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Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

October 9th, 2018 No comments

 

TruthTrumpTragedyTriumphAffordableHousingManufacuredHomesMastheadBlogMHProNewsLogo

 

Let’s stipulate that both President Donald J. Trump and his anti-Trump opponents at times error in various ways. No one is perfect.

 

Let’s note later why the bullets below matters for the cause of the economy, affordable housing in general, and manufactured homes in particular.

But we’ll do this systematically, by first laying out a series of bullets, to set the stage.

There are:

  • Muslims,
  • Jews,
  • Christians,
  • LGBTQs,
  • Blacks,
  • Hispanics,
  • Women,
  • Men,
  • Rich,
  • Poor,
  • Working Class,
  • Media,
  • Other groups and professions,

that appreciate, and respect the 45th President – Donald J. Trump’s – polices and accomplishments. Unlike many politicos, the 45th President of the United States (POTUS) is methodically doing what he said he would do.

Depending on what media sources you read, watch or prefer to listen to, you will either agree or perhaps strongly disagree with those bullets. But those points are nevertheless accurate and demonstrably true. More on that further below.

The president isn’t a choir boy, and never claimed to be. That’s not a defense, it’s a statement of reality. God bless his candor on that point.

Yet this non-choir boy president has tackled vexing domestic and foreign policy issues that faced the U.S. as recently as two years ago, which are already seeing significant improvement.

Jobs in:

  • manufacturing,
  • mining,
  • energy,
  • steel, and more are returning to America.
  • Recall that President Barack H. Obama said many of those are jobs that arenever coming back.” But under 45, they’re coming back.
  • Better trade deals are being struck by 45. Yet former President Obama said better trade deals would require a “magic wand.”
  • As a reminder, Secretary Hillary Clinton would have continued the policies of her predecessor in most cases, she said so.
  • Several of the policies of former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama led to massive deficits that roughly tripled the federal debt in 16 years.
  • So, this is not a simple GOP vs. Democratic policies issue.

Candidate Trump wasn’t the first to tap the agenda he did.  Others like Pat Buchanan, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee had similar planks and policies. But “The Donald” won.

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Rephrased, the core beliefs of the Trump coalition were already found among:

  • blue dog Democrats,
  • The Tea Party,
  • Evangelicals,
  • Constitutionalists,
  • Free enterprise proponents, and others.

People ought to be honest enough to give the president the credit he is due.  Love or hate his style, jokes, or tweets, his policies are working.

By contrast, prior to the Trump era, the wealth of the oligarchic class grew rapidly during the prior 3 administrations. Democrat, Republican, it didn’t matter. That’s not a slam on capitalism or the 2 party system. It’s a slam on crony capitalism and a rigged political system.

 

The Problem of Monopoly and Oligopolies

The rigged system” is a common point between Bernie Sanders backers and the followers of Donald J. Trump.

Danny Glover is a fine actor. My citing the quote below, or any other quote from other persons or sources, doesn’t imply I think everything the quote source said or did is perfect. We use a wheat and chaff approach with everyone.

 

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That said, Mr. Glover was close to the mark with that statement above.  It is part of the powerful video found at the link below.

 

“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

America has spent huge sums on education. “Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States in 2014–15 amounted to $668 billion, or $13,119 per public school student enrolled in the fall (in constant 2016–17 dollars),” per NCES.ED.gov.

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How can it be that so much is spent, and we can’t even make the top nation’s of the world in educational outcomes? Anyone who thinks that big government is the solution has not looked at the facts.

ScienceRankingsBBCUSAnotOntop20ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

There is a lot of reforming still needed, education is part of what must change in the U.S. The low to poor outcomes, in spite of huge sums spent, prove it.

Then why does the U.S. trail so many other nations globally in education? See the data above, per the BBC.

America has spent huge sums on poverty programs, which includes ‘affordable housing’ programs. Then why after spending north of $22 trillion dollars – per the Heritage Foundation in 2014 – does the U.S. trail so much of the world in home ownership rates?

Top50CountriesinWorldHomeOwnershipRatesWikipediaPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1878

Manufactured homes could be a big part of the solution for housing affordability. We know what is necessary. Enforce the two good laws that are already on the books.

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

Or why does poverty programs enrich a few, while the poverty remains?  Let’s sum up the powerful video below with these words, poverty is business and politics for certain people.  ICYMI, or for later viewing, check out the multiple award winning video found in the linked post below.

Acclaimed Poverty Inc. Video, MHVille – Why Left & Right Should Listen, Learn From Each Other

 

Why is much of the mainstream media so dead set against President Trump? Think about what Mr. Glover above, and others in quotes below, said on this issue of news as a business.

 

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A well informed manufactured home industry executive told me recently, ‘Tony, a lot of what you guys [MHProNews] write about I already knew.’ No doubt. There are numbers of industry pros who knew all of the above, long before we published the data. But what about the thousands who don’t know?  How do you educate and inform them, without articles like this that lay out the facts and evidence?

 

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Warren Buffett can get on TV almost any time he wants to. Berkshire Hathaway owns at this time some 31 newspapers. Why don’t they educate the public about manufactured homes? What are they waiting for, and why?

 

But there are thousands in our industry that didn’t know, until they read this, or until they read articles we did previously over the years on the Daily Business News, on MHLivingNews, or here on the Masthead.

 

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There’s power in greater numbers understanding the truth.

 

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Facts, evidence, morality, and common-sense ought to rule, not blind passion or emotionally manipulated people of any persuasion.

 

 

Threats, Bullying and Intimidation Tactics

Yet, there are rent-a-rioter protesting and/or leading protests.

Who says?

ABC News.

 

CNN.  They call themselves antifascist – or AntiFa. But in fact, they are using violent tactics much like the brownshirts in 1930s Germany.  They take on their opponents “by any means necessary.”  They talk about opposing “white nationalists,” but very few white nationalists ever show up to their own events. So, clearly, AntiFa has a different agenda.

 

 

Note that in the video above, one planner said that they’ve been doing such organizing for years.  It is only more noticeable now. He admits the masks are to make it harder to identify and arrest lawbreakers.

Do we want a society where bullying, violence, and intimidation tactics rules?  “Organized descent,” is what a woman in this video says.  Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) is prominent in this.

 

Odds are good you’ve seen Representative Maxine Waters (CA-D) tell a group to “push back on them” any time you see a Trump administration member in public.  What’s that?  Is that love, that they often claim, or is it hate?

 

The Manufactured Housing Connections

We spotlighted on MHLivingNews just one of several possible looks on why more manufactured homes aren’t already being sold.

Manufactured Homes Could Help Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis, So, Why Aren’t More Manufactured Homes Being Sold?

 

MHI recently came out in apparent support of a bill by Senator Warren that arguably would be harmful to the interests of thousands of manufactured housing professionals, and based upon decades of history, would hurt the interests of millions of affordable housing seekers.

 

Facts & Analysis – Senator Elizabeth Warren re: Manufactured Housing Institute Memo to MHI Members, 10-3-2018

 

Don’t think that protestors are irrelevant to manufactured housing professionals. MHAction disrputed the MHI meeting when HUD Secretary Carson spoke.

MHAction’s own video reflects them targeting industry professionals like Frank Rolfe or the Blackstone Group.  In the MHAction video below, our commentary is on the left, but it is their video on the right.

 

 

If it happens to others, isn’t it reasonable to think that it can happen to you?

If there isn’t a line in the sand now, then when?

 

Why Isn’t Manufactured Housing Doing Better?

For years, MHProNews and MHLivingNews has spotlighted issues in depth, and laced with facts that others with bigger budgets ignore. Why?

 

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

 

Ignorance is Costly, Accurate Understanding Followed by Sound Action Pays

We spend time spotlighting issues regarding Berkshire Hathaway, which has drawn coverage from left and right-of-center mainstream media.

 

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

 

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

 

But almost no one in MHVille media – outside of MHProNews, and/or MHARR on specific topics – has called Berkshire Hathaway out by name, and then provided the facts and evidence as to why they were being called out.

 

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

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

 

MHARR and MHProNews have led the charge for spotlighting the various ways that has sold out the interests of the independents in the industry.

Two state association broke away from MHI precisely because MHI failed to represent their interests.

 

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

 

We could go on and on with examples of how MHI has protected big money billionaires, or people like Nathan Smith, who is highly connected in the Democratic party.

 

Nathan Smith, From Mobile Home Resident to SSK Communities Owner and President Barack Obama Connection

 

Democrats and the GOP – Republicans – both needed reforms. President Trump is fundamentally changing some parts of Republican politics on issues like the border, trade, and tariffs.

As a political independent, it must be said that President Trump is making the GOP into a pro-worker, pro-business – notably small business – party.  That’s why MHARR praised President Trump. That’s why the NFIB sings his policies praises too.

 

MHI postures being for less regulation, but they have time and again failed the independents of the industry.  Frank Rolfe may have gone silent, but he was right when he said that the problems the industry faces are internal.  Rolfe named MHI as part of the problem.

 

Marty Lavin was a long-time MHI member.  He won one of their highest awards.  He said that they work for the interests of the big boys, not the independents.

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It’s sad that so few will speak out publicly, but it is because they are:

  • afraid, as people that work for Clayton and intendents have told us.
  • Still don’t understand, because they can’t get passed a good time(s) they’ve had at an MHI meeting, or with Clayton or 21st, etc. But how many felt that before they were forced out of business by 21st and or Clayton after 2009?
  • If the ‘big boys’ did it to the industry before, can’t they do it again? Did you know some believe that is what MHI/Clayton/21st/VMF have been doing with the GSEs?

 

GSEs’ “Duty To Serve Underserved Markets” Plans

 

There is no lack of evidence to what’s happening to our nation, and to our industry.  MHI has purportedly sold our industry’s independents out many times. We share some MHARR links just to mix it up, but we’ve covered these topics several times.

 

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

 

Next Steps for Independents, and Free Enterprise Supporters

Job One is to support pro-Trump candidates. They must expand their hold of Congress.  We’ve shown just how that can happen in 2018, in spite of what the pollsters say. Recall, those same pollsters said Trump couldn’t win in 2016.  Vote and get others lined up to do the same.

What some call “RINO” Republicans – more aptly, squishy on the Trump-agenda – politicos like Jeff Flake are stepping down.  Pro-Trump candidates are stepping up in their place.

Who is MHI supporting with their PAC? Flake’s Democratic opponent, and in Indiana, the anti-Trump Joe Donnelly (D).  There are more examples, but let’s just let those two sink in.

Facts are facts.  The Trump track record is very different than some elements of the media portray. POTUS Trump is not a typical Republican from the 10 or 20 years ago.  That’s not saying the GOP was bad then, it is only to say that President Trump has taken elements of Republican thinking, brought in some blue-collar elements from the Democratic thinking, and blended it together.

MHI postures being for everyone, but they have time and again failing independents.  Former MHI chairman, and MHI PAC Chairman Nathan Smith said as much on a video.


The outcome is consolidation. Smith laughs about it, but that’s the game.  The more a few control businesses, including manufactured housing, the worse it is for consumers.

Manufactured housing is poised for historic growth.  But the foot purportedly has been kept on the metaphorical brakes. The time to expose the rigged system, in all its elements is now.  The need to continue to expose it won’t end until the vast majority of Americans realize just how failed and corrupted the system has become.

American workers, American consumers, and independent American businesses first. Its common sense.  There is an opportunity to take the evidence that the Trump Administration is producing and use it to show how it can turn years of tragedy into triumph.

The good results speak for themselves.  More is needed, specifically in our industry, which is why the Omaha, Knoxville, Arlington triangle must be arguably be exposed and broken up.  Antitrust laws could be useful in MHVille and beyond.  The Trump administration has already signaled that antitrust – anti-monopolistic actions – is coming, perhaps soon after the midterms.

I for one can’t wait. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhotoBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – 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:

NBC Video – Federal Authorities Investigating Clayton Homes, Maxine Waters Denounces Lending “Discrimination” Against Minorities

President Donald J. Trump Visit to Manufactured Home Community, Video, Hurricane Florence Update

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

Principle of ‘The Lesser of Two Evils,’ and MHVille’s Future

September 11th, 2018 No comments

 

NationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssocLogoMHActionLogoMastheadManufacturedHomeCommentaryMHProNews600x315

There’s a simple but profoundly useful concept taught be ancient to modern thinkers who ponder business, ethical, moral, political or other issues.

 

It’s called the principle of ‘the lesser of two evils.’

It’s simple.  When confronted with a choice, neither of which is perfect, by definition each is a some level of ‘evil’ or imperfection. Which choice does the thoughtful person make?

Morally or logically, the lessor of the two imperfect or ‘evil’ choices.

1)    The featured image above, are MHAction and the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA). Both of those groups purport to be working on behalf of the interests of the owners of pre-HUD Code mobile home owners, as well as the millions of owners of manufactured homes.

2)    There are currently two, and an emerging third, national trade association.  There is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). They each have a different mission statement, with MHI claiming to represent both production and post-production interests, and MHARR plainly stating that they work for the interests of mitigating regulatory issues that face independent producers of manufactured homes.

3)    There are two major political parties. As almost any American adult in the U.S. would know, there are Democrats and there are Republicans (a.k.a., the Grand Old Party or GOP).  Each major party, plus minor parties like Libertarians, advance their candidates for local, state or national offices.

4)    For fun and fairness, we could point to ourselves as trade publishers, and say the same thing. Compare what we do, with what any other remaining or new trade publisher does in manufactured housing.  Who brings you pablum, platitudes, or thinly veiled promotions vs. who brings you news, facts, analysis, and commentary that can be used to navigate the waters that businesses, professionals, and investors face?

Note none of the above – including ourselves – are perfect. By definition, any lack of perfection in philosophical jargon is some degree of ‘evil,’ not pure evil, but an imperfection.

Between imperfect choices, which choices from the above will people make?

 

Decisions, Decisions…

Elections are about choices.  Decisions. On a practical level,

  • one votes for a Democrat,
  • a Republican or other party, or
  • one doesn’t vote at all.

Those who don’t vote, have ‘voted’ not to participate, and have thus yielded to those who do.  The resident groups are right about this.  Their power is at the ballot box.  Just ask long-time industry professionals in states like CA or Delaware – not to mention a number of other states in between the east and west coasts – and they’ll tell you that resident groups have caused bills at the local and state level to pass that include measures such as rent control or “rent justification.”

The industry often opposes these.

Resident groups are engaged at the state level by a number of state associations. MHI and MHARR have engaged at various times and ways with NMHOA, though on differing topics. MHARR is not directly involved in community issues, but they do promote a robust entry by the GSEs into manufactured home lending, as one of several topics that are important to communities, retailers, and thus producers.

 

With the Table Set Above…

There are good reasons to believe this the upcoming midterm election could be the biggest in years, perhaps, in a generation or more.

Rob Weymouth, has been claimed as a member by the leadership of Delaware Manufactured Home Owner Association (DMHOA), which affiliates with both NMHOA and MHAction.

Weymouth, perhaps not realizing his illogical argument, in several letters to the editor in his area, has written arguing that Democrats needed to be elected, even though he admits in his own column, that the Democrats who passed a rent-control bill was “useless” to manufactured home owners.  Useless legislation, but vote for those that passed it?

MH Communities, Owners, MH Independents Alert – NMHOA and MHAction Next Steps? – Part 1

That said, Weymouth is urging manufactured homeowners to vote Democratic.

Tim Sheahan, is the president of the NMHOA. He had a lengthy submission to the FHFA on the topic of the Duty to Serve (DTS) by Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In it, he made several interesting points, which wittingly or not, he later logically contradicted.  See the report, linked below for specifics.

Tim Sheahan, NMHOA President, Controversial Points of Agreement with Marty Lavin, George Allen on Communities

The tactics and positions taken by NMHOA or MHAction tend to align more with Democratic than Republican politics.  If they see that differently, they’re leadership is welcome to send me a letter to the editor to clear up any confusion on that point.  But so far, what’s been communicated privately and publicly led us to that conclusion.

Let me be clear.  The analysis we’ve done are not put-downs to Weymouth or Sheahan. Manufactured home residents deserve respect.  There are few in the industry who’ve done more to lift up the image of manufactured home owners, as what we’ve done on MHLivingNews.com. For years, we’ve spotlighted morality tales of what not to do, when we publish articles about businesses that have gotten in legal hot water for wronging one or more residents.

So, the purpose of public discourse – there’s, our’s or other’s ideas – is to advance concepts.  Those visions ought to be examined and tested logically, using our God-given common-sense.

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No formal training in logic or debate is needed to analyze someone’s perspective.  What is needed, is objectivity and common-sense.  What’s helpful is applying simple principles, like the lesser of two evils.

For some time, MHProNews has systematically examined numerous issues that impact manufactured housing and manufactured home owners.  It has led up to this moment.

 

What’s the best way to advance the interests of manufactured home owners and businesses alike?

Let’s keep it simple.  Some respond to emotional appeals.  Set aside pure emotions, which can be manipulated.  As Poverty Inc demonstrated, what sounds big hearted can in fact be harmful to the very people that people of good will intend to help.

Let’s give NMHOA and MHAction the benefit of the doubt for now.  Let’s say, for discussion’s sake, that they want the best interest of hundreds of their members or millions of MH residents.  Let’s further say they aren’t working – as MHAction’s ties suggest – for the interests of billionaires like George Soros.

If that is so, then who is doing more for manufactured home residents?  Is it Democrats, as Weymouth and his DMHOA leadership think?  Or is it the emerging new GOP, under President Donald J. Trump?

 

Compare – and Decide

What precisely did the administration of President Barack H. Obama do for MH residents during his 8 years in office?

Compare that to what the President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump has already done to raise millions of more people out of poverty?  Think about how in 20 months millions are off of food stamps, have new jobs with higher pay, have lower utility bills, more take home pay, and more.  Better paying jobs that President Obama said would never come back, are back under President Trump.  Set aside style or tweets, etc, and look at results.  Considered objectively, isn’t it an easy comparison between Mr. Obama and POTUS Trump?

Former President Obama, unable to stand on his actual record, is now back on the campaign trail.  He’s trying to imply or claim in recent days that the increasingly booming economy is due to his policies.  That’s easily debunked nonsense. Coal, manufacturing, and other jobs that Mr. Obama said would never come back, are under President Trump’s pro-growth policies.

The fact that Mr. Obama even feels the need to make such obviously false claims should speak volumes.  Don’t let the supposedly soaring rhetoric carry your colleagues off.  Because a growing number of the former 44th president’s supporters left him for the Trump movement.

In fact, about 1/3 of the counties that candidate Obama won, where won years later by candidate Donald J. Trump.

Under President Obama, starting with his first midterms, Democrats lost a net of some 1,000 seats at the federal, state and local levels.

Keep in mind, that President Trump, much like the late President Ronald Reagan, is a former Democrat. That fact caused concerns for many in the GOP power structure.

President Trump has been:

  • good for job creation ,
  • Blue collar workers,
  • Good for minorities,
  • Good for women,
  • has reduced the numbers on public assistance,
  • has boosted investments in American businesses, which is good for owners, investors, and professionals.
  • It is those investors that could – under the right policies – begin building more communities that could rebalance the supply-demand equation for manufactured home community residents.

Here’s the bottom line.  Democratic policies since the Great Society some 50 years ago, spent over $22 trillion dollars until 2014, with no appreciable difference in poverty rates.

UCDavisUnitedStatesPovertyRateSince1959to2015DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

The principles of Poverty, Inc – applied to the U.S. – will tell us that what’s needed is to clear the path for small businesses to open, operate and do business that lift people out of poverty and create opportunities.

Acclaimed Poverty Inc. Video, MHVille – Why Left & Right Should Listen, Learn From Each Other

Superficial thinking has arguably gotten:

  • manufactured housing professionals by the thousands, and
  • manufactured home owners by the hundreds of thousands,
  • both into less than ideal or even problematic positions.

It will take clear thinking, facts, and evidence to correct what’s gone wrong in manufactured housing.

MHARR, outspent by some 7 to 1 by MHI, has routinely picked the correct positions time and again on issues that face the industry.  By contrast, MHI has repeatedly taken positions that they claim are good for many, but in fact work for the interests of a few ‘consolidators’ of smaller businesses.

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

It is hard to find something good to say (sorry) about the public positions and actions of MHAction.  There is clear overlap between MHAction and NMHOA.  That said, both NMHOA and MHAction, along with their state affiliates need to be engaged, as some professional associations have tried.  But it is resident group’s thinking that must be engaged, analyzed and put on display, as we have in articles linked from this column, above and below.

Ishbel Dickens said she was open to a public discussion debate of the issues with me, but never actually did so.  We’ve more recently made a similar invitation to NMHOA and MHAction’s current leaders.  We’ll see what they do, but so far, there’s no one jumping at the chance.  Why not?  Do they lack confidence in their positions?

If they are not willing to defend their positions, perhaps they should consider changing them?  In fact, that’s the purpose of analysis and debate. To discern through testing what’s true, what’s not, so that people can make the best decisions moving ahead.

The answer for residents is demonstrably not rent control,  Nor is it Democratic policies.  Frankly, it isn’t purely Republican policies that will fix things either.  As an independent, President Donald Trump’s policies – which blend elements from both major parties – are what could prove to be the path ahead.

MHARR’s president and former president said as much.  See the video, below.

Looking back, isn’t it clear that they were right?

Life is full of decisions, as we all know.  It often comes down to two imperfect options.  Pick the better of the two, which the ancients called the principle of the lesser of two evils. ## (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

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.

 

Related References:

Racism – Getting Increasing Prosperity, Stability, Safety, and Certainty

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

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?

MHI-21stMortgageKevinClaytonClaytonHomesManufacturedHoomeCorporationsPlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

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


SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe 

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.

 

MobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearch-445x768

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?

IthinkFairSawLowerThePeriodicCostSatisfactoryHousingTheGreaterOnAverageWealthCreation

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.

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuring

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?

 

DrLisaTylerHousingSolutionInexpensiveEnergyEfficientGreatValueOpportuntiesObsticlesManufacturedHomeIndustryMHLivingNewsDailyB

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. 

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

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?

WarrenBuffettTheMoatQuoteMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

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

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.

 

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

S 2155, Manufactured Housing,“Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” Back Story

May 22nd, 2018 No comments

S2155ManufacturedHousingEconomicGrowthRegulatoryReliefConsumerProtectionActBackStoryMastheadMHProNews

S. 2155 is poised to pass the House today.  It’s styled “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.”

 

Should the bill pass – and Skopos Labs/GovTrack say there is a 56 percent chance of enactment – then the following is what you can expect from the Arlington, VA based national manufactured housing association and their surrogates.

Based upon her promises, this bill would not have been signed by Hillary Clinton. So MHI – which put two pro-Clinton speakers on their Chicago stage days before the 2016 election – has no room to crow. Rather, they should be grateful to those in the industry who promoted a president who would sign such a measure.

There is a 100 percent chance of celebration and back slapping by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  I don’t blame them, it’s natural.

But there’s a back story.  MHI don’t want the focus to be on the back story.

Indeed, as a matter of record, repeal of the onerous MLO rule is one MHProNews has supported for years.

In spite of what some consumer groups claim, the MLO repeal provision only levels the playing field for manufactured home retailers and communities. It allows them to do what real estate agents can already do. We supported both legs of the original bill, so logically, we supported each one too.

S2155ManufactuerdHousingINdustryMastheadAnalysisMHProNews

Whatever happens on this bill, there is going to be overhang from progressives, unless the case – especially for manufactured housing – is properly made as to why this bill was positive for consumers and industry alike.

 

“Tony, What’s the Beef?”

We’ve had some pros – skimmers, not readers – who’ve asked why we don’t support the bill. We have supported the measure, and did for years.

Our “beef” – as one writer put it – has been that MHI spiked this MLO-only deal years ago.

If the MLO rule is OK now, why wasn’t it OK then?

Mark my words.  MHI wanted to do this, because they and their puppet masters were desperate to be able to claim a victory on anything of substance.

Mark my words. MHI and their puppet masters are feeling the heat.

MSM = Mainstream Media

Once more, the mainstream media (MSM) has numerous reports and commentaries coming out just before the House vote.  They are slamming the measure, slamming Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway’s MHI association mouthpiece.

Part of the point is that even when they ‘succeed:’

  • the manufactured housing industry must remember this could have been done years ago, as the Daily Business News exclusively reported.
  • Clayton and their Berkshire lending brands were winning either way. They benefited if S 2155 and/or Preserving Access passed or not. This is a nuanced but critical point to understand, long after 2155 is forgotten. An MHI insider first told me about that insight, and then another did. It was MHI types that explained that the big companies benefit regardless if MHI backed bills pass, or not.  Burn that one into your mind, it frankly took me time to get it. But once that sank in, it became an eye-popping insight.

 

Look at this MHI Pattern

LesliGoochforCongressManufacturedHousingInstituteMHISVPGovtAffairsRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMastheadDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Lesli Gooch, blast from her past…

MHI’s EVP Lesli Gooch proudly told the Washington Post they did not weigh in on the removal of Pam Danner.

Recall, that MHI was on the wrong side of the DOE energy rule, until pressure from this publication, MHARR, the SBA and others made them switch course.

We could go on and on like the above. But the bottom line is simple, and tragic.

Independents who are paying dues to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) are arguably paying to feed the hand that bites and fails them.

There are reasons why state associations and others have dropped their MHI membership.

 

Pulling the Head Out…

head-in-sand-wikicommons-dilbert=credit-posted-masthead-mhmsm-com-

Some don’t want to hear what they might consider to be ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ news. Reality is.  Hiding a head in the sand has never solved a problem. Image Credit WikiCommons, Dilbert.

There are some MHI loyalists who think we’re just sore because MHI gave us the boot. Hardly, that’s reversed.  MHI gave us the boot because they didn’t know how to deal with all the myriad of revelations we were publishing about their ‘alleged’ favoritism, failures, and flaws.

All of that has cost the industry, IMHO, billions of dollars a year in new home sales.  That in turn has cost manufactured home owners, billions of dollars in higher resale values.

It is time for more in the industry to dig deeply.

It is time to pull the head out of the sand, and look.

As a closing thought, please note that not everything about MHI, not everything about Berkshire Hathaway draws our concerns. We strive to be objective.

The best example is from Monday.  Please check that article out.  We give credit where it is due, period. We are evidence, reason, and fact-based. We are pro-industry.  We’re not against big-business.  We are against big business that behaves in monopolistic, crony capitalists, or otherwise behave in unethical ways.

See the first take on MHARR’s related report, linked above.  Enough said for today. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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

UPDATE 6:27 PM ET.  As expected the bill has passed. Let’s see how the prediction above plays out.  Details of the passage are found at the link below.

Related Reports:

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

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

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.

 

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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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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