Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’

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

May 22nd, 2018 No comments


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.


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


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…


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

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

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

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

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Hardy, Doers, Determined, Success-Minded MHPros + MHARR, MHI & HUD’s Pam Danner, Manufactured Housing Program Administrator @ Louisville

January 18th, 2016 No comments

Other than being dead, hospitalized or tending to those in those scenarios, almost any excuse will do.

– Need to walk the dog.
– Hate the cold, snow.
– Need to fund that deal.
– That’s two days you could be selling, etc, etc..

The successful and success-seekers in MH – from the Midwest and well beyond – are bound to be at Louisville in droves.

About those with weather or other excuses…hey, I’m hanging my hat in Central Florida and the temperature difference between Louisville and home is about 50 degrees comparing the respective highs and lows for each place. Spits of snow last night, some white stuff in the forecast.


Success minded pros know that it pays to be at Louisville for the show.

Cold weather didn’t stop us, we are already here. Hundred of others we know are too, with far more that will be coming. If you are a determined, goal, solution and success focused pro, you’ll be at Louisville for the 2016 Manufactured Housing Show too.

The Louisville MH Show is held indoors, at the impressive KEC, precisely with inclement weather in mind.

Those who go and shrug off the cold from the vehicle to the front door have a jump over others in their market.

Think it through, see the incredible wisdom of being here and be among those who grab their coats, gloves and make the trip.


The Winners, Doers and Determined will be at Louisville 2016. Image credit, forecast for L’ville.

For those who do, here are some things you can see and do, linked here.

Manufactured Housing Industry Progress – MHI, MHARR, State Associations and You

We have friends, colleagues and clients in both of the national associations, plus state associations, and MHEC too. Not all are in an association, that’s another topic for another time. With that tee-up to say, I’m not pointing fingers, we aren’t grinding an ax; nor saying who’s been right, wrong, etc.. Its about where we go from where we are today.


On the Masthead blog, you’ll get the perspective, insider insights and commentary you may need to navigate ahead in MH. 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.

Here’s the critical yet simple point for the advancement of our industry. If you review the history of the past few decades, you’ll see that the primary times the MH industry has advanced its agenda in DC is when MHI, MHARR and state associations are working in alignment. Think MHIA 2000 as the best example.

Think about all the troubling drama and overall slide hitting MH in the years since 2000. Yes, we are modestly rising for 6 years, but we can do better. Some of those issues are legislative and regulatory.  Can the powers that be get along and get it done, for the benefit of all?


Don Glisson, Jr. leads Triad Financial Services, a 5 decade MH lender and prior MHI Chairman.

This isn’t just my thought, others are saying privately the need for MHI, MHARR and the states to work more closely together. Publicly, Don Glisson Jr., prior MHI Chairman and CEO of Triad Financial Services – the MH Industry’s most enduring MH lender – gave strong voice to a similar viewpoint in a recent interview we did with him – revisit his thoughts, at this link here.

Don wisely wanted then and now to see the independent producers and those in MHI come to a good working relationship.

What Don says publicly, numerous others believe too. The sense from the Masthead is that MHARR has made its public stance warmer in the past year or so. I know some of the thinking in MHI circles.

The two national associations need to look at their respective goals, and see how they can create mutual victories while achieving what the industry needs in DC.

While MHARR’s and MHI’s respective offices are only a few miles apart in DC and Arlington, VA – there are heads for both organizations boards that will be present during Louisville and at Tunica. Will they take advantage of the opportunity?

HUD’s Pam Danner

HUD’s Pam Danner will be at the L’ville Show, because the MHCC meeting will be there. The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) is one of those MHIA of 2000 mandated protections, intended to benefit all stakeholders.

Don’t be surprised if you see Pam on the show floor, walking some homes, etc.. But let’s focus on Danner’s planned talk to attendees.


Pam Danner, addressing an MHI meeting. Danner will be at the L’ville Show, see details below.

I’ve listened to what I’ll call Pam’s stump speech at various state associations and national association meetings. Pam has gotten some things going at HUD. Others that ought to be pretty high on the agenda for MH and the Feds too, not so much.

For those going to the 2016 L’ville Show, keep in mind that Pam Danner will address attendees 11 AM ET on Thursday in a room next to the show office; that’s across the way from registration and the main entrance to the show floor. Attorney Danner will likely be taking questions after her address. So have your questions and concerns about HUD and related MH issues at hand, so you can share them during the Q&A.

We’ll be there too.

This will be my midweek blog post, done early, to draw attention to the above, and encourage attendees. We’ll do a post show report, as usual. Let’s catch up then. ##


Team Kovach, (l-r) Soheyla (prounounced So Hey La), Tamas (pronounced Tah Mash) – aka The Youngest Exhibitor – and L. A. “Tony” Kovach (prounounced Co-Vatch like Watch) will be at Booth #215 during the Louisville Show. They’ll be taking turns there, along with Daily Business News writer, Matthew Silver and Inside MH videographer Charles Drake. Photo credit, from 83 Degress Media.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Favorite Issues for the Manufactured Housing Industry’s two National Associations

June 17th, 2015 No comments

As thousands of MHPros know, the manufactured housing (MH) industry is represented in DC by two different associations. There is MHI – the Manufactured Housing Institute and MHARR – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform. Each of these is currently pursing rather different courses of action.


MHI’s primary focus has been Dodd-Frank reform. Getting the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650/S 682) passed is the big ask on Capitol Hill. There are other goals and items on the wish list, but HR 650/S 682 is at the top of the list, for understandable reasons.


It goes without saying that MHProNews and our sister platform has been supportive of that effort. Our latest on that subject, with numerous cross-links for depth of understanding, is here:


By contrast on the finance front, MHARR is pursuing GSE reform and implementation of the Duty to Serve. The non-profits happen to favor something similar. We periodically raise that topic too, because technically it is already the law, passed as part of HERA 2008. With Mel Watt at FHFA, there is certainly a possibility that it could be advanced on the regulatory front.

Where MHI and MHARR (politely) disagree is on the Department of Energy (DOE) standards that are inching towards finalization. MHARR’s latest on this could be summed up in Matthew Silver’s recent brief, linked below.

In the case of DOE standards, MHI and the non-profits are closer to being on the same page. We published a more in-depth report on this topic, wrapping it around a report that came from the NAHB which MHARR pointed to with great vigor. That report is linked below.


Image credit: NAHB News.

From time to time, it is important to step back and simply look around. Who is pursuing what and why? What do you see and think?

We Provide, You Decide. © ##

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156 (1)By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Post-HR 650 Passage. New MH Lender? Manufactured Housing Professional Landscape…

April 15th, 2015 No comments

The Manufactured Housing (MH) industry has never been monolithic. There has been and always will be various voices and groups within the industry landscape. Part of our challenge in getting a bill such as HR 650/Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing passed – great job to all who made it happen! – is that we do have a wide array of interests that fall under the MH Pro umbrella.

If we looked back into the past, the reason that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) exists is because the smaller, independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes felt the bigger MH builders were pushing for (or not opposing) regulations and policies that were contrary to their interests.

What would happen if larger builders and mid-to-smaller ones became comfortable enough with each other so that they were all under the same joint association flag? Do you see 2 different national associations for real estate agents?


Left to right: Ernesto, Jim Clayton, Scott Roberts, Shaun (sp?) and Kevin Kimzey.
some of the Who’s Who In manufactured housing at the 2015 Congress and Expo.

Please don’t misread that as a call for unity, that would be premature. It is just to make the point that follows.

Namely, that because we are not unified, because we have so many divergent groups and views, it creates issues for an industry of our size given the various challenges we face. This is why serious industry growth has to be a top priority, more on that point at this link and in the near term too.

As an FYI, MHARR didn’t oppose HR 650. I’m told that any time their office was contacted about the issue, they gave verbal support for the bill’s passage. It is just that MHARR is more focused on GSE reform, a worthy cause and another topic for another day. Now, back to the HR 650 topic..

By contrast, those who advocate on behalf of the presumed interests of consumers are very united. They managed to get a chorus of articles published before and after the passage of HR 650. While they’ve been framed as an attack on specific industry lenders and companies, that is almost like bait – wedge politics – or divide and conquer strategies that sometimes are cooked up to achieve a given group’s goal.

I’ve already been told, there are two lines in the sand the anti-HR 650 forces have marshaled.


Some of the management and leadership from San Antonio Credit Union,
present at the 2015 Congress and Expo, in a private meeting.
Left to right, John Walters, CU Factory Built Lending, Anthony Ducharme, Mountainside Financial
and Barry Noffsinger, CU Factory Built Lending.

  • First, I’m told by ‘pro-consumer’ voices that they expect our fix for Dodd-Frank to be stopped in the Senate. Hmm…

  • Next, we are reminded that POTUS (the President of the United States) Barack Obama has already signaled that he will veto HR 650 if it hits his desk.

Now imagine that 2nd point! Here we have a nation that can’t get our policies straight with who are and are not state sponsors of terror overseas. POTUS wants to normalize relations with Iran and Cuba, has threatened to punish Israel and won’t support the Ukraine with weapons while they are being invaded by Russia. We have all kinds of domestic and international issues as a nation…

and the president is taking the time to tell us he’ll veto a fix for Dodd-Frank?  What’s up with that?

view-from-ballys-suite-for-mhpronews-mhlivingnews-manufacturedhousingprofessionalnews-480x650- (1)

View from the MHProNews suite,
overlooking Paris Hotel Complex in Las Vegas.

Story Telling Time…

We have to get better at telling our own stories and those of our home owners. Period. Some of these are complex issues. I see industry pros whose eyes glaze over when you start talking about why personal property (home only/chattel lending) rates are what they are. It isn’t predatory lending, its called pricing for the risk and costs, which by the way, regulations have increased both risks and costs!

So if it isn’t easy for a number of professionals, how can it be made easy to understand for the public at large?

That’s not an excuse not to try! It is a call to action to do what it takes to make the case.

Then perhaps well intentioned but ill informed voices – the opposition groups to HR 650 that wag their fingers at industry lenders – who have rates higher than site built housing rate. Do they not have a clue, apparently, as to what the GAO’s report that came out last year said about MH lending? Or they’ve ignored the facts that have come out. Either its sloppy research or its agenda driven, take you pick.

The article below and those links within that article give an array of facts that will get you or anyone armed to understand and explain the finance issues surrounding MH and personal property lending.

The link above has been privately praised by industry leaders as a good, generic response to some of the attacks on HR 650. We’ve had small to large players say, thank you, great job, excellent, etc. on the above. Please keep this page book marked, and share it often with media and those in public office, it is there to support your efforts.

Because collectively – you, us, others – we are the ones who are fighting for consumers rights! For the rights of millions of MH owners across America! They deserve access to financing that will protect the value of their asset, that manufactured home they enjoy and benefit from.

Post HR 650

I’ve received this among the flurry of messages for and against HR 650, and the post HR 650 comments. It is from Tim Williams, Executive Director, Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA). It read in part as follows:

Thank you to our faithful OMHA members for submitting letters, emails, and making phone calls to your U.S. House Representatives asking for their support for our industry critical legislation H.R. 650– Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

But, we’re not done yet!  We eventually will need support from our Ohio Senators (Brown and Portman) to pass the companion bill S. 682 –Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

We could repeat that message from others across he country who have or soon will make that same kind of call to action.

Those perhaps well intentioned, but nevertheless misguided voices opposing HR 650 are ready to fight to the finish to keep Dodd-Frank from being changed. Are you ready to pick up the phone or email to ask your Senator or the Senator’s staffers for support on this bill? That call just takes a few moments.

Here is our post HR650 Daily Business News article. It shows who voted for what, Congressman Fincher’s statement and more. Kudos to all who made the efforts to make this happen! Our thanks for all who voted for this critically important pro-consumer and MH homeowner bill.

CFPB on Site at the MHI Congress and Expo event, Again…

I had a brief but pleasant chat with Marie Whittaker, a Market Analyst from the Office of Mortgage Markets for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This is the second year I’ve known of someone from the CFPB coming to this MHI event. Our tax dollars are clearly hard at work, as Marie is here to learn more about the MH industry.


Left to Right, Ron Thomas Sr – Chairman of the MIdwest Manufactured Housing Federation, Scott Macfarlane and Charlie Goetze, HAS Capital and Marie Whittaker, CFPB.

I’m hoping Marie and the CFPB will look carefully at the article linked above and the various articles linked from it. Let me share the link with Marie and the CFPB anew, here, for their convenience.

An anti HR 650 source told me that facts matter. Indeed! I reminded that source that millions have been cut off from the financing they may need soon, should they sell their home. No reply to my counterpoint…because it is hard to answer the truth that you oppose when faced by its realities.

Need for changes?

Are there changes need in MH finance? You bet. We aren’t blindly supporting HR 650. There are voices in our industry’s ranks that see that issue differently too. But the point is this is a useful and important step, perhaps more for home owners with values under 20k to 25k than for the industry itself.


Credit scores have generally improved since this graphic from the Deseret News
was first published. While it is noble to serve the working class, and we should not
abandon serving that important market, we must get better at reaching out the
broader housing market. That is where opportunities aplenty exist.


Why are we stuck in the 60,000+ range of MHShipments,
when we are in a trillion dollar a year housing industry
with about 1 million new housing MF and SF starts in 2014?

New MH Lender?

We’ve been talking and hinting for some months that there is a new lender coming into the space. Actually, there is more than one, nibbling at or check out MH financing. One of these has made the scene at Congress and Expo. Let me call it HAS Capital, Version 2.0. They are led by Scott Macfarlane, formerly the VP that led the MH program with U.S. Bank.


Scott Macfarlane has joined the HAS Capital team in a leadership role.
More on this developing story in MH home only lending in the days ahead.

Scott is taking on a leadership role in HAS operation. Official title, President of Originations. They are going to be bringing a new game to town. More on that in the days ahead, but keep your eye on developments from this one.

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


In a trillion dollar housing annual U.S. Housing Market, MH has and can do much better than it is.
We can sustainably and responsibly rebuild to a 500,000 new MH produced a year industry.


Ladies and gents, it is time to wrap this for now. Our great industry is at a cross roads, and many in our ranks don’t see it. There are opportunities aplenty for those doing the business well and properly. There are opportunities for those who go after serving not only the entry level market, but those who have cash or good credit. We are uniquely positioned to ‘do all of the above.’  Let’s borrow the Nike slogan.  Just do it. ##

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

What is MHI’s and the Manufactured Housing Industry’s Leadership’s Strategy?

October 19th, 2014 2 comments

There are leaders of companies of all sizes involved in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Some are huge in MH, others as small as one person and all sizes in between. We routinely get questions related to MHI’s decisions, communications, actions or the seeming ‘absence of action’ which we’ll explore for the next few minutes.

Paraphrasing some common ones:

  • What is MHI’s game plan for a more robust MH Industry recovery?

  • Are MHI’s main foci “lobbying and regulatory” in nature?

  • As good as the info or networking at MHI meetings are, is there something beyond meetings and lobbying?

  • Does the leadership at MHI see all the opportunities and risks: in the marketplace, with not-for profits, media and from regulators?

  • What happens if MHI’s lobbying efforts and plans come up short? What’s their plan B?

  • Tony, can you get MHI to do X (whatever the caller’s or writer’s “x” happens to be…, and the short answer is mostly, not likely).


Yes, the above are paraphrases, but if you look closely at some of the articles on Industry Voices over the months or years, or a number of featured articles written by others under their own names,what emerges are exactly these noted concerns and more, only politely said or muted.  So this is NOT new.

Example; when a respected industry pro points out publicly and in writing that half the states in the U.S. are still going backwards on new warning-sign-new_zealand_credit-wikicommons-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-MH shipments, isn’t that a troubling warning sign?

When –

  • affordable quality housing is in high demand in the U.S. and world-wide,

  • billions in investments could be coming into MH (some potentially via MHI to members…),

  • and MH and MHI are routinely not considered for projects, aren’t those warning signs too?



Disclosure being made at a Congressional hearing,
credit WikiCommons.

Before proceeding, as a disclosure:

  • that I’m an MHI member,

  • was elected to the board of the MHI Suppliers Division, 

  • and pay dues like hundreds of other professionals or businesses do. Furthermore,

  • our firm’s parent operation has done contracted services for MHI,

  • The fact that key people connected with MHI thank us privately and publicly (see footnote 1), suggests they like want we’ve done for them and/or for the industry in our publishing and other services.

That said, let’s proceed.


The Other Networks…

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is one of over 50 national, state or regional communities focused associations in MH or modular homes. While many walk hand-in-hand publicly with MHI, that doesn’t mean that off the record (or sometimes, rather publicly, on the record), they agree with all that MHI does.

In fact, a MHARR member reminded me recently they exist precisely because decades ago, their members didn’t feel properly represented by MHI, and so they formed their own group that exists to this day.


What is the MHI End Game?

Do you play chess? If not, ask a good chess player you know to explain “the opening, middle and end game,” or read up on it on a source such as Wikipedia.  MHPros, would be and current investors, media, and outside but interested parties often ask your Masthead  scribe,

  • What is MHI’s end game?

Others may ask similar, but differently,

  • what are the short, mid and long term goals for MHI?

To maintain balance, let it be known that MHI does put out a few statements every month. They do put out an annual or periodic “score card” on their lobbying efforts and results. Whenever we publish a guest column, like Jason Boehlert‘s on behalf of MHI, or other articles on/by MHI that are featured, they are routinely well read.

But that is the flip side of another common comment (complaint?). “MHI fails to communicate often or clearly on key things in a fashion that keeps the industry-at-large informed.” I’ve had MHI members – who aren’t dual MHARR members – say that MHARR out-communicates MHI.

I frankly hear concerns from those within MHI’s ranks to exactly these and other points raised in this column. So these aren’t whines from the side-lines by the disgruntled, rather they are water-cooler, email, phone, dinner and bar talk by MHI members and beyond.

Concerns on some topics related to MHI are so hot that I think it prudent not to mention them specifically at this time. The goal today isn’t to pen a post that looks like a nuclear attack – remember, we’re about solutions, not problems here – so let’s focus on the concerns in general and see where those lead us, okay?



“Tony, some of what MHI does or fails to do is maddeningly inexplicable.”

None of this is to throw rocks, because I’m on an MHI board too. It’s shared because pros in our industry – or those keenly interested in MH and our future – often shake their heads in wonder.  

My private response is there are certainly good efforts like HR 1779/S 1828; MHI and the leadership deserve credit for getting more traction on these than any other legislation to date I’m aware of to “reform the reform” of Dodd-Frank. That’s not to be taken lightly! So let’s be fair. There are successes.

But there are state associations that – objectively speaking – are arguably doing a better job with often more limited resources than the national.

To be more specific would be unfair, but to say those associations are routinely engaged with MHI makes the point I also make in private. Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Whatever is missing or is wrong, let’s work together to fix and improve it.

We have to improve what is good, and fix what is lacking.

I’m not going to offer a specific set of suggestions or conclusions; that’s up the leadership and industry members like yourself.

We as industry pros will make it through this rebirthing period, regardless if MHI makes changes or doesn’t. Our MH industry will grow, period and exclamation point!

Individual companies will continue to thrive (or not), based upon their corporate efforts and those of other associations.


Hari kari – image credit, silverdoctors.

So unless we collectively commit dishonorable ‘hari kari,’ Manufactured and Modular Homes are going to play a key role in the future of American Housing.

But if MHI listen to and adapts, as these voices suggest, many more will prosper and benefit and will do so more rapidly.

If they fail to address the growing chorus of quietly voiced concerns, nature abhors a vacuum. ##


latonykovach-us-supreme-court-building-washington-dc-masthead-mhpronews-com-_light-Footnote 1)

We could point to a number of comments in writing or via video that underscore the fact that MHI thinks we are “fair and balanced” here at MHProNews  in our coverage and are pro-industry in all of our work.

Examples are the closing comments on videos with prior MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer, or MHI President Dick Jennison; or in writing by others – many are MHI members at this link – that make that point.

Many interviews with industry leaders, who often sounded off on such issues (but may not mention MHI by name), are linked here.

Footnote 2)

Along the lines of industry education and events, ironically, MHI has brought in fine speakers like Chris Fisher of Drucker Worldwide, or author Ken Segall of Apple marketing fame. Watch and listen to their interviews, and then ask the question. “6 months later, which of these suggestions has MHI publicly taken up?”

Footnote 3)

Let me partially answer that last question by saying that the MHI Supplier’s Division has taken up the issue of image in a proposed video project, as is reflected in MHI’s own annual meeting report, linked here.

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach

(Image credits: WikiCommons, MHProNews and silverdoctors)

Editor’s Note:

Your Invitation to Sound Off!

We are routinely asked to ‘push’ MHI on this or that topic, and routinely refrain from doing so  for a variety of reasons.

With this column, we’ll see if:

  • others who’ve asked me to sound off for them will now come forward more clearly and directly in their own public statements on what they think MHI needs to do,

  • or if MHI will come forward and answer some of these questions and concerns publicly to the industry, or

  • if MHI leaders will privately meet and resolve these and others festering concerns.

The point is, nature abhors a vacuum.  Timely solutions are needed, or multi-billion-dollar opportunities will be missed.

Change will come, the question is how, when and with what results?

In fairness and closing, we know from our sources that MHI is and has been exploring options (some I’d agree with, others…?) but they’ve opted as of this point-in-time to hold those discussions very close to the vest.

Comments on this or other topics of industry interest – or or off the record – may be sent to this linkAs always, comments are those of the writer, not necessarily reflective of sponsors or our parent firm.

If you opt to sound-off via email, please make it clear from your subject line if the comment is On the Record or Off the Record; thank you in advance as always for your tips, thoughts and insights. ##

Self Evident Truths and Manufactured Housing

September 24th, 2014 No comments

Let’s look at something (1) national in scope that will be surprising to many, and then push on to (2) Manufactured Housing’s own “self-evident” truths.

1) Beginning with a quote:

QUESTION: Which President said the following? (HINT: It was during his Second Inaugural Address.)

“. . . each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.

“What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration . . . We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

“The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few, or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people. Entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed . . .”

Beautiful words, aren’t they? Who comes to mind: Abraham Lincoln? Teddy Roosevelt? Ronald Reagan?

Actually, it’s none of the above.

ANSWER: Barack Obama. (End of quoted section, italics and bold added. Source, RedState email).

This was too surprising to pass up! We will revisit the above another time. Now, let’s look at something equally surprising to many or most, even among those in our factory-built home industry.


It is time to open the eyes of millions to the realities and potential
of modern manufactured homes. Image credit: 123RF.

2) What are the Self-Evident Truths for Manufactured Housing?

Can we change the image? Yes! And the timing is good. With the U.S. (indeed, much of the globe…) in a growing need for quality affordable housing, in theory, our industry ought to be well positioned for the future.

Given the needs, our industry’s appeal could easily cross all party lines. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents who have a clear picture of the issues should all favor the proper use of modern manufactured homes. Lobbying and zoning efforts would be enhanced with a better image/education too.

  • MHEC (Manufactured Housing Executives Committee – made up of roughly 53 state/community MH associations)

  • MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform)

  • MHI’s Supplier’s Division

  • a number of businesses and professionals…

have all expressed some level of stated interest in an industry public image/education campaign effort.

Listening to an industry leader on Monday, I heard this:

Tony, 5 years ago, almost no one was talking about doing a campaign in manufactured housing to improve the image and educate potential home buyers to our advantages. Today, it is being discussed by professionals, companies and some associations, who want to see something happen in their market.”

We should also make the point that American Land Lease – which is in the process of being integrated into SUN Communities through a 1.3 billion dollar purchase agreement – is an example of a firm that made the investment in improving their image in the market place and with their residents. Don’t you think that may have helped increase occupancy – and the value – of their properties?

Image and Education are crucial for manufactured housing to reach its potential. This is self-evident. That it works and ‘pays’ is equally clear!

3) Frustrated?

Some are frustrated that we’ve not made more progress on such self-evident needs. As the poster below suggests, slow progress is still progress. We’ve seen previous naysayers now pick up the call to action too. There is a growing dialogue on such subjects, and that’s healthy.


Beyond words, action!

Speaking for our team, we made the decision over a year ago to provide a model for what the industry needs in image and education, based upon an understanding of what home shoppers are looking for, gleaned from years of work at the retail and community levels.

Real Comments from Real People who are seeing MH in a New Light

Can we successfully educate the public? Of course! Here are 4 recent comments – among thousands in the last 12 months – from readers and those watching videos on our public-focused website. Quotes are in brown.


The info really opened my eyes about manufactured home.

manufactured-home-living-news-ver2_0-laptop-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-1The next three comments from pros/investor types researching the MH field:

I (now) understand the value of manufactured homes for customers looking for an affordable solution to buying a home.  I also understand the added value of a manufactured home over a traditional build… Educating the potential home buyer and personally showing the features, benefits and low maintenance I believe would be a huge factor in selling manufactured homes


I reviewed the video’s, the various websites…That being said, the more I’ve researched, the more excited I’ve became about the product (i.e…manufactured homes), and the relevance in the marketplace! As I previously mentioned, I owned 10+ investment properties, so I’m somewhat familiar with the housing industry, and I believe (like you) that in this economy; manufactured homes will become more & more popular because of the price point (from entry level to higher end), overall quality, and investment. I also believe this product will become very popular with the “baby boomers” too (like myself).


After initial review of the “manufactured home industry”, and considering our economy, I absolutely believe that this “product” is relevant in the marketplace…

These comments are not from industry pros, but those outside of our industry!

They came after people who saw at least the 3 following linked articles and videos.

At least the first half of the video below:

…plus these two videos/articles as well.

Naturally, seeing or reading more helps. The fact that modern MH can appeal to millionaires helps shatter the ‘trailer’ stereotype in the sense that we must have a quality home if the rich and famous think our homes are trendy.” Others suddenly sit up and take notice.

Ohio and IN association’s Community Page are among the corporations like and a growing number of others use RSS feeds and links to our sites.  Massachusetts’ Manufactured Housing Association recently added an RSS feed to MHProNews.

The above show that the start of image building and education are as easy as RSS! Make sure your team mates and members know these links and share them!

We can do (and discuss) more, later. ##


Warm Welcome Extended to Pamela Beck Danner, JD, as Administrator for the HUD Manufactured Housing Program

March 8th, 2014 No comments

A breath of fresh air passed from Washington, DC to the parts of the country tuned into manufactured housing related issues. HUD notified Congress on March 5th of the appointment of Pamela Beck Danner, JD, as the new Career Administrator for their Manufactured Housing Program. MHI sounded off publicly on March 6th with their welcome, as did colleagues, other association members and MHProNews.

On March 7th, MHARR sent out a welcome to Pam Danner that simultaneously protested to HUD the fact that she was appointed as a career, rather than a non-career administrator, per their understanding of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.

Here are some of the-on-record comments shared about Pam Danner:

  • “Being a past Administrator of the program makes Pamela well positioned to move us forward. Along with the rest of the industry, I welcomepamela_beck_danner__google_images-posted-manufactured-housing-pro-news-masthead-blog-mhpronews.png her back and look forward to working with her in the years to come.” – Nathan Smith, SSK Communities and Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).
  • “Ms. Danner will come to the table with a full plate of issues. Running her own law firm for the past two decades, her extensive industry background, and her prior HUD experience will enable Pamela to juggle and prioritize all of the pending matters before HUD. The selection of an excellent candidate to fill this important role is a major accomplishment for MHI and our members.” – MHI President and CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison.
  • “Pam is a good lawyer who thoroughly knows the HUD manufactured housing program. I always enjoyed working with Pam and know the program will be in good hands. Congratulations and good luck to her.” – Bill Matchneer, former head of the manufactured housing program at HUD and recent CFPB official.
  • “I’ve known Pamela for many years. She brings strong leadership skills and knowledge of the industry that is much needed at HUD right now.” – said Joe Stegmayer, Chairman and CEO of Cavco Industries of Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Stegmayer also served as a previous Chairman for MHI.
  • “From our past association, including your earlier tenure with HUD, and especially from working together to enact the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, we know that you are thoroughly familiar, not only with the law and the federal program, but with the industry itself and its unique attributes…That said, in the interests of full disclosure and fairness to you, while MHARR is very pleased that you have been named to this position and we will do our utmost to work with you to advance the objectives of this unique program, the 2000 reform law mandates the appointment of the program administrator on a non-career basis.” – Danny D. Ghorbani, President and CEO Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Whew! What a comparison between the simple, warm welcomes from MHI and others, to the 'Gee, welcome, we think you are qualified, but HUD should have made you a non-career administrator' message from Mr. Ghorbani.

Think that's an exaggeration?

Here is, word for word, including the use of all caps, the headline from one of Danny Ghorbani's email accounts. "MHARR WELCOMES NEW PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR — WILL CHALLENGE HUD CHANGE TO LAW."

As a writer, you just can't make this stuff up and think it would be believable.

Doesn't this underscore some of the concerns shared by a number of industry pros quoted in the report, MHARR's Mission “Improve Relations…”…?

Danny, thank you for once again making the point for us.

Simple Questions plus Off the Record on Pam Danner

We'll ask a simple set of questions. If you were Ms. Danner, which of these styles of messages would likely yield the more open door for an organization? The many warm messages from MHI members or colleagues? Or the greetings from MHARR's CEO?

Which would make you want to meet with the sender?

Shifting gears…

Off the record, there were a range of other messages, mostly along the lines of the following:

  • Sorry, don't know (or barely know) the lady. Let us know more.
  • Echoing the warm welcomes shared in the quoted messages above, to this completely enthusiastic quote;
  • This could be the best thing for the industry to take place in years!”

MHProNews sent Ms. Danner a welcome and congratulations message Thursday. Pam and I spoke briefly about pleasantries in DC last month and have seen each other from time to time at MHI events.

For those who remember the Manufactured Home Merchandiser Magazine, Pam used to pen a popular column called the Grassroots Report, which was a recap of some news from various state associations.

MH Experts and "Suits!" Boost YOU

When it comes to experts, you find more expert writers and attorneys – "suits!" – here than all other 'national' MH Industry publications combined. To grow, learn more, avoid land-mines, or defend your business or career, this is the online premier place that pros come for ideas and insights for their team.

We also bring the interviews you won't find elsewhere. Those interviews from industry leaders and seasoned veterans yield insights, inspiration and ideas that can advance your career or business. Please see the 18 featured articles for March, found on the home page, immediately after our ever-popular Daily Business News modules.

Business Building Events!

Tunica is shaping up well! 85 homes, over 100 exhibitors, mixers, networking, free educational panels, and seminars are all in tap. Click the Tunica Show link to learn more, or here to register online free.

MHI's Congress and Expo is also roaring ahead, up – per our sources – 10% over last year! Lots of details, here, or register online for the industry's largest information/educational/networking meeting of the year.

Those who go to such events, routinely are the ones who grow. Who says? See what other industry leaders say in the videos linked here.


Full house at the Louisville Show business building seminars.

Dominate YOUR Market

Speaking of business building, please check out this Cutting Edge of Marketing and Sales post to learn more, to earn more!

We hope to see you later this month in Tunica, we will be at booth #14H by the Seminar Room in the convention center's main hall. Please stop by to say hi. Our enthusiastic little guy and his lovely mom will be there. ##  (Image credit, Google Images)

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