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A Cupt or Coffee with...1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at State of California Department of Housing & Community Development and MHCC).

Hi, Tony, thanks for the coffee. My name is Richard Weinert. I am the Programs Operations Manager for the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), Division of Codes and Standards. My civil service classification title is Codes and Standards Administrator III. I have worked for HCD for almost 21 years, all with the same department and division. Prior to state service, I have been employed by RADCO, Golden West Homes and Redman Homes, to name a few. My current duties as a CSA III include overseeing our Office of the Mobilehome Ombudsman, Occupational Licensing, Mobilehome Parks / Special Occupancy Parks, Factory-Built Housing, Employee Housing, Manufactured Housing Programs within the Codes and Standards Division.

2) Background: (Educational/Professional before entering your current positions and the factory-built housing arena).

I grew up in upstate New York (Byron, NY), dropped out of college and then wandered west looking for 'something' and found employment in a manufactured housing facility in Colorado. I then moved to Sacramento and have been employed by Golden West Homes (QC Mgr), RADCO Inc. as an IPIA inspector. Prior to working in state government, I have considerable experience and background within the manufactured housing industry in construction, management and inspection.

3) When and How: (When and how you got into your role at State of California Department of Housing & Community Development and MHCC and how it relates to the Manufactured Housing Industry).

I was hired by HCD in 1989 as a field inspector, working in Sonoma and Marin Counties, which I loved. I inspected and enforced MH installations, MH alterations, mobilehome community construction, farm-worker housing and construction of MH accessory structures. Subsequent promotions within the department brought me to the HCD headquarters in Sacramento, where I was the SAA administrator for HUD, auditing MH manufacturer compliance with federal law and regulations for construction defects, and overseeing third-party agency activities in construction of commercial modular, factory-built housing (modulars) and recreational vehicles and manufactured home communities, to name a few of my duties.

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

Most of my spare time seems to be spent running. I find it to be a huge stress-reliever, and the physical benefits are outstanding. I've never felt better or stronger in my life. I run marathons, ultra-marathons and other trail runs. Through running I have made a great number of lasting friendships. It's a special bond you can form with someone while running 9-10 hours up and down hills or mountain trails to the point of exhaustion – then continue on past that point of exhaustion. It's great. Of course after the run, there is always ice cold beer & food waiting.

5) Please give us a backgrounder on the MHCC its role and history.

I was part of the original MHCC committee that met starting in 2002 and am still on the committee today. I remember the first meeting being an agonizingly long-winded discussion of committee by-laws, rules, and other matters not directly related to our stated purpose of being an advisor to HUD. While the first few meetings were largely a test of wills between MHARR and HUD (which continues today), somehow those disagreements get set aside when needed and the committee gets down to work. Many may not know this, but this committee is largely made up of good, hard-working people who are committed to making changes for the good of the industry. We often work through our lunches and into dinner, and read material at night to be ready for a vote or debate the next day. We worked very hard to meet the statutory requirement to produce national model installation within18 months for submittal to the Secretary. Meeting as a group 2-3 times a year plus teleconferences doesn't leave much time to produce much of anything, really, but somehow we did. Most of us on the committee have full-time duties in our own state, and the work that we produced on-time was a real accomplishment.

6) What is your take on the current controversy surrounding the MHCC?

There is controversy? Really?

MHARR and others can say what it wants in its newsletters and at the MHCC meetings but, as the Act states, the MHCC is a federal advisory committee. We are chartered to advise HUD and propose changes to the standards, mostly. The MHCC is not chartered to interpret the law, HUD does. There is an awful lot of oxygen used up during our meetings providing HUD with different interpretations of the MH Improvement Act, but the reality is that the Act designates HUD as the federal agency responsible for its enforcement and interpretation. It's really that simple. I have had my share of disagreements with HUD on its interpretations of the federal regulations, but when HUD makes its decision, that's it. I can either accept it, or ask the CA Attorney General's office to go to federal court – which is usually not going to happen. Let's just get over it and move on. The constant harangue and negativity is unhealthy and non-productive.

7) I'm sure you realize that MHI and MHARR may have a different perspective on this issue. In all likelihood, so do HUD officials.

Yes. I find MHI to be very reasonable and wanting to promote the same goals as HCD does. I have a lot of respect for both their national and state leadership. I work closely with Jess Maxcy of CMHI on state (HCD) matters affecting the CA-MH industry, and appreciate his counsel, right or wrong. Additionally, the current HUD MH Housing Program administration has been one of the best I've worked with since I've been at HCD. Bill Matchneer, Elizabeth Cocke, Lane Pethel, and others are very supportive, efficient and effective. I can't ask for more than that. Unfortunately Bill has been "reassigned," which is really a shame. Hopefully Teresa Payne will be every bit as effective as Bill Matchneer was, we'll see. I'm not a shill for Bill Matchneer, but being in government for a number of years like I have, you sometimes work with other governmental agencies that are virtually ineffectual. Despite what is currently being published, it is not true with this current group at HUD.

8) What do you consider the largest challenges facing the manufactured housing industry today?

Financing, financing, financing. Hopefully that will get worked out soon, or it will be over. Other than that, product acceptance is a big challenge. I think the industry somehow has to look forward and be leaders, not be forced to change. Look to the green standards as a positive; use better design and more quality & durability, and most important: somehow provide utter simplicity of purchase and installation. I think the industry old-timers still want the good old days to return, but they must adapt or die. 'Modulars' and 'prefab' are terms that are being used by publications like Sunset Magazine and the LA Times that encompass both modular and manufactured home products in a positive way. They usually feature a story about a cute home that was affordable, energy efficient and easy to install. However the 'trailer' image is indelible. Too many times, consumers go to a dealer looking for the 'prefab' cool, modern cottage, but what they sometimes receive is the same old problem that has plagued the industry for years. If the floors squeak or the roof leaks and the consumer continues to get caught in a struggle between manufacturer and dealer and installer, the trailer image will never go away.

9) If there were one thing you could change about the industry what would that be?

Do whatever it takes to provide a lasting, positive public image. This industry can be very resilient and adaptive if given the chance. I believe manufactured homes could be designed that can eclipse both the state-modulars and site-built products – providing architectural style, energy efficiency and affordability. But industry needs to devise services to assure that the consumer is never burdened or caught in the middle of disputes between the factory, dealer and installer. Unfortunately, working at an enforcement agency, I see the not-so-good side of the industry, including some really bad installers and dealers.

10) Closing thoughts or comments, sir?

I hope that people see HCD as being supportive of the industry and trying to do whatever we can to facilitate its growth in California, while at the same time acting as a consumer advocate protecting public health and safety, which can be a challenge.

I appreciate this chance to address your readers, and look forward to doing what I can on the MHCC and at HCD to create positive change. If anyone would like to call me and talk about these issues, my direct line is 916-327-2838.

Daily Business News Briefs

Capital Square Realty Acquires three MHCs

Capital Square Realty Acquires three MHCs

MHProNews has been informed by virtual-strategy.com an affiliate of Capital Square Realty Advisors, LLC has acquired three manufactured housing communities consisting of 1,141 home sites in Indiana and Ohio. The largest community is Timberbrook in Bristol, Indiana with 567 homesites set on 103 acres. Woodlake-Summerdale, located in Yoder, IN is...

02 Sep 2014

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Work Stops on Massive Modular Housing Project in Big Apple; Ratner, Skanska…

Work Stops on Massive Modular Housing Project in Big Apple; Ratner, Skanska at Odds

Following a series of stories MHProNews  posted regarding the development of the 32-story, modular housing project by Forest City Ratner and construction partner Skanska intended for Brooklyn’s Barclay Center, work has come to a halt in a bitter dispute over tens of millions of dollars in cost overruns. Skanska idled 157 workers in the ...

02 Sep 2014

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Michigan MH Residents Prepare for Summer Storms

Michigan MH Residents Prepare for Summer Storms

The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) reminds occupants of system-built homes that potentially damaging summer wind and rain storms are at their peak and residents should ensure that roofs are in good condition and rainwater is directed away from the foundations. While manufactured homes (MH) are built to strict federal standards...

02 Sep 2014

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New Home Sales Fall Second Consecutive Month

New Home Sales Fall Second Consecutive Month

According to numbers released by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U. S. Census Bureau, sales of newly-built single-family homes dropped 2.4 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 412,000 units in July. Initially, according to the National Association of Home builders (NAHB), sales fell 8.1 percent in...

02 Sep 2014

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Modular Multifamily to Rise in Michigan

Modular Multifamily to Rise in Michigan

The Lansing (Mich.) City Council has approved plans for developer Harry Hepler to build 200 modular apartments on the city’s northside, as lansingstatejournal.com informs MHProNews. Summit Street Development LLC has received a conditional use permit to build housing on the property that is zoned heavy industrial. Mr. Hepler says Metro Flats...

02 Sep 2014

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Modular Workforce Housing Planned in Mississippi

Modular Workforce Housing Planned in Mississippi

The possibility of up to seven billion barrels of oil in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation in southwest Mississippi and central Louisiana has led the McComb (Miss.) Board of Selectmen to vote in favor of annexing 40 acres for the construction of a 535-unit modular workforce community. Shale Lodge will include a cafeteria, laundry and […]...

01 Sep 2014

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Hoarding along with dozens of cats found at home in MHC

Hoarding along with dozens of cats found at home in MHC

“Is there an unwritten rule that every third MHCommunity has someone who hoards and/or has a bunch of cats?” quipped manufactured home industry consultant and publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. The comment flowed from the discovery of dozens of cats seized from the Niagara Mobile Home Park in Newfane, NY. “The stench coming from a […]...

01 Sep 2014

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Manufactured Housing’s Labor Day 2014

Manufactured Housing’s Labor Day 2014

Wikipedia says: “Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and […]...

01 Sep 2014

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William ‘Bill’ Steenberg, Award winning Steenberg Homes founder, Passage

William ‘Bill’ Steenberg, Award winning Steenberg Homes founder, Passage

William “Bill” Steenberg died Sunday, August 24, 2014, in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, after a short, courageous battle with cancer. His fiance Wendy was by his side when he passed away. Bill’s children, Julie, Shelly, and Jeffrey and his granddaughter, Miranda, visited a couple weeks earlier in Florida.  Bill founded and owned ...

01 Sep 2014

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Equity LifeStyle’s stock hit record high as August ends

Equity LifeStyle’s stock hit record high as August ends

The glow of investors and commentary for Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (NYSE:ELS) hit a peak as August drew to a close. ELS witnessed the stock hitting a record high on Friday. The stock traded as high as $45.81, up 39 cents from yesterday’s record closing price of $45.42. The Street, Trade-Ideas  and Chicago Business  were among […]...

31 Aug 2014

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INC names mancamp provider Reliant Asset Management 3rd fastest growing pri…

INC names mancamp provider Reliant Asset Management 3rd fastest growing private business

Barry Roman is the co-founder of Reliant Asset Management, a provider of mancamps in ND, Texas, Canada and other high demand housing markets. Roman says his modular building company’s revenues rose 55,000 percent in three years, to just over $85 million. Inc Magazine named Reliant to their annual list of high flying companies. Reliant is ...

30 Aug 2014

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Featured Articles and Reports - September 2014 Vol. 5 No. 12

Prev Next Page:

UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

by L.A. "Tony" Kovach Years before Palm Harbor Homes went into bankruptcy and eventually ended up with Cavco Industries, Palm Harbor ran TV ads showing beautiful, “residential style” manufactured homes. Read more

MARKETING

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

by Nadeen Green, JD Many if not most manufactured housing folks truly make the effort to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act and are well aware of the need to... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

by C. William Dahlin, JD  As reported by major media outlets, a 6.0 earthquake hit Northern California  in late August on a Sunday. Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Pool and Spa Safety

Pool and Spa Safety

by Kathleen Bianculli While the end of summer is drawing near and pools in some areas will be closed for the season, in many areas of the country the pool never... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Do…

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Don'ts

by Nadeen Green, JD While a rose may smell sweet no matter what it may be called, names are in fact labels. Using the wrong label when you market your senior... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step P…

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step Program!

by Jerry Bretton In our previous report on SUN, we mentioned that Mountainside Financial has been making loans on manufactured and mobile homes for 14 years. Read more

FINANCING

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

by Ron D'Ambra Let's start by saying that, from a business perspective, MORE government involvement is not always viewed as a good thing. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

by Sam Landy Dear Friends, UMH Properties and Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (MNR) sponsor The Open Space Pace at Freehold Raceway September 20, 2014. The event begins with a 10:00 am parade of... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

1) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.) Sheila S. Dey, JDExecutive DirectorWestern Manufactured Housing Communities Association Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

by Dennis Hill We could name more than 5 reasons why manufacturers and exhibiting companies as well 5 reasons why attendees from the ranks of retailers, communities, builder developers, installers and... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories …

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

by L. A. “Tony' Kovach We will demonstrate that the cost of not selling more homes is always high.  Capital is tied up in your inventory, location, general overhead, personnel, marketing,... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Lead, manage or get out of the way

Lead, manage or get out of the way

by Tim Connor, CSP The world is changing at the speed of light. Everything is being touched by this accelerated pace of change. No person, entity, industry, profession, and no part... Read more

MANAGEMENT

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words = Enhanced Manufacture…

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words =  Enhanced Manufactured Housing  Professional Success Infographic

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach We'll share an infographic that explains in 4 easy steps how any MH Industry professional can learn more to earn more. Here is the infographic... Read more

MANAGEMENT

ZigOn Qualities of Success

ZigOn Qualities of Success

by Zig Ziglar Dr. William "Bill" Ross was truly one of a kind and was known for his sense of humor and his zest for life. He had exuberance for... Read more

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

by Tim Connor, CSP There are four significant areas when it comes to consistent high sales performance. They are: Self-image and self-esteem. Read more

SALES

Upcoming Events

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MHLIVINGNEWS.COM FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK

Classifieds

Press Releases

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is filling up fast and early!

Attendees, mark your calanders now, pre-registration will open on October 1, 2014. Exhibitors, Reserve your space now.  See download linked here.

the MHMSM Team 02 Sep 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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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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