Back to the Future Mobile Home Cartoon

July 22nd, 2013 No comments

In 1964,  while doing research for my master’s thesis on Manufactured Housing  community design at the University of Illinois I came across this cartoon in an architecture cartoon book, ‘The Last Lath.’ 

credit-the-last-lath-cartoon-book-1952-sent-don-westphal-posted-by-manufactured-housing-professional-news-.jpg

It’s amazing how ahead of their times many cartoonists are.  In the 1970’s the Mobile Home Manufacturer’s Association  sponsored the study entitled ‘New Housing Systems,’ a similar idea of placing Mobile Home modules in egg crate type superstructures.

don-westphal-posted-on-mhpronews-com.jpgPost Submitted by
Don Westphal
Donald C. Westphal, Associates
71 North Livernois Ave.
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
PH: 248-651-5518
Fax: 248-651-0450

Will California Park Owners Begin Heading For the Exits?

July 10th, 2013 1 comment

With the political changes in Sacramento, the tenant advocates are pressing their agenda with new vigor in 2013. Once again, they are pushing to amend the subdivision conversion statute (Government Code § 66427.5). They are advocating for changes which would allow local governments to deny conversions not supported by a majority of residents and which would give such governments authority to implement their own “conversion” regulations. There are even rumblings for statewide rent control for mobilehome parks.

Conversions under Section 66427.5 have been a favored exit strategy for park owners, resulting in related litigation all over the state. Recent decisions applying Section 66427.5 have been a "mixed bag." The decision in Sequoia Park Associates in 2009 was the “high water mark” for limiting the interference of local governments in conversions since the Ordinance was amended in 2002 to add the requirement that tenants be surveyed regarding their support. Based on that decision, many local governments and lower courts have approved conversions despite resident opposition. Subsequent reported decisions by different appellate courts have chipped away at and offered different interpretations of Section 66427.5. The 2010 decision in Colony Cove v. Carson held that local governments could "consider" the resident survey results, but the Court did not provide any guidance as to how local governments could consider or use the surveys. The Court did acknowledge, however, the lack of resident support in and of itself could not block a conversion.

The worst decision for park owners, Goldstone v. County of Santa Cruz, was decided in early 2012. Goldstone held local governments could deny subdivisions if the subdivision was not supported by a majority of residents. Although not explicit, the Court seemed to adopt the view that a "bona fide" or “non-sham” conversion is, by definition, one supported by a majority or at least a large percentage of tenants. Chino MHC v. City Of Chino, decided in late October 2012, took a decidedly more pro-park owner view, concluding that a local government was required to approve a subdivision unless there was overwhelming opposition by the tenants. The Court also made clear its view that a bona fide conversion was one in which the park owner truly intended to convert it to tenant ownership. Unfortunately, the Chino decision still encourages tenants to attempt to block subdivisions or extort favorable terms in exchange for support for the conversion.

Late last year, the California Supreme Court issued a decision directly relevant to conversions in coastal zones, Pacific Palisades Bowl v. Los Angeles. The Court in that case held that local governments did have some authority to review conversions for compliance with the Coastal Act requirements (and other state laws). The ultimate impact of this holding is not entirely clear, but it makes clear that local governments can impose conditions relating to the replacement of affordable housing in a coastal zone.

Under the existing statute which has been relatively favorable to park owners, there still has been substantial resistance to subdivisions in many local communities, in some cases, even where no rent control exists. The processing of a subdivision for Pacific Mobile Home Park in Huntington Beach is a good example.

Articles.000/4819-2353-3075v.1

Pacific initiated a subdivision in 2010 with the support of a majority of the residents in the Park. The City fought Pacific’s subdivision Application. Pacific had to file a lawsuit after the City denied the Application. The City not only aggressively defended the lawsuit, but attempted to extort a favorable result by filing a cross-complaint seeking immediate physical removal of homes owned by park tenants who the City claimed were “trespassing” on an unused City right of way for decades.

The City’s denial of the subdivision Application was reversed in July 2012, which resulted in the City approving the subdivision in November, 2012. However, on December 3, 2012, the newly elected City Council voted to rescind the approval. Pacific then obtained a court order invalidating the vote and barring reconsideration of the subdivision Application by the City. That court order still did not stop the City two weeks later from voting to confirm their illegal December 3 vote. This did not sit well with the Judge who issued the order. The Court granted Pacific’s Application to set a trial for Contempt of Court for 6 of the 7 Council Members and the City Attorney. Finally, with the threat of a criminal trial hanging over their head, the City Council abandoned its challenge of the subdivision.

If Section 66427.5 is amended, which seems likely given the current political environment, then park owners can count on more local opposition to subdivision. The sad reality is that while local politicians often talk about how important affordable housing is to them, they often really do not want to see mobilehome park uses become permanent, particularly in coastal or other “upscale” locations.

If the door to subdivisions is closed, the final path of escape for park owners trapped in confiscatory rent control is closure. The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that governments cannot stop closures in Yee v. Escondido. Yee recognizes that the right to go out of business is one of the crucial “sticks” in the “bundle of property rights.” Of course, the crucial issues become the cost of closure and the viability of alternative uses. Government Code 65863.7 limits payments to tenants to the “reasonable cost of relocation.” The common sense interpretation of “reasonable cost of relocation” limitation means the cost of physically moving a mobilehome and the tenant’s belongings. Certain local governments have adopted requirements that exceed this limitation, but we do not have any appellate decisions directly addressing the question. If conversions are made more difficult, it is likely we will get binding authority, hopefully confirming a “common sense” interpretation of Section 65863.7. We can count on the courts for common sense, right?

mark-alpert-hk&c-law-manufactured-home-professionals-mhpronews-com-75x75-.jpgMark Alpert is a partner with Orange County law firm, Hart, King & Coldren. He focuses much of his practice on manufactured housing issues, and has a particular expertise in rent control, subdivision conversions and park closures. Mark can be reached at (714) 432-8700 or at malpert@hkclaw.com.

Impressed!

June 26th, 2013 No comments

Tony,

 

I continue to be impressed with your improvements to the manufacturedhomelivingnews.com website. It continues to get better every time I view it.

 

As you know our industry continues to work diligently making sure our modern manufactured housing creates a positive image in the eyes of the general public.

 

I appreciate how much your website contributes to that mission. It shows the whole story. Congratulations on your new and improved website!

 

C. Jay Hamilton Executive Director Georgia Manufactured Housing AssociationC. Jay Hamilton
Executive Director
Georgia Manufactured Housing Association
199 East Main Street
Forsyth, Georgia 31029
Phone 478-994-0006
Cell 478 394 5114

Action Alert: Don’t Let Lending for New Homes Dry Up on January 1, 2014!

June 12th, 2013 No comments

IN A NUTSHELL: If we do not get legislative changes this year, loans for home buyers could be EVEN LESS available afterJanuary 1, 2014.Yes, it can get even worse if we do nothing. Please help us by doing two things

1. Contact your Member of Congress to express your support for H.R. 1779 (information is below).

2. Please go to cosponsor.gov(http://cosponsor.gov/details/hr1779-113) and express your support for H.R. 1779 (you need to have a Facebook account use cosponsor.gov).

BACKGROUND: We have encouraged VAMMHA members and others who read this to contact members of their Congressional Delegation to ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1779. Members in the 5th District of Virginia are encouraged to contact Congressman Robert Hurt (who has already agreed to cosponsor the bill) to thank him for his support.

Here is what this issue is about: Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Gary Miller (R-CA) have introduced thePreserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act(H.R. 1779).

The measure would amend provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that would otherwise curtail the availability of credit needed by those seeking to purchase manufactured housing if action isn't taken..

Specifically, the bill would revise the High-Cost Mortgage triggers for manufactured home loans, and make clarifications to the Loan Originator definition as it applies to manufactured home retailers and salespeople.

These two areas of the law—which are scheduled to become effective January 2014—would substantially reduce lender ability to originate manufactured home loans.

Assistance is needed from VAMMHA members and others within the manufactured housing industry, in contacting their Representatives to request they co-sponsor H.R 1779.

More details are available in thisdetailed issue brief/action alert.

Here is what we need: Please take a moment to contact your House member and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1779.

To help you out,here is a sample letter that can be faxed or cut and pasted into an email to Congressional offices.

If you need to look up your Member of Congress, please click herehttp://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.

IMPORTANT: Congressman Robert Hurt (5th Congressional District) has agreed to cosponsor this bill. So, if he is your Congressman, instead of using the sample letter, please contact him to thank him for his support.

The following resource information is also available:

Over the coming weeks, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is expected to introduce companion legislation in the Senate. Additional information will be provided at that time.

Please be sure to share with us any feedback you get from your Member of Congress. Thank you for all that you do to support the factory-built housing industry in Virginia.

tyler-craddock-executive-director-virginia-manufactured-and-modular-housing-associationTyler Craddock, Executive Director
Virginia Manufactured and Modular Housing Association
8413 Patterson Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23229
Office804.750.2500
Mobile804.980.1172
Fax804.741.3027
Emailtcraddock@vammha.org

Are You Ready to Grow?  Ready to Do What it Takes?

June 7th, 2013 No comments

It’s been a tough decade and more for manufactured housing. Before the residential housing meltdown of 2007-08, manufactured housing had it tough already. Half of the homes the industry produced in 1999 to 2000 have since been repossessed. That devastated those customers but also the flood of repos tanked new home production and the number of factories and retailers plunged.

The challenges we face today are in stark contrast to the assets the industry still possesses—excellent products, land zoned for use by MH and market hardened professionals.

So, how do we take those assets and turn the industry around?

Veteran retailer Mike Evans of Centennial Homes of Aberdeen, SD recently laid out his vision to LA Tony Kovach of MHProNews:

  • Identify opportunities that no one else will pursue or they don’t see. (Are you a general contractor or are you giving your margins away to others?)
  • Set your goals within your values.
  • Determine the strategic and tactical plans needed to capture that opportunity.
  • Develop a business plan that uses the 3 resources business owners and managers have to accomplish the task: Capital, Technology and Human Resources.

My only addition to his list is to expand your resources by identifying others that can be your strategic partners. You don’t need to do it all yourself, but you have to be able to fill in the gap between your capabilities and what is needed.

In talking to members, they have product and customers but lack financing. Yes, Dodd-Frank was a blow to installment sales, but there are other ways to finance purchasers. This is an example of where there is need for networking for new finance sources. Successful members are expanding their business by relentlessly talking to bankers, credit unions, and mortgage brokers. One member said, he finally broke through by just being a pest regarding the opportunity that MH finance can be for a local lender.

The days of faxing a loan application and getting an answer by noon are over and are not coming back. If we have all of the elements to rebound, then we need to do what it takes to make it happen. ##

ross-kinzler-wisconsin-housing-alliance-executive-director-posted-industry-voices-manufactured-housing-professional-news-mhpronews-com-75x75.pngRoss Kinzler
Executive Director
Wisconsin Housing Alliance
608.255.3131 voice
608.255.5595 fax

Hearing Explores Government Role in Multifamily and Health Care Facilities

May 22nd, 2013 No comments

Even though this hearing and the Chairman’s quoted comments arise within the specific context of multifamily housing, they nevertheless are relevant to manufactured home financing as they reflect broader thinking in Congress regarding federal involvement in the housing market

Most particularly, the comments in paragraphs 3 and 4 once again confirms what MHARR has been saying all along with respect the failure of the FHA (via GNMA) and GSEs to provide adequate securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home loans and especially personal property (chattel loans) –i.e., that FHA and the GSEs have fundamentally departed from their original statutory mission of providing access to credit for lower-income borrowers and first-time homebuyers. That departure has harmed the very consumers that these entities were formed to serve, as well as the manufactured housing industry as a provider of affordable homeownership, with both FHA and the GSEs refusing to provide high-volume securitization for manufactured home loans – citing “risk” and “perceptions” without any hard data on the performance of current-day manufactured home loans – when it was the ventures of FHA and the GSEs in the “exotic” and subprime site-built mortgage market that led to the insolvency of the GSEs and now the near-insolvency of FHA.

Consequently, even though the availability of high-volume securitization for manufactured home loans – and especially chattel loans – has the capacity to turn the industry around virtually overnight and provide access to truly affordable homeownership for the lower-income borrowers and first-time homebuyers that these entities were created to serve, they nevertheless cling to discriminatory policies that have severely restricted such lending through the FHA Title I program and effectively excluded such loans from GSE support, notwithstanding the statutory “Duty to Serve” mandate. These baseless policies, moreover, have enabled the domination of the chattel finance market by a handful of companies with either pre-existing access to that restricted securitization or independent financial backing, further harming both consumers and the industry.

As this demonstrates, expanding the availability of chattel loan securitization and support to high volume levels must be a top priority for the industry in Washington, D.C.

Given the focus of the current Administration on providing fairness and increased access to home financing for the lower-income borrowers that FHA and the GSEs were created to serve, the industryhas a window of opportunity in the coming months to take concrete steps to correct these flawed policies and expand the availability of manufactured home financing. ##

MHARR-logo-posted-on-MhProNews-com

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 512
Washington, D.C. 20004
Phone: 202/783-4087
Fax: 202/783-4075
Email: MHARRDG@AOL.COM

 

 

 

committee-financial-services-logo-posted-mhpronews-

 

 

 

Press Release

 

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2013

 

Hearing Explores Government Role in Multifamily and Health Care Facilities Mortgage Insurance and Reverse Mortgages

 

WASHINGTON –The Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee continued its examination of the troubled Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today with a hearing that focused on several of the agency’s programs that operate outside its mission.

This was the subcommittee’s third hearing this year examining FHA and the need to reform the agency.

“FHA runs its operations contrary to the most basic principles of insurance and is nearing insolvency, putting taxpayers at risk of another government bailout,” said Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX). “Members on both sides of the aisle strongly support FHA’s core mission of providing access to credit for lower-income borrowers and first-time homebuyers. There still is a general consensus in favor of strengthening and improving FHA, without risking further taxpayer exposure.”

Today’s hearing examined the mortgage insurance programs the FHA operates for multifamily housing, health care facilities and reverse mortgages – all of which are activities that reach far beyond the agency’s original mission. The FHA’s original mission is to provide mortgage financing opportunities for low-income and first-time homebuyers.

Given that the FHA was designated a “high risk” agency by the Government Accountability Office earlier this year, many wonder whether the FHA can viably carry out its original mission, much less these other programs that are not related to its mission.

In addition to insuring single-family mortgages, the FHA also insures other kinds of mortgages—such as those for multifamily rental housing and health care facilities—through a separate insurance fund called the General Insurance and Special Risk Insurance Fund. While this fund is not projected to incur losses in the near term, many are concerned about the role the FHA plays in the multifamily market and that its policies subject taxpayers to undue risk.

Due to a lack of transparency in the GI/SRI Fund, Congress cannot fully assess the fiscal state of the FHA’s multifamily insurance program.

The FHA also operates an insurance fund for reverse mortgages that enables those aged 62 or older to obtain additional income by borrowing against the equity in their homes. To make these mortgages possible, the reverse mortgage insurance provided by FHA protects lenders from losses due to non-payment.

In recent years, as home prices have fallen, many experts have become concerned about losses in the FHA’s reverse mortgage portfolio. An independent actuarial review released last November estimated that the economic value of the FHA’s reverse mortgage insurance program was negative $2.8 billion.

 

###

Manufactured Housing industry businesses along Shields Boulevard in Oklahoma City are still here and intact, as is MH Association of Oklahoma

May 21st, 2013 No comments

I closed the office early (Tuesday, May 20) so Corlis and I could run home. We have no shelter here at the office. By the grace of God the tornado stopped 3 miles west of my home…I live just east of Stanley Draper Lake where the tornado lifted. So my family, dogs, horses, chickens and dwelling are all safe. My heart and prayers are going out to a lot of my friends who were not so lucky. Bad thing about this is that we can’t get into the zone to help them with their horses, needs, etc.

Thank you for thinking of us Okie’s!

Tony, I was in the process of composing a letter to a reporter from Channel 9 that was bashing the industry and the park, Steelman Estates, that got leveled several days ago. Lance the reporter, said "this is what to expect from a trailer park…you can't recognize anything, when I reported about the Piedmont damage a while back at least you can still see steel frames and partial homes made of brick." What Lance forgot to remember is that the Piedmont disaster leveled homes to the foundation and killed several children taking shelter with their mom in a bathtub in their $300k home. The pond behind the leveled homes was full of lumber. He also is clueless about the high density of a manufactured home community…compared to a rural estate homes on an acre or as in Moore on a city block(s).

Well now Lance is reporting from Moore and now is saying the same thing "you can't recognize anything, homes are leveled."

The park on Sunday was in the direct path of a F4. The homes in Moore yesterday were destroyed by an F4 (might get upgraded to an F5).

Today I decided that I wouldn’t waste any more time on this reporter who obviously likes sensationalism….the media is now focused on Moore and the elementary school. Our hearts and prayers are going out to everyone who lost loved ones and their homes these past several days. ##

manufactured-housing-association-of-oklahoma-logo-posted-on-mhpronews-com.pngDeanna Fields, Executive Director
Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma

(Editor's Note: the MHAO office is also on Shield's Boulevard, right off I-240 and near I-35 in Oklahoma City, OK. This is just a short distance from Tuesday's storm path.)

Only In America

May 15th, 2013 9 comments

10) Only in America …could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000.00 a plate campaign fund-raising event.

9) Only in America …could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce is black while only 12% of the population is black.

8) Only in America …could they have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.

7) Only in America ….can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.

6) Only in America …would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just 'magically' become American citizens.

5) Only in America …could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as "extremists."

4) Only in America …could you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.

3) Only in America …could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. oil company ( Marathon Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

2) Only in America …could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a Trillion dollars more than it has per year – for total spending of $7-Million PER MINUTE, and complain that it doesn't have nearly enough money.

1) Only in America …could the rich people – who pay 86% of all income taxes – be accused of not paying their "fair share" by people who don't pay any income taxes at all. ##

Guest Column
Submitted by
Larry Hahn

Definition of a Manufactured Home

May 13th, 2013 No comments

Tony,

Recalling the important debate you started about defining “manufactured housing,” here is a very good one from of all places, Utah, which just enrolled this bill as law!

Manufactured home" means a transportable factory built housing unit:

127) constructed on or after June 15, 1976, according to the Federal Home Construction and Safety

128) Standards Act of 1974 (HUD Code), in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is

129) eight body feet or more in width or 40 body feet or more in length, or when erected on site, is

130) 400 or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a

131) dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and

132) includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems.

Attached below is the first few pages of the law for added context. Feel free to spread the word!

Utah State Legislature H.B. 71 US Official News May 11, 2013 Saturday sent by Rob Coldren.pdf

rob-coldren-posted-on-mhmsm(2).jpgRob Coldren|Senior Partner
HK&C Law
200 Sandpointe, 4th Floor | Santa Ana, CA 92707<
Tel.714-432-8700|Fax.714-546-7457
rcoldren@hkclaw.com|www.hkclaw.com

How About a Cup of Coffee?

May 8th, 2013 No comments

a-cup-mhmsm-comHey Tony. Just wanted to write and let you know how much I love reading the COC with… columns. It opens my eyes to see what the true visionaries see AND, as was the case with Sam Landy, it gives me an arsenal of info to go to my boss with.

Case in point: My boss is a shareholder of UMH and respects Sam. However, my boss and I have had some friendly debates. I want to move old homes out and he wants to keep them. Sam referencing the correlation between older homes and vacancy rates was very helpful in convincing my boss to take a second look at my plan for a row of homes that include a recent eviction, a recent force-out and an abandoned home which we should have possession of shortly.

Thanks for your hard work!

(Editor's Note, the writer – who is known to us personally – requested the following – “Feel free to publish my comments anonymously on this one. I know many in our association read MHProNews and know who my boss is. They don't need to know about our 'marital' spats :) ” The same courtesy of publishing a column anonymously has been given by us previously and would be given again to you or others under similar circumstances. The Cup of Coffee interview archives are linked here, and the one referenced about Sam Landy, is linked here.)