Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Assoc Regulatory Reform’

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.

l-a-tony-kovach-mhlivingnews-mhpronews-latonykovach-com-

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

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

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

“Leaked Documents” – Influencing the Manufactured Housing Industry Conversation

August 20th, 2016 No comments

In a perfect world, many federal programs that now exist would end, and the manufactured housing industry would see a tremendous growth as a result.

ManufacturedHousing40-US240USIndependenceDay-postedMastheadBlog-

That said, the maze of federal programs and bureaucracies that now exist – and tragically waste hundreds of billions of dollars a year – more realistically could be slowly wound down.

Until that happy day, when the playing field would be leveled because the federal finger isn’t tilting the advantage this way or that way, manufactured housing ought to do what it can to get its fair share of those programs. 

Wind all of those programs down that can be undone, and let MH benefit along the way; that’s not a contradictionit’s prudence.

That said, the Masthead  thinks the Section 8 program change signed into law by a coalition of industry and other industries support is – or can be – a temporary advance. We cover an MHI related update on that topic, linked here.  A prior report on that is found on MHLivingNews.com, click the image below.

To get a sense of the sheer scope of the potential, see this report linked here, found no place else in the MH Publishing world.
BillPassesAllowingVoucherBuyManufacturedHomes-PhotoCredit-SunshineHomes-ManufacturedHomes-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews-575x334--575x330

 

2 ‘Leaked Documents’ and the DOE Regulatory issue

At some point, more in the MH industry will learn the general principle that more regulations are going to result in:

  • more pain,
  • more costs,
  • more lost options for consumers,
  • and more lost MH sales that would otherwise take place for industry pros,

absent said new regulation.  No is powerful.  The MH industry’s default position, until strong evidence suggests otherwise, ought to be NO when it comes to more federal (or other) regulations.

We won’t embarrass some in the industry today with so called ‘victories’ that were once cheered in the past that turned out to be disasters – efforts that some in the industry claims to have lobbied for – more regs that harmed MH instead of helped. So let’s turn outside of our MH ranks for the next few moments to understand this DOE issue.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a competitor, in some ways, with MH.

So the NAHB priced-out study (see it as part of the download on the report, linked here) ought to be seen as a pure gift to MH, because NAHB tells industry members what the impact of even $1000 in new price hikes would be – tens of thousands of potential lost customers.

To rephrase, the NAHB priced-out report helps industry pros bypass the ‘partisan’ MHI vs. MHARR issue.

The NAHB’s bottom line is that higher costs will keep X thousands of potential buyers from making a purchase. The higher the price, the fewer can qualify.  It’s common sense, right?

So why has it taken so long to get to MHI to the point they are now taking another look at these DOE regs, which MHARR opposed from the outset?  Don’t get me wrong, better late than never!  But where was the pro-active thinking on this issue?

The Masthead isn’t taking sides on the following question,

  • is MHI rethinking this DOE issue (perhaps a bit late in the game),
  • or is this just a head-fake?

We don’t claim to have that answer, not yet anyway.

What we know from various parties – including the one that leaked two documents to us – is in this report, linked here. We’ll let industry pros read it and sort it all out for themselves.

USDOE-MHI-MHARRlogos-

Image credits: each logo is the property of their respective organization.

 

Leaked! Confidential! 

Confidentially sent information and comments has allowed MHProNews to provide objective insights that are found no-place else in the MH Industry.

Pros in other industries, professions and civil servants share “inside baseball” insights, leak documents and so forth, with media – especially when no one in an organization is listening. Prior to MHProNews, there was simply no place available to send such information – the mainstream media for the most part just doesn’t care enough (yet, along with our sponsors, we’re working on that issue too). We’re it.

So that time-honored tradition of whispering to the media when no one else will listen has been picked up by MHProNews.

We love on the record comments and columns, but we also respect confidential sources. Each serves a unique and vital purpose.  Each is why thousands of pros, investors, researchers and public officials will logon today, thousands more tomorrow, and likely thousands will read this very column – and most certainly – Matthew Silver’s report linked above.

wordcloud-credit-thediagonal.com-postedMastheadBlog-MHProNews-SecretLeaked575x490-

Wordcloud credit, WordCloud blog. Secrets-Leaked, Confidential added by MHProNews.

Be a NewsMaker! As – We Provide, You Decide

There is a push from outside MH and within to get MH businesses to embrace this new DOE energy rule.

For reasons stated above, we’ve editorially opposed it. But for accuracy and balance, we do have industry friends and sources within MH who embrace this rule, but they are not yet ready to go on the record with their thinking.

So in all sincerity, our tagline applies: “We Provide, You Decide.”  ©

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

Image credit – collage of Industry Association logos by MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

New tips are welcome at iReportMHNews@MHMSM.com. When you send documents and/or messages, please let us know if your comments are on or off the record.

Knowledge is potential power. If you or someone you know is kept from sharing some key insight, or if a harmful issue is being ignored, etc.; please feel free to share it as a news tip. We’ve had this document/leak and yet another news tip just recently, but there has been more over the years sent to us.

There are times that may be the only way that we as an industry will advance as rapidly as possible to achieve our true potential. Do what you can, and we will too.

Together, Everyone Achieves More (TEAM). ##

(Editor’s note: let’s pray for those tens of thousands of victims of flooding in Louisiana; we have been tracking that in reports on the Daily Business News, the most recent, linked here.)

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

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

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.