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Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

April 22nd, 2018 No comments

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

BestWarrenBuffettKevinClaytonClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayAnnualMeetingCompetitiontheMoatVideoCollection

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

Short Warren Buffett On Clayton Homes
Allegations of Discrimination, CNBC

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

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

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

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

 

Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes Related Videos

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

 

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

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

 

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

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Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry News, Reality Check

April 4th, 2018 No comments

ClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeIndustryNewsRealityCheckMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Clayton Homes made the news several times in recent days. As a heads up to readers, this mentions legislation, but that isn’t the headline topic. The example that follows exemplifies a reality check that will tee up an “Aha! Moment” for many.

The subjects Clayton Homes has been included in mainstream media reports included such topics as their support for the amendment proposed to S. 2155. That amendment is based upon the Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) rule proposal found in the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. That’s fine.

The point? What’s the Reality Check? 

  • Clayton Homes,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Warren Buffett and his family like son Howard,
  • can get into the news virtually any time they want to do so.

That said, why doesn’t Clayton routinely go after each and every example of mistakes made in the mainstream media about manufactured homes?

2018-04-04_1725ClaytonHomesInManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMastheadCommentaryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLet’s rephrase for total clarity.

    Berkshire Hathaway owns a press release service.

   Berkshire Hathaway owns numerous media outlets.

   As one of the nation’s largest home builders, Clayton could correct each and every example of mistaken reports in the media.

   Clayton has their own communications and marketing people.

   The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) also have public relations (media) professionals.  For years, the MHI executive committee has included 2 of the 4 seats held by Berkshire Hathaway, plus years of Tim Williams, President and CEO of 21st Mortgage as MHI Chairman.  The other 2 of 4 the executive committee seats had ties to Berkshire Hathaway too.

Clayton, MHI and Berkshire Hathaway can comment on – or correct the record on – any misleading, mistaken, bad terminology – – anything! – – associated with the industry.

Will anyone seriously question that claim?   Please, send me a response that explains this topic in some other logical fashion.

Given that premise, that Clayton/MHI could correct any or every flawed media report, how about this question. Why don’t they do so?

For over a year, we’ve done a periodic test. It’s this.  We’ve contacted mainstream media about a problematic news report about manufactured housing that they ran. We ask, has Clayton, MHI or others in the industry contacted you about this? In essentially every case, the answer has been “no.” One example was in Clayton’s home state.  The routine answer was, no, they’ve not reached out at all. (The exception was the Urban Institute, where Clayton and MHI were promised anonymity, per informed sources at UI – see that, linked as a resource below.)

Why does Clayton and MHI allow poor terminology about manufactured homes to continue to go unaddressed? For example, why do they allow the media to call a manufactured home community a “trailer park?” [sic].  Why do they allow any bad information to go unaddressed?

TrailerParkGoogleNews442018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

These are just some ‘trailer park’ [SIC} news stories this week. This happens week after week, year after year. Given that no one I’ve ever met aspired to be ‘trailer trash,’ can you see why this terrible terminology needs to be tackled? Where is Clayton and MHI on this or other negative media related issues?

 

In interview and discussions with home owners and professionals, concerns about being stigmatized by the term “trailer trash” ranks high. It’s a reason millennials have given for not even considering a “mobile homes” – manufactured homes – as an option (see related reports, linked below).

Image and misleading information directly or indirectly costs the industry hundreds of thousands of new home sales per year.  That’s billions in sales a year.

Why doesn’t Clayton and MHI go aggressively after that improper media reporting and terminology issue? Not with more lame advertorials, which industry statistics prove beyond a doubt failed to move the needle for the industry.

DarrenKrolewskiMHVillageDataComp=PostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Darren Krolewski, Co-President at MHVillage, DataComp.

I asked Darren Krolewski during the Tunica Show why the millions who watch a classy Clayton video, or who visit Clayton’s or MH Village’s websites aren’t buying more homes?  Krolewski said publicly and privately, he doesn’t have a good answer.

We do. A big factor can be summed up with improper information and image. Pretty pictures and videos alone will not fix this. What will? We know this from experience in the field with clients.

Correcting the record, time after time, lifts the industry’s shoppers from interest to buyers.

Now I happen to believe that Warren Buffett, and Kevin Clayton are intelligent people. Tim Williams said it himself. There’s a good case to be made for correcting the record each and every time.

So why don’t they???

 

The 64 Billion Dollar Question

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famous for the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, famously observed that when you eliminate the possibilities, whatever remains must be the truth.

Kevin Clayton said over 6 years ago that they were “ready” then to do an image/public relations campaign.

They can get in the news when they want to do so. Why don’t they fix this?

As a state association executive told me today, MHI has a full time media person that could make that routine outreach whenever negative, inaccurate news hits. 

Then why don’t they do so?  Here’s the answer to that, the plausible premise…the Reality Check

  • Warren Buffett said he likes a bargain.
  • Buffett also commands his company presidents to expand their “moat” year after year.
  • By keeping the industry’s image problematic, it obviously keeps new manufactured home sales at a lower level than it would otherwise be
  • That in turn arguably hurts every other business of every size engaged in manufactured housing in America.  That means that other factories, retailers, etc. can be purchased cheaper than they otherwise would be.  
  • It also means that their market share can grow, until the day comes that they take their foot off the brake peddle.

Isn’t this stating the obvious? That’s the reality check. They can get in the news.  They can correct poor reporting, every time, if they wanted to do so.

Clayton and MHI are not responsible for every piece of bad news that hits the media each and every week. But they are 100 percent able – and thus, responsible – for not doing all that they can to fix bad reports when they occur.

Those MHI “image” videos and advertorials are clearly ineffective. The only thing those videos and advertorials do is give them a fig leaf when they are questioned about the topic of image, media engagement, marketing, public relations, and education.

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The facts don’t lie. MHI has admitted at times that the industry is still performing at historically low levels. Why? Isn’t poor public perception, fueled by problematic and flawed media reports part of the problem? Then why doesn’t Clayton and MHI address each and every flawed report? Former MHI Chair Tim Williams admitted that it is a valid approach. Then whey not do it?

Their failure to do so is part of what keeps the industry suppressed. It logically keeps the prices paid for buying the factories and retail centers of others lower than they otherwise would be.

We can call this an allegation that manufactured housing is struggling due to the apparent failure of Clayton, Berkshire Hathaway and MHI to act.

Or we could say the obvious. They have the resources. They know the need. Tim Williams admitted the logic of correcting the record in writing to MHProNews.

The level of acceptance of manufactured housing is directly tied to this issue. Others like financing also have Clayton, Berkshire and MHI finger prints on them as to why they are unresolved (see related reports for details).

Don’t they obviously the MH Industry to remain small, until they’ve consolidated enough that they take their foot off the brake peddle? Isn’t that the reality check for today?  The truth that’s hiding in plain sight? “We Provide, You Decide.” (C) ## 

Related Comments, Quotes and Reports:

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Since these comments and others, 21st Mortgage has reportedly been paying Rolfe for promotions, and Rolfe has stopped making these kinds of public critiques of MHI, Berkshire Hathaway or Clayton Homes.  http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-blasts-mhi-for-poor-media-engagement-industry-reactions/

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews-500x277FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

 

Warren Buffett Success Secret$, Video Interview Including “The Moat”

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 24th, 2018 No comments

DennisHillJenniferHallDorisHydrickSCMHISouthCenteralManufacturedHousingInstitute2018TunicaShow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Retirement…

As someone approaches retirement, several things can happen.

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

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

careful public positions are often taken.

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

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

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Industry Trajectory

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

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

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

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

 

Berkshire Hathaway, MHI and the Resistance

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

You 3 don’t have to speak out publicly.

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

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

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

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

 

Thinking Out Loud

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

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

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

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

 

What’s Coming?

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

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

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

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

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI-21stMortgageKevinClaytonClaytonHomesManufacturedHoomeCorporationsPlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

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

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

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

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

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

No announcement needs to be made.

No challenge or gauntlet has to be tossed down.

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

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

Think about the trajectory.

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

 

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

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

Resistance is wisdom.

Resistance will bring its own rewards.

We chose not to be slaves of monopolistic forces.

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

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

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

Related:

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

Tunica, Nashville Trade Shows and Manufactured Housing Glory Days

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

Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Photo Report, Day One

4 F’s and True Believers

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

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

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

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

 

‘Over Target’ Reactions, WHA Exec (ret) Ross Kinzler, Won’t Defend MHI Policies & Points to Prior MHI Failure

March 4th, 2018 No comments

HeavyFlakRossKinzlerOverTargetReactunWHAExecRossKinzlerWontDefendMHIPoliciesPointsToPriorMHIFailure

I have no comment on MHI’s legislative agenda.”
Ross Kinzler.

 

The [MHI] Urban Design Project didn’t have any lasting market effects.”
Ross Kinzler

 

Priceless, direct quotes.

 

Why Priceless?

They are significant observations – and de facto admissions – by someone ‘defending’ MHI, and their ‘new class’ of manufactured homes.

The rest that follows are details, context, and commentary.

Briefly consider the point Ross Kinzler made about a prior MHI project that he used as an analogy to the MHI-backed ‘new class of homes’ concept.

 

Kinzler raises the interesting comparison between MHI’s previous ‘Urban Design Project,’ which didn’t perform as planned, and the MHI proposed “new class of manufactured homes.”

It is Ross who said the Urban Design Project had no lasting market effect, a nice way of saying MHI didn’t move the needle.

Aren’t those polite phrases for failed?

Keep in mind that Kinzler has reportedly done some consulting for MHI.  Yet, Ross won’t defend MHI’s legislative agenda.

That speaks volumes.

The rest are useful details and commentary, but if a reader stopped right here, the take way is that MHI’s prior ‘similar’ project failed, and MHI’s legislative agenda won’t be defended even by those who have been or are paid by MHI, or whom MHI staff has called ‘affiliates.’

Kinzler, has reportedly done consulting for MHI, and yet he still won’t defend their legislative agenda?

Why not?

Aren’t those two directly quoted sentences by Kinzler at the top warnings for every independent community, retailer, producer, service provider, and lender?

 

CityScapes at the Mills of Carthage; Boston and other cities, are you Listening?

(MHLivingNews has spotlighted one of the HUD Code
manufactured home projects dubbed
the Urban Design Project that Ross Kinzler’s
comments referenced.)

 

To Be Fair and Accurate, There are Many Possibilities

There are several possible reasons why Kinzler, or others in the MHI camp, don’t want to defend MHI’s legislative agenda.  We are not casting any dispersions on Ross, Amy or any others.

People can make good faith errors, and good faith mistakes in reasoning.

That, by the way, is one of the reasons why public debate can be healthy!  If there is an honest fact or analysis error, let that be logically aired out in public.

Which begs the question, why then does MHI and their surrogates often duck such debate? When key questions are asked about MHI, Berkshire Hathaway, et al, why do they all go quiet?

But as the CSUN – California State University – says in a report on logical fallacies, one of the reasons to know and spot errors in reasoning, is that once an error is spotted, that error can be removed from the discussion.

Doing that saves time in the long run.  Such honest, intellectual analysis dates back over 2,000 years.

Why keep repeating some variation on a logical error?  We’re doing MHI members and non-members alike a favor by spotlighting what look to be logical, legal or other errors.

 

What Sparked the Flak

ICYMI, the email in the article linked below is part of what sparked all of this flak this past week.

Keith Anderson, CEO Champion Homes, MHI ‘New Class’ Monopoly Concerns Memo, ‘Harms Owners, Independents’

 

Nathan Smith on the MHI Agenda and Track Record

I credit former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith for admitting during the video below that MHI needed to admit the associations prior mistakes, and make an effort to learn to avoid them.  Smith’s admission was an important step. But have MHI’s leaders in fact learned from prior errors? Is there any consequence for MHI leaders from failures?  In the private sector, a mistake costs jobs or money or both.  What happens when MHI errors?  Where are the consequences?

 

 

One possible reason why Kinzler won’t comment is MHI’s legislative agenda and history is simple.  The MHI track record and agenda are not an easy to logically defend or explain.

MHI’s Rick Robinson, an attorney trained in debate and objective analysis, won’t defend MHI’s position either, nor will he or anyone else at MHI do so.

Why not?

Ross_Kinzler_credit_Community_Connections_posted_on_MHProNewsSo Kinzler’s in plenty of company when it comes to not defending MHI’s agenda or track record.

Another reason, as this writer replied to Kinzler is that the logic, history, ethics, and theories behind the MHI agenda are dubious at best.  It’s a relevant point.  In fact, Kinzler was the one that pointed out the steep decline in manufactured housing production, and noted the harmful ripple effects throughout the industry.

average-shipment-per-decade-manufactured-home-posted-on-mhpronews-com d

There are tons of negative impacts for low volumes of new MH sales. One is that there are fewer used homes on the market. Image credit: Ross Kinzler – Wisconsin Housing Alliance.

 

Perhaps that explains in part why after years and millions of dollars in efforts, MHI key agenda items have not passed. Positions like the arguably contradictory position on the DOE Rule led to a flip flop that MHI leaders don’t want to admit.  Their flip flop on Clinton/Trump, their flip-flop on Pam Danner/HUD, etc. all can reasonably be seen as falling into that category.

 

But once more, in fairness, there are other possibilities. What we know is that Kinzler won’t defend MHI’s agenda, and neither will MHI publicly defend their agenda; why not?

Those who seek the truth on any subject want solid answers to reasonable questions. Curious minds want to know…

ThoushallNotCommitLogicalFalllaciesYourLogicalFallacyPlatoAristotleSocrates575x1673

The “Straw Man” argument is one of the common fallacies that are used – intentionally or inadvertently – that can misrepresent the facts. The chart above shows some of the more common logical errors, but another not shown, that is used when George Allen enters a discussion is the red herring.’ Allen also likes ad hominem attacks. By intent or by mistake, the fallacies in reason lead people to wrong conclusions.

 

Kinzler Defended Bliss, A Deeper Look

Kinzler indicated he was defended his colleague Amy Bliss. But Amy was not attacked.  Ross ‘defended’ Bliss by what’s known as “straw man” arguments. He said things neither MHProNews, nor this writer have said.

Perhaps Kinzler misread?

Then, Ross ducked the same questions and opportunities to discuss by phone to clarify possible misunderstandings that was offered to Bliss, why?

Keep in mind, I personally like and respect Amy and Ross — so this isn’t personal, from our side of the fence, this is a purely professional disagreement.

Think of it as a clinical doctor’s analysis — what do the tests and the facts reveal?

RedHerringDefinitionFalseArgumentDistractionMisleading

Wittingly nor not, George Allen often falls into red herring and ad hominem tactics. When those are used intentionally, they are designed to distract or belittle, without actually answering the questions under debate or discussion.  For someone trained in debate, their use signals the weakness of the argument of those who use such methods

 

George Allen, a Bit Different?

Neither Kinzler nor Bliss accepted the offer to discuss items by phone, to clarify understanding. While written words are useful, they can be misunderstood. The combination of written and spoken words can thus become one way to avoid misunderstandings.

Allen’s situation is perhaps different.

He made an interesting revelation, saying he has quit MHI.  He’s not alone.

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

Then, Allen says he hasno dog in the hunt,’  but begins blasting away furiously with attacks on the person (= ad hominem fallacy) or red herring tactics.  Those have been an Allen-isms traits for some years.

But what’s revealing is the fury of the defenders of MHI, without actually addressing the specific points made or concerns raised.

Why weren’t specific questions, being directly answered?

 

Don’t Bother Me With Evidence or Third Party Report’s…?

There’s an old saying, ‘don’t bother me with facts, my mind is made up.’

  • Rick Robinson
  • Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison,
  • Lesli Gooch,
  • Amy Bliss,
  • Ross Kinzler,
  • George Allen and others have ducked out on dealing with specific concerns raised by voices inside the industry and those outside of the industry.

For Allen, that’s perhaps particularly problematic, because he claims the mantle of defending independent communities.  Is he failing them, by not digging into the realities? Why is he now denying concerns on similar issues he himself has previously raised?  Has Allen flip-flopped? Doesn’t he see the contradictions in his reasoning?

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

 

Personal Example Makes a Professional Point Useful to Manufactured Housing

My friends, family, and relationships include people of many faiths and backgrounds. Among them are various kinds of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and non-believers. My parents raised us, thank God, with lived examples of how you treated all people with respect, and dignity.

People of good will can have disagreements.

So the response? It ought to be to examine issues, and if someone is mistaken – to show them their error.

But that isn’t done by name calling.  Even when we strongly disagree with Mr. Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway or MHI, we aren’t name calling or mud-slinging. Rather, we provide evidence, quotes and voice concerns in a professional manner.  Let them reply, if they can.  If they can’t perhaps that answers why they began ducking out on engagement, discussion or debate over a year ago.

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

Bliss can speak about conspiracy theories, but when many have provided evidence, how can you call it a conspiracy theory any more?

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

Honest discussion is not accomplished by twisting the other person’s words, or by using false evidence, or misleading arguments.  In fact, manufactured housing advocate, the Rev. Donald Tye Jr. has raised several important points, which will be useful in upcoming articles.

“F-Bombs” Fly – Cursing Manufactured Housing and Tornadoes – Engaging Public, Experts, Officials, and Media

Soheyla had an article this week were we showed some of the vile name calling people post or send on the tornado and manufactured housing topic. It is linked above. The typical response made by this writer begins doesn’t start by cursing them back in return.

Let’s close with a very personal analogy, and I asked permission before sharing this.

My younger brother Tom Kovach holds very different views on a wide range of issues, and leads a life quite different than my own.

NormanTranscriptTomKovachWard2CityCouncilDemocraticCandidateMstheadBlogMHProNews

While I consider myself a centrist and independent, my brother Tom is pretty far left in many items of Democratic politics. But Tom can be reasoned with, and he and I don’t typically take offense when we disagree in a policy, moral, religious, or other issue. The point is that people can disagree, respectfully.

That said, we are brothers. We love and respect each other. Yes, at times we’ve exchanged thoughts in ways that hurt the other’s feelings, but we get over it, forgive as is needed, and move on.

I don’t have to agree with him, nor he with me, to have a rich intellectual discussion on a topic we disagree about. We don’t call each other some vile name.

tim-williams-CEO-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-21st President and CEO, and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams said in our exclusive interview with him a number of very important ideas. One of my favorites is Tim’s fraternity example. It’s terrific.

A fraternity is at the root a brotherhood.

Brothers – kinfolk, family – ought to be able to disagree with respect.

 

MHProNews has focused on facts, concerns, documents, behaviors, trends – which is a kind of history – and evidence. Where does the logic of a position or case take someone?

I strive to hold no personal animus toward anyone in the industry, including those who have demonstrably wronged others or us, or have generally been unjust.  Telling someone to ‘go to hell,’ or worse solves nothing.

If MHProNews is wrong on an interpretation, then that should be thoughtfully refuted, right? George or anyone, where is the need for rude name calling, or manipulative debaters tricks?

If my bride and I were the only two on the planet who believed these concerns, there might be a better cause for others to say ‘conspiracy theory,’ as Bliss said.   If we were the only ones to say, there is a risk from monopolistic behaviors, then mischaracterization by Ross, Bliss, or as Allen did  – 9BTW, I’m well aware of Allen’s nice side, and we respect and value his service to our country0 – could make more sense.

I like Amy and Ross on a personal level. But liking someone doesn’t mean you have to agree.

If MHI, Tim Williams – who can be very charming and likable too – Warren Buffett  – ditto – or anyone else wants to debate the issues, let’s do so publicly, where the industry can tune in, and we should do so with mutual respect.

No cheap shots or debaters dodges, like those in the chart above, are needed.

My sincere belief is that the evidence shows that MHI is being used as a tool by the largest companies in manufactured housing. They are being used to advance an agenda that benefits those larger corporate players, and often hurts millions of home owners and millions of potential home buyers too.

I explained in a recent post how my view about MHI evolved.

 

What Tim Williams, Dick Jennison, Rick Robinson, Lesli Gooch, et al, Taught Me About the Manufactured Housing Institute

If we at MHProNews know about or suspected a problem, and failed to report it, you could say, shame on me.

If we report concerns, and readers opt to ignore or think differently, that’s a reader’s absolute right as a free person.

But to ignore the growing body of evidence from sources inside the industry and outside the industry, is to do so at one’s own peril.

Now You Will Hear — the Rest of the Story

To paraphrase Jim Ayotte, all of us can only act upon the insights we have available at the time. We then do our best, based upon those insights.

BeatSwordsIntoPlowsharesIs2-4-MastheadblogMHProNewsWe believe the states have done far better on the whole than MHI has. Others in the industry say so too.

We believe that MHI has demonstrably made blunders for years.  Rather than admit them now, as then MHI Chairman Nathan Smith did a few years ago, they and their surrogates are demonstrably using tricks and tactics to duck, dodge, distract, detract, diminish, or defame.

That’s wrong, in my view.

If they were right, they have attorneys who are trained in debate, who could make us look foolish in public, with straight up debate.  No tactics. I have no such advantage, no such formal training in debate.  I think the last formal debate I was in, was high school or maybe even junior high.

So why doesn’t MHI bring out their Ph.D. and attorneys and debate?  Or why doesn’t Clayton Homes, et al, do the same?

Let them try to honestly refute the concerns of voices across the political divide about monopolistic tactics.  Again, see the link above from the recent report by The Nation that cites monopolistic tactics and names Clayton Homes.

Let them explain ethically why they kept others who do publishing as members, and not MHProNews (and our related operations)? No one ever accused me of disrupting an MHI meeting, nor of breaking an MHI rule, did they? All I ever did was ask questions, and offer different views if that seemed wise.  Aren’t they violating what their 990 filings claim? Don’t they want feedback from their members?  Or do they only want yes men and women, who fall in line, as the industry continues to get consolidated by a few?

Why would MHI single us out, ‘marked [us] for elimination’ as sources at or with MHI have said?

These folks are arguably hiding not one thing, but many things.

Those who ignore the evidence do so at their own peril.  On these issues, my conscience is clear.

Beating Swords Into Plowshares

And He [God] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4, Bible Hub)

TheyShallBeatTheirSwordsIntoPlowsharesUNBuildingWikipediaMastheadBlogMHProNews

The above quote is inspired and well intented. But it misses the key words that proceed the same verse: And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Dig through the various reports, and ask, if they could refute any of it, why don’t they do so? ##  (News, analysis, and commentary. Note 1: this post will be updated with downloads of statements emailed by Amy Bliss, Ross Kinzler and George Allen, among others. Note 2: where issues have not yet been litigated or determined by legal authorities, the word ‘allege’ should be construed as needed in the above as part of our analysis and statement.)

 

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

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

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

What Tim Williams, Dick Jennison, Rick Robinson, Lesli Gooch, et al, Taught Me About the Manufactured Housing Institute

February 11th, 2018 No comments

 TimWilliams21stMortgageMHIChairmanRichardDickJennisonPresidentCEORickRobinsonSVPGenCounselLesliGoochForCongressMHISVPMastheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Hindsight is twenty-twenty. Warren Buffett doesn’t need to convince me or gain my agreement with him on that point.  On that and the value of history, Mr. Buffett and this Masthead writer would agree.

Buffett and we agree too on the value of research, reading, asking, listening, probing, and understanding.

For the record, people can disagree professionally, without disparagement.

We’ve said not one word against Clayton Homes’ products, nor against the vast majority of their people, nor against most of those in MHI’s membership, etc. In fact, professionals from those operations and 21st are among our sources. That should be obvious from the kinds of insights, quotes, etc. that we’ve produced over the last year or so.

We agree with the Urban Institute’s stated principle that evidence and the facts should guide research.

There must be good reasons why leaders at Clayton Homes, 21st, and MHI won’t engage us in a public, video-recorded discussion or debate forum. One of the reasons why they won’t do so was suggested in yesterday’s blockbuster Daily Business News report on the Urban Institute, linked below.

 

Was the Urban Institute Misled, Duped, or Part of a Manufactured Housing Industry Scam?

But another point to consider in why they won’t publicly discuss our concerns and allegations is this. Logically, if they were correct and we were honestly mistaken, they could prove it, right? Or logically, even if they know they were wrong, they could attempt to spin the truth, etc. But how do they argue against so many of their own facts, documents, track record, and their on-the-record statements, and quotes?  Isn’t that a compelling reason for them to duck, dodge, distract, and delay, instead of engaging?

21stMortgageCorpTimWillamsJune112009LetterBerkshireHathawayWarrenBuffettClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-704x768 (1)

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

 

What They Said, Did, and Didn’t Do That Taught Me About the Realities of the Manufactured Housing Institute

Give MHI credit.  Their mixers are pleasurable.  You’re at some nice resort.  The networking has value.  All of that ‘social glue’ is arguably part of their way to keep people distracted from the sad reality that as a lobbying organization, MHI has failed to advance an agenda that helps the majority of the professionals in the industry.

We’re far from alone in believing that to be true.  State associations have now quit MHI for exactly that reason.

Maybe you have to be an ex-smoker to learn how to passionately oppose cigarettes. FYI, that’s an analogy, I’m not a smoker. Or with the same proceeding disclaimer, maybe one must be or know a former drug addict to realize just how horrible addictions can be.  As an ex-multiyear, MHI member, I’ve learned the hard, painful, and expensive lessons.

Media Should Re-Visit Dodd-Frank Reporting in Light of Congressional Testimony

 

One need not look too far back on MHProNews and MHLivingNews to realize that we supported MHI on several, but not all, issues.

Renters’ Nation: The Dark Side of Dodd-Frank and Its Impact on Affordable Housing

RichardCordrayCFPB-ManufacturedHousingRegulationsCSPANstill-InsideMHvideoPostedMHProNews-com-

While still an MHI elected board member, MHProNews created this graphic. It summarized key admissions by Cordray. Why did MHI never use it?

How Did We Come to Be Members of MHI?

Years ago, MHI members convinced me that if our organization – MHProNews/MHLivingNews/consulting, et al – wanted to be a force for positive change in the manufactured home industry, we simply had to become members of MHI.  Those voices – however well-meaning they may have been – where they in hindsight mistaken?  Or perhaps unwittingly, did those voices lead us into an unsought, unexpected, and undesired – dark grace?

A current MHI member company president told me at Louisville that what MHI has been doing for years ‘has made no sense.’ He reminded me that ‘Tony, you [MHProNews] are challenging people’s paradigms.’ He said what we know: some don’t get it. But others, like him, do get it.

Others are in between.

If that company president had a choice, I’m not sure he would be an MHI member. Why do I say that? Because he thanked me for all that we are doing to spotlight what is actually going on in our industry. As in the case of many companies, he too reports to others…

That MHI member is not alone, others have personally told me similarly.  Clearly, there are MHI cheer leaders too.

RichardDickJennisonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCEOIndustryMHLivingNewsDailyBuisnessNewsMastheadBlogMHProNews

MHProNews and our sister operations spent thousands upon thousands of dollars supporting MHI efforts on Preserving Access. It was a waste – save this. It forced us to look deeper into what was really going on at MHI. The photo is a still from a video, and on that video, Jennison promised – promised dozens in that room that Preserving Access would be passed. It failed. In hindsight, given POTUS Barack Obama’s promise to veto the bill, what where they thinking?  Or was it there as a show of effort, while the industry consolidated in the hands of fewer and fewer big ccompanies?

 

With that backdrop, the truth is I had several industry voices telling me – literally from the day they met Dick Jennison – that they didn’t trust the man.  I freely admit to arguing against their view, Jennison seemed like a fine gent to me. But they in time were proven right. I was mistaken.  You may have heard the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”  It was Jennison himself over time – by word, deed, and omission – that proved their points.

A different, high profile, MHI member president told me recently that he wished Jennison had never been hired.

But as noted, for some time – I liked Dick, mostly up to the point that:

Ø  women then working in the MHI office made a point of contacting and asking me to help them with a ‘hostile workplace’ issue, and they pointed specifically at Dick.

Ø  and up to the point when on camera, he began to argue for slow growth.

I was stunned at both of those bullets.

I think Tim Williams/21st would not deny in a court of law that I was stunned by Jennison’s on-camera statement, because I took it up with him personally not long after that occurred.  What association president worth their salt – working in an industry where most were then struggling for sales – would argue for slow growth?  Perhaps the most logical way to understand it, was covered in yesterday’s Daily Business News special report.

 

Nathan Smith

I liked Nathan Smith too, he’s an easy to like guy. To this day, Nathan is likeable! But how did it square with his electric personna of his that he didn’t lift a finger to even inquire about the allegations of those women in the MHI office, complaining about Dick Jennison?

In the #metoo era, in hindsight, doesn’t that looks bad?

Sexual Harassment-Not Just Hollywood, Media, Politicos-Manufactured Housing Workplace Claims, High Profile MH Cases Too?

 

Tim Williams, President & CEO of 21st Mortgage, Prior MHI Chairman

Tim Williams and I had several fine conversations over the course of many years. I quite liked the gent. I recall Jim Clayton telling me how smart Williams is.  I to this day, I would honestly agree. Tim Williams/21st is a very smart man. Judging from the kind words he gave MHProNews to publish, he liked us too.

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOPresident-currentMHIChairman-onValueMHProNews-MHLivingNews-

 

But how did it square with Buffett’s claimed support for integrity, that Williams defended Jennison and Gooch, who had sent out a message to MHI members that was pure spin, deceptive half-truths, and not the full truth?  Why did he defend Jennison, when he arguably should have been removed his MHI president?

Or why would you reward Jennison with a raise and bonuses – a national association CEO – who year after year, failed to accomplish what the assocation said was their goal? Once more, perhaps the best way to understand that decision or those bonus/raise is covered in yesterday’s MHProNews special report.

 

Rick Robinson, SVP and General Counsel for MHI

Rick Robinson is a nice guy too. Rick is witty, clever, and a fine writer. But he was also apparently happy to look the other way when questionable things were happening at MHI.  Perhaps you can chalk it up to doing his job as an attorney for his client?

TonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressRickRobinsonMHISVPGeneralCounselMastheadMHProNews

The topic was HUD, and Rick Robinson would not take questions from MHProNews, at the very time that the HUD issue was raging in MH industry circles. As a state executive told MHProNews, if they liked their position, why not get as much publicity as they possibly could?

 

These are just a sampling. These and other examples that could be cited took this writer from someone who was pro-MHI, to now, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ vantage point about that same organization.

 

Tim Williams in San Antonio

I didn’t need extra sources to tell me that Tim Williams stated in a room with a few dozen MHI members in it, the following. That neither Williams/21st, nor Vanderbilt (VMF), turned over data that the GSEs wanted to make DTS happen in a more robust fashion. Having sources is arguably often better than relying on yourself. But I heard Tim say as much with my own ears, and I was watching the then MHI chair saying it when he was only a few yards away from where I sat in the same meeting room.

It was a stunning set of statements.

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

 

HUD and MHI

There came a point in time when I no longer needed sources to tell me that MHI was shadow boxing.  MHI was posturing that they wanted to modify HUD’s over-regulation. As noted above, having other sources – which we do – is often better.

That said, I personally asked numerous top-level MHI people face-to-face in San Antonio a variation on the following question. Where they going to support the removal of Pam Danner from her role at HUD?

Not one person in leadership would answer that face-to-face question!

LesliGoochforCongressManufacturedHousingInstituteMHISVPGovtAffairsRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMastheadDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Think about it. Lesli Gooch has been exactly as successful on getting the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act passed into law as she was at getting elected to Congress…. think about it, because it isn’t a put down. Those are the sad facts.

 

Lesli Gooch, MHI SVP

Lesli Gooch’s otherwise fine letter last summer about Regulatory Reform – re: those executive Presidential orders – missed what is arguably the key point. Gooch never mentioned removing Pam Danner at all.  That statement of her’s is now public record.

How is that possible?  These are intelligent people. I’ve never called them unintelligent.

So, they surely knew that logically, the head of HUD’s MH department had a lot of power, for good or ill. Not removing Danner could make everything else they claimed to be trying, useless.

That’s how shadow boxing works, isn’t it?  All show, no go?

When the most award-winning independent retailer in MHI history told us on-the-record that he supported Danner’s re-assignment – and Doug Gorman considers Danner a personal friend – how could MHI turn a blind eye to that, and so many others who raised concerns with MHI about Danner?

Cowards?

It was after returning from San Antonio that MHI sent me an unsigned letter, with no names on it, saying I’d been removed for membership because it came to our attention that I was trade media. ‘We have no such category for membership.’  What? Don’t they claim to represent ‘all aspects of factory-built housing?’  Doesn’t MHI have (and had) members who publish, not just us?  Hypocrisy?

It was pure farce.  A cowardly fiction.

LATonyKovachMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHCMD-com

Because my last MHI meeting badge – which we’ve kept as evidence – clearly reflected that we are both media and provide other industry services.

 

What These Talented People Taught Me

Talent can be used, or misused.

Rephrasing the above.  It was their own behavior, time after time, plus ongoing feedback from MHI members — including voices within the Clayton-21st circles – that began to compel me to rethink MHI.

Add to that MHI staff action, inaction, and years of failure that forced me one-step-at-a-time to realize what they in fact are doing to this great industry.

They don’t actually fight regulations, do they?  How could they claim otherwise, when in the DOE rule they are on the record as having advocated for them?

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Shifts on DOE Regulatory Rule, Report, Analysis

They don’t fight the CFPB, when their own Government Relations Vice President said that it Would Not get past then President Barack Obama’s veto – if it ever made it that far.  It never made it that far.

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

It was prominent MHI member Frank Rolfe who told me that his congressman told him that it was a waste of time to try and pass the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.  Ouch.

 

 

We editorially disagree with Ishbel Dickens on rent control, and a number of other industry and communities’ issues.

MHCs and Rent Control – Cure or Cause for Affordable Housing Crisis?

Candidates, citizens talk rent control, manufactured home community issues at ice cream social

But Dickens told me she offered MHI a compromise – to modify the MLO Rule that harmed everyone – if MHI/21st/VMF would drop their desire for the higher points and fees stance. Others in MHI later confirmed what Dickens said. Her email, is below.

IshbelDickensPhotoNationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssocNMHOALogoDailyBuisnessNewsMHproNews

No open minded, thinking professional can ignore so many things, without putting a head in the sand.

Remember, these are just a few examples, there is far, far more.

In my own defense, I was never MHI’s yes man. Tim Williams said as much. I thought them wrong on the DOE Rule, and we editorialized on that point. I thought them wrong on the MHI stance on the fire sprinkler issue, etc.  We supported what we could, and asked politely about what seemed to make no sense.

MHI’s 990 claims they want member input, but apparently they don’t mean it?

 

Some Members Have No Choice…

I get it that many MHI members have no choice.  They tell me that they are compelled by fear, and other forces to be MHI members.

As a long-time MHI guy warned me, “Tony, these guys have long knives.”

I heard that, we understand.  But nothing changes until it is challenged.  Besides, frankly, the more public the challenge, the safer you are likely to be, IMHO. Look at Andy Gallagher. He may have committed, in the eyes of some at MHI, a faux pas. But because it was public, Gallagher is still safe in his job.

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

But Gallagher and Ayotte made just the point that we did, only differently. Pam Danner must go.  They were waiting for some magic green light to say what MHARR, Bob Crawford, Doug Gorman, MHProNews, and numerous others had said for some time.

After months of MHARR, MHProNews, some states and businesses pushing for the change, now Danner – thankfully! – is gone from the job over the HUD Code manufactured housing program administrator’s role that she had held.

But Danner is not gone because of MHI!  Rather, Danner was removed in spite of months of foot dragging by MHI.

Shake Up at HUD Manufactured Housing Program May Stop Industry Overregulation, per MH State Association

Isn’t that what the record reflects?

Are they going to seriously point to their silly resolution in Congress, rather than the obvious ask of directly calling for the removal of Danner – plus add those same concerns, as examples of why Danner needed to go?

Why has MHI so routinely been the last one to take the correct stance?  Even their former chairman admitted that the assocation had made numerous past mistakes.  MHI failure to get it right is why one of the states – see link above or below – dropped out of MHI, and they explained their reason for withdrawing.

It’s a sad, but necessary indictment of the truth about their record. Years of failure for the majority of MHI members, but those years of failure pays off for those big companies looking to consolidate the industry’s smaller companies at bargain basement prices.

That’s why the letter from AZ is so important. One of their points was along those very lines.  They pointed to success by the RV industry battling regulations that MHI failed to accomplish.

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

Great point, isn’t it?

 

The End of the MHI Charade?

The

Ø  MHI charade,

Ø  or con job,

Ø  or whatever allegation or terminology one might want to use to describe it,

is not over.

 

But the MHI mask is falling off for many.

No doubt, some big companies benefit from MHI.  That’s why the organization still exists.  The big boys are happy with it.

Pragmatically, we know some who feel that they must stay, because they have no choice. But doesn’t that arguably make MHI more of a protection racket, than a normal trade association?

Extortion? RICO? Allegedly Illegal, and Dirty Side of Manufactured Housing, Exposed

 

But every single small-to-mid-sized member is arguably feeding the hand that bites their own.

MHI is firmly in the Buffett-Clayton outlined moat that uses non-profits and foundations as part of their moat-building process.  Invest the time to hear Kevin Clayton say so in the video linked here, in his own words.

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

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

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

 

The MHI Berkshire Hathaway Challenge

In fairness, MHI only does what their masters allow them to do.

Let them publicly debate in Tunica, on a video recorded discussion they and we can video too.

DebateMastheadblodTonyKovachMHProNews

MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

Let them have a panel of their experts – whomever they want! We’ll bring a panel of industry pros, and our experts too.

Let their panel try to prove our panel wrong, on any of the claims or concerns voice here or elsewhere on this pro-industry trade media site.

WithoutDebateWithoutCritismNoAdminNoCoutnryCansucceedNoRepublicCanSurviveJohnFKennedyManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

 

Do you think they have the guts to do that? If they were in the correct, why wouldn’t they?

 

The MHI Mask

Their act of trying to mitigate regulations, when they routinely fail in that – that’s getting harder and harder for them to say with a straight face.  Their clever MHI mask is falling off, slowly but steadily. Their track record is sad, isn’t it?

We editorially applaud MHAZ and their colleagues in Nevada who had the wisdom and the guts to quit MHI.  Let me assure you, that wasn’t an easy choice for them to make.  I don’t have to ask that, its understood for anyone who understands the tragedy that has been taking place in this industry.

MHCommunitiesOfAZNealTHaneyPresidentWhyTheyQuitManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

As the Trump Administration slowly gains more control at HUD and elsewhere, expect MHI to lose credibility as a result.  That doesn’t mean they won’t have short term connections that still periodically pay off in D.C., for what Buffett called their Moat.

MH Lending, FEMA and False Profits (and False Prophets)

Circling back to the opening headline.

Tim Williams. MHI President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison. Rick Robinson, MHI Senior VP and General Counsel, SVP Lesli Gooch, and others – one-step-at-a-time – helped me to see what’s really going on.

There’s far more.

But let me draw towards wrapping up this analysis and commentary, with the following.

Like Frank Rolfe, it didn’t on its face make sense to me why MHI would so often not defend the industry from media missteps, nor celebrate good news when it came from someone besides themselves.

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

For years, as an MHI member, we promoted the good news of manufactured housing, in the most robust way in the industry’s history, on MHLivingNews.

Why didn’t MHI support those efforts?

We were members for years, why didn’t they routinely draw attention to the good news about manufactured housing we were promoting?

Even now, when we are clearly in different camps, why wouldn’t they call attention to important pro-industry news, like the two examples posted above?

Paraphrasing Rolfe’s parallel point, it made no sense…

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

*** …unless one realizes that MHI for many years has worked with Clayton, 21st etc. to keep industry sales low. *** Why? Arguably, by keeping sales low, that allowed Warren Buffet Moat to consolidate more of the manufactured housing – into the Berkshire/Clayton/21st et al “Moat.”

It’s shrewd.

It’s long term.

It’s exactly in keeping with Mr. Buffett’s and Kevin Clayton’s own words.

We were never alone in being betrayed by MHI. That’s other stories, for another time. Because numerous others have been betrayed too.  I’ve listened to the stories of some, and they are often heartbreaking.

I can picture the faces of some who had that stunned ‘deer in the headlights’ look, as they described their professional plights and tragedies to me.

At the time that some told me, some of that I didn’t understand in its full significance. Now, in 20-20 hindsight, I do.

Later, as the truth slowly dawned upon us here at MHProNews, after all those voices and examples and more added up, it became clear that harming independent professionals by the thousands didn’t matter to these people.

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

That in turn hurt millions of Americans, who may – if MHI had defended the industry every time the media or some researcher gets it wrong – have been living in a manufactured home happily for years.

Defining a Problem without Offering a Solution is Just Whining. So, What’s Next?

In no particular order of importance, the following should occur.

Given all that we now know, it is my sincere hope that for the sake of the industry, MHI be disbanded, as a hopelessly tarnished brand.  That won’t happen overnight. They were given many chances to change course and reform.  They declined that every time. So, given all of the above facts, evidence, concerns, failures, and allegations — how could that mess in Arlington, VA seriously be reformed?

It is my belief that MHI’s being disbanded may happen to them,

Ø  through legal actions, started by aggrieved members, and perhaps non-members too,

Ø  as part of anti-trust efforts, that they will likely be caught up in,

Ø  unless MHI disbands themselves, voluntarily, before-hand.

As we noted in yesterday’s report, people are innocent until proven guilty.  But an attorney we asked told us they see anti-trust action as a real possibility.  As we’ve done throughout, we must call all of these matters allegations, because that is what the suits tell us we should say.

But you as readers have the ability to discern fact from fiction, with common sense, and by looking at the facts.  Skimming these facts will never lead you to the correct conclusion. That’s Buffett’s biggest edge, he reads!  He invests the time!  Only for those who make a serious study, a half a day, a day, could do it.  Start with the videos and links, above and below.

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

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

I don’t believe MHI can survive the string of alleged abuses long-term. So, the industry needs to prepare another option for the post production sector. Thankfully, for producers, there is already the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

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

But all others need their own voice too, as MHARR has long advocated.

Others, like the AZ community owners’ association, are hunting for their own representation in D.C.

These are de facto votes of no-confidence in MHI.  Whatever modest role we may have played in exposing the MHI charade, we’re happy to have done, within the norms of remaining pro-manufactured housing industry.

Because we don’t believe the industry can achieve its great potential, until Berkshire Hathaway’s brands and their allies are at least put into check, and MHI is supplanted.

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

If any of the above is wrong, please. MHI, Clayton, 21st – show me where, and I’ll modify this post.

If any of this is wrong, then let Clayton-21st-MHI gather a panel, and let us gather a panel  We’ll debate it publicly in a third-party moderated forum, and video the entire discussion, so that the entire industry can see it. There is not a day go by that we don’t pray for them, pray for the honest liberation of this great manufactured home industry, and pray for you too.

ProblemSolutionTiredOfFightingGiantsInARiggedSystemMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews600x2345

iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com Put “News Tips” in the Subject Line.

What more needs to be said today?

AllTruthPassesThrough3StagesRidiculedViolentlyOpposedAcceptsSelfEvidentArthurSchopenhauerQuoteGalleryMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, fact checks, commentary.)

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

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

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

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

February 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

DarkMoneyKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews550

 

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

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

 

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

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

We believe that too.

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

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

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

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

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

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

2018-02-02_1630UrbanInstituteManufacturedHousingIndustryAffordableHousingCrisisReportMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

ConflictsOfInterestGoogleMastheadManufacturedHouisngIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Conflicts of Interest = COI.

 

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

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

Pardon me?

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

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

 

Conflicts of Interest – COI

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Begging the Questions…

That clear lack of transparency begs several questions.

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

 

Non-Profits, Foundations and Manufactured Housing

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

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

Research is often done by nonprofit organizations.

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The Manufactured Housing Institute is a non-profit.

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

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

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

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

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

We will boil it down to its essence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Manipulated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

So too has Warren Buffett.

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

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

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

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

 

Recommendations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressRickRobinsonMHISVPGeneralCounselMastheadMHProNews

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

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

What are they hiding?

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

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

RentVsBuyingHousingAnalysisWhatsBestKenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews660

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

 

Parting Takeaways for Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

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

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

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

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

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

January 26th, 2018 No comments

FactsmatterFormerPOTUSObamaHUDSecDrBenCarsonPOTUSDonaldJTrumpManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHProNews550

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

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

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

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

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

There have always been those who’ve distorted reality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MHARRCongressionalLobbyingFilingDisclosureDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

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

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

Not true.

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

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

MHINewsUpdate1242018ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

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

Does MHI Politicize Facts?

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

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They know.

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

They knew.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facts matter.

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

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

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

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

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

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOPresident-currentMHIChairman-onValueMHProNews-MHLivingNews-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Other Side of the Coin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

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

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

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

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

Simple Summary

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

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

Facts matter.  Reality is what it is.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

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

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

The future of the industry is potentially bright.

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

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

TruthLiesFirstGetYourFactsStraightThenDistortThemAsYouPleaseMarkTwainMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHproNews

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

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

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

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

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

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