Research can be valuable and informative if it approaches its subject in a non-biased, factual manner. Your recent definition of "manufactured home" however immediately casts your research intentions into serious doubt with such prejudicial, outdated, and uninformed terminology.
Official, legal, definitions are available on many state and national government websites and will provide you a more balanced and timely reflection of the state of manufactured homes in 2013. I request that you update your own definition using one of these, without the insertion of your flawed and outdated misunderstanding of today's manufactured homes.
Should you need any additional assistance in defining manufactured homes, please contact me and I will be happy to provide you with correct information.
President and CEO
Manufactured Housing Institute
(Editor's Note: Dick Jennison's cogent response is published with permission, and is in response to this 'definition' published online by Princeton's WordNet as shown below:
Until Princeton's Wordnet Team has made a proper update, please take a moment and add your voice to these and other respected industry professionals who have emailed email@example.com them to correct their flawed online definition. You could use one of the examples given by others linked above, or write your own, but please do write them.
Our original column that launched this topic on MHProNews is linked here and a different version meant for the public is found here on MHLivingNews) ##
Please take a few moments and send them a message of your own, or use a variation on the one MH Retailer Jody Anderson sent, or like the fine one above from MHC manager James Cook, both of which we deem better than the one Tony Kovach sent, linked again here.)
Other messages besides these have been sent to WordNet, but we need more from You and Your MH Circle until Princeton U 'gets the message' and changes their terribly erroneous, so-called definition of a manufactured home. So take a moment now and please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. CC email@example.com your message to Wordnet, Thank you! )
The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) held its first and only meeting of 2012 on October 22nd – 25th to consider a number of recommendations for changes to the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Program. HUD intended to have two meetings in 2012 but problems with the approval of a new contract for the Administering Organization, the National Fire Protection Association, resulted in a hastily arranged fall meeting in Arlington, VA. All but three of the 21 members were in attendance. Representatives from HUD included the Deputy Administrator of the HUD Manufactured Housing Program, the HUD engineering staff, and a representative from HUD’s office of General Council.
MHI was surprised and disappointed that higher ranking officials who oversee the program from the Department’s Office of Regulatory Affairs were not in attendance at any time during the meeting.
The Committee worked over two days to conclude work on all outstanding items before the Committee and to consider several new issues. This is despite the frustration voiced by MHCC members and MHI over HUD’s failure to implement dozens of recommendations of the MHCC over the last four years or more.
Highlights of the Committee Recommendations
Southern Yellow Pine Design Standards – By a 15-2 vote, the MHCC recommended that HUD delay implementation of the National Design Specification (NDS) for Wood for 2×2 and 2×4 southern pine lumber, effective January 1, 2013, until such time that it presents the MHCC with a proposal for changes to the existing standards as required by law, or until such time that HUD issues an emergency rule under Section 604(b)(5) of the Manufactured Housing Improvements Act of 2000. This is consistent with MHI’s petition to HUD earlier this year, and with MHI’s testimony before the committee.
Hinged Roof Assemblies – The MHCC voted 15-2 to recommend that HUD withdraw requirements for Alternative Construction Letters for certain types of hinged roofs designed for Wind Zone I until HUD clarifies current regulations regarding the on-site installation of hinged roof assemblies known as “double hinged” and “ridge box or peak cap” assemblies. The industry argued that such hinged roof assemblies do not need AC letters because they are constructed in the factory and are part of the “close–up” requirements under the installation standards, 3285,801(f). Members argued that methods for completing the installation of such homes are much less complicated than many multi-section home “close-ups.” These types of assemblies are common practice in the industry, and installers are trained and certified to complete these types of installations.
Wind Design Standards – The MHCC voted 17-0 to recommend that the reference standards of the American Society of Engineers (ASCE 7) wind design standards be updated to the 2005 version from the 1995 version, and the existing wind speed design requirements in the HUD Code be adjusted accordingly. However, the committee did not recommend any code changes regarding design requirements for wind pressure. It voted to maintain the current three wind zones as opposed to four. The new wind safety recommendations are the result of many hours of work by an industry led task force that included HUD and members of the ASCE-7 committee, who concluded that any new requirements beyond what the MHCC recommended would not be cost beneficial.
Indoor Air Quality – The MHCC concluded action on pending recommendations debated over the last four years, to improve ventilation and indoor quality in manufactured homes. In a unanimous vote, the MHCC recommended that the HUD Code provide for the voluntary use of ASHRAE 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. In a change supported by MHI, the Committee voted to amend existing regulations to provide more flexibility in the types and size of ventilation systems that may be utilized to ensure adequate ventilation. (In a related issue, see information below on the GAO report).
Other MHCC Actions
In other actions, the Committee added new testing and certification requirements for certain types of vinyl siding; provided a new reference standard for Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF); updated and clarified language regarding construction methods; tabled a proposal regarding alternative foundation designs; rejected a site drainage proposal; rejected updated testing and certification requirements for windows and sliding doors; and referred new issues to MHCC subcommittees regarding water heaters.
Highlights of HUD (Designated Federal Officer) Report and Comments to MHCC
Status of MHCC recommendations pending at HUD
• Final Rules for the proposed 2nd set of updates to the standards, changes to roof truss testing, and changes to 3282, Subpart I, are in Departmental Clearance.
• A final rule for On-Site Completion of Construction is still being developed by HUD staff.
• HUD is still working to develop a proposed rule on a proposal developed by MHI regarding ground anchor testing. HUD is also working on changes to the regulations regarding Primary Inspection Agencies.
MHCC recommendations need a cost benefit analysis
HUD's Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Henry Czauski, reported that the MHCC/DFO must present to the committee its recommendations with an economic cost/benefit analysis. The recommendations must be in a format consistent with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) regarding proposed rules and should include a preamble.
Manufacturers need to adhere to regulations regarding Alternative Construction
During discussion of hinged roof designs and Alternative Construction (AC) letters Mr. Czauski noted that there have been numerous instances where manufacturers are not following the regulations under 3282.14 regarding Alternative Construction. If the industry members demand a timely response it is imperative that complete information is provided and regulations regarding inspections, labeling and reporting be followed.
DOE has not communicated on energy efficiency proposals
In response to a question by a committee member, HUD reported that it has had no recent conversations with the Department of Energy regarding energy efficiency standards, although the law requires it, and a recent Congressional directive, sought by MHI, directs DOE to also consult with the MHCC.
Highlights of MHI’s Public Remarks to MHCC
MHI staff provided the following public testimony during each of the three public comment periods:
• Recommended that the MHCC consider HUD’s inappropriate action regarding enforcement of the new design standards for southern pine lumber.
• Urged the committee to review and comment, if necessary, on the recent and pending changes to the NDS standard for southern pine lumber.
• Recommended that the MHCC review HUD’s guidelines for quality assurance under the procedural and enforcement regulations and codify the guidelines.
• Expressed concern about lack of transparency and timely action by HUD and the MHCC on MHCC recommendations.
• Thanked HUD for recent actions regarding preemption and the City of Richland, Mississippi.
• Announced that MHI is working on an industry-based energy efficiency standard and hopes to bring it before the MHCC early in 2013.
GAO Report Published on Indoor Air Quality to Coincide with MHCC Meeting
Coincidently, related to MHCC’s recommendation on indoor air quality, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report entitled “Manufactured Housing Standards – Testing and Performance Evaluation Could Better Ensure Safe Indoor Air Quality” (available at www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-52.) The report was requested by several members of Congress last year to examine indoor air quality standards for manufactured housing.
The report's key findings conclude that some provisions of the HUD Code provide a lower margin of safety against a carbon monoxide exposure incident than those for site-built homes. The report concluded that the primary reason for the differences in ventilation standards for manufactured homes and site-built homes is that the HUD Code has not been updated and has not kept pace with standards tied to ventilation and air quality for site-built homes. This is despite recommendations by the MHCC in 2009 and 2010 to update various ventilation standards and carbon monoxide requirements. The GAO report is consistent with MHI’s position that the HUD Code, to remain viable, must be updated.
Lois Starkey, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)
You don't have to be Jewish to feel deep concern about what took place at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Responding to political pressure to put the word "God" back in their platform as well as to once again name Jerusalem as Israel's national capital, DNC delegates where asked to pass the motion by a 2/3 vote. The video I've asked to be posted below tells the tale. For those who question the commitment by Democrats to fair elections, please watch this CSPAN video and share it with others.
Once you've watched this objectively, everything else is spin and commentary.
Among the emails that come into me are from a White House 'group.' Some months back, there was an outreach by that White House group to the business community. The president, it was said, wants to help ease burdensome regulations, to make it easier on small businesses.
How can we take such an election year outreach to small businesses seriously, by those who executed Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare?
Talk to an independent manufactured home builder. Ask them, with consumer complaints at new lows, why is HUD pushing more and more 'voluntary' – and other – regulations? Why don't we have the Duty to Serve implemented by the GSEs/FHFA?
The energy sector creates demand for factory-built housing, in places such as North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states. The current administration's policies, up until election year, were favoring gas prices of $8 to $9 a gallon for gas, as this video clip of testimony by Energy Secretary Steven Chu demonstrates.
While this next video clip has been pieced together, it reflects in President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's own words, a path designed to foil coal fired energy production in the United States.
Without belaboring the point, some believe that anti-domestic energy policies such as these were a path to promote green energy by making conventional domestic energy sources harder to come by. Such policies directly harm domestic energy firms. But they indirectly harm our industry, which often provides housing for those workers, especially when they are in areas with high demand for housing.
We scarcely hear about enhanced pre-emption for HUD Code Homes these days. Why not? Wasn't it part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000?
Community operators created some 10 billion worth of paper to finance manufactured homes in their land lease locations. This was a free enterprise solution designed to fill the gaps created when lenders who vaporized – such as Conseco – went good-bye. But SAFE, Dodd-Frank and a plethora of other laws and regulations have so squeezed this 'captive finance' free enterprise solution in MHCs, that now community owner/operators are turning to rental homes in their properties instead.
Rentals in once all owner occupied communities?! The entire business model of community operators is being changed by the Regulators and their political allies who passed and fund those regulations. Shame on us if we let the party of Regulation be rewarded.
I'm appalled that some still want to believe in "hope and change," when we are heading "forward" towards a new fiscal cliff and a new recession in 2013. Some commentators already believe we are already back in recession.
How could we move "forward" by following the advice of those who gladly took Fannie and Freddie's PAC money? Politicians such as Congressman Barney Frank and then Senator Barack Obama? ACORN, community organizer Barack Obama and the Clinton Administration worked together to force lenders to issue loans to those who were not credit qualified. No doubt there were Republicans who colluded. Shame on all involved.
But it is gutless by Republicans to let the Democrats dish it out and not respond to such fables, blaming Bush II for the mortgage/housing meltdown when Democrats had a firm hand in the cookie jar that caused that whole fiasco.
They should call it the mortgage/financial services industry's version of Russian roulette.
When government interferes so massively in the free market, of course there will be unintended consequences.
But to falsely blame supply side economics for the mortgage/housing collapse is a creative lie or brutal ignorance. Neither the option of lie or ignorance are worthy of credence or support.
We don't hear much in Manufactured housing circles about how the run-up to the mortgage meltdown harmed our Industry. But it did! Easy qualifying, liar loans and the like created a false opportunity for hundreds of thousands of conventional housing buyers. A percentage of those buyers were or normally would have been manufactured home owners. As some manufactured home lenders about those owners who walked away from their HUD Code homes to get conventional houses during the run up to the mortgage/housing bust.
That put pressure on MH lenders and the MH market in general. As MHs where being left behind, of course values dropped, just as they have more recently in conventional housing neighborhoods plagued by foreclosures.
So federal policy harmed our industry in the early 00s, as thousands of our home owners left what become over-leveraged HUDs for what turned out to be over-leveraged conventional houses.
You can thank those politicians who made that happen to us then and more recently.
But let's not thank them by rewarding them with our support or our votes. That is like rewarding the thief by putting him in charge of law enforcement.
When politicians plunder the public treasury to fund with borrowed and tax payer money programs contrary to the Constitution and the public interest, it is time to end such madness.
Research I've seen indicates that some 44-47% of voters will vote for President Obama no matter what he says or does. That means the rest of us who are capable of a critical analysis and independent thought better show up at the polls and cast ballots wisely.
While applauding columns like the one on Voter Fraud, I was frankly disappointed when MHProNews published an interview with Congressman Joe Donnelly. Donnelly may be a co-sponsor of HR 3849, but he also voted for HERA 2008, which gave us the SAFE Act. Donnelly voted for Dodd-Frank. So while I understand the desire for 'balance,' I question the timing or "political correctness" of publishing the Donnelly interview during campaign season.
What we need when the industry is already in the lifeboats and are looking at possible new waves looming on the horizon is enhanced clarity, not confusion.
When even Time Magazine, Newsweek and the New York Times Magazine are publishing stories and OpEds that call into question or openly attack the Obama Presidency, MH trade publications need to be coming out loud, clear and strongly in favor of less government, lower taxes/regulations, a sane pro-domestic energy program and more free enterprise leadership.
The first pair of drafts of this article I was asked to edit and tone down. So this is the toned down version. I was also told that the editor would add a disclaimer and an invitation for responses. So be it.
Back to the top. Sham votes matter. They speak volumes.
Election year political posturing, via asking independent business owners and executives how to reduce the burdens or regulations matters too. It is the age old trick of seduction at work. We are being divided and conquered.
We are watching borrowed money and our tax dollars being turned against us to destroy the greatest economic system and the most free society in world history.
9/11 and U.S. Embassies ablaze reminds us why Jerusalem and God matters to America, and why that Democratic sham of a platform vote matters.
Manufactured housing matters too. President Obama stood in Elkhart, IN – an area where so many manufactured housing plants and suppliers are – talking jobs. Are there connections between all that is being covered in this column? Yes. They are just different corners of the same bolt of American political cloth.
If we sweep the current left wing crop of Democrats and RINO Republicans aside in favor of more free market oriented leaders, manufactured housing can blossom and grow again. All we need is a level playing field.
Some speculate that Ben Bernanke may have decided on QE3 – de facto printing money – to boost stock prices short term to help Team Obama win re-election. Whatever his motivation, the credit down grade cited below reminds us that the Bernanke/FED/QE3 policy is misguided. It will harm the middle class and seniors. Economic history reminds us that you earn, not print, your way to success.
“Ratings firm Egan-Jones cut its credit rating on the U.S. government to "AA-"
from "AA," citing its opinion that quantitative easing from the
Federal Reserve would hurt the
U.S. economy and the country's credit quality.” – CNBC
If we have supply-side Republicans in charge of the House and Senate, but fail to sweep out Architect Obama – the leader of our changed and hopeless society – we have not done enough.
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States
For anyone who votes to re-elect the man who wants to move us 'forward' off the looming fiscal cliff, such a person could qualify as unpatriotic by Roosevelt's definition.
Don't let that happen. Half measures won't be enough. ##
(Editor's Note: All Industry Voices and other opinion columns, including the Masthead blog, et al, represent the views of those who write them. They do not necessarily represent the views of MHProNews.com or our sponsors. It has been our long standing policy to invite guest columns from people with opposing perspectives. You can send your own letter to the editor or OpEd column on a subject connected to factory built housing to the email address linked here, with Industry Voices in the subject line. Thank you.)
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. # #
Unlike the manufactured housing industry in the United States, the market for manufactured homes in Canada remains rather prosperous by comparison. A Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI) report for the 3rd quarter of 2010 shows some 3,608 factory-built single-family homes were started in the third quarter, representing a 17 percent improvement over the same period in 2009; and that factory-built units have started to improve as a share of total single- family housing starts. In raw numbers, that may not immediately impress, but consider the population variation. The population of Canada is approximately 33,700,000, compared to some 307,000,000 in the U.S.
The healthy market has attracted a number of U.S. companies to become certified to do business in Canada where communities are being updated and renovated. There are also important distinctions in the market that some credit with the success of the industry in our northern neighbor.
The third-quarter report also showed a surge in imports of manufactured buildings, and weak exports resulted in Canada registering a trade deficit of manufactured buildings, its first since the fourth quarter of 2008. The report indicates that although the U.S. still accounts for the majority of exports of manufactured buildings, demand should continue to waver as the housing market in the U.S. remains depressed.
Kathleen Maynard, Executive Director and CEO of the Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute, spoke with MHMSM.com about some of the differences between the market and regulatory environment in the U.S. and Canada.
A major difference, and one that has kept the market strong and attracted U.S. companies, is the fact that chattel loan financing is for the most part readily available in Canada.
Maynard explains the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides chattel loan insurance for manufactured homes when land is not involved.
“If you’re putting a home into a land-lease community without purchasing the land, then they provide the insurance to facilitate those sales,” Maynard says. “It’s required you need to get mortgage insurance with less than 25 percent down payment. CMHI provides that.”
A five percent down payment requirement is typical in Canada. The maximum amortization period on chattel loans is 25 years. Effective March 18, the maximum period is 30 years for other mortgage loans. Maynard says other features of the two types of loans are consistent. Default rates on chattel loans are not available.
Perhaps most notable is that Maynard says there is typically appreciation on homes purchased with chattel loans in Canada.
“There would be a comparison made of recent purchase prices of similar homes in the area, and factors such as improvements and retrofits made would be taken into account,” she says.
While manufactured homes in the United States are somewhat distinct from other forms of both factory-built and site-built housing because they follow federal manufacturing and safety standards, Maynard explains there is no equivalent to the HUD Code in Canada.
“There’s no across-the-board federal standard,” Maynard explains. “Anything produced in the factory has to meet the same requirements.” In some ways, she says, it may be easier to have factory-built housing installed in Canada. All factory-built housing must meet standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
That’s not to say local building officials aren’t able to at times restrict the placement of manufactured housing. Local building officials do have the authority over technical requirements.
For example, Maynard says some local jurisdictions don’t approve homes built to something known as the Z240 standard, which she says is the closest thing Canada has to the HUD Code.
“If it’s just built to CSA Z240, they may not approve it,” she says, explaining that that standard has recently been updated to mirror the national building code, which is voluntarily adopted by Canada’s provinces.
Zoning issues can also prevent placement of manufactured homes in Canada, but that, she says, is largely due to issues surrounding terminology and outdated regulations. These issues are particularly acute in the province of Alberta.
This is not to suggest the grass is always greener across the northern border. The industry has had its ups and downs in recent years. Maynard says while 2008 was generally a very good year for the industry, 2009 was terrible, and while 2010 started off strong, there was a bit of a decrease in the second half.
“Most economists are projecting deceleration for 2011, but not a complete collapse or anything; just a downturn in keeping with demographic requirements,” Maynard says. “Prior to economic meltdown, we were producing at levels above what was projected by demographic requirements. Particular markets were very hot. What they’re saying now is a return to normal. 2009 was below normal. 2010 and 2011 are stabilizing.
Regionally, Maynard says Quebec and Ontario did better in 2010 than 2009 and activity in British Columbia is on the rise, but Alberta is “not as hot as it used to be.”
“There was a huge boom in Alberta and Saskatchewan in ’06, ’07 and ’08,” Maynard says. “It’s not as hot as it was, but still good there. No market is experiencing a huge boom.”
Maynard says “the landlease community option has been more attractive to first-time buyers looking for lower cost, or seniors who want to free-up equity and spend half the year in Florida. Typically the industry has looked to those consumer segments.”
While manufactured housing typically makes up ten percent of single-family housing starts in Canada, Maynard says, as for over-all starts, multi-family is accelerating faster than single-family.
“It could be due to housing costs, aging population, all sorts of things,” she says.
While the hottest industry topics in the United States seem to center around financing and regulation, the most talked about issues in Canada are an aging population and how that affects the number of sales and type of units and how design might be affected, a shortage of skilled labor and the use of social media.
“The shortage of labor is in a way a result of aging population,” Maynard says. “The average age of a brick layer is something like 68. There are a range of federal and provincial programs trying to deal with that.” For example, she says the ideas of additional apprenticeship certifications and allowing apprentices to move across provinces are being explored.
Maynard says the aging population is resulting in more multi-generational households, so demand for homes with two master suites, as an example, is on the rise.
The biggest difference, Maynard says, between the industries in Canada and the United States is the distinction made between manufactured and factory-built housing in the U.S. That distinction isn’t made in Canada and may be the reason why what is called manufactured housing doesn’t have much of a stigma across the northern border.
“There has been a lot of positive press (in Canada) with improvements in design and green technology and with manufactured housing being an environmental choice,” Maynard says. “There’s interest in the architect and design community. Developers and planners are seeing it as a good green choice.
“We talk more about factory-based construction,” she says. “That’s been a way to address the stigma. That was a concern for many years. There’s more of a recognition that with certification and quality control, waste-management and protection from the weather, the benefits are more recognized.”
In fact, it appears this Order almost could have been written with the HUD Code manufactured housing industry in mind. Its focus is on promoting the type of fair, reasonable and open regulatory environment that the HUD Code industry needs to thrive while serving consumers of affordable housing. Among other things, it states, as Administration policy, that the federal regulatory system, while protecting health and safety, must also advance “economic growth, innovation, competitiveness and job creation” through an “open exchange of information” that includes “affected stakeholders” – exactly the opposite of what is happening today in the HUD program.
Consequently, after carefully examining the Order overnight, MHARR, on January 19, 2011, acted to press HUD officials to fully comply with this Order as it relates to all aspects of the federal manufactured housing program including, most importantly, its ongoing rapid expansion of in-plant regulation. This expansion, which began innocuously as a program of “voluntary cooperation,” is now being transformed into a full-blown defacto regulation that will needlessly increase regulatory compliance costs passed to consumers by manufacturers and retailers, as the ongoing expansion now appears to target both. Details of the latest phase of this expansion, developed entirely behind closed doors, are emerging piece-by-piece, having been adopted without any official procedures.
We urge you to carefully review this package, as it provides details of the latest phase of HUD’s ongoing expansion of regulation – mandatory three-day audits and costly enhanced Subpart I involvement by third-party inspectors – that are on-course to be imposed on manufacturers and retailers, because the industry establishment in Washington, D.C. refused to join forces with MHARR in order to force HUD to comply with the law by going through consensus committee and rulemaking procedures. Now, as shown by the attached letter, the industry has a major task on its hands to try to stop this.
MHARR, therefore, in an effort to curb and reverse the course of this runaway expansion of in-plant regulation, will now include and use the President’s Order and its January 19, 2011 letter to HUD in its overall ongoing activities with the 112th Congress, to demonstrate how HUD is violating the Administration’s own policy.
We will continue to keep you apprised as new developments on these issues unfold.
Danny D. Ghorbani, President
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform
1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 508
Washington, D.C. 20004
Until only in recent years, the heartland of America has been the center of the market for low and moderate income families who have a special fondness for manufactured housing as a viable alternative to less affordable site-built housing.
From the Northern reaches of America’s breadbasket in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Minnesota to the south-central states of Kentucky and Tennessee, with strong central Midwestern states representation by Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, manufactured housing has appealed to both urban and rural home buyers; this in spite of the many myths about wind safety aspects of factory built homes. Some of our finest retirement communities have been built around many Midwestern urban areas, such as Chicago, Detroit and Michiana. So-called modular homes built to the wide-ranging, ill-defined state codes, hasn’t had the impact here as they have in Northeastern, New England and Mid-Atlantic States.
Is it the affordability? Is it the prices? Is it the home designs? Or is it just the relative ease with which so many Mid-American families find manufactured housing a good value? I guess only an expensive survey will tell, but who cares?
For many years running, the most successful of showcases for our uniquely American form of housing in mid-Western markets has been the Louisville Show. Coordinated by Showays’ Dennis Hill, it has a reputation for not only putting on a great physical display of the latest in home designs by top manufacturers, but it also provides the many attendees with a wide range of products and services that support these unique homes, ranging from the latest in home financing options and home insurance, to new innovative products for safely installing homes, accessories to supplement the homes, and the latest in insurance, wholesale and retail financing programs.
The show is popular not only with retailers and developers, but with their staffs, installers, salespersons, and suppliers. The introduction of many new innovative concepts in HUD code and Modular homes have started trends in the industry that are prevalent today. A highlight of the show is the many seminars and industry speakers bringing timely subjects to the industry.
January’s 2011 show will also offer insightful seminars that can help you grow your business or address specific needs. In addition to the many homes and booths, the conference speakers will share their decades of experience for those who attend.
George Allen will be presenting his “Ah Ha! Oh, No” formula for calculating the ideal pricing of homes and site for long term success.
Ken Rishel will be presenting a must-attend topic for many who are looking for new sources for chattel financing. He should call it, “Yes, you can!” with captive finance. But whatever the title, it is good material that every community owner needs to hear, and many retailers should listen to as well.
Don Westphal has become the go-to guy on the topic of Community Series Homes as well as being the stand-out man when it comes to development or redevelopment of a community.
Bob Stovall and L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach of MHMSM.com fame will be presenting their marketing magic ideas for driving traffic to your retail or community locations. Check out their “Dominate Your Local Market!” presentation. I saw Tony’s talk on a similar theme in Phoenix, and gave him a 10 out of 10.
Finally, I will be presenting an intro on site and an off-site presentation on how you can get manufactured housing community financing or refinancing – yes, even in today’s more challenging lending environment. ‘Tony’ Kovach will act as moderator for this off-site event, with Bedford Lending being present to help with a little-known, but very valuable FHA 207m private lender loan guarantee program. Learn more or sign up for that seminar at this link. This important seminar is to be held for from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. the afternoon of Thursday Jan 13th at the nearby Louisville Crown Plaza hotel, which is adjacent to the Exposition Grounds, and is easily accessed by car or the shows’ internal transportation system.
More than ever before, the MH industry needs to gather up our resources, spruce up our thinking and light up our resolve to bring new life to a waiting American public. With all our Nation’s problems associated with high unemployment and large numbers of foreclosures, manufactured housing homes look even better than before as a real, viable alternative to more expensive site-built homes. New financing programs like the FHA Title I program, existing programs like the FHA 207m community financing program, and green home building options being offered by some manufacturers are concrete proof of our commitment to the general public in bringing safe, affordable, functional housing to Americans. There is an energy and opportunities aplenty to learn at a manufactured housing show that you simply can’t get any other way.
And it will all start in 2011 with the Louisville Show. I’ll be there, and I hope to see you there too!
Editor’s Note: Photos of the 2006 Louisville Show by Edward ‘Eddie’ Hicks
As a 39 year industry veteran, I have always been a sucker for industry shows. I hear arguments that with the industry shipments down that we should cancel the shows and focus on survival. While I have significant experience focusing on survival, I believe industry shows are a way to send the message out that we will not be beaten down.
My career in the industry began in Georgia in 1971 where I remained until moving to Texas in 1983, followed by a move to Oklahoma in 1988. For many of those years in Georgia, a high point of the year was making the journey to Louisville, in horrible January weather, to go to the Louisville Show. Why was that trip important to me despite the cold weather and taking time away from my own business? The opportunity to see new innovations as they were being introduced, instead of months later; the chance to visit with industry friends that have come in from vast distances across the country; the potential of finding a new product line before my competitor saw it, and the benefit of being able to learn and grow at the industry seminars that were always a part of the event.
My last trip to Louisville was in January 2008, which happened to be the 50th anniversary for the show. I can again say that I enjoyed the trip and even picked up a new product line while I was there. I can’t say that for absolutely sure I will make it to the 2011 Louisville show. I can confirm that I will do my best to do so.
I have had the pleasure of serving as chairman of The Great Southwest Home Show for the third year running. Like Louisville, The Great Southwest Home Show is held in an indoor facility (The Quick Trip Center). No rain problems during set-up, show days or tear-down. No generator rentals or air conditioning expenses for the manufacturer exhibitors. The Tulsa show is located at almost the geographic center of the United States and is serviced by several major airlines including Southwest. The 10.5 acre Quick Trip Center is also configured in such a manner to provide adequate security to allow for several days of Public Days following the retail period of the show. Supplier exhibit booths are conveniently located in and amongst the area where the homes are displayed.
Retailers, especially in the states contiguous to Oklahoma should not miss the opportunity to travel a very short distance to experience the thrill of seeing a huge display of exciting homes all located under one roof at one time. The educational seminars are a bonus. A bonus we got as an industry last year was that HUD brought its staff to Tulsa and held the meeting of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) in Tulsa in conjunction with The Great Southwest Home Show and Oklahoma’s state convention for the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHAO). The show and convention were enthusiastically received by both HUD staff and by MHCC members and the newly appointed Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD, Teresa Payne was the keynote speaker at the MHAO convention. The opening remarks by Teresa Payne at the next MHCC meeting held in Washington DC were to express thanks for having had the opportunity to hold the meetings in conjunction with the industry events in Oklahoma.
I believe we should support all of the industry shows that we can possibly attend. In addition to attending The Great Southwest Home Show last year, I took the time and the travel requirements to attend the Tunica Show and I enjoyed every minute of it. I will do my best to do so again in 2011, just as I said I would for Louisville. As industry members, I believe we should support and attend all the shows that are within reasonable travel access.
Doug Gorman, President, Home-Mart, Inc.
Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee Member (MHCC)
Manufactured Housing Education Institute (MHEI) board member and past chairman
Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHAO) board member and past president
Award-winning retailer in Tulsa, OK
It’s great news that the Louisville Show is returning in 2011. It demonstrates that producers of factory built homes and services are positive about the future of our industry. It would be so easy not to be positive. We seem to find new impediments affecting our business every day. However, leaders are able to see further down the road. The bad laws will either be amended somewhat, or the industry will adapt. For those of you around in 1974, that was supposed to be the end of the industry because the federal government was taking over the supervision of the industry’s building code. We’ve had many such declarations of doom since the beginning of our industry. Some people just don’t believe it and figure out a way to proceed. When the Louisville Show didn’t go forward earlier this year, most people didn’t figure it would ever return. They were wrong. Thanks to forward thinking, it is back!
Let’s think about how remarkable this quick comeback really is. Many producers have found it easier and less costly just to have a show for their own retailers at company-owned factories. In that fashion, you don’t have your retailers looking over other homes at a larger setting like the Louisville MH Show. Business is difficult now. If you have a strong retailer, it might be easier to use this method, hoping the retailer won’t go to anyone else’s show.
But, on the other hand, if you’re part of a large show, then you might attract other retailers. As a company, you need to have confidence in your product. What better way to find out if your new model works than to show it off to as many retailers as possible.
In addition to the industry confidence displayed by this decision of bringing the show back, there are other benefits in having the show. For retailers and community owners, having a show of this magnitude is an excellent opportunity to visit with a large number of industry personnel and experts. Studies have shown that much of our learning experience comes from incidental learning. Going to a show, like the Louisville MH Show, gives one plenty of exposure to having informal conversations with other attendees and with experts on a wide array of topics. Formal learning is also important. The 2011 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show will have seminars on topics important to all segments of the industry.
Finally, there is just something special in being part of a large scene like the Louisville Show. When you get that many people together, there is an energy created that can’t be replicated at your office or factory. That’s why most executive directors enjoy our annual meetings. Sure, we find plenty of things to worry about: will that speaker I hired really do a good job… will the food be o.k., etc.?
What we enjoy is seeing our members come together, get excited about things, and create an energy that can propel some advancements.
That’s what the Louisville Show is all about. Even though Iowa is not a cosponsoring state, many Iowa retailers buy homes from producers who will be showing homes, products and services in Louisville. I know that Iowa retailers, as well as retailers and community owners and all industry personnel from throughout the trade area of the show, will be looking forward to attending the show in January.
Congratulations are in order for those who have brought this great show back into existence! Now it’s our turn to demonstrate the same confidence in the industry by attending and engaging ourselves in the 2011 Louisville Show, January 12-14th.
Executive Vice President of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), a 63-year-old trade association located in Des Moines, Iowa.