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Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Women, #MeToo and Insider Information

October 17th, 2018 Comments off

 

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The working conditions for women at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been an issue since at least 2014, per association sources.

 

When multiple women at MHI stepped up and contacted MHProNews with their concerns, it was clearly an issue that needed to be addressed here on the Daily Business News.

In the #MeToo movement era, the question has been asked, is what has been taking place at MHI with regards to the steady stream of women who come and go a case of inappropriate sexual advances?

 

I would not call it inappropriate sexual behavior,” said one woman there.  Rather, “It has been personality conflicts in the office.” She described it as a difference in “leadership styles” than she had previously experienced in other jobs.

He … [Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison is] …the boss,” she said. “He is very insecure around strong women.”

Another female MHI vice president made similar comments about Jennison and women.

I’ve never been in [that] kind of environment,” before working at MHI. She explained that it was doubtlessly a factor for what has been described as a “revolving door” of employees at the Arlington offices.  See the related reports, after the byline on this report.

There was agreement that turnover at MHI is at higher than normal levels. The working environment was commonly cited, as one put it, because the “manufactured home industry” itself “is interesting.”  By comparison to MHI, several state associations or MHARR has far more staff stability.

A woman said she didn’t have much interaction with Gay Westbrook, other than at meeting.  She admitted Westbrook could be an exception to the rule of women having difficulties purportedly having difficulties working with Jennison.  But she also pointed out that Westbrook worked remotely.

Westbrook is MHI’s Political Action Committee (MHI-PAC) and PAC Administrative Fund vice president.

 

Vindictive

One woman described MHI’s Jennison as “Very vindictive.” She explained that he was good at masking it around others, for example during meetings with members. But in her view, it is “Part of his [Jennison’s] personality.”

A staffer told MHProNews that there were two “control freaks” at the office at MHI. When asked about those two, she identified them as Jennison and Lesli Gooch, Ph.D.  Gooch is their senior vice president (SVP), who the MHI website says handles their “legislative issues.”

Gooch made mainstream news when the Washington Post reported her saying that MHI had not asked for the removal of Pam Danner at HUD. By contrast, WaPo reported that Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) had pushed for precisely for Danner’s removal over the HUD Code Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).

WaPo made it clear that Weiss and MHARR were ultimately successful in that effort.

 

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

 

There are several former or current staffers that MHProNews has not yet had replies from on the issue of inner office “theatrics” and unnecessary “drama.”  So it is possible that more comments relating to #MeToo concerns, or other issues may surface.  ICYMI, readers are reminded of a prior insider report, linked below, which has had thousands of hits in a matter of days.

 

Financing – Dramatic Shift – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Insider News Tips

 

But as more than one source connected with MHI has said, and the Daily Business News has previously reported, the number of reports may be due in part because of MHI’s use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with their staffers.

 

NDAs, Warren Buffett, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and MHVille

 

So, at this point in time, the common refrain from MHI is summed up describing Jennison as using “bullying” and other intimidation tactics, not #MeToo connected concerns.

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Unrelated to Women…

Another issue raised was about Rick Robinson, MHI’s General Counsel.  He was likewise being described by insiders as hobbled.  Among the common themes alleged from varied sources was that staff had to “get permission” to do “whatever” from Jennison and/or Gooch.

Robinson was asked about such concerns, and declined to comment.

Part of the concerns from insiders extended to Robinson’s limited ability to engage on zoning related problems, as it commonly impacts manufactured housing.  A letter by Robinson to HUD on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), is not the same as actual action, as one professional explained it.

That’s an important issue for the industry.

Because MHProNews specifically asked MHI’s leadership about a specific and troubling case of alleged discrimination in Indiana.  MHI failed to reply, and per sources, they never contacted that city prior to the date of that report.

 

Rumble over Anti-MH Law-State Association, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and MHARR

 

See more connected to inside MHI insights in the related reports, below the by line.

There is more that will be highlighted in an upcoming report that probes the relationship between the MHI Executive Committee and MHI staff, among other issues. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

MHI SVP Lesli Gooch & MHARR CEO Mark Weiss Bookend New, Prior HUD Controversies

Sexual Harassment-Not Just Hollywood, Media, Politicos-Manufactured Housing Workplace Claims, High Profile MH Cases Too?

Where there is Smoke…is there Manufactured Housing Institute Fire?

Shifting Momentum, Demographics, Women, the 2018 Midterms, and Manufactured Housing

May 23rd, 2018 Comments off

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If one takes candidates at their word – which is never a given once they are elected  – it must be noted that candidates Secretary Hillary Clinton, and businessman, builder and media maven Donald J Trump each made a range of stated policy positions.

 

Last night, the House passed S. 2155, see that report linked below. The bill gives manufactured housing professionals some benefits and relief from Dodd-Frank.  It fulfills part of the 45th presidents pledge to undo what he said was the economic damage wrought by the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime.

 

That bill which has now been passed by the House and Senate would not have been signed had Ms. Clinton been the president, per her own statements.

By contrast, there is every expectation that President Donald J. Trump will sign the measure that provides relief for the industry on the MLO rule and other fronts.

Also last night, President Trump, addressed the conservative, pro-life women’s group gala, the Susan B. Anthony List. He was welcomed like a rock star.

The video posted will reflect several things that industry leaders, investors, and strategists should consider. Note that the female population is slightly larger than that of men. Note to the charts that will follow.

First, the president is repeating a theme, that the group also spotlighted – “promises made, and promises kept.”

Next, the pro-life group is pledging a serious voter mobilization effort for the fall.

Note that the NRA – the National Rifle Association – has made a similar pledge to the president for supporting candidates that he and his party will back. The president and Vice President Mike Pence are signaling that they will be very active on the campaign trail in much of the rest of 2018.

Reuters’ latest generic ballot has now tipped the midterm race slightly ahead for GOP candidates over Democratic ones. It is a tidal shift from the end of last year.

According to Vote Run Lead, exit polls reported that 53 percent of voters in the 2012 election were women.

In every presidential election year from 1980 – 2008 women have outnumbered men in voting Democratic and the same is true for men outnumbering women voting Republican,” says Wikipedia.

The U.S. Census Bureau tells the Daily Business News that, “Voting rates have also historically varied according to age, with older Americans generally voting at higher rates than younger Americans (Figure 4). In 2016, this was once again the case, as citizens 65 years and older reported higher turnout (70.9 percent) than 45- to 64-year-olds (66.6 percent), 30- to 44-year-olds (58.7 percent) and 18- to 29-year-olds (46.1 percent). However, in 2016, young voters ages 18 to 29 were the only age group to report increased turnout compared to 2012, with a reported turnout increase of 1.1 percent. All older age groups either reported small yet statistically significant turnout decreases (45- to 64-year-olds and those age 65 and older) or turnout rates not statistically different from 2012 (30- to 44-year-olds).”

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There is every indication that the president’s popularity is rising among blacks, Hispanics, and women. He already had a strong lock on Evangelicals, and white men.

MHProNews cited the New York Times polling, our own yard sign straw poll of a Florida manufactured home community, and a straw poll of industry professionals at an MHI event as part of our pre-election projections in 2016 that Mr. Trump would do well among manufactured housing residents and professionals.

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It was part of our MHProNews broader analysis. These were among the reasons for our projecting that he could pull off an upset on election night.

There is no other known group or media in manufactured housing that made similar projections. We editorially supported the Trump candidacy, as being better for business, workers, investors, and our industry.

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While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family and MHProNews supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business, and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative and pro-Trump websites.

 

Washington Insider Info

While MHProNews doesn’t claim much advantage over anyone else that is willing to dig for data and insights.  We have not yet personally met the president, but we do get several daily media and other briefs from the White House.

There are good reasons to believe that baring the unexpected, the GOP under President Trump’s leadership could pull off yet another surprise in the upcoming midterms.

The president himself is predicting it.

When you listen to the enthusiasm of this crowd from last night, does it remind you of the rallies from his campaign? No ‘entertainment’ was needed.

The theme is “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” It’s a powerful message for a campaign.

Step-by-step, President Donald J. Trump has undone in less than 18 months, much of the 8 year legacy of President Barack Hussein Obama. The Heritage Foundation claims over 60 percent of his agenda is already accomplished.  While that statistic might be debatable, what is certain is that his steady and relentless pace is getting voters to respond.  

Look for our Daily Business News latest U.S. economic report, and how that will play into the manufactured housing industry’s calculations. That surprising snapshot will be published later this morning.  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Kanye Controversy, Universal Income, Venezuela, President Trump, Manufactured Housing, First Principles, and You

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Single Women Dominate Men in Home Buying

February 2nd, 2017 1 comment
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Image credits, Lindsey Bostick, Inside MH Road Show, home photo, Sunshine Homes and ManufacturedHomes.com.

In what could be considered a case of “don’t believe everything you hear,” it turns out that single women are active when it comes to home buying in a big way.

According to Newsmax, new research about women is revealing.

Women earn less than their male counterparts, pay harsher workplace penalties for pursuing parenthood, struggle more with debt, and save less for retirement.

But the one area of personal finance where single women are outpacing men in the U.S. is an important one: home ownership.

Women have been pacing ahead of men in data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) since 1981, but Jessica Lautz, NAR’s managing director of survey research and communications says that the gap has widened even further in recent years.

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Jessica Lautz. Credit: Twitter.

Single women are also likelier than single men to be parenting on their own, and therefore likelier to seek stable housing for raising children,” said Lautz.

If you have children, it’s definitely going to play a role in where you’re thinking of living and how. And a mortgage can provide financial security. I think women, even with lower incomes, want a place where they can have roots and really own a place. The psychological desire to do that is great.

And that was the case for Michelle Jackson, a 30-something writer from Denver.

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Michelle Jackson. Credit: Bloomberg.

I wanted to have my own place,” Jackson said.

A lot of people in my circle of friends were women purchasing their homes when they got married, but I still felt like I wanted to build my own wealth and buy. If and when I met someone, it’s something that just added to what I bring to the relationship. It didn’t make sense to wait.

Jackson ended up being pre-approved for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and had put an offer in on a small, one-bedroom home in a triplex in Denver for $72,500.

She still lives there, and the home was recently appraised for double what she paid. She wants to renovate and possibly buy another property nearby.

I’m so happy,” said Jackson.

It’s completely changed how I feel connected to the place where I’m living. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

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What the chart above reveals is that single women are the next largest group of home buyers, behind married couples, but ahead of single men and unmarried couples. Credit: NAR.

The trend also runs contrary to popular belief  that women “feel the clock ticking” when it comes to settling down. One professor says that isn’t the case.

Despite the stereotypes that insist that women care more about marriage than men do, it may actually be single life that women embrace more than men,” said Bella DePaulo, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the author of “Singled Out.

Some research suggests that single women are especially unlikely to be lonely—again, contrary to our stereotypes. … I think that buying a home is a way of living your single life fully, rather than seeing your single years as just marking time until you find The One.”

And for Rachel Weiss, a fashion executive in New York, she’s embraced that mantra, using a chunk of saved cash to work on a dream home in Manhattan.

I outgrew my apartment 10 years ago, and buying a home was always in the back of my mind,” said Weiss.

But I didn’t know what to do and never knew if I could afford an apartment. I started looking online at Trulia and Streeteasy, and the next day [real estate agents] started calling. It wasn’t premeditated or anything. It was almost like I was on Tinder for an apartment.

Weiss ended up putting an offer down on a one-bedroom co-op in Chelsea for $640,000. It was accepted, and she moved in last August.

There was a psychological aspect to it, too,” said Weiss.

I’m in my 40s, and I looked at what my life was like. I’m not married, I don’t have kids. I can live alone, and fabulously. I feel empowered.

A Single Female in Manufactured Housing Speaks

Linsey Bostick of Sunshine Homes, a single, millennial female, recently spoke to MHProNews and MHLivingNews on the topic of home ownership.

LindseyBostick-SunshineHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMany desire to move from renting to owning, but often struggle to find that a real possibility in the current site-built market. The manufactured housing industry can offer a solution to that problem,” said Bostick.

Bostick has lived in several kinds of housing, and now is a manufactured homeowner herself, so she knows.

Today’s manufactured homes can look and live like a conventional, site-built house, and can be half the price of new construction. Additionally, many manufactured homes are Energy Star rated, so they are more efficient than older, existing homes.

The story on Millennials and quality affordable housing is linked here.

Associated research from Pew is available here, and 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.