Media Wars, MH Industry and Pros Like You – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)

September 14th, 2016 No comments

When speaking at live industry events, one of my favorite questions for attendees is this. By a show of hands, how many of you think that media stories about manufactured housing and wind storms harms our industry, and our sales?

So far, every hand in the room will shoot up to that question. No one – not one – has yet to say, those negative media stories helps manufactured housing and the industry’s sales.


For image credits, please see the article and click above.

What that example tells us is this obvious truth. The media can harm – or help – the MH Industry’s image, public perception and thus how prospective home buyers respond to our products and services.

But the media also impacts public officials, policy wonks (no disrespect intended) and the various spectrum of housing advocates.


Joe Dyton, guest writer for the linked Daily Business News report.

We published a story this morning by our new guest writer, Joe Dyton. That story, is linked here.

Within an hour of that article, the guest letter from UMH CEO Sam Landy came in. His letter to the editor, is linked here.

With that public comment in hand, we are now better able to respond to such rent control stories in the future.

Not everyone will agree with our tackling thorny issues publicly. I understand the school of thought that says, ‘better to let bad news blow over…’

…but the problem is this.  After years of “bad news” mainstream media stories going unanswered, that has clearly only harmed MH.

ICYMI – association executive Jay Hamilton shared the following, which is right on point.


The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things, the same way, and expect a different result.  MH Pros must engage ‘negative stories’ if we are ever going to be accepted as mainstream housing – and thus reach our true potential. Facebook post to Tony Kovach. Image credit, Facebook.

With the help of solution oriented professionals, MHProNews and our publicly focused sister-site, (aka – have worked for several years now to build the foundation necessary to tackle the thorny issues.  That foundation includes, but is not limited to, video interviews with dozens of MH residents, MH experts and with those outside of our industry too. We can influence the media, because our operation is trade media. 

  • Public officials
  • Investors
  • Policy advocates
  • Educators
  • Non-profits
  • Attorneys
  • Association professionals
  • Producers
  • Suppliers
  • MH Retailers and of course
  • beaucoups Manufactured home community pros

 …all of whom logon daily by the thousands. That professional connection between us as pro-MH Industry trade media and with you and others are “all good” and useful.

But the next step is tackling ever more robustly the thorny issues that keep MH from advancing.

For that, we need more comments, mutual understanding, feedback and support that the MH Industry alone can properly provide.

On tornadoes, hurricanes and windstorms? The ‘answer’ to that issue is linked here.

On the nettlesome topic of rent control, we are in the process of building the MH Industry’s answers. Sam Landy’s comments will be useful. Others are invited too. The more takes, the more insights, the better our ability to respond becomes.


The MH Industry used to sell 500,000 units in the early 70s. In the late 90s, the industry topped 372,000 homes. Today, we are looking at a SAAR of some 80,000 homes? Why are we settling for such a low level of sales and production?

The industry did not get to sub-100,000 homes a year by accident. We will not climb back up to our potential – which is over 500,000 homes a year  – overnight.


There are millions of housing sales every year.  MH’s SAAR hovers around 80k. Hello? Image, perception, education – call it what you will. NAHB, NAR and MH Industry statistics on new manufactured home sales compared to existing home resales and new home starts. Still from a slide from Tuesdays With Tony webinar.

That we can do it is precisely why we launched MHProNews almost 7 years ago.

We truly are all better off working together. The naysayers, ne’er-do-wells, the short-cut artists, the uniformed, those stuck in a rut, those satisfied with the status quo, they are all who they are. Redeemable?  Sure, but we’re looking for the forward thinkers and doers that will share – in words and deeds – the answers and solutions that will make many wealthy via a great product and service to millions of Americans.

Here’s to surpassing the outcomes of yesteryear – by doing right and learning to tell our story well! R U Ready? ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


Photo taken during New York Housing Association meeting, Tony questioning regulators.

L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

The Latest Unforced MHI Error

September 11th, 2016 No comments

Let’s begin by stating the obvious. We have and do support the good things that MHI does. But to paraphrase what Teddy Roosevelt said, it would be wrong – disloyal – not to oppose and expose the latest unforced MHI staff error. It’s being done for the sake of the many.


Image credit, Pinterest.

It would be wrong to allow MHI members – including those who mistakenly support those staffers who periodically make such blunders – to allow the MH Industry at large, as well as MHI members, to suffer the potentially harmful outcomes of yet another periodic error that flows from certain paid MHI staffers.

This one could be legally costly.


Crisp Writing…

…with notable and risky errors…


The MHI StatePoint advertorials are an example of how the road to hell can be paved by good intentions.  We won’t recount at this time all of the tactical and strategic errors involved in this “campaign” in terms of MHI’s credibility regarding their messaging.


The intention, one might presume, is to help boost the industry’s image – and thus sales. That kind of intention is arguably good. But is this the way that should be done? See the critical and problematic quote below. Image credit, MHI’s StatePoint advertorial, published in the Pulaski County Mirror.

What we will do is point out a specific, serious error.  It’s serious because of the legal/liability ramifications.

We checked this concern out with several MH Industry attorneys.  They who won’t go public, at least not at this time. But that really isn’t necessary. Because common sense is why this was brought to our attention.


MHI President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison, who’s name is at the center of the latest controversial communications issue involving MHI.

Common sense should have told top MHI staff that what was being sent out under Richard “Dick” Jennison’s name was an unforced error that could lead in time to litigation against the association.

The Problematic Statement in its context, & Why It’s an Issue

 This issue boils down to one sentence, but it is going to be shown below in its context.

It’s important to remember that the affordability of manufactured homes is not a product of lesser quality, but rather the efficient way building materials are produced, a savings that is passed on directly to the homebuyer,” says Jennison. “Furthermore, they appreciate in value, just like site-built homes.”

No qualifiers!  Just “...they appreciate in value…”



Screen capture of StatePoint’s Pulaski County Mirror published advertorial by MHI, focusing on Richard “Dick” Jennison’s problematic quoted statement.

For those in the MHC sector or other MH industry pros who know Ishbel Dickens, Carla Burr or others like them – can you imagine what they could publicly do to embarrass MHI with that line from the association’s CEO?

Leadership may or may not let this slide. But we as pro-industry trade publishers will not stay silent when MHI’s staffers may be leading the industry into what could be the next, highly avoidable, Seattle Times/CPI style issue.

The Legal View


Image credit, ImgBuddy.

One of the attorneys asked about this – an MH industry pro – began his reply by asking tongue-in-cheek, with a wry chuckle, “What do you want the opinion to be?” The lawyer pressed on to what most know, you can find an attorney to agree and then attack-or-defend almost anything.

After the humor, the attorney got serious.

This is precisely one of the types of statements that we strive to avoid [at their organization]. Without the proper qualifiers, you are opening yourself up to liability.”


Yes, there are possible legal defenses to this scenario.

But so long as one or more aggrieved buyer(s) would swear under oath that they “relied on this appreciation statement from MHI’s president and CEO, Richard Jennison” as part of their purchasing decision, the liability door swings open. The buyer who relies on that misleading statement – thinking that they would without any ifs, ands or buts make money when they sold the home –  could after X years if they lost money for whatever reason, claim the grounds for a legal action.


Warning sign, NZ, WikiCommons.

By addressing this rapidly, it could be nipped in the bud.  So why not clean up the messaging error ASAP and avoid that risk? Thus, this column.

MHI’s StatePoint Advertorial Series Lacks the Proper Foundation

MH Pros know that a good foundation system is vital for a home.  The same is true in messaging.  Without the right foundation, these words from Matthew 7:26b-27 spring to mind:

is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (NIV)

The MH Industry saw what happened in the 1990s when poorly underwritten-and-documented loans resulted in a bunch of sales, and they were followed by a bunch of repossessions.  More than 15 years later, the industry still suffers from the image, regulatory and economic fallout that activity caused manufactured housing.

The concern in this case is similar, but different.

Let’s consider the following scenario.

Imagine that MHI’s efforts – using phrases like the one shown – resulted over time in a lot of sales.

Within a few years, enough people would have sold their home to test the outcome of Jennison’s quoted statement. Odds are that significant numbers of those sellers would, for a variety of reasons, lose money. And then they will likely find media and/or attorneys to help them howl.


Down arrow, losing money. Image credit, wpcki.

Do any of us think that the MH Industry needs such a spike followed by a big dump?

Warning Duty Done

MHI logo

Image credit, MHI logo, used here under fair use guidelines.

We have spotlighted the latest issue out of MHI’s Arlington offices. There are others.

MHI should correct this unforced error, stop the campaign and regroup on this entire advertorial approach.

Not that advertorials are per-se bad.  Done properly, they can have value. But MHI’s approach has numerous flaws.

If they don’t stop it, odds are good that in time, someone will look back and say, who started this MHI advertorial campaign?  Why was it allowed to happen?


AMHA‘s new video campaign is just one of several states who are doing education/image building. Companies are doing image and marketing campaigns. and have been engaged on this front for years. Will the many be allowed to suffer for the mistakes of the few?

Undermines Legitimate Efforts

This sort of problematic messaging by MHI only undermines the legitimate efforts others in MH — including some state associations, companies, MHLivingNews and MHProNews have undertaken — to do education and image-building the proper way.  Namely, education based upon the truth and reality.

We as MH industry pros don’t need to exaggerate or spin the truth in order to sell more homes.

We have a great product, and it stands on its own merits.  We have great services too. Our lenders don’t need apologize, but MH chattel lending does need to be properly explained and expressed. The majority of communities don’t need to apologize; they also offer a vital and positive service – as a planned Daily Business News post will soon spotlight.

We have held — and may continue to hold — certain cards that we’d rather not have to play on the MHI/staffers issue.

Close observers will note the following. Many of these staff-related issues revolve around MHI communications combined with questionable judgement. There is a pattern. Is it intentional? Is it just sloppy?

Does it matter what the motivations or causes are, when they occur periodically, are problematic and avoidable?


In football or team sports, there is accountability. How about with the staff at MHI?
                                                                                                                                                                            When a quarterback tosses a number of interceptions, gets few if any touchdowns, in the pros, they get benched, traded or terminated. Shouldn’t a national MH association seeking to score points for the industry and its members have a similar standard?
                                                                                                                                                                           A few want to blame the messenger for making candid observations, but the sportscaster or play-by-play announcer who doesn’t make candid observations would be failing his duties as a professional. The same holds true for an MH industry trade journalist; it’s our duty to call it as we see it too.   “We Provide, You Decide.” ©                                                                                                                                                             
Photo and credit; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, left, talks with quarterback Sam Bradford during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez – USA Today)

What are the possible resolutions?

Why not have certain people own this and prior mistakes, apologize for the sake of the industry and then step aside?

Or barring that, why shouldn’t they be asked by their superiors to leave? ##

l.a.'tony'kovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-mhpronews-com-L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.



L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

Sources Backing Off, But Troubling MH Issue Looms

September 7th, 2016 No comments

Two brief topics and some programming notes for today. First, more than one source has given MHProNews feedback on a new, looming issue that is rearing its ugly head right before keen industry observers’ eyes.

While it is NOT connected to the troubling reports about ITT, see link here, the ITT Tech issue holds clues to potential future headaches for manufactured housing.


Photo credit, WIPX, text credit, MHProNews.

One challenge is, that this new headache/potential threat might appear subtle, until looked at closely.

Another challenge on the same topic is that some will mistakenly think that what’s taking place is positive, when actually it’s problematic, negative or even costly.

Let’s hope one or more sources step forward, we’d like to bring you the report.  Ideally, we need an attorney who knows our industry, isn’t afraid of politics, ready to speak out.  Those who’ve been asked, see the concern, but are not (yet) ready to go on-the-record.

Among my concerns? That the enemies of this MH industry don’t pick up on this before we can line up that prudent legal voice, and which would allow us to bring the topic up here first.  We could roll it out now, but we want an independent, third party legal mind to sound off publicly.

The Masthead has little doubts that this is harmful, avoidable and regrettably originates within the ranks of our profession.  The main question is when and how much harm would come…


This looming challenge could prove to be a costly issue, it will be embarrassing at a minimum, and sadly comes from within our industry. Image credit, SeniorMotif.

…and once we have a brave, MH savvy legal mind ready to step forward, we’ll strive to bring you that report, hopefully sooner than later.

Clinton v Trump – the Commander in Chief Forum – Wed 8 PM ET NBC, MSNBC


Credit, NBC News.

Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off for the first time in public, in a kind of pre-debate forum, hosted by NBC, which will be carried as well on their sister station, MSNBC.

This comes as Trump had risen steadily in the polls in the past two to three weeks, since his new campaign team took the helm, in the wake of his visit with Mexico’s president and since his messaging has been tightened.

Meanwhile, the steady drip, drip, drip of legal, security and ethics (pay-to-play, Clinton Foundation) issues continue to blossom and dog Hillary.

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has hinted he will drop another leak of documents on Clinton, perhaps as soon as next week.

Whatever it is, Assange says it’s “significant.”  Since he doesn’t want to hurt his street cred, it would be no surprise if what he has is just that…important for voters to know and consider.


Photo credit, TJCNewsPapers.

While it may be troubling that a voice outside of the U.S. is playing a serious role in our election run-up, is that any less serious than hundreds of millions flowing into the Clinton’s coffers from sources overseas (and domestic…) during and since her time as Secretary of State?

The foreign Clinton cash, by the way, if ever proven to be pay-for-play, is illegal. Even the NYTimes and other pro-Clinton media outlets says the Clinton Foundation optics are troubling.

By contrast, foreign sources sharing news is often legit, or at least not automatically illegal; though the obtaining of the documents could have been illegal for whoever took/hacked them.

As generals and admirals line up to support both Clinton and Trump, the edge among the military heavy weights at the moment is slightly in Clinton’s favor, but in public polling among the military and veterans, that goes to Trump by some 19% in a recent NBC News poll.

From an MH, and many other, perspectives, this electoral choice for our next POTUS ought to be easy. Trump’s stated policies would clearly be better for MH than Hillary’s.

From taxes, to regulations in general, to Dodd-Frank, to ObamaCare, job creation, to the appointment of federal judges and Supreme Court justices, Trump is hands down the easy choice.

Besides, the Trump family is now documented to have a potent factory-built housing connection.


Wouldn’t it be cool to have class in the Oval Office, and for that class to be housing, and factory-built – housing friendly? Click on the image above to go to page, and see the image credits, video and more.

My bride and yours truly are “all in” for Mr. Trump, others viewpoints are of course respected, it is America.

With just 2 months to Election Day, and it’s still a wide open race. We’ll bring you periodic looks, that you won’t find anywhere else in factory-built housing news.

Programming notes…

We have one more new Cup of Coffee interview that should be coming in soon, another new one that posted yesterday, and Joe Dyton will have another featured article for the Daily Business News that should be ready by noonish tomorrow. Watch for it all, to be found only right here, on the leading source for Industry News, Tips and Views, Pros Can Use © – ##

(Image credits as shown).


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach caricature. Kovach is the publisher and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC parent to MHLivingNews and MHProNews, and their various consulting and professional services. Kovach is perhaps the most recommended/endoresed MH personality on LinkedIn.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

Superior September 2016, How Manufactured Housing Can Do It Better

September 6th, 2016 No comments

We as an industry have the superior solution, and while we’re collectively growing nicely, manufactured housing is still just a fraction of its former production levels.


Manufactured housing peaked in 1998, and has been on a mostly sustained slide since. The rise since 2009’s low point has been good, but we are still just a shadow of our former glory. Image credit, Calculated Risk.

ICYMI (in case you missed it), that relatively low level of production is both a threat and an opportunity in disguise.

Reality Checks

Divisions have always been a part of America. From the days of the colonists – or even before them when the native tribes who traveled the great mountains, rivers and plains of Asia, crossed  the straights from what today is Russia into Alaska, and then fanned out across what would become America – divisions have existed. 



Divisions have been a part of our heritage. Native American tribes were often rivals. The colonists were not all for the Revolution against England. Is it any wonder there are divisions today too? Note the tribal map is superimposed upon our modern states, which did not exist when they first roamed this vast land. Image credit – Emerson Kent.

Manufactured housing, modular and prefab systems-building is no different. Divisions exist.  It’s part of being human, we lack perfection, we find ourselves at odds with others; by choice, accident or coincidence.


We’ve reviewed before that it is when the national associations are working together in concert with state and community associations that the most progress has been made. UImage credit – collage of Industry Association logos by MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective 
organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

How do we make what divides us into something that nurtures and becomes our strength?


Blind eyes won’t do it. What won’t fix divisions or help those fissures to strengthen us is to practice denial or insanity.

We’ve all heard or said that the popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things in the same ways, and yet expect a different result.

Let’s be honest. Yet at various times, haven’t MH Pros done just that…right?  We have all traveled that rut time and again, on issue after issue.


Habits, processes and systems are necessary to acheive success. At the same time, a habit can also become a rut, a trap. We must routinely challenge ourselves – and each other – by asking, is this the best that we can do on issue X today? Photo credit, WikiCommons. Poster by MHProNews.

Be it your face or mine in the mirror, we ought to admit that what was once a grove has at times lead to bring stuck in a rut.  That rut has become a trap which slows our progress, or keeps us from going higher and faster. That rut may even mimic an open ended grave.



As Commodore’s Bob Bender, a former Kodak executive noted in our interview with him, there are times when channels become ruts that can trap a person, firm or an industry. Montgomery Wards was once a great retailer, now they are in the dust bin of history. Ditto Eastman Kodak. Photo credit, eBay.

Being years into our industry’s recovery from the bottom of 2009 is good, but it also has its threats. For those of us who survived or now seemingly thrive in America 2016, that self-congratulatory pat on the back for surviving should not lead us to a false sense of success.

We can and must do better. There are too many threats that could still limit or even crush manufactured housing.  Don’t believe it? Just ask a coal miner, or someone who once worked for a giant operation like Kodak or Montgomery Wards.

Bad Media? Good Reporting?

There are often more than two sides to a story, so that thin edge of the coin can become an important insight.

When one fails to properly share each side of a tale, that story is lacking.  When the realities are twisted, that report then morphs into a kind of ghost story or fairy tale.

What is “Good Media?”


In this new issue, we showcase examples of manufactured housing pros who spoke out on the record against biased or incomplete media reports. When the industry makes responding to such attacks routine and effective, we’ll see manufactured housing acceptance, respect grow and sales soar. Hundreds of mainstream media sites picked up our media release on media bias against MH. See article linked below for this topic and others like it.

Good media does more than the basics of – who, what, when, where and why – of Journalism.

Good media reveals the tensions!  Good media reflects what is real, and may hint at or spell out the possible resolutions!

Tensions. Accountability. Reality checks. Good story telling. Resolutions. Each and all are needed to advance.

Skills, insights and resources like yours and your operation are needed to complete a picture.


Better late to the dance than to not come at all. Some in MH questioned and resisted early and often what others more recently have realized could harm our industry. What ought to be a positive for MH, has been shown by third parties as negatives about manufactured housing. The engagement of professionals with good trade media and clear-eyed association leaders is the best way to advance the industry on all the issues facing MH. The collage and response article above hit hundreds of mainstream media sights, to help set the record straight about the fact that MH already saves energy, and the options already exist for more energy savings. Image credits on the article, linked below.

That insight then requires expertise. It requires objectively.  It requires a willingness to dig in by each of those who are touched.

Until we shine the proper light on what’s right, and yet don’t avoid what’s wrong, we have not hit the right balance.

We should make you feel hopeful and good, while challenging you too. If we have never stepped on a toe, odds are you or we or both missed something.

Revealing tensions and reflecting various perspectives well is important.

The blind can only grope their way ahead.

Those blinded by habit, hubris or any of the weaknesses that divides humanity are stuck at the speed of groping.

The jet fuel that could power us ahead is to take the limiting dark and/or rose colored glasses off.

We must believe that we can do it, so a kind of positive attitude is necessary.

But we must also be real. Denying the cliffs along the roads we all travel is as bad as being paralyzed by fear.

Balance and tension alike makes for good journalism.

By being true first to each other, we can then as trade journalists better engage the mainstream media, the public, officials and policy types.

Showing reality, and then dealing with it – that is what makes us stronger.

Manufactured housing is a superior solution. Other forms of factory building each have their vital roles too.

Industry Voices, Real News, Thoughtful Interviews and Reports


Industry pros like Lamb, association and other leaders are among those who have boldly spoken out on issues that impact manufactured housing nationally. We will only advance to the extent that we tackle the issues that hold our industry back.  For the article that drew Lamb’s comment, scroll down to the Featured Articles for Superior Septemember.

We bring you Superior September 2016’s featured articles and reports, each of which includes industry voices like those you know. People like those you work with, or who are and have been walking in shoes like yours.

We can’t fix the world in a single story, issue or report. America’s story isn’t finished, neither is the story of MH.

But day by day, shining hopeful light on issues that matter – on issues which either hold us back or are moving us ahead – these are how we make manufactured and other forms of industrialized housing great in America.

We are in this industry are the future, we must believe that to be true. We must jump or navigate each hurdle, until we arrive at a point that we have the respect and the rewards which comes from doing it right.

With no further adieu, we bring you with the sincere thanks to all who make this and every issue happen, the Superior September 2016 featured articles and reports. MHProNews – “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use.” ©
Another 2016 Manufactured Housing Legal Update – Where Business & Law Intersect


MarcLifesetJDMcGlincheyStaffordmanufacturedhousinglaw-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-50x50by Marc Lifeset, JD
McGlinchey Stafford is proud to provide the Manufactured Housing Update to the manufactured housing industry. 

Read more…


Comparing Mid-America Apartment Communities vs. Sun Communities, Head-to-Head Analysis


By Joe Dyton

Joe_Dyton_DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews55x55CML News recently took a deep dive into a head-to-head comparison between Memphis, TN-based Mid-America Communities, Inc. (NYSE: MAA) and Southfield, MI-based Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI).

Read more…


Two Faces of Manufactured Home Community Closures – Urban Institute’s Preservation Approach Vs. Little Farm Trailer Park Outcome


by Joe Dyton
Affordable housing options are becoming less plentiful around the country, but according to Urban Institute researchers, there are ways to sidestep what has become an outright crisis.

Read more…


Management Group Increases Holdings in Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS)


by Frank Griffin

FrankGriffinDailyBusinessNewDBNwriterMHProNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryNews55x55Schroder Investment Management Group acquired an additional $2,017,000 worth of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) shares for the quarter ending July 30th, 2016.
Read more…


Say No Socialist Driven Economy, Praise for Revolution PreFab Homes


by Jay Hamilton

jay-hamiltonTony, I have no plans to vote for a Socialism Driven Economy.

Read more…


Carlyle Group (CG) Urged To Invest Multi-Billion$ In “Dry Powder,” says Bloomberg’s Tan


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
The Carlyle Group (CG) is reportedly one of the top 100 largest manufactured home community operators in the U.S..  Its big hedge fund business is said to be heading for the exit, according to SeekingAlpha and Bidness.

Read more…


UMH Properties Closes on 2 Manufactured Home Communities, more Closings Pending


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Freehold NJ based UMH Properties, Inc. (NYSE: UMH) announced that it has closed on the acquisition of two communities located in Ohio for a total purchase price of $2,954,000.

Read more…


Man Shot in “Trailer Park” (sic) says ABC TV’s Marla Carter, MH Pros React


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Tragedy and violence occurs in neighborhoods across America.

Read more…


MHC Pro/Owner – “Highly Conflicted” over Manufactured Home Community Closures


by Marty Lavin, JD
Tony, I am highly conflicted by the closing and eviction of the El Portal MH community.

Read more…


MH Community Owner’s Reaction to Baytown, TX “trashy mobile home park” story


by Richard Nodel
I become incensed when I see examples of the absolute worse type of landlord.

Read more…


Zoning, Opening up Urban Infill and Making Sure Citizens who want Manufactured Homes are Heard


EdSchaferGovtAffairsManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolina-postedIndustryVoices-MHProNews-65x65by Ed Schafer
For the last three or four years, the South Carolina association’s focus is to move beyond killing bad zoning proposals and working to reopen areas that have been closed to manufactured homes for many years.

Read more…


Discrimination, Zoning and Disparate Impact on Manufactured Homes, Owners, Prospects


M-MarkWeiss-MHARRPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-by Mark Weiss
The discriminatory exclusion of manufactured homes by local governments is a major problem for the industry and consumers.

Read more…


Business Impact – Left, Right Agree – President Obama’s mark is on powerful U.S. Appeals Courts


tony- kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Elizabeth Wydra is the president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which Wikipedia describes as a conservative judicial group.

Read more…


Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, Directors Insider Trades – & CVCO Portfolio Holder Updates


   by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Cavco Industries director Jack Hanna has filed a Form 4, according to a report byStreetInsider, see that as a download, linked here.

Read more…


Controversial Analysis – NRDC, ACEEE and proposed DOE Manufactured Home Energy Standards for Manufactured Homes – Helpful or Harmful?


by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
tony- kovach
Controversy about the proposed U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) standards for manufactured housing has followed the flurry of commentary from various special-interest and non-profit groups, covered by recent news media reports.

Read more…


Demand for Manufactured Homes in Louisiana Flood Zone Rising, Factories Gear Up for FEMA, Residents


tony- kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
For two days, rain tortured the heart of bayou country, dumping 24 inches in less than 48 hours on southern Louisiana, says a report in the DigitalJournal.

Read more…


Discrimination, Injustice against manufactured housing – a Call for Action by Industry Professionals


by Todd Lamb
Tony, I agree with the Daily Business News article and the comments from other manufactured home industry professionals regarding Councilman David McCartney in Baytown.

Read more…


HUD Code Manufactured Housing, “The Discrimination Code”


marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronewsby Marty Lavin, JD
Tony, you are so right on the HUD Code has become a deadly “discrimination code,” especially as it applies to manufactured home financing.

Read more…


A Cup of Coffee with… Otis Orsburn, Hybrid Prefab Homes


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Hybrid Prefab Homes and where your organization is based).

My name is Otis Orsburn, President of Hybrid Prefab Homes based in Santa Rosa, California.

Read more…

A Cup of Coffee with…Mark Weiss, President & CEO of MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform)


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and where your organization is based).

Mark Weiss, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Read more

Responding to Negative News About a trashy Baytown “Mobile Home Park”


KarleRaddeSouthernComfortHomesBryanTX-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-60x63by Karl Radde
Stories like this are the kind of thing that generally helps cast such a negative light on our industry.

Read more…


The Importance and Value of Independent MH Trade Publications


tim-williams-CEO-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-by Tim Williams and are both good communications resources for the Manufactured Housing Industry.

Read more…


Building A Good Reputation Is Hard!


by Wayne Coakley
WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-
Well, maybe not so hard. Surprisingly, building a good reputation is pretty easy if you built your business around trust from the get-go.

Read more…


AMHA Announces 3 New Videos Designed to Promote Manufactured Housing, Dispel Myths


by J. D. Harper


The Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) has completed a series of short videos aimed at addressing and dispelling myths, misconceptions and stereotypes about today’s manufactured housing.

Read more…


Happiness Happens


by Tim Connor, CSP
I am sure you have heard, or maybe even used the term, SH _ T Happens: well how about – Happiness Happens?

Read more…


ZigOn Preachers


by Zig Ziglar
The typical American believes that those men and women who fill the pulpits in the churches work a few hours on the weekend and probably spend some time visiting, preparing and counseling during the week. In short, they have it pretty easy.

Read more…

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

MH Community Closures, Industry Impact, Sides of the Coin

September 1st, 2016 No comments

There are states like Florida that have community closure laws.  Those laws can work like this. So much money may be set aside to help the residents move in the event a community closes.  There may also be a defense for the community owner, who could otherwise face years of litigation in the face of a closure.


There are in fact three sides to a coin, and sometimes the truth is as razor thin – and hard to see – as that thin side of a coin. Image credit, AlcantraMedia.


Joe Dyton, guest writer for the linked Daily Business News report. Don’t miss it, feedback welcome.

Community closures is one of those topics we touch from time to time in the Daily Business News, but our latest report by guest writer Joe Dyton brings a variety of aspects of this issue into focus.

It will be uncomfortable for many, and perhaps it should be.  But it will also make you think, and besides, it happens, and is in the news from time to time.  Its reality, so we must deal with it.

Let’s posit the notion that community closures are one of the biggest black eyes that the MH industry can get, when they’re not handled properly.  The sad story out of Baytown we covered recently is a great example of that, isn’t it?

As a free enterprise believer, this is one of those thorny issues.  But leaders ought to be willing to grab nettles (thorns), that’s how progress is achieved.  

We as professionals must be able to tackle controversial topics, or how else will we break free of the level of sales we’re currently working under?


“Nettles,” thorny issues…you get the idea, right? Of course…

Two housekeeping items

The featured articles in our new issue will go live Saturday Sept 3, so please watch for them that evening.  Besides our usual line up, we think you’ll find some groundbreaking content. But you tell us once those articles get published, and go-live on our home page.  Then you can see for yourself.

If you’re on the Daily Business News, and you suddenly here voices or music – an commercial – it’s the blankety-blank video about FEMA. Scroll to that article, then push pause on that video, that will stop it. That video autostarts (autoplays); there was no other easy way to use the video in the article, so it is what it is.  Thanks for understanding, because OUR videos DON’T do that!

Your feedback, tips and comments on the above or other industry issues, are welcome and encouraged.  My thanks to all who’ve provided mostly kind things to say about recent coverage – we’re working hard to get things to the next level.  Because the next level is where progress for you, our industry and yes us too will occur.  It should be a great ride… ##

l-a-tony-kovach-mhlivingnews-mhpronews-latonykovach-com-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

Defining, Refining Manufactured Homes and Systems-Built Housing

August 28th, 2016 No comments

We either define ourselves, or others will define us, often to our industry’s and homeowners’ detriment.

People are entitled to their own opinion, but they’re not entitled to their own facts.

The optimist doesn’t deny that rain is falling; rather, the optimist recognizes reality, grabs an umbrella and continues forward towards the goal. 



The optimist is navigating reality and is solution oriented, while the pessimist is oh, woe is me, I’m a victim, and the sky is falling oriented.

These are just some of the pithy pensées (French for, “thoughts”), we’ve shared over the years.

Before we push onto our silver-lining topic for today, some programming notes for our upcoming Superior September 2016 issue of MHProNews featured articles and reports.


A variation on the saying popularized by Daniel Patrick Moynihan — “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

Superior September…

We had not one, not two, but three different Cup of Coffee with… interviews lined up for September.  It now looks like one will slide into October, another looks like it will be ready for September, but won’t go live on the home page until the week of the Sept 5th.

But in addition to all of the good, meaty things you routinely see featured on MHProNews daily, weekly and monthly, there will be also be reports you won’t find anywhere else in MHVille. So stay tuned, as the first-of-the month is rapidly approaching. Now on to today’s topic.

Does-Truth-Matter-To-the-extent-we-allign-ourselves-with-the-truth, we thrive-to-the-extend-we-deny-it-we-suffer-dr-keith-ablow-photo-fox-poster-credit-MHProNews-com-

“The Voice of Manufactured Housing” is…

…there have been a number of kind MHPros over the years who at meetings, in private, in public and in published comments have called and “The Voice of Manufactured Housing.”


See the article this quote is found in, and you’ll see why we need more MHPros, like Ed, who are ready, willing and able to speak out on the issues and topics of the day.

Thanks, but that voice works only because the real voice for the industry are pros look you – any and all of usWe collectively are the Industry’s Voice – those who strive daily to Do it Right, Raise the Bar, and Serve the Public and our fellow professionals well.

With that lofty goal in mind, from day one when our first online edition launched in mid-October, 2009 (at the depth of the so-called Great Recession), we’ve always featured multiple pros every month and every issue.


We have always accepted thoughtful commentary from pros of any and all political, economic, faiths, genders, ethnic or other groups. This has never been “all about me” site; rather – in word and deed – it’s always been about inspiring and acting in concert with others.

It’s all about Our Industry, YOUR career, YOUR organization and the tremendous opportunities and potential for ever greater and more profitable success.


Mostly stills from videos in our industry-leading Inside MH series, published on MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews, depending on the topic.

Industry Voices

For several years, we have sought comments from industry pros on specific as well as general issues.

But more recently, we’ve increased that tempo, asking your peers for comments on issues, which sometimes are off the record, but are often on the record.


There are powerful, timely quotes from Industry Pros in the article above. We as an industry need to be willing to step up like these pros did, call out bad actors. We either define ourselves, or others will define us, often to our industry’s and our homeowners’ detriment. ICYMI – click the image to see the article.

These twin platforms are YOUR Voice to the industry and to the public at large. That voice must be projected first to the industry, and then to the nation and beyond.

In a perfect world, as independent trade media, publishers who arenn’t captive to

  • any one company,
  • or any one association,
  • nor any one professional,

we are uniquely able to help the industry define and refine itself.


But this can only be done properly by having

  • multiple industry pros.
  • multiple companies,
  • multiple associations,

and our own writers and independent commentary, acting to bring a variety of voices together.


Click this or the other image above with Richard Nodel to see the full commentary by each pro, found on Industry Voices.


Image credits, Facebook.

Manufactured, Modular, PreFab…The Factory-Built Housing Industry…

Years ago, we argued that one side of factory-built housing ought not put-down other sides of factory-crafted home building.  I understand why modular-only builders are tempted to put down HUD Code homes, but it’s a strategic mistake and tactical mistake to do so.

We won’t prove that case today, but will once more observe that Mercedes-Benz doesn’t toss rocks at Chevy’s Cruze.

Entry level (think VOG models of HUD Code MH), mid-level and residential style HUD Code homes and MODs are needed in wide parts of the U.S. The need today is in the millions of new housing units. That spells huge opportunities.

The way the HUD code for manufactured homes is written, you can’t do “HUDs” in urban towers, but you can do modular and prefab high-rises. 

The point is, there are unique needs for each kind of factory-building.  We should hang together, and the more we do, the faster we will rise together.

Defining and Refining Factory-Built Homes in the face of Negative Press and Regulatory Opposition

The news stories and commenatary we’ve published by others, like those linked on this page, give you lived examples of how we as an industry can forge intelligent reports that respond to bad or inaccurate local, regional or national news.

To best do that, we will continue to need the inputs of Industry Voices like those of your peers, and/or we need your voice.

If you see negative or inaccurate local news in the mainstream media, please bring it to our attention, and then share whenever possible insights and on-the record comments that you can, help us help you advance the MH Industry.

Please put News Tip in the subject line.

Naturally, none of what we do happens absent sponsors. If you are one of the thousands who logon here every daily, thank you, but also remember to show your appreciation to our sponsors and experts.

Indeed, many of you already have, as our sponsors have often seen nice spikes in business activity, especially when they are actively engaged in all that we do on MHProNews and


All for….

…One, and One for All.  That was the slogan of the Musketeers, and it’s one that I’ve long found inspiring.

Some have and will continue to take the lead in participating, in commentary, in reading or supporting one or both of our trade platforms. More are invited. Not only is “the more, the merrier,” but more support and input will speed our industry’s advancement and acceptance in the broader local, regional and national communities.

No one company, no association is able to do what we’re doing as trade media.  Why?

Because if say GM (or an automotive trade association) owned Car and Driver outright, whatever Car and Driver reported would then be seen as spin or propaganda.

So what Tim Williams stated was 100% right when he said that what we do on MHProNews and MHLivingNews is useful and necessary communications tool, for the advancement of the Manufactured Housing Industry.

When you look carefully at recent reports in the Daily Business News – check out this week’s Sunday Recap here – you’ll see what we mean.


Thousands of pros like you logon daily, to feed their minds, inspire, learn and then share in ways that advance their careers, location and thus the industry.

Knowledge Shared…

If you aren’t already one of the thousands who are getting out emailed news updates, sign up in seconds free at this link here.  They go out typically twice weekly, and look like what you see at this link here.

What you’ll see anew in Superior September 2016 are vivid examples of why manufactured housing is essential to our nation. In spite of some 6 years of steady growth, there are still threats to our great industry. There are forces that oppose MH from reaching its potential.

That’s reflected routinely when government – local, state or federal – tips the scales against us; thus we must learn to ever-better express why we are the best answer for the growing affordable housing crisis.

In some urban markets, that solution will be often modular or prefab rather than HUD Code manufactured homes. But as an industry, we need those varied factory-built housing voices to learn how to work ever better, together.

CFED and Non-Profits

Let me say something politically incorrect to some, but that’s important for us all to get our arms around.

While MHProNews and MHLivingNews have at times ‘taken on’ the misguided attacks by operations like CFED, we must also learn how to work with CFED and those non-profit groups. Frankly, Florida’s fine association is a good example of how that can be done successfully, but there are others.

Those non-profits, think-tanks and public policy advocacy groups wield a lot of influence. So when they are wrong, we need to help guide them to the truth. When they attack our industry publicly, we should defend our industry publicly, using jujitsu.

But when they’re right, we need to work hand-in-hand to advance the MH industry as the solution to affordable quality living for millions who have poor or no good housing options that lead to home ownership.


The Truth Well Told is Powerful

When we showcase the truth, when the truth is well told, we are advancing our cause.

At times, that means calling out bad actors in our industry’s own ranks.  Let me point you to the story, linked above, which those pros that spoke out about – on the record – ought to get a medal for doing so.

When the industry raises up success stories, but also call out bad actors – that’s when we as an industry gain the credibility we need to advance our cause with public officials and the public at large.

That said…

Thanks for years of support, encroachment, tips and yes, at times some tough-talk, but always with the aim for the advancement of our great industry.

This industry is the future of housing in America, and the world. Working Together, We Advance to the Day when all forms of factory home-building are respected and accepted.

That’s the mission. That’s the objective we believe in and have worked for from day one. Join us, and share this mission with others. Tallyho! ##


L. A. “Tony’ Kovach shown here in an MH Industry Pros educational session.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

Zoning, Regulation and Manufactured Housing

August 24th, 2016 No comments

Before diving into our headline topic, for our non-manufactured housing professional audience, please note some fascinating news briefs on the Daily Business News (one of several examples, linked here, another shown below). The factory built/prefab/modular side of our coverage continues to be an important resource that includes, but has never been limited to, manufactured housing (MH) alone.



Avava Systems, photo credit, Business Insider, click the image above for Daily Business News brief.


That said, MH, zoning and regulations are the focus issue for today.

A well-known, highly successful pro has called the HUD Code a “discrimination code.” We hope to encourage that person to give us an Op-Ed on that insightful, thought-provoking comment.

Indeed, manufactured housing is lamentably discriminated against far too often. This isn’t new, and that’s a problem. Numbers of pros in MH today simply accept that, but there are those who are working to change that problem. We believe that effecting positive change via education and intelligent resistance to such discriminatory zoning treatment makes far more sense.



See our new Daily Business News report on yet another example of NIMBY that targets manufactured housing, and look for upcoming comments from MHPros who have souned off, on-the-record, on this hot topic.


I’m not sure why some legal genius hasn’t already brought a 14th Amendment case against a local jurisdiction that’s discriminating against the placement of new HUD Code manufactured homes.

Beyond the enhanced preemption that was signed into federal law by the MHIA of 2000, there are states like California that have provided safeguards against discrimination for their citizens. When so many other groups have used the 14th Amendment successfully in court, why not MH?


As or more important, is the fact that there’s a growing number of examples, studies and evidence that ill-conceived regulations – be it zoning, Dodd-Frank, or others, et al – harm not only an industry, but they harm consumers too.

We’ve covered the zoning topic before, and will continue to touch this base. Thoughtful comments, on or off the record, are welcome on this issue. We could work those quotable quotes into a follow up on the latest NIMBY story, linked above.  We may also push that follow up report out to the mainstream media, as we have on numerous timely and important articles and stories.


knowledgesharedknowledgemultiplied-15minutesdaily-mhpronews-com-postedMHVillageBlog- (1)

Thousands of MHPros daily logon and invest more than 15 minutes a day on If you want to get your team and colleagues charged up, get them on and then on

Stay tuned, stay informed, keep sharing your thoughts and our thanks for you news tips and document drops, and get your team and peers up to speed and engaged on this, please.

A brighter future awaits those we seek to serve, and to the MH Pros who work intelligently to make that great day happen when MH is accepted and celebrated as mainstream housing. ##


Photo of L. A. “Tony” Kovach taken during New York Housing Association meeting; Tony questioning regulators.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

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

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka