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Controversial Association Award Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Challenges

June 27th, 2019 Comments off

ControversialAssociationAwardKMHIKentuckyManufacturedHousingspotlightsManufacturedHomeIndustryChallengesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Riverbend Pointe, A Flagship Community, won the 2019 Community of the Year presented by the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI) at its recent conference at the President’s Annual Awards Banquet in Florence, Indiana,” per the Lane Report on June 25, 2019.

 


Their article is arguably cheerleading at its finest.

CEO Kurt Keeney of Flagship Communities – formerly known as SSK Communities – purchased the community in 2015 during a state of disrepair, said Lane, which added that the older, abandoned homes were removed and replaced with new homes. “They conduct their day-to-day business in a professional and business-like manner and is in accordance with the KMHI’s Code of Ethics. They demonstrate outstanding leadership in the industry on the local, state, and/or national levels,” said Logan Hanes of KMHI.

Entirely missing from the report is the fact that on 6.26.2019, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) still rates SSK Communities as an “F,” presumably their worst or a failing score.

SSKCommunitiesFlagshipCommunitiesBBBBetterBusinessBureauAwardFRatingNathanSmithMHProNews

Is it a KMHI best practice to rename a BBB “F” rated member, hoping it misleads some of the public? The KMHI website shows Nathan Smith as second vice president of their board, seriously?

The KMHI’s website says about the trade group, “The Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI) is the trade association representing the factory-built housing industry in Kentucky. KMHI supports our members with training, continuing education and information — ensuring that the people who design, build, install, sell and finance factory-built homes have access to the best industry practices available.”

 

Best practices?  The troubling mainstream news video below has had more views that most if not all of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s videos combined.

 

 

Did they tell the Lane Report that SSK Communities was featured in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral hit video, errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes” – and they gave SSK now trying to rebrand as ‘Flagship’ an award?

Seriously?

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

 

Is the ‘leadership’ of MHI rubbing off on state association’s too? How loose can their association code of ethics be? How does this ‘award’ make the white hat members of the KMHI look and feel?  For those prospective customers who put two and two together, what will this suggest about the association?  The industry in their state?  

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

The satirical logo is used in part to poke with a lighter touch at a serious topic. As some have framed it, there are white hat companies at MHI, and black hat companies.

 

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Reports like this one are often the result of emailed news tips from concerned industry members and other sources. 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 or Comment in the subject line.  If you want to be ‘off the record,’ just so note in your news tip.

 

That’s this pre-dawn installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

 

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/

 

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Affordable Housing Crisis, Ray of Light for Manufactured Housing? Plus, Manufactured Home Stock Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Kristi Noem Tells Young Woman too Many People are Governed by Feelings

June 10th, 2019 Comments off

 

GovernorKristiNoemTellsYoungWomenTooManyPeopleGovernedByFeelingsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still image from video posted further below.

Starting at about the 37:18 time mark on the video below, Governor Kristi Noem, the first female governor for the state of South Dakota, is where her part of the program begins.

 

Noem addressed the Turning Point USA Young Women’s Leadership Summit (YWLS) 2019 on June 9, 2019.

She didn’t want people to vote for her because of her gender.  She wanted votes because she was “the right person for the job.”

Noem want to tell the YWLS five tips she wished she had at their age. But first, she dived into some personal history.

She had already won statewide office races as South Dakota’s only congressional representative, before running for governor. “Governor’s are CEOs. They are the boss of that state.”

That’s why she was told by several people that she “didn’t have the right body parts” to be governor. Ouch. Meaning, her being a woman was a disadvantage in the view of several for her being a leader in their state.

Her points, which spans gender lines, include that notion that some will think for various reasons that “you are not qualified” for what you want to do.

Also among her topics is why she wanted to get involved in government and politics. It began as a sort of tax rebellion.

Jumping back before her political career, she said that growing up, she had the same types of chores as her brothers did, and she loved it.

As a young girl, Noem wanted to be a farmer and rancher.  She railed over the consequences she faced when after her beloved father died in an accident. She had to leave college to return home to run the family operation at the young age of 22. They had 12,000 acres and hundreds of heads of cattle, ranch and farm hands that didn’t want to listen to a young woman who was now the boss. But the toughest part may have been the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), who wanted to collect a ‘death tax’ on the family property (about time marker 41:17).  That was a turning point for her.

 

 

South Dakota is one of those states that have had surges in manufactured housing.  As with most of the country, manufactured home shipments are down from the last high of 1998.

But the takeaways from this video are less about the industry in general, or what kind of housing was on this family’s property. Instead, the value is in life lessons in facing challenges, ignoring those voices that said ‘you can’t do that,’ and using reason over emotion.

To Noem, there has been for men and women a tendency to allow feelings or emotions to dictate too many decisions. That in her successful vantagepoint has become out-of-balance.

Today we have a lot of people serving in office that are governed by feelings,” the South Dakota governor said, while noting the crucial role feelings play in interpersonal relationships.

Resonating with people’s hearts is incredibly important, but we also can’t be completely motivated feelings,” Noem said. “We need to have thoughts and ideas and belief systems.”

That’s a theme MHProNews has beat the drum about for years. Right reason and correct actions bring  “stability to the type of government that we need to have” as Americans.

This country doesn’t need more speech-givers,” she said. “It doesn’t need more bench sitters or couch potatoes. What we need is problem-solvers.”

This isn’t a pep-rally type of speech.  Instead, it is as thoughtful as the comments noted reflect.

During a time in our industry when arguably hundreds of business owners, and possibly thousands of professionals are being mislead on a wide range of issues – often based upon emotional, vs. reason based responses – it’s a timely message that the Daily Business News on MHProNews felt was relevant for our professional audience.

 

FunctionEducationTeachThinkIntesivelyThinkCriticallyIntelligencelusCharcterTrueGoalEducationRevMartinLutherKingJrMHProNews

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMarthaCNussbaumPhotoQuote

Design by MHProNews.

That fits beautifully with yesterday’s topic, the first one linked below the notices and byline.

News tips and inside comments have been a significant source of our reports.  Videos like this one have come in as a result of a tip.

When you think there isn’t much that you can do to fight a giant, think again.  News tips can be one way to help our industry regain its footing by being a whistleblower against problematic behavior.

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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 or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

 

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

 

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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 or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Stegmayer, George F. Allen, Manufactured Housing Institute Slogans, Slump, Slurs, Solutions

May 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

JoeStegmayerPhotoCavcoIndustriesLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoChairmanGeorgeFAllenPhotoSlogansSlumpSlursSolutionsMHProNews

Photo at left is a still from a YouTube video, posted further below.

The manufactured housing industry is now 7 months into a slump – a downturn. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis?  Is it incompetence?  Or something else?

 

While controversial himself in mainstream media reports for a variety of reasons, prominent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member Frank Rolfe is on record for calling out prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith and the association for “hypocrisy.”

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

Rolfe also accused MHI of failing to promote good news, while failing to defend against bad news.

FrankRolfeMHFundRVHorizonsMobileHomeUniversityDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryResearchReportsDataAnalysisMHProNews595

The phrase ‘the industry’ is often a euphemism for MHI. While the two are obviously distinct, given that MHI is the industry’s umbrella association and larger than its rivals, there are reasons that phrase is used.

 

Despite his own controversies, did Rolfe make valid points in the quotes cited above?

Let’s look.

A recap of Nathan Smith, partner in SSK Communities, and their media and legal woes are linked below. It includes numerous mainstream media video reports, which underscored Rolfe’s first point.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

 

The recent, useful – and largely favorable comments to the manufactured home industry in general – made by HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a speech last week  are of this morning at the date and time shown still not posted on MHI’s website. Why not? It is arguably good news for the industry at large. It was made at MHI’s own event.  Secretary Carson is in charge of the agency that has the primary federal oversight for manufactured housing.

Where is the MHI logic in not having a favorable talk spotlighted on their own website?  Again, this evidence makes a point Rolfe claimed about good news not being shared by MHI.

 

HUDSecBenCarsonMHILogowebsiteManufactuerdHousingInstituteLogo2019-05-14_0617MHProNews

 

This oddity begs questions. For example, is it only Rolfe at MHI who has expressed concerns about MHI? Hardly.

Kenny Lipschutz – whose firm is a MHI/National Communities Council (MHI/NCC) member – said the following in an interview with MHProNews.

 

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Tom Fath is a partner in his family’s manufactured home community business. The sell new and pre-owned manufactured homes.  Their operations are reportedly doing well. Which makes Fath’s comments all the more striking.

 

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

This comment was a response to a critique of MHI and their ‘advertorial’ campaign. Fath was arguing that facts and consumer benefits should be stressed, rather than claims that actually undermined the industry’s credibility.

 

Is Fath alone? No.

Current and former MHI members have privately and publicly called out the trade group for being ineffective, for favoritism, for being an oligarchy, or of de facto working to consolidate the industry.

In 2017, state communities associations broke from MHI, saying the planned to form their own trade organization. They have since done so. Their founder explained their break from MHI as follows.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

So, there are significant examples of MHI members – past and present – plus other industry business leaders – that have in word and deed voiced published concerns about the state of the industry in general, and often named MHI in particular.

 

 

One More Level

MHI’s current and 2 prior executive committee members, have all faced various troubling legal or problematic business practice allegations.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Satirical logo by MHProNews, provided under fair use guidelines.

 

George F. Allen, along with Spencer Roane and Tom Lackey of SECO have had their own mainstream media woes.

 

TylerJettChatanoogaTimesFreePressManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Allen and Roane have ‘taught’ selling contract for title at SECO or elsewhere, a practice that the New York Attorney General’s office and others have taken action against. https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/may/26/industry-members-decline-take-sides-rossville/471775/

 

Allen has been an MHI critic in the past, as these pull quotes from his website remind industry professionals.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

George F.  Allen, has a modest following today, which once used to be a larger following. Once Allen was re-embraced by MHI’s leaders = purportedly to be a surrogate for them to blunt growing industry concerns and criticisms = Allen has muted his prior blasts, and has arguably turned instead at sliming MHI’s critics. 

 

But Allen, who was persona non grata just a few years ago at MHI, has more recently cozied up to and has been re-embraced by the Arlington, VA based association. Joe Stegmayer appeared again at Allen’s annual event in 2018.

 

 

Joe Stegmayer – as MHI’s Chairman – lends to the under-informed a certain credibility to Allen.  Allen in turn has purportedly attacked privately and publicly this publication for holding the industry’s power players to account. But instead of accepting the opportunity to disprove or debate the issues raised, Allen has resorted to slurs and a call to boycott MHProNews.

Allen’s call for a boycott is noteworthy, because it can be an element in antitrust law.  Allen has also used demonstrably flawed claims in a purported effort to slime the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which is trying to address underlying issues, and thereby help the industry return to growth. Attacking a trade group that is honestly and honorably seeking growth during an affordable housing crisis and while the industry is in a slump ought to be common sense.  Thus, Allen’s attacks on MHARR merits its own scrutiny. See that report, via the hot-linked text/image box linked below.  But once more, it also sparks further questions and concerns.

 

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

 

There are evidence-based examples of how MHI leaders have directly and indirectly rewarded Allen and SECO, which he is associated with.

Now MH Village’s co-president, Darren Krolewski – who previously praised MHProNews for taking on the tougher issues – more recently has launched their own trade publication, which is of course their right.

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHVillage’s Krolewski dubbed their new publication MHInsider, the first three letters of which spell MHI. They are in fact a prominent supporter of MHI. They have given Allen and SECO a lift via their own platform. Attempt to find an article in MHInsider that is critical of MHI or Clayton Homes. There are better odds of winning the lottery than finding a critique of any MHI or Berkshire Hathaway MH industry company leader, or of those who are the ‘big boys’ at the Arlington, VA based trade group.

Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Howard Walker arguably had a different view on what should be done about good and bad news than what MHInsider- or the flip-flopping George F.(F?) Allen – has taken. The late Walker, JD and longtime vice chairman and a right hand man to Sam Zell, ELS’ chairman, said this.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story, linked here.

 

While it was before the more recent fact checks, it was after other examples of concerns and issues being raised by MHProNews not found elsewhere in the industry’s trade media. So not unlike the prior comment of praise by Krolewski, Walker said the following for publication.

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

 

MHProNews has previously cited the need for good business ethics, quoting the following as an example.

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMarthaCNussbaumPhotoQuote

Design by MHProNews.

 

This publication has also promoted the notion of getting to the root issues of the industry’s challenges, citing Zig Ziglar as follows.

ProblemSolvingZigZiglarFirstStepRecognizetheProblemExistsNextIsProblemOurResponsiblityProblemSolvingVeryImportantDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When the industry hit the start of its now 7-month slump, what have MHI’s leaders offered? Let’s look at some examples of ‘slogans vs. solutions.’

Last fall, when the corporate leaders of the trade group arguably knew that the downturn was underway, MHI produced a video promoting the association. The stills that follow are from that video and are provided under fair use guidelines for media.

 

MHIMembersChangingPerceptionOfManufacturedHousingMHILogoClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayLogoMHProNews

LeveragingCreationNewClassManufacturedHomesMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The first slogan was a claim of changing the perception of the industry.  If it was for the better, then why aren’t sales growing?

The next MHI claims is one of momentum.  This was clearly not true, unless they meant momentum in reverse?  Instead, what the ‘new class of homes’ project arguably has done is divert lending that ought to be going to all manufactured homes under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 away from all manufactured homes, to only a few ‘select’ homes.  Here’s how MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, phrased it.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

MHI also claimed in their video to be promoting the industry. That may be true in a technical, fig leaf, or posturing sort of sense. But the lack of growth in manufactured housing shipments itself undermines the credibility of the Arlington, VA based trade group’s claim.

Nevertheless, to prove their point, MHI cited statistics that were wildly arguably misleading at best, or demonstrably deceptive at worst.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIVideoStillMHIPromotionalClaims

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?

 

When, MHProNews called out the deception, and offered MHI and their leaders an opportunity to respond, MHI hired an outside attorney who issued a series of letter threatening this publication and specifically mentioned our showing these still video images. Some of the claims that MHI’s outside attorney made are dealt with in a report linked below.

 

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

 

So instead of offering solutions, MHI has offered slogans. Instead of addressing legitimate concerns, they have threatened this publication that their own leaders have previously praised as being pro-industry.  Perhaps more to the point, as the quote below reveals, their leaders ought to know that they have to address bad news, as Rolfe suggested in the quote cited above.  If they know they should, but fail to do so, what does that say about the trade group?  What concerns does that raise?

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

 

Such facts puts MHI in an awkward spot, perhaps because MHProNews has cited investor relations reports by publicly trade MHI member companies that also point out the obvious truth that the industry is underperforming.

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

MHLivingNews, NAMHCO, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform for years, even a former MHI president on his exit message have raised concerns about the failures of MHI.

FormerManufacturedHousingInstitutePresidentChrisStinebertManufacturedHomeOwnersUrbanInstituteYouMHLivingNews

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/former-manufactured-housing-institute-president-manufactured-home-owners-urban-institute-and-you/

 

What has MHI done in a practical way to address the issues? At their recent Congress and Expo, they offered this slogan – “Let’s Keep Building.”

Slogans coupled with an action plan are fine. But where is MHI’s action plan? After all, they claim themselves to represent the interests of all segments of the industry, per the following from their website this morning. The commentary in the blue boxes are by MHProNews.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoOnlyTradeOrganizationrepresentingallsegmentsfactorybuilthousing2019-05-14_0808

 

It should be noted that not all in the industry are sliding.  The article below is but one example of a firm that is bucking the trend.  That clearly implies that others can too.

 

 

Which begs the question, what the devil is going in with MHI’s so-called leadership?  What are the ‘powers that be’ behind MHI actually doing?

 

 

What’s Going On?

The largest corporate force behind MHI are the Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway owned brands. A survey of troubling mainstream media reports about their behavior is linked below.

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

 

Before several of these episodes occurred, became known, or were coming into focus, Clayton, 21st, and MHI supported the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. In hindsight, was the entire bill a ruse? A head fake designed to consolidate the industry into ever fewer hands?

 

That’s what a more detailed report, fact-checks, and analysis linked below examines.

 

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

 

 

There are already several federal investigations reportedly underway with respect to Clayton Homes, and their related lenders.  Former Clayton division president Joe Stegmayer, Cavco Industries are under an SEC subpoena, to name but a few of the publicly known federal investigations.

 

 

But sources tell MHProNews, that other investigations – federal and others – are also underway.

The fact-checks by MHLivingNews of the recent Last Week Tonight with John Oliver revealed that each firm the satirical, sharp hit on “Mobile Homes” made was on a MHI member connected firm.

 

Warren Buffett has been documented to have financially supported via so-called ‘dark money’ channels the organizations that attacked his own brands, and MHI firms.

 

 

It is with that backdrop that publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach takes a deeper dive into what in hindsight was arguably the true goal of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. Tony Kovach raises the questions, have more than just antitrust laws been broken? Are possible fraud and RICO concerns valid?

That ‘deeper dive’ report is linked here.

It is far more pleasant being a cheer leader when one has something honest and honorable to cheer. But to fail to call out real problems is to betray readers who are looking for solutions, not slogans, slurs, slimes, or dodges.

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

While surrogate writers for the powers that be – like Allen – purportedly use diversionary, smear or slime tactics vs. engaging in an actual – robust discussion or debate – MHProNews continues to follow the evidence, follow the money, and does fact checks to uncover what the underlying issues actually point toward.

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

RickRobinsonSrVPGenCounselManufacturedHousingInstituteHUDSecBenCarsonMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Robinson is a good speaker, good writer and likeable person, says MHProNews publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. The questions that they duck and dodge will only continue until they are properly addressed in a transparent way, he opines.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

Therefore, while Joe Stegmayer and George F. (F?) Allen are playing footsie – or MHInsider and the bulk of the others in the manufactured home industry’s trade media other than MHLivingNews or MHProNews ignore the vexing issues – or slime those such as MHARR for raising logical concerns and for offering solutions – our pro-growth platforms will continue to promote the good news about manufactured housing, while holding to account those who are behaving in problematic ways.

That’s today’s third look at “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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:

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

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

 

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

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

May 4th, 2019 Comments off

 

GeorgeFAllenCowardlyLionUnityCallMHIlogoMHARRlogoNAMHCOLogoManufacturedHousingMHProNews

What’s the largest national trade association in manufactured housing? As longtime former-member George F. Allen should know, it is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. They have for years claimed that “MHI is the only national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry.” – as prior, repeated MHI critic Allen should know.

 

But what is Allen’s stance about MHI or other industry trade groups now?

When it comes to which trade association should carry the burden of responsibility for the currently troubled state of the manufactured home industry, which trade group should that be?

Based on MHI’s own claim, it should be obvious. Based on periodic attacks on MHI from Allen for years, it ought to be clear to him too.  As the large, umbrella trade group, it is logically MHI.

Thus, for George Allen to point his barbs at anyone other than the source of the problems, begs the question.  What is Allen’s motivation?

Before diving into the details, let’s note as an executive summary that Allen has recently:

  • directed attention away from the obviously responsible source, i.e.: MHI and their masters.
  • Why is Allen merely posturing or talking about stuff like John Oliver’s harmful impact on MHVille via the problematic “Mobile Homes” video?
  • What is Allen doing to correct sliding industry trends, besides holding meetings, shilling for others, or selling literature that lines his own pockets?
  • Why would Allen try to undermine someone and their organization that is laying the foundation for DOING something positive, that aims to return the industry to growth?
  • Why has Allen attacked a pro-industry party that is not paid for their effort to try to help independent communities, retailers, and others to grow the industry, instead of shrinking the industry. Shouldn’t that spark concern from Allen’s still significant, but nevertheless dwindling fan-base among independently owned communities?

That’s what this report, fact-check, and analysis will unpack. As part of this executive summary, let’s note there will be new quotes for thousands of readers from:

  • Kevin Clayton
  • Joe Stegmayer

Plus an in-context review of others from industry leaders that include:

  • Nathan Smith, SSK Communities
  • Tim Williams/21st

These are among those that will be quoted and cited from this report.  Several new quotes, plus a review of past ones that are relevant, will be included in this exclusive in-depth professional’s-focused dive into the murky world of manufactured housing.

While Allen’s role is arguably that of a pawn, it is nevertheless useful in understanding the broader landscape of how the game is played in manufactured housing today.

We’ll begin this fact-check and analysis of Allen’s recent barbs with some background that may be new to some, but useful to all.  Then, we will proceed to spotlight fresh insights into the drop in manufactured housing shipments, and other efforts that seemingly aim to consolidating more of the industry into ever fewer hands.

 

George F. Allen Ought to Know…

This and other third party images are provided under fair use guidelines for media. It should be noted that AFA, the source of this photo, is arguably another MHI surrogate.

Given that Allen once understood that it was MHI’s bailiwick to focus on retail, community, and other post-production issues, who is it that Allen took aim at in a new critique on his “Community-Investor” “EducateMHC” page? Logically, it should have been MHI. But no, please don’t expect such logic from the retired Colonel Allen.

Let’s help Allen discern – but more important, give evidence-based and logical guidance to any of his readers – that the Indianapolis-based retiree has sadly apparently misinformed his readers about or any other industry professionals who trip across him.

Let’s likewise see what Allen, his buddies, and masters reveal in what follows, in their own words.

 

 

What MHI Leaders Have Previously Admitted

MHProNews begins by taking a step back from Allen and looking at what MHI’s own leaders have publicly admitted, often on camera.

Nathan Smith, MHI’s prior chairman and SSK Communities partner admits that the industry – i.e., MHI – had often ‘failed to be proactive.’ Smith also said that he wants all the (independent) communities for himself, with a great laugh. Is that funny to any independent community owners who were underpaid for the true intrinsic value of their properties?

 

 

Given Smith’s own comments and the public reputation of his firm, does Allen take aim at the SSK partner’s operation and its impact on the industry’s image?

Not that we’ve seen lately. Yet the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rated SSK Communities an ‘F’ – and SSK was part of video clip shown by John Oliver video “Mobile Homes.”  Allen postured in an email to his followers that he is concerned about this issue. ICYMI, re: former MHI chairman Nathan Smith led SKK Communities “F” rating, the screen capture was taken previously, but it was double checked on 5.3.2019 and remains the same as of 10:05 EM ET.

 

JohnOliverHBOLastWeekTonightMobileHomesSSKCommunitiesNathanSmithClassActionLawSuitMobileManufacturedHomeMHProNews

 

Smith and SSK Communities gets a silent pass from Allen on his blog since March 3, 2013, when under the headline, “Circling the Drain,” Allen talked about the tepid turnout for an MHI meeting, lamented Don Glisson, Jr.’s surprise departure at that time as MHI chairman, and flatly noted Nathan Smith at SSK was the new chairman.  But where was – or is – the public accountability-check by Allen of Smith? Per sources in the Allen camp, he does comment about Smith and SSK in dark terms, but only to what ‘George’ refers to as his ‘intimates.’

Ouch, that’s not a pretty picture, by let’s move on from that George F (F?) Allen terminology. We’ll note in passing this mainstream media account of one of several such reports about Smith led-SSK.  Note that this video was during Smith’s tenure as MHI chairman.  What image of the Arlington, VA based trade group does this mainstream news video present? Where was Allen’s courage on this issue? Hmmm?

 

 

Tim Williams – another former MHI chairman, and still president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation – admitted at an MHI session that ‘the horse has left the barn’ on MHI’s miss of the SAFE Act. Longer-time industry pros recall that the SAFE Act was later rolled into Dodd-Frank. None of those problematic steps were stopped by MHI, nor their ultimate power source in Omaha, NE.

How often must the industry allow MHI watch the ‘horse to leave the barn,’ or to have the scores of industry firms and efforts fail, before more bloggers and publishers join in and hold those responsible, accountable?

MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison admitted on stage and on camera the failures by MHI ‘at times’ too, while giving praise for his good, dear friend L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and MHProNews, which he called a “great publication.”

 

 

Where is Allen’s equivalent to these on-point facts and quoted comments? To use military phrasing Allen should know, it was entirely MIA. Missing in action.

Given that Allen was at some of those same meetings, he has or should have seen those same videos, heard the same comments, and witnessed many of those points that MHProNews has.  So who does Allen go after on April 30th, 2019? MHI? Nathan Smith? Berkshire Hathaway brands, including the one led by Tim Williams?

No.

Instead, Allen takes aim at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

  • Yet MHARR had no role at all in the Oliver video.
  • Nor is MHARR responsible for post-production issues, that’s supposed to be part of MHI’s claim to fame.

 

MHARR has stated clearly for years about their role: MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.” That’s also near the end of the same column from MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, that Allen oddly took issue with. Allen knows it, but ignores that point.  It is but one of many examples of purported intellectual dishonesty – or gross negligence – by Allen, if he claims to be a seriously dispassionate reporter of facts.

Rephrased, MHARR isn’t the post-production or umbrella association.  Rather, that is MHI – by MHI’s own claims.

So who is responsible for what Allen called in his recent post the “HUD-Code manufactured housing industry for its’ perennial lethargy, and leaderlessness…” – logically, it is MHI, not MHARR.

One could stop there, because what follows are details.  But those details reveal much about Allen and his purported string-pullers.  That in turn matters to hundreds of independent manufactured home communities who still follow him, and thousands of others who may not even know Allen is in the industry too.

Allen has gone from an MHI outsider, to more recently being embraced by the very people who previously rejected him.  That makes the intellectually curious ask, why?  What changed? Who gets what? Who benefits?

 

MHI’s Leaders, and What Allen’s Missing and/or Hiding?

Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison ‘led’ MHI, or former chairmen Tim Williams and Nathan Smith have at times themselves admitted that MHI has failed. So, what’s up with Allen’s arguably flawed premise and thinking in going after MHARR on his blog?  Where was his logic?

Let’s be clear.  Allen has the 1st Amendment right to go after whomever he will, within legal and moral norms.  If he wants to dispute MHARR’s reasoning, or MHProNews, or anyone else – and does so honorably, have at it.  Let’s also note the obvious.  MHARR is a banner advertiser here. That’s obvious.  But what is not obvious to some is what Allen is getting from MHI and what MHI award-winner Marty Lavin has called ‘big boy’ companies. This fisking of Allen’s fisk is our idea, no one else’s. That said, let’s press on.

 

FiskFiskingDefinitionManufacturedHssuingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

So there are several obvious inquiries that a keen mind should ponder. Why is Allen diverting attention from the obviously more responsible party(ies), while focusing on the trade association that is trying to fix what is going wrong in MHVille?

  • What is driving Allen’s attack on MHARR?
  • Are his barbs accurate or not?
  • Let’s examine those topics.  Because they are relevant to virtually all in the industry.

Some of Allen’s comments and logic will be reviewed further below, but first, this necessary and useful segue.  As retail and community shipments have been dropping for months, Allen has demonstrably diverted attention away from the evidence that follows.  BTW, and ICYMI, one of our recent reports on dropping sales in #1 Texas, or other regional states linked here, can be accessed later from the text-image box below. We’ll do a report early next week on the full national data on the troubling decline in new manufactured home shipment and production trends.

 

Warning – Number 1 Manufactured Housing State, Texas – Reports Month Over Month Rise, Year over Year Shipment Decline Continues

 

“That G-d D-mned George Allen”

Among the tips from Allen’s circle to MHProNews came one yesterday while this article was being prepared for publication.  Several comments were made by that source from Allen’s circle.  That source has reportedly made nice with Allen, but he literally cursed Allen for what he is doing to communities.  Per that longtime Allen-follower and prior fan, the blogger and now former community owner Allen is giving “MHI cover” – while “slurring MHARR.”

In order to double-check various claims made by that source, prior tips and research had to be reviewed by MHProNews.  That caused a delay from yesterday to today for publishing this report, while additional research was conducted.  It has led to several valuable, compelling insights.

 

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

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.

 

Among the prior tips on Allen from other members of his circle were claims that he derailed an attempt to organize certain midwestern manufactured home community owners and independents from forming a new trade group.  The plan was to form a new post-production association that would do what MHI claims to do.

Why would Allen – who claims to care about the interests of independent communities – sideline efforts to help independently owned community operators?  Who benefits from that derailment?

Last year, MHProNews ran an article at the link below.

 

Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, George Allen-COBA7, Collusion, Coverup, and Allegations of Selling Out

Our publisher – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – at that time provided Allen and his ally, Spencer Roane, with an opportunity to respond.  That’s a norm for this trade platform, unlike Allen’s arguably one-sided blog.  Here on MHProNews a chance to reply in public exists. This screen capture documents the quote text that follows.

 

EmailGeorgeFAllenSpencerRoane2019-05-04_0334Sept52018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

What follows is the text of that message.  For new readers here, note that MHProNews often uses bold and brown text to highlight a direct quote, which is the case herein below. Typos are in the original.  The quote at the left in blue, from an MHI member and periodic source, is a wink and a nod to that member’s point.

George and Spencer,

First, unlike some others n MHVille, we offer the opportunity to respond. In this case, it’s to the first yellow highlighted article, linked further below, which mentions you, Spencer, MHI and JoeS. You can clarify, confirm, or whatever you deem fitting on that topic. Joe isn’t among the BCCs, but a few of your followers, no one from MHARR, and five MHI members are.

The NDA questions. We have sources that tell us that MHI has made a “liberal” (common) use of NDAs. Please type your replies beneath each question. They can be as short or long as you wish. Supporting documentation is welcome and encouraged.


1) Have you at any time been asked to sign an NDA with MHI? 

 

2) Have you at any time been asked to sign an NDA with MHI members in the past 4 years? 

 

3) How do you explain or justify your apparent in writing flip-flops on what Marty Lavin has called “the Big Boys” – the powers that be behind MHI?

 

4) By working for those MHI/big boys each of you two with various apparent rewards, cross promotions, and compensation, haven’t you in fact sold out the independents who make up the bulk of your followers?

 

Your normal prompt reply is valued.  Thank you.  Reminder, see the first yellow highlighted article, linked further below.

 

Tony

 

As a disclosure, this writer has access to our publisher’s email, and he does this writer’s email too.

There was no response from this message by Kovach to Allen, although Allen is known to engage in several back-and-forth message exchanges with our publisher.  While it is not proof that Allen has sold out to MHI, his lack of reply is interesting.  It certainly opens the door to reasonably wonder, is Allen acting as a compensated surrogate for MHI and/or some larger firms that are MHI members?

A separate message was also sent by Tony Kovach to MHI’s outside attorney as well as MHI’s senior leadership. See the screen capture below.  It pointedly asked if George F. Allen was working on MHI’s behalf as a surrogate.

 

EmailJohnGreinerGraydonLawMHIElectedAppointedLeadershipJan2019KevinClaytonJoeStegmayerTimWilliamsNathanSmith

 

No denials or confirmations came from those leaders, but several other interesting replies came back from those in the BCCs, which included Allen followers.

That message included the following, as part of a longer message thread. As is common on MHProNews, we’ve turned the quoted text brown and bold, to highlight it for publication.

 

-ITS_followerPersonDoctrineMovementIdeaWikiDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen-ite.

But otherwise this section of that message is quoted as sent to George Allen, with senior MHI leaders openly copied, and several state association executives, plus Allen-ites among those BCC’d.  The typos are in the original.

Do you not understand how you praised MHI, after you had publicly blasted or questioned them? Then you kissed up when you CC’d Joe Stegmayer? Then flip-flopped again, from your own blog?  See link above to refresh your memory. As a reminder, see the mainstream story below, to refresh your thinking and recall more.

https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/may/26/industry-members-decline-take-sides-rossville/471775/

People are busy, but hindsight brings amazing clarity at times.

Frank Rolfe got MHAction-ed. MHI got their treatment too. In hindsight, perhaps it was a mistake that we tipped off MHI that protests were coming. MHAction was coy, because they just switched locations, and dates, but they still did protest – didn’t they?

How do you think NMHOA, or MHAction would view your, Spencer Roxane’s, or SECO’s view of defending Tom Lackey, after all those media reports?”

At that time of that emailed comment, it was already known that MHAction was getting funding from the Tides Foundation, which in turn was funded by the NoVo Foundation, who’s main donor was Warren Buffett.  The article linked below was published on 2018/10/19.

 

 

As a relevant side note, a Rolfe confident told MHProNews that he believes that some of the MHAction rank-and-file protest members are mentally unbalanced. Rolfe would not formally confirm or deny that he was fearful during some encounters with MHAction members. That said, Rolfe has previously stated that he’s not easily scared. Those are legally significant matters, as MHI’s attorney’s and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis ‘big boys’ likely understand.

While specific levels of coordination between some of those MHAction types and the axis are not entirely clear. But what is clear is that Buffett’s money can be traced to both sides of several issues that impact manufactured housing.  At a minimum that raises concerns and the possibility of collusion, which could involve antitrust, RICO, or possibly other federal laws.

In a message thread from George Allen’s email to several HUD Code manufactured home producers dated January 17, 2019 at 7:49 AM, was sent to Allen’s email list.

Cc: gfa7156 <gfa7156@aol.com>
Sent: Thu, Jan 17, 2019 7:49 am

Bob Bender at Commodore Homes sent this reply to an email from Allen that asked this question:

Reason(s) for Slippage in Volume of New HUD-Code Homes being shipped this past Fall?” Let’s note, as a ‘wheat and chaff’ point that the question by Allen is a valid one, especially now, when the industry is into its 7 month of declining new home shipments, a matter of concern to most independents  and investors. Here’s what Commodore’s Bender said in reply.

Bob Bender, Commodore Homes.

George – we have not seen any retraction in our HUD business. I haven’t seen any inventory changes and the overall retail space looks solid.

Certainly there could be some FEMA differences comparing industry year-to-year volume which I know you follow. 

Bob Bender

Sent from Phone

 

Note that Joe Stegmayer, then and now MHI’s chairman, replied to this inquiry by Allen too.

It will be recalled that this occurred weeks after Stegmayer stepped down from his role as president, CEO and chairman at Cavco Industries, following the SEC subpoena.  The most recent update on that Cavco drama, is linked here.  Given that, doesn’t Stegmayer’s tone sound as if he still carried a lot of weight at Cavco?  And doesn’t Stegmayer sound chummy with Allen – for whom MHI’s chairman addressed Allen’s ‘roundtable’ meeting – which gives Allen financial compensation?  Hold those thoughts, because it is relevant for Allen’s purported role as a compensated/rewarded MHI surrogate.

Here was the ‘meat’ of Stegmayer’s reply to Allen, which was CC’d to others, some of whom provided this as a news tip to MHProNews. The typos are in the original.

 

Joe_Stegmayer_Cavco_credit_MHProNews

Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, former Cavco Chairman, president and CEO.

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.”

 

The “we” from Stegmayer clearly implies Cavco.  But notice that Stegmayer, a former Clayton Homes division president, referenced a reply from Kevin Clayton.  The meat of that statement by Clayton, which was also forwarded to MHProNews as a tip, read as follows.

Kevin Clayton told Allen the following, in a message sent:  Wed, Jan 16, 2019 8:19 am. The typo by Kevin is in the original.

 

sitting-with-si-robertson-duck-dynasty-kevin-clayton-homes-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-

Hindsight can be 20/20. Why wasn’t the Clayton TV and video campaign with Duck Dynasty more successful? Kevin Clayton at right.

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

 

In fairness and to be objective, there are non-MHI sources that have said similarly as Clayton did above.  Namely, that retailers over-ordered during periods of long factory backlogs last year.

But doesn’t that dodge several questions? Why isn’t retail as hot now as it was a year ago? FEMA can only account for a small part of that lighter level of factory orders. During an affordable housing crisis, why aren’t sales surging with or without FEMA orders? Consider again Cavco’s Stegmayer’s statement, which makes an apt point.

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

Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”

 

As another segue, that from Stegmayer ought to be a key for the manufactured home industry, its investors, and public/private/media investigators.  If you read what he said carefully, note that logically Stegmayer was on both sides of the fence?  But given the affordable housing crisis, and how high the demand is for conventional/existing housing, he is debatably correct in making a point MHProNews has made for years.  I.e.: why aren’t HUD Code manufactured home sales soaring?

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

But Allen did not follow that logic, at least not with his audience.

That once more begs several questions.  Wasn’t Allen persona non grata at MHI, just a few years ago?  Was Allen brought back into the ‘MHInsider circle’ – to borrow Darren Krolewski’s publication phrase – to act as a periodic attack dog?  A compensated and rewarded surrogate for MHI and the ‘big boys?’

Doesn’t that then imply that Allen is selling out his core followers, who are the independents ‘mom and pop’ and somewhat larger community owners? Indeed, people like Nathan Smith, Paul Bradley with ROC USA, and others find Allen and his meetings useful as funnels for acquisitions.

Here’s another one of Allen’s reader’s comments, which was likewise forwarded to MHProNews. It was sent in connection with the Bender-Stegmayer-Clayton quotes just noted.  Note these comments from Allen’s reader’s list reportedly includes attorneys and some more sophisticated individuals, even if they don’t trust him. The typo is in the original, and this is part of a longer message.  The ‘they’ in the message below means the industry’s ‘powers that be,’ including Clayton and Cavco. The meat of that news tip sent to MHProNews read as follows:

 

Allen is too busy posturing to understand it. 

It all begs the key questions:

Why are sales low during an affordable housing crisis?

If retail traffic is good, why are sales low? 

The RV industry is an excuse I heard weeks ago, ditto automotive. The reasons? Because there isn’t an affordable RV Crisis. 

They’ve spent dollars promoting, which imho are head fakes. But objectively, There are three broad options.

1) They really don’t know how to convince and connect with the shoppers/buyers.

2) They do know, but aren’t using the best methods. 

3) Some combo of the above. 

Do you see an alternative to those three?

Recall the video. Clayton said Buffet ok with them losing money for 5 years, if the moat grows.

Head fakes are enough to soothe the GFAs, who are peddling snake oil anyway.”

 

Notice that the writer put GFA (George F Allen) in the plural.  Meaning, not only Allen, but other surrogate publishers for MHI, which arguably includes the MHVillage sister publication, the lightly read MHInsider, plus others.

Allen – along with his sidekick and ally, Spencer Roane – were given opportunities to comment on several such in January, and more recently.

In a message last week to MHProNews, Allen-ite Roane uncharacteristically distanced himself from Allen, while both dissing and praising Tony Kovach.  Allen dodged these questions, but Roane’s message to MHProNews included the following. The hot link below to the Jacksonville newspaper is edited in, so that readers who have not yet read that Jacksonville reference can get the full meaning of Roane’s comments.

 

SpencerRoanePentagonPropertiesCreditsPostedDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNews“…The Jacksonville newspaper post is about the need for affordable housing.  Hard to argue w/ that.  The only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.  So what?  Other than sharing the interest of many in the industry about overly aggressive community owners/managers, none of this has anything to do w/ me.

Regards, Spencer Roane

 

Unpacking Allen, Roane, Kevin Clayton, and Joe Stegmayer Comments

We’ll begin by noting anew that de facto, Roane both praised and dissed Tony Kovach in the same message, quoted above.  Roane is no public fan of Tony’s. But Roane made several interesting points. Among them are concerns about “overly aggressive community owners/managers” and the links between “MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.” Indeed, MHProNews has heard from such concerns from the community sector’s ‘white hats’ too.

But what Roane didn’t mention was the MHAction activist tie-in to Buffett’s dark money channel funding.

That revelation from the final quarter of last year began to cast a new light on several developments in manufactured housing in recent years. ‘Buffett bucks’ are apparently funding both pro-and-con forces on various issues that face manufactured housing independents.  To the degree that MHI is aware of this, that could place them in a severe conflict-of-interest and other legal problems. Given that their outside attorney has told MHProNews that they monitor what we publish, it could lead to serious issues for MHI, and possibly member companies. ICYMI, see the linked text-image box below.

 

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

 

The emailed analysis from an Allen-reader (not a devotee, but one who is in his circle) – references the video interview with Kevin Clayton, posted on the link here.

 

To Understand MHVille Today, One Must Understand the Kevin Clayton Video Interview

KevinClaytonVideoInterviewHowDidWarrenLearnTheseMoatBuildingstrategiesMHIBehavioralExperts

While the above is satirical, it does reflect what Clayton purportedly communicated, see the nearly one hour long video at this link here.

Any investor, investigator or longer-term industry professional who has not carefully digested that video interview with Kevin Clayton and related analysis linked from this column, just can’t possibly grasp manufactured housing’s actual dynamics.

For example, Clayton mentions in that video their use of nonprofits – here think MHI, MHAction, Prosperity Now, Center for Public Integrity (CPI), and others – as part of his discussion of the broader Buffett/Berkshire Moat and related business philosophy and practices.

With the revelations that MHAction, the Urban Institute, CPI or others were given Buffett-Berkshire bucks, it sheds a new clarity on how the game is played, and how the system is arguably rigged.

Rephrased, it can’t be stressed enough that manufactured housing professionals have arguably been duped numerous times by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Consider as an obvious and public example this point. Buffett supported former president Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton, who pledged no changes to Dodd-Frank. Meanwhile MHI under Nathan Smith and Tim Williams’ leadership was promoting a bill – the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – for years. Yet that bill never had a chance of passage with an Obama or Clinton in office.

 

Arguably, that kind of tangled web is what Allen has been on both sides of: at times in the past, opposing MHI and the manipulations of what he used to call the Big Three C’s, or the ‘aggressive’ community operators.

Note that none of the pawns – including Allen – in this Omaha-Knoxville ploy have to be aware of the role of the other.  Only a few puppet masters need to know.

That said, let’s swerve back to an example of GF Allen’s 180.

OligarchyDefinedGeorgeFAllenGFACommunityInvestorBlogCOBA7DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Another example of Allen’s flip-flop on MHI and their big boy backers is below. But more recently – with apparent benefits from MHI leaders that he has not denied – Allen has ‘sold out’ to those very same interests.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

George Allen, has a modest following today, which once used to be a large following. As a former client of his told MHProNews, with George “It’s AAA, All About Allen.” 

 

He Can’t Have it Both Ways!

This analysis logically implies that Allen is selling out his followers.  Allen has not disputed it. When given a documented chance for him to publicly respond, he said nothing.  Roane, distanced himself from it.

It also can’t be stressed enough that vacant home sites harms the value of an independently owned community. Lower sales volumes of new homes harms the value of essentially most every business in the industry.

Buffett can afford that, and so can a few big boys.  As the industry consolidates, they are acquiring businesses at a discounted value, part of the Buffett ‘value investing’ mantra.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

But that spotlight casts a different perspective on Buffett and value investing. Because if he is manipulating the market in order to achieve that reduced value, that could be illegal and/or actionable.  Those actions, per attorneys and legal sources MHProNews has spoken to, could lead to liability from potential suits from potentially millions of manufactured home (MH) owners arguably harmed, as well as businesses who are not earning money they could or should absent such market manipulations.

In fact, a pair of antitrust experts told MHProNews that to them the sexier case to pursue in court would be that of resident/MH homeowners.

Such ploys may also lead to legal woes for MHI, and ‘insider’ members too.

It’s a tangled web.  There are many moving parts.  Allen and others like him are just purported pawns on a board.  They or Allen could be dispensed with or replaced at will.

There is also no need for Allen to grasp how he is being used.  So long as Allen plays his part, he’s useful to the axis and what Marty Lavin has termed ‘the big boys.’

It is in that context that Allen’s attack on MHARR begins to make sense.  Allen has in the past thanked Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO for what Allen learned about the industry from him. Is this how Allen repays favors?

 

Cowardly Lion Claims to Fisk MHARR, But Now Won’t Criticize MHI?

What Allen wrote to oppose Weiss and MAHRR is so convoluted, that we will only look at his first so-called point to show how false much of his narrative is. Here’s a direct quote from Allen’s blog, that claims to analyze Weiss comments, linked here.

LATonyKovachDonWestphalKenRishelGeorgeAllenDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLATonyKovachDonWestphalKenRishelGeorgeAllenDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Left to right, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Don Westphal, Ken Rishel, and George Allen. Louisville 2011. Kovach has since made repeated amends, per SPJ guidance, see this link here. Will Allen do the same?

Here Mark introduces MHARR’s Board of Directors as leaders to ‘take the bull by the horns’ in the interest of improved industry representation – and national advocacy. Yet, not a single individual is named! Why? Ask MHARR; but they simply don’t make their membership rolls public, whereas MHI does. Point? Don’t know ‘bout you, but as a post-production sector businessman, there’s a far better chance of me following the leader I know than the one I don’t! How ‘bout you? This, in my opinion, is major flaw # 1 of this argument.”

 

There are several issues of factual errors by Allen, but let’s oversimply to show how misleading or mistaken Allen is.  First, Weiss is named, and he is MHARR’s senior staff leader. Second, no article – nor any book – has everything in it. Third, MHARR’s current chairman is named on the MHARR website, at this link here. It is John Bostick, of Sunshine Homes.  So Allen is factually and logically — wrong, wrong, wrong.

Our publisher has repeatedly invited Allen, Roane, or MHI connected leaders to debate or discuss such issues in public, in front of an audience of manufactured home professionals, with a moderator and video recorded so that all not in attendance can watch it later.  Allen, Roane, and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have always passed on that opportunity. Why?

Tony Kovach has said in a semi-private message to Allen that he’s a coward. Thus, the cowardly lion image at the top of this post.

Like a sniper, Allen takes shots, perhaps thinking the noise of his shooting will make his readers think him brave? But what good are shots that miss often unnamed targets? What good are shots at the wrong target?

The reality is quite different from what Allen has portrayed.

There is good evidence that Allen has sold out to MHI and their puppet masters.  Allen may be under one or more NDAs.  But most important to his independently owned community readers, Allen is ignoring the harm done to them, while he is now praising the very people and organization – MHI – he used to criticize.

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertOur publisher referred to Allen for a quote to close on this analysis as follows.  “Sad and pathetic. Let George Allen man up, and face me on stage, in public, on camera in front of a live audience of industry pros, that includes his community followers.  Or let George wear the arguably apt moniker, ‘cowardly lion’ from this point forward.” – Tony Kovach.

How can Allen call for unity, when NAMHCO and MHARR exist precisely because they don’t trust MHI?

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Once the rules of engagement and methods used are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Allen’s repeatedly flawed analysis of Weiss’ column on MHARR’s website draws to a close like this: “So, the challenge to ‘LEAD, FOLLOW…OR GET OUT OF THE WAY’ will, once again, fall as they say, on deaf ears!

That is, unless action is taken at the MHCongress, calling for unified action by MHI, MHARR, & now, NAMHCO, during former’s fly-in meeting in Washington, DC. on 10 June 2019!” What? Allen won’t even acknowledge that he’s going to those events, but he’s shilling for MHI for others to go to their fundraising events?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Or as honest Abe Lincoln observed:

 

you-can-fool-all-the-people-some-of-the-time-and-some-of-the-people-all-the-time-but-you-cannot-abraham-lincoln-quoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

You can read Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way from the link below the byline and notices.  You can read a more detailed analysis of Allen at this link here.

That’s this Saturday’s in depth edition of “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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Related Reports:

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

 

MHCC Addresses Multiple Issues, HUD Secretary Carson Praises Manufactured Homes at Meeting

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

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

Manipulating Manufactured Housing Pros – Caterwauling Mudslinger, Just Write a Check, Pay Cash, Use Plastic, and Shut You Up

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

 

ProsperityNowNonprofitsSustainJohnOliversMobileHomesVideoInTheirReportsManufacturedHomeProNews

For those among the manufactured housing industry’s professionals, state association, or investment categories who stated a hope that the John Oliver video would blow over soon, guess again.

 

They’re [pro-MHI state execs] all drinking each other’s bath water with no objectivity left, whatsoever,” said a recent news tip to MHProNews included several messages from other association executives to make that source’s point.  That tipster was one of several that raised concerns about fellow state execs who are in their view engaged in wishful thinking, or worse.

Really? Was that quoted statement an accurate claim? Let’s look.

It will be recalled that MHProNews exclusively reported that Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) Executive Director Amy Bliss said to other state executives: “I am very disappointed in two entities that are supposed to be in favor of manufactured housing.  ROC USA and North Country Cooperative both added this John Oliver junk to their facebook page and ROC USA also tweeted it out as if they were sharing good news. This is such an insult to the people that have chosen manufactured housing to live in.  If there were not investor owned communities, they would have no communities to “convert” to resident owned.  Such a shame.”

In so saying, Bliss was undercutting a member of her own association, and that of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) too.  Was she alone? Hardly.

Jay Hamilton, from the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA), chimed in with: “I agree with the ones who commented [in that MHEC executives message thread] about opening up a can of worms [i.e.: if a public reply is made to the John Oliver video]. You would be fanning the fire at this point. MHI responding in advance was the best play you could make and its made. My concern is what we can do as an industry to encourage Frank Rolfe to avoid engaging with reporters.”

MHEC is the acronym for the Manufactured Housing Executives Council, which has historically been open to national and state association leaders.  That means that MHI and MHARR can monitor those communications. Given the size and power disparity between MHI and MHARR, it should go without saying that if someone will kiss someone’s behind in a semi-public forum that is monitored, it is the larger trade group that they tend to bow towards, kneel to, or kiss the proverbial ring.  

 

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

MHI, MHARR, MHEC logos, are each the property of their respective association, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.

 

That comment from Hamilton at GMHA reflects the point that other executives similarly made about that same John Oliver  “Mobiles Homes” video thread comments.  But this last example, in fairness, is a bit different.

For balance and accuracy, tips to MHProNews revealed that there was one state level executive that openly took a more nuanced view. “No surprise, other [media] outlets have picked up Oliver’s story. This is what my wife just sent me from “The Hustle”” said Logan Hanes, who is the Director of Education and Industry Advancement at the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI).

For balance and accuracy, tips to MHProNews revealed that there was one state level executive that openly took a more nuanced view. “No surprise, other [media] outlets have picked up Oliver’s story. This is what my wife just sent me from “The Hustle” said Logan Hanes, who is the Director of Education and Industry Advancement at the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute (KMHI).  The Hustle was one of several publications that commented on the John Oliver video, in a typically dark view of various aspects of manufactured housing corporate behavior. That article that Logan forwarded used the feature image below.  It ripped Warren Buffett, Frank Rolfe, Clayton Homes by name. The Hustle ended with the following subheading and three short paragraphs. As we commonly do here on MHProNews, we’ll turn the text placed in quotes in bold and brown to make it pop, but the words are otherwise those of writer Wes Schlagenhauf in the Hustle.

 

TheHustleMObileHomeInvestingHotWarreNBuffettHomeownersGetBurnedMHProNews

Shill-ionaire of the people

Clayton stayed profitable through the financial crisis. In 2015, Clayton grabbed a record $700m in earnings, while foreclosing on over 8k homes.

Buffett has long been viewed as a corporate hero. The more he complains about his secretary having to pay higher income tax than he does, the more people view Big B as some rich do-gooder.

But Clayton homes’ manipulative business model, which Buffett immediately saw dollar signs in, contradicts many of the ideas of fairness for which Buffett is known.”

Thus, the comment by KMHI’s Logan was arguably responsible in the sense that it stated reality, without undercutting others not able to respond for themselves, absent the news tips.

Notice: Those being quoted herein, or others who want to defend them, are hereby invited, if they so wish, to submit an on-the-record the statements in response to this report.  Clearly, our quoting these sources is not intended to endorse their comments, but nor is it intended to undermine what good work they may also do or have done. One must separated the ‘wheat and chaff’ from all people, organizations, and things. That said, MHProNews’ editorially can not discern positive value to the industry in many of the comments exchanged by executives in that John Oliver-related MHEC thread.

But there is more to know…see further below.

 

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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.

 

Who Among the State Executives Were Right On the Oliver Issue?

A short history lesson is timely.  Think back to the Seattle Times report.  First one, then another, in 2018 there was yet another installment on that same theme.  Look at what this Google search this evening revealed.

SeattleTimesCenterforPublicIntegrityClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeMHProNews4292019

 

Tim Williams from 21st Mortgage Corp, ironically, made the right point, in an on-the-record statement made previously to MHProNews.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

MHI failed to make a public response to that PBS segment. To date, MHProNews is unaware of an public response by MHI to the John Oliver video either. How will it be different? Despite the MHI whispered shares to state executives or others, does MHI want bad news to linger?  Consider Frank Rolfe’s word’s anew.

 

There are those in various segments of manufactured housing or the affordable housing advocacy world’s who find this Oliver satirical hit video against some of the industry’s giants a useful narrative useful for their purposes.  Agree or disagree, its their right, of course.

That means sober and realistic souls in manufactured housing must be able to respond in timely and effective ways. Verbally tossing ROC USA or Frank Rolfe under the bus accomplishes little in practical terms.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews have already provided several public responses.  While some have moaned and groaned about Oliver’s video, what are those moaners – save the sources of the shared tips – actually doing about it?

Those tips quoted above to MHProNews exposed something that association members at the state and national levels needed to see.

 

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAllianceExecutiveDirectorAboutROCUSANorthCountryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews could provide screen captures of the other emails, but this demonstrates that Bliss and the others sent what was quoted above in that message exchange with MHEC.

 

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

Those association executives may take your dues, and while arguably undermining a person’s or firm’s reputation or interests. If they will do it to ROC USA or Rolfe, what is to keep them from doing that to you or your firm?

Furthermore, given the lessons learned from the report “How Gold Rules” what can the MHEC executives do – if they want to keep their jobs – other than give news tips to us?

It is increasingly clear that there are conflicts of interest involved in trying to point out who benefits and who is harmed by the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” video narrative? ICYMI, or need a refresher, the linked text-image box reveals prior tips from state association executives who are tired of how the MHEC system is manipulated, and how it arguably harms the interests of industry independents.

 

 

That said, Prosperity Now this sent out a statement about their most recent promotion of their use of John Oliver’s video narrative. Keep in mind that Prosperity Now has been getting funding from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for some years, among others.

Here’s the key part from the Prosperity Now release today, between the dashed — lines.

 

— start of Prosperity Now release quote —

John Oliver Addresses Manufactured Housing

John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight on HBO, explained why manufactured homeowners need to be able to use resources within their communities to build their own housing parks by citing research from Doug Ryan, Senior Director of Affordable Housing at Prosperity Now. Watch the Full Segment here. Use Prosperity Now’s Manufactured Housing Toolkit to learn how you can spread awareness and advocate for affordable housing in your community.

 

— end of Prosperity Now release quote —

Note that quoting Prosperity Now is
not to be construed as an endorsement of their position.
Reporting or quoting aren’t an endorsement.

 

MHProNew’s publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach sent an Op-Ed to an editor who fact-checked his claims, and then not only ran his letter, but did so in 5 markets, not just one.

 

  Jacksonville

  Gainesville

  Sarasota

  Lakeland

  Winter Haven

 

Those were based upon our initial public facing report on MHLivingNews, linked below.

 

 

Where is MHI’s public response?  Or Clayton Homes?  Frank Rolfe, or any of the other firms who have been negatively mentioned?

Agree or not, count on MHAction, Prosperity Now, ROC USA – among others – to keep beating this drum. Those state executives that aren’t caught in the ‘Gold Rules’ trap need to find ways to fight back for their independent members.

SpencerRoanePentagonPropertiesCreditsPostedDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNewsIronically, it was Spencer Roane who said last week the following. After taking a backhanded ad hominem swipe at our publisher, he then said this: “The Jacksonville newspaper post is about the need for affordable housing.  Hard to argue w/ that.  The only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.  So what?  Other than sharing the interest of many in the industry about overly aggressive community owners/managers, none of this has anything to do w/ me.”

Roane is reportedly a regular reader, but publicly with his circle, he is not a fan of MHProNews, per sources. That said, it is hard to argue with that Roane and others in the community sector are vexed by “overly aggressive community owners/managers” – which he then distances himself from. While he dismissively says, “So what?” he makes it clear that the “only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.” Call it what it is, a back-handed compliment.

But Roane missed perhaps the most important point.  It is Warren Buffet who via dark money channels has provided funding via the NoVo Foundation and Tides nonprofits to MHAction.

 

After years of fact-checks on irksome issues, MHProNews and MHLivingNews are uniquely positioned to do a useful response and analysis.

In this Oliver video case, it is demonstrably MHI backers who’ve sparked the bad news.  Roane is correct that this is an issue for independent community owners. But it is a key MHI backer – Warren Buffett – who have purportedly helped fund MHAction.

 

TidesFoundationNovoFoundationWarrenBuffettMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHActionHomePage2019-04-13_0857TheAdvocacyFundThePresidioDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Building that case, one fact after another. Follow the money trail. Ask who benefits? Cui Bono?

Now, MHAction with Prosperity Now and others are fanning the flames of their attacks on manufactured housing’s image – and thus, manufactured housing independents, including Roane and others like him. What will the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) or others publicly do in response?

 

CenterForPublicIntegrityFundingTidesFoundationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Ironically, it was Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage who obliquely provided this news tip to MHProNews a while back. CPI teamed up with the Seattle Times to do the original ‘hit’ on Clayton Homes. So there is a pattern that is arguably emerging. Buffett bucks goes to sources such as CPI or MHAction, at times via dark money channels.  Those nonprofits like CPI or MHAction in turn attack ‘black hat’ practices that may indeed include Buffett’s own brands, but  it is done in a way that makes the industry-at-large look like black hats to those who don’t go beyond the surface.  

NovoFoundationWarrenBuffettTidesFoundationFundsMHActionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Similar conclusion to Influence Watch, but this graphic is from Cory Morningstar. Open Secrets makes the point that it is difficult to trace these kinds of contributions, which may explain the disparity between the totals shown.

DarkMoneyBasicsWikipediaOpenSecretsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • MHI’s leadership has been asked to respond to these allegations previously.  Silence.
  • MHI’s outside attorney has been asked to respond to these documented points, he too is silent.
  • Clayton and 21st, the same ‘nada’ responses.

That silence speaks volumes.

 

Part of a Pattern?

Then consider this in the following context.  This pattern is akin to tax and regulatory barriers, bigger firms can handle those better, per researchers.  Buffett can back whomever he wants to politically.  But what do you call it when Buffett’s backed POTUS Barack Obama – who in turn backed Dodd-Frank and the CFPB. Meanwhile MHI, Clayton and 21st claimed to be working to change a law that POTUS Obama said would be vetoed?

That truth about years wasted pursuing Preserving Access was hiding in plain sight.

 

Aren’t the effects similar?  Can you spell, MHI and Berkshire-brands head-fakes? Say one thing, and do another?

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One can agree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

WarrenBuffettMedalofFreedomAwardfromBarackObama2010-UPI-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews525

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceived.” –  Sir Walter Scott.

 

Are the head-fakes and patterns of deceptions becoming more clear?  Do they fit Buffett’s castle and moat metaphor?

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

Meanwhile, consolidation in MHVille continues…

 

The Lesson Learned?

At a minimum, more MHI affiliated association executives need to join the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington resistance,” observed MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “For those that can, why not consider doing what Neal Haney helped lead some associations out of MHI in the last two years?”

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Once the rules of engagement and methods used are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. 

It isn’t just deception in ‘fighting’ regulations, or evidence of Buffett’s bucks fomenting bad news in MHVille.  It is purportedly also evidenced by diverting lower-cost financing away from retailers and communities too.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Your thoughts? See the related reports, further below.

That’s 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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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.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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:

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

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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?

Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

MHARR Calls on New Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to Fully and Properly Implement Federal Law

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

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

YIMBY Action, Extreme Housing Shortage, and Manufactured Homes

April 24th, 2019 Comments off

 

YimbyActionExtremeHousingShortageAndManufacturedHomesMHProNews

The San Francisco Bay Area, and California generally, has an extreme housing shortage.” So says YIMBY Action. The video posted further below by John Stossel for Reason makes their point in sobering terms.

 

Unlike NIMBY, YIMBY means, Yes In My Back Yard.

NIMByNotInMyBackYardDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

YIMBY Action says, “This housing shortage is causing unacceptably high home prices and rents. These costs kneecap our ability to save money, force us into crowded conditions, and trap us in jobs and housing conditions that are inadequate.”

That’s in part an economic argument, and it is supported by the law of supply and demand.

Our housing crisis forces us to commute long hours, increasing carbon emissions and robbing us of time with our families. We must build housing everywhere in the Bay Area to end this shortage. Build housing now!” is their mantra. The video below is featured on their home page.

 

 

The forces they describe, “…increase displacement and gentrification, and make it impossible for San Francisco to be an engine of opportunity or social mobility.” That’s a familiar argument but lacks some of the added details found in the report linked below.

 

 

Several newspapers in Florida ran a letter by our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. That letter explains that the common link to problems that spark misunderstanding about manufactured housing are often connected to Berkshire Hathaway brands and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  Pick a link, take a look, and share it with others.

 

 

There are a variety of organizations and non-profits, businesses, faith-based, and governmental organizations that are natural allies for a robust application of manufactured homes. YIMBY Action could be one of them. The laws are already on the industry’s side.  The facts – properly understood – favor manufactured homes.

 

Has MHI reached out to YIMBY Action?

We’ll plan to ask them, plus others in the days ahead, and will let you know.  One way or another, let’s see if MHI can become engaged in doing their job to help robust industry growth, not just more consolidation because of low or negative growth.

The need for affordable housing is vast.  The lack of affordable housing hasn’t just hurt Seattle, it is hurting cities like San Francisco.

 

 

 

Hard to Overstate the Needs

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, as of 2017 there were around 554,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night,” says Wikipedia.

MostMenAppearNeverConsideredWhatHouseHomeIsNeedlessPoorAllTheirLivesThinkMustHaveOneSuchAsTheirNeighborsHaveHenryDavidThoreau

Image collage by MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

 

The most proven form of permeant affordable housing are manufactured homes. Yet, MHI and their big-boy brands appears to be okay with low sales levels, or they have a proven ability to meet, talk and take photos with public officials without purportedly accomplishing their stated goals.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

It is better to light one candle, than curse the darkness.  Our industry can and should be measuring new HUD Code manufactured home sales in the millions every decade, not just the hundreds of thousands. That’s tonight’s spotlight of  “News through the lens of factory-built homes, and manufactured housing,” © 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.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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:

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

 

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Money, Minorities, Manufactured Homes – Foiling the American Dream of Affordable Housing

April 6th, 2019 Comments off

 

MoneyMinoritiesManufacturedHomesFoilingAmericanDreamAffordableHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the heart of what’s known as the American Dream is the ideal of home ownership and private property.  While millions may want affordable rentals, what study after study reflects is that the vast majority prefer to own rather than rent.

 

When millions are misinformed about a subject, it begs several questions. Among them – why is there misinformation? Cui bono? Who benefits from the misinformation?

Affordable housing is in crisis in every state in America. Go north of the border to Canada, a similar scenario exists there too.  

 

Land is plentiful in North America. The question of transportation to and from places of work or business is an issue, as congestion in cities like New York leads some there to ponder a tax each time a vehicle enters as one so-called ‘solution’ to their challenge.  Isn’t it interesting how some quickly turn to a tax – a penalty or cost – that discriminates disproportionately against the least economically advantaged? But let’s move on to the central issues noted in the headline.

 

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Home ownership is generally the better financial option over renting, so long as someone can afford the investment in making the purchase and plans to stay for several years. The renter pays for their housing, just as the person with a mortgage pays for a home. The question is does renter ever own what they are paying for or not?  Isn’t the renter paying the landlord to build equity, that if it were a mortgage to buy, would otherwise benefit the tenant?

 

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Wealth creation is aided by home ownership. HUD Secretary Ben Carson made that point repeatedly during his stops in the U.S. after he became the head of the sprawling federal agency.  Home owners, said Secretary Carson, have an average household net worth of some $200,000. By contrast, renting households only had a $5,000 average net worth, the famous brain surgeon said.

 

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The GAO determined in 2014 that manufactured homes are the most affordable kind of housing, often less costly to own than to rent. The National Association of Realtors “Making the Case for Manufactured Homes” came to a similar conclusion in 2018. See FAU professor Ken Johnson’s comment on the wisdom of someone buying a manufactured home vs. renting or another type of home ownership. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/researchers-shake-up-american-dream-rent-vs-buy-ken-johnson-florida-atlantic-university-exclusive-to-manufacturedhomelivingnews/

 

Then why has HUD, state, and local governments paid lip service to affordable housing for so many years? Because the most proven affordable permanent home in the U.S. (or Canada) is a manufactured home. Yet they are increasingly being marginalized or discriminated against. How does one explain that pattern?

 

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Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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 Isn’t this part of the antidote to the t-word nomenclature issue? See the video interview with Donald Tye, Jr. at this link here.

 

Information Wars

A Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member who is not a dual member with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that he is “ready for info wars.”

It was a keen insight. It was a kind of polar opposite to Skyline’s Terry Decio’s lament to MHProNews a few years ago, “I’m tired of being the best kept secret. I’m ready to help house America.”

Those are statements from two different MHI-only member producers of manufactured homes. Both consciously or not are fingering the same issue. Information. Understanding. That de facto points to their opposites or possible causes, which are misinformation or misunderstanding.

 

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In the Bible there is a story told of a man who finds a treasure in a field. He hides it again, goes and sells what he needs to in order to buy that field and own the treasure legally. That treasure hunter didn’t want the facts of his discovery to become known, or else he might lose his opportunity.  That story has many morals, insights, and takeaways. One is that knowledge was a potential advantage — but limiting that knowledge for a time was an advantage to that person who wanted the treasure.

Whoever better controls the understanding of manufactured housing can influence the value of manufactured homes and businesses in the factory-built housing industry. Misinformation benefits some, while harming others.  Hold that thought.

 

 

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?

ClintonImpeachedWashingtonPostDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While there are agendas and bias in media, and it has long been so, it would be an exaggeration to say that all news is fake news. MHProNews believes in a wheat and chaff approach with all people, sources, and things. Keep the good wheat, ignore the rest of the chaff.

Hillary Clinton, while First Lady to then President Bill Clinton, spoke of “a vast right-wing conspiracy” against her husband and herself. It was utter nonsense, of course, a mere head fake to distract from the reality that caused Bill Clinton to be impeached and lose his license to practice law. But it was also an absurd claim on its face, given that at that time much of the media was in primarily progressive or left-leaning hands.

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was a rising star and a favorite target of the left in those days, just as CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post or New York Times are targets for several voices on the right today.

Each has a point, as right-or-wrong, they all have hidden or open agendas.

Far better to note or find the unvarnished truth than buy into someone’s spin. But as Shadows of Liberty reflected, or more recently Sharyl Attkisson has documented, various media have their own unique agenda(s). But that doesn’t require secret society meetings or a formal conspiracy to coordinate those voices.

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Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/no-fire-just-smoke-and-democratic-clinton-supporter-says-enough/

The keen insight of Reagan Administration Secretary of the Interior, James Watt notes below is still apt. Google doesn’t have the exact quote, but his keen insight goes something like this.

I don’t believe that most of what some call conspiracy theories are actually conspiracies. What I do believe in are people
with common interests, acting in ways that benefit their common interests, and that common purpose may appear to be conspiratorial
.’  – James Watt, former Secretary of the Interior.

Let’s use a hypothetical example. If you hire a motivated kiss-ass, and you let the kiss-ass know that you want X instead of Y, watch that kiss-ass work hard to deliver X to the best of her or his ability.

So Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway fame doesn’t need a memo to go out to the Urban Institute or the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in order for them to behave in a certain way. Kevin Clayton doesn’t have to send a memo to MHAction, asking them to protest group A, instead of group B. All that is needed is to hire or recruit people who behave in certain ways. Behavior becomes fairly predictable, once a person or group are understood.

Hypothetically, if Buffett wanted to use Berkshire’s deep pockets potential to buy all of manufactured housing up, he could. What stops him from doing that are antitrust laws, the legal barriers that keep someone or some organization from monopolizing a marketplace.

 

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So if you wanted to monopolize a market, and avoid federal or other legal scrutiny, how would you do it? Using the purported Buffett method, you buy a castle (a metaphor for a fine business in a sensible industry) with a good Moat, and then you deploy everything you can to widen and deepen that Moat slowly over time. You drive competitive players out, by what may appear to a causal observer to be market forces.

 

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Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. It takes courage, intelligence, and sound planning, but the artificial moats that hinder manufactured housing could be breached by using a robust application of existing laws.

 

Part of how that could theoretically be accomplished is to weaponize media and public perception against that business’ interests. One might blur the distinction between a mobile home, a trailer house, and a HUD Code manufactured home. Make the term ‘trailer trash’ truly demeaning. Increase the regulatory barriers for that product/service. Force the little guy out of business entirely, causing an independent to sell out for less than their intrinsic value. If there’s no sale, watch their business go bankrupt.

Never mind, to the mercenary greed of those who might use this method, that tens of millions are harmed by such a process. Pay no heed to the social, taxpayer, or other cascading calamities this tragic ploy sparks.

 

 

In science, one might not always be able to directly prove X. But one might eliminate several possibilities as explanations for X. For the truly fortunate scientist, they can both demonstrate a smoking gun evidence for a hypothesis, and also use Occam’s razor to eliminate other possible explanations too.

Buffett’s Berkshire could afford to educate the public about manufactured homes quite readily in the course of perhaps a year or two. You wouldn’t use stupid advertorials to do that if you have access to billions, and could make hundreds of billions in gross revenue annually from a potential business.

 

You might instead:

   use your extensive media contacts, to consistently correct every bit of misinformation that exists. Berkshire brand 21st Mortgage CEO Tim Williams suggested something similar. And/or,

   use your own BH Media Group to correct the record day-by-day until people grasp the amazing reality of manufactured homes.

   You might have MHI publish openly – rather than hide or fail to publish on their website (one of several examples, is linked here) the most effective third-party information or arguments for manufactured housing.

   You might not allow Clayton Homes staffers to use the term ‘mobile home’ or even ‘trailer house’ in videos or social media posts that they do (examples on YouTube).

   You might ask your billionaire buddy who owns Netflix or Amazon to put out a new hit TV series that has the hero and heroine living in a manufactured home, and have friends that do too, the polar opposite of having something like the Trailer Park Boys. Make manufactured home living cool and smart. Stress how environmentally sound manufactured homes are, how much more appealing they are, and of course how much money you save.

 

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

   You might have a new resident manufactured home owner group form that works with industry to successfully address issues, instead of working against the interests of industry.

   You might allow the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), that you once held stock in, to enter the manufactured home market in a robust fashion, instead of in a toe in the water way.

   You might use your clout at HUD to get the 10/10 rule dropped on FHA Title I loans.

   You might use your clout at HUD to get them to enforce manufactured housing’s enhanced preemption, so that local zoning officials don’t keep minorities or others from buying a manufactured home, and benefiting from it.

 

The list could go on, but do you see the point?  Isn’t the list above the common-sense or obvious things you’d do if you actually wanted to promote manufactured home living into a mainstream form of housing?

That begs the question. Why instead has the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis failed to do such obvious things?  We believe these to be people of above average intelligence and motivation. Then how does one explain their repeated failures for some 15 years to do the obvious?

 

 

Explaining ‘Leadership’ Failures  

The industry’s so-called leaders have arguably failed on several levels to do whatever is obviously in the industry’s best interests if robust growth were the immediate goal.

Which leads one from direct evidence of purported restraint of trade and market manipulation and indirect evidence like the above to a vexing, but logical conclusion. The powers that be not only don’t mind minorities or others to be trapped in renting for years on end.  Rather, it benefits the billionaires and multiple billion dollar value operators in a twisted way to keep millions trapped in poverty, if the goal is to consolidate the affordable manufactured home industry slowly over time. It fits the Buffett quote below to the tee.  

 

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It also fits the Buffett quote below about Moats too.

 

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

What are the contrary arguments to such evidence? That’s a fair question.  We’ve asked that too. 

So we invited Kevin Clayton, Tom Hodges, Tim Williams, Rick Robinson, Lesli Gooch, and outgoing MHI president Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison to discuss or debate that contention in public and on video. They declined time and again for some two years now.

They most recently opportunity to attempt to explain to the industry’s professionals some alternative explanation was in Tunica on March 28th, 2019.

Instead, the powers that be since Tunica are suddenly putting out a flurry of MHI memos. They suddenly care about independent retailers enough to put on a so-called educational meeting that they charge them extra to attend. Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington Illusion of Motionas Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of MHARR dubbed it – has kicked into high gear.

It’s what another professional with deep MHI ties termed “razzle dazzle.”

 

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Hard Data vs Razzle Dazzle

But the latest new HUD Code manufactured home shipment and production numbers say it all. If they wanted to support independents, they could have done so for years.

 

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

 

Solutions? MHProNews don’t ask people to boycott Clayton or MHI for many reasons, including that it can be actionable or possibly even illegal. But we do ask people to ponder this, who are your true friends in the industry? Who is feeding you meaningful information vs. mindless blather? Who are your true enemies? Are you or your company feeding a hand that bites yours?  

Keep what an MHI member said in the opening of the article linked via the text-image box below.

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits

 

The industry’s giants can’t have it both ways. Logically, no one can. If you treat people and professionals like cattle, they get tired of not being heard and of getting herded. When you treat individuals like they are your chattel, their natural tendency is to rebel. 

There are good reasons why interest in creating a non-producers association is growing. More on that another time.

For now, we simply note what MHI award winner Marty Lavin said.

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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?

 

Or what Frank Rolfe, a current MHI member, said.

 

 

We note too what former MHI VP Danny Ghorbani stated.

 

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But the point in this article is simple. The value of manufactured homes is amazing. It is what Ron Thomas, Sr. called “a phenomenon.” But that phenomenon is misunderstood. During an affordable housing crisis, creating so much misinformation around the solution that is hiding in plain sight requires something bordering on a magic trick.

But when an echo chamber effect is established, then the steady drum beat of a false narrative can seemingly become believable. Look at the Trump Campaign-Russia collusion narrative. Tens of millions bought that lie. Millions still want to believe it, after it has been debunked by what the president called over a dozen “angry Democrats” – attorneys who indeed favored Democratic candidates, and also worked for Special Counsel Robert Muller. 

 

Democrats, Republicans Agree – “Manufactured Homes Can Play a Vital Role in Easing” the Affordable Housing Shortage

 

Nor is that a bias against either party, as manufactured housing and affordable housing are bipartisan issues.

 

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

It will take time and effort to deprogram the millions from each of those lies. It’s an info-war.

It will take information wars – using facts, reason, and truth over misinformation and fear tactics – to achieve the victory that could benefit tens of millions who are now renting. The rest are details and commentary, some of which are found via the linked reports below the bylines, business development offers, and notices.

 

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged

 

If there is authentic concern for minorities or anyone who may be financially disadvantaged, manufactured homes are an option that must be better promoted and understood. Voices across the two major party divide have come to that conclusion. What’s next is the need for political and legal officials to act to break up such a monopolistic ploy.

 

Cui Bono? “Killing Me Softly,” Manufactured Housing’s New Theme Song?

That’s this Saturday’s Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

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

Al Kemp, Taking out the Trash Talk about Manufactured Homes

FEAR, a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis, and the Manufactured Home Dilemma

 

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

 

HUD Lashed for Alleged Manufactured Housing Contract Miscues, Brian Montgomery, White House Notified of National Association Concerns

Warren Kicked Hornet’s Nest – How Move May Connect With MH, Renters, Professionals

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

 

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court Ruling on Sierra Club vs Rick Perry DOE on Manufactured Home Energy Regulations, Constitutional Law Professor, MHARR Weigh In

March 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

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The potential impact of tougher energy standards on manufactured housing pricing, and therefor prospective buyers, could be $6,000 per unit or more.  The repayment time frame, per third parties, could take more than a decade. The average American moves about once every 7 years.

 

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) – not the HUD Code industry’s first line of promotion or defense – produced a priced-out study that reveals that hundreds of thousands of potential buyers will no longer qualify for the homes based upon a $1000 price increase.  This increase could be 6 to 10 times as high, and manufactured housing is still operating at historically low levels.

So, it could take longer to recoup the cost than the typical American would live in a new manufactured home built to the standards that the Sierra Club and others want to promote.

These are among the reasons why manufactured housing industry pros should be keenly interested in this issue.

With that tee-up, the Constitutional Law Professor blog and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) have both weighed in on a court ruling yesterday on the Sierra Club’s lawsuit against Secretary Rick Perry and the Department of Energy (DOE) regarding manufactured housing regulations.

The Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has not yet weighed in on the topic.  It will be recalled that MHI for some time promoted new standards, until pressure from MHARR, Georgetown University and the Small Business Administration – besides MHProNews – finally caused MHI to flip flop.

The MHI switcheroo was attempted via their amen-corner, Orwellian memory hole method, so industry independents should watch this with caution. MHARR and MHProNews didn’t bite on the MHI purported attempt to change history, as one of those prior MHProNews reports is linked below.

 

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Image credits are as shown, and when provided by third parties, are shown under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews.com.

 

Steven D. Schwinn, John Marshall Law School on the Constitutional Law Professor blog said that “The ruling means that Sierra Club’s case can go forward. And given the court’s conclusions, and the law, it seems likely that Sierra Club will win. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll see regs any time soon.” That is true, but it doesn’t mean that a new bullet doesn’t have to be dodged.

 

Here’s what MHARR told their members today.

 

 

MARCH 14, 2019

 

 

TO:                  MHARR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                        MHARR TECHNICAL REVIEW GROUP (TRG)

                        MHARR STATE AFFILIATES

 

FROM: MHARR

 

RE:                  COURT RULES THAT SIERRA CLUB HAS STANDING TO SUE

                        DOE OVER MANUFACTURED HOUSING ENERGY STANDARDS

In a development that was not unexpected, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has denied a motion by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club, seeking to compel DOE to issue manufactured housing energy standards under section 413 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA).

In its Motion to Dismiss, DOE maintained that Sierra Club lacked either organizational or associational standing to sue on behalf of members who allegedly have been “injured” as a result of delays in the establishment of DOE energy conservation standards for manufactured homes. The court’s denial of that Motion – under legal standards that tend to favor plaintiffs seeking to sue – is not a ruling on the substantive merits of the case, but rather, simply means that the case can go forward with Sierra Club acting as a representative for its members.

MHARR will carefully monitor this litigation as it progresses, insofar as the DOE “negotiated rulemaking” process, which led to both DOE’s now withdrawn 2016 proposed rule and, more importantly, currently pending proposals published by DOE in a 2018 Notice of Data Availability (NODA), was inherently and fundamentally tainted and illegitimate, as MHARR has extensively detailed in comments filed with DOE. As a result, that “negotiated rulemaking” process does not provide a valid, lawful or permissible basis for any rulemaking, and DOE, as MHARR has consistently maintained, must go back to the drawing board and initiate a new, legitimate and untainted rulemaking process to address any such manufactured housing standards.

This entire subject will be addressed in greater detail at MHARR’s upcoming Board of Directors meeting.

 

cc:  Other Interested HUD Code Industry Members

 

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

 

The full court ruling is found at this link here as a download.  See the related reports, further below the byline, offers, and notices for more on this issue.

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That’s this afternoon’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide” © ## (News, analysis, 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.

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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:

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

Will Costs Rise $6,000 per Home? DOE Energy Rule on Manufactured Housing Revived, MHARR Rattles Legal Saber

NAHB Report – High Cost of Regulations Impact Housing – and Manufactured Housing

MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

MHARR to DOE: Only Three Choices for MH Energy Rule – Abandon, Complete Start-Over, Or Face Legal Action

 

HUD Whitewash on DOE Rule Costs, More Washington Manufactured Housing Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market Manipulation, What Does the Law Say?

January 31st, 2019 Comments off

 

FederalTradeCommissionLOGOMarketManipulationWhatDoesTheLawSayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manipulation is intentional conduct designed to deceive investors by controlling or artificially affecting the market for a security,” says the SEC website.

 

Market manipulation. Market manipulation is a type of market abuse where there is a deliberate attempt to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market and create artificial, false or misleading appearances with respect to the price of, or market for, a product, security, commodity or currency,” states Wikipedia, which cites their sources.

Manipulation is illegal in most cases, but it can be difficult for regulators and other authorities to detect. … It is much easier to manipulate the share price of smaller companies, such as penny stocks, because they are not as closely watched by analysts and other market participants as the medium and large cap firms,” said Investopedia on Nov 10, 2017.

Equity Master said, “Stock market operators are market participants who form a syndicate to manipulate stock prices for personal gain. … Through a coordinated act, the operators rig stock prices higher or lower, creating a frenzy or panic for a certain stock. Seeing the rapid stock price movements, traders flock in and perpetuate the trend.”

But there are other forms of market manipulation, that may or may not have anything to do with stocks and equities trading.

Consider the issue of boycotting. Here’s what the FTC says.

Group Boycotts

Any company may, on its own, refuse to do business with another firm, but an agreement among competitors not to do business with targeted individuals or businesses may be an illegal boycott, especially if the group of competitors working together has market power.”

Are there objective reasons to believe that such activity(ies) have been introduced in the manufactured housing industry?

There are published reasons – from third-parties to MHProNews – that suggest that a reasonable answer to that query is ‘yes.’

The FTC also successfully challenged the group boycott of an association…” in a case upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, involving competing trial attorneys.

Boycotts to prevent a firm from entering a market or to disadvantage an existing competitor are also illegal,” says the FTC.

The arguably pro-MHI source publicly calling for a boycott itself claimed to include an MHI affiliate, for details and evidence, see the link here and see the related download, etc..  Is it poetic or jocular that this sort of persona would be selected by MHI to be their surrogate in a call for their ‘boycott?’

More recently, without a legal explanation, competing publishers were given preferential treatment at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, which included special treatment of the source that publicly called for an organized boycott.

The parties involved in that decision to play favorites at Louisville event have clear ties to MHI, as they include those that MHI themselves have termed their “affiliates” and/or are MHI members.

MHI leaders were advised of the matter.  At this point, the Daily Business News on MHProNews is not aware of any public action taken to stop the purportedly abusive practices.

These matters will take time to sort out.  As with other items, patience and persistence are required. But it is worth considering what MHI themselves have said in their antitrust guidelines.

 

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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.

 

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NPR Targets Manufactured Home Communities, Including Sun, RV Horizons, Frank Rolfe, Buffett-Berkshire Hathaway Related Details

January 30th, 2019 Comments off

 

NPRlogotargetsSunCommunitiesLogoRVHorizonsLogoFrankRolfeManufacturedHomeCommunitiesBehindCurtainDetailsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

NPR’s Anna Casey begins her narrative about manufactured homes and communities with two errors in her first very sentence.  She missed the estimated totals and is mostly incorrect about the proper terminology for this type of factory-built housing.

 

Roughly 20 million Americans live in mobile homes, once billed as low-cost living. But mobile home parks have become a target investment for real estate companies who are jacking up fees,” begins Casey’s NPR narrative, a lead-in to her radio interview transcript.

Their headline?

Mobile Home Owners Are Upset About Rising Costs To Rent Land.” That too is at best only partially correct, as there are actually some 22 million Americans living in millions of pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and more post-HUD Code manufactured homes.  Why does Casey say, “…once billed as low cost living…” – does anyone who studies the facts doubt that manufactured home living is less costly than other housing options?

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

The end of NPR’s article has this disclosure:

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

 

That audio is found below.

 

 

To set the context for the potential impact of this type of public media ‘journalism,’ “According to Nielsen Audio Fall 2017 ratings, the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations is 37.7 million people – a record that has been maintained since the Spring of 2017. NPR’s Newscasts, updated live every hour, can now be heard on 947 broadcast stations by nearly 28.7 million listeners,” said NPR on Mar 28, 2018. NPR says that about 2/3 are white listeners, with the balance being members of a minority group.

Numbers of NPR affiliated stations operate in rural areas that may be underserved by other competing news radio stations. Put differently, in the very markets where manufactured housing sales are often the strongest – due to placement issues in towns across America – NPR broadcasts like this one may be one of the only radio news sources.

Before going deeper into this Daily Business News on MHProNews report and analysis, ICYMI, this is a good place to see part one of this series on PBS and NPR for useful background.

 

PBS & NPR Reporting on Manufactured Housing News, Pulling Back the Veil

 

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

 

Next, after the graphics that follow is the full NPR transcript, from the audio posted above.  Following that NPR transcript, MHProNews will provide analysis.

We note again, via the graphics above and below, that NPR is routinely misusing the terminology.  They and PBS have often done so over the course of several years. One might ask out loud, why?  Why are they using outdated, inaccurate, or even prejudicial terminology?

 

DefinitionsTerminologyFactoryBuiltHomesMobileHomesModularHomesManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

NFPAManufacturedHomeIsNotaMotorHomeOrTrailerAlthoughItisOftenCalledMobileHomeItIsNotThatEitherNFPADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This above is not a perfect definition, but it is clarifying.

 

Start of NPR Transcript 

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

About 20 million Americans live in manufactured or mobile homes. Some own the structures. Most rent the property underneath. And for many, rents are rising. Here’s Anna Casey of Illinois Public Media.

ANNA CASEY, BYLINE: Terry Baker has lived at Wilson’s mobile home park in Urbana, Ill., for more than 20 years. Baker is a retired home health worker and a proud grandmother who was looking for a place of her own after her divorce.

TERRY BAKER: I could not get over the rent. When I moved in here, my rent was $142 a month. Where else was I going to live for that kind of money?

CASEY: Baker’s rent has doubled now. It started to rise three years ago. She describes a letter that residents got.

BAKER: Dear Wilson’s resident, Dennis and I are writing to inform you we have made a difficult decision to sell Wilson’s on University.

CASEY: The local owners sold the community to Colorado-based RV Horizons. It owns mobile home parks in more than 25 states. Its business model is to buy up mom and pop parks and raise the rent. Frank Ralph works at RV Horizons and something called Mobile Home University, a so-called investors’ boot camp that teaches people how to buy mobile home parks. This is from a promotional video on their website.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

FRANK ROLFE: You only rent the land when you own a mobile home park. And the customers are relatively easy to please. They’re just happy to have a roof over their head.

CASEY: The investor who bought the park where Baker lives and 12 others in the county has steadily increased rent and fees. Frank Rolfe wouldn’t return a request for an interview, but in this video from 2015, he laid out his business strategy.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

ROLFE: Yeah. Well, raising the rent is simply part of the Day One purchase because often, the mom and pop has not raised the rent in years. So they’re far below market.

CASEY: It’s unclear how many mobile home parks remain family-owned, but they’re an increasingly popular investment. Just five of the biggest mobile home real estate companies now own nearly 300,000 sites. The largest is Michigan-based Sun Communities. Russell Watson is with the Federation of Manufactured Home Owners of Florida. He liked living in a Sun Community.

RUSSELL WATSON: These guys keep the parks as parks. They aren’t looking to simply displace you and send you on your way.

CASEY: In larger cities, mobile home communities are increasingly redeveloped as more profitable real estate. But Watson, who moved to a mom and pop park in Fort Pierce, says the downside is rents become less affordable when corporate owners take over.

WATSON: And they will rapidly price out people who came to those parks because it was affordable housing.

CASEY: Back in Illinois, residents like Terry Baker are worried that more rent hikes are coming.

BAKER: And if I wanted to move this place, it’s going to cost me $5,000 to $7,000 to move it and set it back up. OK? And they own almost every park around here. They got me by the butt.

CASEY: That’s why Baker and some other Illinois residents are advocating for rent-control measures. But there’s a ban on rent control in Illinois and at least 20 other states. Mobile home owners worried about escalating rents fueled by speculators are pushing for legislation to control them. For NPR News, I’m Anna Casey in Urbana, Ill.

### End of NPR transcript ###

 

The National Geographic (NatGeo) video posted is not part of the NPR report, but helps establish some related context for those readers who may not be familiar with RV Horizons, Mobile Home University, and “Frank and Dave” Reynolds operations.

 

DaveReynoldsFrankRolfeRVhorizonsMobileHomeParkStoreMobileHomeUniversityBootCamps-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Dave Reynolds (l), Frank Rolfe (r), of RV Horizons, MHU, MHP Funds, Mobile Home University, Mobile Home Park Store and RV Horizons.

 

Frank and Dave’ where both invited to comment, days prior to this report, and again yesterday.  Reynolds responded to another inquiry recently, for a report that included his detailed statements linked here.  But for whatever reasons, they did not respond to our inquiry for this report.

It’s worth noting Brad Lovin, executive director of the North Carolina Manufactured Housing Association (NCMHA) quote, shown below.  Lovin’s logic is that even where the information may seemingly be close to accurate, hand-selecting what sounds bad, and/or leaving out necessary context, can cast much of the manufactured home industry in a bad light.

 

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

 

While the NPR narrative focused on larger owners, which includes RV Horizons, and those top five shown in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) National Communities Council (NCC) list below, there are numerous details that NPR left out.  Some of those are found in the MHProNews infographic, further above.

At the time the list below was compiled by the NCC, the top 5 manufactured home community operators would have had some 296,087 sites. While significant, what NPR failed to mention is that there are an estimated 4.2 million land lease sites in about 44,000 manufactured home communities nationally.  So, the image painted by the NPR narrative is skewed for lack of data and context.

2018Top50ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesListNotMObileHomeParksNCCNationalCommunitiesCouncilManufacturedHousingInsttitueDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

Also missing are disclosures by NPR, regarding possible conflicts of interest in their reports.

Among them are the numerous ties between “Frank and Dave” operations and Berkshire Hathaway brands operating in manufactured housing. Why is that important?

That’s perhaps just part of the biggest surprise.

The following is another case of “follow the money” and the truth hiding in plain sight. What follows is per the Gates Foundation website.

 

 

Takeaways? Facts and Implications?

MHLivingNews and MHProNews have previously documented that Buffett money has flowed through other organizations into groups that have literally targeted manufactured housing. Among those targets have been “Frank and Dave” and their firms.  That may or may not be with Frank or Dave’s knowledge. This portion of the report could be a surprise to them, or maybe not.

 

BillMelindaGatesFoundationWarrenBuffettDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

But what is certain is that there are several money-trails that have already been documented that connect Buffett-Berkshire money to news outlets and other groups that have stirred up the pot against manufactured home industry firms.

Those negative news stories in turn – while they may appear to an industry professional to be company specific, can nevertheless influence the general public perception well beyond a given company. Online quotes previously cited by MHProNews from the general public anecdotally have served to make that point.

Note that MHAction has been asked about this, as has Prosperity Now, and they’ve been mute.  But does their silence on this funding/money trail matter? They’ve both apparently been paid by Buffett’s bucks, through ‘dark money’ channels.   The money trail is documented.  A rival resident group (see related reports, below) have likewise pointed the finger at MHAction.

 

NPR-PBS-FinancialSupportGrantsDonationsGatesFoundationWarrenBuffettDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Why?

Normal business people don’t think like this.  In fact, industry, public officials, advocates, and mainstream media callers have a asked MHProNews – ‘Why would Buffett’s Berkshire help fund attacks on their own industry?’

 

DarkMoneyBasicsWikipediaOpenSecretsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The answer is lies in “the Moat” philosophy that Buffett espouses (see related reports). They’ve even allowed or funded attacks on Clayton Homes. Specifically, how?  Attacks and critiques have occurred from organizations they’ve directly or obliquely organization helped fund – such as Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) and the Center for Public Integrity.

Strange?  Perhaps, but nevertheless true.

So, this recent journalistic hit on Sun Communities, RV Horizons, and Frank Rolfe delivered via NPR – or previous ones from PBS and NPR – are purportedly part of a broader pattern. It should be noted that a high-level source at 21st Mortgage are among those that have brought this pattern to the attention of MHProNews.

The money trail, facts, and evidence have included – but are not limited to – those found in the related reports, linked further below.

So this isn’t mere speculation or a wacky conspiracy theory. Rather, these are documentable facts using the ‘follow the money’ methods preached by independent journalist, Sharyl Attkisson.

Federal authorities are known to be investigating such matters. A letter from a state attorney general’s office has come into MHProNews just yesterday.  It indicates they’ve been looking into issues related to “the Moat” and how it operates.

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Sometimes the truth is hiding in plain sight. Follow the facts, evidence, and the money. Actual quote, per source as noted.

 

Some Satire – to Make the Points…

RichardDickJennisonMHIPresidentPhotoBrianMontgomeryEnhancedPreemptionFHATitleChattelLoans1010RuleTimWilliamsDontLearnFromHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Satire used to drive home relevant points.

LATonyKovachRichardDickJennisonWhyGivenBosnusesKevinClaytonTimWilliamsHelpKeepSalesLowPostureEffortNoResultsConsolidateIndustryMHProNews

Satire used to drive home relevant points.

 

The Bottom Lines?

Industry professionals are waking up in Louisville, KY to talk shop and do business. They will be talking to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – which is dominated by the Berkshire brands, Shaw and other firms that operate in manufactured housing.

 

Remember-Anything You, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, or Anyone Says Publicly at Louisville Show May Be Recorded by Audio, Video – Legal Details

 

Numerous state associations are likewise purportedly weaponized by the Berkshire brands. It should be noted that there are voices and sources associated with the above that provide news tips and other insights to MHProNews, so this isn’t a blanket condemnation. Wheat and chaff.  Discernment must be used.

 

KevinClaytonVideoInterviewHowDidWarrenLearnTheseMoatBuildingstrategiesMHIBehavioralExperts

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

This quote is serious, not satire. 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?

 

The money trail, facts, and evidence all purport to paint this picture.  Warren Buffett and Berkshire – with Bill Gates’ foundation as but one funding tool – have weaponized several media and nonprofits against manufactured housing. Stunning, but just look at the evidence.

 

KevinClaytonInterviewMHIPacDonationsEItherMajorPartyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Why are shipments still at such low levels during an affordable housing crisis? Don’t reports like this one help answer that question?  See the related reports, further below.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

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

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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.

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

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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.

 

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