Will Manufactured Housing Benefit from Emerging Trends?

May 28th, 2015 No comments

In our rapidly approaching June 2015 issue, we will feature an emerging trend of the growth of the U.S. population in more rural areas.

Parallel to this – and given recent events, it could become an accelerating driver of the “move to the country” – is the surge in violence in major cities.

The Memorial Day weekend wrapped up with dozens of shootings in Baltimore, Chicago and New York, among other U.S. cities. While crime is nothing new, the spike seems clearly tied to the pull back by law enforcement from “pro-active policing.” The result is a 60% rise in murder in Baltimore vs. the same period last year.

Some are speculating that this could be a summer of race riots in the U.S.. Clearly, that would be tragic, if it happens. Naturally, it would be far better if that could be avoided.

But should that occur, what would happen to those singles, couples and families who believe they can pick up and move? Where will they go to?

home-sales-rising-housing-wire-com-credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com- (2)

The possibility is rising that once ‘dying’ rural communities could see a revival. There is already a documented trend in population rising in the non-urban counties, which we will provide a report on in our upcoming June issue, which should be live by Monday night June 1.

There are a number of trends that represent opportunities that manufactured housing pros out to be tuned into so they can tap more new home sales.

Speaking of Trends…

If you haven’t been on MHLivingNews.com lately, you need to check it out, because page views are surging there. April was a record month, and by mid-May, that record was already eclipsed on ManufacturedHousingLivingNews.com.

The opportunities surround us. We encourage all MH Pros to raise their eyes, look around and see the many ways that our industry is well poised to leap ahead. ##

l-a-tony-kovach-mhlivingnews-mhpronews-latonykovach-com-By L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Energy Rising, Politics, Image, Education, Media and Manufactured Housing

May 24th, 2015 No comments

The facts are routinely on our side. America needs what we have, even if tens of millions don’t know it, oppose or misunderstand our quality, durable homes and services. While imperfect, we are a far better option in every sense than the majority realize. We are able to demonstrate that MH is routinely a better choice than rentals or buying conventional housing.

All that we need to seriously advance manufactured housing is within our collective grasp. Not everyone has to rally, just the forward thinkers and doers are needed. 

The presidential campaigns are in motion. Our sources tell us that energy based orders will soon be rising again.  Housing in the fracking patches will be needed again in the third quarter, so they say. Beyond energy, around the nation, rents are rising, conventional housing continues to recover, at a SAAR of some 1.1 million units.


A rather impressive coalition has been organized to support the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, as HR 650 in April, and S 682 on Thursday have advanced. All involved in forging that coalition deserve kudos.

The battle over Dodd-Frank reform will come in the Senate in the fall. Maxine Water’s says Barney Frank has been quoted out-of-context on his support for modifications on the legacy bill that bears his name. POTUS has signaled he’ll veto our industry’s Dodd-Frank fixes.

Meanwhile, while we as industry pros are harmed, far more harmed are millions of manufactured home owners, including most of those with pre-HUD Code mobile homes.

If HR 650/S 682 fails to become law, it will be consumers who are the most impacted, as the article linked here proves. Sure, MH lenders of all sizes will be impacted too, as recent comments by Don Glisson, Jr. and Sam Landy point out.

That means MH Retailers and Communities will still be dealing with a CFPB world that can bite you badly, when you and enough others aren’t engaged. YOU be the change! YOU must lead by example, so that others will follow suit! What must happen is that consumers and business professionals together shine the light on the need for passing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act; together we can.  

But we must not put all of our eggs in one basket.  Here is how we advance…

15-minutes-daily-mhpronews4 Part Plan

Be Informed. Read a minimum of 15 minutes daily here, 12 minutes daily watching videos and reading articles on MHLivingNews.com and tune into what your association says and does. Those who do, see routinely see their understanding – and sales – grow.

Be Involved. Knowledge should inspire action! Let your elected officials know what you support, be it HR 650/S 682, GSE reform that involves the Duty to Serve (DTS), etc.

Intelligently Inform Others: Share what you learn with Your Team-mates, colleagues MH Residents, via social media and also with the news media and opinion-formers. When negative stories appear in the mainstream media – be it OZY Media, the Daily Yonder, etc. – answer them! Share the links to articles like this one that set the record straight with the media and others.

Based Upon Your Ability, Support the Cause! Investments in you and your team’s improvement, via the resources we share (free and for fee) tend to be a far safer investment than some stock you have little or no ability to influence. The more the MH Image and Understanding improves, the better off you and your operation will be.


Home owners, Industry Professionals, For and Non-Profits should pull together to stop negative, biased, stereotype based ‘reporting.’

All that we need is within our grasp. We can grow MH anew, and at a far more rapid clip than we’ve been seeing the past 5 years. It doesn’t require all pulling together, it only requires enough forward thinkers and doers to take the four steps noted above. Yesterday, I was listening to a speaker/consultant, Matthew Kelly on CD.  He spoke about how so many in business are into short term thinking.

Our challenges in MH didn’t take a day, week, month or a year to develop.  They won’t be fixed overnight. We are living proof that long term thinking pays, and you being here proves that we’ve built the largest audience of its kind ever in MH by sharing challenging, ‘can do’ thoughts, words and deeds for others to see.

Amat Victoria Curam.” Happy Memorial Day. ##

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Errors – New York Times, AllGov, Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity – Why Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act benefits Consumers via fixes of Dodd-Frank

May 20th, 2015 No comments

AllGov and the New York Times are among those who have leaned on reports by the Seattle Times and the Center for Public Integrity as they attack the reforms sought by manufactured housing with respect to Dodd-Frank. The form their brand of journalism has taken has been to attack the largest manufactured housing operation in production and lending – Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Morgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) – as a way of undermining the entire industry’s efforts to modify the onerous regulations imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which are harming millions of manufactured housing owners as well as the MH Industry at large.

The best way to begin to address their many errors is to share three links that directly or indirectly disprove much of what they claim is true.

First, the following link under a Google News search this evening is the following.


We’re pleased to say that a number of media outlets have picked this story up, which has nudged the Seattle Times from the top spot on Google for this same search just a week ago. The story that shows that manufactured home lending is NOT predatory, is linked on the image above or at this link here.


Second, the Seattle Times, New York Times, AllGov et al publications have arguably used red hearings and clearly misleading statements. Sam Landy – President and CEO of UMH Properties (NYSE:UMH) video interview on the impact of Dodd-Frank/CFPB regulations on manufactured home lending is linked here. The video and article cause many of the claims made by other media to crumble under closer scrutiny.


Third, this article posted by Matthew Silver this morning quotes at length from Don Glisson, Jr. – President and CEO of Triad Financial.

Let me wrap up tonight with this comment that was posted on the AllGov article on the upcoming S 682 related vote in the Senate Banking Committee.

To AllGov

This is perhaps a tad worse than the Seattle Times was in terms of accuracy. First, there have been no mobile homes built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976.

Second, even if the authors above had used the correct terminology, Clayton Homes does not control 91% of the manufactured housing market. The combined Berkhsire Hathaway controlled firms are about 45% of the new homes being sold.

Third, Berkshire Hathaway affiliated lenders do dominate manufactured housing lending on the personal property side. But the current regulations under the CFPB has been driving lenders out of the space, please see the article linked below, which includes an interview with a firm that withdrew due to CFPB regs.


Fourth, if conventional housing was as restricted as manufactured housing, there would be serious problems in resales of houses or condos too! Due to the choking regulations, fewer loans available, harms the values of those in the lowest cost manufactured homes, specifically those under $20,000.

I’d invite the authors to contact me for more insights that could set these and other errors straight. Thank you.


All of this points to the need for manufactured housing to continue to rally around the effort to define ourselves. We in MH have a great story to tell. We ought to be proud of the opportunities offered to the full spectrum of customers – from those with credit challenges to those who can finance or pay cash for whatever they want, and they decide on the value of modern manufactured homes.

FYI – the outlook for tomorrow’s vote in the Senate Banking Committee is for passage, with some Democrats voting in favor too. The challenge is the next hurdles…

We either define ourselves or others will define us, often to our detriment. When our story is better understood, even our political efforts will benefit.

We each have a role to play in this effort, with time, talent or treasure. We must be the true advocates for millions of current and future manufactured home owners harmed by Dodd-Frank. Protecting our customers also protects and promotes our business.

Enough said for tonight. ##

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-building-washington-dc-masthead-mhpronews-com-_light- (1)By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

More MH Lending! S 682, Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Eric Powell and You

May 16th, 2015 No comments

For years, the industry has struggled with this issue.How do we explain MH chattel lending rates in a way that people can understand and relate to the facts?”


Eric Powell and his family’s dramatic story of trying to finance a
pre-owned MH is told at the link below.

Award winning writer Jan Hollingsworth has given you that tool, by telling the story of Eric Powell and his family, linked below. Positive comments have poured in the last 24 hours on this article. Association leaders are telling us they already have or soon will be using links to the story to rally members. Messages going out to industry pros from associations, urging them to read the article and contact your Senators.

Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Financing: The Place Where Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences Collide

By sharing the Powell family narrative – which includes and boldly refutes comments from S 682 opposition leader Doug Ryan at CFED – anyone can see the real world impact of the current CFPB regulations.

If award winning MH Retailer Alan Amy is correct, we are losing an estimated 20,000+/- new MH sales a year, due to the CFPB regulations. That’s equal to 20,000 lost new jobs! That’s 20,000 more people renting or doing some other inferior option than quality, appealing affordable MH! That’s millions of consumers who are limited or cut off from MH lending on their home, should they decide to sell.


My personal thanks to Joe Kelly for his tireless efforts on behalf of MH,
and all those other execs who do the same!  A sample of the support for using this article
to pass our bill that will help consumers AND businesses in MH.

The negative impacts go on, so one pathway to address it is to properly tell the story.

Will You Take 3 Steps to Improve access to MH Lending?

Top flight writing like Jan’s takes time, as does the research that precedes it. Please make maximum use of this article. Take the following 3 steps.

1) Send the article linked and your request for support of S 682 to your two U.S. Senators. which is in section 109 of the bill linked here – of larger pending bill to be discussed in committee on May 21st at 10:00 a.m. ET. It is called The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015.  Manufactured housing language is covered in section 108. You can find your two U.S. Senators and email him/her via this link.

Simple suggested message:


The negative impact of current CFPB regulations on manufactured home customers is dramatically told by the news story found at this link. It also explains seemingly complex topics in an understandable way.

Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Financing: The Place Where Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences Collide

Please support the inclusion of S 682, found in section 109 of the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015. The companion bill HR 650 has already passed the House by a 100 vote margin. Thank you.

2) After you write your Senators, then you and your circle can share the story via social media and with others and ask them to do the same! Remember, the more links to this story above, the better!  I make time to do this myself, please do it too.

3) Many of you know someone in media. Or you can access an email address for news tips to CNN, Fox, Yahoo Business, CNBC, etc. Submit the link, with a note that says this is coming up for a vote this week, and it impacts some 20,000 potential new jobs and millions of home owners.

Closing thought for today

Last year, Doug Ryan at CFED wrote that the CFPB regulations should be tested and given a chance. Ryan and the I’m Home Network got their wish. The policies have been tested for about 18 months now, and stories like Eric Powell’s and Alan Amy’s estimate suggest the test has failed. As the industry predicted, it is harming real people. It harms in many cases, the most vulnerable.

Ryan wrote: “Members of the I’M HOME Network work to increase the role that manufactured housing plays in affordable homeownership. We have a deep interest in advancing policies that provide access to affordable financing for these homes—but not at the expense of consumer protections that help ensure that owners of manufactured homes are able to build and preserve wealth through homeownership.”

If Ryan meant what he said, he would reverse his position! They should now come out in favor of S 682! Will they?

One word heard, if true, has it that Ryan is scrambling for a story, plan or an angle to deflect this Eric Powell story that Jan Hollingsworth has written. That suggests they too see its power.  

YOU must be the REAL consumer advocate, AND the business advocate, by sharing the Eric Powell story.

Remember the maxim, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”   You be the change.  You do this. Then, you can ask others to do it.

Eric Powell would have been far better off had the CFPB given the relief the industry sought. There are thousand like Eric who are being denied or penalized on their access to low cost manufactured homes. Who will speak up for them? If not YOU, then WHO? Take 15, send out the messages, then ask others to do the same. ##


PS: This is one more reason why the MH Alliance is so important!

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Countdown to Conflict Begins?

May 14th, 2015 No comments

As always, there is so much going on in Manufactured Housing (MH), picking a topic to focus on tonight is a little like picking from the smorgasbord at a top notch buffet. Given the looming discussion in the U.S. Senate on a key issue for our industry, millions of MH consumers and prospective buyers, we will focus today on that pending bill.


Official photo, Senator Richard Shelby, photo credit Wikicommons.

Let’s start with what MHI has to say on this topic, quoting:

“The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) today lauded Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) for including in his regulatory reform package important pro-consumer provisions designed to improve access to affordable financing for manufactured home buyers. Click here to view The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015. Manufactured housing language is covered in section 108.

The provisions, are identical to those contained in S. 682, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Donnelly (D-IN) and cosponsored by Senators Toomey (R-PA), Manchin (D-WV), and Cotton (R-AR). They also mirror legislation recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 650), a bill supported by the National Association of Realtors, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Organization of African Americans in Housing, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, NAMB, National Association of Mortgage Professionals, and the California Association of Mortgage Professionals.

Manufactured housing lenders have left the industry or eliminated certain loans because of increased liability, which has made it extremely difficult for buyers to find financing. The situation has hurt the resale market, forcing existing owners to accept lowball, cash-only prices for their manufactured homes. This drives down surrounding property values and negatively impacts entire neighborhoods.

Chairman Shelby’s regulatory relief package addresses the harm consumers are experiencing due to current regulations that don’t work for smaller affordable homes, making it difficult for lenders to make these loans. The bill adjusts percentage thresholds that already exist under the Dodd-Frank Act to address the impact of fixed costs on smaller loans. The bill also improves the definition of a mortgage originator, enabling manufactured housing retailers to help consumers as long as they receive no compensation – e.g., payments from lenders. This is the same standard that applies to real estate agents selling site-built homes. These are minor and reasonable adjustments to federal regulation, and preserve all the major consumer protections such as QM Ability to Repay, prohibition against steering, and loan term disclosures.

The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to consider Chairman Shelby’s regulatory relief legislation on May 21st at 10:00 a.m.”


Credit Ozy Media – see link : http://www.mhpronews.com/home/industry-news/industry-in-focus/9540-ozy-medias-trailer-park-nation-a-dizzying-mix-of-falsehood-facts-fables-and-fiction-under-a-qtrue-storyq-banner

Countdown to Conflict

In the light of this pending Senate clash over access to more MH lending, can we wonder why OZY Media picked this time frame to target manufactured housing with their spin-filled and denigrating Trailer House Nation series last week?

Is it surprise that Ishbel Dickens at NMHOA and Doug Ryan at CFED are ducking the private and public invite to engage OZY to correct that publisher’s errors in their series that undermines the very MH values that they claim to be advocating on behalf of with their work?

When you can’t defend a policy, there are tactics that can be used by those with a weak argument in a public debate. Some of them include:

  • Ignore the questions.

  • Point to something entirely different (red herrings).

  • Use the ad hominem (attack on the person).

  • Use the straw man argument, where you set up a false narrative (“the straw man”), and knock that wimpy figure down; posturing as if that KO was a legitimate blow at a real argument.

We’ve seen Ms. Dickens fail to respond before to issues and facts that don’t fit their narrative. But it is simultaneously disappointing and enlightening to see CFED’s Ryan ducking on tough questions.

Policy wonks ought to be able to articulate something beyond their talking points. When confronted with facts, a serious policy advocate ought to be able to defend it, or if shown to be wrong, be woman or man enough to admit it. Anything other than that is a kind of charlatanism.

That said, we have and will continue the policy of allowing organizations and perspectives across the spectrum here on MHProNews.com. That is how a trade journal can fuel the understating of an issue.

Let me hasten to add that a different non-for-profit has sent a private message saying they did reach out to OZY, and chided them for poor terminology and other errors. Will others stand up and do the same?

The letter Barney Frank sent to James Cook, that our reader so thoughtfully sent to MHProNews.com to be published, was read into the Congressional record in the discussion on HR 650, which passed. Working with pros like you, together, we are making a difference.

That difference depends on YOU and your circle to be engaged.

Lumaxart Graphic by Scott Maxwell

Lumaxart Graphic by Scott Maxwell.


We have had team members and myself write our Senators in support of S 682. So I can look you in the digital eye and say, please,

  • call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. They can connect you to your two U.S. Senators.

  • Or email them – find your senator at this link…


  • …or use MHI’s Engage.

Pick your favorite way to reach out and ask for support on S 682.

Count on the fact that the other side is doing all they can to undermine the MH industry’s position. We are seeing it in slanted media coverage that hardly deserves the name ‘journalism.’

We are in a conflict over the future of our industry and the security of our MHI home owners. There are in fact many conflicts over our industry’s future and potential. These arise from within and without the MH business community. Pick up the phone to email or call your Senator. Ask them to support S 682, the Preserving access to Manufactured Housing Act.

Looking ahead…

Watch for something eye popping in the very near future. We will keep you posted. Please pass the good word on. ##

UPDATE: The article has been RELEASED! Here it is:

Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Financing: The Place Where Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences Collide


By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

“Trailer House Nation” – OZY Media – Failure to Correct the Record?

May 9th, 2015 No comments

Executive Summary: ‘news’ accounts – such as OZY Media’s so-called “Trailer House Nation” series – are damaging to the value of manufactured homes owners, to our industry’s businesses’ and to MH professionals. The time is nigh for pro-MH non-profits, home owners and for-profits to pull together to correct inaccurate media accounts, such as OZY Media’s. Doing so will protect billions of dollars in home values and will produce over time billions of dollars in new MH revenue annually.

The day might (or might not…) come when the Ishbel Dickens groupies decide they will join forces with savvy MH Pros in protecting and promoting the resale value of manufactured homes. Why? Because at the end of the day, the interests of MH Businesses and Associations ought to align with those of MH home owners, residents and consumers. Who says?

How about Randy Rowe and company, who created policies that grew their firm’s MHCs value to $1.32 billion dollars, while safeguarding the interests of home owners. Or Gary P. McDaniel’s led Yes! Communities, that do so many positive things to attract and keep their MHC residents happy.


Or how about the thoughts and deeds of Paul Bradley led ROC USA, who laments the lack of Cohesion in MH?

A number of forward looking association executives engage with home owner groups like Ishbel’s, try to work together where possible. Given examples such as these, perhaps my hope that sincere adversaries on issues as contentious as financing could have an “Aha! moment,” become allies…well, maybe its not so Utopian to think it could happen. Certainly it won’t ever occur without effort.

Knowing those groups read what we publish too, let me suggest that all have a stake in correcting the many misstatements made by any errant report, such as OZY Media in their report series, errantly dubbed Trailer House Nation (TrlrHN).

OZY Media’s Trailer House Nation series

Here is most of a posted comment on the Friday article in OZY’s TrlrHN series; noting that this comment was not ours in any form or fashion.

While I am enjoying reading the articles, there is one thing that I must take exception to the mixing of apples, oranges and lemons.

A mobile home, at an average of 1300 square feet, is considerably larger than the 400 square feet of living space in the tiny house mentioned.

The pictures show an RV park and not what is typically considered a trailer park. The two parks are totally different both in appearance and in how they are viewed by the city/county government.

Finally, as has been mentioned before, living in a mobile home doesn’t have to mean that you are living in the stereotype mobile home…

…Wish these articles presented the subject in a little more balanced way.” – Pamela Wright.

Perhaps PW was being polite. Tom Fath expressed it more directly.

When we look at the volume of visits on our rebuttal article already, we know we’re not alone in thinking that OZY Media‘s TrlrHN series mixes facts, fiction and spin; to the detriment of MH home owners, MH businesses and other MH enthusiasts connected to or favorable towards our industry.

Ishbel Dickens at NMHOA and Doug Ryan at CFED; do you agree that MH Home owners are arguably being harmed every time ‘news’ like this from OZY Media goes out? Would blacks put up with being called the “N-word” by the mainstream media? Would Jews put up with anti-Semitic remarks? Why do MH Pros accept the errant use of the T-Word, as applied to MH?

As one black nurse told me on a recent Inside MH video road show, I’m not trailer trash.”  That nurse was proud of her home, loved her lifestyle.  It is the polar opposite of what OZY Media projects.  We’ll show her video on MHLivingNews.com in the days ahead.

Why should MH owners, business put up with that kind of implicit put-down, and numerous other errors in OZY’s report? Isn’t it high time that you, us and others who think long term stood up to defend the facts about our industry’s homes and our MH Home owners? Shouldn’t we proclaim with pride the lifestyles that allow millions to live better than they other wise would?


Graphic Credit: Trailer House Nation.

Sure, the OZY writers have the right to express their opinions. But no one, including OZY, have the right to their own facts.

It is a fact that federal law that made our homes Manufactured Homes, not trailers or mobile homes. Deliberately misnaming our brand of homes harms the values of all involved. An attorney explained to me last year, that in certain scenarios, media can be held liable for damages caused by errant reporting. We’ll look at that subject another time…



Graphic credit: OZY Media.

But the headline above contradicts the message Sanjena at OZY sent me, when she asserted their understanding about the use of the proper terms. What that  implies is that Sanjena knowing took the step to ignore the call for a correction in reply to MHProNews concerns over the inaccuracies – including the T-word use – in their series. Clearly, their 5th article in their TrlrHN series suggests that MH should just go away. Is that her or their firm’s agenda?

Ishbel, Doug, do you see how that notion can only harm MH home owners values?  Do you see how that will harm those MH owners you say you want to advocate on behalf of their interests?  

If those kinds of groups won’t stand up against this – arm in arm with MH Pros – then look for the Factory Built Home Owners of America and other organizations to rise to those leadership roles.  Nature abhors a vacuum, and NMHOA and CFED need to be wise in such cases, or suffer the loss of any leadership they might otherwise claim.

Anyone who has tracked the Tiny House facts, would know that their houses cost more per square foot than a modern manufactured home. Did you notice that the higher cost per square foot fact is glossed over by OZY in their Friday article? So is it surprising when other facts get overlooked or bypassed in their narrative too?

The New and Traditional Media – What Writers, Editors and Publishers Want…

When even the vaunted New York Times is struggling financially, clearly part of what the media wants is to be profitable. Don’t think for a moment that a New Media outlet, such as OZY Media, lacks interest in selling the goal of their product – eye balls and ads. That’s a given.

Some in media are willing to do all sorts of things to get eye balls that result in ad revenue.

Some of those ‘things’ might be akin to what Brian Williams is alleged to have done in embellishing stories at NBC News, which finally landed him in hot water and suspension from that network.

Serious journalists and editors want to get it right, or given a sometimes passionate perspective, as close to correct as their biases might take them.

  • It is self evident that poor terminology harms the home values of contemporary Manufactured Home (MH) owners. OZY Media’s deputy editor communicated that they knew the right terminology. So why did they repeatedly ignore it’s proper use – starting with their series title?

  • It is self-evident that negative stories harms the demand side of the MH equation, which in turn harms the value of MH home owners. Who will hold OZY to account for undermining the image and of 8.8 million MH homes and the lifestyles of their 20+ million residents?

  • Is the OZY agenda made evident by their 5th article, with the graphic above, in the TrlrHN series? Even the first article – which certainly tugs at heart strings – harms rather than helps MH owners. Why? Because readers who are uninformed can walk away with all sorts of misconceptions that harm interest, thus demand and thus the value of every MH.

  • So even the facts, when told without proper context can be unfair and damaging. Facts deserve to be framed properly, just like a good painting or photo needs a proper frame work. For example, the Saturday story’s video is filled with mournful music and ‘truth’s that are only part of the story.  In a land lease, sure your costs rise.  But they do with owned real estate too!  Anyone at OZY ever hear about rising property taxes?  Or did OZY consider that in an apartment your rents rise faster than in a manufactured home that is resident owned, and sits in a land lease?


    OZY’s graphic above makes it sound liberating that the family featured was finally out of their ‘trailer park,’ but even their own video shows their housing cost tripled. Are they really better off?

That said, there are certainly journalists and editors alike who want both crisp prose that is accurate. Some actually want to tell a positive story, one that offers solutions for challenges like the crying need in the U.S. for quality affordable housing. We know from first hand experience that MH is filled with millions of potentially good stories! Here is one of them…


How brave and bold is OZY? Are they a little like the young school yard bully, looking for an easy target for sensationalism?

Let’s see if OZY is in a rush to do a Charlie Hebdo style tease about Islam or Mohammed. Or will OZY have a white writer start hurling the N-word toward blacks in America to grab headlines? Nah, I don’t think they will do any of those, do you?

So why are the leadership at OZY so comfortable denigrating MH via inaccurate and inappropriate T-word use, or slanting facts and copy in a fashion that harms the interests of millions of manufactured home owners? Do they think MH is an easy target?

I can’t say how their quality is on other topics, some say, good. But on this series, for me, the grade OZY gets for fair, balanced and accurate journalism in their “Trailer House Nation” series is a D. If OZY Media merged with the National Enquirer, would the tag line read something like this?

Face a Challenge with some Blow,

Keep facts straight? Who Would Know?

Grab a Drink, and Go, Go, Go…

Uniting to Act Positively on Behalf of MH Owners, Businesses and Professionals.

Next week, there are going to be some who will look up and perhaps go livid when they find the tables and spotlight turned on them. But frankly, the goal then will be the same as it is for us now with OZY Media.

We want to Spotlight the overlooked and misunderstood MH Realities, so that the truth is better understood, embraced and acted upon.

In a perfect world, OZY Media would act to retract or correct the record, not because they could potentially face class action litigation over their errant story series (again, a long explanation, better made another time). Rather, they should correct and retract as needed because it is the right thing to do, and harms the values of millions who need what MH offers.

In a perfect world, Isbhel Dickens, Doug Ryan et al would join hands with MH industry leaders, rank and file and go to the CFPB and say, pardon us, but the MH Industry’s lenders were correct. Personal property lending should be given the latitude the industry wisely seeks. Barney Frank said as much privately, and as his letter linked here suggests.

Standing up For Modern MH

We must define ourselves, or others will define us, often to our detriment.

We know from our site stats, that our report on OZY’s “Trailer House Nation” is already near the top of new articles being read. It is rising fast. That says you and others care. But the top new article being read speaks volumes too…


Be heard on this image/education/media subject! Isbhel, CFED, you too should ask OZY Media for corrections if you claim to care about MH owners!


Home owners, Industry Professionals, For and Non-Profits should pull together to stop negative, biased, stereotype based ‘reporting.’

With articles and videos like those being produced for ManufacturedHomeLivingNews, we are seeking to let those who know MH best be part of the positive defining process.

Some experts say that you can only push out a bad habit with a good one. Similarly, you can only improve a poor image by replacing it with a well-earned good image.

MH doesn’t have to be perfect to be a better option for tens of millions more potential home owners, all of whom need what we offer. Those millions of potential new MH owners should be in addition to the 20- 22 million who already enjoy the benefits MH provides.

This is a two front challenge. We must work to improve the image while combating those who dare besmirch it. You don’t win a football game without scoring points, defense isn’t enough. You don’t win in baseball, by allowing the other team to score all the base hits and runs. Defense and offense. Defend the image while building it up. That’s the recipe. That will benefit MH owners and businesses alike. ##


By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.


L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Consolidation and Conflict

May 6th, 2015 No comments

Skyline Homes has resisted the trend toward consolidation, but this week it was announced that Fairmont Homes has now been bought up by the Avis of Manufactured Housing, mighty Cavco Industries. As to conflict, anyone who is in MH leadership is well aware of the media battle raging over big players in MH in specific, as a way of targeting (read, undermining) support in Congress for S 682 and previously HR 650.

Oxy Media is the latest in a series of what many objective readers would think of as a hit piece on MH. Please see the link and related commentary on their Trailer House Nation – The Eviction.


About a week has gone by since the Masthead  featured these words…

There is a war ranging – a genuine conflict – over MH and housing in general.”

…in this blog post…


This past weekend, readers tuned into this about the media and MH:

“When I ask a room filled with MH pros, “Do media accounts relating to our Industry impact your sales, notably on issues like tornado coverage?” Usually almost every hand go up. So we know the media impacts perceptions and thus our MH sales, for good or ill.

Yet many of those perceptions are skewed at best, or are agenda driven, etc.. While it pains some in journalism to admit that their profession has often been politicized and has become agenda driven, that is hard to argue against when you have the NYTimes, MSNBC and others on the left, Wall Street Journal, Fox News and others that tend more to the right.

Given a careful read of any given article or TV news report, and a you can often deduce the political or other spin of that journalist.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that journalism is dead. There are good journalists out there. But when agendas are so obvious, doesn’t it make sense to engage in AM in a way that might positively influence the media conversation? Shouldn’t we in MH be as keen to share our facts as other special interest groups are to advocate for their interests?

The answer is obvious. Yes, we need MH AM that can intersect positively with the media…”

…as part of this blog post:


We either define ourselves, or others will define us. Consolidations happen in any Industry. The free enterprise system makes that a potentially good thing.


But the battle to define MH requires what a Steve Jobs would have dubbed in our industry, MH Evangelism. You and others must play a role, and be part of the solution.

The bad news is that failing to do so costs you and others money.

The good news is that successfully doing so can make those of us committed to the long term good of our customers and the MHIndustry more money than many could imagine.

You can get everything out of life that you want, when you help enough other people get out of life what they want.” – Zig Ziglar. ##

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-business-building-seminars-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

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