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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

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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

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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

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Manufactured Housing’s Professional Crucifixion

March 30th, 2018 No comments

 JesusCrossCrucifiedManufacturedHousingsProfessionalCrucifixionMastheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Let’s be crystal clear at the outset.

 

Only One can claim to have been betrayed by a close comrade, arrested, found guilty at three separate rigged trials, beaten, brutally whipped/scourged, mocked, marched off on public streets, crucified, died, and was buried in a borrowed grave for our sins on a Friday that’s paradoxically called Good. 

 

Only One can claim to have undergone all of that, and then rise from the dead. And if experts who’ve long studied the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo are correct, that One left strong evidence that’s inspired billions of souls throughout the centuries ever since. 

Respectful of our weak yet free will that He died for, Jesus of Nazareth beckons us to look anew, and apply what happened almost 2000 years ago to our own time, and our own circumstances.

Let’s do so, and apply that Way to our often troubled profession.

 PeopleCrossHUDCFPBFHFANIMBYZoningJuda$BlindManufactruredHousingCross

 

Manufactured Housing’s Crucifixion

Take up your cross, and follow Me,” Jesus said. Surely at first blush, those words ranks as the worst sounding invitation of all time.

So why did so many in that era take those striking words literally?  When thousands were likewise sentenced to their own cruel deaths by Roman authorities, and by the politicos and hired thugs of their time?

The fact that hundreds of Hebrew Scriptural references seem to fit Jesus’ life so well, isn’t enough for many among the masses. That’s no slam, it’s simple reality. Perhaps understandably so, because like Peter, even Jesus’ followers routinely deny Him, and turn away…

…only to return more humbly again. 

After all, we are sinners.  It’s the one thing that Saul – who originally persecuted believers, and who became the Paul that preached what he had first disdained – said we have in common.

Through the lens of Good Friday, let’s look at Manufactured Housing’s own crucifixion.

Day by day, our industry is mocked in the media. Manufactured homes are a political football that’s kicked and passed around, fumbled, sold out for thirty pieces of silver, and often frustrated by forces seemingly larger than the 22 million now being served.

No wonder it’s ignored by so many, when it commonly goes under false names like “trailer house,” or dated terms like “mobile home,” even though no new mobile homes have been shipped in the U.S. since the first manufactured homes were built on June 15, 1976.

At Christmas, believers heard and read that Jesus was born in a stable, exiled outside of town. It was the social outcasts of that era – the shepherds – who heard the herald angels sing; not the rich, famous, or powerful.

While some brave souls with millions in net worth own manufactured homes, many more shun them, just because of the unfair rep.

And that’s just fine for scores of locals and so called leaders scattered across our land.  Is it better to have half a million homeless? Is it better to have tens of millions locked in poverty? Why not consider the obvious solution? The one hiding in plain sight?

Better – some wrongly believe – to waste billions a year on programs for rentals that can never solve the growing American housing crisis…

…or so the deeds of the short sighted, ignorant, lazy, greedy or corrupt would have millions think.  Never doubt that forces favoring and profiting from subsidized rental housing resists the obvious solution of manufactured homes.

Last week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson – world renowned for his achievements in medicine – was mocked by some in politics and the media too.

Like the president, vice president, cabinet, administration and the American people they serve, they too are all being sold out at every opportunity.  Sometimes that betrayal is by those who are supposedly in their own party, and among their supporters.

No wonder so many of us won’t take the label of Democrat or Republican. Like Judas Iscariot, the news often gives more attention to the behavior of the wicked, than to the behavior of the those trying to do good.  Spotlight some embarrassing incident, no matter how long ago, or regardless of how irrelevant to the important job at hand.

Secretary Carson, teed up by a question from Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), talked about how “Amazing” today’s manufactured homes are.

Carson called many of the regulations of manufactured homes “ridiculous.”  You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see the truth that what you build indoors in a production center will cost you less than the same thing built outdoors on scattered locations. Save time, buy materials in bulk, cut wasted and stolen items down, save labor, and you’ll save money. 

That’s why Secretary Carson could honestly say that manufactured homes often look like and rival conventional housing, and cost less. Per the U.S. Census Bureau, they are about half the cost per square foot as site building.

There’s an important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis, as Carson himself observed.

So why aren’t manufactured homes embraced?

One might as well ask, why don’t all embrace the cross of Christ? 

 

Manufactured Housing’s Judas

We will link up below the betrayal of manufactured homes by people, who like Judas, sold the industry out so that they could play the corrupt game in the temple that the money changers did in Jesus’ time.

But those corrupt industry folks, who are building “a moat” to enrich the few to the harm to the many, have been killing off competitors by an abuse of economic and political power.  Like Pilate or his brutal soldiers, they have various kinds of blood on their hands.

Some historians claim Pilate converted later in his life. Some say, some of Pilate’s soldiers and executioners did too. If it’s possible then, it is possible now too.

It took the most grueling and unjust death of all time to bring about the conversion of so many souls over the ages. It took Dieced – the killing of the God who become Man – to win victory over Satan. That’s what made this Friday, Good.

We can’t be surprised if we too have a unique cross to take up too.

On the other side of the darkness of Good Friday, comes the bright sunrise of Easter Sunday.

Manufactured housing has been crucified for years.  It was buried in certain ways by some, including those who falsely claim to be the industry’s allies. Pilate and the authorities spread lies to cover their tracks after they killed the Christ, too.

Might our misunderstood and maligned profession – given Secretary Carson’s and the Trump Administration’s leadership, and enough people of good will across the left-right political divide – support as needed our industry’s much needed rebirth?

Will the needs of the many outweigh in time the blindness and greed of the few? 

If enough do the politically incorrect in our time, then Senator Tillis’ and Dr. Carson’s insights will prove to be wise. In turn, millions more will be served, and can lead a better life.

But never forget, it was corrupt men who sold out Jesus. It was those guilty of sinful avarice, the ignorant, the lazy, the paid assassins, that killed the Savior. And the crowd watched. Some stunningly cheered, “Crucify him!” ## (Masthead op-ed, news, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Research:

Affordable Housing Focus Group

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

Elvis & Priscilla Presley Honeymooned in this Mobile Home

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

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

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-575x235By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
award-winning consulting, publisher, web, video, recruiting, sales training, business development service provider.

MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNews

4 F’s and True Believers

March 17th, 2018 No comments

4FsandTrueBelieversManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Not necessarily in this order of importance, but count us as true believers in:

 

  • Manufactured Homes,
  • America as a Constitutional Republic with free enterprise,
  • and in the four F’s – Faith, Family, Flag, and Fortune (career).

Count me as a pragmatist too. In both trade publishing and in our professional services to the industry, we go where the evidence leads us.

To rephrase, it’s practical to have faith – among other reasons – because its supported by the evidence, and establishes a moral compass outside of one’s immediate self perceived interest. Faith is good.

We could run through the other four Fs in the same manner.  They are each proven, practical, principled, and profitable when properly understood and applied.

So we believe in Manufactured Housing (MH) within that broader context of the Four F’s.

 

The Industry’s Best Homes Ever?

Many believe that the quality, durability, appeal and value of federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes has never been better.

Without arguing that claim either way, consider this question.  If these are the industry’s best homes ever, then why isn’t Manufactured Housing doing as well in new home shipments and MH sales as say 20, 30 or 40 years ago?

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Don’t try and take an easy answer, like say ‘financing.’ Back in the 1980s – for example – sales were higher, and interest rates were sky high at the start of the decade. The product wasn’t as good then as today’s, ditto the lending, and yet they sold more homes.  Why?

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Editorially and based upon fact checks, we disagree with some of the conclusions and claims cited by the Urban Institute’s recent look at the question Manufactured homes could ease the affordable housing crisis. So why are so few being made?”

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

 

But we commend the Urban Institute for raising the discussion topic! They have asked the right question.  It is one that everyone in the industry that wants to grow in a sustainable fashion must seek to resolve.

Some are happy, because the industry is back near 100,000 shipments annually. Certainly, that’s good news, given where the industry’s shipment levels where in 2009.

2008to2017HUDCodeManufacturedHomeProductionTotalsMHARRManufacturedHousingAssocReglatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

But that’s not good enough. Not by a long shot.  When the nation needs some 8.3 million housing units a year, manufactured homes ought to be doing several hundred thousand new home sales a year.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Today’s Masthead won’t editorially suggest the causes or the solutions, per se.

What we will do is ask you to take a good look at the proverbial elephant in the room.

Watch the Warren Buffett video above.

While one may agree or disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics or business practices, there is no denying his business success.  So those success tips the Berkshire Hathaway chairman describes ought to provide lessons for everyone in the industry, regardless of the size of their enterprise.

Then, with those quotes and tips from Buffett in mind, begin to dive into the resources linked below.

Acknowledging that a challenge exists – and understanding the issues involved – are the first steps in all problem solving.

It is a point that Mr. Buffett and business-man-turned President, Donald J. Trump both happen to agree upon.

Namely, that you should know all that you can about an issue that impacts your career or business.  Sound advice, from different ends of an emerging national debate.

Research, reading, viewing as needed, and robust discussion are how those answers are going to be discovered.

Speaking as true believers in the 4Fs and manufactured housing, it’s crazy not to get to the root issues that keep the industry from achieving its previous new home sales levels.

Given today’s widely acknowledged manufactured home quality, and the huge need for affordable housing, it’s an issue that is begging for answers.  ## (Industry commentary and analysis.)

Related:

Housing, Jobs, Poverty, Opportunity – Kerner Commission Remix, HUD and Manufactured Homes

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

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

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

It’s “Fair Warning,” not “I Told You So”

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

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-575x235By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
award-winning consulting, publisher, web, video, recruiting, sales training, business development service provider.

MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

“Dark Money” “Conflicts” – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Urban Institute, Manufactured Housing Institute, Affordable Housing Report Revelations

February 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

DarkMoneyKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews550

 

Buying into the manufactured housing industry today is like buying a stock that is significantly undervalued.

That’s what many believe. Count the Masthead’s industry veteran’s author among them. Buying into manufactured housing now is like buying a stock that is significantly undervalued, and is potentially poised for serious growth.

 

The odds are good to great that everyone reading this has:

  • an interest in manufactured housing, and
  • believes manufactured homes could play an important part of the solution for America’s growing affordable housing crisis.

We believe that too.

Those in the industry, investors, media, public officials, advocates, and researchers all have viewpoints, and many have questions.

While it would take time to ramp up to 500,000 or 1 million new manufactured homes a year, it’s doable with the correct resources, plus the kind of long-term commitment that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway brands – along with other success stories in the industry – have achieved.

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

With savvy millionaire and billionaire believers in the HUD Code regulated manufactured home industry, why is the industry seriously underperforming?

That’s a question that the Urban Institute posed in a new report.  With four co-authors, the report makes some interesting, questionable and meh points.  It arguably failed to address several important points.

But what the Urban Institute (UI) obviously failed to do was hide apparent conflicts of interest, which went undisclosed in their reporting.

2018-02-02_1630UrbanInstituteManufacturedHousingIndustryAffordableHousingCrisisReportMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

One of those conflicts is ‘hiding in plain sight.’

 

Warren Buffett, “Lifetime Trustee” of the Urban Institute (UI)

InfographicSeeHowDarkMoneyFlowsBetwenNonProfitsOpenSecretsMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThey could claim at UI that the disclosure exists on their website, because Warren Buffett is listed as a Lifetime Trustee of the Urban Institute.

Buffett’s given billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has paid millions to the Urban Institute. That’s how, says Open Secrets, so-called “Dark Money” flows.

While that dark money is often noted for political uses, it can clearly be used for research that in turn influences media, politics, business, advocacy, public officials, investments, and more.

So when four different co-authors at Urban Institute delve into a topic that so directly involves an interested party, one would think that one or more of those four would want to disclose that in their report itself, or as a footnote?  That’s what non-profit researchers are supposed to do.

 

ConflictsOfInterestGoogleMastheadManufacturedHouisngIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Conflicts of Interest = COI.

 

Instead of disclosure, instead of full transparency, the opposite occurred with UI and their report.

According to sources who claim knowledge about the research at the Urban Institute, the report writers’ promised anonymity to an association and corporate interests who ‘vetted’ their research report.

Pardon me?

A manufactured home, built by Clayton Homes, is the report’s featured image. What were they thinking at UI?

And doesn’t that make their research at least appear to be at COI, and not much more than a higher class of one of MHI’s controversial paid advertorials?

 

Conflicts of Interest – COI

According to the facts presented, and uncovered to date, it implies the report has Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and the Manufactured Housing Institute’s finger prints all over it.

See the flash Daily Business News initial report, linked below.

 

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

 

One need not be an attorney, journalist, or researcher to realize that it all smells of conflicts of interest.  While this writer isn’t an attorney, one concurred with our assessment. As with all of our reports, fisking, fact-checks, commentary and analysis, we encourage readers to do their own homework, and see for themselves.

That said, why where those apparent conflicts of interest not disclosed?

 

Begging the Questions…

That clear lack of transparency begs several questions.

  • Why not disclose their respective interests and involvements?
  • Who benefits from the UI report on manufactured housing?
  • What does the report steer people to look at, as they ponder the manufactured housing industry?
  • What does the report steer people away from looking at, as they research manufactured housing as an important solution for the affordable housing crisis? (Note:  HUD is one of the sources for revenue to UI.  We believe editorially that the Trump Administration and HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, ought to suspend all such payments throughout the federal government, until the dark money ties and conflicts of interest that are working against the public’s and small businesses are all cleared up.)

 

Non-Profits, Foundations and Manufactured Housing

When the topic of philanthropy was raised in the Kevin Clayton interview video, Kevin himself points to foundations and non-profits that they believe will be important for them.

Clayton’s video interview also points specifically at using manufactured housing as urban infill.

Research is often done by nonprofit organizations.

Reports they create are in turn routinely picked up by media, educators, policy advocates, investors, and government.

When investors with a long-term horizon, as Buffett has, third party research is part of what they study.  Kevin says so, in his own words, in the video.  Kevin also speaks about Buffett’s connections and sources of information.

 

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

 

The Kevin Clayton Interview Video is a Road Map in Numerous Ways

The video laces together in Kevin’s own words the concerns and allegations over:

  • monopolistic practices,
  • how vital credit is to the industry,
  • how nonprofits and foundations are important and are part of their plan.

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The Manufactured Housing Institute is a non-profit.

http://mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/MHIAntiTrustWarningsInstructionsMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews.png

Ignorance is no excuse. Forewarned is forearmed. MHI members would be wise to review the anti-trust warnings in the light of the reports linked from this page. A copy of those anti-trust warnings are found at this link, or by clicking on the MHI anti-trust warning, above.

NextStep, is at least in part, a non-profit.

So too the RV MH Hall of Fame, and the state associations which Clayton and 21st or other Berkshire Hathaway brands belong to as well.

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/how-gold-rules-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-mhi-vp-state-execs-conference-call/

 

The Clayton video interview explains why with sufficient capital, the affordable housing solution indeed ought to include a heavy dose of manufactured homes.

When a non-Berkshire Hathaway, non-MHARR company CEO told MHProNews in Louisville last month that MHI’s work for many years “has made no sense,” that’s true from the vantage point of a non-Berkshire Hathaway brand, or from someone who isn’t part of their insider circle.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

MHI board members have during the Richard “Dick” Jennison era complained to MHProNews that that the Arlington, VA based trade group has become a “secret society,” or an “exclusive club” that only a handful actually have any say in governance.

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-blasts-mhi-for-poor-media-engagement-industry-reactions/

If these points, concerns, and allegations prove true, that’s problematic for the industry, and MHI members, on several levels.

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

We will boil it down to its essence.

Facts Matter – Mr. Obama’s “Alternative Universe,” Trump Admin, Investors & Politicized Manufactured Housing Data

We already noted on the Daily Business News that there are two great laws that manufactured housing benefits from.

Understanding these 2 existing federal laws, and having them fully implemented, would be major advances for public officials, those needing affordable housing, housing professionals, and investors.

McCrory Lawsuit – “Significant Victory Against Zoning Discrimination” – Manufactured Homes

Note that preemption was ignored in the Urban Institute report.  Why?

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

We’ve noted that MHARR has raised concerns over the new class of manufactured housing that Clayton dominated MHI is pushing.

Sources at MHI and with Clayton homes told MHProNews that MHI’s public relations person has spent time at Clayton location(s). On MHI’s dime?  How is that fair to the association’s smaller members?

The videos that MHI produced benefit Next Step, a nonprofit that Clayton and MHI are both supporting.

Next Step is also part of the Duty to Serve (DTS) chattel (personal property, Home only lending) financing trials mandated by the 2008 Housing and Recovery Act (HERA).  Do you see the pattern of non-profits being used by Clayton, Berkshire, et al?

Manufactured housing already has enhanced preemption under the law. Why bother with a new class of home?

Harper – Thank You Rev Donald Tye, Fighting for Enhanced Preemption of Manufactured Homes

 

People still incorrectly call a manufactured home a mobile home, even though no mobile homes have been built for over 41 years.  Will a name change work, without education of the public on what manufactured homes are, versus the widespread image of them?  Isn’t it all just shadow boxing?  Making the industry think they are doing something, when they are buying time for more consolidation to take place?

 

Manipulated

The vast majority of the people I’ve met with a Berkshire Hathaway brand, or who are MHI members, are good folks.  We have connections with dozens of them.  Some are sources for MHProNews.

We have not at any time slammed the quality of Clayton’s products.  The vast majority of the folks I’ve met and know from Clayton, 21st, et all are fine people.

Our focus has been and will remain, what holds manufactured housing back? 

It’s the same question that the Urban Institute asked.

Berkshire Hathaway, directly and indirectly through political, regulatory, capital, nonprofits, et al has manipulated and allowed to be depressed the market for manufactured housing. They are doing so in ways that appear to be monopolistic.

Fraud, Class Action, CFPB-Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the Manufactured Homes Industry

Kevin Clayton has in his own words, dotted those i’s and crossed the t’s, about Buffett hating competition, and instructing the building of “the Moat.”

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

So too has Warren Buffett.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

We believe that there is plenty of evidence that the report from an award-winning MHI member to MHProNews was true when he said (paraphrasing), that ‘the big boys have figured out how to get the smaller companies to pay for what the big companies want.’  See that, linked here.

We also believe the pattern is there to support the claims of those past and present MHI members – along with others – who have told MHProNews how they personally have suffered from the monopolistic and other business practices of Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, et al.

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

 

Recommendations?

The industry’s post-production sector should forge a new trade association, as several have already advocated and are exploring.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

There needs to be civil, administrative, and criminal inquiries made into these allegations involving MHI and Berkshire Hathaway, et al.

When Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Jaime Dimon’s announcement earlier this week caused the markets to plunge, it is in the view of some analysts a warning shot across the bow of the Trump Administration.

Buffett, Bezos – Time Announcement to Drop Market Ahead of SOTU? Plus MH Market Update$

If so, that warning shot impacted investors.  No one should be above the law.

Arguably the most harmed are the mom-and-pop retailers and communities, along with any independently owned producer, supplier, or financial services company involved in manufactured housing.

Buffett became the biggest player in manufactured housing in 2003 with his first acquisitions.

Since the Kevin Clayton video interview was originally conducted, Clayton’s footprint in the industry doubled.  He did so using “the Moat,” financing, nonprofits, and other tools Kevin expresses in his own words.  Several of those are the topic of related reports, linked above and below as references.

TonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressRickRobinsonMHISVPGeneralCounselMastheadMHProNews

There are reasons why Dick Jennison and Rick Robinson both ducked out on questions from a publication that is demonstrated it is pro-industry for years and years.

The Top Twelve Questions for Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison

What are they hiding?

Expert’s NWS Statement Reveals Serious Problems in Tornado WARNINGS & Manufactured Housing Safety Data

Why are they even hiding from their members good news that they ought to be spotlighting?

RentVsBuyingHousingAnalysisWhatsBestKenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews660

MHLivingNews and MHProNews have from the outset documented cases of good news for the manufactured housing industry. Why has MHI routinely failed to spotlight those good news stories for the industry to benefit from?   Learn more about the above at this link here.

 

Parting Takeaways for Today

Honorable, Non-Monopolistic Investors who take a long-term horizon view of manufactured and other forms of factory built housing ought to – and will – dive in.

Current Industry players who aren’t giants are the current best friends of a giant should demand action.

MHI needs to open its books, open its bylaws, and undergo a third-party forensic examination for conflicts of interest. We think there may be good reasons to disband the organization, as hopelessly corrupted (again, that’s not a slam on most members, but all must be aware of potential liability from maintaining their membership).

Fiduciary Responsibility to Corp Shareholders-MH Anti-Trust Concerns; Plus MH Market UPdate$

Berkshire Hathaway ought to face precisely what some have advocated, anti-trust action. That action should not be limited to Warren Buffett and his brands, because what happened last Tuesday was not the first or last time that billions of dollars in wealth could be wiped out by such market machinations.

The time for anti-trust civil, administrative and criminal investigations is long overdue.  Personalities across he political spectrum in and outside of manufactured housing say so.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

We believe that among the best ways to advance the industry is to expose MHI, and break up Berkshire Hathaway.

Until that happens, millions are being harmed, small business as being forced to sell for less than their value, or have been forced to close.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

Its an American tragedy.  It’s Dark Money Conflicts that are harming real business people, and everyday Americans.  These are our concerns.  We’ve laid out the facts, and just some of the evidence in the above. Given Kevin Clayton’s own words, plus the links, isn’t it more than enough?  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, fact checks, commentary.)

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

L. A. “Tony” Kovach is an award winning manufactured housing industry veteran, and is the managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com and professional service provider to the factory-built housing industry.

Connect on LinkedInhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Facts Matter – Mr. Obama’s “Alternative Universe,” Trump Admin, Investors & Politicized Manufactured Housing Data

January 26th, 2018 No comments

FactsmatterFormerPOTUSObamaHUDSecDrBenCarsonPOTUSDonaldJTrumpManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHProNews550

Former President Barack Obama recently said something relevant to the nation.  But it was particularly and profoundly insightful to manufactured housing professionals.

According to the Hill,Former President Obama said in an interview that Fox News viewers and NPR listeners are living on different planets in terms of what news they consume.

“If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you, you know, listen to NPR,” Obama told David Letterman…The former president was referring to how the Russians were able to “exploit” different kinds of U.S. voters, who were “operating in completely different universes.

No matter what you thought of his politics and policies, Mr.’s Obama’s point is salient and timely for Manufactured Housing professionals, Investors, and Advocates.

“Alternative Facts,” “Different Universes” in Manufactured Housing

There have always been those who’ve distorted reality.

But in the 1980s, perhaps one reason Democrats and Republicans could reach more compromises is because there was arguably less of a tendency to completely ignore facts, or one would get called out for it.

You are entitled to your opinion,” quipped Daniel Patrick Moynihan per Goodreads,But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

There are today professionals in and outside of our manufactured home industry that rail against reality.

Many think they know a fact. Or they trust a source, without realizing that the source has changed.

Depending on the source or context, they could be mistaken, because “facts” have been so politicized.

We will use the Manufactured Housing Institute to make our point.

In MHI’s 1.25.2018 “Housing Alert,” one finds the following phrase, quoting:

As the only trade association officially registered to lobby on behalf of the manufactured housing industry in Washington, MHI will continue to work with the Administration’s key housing leaders and Congress…”

For those in the know, the first part of that sentence are code-words aimed against the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). So, we asked MHARR to provide their take on MHI’s claim.  Here’s the meat of what they sent to MHProNews, quoting:

MHARR has been registered as an MH lobbying organization since 1985… The filing receipt for MHARR is attached.  This is all public record.”

A screen capture of MHARR’s filing receipt is below.

MHARRCongressionalLobbyingFilingDisclosureDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

Facts matter. MHI’s claim that they are the only registered lobbying group in Washington is simply not accurate.

Huh? MHI is making a bold claim. They’ve made that same allegation repeatedly. It’s wrong.

Not true.

Many work at MHI, did someone fail to check before they repeatedly wrote their flawed phrase?  It was most recently used above, but used the day before as shown in the graphic below.  Who gets credit for their glitch?

Or did MHI simply make an assertion, because no one would likely check it out, to see if it was accurate or not?

MHINewsUpdate1242018ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It that part of a pattern?  Let’s look…

Does MHI Politicize Facts?

We Provide, You Decide.” © The graphic below is from MHI. It’s about a piece of information that the industry’s members ought to care about. How many manufactured home communities (MHCs) are there?

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

The red box reads “37,624 land-lease communities.” But Frank Rolfe says they’ve done a hand count, at 44,000. George Allen claims there are even more than that. Why did MHI publish the lowest number? Is it because MHVillage is a favored company?

MHI has three members who are all publishing on this topic. The statistics being used by MHI are those of their member MHVillage/DataComp; let’s call them the MHI favored insiders on this topic.

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

MHI member Frank Rolfe is not without influence, and George Allen is another member who likewise has a following.

  • Why is MHVillage data being used by MHI, when it is the lowest of the three competing sources?
  • Why MHVillage’s data, when Rolfe asserts in writing that they did a hand count that took them 2 years to complete, that shows 44k communities – thousands more communities than MHVillage does?
  • Doesn’t the lower MHC count harm the MH industry’s relative importance?
  • Is it a case of MHI politicized facts, based upon favoritism and agendas?

As a source at RV Horizon’s – one of Frank Rolfe’s operations – told MHProNews, lenders and investors want hard accurate data. They want to know.

Of course, the facts matter to investors.  They should matter to policy makers and everyone else too.

MHI has for some time published inaccurate information about the kind of financing and terms that are available for manufactured housing loans.  MHLivingNews did a report on that, linked below.  Award-winning Bob Crawford was asked to share his insights, which he gracefully did.

I’ve not recheck recently, but late in 2017, when we last looked – weeks after we brought the errors to MHI’s attention, weeks after the report above – the same MHI “fact sheet” was not updated on their website.  MHI still had the same errors. Why?  Was it because the facts they published were more useful to Berkshire Hathaway companies, such as Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt and 21st Mortgage?

MHI has a demonstrable pattern of what could be termed politicizing MH Industry information.

It’s done in a way that apparently favors some companies over others.

If one heeds what Warren Buffett has said – see his quotes in the column below – the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway counts on the fact that people don’t change habits easily, and that history is often ignored.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

To rephrase, Mr. Buffett counts on others being superficial.  Meanwhile Mr. Buffett and his team are laser focused on facts, and how facts can be used to their advantage.

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

See first understanding. Don’t skim. Don’t jump to conclusions.

MHI also arguably have a pattern of telling most of their members and the industry-at-large one thing – via their emailed ‘updates’ and ‘alerts’ – but failing to mention key points, that are often highly important.

We know from various sources that MHI, Knoxville and others in their group closely follow what we publish.  We’ve seen emails that have been forwarded by MHI surrogates and allies.  We’ve contacted MHI and their executive committee directly numerous times.

They can’t legitimately claim not to know the above and what’s below.

They know.

Yet they fail to make changes, even after confronted with the facts.

Why?

Could it be that the longer the foot is on the MH industry’s break pedal, that more of the MH industry gets consolidated, at bargain basement prices?

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

Why does this Matter to the MH Industry, Investors, or Public Officials?

Because MHI often buries their oversights, one would have to know what to look for – in some cases – to see the problem.

The Daily Business News will have a new report planned for today that relates to a follow up on the HUD’s announced top-down review.  In our inital report yesterday we cited Lesli Gooch’s otherwise fine letter to HUD.  But we also underscored her key oversight.  Gooch didn’t call for Danner’s removal.  Why not?  Arguably, with the wrong person at the helm, every other change you could propose would be moot. Others – including MHI’s most award-winning retailer – that we cited in the report linked below came to that same conclusion.  Danner had to go.  Why didn’t MHI get that reality years ago?

They knew.

MHI seems to have a pattern of posturing something, but omitting one or more key facts or points.  Currently, with respect to Pam Danner and HUD, they are failing to mention that for months, MHI would not take a public position on her role at HUD.  Why not?

We believe the answer is that heavy regulations harms independent producers, retailers and communities – among others. That in turn is useful to larger MHI member companies. Those independents, often wearied and financially stressed after years of fighting regulations, may finally sell out for less, or just go out of business.

Another example of MHI publishing misleading or errant ‘facts’ are linked below.

Community Co-Owner/Manager View On Richard Jennison and the Manufactured Housing Institute StatePoint Advertorial

MHI and their executive committee masters are arguably using government regulations as an indirect tool to consolidate the manufactured home industry.

If MHI postures opposing heavy regulation, but in fact fail to move the needle, they can ‘look good’ to members who are so busy, they may not realize what’s missing.  That’s how MHI are accomplishing the mission that their big corporate masters have in mind.

Perhaps that’s why MHI’s executive committee was happy to reward MHI CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison and others with a bonus and/or raise?  Even after MHI staff have demonstrably failed to accomplish any of their own major stated policy goals in years?

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

Facts matter.

Reality matters.  Patterns of behavior matter.  We are pro-MH Industry, and have been so years before we began publishing.

This writer was praised by many of those same MHI connected people, right up to the point that we figured out what the devil was going on at MHI.

We figured it out over time, thanks in large part thanks to:

  • voices from within MHI,
  • from some within Berkshire Hathaway firms,
  • as well as other MHI member operations.
  • MHARR played a roll in that process too, because they’ve been consistent and clear on lobbying and policy positions that MHI flip-flopped on.

There are reasons why a pair of state associations quietly dropped out of MHI. Ditto some member companies. There are reasons why others would if they could, but MHI carrots and sticks exist. To see how those carrots-and-sticks work, behind the scenes to the majority of the industry, see the report linked below.

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/how-gold-rules-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-mhi-vp-state-execs-conference-call/

There are reasons why MHI won’t debate in public, or won’t take our questions any more.

Keep in mind, MHI and their leadership used to respond rapidly and gladly to MHProNews.

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOPresident-currentMHIChairman-onValueMHProNews-MHLivingNews-

But when we pressed them last February on the HUD regulatory overreach issue and Pam Danner’s role there, they rapidly ejected us from membership on a phony excuse.  That excuse?  Claiming they had discovered we are a news organization, and they had no such membership category. 

What? MHI did that via an unsigned letter, bearing nobody’s name. It’s bogus, because others in the industry also publish and have consulting, just as we do. Those others are still in, but we are not?  Pardon MHI’s obvious hypocrisy?

They didn’t want us in their meeting rooms.  Isn’t that the more obvious reason?  They didn’t want us to report – for example – on how Tim Williams/21st subverted the DTS process.

MHI then intensified their campaign against us, just as they have been campaigning against MHARR.  Is it a coincidence that MHARR members are getting bought out by larger MHI member companies?  Or that MHI’s messages – like the ones shown above – try to discredit MHARR.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

For those who watch the details, even though MHARR is a manufacturers association, aren’t they routinely more reliable than MHI?

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Gives Written Responses – “Part of a Rigged, Corrupt System”

We’ll say it again.  The MHI system is apparently rigged and corrupt, as we said in our last Masthead post, linked above.

It may or may not be exactly what Marty Lavin or Frank Rolfe had in mind, but both have made points about MHI’s hypocrisy, and failures.

We are not alone, there are MHI board members among those who whisper and complain to us.

MHI members are among those who thank us for having the courage to stand up to the Berkshire Hathaway dominated MHI.

The Other Side of the Coin

That said, there are those who don’t like this kind of column or reporting.

A reader recently wrote saying we are trying to make Clayton Homes look bad.  I can’t think of a single comment we’ve made against their products. We don’t slam Clayton’s homes, or the thousands of good people who work for them.

A large portion of our readers work for a Berkshire Hathaway (BH) owned MH company. We have/do work with numerous client companies who use Clayton products, or lending from 21st,etc.

We stick with the facts – and once they are understood – where those facts take us.  That’s what media is supposed to do.  MHI, Clayton, or whomever is welcome to submit a rebuttal. We’ve invited it. Why don’t they?

Because one of the largest factors holding the industry back from robust growth has been a pattern of failure and misleading information that comes out of MHI.

We’ll draw to a close with former President Barack Obama’s quote, cited above.  He’s correct, but not quite how he meant it.

President Donald J. Trump routinely gets a raw deal from many in the mainstream media.  There are millions today who are de facto propagandized.  If the media had treated POTUS Obama as they are POTUS Trump, their would have been howls of racism, or some other slurs.

In one year of President Trump’s leadership, the economy has demonstrably improved, using policies that have been proven good by President John F. Kennedy (D) and President Ronald Reagan (R).  We supported the Trump campaign, based upon his platform and his track record of business savvy.  We opposed Secretary Hillary Clinton based upon her platform, and her track record.

The fact that people can become so habitualized and trusting – in this example, with MHI – explains in part how Warren Buffett can openly support Hillary Clinton, who vowed to protect Dodd-Frank as is.

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

The truth about MHI is in several ways hiding in plain sight. But the MHProNews exclusively obtained documents from Tim Williams speaks volumes. But only to those with an open mind to reality, vs. fantasy. 

Meanwhile Buffett’s MHI member and prior chair, Tim Williams can claim to be fighting to reform Dodd-Frank. In hindsight, its an obvious contradiction.

I understand why some have a hard time accepting this. Why?  Because frankly, it was hard for me to accept it too.  From early on, there were voices in and with MHI warning me about Jennison, BH, and later others.  I heard them, but wasn’t immediately convinced.

I want to apologize for the time it took us to realize just how corrupted MHI has become during the Jennison era. This isn’t personal, its professional.

Simple Summary

This can be simple. Is Jennison – and are MHI’s so-called leadership – good or bad for the industry? Do they benefit someone beyond the big companies, or favored firms like Clayton’s client, NextStep?

If they had nothing to hide, why are they so afraid of debating the issues in public via video, as we’ve been inviting them to do for about a year?

Facts matter.  Reality is what it is.

People are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

We had to be sure about MHI et al.  Thus, we’ve followed each case of misinformation from MHI as they arose, and we reported them accordingly. Collectively those cases, concerns and allegations add up.   The Kevin Clayton video interview laces it all together in his own words.  The video is nearly an hour long, and posted near the end of the report, linked below.

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

Then MHI Chairman, Nathan Smith laughed about consolidation on camera.

Dick Jennison somberly explained to the industry, why it should grow slowly. Duh?

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

Sure – from the vantage point of the big boys – let the MH Industry get consolidated.  No wonder Jennison and others got an apparent raise and bonus. No wonder they duck debate with one of the few voices that have a platform big enough to matter to them.

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

The future of the industry is potentially bright.

But it has been held back by either MHI incompetence, arrogance, or behavior whose outcome was big companies gobbling up little ones at a reduced price. To those who arguably got swindled, it was tragic!

GusRodriguezTejasHomesConroeTXIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-e1516120612690

As independent business people ourselves – who have felt the betrayals of MHI et all, and have listened to the stories we’ve heard from others in the industry who were likewise betrayed – we would not be silent, once the pattern became clear.

TruthLiesFirstGetYourFactsStraightThenDistortThemAsYouPleaseMarkTwainMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHproNews

If MHI is telling the truth, if their track record is so strong, then why do they duck debate or honest discussion in public, via video, so all of the industry can see?

MHI makes mistake after mistake.  Just dumb luck?  Or does it benefit a few at the cost of the many? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, fisking, analysis, commentary, links to documents, allegations, comments from members, etc.)

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We agree with Warren Buffett on the value of the lessons of history, reading and research. Without those deep insights, the wool can be pulled over other people’s eyes. We respectfully disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.