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Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin Housing Alliance’

Louisville from the Eyes of a Newcomer

February 3rd, 2016 No comments

Our trip to Louisville, Kentucky for the Manufactured Housing Show was a bit of a whirlwind, with an early arrival and even later departure. (A massive winter storm forced organizers to cancel the final day of the show, so we took a late flight back the night before.)

I was asked to write about my trip to Louisville “from the eyes of a newcomer.” This was my first trade show and I should point out, the first time I had seen any manufactured homes, so I have nothing to compare it to. Perhaps naively, (but also as a reflection on how many outsiders view the industry) I was expecting more of the stereotypical box-like mobile home from the 70s and 80s. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see row after row of beautifully crafted homes!

Maybe it had something to do with homes in an enclosed space, but they all seemed much bigger and more beautiful than I expected. I didn’t expect shutters, porches or open concept rooms. I didn’t expect large walk-in closets (The picture I took below is probably my favorite of the whole trip!) and whirlpool tubs. Even the single section homes seemed much larger than I expected. But other than the finishes and décor on the inside, it was difficult to tell the difference between manufacturers, which I suppose could be good or bad.

2016LouisvilleManufacturedHousingShowHomes-credit-WHA-postedIndustryVoices-MHProNews-com

I was surprised to see that one manufacturer, Clayton Homes, used a hi-tech approach to attract buyers. (See picture below) I would expect this at any other home show, but when you still have members who don’t even have computers, it was reassuring to see.

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As I imagined, I saw everything from the gentleman in a dapper suit to the gentleman in a cowboy hat and suspenders. But they were all very kind and welcoming. It was great to see those of you who stopped by the Wisconsin Housing Alliance booth! I look forward to next year’s show and to seeing more homes in person. ##

LaurieMercurioCommunicationsDirectorWisconsinHousingAllianceExDirTomorrowHomeFoundation-postedIndustryVoicesMHProNews-com-Laurie Mercurio
Communications Director, WI Housing Alliance
Executive Director, Tomorrow’s Home Foundation
258 Corporate Drive, Suite 200C
Madison, WI  53714

 

(Editor’s Note: Let’s welcome Laurie to the widely respected WHA and the MH Industry again. Additional content about the 2016 Louisville Show, are found at the articles linked below.) 

Louisville Hits a Home Run

Sights and Sounds – Videos – from the 2016 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

 

Crossing the Finish Line in DC is up to YOU!

December 7th, 2015 No comments

In the next 10 days, the industry has a chance to turn around its fortunes regarding financing.  Step 1 is to pass S 682, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.  It’s companion bill, HR 650 has already passed the House on a bi-partisan vote.  In the Senate, there is no chance for our bill to pass as a standalone bill because it will be vetoed.  If however, it is attached to an appropriations bill that must pass, the President will have no choice but to sign it. 

Let me say that again, if S 682 is passed as part of an appropriations bill, the President will sign it.

We need industry members to press for S 682 to be attached as a so-called policy rider.  This is a normal process for getting legislation passed at the end of a session.

Please Call or Fax Your Senators.

Here is the message: 

1. We need S 682, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, added as a policy rider to the Banking Appropriations Bill.

2. The bill HR 650 passed the House on a bi-partisan basis.

3. The bill addresses the overreach of the CFPB in applying Dodd-Frank to manufactured housing in a way it doesn’t apply it to real estate agents. ##

RossKinzlerWisconsinHousingAllianceExecutiveDirector-IndustryVoicesblogManufacturedHousingProfessionalnews-MHProNews-comRoss Kinzler
Executive Director
Wisconsin Housing Alliance

(Editor’s Note: MHProNews supports this bill and our publisher has personally contacted his Senators and Congressional Representative, as Ross Kinzler suggests. Joe Kelly’s OpEd on this same topic, is linked here.

For those who want more information, see Lesli Gooch’s column this month, linked here. Ross and Joe are correct, just take 5 now, and let’s get this done.)

EZ! Virtually Charging “The Hill” for more Manufactured Home Lending

July 24th, 2015 No comments

The Hill is a newspaper and blog read extensively on Capitol Hill.  This week L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was invited to post an article about manufactured housing.  He laid down a great defense of the industry and its lending practices in response to all of the consumer group complaints.

We invite you to read the blog and post your own reply.  The more industry members add to this article the better.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/248665-regulations-for-manufactured-home-loans

##

 

RossKinzlerWisconsinHousingAllianceExecutiveDirector-IndustryVoicesblogManufacturedHousingProfessionalnews-MHProNews-comRoss Kinzler
Executive Director
Wisconsin Housing Alliance

 

(Editor’s Note – Ross is a leader who first takes his own advice.  Mr. Kinzler has posted a fine comment on the topic, and others in MH have followed suit.  Be it a short or longer comment, make your voice heard on this issue, please.  If you want more MH lending, if you want to help those MH owners harmed by the CFPB’s regulations, sound off where the DC media, Congress, staff and policy advocates read.

Then, forward the link above via email to your Senators and Congressman, with a thank you for their support)

 

The Lost Decade Isn’t Over Until We Say it Is

June 19th, 2014 No comments

A decade ago, a shipment slump hit the manufactured housing industry. It actually started earlier in 2000, but by 2004 it was undisputed that shipments had dipped all across the country. The hope was that this decline was no different from those that happened before. Surely, sales would pick up and the good life would return. Now ten years hence, those hopes have been dashed. A new normal has set in. But has it? Recently, I asked industry professionals from all across the country if they were satisfied with an annual shipment level of 60,000 units?

60,000 units is the high point over the past three years. This uptick has again convinced some that the good times are about to roll again. But really? The April shipment numbers show that for the year, 19 states have increasing shipment numbers, four states have no change and 25 states are still declining!

So, in total, a handful of states have sufficient shipment increases to mask the decline in a broader range of states.

Taking the long view, the industry since the dawn of the HUD code produced one million HUD code homes in just its first three years. Over the following years, the next million mark took 4 or 5 years but recently it took a full 12 years to go from 7 million homes to 8 million. At the industry’s current pace, it will take 17 years to reach 9 million total homes.

Production of homes of course is but one industry metric. The number of HUD code plants has declined from 550 to 123.

A move back to the average performance of the industry over the 2000’s (which would mean doubling today’s production levels) could be a starting point for an industry goal. How do we get there? First, we need to recognize that many of today’s challenges existed back then too. Finance obliviously is an even more severe hurdle for customers and the industry. But fundamentally, the industry must strengthen each of its building blocks.

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Customer demand leads to new sales which leads to new orders which leads to filled community sites.

How do we fuel customer demand?

Interestingly, my thought is that we begin with the desired outcome and work backward.

An honest assessment of unfilled sites would say that many are not very attractive. Empty sites often are next to undesirable homes or unkempt spaces. Not places where a customer would want to put their shiny new home. We can do better.

The lack of independent retailers is also a factor. Few points of sale means less industry advertising. Essentially in many markets, the industry has gone dark on TV and other media. Given today’s technology we can reach customers in inexpensive ways. We can do better.

Ozzie and Harriet would love our homes. Too bad, they only represent a very small share of today’s households. The recent MHI design award winners point the way to new ways to think about what customers want. Notice I didn’t say “need” because customer buy based on wants. Only the housing desperate buy based on need.

How do we get to a new brighter future? It all depends on whether you’re satisfied with 60,000 annual shipments. If you are, do nothing. If not, we have work to do. ##

ross-kinzler-wisconsin-housing-alliance-executive-director-posted-industry-voices-manufactured-housing-professional-news-mhpronews-com-75x75Ross Kinzler
Executive Director
Wisconsin Housing Alliance

Are Frameless HUDs a MOD under state laws? 

June 3rd, 2014 No comments

The question of whether a “frameless” factory built home might be considered a modular home under state law is an interesting question.

To me, if the definition of “manufactured home” is amended to delete the requirement that a manufactured home have a permanent chassis, it wouldn’t matter what state law says.

If a frameless home receives a HUD label, that label is preemptive and the home is a “manufactured home” within the federal meaning of that phrase.

What is more interesting is if the term “manufactured home” is amended to exclude RV trailers larger than 400 square feet so a larger RV trailer could be built, since that unit is not defined in a federally preemptive way, then yes, state law could define that unit as a modular home.

So for the RV industry to produce a non-regulated home at either the federal or state level, they would need to amend federal and all state laws. ##

ross-kinzler-wisconsin-housing-alliance-executive-director-posted-industry-voices-manufactured-housing-professional-news-mhpronews-com-75x75Ross Kinzler
Executive Director
Wisconsin Housing Alliance

 

(Editor's note: an industry savvy attorney, not affiliated with MHARR, who saw MHI's statement on frameless HUDs voiced concerns about the issue. See this article, supplied by MHI for publication.

http://www.mhpronews.com/mhi-news/7691-about-the-rvias-efforts-on-changing-some-language-in-the-hud-code-for-manufactured-housing

Jim Ayotte made this statement on a related issue;

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/industryvoices/the-rv-industry-is-attempting-to-amend-the-hud-manufactured-housing-code/

As on any article of topic of industry interest – private or public (ie: for publication) – feedback on this subject is welcomed.)

Community Owners! MHC Lessons Learned

January 8th, 2014 No comments

Join your peers in the MHC world for an exciting hour to learn real life proven methods of how to improve your land lease communities Bottom Line Performance! Get tips from seasoned professionals who have profited in large, medium and small Manufactured Home Community (MHC) operations.

This is a program you will not want to miss.

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The panel discussion will be moderated by Ross Kinzler, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance. Ross has over 25 years of experience in the Manufactured Housing Industry. He has been active at both the national and state levels. He is a founding member and past Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Educational Institute. Ross currently serves on the Executive Committee and Board of the RV/MH Hall of Fame. In addition, Ross has taken on many leadership roles industry wide and has served on numerous boards and committees dealing with issues facing MH communities.

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

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The panel also includes Don Westphal President of Don C. Westphal & Associates. Don has over 40 years of experience of working in; community conceptual planning, master site design and landscape architectural design for land lease communities. Don has represented developers and owners of communities from concept plan approval all the way through final construction. He also works with owners on Community Imaging and on Marketing Plans for communities. The communities have ranged in size from a small number of home sites to those with over 500 sites. Don was featured in this interview, A Cup of Coffee with…Don Westphal.

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The third panel member is Richard (Rick) Rand, President of Great Value Homes, Inc. Rick has over 33 years of experience in the manufactured housing industry. GVH is an acquisition, development and property management firm specializing in multiple aspects of the Manufactured Housing Industry. The Company currently operates 6 Manufactured Housing Communities and is also a distributor of Manufactured Homes sold in the communities.

In addition, GVH acts as a broker for the resale of existing manufactured homes for residents who reside in the land lease communities the Company manages. Richard also acts as a consultant to institutional investment and private firms on various aspects of the Manufactured Home Industry.

Rick was founder and President of Asset Development Group, Inc. and its affiliate, Home Source One, LLC. From 1984 time until his departure in 2004, he grew the company to the 25th largest owner of manufactured housing communities in the country. During his tenure at Asset Development Group, Inc. Rick managed all aspects of the enterprise. He was responsible for all of the Company's property acquisitions and requisite financing. From the Company's inception, he oversaw the staffing and training of the ADG/HSO employees and management team. In addition, Rick was responsible for the planning and development of over 2,500 new manufactured homes sites that were both additions to existing communities and new green field development.

Rick is featured in this exclusive interview, A Cup of Coffee with…Rick Rand.

The Louisville Seminars are one of the most popular draws for attendees to the show.

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Come Join us at the 2014 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show! The Show was the best attended event in all of Manufactured Housing in 2013. Most industry members can attend free, learn more at the link above, and learn more about the other valuable seminars available for industry members at this link. ##

rick-rand-great-value-homes-manufactured-home-pro-news-industry-voices-guest-blog-.pngRichard J. Rand
President
Great Value Homes, Inc.
9458 N. Fairway Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53217-1321
414-352-3855
414-352-3631 (fax)
414-870-9000 (cell)
RickRand@gvhinc.net

Are You Ready to Grow?  Ready to Do What it Takes?

June 7th, 2013 No comments

It’s been a tough decade and more for manufactured housing. Before the residential housing meltdown of 2007-08, manufactured housing had it tough already. Half of the homes the industry produced in 1999 to 2000 have since been repossessed. That devastated those customers but also the flood of repos tanked new home production and the number of factories and retailers plunged.

The challenges we face today are in stark contrast to the assets the industry still possesses—excellent products, land zoned for use by MH and market hardened professionals.

So, how do we take those assets and turn the industry around?

Veteran retailer Mike Evans of Centennial Homes of Aberdeen, SD recently laid out his vision to LA Tony Kovach of MHProNews:

  • Identify opportunities that no one else will pursue or they don’t see. (Are you a general contractor or are you giving your margins away to others?)
  • Set your goals within your values.
  • Determine the strategic and tactical plans needed to capture that opportunity.
  • Develop a business plan that uses the 3 resources business owners and managers have to accomplish the task: Capital, Technology and Human Resources.

My only addition to his list is to expand your resources by identifying others that can be your strategic partners. You don’t need to do it all yourself, but you have to be able to fill in the gap between your capabilities and what is needed.

In talking to members, they have product and customers but lack financing. Yes, Dodd-Frank was a blow to installment sales, but there are other ways to finance purchasers. This is an example of where there is need for networking for new finance sources. Successful members are expanding their business by relentlessly talking to bankers, credit unions, and mortgage brokers. One member said, he finally broke through by just being a pest regarding the opportunity that MH finance can be for a local lender.

The days of faxing a loan application and getting an answer by noon are over and are not coming back. If we have all of the elements to rebound, then we need to do what it takes to make it happen. ##

ross-kinzler-wisconsin-housing-alliance-executive-director-posted-industry-voices-manufactured-housing-professional-news-mhpronews-com-75x75.pngRoss Kinzler
Executive Director
Wisconsin Housing Alliance
608.255.3131 voice
608.255.5595 fax

Let’s Finish the Dream!

November 18th, 2010 No comments

Along America’s Main Street – I 80 in Elkhart, IN – a Las Vegas style sign invites all to visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame! A bright sign shines on a nearly complete Hall of Fame honoring the history and history makers in the RV and manufactured housing industries. Now it is time to finish the dream.

The Hall of Fame has applied for a $6 million USDA loan to construct the MH Hall which is the final component of the complex. The RV industry has done its part building its beautiful display hall despite the economic downturn. Now it’s our turn.

The loan will retire the Hall’s $3 million debt (on an $11 million complex) and build a 15,000 foot MH Founder’s Hall. There will be 20 acres of blacktop, lighting and improvements for outdoor rental venues as well.

To make this all happen, the Hall has to show that its financial house is in order. This winter the Hall will experience a serious cash flow shortage. The Hall has assets that vastly exceed its liabilities, but cash flow is another matter at the moment. During this Holiday Season, please send a charitable contribution to the RV/MH Hall of Fame at 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart Indiana 46514. www.rvmhhalloffame.org

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Ross Kinzler, Exec. Director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA)