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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?

DanielZwenderlingNPR-TimWilliamsOMHA-ChallengingJournalistsNarrativeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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.).