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HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

June 4th, 2019 No comments

 

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Hold the headline for 125 words. Poisoning the well. Salting the fields. Those are but two of several ancient methods some enemies used to harm their opponents. The notion behind those vile tactics was if you could kill off their drinkable water or their food supply, someone could effectively destroy their enemy.

 

Other devious, ancient tactics are:

  • scapegoating,
  • tapping into prejudice(s),
  • obscuring the truth,
  • the big lie,
  • making numbers of people fear doing or saying something that is normally quite natural.
  • Still other tactics are buying or enticing someone to become effectively a ‘Quisling’ or ‘Benedict Arnold.’

 

 

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All those are tools of manipulation or coercion, but they could in theory begin subtly. “Political correctness” might be viewed as an example of the deployment of a way to delicately influence millions.

 

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Before proceeding, let me stress that this writer is a political independent. Affordable housing ideally ought to be a non-partisan or bi-partisan issue. My friends and family include Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, other minor parties, and the droves that could care less about politics. While I hold personal views on matters of faith, my friends and colleagues include self-professed atheists, agnostics, Buddhist, Bahai, Muslims, Jews, New Age, and oh yes, one of several branches of Christianity.

That said, the truth, evidence, reason, experience, logic, and history are among the intellectual drivers for this writer and our LLCs digital publications. Earning and keeping the biggest professional audience of its kind in our industry didn’t happen by accident. Or as a top man of a publicly traded firm said during the Tunica Show, he’s happy his company isn’t one of those we’re investigating, a back handed compliment. He went on to say that we lay out a case step-by-step in an evidence-based fashion that makes sense once an article is digested.

That corporate leader isn’t alone. Professionals from firms of all sizes have made this the number one digital platform of its kind in our industry’s history. Not bragging, just the facts made possible by the various tips, sources, and contributions of so many others.

 

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s Affordable Housing Educational Offensive

First, let’s acknowledge that a genius in one field doesn’t make someone all-knowing about other subjects. All truth is learned from another in some form or fashion. Before one knows the truth about any given subject, one is by definition ‘ignorant.’

That’s reality, not a slur.

Before becoming a political candidate for the White House as a Republican in the 2016 election cycle, the current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Ben Carson, MD – was a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. This writer was among those who grew up hearing amazing-but-true stories of the accomplishments of Dr. Carson. Carson in several ways epitomized the American Dream of going from rags to riches.

His is a story of discipline, endurance to overcome the odds, and the rewards that can come in a free market society that rewards honest accomplishments. So, of course Dr. Carson opposes socialism, and celebrates the American Way.

In an era when being a black man was considered to be automatically a Democrat, Carson – not unlike Justice Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, Thomas Sowell, Alveda King, Carol Swain, Walter Williams or scores of others – came to believe that what modern Democrats embraced ran counter to many of the values that made America great. That’s not a slam on Democrats as individuals, but it is to question a party leaders that drifted from Democratic President John F. Kennedy’s professed anti-communism and tax cutting to one that increasingly embraces socialism and redistribution of wealth schemes.

Let’s note there have been GOP party issues I won’t go into now that kept me from embracing their views in toto as well. Each party – in some form or fashion – has something worthy of consideration. This writer, therefor, strives to support those who line up with proven historic principles.

 

Mocked!

There are times when we all say or do something inadvertently that if magnified and mocked, can be weaponized to create an illusion of ineptitude. Mocking someone can seemingly soil even the most gifted. Do that on national TV, social media, or cable news, and you can turn a truly wise or intelligent person into someone that can be made to appear clumsy. The “OREO” vs. “REO” item that made headlines about Secretary Carson a few weeks ago is an example of that in action.

Secretary Carson profoundly identified that mockery tactic on national TV spot posted below as borrowed from the pages of Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals. Alinsky and Hillary Rodham – the future Mrs. Clinton – were pen pals, and Hillary did a college paper on Alinsky and his methods. To dot the i on slips of the lip or honest mistakes, it’s as wrong to mock former President Barack Hussein Obama for saying 57 instead of 50 states, as it is to mock Secretary Carson for not hearing REO correctly during a somewhat raucous congressional hearing.

 

 

Stuff happens, but mature or fair-mined people don’t mock another for a simple misunderstanding.

Cheap shots at such slips are the tools of those with a weak argument. Which brings us to a reality that Secretary Carson well knows. The truth can be obscured or even turned on its head by a variety of means.

Before turning to affordable housing, let’s give but one more example of obscuring the truth. Prior to launching the campaign that led him to becoming the 45th president, try to find someone of stature who accused Donald J. Trump of racism or misogyny. The Trump Organization famously promoted women as easily as a man. There are scores of people like Tiger Woods, Kanye West, or Secretary Carson, that have or would attest to the fact that President Trump is no racist. Trump appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s program several times. Did she think him a racist then? If so, why did Oprah have him on…was she promoting racism or a racist? Of course not. But repeat a lie often enough, and a certain number will believe it.

Repeat a lie with millions hearing or reading it often enough, and millions will believe that lie.

With those useful analogies and examples, now let’s turn to Secretary Carson’s lessons on affordable housing.  Note that in the video below, as Secretary Carson speaks about manufactured homes and windstorm resistance, Maria Bartiromo makes a sound, as if his statement caught her by surprise.  One might think that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) might want this video on their website.  More on that later.

 

 

Secretary Carson and Affordable Housing

First, Secretary Carson begins with a free enterprise mindset. As a scientist – because that’s what a physician is – Dr. Carson is by training evidence, reason, goal, and solution oriented.

Reverend Donald Tye, Jr. told me something profoundly insightful, which we’ve held until now. Tye said that when he spent time working in social programs to help the disadvantaged, an odd shift can occur among those serving the needy. A job exists in government or a nonprofit in part because there are poor or other circumstantially disadvantaged individuals. Solving the underlying problem would eliminate jobs. Ouch, but that’s a deeply insightful point.

Rephrased, Rev. Tye was telling me that solving poverty was not the goal for many in a nonprofit or governmental role.  Ouch, that’s painful to ponder, but it’s a notion that at a minimum merits consideration.

 

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Carson has been asked to shrink the budget at HUD, as have others in various federal agencies in the Trump Administration. Shrinking HUD’s budget creates political enemies among those who benefit from the existence of programs and poverty. It should be common sense – besides being federal law – that illegal aliens don’t qualify for housing assistance, a topic mentioned in the first right-of-center Fox Business video above. That’s but one of many issues that some on the left have attempted to manipulate facts that creates a narrative that they can weaponize against Secretary Carson.

Carson, by a variety of means, has learned several things about manufactured housing. That’s come in part from trade associations, but also from HUD internal, and other sources.

Carson is not necessarily an expert, but he is intelligent. It is common sense that a home built in a factory is less costly than one built more slowly outdoors. Traditional ‘site building’ is subject to the weather, theft, subcontractors that don’t always show up when expected, inspections that get delayed, permitting, and a raft of issues that cost time and money. Build a single car in a driveway and see how much more expensive that one car is than one essentially identical that’s built on a factory assembly line.

Factory-building is common sense.

Secretary Carson doesn’t have to be a gifted genius to get that reality. Common sense ought to be enough.

In fairness, there is no doubt that Secretary Carson has learned some valuable insights from members of several different associations. I’d like to contemplate the good doctor as thinking for himself – as a scientist would – and not as a puppet for Berkshire Hathaway or their de facto association mouthpiece, based in Arlington, VA. Carson surely knows who Warren Buffett is better than most, because – as noted – he knows who Saul Alinsky is, of whom most Americans know nothing.

Carson, once he begins to learn the truth about manufactured homes, does what many do. He and others get excited about it. Carson seems to sincerely want to tell others, the best way his time and other demands allows him to do. That desire to share good news is common, until it is beat out of someone.

Now, sharing good news about manufactured homes as a tool in the chest for solving the affordable housing crisis may seem to fit what a manufactured housing trade association would – or should – want.

 

 

But what Secretary Carson – perhaps inadvertently, perhaps by intent – has done is reveal the utter purported hypocrisy of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). How so?

Manufactured housing is now in its 8th month of year-over-year declining production. When one grasps the reality of what Secretary Carson says, it begs the question the Urban Institute asked in January 2018. Manufactured homes could help solve the affordable housing crisis, so why aren’t more HUD Code manufactured homes being sold?

There are over two decades of third-party research that tells the story of HUD Code manufactured homes. That research is largely absent from the MHI website. Why?  Why doesn’t MHI have a page on their website with tons of third party research, as we have established on MHLivingNews?

 

 

Last year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Certified Business Economist (CBE) Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton wrote a fascinating research report that debunks large swaths of the misinformation that exists about manufactured homes. At least one MHI vice president took part in that research process, because she, I, and Mark Weiss from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform are among those that NAR’s Cororaton cited in her first footnote on page 48. That highly useful NAR research by Cororaton isn’t found on MHI’s website. Why not? Wouldn’t third-party evidence which debunks outdated or errant notions help convince more Americans hungry for affordable housing to buy a manufactured home?

Of course, it would. Third-party endorsement, by whatever terminology or nomenclature one may use, has been powerful method for convincing skeptics for ages. A genuine third-party research that debunks fallacies goes to the heart of the quotes below, from a former MHI chairman, and a controversial but savvy MHI member.

 

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Then, MHI Chairman when this comment was made. So why doesn’t MHI follow this prudent advice? Why as MHI chair, did Williams mandate doing what he said was a good argument? MHI has a full time PR person. What is that PR person doing, if not refuting incorrect reports, and promoting good news?

 

 

There are reams of quotes similar to those we could cite, but let’s just use one more quote for the moment.

 

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The Decio family had Art – Terry’s father – on the cover of Time Magazine decades ago, what happened to the MH Industry since then?

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Decio’s question begs the question. Why is manufactured housing a secret at all? What is the job of MHI? Don’t they claim in writing and in videos to be promoting the manufactured home industry?  Isn’t that part of what MHI’s President and CEO, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, swears to under penalty of perjury when he signs the annual IRS form 990?

 

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20 years ago, manufactured homes outsold RVs by about 3 to 2. Today, RVs outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. Manufactured homes are normally purchased for full time living, many RVs are for recreational or part time living. Many RVs – which are towable as well as motorized – can be higher than a manufactured home. The cost per square foot for a manufactured home is routinely lower, as Secretary Carson has stressed.  So why is the industry underperforming?

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Since Berkshire bought Clayton after the third year, the industry has overall performed at a lower level than they year that Buffett made the deal to buy Clayton homes in 2003. Coincidence, or under-performance by design? See the smoking gun documents that purportedly demonstrate monopolistic behavior, linked here.

 

I’ve not spoken to Secretary Carson. So, there is a bit of supposition here, based upon years of my reading and listening to the famous gentleman. At some point, Carson surely must wonder – why aren’t more manufactured homes being sold?  Why didn’t his predecessor at HUD, who likewise praised manufactured homes, actively promote manufactured housing as I’m trying to do?

 

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

 

Secretary Carson is Exposing MHI and Berkshire Hathaway MH Brands

Secretary Carson has exposed MHI and Berkshire Hathaway in this fashion.  A normal trade group would be celebrating what he said to them on May 7, 2019. There are numerous, powerful, pull quotes from his speech.

But no, now almost a month after the address by Carson, that speech is still not found on MHI’s website.

 

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After weeks of our hammering that point, last Thursday, MHI finally posted a brief notice on an interior page about the Innovation in Housing event that Secretary Carson, HUD and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are promoting. They sent out a message to their members via email with a few pull quotes from Dr. Carson’s 5.7.2019 address, to let their members know how great MHI is. That’s become MHI’s photo op campaign.

But after bragging to their members about ‘getting’ Carson two years in a row, they failed to promote his fine address this year or last on their own website.  Where is the logic there?  Doesn’t that make the point that Frank Rolfe and others have raised about failing to properly promote the industry?

 

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MHI also apparently failed to use their media contacts to promote the good insights Carson has been making in mainstream news appearance exemplified by some videos shown on this page. The same was true in the run-up to the Innovation in Housing showcase that has 3 HUD Code manufactured homes on display.

It’s not the first such failure by MHI. Rather, it is only the most recent, as other examples posted above reflect.

Restated, there is a pattern of behavior that MHI has exhibited for years. It comes down to only a few logical possibilities. Pardon what will seem blunt, but let’s just state them. Among the logical possibilities:

  • MHI – their staff – are inept.
  • MHI – their staff – are incompetent.
  • MHI – their staff – posture intelligent behavior to their members, but fail to effectively do so with the general public.

 

Let’s bear in mind that the association’s staff are intelligent people.

 

 

Let’s further keep in mind that the association’s staff do what the MHI Executive Committee tells them to do. Put 3 stars next to that point.

MHI’s staff have been paid bonuses, if the IRS form 990s filings are to be believed.

 

Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses

 

MHI staff have been praised by Tim Williams and other MHI Executive Committee leaders.  Given the opportunity to respond to concerns raised here or on MHLivingNews, they’ve ducked time and again for the last 2 years.

 

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Declining to take questions in front of dozens of industry professionals was Rick Robinson, MHI’s SVP and General Counsel. MHI’s president has similarly ducked publicly questions by this pro-industry trade media platform. Why begs the question, why?

 

Rearticulated, the staff must be doing what the MHI Executive Committee desires.  That doesn’t absolve them of moral or perhaps some legal responsibilities. But it causes one to look beyond MHI staff to those who pull the strings.

 

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Who helped promote those federal legislation efforts that harmed manufactured housing? Start with a presidential candidate supported by Warren Buffett.

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UMH President Sam Landy 

Sam Landy, JD, UMH Properties President and CEO, said at an MHI meeting to a half-dozen or so listening to him a few years ago words to the effect that ‘there seems to be a lot of meetings, but that not much actually gets accomplished.’

Some MHI corporate members stopped going to many of their meetings, and send a delegate instead, for the same reason Landy stated.

Note that MHI’s 990s make it clear that events and meetings are a profit center for the organization. That’s fine, so long as the organization is doing something worthwhile to promote their stated mission.

There are some who do benefit from MHI, but not in the normal association manner. The evidence suggests that MHI as it has operated in the Berkshire Hathaway era (since 2003) as a tool for corporate consolidation. By appearing to industry members to do what a normal national association should do, they can effectively collect dues and PAC contributions from independents. That also provides opportunities for larger companies to acquire smaller ones.

 

Reading, viewing, asking the right questions, observing, and listening. These are keys to adaptive success.

 

How Industry Underperformance Benefits Berkshire and “The Big Boys” in Manufactured Housing

Because the industry is de facto underperforming, based upon historic data and the potential demand, it means that those who have sold out in the last 15 years have done so at a discounted value. Doesn’t that nicely fit what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger want? Isn’t that what investors who follow Buffett call an undervalued acquisition?

 

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By suppressing the positive truth about manufactured housing, in direct and indirect ways, the powers that be in MHVille – exemplified, but not limited to, Omaha and Knoxville metro based firms – have turned the Arlington based MHI into a tool for consolidation that can readily escape normal regulatory scrutiny. It’s a slow-motion scheme. MHI appears to do what associations do.  But they don’t make significant progress. It is a model predicated on the industry underperforming.

Does anyone but this author think so? Yes, and we’ve cited examples. Recent ones are Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds, who de facto doubled down on Frank Rolfe’s quote above. See the new report, linked below.

 

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, Both Finger Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Failures, in Writing, Again

 

Or Neal Haney, who as previously was noted, led numbers of this colleagues out of MHI, saying that they failed to represent their interests.

Or Bob Crawford, who on stage and in an entirely unplanned, explained to dozens of industry professionals why MHI was at best a 5 out of 10 in performance. Where so come from, that earns you an “F,” a failing grade.  Keep in mind, this is a flashback to near the end of the Obama administration era.

 

 

Mark Weiss, JD, is the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). He aptly called what MHI does the “Illusion of Motion.”

 

Former MHI member and award winner Marty Lavin, JD, may have shrewdly understood this well before others did. For years, he said in writing or in meetings, the following.

 

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More recently, the observant Lavin said the next potent quote.

 

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Does Secretary Carson get all of this? I can’t say, because I don’t know him personally. I do know that HUD’s press office has arguably done all that they can to keep me and our publication away from Secretary Carson. Specifically, let me point the finger at HUD’s Brian Sullivan, who is either de facto working for MHI, or for some other reason fails to do what is in HUD’s – and Dr. Carson’s – and the Trump Administration’s goals of saving taxpayer dollars best interests.  There is no logical reason that Sullivan would have, since we have be consistent public supporters of Secretary Carson since he was first nominated.

No one in MHVille could give Secretary Carson a better chance to talk directly to the largest audience of industry’s professionals of all sizes than this author and our digital trade media platforms. Furthermore, on MHLivingNews, Carson could be reaching current and potential manufactured home owners. That’s what Carson says he wants.  So, if Sullivan is smart, he knows these things.

So why has Sullivan foiled every effort to date to make that happen? We’ll let that question hang, perhaps Mr. Sullivan will tell us, but what he’s said to date is intellectual mush.

One doesn’t have to believe in a grand conspiracy to recognize that people in the public sector may someday want to work in the private sector. Who better to work for later in life than a Berkshire Hathaway brand?

Further, former Office of Manufactured Housing Program (OMHP) Pam Danner, JD, was an Obama era appointee, with similar political views as the former 44th president.  Secretary Carson said that the regulations he reviewed were “ridiculous” in Senate testimony in 2018, and praised the evolution of manufactured homes as “amazing.” That was an indirect way of scolding Danner’s leadership.

 

 

 

Danner, per our sources, was inserted into her role at HUD by allies of the Berkshire brands.

What a growing number of professionals and legislators realize is the following.

 

  • The power to tax is the power to destroy. The more complex the tax laws, the better for big businesses. The more complex the tax laws, the harder it is on small businesses.
  • The power to regulate is the power to destroy. It’s another point that controversial MHI members Frank and Dave made just days ago. It’s a point we’ve made for years.
  • Cut businesses of from capital and financing, and you limit or kill businesses off. Combined with the second bullet above, if you get industry members to fight no-win battles like the now dead Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – which Frank Rolfe said his congressman told him was a waste of time in the Inside MH video posted above – and you will over time cause some to quit, sell out, or close up entirely. All of those are useful for a stealth monopolist. This writer recently referred to that tactic as the classic boxer’s “Rope-a-Dope” tactic, and I confess that I fell for it for a time too.
  • Evidence exists that that Berkshire, Clayton Homes, 21st did cut off lending. Neither of those brands, nor MHI, have yet to debunk – or even try – the documents, direct quotes, video and related evidence that in 2009 a blatant ‘smoking gun’ style antitrust action occurred during the aftermath of the financial crisis. We use the word alleged, because that’s what’s proper. But antitrust attorneys we’ve shown this to that’s looked carefully has said there looks to be a reasonable case, learn that at the link here.
  • Last for now, but not least, Buffett’s money has been used to fund both sides of several fights, and it has routinely been MHI that ‘loses’ in the battles. We’ve followed the ‘dark money’ trail, see that linked below.

 

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

 

So with that series of examples of how to weaponize an industry, why would it be a surprise if the revolving door between government and the private sector – as well documented as that is – has also been used by the big boys of MHVille? Again, HUD’s Sullivan will be invited to reply.

But he – and perhaps HUD’s Teresa Payne, both of whom are nice people – are arguably sandbagging Secretary Carson from achieving what he claims to want to do.  The arguable alternative is that Carson is doing an elaborate head fake, and Sullivan and Payne are covering for their boss.  I’m not buying that, but time will tell.

Manufactured housing is underperforming. That harms most, save a few consolidators.

Let me hit one more note we’ve not hit before.  There are companies that may disagree with Berkshire, with Warren Buffett, or with their politics. They may go along out of fear of retaliation, because our industry readers know the purported attempts by those in league with the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to punish those who would publicly oppose them.

But some could stand up and fight, but don’t. They currently have enough capital, enough power to resist. But they don’t. Why?

Because they are willing to allow the Berkshire brands to consolidate the industry, thinking that it helps them in an indirect fashion. Ouch, but I’ve heard that with my own ears from sources who know and are doing that very thing.

And Buffet and Munger don’t even need to know the vast majority of the people being impacted, so long as their minions in Knoxville and beyond are putting the principles of their strategic Moat is being put to work.

 

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Why We Believe Carson’s at Least Partially in the Dark…

Enhanced Preemption is a provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. As the name implies, it gives HUD Code manufactured homes preemption from a host of local or state regulatory mandates. It is in principle part of how the HUD Code saves a builder money, which in turn saves a home buyer money.

MHI mentions “enhanced preemption” not at all in their website. Why not?

 

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By contrast, you’d find over a dozen articles on MHARR’s website about enhanced preemption.  MHI has been online about 10x longer than MHARR.  How to explain this disparity?  Note that MHI rebuilt its website about 3 years ago, and topics that may have existed before, could have been purged at that time.

 

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What we’ve not seen any evidence that Secretary Carson is aware of the notion of “Enhanced Preemption.”

 

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On MHProNews and MHLivingNews, we’ve spotlighted “enhanced preemption” for years. We put it into our federal comments letters too. It is my understanding that MHARR has done so too.  Videos like the one below touches on the topic.

 

 

So when MHI shows all of these photo ops with HUD’s Brian Montgomery, HUD Secretary Carson, or others, do their meeting minutes reflect that they’ve raised the issue with HUD?  Because if so, in a snap, perhaps the single biggest challenge to sales growth would be remedied.

There is no need to pass a new law, when good existing laws are going unfulfilled.  The same is true on the Duty to Serve. MHI has promoted the Clayton-backed ‘new class’ of homes, but has not pushed for full implementation of the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) on all HUD Code manufactured homes.

There is no longer any rationale that the GSEs can use to avoid the implementation of DTS.  Why?  Because Triad Financial, Credit Human, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) have proven for years that they can do substantiable lending. Furthermore, the FHFA and NAR research that both say that manufactured homes can and do appreciate should be all the reasons needed for the GSEs to do what the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) requires.

But that would cost Berkshire Hathaway profits. Who says?  Then MHI Chairman and 21st Mortgage Corp – a Berkshire brand – Tim Williams did, in a meeting in San Antonio Texas to a few dozen people, with me in the room.

Not all, but many roads that explain MHI’s odd behavior go back to Omaha and Knoxville.  But what seems ever more apparent is that MHI is – as Marty Lavin said – there for the big boys.  By keeping the industry small now, once the big boys consolidated as much as they think they can get away with, watch as they magically take their foot off an invisible brake pedal.  Berkshire’s coffers will open.  A real marketing and educational campaign will suddenly come to life.  Berkshire Hathaway’s “BH Media Group” will likely suddenly start educating the public.

There is no way that Berkshire can logically argue that they are doing their best to grow the industry.  The evidence to the contrary is stark, and growing.

In the Inside MH video above, Dye specifically says that Secretary Carson should enforce enhanced preemption. The award-winning Dye does more, like explain that there are entry level manufactured homes, and residential style manufactured homes. Both types must meet all HUD Code standards, and thus both serve consumers in very necessary and valuable ways. Dye also says that over half his customers previously owned a conventional site-built house, before buying a manufactured home.

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both said they want to enforce the law. Secretary Carson has said similarly.

But Carson if doesn’t know the law on enhanced preemption exists, how can they enforce it?  I don’t think Brian Montgomery – an establishment guy that MHI touted and was there at HUD previously for years – can make the same claim, but let’s hold that issue for another time.

The beauty of enhanced preemption is that all those local zoning and placement barriers that Secretary Carson has spoken of at times would vaporize if federal enhanced preemption were enforced.

The affordable housing crisis could be largely solved within a decade, perhaps less, largely be free enterprise. HUD’s budget could be cut without harming people, because the need for subsidized housing would shrink naturally.

That might upset for a time the apple carts of thousands of investors in rentals. But it would balance out and could bring ‘the rent is too damn high’ complaints to a halt. Because Secretary Carson is correct, the problem is one of supply and demand.  Insufficient supply is fueling ever higher housing costs. The solution is more supply, which factory-building alone can rapidly meet.

Manufactured housing is valuable to individuals, to investors, and to society. It should be respected and encouraged as Secretary Carson is trying to do.

 

 

But wittingly or not, Dr. Carson has unmasked the most logical explanations for why the industry is underperforming. MHI are not doing their claimed job.  That opens up several legal issues, which is explored in part in the linked report above.

 

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Secretary Carson’s full address in New Orleans on May 7, 2019, and other bi-partisan praise for the industry, are found at the link here.  If you’ve not already done so, why not read it.  Then ask yourself, why wouldn’t MHI want this full speech on their website? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hud-secretary-ben-carson-speech-on-manufactured-homes-manufactured-housingactive-ingredientmedicationfor-a-stronger-america/

 

Carson Opportunity Zones and Affordable Housing

Secretary Carson is also the head of the president’s “Opportunity Zones” initiative. A proper implementation of existing laws, noted herein above, combined with the opportunity zones, could fuel a growth of trillions of dollars in GDP, per third-party research.

 

 

That kind of economic growth would raise wages even more than they’ve been doing in the last 2 years.  More home ownership would ease income inequality, which is a hot-button issue.

 

 

Secretary Carson – if he properly and fully implements the law – may hold the keys to a Trump Administration second term, or not.

Finally, he’s made a good start by just striving to educate the public.  But the next step is to enforce the law, and to ask DOJ and others to investigate MHI, the Berkshire brands and others who purportedly have violated several laws in the scheme outlined above.

Unlike UFOs, the truth here isn’t elusive.  The truth is hiding in plain sight. One must peel back years of BS to get to it, but Terry Decio’s and thousands of other industry professionals frustrations are solved by simply telling the truth and enforcing existing laws.

As a multiple year MHI former member, I watched from the inside how smoothly common sense was sidelined in favor of esoteric and ineffective often efforts. This writer was praised for years, until we raised too many questions, like about Pam Danner. It was after that San Antonio meeting, after asking about Pam Danner, and questions like those noted herein, that the powers that be that once praised us, turned on us, and booted me out.  Fine.

After some 7 years of slow progress I saw all I needed to, thank you very much.  We still have sources that tell us much of what is necessary to out what is either incompetence, or a hidden agenda.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoNewClassofHomesMHIMediaClaimsMastheadMHProNews

 

Oddly, instead of MHI hiring an outside attorney:

  • to push cities and local jurisdictions to fully implement enhanced preemption,
  • or hire a lobbyist that does nothing more than get FHFA, the GSEs to do the Duty to Serve properly,
  • or have that same lobbyist do nothing more push HUD to enforce “enhanced preemption,”
  • MHI instead hired an attorney to threaten this writer and our publication, apparently unhappy with our fact checks and related – and they specifically mentioned an earlier graphic like the one immediately above, that they complained about our using properly cited under fair use guidelines for media.

We called their outside counsel’s bluff.  It’s just one of several such messages from MHI over the years.  But that’s just one of other such items that MHI has arguably been involved with aimed at a pro-growth trade media.  Where is the logic?  Why not use that money instead for doing the job they claim to do?

 

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

 

And our agenda at MHI was simple.  Ethical, sustainable growth, that is good for consumers, independents, and all.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

 

They praised that, until they didn’t.

 

AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadblogMHProNews800

 

Interesting isn’t it? That’s the rest of the story.

See prior Masthead’s related to Buffett, Clayton, and the related reports below the bylines and notices for more details. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Industry news, commentary, fact-checks, and analysis.) ##

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LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By 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.

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http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Related References:

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

 

Ross Kinzler Confirms Allegations, MHEC Peer Claims “Association Malpractice;” Member Backstab, MHI Failure Concerns

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/hud-code-manufactured-home-production-decline-continues-may-updates/

 

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/hud-study-analysis-of-zoning-discrimination-against-manufactured-housing-sought/

 

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-releases-study-recommending-independent-collective-representation-for-post-production-sector/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/independent-national-manufactured-housing-post-production-association-takes-major-step/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Housing Institute’s Three Stooges? SECO ‘Leaders’ George F. Allen, Spencer Roane, Tom Lackey and ‘Rent to Own’ Scams?

January 16th, 2019 No comments

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoSECOlogoSoutheasternCommunityOwnersSymposiumLogoGeogeAllenSpencerRoaneTomLackeyMHProNewsMasthead

 

Tony…as I think you know, it’s ALWAYS been my position that lease option and rent to own are illegal if they are a “workaround” for chattel financing, which is what most such schemes are…” – MH Industry attorney, not an association exec, in off-the-record comment about his legal perspective about the issue that follows.

 

George F. (F?) Allen has protested the use of the quote above to MHProNews from a non-association industry attorney who wanted to remain anonymous.

Perhaps Allen doesn’t honor off-the-record, but we do.  Beyond honoring the pledge of protecting a source, is an attorney’s name even necessary? Arguably, not when the New York State Attorney General has successfully sued and forced about 100 manufactured home communities and their owners to settle their own rent-to-own cases.

That’s a nettlesome fact for Allen and company, see the NY AG press release to MHProNews, linked here.

 

AGUnderwoodAnnouncesMajorSettlementWithManufacuredHomeParkOwnesToReformRentToOwnFollowingAGIndustryWideInvestigationMHProNews

The issues are many, but let’s simplify some of them to these bullets.

 

  • Allen, Roane, and Lackey are all ‘leaders’ in SECO – the Southeastern Community Owners Symposium.
  • All three of the above fellows have drawn negative mainstream media attention for the use, or defense of the use, of ‘rent to own,’ ‘lease purchase options,’ ‘contract for title,’ or other forms of arguably “disguised credit transactions.”
  • Allen, Roane, and Lackey have all personally earned money from ‘rent to own’ (RTO), ‘contract for title,’ ‘lease purchase options’ (LPO) – or whatever you went to call the modern version of a Lonnie Deal (see download, linked here).  What might have been lawful prior to the Safe Act, and the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is now deemed in the eyes of legal authorities as a “disguised credit transaction.” They are routinely seen as a form of predatory lending, and have reportedly harmed numerous consumers who trusted Lackey, and others.
  • You don’t have to look beyond the NY AG Case against for proof, do you? If larger manufactured home community (MHC) operations could not make this work in a legitimate fashion, per the NY AG, are industry independents really going to believe that Allen, Roane, Lackey and SECO know some trick that the large portfolio operators attorneys didn’t discover?
  • Perhaps to protect their own revenue stream and reputations, Allen and Roane defended and/or refused to condemn Lackey.
  • And over the course of several years, hundreds of manufactured home community owners have trusted Allen’s and Roane’s respective Schticks. How many ticking time bombs await?
  • Can you imagine the glee a consolidator might feel, if hundreds of more communities hit the market at a depressed price, due to bad advice taught at SECO and/or by Allen?
  • Allen likes to do magic tricks to entertain his audience. Let’s see what rabbit Allen tries to pull out of a hat to distract his readers and students from the cold hard facts that the NY AGs cases exemplified.
  • But the risks to consumers and independent manufactured home professionals arguably doesn’t stop with problematic RTO or LPO contracts for title. Because they have sponsors and often ‘big name’ supporters. Among them? Joe Stegmayer, who stepped down from Cavco leadership under a SECO Investigation cloud, but who has stayed on as MHI Chairman. Beautiful.
  • Stegmayer graced Allen’s ‘roundtable’ stage, giving each other some measures of ‘respectability.’
  • Fleetwood, a division of Cavco, has given SECO support too. So has MHVillage, and others. Will they demand indemnification for the so-called education that has been taught?
  • But has anyone asked what the liability and exposure are for those who sponsor so-called education that is flawed and risky at best, or illegal at worst?
  • What will that costly MHM certificate Allen sells mean to outsiders, if Allen, Roane, and Lackey end up in more media and/or legal hot water?

 

Ironically, it is Allen who volunteered or was deputized by MHI supporters to call for a boycott of this publication. That can be antitrust trigger. How ironically hypocritical.  See evidence of that and more at the download, linked here.

Besides years of arguable jealousy by Allen over our many-times-larger professional audience, is the fact that MHProNews has previously warned industry communities and retailers about the potential risks from using disguised credit transactions in today’s legal and regulatory environment.  Not to be overlooked are ties with MHI…

 

 

MHI Ties?

Where is MHI on this? A check of their website would suggest, silent. Rather akin to their silence on other issues – like the slow monopolization of the industry – that might be useful or importance?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoDIsguisedCreditTransactionMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Allen, Roane, and Lackey can be viewed as the part time critics, and de facto part time supporters of MHI and their ‘big boy’ backers. Don’t ask for consistency from Allen, because you won’t likely find it, save in his arguably hypocritical inconsistency.

But the warning to industry pros is once more given. Allen, Roane, Lackey, and SECO are the typical stew of seemingly useful, but also problematic education. MH Industry

Professionals, hungry for educational opportunities, turns to them in desperation, and they find smiling carnival barkers.

State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

A entertaining and feel good blathering isn’t the same as genuine, legally sound, knowledge.

Just read the list of questions, linked here, put to George F. (F?) Allen and his cronies, and Allen’s non-answers.

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefame6DsMastheadCommentaryManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Caveat emptor. Let the buyer of such education beware. But sponsors, beware too. Because some legal authorities tell us that sponsors of legally risky education may have liability too.

In closing this column, let’s state the obvious. We are not the New York Times or Fox News. We do business development and other expert services to manufactured housing, not just publishing.

Our form of trade journalism is different than what mainstream journalists do.

But no serious person in our industry has disputed the facts, documents, evidence, and concerns we’ve raised. Allen, despite his roar and bluster, was given the chance to disprove a single claim. He hurled invectives instead. Again, the give and take are linked here, and included several individuals in BCCs on both sides.

One catches flak only when over the target. One of numerous examples is the target below.   The axis hates it, because its’ their own words, how do they argue against their own words? Allen and company have the same problem.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

Be it the three stooges, or the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, their allies and surrogates, our catching flak is a badge of honor, given the sources.

From the smallest to the biggest firms in our industry logon daily to MHProNews by the thousands. They find the content relevant and useful. As an MHI member executive said in the quote below, what we may have periodic typos, but we make a logical case.

 

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuoteMastheadMHProNews

 

That’s what vexes the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis. And it is nettlesome to the three stooges whose purportedly ‘educational’ efforts more closely resembles scams. Sad. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By 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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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

 

New Era in National U.S. Manufactured Home Community Representation Underway?

The Future of Retail, Disney, ‘Trailer Trauma,’ and Manufactured Housing

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

 

 

 

 

 

The American Dream, Arguably Among the Most Profitable, But Least Understood Stories in the USA Today

December 8th, 2018 Comments off

 

AmericanDreamMostProfitableLeastUnderstoodStoriesInUSATodayManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews

The American Dream is more than housing that someone owns, but that is a key element to it.  Properly understood, this story could bridge much of the left-right divide. Properly told, and it would likely need to be a series, it could win a Pulitzer or other prize for reporting.

 

Nevertheless, those true tales are not being properly told, why?

A man’s home is his castle,” is a potent maxim whose origin dates back centuries. In 1604, Sir Edward Coke declared that “The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose,” per Wikiquote.

There are dozens of nations where the rate of homeownership is higher than the United States. That’s a vexing reality. How can it be that when the typical American today is demonstrably richer than the inhabitants of other lands, why are their homeownership rates higher?

At the time this chart was produced, here are the rates of homeownership in dozens of nations, per Wikipedia.

 

Homeownershiprates49topcountriesperwikipediaUSA41stManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Why is the U.S. only #41 on this list?

 

The rate of homeownership has been recovering since the election of President Donald J. Trump. But per Pew Research in 2016 data reported in 2017, some 36.6 percent of our nation were renters. Conventional housing builders can’t keep up with demand. The National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said earlier this year that some 8.3 million housing units are needed, now.  Several gurus among the tech giants have decided that only factory building can close the affordable housing construction gap.

 

PewResearchCenterHomeOwnershipRatesUSARentingHouseholdsMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Here in the land where factory-home building was born, or at least popularized, there are known ways that millions of those renters could become homeowners, by opting for factory crafted homes.  Everything else you drive, wear, use to make calls came from a production center. Why is it that our society seems to fear factory built homes?

Millions of our fellow citizens could start building equity, which is the most common form of household wealth.

But millions don’t. Why?

As numerous professionals in our industry have long known, you can own a federally-regulated for safety, durability, and greener-by-design manufactured home for the same or less than rent in most markets. The National Association of Realtors™ (NAR) did serious, third-party research this year, that debunked many of the commonly held fallacies about manufactured homes. That NAR report was only a blip in the news.

Why?

With about half a million homeless in the U.S., perhaps the quickest way to house them affordably would be in the only kind of permanent housing built to a federally preemptive construction standard, known as the HUD Code for manufactured homes. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) in their research a few years ago found that manufactured homes – unlike the mobile homes of over 4 decades ago – are as safe as a conventional house, but far less expensive.

ManufacturedHomeFireDeaths-2013NFPAreport-citation-postedManufacturedHomeLivingNews-JanHollingsworth

The NFPA said that the reports of fire related deaths in manufactured homes in 2007 to 2011 were so low that they surprised them, and thus merited ‘caution.’ But their own research proves that manufactured homes are as safe as conventional housing, and more safe than non-updated mobile homes built decades ago.

AreMobileHomeFiresBurningtheIndustrycreditNFPA2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnewsNFPAManufacturedHomeIsNotaMotorHomeOrTrailerAlthoughItisOftenCalledMobileHomeItIsNotThatEitherNFPADailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Millions who want to retire well don’t think they can do so affordably, but if they understood the reality vs. the 42+ year old misinformation, they might sell their more expensive conventional housing, and turn instead to a manufactured home.

This year – in 2018 – alone:

  • The Urban Institute (twice)
  • Bloomberg
  • Fannie Mae
  • The National Association of Realtors
  • The Apartment List
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)
  • HUD Secretary Ben Carson
  • An affordable housing focus group of manufactured home owners, and
  • Value Penguin

 

are among those who have praised the manufactured housing option. How is it possible that it is still being called by the inaccurate pejorative, “trailer house?” When no mobile homes have been built in the U.S. for over 42 years, why do media and others often still inaccurately call a “manufactured home,” a “mobile home?”

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

 

The last report noted in our bulleted list above – Value Penguin – cites third-party research by a pair of National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) scholars to demonstrate how an additional two trillion dollars a year in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could be produced annually, simply by making more affordable housing – including manufactured homes – more readily available.

Imagine for a moment that you wanted to break through on the noise about the affordable housing crisis. With such an impressive collective bulleted list – the one above – where would you put that on your website if you were the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? Oddly, that list is nowhere one can readily see it, if it is there at all, it’s behind a firewall. Why?

Don’t misunderstand.  MHI has promotional information, but it looks like advertising instead of referencing all of the potent third-party praise cited above. It also includes facts that MHProNews advised MHI months before they made this posted video were inaccurate.  For example, the video understates the GDP contribution of manufactured housing, saying it is about $3 billion a year, when simple math tells us that in 2017 it was more like $6.5 billion that year. Doesn’t misinformation – perhaps geared to support a few favored members – from the largest national association only harm the industry’s credibility?

 

 

What you can find on their website is items like the video above, plus a new video that promotes MHI themselves.  That self-promotion of MHI video proposes an entirely new claimed solution that uses a new style – meaning, untested – home. That ‘new class of homes’ arguably could diminish the acceptance and value of what millions of manufactured homes already achieved and represent. That’s according to a range of industry professionals, that includes MHI members.  So why are they pushing that experiment when MHI-only members that are HUD Code builders have told MHProNews that it makes more sense to build a modular house instead of that ‘new class’ of manufactured home?  That would avoid all sorts of delay, confusion, and risks to the bulk of the manufactured home industry, existing home owners, and consumers alike.

Who’s brainchild was this MHI ‘new class of homes?’  Per a well-placed MHI source, the homes and standards originated from “Kevin Clayton.”

What you won’t see on the MHI website is an explicit statement of how much Berkshire Hathaway owned firms – like Clayton Homes – control that Arlington, VA based trade association.

What you won’t see on the MHI website is how Chairman Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes and some of their lending sister firms are under several federal investigations.  On the boxes that follow, you can click the headline and access that report for more information.

 

Whistleblower! Ex-Clayton Homes Team Member on TV Denounces Manufactured Housing Giant’s Practices

 

Nor will you see how past MHI Chairman Nathan Smith, who is currently their MHI PAC Chairman, has had several potentially high-profile legal issues quickly swept away. Is it because of Smith’s strong ties to prominent Democrats? Or is it due to Smith’s ties to Clayton and Berkshire’s 21st Mortgage?

 

Nathan & Mary Lee Chance Smith, Leaders in ‘Anti-Trump Resistance,’ Manufactured Housing Impact?

 

When one drills down on the Manufactured Housing Industry’s tragicomic story, one sees how Berkshire entered the field 15 years ago and has purportedly proceeded to monopolize the industry.

 

maxine_waters_democrat_from_calif__bet__credit-575x387

Maxine Waters (CA-D), Ranking member, Financial Services Committee. Waters is slated to be the next chair of this powerful House committee.

 

Among those who have pointed their finger with that allegation is Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who will likely chair the powerful House Financial Services Committee. Will Representative Waters (CA-D) and her Democratic colleagues investigate Warren Buffett, the Claytons’, and Berkshire Hathaway lenders – which she said was a near monopoly that has also been charged with racism and predatory behavior?

Buffett has said you don’t get involved in a business that doesn’t make sense. When legendary investors like Warren Buffett and Sam Zell are both in manufactured housing, how could that fail to register with more investors – not to mention – with so many millions of our fellow citizens?

Or is it because Buffett – who’s BH Media Group could arguably single-handedly change the understanding and thus the fortunes of manufactured housing – that in various actions and inactions keeps reality as foggy as possible? Does that fog help him consolidate more of the industry, that makes so much common sense? Plus earns Buffett’s Berkshire billions?

News is a business. Media covers or not what their management and ownership want, and in the way their management or ownership desires.

Poverty is also a huge business. Keeping some poorer than they should be can also be a tool used to generate votes at election time.

Meanwhile, millions are trapped in renting, or are homeless, in the wealthiest nation on the face of God’s earth.

I’m tired of being the best kept secret. I’m ready to help house America,” said Terry Decio, whose father Art Decio was once positively shown on the cover of Time Magazine back in the pre-HUD Code mobile home era.

 

TimeMagazineTerryDecioManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The Decio family had Art on the cover of Time Magazine decades ago.  What happened to our once far greater industry since then?

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews-756x768

 

Terry, perhaps you should ask Uncle Warren for his permission to support and  properly tell the “best kept secret” story in the manner that it ought to be told?

 

The American dream awaits tens of millions, but various forces purportedly by their action and inaction are allowing it to languish. To learn more, see the linked boxes, below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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

AlanAmyRoyerMobileHOmesOpelousaLALATonyKovachMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryProNewsBy 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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Related References:

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

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Back to Basics – What is Classical Liberalism, and What Can It Mean for Manufactured Housing Growth?

Understanding the News as Business, and Manufactured Housing

 

Clayton’s Miss, Kevin and Tim’s Manufactured Housing Kill Shot, More

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

 

 

 

 

Failure, Success and Profitable Truth Detection for Manufactured Housing

November 24th, 2018 No comments

 

FailureSuccessandprofitableTruthDetectionforManufacturedHOusing

Everyone has had the experience of realizing that something that they had believed about a person, thing or group was untrue. 

 

There are scores of reasons that explain why and how that phenomenon of discovery occurs. But the reality is that it does happen, so it needs no more explanation than what’s just been given.

Failure and success are often a matter of proper knowledge. Every parent has observed a child that was doing something wrong. If the child is not properly informed in a parental way of their error, perhaps they would just keep on making the mistake, and keep failing. It is innate for a normal parent to want the best for their child. So, the helping hand of correction is patently and lovingly given as needed.

So, when contradictory information is out there in the public, how does someone detect the truth? When contradictory examples or claims are made, how can one honorably discover and express the truth?

There are many ways. So, let me focus on a simple and proven notions, that anyone can do, and then relate it to achieving a greater degree of Manufactured Housing Professional Success.

 LifewayHomesTulsaStateFairgroundsManufacturedHomeShowDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

 

Back to Basics  

Basics are the foundation of understanding. There are the ABCs of the English language. There are the 1-2-3s of math. There is gravity in science. But how about the basics for sustainable, profitable business? 

In Tulsa, OK there’s a manufactured home retailer whose business name is LifeWay Homes. Clever name, packed with meaning. If you spend much time in their office, it is no secret that their faith – LifeWay – is a core concept for them. Housing is also a prerequisite to what most consider a good “way of life” – again, LifeWay. By the way, they never expressly said that to me, it is intuited.  

In Louisiana, there is another retailer named Alan Amy. He too has a marvelous way of expressing powerful yet simple notions. People come into office and sales center, they are interested, but are not always ready to buy. Why?

Because they have questions, concerns, and doubts.  Those doubts about manufactured homes occur from coast-to-coast, border-to-border with regards to our industry.  It is a phenomenon that few if any industries as well established as manufactured homes are has experienced. 

But back to Alan Amy…

AlanAmyRoyerMobileHomesOpelousasLAMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Alan Amy, sitting in a Sunshine Homes model, a still from a video captured during the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

Touch and feel,’ Alan said during a video interview we did with him, as he described what he sometimes says to skeptical buyers.

Smart. Get someone to experience what manufactured homes are. That’s similar to what the late, great Zig Ziglar taught me about the “puppy dog close” in sales. Experiencing a manufactured home is wise.

The five senses – including setting, touching, and hearing –  those can lead to believing.

Neither Amy nor the good folks at LifeWay knew it, but this writer has used some similar notions for years, although we might describe them differently. Our prime purpose with them was for interviews of them and some of their customers.

Getting someone to experience or confront a truth well told is powerful. We have an entire, formal marketing and sales process that can convert a site-built hosing shopper into a manufactured home buyer. Not 100 percent of the time, but more than often enough, and pleasantly enough, where it works for everyone involved. Happy customers and referrals flow.

But our sales and marketing successes aren’t the point of this column, Truth Detection is. 

The truth will routinely become evident over time. The truth may or may not be so evident ‘on the spot.’ Confidence men or ‘con men‘ know that, and they expect their deception to be relatively short lived, but long enough to separate someone from their money or some other valuable possession. 

By the way, in any con man movie that you ever watched, was the con artist – male or female – ever lacking in charm, or persuasiveness? Often dressed to fit the part, the con is about a well told lie, often based upon believable half-truths.

 

 

For a discerning, questioning, and open mind, the truth is knowable. Time and attention to the details vs. the claims made are among the keys to Truth Detection.

 

Truth Detection 101

Here’s how people around the world have detected the truth from a lie or deception for thousands of years.

It’s called, the 10 Commandments. Let’s first note that the best of believers fails at always keeping these 10 divine commands, but that doesn’t invalidate them. If you or I are periodically hypocritical or fail to live up to our own or another set of standards, that is human enough. I freely admit to errors, as any English major who carefully scopes out our publishing already knows.  

So why do thousands of manufactured home industry professionals flock to MHProNews daily, when there are typos? Why do thousands like yourself overlook our typos?  IMHO, because at some deep level, people know that we strive for the truth. We see value in telling the truth as we understand it. Our readers see value too, or they wouldn’t be reading here. Because anyone’s human understanding deepens over time, so has our writing.

I will focus for a few moments on only two of the Ten Commandments as keys to Truth Detection.  

   You shall not steal.

   You shall not bear false witness. 

That doesn’t mean the other 8 commandments aren’t important.  They are, or God would not have given them to Moses on Mount Sinai.  But let’s focus on not stealing and the truth for the next few moments. Because if you get those 2, you will have a powerful secret of truth detection.  Those secrets, properly applied over time, yield routine, sustainable professional success. 

Here’s the historic – the epic – secret.  

We may or may not know on the spot when someone has made a false statement, or if a falsehood was deliberate or accidental.

This is where history – experiences over time – are priceless. Because if you use the gift of memory, coupled with the gift of discernment, the truth becomes increasingly evident as time marches on.

So, with memory and attention to details, a false witness – a deception – becomes clear over time. Once deception is detected, and once patterns of deception are discerned, is there any reason to trust a deliberate deceiver?

The reverse is also true. Knowing that we all make mistakes, if one becomes aware that a source is routinely reliable, while another source is routinely deceptive or opaque, doesn’t that understanding and clarity help foster success?

Of course it does, so long as truth is followed over falsehood. 

Finally, we come to the divine commandment of not stealing.

The law recognizes many forms of theft. They include, but are not limited to:

   Shoplifting

   Burglary

   Robbery

   Theft by fraud or deception – a “con job

are among the more common types of stealing.  There is also racketeering, collusion that rigs a market, and more. 

But what about a political candidate who promises to ‘tax the rich,’ and give you ‘free stuff’ that ‘the rich’ will pay for? Is that sort of claim a form of stealing?

Absolutely, a scholar might argue, because time and again that false promise is proven to be a lie. It’s a deception designed to rob someone of their opportunities.  Opportunities that go untapped costs our industry tens of billions annually, and per the applied understanding of scholars, costs the USA a stunning $2 trillion dollars a year in lost GDP, because of the harmful impact of our nation not having enough affordable homes. 

What become known as the American Way was a blending of those 10 Commandments with the notion that people could do for themselves better and more efficiently than what a government can often do. If the government can unjustly take from one person, and give it to another, that is only a form of legalized theft. 

When Candidate Z – whomever Z might be – promises ‘free stuff‘ to millions of Americans, it’s a lie. That lie is based upon a form of legalized theft.  There Is No Such Thing As  Free Lunch =TANSTAAFL. That was taught to me around junior high school, just as computer class taught me GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out. 

A repeated lie, half-truth, spin, or other form of deception are how people become brainwashed into believing something that is not true.  

Smart people can be brainwashed, as can the simple. I’d venture to say, you and we have all been brainwashed at some time about something, even if it was something as common as the federal government’s dietary guidelines, which today are being medically questioned as contributing to obesity. 

And within that example lies the point.

We might believe something at first, but when time and experience reveals that those dietary guidelines were sold to the Feds by special interests, and those interests profited by their preferred guidelines being used, instead of using another diet that may have been more healthful. The result of poor dietary guidelines? Perhaps the richest nation on earth – the USA – has more than the norm of overnight people, and thus higher healthcare costs than would otherwise occur. 

The truth outs over time, for those who pay attention to the details. Paraphrasing what Marty Lavin has said: 

   Follow the Money trail. 

   Pay attention to what people say, but then pay more attention to the actual results of what they claimed produces.

If the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), or the power brokers behind them, back candidates for public office that tell the repeated lie of ‘something for nothing,‘ why should MHI or those Candidate Zs be trusted?  

At times, for clarity on what may seem like confusing issues, we have to get back to basics.

There are a growing chorus within manufactured housing that are paying attention to the money trail.  More are following the track-record of what has been said vs what has been accomplished, which yielded dissatisfaction with MHI – and those in Omaha or Knoxville who arguably pull the strings for that Arlington, VA based trade group.  

When Warren Buffett backs candidates who promise higher taxes, who offer something for nothing, he is arguably too smart and too experienced in history to believe what he said about various Candidate Zs. The logical conclusion is akin to the dietary guidelines.  A special interest – Buffett and his Berkshire brands – are getting something that they want. That might help him, but not others.

A front person in politics delivers as best they can to their donor, whatever those deep pocket contributors desired.

There are two commandments that if we pay attention to them, will help us discern the truth.

  • Thou shall not steal.
  • Thou shall not bear false witness. 

Couple that with the track record – the history of a person, a promise, or group – and much becomes clear over time.  Your failure or success depends upon facts, not fiction. Truth detection is profitable, buying a lie is costly. Indeed, truth and honesty in business are at the core of sustainable success.

Last point for today is this.  Just as a repeated lie or falsehood can deceive millions, so too the truth must be told often, and lies must be combated and refuted.  That can happen one-on-one, as Alan Amy’s example reflects. It can also occur in the court of public opinion. Those are keys to local, regional, or national success. “We Provide, You Decide.   ©

NOTICE: a different Masthead than this topic was been put on hold to present the above, but the planned topic will likely be published next week. ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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

AlanAmyRoyerMobileHOmesOpelousaLALATonyKovachMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryProNewsBy 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

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:

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

 

To Educate – “Leading Forth” – for Affordable Manufactured Housing Success

October 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

LarryPArnnHillsdaleCollegeToEducateLeadingForthForAffordableManufacturedHousingSuccessMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews600

It’s unbelievable how much you don’t know
about the game you’ve been playing all your life.”

– Mickey Mantle

 

Every state has its heroes and heroines. Mickey Mantle is a favorite son from Oklahoma, where I began my manufactured home career some years ago.

 

Hillsadale College’s president says that the word education means to lead forth.  Education and information which leads to an ever better understanding about manufactured homes are at key to what the industry needs to achieve its potential.  Rephrased, education – information done correctly – is leadership.

 

From the outset – which is now approaching 9 years since our launch in mid-Oct, 2009 – MHProNews has strived to challenge, motivate, and lead in the needed ways.

Call me slow, naive, or steadily evolving, but every year we’ve adapted, and then done things no one else in our industry’s trade media has previously done. 

 

Don’t Do It! 

Don’t be political,’ said some industry pros. Sorry, but problematic, bad and even corrupt policies at the local, state, and federal level are key factors restraining manufactured homes.

Don’t touch on religion or morality.’ Excuse me? Is this America, with freedom of speech and freedom of faith? How do you do what’s right, unless you first know what’s moral or ethical?

When Jesus walked this earth, he was a highly controversial figure. He still is. “Who do people say that I Am?” – the Jewish Jesus asked his 12 disciples. That very question Jesus – the carpenter/builder – asked is still debated today, and has been for approaching 2,000 years.  It’s amazingly relevant.

Jesus picked Peter, and handed him the “keys to the kingdom,” yet Peter denied Jesus three times. Does that mean Jesus goofed, or does it mean that Jesus was reminding everyone that even ‘chosen’ people make mistakes.

Perfect human leaders before or after Jesus of Nazareth don’t exist. So, every mature adult makes allowances for each other, knowing we need that mercy and understanding too.  That said, some people will smile at you, while they rob you blind.  Recognizing that trait in others is useful as an adult. Then there are controversial figures that may not communicate as you or I would, but once understood, are surprisingly spot on. 

President Donald J. Trump is human, and has flaws. But he’s arguably the best President of the United States (POTUS) since Ronald Reagan. As an award-winning history major, I’d say, he’s already at least as good, if not better, than POTUS Reagan in his first two years.  That was a different time, Democrats and Republicans then were able to compromise.  Today, not so much.

Our manufactured home industry – and a host of other professions – need President Trump, if we are to have any hope of breaking the chains that previous politicians, bureaucrats and their big money backers have foisted upon us.

ItsUnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouveBeenPlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballHallFameMastheadManufacturedHousing 

Our nation, not just manufactured housing, has been moving steadily toward oligarchy. Monopolistic maneuvers unethically enrich a few, at the expense of the many. I’m all in favor of free enterprise. It wasn’t news, but I’m increasingly aware to the high degree that Vulture and Crony Capitalism are not free enterprise 

The answer is to break up the monopolies and oligarchies. Not regulate them, break them up under a combination of civil litigation and federal antitrust laws.

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

For the president to succeed, he needs a Congress and Supreme Court that work with him, not against him.  While laws are on the books that are useful, if his political opponents keep him tied up by winning the midterms, the opportunity for POTUS Trump to liberate American Workers and Businesses narrows.

MHI is demonstrably often wrong, and arguably often lying, deceitful, dishonest tool of Berkshire Hathaway and a few others. We’ve offered to debate their positinos, results, and methods.  They run for the hills. Why? If they are right, why not debate the issues, and practices?  

That doesn’t mean that everyone in MHI, much less every one of their members, are corrupt or evil. Some are scared. Some go along, to get along. Some hope to be the last one eaten. My sense is that the majority are nice people, but the organization they pay dues too is corrupted at its core. But those who can, should stop feeding the hand that bites them.

Danny Glover, Presidents Barack Obama & Donald Trump, Promises Kept, and Affordable Manufactured Housing

We’ve documented time and again, false and misleading statements made by MHI. They posture one thing, but often do another. 

For some examples, please see the links herein and below. 

The industry must break free of those who control MHI. Oddly, some of the like minded politicos and fellow travelers of Warren Buffett – for example, George Soros – also support in various ways MHAction, per our sources.

Enemies of Manufactured Homes, Communities; Rent Control, MHAction, George Soros, Ignorance, & Entropy

Jimmy Carter wrongly blasted President Trump, while overlooking the failures of the Obama Administration.  The report below covers that topic. The charts below the linked teaser shows just how badly the Obama Administration preformed on housing issues.

President Jimmy Carter Blasts Trump Administration on Affordable Housing, Carter’s Manufactured Home Ties

HomeOwnershipRatesUSCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-1USCensusBureauMedianAskingRentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How could MHI have failed to move manufactured housing ahead, given the facts implied in the above? Both of those trend lines are historic reasons for manufactured housing to advance.

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-666x768

The facts are unmistakable.  A new alliance in manufactured housing must be forged. One that works for happy home owners through good, honest business practices. MHARR does fine by their members. They are at the head of the line cheering on the creation of a new, post-production trade group.  

Clayton Homes Ripped by Customer Complaints Spotlighted on ABC News

How can an industry trade group have dignity, when some of its most prominent members are plagued by scandal after scandal?

Has the Manufactured Housing Institute Accused Former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of Federal Law Violations?

The industry is only slowly recovering from the disaster of 2008. Berkshire, Clayton, MHI, and people like Democratic supporter Nathan Smith are at the crux of the issues. That’s my considered view, based upon facts, evidence, reason, and analysis. MHI, Clayton, Clayton’s Attorney, Nathan Smith – they’ve all been given a chance to respond or debate.  Silence. They fail to defend the industry time and again, on issues like the one linked below.

Rumble over Anti-MH Law-State Association, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and MHARR

To educate or inform is to lead forth.  The short-term focus must be to get candidates that will support the Trump Agenda into office or re-elected. Once that’s done, a new trade group must be forged, that can work with MHARR and independents of good will to advance the industry. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy 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

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:

The Rich, Famous, PreFab Homes, Manufactured Housing, Hypocrisy, and You

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

“How Dare You…!” ELS’ Howard Walker Blast at MH Industry Professional

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

 

Profits, Understanding Human Events, and Manufactured Housing

July 7th, 2018 No comments

 

ProfitsUnderstandingHumaneventsandManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

When in the course of human events...”

 

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

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

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

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

 

Profitable History 

History could be profitably oversimplified to the following notion.  

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

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

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

 

TheManufacturedHousingRevolutionManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadBlogMHProNewsLogo

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

 

Not What It Seems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Compromise…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 CrowdofPeopleRaisingHandsMastheadManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

 

Celebrating Success

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

Those who peddle:

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

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

People are never free who are entirely dependent upon others.  

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

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

 

Homeownership  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

$2 Trillion Annually

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

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

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

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

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

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

ManTouchingLightBulbMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Wheat and Chaff 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 HistorySeriesEventsDescribingAmbitiousTriesDominateManipulateOppressOthersThatCreatesDesireAmongFreedomAmongThoseBeingManipulatedDisadvantagedControlledLATonyKovach

 

Manufactured Home “Choice”

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

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

That’s the Profitable Manufactured Housing Revolution.

That can be done without creating a monopoly. 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facts in context matter. 

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

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

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

The tragic irony is this.

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

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

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

We have always celebrated honest success on MHProNews. 

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

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

When in the course of human events…”

TheManufacturedHousingRevolutionMastheadDailyBsuinessNewsMHProNews

Knowledge, not ignorance, is the beginning of freedom.  

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

 

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Tony took the photo at the right.

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

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

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Related Reports are below…

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

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

 

 

 

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

April 28th, 2018 No comments

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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.)

 

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Related Reports:

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

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

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