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Secretary Carson Letter Lights Fuse for Explosive Change, Obliquely Addresses Manufactured Housing Action Concerns

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Last year at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) in conjunction with other left-leaning groups, protested Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson’s address to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) at their annual “Congress and Expo” fundraising and networking event.

 

At that time, MHAction issued a press release, photos, and video footage of their efforts to disrupt the talk by Secretary Carson.  The picture above is one of those items, and it’s use or quoting MHAction herein are not to be construed as an endorsement of their views or tactics.

Ben Carson insulted and dismissed us while telling the corporate investors in attendance that they should keep profiting off the housing crisis. Ben Carson’s job is to help solve the housing crisis for people, not profiteers. We came to Las Vegas today to remind Secretary Carson to do his job,” said Patricia Norberg, a manufactured homeowner from Delaware and a grassroots leader with MHAction. “Corporate and private equity investors associated with MHI say ‘jump’ and Carson says ‘how high?’ We’ve had enough.”

MHAction said that low-income senior Jeliner Jordan asked Carson, “If you increase rents and cut the HUD budget, where will I live?” Carson responded by saying “This is a perfect example of what happens when the swamp gets ahold of people.”

 

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What perhaps was missing from a clear understanding of the above drama was the fact brought forth by twin reports on Manufactured Home Living News, the first of which documented that MHAction has had dark money funding from Warren Buffett through the NoVo Foundation and the Tides nonprofit.

 

 

The second and more recent report then applied that insight learned to the MHAction supported and inspired video by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.”   In an apparent head-fake to many resident groups and industry professionals alike, MHAction – in concert with others – published a white paper that was cited by Oliver in his report.

 

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You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time. To see the John Oliver errantly named “Mobile Homes” video and related fact-check, click here.

 

That MHAction co-branded white paper in turn was publicized by the Washington Post, others in media, and finally Oliver’s video.   But when one grasps how dark money operates in such matters, and steps back to look with that in mind, it is Buffett money that arguably helped fund an attack on a number of significant MHI members, including his own Clayton Homes and related lenders.

The rationale for Buffett doing so, in brief, is that like taxes or regulations, bigger companies can handle negative media better than smaller firms can.  Negative news for he and his allies is less harmful than it is for independents.  That in turn allows larger firms to gobble up smaller ones at reduced prices.  Here’s how retailer Alan Amy summed it up.

 

 

A View from NMHOA… 

TimSheahanPresidentPhotoNationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssoclogoNMHOAlogoMHProNews

Separate the “wheat and chaff,” with all people, organizations, and ideas. One must separate the useful from what is not.

As a letter from the prior National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) president Tim Sheahan quoted below in part reflects, when manufactured home communities were being developed, site fess or ‘lot rents’ were being held in check. Here is how he put it while he was still president of NMHOA, in his comments letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) last year.

In 1970, my city of San Marcos had a population of less than 4,000 and was part of the dramatic manufactured housing community development boom of the 1970s, adding over 3,000 pads among 18 manufactured home communities, which led to more than a doubling of the population by the mid 1970s.” wrote Sheahan.

Like many areas of CA, manufactured home purchasers in San Marcos were lured away from metropolitan areas by the promise of a quiet semi-rural retirement lifestyle with low lot rents and nice amenities, which often included clubhouses/community centers, swimming pools and spas, saunas, shuffleboard courts, pool tables and card rooms, community kitchens; and, in some cases, tennis courts, golf courses and fishing ponds. Downsizing to a MH also enabled them to enhance their financial nest eggs for the retirement years. Initially, stiff competition among various developers during the only time a true “free market” situation existed in these communities commonly led to very reasonable starting rents,” stated Sheahan.  That last sentence is a telling and arguably correct point with the law of supply and demand in mind.

He then said, “As the communities filled with “im-mobile” homes, free market forces such as competition were lost and lot rents for captive homeowners skyrocketed in many areas of California.” That point is largely correct, but it fails to note that it was the lack of new community development that de facto eliminated the option for someone to leave a community where they felt like they were being mistreated in favor of a newer one.”

 

Real World Lessons Learned

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertIn the Oklahoma City and Houston, Texas metro areas, I personally witnessed periods in manufactured housing history where land-lease community owners that were developing new sites, offered to move residents from other area communities in to their property at the property owners’ cost,” said publisher and industry consultant L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Rephrased, as long as there are reasonable alternatives to residents, then the temptation to ‘jack up’ site fees of ‘trapped’ residents is significantly reduced or even eliminated.

Imagine if apartment complexes were no longer being built in the U.S. What would happen? In a free market, as population grows and demand rises, rents would too.  The steady construction of new apartment buildings helps keep existing apartment owners from going too high on rental rates,” explained Kovach.

So, NMHOA’s Tim Sheahan isn’t wrong about the early history, but the solution now isn’t rent control, which Paul Bradley of ROC USA has himself said isn’t an answer,” Kovach said. “Rather, a longer-term solution is to provide more options for community residents, so that the temptation to do what certain MHI member companies have been accused of in recent years is eliminated.”

 

With that Backdrop, The Fuse for Meaningful Solutions is Lit with New Letter

At their annual meeting at the 2019 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) voted to undertake a new initiative to address zoning and placement issues that in their view is not being successfully addressed by the MHI. That perspective is held by others in MHVille too, including a number of MHI members.  At the recent Bryan, TX effective ‘ban’ voted by their city council of even new manufactured housing in various cases, MHI – per MHI members in attendance – did not even send a staffer to protest the ban.

Although MHARR is an independent production association, which compared to MHI claims to be both a producers and post-production association, they’ve taken another step into post-production territory, with their recent vote.

As careful and regular MHProNews readers know, MHARR recently asked HUD to initiate a study of the problems related to placement and zoning issues, tied into the legal concept of enhanced preemption.

In a light-the-fuse letter obtained by MHProNews to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the next step in that process is being taken.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss said to Secretary Carson and several key Washington, D.C. figures as follows, under the subject: Discriminatory and Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes.

One of the principal challenges faced by the manufactured housing industry and particularly its smaller businesses in providing inherently affordable, non-subsidized housing and homeownership for lower and moderate-income Americans, is the discriminatory exclusion of HUD Code manufactured housing from large areas of the United States under the guise of local zoning regulation.”

Such exclusionary and, in fact, discriminatory zoning mandates, affect not only single-home manufactured housing placements, but also the development and/or expansion of manufactured housing communities which provide much-needed land-lease (i.e., rental) space for manufactured homes.”

Weiss’ letter than reminds Secretary Carson that he himself made a similar point last year.

In a 2018 speech to the Policy Advisory Board of the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, you specifically identified and recognized the harmful impact of exclusionary zoning on the availability of affordable housing and homeownership for all Americans, stating that HUD would act “to identify and incentivize the tearing-down of local regulations that serve as impediments to the developing [of] affordable housing stock. Out-of-date building codes, time consuming approval processes, restrictive or exclusionary zoning ordinances, unnecessary fees or taxes, and excessive land development standards can all contribute to higher housing costs and production delays.” (Emphasis added).”

Weiss followed that up by agreeing in this highly specific fashion, “…indeed, in the case of HUD-regulated manufactured housing, the law provides HUD with powerful tools and authority to override local zoning actions that discriminatorily exclude or severely limit the placement and utilization of HUD Code homes. Specifically, in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, Congress gave HUD the express authority to federally preempt state and local “requirements” of any kind that impair “federal superintendence of the manufactured housing industry” and the accomplishment of the Act’s congressionally-mandated federal purposes, including “facilitat[ing] the availability of affordable manufactured homes.” Indeed, in a November 13, 2003 letter to then-HUD Secretary Mel Martinez (copy attached), key congressional proponents of the 2000 reform law stated that enhancements to the scope of federal preemption set forth in that law “have given HUD the legal authority to preempt local requirements or restrictions which discriminate against the siting of manufactured homes (compared to other single family housing) simply because they are HUD-code homes.”

Rephrased, Weiss stressed the merits of using “Enhanced Preemption” – a point that MHARR, MHLivingNews, and MHProNews have stressed for years as an existing legal remedy to prompt local zoning “NIMBYites” to relent under federal supremacy.

While there are examples of HUD flexing its supremacy since the 2000 law, those cases are scant.  One such letter from HUD to a local jurisdiction is linked here.

Thus, Weiss pressed on by saying, “Despite this enhanced preemption authority, however, HUD has failed to take action to stop the baseless – and expanding – exclusion of safe, decent and affordable HUD-regulated manufactured homes from numerous jurisdictions around the United States.”

“…MHARR met with officials of HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) on April 4, 2019 and requested that HUD, as a first step, utilize its resources to research, study and analyze such discriminatory and exclusionary zoning and its local and national impact(s) on the availability of affordable housing and homeownership in light of relevant national housing policies. Such research and analysis could then serve as a roadmap for further HUD action going forward.  Accordingly, we ask that you authorize and advance such a study within the Department,” wrote Weiss.

MHARR’s CEO added, “Quite simply, in order for manufactured housing to reach its full potential as an inherently affordable, non-subsidized housing resource for millions of lower and moderate-income Americans, it cannot, should not, and must not be unfairly and illegitimately excluded from significant areas of the country. In order to stop and reverse this phenomenon, leadership from HUD and by you, personally, as HUD Secretary, is essential and, indeed, indispensable.”

Among those cc’d were:

Hon. Mike Crapo
Hon. Maxine Waters
Hon. Mick Mulvaney

The letter and attachment are linked here.

As important as that letter is in tipping a domino toward more action, were the attachments.  One was a powerful letter dated in 2003, signed by Maxine Waters and others in Congress calling on HUD then to exercise their rights under “enhanced preemption” given to HUD by Congress under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA).

That letter from congress is a legally significant document, because it reflected in that time-frame the legislative intent that Congress had.

All of this begs an important question.  Why hasn’t MHI done this years ago?

It is MHI that claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing,” while MHARR has historically stated plainly that they represent the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

While there are several ways that HUD can respond, there is now a formal series of steps being taken by MHARR to prompt action.  Given that the Trump Administration has said that they are in the “enforce the law” and “promise keeping” business, it will be interesting to see how Secretary Carson and senior HUD leadership responds to these efforts. To learn more, see the link below, “Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way.”

 

A New Paradigm Ahead?

Consider the opening quotes from MHAction, NMHOA, and Secretary Carson at the top. Then ponder how independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes, and residents of manufactured homes, could both begin pushing for implementation of existing federal law.  The common opponent, it would seem, are the big corporate interests that MHAction claims to rail against, but is in fact supported by.  But that point doesn’t seem to be a logical hinderance for the good that could flow to existing residents, independent businesses, new investors, and new housing seekers. MHARR’s effort is timely, and in hindsight, it can be seen as a significant one.

Time will tell, but the stage is being set.  The proverbial fuse has been lit…

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

 

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Bryan Manufactured Homes Ban Passed, But Petition Count, Other Legal Moves May Stop Texas City

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insider Tip – “Selling Access” to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Institute’s Latest Razzle Dazzle

April 18th, 2019 Comments off
InsiderTipSellingAccesstoHUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLOGOLatestRazzleDazzleMHProNews600

If the shoe fits…satirical MHI logo provided under fair use guidelines.

The definition given by Dictionary of the noun razzle-dazzle reads in part as follow, with the bold added for emphasis: “Informal. showiness, brilliance, or virtuosity in technique or effect, often without concomitant substance or worth; flashy theatricality: The razzledazzle of the essay’s metaphors cannot disguise its shallowness of thought.”

 

The Urban Dictionary defines the term ‘dog and pony show’ in similar terms. “Man do the ignorant apathetic masses eat up this dog and pony show.”

Dog and pony show” is a colloquial term which has come to mean a highly promoted, often over-staged performance, presentation, or event designed to sway or convince opinion for political, or less often, commercial ends,” said Wikipedia.

 

So razzle dazzle, or dog and pony show are designed to catch the eye and impress, even if there is no substance or practical usefulness to it. With that backdrop is this following insider tip. The words in brackets are added for clarity, our common MHProNews bold and brown are added to make a direct quote pop, but the comments – typos and all are in the original – are from an insider with knowledge of the developments in the manufactured housing industry’s version of ‘the Swamp.’

On the BC [Ben Carson] matter, though, you are absolutely right, as they use these stuff for dog and pony show, but never ask these people [at the Manufactured Housing Institute] to get something tangeable done for the industry and consumers…waste of the industry’s hard-earned clout.”

 

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From an MHI email to their members earlier this week. Such an address by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, MD, could be useful or not.  Will Secretary Carson do something substantive, that will help the industry, consumers, and HUD? Or is this just another photo op? Time will tell.

 

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The Daily Business News with MHProNews was previously tipped some time back about the red herring use of photo ops with political figure by Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and members of Congress, federal or state officials.  Photo ops are morally neutral, the specifics of how it is used is the question. In MHI’s case, per insiders, they are literal ‘head fake’ attempts to impress the rank and file industry member with their access – what MHI touts as clout – but without actually producing any useful results.

This new allegation would suggest that MHI is selling access to photo opportunities to Secretary Carson, because it costs hundreds of dollars to attend MHI’s Congress and Expo.

People love selfies and photos with celebrities and famous people. The desire for a photo with a notable person can include public officials. The photo of Nathan Smith with Vice-President Joe Biden, or the signed photo from Barack Obama serves to make the point.

 

 

One reason that presidential or other campaigns make coffee shop, restaurant, factory, or other stops is precisely to give ‘real people’ the opportunity to have a photo made with them. It is a practice done by people of both major parties. Those photos become free ads for a politico on social media, emails, texts or other more traditional ways to commemorate that moment. MHProNews team members are not immune to that phenomenon; we have photos with notables and officials too. We have not opted to publish such photos recently of a given team member with some well-known political personality. Doing so could be misinterpreted.

 

 

It’s a Profit Center

An upcoming analysis of the MHI 990s make it clear that meetings and events like their ‘Congress and Expo’ are profit centers. They earn significantly more from such an event than the cost to put it on.

In essence, per another source with insider knowledge, what the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is doing is “selling access” for “photo opportunities” with HUD Secretary Ben Carson in this case, or with other figures in various instances. Professionals got photos last year with Secretary Carson or others and more will doubtlessly do so this year. That’s not necessarily a slam on Carson or HUD. It is what it is.

Both MHI and HUD will be given an opportunity to respond to these concerns.

 

Where is the Practical Use of MHI Access and Clout?

The quote at top is a key to understanding the emergence of the puzzling picture that is manufactured housing today. If MHI has such “clout,” when they have photos with several key people in the Trump Administration, or with Democrats or the GOP in Congress, why aren’t they using it to gain real results? Why is MHI proudly pushing a speech and photo opportunities?

Why aren’t they asking and OBTAINING Secretary Carson’s potentially powerful position for HUD’s intervention in areas like

Or why haven’t they shown results in obtaining:

  • Eliminating the 10/10 rule on FHA Title I loans?
  • A broad use of the Duty to Serve lending by the GSEs for all manufactured homes, not just for the Clayton Homes promoted ‘new class of homes?’

The list of possible ‘asks’ by MHI and their ‘big boy’ masters could go on.  One might note what MHARR said to Fannie Mae’s new CEO, when they made the point that failing to implement DTS (or by inference, other such policies) adds to the profitability of Berkshire Hathaway owned brands in manufactured housing.  It gives Clayton and their sister companies an outsized influence.  It makes the point that MHI award-winner Marty Lavin previously made, doesn’t it?

 

Wasted MHI Clout? 

If MHI has such clout, as they have claimed for years in graphics like the above, why didn’t the stop the hit against their own prominent members in the John Oliver viral “Mobile Homes” video?

If MHI has such clout, why is the primary media narrative arguably against the industry’s homes and communities, rather than for it?

MHI can no longer as easily escape with the ‘head fake’ photo “razzle dazzle” or “dog and pony show” techniques any longer, so long as MHProNews and/or any others spotlight what they are and have been doing for years.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoSupportersofMHIElevatedTopAdminPositionsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews574

What have these prior photo ops actually resulted in, other than photos?

Rhetorical or visual red herrings are a deceptive ruse arguably designed to deceive and impress independents or others without delivering any actual and measurable results. MHI is collecting millions in dues, and what do they have to show for it?  Why is the industry performing at a lower total production rate today than the year that Warren Buffett entered the industry over 15 years ago?

 

2018-12-10_0949SkyChampionManufacturedHousingShipmentHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNov2018

Skyline-Champion (SKY) is an MHI member.  They are making the case in the chart above that there is upside.  Of course there is, but why isn’t that upside being achieved?  It is self evident to those who look at history and the facts that the industry is under-performing. Several MHI member companies have said as much, in their own IR presentations. Rollohome went from zero to 60,000 new homes shipped in 2 years. What was done before can be done again, better, faster, and with sustainable results, thanks to existing laws.

 

MHI obtained a video with Secretary Carson, and a video with previous HUD Secretary Julian Castro. Castro is currently seeking a run at the White House as a Democrat. Dr. Carson is a well-known member of the GOP, and as a Republican, sought his party’s nomination as president in the 2016 campaign cycle.  Why are those videos touting bi-partisan praise for the industry not on the home page of their website?  Why instead are they a challenge to find?

The evidence and reasons suggests – and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis has not yet denied or explained away – the claim that the “Illusion of Motion” has made MHI money, while the industry continues to consolidate into ever fewer hands.  MHI meetings have become ‘Buffett’s Big Boy Buffet.’ Members pay for the honor of potentially becoming the next meal for a corporate giant.

If the industry was performing near their historic norm, or to the industry’s potential, then the value of those businesses arguably would be higher.

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMHProNews

Does MHI, Clayton Homes, et al’s failure to seriously move the needle to advance the industry de facto benefit Berkshire Hathaway and others who are consolidating the industry at effectively depressed prices? If so, is MHI engaging in unethical or perhaps illegally deceptive trade practices?

Is it a coincidence that failing to fight and win media image, to fully implement good laws, to overcome regulatory or other hurdles creates shark-like resistance?  Meanwhile, the manufactured home industry staying smaller limits the attraction of new competition, and that pattern allows Warren Buffett and his de facto allies to buy up chunks of the industry at a discount? Aren’t these useful in doing exactly what Buffett has said in his own words?”  That summarizes points that publisher and industry expert L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has made.

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Sometimes the truth is hiding in plain sight. Follow the facts, evidence, and the money.

The industry’s independents in MHI ought to demand their money’s worth, or seek new structures that achieve the claimed goals of the Arlington based association that claims to represent “all segments of factory-built housing.”

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. These lessons are not shared to discourage, but to identify the root issues, so that they can be successfully addressed.  One of many things that Secretary Carson could do is ask the FTC and DOJ to investigate allegations of violations of antitrust and other laws.

 

Photo ops and nice speeches are fine, and we can all enjoy them.  But it is measurable results that the industry needs, and the same applies to current manufactured home owners and the roughly 100 million living in rentals, most of who want to become a home owner.” says Kovach.

The time for razzle dazzle and head fakes is over. The industry continues to be consolidated.

See the related reports to learn more, found further below the byline, offers, and notices.  That’s this morning’s edition of manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use© where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

Cui Bono? “Killing Me Softly,” Manufactured Housing’s New Theme Song?

 

 

 

 

 

“Fight Like Hell” for Independence, Says Trustee – Manufactured Housing Inspiration?

April 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

FightLikeHellForIndependenceSaysTrusteeManufacturedHousingInspirationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

The story from the Boston Globe has nothing on the surface to do with housing, much less factory-built housing. But it had much to do with independence, and the willingness to fight in an arguably increasingly monopolistic, manipulated or ‘rigged system’ society.  Who says? The New York Times, see the column, linked here.

 

A snapshot from outside of our manufactured home industry is worthy of a few moments consideration to gird you or others as to the nature of the struggle – and the inspiration needed – to the good fight for independence.  Because manipulation and ‘rigged systems’ are not only found in our industry, they are increasingly evident elsewhere too.

Here’s what the left-of-center Boston Globe sent to the Daily Business News on MHProNews yesterday, and we’ll then look at what this tale should inspire in our industry’s professionals, investors, and others keen on affordable housing for millions of Americans.

 

BostonGlobeTwoTrusteesQuitDiscordHampshireCollegeFutureDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Two Hampshire College trustees have resigned in recent weeks, a result of the increasing acrimony enveloping the board as it charts an uncertain future for the liberal arts school.

Gaye Hill, the board chairwoman, resigned this week, saying she had become a lightning rod. Another trustee, Mingda Zhao, also stepped down, saying he was forced out.

Zhao’s resignation letter offers a hint about what’s next for the private Amherst college. It says board leaders seem to be pushing for the school to close and be acquired by another institution. But he said it is also possible to “fight like hell” to keep the school open and independent,” said the Boston Globe, in an article linked here.

MingdaZhaoHampshireCollegeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

What Zhao is describing, per the Boston Globe, is what could be called a backstab of the college by various people with ‘special interests,’ including other members of its own board of directors. Stop and think. How is that different than the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) being accused of betraying the interests of the independents in the manufactured housing industry?

 

Yesterday two different reports came into MHProNews from two different sources that represent different parts of the manufactured housing industry.  One came in from NAHMCO, the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners. Another came in and had already been published from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  ICYMI, see the linked text-image box below for that report.

 

Historic Manufactured Housing Industry Decisions Were Made Here on 3.27.2019

 

While entirely different, each one reflects a vote of no-confidence by their respective associations and members in the so-called leadership of Arlington, VA based MHI.

Washington, D.C. based MHARR cites post-production issues that the see MHI as having not only failed at, but arguably having manipulated against the interests of the majority of firms in the manufactured home industry.  Among the points they made was diversion of Duty to Serve (DTS) financing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) away from the majority of manufactured homes into an untested program promoted by industry giant Clayton Homes. Clayton, a Berkshire Hathaway brand along with others in the manufactured home industry, is widely seen as dominating MHI, along with other ‘big boy’ companies, as MHI award winner Marty Lavin, JD, has put it.

NAMHCO also cited DTS yesterday and the need to obtain more market rate financing. The NAMHCO statement bears some clarifying, which MHProNews plans to do in the days ahead before publishing their full document.  But it is noteworthy that NAMHCO – still in its infancy – and MHARR, decades established, de facto or explicitly take a viewpoint contrary to the happy talk fed by MHI to their members and state association affiliates.

 

Why Is There a Need to Fight to Implement Existing Laws?

That existing laws have to be fought to get them properly implemented is itself an outrage. Manufactured housing enjoys some of the finest federal laws that consumers or the industry’s honorable professionals could want.

The reality is that those laws are not being implemented. Cities and local jurisdictions are increasingly limiting or banning manufactured housing. And when one pulls back the veil on why those laws are not being implemented, time and again, there is evidence that a Berkshire brand or other MHI connected firm is benefiting at the expense of independents.

Barbara Hames of Hames Homes in Iowa may or may not have thought much about the fact that Havenpark Capital is an MHI member. She may or may not have thought much about how the apparent collusion between 21st and Clayton Homes, with no warnings from MHI, arguably harmed the interests of the communities she has now sold. Would Hames have sold at all, in the absence of the market manipulation by 21st, Clayton Homes, and Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway documented at the link here?

 

Where Was The Buffett Mantra in Tunica Last Week?

What independent industry professionals and others must consider is this question. When Warren Buffett preaches the importance of protecting a firm’s reputation, why did Clayton, 21st and MHI all decline to attend the meeting of independents? Those independents wanted to hear first-hand what the counter argument might be to the documents and video linked above and here. Those independents wanted to hear that directly from the horses mouth.

Why did Clayton, 21st, MHI, Fannie Mae, et al stay silent?

Those manufactured home industry independents – including representatives from MHARR and NAMHCO.  They and those in attendance reflected the interests of some 200 industry locations.  They were there to begin the process that NAMHCO started some 2 years ago, or that MHARR began decades ago.

Like Zhao urged those that want to save their college from a takeover, the independents of manufactured housing must “fight like hell” if they want to stay independent.  How else will they survive the purported market manipulations and failures to act that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies stand credibly accused of, and failed to respond to once more in Tunica last week. Their trade media surrogates likewise opted not to attend, is it any surprise?

Susan Brenton told the independents there at Tunica that she saw value to their doing what NAMHCO has already started. It is worth noting that NAMHCO, as a post-production association, has a D.C. lobbyist, but not Washington metro office at this time.  That’s a reminder that a post-production trade group has no specific need for a costly D.C. metro office.

While there are obvious expenses to forging a new non-producers trade body, it is modest compared to the potential upside. The ‘Axis’ in manufactured housing obviously hopes it is never formed, as former MHI chair Nathan Smith quickly slammed NAMHCO in a written statement a few months ago, as the article linked further below the byline and notices reminds readers.

Affordable housing isn’t a partisan issue. It matters not if the person fighting for affordable manufactured homes is a Democrat, Republican, or an Independent. That is underscored in another article linked below.

Democrats, Republicans Agree – “Manufactured Homes Can Play a Vital Role in Easing” the Affordable Housing Shortage

The fear tactics, restraint of trade, manipulation of access to financing and other methods arguably being employed by specific Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington connected brands have arguably cost the industry’s professionals tens of billions of dollars since Warren Buffett made the move in 2003 to buy Clayton and it’s affiliated lenders, and control other organizations.

Fortunately, Berkshire has the deep pockets to pay those billions. Instead of proposing problematic or unconstitutional wealth taxes, and other floated notions by 2020 candidates, why don’t they focus their energy and talents on something that is doable, legal and useful?

 

Who Will Act? Will Senator Elizabeth Warren, and/or the Trump Administration Act to Restore Open Markets, Thereby Supporting Affordable Manufactured Homes?

 

Why not break up Berkshire, do whatever the law allows with MHI, and fine them billions as the EU has Google for violations of antitrust and other laws?  Why not make an example of them, so that others won’t be tempted to so manipulate this industry or any other ever again?

As independents begin the process of organizing, the time is now.  Like Zhao suggested in his scenario, one must fight like hell, for a heavenly cause.

That’s this morning’s first look at “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Historic Manufactured Housing Industry Decisions Were Made Here on 3.27.2019

April 2nd, 2019 Comments off

 

HistoricManufacturedHousingIndustryDecisionsWereMadeHereon3.27.2019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

In a statement today to recapping what they are calling Bold New Initiatives,” the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is taking aim at issues to get to some underlying challenges facing manufactured housing going that arise from post-production scenarios.

 

MHARR and its members have kept these items under close wraps, as the Daily Business News on MHProNews learned about these core details through this release.

Here was the full MHARR statement today.

 

MHARRNEWSheaderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHARR BOARD HOLDS HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE

MEETING — ADOPTS BOLD NEW INITIATIVES

 

Washington, D.C., April 2, 2019 – Despite producing its best homes ever, at a price point that is inherently affordable for virtually every American family, in a market environment featuring an ever-growing need for affordable homeownership and housing resources, the production and market-share of the federally-regulated manufactured housing industry continues to lag well behind not only the single-family housing market as a whole, but also the twenty and thirty-year historical production norms for the HUD Code industry itself.  Confronting, as it does, a myriad of factors and challenges in the post-production arena that have combined to stunt the growth and expansion of the industry to levels far below what would otherwise be expected given an expanding population, job growth, and a prospering economy, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), at its March 27, 2019 Board of Directors meeting, adopted a bold plan of action to begin addressing key issues that the broader industry has failed to resolve, which have paralyzed the HUD Code market after the industry’s outstanding homes leave the factory. In addition, to lead this aggressive agenda, MHARR members elected an experienced slate of Association officers, to be led by John Bostick, President and CEO of Sunshine Homes, Inc., who will return as MHARR Chairman.

MHARR members, at their bi-annual Board of Directors meeting, identified, in particular, three post-production-related matters that, both short and long-term, have vexed the industry and American consumers of affordable housing, and the ability of the industry as a whole to fully serve the housing needs of vast numbers of Americans, contrary to both the letter of federal law and the will and intent of Congress, as set out quite plainly in both the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 with regard to production and consumer protection, and the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) with regard to affordable and competitive consumer financing. These matters, which will now become the major focus of MHARR activity to take the lead within the industry to fully and completely implement both such existing laws, include:

(1) exclusionary/discriminatory zoning mandates;

(2) other placement restrictions or exclusions (principally affecting the development of manufactured housing communities); and

(3) the availability of consumer financing.

Discriminatory zoning – zoning restrictions or exclusions targeted at manufactured housing and manufactured housing consumers over large areas of the United States, and the failure of the broader industry to effectively fight and address those mandates – is a crucial aspect of the industry’s inability to expand and better serve the housing and homeownership needs of large numbers of Americans. To begin addressing this issue with the urgency that it deserves and warrants, MHARR will work cooperatively with state-level industry associations to target a sample set of localities with major and/or obvious discriminatory prohibitions against HUD Code manufactured homes, and, following appropriate fact-finding, will mount an aggressive campaign against those prohibitions, including litigation, if necessary, to the highest level that may be needed.

Similarly, in the related area of placement and placement restrictions/prohibitions that limit or preclude the development of new manufactured home communities and/or the expansion of existing communities – both of which are essential to ensuring the availability of inherently affordable manufactured homes for every American who wants one, and the economic expansion of the industry – MHARR will likewise work cooperatively with state-level industry associations to seek out egregious examples of discrimination against the industry and its consumers, and will take aggressive action to address those mandates as well.

Rounding-out MHARR’s three major post-production focus areas, is the matter of consumer financing and the full, market-significant implementation of the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” mandate by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Despite targeted marketing to industry members, the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) – more than a decade after the enactment of DTS – have done little or nothing to even begin serving the largest segment of HUD Code industry consumer financing, represented by home-only personal property (or “chattel”) loans, which comprise nearly 80% of the entire manufactured housing market.  Despite years of promises (including decades of promises before the adoption of DTS), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have not only failed to deliver – but have been allowed to fail to deliver — anything in the way of market-significant support for the vast bulk of the manufactured housing market and instead – supported by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) — have diverted much of their focus to a “new class” of manufactured homes at a price point that is significantly higher than mainstream manufactured housing. This diversion of DTS benefits to the industry’s largest entities and higher-cost market-dominant lenders, rather than attracting new lenders and promoting the type of market competition that would result in lower interest rates and greater affordability for consumers.

To address these matters, MHARR will take aggressive action, both in Congress and within the Administration (including the Office of Management and Budget, the Treasury Department and HUD) to press for full GSE/FHFA compliance with DTS – and expanded manufactured home consumer lending support from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Ginnie Mae – to expand the availability of consumer financing for the mainstream HUD Code market and promote greater competition and affordability for consumers.

In addition to these matters centered within the post-production arena, MHARR members also directed the Association to: (1) continue to aggressively oppose (including via litigation, if necessary and appropriate) discriminatory manufactured housing energy regulation by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as is still being sought and promoted by energy special interests; (2) press for the conclusion and effective implementation of HUD’s regulatory reform activities pursuant to Trump Administration Executive Orders 13771 and 13777; and (3) take action to ensure full and fair competition (as required by federal law) for the next HUD monitoring contract.  In this regard, MHARR has already had a dialogue with senior-level HUD contracting personnel to stress the need for fair and open competition and a new contractor after more than 40-years of de facto sole-source contract procurements and awards.

Lastly, MHARR members had an opportunity to speak with representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), who gave a comprehensive presentation to MHARR manufacturers and answered questions regarding the next FEMA procurement of manufactured homes for use in emergencies.  The productive dialogue was extremely useful for the independent manufacturers which comprise MHARR and reflects a laudable commitment by FEMA to include smaller, independent HUD Code producers in the procurement process to provide essential housing assistance to victims of natural disasters going forward.

 

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

— 30 —

 

The same release on MHARR’s website is found at the link below.

 

MHARR Board Holds Highly Productive Meeting — Adopts Bold New Initiatives

 

That’s tonight’s installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Urgency Grows, Another City Prepares Ban on Manufactured Homes

March 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

UrgencyGrowsAnotherCityPreparesBanManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

 

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

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

RevDonaldTyeJrBusinessmanManufacturedHousingAdvocateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Cases like the one noted often have hidden special interests operating in the background.  They may be using an ordinance or other bill to help eliminate manufactured housing as a form of competition to their interests. That may include those who would rather build housing projects instead of seeing manufactured homes. Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Bryan Proposal Purportedly Violates Federal Law, Plus Harms Local Economy

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

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

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

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

 

 

What if This Trend of Banning Manufactured Homes Continues Unabated?

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

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

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

 

Fix MH Industry Trick$ – Special Meeting at Tunica Show

 

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

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-768x318

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

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

 

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HUD Secretary Carson “HUDdle Conference” Draws Manufactured Housing Issues Engagement

March 21st, 2019 Comments off

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonHUDdleCOnferenceDrawsManufacturedHousingIssuesEngagementDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Daily Business News on MHProNews learned that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., kicked off their latest ‘HUDle’ meeting at their Washington, D.C. office building.

 

In a statement to MHProNews, here is what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said today.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Department of Housing and Urban Development, on March 20, 2019, held the latest in a series of “HUDdle” conferences with invited HUD-program stakeholders.  The conferences, which are an initiative of — and hosted by — HUD Secretary Ben Carson, focus on emerging issues at the Department, including, but not limited to, aspects of its ongoing regulatory reform process,” MHARR said.

Among the manufactured home industry professionals present was Mark Weiss, JD.  Weiss is the president and CEO of MHARR.

MHARR’s president emphasized the urgent need for HUD to address and resolve two key issues that continue to suppress the availability of inherently affordable manufactured housing for millions of American consumers, and the economic growth of the industry,” per their statement, which added, “Those two issues are, first, discriminatory zoning laws that exclude or severely restrict the placement of manufactured homes in large areas of the country.  The second is the critical need for reform at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (under the “Duty to Serve” and beyond), to substantially increase the availability of manufactured home consumer financing (and especially personal property or ‘chattel’ financing) to market-significant levels.”

 

MHARR stated that they will be following-up soon with relevant HUD officials to further pursue these key policy objectives.

 

The issues come in the wake of fact-checks and related exposes by MHProNews, which included specific examples of the post-production Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) was routinely failing to address specific cases spot-checked by MHProNews. Here accessible via the linked text-image box is but one example. Others follow below the byline, disclaimers, and notices.

 

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

 

Placement and financing are post-production, not production related issue, so they fall into MHI’s self-proclaimed bucket of representing “all segments of factory-built housing.”  Topics like this and others will be among the issues addressed at the rapidly approaching “Fix the MH Industry Trick$” meeting a week from today Thursday afternoon at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

That’s this afternoon’s manufactured housing industry “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

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“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlighting Pro-Growth Educational Effort by Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association

December 18th, 2018 Comments off

 

SpotlightingProGrowthEducatoinEffortLousianaManufacturedHousingAssociationLogoLMHALogoAnthonyTonyLucasPalmHarborDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association (LMHA) video below takes a tact at defending and promoting the acceptance of manufactured homes that is noteworthy.

 

 

It could have utilized the singularly important point of HUD Code manufactured home enhanced preemption, or any number of other research points that were available at the time the video was produced. So while it is useful, it could be improved.

 

 

Lenny Kopowski and Steve Duke at LMHA have been doing such educational and outreach efforts for years.

 

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

 

That said, it debatably stands far and away better than anything that the national Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has produced to date.

Several states have made efforts at growing the industry at the state level. That’s laudable.

The unfortunate point is that MHI, which has millions a year in budget should be doing this sort of work, shouldn’t they? Don’t they claim to represent all aspects of factory-built housing?

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

 

Louisiana’s slip in new home shipments is one of several topics that MHI has ignored in their recent ‘newsletter’ to their members. Several states have told MHProNews that they are concerned.

 

LouisianaManufacturedHousingAssociationOklahomaMHAOManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Louisiana is one of the top ten states for manufactured home shipments in recent years, per data collected by HUD and reported by MHARR. Clayton Homes has a serious presence in the state. Yet, sales are declining. Why???

 

Michigan’s shipments is another top ten state in recent years that has been losing, not gaining, in year-over-year new manufactured home shipments.

What will change this or other troubling industry dynamics?

One answer is the one that UMH President Sam Landy suggested, each company is responsible for its own marketing. Each company is logically responsible for its own sales engagement systems too.

After all, all sales are local ones.

Beyond that, independents who want to see growth should consider new alliances.

Because in the post-production sector, that MHI claims to be doing, the evidence suggests they are fast at defending themselves or a favored company, such as Clayton or 21st.

But beyond that, they’re  efforts for protecting, educating, and promoting on behalf of the broader industry have not produced anything akin to this generally promising notion by LMHA, posted above. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

#1 Texas Among States with New HUD Code Sales, Experiences Shipment Drop, Facts Reveal Warning Signs

 

#$2Trillion U.S. GDP Growth via Affordable Housing Plan Few Discuss – Introducing #YimbyVictory2020

 

 

 

“Vehicular Homelessness” Rising, Land Use, and Manufactured Housing Policies

August 2nd, 2018 Comments off

 

VehicularHomelessnessRisingLandUseAndManufacturedHousingPoliciesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In the background of numerous mainstream media news stories are the underlying cause(s) of the headlined issue.

 

A recent example of this is a CBS News report on the stunning rise of what some are calling “vehicular homelessness.”  Even with economic improvements, more people are trying to figure out affordable living the best way they can.

Forget living in that mobile tiny house or RV, say some, and go straight to living out of your car, minivan or SUV.

 

VehicleResidencyStudyUp46PercentPastYearCBSDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from CBS News video, posted further below.

 

There are “how to” videos on YouTube that tell viewers how they’ve managed living out of their vehicles, so others in a similar financial fix can too.   There are over 15.5 million ‘hits’ on Google for this topic. The following two YouTube videos were selected at random out of scores of possible options, to give some flavor to the range of sophistication of those taking part in this troubling trend.

The first “how to” video has had over 4,000 views.

This second one has had over 400,000 views.

 

Those who are living in vehicles are often people who have a job.  But they can’t find an affordable home.

The problem with living in a vehicle – as CBS explained – is that living in your vehicle can also bring fines or other legal penalties. It’s simply not legal in many jurisdictions.

 

 

What’s a Common Thread Underlying These Issues?

Land use and related local zoning, state, and federal policies are at the heart of many of these issues.

As a recent court case reported by the Daily Business News spotlighted, there are concerns over the “unconstitutional taking” of a manufactured home community owner’s property rights at the center of several of these battles.

 

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

 

The legal case in Newark, AR is an example of how local policies are attempting to push those who already have a mobile or manufactured home out, based solely on the value of the home. But isn’t lower cost the essence of affordability?

Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

Zoning and land use are issues that MHProNews has explored for years, and a related report on MHLivingNews is linked below.

 

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

 

An entrepreneur highlighted yesterday revealed how he took older mobile homes and manufactured homes, updated them, and created dozens of affordable housing options in community that previously had been failing.  Ryan Kirk’s community is an example of how free enterprise and vision can create affordable housing options that residents say has improved their standard of life.

Ryan Kirk–Investor & Entrepreneur-Gets Positive Media via Airbase Estates Mobile/Manufactured Home Makeovers, Exclusives, Videos

The solution in part – as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), some state executives, and MHProNews – have said for years is the enhanced preemption provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

ZoningDiscriminationAgainstManufaturedHomeJDHarperExecuitveDirectorArkansasManufacturedHousingAssociationAMHAlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews768

See a prior related report that includes that download, above. Count on more coverage on this critical topic here in the days ahead. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Focus on More Financing, HUD Program Reforms, Aimed at Increasing Manufactured Homes Sales, Meeting with Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery

Impact of Fear – Manufactured Home Sales, Business, Investment, Zoning, Politics, Media, Manipulation, and You

January 12th, 2018 Comments off

Americans must recognize, says Harvard psychologist Susan David, that “A familiar story is not necessarily a truthful story.”

In “The Science of Fear-Mongering: How to Protect Your Mind from Demagogues,” Harvard psychologist Susan David explains “the dangers of fear-mongering, the questionable ethics of journalism in spreading hate politics, and the disturbing way that repetition wears down our brain’s resistance to fallacies and hate speech,” per Big Think’s YouTube post.

 

David notes that feelings of safety, right, comfort – their opposites – along with the role that repetition plays, are all part of the “the science of fear mongering.

What has arguably gone under-explored in the manufactured housing industry is the role that fear plays with:

  • Prospective buyers,
  • public officials (think, zoning – votes),
  • investors, business people (being in – or not in – ‘the group,’
  • media,
  • educators,
  • industry members themselves – what causes you or others to think and behave as you do,

plus all others.

Composite still from the video, posted below.

Susan David’s Video

David’s 8-minute video has a left-of-center slant that would be common among many in Harvard. With that caveat and bias in mind, she nevertheless makes important points for manufactured housing professionals to consider.

How is feared used to condition people, for-or-against something?

What role does propaganda play in fear?

Benson Demonstrates How “Propaganda Works” on “Most Americans”

Customers are often driven by a variety of fears.

For instance in sales, there’s the notion of the ‘fear of loss’ – rising interest rates, pricing, a closeout model, or that perfect vacant home-site are but some examples – that have often been used as a real or imagined pressure point to ‘close the deal.’

But among customers, there are other fears.

What about fear caused by the economy? Or how fear of “X” – fill in the blank for x – affect my job?  Will there be a war with North Korea, Red China, or Russia? Will terrorists strike?

Then there are also fears caused by social pressures, or safety concerns.

Those kinds of powerful emotional drivers are reasons why videos and articles can be useful in helping a customer overcome a false fear.  Facts – properly understood – can overcome fear. An example from MHLivingNews.com is posted below.  But there are hundreds of others that address specific issues, often from the vantage point of the home owner or an expert.

Hurricane Irma Florida Survivor Relates First-Hand Manufactured Home Safety, Durability Experience

David’s point is one that impacts investors, and all professionals.

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Fear can cause people to do – or not do – something that their normal value system would cause them to be inclined to do.  Pollsters, for example, recognized that a percentage of “the Trump voters would not always say what they believed. Isn’t that a social acceptance fear at work?

Is fear manifest in other ways within the manufactured housing industry?  Isn’t the only answer, yes?

David asks, “How do we thrive in a world where every which way we turn our fear is being activated by politicians, by the media and by the desperate events that are happening around us?”

Spotting fear, and recognizing techniques of manipulation are perhaps as or more important today than in years gone by.

Why?  Because when people are ‘busy,’ they often default into patterns – instead of questioning, based upon evidence, those patterns and beliefs.

What is really fascinating when we look at the brain research around fear is that our brains proxy anything that feels unfamiliar, incoherent or inaccessible as being unsafe,” says David.

There is fascinating research that shows that when people have lower levels of self-esteem and they are in a job in which they are recognized and promoted, that promotion can feel incoherent to the person with low self-esteem. They have low self-esteem and they might be used to and expecting to be treated badly. So what is fascinating is the results showing that when people are promoted when they have a lower levels of self-esteem they are more likely to leave their jobs,” the psychologist explains.

Fear is an incredibly, incredibly powerful force in our lives and our brains are fairly immature in assessing anything that feels slightly incoherent for unfamiliar as unsafe. What this might mean is that if you are used to hearing a story time and time again from a parent or from a partner about how you are not good enough, you are more likely to be drawn to that relationship because it feels familiar,” she says.

David adds that, “Fear has always had a hold on us, but never with such fervor.”

Media savvy professionals recognize that fear must be overcome.

But how often do professionals consider that habit combined with fear can be coercive?

What are the ways that fear and manipulation tactics may be used against you, your customers, or others that you know? We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Homelessness in America, and Factory-Built Housing

December 27th, 2017 Comments off

HomeessInAmericaCultureCheetsheetGettyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAmerica may be the land of 2,600-square-foot starter homes with massive walk-in closets, but many people living in the United States will go to sleep tonight without a roof over their heads,” said the Culture Cheet Sheet.

Although the total homeless population has fallen almost 14% since 2010, there are still close to 550,000 people in the U.S. who don’t have a fixed abode, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” wrote the column’s author, Megan Elliott.

MeganElliottCultureCheetSheetDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Charles Payne on Fox Business said tonight that California, the richest state in the Union, also has the most homeless.

Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing

NIMBY and land use – read zoning – are among the factors that have contributed to this problem.

NIMBY and the Denial of Manufactured Housing

What 2017 has demonstrated is that there are several initiatives underway that propose various forms of prefab housing as a solution.

Some of those prefabs are coming from China.

Billion-Dollar Micro-Modular War – Housing Homeless, but Unions Balk Over Importing Units From Abroad

U.S prefab, modular, and container builders have also been active in chasing opportunities to serve cities with affordable housing, including for the homeless.

Hawaiian Modular Housing Advances

Modular Housing To Help Homeless in Hawaii

Tiny MODs Could be the Next Big Thing for Homeless Vets

The causes and solutions for homelessness are complex, as Cheat Sheet reported about Philadelphia and the other top 10 cities with thousands of homeless.

A 26% poverty rate, low wages, high housing costs, and a lack of affordable transportation all contribute to the problem of homelessness in Philadelphia, according to Project Home, a local nonprofit group. An opiate addiction crisis is also causing the homeless population in the city to grow, Philly.com reported,” wrote Elliott.

But certainly one issue that manufactured home professionals should keep in mind is that the HUD Code is supposed to be preemptive.

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

As the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), JD Harper with the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA), and other industry have told MHLivingNews and MHProNews, the solution ought to include enhanced access to the nation’s most affordable housing.  ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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