About Missing Passage of Preserving Access

December 16th, 2015 No comments

The word is out.  The MHI backed bill won’t be included in the omnibus appropriations package that will be passed soon. My view is that the Preserving Access  bill never had a prayer anyway, as President Obama would have vetoed it, as he has made it clear that he won’t allow ANY changes to Dodd-Frank.  That shows just how disconnected he and his administration are from the real world. Getting Congress to add it to the appropriations bill would have been nice window-dressing, but it was otherwise never going to see the light of day.

Personally, I am not surprised by FHFA excluding chattel. The GSEs clearly never wanted to do chattel loans, and even if they added chattel, I believe they would make it so restrictive that it wouldn’t amount to much volume. The industry wanted FHA Title I chattel opened back up several years ago, and when it finally did get reopened, it wasn’t much of a program and is barely used. IF the FHFA allows chattel, my prediction is it will end up like the FHA Title I program with limited use and limited benefit to the industry. 

On a side note, I have seen articles written about ‘back room’ meetings with finance company and industry leaders occurring with the FHFA. As the leader of the second largest lender in the industry, I have not been given any briefing about this if it happened, and I certainly wasn’t invited if the meetings did take place. But then again, I have not been consulted by anyone at MHI for several years on anything, so maybe I’m just out of the loop. 

And once again, I will state that not having MHI and MHARR working together on issues like these is a travesty, and the lack of a unified voice makes it easy for the bureaucrats in DC to turn their back on us. 

Why we can’t pool our efforts and resources and present a cohesive and defensible plan on no-brainer issues like these that benefit the ENTIRE industry is beyond me. 

DonGlissonJrCEOTriadFinancial-postedIndustryVoicesMHProNews-Don Glisson Jr.
Chief Executive Officer
Triad Financial Services, Inc.
4336 Pablo Oaks Court
Jacksonville, FL. 32224

 

(Editor’s Note: Extensive commentary on these issues is found in the interview, Another Cup of Coffee with...Don Glisson, Jr., linked here.)

One Click, One Minute For More MH Lending

December 7th, 2015 No comments

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Over the next couple of days, the Senate and House will be completing work on an omnibus appropriation bill. We need you to contact your Congressperson and Senators TODAY to ask them to urge them to put the provisions of H.R. 650/S. 682 into an omnibus appropriation bill.

This takes ONE CLICK HERE.

If the link does not work, here is the URL to copy into the address bar of your browser: http://cqrcengage.com/mhi/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=140794

One click. One minute of your time. 

Thanks for all you do in support of the industry. ##

tyler-craddock-exacutive-director-VirginaManufacturedModularHomeAssociation-VAMMA-postedMHProNews-com-Tyler Craddock
Executive Director
Virginia Manufactured and Modular Housing Association (VAMMA)

 

Editor’s Note: Other letters on Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing are found linked below

More Manufactured Home Loans Means More Homes Sold in 2016

Crossing the Finish Line in DC is up to YOU!

 

More Manufactured Home Loans Means More Homes Sold in 2016

December 7th, 2015 No comments

We’ve been talking about getting some relief from the Dodd–Frank law. We have an opportunity to get that done this year. The situation is that we getting very close to final decisions being made about what policy material will be included in the very large omnibus appropriations bill. It’s literally all the appropriations bills rolled into one bill. There will be winners and losers in this process. Not every policy matter that interest groups want will be included in the bill.

The winners will be those who want it the most. Do you really want some reform this year? Do you want more lending for 2016?  If so, please contact your House member and two Senators.

We can’t presume they will help us. Even if they have indicated support, we have to keep reminding them. It’s a mad house there as Congress tries to close out business for the year.

Take a couple of minutes today – not tomorrow, or some day soon – to click on the link below.

This link is MHI’s system to contact your two Senators and your House members. It’s really easy and quick.

Let’s do it now!

Thanks,

Joe

P.S. We really need to win this year….conditions are always changing in Congress. We never know what the situation will be like in 2016. It’s an election year and bills will be harder to pass next year!

joe-kelley-iowa-manufactured-housing-association-industry-voices-mhpronews-com-1Joe Kelly

Iowa Manufactured Housing Association

 

(Editor’s note, please see Ross Kinzler’s OpEd on this same topic at this link.)

Crossing the Finish Line in DC is up to YOU!

December 7th, 2015 No comments

In the next 10 days, the industry has a chance to turn around its fortunes regarding financing.  Step 1 is to pass S 682, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.  It’s companion bill, HR 650 has already passed the House on a bi-partisan vote.  In the Senate, there is no chance for our bill to pass as a standalone bill because it will be vetoed.  If however, it is attached to an appropriations bill that must pass, the President will have no choice but to sign it. 

Let me say that again, if S 682 is passed as part of an appropriations bill, the President will sign it.

We need industry members to press for S 682 to be attached as a so-called policy rider.  This is a normal process for getting legislation passed at the end of a session.

Please Call or Fax Your Senators.

Here is the message: 

1. We need S 682, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, added as a policy rider to the Banking Appropriations Bill.

2. The bill HR 650 passed the House on a bi-partisan basis.

3. The bill addresses the overreach of the CFPB in applying Dodd-Frank to manufactured housing in a way it doesn’t apply it to real estate agents. ##

RossKinzlerWisconsinHousingAllianceExecutiveDirector-IndustryVoicesblogManufacturedHousingProfessionalnews-MHProNews-comRoss Kinzler
Executive Director
Wisconsin Housing Alliance

(Editor’s Note: MHProNews supports this bill and our publisher has personally contacted his Senators and Congressional Representative, as Ross Kinzler suggests. Joe Kelly’s OpEd on this same topic, is linked here.

For those who want more information, see Lesli Gooch’s column this month, linked here. Ross and Joe are correct, just take 5 now, and let’s get this done.)

Could Long-Term Home-Only Mortgage Loans in Land Lease Communities Rise Again?

December 7th, 2015 No comments

I read with great interest Paul Bradley’s recent article in MHProNews. I agree with Paul that there is an opportunity forthcoming to bring back a program that was created by Freddie Mac – one of the two (2) Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE’s) – in the early 2000’s. That program had Freddie providing conventional, residential home-only mortgage loans at market rates in selected Land Lease Communities where the residents had a long-term lease.

I was one of a very small group of professionals involved in the manufactured housing industry who worked directly with Feddie Mac to create that program. I know firsthand how well the program worked for residents in three (3) land lease communities that we owned when the program was active.

This was not a simple program to get out of the starting gate. It took well over two (2) years to draft the program, garner internal agency approvals, work through the idiosyncrasies, deal with legal and appraisal issues and partner with a lender to finally bring the program to the market. All of the work involved was not easy to accomplish, yet in the end the program became a reality. And, in my opinion, the program was a success.

People will question why the Freddie program was a success, even though it was not available for more than a few short years. There are many reasons why the program ultimately was cut short by Freddie Mac, but now is not the time to rehash those issues.

What is important is to look at the successes of the program. The template and performance are set for the GSE’s to use, so that time is saved. The success is proven by the number of performing, conventional long-term mortgage loans originated in land lease communities at then current market rates.

As stated above, our firm utilized this lending program in three communities. The home buyers were thrilled to have this loan option available. In fact, after we began to offer the program, rates dropped significantly. Almost every borrower refinanced their loan at a lower interest rate without any issues or penalties!

With complex programs come many questions and concerns. Let me focus on two important issues.

First, under the Freddie Mac program, the mortgages on the homes did not impact the underlining financing of the land lease community. This was a critical issue resolved early-on while we were drafting the program. Documentation was required and provided from the underlining land lease mortgage lender to Freddie Mac, assuring that the community lender would respect the long-term leases of the residents.

Secondly, there is no relationship between the Freddie Mac Program and the proposal by the Uniform Law Commission to title the manufactured homes as “real property.”  Although there were various phrases and terminology utilized in the Freddie Mac program, there is zero connection to the ULC proposal, which is important, as the ULC plan gives current MH personal property lenders heartburn for a variety of reasons.

According to MHI and others, the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) will soon issue a draft Duty to Serve rule. It could be a great opportunity for manufactured home lending if one of the recommendations suggests a lending program similar to the Freddie Mac pilot. Having another viable lending option would be a positive step in the market place.

I stand ready to work with the parties involved on this or any other lending option once the FHFA rules are known. Feel free to contact me, indicating your interest or support. ##

rick-rand-great-value-homes-manufactured-home-pro-news-industry-voices-guestblogRichard J. “Rick” Rand
President
Great Value Homes, Inc.

9458 N. Fairway Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53217-1321

414-352-3855

414-352-3631 (fax)

414-870-9000 (cell)

RickRand@gvhinc.net

Calling MH Innovators . . . Let’s be realistic about Duty to Serve and get something done to bring Home-Only Loans to our Manufactured Home Communities

December 4th, 2015 No comments

The Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) will soon issue a draft Duty to Serve (DTS) rule. The final rule that follows the brief comment period will tell Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae what the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) will have to do in terms of providing loans to consumers for manufactured homes (MH). The ruling will influence things for as long as the two GSEs are in fact government-sponsored, which I bet will be a very long time.

Everyone involved in the land-lease community (LLC) sector wants there to be more chattel lenders. Clearly, a healthy housing sector cannot rely on just three national lenders and a bunch of captives.

Will DTS add the GSEs to this short list of chattel lenders?

The short answer is no. The FHFA will not require the GSEs to start financing chattel MH loans.

There are three very basic political realities that make calls for GSE chattel lending entirely hollow:

  1. The GSEs will do everything possible to not add chattel lending to their products list. They were burned in the late 90s by large pools of chattel MH loans and they still remember it.
  1. The FHFA won’t make them. The FHFA has both a “safety and soundness” responsibility for GSE oversight and a Duty to Serve mandate. Under safety and soundness, the FHFA will not require the GSEs to incorporate chattel based solely upon the record of chattel loan performance.
  1. Industry and consumer groups are not working together to create any real pressure though they’re not far apart from my read of things. That said, even together they probably couldn’t overturn factors 1 and 2.

I note #3 because it’s been my experience that lawmakers and regulators don’t like being in the position of settling debates between opposing parties. When faced with that sort of disagreement, regulators will, whenever possible, choose deferral and non-action.

Before you get caught up in the inevitable diatribe that will follow the draft DTS rule, consider an alternative based upon an opening that I expect we will see in the rule.

I expect the FHFA will look at bringing back a pilot program that Freddie Mac and some well-known industry leaders implemented in early 2000’s. Specifically, that program had Freddie providing conventional residential home only mortgage loans in LLCs where there was a long-term lease.

Don’t say it can’t be done. It’s been done. I and the other LLC owners who spearheaded the program with Freddie Mac have done it. Home only mortgages that don’t compromise the underlying land (the LLC) or your ability to finance or sell the LLC. But, they do make conventional rates and terms available in communities possible.

How would buyers of homes in your LLC respond to a bank making conventional residential home loans in your community? Could you sell more homes on vacant sites if lender would do 10% down-payment and 30-year fixed rate financing?

Such a program would require long-term leases because conventional lenders won’t lend long-term on a home that doesn’t have a long-term lease. I know of community owners with 20 year leases today so this isn’t too much of stretch, really.

And, don’t be confused with the term mortgage. Yes, the home would be titled as real estate and the security interest would be a mortgage on the home only. The titling of the home and the mortgage instrument don’t include the land and don’t interfere with your commercial mortgage. This type of lending has been done in a range of leasehold arrangements. It works.

Understandably, not all “parks” would make the trade-off. But, higher-end LLCs where the highest and best use is a LLC and where the homes are relatively expensive, conventional loan rates would be a significant benefit to both buyers and LLC owners. It’s a different value proposition and a different public image than a “park”, indeed.

But, for those who are interested, let’s pull together and urge the FHFA to keep or include home only mortgage lending in LLCs in the final rule. Let’s make sure the GSEs know that there’s interest in using home only mortgages in some LLCs.

What we can’t have is a chorus in unison saying, “Make them do chattel!” That’s the equivalent of spitting into the wind. Join the chorus if you want more of the same, just cover your face.

The Duty to Serve is too important to squander. Drop me a line if you want to learn more and coordinate input to the FHFA’s draft rule when it gets released. It will happen fast, which is why I’m going public with my assessment of where we’ll be once the draft rule is published.

We as an industry need to let the FHFA and GSEs know that some innovators in the market want to find a solution to getting 4% home only mortgage loans in our communities. ##

PaulBradleyROCUSA-postedMHProNews-com-75x91-Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA.

 

 

(Editor’s Note: Paul Bradley is featured in a new video interview, see this link here.  As on any MH issue, we welcome confirming or other viewpoints.)

 

 

Why Potential New MH Lenders Hesitate Entering the MH Market – What MHCs can do to boost lending

December 2nd, 2015 No comments

Tony,
Shine your spotlight on this topic, please. 

Our firm made loans in a nice manufactured home community.  One of those home loans defaulted. 

ManufacturedHomeMHCtriestobuyfor10K

Other exterior views, and views of each interior room of the home was provided by the lender involved, including other public documentation and non-private evidence of their allegations.

We contacted the property manager when we repossessed it in November of 2014 and told her that we would like to leave the home there and we would pay them a 10% commission to sell it. She said, great we can move it quickly, especially since it’s in such good condition. (Older lady lived in it and died – see photos).

ManufacturedHomeMHCtriestobuyfor10K-left-Kitchen

Kitchen view 1.

ManufacturedHomeMHCtriestobuyfor10k-right-Kitchen

Kitchen view 2.

Our field rep made periodic calls and even explained our special rate that we would offer applicants on any of our firms repossessed homes. 

Anyway longer story short, that manager is gone. 

The field rep called on the new manager. This one now says the home will never sell, however “we will give you $10,000 for it.” NADA current value is $48,900. So we didn’t want to do sell for that 10k price, of course.

ManufacturedHomeMHCtriestobuyfor10K-partKitchenDining

Dining/Kitchen view 3.

Now we are getting threats for $5,700 in past due lot rent, though our agreement prohibited that. 

When will the community owners in your MH industry realize that there are reasons why so few lenders are left in MH? Sure, CFPB

ManufacturedHomeMHCtriestobuyfor10K-partKitchen

Dining kitchen view 4.

regulations are a negative factor. But another negative is the poor  professional behavior that flows from some, not all, manufactured home community owners and managers.

Please publish this, but withhold the names involved for now. Maybe, just maybe, that kind of community manager or owner will think about how embarrassing it would be if their names were published in connection with such short sighted behavior.

Thanks for all you do to advance MH. It’s a great industry, but some behave like it’s still the “trailer house” days. ##

ManufacturedHomeMHCtriestobuyfor10K-partMasterBath

One view of the master bath, other views and bedrooms looked equally clean and appealing.

(Editor’s Note: on occasion, MHProNews will publish letters-to-the-editor or OpEds sans the name and/or company who supplied it. That is done entirely at our discretion. But part of the rule of thumb we follow is this: is the person someone we know, and the item under discussion important and sensitive enough, to warrant publishing it anonymously? This letter fits all of those check boxes for us. The photos of the home shown were only part of the documentation provided to us by the sender of this lender.

As a consultant to the industry, and as an editor, I would agree with the writer on the following points: it is short sighted and costly to the firm involved and to the industry-at-large when a community operator or retailer tries to ‘steal’ a home from a lender.

ManufacturedHomeMHCtriestobuyfor10K-partMasterBath

Living room view, facing front door – as noted above – other views of this home, outside and inside, where equally clean and appealing. The most notable item that jumped out calling for attention was the wooden steps on the top photo, which can be a relatively low cost update or replacement item.

The successful exit of lenders (as well as home owners) from a home they own is a key component to protecting existing lenders, and encouraging new ones to enter into the MH lending space. The cost in terms of lost opportunities far outweighs the short term profit gained from ‘stealing’ a house.

We hope the upper management for the community in question will realize the error made, and will make good with this lender – treating them as a “partner,” rather than a “mark.” Should the lender opt to litigate this matter, we can foresee reporting that as news in the Daily Business News.

Final thought for now. For those considering lending on manufactured homes, there is documentation and processes that have successfully been put into place by MH lenders. “Park agreements” that cover such matters are part of that documentation. Most communities will honor the park agreements they enter into, and the current lenders all report being profitable. Even when U.S. Bank exited MH lending, they reported they were profitable – they pulled out of MH lending for other reasons, not due to a lack of profitability. We know a number of firms interested in entering the MH lending space, and a story like this should be a reason for dotting i’s and crossing t’s, as opposed to not making a move that can be a mutual victory to prospective lenders and their customers.

Other comments on this topic or related are welcome.)

The Importance and Value of Independent MH Trade Publications

November 24th, 2015 No comments

MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com are both good communications resources for the Manufactured Housing Industry. I and many others at 21st Mortgage and at MHI logon to see the latest news, interviews, debates, videos, opinions and reports they publish. Having a trade publisher that presents thoughtful, respectful commentary independent of any association’s perspective – as important as an association’s view can be – can be a big asset to advancing the MH Industry’s cause. Let me explain why.

There are times that publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – or a writer or interviewed person on one of his trade media sites – will take a view different than that of a given association.  

Respectfully and thoughtfully done, that can lead to a healthy discussion. Such discussions are how industry members can learn from each other and grow.  We may agree or disagree, but a quality, candid and respectful discussion that clarifies issues has true value.

When MHI or another association finds Tony or one of his guest writer’s taking a view clearly supportive of an Industry association’s stated position, that should bring more confidence to all; precisely because they share an independent viewpoint. 

A “yes man” has limited value, while the thoughtful agreement or discussion from a variety of engaged players is all-the-more compelling and powerful.

At 21st Mortgage, we have access to a wide variety of resources that the independent business or professional in MH may lack. While anyone can gain value from their industry trade publications, independent business owners can gain valuable insight from the industry news, tips and views found on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com. 

Tony is routinely at MHI meetings, and attends the briefings and sessions. He is engaged. When he says he supports HR 650/S 682, he walks the walk in word and deed. He has clearly supported the earlier versions of the bill and commented as such in his publications.

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices

We all make mistakes. I know that Tony has corrected errors when they are brought to his attention. His publication accepts opinion articles or will share views in interviews that may differ from his own published position. My impression is that Tony isn’t looking for ‘an amen corner,’ rather, he wants a variety of views that get people to think, talk and take action. 

At times, MHI presents messages in ways differing or emphasizing one point over another than Tony’s publications. For example, Tony acknowledges that due to CFPB regulations, there is an impact on MH lending at $75,000, and states as much in videos and articles. On this we agree. He tells me his emphasis of the impact to MH on homes below $20,000 is because of feedback he gets from home sellers. While we are choosing to focus on two different segments of our borrowers, the overall message is still the same.  To rephrase, Tony’s publications and MHI are both correct on this issue. There is no daylight, just a difference in delivery.

I’m happy to commend Tony and his team members for the important work they do to advocate for our MH industry. Perhaps one of the more useful points that can be made about their value is that others in the mainstream media and in government have cited Tony, MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com, and/or have shared his pro-industry take on a wide range of MH related subjects. They’ve done positive and profitable work promoting the MH industry, events, products and services.

We hope his team continues their years of efforts to provide a balanced and useful source of info on MH. Their growth and success are good news for our MH Industry. ##

tim-williams-CEO-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-currentManufacturedHousingInstituteChairman-IndustryVoices-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-Tim Williams
President/CEO 21st Mortgage Corp.
MHI Chairman.

The Fire Sprinklers and Manufactured Housing Debate – Two Views

November 5th, 2015 No comments

(Editor’s noteMHProNews.com/MHLivingNews.com: Let’s begin by stressing our respect for firefighters, Lorraine Carli, and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA).

One of our mottos states, “We Provide, You Decide.” © In that spirit, we welcome thoughtful commentary, differing or opposing views, such as the views expressed by Ms. Carli, below. We would concur from the outset to the fact that fire sprinklers save lives.

First, Ms. Carli, then the MHProNews reply.

Fire Sprinklers Save Lives

Dear Tony:
Thank you for the recent article by Jan Hollingsworth on fire safety in manufactured homes.  The 1976 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards have played a major role in the increased safety in these products.  We agree that working smoke alarms are essential.  Smoke alarms provide an early warning and more escape time.  They cannot, by themselves, control the fire or ensure escape.

Fire sprinklers provide another important level of protection.  This point was also made in NFPA’s 2013 report:  “The case for fire sprinklers is as strong for manufactured homes as it is for other one- or two-family homes.”  You note that many manufactured homes are in rural areas.  Rural communities tend to have volunteer fire departments that will take longer to respond to a fire.  Fire sprinklers can control a fire until the fire department arrives.

The comparison of fire experience post-HUD standard manufactured homes with other one- or two-family homes showed that the newer manufactured homes had a lower fire death rate per 100,000 properties.  However, the group of other one- or two-family homes includes many run-down homes.

Sprinklers save lives in all types of homes.  The most cost-effective time to install sprinklers is during original construction and installation.

Thank you for your consideration. For more information on sprinklers, please visit www.firesprinklerinitiative.org. ##

LorraineCarli-VP-NationalFireProtectionAssociation-NFPA-posted-IndustryVoicesMHProNews-com-125x115-

Lorraine Carli, VP -NFPA.

Lorraine Carli
Vice President – Outreach and Advocacy
National Fire Protection Association
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169
617-984-7276
617-840-4180 (mobile)
lcarli@nfpa.org

Why Many in the MH Industry Believe Fire Sprinklers Should Remain an Option, and Not Become Mandatory

  1. Ms. Carli’s response on behalf of the NFPA does not contradict a single point made in Jan Hollingsworth’s fire safety article, Keeping the Home Fires from Burning.
  2. No doubt, fire sprinklers can save lives. So can installing a fire department on every block — if local governments or citizens could afford them. The issues include balancing costs, mandates vs. providing consumers with the ability to make their own choices.
  3. As the article stated, a common concern is that rural locations and private wells often lack the water pressure to properly support fire sprinklers.
  4. Manufacturers offer sprinklers as options; consumers who want them, can get them.  That happens — rarely. As the article stated, an NAHB survey found that when consumers were given a hypothetical choice of a “free” fire sprinkler system or some other option, a large majority picked something else.
  5. The NAHB “Priced Out” report, quoted in the article, explains that hundreds of thousands would no longer be able to buy a manufactured home at all, if forced to pay for a fire sprinkler system. ##
LATonyKovach-comA200x200

L. A. “Tony” Kovach, Publisher, MHProNews, MHLivingNews.com and industry consultant.

 

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Email latonyk@gmail.com, ph. 863-213-4090.

About-Face! City Council Mh Prohibition Reverses Course

October 16th, 2015 No comments

Boy, it is nice when I get to share good news.  Wins for the industry and sharing good news are probably the two best parts of my job, and fortunately for me, those two things almost always go together.

Last night in Huntsville, Texas, the city council reversed course on what started out looking like another bad news day.  A couple of weeks ago the city council met and voted on first reading (they need two readings to make ordinance changes official) to prohibit all manufactured homes from being sited on a lot within the city limits.  Initially they had a small exception for homes going inside communities and for replacement of existing manufactured homes, which incidentally is state law that TMHA worked to get passed years ago.  But other than those two limited exceptions, no more manufactured homes.

The first reading vote was 5 – 2 in favor of the MH prohibition.

A local reporter covering the council wrote a story about the proposed prohibition, and Jenny Hodge with MHI emailed me alerting me about what the council was proposing.  We then pulled titling records and retailer selling records and started contacting retailers with a selling presence in Huntsville.  Thanks to Rob here at TMHA, we were also able to gather some telling data about manufactured housing in Huntsville.  Specifically, we learned that from 2011 to 2014 a total of 843 manufactured homes were sold with the city of Huntsville listed in their address.  MH presence aside the demographics were incredibly telling of a city in real need of more affordable housing, not less.  The median income of a household in Huntsville is $27,362 per year.  Of the existing housing in the city 16.6 percent is more than 45 years old.  Housing supply, specifically affordable housing supply, is clearly constrained because nearly two-thirds of Huntsville residents are renters and in this large renter category 61.8 percent spend more than 35 percent of their monthly income on their rent.  To consider further limitations on sources of affordable housing seems illogical.

But as we all know this isn’t a logic puzzle, it’s politics.  Because this was one of the more rare instances where we actually found out about a proposal before it was final we were able to inform our retailers who would be adversely impacted by the proposed prohibition.  From there those retailers and other citizens who turned up last night at the council meeting to testify against the proposed ordinance took over – and did all the heavy political lifting I might add.

We cannot thank Gary Adamek with Reliable Homes and Les Stone with Clayton Homes enough for the work they did, the time they spent, and the persuasive testimony they provided last night.  These retailers and the results they secured in a near complete reversal by the council (they voted unanimously to continue to allow MH within city limits) once again demonstrates the power of engaged, passionate, local advocacy.

Again, when it comes to local (city and county) politics it is imperative that local constituents and businesses are there to advocate for their industry.  When this happens in a timely manner the industry’s chances of securing a victory increase many fold.

I hope that Gary and Les’ success last night serves as an example to all those in our industry about the power of local political engagement.

Everyone has heard the term, “it takes a village,” and that applies to political advocacy.  The power of timely information coupled with individuals willing to engage locally on behalf of their interests, the interests of the industry, and the interests for consumers who want affordable housing options, can prevail when properly deployed.  I’m happy to report such a deployment occurred last night. ##

http://www.texasmha.com/news/featured/about-face-city-council-mh-prohibition-reverses-course