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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…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Reports:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry News, Reality Check

April 4th, 2018 No comments

ClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeIndustryNewsRealityCheckMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

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

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

The point? What’s the Reality Check? 

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

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

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

    Berkshire Hathaway owns a press release service.

   Berkshire Hathaway owns numerous media outlets.

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

   Clayton has their own communications and marketing people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

TrailerParkGoogleNews442018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

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

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

DarrenKrolewskiMHVillageDataComp=PostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

Darren Krolewski, Co-President at MHVillage, DataComp.

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

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

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

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

So why don’t they???

 

The 64 Billion Dollar Question

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Comments, Quotes and Reports:

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews-500x277FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

 

StayProfitablyInformedManufacturedHousingHeadlineNews633x1037

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Note 1: Thousands do it. You, your team, and industry colleagues can sign up to the MH Industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – please click here to sign up in just seconds.

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ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

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.

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

November 13th, 2017 No comments

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

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

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

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

TransparencyMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

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

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

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

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

AndyGallagherRunMyStatementWVHI-MastheadCommentaryMHProNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

Per that statement, as shown below.

AndyGallagherExecDirectorWVHIWestVirginiaHousingInstituteManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIMastheadBlogMHProNews

As you see, Andy said,

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

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

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

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

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

Gallagher, Jennison, Others…

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

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

GhostWriterDefinedPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews

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

MarkTwainSamuelClemnsWikipediaMastheadBlogMHproNews

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

Ghost writing happens.

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

Asking to Pull our Report to the Industry…

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

Please pull it.’

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

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

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

OustPamDannerStoryLinkedGeorgeGunnellCo-PresidentMHProNewsMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

WestVirginiaHousingInstituteWVHImanufacturedhousingindustryWVManufacturedHousingInstitutePamDannerLesliGooch

Fair and balanced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ducking for Months

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

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

RickRobinsonTonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Transparency, Please?

MHInoReportersJournalistsSignManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoByManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews300x474a

MHI – Transparency, please? Photo credit, MHProNews.

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

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

Please?

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

Ok.

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

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

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

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

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

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNew

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

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

LATonyKovach-QuestioningNYSAAteam-NewYorkHousingAssociation-MHProNews-com-PhotoCreditMarkSimon--250x167

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

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

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.

DonkeyKissingAssSomePeopleWillDoAnythingForAFewExtraDollarsMastheadBlogPixabayMHProNew

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.

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

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.

CartoonKissingAssSomePeopleWillDoAnythingForAFewExtraDollarsMastheadBlogPixabayMHProNew

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

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

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.

TimWilliams-21stMortgage=graphiccredit-text=MastheadBlog-MHProNews-com-

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.

ClassifiedTopSecretPixabayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

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

IReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM-comMHProNews (1)

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.

TheyKillGoodTreesToPutOutBadNewspapersJamesGWattAZquotesMastheadBlogMHProNews

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.

JamesGWattSecretaryInteriorWikipediaMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNews626

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.)

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By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.