housing buying spree.  Buffett believes that history is to be studied and learned from, how about you?  Do you agree with Buffett on studying and learning from history?

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

Why Does This Fine MHI Booklet Matter Today?

For several reasons, this 15-year-old MHI booklet ought to raise curiosity, praise or the prior effort, and numerous concerns for:

  • MHI members,
  • manufactured home professionals,
  • and third-party-researchers.

Some bullets why this is worth evaluating and updating could include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • The booklet is generic, which means it did not plug specific manufactured home producing companies, as MHI’s new videos do.
  • While it names FHA, VA, USDA (Rural Housing Services, the old FmHA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc. it doesn’t name any lenders that provide those programs. To rephrase, it’s generic on lending too.  It doesn’t name a Berkshire Hathaway (BH) lender, for example.
  • Because in those days, it couldn’t have named a BH lender, because it was only later that BH bought companies that included MH chattel loans.

To recap, this booklet had no favoritism.


Another photo from the educational, generic marketing MHI booklet, produced circa 2002.

Almost anyone in the industry could have used this to promote a better understanding of manufactured housing, and the kind of loans that most consumers who are comparing to conventional housing would be familiar with.

  • There was no picking ‘winner’ companies that got spotlighted at the cost of all members.
  • Because there were no featured ‘winners’ companies, there are therefore no by-default, ‘loser’ companies. This is an application of what Drew (now Lippert) Chairman Leigh Abrams told MHProNews in A Cup of Coffee with Leigh J. Abrams interview linked here that the industry should be promoting. “Generic” educational/marketing material.
  • What this booklet indirectly spotlights goes to the allegation by contemporary MHI members, and others in the industry, that the Arlington, VA based trade organization now favors a few select companies. What that would imply in practice is that all others who are dues-paying members are paying to promote those few “winner” companies.

Big companies are benefiting from the dollars of the little companies.  That clearly wasn’t so when this booklet was produced 15 years ago.

Are these facts, allegations and concerns still more good reason to support a new, post-production trade association?

To learn more click the linked post above, or below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

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

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

New Federal Lending Option “Opens” for Manufactured Homes in Quiet, pre-New Year Report

January 2nd, 2017 Comments off

RHS-USDA-loansOnManufacturedHomesManufacuredHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service (RHS) announced it would begin a pilot project that would open up lending for manufactured home loans on existing (pre-owned, used) manufactured homes, per a report by Brian Collins on National Mortgage News.

Doug Ryan, director of affordable homeownership with the Center for Economic Development (CFED) in Washington cheered the move.

Now the 502 program can be used to finance existing homes that were


Doug Ryan, photo credit, MHProNews.

not previously financed through USDA,” he said. “We do think that will open up the market in these states. This could be very positive.”

The 2-year pilot is being offered in Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, New Hampshire and Wyoming.


Lesli Gooch. Credit: MHI.

The pilot program is an important first step. We look forward to working with USDA to take this important change nationwide,” said Lesli Gooch, a senior vice president at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

BrianCollinsNationalMortgageNewsOne of the bigger changes in this announcement is that previously, RHS loans on existing manufactured homes were more limited.

If you have a 1,000-square-foot manufactured home that is a couple years old that is titled as real estate on a permanent foundation and lot, now you have more potential buyers,” Ryan said.

But with some 80% of manufactured home loans currently being made via chattel (personal property, home only) lending, how much of a difference this might make in the marketplace short term appears to be limited.

Center for American Progress

In a post dated September 13, 2016 on American Progress, co-authors Shiv Rawal, Sarah Edelman, and Gerado Sanz said the following about manufactured homes and the need for more rural lending options.


Rural manufactured homes, credit, CFED.

“Manufactured housing

Manufactured housing, which refers to houses built in factories that are transported to their sites and that meet certain federal safety standards, remains an important source of affordable housing for rural communities.

Many manufactured housing loans are titled as personal property or so-called chattel loans instead of as real estate loans, the way other mortgages are titled. While in some cases chattel loans may have certain cost savings for consumers, real estate loans tend to have many more consumer protections and lower interest rates.

Participants in the roundtable noted that manufactured housing lending tends to be concentrated among a handful of lenders. Additionally, according to a 2013 report by the Fair Mortgage Collaborative, borrowers with FICO scores under 650 may face difficulties in obtaining a mortgage-titled manufactured home.

University of Georgia, USDA Published Report

As the cost of housing rises, manufactured housing remains an affordable option to help more Americans realize their dream of homeownership,” says the Non-Technical Summary of a USDA reported, dated in 2008.


Image credit, RiverBankFinance.

The summary continues, “However, obstacles stand in the way of increasing the prevalence of manufactured housing. Negative perceptions of manufactured housing and zoning barriers prevent people from owning manufactured housing. The aim of this study is not just to learn more about the state of manufactured housing, but also to prepare a foundation for action plans to make the dream of homeownership come true for more Georgians and to help policy makers understand the issues for their community in a broader context.”

The project was terminated.  The post on the USDA website is linked as a download, click here.

Progress is progress. But approaching a decade later, how much has changed from University of Georgia’s description?

Given that the affordable housing crisis has only grown since that date, the need to educate and quicken the pace of such efforts needs to be enhanced dramatically. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


Soheyla Kovach.

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Will FHA Auditors Bring Good News Come November?

October 10th, 2016 Comments off

Image credit, FHA.

Strong home sales are boosting originations of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, opening the door for many first-time homebuyers.

According to the National Mortgage News, the strong loan volume could also portend the federal mortgage insurance agency is in line to receive a positive report this fall.

It certainly looks positive for the 2016 actuarial review of the FHA mortgage insurance fund,” said Brian Chappelle, a co-founder of the consulting firm Potomac Partners.



Credit: FHA.


Independent auditors are expected to release the next actuarial report in November.

The latest production report from the FHA shows that lenders originated 622,757 purchase mortgages during the first three quarters of fiscal 2016, compared to 486,139 purchase loans during the same period in fiscal year 2015.

The FHA endorsed 895,713 single-family loans during the first three quarters of fiscal year 2016, up 21.6% from the same period last year ending June 30, 2015. And most of the mortgages are home purchase loans.



Multi-sectional’s kitchen/dining area. Photo credit –

Roughly 82% of FHA purchase mortgages in both time periods went to first-time buyers.

Another Manufactured Home Loan Option

As many  Daily Business News readers are already aware that VA, FHA Title II and USDA (Rural Housing) loans can all be used for manufactured home loans, so long as the deal involves real estate. A report covering consumer home loan financing options for manufactured homes is linked here.


Manufactured homes have been attracting positive media attention, as the report linked here spotlights. Residential style single sectional shown, photo credits, Sunshine Homes – Red Bay AL, by

FHA also offers the Title I loan program, which may be used with ‘home only’ loans on single and multi-sectional homes on leased land and manufactured home communities.

FHA Logo

FHA Logo

The June FHA Performance Report also showed a significant drop in serious delinquencies over the past four quarters. Loans 90 days or more past due fell to 5.02% as of June 30, down from 6.12% a year ago.

Also of note in the report from the National Mortgage News, results from last November’s actuarial report showed the FHA’s ratio of reserves to guaranteed loans exceeded its minimum 2% threshold for the first time since 2008, but the FHA fund reached its minimum capital ratio with the help of the agency’s reverse mortgage program, which is an unreliable source of support and negatively impacted the FHA fund in FY 2014.

FHA lenders are hoping the new actuarial report will top last year’s 2.07% ratio, which might prompt Department of Housing and Urban Development officials to approve a reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums. In January 2015, FHA reduced its 135-basis-point annual premium to 85 basis points.

The negative is the runoff volume,” Chappelle said, which results from FHA borrowers refinancing into conventional loans.


Brian J. Chappelle. Credit: Mortgage Bankers.

In the month of June, 111,000 FHA borrowers prepaid their loans. 25,600 refinanced back into an FHA-insured mortgage.

But it appears the increase in volume will make up for runoff, which is encouraging,” said Chappelle, who is also a former FHA official.

The wild card for any audit is the auditor’s projections for interest rates, home price appreciation and other economic factors over the next 30 years. FHA has no control over that. But in terms of current trends, it does look very positive from FHA’s standpoint,” Chappelle said. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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




Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News June 19-June 26, 2016

June 26th, 2016 Comments off

mhpronews_sunday_morningWhat’s New in public focused Manufactured

Entry Level v Residential Style Manufactured Homes, Modular Homes and MH Appraisals – Tom Papszycki, Arrowhead Homes – Inside

What’s New in Manufactured Housing Industry Professional News

Louisiana Approves 336 home site MH community. Polish modular builder marketing in Sweden. Oregon legislator tryhing to preserve MH communities. UMH hopes for Freddie Mac financing. Housing formation will increase, but homeownership may not. Manufactured housing growing down under. Existing home sales hit nine-year high. Modular homes bound for New Zealand. Condemned MH Community set for demolition. CFPB Dir. Cordray targeted. UFPI acquires wood supplier. House amendment will promote MH financing. Patrick acquires sheet metal producer. Department of Energy proposal: MHI, yes; MHARR, no. Much more in news and points of view you may use in your professional work.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

UMH Properties to Release, Discuss Q2 2016 Financials

Friday, June 24

Housing Affordability Falls 13% Q1 to Q2 2016

Calcasieu Parish in LA Approves Manufactured Home Community

Dow Plummets 610 Points; Most MH-related Stocks Drop, led by AMG

New Home Sales Fall in May but Remain above May 2015

Oregon Legislator Wants to Preserve Manufactured Home Communities

Polish Modular Builder Unibep Eyeing Sweden

Thursday, June 23

Freddie Mac may Finance Rental-only Community for UMH

Louisiana Commission Denies Siting of Manufactured Home

UFPI Gains 4.51 percent; MHCV Advances 2.36 Percent

Family Formation May Increase but Homeownership May Not

Australian MH Producer gets Five Year Deal

USDA Offers Low Interest Loans for Manufactured Home Purchase

Wednesday, June 22

Existing Home Sales in U. S. Rise to Highest Pace in Nine Years

New Zealand Considering Modular Homes to Meet Housing Shortage

MHCV Closes up Just Under 1400; Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all Edge Down

Arcata, CA Residents Concerned about Rents in MH Community

Condemned Michigan MH Community Misses Deadline, Faces Demolition

CFPB Director Richard Cordray Targeted in Ads

Tuesday, June 21

Non-profit Building Modular Home in Milwaukee for Low-income Family

Skyline Gains +3.54%; Nobility Falls -3.57%

UFPI Acquires Distributor of Wood Products for MH

Appropriations Bill Amendment will Provide Access to MH Financing

Housing Market has more Room for Expansion: Fitch Ratings

Monday, June 20

Patrick Acquires Mishawaka Sheet Metal

Patrick Advances +3.02%; Dow Gains 129 Points

MHI and MHARR Respond Differently to DOE’s Proposed Energy Standards

Modular Tiny Home, 196 sq. ft., has All the Amenities

Manufactured Home Rentals in Arizona could be Troubling

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News June 12-June 19, 2016 ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews)

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

USDA Offers Low Interest Loans for Manufactured Home Purchase

June 23rd, 2016 Comments off

vermod_modular_home__wilder_vermont__their_creditAs part of the USDA’s Rural Development Energy Efficient Manufactured Home Pilot Program, Dennis Miller is the first to purchase an energy efficient modular home, celebrating National Homeownership Day, in Putney, Vermont. Representatives of the USDA and Windham and Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT) were also in attendance.

The program allows low income homebuyers to purchase a high-performance modular or manufactured home in a manufactured home community (MHC), having a 30 to 33-year mortgage at three percent. Very low income homebuyers may apply for an interest subsidy as low as one percent, as MHProNews understands from vtdigger.

Ted Brady, USDA Rural Development Vermont and New Hampshire State Director, said, “The energy cost savings of new manufactured and modular homes, combined with USDA’s long-term, low-rate, no-down-payment mortgages, offer existing and potential manufactured housing park residents new financing opportunities.”

Brady added that residents seeking a mortgage to purchase a new home and site it in an MHC often face short-term, high-interest mortgages.

Miller purchased a Vermont-made Net Zero Energy Capable modular home from Vermod, and sited it in the Locust Hill Mobile Home Park in Putney, owned by WWHT. He also had assistance in buying the home from Champlain Housing Trust, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Efficiency Vermont and USDA Rural Development.

Since 1987, the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust has provided stewardship for, has advocated for and invested in permanent affordable housing for the counties of southeast Vermont.

Currently, Windham and Windsor provide 707 apartments in Windham and Windsor Counties, and coach new home buyers on home-buying and homeownership. The trust also provides direct loans f or repairs and upgrades. ##

(Image credit: Vermod Modular Homes, Wilder, Vermont)

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

Low Interest Mortgages Offered to Manufactured Home Community Residents

July 1st, 2015 Comments off

vermod_modular_home__wilder_vermont__their_creditLow-income Vermont homebuyers interested in purchasing a high performance modular home made by Vermod of Wilder, Vermont may be eligible for a 30-year mortgage at 3.25 percent interest if the home is sited in a manufactured home community (MHC).

Under the USDA Energy Efficient Manufactured Home Pilot Program, if the homeowner qualifies for incentives from Efficiency Vermont and a deferred payment loan from the Champlain Housing Trust, the monthly mortgage payment could be as low as $387 per month, according to vtdigger.

In an announcement by USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez, accompanied by Senator Patrick Leahy (VT-D), noting the mortgage is the first of its kind for MHC residents, Mr. Hernandez said, “This demonstration program will prove that today’s new energy efficient manufactured and modular homes are a lower risk for lenders, a safe and affordable option for rural families, and are better for the environment.

Designed as part of the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project (MHIP), the Net Zero Energy Capable Vermod is a collaboration of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Efficiency Vermont, the University of Vermont and the High Meadows Fund. Equipped with solar panels, the home should cost the owner only about $180 a year for heat and electricity.

The cost of the Vermod, which includes site work, foundation, set up costs and all appliances is $131,000, as MHProNews understands, but through the USDA program that could be a low as $89,000. ##

(Image credit: Vermod Homes of Vermont)

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

Davis Homes in NC Offers Paths to Manufactured Home Ownership through USDA

June 17th, 2015 Comments off

davis_homes_peachland_nc__ansonecord_abby_cavenaugh__creditI have learned that there’s a big need for low-income families to get some help,” says Robin Davis, of Davis Homes, a manufactured and modular home dealer in Peachland, North Carolina, reports ansonrecord. She says in the year since the business opened, about 400 people have come in and many have no idea how to go about attempting to buy a home. She believes many people who have come in have gone to banks and then get so discouraged they never return.

She contacted the Unites States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development and Rural Housing Service and learned of three programs that can help people of modest means acquire a home: Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants, Rural Home Loans (Direct Program), and Single Family Home Loan guarantees.

Applicants must meet the income guidelines and live in an eligible rural area to qualify, MHProNews has learned. Davis is also thinking of partnering with other organizations that can offer education about homeownership. She and Arthur Davis, the 96-year-old patriarch of Davis Family Homes, feel that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a decent home. ##

(Photo credit: ansonrecord/Abby Cavenaugh–Davis Homes in Peachland, NC)

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

Mortgage Credit Rises, but Remains Well Below the 2006 Peak

May 13th, 2015 Comments off

mortgage app   texaslendingtoday creditIn a new report the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said, according to its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), availability of mortgage credit rose 0.5 percent in April to 122.0 following an increase in March of 2.3 percent to 121.4. MHProNews has learned from housingwire the index was benchmarked at 100 in march 2012.

Several announcements from the federal government recently have contributed to the consistent rise in mortgage credit the last several months. MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said, “Mortgage credit availability increased on net in April. The increase was driven by new offerings of FHA’s 203K home improvement program, new VA offerings, and new jumbo products. The increase was partially offset by some investors tightening underwriting criteria on conventional cash out offerings.

According to MBA’s report, the government MCAI which measures VA, FHA and USDA programs rose by 1.1 percent in April, which drove much of the increase. The jumbo MCAI rose 0.8 percent in April, while loan programs that fall under conforming loan limits rose 0.2 percent in April. However, the conventional MCAI that measures non-government loan programs dropped in April 0.6 percent.

Credit remains far below what it was prior to the run-up to the financial crisis in 2008. ##

(Image credit: texaslendingtoday)

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

CFPB: What’s the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a loan?

August 22nd, 2014 Comments off

amy-tierce-urges-caution-cfpb-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Amy Tierce, writing in the NationalMortgageNews, tells MHProNews that the CFPB’s website gives an answer to the question,

What’s the Difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage?

but that the CFPB’s answer is not, Tierce says, “the full story.”

Some lenders have decided, she says, to “not issue pre-approval letters due to the cumbersome regulatory environment, so they may call their letter a pre-qualification. Lenders licensed as mortgage brokers can’t issue a pre-approval letter because they aren’t licensed to approve loans.” asserts Tierce, who elaborates as follows.

Here is what they say a seller should look for in a letter for a prospective borrower:

The purchase price

The loan amount

An expiration date

Names and addresses of all buyers

Percent of the down payment

Loan type (Conventional, USDA, FHA, VA, etc.)

Loan term (fixed, adjustable, step rate, 30 years, 20 years, 15 years, etc.)

Whether or not the transaction is dependent upon the sale of another property

Status of the property being sold (on market, under agreement)

Contact information for the loan officer and his or her NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) number

Lender name and licensing details

If the letter doesn’t state what documentation has been reviewed as a part of the process, then you should ask if the loan officer has reviewed the following:

Two years of federal tax returns

Two years of W-2’s

One month of pay stubs

Two months of asset statements checking, savings, investments to verify the source of down payment.

Credit report

Any additional documentation needs that arise out of the client interview

Her commentary closes with the advice that a seller shouldn’t take a letter from a lender they are not familiar with, regardless of what the letter is called, at face value. Researching with the lender the types of issues noted above can avoid embarrassing or costly delays. ##

(Image credits: Amy Tierce, InTouchToday, CFPB logo and MHProNews graphic additions)


Low Interest Loans Available to owners of Manufactured Homes

April 29th, 2014 Comments off

Home Repair Loan and Grant programs under Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) target low income families and individuals with low-interest loans, and can only be used to remove health or safety hazards for applicants’ homes. The program includes those living in manufactured homes (MH) providing their income is below 50 percent of the area’s median income, according to The maximum that can be borrowed is $20,000 at one percent interest. has learned MH loans have a 30-year term. In addition, grant money up to $7,500 is available for elderly homeowners who cannot afford to borrow money. ##

(Image credit: