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Tic Toc – July 4th, Tim Williams 21st Mortgage, John Greiner, JD, Graydon Law – Message Review

July 5th, 2019 Comments off

TicTockJuly4thTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpJohnGreinerJDGraydonLawMessageReviewDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Part of the ‘secret’ for legal victories can be consistency, procedures, and documentation.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOMHProNews

Tim Williams, prior MHI chairman, president and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, photo credit, MHProNews.com

There is little doubt that Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation and his company has vastly more experience in legal matters than our far more modest operation does.

It should similarly stand to reason that the outside attorney for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), John “Jack” C. Greiner with Graydon Law would likewise have more experience in legal matters than little ole us. Per Graydon’s website, “Jack is a commercial litigator with an emphasis on communications and media law. He is one of the region’s leading advocates for governmental transparency.” Transparency, how interesting. That’s one we’ll all have to place in our memory file. Jack, should nonprofits, corporations, and their officers be transparent too?

That said, it would not be surprising if they would agree with the first sentence at the top. Juries and judges look for consistency, evidence, facts, and common sense.  The court system – judges and juries – also keep an eye out in cases for inexplicable, odd, or behavior that is in conflict with their stated claims. It’s been many years since we’ve been involved in any litigation, over a decade in fact. Though it is rarely fun, we recall the lessons, and have routinely been successful on the rare occasions it was necessary.

The truth backed by evidence is an often powerful thing. My hunch is that the other side has carefully researched that claim, and knows it to be accurate.  

 

Consistency?

In 2017, 2018, and 2019 were some of the years when messages and letters were sent to the management of MHProNews by attorneys for MHI, as well as by purported surrogates for the Arlington, VA based trade group. Those messages were threats, legal or not, and arguably attempts at intimidation.

Part of our consistent response has been to call out those actions publicly but also to invite them to reply to our many fact-checks, related analysis, and reports. In early 2017 and previously, responses from Berkshire Hathaway brands and/or MHI were swift, as numerous articles and letters published over the years reflects. Williams was among several MHI leaders who publicly praised this publication publicly and in writing.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

It was apparently only as reasonable answers to reasonable questions posed by MHProNews became elusive for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis that they stopped replying directly.  But they often used indirect means to communicate, including those noted above. 

Those patterns of behavior could prove relevant in several ways the days ahead.

 

Shifting Sands in Washington and Beyond

The dynamics in Washington, D.C. are shifting rather significantly in recent months. There are some things, as Warren Buffett correctly observed, that just take time.

·        Antitrust drums are heating up on both sides of the left-right political aisle.

·        More in Congress are talking and writing about the Duty to Serve, and why it hasn’t been fully implemented with respect to manufactured housing.

·        Affordable housing, homelessness, zoning, regulatory barriers, and even enhanced preemption are being discussed by more people in and out of the industry.

Slow, steady progress is apparently being made.

Those are all topics that are largely found in manufactured housing trade media only on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. Why? The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has been on several of those topics for years, to their credit.

But by contrast, MHI sycophants are mute or deflect from those topics. Why?

MHI themselves tout their latest photo op, their latest lightly viewed videos, or the newest bill that they support. Those are all apparent razzle dazzle, but where is the beef?

Where are the bottom line results as measured by new manufactured home shipments?  Given the MHI claim that they are the umbrella trade group that should ‘lead’ the industry, what direction has that MHI leadership actually taken MHVille at large?

The facts speak loudly.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryProductionShipmentsMay2019DailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMHARR 

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Tic Toc, Tic Toc… 

Moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years go by. Some things only gain clarity from the passage of time and consistent observations. As Warren Buffett aptly said, the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. This is a point of agreement between our publication and Mr. Buffett.

 

InBusinessWorldRearViewMirroIsAlwaysClearerThantheWindshieldWarrenBuffettMHProNews

 

It was about 5 years ago that we brought to the industry’s attention the full length video version of this now better-known 18 second video clip.

  

 

That comment by MHI’s president made no sense at the time, but in hindsight it was arguably a piece of a puzzle. 

Because it was an odd and embarrassing MHI comment, not long after, during a time when Tim Williams at 21st was still in rapid-reply mode with MHProNews, and while this writer was still an MHI member, MHProNews asked Williams/21st – then MHI’s chairman – to have MHI’s Jennison clean that comment up publicly.

Williams agreed.

Jennison, no doubt with Williams’ prompting, did so on video camera and in front of dozens of industry professionals.  MHI’s president pledged both that the industry could achieve 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home shipments as well as promised the passage of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. 

 

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

 

Neither one has come to pass. Both are part of the MHI Orwellian ‘memory hole.’ 

Words can be cheap at MHI, it seems?  

JohnCGreinerAttorneyPhotoGraydonlawLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsWith the industry now into its ninth month of year-over-year downturn, MHProNews sent the following to Tim Williams/21st, John Greiner, and one of Greiner’s colleagues at Graydon Law. Greiner is MHI’s outside attorney assigned, said Greiner, to monitor our website.  MHI members, that’s where part of your dues are going to, why not rather to suing cities like Bryan, TX for failure to abide by enhanced preemption

That logical but rhetorical question aside, the meat of that message’s contents is shown below, between the dashed lines.

 

 

Subject: Tim, a formal request for you/MHI

Tim,

1)    Let me hereby request copies of any and all audio or other recordings, notes, emails or any records in any format relative to our discussion in Las Vegas during the dinner we shared with your colleagues from Berkshire Hathaway brands in the context of that year’s Congress and Expo.

2)    You and/or your colleagues are also hereby invited to respond to any of our recent or other reports.  See the below. Please email those for our mutual accuracy in handling said comments.

Thank you. 

Tony

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/but-i-was-born-free/

Other articles are linked from the forward below. Thank you. 

tk

 

The screen capture that documents that email is found below.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCorpJohnCJackGrienerGraydonLawManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIOutsideattorneyMHProNews

 

We will report back on what response, if any, is obtained. 

Until then, let this be kept in mind by investors, professionals, researchers, public officials, attorneys, investigators and others.

·        There is an affordable housing crisis.  Yet with numerous positive reports that debunk the myths and misconceptions often held by the public, somehow, magically, the industry is shirking in new home shipments? Why are MHI staff given bonuses instead of being terminated for lack of performance?

·        HUD Secretary Ben Carson has valiantly laid out a thoughtful case for manufactured housing.

·        On MHI’s own website, examples of those important topics are difficult or impossible to find, and Carson’s fine speeches are not to be found.

·        Manufactured housing is now into 9 months of year-over-year declining shipments.

 

By contrast, on MHARR’s website, topics like “enhanced preemption” are easy to find several articles. An MHI state affiliate successfully obtained a letter from HUD invoking enhanced preemption, so why not MHI? Yet MHARR is a fraction of the size of MHI, and has been online only a fraction of the time that MHI has.

Which association is doing their stated job better?

To George F. Allen’s [past] credit, his blog does raise some of these same issues and concerns.  But he has contradicted himself in arguing in recent months for MHI, the Berkshire brands, and larger community operators that behaved in problematic ways – per Allen.  Rephrased, Allen – without public explanation, other than what sources say is a compensated flip-flop – has gone from criticizing Clayton, 21st, MHI and others, to now being their cheer leader.

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ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

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Frank Rolfe swore off commenting about MHI further publicly, but he and Dave Reynolds recently took this swipe at MHI. They are MHI members, taking a shot at their own trade group. http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-dave-reynolds-both-finger-manufactured-housing-institute-mhi-failures-in-writing-again/

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

More on this below.

Allen, more recently has called for a boycott of this publication, a possible antitrust violation, and has urged his readers to only read other trade media in manufactured housing that he has personally approved.  Ironically, one of those publications – Kurt Kelley’s – has praised our work, and said that they are leaving our call for accountability to us.  Interesting, isn’t it?

KurtKelleyPublisherPhotoManufacturedHousingReviewMHLivingNewsQuoteFriendHoldMHIAccountableMHARR

Indeed, Kelley has contributed to MHProNews numerous times over the years, and has commented on political topics too. He published an article by Berkshire Hathaway unit manager Joanne Stevens, which without mentioning MHI, was clearly slamming them for what her article in MHR saw as a failure of industry preparation for obvious attacks on the industry.

 

Some things take time.  With a shifting political climate in America, it may only be a question of time before topics and issues found only on MHProNews, MHLivingNews or on the MHARR websites may become more common headlines and topics elsewhere in Washington, and then the mainstream media.

 

Unorthodox 

This writer freely admits that some of what we have done in trade publishing has been unconventional by MHIndustry standards. It was also never my or our publications’ ambition to stumble into troubling facts via news tips about the underlying causes for so many of our industry’s woes. But once discovered, where we supposed to ignore them?  Turn a blind eye as others do?  Cower in fear over every threat? 

If the industry is to regain its former glory and surpass it while independents still have an opportunity, it will only happen when enough honest professionals and other people of good will stand up and force the issues.

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

April data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

That said, what has harmfully impacted thousands of independents in manufactured housing has arguably been largely avoidable, and it has harmed the interests of millions of our fellow Americans. Unconventional situations can’t always be addressed in the normal ways.

 

MobileHomeEraManufacturedHomeEraMHIA2000EraShipmentProductionDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews2019-06-29_1051

There are several factors that should be understood to explain the rises and falls in the sales, production, and shipments of new factory-built homes during the varied mobile home and manufactured home eras. One should not be overly simplistic. That said, the historic trend is far higher than it has been since Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders. Political and other factors enter into the mix as well.

Keep in mind, we’ve spotlighted examples of these topics for years, beyond having the most extensive coverage of industry stocks, business and other news. A first look at our June 2019 traffic suggests a record month for readership. Our thanks to readers like your, our business development clients, and our sponsors who make this possible.

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MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending, and ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation as an MHI member showed the way to grow business, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth or negative growth allowed more consolidation and at a cheaper price for big boy companies

 

Given the choice, thoughtful professionals can discern fluff and cheerleading from logic, fact-checks, and evidence. Perhaps that’s why we are the industry’s most read, and the others that cheerlead for MHI merely lag behind. The manufactured housing industry is arguably engaged in an undeclared war, and has been since 2003.  The big boys have decided to conquer MHVille, and the remaining independents have to recognize and decide to sell out, fold, or resist. The odds favor the big boys, but when the 13 colonies declared their Independence the odds favored the Brits of that era. This too is doable. This undeclared war is winnable. 

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

When the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain, they were taking on the most powerful army and navy in the world. The odds were against the rebels. But after a long struggle, the U.S. became independent. Freedom is never free. It always comes at a cost. But the price is lower, and the cause of freedom far nobler, than the cost of bondage and servitude.

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, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is co-founder 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fighting Fear With Facts, Pushing Back About Depreciation, Manufactured Home Concerns

June 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

FightingFearWithFactsPushingbackDepreciationManufacturedHomeConcernsMHIndustryMHProNews

The White Mountain Independent is published in Show Low, AZ. WMICentral recently published a letter by a person who was identified as Doris Stell, from Vernon, AZ.

 

A Google search suggested a connection between the featured image on the photo above and “Doris Stell.” That’s certainly not conclusive, but perhaps relevant in some way to what follows.

The Apache County’s “Requirements for Manufactures [sic] Housing” is found at this link here.  It specifies a distinction between mobile homes, which are “prohibited in ALL zone” and “Manufactured Homes shall be Fifteen (15) years old or newer.” That second provision arguably is a violation of the “enhanced preemption,” which is not strictly speaking the focus of this report.

Rather, what is relevant here is a reflection of what this person – who per Google may have some connection to that manufactured home in the photo above – had to say about our industry’s housing.

ShowLowVernonApacheCountyAZMapGoogleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

As a data-point, the map above reflects the relative location of those town where this article was published and where the letter writer apparently resides.  What follows the graphic and headline is the entire letter as published from Doris Stell.

 

WhiteMountainIndependentWMICentralMobileHomeCodeLowersPropertyValuesManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

Just wanted to drop a note of information that not many people know about owning a manufactured home in Apache County, AZ. The county passed an ordinance in 2009, Section 730 states:

1. All newly installed manufactured homes must be 15 years old or newer to be installed. Mobile homes are prohibited in ALL zones. 2. There shall be no commercial use allowed in a manufactured home. 3. All manufactured homes shall provide a landing for each entrance in accordance with IRC. 4. Connecting 2 individual or stand-alone units shall be prohibited. 5. All manufactured homes shall meet the minimum snow load in each area of Apache County.

Also, if the mobile or manufacture home is more than 15 years old, it cannot be moved. These regulations will keep the value of your property very low. Even the land value will decrease. Please keep these regulations in mind if you want to buy or sell land in Apache County.

Also be advised if you have a mobile home that’s more than 15 years old, you cannot move the home on or off your property. That protects ignorant buyers that don’t know how badly mobiles fall apart when you move them.

It is almost impossible to have any value in your property unless you have a stick-built that the county approved of before you built. But you will not be able to get a loan for construction or anything else for that matter because an appraiser from the Valley will appraise your property the same as an old abandoned trailer in Concho. They don’t know any different.

Please research Apache County very thoroughly, especially small print, before you invest. Its not really an investment, you will end up with no value in your property even after improvements and a huge down payment.

But take heart, the federal government is looking into making manufactured homes the same as stick built for all mortgage companies, this should stop any counties from making their own laws about how much money your property is worth.

Doris Stell,

Vernon

— ## —

 

As of 9:00 AM ET on 6.21.2019, there was only one posted comment on this letter, and that comment was posted as follows on June 17th, 2017.

L A ‘Tony’ Kovach

Ms. Stell, With all due respect, some of your statements about manufactured homes are demonstrably errant. The FHFA and the National Association of Realtors both published research in 2018 that demonstrated that manufactured homes appreciate in value, especially when located on private property. HUD Secretary Carson has been promoting that and other points in recent months, in saying that manufactured homes are an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis. 2011 HUD PD&R research said that manufactured homes properly installed by nearby conventional housing revealed that both housing types appreciated side by side. 2018 Trulia research similarly pointed out that affordable homes have no harmful impact on nearby conventional housing. Google the above topics to see for yourself, or see more on MHLivingNews, which tracks the industry.

 

Why Does This Matter?

Letters to an editor often end up in searches on Google News, Bing News, or Yahoo News searches. Savvy consumers, pondering manufactured housing, or other researchers no doubt ran across this letter as did MHProNews. If the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which claims to promote the industry cared, why didn’t they post a reply to this message?

TimWilliams21stMortgageCorpGoodArgumentsQuoteRespondEveryStoryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

The Manufactured Housing Institute [MHI] ought to be embarrassed and ashamed at how relatively low manufactured home sales are during an affordable housing crisis,” said award-winning industry expert, consultant, and publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “Tim Williams, former MHI Chairman and still president and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corporation, was arguably correct in saying that there is a good case to be made that every misstatement ought to be addressed. That begs the question, why hasn’t MHI done what Williams said? When MHI advertorials, Facebook page, or other media and marketing efforts clearly have not moved the needle of new home sales in the right direction, why not try what Williams said for one full year, and see what a difference that would make?”

Joe Concha with the previously Hill quipped on an unrelated topic, If you are willing to abandon your principles for convenience, or social acceptability, they are not your principles, they are your costume.”

Closer to [a manufactured] home, is Mark Weiss, JD, who wrote earlier in 2019 about the “Illusion of Motion” that MHI postures vs. the real-world challenges that the industry faces.

There is little doubt that most owners and residents of mobile and manufactured homes appreciate, value, millions even love their homes.  That’s based upon third-party research, combined with the anectodical evidence of years of interviews with actual mobile and manufactured homeowners.

 

 

But a key obstacle is a lack of clarity on a range of issues, including the one that the person in Vernon, AZ raised in the letter above. When it comes to resale values, perception can become reality. That home owner – if she owns that manufactured home – deserves the truth just as much as others who read her opinions do.

As a scientist and medical professional, one seeks not a bandaid to cover the surface of the problem, but a cure that treats the cause of an issue. Our readers tell us that MHProNews is the runaway largest and most-read precisely because we follow the facts, evidence, and apply logic.  We thank our readers, clients and sponsors for making this site possible and so widely read, by those who love what the content they find here, are bothered by what they read here, and those in between.

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MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: News Item Tags:

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

June 4th, 2019 Comments off

HomelessinAmericaTentCitiesCrimeDiseaseAffordableHousingandManfuacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

As part of his Innovation in Housing event is taking place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., HUD Secretary Ben Carson said that it is accurate to say that there is an affordable housing crisis.

 

He’s joined in that assessment by politicos and public officials across the left-right aisle say the same thing. The mainstream media, as the two reports from either side of the media divide reflects, includes several issues. But a common point is the lack of affordable housing.

CBS LA.

 

 

Fox News.

 

 

On the Masthead today, MHProNews looks at Secretary Carson’s innovative housing promotion, which includes a spotlight on HUD regulated manufactured homes. It includes particular attention to the issue of enhanced preemption.

 

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

 

Since MHLivingNews posted the report on Seattle is Dying, that video has climbed to over 3.8 million views.  Rephrased, this issue of homelessness and affordable housing is an issue that has drawn and held national attention. Nevertheless, the most proven affordable kind of permeant housing known in the USA – HUD Code manufactured homes – are now in their 8th month of year-over-year declines.

 

8 Months of Declining Year-Over-Year HUD Code Manufactured Home Production – When Will Manufactured Housing Institute Act?

 

Affordable housing is likely to be a 2020 topic. Manufactured homes, if unleashed through a prudent application of existing laws, could fuel the creation of hundreds of thousands of more jobs, numbers of which could be in opportunity zones that Secretary Carson is also leading the charge for the Trump Administration. As an in depth analysis reflects, how this issue is handled, or not could decide who sits in the White House after the 2020 race is over.

 

HomelessnessinAmericaGoogleOver550000inUSA2018dataDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

That’s a sobering look, just before midnight, at “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Representative Ilhan Omar’s Bill Would Regulate Manufactured Home Community Owners

May 30th, 2019 Comments off

RepIlhanOmarPhotoBillWouldRegulateManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnersRightsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The devil may be lurking in the details.  The bill offered by Representative Ilhan Omar would regulate specific rights of manufactured home community owners.

 

This report will be broken into sections, that will conclude with Omar’s statement and the bill itself. It will include a complete narrative from the MinnPost that follows, which notes the multiple year drama of Lowry Grove, a land-lease community for older mobile homes and manufactured homes that was closed for redevelopment. This Daily Business News on MHProNews report will begin with some details about Lowry Grove, prior to diving into the MinnPost, narrative, other community and industry focused events, and finally Omar’s statement and the bill itself.

 

In the Lowry Grove drama, principle Brad Hoyt, of Continental Property Group, accused the City of Lowry Grove of deception in the decision to close the property.

An October 16, 2017 report by ABC affiliate KTSP 5 began as follows and included the video just below these two paragraphs.

“The developer who proposed redeveloping the Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park in St. Anthony Village said the City Council and city manager “flat out lied to me” about gaining approval for his multi-use housing plan.

Brad Hoyt, owner of Continental Property Group, said he has spent more than $10 million to acquire the Lowry Grove property, conduct surveys, carry out engineering plans and pay city fees over the past two years as he prepared a redevelopment plan for city approval.”

 

 

On May 28, 2019, the MinnPost reported that, “Denied. The Star Tribune’s Hannah Covington reports: “A federal judge has dismissed a developer’s lawsuit over a plan to build high-density housing on a St. Anthony site known for decades as Lowry Grove, the suburb’s now-defunct mobile home park. … Developer Brad Hoyt last year sued the city of St. Anthony, alleging that city officials had induced his company to buy and close Lowry Grove without intending to approve the project meant to take its place.”

Against that backdrop is the report that follows, also from the MinnPost.  It will be followed by some commentary, and links to additional resources and reports.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology. “The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the construction standards a home was
built to,” said Steve Duke, LMHA.  

 

The mainstream reports uses some common errors in manufactured home terminology, which the graphic above clarifies and explains. With that tee-up, let’s dive into the MinnPost report.

 

MinnPostOmarBillSeekEasePathMObileHomeResidentsBuyTheirParksManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Image and text provided under fair use guidelines.

 

Industry research places the total number of Americans living in manufactured housing at 22 million, with a median household income of $30,000.

In 2016, Lowry Grove was a mobile park still home to 90 families. In 2017, real estate developers in St. Anthony were entertaining a grand design familiar to most rapidly changing neighborhoods around the country: What if the land had luxury apartments on it instead?

The families in the park were evicted in favor of this plan. And the situation surrounding the closure of the park is exactly what has prompted Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents Minneapolis and some of its suburbs, to introduce the Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act (H.R.2832), which uses tax credits incentivize owners of mobile home communities to sell their property to residents.

“Those closure of the Lowry Grove mobile home park in St. Anthony really exemplifies what this bill is designed to prevent,” Omar said. “Ninety families were kicked out of their homes with little notice.”

The bill’s full name is actually The Frank Adelmann Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act, named for a resident in the park, Frank Adelmann, who had nowhere else to go and took his own life days before the closure. Another resident recalled to MPR at the time that Adelmann, who had lived in the park for more than a decade, was adamant about not leaving: “He told me very carefully: This is my home. I’m not going to leave Lowry Grove.”

Prof. Edward Goetz, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, has studied the situation around Lowry Grove extensively.

“A number of people moved to other mobile home parks — those were the ones lucky enough to have manufactured homes that could be moved,” he told MinnPost in 2018. “Other folks, families have split up and people have moved away from the region or moved out of the Twin Cities. Other people went through periods of homelessness afterwards, so there’s a wide range of experiences.”

Omar’s predecessor, Rep. Keith Ellison, made protections for manufactured home owners a key part of his policy agenda prior to leaving Congress, pushing for a comprehensive overhaul. One of those bills was the first introduction of the The Frank Adelmann Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act.

Rep. Ilhan Omar: “Those closure of the Lowry Grove mobile home park in St. Anthony really exemplifies what this bill is designed to prevent.”The bill would create a 75 percent tax credit on the sale of a mobile home park, provided it is sold to a cooperative of the residents of the community.

“Many sellers are private individuals who have owned their communities for decades. Often they face very significant income tax liability on their gains from a sale of the community. Because of a feature of U.S. tax law if they hold on to the community until they die, their heirs can sell the property with minimal tax liability,” said Shaun McElhatton, Senior Development Counsel at the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation, an organization that provides assistance to community-owned mobile home parks.

“The proposed legislation would mitigate the tax liability on a sale and, hopefully, incentivize more investor owners to sell manufactured home communities to the residents.”

The Northcounty Cooperative Foundation is an endorser of Omar’s bill and worked with Ellison, who is now the Attorney General of Minnesota, to craft the original language.

“We updated the bill to ensure that related state laws are taken into account, so that no parks are inadvertently left out, but the core of this bill was built on the excellent work of Attorney General Ellison and Sen. Jean Shaheen [D-New Hampshire],” Omar said. “As the new representative for the 5th District, I am proud to take up the baton in fighting for fair housing.”

Everything helps

Industry research places the total number of Americans living in manufactured housing at 22 million, with a median household income of $30,000. (The phrase “mobile home” technically refers to buildings built prior to 1976, before the Department of Housing and Urban Development expanded on quality standards. “Manufactured homes” are those built after 1976.)

In Minnesota, while no new mobile home parks have opened since 1991, at least 12 parks have closed. And the parks are a critical resource for families who often cannot afford to move.

In the case of Lowry Grove, the luxury apartments never came to be. After significant protest from local neighbors and community activists, the City of St. Anthony voted down the proposal. The current plan is to turn the land back into a mobile park called “Urban Grove.”

But the residents from 2016 were still evicted. Their homes were torn down.

Omar’s legislation, had it been in place at the time, might not have made much of a difference in the Lowry Grove case. “The circumstances that led to the Lowry Grove sale were not related to the lack of tax incentives, and one can’t say for sure whether such incentives would have changed the situation in Lowry Grove,” Goetz said, noting that the owner found a buyer who paid him “$2 million more than it was worth as a mobile home park,” in the hopes of turning it into an upscale development.

Still, Goetz favor’s the bill: “Everything helps,” he said.

The bill is currently cosponsored by seven members, a majority of whom are affiliated with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where Rep. Omar serves as Whip: Representatives Barbara Lee, D-CA; Joe Neguse, D-CO; Mark Pocan, D-WI; Chris Pappas, D-NH; Annie Kuster, D-NH; Ro Khanna, D-CA; and Peter DeFazio, D-OR.

The bill will now go to the House Ways and Means committee, and Omar said she hopes the bill makes it out easily and then eventually, to a floor vote.

“You can never say for certain what would have happened in the past,” Omar said, “but the goal of this bill is to encourage owners of mobile home parks to sell to the families that actually live in the parks — rather than for-profit developers.”

 

##

 

The Omar bill, as Gabe Schneider’s narrative makes clear, predates the issues that are raised in the report below.

 

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

 

But it would be ill-advised to consider it apart from a growing number of local, state, and national efforts to take more control over the operation of manufactured home communities.

While Hoyt’s suit was denied, it has a familiar ring to it, as communities in mainstream news reports, and manufactured home industry voices from independently owned manufactured home have told MHProNews that they feel they are being pressured into closing, redeveloping, or into the sale of their property to residents.

A news report earlier this week makes such a claim.

 

Lawsuit By Manufactured Home Community Owner Claims City “Intent” on Putting it Out of Business

 

Readers may recall the story of Millie Francis, who lives in a resident owned community (ROC), and who asserted that her religious liberty and free speech rights were being denied by a rogue property manager, backed up by the community’s law firm.

 

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

 

While the matter has reportedly since been settled, there are indications that MHProNews may look into in the days ahead that the harassment of Francis has continued, even after the settlement which allowed that iconic painting to remain in place.

President Ronald Reagan periodically would quip his famous on-liner of the 9 most terrifying words, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

 

 

There are times that the government can be helpful, and the late 40th president’s political life sought his vision of the proper balance between a just government and one that overreaches and can or does become tyrannical.

But it was political promises that made NAFTA or trade agreements with China and other countries that over time hollowed out millions of American factory jobs. Promises by politicians to act in a given way must be viewed through a skeptical lens, and historic, common sense analysis.

The phrase ‘unintended consequences’ may well have been coined to apply to good intentions in passing legislation going awry.

Bills are often launched that morph into something else during the legislative process. However well meaning Representative Omar’s bill may be, even what it says may mean less than what it turns into, should it become law.

A big challenge is that manufactured housing communities aren’t being built in anywhere near the numbers that they are being closed.

 

Hundreds of New Manufactured Home Communities Opened, But How Many Have Closed? Industry Research Result$

 

A related problem is that manufactured home placements on individual lots are often being blocked by local jurisdictions, contrary to the law as expressed by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of (MHIA) 2000. That’s what has sparked the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s (MHARR) initiative, to get test cases that would spark a decision that would enforce federal law.

 

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

 

Initial reports indicate that there are states that have reached out to MHARR to explore that issue, see the related report, linked in the text-image box below.

 

“Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

 

The devil is in the details. The MHIA 2000 is an example of a good law, that to a significant degree has gone unforced. HUD Secretary Ben Carson has indicated as much in prior testimony on Capitol Hill. Carson’s appearance at the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) meeting in Washington, D.C. indicated his interest in making the full enforcement of the MHIA 2000 more complete.

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

 

Secretary Carson argued in his speech, the full text of which is linked below – accompanied by videos of Carson and a predecessor at HUD, Julian Castro, each speaking about the importance of manufactured housing – that increasing the supply of manufactured homes are part of the solution, and he aimed to accomplish that as part of his prescription for a better America.

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hud-secretary-ben-carson-speech-on-manufactured-homes-manufactured-housingactive-ingredientmedicationfor-a-stronger-america/

There are good laws on the books that are going un-enforced or largely underenforced.  They included, but are not limited to:

There is a broad series of seemingly disconnected events that when viewed together are posing a growing threat to manufactured home community owners, and the manufactured home industry in general.  When examined, these point to what appears to be an unholy alliance between giant corporate interests and public officials.

Combined with MHI’s and their power broker’s in control seemingly ineffective or arguably incompetent or corrupt efforts to ‘promote the industry,’ manufactured housing is 7 months into a downturn during an affordable housing crisis.

These points raise challenges that have proven harmful to the interests of local businesses, free enterprise in general, and affordable housing needed by tens of millions of American in particular.

Omar’s legislation must be seen through the lens of those documented concerns.

Here is the full press release from Omar’s office to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.  Note that the draft of the bill and some items cited below are not all factual accurate or represent claims that in dispute.

 

Rep. Ilhan Omar Introduces Bill to Tackle Mobile Home Evictions

May 20, 2019

WASHINGTON – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced the Frank Adelmann Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act.  The bill would create a tax credit that incentivizes mobile home park owners to sell their property to the residents for the purposes of creating a cooperative.

“This aspect of our affordable housing crisis is too often ignored,” Rep. Omar said. “Mobile homeowners and renters are unfairly vulnerable to egregious rent hikes, abuses, and eviction. I am proud to introduce this bill to honor the memory of Minnesotan Frank Adelmann, who tragically committed suicide days before the closure of the mobile home park he called home, an event which would have left him homeless.”

Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, are a critical piece of our country’s affordable housing stock for working families across the country. More than 17 million Americans live in mobile home parks nationwide.  While many of these residents own their homes, they often do not own the land underneath them. This division of ownership frequently leads to eviction and displacement for residents in the event of park closures or sales. In the past two decades, this resident-owned cooperative model has thrived in several states, helping to protect thousands of Americans from displacement, while also building a sense of community among neighbors and improving overall economic security.

Specifically, the Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act:

  • Provides a tax incentive for owners of manufactured home communities to sell to their residents.
  • Creates a 75 percent federal tax credit on the sale of the property. So for example, if the owner sells the land to a resident cooperative, instead of paying $150,000 on a $1 million gain, the owner will only pay $37,500.
  • Includes a provision to ensure the long-term viability of the cooperative communities in order to prevent the tax incentive from being used for unfair gain by either the buyer or seller.

The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Joe Neguse (D-CO-02), Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), and Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04).

This bill is endorsed by several housing housing advocacy groups and resident associations including, the National Manufactured Homeowners Association, All Parks Alliance for Change, the Minnesota Housing Partnership, Prosperity Now, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation.

“Many working families, seniors and others who live in manufactured home parks, like Lowry Grove in St. Anthony, buy their homes, pay their lot rent, follow the rules, and are still forced out of their homes and communities. The legislation Rep. Omar is introducing provides a powerful tool to help residents buy their communities, protect their families, and take control of their lives,” said Dave Anderson, Executive Director of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association.

You can view the full legislation here.

##

Freedom isn’t free. It never has been, and it never will be.

When the national trade association, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been called a failure at representing the interests of manufactured home community owners, who broke away to form their own trade association, that bears notice.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

MHProNews is awaiting a reply from Haney’s trade group on some issues of concern to independent community owners. Were does the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAHMCO) – the group Haney and his colleagues have founded to supposedly supplant MHI’s failed efforts – stand on bills like this one?

Time will tell.  Until then, let the buyer beware of promises that purport to fix real issues with solutions that may not be what was promised. Thus, the sometimes demonic details must be carefully watched, so that more problems are avoided.

That’s this morning’s pre-dawn episode 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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Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

 

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

May 23rd, 2019 Comments off

 

KobayahsiMaruCrimeKevinClaytonPhotoMHVillageLogoDarrenKrolewskiPhotoMHinsiderStateOfManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Nearly a week has elapsed since the message further below was sent to the co-president of a well-known Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member firm that will be part of today’s fact-check and analysis.

 

 

To grasp the subject – for outsiders looking in, and for those in the industry who don’t yet ‘get it’ – a pair of analogies are useful, but one must begin with facts about law enforcement.

When local, state, or federal law enforcement undertakes a case, their goal in part is to obtain a conviction. That means at times that law enforcement professionals allow a criminal enterprise to continue while a case is being “built.” For those who’ve watch a legal drama in a TV series or a movie, that picture of monitoring or penetrating a criminal enterprise will start to come into focus.

 

BestInvestmentOneMadeinYourselfMoreYouLearnMoreYoullEarnWarrenBuffettQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Using the principle of the wheat and chaff, this Warren Buffett quote is pure wheat. Give credit where it is due.

 

But that’s fictional. How real is it?

On various occasions during my manufactured home career, I’ve met and worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” said industry publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “Convictions were obtained. There are a few industry pros who know, but I was also given a letter of thanks from the FBI, which proves it.”

Local law enforcement cases were worked on with Kovach’s assistance too.

Kovach explained he has friends who are and/or were in law enforcement. A case isn’t solved in an hour or two, he said. It can be weeks or months in many instances. If it is a major criminal enterprise, years could be involved.

What’s occurring in manufactured housing is not a onetime petty theft. It’s arguably a multiple billion-dollar ongoing scam that’s harmed taxpayers, as well as numerous specific companies in manufactured housing. Several multiple decade brands were put out of business that could well be thriving today if not for specific, illicit, market manipulation for which there is extensive credible evidence,” Kovach said. “That’s why the feds, attorneys, and others have opened up investigations.”

Kovach added, “I’ve personally been told [by federal investigators] that this will take time. Likely years. But to underscore that there are such investigations, we periodically share the video from Clayton Homes’ hometown news media. Don’t forget that the Seattle Times has also reported ongoing federal investigations too. The feds have their needs and timelines, but we as pro-industry publishers must think about warning those who are the purported targets of such scams.”

The news video he referenced is below.  The views reported on that video have roughly tripled since MHProNews began spotlighting it by posting it.

 

 

How do the powers that be in MHVille counter such claims?

In part, through threats from attorneys – that have not yet been acted upon – or by using surrogates George F. Allen purportedly to smear our publisher by sending out by email, or verbally tells his “intimates,” about Tony Kovach’s prior use of a pen name.  Allen acts as if that use of a pen name was a crime – to which, there are times our publisher/consultant laughs.

GeorgeAllenWithLATonyKovach

Concerns over Allen are not to be construed as calling into question potentially positive aspects of his career. But when someone has lost their pizazz, are they willing to cross lines to get – in their own minds – their magic back?

Look, I’ve not claimed to be a choir boy, and [George] Allen isn’t a dummy. He knows that thousands of people use a pen or stage name quite legally. I have too. So what? Most adults over a certain age know that Mark Twain real name was actually Samuel Clemens. Does George want Clemens charged post-mortem with the use of a pen name? Absurd. Performer Kid Rock’s real name is Robert James Ritchie. It’s legal and done for specific professional reasons. Ironically, Allen has told the story about walking into other people’s businesses in our industry and saying he was paid to claim that he was someone other than who he was. He calls that ‘mystery shopping.’  George has told dozens of industry professionals that he’s claimed – for instance – being in drag, or poised as a biker – in doing what he calls ‘mystery shopping.’ So, it’s smoke Allen and his buddies blow, and arguably hypocritical.”

 

Warning the MH Industry, Consumers – A War Without Guns

Among the sources for MHProNews are those inside what Allen us to call the 3Cs – Clayton, Cavco, and now Skyline-Champion. The in-depth ‘read hot’ report yesterday unpacks Allen himself pointing the finger and named Clayton, 21st and others as being part of an effort to monopolize the manufactured housing industry.

Every con job is a crime taking place in plain sight. Exposing the con is the start of ending the con.  There must also be legal efforts, which MHProNews sources confirmed are underway.

While those investigators must do what they feel that they ought to do, there is also a need for parallel efforts, that exposes the tentacles of those who by default or by design are pawns in the long-game being played by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

 

SuccessfulInvestingTakesTimeDiscplinePatienceSomeThingsTakeTimeWarrenBuffettQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

It’s Warren Buffett who talks about the long game and patience,” Kovach said, adding, “while Kevin Clayton said last week that it was a 100-year strategy.  Was that an understatement?  From 2003 to 2017, Clayton went from 13 percent market share to some 48 to 50 percent, depending on what source is cited. At that pace, it isn’t 100 years to conquer what’s left of manufactured housing, is it?”

 

ItsWaitingHelpsInvestorLotPeopleJustCantStandWaitCharlieMungerQuoteWarrenBuffettPartnerBerkshireHathwayManufacturedHomesMHProNews

Using the principle of the wheat and chaff, this Charlie Munger quote is pure wheat. Give credit where it is due. Munger is Buffett’s longtime partner in Berkshire Hathaway.

 

The point Tony makes in part is to know when Buffett or Clayton are to be taken at their word, and when their words must be considered in the light of their behavior and trends.

 

StockMarketDeviceTransferringMoneyFromImpatienttothePatientWarrenBuffettquoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

This is a quote that bears scrutiny. It’s insightful, but it also has undertones that merits investor and public officials deeper understanding.

 

He then points to statements by MHI award winner, Marty Lavin, which makes those points quite well.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

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?

 

MHI claims to be working to grow the industry.  But where is the evidence?

If asked, they can point to articles and videos they’ve produced, including the video from which the still below is taken.

 

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Clayton Homes is the purported source of this push. Kevin Clayton spoke about this very notion in the video interview with CNBC. Is there a conflict of interest at play at MHI, when the largest member is so deeply involved in conventional housing? What do the MHI bylaws have on that? They are mute, and won’t turn those documents over for examination. Perhaps there is nothing there. But if there is nothing to hide, why hide it?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIVideoStillMHIPromotionalClaims

 

But even if every claim in that graphic were 100 percent true, that doesn’t mean that they have been ineffective at doing what they claim to do?  Are they implying that they are incompetent?

Or are they shrewd?

Is Omaha-Knoxville dominated MHI – which is based in Arlington, VA – working to grow the industry?  Or are they working to suppress the industry in a fashion that escapes the scrutiny of the unwary?

 

KevinClaytonPhotoMHIRichardDIckJennisonPhotoCharlieMungerHugeBuilder100PlusYearVisionClaytonHomesQuotesManufacturedHousingBlurLinesMHProNews

 

Then, is MHI embracing publishers like MHInsider, or bloggers like George Allen, as surrogates to counter the analysis and reports published by MHProNews, or the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)?

Having set the table, let’s present the link to an in-depth report on that above, but also share an email between Kovach and MHInsider’s Darren Krolewski.

 

The Inside Look at MHInsider?!

If we are to save the maximum number of independents and rally the maximum number of industry professionals to resist the increasingly self-evident trends, doing what some think is unconventional – but is legal and moral – is useful,” said Tony Kovach.

 

He pointed to the email that followed.  The screen capture that documents the message is immediately below, and is followed by the complete, unedited text of his message. The typos are in the original.

EMailtoDarrenKrolewskiDanRinzemaMHVillageDataCompMHInsiderEmail5.16.2019ManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Darren,

As you know, we’ve fact-checked MHInsider previously.  Have you corrected any of the factual errors that we brought to industry readers’ attention?  If so, where, when, and how?   A link or example are welcome for our planned report.

Next:

 

First Annual MHInsider™
State of the Industry Issue.

How many real issues will you deal with? Will you examine – for example – the problem of consolidation and monopolization? Will you examine the fact that every item spotlighted by John Oliver’s video was an MHI member company?  Or that Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett’s directly or indirectly funded nonprofits that have sparked negative news for the industry?

In fairness, are there any reactions, corrections, or analysis you’d like to provide on any article linked further below on MHProNews?

 

MHInsiderReaches31500CirculationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHProNews

This claim will be unpacked, further below.

 

We’ve visually spotlighted that your ‘print circulation’ is in fact not all picked up at events.  The evidence reflects that most are not picked up, and are therefor logically not being read.  A company that advertised with us and your firm said your marketing produced zero results, while by contrast, MHProNews produced all of their external results – both by electronic measures and actual follow ups with respondents.

That said, what is the actual, effective engagement of MHInsider?  How many page views online?  How many daily visits?

Finally:

Given the problems with other facts your publication has previously reported – and to our knowledge, has not yet issued corrections – are there also problems with MHVillage claims of some 25 million unique visits a year?

It seems hard to imagine that the claim of some 25 million unique – non-duplicated – visits occur annually, and yet less than 97,000 new HUD Code homes were sold in 2018.  I’m asking you man-to-man, but on the record, is your firm exagerating those claims in some form or fasion?  For example, is it actually X number of unique daily visits, and you are extrapolating from that? Meaning, are there duplicate visits being counted as ‘unique?’

Please advise on each in writing, so we are both clear on each element of the above.  A confirmation and timeline on your reply are appreciated. Thank you.

Tony

##

 

Such claims matters to manufactured housing industry professionals for these reasons. First, because they think it is important enough to make the claim. Why? Because for years, these same people praised our platform as the tops, including Krolewski.

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

–      There is clear evidence in the report linked here that MHInsider, along with George Allen and others, are singing from the same song book that MHI does. It’s their right to do so.  But if MHI is misleading the industry – and there are arguably numerous examples herein or another linked here how that’s occurred – then aren’t their surrogates likewise misleading their readers?

–      If Berkshire Clayton, MHI and others are part of a scheme to consolidate manufactured housing, or are using methods that violate RICO, postal, IRS, and other statutes, then are their surrogates who continue to spew their drivel co-conspirators?

–      Is MHInsider exaggerating or lying about their actual traffic and readership, which could be a deceptive trade practice, or worse?

2018-06-22_0521ConversionRatiosPerMHVillageLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews. It is a legal violation if claims are made that are not true. If MHVillage can document their claim, why have they demured responding with the evidence?

 

Recently, an MHInsider advertiser told MHProNews that our platform – which provides third-party data about audience engagement – produced the ONLY results for their marketing effort.  MHInsider and others produced zero results, per that party which monitored their results.

CaseyMackTonySoheylaMHProNewsTeamFirstCallDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A realtor who used to use MHVillage told MHProNews this week that based on their experience, MHVillage has lost its “umph.”  An MHI-member industry producer has used them for years. While they claim huge traffic numbers, using their own data, they have poor conversion ratios.  That firm talks about their untapped upside, and the industry itself is underperforming.  These are examples that underscore concerns previously raised by MHProNews graphically illustrated in the photos below.

MHInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTunicaShow2019Day2

A photo of another rack at Tunica appears almost untouched. The industry’s pros, given a choice between fluff and reality often chose the real deal. But this raises concerns about their claims of 31,500 ‘circulation.’ Circulation to whom?  If it is to industry professionals, and if they are in fact being read, why are their results reportedly poor?

 

It all begins to look like smoke and mirrors. Big claims, by MHI, MHVillage, MHInsider, Clayton Homes, et al, but poor outcomes.  Why?

Because of the millions who are not being served who need affordable housing, these are issues that merit congressional and other investigations, that are public – not quietly taking place behind the scenes.

 

 

Trekkies and Chess Players, Unite…The Kobayashi Maru

In chess, if someone finds themselves in a losing posing against a superior force, one can quit – resign – or put strategies to work that change the games dynamics.  That’s how winning is done from a normally losing position.

The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise in the fictional Star Trek universe designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. The Kobayashi Maru test was first depicted in the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and also appears in the 2009 film Star Trek.” – Wikipedia.

There are several factors at play that could go either way for manufactured housing independents.  They underscore the need for a classic “SWOT” analysis.

SWOTAnalysisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

Without going into but a few points, it is obvious that:

 

–      there is an affordable housing crisis.

–      That manufactured homes are the most proven solution in American history for affordable housing.

–      HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently praised the industry, while saying it is time to end the secret, and bring manufactured housing out of the darkness of limestone into the brightness of the limelight.

–      That Secretary Carson statement may not comport with the timeline – and thus the desired plan – of Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington to slowly consolidate manufactured housing into ever fewer hands and brands.

–      Which may explain why once more today, as of 10:33 AM ET on the MHI website and the Clayton Homes websites have no results in searching for HUD Secretary Carson’s fine speech to manufactured housing professionals in New Orleans.

–      There are documented examples of Warren Buffett donations flowing through ‘dark money’ channels to groups that have attacked various manufactured housing industry initiatives, and brands in a fashion that arguably harms smaller firms than larger ones.

–      Buffett has worked to elect and support politicians who promote heavier regulations and higher taxes that experts say can harm smaller firms more than larger ones.

The disconnects between claims made, behavior, and actual results are numerous.

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

MHProNews has offered several times to discuss these issues in public with those being named herein.  They’ve routinely declined.  That’s not proof, but it is indicative that they are unwilling or unable to debunk the concerns, allegations, and the evidence presented.

These merit public investigations. We will be pressing public officials, not just law enforcement, and others in the legal and investment communities to investigate what is occurring in manufactured housing.

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

Because the logic of the facts in the report linked above indicates it is costing the economy huge sums of money, and that means that individuals citizens, along with taxpayers are being harmed.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

If MHI, Clayton and others in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington triangle are serious about growth, why is it that MHARR is the association pushing for the solutions that will actually return the industry to health and growth?

That’s today’s first look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

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Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg Discusses Antitrust Breaking Up, What Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, MHI Can Learn, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

HUD Rescinds 2017 “Guidance” On Carport-Ready Homes

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

May 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

MonopolyManufacturedHousingAllegedByGeorgeAllenMHIDefendersTurnByFormerCommunityInvestorSelfClaimedEducateMHCBloggerMHProNews

Free enterprise is predicated in part on the ability to compete. Be it in tea, banking, or other sectors of the economy, America from its earliest days as a colony includes examples of not just tax revolt, but anti-monopoly rebellion too. New York Times columnist David Leonhardt are among the scores of sources that have said as much.

 

  • The Open Markets Institute has said that antitrust or anti-monopoly efforts are one of the most important issues of our time. As they put it on their home page, the Open Markets Institute “…promote greater awareness of the political and economic dangers of monopolization, identifies the changes in policy and law that cleared the way for such consolidation, and fosters discussions with policymakers and citizens as to how to update America’s traditional political economic principles for our 21st century digital society.” Note to newcomers, MHProNews often turns direct quotes bold and brown to make them ‘pop,’ but otherwise the quoted words are as reported.
  • Several Democratic 2020 presidential contenders have made monopoly and antitrust enforcement a campaign issue.
  • The Trump Administration has let it be known that they have an executive order drafted on antitrust, a copy of which was obtained by MHProNews.
  • The Department of Justice’s antitrust point man – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim – was cited at length in a prior Daily Business News on MHProNews report in a talk dubbed “November Rain.”
  • A top antitrust attorney named Lina Kahn was hired by Capitol Hill Democrats.  These 4 bullets make it clear that this challenge of market consolidation and monopoly are a bi-partisan concern, though the two major parties may have differing approaches.
  • Facebook’s co-founder is among several who have called for the breakup of the company.  But it isn’t just big tech that is facing calls of breakup under antitrust law.

 

That brief survey with links to various reports makes it clear that antitrust or anti-monopolistic practices sentiment has swelled in several swaths of the national political and economic discourse.

Which begs the question.  Other than MHProNews, and MHLivingNews, why has the bulk of the other trade media or bloggers in the manufactured housing industry been so obviously silent on the topic of monopolization, antitrust, and consolidation?

As MHProNews has noted before – but will hereby spotlight in a different way with additional quotes – there is an exception of sorts.

It’s George F. Allen, who shed his COBA7 moniker in favor of EducateMHC, reportedly sold his modest direct interests manufactured home communities, but still has a website called “Community-Investor.”

Before turning to Allen’s comments, let’s note that MHInsider, a far larger medium which is a staunchly pro-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) backer, reveals nothing on a site search under the term ‘monopoly.’  Ditto a search under ‘consolidation’ or ‘antitrust.’ A search for articles about manufactured housing’s ‘enhanced preemption’ – mandated by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 – are missing from MHInsider, much like that topic turns up nothing on MHI’s website too. In fairness and accuracy – to MHInsider’s credit – they provided a few pull quotes from HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s address in New Orleans, which is more than the zero found on MHI’s website as of this morning as this article is being drafted.  But MHInsider lacks the entire – and highly useful for the industry’s independents – recent Secretary Carson speech to manufactured housing professionals.

 

MHInsiderLogoSiteSearchOligarchyMonopolyAntitrustEnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingTradeJournalMediaMHProNews

 

Other publishers in MHVille may lack a search tool, or have so few industry readers, that their pro-MHI stance is worth mentioning but not worth the time to document.  So, there are others, most of whom routinely sing from the same hymnal that MHI provides.  MHI-affiliated state associations often likewise regurgitate uncritically – often verbatim – MHI’s missives, perhaps for reasons noted in a prior report linked here.  That stated, one must note that a few manufactured home community (MHC) state associations broke ranks with MHI, citing the Arlington, VA based trade group’s lack of effectiveness.

 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

Onto Allen and Monopoly…

With that survey and backdrop, here’s what Allen has had to say on the topic of monopoly operating in the manufactured housing industry.

 

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

The date shown is when the screen captures were performed, not the date it was published. More on that, further below.

 

To use a phrase Allen enjoys, those are salient points. He’s made others before, like this one.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

While those are comments were made in years gone by, that begs the question. When the evidence for monopolistic behavior in America and our manufactured home industry specifically has mounted, why has Allen more recently defended the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is the arguably the breeding ground for what Allen dubbed himself called oligarchs and monopolists?

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x237

While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge that Ryan raised in the article above, Doug Ryan at CFED, and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI. 

When Allen has demonstrably agreed with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in the past, why has he attacked the Washington, D.C. based MHARR more recently?   Aren’t his disconnects apparent?

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformlogoMHARRlogoSearchMonopolyAntitrustConsolidation

 

Hold those thoughts.

Be it Allen, MHI, or others – each has precisely the same rights protected by the Constitution that we all do. From the days of the British colonies, to after the time that the United States was finally formed following years of revolutionary warfare, and through the varied phases of our national history, America has had a love-hate relationship with pamphleteers and publishers. But with few exceptions – like the classic prohibition of not crying “fire” in a crowded theater when there is none – we defend in principle the constitutionally protected right citizens enjoy to say what they will, even if it is determined later to be demonstrably wrong.

Which brings us to a pressing point of free speech and free press. On the left, right and the dwindling center, there are voices in media talking about the news that have raised concerns about free speech, concentration of media, and manipulation of news reports.  That there is a need for a graphic like the one below is troubling, but speaks volumes.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

The quotes that follow exemplify the issue, across the left-right and even academic landscape.

 

TheseLargeConglomerateCompaniesDecideOnTheirownandForTheirOwnPurposesTheNewsWeSeeandHearDanRatherQuoteFormerCBSNewsPhotoTwitterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Dan Rather quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

DeepaKumarQuoteGiantMediaCorpLikeTimWarnerandNewsCoprDisneySoForthTheyGetToDecidWhatIsNews

Deepa Kumar quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Danny Glover quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

ThomasSowellQuoteIfPeopleInMediaCannotDecideWhetherTheyAreInNewsReportingbusinessorManufacturingPropagandaMoreImportantForPublicchoseNewssourcesAccordingly

 

That’s problematic, but hardly new in either American or world history. In ancient times, a leader might lop the head off someone who brought bad news.  Far more recently, media in the 20th or 21st century have examples of being pushed and prodded by government and/or private interests. One must be aware of that pattern in order to begin to discern the vexing reality that someone’s worldview is forged by what media sources they adhere to most routinely.

 

GeorgeOrwellQuotesOurAGeNoSuchThingKeepingOutOfPoliticsAllIssuesPoliticalPOliticsMassLiesEvasionFollyHatredSchizophreniaManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

HowardZinnQuoteGeorgeOrwellSaidWhoeverControlsthePastControlsTheFutureHeMeantHistoryImportantShapingViewNextGenerationMHProNews

 

The founding fathers themselves experienced the problems of negative media that was often harsh and agenda driven.  The founders used the press and pamphleteering to stoke the flames that caused a revolution against England, and eventually turned colonies into the independent but United States. Those founders believed that it is the clash and testing of ideas that can reveal to those who scrutinize details what is or is not true.

A close reading or attention paid to statement and subsequent events may also reveal the instances when people say or write one thing, but do another.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

While all fail from time to time to live up to ideals, there is a special scorn many have for blatant and repeated hypocrisy. Perhaps rightly so.

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

 

Now the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has an antitrust statement. According to form, MHI’s numerous meetings every year are opened with a reminder that antitrust guidelines apply. But does that mean that they are adhering in deed to those antitrust guidelines, and not just merely in the mentioned word? There are highlighted items in the MHI antitrust statement, linked here, which in this writer’s informed view merit legal and regulatory oversight attention.

So why are these issues missing from MHI’s website?

 

2019-05-22_0735ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoAntitrustConsolidationMHProNews

Every symphony has high and low notes. There may be sobering, often dark drum rolls, and heartening crescendos. Symphonies – like other art forms – are meant to entertain, reflect, and inspire life. Novelists have plots, as well as subplots. Intentionally or not, publishing, writers, and media sources go through their own peaks, valleys, twists, turns, and familiar refrains.

The wonder isn’t that Allen – not just MHProNews or MHLivingNews – has raised concerns about “consolidation.”

Rather, it’s that others in manufactured housing trade publishing have not done the same. Are they unaware? That’s highly unlikely, because this writer hears from those publishers, their team, and followers. Are they afraid to rock the boat? Fearful? Paid-off via ads or other incentives? What?

One trade media competitor, in what was an unintended backhanded compliment said ‘Tony, you [MHProNews, MHLivingNews] write about that others in the industry read or talk about at bars and during meals.’  If so, that may explain why our audience dwarfs all others.  But that statement begs the question, then why doesn’t that gent and other writer/bloggers follow the lead of tackling the real issues, instead of playing footsy with MHI-driven drivel?

 

BarryColeMHInsuranceRVMHHallofFameCongratsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

Why does MHI have an antitrust statement, beyond as legal cover, while doing nothing of merit to commission independent research over concerns that they as a nonprofit group are being used as a tool for consolidation?

 

Then keep your tongue from evil

and your lips from speaking deceit.

Turn aside from evil and do good…” Psalm 34:13.

 

Let’s recall anew that George Washington, and other founders, for whatever their personal failings were – and they had them, as we all do – stressed the need for morality and religion, not just laws or a constitution.

 

OfAllDispositionsHabitsPoloticalProspertityReligionMoralityIndispensable-GeorgeWashington-picWikiCommons-postedMHProNews-

 

With that backdrop, back to Allen, monopoly, consolidation and what to do about it in MHVille.

 

Quoting Allen

A Final Thought for Year 2018, but Key for 2019

No names here, but hope you too boycott an ongoing online MH-related news media attempt to denigrate and divide us as an industry and realty asset class!

In my opinion, life is too short to be making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks, only befouling internet platforms better used to promote manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle!

If so, join me in 2019, committing to read only print and online trade publications advancing the causes, and improving the image, of HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities! No more caterwauling (‘to fight like cats’) in public and in private. Period.”

To spell it out for those not informed, Allen called there for a boycott of MHProNews, and of this writer. The ironies and hypocrisy there are thick.  Because of his own self-contradictions, and his own de facto concerns over the very kind of monopolization and consolidation – in that quoted case above, of media – that he blasted previously about MHI and Clayton. Can George spell hypocrisy?

Yet Allen’s aptly cited problems with consolidation, oligarchy, and monopoly. He still calls consolidation “a problem” in even recent posts.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

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

 

Nevertheless, he is hypocritically attacking this platform, and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), each of which have consistently been sounding alarms about those issues – with specific examples – to the attention of the thousands of the industry’s readers.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen has pointed out the obvious, that MHARR is a sponsor of our website. But that’s out in the open, MHARR has banner ads here. What Allen fails to mention is that MHI used to sponsor MHProNews too. Our coverage has been based upon our LLC’s own research and work, without favor. What Allen has, by contrast, avoided is what are the ways that he is being coached, rewarded, and influenced?  In pointing an errant finger, are three pointing back at George’s chest? Note too that MHProNews cites sources from MHI, MHEC members, MHARR, and others.  We do so accurately and in their historic context. 

 

Allen’s voice is significant, but small compared to this platform’s.  We have more readers in a few hours than he will have all week.  So, why bother?  Because frankly, reviewing the history of Allen’s musings make clear some of the very problems he once asserted, and now denies.  Its instructive to unpack Allen.

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

Allen is interesting to the extent that he does periodically make accurate statements.  But a stopped clock is correct twice daily too.  More politely, he is a reason why we believe in the wheat and chaff approach to people and sources. We all have our good and bad days, our good points, and our weaker ones.  Our readers have pointed out that we get typos, for instance.  Guilty as charged.  That’s our chaff, but who strive for finer wheat that feeds our audience that doesn’t find like content from other’s in the industry trade media.

Closely read, Allen’s arguably consistent about only one thing, support for himself.

With that said, he has apparently been re-embraced by the very people – MHI and their leaders – that he railed against for unfair treatment by examining his business interests under the cover of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), and then unethically going into competition against him. Allen personally felt the sting of manipulative and costly maneuvers from MHI, whose structure and funding point to firms in Omaha and the Knoxville, TN metro areas as their dominating, driving forces.  He ought to be leading the charge, instead of giving the manipulators cover.

Rephrased, Allen knows first-hand who pulls the puppet strings at Arlington, VA based MHI. He fought them, he was marginalized, he lost. That is, he lost until he was more recently reembraced to be the apparent purported surrogate and attack dog for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.  Now, for example, MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer is back on Allen’s stage.

The key to understanding Allen’s pivots in publishing is to understand that he is highly motivated by self-interest.  That is per a former, significant client of his, who told this writer that the way to understand Allen is summed up in this saying: “With George, it’s always AAA – All About Allen.” Pondering that claim, and watching the pattern after that was heard, that source arguably proved correct.

The point here isn’t that Allen has flip-flopped, or that the balance of the industry’s trade media has been mute on the issues of monopolization, consolidation, antitrust, and market manipulation that has kept manufactured housing underperforming.

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

While MHI in their monthly shipment report doesn’t deny the decline, neither are they addressing the underlying causes, nor have they proposed a remedy via their messages to the industry. Why not?

Frankly, we’ve covered much of that ground previously.

So the point here now is to make clear to new industry readers, investors wondering why a stock isn’t performing as it could be, outside researchers, legal, and public officials looking into MHVille seeking to grasp the facts that have caused obvious patterns to be obscured by others –including, but not limited to, the industry’s trade media.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

 

Be Skeptical, Question and Test

It’s entirely logical to test the accuracy of the reports and analysis here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. It is logical to likewise test the writing and publishing of others in this same news and commentary space, to see how consistent each sources may be, or what evidence is offered by said sources beyond mere words.

GeorgeAllenPhotoPamDannerPhotoEducateMHCMobileHomeCommunityInvestorManufacturedHomeProfessionalNewsUnlike Allen’s railing – as was cited above – about “…making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks…” we’ve provided on MHLivingNews and MHProNews the documents and direct quotes from the sources involved.

Besides, Allen himself said similarly – as this report makes clear – only he’s not been consistent about it.

Allen uses the old debaters’ tricks of red herrings, commits the ad hominin attack fallacy, and demonstrably accuses others of what he does himself. It’s the classic definition of a hypocrite.

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

When we’ve given documented opportunities to Allen to publicly debate the issues we claim.  Bring on the supporting evidence as to what are the factors hindering manufactured housing industry’s growth, during an affordable housing crisis.

Other than MHARR and our trade media, who today in MHVille have offered a cogent explanation for the why and how the explains the cause of over 15 years of manufactured housing as an industry’s underperformance?

That underperformance in turn cost taxpayers, homeowners, and independent businesses collectively billions, at each turn.  Some of those independent businesses are the smaller community owners that Allen and his allies claim to care about.

That public debate offer with George Allen is one he’s routinely ducked out on. Thus, noting his roar like the lion in Wizard of Oz – but his failure to back up that roar – he’s arguably earned the mantle of that fictional character. It should be noted, Cowardly Lion finally got his courage, and did the right things.

We hope and pray Allen will do the same. Because Allen, in fairness and accuracy, has at times – albeit inconsistently – argued similar claims to those we, MHARR or others in MHVille seeking to maintain a lower profile have raised. Let’s note that some of those MHI sources, unhappy with what the Arlington trade group is apparently doing, have said they would testify to federal investigators about what they know.

Let’s return to one of those flashes from the past of apparent candor from Allen about the problem of monopoly power.

GeorgeAllenCommunityInvestorBlogMHMPostedMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryNewsMHProNews-133x150a

George Allen, photo credit, MHProNews.com.

Hopefully you already realize we live and work in turbulent times, where the national economy and our industry’s business model are concerned. But have YOU stopped and considered the lasting effects horizontal (consolidation) and vertical integration have had, and continue to have, on our industry and realty asset class?

If you’re one of those who believe the MHIndustry needs a new, independent national trade association to protect and advance the business interests and concerns of the post production sector of manufactured housing, you’ll want to read this week’s blog posting from beginning to end. Because there is indeed a third such party ‘waiting in the wings’ for the timing and leadership to be right and effective from the word ‘Go’!

  • In short order, the number of independent (street) MHRetailers plummeted from more than 14,000 to fewer than 4,000.”

After listing some of the extensive holdings of Buffett led Berkshire in manufactured housing, Allen says:

Now, here’s the proverbial ‘rub’. With quiet but increasing frequency we read of conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over (if not already ‘taken over’) the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry.”

Assuming truth and legitimacy of these claims of ‘conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry’, what’re the solutions? In the same op/ed piece in THE JOURNAL, the writer makes this case for a new independent national trade association to represent the post production sector of manufactured housing:

  • “…to monitor issues in the nation’s capitol, mobilize for effective action, and fight for their interests and issues, rather than the few industry-dominant lenders and the corporate conglomerates that stand behind them.” And until that happens, the writer opines, our shipments of new HUD-Code homes will continue to languish well below 100,000 units per year.

So, where’s this new independent national trade association going to come from? Surely not the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) with its’ 80+ percent national member market share of new HUD-Code manufactured housing distribution; nor, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) and its’ regional housing manufacturing firms.”

Allen on that occasion from his blog dated 21 August, 2016 proposed himself  and his now defunct COBA7 as the industry’s solution and savior.  It is as if he set out to prove the point noted above from that former client of his that said, “With George, it’s always AAA – All About Allen.”

But sadly, one must ask, is Allen a white hat in MHVille, or a black hat?

 

White Hats, Black Hats…

 

 

TomLackeySECO2018-06-06_1742PlanningCommitteeSECODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Allenites – those who uncritically follow him – turn a blind eye to problems like his ‘education’ on lease-purchase, or contract for title, which an industry attorney has called ‘illegal’ in the Dodd-Frank era, and which the NY State Attorney General’s office punished dozens of manufactured home communities for practicing. Hasn’t Allen condemned the kind of problematic negative news headline causing issues that his buddy Tom Lackey is accused of running? If so, why didn’t Allen called Lackey out, and asked for his ouster from SECO’s board? See the Chattanooga Times Free Press report, which notably cited MHProNews in part of its coverage. Note the circle.  MHVillage – which is a sister firm to MHInsider, which has Allen as a writer.  MHInsider’s parent company is part of MHI.

Allen failed to mention at all then that Dick Moore/Bob Crawford had launched a third party effort dubbed the MHIDEA, which MHProNews reported years before this specific 8-21-2016 musing by Allen.

While the effort never garnered the traction its concept merited, MHIDEA – short for the Manufactured Housing Independent DEaler Alliance – was launched in 2008, even before the full effects of Buffett’s Moat became clear.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

MHProNews reviewed MHIDEA’s otherwise insightful notions in depth in a report, linked below.

 

Giving Thanks for Manufactured Housing Independents, Applauding “MHIdea!”

 

During the 2010 timeframe, MHProNews reported on the MHIDEA efforts. Hindsight can be 2020. Had MHIDEA been better supported – by us and others – would the industry’s current issues be as severe as they are now?

By contrast, MHARR covered these issues to various degrees, and in a consistent fashion.  It must be noted that several of Allen’s references to concerns over monopolization were oblique references to claims and allegations made by MHARR.  They have been by far the most consistent in the industry on the topics that they’ve engaged upon.

Once more, it must be noted that MHI avoids these controversies, as reflected by using the site-search tool on their website.  If they suddenly, after weeks and months of such reports suddenly popped information that mentions these issues onto their platform, that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve avoided it for some years.

 

 

Summing Up

This current and historic survey revealed the following.

  • MHARR has consistently called out the problems of market monopolization, proposed solutions, and has done so for a period of years. It should be noted that the MHARR website is relatively new, so one would have to go to MHProNews’ MHARR module, or specific MHARR monthly articles to see the years of consistency in their reports and analysis.

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • MHIDEA – while effectively dormant at this time – raised these concerns over a decade ago.
  • NAMHCO – which does not yet have a website – is still young, but has made it clear that they felt that MHI was ineffective and not advancing the interests of their members, which is why they said they broke from MHI in 2017.
  • MHI has nothing on several potentially positive items for the industry, ignored publishing Secretary Carson’s fine speech, and has nothing on these controversies.
  • MHInsider – essentially parrots the MHI stance, as have most if not all of the lesser known trade bloggers and publishers.
  • Blogger George Allen has flip-flopped, apparently based on if he’s getting benefits from MHI or not. But what’s clear is that Allen on several occasions raised the issue of monopoly, consolidation, and ‘oligarchy.’  More recently, Allen has attacked MHARR, and MHProNews for making arguments similar to those he himself previously advanced.  Allen does not bother to explain his contradictions, which can demonstrably occur within the same blog post.
  • MHProNews raised the issues years ago, in reporting on the MHIDEA and MHARR reports. But frankly, this writer – and our LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC family of publications – were not convinced initially. We reported what others said, but did not strongly advocate on the issues of monopoly, consolidation, marketing rigging, and the need for legal and federal action.
  • As I’ve said previously, per the SPJ standards of journalism ethics that call for clearly stating errors or omissions once noted, it took years of evidence, documents, news tips, and commentary by others until the scope and chutzpah of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis was fully grasped in more recent years.
  • Oddly, some of Allen’s and MHI’s circle and readers have been among those who’ve for some time explained why they thought market manipulation was underway. They explained Allen’s role – or lack thereof – in masking or exposing it at various times.
  • It should also be noted that MHInsider publisher Darren Krolewski himself praised this publication and writer for taking on the tough issues. He was among those that informed us of what was underway, where MHI was allegedly undermining our pro-industry growth work, even as we were dues paying members of that association.

 

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Krolewski is now co-president of MHVillage, and the publisher of MHInsider. He now arguably avoids the difficult topics he once praised us for tackling on MHProNews.

 

Allen could perhaps go back and purge his site, if he was incentivized to do so. But we already have the screen captures, so why bother?

While he loves to charge that we misquote or do something ‘out of context,’ he’s not once provided evidence of that claim. In fact, as noted, when invited to debate or prove his case in a third-party moderated forum, publicly in front of an industry audience, and on video so others could witness it later, he’s always declined that offer.

The allegations and concerns raised in this report clearly tie directly into the issue of what we’ve dubbed  the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Namely, that leaders at Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), Joe Stegmayer (MHI Chair), MHI salaried staff, and their inside and/or outside attorneys have repeatedly been invited to discuss and debate these concerns publicly.  Such offers to those leaders have been documented. The offer was to do hold such a discussion/debate in front of a live manufactured home industry professional audience.  That means that those who understand and/or are the most impacted by the issues to be discussed would be in attendance. A third-party moderator, plus video recording so others could see it all later, were part of the offer.

The powers that be in MHVille have declined every time. It’s their right to remain silent.  But that means that the allegations against them stand unrefuted.  One might ask, why they haven’t sued us – with or without just cause – as they’ve threatened in writing several times to do?  Is it perhaps because their leaders have praised us often, and for years, and that would come up in any legal proceedings?  How could they possibly explain it all away with a straight face?

 

TimWilliamsToRephraseMHITonyBothCorrectThereisNoDaylight21stMortgageCorpMHIChairmmanufacturedHousingProNews

 

What the axis apparently did instead was reembraced Allen, who was persona non grata after their purported backstab of Allen only a few years ago. Allen was apparently re-engaged and rewarded precisely, to be used as a purported surrogate and as an attack dog against MHARR, MHProNews, and this writer.  Given that they can’t or won’t defend their actions, they’ve turned to the smear tactics instead. Allen and company do what they allege we do, interesting ploy, isn’t it?

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

 

Last week, an MHI member named Andy Gedo began to enter into a question/answer with this writer about an article posted on LinkedIn.  That posted article spotlighted how Kevin Clayton, in a recent video interview with CNBC, did not deny that Berkshire monopolization of not only manufactured housing, but the broader housing market, was underway. Gedo initially questioned, but gave up on, defending Clayton against that claim. The Gedo discussion with this writer in its entirety is linked below.

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

 

While these incidents, Berkshire Hathaway documents and direct quotes in context linked here or other concerns are not proof in an absolute or legal sense, it is enough to cause more federal regulators, public officials, candidates, media/researchers to sharpen their scrutiny.  That’s frankly part of the reason to do such summary articles, which then link evidence and examples.

The reason we say ‘more’ is because there are already – beyond MHARR, NAMHCO, MHIDEA, MHProNews, and MHLivingNews – non-industry sources that have spotlighted some of these same concerns.  Some of those are linked below.

 

  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.

But what those other sources may lack are specific examples of documents and video that were not yet published, until the trade media our LLC deploys covered them.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document 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. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

What this summary does is reveal to industry readers and to outsiders looking in that there is substantial evidence of monopolization, consolidation, and examples of potential violations of antitrust laws at play in manufactured housing that date back about a decade or more. That’s almost roughly the same timeframe that Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, and began the slow ‘strategic moat’ and other related conquest techniques of the manufactured housing industry.

No one with common sense can believe that Buffett, Berkshire, and their billions could somehow have failed to grow manufactured housing to over 500,000 or more shipments a year.  MHI’s president himself said that was doable.

 

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

 

Which leads thoughtful readers and researchers with the vexing concerns that manufactured housing has been de facto sabotaged, largely from within.

 

 

That’s why the industry is the ‘best kept secret’ in affordable housing, as Terry Decio from Skyline Homes lamented on camera.

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That’s arguably why Secretary Carson’s full address isn’t found on MHInsider, or at all on MHI’s website.  Carson made it clear he wants to promote the manufactured housing solution, and end the secrecy that hangs over the industry.

Alan Amy is one of the many quiet, thoughtful voices that helped advise this writer as to what was occurring, and why. Manufactured housing is the housing of the future, not just the past, said Amy.  The big boys are consolidating the industry at a discount now, knowing that they can reap billions in annual earnings once they’ve completed their conquest of the industry, and a friendly administration to their interests takes over in Washington, D.C.

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.  From independents like Gus, to the largest players in the industry, and thousands in between, this is the most read source in the industry, because we tackle the issues most avoid – all in search of getting manufactured housing to achieve its true potential.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

Note the trend line. This is from an MHI member firm’s investor relations package.  They point to the industry underperforming, but they refer to it as the upside potential for growth. Manufactured housing is underperforming. Note the difference between RVs 20 years ago, and MH 20 years ago. No one else has advanced a thesis as logical and compelling. To date, Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have not even attempted to refute the claims. Will they today?

The puzzle pieces fit, which is what Occam’s Razor calls for in its test of reason.  Otherwise, observers are to believe that Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, and MHI staff are all incompetent?  That they don’t know how to grow this industry that used to produce hundreds of thousands of homes per year?  That they can’t achieve growth during an affordable housing crisis? That’s absurd.

Once more, the powers that be are invited to refute or explain away these concerns and allegations. Or they can keep using diversionary tactics, while the industry’s shipments have shrunk for 7 months, during an affordable housing crisis?  Absurd. Preposterous.  Impossible to believe, unless the powers that be want it to be so.

And on that note, let’s call it a morning, as the sky suggests that the dawn will soon break.  We pray that dawn will be a sign for this once far greater industry that a new day is coming.  But like the founders and generations before us, freedom won’t be free. It will only come from a struggle.  That struggle begins with understanding the issues, which hopefully this report, fact-check, and analysis has helped shed fresh light upon.

It is long past time to break up the monopolists, using existing federal and state laws.  As Secretary Carson said about a different topic last night on Tucker Carlson’s show, “enforce the law.”

That’s this morning’s first look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Industry news, commentary, fact-checks, and analysis.) ##

(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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Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny House Comparisons, $50,000 Tiny House Vs. $165,000 Tiny House – Millions of Video Views

May 21st, 2019 Comments off

 

165000vs50000TinyHouseManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Screen capture – still scene from the video posted further below.

No spoilers for this video, just the facts.

 

In 3 weeks, this video has had 2,173,639 views as of the time the Daily Business News on MHProNews drafted this article.

There were about 37,000 ‘thumbs up,’ vs. 1800 thumbs down.

There were 2,801 comments posted. That’s more comments than the total number of views of hundreds to thousands of videos that focus on manufactured homes.

Bear in mind, that the evidence reveals that just the name ‘tiny house’ isn’t itself a magic door opener with the general public when it comes to selling more ‘rebranded’ manufactured homes. Several manufactured home producers have jumped onto the tiny house band wagon, some with very little success.

In fact, the word heard from insiders in the manufactured home industry’s 3 biggest brands and their tiny house sales would lead us to think that their results have been rather sleepy.

This video below is nearly 20 minutes long, and it still has over 2.1 million views?

To understand why manufactured housing is struggling during an affordable housing crisis is both easy and hard, depending on where your mind is at to begin with. For those who ‘trust’ the industry’s ‘leadership,’ it will be harder to grasp that the well has been to a significant extent poisoned. How it was poisoned is exemplified in reports like the one below.

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

That sobering reality requires the hard work of un-poisoning the well.

 

That requires discipline, see last night’s video linked below.

 

Millions of Americans want what we as an industry offer, they just don’t want what they mistakenly have been led to think that the industry is.  Just think, you could pay less for a manufactured home than the tiny houses in this video.

To change the dynamic requires a willingness to break from what may seem like the herd.  It is the contrarian’s that advance a cause.

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

The ‘leaders’ of the heard are taking the industry down the path of ever-more consolidation, instead of success.  See the related reports, further below. That’s your pre-dawn challenge to make change at the local level, by pondering the lessons learned from “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

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Not Renaming Manufactured Homes, Redefining Manufactured Homes – Tiny House Lessons Learned

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg Discusses Antitrust Breaking Up, What Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, MHI Can Learn, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

May 17th, 2019 Comments off

CNNmone5.17.2019ManufacturedHomeStocksMarketsReportsMHProNewsBrookfield, Blackstone, ELS, and Sun Communities are all near the peak value of their stocks for the last year.  It’s an interesting backdrop to a day when the major markets and many other manufactured home industry connected stocks have fallen. That noted, our focus tonight is Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s one on one interview, where she tried to make the case why their company should not be broken up. That will be our focus this evening, viewed through the lens of what she could teach manufactured housing’s ‘powers that be.’

 

If you’re new, already hooked on our new spotlight feature – or are ready to get the MH professional fever – our headline report is found further belowafter the newsmaker bullets and major indexes closing tickers.

 

The evolving Daily Business News market report sets the manufactured home industry’s stocks in the broader context of the overall markets.  Headlines – at home and abroad – often move the markets.  So, this is an example of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” ©

Part of this unique evening feature provides headlines – from both sides of the left-right media divide – which saves busy readers time, while underscoring topics that may be moving investors, which in turn move the markets.

Readers say this is also a useful quick-review tool that saves researchers time in getting a handle of the manufactured housing industry, through the lens of publicly-traded stocks connected with the manufactured home industry.

This is an exclusive evening or nightly example of MH “Industry News, Tips and Views, Pros Can Use.” © It is fascinating to see just how similar, and different, these two lists of headlines can be.

Want to know more about the left-right media divide from third party research?  ICYMI – for those not familiar with the “Full Measure,” ‘left-center-right’ media chart, please click here.

 

Select bullets from CNN Money…

  • Luckin jolts Wall Street
  • Starbucks’ big rival in China soared nearly 50% in its market debut
  • Luckin Coffee CFO says technology will help it quickly become profitable
  • LIVE UPDATES US markets close lower, snapping three-day winning streak
  • Quickly catch up on today’s business news
  • Haven, the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan health care company, has already lost its No. 2 executive
  • Losing Huawei as a customer could cost US tech companies $11 billion
  • Minecraft AR game could be the next Pokémon GO phenomenon
  • John Deere’s stock dented by trade war fears
  • Why selling in May and going away is a silly thing to do
  • The WhatsApp attack didn’t target you. But here’s why you should still care
  • Goldman Sachs makes biggest acquisition in nearly 20 years
  • Pinterest stock falls 15% after revealing bigger loss than expected
  • Baidu posts its first loss in 15 years
  • The ‘Jurassic Park’ computer company just got sold for $1.3 billion
  • Samsung’s first 5G phone is out for Verizon customers
  • Grumpy Cat found quick success. Other celebrity pets might have it harder
  • In recent years, Aldi has expanded its produce and organic offerings to draw in more customers.
  • SPECIAL REPORT A cheap, brutally efficient chain is reshaping the American grocery industry
  • EXCLUSIVE Bernie Sanders: Banks have been ripping off Americans for too long. I have a plan to end it
  • Electric and self-driving cars are still a good investment
  • This startup is planning a flying taxi service
  • This 26-ton truck is driving itself on Sweden’s public roads
  • See Boeing’s autonomous flying car take flight
  • Self-driving cars are now on the streets of Hamburg
  • Fiverr, another gig-economy startup, files to go public
  • WeWork parent company continues spending spree
  • Here is what Uber needs to do to win over Wall Street
  • Analyst: Uber is at beginning of its growth in US
  • The TJMaxx of supermarkets is going public

Select Bullets from Fox Business

  • Stocks fall in choppy session, despite trade progress
  • US, Canada, Mexico lift steel, aluminum tariffs pressuring China
  • What is Pete Buttigieg’s net worth?
  • Ocasio-Cortez makes Bible joke to peddle interest rate cap bill
  • Chicago becomes first major city to collect ‘Netflix tax’
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  • Memorial Day weekend expected to have nearly 43M American travelers
  • Barr will expose Brennan, Comey blame game, former federal prosecutor says

Today’s markets and stocks, at the closing bell…

9MarketIndicatorsYahooFinance5.17.2019DailyBusinessNeawsManufacturedHousingIndustryStocksMarketsReportsDataMHProNews

 

Today’s Big Movers

For all the scores and highlights on tracked manufactured home connected stocks today, see thBloomberg graphic, posted below.

Today’s MH Market Spotlight Report –

FacebookCEOSherylSandbergDiscussesAntitrutBreakingupWhatKevinClaytonJoeStegmayerMHICanLearnPlusMHMarketUpdates

Before we turn to Sandberg’s interview, let’s draw a parallel between what she has done, and what Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer or Clayton Homes have – or more to the point, have not – done.

For some years, MHProNews – politely at first, and mostly behind the scenes for some time – raised concerns about how the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) was being operated.  That Arlington, VA based trade group claims to be representing the interests of all segments of manufactured housing.  But they ducked third-party accountability. They gave arguably false or misleading information to their own members.

For a time, there was give and take, back and forth, question and answers.  But as the answers were proven to be false, misleading, or deceptive too, MHI’s staff ‘leaders’ finally stopped answering MHProNews, after years of answering promptly. That in hindsight should be a red flag.

Instead of dealing with concerns about false or misleading information being given to members by MHI, then MHI Chairman Tim Williams defended MHI President and CEO Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison via a staged ‘vote of confidence.’ Where was the investigation?  Where was the accountability?  That made the concerns more urgent, not less so.  It also had the impact of pointing to Berkshire Hathaway involvement, because Williams was and is President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corp.

For some three years, MHProNews invited MHI and/or the Berkshire brands to publicly discuss the issues that began with Preserving Access but spread to other topics.

  • Dick Jennison cancelled his own address to the industry in Louisville in 2018, shortly before the meeting, in an apparent move to avoid 12 questions from the audience provided by MHProNews.
  • At Deadwood, MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach asked MHI Vice President and General Counsel Rick Robinson a question, which he declined answering in public, in front of dozens of industry professionals who witnessed it.

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

While Tim Williams and Kevin Clayton used to reply promptly to MHProNews inquires – as did Joe Stegmayer, Nathan Smith, or other MHI corporate leaders – as if on cue, about 2 years ago, they all stopped doing so.  Silence is a constitutionally protected right.  We respect their right to remain silent.

But their silence – in the face of serious concerns, evidence, and allegations – raises more questions, not less.

Their silence must be seen in the following light. They have not one, not two, but three different attorneys directly or indirectly connected to MHI send threatening ‘cease and desist’ style letters/messages to MHProNews.  Which begs the question, what are they hiding from?

Manufactured housing industry investors who grasp what is arguably occurring ought to be outraged. The industry is underperforming during an affordable housing crisis.  It is interesting to note that two HUD Code manufactured home producers that are publicly traded are witnessing their stocks trading lower than they were some 6 months ago.  The ones that are trading marginally up or higher yet are those who are bucking the trends that the so-called MHI leader firms set.  Interesting?

Cavco Industries Announces Latest Executive Level Changes

Yes, but picture those investors in the firms that have declined in value.

Skyline Champion (SKY) Hedge Fund Dumps Shares, Value Declines

 

While community stocks connected to MHI member firms are not yet impacted, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be.

On the plus side, MH Communities enjoy a far more recession or market resistant business model. But when communities are ordering homes mostly for rental than sale, that should furrow brows.  While rental manufactured homes can be quite profitable, it fails to address the underlying question.  Why aren’t more manufactured homes being sold?

When rental orders going into manufactured home communities are factored out, MHIndustry HUD Code producers – in MHI, MHARR or independent of either of those national trade groups – have told MHProNews that the overall sales of HUD Code manufactured homes remains near flat.

Some states have declined, others have grown, but the national average is a lower growth rate than the data suggests.  Thus, the reports linked below.

 

Manufactured Home Community Case Study, UMH Properties, Lessons for Independent Community Owners, Investors

What the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Said About March 2019 Shipment and Production Data

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

 

To sum up the tee up of the Sandberg interview, Manufactured Housing industry ‘leaders’ like Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Joe Stegmayer, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, or Lesli Gooch would be wise to sit down for a video discussion with MHProNews’ L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. If the powers that be in MHVille are right, they have nothing to hide.  If they are wrong, then that may explain why they continue to duck, run, hide, and play arguably diversionary games.

 

Now, let’s pivot to Sandberg.

The interview shows Sandberg’s responses. If there were hard-hitting follow up questions, they are not shown in this interview.

But at least Sandberg made her case publicly. Per CNBC:

  • Sandberg said breaking up Facebook does not address the underlying issues people have with tech companies.
  • “You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don’t address the underlying issues people are concerned about,” Sandberg said.
  • While there is talk of breaking up Facebook, Sandberg highlighted that China’s own tech companies will not be broken up.


While people are concerned with the size and power of tech companies, there’s also a concern in the United States with the size and power of Chinese companies, and the realization that those companies are not going to be broken up,” Sandberg said.

Sandberg argued that most people are concerned about election security, content, privacy and data portability. Sandberg noted that every one of Facebook’s engineering and product teams now have their own safety and security functions focused on people’s privacy.

We know at Facebook we have a real possibility to do better and earn back people’s trust,” she said.

That could be described as a debater’s dodge, because there are also concerns from conservative and others that Facebook and the tech giants are censoring content, and are politically biased.

See related reports, linked below.

Antitrust Heats Up With Supreme Court Ruling, Monopolization Legal Experts Weigh In, Clayton-Related Comment Connection

Prior Facebook Insiders Among Harshest FB Critics, “Break Them Up” – plus MH Market Updates

 

Bloomberg Closing Ticker for MHProNews…

NOTE: The chart below includes the Canadian stock, ECN, which purchased Triad Financial Services.

NOTE: The chart below covers a number of stocks NOT reflected in the Yahoo MHCV, shown above.

NOTE: Drew changed its name and trading symbol at the end of 2016 to Lippert (LCII).

5.17.2019DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingConnectedMarketReportsBloombergMHProNews

Berkshire Hathaway is the parent company to Clayton Homes21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and other factory built housing industry suppliers.

LCI Industries, Patrick, UFPI and LP all supply manufactured housing.

AMG, CG and TAVFX have investments in manufactured housing related businesses.

Your link to industry praise for our coverage, is found here.

For the examples of our kudos linked above…plus well over 1,000 positive, public comments, we say – “Thank You for your vote of confidence.”

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsWe Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Image credits and information are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

 

Prior Facebook Insiders Among Harshest FB Critics, “Break Them Up” – plus MH Market Updates

What the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Said About March 2019 Shipment and Production Data

May 9th, 2019 Comments off

 

LET’S KEEP BUILDING!” declares one of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) messages about their recent Congress and Expo in New Orleans.

 

The upbeat sound of that message is arguably betrayed by the reality that for the 7th straight month, manufactured housing shipments are down.

But that embarrassing detail is not mentioned anywhere in the MHI release earlier today.

Here’s the meat of what MHI’s statement said, which will be followed by an analysis.

 

MHIlogoMonopolisticHousingInstituteLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMarch2019ProductionShipmentReport

7,623 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in March 

In March 2019, new manufactured home shipments decreased 13.5% to 7,623 homes as compared to the 8,813 homes shipped in March 2018. Total shipments for March 2019 were 382 homes more than the prior month of February. Compared with March 2018, shipments of single-section homes are down by 18.2% and multi-section homes are down by 9.2%. Total floors shipped in March 2019 decreased 12.1% to 11,859 compared to March 2018.

Of the 7,623 homes shipped in March, there were no homes designated as FEMA units shipped which is generally flat against the five FEMA units shipped in March 2018.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 90,459 in March, down 1.9% from the adjusted rate of 92,195 in February. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

In March, 134 plants representing 34 corporations reported production data which is the same number of active plants and corporations as in February 2019.

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The video below is from about prominent MHI member, Nathan Smith and SSK Communities. It is not related to their economic report, other than as food for thought as to some of the public perception reasons why the industry is struggling.  A clip from this video was part of John Oliver’s viral hit video. 

 

Compare and contrast what MHI said this week vs. what MHARR did days earlier.

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

While it may not be Jenny Hodges’ job at MHI to explain what the Arlington based trade group’s plan are to address the 7-month downturn, whose job there is it?  We’ve asked several times, and MHI isn’t saying.

 

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

 

One MHI member-producer floated the notion of FEMA shipment related being a factor, but the MHI statement above belies that notion for this cycle.

When purported MHI surrogate George F. Allen asked Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, still MHI’s chairman, about the shipment drop Stegmayer said:

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco.

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco.

 

George 

Believe inventories of retailers climbed rather suddenly to above comfort levels. Now being adjusted. 

Our view is consistent with Clayton’s that consumer traffic is solid. would add that it appears that credit availability has improved somewhat. 

Another plus: The inventory of all existing homes for sale is near historically low levels.

Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”

 

Bear in mind that Stegmayer is an ex-Clayton Homes division president.  He also happens to be under a cloud of last November’s SEC subpoena, at a firm that faces several legal woes. Stegmayer’s comment was referencing this from Kevin Clayton.

kevinclaytonl-warrenbuffettr-inclaytonhomecredittodayonline-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Kevin Clayton, left, Warren Buffett, right, standing in a Clayton Homes model. Credit, TodayOnline.

Retail inventory correction

Look at RV industry….it is even more severe for them. 

Good news is retail activity remains healthy to work through it.  That’s just one opinion \ view.   

Kevin Clayton

This from a company president reportedly under several federal investigations. It is also from the president who’s conglomerate’s chairman, Warren Buffett is reportedly funding the industry’s opposition, see the reports linked here and here.

 

While others have noted that there were more orders last year to counter long factory backlogs, that fails to address the point that demand at some point slumped, or the backlog would have continued.

Furthermore, industry pros and investors should bear in mind that the RV industry is not in the affordable housing market.  It is an interesting item to look at, MHProNews uses it as a reference too.  But we do so to reflect the point that RVs are outselling MHs by some 5 to 1, when in 1998, MHs outsold RVs by 3 to 2.

Not a peep about that from Clayton, Stegmayer or other senior MHI leaders in public.  Apparently, it doesn’t fit their ‘party line’ or ‘narrative.’

March2019MHARRManufacturedHousingAssocRegReformTop10states8StatesInDeclineMHProNews

 

The issue of a downturn during an affordable housing crisis is serious, as the related reports below reflect.  See two special reports tomorrow morning that spotlight various aspects of this #NettlesomeThings issue.

That’s this tonight’s 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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Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

 

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infographic – Mapping How Much A Buyer Must Earn to Buy Median Priced House

April 23rd, 2019 Comments off

 

InfographicMappingHowMuchBuyerMustEarnToBuyMedianPricedHouseManufacturedHousingMHProNews

HSH, HowMuch, and Visual Capitalist have pulled together data that yielded the following information presented. It’s arguably useful data for those savvy manufactured home industry professionals who happen to be near the various markets that are spotlighted.

 

Before diving into the data, let’s note the tragically obvious.

There is no hint of manufactured housing in this information.  Let’s use that factoid to make the point that if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) was serious about industry growth at this vexing point in time, there are several common-sense steps that they as the industry’s post-production trade association ought to be taking.

So why aren’t they?

The fact that MHI and manufactured homes are routinely missing from reports like this ought to make the Arlington, VA based trade association’s believers pause. After all, recall that MHI – pre-Berkshire Hathaway’s entry into the manufactured housing market – used to promote people like Harvard’s Eric Belksy, who touted that the industry would overtake conventional building.  Conventional housing and manufactured homes were both discussed, not so many years ago.  What happened?

 

ErikBelskyManufacturedHousingMHIWebsiteDailyBusinessNewsmHProNews

This graphic was created 2 months before the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver “Mobile Homes” satirical hit video. The commentary in the green box reflects a concern that Oliver’s video only further underscored.

 

That was MHI back then.  More recently, we learned today that they had to be dragged by a pair of members into doing an event that was utterly obvious.  The report below speaks volumes, and it is a book-end in a sense to this report.  ICYMI, you can access the earlier report by clicking the linked text-image box below.

 

HUD Secretary Carson to Host Innovative Housing Showcase Featuring Affordable Housing Solutions

 

That noted, here’s the data from the trio noted at the top in this evening’s report, which includes insights from the National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).

 

MappedInfographicSalaryNeededBuyHome50USmetroAreasHowMuchManufacturedHomeMHProNews

The bullets that follow are pull-quotes from HSH.

  • “How much salary do you need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, tax and insurance payments on a median-priced home in your metro area?
  • For our calculations, HSH.com uses the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 fourth-quarter data for median-home prices, national mortgage rate data derived from weekly surveys by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and available property tax and homeowners insurance costs to determine the annual salary it takes to afford the base cost of owning a home (principal, interest, property tax and homeowner’s insurance, or PITI) in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.
  • We used standard 28 percent “front-end” debt ratios and a 20 percent down payment subtracted from the NAR’s median-home-price data to arrive at our figures. We’ve incorporated available information on property taxes and homeowner’s insurance costs to more accurately reflect the income needed in a given market.”

Visual Capitalist (VC) noted that “Over the last year, home prices have risen in 49 of the biggest 50 metro areas in the United States. At the same time, mortgage rates have hit seven-year highs, making things more expensive for any prospective home buyer.”

 

As multi-decade industry veterans recall, the type of dynamics that VC cited in prior decades used to cause an increase in manufactured home sales.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

2018 infographic.

 

Once more, when one considers the favorable facts and the problematic performance of MHI, that begs the question, what changed?

 

The Map and Metro Details

The first graphic reflects the formula used described by VC as follows. “With a 20% down payment and a 4.90% mortgage rate, and taking into account what’s needed to pay principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI) on the home, it would mean a prospective buyer would need to have $61,453.51 in salary to afford such a purchase.”

 

MedianHousePriceApril2019ReportManufacturedHomeMHProNews

 

The 10 Cheapest Metro Areas

Per HSH and using the same down payment and other formula factors noted above, here are the lease expensive metropolitan areas to buy a house.

 

TenCheapestHousingMetrosApril2019ReportManufacturedHomeMHProNews

 

The 10 Most Expensive Metro Areas

Using that same formula, here’s the ten most costly areas to buy a home.  These are areas that manufactured housing ought to be soaring, not snoring.

 

TenMostExpensiveHousingMetrosApril2019ReportManufacturedHomeMHProNews

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals and Two Good Laws

Finally, we’ll close tonight’s report with this reminder.

The manufactured home industry already has enviable laws on the books.  The challenge is getting existing laws enforced. Given that this current federal administration has repeatedly said that they are in ‘the law enforcement business,’ why isn’t MHI pushing their vaunted contacts to get existing laws fully enforced?

It should be noted that based upon a growing pile of evidence that MHI may arguably be falling down on the job, that doesn’t mean that individual companies can’t make some of these arguments in their local market, such as enhanced preemption. Duty to Serve?  That’s likely a tougher nut to crack for an independent firm, unless they are a giant.

See the related reports, further below the byline and notices.

That’s tonight’s edition of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

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NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

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

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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

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

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”