One has to ask themselves why this conflict continues? You ask what is the conflict and why do we as an industry need to concern ourselves with this issue? The answers are simple; the conflict is the continued divide between MHARR and MHI. The reason we must concern ourselves is obvious; industry unity will bring us further and faster than continued disunity.
I am not alone in asking this question about the root causes of the conflict.
Recently individuals from both inside the industry and the regulatory sector have written about the approach and tone of the messages sent by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform's (MHARR) President and CEO, Danny Ghorbani.
There is no reason for messages of the nature like the one linked here to continue.
Just this week the industry received some well needed good news that Pamela Beck Danner, JD, was appointed as the new Career Administrator for the HUD Manufactured Housing Program.
Rather than just leaving the message as a congratulatory letter, Danny stated that MHARR will challenge HUD’s change to the law regarding the position to being a career vs. non-career administrator.
Even if HUD has inappropriately changed the law, why send this widely distributed mixed message? Why not just congratulate Pamela and then quietly send HUD an objection that would not be widely distributed?
Continuing this pattern of creating conflict is not beneficial to anyone involved in Manufactured Housing regardless of which area of the industry one is involved in. Are these the types of messages that we want as we work to accomplish our industry goals? I think not.
Just think how much more our industry could accomplish by working together! It is critical that as an industry we focus on the target and develop a cooperative effort to move our goals forward.
Both organizations do not always have to agree; in fact we may agree to disagree. Even in that case, we must show our public unity and spend our collective time working on the core issues.
By not working together some think we weaken our message. By contrast, when we work together we can send a more powerful message to Congress, the Regulators and all others involved that we stand together to accomplish our collective goals.
Clearly MHI is moving the ball forward in this regard, on both the regulatory and legislative fronts. One might ask, if MHI can do it alone, without Danny Ghorbani/MHARR, will MHARR and Danny become politically irrelevant?
I have been in the Manufactured Home Community and Home Sales businesses for over 32 years. During this time I have worked with manufacturers that were members of both MHI and MHARR. In fact, some of the manufactures whom I purchased homes from were only MHARR members. Naturally, I have spent a great deal of time with the principals of these companies along with Danny discussing many issues.
We have developed close personal relationships from working together. From our times together I have learned much about many issues, some which I was not aware of previously, others that could affect my business. There have been issues on which we have not agreed upon, yet we never treated each other rudely or without mutual respect.
That is the type of relationship which both organizations must strive to maintain, especially in today’s difficult times.
Those of us in the business are all very conscientious of whom we choose to work with or purchase products from today. Our decisions are influenced by many factors; company history, price, service, product mix, warranty and personal relationships. I am about to purchase new homes to place in my communities. One consideration that I would be remiss to not consider in my decision making process is which manufacturers support the industry's goals that I support.
In addition, I have very strong reservations on working with a supplier who supports continued conflict and inappropriate messages being distributed by MHARR's CEO. Why would one work with a supplier who is not aligned with our industry's or my personal goals?
This is no different than one deciding to no longer buy homes from a manufacturer who lacks in timely, quality post-sale service and warranty support.
To financially support a manufacturer who through his association dues allows this discord and strife to continue in this small industry is questionable at best. We need to vote with our wallets! Maybe that will get the attention of those who fund the emailed or print messages that slow or harms our industry's message in Washington, DC.?
Maybe that would stop this avoidable and counterproductive multi-decade conflict. ##
Great Value Homes
(Editor's Note, Rick stresses he is writing as an industry business professional, and not on behalf of any association. Rick was recently interviewed, see A Cup of Coffee with…Rick Rand., and is also in a video interview shown on the paged link here.)