The Importance for Businesses and Investors in Manufactured Housing for Selecting the Next Supreme Court Justice

June 30th, 2018 No comments

Predictability in law is the key to a prosperous Republic. Laws must be interpreted based on the language in them first and foremost. Only, when the language is unclear, should a judge seek evidence on related legislative discourse and legislative intent at the time the law was passed to help interpret it. Otherwise, law risks becoming whatever a particular Judge or powerful person/group wants it to be.

This was the consistent judicial philosophy of former Justice Antonin Scalia, and often adopted by Justice Kennedy.

Seeking Justices who interpret the laws based on their personal conclusion of what culture wants or what one Legislator said about a law, or what the law means in another country, results in the creation of different law created by the Judicial Branch, the branch of government neither elected by nor accountable to the people.

PredictabilityInLawIstheKeyToAPropserousRepublicKurtKelleyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Illustrations like the above and the headline are supplied by the editor of MHProNews, which is customary for a guest column. The text supplied are the unedited, thoughtful words of Kurt Kelley, delivered via email, on the topic of the importance of who will replace Justice Anthony “Tony” Kennedy on the nation’s high court.

Justice Sotomayor’s recent dissent opinion regarding the “President Trump Travel Ban” is an example of the danger of violating Scalia’s decision formula. She based her emotional opinion on what she viewed as President Trump’s intent as evidenced by select things President Trump said while campaigning, versus what the law specifically said in plain English. Justice Sotomayor concluded the law was a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. However, the “Trump Travel Ban” neither states this nor is it applied in such fashion by Border Control. ##

KurtKelleyJDMobileAgencyMHRManufacturedHousingIndustryVoicesMHProNewsKurt Kelley, J.D.
Mobile Agency, MHR
The Woodlands, Texas

 

 

Others are invited to sound off on this, or other industry topics.

Related Report:

“I Hate Politics!” – Bedminster Watch, and Manufactured Housing Shipments

Free Trade or Economic War?

April 6th, 2018 No comments

Anyone going to school in the U.S. after WW II has learned the breakdown in world trade was a primary, though not only, cause of the Great Depression. It is said import tariffs and barriers caused world trade to be constrained. There is little doubt it was a cause.

I grew up believing it and have done so with little retrospective most of my life. As U.S. auto plants closed in the 1980s and forward (I was a GM dealer at the time), I blamed the unions, the workers, and incompetent auto company management. Whole swaths of the country from the Great Lakes to Maine back to the Mason-Dixon Line started to lose industrial plants, in the heartland of America. They became destroyed areas, bereft of jobs and hope. The bombing campaigns of W.W. II Europe couldn’t have caused greater damage.

FreeTradeOrEconomicWarMartyLavin475

Yet with the belief in free trade in the country so ingrained, we blamed the fallen for their fate. I was part of that crowd. It never occurred to me to ask if free trade was so good, why is its impact so disastrous for the U.S.? Not until recently, that is.

And surely our race for government control of every aspect of our economy led to manacled industrial results, especially in heavy industry. But I heard our technology would bail us out. Who needed autos, steel, aluminum and other smoke stack industries, what with their pollution and dirt? Not the U.S. Uhm, we forgot we needed their jobs.

This all played a terrible self-destruction to our heavy industry and their secondary affiliates. The politicians in power either didn’t see the developments, didn’t have answers, or didn’t care. We have seen recently how quickly our economy can respond when unleased. How hard was that?

It’s obvious that the last 30 years, especially our last 8 years prior to 2017, that one of the most important OleMartyBoy Principles was not understood by our heros in government: “You get more of what you encourage and less of what you discourage.” Simple, eh, but entirely overlooked by our government until last year.

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

I understand Free Trade means that each of the parties share similar rules as to access, tariffs, government industrial financial assistance and the like. Each of the parties is to operate in trade under similar rules, with shared understandings.

Still, the economic talking points by the media trumpet Free Trade, when even the dead and buried know there is little of it with many of our trade partners, especially The People’s Republic of China. That is the problem seemingly overlooked when media discussions center on the subject. Often the quoted experts are those who profit from trade, free or not, usually the finance contingent.

When a trading partner has rules heavily skewed in their direction, as in the case of China, it is very difficult to achieve free trade. Does each party have similar access to the other’s markets? Are tariffs similar? Are privately owned companies in the U.S. competing against government backed Chinese companies who can survive long after a privately-owned U.S. company would be long gone, and thus undercutting its pricing? And most importantly, does the other country operate in a relatively free market?

China has over a billion plus person population. It is a giant country that has been backward, isolated and extremely poor. Coming out of W.W. II, it had a puny, agrarian economy. Its communist dictatorship created a command economy. The U.S., as it had done with Germany, Italy, Japan, and non-communist Europe helped re-establish the shattered economies of these countries with trade. China, under the yoke of brutal Chairman Mao, spent much of the post-war period avoiding the U.S. and brutalizing much of its citizenry. Like all old men, The Great Prick, Mao finally died. A special place is reserved for Him in Hell.

The new generation of Chinese leaders decided their best bet to continue to rule the dictatorship was to open their economy to trade so fewer of their citizens starved every year. We now enter in the final phase of that stage in China. It’s emergence as a world power has been achieved by an almost capitalist drive for growth and trade. Now that fewer of its citizens are starving, it has turned its attention to waging an economic war on the rest of the world.

After the war, Germany sprung economically quickly, Japan following behind, then most of non-communist Europe followed suit. Ex-Communist Europe still struggles. China followed very slowly for years. Their agrarian economy, lack of infrastructure, large over-population, and strict communist control hindered easy solutions for China’s emergence.

But once going in the 1980s, to the present, they blew forward. And who became their greatest trading partner and deliverer of free technology they seemed incapable of creating? Why, good old Uncle Sam. Sam made many concessions to the Chinese to help them economically. In fact the emergence was so great, that the New York Times’ ace reporter, Tom Friedman advocated the U.S. should adopt the Chinese model for the economy. We saw how well that direction worked with the economic performance of Tom’s favorite President, Barack Hussein Obama.

I suffered thru much of the 1980’s when Japan, Inc. was running rough shod over our economy and we all believed they would easily control us. They were going to buy everything in America! Lost any sleep on that one recently? We sure did then. They were then the Asian powerhouse, akin to their speed in conquering much of South East Asia during the war, then unable to maintain their advantage against the U.S., just like in the war.

In Japan, the command economy stumbled badly in the 1990s and continues to do so. Picking many winners in the economy early boosted them, but command economies seem incapable of letting the losers die, dragging down all with them, by not cleansing by dying. The losers stayed alive with government help, as many do to this day.

Lying in wait in the Chinese economy lurks the same virus, as it does in all command economies, germinating even as we breathe. The trade deficit in the news is that China is enjoying a $350-$500 Billion-dollar annual trade deficit with the US and a $300 billion-dollar annual technology transfer as a gift, (actually by theft). Quickly, who has the most to lose in this transaction? China or Americans no longer able to go to Walmart to buy more cheap unneeded junk?

The economic talking heads making their living on Wall Street or Washington, D.C. care little about American workers displaced for years. Deplorables! Now the economic bigshots lament the possible trade war with China because it threatens their stew, citing the loss of cheap goods for us to buy. Where were these folks all those years as hard working Americans were thrown from their jobs, in places like Buffalo, Detroit and Youngstown, all dead cities. You know, “free” trade is a must, for the elites.

In this blather over free trade, the one thing I have never heard is that the actions of the Chinese constitute an economic war against the U.S., and has been since Nixon went to China. Dead soldiers, bombed cities, lost industry, and loss of fortune is the result of a shooting war.  They are easy to spot. An economic war is harder to see, but the results are similar; ruined cities, lost industry, citizen agony, broken dreams, destruction of the American economy.  We have been living with that. The results are easily visible. It does seem difficult to see from Wall Street and D.C.

This war is being done on the backs of our workers and industry, and our economy. The trade rules are not similar. Technology is stolen en masse. Their markets are often closed to us. They are very smart people and have been out maneuvering us for 50 years. How dumb can we be?

Even though they now have a first world economy, by choice they have a third world pay scale for their workers. This creates quality goods at a price our companies cannot hope to match. And between their lack of free trade and subsidy of the cost of their goods, how do our companies compete? The answer is obvious, we can’t. Thus this massive transfer of wealth from us to them, allowing them to continue their economic war unabated. This has built their new cities, airports, schools, roads and infrastructure to first world standards.

Their actions in the command economy injures their workers as well, keeping a massive economy acting like they barely succeed with worker earnings. But this action is getting pushback as countries wake up from their slumber.

I am running a contest. Thinking the talking heads will prevail, and we do nothing about the predatory Chinese trade practices, I am looking for a worker’s name. I want to know the name of the last American industrial worker, the one who turns off the lights in the last manufacturing plant in the country, just as it closes. Email me the name and the winner gets $100.00 and a video tour of Detroit. ##

marty-lavin-posted-on-mhpronewsMartin V “Marty” Lavin, J.D.
Burlington, VT
Winter Residence, Miami, FL

Editor’s Notes: Marty is a community, retail, and finance veteran who is an MHI award winner.

Note 2: The content is penned by Marty, but the illustrations are provided by the editor. 

Law Allows Real Estate Personnel to Sell Homes in Your Manufactured Home Community

March 7th, 2018 No comments

Real estate personnel are now allowed to sell homes in manufactured and mobile home parks without first having to be licensed as a broker under the Arizona Division of Manufactured Housing, Department of Housing.

The new law [in AZ] allows:

1) Licensed real estate brokers and salespeople to sell new or used manufactured homes and mobile homes located in mobile home parks if the licensed broker or salesperson is acting as an agent for a licensed Manufactured Housing Dealer and the Dealer is responsible for filing all of the required paperwork and submitting the required fees on the sale of the home

2) Licensed real estate brokers and salespeople to sell used manufactured homes and mobile homes located in mobile home parks if they are acting on behalf of a private party and the broker or salesperson then remains subject to the real estate licensure requirements

MHCA’s task force on this topic, consisting of Greg Johnloz, Keith Vanderhout and Mel Comstock, are done with all of the forms real estate personnel will need to sell the homes. MHCA hired a law firm which works with the Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR) to prepare the forms, and then sent them to MHCA’s attorneys for review. AAR has shared the contracts and information on this law with their members and we should find some realtors interested in selling our homes.

RealEstatePersonnelCanSellMHCASusanBrentonManufacturedHousingIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In addition, MHCA is preparing a three-hour class on selling homes in our communities and hopefully it will be approved as a class eligible for the continuing education required of real estate personnel. We will also be working with the 12 different Multiple-Listing Services in Arizona on this topic.

MHCA believes this is an important new law which will bring more prospective buyers into our communities. ##

Susan_BrentonManufacturedHousingCommunitiesAZ-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews202Susan Brenton
MANUFACTURED HOUSING COMMUNITIES OF ARIZONA

2158 North Gilbert Road
Suite #116
Mesa, AZ 85203

Editor’s Note: the headline and the graphic/quote are provided by the publisher, as is customary.

Manufactured Homes – Access & Equity – a Key Cure for America’s Housing Shortages, Wealth-Building Says Activist Donald Tye, Jr.

March 6th, 2018 No comments

Manufactured housing could cure most of the ills we have in this country as it pertains to the housing shortage.

Why then is it not being utilized as it could be?  Especially when it is known what the consent of the governed has been towards its use, i.e.: HUD?

The answer lies in the fact that super-capitalists and monopolies controlled by the few, lobby against the very democracy that afforded them the billions they have at their disposal. They are able to do this by making sure that on every level of the socioeconomic hierarchy, they have agents, allies, or directors forming what is called an Interlocking Directorate. 

These directorates can be very deceptive, because most times their job is not to steer but just to glean information to disseminate to the titular head of the organization. Many an activist, including myself, have fallen prey to this type of hidden maneuvering and manipulation.  Warren Buffett is among such Americans.

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews550

Housing and Civil Rights, Super-Capitalism vs. Democracy

I was never in agreement with parts of the Civil Rights Movement as it pertained to making people do what they otherwise did not want to do. I believe that if you don’t want me in your store, then I should not go to your store.

However, I do believe in equal access.

I believe that people participating in a Democracy should be granted all the same access, holding to the words of the Declaration of Independence; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Simply put, a Democratic Government should give equal access to the governed. To all people who are citizens, black, white, yellow, etc.

It is in this vein that my parents, and I as a parent, disagreed with affirmative action. If you gave me access to: living wage jobs, bank loans to purchase a home and an equally unencumbered education, then I could do the rest by myself! That in and of itself is reparations.

I have said before that home ownership is the quickest way to build wealth.

Our personal experience with buying and paying off a factory-built home, in the days before the HUD Code for manufactured housing came into being, is another indicator that manufactured homes can rise in value side-by-side with conventional housing.

HUD and public officials need to make enhanced preemption of manufactured homes a reality. What else will fix the problem millions face caused by locals and officials blocking access to wealth-creating affordable? ##

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateIndustryVoicesMHProNews338

Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.
Actively Retired
Minister, Investor, and Business Professional

 

(Editor’s Notes: Rev. Tye has recently returned from Puerto Rico, where he saw the post-hurricane challenges first hand.  He’s also involved with investors in transformational studies in housing.  Tye is actively advocating for the use of the enhanced preemption passed into law by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  The links below are related topics that sparked the letter provided by Tye above to MHProNews for publication.

Tye has also provided a sample of legal research from Harvard University on the challenges and problems that can be created by interlocking directorates. Stay tuned for that report…Titles to articles and illustrations are routinely provided by the publisher, as is the case here.)

 

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

State Association Quits Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Explains in Writing, Why?

February 9th, 2018 No comments

The manufactured housing industry has long been a mainstay of affordable housing in the United States.  For decades the industry has provided an unmatched quality of life with an affordability not seen in any other sector of the housing market.  The homes and the land lease communities in which they are situated have become fixtures across the country providing an affordable, quality lifestyle to all segments of our population.  Over the years it has seen its ups and downs, but has been able to survive and even thrive through the difficult times.  The greatest hindrance and the greatest threat to the industry is not the economy, the homes or the communities, it is governmental interference and over regulation. 

The Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona (MHCA) is a statewide association representing community owners in Arizona.  As state associations do, the MHCA has been very active and productive at the state level in combatting governmental interference with its burdensome regulations and obstacles.  At the state level most community owner associations have been able to not only monitor proposed local and statewide legislation, but interact with legislators to prevent onerous regulations that are detrimental to our industry.

The MHCA had joined a national association in hopes that we would get the same representation and effectiveness at a national level.  The national legislation and rule making over the last ten years has proven that we do not have that representation.  One only has to look at the passage of the Safe Act and the Dodd-Frank Act to see how devastating and onerous national legislation can be.  Other similar chattel groups (the RV industry) saw the proposals and their representation managed to have them exempted.  The national organization to which we belonged was apparently unaware of the legislation and its ramifications until after passage and it was already being implemented.  The rule making in the aftermath has been horrendous and little if anything has been done to stop the bleeding.  Recently, HUD has issued rules concerning the screening of prospective tenants for our communities.  Again, we find no one aware of what is happening, much less advocating on our behalf.  Installation requirements are being implemented that have no basis in common sense and the result will be additional burdens on community owners and added costs for homeowners.

Due to the lack of effective representation at a national level, the MHCA withdrew its membership from the national association to pursue other avenues of representation. We are not the only state association to do so.  The MHCA has been exploring other options; including hiring a lobbying firm that is prominent in Washington, D.C. 

MHCommunitiesOfAZNealTHaneyPresidentWhyTheyQuitManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews737x214

In some cases, the state associations represent community owners only and in others there is a single association representing all aspects of the industry.  We need a national association to advocate on behalf of community owners.  It does not need to be an association with conferences to attend or one that requires numerous meetings and publications.  Such an association needs to be very narrowly focused on monitoring proposed legislation and rule making.  We need someone to advocate on behalf of the community owners.  This singular task needs to be done at the congressional level and in the departments that make policy affecting our industry.  Every community owner, and every association that is accepting membership dues from community owners, should be concerned with the lack of representation at the national level and should be involved in finding adequate representation.  If you are willing to be a part of the solution, please contact our association office.

Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona
2158 N Gilbert Road, Ste. 116
Mesa AZ 85203
Phone: 480.345.4202, Toll free 800.351.3350

You may also email our Executive Director Susan Brenton at: sbrenton@azmhca.com.

Thank you for your consideration on how you can help shape the future of our industry.

Sincerely, 

Neal T Haney,
President


##

ManufacturedHousingCommunitiesofAZLogoIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

“No Greater Resource” in Manufactured Housing Industry

January 16th, 2018 No comments

Dear Tony and Soheyla,

Thank you for your great reporting on our industry and the challenges we face as independent retailers.

There is no greater resource that speaks to the issues and opportunities than your publications.

We are glad you spotlight the key issues we need to address to succeed.

GusRodriguezTejasHomesConroeTXIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

“Too bad not enough fellow retailers are planning accordingly.”  Thank you both.  ##

 

GusRodriguezTejasHomesConroeTxGus Rodriguez
Tejas Homes,
Conroe, Texas.

McCrory Lawsuit – “Significant Victory Against Zoning Discrimination” – Manufactured Homes

November 30th, 2017 No comments

The McCrory lawsuit is a significant victory against zoning discrimination that many working families in Arkansas face from cities and towns when they attempt to place a factory-built dwelling unit in a territorial jurisdiction governed by municipal ordinances and regulations.

Although federal regulation preempts cities from out-and-out discrimination against units built in compliance with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards – the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been hesitant to enforce the ‘enhanced preemption’ granted in the MHIA of 2000 – –  or even the Department’s own ‘preemption policy’ or statement of ‘internal guidance’ on local zoning matters.

And, even though state law in Arkansas prohibits cities from totally banning manufactured/modular home placements; restricting them only to rented lots in ‘parks’; or setting conditions/restrictions that are dissimilar to those for ‘site-built units’ – a number of cities still attempt to unduly restrict MH placements due to unsubstantiated fears of plummeting property values and ‘undesirables’ that their decisions-makers fear will inhabit such domiciles.

ZoningDiscriminationAgainstManufaturedHomeJDHarperExecuitveDirectorArkansasManufacturedHousingAssociationAMHAlogoIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We hope this decision will cause city leaders to consider other, non-arbitrary factors when making decisions about home placement within their towns.

When our organization is allowed to provide advice to cities on how to address the placement of factory-built units within their boundaries – we always caution against arbitrary restrictions (i.e. home value, age, etc.) that would determine if a home would be allowed.

Several tiny cities around McCrory had enacted similar restrictions, and have made changes to their ordinances in response to this lawsuit.

HUD-CodeEnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingImprovementAct2000IndustryVoicesJDHarperAMAADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The McCrory settlement was obtained by  Equal Justice Under Law,  a civil rights organization. The case will be the subject of a Daily Business News report. The headline and these graphics were provided by MHProNews, as is customary in trade media and other forms of journalism. The text comments were sent by JD Harper to MHProNews for publication. Other perspectives, comments, and news tips are welcomed. Send to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com with a bold subject line that says NEWS TIP or LETTER TO EDITOR, thank you.

If decision-makers in cities [particularly smaller towns] would take a look at today’s manufactured housing – instead of relying on outdated images, preconceived notions, and the myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that seem to be inextricably linked to this product – I believe they would find it relatively simple to develop ordinances and regulations that would allow the regulated placement of factory-built structures on individual lots and in multi-site developments in a manner that would encourage affordable housing growth.

The McCrory settlement is just another arrow in the quiver to use when city leaders attempt to discriminate against people who might not make as much money as the members of the planning commission or city council – or at least don’t want to spend more for a site-built home. ##

JDHarperExecutiveDirectorArkansasManufacturedHousingAssocPostedMHProNews

By JD Harper
AMHA

A Tale of Broken Hitches

November 29th, 2017 No comments

If you have been in the industry for anytime at all, especially in the area transportation, you have had a hitch failure. It always comes as an inconvenience, but can cause major damage, and injury to other motorists.

Unfortunately, that isn’t where this story starts.

This one starts on a somber November morning when 26 families are told they would be forced to leave a park many had lived in for years.

Some cried, some were mad, some just stood in shock!

The main question, of course, was why?

The owner was a nice compassionate man who had owned the park for years. The park was over 95 percent occupied. I went to see him and investigate what was happening.

Could this all just be a misunderstanding?

The meeting between the owner and I was a solemn one. He stated that it was true.  He was closing the park, and making everyone move.

Normally this isn’t that major of a concern, but this is the third park in my area to close or be re-purposed in less than one year.

Many of their residents live below the poverty line, and are struggling to make ends meet.

Where are they to move to?

Their homes will not pass many park requirements, due to age, and they cannot trade up to a new home that would pass due to their financial position.

This leaves many home owners to simply throw up their hands and walk away.

I asked the park owner to sell. I didn’t want it, nor is it in my long-term plans, but it made better sense then closing.

He declined my offer. He stated that the major driving force in the closing was state and city regulators. The city had recently annexed the area, and TECQ also played their part.

When it was all said and done, the owner couldn’t complete with such force. 

So, I set out with the team to help as many as we could.

We are working with 6 families and have moved 2.

This is where we come to our broken hitch. Due to the age and condition of the homes, we require a hold harmless be signed by all parties.

ShawnFullerIntegrityHomesManufacturedHomeProfessionalDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We know that these homes can be moved, but must be moved cautiously.

Sure enough, I pulled the most difficult one, and less the 3 miles from its new home, the hitch and header plate failed.

That’s the bad. It gets worse. It happened in front of an affluent high school right after lunch. And within minutes, we had over 15 police officers from 4 different agencies on the scene.

A not so simple repair became almost impossible with the red tape created in a matter of minutes. Some may be asking, why go that way?

It was our only permitted route.

Needless to say, we were able to make the repairs, and get the home safely transported.

The damage? None. I never went over 35 mph the entire time I was moving the home. And due to the fact I was in a school zone I was traveling between 10-15 mph.

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic-294x430

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

We were on site with the home before dark, and with a happy customer. She even argued with the officers that we had done nothing wrong. 

So here is my question to the industry.

What if? What if we get to a place where we don’t have a place to put our products because of overzealous regulators who run good small-and-large parks out of business?

We sit back, and say this can’t happen but it does everyday.

Also what happens when we take “affordable housing” out of our vocabulary, what are we? Just housing…like everybody else.

We need to be collectively active in protecting our industry. 

The two families that we were able to help had their homes installed before Thanksgiving, and I am wishing them a Merry Christmas. ##

ShawnRosaFullerIntegrityHomesTexasManufacturedHousingIndsutryVoicesManufacturedHomeProfessionalsMHProNewsBy Shawn Fuller,


MH Industry Professional, Texas

 

(Editor’s Note: Shawn’s story reminds me of Marty Lavin’s Back to the Cornfields, linked below, and stories too numerous to link. Comments or news tips on this or other industry relevant topics are invited at the link at the right.)

 

“Make MH Great Again” – Marty Lavin Exclusive

Now You Will Hear — the Rest of the Story

November 21st, 2017 No comments

JamesJimRAyotteCAEExecDirectorFloridaManufacturedHousingAssociationLogoIndustryVoicesBlogManufacturedHomeIndustryProfessionalNewsMHProNewsI have been a vocal critic of HUD’s Alternative Construction (AC) approval for carport-ready homes.  I don’t believe an AC approval for homes built with a host beam is warranted or that the AC approval process is the proper regulatory procedure.

I communicated my concerns to Pamela Danner, Administrator of the federal manufactured housing program in a face-to-face meeting.  I pointed out that there is no basis for requiring AC approval for homes designed carport-ready because HUD’s own Hurricane assessment data showed that no post-1994 constructed homes experienced more than exterior finish damage.  HUD’s assessment was consistent with the findings of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV) after four 2004 hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne) and Hurricane Wilma in 2005.  The DMV evaluated 52,233 mobile and manufactured homes and concluded no post-1994 homes experienced significant damage.

I also discussed the negative economic impact that HUD’s new policy would have on the manufactured housing industry.  In Florida, carports are a big deal.  Most land-lease communities require carports and an estimated 4,500 new carports will be installed this year. The cost of HUD’s new carport inspection requirement will be significant – in excess of $2 million a year in Florida alone, not counting the additional costs that will be incurred by home producers for obtaining design approval and conducting pre-onsite inspections. This cost will be borne by the homeowner who is installing the carport and those home owners will receive little or no benefit.

While I was disappointed that the hurricane assessment data that I presented to Ms. Danner did not result in the withdrawal of the AC approval requirement for carport-ready homes, the story doesn’t end there.

Florida is different than most states in that carports are regulated by the Florida Building Commission.  A building permit is required to install a carport and 100 percent of carports are inspected by a local building inspector to ensure that they comply with the Florida Building Code.  After not being able to convince HUD to rescind its carport AC approval requirement, I raised the possibility of combining the HUD on-site inspection requirement with the local building permit process to achieve a more efficient and cost effective process for satisfying  HUD’s requirements.  Pamela Danner was receptive to exploring this option and she proactively reached out to the Florida SAA and the Florida Building Commission for additional information.  Over the past few months I have been working with HUD, the Florida SAA, and Florida building officials to address some technical and logistical concerns.  Progress is being made.

AsAssocExecutiveMyJobAssessSituationSeekBestPossibleOutcomeBasedOnFactsAsIKnowThem-ManufacturedHousingIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This graphic highlighting a quote by Jim Ayotte was created by MHProNews, and was not part of Ayotte’s submission. As an FYI, in journalism, spotlighting a quotation, and headlines, are often done by the editor or publisher.

While the solution I am working on is not the one I wanted, I learned a long time ago that regulators have broad discretionary authority to impose certain regulatory requirements. As an association executive, my job is to assess the situation and seek the best possible outcome based on the facts as I know them.  Eliminating duplicative onsite inspections for carports will save Florida manufactured home buyers over $2 million a year in unnecessary regulatory costs.   This will make manufactured housing more affordable and that cost savings may be the difference between purchasing a new manufactured home or not.

While I disagree with HUD’s policy on carport-ready home designs, I will continue to collaborate with Ms. Danner and HUD to achieve the best results for our members and the industry at large.

So, in the infamous words of Paul Harvey, “And now you know — the rest of the story.” ##

(Editor’s Notes: while not stated in Ayotte’s request to publish this op-ed, industry readers may note that this column pertains to an issue raised by another award-winning state association executive, Andy Gallagher.  Gallagher recently pointed to the research that Jim Ayotte did about HUD and items related to this column by FMHA’s executive.  More on how Gallagher is related to this issue raised by Ayotte, are linked here and here. For an exclusive on the Trump Administration’s reported plan for HUD’s Pam Danner, click here. The headline was requested by Ayotte, and the graphic above that highlights a quote, was created by MHProNews. We Provide, You Decide.”©)

JamesJimRAyotteCAEExecDirectorFloridaManufacturedHousingAssociationLogoIndustryVoicesBlogManufacturedHomeIndustryProfessionalNewsMHProNewsJames R. Ayotte, CAE
Executive Director
Florida Manufactured Housing Association
1284 Timberlane Road
Tallahassee, FL  32312

MHC Pro, Paul Bradley, Sounds-Off on New Loan Program for Manufactured Home Owners

October 11th, 2017 No comments

Hi Tony,

Great announcement, huh?  Here’s my take and on-the-record comments:

First, understand that MH in land lease communities in NH is titled as real estate.  Hence, a lender makes a mortgage loan even if they’re financing only the home. Such a mortgage does not include the land and does not disrupt the underlying commercial financing.

Second, Fannie Mae began approving ROCs in 2008 for home only mortgage financing.  Unfortunately, soon after, the PMI companies left the market (due to the recession and problems in the residential mortgage market broadly) so the program languished with just 10 ROCs and two local banks for nearly a decade.

Last week’s announcement brings new life to this program.  The NHHFA will empower its originating lenders to originate residential mortgage loans for homes in ROCs and in turn sell those mortgages to Fannie Mae.  This will make long-term, fixed rate residential loans available on homes in ROCs.  With PMI, borrowers can pull down 95% LTV loans.  It’s how the mortgage market works.

PaulBradleyDutyToServeDTSChattelLendingManufacturedHousingIndustryHomesFannieMaeFHFAIndustryVoicesMHProNews

Editor’s Note: Graphic above and the headline are provided by the publisher, as is common in media. You can download the original article that Paul Bradley is commenting on, from this link here. To learn more about ROC USA, click the graphic above.

Now, two things:

  1. This is the very construct that land lease owners could establish.  In fact, it’s what Freddie Mac went to market with in the mid-2000s with a leasehold loan product that required titling as real estate.  Several states created an “opt in” real estate titling law for MH to take advantage of the program.  And, since, the Uniform Law Commission passed an opt in titling law for states to adopt.  It’s all in waiting.

 

  1. Residential mortgage loans will carry longer terms and lower interest rates than chattel even if the GSEs enter the chattel market with pilots next year.  That’s because mortgage loans are going into existing and very large securities.  Chattel will have a different securitization path.

So, as I’ve said in several industry talks I’ve given on the subject, there are parallels to what we’re doing for industry players interested in providing long-term secure homeownership opportunities.

Further, if a community owner is interested in selling and seeing their legacy continued with innovation like this, they should consider a sale to the residents.  We can help with that and enroll these communities in forward looking, transformative work like this HFA and Fannie Mae financing program.

We’re building a national network on the principle of security for homeowners, and it’s working!  Work for you?

Thanks.

PaulBradleyROCUSA-postedMHProNews-com-75x91-

Paul Bradley
President, ROC USA