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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

Canadians Investing Large in U.S. Housing Markets

Canadians Investing Large in U.S. Housing Markets

“In the U.S., given the affordability and the fact that prices in the suburbs went down more significantly than in the cities you will see more and more options and opportunities outside big cities,” said Benjamin Tal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) analyst. With Canadian markets hot – and some fear over-heating – the [...

29 Aug 2014

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Manufactured Home Community Rent Control on Public Meeting agenda

Manufactured Home Community Rent Control on Public Meeting agenda

The City of Santa Clarita, CA, will host three public comment meetings to discuss draft updates to Santa Clarita Municipal Code 6.02, the Manufactured Home Park Rent Adjustment Procedures. Meetings are open to the public, as well as to residents of manufactured home communities, business owners and managers. The City of Santa Clarita and...

29 Aug 2014

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“The Big One” Cyber Attack coming? Markets and MH Composite all slide

“The Big One” Cyber Attack coming? Markets and MH Composite all slide

Big banks are poised to earn even more, cyber security experts say the ‘Big One’ is coming and fears from the Ukraine were among the factors cited by MarketWatch  moving investors. The three major indexes all lost ground today. Dow 17,078.87 -43.14 (-0.25%). Nasdaq 4,557.70 -11.92 (-0.26%). S&P 500 1,996.76 -3.36 (-0.17%). Yahoo! ...

28 Aug 2014

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New York Times reports Long Island “Mobile Home Park” resales command $1 Mi…

New York Times reports Long Island “Mobile Home Park” resales command $1 Million

It isn’t just Aspen, Colorado or Malibu, California that one sees 7 figure sales involving manufactured homes in ‘mobile home parks.’ The New York Times  reports to MHProNews  that living-in or getaways-to Montauk Shores manufactured home community on the East End of Long Island has been enjoyed by celebrities such as Andy Warhol ...

28 Aug 2014

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TV ad buys down, Online Digital Media Up, Marketers say

TV ad buys down, Online Digital Media Up, Marketers say

In a trend with implications for manufactured homes and other housing marketers, the U.S. TV industry has seen its first big drop in ad buys since the great recession of 2009. More is being allocated to internet based strategies, FT  tells MHProNews. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported on this trend, which according to Media […]...

28 Aug 2014

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“What Recovery?” Unemployed ask Federal Reserve at posh Jackson Hole confer…

“What Recovery?” Unemployed ask Federal Reserve at posh Jackson Hole conference

  Unemployment is a factor in home purchases that industry leaders such as Cavco Industries Chairman and CEO, Joe Stegmayer, cites as a reason for the current level of home buying. While millions have reportedly given up on finding work, others have taken their case public, with a recent example at the Federal Reserve’s Jackson […]...

28 Aug 2014

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Nimby Leading Loss of Affordable Housing? County buys MHC to close it

Nimby Leading Loss of Affordable Housing? County buys MHC to close it

De Kalb County, Illinois purchased to close “flood prone” Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park in Sycamore, the Daily Chronicle tells MHProNews. “I don’t have much of a choice, because we’re in a flood plain and I can’t fix houses,” the property owner, Frank Santoro said. “I have to accept what they are going to gi...

28 Aug 2014

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Heckaman Homes – A+ with BBB – celebrates 45 years and 20,000+ systems buil…

Heckaman Homes – A+ with BBB – celebrates 45 years and 20,000+ systems built homes

Founded in 1969, Nappanee, Indiana based systems builder, Heckaman Homes has surpassed the 20,000 homes produced milestone. Rated A+ by the local Better Business Bureau (BBB), Heckaman was purchased by Craftech Building Systems Inc. in 1986. President John Mahnken “Started on the production line 25 years ago,” says Jeff Tanner, sales manager. Unl...

28 Aug 2014

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U.S. Markets Down, Skyline leads gainers while MH Composite slides

U.S. Markets Down, Skyline leads gainers while MH Composite slides

Twitter’s CEO sounded off on Snapchat’s 10 billion dollar valuation not being “absurd,” on a day that saw a modest retreat in U.S. exchanges. Dow 17,102.31 -4.39 (-0.03%). Nasdaq 4,564.85 -5.79 (-0.13%). S&P 500 1,997.83 -2.19 (-0.11%). Yahoo! Finance’s Manufactured Housing Composite Value: 848.7, today’s change: -0....

27 Aug 2014

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CNBC says 5 to 6 Million Renting Should Own – Affordability = Credit Access…

CNBC says 5 to 6 Million Renting Should Own – Affordability = Credit Access, Rates Price

Tim Rood with the Collingwood Group was part of a CNBC discussion that pointed to factors that manufactured home professionals relate to: the many – and often competing – dynamics that cause someone to buy a home or stay in a rental. Elements such as price and interest rates, CNBC’s Diana Olick  tells MHProNews,  along […]...

27 Aug 2014

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Mobile Home Energy Makeover Contest Winner, Timely Tips

Mobile Home Energy Makeover Contest Winner, Timely Tips

Manufactured home owner Connie Jeffries, a home health aid and member of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative, won an energy efficiency makeover for her house, ECT Coop tells MHProNews. “They’ve already installed the new roof, windows, water heater, patio door and the geothermal heat pump system,” Jefferies said. “My son has asthma so this is going [&#8...

27 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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