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“What’s Happened to the HUD Code Manufactured Home Industry?”

July 9th, 2014 No comments

Many years ago, a famous Movie Cowboy, Mayor of Beverly Hills, Editor of the Saturday Evening Post and Entertainer, Will Rodgers said, “If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?”

Manufactured housing has seen its media image perpetuated and the public perception remains consistently tarnished for quite some time. The HUD Code manufactured home (MH) appears too often to be viewed by government, Realtors  ® and the public as not being desirable. The MH Industry has seen its home production decline and new MH Communities (MHCs) have declined as well. Many of these existing communities are tired with no “Innovation” or “Cool” factor for prospects.

On this date in 2014, along comes the “Tiny House,” a version of the factories “RV Park model.”

The “Tiny House” is less than 400 square feet. It sits on a trailer frame; it has wheels and a hitch. It appears to be of the same type of construction as a RV Park Model or a small HUD Code manufactured home. Media professionals like “Tiny Houses” for stories and about those who live in them. See example below.

tiny-houses-steven-lefer-industry-voices-posted-mhpronews-com

Wow, the media’s attention is so positive to the “Tiny House” that it far exceeds that of the old and tired HUD Trailer/Mobile Home industry. TV shows with Bob Vila endorse it and A+E TV Network will begin showing “Tiny House Nation” July 9, 2014 at 10 ET/11PT on their home product.

The articles point to how “Cute” and functional this small single wide home is; and how they even have a “Cool,” “Hip” factor with “NO” negative publicity. It's astonishing. These homeowners and their tiny houses brag about the size and in some cases folks live in 120 square feet, which is no bigger than a backyard shed. A woman in the article below left a MHPark to live one, ouch!

I understand “Four Lights Tiny House Company” will be attempting to build a “Village” for people to live in a community of them. What? How? Is this not an RV Community? If you are part of the HUD Code Manufactured Home Industry, I am sure you are not aware of this image change nor have the leaders of the industry addressed or invited these competing folks to their convention. Are they part of the HUD Industry or do they prefer NOT to be? It sure makes me wonder?

credit-tiny-house-nation-series-graphic-Wednesday-july-9-10et-11pt-

Image credit FYI.TV

Here are three links for you to ponder!

http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/ae-lifestyle-network-fyi-sets-first-slate-launch-date/

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/12/31/2857011/bette-presley-arroyo-grande-house.html

http://www.bobvila.com/articles/tiny-house-village/

Where and what happened to the HUD Code Manufactured Home Industry? ##

steve-leflervicepresident-modular-lifestyles-industry-voices-mhpronews-com75x75-Steven Lefler
Vice President
Modular Lifestyles, Inc.
(888) 437-4587
Dual DRE and HCD Salesperson
Advanced Green Building Professional
CEC Solar Wind Retailer/Installer

http://www.modularlifestyles.com

(First image supplied by Steve Lefler)

(Editor's Note: MHProNews strongly believes that accurate terminology matters, and as was noted with Ken Haynes' Industry Voices guest column today, the thoughts and statements made above are solely those of the writer.

Further, there are points in this commentary that are broad statements that could be construed as technically inaccurate, was used as hyperbole and thus depending on the context, should not be taken literally. Steve Lefler well knows about the recent positive press from CBS News or the Boston Globe, among others, touting the value of today's manufactured home.

Those who know Lefler's noteworthy work in net-zero and near-off-the-grid factory built homes makes him a pioneer, and that has lead him to a level of what might politely be described as frustration with the industry-at-large and its leaders for not promoting our factory-built home product, as his column above suggests.

As a recent Masthead blog post – Manufactured Housing's Declaration of Independence – underscored, market facts tell us our industry ought to be booming.

As on any issue of industry relevance, MHProNews accepts submissions of articles that may represent similar or other viewpoints. Subject line, “Letter to the Editor” or “OpEd for Industry Voices blog” can be sent to latonyk@gmail.com.

The Manufactured Home Industry: Who Are They?

July 18th, 2011 No comments

There has been a whirlwind of activity within the industry as of late.  Specifically, polarized and heated arguments regarding the direction we need to take both legislatively and image-wise.  I have read countless articles saying, “The industry needs to do this…,” and “The industry must do such…,” all highlighting our very survival.

Who is ‘the industry?’

I, for one, do not want our survival to be in the hands of faceless organizations known only by acronyms.  Here’s the key: Our survival is in our hands.

I stumbled into the MH Industry a year ago when I was transitioned from project manager to unemployed. Though I have known people residing in MH communities, I did not know the business model.

I voraciously consumed all information I could get my hands on.  Basic management principles remain timeless however, property and land-lease legalities are an entirely different animal.

I learned from reading MHMSM.com and other publications that this industry is limping along.  Depressed home sales, lack of direction, poor image, on the verge of oblivion, etc.  I got excited.  If history tells us anything it is not to listen to the masses and the masses are lamenting which means there are opportunities to be had in abundance.

One historical reference comes to mind.  Two-hundred thirty-five years ago, the Declaration of Independence was signed when the complainers felt oppressed by unfair taxation.  Eleven years later they drafted the U.S. Constitution which began with three crucial words.  These words have as much power today as they did then but they are often neglected as cliche.  The words are: “We the people.”

The industry is not politicians, non-profit entities, organizations having turf wars, or a handful of names we look toward for leadership.  They are us.  You.  Me.  The directors of your association.  The retailers, manufacturers, community owners, employees, contractors, and yes, especially the residents.

We are the industry.  The thing to do is not complain but to take action.

One voice is like a mosquito – it can be swatted and ignored.   But not a swarm.  If each of us does not take a least a little action, we are each to blame for the demise of our industry.

That means call your representatives, write letters, meet with those who are influential and keep doing it!  Could we fail? Possibly, but without action failure is guaranteed.

We are the industry and we have a voice.  Make yours heard today.  Make at least one phone call or write one letter and do it now.  # #

James-Cook MHC property Manager

James-Cook MHC property Manager

James Cook
Manufactured Home Community Property Manager

(401) 402-0373
Fax (815) 572-5255