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.

pam-danner-hud-code-manufactured-housing-program-administrator-mhi-2014-summer-meeting-indianapolis-in-alexander-hotel-c2014-mhpronews-com--575x430

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

 

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

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Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry News, Reality Check

April 4th, 2018 No comments

ClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeIndustryNewsRealityCheckMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

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

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

The point? What’s the Reality Check? 

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

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

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

    Berkshire Hathaway owns a press release service.

   Berkshire Hathaway owns numerous media outlets.

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

   Clayton has their own communications and marketing people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

TrailerParkGoogleNews442018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

DarrenKrolewskiMHVillageDataComp=PostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Darren Krolewski, Co-President at MHVillage, DataComp.

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

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

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

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

So why don’t they???

 

The 64 Billion Dollar Question

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Comments, Quotes and Reports:

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews-500x277FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


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.

 PeopleCrossHUDCFPBFHFANIMBYZoningJuda$BlindManufactruredHousingCross

 

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.

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

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

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

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L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


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

March 24th, 2018 No comments

DennisHillJenniferHallDorisHydrickSCMHISouthCenteralManufacturedHousingInstitute2018TunicaShow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Retirement…

As someone approaches retirement, several things can happen.

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

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

careful public positions are often taken.

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

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

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Industry Trajectory

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

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

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

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

 

Berkshire Hathaway, MHI and the Resistance

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

You 3 don’t have to speak out publicly.

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

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

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

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

 

Thinking Out Loud

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

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

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

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

 

What’s Coming?

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

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

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

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

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI-21stMortgageKevinClaytonClaytonHomesManufacturedHoomeCorporationsPlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

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

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

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

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

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

No announcement needs to be made.

No challenge or gauntlet has to be tossed down.

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

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

Think about the trajectory.

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

 

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

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

Resistance is wisdom.

Resistance will bring its own rewards.

We chose not to be slaves of monopolistic forces.

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

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

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

Related:

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

Tunica, Nashville Trade Shows and Manufactured Housing Glory Days

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

Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Photo Report, Day One

4 F’s and True Believers

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

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

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

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

 

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


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

 

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


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

March 8th, 2018 No comments

TigerExclamationWarningItsFairWarningNotIToldYouSoManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadMHProNews

The written word, or the spoken word has its limits.  Words can be misunderstood.

 

Duly Warned

What follows is a reminder that we gave MH Industry readers a fair warning just days ago as to what was about to happen on S. 2155.

Once someone understands how ‘their game is played,’ what happens is utterly predictable with scary accuracy.

MHI pushed the inclusion of part of their MLO language from Preserving Access into S 2155. Fine.

But they failed to give you the all-important history. That we did, in the report linked below.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Asks Industry Members to Ask Senators to Support S 2155, Behind the Scenes Details

They – MHI – are either inept, or brilliant –  take your pickdepending on if your firm is a small to modest sized one, that needs this bill, OR if you’re a big one –> that wins if it the measure passes or if it fails.

There are two publishing voices you can routinely trust in MHVille, ours or MHARR’s. At times we see something modestly different, but on the big issues, we come to very similar conclusions; often completely independent of each other.

 

Supporting Preserving Access…but…

MHARR has no dog in the Preserving Access hunt. Some years back, when this writer was still under part of the MHI spell, MHARR’s then president told me if anyone calls and asks, do they support Preserving Access, ‘yes we do,’ said MHARR.

But what they only told a few in the industry is that MHARR felt MHI’s bill had no chance.  Preserving Access was a waste of time, it was window dressing. Years later, they proved to be 100% correct.

My industry colleagues, with humble hat in hand,  this Masthead writer bought what MHI was selling — not all of it, but enough of it as recently as two years ago. No more.  It was Voices Inside and Outside of MHI that convinced me Preserving Access was a sham.

So we did our own homework.

Those disgruntled MHI members, MHARR and others were right.  Which once more means, this writer admits to having been duped. No more. 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteHousingAlertLogoS2155DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This anti-MHI amendment to S. 2155 was utterly predictable. It is irrelevant if they win or lose on this, see the commentary to understand.

It’s my turn – MHProNews’ turn – to say, if this S 2155 bill passes with or without MHI’s desired phrase, select big manufactured home industry players win either way.

Don’t waste a second on it. But watch, see for yourself, and learn as we did.

There are good reasons why MHI staff – or their big players behind them – are hiding from a public discussion of key issues (see resources, below).

The industry’s total numbers of independents are shrinking at an alarming rate.

MHI-21stMortgageKevinClaytonClaytonHomesManufacturedHoomeCorporationsPlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

21stMortgageCorpTimWillamsJune112009LetterBerkshireHathawayWarrenBuffettClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-704x768 (1)

The Atlantic, IBISWorld some years back on manufactured housing, and just last month – the Nation on Buffett and Clayton – recently pointed out why.

Monopolistic forces.

 

Fair Warning

We all ignore reality at your own peril.  We can deny gravity, but jump off a cliff, and gravity proves that it exists.

State associations quit MHI because they aren’t getting the job done (see resources, below).

Some businesses are quitting MHI, because it is a waste of time and money.

We said last year what an insider told us then. The big boys figured out how to get small to medium size companies to pay for – Via MHI – what the big boys wanted done.

And the big boys have it planned where win or lose on any given issue, the big boys win. The ‘moat’ gets bigger.

That’s a pretty good reason why Richard ‘Ducking Dick’ Jennison is not only still president, but gets a raise and bonuses (see resource and related links, below).

Imagine giving a losing quarterback a raise and bonuses? To a QB that has not a single winning season?  But you extend the contract, and give bonuses?

It’s absurd on its face, unless you see this painful (‘all of this alleged’) reality.

*** The big boys keep everyone via MHI, etc. busy, chasing whatever. Go to a meeting. Send an email. Make a phone call.  Do whatever! Meanwhile, win or lose on that issue or action, the powers that be behind MHI win.  That’s the scam in a nutshell. ***

When the big boys win, odds are good many little ones lost money or it all along the way. Meanwhile, the industry shrinks “consolidates” into the hands of some of those same big players.  Very convenient?

Time to smell the coffee? Time for a new, national post-production – retailers, communities, lenders, vendors -association? ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Related:
Let’s make this simple.  If Duck, Dodging, Distraction Dick Jennison could make a good case in public, then why has he ducked out, each and every time?  The same question applies to Rick Robinson.  If they could disprove these and related concerns, why haven’t they just done so? 

Here’s another invitation, let’s do it at Tunica, later this month.  MHI, BH, got the guts?

RichardDickJennisonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCEOLouisvilleManufacturedHomeShow2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-1024x647

SuzanneFelberFrankRolfeRichardADickJennisonAmericanHousingAdvocatesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

Inside Scoop Mulvaney-CFPB and MHI, Berkshire Hathaway Company Meeting Detail$

Finance Related:

Besides Preserving Access, there are the maneuvers that have taken place for years on the important Duty to Serve (DTS) issue.  Thankfully, the Washington, D.C. based trade group – as opposed to Arlington based MHI – has their eyes on the problematic issues emerging behind the curtain on that topic.

Plot Twist – Duty to Serve – Freddie Mac CEO Layton Called to Accountability w/Congressional, Administration Leaders Over New Manufactured Home Lending Revelations

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

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

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

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

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

 

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090
 


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

March 4th, 2018 No comments

HeavyFlakRossKinzlerOverTargetReactunWHAExecRossKinzlerWontDefendMHIPoliciesPointsToPriorMHIFailure

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

 

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

 

Priceless, direct quotes.

 

Why Priceless?

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

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

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

 

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

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

Aren’t those polite phrases for failed?

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

That speaks volumes.

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

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

Why not?

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

 

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

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

 

To Be Fair and Accurate, There are Many Possibilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What Sparked the Flak

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

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

 

Nathan Smith on the MHI Agenda and Track Record

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

 

 

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

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

Why not?

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

ThoushallNotCommitLogicalFalllaciesYourLogicalFallacyPlatoAristotleSocrates575x1673

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

 

Kinzler Defended Bliss, A Deeper Look

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

Perhaps Kinzler misread?

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

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

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

RedHerringDefinitionFalseArgumentDistractionMisleading

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

 

George Allen, a Bit Different?

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

Allen’s situation is perhaps different.

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

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

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

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

Why weren’t specific questions, being directly answered?

 

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

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

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

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

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

 

Personal Example Makes a Professional Point Useful to Manufactured Housing

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

People of good will can have disagreements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NormanTranscriptTomKovachWard2CityCouncilDemocraticCandidateMstheadBlogMHProNews

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

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

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

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

A fraternity is at the root a brotherhood.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Now You Will Hear — the Rest of the Story

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

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

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

That’s wrong, in my view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beating Swords Into Plowshares

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

TheyShallBeatTheirSwordsIntoPlowsharesUNBuildingWikipediaMastheadBlogMHProNews

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

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

 

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

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

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

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090