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Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room

June 19th, 2018 No comments

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A) In manufactured housing production, the elephant in the room is Clayton Homes. They are owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns the 2 largest industry lenders, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF). Berkshire also owns a large stake in the industry’s third largest single family manufactured home loan lender, Wells Fargo.

There are only three (3) options on the following topic. The Berkshire owned manufactured housing brands either:

1)     know very specifically what must happen to grow manufactured housing sales up to the industry’s sustainable potential, which some estimate to be between half a million and a million HUD Code manufactured homes (MH) annually.

2)     The Berkshire brands in MH don’t know what must occur to grow the industry to reach its potential.

3)     Some point on the spectrum between numbers 1 and 2 above.

That’s about 150 words. The rest are details and commentary.

 

B) Arguably, any of the 3 positions above ought to be alarming to the vast majority of the industry’s independents. Why?

The case has be made by voices inside and outside of MHVille, that the Warren Buffett led Berkshire brands in MHVille dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

While he’s been silent in recent months, MH Communities pro Frank Rolfe was among the industry’s professionals who blasted MHI and their “hypocrisy” and failed “leadership” in defense or promotion of the MHIndustry.

Marty Lavin, a MHI award-winner, said on-the-record that MHI only works for the interests of the big boys.” Lavin added that MHI only work for the interests of smaller companies if they happen to align with the interests of “the big boys.”

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was cited by the Washington Post (WaPo) as having been the driving force for the removal of Pam Danner at HUD. MHI‘s EVP Lesli Gooch specifically told WaPo they took no part in removing Danner. Why not?

We could outline other examples, on the Duty to Serve (DTS), DOE and the energy rule, or how Pam Danner got her job in the first place. MHI has been on the wrong side of numerous issues, plus the execution on other important issues.

The bottom line is that MHI’s track record are seen by several professionals as problematic, save for the consolidation of smaller companies into the hands of larger ones. That’s about 275 words. The rest are details and commentary.

 

C) So in about 400 words above, a case has been outlined. Logic and evidence-based concerns, plus common-sense reveals why the Berkshire brands and MHI arguably should not be trusted by the vast majority of MHVille independents. The rest are details and commentary.  We’ll invite them again to debate this publicly via video.  If we were wrong, why don’t they take us up on that invite and prove us wrong?

 

D) State communities associations have broken away from MHI. They are in the process of formalizing the launch of an independent manufactured home national communities association.

Those MH Communities have split because they lost confidence in MHI representing their interests. The rest are details and commentary.

 

E) Smoking Gun 3 documented and outlined how 21st Mortgage questionably pulled-back on lending to MH Independents in 2009. Hundreds of retailers folded afterwards.

As a result, a number of HUD Code manufactured home producers either failed, or were absorbed by Clayton.  Some where absorbed by Cavco, which is led by a former Clayton division president. Skyline Champion recently combined. Now 80 percent of the industry’s production is in the hands of those three vertically integrated firms.

The rest are details and commentary.

 

F) Manufactured housing is increasingly being recognized as the affordable housing solution that is hiding in plain sight. MHLivingNews touted that theme years ago. Others in media have been picking up on that very theme. Coincidence?

There is a need for 8.3 million affordable housing units in America today. It can only be provided cost-effectively by some form of factory building. HUD Code manufactured homes are the most affordable solution today.

 

G) Even though Clayton and MHI each have marketing and PR people, they have routinely allowed bad news stories that unjustly harm the industry’s image to go unaddressed. They have done so for years. 21st Mortgage CEO Tim Williams, the prior MHI Chairman, admitted on-the-record that the case could be made that every unfair story about MH should get addressed. Frank Rolfe has said similarly.

The above is about 700 words total to say that MHI and Berkshire may not cause every bad news story in MHVille, but they fail to address the majority of them.

The upshot? Limited new home sales and more Consolidation. See what award-winning Alan Amy said about that in the video.

 

H) The MH Communities sector recognized their need for independent representation. Retailers and others in the post production sector arguably need representation do too. MHARR is clearly representing the interests of the industry’s independent producers, as WaPo, the SBA, George Washington University and other third-party sources reflect.

 

I) Is there any reason why the Berkshire brands couldn’t repeat what they did in 2009? Shouldn’t every independent operator realize that they have a symbolic target on their head?

The rest are details and commentary.

 

J) Thanks to our supporters, we planned ahead years ago by creating the industry’s first and premier pro-industry educational platform with MHLivingNews.com.

MHProNews was a key part of the rebirth of the Louisville Show, as everyone in show management at the time said on camera and/or in writing.

We’ve proven our ability to get into mainstream media, such as Washington D.C.’s The Hill. Or consider often-referenced by others in media, Value Penguin, which ranks among the top 2 percent of all websites in America. Value Penguin dwarfs anything in MHVille for traffic.

 

K) We and those that support our efforts know what must be done to remove the shackles that have hobbled manufactured housing for years. Information and understanding are the First Phase.

Armed with evidence and reason, we are at the cusp of starting Phase 2.

The details and next steps will follow in the days ahead. Stay tuned, and sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news updates. From the biggest names in MHVille, to the mom-and pops, and thousands in between, we continue to lead the industry in readership. The reasons include insights like those above.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook, Manufactured Housing, and American Drama

June 12th, 2018 No comments
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What do you see?

Facebook has a neat feature that reminds you of some post from the past. This morning, that Facebook feature reminded me of a post about MHVille that was from two years ago.

 

We’ve begun to use the phrase – “wheat and chaff” – more often to describe the point that people and sources of information must be discerned. Keep the good, toss what’s not useful or is incorrect.

It’s hardly a new thought. Wheat and chaff are an ancient piece of Biblical wisdom.

When we put together the story early this morning about the outcome of the presidential summit, it was the result of hours of input from a variety of sources. It is an example of wheat and chaff in action.

Perhaps 10 (+/-) sources were checked, before we drilled down what we thought was the meaty items for industry pros and investors to know.

Then, we provided the context of what it matters to manufactured housing. “That news through the lens of factory-built housing,” ©; one of our tag lines that describes what MHProNews uniquely does for the manufactured and modular home industry professionals and investors. 

It’s about American drama at its finest. Check out that report, linked below, compare it to anything else that might be used for an MH Industry pro, and please tell us what you think. 

 

Facebook, Wheat and Chaff 

I recall how Triad Financial President Don Glisson, Jr. gave us a backhanded compliment that we treasure. He said he thought we were crazy when we launched what we call today, MHProNews.  The launch was in mid-October 2009, and was near the industry’s lowest point ever in new home shipments.

Now, approaching a decade later, we as an industry are clearly not heading to extinction, as some then believed could happen.

When asked by the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF) to help bring back the Louisville Snow, we jumped in with both feet. The pay was very modest, considering all that had to be done.  But we did it, and the show was a success, the first one in years. 

Tim Williams from Ohio’s association was one of several who praised our work in writing.

TimWilliamsOhioManufacturedHomesAssocExecDirectorRecommendationTonyKovachMHProNewsLouisvilleManufacturedHousingShowPromotion

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

Facebook has wheat and chaff. Pretty much everything and everyone does, starting right here.

We are pro-free enterprise. We cheer all honest and ethical forms of success. We stress honesty, and ethics, because some professions are built on the suffering of others.  From illicit drug pushers, to pimps, pornographers, thieves, racketeering, coyotes, and so on, there are illicit businesses that generate tens of billions annually.  We don’t cheer those at all.  

But if we are fair and objective, even the darkest parts of human nature reveal truths worth learning.

We must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

 

Breaking Up

Count us among those who hope and pray that the Feds break up Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other monopolistic U.S. giants. Think back, if you are old enough, to the breakup of the telecoms. AT&T was charged under antitrust laws. 

Based on Judge Harold Green’s Modified Final Judgement of 1982, AT&T on January 1 1984 became a long-distance company, while seven regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) took control of the nation’s local phone networks,” says the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

 

Some say that the monopoly over the phone business delayed the development of cell phone technologies by a decade.

It is just one of several reasons why corporate giants must be held in check and/or broken up.

To me, it isn’t just about price, which is an arguably flawed standard that antitrust regulators often use.  How many businesses has Walmart and Amazon wiped out? How many jobs has that cost the nation? Would we have seen the shift to buying so much product from China, had Walmart not become so big?  

They too should be broken up under antitrust law.  As NY Stern Professor Scott Galloway has argued, it is how you bring oxygen back into the marketplace for startups and investors.  That’s were jobs are created, instead of destroyed.

England, we’ve read, has a supposed standard of 25 percent market-share as the threshold for anti-monopoly (anti-trust) action. That might be still be a bit too high. Once a firm hits 20 percent of a given market, there are inevitable impacts on consumers, businesses, innovation, the economy, politics, etc.  

Wheat and chaff. We must learn from whatever is good, and toss out whatever isn’t. The prism of the Ten Commandments – which clearly respects private property – ought to be the standard, timeless measure of behavior. 

What Facebook reminded me of this morning is that it has been about two years since I got a tip from a then-fellow Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member. That member pointed me to a CSPAN video about Richard Cordray and Senator Joe Donnelly. When I watched it, I got what that other MHI member as telling me.  

MHI had distorted the exchange, saying only what was good for their narrative, while ignoring what was problematic for their stated agenda.  

It seemed deliberately deceptive. It came from MHI VP Lesli Gooch, but our sources then said that MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison had to okay it.  

It’s was at best a half-truth, designed to mislead members. As a member myself, I was outraged. We can call these things allegations, because that is what the legal guys say it should be termed. But if you look at the CSPAN video we watched, and then look at what MHI then said… 

Logically, if top MHI staff would deceive members about that, what else have or would they attempt to trick their own dues paying members about?  

They had to be held accountable. I called publicly For Jennison’s dismissal along with that of Lesli Gooch. 

It wasn’t the first or the last news tip. 

Please, we’d rather get a news tip 4 times, than not at all. Don’t presume we have something. We know the generalities, but not always the specifics. Help us, help you help the industry get the most accurate reports by sending association emails, documents, and your own insights. Our default is that we treat comments as off the record, unless you and we specifically agree to make it on the record. 

One step at a time, we’ve seen how MHI has weaponized reports. It was tricky, because no one else in the industry had directly named names and cited examples of what was happening, and who was authorizing it, the way we did. 

That incident from 2 years ago led to a series of events and reports that has arguably contributed to what has brought us to the point we are in reporting in MHVille today.  

Today, we can look back and see MHI, and their debatably Berkshire Hathaway puppet masters as they are. We give them a routine opportunities to comment before, during or after a Daily Business News story. We accurately quote from their own documents. We’ve offered to discuss or debate publicly via video, so all the industry can see. 

They duck, dodge, detract, distract, and defame in response, don’t they? Doesn’t all of that speak volumes?  If the truth was on their side, why don’t they just clear the air? 

It’s been about 1 1/3 years since they have directly responded publicly. We suspended our industry famous Cup of Coffee series for a time, because it was too politically charged for many. We plan to bring that feature back, because more of the industry’s members are beginning to see — that what we’ve been reporting sadly makes sense. 

It’s time to use antitrust laws to break up Berkshire Hathaway, not just Clayton Homes and their lending, retail, and others unit arms. 

MHI must be investigated and/or perhaps sued.  They’ve arguably misrepresented to the industry what they are and what they do. 

MHI award winner Marty Lavin is sadly correct. MHI works only for the interests of “the big boys.” They work for the smaller companies only if their interests align with that of the big boys.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

The rationale and evidence seems to be that smaller companies are there as a meal for the big boys that want to gobble up smaller firms for a cheap price.

The smaller firms are there to also help pay for what the big boys want. Paraphrasing what another member said, ‘the big companies figured out how to use MHI to help get the smaller companies to pay for what the big companies want.’

Manipulation is often an ugly thing. 

No one wants to believe that they were conned.  It’s not fun to have to report about such problems, but it must be done, for the sake of all those who are debatably being victimized.

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

These are serious allegations. but there’s also serious evidence. There are several federal investigations already underway, because where there is smoke, there is often fire.

 

For manufactured housing industry professional and investors to thrive and achieve their full potential, the industry must recognize reality.

Then, each company must decide how best to deal with reality. It’s an American drama that you and hundreds of thousands of others are caught up in, like it or not. More on that drama and its solutions in the days ahead. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

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

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

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

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

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

May 22nd, 2018 No comments

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

S2155ManufactuerdHousingINdustryMastheadAnalysisMHProNews

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

 

“Tony, What’s the Beef?”

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

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

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

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

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

MSM = Mainstream Media

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

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

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

 

Look at this MHI Pattern

LesliGoochforCongressManufacturedHousingInstituteMHISVPGovtAffairsRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMastheadDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Lesli Gooch, blast from her past…

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

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

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

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

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

 

Pulling the Head Out…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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Terry Decio, Skyline Homes, “The Secret” – The Rest of the Story

January 2nd, 2018 No comments

TerryDecioTimeMagazineCoverTheSecretTopSecretManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadMHProNews575

I’m tired of being the best kept secret. I’m ready to help house America.” – Terry Decio, Skyline Homes, to MHProNews.

What happened?

The Rest of the Story, 1…

Several of the brands that the industry knows today are not the same brand as they were a decade or more ago.

Palm Harbor. Fleetwood. Champion. The prior versions all went into bankruptcy, and later were reborn under a different structure.

But they are far from alone.

Literally thousands of manufactured home operations, including, but not limited to:

  • Retailers (dealers),
  • Land lease Communities (a.k.a manufactured home communities, “parks”)
  • Producers (builders of federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes, some build modular, park model, or other products too),
  • Lenders/Financial Services, and
  • a variety of other products, service, and component providers

have either gone out of business, or sold out to a larger/deeper pockets operation.

What happened?

 

Business Cycle, or…

Businesses start and fail every year. That happens for a range of reasons.

The question in manufactured housing ought to be this. Did numbers of the wave of thousands of failures/consolidations get an unethical/illegal shove to help them exit?

If so, how was that done?

 

The Rest of the Story, 2…

MHI’s SVP and General Counsel Rick Robinson publicly, and MHI in writing, have referred to our manufactured housing trade publications as news sources.

TonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressRickRobinsonMHISVPGeneralCounselMastheadMHProNews

Trade media, as with all of the mainstream press, can include News, Analysis, and Commentary. On this Masthead, publisher’s blog, you find all three.

Claims, controversies, and allegations ought to be tested by reason and known facts.

We don’t publish capriciously, knowing that an error could be embarrassing. Still, readers should question, us and those we publish about.

Ask questions. Seek the truth. Such issues impact your business and bottom line.

We’re not a court of law, but fully expect to be called to testify under oath to a variety of matters that impact the manufactured home industry.

LegalGavelLawMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

While courts won’t compel testimony about confidential, protected sources, they can ask about the reports themselves. The day is coming, we believe, when that takes place.

There will no doubt be lists.

Who did what?  Who supported, or opposed, what? Why?

Where laws broken?

Were steps taken that create legal exposure or liability:

  • for the national association (MHI),
  • its members,
  • or those who control it?

 

What Happened to Manufactured Housing?

While there are a range of factors, we believe in what’s obvious. What facts and common-sense reveal. There’s no need for a complex conspiracy theory.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway took over Clayton Homes, Oakwood Homes, related lending, retail, and later other production, service, supplier businesses too.

Mr. Buffett’s a self-proclaimed, long-term thinker, and he likes “moats.”  Just consider what Buffett said, in his own words, and line that up with what’s happened in manufactured housing.

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

 

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

The executive committee and dues structures of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) make it clear that Berkshire Hathaway owned units exercise great influence at MHI. That control is widely known, in and out of our industry.  It’s just that few in manufactured housing (MH) dare say plainly and publicly that MHI is Berkshire Hathaway’s mouthpiece.

MHI, on issue after issue, has led the industry into dead ends, or avoidable, and even problematic places.

Who says?

  • Their former chairman, Nathan Smith, in a video that’s been hiding in plain sight. He voluntarily said that MHI had failed in the past at being pro-active.  The beginning and end of this video that follows are perhaps the key takeaways from 2:16 seconds.

 

  • Their former Government Relations Vice President (Later SVP), in an on-the-record statement he sent to MHProNews.

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

  • Their former president, before exiting, in a written statement that may be more interesting today then the day it was first published in the Journal.
    ChrisStinebertManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCreditTheJournalManufacturedHomeProfessionalNewsMHProNews

    While what Stinebert said is interesting, what may be more interesting is that he waited to exit MHI before he provided this list of concerns. Isn’t that a de facto admission that these issues – lending, image, education, etc. – are those that MHI failed to properly address? Click to download.

Then, there’s a range of comments by MHI members, researchers, attorneys, and others. Those statements, published on or off our sites, speak for themselves.

 

The Latest

MHProNews has learned from an informed source that MHI has executed non-disclosure agreements (NDA), allegedly with several MHI staffers.

What is MHI hiding?

Who are they hiding that information from?

MHI members?

MH Industry at large?

Public officials?

Are they trying to hide something that is scandal related, and/or something else?

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

Keep in mind, that MHI refused to release to this publication even items that sources tell us they are legally obligated to do so.  Items like their current and previous bylaws.

Why hide that, someone might ask?

With their bylaws in hand, one might be able to understand revealing issues.  For example, have their been prohibited conflicts of interest – that may have harmed other MHI members, and/or the industry at large?

Millions have been spent and years wasted pursuing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

In hindsight, isn’t it obvious that it would never pass while Barack Obama was president? Didn’t MHI’s own VP said as much, years in advance? Again, see the link to MHI GR VP, Jason Boehlert, above.

We have documents from 21st Mortgage, signed by Tim Williams.  Mr. Williams was MHI’s chairman for years.

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

No one has claimed these 21st documents aren’t authentic.

In fact, we have dozens within Berkshire Hathaway owned units – including their top people – who we are reliably told have carefully reviewed those report, and the others in our periodic series of reports on MHI and Berkshire Hathaway.

We’ve given

  • MHI,
  • their executive committee,
  • and top people at Berkshire Hathaway owned brands the
  • chance to rebut, clarify, or refute our reports and analysis.  We’ve invited them to share statements on these issues that we’d publish.

Field Reports – Clayton to Continue Push for Industry Dominance

After years of MHI publishing or commenting with us, about a year ago, they largely stopped even answering questions.  Why?  Is it because their own words have so often pointed a finger against their own actions?

“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

Don’t be surprised if they publicly push back in 2018.

At some point, don’t they have to, to keep their consolidations going?

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

For the 400 word executive summary, click the above.

MHI et al have already pushed back privately to our allegations and reports, in a variety of ways that we have documented for the appropriate time.

AllTruthPassesThrough3StagesRidiculedViolentlyOpposedAcceptsSelfEvidentArthurSchopenhauerQuoteGalleryMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

EveryoneIsEntitledTotheirOwnOpinionsButtheyAreNotEntitledTotheirOwnFactsDanielPatrickMoynihanMHLivingNews

What Happened, Part Three

We rely on industry inputs and insights. So, we don’t write or do videos out of thin air. We’re followed by businesses and professionals across the size and political spectrums, in part because we’ve got the “street cred,” as one executive put it.

MHI has significant influence over state associations.

So, MHI “housing alerts” or “MHI News” they send to their own members are also arguably “weaponized” to reflect whatever the insider groups want, and reach well beyond their own membership.

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

As an MHI connected source told us last year the following bombshell. The big companies have figured out how to get what they want, by using MHI – and the smaller companies are helping pay for what the big firms desire.

We’ve observed that previously, ‘Feeding the hand that bites yours,’ but to hear it as an admission from an insider, that’s telling.

There are two prime sources of in manufactured housing that have proven willing to push back publicly on MHI and their methods.

  • MHARR, and
  • LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC (MHProNews.com/MHLivingNews.com) trade media.

MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

MHARR and we are independent of one another.  That’s healthy and good.  We’ve at times taken editorial positions that were contrary to MHARR’s view.

Frankly, at times, we later discovered that MHARR was correct.

DutyToServeManufacturedHousingMMarkWeissJDPresidentMHARR-MHProNews-

There’s an affordable housing crisis that is raging, and growing.

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

It has often tragic, real world, consequences.

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

Homelessness in America, and Factory-Built Housing

Manufactured housing has enhanced preemption, under federal law.

titleVI-manufactured-housing-improvement-act-2000-mhia-2000graphic-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Manufactured-Housing-Improvement-Act-of-2000-posted-Daily-Business-News-MHProNews-com-.pdf

That enhanced preemption could allow manufactured home retailers to ease the affordable home crisis for potentially millions of Americans, without taxpayer dollars being needed.

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

Yet, MHI has often failed to push HUD on a variety of issues.  MHI’s been forced to pivot on a range of issues.

HUDCodeManufacturedHomeProgramShakeupDrainTheHUDSwampManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews525

You can fool some of the people some of the time

MartyLavinHUDCodeDeadlyDiscriminationCode-IndustryVoicesMHProNews-e1472170900504

Warren Buffett said it in his own words.  Mr. Buffett doesn’t expect people to learn the lessons of history.  He expects to build his moat.

WarrenBuffettQuotesPeverseEasyThingsDifficultChainsHabitLearnFromHistoryPeopleDontLearnFromHistoryManufacturedHousingMHI-MHProNews

He even publicly supported the candidates that gave the industry the very thing that Tim Williams, then MHI chairman, said they were working to undo.

Documented Conflict Between 21st Mortgage CEO Tim Williams, MHI Chair, and Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

What Happened?

Isn’t the truth hiding in plain sight?

Frank Rolfe is like the rest of humanity, right on some things, wrong on others.  One can safely bet that he’s 100 percent in favor of whatever he believes his and his partners interests to be.

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

Rolfe criticized several MHI initiatives and what he said where their failures to act.  Recently, Rolfe want silent.  Isn’t 21st Mortgage – owned by Berkshire Hathaway – one of the companies that advertise on his website.  Coincidence?

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

If every person we’ve accurately quoted suddenly changed their tune, one would have to ask the questions a journalist does, starting with, Why?  

There will be lists.

People will follow the money, and analyze it – within and outside of MH.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNew

MHProNews and others are and will be taking names, and organizations.

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

With the Trump Administration signaling anti-trust (anti-monopoly) actions in the future, and with Democrats also pushing the anti-monopoly theme, will it be a surprise if hearings are held about manufactured housing?

President Raises the M-Word, “Monopoly,” Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Update$

Warren Buffett, per third parties, has a big concern once he passes; the break up of his empire.

Who Will Replace Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway? Expert Insights, Video & Manufactured Home Industry Outlook

You’re one of the best things we have going [in manufactured housing.]” – Terry Decio, to MHProNews/MHLivingNews.

There are those who realize that we’ve worked for years to get the truth out about the glories of manufactured housing, which includes the realities that there are millions of happy home owners.

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

But those positive efforts have occurred while MHI has either sat on its hands – or arguably worse – tried to undermine the very pro-industry growth steps we’ve spotlighted?

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

Some love the meetings, and the MHI comradery at MHI meetings.  I enjoy those social and networking things too, so I get it.  But to some, they can’t get passed the  fact that they like certain people, and they therefor can’t imagine someone with ill intent taking advantage of them.

 

To those, let me suggest the lesson of detective character, Sherlock Holmes, that may help make sense of how the apparent outrages alleged are possible.

Give us a logical,  alternative explanation.  Do it on-the-record, please. Let’s debate MHI effectiveness and their behaviors in recent years, on the record via video for all to see, please.

WhenYouHaveEliminatedTheImpossibleWhateverRemainsHoweverImprobableMustBeTheTruthSHerlockHolmesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

you-can-fool-all-the-people-some-of-the-time-and-some-of-the-people-all-the-time-but-you-cannot-abraham-lincoln-quoteDailyBus

Did BH use MHI – past and present – and the power or regulatory burdens throttle an industry that was poised for serious growth?

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

Didn’t MHI have the ability to end some of that burden by negotiation, and fail to take that option?  Why?

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How could Harvard have missed their projection for manufactured housing domination?

Are stressed, busy MH Professionals missing the truth hiding in plain sight of how MHI shifted since Berkshire Hathaway took control of their organization?

Appealing Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Marketing, Finance Booklet Reviewed

Could that shift have been through a Buffett-style moat-plan?

Alan Amy isn’t alone in this observation stated in this focused video.

The day will come when the constraints on manufactured housing could be lifted.  When enhanced preemption will be enforced.  When that day comes, what will be left among the manufactured housing independents that existed a decade ago?

AmericasFastestDyingBusinessMobileHomesManufacturedHomesAtlanticIBISWorldDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNews

IBISWorldAtlanticManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsResearchReportsMHProNews

Manufactured homes were predicted by a Harvard researcher to dominate by the end of the first decade of the 21st century. What happened? Accident? Or a moat like plan, hiding in plain sight, executed by MHI?

Did they get an unethical, liable, or illegal push?

The Decio family had Art featured on the cover of Time Magazine decades ago, what happened since then?

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Keep in mind, while there are several sources for information, there are to my knowledge only – broadly speaking, two – which have been willing to seriously take on BH and MHI.

MHARR and ourselves.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) Finds Manufactured Home Industry Support for Reform bill

MHI took themselves out of the picture of routinely communicating with us, about a year ago, after an initial series of exposes and analysis we published on them.  Coincidence?

Why is it that state associations, or MHARR, are often more successful than MHI?

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

Associations are supposed to be a tool for businesses to work together to impact regulatory and other issues.

What would do you do when you discover that your national association has been working the interests of the majority of the industry’s independents?

Do you keep feeding the hand that bites yours?

In my days as a manufactured home retailer, we used to advertise on a station as the sponsor of famous Paul Harvey’s, “The Rest of the Story.”

You don’t know all of it, but do you have more than enough linked above to reveal the truth that is hiding in plain sight?

2018 will be a year to watch.

Expect some more revelations, that you may only find published here on MHProNews. ## (News in review, commentary, analysis).

Related Topical Update:

SkylineChampionHomeBuildersMergerPlanAnnouncedDailyBusinessNewsMastheadManufacturedHousingINdustryMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/skyline-homes-and-champion-home-builders-to-merge/

 

TwitterFacebookLinkedInNew Year’s Resolution: On this 9th day of Christmas, a request.  This writer already has one of the largest LinkedIn followings in the manufactured home industry. But we’ve frankly not asked for Twitter, or Facebook followers. That changes, starting today. If you want to keep up with posts relevant to the industry, you can connect via the links below.

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

https://twitter.com/LATonyKovach @LATonyKovach
https://www.facebook.com/tony.kovach.71

 

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

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

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

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

That’s Debatable – Affordable Housing, Manufactured Homes, Trillion$ Await

December 16th, 2017 No comments

It was 15 years ago, but back then, MHI was correct to quote Harvard’s Eric Belsky.

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWhat happened to Belsky’s prediction, that kept manufactured housing from reaching its promised potential?

That’s debatable.

ThatsDebatableAffordableHousingManufacturedHomesTrillionsAwaitMastheadIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

 

We outlined in a cross-referenced, fact-based analysis and commentary part of what allegedly happened to the then-and-now potential for federally regulated, HUD Code manufactured homes to meet America’s affordable housing needs in the “Smoking Gun” report linked below.

4 Sentence Executive Summary of “Smoking Gun

Warren Buffett’s customary reading and research led Berkshire-Hathaway to buy up Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt, 21st, Oakwood, and other manufactured home connected businesses.  Using MHI as a chosen vehicle, they took a series of steps that arguably benefited their operations, often at the expense of numerous others.

Want evidence and reasoning to support that claim?

—> See the 21st Mortgage Corporation document -part of the “Smoking Gun” report and analysis – linked above.

Warren Buffett’s Famous “Perverse” Quote, Applied to Manufactured Housing

In “Perverse,” 3 Buffett Quotes are applied to manufactured housing.  ExecSummary? ‘He doesn’t think the industry will change, so he’ll win?’

WarrenBuffettQuotesPeverseEasyThingsDifficultChainsHabitLearnFromHistoryPeopleDontLearnFromHistoryManufacturedHousingMHI-MHProNews

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

We looked recently at what Buffett and his successor fear.  ExecSummary? A breakup.

Who Will Replace Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway? Expert Insights, Video & Manufactured Home Industry Outlook

We’ve also spotlighted the growing signals from the Trump Administration that the 45th president is eyeing anti-trust – read anti-monopoly – actions.

Based on prior reports on what Buffett fears – a Berkshire Hathaway breakup – is there any reason to think that Buffet’s empire – including Clayton – isn’t in the president’s cross-hairs?

President Raises the M-Word, “Monopoly,” Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Update$

The time to discover and debate replacing the Manufactured Housing Institute, should be engaged in now.

A third-party report on that subject is teed up from the Daily Business News item, linked below.

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

You can find the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s (MHARR) detailed report on the need for a post-production association, linked below.

http://mhpronews.com/industry-news/mharr-news/mharr-releases-study-recommending-independent-collective-representation-for-post-production-sector

MH Debates, Discussions and…

At Tunica in 2017, we invited the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to join the discussion – debate, if you will – the issue of media engagement, and their (in)effectiveness in that realm.  MHI’s PR person ducked out.

Frank Rolfe said yes.

That led to the following.

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

At Deadwood in 2017, Rick Robinson had the perfect opportunity to prove in front of dozens of industry professionals why what they’ve done is so brilliant, and why MHARR, this writer, MHProNews and other critics of theirs are all so wrong.

MHISrVPRickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoGenCounselMHProNews657

Robinson ducked in front of dozens.

I’m inviting – challenging MHI – to a public debate/discussion at Louisville, to be video recorded.  Video would allow the entire industry – and all other interested parties – to see and learn from the discussion/debate.

WithoutDebateWithoutCritismNoAdminNoCoutnryCansucceedNoRepublicCanSurviveJohnFKennedyManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

MHI’s own actions convinced me of several things.

Line those actions up – using Marty Lavin’s logic – with the money.  Doesn’t it lead you to the same places that Dems and Republicans alike have discovered about Berkshire Hathaway/Clayton Homes/VMF/21st hold over MHI, and the industry?

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNew

Marty Lavin Lashes the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Latest Initiative

Debate is useful.

Scholars, and thinkers debate.

Business and investment professionals in their board rooms debate.

Politicians (sort of) debate.

Let’s be blunt. MHI to date has lacked the confidence to debate their true performance. They’ve had other opportunities. Do they really want the industry to starkly see what has been taking place in recent years? Would it embarrass them, and their string pullers? “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Why not a great debate on the trillions in opportunities that could flow to factory-home builders, much of it to HUD Code builders?

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

The Yun Report demonstrates what we’ve said for years. There are trillions in opportunities in MH, but only for those willing to step out of the chains of the past into the bright opportunities of tomorrow.

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$

That will be a focus on the next, popular – Monday Morning Sales Meeting.

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

In some 600 words, you now have a link-laced snapshot of what third-parties and this writer believes is the truth is about the manufactured housing industry potential.  What successful pros are doing to grow at significantly faster rate than Clayton and Cavco.

WarrenBuffettQuotesPeverseEasyThingsDifficultChainsHabitLearnFromHistoryPeopleDontLearnFromHistoryManufacturedHousingMHI-MHProNews

You also now know what Mr. Buffett is counting on – inaction – that keeps most of the industry from enjoying the fruits of those opportunities.

Trends in MH Communities, Impacting Producers; Looming Crash?

Failure to act, will have consequences for still more independent producers, retailers and communities, as the link above demonstrates.

MHI?  Louisville Debate date/time, please?

How about the afternoon before the event begins? “We Provide, You Decide.” ## (Editorial commentary, analysis, opinion, news, fact-checks, manufactured housing.)

LATonyKovachPresentingStateConvDeadwoodSDKenCorbinCommentManufacturedHousingIndustryEventDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

L. A. “Tony” Kovach presenting to a packed house.

L. A. “Tony” Kovach 
MHLivingNews.com
 MHProNews.com |
Office 863-213-4090 |


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

 

Socialists, Communists, Capitalists, Clarity, Smear, Truth, and “Kissing Ass”

September 27th, 2017 No comments

Stating the Obvious for clarity. It’s complex world, where the agendas are often hidden or disguised. It isn’t always easy to know the truth on a subject. In manufactured housing, that’s also the reality.  Knowing the truth can be challenging.

We’ll get to the he headline later, but for now, please let me note the following.

We love:

  • this industry,
  • family, faith, flag, and free enterprise (if my wife is reading this, not necessarily in that order of importance).

We are pro-success, done ethically. Because we believe in a Supreme Authority, our values ideally are guided and enlightened by those ultimate truths. Having laid out our principles in often detailed statements before, let’s jump beyond that to the topic for today.

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Hey, there are some who just don’t have a free will choice, due to some circumstance. But others play the game because they think they benefit from it. The reality in manufactured housing is, exposing the game and playing it straight is more profitable than playing the game, or kissing someone’s donkey.

The Smear

One popular example from the left of “the smear” is to call whoever opposes them “a racist.” It’s been used for so long, it ought to be worn out by now.  The right can use Smear tactics too.

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The reason Smear Tactics can still be effective is because millions are too busy, to distracted by work, family, friends, sports, drink, drugs, sex, the tube, social media, or whatever else.

But today, there are other media options beyond the mainstream media.

This publication seeks to serves what is good and the truth as it is known and understood to be.

We have in the past given the benefit of the doubt to certain voices, until the doubt has been removed by a long preponderance of evidence carefully examined, and shared with you, the Industry’s:

  • Owners, executives, managers, and rising stars,
  • Investors,
  • Political operatives and elected officials,
  • Mainstream media,
  • Researchers, educators and political officials.

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Some in MHLand:

  • have egos the size of Texas,
  • blow with the wind,
  • will kiss any ugly -ss for a dollar,
  • just don’t know,
  • are into their habits so deeply, they don’t see reality, etc.

During the 2016 campaign, Warren Buffett said he supported what
Sec. Hillary Clinton
supported. That’s why he backed Clinton.
Sec. Clinton supported Dodd-Frank and the CFPB.
Do you see the disconnect
between MHI’s stated
position on CFPB and Preserving Access,
and what Warren Buffett said several times?

WarrenBuffettSupportedBarackObamaBuffettSupportedDoddFrankCFPBMastheadBlogMHProNews

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

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The slide is from then MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corp. Isn’t it obvious that what Williams was saying was the polar opposite of what Warren Buffett supported?  Are we to believe that MHI’s chair that worked for Buffett opposed Buffett’s positions?  Arrows and commentary in red from the Masthead blog, MHProNews.com.

But a number of others have no choice for economic reasons have to play the MHI game, but they don’t like what is going on, and help inform us all they can.

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MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

Those later sources often provide priceless insights. Thank you, one and all.

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Got a tip?  Document of general interest?  Help us help the industry. iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

Then, there are straight up supporters or those who are allied through mostly common visions or interests.

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Quick History – Conspiracy Theories and Reality

James Watt was the Secretary of the Interior Department, under President Ronald Reagan.

He was known as a pithy comments and quote machine. He has several interesting insights you can find on those quotable quotes websites, or Wikipedia.

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But the following quote of Watt’s I can’t find anywhere online, so I was not able to verify it precisely.  It goes something like this.

I don’t believe in what are commonly known as conspiracy theories. What I do believe in are people with common interests, acting in ways that benefit their common interests and that therefor look to be conspiratorial.’ – James Watt, former Secretary of the Interior.

That was so powerful, it has long stuck with me. Does it apply to manufactured housing? “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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“Conspiracy” Hiding in Plain Sight?

Set against the James Watt point that people with common interest often behave in ways that align with those interests – thus appearing to be conspiratorial –  let’s note the following.

If you or I are accused or questioned about something that’s demonstrably not true,
the normal person simply disproves the allegation, and moves on.

Correct?

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So, if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the powers-that-be behind MHI can readily disprove the array of questions and concerns about their favoritism and performance, why don’t they do so?

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Isn’t it likely they are ducking out precisely because the accusations are true? Because they have no good come-back?

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Why didn’t MHI ask to use this image, or create one like it of their own? Could it be that that Berkshire Hathaway owned companies like Clayton, VMF or 21st would benefit, whether or not the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act bill passed or not?  Sources tell MHProNews that the non-profits would have made a deal on the MLO rule, which would have benefited every MH Lender and every retailer, communities, and consumers.  Why didn’t MHI take that deal?  Why spend millions and fail? Or was that pro noted above correct, that BH profits either way, so why compromise at all?  Didn’t they win if it failed, or win if they succeeded?

The Truth is Hiding in Plain Sight

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Whatever MHI wants to say about trying to cut back on HUD overreaches, it is obvious that the easiest possible step is to ask the Trump Administration to have Pam Danner reassigned.  Why do they duck the obvious conflict between their words and deeds? Photo – Pam Danner, JD, addressing MHI members. Photo credit, MHProNews.

  • Pam Danner
  • Lois Starkey
  • Duty to Serve (DTS) (FHFA/GSEs)
  • CFPB and Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – Opportunities Missed
  • Monopolistic Practices that use Heavy Regulations to Force more Consolidations
  • Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) and enhanced preemption
  • Racism and Steering
  • Not Defending the Industry and its Image, etc., etc.

These are just some of the issues that have arisen or been spotlighted in roughly the last two two years.

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Some date back further, such as a column in 2014 that spotlighted the high cost – and risks to the industry – from low volumes of new home sales.  That risk to independents is hitting the industry again now, in the growing FEMA fiasco.

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Insider Sources

We have used a combination of inside voices off the record and visible professionals speaking on the record. While we often agree with MHARR, we are not joined at the hip.

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Perhaps the most compelling for thoughtful readers are the quotes from people in MHI, in their own words. Videos and their own written statements, carefully analyzed in the light of known facts.


From within the Berkshire Hathaway owned family of Clayton, Vanderbilt, 21st and other units;

From within MHI,

From state, professional, and third-party groups studying the industry – often with no axe to grind – MHProNews has provided a series of reports and exposes unlike anything that the industry has ever seen.

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MHI, Clayton, 21st and VMF have not engaged directly in public on these issues. But they have done so indirectly and often behind the scenes.  They don’t try to refute/disprove us, rather, they try other alleged tactics to undermine our efforts – which benefit the bulk of the industry’s professionals and investors.

Long term, our call to reform MHI and their alleged monopolistic masters would benefit them too.  Because monopoly inevitably leads to a break up, and it harms the market place, public and society.  That’s why there are laws against monopolies.

Thinkers simply have to wonder: why do the mega-rich take a public position that seems to contradict their own interests?  Isn’t the obvious answer from years of evidence that they posture one thing, do another, because it has worked for them time and again?

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

We’ve taken our precautions.

We’ve called out the powers that be to debate, or discuss, or be interviewed on video, so all can see it.  They duck, dodge, detract, distract, delay, etc. If they were right, they’d simply publicly seek to prove me to be a fool. Why are they reluctant to stand up for their track record? Do they de facto admit that they lack success at their own stated goals?

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The reason thousands come – including they and their allies daily – is because we say what’s real and support allegations with credible evidence.

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MHI Meetings, Networking and Events Can Be Replaced

The one thing that we hear that MHI ‘does okay with’ are their networking meetings.  That brings real value to some professionals.  But IMHO, they could be done better and for less.

We can’t say if MHARR will expand after their November 2017 meeting. But they have publicly supported the need for a third association that truly represents the “post-production” sector of MH – meaning others besides factory home builders.

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There was some movement by a few groups to do a true association, they’ve never come to pass.

It would be very profitable for the industry to do so.  Ironically, it could benefit the big players over time too. Because monopolies tend historically to fail over time, and harm many along the way to failure.

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Note, quoting someone on a topic should not be construed to imply we agree on all topics. That said, the above by George Allen on his own blog was interesting.

The industry is growing faster beyond Clayton and Cavco, their own statistics prove it.

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It’s time for the break up, since MHI has declined offers to reform itself.

Industry Pros Question the Effectiveness of National Association – Bob Crawford and Frank Rolfe from ManufacturedHome-ModularHomeNews on Vimeo.

 

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsFinally, we will continue to spotlight politics, because it routinely impacts our industry in clear or subtle ways. I know some question our support for the president and his agenda. We appreciate the candid feedback from those who see that topic differently.

While the GOP – as an independent, I’m not a member of that or any other political party – may be gripped by its identity crisis, the Trump wing is gaining ground.  As odd as it sounds, the victory of Roy Moore over Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate primary proves that to be true.

The RINOs – perhaps better known as the “Establishment” Republicans – will, if this pattern continues, fade from the scene over time.

Americans are seeking to take back their country.

Manufactured housing professionals want to take back their industry.

The two go hand in hand.  That’s why we supported Donald J. Trump when MHI put two pro-Clinton speakers on their stage just days before the election last November.

Manufactured Home Industry Leaders Praise MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

The hypocrisy and the game playing, the masks and deception are coming to an end.

When their allegedly manipulative music stops, watch a growing number of industry pros exit MHI.  They won’t want to be associated with that crew.

In the meantime, we’ll be spotlighting the issues that can help industry professionals and investors maximize their returns and success.

Read the news and commentary.  Consider what it means to you.  Then, think about how you and your location and organization can benefit by applying the insights you find here on MHProNews and/or on MHLivingNews.

You don’t have to spend a dime with us to do that, do you?

Of course, for those who see the value of what we do, it is common sense to support our efforts.  Because no other organization in the history of the industry has produced more pro-industry insights and defended the industry more than MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

We are only able to do so thanks to sponsors and client support.

Allegations, Reality and the Future

The powers that be have already lost, they may not realize it yet.  The momentum has shifted.

With the masks, and smoke screens falling and blowing away, the industry can grow at a pace it has only dreamed about for years.

We and select clients know how that is done.  Its profitable, and done at the local level.

Think about why MHI has turned us down time and again, and failed to respond time and again.  Think about why – on an issue as simple as Pam Danner being exited from her role in the manufactured housing program office at HUD – they won’t take a public stand for doing that, even when a growing number of their own members want that to take place.

Yes, we think the days of MHI and their masters as it has existed are about over.  Oh, they’ll continue on in some form or fashion, because Berkshire Hathaway and their allies need an organ like MHI.

But for the majority of members, aren’t you feeding the hand that bites yours?  ## (Commentary, analysis, news.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHLivingNewsMHProNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryPublisherMarketingSalesTrainerConsultant-

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.