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Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

May 17th, 2019 No comments

 

UltimateProvenContrarianInvestingEthicalvsUnethicalLegalvsIllegalManufacturedHousingIndustryStrategiesMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews

For the next few minutes, imagine a hedge fund or deep pockets investor. In the following blend of the hypothetical mixed with numerous significant linked elements of evidence formed by reality, picture in your mind the following.  Reflect on an outsider looking into why Warren Buffett – or other lesser known, yet successful investors – are into manufactured housing in the first place.  Manufactured homes aren’t normally viewed as a ‘sexy investment.’

 

Cool or sex-appeal aside, are the manufactured housing industry’s various segments potentially good investments?  If so, why – in some measures – is the industry underperforming?  Is underperformance an opportunity in disguise? Let’s review to gain perspective, before diving into the headline topics.

There are scores of other investment opportunities. There are speculative, but sexy items like: AI, technological, internet, automation, robotics, and whatever is after 5G.

There are tried and true fields of investment like automotive, restaurants, entertainment, health, sleep, furnishings, electronics, gaming, or anything that deals with the necessities of life: food, drink, clothing, transportation, and shelter.

There are also human emotional needs, physiological, sociological, and spiritual demands that could be described or explored.

What follows isn’t per se why affordable housing is potentially ‘the best of the best.’ But like the other basics of life, people routinely do their best when they have at least adequate shelter. So there is an obvious potential for a fine ethical development of investing successfully in affordable housing.  There is always a need for affordable homes too.

That begs the question, what’s the most proven form of affordable housing?

The most proven form of affordable shelters aren’t tiny houses, apartments, or any of the emerging technologies in shelter. For example, a 3D printed housing professional has told me they see turn key costs about $72 per square foot, plus land costs, not the lower shell house cost per square foot that some headlines hyperventilate over.  When reports – like the one below – sounds too good to be true, it often is.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t promise.  It does mean that the claims are incomplete at best.  Manufactured homes are still lower in cost, and have other benefits.

Media Claims New Story/ICON Builds 3D Printed Housing for $4000, Fact Check & Analysis

 

Prefabricated and modular, they all have their places in the housing puzzle, which is why Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Softbank, Revolution, and others are investing in that space.  There are also opportunities in maintenance of conventional buildings.

So, with that outline, what’s the most proven form of affordable housing in America?

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAmanufacturedhomesmobilehomesMHProNewsThe most proven form of permanent, safe, greener-by-design affordable homes are perhaps the least sexy from much of cultural or societal viewpoints. The most proven form of affordable housing are HUD Code manufactured housing, and the millions of mobile homes and trailer houses that came before them.

Yes, the terminology matters, because the terminology determines what code a home was built to meet. Hold tight to those thoughts. Don’t skim, or you’ll miss the investment bonanza that has savvy billionaires salivating.

 

Sam Zell

Investment mogul Sam Zell articulated the contrarian investor formula like this. “While others are going left, look right.”

It’s noteworthy that Zell told MHProNews news that they have “never lost confidence” in manufactured housing and manufactured home communities. Indeed, Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) routinely out-performs other REITs or equities.

Ponder Zell and those factoids, but don’t get locked into what others are doing – yet – until you have a more complete picture.  The problem for too many is that they don’t research carefully enough.  Too many presume they know something, when in fact what they ‘know’ are outdated or mistaken claims.

Warren Buffett has said that he only wants to be in industries that make sense. His Berkshire Hathaway is the largest player in manufactured housing production, retail, and finance today.

Buffett also believes in long-term investing in good companies, that he prefers to own.  He’s also known for so-called ‘value acquisitions.’ To Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger, an acquisition is a value if it’s ‘intrinsic value‘ is less than he paid for it.

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF)  are just 3 of many investments Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway has made in manufactured housing starting in 2003. Berkshire has invested billions into manufactured housing since. Those actions by Zell or Buffett – their ongoing investments, despite negative headlines –  speak louder than words.

Hang onto all of those points as we explore why manufactured homes are so misunderstood, and why the industry is underperforming. Because crisis spells danger, as well as opportunities in disguise. Before Buffett invests, he reads a lot. Some of what the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ reads is historic in nature, so let’s follow that cue.

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

Manufactured Home Policies, Realities Revisited Through the Lens of John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video

The debate over manufactured home lending regulations was raging in July 2015. The Hill in the nation’s capitol published a column about the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, linked here.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, and their manufactured housing (MH) related lenders of 21st and VMF backed the never-enacted Preserving Access.

Stating the obvious, the need for affordable housing with reasonable, sustainable lending has grown. HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently praised the way the need can be met by the “amazing” evolutionary value of manufactured homes.

The Washington Post published articles about manufactured housing, linked here and here.  The second WaPo link predated the satirical hit by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral video, errantly named “Mobile Homes.”

 

 

WaPo and Oliver’s video referenced a white paper co-branded by an activist group known as Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction). Oliver’s video obliquely spotlighted that each firm shown was a member of/connected to MHI, Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, or 21st Mortgage Corporation.

Hindsight can be 20/20.

In retrospect, it made no sense for MHI, Clayton, and 21st to pursue Preserving Access. MHI’s own SVP said as much.

 

JasonBoehlertPhotoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHISVPGovtAffairsQuotePreservingAccess

 

Before proceeding, some of what follows might appear partisan. Facts are what they are. We are non-partisan, and affordable housing ought to be bipartisan. Our platforms are frankly pro-industry as well as pro-consumer, and we will work with anyone that is keen on ethical practices and reality. Democrats and Republicans In Minnesota came together to praise in a bipartisan way the value of manufactured homes, which they first studied in depth.

 

 

That said, let’s look at some well-known facts.

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosMastheadLATonyKovachMHproNews> Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett backed Barack Obama’s candidacy twice.
> Former President Obama vowed to veto any change to Dodd-Frank.
> Buffett backed Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
> She similarly pledged opposing changes ‘weakening’ Dodd-Frank.

That begs several questions.

  1. Why did then-MHI Chairman Tim Williams – President of Berkshire-owned 21st – spend years and millions pursing Preserving Access when it was doomed to fail?
  2. Why did Williams’ back a bill his boss Buffett effectively opposed?
  3. Why did Nathan Smith of SSK Communities, the prior chairman to Williams at MHI, back the opposition presidential candidate to Preserving Access?

Hold those thoughts.

MHAction activists disrupted HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s speech at MHI’s 2018 event. MHAction previously protested controversial MHI member Frank Rolfe, and other MHI member MHCommunity operators.

The Golden State Manufactured-Homeowner League’s (GSMOL) president informed MHLivingNews that MHAction was funded by the Tides nonprofit. Double-checking, the GSMOL claim proved correct.

Who’s funded the Tides? Buffett-funded NoVo Foundation was the Tides’ top donor for years.

Millions of Buffett’s bucks – via so-called ‘dark money’ channels – funded attacks by MHAction, plus other nonprofits on MHI and Berkshire’s manufactured home (MH) industry’s brands.

 

What’s Going On?

Let’s be clear. Several business practices alleged by Oliver, WaPo, and MHAction are troubling.

But why does MHI – the national trade group supported by Berkshire – tolerate members engaged in embarrassing business practices?

Meanwhile, Buffett-Tides-supported nonprofit MHAction attack MHI members for irksome practices?

Investigators use basic questions and principles. Cui bono? Who benefits? Plus ‘follow the money’ and evidence.

 

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) code of ethical conduct encourages calling out the powerful. SPJ encourages public corrections as needed. This writer was technically correct in supporting Preserving Access. But in hindsight, my widely-read The Hill analysis was incomplete in the light of new evidence. The facts linked herein address amendments to correct-the-record, per SPJ standards.

Let’s step back to when Berkshire bought Clayton Homes.

Clayton’s production market-share of new manufactured homes was some 13 percent in 2003 when Buffett-led Berkshire purchased Clayton.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

 

A 2010 letter from Williams/21st, Buffett’s annual letter that year, and a subsequent video interview with Clayton CEO Kevin Clayton are provided. William’s/21st letter went to thousands of independent retailers. cutting-off lending to independents that failed to buy Clayton Homes products. In the wake of the 2008 housing/financial crisis, that 21st letter’s impact devastated independents.

 

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

This graphic is a snapshot of the industry at about the time of the Kevin Clayton in-depth video interview, posted on this linked page. In that video Kevin said what “Warren” teaches his managers about competition and the Moat.

 

Thousands of independent retailers failed. Meanwhile, Clayton grew.

Depending on the source you cite, by 2018, Clayton’s market-share of manufactured housing production hit some 48-50 percent, which included using the undisputed tactics documented here.

 

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

While several allegations of monopolistic practices have been made against Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway, this website and our sister site are the only one to date known to have produced evidence, using their own documents and words.  But the Nation, Atlantic, Seattle Times, and Guru Focus are among others in media that span the left-right divide that make similar points; namely, that Clayton and their related lenders behave in a monopolistic fashion.  The Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) have made several such references over the years too.  What makes MHProNews and MHLivingNews unique is that we’ve dug deeper, and documented how it was arguably accomplished, using Berkshire’s own documents and information.

 

I’ve asked antitrust and other lawyers to examine the linked evidence. An antitrust case could be forged. Investors, media, and public officials, please hold that thought.

Later, controversial MHI member Frank Rolfe accused the association’s former chairman Nathan Smith of “hypocrisy,” pointing to harmful mainstream headlines Smith’s SSK Communities sparked.  Rolfe also alleged that MHI failed to defend the industry from bad news or to promote good news. Odd? Is Rolfe – who has his own vexing image issues – correct?

As noted above, Minnesota lawmakers decided in a bipartisan report that affordable housing and manufactured homes go hand-in-glove.  Secretary Carson and former HUD Secretary Julio Castro both praised manufactured homes too. Why aren’t those items on the MHI website?

Why are there numerous third-party, university level, nonprofits, or federal research that praise manufactured homes missing also missing from the MHI website? The screen captures are collages from MHI’s search tool. They seem to support Rolfe’s claim.

Buffett gets into businesses he believes make sense. An arguably Machiavellian ploy is coming into focus.

It includes a ‘Rope-a-Dope’ ploy with respect to Preserving Access.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

Berkshire machinations arguably includes Buffett’s minions deploying ‘Castle and Moat’ ‘sharks in the waters’ tactics in manufactured housing.

Complex:

are all more difficult for smaller firms to navigate than a larger one with deeper pockets.

In hindsight, MHI’s “big boys” led-the-charge for a Preserving Access bill that was doomed to fail. The bill created the Illusion of Motion.” But Buffett’s bucks funded both the pro-and-con sides of that effort. It was arguably a rope-a-dope ploy, another shark in “the Moat.” Wear out independents fighting a rigged match.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe

Using the logic of Secretary Carson and the report linked here, this scheme arguably harms millions, and costs our economy hundreds of billions a year – what researchers said is the harm caused by a lack of affordable housing.  That’s an aspect of the opportunity in disguise.

Now, this same picture points to numerous opportunities in manufactured housing by using ‘white hat’ strategies vs ‘black hat’ ones. Meaning, Smith, Rolfe, Clayton, Williams/21st and others are going to be who they are. Use that by being different than they are. Think and be Contrarian!

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuoteMastheadMHProNews

Quote from an MHI member, business executive.

There are good laws on the books that make manufactured housing so appealing. Those good laws are not being properly enforced or implemented. There is a case to be made that the industry’s Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, there allies and surrogates have worked to suppress the usefulness of those good laws. If so, that’s a short term tactic.  Once they’ve obtained their own perceived ideal combination of political and economic scenarios, they will take their foot off artificial breaks.  At that point, the industry’s production could soar.  Why?  Because as the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told Forbes, there is a need for some 8.3 million housing units.

Only factory building can logically close that gap. For the reason, Yun asked Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton – Certified Business Economist (CBE) – to research manufactured housing. She did.  That expert NAR research, is linked here.  In her first footnote, on page 48, she kindly named this writer in her acknowledgements.

The evidence for that is subtle, but real. For example, why doesn’t Berkshire use their dozens of newspapers to each do an article every other week that debunks the misconceptions about manufactured homes? Or why doesn’t Buffett allocate money for a real image campaign for Clayton, instead of fig leaf efforts or a continuing stream of controversies? Or why does MHI – on their own website – fail to promote the numerous good news reports about manufactured homes that could lead more to invest in the industry, or buy more homes?

Who will argue that Buffett, Berkshire, Clayton, or MHI have made 15 years of mistakes?  Isn’t the more plausible argument that the axis are deliberately NOT promoting manufactured homes, so that they and their comrades continue to consolidate the industry at discounted values?  How to explain that the savvy, connected Nathan Smith admits the association’s past mistakes, but they continued to make them?  How to explain how he laughs as he says he wants others to stay out of the industry, so he can have all of the communities – his part of the industry – all for himself?

 

 

Learn yourself, contact or hire experts that can help you navigate the complex world of an arguably rigged manufactured housing industry.

Why bother chasing the manufactured home rainbow? Why go through the brain damage? Because the industry is underperforming. That’s proven by public companies investor relations packages.  That means the upside is pretty obvious.

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017MastheadManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

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

 

Each of these factoids paint a picture of an industry that should be roaring instead of snoring. The dark money trail of Buffett bucks fueling both sides of various fights – like Preserving Access – should tell the savvy that there must be something huge here, or why bother going to all that trouble?

Indeed, housing is a multi-trillion dollar field. How high might manufactured housing go? Consider what Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) Eric Belsky said not long before Buffett entered the industry that manufactured housing was poised to surpass conventional building.

 

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Was Belsky wrong? Or how about the numerous other third-party studies that came to similar observations?  Isn’t the better argument that Belsky and others never imagined Buffett reversing growth, so they could consolidate the industry at a discount?

Why has HUD Secretary Ben Carson said it is time to take manufactured housing out of the darkness of limestone into the brightness of the limelight? Could it be that he gets it that forces within the industry have hobbled the most proven form of affordable housing?

 

 

Let me say that having spoken personally with a number of federal investigators, I have no doubt personally – speaking as a 25 plus year proven, award-winning expert in this field, long-praised by some of the very people we now critique – that manufactured homes are underperforming not due to the ineptness of MHI.

 

 

Rather, the evidence suggests that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies are behaving as they do as a subtle manipulation of the system.  Only a handful of people need to be in the know to pull this off, so no grand conspiracy is needed.  It is what Senator Bernie Sanders or President Donald J. Trump fans might aptly call, “a rigged system.”  What’s this compared to what happened to Bernie in 2016?  Or to President Trump in 2016-2019?

Even Clayton’s local home town media has been pushed into admitting their are several ongoing federal investigations.

 

 

We’ve had the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune flung at us.  For example, MHI outside attorneys and other surrogates have threatened us in writing for publishing such revelations over time. But they’ve never filed suit. Why not?

We’ve given the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, their attorneys, and their allies numerous, documented offers to refute, explain away, or disprove any of those linked allegations. We’ve offered public, moderated discussions on camera – prove any of these fact elements wrong, or explain a different interpretation of these linked items. At each stage, they’ve declined. They’ve ducked it for some 2 years. Why?

Alan Amy essentially explains it in this short video. Manufactured homes are the future of housing. That why the billionaires and multiple billion dollar firms want their arms around this industry.

 

 

That should speak volumes to investors, as should this focus group. These participants almost all owned a conventional house first.

They love their manufactured homes. They were given $20 in gas money, and a meal to spend over four hours just so they could participate in this focus group. They had no other incentives, Dave their own self evident convictions. That too speaks volumes.

 

 

The video above and below are part of a series.

 

 

Advocates, lawmakers, and reporters should hold specific MHI-connected ‘Black Hats’ accountable, not the ‘White Hats’ of the much-needed manufactured home industry.

Let’s close by noting that some of the same people who’ve previously praised our work, have – perhaps understandably – turned on us since we’ve began exposing their alleged treachery.

 

 

It is also important to stress – not because of ego, but for outsiders looking in – that this is the largest, and most read medium of their kind in manufactured housing.  We’ve been praised by the big and small, for years, and while they may now jeer, companies of all sizes read us faithfully.  See the first of two videos that make the point, from those who’ve said so that were given no incentives to proclaim what they did.

 

 

A few deep pocket brands in the MH industry arguably rigged the system to the detriment of millions. Federal regulators – already investigating Clayton, 21st, and VMF – should investigate MHI and others for antitrust, fraud, and possible RICO violations.

 

 

And investors should consider the many ways how they could be a white hat brand that profitably performs a much needed service, while the black hats play their sad games.

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

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

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

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Related References:

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

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

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

May 13th, 2019 No comments

 RopeADopePreservingAccessManufacturedHousingActMomDadYouMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews

 

There may be no one analogy that is entirely precise enough to make the point that the promoters of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act purportedly hoped to accomplish with their bill. All analogies limp at some point, but those disclosures made, let’s begin with the ‘rope and dope metaphor’ from boxing.

 

Per Google and Bing:

 

rope-a-dope

/ˈrōpəˌdōp/

nounINFORMAL•US

  1. a boxing tactic of pretending to be trapped against the ropes, goading an opponent to throw tiring ineffective punches.

 

RopeADopeWikiGoogleMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNewsLATonyKovach

 

It is fair to say that most if not all of us have been wrong or misled about several things or people at various times in our lives. To make the point relevant in manufactured housing, let me hereby point the finger at my own chest, by hereby admitting to being misled myself.

In 2015 and before, this writer in word and deed supported and encouraged others to support the Preserving Access bill. While the bill was technically correct – a point that will be made further below – in hindsight, Preserving Access was doomed from the start.

In retrospection, the bill was arguably part of a hoax perpetrated on manufactured housing independent retailers, community owners, lenders, and others who supplied or provided professional services to the manufactured housing industry’s businesses. We’ll briefly make the case that the goal was to wear out marginal players, to cause them to sell out their business interests for less than the intrinsic value of their operation, and/or to fail entirely.

Rephrased, Preserving Access fostered consolidation and reduced values.  To see a current left-right snapshot of that issue more broadly, consider the Daily Business News on MHProNews report posted earlier today.  Senator Booker is one of several voices, on both sides of the two major party aisle, that has pointed to consolidation and monopolistic concerns.

 

Senator Cory Booker – ‘We Need a President…to Enforce Antitrust Laws,’ Digging Warren, POTUS Trump

 

In teeing up the notion that Preserving Access was a hoax, that’s not to say that it was a grand conspiracy involving scores of people.  That’s not necessary, as will likewise be revealed further into this fact-check and analysis. Literally a mere handful of professionals could have arguably pulled this ploy off.  The precise numbers and names – who knew what, and when – are for legal investigators to determine.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethical Conduct encourages several useful principles.

  • SPJ says that media are to be candid about errors made by journalists,
  • another is to hold the powerful to account.
  • This column aims to do both, and more.
  • Because not only where myself and thousands of others in our industry apparently fooled, the evidence and logic reveal that the rope-a-dope nature of the Preserving Access hoax has morphed and is ongoing.  Rephrased, this isn’t one and done.  It’s an ongoing ‘enterprise.’

 

SPJSocietyProfessionalJournalistsCodeofConductMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

 

We are among the billions who believe that we are given our talents and gifts from above.  There are both a healthy and unhealthy kinds of pride. Not many would say this writer lacks intelligence, so it wounds pride to to admit that I was as fooled as thousands of others were by the Preserving Access ploy. As the managing member for the parent company of this – the single largest audience in all of manufactured housing professional trade media – I’m hereby saying I’m sorry for falling into the rope-a-dope trap.

At the same time, to maintain integrity and credibility, one must lay out the facts that are known, as the realities become evident.

 

HowardWalkerJDViceChairEquityLifestylePropELS-ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoViceChair-postedMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryResearcMHProNews

 

That said, it is important to explain how it occurred, why the lessons from Preserving Access still matters, and the steps useful in avoiding the ongoing usefulness of the ‘Rope-a-Dope’ to a powerful few.

Rephrased, what took place with Preserving Access arguably continues, only under a different banner.  It could happen over and over, so it must be understood, exposed, and appropriate corrective measures taken to stop it from occurring again. Furthermore, those who’ve deployed this stratagem should be held to account. With that prologue, let’s look deeper.

 

Examples of Who Were Harmed by the ‘Rope-a-Dope’

In one of numerous state or national association meetings over the years arranged to promote Preserving Access, I vividly recall a man who had been successful for decades in the manufactured home land-lease community business.  He was standing in the doorway to the association conference meeting room, returning from a break between sessions.  He wasn’t a young man; rather, he was an industry ‘veteran.’

That long-successful professional had a deer-in-the-headlights look to him.

  • He indicated that he cared for treated his residents fairly and that they were happy.
  • That used to be part of the recipe for success in any business in America. Identify and serve a need, develop happy customers, and let them tell others, so your business can grow.

But that perplexed gentleman who owned that land-lease manufactured home community, in a fairly short period of time, watched as the business-model for his enterprise – along with tens of thousands of other manufactured home communities like his – was significantly transformed.  There was a loss of thousands of independent retailers.  There were fewer lending options. New regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and others.  Lower net-inflation/adjusted revenues was the rule for thousands of independent retailers and communities.

There were no easy fixes in sight.

That community owner was tired.

Another professional community owner that comes to mind, whom I knew better.  He too fought the regulatory fights, attended the association meetings, made the move into selling homes in his communities. His firm got the new licenses, and did most of the things his state and the national umbrella association told him that he should do.  But he too finally wore out, and he too sold out.  He likewise grew tired of battles that for decades before previously didn’t exist.

It was just those sorts of once-successful professionals – and thousands of others like them in retail, communities, production, or you-name-it in manufactured housing – that the rope-a-dope tactic was purportedly deployed to knee cap. Consider the thousands of communities that have changed hands in recent years, as smaller operators sold out to larger ones. Wear the little man out with regulations, a lack of access to financing, or by putting out of business the retailers and factories that once supplied them.

 

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America

 

ICYMI, or need a reminder, the reports linked above and below in the hot-linked text-image boxes provide a sense of how many firms and how much this rope-a-dope tactic harmed independents.

 

Manufactured Home Community Case Study, UMH Properties, Lessons for Independent Community Owners, Investors

 

In pondering the scheme, in hindsight, here was the obvious goal.  The aim was arguably to slowly consolidate an increasing number of manufactured housing’s independently-owned operations into the hands of a few ‘big boy’ players — or drive the independents out-of-business altogether. Wear them out, and then sucker-punch them.  Only the knock-out blow might come in the form of a smile, friendly handshakes, and a check at a closing table.  The victims may have been paid, often thanked by their buyers, and it may not be until this moment that some who fit into this scenario will realize just how much they and others were ripped off.

That a small sense of the Rope-a-Dope in action in manufactured housing.

That was years before MHI award-winner Marty Lavin told MHProNews the following in 2018.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe

 

Elements of How Its Done

That outlined, let’s step back a bit more.  Because there are subtle psychological forces at play that can harmfully be duplicated.  Thus, this must be exposed, or the dirty tricks and related errors will continue.

With politics, associations, a church or charity, if you get someone to:

  • Give time, even if it is only a little,
  • Give money, even if it isn’t much,
  • Take a stand, even if only briefly,
  • Go to a meeting, and enjoy pleasant networking or conversations with peers,

and you are subtly training them to do that again-and-again.  Why are we seeing political campaigns ask for as little as $3? It is for the reasons those bullets outlined.

Big boy companies operating in the manufactured housing segment of the affordable housing marketplace are purportedly using trade associations to do the same.  It’s tragic, but one can make the case that trade groups are working against the interests of their own dues payers.  Needless to say, if professionals understood that to be so, they would not normally do that of their own free will.

 

Congressional Efforts

That said, this writer made the correct technical arguments on issues framed by Preserving Access. I personally spoke to congressional staff and politicos from both major parties, as well as the public at large. My Congress blog post on the closely followed in Washington, D.C. The Hill website on the topic of Preserving Access was praised by Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams 21st Mortgage Corp President, CEO and then Manufactured Housing Institute Chairman, and scores of others, as the linked post below reflects.

 

https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/248665-regulations-for-manufactured-home-loans

 

Perhaps Kevin and Tim laughed their heads off.  But time will tell who gets the last laugh.

Beyond admitting to being duped, and explaining how this ploy operated, this is an example of why on MHProNews is using the maxim, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice. Shame on me.”

It is not my intent to be fooled again.  To the extent possible, we hope to utilize MHProNews and MHLivingNews to prevent as many others as possible from being fooled, while holding those who did the hoodwinking accountable. Because now having confessed my error in falling for the rope-a-dope ploy, the focus must now pivot to holding the responsible parties to account.

If there was a scheme:

  • how did it occur and operate?
  • Who benefited from the maneuver?
  • Who was harmed?

We’ll aim at addressing each of those questions plus more herein.

 

 

How Rigging Preserving Access Was Accomplished

The system in MHVille was arguably rigged so that the Preserving Access bill would never pass at all. The truth was hiding in plain sight, and not enough of us understood that at the time. Let me stress that while some of the key players were clearly Democratic supporters, this was a bipartisan manipulation. As an independent, if I were a member of either party, I’d be incensed. Once more, let’s hold those who did the manipulating to account, rather than fall for the red-herring trick of blaming the messenger or whistleblowers.

Here are the factual elements of the rope-a-dope at work in Preserving Access.

 

  • Warren Buffett was a prominent supporter of 2008 candidate – and later the 2012 re-election campaign of – former President Barack Obama.
  • Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway has several of the largest brands in manufactured housing, including Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), a big stake in Wells Fargo, and ownership or stakes in several others.
  • Buffett’s brands arguably dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) along with dozens of state associations, through dues, board positions, select allies, and other forms of influence.
  • Buffett – often though so-called “dark money” channels – has been a financial donor, has ties to, and/or is influential with organizations that opposed Preserving Access in word or deed. See the report with evidence and details, linked here.

The article linked below outlines the numerous voices in MHVille that raised concerns that point to specific players and their surrogates.

 

Joe Stegmayer, George F. Allen, Manufactured Housing Institute Slogans, Slump, Slurs, Solutions

 

On the one hand, Buffett and others supported those who passed Dodd-Frank, which had onerous regulations harmful to the interests of manufactured home retailers and consumers too. That’s is why it was technically correct to support the bill, for an example, see one of several reports we published that explained why and how consumers and independents were being harmed linked here.

But as another report at that time also reflected, zoning/placement were as big or an even bigger issue.  Failure to deal with that placement/zoning issue is another element in the current downturn, per the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform.

 

GaryAdamekFayetteCountryHomesQuotesZoningPlacementDoddFrankPreservingAccessCFPB

 

CFPB regulations harmed the industry’s independents and consumers alike, but as the above suggests, it was one of several issues that impacted the industry. Preserving Access was fueled by MHI’s leaders in a way that it was sucking up the oxygen of the bulk of the industry’s lobbying efforts.

That said, with Barack Obama pledging a veto of any change in Dodd-Frank, the hope of passing Preserving Access law was near zero.  Who said? MHI’s own SVP of government relations.

 

JasonBoehlertPhotoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHISVPGovtAffairsQuotePreservingAccess

It was the truth hiding in plain sight. 

 

The Truth Hiding…

The panel discussion I established for the Tunica Show, where the video below was captured and later produced, was part of my evolving awakening to the farce that Preserving Access was.

In citing Frank Rolfe, it should not be construed that I’m endorsing the controversial practices of he and/or his partners. There is wheat and chaff in us all, and I firmly believe in the principle of finding the wheat and separating it from the chaff. Rolfe may arguably be wrong on several things, but on Preserving Access, he was proven to be quite correct.

Thus, Rolfe’s commentary on Preserving Access in 2016 was and still is useful.

So too were the insights shared by Bob Crawford, the President of famous Dick Moore Housing, one of the oldest and highest performing retailers in all of manufactured housing history.  Dick Moore’s business has a fine A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. He has owned retail centers and land-lease manufactured home communities, which some errantly call ‘mobile home parks.’ With that introduction, here’s the video.

 

 

 

MHI’s Chairman Tim Williams, per state association sources, exercised raw power over numbers of state executives in mobilizing them to support Preserving Access. See the report, linked below. Williams pushed state executives into supporting the 21st/Clayton and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) promoted legislation, even though many execs had concerns about its viability.

 

 

For several years, millions of dollars were spent in the effort to supposedly get Preserving Access passed. Meanwhile, problems of local zoning, issues at HUD, or other concerns festered. As manufactured housing industry success story Gary Adamek and others put it, zoning was a far more vexing issue.  Adamek wasn’t alone.

 

 

JayHamiltonZoningPlacementAffordableHousingCrisisManufacturedHomesGaManufacturedHousingAssocPhotoMHProNews

 

Despite the assurances of Nathan Smith, MHI’s prior Chairman to Williams, that the industry – often a euphemism for MHI – would be more pro-active instead of reactive, MHI in hindsight emphasized Preserving Access so much, that other issues arguably slipped.  It was as if MHI could only chew gum but couldn’t walk or talk on other pressing or festering issues.

 

 

The point is that Buffett and a few key people had arguably rigged the system in a way Preserving Access would never pass. Yet MHI continued to pursue it.

That disconnect should have been obvious to MHI.  Indeed, as was noted above, it was MHI’s  SVP in charge of government-relations Jason Boehlert said as much in 2012. Yet for four more years, MHI pursued a hopeless bill?

That begs the question, why did MHI continue to pursue a plan that was a dead end?

Seen through the lens of rope-a-dope, a plausible picture emerges.  It was done to foster the consolidation of more businesses into fewer hands, and/or drive more competitors out of business.

That concern raises other problematic issues, such as this.  Is MHI’s leadership so corrupted that the Arlington, VA based trade group has and continues to deceived hundreds of their own members?  As the evidence began to reveal itself, what to do?

 

Mom and Dad

It’s Mother’s Day as I’m drafting this article. My mother and father were both intelligent, well educated, informed people. They survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary.  They lived in the shadow of Soviet Russia for years before that tumultuous time.  When the Soviet Union’s brutal armies were pressing into Eastern Europe near the end of World War II, my parents abandoned virtually everything, took their children, and fled West to the Allied lines. They endured harrowing experiences in that trek. They finally made it to an American controlled zone. They spent years in a Displaced Persons, or DP Camp, educating others. After years of waiting after they applied to come to America, they were sponsored into the U.S., where I became the first of my parents 7 children to be born in the USA.

Two of my siblings didn’t survive the war, what my parents went through was that bad. That speaks volumes, as does what follows.

My parents faced life and death decisions. They did what they could under difficult circumstances in an enemy occupied land. Intelligent, motivated – yet they still learned only later how official deceptions – such as how the war was going for the Nazis – were just that, lies. Propaganda. Hold that thought.

When they came to the U.S., the civil rights movement was on. My parents were known supporters of civil rights for all. Later, when pro-communist speakers came to campus, they went to publicly dispute the false communist claims.

My father was a university professor.  Years after the war, he returned to Europe and was the first Ph.D. to earn his doctoral degree in philosophy “summa cum laude” – with highest honors – in the five century history of the respected University of Cologne.  My parents sacrificed as a couple so my father could return to Europe to earn that degree, and thereby make a better life for his family, while teaching others too.

During the Nazi occupation, my father had a minor governmental position. Reflecting on WWII and the Nazi occupation, several points he and my mother shared stand out. One, while Christians, they secretly helped feed hungry Jews during the Nazi occupation, at their own peril. Two, my parents said that while they knew the population was being propagandized, it wasn’t until after the war that they realized how extensive the Nazi propaganda was. 

The point is that even highly intelligent people can be deceived, but once a deception is grasped, the moral thing to do is right the wrong as best as one’s station in life allows.  They also demonstrated that you do the best you can, based on what you know and can do.

We each learn from a variety of things. Ultimately, in the natural order – meaning apart from Divine intervention – learning comes down to just two prime sources. We learn from the experiences of others, and we learn from our own experiences.

Books, articles, teaching, videos, discussions, or other forms of learning are the related experiences of others.  The simplest child can teach us something, if we are open to it, while one learns from the most profound wisdom of the greatest minds of all time.

Looking back to 2016 and that Tunica Manufactured Housing Show panel discussion, Frank Rolfe – however controversial he may be, and however much I disagree with some of his terminology, etc. – taught me something valuable. Bob Crawford did too.

Tim Williams and MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison taught me as well, albeit in an oblique fashion.  In hindsight, Williams and Jennison revealed parts of the game in manufactured housing has been played.  At the time, it made no sense, in hindsight – with the rope-a-dope in mind – the ploy and what it was used have become quite clear.

Manipulating others becomes easier, given certain dynamics. Get a group going in a certain direction, and momentum makes it easier to keep them going that way. Busy independent business people don’t have time to dig under the surface. That’s why they pay a trade organization.

Independents trusting MHI or other weaponized trade groups has purportedly been part of the rope-a-dope scheme.  There is in hindsight, as Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, an ‘Illusion of Motion.’ That illusion of activity – that MHI claims is to improve the industry – is enough to fool busy professionals that trusted the Arlington, VA based MHI trade group, while their members are focused on their business.

 

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

Not only for this writer, but for others in manufactured housing, the evidence of in hindsight of deception by leaders connected to MHI began to crop up. One big clue was an email from MHI to its own members, shown below in its entirety. A source in MHI’s organization told me that the “Housing Alert” – shown below under fair use guidelines – were only giving part of the story about a Senate hearing on Preserving Access between Senator Joe Donnelly and the CFPB Director Richard Cordray. Rephrased, that source claimed MHI was at best giving their members a half-truth.  Going to the CSPAN video, that MHI source proved correct.

 

HousingAlertManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoOnCapitolHillMHIAdvancesManufacturedHousingFinanceReformMHProNewsFactCheck

 

We produced the following video – shown a few paragraphs below – during that time-frame.  But frankly, the full meaning of what occurred only become clear in the rear view mirror, years after these events referenced by MHI’s message.

Let’s note, Senator Donnelly or Director Cordray may have been oblivious to what was occurring. MHI no doubt provided Donnelly with certain questions, they indicated as much at the time. Nevertheless, Donnelly or Cordray could well have been obvious to the fact that each were playing a part in a costly and harmful drama.  If Donnelly and Cordray were figures in a staged play, they should desire a federal investigation into these events as much as tens of thousands of industry professionals should want it.

MHI’s Senior Vice President Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. sent that message, as the email above indicates.  It was obviously with MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison’s okay. As such MHI “Housing Alerts” were sent to their own members.  Because affiliated state associations would resend MHI messages, this kind of ‘alert’ was distributed to thousands of others in manufactured housing.  The quotes used by MHI were accurate, but they were a half-truth.  It was arguably meant to deceive, as their own headline indicates:

On Capitol HillMHI Advances Manufactured Housing Finance Reform.”

There was no advance of Preserving Access. Barring Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate acting against their stated positions, no advance was possible.  The bill never, ever passed into law.  How could it?

MHI’s omissions changed the entire tenor of the Cordray-Donnelly Senate hearing discussion. That’s arguably why that MHI source sent us the tip at that time; that insider source wanted us to know that MHI was telling a half-truth that had so much spin, that it was arguably a lie.

Once more, at that moment in time, I still didn’t get it that Preserving Access was a rope-a-dope head fake. But I knew that morally, it was wrong to deceive their own members. The why behind the deception took time to uncover.

So, about 3 years ago – based on what looked like clear evidence of deception of their own members – this writer publicly called for the resignation or termination of Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and Lesli Gooch, Ph.D.  Not knowing more at the point in time, there was nothing more that could be done.

 

RichardDickJennisonLesliGoochManufacturedHousingInstittueMHI-postedMHProNews-

This report was in 2016, and the evidence kept mounting.

http://MHProNews.com/industry-news/hot/why-richard-dick-jennison-and-lesli-gooch-at-mhi-should-resign-or-go

 

That said, their deceptions made me look deeper, and ask, why wasn’t MHI using the best arguments with the CFPB and Richard Cordray?

Still supporting the logic of the bill, while opposing the tactics being used, our operation paid for the following production.

 

 

 

As this writer acknowledged in a Clayton Homes related report, linked here, our videographer wasn’t the greatest. That’s my bad, for not doing a better review of that person’s claimed credentials. That said, the videos he produced are useful. Perhaps videos and articles we produced at the time are more useful today in hindsight, then they were at that time.

Our graphics and videos have improved since.  But at a minimum, what we produced should have inspired MHI to do something similar and better.  They had the budget and they had the responsibility for advancing their own agenda.

With those disclaimers and logical points, we made this summary of statements made by CFPB Director Cordray to Senator Donnelley (D-IN).  Those pull quotes were and are revealing.  Because not only were Gooch and Jennison failing to be honest about the breadth of discussion at that Senate hearing, but MHI was also failing to use their best arguments.  Why didn’t they take Cordray’s own logic, and show him why Preserving Access could and should be done by Cordray by agreement?  After all, Cordray had that authority to change CFPB regulations himself.

 

RichardCordrayCFPB-ManufacturedHousingRegulationsCSPANstill-InsideMHvideoPostedMHProNews-com-

A prosecutor or plaintiff’s attorney builds a case with one fact laid next to another. That’s what this article is doing, laying facts out, and showing how they relate to this issue.

 

Rephrased, if MHI’s leadership were serious about getting their bill passed – or the actual intent of the measure was to get Cordray to relent and place the same regulations  into effect – then why didn’t they do some similar or better efforts to what we provided our readers and viewers?

Or even easier for them, why didn’t MHI actively support and promote our efforts to help them pass their measure – given that we were MHI members, and that we were promoting what they say they wanted?

Bear in mind, that MHI’s then chairman praised this writer, and our publications.  He did so precisely in the context of thanking us for our support of Preserving Access. The disconnects with MHI’s actions where all over, but it they only became clear in hindsight.

 

TimWilliamsToRephraseMHITonyBothCorrectThereisNoDaylight21stMortgageCorpMHIChairmmanufacturedHousingProNews

 

Do you see how the logic and evidence that MHI leaders were shadow boxing, playing rope-a-dope, mounts in the enhanced clarity of the rear-view mirror?

 

 

What Then MHI Chairman Tim Williams Did

As the linked report documents, MHProNews and I personally had called Jennison and Gooch out for their deception publicly. Tim Williams response?  Williams backed them after their apparent deception was revealed.

At a subsequent MHI meeting, Williams held a vote of confidence, which given ‘how gold rules‘ of course passed, in favor of Jennison.

These events took place in the view of thousands of readers, and dozens of MHI member event attendees.  Bear in mind that Williams, Jennison, and others had long praised our work.  Of course, for a time, we were useful to them.  Ouch, if so, but there it is. However one looks at it, what looks bad is that the perpetrators of these deeds were arguably part of a purported fraud.

Yes, not just deception, but fraud is a plausible argument.

FraudLegalDefinitionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Yes, this article is laying out evidence that supports a possible case for fraud committed by specific Berkshire Hathaway and MHI leaders.

 

Given that MHI’s efforts were ‘ongoing,’ used ‘the wires’ – i.e.: the internet, and the U.S. mails too, that can all be elements of RICO.  “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a U.S. federal statute which provides criminal penalties and civil action for any act performed as a part of an ongoing criminal organization,” per US Legal.

 

IllegalLegaRICOWireMailFraudManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Yes, this article is laying out evidence that supports a possible case for RICO by specific Berkshire Hathaway and MHI leaders.

 

 

Once more, at that time, RICO or fraud were not on my mind.  But in hindsight, there is an argument to be made that those who’ve participated in this alleged fraud could be subject to federal, state, and civil actions.

That noted, let’s flash back again.

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuoteMastheadMHProNews

Quote from an MHI member, business executive. We do have our typos…

The Williams ‘vote of confidence’ and related fueled my interest in peeling back the layers of the onion.

I won’t go into much more, other than to say that there were numerous voices inside and outside of MHI that helped me arrive at the point that I am today.  At the time, I was so behind Preserving Access, that I pressed MHARR to support the bill.  They calmly told me that if anyone called, they said they were for the goal of the measure, meaning more access to more lending.  But MHARR’s leaders apparently had a better sense that the bill was going nowhere, no matter how many meetings MHI held, or how many emails they sent out to the industry.

That noted, let’s pivot to a related point to the issue of consolidation.

For example, a source provided MHProNews with documents in 2017 that reflected an apparent violation of antitrust law, aimed at eliminating independent retailers and others they did business with.  Put differently, this was a more active move vs. the more passive ‘rope-a-dope’ ply.  The evidence provided us involved letters from 21st Mortgage’s Tim Williams.  That caused us to research what Kevin Clayton at Clayton Homes, and Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway said during that same timeframe.  The documents, direct quotes, and video linked below are perhaps the definitive report on that topic to date.

 

 

We’ve asked Clayton, 21st, and MHI leaders to respond to these concerns several times. Silence.  They’ve not confirmed or denied the allegations of market rigging done in a fashion that is arguably a violation of antitrust laws.  If they rigged the market in bold ways, why not in more subtle ones?

 

What Does This Mean For Investors and Manufactured Housing Professionals?

What Does This Evidence Mean for Affordable Housing Advocates?

First, this pattern of behavior took place over a period of years.

Second, while experts on the topic are useful, the elements of the case are laid out from this report.

Third, while we believe the evidence and its elements are compelling, the accused are deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, or by a plea/settlement.  These are allegations at this point, although they are arguably logical points with solid evidence and patterns of activity provided herein.

Fourth, this arguably impacts virtually every independent business, not to mention, home owners, workers, investors, home seekers, and tax payers.  The economic harm is in the billions annually.

Fifth, initially, some of these players – for example, Richard Jennison or Lesli Gooch – could well have been mere pawns initially. They may at first only have been following orders. But as certainly, as we published various fact-checks, analysis, and research, it becomes harder for them to argue that they lacked knowledge. That’s problematic for them, if legal action occurs, unless they use their insights to flip against those who pulled their strings and ordered various actions.  It should be stressed that sources at MHI have already provided MHProNews with useful information that helped unpeel layers of the onion.

Sixth, several state association executives arguably have a similar problem at Jennison and Gooch have.  Some of those executives publicly praised our work, and they praised that letter to the Hill that this author published. Once more, similar to Jennison, some state executives may have begun as mere pawns. But with MHI staff or state association staff, there is evidence that they are routine readers.  Their own emails to others will reflect their knowledge.  Failure to report a crime can lead to a charge of being an accomplice after the fact.  It should be noted that state execs are among our sources for tips.  When the time comes, we can testify on behalf of those that did what they could to battle the corruption, through their news tips.

 

SubmitNewsTipsManufacturedHomeProNewsMHProNewsLogoMastheadMHProNews

Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com.  Put “MHProNews Comments” or “News Tip” in the subject line.

 

Seventh, while legislators often support bills and make speeches in favor of legislation that they know will go nowhere, that is arguably different than being part of a fraudulent scheme.  For 2020 and other motivations, legislators and other advocates may be motivated to do what is right with respect to the Rope-a-Dope and related schemes to consolidate manufactured housing into ever fewer hands.

Eighth, as some linked articles reveal, there may likewise be connections between non-profits that benefited from Warren Buffett’s largess – directly or obliquely – that these same numbered points apply to from a legal perspective. One may begin innocently as a mere tool or pawn in a fraud.  But as realization hits, there are legal and more reasons for them to step forward.

Ninth, advocates and unelected public officials also have a role in acting as they digest this.

Certainly, once an allegation is made, evidence is presented, and reason is applied, a reader can and should double- check the claims.  We don’t ask that any of this be taken on blind faith. I’ve routinely invited key people in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to debunk or explain away previous reports, some of which are linked in this one.  In the past two years, they’ve largely been mute directly.  Indirectly, they’ve arguably taken several steps, including hiring an outside attorney for MHI to threaten this writer and our publication. If we were mistaken, why didn’t they simply point out our fact error or any misstep in reasoning?  Instead, MHI used threats and other tactics.

 

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

 

This writer has already taken certain steps with state and federal officials, and will plan to take others. So while this is a mea culpa, it is more.

Tenth, one or more individuals in this circle have purportedly misused the mails in an effort to threaten and/or embarrass this writer via a form of extortion. They perhaps didn’t realize  that every such step only confirmed that we were on the right track. As our team or myself have said before, sure, there are some things that would be embarrassing for me, but it could be explained in 60 seconds.  There’s a keen difference between an embarrassing moment, vs. fraudulent or criminal activity.

Why would someone engage in such a fraud and use the ‘rope-a-dope?’

Let’s let Warren Buffett help us explain the answer to that question.

 

How Warren Buffett Sheds Light On This Issue

Hindsight isn’t always 20/20. But Buffett, whom I disagree with numerous points of his purported business or other (lack of) ethical practices, has nevertheless said some things that were useful to me in understanding what occurred and why.

Paraphrasing the Oracle of Omaha:

 

  • The rear-view mirror is clearer than the windshield.
  • The lesson of history is that most don’t learn the lesson of history.
  • If you take a long view of an investment in an industry, you can do more than those who only take the short view.
  • Buffett stresses that he only invested in industries that make good sense. That was confirmation of the value proposition of manufactured housing.
  • Reputation is important.

 

But oddly, Clayton and their related lenders have behaved in ways that arguably stoked problematic reputational issues. ICYMI, or to see the connections, please check out the related report, linked below.

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

 

In hindsight, looking at the evidence, the case can be made that Buffett had the goal of monopolizing a big part of the industry.

Buffett did so by manipulation of access to financing and capital. This is a realm where the advocacy of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was useful to me and others in the industry.  The Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became law in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), a measure MHARR successfully backed.

But a decade later it is still not being fully or properly implemented. What can that lack of implementation be traced back to? MHARR has argued that fingers point to GSE foot dragging, Berkshire Hathaway lender’s that de facto foiled its earlier implementation, and MHI working to re-direct DTS to an untested and more expensive so-called ‘new class of homes’ built under the HUD Code.

 

Buffett and his fellows in MHVille, in hindsight, has been both revealing and concealing.

What’s arguably occurred is often done in plain sight.  If someone had checked the records as we have, they could have come to the same or similar conclusions. Buffett’s merry band of leaders in MHVille have purportedly played rope-a-dope for years. Thus, the ongoing nature of this matter, which is why RICO – IMHO – can and should be applied.

Cutting off lending to thousands of retailers who didn’t buy Clayton products harmed many, causing numbers to fail. That in turn tipped some factories out of business or caused them to sell out later at a discount.  It also harmed independently owned manufactured home communities, that for decades counted on retailers to fill their vacant sites.  So much changed after the events in this linked report.

More recently, Buffett’s money apparently funded the underlying research used by Oliver’s video, linked here.

These are arguably slow-motion methods of getting ‘undervalued acquisitions,’ and do so in a manner that could easily elude federal antitrust regulators and/or their victims.

The linked reports are crucial for grasping the evidence of how this purported plot has been carried out. Let me stress that initially, only a few would have had to know. But as our reporting has unpeeled the layers, plausible deniability has slowly escaped their various tools and pawns, as those individuals have gained understanding of the elements of the ploy.

Ronald Reagan said his 80 percent friends are not 20 percent enemies. That’s an important principle in manufactured housing for those NOT in on the rope-a-dope.  There have been useful tips from past and present MHI staff and members, MHARR leaders and their members, independents, or others who have since broken with MHI as the rope-a-dope became clearer to them.  I’d like to think we’ve been helping each other against the threat of still more costly market manipulation.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has arguably done the industry a big favor in his recent statement. See that, linked below. Ask yourself, why doesn’t MHI have the entire speech on their website? Once more, just before publishing this, we’ve verified that this isn’t on their website.  Are they that lazy and incompetent? I’d say, no.  So, is there something else – like the illusion of motion and the rope-a-dope – at work at MHI?

 

 

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

 

Imagine a candidate pondering replacing MHI president Dick Jennison, other than say Lesli Gooch.  Imagine that a candidate uncovers a report like this. Who would want to go work for an organization that one of their own prior presidents effectively dissed as he exited?  Who would want to fill the role of an allegedly corrupt organization?

  • There is evidence that supports the reality that MHI has been shadow boxing as well playing rope-a-dope.
  • Buffett has demonstrably been funding opposition to manufactured housing interests, including Preserving Access.
  • The industry’s members were getting purported propaganda, spin, and weaponized half-truths directly from MHI and indirectly from state associations.
  • More recently, weaponized information has come from a new publication launched that largely is a purported MHI propaganda tool, aptly named MHInsider. Berkshire brands and others who are benefiting from consolidation are among their sponsors. MHInsider isn’t alone, consider the head fakes from purported pawn and rewarded surrogate, George F. Allen. For still more, see the below.

 

B2B Statistics, Trends 2019 – April 2019 Snapshot of Manufactured Home Professional Readers

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017MastheadManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

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

 

 

How Manufactured Housing Has Been Manipulated and Stunted During an Affordable Housing Crisis

There are at least 4 principles that have been at work.

  • The power to tax is the power to undermine value and potentially to destroy a business or industry.
  • The power to regulate is the power to destroy.
  • The power to manipulate, limit, or cut off capital and financing is the power to undermine or destroy a business’ value.
  • Last for now, but not least. The ability to artificially generate opposition in media, politically, and otherwise can limit, undermine, and destroy a business’ value or potential.

Buffett’s donations can be traced to a nonprofit called MHAction. MHAction was part of a group of three nonprofits that did a white paper on problematic business practices by manufactured housing brands that provided key material in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral and errantly named “Mobile Homes” video. That video attacks Buffett’s own companies.

But so too did the Center for Integrity, whose journalist co-authored the first Seattle Times attack on Clayton, their lenders, and de facto the Preserving Access bill. Buffett’s money found its way to that nonprofit too. See the third-party research, linked here or above.

So, there is an ongoing pattern of activity. This is why we believe that their is a case for RICO, fraud, as well as antitrust.

 

 

Summary

We are left with a picture of Buffett and his key henchmen in MHVille apparently playing rope-a-dope with the industry. Initially, only a few people had to be involved in the sense of being ‘in the know.’ Later, plausible deniability arguably faded for certain people, say MHI key staff, as our reports on the issues became more focused.

There’s more evidence to unpack in related reports linked from this one. But the essential points are undisputed at this point by Clayton, 21st, VMF, MHI, and that MHI outside attorney – all of whom have been directly asked and asked again to respond to the evidence, concerns, and allegations.  They have the right to remain silent.

Perhaps they have no good response to the evidence?

Freedom isn’t free. My parents taught me that me that in word and deed. You resist and fight back any way you can, based upon your circumstances in life.

Economic freedom is as important as free speech, free assembly, the right to vote, and so on.

Antitrust, RICO, and other federal or state corrupt practices investigations must be made and done as publicly as possible so as to deter others from such ploys.

Millions of lives have arguably been impacted, using Secretary Carson’s logic. Tens to hundreds of billions of dollars a year are arguably being lost in our industry, with a ripple effect in the country that makes the total economic harm far worse.

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act  – under this premise – was a head fake, and the record is now being set straight. My apologies for not seeing it earlier. Now, help us help you be sharing this with others, and then acting accordingly.

That’s a lot to digest. But by laying it out, step-by-step, dotting i’s and crossing t’s, and linking the evidence, it provides those looking in and those within the industry to follow the evidence.  That is the start of fixing what has artificially suppressed manufactured housing. See the related reports below.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, fact-checks, and analysis.)

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

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Related References:

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

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

May 1st, 2019 No comments

 

MultibillionDollarOpportunitiesKnockSolvingAffordableHousingCrisisLATonyKovachManufacturedHomeMHProNews

In a truly free enterprise system, various needs are identified. Then a means of profitably yet honestly serving those needs are established. Ideally, both the customer and product/service benefit. The happy customer(s) then tell or send their friends.  That pattern repeated often enough yields success.

 

For millions, perception is reality.

For millions, the words “manufactured homes” – if understood at all – brings up images of old mobile homes. Properly understood and acted upon, that is both an obstacle and an opportunity in disguise.

To make a point about misunderstandings about manufactured homes, let’s first step back and consider a few subjects that are divisive and raise widely differing views and reactions.

 

  • Climate change.
  • Abortion.
  • Income inequality.
  • President Donald J. Trump or former President Barack H. Obama.
  • Socialism.
  • Immigration and the U.S. Mexican border.
  • Democrats or Republicans.
  • CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News.
  • Big Tech and Monopolies

 

The list could go on and on. But that is enough to make the next point. Millions of intelligent people are on either side of those issues, organizations, or personalities.

So why is it a surprise that there is a wide disparity of views on manufactured homes?  By the way, to us, manufactured homes – like affordable housing – are non-partisan or bipartisan issues.

 

Opportunities Knock

Applying the point above, there are stark differences between how some insiders involved in manufactured housing view the following.

  • The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Arlington, VA.
  • Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders, based in the Knoxville, TN metro.
  • Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, in Omaha, NE, where their annual meeting is about to be held.
  • Prosperity Now (formerly CFED)
  • Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction)

to name but a few.

Interestingly, the central bullet listed – Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway – are tied by investments, traceable donations, or other financial/advocacy interests to all of the above.

It should go without saying that Buffett, Berkshire, their BH Media Group and other media access, plus their billions could promote a clear and compelling case for modern manufactured homes.  It is the most proven permanent form of affordable housing in U.S. history.  So properly understood, investing in manufactured housing is a safe bet.

 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Each photo is of a modern manufactured home, which can be 2400 sq ft or more in size, 1 or 2 levels, set over a basement, or can be as modest as 320 sq ft. These homes are all built to federal construction and safety standards that went into effect on June 15, 29176, administered by HUD, and are thus known as “HUD Code Manufactured Homes.”

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

 

Buffett enters an industry precisely because he thinks it is a good bet.  So the fact that Buffett and Berkshire could use media and marketing to successfully break through the noise about manufactured homes – leads a clear-thinker to this interesting possibility. They arguably don’t want to clear up the misinformation about manufactured homes at this time.

If fact, sources that have received directly or obliquely funding from Buffett and Berkshire have attacked him and his manufactured housing business units. It is a fact that MHAction is listed as having co-authored a white paper that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver used as a central source for his viral “Mobile Homes” video.

Buffett/Berkshire on a variety of examples have been on both sides of an apparent fight. Beyond the John Oliver/MHAction example, let’s look at one more instance.

The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act aimed at amending Dodd-Frank. It was authored and promoted by MHI, Clayton Homes, and their Berkshire Hathaway manufactured home lenders.  Yet Berkshire Chairman Buffett himself backed candidates Barack Obama for re-election to the presidency, and Secretary Hillary Clinton, both of whom opposed any changes to Dodd-Frank. Prosperity Now – then known as CFED – opposed those changes. MHI, and dozens of state associations supported Preserving Access.  These are easy to document facts.

Buffett backed forces were on both sides of the Preserving Access fence. The reasons that can be profitable to him are many.

Th objective mind is left with this impression. Buffett and his allies have a motivation to obscure the truth and performance of manufactured housing at this time.

 

Behind Every Deception is a Motivation

Stating the Obvious can clarify an issue. When intelligent, successful people are behind some deception, there must be a motivation.

Further, good marketers know that you either define yourself, or others will define you – often to your detriment.  But what if you funded undermining the message, precisely to harm the interests of smaller players?  What if that allows you to consolidate at a discount other firms?  Doesn’t that – in a cunning fashion – fit the ‘value investing’ principle Buffett himself portrays?

There is evidence that we won’t dive deeply into in this column that suggests that Buffett and his allies know precisely how valuable manufactured housing is, which is why he entered the industry in the first place.

Using Buffett’s strategic Moat principles, the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are slowly building a monopoly that would have been barred by federal antitrust regulators had that been done swiftly. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t violated antitrust laws.  Berkshire connected documents and their own words are linked here, which lays out the trendlines.

That hypothesis must be proven in a court of law, or by some sort of pleading between the harmed parties and those accused of market manipulations that arguably violate multiple laws.

So how can those who have strong evidence against them respond?  They have been given multiple opportunities, and they don’t respond at all, not directly. Rather, they seek to undermine those who dare challenge and expose their #RiggedSystem.

 

 

Opportunities in Disguise

Every problem that is properly understood in a free enterprise system is an opportunity in disguise. The fact that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their nonprofit surrogates are on both sides of several issues can dissuade some from getting into manufactured housing.  Perhaps wisely so.

But others will see or discover that if they are willing to lawfully use such insights, the opportunities to prosper while honestly serving potentially millions of Americans arises.

Restated, this revelation means that those willing to challenge Buffet/Berkshire may find the key that unlocks the door that solves the affordable housing crisis. Doing so is good for federal, state, and local budgets. Addressing affordable housing needs are good for taxpayers.  It is good for those stuck in a lifetime of paying for rental housing.

Such efforts to buck Buffett and his minions can be successfully done at the local, regional, or national levels. It doesn’t require infinite resources.  But it does demand serious resources, will, and staying power to cut through the Moats around the Clayton and their lending castles that Berkshire brands have established or allowed to exist and expand.

The evidence that they can be beaten is in or linked from this very article.  The irony is that these same point-people allied with Knoxville and Arlington praised our work for years.  Right up to the point that we began grasp, unravel, and then to publicize their questionable activities.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

HowardWalkerJDViceChairEquityLifestylePropELS-ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoViceChair-postedMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryResearcMHProNews

TimWilliamsOhioManufacturedHomesAssocExecDirectorRecommendationTonyKovachMHProNewsLouisvilleManufacturedHousingShowPromotion

One of over 1000 endorsements and recommendations, most of which were given without being requested. We thank each sender for that honor.

 

We are more than publishers here at MHProNews/MHLivingNews. We’ve been acknowledged and praised by some of the very people that now seek to oppose our pro-industry and ethical pro-growth work. Our parent operation and related business units have had documented success at turning around previously struggling or even failed situations in manufactured housing.

That may be seen as a threat to some, but as a blessing in disguise to others.

Just as there are a range of viewpoints on the hot button issues noted above, or on

 

  • manufactured homes,
  • land lease communities (a.k.a. ‘mobile home parks’),
  • manufactured housing financing,
  • or other aspects of the broader factory built housing industry

 

there are a range of views – past and present – about this writer, our publications, and our business development and related training, recruitment, and consulting services.

Given a highly polarized America, where hidden agendas often are at work, is it any surprise that there are differing views about myself or our proven systems?

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

You may or may not agree with Danny Glover on a range of issues. At MHProNews, we use a ‘wheat and chaff’ principle. That statement by Glover is demonstrably insightful. This quote is wheat. We buck the monopoly of obscured information that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have purportedly fostered. 

 

The truth has been weaponized by some, hoping to push an agenda they believe benefits themselves. To some, it doesn’t matter how many independent businesses are harmed, or how many millions of lives are being cheated of an opportunity to own and build personal wealth.  Secretary Carson said in 2017 that the average rental household has a net worth of some $5000.  The average homeowner household, per Carson, has a typical net worth of some $200,000.  Some of the very nonprofits that Buffett’s largess is aligned with have made similar arguments. Prosperity Now and the Ford Foundation, to name but two, have made the case that manufactured housing is a proven path to building personal wealth.

It requires an expert to discern what is real news and what is ignorant, fake, spin, or weaponized news when it comes to manufactured housing.

See the related reports, linked below the byline and notices for specifics.

For business development, recruiting, training, and consulting services worthy of their name and value, click here.

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Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com.

For media and researchers looking for the story of a lifetime, click here and put “News/Researcher Inquiry” in the subject line.

We believe in this industry, its potential, and know it from the inside out.  Buffett and his buddies believe in manufactured housing too, and they deploy their methods to keep others at bay.  We believe there are several proven ways to foil them profitably.

Time is money. Knowledge is potential power. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

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Related References:

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

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

B2B Statistics, Trends 2019 – April 2019 Snapshot of Manufactured Home Professional Readers

 

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

 

 

 

For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

April 12th, 2019 No comments

 

ForWantofaNailManufacturedHousingMastheadMHProNews

For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

 

In older English, the word “want” could mean “for lack of.” Viewing the above proverbial wisdom through that lens is understood as follows, according to Wikipedia. The Masthead will further unpack this for those professionals and aficionados who are keen on our segment of the factory-built housing industry after the Wiki quotes.

The proverb has come down in many variations over the centuries. It describes a situation in which a failure to anticipate or correct some initially small dysfunction leads by successively more critical stages to an egregious outcome. The rhyme’s implied small difference in initial conditions is the lack of a spare horseshoe nail, relative to a condition of its availability.[1] At a more literal level, it expresses the importance of military logistics in warfare.

Such chains of causality are perceived only in hindsight. No one ever lamented, upon seeing his unshod horse, that the kingdom would eventually fall because of it.[1]

Related sayings are “A stitch, in time, saves nine” and “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“. A somewhat similar idea is referred to in the metaphor known as the camel’s nose.” said Wikipedia.

 

 

For Lack of a Nail, Manufactured Home Independents Were Lost

Manufactured housing has lost many a message. That is proven by the troubling instances like the bullet’s below will note

 

  • The Bryan City Council, which is just one of a growing number of cities, towns, or counties that have taken steps to limit or ban manufactured homes.
  • HBO’s viral This Week Last Night with John Oliver video on “Mobile Homes.”
  • Declining shipments of manufactured homes during an affordable housing crisis. Unbelievable, given that the Urban Institute and others have cited the improved quality of manufactured homes, but facts are what they are.

Each of those bullet’s reflect this vexing point. The powers that be either can’t or won’t stop/and or address these trends.  That much ought to be obvious, and while debatable, those who would opt to defend the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis’ perspective on the controversy would easily lose.  The 3 bullets above are just recent examples of why.  Others examples are found in the related reports, further below the bylines, offers, and notices.

So that means, alternative approaches – not including the current methods being used – must be developed.

 

Parallel Paths

The independents and investors in our industry must not place every bet on one thing. There is an array of possible alternative strategies that have proven useful and must be adapted to or applied to this industry’s circumstances.

One point is simple. Make officials of the federal government do their jobs.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has primary jurisdiction under current federal law over manufactured housing. Under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, there is enhanced federal preemption for manufactured homes. HUD is the enforcement agency for that aspect of the law.

Some are talking about suing the City of Bryan, TX. The Masthead favors that option, on several different grounds, that could represent the interests (and thus separate causes of action) for individual groups.

But the Masthead also favor’s pressing the Feds into doing their jobs. One need not look beyond the border battle to realize that manufactured housing isn’t alone when it comes to the notion of enforcing existing laws.  The border issues has festered for decades, under Democratic and Republican administrations. The same can be said about the proper implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

 

“Time to Enforce the Law on Federal Preemption”

 

It was 2017 when the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform wrote the report linked via the text image box above. It is time to enforce the law on preemption. The linked report below reflects MHARR’s most recent step, in calling on HUD to do a formal study of the issue noted.

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

 

The first step with HUD – or anyone else – ought to be the direct ask to HUD.  But other steps can be included.

  • Elected congressional representatives and Senators can be asked to intervene.
  • But also there is the Writ of Mandamus.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) knows about this option, because their general counsel, Rick Robinson, wrote a book the included that as the title and a subplot. Rephrased, MHI knows they could fight this in several levels, but for whatever reason(s) one cares to float, they have obviously not chosen to do so.

We have a source on the ground in Bryan, TX that told MHProNews that “To answer your question without commentary, no one employed by MHI was present.”

Meanwhile, manufactured home industry consolidation continues. It is the larger MHI members who are most often the beneficiaries of that consolidation. Coincidence?  Is that a hidden benefit or motivation for those big boys who dominate the association to allow such headwinds – for now – so that they can further consolidate the industry? Later, once they’ve consolidated all that they think they can, will the powers that be magically dust off issues like enhanced preemption, and put them to work for their own enhanced profits?

Don’t forget the investigators question. Cui Bono? Who benefits? Who has the motivation to do – or not to do – x?

We think satirically of MHI as Buffett’s and the Big Boys Buffet.  MHI is short for the Machiavellian Housing Institute. Day by day, they build the case against themselves, don’t they?

Meanwhile, the Buffett Moat and that of his de facto allies purportedly grows as an outcome of alleged market manipulation and association malfeasance. Or as one executive with long ties to MHI told MHProNews this past week, it is “association malpractice.” That source alleged to MHProNews that MHI had some 4 million dollars in reserves.  Why aren’t they using some of those reserves to fight issues like the John Oliver viral video, or zoning issues, like Bryan, TX?

As one more example of purported “association malpractice.”  Why is it that MHI creates supposedly useful research and hides it behind a login?  Why does MHAction seem able to get more bad headlines than MHI can stir up good headlines?  Why doesn’t MHI and do what MHAction and other who have created useful research have done? Namely, take that information, and beat the drums to make it know widely throughout the land?

Are they incompetent in Arlington? Or rather are cagily in pursuit of consolidation? Doesn’t either one leave us where the industry is right now? Let those queries hang and sink in, as we turn back to the main point.

 

The Writ – and Order

A Writ of Mandamus. Ask HUD politely, but if they don’t respond, then Make the Feds do their jobs via a writ of mandamus. Arguably, less costly than many others suits might be. That must be one of the parallels paths.

WritOfMandamusJudicialOrderRemedyDoSpecificActObligedToDoByLawMastheadMHProNews

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.  Let’s not lose the nail that causes more manufactured home independents and prospective home owners to lose their part of the American Dream.

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

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

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

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Related References:

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

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

Money, Minorities, Manufactured Homes – Foiling the American Dream of Affordable Housing

 

Good News With Harmful Twist, Anti-Community Owners MHAction Activist Grabs Headlines

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

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

 

 

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

 

“No Other Options” – Frank Rolfe’s Pad, MH “Parks” Tug-of-War, Good, Bad or Meh for Manufactured Home Communities, MH Industry?

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

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

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

Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cui Bono? “Killing Me Softly,” Manufactured Housing’s New Theme Song?

April 4th, 2019 No comments

 

CuiBonoKillingMeSoftlyManufacturedHousingNewThemeSongClaytonHomesBerkshireHathaway#MHIUpdateMastheadMHProNews

Whitney Houston died a tragic death. She began her career in Gospel. It was Roberta Flack’s, not Houston’s song, but one might suspect that near the end of her dramatic life, the lyrics “killing me softly with his song” were perhaps filled with deep meaning for Whitney.

 

11,582,041 YouTube views – published Mar 16, 2016.

When a company is a subsidiary of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, there is not much they are unable to afford, so long as it makes good business sense.

Need great marketing? Berkshire can provide the capital needed. Research? Warren Buffett led Berkshire has personal connections with the Urban Institute, along with other nonprofits. What they may not want to pay for directly – for whatever reason – they can hire done in the way of consumer or other research.

One could go on, but the point is simple.

 

During well-documented affordable housing crisis in the U.S., how is it possible that the most proven solution known in the U.S. is languishing? How is it that Buffett and Berkshire would allow Clayton Homes to be in the manufactured home industry that 2 decades ago was doing 4 times the level of sales that it is today?  How is it possible that once more, for the last 6 months, the industry’s sales are shrinking during an affordable housing crisis?

 

 

The Investigators Question – Cui Bono?

The Latin phrase ‘cui bono‘ is a question that means, ‘who stands or stood to benefit?’ If one is looking for a criminal or a motive for an action, the question cui bono – who benefited – helps narrow down the suspects.

Clayton Homes and their allies demonstrably dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). They and a handful are what MHI award winner Marty Lavin, JD, called big boy” firms that arguably rule the Arlington, VA based MHI roost.

The latest new manufactured home production and shipments data is out for February 2019. It’s sobering. Yet, when MHI put out its latest missive to their members yesterday, there was no mention of the roughly half-year downturn in production and shipments of new HUD Code manufactured homes.

Instead, in an “MHI Update” there is blather about other topics, including the theme for their upcoming Congress and Expo, “Let’s Keep Building.”

The irony and hypocrisy are so thick, a good steak knife and fork are needed. But it’s part of their purported M.O., to borrow from the song lyrics, of “killing me [or thee] softly.” Happy. Upbeat. All is well. New research…

If MHI is doing it, then the big boys must want it done that way, right?

Please try to explain the logic of allowing federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes to languish during an affordable housing crisis? Who benefits? How did or do they benefit?

The answer we’ve logically deduced at MHProNews is as sobering as the latest shrinking production data.

For newcomers, Berkshire is based in Omaha, Clayton and their affiliated lenders are in metro Knoxville, and we’ve noted earlier that MHI’s office is in Arlington, VA.

 

That said, as was noted in Soheyla’s market report feature on 4.3.2019, the question was asked. How does one of explain the manufactured home industry’s poor performance since 2003?

 

SoheylaKovachMD-MHProNewsMHLivingNews“There are only a few possible logical options.

 

  • The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington (OKA) axis and their allies are incompetent. They don’t know how to sell affordable manufactured homes during an affordable housing crisis.
  • The OKA axis are posturing efforts to address concerns that for whatever reasons are not working. This is what MHARR called the “Illusion of Motion.”
  • The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have a plan, and they are acting upon it. That plan does not short term include short term steps that will fix the headwinds that are buffeting manufactured housing.”

  

We respect the intelligence of Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Tom Hodges, Rick Robinson, and others in the mix noted above. They are smart, successful professionals. So, one may logically deduce that the OKA axis must for some reason want or accepts these historically low levels of production and sales.

If so, why? Cui bono? Who benefits from it?

The logical answer is stark. Let’s sum up to this point. If one agrees that these are intelligent, capable people, here’s what one comes to conclude. There is some arguable benefit to those who want to consolidate pieces of the industry slowly at a bargain price. Whenever the powers that be are ready to take the foot off the brake pedal, the manufactured home industry will roar back to life. The value of their assets’ that were acquired at a bargain rate will then soar.

We’ve provided several opportunities for Kevin, Tim, Tom, Rick, Lesli, Dick, and others to publicly refute these contentions and concerns. We did so as recently as last week in Tunica, where they and/or their attorneys could have attempted to explain away the following. We invited them to give their version of the impact of what Berkshire Hathaway brand records and video linked below described.  Click on the linked text-image box for the details and ‘smoking gun’ evidence.

 

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

 

The reply from the fine folks in Knoxville and Arlington was silence.

Let me confess that some of what we do is arguably unorthodox. For instance, I documented those outreaches to Kevin and his crew with bcc’s to individuals who are in the industry, to federal or other legal officials, and to MHI members and non-members. We’ve advised MHI’s outside counsel, who had previously informed us that he is assigned to monitor moi and our publications.

Put differently, they can’t deny that we’ve given them every opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings. If there is an alternative reading of these linked facts, or others like it, they remain mute. Keep in mind, until 2 years ago, they routinely replied promptly. But now, they rest instead on their 5th Amendment protected right to remain silent.

We respect that right, along with the others protected by the U. S. Constitution.

They’ve made the claim for years that MHI represents ‘all segments of factory-built housing.’ If so, they are failing. If they don’t change behavior, it implies they are either insane – or they must want this outcome of declining sales –  for whatever reasons.  The opportunities for HUD Code manufactured homes are amazing, but the performance doesn’t rise to the level of tepid, based on current and historic trends.  In a U.S. market that did $1.6 trillion dollars in new and existing housing sales in 2018, manufactured housing couldn’t crack $8 billion?  Consider the facts and pull quotes.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

Meanwhile, as the industry sags, the routine of pleasant MHI and other meetings goes on. The steady drone of MHI happy talk and happy music strums on.  Cui bono?  Why not take Warren Buffett at his own words?

 

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMastheadTonyKovachMHProNews

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMHProNews

 

If you listen to Amazon’s Alexa Fund estimate in 2018 for the potential for prefabricated housing sales in the U.S., they estimated that at some $330 billion annually.  There are several kinds of prefab housing, but manufactured homes are outselling the others.  So let’s cut that Alexa Fund estimate in half, or $165 billion.  That suggests the industry could be doing some 20x the sales volume it is currently achieving. Is that sufficient motive to manipulate a marketplace?

 

 

Whitney, you were a superstar. Will you warn the advocates for affordable housing that the powers that be, like with thee, are killing the pain of independents softly, with their song…?  “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

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

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

 

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

“Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

MHARR Urges Congress to Preserve DTS In GSE Reform Legislation DBN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

March 23rd, 2019 No comments


ProfitingCorrectingManufacturedHousingTrapsPitfallsSwindlesMastheadBlogManufacturedHomeIndustryLATonyKovachMHPronNews

Think triple damages potentially worth millions to some pros that you know, and billions collectively as you read this. You, a friend or colleague may be entitled to it, and you may not even know it. It may be easier than you think. That will be explained further below.

 

I can picture in my minds eye a couple I met at an Illinois Manufactured Housing Association meeting some time back. They were seniors. They were pleasant, well spoken, and successful for decades in the manufactured home community ownership arena.

But at the time we met, they were facing a crisis with their community. For years, occupancy had trended down. Their business model, as was true if thousands of other community owners for decades, depended upon so-called ‘street retailers’ to sell homes into their community.

When thousands of street retailers vanished in a matter of years, land-lease community owners like them lost a leg in their business model’s 3 or four legged chair. A series of other events in the late 1990s into the 2000s hurt them as it did others.

With dwindling occupancy, deferred maintenance became critical. Those often turn into headlines that for some years now are among those that has haunted land-lease communities – and by extension, the rest of the industry – in news stories and headlines like those shown below.

Mainstream media reporters may or may not be aware of those background dynamics. All they know is that sewer lines that once worked fine, are now a problem. Or water systems may need updating, but haven’t been properly care for due to such economic challenges.

Rephrased, take out retailers, and a series of other events created a cascade effect that continues years after those ‘street dealers’ vanished. Factories that supplied those retailers were shuttered. Lenders and financial services firms lost a once steady and dependable stream of business. Suppliers, transporters, installation, workers of all kinds are harmed.

Nor can manufactured home resident impact be overlooked. Resale values, the entire normal supply and demand chain equilibrium is disturbed.

All of that occurs by removing thousands of independent manufactured home retailers.

Much of the industry and its home owners has yet to recover. Headlines like the ones below hit mainstream news. Of course, it’s a turn-off to prospective manufactured home buyers.  

ManufacturedHomeCommunityMobileHomeParkNewsMHProNEws

Then, ponder the effect of a vertically integrated firm like Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway sister companies. When you have essentially an unlimited pool of capital, you can afford to lose money at dozens of locations. Never forget that Kevin Clayton said on camera that it would be okay with “Warren” if he lost money for five years, as long as Clayton was widening its “Moat.”

It is simply impossible to fully grasp the impact that kind of strategy has on the industry, until it is carefully understood.

The problems mentioned above then create “value acquisitions” for consolidators. So while Berkshire Hathaway benefited, because Clayton Homes expanded its Moat from some 13 percent to about 50 percent of the market in just 15 years, it also made it easier for several larger community operators to buy distressed communities. Those distressed communities may have operated just fine for years.

The residents in those once properly operated, but years later turned into distressed neighborhoods were suffering the impacts too.

A few “won.” Thousands of independent businesses lost. Millions of Americans were impacted.  But even big boy companies are harmed today, because the image of living in a manufactured home community was shifted over time from happy to problematic.

That’s just one part of the cause and effect of the traps, pitfalls, and swindles that have cost Americans tens of billions of dollars. A few benefited, but at what harm and cost?

This is a topic worthy of debate. Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, their attorneys ought to explain or refute the evidence, if they can. Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, a former president at Clayton Homes ought to stand before their industry peers and explain the documents, direct quotes, and video recorded statements if they can.

They and their purported puppet association in Arlington, VA have the right to remain silent. Never forget that for years, they each promptly responded to questions from MHProNews. It was about two years ago that all that publicly changed. But what they can’t erase are the impacts on the industry. Nor can they erase the times they publicly praised MHProNews in writing, verbally, or even on video.

These problems are opportunities in disguise. Time will tell if Clayton et al will appear before their industry colleagues next Thursday afternoon and explain the documents, quotes, money trail, trend lines, and evidence compiled here or on MHLivingNews over the years.  

But if they come or not, be one of those who see, listen and learn how the pains of the past and present can become a silver lining to a dark cloud.

How so?

Several ways. We will mention only one today, but more ground will be covered next week, in person and live. The opportunity for class action lawsuit that are handled by plaintiffs attorneys who will sue those responsible on contingency.

That harm artificially caused could logically extend to millions of manufactured home owners, because their resale values have been impacted by such purported market manipulation.

That harm also extends to those whose businesses were sold at a discount or failed all together.

Manufactured housing has seen several large class action lawsuits over the years. It remains to be seen if the SEC, which won’t confirm or deny that they are studying market manipulation in the Cavco Industries case, will dig into such matters. It remains to be seen if shareholders attorneys are going to look into these issues. Why should they? Because if Stegmayer as a former Clayton executive understood all this, and did it didn’t do certain things at Cavco, it obviously impacts business performance and share holders stock value.

It may not pay independents and others on the spot to be at the Tunica next Thursday, March 28, starting just after 12 noon. But it could be worth millions to some businesses, thousands to millions of home owners.

On my personal library’s bookshelf is a chess book. It’s title includes the phrase, Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles. It never dawned upon me just how much that title may apply to our industry. “Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles.

 

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles
You or a Colleague’s Opportunity to Collect 3 Times What You Lost

Plaintiffs’ attorneys inform MHProNews that such cases can bring triple damages.  As most readers will know, a contingency lawsuit means that the attorney bears the brunt of the costs and risks. The only reason they take on such a case is because of their confidence in winning it.  You or other victims don’t even have to know how it happened to you.  You only have to have been a victim in order to participate in such a potential landmark case.

 

Speak No Evil, Only Evidence. Tunica Show, Feds, Clayton, 21st, MHI, MHARR, Public Debate, and You

 

Please RSVP for Tunica next week for session 1. It’s open to legitimate industry members who are coming to participate or learn. We are seeking to expand the meeting room space from what was originally reserved. Details will be updated via our emailed headline news, so make sure you are signed up. 

Here’s that email link.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

 

 

There will be a Q & A after each session. To learn more, click here the linked article above or further below the byline and notices.  

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

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

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

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

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

Sign Up for our headline email news updates Today!

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

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

Related References:

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

Speak No Evil, Only Evidence. Tunica Show, Feds, Clayton, 21st, MHI, MHARR, Public Debate, and You

 

“November Rain” – DoJ’s Top Antitrust Cop – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim ABA Speech on Antitrust Enforcement for Americans

Tim Williams, PBS News’ Bad Bargain, Manufactured Housing Institute, Buffett’s Mirror, and Clayton’s Costume

Minnie Driver, Millionaires, and Billionaires – Debunking “Housing for the Poor” Image of Manufactured Housing

“Tug of War” – Manufactured Home Community Legislation – “Vicious Cycle Goes On,” Impacting Industry, Home Owners, and Potential Buyers

Warren Buffet’s Quotable Quotes on Business, Institutions, Behavior, and News Reporting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits

March 4th, 2019 No comments

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMembesDefendingMHIGreatDebateAboutManufacturedHomeINdustryProfessProblemsProfits600x315

Both of these messages are from the same person. There will be an upcoming report with on-the-record comments from an MHI board member.

 

The company of the professional quoted below has been a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member for a number of years, and is not a member of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

The messages were part of a longer thread, and the MHI member was addressing moi – L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, MHProNews’ publisher.

You seem pretty aggressive against MHI?  There must be history there. To me, we need groups like them to move the industry forward.  There have been some huge ups and downs but we seem to be on the rise.  I have never been in the politics of the industry.  Im just glad people out there like MHI care and are willing to spend time trying to make the industry better.”

Here’s another pull-quote, from a significantly longer, back-and-forth discussion.

Tony, No worries with offending me.  My company is connected with MHI but they have never put a dollar in my pocket.  Like everything else, I use the resources the industry has and work harder than most people daily which has been my recipe for success.” 

 

 

Shocked?  We Agree With Most of What That MHI Member Said

Editorially and logically, we agree with much of the quotes above.

  • There is history between MHProNews, and the powers that be. We were an MHI member for about 7 years.  We know the association from the inside.  I was elected by peers to be a board member on the MHI Suppliers Division. That’s history.
  • There is a need for effective post-production association leadership. The question isn’t is there a need, of course there is.  The question is, has MHI provided that role successfully?  With new home shipments declining nationally and in numerous states, during an affordable housing crisis, isn’t the obvious answer – no?
  • That MHI member said the Arlington, VA based trade group “never put a dollar in my pocket.” Yet his firm has paid money, sponsored items, and invested significant time. Closely viewed, everything that member said is an indictment of MHI, not an effective defense.  Hello?  Anyone else see a problem with that admission?

MHI award winner Marty Lavin said last year that MHI does what the big boys want, not what the others want – unless it happens to line up with the big boys desires.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe

 

Kevin Clayton said in the video on the report linked here that it would be okay with “Warren” if they lost money for “five years” so long as they grew their moat. They’ve not lost money, but they are making less money than the ought to be during an affordable housing crisis. So, let me repeat the obvious, there is no way that any investor, advocate, public official, or industry professional can understand manufactured housing since 2003 without understanding Buffett’s moat concept, and how that has played out in MHVille.

 

Odds Are This Has Impacted You For Years

  • Are you a non-Berkshire Hathaway lender? This troubling trend of apparent MHI failures impacts you.
  • Are you a non-Berkshire Hathaway producer? This ostensible trend of MHI fumbles impacts you.
  • Are you a non-Clayton Homes retailer? Then this troubling trend of purported MHI failures impacts you.
  • Have you sold a manufactured home retail center or manufactured home land-lease community in recent years? This trend has arguably cost you money.  By the way, purported market manipulation – documented here – could be cause for a class-action lawsuit.  Those are often done by plaintiffs’ attorneys who work on contingency. If this is you, touch base with us. We’ve already spoken with such attorneys, they – attorneys – see merit.
  • Note, there are attorneys who have told MHProNews that MHI could likewise be liable, given certain facts. More on that in another report.

 

We’ve navigated the various slings and arrows that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, their periodic surrogates like George F. (F?) Allen, Darren Krolewski, and their allies have run interference for MHI, and company when the pattern is ever more apparent.

It was about 5 years ago that this writer wrote an article The High Cost of Low Volume Sales. Within weeks, U.S. Bank exited manufactured home lending.  They were not alone.

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017MastheadManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

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

 

Low volumes of new manufactured home sales is costly. The causes of low volumes of sales are many.

 

Arrested! Triple Homicide, Arson of “Mobile Home,” Crime and Affordable Manufactured Housing Resistance

 

The report linked above explains just part of the issue that faces manufactured housing that is arguably not been addressed by MHI, or their puppet masters in the Omaha and Knoxville metros. The article below is another problematic trend that MHI et al are failing the industry on.

 

Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

 

That’s enough for today, other than this.

We’re calling on industry independents to meet at Tunica to start the process of organizing a new post-production trade group.  It’s our aim to bring it to birth, not to operate it. MHARR is focused on production advocacy and include lending (DTS) issues too, NAMHCO is focused on communities. Who is speaking for the rest of the industry’s independents?

 

TimeOrganizePostProductionRetailSuppliersVendorsLendersOthersPostProductionFirmsMustDoWhatMHARRsBeenDoingforProducersNAMHCOforCommunitiesMHProNews

Contact Tony@MHMSM.com for meeting times at Tunica 2019 in March. Put the phrase, New MH Association Inquiry in the subject line.

 

The trend line is what it is.  This is your klaxon. Grab your favorite energy drink, and let’s get to it, shall we?  The future of independents in manufactured housing is on the line. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

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

 

Manufactured Housing’s Top 10, March 2019

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

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

 

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

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

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses