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Anti-MH Industry MHAction Protesters Have Struck Manufactured Housing Again, and Again

May 12th, 2018 No comments

MHActionLogoAntiIndustryMHActionProtestorsSturkManufacturedHousingAgainMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

In the aftermath of last year’s Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) annual meeting, an MHI advocate metaphorically taunted MHProNews for our reporting on looming protests of their meeting.

That skeptic isn’t doubting the forecast of MHAction protests any more.

MHAction initially targeted the MHI annual event in Orlando last year.  But a combination of disruptive factors – including a hurricane and MHProNews coverage of the predicted protests by the activist group -resulted in a change of the activist group’s plans.

Since then, as the Daily Business News has reported, MHAction has protested a Frank Rolfe event and HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s recent speech at the MHI Congress and Expo.

MHAction had only pivoted from Orlando.  There have been, and are, other MHAction efforts underway besides these two noted today.

There is a cost to getting people to a protest like these. That bus used by MHAction wasn’t free. There’s a price for MHAction’s staff.  There are expenses to organize friendly or receptive media outlets to provide coverage for their negative-coverage seeking behavior.

An MHI member told MHProNews after the attempts at disrupting Secretary Carson’s address at the Paris Hotel in Vegas that the protestors were “ineffective.”  “Secretary Carson easily turned them into a punch line,” that member told me.

While the come back from the stage by Dr. Carson was quick, the video below reveals that disruption at MHI’s event nevertheless took place.

It is one more example of a challenge that is bubbling up periodically, and which is drawing problematic media coverage for not just MHI, but for the industry they represent. The MHAction protest was mentioned by the Washington Post in their story about HUD.  This particular protest in Vegas last April at the MHI meeting has been mentioned or covered at some length by a number of progressive media outlets.

It is one more item that requires an effective response from MHI.  Even with the repeated forewarning MHProNews provided, which MHI never thanked us for, they seemed ill prepared to deal with MHAction at their Congress and Expo. You can see for yourself.

 

What will these media seeking MHAction protestors do next?

How will it impact the image of the vast majority of the industry’s ethical manufactured housing businesses?

Watch for an upcoming report on MHAction. To learn more about prior reports about this activist group, see those Related Reports linked below. To sign up for MHProNews’ industry-leading emailed headline news, click the link below.  It’s all part of the industry’s most popular, independent, and trusted trade media news.  MH Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

 

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

Related Reports:

Frank Rolfe, MHU/RV Horizons Protest by MHAction; Nathan Smith/SSK/MHI Flashbacks?

Meet the Faces, Groups Behind Anti-MH Industry Activists, Protesters

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

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

 

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

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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

April 22nd, 2018 No comments

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

BestWarrenBuffettKevinClaytonClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayAnnualMeetingCompetitiontheMoatVideoCollection

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

Short Warren Buffett On Clayton Homes
Allegations of Discrimination, CNBC

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

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

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

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

 

Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes Related Videos

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Jennifer Hall, Doris Hydrick and Dennis Hill – Tunica Show Open Letter

March 24th, 2018 No comments

DennisHillJenniferHallDorisHydrickSCMHISouthCenteralManufacturedHousingInstitute2018TunicaShow

Jennifer Hall, Doris Hydrick and Dennis Hill @ SCMHI,
There’s only two full-scale professional trade shows in the manufactured home profession today. Louisville and your South Central Manufactured Housing Institute (SCMHI) event in Tunica.

At least two of you personally know the sources for our report on Keith Holdbrooks and Clayton Homes decision to scale back in 2017, and to not participate in 2018.

By holding the story linked above until after the event, I’m sure you understand how that protected the show for 2018, and maximized the event’s odds for success.

All three of you are deeply aware of what we’ll politely call the ‘industry’s politics.’  Too few are willing to speak out publicly about what many are discussing privately.

Namely, the various ways that Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway owned companies are exercising their power in – and over? – the manufactured housing industry.

I have two way communications with those in MHI, MHARR and their members, including with 21st (among others), as well as with those who aren’t a member of either national trade group.

As you know, in 2018, the bulk of the homes on display in Tunica were from producing members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), with fewer exhibitors from among Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members.

 

Retirement…

As someone approaches retirement, several things can happen.

Especially if someone perceives that their livelihood is dependent on – or at a minimum, influenced by – a giant operation like Berkshire Hathaway owned brands such as:

  • Clayton Homes,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF),
  • 21st Mortgage Corp (21st),
  • Shaw, and the list goes on,

careful public positions are often taken.

Among the things that can happen for anyone – but perhaps particularly for those approaching retirement – is that fear and self-preservation motivations may set in.  We understand those realities.

There are states, certain executives have told me, where 50 to 70 percent of the floor dues paid to a state association come from Clayton Homes, or result from sales of other HUD Code manufactured homes sold by a Clayton retailer.

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Industry Trajectory

Since Kevin Clayton did that video interview, their market share went from 25 to some 50 percent of the industry’s new home production, per their own data and statements.  It does no one any good to ignore the obvious. As a show attendee insightfully said to me this week, “the trajectory of the industry” has been toward consolidation.

It’s not revealing our sources to say that at least 2 of you know the sources for our Holdbrooks/Clayton report.

It’s obvious that Clayton et al can exert “pressure,” be they in the Tunica Show, or not.

We’ve been told by industry members that some felt compelled to be in MHI, and some feel compelled to support certain events.  Other forms of pressure are applied to smaller operations.

 

Berkshire Hathaway, MHI and the Resistance

It’s high time for more MH professionals to do whatever they can to combat Berkshire Hathaway’s (BH) and their MHI mouthpiece threat to the independent operations in our industry at all levels.

You 3 don’t have to speak out publicly.

But you can take several private steps to insure the independence of the Tunica show going forward.

Otherwise, as various industry voices told MHProNews, BH is likely to do to the Tunica Show what they are said to have done to the North Carolina event.  Namely, “kill it.”

Let me tell you some of what this year’s Tunica event reinforced for me.  We know from website statistics what readership is like.  But we learned from the numbers of attendees who stepped up and commented, or thanked us, etc. that your crowd includes our audience in significant numbers.

And our audience includes the giants, but also those who overwhelmingly want to stay independent.

 

Thinking Out Loud

Thinking out loud. Don’t you think that giving aspects of the show to cronies of MHI is short sighted? You surely know how this works.  What a crony learns, they report back. When you put a crony on a platform, you may be sending a message to your attendees that is problematic.

You can send the industry, MHI and Warren Buffett’s brands a powerful signal.

You can show your support for those non-BH independents – retailers, communities, producers, and various product/service suppliers – without turning away the Berkshire brands.

But if I were you, I’d let those Berkshire brand companies politely understand that they don’t dictate to the SCMHI show.

 

What’s Coming?

We have reasons to believe that for a variety of market and legal reasons, in the next few years, Berkshire’s grip on manufactured housing could be broken (think about this point in terms of allegations such as class action, antitrust, tortious interference etc.).

Don’t make your final legacy that of a door mat. The French after they were conquered by the Nazis during WW II created a resistance. That resistance movement became critical for them to get back their freedom, just a few years later.

In hindsight, Buffett and Berkshire didn’t save” manufactured housing in 2003; they arguably set about to conquer the industry.

Directly and indirectly, through commission and omission, they and their Arlington-based association tool witnessed the destruction of thousands of independent businesses, including several producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. Many of those now defunct producers used to be built in the region that supplies your show.

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI-21stMortgageKevinClaytonClaytonHomesManufacturedHoomeCorporationsPlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

Jen, Doris and Dennis – please be courageous enough to resist BH and MHI any way that you can.

Be loyal enough to those independent industry colleagues you’ve met and known to resist the bullies whose various alleged practices reduced a once-great industry to its currently modest status.

I’ve said before, even as a 25-plus year manufactured housing veteran, it took time to begin to fully appreciate what was happening in the industry.

Looking back, it’s easy to point to ways they targeted us for elimination, years before we spotlighted first MHI, and the BH.

Dennis, you and others like you surely must realize that you’ve been targeted too. Sure, you can retire as planned, or you can go out with a flurry in a grand fashion.

No announcement needs to be made.

No challenge or gauntlet has to be tossed down.

But you owe it to thousands to join the #BHResistance, the #antitrust crowd.

If the SCMHI does so, I predict the 2019 show will be the best event ever.

Think about the trajectory.

When independent retailers die – or are killed off – it is no surprise when the factories that supplied those ‘dealers’ are killed off too. That’s the trend that the MHI chart above also demonstrates. As independent retailers grow fewer in number, so too there are fewer independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

Think about the allegations like those noted herein or linked, and the mounting evidence.

Think about charts like those above that reflects how those independents you’ve known for years were wronged by forces they may fully understood at the time.

Resistance is wisdom.

Resistance will bring its own rewards.

We chose not to be slaves of monopolistic forces.

We work and pray daily for the future of our great industry. May manufactured housing experience a rebirth that yields new glory days.

We encourage others to be a part of the kind of resistance that made America a free people. ## (Industry events, commentary, opinion, and analysis.)

PS: Readers should not presume that any of the three addressed, nor the provider of the photo at the top, are a source for information to MHProNews.

Related:

PSS: Manufactured housing isn’t the only industry that ‘consolidation’ is taking place in.  It may or may not work the same in other indusries, as it has in ours.  But across the left-right media and political spectrums, there are a growing number of voices calling to break up the monopolistic tech giants, and are sounding the alarm about giant players like Buffett’s Berkshire.  Ignore the warning signs at your own peril.

Tunica, Nashville Trade Shows and Manufactured Housing Glory Days

Manufactured Housing – “Giants vs. Independents” – Tunica Talk – “You’ve Got to See This”

Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Photo Report, Day One

4 F’s and True Believers

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

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award-winning consulting, publisher, web, video, recruiting, sales training, business development service provider.

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

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

 

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

February 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

DarkMoneyKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews550

 

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

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

 

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

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

We believe that too.

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

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

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

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

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

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

2018-02-02_1630UrbanInstituteManufacturedHousingIndustryAffordableHousingCrisisReportMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

ConflictsOfInterestGoogleMastheadManufacturedHouisngIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Conflicts of Interest = COI.

 

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

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

Pardon me?

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

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

 

Conflicts of Interest – COI

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Begging the Questions…

That clear lack of transparency begs several questions.

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

 

Non-Profits, Foundations and Manufactured Housing

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

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

Research is often done by nonprofit organizations.

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The Manufactured Housing Institute is a non-profit.

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

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

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

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

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

We will boil it down to its essence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Manipulated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

So too has Warren Buffett.

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

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

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

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

 

Recommendations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressRickRobinsonMHISVPGeneralCounselMastheadMHProNews

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

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

What are they hiding?

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

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

RentVsBuyingHousingAnalysisWhatsBestKenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews660

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

 

Parting Takeaways for Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

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

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

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

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

Ignoring the Obvious, the Road to More Rewarding Manufactured Housing Future

September 22nd, 2017 No comments

Several dozen manufactured housing industry professionals witnessed first-hand when Rick Robinson – Sr. VP and General Counsel to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – after his ‘Washington briefing,’ said “Tony, I will not be taking questions from the press.”

RickRobinsonJDMHISVP5StateConvention

Rick Robinson failed to mention to meeting attendees that then MHI Chairman and 21st Mortgage President and CEO, Tim Williams and Vanderbilt Mortgage – both Berkshire Hathaway Companies – would not release data to the FHFA/GSEs that the Enterprises said was needed for a clear understanding and a possibly more robust entry into the manufactured housing lending space. To learn more about that, click here.

StopConflictsofInterestCostManufacturedHousingBillionsMHProNews

Why would MHI’s Robinson avoid pro-industry media questions?

Why would Robinson take a question from the Washington Post, but not take one from MHProNews?

RickRobinsonMHIAttorneySVPWashingtonPostTrailerParkResidentsMHProNews

Sources tell MHProNews that while MHI attempts to avoid the perception that they are responding to questions from MHProNews, MHARR or others in the industry, they are in fact responding – only without admitting doing so.

This smells of what the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. generically calls “two-faced,” and “dishonorable” behavior by those working on behalf of big, crony capitalist businesses against the interests of independent businesses – and how that impacts millions who are trapped in rentals and poverty as a result.

ItsAQuestionofHonorDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Note, we have not yet asked Rev Tye to comment publicly on MHI and the Buffett/Berkshire Hathaway questions and concerns, but do the principles in the article linked here apply?

FrankRolfeMHIHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

See more, click the image above.

Is “Nice Guy” Robinson is Latest Example of MHI Game Playing?

Let’s be clear and balanced.  MHI has its defenders.  MHProNews gets off-the-record comments from those who are happy to defend MHI.  But to date, not one of them will debate the actual effectiveness of MHI on behalf of the industry it claims to represent.

RickRobinsonJDSVPGenCounselManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIlogoMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In fact, many no longer want to be quoted on-the-record as defending MHI — or specific MHI personalities.

By contrast, there’s been a growing number of voices who have asked or directly accused MHI and/or key companies that dominate the association of:

monopolistic behavior, hypocrisy, racism, deceptive behavior towards the bulk of their own members, routinely failing to achieve what MHI says they want, which it is alleged that if they succeed or not, de facto benefits Berkshire Hathaway connected companies,

We sent the attached message via email as a follow up to Rick Robinson, and MHI’s top staff and some “key” members. We will advise the industry if they will provide a response, or if they will continue to duck the concerns, allegations, and failures by the Arlington, VA based trade organization.

SomePeopleArentLoyalToYouTheirLoyalToNeedOfYouOnceNeedChangesSoDoesTheirLoyalty-PinterestDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Closing Note – Reform or Replace MHI?

While MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews can directly and indirectly raise issues and concerns, ultimately the individual members of the industry need to either reform or replace MHI as the industry’s “umbrella” trade group.

KennyLipschutzPoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMastheadCommentaryMHProNews-comMHARR may or may not act at their November meeting to expand their membership beyond their current independent HUD Code producer structure.   That trade group has called for years for the post-production sector of the industry to create an organization that will truly represent their interests.

IAmGratefulToThoseWhoBetrayedMeTheyThoughtTheyWereStabbingBackButTheyCutMeFreeFromPoisonousLifeSteveMaraboliDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Frank Rolfe, George Allen, Spencer Roane and others in the community sector have said in semi-private and public statements that MHI is failing in several respects.  While those professionals are not all friends, or see all things eye-to-eye, that unity of concern about MHI is noteworthy.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewMartyLavinLashesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLatestInitiativePostedDailyBusinessNewsMastheadBlogsMHProNews

At the same time, they and others have not yet proposed a public solution on how to either reform MHI, or to create an organization that will represent retailers, lenders, communities, and others.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

Our quoting Allen or anyone else isn’t meant to imply we agree with other things that a professional is saying.

There are many options.

But the bottom line is one that Ken Corbin de facto raised at the Deadwood event.  Some 10,000 independent retailers have vanished since the late 1990s.  Several independent producers have told MHProNews that one of the biggest slow-downs today for more sales growth is a lack of independent retailers.

While MHI is ‘ineffective,’ that is harming independent companies.

Meanwhile, MHI brags about how many emails they get to go to Congress?  Seriously?  Is that the best that Robinson, Gooch, or Jennison can point to – how many engage emails go to Congress?

Who wins, and who loses, because of MHI’s failure to achieve its stated goals?

TomFathGreatIndustryInDecayUnderAttackChangePerceptionFocusFactsTrueBenefits-TomFathNewDurhamEstates-MHProNews-e1474053015851

If MHI had a good answer to the industry’s concerns, wouldn’t they make it?

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews

Isn’t it obvious that they have no good answers, and thus will continue their duck, dodge, distract, detract and defame ways?

DougGormanHomeMartMHILogoAwardWinnerManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNews

Is it like a long time MHI member told MHProNews –  ‘The big companies have figured out how to get the smaller companies to pay for what they want.’ – is that the reality of MHI?

This writer is willing to debate MHI publicly on such issues.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Commentary, analysis, news.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovach-QuestioningNYSAAteam-NewYorkHousingAssociation-MHProNews-com-PhotoCreditMarkSimon--250x167

Photo taken while Tony was questioning regulators in NY.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Cong Keith Ellison, Others Accuse Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lenders, MHI of Monopolistic, Racism, Steering, Predatory Lending, and More

September 11th, 2017 No comments

When testifying in front of the House Financial Services Committee, Kevin Clayton, CEO of Maryville, Tenn.-based Clayton Homes and head of the Manufactured Housing Institute…” – HousingWire.

Mobile home [sic] loans and borrowers are different. Clayton Homes dominates the industry. Clayton charges borrowers of color a lot more. Clayton targets borrowers of color and steers them into…” National Consumer Law Center.

OpenMindCiteSourcesFromAcrossTheSpectrumMHProNews

American Banker, Seattle Times, BuzzFeed News

RacialJusticeEqualEconomicOpportunityProjectNationalConsumerLawCenterKeithEllisonD-MN5DanielWagnerBuzzfeedMikeBakerSeattleTimesDiscrminationMHProNews

Notice: Independent Thinkers can consider points and evidence from across the economic and political spectrum. To see the report this screen capture was taken from, click here or the image above.

…These are just some of the operations that have identified the third rail in the manufactured housing industry’s economic and political landscape.

ThirdRailPoliticsDefinedMHProNewsBerkshire Hathaway (BH) Owned Clayton Homes dominates the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Isn’t that evident by…?

  • Third party media analysis (examples, from both right and left wing media)
  • The fact that 2 out of 4 of the MHI Executive Committee seats are held by Clayton Homes’ Tom Hodges and 21st Mortgage, Tim Williams,
  • The third seat is held by a former Clayton Homes division president, Joe Stegmayer, now Chairman of Cavco Industries, and
  • Howard Walker, ELS which uses BH lending and other BH connected products and services?
MHIannouncestheirnewExecutiveCommitteeboardmembersAward-WinnerscreditMHIlegal500mhpronewslinkedin-postedtoDailybusinessnews-

Some of the photos above are by MHI, or 21st, BH companies, and are provided under fair use guidelines.

Clayton Homes and its sister operations have been charged by several third parties with racism, steering, and predatory lending.

  • It’s 9.11. 9/11/2001 was like a wake-up call, but it also brought the nation together.
  • Texas and Louisiana have just endured Hurricane Harvey.
  • Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas have, are or soon will be feeling the impact of Irma.
  • We have a builder/businessman in the White House.
  • President Donald J. Trump has prefab housing interests.
  • Vice President Mike Pence understands and respects manufactured housing, perhaps better than any VP in history.
CampaignForAccountabiltyClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayVanderbiltMortgageRacismSteeringPredatoryLendingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews720x403-575x322

Each of those lodging allegations discussion on this page are reported in the Daily Business News post, click image above.

The president’s agenda is pro-business, pro-growth, American Business and American Workers First.

IamGoingToLowerYourTaxesEliminateEveryUnnecessaryRegulationUNleashAmericanEnergyPlacingAmericanBusinessandWorkersFirstDonaldJTrumpNationalViewsMastheadMHProNews

The president has shown by his actions that he is implementing his campaign promises.  The DC Swamp is Fighting Back.

That Swamp is perhaps best defined as the intersection of Big Business, Big Lobby, and Big Government.

The Above Is Like an Executive Summary,

The Below are Some Details, Facts, Allegations, Concerns – What It Means to Manufactured Housing, and

Potential Next Steps

 

Superficiality is the curse of the modern world” – Matthew Kelly

Skim at your own risk.

Open your mind, and consider the following objectively, without passion, habit, or emotion.

While some of those claims by parties outside of manufactured housing could be nuanced, questioned or debunked, the persistence of the allegations above and below by third parties are significant. We’ll note right now that our raising this issue as a pro-industry trade publisher, and citing these topics from these sources, doesn’t mean we endorse everything these parties are stating or alleging.

Rather, we’re doing what every good trade media does in other industries. We report the good, the bad and the problematic.

There is no way to solve a problem if you don’t first identify it, analyze the options, and then begin to work to solve those identified issues.

TheSystemIsRiggedHUDRossKinzlerDonaldTyeJrFederalOfficialDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Thanks to our sponsors, team and supporters, we bring day-by-day the Manufactured Home Industry’s “News, Tips and Views that Pros Can Use.”  It’s all about team work.  While the commentary is that of our organization, we must in gratitude in turn thanks those:

  • Sources,
  • Supporters,
  • Sponsors,
  • Service users of our operation,
  • That make our work possible. We could not do this alone.  We don’t operate in a vacuum.

We salute those who support us, and our thousands of readers should use their products and services at every opportunity.

USRepMaxineWaterEmanuelCleaverKeithEllisonMikeCapuanoMastheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

These Democratic lawmakers have raised the issue of racism with respect to the companies that dominate MHI. MHProNews is the first in the Industry to notify industry readers that the Center for Accountability, about two weeks ago, put out a press release that they are pursuing this racism, steering and predatory lending issue. MHProNews asked MHI’s leadership about this, asking them to reject racism. After several days, they have not yet done so. Now, MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch admits that Rep. Ellison is opposing the MHI Preserving Access bill. Will any thinking person be surprised if Ellison, the CfA or others accuse MHI’s leadership of racism?

Congressman Ellison and others pushing DOJ and CFPB Investigations

MHProNews documented in the reports linked that third parties are pushing the Department of Justice (DOJ) and/or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to release findings about Berkshire Hathaway operations on the issues of racism, steering and predatory lending.

What is not entirely clear is the degree to which anti-trust allegations may be part of DOJ or other investigations.

While we have sources in and close to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Those sources state they are carefully monitoring all that we publish.

To our knowledge at this moment, MHI and the Berkshire Hathaway (BH) brands have not responded to these issues raised last month or previously.

Why not?

Allegations, Allegations – Facts, Figures and The Record

We’re told that MHI and the BH brands have attorneys that go over our articles and posts, looking for ways to shut MHProNews and MHLivingNews down.  Why? Are they trying to control the narrative? So that only their voice is left?

We have sources that have told us that they’ve directly and/or indirectly pressured our advertisers and sponsors.

We’ll layout those concerns and allegations above and below. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

The Third Rail in Manufactured Housing

There is a reputed third rail in manufactured housing.

BH has so much influence – some believe – they industry professionals and companies are economically fearful of standing up to them.

But thanks to some courageous, wise, committed, sponsors and supporters – we’ve been able to carry on.

That should not be construed to mean that those sponsors agree with each and everything we do.  We don’t ask some’s permission to publish or produce. We have quiet advice from a variety of sources. But we make our own decisions, based upon the facts, input as we see them and experience.

We strive day-by-day to act in what we believe the facts and experience reveals are the root issues that hold manufactured housing back from doing 5 to 10 times more business annually than the industry currently does.

We’ve said for years.  If RVs are outselling Manufactured Housing by some 5 to 1, why can’t almost every honest retailer, every ethical community operator be selling about 5 or more times the number of homes that they do?  RVs are a luxury for most, while manufactured homes are one of the necessities of life.

 

TanstaflThereIsNoSuchThingAsAFreeLunchProtectLifeLibertyPropertyRevDonaldTyeJrLATonyKovach

Click the image above to read the post this joint statement of opportunity and hope that this graphic comes from.

MHI and Surrogates

Suzanne Felber and George Allen have and are said to be receiving promotional benefits from MHI, and/or certain forms of work from MHI and/or Berkshire Hathaway (BH) companies.

SuzanneFelberFrankRolfeRichardADickJennisonAmericanHousingAdvocatesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

Notice, we will be circling back this weekend to post missing links and additional information for this report.

Is it a coincidence that Felber’s site fawns over Jennison, HUD’s Pam Danner, Clayton Homes, and MHI?

Allen’s situation is perhaps more complex, as the emailed discussion linked here reflects.

GeorgeAllenDownBy100MHIFlyInDownby60ilyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice, we will be circling back this weekend to post missing links and additional information for this report.

What is clear is that Allen periodically lashes out via email and/via his blog, etc. against this writer and MHProNews with unsubstantiated claims, designed to dissuade his followers from putting stock in MHARR, this writer, or the MHProNews trade media.

Why?

Allen – by accident, design, hubris, envy or some combination – thus provides de facto ‘cover’ to MHI and the BH brands.

That cover comes from the one person – Allen – who made a serious claim at starting a post-production association. But after a number of years have gone by, his COBA7 is not a formal association at all. Emails between members of COBA7 provided to MHProNews by their own followers suggest they are unsure what to do about MHI or how to best advance the industry.

It wasn’t always so with Allen, as the screen captures and weekend email exchange attached reflects.

At a minimum, we’d allege that Allen’s not been consistent.

At a minimum, Allen’s failed to follow the logic of what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and others have pointed out.  That doesn’t mean he should be condemned to perdition’s flames. I’ve said many times, if Allen’s followers didn’t see some value to his work, then he’d have no audience.

But is the main value Allen brings his networking meetings?  And given the steep decline in his meeting attendance since we were involved in cross-promotion with him, is Allen’s influence rising, or fading?

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

By citing Allen, Felber or whomever, that should not be construed as a blanket endorsement. We are pointing to specific facts, statements or claims made. Links will be added, likely this wekened. Please check back.

MHARR, MHI, and MHProNews

While MHARR and MHProNews have some overlapping interests, each organization is a distinct and independent operation.

Allen wrongfully conflates MHARR and MHI’s respective missions. We’ve covered that before, so won’t belabor that today.

For several years before MHARR used MHProNews for some modest ads, this writer was periodically taking MHARR positions at MHI meetings.  We as trade publishers did so when we felt MHARR was correct.  I personally did that privately and in public, both before and after my being elected by my peers as a board member of the MHI Suppliers Division.

MHI knew exactly who I was – a goal and solution oriented, pragmatic idealistic – because I don’t keep that secret. It’s part of every email MHProNews sends out.

obstacles-are-those-frightful-things-you-see-when-you-take-your-eyes-off-the-goal- henry-ford-inspiration-(c)lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-posted-mhpronews.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

A search of our articles going back in time will reflect the reality that we supported MHI on some topics, MHARR on others.

MHI's New CEO, Dick Jennison

This was one of the photos taken by MHProNews, a behind-the-camera, behind the scenes effort some years ago to get MHI and MHARR to work more closely together. Richard Dick Jennison, left, Mark Weiss, right. Weiss is now MHARR, President and CEO.

It should also be noted that at one point in time, perhaps naively believing that MHI and MHARR could be ‘reconciled,’ we attempted to do just that when Dick Jennison came on board as MHI’s president.  There are a number of industry pros, beyond

  • Dick Jennison,
  • Rick Robinson,
  • Mark Weiss,
  • Danny Ghorbani,
  • Joe Stegmayer,
  • Dennis Hill,

and numerous others who know this to be true.

It should be noted that MHProNews always took editorially the view our parent company’s management – Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC – dba/MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com, et al – believed was in the best interest of the industry, based upon then available information.

 

They can’t have it both ways.

We Operate by the Same Principles Now as Then.

Some of those stands were controversial, as Financial Services Chairman Dick Ernst said in the video above.   But as he also said, it’s because of our desire to bring the industry together in a cohesive way.

Cohesion – peace and cooperation – are only possible among those of good will.

After years of efforts, often behind the scenes, we came to the painful conclusion that MHI staff did not want peace with MHARR.

We also came to the painful conclusion that MHI allegedly wanted to so dominate MHARR, and if possible,

  • buy out,
  • draw in as members of MHI, and/or
  • force out of business each MHARR member, and thus silence MHARR for good.

As new facts or insights emerged, we as trade publishers tried to adapt to those insights. We had inside and other sources at MHI that gave us some tips and insights as to what was coming. Some of those insights were about plans, months or years in advance of their being enacted.

Finance, Monopolistic Actions, and Duty to Serve (DTS)

It’s clear in hindsight that on a subject such as the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing lending by the GSEs, that my view previous view on accepting MHI’s stated support for the same was naive.

MonopoliesTrustsAntiCompetitiveMarketsCrashCourseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo-575x333

Still from the video on the page linked above.

Naïve.

We have since carefully laid out our concerns and allegations that while

  • MHI staff stated their desire to want DTS to become reality, in fact,
  • Tim Williams/21st Mortgage,
  • as well as Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance,

have practically foiled those efforts at a robust chattel DTS program or pilot.

How did they do it, one might ask?  A fair question.  Here’s how.

21st and VMF did so by not providing the data that the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs or Enterprises) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as their sources say, needed to responsibly enter into the chattel market in a spirited fashion.

ElephantAssGSEFannieFreddieFHFAPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage credit, MHProNews, logos are those of their respective organization, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.,/i>

There are other factors too, this document can’t be all encompassing.  But we previously documented with comments from experts such as Titus Dare, Marty Lavin and others.

Anyone can go to

  • Industry Voices,
  • the Daily Business News (DBN),
  • Industry in Focus Reports, prior
  • Masthead blog posts,
  • or previous featured articles and interviews,

and you’ll see that step-by-step, for years, we’ve laid the foundation for what we are stating today.

ThanksTonyDoWhatYouFeelIsRightBerkshireHathaway-F-ckEm-MHProNewsNMHOA and MHAction

We have often taken NMHOA or MHAction to task, and still do for supporting rent control or other efforts that are arguably harmful to their own claimed followers.

We think rent control may be well intentioned, but fails to accomplish the goal it desires.  We’ve cited

  • Paul Bradley of ROC USA,
  • Sam Landy, JD, of UMH Properties,
  • Sheila Dey, JD, of the WMA

and numerous others in pointing out the weakness of the concept of rent control. It harms business, affordable housing in general, and manufactured home communities and residents in particular.

But on the narrow subject of DTS and monopolistic practices by MHI and BH units, there may be common ground possible between industry professionals and those consumer-focused groups.

That said, we continue to call on NMHOA and MHAction to revisit and reject their own mistaken support for rent control, and other actions that harm the very people they claim to want to benefit.

We’ve invited public debates

  • with those ‘consumer groups,’
  • with MHI,
  • and MHI’s de facto surrogates to debate the issues by video.

While NMHOA has not yet accepted that invitation, to their credit, Isbhel Dickens at least acknowledged in writing their willingness to consider that kind of direct engagement.

By contrast, MHI and their surrogates have not accepted that offer on any level.

If they were right, why do they duck a public debate?

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews

Duck. Dodge. Distract. Detract. Delay. Deny. Demean. Defame. Destroy.

When you see an indirect, semi-public or no reply by MHI, BH and their surrogates, think about those 9 deadly Ds.

When you see or hear about efforts by MHI, BH, or their surrogates to

  • defame,
  • marginalize,
  • starve out,
  • or destroy MHProNews and MHLivingNews, you have to ask yourself, why?

Why has MHI not taken on the issues that we’ve raised, until the last few months, and then, only in an arguably weak or even counterproductive fashion?

When you see MHI, BH and their surrogates try to

  • buy out competitors,
  • harm competitors through heavy regulations,
  • feint an argument for X, when their powers that be are doing the opposite,

or try to pressure MHARR members into becoming MHI members, you have to ask yourself, why?

regulatory-compliance-costs-for-manufacturers-source-national-assoc-manufacturers-posted-masthead-mhpronews0-com-_001

MHI and MHARR Independent HUD Code Producers

In my enthusiasm to debunk the Atlantic and IBIS World, several years ago, I missed their powerful point that was hiding in plain sight.

AmericasFastestDyingBusinessMobileHomesManufacturedHomesAtlanticIBISWorldDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNews

Their headline claimed that manufactured housing was a dying industry.  We strived to debunk that claim, and I’d stand by that to this day.

IBISWorldAtlanticManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsResearchReportsMHProNews

But I missed the nuance necessary for the point they made about Clayton dominating MH retail.

MHProNews has had independent MHI and MHARR members alike tell me that while they may not officially be up for sale, for the right price and terms, they’d sell.

AnotherClaytonAquisitionLoomsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsReportsResearchMHProNews

Clayton logo is their property, and is shown here with a collage by MHProNews, under fair use guidelines.

MHProNews has had independent MHI and MHARR members alike tell me that the biggest thing that holds them back having enough independent retailers to distribute and sell their products.

MHProNews has had state association executives tell me that several of their independents are undercapitalized.

MHProNews has had independent community owners and retailers tell us that there’s just too many issues to navigate.

They sell out or close down.

Wasn’t The Atlantic was right about that point?

What the Atlantic and others may or may not understand is just how the industry got to this point.  That will be laid out in future reports, stay tuned.

We will also circle back, perhaps this weekend, and hot link the various bullets and allegations noted in this document.  Stay tuned.

A “Brilliant” BH Strategy to Dominate Manufactured Housing, While Avoiding the ?

Look carefully and objectively at what Cong. Ellison and his colleagues PowerPoint on racism, lending and monopolistic practices.

Look carefully at what we’ve been publishing on MHProNews for months and years.

While we’ve worked independently of each other, there are several points in common.  Coincidence?


BH’s Clayton’s willingness to buy from independents, or to use Triad Financial, or Credit Human (formerly San Antonio Credit Union) or other lending sources and suppliers, those were arguably shrewd moves in a strategic and tactical sense.

  • First, it undermined the claim of monopoly. After all, how can you be a monopoly if you are buying from a competitor? That gives them some cover with DOJ or the FTC.
  • Next, by failing to succeed at passing Preserving Access, or
  • Third, by failing to succeed at getting HUD, or DOE or others that could be cited to relent in some regulatory overreach, they were indirectly allowing pressure on the independent producers and the independent retailers. That too is useful to give them cover with DOJ or the FTC.
  • But one reason why – primarily, but not solely via MHI and their surrogates – by trying to marginalize, silence, buyout, or crush MHProNews and MHLivingNews – weren’t they trying to control the industry’s narrative?
  • To the degree that they control the industry’s narrative, aren’t they trying to create an information monopoly?
  • By controlling the information – the inner industry dialogue – aren’t they trying to avoid the very kind of analysis and fact checks that MHARR and MHProNews produce?

Why won’t MHI release their own bylaws?  We’re told that isn’t even legal, but they’ve still done it.

Why does MHI have inaccurate consumer information?  The last we checked, they’ve not corrected it.

DougGormanHomeMartMHILogoAwardWinnerManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNews

Yes, the industry is growing, and we should be happy about it, but we should be unhappy with how low the total sales volume is at a retail center, a community and the industry at large. When you look at the bulk of the mainstream media accounts, isn’t Tom Fath correct? Isn’t the industry under attack? Where is MHI’s defense of the industry? 

Why did MHI try to keep us from doing certain interviews or attend certain public addresses by elected or appointed officials?  That – per attorneys we’ve spoken with – raise a variety of legal and constitutional issues.

Isn’t it arguable that these moves are designed to choke off competition, including competing news and commentary?

 

Isn’t the Truth Hiding in Plain Sight?

Isn’t Warren Buffett precisely what Tim Williams/21st/MHI Chair arguing against in this exclusive report?  Every slide was provided by Williams and/or a source at MHI.

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

Mighty MHARR?

MHARR has a tiny fraction of the MHI budget, but they are consistently correct on the issues.  Frankly, the only things they’ve missed, IMHO, are fairly nuanced areas, more a matter of style than substance.

If MHARR can be correct on issue after issue, why is MHI wrong so often?

If MHARR can be logical on so many issues, why is MHI so often double minded?

doubleminded man, is unstable in all his ways,” – James 1:8

Odds are excellent that one or more of the 9 D’s describes the motive for MHI, BH and their surrogates from not replying straight up, or debating straight up.

If they were in the correct, why not take a stage in a video debate of the issues?

Could it be that they are concerned that they would lose?

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We’d debate MHI, BH, NMHOA, MHAction using video on the issues that face the industry. MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

That’s not hubris, because frankly MHI and BH has attorneys who are trained in such matters such as debate.  Ishbel Dickens is an attorney, and she too is trained in debate. They have a training this writer doesn’t have. That’s not my area of expertise.

They have time, money and resources we don’t have.  Yet, they are the ones playing the 9D game.  Why?

Duck, Dodge, Distract, Detract, Delay, Deny, Demean, Destroy, Game.

 

Why an Independent-Focused Post-Production MH Association is Needed

News, education and even promotion can only do so much. We’re not lobbyists, but we can, have, and do support lobbying activity.

The industry needs someone with the mindset of President Trump’s and VP Mike Pence’s stated agenda to lobby for that to be applied in Washington, D.C.

MHARR has said as much in writing for years.

There is a real need for either a third association to represent the post-production sector, or for MHARR and/or NFIB to step up and expand their offerings to fill that role.

Frankly, in a perfect world, what I think should happen is that MHARR expand, and team carefully with NFIB.

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Image credit – collage of Industry Association logos by
MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective
organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

As an FYI to the detail minded, the last time MHProNews had an in-depth conversation with NFIB officials, they stated that their preference was to work with an existing association on specialized topics, while providing the added muscle on bigger issues such as tax reform, repealing and replacing ObamaCare, and the like.

That leaves it to MHARR to decide in their November conference call if they may want to expand to serve the broader manufactured housing industry, as opposed to just independent HUD Code manufactured housing producers and some state affiliated associations.

We have repeatedly offered MHI the opportunity to respond in writing to the issues and concerns we’ve raised. We also routinely cited MHI, or their surrogate’s own words in our reports. That’s how fact checks and balanced reporting works.

MHI Wants to “Stop the Leaks”

We are now being told that MHI is trying to ‘stop the leaks’ – which includes even their own publications to members!  Why?

Could it be, as we’ve alleged several times, that they want to control the industry’s narrative?

Could it be that they want to propagandize the industry, to the detriment of those being manipulated?

Where is MHI’s self-proclaimed clout?

Where’s Rick Robinson’s self-proclaimed MHI Zen?

Aren’t MHI, Allen, Felber and others guilty of the very things that they claim MHProNews does?

To rephrase, aren’t they projecting onto us, what they themselves are guilty of doing?

MHIGotCloutWheresTheBeefMHProNewsThat’s why, ICYMI, its necessary to engage with these parties, and to refute their spurious allegations, while challenging them to debate the issues or at least prove their claims.

They’ve always declined or bow outed, why?

If they were correct, and MHARR or MHProNews were so wrong, why would they not debate? Unless they lacked the confidence of the guts to stand up to closer public and industry scrutiny?

A Missed Opportunity to Deny, Decry and Denounce Racism

RevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword_001We also offered MHI’s executive committee members, plus Clayton, VMF and 21st the softball opportunity to deny, decry and denounce racism and the monopolistic allegations against them.

Go back to the top.  See what Cong. Ellison said. If you happen to be right or centrist, don’t let Ellison’s positions keep you from looking at what has been presented.

Facts are facts, no matter who presents them.

The scriptures have said, separate the wheat from the chaff.  That applies to all, very much to me  and our work included.

President Trump Accepted that Opportunity from Media he Doesn’t Trust, Then Why Would MHI not do the Same?

In the MHI/BH wisdom, they did not accept that opportunity. Any excuse they use to their members will be convincing to those who blindly want to believe them.

We’ll begin to draw to a close this Masthead commentary and analysis with the following.

Smaller to mid-sized firms are de facto paying for what the larger ones want.

Smaller to mid-sized firms are arguably feeding the hand that bites them.

Those that sit on the sidelines are de facto supporting the powers that be.  Any excuse will do to sit on the sidelines.  You don’t like the color of my hair, I’m too tall, short, fat, skinny, the wrong gender, skin color, whatever excuse you want will do.  Ditto with respect to mighty MHARR.

The larger firms benefit from the lack of progress on a range of issues, which they claim to want to accomplish.  What team keeps hiring a coach and QB to keep failing to win?

There is no logic to saying – as MHI does – that HUD is overstepping their authority, while not at the same time asking for Pam Danner to step aside and be reassigned as director of the Manufactured Housing program.  Isn’t that only logical?

It is fishy at best that MHI’s VP Lois Starkey left MHI and now works at HUD. To my knowledge, MHI has yet to comment on that issue.  If they have nothing to hide, why does MHI hide on the Starkey and Danner and other issues?

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Why has MHI told some that replacing Pam Danner is a close subject?

Why has MHI allegedly prepared Lois Starkey to fill Danner’s spot, if Danner does step aside?

We’ve pointed to arguments made by Sam Zell, or Jenny Hodge, and drawn them to their logical conclusion.

We’ve pointed to the arguments made by MHI Chair, Tim Williams, and drawn them to the obvious open question.  How can Williams claim to be at odds with Warren Buffett?  Hasn’t Buffett openly supported Dodd-Frank, the CFPB, Secretary Clinton and Barack Obama?  Hasn’t Buffett and BH favored heavy taxes and regulations that they can better avoid?  That, by the way, is among the places where Cong. Ellison and I would part company.

Because we’ve been citing for years third-party research that has documented what common sense tells the objective thinker is true.  Heavier regulations harms independents more than big companies.

That’s why even U.S. Bank backed away from manufactured home chattel lending, even thought they had a success program.  That’s and low volume, which MHProNews raised that concern years ago, while I was elected by my peers to be on MHI’s Suppliers Division Board of Directors.

That’s why this quote from Dick Jennison, an unforced admission by him on video is so powerful.

 

MHProNews led the Independent’s Industry Charge for the Trump Admin

My wife and several industry pros were on the Trump train before this writer became convinced. I saw one decent Democratic candidate, Jim Webb, or dropped out early. Several of the GOPers were okay on paper.

  • But Donald Trump had deep pockets,
  • the street fighting, counterpunching skills,
  • and the name recognition that made him a viable candidate.

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Fault him for this or that tweet, but I think the man is a genius. POTUS Trump isn’t perfect, but neither are you or I.  Trump is a genius. I’ve followed him for years off and on.  He was right about trade when conservative icon Ronald Reagan might have done better, by listening to Trump.

Can You Spell, Phony?  Hypocrisy? Con Job?

We remind readers that while MHI took no public position on the last election, just days before the election, they had not one but two pro-Secretary Hillary Clinton speakers on their stage in Chicago.

They did not lift a finger to help pro-business, pro-worker Donald Trump become president.

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Warren Buffett, left. President Barack Obama, right. Credit, Wikipedia. Why didn’t Buffett and Obama work to fix Dodd-Frank, if Berkshire Hathaway controlled MHI is serious about it?  Has Preserving Access been a delusion?  A multi-million dollar head fake?  Hubris by MHI for not making a deal on the MLO rule, which alone might have kept U.S. Bank involved in MH lending?  Why does MHI not answer such questions?  Could it be that the answer is an embarrassment to them, no matter what they say?

No two people agree on everything.

My 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.

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We’ve worked with those from every racial, ethnic, religious, economic or any other group you care to mention.  We are realistic idealists. We are optimistic pragmatists.  We know that only some will come together to advance the industry, not all.

For approaching 9 years since we began publishing, thanks to those that we work with and who sponsor us, we’ve created a site that reports best practices, covers news that often no one else in MH does, and identifies issues that hold the industry back.

Frank Rolfe and I would not agree on everything, as he’d be the first to say.  But he’s right when he said that it is the industry itself that has held manufactured housing back from achieving its full potential.

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Titus Dare and I would not agree on everything either, as he’d be the first to say.  But he’s right that MHI has used problematic messaging that opens the Arlington, VA based association – and by extension, those that mimic MHI.

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Dare’s comments were in reference to an MHI advertorial quoting Dick Jennison. Links will be added in the days ahead, but you can use Yahoo, Bing or Google to find this with a  good search query. MHI’s advertorials have been a mix of useful and problematic information. Some of their statements have drawn harsh criticism, like the example by Titus Dare, above.

We could go through that same litany over and again.  Some of our strongest supporters don’t agree with every specific thing we do.  There are some that think, for example, that it is a waste of time to reach out to MHI, Allen, etc.  There are reasons that we do so. For example, recently an industry pro we respect tried to privately get Allen and I to bridge the gap.

My take is that Allen is not willing to do so.  But that’s not the biggest thing on the radar.

That biggest thing is the threat from within the industry posed by MHI and BH.

That biggest threat can be overcome, through a wise use of facts, history, common sense, critical analysis and reason.

BH dominated MHI has not defended the industry when it could.

BH dominated MHI has not succeed at getting Preserving Access passed, when numerous sources told us that MHI could have had the MLO rule by agreement with the non-profits.

That would have benefited Triad and Credit Human, along with every other MH lender.

 


Why didn’t Tim Williams and VMF agree to that half-a-loaf is better than none deal?

Do you see how there is a consistent pattern of failure by MHI to succeed in areas that they could do much better at than they currently are?

Are they incompetent?

Ill-informed?

Too arrogant?

Or is clever, head fakes and cunning?

Whether they succeed or fail at Preserving Access, or other issues, several industry voices have told us that BH benefits.

 


The MH Alliance

Freedom isn’t free.

Easy doesn’t pay well.” – John Bostick

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Principles and integrity alone will produce long term success for manufactured housing.

IMHO, without a moral, ethical faith-based foundation, our industry and our nation will continue to struggle.

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Everyone with a belief that they contradict in word or deed is a hypocrite. This writer claims no perfection, my wife can correct anyone who mistakenly thinks otherwise.  We have for years and years said that all that we do is a result of team work.  All success is team work.

But every team can use a coach, guide, and cheerleader.

We know what works.  MHI – even while I was an active, board member – would not help promote any of the solutions that we provided.

Even when those solutions advanced what they claimed they wanted done, they didn’t use it or provide it to others.  Why?

How else to explain it than?

  • Are they incompetent?
  • Ill-informed?
  • Too arrogant?
  • Or is clever, head fakes and cunning?
  • Do the powers that be win, whether or not MHI succeeds at what they claim to want do accomplish?

 

MHI Literally Picks Winners and Losers

After a few appearances on MHI’s stage, while still an MHI member, not long after Dick Jennison came in as president, and while he and I were supposedly still on good terms, they stopped allowing me or others we believe in any time on an MHI stage.  Why?

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To download Examining Community Attitudes by Dr. Tyler, click here or the graphic above.

For example, we promoted Lisa Tyler, Ph.D.  Dr. Tyler is a terrific believer in manufactured housing.  She’s reportedly the first person to get a Ph.D. in perhaps 20 years with a specific manufactured housing focus.

Why did they give Dr. Tyler no time on stage?  Dr. Tyler, to my knowledge, had no beef with BH.  Still, she was given no stage time.  Why not?

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For years, Nadeen Green, JD, did Fair Housing articles for MHProNews.  Some state associations would promote her writing, but not MHI.  Why not?

 

At no cost to MHI, about 4 years ago, this writer promoted a concept at the Suppliers Division that would have made us not a dime.  But it could have made the industry’s independents billions of dollars by getting to the root issues that keep tens of millions from taking manufactured housing seriously.

Lois Starkey was the point coordinator for MHI on that issue.  We were told that Dick Jennison opposed that effort, if so, why?  That was true even during the time that we were supposedly working to promote Preserving Access together.

Why did Jennison oppose what would have been a super low cost, easy win for MHI to promote the entire industry?

Why didn’t Starkey ever advance the concept to completion?

Dozens of Supplier Divisions members know exactly what I’m talking about, because the above was not a secret. Hundreds if not thousands of MHProNews readers would read a periodic notice about that, and may have wondered, what ever happened to that infotainment initiative?

Perhaps it would have been too useful to smaller and mid-sized companies, and not useful enough to larger firms?

Allen criticized me privately and publicly for taking quotes out of context or not dating quotes.  Sorry, George, but you and I both know that isn’t accurate. We provide more context than almost anyone in media.  Some think we provide TOO much detail, and this post will be an example of that claim.

The reality is that you just can’t please everyone, and you just can’t please some people, period.

But the videos on this page are all part of the picture of what has held our industry up, and how this industry advances.  By choking off growth, people like Nathan Smith and other larger, connected players benefited at the expense of the smaller independents, isn’t that a fair reading of what happened?

Isn’t that what Smith is laughing about in this video?

 


A New Source for Pro-Industry Events

A non-MHARR source has touched base with us more than once on the idea of doing events independent of MHI.  We commend the initiative, should it advance.  Frankly, we’ve considered doing the same thing.

One of the few things that MHI does that has value for many are networking and educational events.  Not only this writer, but many – including MHI members – have told us that MHI charges way too much for their events.

That can be all be changed for the better.

We’ve said for months, MHI needs to be reformed or supplanted.

We’ve said for years, that the state associations are routinely far more effective than MHI is at getting their stated agendas done.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews are proof that there is no third rail in the MH industry.

 

ThirdRailPoliticsDefinedMHProNews

 

No one has killed me.

No one has beat me up.

We have spoken with legal counsel about MHI – and by extension BH? – efforts to marginalize, and if possible starve us of advertisers and sponsors.

We will do whatever we think is best, honorable, honest, and should we do so, we’ll do that with the least cost to us, and the most impact on them.

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Links will be added, or you can go to the Daily Business News and use the search tool. To see the article, click the image above or click here.

While MHI has had some success at scaring off some sponsors, we still have enough to sustain our needs, thanks be to God and those who support our work.

The point is,

  • these allegedly monopolistic forces can be beaten, even though they are far better funded.
  • They make mistakes. Look at BH/Clayton’s iHouse.  How did that work for them?  Did they ever figure out why that failed?
  • Those mistakes are revealed through fact checks, history and their own statements!

The irony is that I’m not opposed to big business, but we editorially are opposed to monopolistic practices.

There are good reasons why anti-trust – anti-monopoly – laws exist. It is harmful to the public and to small business, which creates the most jobs.

Could I be wrong on President Trump? About VP Mike Pence? Perhaps, but I don’t think so.

I think Mark Weiss and Danny Ghorbani are right.  If the industry fails to advance in Washington under the Trump Administration, shame on the majority for not acting while we have the chance!

 

Historic

In our industry and in America, there has historically been three types of groups and people.

1)    Those who take one side,

2)    those who take the other.

3)    Those who sit in the middle, trying to figure out who to support.

The American revolutionaries had the odds against them. The British had historically won war after war before the Revolution of 1776.  The American insurgents rallied enough of the people to beat the English. Yet the Brits at the time was the world’s only super power.

David beat Goliath.

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Nettles, thorns…you get the idea, right? Of course…

If we take all of the independents in MH combined, they actually outnumber MHI’s giants.  Nor do we need them all, but we do need enough people and companies of integrity to step up and be goal and solution oriented.

I’m not going to say it is easy.  Easy doesn’t pay well.

But what we want to do is doable. It’s been successful.

We think BH’s monopolistic control over MHI and several state associations needs to end.

 

We think if MHI fails to reform itself, then those professionals of good will need to do a post-production association ourselves.

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Image credit, Political Vel Craft.

Those who think that manufactured housing can’t be change are right, and wrong.  They forget that 20 years ago, it was Fleetwood and Champion who competed for being number one and two.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

While the industry is advancing, third generation professional – millennial Tom Fath – has said is manufactured housing is in decay and under assault.  He’s growing, and he’s right.

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The MH Alliance was started to advance the MHLivingNews, MHProNews and related efforts, It works for those who actively participate. It only needs to be scaled by more forward looking, goal and solution oriented industry professionals and companies.

The MH Alliance – P.E.P. The ADL and NAACP of Manufactured Housing

My father was a philosopher. He taught us kids that you can’t give what you don’t have. MHI can’t give what it doesn’t have.

For whatever reason MHI has not defended the industry nor itself.

That’s a hard to dispute fact, but we’ll call it an allegation, while we challenge them to debate in public and prove me wrong.

The industry must do what the ADL and NAACP did for their respective groups.

Tye quote

Now is the Time for All Good People to Come to the Aid of their Country.

Now is the Time for All Good People to Come to the Aid of their Business and Industry.

If not now, while the industry is somewhat recovering, when? If not now, when the nation is facing perhaps the greatest affordable housing crisis, when?

Summary

Doing and fighting for what’s right is profitable. But regardless, it is always the right thing to do what’s right.

MHLivingNews and MHProNews are prepared to support intelligent efforts to supplant what MHI does.

Why not let the big companies keep their big boys club?

Why not let there be an association that works on behalf of everyone else?

Feedback on this is welcome.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Fisking, Analysis, News, and MH Industry Commentary.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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Click on the graphic above to learn more about the rapidly approaching 5 State event.

L. A. “Tony” Kovach is the managing member of  LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.  The Mastheadblog represents that editorial perspective, and may or may not represent the views of sponsors or others.

MHProNews is open to a diversity of professional viewpoints.  We routinely seek, get, and publish feedback from industry professionals that represents a range of diverse views and backgrounds.

MHI is once more invited to publicly debate via video, available both live and for later playback, their track record on protecting and promoting the manufactured home industry.

Because MHI directly and through surrogates has postured legal action and other similar threats, we are going to use the word alleged for the above, and encourage thoughtful readers to dig into the facts for themselves.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

The Three Letters that Unlocks Manufactured Housing’s Answers

September 4th, 2017 No comments

Whoever you are.

Whatever you do.

Whatever brought you here.

Whatever your political, economic, religious, ethnic, or other perspectives happen to be.

Three letters turn a key that unlocks the answers for manufactured housing investors and professionals.

Conceal, Reveal and ‘the Deal…’

Understanding the facts and opportunities unlocked by those three letters could lead to robust new HUD Code manufactured home sales growth.

That growth would positively impact retailers, communities, producers, lenders, suppliers, and all others who serve the public in manufactured housing.  What are those three letters?

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Why? Credits, MHProNews/Pixabay.

Why?

When there are millions of Americans who need affordable housing, why did manufactured housing finish 2016 with only some “81,169” new HUD Code manufactured homes shipped?

HUD2017WorstCaseHousingNeeds2017ReportCongressGrowingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD’s 2017 Worst Case Housing report points to nearly as many housing units needed today as the total number of pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post HUD Code manufactured homes in existence today. Those 8.3 million don’t count the millions more renting, 85 percent of whom want to own and could qualify for a residential style manufactured home.

When real estate agents can’t keep enough affordable housing in stock, why did manufactured housing grow at only 15% 2016 compared to 2015?

The Manufactured Housing Industry (MHI) has touted the fact that the manufactured housing industry for many years was about 21 percent of all new single family housing starts. Hmmm, okay. So, Why does MHI accept being at only some 9 percent of single family housing starts today?

Why did Richard A “Dick” Jennison – President and CEO of the MHI – say in reply to a softball question in the video below that “I don’t think that we [manufactured housing industry] should grow too fast,’ so that it gets…out of control” – out of who’s control? Who or which operation(s) benefit from slow industry growth?

When there are MILLIONS of affordable housing units needed, Why should the industry settle for less than 100,000 new homes, and modest growth?

  • Why not half-a-million new manufactured homes annually, or more?
  • Why should RVs – an optional purchase – outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1, when homes are a necessity?
  • Why did Jennison get his contract extended by MHI after he made this straight-faced statement on the video above? What would happen to an National Association of Realtors (NAR) or National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) president if they would have said something similar?
RichardCordrayCFPB-ManufacturedHousingRegulationsCSPANstill-InsideMHvideoPostedMHProNews-com-

These are quotes or close paraphrases of statements made by Richard Cordray, CFPB’s director. They would have been helpful for MHI to make their case to get Preserving Access passed. MHProNews created the graphic above to support the effort. Why didn’t MHI ever use it? Why didn’t MHI make a similar graphic or similar arguments? Why don’t they want to debate their own effectiveness? Could it be that they don’t want to have to answer serious, reasonable questions? Why not debate their wisdom and effectiveness?

If they really want to see the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act passed, Why hasn’t Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. – MHI SVP for Government Affairs & Chief Lobbyist – or anyone at MHI gotten permission to use the graphic above, or create a properly attributed one of their own like it?

Why not use Richard Cordray’s own talking points to advance the Preserving Access bill they claim to want enacted into law? (See quotes/graphic above.)

Why won’t MHI release their bylaws, which an MHI board member told MHProNews is required by law?

Why won’t MHI discuss the alleged conflict of interest for the largest lenders in the industry setting the agenda that most favors their own company?

If they are confident, why won’t MHI agree to publicly debate via video their performance and success, on their own claimed agenda?

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Why won’t MHI debate their effectiveness?  MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

When Lesli Gooch and the MHI leadership know that Keith Ellison plans to lead a charge against Preserving Access – as her own written statement below makes clear – why didn’t MHI denounce racism?  Why isn’t MHI being pro-active instead of reactive?  Why not -when as prior chairman, Nathan Smith said in a video statement – that MHI must make being proactive part of their standard?

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Each of those lodging allegations discussion on this page are reported in the Daily Business News post, click image above.

Smith’s point is interesting. Especially given MHI’s history of being reactive, per prior chair Smith, why did Gooch and MHI’s leadership fail to condemn racism? Especially Why – given the fact that Ellison, and 3 other Democratic Congressional leaders – have signed onto a letter to the CFPB and the Department of Justice that alleges racism on the part of MHI’s dominant companies (Berkshire Hathaway units Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, 21st Mortgage Corp)?  Why don’t see that opponents of MHI’s bill may again use racism as a charge against them, as they did in the 2015 congressional session?

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These Democratic lawmakers have raised the issue of racism with respect to the companies that dominate MHI. MHProNews is the first in the Industry to notify industry readers that the Center for Accountability, about two weeks ago, put out a press release that they are pursuing this racism, steering and predactory lending issue. MHProNews asked MHI’s leadership about this, asking them to reject racism. After several days, they have not yet done so. Now, MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch admits that Rep. Ellison is opposing the MHI Preserving Access bill. Will any thinking person be surprised if Ellison, the CfA or others accuse MHI’s leadership of racism?  Why would MHI hesitate a second to reject racism?

Why didn’t Lesli Gooch’s letter to State Association Executives (shown below), include a reference to the various groups – including, but not limited to, the three below – which are targeting their bill, with allegations of racism, and more?

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB
  • Democratic lawmakers
  • Center for Accountability (CfA)

The first three hot links were added by MHProNews and where made bold, so that those who want to dig deeper can quickly access more information.  but all of the text below is by Gooch to state association executives…who, by the way, are NOT “MHI State Executive Directors.”

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Is there much doubt that many state associations are dominated by the same forces that dominate MHI? That said, state associations do not belong to MHI. They are not technically MHI state association executives, as Gooch opened her letter. Some executives resent that kind of address of MHI to them, as independent organizations.

From: Lesli Gooch [mailto:LGooch@mfghome.org] Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2017 11:48 AM
To: Lesli Gooch <LGooch@mfghome.org>
Cc: Rick Robinson <rrobinson@mfghome.org>
Subject: Federal Legislative Update

Hi MHI State Executive Directors,

I wanted to update you about some upcoming action in the House of Representatives on the two issues that we focused on during the MHI legislative fly-in. In June, MHI members went to the Hill to: (1) support H.R. 1699, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act and (2) Stop HUD’s expansion of the regulation of manufactured housing beyond, and often contradictory to, the statute – on issues like garages, carports, frost free foundation requirements, and on-site completion of construction. Attached is our “asks” document from the fly-in.

As soon as next week, we expect both of these issues to come up on the House floor when the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations package (H.R. 3354 – The Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act) is considered. We will know more about timing next Tuesday – while it was scheduled to come up next week we anticipate the Hurricane will likely push the timing back.

First, the language of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act is included in the underlying appropriations text that is being brought to the House floor. Rep. Ellison (D-MN) has filed an amendment with the Rules Committee to strike this language from the bill. We are advocating with the Rules Committee to decline his request to offer the amendment during House debate on the bill – as they did when he tried to strike our language out of Chairman Hensarling’s Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10).

Second, Rep. Barr has filed an amendment with the Rules Committee regarding HUD’s expansion of regulations on garages/carports; frost-free foundations; and on-site completion of construction. Here is the link to the amendment: http://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/barr824171353405340.pdf. These issues were raised in a bipartisan letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson (see attached). We are working to ensure the House Rules Committee agrees to allow the amendment to be offered during House debate on the bill.

We will keep you posted as things move forward. We plan to send out a grassroots call to action when we have a better sense of timing.

Thanks,

Lesli

Lesli Gooch, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President for Government Affairs & Chief Lobbyist

1655 Fort Myer Drive, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22209

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What’s Wrong is that We Don’t Ask What’s Right

In the video collage below, is a brief clip of ROC USA president Paul Bradley explaining “cohesion,” a point that MHI Financial Services Committee chairman Dick Ernst speaks about cohesion in the same video, noting its importance.

Bradley’s point is akin to Marty Lavin’s argument that notes the manufactured housing industry’s “other image campaign.”  Lavin’s meaning is that the negative news that is so common from the mainstream media – which Lavin has explained must be dealt with.  When the national association for years has not refuted the negatives that manufactured housing industry is often hit with, why would savvy home buyers invest?

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To see what some other industry professionals have said about the pending MHI image campaign, click the image above.

Yet as Frank Rolfe and others have blasted MHI for their poor communications in defending the industry, or even promoting the industry.

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Why should MHI and their dominant companies be in charge of a planned industry image campaign? Why – or how could they possibly lead – when MHI’s own president has advocated publicly – more than once – that growth should be slow?  See Jennison’s statement in the roughly 20 second video above.

When Clayton and Cavco’s own published numbers indicate that they are growing at a pace somewhat slower than the industry at large, why should they call the shots for everyone else?

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Using MHI’s numbers, Cavco stated the above. Per MHI, the industry grew 15% 2016 over 2015. What that means is that Clayton and Cavco are growing at a somewhat slower pace in sales than the industry at large. Based upon those facts, why should those two companies dictate the course of MHI’s future, or their planned image campaign?

Why doesn’t MHI address the concerns, such as the allegation by a long-time member that – “the big companies [that dominate MHI] have figured out how to get the smaller and mid-sized companies [members of MHI] to pay for what they [the big companies] want” – why won’t MHI answer that or other legitimate questions and concerns?

We could go on and on with questions like the ones above.

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For a story on Google and other monopoly concerns, and their impact on manufactured housing, click here or the image above. Photo by MHProNews, of the classic Monopoly game.  The longtime Parker Bros game product is now produced by Hasbro.

But let’s draw to a close today by saying, that after years of failures and disconnects, Why should MHI be trusted by anyone not a part of their inner circle?

MHARR is exploring expanding their membership.

Other company leaders have touched-based with MHProNews, saying they are exploring doing the

  • networking meetings,
  • trade shows,
  • promotion,
  • education,
  • post-production lobbying,
  • instead of MHI.

There are estimates that for less money than MHI spends, more could be done – and done more effectively – to Protect, Educate and Promote (PEP) the industry.

PEP-P.E.P.-Protect-Educate-Promote-mhassociationmantra-postedmastheadblog-MHProNews

A leading MH state association exec’s mantra we love to share.

MHLivingNews and MHProNews are prepared to support intelligent efforts to supplant what MHI does.

Why not let the big companies keep their big boys club?

Why not let there be an association that works on behalf of everyone else?

Feedback on this is welcome.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHProNewsMHLivingNews5StateConventionMastheadBlogMHProNews

Click on the graphic above to learn more about the rapidly approaching 5 State event.

L. A. “Tony” Kovach is the managing member of  LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.  The Masthead blog represents that editorial perspective, and may or may not represent the views of sponsors or others.

MHProNews is open to a diversity of professional viewpoints.  We routinely seek, get, and publish feedback from industry professionals that represents a range of diverse views and backgrounds.

 

MHI is once more invited to publicly debate via video, available both live and for later playback, their track record on protecting and promoting the manufactured home industry.