Archive

Archive for the ‘Manufactured Housing Industry Reports & News’ Category

It’s Your Profession – Investment of Time, Talent, Treasure – So What’s Next?

December 13th, 2018 No comments

 

ItsYourProfessionInvestmentTimeTalentTreasureSoWhat’sNext600x315

Political correctness – the PC movement – is arguably a form of manipulation and control. 40+ years ago, long before the PC culture took hold, people were aware of the notion that we should be polite and respectful of others. The baby boomer generation were the ones that made greater racial, religious, gender, and other forms of equality an ever-greater reality in America.

 

A recent study reflected that pay gaps have largely been proven to be a matter of choices. Men, per that study, earn more because they put in more overtime. That’s a choice. Within the norms of morality and good laws, choices should be honored.  

MailChimp says roughly 97% of our audience is domestic U.S. and Canadian. There are investors and factory-built housing professionals from across the country – and in other nations around the world – that read MHProNews. Why? Because we seek the truth, lay out facts, provide evidence, and let people make better informed decisions as a result. We don’t mind taking what some might deem to be politically incorrect positions. 

It has been almost a year since a gentleman from outside our industry – a high level executive for a multi-billion dollar organization – asked me face-to-face, why isn’t manufactured housing doing much better than it is? He had spent hours at the Louisville Show, was dazzled by the homes, and was stunned by the value.  

That was a senior executive. Someone with seasoning, a keen mind, not a greenhorn. 

Which is precisely the reason he asked that powerful three letter word question: why? Why isn’t manufactured housing performing better?

Our linked reports further below explore those issues, based on facts, evidence, and following the money.

When I joined the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) some years ago at the urging of industry peers, I expected to find people that wanted to see the manufactured home industry grow.

Indeed, most MHI members most certainly do want growth. 

As the son of a world-class philosopher, as a business professional with decades of experience in high-volume MH retail with high customer satisfaction in manufactured housing, and as a pro-industry and pro-free enterprise publisher, the years at MHI ticked by with little changing. I asked questions. I made suggestions. I was elected by peers to the Suppliers Division board. We did reports on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

So we would politely advocate for what experience and logic told me was common sense.  

We interviewed almost anyone we wanted to talk to, including:

  • Jim Clayton – Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank,
  • Joe Stegmayer – Cavco and former Clayton division president, 
  • Tim Williams/21st Mortgage Corp,
  • Don Glisson Jr, Triad Financial Services,
  • ELS’ the late Howard Walker facilitated extensive authorized interview quotes from Sam Zell,
  • Sam Landy – UMH Properties
  • Nathan Smith – SSK Communities,
  • Frank Rolfe – who with his partner David Reynolds got tons of media by being politically incorrect and accessible,
  • Mark Weiss and Danny Ghorbani at MHARR,
  • MHI Presidents Thayer Long and Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, 

and the list goes on to dozens of pros from every sector of the industry, including John Bostick, who is a respected independent’s independent.  

Those I’ve not mentioned in the brief list above should not feel slighted – because you know who you are, and so do long-time readers. Those interviews are still being read or viewed.

I’ve also not mentioned by name the dozens and dozens of homeowners with whom we did genuine interviews.  Nor does the list mention the many experts outside of our industry that we have on-the-record statements from, useful for clarity on the truth about manufactured housing.  

We did a report yesterday on the Daily Business News that includes this video by Sharyl Attiksson, award winning journalist. She walks viewers and her live audience through the “fake news” phenomenon. You can later access the video by the star journalist by clicking on the box below, which links to the report.

 

“Check Your Facts,” “Follow the Money” – Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Fake News, MHVille Takeaways

 

There’s numerous salient points Attiksson makes, which is precisely why we curated and presented her talk to our industry-leading audience.

People who love us, or hate us, and those in between read here daily by the thousands. Why? Because we follow the money, follow the evidence, ask the questions, all while comparing claims to performance and deeds.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Third party data per Webalizer, on Dec 1, 2018. In a small industry, the market penetration of professional readers is striking. We thank sources, readers, and sponsors alike.

 

People have the absolute right to support MHI, and I’d freely admit there were numerous pleasant and insightful conversations there. But what about actual performance? How do they – and their primary backers – live up to their claims? 

This is where MHI award-winner Marty Lavin’s wisdom comes in, when he said the following.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe

 

Danny Ghorbani left MHI back in the mid-1980s. He was asked by independent producers to help form a new association. That trade group today is known as MHARR – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform. Recall that in the 2018 Washington Post report, MHARR was revealed as the industry’s true hero re: Pam Danner (ICYMI or need a refresher, see hot-linked box below for details). MHARR has no top level turnover in years, by contrast, why has there been so much turnover at MHI?

 

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

 

As a report linked below reflects, when Danny ran the Louisville Show, it was a much bigger event than it is today. 

Attiksson makes the point in her TEDx talk that when you hear the same taking points over and over from mainstream media, you should ask, why? With so many media outlets, how is it that so many use the same phrases, the same words, the exact same talking points? 

As you explore trade media in manufactured housing, there are some variations. Some are arguably mere MHI mouth pieces. Some exist primarily to benefit the blogger. We respect their rights under the First Amendment to do so. 

But who besides MHARR and MHProNews routinely ask the tough questions about #NettlesomeThings 

We’ve done our share of ‘happy talk.’ But the facts – year after year – at MHI meetings is summed up in what a member CEO said, it is always more of the same.  

If MHI or Clayton Homes truly had the answers for what ails our industry, at what point will they actually show it?  

MHI claims they’ve exposed tens of millions of Americans to manufactured homes in 2018. If so – if they did such a fine job with their multiple-million dollar budgets – why are only 100,000 (+/-) Americans going to buy a HUD Code manufactured home this year???

 

ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHILogoMHIVideoStillsMillionsofViewsMastheadBlogMHProNews-400x768

Even if MHI’s claims are true – properly analyzed – are an embarrassment to them and anyone involved. If they really had an audience of 84 million, and if their work was so good, why are so few manufactured homes being sold? Their promo video is arguably a magician’s slight-of-hand. Look here! Big Numbers! Oops, poor results…Why Aren’t Others in MH media spotlighting this obvious problem???

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews-756x768 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoOctober2018HUDCodeHomeShipmentsDeclineMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews600

Both MHProNews third-party site stats plus feedback from professional readers, many of whom are MHI members, tell us that the industry’s professionals and investors want meaty reality checks, not more MHI pie-in-the-sky-in-the-great-bye-and-bye.

 

Why after praising MHProNews in writing and on video – numerous times – did they rescind our membership? Did we ask too many questions? Did we make too many suggestions that could result in real growth that years of experience proved would work when done correctly?

 

 

Or MHI’s then education-division leader (MHEI), Ann Parman’s praise for our presentation to MHI members at their Congress and Expo, urging proper media engagement to correct-the-record as issues arose. 

 AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadblogMHProNews800

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadMHProNews-500x277

MHI can’t claim ignorance, because their former Executive Committee Chairman, Tim Williams was asked and answered about the logic of doing media engagement to debunk every single case of misinformation. MHI has a PR person that works full time. As an MHI member said recently to MHProNews, what is that PR person actually doing?

 

Is growth for the many in the manufactured housing industry the agenda at MHI? Or – as their own evidence suggests – is their real agenda the consolidation of the industry into ever fewer select hands?  Click the box below for more details later, but move on for now.

 

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

 

We at MHProNews respect the rights of factory-producers to build whatever kind of homes they want to build that meet appropriate standards. Clayton experimented with the iHouse and iHouse 2. It was their right to prove themselves unable to successfully market it, despite lots of publicity.

 

ClaytonHomesiHouseChevyVoltGreenBridgeFarmsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Ever wonder whatever happened to the Clayton iHouse? Or Clayton Homes iHouse 2? Not much, very few were sold, and so it was quietly dropped, per sources at Clayton.

 

  • Clayton and MHI both made a big deal about their image and ‘story telling’ videos. A bust. The views and the new home shipments data prove it. 
  • Clayton made a big deal about their relationship with then uber-popular Duck Dynasty. Remember that? Why no surge in retail-sold new home shipments?
  • Clayton made a big deal about a year ago regarding their TV ads on college football games. Huh, why are shipments flat? #NettlsomeThings.

 

MHI’s own data says about 1/3 of new manufactured homes are shipped to communities. The REITs freely admit most of those manufactured homes (MH) shipped to their communities (MHCs) are rented, as opposed to being immediately sold at retail. Subtract out MH rentals in MHCs, isn’t the industry essentially flat since 2010?  

These are all warning signs that industry investors and pros discuss with me off-the-record.  

Why do independents that once spoke freely on the record, now fear speaking out publicly?  Heck, why did historically outspoken Frank Rolfe stop calling MHI out and their failed, hypocritical leadership? Those were his words, not mine. 

These are #NettesomeThings, aren’t they?  

Nettles sting if handled improperly. But properly understood, nettles have medicinal qualities. 

Our purpose on MHProNews isn’t to embarrass Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Nathan Smith, MHI, MHVillage, or anyone else for that matter.   

Our purpose is to reflect reality. Those stinging nettles are meant as a cure – which is positive – by spotlighting the problems. Until a problem is properly understood, you can’t fix it. You don’t ask a doctor for happy talk, you ask an MD for the truth, and then the treatment that’s needed to achieve a cure.

The so-called ‘new class of homes’ is arguably going to be the next Clayton and MHI backed fiasco. It’s the absolute right for everyone in the program to be in it. 

But it is our absolute right as a pro-industry publication that wants to see the industry grow to ask the tough, #NettlesomeThings questions. That’s for medicinal purposes. Don’t blame the messenger, look at those whose behavior and track record requires that the message be made.

 

Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMashteadMHProNews600 (1)

 

If we at MHProNews were wrong about any of these matters, why do the Clayton’s, 21st and MHI duck our questions, that for years they once gladly answered? Why don’t they just prove us wrong? They would if they could, right?  

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Rick Robinson, a MHI’s SVP and general counsel, ducked questions at the Deadwood conference in front of dozens of witnesses, just as Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison did at Louisville in 2018.

We periodically ask MHI and the Berkshire brands to show us any fact or logical errors. To quote some comments from MHI and other state association members, “Crickets.” No reply? Why? 

It is MHI’s own members that are troubled by this so-called ‘new class of homes‘ plan, see the related report accessed by clicking the box below, once you’ve finished reading this column.

 

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

The new class of homes logically will undermine over time all other HUD Code homes. Some, per our sources, were promised, prodded, and persuaded into doing them – which again is their right to decide to produce them or not. 

But as multiple MHI-only members have told us, the new class of homes is illogical. Why not build them modular, MHI producers said, if you do all of these changes? 

Why misdirect those Duty to Serve dollars away from HUD Code homes, which is what the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) called for? That’s some of what MHI members are telling me.  

 

 

The Costly Consequences 

Are you a HUD Code manufactured home lender? Mark my words, the value of your collateral will over time arguably be undermined by this misguided program.  That could happen if it succeeds, or even if it is tried for years and fails, as Clayton’s iHouse did.  

Are you a retailer or a community operator? Mark my words, the value of your residents’ homes will decline if this program is pushed. Why? Because the natural question – as MHI members are telling us – will be, why won’t the GSEs give us the same terms and conditions on all other HUD Code homes? The answer to that question undermines all other HUD Code homes.  

If the value of those existing manufactured housing residents homes declines, mark my words, the value of Manufactured Home Communities (MHC) will be impacted. Who says? Among others, legal and communities pros in our industry — who’ve raised these concerns directly to MHProNews. 

Keep in mind that sources in the GSEs have told me personally that this program was conceived backwards. One admitted it could backfire and harm the HUD Code. If so, that source said then they might change it. What?  

Ask yourself — why did they want this done between MHI, the GSEs, and Berkshire brands behind closed doors? Why wouldn’t they release the meeting minutes?  

For all of those who have been given proper notice as to the risks involved, consider the liability. I doubt the E/O policies will cover the losses from such a clearly flawed program.  

Who will do the lawsuits? Contingency lawyers, who are already exploring it, based upon the conversations and messages already sent and heard by me personally.  

Who will they sue on behalf of, you ask? Those millions of HUD Code Manufactured Home Owners, for one group.   

MH Community operations that are MHI members, if you don’t speak publicly out to object to this MHI plan, can you spell liability? 

Publicly-traded companies that don’t speak out publicly? Can you spell shareholder liability?  

Build those HUD Code homes however you want, within the norms of the performance standards, but my best advice is to publicly and promptely kill this term ‘new class of homes,’ right now. Then, stop the separation in HUD product that meets the Fannie Mae ‘MHAdvantage’ standards. Don’t let Freddie Mac do it either. 

Remind Fannie and Freddie that the HUD Code has nationally preemptive standards that should already be accepted. 

 

Who Will Survive This Looming Slow-Motion Tragedy? 

Pardon me for mentioning the fact that only one operation has pockets deep enough to survive the possible – arguably likely – wave of legal actions.  

Berkshire Hathaway, right? Recall that Kevin Clayton said in the video below, that “Warren” would be okay if he lost money for 5 years, as long as he grew his moat. Why not take Kevin at his word on that point?

 

 

For those that don’t know or don’t recall, there were big class action lawsuits years ago on plumbing and siding. Do we think at this current production level, that many in the industry’s producers – or other firms – will survive the logical trend of this emerging threat?  

Every business they put out of business, only helps the big boys, per their own “moat” theory, correct? 

 

The state executives who are caught in-the-middle or feel pressured on this, I don’t envy you. But you won’t be needed if the industry eventually vanishes in a logically coming wave of litigation. That’s why some of you are off-the-record sources for us already.

 

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

For those who think that they can pressure or dissuade MHProNews from speaking out about #NettlesomeThings — you’ve obviously misjudged me and mine. 

The time is now – now – to stop this slow-motion catastrophe.

It is also time – now – to forge the new post-production association and/or alliance structures that can keep those who remain in MHI in check.  Otherwise won’t the folks In Arlington, VA only keep making the same purported multiple years of errors that caused NMHCO or MHIdea to launch?

 

“Lots of Sizzle,” Clayton Sales Performance, Other MHI & Clayton Homes News Tips

 

It’s arguably a slow-motion head shot. If I’m wrong, then let Kevin, Tim, Eric, Dick, Lesli et al take a stage in Louisville with me in 2019 and debate it publicly on a video taped session, so all of manufactured housing and the world can see it. 

Ladies and gents, are you up for it? 

Why is manufactured housing underperforming? Could it be that it’s been undermined from within? 

 FrankRolfeObsticalToGrowthManufacturedHousingIndustryItself-postedMastheadBlogMHProNews

 

 

MartyLavinHUDCodeDeadlyDiscriminationCode-IndustryVoicesMHProNews-e1472170900504

There is a cost to ignoring bad news, and Marty Lavin’s put his finger on it. But as Rolfe and others have directly or obliquely mentioned, it is powers within the industry that have failed to defend the industry.

 TheManufacturedHousingInsittuteLogoManufacturedHomeIndustryOtherImageCampaignMartyLavinMHILogoMHProNews

That’s my two cents –  as someone invested in and who cares about this industry – based upon years of research, industry input, third-party experts, logic, and experience.  

AllTruthPassesThrough3StagesRidiculedViolentlyOpposedAcceptsSelfEvidentArthurSchopenhauerQuoteGalleryMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

If there is a flaw in the facts and reasoning, anyone who wants to speak up on behalf of the Berkshire brands in MHVille, or MHI are hereby invited to so do. Want the details behind the logic? Then see the related reports, in the linked boxes, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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

AlanAmyRoyerMobileHOmesOpelousaLALATonyKovachMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryProNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

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

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

Understanding the News as Business, and Manufactured Housing

 

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

 

 

Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows, Controversial Profitable, Problematic Issues Loom

 

GIGO, Esther Sullivan, Clayton Homes, Boston Globe, GSMOL on ‘Manufactured Insecurity-Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place’

October 17th, 2018 No comments

 

GIGOEstherSullivanPhotoClaytonHomesLogoGSMOLlogoBostonGlobeManufacturedInsecurityMobileHomeParksAmericansTenuousRighttoPlaceMastheadMHProNews

Like millions of others, during my high school days and at the university, computer geeks used the acronym, GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out.” It simply means that if your input is bad, then the output is bad.

 

Similarly, when using logic, if the premise is flawed, then the conclusion is flawed too.

The GIGO principle holds in business or every other aspect of living. Someone like Professor Esther Sullivan – or those who cite her – may have grand intentions. But mistakes in her facts or a premise lead to false conclusions.

Esther Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Denver,” is the bio brief for her book, “Manufactured Insecurity Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place.”

Let’s note that your Masthead writer is not endorsing Sullivan’s tome, which I’ve not yet read. Rather, this is an analysis of points raised by Sullivan, in her TED Talk. Such talks normally distill the key points of a writer’s research. But to be fair, one should also consider varied viewpoints.

Here is what one fawning reviewer of Sullivan’s ‘Manufactured Insecurity-Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place’ said:

Through a beautifully executed ethnography, Esther Sullivan deftly details how for many living in manufactured mobile homes the façade of the American Dream often turns into displacement and disillusionment. Not only is this work a meaningful contribution to housing studies, it also advances our understandings of social inequality reproduction. For those interested in America’s private-market affordable housing challenges and how they perpetuate vulnerability mainly, but not exclusively, among disadvantaged whites, this is a must-read.” — Derek S. Hyra, author of Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City.

EthnogoraphyAnthropolgyUCLInfographicMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNEws

 

Here’s another reviewer praising her work:

Esther Sullivan has produced a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of manufactured housing in the United States. This is an outstanding and unique ethnographic study of park closings that deserves wide readership among policymakers, advocates, and scholars.”—Edward Goetz, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, author of The One-Way Street of Integration: Fair Housing and the Pursuit of Racial Justice in American Cities.

From those quotes of praise, and what they’ve published, you begin get the idea.

Here’s her publisher’s own plug for her book.

Manufactured Insecurity is the first book of its kind to provide an in-depth investigation of the social, legal, geospatial, and market forces that intersect to create housing insecurity for an entire class of low-income residents. Drawing on rich ethnographic data collected before, during, and after mobile home park closures and community-wide evictions in Florida and Texas—the two states with the largest mobile home populations—Manufactured Insecurity forces social scientists and policymakers to respond to a fundamental question: how do the poor access and retain secure housing in the face of widespread poverty, deepening inequality, and scarce legal protection? With important contributions to urban sociology, housing studies, planning, and public policy, the book provides a broader understanding of inequality and social welfare in the United States today.”

Sullivan says in the video posted below that she lived in communities marked for closure.  Hmmm, okay, but how does that give an authentic look at manufactured homes or communities?  Closures are obviously troubling and disruptive for many.  But thankfully, it is still the minority of communities where that occurs.  GIGO.  Her input is flawed, thus her premise is tainted too.

 

GSMOL, Clayton Homes, and the Boston Globe…

We don’t have to agree with all the policy points that the GSMOL (Golden State Manufactured Home Owner League) stand for to understand why some of their leaders might think Professor Sullivan has talking points useful to their cause.

 

EvictionsMobileHomeParksInsightsTexasFlordaGSMOLManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryAnalysisMastheadMHProNews

 

But then ask yourself this pressing question.

  • Why would Clayton Homes commission the Boston Globe article by Jon Guber that cites Sullivan and her work?

Shouldn’t community owners, and manufactured home owner groups alike sit up and question Clayton Homes motivations in spotlighting Professor Sullivan?  Is it possible that the wool is being pulled, to block vision?

 

AmericasMostInvisbileCommunitiesMobileHomeParksDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsTedXMileHighEstherSullivanManufacturedInsecurity

 

MH Industry Colleagues on Sullivan

Let’s begin with Sullivan. Manufactured home industry colleagues have said they tried to engage her, without success. Be that as it may, Sullivan needs to have an authentic dialogue with someone who will respectfully yet authentically test and challenge her premise and conclusions.

A careful look at the infographic below reveals just some of the factual errors found in her TED Talk.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

 

Further, Sullivan mixes and misuses terminology. How can a serious university professor misuse terminology with a professional straight face?

 

Terminology2HarvardFreddieMacNeighborworksManufacturedHomeDefintionMobileHomeTraileModularPanelizedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Typically, an author of a book distills in a talk some key points from their research. Her video is posted below.

 

 

SteveDukeLMHATheTerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDefinesTheConstructionStandardsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

 

Then, please read the Daily Business News report at the link below.

 

News Tips, Manufactured Housing Industry Comments on Big City’s Manufactured Home Promoting Commentary

 

Then read the original on Boston.

 

Are we ignoring — or outright banning — an easy affordable-housing fix?

 

Sullivan’s work is a mishmash of the accurate and inaccurate information. Because of the GIGO principle, the same is true of what Jon Guber published in the Boston Globe too.

Again, why would Clayton Homes commission that Guber advertorial?

 

 

Concerns Over Clayton Homes, and the Esther Sullivan Nexus

Once an objective scientist or serious researcher discovers a fact, spotting that point again later becomes easier.

Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway have attracted and/or generated numerous types of controversies.

 

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

 

The articles linked above and below are just two examples.

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

 

Thousands of manufactured home professionals ignored or overlooked such stories for years.  Why?  Haven’t they just continued to pop back up?  Does ignoring the periodic problems for the image of our industry help or harm manufactured home professionals and home owners?

Until recently, who was tracking the ties that Buffett’s money has with activist group, MHAction, via the Tides Foundation?

 

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

 

It can’t be said too often. Berkshire Hathaway has numerous media assets. Warren Buffett can get on TV almost anytime he wants. If they wanted to honestly and honorably grow the manufactured home industry and its reputation, why not run one legitimate article a month from each of their 31 BH Media Group outlets?

If the BH Media Group did that, there would be a parade in Google News that could rapidly change the way our industry is perceived.

Instead, they purportedly commissioned this article in the Boston Globe’s real estate section, that cites Sullivan? Excuse me?

Manufactured home industry pros and investors, do you see any good reason for Clayton to support Sullivan’s work, if they want growth?  For manufactured home owners, the terminology and several of her statements make manufactured homes look at best like a questionable investment.  How does that help your cause?

Finally, Claytons money connection in the background of the Taylor Swift campaign controversy reveals more evidence of mistyfing behavior – if they wanted a surge of growth at this time – that the industry’s pros should consider.

Some MHI member tell me they have no choice, they are ‘compelled’ to be members. If so, that speaks volumes.

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Once the midterms are over, and God-willing a red-tide is the result on the night of November 6, there will next steps needed.

They should include, but not be limited to, federal antitrust and other investigations of:

  • MHI,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Clayton Homes, and their related lending.
  • Amazon, Alphabet (Google, YouTube), Facebook, and Microsoft.
  • Concerns over FHFA, and the GSEs handling of the Duty to Serve manufactured housing must also be part of the mix.

Isn’t it increasingly clear that there’s as many internal as external reasons that the industry is at such historic lows?

As a manufactured housing industry pro posted on LinkedIn about the latest Clayton scandal, “Wow…Sad.”

So true. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhotoBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

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

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

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

October 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

LarryPArnnHillsdaleCollegeToEducateLeadingForthForAffordableManufacturedHousingSuccessMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews600

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

– Mickey Mantle

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Don’t Do It! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ItsUnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouveBeenPlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballHallFameMastheadManufacturedHousing 

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

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

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HomeOwnershipRatesUSCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-1USCensusBureauMedianAskingRentDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-666x768

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

Clayton Homes Ripped by Customer Complaints Spotlighted on ABC News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

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

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

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

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

 

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

September 11th, 2018 No comments

 

NationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssocLogoMHActionLogoMastheadManufacturedHomeCommentaryMHProNews600x315

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Decisions, Decisions…

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

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

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

The industry often opposes these.

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

 

With the Table Set Above…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMar

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Compare – and Decide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Trump has been:

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

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

UCDavisUnitedStatesPovertyRateSince1959to2015DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

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

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

Superficial thinking has arguably gotten:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

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

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

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

September 2nd, 2018 No comments

 

The late Howard Walker, longtime vice chairman of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), and prior Treasurer for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had at times a brusque sense of humor.

 

Often the best part of many association or corporate meetings are when networking and socializing occurs. In fairness, that statement applies to MHI too.

From time to time, like on a Labor Day weekend, my mind flashes back to an MHI or other industry event. At the moment, I’m thinking of Howard Walker, who boldly approached at an MHI event, during the wind-down of a social/networking period a few years ago.   

The room was emptying. At the moment, I don’t recall the tune I was humming or singing from to those who remained, but perhaps it was from the 1812 Overture. Regardless, the melody was from a classic.  

As that melody was proclaimed, Walker approached, bearing a feigned anger and vexed look. It was quite convincing. He blurted out in my direction, “Tony, how dare you bring culture to a manufactured housing event!” 

His artificial anger melted into a smile.  We discussed culture, music and the classics. As it turned out, Walker enjoyed the classics and cultural activities too. 

There are those on the outside looking in that have a ‘T-word image’ of manufactured housing (MH), manufactured home communities, and by inference, the professionals in this industry. To be sure, some among the MH industry’s own have that view of the business, and/or about themselves. 

Not Howard. He valued culture and the classics. 

 

O Fortuna!

For those who don’t know Carl Orff’s rendition of O Fortuna from Carmina Burana, here you go. This video clip has had over 21 million views on YouTube. Ya gotta believe that it was worth the time for those who viewed and listened.

 

To round out culture, and connect it to our industry, let’s toss in some Henry David Thoreau too. 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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

As a kid, my brilliant father – Francis J. Kovach, Ph.D – was into the classics. Every Sunday, the notes from some mix of classical music – plus the periodic opera – came from behind his routinely closed study door. As he did his writing or research on some book or for a scholarly journal, to keep his focus amidst a big family, in hindsight that closed door and music must have been an oasis of sanity amidst the chaos of a somewhat raucous family life. 

By the way, for those who recall the movie Excalibur, it had a scene or two where a short clip of O Fortuna was also the soundtrack playing. Here’s one clip from that movie with that soundtrack playing, that has over 400,000 views.

 

To achieve our industry’s potential, we must meet people where they are. We’ve spotlighted Elvis, Kid Rock, and Eminem’s connection to MHVille (see those linked under related reports, further below).   

Today, Howard, here’s to culture, the industry, and we raise this glass to you.  

Howard Walker, Mensch – Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), Manufactured Homes Retrospective

Culture, classics, and manufactured homes, wow… ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

Eminem, “8 Mile,” “Mobile Homes,” Frank Rolfe – Understanding Media and Public Perceptions of Manufactured Housing

Elvis Presley’s Personal Mobile Home Restored, Honeymoon Hideaway Up for Auction

“Po-Dunk” Performer Kid Rock, Eyes Senate Run, Makes Manufactured Home Living Hip

Fame, Pretty Little Liars Star Nia Peeples’ Mobile…err….Manufactured Home Tour, Featured on Oprah Winfrey Network Video

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

August 9th, 2018 No comments

 

FEDsBuffettsBerkshireClaytonHomesMoatManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIBillionsMarketManipulationAllegedMHProNews

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

 

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

TimeMagazineTerryDecioManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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

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

ScholasticCororatonFigure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

Realtor University, Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE.

 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

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

 

Media, Money, Government, and Market Manipulation

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

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

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

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

That’s reality.

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

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

 

 

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

Buffett arguably came to the same conclusion Belsky did.

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

That’s the truth hiding in plain sight. 

Belsky also noted that credit is the lifeblood of housing.

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

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

For the Record 

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

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

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

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

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

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticConcernManufacturedHome

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

 

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

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

MHI-21stMortgageKevinClaytonClaytonHomesManufacturedHoomeCorporationsPlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

These graphics reflect what the facts reveal.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

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

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

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

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

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e

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

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

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

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


SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 RichardDickJennisonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCEOLouisvilleManufacturedHomeShowByClaytonHomesDispalyPhoto2018MHProNews

 

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

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews48thMHINCClist

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

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

New Manufactured Home Industry National Association Related Statements

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

 

MobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearch-445x768

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

IthinkFairSawLowerThePeriodicCostSatisfactoryHousingTheGreaterOnAverageWealthCreation

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

 

Rephrasing the Truth

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

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

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

 

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

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuring

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

 

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

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

 

DrLisaTylerHousingSolutionInexpensiveEnergyEfficientGreatValueOpportuntiesObsticlesManufacturedHomeIndustryMHLivingNewsDailyB

See the related report, linked here.

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

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

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

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews-500x277

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

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

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

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

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

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

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

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

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

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

WarrenBuffettTheMoatQuoteMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

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

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

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

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

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

Now, what will you do with this knowledge?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

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

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-575x268

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

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

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

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room

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

July 29th, 2018 No comments

 

BlackstoneGroupLogoBainCapitalLogoCityLabLogoMHProNewsLogoManufacturedHousingHomeIndustryMastheadMHProNews

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bain Capital and Manufactured Housing 

BainCapital Logo

Logo provided under fair use guidelines.

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

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

Do you think mobile homes were ever discussed?  

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

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

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

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

Why not? 

Flashback almost

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

 

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

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

Stop and ask yourself this.

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

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

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

 

Mainstream Media Reality Checks 

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

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

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

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

 

Mainstream Media Reality Checks 

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

 

TheUrbanistCaseForTrailerParksMobileHomesManufacturedHomesCityLabJuly2018PhotoLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryLATonyKovachMasthead

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

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

 

OmahaWorldHeraldLikeSiteBiultHomesManufacturdHomesCanGrowInValueNotEasyClimbManufacturedHousingIndutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

$100 Billion Monthly?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Which current will win?   

Let’s mention two other factoids for now. 

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

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

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

 

What’s Still Missing for MH to Breakthrough? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Road Ahead?

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

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

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

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

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

Related Reports are below…

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

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

 

 

 

Related Reports:

Profits, Understanding Human Events, and Manufactured Housing

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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