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Free Trade or Economic War?

April 6th, 2018 No comments

Anyone going to school in the U.S. after WW II has learned the breakdown in world trade was a primary, though not only, cause of the Great Depression. It is said import tariffs and barriers caused world trade to be constrained. There is little doubt it was a cause.

I grew up believing it and have done so with little retrospective most of my life. As U.S. auto plants closed in the 1980s and forward (I was a GM dealer at the time), I blamed the unions, the workers, and incompetent auto company management. Whole swaths of the country from the Great Lakes to Maine back to the Mason-Dixon Line started to lose industrial plants, in the heartland of America. They became destroyed areas, bereft of jobs and hope. The bombing campaigns of W.W. II Europe couldn’t have caused greater damage.

FreeTradeOrEconomicWarMartyLavin475

Yet with the belief in free trade in the country so ingrained, we blamed the fallen for their fate. I was part of that crowd. It never occurred to me to ask if free trade was so good, why is its impact so disastrous for the U.S.? Not until recently, that is.

And surely our race for government control of every aspect of our economy led to manacled industrial results, especially in heavy industry. But I heard our technology would bail us out. Who needed autos, steel, aluminum and other smoke stack industries, what with their pollution and dirt? Not the U.S. Uhm, we forgot we needed their jobs.

This all played a terrible self-destruction to our heavy industry and their secondary affiliates. The politicians in power either didn’t see the developments, didn’t have answers, or didn’t care. We have seen recently how quickly our economy can respond when unleased. How hard was that?

It’s obvious that the last 30 years, especially our last 8 years prior to 2017, that one of the most important OleMartyBoy Principles was not understood by our heros in government: “You get more of what you encourage and less of what you discourage.” Simple, eh, but entirely overlooked by our government until last year.

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

I understand Free Trade means that each of the parties share similar rules as to access, tariffs, government industrial financial assistance and the like. Each of the parties is to operate in trade under similar rules, with shared understandings.

Still, the economic talking points by the media trumpet Free Trade, when even the dead and buried know there is little of it with many of our trade partners, especially The People’s Republic of China. That is the problem seemingly overlooked when media discussions center on the subject. Often the quoted experts are those who profit from trade, free or not, usually the finance contingent.

When a trading partner has rules heavily skewed in their direction, as in the case of China, it is very difficult to achieve free trade. Does each party have similar access to the other’s markets? Are tariffs similar? Are privately owned companies in the U.S. competing against government backed Chinese companies who can survive long after a privately-owned U.S. company would be long gone, and thus undercutting its pricing? And most importantly, does the other country operate in a relatively free market?

China has over a billion plus person population. It is a giant country that has been backward, isolated and extremely poor. Coming out of W.W. II, it had a puny, agrarian economy. Its communist dictatorship created a command economy. The U.S., as it had done with Germany, Italy, Japan, and non-communist Europe helped re-establish the shattered economies of these countries with trade. China, under the yoke of brutal Chairman Mao, spent much of the post-war period avoiding the U.S. and brutalizing much of its citizenry. Like all old men, The Great Prick, Mao finally died. A special place is reserved for Him in Hell.

The new generation of Chinese leaders decided their best bet to continue to rule the dictatorship was to open their economy to trade so fewer of their citizens starved every year. We now enter in the final phase of that stage in China. It’s emergence as a world power has been achieved by an almost capitalist drive for growth and trade. Now that fewer of its citizens are starving, it has turned its attention to waging an economic war on the rest of the world.

After the war, Germany sprung economically quickly, Japan following behind, then most of non-communist Europe followed suit. Ex-Communist Europe still struggles. China followed very slowly for years. Their agrarian economy, lack of infrastructure, large over-population, and strict communist control hindered easy solutions for China’s emergence.

But once going in the 1980s, to the present, they blew forward. And who became their greatest trading partner and deliverer of free technology they seemed incapable of creating? Why, good old Uncle Sam. Sam made many concessions to the Chinese to help them economically. In fact the emergence was so great, that the New York Times’ ace reporter, Tom Friedman advocated the U.S. should adopt the Chinese model for the economy. We saw how well that direction worked with the economic performance of Tom’s favorite President, Barack Hussein Obama.

I suffered thru much of the 1980’s when Japan, Inc. was running rough shod over our economy and we all believed they would easily control us. They were going to buy everything in America! Lost any sleep on that one recently? We sure did then. They were then the Asian powerhouse, akin to their speed in conquering much of South East Asia during the war, then unable to maintain their advantage against the U.S., just like in the war.

In Japan, the command economy stumbled badly in the 1990s and continues to do so. Picking many winners in the economy early boosted them, but command economies seem incapable of letting the losers die, dragging down all with them, by not cleansing by dying. The losers stayed alive with government help, as many do to this day.

Lying in wait in the Chinese economy lurks the same virus, as it does in all command economies, germinating even as we breathe. The trade deficit in the news is that China is enjoying a $350-$500 Billion-dollar annual trade deficit with the US and a $300 billion-dollar annual technology transfer as a gift, (actually by theft). Quickly, who has the most to lose in this transaction? China or Americans no longer able to go to Walmart to buy more cheap unneeded junk?

The economic talking heads making their living on Wall Street or Washington, D.C. care little about American workers displaced for years. Deplorables! Now the economic bigshots lament the possible trade war with China because it threatens their stew, citing the loss of cheap goods for us to buy. Where were these folks all those years as hard working Americans were thrown from their jobs, in places like Buffalo, Detroit and Youngstown, all dead cities. You know, “free” trade is a must, for the elites.

In this blather over free trade, the one thing I have never heard is that the actions of the Chinese constitute an economic war against the U.S., and has been since Nixon went to China. Dead soldiers, bombed cities, lost industry, and loss of fortune is the result of a shooting war.  They are easy to spot. An economic war is harder to see, but the results are similar; ruined cities, lost industry, citizen agony, broken dreams, destruction of the American economy.  We have been living with that. The results are easily visible. It does seem difficult to see from Wall Street and D.C.

This war is being done on the backs of our workers and industry, and our economy. The trade rules are not similar. Technology is stolen en masse. Their markets are often closed to us. They are very smart people and have been out maneuvering us for 50 years. How dumb can we be?

Even though they now have a first world economy, by choice they have a third world pay scale for their workers. This creates quality goods at a price our companies cannot hope to match. And between their lack of free trade and subsidy of the cost of their goods, how do our companies compete? The answer is obvious, we can’t. Thus this massive transfer of wealth from us to them, allowing them to continue their economic war unabated. This has built their new cities, airports, schools, roads and infrastructure to first world standards.

Their actions in the command economy injures their workers as well, keeping a massive economy acting like they barely succeed with worker earnings. But this action is getting pushback as countries wake up from their slumber.

I am running a contest. Thinking the talking heads will prevail, and we do nothing about the predatory Chinese trade practices, I am looking for a worker’s name. I want to know the name of the last American industrial worker, the one who turns off the lights in the last manufacturing plant in the country, just as it closes. Email me the name and the winner gets $100.00 and a video tour of Detroit. ##

marty-lavin-posted-on-mhpronewsMartin V “Marty” Lavin, J.D.
Burlington, VT
Winter Residence, Miami, FL

Editor’s Notes: Marty is a community, retail, and finance veteran who is an MHI award winner.

Note 2: The content is penned by Marty, but the illustrations are provided by the editor. 

Manufactured Homes – Access & Equity – a Key Cure for America’s Housing Shortages, Wealth-Building Says Activist Donald Tye, Jr.

March 6th, 2018 No comments

Manufactured housing could cure most of the ills we have in this country as it pertains to the housing shortage.

Why then is it not being utilized as it could be?  Especially when it is known what the consent of the governed has been towards its use, i.e.: HUD?

The answer lies in the fact that super-capitalists and monopolies controlled by the few, lobby against the very democracy that afforded them the billions they have at their disposal. They are able to do this by making sure that on every level of the socioeconomic hierarchy, they have agents, allies, or directors forming what is called an Interlocking Directorate. 

These directorates can be very deceptive, because most times their job is not to steer but just to glean information to disseminate to the titular head of the organization. Many an activist, including myself, have fallen prey to this type of hidden maneuvering and manipulation.  Warren Buffett is among such Americans.

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews550

Housing and Civil Rights, Super-Capitalism vs. Democracy

I was never in agreement with parts of the Civil Rights Movement as it pertained to making people do what they otherwise did not want to do. I believe that if you don’t want me in your store, then I should not go to your store.

However, I do believe in equal access.

I believe that people participating in a Democracy should be granted all the same access, holding to the words of the Declaration of Independence; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Simply put, a Democratic Government should give equal access to the governed. To all people who are citizens, black, white, yellow, etc.

It is in this vein that my parents, and I as a parent, disagreed with affirmative action. If you gave me access to: living wage jobs, bank loans to purchase a home and an equally unencumbered education, then I could do the rest by myself! That in and of itself is reparations.

I have said before that home ownership is the quickest way to build wealth.

Our personal experience with buying and paying off a factory-built home, in the days before the HUD Code for manufactured housing came into being, is another indicator that manufactured homes can rise in value side-by-side with conventional housing.

HUD and public officials need to make enhanced preemption of manufactured homes a reality. What else will fix the problem millions face caused by locals and officials blocking access to wealth-creating affordable? ##

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateIndustryVoicesMHProNews338

Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.
Actively Retired
Minister, Investor, and Business Professional

 

(Editor’s Notes: Rev. Tye has recently returned from Puerto Rico, where he saw the post-hurricane challenges first hand.  He’s also involved with investors in transformational studies in housing.  Tye is actively advocating for the use of the enhanced preemption passed into law by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  The links below are related topics that sparked the letter provided by Tye above to MHProNews for publication.

Tye has also provided a sample of legal research from Harvard University on the challenges and problems that can be created by interlocking directorates. Stay tuned for that report…Titles to articles and illustrations are routinely provided by the publisher, as is the case here.)

 

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

A Much Better Way for FEMA, Taxpayers, Says Manufactured Home Industry Professional

September 17th, 2017 No comments

I expect that all manufacturers, while agreeing with The Stafford Act, believe there is a much better way. Respect for the taxpayer certainly does not appear considered with many government purchases. 

To serve those affected by disaster, we should, but most believe we can:

Save the taxpayer money with an adjusted set of requirements, to build MHU units via the HUD code but omit the sprinkler system requirement and many other overreaching requirements. The savings are significant.

ControversiesErruptFEMAPressesHUDCodeBuildersManufacturedHomeRetailersIndustryProsReactMHProNews

These comments were shared in response to the story linked above, click for details. Off the record comments are a time-honored tradition in media, which we respect. Naturally, MHProNews routinely seeks to discern how valid (or not) a claim may be, and strives to publish only those that meets that discernment process standards. 

Save the taxpayer money by eliminating the need for storage yards through the ability to build with inventory manufacturers know they can procure and build almost immediately. The units could go immediately to FEMAs set disaster location and be immediately deployed. The savings could be significant.

Save the taxpayer money by disallowing MHU units to be pulled wherever, whenever and back again. With the ability to expedite production, this unnecessary transportation can go away. The savings could be significant

Save the taxpayer money through a warranty provision that is not punitive for minor cosmetics. Who cares? What family would be ungrateful for an MHU unit with A few blemishes? The savings to FEMA, would be significant. Manufacturers would not have to hedge.

Save the taxpayer money by streamlining the inspection processes, the IPIAs that are trusted to inspect/approve our industry’s homes that are bought by hardworking Americans with lenders respecting the loans should be able to inspect Temporary housing units. The savings would be significant.

Establish a requirement for care by the residents occupying the unit to protect it, just like any landlord might do. Design the floor plans for resale where the loss for purchase to liquidation is not so excessive.

There is much, much more that could be considered.

It is not FEMA’s money. It is the taxpayers. I believe our industry believes in a better way!

Please keep me off the record. Thanks.” ##

DefiningSICinJournalismDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-com

iReportManufacturedHomeHousingIndustryMHProNewsTipsLogoGraphic(Editor’s Note: the above is from a respected veteran of the manufactured housing industry known by this publisher.  It came in response to the report linked here. Due to the sensitive nature of his role, he has requested anonymity, which we routinely honor.  The typos are in the original, and we opted not to use the SIC graphic where they occurred. There will be a follow up report on the Daily Business News on a related issue Monday morning, Sept 17, at about 3:04 PM ET. Other reports will follow. )

FHFA, GSEs and the Duty To Serve Manufactured Housing – Mark Weiss, JD – Viewpoint

December 14th, 2016 No comments

Chattel lending is crucial to the availability of affordable manufactured housing for American families, representing as much as 80% of consumer loans for the purchase of new manufactured homes.

Knowing this, Congress specifically included manufactured home chattel loans in the “Duty to Serve” provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

The total exclusion — thus far — of those loans from two proposed DTS implementation rules is, therefore, incomprehensible and has never been explained or justified in any credible way by either the GSEs or the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

TenYearDelayDutyToServeGSEsManufacturedHousingMMarkWeissManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformIndustryVoicesMHProNews-

The headline and graphics on this page are provided by MHProNews, and not the writer. Other viewpoints on this or other manufactured housing related topics are welcome. Image credit, MHProNews.

The nearly ten year delay in properly implementing this simple and straightforward congressional directive has harmed both consumers – who have been left hanging with no remedy — and the industry, which continues to suffer from unnaturally low production levels due to discrimination by the GSEs.

While a mandatory pilot program including chattel loans – combined with a specific commitment to transition to a full “going basis” securitization model within a short and finite timeframe — would potentially be a step forward, a chattel “pilot program” in itself would not fulfill the mandate of DTS. ##

M-MarkWeiss-MHARRPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform-posted-MHProNews-com-75x75-Mark Weiss, JD
President & CEO
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)
1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Suite 512
Washington, D.C. 20004

Discrimination, Injustice against manufactured housing – a Call for Action by Industry Professionals

August 30th, 2016 No comments

Tony, this news story out of Dover, DE is yet another example of blatant agenda and discrimination against our industry. More importantly, this is discrimination against affordable housing and the individuals who live in manufactured or pre-fabricated homes.

If anything, this Dover zoning/MHC story is a case of officials harming their own constituents. Rent control is proven not to work, save to drive out more affordable housing over time. Further, in neighboring Maryland, there are conventional houses built on land-lease.  Do you see the excuses used against manufactured homes in Dover being used against those conventional houses built on a land-lease in Maryland?  No.

TMHA’s D. J. Pendleton, quoted in the article linked here, was correct.  Excuses by public officials to deny manufactured homes are often fig leaves, mere window-dressing used to discriminate against manufactured housing, land-lease communities and sizeable groups of Americans.

The problems with the ABC TV news story out of Houston is also a case of media ignorance or bias.  By saying what kind of housing the shooting took place, almost implies that the house had something to do with the crime.

When have you ever heard a reporter say, “there’s been a murder in a site-built home”…?

LisaTylerPhDWilliamPMcCartyPhDToddLambLambInvestmentsManufacturedHomeCommunitiesCrimeBradNelmsManufacturedHomesModularHomes-com-postedMHProNews-com

Graphic credit, MHProNews.com. The Dover story Brad is commenting on, is linked here, or by clicking the image above.

Lisa Tyler, Ph.D. and William P McCarty, Ph.D. have researched this issue of crime in manufactured home communities, and have disproven the old MHC’s and crime myth.

Todd Lamb is correct. Hands-on owners and managers who properly run their manufactured home communities – and lawfully screen for criminal history – will routinely find less crime than conventional housing neighborhoods in the same area.

However, I believe more than anything that these injustices should be motivation for us as an industry to do everything we can to elevate our brand identity.

If we continue to be complacent, history will continue to repeat itself and we will see more and more zoning laws that harm and hinder our much needed American manufactured home industry. ##
Editor’s Note, the comments above were submitted in reply to the story linked here, and to another story we will link up soon.)

brad-nelms-coo-manufactured-homes-com-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comBrad W. Nelms
Mr. Nelms works with ManufacturedHomes.com and ModularHomes.com,
two companies dedicated to raising the brand image of manufactured homes and modular homes.

HUD Code Manufactured Housing, “The Discrimination Code”

August 25th, 2016 No comments

Tony, you are so right on the HUD Code has become a deadly “discrimination code,” especially as it applies to manufactured home financing.

But it doesn’t end there.

Recent stories here and elsewhere have chronicled the inability to site a manufactured home in certain areas, where MODs pass, but HUDs fail, in spite of the fact the exterior and interior may be indistinguishable.

MartyLavinHUDCodeDeadlyDiscriminationCode-IndustryVoicesMHProNews

Methinks we may have to face how much we want to continue to allow the “Scarlet Code” to continue to damage our brand. ##

(Editor’s note: Marty’s comments are in reference to a Daily Business News article on zoning and connected challenges, linked here, and related commentary, linked here. For an indepth video interview with award-winning MH finance pro and community owner, Marty Lavin, click here.)

marty-lavin-posted-on-mhpronewsMARTIN (Marty) LAVIN
att’y, consultant, expert witness
350 Main Street
BURLINGTON, VT 05401
802.238.7777
only in factory built housing

Discrimination, Zoning and Disparate Impact on Manufactured Homes, Owners, Prospects

August 25th, 2016 No comments

The discriminatory exclusion of manufactured homes by local governments is a major problem for the industry and consumers.  It artificially stunts industry growth, while it unfairly deprives Americans of access to the nation’s most affordable housing — effectively excluding lower and moderate-income citizens from entire communities.

While this phenomenon is dressed-up as “zoning” by those on the other side of the issue — in part because the federal government has historically been reluctant to interfere in local “zoning” matters — we need to be clear about what is actually going on, in the language we use to refer to it, and how we address it.

The reality — in many, if not most cases — is that “zoning” is simply a fig leaf for what amounts to discrimination; discrimination against our homes to be sure, but, more importantly, discrimination against the people who buy them, own them and live in them.

MMarkWeissJDMHARRCEOPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform

As MHARR has stressed before, there have never been more tools available to the industry and consumers to address this issue at — and beyond — HUD.  These include not only the enhanced preemption of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, but HUD’s new rules on affirmatively furthering fair housing and the recent Supreme Court decision allowing discrimination claims to be pursued based on evidence of “disparate impact.”  ##

(Editor’s note: This was the first for publication commentary sent in the wake of the Daily Business News report on a discriminatory zoning case, linked here. Two more Op-Eds on zoning are linked here and here.)

MMarkWeissCEO-MHARR-ManufacturedHousingAssociationforRegulatoryReform-posted-IndustryVoices-MHProNews

 

Mark Weiss
President & CEO
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

Dare’s 3 Point Plan for Manufactured Housing Industry Recovery

June 29th, 2016 No comments

TitusDareSVPEagleOneFinancial-PostedIndustryVoicesMHProNews-com-With apologies to MH Industry legend Randy Rowe and his 5 Point Plan for Industry Recovery – which is insightful and important reading – let me

suggest that what the Industry needs is a foundation that’s built upon a simple three point plan – which is really a 1 point plan – and everything else is a subset to that basic necessity.

Ready?

Education, Education, Education

James McGee and Chet Murphree said it very well on a video, its all about education. That’s sounds so simple, but they were correct, and its so true.

What keeps more lenders from entering the manufactured housing market? Education.

What does and has Triad Financial done so successfully for years to bring more lenders into the manufactured housing space? In a phrase, they’ve educated bankers and credit unions to the realities of modern manufactured homes.

The Three Forms of Education needed for MH Industry Recovery are these:

1) Public Education

Consumers must be exposed – educated – about the product.

This can happen at events, online, at a retail center, community, factory, visiting a friend’s manufactured home, etc. The more the public is educated, the better they understand our product and the more they will buy it.

The secret sauce for manufactured housing success is to attract and sell more credit worthy buyers, which in turn will cause the stigma to subside. As more millionaires and the mid-to-upper middle class buyers purchase a new manufactured or modular home, the more success the industry will enjoy in selling the entry level market that no one but manufactured housing can successfully serve without serious public subsidies.

EducationIsAKeyToProfitablyAdvanceManufacturedHousing-TitusDare-imagecredit-MHProNews-com

Editor’s note – All images on this page, save Titus’ photo, are provided by MHProNews.com as illustrations for his message, and were not sent by the author.

2) Outside MH Professional Education

Want More Lenders? Be it the GSEs, or others, education – not a sales job, education is at the heart of what’s needed. Educate them on how the existing industry lenders do it successfully. Do what Don Glisson’s team has done, or what I’ve been a part of doing in MH for many years.

Some 80% of HUD Code MH sales make appraisal, so 20% of potential sales don’t meet appraisal.

Want more appraisers to give better appraisals on manufactured homes? Then, you better help them get their arms around the nuances between the upper end homes and the entry level homes, underscoring the point that they are all built to the HUD Code and are safe, durable and energy efficient. Educate them!

Want more public officials to say yes to manufactured housing? Educating the public, and creating their demand for the product – while also educating local, state and national officials – educating each of those groups are essential. Each must be educated uniquely, but each form of outreach should take place at the same time.

Want more developers, Realtors ® and other housing professionals to embrace manufactured homes? Isn’t that also about education?

Make no mistake about it – the industry has to reach out to a myriad of other groups and professionals if it is to achieve its potential. But the rewards will be worth the effort.

Inside MH Professional Education

To sell more of the upscale buyers, and to convince more public officials, mainstream media etc. – all of those are educational efforts, that requires better motivated, informed and yes – educated industry professionals.

Some in the industry are truly forward looking. Others are hoping for a return to Conseco and Greentree days. The later won’t happen and wouldn’t work for long if it did.

For the Industry to attract new capital, we must prove we are educated enough ourselves to be thinking about ways so that everyone in the mix will benefit and win.

The win-lose days are over.

Further, you don’t usually sell a millionaire the same way you do that customer who can just barely qualify for the least expensive entry level house. You have to approach every prospect based upon their unique needs, wants, world view and expectations.

All of that and more are a matter of training, of education.

What Won’t Work

What’s clear is that manufactured housing endured over a decade of downturn, followed by a modest roughly 6 years of recovery.

We may have the best product ever, but what attracted those new lenders in the past and what attracted developers and other housing professionals to MH before was what appeared to be the opportunity to do volume and to do it in a profitable way.

MH was once one out of every 4 new homes hooked up to electrical service in the U.S. Today, its a fraction of that total.

We can’t tilt at windmills, we can’t cry over split milk, but we can learn our lessons. That learning…is education! So we can begin to educate our way back to success.

4S=SafeSoundSanitarySustainable-postedIndustryVoicesMHProNews-com-

In case you missed it, click the link above to see Titus’ original column on MHProNews.

Every step of what it takes to be successful in lending, which is critical for the advancement of this or any other big ticket industry, must be connected to those 4S I mentioned in my first column.

The news is breaking as I’m writing this today that YES! Communities is being pursued on a 2 billion dollar potential buyout. Whatever happens on that deal, we know that several billions in MHC transactions have already taken place in the last year. That tells us what we already know.

Manufactured housing has demand, because affordable housing has demand.

What did Frank Rolfe say on that video? People hate their apartments. Rolfe and his associates are growing because they understand a key aspect of affordable housing. Price and payment sells!

Exaggerating to make the Point

In truth, education, education, education is a key.

But there are subsets to that, where experts in lending, in developing, in production of HUD Code and modular homes, in proper installations, in safe transit, insuring, supplying, associations, legal minds and other experts all play a role. So I’m exaggerating education a bit to make the point.

Over the years, at educational events I was part of to promote manufactured housing lending and manufactured housing as the ideal source for affordable housing for potentially millions of people, I had the opportunity to meet all sorts of Industry pros.

I’ve mentioned Don Glisson Jr. and Rick Rand, but there was also the Claytons, Dan Rolfes, Lad Dawson, Marty Lavin, Dick Ernst, Phil Surles, Joe Stegemeyer and so many others I could fill this page with their names. Each one brought certain qualities to the table.

That’s what must happen again – bring together the best minds, to educate – and education is the best form of promotion that manufactured housing could possible offer for the future.

Is there more to do than educate?

You bet, and with Tony okay to publish it, I’ll gladly share that in a future column too. Let’s note that Tony and his team and sponsors have already started this educational ball rolling on MHLivingNews – educating the public and public officials, and on MHProNews by sharing the insights, interviews, comments, news and opinions that so many have on these pages over the years.

End the Fear, and the Growth Will Follow

One piece of the advancement puzzle is ending fear. Education overcomes the paralysis of fear, or the no that fears cause. State or national associations clearly have many potential roles to play.

Come on in the water is fine” won’t work when trying to get the FHFA, GSEs or anyone else to come to the manufactured housing table on doing long term chattle-style (home only) mortgage lending.

As a career banker and a true believer that MH can, and will, solve our housing crisis in America, I ask each member of this great industry to pull together and refocus the efforts of the industry on education, education, education for the next 3 to 5 years. I believe the results for the MH industry and all those involved will be astounding. ##

(Editor’s note – the headline was written by MHProNews, the contents of this message were sent to us by the author; we note that so that readers don’t get the impression that Titus Dare named himself in the headline! 😉

TitusDareSVPEagleOneFinancial-PostedIndustryVoicesMHProNews-com-By Titus Dare
Senior Vice-President
EagleOne Financial, Inc.

MH Industry’s Trade Shows – Lessons from Other Industry’s Trade Events

April 7th, 2016 No comments

Tony, In a follow up to our discussion, I wanted to review a few touch points we covered regarding the NADA Convention and Expo that could be useful to the manufactured housing industry and its trade shows.

There are many obvious differences between the NADA convention and the one in Tunica or Louisville, but the concept is essentially the same, “To provide value, education, business growth opportunities (best practices) and industry harmony – one unified front to effectively deal with the challenges facing the industry.”

These can be explained in simple terms:

Value

Creating value in a destination conference that gives both exhibitors and attendees a no-brainer decision to leave their business, invest in the cost of travel, hotels and out of office costs associated with the event, knowing they will get a return on their investment through education, best practices and the knowledge gained to improve their business and bottom line.

Education

Bringing in experts in various specific subject matters to provide the valuable knowledge needed to compete in our ever changing business climate. Even if they come from a different industry, many businesses face very similar challenges. Those who do not evolve in this world WILL be left behind.

Business Growth Opportunity (best practices)

Contacts, product exposure, and networking are all ways to learn about best practices. What works for some businesses may very well work for another. Exchanging ideas and communicating with thought leaders also provide education and information not covered in many sessions or seminars.

Industry Harmony

By creating this overall environment it becomes easier to convey the ever changing issues facing the industry today. This continued exposure and spread of this information will get more people pushing the wagon in the same direction supporting the strength in numbers theory which is proven.

By bringing this type of value to convention/conference events is will go a long way towards moving the needle on any fence sitters who may find other reasons to either not attend or just stay for a shorter time period. There is a goal to make the event a stronger draw than the need to get back to the office a day or two earlier. If you can provide that type of value, then attendees and exhibitors will all win.  

Following these concepts, we had strong growth for the convention linked below.

NADA-AutoConvention-creditNADAguides-PostedIndustryVoices-MHProNews-com-

Tony, I have provided a pretty strong blueprint to what I feel may be some of the solutions to help improve the good things that already happen at MH Industry trade shows, to build on the foundation that is already in place. As we discussed, having education each day – not just the afternoon before the show opened – could have been a magnet for dozens if not hundreds of pros to stay longer or come on day 2 or 3 of the event.

Below is a link to the agenda schedule coming at the NADA auto dealer’s event. The education list is a long one, but worth while to review and see what is being offered. I’m in no way saying that this is what the MH industry should cover, but it does show the depth and detail in what’s being presented to an industry that just had record breaking sales in 2015. If MH wants growth records broken too, getting the best possible trade show is a piece of the puzzle for making that happen. ##

http://www.nadaconvention.org/nada2016/Public/sessions.aspx?ID=7840&sortMenu=110003

LennySimsNADAguides-postedIndustryVoicesMHProNews-com-Lenny Sims
CBDO
National Appraisal Guides, Inc.
3186 “K” Airway Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Direct Line (714) 619-2062
Main Office (800) 966-6232 x235
Email lsims@nadaguides.com

(Editor’s Note: Every year, numerous comments are given to me person-to-person by exhibitors or attendees about the Tunica and Louisville Manufactured Housing Trade Show. Some are praise, some are suggestions to improve the show and its attendance. Lenny was happy to share his thoughts publicly.

We encourage others to share their thoughtful insights or views on manufactured housing trade shows, or any other aspect of the factory-built home industry. Email latonyk@gmail.com, with the subject line Industry Voices Guest Letter.)

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