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GIGO, Esther Sullivan, Clayton Homes, Boston Globe, GSMOL on ‘Manufactured Insecurity-Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place’

October 17th, 2018 No comments

 

GIGOEstherSullivanPhotoClaytonHomesLogoGSMOLlogoBostonGlobeManufacturedInsecurityMobileHomeParksAmericansTenuousRighttoPlaceMastheadMHProNews

Like millions of others, during my high school days and at the university, computer geeks used the acronym, GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out.” It simply means that if your input is bad, then the output is bad.

 

Similarly, when using logic, if the premise is flawed, then the conclusion is flawed too.

The GIGO principle holds in business or every other aspect of living. Someone like Professor Esther Sullivan – or those who cite her – may have grand intentions. But mistakes in her facts or a premise lead to false conclusions.

Esther Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Denver,” is the bio brief for her book, “Manufactured Insecurity Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place.”

Let’s note that your Masthead writer is not endorsing Sullivan’s tome, which I’ve not yet read. Rather, this is an analysis of points raised by Sullivan, in her TED Talk. Such talks normally distill the key points of a writer’s research. But to be fair, one should also consider varied viewpoints.

Here is what one fawning reviewer of Sullivan’s ‘Manufactured Insecurity-Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place’ said:

Through a beautifully executed ethnography, Esther Sullivan deftly details how for many living in manufactured mobile homes the façade of the American Dream often turns into displacement and disillusionment. Not only is this work a meaningful contribution to housing studies, it also advances our understandings of social inequality reproduction. For those interested in America’s private-market affordable housing challenges and how they perpetuate vulnerability mainly, but not exclusively, among disadvantaged whites, this is a must-read.” — Derek S. Hyra, author of Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City.

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Here’s another reviewer praising her work:

Esther Sullivan has produced a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of manufactured housing in the United States. This is an outstanding and unique ethnographic study of park closings that deserves wide readership among policymakers, advocates, and scholars.”—Edward Goetz, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, author of The One-Way Street of Integration: Fair Housing and the Pursuit of Racial Justice in American Cities.

From those quotes of praise, and what they’ve published, you begin get the idea.

Here’s her publisher’s own plug for her book.

Manufactured Insecurity is the first book of its kind to provide an in-depth investigation of the social, legal, geospatial, and market forces that intersect to create housing insecurity for an entire class of low-income residents. Drawing on rich ethnographic data collected before, during, and after mobile home park closures and community-wide evictions in Florida and Texas—the two states with the largest mobile home populations—Manufactured Insecurity forces social scientists and policymakers to respond to a fundamental question: how do the poor access and retain secure housing in the face of widespread poverty, deepening inequality, and scarce legal protection? With important contributions to urban sociology, housing studies, planning, and public policy, the book provides a broader understanding of inequality and social welfare in the United States today.”

Sullivan says in the video posted below that she lived in communities marked for closure.  Hmmm, okay, but how does that give an authentic look at manufactured homes or communities?  Closures are obviously troubling and disruptive for many.  But thankfully, it is still the minority of communities where that occurs.  GIGO.  Her input is flawed, thus her premise is tainted too.

 

GSMOL, Clayton Homes, and the Boston Globe…

We don’t have to agree with all the policy points that the GSMOL (Golden State Manufactured Home Owner League) stand for to understand why some of their leaders might think Professor Sullivan has talking points useful to their cause.

 

EvictionsMobileHomeParksInsightsTexasFlordaGSMOLManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryAnalysisMastheadMHProNews

 

But then ask yourself this pressing question.

  • Why would Clayton Homes commission the Boston Globe article by Jon Guber that cites Sullivan and her work?

Shouldn’t community owners, and manufactured home owner groups alike sit up and question Clayton Homes motivations in spotlighting Professor Sullivan?  Is it possible that the wool is being pulled, to block vision?

 

AmericasMostInvisbileCommunitiesMobileHomeParksDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsTedXMileHighEstherSullivanManufacturedInsecurity

 

MH Industry Colleagues on Sullivan

Let’s begin with Sullivan. Manufactured home industry colleagues have said they tried to engage her, without success. Be that as it may, Sullivan needs to have an authentic dialogue with someone who will respectfully yet authentically test and challenge her premise and conclusions.

A careful look at the infographic below reveals just some of the factual errors found in her TED Talk.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

 

Further, Sullivan mixes and misuses terminology. How can a serious university professor misuse terminology with a professional straight face?

 

Terminology2HarvardFreddieMacNeighborworksManufacturedHomeDefintionMobileHomeTraileModularPanelizedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Typically, an author of a book distills in a talk some key points from their research. Her video is posted below.

 

 

SteveDukeLMHATheTerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDefinesTheConstructionStandardsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

 

Then, please read the Daily Business News report at the link below.

 

News Tips, Manufactured Housing Industry Comments on Big City’s Manufactured Home Promoting Commentary

 

Then read the original on Boston.

 

Are we ignoring — or outright banning — an easy affordable-housing fix?

 

Sullivan’s work is a mishmash of the accurate and inaccurate information. Because of the GIGO principle, the same is true of what Jon Guber published in the Boston Globe too.

Again, why would Clayton Homes commission that Guber advertorial?

 

 

Concerns Over Clayton Homes, and the Esther Sullivan Nexus

Once an objective scientist or serious researcher discovers a fact, spotting that point again later becomes easier.

Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway have attracted and/or generated numerous types of controversies.

 

NBC Video – Federal Authorities Investigating Clayton Homes, Maxine Waters Denounces Lending “Discrimination” Against Minorities

 

The articles linked above and below are just two examples.

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

 

Thousands of manufactured home professionals ignored or overlooked such stories for years.  Why?  Haven’t they just continued to pop back up?  Does ignoring the periodic problems for the image of our industry help or harm manufactured home professionals and home owners?

Until recently, who was tracking the ties that Buffett’s money has with activist group, MHAction, via the Tides Foundation?

 

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

 

It can’t be said too often. Berkshire Hathaway has numerous media assets. Warren Buffett can get on TV almost anytime he wants. If they wanted to honestly and honorably grow the manufactured home industry and its reputation, why not run one legitimate article a month from each of their 31 BH Media Group outlets?

If the BH Media Group did that, there would be a parade in Google News that could rapidly change the way our industry is perceived.

Instead, they purportedly commissioned this article in the Boston Globe’s real estate section, that cites Sullivan? Excuse me?

Manufactured home industry pros and investors, do you see any good reason for Clayton to support Sullivan’s work, if they want growth?  For manufactured home owners, the terminology and several of her statements make manufactured homes look at best like a questionable investment.  How does that help your cause?

Finally, Claytons money connection in the background of the Taylor Swift campaign controversy reveals more evidence of mistyfing behavior – if they wanted a surge of growth at this time – that the industry’s pros should consider.

Some MHI member tell me they have no choice, they are ‘compelled’ to be members. If so, that speaks volumes.

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Once the midterms are over, and God-willing a red-tide is the result on the night of November 6, there will next steps needed.

They should include, but not be limited to, federal antitrust and other investigations of:

  • MHI,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Clayton Homes, and their related lending.
  • Amazon, Alphabet (Google, YouTube), Facebook, and Microsoft.
  • Concerns over FHFA, and the GSEs handling of the Duty to Serve manufactured housing must also be part of the mix.

Isn’t it increasingly clear that there’s as many internal as external reasons that the industry is at such historic lows?

As a manufactured housing industry pro posted on LinkedIn about the latest Clayton scandal, “Wow…Sad.”

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

(See Related Reports, further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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

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

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

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Related References:

Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

Principle of ‘The Lesser of Two Evils,’ and MHVille’s Future

Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

October 9th, 2018 No comments

 

TruthTrumpTragedyTriumphAffordableHousingManufacuredHomesMastheadBlogMHProNewsLogo

 

Let’s stipulate that both President Donald J. Trump and his anti-Trump opponents at times error in various ways. No one is perfect.

 

Let’s note later why the bullets below matters for the cause of the economy, affordable housing in general, and manufactured homes in particular.

But we’ll do this systematically, by first laying out a series of bullets, to set the stage.

There are:

  • Muslims,
  • Jews,
  • Christians,
  • LGBTQs,
  • Blacks,
  • Hispanics,
  • Women,
  • Men,
  • Rich,
  • Poor,
  • Working Class,
  • Media,
  • Other groups and professions,

that appreciate, and respect the 45th President – Donald J. Trump’s – polices and accomplishments. Unlike many politicos, the 45th President of the United States (POTUS) is methodically doing what he said he would do.

Depending on what media sources you read, watch or prefer to listen to, you will either agree or perhaps strongly disagree with those bullets. But those points are nevertheless accurate and demonstrably true. More on that further below.

The president isn’t a choir boy, and never claimed to be. That’s not a defense, it’s a statement of reality. God bless his candor on that point.

Yet this non-choir boy president has tackled vexing domestic and foreign policy issues that faced the U.S. as recently as two years ago, which are already seeing significant improvement.

Jobs in:

  • manufacturing,
  • mining,
  • energy,
  • steel, and more are returning to America.
  • Recall that President Barack H. Obama said many of those are jobs that arenever coming back.” But under 45, they’re coming back.
  • Better trade deals are being struck by 45. Yet former President Obama said better trade deals would require a “magic wand.”
  • As a reminder, Secretary Hillary Clinton would have continued the policies of her predecessor in most cases, she said so.
  • Several of the policies of former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama led to massive deficits that roughly tripled the federal debt in 16 years.
  • So, this is not a simple GOP vs. Democratic policies issue.

Candidate Trump wasn’t the first to tap the agenda he did.  Others like Pat Buchanan, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee had similar planks and policies. But “The Donald” won.

 LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Rephrased, the core beliefs of the Trump coalition were already found among:

  • blue dog Democrats,
  • The Tea Party,
  • Evangelicals,
  • Constitutionalists,
  • Free enterprise proponents, and others.

People ought to be honest enough to give the president the credit he is due.  Love or hate his style, jokes, or tweets, his policies are working.

By contrast, prior to the Trump era, the wealth of the oligarchic class grew rapidly during the prior 3 administrations. Democrat, Republican, it didn’t matter. That’s not a slam on capitalism or the 2 party system. It’s a slam on crony capitalism and a rigged political system.

 

The Problem of Monopoly and Oligopolies

The rigged system” is a common point between Bernie Sanders backers and the followers of Donald J. Trump.

Danny Glover is a fine actor. My citing the quote below, or any other quote from other persons or sources, doesn’t imply I think everything the quote source said or did is perfect. We use a wheat and chaff approach with everyone.

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

 

That said, Mr. Glover was close to the mark with that statement above.  It is part of the powerful video found at the link below.

 

“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

America has spent huge sums on education. “Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States in 2014–15 amounted to $668 billion, or $13,119 per public school student enrolled in the fall (in constant 2016–17 dollars),” per NCES.ED.gov.

MathReadingTop12CountriesBBCOECDDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How can it be that so much is spent, and we can’t even make the top nation’s of the world in educational outcomes? Anyone who thinks that big government is the solution has not looked at the facts.

ScienceRankingsBBCUSAnotOntop20ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

There is a lot of reforming still needed, education is part of what must change in the U.S. The low to poor outcomes, in spite of huge sums spent, prove it.

Then why does the U.S. trail so many other nations globally in education? See the data above, per the BBC.

America has spent huge sums on poverty programs, which includes ‘affordable housing’ programs. Then why after spending north of $22 trillion dollars – per the Heritage Foundation in 2014 – does the U.S. trail so much of the world in home ownership rates?

Top50CountriesinWorldHomeOwnershipRatesWikipediaPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1878

Manufactured homes could be a big part of the solution for housing affordability. We know what is necessary. Enforce the two good laws that are already on the books.

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

Or why does poverty programs enrich a few, while the poverty remains?  Let’s sum up the powerful video below with these words, poverty is business and politics for certain people.  ICYMI, or for later viewing, check out the multiple award winning video found in the linked post below.

Acclaimed Poverty Inc. Video, MHVille – Why Left & Right Should Listen, Learn From Each Other

 

Why is much of the mainstream media so dead set against President Trump? Think about what Mr. Glover above, and others in quotes below, said on this issue of news as a business.

 

ThomasSowellQuoteIfPeopleInMediaCannotDecideWhetherTheyAreInNewsReportingbusinessorManufacturingPropagandaMoreImportantForPub

 

A well informed manufactured home industry executive told me recently, ‘Tony, a lot of what you guys [MHProNews] write about I already knew.’ No doubt. There are numbers of industry pros who knew all of the above, long before we published the data. But what about the thousands who don’t know?  How do you educate and inform them, without articles like this that lay out the facts and evidence?

 

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Warren Buffett can get on TV almost any time he wants to. Berkshire Hathaway owns at this time some 31 newspapers. Why don’t they educate the public about manufactured homes? What are they waiting for, and why?

 

But there are thousands in our industry that didn’t know, until they read this, or until they read articles we did previously over the years on the Daily Business News, on MHLivingNews, or here on the Masthead.

 

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There’s power in greater numbers understanding the truth.

 

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Facts, evidence, morality, and common-sense ought to rule, not blind passion or emotionally manipulated people of any persuasion.

 

 

Threats, Bullying and Intimidation Tactics

Yet, there are rent-a-rioter protesting and/or leading protests.

Who says?

ABC News.

 

CNN.  They call themselves antifascist – or AntiFa. But in fact, they are using violent tactics much like the brownshirts in 1930s Germany.  They take on their opponents “by any means necessary.”  They talk about opposing “white nationalists,” but very few white nationalists ever show up to their own events. So, clearly, AntiFa has a different agenda.

 

 

Note that in the video above, one planner said that they’ve been doing such organizing for years.  It is only more noticeable now. He admits the masks are to make it harder to identify and arrest lawbreakers.

Do we want a society where bullying, violence, and intimidation tactics rules?  “Organized descent,” is what a woman in this video says.  Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) is prominent in this.

 

Odds are good you’ve seen Representative Maxine Waters (CA-D) tell a group to “push back on them” any time you see a Trump administration member in public.  What’s that?  Is that love, that they often claim, or is it hate?

 

The Manufactured Housing Connections

We spotlighted on MHLivingNews just one of several possible looks on why more manufactured homes aren’t already being sold.

Manufactured Homes Could Help Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis, So, Why Aren’t More Manufactured Homes Being Sold?

 

MHI recently came out in apparent support of a bill by Senator Warren that arguably would be harmful to the interests of thousands of manufactured housing professionals, and based upon decades of history, would hurt the interests of millions of affordable housing seekers.

 

Facts & Analysis – Senator Elizabeth Warren re: Manufactured Housing Institute Memo to MHI Members, 10-3-2018

 

Don’t think that protestors are irrelevant to manufactured housing professionals. MHAction disrputed the MHI meeting when HUD Secretary Carson spoke.

MHAction’s own video reflects them targeting industry professionals like Frank Rolfe or the Blackstone Group.  In the MHAction video below, our commentary is on the left, but it is their video on the right.

 

 

If it happens to others, isn’t it reasonable to think that it can happen to you?

If there isn’t a line in the sand now, then when?

 

Why Isn’t Manufactured Housing Doing Better?

For years, MHProNews and MHLivingNews has spotlighted issues in depth, and laced with facts that others with bigger budgets ignore. Why?

 

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

 

Ignorance is Costly, Accurate Understanding Followed by Sound Action Pays

We spend time spotlighting issues regarding Berkshire Hathaway, which has drawn coverage from left and right-of-center mainstream media.

 

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

 

Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat

 

But almost no one in MHVille media – outside of MHProNews, and/or MHARR on specific topics – has called Berkshire Hathaway out by name, and then provided the facts and evidence as to why they were being called out.

 

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

 

MHARR and MHProNews have led the charge for spotlighting the various ways that has sold out the interests of the independents in the industry.

Two state association broke away from MHI precisely because MHI failed to represent their interests.

 

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

 

We could go on and on with examples of how MHI has protected big money billionaires, or people like Nathan Smith, who is highly connected in the Democratic party.

 

Nathan Smith, From Mobile Home Resident to SSK Communities Owner and President Barack Obama Connection

 

Democrats and the GOP – Republicans – both needed reforms. President Trump is fundamentally changing some parts of Republican politics on issues like the border, trade, and tariffs.

As a political independent, it must be said that President Trump is making the GOP into a pro-worker, pro-business – notably small business – party.  That’s why MHARR praised President Trump. That’s why the NFIB sings his policies praises too.

 

MHI postures being for less regulation, but they have time and again failed the independents of the industry.  Frank Rolfe may have gone silent, but he was right when he said that the problems the industry faces are internal.  Rolfe named MHI as part of the problem.

 

Marty Lavin was a long-time MHI member.  He won one of their highest awards.  He said that they work for the interests of the big boys, not the independents.

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It’s sad that so few will speak out publicly, but it is because they are:

  • afraid, as people that work for Clayton and intendents have told us.
  • Still don’t understand, because they can’t get passed a good time(s) they’ve had at an MHI meeting, or with Clayton or 21st, etc. But how many felt that before they were forced out of business by 21st and or Clayton after 2009?
  • If the ‘big boys’ did it to the industry before, can’t they do it again? Did you know some believe that is what MHI/Clayton/21st/VMF have been doing with the GSEs?

 

GSEs’ “Duty To Serve Underserved Markets” Plans

 

There is no lack of evidence to what’s happening to our nation, and to our industry.  MHI has purportedly sold our industry’s independents out many times. We share some MHARR links just to mix it up, but we’ve covered these topics several times.

 

MHARR to DOE: Only Three Choices for MH Energy Rule – Abandon, Complete Start-Over, Or Face Legal Action

 

Next Steps for Independents, and Free Enterprise Supporters

Job One is to support pro-Trump candidates. They must expand their hold of Congress.  We’ve shown just how that can happen in 2018, in spite of what the pollsters say. Recall, those same pollsters said Trump couldn’t win in 2016.  Vote and get others lined up to do the same.

What some call “RINO” Republicans – more aptly, squishy on the Trump-agenda – politicos like Jeff Flake are stepping down.  Pro-Trump candidates are stepping up in their place.

Who is MHI supporting with their PAC? Flake’s Democratic opponent, and in Indiana, the anti-Trump Joe Donnelly (D).  There are more examples, but let’s just let those two sink in.

Facts are facts.  The Trump track record is very different than some elements of the media portray. POTUS Trump is not a typical Republican from the 10 or 20 years ago.  That’s not saying the GOP was bad then, it is only to say that President Trump has taken elements of Republican thinking, brought in some blue-collar elements from the Democratic thinking, and blended it together.

MHI postures being for everyone, but they have time and again failing independents.  Former MHI chairman, and MHI PAC Chairman Nathan Smith said as much on a video.


The outcome is consolidation. Smith laughs about it, but that’s the game.  The more a few control businesses, including manufactured housing, the worse it is for consumers.

Manufactured housing is poised for historic growth.  But the foot purportedly has been kept on the metaphorical brakes. The time to expose the rigged system, in all its elements is now.  The need to continue to expose it won’t end until the vast majority of Americans realize just how failed and corrupted the system has become.

American workers, American consumers, and independent American businesses first. Its common sense.  There is an opportunity to take the evidence that the Trump Administration is producing and use it to show how it can turn years of tragedy into triumph.

The good results speak for themselves.  More is needed, specifically in our industry, which is why the Omaha, Knoxville, Arlington triangle must be arguably be exposed and broken up.  Antitrust laws could be useful in MHVille and beyond.  The Trump administration has already signaled that antitrust – anti-monopolistic actions – is coming, perhaps soon after the midterms.

I for one can’t wait. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

NBC Video – Federal Authorities Investigating Clayton Homes, Maxine Waters Denounces Lending “Discrimination” Against Minorities

President Donald J. Trump Visit to Manufactured Home Community, Video, Hurricane Florence Update

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room

June 19th, 2018 No comments

Only3OptionsTheElephantIntheRoomManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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.)

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

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

May 22nd, 2018 No comments

S2155ManufacturedHousingEconomicGrowthRegulatoryReliefConsumerProtectionActBackStoryMastheadMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

S2155ManufactuerdHousingINdustryMastheadAnalysisMHProNews

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

 

“Tony, What’s the Beef?”

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

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

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

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

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

MSM = Mainstream Media

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

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

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

 

Look at this MHI Pattern

LesliGoochforCongressManufacturedHousingInstituteMHISVPGovtAffairsRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMastheadDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Lesli Gooch, blast from her past…

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

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

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

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

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

 

Pulling the Head Out…

head-in-sand-wikicommons-dilbert=credit-posted-masthead-mhmsm-com-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

April 22nd, 2018 No comments

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, and their annual shareholders meeting, are writ large on the calendar for investors.  The same can be said for professionals who are in or researching – or in – the manufactured home industry.

BestWarrenBuffettKevinClaytonClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayAnnualMeetingCompetitiontheMoatVideoCollection

Clayton Homes – led by company founder Jim Clayton’s son, Kevin Clayton – become the largest producer of manufactured homes the year that Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett bought the company in 2003. It became the largest builder or HUD Code manufactured homes later that same year – 2003 – when Buffett’s Berkshire purchased Oakwood Homes, and rolled it into the Clayton ‘family of brands.’

Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates
compete in the annual newspaper toss
to a Clayton Homes front door at shareholders meeting.

That was one of an ongoing string of acquisitions since then, which in more recent years have included purchases of site-builders, as well as other factory producers.

Kevin Clayton talks about barracks for the military, tiny homes
annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.


 

Why did Buffett do all this?  Why has he endured the ‘drama’ that has gone along with Clayton Homes and manufactured housing?

Pay close attention to what you see, hear and read, and you’ll get it.  Short answer?  Listen to Buffett explain his own principles. Mr. Buffett wants a business that is easy to understand. He wants a business with “a moat.”  During an affordable housing crisis, what business is easier to understand than manufactured homes?

Short Warren Buffett On Clayton Homes
Allegations of Discrimination, CNBC

Two quick quotes, and then on to the rest of the videos.

I call investing the greatest business in the world … because you never have to swing…All day you wait for the pitch you like; then when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it,” – Warren Buffett, per Wikiquotes.

Draw a circle around the businesses you understand and then eliminate those that fail to qualify on the basis of value, good management, and limited exposure to hard times.” Warren Buffett, in “About Investing.

Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes CEO
on military barracks, tiny houses more…Fox Business.

 

Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes Related Videos

For those in or new to manufactured housing, these videos offer a peek inside the world of Berkshire, and their dominance of manufactured home:

  • construction,
  • retail,
  • lending,
  • suppliers,
  • insurance and other financial services arena.
  • You’ll also get a peak into their move towards conventional housing, and they were already doing modular home construction.

Berkshire Hathaway’s
Clayton Homes Moving into New Conventional Housing Markets
– The Street

 

Warren Buffett’s “The Moat” Strategy – How to Dominate Competitors, in Buffett’s and Kevin Clayton’s Own Words

For those who are researching concerns over monopolies or alleged monopolistic practices – and how that had played out in manufactured housing – the videos below are must viewing.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman,
Competitive Advantages and “The Moat” per Buffett, Video Interview Clips
– MHLivingNews.com

 

For those looking for a deeper dive in reading and research on related topics, the links below provide arguably the most comprehensive research by an informed, pro-industry expert and witness to the evolution of the industry from its early days as trailer houses, to the mobile home era, and to industry since June 15, 1976, when it formally became HUD Code regulated manufactured housing.

 

The solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight. That’s been a subtext for closing in on a decade on MHProNews.com as well as on our public focused sister site, ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com, both of which also looks at modular, prefab, conventional, and pre-HUD Code mobile homes.

For first timers, to industry veterans, this is the number one site of its kind. Who says?  Besides third party traffic data, there’s the widespread praise for these twin platforms that has flowed for years from many pros, including from the founder of Clayton Homes, Jim Clayton, as well as from independents and others.  The video praised captured below is just a sampling of spoken and written praise.

 

 

While we are pro-industry, we are also pro-consumer, and are strong believers in free enterprise.

Kevin Clayton Interview, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway,
Clayton Homes CEO, Manufactured Homes, Affordable Housing News – MHProNews

Unlike much of the trade media in our industry, we do not shy away from controversial topics. So, for example, the question of the impact of alleged monopolistic practices by Buffett, Berkshire and Clayton Homes, or other charges against the company are among topics we’ve closely examined for years.

We hope you learn, and enjoy.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ## © (News, analysis and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

 

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

Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

 

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:
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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 |

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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.