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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.

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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? ##

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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”

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.

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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.

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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

Harper – Thank You Rev Donald Tye, Fighting for Enhanced Preemption of Manufactured Homes

July 28th, 2017 No comments

Tony,
I’ve been meaning to take a moment for a couple of weeks now, to send you this message. I apologize for mixing subjects, but – in the end – I believe you’ll find that all these topics relate to one another.

1)    Thank you for your direct question to HUD’s Pam Danner about the City of Kilgore’s plans to further limit the placement of manufactured homes in that city.  I’ve repeatedly questioned why HUD and the administrator’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs hasn’t acknowledged that preemption was significantly enhanced by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA of 2000).

2)   Several of Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.’s comments which you published brought back memories of an MHI Land Use Conference held in Chicago in the late 90’s.  I remember a speaker at that event – a middle-aged black gentleman, who was (I believe) a member of the Illinois General Assembly.  He coined a term for the discrimination by local governments against many forms of affordable housing, particularly manufactured home placements.

That speaker called it “economic racism.”

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Collage credit, MHProNews.com – this and the headline are provided by the publisher, as is customary with Op-Eds. The statements are those of the writer.

I’ve thought about the power in that statement many times since that meeting, knowing that he had lived-through the Civil Rights movement.

I’ve spent countless evenings in municipal buildings made of cinder-blocks with bad fluorescent lighting. I’d attend meetings, ‘waging a seemingly-endless war on ignorance’ about our affordable homes (and the people who live in our product) with local decision-makers over the past quarter-century.

So, I appreciate and agree with Rev. Tye’s powerful comments.

3)    In conclusion, I believe many in our society view manufactured housing as some sort of ‘housing of last resort’ for:

  • poor people,
  • illegal immigrants,
  • rednecks,
  • divorcees on public assistance and
  • other undesirable elements of the population.

It’s a stereotype/stigma perpetuated by the media which creates and/or re-enforces barriers to the acceptance, and highest use, of manufactured homes as an affordable housing resource.

I remember a small-town mayor telling me – ‘off the record’ of course – his perspective on inclusionary zoning in his city: “It ain’t the houses, son… It’s the people that live in them.” ##  (Publisher’s note: see the graphic, and link below on Rev. Donald Tye Jr.)

JDHarperExecutiveDirectorArkansasManufacturedHousingAssocPostedMHProNews

 

J.D. Harper
Executive Director
Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA)
1123 South University – Suite #720
Little Rock, AR 72204

 

 

 

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Click the image above to see one of the articles and topics that these quotes from Tye come from.

 

 

Manufactured Home Communities – aka “Mobile Home Park” – Closures – Viewpoint by Marty Lavin

April 23rd, 2017 No comments

As with many things in life, the matter of park closings is highly complicated with few easy answers.

Probably the best answer is to allow the park residents the option to purchase the property. Not fool proof, but meets the burden of the failure of the park owner to allow residents to maintain the perpetual rental of space for their home, which is implicit in buying a home in the property.

When most (manufactured home community residents) buy a home in the property, rarely if ever is he handed a notice that the community could be closed on short notice, their only relief being whatever measure their state or city has for park closings. Most residents rarely consider park closings as a threat till the specter arrives.

On the other hand, in a capitalist nation we still behave in some areas as though the park owners have no legal responsibility to allow the residents to stay, and can sell the property to others at will, and empty the community with little hindrance or concern, again, subject to whatever relevant laws control the closing.

I have been surprised in areas where park closings are common that authorities do not compel a statement be given in writing as part of the move-in process alerting the new resident of the right of the park owner to sell or close the community and what compensation, if any, is available to the resident on closing.

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Headlines and these graphic are provided by MHProNews, as is customary with many in media.

I’m also wondering, but not enough to research the subject, whether upon notice of closing, residents should get an attorney to plead their case that the park owner allowed them to have a home in the park, often encouraging their entry, knew or had reason to know most people would get a long term mortgage to purchase their home. Often at closure, many years mortgage term remain unpaid. It is here the lender gets the downside loss, and is not particularly beneficial for the home owner.

Remember, it is not unusual that when the home must be moved or resold because of a closing, the stars do not line up well for the home owner. First, the home must be moved, there as a cost of moving and the difficulty of finding a lot to accommodate the home. Quite a hand full, usually not ending well, unless the state laws give some protection to the resident. The process is pretty destructive of our financially fragile customer base.

Frankly, this mercenary park closing without adequate compensation for the resident is morally wrong if not legally. It does no credit to the industry that so much of this happens.

Meanwhile, I was amused that people are forming groups to try to save endangered parks to keep them open.

I wondered where these folks were in the 1970s when I was doing park development zoning in the north east.

At virtually every meeting, the facility used had to be upgraded to the school gym to handle all the attendees. All seem to me to be carrying tar and feathers and had mean looks in their eyes. How many parks could have been built to accommodate the demand had there been far less resistance? Who knows, but far more. And it continues even today.

I guess that train has passed, but the California boys being pretty bright, I’m sure they are still trying to build parks in less expensive land areas. How is that going? ##

(Editor’s Note: The commentary above is in response to the mainstream media article, linked here. Lavin is the winner of MHI’s Totaro Award for his lifetime contributions in financing, was a mobile and manufactured home retailer, as well as  an owner/operator of manufactured home communities.  Some of Lavin’s other insightful, popular commenataries are linked below.)

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Photo from Mary Lavin, Esq.

MARTIN (Marty) LAVIN
Att’y, Consultant, Expert Witness
in Manufactured Housing.
350 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
802.238.7777

 

Recent, also by Marty Lavin:

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/not-enough-hunger/

MartyLavinJDExpertWitnessTataroAwardWinner-NotEnoughHunger-IndustryVoicesMHProNews--500x365

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/industryvoices/deja-vu-again-a-new-manufactured-housing-institute-mhi-initiative/

JD Harper – Manufactured Housing Assoc Exec Director – Sounds Off on Zoning & HUD Failure to Enforce Preemption

December 7th, 2016 No comments

Tony, thanks for the opportunity to comment on the actions of the City of Stuttgart relating to the placement of manufactured/modular homes within the city’s boundaries.

This action by the city – like most others we encounter – is a reaction to the response of residents to a factory-built home being placed in a residential zone.

City officials look at the placement of the home as a mistake – something that should be remedied and not allowed to happen again – rather than as the right of a resident to exercise his/her housing choice on land that is zoned for single-family housing.

With 500 cities and incorporated towns in Arkansas – it is increasingly difficult for a one-person staff to keep up with all of the ordinances and regulations being enforced by local governments.

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While Arkansas does have a law that prohibits cities from banning manufactured homes or restricting their placement to only leased-land in parks or communities – most cities view factory-built structures through the same prism as billboards, cell towers and sexually-oriented businesses… something to be avoided if at all possible, but restricted and heavily regulated if allowed at all.

It has been our organization’s policy over the past two decades to offer assistance to cities as they address manufactured/modular housing placement within their boundaries – and not to ‘pick fights’ with cities to force factory-built homes into areas where they would not be compatible with surrounding structures or have values consistent with other forms of housing.

I’ve told many city officials that I don’t believe that manufactured homes belong on every lot in every zone in every town – but I DO believe there are MANY lots in MANY towns which restrict manufactured homes where a factory-built residence would provide access to decent, affordable housing for working Arkansans — without having an adverse impact on surrounding property values or the quality of life in that neighborhood.

The larger question is why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has failed to embrace its duty to encourage inclusive zoning and acceptance of a Federally-regulated housing product.

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Image credit, MHProNews.

Recent efforts to urge HUD regulators to update outdated and obsolete guidance and policy relating to the preemptive nature of the HUD program – even after the 2000 Act which ‘strengthened preemption’ – calling for preemption to be ‘broadly and liberally construed – have fallen upon deaf ears within the Department. [See attached letter to HUD officials].

Thanks for allowing me to vent. ##

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Photo credit: LinkedIn.

JD Harper
Executive Director
Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association
1123 South University – Suite #720
Little Rock, AR 72204

(Editor’s Note: This is a widespread issue that Harper is addressing in this Op-Ed. He is spot on with his statement that HUD has routinely failed to enforce the enhanced preemption under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000). See a related article, linked here. MHIA 2000 download, linked here.)

About Government Forcing Manufactured Home Communities to Pay for Amenities

October 18th, 2016 No comments

I received your email on the article that highlighted the amenities package on which the counsel person in Austin was planning to introduce legislation. It was an interesting concept and one that may be a little misplaced.

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Editor’s note: the image collage above is by MHProNews, and was not part of the guest writer’s article or commentary. This is provided for those who are not familiar with this operation, and thus enhances the understanding of the guest writer’s commentary.

My comments on the article would be as follows:

1)      For new communities (developments):

  1. It seems to me that the amount of amenities depends largely on the clientele of the park. Nicer (4 and 5 star) communities likely already will have these amenities, so it’s a non-issue. However, lower quality (and therefore cost) communities are likely to, as you mentioned in your email, have to increase the pricing on their rent in order to accommodate the loss of rentable area and the development of the amenities.
  2. Notably, there was no talk of providing anything in the way of property tax or other tax incentives as are often done for other multifamily property types. If affordable housing is in such dire need and the council members would like them to be of higher quality (with more amenities and such), then why hasn’t the city council put their money where their mouth is and provided some incentives to bring the housing into the market?
  3. At the end of the day, this probably will have the same effect that it has had in other cities where they make the zoning and development more difficult. New developments will move out of the city and into the county where the laws are less restrictive and it allows them to provide an amenities package that is more consistent with the pricing of the product.
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Image collage and headline are by MHProNews. The link at the top of this article is a download to the topic which drew this thoughtful commentary.

2)      For existing communities:

  1. The advent of a “community garden” is probably fine with most owners as it is a smaller space and requires little to no capital investment.
  2. However, there are a number of communities in which adding that space would require taking away a home site. I would suggest that the city, again, put its money where its mouth is and purchase the lots which they would like to see a community garden or play area for 125% of appraised value since this would be, in effect, eminent domain.
  3. In purchasing the sites for play space and a garden, cities could make the argument that they are helping to keep and improve quality affordable housing while not devaluing the property for the community owners.

Those are my basic thoughts. It was an interesting article and I don’t wholly disagree with the sentiment that it would be nice to have higher quality MHCs out there. However, someone has to pay for it and considering that low income housing is in low enough supply as it is, city councils may want to be a little careful how much they burden those trying to bring the product to the market.

Thanks,

MJ

mirkomjvokovichbellwetherenterprise-manufacturedhomecommunityindustryvoicesguestblogmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

 

MJ Vukovich
Vice President
Bellwether Enterprise
225 South 6th Street    |    Suite 4100    |
Minneapolis, MN 55402

 

(Editor’s Note: MJ Vukovich’s commentary is on the same topic as the comments from TMHA’s DJ Pendleton, which are linked here.  Thoughtful, original commentary on issues that impact manufactured housing professionals or our customers are welcome.)

Discrimination, Injustice against manufactured housing – a Call for Action by Industry Professionals

August 30th, 2016 No comments

Tony, this news story out of Dover, DE is yet another example of blatant agenda and discrimination against our industry. More importantly, this is discrimination against affordable housing and the individuals who live in manufactured or pre-fabricated homes.

If anything, this Dover zoning/MHC story is a case of officials harming their own constituents. Rent control is proven not to work, save to drive out more affordable housing over time. Further, in neighboring Maryland, there are conventional houses built on land-lease.  Do you see the excuses used against manufactured homes in Dover being used against those conventional houses built on a land-lease in Maryland?  No.

TMHA’s D. J. Pendleton, quoted in the article linked here, was correct.  Excuses by public officials to deny manufactured homes are often fig leaves, mere window-dressing used to discriminate against manufactured housing, land-lease communities and sizeable groups of Americans.

The problems with the ABC TV news story out of Houston is also a case of media ignorance or bias.  By saying what kind of housing the shooting took place, almost implies that the house had something to do with the crime.

When have you ever heard a reporter say, “there’s been a murder in a site-built home”…?

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Graphic credit, MHProNews.com. The Dover story Brad is commenting on, is linked here, or by clicking the image above.

Lisa Tyler, Ph.D. and William P McCarty, Ph.D. have researched this issue of crime in manufactured home communities, and have disproven the old MHC’s and crime myth.

Todd Lamb is correct. Hands-on owners and managers who properly run their manufactured home communities – and lawfully screen for criminal history – will routinely find less crime than conventional housing neighborhoods in the same area.

However, I believe more than anything that these injustices should be motivation for us as an industry to do everything we can to elevate our brand identity.

If we continue to be complacent, history will continue to repeat itself and we will see more and more zoning laws that harm and hinder our much needed American manufactured home industry. ##
Editor’s Note, the comments above were submitted in reply to the story linked here, and to another story we will link up soon.)

brad-nelms-coo-manufactured-homes-com-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comBrad W. Nelms
Mr. Nelms works with ManufacturedHomes.com and ModularHomes.com,
two companies dedicated to raising the brand image of manufactured homes and modular homes.

Responding to Negative News About a trashy Baytown “Mobile Home Park”

August 27th, 2016 No comments

Stories like this are the kind of thing that generally helps cast such a negative light on our industry.  It is very hard for me to advocate for manufactured housing when not only do I have to overcome the typical negative stereotyping of our product but also stories such as this.

As in most types of reporting, the stories that get the most traction are the ones that focus on negative aspects, and a quick look at mainstream media in this election year only bolsters this.

I am a firm believer in the notion of two sides to every story albeit in this case it would appear to be hard to justify the opposing side.

Admittedly I have had limited experience in communities, as my experiences has been 25 years in retail and a little over a year in quality control at a HUD code manufacturer.

NotAllCommunities5starLocations-NeedAffordableHousingKarlRaddeSoutherComfortHomes

However, recently we had an experience purchasing and taking over two communities similar to the one in this article.  In our case, this involved the removal and demolition of approximately 20 old homes.

We had to jump several hurdles to obtain permits to make needed repairs, convince city planners and staffers that while their experiences from the prior owner we in fact negative, our desire was to take something decrepit and turn it once again into a source of affordable housing for residents of the city.

Not all communities can be “5 star” resort type destinations, but there is a strong need for basic, secure, well-kept communities to serve affordable housing.

Ultimately we decided our expertise was more in retail and sold the communities and I am happy to say that the first one is up and running, nearly full, and fulfilling that housing need.

It would seem to be worthwhile to know how the community got in the state it is in.  Obviously neglect in maintenance was a contributing factor, but it would also seem there is possibly some oversight by city officials for whatever reasons.

At the end of the day it takes everyone working together to better the situation, and that must include reasonable, fair and balanced regulations by cities and towns – and not the trend to have outright bans on all manufactured housing.  Our product is a good one and I for one will do all I can to promote it. ##

(Editor’s Note, this Op-Ed is in response to the Daily Business News story, linked here, in which Karl Radde was quoted. Radde is the past Chairman of Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA), and is currently the Chairman of the National Retailers Council of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).)

KarleRaddeSouthernComfortHomesBryanTX-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Karl Radde, President & GM
Southern Comfort Homes
979-778-8224

 

HUD Code Manufactured Housing, “The Discrimination Code”

August 25th, 2016 No comments

Tony, you are so right on the HUD Code has become a deadly “discrimination code,” especially as it applies to manufactured home financing.

But it doesn’t end there.

Recent stories here and elsewhere have chronicled the inability to site a manufactured home in certain areas, where MODs pass, but HUDs fail, in spite of the fact the exterior and interior may be indistinguishable.

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Methinks we may have to face how much we want to continue to allow the “Scarlet Code” to continue to damage our brand. ##

(Editor’s note: Marty’s comments are in reference to a Daily Business News article on zoning and connected challenges, linked here, and related commentary, linked here. For an indepth video interview with award-winning MH finance pro and community owner, Marty Lavin, click here.)

marty-lavin-posted-on-mhpronewsMARTIN (Marty) LAVIN
att’y, consultant, expert witness
350 Main Street
BURLINGTON, VT 05401
802.238.7777
only in factory built housing

Zoning, Opening up Urban Infill and Making Sure Citizens who want Manufactured Homes are Heard

August 25th, 2016 No comments

For the last three or four years, the South Carolina association’s focus is to move beyond killing bad zoning proposals and working to reopen areas that have been closed to manufactured homes for many years.

In some areas it’s been easy. Progressive planning officials in several towns have been very interested in using manufactured homes for “urban” infill.

Here’s a case where the people of Georgetown actually petitioned to allow manufactured homes.  Sometimes citizens have a better understanding of the role manufactured homes can play in meeting local needs for work-force housing than many officials.

EdShaferGovtAffairsDirectorManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolinaMHISCProgessiveTownsUrbanInfillManufacturedHomes-postedIndustryVoices-MHProNews

This effort is still on-going.  MHISC will work with the members of the subcommittee to make sure the voices of the 150 residents that asked for the rezoning to accommodate manufactured homes are heard. ##

(Editor’s note: These thoughtful comments were sent in the wake of the Daily Business News report on a zoning related case, linked here. Two more Op-Eds on zoning are linked here and here.)

EdSchaferGovtAffairsManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolina-postedIndustryVoices-MHProNewsEd Schafer
Government Affairs Director
Manufactured Housing Institute of SC