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Posts Tagged ‘manufactured home communities’

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/

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

UMH Properties’ Sam Landy Reacts to Call to Defund National Public Radio (NPR)

February 18th, 2017 No comments

NPR and UMH both care deeply about people.

UMH has operated manufactured home communities since 1969. We believe enforcement of our rules and regulations is best for the majority of the people who live in our community.

NPR is reminding us that we must exercise our authority with compassion. We welcome outside oversight and criticism as it allows us to objectively evaluate our actions.

As with many op-ed or letters to the editor, the headline and graphics are provided by the publisher, but the thoughts and words published are those of the writer. Other Industry Voices perspectives are welcomed on this or other relevant topics.

We believe in each case covered here, we in fact did the right thing for our residents. and that we did it in a compassionate manner.

We welcome NPR’s follow up.

samlandy-umh-ceopresidentjd_credit-linkedi-posted-industryvoicesmanufacturedhousingindustrypronews-mhpronewsSam Landy, JD
President and CEO
UMH Properties

(Editor’s notes: Mr. Landy’s Industry Voices guest comment came in response to the commentary on the Daily Signal, linked here, calling for NPR to be defunded.  Landy was cited in the article, linked below.

NPR and Fair Housing: Is “Liberal Bias” Creating Fake News?

For the interview, A Cup of Coffee withSam Landy, click here.)

Tim Williams, OMHA, Responds to Issues Raised by NPR Report on Manufactured Home Communities

December 28th, 2016 No comments

National Public Radio (NPR) did a two-part report released this week on manufactured home communities, part one of their controversial story – Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” – including initial manufactured home industry related responses, are linked here.

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Tim Williams, OMHA.

Against that backdrop, the following questions were addressed to Tim Williams, Executive Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) by MHProNews, to get Williams’ reaction to the issues raised by NPR.  Williams’ replies are in brown, following each question.

Q – How many manufactured home communities are there in Ohio?

1,800.

Q – NPR reported 20 communities in Ohio with drinking water problems. Isn’t that less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all communities in the state? 

Ohio EPA indicated 6 system failures in MHCs over 4 years, according to information shared with us in 2015 by Ohio EPA staff. That’s 3/10ths of one percent.

Interestingly, Ohio EPA was the subject of numerous negative news stories in 2016 when it was forced to fire two of its employees for failure to properly monitor lead contamination in the water supply of Sebring, Ohio…a community of 4,300 people. Where was NPR’s coverage of that catastrophe?

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Collage by MHProNews, see related story, linked here.

The Ohio EPA director incredibly indicates in the NPR story,Those owners “are very happy to be able, on a monthly basis, to receive rent checks from all of the folks that live in a manufactured home park, but not continue to think that they have a long-term [obligation] to maintain those assets.”

The real story is the Ohio EPA’s failure to properly monitor water quality test results from their own certified water operators in the highly-publicized Sebring, Ohio debacle – where they failed to perform their job monitoring monthly water quality test results from their own certified water operators.

OMHA has repeatedly testified before the Ohio Legislature regarding the Ohio EPA lapses and proposed legislative and regulatory overreach.

OMHA has indicated in public testimony our commitment to water quality in manufactured home communities (MHCs) and our strong support in bringing in to compliance those rare instances of water supply compromise.

Q – In your experience, do most community operators ignore health and safety concerns, or do they try to provide a clean, healthy environment for their residents?

MHC water quality operators are certified by Ohio EPA and conduct water quality test results monthly, which they report to Ohio EPA. The MHC operators immediately correct any quality issues even before Ohio EPA needs to intervene

Ohio has the most stringent home installation program in the nation with 3 inspections and 100% inspection of all home installations. Ohio new manufactured home sales have tripled in six years. Obviously, Ohio citizens find manufactured home living not only affordable, but of high quality and satisfaction.

Ohio has extensive training, legal support and a record of integrity in assisting OMHA member MHCs in complying with all government rules and regulations.

Q – Because news media in general has a reputation for looking for trouble or the sensational rather than the good, do you think that NPR has pained a balanced view of manufactured home community living?  Do you think most community operators are heartless, or do you see them in a different light than NPR has portrayed in this story?

The NPR article creates a false narrative of uncaring manufactured home community (MHC) operators.

NPR should be held accountable for balanced news reporting, where the truth of manufactured home living is accurately portrayed.

NPR didn’t even bother to contact the only industry trade association – OMHA – to obtain more than one side to their reference regarding the Ohio EPA director’s comments.

NPR seems to subtly imply in their anecdotal profile of a few residents in Idaho that the millions of Americans who choose the option of manufactured home living are somehow subjected to inferior conditions. I find that discriminatory, elitist view offensive to our lower and moderate income MH residents and totally unrepresentative of the MH living experience.

As Americans have become increasingly aware, the bias of many news media organizations, like NPR, that promote false social narratives – such as victimhood and identity politics. Rather than accurately report the facts that don’t fit their liberal agendas, [that part of the media] is increasingly out of touch with the pulse of America. ##

(Editor’s Note 1: The video above reflects thousands of examples of public water systems problems, such as the one Williams’ response above raised.  “An invisible infrastructure problem was illuminated by the Flint water crisis: 5,300 U.S. water systems violate lead rules; this affects roughly 18 million Americans,” Dave Packman Show.

Editor’s Notes 2: The headline, graphics, video, and introduction are provided by MHProNews.com. The story Williams has responded to – along with other related information – are linked here. Williams’ responded to MHProNews’ inquiry with the above details in about an hour from the time we contacted him. By contrast, NPR has also been contacted for comment – and 20 hours after they acknowledged their receipt of our first questions – NPR has failed to provide any further details to address industry concerns about the slanted nature of their first report. MHProNews will provide further follow-up on this controversial issue as it develops. To check out a prior interview, A Breakfast with…Tim Williams, click 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

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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.)

California Housing Crisis: Manufactured Homes Could Be Part of the Solution

October 14th, 2016 No comments

Costly government regulations have stifled the development of attainable housing

October 14, 2016 (Sacramento, CA) – In an effort to educate public policymakers on how mobilehome parks operate and how the misapplication of rent control has contributed to California’s housing crisis, the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA) has launched a statewide public education campaign.

There is no question that California is one of the most expensive places to live in the country,” said Sheila Dey, Executive Director of WMA. “So when the purchase price of a mobilehome can be up to 30% less than a traditional home, state and local government should be creating incentives to build more mobilehome parks and not less.”

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Fish-eye lens camera view of California manufactured home by Kit, – this photo was not part of WMA’s original column. Photo credit, ManufacturedHomes.com

Rent control is a reaction to local government’s failure to plan for their community’s future housing needs. When attainable housing is no longer accessible, politicians force parkowners to subsidize a tenant’s housing costs regardless of income, which often leads to a reduction in park amenities and in some cases, lawsuits when rents do not cover a park’s operational costs.

California has created a regulatory environment where existing parks are threatened by rent control ordinances that undermine a park’s economic sustainability, and cost prohibitive building regulations and fees that have stifled the construction of new parks. As a consequence, it’s been decades since a new mobilehome park has been built in California.

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Graphic credit – MHProNews.

Building more manufactured home communities could ease California’s housing crisis,” said Dey. “But first, politicians are going to have to address rent control’s failure and reduce building fees, and at the very least, require means-testing so that rent control truly benefits the needy.”

In an effort to educate policymakers, WMA has released a video which explains how parks operate and how they have become a source of quality housing for scores of people from all socio-economic backgrounds. To demonstrate its misapplication, the video showcases a rent control park in Malibu, California, where millionaires live in beachfront properties, and for some, the properties serve as a second home.

 

 

Fast Facts

  • Mobilehomes offer all the quality and comfort of traditional homes, for up to 30% less.
  • Unlike a traditional rental property such as apartments, mobilehome parks operate like small villages or cities. Rents often cover property taxes and fund essential neighborhood services, such as, park management, utilities, cable, roads, landscaping, security, recreation and more. When rent control ordinances reduce or freeze rents at below market rates, services can be reduced like a city facing budget deficits.
  • Rent control ordinances do notrequire means-testing. As a consequence, park owners are required to subsidize the housing costs of tenants, regardless of their need.
  • In an extraordinary case, a father and son want to close their mobilehome park, but the  City of Palo Alto is standing in the way by threatening to forcibly seize it by eminent domain.
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Image collage inserted by MHProNews.com, and was not part of WMA’s original column.

  • Very much like homebuilders, costly regulations and fees do not provide financial incentives to expand or build new mobilehome parks in California, limiting the potential for new stocks of attainable housing. Even though mobilehomes are a source of affordable housing, not one park has been built in California in decades.
  • Rent control regulations can cost local governments millions of dollars to administer and to legally defend; all at the expense of other government servicesand programs.
  • Rent control can lead to lawsuits when parkowners are denied their right to a fair and reasonable return on their investment. This year, afederal jury unanimously found that the City of Carson’s mobilehome park rent control ordinance violated the constitutional rights of a parkowner in Southern California. The parkowner was awarded $7.5 million in damages.
  • Many parkownerssupport long-term lease agreements and direct rental assistance programs, which provide bonafide rental protection and help to those mobilehome park residents truly in need.

To follow WMA’s campaign to reform the failed practice of rent control, visit

www.wma.org/real-housing-solutions,

www.facebook.com/realhousingsolutions and

twitter.com/CAHousingFix ##

sheiladey-wma-westernmanufacturedhomecommunitiescalifornia-postedindustryvoicesmhpronewsSheila Dey & Marko Mlikotin

WMA

 

(Editor’s Note: Rent Control and Measure V (see our latest story, linked here and in the image below) have both local and national importance. So MHProNews offered to provide this forum for this column to be republished.  Other industry perspectives are welcome – indeed, there are other professional views on rent control in recent Industry Voices guest blog posts. Scroll down below or see the listing below the banner ads on the right.

As a matter of public policy, editorially MHProNews opposes rent control as contrary to the long-term interests of all involved.)

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To submit your own thoughtfully written guest blog post, please use the email address shown above, and put Industry Voices Guest Blog in the subject line. Attach a photo you want to use with your column. Thank you – the editor.

Manufactured Home Community Owner Pounds “Park Owner,” Corruption in Government and Media Bias

August 30th, 2016 No comments

Tony, I agree with the Daily Business News article and the comments from other manufactured home industry professionals regarding Councilman David McCartney in Baytown. He should face criminal charges. However, we know that will not happen.

Once again, it’s the hypocrisy of our Government, this time, local government.

Properly operating a business is a full time job. Properly managing a MH Community is a full time job. There are many people who think they can own and manage a manufactured home community and keep their day job. I suppose you can, but the results are an absolute disaster.

 

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Todd Lamb’s comment above is about the story, linked here.

Regarding the ABC News 13 report, also from the Houston metro. Crime occurs all over America. Apartments, houses, MHC’s, rich and poor communities – it strikes all over.

Sure, there is more crime in certain demographics, certain neighborhoods, certain sides of towns, etc.

But manufactured home communities that are well managed or in nicer sides of towns have little to no crime, while those that don’t get the proper attention may tend to have more criminal activity.

The attitude and practices of ownership and proper management of these communities is a major contributing factor to avoiding crime, but it’s not the catch all.

We work diligently to screen our people and have a no-nonsense attitude toward violating our community rules. This takes daily discipline and persistent dedication, usually not something that is going to happen while you are working another job.  But the results are a cleaner community, overall happy homeowners and less crime.

Thanks for all you do. ##

(Editor’s Notes: Todd Lamb is quite right about crime in manufactured home communities, as a study by independent researchers demonstrates, see article linked here. This post will be updated with a link to the story soon to be published that Lamb is commenting on, meanwhile, ICYMI, the Baytown story is linked here.)

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Todd Lamb
Lamb Investments, LLC
TMHA: Texas Manufactured Housing Association member
Black Raider Oil
Houston, TX area

Why Retailers and Community Operators should go to Tunica!

March 19th, 2014 No comments

As I read the digital 2014 Tunica Show brochure and business building and profit protecting seminar line up, it became crystal clear why Retailers and Community Owner/Operators ought to be in Tunica next Wednesday morning through Friday at noon (March 26-28)!

Retailers and Communities can get free:

  • Networking with your peers,
  • Compare Manufacturers side by side, over 80 homes will be on display!
  • Compare products and services needed by your business side by side,
  • Get the latest on Manufactured Home Lending available TODAY, from all the major lenders all under one roof.
  • Get expert guidance on Commercial Lending on MH Communities,
  • Get marketing and sales tips in the Dominate Your Local Market 2.0 Seminar, featuring manufactured housing marketing and sales veteran, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.
  • Compare CRM products in a free panel discussion with Scott Stroud and myself, and learn why they are a key to growing your sales in 2014 and beyond.
  • Get success tips on MH Communities (MHCs) from pros with successful firms who know!

Let me give you a quick snapshot of the last bullet point above, which will provide the reasons you need to grab your business cards, and have your photo ID so you can enter the Tunica Show, free!

In the last decade, as the numbers of retailers and shipments declined, manufactured home communities (MHC) have of necessity become on-site-home leasing and selling operations.

Communities have always had to do the types of services and duties that developers and multi-family operations have provided in the conventional housing world.

Tunica has become a magnet in recent years, attracting more communities as well as more retailers than in prior years.

Here is the line up of on the panel for MHC Lessons Learned, to be held Thursday, 10:00 AM – 10:55 AM on March 27th.

Success Tips from Manufactured Home Community Owners & Executives!

For anyone in or thinking about getting into the land-lease community business, this panel discussion is for you! Hear practical tips from community operators that can help you operate your community more professionally and profitably.

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Jenny Hodge, Vice President of the National Communities Council (NCC), will be your panel moderator.

You can learn more about Jenny in this month's MHProNews exclusive interview A Cup of Coffee with…Jenny Hodge.

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Among those on the three person MHC panel is Tammy Fonk, an Associate with the CBRE MH/RV National Group. Tammy was born and raised in the MH industry with two family owned communities. She operated the family owned company's sales and marketing business as well as having an active role in day to day community operations and resident relations. As a member of the MHRV Team, Tammy now works closely with public and private investors on building business relations and opportunities to enhance the Manufactured Housing Industry as well as the RV Resort and Marina properties in North America. Tammy works with owners and buyers of small, medium and larger communities in addition to representing large portfolio owners.

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Maria Horton is a regional manager with West Coast powerhouse, Newport Pacific. Maria's bio is linked here, but having met her, let me tell you what her resume doesn't say. This is a warm, delightful engaging professional! You will love to hear here insights and experiences on this panel discussion.

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Rick Rand (l), Sam Zell (c), Jim Clayton (r)

Last and not least, is Rick Rand, who made quite a stir recently with this guest column. Rick was the subject of another MHProNews.com interview, A Cup of Coffee with…Rick Rand.

If online registration for the Tunica Show is closed by the time you read this, don't worry! You can bring your business card and a photo ID, retailers, communities, builder-developers, realtors and installers will be able to sign up at the door, free with those credentials!

Let me close with a tip of the hat to L. A. Tony Kovach. Dennis Hill recently gave Tony quite the well deserved public shout-out, for his key role in the come back of the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

Community Operations executive Ted Gross, with Continental Communities praised his session as being the best marketing presentation he had seen since coming into the MHC business.

We've worked with Tony about 90 days now, and let me tell you from first hand experience his deep passion for the MH Industry.

Tony cares about the success of people, operations and loves to see happy consumers enjoying our product.

I don't personally know of anyone who gives more time away for the benefit of the industry.

Tony's consulting and banner ads have helped our company's growth and presence in MH significantly! On MHProNews, he brings out the articles, experts and tackles the topics others shy away from, and is a friendly, peace loving professional and family man.

When you think about it, Tony's efforts to inspire our industry to do more and grow at shows like Louisville and Tunica are part of the rising tide of sales in our industry. You may or may not know it yet, but he makes you money just by being here and spreading the good word about our industry on sites like ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com and here on MHProNews.com.

These are among the reasons why I'll be voting for him as MHI Supplier of the Year, and I hope others that read this will consider doing the same.

We will be at booth 13H in Harrah's Convention Hall. Change your plans! Make your travel arrangements! Fly, drive or hitch a ride, but we hope to see you in Tunica for the 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show! ##

brad-nelms-coo-manufactured-homes-com-posted-mhpronews-comBrad Nelms
COO
ManufacturedHomes.com

Communities Themes Point to Rebound and Revitalization

September 25th, 2012 No comments

by Richard “Dick” Jennison

richard-dick-jennison-ceo-mhi-1-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews.com-mhmarketing-sales-management-75pxl-75pxl-As President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), I participated in a manufactured home communities focused event held this year in San Diego, Calif. During my presentation, I took the opportunity to educate the approximately 250 members of the land-lease community sector of the manufactured housing industry on the work that MHI undertakes each day representing industry interests in Washington, D.C. I also outlined the benefits and importance of the National Communities Council, the only national organization devoted to advancing the interests of manufactured home community owners, managers, developers, lenders, brokers and service suppliers. Such forums as this also provide me an excellent opportunity to hear first-hand from industry members and to clarify and reinforce MHI positions on key industry issues.

The annual gathering of the land-lease manufactured home communities industry drew approximately 250 attendees from 27 states to discuss the state of land-lease communities.

Reinforcing the sentiments of other manufactured housing industry events over the past 12 months, the meeting featured three key themes:

  • a renewed or new confidence in the role and value of land-lease manufactured home communities;
  • innovation on the part of manufactured home builders in terms of new, creative designs for homes built specifically for placement in land-lease communities, as well as new financing programs designed to assist communities to retain residents and boost occupancy rates; and
  • the continuing need for dialogue between financial lenders/analysts and community owners on how to accurately valuate land-lease communities.

On the first point – renewed or new confidence in land-lease communities – it was both somewhat surprising and encouraging to hear more than two dozen investors declare their strong interests in acquiring land-lease communities across all regions of the country. This level of enthusiasm and confidence will be critical in maintaining and rebuilding land-lease manufactured home communities as a viable housing option for low- and middle-income American families.

As to the issue of innovation by manufacturers in home designs, there were numerous “business development officers” from major manufacturers who were there with the sole focus of reaching out to community owners to showcase their new series of manufactured homes designed specifically to accommodate the smaller lot sizes of older land-lease communities. From what I heard and saw, their efforts were greatly appreciated by the community owners who are looking for ways of upgrading and filling their communities with homes that appeal to a broader audience.

Another key factor in maintaining manufactured home communities is helping community owners and managers keep their occupancy rates strong and ensure the financial viability of communities. Several new financing programs designed to build partnerships between the financial services sector and community owners, such as the C.A.S.H. Lending Program from 21st Mortgage Corp., were highlighted and generated a significant interest on the part of the community owners. Again, this ability to fill communities with new residents and new homes is vitally important in maintaining the viability of land-lease communities.

Yet the meeting was not without some points of debate.

There was continuing concern voiced over how financial analysts and investors valuate land-lease communities, with many community owners encouraging analysts and investors to rethink their valuation formulas and approaches. While this “friction” is not ideal, the point is that this issue was openly discussed and methods for resolving it are “on the table.” Such open communication and debate are the proper way to creating valuation methods that serve both the investors’ and owners’ interest.

All of these meeting themes – even the need for ongoing dialogue – reinforce the positive outlook for our industry that I hear and see every day, both from our industry colleagues and from people interested in being part of our industry renewal.

Land-lease manufactured home communities are critically important to the residents who live and depend of them for a “quality-of-life” hard to find elsewhere in today’s housing marketplace, as well as to the owners and operators who have invested so much time, energy and resources to build and maintain their communities.

It is genuinely encouraging to see and hear that all forces within the communities sector are moving in the right direction, looking at the future with confidence and innovation. Such sentiments bode well for both the communities sector and the manufactured housing industry at large. ##

richard-dick-jennison-ceo-mhi-1-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews.com-mhmarketing-sales-management-75pxl-75pxl-Richard Jennison is President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). He can be contacted directly at (703) 558-0678 or visit www.manufacturedhousing.org.

What is the the future of independent Manufactured Home Communities?

October 22nd, 2011 1 comment

A question brought up by an individual at a real estate investment group meeting in  Tacoma, WA did not get answered at that time so thought I would attempt to put my perspective on it and then get feedback as to other people’s opinion.

The question:   Where do you think the MHP industry (a.k.a. Manufactured Home Park, Manufactured Home Community, Land Lease Community) is headed?

To start, I will explain some of the chatter on the internet on this subject.

Many are under the impression that within 5-7 years the MHPs will fade into history. Manufacturers are not listening to MHP Owners and are not building the types of manufactured homes needed to fill the lots available in the older MHPs.

The MH Retailers have such a high markup from the factory price that the end users cannot afford their homes.

Banks & Mortgage Companies are not interested in financing a “mobile home” that is not attached to land.

So MHP Owners have had to step in and do the financing for the individuals looking to buy. Politicians are trying to over-regulate the industry by passing new laws dealing with financing, rent control, maintenance issues. Their interference with the free market is killing the industry overall.

On paper in WA (lip service?) some politicians have made efforts to extended benefits to help Owners maintain and develop MHPs as the last form of affordable housing. Yet they did not provide funding to support their magnanimous ruling on paper.

On top of all this the taxes keep going up – calculated as a commercial operation according to the Pierce County Assessor’s Office instead of as multifamily residential. That is where it stands. In order to bring some relief to the overall picture all parties need to get together and work out a solution.

There are numerous summits and all of the above are represented, except there are no representatives from Mobile Home Park Owners that count. The ones who have 500 -1000 units are there, but they do not represent the ‘mom and pop’ MHP Owners as a whole.  Community Owners need to get their input into these meetings in some way.

Another problem that will arise is that many Owners are from out of state and depend on a mismanagement company to run their operations. They do not have an office on site – their office is 5-10 miles down the road or more. These MHPs fall into a state of disrepair and then the city officials step in and close them down.

The tax base from the personal property taxes are not very much. By closing the MHPs down, then they can build a new car dealership or motel that brings in more taxes for the city. Watch over the next 3-7 years to see how many MHPs are closed by city officials and not a developer Buyer.

As for the smaller operations – business will continue as usual. A home is abandoned – take it over, rehab it or have a Lonnie Dealer do it for you with you providing concessions for them. Sell the homes and finance it with a note. Same with those that are selling their homes: Buy it at a discount, rehab it, sell it on a note – never RENT a MH. If repo homes come available in another MHP – the Owner of that MHP should jump on the opportunity of keeping the home in their MHP. If they do not and it is available, you need to buy it, relocate it to your MHP and get it occupied.

Several of the trainers for the Washington State Mobile Home Community Owners Association have provided classes explaining to all in attendance that for each home that comes into your MHP you increase the overall value of your MHP.

For example if lot rent is $400/month and you bring in a home to fill a vacancy. The rent for one year is increased by $4800 (12 X $400). Dividing this by 0.10 (10 CAP) the value of your MHP just increased by $48,000.00. As long as you have the frame in your MHP, the mobile home can be rebuilt and your income stream will continue to flow in.

One MHP can be considered a pretty decent retirement plan. Most people who get involved in the industry are not satisfied with just one and may have more. Just be careful not to get overextended. Why?  The scuttlebutt on the internet is that the commercial loans will have the same problems as the residential loans. One cause is that loans are not being made. The financial institutions are saving their funds for when interest rates climb to 11-12%. (A rumor was started that this was supposed to happen in November 2009). The main cause will be that the banks and mortgage companies will be sticking their noses up in the air and looking down on financing or refinancing of MHPs. Many MHP Owners have 3-5-7 or 10 year balloons that will be coming due soon.

Last year at the convention I brought this up and one of the instructors stated that one of his clients was in this type of predicament. One solution is for the use of Private Money to bail out fellow MHP Owners. The elimination of the banks and mortgage companies would be a great relief to many. Yet, who has deep enough pockets to take them out of the picture?

Email me your thoughts as to where you see the MHP industry going in the future. The above is my own personal observation of where things are going.   # #

Dale Osborn
Owner of 1 MHP in CO and 2 in WA.
dale_w_osborn@msn.com

The Manufactured Housing Industry is ready to replace homes in Minot.

September 20th, 2011 No comments

The manufactured housing industry is ready to replace homes in Minot. Manufactured and modular home builders have the unique ability to build homes fast and in large quantity. Many Minot area residents are shopping for new homes, anxious to find something before winter. The area home retail centers are ready to help, but when the customers ask “where can we put these homes?” there are no answers. Why is the government moving so slow to help open lots for these people. Home removal in existing manufactured home communities is a major hurdle. In past press conferences, existing manufactured home communities were identified by FEMA as the fastest way to get people back into their permanent homes.

What is being done to remove homes in these communities that are destroyed? The homeowners in most cases can’t afford or coordinate the removal of these homes and in some cases they have completely abandoned their home. FEMA indicated in a previous press conference that they were looking for ways to expedite the process of removing flooded homes from these communities.

Time is running out. The potential for many homes to be replaced this year in established locations is fading away. The Minot and surrounding area has eight manufactured home communities that were flooded, which represents around 800 lots. These manufactured home communities have to do infrastructure repair and replacement, but the homes must be removed to be able to do that. The government did so much to remove trash and demolition materials from all of the valley neighborhoods, but it seems they left the manufactured home communities to fend for themselves.

Having 800 lots sitting idle through this winter would be a shame. While the government is building lots for temporary housing, 800 lots for permanent housing sit idle. A plan needs to be in place in days not weeks and not months.

Lance Kennedy,

President of the North Dakota Manufactured Housing Association,

Used with permission of

Minot Daily News