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A Cup of Coffee with...An MHMSM.com exclusive interview with Thayer Long

1) Who, What and Where:

Thayer Long
Executive Vice-President
Manufactured Housing Institute

2) Background (Educational/Professional before entering the factory-built housing arena):

Native of suburban Philadelphia, PA, graduated from Davidson College (Davidson, NC) with a degree in English. Moved to Washington, DC to originally pursue career in publishing, after a brief stint with the American Chemical Society, began political work for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Experience there included working...


in regional field operations at the grassroots level, and state and local political operations where he worked on a number of different areas, including housing finance, building codes, growth and land use issues, construction liability, utility deregulation, and industry relations.

Thayer Long photo3) When and How: (When and how you got into the Manufactured/Modular Housing Industry)

Started with MHI in 2002 to work on state and local issues - particularly the zoning challenges the industry faces - and to work with public official and public interest groups to educate those important audiences on the benefits of manufactured and modular housing to meet housing challenges and address affordability issues. I've been with MHI ever since, gradually adding new areas of focus and responsibility.

4) What are your personal interests or hobbies? How do you like to spend non-work time?

I am an avid outdoorsman, history buff, gardener, golfer, and sports fan. Devote time volunteering to church related activities and service. Recently I've been well occupied enjoying time with our first child.

MHI logo5) What do you consider the largest challenges facing the industry today?

The most significant hurdle continues to be the inability for many of our customers to find adequate financing for their home purchases. The financing did not dry up overnight - and I believe is suffering mainly as a result of lingering perception of past sins - not of current performance. I believe ultimately the availability of financing will improve as time continues, however it will require continued efforts by industry members and MHI to cultivate and grow this extremely important aspect of our industry.

I'm an eternal optimist, however, and so with challenges come opportunities. The economic environment this country is in is one where our industry historically sees high demand. This is because we can easily compete on all levels: aesthetics, amenities and affordability. In addition, the lifestyle we can provide to millions of homeowners is unmatched.

I also believe changing demographics are moving more and more in our favor. Rapid growth in the population under age 45 and over age 65, as well as the rising minority share, will shift the composition of housing demand over the next 20 years. These changes in the age distribution will mean greater demand for starter homes, rentals, and for senior housing. As the leading edge of the baby-boom generation reaches age 65, demand for retirement housing will rise. These are markets where we have great strength.

Also, for the first time in generations, households under the age of 55 are on a path to end the decade with lower real incomes than their predecessors, and echo boomers will likely enter the housing market with lower real incomes than people the same age did a decade ago. But echo boomers are also more demanding customers, and items and amenities once considered "added" value to homes, are quickly becoming "expected." The need for quality housing that provides high level of amenities at an affordable price will be tremendous, and again, this is where we have great strength.

I believe the manufactured housing industry is building homes better than ever - and as homebuyers are looking to obtain the best value for their housing dollar - the manufactured housing industry has proved it can deliver.

6) How do you and MHI like to respond to challenges? (In other words, how do you try to tackle problems and arrive at effective solutions?)

I believe MHI's achievements over the years with the regulatory agencies and federal legislators are due to a number of factors.

First, it helps that we have a wonderful story to tell. Housing Americans affordably and providing one of the most basic yet essential human needs is a mission of which we should all be proud.

Second, MHI operates from a consensus position, representing all interests of the industry. Some may perceive consensus as a weakness. I disagree. Consensus within an industry strengthens our ability to be an effective advocate for all segments of the industry. I think you would find that across the board in Washington, DC, there is good reason why a majority of associations are set up as a cross section of the industry's they represent.

Finally, MHI believes in consistent and effective communication in every facet of what we do. This starts with a fundamental tenet: respect. You must always maintain a sense of mutual respect when working with people with different viewpoints, and respect is carried in tone as well as the message. When facing opposition - we never demonstrate a lack of respect for those sitting across from us - despite our disagreement. Particularly in Washington, DC, this is critical in order to create constructive relationships and be successful in accomplishing goals, and is a major reason why a call to MHI is the first action a policymaker or legislator will make when they come across any manufactured housing related issue. This often helps avert a small issue from becoming a big one.

Thayer Long photo7) What are some significant initiatives MHI has undertaken to support the industry?

Like our members, we have all been challenged fiscally - however I do not believe that has impacted our effectiveness in representing the industry. Over the past year MHI has been instrumental in the following:

Expanding access to capital for all our members - from consumer loans, to land-lease community lending programs and inventory financing - and is even developing strategies to help community operators doing in-house lending find more solutions;
Expedited implementation of the new FHA Title I (home only) reforms on June 1, 2009;
Hastened rulemaking by Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on the GSE's "duty to serve" the manufactured housing industry;
Expanded Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs to include inventory financing for manufactured homes;
Extending the $8,000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit and ensuring applicability for manufactured homebuyers;
Hastening Ginnie Mae's lifting of the moratorium for issuers of securities back by FHA manufactured home loans;
Minimized impact of the Secure and Fair Credit Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act in the federal language, and helping minimize impact to retailers and lenders through federal rulemaking process;
Advocating for a significant tax credit to owners of pre-HUD-Code homes who purchase a new Energy Star manufactured homes;
Served as primary industry advocate with the HUD Office of Manufactured Housing including proposed changes to the standard and regulations of manufactured housing, changes to the quality control procedures for manufacturers, and weighing in on important issues such as code preemption;
Played a lead role with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure implementation of energy amendments to the HUD Code considers our affordability factor, as directed by federal law.

I also think a tremendous amount of credit goes to our state association partners. They have done a yeoman's job in advancing the industry causes under enormous constraints in their own states, and as the grassroots network, are also large contributors to successes in Washington, DC.

8) What do you think the broader industry can do to improve the climate for Manufactured/Modular Housing today?

I think the industry is almost there, but we need to perfect speaking with a unified voice. This is critical in ensuring the industry is advocating from the strongest position possible.

To get there, the industry must agree to assume responsibility and a leadership role in ensuring that manufactured housing remains relevant in today's building environment. I think the homes themselves demonstrate there is no limit to the potential of what we can accomplish, and we should be doing everything within our power to protect that ability. It starts with acknowledging that the industry controls its own destiny - and we need to always think carefully how we choose to adapt to events surrounding us - and not expect them to adapt to us. This requires careful discussion and debate, and often long-term strategic thinking - the kind of stuff that happens at MHI - hence the number one reason why anyone in the business - and anyone who want to ensure their interests are looked after - should be a member of MHI!

Daily Business News Briefs

Big Houses Soar, MH Snore?

Big Houses Soar, MH Snore?

Analyzing data released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), total U.S. housing starts in July advanced at the rate Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 1.093 million units. ReedConstructionData noted to MHProNews  that this is the second highest level since November 2007 (1.197 million), with ...

23 Aug 2014

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Yellen Didn’t Help Markets; Yahoo Manufactured Housing Composite Value Rise…

Yellen Didn’t Help Markets; Yahoo Manufactured Housing Composite Value Rises, Dow Slips

U.S. stocks slipped amid Ukraine-Russian woes. Marketwatch tells MHProNews  that investors shrugged over a “balanced speech” by Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.01% slipped by 1 point, or less than 0.1%, to 1,991, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.04% shed 10 points, also less than 0.1%, ...

22 Aug 2014

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All Parks Alliance for Change Lobbying Congress opposing Minnesota Communit…

All Parks Alliance for Change Lobbying Congress opposing Minnesota Community Owners Support for a Floor Vote on the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR1779)

Mark Brunner at the Manufactured and Modular Housing Association of Minnesota (MMHAMN) tells MHProNews that the All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC) is lobbying Congress to oppose The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 1779). Brunner says APAC has sent out the following call-to-action statement to their members. “House members...

22 Aug 2014

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Residential Eyesores to be Renovated with Federal/Local Tax Dollars for Aff…

Residential Eyesores to be Renovated with Federal/Local Tax Dollars for Affordable Housing

Clearwater (FL) Housing Authority will begin repairs on two single family houses and a building that will be used for multi-family housing use, that should be ready next year for low-income households. Jacqueline Rivera, the housing authority’s CEO, and Deborah Woodard, chairwoman of the housing authority board, said clean up of a neglected 1...

22 Aug 2014

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Affordable Housing Irony – hundreds on WilCo waiting list – near MH Product…

Affordable Housing Irony – hundreds on WilCo waiting list – near MH Production Centers

“We obviously … have to have more affordable housing,” Nikki Brennan, executive director of the Georgetown Housing Authority, said. “I think [the need is] pretty much all over Williamson County [WilCo]” ImpactNews tells MHProNews that WilCo has some 500 people on the public housing waiting list, and more than 600 waiting for the housing choice [&#8...

22 Aug 2014

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“From Moscow, with Love?” Lawsuit advances against Manufactured Home Commun…

“From Moscow, with Love?” Lawsuit advances against Manufactured Home Community Owner

Residents of Syringa Mobile Home Park near Moscow-Pullman, Idaho have been in a struggle that bubbled up over their need for drinkable water and other issues. This began last winter, and resident Doris Carlson told KREM News that “I have wept an awful lot because I am tired of living like this.” The Idaho Department […]...

22 Aug 2014

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CFPB: What’s the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved fo…

CFPB: What’s the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a loan?

Amy Tierce writing in NationalMortgageNews tells MHProNews that the CFPB’s website gives and answer to the question, What’s the Difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage? but that the CFPB’s answer is not, Tierce says, “the full story.” Some lenders have decided “not issue pre-approval letters due to t...

22 Aug 2014

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Australian Modular Home Built to Resist Bushfires

Australian Modular Home Built to Resist Bushfires

A steel and glass-structured modular home with non-combustible fiber cement floor panels is designed to resist bushfires in the Australian outback, as well as to collect rainwater to use in the event of a fire. The modular Supashak is made to be transportable across Australia and adaptable to a variety of climatic conditions. The broad, […]...

21 Aug 2014

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Skyline Advances; S&P 500 Hits New High

Skyline Advances; S&P 500 Hits New High

Stocks were climbing in today’s trading, as the S&P 500 hit an all-time high at 1,992.37 and the Dow closed above 17,000 for the first time since July 24, as CNNMoney informs MHProNews. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained +60.36 points, +0.36 percent, to end the day at 17,039.49, while the S&P 500 advanced +5.86 […]...

21 Aug 2014

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Existing-home Sales Show Modest Gains

Existing-home Sales Show Modest Gains

Although existing home sales rose 2.4 percent from last month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million in July, the highest rate of 2014, they are down 4.3 percent from last year, according to housingwire.com. Last July’s 5.38 million unit level, the highest for 2013, includes single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops....

21 Aug 2014

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100 Tiny Homes Set for Portland, Oregon

100 Tiny Homes Set for Portland, Oregon

Tiny houses may soon fill four micro communities to house the homeless and low-income residents in Portland, Oregon, according to oregonlive.com. The 192 square-foot products of TECHDWELL, which are made partly of recycled materials and cost around $12,000 to build, would be sited on public land in pods of 25 homes each. MHProNews has learned...

21 Aug 2014

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Featured Articles and Reports - August 2014 Vol. 5 No. 11

Prev Next Page:

Enhanced Manufactured and Modular Home Marketing and Sales Results

Enhanced Manufactured and Modular Home Marketing and Sales Results

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach American companies spend 2 billion a year on training. So why don't more manufactured and modular home (MH) retailers and communities invest properly in sales training? Read more

MARKETING

Bacon is so popular!

Bacon is so popular!

by Nadeen Green, JD Yes, indeed bacon is popular. An entire culture has been developed around this pork product in America, and once limited to breakfast and cheeseburgers, bacon has now... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Architects Have a Duty of Care to Future Buyers of Condominiums for Neglig…

Architects Have a Duty of Care to Future Buyers of  Condominiums for Negligent Design

by Bill Dahlin, Esq. On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the case entitled Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

A New Strategy for Community Owners

A New Strategy for Community Owners

by Steven Lefler Our society has labeled housing for as long as I can remember. I grew up believing “Site Built Homes” typically register in people minds to be “better built,”... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

The Impact of a 1.3 Billion Dollar Manufactured Home Communities Acquisitio…

The Impact of a 1.3 Billion Dollar Manufactured Home Communities Acquisition

by L. A. 'Tony' Kovach We've been reporting off and on for the past few months about rumors and tips that suggested that a deal in the $500 million to the... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

July, 1960 Popular Mechanics highlights Evolution of the Travel Trailer

July, 1960 Popular Mechanics highlights Evolution of the Travel Trailer

By Paul Bradley In a 1960 article titled, “Trailers Join the Country Club,” Popular Mechanics described the evolution of the travel trailer this way: “All this started years ago when people with... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

CFPB Proposes New HMDA Requirements: Changes Exemption Threshold and Incre…

CFPB Proposes New HMDA Requirements:  Changes Exemption Threshold and Increases Required Disclosures

by D. J. Pendleton, JD On July 24, the CFPB published a proposed rule that, if later adopted, would change the reporting requirements for those who provide loans to purchase homes. Read more

FINANCING

The Lessons of Valdez - Some things are out of Whack!

The Lessons of Valdez - Some things are out of Whack!

by Ron Thomas, Sr. Let me start this topic with a strong statement. Although I am not what some might call an “environmentalist,” I do appreciate all of the efforts that... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

2015 Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Trade Show Updates

2015 Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Trade Show Updates

by Dennis Hill We keep getting calls from industry professionals and others regarding the Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows for 2015. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

An Opportune Moment

An Opportune Moment

by Bob Vahsholtz The road ahead is hard—the opportunities boundless. The whole housing industry is on the rocks, and the nation’s economy festers. The world is mired in debt; our most... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Tim Connor

A Cup of Coffee with… Tim Connor

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.) Tim ConnorCEO of Connor Resource GroupDavidson, NC. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Second Cup of Coffee with...Bill Matchneer

A Second Cup of Coffee with...Bill Matchneer

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, what you've done in the federal government as it relates to manufactured housing and where you currently hang your hat). Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Paul Bradley

A Cup of Coffee with… Paul Bradley

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.) Paul Bradley, President, ROC USA, LLC, Concord, NH. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Tech Talk! Don't You Hate - Viagra, Cialis or Zyrtec links - appearing on y…

Tech Talk! Don't You Hate - Viagra, Cialis or Zyrtec links - appearing on your  web browser or smart hand-held device? A Tech Fix Tip!

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach It is often NOT what you think! Not many self-respecting webmaster wants to plug certain drugs or other products on their website. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Wind Speed and Add-Ons to Manufactured Housing – Response to the NBC News …

Wind Speed and Add-Ons to Manufactured Housing  – Response to the NBC News Today Show report of testing by IBHS

by Ron D'Ambra After reviewing the NBC Today presentation, one could conclude that without question, of  course the roof would blow off when the carport roof failed, because they compromised the... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Strategic planning vs. strategic doing

Strategic planning vs. strategic doing

by Tim Connor, CSP Strategic planning is a vital management function. Over the years I have worked with a number of corporations facilitating their strategic planning events as well as following... Read more

MANAGEMENT

ZigOn Employment Security

ZigOn Employment Security

by Zig Ziglar We frequently hear that "people refuse to change because change is stressful." I would like to suggest that not to change is even more stressful because the world... Read more

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Who is your competition?

Who is your competition?

by Tim Connor, CSP There is a tendency for many salespeople to see their competition as only those businesses selling a similar product, service or idea. In other words, salespeople selling... Read more

SALES

Upcoming Events

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MHLIVINGNEWS.COM FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK

Classifieds

Press Releases

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Cl…

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Class of 2014 into RV/MH Hall of Fame

(Back row l-r) Thomas "Tom" L. Kern, Style Crest Enterprises; Ed Evans, EPM; Gary McDaniel, YES! Communities ; Richard "Dick" King, King Insurance (second row row l-r) Barry Cole, Manufactured Housing Insurance Services; Bob Livingston, Good Sam; John D Roba, Roba and Associates (front row l-r) Mrs. James F Shields. accepting on behalf of her husband,James F Shields (deceased), Pan Pacific RV Centers; Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices and Peter B Orthwein, Thor Industries. ELKHART, Ind., August 5. 2014 -- The Class of 2014 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) last night in Elkhart, Indiana, in a gala ceremony before a record breaking crowd of more than 440 family members, friends, and colleagues from across the country. The Class of 2014 includes: Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices;...

the MHMSM Team 05 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Ne…

Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Newport Pacific – Successfully Gaining Acceptance for Super Energy Saving, Green Manufactured Homes

Learn more at the article linked here, or by calling Steve Lefler, Vice President of Modular Lifestyles, Inc., a division of Newport Pacific Family of Companies at Ph. (888) 437-4587. Email steve@modularlifestyles.com. Steve is a Dual DRE and HCD Salesperson. Advanced Green Building Professional. CEC Solar Wind Retailer/Installer. http://www.modularlifestyles.com ##

the MHMSM Team 01 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire America…

Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire American Land Lease Manufactured Housing Portfolio from Green Courte Partners for $1.32 Billion

Increases Sun Communities' portfolio to 245 communities totaling nearly 90,000 sites in 29 states with a combined enterprise value of approximately $5.1 billion Southfield, MI, July 30, 2014 - Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI) (the "Company") today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio (the "ALL portfolio") from Green Courte Partners, LLC ("GCP") sponsored funds. The ALL portfolio consists of 59 manufactured home communities, including those acquired from American Land Lease, Inc. by GCP in 2009. The communities comprise over 19,000 sites in eleven states, including nearly 11,000 sites located in Florida. Over 14,000 sites, or 73%, of the ALL portfolio are age-restricted.  In connection with this transaction, the Company will assume GCP's right to acquire an additional manufactured home community pursuant to a binding purchase...

the MHMSM Team 31 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Fra…

Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Frank compliant non-MLO, MLO SUN Manufactured/Mobile Home Direct Loans and Refinancing

Using online articles, banner ads and video, Mountainside Financial is announcing the launch of the evolution of their direct lending platform promotion. As a division of San Antonio Credit Union (SACU), Mountainside has a unique 14 year history of making direct to consumer loans on manufactured and mobile homes. Direct loans are often done in "partnership" with brokers, communities, Realtors ®, other housing professionals and manufactured home retailers who refer consumers to them. Anthony Ducharme, Direct Channel Manager for Mountainside, explained how they created their new SUN System with Manufactured Home Professionals in mind who needed a compliant process to navigate SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank regulations enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "If you've been originating your own loans, talk to us. If you want to have a legally complaint...

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Call for Nominations for the RV/MH Hall …

Call for Nominations for the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2015

ELKHART, Ind., -- The RV/MH Hall of Fame Selection Committee has issued a call for nominations for the Class of 2015. Darryl Searer, Hall president, said, "The Hall welcomes nominations from all RV and manufactured housing sectors -- manufacturers, dealers, campgrounds, housing communities, suppliers, user groups, trade media, associations, etc -- for the class of 2015 and beyond. "The nomination guidelines and forms available online atwww.rvmhhalloffame.org/pages/nominations.cfm." According to the guidelines, anyone can nominate a person to the Hall of Fame that meets the eligibility requirements. The only people who may not be considered are those who currently serve on the Hall's Selection Committee. To be eligible the nominee must be, or have been, an active participant in any segment of the recreation vehicle, campground or manufactured housing industries for a minimum of 25 years....

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Southwest Region Manufactured Home Commu…

Southwest Region Manufactured Home Communities Showing Rent and Occupancy Growth, Outpacing National Average, According to JLT & Associates’ 14-Year Market Summary Report

Grand Rapids, Michigan – JLT & Associates (JLT), the nation’s #1 market research company for the manufactured housing industry, today announced a 14-year summary report of its manufactured home community rent surveys for 6 Southwest markets. Recognized as the industry standard for manufactured home community market analysis for over 20 years, JLT Rent Surveys provide detailed research and information on communities located in 72 markets throughout the United States, including the latest rent trends and statistics, marketing programs and a variety of other useful management insights. The most recent JLT Rent Surveys for the Southwest region cover 261 manufactured home communities encompassing 69,728 homesites in Albuquerque, Greater Kansas City, Greater Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tucson and Salt Lake City. This summary report is based on rent and occupancy trends from 2000 to 2014. Findings...

the MHMSM Team 01 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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