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S 2155, Manufactured Housing,“Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” Back Story

May 22nd, 2018 No comments

S2155ManufacturedHousingEconomicGrowthRegulatoryReliefConsumerProtectionActBackStoryMastheadMHProNews

S. 2155 is poised to pass the House today.  It’s styled “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.”

 

Should the bill pass – and Skopos Labs/GovTrack say there is a 56 percent chance of enactment – then the following is what you can expect from the Arlington, VA based national manufactured housing association and their surrogates.

Based upon her promises, this bill would not have been signed by Hillary Clinton. So MHI – which put two pro-Clinton speakers on their Chicago stage days before the 2016 election – has no room to crow. Rather, they should be grateful to those in the industry who promoted a president who would sign such a measure.

There is a 100 percent chance of celebration and back slapping by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  I don’t blame them, it’s natural.

But there’s a back story.  MHI don’t want the focus to be on the back story.

Indeed, as a matter of record, repeal of the onerous MLO rule is one MHProNews has supported for years.

In spite of what some consumer groups claim, the MLO repeal provision only levels the playing field for manufactured home retailers and communities. It allows them to do what real estate agents can already do. We supported both legs of the original bill, so logically, we supported each one too.

S2155ManufactuerdHousingINdustryMastheadAnalysisMHProNews

Whatever happens on this bill, there is going to be overhang from progressives, unless the case – especially for manufactured housing – is properly made as to why this bill was positive for consumers and industry alike.

 

“Tony, What’s the Beef?”

We’ve had some pros – skimmers, not readers – who’ve asked why we don’t support the bill. We have supported the measure, and did for years.

Our “beef” – as one writer put it – has been that MHI spiked this MLO-only deal years ago.

If the MLO rule is OK now, why wasn’t it OK then?

Mark my words.  MHI wanted to do this, because they and their puppet masters were desperate to be able to claim a victory on anything of substance.

Mark my words. MHI and their puppet masters are feeling the heat.

MSM = Mainstream Media

Once more, the mainstream media (MSM) has numerous reports and commentaries coming out just before the House vote.  They are slamming the measure, slamming Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway’s MHI association mouthpiece.

Part of the point is that even when they ‘succeed:’

  • the manufactured housing industry must remember this could have been done years ago, as the Daily Business News exclusively reported.
  • Clayton and their Berkshire lending brands were winning either way. They benefited if S 2155 and/or Preserving Access passed or not. This is a nuanced but critical point to understand, long after 2155 is forgotten. An MHI insider first told me about that insight, and then another did. It was MHI types that explained that the big companies benefit regardless if MHI backed bills pass, or not.  Burn that one into your mind, it frankly took me time to get it. But once that sank in, it became an eye-popping insight.

 

Look at this MHI Pattern

LesliGoochforCongressManufacturedHousingInstituteMHISVPGovtAffairsRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMastheadDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Lesli Gooch, blast from her past…

MHI’s EVP Lesli Gooch proudly told the Washington Post they did not weigh in on the removal of Pam Danner.

Recall, that MHI was on the wrong side of the DOE energy rule, until pressure from this publication, MHARR, the SBA and others made them switch course.

We could go on and on like the above. But the bottom line is simple, and tragic.

Independents who are paying dues to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) are arguably paying to feed the hand that bites and fails them.

There are reasons why state associations and others have dropped their MHI membership.

 

Pulling the Head Out…

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Some don’t want to hear what they might consider to be ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ news. Reality is.  Hiding a head in the sand has never solved a problem. Image Credit WikiCommons, Dilbert.

There are some MHI loyalists who think we’re just sore because MHI gave us the boot. Hardly, that’s reversed.  MHI gave us the boot because they didn’t know how to deal with all the myriad of revelations we were publishing about their ‘alleged’ favoritism, failures, and flaws.

All of that has cost the industry, IMHO, billions of dollars a year in new home sales.  That in turn has cost manufactured home owners, billions of dollars in higher resale values.

It is time for more in the industry to dig deeply.

It is time to pull the head out of the sand, and look.

As a closing thought, please note that not everything about MHI, not everything about Berkshire Hathaway draws our concerns. We strive to be objective.

The best example is from Monday.  Please check that article out.  We give credit where it is due, period. We are evidence, reason, and fact-based. We are pro-industry.  We’re not against big-business.  We are against big business that behaves in monopolistic, crony capitalists, or otherwise behave in unethical ways.

See the first take on MHARR’s related report, linked above.  Enough said for today. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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

UPDATE 6:27 PM ET.  As expected the bill has passed. Let’s see how the prediction above plays out.  Details of the passage are found at the link below.

Related Reports:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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HUD Secretary Carson, Advocacy Groups, Politicos, & Manufactured Housing Shock

April 7th, 2018 No comments

 HUDSecBenCarsonAdvocayGroupsPoliticosManufacturedHousingIndustryShockMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Affordable housing, including manufactured homes, is not a partisan issue.

 

At least, it shouldn’t be.

When HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) shared the brief exchange below, there was an energy in Carson’s words.

 

 

It’s an energy – “a shock” – that many have experienced over the years when it comes to the surprising realities vs. the unjust, troubled stigmas attached to manufactured homes.

“Trailer House Trauma,” Fresh Look at Manufactured Housing’s Opportunities

 So, why aren’t their more such moments of positive shocks for the manufactured home industry?

 Let’s look at the facts for some clues.

  

MH Cohesion?

Whenever the manufactured housing (MH) industry acted in a rational, and cohesive fashion, it has routinely been able to accomplish in Congress what it needed to do.

That’s true because at its heart, the MH industry has a great, and non-partisan story.

That’s what a dispassionate look at the periodic history of the industry reveals.

For example,

      in 1974, when the HUD Code was first passed into law.

      Or in 2000, when the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) was passed.

      And again in 2008, when the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing was passed as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA).

So when the industry acts cohesively it succeeds. So, why doesn’t it do so more often?

 

Big and Small…

Since before the founding of what today is called the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), there’s long been a split between larger and smaller “independent” producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

MHARR was a breakaway from the body that today is known as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). MHARR was created precisely because of those differing points of view between bigger and smaller producers of federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes.

  

“Consumer Groups” and Manufactured Housing 

In several states, there are manufactured home consumer groups that emerged some years ago.

While “resident groups” engage on issues such as finance, those residents/manufactured home owner associations tend to focus on issues relating to land lease communities. 

In California, there tends to be fast and hard lines between the MH Industry and resident groups. 

Meanwhile, in places such as Ohio and Florida, those state MH Industry trade associations have at times meet and worked successfully with resident groups on key issues.

  

Non-Profits, Advocacy, and Manufactured Housing

Foundations and nonprofit groups have a history of positive interest in manufactured housing dating back at least some two decades. 

For example, as a Daily Business News yesterday reported, CFED – which rebranded as Prosperity Now – is largely a serious and positive advocate for manufactured homes. 

 

ManufacturedHousingTopTenTruthsCFEDManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews500

For years, CFED/Prosperity Now worked on projects that taken as a whole, promote manufactured homes as a tool for personal wealth building, especially for minorities, and lower income Americans of all ethnic groups.

 

CFED/Prosperity Now research has produced reams of documentation that arguably ought to be done by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

 ManufacturedHousingTopTenTruthsImHomeInnovationsinManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews5-10-600

 

Based upon their overall positive work advocating for manufactured homes, it’s a little baffling for outsiders looking in to see conflict between MHI and Prosperity Now.

But conflicts do exist between MHI and Prosperity Now, on issues that include land lease communities, but also on financing. Prosperity Now has been a loud opponent to the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. 

 

Like them or not, consider for a moment the perspective of Prosperity Now on these two issues: 

      the issues of “insecurity” for residents in land lease communities,

      and MHI’s position – notably on higher points and fees that benefits primarily the Berkshire Hathaway owned manufactured home lenders.

Absent those two bullets, Prosperity Now should be seen by the vast majority of industry pros as a strong advocate for manufactured housing.

So why hasn’t MHI – the industry’s self-proclaimed “umbrella” and “post-productionassociation – found a way to work directly with Prosperity Now, when Ohio and Florida have found ways to work with their resident groups? Fair question, right?

So for any who believe that it is only MHI and MHARR alone who ‘can’t get along,’ they are mistaken or misinformed.

 

MHI, MHARR and Consumer Groups

This writer, while an MHI member – perhaps naively – attempted for years to get MHI and MHARR to work together.

MHI's New CEO, Dick Jennison

This was one of the photos taken by MHProNews, reflecting routine behind the scenes effort some years ago to get MHI and MHARR to work more closely together. Richard Dick Jennison, MHI President and CEO, left, Mark Weiss, J.D., MHARR President and CEO, right.

The photo taken by MHProNews of Dick Jennison and Mark Weiss, J.D., shaking hands was just one tiny example symbolic of that effort.

MHI in meetings has reportedly told their members that the consumer groups “can not be reasoned with.”  

Something similar has been said in MHI meetings about MHARR. One elected executive committee member stood at an MHI meeting a few years ago, and proclaimed that the “elephant in the room” was MHARR’s then president, Danny Ghorbani.

Yet as noted above, history shows that MHI and MHARR have achieved good things when they pulled together. 

MHARR seems to have a better working relationship with the resident group, NMHOA than MHI does. 

We’ll pose a question that we will leave dangling for now.

Why is it that MHI can get along with MHARR, but only at times? 

 

Yet for most of the the past 20 years (+/-), the two are at odds, because one association arguably favors larger players, while the other fights for the rights of smaller, independent companies.

It’s against that backdrop of more tension than cohesion that the following undisputed facts ought to be considered. MHI hired a man a few years ago, part of who’s de facto job description was to recruit MHARR members into MHI.

Clayton and Cavco have in recent years both purchased companies that are MHARR members.

Is the trajectory of MHI’s and their larger members’ efforts to eliminate MHARR?

 80PercentClaytonChampionSkylineCavcoMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidation

 

Dr. Carson, HUD, and Manufactured Housing

It is against that brief history that Secretary Carson must consider the internal political minefield of manufactured housing.

On the one hand, manufactured homes are just as “amazing” as Dr. Carson said.

The regulations and “guidance,” most notably during the Pam Danner era, have been just as “ridiculous” as Secretary Carson told that Senate oversight hearing, as the video above attests.

If MHI wanted to get along with the industry voices that don’t agree with them 100 percent of the time, logically the Arlington based group would only need to do is what it did at times when cohesion existed.  Namely?

Listen, understand, and compromise.

MHI can posture beautifully, but it is their actions – not words alone – that must be the focus.  Their members are buying up, and they are actively recruiting MHARR members.

There are MHARR members, and some in MHI, that believe that Pam Danner came to be HUD’s MH program administrator as part of a specific MHI team member’s efforts.  If so, that means those  “ridiculous” excesses are courtesy of one or more MHI staffer’s efforts.

Since: 

   Danner was removed from the program a few weeks ago

   Lois Starkey was dismissed from HUD,

   and Danner’s overzealous and “ridiculous” regulatory burdens were put on hold by Carson and the Trump Administration,

an opportunity for a new beginning exists. What will happen next?

 

Absent trust and cohesion between

      MHI and MHARR, or between

      MHI and nonprofit Consumer Groups,

several risks exist.

 

Widely Recognized Fact

In finance, or production, in or out of manufactured housing, there is a simple principle at work.

The heavier the regulations, the harder it is for smaller companies to compete against larger ones.  The following third-party research illustrates the point.

NationalAssocManufacturersNAMCostForComplianceMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

While MHARR was audibly protesting Danner’s work – and sought her removal from the MH program – by contrast, MHI went through various gyrations that did all — save ask for Danner’s removal.  Odd?  Or shadow boxing?

Let’s consider that as consistent with MHI’s apparent and alleged goal of acting in ways that are more burdensome for smaller companies (see Related Reports, linked at the end, below).

This is why CFED’s Doug Ryan accused Berkshire Hathaway (BH) of having monopoly power in manufactured housing over financing. While MHI all too often fails to respond to negative media, in that case their SVP Lesli Gooch leapt to respond and defend Berkshire brands in manufactured housing. By doing so, the Arlington association reflected anew who’s interests there dominate.  Yet the fact remains, that 3 of the 3 largest MH lenders are owned outright by BH – 21st Mortgage Corp and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), or they have a large stake in their company (Wells Fargo).

DougRyanCFED-MHI2016CongressExpo-ManufacturedHousingIndustryNews-MHProNews

Doug Ryan, CFED/Prosperity Now, credit MHProNews. 

When Democratic Congressional reps target Berkshire Hathaway and MHI – also using the words “near monopoly” – it should make CFPB, more in Congress, leadership at HUD and others in the Trump Administration stop and think.

Nonprofits, President Trump, and political voices across the left-right divide are calling “foul” with regard to giant companies dominating and pushing around smaller ones.  

From as far left as the Nation to as far right as Breitbart, the issue of monopoly has been raised. The Nation specifically cited Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Clayton Homes. 

It’s no secret that Buffett opposed Trump in 2016, by strongly supporting the candidate – Secretary Hillary Clinton – who favored the continued use of heavy regulations.

How many see various movements at work nationally, and in the halls of Washington, D.C.?

 

It’s Not a Vote…

The fact that many inside and outside of manufactured housing have raised similar concerns and issues about monopolistic power ought to be carefully considered by members of Congress and the Trump Administration.

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Pam Danner, addressing MHI members. Photo credit, MHProNews.

MHI SVP Gooch’s Regulatory Comments Letter to HUD in January were overall good.  But oddly, Gooch failed to mention:

  • who will replace Danner?
  • And what about the harm already done by Danner’s leadership to smaller independents? 
  • Or why did MHI stand mute for years, and promoted Danner on various association event stages?

 

Reenergize?

Secretary Carson and the HUD team have a unique opportunity to reenergize the “amazing” manufactured housing industry in several ways.

The next steps taken at HUD and beyond could tell us who understands the fact that

  • with robust competition,
  • and unleashing the private sector,
  • that HUD could over time do exactly what Senator Tillis and the nonprofits alike suggested.  Save tax dollars by liberating private sector produced manufactured homes. That, argued Tillis, will allow more dollars to be used for others that need a hand up.

That would achieve some of what advocacy groups desire: raising more people out of poverty using modern manufactured homes.

Save tax dollars, give more people a leg up. Learn more in the related research reports, linked below. ## (News, analysis and commentary.) (Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.) 

Related Reports:

“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

 

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

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

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

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Manufactured Housing’s Professional Crucifixion

March 30th, 2018 No comments

 JesusCrossCrucifiedManufacturedHousingsProfessionalCrucifixionMastheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Let’s be crystal clear at the outset.

 

Only One can claim to have been betrayed by a close comrade, arrested, found guilty at three separate rigged trials, beaten, brutally whipped/scourged, mocked, marched off on public streets, crucified, died, and was buried in a borrowed grave for our sins on a Friday that’s paradoxically called Good. 

 

Only One can claim to have undergone all of that, and then rise from the dead. And if experts who’ve long studied the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo are correct, that One left strong evidence that’s inspired billions of souls throughout the centuries ever since. 

Respectful of our weak yet free will that He died for, Jesus of Nazareth beckons us to look anew, and apply what happened almost 2000 years ago to our own time, and our own circumstances.

Let’s do so, and apply that Way to our often troubled profession.

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Manufactured Housing’s Crucifixion

Take up your cross, and follow Me,” Jesus said. Surely at first blush, those words ranks as the worst sounding invitation of all time.

So why did so many in that era take those striking words literally?  When thousands were likewise sentenced to their own cruel deaths by Roman authorities, and by the politicos and hired thugs of their time?

The fact that hundreds of Hebrew Scriptural references seem to fit Jesus’ life so well, isn’t enough for many among the masses. That’s no slam, it’s simple reality. Perhaps understandably so, because like Peter, even Jesus’ followers routinely deny Him, and turn away…

…only to return more humbly again. 

After all, we are sinners.  It’s the one thing that Saul – who originally persecuted believers, and who became the Paul that preached what he had first disdained – said we have in common.

Through the lens of Good Friday, let’s look at Manufactured Housing’s own crucifixion.

Day by day, our industry is mocked in the media. Manufactured homes are a political football that’s kicked and passed around, fumbled, sold out for thirty pieces of silver, and often frustrated by forces seemingly larger than the 22 million now being served.

No wonder it’s ignored by so many, when it commonly goes under false names like “trailer house,” or dated terms like “mobile home,” even though no new mobile homes have been shipped in the U.S. since the first manufactured homes were built on June 15, 1976.

At Christmas, believers heard and read that Jesus was born in a stable, exiled outside of town. It was the social outcasts of that era – the shepherds – who heard the herald angels sing; not the rich, famous, or powerful.

While some brave souls with millions in net worth own manufactured homes, many more shun them, just because of the unfair rep.

And that’s just fine for scores of locals and so called leaders scattered across our land.  Is it better to have half a million homeless? Is it better to have tens of millions locked in poverty? Why not consider the obvious solution? The one hiding in plain sight?

Better – some wrongly believe – to waste billions a year on programs for rentals that can never solve the growing American housing crisis…

…or so the deeds of the short sighted, ignorant, lazy, greedy or corrupt would have millions think.  Never doubt that forces favoring and profiting from subsidized rental housing resists the obvious solution of manufactured homes.

Last week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson – world renowned for his achievements in medicine – was mocked by some in politics and the media too.

Like the president, vice president, cabinet, administration and the American people they serve, they too are all being sold out at every opportunity.  Sometimes that betrayal is by those who are supposedly in their own party, and among their supporters.

No wonder so many of us won’t take the label of Democrat or Republican. Like Judas Iscariot, the news often gives more attention to the behavior of the wicked, than to the behavior of the those trying to do good.  Spotlight some embarrassing incident, no matter how long ago, or regardless of how irrelevant to the important job at hand.

Secretary Carson, teed up by a question from Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), talked about how “Amazing” today’s manufactured homes are.

Carson called many of the regulations of manufactured homes “ridiculous.”  You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see the truth that what you build indoors in a production center will cost you less than the same thing built outdoors on scattered locations. Save time, buy materials in bulk, cut wasted and stolen items down, save labor, and you’ll save money. 

That’s why Secretary Carson could honestly say that manufactured homes often look like and rival conventional housing, and cost less. Per the U.S. Census Bureau, they are about half the cost per square foot as site building.

There’s an important part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis, as Carson himself observed.

So why aren’t manufactured homes embraced?

One might as well ask, why don’t all embrace the cross of Christ? 

 

Manufactured Housing’s Judas

We will link up below the betrayal of manufactured homes by people, who like Judas, sold the industry out so that they could play the corrupt game in the temple that the money changers did in Jesus’ time.

But those corrupt industry folks, who are building “a moat” to enrich the few to the harm to the many, have been killing off competitors by an abuse of economic and political power.  Like Pilate or his brutal soldiers, they have various kinds of blood on their hands.

Some historians claim Pilate converted later in his life. Some say, some of Pilate’s soldiers and executioners did too. If it’s possible then, it is possible now too.

It took the most grueling and unjust death of all time to bring about the conversion of so many souls over the ages. It took Dieced – the killing of the God who become Man – to win victory over Satan. That’s what made this Friday, Good.

We can’t be surprised if we too have a unique cross to take up too.

On the other side of the darkness of Good Friday, comes the bright sunrise of Easter Sunday.

Manufactured housing has been crucified for years.  It was buried in certain ways by some, including those who falsely claim to be the industry’s allies. Pilate and the authorities spread lies to cover their tracks after they killed the Christ, too.

Might our misunderstood and maligned profession – given Secretary Carson’s and the Trump Administration’s leadership, and enough people of good will across the left-right political divide – support as needed our industry’s much needed rebirth?

Will the needs of the many outweigh in time the blindness and greed of the few? 

If enough do the politically incorrect in our time, then Senator Tillis’ and Dr. Carson’s insights will prove to be wise. In turn, millions more will be served, and can lead a better life.

But never forget, it was corrupt men who sold out Jesus. It was those guilty of sinful avarice, the ignorant, the lazy, the paid assassins, that killed the Savior. And the crowd watched. Some stunningly cheered, “Crucify him!” ## (Masthead op-ed, news, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Research:

Affordable Housing Focus Group

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

Elvis & Priscilla Presley Honeymooned in this Mobile Home

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

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

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Tony took the photo at the right.

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

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

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

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4 F’s and True Believers

March 17th, 2018 No comments

4FsandTrueBelieversManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Not necessarily in this order of importance, but count us as true believers in:

 

  • Manufactured Homes,
  • America as a Constitutional Republic with free enterprise,
  • and in the four F’s – Faith, Family, Flag, and Fortune (career).

Count me as a pragmatist too. In both trade publishing and in our professional services to the industry, we go where the evidence leads us.

To rephrase, it’s practical to have faith – among other reasons – because its supported by the evidence, and establishes a moral compass outside of one’s immediate self perceived interest. Faith is good.

We could run through the other four Fs in the same manner.  They are each proven, practical, principled, and profitable when properly understood and applied.

So we believe in Manufactured Housing (MH) within that broader context of the Four F’s.

 

The Industry’s Best Homes Ever?

Many believe that the quality, durability, appeal and value of federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes has never been better.

Without arguing that claim either way, consider this question.  If these are the industry’s best homes ever, then why isn’t Manufactured Housing doing as well in new home shipments and MH sales as say 20, 30 or 40 years ago?

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Don’t try and take an easy answer, like say ‘financing.’ Back in the 1980s – for example – sales were higher, and interest rates were sky high at the start of the decade. The product wasn’t as good then as today’s, ditto the lending, and yet they sold more homes.  Why?

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Editorially and based upon fact checks, we disagree with some of the conclusions and claims cited by the Urban Institute’s recent look at the question Manufactured homes could ease the affordable housing crisis. So why are so few being made?”

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

 

But we commend the Urban Institute for raising the discussion topic! They have asked the right question.  It is one that everyone in the industry that wants to grow in a sustainable fashion must seek to resolve.

Some are happy, because the industry is back near 100,000 shipments annually. Certainly, that’s good news, given where the industry’s shipment levels where in 2009.

2008to2017HUDCodeManufacturedHomeProductionTotalsMHARRManufacturedHousingAssocReglatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

But that’s not good enough. Not by a long shot.  When the nation needs some 8.3 million housing units a year, manufactured homes ought to be doing several hundred thousand new home sales a year.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Today’s Masthead won’t editorially suggest the causes or the solutions, per se.

What we will do is ask you to take a good look at the proverbial elephant in the room.

Watch the Warren Buffett video above.

While one may agree or disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics or business practices, there is no denying his business success.  So those success tips the Berkshire Hathaway chairman describes ought to provide lessons for everyone in the industry, regardless of the size of their enterprise.

Then, with those quotes and tips from Buffett in mind, begin to dive into the resources linked below.

Acknowledging that a challenge exists – and understanding the issues involved – are the first steps in all problem solving.

It is a point that Mr. Buffett and business-man-turned President, Donald J. Trump both happen to agree upon.

Namely, that you should know all that you can about an issue that impacts your career or business.  Sound advice, from different ends of an emerging national debate.

Research, reading, viewing as needed, and robust discussion are how those answers are going to be discovered.

Speaking as true believers in the 4Fs and manufactured housing, it’s crazy not to get to the root issues that keep the industry from achieving its previous new home sales levels.

Given today’s widely acknowledged manufactured home quality, and the huge need for affordable housing, it’s an issue that is begging for answers.  ## (Industry commentary and analysis.)

Related:

Housing, Jobs, Poverty, Opportunity – Kerner Commission Remix, HUD and Manufactured Homes

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

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

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

It’s “Fair Warning,” not “I Told You So”

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

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

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

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

 

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

February 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

DarkMoneyKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews550

 

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

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

 

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

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

We believe that too.

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

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

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

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

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

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

2018-02-02_1630UrbanInstituteManufacturedHousingIndustryAffordableHousingCrisisReportMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

ConflictsOfInterestGoogleMastheadManufacturedHouisngIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Conflicts of Interest = COI.

 

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

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

Pardon me?

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

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

 

Conflicts of Interest – COI

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Begging the Questions…

That clear lack of transparency begs several questions.

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

 

Non-Profits, Foundations and Manufactured Housing

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

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

Research is often done by nonprofit organizations.

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The Manufactured Housing Institute is a non-profit.

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

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

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

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

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

We will boil it down to its essence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Manipulated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

So too has Warren Buffett.

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

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

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

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

 

Recommendations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressRickRobinsonMHISVPGeneralCounselMastheadMHProNews

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

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

What are they hiding?

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

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

RentVsBuyingHousingAnalysisWhatsBestKenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews660

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

 

Parting Takeaways for Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

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

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

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

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

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

January 11th, 2018 No comments

MHICorruptRiggedSystemDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Institute has finally provided a series of written responses to concerns raised by a number of industry members.

MHI did so to via an email to their members, as they ask them to renew their annual membership dues.

Let’s make this hyper-simple.

 

MHI is part of a Rigged, Corrupt System that has Enriched a few Big Companies at a High Cost to Thousands of Independent Retailers, Communities, Producers, and others in Manufactured Housing.

The rest amounts to details and commentary.

‘We Want Your Money’ – 2018 MHI Membership, Infographic Fact Check

America is in a well documented affordable housing crisis. Manufactured housing is misunderstood, but when approached by the open-minded, its revealed as an obvious solution that is hiding in plain sight.   So how is it possible that manufactured housing is doing so relatively poorly,

when the National Association of Realtors (NAR),

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

and the National Low Income Housing Coalition – citing HUD data – have both said that over 8 million housing units are needed?

NLIHC CEO Responds on HUD’s Worst Case Housing Needs Report, MH Leader Reacts

How could HUD – which is the primary federal regulator for manufactured housing – not make manufactured housing a center-piece of their solutions for the affordable housing crisis?

HUD’s Belated, Blustering “Promotion” of Manufactured Homes

If MHI is supposed to be the industry’s leader they arguably must be leading in a problematic, error prone and/or corrupt fashion.  That’s what’s been alleged by several of their own members, by others in the industry, from MHARR and by MHProNews editorially.  MHI has finally responded to those concerns in writing.

MHILogoManufacturedHousingInstitueLogoMHINewsUpdatesfMastheadIndustryCommentaryAnalysisManufacturedHomeINdustryResearchReportsMHProNews

MHI’s email to members yesterday has a number of written ‘responses’ to concerns from industry members (MHI didn’t name anyone specifically). Do yourself a favor. If you have any doubt that they are ducking, and dodging, read their reports, then read our reports linked below. See if they’re response actually addresses the issues raised by their own members, MHARR, others in the industry or MHProNews editorially. “We Provide, YOU Decide.” The other option – is MHI’s president and CEO, Dick Jennison, should agree to discuss/debate these issues in Louisville next week. He’ll be there, we will be there too. Why not? If they are right, why not discuss/debate in front of a live audience and video cameras?

So let’s spotlight the top lines of their document that is supposed to respond to the industry, and then underscore the obvious.

MHILogoManufacturedHousingInstitueLogoMHIHiresNewStaffMastheadIndustryCommentaryAnalysisManufacturedHomeINdustryResearchReportsMHProNews

MHI is part of a Rigged, Corrupt System that has Enriched a few Big Companies at a High Cost to Thousands of Independent Retailers, Communities, Producers, and others in Manufactured Housing.

There are several among their own current and past members who believe that allegation to be so.  In MHI’s emailed responses yesterday, they utterly failed to address the meat of their specific concerns.

ManufacturedHousingInstitute2017SnapshotFactchecksDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-1-768x711

MHI – for those who know debating tactics – arguably used the old debater’s trick of appearing to answer, casting dispersion on their opposition, while ducking the key questions.

MHI entered a written debate.

Will they now take up our challenge for a verbal debate next week in Louisville?

Will their president accept?  Or will Richard “Dick” Jennison publicly duck questions, as Rick Robinson publicly did in Deadwood, 4 months ago?

RickRobinsonTonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Duck, dodge, distract, detract, and defame. What are they hiding? Why not do an authentic, public discussion that is also video recorded? If they are correct, they have nothing to fear. If they are hiding things, then they have every reason to keep making excuses to the industry and their majority of their own members. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” Let the light shine on MHI, open up their books, their records, their emails, their meeting minutes. All of it.

 

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) SVP Rick Robinson Ducks Serious Industry Questions in Deadwood

Will MHI try to keep MHProNews from videoing their “presentation” in Louisville, to keep us from showing thousands of industry pros what they say, and what it really means?

More Are Waking Up to the MHI/Berkshire Hathaway Game

MHI apologists may never agree, but there has already been plenty of evidence, enough for objective, thinking professionals.

If MHI had serious, substantive answers, they would have given them, right?

Instead – MHI ducked, dodged, distracted, detracted, and defamed.

The rest amounts to details and commentary.

We’ve used the word allege because it’s the proper phrase.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

MHI cited Belsky, as was previously reported by the Daily Business News. Have they’ve since overlooked or forgotten him? Or is that Belksy’s research and statements lead to problematic issues for MHI and Berkshire Hathaway?

At the same time, MHProNews and others have provided the industry’s investors, business owners, and thinkers with

  • documents,
  • direct quotes in context, positions they had to do u-turns on, under pressure,
  • and a track record of MHI’s documented failures and missteps.

MHI’s responses can be fisked in more details in the days ahead. But let’s keep it simple today.  Here’s the executive summary of the claims against them. There’s much more, of course, but if they could answer these issues – they’d go a long way in regaining credibility.

If they can’t or won’t answer these, that should be a RED FLAG for the industry.  The graphic below – if used as is – may be shared with others.  Immediately afterwards, there is the searchable text of the same material.  That will then be followed by links to the issues the bullets below raise.

MHProNewsMastheadDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

So long as this graphic is used without alternation, authorization to share this is hereby granted. If MHI wants to fact check and reply substantively to the above and what’s linked below, by all means, let them have at it.

 

They ducked the specific and numerous allegations against them.

Instead, they call for ‘industry unity.’  They showed a flashy chart, hoping no one would fact check it.

We already did.  It didn’t take long. Because MHProNews already knows several of the facts that they’re trying to hide. See those graphics from MHI with our thumbnail analysis, above.

 

Executive Summary of how the Rigged, Corrupt Manufactured Housing Institute System Works, and How it Benefits Berkshire Hathaway Brands – Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage – in Manufactured Housing, Plus some other Favored Companies.

We can summarize how the rigged, corrupt Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) system works like this.

  • Warren Buffett – chairman of Berkshire Hathaway – supports heavy regulators, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
  • Berkshire Hathaway – with brands such as Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt and others – dominates the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), through dues and the executive committee.
  • MHI postures that they’re ‘fighting’ heavy regulations. But in fact, MHI has often supported new regulations (DOE), and supported heavy regulators – e.g: Pam Danner/HUD, etc.
  • On CFPB and the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, MHI postures wanting to pass the bill. But they declined an opportunity years ago to get the MLO rule lifted by agreement with the CFPB and non-profits. Who was harmed? Independents. Who benefited? Thousands of small companies struggled, faded, or sold out at a reduced value.  The big companies win. The big firms benefit by allowing the regulators to stay in place.  See Hoya Capital/Seeking Alpha data, report, and analysis. NAM, NAHB, and others have done similar research, with similar conclusions. ‘Sam Zell’s math’ previously reported, points to the same outcomes of heavy regulations that go unmitigated.

 

  • On Preserving Access, MHI counts emails or House passage, but ignores the lack of actual progress, which is the signing of a bill. By the time the bill passes (if it ever does), how many businesses have since sold out for less, or closed down?  Answer: Hundreds, if not thousands.
  • On the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the GSEs and chattel lending, 21st President/CEO Tim Williams (then MHI chairman) is on record saying it was a “waste of time.”
  • Williams admitted in front of a few dozen MHI members that they didn’t provide the GSEs the data they requested. In turn the GSEs used a ‘lack of data’ as their reasons for not doing a more robust DTS program. As MHARR reported, that’s a gift to Berkshire Hathaway’s brands, while harming consumers and independent communities, retailers, and producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.
  • MHI has failed for years to robustly and routinely defend the industry when it comes under unjust attack in media or research. Negative news about manufactured home communities, lending, storms, etc. are widely seen by industry members as one of several causes for the industry’s relatively low sales levels.
  • MHI was given several options other than Berkshire Hathaway brands to provide more lending to the industry. MHI leadership were introduced at the Introduction to Manufactured Housing Opportunities Day to those options.  They were introduced at trade shows.  How many of those alternative solutions did MHI embrace and promote?  Per our sources, zero.
  • MHI’s new videos promote exactly 4 favored, insider operations. What about the rest of the industry? What about the rest of MHI’s own members? In essence, MHI is promoting select members and all of the other members are paying for it.
  • All of this fits the Warren Buffett’s “the Moat” principle.
  • The monopolistic practices of MHI has been lamented across the political and economic spectrum. Examples are Democrats pushing CFPB and DOJ investigations of Berkshire Hathaway and their MHI mouthpiece.  Or pro-consumer, pro-business MHARR implying the monopolistic practices too.  CFED (rebranded Prosperity Now), NMHOA on the left – to past and current MHI members, such as Marty Lavin, Frank Rolfe, George Allen on the center/right have underscored several of these same points.
  • These bullets fit the facts from various MHProNews and MHARR reports over the course of several years.
  • None of these bullets were refuted by MHI’s recent, written response of 1.10.2018.
  • In fact, by calling for “industry unity,” they de facto point to how contraction leads to unity, but in the hands of the few.
  • Several of MHI’s pivots have only come after months or years of critiques by their own members, MHARR, others outside of their organization, and MHProNews/MHLivingNews. Once they pivot, they pretend as if that was their position all along.
  • This is in keeping with Warren Buffett’s stated belief that most don’t think long term and don’t learn the lessons of history. See links, quotes in “Perverse.”

Summary of the summary.

By routinely failing at protecting, educating and promotion of the industry,
by allowing a crunch of the historic credit (including owner financing/rent-to-own) options,
the industry shrank, benefiting the few.  Meanwhile MHI is touting their efforts.

Thousands do okay, fail, or are forced to sell. How is that possible in an era when over 8 million affordable housing units are needed, per NAR and the NLIHC?  How can some organization – given the industry’s legal benefits under enhanced preemption, and if Duty to Serve were both robustly enforced – how could some ‘professional’ organization do so poorly, so consistently?  Are they just poor at performance, or do their puppet masters benefit regardless if they get regulatory relief, or not?

LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC 2018.  All rights reserved, but sharing as is, without alterations, is hereby authorized. 2018 ©.  LifeStyle Factory Homes is the parent company to MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Credit is the lifeblood of housing.” – Eric Belsky

There are multiple reasons to expect manufactured housing to do better than site built housing in the [current] decade.”

– Eric Belsky
Executive Director Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University.
Second quote from May 2000 issue of Modern Homes Development, per MHI.

— 30 —

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

MHI failure to help the industry thrive might be summed up in this one chart. There are a number of negative impacts for low volumes of new MH sales. One is that there are fewer used homes on the market. Image credit: Ross Kinzler – Wisconsin Housing Alliance.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsMastheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

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

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

Newspaper Names Clayton Homes, Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton In “Swamp After Storm” Post-Disaster “Corruption”

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

SamZellManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHomeCommunitiesMastheadIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Related report, linked below. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/els-sam-zell-compliance-costs-destroys-smaller-businesses-consolidation/

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

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

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

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

 

Warren Buffett supported POTUS Barack Obama’s candidacy.  Obama’s administration gave us Dodd-Frank. Buffet also supported Sec. Hillary Clinton, saying he believed in her policies.  How could Tim Williams oppose his own boss?

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

There are several one-liners that MHI should try to answer. Warren Buffett, left, supported Hillary Clinton, who supported Dodd-Frank. Duh? Who does MHI think they are fooling? Credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews. http://www.mhpronews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

“What the Hell?” “The Audacity of Hope” – Obama, Trump, Presidential Promises Kept, & MH

Misusing the legal system, says the Star Tribune in a report linked below, can be a criminal as well as a civil offense.

ICE Raids Ramping Up Nationally, MHC Arrest, & Manufactured Housing Employers Alert

There have been several accusations of monopolistic practices by MHI in favoring Berkshire Hathaway, and possibly others. The article below explains is that too could result in triple damages civil suits, and/or criminal penalties.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

“Self-Evident Truths,” America, Investments, and Manufactured Housing

How can MHI’s president, or other senior staff, look at any industry member with a straight face, when Andy Gallagher apparently felt intimidated about possibly appearing to be taking a position different than MHI?

 

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

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

There’s more, sadly, but true.  Let MHI try to fact check the above, instead of gloss over and then put their hands out, asking for money, when they’ve been accused of being complicit in the destruction of the value of thousands of manufactured home industry businesses.

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

It’s past due time for a debate.  They’re feeling the heat from MHARR, MHI members, and a number of others.

‘We Want Your Money’ – 2018 MHI Membership, Infographic Fact Check

If they managed to kill me tomorrow (not saying they will, or that they want to – just for dramatic effect – to make the point) or otherwise try to silence MHProNews, the evidence is still here on MHProNews, on MHLivingNews, with MHARR, and others quoted on our pages.

There are already, per Democratic lawmakers, investigations underway.

Why pay dues to a failing, sinking ship? Want more of the same?  It’s your money, your time.  Go right ahead.  It’s America.  But mark my words.  MHI is part of a rigged, corrupt system.  Let them debate me in public and prove me wrong in Louisville. ## (News, fisking, analysis, commentary, links to documents, allegations, comments from members, etc.)

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

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

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

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

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

November 13th, 2017 No comments

First, the readers digest version, then the details. Last week, the WVHI sent out their newsletter with a column apparently written by their co-president, George Gunnell.  Gunnell is an RVP for Clayton Homes.  That article and others in the same newsletter indicated that MHI wanted Pam Danner ousted from her role at HUD.

That’s not an uncommon position among MHI, MHARR or other industry members, as the WVHI said and suggested themselves in the same newsletter.

So why has that WVHI newsletter erupted into an industry controversy?  Why are some saying, heads will roll because of that?

We’ll examine that and the related, step-by-step, below.

TransparencyMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Apparently,” written by Gunnell because hours after we published our report that spotlighted and quoted the WVHI statements –

  • a call,
  • texts
  • and emails came in from WVHI’s award-winning,
  • and widely-liked executive director, Andy Gallagher.

George Gunnell, WVMHI, Citing FMHA’s Jim Ayotte, Says HUD’s Pam Danner Must Go

Most of those statements were made off the record, which we honor.

AndyGallagherRunMyStatementWVHI-MastheadCommentaryMHProNewsMHProNews

andy-gallagher-executive-director-west-virginia-manufactured-housing-association-louisville-2014-industry-voices-mhpronews0com-55x55

Andy Gallagher is an award winning, and respected state Assoc.  executive.

But part of what Gallagher sent – at his texted request makes clear – Andy asked me personally to publish.

Per that statement, as shown below.

AndyGallagherExecDirectorWVHIWestVirginiaHousingInstituteManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIMastheadBlogMHProNews

As you see, Andy said,

IReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM-comMHProNews (1)I’m not saying you [Tony/MHProNews’] are the bad guy.”

I’m just saying clearly and I think you should reflect this in your writing:”

Happy to, Andy. All of that – and more – we’re hereby doing as requested.  Because we don’t want Gallagher or anyone else to feel unfair pressure.

Further, editorially this writer believes the question needs to be asked: why should award-winning Andy’s job be at risk?

Or for that matter, Clayton’s RVP, George Gunnell’s job?

Gallagher, Jennison, Others…

It should be noted that Gallagher, per sources, worked in journalism in years gone by.

If so, then Gallagher knows the rules of the road, knows English, understands ghost writing, etc.  By the way, ghost writing and pen names are both commonplace in publishing.

GhostWriterDefinedPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Famous people have used pen names and/or had ghost writers.  For example Mark Twain was actually Samuel Clemens.

MarkTwainSamuelClemnsWikipediaMastheadBlogMHproNews

An MHI source told MHProNews that Richard “Dick” Jennison reportedly paid $1500 to Bruce Savage to ghost write Jennison’s brief address to the RV MH Hall of Fame a few years back.

Ghost writing happens.

It happens, and should not necessarily be construed as something wrong.  It can be a perfectly fine pratice.

Asking to Pull our Report to the Industry…

A source connected with ties to MHI and the WVHI – perhaps due to some fear and/or pressure – wanted to see the Daily Business News story killed.

Please pull it.’

As a matter of policy, MHProNews will correct an error, or will clarify a story.

But we don’t pull a news story. Many in mainstream media have a similar policy. That ‘don’t pull a story’ policy exists for several reasons.  That’s a check on us, and on others too.  We strive to make a story accurate before publishing, we quote and cite sources as needed, and we strive to follow the standards that good journalistic practices aspire to meet.

Besides – even if we didn’t have the don’t pull a story policy – wouldn’t they have to ‘pull’ the stories in the WVHI newsletter?  How do you pull something – namely, the WVHI newsletter – that’s already been emailed out to dozens of professionals?

OustPamDannerStoryLinkedGeorgeGunnellCo-PresidentMHProNewsMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Notice: Andy Gallagher says Gunnell didn’t write this column, that Gallagher did. The red-boxed information points to both the Jim Ayotte article on page 3, but also the other story that points to ‘ousting’ Pam Danner.

MHProNews policy…while we do some things differently than AP Stylebook suggests (like showing quotes in dark brown text, we’re close on the ideals for a trade publisher).  We’ll also cop a plea to periodic typos. But by trying to get the facts and sources accurately reflected, we’ve built a reputation that makes us the most read – from operations large, medium to mom-and-pop – in the entire manufactured home industry.

Thousands come daily. Readers routinely sign up for our emailed news updates, at this link here.

In short, while not everyone likes every article, quote or comment, we’re #1 by a country mile in this industry’s trade media.

We invite other points of view.  When we disagree or disagree with MHI, we routinely invite them to comment, and/or quote from their own published statements.  We say allegation when that term applies, etc., etc.  That’s fair and balanced.

Here are the facts, here are the concerns, here are the allegations. Then, “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

WestVirginiaHousingInstituteWVHImanufacturedhousingindustryWVManufacturedHousingInstitutePamDannerLesliGooch

Fair and balanced.

‘If You Won’t Kill It, Please Re-Write it’

Then, a source asked the Masthead’s writer (me, as MHProNews’ publisher) to re-write the story.

At that point, I personally reviewed all that we knew directly from:

  • other sources that addressed us directly,
  • what I knew first-hand experience at the MHI San Antonio meeting – what members told me directly,
  • what was known from MHI at that point in time from their own communiques to their members,
  • and then finally, from what the WVHI published.

Award-Winning MHI Retailer Regarding HUD Objectives, Pam Danner, Needed Changes

We also looked at MHARR’s consistent position again, summarized in the over 2 dozen reasons why Pam Danner needed to be removed from her current role.

Setting aside who authored Gunnell’s column, the bottom-line is this.

What WVHI published was consistent with the thrust of what we quoted on the Daily Business News and heard from other sources in our MHProNews report, linked above and also linked here.

So why doesn’t MHI just behave in a transparent way?  Instead of trying to get others to change something, why don’t they just speak for themselves?

Why are they making it so difficult for their own members to know what the Arlington, VA based trade association REALLY believes regarding Danner?

Ducking for Months

MHI has officially ducked for months on the question of their supporting Pam Danner’s removal as the administrator of the Office of Manufactured Housing at HUD.

Publicly in Deadwood, SD – in front of dozens of industry professionals – MHI General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Rick Robinson ducked questions on the Danner issue.  Ditto Preserving Access, and other issues relating to the association’s positions and performance.

RickRobinsonTonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Transparency, Please?

MHInoReportersJournalistsSignManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoByManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews300x474a

MHI – Transparency, please? Photo credit, MHProNews.

There’s more that could be said, but we’ll hold it for now, and simply ask.

MHI – can you be transparent on this Pam Danner issue?  Can you and those who pull the strings please not try to intimidate Andy Gallagher, or anyone else in the industry?

Please?

An MHI Executive Committee member told me some time back at a private dinner – just we two – that their publicly-traded firm believed in transparency.  ‘Bad news, we get it out there.  Good news, we get it out there.  Transparency,’ that corporate leader said to me face-to-face, was a key principle.

Ok.

Where’s that same level of transparency at MHI?  Why are members and the industry being asked to guess whatever it is that MHI claims they want on Pam Danner?

Time will tell anyway. But in the meantime, consider the wisdom of behaving based upon principles – vs. posturing or evasion?

Heavy regulation, third party sources say, falls heavier on smaller companies than big ones.

ELS’ Sam Zell – Compliance Costs Destroys Smaller Businesses = Consolidation

Or consider what Marty Lavin said, does it apply here?

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNew

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

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

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Photo taken while Tony was questioning regulators in NY.  Kovach, and MHProNews, are fighting for the industry’s advancement, day by day.

Kovach is the award-winning co-founder and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews.com, MHLivingNews.com, and the affiliated business development, consulting, and industry-expert services.