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What’s Next in Affordable Housing, or for Manufactured Home Professionals and Investors?

July 6th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” – English maxim, origin credited to George Herbert.

 

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

 

No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things take time.
You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant
.” – Warren Buffett

 

Notice: MHProNews will be doing a website theme and URL switchover this weekend. By industry standards, ours is a huge website. Expect glitches. As every seasoned and successful business professional knows, change routinely means anticipated and unexpected bumps-in-the-road. That said, patience and persistence pays. What’s coming is relevant and potentially profitable to many.

 

 

Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. SWOT. 

Every person, profession, situation in life has its own SWOT. These are not always clearly understood by those who are in the middle of their own circumstances. Thus outsiders, often with experience in that same field, are brought in by success-minded business leaders to be a second set of eyes. Physicians often refer a patient to another doctor or an expert for a second opinion.

 

SWOTAnalysisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The four quads of a good SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

 

Everyone that has ever owned a business that has endured for more than four years has achieved something that the majority of those who start a business can’t claim. If a business is profitable at the end of its fourth year, that is a notable accomplishment.

If that same 4+ year-old business can honestly say that they have achieved that profitability and sustainability with a high degree of customer satisfaction, so much the better. That combination of honest business success with both internal and external satisfaction merits celebration. 

Among public officials in both major parties that have studied manufactured housing with an open mind, several things become clear. Manufactured homes have been routinely misunderstood for years. 

For those who understand business strategies, that factoid and what follow are opportunities in disguise.

 

 

  About every third American is living in rental housing.

  There are some 22 million Americans living in pre-HUD Code mobile homes or in post HUD Code manufactured homes.

  Millions of conventional housing owners plan to upsize, downsize, and otherwise change housing.

  NIMBYism and land use policies that are often designed to protect or promote special interests are among the reasons that manufactured homes are often blocked by zoning and placement restrictions. HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who is the top federal official in charge of regulating manufactured homes, has made it clear that he gets those facts.  

  Education is part of the solution to that issue. Secretary Carson has personally made efforts at educating others about manufactured homes on national TV programs, in published speeches, as well as in Senate testimony. There are plenty of examples of third-party studies that span more than 20 years that debunk the misplaced fears that many have about manufactured homes.

  The new presidential executive order (EO) establishing a White House Council to promote affordable housing underscores the two bullets above. President Donald J. Trump’s new EO also specifically cited manufactured homes.

  Several Democratic and Republican lawmakers and public officials are paying more attention to manufactured homes, industry lending, and other industry business practices.

 

There is more. But those bullets are enough to make a ‘can do’ minded professional wonder why manufactured housing isn’t performing far better than it is? Why is the industry only producing and shipping about ¼th of what it did in 1998? Or why is the industry only shipping about 17 percent of what was achieved in the early 1970s?

For those whose only answer is ‘lending,’ that’s at best incomplete.  For those who say image, that’s part of it too, but that’s an opportunity in disguise for those who see clearly. Simplistic ‘answers’ like those are often going to hobble professional growth.

Why, by contrast, has the RV industry gone from being outsold by manufactured homes at a 3 to 2 margin in 1998, to RVs outselling manufactured homes by some 5 to 1 in 2018? RVs also had image problems decades ago, but they addressed that successfully. RVs – towable or motorized – for most Americans are as their name implies, are recreational. By contrast, manufactured homes, while some are used as second homes, are for the most part primary permanent housing.

Meaning, the RV industry’s potential size should only be a fraction of what the potential is for manufactured housing. That’s another outside indicator that manufactured housing should be doing several times its current sales levels.

Seen through the eyes of an honest SWOT analysis, there are clearly obstacles and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses in the manufactured housing industry in the summer of 2019. 

At a more granular and personalized level, there is a SWOT for every professional, location, business, and organization.  But the infographic below reflects the enormous potential that the industry has.  

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

What’s Next?

Amazon, Chinese imports, and 3D printed housing are just some of several looming threats to the domestic sales of more manufactured homes.

SunCommunitiesIncSUIManufacturedHomeSalesPriceComparisionConventionalHousingCostFeb2019IRDec312018DataManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

But at this time, HUD Code manufactured homes have a clear price-per-square foot and/or other advantages over its rivals. As HUD Secretary Carson and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Certified Business Economist Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton have both said, manufactured homes are more resilient – far safer – than most realize. 

 

SunCommunitiesIncSUIRentalofManufacturedHomeVsOtherRentalComparisionsFeb2019IRDec312018DataManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Always keep in mind that data changes over time. This information was deemed accurate by a publicly traded company at the time it was originally published.

 

·        At least on paper, manufactured homes also have an advantage due to the ‘enhanced preemption’ clause that is already law, as established in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.

·        Manufactured housing has – at least on paper – support from the Duty to Serve (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008, that mandated support for manufactured homes. These two bullets are examples of good laws already on the books that are not being properly implemented.  That’s an opportunity in disguise for the savvy with moxie and resources.

There are also aspects of FHA, VA, and USDA (Rural Development) lending, plus several state finance programs, that offer opportunities for manufactured home professionals and investors to serve potentially millions of Americans who want to upsize, downsize, or get their first home. To be crystal clear, those opportunities exist apart from the so called ‘new class of homes’ that some in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are promoting. That new class of homes, whatever the intention, is arguably more problematic than promising.

ClaytonHomesIhouseGenNowHome2015PrintedHouseNewClassOfHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Click to download and see this full sized.

 

When people think image or stigma, that too is part of SWOT. However, a crisis that is properly understood is often an opportunity in disguise.

 

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Sam Zell famously observed that when others are going left, look right. Zell told MHProNews via the late Howard Walker, JD, then Vice Chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), that the ELS chairman has never lost confidence in manufactured homes and communities. Zell has preached that they aren’t ‘trailers or trailer parks,’ in his own pointed way.

SamZellQuotesPencilHeadItsNotATrailerParkWhenEveryoneisgoingleftLookRightELSChairmanManufacturedHomeProNews

 

 

The fact that Zell-led ELS and Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway have invested billions into the manufactured housing industry, and continue to do so, should speak volumes to objective thinkers. The fact that others are following suit is likewise noteworthy.

Here is where there may be some parting of the ways between various industry professionals. To oversimplify, there are those in manufactured housing that fully grasp the realities noted and linked herein. Some are ‘black hat’ operations, while others are ‘white hat’ business. On MHLivingNews we encourage housing shoppers to discern that difference.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by their president Tim Williams, Warren Buffett’s direct quotes from that same year’s annual letter, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, all line up in what attorneys who reviewed it see as ‘smoking gun’ evidence of antitrust violations. They demonstrate how thousands of independent retailers, communities, and several producers – among others – where purportedly directly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. See for yourself: https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

There are candidly those who don’t get it about such realities regarding ‘black hats’ in the ranks, or are in fear or denial, or may understand but don’t know what to do about issues like the ones found in the reports linked above and below.

 

 

Each of those are thorny topics. But ‘leaders grasp nettles.’ Nettles, properly understood, are prickly but have medicinal properties. ‘Grasping nettles’ is an apt metaphor that manufactured housing industry owners, managers, leaders, investors, and professionals should strive to understand and master in the context of their own unique SWOT.  

During a time that manufactured homes should be roaring, instead, the industry seems to be snoring. There are reasons that is so, including those noted in reports linked from this article. For 9 consecutive months, there are year-over-year declines in the production and shipments of new manufactured homes, despite all of the possible good news and positive resources that are available. That fact, considered in the light of others, begs questions. How to account for the failures to advance by the industry’s self-proclaimed leaders? Or who benefits from such a downturn? 

Businesses don’t become successful because they are operated by incompetent people. The management of MHProNews doesn’t believe that those leaders in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are incompetent; quite the contrary.  The are successful and some of them are quite shrewd.

So, there must be other explanations for the relatively low state of the manufactured home industry. There must be good reasons, ones that can lead to profitable opportunities once fully grasped, as to why new manufactured homes are selling at a slower pace than the year that Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton Homes and other affiliates starting in 2003.

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

May 2019 data reflects month 9th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

 

What’s Next?

From the ranks of investors in publicly traded firms in manufactured housing, the controversy at Cavco Industries ought to sound alarm bells, especially in the light of items noted and linked from within this report.

Among public officials – several of whom correctly believe that manufactured homes offers an opportunity to increase affordable home ownership in ways that grows the personal wealth of singles and households – the facts noted and linked herein ought to be significant enough to warrant public hearings into several industry issues. Those hearings should be public and ought to proceed on a range of issues related to: antitrust, RICO, IRS tax-exempt status, and what is causing the failure of existing laws on lending and enhanced preemption to be properly implemented.  Experts from all sides and camps of the industry, including consumers, should be part of those Congressional hearings. Industry leaders should be called in to testify under oath.

Then, industry professionals and business owners, past and present, ought to ponder how the facts herein relate to themselves and their business experiences.  If the market has been rigged, as some claim based upon evidence like that linked from this article, who has that harmed and to what degree? Who benefited from the allegedly rigged system?

Because investigations and possible litigation aren’t the only steps that ought to occur, what will current and prospective industry investors and business owners and leaders do to navigate the current circumstances?  How will professionals respond to their own unique SWOT?

The fact that some businesses are honestly growing, while others are shrinking, should be carefully examined and objectively understood. 

·        There are no less than half a dozen other serious trade publishers or bloggers that are writing about industry related issues.  Why has this trade media stood essentially alone in reporting on these challenges in recent years?  Why have some among those half-dozen at one point in time identified or mentioned some of the same problems, but later went silent or flip-flopped on reporting about them?

·        Why is it that the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) and some state association affiliates broken ranks from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? Why did they say that MHI failed in reflecting their interests?

·        Why does the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) so often see matters in stark contrast to what the Berkshire-backed MHI does?  Which association is more accurate in their assessments? 

·        Why has Warren Buffett – his money and influence – often backed both sides of fights that MHI was engaged in? Why has MHI routinely come up short?

 

These are nuances that have been documented here and/or on our sister site of MHLivingNews

To understate: it is worth noting that per available third-party evidence and data, MHProNews readership is equal to if not significantly greater than all of the other 6 industry trade media and bloggers combined. That suggests that people recognize the difference between spin and straight talk

 

The Next Step

MHProNews is about to take its next evolutionary step.  Some of the theme changes on our new website are subtle, but others will be significant.

We already dominate the manufactured home industry in news, fact-checks, and analysis. Nothing else even comes close in size, scope, and professional audience engagement.

Our parent company’s business development and expert services have worked with several operations of all sized firms over the years successfully. Our results are proven in often very public ways, such as the rebirth of the Louisville Manufactured Home Show after years of downturn and finally its only year to be cancelled.  That achievements make us a go-to resource for those who are willing to invest in their future to grow. 

Others firms or locations that were already successful, but that were not reaching their true potential, have likewise turned to us for proven results.

But those successes mean that companies or locations that closed or sold out for less than their true value were arguably harmed by the so-called leadership of those who are striving for discounted consolidation and acquisitions, by whatever means.

 

 

Let’s note that the video interview above was performed prior to the negative news that later hit the headlines about that former MHI chairman and his company. We don’t knowingly work to promote allegedly black-hat operations.  We strive, instead, to work with the industry’s apparent white hats. Because of our pivots on MHLivingNews, we are now in a unique position to spotlight the problematic as well as white hats.

 

 

Thus, we bring a unique set of experiences, tools, and proven resources. Keen insider insights found here cause more people to logon to MHProNews daily than some of our rivals have monthly.

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Note, Barry Cole’s prior anniversary kudos message raises an important point. Most publications in the MH space failed or closed years ago. Some have since tried to make the cut, inspired by MHProNews’ success. Some noteworthy efforts have also since been suspended. MHProNews has stood the test of time, and the slings and arrows of the industry’s outrageous fortunes.

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On MHLivingNews, we’ve been quietly revising and developing a platform that addresses that common questions and concerns from the general public’s perspective.  The success in attracting readers there is notable, because individual articles there may get several times more readers than even very popular articles found here on MHProNews.

Put differently, on both platforms, we’ve proven for years measurable results at what we have strived to do. 

To make that point, Casey Mack at Legacy Housing, with his company’s general counsel’s expressed okay, said the following.

 

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MHProNews has well-known publishing arms. Our publisher is one of the most highly acclaimed pros on LinkedIn among all manufactured housing professionals.

 

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There have been hundreds of accolades – endorsements and recommendations – provided via LinkedIn alone. Others have been provided via video and in letters, etc.

 

While our business development services tend to be lower key, the results are praised in videos, written letters of recommendation, and by measurable bottom-line results. Some of those kind comments come from rivals. As Casey Mack and others suggest, our services don’t ‘cost,’ they are investments that properly utilized pay dividends.

With almost a decade of publishing the industry’s most read-trade media, we are about to turn the page to the next chapter.

While we disagree with Warren Buffett on several business ethics and related issues, we agree with him that some things simply take time. We also agree on the importance of reading for understanding, something that Buffett says he spends 5 to 6 hours a day doing and has for years. If you and your team are each reading less than an hour daily on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, then you are not yet reading enough.

Keep in mind the levels of awareness.  There are few things that doing them once is enough.

Our Republic just celebrated this week a key time in American history.  This nation began a struggle some 243 years ago that defeated the world’s lone superpower during the time our nation’s founding fathers declared the 13 colonies independence from the British king. Perhaps 1/3rd of the people in some form of fashion originally supported that effort for independence.

The U.S. and our allies defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, which some thought unstoppable. The U.S. overcame the power of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. At various times, there were those who said those feats could not be accomplished.

This is a can-do nation. If you are in business, you are likely a can-do person reading this. The industry has very real challenges, both internal and external. It will not be a quick fight, if it is to be successful.

We’re in it for the long haul. This next chapter in manufactured housing trade media is proof of our resolve.  The fact that the opposition won’t engage us directly in public debates and forums – after so many of those same people have praised our work for years – is perhaps the most telling reason to believe that we at MHProNews are ‘over the target’ in our analysis and efforts.

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The industry should be some 10 times its current sales levels. 

Our slogans are as relevant today as when we launched the site under the third logo on the right, below, in mid-October 2009.

 

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We’ve added to those mantras since then Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © and News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing.” ©

 

 

The next evolutionary chapter in the industry’s biggest and most read trade media starts this weekend.  Stay tuned.

Our thanks to our sponsors and clients for making this possible.  Our thanks to our readers for seriously checking in often to consider all the news, fact-checks, reports, and analysis that we share here and on MHLivingNews.  With God’s help, the best is yet to come.  We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)  

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

For marketing and other expert professional services, click here. Connect on LinkedIn here and here.

Soheyla Kovach, managing member, for LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – parent to Daily Business News on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reports: You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

Addressing Manufactured Housing Insanity, Unusual Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Tip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Greatest…Journey in Human History,” Presidential Salute to America, Videos, Report

July 5th, 2019 Comments off
GreatestJourneyHumanHistoryPresidentialSaluteToAmericaVideosReportDailyBusinessNewsMHpronews

Videos posted further below.

President Donald Trump celebrated “the greatest political journey in human history” Thursday in a Fourth of July commemoration before a soggy, cheering crowd of spectators,” said left-of-center Time Magazine.

 

With jets roaring overhead and a poncho-clad crowd before him, President Donald Trump implored Americans to come together Thursday in a show of national pride — a rare unifying message…” began a report by left-of-center CNN.

The New York Times, which like CNN and Time are known for being anti-Trump, had this headline this morning: “With Flyovers and Flags, Trump Plays M.C. for the Fourth.” NY Times writer Michael D. Shear opened with, “The president began with a rare call for unity in his 45-minute speech, but mostly spent time recounting the history of the armed forces, planes punctuating his message.”

Right-of-center Breitbart’s top headline this morning proclaimed: “Yuge: President Trump Notes ‘Great Crowd’ at Salute to America.”

DonaldJTrumpRetweetGrahamLedgerSalutetoAmericaCrowdsizenationalMallWashingtonDCMHProNews

Right-of-center Fox News posted this video of the “Salute to America” July 4th event.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owned, left-of-center Washington Post, posted this video of the national fireworks in Washington, D.C. last night.

The president had a career that included media, and he has rightly been called a showman. The NY Times reference to the president as the master of ceremonies, M.C., is balanced by the ubiquitous Drudge report reminder this morning that prior presidents have used the backdrop of the 4th of July in various ceremonies, although not this elaborate.

While there have been and will be digs against the event, the sampling above reflects that notion that it was largely free of partisanship.  It was a call to national unity. It specifically mentioned historical figures that included Democrats, Republicans and those with no known major political affiliation.

ICYMI, it was spectacular. One can rightly call it the antidote for what Gallup called sliding patriotism. It was a reminder of American exceptionalism and sacrifice that advanced the march toward what the founders saw as the struggle toward “a more perfect Union” of the states, knowing it wasn’t perfect, but was better than other such efforts in world history.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsConnect on LinkedIn here.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

1) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

Soheyla Kovach, managing member, for LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – parent to Daily Business News on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com

 

 

 

 

Related Reports: You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

America – the Story of US – Declaration of Independence

 

“But I Was Born Free”

 

 

 

 

“But I Was Born Free”

July 4th, 2019 Comments off
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Stills from Born Free music video by Kid Rock, posted further below. Collage by MHProNews.

Music gets appropriated for commercials, campaigns, causes, and political events on a routine basis. So why not do that for the interests of manufactured home professionals, investors, and the tens of millions in the affordable home seeking public?

 

Facts, figures and slogans often get swatted around like a ping-pong ball in a professional-level table tennis match to advocate for some new law.

Why not cut-to-the-chase, save time, money, and implement the good laws that are already on the federal law books?

There are unique opportunities for honest gain being forged in the crucible of often troubling circumstances. There are purported ‘black hat’ operations that have manipulated the system and political forces in order to divert existing laws while lining their own pockets. They do so at the expense of our fellow Americans, ethical businesses, and honest investors.

Why not use some jujitsu to spotlight those bad behaviors, while ‘white hat’ businesses, investors, organizations, professionals, advocates, and lawmakers come together to enforce good laws?

Why not hold hearings in Congress to spotlight the various ways that existing laws have been blocked, often by posturing or feigning which masks entirely selfish interests – often within our own industry’s ranks?

Let’s explore that case briefly below.

 

Born Free

I was born free. We believe in free enterprise and respect all honest work. It’s a holiday, yet the groundskeepers caught us by surprise – they are working outside – keeping the lawn, shrubs, and the property pristine. Wow, that’s unexpected, yet it’s amazingly American.

But some are born into vexing scenarios made worse by corrupted versions of capitalism rightly called conquest or crony capitalism. Is it any wonder that millions – seeing such misbehavior – question free enterprise?

However well intended HUD Secretary Ben Carson or his predecessor Julián Castro may be or have been, there is evidence that corporate interests have colluded with officials currently or previously at HUD to thwart existing laws. We’ll explore who and name some names in the days ahead.

But even what we already know from Senate testimony or from the Washington Post should be enough to cause alarm for observant and thoughtful professionals and honorable public officials.

Senator Thom Tillis, in a dialogue with HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, “I don’t think that most people recognize how the regulatory burdens hit the poorest among us the hardest.” Tillis revealed that he grew up in what he called a ‘trailer house,’ but was more likely a mobile home or early HUD Code manufactured home. Tillis spoke about the morass of regulations that are “no doubt creating a higher price point.”

 

 

Senator Tillis (NC-R) jokingly said that in his personal case, the increased regulatory costs might have been the difference between a single wide, and a “single wide with a bump out.”  There are likely thousands of professionals in our industry that don’t even know what that means, because single sections with an extension are not so common any more. There was unquestionable more variety of manufactured homes built by more manufacturers 30 to 35 years ago than there are today. That’s not to say that there aren’t improvements, of course there are, as Secretary Carson said in the video above.  But for those who were in the industry in the 1980s, they recall ‘tip outs,’ balcony bedrooms, sunken baths, raised kitchens, and other floorplans that many today have not seen on a factory line in many years.

Tillis used his personal experience as an example to call attention for the need for regulatory stream lining that could benefit millions. That sound suspiciously like the executive order that President Trump issued just days ago. It was very much in keeping with what a Washington, D.C. based trade group has been calling public officials to do for years. Persistence may pay in the foreseeable future.

Secretary Carson, even early in his administration, noted that 22 million were living in manufactured homes and their mobile home predecessors. He said when you look at the progress made in the industry “it’s amazing.”

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

 

Dr. Carson went on to say that a lot of the housing was hard to distinguish from site-built housing, noted that pricing on manufactured homes was lower, but “the regulations are ridiculous.”  He noted that he put a moratorium on those and were inspecting regulations from “top to bottom.” More recently, Secretary Carson said that we can solve the affordable housing crisis, and he pointed to manufactured homes as part of that solution.

Some of those “ridiculous” regulations Carson spoke about in Senate testimony were no doubt about issues related to Danner that MHProNews and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), among others, had spotlighted for years.

Who was directly in charge of implementing HUD regulations?

Pam Danner, J.D., who per sources was inserted into her role at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) by backers within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  While that claim may or may not be easy to nail down, what follows is already known.

Juliet Eilperin writing in the Washington Post in May 2018 said that it was the efforts of Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of MHARR and his colleagues that got Danner removed, for her purported excesses in regulatory overreach. By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Senior Vice President (SVP) Lesli Gooch specifically stated that they did not seek Danner’s removal.

That WaPo report was not denied by MHI.

When thousands of industry professionals were howling from coast-to-coast about Danner and overreach, why wasn’t the Arlington, VA based trade group likewise pushing for Danner’s removal?

Once the ‘wheat and chaff’ are separated, what becomes clear is this. MHI postured action, but failed at the most basic and obvious step; i.e.: seeking and obtaining Danner’s removal. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s per the clear implication of MHI’s SVP Gooch’s own words, as reported by the Washington Post. That’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The deep pockets at MHI – and those behind them in places like Omaha, or the Knoxville metro, and their allies – can buy more of everything than MHARR and/or our publications can.  MHI is the one that claims they have clout at the federal level.  If so, how have they used that clout?

GotClout-questionmark-GetItHere-MHI-ManufacturedHousingInstitute-postedMHProNews-com-

That reality of their deeper pockets and broader access are precisely why it is logically stating the obvious where the roadblocks in our industry are. They are often internal, and the net impact is that the industry is consolidating instead of growing.  Several of MHI’s own past and present members have said as much.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

 

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Former MHI state affiliates broke away and in 2018 formed the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners, NAMHCO. They cited MHI’s years of failures as part of their reason for doing so.

 

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Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

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Who benefits from slow growth or negative growth? Isn’t it the deeper pockets that can then buy more communities, retailers, producers, and suppliers at a discount? Doesn’t that fit the Warren Buffett mantra?

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.

 

Therefore, it is an obvious time for a new paradigm.

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When MHProNews spotlighted that MHI had reputedly done nothing on reaching out to the CFPB in 2017, MHI – perhaps in there embarrassment – began to move to get something done. When MHARR pushed MHI long enough on the DOE energy rule, MHI finally pivoted. It seems that MHI acts for the interests they claim to stand for best when the spotlight hits their lack of action otherwise. 

 

It is time for new alliances to be created that bridge the gaps that are causing a harmful status quo.  It is outrageous that manufactured home shipments are into 9 months of year-over-year decline.  It is a disgrace that MHI and their outside attorney threatened us for lawfully publishing the item below, when it was they who were making the false claims and promises.

 

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

That this decline is avoidable is exemplified by exceptions to the rule, such as our report on Nobility Homes, linked here.

That Buffett’s ‘donations’ have found their way into the hands of MHAction and other groups opposing MHI begs the question, have they been playing the industry’s white hats with the rope-a-dope for years?

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

While MHI, Prosperity Now and others are pushing for a new bill in Congress that could make things worse. Paradoxically, the claimed goal of that bill could be rapidly achieved simply by implementing existing federal laws. Which begs the question, why not push for implementing good laws that are already on the books?  Who benefits from more delays? Isn’t it the consolidators that want to keep manufactured housing misunderstood and underperforming?

 

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

There are several reasons to believe that there is collusion and corruption that purportedly violates antitrust, IRS or other regulations, and possibly laws such as RICO.

 

 

We have new and significant recent features on Manufactured Home Living News. They lay the foundation that makes the case for implementation of existing laws. They also suggest how white hat brands, organizations, honest public officials, and investors could be working with manufactured homeowners, renters, and others to reform the system by implementing existing laws.

It could – indeed should – start with public hearings by Congress and possibly states to investigate and explore what has gone wrong.  No one could be as incompetent as the powers that be in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have been, could they? Which suggests that a relatively small group of people could be manipulating the system in ways that cause more homelessness, more poverty, and more grief for millions that would otherwise be avoided.

 

 

More in the days ahead on specifics within HUD that should cause alarm and spark action.

Those of us born in the U.S.A. were born free.  Let’s not lose that freedom to the machinations of a few that are trying to wrongfully enrich themselves to the detriment of the many.

 

 

Roll the stone away. Let the guilty pay. It’s Independence Day.

 

 

Summing Up

The solution to the affordable housing crisis has been hiding in plain sight for years.  There is a case to be made that it is often forces within the industry that have thwarted, allowed, and diverted resources and good current laws from spurring more sustainable growth. That growth would have meant more home ownership for people otherwise trapped in rent. That kind of corruption must be exposed and punished.

Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it’s Independence Day.”

Now you may better understand our mantra, “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © Dig into the related and linked reports above and below to round out the picture. Let’s restore the American Dream, starting with an understanding of Independence Day. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC parent company of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.

 

 

Related Reports:

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https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-reiterates-call-for-dts-investigation/

 

Manufactured Housing Production and Shipments, Official HUD Data, Report for May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start Time 6:30 PM ET, Democrats Push Back, But White House Promises Greatest 4th of July Celebration Ever

July 4th, 2019 Comments off

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Count on left-of-center NBC News to be an outlet that will not fail to present the Democratic reaction to a President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump statement or plan.

 

NBC’s report on the planned festivities in Washington, D.C. is below.

 

 

The British Daily Mail filed this video report, which includes some clips of tanks and other military preparations.

 

 

Right-of-center Fox News likewise reports the push back, but also goes into more depth about what types of aircraft and other military celebrations will be expected for the Fourth of July event.

 

 

As the reports note, something similar has been done before, but not for some time. Against that backdrop of protest and support, here is the White House’s statement, which includes the timeline.

 

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Watch the greatest Fourth of July celebration in our Nation’s history tomorrow

Tomorrow, Americans will gather in Washington, D.C., for a celebration of our Nation’s independence on its 243rd birthday.

Year after year, the Fourth of July is a patriotic reminder of the freedoms and opportunities this country has blessed us with. This year, President Donald J. Trump is inviting Americans to join him for a first-of-its-kind ceremony on the National Mall.

WatchPresident Trump’s “Salute to America” live tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. ET

The “Salute to America” will be kicked off by President Trump at the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by a celebration that will honor each of America’s five military branches with music, military demonstrations, and multiple flyovers.

“This is going to be a fantastic Fourth of July with increased access across the National Mall . . . and an address by our Commander-in-Chief,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said. “We received an extraordinary donation for a phenomenal fireworks display, and our colleagues from the Department of Defense will be providing a one-of-a-kind music and air power experience including a flight demonstration from the Blue Angels.”

Of course, there’s no better way to cap off Independence Day than with a spectacular fireworks show. Tomorrow night, the National Park Service and its partners will host one for the ages. With D.C.’s iconic monuments and memorials as the backdrop, the 35-minute show will be the largest fireworks display ever in the Washington capital region.

“Our July 4th Salute to America at the Lincoln Memorial is looking to be really big,” President Trump wrote on Twitter today. “It will be the show of a lifetime!”

Plan your visit: More on tomorrow’s “Salute to America.”

Washington Examiner: Boom: Donations to Trump’s July Fourth ‘Salute’ to Double Fireworks Display, Longest Ever

 

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America – the Story of US – Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Manufactured Housing’s 43rd Birthday, Born June 15, 1976

June 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

CelebratingManufacturedHousings43rdBirthdayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

To stem the tide of fake news, several things are useful or necessary. As the article linked here quoted, “facts are stubborn things.”

 

 

Part of the solution to fake news is authentic, factual, evidence-based reports and analysis. When over half the country lists ‘fake news’ as one of the most important problems facing America, that is both crisis as well as an opportunity in disguise.

The phrase “enquiring minds want to know” long predates a tabloid that turned that into a tag line. Whatever their intent, the phrase is a compelling and true statement. 

From the first day since we launched this professional site which is now called MHProNews, it has had a simple goal in mind. To help fuel the manufactured housing industry with the insights and resources needed to reach the industry’s true, sustainable, and honorable potential. We believed from the start in mutual victories. Good businesses benefit the home seeking public. Buyer and seller alike ought to benefit from every transaction. Win-win-win must successfully overcome the sources of the win-lose mentality. 

There will be a series of special reports here on MHProNews and on our sister site, MHLivingNews this weekend and the days ahead. Stay tuned.

Until then, let’s celebrate the 43rd anniversary of HUD Code manufactured homes by recommitting ourselves as professionals to earning an honest profit. Earn as much profit as you honestly and ethically can or want. But separate yourself from black hat operations that earn profits in devious, illegal, or demonstrably underhanded ways.

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For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

 

The vast majority of the home seeking public doesn’t worry about our HUD Code manufactured home industry’s politics.  In order to understand why the industry is underperforming, one must carefully consider what the public thinks or sees, not just what professionals think, say, or do. 

Public perception isn’t the only hang-up, as the related reports below the byline and notices makes clear. 

Facts are stubborn things. But leaders grasp nettles. Nettles sting when not handled correctly, but also have medicinal qualities when properly used. You don’t cure a problem by ignore its root causes.

The good news of manufactured housing can break through the noise. How is that accomplished?  In part by using real news, clear analysis, common-sense and evidence-based commentary that must clearly debunk and/or replace fake news.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

 That can begin with the two words hinted at in the headline in the post above. But that article doesn’t just hint at those two words, it makes the case with brevity and clarity. For more, see the related reports, below.

 There’s always more at MHProNews, as the related reports will reveal.  Happy 43rd birthday to HUD Code manufactured housing, our home owners, and professionals.  Note that the first link in the related reports is to an industry veteran who has lived through the trailer house, mobile home, manufactured home evolution.  It is about 8 minutes of must-viewing for anyone who truly wants to understand this industry.

That’s this 43rd Anniversary Celebration Saturday edition of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Time to Say Goodbye, Lessons Learned, What’s Next

June 12th, 2019 Comments off
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Still from the video, further below.

People invest in, open or maintain a business with certain goals in mind. Among them is to serve a slice of the public, and for ‘white hat’ operations, to earn a profit honorably in some form or fashion.

 

 

The ways that honest profit can be earned are as many and varied as the imaginations of millions of people in America make possible. Which is why, to a certain extent, the notion of ‘one size fits all’ is an illusion.

It is axiomatic that there are no too people exactly alike. The country singer John Rich posted earlier this week on the Daily Business News on MHProNews will appeal to thousands of readers here, but to some more than others. This duet of Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli, singing their classic “Time to Say Goodbye” (1997) will move some to tears from just listening to it — even if you or they don’t grasp the meaning of the words so passionately performed.

On the time played this morning, about 5:49 AM ET, the video duet has had 44,864,417 views, some 229k ‘thumbs up,’ and only 10k ‘thumbs down.’  

Think about it. Over 44 million views. More on that another time too.

While each of those data points regarding Time to Say Goodbye” has significance, it clearly reflects that far more people are moved by this musical performance than those who are turned off by it. What about you?

What does this have to do with manufactured housing? Nothing; and everything. More on that further below too.

First, listen to and watch if you can this video. Then, following the lyrics, we will do some industry professional related commentary.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli – Time to Say Goodbye (1997)

According to the YouTube page of axedagobert22, the video posted above was published on Oct 18, 2012. 

The axedagobert22 post explains that “In November 1996, Andrea and Sarah Brightman were invited to perform the duet ‘Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partirò)’ at the farewell contest of the German World Light-Heavyweight boxing champion, Henry Maske. A national hero held in unrivaled esteem, he is known for his love of selecting entrance themes to his bouts.  

Sarah Brightman, the internationally renowned soprano and friend of Henry Maske heard ‘Con Te Partirò‘ in a restaurant while dining with her friends. Entranced by the singer and the song, Brightman made contact with Andrea. Andrea and Brightman re-recorded ‘Con Te Partirò‘ as the duet ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ with members of the London Symphony Orchestra.  

This live version is from Brightman’s first full concert recording, “Sarah Brightman: In Concert”, from London’s Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Paul Bateman. Guest artists include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Adam Clark and Andrea Bocelli. The concert was released to video in 1998.

The concert was directed by David Mallet.”

 

The YouTube page doesn’t have the lyrics. But as regular readers know, we strive to provide a complete picture, so we did some digging – curation – and those lyrics are provided below.  The English version is on top, the original Italian is below. 

To better appreciate the richness and meaning, Classic FM provided this insight: In summary: they’re saying goodbye to countries they never saw or shared with each other, but now they are in fact going to go to those countries… except they’re traveling there on ships which don’t exist anymore… so it’s time to say goodbye again.

Hmm. Maybe the lyrics are better appreciated in Italian.”

Here are those lyrics, per the source cited below. 

 

Time To Say Goodbye

 

Time To Say Goodbye

When I am alone

Quando sono solo

 

Dream on the horizon

Sogno all’orizzonte

 

And the words are missing

E mancan le parole

 

Yes I know there is no light

Sì lo so che non c’è luce

 

In a room when the sun is missing

In una stanza quando manca il sole

 

If you’re not with me, with me

Se non ci sei tu con me, con me

 

On the windows

Su le finestre

 

Show everyone my heart

Mostra a tutti il mio cuore

 

That you turned on

Che hai acceso

 

Close inside me

Chiudi dentro me

 

The light that

La luce che

 

You met on the street

Hai incontrato per strada

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye

 

Countries that I never

Paesi che non ho mai

 

Saw and shared with you

Veduto e vissuto con te

 

Now I’ll live them

Adesso si li vivrò

 

I’ll go with you

Con te partirò

 

On ships over seas

Su navi per mari

 

That I know it

Che, io lo so

 

No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più

 

It’s time to say goodbye

It’s time to say goodbye

when you are distant

Quando sei lontana

 

Dream on the horizon

Sogno all’orizzonte

 

And the words are missing

E mancan le parole

 

And I do, I know

E io sì, lo so

 

That you are with me, with me

Che sei con me, con me

 

You my moon, you are here with me

Tu mia luna, tu sei qui con me

 

My sun, you are here with me

Mio sole, tu sei qui con me

 

With me, with me, with me

Con me, con me, con me

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye

 

Countries that I never

Paesi che non ho mai

 

Saw and shared with you

Veduto e vissuto con te

 

Now I will live them

Adesso sì li vivrò

 

I’ll go with you

Con te partirò

 

On ships over seas

Su navi per mari

 

That I know it

Che io lo so

 

No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più

 

I will relive them with you

Con te io li rivivrò

 

I’ll go with you

Con te partirò

 

On ships over seas

Su navi per mari

 

That I know it

Che, io lo so

 

No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più

 

I will relive them with you

Con te io li rivivrò

 

I’ll go with you

Con te partirò

 

Me with you

Io con te

 

Songwriters: Francesco Sartori / Frank Peterson / Lucio Quarantotto

Time To Say Goodbye lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Peermusic Publishing, Sugarmusic s.p.a.

—- End of lyrics, credits. —-

 

For those willing to step outside of the box, many things are possible, but none are accomplished without risk, effort, or struggle.

When you entered this field of endeavor, you too had some expectation or vision.  Perhaps that has been encouraged, perhaps it has been dashed, derailed, or shunted down an unexpected track.  You can cry about it, laugh, or dig in and do your best to figure it all out.

Our publisher likes to reflect on the occasion when the late Howard Walker, JD, longtime assistant chairman for Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), approached him at an MHI meeting, saying with feigned outrage, ‘How dare you bring culture to a manufactured housing industry event?

Those who knew Walker will get it. Those who never met him, might get a glimpse into the man from those few words.

First on MHLivingNews, but later posted on MHProNews, is a very different type of infographic than the one produced by MHI.

Why is it so different? Because one cannot reduce the manufactured housing industry’s varied customers and members without reflecting in some manner the broad range of people who have found appeal in the homes our industry has and continues to produce.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

 

Among the manufactured housing retailing firms that Clayton Homes has purchased are those which did factory built as well as on-site built housing. That no doubt fit a broader agenda.

This website isn’t about us, it is about professionals like yourself. Some love rock, others rap. Your customers may listen to music in in their pickup or car that is Spanish or English. Depending on your market, you may have people who speak Farsi at home walking into your establishment.  Or you may have those who speak Mandarin, French, Greek, or a Slavic tongue.  Down under, they may speak English, but their accent is different than ours here in the Colonies.

It pays to have some cultural appreciation and awareness.

It pays to be able to think outside of the box.

Easy doesn’t pay well,” observed John Bostick, Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and President and CEO of Sunshine Homes.

Some things can’t be hurried, said Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. On that point, using the principle of separating wheat from chaff, we concur with the man who has hung his hat in Omaha.

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteNowMatterHowGreatTheTalentOrEffortsomeThingsJustTakeTimeYouCantProduceABabyInOneMOthByGettingNineWomenPregnantMHProNews

Colorful? No doubt. One must separate wheat from chaff, with all people, organizations, and things.

 

What music plays in your office? Do you use headsets? Or is it playing audibly, in a manner that others might hear it too?

Does that music connect – or separate – you from others?

The methods of connecting with people are varied. Here or MHProNews, we illustrate and provided content in a full range of ways, because there is a full scope of experiences and potential for connecting.

 

One of our earlier
Inside MH videos…

…still a very relevant interview.

 

Out industry is underperforming. It is almost guaranteed that your location(s) are too.  To some, that is an ‘inexplicable’ downturn, given the affordable housing crisis. But to be honest, figuring out why that downturn exists isn’t too hard for those willing to step outside their comfort zone and seek the truth.

Let’s be clear.  Even our fans or sponsors of MHProNews and MHLivingNews don’t always feel comfortable with something we publish.  That is especially so for those who read here, but aren’t fans of ours at all.  Part of the job of authentic media – be it mainstream or trade journalism – is to challenge people, especially when circumstances demand it.  You can find syrupy cheerleading somewhere else only, but you better take toothpaste, an electric tooth brush, and some dental floss with you.  Because after reading some competing voices for too long, their content might rot your teeth – or turn your mind into mush.

To get beyond underperformance, one logically must begins with understanding. After understanding begins, then one must move on to action plan and begin to execute the necessary steps. In an housing industry that does north of 1.5 trillion dollars a year in sales, there is simply no excuse for doing under $8 billion dollars in total retail last year.  That’s embarrassing. But that means there is tremendous upside. 

 

Time to Say Goodbye…

We are soon going to say goodbye to this version of our MHProNews website. The new version is approaching. There will be road bumps. C’est la vie! That’s life!

Once the new version is up, and the inevitable bugs are tweaked, there will be new manufactured home industry initiatives launched as well as fostered.

Our parent company – LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – are planning for the brighter future for the white hats of our industry, because we are true believers.

 

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering.

 

There is a need for new events, new business alliances, and new visions that can be achieved instead of the sweet-sounding words found elsewhere, which they write while the industry is shrinking and consolidating during an affordable housing crisis.  Common sense alone tells the doers in our industry that it isn’t weather, or inventory adjustments, or tariffs, or whatever other excuses some peddle.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has made certain things possible in his efforts before and during the Innovative Housing Showcase (IHS). He’s built on the efforts of other who came before him, but he has also led the way in several laudable efforts.  More on that in the linked related reports, below the byline and notices.

But much more needs to be done, because the HUD Code manufactured home industry is in a downturn during an affordable housing crisis. One might aptly think of this as a ‘manufactured crisis.’

Because a handful of people could snap their fingers, and the manufactured home shipment decline would reverse. Never, ever forget that point.

That point means that those who are scratching their heads must study, understand, plan, and then act.

 

JohnPaulJonesIHaveNotYetBegunToFightWeveOnlyBegunToFightWikiManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Together with people of good will, we plan to take the Time to Say Goodbye, but do so in a manner befitting this classic and moving duet.

More later. Thanks for checking in. Sign up for our industry leading 2x weekly emailed news updates at the link above or below.

 

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Because for some, the best is yet to come. For others, it’s time to say goodbye to the limited vision, and time to sing a new song of opportunities fraught with the internal and external challenges that lie ahead. That’s what the words carpe diem are for, it is time to seize the day. 

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteIfYouCannotControlYourEmotionsYouCannotControlYourMoneyManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Does this fit the theme of this post? As they say in Wisconsin, youbetcha.

 

That’s this edition of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson Address to Innovative Housing Showcase, Complete Official Speech Text

Secretary Ben Carson’s, Julian Castro’s Manufactured Housing, “Trailer,” “Mobile Home” Revelations, 2020 Battles Ahead

“Cribs with Carson,” Tiny House, Manufactured Homes, Innovative Housing Showcase, National Mall, Washington, D.C. Video Report

George Orwell, All Issues Are Political Issues, Manufactured Housing Challenges, and You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Address to Innovative Housing Showcase, Complete Official Speech Text

June 10th, 2019 Comments off

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This week, we showed that the future belongs to the American builder. And we showed this limitless future can be accessed, owned, and built upon by any hard-working citizen of this great land we all call home,” Secretary Carson said in his closing remarks at the Innovative Housing Showcase (IHS).

 

That’s encouraging to all builders, including factory-builders. But today’s focus is on the official text provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

 

Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Innovative Housing Showcase Opening Remarks
Washington, D.C., National Mall, June 1, 2019


As prepared for delivery. The speaker may add or subtract comments during his presentation.

Welcome, everyone, to the inaugural Innovative Housing Showcase!

My ride this morning was a 3D-printed car – a 3D-Printed Utility Vehicle (PUV), in fact – graciously lent to us by my friend, Secretary Rick Perry at the Department of Energy. This incredible technology is made possible by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who develops energy-efficient building system technologies, and is also an exhibitor in this week’s Showcase for 3D-printed housing materials.

When the printing press was invented in the year 1440, who could have imagined that six centuries later, we would be printing cars – and even homes? There may be no more enduring testament to the strength of the human spirit than when we come together, transcend our differences, and build a better tomorrow with the tools of today.

Innovation is what happens when the transformative power of the human brain is fully harnessed. As a brain surgeon, I often repeat a saying that my mother instilled into my brother Curtis and me, whenever we hit a roadblock growing up: “You have a brain – you have to use it.”

HUD and our partners are now clearing the road for millions of Americans to prosper by driving the development of a new generation of homes that are both more affordable and more resilient.

Before discussing some of the incredible highlights of the week ahead, I would like to take a moment to separately acknowledge and thank each of our exhibitors, who are pioneering the path for a bright future in America’s housing industry. These exhibitors include:

  • Akkerman Inc., whose innovative technologies allow new infrastructure to be installed in densely populated areas;
  • Barbco, who produces environmentally sensitive equipment that aids affordable housing development;
  • Boxabl, who developed the “universal building box” used to create almost any style of home at a fraction of the cost;
  • Build us H.O.P.E, who provides housing and supportive services to the homeless, disabled, and mentally ill;
  • Cavco, a leading designer and builder of systems-built structures, such as manufactured homes;
  • Core Housing Solutions, who provides affordable housing by building “tiny houses on wheels”;
  • Ditch Witch, who provides directional drilling machines and equipment;
  • Ducky Johnson, an award-winning structural moving and elevation company that has become a leading disaster response provider;
  • Hammerhead Trenchless, who manufactures products that rehabilitate and replace underground utility infrastructure;
  • IndieDwell, who makes quality, sustainable modular homes at affordable pricing;
  • MinMaxSpaces, a turn-key provider of relocatable buildings and storage solutions;
  • National Utility Contractors Association, whose technology allows utility infrastructure to be installed and accessible;
  • Piedmont Green, who provides high quality container house services;
  • Prescient, who changes the way homes are built through an innovative design platform;
  • Skyline Champion Corporation, who builds a wide variety of manufactured and modular homes; and
  • UMH Properties, Inc., a dedicated proponent of innovation and advancement in manufactured housing.

That’s a lot of names – but it takes teamwork to make any great dream work. And so, on behalf of HUD, I am grateful to each one of you for elevating this historic event with your participation.

The Purpose Of The Showcase: Increasing Affordability and Resiliency

What brings this incredible array of pioneers together this week is a joint mission to educate and inform America’s national conversation on housing policy. We believe the best way to galvanize people and policymakers toward a powerful vision of the future is to place that vision right in front of them – and show them what is truly possible.

The Showcase features state-of-the-art building technologies and housing solutions that can make homeownership more affordable for American families, and homes more resilient during natural disasters. In addition, there will be a wide array of exhibitions, prototype homes, panel discussions, and policy conversations with leaders across the housing industry over this five-day event.

While the policies of the Trump Administration have created “a rising tide that floats all boats” – including historic highs in employment, job creation, and financial growth – there are still far too many Americans who seek affordable rents or sustainable homeownership and simply cannot get their foot in the door.

To echo the words of our President, we have a special duty to make sure these “forgotten men and women” will be forgotten no longer.

It is especially meaningful that today marks not only the start of the Showcase, but also the first day of June – which has been designated by President Trump as National Homeownership Month. During this month, we are reminded that homes are not simply physical structures – they are social, cultural, and economic engines. They are where families are raised, and communities are interconnected. Housing problems are fundamentally human problems – and ultimately, that is the bottom line that truly matters.

As HUD Secretary, I spend a lot of time listening to the struggles and stories of everyday Americans trying to buy a home for the first time. It’s an uphill climb. But in my work, I have found there is nothing more rewarding than watching hard-working families successfully make the transition from public or HUD-assisted housing, to private home ownership. It is not only a journey of financial self-sufficiency – but one of deep and enduring pride.

That’s why, in response to the affordable housing crisis facing our country, new construction technologies and development techniques play a pivotal role in lowering the cost of production and increasing the affordability of new homes for millions of hard-working Americans.

For example, in recent years, manufactured housing is one solution that has emerged out of the limestone and stepped into the limelight – carrying the potential to permanently change the cost side of the equation.

According to data by the Manufactured Housing Institute, the average cost per square foot of a manufactured home is nearly half that of a site-built home – $49 [dollars] per square foot, as opposed to $107 [dollars]. These dramatic cost savings in construction enable responsible citizens to secure housing that may be considerably less expensive than renting or purchasing a site-built home.

And yet, even at this lower price, manufactured homes appreciate in value at a rate similar to site-built homes, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency Housing Price Index. Sustainable homeownership is the number one builder of financial capital for most American families. For example, the average net worth of a renter is $5,000 [dollars], while the average net worth of a homeowner is $200,000 [dollars]. That’s an extraordinary 40-fold difference. But with comparable home appreciation rates to site-built homes, manufactured homes exhibit their own extraordinary potential to be a wealth creation tool for families from every socioeconomic background.

And indeed, three fully-built manufactured homes are here, on display, for the American people to see and experience for themselves in the week ahead.

While home affordability is a challenge that touches every family, natural disasters remain a persistent threat that can decimate local communities and their way of life.

Just this week, at least 53 tornados ripped through eight states, stretching from Idaho to Colorado.

Natural disasters do not just devastate housing capital – they devastate human capital, through lives interrupted, school days missed, and communities fragmented under strain. To address this damage, last year, HUD allocated more than $35 billion in funding to 16 state and local governments, supporting America’s hardest hit regions. These grants represented the largest single amount of disaster recovery assistance in HUD’s history.

Technological innovations such as manufactured homes can help mitigate these harms through the use of environmentally resilient construction materials, as well as by providing an affordable and permanent housing solution for lower-income survivors.

For example, on a recent visit to Alabama, I was shown a site that was demolished by massive tornadoes – and the only homes in the area that successfully weathered the storm were manufactured houses. It was a testament to their resilience, befitting the silent strength of the American spirit.

HUD’s Role in Affordable Housing and Resiliency

Although this Showcase is the first of its kind, it is also the continuation of a joint effort from both the public and private sectors. Together, we have made it a top priority to increase the supply of affordable homes and provide a pathway to self-sufficiency for our country’s most vulnerable residents.

HUD’s innovation efforts complement our broader work in the areas of community revitalization, deregulation, and advancing economic opportunity. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Our recent investment of $74 million [dollars] to hundreds of public housing authorities across the country, so residents can increase their earned income, save for the future, and reduce their dependency on government assistance through the Family Self-Sufficiency Program;
  • Our work with local community leaders and public officials throughout the country to break down burdensome regulatory barriers to new home construction and development, which can account for 25-40 percent of costs; and
  • Our championing of Opportunity Zones, which are driving billions of dollars of private capital into the revitalization of economically distressed neighborhoods in a long-term, sustainable way.

In each area of focus, innovation has a powerful role to play in driving our country forward. For this reason, HUD recently created the Office of Innovation, which is accelerating public-private partnerships and borrowing wisdom from the best practices of American enterprise.

I am also delighted that two institutions under HUD’s purview will be exhibitors throughout the Showcase as well. These include the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, and HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling.

The FHA is the largest mortgage insurer in the world. It maintains an active insurance portfolio of more than $1.3 trillion [dollars]. Each year, the FHA helps more than a million homebuyers achieve the dream of sustainable and affordable homeownership of single-family homes, while its insurance programs for multifamily properties support the availability of more than 300,000 affordable rental units, including for seniors and people with disabilities.

Our Office of Housing Counseling supports a nationwide network of Housing Counseling Agencies and counselors, who are trained to provide tools to current and prospective homeowners and renters, so that they can make responsible choices to invest in a home, prevent foreclosure, protect credit, or seek advice for housing needs in any financial situation. To increase the reach of this important work, HUD will be granting an additional $43 million [dollars] in federal funds to support hundreds of state and local HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies around the country.

While these programs open the doors of homeownership for so many American families throughout the year, HUD is especially humbled and honored today to be opening our own doors to the American public, hosting this historic Showcase in the heart of our nation’s capital.

Finally, I would like to extend a very special thanks to the National Association of Home Builders for co-presenting this Showcase with HUD – and for your tireless efforts to bring this incredible event to life. And we are also very grateful for the generous financial support provided by MiTek, the International Code Council, Inc., the National Multifamily Housing Council, the Whirlpool Corporation, and Professional Builder.

Conclusion

The participants in this Showcase are not just stakeholders in the US housing industry – we are stakeholders in the America our fellow citizens are building today, and for our children to inherit tomorrow.

A key lesson I drew from decades as a surgeon is one I see again as Secretary of HUD: The work isn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. When a patient pursues the long road back to full health and self-sufficiency, changes do not happen overnight. Improvements take time, regular review, and the support of your whole family.

I am extremely proud of the family we have assembled this morning. I look forward to beginning a fantastic new tradition here on America’s front lawn, and to working with you, and for you, to ensure safe, quality, and affordable housing for all who call our great country home.

Thank you, and enjoy this exciting and historic week ahead!

##

 

 

If you’re into oldies tunes, it’s Monday, Monday.

That’s a wrap on this installment of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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“Cribs with Carson,” Tiny House, Manufactured Homes, Innovative Housing Showcase, National Mall, Washington, D.C. Video Report

June 10th, 2019 Comments off
CribsWithCarsonTinyHouseManufacturedHomesInnovativeHousingShowcaseNationalMallWashingtonDCDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from video, posted further below.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has kept a relatively low profile since taking office, but he’s excited to show the American people what he’s been doing,” said the Daily Caller, a right-of-center media outlet.

 

The Daily Caller News Foundation traveled to the Innovative Housing Showcase to see what kind of ideas he has cooked up to make housing more affordable,” per DCNF, which provided this video.

 

 

The video begins with “Big Blue,” a tiny house, but finishes with Secretary Carson along with “TheDCNF’s Vince Shkreli as he tours through the strange new housing projects guided by none other than Carson himself. Maybe you’ll find your next home.” 

This DCNF video is a more light-hearted take than other snapshots, apparently aiming this video at a younger audience. Dr. Carson acts as a tour guide, walking through the homes, and describing some features.  In a manufactured home, he turns to a Skyline Champion team member, who provides some additional information. 

More on some behind-the-scenes reveals about this event soon, so check back in. 

That’s a wrap on this Monday morning, pre-dawn installment of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Secretary Ben Carson’s, Julian Castro’s Manufactured Housing, “Trailer,” “Mobile Home” Revelations, 2020 Battles Ahead

June 8th, 2019 Comments off

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonJulianCastroManufacturedHousingTrailerHouseMobileHomeRevelations2020BattlesAheadMHProNews

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., has demonstrably done much since taking his oath of office to advance a proper understanding of manufactured homes.

 

In fairness, his predecessor Julian Castro, made a video that praised manufactured housing too.

 

 

While the next video interview with then Secretary Castro unfavorably used “trailer” terminology, the former mayor of San Antonio and current 2020 Democratic presidential nomination hopeful, nevertheless stressed the need for manufactured homes as an affordable housing option. Castro also stressed the need for resident protections, years before Last Week Tonight with Joy Oliver’s viral video misnamed “Mobile Homes” did.

 

 

Thus, videos and interviews by Dr. Carson as a HUD Secretary highlighting manufactured homes are not totally unique. There have been years of bipartisan efforts involving manufactured homes in this decade and previous ones too.

 

 

That is as it should be as affordable housing has been and remains a crisis.

 

 

It is also arguably part of HUD’s mandate that such pro-manufactured home statements and efforts fulfill.

Manufactured housing is the private sector solution to this problem, as Secretary Carson has underscored in various ways since taking on his new role. The evidence suggests he has been doing more to promote manufactured homes and other private sector innovative housing options than any HUD Secretary in the 21st century.

 

 

One can say he has built upon the foundation laid by his predecessor.  Indeed, the two echo the case made by a bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers who cited the facts that point to manufactured homes being an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.  The recent event on the National Mall, reflected in 2 of the videos above, was positive and could be potentially useful for the industry to clarify outdated misconceptions.

 

 

But all of that begs several questions for the inquiring mind. For example:

How is it that during an ongoing affordable housing crisis, given all the useful facts and evidence, that the market share of manufactured homes has declined in the overall percentage of new housing starts?

 

AveragePriceExisitngNewMobileHomeManufacturdHomeByYearSince1960GraphicNARManufacturedHomeDataResearchMHProNews

Insightful data, per NAR. From the July 2018 update of the Realtor University report available from this link here as a download, along with other third party studies on manufactured homes.

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders? Note that even an exiting MHI president took thinly veiled parting shots at his own association, see that, linked here

 

How is it that the use of the pejorative and inaccurate term “trailer” has grown in recent years, instead of diminished?

 

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NFPAManufacturedHomeIsNotaMotorHomeOrTrailerAlthoughItisOftenCalledMobileHomeItIsNotThatEitherNFPADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is not a perfect definition by the NFPA, but it is clarifying and accurate.

 

What most think of as “mobile homes” has not been built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976. It was on that date, now some 43 years ago, that the mobile home era ended and the federally regulated HUD Code “manufactured home” era dawned.  These are construction, safety, and energy standard differences, not just marketing nomenclature.

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TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

 

Mobile homes served a useful and important purpose prior to the HUD Code. Millions of pre-HUD code mobile homes are still serving as some of the nation’s most affordable homes, often with updates added since they were first built.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

Recent post-Oklahoma, Alabama tornado fact-check, videos, and related reports, linked here.

 

Indeed, the HUD Code manufactured home industry has over two decades or positive, third-party research to back up the claim that it is the most proven form of permanent affordable housing used in the United States today.

 

 

Which again begs questions. With so much useful data and evidence, why has manufactured housing been the solution for the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight?

 

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Earlier this year, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s (MHARR) Mark Weiss, JD, used an interesting phrase to capture what he and his colleagues believe is an “Illusion of Motion” at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). It was a new way to illustrate prior claims that MHI has been failing the industry’s post-production efforts.

The “Illusion of Motion” built upon a research study from MHARR President and CEO Weiss in November of 2017. That MHARR study demonstrated a need for a new body to represent communities, retailers, lenders, and others who are “post-production” operations. Producers, in this context, are those who build HUD Code manufactured homes, which MHARR itself is, as they state that they represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

Post-production topics are those issues that arise after a home leaves the factory.

Those post-production issues would include, but are not be limited to, zoning, placement, and financing issues.

Is MHARR alone in such concerns? Hardly.

Some manufactured home community associations broke from MHI, saying something similar. Neal Haney, who in 2018 co-founded the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO), said before their trade group was formalized why they broke from MHI in the first place.

 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

Publicly traded UMH President and CEO and MHI member said the following.

 

SamLandyQuotePeopleNeedQualityHomeReasonablePriceWeMHIndustryProvideThatOnlyEconomicDistortionsCausedByGovtMadeOurIndustry

 

Another MHI community sector member was more specific, pointing to financing related issues.

 

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

Numerous third party media reports underscored Rolfe’s claim. See several of those mainstream media video reports, linked here.

 

But to Landy’s and Lipshutz’s points, wasn’t it Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which includes MHI dominating forces such as Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, that supported presidential candidates that in turn backed the legislation that was the source of complaints like those cited above? 

Or why hasn’t Berkshire Hathaway used their dozens of BH Media Group and other media resources to clear up the mysteries about manufactured homes?

 

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

Or ponder what MHI member Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds of controversial RV Horizons – said this as part of a longer statement issued on June 1, 2019.

 

FrankRolfeDaveReynoldsRVHorizonsMobileHomeUQuoteSlammingManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

 

Mysterious Disconnects and Apparent Ineffectiveness, Why?

This pro-industry trade publication, our sister operations such as consulting, and our the general public focused Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) were MHI members for some 7 years. MHProNews and MHLivingNews were praised by several MHI elected and staff leaders, as what follows demonstrates.

 

TimWilliamsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsGoodCommunicationsResourcesILogonLatestNewsBigAssetExplainWhyIndustryVoices-768x339

Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams that praised the pro-industry work of MHProNews, and our sister site. We at times take a light-hearted, or even satirical approach, to illustrate the issues. See an example of that in the video, below.

 

 

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

The words of the late Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

Disclosures

By way of disclosure, ours is a for-profit organization, that has been supported at various times by MHARR, MHI, and companies which are members of each trade group.  Our editorial stance is demonstrably based upon a simple premise. That the manufactured housing industry is much needed, misunderstood, and should be performing far better during an affordable housing crisis.

We’ve supported and led the way on educational initiatives, such as fact, evidence, and third-party commentary focused MHLivingNews. As pro-consumer, pro-free enterprise trade media, and as industry experts/consultants/service providers, we have long believed that manufactured homes are a nonpartisan or bipartisan solution for the need for affordable housing.

The homes our industry produces routinely serve the nation with no-taxpayer subsidies.

At various times, we’ve questioned the efforts of a variety of trade groups, based upon the evidence known at that time. So those MHI surrogates that allege differently are demonstrably mistaken. It’s our follow-the-evidence, facts, common sense, patterns, and the money-trail that has made and kept us the runaway most-read trade media in our industry’s history.  The top people and management in MHI companies, MHARR member firms, or among non-association aligned companies of all sizes have told us that they are regular readers.

 

BarryColeMHInsuranceRVMHHallofFameCongratsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

That’s not said to brag, but rather to clarify that we’re not crackpots on the sidelines spouting nonsensical conspiracy theories. We cite sources accurately, provide evidence, follow-the-money trail, and give those we question in our fact-checks the opportunity to respond. As recently as a few days ago, MHI’s and Berkshire’s manufactured home corporate leaders were given an opportunity to explain concerns like those noted herein.

Their response?  No comment.

Given that MHI leaders themselves have praised us publicly, that begs more questions.

Why on various occasions have their general counsel, or outside attorneys for MHI, threatened us in writing over evidence-based reports?  Note that after several years of that, they’ve never taken legal action; perhaps wisely so. Because how would they justify a suit against an operation that they’ve praised? Or how do they attack a trade media source whose goal is to see the industry grow to its potential?  Wouldn’t a suit open them up to a counter-suit, that could lead via discovery to them being forced to disclose information that they’ve withheld when requested in recent years?

The evidence suggests that the powers that be in MHVille praised us up until our fact-checks and analysis apparently made them too uncomfortable.  But instead of disproving or explaining away the concerns raised here, they stopped responding, and used other tactics instead.  Besides legal and other threats, they apparently lined up surrogates.  One of them is the one that follows.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

To see more disconnects between Allen and his flip-flops, then and now, click here and here.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

The word heard is that MHI-connected leaders made a bargain with Allen to get him to praise them and attempt to diminish our trade media. Allen has called for a boycott of this publication, in writing.  Among the problems with that approach has been that Allen himself has blasted MHI, Clayton Homes, and others for the same kinds of concerns that we or MHARR, among others, have raised. To our knowledge, Allen has never explained his flip-flops on his blog or other musings.  By contrast, Allen’s record of criticism of those he now embraces is evidenced by the pull quotes as shown.  Rephrased, Allen makes a poor surrogate, as he’s made similar allegations himself, prior to his recent flip-flop.

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

Like MHARR – indeed, citing MHARR, Allen called for a new post-production association. Oddly, Allen more recently has attacked MHARR, whose position has been consistent, while Allen’s has arguably vacillated based upon MHI’s support, or not. But Allen is but one of many who have made allegations of monopolistic practices in manufactured housing. 

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x237

While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge, Doug Ryan at CFED (renamed Prosperity Now), and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI. 

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsAntiTrustAntiMonopolyClaytonHomesWarrenBuffettPredatoryLenderMinoritiesMoreDailyBusinessNewsManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

Austin Frerick with the Open Markets nonprofit is among a range of writers that span the left-right media divide which have criticized Buffett’s tactics as monopolistic.

HowClaytonHomesMakesMoneyAustinFrerickTwitterOpenMarketsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

Let’s note here that success in an industry – honestly earned – is not what we’re called out. Antitrust laws are not designed to punish success, as a former DOJ antitrust professional recently said. However, various kinds of bad behavior may be violations of antitrust or other laws. That’s what our concerns are aimed at. Evidence and allegations of violations of the law.

 

Does Monopolistic Machinations Explain Why MHI Is Ineffective? Or Why Manufactured Housing Has Retreated Since Berkshire Bought Clayton Homes?

Which begs perhaps the most salient points at this time in the wake of what is properly understood as a positive week by Secretary Carson’s Innovative Housing Showcase.

For all of the positive and apt points that Dr. Carson has raised, why has he never mentioned “enhanced preemption?”

–      Is it possible that HUD staff – that certainly must be aware of that provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) – has not told him about the enhanced preemption of manufactured housing passed by Congress in a bipartisan way, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton?

–      Is it possible that MHARR’s letter addressed to Secretary Carson on enhanced preemption was not provided to him?

–      Is it possible that MHI has not raised and pressed this issue of enhanced preemption, in their several meetings with HUD staff?

Noting that MHARR and MHProNews are among those who’ve promoted enhanced preemption in digital print for years, more on those questions later.

But for now, let’s point to our recent report on that in the linked text-image box below, and then press on to what is shaping up as a serious issue in the approaching 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Other 2020 Democratic Candidates, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

There is an affordable housing crisis in this country,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren in the video below. “That’s why we are here. A safe, stable, affordable home is the foundation for almost everything else in our lives.”

That statement by Senator Warren is every bit as accurate as the ones by HUD Secretary Carson who has said similarly, in his own words.

Note that at the time that Senator Warren made this comment in the MHAction video below, MHProNews was not yet aware of the financial connections between Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), and numerous other interests that are directly engaged in the manufactured housing industry. Buffett bucks fund the Tides nonprofit, which in turn funds MHAction. Restated, it isn’t just progressive billionaire icon George Soros who is supporting some of these groups.  Warren Buffett has been too. Buffett and Berkshire have arguably been funding both sides of the fight over key issues in manufactured housing.

 

 

That noted, Senator Warren – sometimes in concert with congressional representatives – has fired off several letters to firms that routinely have ties to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Copies of those letters can be found as a download in the report linked below.

 

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

 

Warren and other 2020 Democratic hopefuls have raised the issue of Clayton Homes, and their fellow Berkshire Hathaway owned manufactured housing industry lenders, in a letter to the CFPB. See that in the report linked from the text-image graphic below.

 

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

 

Anti-monopolistic actions are taking a more important role on the national stage, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have reportedly launched antitrust probes. Clayton has been accused of racism by Democratic leaders too.

 

President Donald J. Trump, a variety of Democratic and Republican leaders, have raised several concerns over consolidation, tipping the scales of free speech online, antitrust, and monopolistic behavior in the last 2 years.

 

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

While there is known to be such probes regarding the FAANG stocks, and so-called Big Tech, our sources tell us that Berkshire Hathaway’s activities has also been brought to DoJ’s antitrust division’s attention.

The Seattle Times similarly reported in 2018 that several federal investigations are underway in Washington involving Clayton and their related lenders.  Knoxville, TN metro based Clayton and their related lending units were spotlighted by their hometown media, in the May 22, 2018 video report below.  So there is smoke, does it suggest a fire?

 


 

Several Mainstream Media Reports cited Concerns Over Monopolistic Practices, and Often Name Buffett, Berkshire, and Clayton Homes

·        The New York Times had an interesting article on the historic trends, and named several industries being monopolized.

·        The Atlantic, without specifying how the monopolization was being accomplished, noted that the independent retailers in manufactured housing were being rapidly eliminated/consolidated, that report is linked here.

·        GuruFocus said “Warren Buffett Can’t Escape Unethical Strategic Moats,” their specific points are linked here.

·        The Nation called it “The Dirty Secret Behind Warren Buffett’s Billions…” and specifies Clayton Homes among those using the strategic moat in ‘dirty’ ways.

·        The Jacksonville Florida Times Union summarized the connection between the John Oliver viral hit video dubbed “Mobile Homes,” MHI, Clayton Homes, and their related lenders. That op-ed was first fact-checked by an editor, before it was published not only in the one newspaper it was submitted, but at least in 5 Florida newspapers.

While these and other mainstream media sources that span the left-right spectrum have pointed to ethical and other concerns with respect to Warren Buffett’s ‘strategic Moat,’ it is Manufactured Home Living News and this platform have to date documented specific examples. Attorneys which have reviewed the report linked below say is compelling evidence of antitrust violations by MHI’s most prominent member, Clayton Homes and their affiliated lender, 21st Mortgage.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, one of two such documents from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

Finally, there have been long-standing concerns raised for years by this trade publisher – MHProNews – and by MHARR regarding the need to fully implement the Duty to Serve by the GSEs.

 

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

Since 2003, during an affordable housing crisis, the total number of manufactured homes being produced per year has declined.  So too has the percentage of new manufactured housing units.  The factors noted and linked from this report are among the contributing challenges that have arguably caused this to be so.

Publicly traded MHI member, Skyline Champion (SKY), is but one of several sources that point to the industry’s underperformance.  Do factors like those outlined and linked from this report help shed light as to why the industry is underperforming?  As but one of several internal and external barometers, RVs have soared in the last 2o years, while manufactured housing is but a shadow of what it was 2 decades ago in total sales.  Yet RVs are a luxury item, and housing is a necessity, the later point being made by voices across the political divide, such as Senator Warren and Secretary Carson, have pointed out.

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Graphic by Skyline Champion, commentary by MHProNews.

 

But what federal officials may not have completely honed in upon is that during that contraction, Clayton has grown their market share, as the next two pie charts reflect.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Note the acceleration of Clayton’s consolidation, after the letter below by 21st was issued? That’s what some legal minds have called ‘smoking gun’ evidence of antitrust behavior.  Other evidence linked here reflects that the claims by Tim Williams were a mix of the truth and untrue. Rephrased, this was plausible cover for alleged antitrust law behavior.

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticPloyConcernManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This document was provided as a news tip to MHProNews. To see the full report, click here.

 

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesMarketShareManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e1528746976415

 

 

Coincidence? Or is it because Buffett’s bucks have – via third-party documented ‘dark money’ channels, has funded both the opposition to the industry by MHAction and other activist groups, as well as purportedly dominating MHI.

 

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

This raises several issues that bear federal agencies, media and other investigations, and congressional oversight.

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

Because there is a pattern and evidence that reflects the very real possibility that market manipulations and ‘predatory behavior’ by a small number of MHI member companies has cost the industry billions of dollars a year in potential sales.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

Is that an accident, mere coincidence?  Or is it indicative of something more sinister that often causes millennials and others to question capitalism, when it is specific and problematic corporate behavior that should be scrutinized, not the entire free enterprise system.

As tent cities grow in various parts of our nation, of course there will be an outcry by people against such troubling developments.

 

Tent Cities, Homelessness, Crime, Disease, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

While Secretary Carson and his predecessor have both praised manufactured homes, the inexplicable failure to use “enhanced preemption” or the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” legal principles to address these issues reflect some breakdown between the need and solutions that are already law.

It is mind boggling that MHI has no mention of enhanced preemption on their website, as of the date of the report linked below.  By contrast, MHARR, MHLivingNews, MHProNews and others have numerous articles and years of reports that point to that the need to enforce the law on federal preemption.

 

Members Point to Positives, Problematic – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) says, “Get the Facts on Zoning”

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

Summing Up

Affordable housing, related lending, and a failure to properly promote manufactured housing are cited by people in and out of MHI as real problems.  This publication has stressed that not all MHI members should be viewed as black hats.  But that ‘black hat’ behavior has occurred from several prominent MHI member-firms is difficult if not impossible to intelligently dispute.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Nathan Smith, Joe Stegmayer, Tim Williams, have all had various allegations lodged against them, as has Clayton Homes. Follow the links to learn more, which explains the satirical logo’s point.

 

Small Businesses, Consumers Are Being Harmed

These purported ploys in turn have cost small businesses collectively billions of dollars in the value of their enterprises. In response to declining shipments during an affordable housing crisis, which clearly harm smaller, more marginal businesses more than larger ones.  Bigger players with black hat behavior fuels bad news. The black hats may be using white hat companies in the same association to dress up their overall image.

MHI routinely has a reference to their antitrust statement – linked here – at the start of their individual business meeting sessions.  But that doesn’t change the reality that the industry is being consolidated into ever fewer hands.

To see if this is mere happenstance or something sinister if not illegal, federal, state, other interests, and advocates must do more to investigate beyond what has been done in articles like this and the linked reports herein and further below.

Secretary Carson has been doing a lot for manufactured housing publicly. But a counternarrative is also at play, which videos like John Oliver’s dwarf the good news that Secretary Carson is attempting to foster.  To date, the MHI ‘Homes on the Hill’ videos posted on this page have had about 2,000 total views between the 5 videos.  That’s helpful.  But John Oliver’s viral attack on manufactured housing has had over 6 million views.  That’s the factual reality.

Both major parties are making affordable housing and antitrust issues.

–      Will one party or both grab the bull by the horns, and investigate Berkshire Hathaway publicly?

–      Will one or both political parties call Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, and Tim Williams in to testify under oath about the evidence and allegations linked here?

–      Will federal and other investigators formally and publicly examine claims since the item linked above of further market manipulations, such as the ones reported at this link here?

–      Will the Feds and others allow Berkshire’s money and reputation to back them off? Or will they listen to voices that include MHI members who have said for years there is something wrong at the Arlington, VA based ‘umbrella’ trade group?

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

The comment above was said with respect to another recent topic, but relates to this issue too.

Ponder the following 4 items from current-former MHI members.  On the issue of DTS, ponder the photo of MHI’s sponsors, and then MHARR’s comment about DTS.

 

TheHUDCodeforManufacturedHomesisADiscriminationCodeMartyLavinJDMHIAwardWinnerMHRetailFinanceExpertCommunitiesOwnerPhotoQuoteMHProNews

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

 

2018-10-03_1018ManufacturedHousingInstituteHILogoCavcoFleetwoodPalmHarborFannieMaeFreddieMacLogoDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

Marty Lavin advises, “Follow the Money” and “Pay More Attention to What People Do Than What They Say.” The GSEs are praising manufactured home quality, but then backed Clayton in supporting a ‘new class’ of manufactured homes, with key MHI member input, that is aimed at funneling that lending, per informed sources.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

ManufacturedHousingInstitutePhotoOpportunitiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Trump Administration officials shown above could well find themselves the target of MHAction, or other similar activist group’s claims, that they are acting on behalf of the MHI’s largest companies. Indeed, MHI has implied as much in their ‘photo op’ messages to their own members. Are we to think that MHAction doesn’t already have these photos? MHAction and their affiliated groups have arguably already laid the foundation for that in their prior protests of Secretary Carson, and large MHI members, as the video with Senator Warren above illustrates. To be clear, MHProNews is not accusing these officials of any wrongdoing, but rather, we are hereby pointing out the on issues such as DTS, Enhanced Preemption, or Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, failure to fully and properly address those as federal law already requires could leave well meaning photo ops to be twisted into something that those officials never imagined. To learn more, click here.

 

Let’s dot the i on the above by saying anew that in pointing the finger at the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, that is not to be misconstrued as saying that all of those in said organizations are all tainted.  Among our sources are those in Clayton Homes, 21st, and MHI, to name but a few.  There are good people working in these organizations who are as troubled by what is occurring to the industry as we and others are.

 

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Millions of Americans are trapped in rentals, largely unaware of the good news that Secretary Carson has said during his tenure at HUD, or what scores of others in manufactured housing have been saying for years. Will MHI take these helpful videos that Secretary Carson made possible, and robustly promote them?  Or will they be a mere fig leaf? The latest head-fake to members, another illusion of motion, while the industry continues to consolidate?  Meanwhile,  millions search for affordable housing, when the solution is hiding in plain sight?

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One can agree or not with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett What is undisputable is that for years, MHI pursued a bill that their own SVP of Government Relations said had essentially no chance of passage. Where was the logic? Or was it a ‘rope-a-dope‘ ploy?

 

But there is a rationale case to be made that forces within the industry have intentionally limited the industry, with the purported aim of consolidating businesses at a discount in a fashion that might slip by antitrust regulatory scrutiny.

 

Enforce Existing Law

But as or more important is that the solution requires no new legislation.  The solution is already federal law.  It need but be enforced. But there is evidence that the powers that be in the industry don’t want to solve the problem now.  They want to consolidate more of the industry. Meanwhile, the suffering of millions of people and thousands of independent business professionals continues.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. MHProNews and our sister site continue to chop away at the core issues that are close to the heart of what is arguably keeping manufactured housing from achieving its potential.

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMHProNews

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Sometimes the truth is hiding in plain sight. Follow the facts, evidence, and the money.

 

Thus a public federal investigation, led by Congress, but with parallel efforts in the federal agencies, needs to be handled as publicly as possible. Why? Because the harm being done to the manufactured home industry is harming the public, plus independents who are arguably a victim too.

Renters, manufactured home owners, and voters need to understand that this is consolidating Machiavellian ploy is harming their interests.  The industry’s honest professionals should not be punished, it is the alleged bad actors who need to be held to account.

If we as a nation do so, then Secretary Carson’s solution for America may come to pass. The fabled doctor’s prescription, if put to work, could prove useful to millions and would save taxpayers billions too.  It would also create countless new jobs, and spark new investment opportunities.

ValuePenguinFearManufacturedHomesSolutionAffordableHousingCrisis

https://www.valuepenguin.com/home-insurance/fear-manufactured-homes-affordable-housing-crisis If MHI were serious about growing the industry, why have they not spotlighted articles like the one linked above?

 

The reports linked herein plus those below the byline and notices include articles that document how a natural economic boom could take place, raising the net worth of individuals who could leave the world of renting and become owners of affordable housing’s most obvious and proven solution. Modern manufactured homes are a proven solution. There is much work to be done to make that prescription and potential a reality.

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.

To learn more, see the reports linked above and below. More on this simple yet-profound topic tomorrow and in the days ahead. No politics, just 311 words that boil down to two words. Enhanced preemption. “We Provide, You Decide” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

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D-Day, June 6, 1944 – 75th Anniversary Solemn Commemoration, Videos – Greatest Generation

June 6th, 2019 Comments off

SkyNewsDDayJune61944-75years-2019DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNEws

Thursday marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, a major turning point in World War II. It helped lead to the defeat of Nazi forces in Europe. More than 150,000 American, British and Canadian troops landed on the shores of northern France on June 6, 1944. About 2,500 of the 73,000 U.S. soldiers who fought in the battle died. As a 23-year-old army medic, Ray Lambert saved countless lives in Normandy, despite being wounded. Now 98, he recently co-wrote a book called “Every Man A Hero.” Jan Crawford reports,” said CBS News in an interview with the D-Day veteran.

 

The video mixes historic film footage with the interview, modern and period scenes.  It’s moving.

 

 

The correspondent couldn’t help but cry at one point, which happened on this end watching the veteran’s moving story. 

 

HonoringHerosCBSDDay75DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The stills are from the posted videos.

cemetaryDDayNormandyBeachJune62019-1944MHProNews

One of the D-Day cemeteries.

 

 

Historic

Leaders from around the world are starting two days of observances to remember the 75th anniversary of D-Day. President Trump and Queen Elizabeth are part of this morning’s ceremony in Portsmouth, England, one of the main departure points for the WWII invasion of German-occupied France. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also there, along with representatives from all 16 allied nations that took part in D-Day. Anthony Mason reports from Normandy,” said CBS News about the introduction to their video, below.

 

 

For the vast majority of us who have never experienced combat, it’s instructive to grasp how brave these men where.  No wonder they are known as “the greatest generation.”

Imagine, in 1940 or 1941, the Germans and the Japanese may have appeared almost unbeatable.

But by VE Day on Wednesday, May 8, 1945 the war in Europe was over.

VEDayVictoryinEuropeGermanySurrendersMay81945DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

By Monday, September 2, 1945, the war in the Pacific was over.

VictoryoverJapanVJDaySept1945WikiDailyBUsinessNewsMHProNews

 

Without the willingness to fight, the Nazis, Japanese, and Soviets may well have conquered much of the world.  The clarity of World War II was that there are some battles that simply can’t be avoided. 

Other struggles are more obscure, but are just as real.  The greatest generation reminds us that the willingness to do what is right can make the difference.

 

WWII veterans and world leaders gather in Normandy for D-Day anniversary

Sky’s Sarah Jane-Mee explains the significance of the D-Day landings, as the nation commemorates the 75th anniversary.

 

 

For those who are still living, we salute you.  For those who died that day, we’re in your debt, and that of your fellow veterans.

That’s this June, 6, 2019 commemorative reflection on News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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