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FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

August 9th, 2018 No comments

 

FEDsBuffettsBerkshireClaytonHomesMoatManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIBillionsMarketManipulationAllegedMHProNews

For billions of souls who believe, since the time Cain killed his brother Able, history records how dark emotions and desires have motivated some to harm or dominate others. 

 

In manufactured housing, Terry Decio with Skyline quipped on camera “I’m tired of being the best kept secret, I’m ready to help house America.” Terry’s father Art was on the cover of Time Magazine, and in a good way. MHProNews has reminded readers that American Presidents like Nixon and Ford have at times spoken and acted favorably toward our factory buIlt-home industry.

TimeMagazineTerryDecioManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The Decio family had Art on the cover of Time Magazine decades ago, the industry improved, so what happened to the MH Industry since then?

So how could it be that during a growing affordable housing crisis, that the numbers of manufactured homes (MH) shipped are just a fraction of the glory days when the industry shipped north of 372,000 new homes one year in 1998?  Or the even more inflation-adjusted prosperous days when the pre-HUD Code MH industry was selling more than 500,000 new homes in two consecutive years?

ScholasticCororatonFigure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

Realtor University, Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE.

 

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Each photo is of a modern manufactured home, which can be some 2400 sq  ft or more in size, 1 or 2 levels, set over a basement, or can be as modest as 320 sq ft. These homes are built to federal construction, energy, and safety standards that went into effect on June 15, 1976.  They are administered (regulated) primarily by HUD, and are thus known as “HUD Code Manufactured Homes.”

 

Media, Money, Government, and Market Manipulation

Stephenie Meyer once observed, “Sometimes the best hiding place is the one that’s in plain sight,” per Goodreads.  

It’s a matter of history and fact that the interaction of media, money, government officials, and market manipulations have occurred in the U.S. – or any nation you care to mention – going back several centuries.

Even before the Seattle Times reported that federal investigators are probing Clayton Homes and their subsidiarity lenders – Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, and 21st Mortgage Corp – those Knoxville metro business units of Warren Buffett’s Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway were known by this publisher to be under federal investigation. We had already reported federal investigations on the Daily Business News on MHProNews.  

But it is quite likely that the Seattle Times knew of some investigations that we didn’t, and vice-versa. While we’re the most read trade media by far in MHVille, the Seattle Times budget and resources blows us away.

That’s reality.

Kevin Clayton said in his own fashion that Berkshire/Clayton likes to use and work with nonprofits. Do certain Google searches, and the video of Kevin Clayton posted below is among what pops up on page one.

The video below edits not a word Kevin spoke, but written commentary was added by MHProNews to the video interview originally commissioned/authorized by Clayton/Berkshire. So, that video is also the truth hiding in plain sight.

 

 

For a variety of reasons, Harvard’s Eric Belsky predicted that manufactured housing would overtake conventional on-site construction by 2010. Belsky was wrong on that projection, why? Because Warren Buffett is a smart man – Kevin Clayton said so in the video – and Buffett reads a lot.  

Buffett arguably came to the same conclusion Belsky did.

Would it have been a surprise if Buffett knew what Belsky wrote, before buying Clayton Homes and other parts of the manufactured home industry? Didn’t Kevin Clayton obliquely suggests as much in the video, when he said that “Warren” does his homework?  Isn’t that what Buffett suggests himself, in this next video?

 

 

That’s the truth hiding in plain sight, online, among billions of other items. So, you or any researcher only has to look to find it. Or once found, to cross check the data we provide, and verify the accuracy of it. 

What Harvard’s Belsky likely didn’t count on when he said manufactured housing would overtake conventional housing in new construction by 2010, was that Buffett’s Berkshire would buy Clayton, Oakwood, Vanderbilt and 21st, and use “the Moat” principle discussed and linked from herein to manipulate the market. 

As the HUD Code manufactured home industry had been sliding downhill for some 5 years by that time, the new combination made Clayton Homes number one in MHVille, with deep capital pockets Kevin speaks about on camera.  

Buffett explains his principle of the strategic “Moat” in his own words in the video above. Notice how often Kevin Clayton speaks about the “Moat” in his video too?

That’s the truth hiding in plain sight. 

Belsky also noted that credit is the lifeblood of housing.

Presidents Nixon and Ford knew that credit was critical for affordable housing too. They took steps to make more financing available for what was then “mobile home” buyers. That took place prior to the formal dawn of HUD Code manufactured homes, which occurred on June 15,1976. All that’s true, easy to document, and is hiding in plain sight.

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Why does MHI no longer reference this, as they did prior to Clayton Homes being bought by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway? 

 

For the Record 

We’ve previously published numerous examples of what could logically be alleged as market manipulations, carried out by the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Isn’t that a restraint of trade? An antitrust violation?

Voices within manufactured housing and outside observers alike have concluded that MHI is the association/nonprofit tool of Omaha. It fits what Kevin said about nonprofits on that video. 

If you are Warren and Kevin, how do you widen your “Moat?” Why not do that by cutting off lending to competitors during the aftermath of the drama of the 2008 mortgage housing crisis? 

Why not do that by U.S. Mail, fax or other intestate communications?

Need proof? How about this letter below, signed by Tim Williams of 21st, a Berkshire Hathaway sister company to Clayton Homes?

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticConcernManufacturedHome

See key parts of the text from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letter that contradicts important elements of what this 21st Mortgage Corp letter claims. Click this link here for those Buffett quotations, taken in context.

 

What was the impact and fallout that followed that 21st letter? What did it accomplish in the manufactured home market?  

Read carefully all the facts, and then what MHI’s own document deductively suggests. Isn’t that all the truth, hiding in plain sight?

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ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

These graphics reflect what the facts reveal.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

This graphic is a snapshot of the industry at about the time of the Kevin Clayton video, posted on this page. In that video, Kevin says what “Warren” teaches about competition and the Moat.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

While several mainstream media allegations of monoplistic practices have been made against Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway, this trade publication is the only one known to date to have produced documentary evidence.  The documents, quotes from Buffett, Kevin Clayton and others reveals their own stated practices, and how that plays out in the real world. Neither Berkshire brands in MH, nor MHI has attempted to refute or debate these allegations or concerns, though they’ve been given the opportunity, as long-time industry readers know.

We’ve shown the above 21st document to investigators.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e

One reason so few are willing to speak out publicly on this issue is that they don’t want to be the next in line for disappearing as an independent business. Fear is what state association executives and others have told us holds them in check

We also know that some in the mainstream media are looking into this topic. But the timing of other reports, or investigators on such matters being made public is never a given. 

Buffett has said he likes to invest in businesses that make sense.  Isn’t what’s summarized below, one of the reasons manufactured housing made sense to Buffett?

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data


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Democrats and Republicans alike are voicing concerns over monopolies, and some are pointing to Clayton and Buffett by name.

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

But they have not yet used these specific “smoking gun” documents – nor the videos – shown on this page.

To the mainstream media, these 21st letters are “news.” 

Look carefully at the linked article below, and you will see how Warren Buffett’s own words contradicted 21st’s Tim Williams – who served several years as the chairman of MHI – and his letter, shown above. That 21st letter by Williams was at best a half-truth, or debatably, a manipulative lie.  Sent in the aftermath of the mortgage credit meltdown, it was plausible to may of those reading it.

The result? “Consolidation.”  The Berkshire/Clayton Moat grew. See the graphics above. People arguably have suffered as a direct result.

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

We’ve given Tim Williams, Kevin Clayton, their attorney, and MHI and their inside and outside counsel opportunities to reply, rebut or refute the claims, concerns and allegations of market manipulation that arguably involve them in antitrust and other kinds of illegal activities. So far, silence.  if MHProNews was wrong, why not refute us?

When MHI’s President, Richard “Dick” Jennison was scheduled to speak at the Louisville Show earlier this year, we emailed to our thousands of industry readers that morning a link to 12 questions they should ask Jennison.

Jennison abruptly cancelled that long-planned appearance in the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show’s  ‘educational’ session.

But MHI’s president was photographed at the Louisville Show, feverishly speaking on his cell phone with somebody, during the time he was supposed to be on stage. Who was on the other end of that phone call? Will the Feds do what it takes to find out?

 RichardDickJennisonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCEOLouisvilleManufacturedHomeShowByClaytonHomesDispalyPhoto2018MHProNews

 

The irony is that MHI and Berkshire Brand team members own behaviors essentially pushed this writer into discovering the truth hiding in plain sight. Questions and comments to me from industry members kept piling up, forcing this writer to take another look, a deeper dive. Among those that began to trigger my concerns were these publicly stated points, linked here. Among many others, was this comment shown below, also made publicly to MHProNews as part of an interview. 

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews48thMHINCClist

They and others know it took me time to wake up; my apologies for my tardiness. 

Because I was slow, I can relate to why others may be slow to accept reality too.

New Manufactured Home Industry National Association Related Statements

This helps shed light on the following question. How was it possible that so many outside of MHVille – HUD Code manufactured housing (MH) land, or the thousands of industry professionals like Terry Decio – how could the clear need for manufactured homes become so obscured?  Is it because MHI won’t routinely clear up the record on modern manufactured home realities?  The examples of unaddressed issues by MHI are numerous.

 

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Some key manufactured home industry facts at a glance. How is it possible that MHI can’t even get all the basics of the MH data correct?

Presidents Nixon and Ford knew the pre-HUD Code MH industry, and supported it.  

Federal studies, university level research, and insurance reports going back at least twenty years specifically said that manufactured home quality had evolved from the days of ‘trailer houses’ and the later ‘mobile home’ era.

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

Vice Mike Pence knows this industry well, say our sources. Because as Governor of Indiana, Pence knew modern manufactured homes, and RVs, both built in that state. 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson says he hears the manufactured home industry, Carson has publicly promised a new era of cooperation. All that and more is the truth hiding in plain sight. Additional details are in the report linked, and heavily cross referenced, found below.

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

 

What that article above, and the one linked below, reveals is the harm that market manipulation has debatably cost everyday Americans, federal, state, and local taxpayers.

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

 

Secretary Ben Carson, Brian Montgomery, and Dana Wade at HUD are among those that should be aware of the “enhanced preemption” that’s called for by existing federal law with respect to manufactured housing over local jurisdictions. The Washington Post obliquely noted how the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) pushed for an end to regulatory abuses by one Pam Danner at HUD. MHI SVP Lesli Gooch at MHI admitted to the Washington Post that they did not make an effort to stop Danner’s overreaches. Why not? Isn’t that the truth about MHI, now hiding in plain sight?

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

The applied logic of the two NBER researchers linked below is this. A lack of affordable cost the nation trillions. 

Local zoning is the apparent headache.  But when 99 percent plus of Americans don’t know about the enhanced preemption of manufactured homes under federal law, the obvious solution is overlooked.

When millions don’t realize the quality, they only consider the stereotypes, fear and prejudice kick in.  Thus the failure to embrace the reality of manufactured homes vs. the outdated myths and misconceptions of the past costs America some $2 trillion dollars a year in lost GDP.  While they aren’t talking about MH, that’s the NBER researchers logic, when applied to our misunderstood and maligned industry.  Put differently, there is no need to pass new laws.  The federal laws already needed to cure the affordable housing crisis have been on the books for years.  HUD officials surely know about it.  When their review of the manufactured housing program is complete, will they apply what they know, and fix these issues?

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Ken Johnson provided this as part of his reply when asked about manufactured homes as a path to personal wealth creation. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/researchers-shake-up-american-dream-rent-vs-buy-ken-johnson-florida-atlantic-university-exclusive-to-manufacturedhomelivingnews/

 

Rephrasing the Truth

Rephrased, if Secretary Carson, VP Mike Pence, and the Trump Administration simply apply existing laws, our nation’s economy will soar. Home ownership will rise.  The need for subsidized housing will fall.

That will occur naturally, without artificial stimulation, because the lack of affordable housing is choking off the nation.

The future of housing in America, and around the world, is found in factories. Almost everything else we as a nation do is from a production center or factory. Why not housing?

 

The steady pressure of the truth hiding in plain sight, thanks to the tips and support of the few forward thinkers in this industry, has made it possible for manufactured homes to have a potential breakthrough moment.

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Starting at Page 48, see her 30 page report on manufactured homes, linked here. Please watch her footnotes.

 

Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton at the National Association of Realtors (R), among others, has made it possible for long-obscured realities to come into sharper focus.

But the truth is that Lisa Tyler, Ph.D., tried to spotlight much of this years before, when she did her doctoral dissertation on manufactured homes. I personally tried to get MHI to spotlight Tyler’s work several times. Tyler’s was useful research for the industry. Why didn’t MHI give Tyler’s important work a boost? Or the time of day?

 

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See the related report, linked here.

Open market manipulation can be described as a kind of confidence (con) game. With that thought in mind, the following quote from American Thinker seems to apply. “Never let your con grown stale. Never give up the con.” It’s a different topic than ours, and like this next quote from the Tucson Weekly, both seem to apply. Through speaking with his fellow inmates, he distilled the four major aspects of the criminal enterprise: 1, Develop a plan; 2, Recruit; 3, Make the pitch; 4, If caught, always deny, never give up the con.”

The “Rajin’ Cajun,” Bill Clinton campaign wizard James Carville obviously demeaned millions of Americans, while using a slur to distract from the sexual-scandal-plagued woes of his boss when he said, “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.” 

MHI’s prior chairman admitted that there were good reasons to defend the industry against such slurs.

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews-500x277

But they routinely don’t defend the industry. It’s an oblique kind of open manipulation of people and thinking that’s oft repeated.

That derogatory prejudicial slur has kept manufactured homes wrongfully in the shadows for so long. So why didn’t MHI address that prejudice over and over, like the NAACP did racism? Surely all those smart people at MHI with all of their degrees know that every once in a while, an advertorial about the industry or social media pages aren’t enough.  The irony is that most of the negative stories, about fires and what not, are about older pre-HUD Code mobile homes. Today’s manufactured homes are statistically as safe as conventional housing, per the NFPA

The point is that MHI could simply reply, as prior MHI Chairman Williams admitted. But as MHI member Frank Rolfe has repeatedly complained, instead, MHI remains silent. It’s a subtle way of letting the industry struggle, while Berkshire brands and other ‘insiders’ consolidate large parts of the industry. 

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Millions are being denied the American Dream, because of openly used influence, information manipulation, pejoratives that yield prejudice, finance and regulatory abuses. 

Couple that’s with years of a failures to apply existing federal laws. Do the $2 trillion dollar math. This tragedy is costing the average American household some 24k in lost GDP annually.

Rephrased, monopolistic “Moat” manipulations by billionaires and multi-billion dollar entities have cost American trillions a year in lost productivity. These issues ought to be placed on center stage during the next 90 days. They must be kept in the national limelight long after the next election, until the issues are finally fixed.

Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat

Earning an honest buck, I truly admire. Earning billions honestly and ethically is fine too.

But please don’t manipulate hundreds of millions of people, and cost your nation trillions in the process, all to make several billion dollars a year in sales. Once understood, who can abide by that kind of costly white-collar con?  Where’s Equal Justice Under Law?

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Buffett’s own words, the graphic is by the third party shown at the bottom left. The truth has been hiding in plain sight, but the various threads – plus the documents and videos above – had to be pulled together to paint the complete picture.

So, industry pros should not expect anyone in Arlington, Knoxville, or Omaha to confess.

But we already have what “Kevin” and “Warren” have said on videos posted above.  They’ve explained in their own words key parts of the moat and how its used to throttle competition. Marry that up with the balance of the facts and evidence.

The odds are that they will never willingly give up the con of a system they’ve debatably rigged and manipulated.

Like the solution to the affordable housing crisis, it’s the apparent truth hiding in plain sight. We’ve alleged it, we provided the evidence others first gave to us. We’ve given Berkshire’s brands and MHI an opportunity to publicly debate it, or refute it. MHProNews laid out the logic of evidence and the facts.

Now, what will you do with this knowledge?

Because if they did it before, what’s to keep them from doing it again?

Cain killed his brother Able out of mere jealousy. Some have scammed others since nearly the beginning of time. May God help us all. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

“Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” – FHFA, GSE Federal Oversight Announcement

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-575x268

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

“Insulting” – Local News Report on “Mobile Home” Fire Underscores Why Terminology Matters

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room

Blackstone, Bain Capital, CityLab, and Inside the Manufactured Housing Outlook

July 29th, 2018 No comments

 

BlackstoneGroupLogoBainCapitalLogoCityLabLogoMHProNewsLogoManufacturedHousingHomeIndustryMastheadMHProNews

Why would The Blackstone Group (BX) enter the manufactured home industry quietly, instead of with fanfare?

Let that question percolate in your mind for a bit, because if a large operation like Bloomberg can’t pry an official statement out of Blackstone, then surely they must think they have a good reason? 

Keep in mind other in media are trying to get details from Blackstone or Tricon too. 

So once more for effect. Why would The Blackstone Group (BX) enter the manufactured home industry quietly, instead of with fanfare?  ICYMI, read that report later, at the link, below.

Blackstone Brilliantly Bets Big On Manufactured Housing, Enters Manufactured Home Communities Contest

 

Bain Capital and Manufactured Housing 

BainCapital Logo

Logo provided under fair use guidelines.

Tens of millions tune out politics (sad, allowing others decide your fate with no effort), so millions don’t know that Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP candidate for president had long ties to Bain Capital.

Mitt Romney’s father – George Romney – was at HUD from 1969 to 1973. That would have been during the era in the run up to the mobile home industry’s push in Congress for the passage of the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act in 1974.

Do you think mobile homes were ever discussed?  

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, keep in mind that President Gerald Ford addressed the then mobile home industry’s convention in 1973. Again, ICYMI or this is your first visit, check out that report later, once you’ve carefully combed and absorbed this one.

U.S. President Praised “The Mobile Home Industry,” Manufactured Homes are “Here to Stay”

So would it be a surprise to learn that Bain Capital reportedly had (has?) interests in manufactured home communities, and thus in the manufactured housing industry? 

But guess what? Today’s Bain Capital won’t confirm or deny that point. 

Why not? 

Flashback almost

5 years, when an official at the Trump organization then denied to MHProNews any ties to factory-built housing. Now we know that there is some connection between the Trump family business, and rising unicorn star Revolution Precrafted Properties.

 

What Does It Mean When Big Name Operations Won’t Mention Manufactured or Modular Home Connections?

Longtime readers may recall the video captured lament of Skyline’s Terry Decio to MHProNews. ‘I’m tired of being the best kept secret. I’m ready to help house America.’

Stop and ask yourself this.

Why has Manufactured Homes been the “Best Kept Secret” for so long?

Why would Blackstone or Bain not celebrate their efforts to promote affordable quality living in America?

Why did Donald Trump’s family, before he became the President of the United States (POTUS), go with supporting an international operation that does high end PreFab?

 

Mainstream Media Reality Checks 

Aficionados, professionals, and enthusiasts that read here run the size of operation, net worth, political and other gamuts. Why? 

After years of MHI ‘allegedly’ trying to undermine, sideline, malign or destroy MHProNews and MHLivingNews, we’re still number one by a country mile; why?

Don’t forget these queries – because they are important for you and all pondering affordable housing. For now, set those questions aside for another time.

Regular readers know we’re strong believers in using the correct industry terminology. Now set that important point aside too, and let’s look at some mainstream media reality checks.

 

Mainstream Media Reality Checks 

The nomenclature and some details aside – as important as those are – consider the case made for manufactured housing by CityLab in the article below. Note that CityLab sprung from the Atlantic, which previously reported on manufactured homes. 

 

TheUrbanistCaseForTrailerParksMobileHomesManufacturedHomesCityLabJuly2018PhotoLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryLATonyKovachMasthead

There are some caveats and details beyond the nomenclature that should be noted. That said, this is a thoughtful column from an outsider looking in. https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/07/the-urbanist-case-for-trailer-parks/566123/

Next, ask yourself why the case made by Warren Buffett’s own newspaper is weaker than the one linked above?

 

OmahaWorldHeraldLikeSiteBiultHomesManufacturdHomesCanGrowInValueNotEasyClimbManufacturedHousingIndutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

A close fisking of this article by Berkshire owned Omaha World Herald could reveal the need for a new mantra in MHVille, beware of Buffett owned media bearing ‘gifts’ for manufactured housing. https://www.omaha.com/money/just-like-site-built-homes-manufactured-houses-can-grow-in/article_f6390f94-59ab-5692-9cc5-3b24e8759533.html Note that this came not long after a Daily Business News article that questioned why Buffett had failed for years to use his media to promote a better understanding of modern manufactured homes. Coincidence?

 

Let’s rephrase. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), plus a slew of other manufactured home industry connected companies. They’re cozy with “Frank and Dave’s” growing communities operation.

So why aren’t Berkshire’s considerable media assets used to do an ongoing series on how manufactured housing is the solution to the affordable housing crisis that’s hiding in plain sight? Why would they come up with an interesting, but less than stellar piece like the one linked above? 

Warren Buffet understands synergy, because he’s mentioned it in his annual letter to shareholders.

Stop, hold that thought, because we’re moving onto another.

 

$100 Billion Monthly?

Investors Business Daily says that repatriation of cash into the U.S. is going at an annual clip of $1.2 trillion dollars, “…far more than the $35 billion one year before,” they said.  

That’s $100 billion dollars a month in capital coming in, looking for places to invest and grow.

Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales

Housing is already a trillion dollar annual industry, and U.S. housing is worth trillions collectively. There’s reasons why Berkshire is buying market share in real estate brokerage. There are reasons why Buffett’s Clayton are buying stick builders.  

But manufactured housing is the potential home run business opportunity play. 

So why has Buffett kept the profile of manufactured homes so relatively low in his own Berkshire owned media outlets?

Why did the Urban Institute – in their report on manufactured homes – fail to mention their ties to Buffett, or the “anonymous” input from MHI?

Don’t forget but set those inquiries aside for now. 

To oversimplify, there are broadly speaking, two currents in reporting by the mainstream media currently underway regarding manufactured housing.

 

Mainstream Media Current 1) There is still a loud, steady drum beat of mostly negative local news.  These are stories of things like: 

   mobile home fires (and most are in mobile homes, not manufactured homes),

   tornadoes, windstorms, hurricanes – and these are of the “if it bleeds, it leads” media model. The odds were 1 million to 1 last year in favor of mobile or manufactured home residents not being killed by a tornado. Would you know that from any media sources but this one?

   crime, community closures, and others black-eye stories.

 

Mainstream Media Current 2) not yet as big as the current above, but there is an ever-stronger chorus that are saying, manufactured homes are the affordable housing crisis solution that’s hiding in plain sight.  Note that phrasing is often similar or the same to what MHLivingNews promoted a few years back. That site, and this one, are having an impact.  That noted…

Which current will win?   

Let’s mention two other factoids for now. 

A)     There are more HUD Code plants opening since 2016 than in many prior years. We’ve not reported all those new producers by name yet, but we plan to in an upcoming report. Nor have we at MHProNews mentioned each new expansion for an existing HUD Code builder, but may in time, as it too is an ongoing trend. The point is, new production is coming on line. One new producer that just opened tells me they’ll be at 3 homes per day by the end of this week. Brand new manufactured home builder, but those partners in the project understand the HUD Code manufactured home business.

B)     There are also new and expanding lending sources coming online in MHVille. I’m not talking about the GSEs. 

The point?  The Capital is arguably available to break the iron grip of Buffett’s Moat. If you’re a first time reader – or someone who has only skimmed until now – read those related reports linked herein and below.

 

What’s Still Missing for MH to Breakthrough? 

In my productive conversation with NAR’s Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, we discussed the “Tony Take” on “appreciation and depreciation.” Gay May get a call or two after this, but hopefully not.

But suffice it to say for now, IMHO, we found broad agreement on the why’s and the what’s of what causes rises and falls in all housing prices, including manufactured homes.  

Rephrased, when deprecation occurs instead of appreciation, there are reasons that happens. They can be successfully addressed.

CityLab did a better than average job, and deserve some kudos (terminology, etc. aside).  

But they and most in the mainstream still don’t grasp the full reality of manufactured homes. In fairness, how could they without more time and research? Again, CityLab deserves more praise than critique.

The secret sauce to growth is a mix of logic, using deductive reasoning from known facts, some chutzpah, and the truth well told.

There’s been an “info war” over manufactured housing for decades. Ignorance and prejudice are the enemy.  

In response to this thesis, a well established (not new) non-MHARR HUD Code builder told me this week that “I am ready to info war. Very sad what is happening. People living in old cold dangerous homes. We are the solution.”

There are two fronts to this info war. The internal battle, within MHVille, plus the external battle with the newsmakers and public at large.

There are too many in our industry who skim. They do so because they think they know what someone is trying to say.

There are obstacles and opportunities. The correct approach will avoid those voices within the industry that have weaponized information to the industry. As another successful industry voice has said recently, “…If retailers would bow up and tell the MHI manufacturers they want dues paid to a new association rather than MHI there will be change. I do believe the majors have weaponized regulation that further entrench their companies or widens and deepens their moat. Keep my name off it please but I’ll support the efforts if [there] is enough backbone out there.” 

Longtime industry success story and observer Marty Lavin, JD, told MHProNews recently, So the association [MHI] is not there for the “industry,” unless the interests of the Big Boys join the industry’s.”  The exit of several from MHI – and the birth of a rival – reveals that there are votes of no confidence taking place. 

The oversimplified truth about our industry is that we are the solution to the affordable housing crisis that’s been hiding in plain sight. How did that long-kept secret happen?

The oversimplified answer is that forces within MHVille have limited or allowed limits on the industry in various ways, arguably through stupid greed, vs prudent and principled actions. I say stupid greed, because as believers in free enterprise and business success, we don’t think monopolistic strategic moats are how that’s best accomplished. There’s been artificial brakes applied to manufactured housing. Monopolistic practices, plus poor media engagement, are arguably among them. The fact that the big boys decline to comment on such matters, and decline debate too, says much.

The world does not owe the manufactured housing industry much beyond an invitation to engage. 

 

The Road Ahead?

It’s the job of every manufactured home industry pro, business, and association worth their salt to engage and make the case that addresses the unanswered questions tens of millions of Americans have. The fact is, most think they know, but what they know is often 42 plus years outdated info.  

Correcting misinformation and prejudice is profitable, and can be done at the local market level.

We’ve been on a mission for approaching a decade. But the truth is, the mission began years before. This writer learned the hard way that an article every few months out of the year for a limited distribution industry publisher was not enough.

We have to make the make the necessary moves – including the evidence-based case for manufactured homes – within MHVille, and beyond our current industry boundaries too. There are reasons why Blackstone, Bain and others aren’t – yet – celebrating their role in profitably solving the affordable housing crisis. ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

(Third party images, content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports are below…

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach, publisher, consultant, history buff, and manufactured housing industry expert.

Connect on LinkedIn. For 2x weekly emailed headline news, click here.

 

 

 

Related Reports:

Profits, Understanding Human Events, and Manufactured Housing

 

“Challenges to Obtaining Manufactured Home Financing,” Urban Institute Report Fact Check, Analysis

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

 

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Achieving the American Dream, with Quality, Appealing, Affordable Home Ownership

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

Weather Expert’s Surprising, Bombshell Statement on Tornado Deaths and Affordable Manufactured Homes

Researchers Shake Up American Dream? Rent vs. Buy, Ken Johnson, Florida Atlantic University, Exclusive to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

 

 

Profits, Understanding Human Events, and Manufactured Housing

July 7th, 2018 No comments

 

ProfitsUnderstandingHumaneventsandManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

When in the course of human events...”

 

Day by day, people make life-changing decisions. Those choices can be for good or ill.

A fact without context may have little discernible meaning. To properly understand the present, or any moment in time, one must understand what occurred previously. 

In the famous George Orwell’s dark novel, 1984, control of information – including historical – was part of how “Big Brother” could pivot his alliances between otherwise ‘competing’ factions.

Orwell used fiction to brilliantly shed light on the human condition. 

 

Profitable History 

History could be profitably oversimplified to the following notion.  

History is a series of events describing how this or that ambitious person or group tries to dominate, manipulate or oppress others. That domination in turn creates a desire for freedom among those being manipulated, disadvantaged or controlled. 

When in the course of human events…” are the first words in the Declaration of Independence. The founders were educated men who knew history, business, philosophy, science, and religion. 

America’s founding founders were the opposite of socialists.  They were fighting against economic, political, and legal oppression. They did so for moral, and religious reasons.

 

TheManufacturedHousingRevolutionManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadBlogMHProNewsLogo

The report on this topic, along with others mentioned in the body of this article, are found under related resources, at the end of this column.

 

Not What It Seems

Because of competing interests, stories – narratives – are told that spin, twist or outright lie about some fact, person, history, or group.  

The brilliant G.K. Chesterton was spot on in saying, “What is wrong is that we don’t ask what is right.”

It was sheer genius when the venerable Fulton Sheen – with his keen insights into human nature – caused him to observe that people can be tempted to do what is right, just as we can be tempted into doing what’s wrong. 

It’s a stretch to say that a brighter future for America depends upon a wider acceptance of manufactured homes. But a broader understanding and embracing of manufactured homes would demonstrably yield more wealth for people of modest means, and all others too.  Is there evidence or proof for that claim?

Yes, and it’s been produced over the years by educated, third-party researchers. 

Greater personal net worth for the working and middle class would in turn make America as a whole a more prosperous, and freer people.  Wealth in all of its forms – properly understood – breeds more wealth.  Wealth isn’t a zero sum game, as some have been mislead into believing. 

We must not forget that manufactured homes – along with the mobile homes that were built before the federal manufactured housing standards began on June 15, 1976 – were a working-class option praised by American presidents. The subsidized housing system of the last 50 years is a demonstrable failure. It can never keep up with the demands, and never has. 

In contrast to subsidized housing, manufactured homes are uniquely positioned today to serve the needs of people on virtually all rungs of the economic ladder. 

But we must also embrace the reality that millionaires, the famous, and even some billionaires have owned a manufactured home they called their own home.  That fact often opens minds, and thus boosts manufactured housing’s acceptance, and appeal. 

Opening minds is at the heart of what must happen in America.  Opening minds must occur on every level of society, including that of the good news, which   includes how manufactured homes have and can support the American Dream. 

 

GreenLeafInsideLightBulbProfitsMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe American Dream – The Profitable Battle Over Housing, Freedom, and Understanding  

The American Dream was never about mere shelter, or “housing.”  

Rentals or subsidized housing wasn’t what the rebels of 1776 fought, bled, and died for during their era.  The very notion would have been widely rejected then, and rightly so.

Today, we should in stages remove subsidized housing from the government’s practices and then, it’s lexicon of failed socialized efforts. 

Private ownership of housing is to be preferred as a public policy.  Who says? Harvard, and several other third-party researchers.  

So, the American rebels wanted to be secure in their persons, properties, papers, and possessions.  They wanted no taxation or regulation without just representation.  They wanted a republic, not a democracy, dictatorship or monarchy.  

When one reads the Declaration of Independence in the context of history, it’s a brilliant document. Ditto the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

 

Compromise…

The founders of the U.S. made complex compromises. A black or Native American might understandably feel a level of pain over some concepts in those documents. But we must be mindful, as dark-skinned immigrant Dinesh D’Souza reminds us, that whites were indentured servants too. Servitude isn’t only a racial issue. Oppression in all of its forms plays a sad part in all of human history.   

The quest for freedom is part of that puzzling mosaic of history, which is best understood as the struggle of some seeking domination over others. That domination takes many forms.  That thirst for domination in turn sparks the desire for freedom.  Often, as we all know from experience, we don’t realize some good thing that what we have, until we’re losing or have lost it. 

So it’s a poisonous fallacy to say that the U.S. Constitution was purely racist. Because blacks owned other blacks – sad, but true – and white’s made chattel of other whites for long periods of time. Conquest is color blind, and so is the thirst for freedom. Freedom is won or lost in degrees, and over time. 

Race hustlers should be denounced as manipulative, just as certain billionaires seek to rig the system for their own benefit and enrichment today. Socialists may be sincere, but they are misguided.  The socialist system is failing before our eyes in Venezuela, in just a decade. It failed in Cuba. The Chinese Communists, and the Soviet Russians abandoned socialism too. 

Why should Americans buy into propaganda that’s so blatantly false? 

Then why are some billionaires peddling dressed up variations of socialism to Americans today? 

Because socialism requires big government.  Big government means power over people.  That kind of power is a path to taking the wealth of others, by misusing government.  Government is a devious way to obtaining money that ought to be sought by honest work. Here’s another historic tip. The Nazi’s weren’t right wingers.  They were “National Socialists” = Nazi. There are so many lies and half-truths being spun today by the manipulators that it’s disgraceful. That’s why ignorance of history, economics, morality, or politics is dangerous.

 CrowdofPeopleRaisingHandsMastheadManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

 

Celebrating Success

We celebrate honest success here, and are for the rights “endowed by our Creator” enshrined in the principles of Life, Liberty, and that Pursuit of Happiness;” which in the earlier draft of the Declaration read “Life, Liberty, and Property.”

Those who peddle:

  • Socialism,
  • Racial hatred of any kind,
  • Universal Basic Income,
  • Sexual divisions,
  • “Free” college,
  • “Free” health care,
  • Subsidized housing,
  • Higher taxes,
  • More regulations,

are arguably either ignorant, misguided, manipulative or some combination of those three.

People are never free who are entirely dependent upon others.  

The revolution of 1776 was controversial even in the 13 colonies.  Those colonies declared themselves to be a confederation of independent states. George Washington and the others had a price on their heads, and a bulls eye too.  Benedict Arnold wasn’t alone. America was divided, then and now.  Some fought for the British crown, just as some fight today for the monopolistic and socialistic. The reasons then and now are similar. Greed. Lust for power. The desire to control the lives of others.

Understanding the principles of human nature, and the principles of history are necessary for Americans to reclaim our national vision.  Affordable home ownership is part of that American Dream.

 

Homeownership  

A man’s home is his castle,” wasn’t mere sentimentality. The right to own property – including one’s home – and to be secure in one’s person, property (think home), papers, possessions, and beliefs were at the core of the 1776 revolt. Note that the 10 Commandments protected private property, and the truth. 

The American revolution was also about no taxation or regulation without just representation. It was about establishing laws that protected rights, even the rights of minorities against the potential of mob rule from manipulated majorities.

We’ve got a Republic, at least on paper, not a democracy.  

But a new revolt, which could be peaceful, is arguably needed today. That revolution – and a counter-revolution – are already underway.

That revolution of the American Dream begins with understanding realities vs. popularized fictions, lies or half-truths.  

Zoning” and other forms of land-use control are among those structures that are potentially as oppressive as what the founders rebelled against in 1776.  Note that 200 year span between the revolution, and the dawn of the manufactured housing era?

Manipulations of the American system in turn caused affordable housing shortages in places throughout the nation. Who says? A growing body of researchers, that have been cited for years here on MHProNews, or on MHLivingNews. Why don’t those folks in Arlington, VA routinely cite those same third-party sources?  Why do they turn instead to their own, weaponized data and claims?

 

$2 Trillion Annually

Problematic zoning and land use, say university-level researchers, costs America an estimated $2 trillion dollars a year in lost GDP.

$2 trillion dollars a year is roughly equal to $6,000 per every many woman and child. 

Rephrased, for a household of 4 people, it would be like adding some $24,000 per year in earnings.

That’s life changing for tens of millions, and would be far more effective than the phony higher minimum wage, public assistance programs, or other enslaving handouts that some socialistic-minded wags advocate.  Those truly need have always been cared for in America. We didn’t need big brother government to care for people in need.

When Americans are kept from understanding and embracing manufactured homes – per the logic and reasoning that flows from third-party researchers from places like Harvard – it’s costly to all Americans.

But ignorance and rejection of the truth about manufactured housing is especially costly to those whose only home ownership chance may be a manufactured home. 

ManTouchingLightBulbMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Wheat and Chaff 

There’s an absolute necessity to seek the truth, regardless of its source. That in turn requires a “wheat and chaff” approach that discerns what is real – from what is problematic. Often, common thoughts are nevertheless untrue. A great example is a manufactured home, which many misunderstand, because they believe the common prejudice, vs. the honest, demonstrable reality.  

We may disagree with this or that political party or organization on a range of issues.  But a group or person may still hold a position which is demonstrably wise, good, and true. Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) has done some fine research, but also hold some problematic socialist-tainted views. They are keenly involved in MHVille, and are an example of the need for a wheat and chaff approach. They are also an example of why engagement is a wise course of action. Critiques properly understood aren’t an attack.  Critiques are a call for intelligent debate, discussion, and mutual learning.

Former Clinton adviser and Democratic strategist Doug Schoen has said that the Democratic Party can’t be a party of redistribution of wealth. Smart.  

Schoen sees the hard left push in his party as embracing socialism, and he rejects it. Democrat Alan Dershowitz sees the harm being caused by weaponizing parts of the government in an attempt to illegitimately unseat a duly elected president.  

You or I may not trust the political, religious or economic perspective of some group or person.  But that doesn’t keep us from considering a specific truth that another may offer.  

So, for example. Much of what Democrats as a party are embracing today in the way of socialism and supposedly “free stuff” – which obviously someone must pay for – are demonstrably nonsense. They are false promises, designed to manipulatively attract, and trap millions of minds. 

But the Democrats were arguably smart to put up a policy position that calls for stronger controls over monopolistic forces in America. On that point, this Masthead writer agrees with them. That’s another example of separating the wheat from the chaff.

Candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump agreed on this. The “System is Rigged.” That much is true. 

And that rigged system is keeping millions from being more free by having their right to choose a manufactured home limited or removed.

Yet, that right to choose a manufactured home is essentially codified in federal law, in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, found in the enhanced preemption clause. That’s how zoning and other land-use regulations, which are strangling opportunities for millions to own a manufactured home, can be defeated, just by applying existing federal law.

The reward for doing so is a society that researchers say would produce $2 trillion dollars more a year in GDP. That in turn would in time end the need for subsidized housing, and other well-indented – but nevertheless misguided – ‘entitlement programs.’ 

We editorially oppose socialists and monopolistic manipulators.  It is interesting to note that those billionaires often publicly claim to support leftist candidates. We oppose them, whether their headquarters are in Omaha or Silicon Valley, etc.

There are some billionaires who are no doubt just fine, so its not the rich that are being blindly opposed.  But rather, it’s those who have rigged the system against the rights of “We, the People.” It’s a matter of principle, based upon an understanding of economic, legal, political, and historical forces.

There are more than one strategic moats which threaten our Republic from within.  That’s why the fictional movie Network was as brilliant a look at reality as was George Orwell’s 1984. 

 HistorySeriesEventsDescribingAmbitiousTriesDominateManipulateOppressOthersThatCreatesDesireAmongFreedomAmongThoseBeingManipulatedDisadvantagedControlledLATonyKovach

 

Manufactured Home “Choice”

Manufactured Home Choice” or the “Manufactured Home Option” must become a factually accurate, evidenced based battle cry that third-party researchers logic says could create trillions in more wealth and GDP productivity for the USA.  

That would yield thousands of new millionaires, and some new billionaires. They should embrace the long-term vision to make that manufactured home option part of the reality of the “American Dream. 

That’s the Profitable Manufactured Housing Revolution.

That can be done without creating a monopoly. 

If you’re among those who’ve followed our periodic series of reports on issues – past and present – that could make manufactured housing greater than ever, you aren’t alone.  If you’ve missed them, some are linked below, as references for greater insight on this essay.

 

Tim, Kevin, Joe, Keith, David, Ross, Mike, Sam…

MH professionals named Tim, Kevin, Joe, Keith, Ross, David, Ross, Mike, Sam, and a host of others are – per our sources – following those reports, articles, and commentary like this on MHProNews.  When they follow it, that’s a good reason for others in MHVille to do the same, isn’t it?  

They, per the evidence, may or may not agree with the goals behind what we publish. What is our goal?  To expand opportunities made possible by a broad use of manufactured homes, promoted in an honest, sustainable, and honorable fashion.  

As an example of those that Marty Lavin calls the big boys” – and how they react to what is published on MHProNews is this.

We are told by sources in and out of their Arlington based network that a gent named Tim is “obsessed” with what we publish. 

Why?

If this was a place online for the angry or mad, it would soon be devoid of readers.

But instead, third-party reports reveal a growing audience, which includes: 

  • International investors,
  • public officials,
  • advocates,
  • media,
  • researchers,
  • educated people across the left-right divide,

along with thousands of manufactured and factory-built home industry professionals.  

They come each day by the thousands to the Daily Business News and/or to other parts of MHProNews. 

Some who initially misunderstood – or even strongly opposed – our exposés like Smoking Gun 3 and other reports have-or-are becoming convinced by the evidence presented.

Facts in context matter. 

Some monopolistic minds sought to marginalize or kill-off, we’re told, this pro-industry, pro-growth Trade Media platform – along with our sister-site, MHLivingNews.com – which also begs the question, “Why?” 

George Orwell, the founders, or other freedom-loving thinkers and doers throughout history hold the answer. 

Ignorance is Strength,” was a slogan “Big Brother” used in Orwell’s 1984. If someone can keep you ignorant of your rights or opportunities – in the problematic world-view of monopolistic or socialistic dominators – that allows them to profit or benefit.

The tragic irony is this.

There is arguably more profit without the monopolistic strategic Moat than with it. Is there evidence for that claim?

Sure.  Just look at MHVille when there were more independent producers, vs. the scarcity of independents today for proof.

There’s more wealth to be earned by making America and Manufactured Housing Greater than ever, than there is by robbing people of opportunities though pressures, ignorance, rigged systems or false promises. 

We have always celebrated honest success on MHProNews. 

We oppose on principle monopolistic or any other form of economic, moral, and political oppression as Un-American. 

At the end of the day, it’s the truth that sets people free. Who says?  How about a wise Jewish rebel who preached a gospel that even centuries later motivated the 1776 founders who put their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line, when they began with those timeless words…

When in the course of human events…”

TheManufacturedHousingRevolutionMastheadDailyBsuinessNewsMHProNews

Knowledge, not ignorance, is the beginning of freedom.  

ItsTheCivilRightsIssueOfOurTimeMHLivingNewsDeadwood5StateConventionManufacturedHomesMHProNewsLATonyKovach

Education, not spin or hype, are a fundamental part of the Manufactured Housing Revolution.

 

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

It’s all about the education of our fellows that can make this manufactured home industry an ever-more vital part of the American Dream of homeownership.

The proof is there for those who are willing to explore the evidence. Can we get an “Amen?” ##  (News, historic, commentary, analysis.)

(Third party images, content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports are below…

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach, publisher, consultant, history buff, and manufactured housing industry expert.

Connect on LinkedIn.  For 2x weekly emailed headline news, click here.

 

 

 

Related Reports:

Manufactured Home Shipments, State by State Breakdown, May 2018 Official HUD Data

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

 

Time Travelers, and the Future of American Homes

 

Deadwood, the Manufactured Housing Revolution, and You

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

“Challenges to Obtaining Manufactured Home Financing,” Urban Institute Report Fact Check, Analysis

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

 

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

Achieving the American Dream, with Quality, Appealing, Affordable Home Ownership

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

Weather Expert’s Surprising, Bombshell Statement on Tornado Deaths and Affordable Manufactured Homes

Researchers Shake Up American Dream? Rent vs. Buy, Ken Johnson, Florida Atlantic University, Exclusive to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

“Death by Government,” Fascism, Communism, Socialism, ‘Big Brother,’ per Williams, Rummel and Owens

 

Publisher Rebuked! Doubting Doctor, Skeptic Stunned!

 

Life, Liberty, Property – Supreme Court – and Manufactured Housing

June 28th, 2018 No comments

SupremeCourtofUSSCOTUSBldgLifeLibertyandProerptySupreceCourtandManufacturedHousingJusticeKennedyVacancyMHProNews

1776 to 2018 and beyond. The issues of Life, Liberty and Property were as important when Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence as they are today, or will be tomorrow. And it very much matters to our industry, investors, and related professions.

 

When Sam Zell said they discovered that at Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) that they had partners they didn’t expect, he was alluding to the forces of government, often driven by voters.

When you boil down what’s happened – and is happening – in our factory crafted home industry, outside forces impact your ability: 

   to invest,

  where you can place a home,

  what the image of our MH products and communities are,

and so on.

Furthermore, forces within our industry can and arguably have gamed or rigged the system in ways that unduly favors the large vs. the small. That in turn can disrupt the economy, politics, and jobs in a variety of ways.

Into this milieu is the not-entirely-surprising announcement of Justice Anthony “Tony” Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). That retirement has arguably just supercharged the upcoming 2018 midterms.

Salena Zito Tweet Wakeup on Recent High Court Rulings, Touts the “Great Revolt,” SCOTUS Kennedy Shakeup

From issues regarding monopoly, to private property rights, and more, manufactured housing is likely to be in front of the high court in the next 24-48 months. So the replacement of retiring Justice Tony Kennedy ought to loom large in MHVille.

But it’s also huge on hot-button issues like abortion. The political left is gearing up for that fight as we write. The right-to-life forces will too.

 

Having witnessed the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), and watching President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence repeat the themes of “promises made, promises kept,” and “we will enforce the law” – like it or not – there are numerous reasons to believe those claims.

That means supporters and detractors alike are going to gear up for the midterms. No hype, but this may become the most consequential midterm elections in our lifetime.

In North Dakota last night, the President of the United States (POTUS) Donald Trump laid out his case for taking Heidi Hiedcamp’s Democratically held seat, and turning it over to a member of the GOP. He and VP Mike Pence will likely repeat this in battleground states from sea to shining sea, between now and Election Day in November. 

 

 

Life, Liberty and Property

Life, Liberty and Property” were the core rights to be protected, in the initial draft of the Declaration. In the revision to the Declaration of Independence, which was signed on July 4,1776, Thomas Jefferson changed “Property” to read “the Pursuit of Happiness.” Both versions are timeless in their meaning. 

A millennial and self-proclaimed socialist – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins in New York –Tuesday over 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district.  Crowley was the number two House Democrat, a stunning primary upset.

 

MHProNews has been reporting for over a year the growing trend of openly socialist Democrats running for office, and how millennials are closely divided on the topic of free enterprise (“capitalism” is the normal phrase used in public opinion polling) and socialism.

“Political Necrophilia,” Tragedy in SloMo, Southern Economic Political Lessons for Looming U.S. Midterms

A nation divided must learn how to engage the other side on thorny issues without threats of intimidation or violence.  

A nation in need of affordable housing must be engaged by manufactured home professionals in ways that make sense to clear majorities.

These are challenging, but exciting times.

 

The View from MHVille…

It’s gratifying to first hear and later read from industry professionals, “Tony, if MHProNews is writing about it, I want to know about it.” We’ve made several tactical adjustments over the years, and did again last year by moving into a transparent statement that every Daily Business News item is a mix of reporting, analysis, and commentary.

We have an editorial viewpoint, informed and shaped by experiences influenced by professional readers who call, message, and write. We are mindful that voices and policy makers inside and outside of our industry are on our pages daily by the thousands. The CFPB formally cited MHLivingNews as a source. The Congressional record includes a document that first appeared on MHProNews. Popular Value Penguin published an op-ed that includes both of our pro-industry publications.  

What happens in MH trade publishing here matters.

Every day in the evening market report, we do what no one else in the history of the industry’s trade media has ever done. We share headline bullets from CNN, and headline bullets from Fox Business.  We’ve done that for years. That’s fair and balanced.  An example is linked below.

Warren Buffett Strikes Deal with Lee to Manage Berkshire Units, plus MH Market Updates

Those who scan those left-right headlines in our market report every evening get more news in 2 minutes than watching an hour of news at night on TV or your device.  We save time, and yield more insights.  

Those who check the evening market report data each business day are miles ahead of their peers who don’t do the same. Those who read our featured topic for the day get insights on issues that move America, and thus will move the markets, or impact business and investments.

 

The Dow to 30,000?

Barring a catastrophic event, the Dow could hit 29,000 to 30,000 by 2020. Yes, even with all of the trade war talk, that’s a realistic outcome.  You read it here first. Why? Read the evening market report every night for a month, and you’ll see why we believe that’s coming. 

The president draws each of his rally events to a close with a call for unity of the nation. He cites the reasons during his talks why blacks, Hispanics, women, workers, investors, and others should support his efforts. He does counter-punch, but he also puts out olive branches. He is controversial, but just accept it and watch. His opponents claim he is petty and vindictive. Really? Ask Nikki Hailey, Marco Rubio, or Mitt Romney – who opposed him. Yet, he’s called on them, and supported them.

POTUS Trump is arguably among the most accomplished people to ever occupy the White House. He’s lancing numerous festering boils, as my better half might say, using a medical analogy. It will be ugly, until it is over.

Life, Liberty and Property – the Pursuit of Happiness. Can the Republic find healing after what will be a bruising midterm? Let’s close with an excerpt from Psalm 79.

Psalm 79

R/ (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

 

Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;

may your compassion quickly come to us,

for we are brought very low. R/

 

Help us, O God our Savior,

because of the glory of your name;

Deliver us and pardon our sins

for your name’s sake. R/ ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

 

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room

 

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson – Manufactured Housing Historic Results – Words, Deeds, and Metrics

April 28th, 2018 No comments

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingHistoricResultsWordsDeedsMetricsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manufactured Housing is every bit as “amazing” as HUD Secretary Carson said in a video found on MHLivingNews.com. Secretary Carson had even more to say, his full prepared statements are exclusively found at this link here.

Manufactured homes are indeed a “phenomenon,” as award-winning industry veteran Ron Thomas, Sr. told MHProNews.

The industry needs good data for investors and lenders, and accurate reporting for the public, as MHI/NCC member and RV Horizon’s Frank Rolfe has said.

It is more important “to pay attention to what people do, than what they say,” and to “follow the money,” as award winning industry success story, Marty Lavin, J.D., told the Daily Business News.

If the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing had been optional, Congress would not have called it a “Duty,” which means mandatory, as Mark Weiss, J.D. has said.

The industry is indeed recovering from its 2009 “nadir,” as George Allen likes to phrase it.

America needs 8.3 Million new housing units right now, per Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist. Yun added that builders have to “get busy.”

In 2002, Eric Belsky with Harvard University was cited as predicting that manufactured housing would overtake conventional housing by the end of the decade. That citation was in a report by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) over a decade ago, but not much since.  When Up for Growth recently said similarly – that there’s been over 7 million units needed that weren’t built in recent years – why didn’t Belsky’s prediction come true?

In 2003, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, and then Oakwood Homes, which combined became the biggest producer of manufactured housing by that year’s end.

In 2009, Tim Williams President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, issued a letter that explained that they would cut-off specified financing to manufactured home industry retailers who weren’t selling specific Clayton brands. Williams said Berkshire couldn’t afford to continue to make those loans, which they previously made on other producers’ products.

By 2011, Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes CEO, Kevin Clayton said that his company was 25 percent of the manufactured housing industry’s production. In an video interview with exclusive details added to his unedited words, Clayton explained in various ways Warren Buffett’s principle of “the Moat,” and how it was used to best competitors in a manner some have described as monopolistic.

Clayton also said in that same video that “Warren” assured him they had “plenty of money,” and that they had invested billions of dollars in acquisitions and loans every year since they were purchased.  In fact, Kevin names some of their acquisitions and billions in investments in that video.

Doesn’t Kevin Clayton’s freely made comment about having “plenty of money” contradict what Tim Williams said less than two years before as his reason to cut off lending to industry independents?

Doesn’t Berkshire Hathaway’s billions of cash on hand in 2009, 2010, etc., also contradict Williams’ letter, which cut off/limited funding to independent retailers?  Didn’t several independent producers fail or sell out – often to Clayton – in the wake of Tim Williams’ letter?

Since the above, Buffett’s Berkshire brands have now become about 50 percent of the manufactured housing industry’s production.

Buffett has said, he likes a bargain. By cutting off lending and capital, several firms sold out for less or failed that would have been the case had more capital been made available.

For years, the four person Executive Committee of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been comprised of 2 employees of Berkshire Hathaway companies. One or two of the other companies represented on the MHI Executive Committee also did business with Berkshire Hathaway owned companies. The fingerprints of Berkshire’s influence over MHI are unmistakable.

In 2008, the SAFE Act was passed, with aspects problematic for the manufactured housing industry, which played no role in the 2008 Housing/Mortgage meltdown. MHI failed to head the SAFE Act off, why? Why did Buffett back Secretary Hillary Clinton – who vowed to keep Dodd-Frank unchanged – instead of Donald J. Trump?

In 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) was passed, which included the SAFE Act, but also included the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured housing imposed by federal law on the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

A decade after DTS was passed, both of the GSEs have finally announced limited pilot programs. They stated their pilots were limited in part due to a lack of recent data. Yet Triad and Credit Human provided data. CFED rebranded as Prosperity Now pointed the GSEs to data on an over $1 billion dollar loan portfolio that performed well.

What lack of data?

Tim Williams admitted in a group of a few dozen MHI member that 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage (VMF) did not provide data to the GSEs. That was confirmed by Paul Barretto of Fannie Mae, to MHProNews in front of dozens of attendees in Tunica in March of 2018.

Yet, Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. and EVP for MHI has said that MHI is doing all that they can to move chattel lending ahead for manufactured home companies. Really? How can that be said with a straight face, when their largest lenders have not done all – or any – data sharing that they can do?

Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform) has said that every day that the GSEs don’t robustly implement chattel lending for manufactured homes is a gift to Berkshire Hathaway.

Not last for this hot topic, and not the least is the issue of image and education. MHI has arguably failed for years to do anything meaningful about responding routinely to false or misleading reports in mainstream media or academia about “mobile homes,” ”trailer houses,” or “trailer parks” when those issue arise weekly in the news. Tim Williams/21st and then MHI Chairman admitted there’s “a good argument” for doing precisely that, then why hasn’t it been done?

Advertorials and their MHI social media pages clearly have not moved the needle from the still historically low levels the industry sunk to in 2009, as our recovery is still just a fraction of what RVs, single family housing, or multifamily housing starts are.  That’s opportunity in disguise for the forward thinkers and doers. But it isn’t it also a sign of failed leadership?

 

It is time for Manufactured Home Owners, investors, and professionals to realize what has actually happened in our industry. Pretty sound words and years of failed promises by MHI and the powers behind them ought to result in accountability. Instead, paid staff have had raises and bonuses.

Rewarding words alone, no matter how pretty those words are, clearly isn’t enough. Deeds and performance must follow those words. Thousands of emails is interesting, or lots of likes on social media looks cool. But absent passing legislation, achieving reforms, or seeing a robust increase in sales — those are true measures of success.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-666x768

MHI has failed to perform for the majority of the industry’s independent companies. A few voices have had the courage to point out aspects of these issues, but not enough.

Reality Check. What this data shows is that manufactured housing is about 7.5 percent of all single and multi family U.S. housing starts. Given how cost effective manufactured homes are, isn’t this an indictment of the industry’s major association and business leadership?? RVs, a luxury item, outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. That said, there is tremendous possible upside for the industry, given the right mix of regulatory, investor and industry efforts.

The Trump Administration is doing it’s part, as Secretary Carson recently said – once more – linked here.

Editorially, we hope and pray that HUD will ask the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to start or step up their investigations and actions to break up the allegedly monopolistic practices of Berkshire Hathaway and their surrogates, MHI.

Manufactured Housing is the solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight.

MHI’s et al‘s failure to act on behalf of the majority of the industry’s members in recent years is arguably inexcusable. A few are consolidating the industry at the expense of the many. MHI/NCC VP Jenny Hodge has said as much about “consolidation.”

While production, retail and lending – among other niches – are widely seen as dominated by Berkshire Hathaway brands, there are still more independents – for example – in manufactured home communities. But for how long?

Words and Promises Can Sound Nice, But Deeds and Results Pay the Bills.”

– L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

The time to forge a post-production alternative national association to MHI is now. Millions of homes are waiting to be built, financed, and sold. Millions of potential home owners await. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

 

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

 

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

April 22nd, 2018 No comments

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, and their annual shareholders meeting, are writ large on the calendar for investors.  The same can be said for professionals who are in or researching – or in – the manufactured home industry.

BestWarrenBuffettKevinClaytonClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayAnnualMeetingCompetitiontheMoatVideoCollection

Clayton Homes – led by company founder Jim Clayton’s son, Kevin Clayton – become the largest producer of manufactured homes the year that Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett bought the company in 2003. It became the largest builder or HUD Code manufactured homes later that same year – 2003 – when Buffett’s Berkshire purchased Oakwood Homes, and rolled it into the Clayton ‘family of brands.’

Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates
compete in the annual newspaper toss
to a Clayton Homes front door at shareholders meeting.

That was one of an ongoing string of acquisitions since then, which in more recent years have included purchases of site-builders, as well as other factory producers.

Kevin Clayton talks about barracks for the military, tiny homes
annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.


 

Why did Buffett do all this?  Why has he endured the ‘drama’ that has gone along with Clayton Homes and manufactured housing?

Pay close attention to what you see, hear and read, and you’ll get it.  Short answer?  Listen to Buffett explain his own principles. Mr. Buffett wants a business that is easy to understand. He wants a business with “a moat.”  During an affordable housing crisis, what business is easier to understand than manufactured homes?

Short Warren Buffett On Clayton Homes
Allegations of Discrimination, CNBC

Two quick quotes, and then on to the rest of the videos.

I call investing the greatest business in the world … because you never have to swing…All day you wait for the pitch you like; then when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it,” – Warren Buffett, per Wikiquotes.

Draw a circle around the businesses you understand and then eliminate those that fail to qualify on the basis of value, good management, and limited exposure to hard times.” Warren Buffett, in “About Investing.

Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes CEO
on military barracks, tiny houses more…Fox Business.

 

Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes Related Videos

For those in or new to manufactured housing, these videos offer a peek inside the world of Berkshire, and their dominance of manufactured home:

  • construction,
  • retail,
  • lending,
  • suppliers,
  • insurance and other financial services arena.
  • You’ll also get a peak into their move towards conventional housing, and they were already doing modular home construction.

Berkshire Hathaway’s
Clayton Homes Moving into New Conventional Housing Markets
– The Street

 

Warren Buffett’s “The Moat” Strategy – How to Dominate Competitors, in Buffett’s and Kevin Clayton’s Own Words

For those who are researching concerns over monopolies or alleged monopolistic practices – and how that had played out in manufactured housing – the videos below are must viewing.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman,
Competitive Advantages and “The Moat” per Buffett, Video Interview Clips
– MHLivingNews.com

 

For those looking for a deeper dive in reading and research on related topics, the links below provide arguably the most comprehensive research by an informed, pro-industry expert and witness to the evolution of the industry from its early days as trailer houses, to the mobile home era, and to industry since June 15, 1976, when it formally became HUD Code regulated manufactured housing.

 

The solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight. That’s been a subtext for closing in on a decade on MHProNews.com as well as on our public focused sister site, ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, both of which also looks at modular, prefab, conventional, and pre-HUD Code mobile homes.

For first timers, to industry veterans, this is the number one site of its kind. Who says?  Besides third party traffic data, there’s the widespread praise for these twin platforms that has flowed for years from many pros, including from the founder of Clayton Homes, Jim Clayton, as well as from independents and others.  The video praised captured below is just a sampling of spoken and written praise.

 

 

While we are pro-industry, we are also pro-consumer, and are strong believers in free enterprise.

Kevin Clayton Interview, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway,
Clayton Homes CEO, Manufactured Homes, Affordable Housing News – MHProNews

Unlike much of the trade media in our industry, we do not shy away from controversial topics. So, for example, the question of the impact of alleged monopolistic practices by Buffett, Berkshire and Clayton Homes, or other charges against the company are among topics we’ve closely examined for years.

We hope you learn, and enjoy.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ## © (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

 

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

 

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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HUD Secretary Carson, Advocacy Groups, Politicos, & Manufactured Housing Shock

April 7th, 2018 No comments

 HUDSecBenCarsonAdvocayGroupsPoliticosManufacturedHousingIndustryShockMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Affordable housing, including manufactured homes, is not a partisan issue.

 

At least, it shouldn’t be.

When HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) shared the brief exchange below, there was an energy in Carson’s words.

 

 

It’s an energy – “a shock” – that many have experienced over the years when it comes to the surprising realities vs. the unjust, troubled stigmas attached to manufactured homes.

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

 So, why aren’t their more such moments of positive shocks for the manufactured home industry?

 Let’s look at the facts for some clues.

  

MH Cohesion?

Whenever the manufactured housing (MH) industry acted in a rational, and cohesive fashion, it has routinely been able to accomplish in Congress what it needed to do.

That’s true because at its heart, the MH industry has a great, and non-partisan story.

That’s what a dispassionate look at the periodic history of the industry reveals.

For example,

      in 1974, when the HUD Code was first passed into law.

      Or in 2000, when the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) was passed.

      And again in 2008, when the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing was passed as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA).

So when the industry acts cohesively it succeeds. So, why doesn’t it do so more often?

 

Big and Small…

Since before the founding of what today is called the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), there’s long been a split between larger and smaller “independent” producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

MHARR was a breakaway from the body that today is known as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). MHARR was created precisely because of those differing points of view between bigger and smaller producers of federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes.

  

“Consumer Groups” and Manufactured Housing 

In several states, there are manufactured home consumer groups that emerged some years ago.

While “resident groups” engage on issues such as finance, those residents/manufactured home owner associations tend to focus on issues relating to land lease communities. 

In California, there tends to be fast and hard lines between the MH Industry and resident groups. 

Meanwhile, in places such as Ohio and Florida, those state MH Industry trade associations have at times meet and worked successfully with resident groups on key issues.

  

Non-Profits, Advocacy, and Manufactured Housing

Foundations and nonprofit groups have a history of positive interest in manufactured housing dating back at least some two decades. 

For example, as a Daily Business News yesterday reported, CFED – which rebranded as Prosperity Now – is largely a serious and positive advocate for manufactured homes. 

 

ManufacturedHousingTopTenTruthsCFEDManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews500

For years, CFED/Prosperity Now worked on projects that taken as a whole, promote manufactured homes as a tool for personal wealth building, especially for minorities, and lower income Americans of all ethnic groups.

 

CFED/Prosperity Now research has produced reams of documentation that arguably ought to be done by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

 ManufacturedHousingTopTenTruthsImHomeInnovationsinManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews5-10-600

 

Based upon their overall positive work advocating for manufactured homes, it’s a little baffling for outsiders looking in to see conflict between MHI and Prosperity Now.

But conflicts do exist between MHI and Prosperity Now, on issues that include land lease communities, but also on financing. Prosperity Now has been a loud opponent to the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. 

 

Like them or not, consider for a moment the perspective of Prosperity Now on these two issues: 

      the issues of “insecurity” for residents in land lease communities,

      and MHI’s position – notably on higher points and fees that benefits primarily the Berkshire Hathaway owned manufactured home lenders.

Absent those two bullets, Prosperity Now should be seen by the vast majority of industry pros as a strong advocate for manufactured housing.

So why hasn’t MHI – the industry’s self-proclaimed “umbrella” and “post-productionassociation – found a way to work directly with Prosperity Now, when Ohio and Florida have found ways to work with their resident groups? Fair question, right?

So for any who believe that it is only MHI and MHARR alone who ‘can’t get along,’ they are mistaken or misinformed.

 

MHI, MHARR and Consumer Groups

This writer, while an MHI member – perhaps naively – attempted for years to get MHI and MHARR to work together.

MHI's New CEO, Dick Jennison

This was one of the photos taken by MHProNews, reflecting routine behind the scenes effort some years ago to get MHI and MHARR to work more closely together. Richard Dick Jennison, MHI President and CEO, left, Mark Weiss, J.D., MHARR President and CEO, right.

The photo taken by MHProNews of Dick Jennison and Mark Weiss, J.D., shaking hands was just one tiny example symbolic of that effort.

MHI in meetings has reportedly told their members that the consumer groups “can not be reasoned with.”  

Something similar has been said in MHI meetings about MHARR. One elected executive committee member stood at an MHI meeting a few years ago, and proclaimed that the “elephant in the room” was MHARR’s then president, Danny Ghorbani.

Yet as noted above, history shows that MHI and MHARR have achieved good things when they pulled together. 

MHARR seems to have a better working relationship with the resident group, NMHOA than MHI does. 

We’ll pose a question that we will leave dangling for now.

Why is it that MHI can get along with MHARR, but only at times? 

 

Yet for most of the the past 20 years (+/-), the two are at odds, because one association arguably favors larger players, while the other fights for the rights of smaller, independent companies.

It’s against that backdrop of more tension than cohesion that the following undisputed facts ought to be considered. MHI hired a man a few years ago, part of who’s de facto job description was to recruit MHARR members into MHI.

Clayton and Cavco have in recent years both purchased companies that are MHARR members.

Is the trajectory of MHI’s and their larger members’ efforts to eliminate MHARR?

 80PercentClaytonChampionSkylineCavcoMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidation

 

Dr. Carson, HUD, and Manufactured Housing

It is against that brief history that Secretary Carson must consider the internal political minefield of manufactured housing.

On the one hand, manufactured homes are just as “amazing” as Dr. Carson said.

The regulations and “guidance,” most notably during the Pam Danner era, have been just as “ridiculous” as Secretary Carson told that Senate oversight hearing, as the video above attests.

If MHI wanted to get along with the industry voices that don’t agree with them 100 percent of the time, logically the Arlington based group would only need to do is what it did at times when cohesion existed.  Namely?

Listen, understand, and compromise.

MHI can posture beautifully, but it is their actions – not words alone – that must be the focus.  Their members are buying up, and they are actively recruiting MHARR members.

There are MHARR members, and some in MHI, that believe that Pam Danner came to be HUD’s MH program administrator as part of a specific MHI team member’s efforts.  If so, that means those  “ridiculous” excesses are courtesy of one or more MHI staffer’s efforts.

Since: 

   Danner was removed from the program a few weeks ago

   Lois Starkey was dismissed from HUD,

   and Danner’s overzealous and “ridiculous” regulatory burdens were put on hold by Carson and the Trump Administration,

an opportunity for a new beginning exists. What will happen next?

 

Absent trust and cohesion between

      MHI and MHARR, or between

      MHI and nonprofit Consumer Groups,

several risks exist.

 

Widely Recognized Fact

In finance, or production, in or out of manufactured housing, there is a simple principle at work.

The heavier the regulations, the harder it is for smaller companies to compete against larger ones.  The following third-party research illustrates the point.

NationalAssocManufacturersNAMCostForComplianceMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

While MHARR was audibly protesting Danner’s work – and sought her removal from the MH program – by contrast, MHI went through various gyrations that did all — save ask for Danner’s removal.  Odd?  Or shadow boxing?

Let’s consider that as consistent with MHI’s apparent and alleged goal of acting in ways that are more burdensome for smaller companies (see Related Reports, linked at the end, below).

This is why CFED’s Doug Ryan accused Berkshire Hathaway (BH) of having monopoly power in manufactured housing over financing. While MHI all too often fails to respond to negative media, in that case their SVP Lesli Gooch leapt to respond and defend Berkshire brands in manufactured housing. By doing so, the Arlington association reflected anew who’s interests there dominate.  Yet the fact remains, that 3 of the 3 largest MH lenders are owned outright by BH – 21st Mortgage Corp and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), or they have a large stake in their company (Wells Fargo).

DougRyanCFED-MHI2016CongressExpo-ManufacturedHousingIndustryNews-MHProNews

Doug Ryan, CFED/Prosperity Now, credit MHProNews. 

When Democratic Congressional reps target Berkshire Hathaway and MHI – also using the words “near monopoly” – it should make CFPB, more in Congress, leadership at HUD and others in the Trump Administration stop and think.

Nonprofits, President Trump, and political voices across the left-right divide are calling “foul” with regard to giant companies dominating and pushing around smaller ones.  

From as far left as the Nation to as far right as Breitbart, the issue of monopoly has been raised. The Nation specifically cited Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Clayton Homes. 

It’s no secret that Buffett opposed Trump in 2016, by strongly supporting the candidate – Secretary Hillary Clinton – who favored the continued use of heavy regulations.

How many see various movements at work nationally, and in the halls of Washington, D.C.?

 

It’s Not a Vote…

The fact that many inside and outside of manufactured housing have raised similar concerns and issues about monopolistic power ought to be carefully considered by members of Congress and the Trump Administration.

pam-danner-hud-code-manufactured-housing-program-administrator-mhi-2014-summer-meeting-indianapolis-in-alexander-hotel-c2014-mhpronews-com--575x430

Pam Danner, addressing MHI members. Photo credit, MHProNews.

MHI SVP Gooch’s Regulatory Comments Letter to HUD in January were overall good.  But oddly, Gooch failed to mention:

  • who will replace Danner?
  • And what about the harm already done by Danner’s leadership to smaller independents? 
  • Or why did MHI stand mute for years, and promoted Danner on various association event stages?

 

Reenergize?

Secretary Carson and the HUD team have a unique opportunity to reenergize the “amazing” manufactured housing industry in several ways.

The next steps taken at HUD and beyond could tell us who understands the fact that

  • with robust competition,
  • and unleashing the private sector,
  • that HUD could over time do exactly what Senator Tillis and the nonprofits alike suggested.  Save tax dollars by liberating private sector produced manufactured homes. That, argued Tillis, will allow more dollars to be used for others that need a hand up.

That would achieve some of what advocacy groups desire: raising more people out of poverty using modern manufactured homes.

Save tax dollars, give more people a leg up. Learn more in the related research reports, linked below. ## (News, analysis and commentary.) (Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.) 

Related Reports:

“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

 

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates. You’ll see in the first issue or two why big, medium and ‘mom-and-pop’ professionals are reading these headline news items by the thousands. These are typically delivered twice weekly to your in box.